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/274/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 104 [Theta Pt.2]
[Theta: And that’s all the pieces of the past I saw in the Tomb]
Ending her story there, Theta brought the already cold tea to her lips and took a sip.
Sitting on the bed meekly listening to her tale, Subaru held his breath as Theta announced that it was over. Then, with a long, deep sigh, he expelled everything that had pent up inside him.
He strained his lungs to their limit, spewing out all of the air and indescribable emotions in his chest―― and raised his head.
[Subaru: So that’s… the actual foundation of the Sanctuary, and Lewes Meyer’s memories]
[Theta: I’m sure you already know what happened to Lewes after she was swallowed by the crystal. She’s still preserved exactly as she was back then, deep in the Great Witch’s research facility]
[Subaru: But, this doesn’t match what I know about the crystal’s purpose at all. Echidona never mentioned that the Lewes Meyer in the crystal had anything to do with the Sanctuary’s Barrier, but said that it was for something else……]
According to Echidona in the Citadel of Dreams, Lewes Meyer was sealed in the crystal for Echidona’s experiments in an attempt to attain immortality.
By sealing Lewes in the crystal, cloning her, and then filling the clones with Echidona’s own memories, she would’ve been able to achieve a kind of pseudo-immortality. But Echidona’s death or some kind of technical error meant that the experiment failed to bear fruit, while, over time, the mechanism continued to automatically create more and more Lewes replicants.
Theta’s story had mentioned nothing about this pursuit of immortality.
Instead, what Subaru heard were multiple pieces of information which he simply could not let slide.
[Subaru: Then the real reason Echidona created the Sanctuary…… that guy they were trying to keep out… who is he?]
[Subaru: In the story, Roswaal called him “Melancholy”, but I’ve never seen or heard anything about this guy before. I didn’t even know he existed until now. That whole time, I thought the person chasing Echidona was the Witch of Envy]
The Witch of Envy, who destroyed the six Witches of Sin:
Subaru had been convinced that the being he’d met in the dream was the one who cornered Echidona. But the character in the story turned out to be someone else entirely, someone Subaru hadn’t heard the even vaguest mention of until now.
It was only natural that he’d be confused.
However, the fact that he was called “Melancholy” did give Subaru some ideas, as much as he wished that they weren’t true.
[Subaru: The Seven Deadly Sins are Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust…… But I heard it used to be different, and there were a few sins that got absorbed]
For someone like Subaru, the “Seven Deadly Sins” was a term that struck very close to home. And so, Subaru had naturally dabbled in some of this trivia, and, after mobilizing his memories, he found what he was looking for.
[Subaru: If I remember correctly…… “Melancholy” and “Vainglory” used to be counted among the Deadly Sins]
Before they were excluded from the other seven, Melancholy and Vainglory were once considered Deadly Sins. And if Melancholy existed, then it wouldn’t be strange for Vainglory to exist as well.
If there existed other Sins aside from the widely-known Witches, then,
[Theta: It’d help me a lot if you could figure out on your own why I couldn’t talk about some of these memories freely]
[Subaru: Why you couldn’t……?]
Subaru furrowed his brows as a wily grin unbefitting of Theta’s appearance rose onto her face.
[Theta: It was just like you said, Su-bo. Outside of these memories, I haven’t heard a lick about anyone called “Melancholy”, either. Anyone else you ask would give you the same answer. Though the world may have forgotten the names of the Witches of Sin, their existence is still told in legends. But the fact that no one knows that a being with such immense power even existed…… is simply terrifying]
Theta’s downcast gaze spoke volumes of her apprehension.
Indeed, something was strange about all this.
The Witch of Envy had been passed down through the generations as a synonym of horror and hate. Although the memories of the other Witches had been reduced to just the beings who were consumed by the Witch of Envy, their existence still remained in history.
Yet, not even a single shadow of Melancholy’s existence remained. Was it only a coincidence that the topic never came up around Subaru or Theta?
――Was it really possible that Subaru, who had attended the Witches’ tea party and met all those Witches, had not picked up even a whiff of this person’s existence?
[Subaru: ……That first-generation Roswaal… did he die? If he did, then what’s with his descendant, the current Roswaal? Is he from a different branch of the family?]
[Theta: He did not die in battle. That’s what I heard, at least. From just the memories I saw, he must’ve been on the verge of death, but somehow managed to hang onto life. Although, I assume he would not have recovered to live a normal life. ……After what happened, this first-generation Roswaal, who should have gone on to reach the pinnacle of the Arcane Arts, instead delved deeper and deeper into more sinister magic]
Surely, Theta must’ve done everything she could in order to learn the truth. She alone would have had the most reason to want to verify whether those memories about “Melancholy” were genuine.
But, judging from the vagueness of her answer, it would seem that she did not succeed in her efforts.
[Subaru: If the original purpose of the Sanctuary was to keep Melancholy away from Echidona, and Lewes Meyer assented to Echidona’s plan and sacrificed herself to protect the Sanctuary…… then the crystal creating replicants must’ve come later……?]
[Theta: The ability to generate replicants is unnecessary for a system only meant to create a Barrier. Most likely, you’re right. The question is, what would be the motive for installing an additional function of generating replicants afterwards?]
[Subaru: If Echidona was the one behind it…… then the motive would be immortality. But if it was…… then I have no idea what she was thinking when she came up with that idea]
What must Echidona have felt when she saw Lewes Meyer sleeping in the crystal?
Echidona knew about “Melancholy”. Based on Theta’s memories, that much was certain. And yet, if she did, then there was something terribly unnatural about her behavior during her conversations with Subaru.
――Just what could be the answer to this newborn, isolated awryness?
[Subaru: What on earth am I missing here…?]
Gritting his teeth, Subaru vexed over the missing piece keeping him from seeing the picture.
Finally, he scratched his head, deciding to postpone answering this question for now. And, the last part of Lewes’ story that Subaru could not let slide was,
[Subaru: ――Beatrice lost her friend in the end]
[Theta: ……She did]
Lewes Meyer was bashful and timid. Beatrice proud and stubborn.
Chances are, Lewes Meyer and Beatrice never even recognized their friendship until their very, very last moment together.
When Lewes Meyer melted into that crystal, just how much did that final, curse-like show of love wound Beatrice’s heart?
Was it because of this parting that Beatrice rejected everyone for all four hundred years?
[Subaru: She lost someone in a painful way, and she’s too afraid to hope again. ……It’s not like I can’t understand that feeling]
He could still remember Beatrice as she rejected his hand and begged him to let her die.
Was her reluctance to place hope in others all the result of her four hundred years of loneliness, of the memory of her parting with Lewes that first incited this isolation, and of the deep, cutting wound it had left?
Subaru felt like he could finally understand why she had become so reliant on Echidona’s instruction to wait for “That Person”, and just how much the passage of time had whittled down her heart.
The wound in Beatrice’s heart from the loss of her only friend had remained an unhealable scar. If she could finally meet “That Person” and fulfill Echidona’s instruction, then perhaps her heart could be healed. But the absurd passage of time had caused the wound to fester, and grow so swollen that it could burst.
And so, that girl felt like she was nearing her limit.
[Subaru: ……Lewes-san, have any of you ever met Beatrice?]
[Theta: No, never. By the time the first of us were born, Beatrice-sama had already stopped coming to the Sanctuary, and she never visited since. None of the other replicants know about these memories, so I think it’s best that we don’t meet her]
Ultimately, Subaru agreed with Theta.
The real Lewes Meyer was sleeping inside the crystal. Although Theta looked exactly the same as the Lewes Meyer back then, she had no genuine memories of her time together with Beatrice.
If Beatrice met Theta and the other replicants now, her wound would only widen and bring her nothing but anguish.
[Subaru: She absolutely needs to meet you guys]
In order for this girl, who witnessed the Sanctuary’s creation and inherited Lewes Meyer’s wish, to start walking again, she absolutely must do this.
[Subaru: So can I take that as all the reasons you went into hiding and tried to conceal the past?]
[Theta: ……Yes. That is all. The Warlock they called “Melancholy” that seemed to exist nowhere outside of Lewes Meyer’s memories… whether he really existed or not, it is overwhelmingly strange]
[Subaru: I agree. With that and Echidona’s attitude, there must be something more to this]
[Theta: And actually…… there is one more thing]
Subaru furrowed his brows as Lewes interrupted, lowering her gaze. She kept her eyes off of Subaru as she continued,
[Theta: If this Sanctuary was created by Lewes Meyer…… by the wish of our progenitor…… how could we break this Barrier that was erected by the sacrifice of her life? I lack the courage to do it]
[Theta: The times have changed. We are separated by centuries from Lewes Meyer’s era. The treatment of half-bloods, the persecution and ostracism from the generation where the Witch of Envy’s terror reigned, must’ve improved somewhat by now. ……I understand why people would urge for this place to be liberated so they could set their sights to the outside world…]
[Subaru: ……Of course, I can’t say that everything is perfect. Discrimination is still around everywhere. And I’m sure you’ll face a lot of unpleasantness if you leave. But…]
Subaru’s thoughts turned to the scene in the Royal Palace.
To Emilia, in the Royal Selection Hall, who put her thoughts and ideals into words while she withstood the malevolence directed at her in turn.
Surely, a world where Emilia’s ideals are achieved would be a world where the people of the Sanctuary would be safe, and where Lewes Meyer’s wish would be fulfilled.
[Subaru: When Emilia’s dream is realized, this ended Sanctuary will be born anew. Because once all her dreams come true… everyone in this world would be able to call it their Sanctuary]
Let me know if you spot any typos!
I’ll try my best to finish the next part tomorrow! ❤
Chapter 104 Live Draft: