This entry covers part of the eleventh volume of the original “Re:Zero” novels.
In the previous entry, the protagonist could hardly care less about playing his role in the repeating events, and although he wanted nothing more than to lose himself having sex over and over with the half-elf princess, he stalked Garfiel to reveal further secrets about their dreary village. He ended up finding out that there is more than one twelve year old grandma, and his nosiness, along with his body odor issues, landed him in a dungeon. Garfiel turned out to be intelligent enough to prevent the protagonist from killing himself.
If Garfiel had understood one thing about your argument is that you truly want to die, and he’s determined to avoid that all costs. You figure that it must be because if you die under their care and Roswaal ends up finding out somehow, the clown will descend upon Ryuzu and the whole power structure of Sanctuary, which belongs in his ancestral domain. Killing someone who orchestrated an assault against an entire branch and the Witch’s Cult, which ended up defeating it, doesn’t look good, unless you want to seem as if you belong to the Witch’s Cult yourself. So this new Ryuzu and Garfiel need to present what they believe to be significant findings of your betrayal to Roswaal while you stand around like an idiot, fully alive.
You can’t tell the hour of the day, and you are too worried thinking about ways to die or to escape from this place to count how much time has passed. Garfiel comes personally to see you eat slop, and he stands there way too close as you piss and shit into a bucket. It’s as humiliating as they come, but it doesn’t seem to bother him much. He grew up around farm animals, after all. Plenty of times you wanted to bite down hard on your tongue, but this punk would just restrain you, cure your tongue even if just with bandages of some kind, and at the end of the day you’d be more restrained but lacking part of your tongue.
Before Garfiel leaves you, he always stuffs a dirty rag in your damn mouth, big enough that you can’t bite yourself, and then the punk leaves you alone for a few hours. You either wander around while restrained, with your hands tied behind your back, trying to figure out creative ways to use stone walls, stone floors, or metal bars, as suicide devices, or you lie on the floor and just think about how much you want to die. It’s getting truly unpleasant and harmful to your mental health. You can’t just bash your head against the wall over and over like apparently the punk does from time to time, because you might get so stupid that you will forget that you have to kill yourself to return to the past, or you might end up in a coma for months or years.
You also keep thinking about Emilia. Your imagination plays out scenes in which the half-elf discovers you’ve gone missing, and she focuses entirely on searching through the village, maybe door to door, as well as through the surrounding forest, having enlisted the help of most of Roswaal’s villagers. Maybe of some locals as well. But she will never find you, you know that much. You imagine the beautiful face of that girl who loves you and whom you love back, scared and worried sick. You get sick yourself, and end up vomiting twice thinking about it.
You try to sleep, but you barely string a couple of hours together each time, or what feel like a couple of hours anyway. You shiver from worry. This must be hell, eternal punishment for your crimes against the capital, the kingdom, Rem, human decency… You can’t even remember what good you have done, but the evil has been so strong that it overwhelmed whatever good you might have done. Your life is a curse on this world, and now you are being punished for it.
Just as you are about to give up on sleep and enter a state of full alertness, the door is unlocked. It opens grating against the stone floor. You have no idea what time it is. Garfiel enters with a lit torch in one hand, and some bread and water in the other.
“Get up, half-pint.”
“Nah, I’m good”, you say with a raspy voice.
“This is exactly why you’re locked up. Y’know that?”
Your lips feel all dry and chapped.
“I’m sorry I tried to expose your village’s secrets to the public, even though I never found out anything significant.”
Sneering at you, Garfiel drops the bread and water next to you, and moves the torch closer to your face.
“I already told ya, doesn’t matter ta me. Got my orders, same as ya got some others from that clown bastard, and from whatever big boss types at that damn cult. Ya and me are justa couple of fools doin’ what they’ve been told.”
You wait while Garfiel unties your hands so you can shove the stale bread into your mouth. Despite the poor meal that awaits you, it makes you salivate.
“I guess I have to repeat that I’m not a witch cultist”, you say. “Just in case you come up with some bullshit about how not denying it means admitting it.”
