"Where... Am I?"
Subaru's voice echoed in his own head, making him, feel even more uncomfortable.

He felt dizzy and for some reason wasn't being able to remember where he was or how he ended up here. Why there's so much snow?
He looked around and finally remembered the place he was in.

"Roswaal's mansion?"

His words echoed through an empty corridor filled with snow.

Before him was a wooden door. Simple wooden door.

"I don't want to open it."

He said, unexpectedly to himself. But he wholeheartedly agreed with those words. He did not want to do this. He shouldn't do this.

His hand touched the doorknob.

He doesn't need to do this. He doesn't know what is on the other side of the door, but he wasn't in need to know this anyway.

"I don't need to know what is on the other side."

He said in a loud voice as his hand was trembling on the doorknob.

"I don't need to... open it."

His hand was shaking strongly. Sweat was dripping from his forehead.
Subaru was fighting with his own body. Tried to put all his willpower in controlling his body and NOT open the damn door.
But he was losing. He even used his other hand to stop the one holding the doorknob. But still... Slowly, very slowly but the doorknob turned.

A loud click was sounded in Subaru's ears and the door started to open.

Subaru tried to close his eyes, but something didn't let him do so.

And thus he was forced to look into the darkness that was revealing itself more and more while the door was opening.

Subaru stayed in place and looked into the darkness trying to find monsters lurking within it. But he wasn't able to see any.

Frozen he continues to stay in one place, looking into the darkness, when something cold touched his neck. Two white, ice-cold hands hugged hi, from behind.

"Subaru-sama. It was so scary to be here without you. So sad and cold. And lonely. I'm so glad you're here."

He heard a childish girly voice from behind him.

"Petra-chan? Do you know where's everyone?"

Subaru asked. Yet again against his own will.

"What do you mean, Subaru-sama? All of them are here, at the mansion. Where else should we be?"

Subaru felt cold Petra's hands leaving his neck.

He slowly turned around and looked into Petra's eyes just as he was used to, while talking to her. But her eyes were closed.

A bit of blood was seen on her smiling mouth.

Subaru immediately sat on his knees, taking a closer look at Petra's face.

"What happened, Petra? Why is there blood on your mouth?"

Petra smiled wider. And wider. As if her skin was stretching.

"No..."

Subaru said. It wasn't stretching, her cheeks were tearing apart, creating a wide bloody smile.

And then she opened her eyes.

"AAAAAAAAAHH!"

Subaru screamed to the top of his lungs, after seeing her empty eye sockets.

"What do you mean, Subaru-sama? I'm already dead. So there's no need to worry about me."

Petra tilted her head and opened her mouth a little bit. Big shark-like bloody teeth were revealed.

"I am already dead just as any other person in that mansion."

Subaru felt tears flowing out of his eyes and his hurt clenching in pain.

"Why... After everything I have done..."

He said... Unaware of what he was actually saying.

"You failed to protect us. You died. And so did we. You didn't save us. You are responsible for this. You are the one who killed us, Subaru-sama."

Little maid said harsh words, but with very easygoing happy voice. Almost if she was happy for such outcome.

Subaru turned his face from the sight.

"I'm sorry..."

Only to see distorted body or Rem, lying a bit further. He tried to turn his face from her too, but found Emilia with a hole in the chest in place of her heart.

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry..."

He managed to get up as fear given him strength to run away, but again and again - all he found - his dead friends lying around or glaring at him with a smile on their face.
He killed them. He killed them. He killed them all. And not only one time, but many many more. He left them felling hopeless. He destroyed them. He had taken the very lives of those dear to them. He tried to cover his eyes with his wet bloody hands, but that wasn't helping him at all.

"I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!I AM SORRY!IAM SORRY!IAM SORRY!IAM SORRY! IAM SORRY! IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!IAMSORRY!"

He felt an itching sensation. His eyes started to itch. It started to itch so hard. Maybe if he would take them out...

He touched his eyes on the run. They were warm. Warm as blood on his hands.

"IMSRY!IMSRY!IMSRY!IMSRY!IMSRY!IMSRY!IMSRY!IM..."

"Disgusting."

A voice filled with disgust and hate echoed in his ears. He took his hands away from his eyes and looked in front of him.

Then suddenly he stopped his running as he found one person who wasn't glaring at him with happiness or any hint of good intent in her dead eyes.

Ram was standing before him with a disgusted face. Her head was open a bit and there were some brain matter falling from it. With a splashing sound it had fallen to the ground. Drop by drop.

"How pathetic you can be, Barusu. And to think that you managed to kill me. Huh. Running around, losing your own mind."

She put her right hand forward.

"Awake already, stupid Barusu! Fula!"

And his head was sent flying. The moment it hit the floor, Subaru opened his eyes.

"Haa... Haa... Haa... Shit."

He sat on the bed. His bed was wet from sweat.

"Why... Why can't I even rest?! What is it? Fifth one? Or sixth one? One nightmare after another... I guess i'll better not sleep at all for the time being, or i'll truly lose my mind."

He said in a cracking voice, being not able to properly think he needed to say it aloud.

It's all started with unthinkable present nightmare. But then, every other dream was getting worse and worse.

He laid back on the bed.

"Fuck it. I will not sleep for a few days. Perhaps it will become better later." He said to no one. And it was good that he said it to no one, because he wasn't a good liar and didn't enjoy lying to someone.

'Huh... I definitely need to ventilate the room and wash myself. And then it would be nice to throw the bed linen into the wash.' - Subaru thought as he was finally able to keep track of his own thoughts again.

That was a nice plan, but Subaru decided to do all of this just a little bit later. He felt tired and didn't want to leave the comfy bed. Even if it was wet from sweat.


'I don't know this ceiling, i suppose.' - someone thought.

That exact someone was lying on the bed. Not the best bed, but still better than dreaming on the floor or on the books.

'It doesn't matter. My body does not require sleep, in fact.' - someone thought.

That someone wasn't able to refer to itself in any other way at the moment.

Suddenly that someone heard a clicking sound. And then footsteps. Light footsteps of a woman.

"Oh, are you awake? What is your name?" Someone asked... her. Someone who isn't her.

"My name...? Beatrice."

Yes, that's indeed was her name. The artificial... Artificial what?

Beatrice sat and placed a hand on her temple. She closed her eyes, then opened them. Then closed them again. Her sight was blurry and unstable.

"Why are you... Does your head hurt, Beatrice-chan?"

It is not at the moment, but that fact doesn't making situation any easier. Her mind was a mess.

"My mind is a mess. in fact."

She said without meaning to do so.
What was happening? Why it was happening? Where was she? And who exactly was she?
Her situation was indeed confusing. She didn't lose her memories, of that she was certain. It was almost akin to if her mind was a library with books scattered around on the floor, instead of being on the shelves of countless cabinets and shelving, where they belong. And it annoyed her to no end. The image of such disgusting sight of library being in that terrible state. She needs a bit of time to get herself collected. Something was clearly affecting her state. But she didn't have any clue of what it can be. Maybe if she'll get herself together, then maybe she will be able to think of a source of this problem.

"Umm, do you know your address?"

Beatrice opened her eyes yet again. She finally was able to see properly.

After looking around, she noticed a few things. She was indeed laying on the bed. There were 3 more beds in the room, looking exactly like the one she was sitting on. The room was white and didn't have any indication that someone was living here. White, clean, with scent of medicine in the air. Perhaps she was taken care of by some kind of healers?

Slowly her vision became clearer. Same with her thoughts and body. Then, the sensation hit her. She was feeling weak. Really weak.

"That isn't normal. Isn't normal at all, in fact."

She said aloud.
She never felt such physical weakness before.

"Ah, you can't remember?"

The woman beside her bed was looking concerned. It seems that she somehow interpret Beatrice's words as an answer to her question.

'Where am I... No, where I was before?' - as she thought, her mind started to put itself in order much faster. She started to feel an urge. Urge to move, to do something. But she didn't know what. She forgot. She forgot something very important.

City. Witch's cultists.

'No that's not it.' She thought, searching her memory as fast as she can. And then.

Tower. It was collapsing. The great dragon pushed witch of envy away, but the tower started to crumble.

And then she felt it. Extremely powerful Yin magic, in many ways smelling like door-crossing. Time space type of spell, or rather raw magic bend by someone's will and in the center of all of it was her contractor.

She remembered how scared she became, how foolish her actions were. She ran straight to it and jumped down. To the darkness. She even used little amount of mana left in her to catch up with fading darkness. And she succeeded.

"Haaa... Haaa..."

Beatrice started to breathe heavily.

After she dived into the depths of fog that consisted of Yin magic, she moved to her contractor's presence. And she found him. But at what state. Before her very eyes, the unconscious body of her contractor was destroyed. Then returned back to the complete state. Then destroyed again. Healed again. It was ripped apart, it was disintegrated, it was smashed and torn... She forgot about herself, about her weakened from mana usage body. All she wanted to do is help her contractor and thus, she reached for him. She reached. Again and again and again and again.
But no matter how much she tried to reach him, she wasn't getting any closer to him. And then darkness came for her.
In retrospective, she probably lost her consciousness after so much mana spent without repleting it.

"Beatrice-chan? Beatrice-chan? Are you able to hear me?"

Woman beside her looked very nervous. '

So she is probably a healer that taken care of me, or she is some kind of assistant of said healer.' - Beatrice thought.

"I'm fine, I suppose. There's no need in such worry for me, in fact."

What is being much more important to her is to acknowledge her current location and location of her contractor. She saw it with her very eyes, how his body returned to... complete state again and again.
So there's a high chance that he survived.

'He is Betty's Subaru after all. He can't simply leave me like that.' - Beatrice thought.

She needs to find him and in her state she doesn't have much time to act, which means she needs to make haste.

"Did you, perhaps saw a boy with unkempt black hair and mean looking eyes? He also responds to the name Natsuki Subaru."

First thing first. Wherever she ended up, there is high chance that her contractor ended up in the same place too. Or at the very least somewhere near. And if not... She preferred to not think about that.

"Um, I'm sorry, but I don't know such person."

Said the woman and Beatrice eyes darkened.

That situation almost ho...

"But I think I heard something like that not that long ago."

Woman suddenly added.

"WHERE? I need to know!"

Beatrice said in loud voice. If there's a lead, she can't let it slip like sand through her fingers.

"Ah, erm, I think Sakuma-san mentioned that name a little less than a week ago..."

Woman said in a nervous tone.
The child before her eyes was looking so desperate to know at least something about that Natsuki Subaru person that she had almost fallen down from the bed when she was leaning forward and asking her last question. Luckily the woman was certain in her memorizing abilities.

"I can try to go and look for him if you need it."

"Please do! I really do need to find him, in fact!"

And thus woman quickly left.
Thus - everything that were left for Beatrice to do is wait.

She got up from bed and touched the floor with her legs. Her pink shoes were not far from her.
Beatrice tried to reach for her shoes but almost collapsed as a result.

"This won't do. That won't do at all, Ii suppose!" - Beatrice said out-loud, trying to cheer herself up. To find required strength within her.

She tried again, this time successfully.

A bit later, with shoes on, she slowly started walking to the nearest window in the room. While doing so she wasn't looking around her as she memorized the room already. Instead, she was looking inside her, trying to do a fast diagnostic on her condition. And what she saw wasn't pleasant.

"This situation is not pleasant at all, I suppose."

She said in a sad tone.

She didn't have any mana. Or rather almost didn't have any mana left. Because her very OD was converting into it a bit by bit at the moment and used those bits right away. She isn't a human being, which meant two things. She's dying. Not even a body would be left by the end of the process. She had a few days perhaps, but only if she would put herself into stasis. Which would not help her in any way, except postponing her death.

She already was working on her state, taking mana flow and OD conversion into her own hands. Nothing should leak out purposelessly, not even a tiny drop of precious energy. She manually distributed tiny energy flow within her to stabilize her condition. And also that would allow her to finally look into the state of her contractor.

If he was still... No he can't die. He just can't. It will not only leave Betty's hopeless, it will shatter her very soul. Beatrice was sure of it. Her very being would not be able to exist in the world without this man. Without her hopeless contractor, who became the center of her life, took the most important place in her soul. If it were to be ripped from her... She would not be able to handle it.

Beatrice is egoistic and she was aware of it. She can accept her death.

"But I can't accept his, in fact."

Sadly, her contractor's broken gate would not be able to save her. But it doesn't really matter. Saving Subaru and helping him - that's what was truly important. After all hers Subaru is hopeless. So she needs to look after him.

She left her thoughts and looked before her with a smile of determination.

But what she saw left her stunned and erased the smile from her face.

Tall box like buildings were standing afar. Almost reaching the skies. Strange things were standing and moving on the roads. And people. So many people were walking around, doing whatever they were doing.
Unease started to build up within her.

"Where am I?"

She said, astonished.
After all she never saw such view.

"You're in the hospital, young lady." - Calm voice of an old man came from behind her.

She turned around and, after finding the speaker's head with her eyes, she looked into his eyes.

"Beatrice-chan, is it?"

The man seemed to be in his mid-forties.
His hair and bushy beard were already touched by gray.

"Yes, my name is Beatrice. And you are Sakuma...-san, right?"

The man, Sakuma, smiled.

"Indeed that is my name. If you don't mind, I have a question."

Beatrice blinked, thinking about man's words, while also acknowledging that her state is stable enough to try to check her and Subaru's connection.

"Go on. I will answer if I can, I suppose. But I am too, have a question for you, in fact."

"I will answer it if I would be able too, young lady. About my question. Do you know a person named Natsuki Subaru? And if so, then perhaps you know where is his location?"

Beatrice's face stiffened. She didn't know that man. Didn't know if he is an enemy, or an ally. And thus she didn't know if she should even continue to speak with him.

"May I ask some other question, before answering yours? Why do you want to know something about Betty's Subaru, I wonder?"

At first, she thought about him as of a possible info source. But this Sakuma-san was looking for information about Subaru, which made Beatrice feel suspicious.

For her relation to Subaru though - she already showed enough to at the very least look like an acquaintance of his.

"Sure, there's no big secret. I'm a friend of Subaru's father - Natsuki Kenichi. Who lost contact with his son for quite some time now."

Hearing this, Beatrice closed her eyes and started to look like she was hard thinking. While actually she was trying to look into her connection with Subaru. At first, she hoped that this Sakuma guy know about Subaru's location and that she can save some precious energy, but it didn't seem like it was the case.
Finally, after a whole minute, she said.

"Yes, as you can already guess I do know Natsuki Subaru. And for the second question - he is somewhere around this settlement. I was going to ask you about his location, but it seems there's no use in it anymore, in fact."

Sakuma was a little confused of why the young girl used the word 'settlement' to describe one of the biggest city in Japan and her possible connection to Subaru.
But what was more important is the fact that Subaru supposedly returned or at least somewhere in the city. He needs to contact with Kenichi as fast as he can.

"And what exactly your connection to Subaru?"

Beatrice didn't answer immediately. As she knew, some people didn't see spirits equal to humans. It might put her in a difficult situation. Or not. This man isn't a mage, or he is too weak for barely alive Beatrice to feel anything from him - that much was clear. So a little lie would be fine, yes?

Moreover, Subaru did say something like that a lot.

"I'm a part of Betty's Subaru family, I suppose. Not blood related, but we have the same relationship. He said it himself, in fact!"

She said with a stern tone.

Sakuma got even more confused. A part of family? Subaru-kun said it himself?

"Perhaps you met him while he got lost? As I said - his family wasn't able to see him for some time now. But if he is now in the city..."

Beatrice remembered those few times Subaru mentioned his Parents.

"I can say for sure, I suppose. Subaru wasn't talking about his family much. But he did say a few times something about that he would never be able to meet them again and never really explained much about why is that."

'Wait. This Sakuma-san know Subaru's parents and probably knew Subaru too. That means I somehow ended up in Subaru's strange hometown?' - Beatrice thought of sudden realization that hit her.

She remembered all the tales that her Subaru told her. How there were metal carriages that did not used ground dragons, how people were able to fly on big metal birds, about electricity, computers and internet. All of it was here.

She turned to the window.

All of it was before her very eyes. A world without magic, much bigger than the one she comes from.

Wonders and realizations almost made her forgot her almost hopeless situation.

"I need to see Subaru."

She said.
Maybe it was Subaru's hometown, and he was actually safe, but she knew for a fact that her contractor cannot be left alone for too long, because he is hopeless Betty's contractor after all.

"We can try to go to his parents. That might help us in finding him. His father has connections all over the city, so if Subaru is truly here, we would find him."

He said in a reassuring tone.
Sakuma himself wasn't sure if he can trust a strange young girl in some cosplay costume, but that was the only lead they might have had. And more than that, his experience and ability to see through people's faces helped him numerous times in his life. And this time it was telling him that girl indeed believed to what she said.
At the very worst it will shake Kenichi up and either way would help him. He is strong, he'll manage to collect himself whatever will happen. Even if Kenichi would not be the man he used to be anymore.

As his friend, Sakuma wasn't able to see Kenichi suffering much longer. He already had enough suffering in his life.

"Then what are we waiting for, I suppose?"

Beatrice didn't have much patience. Not when her very body might crumble apart if would she lost her control even for a moment or if her mind... She preferred to not think about it for the time being.


So long story short - I fucked up with the chapter managing to lose almost a half of it. The part that I wrote while having an inspiration. It kinda got me frustrated, and I stopped to for two days. Sorry. It should ve been released like three days ago or something :-(
I guess I should be sorry for the delay and sorry in advance if the next chapter is delayed. Apparently, I will have a pretty heavy load at work.