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/277/
[Garfiel: My nose may be broke, but I still got ears. Whatever trick yer pullin’, th’goddamn bugs ‘re chirpin’ wherever y’go…… but this ends here, yeah?]
[Otto: I… I wonder…… just because you caught up, doesn’t mean you’ve won…]
[Garfiel: Don’t be a smartass. Y’put up a good fight…… but I ain’t gonna waste my time no more]
Garfiel set his foot on Otto’s stomach and leaned in.
Ribs creaked as the foot pressed down with a force greater than the weight of Garfiel’s scrawny figure, prompting wails of pain as Otto’s limbs convulsed helplessly.
[Garfiel: If I step on ya with all I’ve got, you’ll be squashed t’smithereens. Y’saw me launch th’ground into th’air back there, yeah? Same shit’s gonna happen to yer body. Wanna try?]
[Otto: ――Sorry, but I’d rather not]
Seeing Otto answer his threat with a defiant smile, Garfiel was slightly taken aback, but,
[Garfiel: Hell, y’got some guts, don’t ya. If I knew that before y’pulled this shit, we wouldn’t’ve needed this goddamn runaround]
Garfiel’s words could almost be called a compliment.
Hearing this, Otto rolled his head and spilled a small sigh. Watching Otto faintly breathing, Garfiel narrowed his eyes.
[Garfiel: If there weren’t so goddamn many of’em, I probably wouldn’t’ve thought anything of it……]
[Garfiel: But soon as I was chasin’ ya, it’s like th’whole forest’s turned’ against me. Even at the start when y’threw those leaves, the bugs under’em all flew at me. Th’bugs in th’dragon carriage, those squirrels throwin’ shit at me, th’centipedes, th’snakes swarmin’ outta dead trees, th’birds lurin’ me to a field of poison flowers, there’s gotta be some way t’explain it]
One by one, Garfiel recounted the traps he had encountered in the forest.
While, listening, Otto only continued faintly breathing.
Those were all traps Otto had set during his treks through the forest, designed to hinder Garfiel and to stall for time.
None of them missed their mark, and they all succeeded in drawing Garfiel here.
If it weren’t for the fact that there were too many of those natural anomalies for it to be mere coincidence, Garfiel would never have believed that Otto was behind it.
[Garfiel: Thinkin’ ain’t my strong suit, but t’survive, I gotta think anyway. So I thought. And thought, and thought, and here’s what I got. When inexplicable things happen in this world, it’s usually ‘cause some Divine Protection’s involved. ――Y’got one of those Divine Protections, don’t ya]
[Garfiel: D’vine Protection of th’Forest, Divine Protection of Dirt or whatever th’fuck y’call it, if y’got one then this all makes sense. N’ y’really weren’t holdin’ back, were ya. ……So]
Striking the silent Otto with these words, Garfiel gave his trembling body a kick, then glanced behind him. His sharp eyes narrowed in pity,
[Garfiel: Don’t think I haven’t noticed what yer plannin’ behind those stubborn eyes of yer’s]
Garfiel’s eyes landed on an open clearing where a mass of white light had gathered.
It wasn’t sunlight that had filtered through the trees―― but a radiant mass of mana so dense that it was visible to the naked eye.
Gazing at the swelling mass that could drive a person mad should they wander too close, Garfiel scowled and looked back down at Otto.
[Garfiel: That’s yer trump card, ain’t it. It ain’t like th’empty threats you’ve been throwin’ around so far. That’s somethin’ that can do me in. ……If yer th’one who’s got me on th’ground, y’might even be able to shove me into it]
[Otto: ……a, ugh]
Squatting down, Garfiel picked up the groaning Otto by the collar.
Blood from Otto’s overworked brain poured from his nostrils, staining the bottom half of his face grisly red. Seeing this, Garfiel shook his head.
[Garfiel: Y’tried, but yer way outta yer league. Shoulda known yer place like a good boy]
[Otto: My… place, you say……]
[Garfiel: Yeah. Y’ain’t got no chance against me. ――Whatever that trap’s supposed t’be, yer th’one who’s gonna be eatin’ it]
With that, Garfiel gave Otto’s body a gentle toss.
Following a brief weightless sensation of falling through the air, Otto’s body crashed to the ground and rolled into the pool of dense, white mana.
Inside the thick, drifting cloud, the mana began to infect Otto’s already vague consciousness.
His eyes rolled, his tongue numbed, and his nosebleed streamed without end.
The trap. The final trap. Now that he was tossed inside――
[Garfiel: I’ll watch till it’s over]
Crossing his arms, Garfiel waited to see Otto’s end.
Where am I? What am I doing here? Lying on his stomach, catching Garfiel in the corner of his vision, Otto gathered his scattered thoughts. And then, he understood.
――The final trap was ready.
[Otto: ……Mind if I ask you something?]
Pressing his hands to the ground, Otto desperately pushed himself up.
Not expecting him to still be able to move, Garfiel’s eyes widened in shock. It gave Otto some small satisfaction to see this, and indeed, Subaru was right.
Doing something no one believed you could really is fun. That is a fact. It may be a little mean, but it still felt amazing.
[Otto: On your way here, Garfiel-san…… how many trees have you felled, and how much earth have you gouged open?]
[Garfiel: Th’fuck’re y’talkin’ about?]
[Otto: All this mana floating around me…… is just how much you’ve angered the forest]
The sense of accomplishment made him forget all about his fatigue and pain.
Sitting himself up on the ground, Otto’s faltering voice grew firm as he looked up at Garfiel.
Garfiel uncrossed his arms, his face twitching as realized he had done exactly what Otto wanted him to, and immediately tried to move――
But, it was too late.
[Otto: ――Al, Dona]
Abounding mana coursed through Otto’s entire body, taking shape in the world at the sound of his chant.
――With overwhelming speed and momentum, a torrent of earth poured forth, slamming into Garfiel’s body as he belatedly tried to dodge, sending him flying to the other edge of the forest.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
[Otto: Haa…… haa…… haa……a]
His outstretched arms still trembling, Otto’s labored breaths were thick with exhaustion and blood.
All the mana drifting around him had been siphoned into his spell.
The sensation of mana-intoxication had faded, replaced by fatigue and all-encompassing agony.
――Otto’s final trap was the essence of all the traps that came before it.
To enlist the help of the bugs and animals of the forest, Otto proposed that they punish the evil presence tyrannizing these woods.
It seems the wanton devastation left by Garfiel’s daily strolls had raised the ire of the forest’s inhabitants.
Cutting down trees to sharpen his claws and train his body, or even just going around collecting firewood for the village, were probably seen as sabotage from the perspective of the animals living there.
Little by little, these heinous deeds piled up until Garfiel was eventually considered the arch-enemy by the majority of the creatures in this forest.
So Otto negotiated with those creatures, offering to punish Garfiel with their help. As trap after trap was sprung and Garfiel inflicted more and more damage upon the forest―― the forest’s residents pooled their mana into one location, lending Otto their utmost support as promised.
The giant mass of mana was so conspicuous that “It could only be a trap”.
After triggering so many traps on his way there, Garfiel instinctively avoided this one and tossed Otto into it instead.
With the aid of the forest’s creatures, Otto was able to cast magic he’d otherwise have no way of casting.
The resulting torrent of earth and debris slammed into Garfiel, dealing decisive damage to his thus-far unscathed body.
Garfiel believed that Otto had no strength to oppose him, got careless, and facilitated his own downfall.
Everything had gone as Otto planned.
[Otto: This time……]
[???: ――Yer outta moves]
Otto spilled a despondent sigh as Garfiel’s figure emerged from the treeline, glaring back at him.
His clothes were torn, and his exposed skin was marked by cuts made by jagged rocks. But his head and other vital places were unharmed, and there was no obvious impact on his gait.
The sheer disparity in strength far transcended Otto’s imaginings.
[Garfiel: Honesty, I’m damn surprised]
[Otto: ……Are you, now]
[Garfiel: I really didn’t think you had it in ya. Hell, I looked down on ya, thinkin’ you’ve given up. ――Forgive me. I pulled’ some stupid shit when I’m actually dealin’ with a man]
Garfiel said with a meek expression. But Otto shook his head, indicating that there was no need to apologize.
All he wanted to hear was “I concede”. But, despite giving it his all and fulfilling his role perfectly, he still failed to defeat Garfiel.
And so, this is where Otto’s resistance ends.
Garfiel felt his hands, then flashed his razor claws. He would not show Otto mercy this time.
Their sharp edges shall reflect his sincerity. They would strike true, carve into Otto’s flesh, and extinguish his life.
――I did everything I could, right?
Otto was sure he had played every card he had.
His Divine Protection, his debts of friendship, he had used all of it.
If he still fell short in the end, there was nothing he could do.
Otto’s capabilities ended here.
[Garfiel: See ya. ――When y’wake up, you’ll start all over]
[Otto: This is where my individual-round ends, I guess……]
Muttering under his breath, Otto closed his eyes, exhausted.
Yet his attitude was nothing like resignation towards death――
[Garfiel: No way……]
Is there more? Garfiel shuddered with all the hair on his body standing on end as he warily scanned his surroundings.
There was no sign of anything in any direction. If there was something, it’d have to be――
Baring his fangs, Garfiel swiped his claws upwards.
Drawing in a breath, he expanded his lung so he may howl. But there, he hesitated. His eyes widened, yet no roar escaped his open lips.
What escaped was not bloodlust, not hostility, but a name.
A shadow leapt from the treetop overhead, falling towards him.
Its short skirt fluttering in the air, the point of its wand aimed straight for Garfiel’s head.
Watching the shining mana gathering at the tip of the wand, Garfiel expelled his shriek:
[Garfiel: Why th’fuck’re y…… RaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAMMMMMM!!]
The next instant, blades of wind burst forth, scattering the Sanctuary’s forest to the gales.
-=Chapter 107 End=-
Best girl Ram is here ;-;
Happy New Year everyone!!! ❤
I’m going to have dinner with my family soon so I won’t blab too much here. Please let me know if you see any typos!
(The incredible fan art is by HaruSabin!)
Chapter 108 Live Draft: