(Thank you Angrym, Brototype, 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/
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――Having concluded their conversation with Roswaal, though it was hard to say whether it was meaningful or not, Subaru parted with Otto and headed to Emilia’s residence.
[Ram: ――You’re here, Barusu]
[Subaru: Yeah, I’m here. Sorry for troubling you with this for so long]
Seeing Subaru enter the room, Ram, who had been watching over Emilia, turned him a listless expression. While this kind of lackluster expression was quite usual for her, Subaru thought he caught a glimpse of something darker from the side of her face, though he might be just imagining it.
[Subaru: We’re done talking with Roswaal. I’ll watch over Emilia now, so you can go]
Without delving into the topic, Subaru pulled up a chair next to Ram where he could watch over Emilia. Ram gave Subaru a glance as he sat down beside her, and,
[Ram: It’s worrying, wondering whether Barusu will do something filthy to Emilia-sama while she’s sleeping]
[Subaru: I didn’t wanna think your faith in me is so low that you’d suspect me of doing something inappropriate in this situation, you know]
[Ram: But why would I trust you. You’ve revolted against Roswaal-sama, your master, and raised your banner against him in the confined space of this Sanctuary]
It was rather obvious, but it seems Ram knew about the contract between Subaru and Roswaal―― as well as the details of their bet.
After all, this was Ram, Roswaal’s loyal servant to whom she was willing to devote everything to the very, very end. Even if, to Roswaal, she was just a pawn for actualizing the Gospel’s writ and the only person he could use without suspicion.
[Subaru: And, what do you think?]
Ram did not reply to that subjectless question. She only turned her body towards Subaru, waiting for him to continue, while Subaru sorted through his emotions and chose his words,
[Subaru: I’m not sure how much you know about the Gospel’s contents. But, if Roswaal makes those contents reality, the Sanctuary will be in ruins. We won’t know if Garfiel or Lewes-san or anyone else’ll safely……]
[Ram: If you think that’s going to persuade me, then you’re far too shallow, Barusu]
Sternly cutting him off, Ram reflected Subaru within her pale-red eyes, piercing him with her unwavering gaze.
[Ram: There is only one precious person occupying the highest place in my heart. That fact will never waver. Nothing could ever sway that position. So don’t expect such words to change my mind]
[Ram: Besides―― Ram’s problems are already entrusted elsewhere]
While Subaru regretted his poor choice of words, Ram quietly muttered. Subaru looked up as he heard this, intending to ask her what she meant, but Ram stood up before he could.
Smoothing out her skirt, Ram took one last look at the sleeping Emilia before turning back to Subaru,
[Ram: I’ll leave Emilia-sama to you. I will visit again in the morning to wait on her]
[Subaru: Y-yeah…… alright. Um, what did you mean just n……]
[Ram: …well, who knows]
Giving the epitome of the “I’m not going to answer” answer as her answer, Ram left the room. As much as he wanted to call out to her, Subaru couldn’t think of what to say and only watched her as she left.
She closed the door behind her, leaving Subaru and Emilia alone in the room.
Since Emilia was still asleep in her bed, all that was left for Subaru to do was watch over her in her slumber.
It’s been some ten hours since Subaru held the disoriented, wailing Emilia until she practically fainted out of consciousness―― the only relief was that Emilia’s expression seemed untroubled by nightmares as she slept.
If her past hounded her even into her dreams, then her heart would truly lose its final refuge.
The moment she wakes, she would once again be faced with the fact that her bond with Puck had been cut. Just how much time would she need before she could come to terms with that?
Subaru didn’t know how much his presence could help to alleviate that pain. And though, without a doubt, he wanted to be her strength―― just how much would it amount to?
Submerged in that sea of thought, suddenly, Subaru’s consciousness picked up a faint call.
Looking over, he saw Emilia’s head softly tilting with her open amethyst eyes gazing at him. ――She was awake.
[Subaru: You’re, up…… Emilia, are you alright?]
[Subaru: Yeah, it’s me. How are you feeling? You’ve been asleep for…… hold on, I’ll bring some water]
[Emilia: It’s fine]
Subaru stood up, intending to rush outside, but Emilia’s call stopped him.
Startled by the surprising forcefulness of her words, Subaru unwittingly sat back into his chair.
[Emilia: It’s fine. I’m okay…… stay here]
Subaru lowered his voice, and Emilia gave her firm reply.
The events over the past few days had led Subaru to believe that Emilia would be light-headed and fragile in the mornings. After waking, her mind would usually need some time to recover, especially after such a prolonged slumber―― yet Emilia’s amethyst eyes did not give the slightest indication of that fatigue.
[Subaru: Do you… know what happened?]
[Emilia: ……Mn. I slept for the whole day today. Even though everybody has been waiting for me, what am I doing…… I’m sorry]
[Subaru: That’s…! No one is going to fault you for that. What I meant was……]
Facing the apologizing Emilia, Subaru was at a loss as to whether to bring up Puck. It should’ve been the first topic to come to mind as she recovered her bearings after waking. But instead of that, her only concern was for everyone else’s sake. Unless, could it be that the shock was so great that she forgot that her contract with Puck was broken――
[Emilia: Don’t worry, Subaru]
[Subaru: u, e……?]
[Emilia: I haven’t…… forgotten that Puck is gone. I remember. I’m not going to forget and run away]
[Subaru: You, won’t……?]
Emilia gave a small nod, and Subaru realized that Emilia hadn’t forgotten that fact. But, in that case, why was Emilia’s expression so calm right now?
For Subaru, who had seen Emilia’s state immediately after she learned that she had lost Puck, seeing her calmness now felt almost surreal.
But, while Subaru was having trouble accepting that it was as simple as it seemed,
[Emilia: I’m sorry, Subaru. I showed you so much of the unsightly parts of me…… you must be reeaally worried]
[Subaru: No, you can worry me as much as you want. I don’t mind. I don’t, but…… you’re the one y……]
[Emilia: ――there were lots. Of things I thought about. In the dream]
Emilia quietly interrupted Subaru’s tangled words. In front of her downcast eyes, Subaru inadvertently swallowed his breath without looking away. He saw her long eyelashes quiver as she looked back at him once more,
[Emilia: I’ll definitely be fine in the morning… I want to believe that, so…… Subaru, please]
[Subaru: ……a, mhm]
[Emilia: Hold my hand. Can you please stay here until the morning? If you do, then I’ll definitely……]
Emilia’s white fingertips timidly reached out from under the sheets.
Seeing the offered hand, Subaru immediately gripped it in his own, wrapping her delicate, silken fingers firmly in his palms,
[Subaru: If that’s all you need, then it’s no problem at all. But, Emilia……]
[Emilia: I’m sorry, Subaru. I know there must be lots of things you want to say and ask about. But…… please, wait for morning. Because then, I can do my best]
[Emilia: So please, just stay like this until it’s morning―― Subaru]
Faced with Emilia’s near-pleading voice, Subaru had nothing more to say.
He merely brought his chair closer to the bed and placed her enveloped hand beside her pillow. Having done so, he nodded to Emilia, who was watching him with her wavering eyes,
[Subaru: Understood. I will, Emilia]
[Emilia: Mn…… thank you]
With that short exchange, Emilia’s eyes closed once more.
Unlike her swooning loss of consciousness that morning, this time, she was falling into restful, self-willed sleep. When she wakes from it again, just what would he say to her then?
By her own strength, Emilia had conquered the worst of what Subaru had envisioned. Thoroughly relieved by this fact, Subaru watched over Emilia’s sleeping visage.
[Emilia: ……I trust you]
Suddenly hearing Emilia’s half-asleep mutter, Subaru let slip a small sigh.
――The situation will start moving again come morning.
That fateful morning was only hours away.
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[Ram: Did anything come of the conversation with Barusu?]
[Roswaal: A painful tie… would be an a~~pt description. It seems both him and I had our gains and compromises. Though, I had planned to avoid interfering in the first place]
In the dark room, the master and servant conversed at a distance closer than necessary.
Holding Ram close at his bedside with her head resting on his chest, Roswaal reminisced on the conversation earlier.
The fact is, it would be no easy task to sway Subaru once he had hardened his resolve. Although it was unclear what Subaru’s future would hold, Roswaal could clearly sense the iron will at its core.
Otto’s presence at his side also caused no small problems for Roswaal. By objectively grasping the situation and effectively reining in Subaru when he did, Otto perfectly fulfilled his role as balancer by keeping both Subaru and Roswaal from going too far.
Had Otto not been present, Roswaal could very well have twisted Subaru’s thinking through persuasion alone――
[Roswaal: He looked like a spectator who’d never take the stage…… but he was surpri~~singly cunning and ca~~pable. Subaru-kun has found himself a wonderful friend]
[Ram: ……If he’s getting in the way, would you like me to do something about it?]
[Roswaal: No need. If I was going to make that decision, I should’ve made it during that conversation. Once I missed that chance, I’ve lost my excuse anyway. More importantly…… how’s the task I asked of you?]
Closing a single eye, Roswaal looked down at Ram through his yellow pupil. In her master’s arm and embrace, Ram shook her head, looking up from his chest,
[Ram: Without complications. I’ve delivered it as you wished, Roswaal-sama]
[Roswaal: I see. I’d hoped that the timing would align…… what will happen now, I wonder]
Hearing Ram’s affirmation, Roswaal gave a satisfied nod and patted the girl’s head with his palm while Ram accepted it with an expression intoxicated and entranced.
For an instant, Roswaal’s gaze towards the adoring girl in his arms was almost one of pity.
[Roswaal: Don’t think badly of me, Subaru-kun. I did promise not to directly interfere. I did, but…… I should at least be allowed to cause some mischief from the comfort of my bed li~~ke this?]
[Roswaal: Now just what will happen…]
An elated smile crept onto Roswaal’s lips.
[Roswaal: When he learns that that virtue-loving girl had heard that insidious conversation…… just what will Subaru-kun’s face lo~~ok like?]
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――The room was dark.
With all the lights extinguished, the room had fallen into darkness and would remain abound in the tracks of dreams and night until the arrival of dawn beyond the window.
The closed door separated this room from the rest of the world, preserving this silent space within.
There, amid the darkness, stood a bed in the center of the room, and on it, lay a girl with closed eyes.
When the silence devoid of even the sleeper’s breathing―― was broken by a sound.
A weak and hazy whisper.
An all too minuscule complaint from the lips of the girl on the bed.
[???: Subaru, you liar]
Again, the murmur repeated.
Clenching her empty hand, left all alone in the room, Emilia denounced the lies of the boy who wasn’t there.
――The arrival of the fateful morning was only a few hours away.
-=Chapter 97 End=-
Ooooh we’re getting into the best part of the Arc now I just know it! >_<
Let me know if you see any typos, I’ll start on the next one now! ❤
Chapter 98 Live Draft: