Various discussions were had, along with complications with the travelers. Many problems were had when saying goodbyes to the people left behind, but still, the morning where they’d leave had finally arrived.
[Subaru: And so, it turned out to be a bigger group than I thought, but……]
Subaru folds his arms as he gazes at the people who would travel along the “Tour to Conquer the Sage’s Tower”.
The two camps to participate were the Emilia camp and Anastasia camp. Of course, the Emilia camp consisted of Subaru, Emilia, and Beatrice, along with Rem, who continued to sleep, and Ram, who accompanied her. It was a total of five people. There was Anastasia, the guide for the Augra Sand Dunes, and Julius, the knight. Then there was Meili, who was brought along as a “Mabeast User” to let them pass by the groups of mabeasts that were there at the sand dunes.
If having a simple plan was the goal, then they had a lot of the people who were involved in rescuing Priestella, and in regards to commanding people, Subaru had experience with the subjugation of the white whale, as well as the battle with sloth.
However, simply moving towards faraway land――these 8 key people for that journey had no experience.
[Subaru: Wonder if it’ll actually be fine……]
[Emilia: Worried about something, Subaru?]
He tilts his head, and when he was imagining the distant future, he saw Emilia pop up in his vision. Subaru clears his throat with a “Hm” at the girl wearing a lightweight dress for traveling afar and says
[Subaru: When I think about the place we’re going to, I can’t stop being nervous. When I stop thinking about it…..I feel afraid about going to a dangerous place with a large group of people, since it’s hard to help everyone when there’s that many people.]
[Emilia: You may be right. Rem and Ram are coming along too. Subaru will have to be protected by Meili and Anastasia.]
[Subaru: What the!? I’m already being treated as someone who won’t fight!?]
[Emilia: Come on, Subaru. Obviously it’s just a joke. You’re going to take this seriously, after all.]
When Subaru suddenly screeched at Emilia, who made a fist, she started to laugh, as she couldn’t handle it. Subaru laughed after that reaction, but the stiffness of his slight smile was forgiving of her joke.
Emilia was actually a lot better in fights than Subaru. From Emilia’s point of view, Subaru was someone who should be protected――of course, she didn’t mean to think of him only as that, but…
[Subaru: The next specific thing to feel uneasy would be……]
When Subaru took a breather from his conversation with Emilia, he turned his attention towards the front.
They were already at the Roswaal residence’s front garden, and the preparations to depart were going smoothly. Then, what Subaru saw was close to 10 people transporting a large passenger carriage. Two earth dragons were linked together with their heads for pulling the dragon carriage. Both were races that were adequate to travel long distances.
The problem were was the situation next to the dragon carriage. There was the jet black earth dragon casually standing still, and there was a small silhouette that came face to face with her snout as they glared at each other.
Subaru lets out a shocked sigh at that situation, and he breaks in between the two that stared at each other.
[Subaru: You’ve been exaggerated as a mabeast user, but can you not get along with earth dragons too?]
[Meili: Come on, Onii-san. Can you not misunderstand me? The only animals I can discipline are ones that are bad and have horns. Any other animal won’t like me, as I’m someone who carries a stink.]
[Subaru: So that’s how it is………isn’t it rough like that?]
Subaru shrugs his shoulders at Meili’s explanation, and pets the nose of Patrasche, who glared at her. When Subaru touched this very prideful female earth dragon, it took a blunt sniff of his hand’s stink.
It was as if she was doing this to override the stink of the girl in front of her with Subaru’s stink.
[Subaru: It’s really unusual to see Patrasche be this blunt, as she is someone who is tolerant and good at being considerate…….seems like she’s really hard to hit off with.]
[Meili: I can be relevantly friendly with other animals, but that earth dragon is too attached to Onii-san. She is so attached that it feels like if I let my guard down, I will get bitten. Onii-san, if you don’t discipline her properly, I’ll become that animal’s food, so be careful.]
[Subaru: Don’t say such scary things like it’s nothing…….Patrasche, woah woah.]
Subaru calms down the slightly agitated loving dragon and lets Meili ride on it. Furthermore, this “mabeast user” who traveled with them had little luggage. She was a girl who rarely carried any belongings. But even then, she brought the stuffed panda Subaru made. The childish charm she had was lovely.
[Anastasia: Looks like you’re having trouble Natsuki-kun, since you’re always trying to please girls.]
[Subaru: ……If you think so, then it’d make me happy if you could stop taking up my time.]
When he pushed Meili onto the dragon carriage, Anastasia called out to him with a teasing tone. Anastasia――even though she was called this, inside she was the white fox Echidna.
On the remaining 20 days from Priestella to the mansion, most of the differences were buried. Even if she would do Anastasia’s job like this, it seemed like it would eventually become hard to tell them apart.
[Anastasia: I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t doubt me like that. Didn’t I tell you that I have no motive? Hence, I’ve volunteered to be your guys’ guide for a dangerous path.]
[Subaru: Including that point too, my stance is that there’s a possibility of you having various plans, considering your creator. I’ve said this many times too, so remember it. It’s not like I don’t wont want to believe you. It would make me feel a lot more at ease if I could believe you.]
[Anastasia: It’s not amusing being at a disadvantage like this by not remembering someone. It seems like my creator made me not have memory in order to displease you.]
[Anastasia: That’s why you shouldn’t get so angry. Geez, it’s scary.]
When he glared at Eridna, who went back to herself midway, she went back to disguising herself as Anastasia and pouted with her lips. With that, she passed by Subaru and stepped into the dragon carriage.
After that, the number of people was――
[Roswaal: Subaru-kun, can I speak to you too for a bit?]
When he was called out to and turned around, he saw Roswaal coming out of the mansion’s entrance way.
Next to the Margrave in a clown outfit, there was Emilia and Julius. Roswaal turned towards them, thinking about how unusual the combination was, and looked at the three people as he closed one eye.
[Roswaal: First off, I imagine that this journey will take almost two months. Just from that, I’m thinking about the unforeseen situations that might come along midway. If you have Emilia-sama and Anastasia-sama to deal with the problems every time, then I don’t think there will be any serious errors, buuuut…….]
[Emilia: Yeah, you can count on me. It’s not like I sat around being idle either, after all.]
[Roswaal: Those words are reassuring. I’m honestly happy with Emilia-sama’s growth. …….Alright, putting aside the unease along the journey as something that will be taken care of individually, there is one person you must pay attention to. ――It’s Ram.]
Roswaal said that with a lower voice, and it made Subaru and the others’ expressions change.
Emilia’s eyes twitch, while Subaru’s cheeks stiffen as if he was going into deep thought. And then Julius, the only person who was unrelated to the camp at this place, frowned slightly.
[Julius: About that, how about I stay with her? Sir Mathers, as Anastasia’s knight, the state of camp affairs are……although I am a mere servant, I should understand that revealing them wouldn’t be a good idea.]
[Roswaal: It’s not like I proposed the idea without caring about anything and anyboooody. Julius Juukulius-dono. After seeing your behavior at your mansion and the way you behave with Subaru-kun, I’ve come to understand that you are a reliable person. I would like you to think about that, in regards to the previous favor.]
[Subaru: This is the shadiest you’ve sounded in a long time, Ros-chi.]
[Emilia: Sorry, I kinda thought so too……]
When Roswaal replied to Julius’ worry with a serious voice, Subaru and Emilia both raised their hands up almost at the same time and teased him.
Even without considering the previous offense, what Roswaal said was too uncharacteristic of himself. He said “It’s not liiike that”, perhaps because he himself was aware of how it was uncharacteristic. He gives a wry smile at Subaru and the others and says
[Roswaal: Weeell, maybe my lack of persuasion just can’t be helped. Julius-kun doing everything he can about other camps finding faults……I really did think of how greedy of a personality he had. That’s why I want you to listen too. This is a matter of life or death, you know.]
[Julius: Life or……]
When Julius whispered that with an extremely serious face, Roswaal said “Yes, your life”, and nodded.
[Roswaal: Just like Subaru-kun and Emilia-sama know, Ram’s constitution is just a little special. The vessel in her body takes in too much ability, which fills it up. Or perhaps you could say that the fuel to correspond with the flame called ability isn’t ready.]
[Subaru: ……I’m not that informed on it for you to say “Just like Subaru-kun and Emilia know”.]
[Roswaal: Is that so? Theeen, how about her being part of the oni clan?]
[Subaru: Well that’s…….]
Of course, he knew about Ram and Rem being part of the oni clan.
He was saved more than twice by Rem, who could exert her oni power to heart’s content as she grew her horn. He also heard from Ram herself about how she lost her horn and was “hornless”.
Therefore, Subaru thought that it wasn’t really something that was surprising, but
[Julius: ――Oni clan, you say?]
The person who lowered his voice and revealed his astonishment was the person next to him, Julius. On his handsome face, he had his eyebrows lifted and you could see disturbance in his yellow eyes.
[Julius: I’ve heard that the oni clan has been destroyed.]
[Roswaal: About 10 years ago, the last village burned down, Ram was the last survivor…..sorry, including Rem, the survivors were the two sisters.]
He spoke about it in an implicate way, but Subaru did not butt into the conversation. He was more surprised at how those sisters were rarer than he expected, more than he was irritated.
[Emilia: Is there a reason for the oni clan’s peril?]
[Roswaal: ……Don’t worry, Emilia-sama. The downfall of the oni-clan was an inevitable from natural selection. It’s a result of them not going along with the flow of the times and clinging onto old customs. They definitely didn’t lower in numbers because of discrimination and prejudice and collapsed.]
Emilia makes an understanding, melancholic look at Roswaal’s explanation.
Emilia had a rare birthplace, being treated as a half elf. It was natural for her to feel unease and sympathy for the two of them being left behind and the oni clan going into ruins.
[Subaru: We get that those two are all the members of the oni clan. So, then what?]
Subaru senses the conversation starting to stagnate, so he moved the conversation with an intentionally loud voice. When Emilia and Julius lifted their faces in response to that voice, Roswaal touched his chin and said
[Roswaal: Putting aside Rem, who hasn’t been acting with her body, there is a deficiency in Ram’s body, just like I said earlier. This is because she lost an organ that is important for the oni clan. That organ is the horn. Essentially, the enormous amount of mana in compensation for the horn to move the body――that isn’t prepared, so her body is always being ruined by pain and fatigue.]
[Emilia: That’s how it is…….!?]
[Roswaal: It isn’t unthinkable for you to be surprised. That girl is too firm. Not once has that caused her to have a frown on her face, after aaall.]
In response to Emilia, who choked, Roswaal shook his head slowly.
Subaru was also surprised alongside with Emilia. He knew that Ram had no horn. From Rem’s words, he also knew about how Ram had abilities that stood out before she lost her horn.
It’s just that, there was another penalty for lacking a horn that wasn’t the decline of ability. He didn’t realize it was continuing to ruin her, even now.
[Julius: ――I see. I’ve come to understand Sir Mathers’ thoughts.]
Then, Julius suddenly says that, only hearing the conversation to that stage, and he nods. Roswaal says “Hmm” and raises his eyebrows in response to that, and then Subaru and Emilia look at each other too.
These things just happened because of them confirming Ram’s constitution. Julius continued to caress his bangs in front of Subaru and the others, who were shocked, as if he understood Roswaal’s request.
[Julius: The oni race have traits like manipulating an enormous amount of mana, and fighting strength with their strong bodies. The essential thing that supports those two traits is the horn, which no other species has. ――If an oni’s horn fails to fulfill its role and he/she suffers, there has to be a replacement that fulfills the role of the “horn”.]
[Roswaal: I see that having your name taken away has been so frustrating that it’s made you smart. Being able to see through me that much with just this makes me feel gooood.]
[Emilia: Oh, so that’s how it is……]
Roswaal admires Julius for his explanation. Emilia also claps her hands from achieving understanding. The one person who was still perplexed and left behind was Subaru.
When the situation came to magical powers, Subaru was nothing but slow to understand them, as he was an amateur.
[Subaru: Don’t just understand it by yourselves like that. What exactly does this mean?]
[Julius: It’s easy. Miss Ram’s body is seeking the same amount of mana from the outside like when she had a horn. She lost her horn, and if she can’t find the mana, then someone needs to find a way to give that mana. ……That’s where we can come in.]
[Roswaal: Although, normally I would take that role and supply her secretly at niiight.]
Subaru’s thoughts connected from Julius’ lecture and Roswaal’s words.
Every night, he would see Ram go to where Roswaal was with excitement. To be honest, Subaru looked away from the vividness of the suspicious relationship between the master and the maid.
Thinking about it again after understanding the circumstances, perhaps it was that sort of thing.
[Roswaal: Something come to your mind, Subaru-kun?]
[Subaru: N-no, nothing important. Go ahead and continue.]
[Roswaal: You sure?]
Even though he cleared up the misunderstanding he had for over a year, it wasn’t worth correcting himself.
Roswaal’s relatives were explosive with shadiness with how they have tried to meet with the witch Echidna for generations and generations. It was hard to forget about how Roswaal himself was remarkably attached to Echidna. He understood that he wasn’t fooling around with Ram, and on the contrary, he knew how he was attached.
[Julius: There’s a problem though, Sir Mathers. It’s about that request. I feel like I’m not competent enough to take it up.]
To the side of Subaru, who was having useless thoughts, Julius shook his head apologetically, which makes Roswaal squint his eyes.
[Roswaal: “Humbly speaking, perhaps I won’t support people from a different camp”……seems like that isn’t your intention. Offering Ram mana would require fire, water, wind, and earth attributes. Just from those, you would be more fit for the job, rather than Emilia-sama.]
[Julius: Sir Mathers, you probably have expectations for me because of these girls around me.]
Julius says that, being somewhat frail with a smile. Then, the man who responded reveals faint light flying around, and they saw the flickering of six kinds of light.
They were known as the six Quasi Spirits that Julius contracted with――however, as of right now
[Julius: About my buds……as of now, their connection with me is gone. Though, as long as they still have their original titles, I don’t have any qualms in accepting a request.]
[Roswaal: Your contract with the spirits have been severed from having your name taken away……huh. That being said, it seems like the spirits aren’t trying to leave you.]
[Julius: Perhaps there are remains of the lost connection inside of them. Or maybe they were bleached and the contract is still there just because of how they can’t see…….either way, I am only being saved by these buds’ affection with how they’re not abandoning someone unskilled like myself. I don’t have much left in me, so I wonder if I’ll be able to help with my poor abilities.]
Julius talks about the connection with the Quasi Spirits and sighs. After that, he looked at Subaru just for a second. Subaru could not instantly figure out what he wanted with that look, so all he could only look troubled.
[Julius: ――As of right now, I am merely a devoted knight. My apologies.]
[Roswaal: I seeee. That’s too bad. It is serious damage, but……]
[Emilia: It’s fine. If Julius can’t do it, then leave it up to me.]
Roswaal also lowered his tone at Julius, who felt sad, but the person who took his place and puffed up with pride was Emilia. When she energetically went in front of him, she brought out her own lesser spirits around her.
[Emilia: They’re a little different from Julius’ quasi spirits, but if they’re the lesser spirits, then I can borrow their powers too. The fire attribute is too strong with just my magic, but if I can borrow the powers of lesser spirits, then I can use other magical powers too. How’s that sound?]
[Roswaal: Of course, it won’t just be him. I also felt like making the request to Emilia-sama, so there shouldn’t be a problem if she feels like doing it. Hooowever, I think there will be extreme trouble at first with stabilizing the magical power. For assistance with that, please ask Beatrice for help.]
[Roswaal: Beatrice is reeeaally excellent with magical power theories and using them. Right now she is connected with Subaru-kun, so I feel like it’s some really wasted talent, but things are working out by using the lacking magical power, right? In regards to that knowledge, I would like you to refer yourself to Emilia-sama for that.]
[Subaru: Don’t call it lacking magic. But, I understand.]
There wasn’t any problem if Ram’s burden would become lighter through Emilia and Beatrice’s cooperation.
Subaru started to understand, but right after he nodded, he cocked his head in puzzlement.
[Subaru: No wait. If that’s the case, then why are you telling me instead of directly saying it to Beatrice. I mean, I want to listen too, but it would be logical to tell this to Beako.]
[Roswaal: Because if I talk to Beatrice, obvioouusly she will say it’s meaningless and will refuse. Beatrice is more stingy with me than you think. Perhaps you could be a bit mooore lenient with your criticism towards me.]
[Subaru: Ah, not happening. If I had to say which side I’m on, I would say that I’m completely on Beatrice’s side, after all.]
He declined Roswaal’s request with ease, who had a pathetic look on his face.
Things were done and that fact couldn’t be changed. It wasn’t a ditch where they were buried over about a year. The times weren’t so nice that he’d simply open his heart with someone who he may have been killed by, had the events been a bit different.
[Subaru: Now that I think about it, isn’t it a bit troubling how I am doing things with people who’ve killed me and people who’ve beaten me up…….?]
[Emilia: Ah, Subaru. You look like you’re getting carried away with yourself.]
[Subaru: Do i really look like that sometimes!?]
Anyhow, he accepted Roswaal’s request.
Emilia and Beatrice would handle Ram. Emilia was motivated to do it, so there shouldn’t be any problem if Subaru talked to Beatrice later.
[Roswaal: I’m counting on you, Subaru-kun.]
[Subaru: Huh, that was really praising of you. You rarely ever say things like that.]
[Roswaal: You are becoming admirable. ――This is the first time I’ve said to keep Ram away from my side, after all.]
That was the only thing he said that didn’t give off a joking feeling. Roswaal said that with a serious voice.
When he looked away from Subaru’s face, he looked up at the blue sky.
[Roswaal: Ram and I should have no memory of the younger sister. But, she reeeeally does have something that impresses me. Seeing Ram emotionally going against my opinion like that terrifies me. ――So, I want to ask you guys to talk to her.]
[Subaru: …..Yeah, I’ll remember that.]
Ram still devoted herself to Roswaal after the incident at “Sanctuary”.
Even when Roswaal said that anything and everything came second after the one and only thing that was important, Ram still had an opinion, as someone who went to such lengths to devote herself.
if you could call that a change, then by no means was it a bad one.
Or at least, it was far better being human and worrying with unmanageable emotions than it was burdening friends as an incomprehensible monster.
[Roswaal: ――Seems like it’s time.]
Before he could speak, Roswaal turned around.
The mansion’s door opens behind him, and four girls appeared on the other side. All of them were the Roswaal residence’s maids. Seeing them all together was a pretty magnificent view.
That being said, one of the girls was sleeping, and another girl, who looked extremely similar to the sleeping one, had an appearance to prepare for the journey, so their beauty was slightly lacking.
[Frederica: Roswaal-sama, the preparations for the two are set.]
[Roswaal: I appreciate your efforts. ――Ram, be careful on the trip.]
Roswaal responds to Frederica, who gave her report very quietly, and called out to Ram, who was equipped for the journey. When Ram heard that, she pinched the edge of her skirt and bowed politely.
[Ram: Roswaal-sama, thank you for granting my selfish request. I will definitely bring back results to show my respect.]
[Roswaal: I’ll be looking forward to it. Although, make sure you don’t do anything unreasonaaable. Also, make sure Emilia-sama and Subaru-kun don’t do anything unreasonable either. That is also part of your role too, after aaaall.]
[Ram: I am fully aware of that.]
He wanted to give a retort like “I don’t want to hear that coming from you!”, but Ram’s look made him silent. Subaru gave in to that look, and looked at the short figure next to Ram.
Rem was there. She was in clothes suitable for the trip, and was now being carried by Petra’s wheel chair――she was on something Subaru reproduced from his original world through his memory.
A model of the wheelchair had already existed in this world, but it had quite the amount of work put into the remodeling; it had a caster like front wheel that wouldn’t be a hindrance when changing directions, along with a scaffold and a seat. Of course, a seat belt and a cushion to protect her head were implemented as well.
It was a one of a kind wheelchair that Subaru insisted on making to Roswaal, and he made it with his own money.
[Subaru: I’m worried about the maintenance when we get far, but…..]
[Frederica: Subaru-sama is a little handy, and the materials are what they are, so I think it could handle being used for two months. Of course, please don’t do anything unreasonable.]
[Petra: Please be careful, Subaru……..-sama.]
He receives Frederica’s consent, and is entrusted the wheelchair’s handle from Petra. He accepts it, and when he went behind Rem, he felt a lot more ease this way compared to carrying her and going forward.
This was because the road was pavement, and so it wouldn’t be effective in the desert, on grass, or on gravel.
[Subaru: OK, looks like it’ll work. Petra, Frederica, you guys take care too.]
[Frederica: Please leave Roswaal-sama up to us.]
[Petra: We’ll be taking care of Otto-san and Garfiel-san too.]
Petra and Frederica respond to Subaru as they nod at him while he moved the wheelchair.
Even if the trip took two months, Otto and the others at Priestella would probably be healed and they should come back to the Roswaal residence.
He left that up to the maids, who would take care of stuff while they were gone. Subaru pushed the wheelchair and turned towards the dragon carriage.
[Subaru: Alright then, it’s regretful, but I guess we should depart now.]
[Ram: Why do I have to be bossed around by Barusu? Don’t get so full of yourself.]
[Subaru: I’m not bossing you around, though. How about you take over then?]
[Ram: Do I look that shameless to you? I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t make me behave like that, as a maid who needs to be graceful and considerate.]
[Subaru: What is up with you? Are you at that age where you can do nothing but complain?]
[Ram: That’s not really it. It’s just that…]
Ram cuts off her sentence, and gives a meaningful look at Subaru’s hand. As of right now, Subaru was pushing Rem’s wheelchair.
Subaru guessed the meaning of that look, and he let out a deep sigh.
[Subaru: If you want to change places, then just say so…….]
[Ram: If you think about why I’m coming and my purpose, then letting me handle her is a given. ……As for guessing what I wanted without me putting it into words, I guess I can see you in a better light. Just a little.]
When Subaru reluctantly gave up his position, Ram took his place and pushed the wheelchair. She showed care for her sleeping sister sitting on the wheelchair as it slowly headed to the dragon carriage and went forward.
Subaru opened and closed his hand for no reason as he saw them off. Then, a small hand gently grabbed his hand from the side.
[Subaru: Oh, it’s Beako.]
[Beatrice: You don’t have to make a pathetic look like that. It’s not like your feelings for that girl are weaker than the feelings her sister has, so you don’t have to worry, I suppose. Just be yourself, and do what you can do, I suppose.]
[Subaru: That’s not quite…….or well, that’s how it is?]
It wasn’t as if he felt like his role was taken away from him, but looking from the outside, perhaps the look on his face indicated that he didn’t understand it that way.
Subaru touches his cheek with the hand that wasn’t occupied, pulls on it, and pinches it. Then, this time his hand was taken by a different white hand.
[Emilia: Yeah yeah, I’ll take that hand.]
[Subaru: Ohfu, Emilia-tan……]
[Beatrice: After that girl wakes up, it’ll be easy for both of your hands to get occupied. I’m interested in seeing what Subaru will do about that.]
[Emilia: Ah, I might be interested in that too.]
Subaru gets caught in between Emilia and Beatrice, and he makes gives a troubled look. However, he was only returned with a serious look and an anticipating look.
To make matters worse, Petra’s look was piercing him from behind, and Ram was even throwing him a cold, scornful look in front of the dragon carriage as she turned around.
He was being unbelievably surrounded on all sides――then, Julius let’s out a “Hmm”, as he saw that and gave a nod. In response to that desiring reaction, Subaru gave a grand smile.
[Subaru: What is it? If you want to say something, say it. Alright, go ahead!]
[Julius: Really? Alright then, I’ll just say one thing. ――You really could not be more blessed, being surrounded by beautiful girls like that. I can’t help feeling a lot of doubt about whether or not you’re satisfying all of those flowers with your hands.]
[Subaru: What is this? I’m starting to get blamed!? Did I do something wrong!?]
Julius shrugged his shoulders with a shocked face. The pathetic shout Subaru gave him went up into the sky.
Unfortunate for him, there was no domestic officials or top officers at this place to follow up on his statement.
Subaru had no choice but to fight alone in this upcoming two month journey.
He understood that reality. He felt the trust and the deep affection he had towards the warmth he felt from his hands fill up his chest. He felt anxiety in his chest about not falling behind. That was the type of morning it was when they’d depart.