(Thank you Kizarat, Abhahl, Nero, Roanz, Aaron, Rodolfo, Chris, Zazorok, HX for helping me with proofreading 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:
Not understanding Subaru's words, Gafiel's eyes wavered with confusion.
Naturally, he couldn't have known what his "Sloppiness" was referring to. After all, it was a mistake he hadn't yet made.
[Subaru: ……Guess there's no point even if we keep talking]
Watching the silenced Garfiel, Subaru decided to end the conversation here.
He had raised Garfiel's caution to its utmost limit, and after this bluff, there was already no way he could disarm him in this loop.
Although Subaru never had much hope of success in this loop, seeing it completely fall apart like this was still somewhat hard to bear.
――But he must endure it nonetheless.
Since he had resolved to wager his life, this wouldn’t the last time where he'd have to bear this sense of loss.
He would probably never get used to, or manage to forget that pain.
Surely, if he ever got used to the endless cycle of "Deaths", only to find that he could no longer truly desire the future ahead of him, Subaru's heart would be swallowed by darkness, never to return. Somehow, he just knew this.
[Subaru: You still want to stop me, don't you, Garfiel?]
[Subaru: If you do, that'll only draw things out longer. So it'd help if you didn't]
Even if Garfiel killed him now, Subaru would just be returned to the Tomb, a few hours ago.
Everything after that would feel like a throwaway match, and if Garfiel pulled him aside again, he should be fine if he just chose some safer responses.
Though of course, it'd be better if he could avoid Returning by Death altogether.
Garfiel didn’t respond to Subaru's prodding.
Seeing this, Subaru turned his back, and began walking out of the forest towards the Sanctuary. He would need to begin planning tomorrow's actions, and organize all the things that must be confirmed.
Although he has as many chances as his strength of will would allow, that didn't mean he should waste them.
Watching Subaru walk further and further away, Garfiel called to him with a voice of stifled emotion.
Subaru stopped, but did not turn around. Staring at his back, Garfiel muttered,
[Garfiel: Just what…… are y'tryin' to do in th'Sanctuary? What do y'plan t'do with us, ah? Oy]
[Subaru: I've already told you. I intend to save Emilia. I don't plan to do any harm to the Sanctuary……or to you, for that matter]
He knew of the disaster that was going to befall the Sanctuary, and intended to rescue its residents from their fate. Naturally, Garfiel would be counted among them.
But that would only be the final result,
[Subaru: I'm sure I'll make you despise me many times over before we get there. I'll apologize for that in advance. ……Sorry]
[Garfiel: ……I’ve got no idea what yer sayin’. Everythin' y'said……yer soundin' exactly like 'em]
Garfiel spoke as if he was speaking to something frightening and incomprehensible, and Subaru could only resign to the fact that it was inevitable.
As much as he wanted to be understood, he knew that Garfiiel couldn't possibly understand.
[Subaru: I don't want to fight you. From tomorrow onwards, just act normal…… it's alright if you can't, but don't get in my way. Go back to a warm bed and get some early sleep for tonight. Oversleep, shirk your duties, or wake and go right back to bed for all I care――]
Tossing out these last words before leaving, Subaru suddenly stopped mid-sentence.
Just now, he had noticed something in what he just said.
And from there, an idea had taken shape in his mind――
[Subaru: Might be worth trying]
[Subaru: Anyways, that's it for tonight, Garfiel. Whatever your worries and concerns are, I'll take care of everything. So just be patient and wait until then]
[Garfiel: ――! You……!]
Listening to Subaru speak in future tense from beginning to end, Garfiel's head shot up.
His face flushed with anger, he bared his teeth, spitting,
[Garfiel: Don't give me that condescending bullshit…..! Who, who th'fuck asked ya t'take care'of anything? Don't go meddlin' in what's none'of yer business! Granny, th'others…… anything! Y'don't fuckin' know anything……!]
[Subaru: I don't know, so I have to find out. That's why I have to do this]
[Garfiel: Yer only seein' th'fuckin' surface, how can y'possibly understand!? Smirkin' like an idiot, prattlin' outta dreams, muddlin' things with fuckin' pretty words y'fuckin' con-artist piece'of shit!]
[Garfiel: Y'don't know pain, don’t know what sufferin' feels like, so don't fuckin' talk like y'know everything――!!]
Garfiel screamed back, raving at Subaru's arrogant facade.
The shouts dissolved into the night's forest sky, and faded into nothing.
Condescending, speaking like he knew everything, meddling in what was none of his business despite not understanding a thing.
――Indeed, all this was true, and there was not the slightest ground to dispute it.
