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Re:Written by the Stars

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Re:Written by the Stars

Prologue – The Forgotten Duchess

Chapter 2 –『Crusch Karsten』

The noble House of Karsten was one of the most faithful supporters of the Lugnica monarchy, serving the royal family without fail. The current Lord was a man called Meckart Karsten, he was a very emotional person who tried to look dignified but failed miserably at it. His drooping eyebrows and gentle looks prevented it, that doesn't mean that the man was truly happy. His wife, Helena Karsten, died very soon after the birth of their stillborn son. She was the example Meckart tried to follow, someone strong-willed with very little shown emotion. That didn't change the love she felt for her husband and unborn child, Helena wished to raise her with the characteristics of both parents: someone strong and emotional but it wasn't supposed to be. The fact that Meckart didn't have an heir was a big problem to overcome.

The man was growing older and older and with the royal selection finally beginning, things were growing far more troublesome. Luckily for their house, someone with "royal blood" had returned, at least unofficially. Felt, the little girl who the Sword Saint brought back gave hope to the old Lord, who was still being miserable after the death of two of his loved ones. Currently, his house sided with Felt, who was being sponsored by the Astrea House. With the cooperation of the Karsten House, she was the current front-runner candidate for the Ruler position.

Felt brought uproar when she showed up as the fourth candidate for the throne, with her "common" background. She was the spitting image of the deceased Royal Family, red eyes and blond hair that showed off the former Lion characteristics. The Lion crest that formerly belonged to the Lugnica family was given to the House Karsten for their service. The covenant with the Holy Dragon changed the royal family's crest, which they gave as a gift to the House Karsten; it is a constant reminder of the House's greatest accomplishment. That being its many centuries of loyalty to the Crown and is pridefully displayed in all manners by its members and associates.

Felt looked like a small lion, nobody could refute it. The nobles were first very put off by the words Felt gave at the start of the selection but with the support of the House of Astrea and Karsten, the majority of nobles were the first to follow the girl. The other candidates were far below her popularity, the candidates Anastasia, and Emilia were already losing with only the Priscilla Camp being a real contender.

The battle against the White Whale was brought forward with an alliance between Felt's Camp and Emilia's. Later with the help of Anastasia's mercenary group they gathered their forces to fight against the beast. The Sword Saint was not there to battle the beast, the explained reason was that the Sword Saint had other duties to attend while in reality he didn't dare to help his grandfather in his battle for justice. Something Reinhard felt he was responsible for.

The Sword Demon didn't join Felt's Camp directly but offered his service to the House Karsten, who was the best in giving him an opportunity to defeat the beast that killed his wife the former Sword Saint, Theresia van Astrea. Both kept their distance from each other even when they were supposed to work together, ashamed of their behaviour they weren't capable of talking their problems out. Something that made both the grandson and grandfather feel terrible.

The White Whale's subjugation gave a major boost to Felt's reputation, but the person who profited the most was the one called "Hero". Natsuki Subaru was hailed as the Hero from every direction. The nobles respected his actions that improved their Kingdom's position, while the merchants were happy with another threat gone. The commoners were the group that was the least impressed, nothing had changed for the people that lived in poverty but even that changed with Natsuki Subaru's next accomplishment.

Natsuki Subaru, the Hero who defeated the White Whale and the [Sin Archbishop of Sloth]. Was someone that nobody could have expected, someone with no name doing what he did. The commoners wrote songs about him, while the merchants and nobles thanked him for his diligence. The Hero Reinhard van Astrea, who was all-powerful, had found his opponent in the Hero Natsuki Subaru, who was unstoppable or at least in the hearts of the people of Lugnica.

The Half-Devil Emilia who was first thought of as the person with the lowest chance of winning the royal selection was being looked at differently. Natsuki Subaru had subtly changed the view the people had about her. The Half-Elf couldn't be an evil Witch with someone like the Hero Natsuki Subaru next to her? The hero must be serving someone worthy of him, right? Not everyone was convinced about Emilia's qualifications, they thought that the Witch must have enchanted the Hero with spells. Not willing to believe that the Half-Elf could be someone good.

