Re:Zero Prequel: Bond of Ice Epilogue

Epilogue

The signs of dawn breaking made Emilia wake up, after which she sat up in her bed.

“Cold…”

Murmuring this with a drowsy look, she pulled her sheets toward herself. She drew her knees closer and placed her chin on the sheets she’d pulled, whiling away her time while in a half-conscious state.

She wasn’t falling asleep again. She was already awake. Her mind and body just hadn’t caught up yet.

So it was still okay, time slowly continued to pass by while she idly―

“―Lia. Get a hold of yourself, or you won’t have time for your daily routine.”

As she nodded off, a voice suddenly slipped into her ears. But this didn’t surprise Emilia in the slightest. She just grimaced,

“… Just a little longer.”

“That little longer is no good, I’m afraid. Come on, get up already.”

“Noisy…”

“Ehh―”

When Emilia buried her face deeper in her bedding, Puck made an elongated sound in a dissatisfied tone. But the gray coated cat soon regained his composure and landed on her shoulder. And then, while she kept her face lowered, he pulled hard on her ear.

“Hey, wake up, wake up. Wake up, wash your face, and brush your teeth. Once you’re done with that, move on to your hair… A braid would look nice today. Pretty please.”

“Braid… You do it.”

“Alright―”

Emilia left her hair to Puck who was hurrying her, and rubbed her eyes as she left the bed. Fixing her sleepwear that was sliding down her shoulder, she seemed somewhat annoyed as she stepped into the chilly morning air.

The scenery of the garden, which she could look over from the huge tree she was living in, hadn’t changed a bit over these past several years.

At the spot where she dried her laundry, she had constructed a simple storeroom that had her daily essentials crammed into it. The stream in which she washed her face and bathed was close by, and at its shore was a memorial she had built from obsidian.

“Good morning, everyone… Looks like we’ve got good weather today as well.”

Emilia made sure to greet this memorial with no inscription on it every single morning. This memorial was an offering to the lesser spirits she had once bonded with, who she suddenly lost. Her contract with them was severed one-sidedly. But still, she had to keep her promise. This was her sincerity towards the nameless memorial.

“Woah, cold…”

Splashing it with water from the stream, she cleaned the memorial. She then washed her face, getting rid of any remaining traces of drowsiness. She rinsed her mouth as well, and with this she had done everything she was instructed to.

“Alright, braiding complete. Hmm, you’re super cute today too.”

“Right, right.”

Puck had been working hard on her shoulder while she was busy cleaning the memorial and washing her face, he puffed his chest out with pride. When she cast a sidelong glance at Puck who wiped his forehead with an expression that looked like he had done something incredible, her braided silver hair entered her field of view.

“Wanna have a look in a mirror?”

“No, that’s fine. There’s nothing to worry about since you did it for me.”

Shaking her head at his proposal, Emilia who had been toying with her braided hair let go of it.

It wasn’t just limited to her hair, Puck knew more about Emilia than Emilia herself did. She didn’t think anything weird would happen if she just left it to him. To begin with, Emilia didn’t really know much about fashion.

Furthermore, Emilia still lacked the courage to step in front of a mirror.

“It’s so adorable too, how unfortunate.”

Puck crossed his short arms and sulked, causing Emilia to force a faint smile as she separated from the stream and headed back home.

Puck would fuss over her and compliment her appearance like this, but Emilia knew her appearance was one that inspired dread in others. She took Puck’s flattery with a grain of salt.

Having returned home from the stream, she approached her change of clothes placed on the bed. Picking out her clothes was also Puck’s job.

Emilia cheerfully shed her sleepwear, baring her body with no hesitation.

“How immodest.”

“You’re the only one around here, and you’ve got your back turned to me.”

“I keep telling you that that’s not the problem, I guess you just won’t learn no matter how many years pass.”

“I think you’re reeeeally stubborn, to keep repeating something I haven’t listened to for so many years.”

