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/275/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 105 [The Travelling Merchant’s Trap]
Crumpling his nose, an abrupt sense of awryness compelled Garfiel to stop.
His wind-like figure carried by ground-breaking strides broke to a sudden halt. Jamming his right foot into the soft earth, sweeping up clouds of dust, Garfiel stooped his posture low, turning his head to and fro―― sniffing and scrutinizing the scents in the air.
He was in the forest surrounding the Sanctuary, searching for the missing Lewes within the Barrier’s bounds.
He’d already checked all the places he thought she could be and had gone back and forth more times than he could count in search of her small, familiar figure.
All the while, his heart raced in panic from an ominous sense of foreboding.
He could sense that things weren’t going his way. Outsiders were throwing their weight around in the Sanctuary, and even Lewes was acting strangely―― she wasn’t even consulting him before making decisions anymore.
[Garfiel: Damn it…… the hell’s goin’ on]
Clawing at his short blond hair, Garfiel traced his finger over the white scar on his forehead.
It was Garfiel’s habit to touch this scar whenever he was confused, lost, or when his heart had lost its calm, as a reminder to compose himself.
Tracing his finger over the scar, he’d remember the time when he was at his most foolish―― when he received this life-long wound―― and immediately regain his composure.
Most people who knew Garfiel would judge his personality to be crude and brash. They would’ve gotten this impression from Garfiel’s outlandish conduct and appearance, but actually, it’d be a mistake.
In reality, Garfiel Tinsel was surprisingly coolheaded and self-possessed, and constantly urging himself to think.
Garfiel made this a matter of discipline―― because he was keenly aware that brute strength alone isn’t enough to get what he wants.
What does he need to know and do to see his wish fulfilled? It was in order to answer this question that Garfiel single-mindedly cultivated his unshakable code.
[Garfiel: Still…… everyone’s goin’ around doin’ whatever th’fuck they like…… tch]
In frustration and anguish, Garfiel bared his sharp canine teeth, grunting.
Indeed, the situation was slipping further and further out of his grip. But since unshakable codes required unshakable conviction, Garfiel was terrible when it came to flexible thinking.
All along, Garfiel had only one answer, and one stance, towards the Sanctuary’s liberation.
Regardless of the countless branching routes along the way, it was the one point on which he must never concede. And so, he had taken every possible care to think everything through to the end.
But Lewes’ unilateral decisions and the outsiders’ underhanded tactics never figured into his considerations.
Sadly, although Garfiel never stopped thinking, he had neither experience nor any exceptional intellect to draw on. All he had was desperate tenacity, and nothing more.
Taking a sharp sniff, Garfiel’s golden pupils narrowed into slits.
Catching the scent, the hair on his back stood on end as he swiftly bent his knees, leapt―― and resumed his prowl. Stepping on tree branches and using them to launch himself ever faster and higher, he soared unbound through the foliage, chasing that scent.
[Garfiel: All clumped together…… the hell’re they planning, hah!?]
Clicking his fangs, he put his agitation to voice as he roared.
Expelling a growl like that of a feline beast, Garfiel’s eyes blazed with rage.
What his nose had caught was the stench of an exceedingly large assembly of organic beings. The stench of sweat, the stench of trodden grass and soil, the stench of tension seeping out of anxious human bodies, the stench, the stench, the stench――
It was nothing less than the stench of a mass of humans on the move.
More than ten, closer to fifty. There was only one group in the Sanctuary capable of fielding such numbers at this time.
――The refugees from the village near Roswaal’s Mansion.
The same ingrates who had fled here seeking refuge. What are they planning, mobilizing at a time like this? Is this how they repay the people who took them in?
[Garfiel: That son of’a bitch…… told him not to fuck with me……!]
That contemptible youth with short black hair appeared in Garfiel mind.
That boy, whose sharp eyes stood in stark contrast to his conspicuous frivolousness. And yet his gaze was also occasionally lucid and piercing, as if he could see right through Garfiel.
That gaze, which always seemed to be looking towards some indeterminable place, reminded Garfiel of another man he despised. And Garfiel loathed him for it.
No doubt, this youth whom he had never liked was behind all this.
The refugees were moving at his instigation, that much was clear. For some inexplicable reason, they placed their overwhelming trust in this youth.
He had no strength, no apparent special powers, and his only proficiency seemed to be his ability to prattle. As far as Garfiel was concerned, he was the most loathsome, weak, foolish, and selfish creature in the world.
But now, Garfiel couldn’t help but think that he should have dealt with him sooner.
There had been plenty of chances, that boy had left himself wide open, and yet his eerie, almost blood-curdling resolve in the face of overwhelming odds caused Garfiel to stay his hand.
His reward for his hesitation was this present predicament.
And above all, the forces threatening the stability of the Sanctuary were now taking advantage of the fact that he’d lost sight of Lewes, his only family, to do whatever they pleased. No matter what, he will not allow a single refugee to leave the Sanctuary.
It would’ve been different if this was a couple of days ago, but the situation had changed.
[Garfiel: ……Does that bastard know ‘bout Granny?]
In the place Garfiel called the Experimental Grounds and Lewes called the seat of her progenitor, was a crystal in which a girl named Lewes Meyer was sleeping.
Honestly, Garfiel had very little interest in that crystal.
Although the girl sleeping there looks exactly like his only family, if she was different inside, then she was someone else entirely. If any entity that looked like Lewes should be considered Lewes, then Garfiel already had over twenty of them at hand.
It’d be impossible for Garfiel to harbour the same love and attachment towards them, and he had no intention to try.
Garfiel held the complete authority to command the replicants sharing his grandmother’s face. Nevertheless, his temperament dictated that he would do everything to avoid using it.
Garfiel didn’t enjoy ordering others around, and seeing someone obeying his every command would give him an indescribable sense of irritation.
That was all he felt about the girl inside the crystal.
He harboured no other sentiment towards her beyond that. Although Garfiel liked to think of himself as broad-minded, being broad-hearted was a different matter.
He never had much to give. He was just two arms, two legs, and a body.
There was only so much he could offer, and it was important to choose whom he offered it to.
And so, Garfiel only cared for the people he loved.
[Garfiel: So…… if y’think I’m gonna go gentle on ya, y’couldn’t be more mistaken, y’naive fucks]
Kicking hard into the trunk of a tree, Garfiel leapt high above the forest.
He hugged his knees as he somersaulted through the air before touching down and sending up a torrent of fallen leaves in his wake.
The earth caved beneath his feet, and the screeching brays of ground dragons filled the gaps between the trees.
I’m sorry guys, I was feeling severely depressed and my heart was just not where it should be.
It’s temporary and it always passes, but this time it stayed longer than I had hoped.
I shouldn’t have gone silent for so long…
Part 2 is almost ready, and I’ll post it as soon as I’m satisfied with it. I hope to get Part 3 out today too if I can.