Everything went successful except at the end where hell rained down on the other half of the subjugation. The two Witch Cultists killed almost every single one of the returning soldiers and the rest continued their bittersweet return victory to the Capital. Specifically, to the Karsten mansion in the Nobles' District, the one villa that stands above every other is in possession of none other than the Karsten family. Despite it being as luxurious and extravagant as the main Mathers domain, it is only used when the House's patriarch has important business in the Capital. In that case, it is large enough to act as a military base. Its estate front lawn itself is vast in size, enough to make a makeshift camp and hospital for the returning soldiers.

With the return of the allied forces, who were in an even worse state than expected, a lot of internal conflicts were going on. The leader, an old knight called Robert, of the subjugation died by the attack of the two Witch Cultist's and the current head of the Karsten House was residing in his own Domain. The Astrea House was tasked with dealing with the returned soldiers but for some reason, it took them quite a long time before they had everything organised. Almost like they suddenly came with the decision to help with the return of the soldiers, almost like they weren't supposed to be the ones taking credit for the bittersweet victory. Reinhard was with the healer squad trying to help the injured, but the problem lied with two people: a blue-haired girl and a green-haired one. Nobody knew who they were, but how could that be possible?

"Sword Saint-sama!" Reinhard was being called to check the two uninvited guests who were unconscious. The two were already healed but it would take a time to wake up, for one of them at least. The healers already understood there was nothing to do for the blue-haired girl, those whose name and memories are eaten simply become a shell, and although they live, they no longer eat, excrete waste, or age, putting them in suspended animation.

"Sleeping Beauty disease"

The current situation was very chaotic with the many injured and a number of people that seemed to have lost their memories. The other half of the subjugation finally returned, Subaru and Emilia looked around them. The injured soldiers were shown, some had lost their arms while others had lost their eyes. Slaughter is what was on the mind of both individuals.

"How awful…" Emilia muttered looking at the soldiers who fought so bravely against the White Whale but now looked like they lost against it.

"What happened here?" Subaru asked while looking around him in disbelief, didn't they defeat their enemies? Who could have done this, were some of the thoughts racing through his head.

"...Someone, tell me. Tell me. Why am I... where's His Highness? What was I for? There was somebody. There had to be somebody. Everything's strange if there wasn't. But..."

Subaru heard a very noticeable voice right behind him and he was shocked seeing Felix Argyle shouting to no one in particular, like he just lost his will to live. Subaru didn't have the time to think this out and started running around trying to find Rem. The woman who confessed to him, told him she loved him, told him that everything was going to be okay.

"Where is Rem!" Subaru shouted in a panic trying to find the girl around all the injured soldiers. He searched left and right and sometimes even went a bit far trying to look under the covers that were put on the dead soldiers. The soldiers that were stationed at the Karsten Mansion who saw this disapproved of his behaviour but noticed the panic the boy was in and decided to leave him alone.

"Reeem! Remmmm! Somebody! Did you see Reeeemmm!?" Subaru kept on shouting, not caring about the other people around him.

Subaru was thinking about the situation and couldn't understand what happened, the White Whale was defeated. What could have done this? After a while of searching, he finally found the girl laying on the grass surrounded by multiple guards. What he didn't see at the moment was the other woman lying a distance away from Rem.

"Rem! Come on Rem, It's me! Wake up! Wake up!" Subaru pleaded with the girl who was fast asleep.

"Hey Rem?! Rem! Rem!" He started shaking her body trying to wake her up but he got no reaction from her. Totally nothing, like she was laying there without any care in the world.

"You know this girl?" A manly voice came from behind him and Subaru saw that the man was one of the healers.

"Yes, she's Rem! She's fine, right? Why doesn't she wake up?" Subaru shouted at the healer.

"Unfortunately the girl is beyond help…nothing I can do will wake her up." The healer spoke with regret avoiding eye contact with the desperate boy.

Subaru didn't care what the man had to say, he needed a better answer, so he grabbed the healer and yelled, "WHY?! AREN'T YOU A HEALER? WHY CAN'T YOU SAVE HER?! If you are a healer, then heal her! Wake her up with your magic!" His voice started losing its loudness, "Please do something… please… please... "

He went on his knees crying at another failure, another time that he couldn't save someone, another time where he FAILED AND FAILED AND FAILED.

