Chapter 14: Ep 12 Director's Cut
"This is just the way it's always supposed to be, infact." A blonde little girl quirked with a smirk of satisfaction as she hopped her legs back and forth.
"Beatrice-chan! It's my turn!" Another little girl poutedfrom beside her.
Said spirit girl raised a brow in annoyance and turned away from the little maid pouting at her.
"I don't see why I should, I suppose. He's Betty's contractor infact." The spirit girl retorted with her voice filled with malice as she leaned back in her seat.
"You promised to share!" Petra argued heatedly as she stomped her foot in anger.
Beatrice huffed and turned away from the maid, while wiggling on the boy's lap.
The spirit girl and the little maid glared at one another, or more like pouted at one another while holding a very unconscious Subaru between them.
The two girls have been fighting over who gets to sit on the sleeping knight's lap.
Both girls were so amazed with their hero/contractor's feat and efforts to defeat the giant monster of fog. Beatrice herself was happy to finally see her contractor doing things competently and not suffering any betrayals or deaths.
It didn't help that her contractor was hogged by nearly every single girl around him, including this annoying little maid that wanted to have her time holding Betty's Subaru's hand.
But the little spirit wasn't having it. Beatrice wasn't going to waste this chance to have her contractor for herself.
"He's mine, infact!" Beatrice shouted as she hugged Subaru tightly.
Stomping her foot on the ground, Petra pouted with pursed lips. "But you had him to yourself all this time! I want to have my moment with him too!" The little girl clutched the poor boy's other hand in hers and began pulling stubbornly.
Beatrice was ready to defend her contractor from yet another loli wanting to have him to herself.
"It's bad enough that they all have him for themselves, I suppose! I need my Subaru!" The little spirit girl shouted as she hugged the boy's chest even tighter.
Petra rustled the arm she had in her grasp and pulled with tears in her eyes. "I want to help him too! He's always getting hurt because of all of these girls and they still have him all to themselves! I want to be the one who doesn't hurt him!"
Beatrice suddenly stopped hugging her boy and slowly looked up at the frustrated maid. The sense of guilt and shame filled her immediately.
The little spirit girl slowly stepped off of her contractor's lap and sat down beside Petra. The maid looked at the blonde with confusion as she wiped her tears.
"I have no right to say this… but I want to help Subaru too." Beatrice muttered while looking down at her fingers. The guilt filled her as the memories of all the times she had failed the boy and led him to many deaths because of her distasteful personality.
Petra glanced at the spirit with confusion. "But… You're the one that saved him from Rem and Ram-sama when they were trying to kill Subaru. You also healed him from the meanie dog's curse." Petra smiled softly at the surprised little spirit. "You've done way more than me to help Subaru-kun."
Beatrice looked bewildered at the small maid. "B-But…" The little blonde girl sniffled a bit as her inner guilt overwhelmed her and mad eher emotionally needy for the first time since her gospel went blank and the weird new servant boy of the mansion became her contractor.
"I left him alone in the middle of the forest… Guese… Puck… I abandoned him so they both could kill him." Beatrice shed a few tears before quickly sniffling and running to hug her contractor.
"Who am I to tell you what you deserve? I don't even deserve him, infact." Beatrice sniffled into Subaru's stomach while sobbing at the playing memories of how much Subaru has suffered from both, Puck and his own low self esteem. Problem's she, as his great spirit, should've protected him from.
As the great spirit lathered into her misery, she felt a small pat on her head from someone.
Feeling the pat no way as big as her contractor's, she knew that it was the maid beside her that had patted her head.
Looking up at the smiling maid with a dignified scowl, Beatrice waited for the girl to explain herself while unconsciously wiping away the tears and calming her heart.
Petra smiled softly at the blonde girl and eased her into a hug as they both sat on the floor at Subaru's legs.
"It wasn't your fault, Beako-chan. You have helped Subaru-kun so many times, you don't need to feel guilty."
Beatrice felt a little embarrassed to be in such an intimate situation without her contractor… but she did feel a little better.
She might have hugged back a little bit.
Before she knew it… Beatrice's guilt disappeared.
If we move over in the side of the room, an awkward silence befell the area where an old man and a red-headed young knight were sitting beside each other.
"So…" The confused and nervous young man tried to cut through the tension and speak with the man that had resented him for years.
"So…" The old man also tried to break the silence that's been reminiscent of every other conversation he's had with his grandson for the last… 20 years.
Both of them stayed silent and rigid. Unable to speak or open any sort of communication, not even eye contact. They just sat with their heads down and their faces carrying expressions of shame.
Unable to speak to one another.
"You two seriously gonna stay like that?!"
Both men looked up with surprised expressions at the little blonde lady that was looking down at them with an annoyed glare.
"Felt-sama, did you need anything?" Reinhard, faithfully stood up to fulfill the blonde's wishes. He was a faithful knight that aided his lady with anything she plea-
-To which Felt scoffed with annoyance and interrupted her knight as she always did, by tactfully slamming her boot heel into his face and stomping him down to his seat.
"Don't try to get out of speaking with your grandpops by using me, Mr. Faithful knight. I order you to talk with old pops over here." Felt smirked as she saw the despair filled look on her knight's face. It seemed that even the greatest hero couldn't handle awkward conversations. She truly loved her power over him sometimes.
"Now I'mma go away and I want both of ya to speak your minds since its been an annoyance to sit near you two with all of… this!" Felt gestured with her arms extended as she exclaimed loudly.
Walking away, the blonde princess smiled in satisfaction as she felt good about helping these two. She wanted her knight to be happy. She didn't want to see him cry like that again.
"Stupid bastard Rein, I already have one dumbass I need to care about. Don't make me slap you too." Felt muttered as she thought about how similar her knight was to the boy she's been thinking about for all these viewings.
"Big bro's a really colossal moron." The infuriated blonde glanced across the empty theater and noticed an opportunity.
No one was sitting beside the boy she was thinking about.
"Hmph! I guess someone should take care of this stupid kid." Felt scoffed devilishly and hopped towards the empty seat beside Subaru, ignoring Beatrice and Petra as the two hugged one another closer to the unconscious boy.
Sitting down beside the knight she's been fawning over for the past time period since all this had started, Felt smiled giddily as she finally grasped the boy's hand and intertwined their fingers with one another.
"Hmm, this does feel kind of nice, I guess…" Felt muttered in disappointment as she noted the lack of… anything as she held Subaru's hand.
Slowly…. She squeezed.
"Oh, yeah this boy will be mine." Felt declared as she melted on the spot while crushing the boy's hand and raveling in the comfort and warmth of having this boy sitting beside her.
All of the suffering and all of the tiring self disparagement this boy had went through… Felt's heart truly weighed for him. Feeling worry and sympathy for the most brave and yet broken individuals she had ever met.
"You were so brave, man." Felt spoke softly to the boy she slightly admired. She never witnessed something so cool. "The way you dropped that Whale to save everyone including that tough old man. You've really managed to to beat the legendary Whale." The blonde girl stared at the boy with a very excited smile on her face as she finally had her moment closer to him. Felt slowly looked around and noticed how nobody was even paying attention to her.
The noble lady slowly removed the boy's sleeves and winced once the evident deeply imprinted scars all across his forearm and his wrists.
Felt's scarlet eyes teared up, her teeth gritted in anger. The candidate royal hugged the boy's arm and shed her tears quietly. Grasping his hand in hers and imagining a world where she takes him with her into her camp from the very first life. Where he would always be supported and not betrayed. Where he wouldn't have to hurt himself so he could deal with his self doubt and mental issues.
Where this amazing boy could stay with her and be the big brother she always imagined him to be.
A brother she would've protected and bossed around when she would get bored in that empty dull castle.
Felt sniffed and slowly glanced beside her to find out who was it that wrapped her body in a hug while she was doing the same to Subaru.
Petra smiled encouragingly at the fellow loli while Beatrice looked away with a look of boredom.
Both girls where hugging her.
"Your lady is truly fierce."
Reinhard froze rigid as soon as his grandfather spoke.
"Well… Felt-sama's wisdom makes her headstrong like that." Reinhard softly spoke, afraid that he might lose this chance to speak with his grandfather in all of these years.
Wilhelm couldn't bare to look at the young man that had suffered because of his mistakes.
"I-...I wanted to talk to you."
Reinhard winced and gulped hard at his grandfather's words. The old man didn't help things by how forced and broken his tone sounded.
The Sword Saint was truly scared of a repeat from years ago.
Noticing how terrified the young man looked of his words. Of him. Wilhelm could only look down with his head hung down in shame.
"You… You have every right to be disgusted with me. To be angry with me. To despise me. I understand that."
Reinhard's dilated pupils remained focused on the floor as he bit his lips from the shame and guilt. Forcing himself to take the blame for how much misery he was making his grandfather go through. How much did he cause for the old man? How selfish could a monster like him be?
"You're not a monster."
"You're a monster!"
"Reinhard, my wife's death was never your fault. It was never a burden that should be placed on a child's shoulders. You were never the murder I made you out to be."
"You killed her! You killed Theresia! My love!"
"I'm sorry for everything I said to you, Reinhard."
"I'm… I'm the monster, Reinhard."
"You're a monster! Not a Sword Saint!"
"It was always me. No child should've been blamed for something like that, and I forced you to bare it by my stupidity. I'm deeply ashamed and disgusted with who I am for what I've done to you, Grandson."
"My wife died because of your selfishness!"
"Theresia… She would be proud of who you grew up to become now."
"Never speak her name, monster!"
"You were never a monster. You were always what Theresia saw."
Reinhard finally had the courage to look at his grandfather.
Wilhelm bowed his head down to the floor infront of his grandson.
"You were always her Sword Angel."
Reinhard instantly clutched his grandfather and hugged him as tightly as he could. For the first time, sobbing and crying into his grandfather's shoulder.
"I'm sorry." The boy sobbed as he felt ashamed for making his grandfather feel in such a way.
"You were never asked to apologize for anything, Reinhard. I'm the one who's sorry."
Reinhard clenched Wilhelm tightly.
"I'm so sorry."
The two men remained on the floor with something other than hatred and shame coming from both sides for the first time in decades.
Something akin to hope for their relationship.
"That's wholesome." A helmeted knight muttered as he watched from the top row.
"Stop looking at the… weird re-connection between these filth and give me a back massage." A nasty sounding girl ordered the one armed knight as she scoffed the sight below her of the to family members that were reconciling with one another.
"Yes, princess." Al obeyed and moved to the back of her row to give his lady a good rub.
The fiery haired princess totally ignored her bitch as it pleased her and decided to think about what was shown.
It was no doubt that what she saw was surprising. Shocking. Maybe even thrilling.
"The boy's self doubt is truly taking hold now."
"What's that princess?" Al asked while working on his lady's back.
The royal queen to-be snorted and crossed her legs. "Since you're just a dumb pet, I suppose it should be explained to you."
Al nodded his head and continued working like a good boy.
"I've been watching the boy closely these past two viewings to see if I really was wrong about him being greedy and selfish."
"You wanted to see if he deserved his achievements himself and that he wasn't just leeching off the other soldiers and strong fighters around him while his ability saves him?" Al summarized while continuing to work on his master's back.
His lady hummed in delight. "That's a correct assessment of a house pet. Yes. But the way the boy keeps getting put down and picked back up is truly breaking him. I don't think he's gonna be able to be a greedy selfish attention hog after a few more deaths."
"What do you mean?" Al suddenly asked in a darkened tone.
Priscilla slowly stopped her movement and glanced at his hand. "You forgot to say princess there, Aldebaran."
Feeling a chill down his spine, the offish knight trembled and stuttered. "I-I'm so sorry Princess."
"That's okay, you'll kiss mine's boots all night when we next sleep as punishment."
Al sighed and continued to rub her back as she continued.
"That boy's madness hasn't fully gone away. I few words from a heartfelt speech could only do so much… No… That boy's 'heart' wasn't there to begin with. He's as selfish as any of these normal whores below me."
"Then why are you still interested in him, princess."
Priscilla's eyes narrowed. "Because I still can't understand how pathetic he is. He's speech about how much he hates and detests himself, about how much he was useless and not worthy of any kind of praise for his disgusting self. All of these were the words of an already completely broken and twisted dog."
"So?" Al sounded as he noticed the frustration in his lady's tone.
She pursed her lips and seemed to be lost in thought.
"If the boy was truly this broken already, then his selfish and disgusting personality would've already forced him to give up and stop trying to help these scum."
"He did try to run away from his and the other's problems reme-"
"And yet he still comes back to help them even when he knows there's noway out. He was so sure of defeat, the selfish thing would've been to run and never look back. Yet it only took him a couple of nice words from a person that killed him multiple times before for him to stand up and try to fight such impossible obstacles."
Priscilla smirked a bit when she remembered the way Subaru faced the Whale in free-fall. "And he truly did a splendid job in entertaining mineself." The lady mused bemusedly.
"So, what do you think he's fighting all of these obstacles for? If not for his selfish self and not for his 'good heart' then what?"
The fiery haired girl looked down at the sleeping boy with a critical look.
"For some reason it feels too forced. Like he's only fighting because he thinks that he's the only one capable of doing it. Even if he asked for an alliance for the army, he still chooses to take part in fighting even though he's strength is not even comparable to a finger of mineself." Priscilla's eyes narrowed.
"He already thinks of himself as a weakling, dumb, buffoon that has nothing in this world…" The lady's scarlet eyes heated as she glared at the boy in remembrance to his self deprecating speech. "… He's already aware how weak and useless he is in a fight from every death he's experienced. And he's already seen what monsters and how strong the foe is up ahead."
Priscilla fanned herself and glared at the screen in annoyance as she concluded.
"… He thinks that he's only good for dying and using his disgusting ability no matter the cost to his sanity just to live up to the stupid maid's words."
Al was shocked at the dangerous revelation.
Priscilla simply sighed as she debunked the stupid 'Good heart' theory from her mind as she replaced it with her much more logical conclusion.
The boy is dying again and again just because his trauma forced him to have his mind set that he's nothing but a suicidal tragic hero, waiting to die any time his friends are in trouble.
Al simply shook his head as the more he thought about it… the more he saw flaws in his lady's theory.
Priscilla looked up at her knight.
"Why… would he even use his ability to such an extent to just save his friends?"
"What do you mean?" Priscilla asked her knight in confusion.
"I mean, if he truly sees himself so unworthy as to throw his life away whenever there is a wrong… then why doesn't he use it on something greater than just saving his friends? I mean… he already gave up on his life, as you said."
"Oh, Aldebaran. The boy is still hooked up to the lust of the half-wit. He's gonna start using his power for his greed soon we just have to watch."
"Or… He's just a good guy. A stupid one, but still… Good."
Priscilla pursed her lips as she felt little relief for her knight's words. She truly found this possibility to be thrilling and didn't want to lose good entertainment once she has the boy as a footstool in her living room.
"Shut up and bring me some tea."
Priscilla was left to wonder why Subaru's greed and selfishness didn't force him to use his ability. Why he only accepts death once he sees some other commoner from around him die.
Truly, a strange kid.
"And what did you think of the fight my deeeeeaar, Ram?" An eccentric man wearing clown makeup inquired of the pink-haired Oni sitting on his lap.
The maid couldn't answer without moaning loudly as the clown held her forehead with a glowing fingertip, pumping her broken horn with mana through his gate.
"… Barusu did an adequate job, I suppose."
The man smirked mischievously, "My dear, I was asking about your sister's efforts not Subaru-kuuuun's."
The maid managed a huff of annoyance, "My sister did her part splendidly as expected of her. The only problem was that her part was being issued by Barusu's plan so the success of the subjugation rested on him to think and maintain perfect coordination with the others."
"You seeeeeem to have warmed up to the boooy~" Roswaal teased while treating the maid's forehead.
Ram held an expression of disgust for a moment before contorting into one of pleasure as she was receiving the magical aid from her master.
"B-Barusu did a lot to save me and my sister…"
Roswaal's expression turned soft for a moment. "You know that I only have a future with you alive in it… "
"I let you and Rem die." The lord whispered coldly without a hint of regret or a sign of his accent present in his tone.
"I know." Ram responded matter-of-factually.
"I let your sister die and did nothing to help."
"Rem will fall to Gluttony after Subaru goes to fight Sloth."
Ram looked down a bit with a small scowl and a look of hatred in her eyes.
"… Yes." She simply answered.
Roswaal scoured her expression from above and removed his hand from her forehead.
Coldly, he spoke.
"I knew that she would fall, Ram. I let your sister go down for my own selfish reaso-"
"If you're looking for a reason to make me hate you and punish you for all the egregious things you've done, then I ask you to please stop."
Roswaal fell silent at his maid's authoritative toneas she stood up from his lap and glanced at him with a deadpanned look.
"You're Ram's reason to matter what happened in these events because of your following of the gospel, I believe that it was all destined to happen so I could be able to free you from it, including my sister getting forgotten."
Roswaal looked at Ram with bewilderment and surprise. "You… forgive m-"
The clown felt slightly hurt by the harsh tone the maid used to reflect his hopeful inclusion.
"I haven't forgiven all that you've done. This place has shown me that I couldn't ever forgive you for what you've been doing to Barusu and by extension, my sister." Ram had a hint of anger and disgust as she looked at the clown.
Roswaal remained silent and emotionless.
"But… I can't ignore how I feel about you." Ram shook her head and turned her back on her lord, her expression one of disappointment. "Whatever this goal you've enslaved yourself to accomplish was, I will help you with achieving it, master Roswaal-sama."
The clown looked at the maid with an expression of confusion.
"I won't let you hurt anyone else achieve it. The gospel is dust and I plan to make you abandon all of your scheming ways myself."
"You plan to change a murderer?" Roswaal found himself snorting in disbelief.
"You'd be doing a fools task."
Roswaal found himself more agitated by the maid's nonchalant attitude.
"I've given up my humanity long before either of your parents were born. I've committed countless sins and treasonous things to everyone in the world."
"I know, and I plan to stop you myself."
The man clenched his fists in frustration at her instant refuting of his words as if they meant nothing.
"What do you know about what I've done?! I'm a monster that shouldn't be pitied or reasoned with! I only care about one person and one goal to save that person. I could careless what becomes of this world or your sister or that boy!" The clown shouted in anger and increased jubilation. His temper finally blowing for the second time since the Sanctuary fight he had with Ram and Puck. The maid's insistent loyalty to his soul instead of his goal threw him senseless.
Her love for him after all she saw him do completely placing him in a state of disbelief as his world once again shattered for being proven wrong.
His assumption that the gospel was perfect in every sense until the half-elf's loyal servant proved him to be a fool.
His belief that no one will ever find him redeemable after centuries of horrible crimes against humanity to get to this one goal. Now being proven wrong as this smirking maid declared how much she loved him and how she will fight to redeem him.
To make him good.
That thought placed him into a frenzy of emotions that his own jaded since of self couldn't shake off with a cold smirk or a mysterious expression.
Ram watched his trembling form with a look of satisfaction in her eyes.
"Your goal can only be achieved by the efforts of this team. Your place is no longer that of a mastermined behind the scenes. Your games no longer have meaning or value since the gospel isn't with you."
Ram leaned down a bit to stare her clearly furious master in the eye.
"Everything that made you a monster is no longer present. It's my chance to save Roswaal-sama from doing any more harm to this world and to himself." Ram gave one final grin before turning her back on the lord and walked out of the room.
Before she closed the door, she briefly turned to him and snorted. "I would worry about what the rest will do to you once they find out what truly caused Barusu so much pain. They surely won't let you off freely."
Roswaal simply stared at her with no emotion. "I already know that."
"And what's your plan to deal with their anger?" Ram inquired with an amused brow.
"…" Roswaal turned away from her and sighed. "They have the right to punish me."
Ram nodded in approval. "Good. And in respect to your wishes, I won't step in to help… maybe I'll even join in."
The maid glared one final time at her employer before clicking the door shut.
The clown sat in his room, consumed by silence.
He was trying to find out why his heart felt so heavy and so trapped.
He wondered why he never felt such a feeling in all of his 400 years.
He wondered… without a gospel… he wondered.
"Maa~n! I really missed out on a lot of cool shit, huh."
A boisterousdogman whined while stretching on his chair.
"Yes! Yes! Mimi and boss bro kicked the Whale's sorry behind!" An energetic small demihuman catgirl shouted with glee while jumping on the bed at the far side of the room.
"I can't believe that you dropped the great tree of the wanderer. Subaru's plan was reckless at best." Another small child with an eye-glass spoke out in a miffed tone.
"Hmmm, reckless? I suppose that's what made it appealing to him?"
All three demihuman mercs stopped what they were doing and looked at the fur coated princess sitting in the corner with a thoughtful look on her face.
"Boss? Ya finally with us?" Ricardo called out to the scheming lady.
"Yes, Ricardo-kun. I was just thinking about the events we've witnessed. I'm merely thankful for your safety." Anastasia smiled at her crew and rubbed her scarf softly.
"What'd ya think of the fight, boss?!Was Mimi cool?!" The energetic girl shouted at the merchant with hope for her approval plastered on the kid's face.
Anastasia giggled and patted Mimi's head affectionately. "Yes, Mimi. You were indeed very cool.I felt so scared for you!"
Mimi giggled as Anastasia tickled her.
The merchant let the small girl to run around the room and continued staring off in space.
"The boy's power truly did him wonders." She mused to herself while thinking back to the last viewing and how Subaru fought valiantly against the Whale.
The tactics, the cunning, the expert handling of every soldier. Anastasia was truly disparaged for seeing all of these things and not being able to take them as her own. "Not only does that boy hold vast knowledge that could reshape our lives like a modern Hoshin of the Wilds, he also has seriously cunning intent and an excellent nack for tactics as well."
The merchant mused to herself while increasingly caressing her fox scarf in agitation. "I need to find a way to stop Crusch's plan from happening."
Ricardo and the twins looked at their boss with worried expressions.
Anastasia never looked so frustrated.
"I need to set a plan that will ensure the boy's camp follows me without leaving a chance for Crusch and her camp to rescue them from my employment." She bit her lip in frustration and thought about a way to have Subaru, willingly serve under her without seeming as the bad guy and ruining any chances of true friendship from building between them.
She really wanted to enjoy the boy's antics while they bot worked on many creations and shops filled with his distinct foreign ideas and creations.
It was official. She needed to make that dream a reality.
"After the clown is out, all players will make their move." The lady whispered softly while glaring at an invisible map that only she could see.
The map of every camp coming to 'aid' and possible capture the entire Emilia camp once they lose the Margrave as their lord.
Anastasia was far behind all of them.
"This wouldn't do." The merchant princess whispered sharply and continued to plot over the details of how she could have the advantage over this race.
The mercenaries just stared at the lady from the doorway as they stealthily escaped the room.
In a brightly lit room, four boys were lodging around, drinking beverages provided to them by their handsome host.
They all still held on to the high of the epic subjugation they had witnessed.
One young man in particular was so excited and amazed by the historic moment that he began doing push-ups in the middle of the room while the rest of the group watched.
He gave a toothy grin while gushing gruffly. "Dida see him?! That was the Cap'n I know and follow! He was almos' as amazin' as mine amazin' selfs!"
The blonde tiger demihuman exclaimed loud and proud as he remembered Subaru's badass moments against the legendary monster known as the White Whale.
Garfiel couldn't believe how awesome his captain looked. It put him to manly tears! The boy that had died and came back just to beat the crap out of the ones that killed him. It put Garfiel on a high. An empowering feeling of demanded effort, to do what he could to help just to be as awesome and as worthy of Subaru's mentor-ship.
The blonde worrier was never going to doubt his badass Cap'n again. The man looked down at the White Whale and called it disgusting.
His Cap'n was the coolest.
"I don't think you should be encouraged by such careless tactics. A knight's got to have guts but he also needs a good head on his shoulders." An elegant yellow-eyed young man offered graciously from his spot on the dresser chair.
Before Garfiel could respond, an energetic high-pitched voice spoke. "Ah, come on! Julius-kun's jealousy truly is delicious to witness, nayn! But it's not a good look on you as your friend!" The teasing voice belonged to non other than a catboy that was having too much fun smugly smirking at the greatest knight from his spot on the bed.
"Hmph!" Julius scoffed and elegantly turned away from the fellow knight. Not giving an answer to his jealousy claim.
The purple haired knight chose to look at the fourth occupant in the room, sharply gazing at the silver-haired merchant boy as he paced acroos the room and toward the excited Garfiel.
"Take this, Garfiel-san."
Garfiel gratefully took the bottle of water from Otto and drank it instantly from his place on the floor.
The merchant boy smiled at his brother and turned to sit on his own chair while they waited for the next viewing to be called.
"You seem to have corrected your misguided view."
Otto flinched, as expected, as Julius bluntly cut to his desired conversation.
"Forgive my bluntness, of course." Julius corrected himself in a not at all sorry tone as his eyes almost narrowed toward Otto's own.
"Of course." Otto growled in frustration and shame as he held his eyes to those yellow sharp ones of Julius Euuclius.
Seeing the merchant's shame and reluctance to answer, Julius took it as a chance to carry on his conversation.
"Last time I asked you. You've decided that your friendship with Natsuki was hollow and based on one sided affection from your point. That your efforts and deeds to help him would be useless and unneeded. That your friendship was simply null because you can't help Subaru no matter what since you have no idea how much pain he's endured."
"Hey man. Lay off." Garfiel growled out while stepping infront of his brother. The blonde instantly noticed how much Julius's words were effecting the merchant and he wasn't about to have another brother of his have a nervous break down.
Julius himself simply glared passed the blonde boy and to the silent Otto. Waiting for an answer.
The merchant simply stayed silent and held his head low as he lamented the knight's words.
"Do you feel the same way now?" Julius asked sternly, forcing an answer from the merchant.
"I never wanted to stop trying to help ease his pain, Julius-san." Otto finally spoke in a reminiscent tone while sheepishly smiling at the knight before him.
"I admit that I've been a bit of a hypocrite and a very lousy friend to have given up on trying to help Natsuki-san. I mean, how could I help someone that died over and over again?" The three other men looked at the merchant as he gazed upwards with a strong willed expression.
"But… I realized how wrong I was. I thought that Natsuki's experience with death made him something far away from my expertise. Someone so used to pain and horror that I couldn't help in anyway shape or form. I thought I was useless and unable to help him since I couldn't understand the pain he's been dwelling in."
Garfiel and Felix looked down and thought about the boy's words. Both of them clenched their fists tight with animalistic growls of frustration.
But then Otto continued.
"I was really stupid." The merchant admitted with a smile.
Julius looked satisfied for a moment.
"I wasn't aware of just how much my brother was damaged. I couldn't handle hearing the stuff he thought of himself. The true things he says to himself every day when he looks at the mirror."
Otto softly placed his palm on his face while growling out. "I never wanted to punch someone so hard in my life."
Julius and Garfiel snorted while Felix looked bewildered for a second.
"Natsuki-san's sanity and mental condition have been damaged yes, but he's never been emotionless or dead inside. He's as broken as all of us, and he needs all the help he can get to keep himself from sinking deeper." Otto glared at the ceiling of the room as he remembered his brother's suffering and self deprecation.
"Of course I want to help him. I wouldn't be a friend if I let him swim in this darkness like this."
At the merchant's determined declaration, Julius seemed to have accepted the answer as he picked up his glass of wine.
"Cheers to that." He said simply with a small smirk and elegantly drank to the toast.
The others also picked up their preferred beverages and drank to his toast.
"It's 'lright man. We all made mistakes with Cap'n's condition." Garfiel nodded his head and patted Otto's shoulder, almost breaking it.
"At least ya didn't cry like a wuss." The tiger laughed at the merchant's red expression while the two knights watched from afar.
The catboy knight frowned a bit at the three's interactions. Wondering if he could also join in and have them as well. If he could have a say in how they could help the black haired young man that had effected so many of them.
Wondering if he could be a friend as well after all the mocking and disrespect he through towards their brother.
Felix's shame and pride put a stop from any attempts to try and talk to the three. Reserving himself to stay quiet and drink his orange juice.
He wasn't deserving of Subaru's friendship. Not until he apologizes to the boy for his nastiness towards him first.
"Thank you for attending my invite." A smooth, diplomatic tone of voice sounded out from the mouth of a certain green-haired duchess.
"That's alright Crusch-sama. We're glad to be here with you." A blue-haired maid softly relied with a smile as she drank her tea.
"Umm, I don't really get why this is so formal… Our rooms are right beside each other and we're friends so…" A nervous half-elf spoke her confusion while gazing at her cup of sprinkled water.
"I guess you have a point. Sorry about that." The duchess awkwardly chuckled and sipped her coffee.
"That's okay." The half-elf also sipped her drink.
The maid just looked at the two and stared at her tea without emotion.
This was awkward. As fuck.
Three beautiful maidens sat opposite one another on around table. All of them having one thought plaguing their minds. About how a certain black-haired young man would react to their love.
Emilia had her heart sit on helping the boy through every moment of despair and suffering caused by her weakness and uselessness to save him. She wanted to be his and him hers. To feel his love and cherish it before the time he dies and leaves her alone. To make him feel loved and force him to see how unworthy she was to stand beside him. To make him stop hurting himself for her sake.
The same emotion could be transcribed in the maid's troubled heart. Rem was truly amazed with her hero's journey and more so than ever fell in love with the boy deeper than ever as she saw how much pain he went through to save everyone. Selfish and broken she was, but she wouldn't ever let her hero feel like this about himself either. Remembering the scars on his arms and learning of his nightly habits made Rem's blood boil in anger and despair. She never wants to see her love in such pain. This wonderful boy doesn't deserve such torment.
The duchess between the two was calmly thinking about her own feelings. From a political direction, her feelings would be understandable as she thought of the boy's usefulness to her goal. He's the embodiment of why the dragon has failed this country and this world. The only reason she or half of the candidates were alive today was because of the boy's constant intervention. Had he not been present, Elsa would've killed Felt in the slums. Had he not been there, Emilia would've died countless times. Had he been absent, Crusch herself would've fallen to the White Whale along with her entire army.
It was a fact. Subaru Natsuki was crucial and important to this election as any other candidate. Dare she say that whomever has him underneath their master-ship could be pronounced the winner of this election prematurely. After what she's seen of his power, she truly couldn't fault Anastasia for thinking about him as an advantage.
But… She also saw many things other than his power. She saw his weakness. His greed. His self doubt that infuriated her to no end. His amazing tactician mind. His wonderful personality when he wasn't being arrogant or acting like he was. His truly wonderful heart that keeps him fighting against all odds to save the innocent. Her heart pounded and her stood completely still when Crusch realized that the boy died over and over again just to save one village while the holy dragon ignored it and kept sleeping beyond a waterfall.
He was useless in a fight. He had no skill in swordsmen-ship. He had a pathetic way of thinking about himself as someone to prove his worth even though no one asks him to. He was dumb, yet courageous. He could be a crybaby yet suffer the worst fates to help others.
He saved her and broke through destiny to save the other soldiers and villagers beyond the mist.
Crusch truly believed in being a good leader first. If she was to somehow force the boy into a marriage along with her and Emilia together to keep their camps together without having to use force then she would blame it on the politics.
She would also secretly blame it on her foolish heart for falling for him.
But her plan was made to boost her political carrier and get the throne by having one camp drop out of the race and having the most valued players of that camp contracted to serve beside her. Not under. Beside her as her partner and equals.
Having the boy she fell for as one of those partners and his true love as her other one was nothing but a bonus. Subaur would have his happy ending. Emilia would have hers. And Crusch could work with Subaru as her husband in name. Then she would work until he would be hers by heart.
It was a stupid plan. It made her chuckle. But a forced marriage could be wonderful if played right. Especially such an absurd, convoluted one such as the one she's planning for. It would've made her feel bad but she figured that having Subaru and Emilia be forced into a relationship with her as their deciding ally was better than Anastasia or Priscilla making them enslaved servants or indebted to them. She didn't think about Felt's plan to take the boy but she doubted that the little girl will make any moves to have him serving her.
It was Crusch's plan to get the throne and achieve her dream. She didn't do it for love or for pity on the poor boy that had suffered so much.
She was selfish and arrogant like that.
That's why she wanted to have Subaru.
As the three girls schemed silently, none of them noticed how calm the quiet room had become. As if their sense of love and compassion for the boy put their aura on similar wavelengths.
Rem decided to break this comfortable tension between rivals of war and friends of battle with a surprised tone.
"Looks like the others are getting ready for the viewing."
The other two ladies looked at the door way to find that most of the cast were laughing and bickering together in the theater room.
"Hmm, it seems like our conversations took a lot of time." Crusch noted with raised eyebrows.
Emilia found herself nodding. "Mhm! I really didn't feel the time passing so fast."
Rem started emptying her tea cup and placing the tray on another table. The maid spoke out towards the two rivals as they both drank their beverages in a hurry.
"So, we all agree that Subaru-kun shouldn't be used to relieve any sort of stress or tension even if the screen-sama could heal him?"
Crusch and Emilia firmly nodded their heads while blushing heavily at the embarrassing moments.
"Yes, no more of that." Crusch coughed into her fist.
"Y-Yes! Subaru's weak fragile hands won't be broken again." Emilia nodded her head firmly.
Rem's sweat dropped in exasperation. "Emilia-sama, Subaru's hand isn't weak or fragile… you have very extraordinary strength-"
"His weak and fragile hand won't be hurt again I promise." Emilia cut her off with a threatening tone in her voice and a very deep blush on her cheeks.
Rem just sighed and nodded in acceptance, not wanting to anger the clearly flustered half-elf anymore.
Crusch found herself chuckling in amusement. "I mean, no one can blame you for it. The boy did some really crazy things to fight the Whale. I can't believe that he came up with that plan on the fly and not in some other loop."
Emilia and Rem smiled with faint pride at their hero/knight being praised. "I didn't think that he would truly make use of such a thing as the scent of the Witch to trap the monster." Rem gushed softly as her amazement of how her hero used it overwhelmed her disgust with the Witch and her scent.
"Mhm! I reeeeaally wanted to hit him and then give him a hug for doing such a dangerous thing." Emilia shook her head but hid her smile at the memory of her knight saving the army below him and forcing the Whale into a trap to let Wilhelm kill it. She wouldn't ever forget how truly amazing her knight had become.
"But we can't forget how much easier it's become for him to act as bait." Crusch reminded while finishing the last of her coffee.
Emilia and Rem both looked saddened as they agreed with that notion.
"We need to help him see how wrong that is." The duchess smiled encouragingly at the two girls.
"Of course we will, Crusch-sama. Subaru-kun deserves to be happy even he doesn't choose us." Rem nodded her head in agreement with the duchess, feeling happy that she had a powerful friend in the stern lady.
Emilia stayed silent for a few moments. Looking at the floor of the room with a frowning expression on her face. The half-elf princess found herself in fear for some reason as she remembered just how many people care about Subaru. She wants him to be happy and have all the love and care he deserves… but what if she gets left in the dust? What if he forgets about her after so many people showed him enough care and attention while she only caused him so much pain.
Emilia thought about how deep he fell into despair and how much Rem had helped him to stand up against it.
She thought about how hopeless his fight was until Crusch lent him her hand and fought beside him.
How many times was he in need of her while all she did was turn her back on him because she thought it unbelievable that someone would need her help.
It wasn't a reality she wanted to acknowledge. She had felt Subaru's love and compassion toward her once before. She enjoyed it. She used it to beat the trials. She used him and his love to face her fear of the past.
And she turned her back on him when he tried to use her love to deal with his own trauma and pain. Back in the capital, instead of hearing him out and helping him through his suffering, she left him alone and forced him to start blaming himself for all the horrors and deaths he came across.
It made her tear up. It made her angry with her disgusting self for how useless she was compared to these two.
But it really forced it her to open her eyes and finally see what she's been doing wrong.
The two girls stopped at the door and looked at the half-elf with confusion.
Emilia stared at the two with eyes filled with determination. Amethyst with fire in them, she narrowed her eyes at them.
"I…" The half-elf breathed deeply and confidently announced to the two.
"I want to help him as well… But I also want him to be mine too."
Rem and Crusch looked at one another then at the stern Emilia with alarm.
"I won't stop him from loving anyone he wishes too. His heart is too big for that. But I won't give up and let someone else take him and help him instead of me."
Emilia stared at the two girls before her, almost glaring.
"He's mine. I don't intend to share." The half-elf declared in an almost threatening tone.
Rem looked at the half-elf with a shocked expression, almost crushed. She wished that things wouldn't turn into a competition. Not like this. She really didn't want to lose her hero for another woman.
"Emilia-sama…" Rem tried to sound out but Emilia's stern expression didn't fall. The Oni made her own decision on the spot.
"I… want Subaru-kun's love as well. I promised to work hard to be worthy of it. And I meant it." The Oni declared while holding her own competitive stare at the silver-haired girl.
Crusch had to stop herself from bursting into hysterics as she watched the two declare things outside of their control.
The duchess smirked confidently at the other candidate in the room with her eyes lit up. "Subaru-sama's special. He deserves the best and only the best out of all of us." The lady's honey-colored eyes stared into Emilia's amethyst ones deeply. "I want to give him the best as well. As the man I fell for, he deserves that of me. And I hope to show that I'm the one for him."
Shocking Emilia and Rem, Crusch announced her entry into the competition for Subaru's heart.
"Let the best win." The duchess smirked at the two before leaving the room to join the cast in the theater.
Laughing quietly to herself, Crusch shook her head in amusement at such a dramatic display of love. She knew that all of this was unnecessary anyways. After she gets out of the theater and Roswaal is dealt with, Emilia's entire camp will be ripe for the taking. All she needed was for Anastasia to make her move and then she sweeps in like a guardian angel to take Subaru and his lady under her wing at the Karsten household.
What Crusch didn't know, was that the merchant princess was planning to overthrow her entire scheme with a scheme of her own. Anastasia smirked dutifully at the returning figure of the duchess as she sat behind her in the second row. Crusch nodded her head respectfully and challengingly at the candidate merchant before taking her seat beside the sleeping black-haired young man.
Felt glared at them both and moved away from the warmth of her big bro to sit beside her refreshed looking knight. The little blonde felt uneasy and a little pissed off at the girls around her big bro for some reason. Like they were planning things that wouldn't sit well with her or Subaru.
"Whatever, nothing matters now. After we take care of the clown guy Big sis and Big bro will be living with us." Felt mused and shook her worries away by leaning back into her seat.
Emilia and Rem silently took their seats beside and behind the sleeping boy with intense expressions on their faces.
Non of the girls touched Subaru as they all promised not to hurt him any more.
But all of this heat and intense aura was felt by a lone scared spirit girl. A blonde-loli that was sitting on the boy's lap and noticing all of these girls' changed attitude towards her contractor.
"What've you all been up to, I suppose." Beatrice growled while clutching Subaru protectively from the many hogging ladies.
Otto and Garfiel just gulped and looked at one another.
"We need to do something man." The merchant whimpered in fear for his sleeping brother.
Garfiel just shook his head and stared at the pack of scheming powerful women around Subaru.
"… Cap'n's got this one." The blonde said as he turned away from the madness happening and ignored his brother's pleas.
He wasn't an idiot. He liked being alive.
Otto sighed and stared at the sight once more with worried eyes.
Aight people! Sharp faces!
The familiar sexy voice of the warden sounded from the screen, making the crowed of excited watchers stop what they were doing and look at the giant square with anticipation.
"Will we watch the legendary put down of the Sloth Archbishop?" Frederica giddily asked while jumping in her seat.
"I've been waiting to see that fucker die."Garfiel growled out as he remembered the disturbing man torturing Rem and Subaru.
"Indeed it is. Subaru and the heads of the campaign put forth the plan to conquer the Witch's Cult immediately after my arrival which was shown in the last viewing." Julius provided with a hint of pride in his elegant tone.
"So we won't get to see what happens with Crusch-sama?" Felix asked with a sad tone of voice.
You will see that in time. But for now the story follows Subaru first.
Felix nodded his head while Crusch and Rem looked firm and prepared to face what the screen will show.
"I've always wondered how it would've ended for you, Geuse." Beatrice softly mumbled as she prepared herself to see what had occurred between her contractor and her oldest friend.
A half-elf sitting beside her was also looking distraught at the bring up of dear beloved mentor's death.
"No." Emilia reminded herself. "That's not him anymore… the Father Juice that I know died because I was too weak to save him." The half-elf silently shed tears of anguish for her mentor. Wiping them away while getting ready to brave what the screen might show of him.
Alright, I guess its ready. Gotta run now.
"What does he mean by that?" Anastasia asked while glaring at the ceiling of the theater.
The other's shrugged and watched the illuminating screen as it activated.
"This will be so exciting!" Felt rubbed her hands in anticipation to see her big bro win over that madman.
Season 1 Episode 12 Director's Cut.
The scene opens up on Subaru's shocked expression as Julius stopped his dragon infront of him.
"Just now joining us, Julius?Thanks for gracing us with your presence." Felix mused from beside the distraught black-haired young man.
"Please, you're going to ruin my reputation." The elegant knight mounted off his blue ground dragon and stood before Subaru and Felix. "But I am not the man called 'Julius'." The man smiled elegantly and glanced at the sky thoughtfully.
"Let's see… Perhaps I'll go by 'Juli.'" The man offered with pride, as if he came up with something legendary.
"What?" The purple haired young-man asked in innocent confusion as all eyes in the theater turned toward him. "It was a perfectly adequate undercover name." The knight sounded defensive as everyone just glanced at him with confusion and some in pity.
Even the kindhearted Emilia looked at the knight with a sympathetic look, as if mourning an idea she had of him dying in her mind.
Which made Julius die a little on the inside at the half-elf losing respect for him over what he thought was an awesome name.
The knight stepped closer to the people before him and spoke curtly. "Even if it is temporary, a man with the status of a knight must never lower himself to the rank of mercenary. The man you see here is not Julius Euclius, the knight," Julius gave a diligent wave of his hair as he announced suavely "But a simple wanderer called Juli."
"Really…" Felt shook her head in pity.
Julius tried to ignore the glaring look his lady was giving him.
"You're embarrassing me, Julius-kun." Anastasia pouted while noticing the bland looks her knight was getting.
The knight looked hurt for a moment. While Felix softly giggled in his palm at the elegant knight being pitied for such a dumb name.
Otto and Garfiel just chuckled while hiding their faces so that the knight behind them won't see their pleasure at his pain.
Subaru looked to the side with an annoyed glare.
"Natsuki-san still hasn't forgotten that beating huh?" Otto managed to calm his laughter down and noticed Subaru's annoyed look.
"Cap'n's still a man with pride." Garfiel nodded his head and hoped to see his captain do his awesome invisible providence attack to take some revenge…. He was wondering why Subaru hasn't used that attack…..
"Subaru…." Emilia shook her head with a disappointed look on her face for her lo- knight's pettiness.
"He will make up with Juli and kick that creepy witch guy's ass." Mimi shouted in glee, wanting to see the green man in pain for everything he did.
"He will save our village and Emilia-sama." Petra childishly shouted with glee.
Julius just looked a bit disappointed by the way his relationship with Subaru started but he was willing to make his friendship with the boy work. He's respect for him grew too much.
Another knight was watching the screen with a bit of frustration and jealousy, a catboy that was biting his lip.
"If I apologize… maybe he could trust me too?" Felix thought to himself quietly as he looked at the interaction on the screen with guilt, wondering if he could have Subaru forgive him like he did Julius.
"A proper household's code of chivalry is a real pain, huh?" Felix cheerfully jeered from his position while Subaru just looked exasperated.
"Bull." He growled out while looking away.
Julius turned to him with a friendly smile. "It seems you're doing better than expected. How are you feeling?"
Although the knight's question was friendly and not hostile at all, Subaru's face turned to one of offense, leading him to wave his spiked hair while holding an arrogant expression.
"Well, it was just some scratches! A little spit fixed them right up, pretty much! What about you? Been busy writing letters of apology for fighting so seriously with an amateur?" The nasty-eyed boy smirked dubiously at the elegant man.
Emilia sighed and shook her head in disappointment. Why wouldn't he just use this as an opportunity to make friends with Julius? The half-elf could only watch in hope that these two set their problems aside for this one fight. She hoped to see how they truly became allies.
She wanted to know what the boy she loved so much changed in himself to accept that horrible defeat.
Julius just looked briefly disappointed at this. "I didn't mean that. I wasn't talking about the damage to your honor but the mabeast subjugation."
The knight sighed and managed a smile on his face. "But I'm glad your wounds from before seem to have healed." Almost teasingly, he offered a truce through his words.
Subaru and Julius stood before one another in silence.
And then began laughing together.
Until they both gave a last disgusted and clearly forced laugh.
Opening Theme 2: Paradisus-Paradoxum
"You guys hit off reeeeeally weeeell." The silent Roswaal finally spoke out in amusement.
"Man, I didn't pay enough attention back then but ya really were pissing aroun' huh." Ricardo laughed as he noticed the sheer disgust these two had against each other.
"That last laugh was filled with malice… you two are so alike in a lot of sense." Al chuckled at the thought.
Julius wondered if that should be taking as a compliment after the journey he had seen the boy go through. He decided to stay silent and watch.
"Betty's Subaru should always be proud, I suppose." Beatrice huffed at the 'damaged honor' line. She didn't care that the boy got beaten blue before noble knights. He died to save everyone and help her old friend rest from his slothful madness.
Her contractor was the best.
The scene shows many of the soldiers and mercenaries sitting across the grassy field in a circle with one nasty-eyed young man sitting in the middle of them and speaking as loud as he can.
"We succeeded in taking out the White Whale thanks to all of you. But it's not over yet. I have to settle a score with the Witch's Cult guys who picked a fight with me. Once that's done, the White Whale subjugation will be complete." Subaru spoke to the troops around him while holding his fist up.
"The Witch's Cult is next?" A little demihuman girl asked in marvel while her twin brother played with his eye glass while staring reluctantly at Subaru.
"Can we trust the allegations that the White Whale and the Witch's Cult are connected?" Tivey asked not noticing the annoyed glare his sister gave him.
"We only came as reinforcements for the White Whale's subjugation-"
"What was that for?" Tivey shouted while holding his head in pain from the strike his sister gave him via her wand.
"If you can't believe him, then you just need to believe me!" Mimi declared while raising her wand high.
"I apologize for my mistrust." The little demihuman boy bowed in shame.
"It's fine. Most of us here didn't believe him when he asked us." Otto said as he glared at the screen, remembering all of the times his friend was turned down or left to die by most of them.
"I think Cap'n died more times to our team than the bad guys."
Everyone widened their eyes in shock as the revelation of the shocked blonde boy sank in.
"That's right…" Al mused while thinking.
Beatrice and Rem looked down in guilt and sadness, while Otto just kept his head down.
Ram remembered the moment the boy jumped off of the cliff to save her sister…. And possibly out of fear from her anger. She did not like how her chest was hurting for such a thought.
Anastasia and Priscilla immediately saw an opportunity to use in this knew piece of information.
"Such insolent creatures." Priscilla snorted as she saw the cracks in the boy's camp forming. She could already see the world turning in her favor once again. Soon. The boy will be beneath her sole.
Hard being a goddess.
"I wonder… would you still have your loyalty and heart serving mineself." The fiery princess mused while squeaking at the screen. Her eyes filled with curiosity and amusement. Wanting to see how hard will it be for his sanity to break once again.
He was truly fascinating to her. She never felt this curious before.
"I'd prefer it if you believed me, though." Everybody looked at Subaru as he spoke out loudly. "I don't like to recall it, but I've run up against the Witch's Cult before. I found out then." He grimaced while closing his fists in anger.
"He's doing his best to lead this army to save everyone…He no longer cares about revenge for how they tortured him. He just wants to keep everyone safe." Frederica looked at the screen with a shocked expression plastered on her face, unable to believe how pure this boy's soul was.
"Cap'n…" Garfiel could only look at the screen with stars in his eyes. Childish as it may seem, the black haired boy looked like a true knight and an even more awesome hero in the blonde's eyes. He was a legend come true. Someone Garfiel always wanted to help everyone that needed him. To be a shield from the pain and despair.
He never wanted to be more like Subaru than now as he led the army toward the innocent commoners who lived on the edge of the forest alone.
Turning to the old man beside him, Felix inured. "Didn't you look into that, Old Man Wil?"
"I wouldn't call it definitive evidence, but the distributions of Whale appearances and Cult activities coincided in several respects." Wilhelm affirmed to the soldiers around him, making Subaru smile in gratitude.
"It's been a common belief that the Cult and the Mabeasts operated alongside one another. There hasn't been any firm evidence of such a theory for centuries…. Until Subaru Natsuki uncovered their connection to defeat the cult." Wilhelm nodded his head as he remembered the battle after the Whale's defeat. His eyes showing a flicker of something akin to rage.
If the Whale truly operated within the cult's orders…. Then his wife was yet to avenged.
Crusch and Rem pulled a face at the memory of the two Sins that showed up after the Whale's defeat.
The duchess held a hand to touch her arm with a near hateful scowl on her face. Remembering the phantom pain of her arm being torn off in a matter of seconds.
"If the Cult holds a significant power over the great mabeasts…. Then that means… " Emilia glanced at Beatrice in horror. Alarming both Crusch and Rem as they noticed the half-elf's expression.
The blonde girl only replied with a growl as a rage-filled scowl found it's way to her adorable face.
"The Great Rabbit, I suppose." The spirit's tone sounded with hate as she thought about the cult sending over a great mabeast to her mother's tomb….Even if she was having conflicting feelings for her… It was still a sacred place that shouldn't be touched by such filthy individuals.
"That makes it doubly credible! On that note, we're going to head for the Mathers domain. The Witch's Cult is hiding in the forest there."
Subaru raised his arm and pointed a finger at the sky as he explained to everyone around him.
"The way to defeat them is as simple as it gets. Raid them before they can read our movements and crush them!"
A soldier raised his hand in the air, answering when Subaru turned to him.
"Is there a way to keep the villagers safe?"
Subaru comfortably answered that question. "I asked Anastasia-san and Russell-san to talk to the merchants along the highway."
An image of the previous merchant march Subaru came in contact with in his previous loop played.
"Under the condition that Margrave Mathers buys their cargo at the asking price, they'll ask the merchants to evacuate the villagers of Arlam and the residents of Roswaal's mansion. And a messenger from Crusch-san's household is headed to the mansion with a handwritten letter. There will be chaos if we don't notify Emilia and the others about the alliance and all that."
Emilia and Ram looked at one another and then glanced at Crusch.
The warrior women looked confused by this and turned to the other candidate staring at her.
"What is it Emilia-sama?"
"Um… I don't mean to offend you, Crusch-sama… but the letter we got from your camp….. it was blank" Emilia sounded her suspicion with guilt.
Crusch looked surprised and bewildered at this.
"That sounds like it was mistake… unless there was a spy from one of the camps." Frederica suddenly voiced her own suspicion.
"That is a serious hitch in the plan." Otto sounded in fear as he remembered what a blank letter meant. War with no attempt to negotiate.
"Um… I think I know what happened." Everyone looked at the soft speaking Rem as she raised her hand with her lip trembling a bit.
"What is it sissy? What do you of the letter? Barusu said it was his fault but I doubt he was that stupid….even if he usually is even more of a dumbass." Ram demanded with her signature abuse of the boy's name, making a few ladies in the room glare at her.
"He made us carry signs that he said would fix the problem of the blank letter… " Ricardo looked up with wide eyes. Noticing how Wilhelm, Julius and Felix all turned frigid and alarmed.
"How did he know about the letter being blank?" Ricardo asked softly, voicing what all the knights where thinking.
"I… wrote the letter detailing Subaru-kun's plan to Roswaal-sama's and Emilia-sama's graces so that everything can be perfect for my hero…"
Emilia and Beatrice took only a few seconds to register. Before widening their eyes in realization.
"What happened then? Why was the letter blank?" Ram asked heatedly as she felt a bad feeling from this.
"She was erased by Gluttony." Crusch immediately uttered with an alarmed expression.
Ram winced immediately and looked down with tears in her eyes.
"Since you wrote the letter and fought Gluttony before Subaru could reach the Alarm grounds, your existence being erased must've blanked your writing on the paper." Beatrice concluded with a soft hint of pity in her tone
Rem looked horrified at the inclination that her stupid sacrifice made things even harder for Subaru.
"But Natsuki-san made it right though. He saved the village just fine."
Ram's eyes widened.
"That's what we've been thinking about…. He already knew about the letter being blank." Julius pointed out to those who weren't fighting with Subaru in the battle.
"How could big bro know about the letter… being… blank." Felt slowly stopped talking as her face turned chalk white from the realization. The blonde girl slowly turned away from the group and stared at the screen with her face set in a pleading tear-filled look.
"Please don't this again." Otto shook his head and looked away from the cast towards the ground.
Garfiel just gritted his teeth and held his head in his palms while trembling. "Cap'n…."
Crusch and Emilia looked at one another, each girl had looks of horror and disbelief.
Slowly… softly… gently… Crusch and Emilia held each of Subaru's hands. Both ladies trembling with Emilia having tears of despair in her eyes as she remembered the how many words he of love and encouragement he gave her after taking a blast to the face. She didn't even know that he might've died.
"They said that the hunt for Sloth was one of the most excellent expeditions against the Witch's Cult. No casualties." Crusch noted in a hardened tone as she held the boy's hand and softly caressed it for relief and warmth. A glare of iron hatred on her face.
"But…. The Whale hunt… it went perfectly, nyan? If he died…. " Felix was alarmed and completely bewildered.
"It muuuuust've updated once again. But to wheeeeeere?" Roswaal wondered where Subaru's spawn point has updated with a cold smile.
"He died once again." Reinhard closed his eyes and shook his head in condemnation and grief for his friends painful battles.
"Young Subaru-dono also knew of a special power Sloth had that we still haven't seen appear on the screen." The hardened stern voice of Wilhelm cut into everyone's thoughts as he glared at the ground and kept his posture rigid a look of murderous intent clear on his face as he understood that he failed to protect the boy.
"What special power, I suppose? The authority of the unseen hand is all the sloth should get from the factor. Infact." Beatrice asked sharply, afraid of what Geuse's amazing magical knowledge was used underneath the cult's banner.
The soldiers all looked at one another with wide eyes as the Wilhelm's words caught them by surprise.
"I think we should watch for know. It clearly will be solved here" Anastasia voiced out her opinion with an aggravated look on her face as every mystery fed into the conclusion everyone wanted to avoid.
"Hm, he dies once again." Priscilla softly stated with a little narrow of her eyes toward the screen while fanning herself.
Rem could only shed tears of grief for her hero dying possibly because of her mistake once again. Praying that the boy will not blame her for this…. In her heart she knew that he would never do that…. Which made the guilt intensify.
"Sounds like we're all ready." An excited dogman announced.
"Yeah!" Two twins shouted from his lap.
"We have never enjoyed such an advantage in a battle with the Witch's Cult." Wilhelm nodded his head with some cheer in his eyes.
"I never want an advantage like that if this is what we have to pay for it." The old man sternly refuted his screenself's words while shaking his head for the boy's pain. Remembering that he had to die and lose so many friends to get to such advantages.
"Yeah. With Julius and his crew joining us, we don't have to worry about being outnumbered." Subaru turned to the knight with a smirk, only to find that same knight raising his hand in the air.
"I'd like to offer one correction. My name is Juli. Please take care to use it."
And as the soldiers glared tiredly at Julius, Subaru pointed at the knight with an annoyed glare on his nasty eyed face.
"That's just gonna be a hassle in informal settings!"
"Do you really think that's a good name dude?" Al asked in a normal uncaring tone as he usually did.
Julius didn't grace him with a response as the knight was heavily contemplating how his friend will die like the others in the room.
Subaru looked down and closed his eyes. A look of reminiscence showed on his face.
"The battle with the White Whale was so tough, I thought I'd die."
A soldier had some blades sitting on the grass beside him. He had a look of grief as he caressed the blades.
"Some of us did die.Some others vanished, never to return."
Everyone stared at Subaru as he bowed his head.
"Let's win the war without losing anyone here."
He raised his head and met all of the fighters around him with a confident grin.
"Let's all go back home alive!"
And as the sun shined bright over him, the soldiers howled and cheered in excitement.
"He's moving so many hearts…. I wish I could be like you Subaru." Emilia whispered with a sad smile on her face. The tears from the realization that the boy might die where still present but her amazement at his ability to lead the others was truly overwhelming. She wanted to be a leader like Subaru is, someday. She needed to be one so that he won't be hurt again.
"An adequate job of raising moral." Crusch nodded her head in approval at the boy's speech. With a slight smirk showing how much she enjoyed seeing the boy lead her army to stop the evil murderers. Truly…. He could make a great general in the army.
"Hmm…" Crusch hummed a bit while thinking the idea over… she couldn't ignore the painful tug at her heart at the image of the boy dying on the battle-field. The duchess just caressed his hand softly while in thought.
"I thought so too." Julius voiced his agreement but kept his eyes on the screen like a hawk, looking for any difference to indicate this is another loop.
"I mean…. Wasn't the morale high enough? They beat the White Whale." Felt muttered in confusion.
"The White Whale wasn't as easy as you think. The fear was instilled in everyone's hearts and the boy's plan was the only thin' that forged a way out of that fight. When they learned that we will be facin' the Witch's Cult…. It was about to get messy." Ricardo explained while shaking his head as he remembered the looks on the soldiers' faces.
Garfiel narrowed his eyes a little after hearing this and shook his head. He would've helped. But he was too busy dancing like a fool in his cage while his Cap'n was suffering and leading everyone to safety.
"Subaru-kyun's speech were just perfect for everyone around him to hear, nyan. He was the one who made the final plan to fight the Whale so when he said he had a plan for the cult too, everyone just followed him easily, nyan!" Felix spouted with a small smile before turning and watching the screen to see if anything goes different.
The catboy gripped his fists hard and tried to pray for whatever entity out there that he could've at least helped the boy in any loop.
In any way.
Just give Felix a chance to be a friend to the man he respected and owed so much too.
Subaru was riding Patrasche with the rest of the army catching up around him. A young man with purple-hair and sharp eyes trotted on his blue ground dragon beside Subaru.
At this sight, the soldiers all winced at the same time with looks of astonishment and despair going all around.
"What's up with you?" Garfiel asked as soon as he noticed the many bad looks on Felix, Julius, Ricardo and Wilhelm.
Everyone in the theater looked at them with curious eyes.
"Julius-kun?" Anastasia asked expectantly of her knight.
The knight simply shook his head with a grim look on his face. "Just watch my lady…. Just watch."
The merchant princess had a look of understanding on her face. Shaking her head, Anastasia looked at the screen to continue watching… understanding the look on her knight's face… for a simple second, her eyes stared at the back of Subaru's unmoving head…. Filled with pity and emotion.
"Poor fella…." She whispered with her eyes beginning to form a glare of frustration. A boy so useful and detrimental to the country's advancement shouldn't be playing doggy for someone that only brings death and painful memories upon him.
The merchant princess was furious for Subaru's worth being devalued in such a way by his camp's incompetence at doing anything right for themselves and making this boy waste his life dying for their mistakes instead.
"He needs someone to help him." Anastasia muttered in a growl. "Someone that understands how useful he truly is." She hummed thoughtfully. Her eyes returning to look up at the screen. Her gaze thoughtful and cool.
Her fists shaking in anger.
Not at all matching what her expression was portraying.
"You really managed to win?" The man asked while looking at the road ahead.
Subaru had look of pity and disgruntlement as he gazed at the man. "Huh?"
"The subjugation of the White Whale was a long-standing wish that the Imperial Knights were to fulfill."
Subaru looks surprised at the knight. Julius turned to him with an earnest look on his face.
Julius simply watched with an expectant look on his face. Wanting to see what happened between him and his friend in this loop. Wanting to see if he had failed and let Subaru suffer death for it.
A conversation that he was starting with Subaru.
This he had to see.
"It seems I owe you my thanks."
Looking away, Subaru grumbled. "You don't have to force it."
"For putting an end to a calamity that all nations ignored for far too long, I thank you." Julius's eyes were stern and filled with unwavering gratitude.
Subaru's face turned to one of struggle and shame as he stuttered slowly…
"I'm… grateful to you, too. For coming to back us up. Even after what happened."
"This is kind of sweet." Emilia nodded her head in approval that her idiot wasn't so pity as to refute the knight's thanks.
"I feel like you'd have been really strong friends had not been for…. How you met one another." Reinhard winced at the memory of the fight as did Julius.
"…" The knight himself stayed silent and watched with unsure eyes.
"I don't know how to feel about this… but I did do my best in my time with him… I hope this me doesn't fail him." The knight said in a whispering tone with a pleading look showing on his charming face.
Julius listened to him with patience. The images of Subaru's humiliation at the capital played over his struggling voice.
"About that… I was… " Subaru flailed on Patrasche in frustration. "Oh, damn it! Crap! I know, okay?! I know it now!"
Patrasche huffed in deadpanned annoyance at her rider.
Many giggled softly at Subaru's behavior.
Julius just smiled softly as he would've loved to see this attitude back then. Disappointed that he hadn't had times like these with the boy for much longer.
Reinhard smiled softly at the two knights' making up. Warming as it looked he could tell that this scene weighed heavily on his friend. The fact that his long awaited reconciliation with Subaru was taken away because of Return by Death must be bothersome to Julius' heart.
Reinhard just wished that his knightly friend make the most of this scene without letting the negative inclinations weigh him down.
Reinhard wished he had such a chance with Subaru.
"He's still stubborn." Rem voiced with a small smile at the boy's antics. Happy that he could let such a big humiliation go without hateful antics that would make him a bad person.
Subaru stopped moving around and gritted his teeth before facing Julius with an earnest look.
"It was my fault." Subaru said softly to his future husban-
"Sorry. I… I apologize."
Julius gave a nod of acceptance. "I apologize, as well. I can't take back my words and actions, but I apologize from the bottom of my heart for belittling you." The knight answered in earnest.
"I'm sorry, but… " Subaru glared at the road with a stubborn look. "I hate your guts.I feel bad for what happened, and I'm grateful you're here. But I hate your guts. I seriously hate you from the bottom of my heart! Hmph!" Subaru turned to the road with a stubborn pout on his face.
Julius looked surprised for a second before schooling a smile on his face and turning to steer his own dragon.
"That's as it should be. I'm quite certain I could never befriend you, either."
Subaru smiled and steered Patrasche to run forward.
Julius looked a little disheartened for a moment but nodded his head silently in understanding. This moment was something he wished he would've experienced himself. The ability to apologize to the boy earnestly would be a godsend now but seeing this as a moment Subaru as lived through and accepted was good enough for the knight.
"You guys don't look like enemies at all though." Otto voiced out with a knowing smile to the knight while Garfiel raised a brow at the two of them.
Reinhard simply chuckled and smiled at Julius. Happy that his friend got a chance to conceal with Subaru.
He noticed how Wilhelm and Felix were looking at the screen. Which sent him into instant alarm.
The Sword Saint glanced back at the screen with a hateful itch present in his mind about something happening. He prepared himself to cover his lady's eyes incase of another…. Death.
"Oh, Subaru." Reinhard whispered in grief and sympathy for his friend's dark adventure.
The screen focused on Subaru's confident smiling face as hope filled his eyes.
All right, as I say every time, let's get this fight started.
Bring it on, Fate.
"He did so much to get to where he is…" Emilia couldn't help but shake her head as the memories of this arc began to play in her head. She never could've guessed that her Subaru had to undergo such a dangerous mission alone… defeating many impossible threats and dying with his sanity almost shattering for the sake of defending her and the villagers.
"He truly deserves all the praise and more." Crusch muttered as she also played the same events in her own head. Sternly but softly patting the boy on the head.
Beatrice shivered and hugged Subaru closer as the memory of her abandoning him and her brother and long lost friend killing him played in her own mind, filling her with guilt and sadness as she now understood that her contractor was even more amazing to have come back to save her.
The scene pans across Roswaal's estate before changing to show a dark bed chamber.
The door opens and in walks a silver haired girl.
Emilia softly sits on her bed with an unreadable expression on her face as she gazed at the ground.
A small cat slowly emerges from her hair, smiling at his daughter. "You must be exhausted, Lia. You should rest a bit."
"No. I don't think I'll be able to fall asleep. What about you? Aren't you tired?"
"I'm fine.The forest barrier is all fixed up, too. You don't have to worry about anything."
"Yeah." Emilia softly smiled at her floating cat father, her expression slowly turned to one of unease as she gazed at her blinded windows.
"But…" She softly distresses.
"What were you doing after you left big bro in the city?"
Emilia winced a bit at the bold question coming from Felt, unable to think of such a time where she was alone without Subaru without her heart breaking.
"I-I… I wanted to keep everyone safe since we received the blank page… and I thought that a mabeast attack was going to happen again so I tried enforcing all barrier jewels." The half-elf shook her head in embarrassment at how stupid that idea was and just what her knight was dealing with without her.
"Huh? That's not a bad idea. You didn't know what the danger was." Felt nodded her head and smiled at the big sis in approval.
Emilia was confused and surprised by this acceptance of her uselessness. And by how warm her heart was for being at least understood and not brushed off.
Her expression to one of worry as she saw the next scene.
Scene change to Subaru walking through dense forest.
Slowly, he ventured through the forest and jumped over fallen tree trunks.
He stopped suddenly, his body tense.
This feels like the time I found a cockroach in the corner of a quiet room.
The area around him suddenly grows darker as the sun is blocked for some reason.
The boy smirks smugly. "You were drawn to the smell, huh? Perfect cockroach bait." He chuckled mockingly.
In a second… he was surrounded by hooded figures.
"Damn… was he acting as bait?" Al asked in surprise at the boy's bravery.
"Yes… that was his plan in our loop as well." Tivey nodded and answered in a grave voice.
Garfiel growled in fury, swearing to protect his captain better so that he won't play bait anymore.
"Why would he put himself in such a situation, I suppose?" Beatrice asked with her eyes wide and in alarm.
Rem glared hatefully at the cult members and shook her head in irritation that she couldn't be there for her hero… that she wasn't strong enough to help him or Crusch and got deleted out of the world's existence.
"Do I really smell that bad?" Subaru mocked as he kept his grin on his face even when the many cultists huddled closer toward him from every direction.
Emilia watched with her eyes shaking with fury and confusion. Wanting to know why her knight would put himself in such an easy position for the cult to kill him.
"Thanks for coming to meet me. Sorry to say it when you just got here, but I'd rather discuss the details with your boss. So don't get in my way." Subaru ordered the huddled Cultists around him, not even blinking when they bowed deeply to him and vanished into thin air.
He sighed softly and kept looking onward. "If they'd stuck around long enough for me to order them to gather their stuff and go home, this would've been easier…"
"What…" Reinhard whispered his confusion as he stared at the screen.
"What the hell just happened?" Felt asked in astonishment.
"Now that I think about it… they did that to him once before as well… in a previous loop." Crusch recalled grimly while staring at the screen in confusion.
"It must be the Witch's scent… they see him as a member of their disgusting cause." Rem growled out while shaking in anger at such a thought of her hero joining the cult.
"I mean… He has the witch protecting him." Ricardo couldn't help but flinch as furious blue eyes glared at him.
"How could you say such a thing?! Subaru-kun has been taunted by death and danger because of the Witch's sick pleasure. Didn't you see how she wouldn't allow him to share his pain with anyone else? She isn't protecting him!"
The dogman knew when to shut his mouth and not fight back. But something the maid said was off. Being the mischievous free spirit he was, Ricardo faced the pissed off Oni with a confused expression.
"Now messy… I think we can all agree that the boy wouldn't have survived in our world had it not been for the Witch's power. I'm not saying that we should start singing her name with our praises but we shouldn't ignore the fact that she is saving the boy."
The dogman's words turned people's gears as everyone looked deep in thought, even the once angry glaring Rem softened her gaze and looked to the ground.
"But why would she help Subaru defeat the beasts she created and the cult she orders?" Emilia asked while looking quite afraid of the possibility of meeting the witch one day. Of seeing the reason for all her torment.
Of losing her love because the witch decided Subaru was boring suddenly.
Emilia held her knight's hand and leaned softly on his shoulder. Trying not to shiver in fear.
"What a position to be in… I wouldn't envy the boy for his power at all… not while everything around it is so unknown and controlled by the Witch of Envy." Anastasia mused to herself and roughly rubbed on her fox scarf.
He continued walking into the dense forest.
He walked and walked.
Striping some bushes from before him, A giant cove opening was shown.
A small mountain side with a strange square hole planted on it with steps leading inside. The same cave he was freed from by Rem.
"Hm… So that's how he knew about their hideouts." Otto nodded his head and wondered what the plan was in this loop.
Julius and Wilhelm glanced at one another as they understood that anything wrong might happen here. Subaru clearly died since this wasn't what they planned in their take down of the sloth archbishop.
Before the shaped cave opening, stood a figure clad in black with his green head pointed to the ground so that his face can't be scene.
"I've been waiting for you, believer in love." The nasty voice of the man sounded as his figure bowed theatrically.
"I am a Sin Archbishop of the Witch's Cult, representing sloth,"
The man finally raised his head and showed his demented wide-eyed face.
"Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti! TES~"
"Disgusting cur." Priscilla growled while waving her fan furiously.
"He's still so disturbing and inhuman!" Frederica growled in disgust at the man's corpse like face.
Petra just held on to the maid and glared at the green monster with tears in her eyes.
"I hate this guy." Felt shouted while grimacing at how weird he looked.
Ram also gritted her teeth and hatefully scowled at the man on screen, wanting nothing more than to bash his head in after what he done to her sister.
Rem could only watch with worry and despair for her hero wishing that she was present to save him from facing off against the madman.
Emilia and Beatrice tried to hold their tears in at the completely insulting sight of their dearest friend and the monster he has become.
"Mother Fortuna… I'm sorry I let him become like this…" Emilia shed tears as she watched the green person through wide disbelieving eyes. How much did this gentle and caring man suffer to transform into this… corpse monster.
All while she was sleeping in ice… her friend became a mad shell of himself… serving this Witch that couldn't care less of who was hurting and why… Just wanting nothing more than to be amused with people's pain.
Envy never cared about any of them. Just how amusing breaking them can could be.
Emilia glared hatefully through her tear shedding eyes and held her beloved's hand tightly but warmly. Protective. Wanting nothing more than to protect Subaru and avenge Geuse's pain.
Even vowing it.
"I welcome you, beloved child blessed with love! Wonderful! Wonderful!" As the madman wiggled around lewdly, Subaru slowly stepped towards him, stopping only when their were a few feet between him and the green skinned madman.
Subaru's calm determined expression turned into a soft smile as he waved his hand to the Cult head before him.
Betelgeuse seemed to have froze in the middle of a pose at the boy's strange calmness.
"I really appreciate the unexpected welcome. But I'm not sure I really feel this 'love' you keep bringing up." Subaru carried on talking calmly to the frozen green man.
"I'm surprised the boy's keeping his cool after what that filthy swan has done to him." Priscilla snorted while hiding her impressed expression behind her fan.
"It's part of his plan to lure the head out." Julius said while leaning forward to see what will go wrong since there must have been a mistake made by someone on their team for Subaru to have Returned by Death.
"Learn to disguise you emotion… He took her advise after all." Otto shook his head and admired his brother's tenacity.
"Who?" Garfiel asked while keeping his demonic glare set on the green man, waiting to see what his captain will do to defeat this asshole.
"Remember what the Bowel Hunter said when she met Natsuki-san in the slums… Hide your fear… forget your anger…" Otto whispered to his blonde friend sternly.
Garfiel looked at his captain with his eyes wide. The thought that his captain would actually take that killer's words seriously made him look more shrewd and dangerous in any onlookers eyes.
It was truly scary how cooler his captain was becoming.
He might become half as cool as Garf's amazing self.
Betelgeuse's nerves seemed to have caught up with him as his body mechanically moved from it's frozen state while he spoke calmly.
"It always begins suddenly. Everyone, on a certain day, realizes that they are loved. They feel the love!" Betelgeuse pulled an intense glaring expression as he held himself tightly and repeated loudly. "The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love! The love!"
Subaru only smiled uneasily. "Um… And what am I supposed to do now?"
Betelgeuse stopped his weird dancing and suddenly smiled eerily. "Ah, the generous love of the witch… "
"My ass…" Felix muttered while glaring at the man in a disturbed yet outraged expression.
"What would he do if he knew how close Subaru has come to the Witch?" Anastasia asked while rubbing her scarf in frustration as she glared stiffly at the man on screen.
"It wouldn't be anything good." Rem shook her head at what might happen to her hero.
"Or … they place him higher in their organization." Ram suggested with a thoughtful look.
"Why is Betelgeuse waiting for Natsuki-san anyway? Is this how people get invited into the cult?" Otto asked as his gears began to turn.
Everyone watched with curiosity in their eyes.
"Information about the cult's initiation process has been sought after for centuries since their could be useful." Crusch muttered while keeping her eyes hardened at the screen.
He turned to the boy with a wide armed pose, as if to hug him. "You wouldn't happen to be Pride, would you? Of the six Sin Archbishops, only Pride's seat remains vacant."
Many reactions were set after that quote has been uttered.
And outright fear… from one helmeted man sitting in the room.
"Could he be the Pride bishop?" Anastasia mused loudly with a thoughtful look.
"But Archbishops are only the people leading the cult, right? Big bro isn't one of em so he can't be a bishop." Felt nodded her head with a convinced look on her face.
"Not necessarily… We've always thought the Archbishops are the ones who hold more power than the rest of the cultists." Wilhelm interrupted their thoughts with a shake of his head.
"Of course, I don't think Natsuki-dono could be a member of them… but he does have a power that's considered border on impossible… from the Witch herself as well."
Otto and Garfiel shook their heads at the man's words.
"We won't let him steer to such a path."
"Not after what we've seen 'ere."
Both boys cemented what most of the theater was thinking in regards to Subaru being an archbishop.
"But it's very interesting to know that the bishops don't operate within each other's presence. I don't think we know what happened to Pride either." Crusch voiced her thoughts while glaring at the screen with interest.
Betelgeuse slowly dragged himself closer to Subaru. "You have received the Gospel, haven't you?"
Betelgeuse's eyes watered as he gazed at the boy.
"My brain trembles!" The madman shouted as he retracted his arm from his robe, grabbing a book from its pocket.
"Presentation of the Gospel! Proof of love!"
Roswaal and Beatrice both glared at the book hatefully… but for different reasons.
"That book…. "
"It's the Cult's heart and soul…"
Reinhard and Julius glared at the book, their since of duty kicking in to learn all they could about this interaction.
"Why does he have that?" Emilia whispered softly as she thought back to when he was still a good person and not this person… her thought only took her to a revelation of this being the fault of one person… Pandora.
Emilia was brimming with rageas she thought about the woman.
Subaru stepped back with a disgusted look on his face as Betelgeuse started scrolling through the pages of the book with wide excited eyes and a dragging tongue that was out and slithering.
He suddenly stopped and slowly looked at the boy with a confused expression.
"Huh? There is no account of you in my Gospel."
Subaru gazed at the book the green man was holding.
That book is the Gospel?
The Cult head slowly raised his finger and pointed at Subaru. "Then why did you appear here? Why visit here? What fortune are you here to bring me?!" Betelgeuse grew more agitated as he held his book and glared at the boy.
Subaru's alarmed face changed into a nervous smile as he slowly reached for his pocket.
"Oh! So that's the Gospel! I see, I see!" He tapped the book Betelgeuse held infront of him and reached his hand out of his jacket pocket with a smile.
"I understand, I understand. You should have just said so." Subaru slowly tapped his pants and began looking in his back pockets.
Betelgeuse watched the boy with a bewildered expression.
"Aw, darn it! I'm sorry!"
"What's he doing?" Priscilla asked in boredom.
Glaring as everyone shushed her to keep quiet since they were on the edge of their seat.
As Subaru apologized with a sheepish smile, Betelgeuse's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "What?" He growled out.
"My gospel is, well, you know…" Subaru smiled with a hand on his forehead as he proclaimed. "I used it as a coaster, and I got messy, so I threw it out."
Everyone watched with shocked expressions.
"Is he an idiot?" Otto whispered as his nerves trembled in fear for his friend.
"He's got some plan in mind." Crusch nodded her head and smiled softly at the boy's joke.
Garfiel and Ricardo were full on Laughing on the floor at the man's face.
Al was chuckling as well.
"That's not a smart thing to do." Reinhard admonished worriedly for he was always taught about the dangers of making your opponent ang-
"Oh calm down Big bro has a plan. He wouldn't act like this if he didn't have one." Felt softly punched Reinhard's shoulder while smiling confidently, waiting to see her bro wreck the man's shit.
Emilia and Beatrice both had their eyes wide in alarm at the absurdity of Subaru's interaction before turning to worry immediately after seeing Betelgeuse's face.
Rem kept her stern glare firmly on the green man and held Subaru's shoulder protectively.
The entire world fell silent.
The Archbishop could only stare at the boy with an expression of disbelief for a moment.
"Proof of love!" He shouted in rage.
"Authority of Sloth!UNSEEN HAND!"
Six black lean hands shot from his back towards Subaru.
The boy immediately jumped back from their reach, surprising the man greatly.
"What?!" He asked in disbelief.
"It's an unseen hand, right? So if I can see it, I can evade it!" Subaru said as he jumped out of the way from another attack by the hands.
"You can see my Unseen Hand?!" Betelgeuse shouted as a look of betrayal filled his expression.
"Is that how he sees it?" Felt looked surprised by the difference shown between Subaru's ability to see the eyes.
"Why can Subaru see the hands then?" Petra asked with a worried expression as she watched the boy getting attacked by the magical power.
"It must be the witch's doing." Crusch answered with an agitated tone.
"Why… Why would the she give Subaru such an advantage against one of her greatest worshipers?" Rem asked with a heated scowl on her face as she remembered all of Subaru's struggles.
Why hadn't the witch helped him through out all of these struggles then?
Emilia looked a little apprehensively at the sleeping boy beside her.
Something doesn't feel right.
"Why would the monster that destroyed our world help Subaru-sama this much?"
"Why indeed." Julius muttered in upset along side the old clearly worried Sword Demon.
Subaru dodged once again with a smirk of satisfaction on his face. "Okay, I'm just about done buying time!"
"Huh?!" Betelgeuse could only utter as two small demihuman twins jumped beside him and shot their wind attacks over the cave's opening behind him, making the mountain cave in and collapse on the dark hide out of the cult.
The screen showed every cult member inside getting trapped as the mountain fell upon them.
"So we attack much early in this one?" Tivey started counting all the differences in this timeline to make sure he could learn where the tactics had failed.
Considering the boy had died, that means something went weary with the plan. Tivey wanted to add the flaws to his mind so that his strategies are more perfected.
"They trapped the evil bad guys!" Petra cheered at the sight of the cultits getting buried alive.
"This plan wasn't that altered…" Julius muttered as he noticed how similar this plan was to the version they had done in Subaru's successful loop. "Where am I in this one?" The knight growled while glaring sharply towards the scene. Hating the feeling of him being useless as Subaru dies once again.
"Prepare to be buried alive! Suffer as you regret all the things you've done!" Subaru triumphantly shouted at the distraught Betelgeuse.
Garfiel smirked wide and bumped his knuckles against one another in excitement. "Wish I was 'ere!"
Emilia held a hand to her chest while softly smiling at her knight's persistence. But the sadness in her eyes could not be ignored as she mourned for the man she once held as a someone very dear.
The madman softly whispered to himself brokenly. "How… How could this be? My fingers, so cruelly, so mercilessly, so chaotically, so arbitrarily, so artlessly, so meaninglessly… AAGRKKKKK! My brain… My brain TREEMBLEEESSSS!"
The man shouted in despair as his eyes were widened so far back his eyeballs began to bleed.
"Yikes that guy's kinda scary!" Mimi shouted as she ran away from the insane cultist.
"I think all the Witch's Cultists are like that."
With strands of his green hair ripped out from frustration stuck on his lean fingers, Betelgeuse bled as he bit on the tips of his nails so hard while bleeding from his eyes at the same time.
The half-elf and the small spirit just watched with hung jaws and tearful eyes at Geuse's self harm.
"Tck!" Priscilla clicked her tongue in annoyance at the sight as she fanned herself.
"This is so disgusting." Frederica growled and shook her head at the sight of the man.
"Yes, of course…. " His horrible face turned to the boy snappishly. "Fine. Fine!" He growled.
"I understand. Let's do this! I'm ready to do this! The time has come to learn which of us is worthy of her love! HER LOVE! YES, HER LOVE!"
"Sorry to interrupt your fun, but… "
"I've got someone else lined up to take you on!" Subaru declared as a floating figure suddenly dropped from atop the mountain over Betelgeuse's head.
Julius leaned forward with a surprised look on his face. If he was the one Subaru had dropped on Sloth…. Then he must've failed in defeating the bishop.
Eyes sharp, Julius watched with dread filling him.
An Old Man with an intense glare suddenly dropped behind the Archbishop with his sword at the ready.
With one slice of Wilhelm's sword…. The man was cut in half.
Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti… was dead.
"Wait…." Otto looked taken aback for a moment.
"But that's… " Felt uttered with a shocked face.
"That wasn't even a fight!" Priscilla shouted in annoyance as she wanted to see that green freak suffer.
Emilia and Beatrice breathed a sigh of relief and both leaned closer to hug Subaru a bit. Both girls suffering from intense emotion form seeing their friend killed so suddenly yet feeling relieved that he was put down to rest in peace at last.
Something didn't feel right though.
"But… how… Nyan?!" Felix looked bewildered as he tried to comprehend why this was a failed loop.
The cat boy grew more worried the more he thought about it.
"Things seem perfect now… too perfect." Frederica muttered with worry, making a certain pink haired Oni snort.
"Of course they are." Ram tried not to show any emotion as she gazed heatedly at the screen. Her eyes watchful of anything that might appease her very instinctive suspicions that something is going to go wrong.
"You did a job will done, Wilhelm-dono." Crusch voiced out her compliments towards the old man serving her cause.
The old knight simply bowed his head but never removed the look of apprehensiveness from his face.
"Subaru-dono's death… It should've happened here."
"It's the possession." Julius voiced out loud with a glare sharp as his eyes. Gripping where his sword should've been as a way for comfort from this frustration.
"This Cult's ways…. Are so nasty… "
No one dared to question what the angry knight was talking about… they just watched the scene, knowing that whatever it was, it will be shown eventually.
"I-It's over… right?" Subaru asked the catboy as he examined the torn green body.
"He's very much dead. The most powerful healer in the capital guarantees it." Felix assured cheerfully.
"I see." Subaru sighed in relief and turned to the old man that was cleaning his sword. "Wilhelm-san, I'm sorry to ask such an unreasonable favor."
The old man turned to the boy in confusion. "Was it unreasonable?"
Subaru bowed his head and explained. "Isn't cutting someone down from behind without warning the worst thing a knight can do?"
Wilhelm just continued cleaning his blade. "Chivalry is long dead." He stared at his blade with a reflection of his face on it.
"You need not concern yourself with that." Subaru could only smiled uneasily at the man before turning to the humming Felix.
Wilhelm couldn't help but give a soft smile towards the boy's noble attitude.
"Sadly, that's what seems to be the new trend nowadays." Anastasia muttered in discomfort at some very unpleasant memories.
Those who were ever participated in a fight also nodded their heads with looks of resenment and amusement. (Al and Roswaal)
Even Priscilla nodded her head. Her fiery eyes glaring with heat as she recalled what had happened to her because of believing in such ideals.
(Read: Crimson After Glow story.)
"Hmm… doesn't look like he's carrying anything useful."
Subaru knelt infront of the two twins as they both started pick pocketing the torn dead body.
"You mini guys are ransacking his corpse like it's the obvious thing to do…"
The small boy with the eyeglass through a weird fluffy pink ball he found in Betelgeuse's pocket and glared at Subaru. "I'm not mini. I'm Tivey. I think it's our right to search out the spoils of battle."
"Don't touch something so disgusting." Ram said while shivering in disgust.
"How could he call us mini's? I thought he was cool…"
"Don't diss on big boss bro! You're just mad cuz he doesn't talk about you that much."
"But he doesn't talk about you either, Mimi-EWOCH!"
The boy picked up a dark covered book. "What is this?"
"I think that's the book Betelgeuse called the Gospel." Subaru answered not expecting the faces of everyone around him turning chalk white.
"Huh?! I touched it?! No!"
"Eep! This is the Gospel?!" Tivey threw it away from him and into Felix's lap, making the catboy stand up and throw it away from him into the dirt.
"Oh no I touched it!"
Subaru slowly picked up the book and scrolled through it.
"I can't read it…" Turning to the catboy beside him, Subaru opened the book towards the healer. "Felis, can you read this?"
"Don't point it at me, nyan?!" Felix shouted in terror as many in the audience looked at the scene in horror.
"He's touching the gospel as if it's nothing!" Reinhard uttered in worry as the idea of his friend getting corrupted by the evil wills of the book immediately set in.
Beatrice just shook her head and looked apprehensive of this. She was disgusted by the mere fact that she had held the monster's book in her hand so lovingly… but she was also uncaring towards the book entirely since it's just a fake replica.
A clown dressed man also looked at the scene with indifference as if he was bored with the mere thought of the book itself.
The knight could only flinch in terror and hid behind his hands. "Whao, nyo way! Don't point that thing at me! And don't do something as stupid as trying to read the gospel!"
"Is is that dangerous?"
"The Gospel is the proof that one belongs to the Witch's Cult. It's basically their sacred text." Subaru found no one to explian to him but the toughest of the four around him, Wilhelm.
"The rumors say that one is delivered to anyone with the potential to join the cult.And once a person gets is… imagine that! They're nyow a devout member of the Witch's Cult." Felix weighed in his own explanation.
"How shady can you get?Well, I guess I'll take this with me.If I can decipher it, maybe I can figure out what the Witch's Cult really is." Subaru's speculation was cut off as Mimi came out of the discarded cloak of the once great Sloth.
"Hey, hey, we've killed the enemy here, so shouldn't we go make sure the other enemies are dead, too?"
"That's kind of disturbing to hear from a child." Otto muttered with a shake of his head.
Garfiel just gave him an annoyed glance. Liking the personality of the little girl.
"You know, as adorable as you look, you say some pretty disturbing things."
Otto snorted at the coincidence while Garfiel huffed at his own thinking not being on the same wavelength as his other two friends.
At least his captain agreed about the girl being adorable tho.
"Aw, I'm adorable? You're makin' me blush!"
Mimi was humming to herself without a care in the world for what was happening on screen.
"So the subordinates that Betelgeuse called 'fingers' number ten in total?" Wilhelm asked as he strutted behind Subaru.
"I think one of them is pinned under there." Tivey pointed to the rubble that was once a cave entrance.
"Ten minus one is nine!" Mimi announced excitedly.
The old man and the greatest knight both narrowed their eyes thoughtfully for a moment. Before glancing at one another.
"The possession… "
"Spirit power… Sloth is a spirit." Julius muttered softly before glaring at the screen with a look telling of his anxiousness.
Emilia frowned deeply as she remembered that faithful day in her forest.
She was helped by one of these fingers.
She was saved by them.
And now… to have Geuse and his fingers from the cult all getting hunted for the madness instilled into him…
The pain in her heart as she mourned all of the good people of the old cult that fought to save her was only comforted by the slight rhythmic beating of the sleeping boy's heart.
The one she was leaning on while watching the death of this mentally unstable organization.
Or a faction of it at least.
A faction that used to do good.
"Then, shall we go?" Wilhelm started walking away with a very still suspicious Subaru still glaring at the dead body of the Archbishop.
Subaru slowly walked away….
Only to return with his arms up and his eyes fiercely on the torn corpse.
"But they really are dead, right? They're not gonna come back the second we look away, right?" Subaru glared stubbornly at the body to see if any inch of it was moving.
"That is an excellent assessment." Priscilla nodded her head in approval of the swan commoner. She loved to make sure her enemies were truly put down once and for all. It was a truly wonderful instinct to have in a fight.
"He's been chopped in half. I don't think he could come back to life…. I think." Otto grimaced at the sight of the dead man. Starting to feel just as agitated and paranoid as Subaru on the screen. The more he thought about it, Otto began to believe that Subaru had the right idea.
"It's best to make sur' about this." Garfiel nodded his head in agreement with his captain… And in agreement with his desire to see the green man getting more put down as well.
Reinhard stared at Julius with a nervous gaze. His friend had been staring at the screen with such heated concentration. As if the knight found something completely wrong and was waiting for something to happen.
He wished he had the ability to ask what it was that Julius was looking for with such indignity. But he was sitting far away from him and he had to stay close to his lady's side if he wanted to shield her eyes from another horrible…. Death of Natsuki Subaru.
The red-haired charming knight gritted his teeth and looked down to the floor. Guilty and anger at himself for not being there to help the young man.
A boy that had been suffering unjustified self resentment and hatred.
Just like him.
"Oh. Fine. If you're that worried, we'll make sure." Subaru barely dodged the fire blast Mimi throw towards the body of Betelgeuse, blowing it to ash.
The little girl snorted lightly as her twin shook his head in exasperation.
"Oi! That was good!" Garfiel pulled a thumps up towards the young girl with a glazing smirk on his face. Showing his approval of the girl's violence and style.
Mimi smiled happily while kicking her legs in the air from happiness.
Ricardo snorted at the young love blooming before him.
"Been waiting for this." The dogman muttered softly while holding his mischievous intent down as he stared at the two.
He never got to play the tough father type. But he knew he would always have the chance to scare off boys from his sweet little Mimi.
And now was the time.
He couldn't wait.
"We crushed two fingers." Julius reported as Subaru and his gang regrouped with his.
"A few of the cultists were skilled, but they posed no threat. We made no errors in driving them off."
"I'm glad it went well for you guys, too." Subaru sighed in relief.
"Given your demeanor, it seems I can assume your news is good, as well?" Julius asked awaiting the good news.
Subaru held his fist high with a victorious grin. "Yep! We took out Betelgeuse!"
"And since this guy is such a worrywart, we blasted him to bits with one more kaboom after we killed him!" Mimi shouted alongside Subaru making everyone smile.
Ricardo even shouted in cheer for the lady.
A soldier from beside him smiled with relief. "So that just leaves the simple task of mopping up the remnants, huh?"
"We'd better hurry up and take care of 'em before my lady turns into an old granny. Oh, that was my best joke, y'know!"
Sadly, only Mimi was laughing at the dogman's jokes.
Especially his lady as Ricardo has learned the hard way what Mimi's stick could cause once it was shoved into his open crotch.
The pain and agony was felt all throughout the male populace in the room as the dogman howled on the floor.
Anastasia just snorted over him and returned the wand to Mimi and sitting back down.
"My lady…." Tivey decided to shut up immediately as the calm and expressionless Anastasia glanced at him with fury.
Ricardo apologized and sat back down with a face looking like a stricken pup.
Sympathies were held for him and his pain.
Only by the males tho.
Julius turned to Subaru and reported once more. "We rendezvous soon with the dragon-drawn carriages you arranged. Let's eliminate the remaining fingers and greet our victory together."
Felix turned to the boy excitedly. "Okay, Subaru-kyun, time for the bait.Put out that smell! Breath in… and out… "
The healer winced back at some of the glares he got from the row before him.
"I wouldn't have asked to do it had I known! Nyan!"
Crusch shook her head and glanced at him. "It's fine Felis. No one would've known that Subaru-sama was contacting the enemy of humanity to get that scent."
Felix was looking at his lady with hope and happiness. Seeing her treat him with mercy and not stiffly ignoring him anymore.
He hoped she would give him a chance to correct his attitude towards Subaru in all of the previous viewings.
He hoped many in the room would forgive him for his lack of tact.
Especially the sleeping black-haired boy sitting beside his lady.
Mimi suddenly jumped onto Subaru's back. "And out… and out… and out…"
"Hey, hang on! Don't be crazy!" Subaru shouted as he found himself choked to death.
The soldiers around him laughed while Julius smiled in amusement.
Subaru's outraged expression turned to one of smiling relief. He looked on at the entire army before him.
"So I guess… Once this is all done, we'll all go back to being friend and foe."
"Everything seems so peaceful." Frederica whispered with a reserved tone. Not liking how things suddenly turned bright. It usually meant… that darkness was coming.
She noticed how almost all of the knights and mercenaries that were present in the theater were looking at the scene with a fond yet anguished looks.
"We would've liked to have these memories with the Boss bro…" Mimi whispered softly while holding her wand tightly.
Ricardo patted her head while frowning at the screen.
"How confident of you to worry about what's yet to come." Julius sounded from the side with an amused smirk.
Subaru grinned. "Hey, sue me. It's going almost too well, so maybe I let my guard down."
"It's nice to have such a sweet moment between previous adversaries. But does someone 'her feel the tension?"
Most of the occupants in the room nodded theirheads as the screen stopped on Subaru and Julius standing back to back with the entire world stopped.
Julius narrowed his eyes and prayed to his screen self that he was able to help the boy.
And in a moment…
Subaru's eyes widened in terror….Julius stood by him side by side…
"GET DOWN!" Subaru shouted as a dozen black long hands shot from the depths of the woods towards the soldiers.
Everyone obeyed his shout and dropped. Only four unfortunate soldiers and one riger where left to be caught by the hands because they weren't fast enough.
Julius looked at the dangling men and animal in bewilderment as to him, they were just floating while to Subaru, the hands were crushing them in the air.
Subaru shouted in despair. As he witnessed the five living beings squeezed and twisted inhumanly until their bodies were nothing but sacks of meat oozing blood.
"What the fuck?!" Felt shouted in shock while everyone around her watched the scene in horror.
"How?! He was supposed to be dead!" Otto shouted with a fearful look on his face.
"Shit!" Garfiel cursed as he grew more agitated at the sight of the bodies.
"Sloth is dead, infact! Why does the unseen hand still live, I wonder?!" Beatrice asked loudly while staring at the screen with wide open eyes.
"What is this? What's goin' on?" Ricardo shouted as he held the twins close.
Subaru glared heatedly and looked around in panic as the soldiers ran into the woods.
The unseen hand?! Betelgeuse should be dead! So who's…
Before he could finish his thoughts, a hand black as the night caught his ankle and swept his entire form into the woods.
The soldiers and knights looked back in alarm to find the boy being dragged on across the ground into the darkened woods.
"Subaru-dono!" Wilhelm and Julius ran after him only to be intercepted by a group of hooded cultists appearing from the ground.
"Damn it!" Subaru shouted as he was dragged across the dirt by the ankle.
"Subaru-kun!" Rem screamed in horror while holding her hands together in a praying motion for the boy's safety. "I should've never let him go alone!" The maid uttered her guilt as the scene played out her hero being kidnapped by the black hands.
"This is bad… " The helmeted knight beside Priscilla muttered with a shake of his head.
The arm forced him into a secluded area, planting him against a tree.
He grunted and began kicking the arm to free his ankle.
"Ah!" A voice of a female sounded across the empty clearing of the woods.
"My brain… trembles…"
Subaru looked to his side to find a hooded person walking toward him. The cultist had the unseen black hand erupting from his back and holding Subaru to the tree.
"Who are you?" Subaru asked n alarm.
The person took her hood off to reveal a manic grinning female.
"Wh-Who the hell are you?Are you Betelgeuse's… "
"Finger, yes!" The female grinned wider as she forced two more unseen hands to wrap around Subaru's body and the tree, crushing him.
"Let me go…" He stuttered while trying to free himself.
"H-Huh?! What?!" Petra shouted her confusion as her panic finally reached it's limit as she saw the cultist reaching the boy.
"A-Are the fingers able to use Sloth's powers as well?" Crusch asked in a bewildered stutter. Surprised by this turn of events.
"It's something much more disgusting." The purple-haired knight couldn't keep the hatred in his tone from showing as he glared at the screen with one thought in his head.
This Cult was truly a disgusting organization.
The female slowly walked towards the boy with a wide smile. "I am a finger, one who reciprocates love. A faithful, diligent disciple who will carry out the Ordeal, following love's guidance!"
"Before you ask meeeee, This kind of magic doesn't exiiiiist in any of my archiiiiives." The clown dressed man voiced out without looking away from the screen with his same bored face.
"Then…. What is this?!" Tivey shouted in bewilderment.
Garfiel glared demonically at the screen while scratching his chair handles in frustration that he couldn't free his captain from the oncoming cultist.
As he was squeezed to death, Subaru began thinking to himself. "A copy? A replica of… the original Betelgeuse? If so, this couldn't possibly get any worse!" He struggled to speak or breath as the female crushed his body against the tree.
"Sniff, sniff. The love that cloaks you does not compare to that of a mere follower. It is equal to that of a Sin Archbishop! It is exceedingly displeasing, dissatisfying, disagreeable, discomforting, disproportionate, discordant! But that is the proof that are Pride!" The female grow nastier and more agitated with each word as she squeezed Subaru tightly.
"Don't make me keep saying it! I'm not even close to Pride! I've never even gotten a free book as a membership perk!"
"My! Are you being stubborn? Still, soon enough, you will quite readily… " The female suddenly grew horrified as she tried to pick something from within her cloak pocket only to find it empty.
"The Gospel…My love's guidance! The Gospel that allows me, though inexperienced, to reciprocate love! It is not with me now!" The female creaked her body and bent her spine into an unnatural shape.
"Was it you?" She asked before suddenly moving her body towards the boy's face while squeezing him harder.
"You?You?You?You?You?You?You?You? Did you steal it?!"
"Subaru…." Emilia gasped as she watched with a broken expression the painful situation Subaru was forced in because of her choices.
Julius and Wilhelm were gritting their teeth in pure frustration as they wished for any of their screen selfs or any of the other knights to come rescue the boy from another mad cultist.
"Do they all act like Betelgeuse?" Ram shouted in disgust as she learned that there might be 10 more monsters who have the same power that was used to twist her sister's body.
The female's shouts were interrupted as a small red glowing spirit appeared between Subaru and the mad lady.
Both of them stared at the red pud for moment.
Julius let a breath of fresh air enter his lungs as relief washed his face.
"A spirit?" Emilia widened her eyes and instantly looked at the only spirit knight that was around Subaru at the time.
She noticed Julius' relieved expression and started to feel her heart calm down.
"He will be fine… He will be okay… " The half-elf softly sunk back to lean her head into the crook of Subaru's neck.
"A spirit?" The lady shouted in fear and jumped back with terror in her eyes as she gazed at the ball with hatred.
The red dot suddenly glowed brightly and freed Subaru from the unseen hands and made him fall to the dirt.
"A spirit!" The cultist started swiping her hands at the small red dot in panic.
The madwoman swiped her unseen hands all across the forest, breaking many trees and bushes.
"Thank the power of the Od for your spirits, Julius-kun." Anastasia praised her knight with a relieved face.
Her knight only nodded his head and kept watching with a bewildered look on his face.
"How did he die then… it's hard to believe Ia would let him die…. And the monster looks really scared of her, Nyan!" The healer growled out his question at the vents playing. Confused to what was truly happening in this loop.
Suddenly, Mimi and Tivey showed up and shot their magic against the tree Subaru was stuck on, forcing the wooden blanks to drop into a nearby pool of water and making droplets of water splash all around the mad woman.
"Is that all you can do?" The lady mocked while smirking at the twins, not noticing how the water was making her unseen hands visible to the twins.
"It can be seen even without Subaru-sama's connection." Crusch noted with an excited expression for finally finding a weakness in this monster's ability that didn't require her to place the boy in danger.
"If so… be dismayed! Disappointed! Dejected! Are you two slothful?!" The lady shouted in glee as she shot her hands towards the two small children.
Before the authority could reach the twins, Wilhelm's swords swiped through and cut all of the hands into pieces.
The old man moved in a split second, running across the water puddle and cutting the lady in half instantly.
"Woah…" Otto breathed in awe at the man's ability.
Al whistled in amazement while the children cheered for the old man.
"Go Wilhelm-sama! Go!" Petra cheered away her worry and fear as she saw the evil monster being slain by the old knight.
The old butler simply bowed his head humbly. Not accepting any praise but not denying them their right to celebrate Subaru's safety either.
As she bled, the woman had a distraught look on her face. "My life is spilling out… My blood is running dry. My diligent pulse, my life's support, is stopped. Disappeared. Ah, my brain… trembl-"
And the lady fell dead.
"Good riddance!" Priscilla snorted at the mad cultist's death without remorse.
Many found themselves to be agreeing with the lady as heads nodded.
Felix quickly came to inspect the body. "So the first Sloth we defeated was a double, and this was the real one?"
"No," Julius answered from the side. "This may not even be a matter of which is the real one."
"You mean that there may be more than one Sin Archbishop of Sloth?" Wilhelm asked.
"Either that. Or all hundred followers, including the fingers, are the Sin Archbishop of Sloth." Julius answered with clear disillusionment in his eyes.
"That's one scary possibility." Reinhard spoke out with coated anger over his tone. Wanting nothing more than to stop this cult from hurting any other innocents.
"An entire group of heavily influenced people with an authority of a witch… What have you done, Geuse?" Beatrice whispered heart-brokenly. Trying to figure out the reason for Geuse's sudden change.
How did he acquire the sloth factor? More so, how did he manage to replicate such a factor towards other members even when he was dead?
The small spirit was thinking in disbelief and shock while Emilia stared at the screen in horror.
She never witnessed a situation more unlucky than where Subaru was right now. Her worry increased when she learned that the entire faction could possibly have the same madness that had been instilled into her previously kind mentor as well.
The half-elf princess was practically disturbed by how similar this cultist's mannerisms were to the insane Betelgeuse that ruled this faction of the cult.
"What happened to them?" Emilia asked dryly, her expression one of anger and pain as she thought of more people like her Geuse that had been nothing short of kind and goodhearted getting forced to turn into broken shells of themselves.
It angered her greatly.
"H-How…. Why would that monster do this?!" The half-elf growled while shaking her head. The pain of what had become of her old friend and his faction compiled with her worry for the sweet brave boy trying to stop them.
"I'm so sorry Subaru." Emilia whispered while glaring at the screen in agitation and discomfort.
As the others mulled this over in their heads, a black-haired young man weakly spoke in a tone filled with guilt and grief.
"I dragged you all into this." Subaru spoke through gritted teeth.
"What an idiot, I suppose." Beatrice shook her head with sad look on her face.
Rem simply looked down in shame for not having been able to stay by his side and prevent him from sinking into such regretful thought about himself.
Emilia and Crusch simply shook their heads with closed eyes. Their disappointment at the boy's thinking clear on their expressions as they both held on to his hands fondly.
The group tasked with saving Subaru came back from the woods to a gruesome scene of an entire clearing filled with blood from the grass to the tree trunks as well as the dirt.
Ten bodies were covered with blankets indicating the casualty count this finger had caused.
"Sloth… What disgusting power… anything that has come from the witch will always be dishonorable and disgusting no matter." Julius muttered as he bowed his head in respect to those that died on screen. Just because they were from another timeline didn't mean that he wasn't grateful for their help and extremely angry for their unfair ending at the invisible hands of another Sloth… Or possibly… the same one.
The purple-haired knight gritted his teeth once more at the disgusting thought and watched with increased emotion and agitation showing all over his usually calm features.
He wanted to know how Subaru will get out of this. How will the boy deal with such a problem.
"Everything is still similar to our run with him… So what had he done that was different?… more so… How did he lose in this one?"
It was the same thoughts that Julius lamented over.
They were voiced by a worried looking healer that had been sitting on the edge of his seat with his worry increasing as he thought that Subaru was going to be killed by the demon then and there.
Subaru could only look at the scene and close his eyes, trembling in place.
"If I could've realized it sooner… I knew what kind of power it was, so I… " Subaru trembled in despair and held his shaking fists tightly.
The boy turned to the owner of the firm voice to find the Sword Demon glaring at him.
"I'm sure many thoughts are going through your mind right now. And I'm certain none of them are superficial. But while it may be inelegant of me, I must say this."
Subaru prepared himself for whatever harsh words the stern old man will deliver next.
Subaru was taken aback.
Wilhelm grinned softly and nodded his head. Happy that his on screen self actually took the time to help the boy's clearly mental anguish.
"What a lad you are, Subaru-dono." The old man shook his head with an exasperated smile. The boy truly had the same habits and attitudes of his younger self. He hoped that this boy is wise enough to not make the same mistakes he did when he was younger.
"Even if you have regrets, even if you are remorseful, you must fight. If you have made the decision for yourself to fight, to struggle, then fight with all you have. Don't give up for one second, one moment, for one instant. Cling greedily to the victory you have within your sight. If you can still stand, if your fingers still move, if all your teeth haven't broken… stand and fight."
Subaru's eyes slowly lit up with determined fire to fight the tide once more as he listened to the old man's speech.
"You must fight." Wilhelm delivered softly and father-like while glaring into the boy's eyes with care masked with sternness.
"You're telling me to get stronger?" Subaru asked while looking down.
The Old Man simply answered. "No. I'm telling you to be strong."
Subaru slowly lifted his face and looked at the old man with determination showing in his eyes.
Wilhelm smiled softly. "Ready to go?"
Subaru smiled confidently. "Yeah. Let's go. Lend me your wisdom and strength!"
"He is undoubtedly stronger than anyone predicted." Anastasia snorted dryly as she remembered all the loops from before and what the boy had to go through.
Emilia softly turned to the old swordsman behind her and bowed her head in gratitude. "Thank you very much for encouraging my knight to not give up, Wilhelm-sama. We owe you a great deal." The half-elf said in a tone filled with gratitude.
The humble man simply bowed his head down with grace. "It was my honor to help Subaru-dono with all I have, Emilia-sama. He's incredible heart is what gave me the chance to avenge my beloved after years of stagnation. And after what we've been shown of his struggles…. I'm more than honored to have helped such a promising young hero." The fond tone Wilhelm used never went unnoticed by the half-elf princess.
Emilia smiled softly and turned to the screen with relief flooding her heart as she saw her knight's incredible confident smile. Even through all of this pain he could still find something to keep smiling.
"Such a dummy."
The screen shows Subaru and his army meeting up with the merchant carriage network that came to help the villagers with the evacuation.
"We're gonna start evacuating the mansion and the village! Don't waste a single second!" Subaru shouted as he steered Patrasche with everyone running behind him.
"That attack by the second sloth was really damaging to his plan, huh?" Al muttered dryly while watching his brother's efforts with an annoyed shake of his head. The helmeted knight can already tell what all of this hard work will lead to.
Yet another death.
"I mean…. None of us would've expected the Cult to have such powers. You can't blame Natsuki-san for this." Otto argued back from his seat at the front.
Garf looked at the helmeted man with such a glare as he stood up protectively of his cap'n's honor.
Al just shook his head. "Calm it bors. I'm just saying that the kid has been known for his impossibly smooth take down of the sloth guy. Do you think any of that was smooth? Half of the mercenaries are now dead meat. And if the entire cult had the same unseen hands power, then the attack will not go that smooth at all."
Everyone looked shocked by this revelation from the one armed man.
"S-So… What you're saying is… No." Rem looked at Al with a disturbed expression as guilt overwhelmed her.
Emilia and Crusch swiftly gazed at the soldiers and fighters that were around the boy in the take down of the cult.
Anastasia's eyes narrowed at her subordinates analytically.
Every knight and soldier looked down with expressions of pain and sadness.
Their looks telling everyone a truth that shouldn't be real.
"By the Od…" Frederica whispered with a slack-jawed expression at the horrifying expression.
Felt simply held on to Reinhard's arm as tightly as she could as she let slip a few tears of despair. "H-How much is he going to take?!" The little blonde shouted as her love for her big bro proved strong once again.
"He looks to have died in battle… we thought he was a goner when the second sloth came at him… but… " Tivey stopped talking and shook his head in shame.
"He might die to one of the other fingers… But we can be sure that… " Felix struggled to get he last word out as he held his skirt with shaking hands. Angered by the boy's pain.
"But he surely will die."
A broken tunic voice whispered these words. Countable tears ran down the snow white cheeks as immense pain filled her chest.
Emilia softly sat down and turned to the screen again. Holding her knight's hand as tight as she can with a chalk white face as she waited…. For him to die once again. The half-elf couldn't express her pain and anger at her own incompetence. Her other self had been doing nothing but prance around in her chambers while Subaru was dying outside of her doorstep time and time again.
Suffering and baring inhuman amounts of pain and trauma.
"Subaru…" Rem whispered in utter despair as she held the edges of the chair infront of her with great strength.
"I shouldn't have left him… I shouldn't have let him go…." The maid cried her tears silently while whispering her anguished guilt for letting him go alone.
Her sister looked down with something akin to pity in her eyes.
If the boy wasn't aware that Ram received a blank… maybe it wasn't a witch cultist that killed him in the end.
"Barusu's death will be my own hands." The pink-haired girl whispered to herself while biting her lip with a disturbed look on her face.
"Let us watch what will happen for now." Crusch led the voice of authority and coldly sat down without expressing a hint of emotion to the news.
"Hm… I do agree that there's nothing to do about it now… I wish there were guards around the domain to help him at least." Anastasia cheerfully spoke her words with a very noticeable hint of accusation in her tone as she stared right into a certain bored magician clown's eyes.
Everyone were too busy agonizing the fear of the boy's death to understand what the clearly pissed off merchant princess was implying with her challenging tone.
"Myyyy you really neeeeed to calm down, Anastasia-samaaaa…. We're mourning my candidate's deaaaar knight after alllll." Roswaal had a hint of a frown on his face as he stared down the shrewd girl.
Anastasia simply glared narrowly at the man before sitting down and giving her back to him.
The merchant and the clown offered a challenge to one another. Greedy bastards.
"Betty's contractor will be dead." The small spirit girl looked heartbroken and betrayed as she watched the screen. Her shock completely overwhelmed her ability to turn and clutch her dear contractor in a hug.
Everyone was devastated. Too devastated to hear what the merchant had proclaimed against the lord of the domain where Subaru had died time and time again.
Except for one…
"…. Tck!" A fiery haired princess clicked her white teeth in disgust as she glared at the weirdly dressed person sitting in her row.
Priscilla held her fan firmly as her expression of fury was hidden behind it.
Her scarlet eyes burning through the clown with intense anger.
Felix suddenly came up beside the nasty-eyed boy to speak. "Right now, the Witch's Cult hasn't noticed yet that the plain is wide open. We can get Emilia and the others in carriages, and get them to safety in plain sight."
"With Emilia-sama and the others safe, we won't have to worry about them, so we can focus on subjugating the Witch's Cult. It's not easy to fight when you know you have a weak point."
Subaru smirked tiredly. "You're making my ears hurt… But that's exactly right."
Slowly, Felix leaned into Subaru's ear, which was impressive since they were both on separate dragons.
Crusch and Rem frowned deeply at the catboy getting closer to Subaru. They both haven't forgotten the little 'bomb' incident where the healer tried to take control over Subaru's mind without permission of his lady or anyone else.
Crusch couldn't hide her disappointment and shame at her knight's actions in one of the boy's loops. The fact that Subaru was willing to talk with Felix with a smile was a miracle in of itself.
"He's too forgiving, I suppose." Beatrice sounded what the maid and the duchess where secretly thinking in their heads with an elegant frown.
Felix heard these words and noticed how disappointed his lady looked with him on screen.
The healer clenched his dress with tears in his eyes as his shame intensified at all of his wrong doings against the boy.
And he was actually happy that he got this closer to him.
"While I'm at it, let me say one more thing. Subaru-kyun, you should really make up with Julius soon."
"Soon? We already reconciled after our fight. Didn't you see?"
"That was just for starters, wasn't it? You're still subconsciously harboring some resentment. You can rely on Julius. Though I admit he's a but unapproachable and incomprehensible." Felix urged without leaving any room for argument.
"Am I now?" The purple-haired knight bemusedly smiled at his friend with a glint of gratitude clear in his eyes.
Felix gave his fellow knight a small smile and a wink.
Julius noticed how much of his friend's smile lost it's cheer. He assumed that Felix was feeling down for the event to come. Which everyone dreaded to watch.
The elegant warrior looked back at the screen with unfocused eyes. Not sure what to think of this scene. A scene where him and Subaru truly made up for their really rough meeting.
And it wasn't something in his memory. He truly didn't know if he should feel angry or happy that he will see this.
Maybe him and Subaru could remember this moment and laugh about it? Hopefully.
Subaru looked at the back of the young knight treading on his blue dragon. He hesitated and looked away from comfortableness.
"Go on, hurry up."
Subaru gritted his teeth at the stern catboy's urgency. Reluctant and dismayed, Subaru steered Patrasche to run beside Julius's dragon.
"Uh…" Subaru stuttered as he found it difficult to start a conversation with the knight. "So, hey, there's something I wanted to say to you… "
Subaru's eyes widened instantly as he noticed a blue flower petal fly across his vision.
His entire world turned bluish as the petal flew away.
He looked around and noticed that he was now alone in the street.
He steered Patrasche but the dragon was unresponsive as she appeared to be frozen in time.
"What is going?" Petra asked with a confused childish expression.
"What's happening to the world around him? Why is it blue all of a sudden?" Felt asked with a glare at the screen.
"A new threat?" Reinhard asked with surprise. Astonished that his friend had to fight through so much.
Emilia gritted her teeth nervously and looked at the screen with a disgruntled look. Handling his hand with care.
"What's more is how everyone has suddenly vanished." Crusch noted with a firm glare as she tried to recall if there was any type of attack the cult could use that had such side effects. She also held the boy's hand in her own firmly as she was lost in thought.
"Hmmm…. It seems that this is some illusion magic, I suppose." Beatrice called out with a nod as she leaned some more into her contractor's chest.
"Who could have such a powerful ability?" Otto asked the small spirit with a frown. Him and Garfiel looking at her with serious battle-ready looks to find out who could possibly hurt their friend.
The spirit snorted and crossed her small arms. "It's how Subaru managed to fix the blank letter problem so fast, I suppose. He's being attacked by one of Roswaal's cronies."
"B-But… that means… " Frederica sighed and looked up at the frozen pink-haired maid.
"Are ya serious?" Anastasia sighed tiredly and rubbed her forehead.
Ram simply stared at the screen with a heavy heart. She could be the one to kill the boy.
She could've ruined her sister's efforts in saving him.
From atop a hefty hill, A hooded figure had a glowing blue flower in their grasp while tampering with their hood as they inspected the boy.
Through red eyes, the pink-haired maid glared down at the confused boy while holding her blue flower.
A Flash Of Sloth
"Sister?!" Rem looked back at the pink-haired maid in disbelief.
Emilia and Crusch also glanced back with a surprised expression. The duchess widened her eyes as she understood what had been happening in this loop.
"You were thinking that Subaru Natsuki was coming to wage war against the Emilia camp weren't you?"
Ram looked back at the duchess with an unreadable look on her face.
Crusch understood then that this boy was going to be facing a lot more problems during this battle than anticipated.
In the frozen, bluish covered world, a distressed Subaru struggled to move off of his dragon to figure out what the hell was happening.
"What the hell is going on?! Is this the Witch Cult's doing?" He asked in distress and forced his frozen form to jump off of Patrasche's saddle.
"Hey! Anyone?Is anyone there? Answer me!" The boy shouted in distress to the empty world, finding none of his friends or allies around him. He took a small whiff of something in the air and instantly held a hand to his nose in disgust.
"Wh-What is that intense smell?"
Subaru looked around and found something that caught his attention.
A blue smoky trail was being emitted from a small blue flower stuck to the side of the road.
"Huh?" Subaru stared at the small plant with bewilderment before screaming in terror as the plant sent a huge green vine to latch on his wrist.
Grabbing, the flower sent another vine, wrapping around his neck and choking him.
He struggling Subaru could only look at his only company in this blue world besides the deadly plant. "P-Patrasche!"
But the dragon was frozen as a statue. Not even breathing or blinking.
Figuring that she was useless, Subaru turned to face the flower while trying his hardest to get out of the vines.
"No… A flower like this couldn't actually exist. And Patrasche wouldn't just let me die… Which means… this is an illusion. It's all make-believe!" Subaru shouted while gripping the vines with his hands as they wrapped around his body and squeezed him.
"If this is truly illusion magic, then he should be just fine after the vision ends." Felix issued softly as he looked on at the boy's struggles with worry.
"Hmmm… I fear that that's not the caaaassee."
"What do you mean?" Anastasia quickly took the lead in staring the eccentric clown down.
Roswaal smiled and leaned on his palm as he explained to the crowed below. "That's a special spell I taaaught my dear staff to use on intruders if they found themselves to be cooooornered!"
Rienhard and Julius glared at the smirking clown heatedly while Garfiel was already standing to punch him in the face.
Roswaal smirked as he gloated to them. "Special illusion spell using elemental plant life. You die in the illusion's world… you die for real."
"R-Ram! You said that we would've talked with Subaru! I told you that it was a mistake and he wouldn't ever try to wage war on us!" Emilia shouted at the maid with a betrayed look on her face. Hurt that her pleas for the boy went ignored by the maid and now Subaru had to suffer a death unknown to all but himself.
The maid simply looked down with a shame-filled expression. "I'm sorry, Emilia-sama. I didn't intend to kill Barusu. I was only distracting the army around him so that I could pull him away from his forces and see if he truly wanted to invade my lord's domain out of spite and petty for leaving him behind."
Emilia shook her head and looked back at the screen.
"You better hope that you're telling the truth. This isn't 'you' after all." Felt glared at the maid with her scarlet eyes burning with rage. "Big bro is still dead." Many flinched at the girl's growled words as she forced them all to acknowledge the reality of the boy's upcoming death.
"This camp is truly nothing but a bunch of murders and freaks waiting to seethe rage into the world." Priscilla snorted and waved her crossed legged in amusement. "As expected of the half-wit's leadership." The princess delivered cruelly, making the entire Emilia camp flinch at all of the painful trauma each of them caused Subaru.
"I…" Emilia simply shook her head in despair and sat back down in her chair. Unable to refute the nasty lady's words as the truth in them left a clear sour taste in everyone's mouths.
"I mean… it is true." Anastasia mused softly while glancing at the sleeping boy with petty in her eyes.
"We didn't do him any charity either, Anastasia-sama." Crusch spoke dryly while trying to avoid the conflict between the half-elf and the smirking proud noble above.
The duchess needed Emilia to learn of how much Subaru had been hurt because of the flimsy way she ran her camp.
Julius simply shook his head and balled his hand into a fist while glaring at the screen in anger.
He wanted to see what Subaru had to say to him. He was really looking forward to it.
But now there was a good chance he's been killed off by Roswaal's magically capable maid for the blank letter misunderstanding.
"Damn." Ricardo cursed while ruffling the worried twins' heads as they watched in worry and frustration.
Suddenly, The small red spirit showed up and hovered over the hostile flower. Once it descended over the plant, an inferno of bright flames covered it, turning the small flower into ash.
"Ia for the win!" Mimi shouted and jumped on Ricardo's lap with her arms out while Frederica and Petra cheered happily.
"Hmph! I shall give that wimp of a spirit the chance to help Betty's contractor since Betty wasn't with him, I suppose." Beatrice snorted in disgruntled upset as she had to watch another lesser kid save her Subaru when she couldn't even care to try.
Julius felt a little honored that this great spirit acknowledged his Ia… but also quite insulted for having her insult one of his little puds.
"A lesser spirit? Did you come to help me?" The boy asked the diving red dot in confusion.
The spirit entered his jacket pocket and forced a spell on him.
Before he could blink, the bluish world dissipated into normal colors.
"Subaru!" The concerned voice of Julius sounded as the blurry colors merged to reveal the true normal state of the world around Subaru without a blue filter.
"It was you?" Instantly recognizing his surroundings, Subaru asked with a hint of annoyance if the knight had saved him.
"That spiteful tone means it's definitely you." Julius only smirked at the downed boy. "I can't imagine my subconscious creating such a realistic imitation of you."
The two looked around at the road behind them which had been empty once before. The road now revealed the many carriages they brought with them stopped on the road, their drivers completely immobilized and moaning on the dirt of the road.
"It's a bewitching spell.You and I are the only ones who have returned to normal. How did you make it back?" Julius asked sternly.
"I burned a flower in my illusion." Subaru answered bluntly.
"I see…Someone put a suggestion spell on the flower's scent." The knight slowly raised his fist and manifested six colored orbs above his palm.
"Hey, is that…"
"It's the glow of my little buds. I will know teach everyone how to break out of the bewitching spell. In Nes!"
The six bud suddenly latched on to each other and forced and explosion of color around Subaru.
Once the blow was dealt, Subaru and Julius found themselves standing in a distorted world filled with the terrorized voices of those bewitched around them.
"There's nobody here!"
" Where am I?!"
"We've been strayed away… No, we've been pulled apart!"
"This is bad! If I don't do something..."
Is his affinity too great?
Julius wondered as he watched Subaru whether around in pain, holding his hands to his head and groaning in agony.
I'm sorry. Take a deep breath and endure it. I can't spare the energy to fine-tune it just for you.
Julius stared sternly at the agonizing boy as the voices of their comrades filled the void around them.
Bringing them back is our priority.
"Just how great is your knight's affinity to spirits?" Anastasia asked Emilia, who was too busy looking on with shock and worry for her knight as he cried in pain.
The small spirit girl snorted and took liberty to answer since she was the most knowledgeable about Subaru's affinity.
"Hmph! Betty's Subaru has the highest affinity for spirit arts Beatrice had ever seen, infact. Much more comfortable than any knight in your kingdom." Beatrice held her head high as everyone, especially the knights, looked at her with slack-jawed faces. "It's one of the reasons why Betty chose him infact."
Julius and Reinhard could only slump back with rigid shock as the great spirit before them gloated how powerful Subaru's spirit arts was. They couldn't help but be impressed and a little jealous with the boy.
Emilia simply registered the information for a second before looking on at the screen with fear for her knight still present in her eyes. The information about how special Subaru truly was never surprised her since she was already seeing his amazement first hand.
Julius slowly closed his eyes to carry on his rescue of everyone around him while Subaru fell to one knee while screaming in pain.
The suddenly looked up as a figure rocketed towards him from the sky.
The figure dropped before Subaru and held his wrist to drag him away. The boy managed to get out of their grasp but the figure instantly took his collar in their hand and ran while carrying him.
They would've escaped with their prey, had it not been for the blade pointed at their hooded face.
"That will be quite enough." Wilhelm ordered the figure as he stopped them from running with the boy.
Ricardo and Felix surrounded the small hood as she threw the boy away.
Pulling her hood down, Ram sternly demanded of her captures.
"Kill me. I won't accept this disgrace."
Ram breathed a sigh of relief as her scowl returned full force. She will punish Barusu for this disgrace. But she was glad that she wasn't going to hurt him….. except for that plant thing. But she was sure that her amazing skills were going to save him before any damage happened.
"And? What is all of this? You will explain it to me, right, Barusu?" Ram was shown asking the boy as everyone else got back on the carriage.
"That's what I'd like to ask you. You're the one who attacked us first. What were you thinking?" Subaru asked, miffed out.
"That's rich, coming from an ingrate like you." The maid bluntly answered without remorse.
"Ingrate?" Subaru asked a little hurt.
Ram only glared at him. "You are, aren't you? After everything Roswaal-sama did for you… Once you're done with him, you rush to wag your tail for another master."
Subaru just looked confused.
"Hang on! I think you've got your stories mixed up!" Subaru tried to argue his confusion only to be met with a hardened stared from her.
"So this is what it means to bite the hand that feeds you." Ram said spitefully.
"Listen to me! The handwritten letter! I wrote a letter about it! Wasn't it delivered to the mansion?" Subaru asked frantically, ignoring the disappointed glance thrown at him from Julius.
"Yes, I did get a letter from the capital. But… That was quite an amusing scheme sending me a blank letter."
"A blank letter?" The boy sounded out in confusion as the elegant knight took it upon himself to answer his confusion.
"To send a blank letter is a metaphor meaning you have no intention of speaking to the recipient." Julius shook his head with a hardened look on his face, "It could easily be interpreted as a declaration of war."
Subaru's face trembled into shock and alarm before quickly turning to one of desperation as he looked at the maid pleadingly. "This is a huge misunderstanding! Do I even look that clever to you?" The boy pleaded with the scowling maid.
"So this is what it means to bite the hand that feeds you."
Subaru just held his head in his hands in grief. "You're still saying that?!"
"I can't say it enough. But I get the gist now. The blank letter was some kind of mistake, and you are still Emilia-sama's dog. Correct?" The maid slyly slyly demeaned the boy infront of everyone around them.
"Not really, but… Okay, sure. Dogs are like family, anyway. I'm fine with being a dog if I'm Emilia's." The boy smiled excitedly at the idea.
An old man standing beside him had to comment. "Wouldn't you say that standard is a bit low?"
Laughter filled the air as everyone reacted to Ram's relationship with Subaru.
Rem simply shook her head with a smile of amusement and happiness on as she saw her sister believing in her hero right away.
The boys from Otto and Garf to the knights all gave small snorts and chuckles at their friend's abuse from the Oni girl.
"At least he wags his tail to his master." Priscilla sighed with a disappointed look on her face at the way the boy gave up all dignity for a chance to be some half-wit's plaything.
Said half-elf was currently blushing so hard and trying to cover herself by holding her hands up.
The thought of a leashed Subaru, following her around and barking whenever she pleased was just…. Ew!
"Stupid, disgusting, Subaruuuuu!" The half-elf whined pathetically while covering her face up.
Almost all the ladies around the boy started giggling even Petra and Frederica.
Which made Emilia pout even harder.
"In any case, these guys are reinforcements. They're friends. We pulled them together to wipe out the Witch's Cult. There's no time. We need to start by evacuating the villagers."
Ram listened intently to what the boy had to say and reluctantly nodded.
Showing the Alarm village's humble market square, the screen showed almost every man, women and child standing in it. Huddled up as a group while Subaru's army stood around them in a circle, scaring some kids and making the villagers spare odd glances to the many armed men around them.
Seeing the distress, Julius slowly leaned to Subaru's ear. "Subaru, they seem rather uneasy. Remember to be considerate."
Julius and Felix both leaned in to watch with interested looks.
"What is it, Julius-kun?" Anastasia quickly spotted her knight's interest and decided to deprive him of information.
The knight looked surprised to be called out but he turned to his lady with a small fond smile on his face.
"It's just… Subaru did something… very incredible to get the village to trust his word and follow him out…. I wanted to see if he did the same thing in this… " Julius lost his smile as he looked down. "… this loop."
Anastasia's eyes softened and her smile turned to a warm quirk towards the young man.
"I'm sure he will do what he can to make everything go smoothly. He has a trader's spirit."
Julius was about to comment his shock at his lady talking about someone as if they were true traders… and she was talking about Subaru as well! He had to know what's been going on with his lady!
Noticing Anastasia's smirk, Crusch had to comment.
"Seems like you've taken a liking to a certain trader potential." The duchess weighed her words carefully as to not alert the interested looking Emilia as she watched the screen with rapid focus on how her knight will lead.
The merchant's mischief-filled eyes stared into Crusch's predatory own.
"Keep your thoughts to yourself dear noble. Someone might make a weapon out of them." Anastasia whispered coldly, not flinching at the stern cold glare the duchess sent her way.
Crusch softly smirked for a moment…. And held her hand up to show Anastasia something…. She was holding Subaru's hand.
Crusch's smirk widened as she squeezed his hand infront of Anastasia's face. Making the merchant candidate's lips go thin as her expression turned unreadable.
Ana was pissed.
The green-haired noble lady simply kept her smirk and turned to watch the boy lead her army against the evil of Sloth. Comfortable for her victory.
Julius did not know what the hell was going on.
Otto and Garfiel on the other hand looked at each other and sweated bullets.
They needed to do something… fast.
The nasty-eyed boy nodded his head and stepped forward before the massive crowed of villagers.
"Okay, attention! I haven't seen you guys in a while. How you been?" Subaru slowly stretched out his arms and smiled at the village. "Look, I know this is sudden, but I need to ask you all a favor! It seems mabeasts are up to no good in the forest near here again. So I've brought some specialists to exterminate them," Subaru pointed at the army behind him and smiled confidently.
"But while they're working, You need to stay away from the village."
"Don't try to fool us!"
Subaru was taken aback when one of the youngmen of the village shouted at him from the crowd.
"You're trying to sound cheerful about this, but the villagers are frightened! We've feared all along that the Witch's Cult would try something!"
A merchant that was standing with his fellow colleagues suddenly piped up with a stern glare aimed at Subaru. "The Witch's Cult? No one told me about that."
"Oh… this is looking bad…" Otto shook his head as he understood quickly how panicked these people must feel.
"Cap'n will take care of it! He always does!" Garfiel nodded his head confidently without even a second of doubt in his mind.
Julius and Felix looked disappointed that Subaru had to try begging them to get them to listen but they understood now that he did what he had to do to save these people's lives.
As the fear and panic started rising between the merchant groups and the villagers, Subaru's allies could only look on with tired disappointment.
Subaru only looked down with a frustrated glare as his teeth grounded against one another.
"You don't deny it, then?" The young man asked while the villagers casted glares and betrayed looks towards the boy.
"So it was true!"
"Why would they bother with a remote village like this?"
"Why else? Because of that half-elf!"
Subaru's hand clenched.
"Oh come on!" Felt facepalmed with gritted teeth at the people's stupidity while Rienhard shook his head at the narrow minded state people were in when panic takes hold.
"They're still right though." Emilia whispered sadly while looking down a little hurt that her knight had to convince them to follow him under her name when it was giving him so much trouble.
She could only find comfort in leaning her head against his shoulder softly and watching the screen with tearful eyes. Hoping that he would be safe and the people wouldn't mistrust him after all he's done to help them just because of her.
"Because the lord of the domain endorses a half-elf for our ruler!"
"Why do you have to make it about that?" Subaru growled while looking at the ground in anger. "The half-elf thing… Emilia has nothing to do with it!"
"Will he explode again?" Petra shook her head as she felt nothing but anger at her people for having that way of thinking about someone as sweet as Emilia. She also felt extremely scared of what an angry Subaru might do.
"Fufufufuf~ Even in your domain, the subjects don't trust in you! How amazing the world's irony is! Fighting for the leadership of the kingdom while almost all of her followers distrust her. Hu!" Priscilla laughed out loud with a bolstering grin as she sadistically watched the Emilia camp grow more furious.
"I'mma slap 'er!" Garfiel growled while barely holding himself back by grabbing both chair handles with all of his strength.
The youngman stepped closer with a frustrated look on his face. "She has everything to do with it! If you mess with a half-elf, the Witch's Cult shows up. Even the children of this village know that!"
Subaru just stared at them with a disturbed expression. "You guys seriously believe that? That it's all the fault of the half-elf in the mansion?!"
Gazing at the stern firmed faces of all the adults, Subaru could only go back to a distant memory…
Back when he asked Emilia for their first date… When he had to go through some of his worst times against an invisible assassin that turned out to be his second love.
"The village, huh?"
"But it might cause trouble for you."
Subaru's face tightened as he looked down in realization. "Does that mean I'm just being selfish again?"
"What a state of mind to be in. I don't envy this kid at all." Al shook his head at the complicated situation and sighed in frustration at his brother's useless attempts at being a hero.
It will only lead to ruin. The best thing is to just survive.
Emilia could only watch with guilt-ridden gaze as her own incompetence and selfishness set the stage to another obstacle Subaru had to overcome in this part of his story. How many times the boy died because of her was yet to be counted since this wasn't even close to the ending.
Emilia shed tears of pain and fear as she held Subaru's chest folds tightly while watching.
She had to keep watching.
"...UGH!" Subaru looked back to the gloved hand that had slapped him on his back.
To find Felix standing with an assuring smile on his face. "'Lift your head. Don't look down.' That's what Crusch-sama would say." The boy advised softly, trying to assure his friend.
"Did you think what you were doing was wrong? If not, there's no reason to look down. Or is it harder to lift your head here than to throw a tantrum in the castle?" Felix gave a shit-eating grin. Making Subaru glare at him.
"Now, listen… " Subaru grinned, "You're right. Compared to that, this is nothing!" He moved to the center of the square once more.
Confidently, he yelled out to make his voice reach everyone's ears. "I understand your feelings and concerns very will! I won't tell you to try and change them now. Obviously, you'll have your own opinions. It hurts, but I understand."
The youngman and the villagers looked taken aback the boy's sincerity.
"But for now, please accept my request. Please do as I say! It's dangerous to stay in the village! That's the truth!"
Everyone looked at the sincere begging boy with reluctance and hesitation.
"You did well Felix. You did really well."
The healer looked taken aback. Almost shocked at his lady's sincere compliment. His happiness exemplified once the puffy-eyed half-elf turned to him with a smile on her face so warm it made him feel fuzzy inside.
"Thank you for helping him, Felix-kun. You're a truly good friend to Subaru." Emilia said warmly with glints of tears around the corners of her eyes.
Rem nodded her head and bowed her head in thanks.
Felix could only take all of this with a frozen expression of bewilderment.
His tears were those of disbelief and happiness.
But their attention moved as soon as the calm commanding tone of the maid behind him sounded out.
"The words of my household's employee are those of our master, Roswaal-sama, himself."
"Ram…" Subaru uttered her name, aghast that she stood beside him.
"Follow his instructions immediately." Ram ordered without glancing at the boy.
"You saved me back there. Thanks. But…"
Subaru turned to smile at the maid while the rest of the village grabbed their crucial belongings and settled into the merchant carriages.
"Having you take my side so easily is kind of a new feeling. Does that mean you've acknowledged me?"
"Ha!" Ram turned away with a fake disgusted look on her face.
"Sister is truly charming. Thank you for helping my hero when I couldn't." Rem smiled brightly and almost adoringly at her only twin.
Ram quickly turned her sour look into a smug smirk as she held her head up. "Well, of course. Sissy needed her plaything to be safe while she was away." She replied haughtily…. Making a few heads turn as they heard the word plaything.
"This relationship with Natsuki-san and Ram-sama is kind of abusive don't ya think?" Otto whispered to his blonde brother, who just punched his shoulder and smirked wide.
"Tha's just how Ram is." Garfiel laughed himself to the ground while Otto gazed at him exasperatedly.
The pink-haired maid's expression soured. "Ha!" She scoffed and turned away from him.
"Subaru!" A childlike voice shouted from afar.
"Hey, Petra. What's up?" Subaru smiled as the adorable orange haired girl stepped infront of him with a nervous look.
"U-Um, will the lady from the mansion run away with us?"
"She came to the village yesterday.She told us we should take refuge in the mansion because it's dangerous here, just like you said. But no one in the village would listen to her… "
The screen showed Emilia trying to talk with the people of the village only to be shunned and shouted at at every door step.
"Big sis is too good for them! Hmph!" Felt shouted and pulled her tongue out at the people of the village as their behavior reminded her too much of the slum dwellers in the capitol.
"I'm so sorry for how they treated you miss Emilia!" Petra shook her head in disappointment at the people of her village treating Emilia like a bad person when she was trying to help.
"Does that mean you've tried doing that every loop?" Tivey asked with a scared expression on his face.
Everyone's looks soured at the mention of the loops and the memory of the butchered kids came up instantly into their minds.
"So thats why only the children managed to make it into the mansion." Crusch muttered while grimacing.
Emilia only held her knight and leaned on him while watching with a silent expression.
The worried Petra only received a headpat from the boy as he smiled down at her. "It's okay. She wouldn't get mad or anything. Anyway you should hurry and run."
"Okay!" Petra quickly ran to her mother's side and walked toward a drawn carriage.
"What happened to Emilia after that?" Subaru asked his only present ally that was in the mansion at the time.
"You should know that she's not so perceptive as to back down the moment someone denies her."
"But I also know she's not the kind of girl who wouldn't be hurt by mean words."
"She tried to convince the villagers to leave, but they refused. But she couldn't just do nothing, so she repaired the forest barrier. She feared there might be a mabeast attack again." Ram told him in a soft tone.
Subaru sighed tiredly. "That's not a bad decision in and of itself, but still… "
"You're hopeless, Emilia-sama." Otto shook his head in exasperation and smiled softly at the girl's kindness.
Emilia only frowned deeper at Subaru's last perciption of her. He looked quite tired of her already… maybe he had every right to be tired of her uselessness.
It's what he had told her in that tomb….
What did he go through if she was at her most useless state back then.
Emilia ignored the thought and held her mouth by the hand to keep herself form puking. Her guilt and sadness overwhelmed her being.
The greatest knight was sitting in the shade of a tree, looking at his blade as it glowed sharply.
The sharp, handsome eyes of the knight widened in surprise as he found the nasty-eyed boy standing infront of him with a request as he had his hands in his sweat-suit's pockets.
"I'm going to explain things to Emilia and the loli in the mansion. It'll be more convincing with you there than without. Just take it as a sign of my repentance for going nuts in the castle."
"Hmph! I don't care for his stupid made up words, I suppose!" Beatrice yelled out in anger and pouted a little miffed.
Julius' eyes widened in sheer excitement as he watched with rapid interest what might become of this conversation. He desperately wanted what every interaction with the boy and himself truly looked like.
He wanted to see if their was a chance for this young man to be Subaru's friend.
The elegant knight smiled softly and stood up.
"I see. Understood. If that will help the discussion to go mote smoothly, don't hesitate to use me." As the knight moved to walk side by side with Subaru, the boy surprised him by sharply calling.
"Also, you were the one who put a spirit on me, weren't you? Explain that. I get that you're a spirit arts user."
Julius had a look acceptance on his face. "More precisely, I prefer to be called a 'spirit knight'.I do use the spirit arts, of course, but that hasn't prevented me from training with the sword." Proudly Julius smiled at the boy he'd once beaten to death.
"Eh? And you were the one who set the little red one on me?" Said boy looked at him with an annoyed glance.
"'Set it on you' is a harsh way to put it.I was only having her, Ia, secretly keep you safe."
"By the way, what was that thing you did when you broke the illusion?"
"A high class of magic known as 'Nect'. It connects the gates of all who are in range so they can communicate with each other. It appeared to work a bit too well on you though." The knight looked troubled as he remembered what had happened to the boy when he casted his magic spell.
"I thought I was about to lose myself."
"It's unusual for the spirits to mistake the tuning. It may be that you have a strong affinity toward spirits." Julius smiled challengingly at the boy.
Subaru snorted in amusement. "Sadly, the only spirit I ever made friends with was a gray cat."
"Stupid, worthless, unworthy contractor, I suppose! How dare you forget about Betty?!" Beatrice kept kicking the sleeping boy's chin with no hint of stopping as she pouted in anger.
Emilia's expression soured a little at the mention of the gray cat that had broken so many promises to her. That had hurt so many people in her name.
"Well? Did you patch things up with Julius? Did it work?" Felix was sitting on a box inside the back of a drawn carriage as he spoke to Subaru.
"I'm gonna take that matter back with me and mull it over carefully before making an optimistic decision." Subaru answered quickly trying to change the subject.
"Oh come on!"
Julius didn't expect for Otto to be the one voicing his own disappointment that he didn't get to see the resolving of their conflicts.
The greatest knight had a small eloquent smile grazing his face as he saw the outraged look Otto had for him.
"What a stubborn idiot!" The merchant face palmed at Subaru's persistence to hate and not love.
"Come to the mansion with me. I'll need at least one person from Crusch's camp with me, to smooth over the misunderstanding with the letter."
Felix chuckled a bit and stood up from the box. "I'll do that after I finish my work here." Softly, Felix held Subaru's hand and dragged the boy into the covered cart of the carriage.
"Come help us too, Subaru-kyun. It's dangerous work involving the Witch's Cult. The contract said he'd buy their cargo at the asking price, so we need to inspect the goods thoroughly."
Subaru slowly glanced at the boy that had no right to like so cute in a knight's outfit with a confused expression. "Huh? But that shouldn't be our job. Isn't this more importa-"
"Oh come on." Felix whispered huskily as he hugged Subaru's back with his tail wagging.
"Oi!" Garfiel quickly moved to stand and punch a sexual assaulter in the face…..
But he noticed how serious glares were being shot towards the screen.
From Wilhelm, Felix, Ricardo, Julius and even Emilia and Otto.
"Wha's going on?" Garfiel asked firmly as he sensed something not right.
"Those merchants had Cultist spies operating within them." Julius answered firmly while staring at the screen.
"What?!" Felt shouted as she looked at the people around her.
"Unfortunately that is the truth. Subaru-dono managed to get all of the spies without alerting any of the cult's networks splendidly before we could even get to the village…. But… he doesn't seem to have done so here." Wilhelm's tone set the stage for a very grim next set of scenes.
"So he knows of the spies because of this loop exposing them. What else is there?" Anastasia nodded her head and glossed over the fact that the boy's death was mentioned. Focusing on the more important details to the plan.
Not the very obvious ones.
It was Emilia answered immediately as her amethyst eyes narrowed with anger and frustration.
"There was also a bag of fire stones set to explode once the dragon carriage's wind protection wears off."
"And they might be inside of the cart where Subaru and Felix-sama are in right now!"
At Emilia's anger filled words and Otto's panicked ones, Everyone's eyes grew horrified.
"Ah shit!" Al cursed as he watched what will be for sure his brother's death.
"Hey, hey! No lovers' quarrels in my carriage!" A merchant with brown hair shouted as he got ontop of the cart to glare at the two lovebirds.
Instantly, Felix drew back from Subaru's back with a soft chuckle. "Hee hee! You got in trouble, Subaru-kyun!"
The catboy slowly walked next to the merchant and locked arms with him. "Really, what a troublemaker!"
Felix's eyes immediately turned sharp as he gazed into the merchant's.
"There. He let his guard down."
Before the merchant could look alarmed, Felix had placed a hand on his skin and forced some mana into his blood.
In a second, the merchant dropped into the cart with a goofed up expression on his face.
"This guy is one of the Witch's Cult. I touched him earlier to confirm it. There's some weird spell implanted in him, just like the 'fingers' of the Sin Archbishops."
"There was one among the merchants?"
"That's why I stole into his carriage to get under his guard."
Subaru looked aghast at this information and stared as Felix slowly knelt at the man's head and held his hand on his forehead. "Now, tell us all the details of what you're plotting. My hands are the gentlest in the world, but they can do some nasty things, too."
"It sounds really…"
"I know! I know! Please don't talk about it!" Felix cut Ricardo off with a flustered face as his villainous habit of doing a monologue while torturing criminals was shown to all of his acquaintances and his mistress.
Crusch looked on with a very uncomfortable look on her face which made his heart fall for disappointing her once again.
As his hands began glowing form the spell, the paralyzed cultist smirked in a twisted way. Forcing the healer to look confused.
The cultist slowly uttered. "… right."
Felix immediately looked alarmed and shouted at the top of his lungs.
"Ia! Protect him!"
Subaru looked bewildered as the red spirit suddenly appeared before him and made a force-field of red mana around him.
"And now it begins! The beginning of the end!" The cultist shouted in glee.
And a second later….
And the carriage was instantly engulfed in flames all over as a huge explosion rocketed the entire town.
"Damn!" Ricardo cursed as him and the others looked on in horror at the destruction of the explosion.
"Subaru!" Petra shouted in worry and horror at the giant blaze that had covered the boy.
Emilia and Beatrice held on to him firmly while watching the scene with fear written on their faces.
Hearing the voices of panicked villagers around him, Subaru forced his closed eyes open through the pain and exhaustion.
He slowly sat back up while looking around him. The entire village was dark as the sky was covered with smoke and dark clouds. Buildings were burning and some even turned to rubble around him because of the explosion.
"Thank you, Ia." Julius breathed looking a bit disturbed by how much damage the bombs inflicted upon the village.
"Mr. Rogers!" Petra screamed in horror with tears in her eyes as she watched her neighbor getting stabbed to death and her town being burned to the ground. The little girl could not stop holding on to a very sympathetic Frederica and crying her eyes out.
Ram and Rem both looked angry at what the cult had caused across the peaceful town. Another town that they couldn't protect. Another home they would've lost.
A worried looking catboy, wearing rough rags on his naked bare body smiled in relief at Subaru.
"Thank goodness! You're awake!" Felix sighed in relief.
"Why you dressed like a hippie? Wha happened to yer clothes?" Garfiel asked with a weirded out look on his face.
The healer was too focused on the horrifying events on the screen to answer the boy. He was glad that Subaru was saved but the slight oversight on his part was the cause of the cultist destroying the town.
"Why are… you dressed like that?" Subaru asked gruffly as he looked at the half naked boy in confusion.
"I had no choice. I can't reproduce clothes with healing magic."
"Regardless, given the situation, I'm glad you and Felis are all right." Julius spoke as he watched something in the far away village.
Subaru looked at the direction the knight was looking in and found that the entire village was burning to the ground, with bodies of the innocent townspeople stabbed and bleeding all over the rubble filled street.
"Run 'em off! Don't back down!"
Soldiers and villagers alike picked up their weapons and tried to fight the oncoming horde of hooded cultists.
"Oh dear…" Frederica shouted in heartbreak as she watched the massacre
"Bastards!" Garfiel cursed while gritting his teeth in demonic anger as he watched the innocent getting slaughtered with no one to shield them.
Julius and Wilhelm simply looked angry for all of the people they had failed in this loop. The soldiers were fighting but they weren't doing much against the massive horde of evil cultists.
Anastasia glared at the supposed lord of the domain that had left it unguarded for this massacre to happen. Her eyes raging with so much fury even her scarf tried to comfort here.
The clown dressed man simply stared at the happenings in the screen with an indifferent expression.
Subaru got up in alarm, struggling to breath due to pain. "How did they get into the village?"
"They stowed away in the carriages. There was a finger among the merchants, and we didn't take care of him. I failed." Felix looked down in grief and agony.
"No… It's all my fault… " The healer looked distraught and even disturbed as he realized just how much he's failed at his duty. Not only to his lady but to the innocents of the village as well.
"What an unruly child." Priscilla didn't even snort as she commented. Her face had a furious narrow-eyed look as she watched the murders of these innocent villagers.
"This is not the time for regrets. We had Tivey and Madame Ram evacuate to the mansion with the injured.Felis, join them and heal who you can." Julius ordered and took the lead immediately.
"Okay!" The healer run away in his ragged blouse while Subaru got ready for the fight.
"Okay, let's crush all the fingers that are left!"
Julius looked at the boy with an unimpressed gaze before turning to surprise as a massive rumble was felt through the area around them.
Subaru and Julius looked ahead to find giant lean unseen hands crushing and bulldozing their way into the many houses of the townsfolk.
It was shown to be the work of an old insane looking man wearing the cults' signature robes as he sent his Authority to smash the person he was fighting.
"Another one?!" Felt shouted in rage.
"So the fingers are all able to use the sloth powers as well." Crusch noted with a stern look hiding her disturbance.
Wilhelm van Astrea was revealed to be the one holding the finger busy as he dodged and jumped out of the supposed invisible hands trying to kill him. The old man could see the hands from all the dust and ash flowing from the explosions played across the city.
"The old man manged to find a weakness while fighting!" Garfiel shouted his fury and cheered for the old man to beat the mad cultist and avenge the village.
"Sword Demon will take care of him! Go Sword Demon-sama!" Otto shouted with his brother as his anger and sympathy for the villagers fired him up.
"To think, to think, to think, to think! That you would resist us this much!" The old man twisted his body to meet Wilhelm face to face. Glaring at the old man with Betelgeuse like manic.
"Why are they all acting the same?" Al muttered as everyone also was taken aback by how similar this cultist was to the other one and Betelgeuse.
Emilia could only focus on how dangerous and hopeless the situation has become. All because of her, the village was burning. All while she hid in the mansion, the people were being killed because of her heritage.
Innocent lives were perishing because of her own incompetence.
Her own knight had to live through this alone and hide his trauma with a smile because she was so untrust worthy and useless.
Emilia could only sob heavily and watch the massacre with wide tear-filled eyes.
"I'm so sorry…. "
The old man instantly swiped his blade against the dirt road infront of him, making the dust cloud fill the entire area and revealing the unseen giant hands bursting from the man's back and hanging over him as tall as trees.
"Such tenacity, clinging so to this ever increasing love! As a diligent disciple, I cannot begin to express my respect. Ah! My brain trembles!"
Wilhelm dodged and slashed his way closer and closer to the rambling madman, until he was close.
"Got you!" The old man instantly drove his blade into the man's chest making him scream in agony.
The children all cheered at the old man's appearant victory over the finger. Even the tear shedding Petra was screaming her cheers for the old man as she saw him avenging her village.
Wilhelm howover… he could see what his on screen self couldn't… He was too careless once again.
The old man gritted his teeth in frustration.
"I'm sorry my boy… I couldn't save you all." He whispered in a gruff voice as he saw the end of his own life coming because of how weak minded he was in this battle.
Subaru and Julius arrived at the scene with shocked expressions.
The old man smirked manically. "If one focuses on what the unseen arm does in battle, one will fail to see what is visible. That is sloth, yes?"
Before anyone could do anything, The old man quickly revealed a cultist blade from within his sleeve, and instantly drove it towards Wilhelm's wide eye.
An explosion took over the man and Wilhelm. Once the cloud died down, The man's body was revealed torn into bloody pieces all around an unconscious and beaten Wilhelm.
Reinhard and Crusch shouted their worry as the rest of the cast had their eyes wide in shock.
"Old man!" Garf shouted in despair as he had to watch one of the most awesome heroes die before his own eyes.
The old man simply held his head low in shame. "I failed you all… I'm sorry, Subaru-dono."
"He self-destructed." Julius noted hatefully while glaring at the remains of the madman focused on the enemy.
"Wilhelm-san!" Julius looked beside him to find Subaru holding the struggling butler's head in his hand while Wilhelm groaned.
"We can't leave you like this. We've gotta get you to Felis!"
"He's alive!" Felix shouted with tears in his eyes as he laughed in joy.
Reinhard sighed and calmed his beating heart in relief.
Everyone else was breathing heavily but started calming down to watch what will unfold now that the old man was gone.
"At least ya managed to take a finger out." Anastasia noted whimsically while watching with the rest.
Before Subaru could carry the old man, a loud voice shouted from across the courtyard.
Julius and Subaru looked back in alarm.
The source was another cultist without her hood on. Showing a face filled with malice and anger with the same wide mad eyes filled with soullessness.
The mandwoman screamed while a pack of witch cultists rose from the ground behind her.
"Another one?!" Felix shouted in rage.
"Are ya kidding me?!" Ricardo howled with a pissed off look along with the twins.
"Just how many cultists are ther'?!" Garfiel yelled out as steam came out of his nostrils from pure fury.
He wanted so bad to get in there and save his captain and the innocent villagers but his inability to do anything was infuriating him.
"Why are you still alive? After the attack you just endured… why?!" The madwoman slowly bit her finger off and spat it on the ground while manically shouting at the three men infront of her. "Why do you not bend to my diligence?!"
"A time like this, and still they just keep coming!" Subaru growled hatefully as he stood side by side with Julius and took out a black book from his back pocket.
"He's planning to take on the archbishop alone?!" Crusch asked in surprise, making the many girls around her widen their eyes in worry.
"No!" Felt shouted as she couldn't see her big bro dying a gruesome death at the hands of this freak.
"Subaru run!" Petra screamed in horror as she noticed how the finger was looking at him.
"Hey, look here! This is what you're looking for, right? It's a gift from your precious witch!"
The madwoman slowly scratched her face while her wide eyes focused on Subaru.
"You thief! So you really did have it!"
"Quit shouting. If you keep yelling at me like that, it'll make my brain tremble." Subaru smirked as he pointed at his forehead.
Otto held his head in both hands as he watched in shock and disbelief. "W-WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" The merchant began to cry as he saw how Subaru was sacrificing himself to distract the finger.
Julius leaned forward with a pleading expression. Praying, that he won't fail the boy and help him live.
"Come on, Subaru!" Julius whispered dryly. "You can still live." The knight begged as his mind pushed the thought of this being a failed loop away. Wanting nothing but hope.
Hope that he hadn't failed his friend here.
The finger had look of disbelief as she slowly held her head in her hands.
"You must… DIE!"
And several hands sprouted from her back.
"Julius, I'll handle things here. You handle things on your end. And take care of Wilhelm-san."
The knight unsheathed his sword and glanced at his ally/friend.
"That is quite a vague order, but very well." The knight smirked confidently as he prepared to fight the cult.
Subaru looked reluctant for a moment but spoke. "Julius…"
The knight looked at his ally/friend.
Subaru bit his lip and shook his head. "Actually, it can wait!"
Julius could only watch in confusion as Subaru ran ahead, making the finger follow him.
"It's a battle, Julius-kun. You can do nothing but trust in your allies." Anastasia comforted her clearly distraught knight with a small smile yet a stern expression that told him to be strong.
Julius bowed his head silently and respectfully and watched the screen with grimaced eyes.
He had totally forgotten about the many innocents that his on screen self also had to protect.
Not just Subaru.
The boy bought him time so he could save the people.
It was haunting how… "Good his heart is." Julius muttered while watching the battle with a heavy heart. Feeling ashamed of himself for forgoing his duty to protect the innocent.
Subaru jumped over and rolled on the dirt over a wooden fence while the black hands of the finger followed him and crushed the fence entirely.
"Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait!Wait right there!"
Subaru was shown running deeper into the forest, dodging and jumping away from the black hands sent to crush him as the finger screamed at him as they ran into the deepest parts of the forest.
"You cowardly, foolish, insolent little man!" The lady shouted while grabbing and breaking trees and bushes off from the ground trying to crush the boy.
"No matter where you try to run, it is futile." She laughed in glee as she followed him.
"Run, I suppose!"
"Come on Subaru!"
They all looked on as the weakest boy amongst them distracted and evaded the evil follower of the Witch's Cult.
All waiting for him to die.
"He's doing what he can." Reinhard grimaced in shame at his notable absence in this fight. At his failure as the kingdom's greatest knight.
Subaru stopped suddenly noticed a glowing green stone hanging by a handle on a tree trunk.
"This boy is a fool." Ram said sternly in astonishment as her expression showed how distraught she looked in worry for the boy.
"What is his plan here?" Crusch muttered as he held his hand tightly.
"Plan?" Rem asked the lady beside her urgently as her fear overwhelmed her for the boy's life.
"Why did he lure the finger here?" Emilia whispered softly as she watched the screen above her with rapid interest mixed with worry for her knight.
"What do you expect to find wherever you run to?"
Subaru quickly grabbed the jewel and jumped away from the oncoming hands trying to kill him.
Rolling and turning down a bushy hill, Subaru could only let out a groan of pain while the cultist grinned at him.
"At long last, it would seem end has come!"
Subaru only smiled confidently at the villain as he stood up, holding the glowing stone.
"Do you… know what this is?" He asked, holding the stone out for the villain to look at.
"It's a magic stone for creating barriers. They were stashed in trees throughout the forest. You didn't notice?"
"What are you talking about?" The cultist tilted her head in confusion.
"Huh?" The madwoman looked back as she heard sounds of rustling and movement through bushes from behind.
Slowly, A pack of Ulgrum dogs surrounded both her and Subaru.
"Wha..?!" Felix uttered his confusion at the suddenly dismal situation.
"Why's he putting himself in such a situation? These dogs will kill him!" Frederica whispered hauntingly as she watched the sacrifice.
Petra held the older maid's arm tightly while watching the screen with tears in her eyes. Fearing that her hero might die from either a witch cultist or the mabeasts.
Emilia, Rem and Ram all had their eyes wide however.
"What a sudden and demented plan!" Ram facepalmed as she understood what the stupid boy was doing.
Rem and Emilia looked on with worried looks exchanged between them.
"This area is a mabeast breeding ground, and we're prime feast for them… " Subaru smiled undeterred of the dogs around him as he held his green stone close to his chest.
"If you don't have one of Emilia's barrier stones!"
"AAAHHHHH!" The woman's screams filled the air as the pack completely tore her body apart with their sharp fangs and ate her.
Subaru looked toward the village with a serious gaze. "Only one finger left now.Once we get rid of that one… "
"Holy shit!" Ricardo laughed in utter disbelief.
"Go Cap'n!" Garfiel shouted as loud as he could as he watched the awesome take down of the Sloth finger by his smart captain.
"Smart~ I didn't expect him to make such a plan on the fly." Anastasia complimented while her wide smirk showed her relief and astonishment at Subaru's plan.
"He truly is amazing!" Reinhard had stars in his eyes as he looked up at his friend with almost adoration like glee. He just witnessed a weak kid face off and trick an Archbishop to their deaths.
Rem could only sigh in relief and smile at how everyone was finally seeing Subaru for the awesome hero he was.
Emilia and Beatrice could only breath a sigh of relief and lean into the boy's sides more just to feel his warmth and comfort.
Subaru walked through the destroyed Alarm, with smoke rising out of demolished buildings and homes and bodies of women and children bleeding on roads and in the river as blades were stabbed into them.
"Damn… We have to hurry… "
Subaru growled and glared as he entered the village.
"Those bastards don't know mercy." Tivey growled out as everyone around him watched the massacre with dulled broken expressions.
Emilia and her camp looked on with shock and misery as they watched what their treasured friend had been through on his own.
"Ah!" "Ah!" "Ah!"
Another cultist without a hood and a doll like manic expression laughed and danced in glee as he heard the cries and screams of the villagers around him dying and getting stabbed by the many cultists that follow him.
"Ah! My brain trembles!" The man danced while knights and soldiers alike were trying to hold off the cultists and protecting the villagers but to no avail as the innocent were cut and butchered without remorse.
"A-Another one?" Felix whispered in shock and horror as he watched the mad man twisting and killing civilians.
Subaru entered the blood filled square and contorted his expression to one of pure hatred and malice.
And the screen changed rapidly between the man cultist's laughing expression as he killed the innocent, and Subaru's rage filled one as he failed to protect or avenge them.
Both had the same dilated intense eyes.
"That's enough, villain!" A female voice filled the yard.
Subaru and the finger both stared at the source with wide eyes.
As the ash and dust flew freely in the air around her, Emilia stood with her palm opened towards the finger and his followers. A furious expression on her face as she summoned magical icicles all around her.
Shooting the icicles toward the madman, Emilia glared at him as he dodged.
"Emilia-sama's here!" Petra shouted in pure joy and relief.
"Finally showed up to save your people after half of them was dead." Priscilla snorted in disgust making everyone look at her glaringly.
"Shut up you shit mouth! Big sis isn't at fault if the people didn't trust her!" Felt glared at the fiery haired lady with all the hatred she could muster.
Garfiel growled up at her with his teeth bared as he got ready to bounce and defend Emilia's honor.
The hlaf-elf herself ignored the comments being made about her and focused on the screen. She wanted to know how it feels like to be him. To be someone that saves everyone around him without being afraid and disgusted with herself.
But she couldn't help but think of him what she wanted. It wasn't ideal.
Subaru was just as scared as she was. He was even weaker than she was. He was insanely broken.
And he looked at her for comfort as if she was the hero in his eyes.
He wanted to be saved by her. To be protected like the rest of her people.
And she was busy wallowing in pity to help any of them.
Emilia held the boy's hand tightly and watched the oncoming fight with the sloth finger. Someone who used to follow another man she had failed and destroyed.
Geuse and Subaru.
Both looked at her as their one true hero.
And she failed both of them.
The half-elf looked on with heartbreak clear in her eyes.
"Emilia." Subaru uttered weakly while looking on uselessly.
"Stand down, villain. I won't allow you to do such wicked things!" Emilia ordered loudly while keeping her hand out.
"A-Ah… Ah! How grand!" The madman cried in joy while holding his head in his hands. "What a grand day! What a lucky day! What a grand destiny!"
The finger manifested his unseen hands while shouting madly.
Subaru quickly took off in alarm. "Emilia!"
"WAIT!" Subaru looked back as his wrist was gripped tightly.
"I… I can't wait around right now! Do you want to make Emilia fight him?!" Subaru shouted at Felix in anger, to which the healer only smiled softly.
"Have a little faith in her."
Subaru was taken aback by Felix's soft reply.
"The people you want to protect are not just those behind you." Felix smirked as he watched the fight.
"He needs to learn how to trust his friends more." Crusch and Julius nodded their heads at Otto's words. Even Reinhard and Felt were agreeing with the merchant as they looked at the boy with sympathy and anger. (Reinhard and Felt)
Emilia frowned deeply at this as she kept her eyes on the screen.
"Hm? Trust whom? He's friends were the ones that killed and abandoned him for most of his failed lives." Priscilla cruelly laughed at the crushed faces of everyone who had wronged the boy.
"Even I couldn't help him, I suppose." Beatrice looked down with a depressed frown.
Emilia held her hand to her heart as the pain of the truth was too great to bare. She wasn't a hero. She wasn't someone that could lead. It's why this weak boy was forced into a role that had him facing all of these horrific endings to his life over and over without having anyone to hold his hand to to stand beside him.
He had died so many times because she couldn't protect him.
"How could he trust that I can protect myself?" Emilia shook her head and watched her useless self fight to protect whom ever was still alive of the massacre.
Subaru looked on as an unseen hand moved through the smoke, Emilia's ice had emitted.
Emilia's eyes narrowed immediately and she jumped into the air like a bullet, avoiding the hand as it crushed the ground she was standing on.
Softly, Emilia landed on a tree she made out of ice, looking down at the cultist.
"Oh, my witch! My witch! My love's guide!" The man cried while marveling the power Emilia was displaying.
"Kick his ass!"
Garfiel and Ricardo cheered dutiful for the fighting maiden as they wanted Emilia to end this cursed mad man once and for all.
A gray cat slowly revealed himself from within her hair, glaring at the man below him.
"I don't blame you for being charmed by my beloved daughter, but I won't allow any unwanted pests around her!"
"Garfiel! Watch your mouth!"
Frederica admonished her brother even though she was just as angry with seeing the demon cat as he was.
Everyone in the theater was glaring heatedly at the cat spirit. Even Beatrice and Emilia had soft frowns once the cat had showed himself.
All these two girls could think about when they see Puck is that giant beast that mocked Subaru's worth as a human while shattering the boy's desperate soul as cruelly as he could.
Puck casted his magic to provide ice crystals sharply pointed down right above the man's head.
Emilia manifested her icicles and both shot towards the madman from all directions.
The man shouted and swiped all of his hands around him, breaking every ice attack from both of Puck and Emilia.
Emilia jumped and landed softly on a standing pole of wood.
"This is love's true ending… The fruit of my love! Proof that the witch has returned my love!"
"That proof doesn't exist. Your crush is purely one-sided!" Puck shrugged in amusement while Emilia shot a giant glaciated ice attack towards the insane man.
"Yes!" The man shouted as the attack impacted him.
Slowly, the cloud of dust fell apart, revealing the man with his arms and legs tightly bond by ice while he had a back drop that looked like a rough cross.
"Ah, this is true… true diligence." Man laughed and uttered madly as Emilia dropped infront of him with her hand out toward his chest.
"Thank you for being defeated."
As the man laughed madly, Emilia enchanted her power to cover his entire form in ice, killing the final finger.
Everyone looked at Emilia in astonishment and shock.
"Damn, no wonder Cap'n loves you!" Garfiel shouted in awe, making Emilia blush brightly and hide by leaning into Subaru's chest while holding her face.
"It-It was nothing! I'm sure if I wasn't there everything would've been alright."
"Emilia-sama… You should trust yourself more. Subaru-sama wouldn't like you to belittle yourself."
The half-elf looked up at the smiling duchess with a confused look on her face.
As the boy sat between them, Crusch and Emilia looked at one another with encouragement and surprise.
Emilia softly smiled, feeling the strength given from her friends and nodded to the green-haired noble before her.
The noble that was fighting for her knight's heart.
The last cult member had also fallen at the same time for the knights managed to take care of the rest of the cult.
Emilia looked around as all the villagers stared at her with amazed and somewhat distrustful looks.
"So didn't I tell you?" Felix smirked knowingly at the boy as Subaru looked on in amazement.
"We've now eliminated all the fingers. Victory is ours." Julius smiled with joy as he joined the group.
Subaru looked at Emilia with in shock. "It's finally over… "
Emilia started to shed tears suddenly as she noticed the entire village had surrounded her.
She slowly wiped them away while Subaru was looking at her in reluctance and guilt.
"Go see her." Felix winked and slapped him on the back while Julius nodded urgently at him with a small smile.
"The villagers look ready to trust you now." Frederica whispered softly toward the emotional half-elf.
Emilia looked a bit unsure as she didn't think anyone that had been tormented so much because of her would truly give her a chance.
"Even Subaru-kyun looks amazed at you. You saved the day, Emilia-sama!" Felix said humbly. Happy that he won't have to see anymore blood or madness from these fingers again.
"You took care of the last monster! Our village is free!" Petra tried to sound out energetically but it came out as a whimper. She was happy that the last cultist was killed…. But her town was still burned down… and half of her people were murdered…
Julius, and Wilhelm kept their eyes on the screen with confusion and bewilderment.
"So if the sloth has been taking down… How will Subaru… "
Otto's eyes widened.
"How will he die then?" Anastasia continued the thought as she looked on with an emotionless and critical look.
Everyone's eyes widened in shock as they were reminded why this was being shown to them in the first place.
"R-Right…" Subaru turned to Emilia and slowly took a step closer to her.
Then he stopped…. And then Ia suddenly came off of him and flew away, making Julius look at him with surprise.
"What?! Why did she leave him?" Felix called out as he turned to Julius.
The knight's eyes widened as he finally understood something that happened in his own timeline. Something Subaru did with Sloth that greatly confused him.
"He's a spirit!" Julius shouted as his theory proved to be correct.
"What?" Emilia asked with her eyes blown out in worry and fear. If the elegant knight looked this angry and distraught then something truly wrong must be happening to Subaru.
Subaru grunted with wide eyes suddenly not being able to move his body.
"Subaru-kyun?" Felix asked as the nasty-eyed boy grunted and hiccuped in pain while his body shook in place.
Slowly, he regained some semblance of control over his nerves. He used that to turn tail and run away from the entire group of survivors.
I have to get away…
He ran as deep into the woods as he could.
Holding his head and sweating in pain, he ran.
From Emilia… From everyone…
"Ah! Ghk!" Subaru tripped and fell somewhere in the forest, grunting in pain as he fell.
"What's happening to Cap'n?!" Garfiel wanted nothing but to jump in and help his brother from whatever pain he's in.
But all he could do was watch like the rest of the cast with fearful and confused expressions.
"Subaru-kyun, where are you going?" Felix and Julius looked on with bewildered expression as the boy withered on the ground before them.
"Stay away! I'm…"
The boy slowly got up while struggling from something.
"What's wrong with Subaru?! Why is he trying to run away?" Rem asked, her heart dropping heavily as the entire scene spelled something dark was coming.
"Julius, stay away from-"
And Subaru fell silent…
"You're too late." He suddenly spoke again...this time not struggling or sounding in pain… calm… and gleeful.
Expressions of shock dropped on the theater's cast.
"No…. No!" Beatrice screamed as she recognized the way of speaking immediately.
"Shit!" Al spat out while punching the chiar infront of him as hard as he could as he realized what happened.
"What?! What is happenin'?!" Garfiel asked with his emerald eyes as feral as they come. Not understanding a thing happening on screen.
Crusch just looked down her heart heavy.
"Huh?" Felix sounded in confusion while Julius looked at the scene with despaired eyes.
"The moment Ia was flung from his body, I had a bad feeling… " Julius looked troubled and upset as he spoke.
"What do you mean?"
"That… isn't Subaru."
And the screen zoomed on the back of his head as the body of Subaru began to turn and face the two knights.
"Not Subaru?" Otto asked in a whisper as he watched with a haunted look.
"That's right." Speaking in Subaru's voice, the person told calmly and joyfully with Subaru's eyes looking dead and soulless.
"I am a Sin Archbishop of the Witch's Cult, representing Sloth… Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti…..TES!"
And then Subaru's neck was broken side ways with the same Betelgeuse expression from every finger, this time, Subaru's face was the cast.
Petra started screaming… as loud as she could she started screaming in horror.
Everyone in Emilia's camp looked at the scene in disbelief. Horror and despair filled their faces as they understood what will kill their most precious member.
"No… Please don't let this be it… H-He still haven't talked to me yet!" Emilia gasped as her sobs overwhelmed her speech. He was so close! So close to talking things out with her and tell her how much he suffered for her! She was going to comfort him and have him lay on her lap. She was going to protect and cherish him so that she won't sit along in the mansion once again.
But now he must die by having a… a… a madman take over his soul!
"What did he do to deserve this such pain and suffering?!" Emilia shouted her despair out loud as her tears fell down her face.
Betelgeuse began laughing and manically dancing in Subaru's body using Subaru's voice as he tested out the new toy.
"Fantastic! What a fantastic body this is! It's been decades since I had a body that fit me so well!" Betelgeuse shouted in Subaru's voice as he danced and tested his limps out.
Subaru's friends and allies had mostly been reduced to crying silent on lookers. Just watching with horrified faces with tears freely flowing down.
Ricardo and Wilhelm reserved themselves to lowering their heads down with angry expressions as each man held their chair handles as tight as they could.
The twins cried their eyes out as they watched with disbelieving expressions as well.
Unable to hold his anger anymore, Julius unsheathed his sword and pointed the tip at the side of Subaru/Betelgeuse's face with a furious expression.
"Get out of that body right now!"
The Archbishop only smiled softly. "Madman?"
He slowly turned his head towards Julius, not caring for how he grazed Subaru's cheek against Julius's bald, deeply scaring it.
"That's right. I am driven mad with love!"
Julius gritted his teeth and moved the sword away.
"Generous love, respectful love, pure love, tender love, familial love, erotic love, friendly love! Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!Love!"
The mad Subaru screamed and repeatedly over and over as if a broken record.
He fell on the muddy floor of the forest while gasping for breath.
Emilia and Rem were slack-jawed as they watched the man further tainting Subaru's body by his robust poses and mad ramblings.
This wasn't their Subaru.
"Someone…. Please save him… save big bro!" Felt shouted from the bottom of her heart while crying tears of anguish for her dear brother.
Otto and Garf were just slack jawed at this turn of events, unable to think of anything to say or do as they watched their brother suffering one more time without being able to help him.
Priscilla and Anastasia simply held the positions of silence and spectating as they watched the scene with no emotions present on their faces.
Except for a narrowly small glare of sadness and anguish from the merchant's clear eyes.
And the gritted teeth of Priscilla, hidden behind her beloved fan as she watched with her scarlet eyes burning in rage.
"Subaru! Wake up!" Julius shouted in plea while watching the disturbing scene happen with a pained expression like Felix.
"It's no use.This body is already under my subconscious control." Betelgeuse smirked evilly through Subaru's face.
"Realize what you're about to do, Subaru! Remember what you came back here to do!" Julius urged and pleaded loudly for some kind of hope of the boy was still inside of his own mind and bale to take back control.
"What?" Betelgeuse suddenly asked as he started shaking in Subaru's body.
"Don't 'what' me, you moron!" Suddenly, Subaru's voice shouted unexpectedly with a different familiar tone.
"I am Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti! This body has already become my finger!"
"Shut up! I'm Natsuki Subaru!"
"He—He can fight it, I suppose?!" Beatrice shouted with hope returning in her bright blue eyes. Holding her contractor as close as her little arms could as she sniffled in his jacket.
Emilia and Crusch looked at the screen with hope in their eyes, holding their breathes.
Julius and Felix watched with heartbroken expression as Subaru's body twitched and formed unnatural poses while holding his head.
As the boy shouted different contradicting sentences toward himself.
As the boy fought for control of his own body with Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti.
And then Stay Alive played
Quickly, Subaru ran toward the knight and held his shoulders in despair.
"Kill me, Julius."
"No!" Rem shouted in anger and horror.
Everyone around her started shouting.
"Subaru-dono… you can't give up the fight!" Wilhelm growled out while reprimanding himself in his head for being taken out of the fight so quickly.
Subaru begged while struggling for control.
"Use your sword…" Subaru gasped in pain and pleaded of the knight.
"No…." A purple-haired young man whispered while holding his head in his hands to hide his tears. Withering and trembling from the horror of the scene before him.
"I wanted to hear what you wanted to say. I wanted to have you as my friend. Why did it come to this?" The youngman spoke with a tone filled with pain and despair.
He couldn't believe it.
"I don't want to be the who kills him." Julius chocked a bit as he held his arm infront of his face. Hiding his shame and his weakness. Thinking of all the reasons he failed in this loop. How much he could've helped if he wasn't so useless and careless. He was never someone to lament on futile things like destiny but this failure must have been shown to him as a sign of what he truly was.
He was a failure that killed his own friend.
"What are you saying, Subaru?!" Julius asked in outrage and pure rejection of the idea.
"If you don't stop me now, we can't win." Subaru gurgled in pain and gave a pain-filled smile towards his friend.
"Before that happens… " Subaru slowly stepped back as the sun began to fall.
"No, Subaru! I can't do that!" Julius shouted emotionally. "You told me, 'It can wait.' Wasn't there something you meant to say to me?!" Julius pleaded and tried to convince the boy, but Subaru only smiled at him while holding himself in pain.
"Sorry… It looks like I won't get the chance."
Reinhard watched with a frozen expression. The sword saint was in shock with no emotion showing as he stared at the screen… except for two tear tracks flowing down his cheeks.
He had to watch his own friend killing someone he wanted to have as one.
All because he wasn't there to help the struggling Subaru and free him from this pain.
But the one that couldn't even begin to form words….
Was a lone catboy sitting rigid in the middle of the theater.
Subaru looked at the healer who's been silent this whole time. "Felis!"
The healer's eyes widened.
The healer's eyes widened.
Subaru's eyes lost their shine as he smiled pleadingly.
The healer softly teared up and gritted his teeth.
Slowly stepping towards the boy, Felix placed his hand on the face of the person he wanted to call friend.
"You can resent me for this, Subaru-kun." He forced his mana lock on Subaru's blood. "I'll too." Felix cried as he whispered softly.
I staaaaaayyyyy allliiiiiiiveeee
As Subaru's nerves were fried and his blood turned boiling liquid from Felix's mana, Julius could only watch with an outraged expression as the paralyzed boy fell on the ground with his back against a fallen trunk, screaming in agony and bloody pain as he was burned from the inside out.
"Felix!" Crusch quickly let go of the boy's hand and jumped over the row to hold the boy tightly.
He couldn't breathe. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't breathe.
The small whimpering healer struggled to breath as sobs of agony came out of his mouth in constancy. Repeating the same cries of pain over and over as he saw himself place the man he respected most in one of the most painful torture he had created.
Crying and sobbing into his lady's chest, Felix couldn't breath as Subaru's screams filled the theater.
"Felis!" Julius shouted furiously.
"No one else can do it, can they?" Felix turned with tears falling as he glared at the knight. "This is what Subaru-kyun wants!"
"Do you think I did that because I wanted to? To use the power meant for Crusch-sama, the power I swore to our leader, for this?!"
As the two shouted at one another, a third voice intervened.
"Ah, it can't be, it can't be… "
Both looked back in shock, Subaru's paralyzed, slumped body now began twitching and manically shaking as he spoke in a disturbing deep tone… his eyes wide and expression completely mad.
"Just when I'd found such a perfect vessel… just when the completion of the Ordeal was at hand…"
A blade was tipped at Betelgeuse's neck as Julius glared down at what used to be Subaru Natsuki.
"It was my lack of virtue that forced this undesirable decision on you and Fleis." Julius spoke with a voice filled with pain and eyes that had no light in them.
"I'm sure I'll be punished for it one day."
Julius raised his blade in the sky as Betelgeuse struggled in Subaru's fried body.
"I will never die…" He uttered in pain as The Greatest Knight swung his sword backwards.
And then… Julius sent the sword slashing toward Subaru's neck.
The screen showed Emilia suddenly looking back at the direction of the forest. Worried.
Subaru Natsuki failed once again.
Killed by Julius-Juukulius' blade.
Ending theme: Stay Alive.
Otto and Garfiel looked at the screen with aghast faces and disbelieving expressions. The thought of their brother's suffering reaching such levels completely surprised and horrified both of them.
Silently, Felt held onto Reinhard tightly while Petra did the same to the shocked horrified older maid beside her.
The twins just kept their eyes closed and cried their hearts out into Ricardo's chest.
The dogman beast simply held his head low in respect for the boy and patted the heads of the twins.
Wilhelm turned his head away and closed his eyes as his fists trembled in rage at the entire unfair situation.
"I shouldn't have let him go alone." Rem repeated once again. Holding her head and crying into her knees, she whispered once again.
Beatrice held on to the boy with a stunned frozen look on her face. Unable to believe how much cruelty her contractor went through in his life since coming to this world. The very thought of his scream breaking her.
Anastasia held her scarf tightly and sniffed silently into it as her rage filled eyes spilled the tears deserved of the situation.
Ram simply stayed silent. She slowly got up from her seat with an unreadable expression and moved over towards her curled up sister.
Softly, the pink-haired maid held a soft expression of guilt and sadness as she towered over her broken guilt-ridden sister.
Ram softly knelt down and hugged Rem. Both girls shedding tears for what they witnessed.
Crusch closed her eyes and softly held her knight as he broke down into soft yet still incoherent sobs. Letting a few tears of her own flow down her cheeks and Felix's hair as she reminded herself of the haunting thought of Subaru's scream. A boy that had suffered so much and gained to little. A boy she could confidently say she loved and cared for. Someone that had just been killed before her… again.
"Is this what it means to be a hero, bro?" Al whispered from within his helmet. His tears not being shown to anyone. His voice giving the same offish uncaring tone but this time… a little hardened.
"I'm lucky I'm not like you then." The helmeted man whispered as he nodded his steel covered head. His anger for what Subaru chose to be flaring off and covering him in that same murderous aura once again.
If this pain is what it means to be a damn hero, then he was lucky not to be.
His lady simply watched the screen with no emotion showing except for a single thought on her mind.
"Hmmm… He seems to have started giving his life lightly. This was just a test run." Priscilla mused softly while fanning herself. Her critical eyes burning through the screen as she was lost in thought about how quickly it was for Subaru to accept his death.
It has started. He's becoming programmed to think that his death is the only way to fix things.
The very thought disgusted the lady as she watched from the back of the theater with a regal emotionless look.
She hugged him tighter. She hugged him tighter and tighter. As tight as she could.
Selfish, pitiful and abhorrent.
She hugged the sleeping boy as tight as she could.
Emilia cried and sobbed her agony into his warm chest while holding on to him as if he will be taken away from her.
Breaking promises was bad… But she didn't want this to happen to anyone. This pain. This misery.
It was all to much for the half-elf.
Unable to speak or talk, Emilia just sobbed her pain and confusion away into his chest.
She couldn't believe her knight went through so much torture and suffering on his own.
He slept every night with all of these memories.
He was alone all this time. And she was daydreaming beside him about a future that would never come.
Because he would die over and over to make it come.
It was all her fault that he had to go through this. She was the one that forced this fate upon him. Death. Pain. Torture by most of his friends.
Emilia could only hold onto him and cry her eyes out because she knew that he won't be hers once he wakes up again.
She wouldn't be able to hold him like this again.
"Hmmm.. that's disgusting." Roswaal muttered softly as he shook his head at the ability of possession Sloth used to hold the boy's soul and bury it. It had no flare at all. Unlike his.
"What a defective ability." The clown snorted in amusement.
A purple-haired youngman kept his palm over his face and silently wept his tears and cries out. Shaking in place because of his guilt and pain.
Doing nothing but sit there and hide himself as he broke for the first time since his childhood.
For the first time… Julius lost his pride as a knight and wept for the death of a friend.
Someone killed by his own blade.
The scene ended on the quiet darkened theater.
No one said anything.
Only weeping and sobbing could be heard from various factions.
It won't be long.
A voice sounded out across the dead theater.
You won't have to suffer for long.
For the next one is the last.
In this Arc.
Not a single one of them reacted.
"If this was just one Arc…" Otto choked on his sobs as he revealed the same feeling of the entire room around him.
"What in the Od's name will we see in the next one?" He asked before sobbing uncontrollably
Let's give you all some time to rest.
And the screen dimmed.
The room fell to darkness.
The crowed stayed silent.
Episode 13... Arc 3's Finale….
Season 1's End…
I want to talk.
First, Let me start by doing some announcements for this story.
1 This story has been crossposted on all of (Fanfiction)(Archive of our own) and finally (Wattpad)
( www . Wattpad . com / story /252882165-re-zero-watching-him-die-again-and-again)
Here is the Wattpad link, click for a better reading experience with good comment section.
2 I have made a new story on this account called 'A Date With Envy-tan' please check it out and give me your thoughts. Thank you.
Wishful Witch has made a side story using my characters for her story.
It talks about what would happen if The warden was tricked by Echidna at the end of arc 4 and beaten by her and Satella. In that world, Echidna takes control over the screen and forces the entire cast to watch and react to Subaru's world and various other media.
It's well written, filled with actual good humor, and brings wholesomeness to your hearts.
Better than mine one hundred percent.
( archiveofourown works/28797756)
Name: Reverse-Isekai React
Check her stuff out. She is a cool person.
Also please go check out my good friend Bob's story if you want some suffering Subaru x Ram goodness.
(Shattered Kasaneru) Is the name of the story please go there and support him.
3 (THIS IS THE IMPORTANT ONE!)
Let me start by addressing something to you all…
I realize how toxic and chaotic my comment sections can be. This story got too popular and garnered the attention of many hateful individuals that just want to keep arguing about things in this shitty reaction fic.
Especially in FF reviews section.
Let me make this simple for all of you. It will be harem. It will include sex if I can write such a thing. It will be written by me however I want it.
Please don't start arguing over one another for something out of your control. Please don't call someone out just because they 'hated on me' or brought shade to my story.
Please for the love of god, STOP.
Stop spamming messages on other works. I've seen people on many other superior Rezero fics talking about THIS story.
Do you know how shameful I feel?
Imagine it like this… You wrote a 10k chapter with all of your time and effort spared from free time you could've used for something else like going on a date or playing games.
You post the chapter and eagerly await the comments and reactions of your readers.
You finally get a notification that you have a comment thread on your story, meaning people are talking about what you wrote.
You open the story and quickly look to find the new comment in excitement to see what people think about your hard work.
Only to find…
"Hey! Watching him die just got updated guys!"
"Mohamed wrote an idea like yours!"
"Do you know when Watching him die will be updated guys?"
"Hello… I just wanted to say that I love how similar this fic is to Watching him di-"
What the fuck is this.
Please…. Please…. Please…. Keep my story out of other peoples works.
I declare before everyone as the most popular story on the rezero fanfiction community.
My writing is the worst.
Don't hail this story as some gem or work of art over other people. If you like it then I'm honored truly. But please don't bash or ignore the other better stuff!
I'm sorry for being a bit of a dick here but I just read some of my own comments before writing this note and I'm ashamed man.
I really don't care if the Rezero writer base just glance at my story as that 'Toxic Fanbase having' or 'Warzone comment section fic'
I don't care man. Discuss. Don't fight. Someone has something to say then let them say it.
4 I don't know any authors.
I don't know any other writer in this community. Except for Witch but she is knew and I don't talk to her that much.
I don't talk to other writers unless they commented on my story.
I don't know any of them.
So please. Don't. Spam them.
Don't go around asking the other authors if I'm gonna update or if they have a way to contact me.
That's some bullshit. I don't want anyone to suffer spam for my story. Please guys. And please don't spam Witch or my other friends on any platform.
I don't want them to go through what I have.
Let me say one positive thing. I was planning to cancel and delete this story… It's why this chapter took so long to make.
I was planning to move on…. But I loved this bitch too much. And… I read some of the actual reviews.
Not the toxic Syria that has become my comment section…. I read true, detailed, expressive, and positive comments.
They renewed my light for this chapter and made me feel some semblance of hope for continuing.
It's why I'm talking to you with all my feelings on the table today.
I realized yesterday that My story wasn't only number 1 on FF but it was also Number 1 on Ao3 as well. I wanted to cry! But then I remembered the cost of such huge reader base.
It's why I'm speaking with all of you today.
Thank you. Whomever you are. For reading. Enjoying. Criticizing. Complimenting. Inspiring.
I love you guys too.
But I can't do this.
I need sometime to figure how I can continue this story without looking at it as something to be ashamed of.
Why do I feel so low about this one?
I get that I'm the number 1…. But I also understand why…
This only got popular for my speed. For the complete dry reaction fics in the community. For the huge chapters.
But it's empty.
It's all just shitty reactions and even worse jokes piled on top of a grammar disaster of a script.
That's what Watching him die again and again has become in my eyes. Everytime I continue writing this story I can't think about anything but how dumb a joke I wrote was or how stupid my grammar was in one sentence in a previous chapter.
I can't stop thinking about how unfair all of this attention on my story has become when more stories exist out there that don't get the love they deserve and I'm afraid of shouting any of them out because of my toxic 'fanbase' and my fear of them going towards those other talented authors and going after them for my contact or spamming them to get me to write.
(You're just a fanfiction wirter! Calm down! You barely have a 1k followers and a few toxic comments! Get over yourself! What a drama queen! Ungrateful to your fans! Arrogant prick! Do you think you're the next big writer or something?! Get out of here! Your story is shit anyways! Blah
I'm not a hotshot. I'm not that good at writing. My story needs fixing and I can't stand looking at it the way it is at the moment.
It hurts even more, when the COMMENTATORS over my story are making things worse around me and not letting me interact with the others in the community.
I love whomever supported me.
I have loads…. I mean looooaaaaads planned for this story.
I plan to make four new characters to watch season 2 with the cast. I want to make the entirety of season 2 WITH THE CUT CONTENT! I want to do the what ifs after Season 2 with an awake Subaru.
I want to make season 3 when it comes.
I want to continue the harem plot. The friendship plot! Betty's plot! Petra's plot! Milie's!
I want to do all of this.
Even the OC Warden vs Flugel and his friends plot!
But I feel tired out from this story.
And here is why I'm truly speaking with you today.
I don't know when chapter 15 is coming.
I just have to start loving this story again to continue all of my plans.
Don't spam anyone. Not my 'haters'. Friends. Other authors that have no contact with me. Other people I've interacted with.
And if you could… Never ask me about the next update.
I want to continue this…
But I can't right now.
When life has me by a choke-hold, I can't free my neck to breath if I have both my hands on the keyboard.
I also know something else.
Aloooooooooottttt of people…. Alot of people in the comments have also always warned and carefully advised that I rest and take breaks.
I will follow that advice gladly.
For now, Watching Him Die Again and Again.
Is canceled until I get my shit together.
Go read the other good better authors in this community, THEY deserve this popularity, They deserve good comments about their works.
I'll figure out what to do after I get back from my honeymoon with my beloved, Tappie.
I still got that shit humor.
Anyways. This has been Mohamed…. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting. I love you. I truly do.
I plan to continue this but… I can't write this story. I'm done with it at the moment.
( www . Youtube watch?v=rEZXvnsHU1k)
Let's go Joseff.
We won't be back here for a while.