“Yeah, not changin’ me mind”, Garfiel says with an unemotional voice. “Yer clown lord will have to deal with that when the shy princess passes them trials.”
The punk finishes untying your hands. Your legs are so numb that you can’t feel them at all. You stand up and have to hop as you try to walk it off.
“Don’t you want to kill me?”
“Killin’s too good for scum like you.”
He gives you a poisonous glare, but after your leg stops throbbing you jump at him with a flying punch. It lands on his cheek, and he stumbles back a little. Even though you are still groggy, your instincts take over. Both of your weights clash, but you manage to overpower Garfiel and throw him on the stone floor. However, he soon regains control of the situation as his hands grips your shoulders like a vice. He’s barely using any of his strength, and it clearly amuses him. With a smirk, he flicks you over and then jumps on you with an elbow pressed against your neck. You want to cough, but you can’t. Garfiel stares at you with a hard look.
“Yer not only tryin’ to best the strongest man in the damn world, but someone who grew up wrestlin’ with Frederica! Damn fool!”
“No, don’t suggest this is wrestling”, you push through your throat.
“What are ya sayin’?”
“I’m suggesting that you might be enjoying pinning me a bit too much.”
A punch flies into your stomach and your body convulses on the ground, expelling all of the air in your lungs.
“Don’t say shit like that! Why the hell would I wanna fuck a damn cultist?”
You can barely speak in between coughs.
“I don’t think that’s the issue here…”, you mumble.
“Damn right, it’s not!” He laughs. “Alright, I’ll let ya go. Yer gonna listen to me and follow the damn rules, though.”
“As if I have a fucking choice. Attacking you only brightened your mood.”
When Garfiel stands up, you sit up to cough and rub your neck a bit, taking in a breath.
“Alright, rules.” He says, leaning in, “One, don’t try anythin’. Two, ya try anythin’, I hurt ya family. Three, don’t think I won’t. Four, if ya try anythin’ again and I hurt yer damn family anyway.”
You sigh and stand up while Garfiel backs away.
“Yeah, good luck finding my parents. If you manage to do so, I’ll be so astonished I won’t care even if you punch my dad in the face.”
“Fuck yer dad.”
“Now I’m worried you might. People shouldn’t grow up wrestling, Garfiel.”
A smirk creeps on his face.
“Alright then, I guess that’s it.”
As the punk walked back to what passes for your meal, as if ordering you to shut up and eat, you find the strength to ask what you will regret knowing.
“How is Emilia doing?”
Garfiel shrugs, but then looks away as if having to speak about it is both embarrassing and painful.
“She ain’t eatin’ right nor tryin’ to pass them trials, that’s fer sure.”
“So… what? Is that it?”
“She cries a lot too. Won’t look anyone in the eye either.”
There’s a moment of silence as you feel as if someone has just poured cold water over you. Even though you already had a feeling about how she was doing, it doesn’t make the confirmation sting any less.
“This is the fault of both of you idiots”, you say with a low, growly voice. “You are keeping me locked up because of a misunderstanding, and your condition to release me will never happen! Emilia will only get worse and worse. My lovely girl… You didn’t seem like you were against Emilia, so don’t you feel like shit for doing this to her?”
“No! I ain’t gonna feel like shit fer doin’ anythin’ that protects my home!”
“You sound like an asshole.”
“An’ ya sound like a pussy, all prisoner like!”
Garfiel glares at you for a moment, and then he shakes his head and motions for you to turn around.
“Why the fuck for?”, you ask, freaked out due to the recent conversation.
“I’m tying ya again. I thought ‘bout it, and ya punched me in the face. That means no meal for now. Not that I minded the fight, but ya gotta have some order ‘round here!”
You lose track of how many times you have dozed off, half-lost in waking nightmares in which Emilia cries and cries as she runs through a darkened forest. You wish to shout that you are here, so she can finally find you and hug you tightly, but you can barely mumble with the nasty rag that fills your mouth.
