※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Semi-big announcement: we’ve got another translator that has joined to help out with translating the Re: Zero Webnovel series. Many thanks to Rilakkulina for their wonderful translation of chapter 9.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Around five minutes after breaking into a run on the rutted roadーwhile being pulled along by the hand, Subaru continued staggering forwards, breathing feebly.
“If you don’t hurry, we’ll be caught. Is this the time to be playing around?”
“Say-saying something like that… Time out, seriously, just a sec…”
[T/N: Subaru says “tanma”, which is slang for “time-out”]
When they had first started running, Subaru was in front, but because of a matter of physical constitution, their positions were now switched.
The girl running ahead of him looked unruffled, not even short of breath. And on the other hand, Subaru, unable to handle full-force sprinting for an extended period of time, was soon exhausted.
But it must be explained in order to protect Subaru’s pride that his fatigue was partially because he had not yet recovered from his injuries. Considering that Subaru’s strength mid-rehabilitation was lower than usual, his current state was well below even thatーit seemed.
“Pathetic. Don’t you think it’s embarrassing, falling behind a delicate maiden such as I?”
[T/N: The girl refers to herself as “warawa,” a diminuitive, archaic word.]
“I’ll try justifying it by saying that I’m having trouble because I’m still recovering. …But to be honest, I’m pretty screwed.”
The threat of the hoodlums chasing behind Subaru and the girl was still present. Fortunately, the duo’s head start created quite a large distance between them and the mob. But because there was basically only one path in the alleyway, it was clear that if the two slowed down, they’d be caught. Ideally, they would leave the main alleyway before that happened, but…
“We’re heading towards a dark area with no people…do you have an idea or what?”
He asked the orange hair that was unhesitatingly, rapidly moving forwards. But her answer to the ask was, “Ha, ha, ha, I dunno!” followed by a refreshing,
“Everything I attempt has favorable results. I’ve never needed to think about anything deeply in the past, and I will never have to in the future. Trust in whatever I attempt.”
“I take my hat off to you…Really though, whatever you do, no matter what…?
At this time, there was no doubt that it was thanks to the girl that they had not run into any dead ends. And if you consider the possibility that if they exited onto the main street they might be caught like mice running into a trap, it was still too early to assume that something bad would happen if they continued deeper inwards. Nonetheless…
[T/N: “fukuro no nezumi,” “rat in a bag,” is the expression used here]
“Our future doesn’t look bright…and my body isn’t feewing so good either.”
[T/N: Subaru says “kichui” (severe) instead of “kitsui” because it’s cuter.]
“ーHmm, we’re in a difficult situation.”
Subaru fumbled through his last words, breathing roughly. In front of his eyes, the girl suddenly stopped. Subaru, who was being pulled along by his hand, also stopped,
“Oi, oi. There’s no time to stop, they’ll close the distance and chase us down,”
Subaru said while making jogging motions to try to get the girl to start moving. But the girl mused over Subaru’s words, then faced him with a bored expression, saying,
“ーI’ve lost interest”
“I said, I’m tired of it. In the first place, why should I have to run? I’ll decide my own actions. I’m certainly not affected by the actions or words of those ruffians back there.”
“I mean, you can say that, but that’s not how reality works…?!”
Subaru became impatient, seeing this princessy temper tantrum. Honestly, time was too precious to have this kind of argument. If he wanted to save his own skin, the best option was to leave the girl behind and make a mad dash for safety. But if he did that, he wouldn’t be able to achieve his initial goal.
Stuck between a rock and two hard places, Subaru internally struggles with his ideals, reality, and the possibility of escape. Watching the conflicted Subaru, the girl opens her mouth obstinately,
“Hmph. I’ve decided. ーbe honored that thou have been allowed to carry me”
[T/N: kisama, a rude, patronizing way to say “you,” has been translated as “thou” because this girl tends to use rather old-fashioned mannerisms.]
[T/N: Subaru says “No thank you” in English, which would make about as much sense to the girl as French would to, well, someone who doesn’t speak it.]
He crossed his arms to express his refusal of this seemingly worthless proposal. Seeing Subaru’s instant decision, the girl gave an insulted frown, saying,
“It’s not as if I let just anyone have the honor of carrying me. Men who do so without permission don’t know the meaning of fear.”
“Do I look like a macho man who can carry someone while running? Even if I was at peak performance, it’d take all of my strength to carry a girl even skinnier than you! Not to mention that my strength is so far gone my legs are like those of newborn deer! Just look!”
Pointing to his continuously trembling legs, he complained with vigour.
Looking down on Subaru’s disgraceful behavior, the girl said, “you good-for-nothing,” sighing disgustedly,
[T/N: A spell of some sort. Not a car.]
She muttered under her breath.
Suddenly, the moment her whispers reached his eardrums, a faint light appeared, surrounding Subaru. The gold-colored glamour wrapped around the surprised Subaru’s entire body like a veil.
Bathed in comfortable golden light, Subaru raised his two hands in front of his face.
“Wha-what the heck!? I can see an aura materializing…what’s going on!?”
Said Subaru, extremely confused at the changes going on on his body. The girl, who had been hidden in the shadows behind him, walked calmly around him, saying,
“If thou does not wish to carry me, then we shall do this”
Subaru is interrupted as the girl easily throws herself onto Subaru’s back.
With her arms wrapped around his neck, Subaru planted his feet firmly into the ground. Although the girl was petite, he would nevertheless had to have bear her whole body weightーbut this preparation turned out to be unnecessary.
“What the heck? You’re as light as a feather…wait, no, it’s me that’s unusually strong?”
It didn’t even matter that she was on his back; it was like he didn’t feel her body weight at all. Moreover, the appa bag in his hand also became weightless, and his legs that had been jogging suddenly felt as nimble as if they had been replaced with brand new ones.
“Anyone who receives my blessing can work like carthorses. Including thou.”
“Whoa, well I don’t entirely understand, but this works! Natsuki Subaru, takeoffーー!”
He starts running, with a hand on the girl’s hip to make sure she didn’t fall off.
Light, light, so light were his feet. The lightness was as if he had shedded the shell that was his physical body, and his speed was such that a single step rivaled five of his steps previously.
The distance that had once shortened because of their pause once again widened, and this time, there was no sign of it decreasing.
His senses were sharpenedーto the point where he could even keenly detect the presence and movements of the men in the distance. Subaru was very satisfied with how every part of him had been boosted to the utmost.
“This is amazing! My body’s so light! I’m not scared of anything anymore!”
Bending over to reduce air resistance, Subaru moved with such vigor that he became the wind. He narrowed his field of vision, and sped down the alleyway towards a small street, all the while turning just his neck to face the girl, saying,
“Now that we’ve gained a lil’ distance and we’ve got time to spare, I’ll ask this… What got you tangled up with them in the first place?”
To people wary of authority like that group, you’d think that someone as eye-catching as this girl would conversely be harder to lay a hand on. No matter how you looked at it, she didn’t look like the other townspeople.
Or maybe, it was possible that her absurdity was so extreme you couldn’t even consider that.
[T/N: Author is saying that she’s so absurd she came back around to being non-absurd, basically.]
After hearing that question, the girl softly snorted with her shapely nose, saying, “nothing, really,” continuing with,
“I got separated from my companion while sightseeing to kill time. I simply happened across those guys when I stopped to check out that unusual dirty alleyway while looking for my companion.”
“But you can’t have gotten in a fight with them just because of that…”
“It turned out that way because I jeered at their strange style of dress.”
“IT’S YOUR FAULT!?”
“I won’t be friendly with such easy to anger people.”
“Learn to watch that slippery tongue!”
The typhoon-like girl’s sense of compassion had been completely dwarfed by the absurdity of their misfortune. Even though in this situation, the person that thoroughly got the short end of the stick was Subaru.
In the middle of this rousing quarrel, Subaru came across a street that turned perpendicularly to his right ahead of him. Killing his momentum by kicking the wall, he used the recoil to turn rightーthen suddenly was struck with an idea.
“If we continue along the roads, we’ll never lose them. So instead of running along the path, I’ll make a pathー!”
“Was the effect of my spell so strong that it affected thine head?”
“Don’t be mean! Observe, and regret doubting me!”
He declared, changing gear to go even faster than before.
The girl riding on his back shared the same field of view. Because of that, she knew that would be no outcome other than Subaru crashing into the wall directly in front of him.
She tightened her grip around his neck, saying,
“Hey you. What art thou thinking? We’ll crash if we keep going…”
“Stop nitpicking and just watch! Fire! This is it, the wall-riding ability learned from that awful sticky-fingered slum girl Felt!!”
[T/N: Subaru actually says “fire.” No error here.]
Saying this, he vigorously planted his feet on the ashy brown wall, taking two steps that ignored gravity. With a sound, Subaru ascended. performing a wall-walk that would make Newton half-cryー.
“Red King Crab!”
[T/N: Your guess is as good as mine.]
Except no such thing happened.
On the fourth step, his foot slipped, he rotated downwards, falling with his face towards the ground. Subaru faceplanted without adjusting to reduce damage, and rolled on the ground in agony, screaming,
“IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTSSSS!”
“What art thou doing?”
The girl who had jumped off Subaru who was now covered in wounds, and eyed him as if she was looking at a strange exhibit. In her hand was the appa bag, which had avoided the misfortune of falling.
Relieved at seeing her safety, Subaru started to move to get up, saying
“Shit, that was a huge failure… Stupid Felt, showing me something that would give me false hope…”
It wasn’t very good to be cursing people who aren’t present, but if you’re going to be falsely blaming people, the golden haired girl was a good scapegoat. In the first place, it was true that she had done the wall-climb, although she has no recollection of teaching Subaru that skill. Of course, it’s not as if Subaru remembers being taught, either. Having displayed that ostentatious failure, Subaru scratched his head and tries to stand up and pull himself together.
“Huh, what? My legs… Ouch! Shit, hey, they really freaking hurt?! I only twisted it but it feels like I broke it!”
“It’s because thou exceeded thine body’s maximum limits. It’s obvious thine limbs will be more sensitive to pain than usual.”
“Obvious in what world!?”
She spoke of the side effects of Subaru’s buff matter-of-factly. Not only did she show no sympathy for Subaru who was moaning in pain, but curtly ordered him, “Now stand up.” But Subaru refused, with a childish, “Wahh, it hurts so bad I’ll cry.”
The distance and time they had gone to great lengths to earn once again decreased, and they could once again sense the presence of the approaching ruffians.
At that time:
“Just as I was thinking it’s been a while since I’ve seen you, what are you’re doing?”
Slowly, the owner of that voice peeked his large body out of the road on the right they were supposed to turn into.
They raised their line of sight. Where a normal person’s head was supposed to be just barely reached this man’s chest. When they looked further up, they could see a moustachioed bald head.
A familiar brawny old man was looking down at them.
“Rom-jii is here! We’re savedー!!”
“As usual it’s still early and you’re already irritating me. I’ll leave you behind, brat.”
“Save us HELP PLS! It’s not just virtue that’s in danger but innards too!”
[T/N: Subaru says maji herupu, slang pseudo-English]
The former danger being the girl’s, and the latter being Subaru’s.
That that the bad guys definitely peddled illegal organs was only Subaru’s prejudice at work, but hearing that, the old manーRom-jiiーlooked at the girl’s appearance and Subaru, saying,
“What, have you stuck your neck into dangerous situations again? Your knack for causing a ruckus with female companions isn’t to be underestimated.”
“I don’t need that kind of pervy old-man comments from you! Help us!”
He gritted his teeth against the pain and stood up, pleading with Old Rom while jumping on one leg. The man nodded his hairless head as if troubled, appraising the silent girl all the while. The refined girl clearly expressed her discomfort at the treatment, saying,
“How darest thou look at me with thine ill-bred eyes, thou dirty old man.”
“I shouldn’t be talking, but you sure love to bad-mouth! What are you saying to the old man who’s about to snatch us from the jaws of hell? Please don’t think bad of us, Rom-jii. Both of us are just a little too blunt!”
“You’re as good at decreasing motivation as usual, runt. Hide, quick!”
[T/N: Note: Subaru isn’t actually denying that Rom-jii is a dirty old man, only saying that they were a little blunt about telling the truth. Lol.]
Covering the girl’s ever-ready-to-spout-poison mouth, Rom-jii looks around, then takes off towards a hiding place. There were bundles of lumber leaning against the wall, and it looked as if two people could just fit and hide in there.
He pushed the girl in first, then Subaru by his behind, as if to stopper up the hole. The girl wanted to complain about the grime, but Subaru covered her mouth so decisively that she suppressed her dissatisfaction.
“Rom-jii, everything’s OK”
“What in the world is ‘oakkeh’… Anyways, I’ll hide you with my body, so don’t move, you hear? If you get spotted it’s trouble for me too.”
Even as he lectured them gruffly, Rom-jii moved to cover them from sight with his huge body. The two held their breaths behind Rom-jii, who leaned against the wall with his arms crossed.
Merely tens of seconds after they had hidden themselves, the sound of several footsteps rushing down the nearby alleyway could be heardー,
“The fu-! Thought it was a brat, but it turned out to be an old geezer!”
[T/N: The first half of his exclamation is cut off in a similar way to “the fu-”]
Swooping in from the direction of the noise, the man running at the front of the pack jeered at the gargantuan Rom-jii. All Rom-jii had to do was silently fix a level glance at him for the man’s spirit to break, as he took a step back, uttering, “uh, uhh.”
“What’s this noise for? I won’t be impressed by you trying to frighten the elderly, you know.”
It wasn’t as if he had said anything particularly threatening, but when a behemoth like Rom-jii says something ill-humoured in his low voice, it was already intimidating in itself.
Displaying just the reaction Rom-jii was going for, the man prepared to turn tail and run back to his pursuer companions, but,
“I was wondering who he was, but isn’t that Old Man Cromwell?”
Shouted a man in the mob, pointing at Rom-jii.
Subaru raised his head at hearing that unfamiliar name, but the one who had an even bigger reaction to being called was Rom-jii himself.
His already wrinkled face furrowed more with bitterness as he said,
“I don’t like being called that name.”
“Are ya in the position to be making complaints? I’m askin’ ya, wouldn’t you think I’d become a big-shot in the slums if I smashed down your stolen goods warehouse?”
“It’s gathered a lot of dirt over the years. It’s not spick and span any longer. …I’ll allow you to do whatever you like,”
was Rom-jii’s expressionless response to the lily-livered men, who then thought to themselves that they really didn’t want to incite a bigger reaction than that. The man shrugged his shoulders, saying,
“Well, do as you like. But if you’re fixing to bow your head to Russel, come pay your respects sometime soon. The longer you wait, the worse your position looks.”
The man only managed to say that much, and walked towards the men behind him to continue down the alleyway, turning around at the last minute to ask,
“Th-that’s right. Old Man Cromwell…Have two brats come around these parts?”
“Haven’t seen ‘em. Ah, you lot as well. Have you seen my acquaintance, that blonde lass?”
“Dunno. What, is that brat you took in so important? An old fool and a young one, you two are.”
With a careless wave, the men leave, this time for sure.
Rom-jii stared unwaveringly at their receding backs, chewing his lip as if to quell his anger.
Gazing at his profile from the gaps between the scrap wood, Subaru couldn’t do anything that would be of comfort. It was a happy thing to have bumped into Rom-jii again after such a long time. But today he seemed slightly different to the Rom-jii Subaru knew.
“Even his skin…”
His line of thought broken by a murmur, Subaru looked around. Right beside him, breathtakingly close, was the pretty face of the girl who was leaning over, and his hand was still over her lips in his previous effort to shut her up.
She mumbled through her covered mouth,
Then came the sharp pain of her chomping down mercilessly with her canines.
Subaru’s shrill, puppy-like howl rang through the silent alley.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
“Thanks for hiding us, Rom-jii. I thought maybe you got knocked silly over the head, but it looks like everything turned out well.”
“You… Those fellas are still on the prowl, so it’d be better if you weren’t so optimistic.”
“You’re huge, so don’t say something so small-minded! I can handle such lowly people myself just fine! YEAH!”
Seeing Subaru’s bright, toothy smile and thumbs-up, Rom-jii heaved a tired sight.
They switched locations from the alleyway that was even narrower than the one from before to a slightly more open road. This was the place that Rom-jii had led Subaru and company to, after saying he would take them somewhere less eye-catching.
The threat of the chasing men had disappeared, and Subaru and the girl could finally breathe easy.
And from that breath of freedom were these initial words:
“Oi, thou. Who is that old man that speaks to thou so familiarly? Explain,”
said the girl who had maintained silence until now, pulling on Subaru’s sleeve agitatedly.
She pointed haughtily at Rom-jii with her chin, and Subaru answered, nodding,
“This old man is from the slums in the capital. Rom-jii is a giant and the stingy boss of a group of thieves and ruffians. His special skills are his bad eyesight, spoiling children, and acting tough.”
“I get that you’re happy to see the old man you’ve been missing for so long, but aren’t you getting ahead of yourself, kid?”
Catching the finger Subaru was pointing at him, Rom-jii chided Subaru. Subaru answered, “my bad, my bad,” with little remorse, and continued,
“But to be fair, even if I’m joking around, it’s not as if I’m spreading lies.”
“So it’s partially true. In short, he’s an old, stingy, short-sighted thief with bark but no bite from the slums. How pitiful, for someone who has lived for so long.”
“Your companion is as irritating as you are, brat!”
Subaru and the girl exchanged shrugs in front of the stomping Rom-jii.
Then Subaru faced the disheartened Rom-jii, saying,
“Either way, it’s true that I’m glad we met again, Rom-jii. To be frank, we were doomed back there, so I didn’t have a way to [confirm our circumstances].
“I’m not sure if you’re quick at changing your tune or you’re a little unstable, kid. And you, youngun, would look more spirited if you opened your mind.”
Rom-jii smiles wryly, and gives Subaru a once-over. Seeing the wounds all over Subaru’s exposed skin, he says,
“It’s funny coming from me, but it looks like you got messed up pretty bad by that knife-user.”
[T/N: Rom-jii uses “washi”, a way to say “I” used by old men.]
“Nah, the wounds I got from her are almost all on my stomach, so everything else is from after that event.”
“But it’s been barely a week since then? What happened?”
“It’s a long, tiresome story, so never mind. I’m alive, and that’s all that matters. I’m satisfied with that. Anyways, speaking of,”
Hiding his scars from the surprised Rom-jii’s view, Subaru points towards the slums (or at least where he thinks they are), and once again brings up talk of the event.
What happened after the uproar at the Stolen Goods Warehouse? Since you lost your workplace, have you been eating properly? If you’re only eating side dishes you’ll starve.”
“I don’t understand the second half of whatever you said, but I’m getting by, more or less. It’s not as if the Stolen Goods Warehouse was my only livelihood. If you’ve lived as long as I have in the slums, you’d have lots of connections.”
Rom-jii replied laughingly to Subaru, who looked as worried as a mom whose child had gone to the big city. After all, there was no way that he could have been trusted with the role of taking care of stolen goods if he wasn’t a person who was trusted in the slum community. He probably wasn’t bluffing about having “connections.”
Either way, if it hadn’t been for the scars from that particular event and the worries of life after that, Subaru would have been relieved. Of course, he was substantially less heartbroken about him when compared to how he felt about Emilia and the girls of the Roswaal mansion.
“That’s why I wasn’t really worried about you, Rom-jii.”
“Sorry for saying something distasteful suddenly, but I too have something to ask of you.”
Rom-jii abruptly informs the meaninglessly tsundere-ing Subaru in a lower voice. Seeing the earnesty in his face, Subaru adjusted the attitude he had adopted until now. At that time, his sleeve was suddenly pulled behind him.
[T/N: The author uses a made-up word “tsunderation”, which refers to the act of being tsundere]
He turned around. The girl was standing closer to him than was necessary, and he was startled by the beautiful face in such close proximity to his. Then she said,
“Now’s not the time to be bratty.”
“It’s not me being selfish, the world just has it in for me.”
[T/N: Author here uses netspeak, “sekai no sentaku,” meaning “the world’s choice,” which roughly means that you’re in the position to change the world, or are pretending to possess something that can greatly affect the world.]
“You’re so fussy. Then, I’ll give you a quiz. In this world, are there more uphills or downhills? LET’S THINKING!”
[T/N: Subaru being weird and using Engrish again.]
Slap-dashedly abandoning the girl to her thoughts, Subaru once again faced Rom-jii. Then waved his hand as if to say, “go on,” to Rom-jii, who was irritated at being cut off.
He sighed at Subaru’s attitude, then shook his neck as if to adjust his spirits, and said,
“Kid. Do you know where Felt went?”
“…Haven’t you heard? Apparently she was taken by that bastard Reinhard.”
“Reinhard…the Sword Saint? What would the Knight Among Knights want with Felt?”
Rom-jii tilted his head as if he really didn’t know. Subaru, commiserating with the old man’s unhappiness, thought “it’s definitely because he got knocked over the head,” then suddenly realized the inconsistency between Rom-jii’s knowledge and the events at the Stolen Goods Warehouse.
He recalled that during that event Rom-jii had lost consciousness before Reinhard and his men. After that and before Subaru too lost consciousness, there had been no instance where Rom-jii had been awake while Reinhard was there. In short,
“The abandoned Rom-jii had awoken at his destroyed warehouse with no one around to explain what happened, and was left to stare dumbfounded at the ruins of what was once his home.”
“I didn’t fall into such a sorry state. When I regained consciousness, there were palace guards stationed. It was helpful they treated my wounds, but they left me alone soon after.”
“Ah, that’s true. That’s a little awkward.”
After all, people who have done bad deeds don’t have the sensation of having lived if they wake up in a police hospital. It’s not strange for them to want to get out before anyone starts asking any questions.
Because Rom-jii had left the guard station before being able to ask more about the situation, he had no contact with Reinhard, who was holding Felt in custody, and it seems he has been left dangling ever since.
“So that’s why our stories don’t add up. OK, then, I’ll just fill you in on the bits after you lost conscious, and before I lost conscious.”
With that as the preface, gesticulating, Subaru told the story of the grand decisive Battle of the Stolen Goods Warehouse, [Sword Saint vs Bowel Hunter], a sort of one-man VTR.
[T/N: VTR: TiVO, still very popular in Japan.]
Rom-jii watched Subaru in wonder as he displayed his surprising yet useless performance skill, and even the girl who had looked bored watched him in fascination, eyes glittering.
“And then I said this to the surprised girl: ーI want you to tell me your name.”
“Whatー! I said that, I did!”
“Ho-ho, isn’t that an elegant way of saying it. I don’t dislike it.”
With that slight derailment, the battle saga ended.
All three were a little fired up from that explanation, but the first to come to his senses was Rom-jii, who said,
“This isn’t the time nor place to be doing things like that. Ahー, in other words, you, kid, don’t know anything beyond what happened when you and Felt were taken by Reinhard?”
“Isn’t it obvious that the number of uphills and downhills is the same?!”
[T/N: Subaru being weird and spouting nonsense. baumkuchen, or baum (bah oo mu) for short, is a German cake popularized in Japan.]
Eating a body-blow from the girl who had suddenly arrived at an epiphany, Subaru squatted down in agony. Swinging the fist that struck Subaru, the girl seemed satisfied, declaring “From henceforth, do as you will.”
After recovering from his shocked daze, Rom-jii looked down pityingly at the groaning Subaru.
“What I’m saying may be indirect, but I think you should pick your companions.”
[T/N: What Rom-jii is suggesting is that Subaru pick his companions more carefully.]
“It’s not like I’m especially picking them! I just wait for them to pick me! I’m in the middle of a powerful DAZE that won’t disappear from eyesight!”
[T/N: Subaru says some especially strange things that I won’t pretend I understand. “DAZE” is already written in English.]
Jumping to his feet, Subaru poses, pointing out Rom-jii’s incorrect assumption. Then, clearing his throat, Subaru once again returns to the previous topic.
“Those longtime connections of yours, can one of them personally make an enquiry at Reinhard’s house?”
“If I had such powerful allies, would I be holed up in a shack drinking booze? But if if that’s the only way, I’m in trouble. ーI can’t think of anyone except the Astrea household.”
That last half was a murmur that barely left Rom-jii’s lips, and didn’t reach Subaru’s ears. Looking at the serious-expressioned Rom-jii, Subaru shrugged as if giving up, and said,
“Then, I might be able to speak with Reinhard on my end, so if I learn something I’ll let you know. I’ve always thought that I should see how Felt is.”
“Those are comforting words…but you too, have some unusual connections. Any relation to that little lass over there?”
Remembering Subaru’s temperament at their previous chance meeting, Rom-jii pointed Subaru’s source of confidence at not Subaru himself but at the people around him.
Although that judgement itself is not wrong, associating it with that girl is incorrect thinking.
“No, not at all. In the first place, I don’t even know that girl’s name or anything.”
“Youngun, why are you getting into feuds with allies you don’t even know the names of!?”
“Looking back, I didn’t know Emilia-tan’s name either, so this kind of thing isn’t that strange for me.”
Resigned, Rom-jii put his finger on the nonchalant Subaru’s forehead, closed his eyes, and mused, “even considering it is useless.”
Then, Rom-jii looked straight at Subaru and said,
“Then, without going through that young lass, you think it’s possible to create an opportunity to speak to the Sword Saint?”
“At least more than you who have nothing, Rom-jii, I think. Put your faith in me, as you would when you cross an old fishing bridge!”
“The saying is to ‘tap a bridge as you cross it’, so how did it become this…”
[T/N: “Tap a bridge as you cross it,” as in looking for weak spots on the bridge, means to proceed with care. Unlike Subaru’s invented saying.]
Rom-jii nodded at Subaru, who was beating his chest triumphantly, as if he was already prepared for the worst.
“Very well. I’ll leave it to you, youngun. Once you learn about Felt’s whereabouts, let me know. I’ll repay your kindness.”
“Don’t be so earnest. Don’t tell me you really are soft for children?”
“ーmaybe so. That girl is my granddaughter of sorts. So please”
“-Then, it’s been asked.”
There wasn’t even a rebuttal to Subaru’s bold assertion. Subaru’s mouth slackened slightly at Rom-jii’s direct affirmation.
As for the golden haired girl: what would she think if she knew she was loved this much? Because it’s her, she’d probably turn beet red, all the while putting on a tough front.
“If I find news, how should I contact you?”
“Good point. …There’s a shop called “Kadomon” on the merchant’s street. If you act intimidating and say my name, you’ll be able to contact me. Much obliged.”
“Aight, aight, Kadomn…Kadomon?”
[T/N: Subaru says “oorai, oorai,” which is Engrish, but not something people in this world would understand.]
Subaru tilted his head. It seems as if that word had been etched into his memory recently.
Anyways, as long as he knew where the merchant street was, there was no problem. If he combed that street carefully, he would find that store.
With a nod to indicate understanding, Subaru and Rom-jii entered a steadfast agreement.
Subaru owed Rom-jii for having made it this far, and he didn’t have a reason to refuse either. Doing what he had originally set out to do, and being able to help ease the life of an old man whose days were numbered was profit in and of itself.
“That’s right. I should probably explain to Emilia-tan. About this being for my own sake as well or something.”
“Did you say something before?”
“No, not really. Speaking of, it’s a bit soon, but I know a way you can be of use.”
Subaru pointed again at Rom-jii, rocking his hips to get Rom-jii’s attention.
Rom-jii frankly didn’t look too pleased at being asked for a favor so soon, but then again that was the deal they made moments ago. With a sour face, he said, “go on.”
To that, Subaru said, “It’s no big deal, but:”
“To be honest, both that girl and I are completely lost, you see. My adventure ends thus, without having been fulfilled my promise! Or something like that, so please guide us out to a main street.”
“…I see. I got it, leave it to me. Which street?”
“Outside the station would be great.”
“Brat, didn’t you just hear I ran away from the station!?”
Rom-jii’s shout echoed through the alleyway.
About an hour had passed since Subaru had strayed from Emilia.