This part covers some of the ninth volume of the original “Re:Zero” novels.
This entry starts the second season of this strange retelling I’m writing, and it hits the ground running. Sort of. In the last entry for the first season we were enjoying a nice denouement but it got fucked when the protagonist discovered that other people’s (at least the half-elf Emilia’s) memories of his girlfriend, a sweet demon he’s in love with, have been erased, which likely means that she got eaten by a flying whale. This is a weird story.
GPT-3 is a cutting-edge language processing algorithm used in the premium version of the online site AI Dungeon.
You must have stayed frozen in your seat for a few seconds, because when the warmth returns to your face and you can think again, Emilia has finished asking you a question that you haven’t heard. Your heart is pumping in your throat as you feel sweat beading on the back of your neck.
“Subaru,” Emilia says with concern, forgetting that there are sleeping children on the carriage, “what’s wrong? All the color drained from your face. What is it about this Rem person?”
After you lick your lips and gulp down your increasing pulse, you open your mouth to speak.
“Emilia, if there is any chance that you are joking around, you need to tell me right now.”
“I’m not joking, I really don’t know who you’re talking about.” A couple of the children have woken up and are looking around to figure out how far you have travelled. Emilia leans closer to you and puts a hand on your shoulder. “She must be someone that you met in the capital, but I don’t understand why you would react like this just because I don’t know who she is. Did she tell you she was related to Ram…?”
You hunch over and bury your face on your palms. The caravan that was carrying Rem must have come across the White Whale. That’s the only explanation. They felt so confident that the beast wouldn’t return to the same road after it had set up her hunting grounds there the night before, but maybe it’s the first time that has happened. You can’t be surprised, with your abysmal luck.
Rem is gone. If Rem is gone, none of what you have achieved matters.
“What is it about this person that has you so upset? Please, tell me”, Emilia pleads.
A hand touches your other shoulder. You turn your head towards it enough to realize that the tween, this Petra, seems troubled by your reaction.
“Are you okay, sir? Have you gotten sick because of the ride?”
You try to control your breathing as you steel yourself for what’s to come. You are now stuck in a world without a future. But that’s fine, isn’t it? You can undo it, and that’s what you, and only you, can do. Wind back the universe. You will wake up in that bed back at Crusch’s mansion. You will have to fight the cult all over again, but that’s alright. You will beat them again eventually.
You stand up, yanking your right hand away from the tween’s embrace. You look at the opening of the tarp on the back of the carriage, and then look back at Emilia. The half-elf is staring at you with her mouth half open, stunned in confusion.
“Excuse me for a moment, Emilia”, you say with a hollow voice.
You walk up to the edge of the carriage and peek out. The big ground dragon that pulls the next carriage, a ground dragon much larger than Patrasche and that you figure must be used to freight goods, looks at you with its orange, reptilian eyes as it runs. You can’t see what carriage comes behind.
Some floorboard behind you creaks. Someone has stood up.
“Subaru, what are you doing?” Emilia says. “Don’t peek out like that, it’s dangerous!”
The driver from the next carriage, a merchant, has opened his mouth to speak. You feel dizzy for a moment, but then you jump towards the spinning wheels.
Emilia screams as you hit the ground close to the approaching wheels, which takes the air out of your lungs, but the inertia makes you roll and tumble. Something hits your legs, maybe the wheels themselves, and you spin in the opposite direction. As soon as you can support yourself on your hands, you realize that you are looking at how the carriage that you had jumped towards is now leaving you behind.
Your right ankle burns. Maybe it’s broken, but it doesn’t matter. You want to gasp for the air you’ve lost, but it doesn’t matter either as long as the oxygen that’s still in your brain and that allows you to think and move will remain there for a few seconds more.
You look behind you. Another carriage is approaching you blazingly fast, and its spinning wheels look like curved guillotines. You lunge to lie on the path of those wheels so they will crush your head. As soon as your ear hits the grass you hear Emilia yelling for the caravan to stop.
You are submerged in a pitch black womb. Whatever substance is enveloping you caresses you as if promising you that you have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear. It shelters you, it protects you from pain, regret and disappointment. It’s the purest love you’ve ever known.
You don’t remember those wheels crushing your brain. Maybe it happened faster than your senses could process it. Nevermind that, the world outside doesn’t matter. Surrounded, cradled by this love, why would anything else matter? You are experiencing this because Beatrice messed with your insides, and that allows you to retain memories of the love that waits for you each time you die. However, once the world has rewound and you have to confront again the known future and the many obstacles on your path, the memory of this love is insufficient. The feeling doesn’t survive past the experience, and the words that you try to convey the memory through are the faintest echoes, as if you tried to recreate from your memory the whole experience of eating the best meal of your life. All that’s left of it is a longing, a deep-seated desire that you know will never be quenched with anything else but this love.
Satella’s elongated, claw-like hands emerge out of the blackness, followed by her open arms as she moves to embrace you. The hazy, glowing purple eyes stare at you, or through you. The silhouette of her long hair floats as in zero gravity.
Your old friend, the Witch of Envy, who has warmed this black bath of love for you. So close to Satella, maybe the God of this universe, it would be so easy to give up. You could ask her to swallow you whole like she did with Petelgeuse, and you would experience this love in its true form. You would never again have to go through pain, nor all the horrors waiting for you out there. Her shadow would drink your tears and close all of your skin openings so no other tears would fall.
You should have known that the White Whale could have attacked Rem’s caravan as they returned to the capital. You already knew that the monster had hunted on that road less than a day before, but you believed other people’s words because you always assume that they know more than you about what’s going on in their fantasy world. You had seen the White Whale up close, and it had eaten Rem as she chose to sacrifice herself so you could keep living, but after this battle with the cult went on hiatus for a while, you let Rem march to her death. You imagine yourself holding her hand, squeezing it tight, to prevent her from leaving you. And Rem didn’t die alone, did she? She went along with Crusch and all those wounded people, so the duchess is likely dead as well.
Satella has crossed her elongated arms behind your back, and if you had a body you would just need to lean forward to feel with your mouth if there is one in her ghostly head. You had been so occupied worrying that you hadn’t realized that her litany is washing over you.
“I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I lov-“
The Witch of Envy’s ghost is looped and you broke the pattern by introducing Petelgeuse. She had swallowed him, and you are next. It seems so obvious now, yet you hadn’t considered it until this moment. She will pull you tighter towards her, and what remains of you will dissolve inside her shadow. What does it matter? Let this nightmare end, Satella.
No. Of course you can’t disappear. Rem is gone, and you might be the only person in all the worlds that remembers that she existed. You are the only one who can bring your beloved demon servant back. You want to build a future with her, you need to keep going if just for her sake. Even in this bath of love you can feel such shame for your weakness, that you considered for a moment letting go.
You were wondering what to do if Satella pulled you towards her shadowy self, but she doesn’t. She remains in place proclaiming her love to you. There is someone there, then, someone that understands that you aren’t Petelgeuse, that you should be sent to the past, even though her mouth and vocal cords are looped.
“Satella,” you say, or think, “thank you for giving me a chance to come back and save the people I care about, even if I have to push through such nightmares. I have no clue why you chose me, why you want to keep me alive, but I will be eternally grateful.”
“I love you I love you I love you I lo-“
You feel her breaking the embrace and pushing you softly, or maybe you are standing in place while she floats away. In any case, you will return to Crusch’s mansion and do it all over again. The Witch of Envy can listen to you, and she understands.
“One day I will return to you for the last time, and you will have me all to yourself.”
You return to a confusing flood of sensations in a shock. Your mind works hard to understand what’s happening. You have your eyes closed, but light is seeping through your eyelids. The morning light must have been flooding that bedroom in Crusch’s mansion as you slept. Wait, you used to wake up at night. You aren’t lying, you are sitting up.
As your heart beats faster, you open your eyes and find yourself staring at a line of sleeping children and two male teenagers. Your head is resting on someone else’s head. Emilia’s. Someone is hugging your right arm and resting her head on it.
A noise of surprise escapes from your mouth.
“No! What am I doing here!? Why have I returned to the carriage!?”
The children begin to stir, waking up from your shouting. Emilia lifts her head from your shoulder and attempts to speak, but a yawn overwhelms her words. You struggle for a moment to free yourself from Petra’s hug, then stand up in the middle of the carriage, facing the half-open tarp on the back. Your hands are shaking.
“Why did you send me here!? I even told you I needed to come back to save people I care about! Why did you choose another moment!?”
Emilia grabs your shoulder, and you turn sharply towards her. She looks concerned, like a mother who has run to her baby’s room to figure out why it was wailing.
“Subaru, it was a nightmare. You are okay. You are back here with us. The fighting is over.”
You shake your head and bury your face on your palms for a moment. As Emilia was saying something, you grab her shoulders, which startles her, and speak loudly to her face.
“Emilia, where is this caravan going!?”
“What are you… Subaru, we are going to the capital. You know this. It’s okay, you just had a terrible dream.”
“The terrible dreams don’t end when I wake up. They haven’t done so for a long time! Where in the capital are we going!?”
Emilia frowns in confusion.
“To the duchess’ mansion. Sir Wilhelm told me that she had arranged for the wounded to be treated at her place, and that we would rest there for a while before returning to the mansion, in case there w-…”
“What is the duchess’ name, Emilia? Tell me her full name.”
“Crusch Karsten. Subaru, what’s going on? What has you all riled up? I don’t understand…”
You look around you as if any of the people present could offer you a real answer. The male teenager who had taken your sword is saying something to you, but only a couple of seconds later you process that he had asked if there was any problem. A couple of the youngest children are looking up at you with fearful confusion. Otto has turned around on his driver’s seat and asks if everything is okay back here.
Your brain is throbbing. When you look back at Emilia you realize you are scaring her as well. Even though nausea is rising in your guts, you lower your voice.
“Emilia, do you know who Rem is? Does the name Rem mean anything to you?”
She shakes her head slightly.
“I-I mean, because it reminds me of Ram. Is that someone you met at the capital?”
“Who is Ram’s little sister?”
“Ram is an only child, as far as I know. Subaru, please tell me what’s going on.”
You step back. So Rem got eaten by the whale but Crusch didn’t? Was that bad luck, or did Rem sacrifice herself again? No, she wouldn’t sacrifice herself to save other people, right? So she must have gotten eaten but enough of her caravan survived, included Crusch. What does it matter, though? Satella should have sent you back to the duchess’ mansion, not here! You need to speak to her, you need to plead with her to send you further back.
You turn and lunge for the opening in the tarp, but as you are about to jump towards the wheels of the next carriage, someone grabs your arm. Emilia. Although her grip slips, you trip on a jutting vertical board and you fall out. You hit the ground under the shade of the huge ground dragon, and his hind legs trample the lower half of your body. A rush of red pain short-circuits your nerves, but as your body rolls, you feel the wheels trapping your legs. You are lifted by an overwhelming force, and then a crunching sound reverberates through your bones along with blinding pain that threatens to make your brain shut off. After a few moments you feel yourself lying on something, on the grass, but you can’t understand anything you are seeing, and a droning sound pounds on your eardrums.
You blink a few times to clear your vision. You see a cat-girl’s face cropped against a blue sky and a few shreds of clouds that slide downwards. You know this cat-girl, it’s Ferris. She looks tired and angry, as if she had been forced to work overtime for several days, but her pupils also tremble as if she has to force herself to hold your gaze.
“W-What…?”, you mumble. “I didn’t die?”
Ferris separates her lips and frowns like you’ve just insulted her.
“No, despite your best intentions, you survived”, she says with a hollow voice. “To whatever extent you will consider your current state ‘surviving’.”
Almost everything under your ribs hurts in a way you hadn’t felt before. It’s like being half-submerged in cold pain. You attempt to lean on your elbows to get somewhat comfortable, but the lower half of your body feels all wrong, as if it didn’t have the proper weight. You realize that your dirty and torn pants end in shreds at the half length of your thighs, and that the remainder of your legs is gone. You are lying on the back of a different carriage, near the closed tarp that covers the entrance.
Your brain is scrambled. You rest your head again and look at Ferris.
“That didn’t work at all. I screwed up bad.”
As if the cat-girl had been containing herself until now, she trembles, clenches her teeth and almost screams in your face.
“They got destroyed, your legs! I can’t do anything, I can’t reattach them! You understand!? You will stay like this forever!”
“I didn’t want to bother you, Ferris. You shouldn’t have gotten to me. Don’t worry, I don’t care about my legs. They don’t matter at all at this point.”
“The hell do you mean, they don’t matter? Why… Why did you try to kill yourself? Why, after all we went through, when we won and we are returning home, you try to die? Do you really understand the consequences of what you have done?”
You raise a hand towards her face, but Ferris swats it away while tears grow on the corners of her eyes.
“It’s alright”, you say with a voice that trembles from the pain.
“You fought so hard to save Emilia and all those people, and you convinced us to help, to just kill yourself afterwards? I can’t begin to understand, it’s like I’m speaking with someone else.”
As you think about your options you realize that you are in a far worse position than you thought. Without the ability to move around freely, the options for killing yourself get reduced significantly. And now at least Ferris, Emilia and those kids know what you intended to do. Are you going to ask the cat-girl to hand over the closest sword so you can plunge the point into your throat? Will you ask them to support you until you can throw yourself from the back of another carriage?
You must have been staring in turmoil at Ferris for a bit too long, because she lowers her head and slumps her shoulders.
“If you wanted to die when you were healthy, I don’t want to imagine how you will feel now. You haven’t only lost your legs. Both your hip and your genitals are essentially gone. You want me to bother explaining it in detail? I wouldn’t want to live any longer if I were in your position.”
You want to think about it, but you contain yourself. You reach for Ferris’ robe and grab it near her throat to lower her face closer to yours. She’s startled enough not to resist.
“Ferris, you can boil my blood. It would be easy for you, you said. Do it.”
The cat-girl trembles in anger. The tears overflow, and she raises her hand to slap you. For a moment she restrains herself, but then she hits you hard with a loud smack. Your cheek burns.
“You would ask that of me!? Every person I fail to save, that I come too late to heal, bears on my soul and makes me lose sleep, and now you, after what we have gone through together, you ask me to murder you? You fucking coward, you miserable waste of skin! Did you for a moment think about the people who had come to appreciate you and that you were going to abandon? No matter how much you suffered without telling anyone, if you kill yourself you are only passing your suffering to everyone you knew. You are multiplying the pain, forcing those people to carry it with them for the rest of their lives! Did you think about how this was going to affect Emilia? They told me that when she ran to you and saw the extent of your injuries, she went hysterical. She broke down like an animal. Wilhelm offered to keep an eye on her and try to calm her down, but even then for a good while we kept hearing her crying from whatever carriage they put her on. How do you think she’s going to feel from now on? She clearly cared immensely about you, and you hurt her like this.”
Tears roll down your temples. You swallow to clear your closed throat. None of that matters, you tell yourself. This world will end.
“Ferris, you said yourself you wouldn’t want to live like this. Please, if you cared at all about me, boil my blood. I’m sure they will think my body couldn’t stand the injuries.”
Ferris lowers her head to glare at you furiously.
“I will not, under any circumstance, contribute to your or anybody else’s attempts to commit suicide.”
“Ferris, I’m not suicidal.”
The cat-girl snaps her head back, which makes you let go of her robe, and from her mouth escapes half of a shrill laugh before she stops herself. She’s gone pale. She shakes her head slowly while scrutinizing you with pity.
“Oh, no. You have lost your mind.”
“I haven’t! I mean that I…”
The terrible pain you are experiencing for what seems like the first time is making it harder and harder to think, even though you would have supposed that you wouldn’t care. You can’t explain to Ferris the power that Satella granted to you. She had already mocked you back at the capital for the stuff that came out of your mouth at the royal summons, and it bothered you that she had considered you little more than a delusional fool. You need to push her buttons, make it so she wants to kill you.
You hold her gaze and force an expression of anger and disdain.
“Ferris, I despise you. You are nothing but a worthless subhuman, a pawn belonging to an enemy camp. I just pretended that I cared about you because that would make you lower your guard. I wanted to exploit your ability. Once Emilia sits on that throne and we control the police or whatever public force dispenses violence to keep the country running, we will round you up to kill you and bury you in a mass grave. I will personally hold you as I cut your throat.”
Ferris stares at you disturbed and wide-eyed. She breathes through her mouth for a few seconds, but then she speaks softly.
“You are a terrible liar. You aren’t to any extent the person you just pretended to be.”
She stands up slowly and stares through the tarp that covers the back of the carriage.
“Don’t talk to me.”
“This is why I got along with you people, and came to care!? So you would prevent me from dying when I need to!?”
She lowers her gaze towards a point above your face. Her eyes are cold.
“Fuck you for making me care in turn. I wish I had known.”
You feel a sting in your heart, which has been beating too fast ever since this conversation started.
“Damn it, Ferris! Let me then talk with someone else who has any sense! Ah… Get me Julius. That guy knows things, he might understand!”
“I’m here, Subaru”, says the knight’s hollow voice from the other end of the carriage.
Ferris closes her eyes tight, shakes her head and walks out of your frame of view only to get replaced by Julius. He looks dismayed and guilty, and he seems to be forcing himself to hold your gaze instead of looking at the disaster that the lower half of your body has become.
“I have no idea what to say, Subaru”, Julius says. “I wouldn’t have expected anything like this to happen.”
You clench your teeth to resist the pain as you support yourself on your elbows.
“Julius, you are a man of culture. You seem the type that got his hands on complicated books to study your arts and figure out how to perform new spells, right?”
“I don’t know what that would matter. Whatever I learned from so much studying didn’t prepare me to stand next to you now.”
“I’m going to tell you something hard to believe, but it is the truth. Listen to me carefully, Julius.”
The knight didn’t seem to be paying attention. He crouches next to you and narrows his eyes as if to contain pain or shame.
“I apologize, Subaru.”
“Why would you need to apologize?” You shake your head. “Nevermind that, listen…”
“I had never witnessed a great spirit possessing a human being, although I had read in ancient texts that such a possibility existed. I would have never expected anyone to be able to resist such a possession, given the power that a great spirit must hold to be considered such. When you won against Petelgeuse, I was so relieved that I thought it was over. I wanted to celebrate, to rest. But I was a fool not to consider that the battle must have scarred your soul at a fundamental level, that the madman must have left something residual that could cause you to behave wildly.” He turns his head slightly to glance at your lower half, and he swallows. “I am the spirits user, I should have known better.”
Ferris pops up next to him. She has crossed her arms, and she glares at you with a twisted expression as if she needs to keep herself from vomiting.
“He’s fully lucid. He knew what he was doing. I hope you understand that you will force someone from your camp to help you piss and shit, for the rest of your life. That’s if they don’t throw you away.”
Lucius frowns and looks up at her as if he wants to smack her.
“Ferris, please. Stay back and let me talk to him.”
“Hey!”, you shout, which makes them turn their heads sharply towards you. “Shut the fuck up for a moment and listen to me. At least you, Julius. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Petelgeuse. That ancient ghost is old news. Forget about him. I intended to die not because I was suicidal and couldn’t deal any longer with the many horrors I’ve gone through. I just found out that my girlfriend, a servant belonging to Roswaal’s camp, has been eaten by the White Whale.”
“What? Your girlfriend just died?” He looks to the side to think about it. “That’s horrible, and I understand that such a pain could cause you to become suicidal, but…”
“I told you I’m not suicidal, damn it!”
“How would you know that she got eaten by the White Whale?”, Ferris asks somewhat mockingly.
“The White Whale appeared on this road last night, and it must have stayed around and ambushed Crusch’s caravan.”
“Crusch’s caravan? In that case we wouldn’t remember my lady! And why would you believe that your girlfriend, if you aren’t making her up, has been eaten by that monster? Every memory of her would be missing!”
You want to rub your temples, but you don’t want to lie on your head again, and your trembling elbows barely feel strong enough currently to support your weight.
“I have no idea why everybody else has forgotten Rem and I haven’t, but this has happened before! She got eaten by the White Whale once, she sacrificed herself to save my life, and now she’s gone! She must have come across the White Whale as she was travelling back to the capital! That’s the only explanation!”
Julius narrows his eyes and seems to be churning his thoughts to understand you, but Ferris inspires loudly through her teeth and stomps the ground. The fur on her cat ears is standing up.
“She died once before!? You are insane! You are completely out of your mind! I can’t believe this… I can’t deal with this.”
She walks off. Julius glances at her for a moment, but seems reluctant to look back towards your face again.
“Julius,” you start again with a serious voice, “I don’t want to remain in this reality for a moment longer than I need to, so I will explain myself properly. I have a blessing, similar to other blessings you people seem to have. In my case I found out that whenever I die I get sent back to the past. That’s what I was trying to do. I wasn’t suicidal, this is just my way of solving problems. An extraordinarily painful way of doing so.”
As you take a deep breath, Julius chimes in.
“If you believe that this girlfriend of yours has died and you have that blessing, it would make sense for you to commit suicide, certainly…”
Finally, you think. This Julius guy is the only one with brains around here.
“That’s exactly it! So now you understand why I need to die. I have to return to a point in the past where I can prevent my girl from dying.”
The knight holds your gaze as if testing you with a polygraph.
“I have never come across mentions of such a blessing. An ability like that would be unimaginably powerful. It’s hard to believe that nobody else has had it before. The previous owners would have wanted to write down their experiences with it, like many owners of powerful blessings have over the centuries.”
“It might be a bit more special than other blessings, I don’t know. It was given to me by Satella herself.”
From the other side of the carriage, Ferris gasps and then chuckles mockingly.
“By Satella herself!”
Julius snaps at her over his shoulder.
“Ferris, please, enough!”
“Don’t fight with each other. Yes, Julius, by Satella. Whenever I die she’s there. I find myself in a darkness, and the ghost of that witch appears. She embraces me for a moment, she tells me she loves me, and then pushes me out. When I come back to my senses I’ve returned to the past. That’s how I’ve found out about this assault on the village and the mansion! I died a few times trying to prevent it, until I approached both Crusch and that Hoshin broad. C’mon, look at me. Do you think I’m so intelligent as to figure out the details of the Witch’s Cult assault through some sort of spy network? I don’t even know how to read!”
“Let’s say I believe you, and truly I want to”, Julius says. “Someone as dangerous, the epitome of mayhem and destruction that Satella is, would only grant a blessing to her high-ranked followers, wouldn’t she? Why would she give it to you?”
“I have wondered that myself. I don’t know, Julius, nor does it matter at this point. Can’t you, I don’t know, detect this blessing, through a spell or something? Maybe detect Satella’s essence in me? Petelgeuse said when he saw her that her essence must be woven with me, maybe with my soul or something to that effect.”
Julius closes his eyes and looks as if he’s thinking harder than usual. When he opens them again, he speaks slowly.
“Petelgeuse saw Satella inside of you?”
“Yeah, that’s how he disappeared. He went all blubbery when he faced her, and she swallowed him. He must be dissolving inside like half of the world from back then.”
“Why… Why wouldn’t she eat you as well, so to speak?”
“I don’t know, man. She just won’t.”
Julius rubs his chin while a bead of sweat rolls down from his light purple hair to one eyebrow.
“I loathe that this question has appeared in my mind, but I have never learned of any person who had been blessed by a witch, or believed to have been, that wasn’t also a crazed cultist. You aren’t associated with the Witch’s Cult, are you, Subaru?”
You sigh deeply. You are exhausted by trying to keep your mind coherent while it insists on informing you of so much pain coming from what remains from your lower half.
“Associated as in what? As in I have a blessing given to me by Satella herself?”
“If you share their goals, maybe, or some of them.”
“I don’t want Satella back. She can’t help herself from loving everybody, I know that very well, and if she resurrected, I have no doubt that she would dissolve everybody inside of her unless someone stopped her. That seems like the Witch’s Cult biggest goal that I’m aware of.”
“Lucius, Satella did grant me this blessing. I don’t know why. Maybe she fucked up. But I retained my free will, and I’m using it for good. That’s as much as I know.”
Julius nods as he holds your gaze. You have no clue what he’s thinking, and after a few seconds he hasn’t said anything. Your elbows have had enough. You let yourself lie on your head again, and the vibrations that run through the floodboards remind you for a moment of the peaceful sleep you had what feels like half an hour ago, when you still had your genitals.
“So… are any of you going to help me with my problem?”
“I believe you, at least that you believe in the truth of your ability, so I don’t think of you as crazed. However, I don’t have any proof beyond your words. It will take consulting with people more knowledgeable on these kinds of powers, as I had never heard of such a blessing. I suspect that to learn enough about Satella’s grants, we would need to locate and interrogate the other Archbishops of the cult.”
“That sounds good and all, but I mean, are you going to kill me, or leave a convenient sharp weapon nearby?”
Julius’ expression twitches.
“I am sorry, Subaru, but I cannot contemplate killing you, nor making it easy for you. I would need to be completely sure about your ability to consider helping you in that regard.”
You breathe deeply.
“What about you, Ferris?”, you ask loudly and irritated, “have you warmed up to the thought of killing me?”
“I told you not to talk to me, you fucking bastard.”
Julius closes his eyes and stands up. After a few seconds he speaks.
“We will reach the mansion and figure out if the duchess’ caravan has been ambushed along the way or not. As of now, on our way to the capital, it’s too early for any drastic measure such as you dying.”
The knight turned away to finish the conversation, but you speak up, which makes him stop.
“Will you at least look out for whether we come across remains of Crusch’s caravan? I suppose that they would be obvious, but I need to make sure.”
“That I can do.”
Some observations. One of my favorite things when writing fiction is setting up very complicated situations and/or conversations and then “roleplaying” as the protagonist to figure out how to succeed at them. Is partly like playing a videogame. In this case, getting through the emotionally taxing last scene of this part was very rewarding. I felt I learned plenty about Ferris as well, which is important in the case of this retelling because she’s even a different gender than in the original, and her personality is somewhat different.
It’s good to keep going.