This part covers some of the ninth volume of the original “Re:Zero” novels.
GPT-3 is a cutting-edge language processing algorithm used in the premium version of the online site AI Dungeon.
You don’t know for how long you have lied on your back while covering your eyes with your forearm, and trying to meditate away the waves of pain coming from your mangled lower half. Suddenly an uproar comes from the carriages in front of yours. Your driver slows down and then veers towards the side of the road. Julius opens the tarp on the back, and after looking around for a moment, he jumps out. For a while it sounds as if plenty of people are getting out of their carriages and then either exclaiming in surprise or shouting at each other. Eventually Ferris, looking worried and angry, also peeks out from the opening in the tarp only for Julius, who had returned, to startle her.
“There are remains of broken or destroyed carriages, as well as dead ground dragons and blood. No human or demi-human corpses, but it looks as if they were hauled off. Ferris, they bear your household’s coat of arms.”
Ferris gasps and jumps out. You opened your mouth before you could formulate what to ask, but ever since your conversation with these two ended, they seem content with ignoring the stain you currently represent.
You take the opportunity to look around you for any possible tool to kill yourself, but there’s nothing but floorboards and the benches. Through the opening in the half-closed tarp on the front you see that the driver must have gotten out to check out the carnage.
The knowledge that you will have to tolerate existing in your broken body at least until you reach the capital gives way to the regret and sadness that you must have been right: Crusch’s caravan was attacked by the White Whale. It must have been such a rare occurrence for the whale to repeat the same hunting grounds mere hours later that it even bewilders the local inhabitants of this weird fantasy world. You keep repeating to yourself how much you need to die and return to the past, but your mind insists that for all you know you will return to the carriage you were sharing with Emilia and those kids, and it will be impossible to rewind the universe further. It must have been Satella’s decision, though, instead of some kind of limitation in your power.
Your thoughts are interrupted by an agitated argument behind the back tarp. A few seconds later it is thrown open, and both Julius and Ferris get in. The cat-girl stares at you with a mix of anger and perplexity.
“I wasn’t lying to you guys”, you say with a raspy voice. You cough. “My girlfriend was truly coming back to the capital on that caravan, and suddenly Emilia didn’t know about her existence. Maybe only some got eaten… The duchess might have survived. Clearly enough people survived to organize a new caravan and keep going.”
Ferris’ eyes look blank. She turns away from you and keeps walking until she sits down heavily on one bench. She hides her face with her hands.
Julius crouches next to you.
“Is this the first time you have reached the remains of the duchess’ caravan?”
“You believe me now, Julius?”
“I’m making a serious effort to, and that you had foreseen this ambush lends credence to your words.”
“That’s good. Yes, this is the first time. After I learned from Emilia that the memories of my Rem had disappeared from others’ brains, I killed myself successfully, but then Satella instead of sending me far enough in the past, she sent me back to mere minutes before as I was sitting on the carriage! That rotten bitch… I tried to kill myself for the second time, but I failed and ended up talking to you guys.”
Julius narrows one eye as he looks troubled.
“You don’t choose the point you return to?”
“I wish! No, Satella used to send me back to Crusch’s mansion a couple of days ago. I was ready to return and fight the cult all over again, but that looped witch changed the rules. I need to plead with her to move the return point further back.”
“Plead with… How is speaking with Satella like?”
“Far more annoying than you would think. It’s a one-sided conversation. Turns out that being trapped in a dark space for hundreds of years hasn’t done wonders for her mental health. I can’t tell what’s she’s thinking, if coherent thoughts even remain in her ghostly head.”
Julius look down, and then he arches an eyebrow as he runs his hand through his light purple hair.
You should give this guy a break. He’s already working hard enough remaining on your side as wild shit comes out of your mouth.
“Let’s leave it for now”, you say. “We will need to see the extent of the damage for ourselves once we get to Crusch’s mansion.”
“If my lady has died…”, Ferris begins to say with a hollow, teary voice, but she doesn’t finish the sentence.
“She hasn’t been eaten by the whale, Ferris. That much is obvious.”
Julius nods slowly. He stands up, shuffles to a bench and sits down.
Your caravan has been navigating through the capital’s busy and noisy streets for a while. Even though you never enjoyed the tumult of the capital, nor of big cities back on your world, having returned to a functioning community makes you feel safer, and more importantly offers you more opportunities to kill yourself. You need to figure out how to get rid of the people around you who want to force you to keep existing in this reality, and then drag your broken body to something or somewhere that would provide you a safe death.
Your driver announces that you have finally reached Crusch’s mansion. For a moment your heart swells. The duchess’ place had become a home away from home, a haven full of memories, plenty of them happy to various degrees, although most of them keep stealing your sleep. As you try to sit up, whatever remains of your hip cries out in pain. You clench your teeth. Did this damn cat-girl heal you at all? Did she fail to offer you any relief as a punishment?
When you are considering asking her, the carriage parks, and the dismayed healer jumps out of the carriage. Julius stands next to you and offers you an understanding look.
“Do you want me to carry you?”
You avoid his gaze.
“Julius, how does one walk by himself in this fantasy world when his lower half has been obliterated?”
“I never had to consider it before. Maybe there are some healers inside who could guide you properly.”
You end up hanging from Julius’ back like a humiliated backpack. The sun has already set, although the sky hasn’t darkened entirely. As Julius journeys through the throng of people unloading carriages, carrying the wounded somewhere or just running around for no fucking reason, you think that you can never allow yourself to fuck up this bad ever again. You either kill yourself safely or you wait until you can. At this point of your unnatural life you believe you can take any kind of pain, and even enjoy some of it. You have certainly sought it out before. But the regrets and humiliations pile up in your mind, and they will accompany you for however many times you wake up in that black oven to join your goddess.
Julius is carrying you through an area where the wounded either lie unconscious, get treated by low level healers, or aren’t wounded at all and instead are covered to their ankles with whatever sheet-like thing was at hand. It’s hard to distinguish anybody’s voice or their words, but you both end up recognizing Ferris’ wail. It cools your blood to hear such a sound coming out of a woman that seems determined to tough out any problem.
A few seconds later Julius has located the cat-girl, and he stands a few steps from her kneeling self. She’s hugging a lying body whose upper half Ferris is covering, but the military uniform as well as the pieces of plate armor identify her as Crusch Karsten. Her left arm is detached near the elbow and lying next to her on the grass. Whatever removed it sliced through the gauntlet as if it were made of butter. You feel Julius’ shiver through your body, as you are leaning on his back.
“The White Whale didn’t do this”, you say low enough that only Julius hears. “No way it cut Crusch’s arm in such a way.”
Only when you mention the duchess’ name you need to contain a sob. The duchess is dead. The coolest woman you have ever met, the best mother figure you have ever had, who had cared for you so much and that was so fair and honorable with everybody. She’s gone.
Julius walks away from the sobbing cat-girl for a few steps.
“Something even more nefarious than that monster must have assaulted them. Maybe some of the wounded can-…”
A nerdy-looking guy in his thirties approaches you. He’s wearing a grey robe stained with blood.
“You need medical treatment, right? Did you come with the new caravan? Let’s move over there, please.”
Julius follows the man. You are passing by other healers and plenty of wounded.
“H-Hey,” you begin to say, even though your words feel stuck in your throat, “did you see a blue-haired servant among the wounded? Very pretty, great body.”
The doctor snaps his head back.
“You knew her? Nobody remembered seeing her before. They concluded that she must have been a stowaway.”
You gasp close to Julius’ ear.
“Please, bring me to her!”
The doctor nods. Julius follows the guy for around ten seconds, and then you spot Rem. She’s lying face up on a sheet. Although she has her eyes closed and her lips slightly open, her chest rises and falls as she breathes normally. Her servant uniform is stained with blood, but not more than it already was when you bid her farewell at the village. She’s not injured.
The mental block that had allowed you to keep going up to this point breaks down. As warmth surges to your face and a sound of blood rushing deafens you, tears fall from your eyes. You turn your head away so they won’t drip on the knight who insists on helping you.
“Please, set me down next to her”, you say with a thin voice.
Julius does so. Both the knight and the healer stare as you stroke Rem’s hair and rest your forehead on hers.
“Julius, this is my girl. I have no clue what’s going on… She doesn’t seem injured.” You look at the healer, who keeps a solemn expression. “What’s wrong with her?”
“I had only read about her apparent case in medical reports, but she has the same symptoms as a few people who were found over the centuries in apparent sleep, and interestingly some of the identities of those people were unknown as if they had popped up from nowhere, which made me doubt that this woman was a stowaway.”
“She isn’t a stowaway, she’s one of us! She took part in the operation, fought the cultists and all that. The memories of her have been stolen somehow.”
The healer makes the universal noise of understanding.
“Something similar to the White Whale’s powers, then. However, it hasn’t affected you.”
“I don’t know why. Doc, what’s the problem with her then? Why isn’t she conscious?”
The healer tightens his lips and narrows his eyes.
“I’m sorry, but the people with this condition… They fall into a perennial sleep. I don’t recall reading that any of them woke up eventually. Such a terrible thing…”
“That’s horrible”, Julius says with a pained tone. “Could be the work of a curse, or a rare power.”
Your heart beats in your neck as you stare at Rem’s calm face. You need to be alone with her, you want to hug her tight and forget about the world. She won’t wake up? She’ll stay like this forever? You have to abandon this reality. Satella must allow you to return further back in the past so this won’t happen.
“A magical coma”, you say as your voice trembles. “Rem, I specifically asked you not to do this.”
When you turn your head back to both men, the healer’s lips are tightly pursed as he avoids eye contact, and Julius has a thoughtful yet pained expression while carefully looking at you out of the corner of his eye.
“Don’t worry about me, doc”, you say with a hollow voice. “The supposed best healer in the kingdom, Ferris, has already treated my injuries, supposedly. I’m as good as I’ll ever be.”
The healer nods, although he looks you over again.
“I will be around. If you need help you can ask any of us. As the lady ordered, we are here to treat the casualties of this operation.”
Julius stares at the healer as he leaves, and then he speaks to you in a low voice.
“I figure you want to spend some time alone. I also want to ask around whether any of the people who returned with the duchess can give me any detail about whoever ambushed them.”
“Thank you, Julius.”
“I’m really sorry about your beloved.”
After he leaves, you lie on your shoulder and stroke Rem’s face. You open her eyes, but her eyeballs stare at the stars blankly. You are feeling numb except for the waves of pain that occasionally make you clench your teeth. No doubt that if you stayed in this broken reality you would have to tolerate some degree of this continuous pain for the rest of your life. You would go insane.
You look around, but apart from the wounded, bandaged and bloody, most of which seem dazed although others are sitting up and eating dinner, there’s a conspicuous lack of swords or daggers to stab yourself with. You would have thought that you wouldn’t have to beg too much for someone to kill you, and that some would assist you eagerly, but this fantasy world keeps surprising you in the same way that a bug in your food is a surprise.
When the first healer looking person, a woman, is about to pass you by, you call out for her to stop.
“Excuse me, I kind of had an accident with my legs. Is there any chance you can give me some crutches, small ones, like for a half-beast person?”
The freckled woman with curly red hair smiles at you sweetly, and you get some encouragement from her eyes.
“I can get you a pair.”
After she leaves, you feel truly grateful for the first time since you woke up at that carriage. You focus on Rem, on watching her as much as you can given that you had thought her lost forever, but you feel a disconnect between her comatose self and you. It’s like she’s an echo, or an embodied memory of the person she was, not because she’s fallen to this curse or whatever it is, but because you will abandon this reality and the sooner the better. After you have integrated the notion that you are a temporary inhabitant of a failed reality, you need to make an effort to interact with people you knew while respecting the boundaries of normal behavior, at least until you are seconds away from the salvation of death. You owe it to those people, at least.
You wait patiently for the healer to come back, and once she does, she’s about to hand you a couple of sturdy-looking, wooden crutches when she gets startled.
“What is that ground dragon doing here?”
As soon as you turn your head, a rough, mostly dry tongue licks your forehead and your hair, rasping your skin and you are quite sure pulling out a few of your hairs. Patrasche’s black head and her bright orange eyes fill your vision. As soon as your gazes connect, she growls as if whining. Although you have become half a person, you can’t help but smile at her.
“Didn’t want to worry you, girl. I’ve gotten into a bit of trouble, but it’s alright.”
The healer remains silent for a few seconds, but then hands you the crutches. She looks at the ground dragon as if she wants to ask you to send Patrasche away, but you suppose that she pities your broken self.
“She won’t step on the wounded or charge into them”, you say to the healer. “She’s a good girl. From now on wherever I go she’ll go.”
The next time you lift your face, the healer has left. You rest your head on Patrasche’s neck as she nuzzles what remains of one of your thighs.
The healer has given you crutches short enough that they might allow you to maneuver around while standing on the stumps. Ferris did close them, at least. As soon as you can move somewhat freely, you can find the way to kill yourself. There’s hope.
You realize that Julius is standing close to Rem’s feet. She’s looking with a troubled expression at the sleeping demon servant.
“Did you find something out, Julius?”, you ask.
“I have. Apparently the duchess’ caravan was ambushed by two men.”
“Two men did this? And they caused people to forget Rem?”
“They clearly weren’t normal men, by the descriptions I have received of the attack. One of them, a young man wearing a white, maybe military uniform and with hair almost bleached white, seemingly destroyed two caravans, killing all the wounded it was carrying, as effortlessly as if he had just willed it. While the carriage one of the people I talked with was riding veered off the road, the one carrying the lady charged towards the man to run him over. However, the man exploded her carriage. Miss Karsten survived that attack, although their memory of how seemed hazy. The duchess confronted the white-haired man. Her blessing failed to cut through him, and in turn he tore off half of her left arm. Chaos ensued. The soldiers I spoke with couldn’t tell me anything more except that they got a glimpse of the other man, and they described him as a mix between a homeless person and a caveman, with sharp, shark-like teeth.”
“This world just gets better and better, huh?”
“At some point those men just left. Maybe this ambush was a message instead of an attempt at extermination.”
“But they killed Crusch.” Your throat closes, and you blink away the impending tears that were forming in your eyes. “Her camp is exterminated for all intents and purposes.”
“Ah, no. The duchess is alive!”
Julius attempts a smile, but a quick look at your mangled body and the comatose girl, one of whose hands you are holding, sours his mood.
“I saw a soldier helping her walk into the mansion as Ferris kept healing her reattached arm.”
“Crusch was walking on her own?”
“That’s good. It doesn’t change my situation, but…”
Julius briefly rests his hand on the pommel of his sheathed sword. After he looks over the many wounded and then how a few carriages are exiting the mansion’s grounds, he turns his attention to you and holds your gaze as if he will never see you again.
“Subaru, you told me the truth, isn’t that right?”
“I did, yeah. As hard as it is to believe, and strange as it has been for me to live it.”
“I need to come back to my household and inform the lady. If you and I don’t see each other again…”
He looks troubled, and doesn’t seem to know how to continue.
“We will see each other again, Julius. If not in this reality, in another one. You are a good guy. I’m glad we met.”
Julius tightens his lips and nods.
“I’ve known you to do what is necessary no matter how risky and unorthodox. Don’t give up, Subaru, whatever giving up looks like for you.”
Julius turns and walks away briskly towards the main gate.
You rest your head next to Rem’s. As you stroke her soft hand, you close your eyes and try to focus on that feeling instead of on the pain coursing through your body. This isn’t your Rem. Your girl is waiting for you to come back and keep her at the village so she will never fall into this state.
Some minutes later, you sit up as much as your elbows and your shattered hip allow you to. Patrasche had curled up next to you, and when she notices you staring at her, she lifts her head slowly. Her reptilian face somehow looks depressed.
You put the crutch pads under your elbows and you grasp the grips. You make an effort to stand on your stumps, but they have retained enough nerve endings for them to feel as if you are filing your teeth. The pain makes you want to groan. Your eyes get watery and your heart beats loudly. You push yourself to advance the equivalent of a few steps when you realize that Patrasche has stood up as well and looks gigantic close to you.
“I don’t know how much you understand, girl, but stick around. Don’t get too far from the mansion. I might need you.”
You clench your teeth as you keep pushing forward. Your arms are already trembling, and a couple of times the tip of a crutch gets stuck in the grass or the mud and you keel over. One of those times you get a mouthful of grass. Although there are people around, you refuse to look up in case someone wants to offer you help.
You were beelining towards the gate when the black pants of a suit appear in front of you, determined to block your path.
“Mr. Natsuki, where are you going?”
You look up at Wilhelm, who has grown taller all of a sudden, and you regret looking him in the eyes. His gaze is stern in a similar way as it was during your self-imposed loop of two days when you were ransacking Crusch’s wine cellar and in general had discarded every shred of human decency. Although back then you just didn’t care, now shame burns in your chest. But you’ve had enough of existing in this body. Trying to explain your situation to more people would be a huge waste of time.
“Taking a walk. I figured that I better get used to these crutches, as I’ll have to use them from now on.”
“It’s too late in the day for that, as well as too soon after your suicide attempt. Miss Ferris has ordered the staff to accommodate you in your previous bedroom. Some sleep will contribute to seeing things clearly.”
You want to argue, but you suspect that Wilhelm will forcefully drag you into the mansion if you refuse. At least he allows you the dignity, if you can call it that, of pushing yourself with the crutches without helping you. Everyone you come across inside the mansion stands aside as you pass, but you make a point of not looking up at them to figure out who they are. You don’t want to remember their expressions.
Wilhelm does open the door of the bedroom for you. You stand in the doorway and you find yourself staring in pain at the bed. You should have woken up here. So many of your recent memories, some of the strongest of your life, had involved waking up in this bed. At the same time you not only feel an urgent need to sleep, but also to eat something. You need to ignore both as well as the constant pain running in the background.
You climb the bed and arrange the pillows so they will support your back. As you were about to look at Wilhelm and plead somehow with him to leave you alone, your crotch area feels wet. You try not to think about your crotch, about the mangled state of that vital area of your body. Far less damage to it would have already signalled that the time had come for the entire universe to rewind. You don’t sense anything resembling dick muscles that would contain your pee. You hope that it won’t smell. God, you seriously need to die as soon as possible.
Wilhelm’s serious tone wakes up from your turmoil. You force yourself to swallow your shame and stare at him.
“Why would you do this?”, he demands to know.
Your mouth runs before you bother to think about some proper lie.
“I’m a weak man, sir Wilhelm. After surviving this operation I realized that I don’t want to live in a world where such horrible people exist and cause so much pain to others. I would have never become as strong as you, or even enough.”
You aren’t sure why you have said something you know it to be false, nor how it came out of your mouth as if you were being honest. Wilhelm lowers his head, but the stoic expression in his old visage doesn’t change. After a few seconds, he turns enough to offer his profile.
“Lady Emilia wished to see you. She will come in shortly.”
Your heart sinks. You were about to reach for him with your arm as if to keep him from calling her over, but you want to avoid disappointing Wilhelm further if only to prevent those memories from infecting your mind.
“She will see you, and you will speak with her in private. You need to become at least strong enough to face the consequences of your decisions.”
He exits the bedroom and closes the door quietly. You feel cold, you are in pain, your crotch is leaking, and the thought of facing Emilia’s despair forces you to swallow and press your fist against your mouth to contain a rush of nausea. I need to die, you think. I need to die. I need to die. I need to die. I need to die. I need to die. I need to die.
