(Thank you S Alal, Bobb, Austin, Aaron, Daisuke, Brandon, Xinzhong, for helping me with proofreading 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/266/
That change of topic came like a punch from above just when Subaru’s mind began to relax.
Straightening his back, Subaru acknowledged Roswaal’s question with [Yeah],
[Subaru: Something happened with Emilia and Puck’s contract and their link’s been severed. As of right now, Emilia can’t be called a Spirits-Arts User anymore]
[Roswaal: I also heard that she’s terribly aggrieved…… with matters as precarious as they are, for her heart to receive such a wound now, will it really be alright?]
[Subaru: ……Who knows. At least, tonight’s Trial has gone out the window. As for how that’ll affect things tomorrow and onwards, we won’t know until Emilia wakes up]
The truth is, even though Puck had warned him beforehand of how anguished Emilia would be, her sorrow was such that he still couldn’t help but want to cover his eyes.
With just two days remaining, cornering Emilia like this had made his slim chances even slimmer as the gates closed around them.
But all Subaru needed was the smallest keyhole in that closed gate for him to pour all his faith and hopes into.
[Subaru: That said, it really is a headache. But, one way or another, I……]
[Roswaal: That’s, rather intri~~guing……]
Interrupting Subaru’s words, Roswaal wagged his lifted finger left and right. Subaru unwittingly fell silent at this gesture, while Roswaal continued, [After all],
[Roswaal: While you do seem troubled about how to get Emilia-sama back on her feet…… you don’t appear to be at all surprised by the fact the Great Spirit-sama broke his co~~ntract with Emilia-sama. Just why would tha~~t be?]
Roswaal’s nonchalant question made Subaru instantly lose his words.
Subaru didn’t seem surprised because Subaru already knew it was going to happen. If he hadn’t discussed it with Puck beforehand, he would probably have been helplessly paralyzed in front of the screaming and wailing Emilia.
Although, that wasn’t too far from what actually happened.
[Roswaal: Did you…… perhaps know about this situation beforehand? The fact that the Great Spirit-sama would leave Emilia-sama’s side? Nevermind how you came to le~~arn of it]
[Subaru: Even if, hypothetically, I did…… it’d make no sense for you to complain about it. I’m just doing everything I can to win this bet. So even if you……]
[Roswaal: No~~no, that’s enough. ――That’s all I needed to hear]
Roswall held up his palm with a satisfied nod. At this, Subaru stopped mid-sentence, expelling a rueful snort through his nostrils.
[Roswaal: I~~n any case…… if the Great Spirit-sama has indeed left Emilia-sama’s side, tha~~t would present something of a pro~~blem for me]
[Subaru: ……Really? Considering your objectives, shouldn’t this be a turn for the b……]
[Roswaal: Not at all. If the unbearable sight of Emilia-sama breaking could set your heart aflame, that would indeed be suitable for my needs…… but if Emilia-sama loses her powers as a Spirits-Arts User, then she cannot be the culprit behind the snowfall upon the Sa~~nctuary. That would be a he~~avy blow to me]
Roswaal was talking about the Gospel’s discrepancy with reality.
In three days, the snowfall in Sanctuary will draw the Great Rabbit here. In order to match the content of the writ, Roswaal would have to bury the Sanctuary in snow.
But, that means――
[Subaru: Roswaal, I’ve been thinking this for a while now……]
[Roswaal: Hm? Wha~~t is it?]
[Subaru: About how this perfect Gospel of yours also has its failings]
The thin smile on Roswaal’s lips disappeared at Subaru’s words. The air dried up and goosebumps rose on Subaru’s skin as he felt the warlock’s gaze upon him.
At his side, Otto shriveled his shoulders, and for a moment, Subaru felt his throat being choked by the pressure. All the while, the warlock focused his mismatched pupils on Subaru.
[Roswaal: Go on, Subaru-kun. About these failings of the Gospel…… tha~~t you mentioned]
Reaching into the pillow at his back, Roswaal produced a book with black binding―― the Gospel. Just like the one belonging to Beatrice in the Forbidden Library, its mere appearance burdened the atmosphere with a strange and oppressive heaviness.
[Subaru: T-there’s always……. been something off about the way you talked about the Gospel’s writ. Except I had too much on my plate so I never really gave it much thought. ……But now that I had a chance to settle down and think about it…… I noticed something]
[Roswaal: Well, let’s hear it?]
[Subaru: The Gospels that the Witch Cultists have…… are incomplete and not very reader-friendly, but leaving that aside for now, there’s also a decisive flaw about the Gospel that you have]
“Flaw”, Roswaal’s brows twitched as he heard that word.
The fact that he nevertheless kept his silence must be because he wished to hear what Subaru had to say. Roswaal’s Gospel was literally the lifeline feeding his goals.
He had no reason not to listen when he hears words like “Failings” and “Flaw”.
Taking a small breath, with his intestines trembling from the pressure clogging his throat, Subaru focused his glare onto Roswaal and spoke.
[Subaru: Going by what you said, it sounds like the Gospel has described the chains of events that would take place in the Sanctuary right up to the end. You seem to think it’s to “Have me challenge the Tomb after Emilia fails”, or something along those lines. To corner Emilia and make sure she fails, you’ll bring snowfall upon the Sanctuary, luring the Great Rabbit here. Meanwhile, you push the Mansion into an impossible situation to force me to steel my resolve and let go of the “Useless” parts of me. ――That sound about right?]
[Roswaal: More or less, tha~~t’s correct. And the defect?]
[Subaru: ……You didn’t know that the snowfall will bring the Great Rabbit here. Which means your Gospel didn’t mention what the result of bringing the snowfall will be. So if all it says is “It will snow” and you take it as your creed and move to make it reality―― then you’re really just the book’s puppet]
[Roswaal: I am aware. Even so, I don’t mind. As long as I follow this book, I will receive the future I desire. As such, why should I hesitate to dance to its heartless and formless words?]
Calmly, Roswaal confirmed Subaru’s reasoning.
Subaru’s eyes wavered, unsure of what he should say next. But now that his reasoning had been confirmed, it brought a definite sense of reality to the hypothesis in his mind. ――And if his hypothesis was correct, then,
[Subaru: We really are both clowns]
Roswaal narrowed his eyes as the room’s atmosphere thickened. Subaru’s sensation of his body temperature dropping must be because of the warlock’s waves of quiet emotion displacing the mana in the atmosphere.
Regardless, even if it meant iring Roswaal, addressing the problem of the Gospel was necessary. Both to dispel Subaru’s doubts―― and to cast doubt into Roswaal’s obstinate heart.
[Subaru: Back to the point. If the Gospel’s record states that “It will snow”, I assume this was originally supposed to be done by Emilia. But since Emilia couldn’t, or otherwise wouldn’t, you have to cause the snowfall in her place. In order to follow the Gospel’s writ]
[Roswaal: You are repeating yourself. Get to the point. Where is its failing and how is it flawed……]
[Subaru: Basically, if Emilia couldn’t cause the snowfall, and there wasn’t a Gospel telling you to cause the snowfall…… it would never snow in the Sanctuary]
That would be the simple conclusion.
Roswaal was only going to cause the snowfall because the Gospel said so. So if it was never written in the Gospel, or if the Gospel never existed, then Roswaal would have had no reason to take such an action.
It was unclear why Emilia would bring snow to the Sanctuary in the first place―― but if the Gospel was correct, Emilia would have to have some reason or another to cover the Sanctuary in snow. Without knowing “what” that reason may be, the snowfall itself is pointless. Not to mention that this progression would not exist if the Gospel simply never existed――
[Subaru: Prophecies that wouldn’t come true unless prophesied―― what kind of prophecy is that?]
[Subaru: Prophecies are supposed to predict events no matter how unbelievable or seemingly impossible they are. The imperfect ones the Witch Cultists have get updated as things unfold to match the progression of the world. But what about your Gospel? The one crowned with the splendid appellation of “Perfect”?]
[Subaru: If you have to bend the world just to make sure things match its contents, what’s the point? If you’re the one who has to make it happen, at the expense of absolutely everything else, how do you know that was what was supposed to happen in the first place? Smart as you are, you must have noticed it?]
[Subaru: You’re just in denial, Roswaal]
Subaru jabbed out his finger and declared.
While being showered by those words, Roswaal didn’t say a word. But the pressure encasing the room had disappeared, while Otto, released from its hold, drew quick short breaths to settle the pounding of his heart.
Closing both eyes, Roswaal sank into thoughtful silence. Subaru thought he saw a slight twitch in Roswaal’s red-painted lips, but it may have been wishful thinking in the hopes that his words had swayed him.
However, he would be given no time to confirm this,
[Roswaal: To reach a progression of the world… that presupposes the existence of the prophecy…… of the Gospel… naturally, one must also presuppose that there is someone who will act in accordance to its writ……]
[Subaru: Yeah. I knew you’d make that kind of rebuttal. ――So I’ve prepared a rebuttal to that as well]
In front of Roswaal’s uncharacteristically faltering speech, Subaru cut him off, having already guessed this reaction beforehand.
Closing a single eye, Roswaal peered his yellow pupil into Subaru, emitting the same eerie gleam he had poured onto Subaru so many times before.
But this may have been the faintest Subaru had ever seen of that gleam.
Vaguely noticing this, Subaru continued:
[Subaru: Show me your Gospel. If I can see what sort of entries are written in it, I’ll agree with you]
[Roswaal: ――gh. I’m afraid that is impossible. The Gospel would never reveal its contents to anyone other than its recognized owner. I am the owner of this Gospel. So even if I showed it to you, you would not be able to comprehend its contents, and there’s even the risk of your mind being scorched when the book refuses to recognize you……]
[Subaru: You’re getting awfully talkative, Roswaal. Is it really so much of a problem for you if I see the book?]
Seeing Roswaal getting stuck for words, Subaru’s eyes widened in surprise.
Though the white cosmetics kept the color of his face from showing through, Roswaal’s refusal was so intense that it could even be called an overreaction.
This rapid shift in Roswaal’s attitude told Subaru that he had cornered him even more than he had imagined.
There was something in the Gospel’s text that Roswaal was hiding, that he couldn’t allow anyone else to know. Was his stubborn adherence to its prophecies originally spurred by that hidden something?
If not, then how could someone like Roswaal have failed to notice the contradictions within the Gospel?
[Otto: Natsuki-san, any further would be……]
Sensing the shift in Roswaal’s attitude and judging that it was time to drive the point home, Subaru was suddenly stopped by Otto, who had been quietly observing them.
Subaru looked back, intending to reject Otto’s advice, but when he saw the seriousness of Otto’s gaze, he was dissuaded from pushing the matter further.
Otto saw something that he, in his passion, had failed to see. And those eyes were clearly telling him that it was time to bring this conversation to an end.
Recklessly forcing the issue now would only ruin everything they’ve gained here.
[Subaru: ――Roswaal, there’s three days left. Tomorrow, the day after. And, the final day. We’ll put an end to everything before then. You just sit tight and think about what I said]
[Roswaal: Yo~~u mean I’m spared? ――Then we really should thank your friend, Otto-kun. For forestalling this watershed that would’ve been unpleasant for you and me both]
With his face still devoid of emotion, Roswaal hid the Gospel behind his back once more. Then, as if to put in his final word as Subaru and Otto turned towards the door with a shrug,
[Roswaal: I will now begin preparing for my weather manipulation spell. And I will consecrate the Gospel’s writ into reality. ――Doing so is my only guiding compass]
[Subaru: Do whatever you want. Go ahead and stubbornly cling to it if you like…]
With his hand on the doorknob, Subaru turned around, taking Roswaal into his view.
And, when his gaze met the warlock’s,
[Subaru: Once all this is over, I’ll dip that Gospel of yours in ink until it’s all soaked and black. ――And then you’ll finally be able to see in front of you with your own damn eyes]
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Roswaal might’ve lost it and murdered them right there, I think… >_<
Let me know if you find any typos or missing words! ❤
I’ll get started on the next part tomorrow!
Chapter 97 Live Draft: