Re:Zero is never short on mysteries or the psychological trauma that comes everytime Subaru meets a gruesome death. Thanks to his Return by Death ability, Subaru is basically stuck in a time-loop, dying and returning to his last “save point” till he sets things right. In one such time loop in Re:Zero Season 2, