Why Did Subaru Reject Echidna’s Contract In Re:Zero?

The word witch in her title should have been a warning enough for Subaru to not trust Echidna completely. Though he was wary of the Witch of Greed, his relationship with her had improved after the second witches’ tea party. This was partly due to the fact that she was his sole confidant.

When Echidna offered to form a contract with him, Subaru viewed it as a pillar of goodwill and hope. And he would have accepted the contract without even blinking, had the other witches not interfered.

From what Echidna had relayed to Subaru, the contract seemed perfect. He would be guided to the future he desired with the help of her knowledge. In return, she only wanted to observe and feel everything that Subaru did. So then why did Subaru reject Echidna’s contract?

You can read in detail about the contract that Echidna proposed to Subaru by clicking here!

Subaru’s reason for rejecting the contract:

Subaru rejected Echidna’s contract because her contract would make him endure more pain and sacrifice his life to employ Return by Death a lot more. He would be forced to use the Return by Death to witness various outcomes and satisfy the Witch of Greed’s curiosity. Echidna’s inability to grasp human emotions also played a part in Subaru making his decision.

Echidna had initially said that if Subaru made a pact with her, she would use her knowledge to guide him to the best possible future. However, this was only a part of it. The Witch of Greed didn’t mention anything about the sacrifices that Subaru would have to make in return. In short, this would be his payment for having Echidna help him.

After being forced to reveal the entire terms of her contract, Echidna admits that she would have made Subaru try out various possibilities by using Return by Death, just so that she could satisfy her greed

Echidna's contract with Subaru

According to Echidna, Subaru could not comprehend how to use his Return by Death authority. For a researcher like Echidna, who is constantly searching for answers, the sheer number of possibilities that Return By Death provides is too much to ignore. Unlike real life, Return By Death allows a user to test out different possibilities and varied outcomes, while keeping the condition of the experiment i.e the time, environment, memory etc the same. Basically the ability to start from a checkpoint without the slightest change in conditions appealed a lot to Echidna and she intended to make complete use of it. 

However, the more Subaru would use his Return by Death ability, the more he will be emotionally frayed and unstable. His death or the deaths of the people close to him would no longer affect him. Infact, he will lose some part of himself on his way to achieve the best future guided by Echidna. His heart won’t be moved by love or death. He would be worn down and scarred by the ordeals that he endured. 

Though Echidna says that she would prevent Subaru’s mind from being destroyed, she does concede that her greed would make her waver from the optimal path. Meaning Echidna could make Subaru check out other possibilities even though it has nothing to do with the future he aims for, just so that she could see how things play out. But she promises that she wouldn’t lie to him or gloss over things just to earn his trust. And even if she does end up breaking Subaru’s trust, she wouldn’t try anything cheap to win it back.

Initially Subaru was okay with using his life as a cheap giveaway to protect the others around him. However, after his meeting with Satella at the third tea party, Subaru realises that he does not like suffering and that he is afraid of dying. He did not wish to die nor did he want others close to him to suffer the same fate. This new outlook pushes him further away from agreeing to Echidna’s contract.

But, instead of being angry, Echidna gladly accepts Subaru’s decision. It was almost as if she wanted him to reject his offer. After all, if she really cared about Subaru’s well being, that’s what she would do. Instead of witnessing him die a thousand times, she would want him to live. This was very much different from her attitude when she explained Beatrice’s contract and the identity of “that person”. Subaru had deduced that she was unable to grasp the feelings of other people. But he slowly comes to accept and make peace with this side of Echidna too!

Do you think Subaru was right in rejecting Echidna’s contract? Should he have negotiated the contract more before having rejected it? Let us know your opinions in the comments section!

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