(Thank you Aaron & Bobb 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/271/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 101 [Theta Pt.1]
One of Lewes’ representative personalities, whom Subaru called Theta――
――Had entered the Tomb and touched the past of her progenitor, Lewes Meyer, but the memories were incredibly fragmented, and even the chronology was indefinite.
Theta figured this must be because her existence was created from various fragments severed from the original Lewes Meyer’s soul.
In which case, the other Leweses: Alpha, Beta, Sigma, and perhaps even the replicants that never developed a personality, would all see different glimpses of the past.
But even if that hypothesis was correct, Theta would not want them to enter the Tomb.
――Because for Theta, just the thought of the other Leweses witnessing the past that she saw was accompanied by unbearable and intolerable agony.
[???: ――What do you want, I suppose? Staring at me isn’t going to make me give you anything]
The memory began with a girl with softly-hued hair, glaring at her.
A girl with a lovely face.
Her hair was so fair that it seemed to meld into the light, and her skin was so white that it was nearly transparent. With light-blue eyes that were big and round, her appearance could be described simply with the word “Sweet”.
Her hair was tied into two long, swirling pigtails, the mere sight of which revealed their smooth, silky texture and springy softness.
She wore a dress of a subdued hue that made the young girl look almost adult-like, but, matched with the splendour of the girl herself, the color of the dress perfectly served to harmonize her appearance.
Pierced by the adorable girl’s perilous gaze, Lewes recoiled a little.
Compared to this girl, her own clothes and appearance were utterly wretched. And the fact that they were about the same age made her wretchedness so conspicuous that she felt ashamed to even be standing there.
[Girl: Hmpf. A coward, I suppose]
In front of the speechless Lewes, the girl let out a snort of displeasure.
Although her adorable appearance made even that gesture come off as cute, for Lewes, the feeling tugging at her heart pained her even more than being rebuked.
But before she could realize that it was something akin to the fear of upsetting this girl――
[????: Beatrice. What’s with that attitude? I don’t remember teaching you to behave like that]
There came a mild voice that made the girl’s expression tense up.
The voice came from behind the girl, and in front of Lewes’ view.
Coming out of a small shed in the back of the village was a woman of “True White”.
Her hair flowed long and fair, and not even light could match the translucence of her skin. Only her irises and lips, and the long-sleeved gown she was wearing, adorned her with contrast and conveyed to those around her that she indeed existed in reality.
The person walking towards Lewes and the girl was the great benefactor of this village―― the revered Witch Echidona.
It was to Echidona’s voice that the girl named Beatrice reacted so dramatically. She turned around with her expression still tense, and,
[Beatrice: Aah, ehm…… it’s not what you think, mother! It wasn’t Betty who’s…… it’s just, this girl was……]
[Echidona: I don’t remember teaching you to make grovelling excuses, either. Be honest and speak the truth. If you’re confident that you’re not at fault, then you shouldn’t be tripping over yourself. Am I wrong?]
[Beatrice: You’re not… wrong, I suppose……]
Echidona’s voice harbored no sharp emotions, but was laden with a silent, pressuring strictness.
Beatrice slumped her shoulders and brought her hands together, looking timid,
[Beatrice: Betty was quietly waiting outside just as you told me to, and this girl came over, I suppose. Staring at me from way over there…… it was incredibly rude. So I called out to her and asked what she wanted, I suppose]
[Echidona: Hm. I see. You there, do you agree with that account?]
[Lewes: Ah……h. Y-Yes, I do. Please forgive me. I-it was very rude of me, and……]
Beatrice’s description was accurate.
Lewes had been standing in the village outskirts, vacantly staring at the small girl leaning against the fence. Beatrice was probably waiting there for Echidona to finish whatever she was doing. Her posture and her eyes seemed almost lonely, and Lewes felt a tug at her chest as she saw this.
But if she had said that out loud, they would probably snort and laugh at her. So Lewes only shrunk her little body even smaller, hoping to outlast the storm by keeping her head down.
[Echidona: You don’t deny it? Then it would seem that Beatrice was right, and you were a little rude, Lewes]
[Beatrice: That’s right, Mother. So Betty didn’t do anything wrong at……]
[Echidona: However, it is your fault that your imperious attitude frightened her so much, Beatrice. I’m sure I’m always telling you this. You are indeed special, but that doesn’t mean you can look down on others]
[Beatrice: Uu, mhuu……]
Beatrice’s gloating at Echidona’s affirmation was immediately met with her rebuke.
While listening to their exchange, Lewes suddenly realized that Echidona had remembered her name, a fact which moved her so much that her insides trembled all over.
It was a small village, but she was just an insignificant child.
Yet the revered Witch, their great benefactor, remembered her name nonetheless. This was an indescribable honor for a resident of the Sanctuary who idolized the Witch of Greed with their utmost gratitude and respect.