Her clothing today was worn like a coat, so there was no risk of it ruining her braided hair. She had a reliable family member called Puck who wouldn’t overlook such things.

Puck prepared her towel while she changed, and Emilia took her shoes out of a shelf.

“Those shoes, do they feel alright?”

“Yeah, they’re fine. I’m already completely used to making them, like a craftswoman or something.”

“I find it somewhat sad that you’ve ended up making your own shoes instead of finding some place to buy them, but since it seems you want to be praised I’ll go ahead and praise you all you want. That’s really great, Lia.”

“Ufufu, you just can’t be straightforward.”

Emilia had made her shoes by hand using tanned leather and plant tendrils. She tapped the tips against the ground to fit them against her feet, and then took the towel Puck offered her as she once again set out into the garden.

Her daily routine of running around to clean up her sleeping companions who had become ice sculptures had not changed. But she started a little later than she did before. This was because of how bad she was at waking up properly― Not really, the reason was much simpler.

It was because there was no longer anything she had to do after she finished cleaning them.

“But even so, you’ve gotten pretty lazy now that you’ve finished that map of yours.”

“Hey, I reeeeally resent that. Right now. I’m just taking a break after a job well done.”

“Sure is a long break, though.”

Puck rode on her shoulder with an exasperated expression. Just as he said, Emilia’s daily grind to finish her map of Elior Forest was now complete, and she was now out of a job.

The final rewrite of the map was the twenty first edition, and it was presently put up on her room’s wall. Unfortunately, her original goal of using the map so she could talk to more people had not been fulfilled.

“But what’s important is that I did it. This sense of accomplishment is a treasure in itself… Isn’t that right, Puck?”

“Yeah, let’s just go ahead and leave it at that, Lia.”

Emilia too felt relieved when he agreed with her. It was a strangely roundabout way to say it, but Emilia ignored that.

The trick to getting along with Puck was to avoid fussing over the little stuff.

“Ah, right. Isn’t the anniversary of Melakuera’s death coming up soon?”

She was making her rounds around the garden, clearing the frost off her forty nine companions. Midway, Emilia muttered this as if she suddenly remembered it. The moment she did, Puck grimaced in dissatisfaction.

“There was no need for you to remember that… It’s today. But it’d better if you just forgot about it.”

“You’re being mean again… There may have been a big quarrel at the end, but he was a friend, wasn’t he? I’ll have to clean his grave properly.”

“I have some doubts as to whether you could really call that a quarrel, and to begin with I was never friends with Melakuera. He was just an acquaintance. We met… Well, I don’t really remember.”

Climbing up Emilia’s silver hair, Puck started grooming his face on top of her head. Emilia sighed at this behavior resembling that of a family cat. His secretiveness hadn’t changed.

But she got the feeling that he used his forgetfulness as an excuse a lot more frequently than he did before. Maybe that was related to him breaking his vow to form a contract with Emilia―

“Lia? You’ll end up walking into a tree if you space out like that, are you okay?”

“Ah, yeah, I’m fine. I was just thinking for a bit… Right, back then, you became reeeeeally big. I thought for sure that you couldn’t return to normal…”

“Aah, I was seriously perplexed when you sincerely started building a huge cat house. You didn’t even have any plans, and you were pretty clumsy so you never did get very far, though.”

“I know I’m clumsy, so you really should have told me sooner.”

“I was really happy that you wanted to do something for me, so it ended up slipping my mind. And your red face when you got all embarrassed and angry was super cute, so it slipped my mind then as well.”

“If there were that many slips, you were just playing a prank on me!”

When Emilia’s face turned completely red as she got angry, Puck nodded several times in satisfaction.

During their battle with Melakuera, Puck had formed a contract with Emilia, this restored his Od and allowed him to use her excess mana to return to his true form― Since then, she hadn’t once seen that giant, monstrous form bearing golden eyes.

“Because it’s not very pretty, you see.”

That was what Puck said, but she didn’t really understand what that meant. However, Emilia also thought that this small form was more Puck-like than the big one, so she didn’t complain. It was cute.

“Gosh, just come here already, Puck. I’m mad, so let me touch your ears and tummy.”

“You don’t really have to come up with that sort of excuse, you can go ahead and touch me whenever you want.”

“It’s not like I want to touch you, this is your punishment. I’m punishing you for being bad.”

She pouted as she hurried him, and Puck descended before her saying, “Right, right” With a blank expression even though he was being punished. He spread his arms out as if telling her to do whatever she wanted, and Emilia reached out to his defenseless body to enjoy his fluffy fur.

His stomach, his ears, and even the base of his neck. A connoisseur like Emilia wouldn’t overlook the tip of his tail either.

“Here, take this.”

“Nyannyan, so ticklish!”

“Hehe, how was it? You’re done? You give up, right?”

“I lost, I lost, I surrender, I surrender. I just can’t win against you, huh.”

After she toyed with him to her heart’s content, she looked upon his wilting, exhausted appearance with satisfaction after which she put him back on her shoulder.

“Good. Now, stay quiet just like that until we get home. And start making preparations once we get back, we’ll be visiting Melakuera’s grave for the first time in a long while. It might take a while, should we bring lunch?”

“Sure, I do quite like your manly rice balls.”

“―? Manly, didn’t that mean something like openly talking about secrets?”

“You remember something from that long ago, huh. To be honest, I’d forgotten.”

She didn’t really understand the connection between secrets and rice balls, but it didn’t seem like Puck had any intention of explaining it so she’d have to think about it on her own. Although she already had many such doubts she never could find the answer to.

Anyway, she had decided what she was going to do once she had finished her daily routine. Once she cleaned off the final one, she went back home while playing with Puck.

Leaping over the stream, ascending the tree’s roots, opening the door to her room―

“― That’s quiiiite the splendid map you have here. I couldn’t help but admire it.”

The instant she entered her room completely devoid of caution, an unfamiliar voice greeted her, causing her to stop.

The voice came from the tall figure standing in the middle of her room with their back to her. The figure with long indigo hair flowing down their back was looking at the map of the forest affixed to her wall.

“It must have taken a great deal of time and effort to create this. Considering the scale of Elior forest and the witchbeasts that dwell within it, it is easy to imagine how haaaaaard it must have been.”

“Eh, ah, eh?”

“You possess adequate literacy. The drawings and names are perhaps what one might call creative, but that’s down to individual taste. Now, all that’s left is to look upon the creator… Yes, I see.”

Paying no mind to Emilia’s bewilderment, this person nodded as if confirming something, and finally turned around to face Emilia eye to eye. The sight of their face made Emilia gulp.

Their face was not normal. No, that wasn’t quite right. The features themselves were nothing unusual, it was just that their face, well, it was unusual.

“… Makeup?”

“Correct, this is makeup. Howeeeeever, your features haven’t been altered in the slightest it would seem.”

The man who had painted his face white and his lips purple nodded in response to her question. Taking a good look at him, it wasn’t just his makeup, the clothes adorning his body were truly striking as well. That eyesore of a color scheme went well with the makeup on his face, a rather disconcerting combination.

And betraying Emilia’s impression of him, the man added this,

“It is truly an honor to be able to meet you. She who dwells in Elior Forest, The Great Witch of Frost.”

“―!”

That name was the alias used to refer to her by those who knew she lived in this forest, it had become commonplace in rumors before she knew it.

To be honest, she didn’t like it very much. Even now the title of witch was something she struggled with. Therefore―

“I thought I’d be quiet and hear you out, but I see your lack of manners extends well beyond sneaking into my daughter’s room.”

“Oh deeeear. What have we here, it seems you have a strange pet accompanying you.”

Emilia felt uncomfortable, and Puck spoke in her place with a voice and expression full of hostility.

The spirit floated in the air with his arms crossed, keeping the man in check as his eyes widened. In response to Puck’s intimidation, the man narrowed his heterochromatic eyes,

“What exactly does your watchdog… No, watchcat do to visitors lacking in manners?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it. ―This is what I’m going to do!”

Puck joined his paws as he spoke, and in an instant a massive whirlpool of mana surrounded the spirit. He turned it into a shockwave, and the man before him was easily―

“Eh?!”

“If thaaaat’s all you’ve got, I’m more than capable of doing the same.”

While looking at the whirlpool of mana, the man casually snapped his fingers. In an instant, he had produced a whirlpool of mana spinning in the opposite direction of the one Puck had formed, and the two collided―

And then―

“――”

―With a violent explosion of light, Emilia’s home of many years was blown to smithereens.

2

“―I have no intention of antagonizing you. I doooo wish you would believe this.”

“… Could you not say that before you spent half a day fighting?”

“Right, exactly, it’s just as Lia says. You’ll really have to reflect on this.”

“You too, Puck! I kept asking you to stop but you just wouldn’t!”

Covered in soot, Emilia was indignant as she yelled at Puck and the man, neither of whom showed any signs of remorse.

They had strayed quite some distance from her home, and were now in the vicinity of the ‘Zig-zagging Woods’ in the eastern region of Elior Forest. But the area had already changed so drastically that it would be hard to call it that anymore, perhaps she even ought to hurry up and change the name on her map to the ‘Bristly Wasteland’

“But eeeeeven so, this is the first time in a long while that anyone has managed to push me to my limit in a battle of magic. Against my better judgement, I forgot all about stopping and went so far as to use my trump card.”

“That goes for both of us. The last one to make go as far as to use my Star Beast form was one of the Four Greats, Melakuera. It would be no idle boast to say you possess power on par with the Four Greats.”

To make matters worse, the two in question completely ignored Emilia’s anger and were starting to get along. Even though they should have used up all of their willpower and stamina, they showed no signs of this whatsoever.

But in response to Puck’s praise, the man laughed meaningfully, “Hohooo”

“Your clash with one of the Four Greats, perhaps you’re refeeeerrring to ‘The Day The Heavens and The Earth Turned Red’ from seven years ago? Two beings possessing extraordinary mana clashed in this forest, producing a colossal calamity that dyed the forest and the sky red, or so the rumor goes.”

“Seven years! It’s already been that long, huh. Time sure goes by quickly.”

“The events of that day ended up becoming that kind of rumor?”

Emilia and Puck exchanged glances, the rumor the man spoke of was familiar to them.

It was definitely about the day they clashed with Melakuera. On that day, Melakuera’s power scorched the land and cleared the skies, spreading an evening glow. It truly was the day the heavens and the earth turned red.

“The ‘Arbiter’ Melakuera has been absent ever since. It is said that his now empty position among the Four Greats is filled by the being known as the ‘Beast of The End’. Perhaaaaaps this new member rings a bell?”

“Ohh, how scary. I can’t say I know of any spirit that goes by such a terrifying name―”

“Puck, didn’t you just show him your Star Beast transformation…”

With his shoddy attempt to play dumb completely failing to fool anyone, Emilia sighed and the man’s smile deepened as he looked at her. Judging by his attitude, it seemed fairly obvious that he already knew this for a fact from the start.

Then perhaps his objective had something to do with Puck, who was now one of the Four Greats.

“If that’s the case, I’ll be joining the fight too. I can see that you’re a reeeally skilled mage, but even you would be at a disadvantage two on one, isn’t that right?”

“I ceeeertainly cannot deny that. So allow me to speak of something else.”

“Speak of something else…?”

As Emilia grew warier, the man flipped his frayed coat and bowed deeply where he stood.

His gesture was so refined that even Emilia who knew little of etiquette could tell how polished it was.

The suddenness of this caused Emilia’s eyes to widen. The man continued with his head lowered before her,

“I humbly apologize for my sudden visit, and moreover, for being so rude as to test you. I am Roswaal. ― Margrave Roswaal L Mathers. I am the current head of the Mathers family which has governed the land containing this forest for generations.”

Still in a state of shock, Emilia pondered the man-Roswaal’s words, and soon became even more shocked. Governing the forest, those words reminded her of something Puck had told her a long time ago.

“Are you perhaps… Here to collect money from us?”

“―Hah?”

“I mean, that’s what Puck said before. That outside the forest, even the roads and the land are people’s possessions, and even things like passing through them or living on them mean you would have to pay money. This is your forest, isn’t it?”

Never mind that she didn’t know, she had done something outrageous.

Emilia lost all hope and felt like she could collapse on the spot.

She only wished to quietly, peacefully wait in this forest until her companions woke up, but to think that she was being a bother just by staying here.

“Could this be the reason for my guilt…”

“That would be terrible. Let’s hope you’re wrong about that.”

Puck didn’t seem to agree with her fears, but Emilia too hoped that she was wrong about this. But even if that wasn’t the case, the fact remained that she had been living on someone else’s land for free.

She took a peek at Roswaal and found that he was watching their exchange with an amused expression.

“Ah, please don’t worry about me. Should it seem that this conversation could run long, let’s seeeee, I would be eeeeever so grateful to receive to a cup of tea.”

“R-Right, of course. A cup of tea… Ah, my home…”

About half a day ago, her home had been annihilated when the battle between Puck and Roswaal began. The scale of the magical battle following this made her forget about it, but considering how long she had spent there it was only natural that it would sadden her even now. Furthermore, she had even left her map in that room.

“You worked so hard to make it too, and now it’s completely gone…”

“Hm, so no tea then. And it would appear that the two of you cannot pay the rent you owe for the time you spent living here, is that correct?”

“u… Yes, um, that appears to be the case.”

Money, the problem was money. Just like before, she was purchasing her daily necessities by taking the shiny stones she dug up to the nearby village and using them to trade, so she didn’t have any money on hand.

“That’s right! How about instead of money, I dig up these pretty rocks…”

“Lia, calm down and think about it. The forest belongs to this… Roswaal, so naturally, everything you could find in the forest would also belong to him. That goes for those pretty rocks too.”

“Then I’m a thief?!”

“And me, I guess I was the real homewrecker.”

[T/N: Homewrecker = Thieving Cat, Puck previously called the lesser spirits homewreckers]

She had just lost her home, and now it turned out she was a thief all along, the devastating truths just kept coming to light one after another because of which Emilia just about reached the limit of what her heart could handle. Perhaps feeling some pity at seeing her like this, Roswaal clapped his hands, “Understood.”

“Then, let’s say this shall substitute for all the rent you owed until now…”

“Ah! That’s my map!”

Roswaal pulled a rolled up map out of his breast pocket in an exaggerated manner, surprising Emilia. Roswaal smiled in response as he casually waved the rolled up map.

“In truth, this map is a very precious item. Because of the countless witchbeasts prowling around Elior Forest, there has not been oooooone single person so reckless as to attempt to make a map of the area!”

“Really? It is really dangerous, after all.”

“That’s certainly true, but that’s not the only reason. For instance, the fact that investigation groups are unable to eeeeeenter the forest in the first place. It seems that a barrier surrounding the forest repels those who would attempt to enter, and if one were to force themselves through, they would be attacked by a Hollow appearing out of nowhere.”

“Ehh, I didn’t know about that. I’ve never even met anything like a Hollow.”

“Well, that goes for me too. You see, I too passed through the barrier to get here and I did not encounter any Hollows.”

Emilia’s white cheeks turned pale, in response to which Roswaal nodded as if concerned. Right next to Emilia, Puck’s expression turned sour,

“Hmm, I ended up relying on the barrier too much, I wasn’t cautious enough about the possibility that someone would get past it.”

Although he said such things, Emilia took no notice. Anyhow,

“So, you want to take that map as compensation for all the charges until now?”

“Yes, that is correct. Of course, if you believe this to be unfair we could always discuss…”

“No, that’s fine. Keep it. You’ll probably make much better use of it than I would.”

“――”

Emilia interrupted Roswaal before he could say whatever he was going to, she then transferred ownership of the map to him. This made Roswaal’s eyes widen, but Emilia had already turned back to Puck,

“Take a good look, it wasn’t useless or anything. Because I made that map, we just barely kept our lives. So it was a good thing after all, wasn’t it?”

“Is that right? Hmm, that might be the case. Even I can refute that…”

“Right? Alright, I managed to beat Puck. Who did? I did!”

“I suppose so. You did indeed do that, Lia.”

The map’s unexpected usefulness made Emilia happy, and she was in high spirits as Puck put on a bittersweet smile with a defeated expression.

And then―

“I see. ― This coooould certainly pose a problem.”

As he watched the two, Roswaal muttered this in a satisfied manner.

“―? Did you just say something?”

Unable to hear what he had muttered, Emilia turned towards him and tilted her head. But Roswaal did not answer her question, he instead stared at her intently with his yellow eye.

“――”

His gaze somehow felt uncomfortable, like he was observing her, like he was peering into her. As his gaze overwhelmed her, she suddenly realized.

Thinking about it clearly, this was the first time she had been able to converse with someone like it was natural.

She didn’t even have her robe on right now, so her silver hair and amethyst eyes were out in the open―

“―Are you not afraid of me?”

This was so unexpected to her that she ended up asking him this upfront. The moment she said it, she started to wonder if she had been too direct, but,

“If I had to say whether or not I’m afraid of you, I’d have to say I’m not.”

In response to her question, Roswaal solemnly shook his head. He then continued,

“The reeeeason being that I knew from the very start that a half-elf possessing silver hair and amethyst eyes dwelled in this forest, and it was in order to find this person that I came here.”

“― Then, don’t tell me, you’re like those guys.”

When she heard that he had come to this forest specifically seeking her, a half-elf with silver hair and amethyst eyes, the characteristics of the witch, what first came to mind was from a long time ago, when those scoundrels invaded the forest. Those people had brought a caged witchbeast with them, and said they were going to make Emilia and her companions slaves.

“You need not worry. My goals are faaaaar nobler than those of such a bunch.”

“You sure like to dance around the subject, huh. Setting Lia aside, I’m not a very patient guy. Because I’m a cat, you see.”

“I wooooould rather avoid your ire, I shall get to the point then. But first, Lia-sama… Do you wish to be addressed in this manner?”

Shrugging his shoulders in response to Puck’s intimidating words, Roswaal directed his gaze towards Emilia. Receiving his gaze, Emilia realized that this was the first time anyone had ever asked to hear her name.

Come to think of it she never did introduce herself, and Puck only ever used his affectionate nickname to refer to her.

So―

“―No, my name is Emilia. I have no family name. Just call me Emilia.”

Introducing herself like so, she seemed to thrust her chest toward Roswaal with pride. And Puck was sitting on her shoulder as she did so, she had nothing to be afraid of right now.

One person and one animal, Roswaal drew in his chin when he saw the spirit arts user and spirit line up side by side. He then took a step backward, and got down on one knee as he respectfully bowed to her.

“Very well, Emilia-sama. Allow me to start over, I am Margrave Roswaal L Mathers. As a noble affiliated with the Kingdom of Lugunica, I have come to visit you on this occasion in order to enlist the aid of your esteemed self.”

“… Aid?”

“Yes, that is correct. ― Emilia-sama, would you please accept this?”

Roswaal took something out of his pocket and offered it to Emilia who was somewhat troubled by his respectful stance and tone. In his palm was a small object with a red jewel embedded in it. There was a design engraved onto the triangular black object ― It seemed to be a dragon. She could tell at a glance that it was of great value.

“――”

Still uncomfortable, Emilia nervously extended her hand towards the object in Roswaal’s palm. When her finger touched it, she momentarily withdrew her hand as if scared.

“Lia”

She heard Puck call her name as he gently snuggled up to her cheek, and she gave a slight nod in response.

She then took it from Roswaal’s hand―

“―It’s beautiful. What is this?”

She instinctively sighed as if entranced.

The jewel she accepted somehow started to shine in her palm. The red jewel glowed brilliantly, illuminating the forest cloaked in nightfall.

“This is proof, Emilia-sama.”

“Proof… This proves something? What does it prove?”

“That’s right! ―It proves that you cannot escape your fate.”

Roswaal answered her question as he brushed the dust off his knee and stood up. It was not Emilia, but Puck who was somewhat offended by this answer.

“I can’t say I like that word.”

“Is that so, that’s unfortunate.”

“Phrases like fated meeting or fated partner are a different matter, though. Because Lia and I have a super strong relationship, a bond bound by fate itself. Tight, super tight. Right, Lia?”

“Sorry, I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.”

Ignoring Puck who was clinging to her cheek, Emilia turned back to Roswaal.

“Well then, Roswaal, what exactly do you want from me?”

“And once I tell you?”

“I think I want to help you if it’s something I can do, but…”

She wasn’t sure whether or not she would be able to do whatever it was. Roswaal smiled in response to her attitude.

“Then I must request your cooperation with all my heart. This is something only you can do.”

“Something only I can do.”

“A task only you can fulfill. There will be a reward, of course.”

“You don’t really need to…”

“―The reward is, a method to awaken the people frozen in this forest.”

“――”

Emilia was about to turn down any sort of reward, but Roswaal’s words completely drowned that out. Taking notice of this reaction, Roswaal nodded deeply.

“I see your eyes have chaaaaanged.”

“― Could you explain in greater detail? What exactly it is that you want me to do.”

“Of course. Well then, let us sit down and… Oh dear, it would seem your home no longer exists. Weeeeell then, there’s no helping it. There is a dragon carriage waiting for us. Might I ask you to accompany me?”

Roswaal shamelessly said this as he extended his arm to indicate the outside of the forest.

Even Emilia who knew her judgement wasn’t very good understood the reason he waited for them at her home. He was planning to cut off any path of escape from the very start.

“You didn’t need to go that far.”

Even if he hadn’t cornered her like this, Emilia would not falter. If by following him she could free her frozen companions, if she could just find out how to do that.

“―Lia.”

Having received her assent, Roswaal started walking ahead of her. As she followed after him, Puck who was on her shoulder whispered in a voice only she could hear.

Emilia was prepared to hear something like how she should be careful about doing something so dangerous, or how it would be best if she stopped.

However―

“No matter where you go or what you decide to do, I’ll stay by your side.”

“――”

“Because it’s also a father’s duty to accept his daughter’s wishes, you see.”

Touching her cheek as if caressing it, Puck winked at her as she looked at him in surprise. His unchanging attitude and behavior saved her, and she nodded.

“Yeah. I’m counting on you. ― So stay with me.”

“Until you no longer want to enter the bath with me, I’ll always be with you.”

“… You dummy.”

Emilia suppressed her laughter as she said this in response to his carefree and facetious tone.

As they had their exchange, Roswaal who was walking ahead of them stopped and looked back at them.

“Sorry, I’ll be right there―”

Saying this, with Puck by her side, Emilia started running―

―What awaited the girl and the spirit beyond the forest?

―That’s a story for another day.


Re:Zero Prequel: Bond of Ice

Re:Zero Prequel: Bond of Ice

Re: Zero kara hajimeru zenjitsutan Hyouketsu no Kizuna, Re:ゼロから始める前日譚 氷結の絆
Score 7.8
Status: Completed Type: Author: , Released: 2016 Native Language: Japanese
Re:Zero Prequel: Bond of Ice is a limited edition short story that was included in Re:Zero BD 1.

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