THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 1 [The Place They Returned To]
The grey gloom of the sky mirrored the state of Subaru’s heart .
In front of Crusch’s mansion, six dragon carriages lined up in a row . Those that fled from the Roswaal domain, the villagers of Arlam(or so the place was called) were all loaded up . Only the final special carriage was reserved for Subaru and Emilia .
The road is long, so unlike the way here, they won’t be riding with the children . Also because there is a mountain of things he has to say to Emilia, Subaru prearranged it so they could be alone .
[I will become rather lonely]
Silently gazing at the dragon carriages, Subaru heard a voice from behind him .
Turning to see, it was Crusch looking at him . Her long green hair caressed by the misty wind, she closed her eyes, and reached her hand into Subaru’s hair, mussing it up .
[Subaru: It’s not like anything will happen if I stay here, I’d feel bad to just keep sponging on your hospitality —to be honest, I really should be taking some time to recover, but it can’t be helped]
Opening and closing his hands, Subaru thought about the state of his health, and smiled awkwardly . Back then, it was to recover his health that he came to Crusch’s mansion in the first place . Roswaal had a hand in sending him here, and it still annoys him to see that Clown’s wishes fulfilled so perfectly . As a matter of principle, even if he fulfills any of that guy’s wishes, it should be by continually stomping it .
[Crusch: Natsuki Subaru-sama, you know you’re welcome to sponge here as long as you like… even though it’s hard to say that out loud]
[Subaru: Thank you for your offer… but while I want to, there is still a pile of loose ends I need to tie up . There’s the White Whale, “Sloth”, and the whole deal with the merchants guild…]
Declining Crusch’s offer, Subaru shook his head . He was thinking of Julius and Anastasia .
Out of the three factions that joined forces against the White Whale and “Sloth”, only Anastasia’s purely benefited .
Crusch’s camp, by slaying the White Whale, had accomplished a glorious feat four hundred years in the making — but Crusch’s amnesia was a devastating blow .
As for Subaru and Emilia’s camp that defeated “Sloth”, the supposedly well-informed Roswaal’s absence from it all doesn’t bode well at all .
In terms of casualties, although they didn’t suffer heavy losses like Crusch’s camp, to Subaru, his loss was far too great to bear .
In comparison, only losing a portion of her mercenaries and supply trains, Anastasia’s forces are almost completely intact . And even though she wasn’t the main player in either battle, her forces made tremendous contributions with minimal losses, a highly profitable investment .
While the damage to their forces made the other two factions hesitate in publicizing their victories, it was not a concern for Anastasia .
In order to check Anastasia’s ascent, close coordination between Crusch and Emilia’s factions will be necessary…
… . Seeing Subaru deep in those thoughts, Crusch yawned lazily . Subaru’s brows frowned when he saw this, and Crusch, an embarrassed expression on her face, only waved [nothing] with her hands…
[Subaru: Sorry to be so sentimental… but I’m ashamed I can’t repay you for your kindness…]
[Crusch: The ones that repay favors right away are not worthy opponents . Don’t worry about it when there is so much on your plate . Besides, we received plenty in return already]
Listening to Crusch’s courteous words, Subaru turned to look at the front of the special carriage . Compared to the others, it looked like an overly-decorated high-class VIP dragon carriage, and the honor of pulling it goes to—
[Crusch: Such an unambitious request… you want to treat this ground dragon’s wounds and take care of her?]
[Subaru: I do owe this ground dragon a great deal . Even though it’s only been a relatively short time, the number of times we rode into the brink of death is more than I can count . And I intend to face many more challenges together with her, so I won’t consider Patrasche to be a toy]
[Crusch: —In that case, I have no need to worry]
The ground dragon— Patrasche glanced at Subaru as he spoke, and then, as if rejecting his admiration, turned to Wilhelm . The old swordsman, who up to now had been checking the carriages before their departure, nodded at their conversation .
[Wilhelm: “Diana” is the most difficult breed of ground dragons to please . To shield her master with her own body, Subaru must be quite adored by this ground dragon]
[Subaru: Even though I don’t remember much, before the battle with the White Whale, I just decided to choose this one all of a sudden]
It’s true they have a bond . This was more than fortunate, because if he picked any other ground dragon, whether it’s the White Whale or Betelgeuse, he would not have made it out alive . Anyway,
[Subaru: I can no longer be satisfied by any other ground dragon besides you… Ah, seductive Patrasche!]
Touching the smooth texture of the side of Patrasche’s stomach with the palm of his hand as if to show off his affections, Subaru looked into Patrasche’s rather pissed-off looking eyes .
To Subaru’s overly intimate molestation, the ground dragon reacted with an expression of profound disgust from the bottom of its heart, and jerked his body as if trying to break Subaru’s fingers .
[Subaru: Ow! That’s overreacting just to hide your embarrassment! Though with all that exercise wiping windows back in Junior High, my fingers won’t break so easily!]
[Wilhelm: The ground dragon is joking with you . Such amiable communication must be an indication of the unwavering trust between you two]
[Subaru: Does that look like communication? It seemed to be just me offering my love one-sidedly and Patrasche rejecting me with her body language!]
That unspoken trust on the battlefield… is woefully absent right now . Now it’s just a sassy attitude… But in the end, even with the cold demeanor, Patrasche allowed him to pet her .