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Chapter Translated by Rilakkulina
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ーAs they continued glaring at each other for an excruciating amount of time, Subaru became uncomfortably aware of the droplets of sweat running down his brow.
What a big room. There were two beds on the far side, and near the door was a space that could easily fit Subaru’s room from his home world. In that space was packages brought in and neatly organized, but the space could easily accommodate those things without becoming crowded.
If Subaru stood in the center of the room and enacted a fight, he’d encounter no obstacles at all.
“You don’t plan to let me pass no matter what, do you?”
Subaru asked, painfully aware of his dry lips and throat that had gone rough out of nervousness.
It was a deep voice, to hide his trembling. Then as a response, the obstruction in front of him, the one blocking Subaru’s path, opened his arms, firmly blocking the door from Subaru’s view.
Recognizing the futility of trying to get past that posture, Subaru latched onto a glimmer of hope, putting out an entreatying look. For a second, Subaru could see a slight wavering in her eyes, but her professionalism quickly recovered and any hesitation vanished.
“Even if that were your request, Subaru-kun, you cannot leave here.”
The one blocking the wayーRemーlooked straight at Subaru, and said bluntly. Subaru sighed at her obstinance, and jokingly shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, just calm down and think about it. I’ve already been left behind, and moreover it’s not as if I have any big power or influence. Therefore, even if I left this room, there’s not much I could do. You get it, right?”
“Repeating himself, Subaru presses Rem urgently in an effort to ease Rem’s anxiety.
Hearing Subaru’s words, she said, “yes,” smiling cutely.
“Certainly if you think about it normally, Subaru-kun’s wish wouldn’t come true if you were to just leave this room. It’s not as if it’s an easy place to find, and hypothetically, if you were to make it there, I still can’t think of anything you could do.”
“But that is merely the conclusion Rem can draw from common sense.”
Shutting him down flatly, Rem looks at Subaru unsmilingly. Having been scrutinized from head to toe, Subaru adjusted his posture. Then the girl continued.
“But in Subaru-kun’s case, it is impossible to tell what kind of strange methods you will use to achieve your goal. It could be a solution that is beyond Rem’s imagination.”
“You sound like you’ve been taken over by a demon; I can’t tell if you trust me or you don’t trust me. It’s not like I’ve done anything above your expectations!?”
“If Subaru-kun thinks so, then that must be. From your perspective, that is.”
Subaru tried to gently correct Rem’s thoughts, but Rem, who had already solidly constructed an image of Subaru, was unswayed.
Either way, it was quite the difficult situation, having to persuade her to let him pass using his words. Maybe it was better to create a path a different way.
“That’s quite a high level topic. It’s the same as what you said in the beginning.
Scratching his head while sighing, Subaru narrowed his eyes as if thinking while looking at Rem. No, his line of sight was actually beyond him–to beyond the door to the room where Emilia and Roswaal had left Subaru behind.
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Breakfast had just ended, and everyone was about to return to their rooms when Subaru, who was just told his task for the day, shouted in surprise.
In front of the shocked Subaru was Emilia and Rem.
And the one who had caused Subaru to yell in the first place, Emilia, put her hand on her hip, saying, “isn’t it obvious?”
“You haven’t forgotten why you’ve come all the way to the capital, have you? You’ve come to check on the welfare your acquaintance, and to recuperate. That was a promise.”
“Yeah well that second half is up to interpretation…”
“DEFINITELY not! It’s not fun and games, so we can’t allow any outsiders. We can’t even bring Rem.”
To the Emilia who had adopted an unusually threatening tone, it was bad for Subaru, who had made a mistake yesterday, to protest with a slip of the tongue. As if to look for help, he looked to Rem, who was standing in the corner of the room, but the blue-haired maid only shook her head to his supplication.
“All the same, Rem cannot be Subaru-kun’s ally in this situation. Roswaal-sama has made his intentions known, and Emilia-sama’s opinion is correct. Please listen to them.”
“Shit, I’m alone in this, huh. But if I think of yesterday’s mishap, I can’t even say anything. This sucks!”
Even Rem, who generally took Subaru’s side, had her priorities in order.
With yesterday’s failure–in short, because of the stray child incident when he disobeyed command, Subaru had his movements severely limited within the capital.
