(Thank you Daisuke, Brototype, Zenith, Tamas, 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/273/
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Again, the scene changed.
――Witnessing such overwhelming power, an emotion more terrifying than imminent death budded in Lewes’ chest.
[Roswaal: ――Kkh, phu]
Accompanied by excruciating coughs, clots of blood came spraying from Roswaal’s lips as his body flew parallel to the ground.
Watching him land on his shoulder, sweeping up dust clouds as he tumbled, Lewes could only stand there, forgetting to breathe.
Wielding six-colored magic, Roswaal A. Mathers had reached the highest level of the arcane arts in only his mid-teens.
He could scour the earth with devastating flames, cut into stone cliffs with blades of wind, birth water to force back the flow of great rivers, and command soil and stone to raise castles from the ground.
Yet even with his immense powers, he stood no chance against this overwhelming existence.
[??? ……Still want to keep going?]
A youth with auburn hair and sluggish bearing walked towards him, shaking his head.
He seemed about the same age as Roswaal. His blackish-auburn bangs reached down to his eyebrows, and one might even mistake his attractive features for a woman’s. His black eyes were squinting as if sleepy, and a white shirt with black pants formed his simple attire.
――With every step he took, he’d playfully kick a pebble, each one shooting towards Roswaal sending blood spraying from his body. Then another. And another.
[Roswwal: Kh! Gha! Pfu!]
[???: Annoying. Meddlesome. Dismal. Irritating. Wretched. Depressing]
The youth gloomily grumbled, but with every mutter and every step forward, Roswaal’s cries intensified while the sound of bones cracking could be heard even in the distance.
Roswaal’s body, collapsed on the ground, looked as if it was being crushed into the earth by the air itself. In fact, his limbs were already half buried in the ground, their flesh rupturing as his bloodshot eyes overflowed with crimson tears.
[???: Can you stop already? You’ve tried. You can’t win against me, but you’ve tried and tried. Trying is enough, isn’t it? ……No matter how hard you try, it’s pointless]
[Roswaal: Wh… at are y… blathering about…… I’ll definitely…… stop you here…… Kha! Aagh! Ghaaaagh!!]
[???: Hhha…… my head’s killing me. Makes me want to retch. It’s really depressing]
Hearing Roswaal reject his call to surrender, the youth bent his knees and squatted down. Expelling a deep sigh, he touched the ground as if caressing it. And, with the motion of the youth’s fingertips, Roswaal’s limbs creaked to the sound of tearing flesh and harrowing shrieks.
[???: I didn’t want this. I was trying to avoid this. I never tried to avoid anything so badly in my life. It’s just the worst, the worst, the worst of the worst of the worst. ――Truly, depressing]
[Roswaal: Kh, aa――agh!]
At the end of the youth’s contagiously despairing speech, with the utterance of that decisive word, Roswaal’s body caved under the unbearable pressure.
The center of his body was flattened, sending profuse blood gushing from his mouth as if he was going to cough out his organs. Roswaal’s eyes rolled white to the convulsion of his limbs. The young wizard’s life now hung by a thread as the price for fighting on to the end.
[???: Aa~, aa~, a~~ah? What is this? Wha~~t is this? Look at this. Just look at this. Ah~~, I really didn’t want to do this. I feel sick. I feel dismal. My head feels heavy. How depressing. Depressing, depressing, depress depress depress depress depress depressing――]
Roswaal was no longer screaming, and all that remained was the sound of dripping blood. Taking a languid glance at Roswaal’s mangled body, the youth went on gloomily grumbling.
All the while, Lewes, watching Roswaal’s gruesome end and the uncanny youth who had brought it about―― only now remembered to breathe.
Her lungs, strained to their limits, scrambled to pump oxygen to her brain. After replenishing her body’s oxygen by drawing a single breath, she forced herself to fall silent once more, afraid that even the slightest disturbance in the air might elicit the youth’s attention.
Despite watching her benefactor being cruelly mutilated before her eyes, she chose self-preservation over revenge, even though she had no idea why was she so attached to her worthless life.
[???: Oh~~? Is there maybe someone there?]
As if proving Lewes’ worries, the youth tilted his head and looked in her direction.
A short distance away from the battle, on the other side of the village square, Lewes was watching from a small cabin, peeking through a knot in one of the boards of the wooden wall.
She shuddered at the thought that the youth might’ve seen her behind such a small gap so far away. The knot was no bigger than the forehead of a cat. There was no way he could have noticed her.
Yet, the youth was walking over without the slightest hint of uncertainty.
[???: I~~’m not a quarrelsome person. I don’t think any go~~od is going to come from killing everyone. ……If you could save me the trouble, I’d really appreciate it]
[???: H~~mm. Well, it should be this direction…… should I just demolish the whole thing? Ugh, I really just want to drop everything and go home. So nauseating. So dismal. So depressing]
The youth reached his hand towards the cabin and pronounced this lurid death-sentence.
A chill instantly crawled up Lewes’ spine as a piercing pain wracked through her head like her skull was being stabbed by needles. Tears swelled in the corners of her eyes as she desperately held back the unbearable shriek stuck in her throat.
At this rate, an invisible weight would crush every bone in Lewes’ little body――
[Roswaal: AL…… GOA!!]
Literally spewing blood as he roared, the entire village square was washed red by erupting flames.
Feeling its heat roasting her face despite being some distance away, Lewes watched the searing flames charge from Roswaal’s palm straight for the youth’s back.
Even this youth was compelled to turn around as he sensed the overwhelming wave of heat. But what he saw as he turned was an inferno far beyond the realm of human understanding.
Without offering the slightest resistance, the youth’s body was swallowed by the rush of blinding flames――
[???: I hate sweating. ――It’s depressing]
――Or it would’ve been, if the youth hadn’t shot down the converging true-red mana just an instant before he could be engulfed.
The sweltering fireball that should have incinerated the youth was wiped from the world without even a fiery burst to mark its demise, merely shrinking into a small red orb and rolling onto the ground.
[Roswaal: A… u… hg……]
[???: It’s still not gone, just how much power did you put into this? Don’t keep making me use my powers. The more I do, the more I feel like I want to die]
The youth grumbled and tightly clenched his outstretched hand. As if obeying his gesture, the condensed red orb on the ground collapsed into itself.
And, with a loud crack ringing through the broiling air, its energy dissipated into nothing.
Even the highest class of fire magic, Al-Goa, did not damage him.
Roswaal, who had returned from the precipice of death for that final strike, fell speechless at this outcome. His desperate struggle was, as anyone could see, futile.
And Lewes, who had just narrowly escaped with her life, keenly understood that all this had accomplished was briefly postpone Roswaal’s and her own inevitable death.
[Roswaal: You… demon…… no… Warlock……!]
[???: I hate that name, it’s dismal. You think I’m li~~ke this because I enjoy it?]
[Roswaal: No matter how distorted your life is…… or how limited your choices are…… you are still the one who chose them. So don’t play the victim here…… Hector of Melancholy!]
[Hector: Ouch, the truth hurts, you know. I ho~~nestly don’t know what to do with you]
Walking to the fallen Roswaal’s side, the youth crouched down and reached his hand towards Roswaal’s head.
Without touching him, he had already dealt this overwhelming damage. But if his fingertip were to touch him now, the invisible devastation would cause Roswaal’s physical integrity to collapse.
[Roswaal: Gh…… ul……]
[Hector: You’re too late, you won’t make it, and I won’t let you]
Watching Roswaal concentrate his mana preparing to cast another spell, the youth callously pronounced.
Then, his morbid fingertip made contact, sending irrevocable death into Roswaal’s dying body.
[Roswaal: ――Ul, ghh]
[Hector: Bones, crushed. Organs, squashed. Heart, shattered. Ho~~w do you li~~ke it?]
With that brief groan, Roswaal relinquished his final sigh.
Looking down at the completely motionless Roswaal, the youth patted his knees and stood up. Then, he turned around, directly facing the petrified Lewes.
And this time, without a warning, he held out his palm and released the invisible weight.
The cabin didn’t even withstand it for a second.
The immense pressure from above easily overwhelmed the little cabin’s capacity to resist. If Lewes hadn’t made her timely plunge to the ground, she would’ve been crushed to the ground with every joint in her body bending in a direction it was never meant to be bent.
[Hector: No resistance… so it’s not Echidona, then? If it i~~sn’t her… whatever]
[Lewes: ――a, hhg]
[Hector: Be crushed and drown in the dirt. Save me the trouble of digging your grave――]
Lewes felt the illusion of invisible hands pulling her up by her skin, peeling her off of the ground. And just when she thought that this youth’s distant utterance would be the last words she ever heard in this life, the pressure abruptly dissipated.
Roughly panting with profuse tears and saliva drenching her face, Lewes looked up, confused. And there, she saw, at the other end of her vision,
[Echidona: Guess I can’t exactly say I made it just in time]
[Hector: No~~pe. Your disciple did his best to stall me and buy you time, though. Thanks to him, I got totally thrown off my rhythm, and that really ruined my mood]
[Echidona: Sounds like you haven’t changed at all. You’re just the same as when we last parted]
[Hector: Your know-it-all airs haven’t changed either, I see. Why do you insist on such an unado~~rable attitude? You were really cute once]
The youth shook his head, lamenting. Directly in front of him, standing between the youth and Lewes, was a lady of white dressed all in black―― Echidona.
The Witch looked down at the fallen Roswaal and slightly narrowed her eyes.
[Echidona: This sight pains me more than I expected… As much as I hate to let anything interfere with my objectivity towards results]
[Hector: He’d be disappointed if you didn’t show some emo~~tions for him. Not that I care. But if you want to cry, I can give you some time. Even I am not that cruel]
[Echidona: Where did you get the gall to say such things?]
Their barbed exchange suggested that they knew each other, but their relationship was clearly not an amicable one.
They steadily gauged their distance as they faced each other. Lewes did not doubt Echidona’s strength, but she had equally believed in Roswaal, and he was easily crushed in the face of that overwhelming power.
As such, having Echidona’s backing in itself wasn’t necessarily reassuring.
[????: ――How long do you plan to keep lying there in that graceless position, I suppose?]
Suddenly hearing this, Lewes looked up from the ground when a hand grabbed her from behind and pulled her up. Dragged by that force, Lewes squeaked as she turned around.
Behind her, was an adorable girl wearing her familiar, sour expression.
[Lewes: Bea… trice-sama……]
[Beatrice: This isn’t the time to be stammering in surprise. Let’s get out of here quickly while Mother is buying us time, I suppose]
[Lewes: B-but…… Roswaal-sama and Echidona-sama ordered me to wait here]
[Beatrice: It’s thanks to that Roswaal’s bungling that that guy sniffed you out. Enough, just follow Betty, I suppose. Mother was the one who instructed me to fetch you]
Beatrice’s brows furrowed in irritation, but her expression remained tense. Even her usual haughty confidence seemed diminished in front of this inexplicable youth.
Nevertheless, she was still infinitely stronger than Lewes, who was even now curling into a little trembling ball.
[Beatrice: The preparations are in place. That’s what Mother said, I suppose. She said you’d understand if I told you that]
[Lewes: ――I… understand]
Lewes held her breath and nodded at Echidona’s message. Beatrice narrowed her eyes, puzzled by Lewes’ reaction, but had no mind to probe into it.
A torrent of mana was peaking behind them. The clash between Echidona and the youth was only a matter of time. No one could predict how this battle would go. And the only means to secure certain victory rested in Lewes’ choice.
[Lewes: Let’s go. Beatrice-sama, where are the preparations set?]
[Beatrice: ……It’s inside an old, decaying stone room, I suppose. I moved it there as Mother instructed me to. Even with Betty’s Door Crossing, it was no easy task, you know]
Sticking an extra boast at the end, Beatrice led Lewes by the hand as they moved out.
Following behind Beatrice’s bouncing pigtails, Lewes took one last look at Echidona and bowed her head to the Witch’s back.
――Surely, they would never speak again.
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(The amazing fan art is by @MSG!)
Let me know if you catch any typos! ❤
Chapter 103 Live Draft: