(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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The crystal was blue and transparent, so beautiful that Lewes trembled.
[Beatrice: Even if you think it’s pretty, just don’t touch it like an idiot. You’ll be swallowed up if you do and become a part of the crystal, I suppose]
Momentarily forgetting where they were, Lewes spilled an amazed sigh. Next to her, Beatrice crossed her arms at Lewes’ out-of-place demeanor and gave this warning.
Suddenly called back from her daze, Lewes quickly pulled back her fingers and apologized with [Ah, s-sorry].
[Beatrice: Not like there’s anything to apologize for. ……So, what do we do now, I suppose? Betty was only told to move the crystal and bring you here. Mother didn’t say anything beyond that]
[Lewes: Beatrice-sama, how did you get this crystal here……?]
[Beatrice: For Betty, moving something without touching it is nothing at all, I suppose. Mother herself has praised the precision and range of my Door Crossing, you know]
Beatrice’s expression was dispassionate as always, but, sensing the hint of pride within it, Lewes softened her cheeks.
She had already grown accustomed to talking to Beatrice like this. In the beginning, she’d always take Beatrice at her word and feel like she wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere.
But over the time they’ve spent together, Lewes learned that this seemingly-imperious girl was actually surprisingly easy to get along with, and in fact, she was every bit the adorable girl she appeared to be, and someone she could smile and laugh with.
How nice it would be if she could just keep talking with Beatrice like this.
If only she could forget all about the calamity befalling the Sanctuary and the fate awaiting her―― but that would be impossible.
[Beatrice: ……? Your smile is incredibly unpleasant right now, you know]
Beatrice pointed out, perhaps sensing the sadness that had slipped onto Lewes’ face.
The fact that Beatrice could tell that her smile was different from usual was evidence that she’d been paying attention to her. As soon as Lewes realized this, tears popped out of the corners of her eyes.
Beatrice’s eyes widened, and Lewes frantically wiped the tears off with her sleeve,
[Lewes: S-sorry…… A little… sand got into my eye……]
[Beatrice: N-not that I care, I suppose. ――With things as they are, Betty can see this is not the place to be saying “don’t worry” or anything]
Although Beatrice had misunderstood her, they were words of compassion all the same.
Lewes felt a warmth swell in the depths of her chest. Such was the strength Beatrice had given her, and it felt so grand that she could burst.
[Beatrice: What is it, I suppose. If you’re going to take a while, Betty will go help Mother. And that bastard Roswaal seems to be on the verge of death right now. Guess if I don’t help him, he’s……]
[Lewes: Thank you, for always taking care of me. But―― this is goodbye]
Listening to those vague words, Beatrice blinked her eyes, confused.
Inside the cold stone chamber, the two girls―― Beatrice and Lewes stared at each other.
Beatrice blinked over and over, intently gazing back at Lewes. Beatrice’s gaze was intense but warm, and Lewes did not look away.
[Beatrice: Goodbye? What do you mean, I suppose? Are you going to run away?]
[Lewes: No, that’s not it. If I do run away and live, maybe someday I could still see you again. But this will be our final farewell. We’ll probably never have another chance to talk to each other again]
Beatrice pursed her lips and peered deep into Lewes’ eyes, searching for her true intentions.
For the first time seeing Beatrice confused, Lewes quietly chose her words.
[Lewes: Echidona-sama’s preparations were for the Barrier that will cover the Sanctuary. It should have needed more time for the Barrier to take root in the Sanctuary’s soil…… but right now, we don’t have enough time for that]
[Beatrice: Not enough time…… then the Barrier can’t be completed? Isn’t that Barrier the only way to drive that guy off, I suppose?]
[Lewes: That’s right. I’ve seen with my own eyes how dangerous that man is. He’s beyond dangerous. I know that’s why Echidona-sama is risking everything in order to defeat him. And I think Roswaal-sama sacrificed himself because he knew it was the only way to save Echidona-sama]
Such was that youth’s overwhelming power.
Lewes didn’t know how the Barrier’s activation would help Echidona, or whether it’d be able to wipe out that monster’s existence.
But there was one thing Echidona had assured her.
[Lewes: Echidona-sama promised me that if the Barrier is activated, we’ll be able to protect the Sanctuary. ……And so, I’m willing to give my life for that]
[Beatrice: D-don’t say such stupid things. Even if you give up your life…… without any background in magic, what could you possibly……]
Beatrice’s eyes filled with panic as she hurriedly blurted out. But, clever as she was, she had already reached the answer to her own question halfway through her sentence.
Her eyes shot open in shock as she turned to the blue crystal looming beside them,
[Beatrice: If you bind yourself with the core of this crystal……. with your Od as its nucleus, spreading the Barrier over the Sanctuary…… it’ll no longer be necessary to acclimatize the soil……]
[Lewes: Yes. That’s what Echidona-sama said]
It was the same conclusion that Echidona and Roswaal had reached before the attack.
Beatrice only stood there without a word. Lewes circled around her until she was in front of Beatrice’s view, and smiled.
[Lewes: You’ve confirmed my affinity to the Sanctuary’s mana yourself…… Beatrice-sama]
Beatrice’s face sprang up at Lewes’ words.
She bit into her peach-colored lip until blood seeped from her flesh,
[Beatrice: N……no. Betty…… Betty didn’t…… wait, that’s not, just wait, I suppose. Just wait here. B-Betty’ll go speak to Mother, I suppose. Mother might act like that, but she absolutely coddles Betty, she’ll listen if I……]
[Lewes: There’s no time for that right now. We have to decide this very moment]
[Beatrice: In that case, Betty will go help Mother straight away. If Mother and Betty team up, we can easily dispose of that guy, I suppose. Roswaal too, once I heal him it’ll be three of us……]
Beatrice shook her head in childish denial, but her words trailed off towards the end.
Even she herself realized how unconvincing her words were.
Beatrice was indeed amazing. Lewes was genuinely in awe of how this girl around her age could have reached such heights in magic, never slacking in her daily studies.
She could juggle her doting over her mother, her quarrels with Roswaal, her magic practice, and do laundry and sew and cook with Lewes, all without a hitch.
This same Beatrice would understand the extent of her own abilities, as well as the unbridgeable gap between the enemy and herself.
She could not place her mother’s life in danger for such a callous boast.
[Beatrice: ――Or, we could use Betty’s Door Crossing to get everyone away from here]
[Beatrice: Right? That’ll be enough, I suppose. It’ll be a little hard, but Betty can definitely pull it off. While Mother holds him off, we’ll gather up everyone in the Sanctuary and escape to Mother’s Mansion together, I suppose. We’ll pick up Roswaal when we get the chance and close the door once Mother’s through, then we’ll have slipped away right under that guy’s nose. ……Yeah, that’s what we should do]
[Lewes: And once we’ve slipped away, won’t we live in fear of being pursued by that person for the rest of our lives? If we abandon this place where people who’d been ostracised by all the world could finally live in safety and peace…… and go somewhere new, how long will it be before we can live happily like this again?]
Lewes shook her head at Beatrice’s plan, her words gentle but stern.
Seeing the wounded look spreading across Beatrice’s face, an intense pain ran through Lewes’ chest.
But she must trample over this girl’s considerations and force her own way through.
Even if this cruel and selfish decision meant betraying the days they’ve spent together
――As well as betraying all the memories they’ve shared.
[Lewes: Beatrice-sama. I love the Sanctuary. I’m truly glad I was able to live here. And I love seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone who lives here. So I don’t want all of this to disappear]
[Lewes: I had a wonderful time here. So wonderful that I wondered if someone like myself, with tainted blood flowing through my veins, truly deserved this. And so, I’m already satisfied]
[Beatrice: It’s not like that, I suppose…… N-no matter what you think this place is, the real purpose of this place isn’t what you think at all……]
[Lewes: Yes. I know]
Lewes nodded, as Beatrice suddenly looked as if she regretted saying what she did.
Lewes knew the true purpose of the Sanctuary.
At least, she knew it wasn’t out of kindness that Echidona and Roswaal had gathered these persecuted people here.
This paradise where ostracised and despised people could live with their heads held high―― did not exist for their sake, but, deep down, everyone still wanted to believe it.
And now, it was no longer possible to see only the bright facade of this place. She understood this, as much as it pained her.
[Lewes: The true purpose of this place is to deal with the person pursuing Echidona-sama, isn’t it?]
[Lewes: That is why this place exists, and why we were brought here, I understand that now]
[Beatrice: So…… if you already know, then why…]
Unable to understand, Beatrice shook her head.
In front of Beatrice’s pleading gaze, Lewes’ lips softened.
[Lewes: I don’t mind. In the beginning, that might’ve been all it was. But those happy days we’ve spent here weren’t just a part of Echidona-sama’s plans. The time I spent here, and all the conversations we’ve had, none of that was a part of some plan]
[Lewes: What’s important isn’t how it began. It’s how it ends, and what we felt along the way]
[Lewes: I was truly happy here. So I will do anything to protect this happiness. Please let me express my gratitude for everything you’ve done for me, Beatrice-sama]
A distant boom echoed through the stone chamber.
The ground shook and the atmosphere trembled in the wake of the clashes between Echidona and the youth in the center of the Sanctuary.
The fact that it was steadily approaching made it clear that Echidona was not winning.
Closing her eyes, Lewes quietly confirmed her resolve. In front of her, Beatrice’s shoulders heaved up and down as she wracked her brain for something to say.
Some magical words that would dissuade Lewes from her intention, overturn her decision, and change her mind.
But no such convenient magic existed in this world.
[Beatrice: ……What is it, I suppose]
[Lewes: Please take care not to eat too many sweets]
During tea-time, Beatrice would be constantly shoving sweets into her mouth. It’d be a shame if her adorable looks were ruined because she got fat. And she’d have to take care of her teeth as well.
Although she rarely showed it, she is really adorable when she smiles.
Turning around, Lewes wordlessly approached the blue crystal.
The crystal was giving off a deep, alluring glow. If she touches it, she really would be swallowed by that light.
Would it hurt, and would she suffer?
Despite being prepared for the end, she had no idea in what form it would come.
Simply put, it was an emotion known as fear.
Once she is swallowed by this light, she will make this place a true “Sanctuary”.
If there could be a place in this world where everyone could live in happiness and peace:
If Echidona and Beatrice could continue to watch over this Sanctuary for her,
Suddenly, she felt tug on her sleeve.
Lewes turned around and saw Beatrice standing right beside her.
She was gazing at Lewes with an expression she had never seen from her before, and her fingertips were clinging to her sleeve.
The strength in those clinging fingers was weak, and not even Beatrice knew what she was trying to do with this touch. She had merely reached out without thinking, and, for a girl who would never be honest with her emotions, perhaps this was the only way to express her true feelings,
Gently, Lewes picked off the fingers holding onto her sleeve.
Feeling the warmth passing between their touching fingertips, Lewes smiled at the end.
[Lewes: Thank you. ――Goodbye, Betty]
――With those final words, Lewes’ consciousness was swallowed into the blue light.
-=Chapter 103 End=-
It’s been a while since I cried at a chapter…
I might revise it some more when I’m not so tired @_@
Please let me know if you see any typos ❤
Chapter 104 Live Draft: