The Confusion of the Second Loop
I’ll keep declaring over and over again that I, Subaru Natsuki, am an advocate of only being into Emilia.
Ever since he came to this world, he has had the opportunity to encounter many beautiful women one after another, but she stood out from the rest.
It was partly because of her beauty, but the real reason was simple: it’s because he fell in love with her. As long as he continued to feel that way, his attraction to her would only increase.
Therefore, no matter what kind of beauty was in front of him, there was no way that Subaru’s heart would fall for anyone else.
It’s just not possible.
“So, this perfect bedmaking doesn’t mean anything more than me wanting to sleep soundly,” he said, making an enthusiastic excuse to himself as he poked his finger into the bed with lightning speed.
After taking a bath, Subaru had gone back to his room and spent all his time making the bed, which he was currently looking at. He even left the basket of laundry unattended. He’d put a lot of effort into it, sweat dripping off his forehead like a waterfall, even though he had just taken a bath.
It’s been a while since I’ve done such a satisfactory job.
“It doesn’t have any deep meaning behind it. It isn’t anything like that. I need to calm myself and empty my mind. One Emilia-tan, two Emilia-tans, three Emilia-tans… Is this Heaven!”
“You are making too much noise, Barusu. It’s night already, so keep quiet.”
“Faaar awaaay!” (Gackt: Faraway) he sung as he leapt back towards the wall. He could see Ram, who had opened the door without making a sound, standing at the room’s entrance.
After entering the room with a knock, she scolded him. “You do this right after Ram told you to keep quiet. You are no good.”
“What’s up with you making your own rules!? It makes me feel nervous since your rules make me question my common sense! What and how do you want me to do things!?”
In response to Subaru shouting, Ram abruptly sneered. “Hah.” Even Subaru could do nothing after being struck with the contempt that hadn’t even put into words.
Ram crossed in front of such a Subaru with crisp noises and headed towards the bed—no, she headed towards a small wooden desk in front of the bed. Each room had a space of its own for reading and writing, but for Subaru, it was useless since he could not read or write in this world. Of course, he could write in Japanese though.
“Maybe I should do that at least. Even though I can’t carry it to another loop, it might make it easy for me to remember things if I write things down…”
“What are you mumbling on about? Come here, Barusu,” Ram said in a tepid manner, as if she were disciplining her dog.
Blue veins appeared on Subaru’s forehead after hearing that. But it would only be a loss for him if he let her take control of things. Subaru could only show his true ability when he had the other person in the palm of his hand to begin with.
Anyway, I’ll train my unyielding heart so that it won’t be shaken by anything she says, no matter how surprising it may be.
He stood in front of Ram with a battle-ready mindset.
“Now what? What kind of recklessness have you brought this time?”
“What are you talking about? Ram is telling you to sit down so that Ram can teach you how to read and write.”
“That’s my first time hearing of it!?”
His unyielding heart shook immediately.
He felt like his hardened heart instantly became soft and broken, and then, unable to hide his unrest, he looked at his desk and gasped when he saw a notebook with a white page, a quill, and a book with a reddish-brown cover. It seemed like she wasn’t joking or playing a prank on him but was genuinely trying to teach him how to read and write.
“But then, why all of a sudden…”
“Barusu, you can’t read or write, right? I know that from watching you work today. If you can’t read or write, then you can’t note down things that you have to buy or write down the things that you are told to do.”
Ram gave a perfectly reasonable answer to the confused Subaru’s query. Subaru’s mouth reflexively kept opening and closing slovenly like a fish.
However, seeming indifferent to his reaction, Ram pointed her finger at the book with a red cover. “We’ll start with an easy collection of children’s fairytales. Ram and Rem will help you out every night, so study hard from now on.”
It’s a good offer, but frankly, I’m more confused by it than anything.
This situation was the same as the one in the bathroom, a situation that never happened in the previous loop. And according to Subaru’s own estimation, the distance between him and the twins was still much greater compared to the fourth day of the previous loop.
In spite of that, why is there a bona fide study session happening?
“It’s obvious. —It’s because Ram wants to work less.”
“You don’t change, do you?”
“Of course. The more work Barusu is able to do, the less work Ram has to do. If Ram’s workload is lessened, then Rem’s work inevitably gets reduced, too. It’s a win-win situation.”
“Wouldn’t I be overwhelmed with work instead, though!?”
And now she’s tilting her head as if she didn’t understand what I am complaining about.
Subaru lost the energy to talk back since she responded in a way that made it seem like she didn’t get his point. On one hand, he was baffled by it, but on the other, he was happy about it.
“Ok, alright, understood. Let’s staaart studying then.”
“Barusu, in your case, your conversational grammar is fine, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. The language skills you were born with shouldn’t be blamed.”
“Aren’t you insulting me by making it seem like you are praising me?” Subaru said as he sat in front of the desk and grabbed the quill, fully prepared to get started.
Subaru never had the chance to hold a quill before, but it was light, and when you slid it over the paper, it produced beautifully written words.
It was the memorable first stroke in this world. Subaru faced the cover of the book and started writing with a large stroke of his quill. “Subaru Natsuki has arrived… Alright.”
“Sorry to interrupt you, but we don’t have time to play around drawing things like that. You need to wake up early tomorrow, so time is limited.”
“No, this is my native language… I knew you wouldn’t get it.”
I was hoping that the things I write down would be translated too since I can have conversations normally, but I guess things aren’t that convenient. To me, the script of this world looks like hieroglyphs, so to them, Japanese probably looks like fancy-looking scribbles.
And so, Subaru couldn’t go on a rampage with his knowledge of idioms that he loved so much.
“But on the other hand, it means that nobody will notice it no matter what kind of obscene fantasies I put into writing. That kind of situation is useful…libido-wise!”
“First, we’ll start with the basic letters, which are E letters. You can move on to Ro letters and Ha letters after you master E letters.”
“There are three types? Just hearing about them makes me want to give up.”
It’s so painful that my heart feels like it’s about to break before learning a new language. I can relate a bit with the feelings of the foreigners trying to learn Japanese. There are three types: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, so they would be bewildered once they realized how long it would take them to learn.
“We’ll move on to the fairytales after you get the hang of E letters. We can study until 1 AM Darksun since we also have to do this tomorrow, and Ram is sleepy, too.”
“Showing a glimpse of your true feelings at the end there… I don’t dislike that, boss.”
“Ram likes that about Ram,” she replied without hesitation, thus making it harder to determine whether she was joking around or being serious. Subaru felt that the former had a higher probability, and his alphabet learning lesson began.
When learning a new language, the first thing you need to do is to figure out what kinds of letters it uses. In the case of hiragana, there are 46 characters, and just like that, there are basic characters in other languages, too, and the meanings are formed by combining those basic letters.
Therefore, learning a language begins with writing the letters, but…
“It’s more painful than I imagined… It’s like the time I was learning how to write in cursive.”
Subaru wrote down the basic letters that Ram had written for him at the rate of around 400 letters per page. The accumulation of it was something that could cause Gestaltzerfall, but he accepted that working steadily was the necessary way to get the job done, so he devoted himself to that.
To be honest, my eyelids are heavy due to fatigue and drowsiness, but I can’t fall asleep since Ram’s been keeping me company. That she is being friendly from day one of the second loop is really important to begin with, too. I can’t let the chance slip out of my hands.
“I know that you said that you were doing it to make things easy for you, but it still made me happy,” Subaru admitted, conveying his honest feelings while holding back his embarrassment, to Ram, who was behind him.
When he wasn’t writing the same letter over and over again, producing a soft sound as the quill ran over the pages, Subaru recalled the four days from his previous loop.
Come to think of it, I spent my days chasing Emilia’s ass whenever I had time, but the person I spent the most time with was Ram when I wasn’t doing that.
It must have taken a lot of effort to train Subaru, who was an amateur in all the work around the manor—such as cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning. It was tougher for her since that wasn’t her only job, she did it while performing her regular work.
Obviously, the burden would have fallen upon Rem as well, but the time he spent with her in the four days of the previous loop wasn’t much. Ram and the others said that Rem, who was excellent at everything, did the work that didn’t get done, but Subaru felt bad for indirectly burdening her.
“To be honest, I wasn’t liked much.”
She was as busy as she was, and then a useless newbie came in. She had to teach him various things, utilizing her time after she was done with her work. Just thinking about it was painful for someone like Subaru, who had little experience in dealing with people. To be thought of that way was something he was used to, too.
Thus, Subaru was happy with the current situation where he wasn’t being rejected.
“I know I’m going to keep causing trouble, but please take care of me,” he told Ram, who was silently observing him, as his chair creaked when he gently turned back.
He had suddenly bared his heart and true feelings to her, but Ram silently responded with “Zzz.”
She was sleeping soundly in the bed that had been neatly made. She had taken her shoes and apron off, her headdress was put on the side of the bed, and the covers were pulled up to her shoulders. It was a proper sleeping position.
The quill snapped with a crack.
Following the sudden urge, Subaru opened his mouth wide and yawned. He couldn’t hold back his sleepiness. It appeared as tears formed at the corners of his eyes, so he violently rubbed them and straightened his posture. The evening sky was dyed orange with the parting gift of the sun, and the clouds were flowing slowly, welcoming the end of the day. Subaru looked up at all of that and moved the joints in his body to check its condition. He still felt the effects of overworking, but it wasn’t as bad as before.
“But even so, the strength of my body remains the same even after I go back in time… I guess it means that I learned how to move my body, so it doesn’t get as tired.”
It wasn’t that his body was getting used to it, but rather that he was getting used to the work, which improved his efficiency. He predicted that it would lead to a slight reduction in fatigue.
If there’s a possibility that the loop will occur again, then I can’t expect to strengthen my body through repeating things. The only thing I can do is revise the events that are going to occur and practice household chores.
I can’t continue with this if I don’t think like that. Since…
“Subaru, sorry for making you wait. —Are you fine?”
“Hm, yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine. Remrin, are you done with your shopping now?”
“Yes, it went without a hitch. You looked like you were having a lot of trouble, Subaru.”
The blue-haired girl holding a handbag with goods inside in front of him—Rem—tilted her head and appreciated Subaru’s effort.
She was in her usual maid outfit, her hair swaying in the wind as she looked at Subaru with a slightly relaxed expression. At Subaru, who had stained his butler’s uniform with mud, dust, snot, and tears.
“You were quite popular,” she said.
“I don’t know why, but I’ve always been a kid magnet. Maybe it’s because there’s a maternal instinct inside me that can’t be suppressed and is irresistible to kids, so it keeps attracting them to me.”
“Children are like animals in that they assign ranks to humans. They know instinctively whether they should take a person lightly or not.”
“You aren’t complimenting me, are you!?” Subaru exclaimed, putting a hand on his chin to show his dissatisfaction, but Rem didn’t respond.
Subaru nodded his head thinking that Ram and Rem were indeed sisters after getting such a harsh comment. With Ram, who was direct, and Rem, who said things in a reserved manner, one needed to be tough mentally to keep up with them. Of course, he needed to be physically tough too or else he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work in the first place.
With a wry smile, Subaru turned his hips and looked around while moving his neck. The high-pitched voices of the children could be heard from the square behind him. He had been in the group of children a few moments ago, struggling against their blows and drool. Everyone had been relentless, and it was a lonely battle without any allies.
Currently, Subaru and Rem were in the village closest to the manor. Roswaal, even if he was like that, had the status of Margrave, so naturally he was a nobleman that ruled over quite a bit of territory in his fiefdom.
This village near his house is no exception, and the people who live here know us as a matter of course. The two maids in particular since they probably go out to buy groceries often, and that’s why the rate of people greeting them was high as they passed by.
On the other hand, it seemed like the villagers knew about Subaru’s existence. Although it was actually his first time going there, he was welcomed amicably, and it made him feel uneasy yet happy at the time.
However… “What’s up with those kids being over-familiar… Can’t they recognize my hard-boiledick aura that can burn them if they touch me?” Subaru blurted out the title that he wanted to say in a deep voice while lighting a cig. (Totally imagining it)
Hard-boiledick, short for hard-boiled and adultic.
Rem, who was walking in front of him, gave him a sideways glance. “You said you had a maternal instinct, and now you are pretending to be an adult. You are a busy person, Subaru.”
“If I was busy, then I wouldn’t be in such a bad situation. Shit, I should’ve gone shopping with you, Remrin.”
Even if Subaru had gone shopping with her, he would have been useless since he didn’t know how to distinguish between ingredients or even know what they were called. So, he had stepped back from that to not bother her. But then the children from the village found him and kidnapped him, which was something he hadn’t expected.
“I don’t have any complaints in general, but… I can’t accept that.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Never mind, it’s something that has to do with me. I’m glad that I can have a conversation with you without being cautious. In Ramchi’s case, I can’t predict the angle from which she’d look down at me.”
“Isn’t my sister wonderful?”
The conversation was slightly out of sync.
Rem looked slightly proud as she bragged about her elder sister. Subaru assumed that they were honest words without a hint of deceit in them, but…
“To be frank, aren’t there a lot of problems with Ramchi’s personality? It seems like it would often cause conflicts.”
“It isn’t as bad as you, Subaru, who is still new to being a servant.”
“That’s, what, I, thought.”
Learn wisdom from the follies of others.
It was obvious that Subaru’s critique of Ram’s ability and personality would be mocked since his current contribution was half that of Ram’s. The person hearing it was the upgraded version of said Ram as well.
The destructiveness of her sarcasm was also a few steps higher than Ram’s, making up for it not being direct.
Subaru scratched his head and pondered as he followed behind Rem as she walked ahead of him. —I’m sure I was accompanying Ram during the village shopping trip in the previous loop.
“Speaking of which, Subaru, how is your study progressing?”
“Steadily…is what I want to say, but things aren’t that easy. Everything must be nurtured slowly, over time. It’s the same as love!”
“I hope it doesn’t wither halfway.”
“Remrin, the love in your comment just now is withered!” Subaru screamed, changing Rem’s expression into a slight smile that made him smile too.
—Four days have passed already since Ram volunteered for the private lessons at night. She said that she would take turns with Rem while teaching me letters, but in all that time, Rem has never been the instructor. From the standpoint of the situation, it probably means that Rem couldn’t afford to leave her work, and it seems like she was feeling guilty about it.
Subaru continued smiling at Rem, who couldn’t even come up with a response like she usually did, and then…
“Youuu dooon’t neeed tooo worrrry about it. It isn’t like I’m being neglected, and I am not complaining about Ramchi being the instructor. No, wait, it definitely demotivates me when she falls asleep on the bed while teaching me, but still.”
“Sister is acting like that on purpose to raise your motivation.”
“That’s some positive thinking that far exceeds mine. The way you worship your sister is out of this world. You really are possessed by a demon.”
“Possessed, by a demon…?” Rem tilted her head at the word that was trending inside Subaru lately.
“It’s the demon version of being possessed by a god, being possessed by a demon. Doesn’t it sound nice?”
“Do you like demons?”
“I like them more than God. Since God usually does nothing, but I’ve heard that a demon laughs with you when you tell them about your vision of the future.”
They get especially excited when they hear the things about the coming year.
Subaru thought of the scene where the Blue and Red Demon had their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders and were laughing loudly, and then, suddenly, he saw a definite smile on Rem’s face.
He had seen her smile faintly several times before, but it was the first time she had shown an expression that could be described as a proper smile.
Subaru didn’t know if it had struck a chord with her, but he snapped his fingers and said, “That smile is as bright as Pikachu’s million-volt thunderbolt.”
“I’ll tell Lady Emilia.”
“It wasn’t like I was hitting on you!?”
He straightened his posture, thrust out his hands and did the pose of meekly begging for forgiveness.
Suddenly, Rem raised her eyebrows slightly, looking at Subaru taking that pose. “What happened to that hand?”
“Hm? Oh, the dog that the kids were playing with took a big bite out of it.”
The wound on my left hand has a prominent bitemark on it. It bled a little, but it stopped already. I remember that this happened to me in the last loop, so it means that I have gotten to the weird part of the loop.
By the way, someone blew their nose on the back of his butler’s uniform, so it had a ton of snot on it, but the time he would notice it would be the same as the previous loop, which was after he returned to the manor.
“Shall I heal your wound?”
“Huh? What, Remrin, are you the type who can use healing magic?”
“I can do easy things, like simple treatments. Or do you want Lady Emilia to do it?”
“Mm, it’s an attractive offer that can’t be denied. Bu…but…I’ll pass.”
Subaru denied her offer while looking at the toothmark of the canine on the back of his hand. It was because he had decided that the scar was, in a sense, a good mark to know where he was in the loop. It was the disappearance of the scar that made him the most aware of the fact that a new loop had begun the moment he had started a new one.
Whether there is a scar or not is a good indicator. If I hadn’t been bit coincidentally by the dog, then I would’ve ended up hurting myself with a quill or a random knife.
“Hah, I grew out of the phase of wanting a sword scar on my cheek when I was in middle school. Now that I think about it, I was covered in scars, so that makes me…”
I miss the days where I longed to have scars on my face, and I worked hard to leave scratch marks on it. One scar was not enough for me, so I made a lot of them, and it was bad luck that the scars got filled with pus since it landed me in a disastrous situation where I was called the bandage-man. I was the only mummy-man in the graduation album of middle school.
“Oh my, I am, cute…!”
“It’s said that a scar is a man’s badge of honor. Come to think of it, Master Roswaal also brags about a scar that he doesn’t erase. —Around his chest.”
“This seems like the topic is going to be graphic, so can I pass?”
The topic was going to stray towards the suspicious relationship between the maid and her master without Subaru noticing it, so he hurriedly put a stop to it.
Rem tilted her head curiously as if she didn’t understand what he was talking about, and Subaru pushed her on the back. “Never mind, never mind,” he said, then hurried on home.
Subaru wasn’t confident that he could keep up with a graphic topic like that and was also a bit nervous.
—Since he was on the fourth day of his second loop in another world.
“I’ll see if I can make it to tomorrow morning in one piece. But before that.”
Whether I’ll be able to make that promise with Emilia or not is just as important.
“…Anyway, I’m worried about Ramchi and Remrin’s sexual knowledge. I’m worried that they are being tricked by that master into doing things while being none the wiser.”
These questions have begun to creep into my mind as I have begun to know things in more detail than the previous week of the previous loop. I’ll make a little inquiry after I’m done with taking care of my situation.
Subaru secretly made up his mind to do so.
Subaru Natsuki’s second first week at Roswaal Manor was now facing its greatest problem. He wasn’t able to follow the steps of the previous loop that he had revised, so it wasn’t smooth sailing to begin with, but now it was facing its greatest crisis.
“I can’t go meet Emilia-tan because I have to study.”
Whispering their love to one another in the moonlit garden and making a pinky promise; Subaru held such hopes for the second night, so this situation that interfered with his promise event was the worst thing that could happen to him.
It was only the fourth day of study, and before dinner, I casually asked the twins directly, “Wouldn’t it be ok if I took a break today?” But…
“Sister, Sister. A spineless guy called Subaru has given up already.”
“Rem, Rem. A pathetic dog that’s inferior to humans and animals is saying something in dog language.”
And thus, I was dismissed with an unprecedented blank stare.
He wanted to rush to Emilia’s side even if he had to skip the lesson, but…
“If Emilia-tan finds out that I have skipped the lessons through Ram or Rem, then, knowing her personality, she will definitely cancel our promise!”
It would be useless even if I’m able to make the promise if it gets reneged upon later. The promised couple’s rendezvous. And the two burn passionately in the flower garden and disappear into the nightlife district.
It would be a Happy End, according to Subaru, if it reached that point.
“But then, if I study properly, then Emilia-tan will fall asleep before I can meet her.”
Therefore, there was only one best answer for Subaru.
Which is: Finish the assignments as quickly as possible and go down to the garden before the moon disappears behind the clouds.
This is it.
“Or I can lure Ram into falling asleep with my ultimate bedmaking skills and make the promise while she’s sleeping and then come back and finish the assignment… I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone!”
In other words, you could say he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. It was a sad man’s heart wavering between the assignment and the promise.
I’ve prepared plan B and have already adjusted my bed. The bedding is in great shape, having soaked up the sunlight, and the warmth you feel just by touching it is powerful enough to make you fall into dreamland in no time.
There, Subaru concentrated all of his hidden hotelier abilities into it, and the masterpiece of bedmaking was complete.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make a better bed than this…”
It was literally a masterpiece in which he put in everything he had.
It’s really captivating workmanship even though I’m the one who did this. I usually hate Ram for lying on my bed without my permission, but now I can’t wait for her to come into my room.
“I feel as if I’m waiting for a cockroach to enter my newly purchased roach trap as fast as possible—I’m the worst!”
I’m not gonna rephrase it since that’s how it is.
However, the fact that he was waiting for his opponent with such dutifulness could be said to be a sign of his Japanese temperament, which was the reason why he couldn’t be ruthless.
He stood in front of the desk, tapping on his knee with his finger, and waited for her. But…
“Why does she have to be late today? If it begins late, then consequently, it will end late too. Unlike lessons in school, there’s no bell that rings when it’s over.”
In schools, if the teacher is late, then it would be a ‘I was waiting for this!’ situation, but in the current situation, it’s a pure waste of time that keeps me stuck here longer. It’s not like I don’t like the idea of putting extra time into revising stuff, but I have to say that keeping my mind calm and going for the letters in this state of mind is pretty harsh.
Subaru himself didn’t realize that it was a ridiculous resolve to try to finish his assignments early with such feelings.
As the time was ticking by, he became more and more impatient, so he rushed towards the door and violently opened it the moment he heard a knock. And then, he lashed out. “You’re late! Every second of this may have been nothing to you, but to me, it was equivalent to chipping away at whatever sanity I had left!”
“…I didn’t know that you were waiting that much, I’m sorry? I was late because I haven’t been on this floor much.”
He felt like his face had turned as white as a sheet when Emilia, who was waiting outside the door, said that.