Regarding this, Subaru had little to say by way of excuse because he too recognized his own failures, and hoping for another meeting with Rom-jii and the fruit stand man was not a big problem. Though it was a bit of a shock to himself that the people he most wanted to see were a bunch of dirty old men.
“Nah, I was just thinking I wanted to see Felt again, so that shouldn’t be a problem. People connected to the throne are 3/4ths men…though 6/7 of them are absurd!
There was no way to increase the proportion of girls in the group of people he wanted to see again without including Elsa. It’s an alternate-universe fantasy, after all, so why the heck were there only flags for male character story routes?
“It’s fine, at least I have the main heroine flag…”
“If you keep grumbling to yourself like that, I’ll start to get reallyyy suspicious.”
The one who was the main heroine, Emilia, said this with reproachful eyes, and all Subaru could do was stay silent without a peep. Seeing that Subaru had run out of refusals or hair-splitting arguments, Emilia gave a satisfied nod, saying,
“It won’t take that long… at least I’d like to say that, but I have no idea how long it will take today. So have your meals with Rem. If you wait for us, we’ll definitely keep you for a while.”
“Humph. Well if Emilia-tan says so so sternly, I have ideas of my own. Right, Rem? Let’s dine like kings today!”
“Negative. Today’s menu is roast appas followed by appa salad. Appa pie made with plenty of appa jam. After the meal will be juice extracted from appas that I’ve also prepared.”
“What is this endless appa?! Damn you, Scarface!!”
Blind to the fact that he was the one that had carried nine or so appas home himself, Subaru visualized the scary face of the fruit stand man floating in the air. Returning the thumbs up of the vision who was smiling brightly at him, Subaru smilied with his teeth showing, as it had come to this.
“That’s fine. Appas are my favorite fruit, after all! Seriously, it’s Appa Night Fever! The two of us will eat them all up!”
[T/N: Reference to Luka Night Fever?]
“Definitely not. Rem is a maid with sense, so I will not hinder Subaru-kun, who likes appas so much. All of the food will be served to Subaru-kun.”
“Why is it you’re so merciless when it comes to me?!”
Subaru yelled at Rem, who always bore in mind her position, or rather, bore in mind how to use her position to her advantage. While watching their comedy sketch-like exchange, Emilia looked thoughtful, then turned her head to the side as if trying to shake off an idea.
“Anyways, I’m leaving everything to Rem. Though I think she was also told the same thing by Roswaal, but I’ve left strict instructions. –I’m serious, okay?”
“For you to have thought this through so much, you must really care about me, Emilia-tan!”
For emphasis, Subaru made a thumbs-up at Emilia.
Emilia, who was already used to his gestures, used her palm to push down his outstretched hand. Subaru caught his breath at the sudden contact. And with that, any opposition he had to the previous conversation they were having became extraordinarily weak.
As if she hadn’t noticed the change in Subaru’s attitude, Emilia said,
“Subaru. I’m not asking for much.”
“Please, just let me trust you.”
She said closing her eyes, as if supplicating him. For that moment, Subaru lost the ability to think.
Her words reverberated in his head, as he mulled them over, replayed them, until he understood exactly what she meant and felt by those words, then said,
“Ah, aah! All of it, I’ll do it all! I’ll succeed your expectations! As if I only live for them!”
He responding with resounding positives, as if he hadn’t understood what she was talking about. As long as he agreed to it now then fulfilled it later.
And Emilia fixed her purple-blue eyes at Subaru, whose assurances were undeniably flippant, and looked at him unhappily, quietly grumbling,
“Alright. –I trust you.”
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And now, our story comes back to the beginning.
Emelia and Roswaal had made their way to the capital, and Subaru, who had been left behind at their lodgings under Rem’s surveilance, spent some time copying writing.
At this time, Subaru had basically mastered all of the “E writing system,” and was now working on the “Ro writing system.” If the “E writing system” was the equivalent of the Japanese hiragana system, then the “Ro writing system” would be similar to katakana, the shape of the characters was different but the underlying logic behind it was mostly the same, with this new mastery he predicted it wouldn’t take nearly as much time to learn as the first.
Around an hour and a half after Subaru had begun copying the Ro characters, Subaru, who usually enjoyed studying, had gotten tired. Not so much of the studying, but more of having to stay in one place.
To Subaru, studying how to write was letting this alternate world into himself, and wasn’t a bad feeling at all. This is why he looked forward to studying every day without a single complaint.
However, if the thing on the other end of the scales was Emilia, it wasn’t even a question as to which one was more important.
Subaru stood up, preparing to walk slowly towards the outside of the room until he was masterfully intercepted by Rem.
When Subaru had said, “I’m going to pick some flowers,” the maid who was simultaneously in charge of cleaning the room, taking care of the luggage, and managing/tutoring Subaru in his studies, immediately realized true meaning behind Subaru’s words.
That is, his scheme to escape the inn and head for the capital.
He felt no small amount of guilt, since he was essentially breaking his promise with Emilia.
Rem had seen Emilia’s well-founded uneasiness, and was watching Subaru’s movements carefully as ordered.
And, while Subaru understood that all, he still couldn’t bear to stay holed up waiting in his room.
“She only has bad memories of the capital, so she’s probably scared stiff…”
Last time Emilia went to the capital, she suffered just as much hardship as he worried she would.
Probably, in spite of having arriving at the capital secretly, enemies who want the insignia would probably take it, and maybe her life along with it.
Subaru knew that if hadn’t been there, she would have met that fate.
–If he recalled the day they met, Subaru couldn’t place himself if he wasn’t aware.
Having suddenly been summoned to an alternate world, Subaru hadn’t been given a single thing that could be called a mission. On the surface, his insolence was disguised through positivity, but on the inside, you could only call him rash and reckless.
In short, he was basically the same inside and out, so it was undeniable that the developments up til now that let to him being in his current situation were not in his control.
“People who just go with the flow should swim to and choose which currents to follow.”
Without denying that he had simply followed along up to this point, he could also have chosen options that did not lead to this point. And the reason he was here now, was because he had chosen so.
Subaru, who was dropped into an alternate world without so much as a goal.
It’s because he had that perspective that he was now thinking about turning his powerless situation around.
If he wasn’t given a mission, he simply had to decide on one himself.
“Let’s go save Emelia.”
It wasn’t just because he had been saved by her.
It was because the feeling of wanting to become Emilia’s strength brimmed over from the bottom of his heart.
“That’s the power of love!”
[T/N: Subaru says Rabu Pawaa]
“What did you say just now?”
“Sorry, it was kind of serious, so having to say it again is embarrassing,”
was Subaru’s one-sentence answer to Rem, who had asked him with her head tilted. Then, Subaru collected himself by clearing his throat, and set his mind in full operation in order to break through the obstacle in front of him.
Even if he managed to escape this place, he couldn’t think of a single way to get to the capital. But none of that mattered if he didn’t manage to escape this place first.
And regarding that, it was more Subaru’s style to force things rather than go with the flow.
“Although the situation’s badness doesn’t really change.”
Getting past Rem, who was standing imposingly with arms outstretched, was like clearing an insanely difficult last boss.
[T/N: Writer actually uses “murige-,” which is slang for “impossible game”]
The difference between their physical abilities were evident, not to mention Subaru wasn’t even in his best condition. An attack from behind would probably be rendered ineffective by that huge difference in strength, and Subaru had nothing up his sleeve to change the power imbalance either.
He also considered casting Shamoc and running away under the cover of the black smoke, but he would definitely faint after breathing in the smoke because he didn’t have any Bocco fruit with him. After all, the use of Bocco fruit was strictly banned in every corner of the residence.
Because of this, Subaru was boxed in. Subaru, who wasn’t using any cheat codes to make his brain faster and sharper, was all out of ideas.
That is –,
“Woa…no way, it’s!”
Subaru’s face suddenly lost all color, as he clutched his forehead, trembling furiously.
Seeing Subaru in this unusual state, knees trembling and breath rough, Rem panickingly outstretched her arms and gently supported him by the shoulder.
“What has happened, Subaru-kun? Don’t tell me you’re despairing at the recklessness of your ideas…?!”
“How low would my score be if you gave my worth to you a number? I can’t, I can’t… Ugh, so painful…”
Even while being supported, Subaru clutched his chest as he went to his knees, gasping at the pain. Seeing this, Rem too kneeled and nestled closer to him, saying,
“Now it’s not your head, but your chest? Are you alright?”
“Huh, was it my head? No, my chest hurts… It must be that…”
“The shallow atmosphere is showing a little, but do you know the cause?”
Seeing Subaru’s shallow anguish, Rem’s worries were sky high. Hearing this, Subaru gripped Rem’s collar as if holding on for dear life, brought their faces close, and opened his mouth tremblingly,
He asked himself if this was really the only idea he had, and one he had already used once already.
However, once he had said it, he had to see it to the fullest. This was Natsuki Subaru’s unwavering policy. The unwavering spirit of an uninteresting male.
“This deficiency happens to mayonnaise lovers who don’t get enough mayonnaise…Thanks to you, Rem, it was alleviated til now, but now that the house has been empty for a day… the symptoms advanced.”
“No way… What should I do…?”
Make me some mayonnaise…If I just could just suck on some mayonnaise, you could save my life…Oof, it hurts…”
[T/N: Mayochuchu is this thing where people drink mayonaise straight from the container.]
Subaru, who couldn’t even raise his body to a standing position, fell over sideways even as he was clinging to Rem. Putting Subaru’s head on her knee, while stroking the suffering Subaru’s forehead, she murmurered softly,
“Mayonaise…I’d have to prepare the eggs, oil, and other ingredients, but…”
“It hurts…I’ll die. Please, Rem. Only you…I can only depend on you…”
“–You can only depend on Rem?”
She couldn’t look at the suffering Subaru. So she wouldn’t know if anything changed during the time she had averted her eyes.
Hung out to dry between her own feelings and the orders she received, Rem was wavering, but but it seemed as if Subaru’s final words were the decisive blow.
“Only Rem!” She balled her hands into hard fists, muttering with force,
“I understand! Please, leave it up to me, Rem!”
“Ouch! and oof!”
Rem stood up suddenly. Because of that, Subaru’s head fell from her knees, and he hit the back of his head, and moreover, his rib was crushed by the overeager Rem’s heel. It didn’t seem that Rem, whose enthusiasm had reached maximum levels, had noticed her own act of violence. Just like that, she put herself in order speedily, saying,
“Well then, Rem will quickly go get the ingredients and make mayonaise! Subaru-kun, don’t sleep there on the floor, please rest properly in bed.”
“The fainting…is connected…to mayonaise…”
“Huh? Yes, I know. Rem will do her best for Subaru-kun. And the dawn…fufu, I look forward to it.”
She interpreted Subaru’s words as he was fainting in agony, and leaving behind an unusually cute smile, Rem fled the room.
Clutching his chest in pain, Subaru watched her disappear around the corner, confirming his success. He confirmed it indeed, but due to the accident earlier, he was unable to move for a while.
By and large the pain started to disappear, and while patting the back of his head which had begun to swell, Subaru stood up, then dusted his clothes that had been in contact with the floor before looking around,
“I can’t believe such a bad plan actually worked. I’m a little worried about Rem’s future, but I’ve been saved by her simpleness today.”
His rib and the back of his head were necessary sacrifices.
Having gained a pathway simply by exchanging a bit of pain was surely a good deal.
“All that’s left to do now is to leave a note to Rem, then run away quickly. It’d be bad if I left through the door and bumped into her…”
He left a scribbled note on the table, then opened a window and looked down. The room was on the second floor, so it wasn’t extremely dangerous to climb down by tying a sash to something. Under the window was a fairly empty alley, so there was probably little chance he would be mistaken for an underwear thief as he climbed down.
“Well, better get going. It’s not like climbing into my old house through the balcony to surprise my parents when I was young was just for show, anyways.”
He was an expert at climbing up and down the pipes and such that went around his house. His window was barred with iron, so he also developed the skill of squeezing his body through the spaces. He dubbed this skill “rubbermen”, which for some reason when naming it he made it plural.
Digging up these old memories, Subaru grabbed the sides of the window, and jumped down tumbling towards the capital’s road with little hesitation.
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–Shortly after Subaru secretly slipped out of his room.
“…Even so, for him to actually believe I was fooled by a trick like that is a bit of a shock.”
In the middle of the otherwise unpopulated room, Rem, who had just returned, muttered to herself while touching the table.
She retrieved the note left on the table she was touching. There, in hastily scribbled, barely legible E characters were written, “I’ll b back soon.”
[T/N: Subaru’s note actually says “chichikitokusugukaeru.” This phrase is a bit of a running joke on the Japanese speaking internet, as in “My mom left this note on the table. What does it mean?” and then people give really contrived explanations.]
Although she didn’t understand it, she could tell from Subaru’s personality that it was meant to be some obscure reference or joke.
“He didn’t really have to jump through the window…I didn’t really try to stop him from leaving the room.”
This was the result of her pretending to have left through the door and hiding herself in the depths of a corridor. Once she had sensed that there was no human presence in the room and returned, she discovered the wide-open window and the note–and realized he had left through a rather dangerous method.
“…Geez, Subaru-kun really can’t be helped…”
Contrary to the words she muttered, the expression on her face held a hint of happiness.
She was the one Subaru left the message for. The contents aside, it was unmistakably a letter addressed to her. Folding it neatly, she tucked it into the inner pocket of her maid uniform, treating it preciously.
“–Still, I wonder what Roswaal-sama is thinking.”
Hands on her cheeks, Rem tilted her head, wondering about the meaning behind her master’s order. It was an order she was given this morning by her just-awoken master.
Specifically, “Do not interfere with Natsuki Subaru’s movements. Even if you were to be ordered to by Emilia.”
When Rem tried to ask the reason, she was simply met with a silent refusal. Thus, as a servant, she had no choice but to comply quietly. She felt some amount of guilt for going against Emelia’s orders, but her hierarchy in terms of masters unmistakably placed Roswaal above Emilia. Although as an exception, Subaru was somewhere in that hierarchy.
“–please, come back safely, Subaru-kun.”
She didn’t think he was the type to have dashed off without a plan, but even so he was the type of boy to come running to the aid of others without regards for his own well-being. The only thing she could do was to pray for his wish to be fulfilled, and that he didn’t encounter too much harm in the process of fulfilling it.
–Rem was wishing too much for the former, and much too optimistic about the latter.
Rem, who generally held Subaru in higher regard than he was worth, closed the window he left from, turning around to face the room. Shaking her head as if forget her troubles, Rem immersed herself in the work befitting her role as a maidservant.
Like this, Natsuki Subaru was let loose into the capital for a second time. As to whether he was playing into the palm of someone else’s hand, that much was unclear.
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“And so, for that reason Natsuki Subaru-kun has been running around aimlessly,”
the rubbermen Subaru who had jumped down into the capital without a scratch thought to himself–his mind refreshingly empty of thought.
He didn’t have a way to make it into the castle by himself, even his chances of getting past the guard station and into nobles district had a low probability. He considered breaking into the guard office using his reliably trusty Shamoc, but that idea was rejected because he could just imagine himself fainting by the roadside from smoke inhalation. Relying too much on Shamoc as an all-purpose tool was a bit of a problem.
“Shamoc is pretty versatile, but I just don’t have enough power. If I could at least improve my mana pool for when I use magic…”
Since the uproar with the demon beasts he had been getting some lessons on using magic from Roswaal. If the Royal Mage was right, for Subaru to learn some magic, and learn how to use his mana for that magic, would take two years. If he trained limited by his own natural talent, it would take Subaru twenty years to become a second-rate mage. And, in the first place, it would take over half a year for his overused body to return to the condition it previously was in.
“Trying to break through with using magic was unreasonable from the start, I’m still disappointed though.”
The next time he overuses his gate, there was no telling what would happen to his body.
So currently he had no choice but to remove the use of Shamoc as an option. While it’s not like Shamoc was ever a viable choice to begin with, it still stung.
“Having to say good bye to the romance that is magic, vexing indeed.”
Were more or less Subaru’s strong feelings on the matter. But compared to the how it would be for the sisters Rem and Ram, or Roswaal considering his job, Subaru didn’t wasn’t as bothered by his current state. Subaru was never really able to use stuff like magic or mana, so losing something he never had in the first place didn’t really feel like that great of a loss. Or at least, even if were to go down that path, now was definitely not the time for it.
“So that’s how it is, the question now is how do I get into the castle without relying on anything magical. My knowledge and connections, if you’re listening, now’s the time to do something!”
“…And just what exactly am I supposed to do after hearing that? Jeez”
“More importantly, don’t talk about dangerous stuff in front of someone else’s store. This is supposed to be a respectable business that won’t draw the eye of the crown. What am I supposed to do if some strange rumors surface thanks to you?”
“It’s too late for this store to be respectable when the shopkeeper’s face is the least thing from honest. Having connections with an old man from the back-alleys, it’s no wonder there’s rumors about you.”
“You’ve got quite the bad mouth there, kid…”
The one who making a grim face at Subaru’s extremely rude comment was Scarface, a long white scar running from his forehead to his chin. And nearby, was an old bald man whose immense muscular body was squeezed into the narrow store.
Including himself, he felt the surroundings smelled even more like sweat now. He let out a long sigh, “Anyways.”
“The store that Rom-jii had connections with turned out to be this uncle’s shop. It’s a small world–or rather, it’s a small capital…or is it that birds of a feather flock together?”
““Don’t group us up like that.””
“Don’t talk in unison like that! Unlike the pair of pretty young maid siblings I know, if a baldy and a scar face like you guys do that, nobody wins!”
[T/N: Subaru calls it a “daretoku” action, which is Japanese net slang. Basically, it’s something neither the doer or the viewer profits from. Of course, this isn’t a phrase that anyone else will understand, as usual.]
The two looked at each other, exchanging disagreeable looks. By the way, currently the merchant’s store was definitely still open, but unrelated to Subaru and Rom-jii’s presence, the number of customers was low.
It was a merchant street, yet because of the location of the store, as well as the shopkeeper’s face, he was playing on hard mode. Subaru, who always encouraged self-inflicted handicaps, felt a great affinity for the shopkeeper on this point.
[T/N: The writer uses the phrase “shibari-play,” which is slang for giving yourself extra handicaps when gaming.]
“Oi, what the hell. What’s with that hand on my shoulder.”
“Both of us want to just to live it out on easy mode, I can sympathize with someone the like me. But the gods just aren’t fair, ya know.”
“Don’t rope me into your pessimistic delusions. Unlike you, I have a wife and a daughter. I’m on the winning team here.”
“Liar, liar, pants on fire!”
[T/N: Subaru says “That’s a lie, don doko do-n!” “Don doko do-n” is a kind of catch-phrase type thing you say after a short statement.]
Shocked at having been betrayed by someone of his own ilk, Subaru’s speech became wild.
Subaru took a step back, and turned his face towards Rom-jii in order to ask Rom-jii about what was just said. The bald old man looked straight into Subaru’s wavering black eyes, saying,
“Face the truth. Plus my wife’s a beauty and my daughter’s cute too.”
“You damned…! This is the first time I’ve been treated this badly since I came to this world, you!!”, unleashing the fury he had accumulated after being summoned to this world.
Giving way to all the dark feelings he had pushed deep down into his stomach, Subaru flew at the shopkeeper, and was instantly met with a counterattack by way of a strong arm to his forehead.
“I’m… I’m powerless…”
“You’ve got to handle things situation by situation, but is there anything you want to say aside from lines that make you sound like a sore loser?”
Looking at Subaru sulking after having his angry outburst put to a stop, Rom-jii stroked his chin in thought.
He was in a good mood after being called out here since he was sure it had something to do with Felt. But when he learned it was just Subaru trying to rope him in on some shady scheme, instead of getting upset the old man showed the goodness in his heart and helped consult Subaru on his troubles.
Softened by that show of kindness, he felt guilty a bit about taking advantage of the old man, but prioritizing his personal gain above his own feelings and moving forward regardless was one of Subaru’s good points.
“I’ll ask your opinion again. How can I sneak into the castle without being caught?”
“What if you commit a felony and get shut up in the dungeons under the castle? That’d also achieve your goal, though your head would have to say goodbye to your torso.”
“Give me some more constructive ideas. After all, it’s not like you or your shop are busy right now.”
“Don’t say it like that, kid. It’s because Kadomon’s shop isn’t popular that we can talk secretly like this. If you think about it that way, it’s not a bad thing. Right, Kadomon?”
“Do you two have a grudge against my shop?”
Subaru and Rom-jii met the eyes of the shopkeeper–Kadomon, who had been glaring at them, then shook their heads, with an “of course not.”
