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/259/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 90 [――I’m Sorry]
――Though he was supposed to have confirmed his resolve, the moment Subaru saw the waves of emotion in her tearing eyes, he felt himself struck with regret.
Asking her that question was no different from ripping open the scars inside Emilia’s heart―― clawing at her unhealed wounds while using “concern” as his justification.
The pain of this realization was no less than the pain he must have made her feel.
[Subaru: The Tomb’s Trial shows you the past…… that’s what everyone told me]
But, in search of what lay beyond that pain, Subaru treaded even deeper.
Biting down on her lips, a tremor flashed across Emilia’s expression, but her trembling pupils did not look away from Subaru.
For now, he decided it’d be best to avoid mentioning that he had taken the Trial. He wasn’t going to make the sort of frivolous comment like “If I can beat it, you can beat it too”, especially not now that his qualifications had been revoked. Besides, even if he did, she might very well mistake it for a comforting lie.
If that’s how it’s going to turn out, then he might as well just tell Emilia his honest feelings.
[Subaru: I’m guessing that’s why you came back like this… You’re agonizing and hurting, yet you keep it all to yourself, and…… you’re going to challenge the Trial again tonight, aren’t you]
Through those four repeating worlds, Emilia had never conveyed the details of her Trial to Subaru. This was partly because Subaru had been practically ignoring her right to challenge the Trials by deciding that she didn’t need to be the one to clear them, but also because Emilia never had a chance to talk about it with Subaru.
The former had been resolved by the fact that Emilia was now the only one who could challenge the Trials, and ideally, the latter was in the process of being resolved this very moment.
Hearing this, Emilia’s cheeks stiffened as she cast down her gaze.
But before her eyes and their long lashes completely left him, Subaru continued.
[Subaru: But, still]
[Subaru: The crushing burden you’re carrying, won’t you share some of it with me? If your past is something you’re afraid to look back on, how about letting me stand by your side as you meet it?]
The downward tilt of her head halted as she timidly looked up at Subaru once more.
He mustn’t let her see the weak, indecisive self that he was. And so, with entirely unwarranted abounding confidence, Subaru puffed out his chest as he accepted Emilia’s gaze.
After all, bluffing and baseless self-confidence were precisely Subaru’s specialties.
[Subaru: Come to think of it, I barely know anything about you, Emilia. I like you.. and part of it’s because I really like the way you look, but in the time we spent together, everything that I’ve seen of what you’re like on the inside has made me fall unbearably in love with you…]
[Subaru: And that’s why I can say with my head held high that I like you just the way you are now. But, as for what you went through, how you felt, and what you thought before you became the person you are now…… I don’t know a thing about that. Because I didn’t feel I needed to know. Because the present and future are more important than the past. …..But]
[Subaru: Now, you’re in a situation where you need to look back on your past, and if you’re saying you’re afraid to face it alone…… will you give me permission to stand beside you so we can face what must be faced together?]
His permission to suffer Emilia’s hardships for her had already been revoked.
So now, Subaru was asking for the permission to support Emilia from her side, and give her his shoulder to lean on when she is exhausted and close to collapse.
It might only amount to a superficial consolation, but surely, there will be a time when that consolation means all the difference.
Subaru waited intently for Emilia’s reply.
The wavering of her eyes spoke volumes of the intense conflict inside her. Hesitation and indecision, guilt and self-loathing. The various emotions raged inside Emilia’s slender body in a voracious frenzy.
Until finally, Emilia quietly muttered,
[Emilia: Just, by being here…… you’re already helping me just by being here for me…… and so, to trouble you any further would……]
[Subaru: Being troubled by Emilia isn’t trouble for me at all. It makes me happy to be able to do something for you. And when you’re in trouble and want someone to offer you a hand… I want to be the first person to reach out and help you]
Subaru proclaimed once more as Emilia weakly tried to dismiss his proposal.
As long as Emilia doesn’t refuse him outright, Subaru had no intention of withdrawing. He was well aware that he was treading on a topic she didn’t want to talk about, and no amount of half-hearted refusals was going to dissuade him.
It wasn’t with such flimsy resolve that Subaru had forced that contract upon Roswaal.
Still conflicted, Emilia firmly closed her eyes and drooped her head.
[Emilia: Subaru, do you really believe……]
The words that were supposed to follow did not leave Emilia’s lips. Her nobility would not allow her to give voice to those cowardly words.
She could not do something so disgraceful as to doubt the person appealing to her with sincerity.
If she did, she’d be making the same mistake as when Subaru tried to impose his selfishness upon her.
Even when cornered, Emilia’s spirit did not lose its dignity.
And so, Subaru did not pursue the matter further while Emilia slumped her shoulders, regretting those words.
[Emilia: ……Ask me what you want to know, Subaru]
[Emilia: If I’m the one explaining it, it’ll just turn into an incoherent mess. ……So, it’ll be better if you ask the questions]
[Subaru: ……is that alright?]
[Emilia: ――Mm. I’ll just think of it as another one of my Trials]
Emilia said resignedly, her smile fleeting, and for a moment, Subaru was left at a loss for words.
Then, shaking his head to compose himself, Subaru pointed at the bed, suggesting a change of location.
[Subaru: Anyway, this might be a long conversation, so how about we sit down?]
[Emilia: ……Yeah, you’re right]
Correcting her posture, Emilia seated herself on the bed. Subaru pulled over a chair, and sat down facing Emilia.
Smoothing out the wrinkles on her clothes, Emilia waited for Subaru to speak.
Having reached that crucial juncture, Subaru hesitated for only a few seconds on what to ask first, before coming up with the words.
[Subaru: What kind of past did you see in the Trial, Emilia? Going by what I heard from someone who knows…… it’s something like the memories of your regrets?]
Subaru asked, carefully choosing his words so that she wouldn’t notice that he had taken it.
The First Trial was facing your past. But that doesn’t mean the past that Subaru saw was “A past that actually happened”. What it was was a fresh theatrical production based on his guilt and regrets towards his family in his original world.
So then, just what was the Trial like for Emilia?
Listening to Subaru’s question, Emilia remoistened her parched lips, and,
[Emilia: The…… past that I saw, was…… probably a memory from before I went to sleep]
[Subaru: ――? Before you went to sleep……?]
[Emilia: Yes, before I went to sleep. The memory is vague, and not very clear, but…… in it, I was still small, so that’s only to be expected]
Emilia closed her eyes as she searched through her memories, while Subaru seemed to be confused by her explanation.
He could understand what she meant by “I was still small”. Most likely, the Trial was showing her past from when she was young.
But, “Before I went to sleep”―― was the part Subaru couldn’t understand.
[Subaru: Hold on… what do you mean before you went to sleep? It’s not like when you go to bed at night, right?]
[Emilia: No, it’s not. Before I went to sleep was…… before I fell asleep inside the ice in a great tree in the forest. That was reeaally, really long ago]
[Subaru: “Inside the ice”…… what’s that supposed to mean?]
With no context being given, Subaru wasn’t sure if she was making it impossible to understand on purpose.
But regardless, Subaru’s imagination brandished its claws, dragging its chilling edges down his spine.
Feeling the burning impatience pounding against his chest, Subaru tried to keep himself calm as best as he could.
[Subaru: Please answer me… Emilia. What do you mean “Inside the ice in a great tree”?]
[Emilia: ……It’s exactly what it sounds like]
Pausing for a beat, Emilia looked up and told Subaru.
[Emilia: All that time, I was frozen with the great tree in the forest. And it was only after a reeaally, really long time…… that Puck found me]
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I’m so tired…
We’re in Banff in the Canadian Rockies right now! We’ve cleared over 1000km so far and will be heading to Jasper then Edmonton next.
I’ll set up a little travel blog soon and post some pictures ❤
**I might need to edit this a bit more** >_<
Chapter 90 Live Draft: