Chapter 14.1[Roswaal: You felled the White Whale, and repelled the Witch Cult that had been targeting the Estate . Whether it was sealing an Alliance with Candidate Crusch-sama, or the aforementioned battle, your achievements have certainly grown――fu~mu]
Inadvertently laying more and more of his weight onto the bed, Roswaal touched his chin and closed is eyes . Uttering in his mouth, in this exchange with Subaru in the middle of the night, were all the various things that had occurred in his absence .
And Subaru, pressing down his bad habit of derailing the conversation, tried his best to eliminate the boasting and the tales of suffering, and had given what he thought was an objective explanation of the events . Then, looking back on his conducts once more,[Ram: ……To put it bluntly, you seem to have done so much that it’s starting to make me doubt whether your words are delusional . Since when did you become a character in an action-adventure stage play, Barusu?] [Subaru: What you just said gave me a pretty subtle feeling I couldn’t really explain, you know……though, I’m also still wondering how I did all that myself . But whether it’s by my own evaluations or other people’s evaluations, it was no small contribution, was it?]
It was a result that even Kong-Ming wouldn’t have dared to put together . And even under Ram’s cold sarcasm, it seemed that she at least acknowledged the significance of Subaru’s accomplishments . So bit by bit, his spirits rose . (*Kong Ming was an ancient military genius from the Chinese Three-Kingdoms period)[Roswaal: A result beyond all expectations, there is no o~ther way to put it . Su~ch an achievement, even I…… or, not even anyone, could have ima~gined it]
As if he had finally finished digesting his astonishment, Roswaal spoke these words of full of praise . Then, with a serious expression so rare to him, his mismatched eyes gazed into Subaru, who was sitting in a chair in front of his bed .[Roswaal: Fi~rst, I want to once more convey my words of gra~titude . ――For protecting my land, and the people of my realm, you have my deepest gratitude] [Subaru: Ah, ah oh . Yeah . How should I say this uh… hearing you say it like that kinda makes me wanna to curl up in a ball . It wasn’t that big of a deal or anythi……] [Ram: It seems Barusu is a little, unable to grasp the gravity of your words of gratitude, Roswaal-sama]
As Subaru put a stop to Roswaal’s courteous words of thanks, Ram took a step forward and interrupted . Her clear, unwavering eyes were looking down on him,[Ram: Interrupting on your superior, and on top of that rejecting his words of thanks is in its essence unforgivable . Besides, as a Margrave, Roswaal-sama is someone who carries the power of an entire wing of the Kingdom of Lugnica . ――Words of gratitude from him holds far more weight than Barusu can imagine] [――――] [Ram: From Roswaal-sama’s position, he shouldn’t even have to bother looking at someone beneath him, let alone offer words of gratitude . To have gone to such lengths, please have some consideration for its significance]
Like a slap in the face, Ram threw out these words that wiped off Subaru’s over-optimistic thoughts . Listening to this, unable to come up with a single reply, Subaru hung his head . Then, saying [No~ no~], Roswaal lightly waved his hands as if to smooth things over,[Roswaal: The way Ram said it was a bi~t too exaggerated . My words don’t carry tha~t much value] [Ram: Roswaal-sama]
Hearing Ram’s concerned call, Roswaal nodded, and with [Ho~wever], he continued,[Roswaal: Setting aside the weight of my gratitude due to my social standing for now, the weight of what Subaru-kun has accomplished is clear to anyone’s eyes . As~ such, if I don’t reward you appropriately, you can ea~sily imagine the disappointment and public outrage that would be directed to~wards me] [Subaru: ……So then, what are you going to do for me?] [Roswaal: A fitting reward . ――Subaru-kun, do you remember what happened in the Royal Selection Hall?]
Seeing Subaru’s throat choking up, Roswaal narrowed his eyes .
As this gaze was piercing through him, what passed across Subaru’s mind were the abominable memories that even now made his chest burn with shame and self-derision whenever he recalls them . The declaration he had made in that place, his reckless words, his lack of understanding, his lack of self-understanding… the laughable nonsense uttered by that foolish self, who had gotten even the most important thing wrong in his mind .
But still, even so――[Subaru: I remember . It’s not something I could ever forget . ……or should forget, I think] [Roswaal: Then, as my reward for your actions, how about I make the words you said in that place into a reality . ――Rest assured, on the dawn when we leave this place, I shall appoint you as a Knight]
Lifting his head, for a moment, Subaru was unable to take in the meaning of those words . Seeing Subaru wavering, blinking, Roswaal nodded his head,[Roswaal: Fighting alongside the Count in the battle against White Whale, and slaying a Sin Archbishop of the Witch Cult, I cannot not allow these deeds to go down in anonymity . Your name, the name of
Natsuki Subaru shall be held with honor and spoken with admiration throughout the Kingdom . ――When that is so, no one will be able to laugh at the words you have spoken in that Hall]
Hoping to be of assistance to Emilia, they had been the barkings of an empty-handed youth .
The youth who had been dreaming, and who had so many times been broken by the face of reality, having despaired, been sunk into madness, driven by vengeance into despising all things, and at last saved by love ―― now, he was here .
Everything that happened in that time, surely, the “Honor” that had passed through Roswaal’s lips… would be proof, that there had been some value in all of that .
――That, no longer remaining in the minds of anyone except Subaru, was the fact that they were Rem’s deeds .[Subaru: ……Thank you, I will accept . If it means it would bring some meaning to that battle we fought] [Roswaal: It is an achievement to be proud of, and I will not allow anyone to make light of it . You now have the right to stand by Emilia-sama’s side with your head held high . By your own strength, you have earned this] [Subaru: ……It wasn’t, just my own strength]
Listening to Roswaal’s words, he murmured this under his breath . Watching Roswaal lightly furrowing his brows as if not understanding its meaning, Subaru closed his eyes and took a deep breath . Then, as he opened them again, he casually shrugged and,[Subaru: That was a serious exchange, oy . Gotta be careful, after being out-of-character for so long it’ll be embarrassing to go back to normal again . My face is already heating up!] [Roswaal: ……Yo~u’re quite right . Eeya~eya, that was not like me at all, even my shoulder’s gotten sti~ff . With the relationship between you and me, it really isn’t like us to be talking so se~riously]
As if mirroring Subaru as he broke off his serious face, Roswaal’s expression relaxed as well, and the tense atmosphere of a moment ago had all but disappeared . And, watching over the conversation between Subaru and her master, Ram let out a small sigh, and with [Well], she continued the conversation,[Ram: Then, Barusu, you have something you want to ask Roswaal-sama, don’t you? That’s why you placed Emilia-sama far away from our conversation, after all] [Subaru: Your shrewdness earlier really helped getting this conversation going, much appreciated…… It’s not that I’m treating Emilia-tan as a nuisance, but it seems Ros-chi’s mouth will get stiff if she’s here]
Ram’s pointed observation made Subaru take on an awkward smile . Seeing this smile, Ram directed her gaze toward the place where Emilia had been standing, making sure once more that there was only an unpopulated empty space left over by her absence .[Ram: I got Lewes-sama to accompany her on a tour of the Sanctuary…… But when Emilia-sama heard that Barusu will be remaining here, she seemed to have been feeling a little lonely] [Subaru: Even though I’m glad I’m being relied on, if I think about all the things to come, I can’t be rushing to every immediate desire in front of me . Most likely, she’ll meet up with Otto on the way . Though I am a bit worried about having him alone with her…… that bastard Otto will probably make a move on her… aaaah what do I do? Emilia-tan is super mega adorable oh no I’m getting worried] [Roswaal: Talking to yourself and making yourself even more worried is ba~d idea, don’t you think? Anyway, you were no~t mistaken . ――The truth is, if there are things that I don’t want Emilia-sama to hear, I would probably ne~ver open my mouth]
Seeing Subaru’s heart fluttering about insubstantial worries, Roswaal shook his head, and laid bare his shameless secretiveness . And as Roswaal did so, Subaru closed one of his eyes, and with a [Just as I thought] put his inner thoughts to his tongue,[Subaru: You’re intentionally restricting information to Emilia……Just who do you think you’re are you trying to imitate here?] (Puck :3) [Roswaal: It’s necessary to be selective with the information, do~n’t you think? As a Royal Selection Candidate, Emilia-sama’s importance is fa~r above mine . But, right now, her body and her knowledge have not caught up to accompany her qualification and status, and are still in need of polishing . So, while she is still learning, putting too many burdens on her would be unre~asonable……] [Subaru: Saying this like you’re guy who only meant to provide a carefree learning environment for Emilia-tan, that’s a pretty way to frame it . But to leave her in the dark in a fatal situation, knowing full well but failing to tell her, that doesn’t sound reasonable at all, now does it . Even for you, that can’t be a good thing]
Knowing that Roswaal was trying to gloss it over with superficial words, Subaru held back his urge to argue, and continued his pursuit in a quiet voice . Seeing Subaru’s calm disguise, Roswaal closed a single eye, and silently gazed back at him in return .
Intently, his single eye――the left, yellow pupil continued to stare into Subaru . Unaware of the meaning of that unsettling gaze, Subaru’s body wavered . And then, as if having read into his discomfort, Roswaal laughed,[Roswaal: We~ll, I imagined you would be pursu~ing this to the end sooner or later? That’s why, this time I have prepared my reso~lve] [Subaru: Resolve?] [Roswaal: The resolve that I will no longer dodge Subaru-kun’s questions, and will now give a~nswers . Even if I want to run, I am burdened by this wound, now is just the perfect time, do~n’t you think?]