[Echidona: I’ll have Geuse straighten you up when we get back to the Mansion. I expect he’ll be very enthusiastic]
[Beatrice: ……I don’t like Geuse very much, I suppose]
[Echidona: He says it himself that it’s his duty to be disliked, so that’s exactly what he’s going for, I’d say]
Giving the grimacing Beatrice a light smile, Echidona turned her face towards Lewes.
Lewes’ heart unwittingly jolted. Figuring that she’d missed the timing to join the conversation, Lewes was just about to slip away when Echidona’s attention caught her completely by surprise.
And just like this, Echidona walked up to Lewes, whose shoulders remained hitched and rigid,
[Echidona: Sorry for startling you, Lewes. Her name is Beatrice…… she’s something like a daughter to me. As you can see, her discipline isn’t quite up to par, which is a little embarrassing]
[Beatrice: I’m not “something like” your daughter, I am your daughter]
[Echidona: Well, I guess. She’ll be accompanying me on my visits to the Sanctuary rather often now. You’ll have more chances to interact with each other from now on, so I would like you two to get along]
[Lewes: U-Understood. You can leave it to me, Echidona-sama]
With Echidona’s hand on her shoulder, Lewes’ heart fluttered with joy as she nodded.
Receiving Lewes’ promise, Echidona nodded back in satisfaction, while behind her, Beatrice muttered [……Hmpf, Betty’s just fine on her own, I suppose] under her breath.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
[?????: You there, excuse me. I’m certain that Echidona-sama should be somewhere around here, have you seen her?]
Stopped by that call, Lewes turned around with a basket of laundry in her arms.
And, realizing who it was that called her, she just about yelped. She was just on the verge of fumbling the basket of laundry in her arms when an outstretched arm reached out and propped it back in place.
[?????: Ah, hup――]
[Lewes: Uu, uwaah, I am so sorry!]
Facing the youth who practically skated up to her to stop her basket from dropping, Lewes quickly bowed her head.
And seeing this, the youth with long blue hair said, [No, don’t worry about it],
[Youth: I’m the one who should apologize, for failing to notice that you were carrying something. That was very inconsiderate of me]
[Lewes: N-no, not at all…… I don’t deserve your apology, Mathers-sama]
[Youth: Whoever it may be, no one should forget to be considerate towards a lady. ……Just one correction, though, I don’t especially like being called by my surname. You can just call me Roswaal]
Saying this to the flustered Lewes, the youth―― Roswaal, winked.
He was about four or five years older than Lewes, and one head taller. His limbs still had some room to grow, and his sonorous voice hadn’t fully become an adult’s.
He was possessed of the sensual appeal only attainable in the short interlude between boy and man―― and his bearing was so abounding in natural dignity that even the young Lewes was feeling his charms.
And who could blame her? Roswaal, despite his youth, was the head of the House of Mathers, the lord of multiple domains, an associate of the Witch Echidona, and the governor of the Sanctuary, all combined into one remarkable man.
He was contributing to the Sanctuary’s preservation in a different way than Echidona’s, and everyone had always told Lewes not to be rude to him.
Feeling her cheeks reddening from Roswaal’s wink, Lewes frantically grappled for the topic he had stopped her for,
[Lewes: Well, um, so, Echidona-sama…… I’ve not yet seen her today. Beatrice-sama wasn’t at the usual place, either]
[Roswaal: I, see. Then she might be delayed. But Echidona-sama aside, it’s inconceivable that Beatrice would fail to immediately come to see you]
[Lewes: Ermm, um…… I think… it’s really just a coincidence that Beatrice-sama and I run into each other so often……]
[Roswaal: You’re saying it’s a coincidence because that’s what Beatrice calls it, yes?]
At Roswaal’s question, Lewes only wordlessly nodded.
She had interacted with Echidona’s daughter Beatrice countless times since they were introduced. Beatrice would come alongside Echidona on her visits to the Sanctuary which she worked into her busy schedule, and Beatrice would often loiter about the place while Echidona tended to her business. In the meantime, she and Lewes would meet with surprising frequency.
Time and time again, they’d run into each other while Lewes was gathering the laundry or out picking wild vegetables,
Seeing Lewes’ reaction, Roswaal laughed, unable to hold it in.
[Roswaal: Beatrice isn’t honest with her feelings at all. I hope she isn’t too much for you to handle]
[Lewes: But she is too much for me. She’s being so kind to someone like me. And I’m the one who’s always making Beatrice-sama upset…… I even worry if she might hate me]
[Roswaal: You’re fine. Beatrice’s complaints aren’t credible at all. If she truly hated you, she wouldn’t be finding all sorts of excuses to come along]
She was? Lewes tilted her head when she heard this.
