(Thank you Austin, Brototype, Brandon, Franz, Angrym, Storm, Mariusz, Luis, Julian for helping me proofread on the Live Draft! <3)
ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
JAPANESE WEB NOVEL SOURCE: HTTP://NCODE.SYOSETU.COM/N2267BE/257/
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[Subaru: Lewes-san, are you home~~? I wanna talk to you for a bit]
Bounding over the uneven ground, through the acrid stench of the room, thinking how he should have gotten used to that smell by now, Subaru saw beyond the scraps and rubble the gleam of the pale blue crystal.
As ever, inside the crystal was a naked girl in wakeless slumber. Brushing his palm against the crystal’s surface, and once again disappointed by the lack of anything happening, Subaru looked around the room.
The faint blue glow of the crystal was the only light source in the darkness of the chamber. For a place reeking with stench, there were no rats or insects in sight. Thinking about it soberly and realizing that it must be because this place was ridiculously unhealthy, Subaru was finally starting to have some concerns about his bodily condition.
[Subaru: If not even bugs or rats wanna live here, the air pollution’s probably off the charts, huh…]
[???: You can put away those queer worries of yours. It’s only the Witch’s vestiges looming over this place…… the animals instinctively sense it and keep away from here]
While Subaru hugged his shoulders, shuddering, a voice came from behind him, dismissing his worries.
It was a familiar voice, spoken in a young pitch and an elderly tone. Turning around, Subaru caught sight of Lewes, walking over with her long hair trailing behind her.
Stopping at Subaru’s side in front of the crystal at the center of the room, she looked up with eyes that were the same color as her hair,
[Lewes: Now, Su-bo. The fact that you’re here…… means you already know what I am?]
[Subaru: I got an explanation directly from the manager of this place. Also mentioned something about taking turns being the representative… pretty sure I got the gist of it]
[Lewes: Is that… so. So that’s why Ros-bo was looking strange this morning. ――Ros-bo must’ve failed again]
Lowering her eyes, a pained expression rose on Lewes’ face. Those words made Subaru raise his brows,
[Subaru: Incidentally and unexpectedly, feels like I’ve just heard a part of what I came here to ask…… so Lewes-san, do you happen to know about Roswaal’s plans?]
[Lewes: Only in part, I’m afraid. Unless one’s familiar to a certain extent with where he’s coming from, there’s no way anyone could understand why Ros-bo does these baffling things. ……Then again, that’s also why Gar-bo’s angry with him]
[Subaru: A part… how much?]
His voice dropping in pitch, Subaru took a step towards Lewes.
Perhaps sensing the change in Subaru’s voice, a look of surprise flashed across Lewes’ eyes. Subaru bent his knees, bringing his gaze level with Lewes’, and,
[Subaru: Tell me, Lewes-san. How much of Roswaal’s plans have you heard? Depending on the answer, I……]
If Lewes knew Roswaal’s plan―― to secure the progression of the world as described by the Gospel, ordering Elsa’s attack on the Mansion, inviting the Great Rabbit to a Sanctuary enclosed by snow, murdering everyone involved, and isolating Subaru to make him forfeit his heart:
If she knew all of it, did nothing to stop it, and was complicit, then,
[Subaru: I don’t want to despise you, Lewes-san. So please, tell me. How much do you know? How much have you been helping Roswaal?]
[Lewes: ……What I know is that Ros-bo has a Gospel that he’s received from the Witch, and he’s trying to rewrite history in accordance to its contents. The Sanctuary’s continued existence, too, was written in the Gospel. Were it not for that, I would have stopped protecting him a long time ago]
[Subaru: ……Is that, all?]
[Lewes: That is all. I swear on my words. The contract with which I am born forbids me from ever telling a lie]
Without taking her gaze off of Subaru, a sincere expression appeared on Lewes’ youthful face. Since her contract forbade her to lie, Subaru chose to believe her.
His rigid shoulders instantly lost their tension as Subaru breathed a sigh of relief.
[Subaru: I see, thank god. If I found out that even you were on board with Roswaal’s monstrous designs, I might’ve come back to punch you after all this is over. Punching a Loli-looking Lewes-san… just picturing it is horrid]
[Lewes: I honestly felt sorry for worrying you… but after what you said just now I’m not feeling all that sorry anymore]
Hoping to clear the oppressive atmosphere, Lewes went along with Subaru’s quip.
Then, she placed her hand to her chin, and continued with [So,]
[Lewes: By the sound of it just now, this isn’t a frivolous matter, I take it? Su-bo, what kind of a squabble did you and Ros-bo get into?]
[Subaru: Leaving aside whether it’s cute enough to be called a squabble…… right now, we’re in the middle of a contest. I can objectively say that if I win, we’ll get the big happy finale, so I kinda want Lewes’ help with that]
[Lewes: Judging from the flow of the conversation, this is something about the Sanctuary? Su-bo and Ros-bo, so what are you each thinking…… until I know that first, I can’t just carelessly accept]
[Subaru: Well yeah. Right, how to explain……]
Tilting his head, Subaru deliberated over just how much information to give her. He had been completely open with Otto, and it didn’t seem like Lewes was entirely biased towards Roswaal. In fact, her position seemed to be the only reason she was being cordial with Roswaal.
With that in mind, after thinking over the matter carefully,
[Subaru: Simply put…… it’s about what to do with the Sanctuary after the Barrier is gone]
[Lewes: What to do, after it’s gone?]
[Subaru: I heard snippets from Garfiel too, so the opinion is pretty split in the Sanctuary, right? Those who want to go out, and those who don’t]
Basically, those in support were the majority, and those in opposition the minority. But there were extremists in the opposition who would sabotage Subaru and Emilia’s attempts to pass the Trials and liberate the Sanctuary.
Having spent over twenty days in the Sanctuary, Subaru figured that the vanguard of that opposition would be Garfiel. As such, Lewes would be the head of those in support. But just what would she have to say about this difference of opinions?
And just when Subaru was considering how best to continue,
[Lewes: A split in opinions…….? No, there shouldn’t be anything like that]
[Lewes: After this place is liberated, whether to leave or to stay on this land would be up to the individual. Most of us would want to follow Ros-bo and leave…… and those who stay would stay because they wish to bury their bones in this land. So where is the difference in opinions?]
[Subaru: Uu, eh…… no, but……]
The shock of hearing Lewes’ unexpected reply sent Subaru’s head reeling.
The contention between the support and opposition, the supposed antagonism resulting from differing stances regarding the Sanctuary’s liberation―― Subaru had been planning to use this as a jumping-off point to redirect the conversation into how to secure Garfiel as an ally.
[Subaru: But, if there never was any contention……]
[Subaru: You mean he just made all that stuff up? He was the one warning us to be wary of the opposition, but… was it just so we wouldn’t find it strange if we got sabotaged afterwards?]
If so, that’s a level of thought that isn’t like him at all, Subaru thought.
To divert attention from himself, Garfiel had been warning of potential obstructions in advance, thus removing himself from the list of suspects.
As a result, it was only after going through multiple loops in the Sanctuary that Subaru realized that that obstruction was the rampaging Garfiel himself, and that the warning was utterly meaningless.
[Subaru: Why would he go through all these hoops if he really wanted to stop the Sanctuary’s liberation……?]
[Lewes: ……You’re talking about Gar-bo?]
Listening to Subaru’s mutters, Lewes seemed to have guessed who he was talking about.
Little by little, she lowered her eyes as a darkness fell over her expression,
[Lewes: The fact that that child doesn’t want to go outside is because of our own cowardice……]
[Subaru: Cowardice… what do you mean?]
[Lewes: Just what the word means. We have lived here ever since our birth. And so we know nothing of the world outside. We don’t know, and so we are afraid. It must torment Gar-bo terribly]
Subaru could understand what Lewes was talking about.
For the residents of the Sanctuary, born into this narrow, closed-off place, the connection to the rest of the world after the Barrier falls away would be something utterly unknown and new.
Having lived for so, so long on this land, they must be feeling more anxiety than hope to face that something new. The prospect of the collapse of one’s mundane, unchanging, everyday life just has that sort of influence over people.
[Subaru: Garfiel doesn’t want the Sanctuary to be liberated because he doesn’t want to see people hurt by the upheaval of their circumstances……? It doesn’t fit his character at all…… but]
If that was really why Garfiel so desperately tried to prevent the Sanctuary’s liberation―― it’d be the exact same thought process as Subaru’s desire to distance Emilia from hardship.
Garfiel was shutting his ears to the opinions of Lewes and the other residents, and proceeding with his own stubborn way of protecting them. In that case, if, like Subaru, he could have a proper conversation with Lewes and the other residents, maybe this problem would be solved.
[Subaru: No, it’s not that simple]
Subaru and Garfiel were alike in how they pursued what they seek, but their positions were different. Subaru was failing to get what he wanted because he was weak.
But that was not the case with Garfiel. Garfiel had the strength to prevent the Sanctuary from being liberated. Kill Subaru and Emilia, thus eliminating anyone who could challenge the Trials, and his wish would be fulfilled. The problem is, even if he did this and shut himself in the Sanctuary, there would still be no escape from the approaching Great Rabbit.
But that fact was unknown to Garfiel, and was something he’d be unlikely to believe even if Subaru told him. The situation would be quite different from when he was explaining it to Otto.
[Subaru: If we’re just looking for grounds for compromise, this still isn’t it…… but, it’s strange]
[Subaru: Why…… didn’t he choose the most efficient method for stopping the Sanctuary’s liberation at the outset and just kill me and Emilia?]
