THE HISTORY-ENGRAVING STARS
“A Nameless Knight”
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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
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Receiving the jolting impact, his body got out of the dagger’s trajectory.
Not being in a position to sharpen his blade, and even if he did accept it with his broken knight sword, he would not be able to evade the severe wound. Was the conclusion that anyone would realise at a glance, henceforth, Julius was able to notice that he was being shielded.
However, it was, again, a different subject whether he should express relief or gratitude for itーー.
Ricardo: Shit, he got me…… ~hk!
With an anguishing voice, Ricardo, who had pushed Julius aside, narrowed his eyes. When he called out that name, at the same time, a spout of blood clouded Julius’ vision.
The blood had sprouted from, the rough, bulky right arm of Ricardoーー having lost everything from his elbow, it was a gash exposing the soft cross section.
The arm covered in beastial hair gave rise to a sound and fell onto the cobblestone, and the big hatchet it was gripping, too, made a dull sound and rolled on the ground.
Julius: How did such…… ~hk.
Ricardo: Argh! This ain’t the time for sayin’ that, Julius! Raise your head and look towa~rds……
At Julius, who was breathing heavily, Ricardo slammed a loud yell. However, that was abruptly obstructed by the attack of the dagger he suffered on the abdomen, and his nose was smashed and broken by the solid knee’s direct hit.
Throwing him aback, and as Ricardo flopped onto the floor, with his limbs stretched out, 『Gluttony』 sneered.
Roy: Haha~! Aren’t you going to, completely say it ~tsu!
The form of Alphard, who was shouting out his delight, and Ricardo, who had collapsed. Seeing the figures of the two, two choices came up in Julius’ mind.
Which one of the two should he give precedence to, a seemingly instantaneous gap had been produced there.
And, the appetite of 『Gluttony』 would never overlook that gap.
Roy: To look away in the middle of the meal, you really don’t have manners, nii-samaーー!
Julius: You bastard……!
Like a springed doll, Alphard leapt trickily. At that phantasmagoric movement, Julius’ reaction got faintly delayed.
The outstretched palm and, the broken knight sword entangled, and the feeling of his chest being traced by the palmーー with his slash being dodged, what followed immediately afterwards was an inexplicable sense of loss.
Roy: A~hーー thank you for the treat ~tsu.
At the end of that voice, for some reason, his consciousness distanced further, and further, andーー.
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Julius: Though it is pathetic, in the midst of the battle against 『Gluttony』, my 『Name』 was stolen. Perhaps, that is what this current situation is.
Based on what Emilia had said, that truth had been brought to light.
Expressing a cynical smile on his face due to the truth of being forgotten by his acquaintances, Julius shrugged his shoulders.
Subaru: 『Name』 got eaten…… is that what you mean? But.
Eating the 『Memories』 and 『Names』 of people was the blasphemer, Sin Archbishop 『Gluttony』.
The threat of getting the 『Name』 eaten, and having all connections cut offーー Subaru was well aware of its fearsomeness. However, looking at Julius now, who seemed to be in a healthy shape, he could not help but feel his understanding was frivolous.
Subaru: His victimisation is, like Rem or Crusch-san……
Having her 『Memories』 eaten, and completely forgetting her own former self, was Crusch.
Having her 『Name』 eaten, and vanishing from the memories of people with not a single exception, and continuing to be in a deep slumber in that state, was Rem.
Victims of 『Gluttony』, the two young girls were sufferers Subaru was well acquainted with.
However, coming here, Julius had been trapped in a state different from those two. His own memories having not been lost, nor did he lose consciousness.
ーーHowever, from the memories of his surroundings, his existence had disappeared.
Subaru: Really, does nobody remember? If you attempt from one side……
Julius: I have already met with Anastasia-sama and Ricardo. For some reason, they treated me like an unacquainted person, I have endured that experience. Being unable to thank the one who shielded you, is displeasing, isn’t it.
Julius, reflexively, killed his sentiments and replied but, his smile which faintly had too much energy being put into it, or the tone of his words, naturally, were difficult for Subaru to behold. No matter how strong Julius’ consciousness may be as a knight, there is no way he could bear such mental stress with ease.
With the ruin of the relationships he had compiled, the fear and despair of losing the days he had lived personally.
That was the sense of loss Subaru had tasted, to the point of it being painful, when he had arrived into the different world at first.
Beatrice: What Subaru wants to say is understandable, in fact. But, unfortunately, even Betty does not remember that man, I suppose. Betty, is already outside of the Forbidden Library, in fact.
Sympathising with his intentions at a single call, Beatrice, with a difficult face, horizontally rotated her neck.
At Beatrice’s point, the confirmation Subaru had picked upーー that was, whether she remembered Julius or not.
As Emilia did not remember, naturally, there is no way Beatrice would remember. That was how it was supposed to be, but there was a possibility that Beatrice was an exception.
For some reason, Beatrice wasーー.
Subaru: Even though you remembered Rem.
Beatrice: It can be said as many times as you’d like, but rather, that case itself should be thought of as the exception, I suppose. And now, it should be thought that it has been proven with the man in front, in fact.
Subaru: In the end, that is the inference regarding your memories, huh.
It had been some time ago.
Some time ago, Beatrice, in the Forbidden Library, had once referred to Rem after her name had been eaten by 『Gluttony』. Subaru had questioned that after she had formed her contract, after the Forbidden Library had been lost but, this was one conclusion they had reached after their exchange.
Subaru: When isolated from the outside into the Forbidden Library, Beako does not get affected by what is outside of the room. That’s why the moment Rem’s name was eaten, no effect was taken…… is what I had thought, isn’t it. That’s why, once exited from the room, special treatment would not be given…… huh.
Beatrice: That tone, seems like there is a problem with Betty leaving the Forbidden Library, I suppose.
Subaru: N-Nothing like tha~t! I, am mammoth happy to be able to walk under the rays of the sun with you!
Beatrice: Eh, in fact.
And, within that short back and forth, lay the truth.
And, in fact, Beatrice exhibited no peculiarity regarding Julius. Beatrice’s inference was surely, that the barriers to her memory served their purpose only in the Forbidden Library.
Rather, in this case, the problem here was not Beatrice’s distinctivenessーー,
Emilia: But, why does Subaru remember Julius-san? Just like, the time with that Rem-san.
Subaru: That’s it.
The question, that would dawn upon everyone, was finally spoken by Emilia.
The sole person in the entire world who remembered Rem, whose 『Name』 had been eaten, Subaru.
Forgotten even across the preservation of the memories of Ram, who was her twin elder sister, however, Emilia and the others did not make a reference.
That must also be because, looking at Subaru connect to Rem with such devotion, they could not randomly speak regarding the memories, or make any implicitly believing rash remarks.
But, not just that, the ability to refute Subaru’s memories, could only be done by nothing else but having definite proof, which not a single one of them possessed.
However, it was different this time.
In this case, the concerned party who also remembered aside from Subaruーー in brief, Julius, who had been forgotten since his very beginning by the world, retained consciousness.
Naturally, the reconciliation of that mutual recognition and, the reason for Subaru being treated as the exception of the Authority of 『Gluttony』 gave rise to doubts.
Emilia: Does Subaru have any idea? No holding secrets, okay.
Subaru: I don’t intend to hide anything at all but…… I think I sort of do, I won’t say that.
Emilia: That, isn’t that a secret?
Subaru: If you can’t confirm it don’t declare it, I don’t think that’s secret keeping.
Conversing with Emilia, Subaru investigated the possibility of him being an exception.
The feeling that had uprisen in the very beginning, was the influence of the Witch Factor sleeping inside of Subaru. If the Authority of 『Gluttony』 of eating 『Memories』 or 『Names』 was the power of the Witch Factor then, it was conceivable, due to a certain cause, it may not apply upon Subaru, just like 『Unseen Hand』.
Perhaps, Subaru could 『Return by Death』 through the power of the 『Witch of Envy』. With the power of that 『Witch』 invoked, it may have had cancelled the effects of the Authority of 『Gluttony』.
And there was the remaining feeling of the exceptionality like that of Beatrice’s Forbidden Library.
That was, because Subaru belonged to a different world. Subaru was a human whose origin was from a different world, and not an existence who belonged to this world.
Not being an existence of this world, he doesn’t fall under the effect of the Authority which interfered with the concepts of this worldーー how was this hypothesis.
Subaru: However, if it’s the latter, then the way to confirm it is easy. Julius just has to meet with Al.
The sole person in this world, who was under the same circumstances as Subaru, was Al.
Regarding the exception of the Authority, if the latter hypothesis happened to be correct, Al must also be remembering Rem and Julius. Above all, the Al of this world and Rem had no acquaintanceship with each other, henceforth, it could not be confirmed.
Subaru: There’s no way he can say that even this time, huh.
Subaru: It’s regarding Emilia-tan’s question but, there’s something I want to confirm before answering that. Julius, you’ll have to come with me.
At Subaru’s voice, who cut short the chase, Emilia made a somewhat discontent expression.
He was keeping secrets, is what could perhaps be thought as well, but this was a measure necessary for attestation.
Above all, in the case if the hypothesis’ correctness being proven, what both Subaru and Al held in commonーー the part of both of them being trippers from a different world would be obscure, the ones whose hometowns lay beyond the Great Waterfall do not fall under the effect of the Authority, that absurd explanation would be the only option left.
Subaru: Don’t tell me, you won’t refuse, will you? It is regarding you, after all.
Julius: ーーI must state that I have no choice. It seems, under the present circumstance, you are rather knowledgeable regarding the condition inflicted upon me. I shall follow you.
Subaru: Why do you have such a delicately large attitude, you.
Whether the calmness had been restored through the conversation till now, the attitude of the elegant appearing Julius, with his jaw pulled in, returned. Regardless of appearances, the uprosen situation was too tough on his mind and heart. Not charming at all, was another way to put it.
Subaru: Suddenly getting absorbed in appearing admirable and increasing problems for the party in contact, huh…… Anyway, let’s go back to the shelters. I think now it’s the suitable time for all the people concerned to assemble too…… that’s it, what about Ricardo? He had taken part in the suppression together with you. He’s fine, right?
Julius: ……He did get injured whilst shielding me, but it should not have an effect on his life. He is currently being properly diagnosed by Ferris.
Subaru: ……Is that so. Then, that’s okay, I guess.
At Julius’ reply, Subaru innermost thoughts were half relief and half reflection.
To dissect, the relief of Ricardo’s safety, and the reflection of Julius’ insensitivity, who had directly inquired from the ones he had fought alongside with.
And at Subaru, whose voice diminished, Julius sighed,
Julius: I do not expect you to show friendly concern. If you conduct yourself the way you always do, it would be more comfortable for myself, after being in such perplex because of the environment. Well then, let’s return to the shelters.
Saying that, Julius, friendly, patted Subaru’s shoulder.
Julius: Though it’s not something too pleasant, there is no choice but to leave my introduction to you. The fruitless effort of the display in the hall of the royal election, it would help if you would withdraw that at this occasion.
Subaru: Don’t go about digging up people’s guiltful history! Shit, worrying for you was a mistake.
Pushing away the hand on his shoulder, Subaru turned towards Julius while stepping towards the shelter. Of course, he would not misunderstand by thinking that Julius’ reply just now were his true feelings.
Moderating Subaru’s feelings of guilt, he has simply given his reply in the need of a smart response.
He knew that. As he knew that,
Subaru: Am I, an idiot. No, I am an idiot.
Why must he now, uphold an attitude, of giving salvation to Julius’ heart.
He, who lost all others, above all, must be feeling the helpless anxiety of solitude, how could he mistake on his words and his judgements.
His own insensitivity was terribly irritating, and Julius was almost just as irritating as well.
In the situation where anxiety was natural, acting as normal was a strength of his as well.
That strength was surely, something which Subaru could never attain, despite his desire.
Until Julius were to be left as is, Subaru would certainly harbour his own sense of responsibility.
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Looking at the back of Subaru, who was heading towards the shelter, after having angered him, Julius’ lips’ edges curved into a slight smile.
It was a powerless smile, one which he could never let Subaru see, who had his back turned towards him.
Emilia: That face, do you intend to not show it to Subaru?
In that dim gap in his heart, a silver bell’s chime pounced in between. Turning back, there lay the line of sight of amethyst eyes towards Julius.
At that gaze, wearing gloom, Julius concealed his smile and shook his neck horizontally.
Julius: Meagre disposition, futile resistance of the defeated, that is what it is. Please do not point it out.
Emilia: Defeated you say……
Julius: Perhaps we, were the only ones who missed among those who headed to capture the control towers. Fully realising our great insufficiency, I now live in disgrace, and have been left alone in a prohibited state. Completely defeated.
With a stubborn attitude, Julius strongly brought attention to their defeat.
At his attitude, Emilia’s eyes wavered heartbreakingly. Emilia, at this moment, may have had been able to find the powerlessness of Julius’ heart.
Emilia: I’m sorry.
However, Emilia’s utterance was different from what Julius had been intending for.
At Julius, who raised his face, Emilia embraced her slender shoulders,
Emilia: The truth is, I don’t know what should I say to you, right now. I’m sure I must have had known you but still I cannot remember, and I can’t be reliable like Subaru.
Julius: ……In Subaru’s case, he should not be referred to much. He is the one that is the exception, isn’t it.
Emilia: Even still, I know you are being hurt. That’s why I cannot do anything but apologize and…… in regards to Subaru, thank you.
The fact that she thanked for Subaru, was unsettling.
Emilia sighed, at Julius, who furrowed his eyebrows.
Emilia: Julius-san’s current face, if Subaru saw it he would certainly be pained more. That’s why, thank you, for hiding it. I’m really sorry.
Julius: Please stop, Emilia-sama. It is not something to be thanked for, and furthermore…… furthermore you are making too much out of me. There is no need, for such consideration.
It was true. Julius, subjected to Emilia’s gaze, filled with innate kindness, could feel the inappropriate comfort.
With such admirable consciousness, it was not as if he had confirmed Subaru’s innermost thoughts. It was something much simpler, a much more uninteresting reason.
Julius: I don’t want him….. Subaru, to pity me. That is all there is to it.
Up front, drawing closer, gazing at Subaru’s stature, Julius declared. Pulling Beatrice’s sleeve, who was close to him, with a difficult expression, was Subaru.
At such a figure of Subaru, Julius was unable to discard his own powerlessness.
Why those thoughts, that reason wasーー.
Emilia: Just now, I feel I heard Julius-san’s true thoughts for the first time.
Emilia, continuing her steps, commented that about Julius’ words. Julius thoughtlessly rounded his eyes, and Emilia raised a single finger,
Emilia: It may not be of too much help but, I will also talk to everyone to try and convince them. That’s why, along with Subaru, trust us as well. Let’s go.
Julius: ……Yes. Also, Emilia-sama.
Calling a halt to Emilia, as she turned back, Julius elegantly bowed.
Though it may not be in her memories, it remained inside of him as if carved deeply, that courteous etiquette as both a knight and a noble.
Julius: Being called Julius-san by Emilia-sama, gives rise to a helpless sense of unpleasantness. Please refer to me as Julius, that way of reference.
Emilia: I, used to refer to you like that, isn’t it. ……I understand, Julius.
With a finger on her lips, Emilia consented. After that, Emilia drowned in thought, and shortly glanced at Julius, then proceeded to face towards the empty sky. And,
Emilia: Can I, ask something too?
Julius: What might it be.
Emilia: Right next to you, Minor spirits…… no, maybe Quasi Spirits. Those children, are flying about in seeming uneasiness…… did you know that?
Julius: ーーYes, I am aware. Because they are, buds that, being close to me, will eventually bloom.
Julius closed his eyes, at what Emilia has pointed out.
Right beside him, when he closed his eyes, he knew there were the Quasi spirits, wielding the power of six colours, flying about. However, those buds had no knowledge of why they were there.
That is why, for them,
Julius: My current self’s words will not reach them. Just like, the words for my master or my comrades.