[Subaru: ……I do know]
[Subaru: I know what Hell is. ――So many times, I've seen it]
If there was Hell in this world, it'd be all the worlds that Subaru had seen.
At the end of countless worlds, burning those scenes of Hell into the back of his eyes, certainly, he knew it well.
And that was why――
[Subaru: It's enough that I'm the only one who has to know that Hell. That is the reason I'm here]
――He sincerely believed this in that moment.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
After leaving Garfiel whimpering and clutching his heart, Subaru did not return to his bed inside the Cathedral.
He would have headed to bed and set about slowly figuring out his strategy for the near future. In fact, until recently that had been his intention.
But there was a reason he chose to discard that plan and head somewhere else instead.
[Subaru: …….It should be this way if I remember correctly]
Peeling aside the sprawling ivy, Subaru muttered to himself while making his way down the unmarked path.
Visibility was poor under the forest canopy that obscured the moonlight. The dense, knee-high weeds didn't help, either. There was no consistency to the uneven ground, and he was forced to slow his pace to keep himself from stumbling.
[Subaru: While I'm usually pretty confident about my sense of direction, the memory's too hazy, huh… But it's not like I had time to calmly look around the place, so guess there’s no helping it]
Making lame excuses for himself, Subaru felt his way forward through the foliage.
This was the forest outside the Sanctuary――but quite far away from where he and Garfiel last spoke. Subaru had first gone back to the Sanctuary before entering the forest again.
As for why he did that――
[Subaru: Pretty sure this was where he showed up back then…]
Before this series of loops began―― on the morning of the first Trial, Subaru had visited the Tomb with Otto to confirm his qualification.
In the end, the Tomb accepted Subaru, and he was granted the chance to challenge his past in the Trial that night―― but there was something else before that.
That morning, while bantering with Otto on the way back, they were confronted by Garfiel who had emerged from the forest. At the time, he said he was patrolling the Sanctuary.
[Subaru: But the timing was too good to be a coincidence, and why did he come from that direction?]
It was almost like the timing of his appearance had been staged, and there was the problem of where he appeared from.
Recalling how Garfiel emerged from the bushes beside the Tomb, Subaru felt a sense of deja-vu. Sifting through the peculiarities in his memories, he realized something.
――It was the mysterious facility where Beatrice had teleported him from the Mansion.
Having been returned to the Sanctuary, coming out of that facility, he had a feeling that it was terribly close to where Garfiel had emerged back then.
And so, hoping to find something there, he was now trawling through the forest in the dead of night, searching for the path to that facility.
[Subaru: A trodden path……that means]
Seeing the vegetation give way to patches of exposed earth, Subaru deduced that someone must have been regularly passing through here. Following this trail deeper into the forest, carried along by the exhilaration and speeding up his steps――at last, his field of vision brightened,
[Subaru: ……Found it]
It was a crumbling stone building. An ancient structure on the verge of collapse in the depths of the forest with its back against the cliff face.
Approaching the structure, as he made out its contours obscured by the darkness, Subaru tilted his head.
[Subaru: Huh…? Pretty sure last time I saw it, it was more destroyed than this……]
The building was certainly showing its years, but Subaru got the feeling that its state of deterioration was less severe than he remembered. Simply put, what Subaru saw last time was a ruin, whereas the building before him still retained some semblance of its original architecture.
That is to say,
[Subaru: If my memory’s correct, then sometime between now and the sixth day, something destructive will happen to this building…… right?]
Drawing from the sum of his memories, that would be the only conclusion.
If that were the case, then, just as he imagined, this place was not entirely unrelated to what was going to happen to the Sanctuary.
Holding his breath, and stifling anything that might give away his presence, Subaru carefully turned the handle on the door.
It opened with surprising silence, and a putrid stench greeted him as he stepped inside.
Same as last time, scattered instruments littered the otherwise barren and desolate entryway. Passing through a corridor reminiscent of a waiting room, Subaru headed towards the destined chamber.
He reached the door at the end of the hallway―― and beyond it, would be the room with the bottomless pit where Beatrice had transported him.
He might just walk into the pit if he wasn't careful. So, with that in mind, Subaru slowly pushed open the door and peeked his head inside,
[Subaru: ……Oy oy]
As the scene panned out before his eyes, Subaru couldn't help but let slip this sound under his breath.
A pale, refracted light lit up his face. Narrowing his eyes at the dazzling brightness, Subaru dumbly turned his gaze to the source of that light.
And there, in that destined chamber at the very back of the facility, was――
――A small female figure encased in the center of a massive crystal, faintly glowing with a pale-blue luminescence.
Let me know if you find any missing words! ❤