The door opens. You don’t look up. After it closes, from the corner of your eye you distinguish Emilia’s white dress lined with purple, and how her hands, that she’s holding in front of her waist, are shaking. You stop breathing. After a while, from her mouth escape sounds resembling sobs, and her dripping tears fall down your frame of vision. Emilia walks closer to your side as if to force you to look at her.
Her beautiful face is contorted in anguish, and her purple eyes keep pushing out tears like an open faucet. Her eyes are red as if she hasn’t done anything else than cry ever since you failed at killing yourself, and her hair is somewhat disheveled. You picture her crouched against a corner of the carriage they were keeping her in, rocking back and forth while clutching at her hair. What could you say to someone you have hurt to this extent?
“S-Subaru…”, she mumbles. “Why… why did you, you would have d-died? Why did you d-do it? What’s wrong? I’m lost. That’s the problem. It’s me. It’s me. It’s me. It’s me…”
It feels as if your heart is shattering into pieces. The fact that it’s not only makes it all the more unbearable. This girl has lost it.
“It’s not you, Emilia. My plan was to prevent you from dying, but I knew that I…”
You are trying to spin some lie that would justify your suicide attempt, aren’t you? You are going to lie to her as well. And why? For her to run away in tears, giving you enough space so you can finally escape this mansion and the well meaning ways all these people you’ve come to appreciate want to keep you alive. That’s maybe your only true talent: knowing exactly what to say so people dismiss your existence. You are going to hurt her sensitive soul even further. I despise you, Satella, you think, and acid-like rage sizzles in your heart. Even just for allowing me to come back in time to face this nightmare, I despise you, you rotten witch.
“I’m… I’m sorry”, you say. “Please forgive this pain I have caused you. It wasn’t my intention.”
You reach for her hand, which feels cold, and stroke it. Emilia’s lips tremble.
She does nothing but stare and you and sob. You swallow, and push yourself to keep talking.
“I’m broken, but please, don’t cry. You-“
You don’t get to finish your sentence. Emilia’s free hand balls up in a fist, and before you know it her punch lands straight in your nose. The back of your head hits the headboard. It knocks the wind out of you, and you are left speechless.
“Stupid!”, she shouts. “How can you even think of leaving me! I…” She breaks off as she tries to find words. “I need you!”
She didn’t punch your nose, which is dripping blood on your chest, because you almost died, but because you would have left her side. Even though you don’t want to, that annoys you.
“And there’s the whole thing that I would have died, right? As in I wouldn’t be alive anymore?”
Emilia narrows her eyes, although it doesn’t stop any of her tears from falling.
“I-I don’t want you to die, Subaru. You need to remain by my side. I want you to keep living and stay with me. Didn’t you understand that? Why did you do it? Why would you try to die?”
“Emilia, I don’t know if there’s any point in telling the truth to you right now, in this broken reality, but I just can’t take your crying face. I can barely look at you.”
“Why, why would you do that? You would have killed us both!”
“Damn it, Emilia. Listen to me. You people don’t listen, even when I bother to explain myself. I didn’t intend to die in the sense that I wanted my consciousness to disappear. I have a blessing, okay? A power given to me by Satella, that silver-haired half-elf that most of the world hate you for. She granted me a power to return in time whenever I die. I tried to kill myself because I would travel back in time to a moment when I could prevent Crusch’s caravan from departing from the village before the fighting ended. That’s all, okay? Now please stop crying. I’m going to die just by looking at you like this.”
“B-But why would you do that? That’s insane!”
“Of course it’s fucking insane, but that’s how it is! Do you think I want to die? Well, I have wanted to die many times, but even if I did want to disappear entirely, Satella would prevent me from doing so! I’m forced to keep struggling even if I completely lose all will to exist. If I don’t manage to kill myself, Rem is gone forever, and then I truly will want to die for real. There’s only so much I can take. Satella doesn’t reset my emotions nor my memories leaving only the foreknowledge. I have to bear all this fucking garbage on my own. Do you know how hard that is!?”
Emilia stands there sniffling and crying and trembling. You realize that you want to be angry. Maybe anger is a bandage for this despair rising in your chest. If you hate the world you can survive it.
You pull on Emilia’s hand you are still holding, and as she staggers forward you embrace her and rest her cheek on yours. Her hot tears wet your skin.
“Emilia,” you begin softly, “I will kill myself because Satella’s blessing will allow me to return back in time. You won’t lose me, I won’t leave your side. I will wake up hopefully in this bed a couple of days ago, if Satella listens to me, and I will gather enough forces to rush to the mansion and save you. I will repeat it as many times as I need. So you have nothing to worry, no reason to cry. My broken body just makes things a bit harder, that’s all. Pain I can take. I will take all of it. Don’t suffer for me.”
Emilia hugs you back and cries into your shoulder.
“Please, don’t die. P-Promise me that you won’t die.”
“You and your promises. No, I can’t promise you that. I will kill myself, Emilia, because I will return back in time. Please tell me you understand that. I can barely keep it together anymore. I need to leave this reality. Did you understand what I told you, Emilia?”
“Y-You say that you have a blessing that makes you return in time if you die…?”
“You haven’t lost it that much, then. That’s right. So it’s okay, you know? It all seems scary, but that’s just the surface view of things. Dying isn’t so bad after all! I don’t want to get into the details of that blessing or my on and off relationship with Satella, but that’s how it is.”
She tries to break the embrace, but you hold her tight against her will. She’s shaking. After a few seconds she tries to push herself off by supporting herself on the headboard. You don’t know why you are restraining her like this. Everything hurts, you can barely tell what you are doing.
Then, she hugs you tight once again.
“If… If that’s true… Then I’m prepared to die as well.”
You remember, as a distant memory, that an impossible winter will descend if her heart stops beating. What a troublesome woman. Dating her would be such a rollercoaster. The sex would likely be amazing, though. You no longer have a dick.
“Don’t get so dramatic. I will die so none of you needs to suffer any longer. And as soon as I can I will kill myself!” You break into song. Your thoughts contort and stretch and seem about to snap. “I will stab myself in the throat with a broken bottle and soak the duchess in red, and run up to the baroness and shove my tongue in her mouth so her dog runs me through with his sword, and start fights with every thug in town so they break every one of my bones, I will invent a gun and blow my brains out! I will take my globs of blown out brain and gobble them down and then I will vomit them on the ground!”
Emilia just cries louder. Upon hearing her, you burst out laughing. Ah, it’s such a joke. The whole thing, every single moment you have lived through, every second of your miserable life, is a terrible joke.
You move your hands to Emilia’s shoulders and separate her from you. Snot runs down her nostrils and slides down her lips. You grab the back of Emilia’s head, which startles her. The girl’s eyes look dazed, as if she has no clue what’s happening and she isn’t built to process any of this. You pull her into a kiss. Her eyes widen, her limp body feels cold in your arms.
You see something stir behind Emilia’s eyes, and the blankness begins to go away. Then, she bites your lower lip. A tiny cut opens up and a streak of blood appears. She spits out your lip.
“Your mouth tastes like boogers, Emilia”, you say. “You need to take better care of yourself.”
Emilia stares at you as she breathes through her mouth. Her eyes look at yours, then at your nose, down at your bloody lips, and back at your eyes. Her fingers uncurl from their fists, and she grabs your shirt.
“What if I believe you and I allow you to die”, she says with a surprisingly sober voice. “What would happen here?”
“Then, as the story goes, I would be freed from my torment. I would ascend into heaven and live there for all eternity. Nah, I’m just playing around. The world will rewind. I will wake up hopefully in this bed a couple of days ago, and you will be waiting at the clown’s mansion for me to come and save you! I will ride on a white horse to my princess and fight the dragon…”
Emilia pulls away from you and takes a step back. Her body shakes. Although she looks confused, half out of her mind, all of the information that you just gave her might be sinking in.
“What if it doesn’t for us? What if it does for you but not for us?”
“W-What do you mean?”
“What if I shot a shard of ice through your brain and you returned in time, but in here I would be staring at your corpse? What if the you in here dies even though your consciousness has gone back?”
You don’t want to deal with this level of lucidity, not from Emilia now, and not when you need to die as soon as possible. Your crotch is wet, you might shit yourself at any moment, and your dick is gone. Why am I spending my time arguing?, you think. I should bang my head against a wall until my head bursts.
“I don’t know the answer to that, Emilia. I just know that I do come back. I don’t want to think if I’m actually leaving a whole reality behind every time I die.”
“But what if…”
You grab Emilia by the hand. Her reddened eyes are unfocused.
“Listen to me, Emilia, I’m going to kill myself. If you end up staring at my corpse, remember that I’m somewhere else not being dead. I will treat the other Emilia real good. I will ride to that clown’s mansion and save her from the ancient ghost. I will make everything okay.”
“I don’t want some other me to be with you!”, she shouts, closing her eyes tight and hunching over. “I don’t want you to leave me again! You are the only person I trust in this entire world, that has my back and would be there for me, besides a great spirit! I couldn’t sleep because I understood it, even though we fought and I was so angry. I don’t want you to leave my side! I want you to stay with me forever, so please, don’t die!”
You hug Emilia. Your hands rub her back as her sobbing gets louder.
“You silly bitch.”
“I-I will take care of you, every way you need. I’ll make it so it doesn’t matter that you have lost your legs and your genitals. I will be your caregiver forever.”
“Even if Satella hadn’t cursed me, I’d rather die.”
She pounds on your chest with her fists.
“No! Don’t abandon me in a world where you don’t exist anymore!”
“Even if this reality continues and I leave behind a corpse, I’ll always be with you. I’m part of you, specifically for you.” She cries harder as you rub her back and kiss her forehead. “You’re going to do great things for this world, Emilia. You helped me more than you could ever know.”
You feel a sharp pain in your neck. Emilia has bit you. The wound leaks blood down your chest. Was that my carotid?, you think. No, it’s not pumping. Just my luck.
“I can taste your love in my mouth”, Emilia mumbles.
“My love for Satella is leaving my body. That rotten witch is the only one for me. You can’t hold a candle to her, Emilia.”
Emilia begins to cry harder as she lays against you. You don’t want to say anything. Your whole body hurts. How can you feel this pain and remain lucid? What a curse to be able to think these thoughts. You need to lose Emilia, or somehow make her kill you. But she won’t, so you should sneak out, leave all these people who for some reason came to appreciate you, and disappear in the capital.
“Hey, you’re still with me, aren’t you?”, Emilia asks with a hollow voice.
Her purple eyes stare into yours. You nod. Even through the redness and the tears and the madness she’s gorgeous.
“I’ll stay with you”, she adds.
“Yeah, you will. Come up here, lie next to me. Sleep with me from now on, will you? If my crotch leaks everything I drink, you can clean it with your tongue.”
“I’ll always be with you.”
You kiss Emilia. She tastes like snot and blood, yet still sweet. Emilia climbs to the other side of the bed rolling over you, and then rests her chest on yours while seeking your mouth. Her silky silver hair tickles your face. You wrap your arms around her and hold her close.
I don’t know what the fuck was going on with the last scene. I entered it with the only note that she should bring up that the protagonist might be leaving a whole reality behind each time he dies, abandoning his friends and possibly dooming them. Everything else that ended up making that scene came out of the flow of writing it, of the half-delirious protagonist dealing with an almost broken Emilia. I kind of feel worse about Emilia after exploring that scene, to be honest.
In any case, I’ve been recalled into work. From tomorrow I’ll return to the routine of waking up at six in the morning, going through shit I don’t care about and that squeezes my energy and rasps my nerves so after I get home at four I can do little else than rest. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue with this strange retelling even though half of the nights during my periods of working full-time I hope I don’t wake up again.