Your mind snaps back to reality as you hear a key entering the metallic door of your cell, and then unlocking it. The door opens as if pushed, grating loudly against the stone floor. Someone complains in what you suppose should have barely sounded above the background noise of the forest outside, but it comes out as a worried muttering. You turn on the floor to find yourself staring at Otto Suwen, who has crouched next to you and is surveying your state as if he has to figure out quick whether you even remain sane.
You are too dumbfounded to react. Otto helps you sit up and is cutting through the restraints around your wrists. You try to speak, but you forgot that you’ve been tasting the same nasty rag for hours. The merchant takes off the cord around your mouth, then he extracts the wet rag while grimacing in disgust.
“Otto…? I’m hallucinating, am I?”, you ask with a raspy voice.
“I wish you were, Mr. Natsuki! In such a case you wouldn’t have ended up living through such a terrifying experience! But I’m afraid that you were indeed kidnapped and locked up by the two most powerful people in this forgotten village. We need to get you out of here as soon as possible!”
Otto throws the ropes to the floor, then looks behind him as if fearing that Garfiel will barrel towards him at any moment.
You can barely think straight.
“But… But… How did you find me? And who let you in?”
Otto slowly turns his head towards you. You have never seen him with such a serious expression on his face.
“It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. I had to enlist the help of every critter and insect that wanted to speak to me in this forest. We kept tabs on Garfiel’s comings and goings, and I even convinced a charming bat to find his way through this building until he spotted you. He really saved both of our asses, Mr. Natsuki. I took a risk by entering this place, but I figure that the terrifying hick won’t return for a while. I don’t want to think about how enraged he’ll become then…”
Otto extends his hand towards you, and you grab it. With one powerful pull, he lifts you off the floor.
You begin to feel dizzy and lightheaded, or maybe you just realize that you have been for quite a while. The meals that Garfiel fed you weren’t meant to fill you with energy, merely to keep you alive. You support yourself on Otto’s shoulder.
“I’m so glad that your delusions about hearing and speaking with animals ended up helping me by some miracle.”
“Delusions!? I swear I can communicate with animals, and even insects, Mr. Natsuki! I was born with that ability, which I only started considering a blessing during these last few years! I couldn’t stop myself from hearing them, and it made my life a living hell as a child. Lost my place in the family business! You wouldn’t believe how little respect the animal life has for quiet. They are very useful, though, when you manage to befriend some of them. Otherwise we would have never tracked you down in time. Still, I would stay away from wasps if I were you.”
“I was never a fan of wasps even in my previous world. Nasty little fuckers…”
Although you attempt to free your legs from the rope binding them, you are weakened, and you end up supporting yourself again on the merchant’s shoulder as he crouches down to tear the rope off. When he stands up again, he wipes the sweat from his forehead.
You have barely exited the dungeon into a stone hallway, which looks ancient but not as much as the witches’ tomb, when you stop Otto. Something isn’t sitting well with you.
“Otto, why are you here? How come you ended up searching for me, locating me, freeing me…? Did Roswaal put you up to this?”
Otto stares at you confused.
“I’m not sure what you mean. As soon as we realized you had gone missing, I went looking for you. It soon became clear that Garfiel in particular had something to do with it. The man wouldn’t make a good spy, let’s put it that way. So me and Ram teamed up to follow him, and it was through my animal and insect friends, or acquaintances more accurately, as we aren’t that close yet, that we ended up locating this building that had been clearly built to remain hidden!”
“I got the gist of that, but… why would you want to go through all that trouble for me?”
Otto snaps his head back, shocked. He then avoids your gaze while his eyebrows tremble nervously.
“It’s obvious, is it not? Are you truly going to make me say something embarrassing?”
“I mean, yeah, I am, because I don’t have a fucking clue what you are talking about.”
Otto sighs, then forces himself to hold your gaze.
“You have the right to be confused, and you have remained much more sane than I had expected… But my reasons for freeing you from imprisonment are as obvious as they come! You are my dear friend, Mr. Natsuki.”
You stare at him as he smiles weakly, waiting for you to say something.
“Well?”, Otto asks cautiously.
A smile grows by itself on your lips, and you double over to burst into laughter. When you manage to control yourself, you straighten your back and pat Otto’s shoulders, who looks as if you are making him the butt of a joke.
“Alright, alright, Mr. Natsuki! We all make ourselves look like fools from time to time!”
“No, that’s not it. I guess we have gone through bonding stuff you and I, huh? Drinking ourselves stupid while I revealed my nightmares about sharing a bath with Roswaal, me trying to show you my dick…”
“T-Those are things I would rather forget!”
“What I mean is, thank you for being my friend, Otto Suwen.”
Otto takes off his merchant hat and combs his incongruously gray hair with his hand as a nervous gesture. He’s having trouble holding your gaze.
You pat him on the back and motion for both of you to keep going.
“Well, alright, you son of a gun! Let’s get out of here and make them pay!”
“I hope that ‘gun’ word isn’t an insult towards my mother! I’m feeling somewhat sensitive at the moment.”
Otto is guiding you through the dense forest, striding through it as if he was following an invisible arrow on the grass. The moonlight barely passes through the dense canopy. Occasionally Otto lifts his gaze to an insistent cluster of dragonflies that flies towards the merchant, then further into the forest, then back again… You are going to end up going along with his delusion if this continues.
A few minutes later you notice someone waiting near a tree. It’s none other than your favorite senior servant Ram. Her demeanor reminds you of a soldier on guard duty, despite her wearing a black and white servant outfit that shows plenty of those slender, stockinged legs. As you get closer you realize that she’s holding the reins of Patrasche, your ground dragon, who is standing behind the senior servant.
When Ram realizes that the merchant has returned with a freed prisoner no less, she nods towards him.
“Excellent work, Mr. Suwen.”
Otto scratches the back of his head, he smiles and was about to reply something when you interrupt him.
“You better engrave this moment in your mind, Otto. I have never witnessed our dear Ram being so appreciative of someone.”
To your temporary confusion, Ram isn’t annoyed by your comment, but nods at you and bends the corners of her mouth a little.
“In the somewhat unlikely case that your follower ended up succeeding at his perilous task, Barusu, I would have expected him to bring me a broken man. But apart from the horrid stench of sweat and bodily filth, you seem sprightly.”
“I could complain about the food and how hard it gets to sleep properly when you can’t tell the hour of the day, or how many days have passed for that matter. What’s the plan now, Ram?”
As you ask this, you start rubbing the dragon’s snout, who closes her eyes.
“The village is on the verge of rebellion, Barusu”, Ram says calmly. “Our villagers aren’t too happy about one of the lord’s employees having disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and that idiot Garfiel couldn’t seem more suspicious. After all, our villagers have been restrained in Sanctuary against their will, but were hoping for a speedy and peaceful resolution. Although the local villagers don’t like the commotion, plenty are coming over to our side. Lord Roswaal intends for you to pass through the barrier and return to the mansion. Once you are out of danger, we will reveal that you were kidnapped, and some will pay the consequences.”
“Ram… How is Emilia doing with all this? Garfiel himself told me that she wasn’t attempting to pass the trials, and that she must be seriously depressed.”
“Lady Emilia should be sleeping in Ryuzu Bilma’s guest room right now. We won’t attempt to inform her of the changing circumstances until you are out of trouble. Our half-elf princess needs to be handled with care, as usual.”
Ram’s tone evidences that she considers Emilia too weak and unstable for her tastes, but then again few people are as tough and stoic as your senior servant.
“Please, make Emilia know that I’m safe as soon as you can. There are few things I hate more in the world than that girl suffering.”
“Barusu, a child would realize that you hold feelings for our royal candidate. But please understand that at this moment she is no longer the Emilia you knew, and won’t be until she recovers. She’s as close to a nervous breakdown as an intelligent being can be. She truly requires you to be by her side, to an unhealthy degree.”
You sigh, and as you recall the faint ghost of how it felt like to embrace her under the covers, as well as hear her quiet, loving voice pouring into your ear, your heart hurts.
“Yeah, I know. She and I need to work on that, as soon as people around us don’t risk getting kidnapped, or murdered.”
Ram takes a deep breath, then checks your surroundings.
“I hate to end this heartwarming moment, but we must go. You will have no choice but to use the main paths of the village to escape, and you will depend on your ground dragon’s speed and reliability in case any of the local threats focus on you.”
Not waiting for you to agree, Ram starts walking towards the edge of the forest, which is visible from your position despite how close the trees are to each other. You catch up to the senior servant’s side, while Otto follows you both right by Patrasche’s tail.
“Ram, I won’t leave without speaking with Roswaal first.”
Ram shoots you a look of annoyance, which comforts you.
“I can’t be that surprised that you plan on making your escape more difficult than necessary, Barusu”, she says with a tired voice.
“I don’t want to bother you, Ram, and I appreciate everything you have done for me in this reality and in others, but I truly need to clarify certain stuff with our clown overlord. So please, let’s meet with him as soon as possible.”
“Your choice, Barusu. I’m sure you would keep insisting stubbornly otherwise. I will brief you on the full situation in the village during our walk there… But you must promise me that you will leave as soon as possible after that.”
“Yeah, I will. I need to reach the mansion anyway.” You turn to Otto, who has deflated since his heroic rescue. “You will finally get to meet the possible employer who will lead you to a life of luxury, Otto. Make a decent impression.”
Otto chuckles nervously. The cheerful merchant front he puts up in the presence of others is cracking. Despite his many travels he’s still nervous, and with good reason.
“The best first impression I can create in these circumstances is not to delay your escape any further, Mr. Natsuki, and I intend to do just that.”
Now that the three of you are standing inside of the discreet villager house that your clown lord chose to rest from his ghastly injuries, Otto has taken off his merchant hat and is holding it against his torso while bowing slightly. The disquiet in his expression makes you wonder if he regrets his current ambition of getting closer to this important lord to secure himself some lasting employment. After all, you doubt there are many sane people out there who could face Roswaal’s clown face and not realize immediately that they should have remained as far away from your lord as possible.
Roswaal has taken a curious interest in Otto, maybe wondering how he ended up involved in such vital and secretive matters for his household, but his demeanour isn’t threatening. From the angle you are looking now at Roswaal, his painted features over the white foundation make his face seem like made out of rubber, as if a child’s doll was infused with life.
You want to make things less awkward and move the meeting along, so you motion towards Otto.
“This is Otto Suwen, a regular young merchant we rescued from the cultists during the attack, and who has been working hard at fulfilling both my and Emilia’s unreasonable requests ever since. I quite like the fellow, and I figure that we can use a semi-permanent transport guy who also does odd jobs. It also happens that he rescued me single-handedly from a dungeon, so he’s a true bro. I request that at some point after this bullshit is over, we bring him into our household.”
“Do you agree with this statement, young Suwen?”, Roswaal asks with his lilting voice while smiling welcomingly at the merchant.
Otto quickly puts on a serious face befitting of one under scrutiny.
“Mr. Natsuki has stated nothing but the truth, as usual. Indeed, the half-beast mercenaries under his command rescued me from a nasty death, so I would owe him my loyalty for that alone, but it just happens that he has also blessed me with trust and friendship. If you allow me, I will serve the greater interests of your household, including securing the lovely lady Emilia’s prospects as the future ruler of this kingdom!”
Roswaal nods as if satisfied.
“I graciously accept your request to join us, Otto Suwen. You may now address me as your lord and master. I hope you continue supporting us with the immediate, troublesome matter at hand: making sure Subaru isn’t captured again.”
“Understood, my lord”, he sputters out, already intimidated by your powerful ally.
Roswaal turns his attention to you, which makes you as uneasy as usual. Your mind probably must be running in the background the question of why would anyone do that to his own face and then interact with people.
“Now, Subaru, why would have Garfiel decided to imprison you? I have known him to be quite the handful ever since he grew strong enough to assert his power, and yet I have never seen him act this unreasonably.”
“Our personal lioness, that Frederica, had suggested that there were secrets to discover in Sanctuary beyond the fact that it’s surrounded by a magical barrier that can only be lifted by passing the trials. I hoped that learning more would reveal some loophole that would allow us to get Emilia out, I mean without her having to break her mind facing the past. But I ended up talking to a different Ryuzu. It seems there are at least three identical-looking ones, and she determined that I must be a witch cultist.”
“Witch cultist? How so?”
“I mean, it’s because I smell like Satella”, you answer cautiously. “Or so they say. A scent that apparently never goes away no matter how many showers I take. Although now that I stink like sweat, piss and shit, I wonder if that does the trick…”
“That troublesome Witch of Envy, despite having died four hundred years ago, her influence lingers on in this world for people to catch a whiff of her scent. I see, it was a misunderstanding. However, both Garfiel and that Ryuzu, who I guess is the one calling herself Ryuzu Shima, acted rashly, and they will have to be punished for it.”
“That’s fine and all, Roswaal, but you knew that there were different Ryuzus?”
Roswaal plasters a smile on his face even though he seems deep in thought.
“You must understand that we are guests in a territory that used to belong to the magnificent Echidna, the Witch of Greed, and in a way it still does. Her relentless pursuit of the truths of this world left us, after Echidna’s untimely, unfortunate passing, with many unique wonders. We don’t have time to speak at length on the matter, but you should know that some of the Ryuzu are what one would consider self-determined individuals, and as such they can have conflicting agendas.”
“What’s the agenda of this Ryuzu Shima?”
Roswaal looks to the side as if to find the right word, then he nods and looks up at you.
As you try to think quickly about the vital information you would need to secure before Garfiel locates you, you keep coming back to Beatrice. You know that Roswaal will not be able to help you stop the contract killers, given that he had asserted that nobody would have a reason to pay people to kill you, let alone the best contract killer in the kingdom, or possibly the world. Frederica and Petra would agree to escape if you explain the situation to them, but Beatrice would resist stubbornly, which would end up with her getting killed whether before or after you, because you would stay around until the last moment to convince her. You wouldn’t be surprised if you spent an entire run, as soon as you reached the mansion, arguing with the kooky librarian for her to follow you to safety, but she would resist even your attempts at physically dragging her out. And she didn’t even defend herself when the obviously murderous Elsa stepped into your librarian’s domain.
But should you even save her? You want to, for sure, because you already liked her, but if she’s a cultist like her hidden Gospel suggests, then you would be saving the life of someone who at the very least is a spy for a group that intends to resurrect Satella through murdering Emilia. How would Roswaal have missed Beatrice’s true nature, when she has been guarding the library for hundreds of years? Maybe she only turned recently. Maybe she never turned at all, and this is all a misunderstanding. You don’t want to kill her, but you don’t want to die at the hands of a killer, and you probably would if you let your guard down around her.
“Roswaal…”, you start, “This will come out of nowhere, but I found out that Beatrice is hiding a Gospel. That’s how she herself called it. And she admitted that the book mattered to her more than almost anything else except for whoever that Mother of hers was supposed to be. Petelgeuse himself acted similarly when it came to his own book, so that has me all worried.”
To your surprise, Roswaal looks amused.
“Hm, you make a fine point. It would be foolish to assume that just because she has such an item she is an enemy, but it would also be foolish to not take this into consideration. What kind of relationship have you developed with our little librarian to have discovered such a guarded secret?”
“Before I found out about her Gospel, I would have told you that Beatrice and I are friends of sorts, although I doubt she would think so. That hundreds of years old girl is in need of some company, that much is obvious. And she also taught me a magic spell. The thought of her being our enemy really fucked with me.”
“Would you truly be ready to deal with our powerful great spirit as an enemy?”
You can’t tell the clown’s intention under all that makeup.