Subaru's only intent was to fix it, fix everything! He saw a blade next to him and realised his only path, [Return by Death]. While he pointed the blade at his throat there happened two things. First, was that Reinhard saw that Subaru was crying next to the unknown girl with a blade pointed at his throat. This shocked the knight greatly and immediately rushed to save his friend, but who says that the most powerful being in Lugnica can save him? He might be one of the strongest knights ever existed and people might praise him as capable but in the end, the "Monstrous" Reinhard, as he calls himself, isn't even able to save his friend.

While Subaru was just a second away from death, he heard a weak voice from right next to him. The woman he hadn't noticed finally spoke, "Natsuki Subaru?", she said looking scared at the moment that followed next.

Subaru had one thought, that he didn't only fail Rem but he realised that also failed Crusch and now she had to see him kill himself, truly despicable.

LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! SUBARU, YOU LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! SUBARU YOU LIAR! AAAAHHHH! SUBARU… SUBARU… YOU LIAR! YOU SAID WE WOULD BE TOGETHER! YOU LIAR!

You said that you loved me…

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

His death didn't bring him salvation, as he woke up next to Emilia and Petra in the dragon carriage. He did so much, he tried… really tried to help everyone. But… but nothing seemed to help. He felt more alone than ever, even the girl who stood by his side through everything left…

Subaru started thinking about the current situation and had a talk with Emilia in which she explained that he made a deal with Felt's and Anastasia's Camp to kill the White Whale and help with the Witch Cultists. The name『Crusch Karsten』was not to be heard, like she never existed, and to the people that was the case. Emilia was explaining everything to Subaru but that didn't lessen the worry she felt towards her butler.

Subaru was the one that did everything, so why did she have to explain it again? Emilia had those questions but decided to comfort Subaru for his heroic deeds. She saw that Subaru was hurting about something and tried her best to be helpful. Emilia felt lacking in her abilities, seeing Subaru do all of that for her while the only thing she could do was comfort him after everything ended.

They finally arrived and things happened exactly the same except this time he watched Crusch wake up from her slumber.

"Natsuki Subaru?" Crusch said, watching the young man in front of her.

"Crusch-san? Are you alright? Do you feel pain anywhere? Do you need something?" It almost felt like Subaru was trying to compensate for something but he truly felt for the girl whose life became full of uncertainty.

"–Ugh, what happened?" Crusch had gotten a concussion and had a hard time remembering what happened but before Subaru could speak someone else had already walked forward.

"Lady, It seems like you woke up. I'm happy to see that." The man who spoke was none other than Reinhard, who came after seeing one of the unknown people wake up. Of course, it was his duty to keep the peace of the place and that's why he decided to gather more information.

"It seems you really outdid yourself didn't you Subaru? Makes me glad." Reinhard said with his normal gentle smile.

Crusch looked bewildered at the Sword Saint in front of her, he seemed to speak with no recognition of who she was. She tried to stand up but didn't succeed, Subaru seeing this went towards her and kept her steady.

"Crusch-san you can't move too much." Subaru sounded concerned about her physical health but deep down knew that it was going to be all about her mental health after it became clear that…

"So, Lady? Your name is Crusch? It is a pleasure to meet you, but I must ask, why did you participate in the battle?" Reinhard said with the normal presence that dwarfed everyone else's.

"Excuse me, Reinhard-san but what are you talking about?" You could hear that her voice was very fragile at the moment and that it took great willpower to just stay awake.

"It seems that you are still flustered by the attack, I will come back another time. For the time being, you can stay in the Karsten Mansion while my Lady returns and decides what to do about this matter." Reinhard was as always the gentleman, he gave accommodation towards someone who looked like she needed it but didn't realise the effect of his words.

"...Someone, tell me. Tell me. Why am I... where's His Highness? What was I for? There was somebody. There had to be somebody. Everything's strange if there wasn't. But..."

Another voice was heard from afar, it was the cat-like Demi-Human who was aimlessly talking to himself.

"Ferris?" Crusch mumbled his name not believing what just happened to her knight, didn't he arrive safely from the battle? Was he hurt, but why was nobody healing him?

"Ah, Lady Crusch it seems like you know Felix. Don't be worried about him. Let's see what I can do about it." Reinhard saw the recognition in Crusch's eyes when looking at Felix. That didn't lessen the worry he had towards his friend looking so hopeless, he walked towards him trying to help out with what burdened him so much.

Felix lost the person who was a massive part of his character –Crusch Karsten. When such a person disappears from the world of course they'll collapse, that was the reason why Felix was mumbling over and over like a broken doll.

Crusch didn't understand what just happened, it seemed like they had forgotten her. But why was there only one person who seemed to remember her –Natsuki Subaru.

"Natsuki Subaru? What happened?" She finally asked the question he didn't want to answer. Subaru didn't want to tell her, that she without realising lost everything. Her knight, her forces, her candidacy and her family.

"Crusch-san, it- it seems like they all forgot about you… I don't understand, why can't they remember you, why can't they remember Rem?!" Subaru was crying while he looked between her and the blue-haired girl, who was called Rem?

"Subaru? Please, don't cry… It is going to be okay?" Crusch was trying to help the young hero quit his tears but failed spectacularly at it.

Subaru looked at the woman in front of him and became even more depressed after seeing Crusch of all people trying to help him, the person he failed the most together with Rem.

"Ha ha, I know I'm weak and pathetic and yet…"

"Subaru?" Crusch seeing Subaru cry made her feel something, like he should be the last person crying like that.

"Crusch-san." Subaru looked at her with his deep brown eyes and said, "They have forgotten you. I talked about you and Rem but nobody understood what the hell I was talking about. They believe I made an alliance with Felt's Camp, instead of yours. Your Camp doesn't exist at all!"

Crusch couldn't believe what she just heard –she was forgotten? Her life goal towards breaking the covenant with the Dragon to respect Fourier's last moments had already failed? She wasn't a candidate anymore, she wasn't a member of the noble Karsten House. She was just『Crusch』, nothing more and nothing less.

Subaru who saw the tears coming out from her eyes put his face close to hers and whispered his promise, "I don't know what is going to happen after today, what will happen with you or Rem but I will do everything to make things right again."

When Crusch looked at Subaru who was very close to her she grew a bit embarrassed. There had been no other men in her life that came so close to her except her father but she didn't mind it. Not when she saw the gaze in his eyes that yelled his undying determination about the promise he just made. He will fulfill his promise, it doesn't matter how many times he has to die but in the end, he will have a happy Rem awake and a Crush that was remembered.

Crusch, who saw this side of Subaru, was surprised. She thought she already understood the person who had in such a short period affected the lives of many but never did she expect it to be so strong. She held much fear in the coming future but with those eyes looking at her, like everything would be fine, she felt there might really be hope. Hope for what? She doesn't know, but at least there was light at the end of the tunnel. It looked like Natsuki Subaru was even better at pulling her heartstrings than she thought before.

"Subaru, thank you…" She whispered in his ear before she finally passed out from the heavy physical and mental fatigue. Crusch knew there were a lot of things to take care of, her knight Felix sounded almost broken and she knew she had to help him. There was also the problem with her family, who most likely also forgot about her and there was still her desire to become the next Ruler but right now she felt comfortable in the arms of the one person that didn't forget her –Natsuki Subaru.

"Subaruuuu?" Subaru hears Emilia's voice from behind and looks at the oncoming Half-Elf. Emilia saw Subaru holding another woman which gave her a troubling feeling, but this wasn't the moment to think about it.

"Emilia?"

AN: There we go, the ending of the prologue. The world has been set and it's time to play around with characters, as you could read things have changed. Crusch Karsten doesn't exist and to "compensate" for her existence a lot of things have changed. Felt's Camp is currently by far the most likely to win the royal selection, House Karsten has sided with the person who possesses "royal blood". Together with House Astrea and House Karsten and the new accomplishment of defeating the White Whale, it looks like Felt has already won… or maybe the Red-haired Maiden might change things?!

The relationship between Crusch and Emilia's Camp and Subaru himself, will be the focus of the first Act. I'm quite happy with the outcome of the "divergence" and feel like it does cannon justice. In PrideIF it was said that Crusch's forces were split between the different candidates (Emilia being the exception). House Karsten was known for its loyalty so it looked far more right to side with Felt's Camp. Once again thank you for reading and criticism is always accepted.

Upcoming: Act 1 – Sanctuary | Chapter 3 - Change