As if to chastise the two for their infuriating behavior, Kadomon rubbed the scar on his face, saying,
“Stop it with those dangerous ideas, like sneaking into the palace. There’s no emperor right now, so the security’s not all that high, but it’s not as if you won’t be punished if you’re caught.”
“Well then, the risk is just as high as we imagined, isn’t it. If you’re spotted, brat, you’ll die,”
said Rom-jii, agreeing with Kadomon.
The two had concluded Subaru should give up on his plans. But of course, to those two, there was no reason to try so hard in the first place.
“Well, when you put it like that, I don’t really have a clear reason to risk my life like this…”
Unlike up til now, this time Subaru didn’t have much of a reason to put his life on the line.
He always had another option–stroll back to the inn, stay in bed, drink the mayonnaise that Rem had made, and wait for Emilia’s return.
It was definitely the case that Emilia and company would be much happier if he did that. It was definitely the case… but,
“Why am I so desperate about this?”
Subaru had always half-thought being at Emilia’s side was his mission. He didn’t know how much help he could be to her. Even though he didn’t know, he still thought that as long as he stayed by her side, the opportunity to help her may arise. If he wasn’t near her, these chances wouldn’t appear. That being the case,
“Even if it’s conceited, I want to be with her, that’s what I think.”
Although he was only a little ways separated, he felt a terror so deep it felt like it was burning him up.
Weighed against the other option of his own life, it was his reason for moving forwards now.
“Well, it’s the truth that I will break the jinx that surrounds the capital.”
In a place where dark premonitions regarding the candidates to the crown didn’t die, Subaru’s unease was bottomless.
If it was a place where he could only decrease the possibility that Emilia might get hurt when he wasn’t around by a little, he wouldn’t have had a reason to be so impatient all this time.
“It’s fine if I can’t be by her side, but I at least want to be where I can see her face. Somehow.”
“It’s not as easy as that. If it’s a guard post, you could get past with a bribe, but all the way inside the castle?”
Although it’s not impossible Subaru’s attitude wasn’t impacted deeply, it could only be seen that he did not look like he was going to give up. After being left alone to run wild, he would only be arrested and given the death penalty–and that left a bad taste in Rom-jii’s mouth, so he too began to seriously formulate a plan to get into the castle. Compared to Rom-jii, who was not self-conscious about his own position as an accomplice, Kadomon’s relationship with Subaru was not so deep.
He eyed the pair of conspirators amazedly, and quipped,
“Whatever you do, make sure it doesn’t cause me trouble.”
He couldn’t say that that was impossible because it chipped away at his earnestness, but Subaru pursed his lips at the uncooperative man, saying,
“Don’t say that. You do your best operating this store even if you have no customers even though you’re on a merchant street. We might get some sort of idea seeing your willpower in action.”
“First of all, even though I’m not feeling that well today my store is still popular, ok? …Instead of using hard to understand tricks, why don’t you go to the guard station and ask about it. Your companion is in the castle, right? …hmm, what did she look like?”
Having stated his honest opinion, Kadomon scowled as if to search his memory. It seemed that no matter what, that silver-haired beauty’s appearance would not surface from within his memories. It was the result of her hood, who’s purpose was to obstruct facial recognition.
Anyways, unfortunately, his decent proposal was not even considered as an option.
“If we do that, we’ll definitely be caught by Emilia-tan! It’s ideal to watch and protect her quietly from the shadows, even better if is undetectable. I’ll name this strategy “The Super-Strong Me Under the Floorboards.”
“What an extraordinarily self-praising name for hiding.”
“You’re such a pain. Well, what if you hid yourself inside packages that are send into the castle? Coincidentally, today’s market day so they will send food in, and if you’re lucky…”
Kadomon said smiling, as if he was just chit-chatting. But his scarred face soon hardened.
It was because the instant Subaru heard that information, his two eyes shone.
He shut his own mouth as if ashamed of his slip of the tongue, then held out his palms, and started to say, “forget what I said just now!” but was interrupted by
“That idea–it’s a YES!”
It was way too early for Subaru to smile brightly with a thumbs up and wink.
Rom-jii lamented at the sky at this recklessness.
The sun’s rays shone down on that bald head, making it glow a pale white.