“When I learned about the Gospel I was certain she was one, but the more I think about it and the more I think about her, the less sure I am. Not even sure if I should trust my own judgement anymore…”
“Thankfully I can remove your worries. What you found is commonly called a Gospel, for lack of an original name, and yet we aren’t speaking of the same kind of item as the books those witch cultists handle.”
You don’t find that reassuring.
“How is it different?”, you ask nervously. “She seemed obsessed with it the same way a cultist would.”
“What our dear librarian has in her possession is one of the most powerful magic tomes in the world, of which only two copies are known to exist. It’s the closest thing to a Tome of Knowledge that has been discovered. It predicts, in terms at times frustratingly general, the probable futures of its owner and the paths to achieve them.”
You snap your head back, and your hands tingle at the thought that not only you live now in a world where such a book exists, but that someone who shares your home would have it. You shake your head.
“Wait a second, Petelgeuse also claimed that his Gospel allowed him to predict the future! So Beatrice’s book is the same thing!”
The clown stares at you in silence for a moment, as if allowing you to come to the proper conclusion by yourself, but eventually he sighs.
“Those thing are a fraud, neither real Gospels nor Tomes of Knowledge. They generate possible futures, which stimulates the imagination and determination of unhinged people and makes those books very dangerous in their hands, but they only give those people powers beyond comprehension in their dreams. I assure you, those books you know as Gospels are only aspiring to become what our dear Beatrice possesses, and the true Gospel isn’t associated with the Witch’s Cult.”
You want to surrender to the relief that is running through your body, but even though you lift your hand to your heart, you press the clown further.
“How sure are you about it?”
The clown stares intently at you.
“I am very sure.”
“So Beatrice isn’t a cultist?”
Roswaal smiles widely, which he must intend to be a reassuring expression.
You give in. You have been learning about this world as you struggled to survive its many dangers, and you only have what people say or what you are forced to face as the facts to build your strategies on. You accept it, then: Beatrice is a friend. But she won’t be for much longer if you don’t save her life.
You step forward, and you hope that your expression will evidence the seriousness of your incoming request.
“I have reasons to believe that Beatrice will be in mortal danger. Tell me, Roswaal, is there any way to convince her to leave her library and follow me to safety?”
“That’s an interesting question… Why would you try to convince Beatrice to abandon her sanctuary, of all places, and expose herself to danger?”
“Because she will die if she doesn’t.”
“Mm… Then perhaps you should convince me.”
You have never been a smoothtalker, a charmer, or even a guy that others go to for advice. But you know how to show your true feelings, and you let them shine now: either he trusts you or Beatrice will die.
“We are too short on time, Roswaal. I work for you as well as for Emilia, and I have proven my intentions enough that you decided to knight me. Please, trust me on this. If I don’t get Beatrice out of her library, we will lose her. I’ve grown too fond of the little shit for that.”
Roswaal closes his eyes and sighs.
“You know how to get your way, Subaru, which has served you well so far. Then listen to this: once you face Beatrice, tell her ‘Roswaal said to ask the question’. Once she does, answer her, ‘I am that person’.”
“When you do so, Beatrice will become your ally. She will have no choice. Trust me on this.”
You stand there looking down, thinking about what you might have forgotten to ask, when Ram clears her throat. She has crossed her arms and is staring at you with a strict determination.
“If you are done, Barusu, we need to move. Ryuzu has eyes everywhere, so it’s unlikely that we won’t come across Garfiel along the way. To minimize the possibility, we should have already left.”
“Hey, I survived having him as a jailer, didn’t I?”
“You have not seen what Garfiel is capable of, Barusu. He’s equal to an entire army of warriors.”
As you say your goodbyes and leave the house, you consider Ram’s words. That punk might not be the strongest man in the world as he desperately needs to believe, but he’s tough enough that combined with his grudge against the world, he will have few concerns against lashing out. And if Garfiel prevents you from reaching Roswaal’s mansion, you will have to suffer through having abandoned your friends, as well as your beloved demon servant, to die again.