Whenever Beatrice was with Lewes, she’d always be complaining, and she’d always have something to say about everything Lewes did. That was all Lewes saw of her, so even when someone told her that Beatrice didn’t actually hate her, she had trouble believing it.
Lewes and most of the residents of the Sanctuary were often chosen as the targets of the hatred and malice of the outside world. Beatrice’s attitude was overwhelmingly tender compared to what Lewes knew, and it was even laced with a certain warmth, but mean was still mean.
[Roswaal: ……I hope someday, you two would understand that as well]
Seeing Lewes fall silent, Roswaal muttered sadly.
At the sight of the sad smile rising onto Roswaal’s lips, Lewes shuddered, wondering if she had upset him.
But before she could say anything to salvage the situation, Roswaal blinked his yellow eyes as if having spotted something.
[Roswaal: Ah! Sensei! I heard you were here and came flying over in a heartbeat!]
Flinging up his hands and utterly discarding his previously mature attitude, Roswaal started running with an expression of childish glee. Lewes only watched as he ran right past her and towards a woman standing in the distance―― Echidona.
Seeing Roswaal dashing towards her with his face beaming with glee, Echidona slightly raised her brows.
[Echidona: Roswaal, huh? I don’t remember ever allowing you to call me Sensei]
[Roswaal: Today I’ll definitely change your mind about that. I can now confidently perform the assignment you gave me last time, balancing four types of mana at equal concentration and producing rainbow-colored mana. ――And by my own efforts, I’ve reached the point where I can add the remaining two as well. What do you think?]
[Echidona: You self-studied to the point where you can bind all six? My my…… I guess you can call that a foreboding rate of progression and nothing short of obsession. I’m sure in a bind now]
It was a rare sight to see Echidona surprised.
At least, this was the first time Lewes had ever seen it. Roswaal pumped up his chest in pride as he waited for Echidona’s response. Even Lewes, who was younger than him, found this adorable. His attitude and gaze, no matter how you looked at it, was overflowing with unreserved admiration for Echidona―― and even sentiments that went beyond admiration.
[Beatrice: Why’re you just standing there doing nothing, I suppose?]
[Lewes: Aa…… Beatrice-sama]
While watching those two from a distance, Lewes suddenly found Beatrice next to her, staring at the side of her face. Unwittingly taking a step back, she saw Beatrice with her arms folded as usual, giving her a snort.
[Beatrice: You’re gawking again. Just as rude as ever, aren’t you]
[Lewes: P-please forgive me. I apologize for my insolence]
Berated like this, Lewes shrank up, ashamed of her own shameless behavior. But seeing Lewes’ apology, Beatrice’s brows furrowed even further.
If only she smiled, or relaxed her lips, Beatrice’s face would give off a gentle impression. And so the fact that her callous behavior was putting such an expression on Beatrice’s face was truly inexcusable.
[Beatrice: How long do you intend to keep sulking like that, I suppose? It’s dismal. If you have time to space out toting that laundry basket, you ought to hurry up and get to your next chore]
[Lewes: Y-yes. That’s what I’ll do. Please excuse me]
Giving the unsparing Beatrice a bow, Lewes scrambled to leave the scene. But just as she began to speedily walk off, she noticed Beatrice picking up her dress, following behind her.
[Beatrice: It’s nothing, I suppose. I have nothing to do, anyway]
Seeing Lewes turn around, Beatrice gave a nonchalant reply. But just as Lewes was about to turn away, she remembered her conversation with Roswaal.
That youth had insisted that Beatrice didn’t dislike talking with her at all, but――
[Lewes: Beatrice-sama… Would you like to help me fold the laundry?]
At Lewes’ abrupt request for her to help with her chores, Beatrice let out a displeased groan.
Seeing Beatrice’s eyes open wide and her expression shift into shock and even indignation, Lewes immediately regretted trusting Roswaal.
[Beatrice: ――But well, if you absolutely can’t handle it by yourself… then Betty has no choice but to help you, I suppose]
[Beatrice: I’m not saying it again. Come on, get going, I suppose]
Saying this, Beatrice scuttled past Lewes, who had unwittingly stopped in her tracks. The moment Beatrice passed her, Lewes saw that her lips were half softened in astonishment, and half by some other emotion.
Suddenly feeling a gush of warmth inside, Lewes caught up to Beatrice who had purposefully slowed her steps. Then, taking a peek at Beatrice’s face,
[Lewes: Would you… like to hold a small amount of the laundry?]
[Beatrice: Don’t push your luck. ――But since I’ve no choice… just a small amount, I suppose]
Saying this with a somewhat unwilling expression, Beatrice offered Lewes her hand.
-=Chapter 101 End=-
Ooooh I want to see more of these flashbacks >_<
I was a bit busy this week, but the next chapter is quite short as well so it should be out soon ❤
Let me know if you see any typos!
Chapter 102 Live Draft: