Listening to those words, Subaru let out a small sigh .
Honestly, for a moment, Subaru thought something along the lines of [Yeah, you’re right] .
It wasn’t that he hadn’t hoped he could cling to and rely on someone this way . Of course he had . Like Otto said, Subaru knew that he was weak and lacking . He was not nearly so conceited as to think that he could solve everything on his own .
In fact, all this time, hadn’t he been trying to enlist Echidona and Roswaal’s help to compensate for his own incompetence?
Yet instead of receiving their cooperation, all he got in return were wounds and truths that he didn’t want to learn .
He had already tried to do it Otto’s way . But what Otto’s suggested wouldn’t work at all . That door was already shut .[Subaru: ――Hah] [Otto: What’s so funny?]
Reaching that desolate conclusion in his heart, it began to show on his face as well . Seeing this, Otto furrowed his brows in displeasure, while Subaru, with his face red and swollen, looked up to meet his gaze,[Subaru: You got it all wrong . ……It’s not like I haven’t asked for help . I’ve already tried everything that might work . I’ve already tried to rely…… on anyone I thought I could rely on, and yet……]
His hopes were betrayed, but, not willing to give up, he was left only hugging his head .
In the end, even Emilia, whom he thought he must “Protect” and “Save”, rejected his thoughts . And only then did he realize that, all along, he had been looking down on Emilia as a “Weakling who needed his protection” .
Having experienced various things, met various people, said flashy lines, barked that he would make everything work out, rejected the resolve to die and embraced the resolve to live, and pretended as if he had moved forward if only just a little, ultimately, all Subaru had been doing was marching in place .
He couldn’t see a single thing he could do to alter this deadlock .
Now that even his forced smile had dried up, only a cold, rigid expression remained on Subaru’s cheeks .
Watching this, Otto’s lips quivered at Subaru’s silent laments .[Otto: ……But, I don’t recall you ever asking me for help, Natsuki-san] [Subaru: ――――] [Otto: I’m not worthy of being relied upon, and it’d be pointless…… that’s how you see me, isn’t it? Or could it be that, in your eyes…… I’m just another one of those who needs protecting?]
Otto’s trembling voice as he tried to stifle his emotions only made his words even more jarring .
This was merely a glimpse of Otto’s rage, sorrow, and emotions without an outlet .
Touched by the ripples of Otto’s overflowing emotions, Subaru realized that his words had inadvertently hurt him, and he quickly shook his head .[Subaru: No, you’re wrong…] [Otto: How am I wrong? It’d be strange if I was wrong . If I was, then why are you sitting there alone not telling me anything?] [Subaru: The fact that I’m not…… telling you anything isn’t because I don’t trust you . You’re wrong about that] [Otto: ――――]
Shaking his head, Subaru’s eyes were wandering .
Meanwhile, Otto fell silent, only keeping his green pupils fixed on Subaru .
The pressure of that gaze made Subaru cast down his eyes, muddying his words as he put his hand to his forehead .
It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Otto . In those loops, Otto had staked his life to protect him, and stayed with him when there was no profit to be made from it . For that, Subaru was sincerely grateful, and he wasn’t lying when he called him a friend .
But how could he tell Otto the truth?
If it was Echidona or Roswaal who could understand Subaru’s circumstances, then it’d be fine . The taboo wouldn’t be violated, and conversation would be possible .
But that was not the case with Otto . Not just Otto, but none of Emilia, Ram, or any of the others in the Sanctuary knew the first thing about Subaru’s situation .
Without mentioning the Witch or Return by Death, Subaru couldn’t possibly explain the predicament he was in . Even if he could tell them what will happen, about the Great Rabbit and the attack on the Mansion―― Subaru wouldn’t be able to say how he came to know these things in the first place .
When that happens, what could he tell them to make them believe him? Could he even hope for such a thing?
He knew he wasn’t strong enough, he knew he wasn’t smart enough, and he knew just how useless he was .
And so, ultimately, Subaru couldn’t do anything without getting help from others, and he understood that it was his job to obtain the help he needed .
But now, having failed to do his job, he had come to a standstill .[Subaru: I can’t explain it . My head’s all a mess…… like you said, it’s all a mess, and…… there’s no way I can prove anything I say] [Otto: …………] [Subaru: They’re stuff that, even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe any of it…… so how can I explain it…… it’s like that with you, with everyone, with……] [Otto: ……Why don’t you try?] [Subaru: ――Huh?]
When Subaru told him that he could give him no reason to believe him, that was Otto’s reply .
Unwittingly looking up at those words, he saw Otto with his arms folded, looking back at him,[Otto: So, why don’t you try saying it? Even if it doesn’t make sense and comes out all jumbled because your head’s confused, I won’t interrupt you, and I’ll listen to the end] [Subaru: No, but, that’ll……] [Otto: Just…… out with it!! Didn’t I tell you to stop putting on airs!?]
Otto kicked his foot into the ground, shouting that he had had enough .
Then, jutting out his finger at the wide-eyed Subaru,[Otto: If you have the time to whine about having no proof and how no one’s going to believe you, why don’t you use that time to spit out everything that’s holed up in that head of yours!? Isn’t that way more constructive than sitting there moping!?] [Subaru: Even if you say that……I! There’s no way you’d believe me if I gave you this mishmash……!] [Otto: ――Just spit out the mishmash! Then at the end I’ll say “I believe you”! Because that’s what friends do!!]
――All the confounded, tangled contents of Subaru’s head was uprooted and blown away by Otto’s shout .
Otto’s words were without any real basis, and his logic was not that convincing at all .
Yet, to Subaru who had come to a standstill, it was more than enough of a push on his back .[Subaru: Well… I don’t expect you to believe any of this, but……]
Little by little, he gave voice to every single one of the problems he had been keeping inside himself, and it didn’t even take that long .