If he truly didn’t care about appearances and was wholeheartedly pursuing a single goal like Roswaal, Garfiel could have taken Subaru and Emilia’s lives immediately.
But he had never once attempted to directly harm Emilia. And even the times he did attack Subaru, he only did so after Subaru had taken some drastic action.
Subaru still couldn’t clearly identify what Garfiel’s trigger for killing him was. There was no doubt that killing Subaru was to prevent the Sanctuary’s liberation, but the reason behind it remains unclear.
[Subaru: There has to be a trigger. ……But, thinking back on those times Garfiel attacked me, was there really anything they had in common……?]
The times Garfiel attacked Subaru were when Subaru flew into a rage at Roswaal and when he tried to escape the Sanctuary with the villagers―― ultimately, that’s all.
Objectively looking at the scene with Roswaal, it was quite normal to have judged Subaru to be in the wrong for pouncing on an injured person. So there was nothing suspicious there.
The problem was the second time, when he tried to murder a Subaru he had already failed to kill.
Transforming into a giant tiger to kill Subaru, Garfiel set his fangs and claws upon Ram, the Arlam villagers, and Patrasche who tried to stand in his way. Though Subaru didn’t die in the end, passing through the scene of the massacre, the hatred he felt towards Garfiel then still hasn’t vanished even now.
But how much of a decision must Garfiel have made before staining his hands with such atrocities? There must have been something that had triggered it.
Looking back on it now, it doesn’t seem as though the trigger came from Subaru’s end.
In other words, the impetus for the massacre wasn’t something from Subaru, but Garfiel’s end.
[Subaru: Lewes-san. Garfiel may seem rough and reckless, but he’s not a guy easily moved to violence…… would that be a safe assessment?]
[Lewes: He is a kind boy at heart. He puts up a hard shell and barks before anything else to protect those around him. ……The strength he holds within himself is also for that purpose]
[Subaru: Right, in that case…… there’s only one answer]
Subaru rubbed his nose and turned to face Lewes, who was tilting her head.
Then, putting his hand on the crystal at his side and feeling its chill on his palm,
[Subaru: Someone’s been feeding Garfiel these ideas. Whoever it is, their actions are what’s triggering Garfiel’s sudden bouts of violence]
If all those uncharacteristic acts from Garfiel were done on someone else’s instructions, then it would all make sense. And the most likely candidates for Garfiel’s collaborator would be,
[Subaru: Roswaal, Ram, Lewes-san, or some yet-unseen malevolence……]
Someone from that list was inciting Garfiel to violence.
He must find them out. And only once he has found them, can he have a real conversation with Garfiel.
[Subaru: Just for reference, Lewes-san, can I ask you something?]
[Lewes: Hn, what is it?]
[Subaru: ――Do you happen to know the contents of the Trial Garfiel took in the Tomb?]
[Lewes: ……No, I don’t. I’m sorry, but that is not within my knowledge]
Lewes shook her head. Since she is forbidden to tell lies, what she said must be true. Receiving this answer, [Right], Subaru nodded,
[Subaru: Then let me change the question. ――Does another Lewes-san know the contents of the Trial Garfiel took in the Tomb?]
[Subaru: This time you’re silent, which can only mean yes]
Announcing this to the silent Lewes, Subaru slightly lifted his face.
Of the Lewes Meyer replicants, there were several Leweses acting as the representative of the Sanctuary. This system where the Leweses took turns to assume that role from day to day created the problem where the individuals did not necessarily share all of the memories and experiences.
Four replicants play the role of the representative Lewes. If we labeled them A B C and D for the sake of distinction, naturally, not all of A’s experiences and memories of her activities during the day would be transmitted to B C and D.
On the day in question, where Garfiel challenged the Trial, failed, and was dragged out― the Lewes who saved Garfiel then is not the same Lewes standing before Subaru now.
[Subaru: ……So the Lewes-san who knows about the Trial, when will she show up next?]
[Subaru: The Lewes-san who spoke to me yesterday said she had taken the Trial. Since as a rule you guys cannot lie, what she said must be true. And if the rotation happens daily…… then she’ll show up in three days?]
Since he was strapped for time, he would really rather it wasn’t on the last possible date.
At Subaru’s almost pleading question, Lewes’ closed lips softened, as she let slip a sigh,
[Lewes: No, the me who brought Gar-bo out of the Tomb will show up in two days. The me’s who went in, and the me’s who had not are on a two-by-two rotation]
She said, with a somewhat exhausted expression on her face.
-=Chapter 88 End=-
Let me know if you catch any typos! ❤
Jul 16th: I edited the chapter a little today and smoothed out some sentences
Chapter 89 Live Draft: