THE HISTORY-ENGRAVING STARS
“The Sage’s Watchtower”
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Translated by :
- Ice (/u/Ice_Occultism)
Proofread by :
- Gracedharperd (/u/Gracedharperd)
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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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Anastasia: The Sage Shaula……
When Anastasia mentioned that name, a stir spread throughout the meeting place.
Whilst everyone exchanged glances with each other, and put on expressions like they couldn’t believe what they’d heard, only Subaru was left behind from this situation.
Subaru patted Emilia’s shoulder beside him whilst he put on a troubled expression, and said,
Subaru: Um, is this Sage Shaula someone famous?
Emilia: ……Subaru, you didn’t read the story of the Witch when you studied the alphabet? I thought that nursery-tale was in the book that you were reading a lot.
Subaru: The nusery-tale’s Witch….. Ah, in that picture book. Now that you mention it, I’d thought that the Witch’s story was listed as well for sure.
That which was pointed out by Emilia brought up old memories of a year ago in him.
Though he had been buried by the memories of those hectic days, a year ago, he’d studied the alphabet in a picture book for children――That was during the time when he’d just started to help out at the Roswaal Mansion.
It was a collection of classics that compiled the popular nursery-tales in this world, amongst them, there had been an illustrated one about the Witch of Envy for sure. However, in that tale…
Subaru: In all honesty, its contents weren’t that detailed, so I didn’t fully understand everything. The most I got out of it was that long ago, at a certain place, the Witch did something terrible.
Emilia: Was is really that vague……Ermmm, let me think.
???: The Witch of Envy is the symbol of terror that once brought chaos and ruin to this world.
When Emilia had sunk into thought on how she would have had to explain it to Subaru, who had displayed his ignorance, Julius, who was sitting opposite to her, opened his mouth instead of her.
Julius: All that was recorded was that she was a half elf with an infinitely cruel and ruthless personality, and that she had tremendous magical power which she controlled shadows with. Other than that, her name…… we only know that her name is Satella. Even now, the scars that being left behind on the world remain strong.
Subaru lifted his chin up at Julius’ explanation, who’d kept his emotions in check as best as he could.
He focused on giving a neutral explanation, but the change in his state of mind was painfully shown regardless, even though no one around them mentioned it. In the meantime, his explanation continued.
Julius: At the Great Waterfall at the far east of Lugnica, there’s a shrine made from Magical Sealing Stones. Even now, that Witch is sealed up in that shrine. Whilst she spews out a huge amount of miasma.
Subaru: ……I’d heard that she couldn’t be destroyed. But, how could they manage to seal such a powerful Witch?
Julius: That’s where the name of the Sage from before comes into play.
Julius nodded after he heard Subaru’s question.
The Knight touched the sword at his waist, and looked towards the end of the roundtable―― Right at the red-haired youth.
Julius: Four hundred years ago, three great heroes contributed to the sealing of the Witch of Envy. One of those was the Sword Saint, Reid Astrea―― The sword’s heaven-sent child who was the first to acquire the Divine Protection of the Sword Saint and the title which Reinhardt inherited.
(TL Note: The concept of a heaven-sent child is one that’s seemingly common in Japanese tradition. It refers to a child that was given as a result of a prayer to a deity. Many such exist in legend, folklore and I believe religion too, in Japan.)
Reinhardt: There’s also records that show that Reid Astrea, the first Sword Saint, did not have the Divine Protection. Not all known legends are unconditionally true. Of course, it’s a fact that Reid-sama built the current Astrea family and the name of the Sword Saint, though.
Reinhardt, who was said person’s descendant, supplemented what Julius, who was looking at him, had said.
However, considering it regarded his ancestor who’d accomplished great deeds that had been left behind in history, Reinhardt’s expression when talking about it was somewhat brooding. He also seemed to be worried about Julius when it came to that. It didn’t look like he was going to insist on the subject regarding the inherited Divine Protection.
In any case,
Subaru: So, the Sage was a companion of that Sword Saint, that’s the gist I’m getting.
Emilia: More accurately, the Sage Shaula, and the Divine Dragon Volcanica…… You know, the dragon that protects the Kingdom of Lugnica. It’s said that it started with a promise whereby Volcanica joined forces in battle to seal The Witch of Envy and now even to this day still watches over the Kingdom.
He’d heard the name of the Divine Dragon Volcanica many times back at the place where the Royal Selection candidates expressed their determination.
In his memories, the blood of the dragon had always been heralded as something able to bring fertility to ravaged earth, let one overcome any disease, and make one either immense or unrivaled.
Julius: It’s customary to call the Sword Saint, The Sage and the Divine Dragon as the Three Great Heroes. You ought to remember that.
Subaru: Whoaa, don’t get fired up….. I get it, thank you for the explanation.
Subaru raised his hand at Julius and Emilia, before then taking a glimpse at Beatrice. When she noticed Subaru’s gaze, she slowly shook her head.
Unfortunately, Beatrice didn’t seem to be familiar with the legend from 400 years ago.
Beatrice was an artificial spirit created by Echidna, but other than the necessary information to maintain the Forbidden Library, she’d been completely estranged from it. He got the impression that she didn’t know the behind the scenes circumstances around that matter because she’d been fairly impervious to the ways of the world due to shutting herself in for such a long time.
Subaru: I’m sorry for bringing the debate to a standstill. Let’s continue talking. But, this Sage Shaula….
After he apologised for interrupting the discussion, Subaru took the initiative to try and bring the conversation back to its original course. But, he noticed something strange whilst he talked, and he couldn’t help tilting his head at it.
He understood the background of the Sage Shaula, a hero from 400 years ago, but――,
Subaru: Eeh, What? She’s still living? After 400 years?
Emilia: Is that so strange…… I’m around a 100 years old as well in reality…..
Everyone Else: ――!?
On hearing Subaru’s mutter, a mystified look appeared across Emilia’s face as she put one of her fingers to her lips. The meeting place stirred a little at that murmur, but Subaru on the contrary only replied with a You have a point.
If he slowed down and thought about it, the half-elf Emilia’s real age was in excess of 100 years, and Beatrice was a Loli who was around 400 years old. It felt to him like Puck too had mentioned that he was 400 years old; in that case, didn’t that mean the average age of the Emilia Camp was about 100 years old, perhaps?
Subaru: Putting aside that pretty shocking fact…..What about the Sage’s current state.
Julius: They’re alive. ――On that, it seems that there’s no doubt.
Subaru frowned at Julius’ unclear response.
But, Julius was not the only one who couldn’t answer clearly, everyone around was the same. Especially, those of the Royal Guard, Ferris and Reinhardt, who looked troubled.
Subaru: Well, what does that mean?
Julius: Their whereabouts are known, and I dare say that them being alive is confirmed too. However, no human being has managed to exchange words with the Sage…..That’s the meaning of it, I guess.
Subaru: Once again, what does that mean?
They knew their whereabouts, and even though it was vague, they’d been able to confirm her as being alive. But, getting in contact with them was impossible.
He thought he could put all of those impressions together, but…
Julius: Currently, the Sage Shaula is in the tower near the Witch’s Shrine, and has always secluded herself there so to stop those who plan to revive the Witch of Envy. Always, since that time.
Subaru: ……For 400 years?
Julius: For 400 years.
It was an absurd story.
Beatrice, who had kept herself secluded in the Forbidden Library for 400 years was already quite a case, but that Sage Shaula, or whatever, was also quite a stubborn individual.
Ferris: : The tower which the Sage Shaula lives in―― That’s the Pleiades Watchtower, right? There, the esteemed Sage continues to toil night and day so to prevent the Witch’s Revival.
Subaru: ……Mhm, the tower’s name makes me think of something, but it’s of no importance, do continue.
Ferris: Even if you’re telling me to continue, that’s pretty much it y’know? The Sage Shaula gives it their all and continues to watch over the Shrine to ensure the peace of the world, that’s what is said.
And that is that, Ferris said whilst clapping with a sullen look on his face.
Even if he said that that was the end, it was clear from his attitude that the story hadn’t completely finished there, considering that what he’d said couldn’t explain the funeral-like mood around the meeting place.
Naturally, there must be some reason why they were like that――,
Subaru: Then, by any chance are they a troubling individual?
Anastasia: To ensure peace in the world, the Sage Shaula continues ta watch ova’ the Witch……Their name is known far and wide throughout the world. I’ve known about ‘em too since the time I was in Kararagi. But, at the same time, the Sage Shaula is also known in this other way.
Anastasia smiled gracefully, pausing between her words for a second.
And then, whilst looking at Subaru, who had a bad feeling about this, she spoke.
Anastasia: The Sage Shaula is someone with extreme trust issues who can’t trust a single soul. ――No matta’ what the purpose of those approaching the Watchtower ‘n the Shrine may be, she massacres all of ‘em, or so I hear.
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――They were like that according to Anastasia’s explanation.
The Sage Shaula built the Pleiades Watchtower and continued to watch over the Witch’s Shrine.
So far there had been many people who had tried to get in contact with the Sage, but all their plans failed and they gave up.
That was because of the interference of no other but the Sage Shaula themself.
Anastasia: The Great Waterfall in the far east of Lugnica….. It seems that the Witch’s Shrine ‘n the Watchtower are near there, but the Sage doesn’ know which of the two people are aimin’ to approach, wouldn’cha think?
Therefore, the Sage killed indiscriminately regardless of whether it was a wretched Witch Cultist who was trying to find the Witch’s Shrine, or a person who was trying to get in friendly contact with the Sage of the Watchtower.
The subject’s good or evil, their likes and dislikes, their righteousness or malintent all didn’t matter, since that was the best way forward.
As a result, there weren’t any reports or records left behind of anyone being able to get in contact with the Sage Shaula in all of these 400 years.
Ferris: Buuuut, since the situation where they attack anyone approaching has been going on and on, we can just be sure that the Sage Shaula is still in the Watchtower even nyow.
Subaru: They sure are a damn annoying Sage….
Ferris: It’s nyot like that. In fact, there are many Witch Cultists who try to get near to the Shrine, more than you can imagine, Subaru-kyun. The Sage-san deals with every single one of them, they’re just steadfastly keeping by their goal of preventing the revival of The Witch of Envy.
Even though he had stated his positive opinion, Ferris’ expression didn’t clear up. All the Royal Guard members had the same unrestful look on their face, for that to have happened, there may have been an experience where the Sage had dished out a painful lesson to the extent of the Royal Guard.
On the other hand, Subaru nodded at Ferris’ sugarcoated opinion.
Certainly, if you looked at it from the do whatever it takes to achieve the goal point of view, it would be incredibly annoying, but if you took into account the evil nature of a Witch Cultist, it was a natural precaution.
Rather, it was because there was someone who continued to keep guard over the Witch of Envy that it was conceivable to even think that this world had some sort of security system in effect against the Witch of Envy
Priscilla: Fleeting is the night, mineself cares not about the true colours of the hermit who lives in trepidation insofar as time permits them to. What’s important is the fact that they are borrowing mine limited time. Mineself will return post-haste to the inn if you continue with this useless prattle. I have to get Schult to massage my feet.
Schult: Y-yes ma’am. Priscilla-sama has worked hard and is greatly fatigued! I appreciate that with all my heart.
Having been embraced and buried in her huge breasts, Schult had replied with a red face. Priscilla, who’d stroked the boy with the smile of a villainess on her face, hadn’t found much worth in this conference in the first place.
It was something of a miracle that she’d come all the way here without throwing a tantrum.
Felt: Even though like I’m not on that Princess’s side, I also agree that we gotta get back on topic soon. Tell us, about the Sage.
Felt demanded that they cut back to the main topic, a look of impatience adorning her face.
Agreeing with that state of affairs, Subaru turned to look back at Anastasia.
Subaru: Though we’ve kept interrupting you over and over, what did you say is up with this reclusive Sage?
Anastasia: Sooo, the story finally goes back ta the start.
Anastasia clapped her hands. And then, she looked over at the faces of everyone sat at the roundtable whilst still gently touching her fox scarf,
Anastasia: ――Like everyone knows, the Sage Shaula helped with the sealing of The Witch of Envy with their unparalleled wisdom ‘n magical power. As well as a wide range of insight that’s said they see through the world with, and knowledge that’s said they know everythin’ about this world. If both of those are true without exaggeration…… Then doncha think they should know someway ta do somethin’ about what the Witch Cult left behin’ as well?
Subaru: ……But, isn’t what you’re saying just wishful thinking really?
Anastasia: Does that mean yer against it Natsuki-kun?
Even though it seemed like she’d returned his question with another one, an answer for Anastasia’s one was difficult.
Trying to rely on it if he simply just looked at their title of Sage was the honest recourse. In respect to that, Subaru didn’t think it was even a bad idea. If they were someone who’d accomplished achievements that went as far as remaining in legend, then maybe they really did know a way to counteract the Witch Factors of Sin.
But, a different anxiety had taken ahold of Subaru.
The name of the Sage Shaula, and the Pleiades Watchtower where they lived. Those two keywords didn’t allow him to obediently accept her proposal.
Because Shaula and Pleiades were both words which Subaru was familiar with.
According to Subaru’s modern knowledge, Shaula was the name corresponding to the second brightest star of Scorpio.
The Pleiades from the Pleiades Watchtower was far more explicit, in that it was the name of the star cluster known as the Pleiades Cluster―― Its name in Japanese was Subaru.
Of course, he didn’t think it was anything that denoted Natsuki Subaru, but the name of the celestial bodies which he knew about cropping up in this world was enough for his alert levels to rise to the MAX.
The Witch Cult’s Sin Archbishops――Petelgeuse, Regulus, Sirius, Capella, Alphard, Batenkaitos.
Currently, all of the Sin Archbishops whose names had come to light bore the names of stars from Subaru’s world in their names; it was impossible to not hold preconceived notions towards the Sage Shaula and the Pleiades Watchtower.
Ferris: Putting aside Subaru-kyun’s dissenting opinion…..
Ferris cut into the conversation in place of Subaru, who’d remained taciturn without coming up with a successful objection. He placed his finger on his cheek, and whilst he assumed his normal attitude with the exception of a stern look in his eyes, he said,
Ferris: The view itself of visiting the Sage Shaula may be good, but isn’t it an issue on how we will do it? Is there any way? Even when no one has managed to reach the Watchtower.
Felt: The reason no one has is ‘cause the Sage is too strong, that’s the story right?
Felt raised a question at Ferris’ tantalising words, whilst she crossed her legs on top of her chair. She gave a fleeting look in Reinhardt’s direction.
I see, if it just meant simply not being a match for the Sage’s powers, then…
Felt: We could manage it if it’s Reinhardt, right? He has no other use except being strong, but when it comes to jus’ that, he’s insaaaane.
Reinhardt: It’s unusual that Felt-sama gives me praise, thank you very much.
Felt: This is what I meant.
Felt sullenly tch’ed at Reinhardt’s response. However, immediately after that, Reinhardt lowered his eyebrows as if he were troubled.
Like that, he spoke out with a But…., prefacing it apologetically,
Reinhardt: Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach the Watchtower. I lacked the strength.
Felt: ……This guy lacking strength…, isn’t that a lil’ alarming?
Julius: He doesn’t mean a lack of combat power, Felt-sama. There’s no area in this world that Reinhardt’s true strength wouldn’t reach, I’d say. But, the Pleiades Watchtower is a different problem to such impediments.
Ferris: So you know the details….. Though, if you were a Royal Guard, that’s natural I guess.
Ferris’s face turned to one of discomfort on hearing Julius follow up Reinhardt’s words. Looking at the strained relations between between the three Royal Guards from the corner of his eye, Subaru spoke out to Reinhardt, and said,
Subaru: What was your purpose in trying to meet the Sage?
Reinhardt: It was an order from the Kingdom. For a cure for the disease, that it was. ――It was about two years ago.
Subaru: Two years ago……
The phrases disease and two years ago allowed Subaru to understand the circumstances.
Two years ago from today, the members of the Royal Family fell ill one after the other to an unknown disease, right at the Royal Castle. It was an epidemic where no cure was known―― Most likely, they ordered Reinhardt to get in contact with the Sage so to learn a cure for that disease.
But he didn’t accomplish it, that explained the gloomy faces of the three Royal Guards.
Reinhardt: The Watchtower and the Shrine, they’re at the Great Waterfall at the eastern edge of Lugnica―― Surrounded by the Augria Sand Dunes. The Watchtower can be seen in the distance from the entrance of the sand dunes. So you shouldn’t lose sight of that place, but……
Reinhardt: There are many strange phenomenons that occur frequently in the sand dunes, so that you can’t get closer to the Watchtower. One theory says that it’s due to the miasma that’s seeping out from the Shrine.
Reinhardt: On top of that, the Augria Sand Dunes have turned into a haunt for Witchbeasts who are drawn in by the miasma. In that land full of miasma, the ferocity and strength of the Witchbeasts is off the charts. Even in that sense, going there in the first place is considered to be suicidal.
Subaru: So it’s a wayward desert WITH a haunt for Witchbeasts. For sure it’s hell……
In addition to the troublesomeness of the Sage themselves, there was a desert which not even Reinhardt could cross, and a metric ton of Witchbeasts which roamed the desert―― Regarding this, the factors for abandoning the ploy were too many.
It was understandable that getting in touch with the Sage hadn’t been achieved even once over the period of 400 years.
Anastasia: ――Yes, but what if there was a way ta cross that hell?
Everyone raised their faces up at her sudden words just as a gloomy atmosphere had begun to enshroud them.
Anastasia smiled in satisfaction on account of having butted in at precisely the right moment. Then, she nodded so that everyone could see,
Anastasia: There is, that’s why I even bothered ta mention the Sage’s name.
Ferris: Anastasia-sama from Kararagi, you know a means to reach the Sage whose been in seclusion for 400 years, at this time? ……What sort of means is it?
Anastasia: Ya ruin yer pretty face. I’m goin’ ta explain it ta ya even without that bristly face.
Carelessly turning aside Ferris, who’d gotten himself worked up, Anastasia removed her scarf from her neck.
And then, she unrolled her scarf on top of the roundtable and lifted the head part,
Anastasia: I mentioned her before the defensive battle, my artificial spirit, Echidna. This little’n knows a way ta the Pleiades Watchtower. ――That’s why we can go ‘n meet the Sage of the Watchtower.
Subaru’s breath caught on hearing Anastasia’s declaration.
The artificial spirit Echidna, that being that disguised itself as a fox scarf was the key to reaching the Sage.
???: ――I’m receiving so much attention, huh. You’re making me blush!
Saying that, the fox spirit lifted her neck.
Subaru didn’t know how much he could trust her, just like the Witch which she’d borrowed her name from.