Chapter 14

"To Bury Troubling Values"

???: "..."

...The seventy-seventh Emperor of the Sacred Vollachia Empire.

Hearing Abel's title, Subaru's mind went blank. It wasn't because he didn't understand the meaning of those words, or because he was afraid of confronting royalty.

It was true that this was the first time Subaru had ever met someone of royalty in person, even in another world.

By the time Subaru was summoned to this world, the entire royal family of the Kingdom of Lugnica had succumbed to illness. Felt, who is suspected to be a survivor of the royal family, doesn't count, partly because Felt herself doesn't even admit it, and because she doesn't have a trace of royalty about her.

In that respect, the people Subaru had met in this world who held the highest ranking positions of authority were probably the people he saw at the Royal Selection ceremony, the members of the Sage Council, or the Duchess, Crusch. Roswaal, who is the Court Mage, is also in a high position in his own right. ...Actually, what kind of position does Emilia, the candidate for the next king competing in the Royal Selection have?

Subaru: "......No, this is not the time to be escaping from reality."

He stopped himself just before his thoughts became distracted and scattered. Anyway, the important thing is that Abel called himself Emperor. From the moment he met him in that foresty meadow, Subaru had a feeling that Abel was no ordinary person. But it was completely out of his imagination that the man before him would be in the position of an emperor. However...

Subaru: "If that's true."

Abel: "Do you doubt my word?"

Subaru: "Of course I'd doubt it. Why would I have run into the most important man in the country in the middle of a forest? I'm willing to believe that your brazenness is emperor class but...."

Thereupon, Subaru cut off his words and glared squarely at Abel, who was wearing a vicious mask. From Abel’s side at best, it was a confrontation in which nothing can be felt except the sharpness of one’s gaze, this wasn’t fair. Indeed, there was a strength of will in Abel's tone of voice that no one but somebody of importance could have. This was proven by Subaru's intuition, who has somehow come into contact with people from all walks of life in this other world. ...But that's not the same thing as this.

Subaru: "I told you a while ago. How the hell am I supposed to trust a guy who won't even show his face?"

Over the campfire, amongst the flickering flames, Abel took in Subaru's words. Referring to the conversation they had while Subaru was in a daze, looking down at the burning encampment, Subaru had glared hard at Abel, who had covered his face with a mask. He said the same thing to Abel, who was covering his face with a cloth instead of the mask from that time. And thus, hearing this, Abel took off the cloth and showed his face.

Abel: "You're an annoying man."

As he said this, he placed the removed mask beside him, just at that moment....

Subaru: “...”

Abel: "What's with those impudent eyes? There's nothing particularly different about me than there is about you."

Subaru: "......Partially, I suppose. I'm sensing some divine malice in the arrangement."

Abel's sarcasm pierced Subaru's face as he stared at him. As he answered, he could say that Subaru and Abel look similar. However, that would be a broad generalization, and if one looked at them closer, their appearances would be vastly different. He has shiny black hair and long piercing eyes. His demonic appearance is intimidating, but he has a unique charm that is hard to look away from...

This is the face of the Emperor of the Sacred Vollachia Empire. But the face of Abel is completely unfamiliar to Subaru. Subaru is the knight of Emilia, a candidate for the Royal Selection, and is now involved in the national affairs of a neighboring country.

Subaru: "Is that how it's supposed to be? You're at the top of the country and your face is...."

Abel: "You would have no way of knowing. Originally, my face wasn't even meant to be seen outside the Imperial Capital. There are too many people in this country who want my head."

Subaru: "You mean for self-defense? Do you have that many grudges with people?"

Abel: "No, it's not that. It's because being strong is the Imperial people's creed. Once the weak die, the fragile die, the cowards die.... the strong deserve to have it all.”

Subaru: "...."

Abel: "The seat held by the Emperor is no exception to this rule. That's what makes the Empire so uniquely powerful."

With his cheek resting on his own knee, Subaru stopped gazing at Abel who was talking about Vollachia’s extreme ideals. Having spent a few days in the Imperial soldiers’ camp, Subaru knew that he was not lying. Todd and the Imperial soldiers would surely agree with Abel's words. There is a tendency for the Imperials, including them, to really believe that victory will make up for anything.

Saying “Long live the Empire” is a way of life. To that end, the Imperials would not hesitate to burn down the forest to destroy the tribe, but similarly, they would not hesitate to raid the camp of those same Imperials and kill all of their soldiers.

Subaru: "...Wait, that's crazy."

Abel: "What’s that?"

Subaru: "Suppose, suppose, you really are the emperor, why did you attack the Imperial soldiers' camp? You should have entered without issue and talked to the higher-ups of the camp...."

Abel: "Foolish. I can't just walk out and about like that. I'm not suicidal. I don't want to get mixed up with you."

Subaru: "I'm not suicidal either. But, suicide...?"

Subaru doesn't understand why the Emperor would consider contacting his own soldiers suicidal. For Abel, all of the Imperial soldiers should be his subordinates. It doesn't make sense that coming into contact with them would be suicidal. ...No, there is a way to make sense of it. It's just...

Subaru: "If I'm not mistaken, didn’t you say you were thrown out from your position as Emperor?"

Abel: "You didn't miss it. But I also told you that I would never repeat the same thing."

Subaru: "Don't play games with me! That's the important part I guess. That whole being thrown out from the Emperor’s throne thing..."

Abel's expression didn't change, and Subaru begins to doubt whether he was the Emperor. Because if Abel's situation was as Subaru had predicted, then it must be quite hopeless. This thought made Subaru hesitate to continue.

Abel: "...You have the right idea."

In the end, Abel easily stepped over Subaru's hesitation and nodded.

In front of Subaru, who choked on his breath, Abel's gaze lowered slightly and he looked at the burning bonfire. The wood popped and crackled within the fire, the faint noises made it seem like the wood was nearing its last moments. Abel closed one eye quietly as he listened to those final moments.

Abel: "The encampment of Imperial soldiers outside of Buddheim were sent by my political enemies to deal with me. So you were right, you were mixed up in all of this."

Subaru: "But... the people in the camp weren't talking about that. They said that their goal was to negotiate with the People of Shudrak in the forest."

It's not that Subaru has the ability to see through other people's lies. Still, it didn't seem realistic that in a crowded place with dozens of people, they would talk to each other just to fool outsiders like Subaru and Rem. That's why the Imperial soldiers must have believed that Todd and the others were after the People of Shudrak.

Subaru: "And yet, their true aim was to capture you..."

Abel: "Don't embellish your words. It was you who said they were planning an attack. And you weighed the People of Shudrak against the Imperial soldiers to protect yourself and your woman."

Subaru: “No... tch."

Abel: "There is no difference. You can't change what happened. Nor can they be resurrected. The dead tell no tales, nor do they exert any influence over the living."

Subaru: "...."

...The dead do not come back to life. Struck by Abel's poignant words, Subaru closed his eyes tightly. A man who knows nothing, nothing at all, can say whatever he wants.

...There is a way to bring back the dead. Subaru is the only one with the authority to do so.

Subaru: “....”

If he used Return by Death there was a chance that Subaru would be able to return before the entire encampment was wiped out. That way, he could alert the Imperial soldiers and save them from certain death. However, if he did that, the People of Shudrak would be in danger. It would be a difficult task to save both sides of the conflict. Above all...

Subaru: "I......"

Don't have the guts to use Return by Death for their sake. Even if he did restart, what would be the chances that he could do better? The fact that both Rem and Subaru were safe this time is the next best thing, if not the best. To want more would be to take on a never-ending challenge. To that end, how far could he wear down his own life?

Abel: "You're a foolish man, with an anguish beyond my comprehension”

Abel's words suddenly struck Subaru's eardrums as he asked himself that question. For a moment, Subaru couldn't understand what he was being told and opened his eyes, stunned. In front of him, behind the flickering flames, Abel was staring at Subaru. The look in his eyes seemed as if he pitied Subaru.

Abel: "Why do you desire to be beholden to others?"

Subaru: “What do you mean, are you worried about”

Abel: "You’re only looking after others. You have deliberately shaped yourself that way. Just as a warrior trains his skills, you have covered your own heart with the deception of charity."

Subaru: "...Tch, I don't need you to tell me that much!"

Subaru felt an unbearable anger towards Abel, who acted as if he understood. There was no way that someone who didn't know anything about Return by Death, or Subaru himself would be able to understand even one ten-thousandth of what Subaru has gone through. There was no reason to be lectured or pitied by him.

Subaru: "You never answered my question in the first place! The Imperial soldiers were after the People of Shudrak. They never even mentioned you......."

Abel: "This is not a story that can be passed down to a single soldier. Probably not even the commander knows about it. The Emperor's desertion into the wild is not a story that should be leaked outside the Imperial capital. Even those who have casted me out don't want the Empire to be shaken"

Subaru: “...”

Abel: "Besides, it was inevitable that they would target the Shudrak. Only Shudrak could possibly take the hand of the Emperor who had been ousted from his throne and fled the Imperial capital. ...Therefore, killing the Shudrak would be like cutting off my own limbs, which are barely keeping me from drowning, and sinking to the bottom of the water."

This matter-of-fact explanation seeped into his brain, and Subaru's doubts were put to rest. Todd and the rest of the Imperial soldiers had surrounded the forest, and their goal was to negotiate by neutralization, or to annihilate the entirety of the People of Shudrak.

Subaru: "....Why are the Shudrak the only ones you can count on?"

Abel: "Once, the Emperor of Vollachia saved the lives of the Shudrak. The Shudrak never forget a favor. There's also the Lifeblood Ritual. Those are my reasons."

The Shudrak's old cross-generational debt to the Emperor and their ritual-oriented way of living. Abel, who was forced to leave the Imperial capital, gambled on this and tried to make contact with the People of Shudrak. So Abel's political enemies sent Imperial soldiers into the forest to bury the emperor to prevent this from happening.

It was a bad bet with long odds, but Abel had won that bet, one could say. Brilliantly, he surpassed his opponent's intentions and defeated the first wave of enemies that were hunting him down. However, Subaru can understand. ...That there was no way his enemies would back down now.

Subaru: "The battle between you and your enemies is not over."

Abel: "Of course not. ...If I die, that's it. But I'm still alive. As such, I will do everything in my power to take back the thing that is rightfully mine."

That was the choice of Abel, Vincent Abellux, the Emperor of Vollachia. The word thing that he spoke of seemed to Subaru to be prefixed with the word country. It was a way of looking at things that was much too different in scale. As soon as he was overwhelmed by the absurdity of the situation, Subaru slowly came to a realization.

Subaru: "Then you're about to…. start a war with the help of the People of Shudrak?!"

Abel: "That's right. I made them promise me that they would help. The results of the Lifeblood Ritual and the pact with the former Emperor. Those who claim to be prideful will be easy to deal with. They will fight with me."

Subaru: "After all that're still saying it's not enough?"

In order to regain the Emperor’s throne, a number of inevitable battles would occur. It is the beginning of a war. … A fierce battle between people fighting each other and taking each other's lives.

Subaru: “...”

The burned down Imperial encampment, where, as far as Subaru knew, there used to be more than a hundred Imperial soldiers.

If the camps that Abel and the Shudrak attacked had not just that one, even if some of the soldiers escaped, the damage would be more than a hundred. Maybe a thousand.

...In the few hours that Subaru was unconscious, more than a hundred people lost their lives.

Subaru: "That's just..."

In all his days, this was the most suffering Subaru had experienced in his life in this other world. There were casualties in the battle of the White Whale, and in the battle against Petelgeuse. The battle of Priestella, for example, resulted in many people who could not be saved, and many more who are still in the process of being saved.

The number of lives lost here was far greater than the number of unavoidable casualties.

The people they fought were not demon beasts or wicked beings, they were just human beings. It wasn't someone they couldn't talk to, but someone they could reason with.

Subaru: "Why would you resort to killing......?"

Abel: "There's no other way. That's it."

Subaru: "...Are you sure about that? Did you seriously look for any other way? Before you killed them and took away all their potential, their last moments."

Abel: "..."

Abel's eyes narrowed at Subaru's faint, mosquito-like plea. It wasn't that he was contemplating Subaru's opinion, but rather that he was questioning the fundamentals of why he would have to do such a thing.

It's not that they don't speak the same language, or that they don't have the will to engage in dialogue. And yet, the reason they couldn't talk was because of the horrible difference in their values.

Until now, Natsuki Subaru had been fortunate enough to never be in a situation where he had to establish a relationship with someone who had very different values.

Many of the people he encountered in this world were rational, and they listened to Subaru's words and treated him with sincerity, sharing their own opinions. There were times when he messed up because he was too stupid to understand them and didn't realize their considerations, but still, he was able to communicate.

The only people he couldn't communicate with due to differences in values were with the Witches of Sin and the Sin Archbishops. However, by defining them as distinctly different, Subaru was still able to avoid clashing values with them.

But Abel is different. The People of Shudrak were different, as were the Imperial soldiers.

They didn't have any malicious intent, they didn't play with human life and death, and they didn't use their immense power for themselves. They were human beings, just like Subaru, except for their fundamental way of thinking. And yet...

Subaru: "......I just want to take Rem home with me."

The battle to reclaim Abel's position as Emperor will now begin. If this had been someone else's story, or if it had been a past event passed down in a biography or something, Subaru might have been so excited that he turned the page away.

But this was reality. In another country where there was no one to rely on, a fierce internal conflict is about to occur that will shake the very foundation of this country. Subaru had no intention of intervening in the situation and shaping history.

His goal was to return to the Kingdom of Lugnica with Rem. He wanted to meet up with Emilia, Beatrice, and the rest of the residents of the Roswaal mansion as soon as possible to revel in the joy of Rem's awakening and discuss what they should do in the future. There was no time to deal with any other issues.

Subaru: "...Tell me where the nearest town or village is. I'll find my way back from there."

Slapping his own cheeks with both hands, Subaru focused on a single objective. Abel exhaled and let out a small "Oh" in response.

Abel: "That's reasonable. But it's not an easy road, either."

Subaru: "It doesn't matter if it's easy or hard, I will walk the path if I have to. Preferably on a paved road."

Abel: "Hmm."

Beginning to stand up in front of the snorting Abel, Subaru bit hard on his cheek. The pain stimulated his brain, knocking away the various hesitations that arose, and he looked forward. Then he looked at Abel, who had not changed his posture.

Closing one eye, Subaru’s gaze crossed with the lonely Emperor.

Subaru: "I haven't thanked you yet. ….Thank you for rescuing Rem, regardless of the means. For that, I am grateful."

Abel: "I not only rescued that one girl, I rescued the other one as well."

Subaru: "That was unnecessary. ....Thanks to you, my worries will remain unchanged for a while."

Of course, if Louis had been lost in the Imperial encampment, it doesn’t mean that it would have neatly solved the problems that Subaru was facing. In fact, it was more likely to worsen the situation as far as his relationship with Rem was concerned.

He didn't know which would have been better. He didn't know, so...

Subaru "I'll take the one I'm comfortable with. …..It's complicated, but you can handle it yourself... But, the People of Shudrak…..."

Abel: "Don't involve them, you say? In any case, if you and I hadn't intervened, the forest would have been burned to the ground, and them right along with it. This is their fight now too."

Subaru: “....”

There was no denying that. The women are now in a position where they have to fight to protect themselves. However...

Subaru: “That’s impossible for me …..I’ll never be like you."

Shaking his head, Subaru muttered as he looked at Abel. Abel closes one eye, his closed eyelid is the opposite of the eye he closed earlier. More to the point, Abel's blinking was peculiar. He blinked one eye at a time, never both eyes at once.

Subaru understood that this was to prevent him from closing both eyes even for a moment. He feared and dreaded the existence of the Emperor of Vollachia, the top of the Empire of the Sword Wolf, who had survived in a world where this was a habit.

Hearing Subaru's murmur, Abel, still with one eye closed, said...

Abel: "Of course. Neither you nor anyone else can take my place."

That's what he said.


It was time to part ways with the People of Shudrak and head for the nearest town in the Buddheim Forest. When the people around Subaru heard about his decision, their reaction was unexpectedly refreshing.

Mizelda: "Yes, it's a pity, but it can't be helped. If that is a comrade’s decision, then so be it.”

TL Note: The word “同胞” means compatriot,countrymen,brethren etc. The Japanese Analysts felt that the word brethren would’ve been better, but since the Shudrak is an all female tribe we decided to change from breathern to comrade since it’s gender neutral.

This was Mizelda's reaction to hearing Subaru's story. True to her word, Mizelda respected Subaru's choice, though her dignified face became somewhat sad. To be honest, he was prepared to be called out and told that if he didn't fight, he wasn't a real warrior, so he felt bad that she was so concerned.

Once he had obtained the Chief's permission, there was no one to prevent him from making this decision. The presence of Utakata, who looked even more saddened than Mizelda, made him hesitate, but that was no reason for Subaru to stay.

Utakata: "Su will go somewhere. Too bad for Uu…”

Subaru: "Yeah, sorry… Hey Utakata, do you understand what’s going to happen from here on out?"

Subaru asks Utakata, patting the girl's head as she picked at the hem of her outfit. There was no doubt about the values and solidarity of the People of Shudrak, and Mizelda's decision is the tribe's decision, but Utakata is still very young. If she doesn't know what's going on and is being carried away by the heat of the moment around her...

Utakata: "...? This is it, the battle has begun. Uu will also fight with Mi, Ta, and everyone else."

Subaru: “...I see."

Saying that, Subaru sighed as Utakata showed him the bow she had equipped on her back. He wished that the young child didn’t know any better. It seemed that such deception was a naive idea that would not work in this forest.

Originally, Utakata had once shot Subaru to death with a poisoned arrow. Even if she didn't look like it, there was no mistaking that Utakata was one of the People of Shudrak. She is prepared to fight, and she is prepared to kill her opponent. Still...

Subaru: "Don't die, Utakata."

Utakata: "Uu won’t die! Su as well, don’t die! Good luck!”

Subaru was at a loss for words as he tried to cheer for her, but received a much louder cheer in return, which he managed to respond to by making a weak smile. To be honest, he had no idea how much of a chance Abel and the Shudrak had of winning the battle.

Aiming for Abel, who had been ousted from his position as Emperor, his opponent had sent a strike force to the Buddheim Forest. This means that the enemy is in a position to deploy the forces of the Empire at their own discretion. On the other hand, Abel only has the Shudrak, and they are a small force of less than a hundred. Of course, there is also the possibility that Abel will continue to win a series of battles, using the same kind of divine logic that allowed him to unilaterally attack the Empire's positions and repel the strike force, but...

???: “...We’re ready”

Subaru: "...Ah"

As Subaru was being dominated by thoughts that he should have sworn off, someone called out to him from the side. As soon as they did, Subaru's shoulders quivered and he turned around, and the other party rolled their eyes at his burst of energy.

???: "...? What’s wrong? You look so surprised."

Saying that, Rem looked at Subaru, whose face was tense. With a wooden cane in one hand and a small amount of luggage on her back, Rem seemed to be as ready to leave the forest as Subaru was.

...Yes, it was none other than Rem who showed the most unexpected reaction to Subaru's choice to leave the forest.

To be honest, Subaru had expected that Rem would be stubbornly resistant and would need to be persuaded. In the worst case scenario, he was prepared to forcibly take a sleeping Rem and leave the village of Shudrak as if he were fleeing in the night. However, when Subaru told her the situation head-on, he was prepared to be rejected, but Rem's response was unexpectedly simple.

Rem: "...I understand. We’ll finish our preparations by tomorrow.”

So, even though he saw Rem preparing for the trip, Subaru couldn't quite accept it as a reality.

Rem: “...Um?"

Subaru: "Ah! No, I’m sorry, I’m fine. Yeah, I'm ready to go. You’re so cute."

Rem: "What?"

Subaru: "Rather, you’re steadfast! Thank goodness. You’re a person of firm character, I’m a lucky guy!"

His answers were so awkward that Rem gave him a very suspicious look. It was not that he was trying to impress her. Of course, it would be helpful if Rem didn't rebel against him, so he’d prefer to maintain the current state of their relationship if possible. Ideally, he’d like to get to know her better, though.

Subaru: "..."

This can be attempted again when Subaru's mental state is calmer. For now, he really wanted to get away from the looming war as soon as possible.

Rem: "So, are you ready to go? It seemed like you had some time to say goodbye…”

Subaru: "Yeah, I'm fine on that end. I don't have a lot of luggage to begin with, and Rem can carry most of it for me."

Rem: "...But you’re going to have to carry me with you."

Rem's voice dropped, and she glanced at the handmade wooden structure in the village square. Made of thick branches and ivy, it was the so-called backpack that Subaru had put together to carry Rem around on his back.

With a cane, Rem could walk unsteadily, but it would take several days to travel from here to the nearest town. There was no telling how long it would take him to get there if he had to keep pace with Rem. That was why Subaru had built it with the help of the Shudrak.

Subaru: "It has quite a handmade feel to it, but the strength shouldn't be a problem. I've properly tested it with Talitha, who is heavier than Rem."

Rem: "I'm not too concerned about being heavy or light, but I think that’s disrespectful to Talitha-san."

Again to Rem's displeasure, Subaru chuckled and scratched his cheek. Then, Subaru turned his gaze behind Rem to Louis, her traveling companion. Naturally, if Subaru was going to take Rem with him, she would be his companion.

Subaru: "No matter how much I want to, it’d be unreasonable to push a ticking bomb onto all the Shudrak.…”

Even if he didn't, it would be outrageous for him to take his eyes off a Sin Archbishop. There have been many occasions when he has let his eyes wander, and each time Louis had the chance to reveal her true nature, but he doesn't want to let that happen again in the future. Even though he is beginning to think that Louis' pretense is not an act, but the real thing.

Louis: "Aah.... ooh..."

Louis, with her long hair tucked behind her head and her white outfit repaired, had a very different look. Apparently, she was well-liked in the Shudrak Village, and the mended clothes seemed to be a gift from the villagers.

Subaru: "I'm sorry for making you take care of everything."

Mizelda: "Never mind that, Subaru. You have overcome the Lifeblood Ritual and shown the brilliance of your soul. It is a proper honor to our comrades that we lend you our strength."

Subaru: "Comrade…”

Subaru looked down at Mizelda's words, who crossed her arms and came to see him off. He couldn’t face Mizelda, who called him "comrade" with such affection. He knew that there was going to be a tough battle ahead, and he was trying to escape it, knowing that he was one of the people who had dragged the women into it. Is that what the proud and honorable people they spoke of would do?

Mizelda: "Don't worry about it, Subaru."

However, Mizelda said that as if she had read Subaru's mind.

Subaru: "Mizelda-san…”

Mizelda: "We fight, we prove our worth. But we can create a future by protecting what is dear to us. ...It is a necessary idea to protect our clan."

Subaru: "..."

Mizelda: "Protect Rem and Louis. That is the honor I expect from a comrade."

At Mizelda's straightforward words, the corners of Subaru’s eyes felt hot. He didn't feel like correcting Mizelda by saying that she was wrong about Louis. At the very least, he had to repay the trust that Mizelda and the others' had in him by fulfilling that role. Or maybe he’ll never see them again...

Holly: "We're ready to go, nooo. It's time for us to leave, nooo."

TL Note: Holly puts “ノー” at the end of almost all of her sentences, we’re using elongated “no”s to represent this, the pronunciation is closer to “naw” though. The word in question doesn’t really mean no, we’re just going with that, the ー after ノ means that it’s supposed to be elongated. In general, it’s used by females to place emphasis on the sentence.

After Mizelda's speech, a woman wildly waving her hand, Holly, who had dyed the outward facing part of her hair yellow, called out to Subaru with a big smile on her face. Beside her was the slender Kuna, whose hair was dyed green. In contrast to the cheerful Holly, Kuna gives the impression of being quiet. Those two will be the guardians of Subaru and the others.

They are supposed to protect Subaru, Rem and Louis from being attacked on the way to the nearest town called, Guaral.

Subaru: "I thought that having something like an escort would be awesome, but…”

This was a foreign country, and Subaru had already died several times in just a few days. There was no denying that it was a unique situation, but there was nothing wrong with being cautious. Subaru himself had no fighting power, not to mention his overconfidence, and it was absurd to expect Rem and Louis to have any. He doesn’t know about Kuna, but he also saw with his own eyes that Holly could lift a large rock with ease. As an escort on the road, she was more than enough of a trustworthy partner. And...

Subaru: "Rem, do you feel any pain?"

Subaru asked Rem over his back as he lifted the backpack. Since they were back to back through the backpack, Subaru could not see Rem's face. Although he had stuffed soft leaves and cloth to hold Rem's body in place, there would be a number of inconveniences during the long trip.

Rem: "I’m fine. ...Are you sure you can make it?"

Subaru: "In case you were wondering, I've been working out reasonably well. I'm not quite back to full strength yet, but I don't want Holly and the others to have their hands full when the time comes."

In the first place, it would be a big help just to have them as an escort, but he couldn't ask them to carry Rem in addition to that, no matter how much he wanted to.

Subaru, who was showing such determination, and Rem, who was being carried on his back, stood next to Louis, while Holly and Kuna, who were accompanying them, finished their preparations and stood lightly dressed, but ready to travel. Then, the People of Shudrak gathered at the entrance of the village.

Mizelda: "Well then, may our comrade Natsuki Subaru find peace, and may his purpose be fulfilled."

Other Shudraks: "...May his purpose be fulfilled!"

As Mizelda led the way with her chants, the other Shudraks joined their voices in unison. Savoring the illusion of the wind picking up, Subaru responded to their spirit with at least a smile.

Subaru: "Ohh! Thanks, everyone. No matter what happens, please take care!"

After saying that, he thought to himself that it was a terribly deceptive farewell. When he considered the tumultuous road that lay ahead of them, "take care" was too empty and meaningless a phrase. But he couldn't say anything more. He couldn’t hope for anything more.

He hopes these pleasant women will be well and continue to live.

Subaru: "..."

While hoping so, Subaru looked for that evil mask in the line of people coming to see him off. But of course, the figure was nowhere to be found.

He was not the kind of person who would come to see Subaru off, nor did he have that kind of relationship with Subaru. There were no words that Subaru could say to him, even if he saw him here. So...

Subaru: "...I'm off!"

Louis: "Woo!"

Louis' high-pitched voice echoed over Subaru's desperate words. Subaru and the others left the village of the People of Shudrak and took the first step toward Guaral, the nearest town, to escape the war that was about to start.