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ARC 4 THE EVERLASTING COVENANT  Chapter 44 [Forbidden]

――His body was formed anew.

His devoured flesh, his peeled skin, his gnawed bones, his chewed nerves, his slurped up blood, and his soul, trampled and ravaged with the utmost gluttonous relish―― returned to their original shapes.

A sensation came from his fingertips, and with this as the starting point, his whole body began to jolt and convulse.
Kicking up dust, writhing on the cold, hard ground, he groaned as white foam flowed from the corner of his mouth.
There was no pain. Nor sense of loss. His four limbs were still attached to his torso, and no physical damage had been incurred by his head and body. Yet his thoughts were vague as though he had just woken from sleep, and instead of clearing in a matter of seconds, Subaru's body and mind continued to reject the homecoming of reality.
Such was the horror of the events preceding his Return.

Could anyone say that they've experienced being invaded through the mouth and having their intestines shredded and devoured from inside? Or ever had the feeling of having their skins peeled off like it were a competition, exposing their dark red flesh and allowing their pink fat to be licked away by unruly tongues?
His brain refused to feel that pain, and as though it was happening to someone else's body and not his own, he objectively recognized the truth that he was being "Eaten", like in a waking nightmare.

[Subaru: Bgh, bgh, bgh……]

A nauseating sensation rushed up, and only yellow bile was retched from his dried-up stomach. The foam blowing from his mouth mixed with the acidic liquid, as Subaru continued to convulse, collapsed on his side.
Like a person having a seizure, or a fish flopping on land, the rejection of reality was not by Subaru's own volition, but by the choice of his very soul.
For who would gladly assent to their own existence being devoured and eaten? And who could blame Subaru for interpreting the reality of his being devoured in such a way?

What had he done to deserve it, whose will was behind it, and was there no alternative to that wretched end?

[Subaru: ――――]

His consciousness flashed and flickered.
Were his eyes open or shut? No control over his body returned to him.
His very soul refused to live in reality. Far from allowing him to choose awareness, his soul did not even present him with the choice.
Only, overwhelmed by the "Loss of its own existence", Subaru's body continued to drown in that sense of despair.


If there was a single definite word within Subaru's mind, it would be that one.


What the hell happened? What was that? Why did that happen? Why did that have to happen? What was happening to him now? Was there something that must happen to him now? What was he supposed to do now?

――Why, why, why, why, why.

Presented with no answers, while even the question itself was uncertain, there was only the shrieking of his soul.

――Why! Why! Why!

The continued to throw out the question which was without an answer, an unsightly figure who doesn't know when to give up.
Drowning in reality, tormented by a nightmare, one who had lost sight of the path of life, a figure asking "Why".
And, it was then――

{You have once again acquired the qualifications}

A voice whispered in the ears of the shivering Subaru.
High, and exalted. A voice which, even if the present Subaru heard it, he could not decipher its meaning. Nonetheless, the terrible voice echoed into Subaru's interior――

{You are invited――to the Witch's tea party}

In the next instant, Subaru's only-just-returned consciousness once again lost all reality.

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Part 2 and 3 are a lot longer than Part 1, I’m only cutting it here at the chapter’s own divider so I could use an amazing thumbnail for Part 2.

This chapter is quite important, so while I plan to finish Part 2/3 it tonight I’ll only release it if I’m satisfied with the quality. Otherwise, I will release it tomorrow morning.


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