Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World
Arc 5: Interlude 1 "Pair of Jokers”
Garfiel felt as though there were far too many unanswered questions. He was simultaneously satisfied and unfulfilled.
It was not and should not be natural for him to think. It’d be far better if he could move simply through instinct, without a single, solidified thought in his mind. Perhaps this was Garfiel’s punishment for thinking too much.
Kurgan: [That was magnificent.]
Garfiel didn’t know how to respond to the legendary hero’s final words.
In the end, Garfiel felt incomplete, as that moment had a sentimentality to it that made him want to cry.
Garfiel lightly kicked the ground, sending him sliding into a nearby collapsed building.
Forcing his body to twist and turn, Garfiel noticed that the building had already been thoroughly looted and ransacked. He couldn’t recall this building being involved in the Battle of Priestella, which meant that this scene was most likely the result of pragmatic thieves taking advantage of the citizens' distress and confusion.
Garfiel: [Th’smell o’ battle be disappearin’ tho.]
Sniffling, Garfiel looks around the room. There are traces of blood and some damage to the walls, but strangely, no visceral scenes or pungent odors remain.
Unable to find anything of significance, Garfiel begins to get up to leave when a small object catches his eye, off in the corner of the room. As he walked towards the object, he realized it was simply a small doll. It easily fits into the palm of his hand, yet miraculously, the doll was neither dirty nor broken.
Garfiel picked up the doll, and while he was lightly dusting it off, he looked around for its owner. He looked around, despite knowing full well that the owner could not be here. It’s merely a doll, so even if it’s missing, it wouldn’t make a difference.
Letting out a sound with his tongue, Garfiel shoves the doll inside his pocket and leaves the building. He leaps out of a shattered window and nimbly descends to the ground, holding his fingers and feet against the wall of the building.
Garfiel: [Ah! I'm back!]
Volunteer: [Truely, brother, that's amazing.]
Noticing Garfiel’s descent, several people gather around him. They all had expressions of anxiety and anticipation on their faces, and he found it excruciating to not be able to answer any of their questions.
Volunteer: [Brother, how was it inside?]
Garfiel: [Sorry, but my amazin' self didn’t find anythin’. There's nothin’ left in there an’ I couldn' find wha’ I was lookin’ for.]
For a moment, the man frowned at Garfiel’s answer, but he quickly nodded with a reassured face.
Volunteer: [Well, the fact that there was no one inside means that we can put this building aside and focus on other areas. Thanks for all your help, brother. The staircase had collapsed, so we couldn't even check inside.]
Garfiel: [I can't stan’ by an’ watch ya guys do all that dangerous work. I admire the guts to climb a wall with a rope, but is’ all fer naught if yer fall and go splat!]
Volunteer: [That's what I'm talking about! You're a lifesaver!]
The man happily pats Garfiel on the shoulder, and raises his hand to say a final "Thank you," before heading to the next building. Garfiel watches as the man and a few others head off, and ponders what he should do next, when...
What caught Garfiel’s eye was a small figure looking up at the building he had just emerged from. A teary-eyed girl quietly held her mother’s plump hand. When the mother told her daughter what was going on, she looked down towards the ground and shook her head over and over again. He doesn't know what they are talking about, but he knows that it’s not a safe environment for families. Garfiel was going to try to convince them to leave the area, but he suddenly realized something...
Sniffing the air, he noticed something familiar. Garfiel reaches into his pocket for the doll he had just picked up from the building. He lifts it up and sniffs it, and sure enough, it held a faint resemblance to the scent in the air.
Garfiel: [Would this happen t’belong to yer by any chance?]
Little Girl: [...!]
Garfiel walks up to the two and gently holds out the doll. The girl, who was initially surprised to be approached, opens her eyes wide when she notices the doll. The girl’s hands slowly reached out to grab the doll, and her crying intensified.
Little Girl’s Mother: [Thank you. My daughter had been looking for that doll…..]
Garfiel: [Yer don' need to worry ’bout it. I just happen’ to find it.]
The mother thanked him and he shook his head, denying her praise. In fact, Garfiel doesn't think that he had done much at all. The simple favor was hardly a problem when compared to the entirety of his life. What is required of Garfiel now is a larger role, and...
Garfiel: [I dunno what it is.]
Muttering, he absent-mindedly stroked the head of the girl holding the doll. He then lifts his palm from the little girl’s head...
Little Girl: [....?]
The little girl looked up at Garfiel.
Garfiel: [It's nothin’. Don't lose it.]
Garfiel’s luck isn’t going to last long enough for him to find it again. Thinking this, Garfiel Tinsel gently smiled at the girl, as if to show off his fangs.
Three days have already passed since the turmoil ended in the Water Gate City Priestella. As a result of the Witch Cult’s attack, the city has been left with many scars, both large and deep.
These scars were caused by the authorities of the deadly Sin Archbishops of “Lust” and “Gluttony”. They left behind hundreds of victims who had either been mutilated beyond recognition or stripped of their “Name” and “Memories”. The solution to this matter was expected to be found from the “Sage” Shaula.
Garfiel, who did not attend the meeting, was not sure about the details. He was sure that they would be able to find a way to make it work. However, he was moved by the mention of the “Sage”, one of the “Three Heros”.
It was Garfiel’s nature to want to know the stories of amazing people, be they legends, folklore, or heroes who have left their mark on history. Naturally, his knowledge includes the “Three Heroes”. He strongly admires the “Divine Dragon”, the first “Sword Saint”, and the “Sage”, but he is particularly conscious of his interest in the “Sage”.
This was because, of the “Three Heros”, there was hardly any information available on the “Sage” Shaula.
In the Dragon Kingdom of Lugnica, the existence of the "Divine Dragon" is revered and told as a popular fairy tale. The title of “Sword Saint” has been passed down for generations and remains a legend. Compared to those two, the stories surrounding the “Sage” were lacking.
What kind of appearance, what kind of origins, what kind of claims did he have? Everything from his personality to his history was vague. It was public knowledge that he stayed in the Pleiades Watchtower, praying for world peace while watching over the “Shrine of the Witch”, but Garfiel was not sure of the truthfulness of those claims.
So, of course, he would have offered to accompany them on the journey to visit the “Sage”. There was no way Garfiel would want to miss that kind of opportunity. However, considering the purpose of that journey, it was probably best for him not to express his interest in going. He was sure the Capn’ would have asked Garfiel to accompany him if it was necessary.
This time, Garfiel couldn’t think of going on that journey. Perhaps it was because Garfiel had too many regrets about this city.
Garfiel: [Th’ Capn’ musta been aware of my troubles.]
His current task is to protect Otto while they both recover from the injuries they suffered during the battles.
Subaru: [There is no guarantee that the Sin Archbishops won’t come back to attack this city. If that happens, you’ll be the only one strong enough to defend it.]
Subaru: [Don't force anything onto Otto. And don't do anything crazy with him, either. It might be useless to say this but…]
Subaru: [Don't look so worried. Just wait for the good news. Well, I'll be off.]
Before leaving on his next journey, he left those words behind for Garfiel. As Garfiel saw off Subaru and Emilia as they left the city, he pretended to be okay on the surface, but on the inside, his confidence took a great hit.
In the end, for various reasons, it was decided that Garfiel needed time to recover, and was left behind.
If Subaru deemed it necessary, he would have brought Garfiel, even if he was badly injured. Garfiel held enough trust in Subaru to help him, even if he was in tatters and dying. It's a good thing that he wasn’t, because that would mean ….
Garfiel: [I'm not goin’ t’ be able to be of any use to yer now, Capn’.]
Natsuki Subaru was a master of psychological warfare. It was no surprise that he had seen through Garfiel’s guise and left him behind.
Garfiel: [Well, what should I do? I just can’t seem t’ find tha’ answer.]
Garfiel is aware that he is stamping his feet in frustration. He has a rough idea as to why he’s doing it...
But Garfiel didn't know what the right thing to do was. That's why he's still stuck in place.
So, at least with that in mind, Garfiel decides that he is going to help rebuild the city.
Both of Garfiel’s arms had been severely injured during his battle with Kurgan. Luckily, they were almost fully healed thanks to his “Divine Protection of Earth Spirits”, and the use of his own healing magic.
In his current condition, it wasn't possible for him to fight in an all-out battle, but it was possible for him to help clear debris and use his nimbleness to get to places others couldn’t.
However, Garfiel knows that this is merely an act of escapism.
As long as he moves his body, working for someone else, he doesn't have to worry about people thinking he was useless.
Garfiel was doing this because he had noticed his weak self.
What Garfiel Tinsel didn't know is that Natsuki Subaru had realized some time ago that such acts were all in the name of covering up one’s own weakness.
Compared to Natsuki Subaru, who was aware of it and turned away, Garfiel is trying to face himself. He doesn't know that without even a single word being spoken, Subaru had figured out that Garfiel would overcome it.
Garfiel doesn't know, but...
???: [Oh! Garf! Awesome energy! Mimi loves high places, Garf!]
Subaru knew that there were many people who could make Garfiel realize that, too.
That's why Garfiel isn't the stupid bastard he thinks he is.
Mimi: [Fufufufufufuun, fufufufufufuun]
Garfiel: [Yer in good spirits]
As Mimi walks next to him, Garfiel lets out a sigh.
Mimi came to invite Garfiel to lunch during the city's reconstruction efforts. In the end, Garfiel was forced to go along, as he couldn’t think of an excuse to refuse the girl's pushy invitation.
Mimi: [Do you feel the same way Garf? Mimi thinks you do! But you know, both Hetaro and Tivey can be so annoying when they're quiet.Mimi is sure you’ll be able to find a way to make a good impression.]
Hearing Garfiel's sigh, Mimi swooped in with a bright face. With her cat ears twitching, she stretches out her chest, and thrusts out her fist with a "shush".
Garfiel: [Don’t be so quick t’get carried away!]
Her agility makes Garfiel uneasy. Grabbing Mimi’s shoulders, Garfiel lifts the girl.
While being lifted, Mimi starts meowing. As soon as she makes eye contact with Garfiel, she starts laughing with a joyful look on her face. Seeing the carefree look on Mimi’s face, Garfiel feels kind of ridiculous for worrying about her.
Garfiel: [I'm sure yer goin’ through a lot of trouble, but ya don't seem worn down at all.]
Mimi: [Fufufu, Mimi can't show you any weakness! Mimi guesses that's what Mimi's selling point is, she's a tough girl! Have you fallen in love? Have you fallen in love?]
Garfiel: [My amazin' self hasn't fallen in love.]
Mimi: [Is that so?]
Mimi sways back and forth without showing any disappointment. She was not very heavy, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to keep swinging her around in case they were attacked again. Garfiel walks towards the eatery, with Mimi’s hand in his own. Kiritaka guaranteed food and shelter to those who had helped protect the city. However, since there is a shortage of manpower and goods in many parts of the city, Garfiel does not intend to take advantage of his graciousness. It's what Subaru sometimes calls a mutual win-win.
Garfiel: [Hey squirt, how's yer stomach?]
Mimi: [Hmm, Mimi is hungry! Come on, let's eat!]
Garfiel: [I'm not talkin’ ’bout yer appetite, I'm talkin’ ’bout yer wounds.]
Mimi: [Oh, that's it! Yeah, maybe they’re feeling good, right? Mimi’s wounds are nothing to worry about. But do Hetaro and Tivey feel alright? Mimi thinks they took on a lot of Mimi's wounds.]
Crossing her short arms, Mimi nods with a huff and a snort. In the battle, Mimi defended Garfiel and suffered a deep and incredibly dangerous injury. It was a serious, life-threatening wound, that even healing magic could never seal. The only thing that kept Mimi alive was her two younger brothers, who, including Mimi, are triplets. Due to the effect of the "Divine Protection of Trisection" in which siblings share their wounds and fatigue, the two brothers took on the burden of the older sister, and the three of them survived, despite the extreme exhaustion.
After that, it was just a matter of resting and waiting for healing magic to take its course. It’s ironic that the sister of the three siblings recoverd much faster than her two younger brothers. It’s kind of hard to evaluate her after all that had happened.
Garfiel: [Yer brothers don't deserve it either. Ya should be more grateful, don't ya think?]
Mimi: [I understand. I know what Garf wants to say, but Mimi is the older sister.]
Mimi: [Mimi is so happy, but Mimi doesn't want both of them to die because of Mimi. Life is important! Very important! Those two lives are special! So, don't waste your money on Mimi! My lady said you can't waste your money!]
While in Garfiel’s grasp, Mimi wags her tail in order to balance. The girl crossed her arms and made an unusually difficult face. Garfiel rolled his eyes at the girl's words. He was expecting another incomprehensible theory to pop up.
Garfiel: [Surprisingly, yer thinkin’ straight.]
Mimi: [Naturally! The Gorgeous Mimi is smart! Brave! Have you fallen in love? Are you in love?]
Garfiel: [My amazin' self is not in love.]
Mimi: [Mimi sees how unfortunate.]
While being shaken, Mimi giggles at Garfiel’s answer. At such an open-minded smile, Garfiel scratches his cheek and sighs.
Garfiel: [But then ya couldn't say the same thing to yer’ brothers!]
Garfiel: [If my sister was dyin’ and if I had the means to save her, I would try. That way she could get angry later.]
Of course, Garfiel understands Mimi's reasoning. If someone you love risks their life to save you, it's a joyful thing, but at the same time, it's a terrible thing. Garfiel couldn’t say that he would want his loved ones to die for him. Garfiel had a feeling he would never be able to say that, even if it took him the rest of his life.
Garfiel suddenly wondered what Ram would do. Garfiel thinks Ram would accept the idea of dying or being dead for the person she loves. Garfiel is sure she would die for that bastard.
Mimi: [Hmmm! But they’re still dummies! After all, Mimi is very angry. It’s decided ]
Mimi: [Don’t say "Thank you" and don't be pessimistic. Mimi is sure Hetaro and Tivey know that Mimi would say that, so if they know that and still do it, then Mimi is sorry. Mimi can't help it that they love her so much!]
Mimi: [Maybe dying together means you want to live together, right? So, if that's the case, your sister will just be your sister, and Hetaro and Tivey are just going to be Hetaro and Tivey.]
Mimi had found her answer to the devotion of her two younger brothers. It was an answer that might seem rather simple, so much so, that it might seem unaffectionate, but it still stuck with Garfiel. It was like being mindlessly poked and prodded, a disgusting feeling that formed in his chest, as if something had settled deep inside him and spread throughout his body.
Garfiel: [Then ......]
Garfiel tries to use words to best address this feeling that was building up inside him. Glaring at the dangling Mimi, Garfiel bites down on his sharp teeth.
Garfiel: [Then why did yer protect me back then? Yer got injured, ya could’ve died!]
Garfiel couldn’t help but question why Mimi would risk her life for a stranger, whom she had only met a few days earlier? Why would she do that when she would be angry that her two brothers would do the same thing for her?
Garfiel didn't have the words to express his thanks to Mimi for saving his life.
Mimi: [Well that's because Mimi is in love with Garf. Mimi is so embarrassed.]
Garfiel: [It's only been a few days, right!]
At Mimi’s words, Garfiel bites his lower lip as Mimi stroked her head in embarrassment. Yes, it had only been a few days. There is no need for Garfel to take Mimi’s love declaration seriously. How Garfiel responds to this confession is not important. What is important, is the strength and depth of those feelings.
He had been thinking about Ram for seven years, about half his life. That's how long he's been in love with that girl. For all of those years that he had been in love with her, he wanted her, he expressed his love for her in word and deed, so much so that he never once thought of giving up on her. That's why….
Garfiel: [Yo’ve only known me fer a short while, so why did.....]
you risk your life me?
Even though Mimi is loved so much by her two younger brothers, how could Mimi direct such love towards Garfiel?
Mimi: [It's like Roshi used to say!]
Mimi [Pair of Jokers!]
Garfiel raises an eyebrow suspiciously at the unfamiliar words. Mimi suddenly turns around and lets go of Garfiel's hand, then lands on the ground. She rolls forwards and leaps in front of Garfiel, before pointing at him with both of her hands.
Mimi: [The pair will be together for years, decades, even centuries, right?]
Garfiel: [Hundreds of years is too special of an example ......]
Mimi: [If the thought is eternity, hundreds of years will be nothing! Although they will be together for a long time, they will probably have lots of fights over food, right?]
The scale of their disagreement feels small, but Garfiel listens quietly. No reason to get excited and open up old wounds. Let Mimi do what she wants to do, and then Garfiel can try to calm her down….
Mimi: [Wouldn't it be nice to pick a partner who would enjoy fighting? It’s also said that you can usually tell who you should be with at first sight!]
Garfiel: [Ya can tell at a glance?]
Mimi: [Mimi took a good glance at Garf! The fact that you just got a little crush is like a margin of error for me! A forward advance! Yeah, just like my Lady would tell me about! Advance! And then, collecting interest!]
Garfiel was taken aback by Mimi’s heart-pounding words.
He didn't know what she meant by advance or collecting with interest. What did it mean? Like borrowing on a bond that would last hundreds of years?
Is that the reason why she did what she did? Is that her argument?
Garfiel: [But ya could’ve died.]
Garfiel: [If yer dead, I don't owe ya anythin’. And yet...]
Mimi: [Annnnd, Garf, is your head ok?]
As Garfiel stutters, Mimi taps his head with her finger.
Garfiel is astonished to be told this by someone he would prefer not to be told this by, if possible. Mimi then crosses her arms.
Mimi: [If we could die together, doesn't that mean we could live together? Mimi and Garf are both alive, so why are you complaining about it? Going bald?]
Mimi: [Oh? Garf, did you just laugh? Hey, did you laugh?]
In Mimi’s dull eyes, she could see Garfiel’s fangs click. The interval between the clicking of Garfiel’s fangs gradually narrowed, and the clicking soon turned into laughter.
Mimi: [Oh! Garf has a big smile! What's funny?]
Garfiel: [Oi, yer funny. Ah, shit, damn it!]
Mimi: [Mimi! Well, Mimi doesn’t blame you. When Mimi is here you have no choice but to laugh.]
Mimi's attitude of not understanding makes Garfiel laugh more and more. No, it's not Mimi who doesn't understand, it's Garfiel who doesn't understand.
It's probably the most important thing that Mimi knows, she just can’t put it to words. What is clear to Mimi is not so clear to Garfiel. Maybe that's why Garfiel is so frustrated right now.
Garfiel: [But ya know what? The reason yer two brothers risked their lives for ya is because they want t’live t’getha with ya, right?]
Mimi: [Mimi is good! Hetaro and Tibby are not! That's it!]
Garfiel: [What do ya mean?]
Mimi, who wields her sister's authority, does not stop smiling until the end. Looking back on it, Garfiel thinks that Fredrica, on occasion, had also been reckless with her position as his sister. Well, that is only natural. A sister is supposed to love her brother.
Mimi: [Hmmm, Garf, you're looking good now, Mimi will give you a compliment!]
Garfiel: [Hey, hey.]
Mimi: [Did you fall in love with Mimi? Are you in love?]
Garfiel: [My amazin' self did not fall in love.]
Mimi: [Mimi gets it. But Mimi is in love. Rest assured!]
Garfiel: [...Oh. Thank ya.]
Mimi lines up next to Garfiel as they walk, smiling as if she was about to jump on him. When Garfiel strokes her head, Mimi's tail twitches and begins to sway happily from side to side.
So far, Garfiel was not convinced by Mimi's attitude about the consequences of self sacrifice. However, Mimi is already convinced, at least from her words. The answer to Garfiel’s question is that his regrets in the Water Gate City have yet to be clearly resolved.
However, Garfiel feels as if there is now a ray of light. The light that illuminates the path to the answer that Garfiel seeks.
Mimi: [We have arrived at the diner! Garf! Mimi, snap, snap snap!]
Garfiel: [Hey, don’t open yer wounds back up!]
Mimi quickly rushes into the building, and Garfiel follows her in dismay.
The dining space is not very large, but at the moment, it is packed with people involved in the reconstruction process. Since it's lunchtime, it's hard to find an empty seat.
Mimi: [Garf! Over here! This spot is empty! Can we share this table please!]
???: [Share the table, ah, we’re sitting together. I understand.]
Mimi, who energetically runs around the store, has quickly secured a seat for two people.
As Garfiel heads to the back of the store, he sees that two of the four seats at a table are empty. Seeing Mimi sitting down with her tail wagging, Garfiel also arrives at the seat. He then tries to warn the person sitting in front of him, as a noisy Mimi might annoy them.
Wilhelm: [This is an odd coincidence, Garfiel-dono.]
Garfiel came face to face with a white-haired old man, Wilhelm, seated opposite of him.
Facing the quiet eyes of the old swordsman, Garfiel gasps faintly.
Many of Garfiel Tinsel’s regrets remain in the Water Gate City.
A second solution, and an encounter that was not unrelated, occurred here.
Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World
Arc 5 - Interlude 2: “The Unfinished Vessel”
The menu being served in the diner was so big that it was hard to imagine that the entire city was currently rebuilding from an attack by several Sin Archbishops. The wide variety of food listed made Garfiel’s stomach grumble with anticipation, but it also made him question whether such a luxury could be allowed in their situation.
Wilhelm: [Even though most of the city is affected in some way, the majority of the damage was limited to a few select areas. With how motivated the people are after the defeat of “Greed” and “Wrath”, Mr. Kiritika believes that the city will be restored before long. That is, excluding the lives that were lost, of course.]
They happened to be seated face-to-face in the diner and were eating quietly. The old swordsman's words made Garfiel frown as he pictured the thin man in his head.
If Garfiel was being honest, he didn't think much of Kiritika. However, he had heard of all of the hard work that he had put in protecting the city while the Witch Cult was in the midst of their attack. You couldn't see it at first glance, but he was a person who worked hard. That's why Kiritika reminded Garfiel of Subaru. They both seemed underwhelming and silly, but when an emergency arose, they would work tirelessly to fix the situation.
Mimi: [Mmrmm! Yummy! Mimi thinks that it’s great that the food tastes sooo good. That means that you're feeling happy!]
Garfiel: [Ha! Yer’ right, it’s good that we can be happy after what happen’d. Wait a second…. Why‘re yer table manners so good! I should get ya t’ help me with ‘em later.]
Mimi was smiling and chatting happily with Garfiel as she began to dig into the food on her plate, expertly handling her knife and fork.
Mimi: [Don't worry! Mimi is sure you'll get the hang of it soon.]
Garfiel: [When I started livin’ at the mansion a year ago, my sis told me t’ get better at it. She's been helpin’ me out every once in a while, but I still have t’ work on it.]
Mimi: [That's right! You need to keep trying until all your work bears fruit!]
She nodded and encouraged Garfiel, satisfied with seeing how much he was trying. In his hands, the knife and fork were being held in an incredibly poor manner. It didn't bother him when he was living at the "Sanctuary", but in the past year of living in the Roswall mansion, Garfiel had grown ashamed of how unprofessional he looked when compared to everyone else. That wasn't only true with table manners though. He was working hard to correct all of his other habits that would make Emilia camp look bad. However, he couldn’t say that he had succeeded in correcting many of them.
Garfiel: [It's too bad ‘M not as neat as ya are]
Mimi: [Well, Mimi’s been doing this since she was a little girl. My lady and the captain both really love eating, and thanks to that I became a pro!]
Garfiel: [Now that I think ‘bout it, all the other people are real proper ain’t they? And not only those who had t’ study proper etiquette, Capn’ and Otto are great at it too.]
Because of their position, it would make perfect sense that they had mastered their formality and neatness. But in that case, how did Subaru and Otto get so good at it? You could say that Otto would have learned it as he was from a respected family of merchants, but Subaru was a complete mystery. Then again, he was known to have many random skills, so it was possible he had picked it up somewhere or had learned it back in his homeland.
Garfiel: [I don’t think I’ll be able to eat wit’ these two sticks tho’. What do they call ‘em…… clorsticks?]
Mimi: [Chopsticks, and they’re a real pain! Everyone in Kararagi uses them but Mimi can't handle them properly since Mimi’s hands are too small.]
Wilhelm: [Chopsticks huh? It is true that they are tricky to handle.]
Everyone at the table was fumbling around with the foreign tools that had been laid out in front of them, including the renowned “Sword Demon”.
Garfiel: [Ya know, somehow, the Capn’ is able to use these things perfectly.]
Wilhelm: [It's strange that it doesn't surprise me that Subaru-dono has such a skill.]
Mimi: [It looks like Wilhelm isn’t used to using chopsticks either.]
Wilhelm: [I've been to Kararagi a few times, so I've used them once before. I’m amazed at how people there use these to eat everyday.]
Garfiel: [To Kararagi...]
Wilhelm: [Yes… a few times.]
In truth, he had been there more than a few times. In order to get some information on the White Whale, the great demon beast who had killed his wife, Wilhelm had searched far and wide for the knowledge needed to avenge her.
After years of hardship, Wilhelm had finally been able to defeat the White Whale. Then, in the battle to protect Preistella, the old swordsman had set out to defeat a strong foe, only to encounter his supposedly deceased wife. He was forced to cross swords with her in a dance that would forever remain in his memory.
Wilhelm: [Is that really all you wanted to ask me, Garfiel-dono?]
Wilhelm: [Of course there are some things I can’t tell you, but I owe you a great debt for giving me the opportunity to see my wife one last time. If this old man can be of assistance, then I assure you I will do so to the best of my ability.]
Wilhelm reassured Garfield, who had been feeling unsure of whether he should ask his question.
By now it was common knowledge to the people of the city that both Garfiel and Wilhelm had fought against the corpses of two legendary heroes, Theresia Van Astrea, the previous Sword Saint, and the Eight-Armed Kurgan. By using some unknown magic, the Witchcult had defiled the warriors by using their corpses as pawns in their plans, only reinforcing the hatred everyone had towards them. But their anger could wait for another time.
Wilhelm: [If you ask me your question I'll answer it to the best of my ability]
Garfiel: [Are ya’ sure that it was really the Eight-Armed Kurgan...?]
Garfiel: [Well he could’v jus’ look’d similar to ‘im right? It can’t actually be ‘im, he died way back.]
Wilhelm nodded at Garfiel's words and stopped eating. His piercing blue eyes looked directly at the young boy in front of him.
Wilhelm: [Does the fact that you won the fight make you doubt yourself?]
Garfiel: [...‘ver since my amazin' self was a kid I’ve trained t’be th’ strongest, and my amazin' self will continue trainin’ till I reach tha’ goal. But Kurgan was somethin’ different, there’s no way I could’v actually defeat’d someone like th’ way I am now.]
The infamous God of War, The Eight-Arm Kurgan. A legendary being, the strongest and most powerful of the multi-arm clan, he was a legend in the Holy Vollachian Empire.
During the battle, there had been many times where Garfiel had thought he was sure to lose, where he had thought he was about to die, only to survive by the skin of his teeth. But through it all, Garfiel survived. He had challenged Kurgan to a one-on-one battle and emerged victorious.
Garfiel agreed that coming out of the fight alive was a great achievement. Because of this, the people in the city had a favorable opinion of him after his feat of strength that contributed to the defense of Priestella But Garfiel’s opinion, and what had actually happened, didn’t match together in his mind..
Garfiel: [I ‘erd tha’ ya fought against Kurgan before so I’d like to know what ya’ think. Was tha’ really ‘im? I mean… he died didn’t he?]
Looking at the old man, Garfiel chose to rely on Wilhelm’s memories of a past battle. Garfiel wasn’t sure what answer he wanted to hear. Would he be satisfied if Wilhelm said that the Kurgan he fought wasn’t the real thing? Even if Wilhelm denied his thoughts, would Garfiel still reject the fact that he defeated a warrior of legend?
Wilhelm: [It is true that nearly thirty years ago, I had gotten acquainted with Kurgan. We fought each other a total of four times. I chopped off his arm and he slashed my guts.]
Not long ago, the relationship between the Kingdom of Lugnica and the Sacred Vollachia Empire had been at its worst in hundreds of years, with numerous fights breaking out near the border of the two kingdoms. To avoid a counter attack from the "Divine Dragon", Vollachia invaded a city only using a small number of troops. Wilhelm, the leader of the Kingsguard at the time, had gone to clash with the enemy forces.
The fight that followed had been a fair and even one. It is said that after four battles between the two forces, it ended with the defeat of the Vollachia army.
Wilhem: [It was a good fight. With eight arms and four demon cleavers, Kurgan handled his blades with such precision that would have resulted in my death had he landed even a single attack.Yes. Looking back at it now, there were many times where I was centimeters away from death. Because each of his arms was able to pull off a distinct attack, I had two options... I could either cut off his arms one by one, or make one deadly attack that would make it past all eight arms.]
Garfiel: [….. Oi, I didn’t ask ‘bout how t’beat ‘im….]
Garfiel would’ve been interested in a discussion about tactics, but now was not the time. As expected, he was more interested about the answer to his question. At Garfiel’s words, Wilhelm stopped talking, and sat silent.
Wilhelm: [Excuse me. As you get older you can’t help but reminisce over past memories. Over the past few days, I’ve found myself doing so more often.]
Garfiel: [It ain’t good to always look back at yer past.]
Wilhelm: [I’m not looking back in envy at what could have happened, it’s more like looking back at your footprints to see how you’ve ended up where you are. However, I do agree it makes me seem like an emotional old man. Now then, let’s speak some more about Kurgan.]
At Wilhelm’s words, Garfiel gives the man his full attention. From the look in the young warrior’s eyes, the old swordsman could see the worries that troubled him. It was completely natural, as hesitation was a wall that all combatants will encounter at least once. And the answer to his worries is...
Wilhelm: [I’m sorry, but I wasn’t able to observe your battle. It was probably him, but I couldn't afford to let my attention waver during my own fight. Therefore, I don’t have enough evidence to confidently say that it was really Kurgan that you fought against.]
Garfiel: [No evidence……]
Wilhelm: [I think you already know the answer to your question, however I understand that you may not like it. Because of this, I shall tell you my personal opinion. Both my wife and Kurgan were fakes.]
As Garfiel looked at him with confusion, Willhelm let out a long sigh. The subject at hand was too heavy to end without a clear explanation. Noticing the look Garfiel was giving him, Wilhelm resumed.
Wilhelm: [If I may, there is no doubt in my mind that what we fought were corpses that the Witch Cult shamelessly defilled, making them into their puppets. However, I believe that in their last moments, they were able to regain control of themselves and truthfully speak their minds.]
In his final moments, when the battle had been settled. Kurgan had been dealt a fatal wound from Garfield’s fangs after he had succeeded in dodging all eight of the war god’s hands at once. The words that Kurgan had uttered right before disappearing still lingered in his ears.
Leaving just a single word, the War God turned to ash and scattered in the wind. In that moment, Garfiel couldn’t feel any of the pain from his wounds. In his mind there was only the joy of being recognized by a legend.
However, as time passed, negative thoughts started bubbling up. How could he have beaten Kurgan, who was one of the strongest beings to ever live, when he himself hadn’t even reached his full potential?
Sure, it had been a critical situation where he was risking his life to protect the lives of his newly discovered siblings. Was that really the reason for his victory?
Wilhelm: [Kurgan was a very taciturn man. It would not surprise me if, even in his last moments, he had not been willing to leave more than a few words.]
Garfiel: [‘Fter I beat ‘im….. he only said th’ one word…..]
Wilhelm: [Then do not tell me that one word. It is a sign of utmost respect towards the warrior who defeated him. It should be kept to the winner, precious, and a reminder of their worth. It should not be shared with outsiders of the battle.]
When Wilhelm cut him off, Garfiel held his tongue. From a god to a warrior. Did he really deserve his praise?
Garfiel: [My amazin' self doesn't get it.]
Garfiel: [Look, ‘M not in th’ mood fer riddles, jus’ tell me what yer thinkin’. Was it 'im or not?]
Garfiel voiced his displeasure, fully aware that he was being rude. Behind Wilhelm's eyes, there was the slightest change of emotions. But...
Mimi: [Garf, you’re being a bad boy!]
Garfield: [...... huh?]
Mimi: [And Ojii-san had this weird look in his eyes, Mimi isn’t sure what it was though. Also the look in Garfs eyes is suuuuper bad, you can’t look at people that way!]
Mimi, who was sitting next to Garfiel, jabbed her finger into his side making him move away. As he shifted away from the girl he realized something.
Wilhelms eyes were full of kindness as he watched Mimi’s antics, the same expression that he had shared with Garfiel just a few moments ago.. In return to that show of emotion, Garfiel had disregarded how the man was hurting. He had unconsciously dug at Wilhelm’s wounds.
Garfiel: [...... ‘M sorry, I was ‘nly thinkin’ ‘bout myself.]
Garfiel bowed his head low and apologized for how unthoughtful he had been.
Wilhelm had had an unexpected reunion with his supposedly deceased wife, and had fought her sword-to-sword. Afterwards he had exchanged his last farwells, with a heavy heart, only to be selfishly berated without any consideration for his wounded heart. To the boy bowing in front of him in shame, Wilhelm shook his head.
Wilhelm: [No, it was my fault for not giving you a clear answer from the start. When I was young, I acted similarly.]
Garfiel: […… My amazin' self can’t even imagine old man Wilhelm acting tha’ way.]
Wilhelm: [It pains me to say this, but at your age I was the epitome of impatience and foolishness..]
Even after the old man’s calm consolation towards him, Garfiel still felt bad. The “Sword Demon” was famous for his deadly skill with the sword, yet there was never any talk of him having a vicious personality. The reason Garfiel had started his self-reflection was because of the elder’s kindness.
Wilhelm: [They were both themselves and yet they were not. I’m not trying to make this a riddle, I simply don’t know of another way to put it.]
Garfiel: [‘M still not understanin’ what yer tryin’ t’say……]
Wilhelm: [In Kurgan’s last moments, when he was on the verge of death, I’m certain that he was able to get control of his body back. But before that, the witch cultists were using him for their own sick deeds, not allowing him to use his swords to its fullest extent.]
Wilhelm: [In other words, neither the previous “Sword Saint” nor the “Eight Armed Kurgan” were as strong as they were back in their prime.]
Wilhelm told the speechless Garfiel his observations. It was hard to learn that his opponent hadn’t shown his full strength. Garfiel had won in a fight of life-or-death. However, he now had the answer to his initial question of if Kurgan had truly fought with all his strength during their match. But...
Wilhelm: [If I had faced my wife in her prime as I am now, I would have been defeated within the first 3 strikes of her blade. The only way I was ever able to best her in the first place was by throwing away everything else except the blade while I was in my prime, the fact that I was able to defeat her means that they weren’t able to use all of their power.]
Garfiel: [In tha’ case, Kurgan…..]
Wilhelm: [Kurgan’s skills were less than they used to be, only a shadow of his true self. I believe that if your opponent had been the real one then, although it pains me to say so, you would have been reduced to a corpse on the ground.]
Garfiel: [So ‘M still not there….]
Wilhelm: [Young man, don’t be too angry with yourself.]
Immediately after, Garfiel’s hair stood on end as he noticed a sword being swung, and he instinctively kicked his chair away and jumped back to the entrance of the diner. The other people in the dining hall looked in surprise at the figure of Garfiel, who was on all fours and breathing heavily. Meanwhile, Wilhelm and Mimi were still eating their meal normally.
Garfiel: [Ha… Ha…. huh?]
Wilhelm: [Garfiel-dono has a large vessel, but it isn’t yet filled. Although I am already an antique, I can still recognize when there is potential and when there is not. If you can realize your true potential, then I suppose it was worth the effort.]
Having said that, Wilhelm stands up and wipes his mouth. His plate is empty and his demeanor shows that he has said what needed to be said.
If there was still something missing, it was not on Wilhelms part. The missing part was in Garfield’s heart. If there was a hole in the vessel that was receiving, then it would all end up spilling right back out.
Wilhelm: [Your conviction to keep getting stronger. Don’t lose sight of it.]
Garfiel: [I'll keep in mind, tho’..... What was tha’ attack ‘bout?]
Wilhelm: [I’m not exactly a part of a friendly camp, it’s always good to be on the cautious side.]
Wilhelm, who had finished his meal and is getting ready to leave, looks at Mimi, who is humming happily while stealing her favorite pieces of food from Garfiel’s plate. She looks up from the plate she was scavenging and notices Wilhelm’s gaze on her.
Mimi: [Hmmmm? What’s up oji-san?]
Wilhelm: [Well done. Most people wouldn’t have been able to detect the absence of hostility in a split second’s time.]
Mimi: [Well you don’t have a reason to do anything bad to Mimi or her friends.]
Wilhelm: [You have a good eye. With you by my side I would feel at ease on the battlefield.]
Nodding to Mimi, who answered as though it was obvious, Wilhelm heads to the exit. Then, just before stepping out, he turns to Garfiel and points to Mimi.
Wilhelm: [You would be wise to care for her, as the opposite gender will become a treasure later on in your life.]
Garfiel: [GAH! What’s wit’ ya! ‘M already ‘n love wit’ someone else!]
Wilhelm: [Whatever you choose to do, do your best to not get lost along the way.]
Having said his final words, Wilhelm walked out of the dining room. Unable to say anything back, Garfiel bit back the frustration he was feeling towards the old man’s final statement. He roughly sat back down and ate all of the remaining food in one go.
Mim: [Garf! Don’t eat like that!]
Garfiel: [My amazin' self don’t wanna hear tha’ from someone who was stealin’ food from my plate a second ago. Ah shit! I piss’d ya off didn’t I?]
Instead of calming himself down, Garfiel was only feeling more and more troubled. The path ahead had been illuminated by the sword demon’s guidance, but Garfiel still wasn’t able to piece it all together and go forward.
He lacked conviction in his own strength.
Garfiel: [Well, what ‘M I suppos’d t’do?]
Mimi: [Garf, what’s wrong?]
Touching the scar on his forehead, Garfiel blurts out his thoughts, giving Mimi a concerned expression. The girl gingerly wiped her stained mouth with her sleeve before continuing.
Mimi: [If you’re in trouble, tell Mimi about it. Mimi will help you in a heartbeat!]
Garfiel: [I jus’..... Don’t know wha’ ‘M suppos’d t’do now……]
Mimi: [When you’re done eating, you should put the utensils back on the plate! Here, Mimi will help you!]
Garfiel: [Tha’s not really wha’ I was talkin’ ‘bout.]
Having said that, they both left the dining area and brought their plates back to the kitchen.
Garfiel: [Ahhhh, my belly’s all full. Should we continue the reconstruction in th' afternoon? My amazin' self can’t imagine workin’ feelin’ like this.]
Garfiel: [So where‘re ya headed?]
Mimi: [Mimi’s going to see Garf’s new family!]
Garfiel had been walking behind Mimi, but when his brain processed what the small girl had said, he stopped dead in his tracks. His eyes widened, and turned his head away as he struggled to hide the emotions that showed on his face.
Garfiel: [Wha’cha say?]
Mimi: [From now on, Mimi is going to get along with Garf’s family, because that’s what Garf needs right now!]
Suddenly, Mimi puffed out her small chest and raised her tail. Then she pointed to the surprised Garfiel and exclaimed,
Mimi: [Spend more time with your family! That is the old master’s teachings!]
Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World
Arc 5 - Interlude 3: “The Name of Warmth”
No matter what happens, in the end, your nature is not corrected. If you know there's a problem in front of you, you’ll shy away from it. Even if you know there is a solution, but you know it's going to be painful, you'll shy away from it.
Faced with the same problem as in "Sanctuary", Garfield thinks. He’s not sure if he’s going to be a good fit. In the end, he wondered if he had changed at all from when he was confidently boasting inside the confinements of his old home.
Fred: [Ah! Gorgeous Tiger!]
Garfiel: [Oi... that's dangerous!]
The boy's expression lights up when he sees Garfiel, who was visiting his home. As the boy ran up to him with all his might, Garfiel simultaneously felt a sense of danger and relief at his sudden appearance.
Garfiel: [I don't want ya t’fall down and hurt yourself. If ya’ fall down and get hurt, ya’ll look like n’idiot.]
Mimi: [Oh, it hurts when you fall, doesn't it? Mimi used to fall down when she was a little girl too! And as soon as Mimi did, Hetaro looked like he was in pain. But Mimi was fine. Strange!]
Mimi laughs innocently, but it's no secret that her younger brother took on her pain and wounds. The result of being overly pampered is the creation of a careless sister who is clumsy even when she grows up. Regardless...
Garfiel: [Have things settl’d down at home since then?]
Fred: [Yes, it’s okay. Mom and nee-chanhave calmed down too, haven’t they?]
Garfiel: [...That's right.]
Patting the boy’s head -who was presumably his brother, Garfiel looks up at the large mansion. For Garfiel, it's a place that brings mixed emotions.
In the Thompson mansion, the family's mainstay, Garek Thompson, is long absent. It would have been a relief if he was working at the City Hall and was simply too busy with reconstruction to go home, but unfortunately, that was not the case.
Garek Thompson has lost his human body and now has had his appearance changed into a black dragon. That fact has already been confirmed by Garfiel himself. Although Garek was now a dragon, he was still able to speak, as his vocal organs were still intact. In this respect, he was much more fortunate than the other victims in the Town Hall. As for the people who had been turned into flies, they were unable to speak, let alone communicate. However, many people felt as if that was a blessing.
If one could communicate with the people who were turned into flies, it is easy to imagine what thoughts they would utter when they are despairing about their transformation.
Fred: [Hey, Gorgeous Tiger. I wonder when Dad will be back…]
Fred: [He’ll be back, won't he?]
Again, Garfiel roughly strokes his brother's anxious head with his palm. It would be easy to utter words of encouragement without any basis, but even if he did, they would have lacked any warmth. When you think about what kind of scars those unhopeful words would leave on the boy, it was not something that Garfiel could do lightly.
If the boy was a person with whom he had little or no connection, would Garfiel have encouraged him irresponsibly? Does Garfiel not do that because he has a connection? He doesn’t know.
???: [Fred? How long will you stay outside…?]
While he was talking to the boy, a blonde girl showed her face from inside the house. She is the boy's sister, and presumably Garfiel's sister too.
When the girl noticed Garfiel, her expression brightened, and then immediately reverted to her previous awkward face. The change in expression would normally be described as cute, but now it's just painful to catch a glimpse of her mixed emotions.
Sister: [Well, you came all the way to my house again? The Gorgeous Tiger sure has a lot of free time on his hands, doesn't he?]
Garfiel: [Ah, my amazin’ self’s jus’ restin’ now, y’know. I've been wantin’ t’see yer faces. But if I’m not welcom’d, I’ll leave immediately… oi!]
Mimi: [Garf, you can't even look them in the face!]
Garfiel is reluctant to talk to his sister, and as she notices, she turns away weakly. As he announces his intention not to force it, he gets pinched on the waist by Mimi, who was standing behind him. He reluctantly turns to the girl, and sure enough, his sister looks somewhat tearful. At least, he feels that he hasn't been rejected by his family.
Garfiel: [Supportin’ Mom and takin’ care of yer little brother,... 's hard working sister.]
Sister: [..! Yes, yes. So, um, I don't mind having a little chat with you. One more person to talk to won't change anything.]
Mimi: [There are two people, not one!]
Sister: [Two more people won't change that!]
As the young girl turns red and shouts at them, Mimi and Fred look at Garfiel with an expectant look on their faces. Garfiel is not harsh enough to be able to disregard their request. His current state of mind is that he is unwilling to talk, but Garfiel still loves to respond to such looks in the first place. When it's about his younger siblings, well, even more so.
Garfiel: [Well, I'm goin’ t’step out for a moment. If Mom bothers you, I'll jus’ leave ya alone.]
Fred: [That kind of thing...]
Sister: [It's not like my mom is the only one.]
The two siblings look at each other and smile confidently. And yet, in fact, they were right.
Reala: [I'm sorry. You came a long way, but I wasn't properly prepared for your visit… I just wish I had done a little better.]
Garfiel: [My amazin’ self don't mind. In th’ first place, I'm th’one who suddenly show’d my face.]
Reala: [You don't have to look so anxious, you’re not being a bother. It's very encouraging that you made time to visit us.]
Garfiel's throat freezes as his secretive inner thoughts are unintentionally revealed. However, Reala, who did it, has no ill intent. Of course. Reala was a person who was truly free from malice. The more Garfiel interacted with her, the more he felt that even though she had lost her memory, that part of her was still the exact same.
Garfiel: [But even so, th’ house is strangely quiet.]
Mimi: [Hmmm, that's how it feels? When Mimi was here earlier, it was kind of messy, but now Mimi thinks it looks clean and tidy.]
Mimi, who was bouncing on the sofa, looks around the house unhappily and agrees with Garfiel. Once again, Garfiel and Mimi are invited into the family's living room, and Reala, who is serving tea at the table, gives a small smile at their impressions of her home.
Reala: [I'm surprised that you noticed. Maybe it's because it's the house I spend every day in, but it doesn't feel too different…]
Garfiel: [No way. I have a weird feelin’ about this house. My mom is just a little too anxious about it.]
Fred: [Nee-chan, you’re so annoying.]
Sister: [What was that!?]
His sister angrily chases after her younger brother with a fierce look on her lips. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw them noisily running around the house. He then turned to Reala and silently asked her about what she had meant in their previous conversation.
Garfiel: [Ah, no, what d’ ya mean by that? What's goin’ on?]
It was useless to ask his question with just a gaze, so Garfiel asked it again, this time properly and with words. In response, Reala clapped her hands.
Reala: [Oh, it's not a difficult story. Now is the time when everyone in the city needs to work together to support each other. We can give away some of our… household goods to those in need, or donate some of our savings, and so on.]
Garfiel: [...So, yer missin’ a lot of stuff.]
Reala: [There was a lot of stuff in this house to begin with. It's not so much that I have tons of stuff, it's just that I'm not one to throw things away.]
Reala playfully sticks her tongue out at him, but it's not as simple as that. Of course, there is a principle that people should help each other. The Thompson family, however, is a little different. After all, the family is without a mainstay, the father. In such an environment, if they decided to help others, they would become the ones in need.
Raela: [My husband… Garek will be back soon, I believe. So you don't have to worry about me like that.]
Garfiel: [...No! But...]
Reala: [I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. The more anxious you are, the more happiness will slip away. That was a long time ago, but it’s only been a decade. I don't remember anything from those days… Oh, did I scare you?]
Reala: [I'm not sure if this is a… standard story, but my husband told me about it first.]
Garfiel: [Oh, I see… That man.]
It seems that amnesia was an easy way to surprise others, and Reala looks a little disappointed at the fact that it didn't work. Garfiel thinks it's a very positive use of amnesia, but if it had been said at a time when he didn't actually know about her condition, it would have devastated him.
He felt like he was being taken a little more seriously now, but it was because he took time to process his thoughts, and had a lot of help from many people.
And most surprisingly, what struck him more than the subject of amnesia was the fact that his mother's thoughts, the very foundation of her supposedly lost memory, had not changed. ...That tomorrow could be better, because that was the origin of his mother's actions.
Raela: [It was Garek who gave me these ten wonderful years when I had nothing. He made me, an empty person, what I am today and gave me the opportunity to have a lovely daughter and even a son… so what would I do if I didn’t believe in Garek?]
Reala: [So you don't have to be more concerned about it than you should be. I'm not trying to be tough or anything, but I believe in Garek… If Garek didn't mind, I would have been happy with him coming back in that form.]
Garfiel: [No, 's jus’ that even ‘f he says its okay, th’others are goin’ t’stop ‘im.]
Reala: [Really? I thought it was cool…]
Reala put faith in her husband, who had changed into the form of a black dragon. However, as it was only a change in appearance, Garek still had the intelligence to exchange words. Nevertheless, the couple discussed it, and, as they both wanted, they made the decision for him to go into cryosleep. Garfiel didn't have the tact to listen, nor did he see the actual freezing.
Reala had hardened her own heart.
Garfiel: [...Yer a strong gal, ain’t ya?]
Reala: [Yes, of course. I'm a mother of two children].
Reala smiles proudly as she says this. The fact that she’s not a mother of two, but the mother of four, only gives proof of her strength. It’s a different kind of strength from the fighting strength that Garfiel knows about. It's the same as Subaru and Otto's, and it's right there in his amnestic mother. Garfiel also possesses that strength, although it is untrained.
Reala: [Oh yes, I actually have a question for you too, Gorgeous Tiger.]
When Garfiel gave her a distant look, Reala suddenly clapped her hands. At his usual tone of voice, Garfield nodded.
Garfiel: [Ah say what y’ want. My amazin’ self doesn’t think I'm goin’ t’be involv’d in th’ important part of th’ discussion. I don't think I'd have much t’say.]
Reala: [No, I'm not talking about that. I’m talking about you, Gorgeous Tiger.]
Reala: [Yes. ...Why do you care so much about us, Gorgeous Tiger? That’s what I’m curious about.]
Garfiel was caught off guard by the sudden and unexpected question. His fangs literally trembled, and the resolve that he was supposed to have, cracked.
Reala, in front of him, and Mimi, besides him, were silently waiting for Garfiel's response. As he watched them, Garfiel's thoughts spun.
When Mimi brought him here, he should have been prepared to a certain extent. However, now he is reminded that his resolve was ultimately ambiguous.
Did he want to tell Reala about her lost memories? Did he want to come forward and tell his two younger siblings that he was their brother, at least? Or was he just going to tell them how much he cared about Garek and leave as soon as possible?
Now, he couldn’t even remember anymore
Garfiel: [Th’ reason that my amazin’ self’s comin’ t’yer home‘s because I have a bit of a relationship with y’guys and I’m anxious to keep an eye on ya. Ya guys are out of trouble, right?]
Reala: [Well, that’s terrible. You're right, I can’t say anything about it.]
Mimi: [Oh, you're out of it? What's missing? Ah, hair? You know, when it's the fire season, Mimi also loses a lot of hair and stuff! But in the ice season, she gets a little fluffy! Mamechishiki!]
TL Note: Mamechishiki roughly translates to knowledge beans, it’s a metaphor for small bits of trivia
To the unclear wording, Reala and Mimi reacted in a typical way. Seeing this, a blatant sense of relief swept over Garfiel's chest. Given the personalities of the two, they shouldn't press him for any clarification. Garfiel can leave this place for now without expressing this indescribable emotion. He thinks it's a matter that needs time, yes time. This is the kind of thing that should be done calmly and with time to seek the right answer. That's exactly what he is going to do, He is going to ask Frederica, he is going to check with my sister, and then...
Reala: [Are you okay Gorgeous Tiger?]
Reala: [I don’t know why, but you just look like a tiny, fragile little child.]
Garfiel was shocked. As Reala leaned over, she stroked his head, her thin white fingers touching his hair. The softness of her touch is terribly gentle, full of compassion, as if he were her own beloved child.
Reala’s memories, which were supposed to be lost, overlapped with Garfiel's memories, which he had almost forgotten. It must have been like this someday, being held in the arms of Reala - Reshia Tinsel, and being stroked on the head. At this moment, the physical memory of that time is revived and it binds Garfiel's heart. And without being given a moment to think about it, to endure it, his feelings broke down.
Garfiel: [Mom… mom, mom…!]
With her caressing fingertips still touching his hair, Garfiel called out to Reala in front of him. His eyes were teary, his voice trembled, and Garfiel looked so thin and frail that his petite body seemed to get smaller and smaller.
No wonder. No matter how strong he is, no matter how hard he tries, everyone is a child in front of their mother. No matter how brash he can be, he is just a stubborn child.
Garfiel: [I am… me, I am… to my mother!]
He has so many things to say. He has as many things to say as there are stars. The many thoughts that he gave up on thinking, the ones that he couldn't communicate, shined brilliantly in Garfiel’s mind, and he was rejoicing at the opportunity he had been given. He wants to be held in her mother's arms, to be forgiven, and to cry out in peace.
???: [...Garfiel, right?]
Teary-eyed and downcasted, Garfiel’s voice is strangled. Suddenly, next to him, Mimi says Garfiel's name. Garfiel does not know to whom it is addressed. But then he hears the sound of a gasp in front of him, and the sensation of fingertips leaving his head.
Garfield's throat rumbled weakly as her fingers moved away, and his mother's precious warmth was lost. But that sentiment was soon replaced by another one.
Reala: [Come, Garfiel. Come.]
In front of Garfiel, who looks up, Reala opens her arms and smiles. The gesture and the words stopped Garfiel's thoughts.
But even though his brain stopped, his body, his soul, knew what to do.
Garfiel: [I’m sorry, mom… I’m sorry......!]
Sobbing like a kid, just like a child, Garfiel jumped to Reala, to Reshia, buried his head in her chest, and shouted.
A gentle, soft palm stroked the sobbing Garfiel's head.
Reala: [Okay, okay,... Garf, good boy, good boy. You've been working so hard all day.]
Garfiel: [...Gh! That's right! I've been trying so hard! But I made a lot of mistakes, and still… everyone was…!]
Unable to speak, Garfield continued his incoherent speech in Reshia’s arms. What overflowed was the entire fifteen years of Garfiel’s life.
He lost his mother, was separated from his sister, tried not to lose any more family members, and then had the next decade of his life shattered by Subaru and the others. He didn’t know how many times in that period he was almost crushed by the things he was holding onto. How many times did he grieve for the love that had been lost?
How many times did he trample on his feelings in his desperation to regain his lost love, to not let it go?
When he was much younger, he clung to his father and mother and left the walls confining his heart intact, which he should have overcome. Knowing that the wall was there, he got used to slipping through the side streets to avoid it, while seeing that high wall in the back of his mind.
Reala: [It's okay, Garf. Mom’s here for you.]
He is comforted by her kind words and compassion, and entrusts his heart to his mother's love, which he had asked for, but was not given.
He remembers being loved by his family. Garfiel knows that he was loved by his sister and his grandmother. He also knew that his mother loved him.
But Garfiel, who had felt his sister's love and his grandmother's love, for the first time in his life, feels his mother's love. Now that he knows that she knows, Garfiel sobbed.
He didn’t know the answer to the feelings that welled up in his chest. It’s name has yet to be known to Garfiel.
But the very thing he feels right now, what makes his heart tremble, his fangs snap, and his soul shake is the answer. He’s sure everyone already knew the answer, but Garfiel finally had it at his fingertips.
...This passionate feeling is the answer.
Mimi: [Oh Garf, did you stop crying? Did you cry a lot? You’re such a crybaby, Garf!]
As his fretful, sobbing rage settles down and Garfiel frowns at his bad luck, he opens the door and Mimi comes back with his younger siblings. It seems that she had left the sobbing Garfiel and Reala alone when he was in his mother’s arms, which made Garfiel feel even more uncomfortable.
Fred: [Gorgeous Tiger, are you alright?]
Sister: [I can't believe that a man would cry out in public. You're just like Fred.]
Even though he wasn't directly in sight, he was crying out loud enough to be heard throughout the house. Mimi had taken his younger siblings outside, but the effort would be in vain.
Garfiel: [I'm sorry ‘bout…]
Mimi: [Hmm, what? No matter what, Mimi is wondering if Garf is satisfied. Also, she's wondering if there will be anything sweet for snacks!]
Garfiel: [Oh, yeah. Damn.]
As Mimi laughs with a gleeful, natural look on her face, he wonders how much thought was put into that action. Garfiel wondered if she was instinctively doing it as she saw him. If so, instinct is not something to be scoffed at.
Mimi: [Hmmm? What's up? Did you fall in love? Did you fall in love?]
Garfiel: [My amazin’ self is not in love with you.]
Mimi: [Is that so...]
It's hard to believe that he is thinking about it, but it's true that Mimi had saved his life many times. Her heart, of course, has been saved, and her life has been saved once as well. Garfiel should have saved Mimi, but the credit for that achievement went to Willhelm. He had nothing to do with Mimi's salvation.
He has been borrowing and borrowing, but he hasn’t been able to do anything to pay his debt back.
Mimi: [So, how was Garf?]
Reala: [Well, you'll have to check with him. I'm sure he’s okay now… I think you’re Gorgeous Mimi's favorite, Gorgeous Tiger.]
Mimi: [Well, maybe. Garf, Mimi will do it if Mimi has to.]
Garfiel couldn’t help being hit by the embarrassing conversation. To take his mind off things, he just stroked the heads of his brother, who was giving him a worried look, and his sister, who was glancing at him. When he touched his brother and sister, he felt even more love for them than before. Perhaps it's because of the fact that they are siblings. He hadn't really felt or understood love as an emotion before, but now it has become a reality.
As soon as he realizes this, another wave of anxiety arises. This time it was a straightforward concern, a very straightforward concern. It was whether or not he was qualified to be recognized as an elder brother by these two, his younger siblings.
Fred: [Gorgeous Tiger?]
Sister: [Hey, why are you frozen? Heh, it's not like you have some weird disease or something, is it?]
Comparing the gaze of his siblings, Garfiel thinks. Maybe they don't hate him. It is easy to understand the favoritism of the younger brother, and the younger sister is also hard to understand, but she shouldn’t be malicious. And besides, he fought powerfully in front of them as Gorgeous Tiger. ...To be honest, he was less than impressive at times, and he could not deny that he would have lost if not for the supporters, but let's put that aside for the moment.
Garfiel: [Shut up. Yer on yer own.]
Feeling like Mimi could help him, Garfiel bit his fangs and took the lead. When Mimi pulled away from his words with a sultry, [N-No!] Garfield's brain started spinning at high speed and blowing heat.
Coming forward, that in itself is possible at this very moment. Of course, when he says “possible”, he means “feasible to achieve as an action”, and when the conditions of emotion are involved, it is a little different. He was not scared, not by any means, but everything requires preparation. When he takes on a strong opponent, he can't win if he is not prepared to win. No matter what the situation is, no matter how difficult the enemy is, he needs to practice and train his body every day, and that is exactly what he needs to do to win. In other words, he still needs to be prepared for this challenge as well. To be honest, he couldn’t definitively say he is ready for that right now. If that’s the case, he should just back off for now-
Mimi: [Wait wait, are you sure you're okay…? Your eyes are rolling and your face is turning red…?]
Fred: [Gorgeous Tiger?]
Garfiel: [I’m fine, of course. Gao.]
Mimi: [Mimi has never heard Garf make a “gao” sound or anything like that before!!]
Mimi teases him about it, but Garfiel doesn’t have the energy to say anything back. And so, with his younger siblings worrying about him, Garfiel's brain churned in circles at his confused thoughts- and he was left to wonder.
Reala: [You can't do that, Garfiel. You've been holding everything in like that, and now you're seeing the results.]
Garfiel: [Oh, Mom…]
Reala reminds him of this as she sees Garfiel averting his eyes. When Garfiel spilled out his words, his younger siblings looked at him with a shocked expression.
Fred: [What? Why is mom Gorgeous Tiger’s?]
Sister: [No, no, no! This is my mom and Fredo's mom, not your’s…]
Reala: [It’s okay. Both of you, it’s okay?]
Reala spoke softly to his surprised brother and biting sister. Perhaps vulnerable to their mother's words, the younger siblings reluctantly fell silent. Then, looking at Garfiel, who was not yet ready to prepare his mind, let alone his heart, Reala spoke.
Reala: [I'm sure Garfiel is separated from his mother. And maybe I was like his mother. I guess that's why he got lonely like that.]
Sister: [Heh, your mom and our mom look alike?]
Garfiel: [What's tha’…, shit, tha’s embarrassin’.]
When Reala gave her explanation, each of her three children reacted differently. Garfiel was taken aback, but Reala's confident demeanor did not show any signs of lying or deception. In other words--
Mimi: [Garf, are you feeling a little short on words?]
As Mimi plainly spoke, Garfiel thought that she must be right.
In spite of all his shameful, pathetic, and emotional crying and screaming, Reala was ultimately not aware of any part of the truth. What a brave thing to do, isn't it?
Garfiel: [I guess tha's a given.]
If she has no memory, that means she has no idea. In such a state, there is no way she can realize the truth by listening to Garfiel's incomprehensible string of words. Realizing this, he lost his strength. From his fangs, from his body.
Garfiel: [What’s with…?]
He wondered if the words that spilled out were words of relief or disappointment. Probably a bit of both, Garfiel realized.
Garfiel was disappointed in many ways, but he figured it was time to move on. With that decision made, he and Mimi left the Thompson residence.
Garfiel: [I'm sorry I couldn't do anythin’ for ya again.]
Mimi: [It’s okay-! Mimi is sorry, like Mimi is sorry Garf cried a lot? Something like that!]
Garfiel: [Shut up and don't bring it up again!]
As Reala sees them off, and Garfiel grabs Mimi by the scruff of her neck. He lifts Mimi's light body with a [Nyah] and looks at Reala and his siblings, who clung to their mother with a sigh.
Garfiel: [Y’don’t have to worry about me taking yer mother.]
Fred: [I think so too, but…]
Sister: [Don’t let your guard down, Fred. After all, you've got a mother to look out for. Just because Dad’s gone for a while, doesn't mean you can have a mother who is full of openings!]
Garfiel: [Can't ya see there's a lot of openings?]
On the contrary, Garfiel is pondering why his younger siblings are on MAX alert. As a result of Reala's strange explanation, his younger siblings seem to have mistakenly thought that Garfiel had come to steal their mother. Garfiel didn’t mean to - but even if he didn’t, if his mother actually remembered him, he’d like her to give him a little retrospect. When he thinks about it, it's hard to deny it outright.
Sister: [Hey, hey, let's get the bad guys out of here.]
Reala: [Please come back anytime. Whenever you want to cry, I will lend you my heart.]
Garfiel: [I don't want ya t’ see me in such a pathetic way.]
Reala: [Only for me then..., just like your mother?]
At a loss for words, Garfiel decides to walk away. With Mimi hanging, Garfiel turned his back to the three of them, to a family that has not yet been able to call itself a family. Seeing Garfiel turn to walk away, Reala claps her hands. Then, with the children clinging to herself, she pushes the children’s backs moving them forward.
Reala: [Come on you two, say a proper goodbye.]
Fred: [Gorgeous Tiger, see you later.]
His younger brother obeys his mother’s words, but his younger sister is silent. It can't be helped, Garfiel thinks. But Reala doesn’t think so.
Reala: [We have to see our guests off, right?]
When Reala, who was surprisingly stubborn, told her, his sister still didn’t nod. Reala looked a little troubled by her daughter’s obstinate attitude.
Sister: [No, you don't have to worry about that.]
Reala: [That’s not going to happen. Come on, honey. Already, Rafi! Rafiel!]
With a frustrated look on her face, Reala finally called out her daughter's name. The moment he heard the name, the sound of the sound, Garfiel twitched as if struck by lightning, and couldn't move.
Reala: [Yes, Rafiel. Come to think of it, have I never introduced you? This is the name of this child. My two children are Rafiel Thompson and Fred Thompson.]
Rafiel and Fred. He had heard his brother's name a few times before in the past. He hadn't paid much attention to it, probably because Garfiel didn't care too much. Or rather, was it because he was afraid of what he would find out?
Rafiel and Garfiel. Fred and Frederica.
Reala's two children, and Reshia's two children. They sounded somewhat similar for whatever reason.
Rafiel: [You think it's a strange name because it doesn't sound like a girl. I'm aware of that, too!]
Misunderstanding the reason for his silence, his sister, Rafiel, spoke with a pouting face. Garfiel, who had been overwhelmed for a while, shook his head and said.
Garfiel: [No. My amazin’ self thinks it's a good name.]
Rafiel: [Even if you’re flattering me like that…]
Garfiel: [-I'm serious. I'm serious, yeah, My amazin’ self thinks it's a good name.]
Rafiel: [That’s right!]
When Garfiel spoke from his heart, Rafiel felt a little overwhelmed. Then Reala interrupts, beaming.
Reala: [I named them both. For some reason, I wanted to use this name, so….]
Garfiel: [Both of them? You?]
Reala: [Yes. It’s a nice name, isn’t it? ...I’ve always wanted to name my beloved child this.]
It was the best proof of love that he could ever have.
A mother who has lost her memory, who remembers nothing of her past, but who has never lost her kindness and generosity, who bestowed her love for her child that should have been there, on her newborn children.
Garfiel could have been angry about this. He could have hated it, he could have yelled at it with all his heart, he could have sunk his fangs into it unreasonably.
But such a thought never crossed his mind. At this point, Garfiel was devastated.
By the love of his own mother, Reshia Tinsel. By the love of Reala Thompson, the mother of his brother and sister.
...So that was enough.
Garfiel: [Ha, ha! Hahahaha!!]
Laughter came out. The sense of weakness that had lingered in his heart just a moment ago disappeared. The shame he felt for not being able to say what he needed to say, for not being able to convey what he needed to convey, for not being able to say it fully, for ending it halfway, disappeared.
That's all he needed for now. Because he could feel that they were all connected.
Garfiel: [So long, Rafiel, Fred. I'll be back.]
Fred: [...! Yeah, Gorgeous Tiger!]
Rafiel: [Try not to cry this time.]
Garfiel pats his younger siblings roughly on the head. This time, his palm was filled with a different kind of love. He doesn’t think it was half-hearted.
Then finally, Garfiel raised his hand to Reala, to his mother.
Garfiel: [Thanks, mom. I’m goin’ t’interrupt y’again.]
--I'll be there a few times while I remain in the city.
--And when I'm done, I'll come back after I return to the Roswaal residence.
At that time, I'm sure I'll bring my sister and grandmother with me. Then, we can talk about the past decade.
He didn't talk about it now, because this time he felt positive, unlike before. Family talk is for family members, that's what he thought.
Garfiel: [Until then, take care!]
Garfiel shouted emphatically and raised his hand.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Fred: [Mom, I’m glad Gorgeous Tiger is feeling better.]
Reala: [Yeah, you’re right. I’m really glad…]
Rafiel: [...... Mom, don’t you look kind of lonely? You don't want to be away from him that much?]
Reala: [I'm not sure. It's not that I don't want him to leave. It's not that I don't want to leave, it's just that I'll miss him but I'm sure he’s happy.]
Fred: [When will Dad be back home?]
Reala: [I don’t know. But I know he’ll be back.]
Rafiel: [...Mom, why are you crying?]
Reala: [Maybe it's because I found something I forgot. I'm sorry, but thank you. ...I love you, Garf.
Grabbing Mimi by one hand, they entered a small rest room in the treatment center. Amidst the numerous beds, Otto's bunk was placed at the far end of the room, near the window. While they were walking there-
???: [Ah! I'm sorry, bro! Hey, Tina, wait for me!]
Tina: [I’m not going to let them catch you saying that. Come on, Lusbel!]
Two noisy children run through the hospital room. The girl is dressed in hospital clothes and the boy is apparently visiting her. The girl looked full of energy, and she looked healthy enough to leave the hospital soon. Normally, Garfiel would have warned them not to make noise in the hospital room but...
???: [Sometimes a child's frolicking voice can be a lifesaver. That's why no one can pay attention to them when they’re doing that.]
Garfiel: [Well, that’s easy for ya t’say, Otto-ni]
Garfiel saw the children off and headed to the back, where he was greeted by Otto. Otto, who still had the same painfully bandaged leg, raised an eyebrow with an [Oh] when he saw Garfield with Mimi.
Otto: [You look a little sunny, somehow. Did something good happen to you?]
Garfiel: [Ah… it's difficult t’know ‘f it's a good thing or not.]
He couldn’t honestly nod his head in agreement to Otto’s question. It was a series of complex, complicated, and convoluted attacks on his values. However, he is sure that every word and every encounter turned out to be a good one in the end.
Otto: [But you must have been happy about it?]
Mimi: [Garf, you look great! Something happy and something like that happened, happy! That's all right, Mimi thought to herself! She did!]
Mimi laughs childishly with a swaying face as she dangles. The volume of her voice drew in the attention of the entire hospital room, but they soon dismissed their gaze.
The reason is the same as the boy and girl's commotion earlier. There was no way they could interrupt the emotions of someone who was smiling happily and sincerely.
Garfiel: [I don’t know, man.]
Mimi: [Ooh, even Garf laughed! Did you fall in love? Did you fall in love?]
Garf: [‘M not in love with ya.]
Mimi: [Is that so...]
Garfiel: [I'm not in love with ya. But…]
The exchange repeated several times. At the end of it, Garfiel adds a few words to his statement.
Mimi rolls her eyes and Otto watches the exchange.
To his mother, his sister, his brother, and Subaru who was not here.
Garfiel: [...Thank ya!]
He felt like he had moved on, just a little bit. Garfiel showed his fangs and smiled at that.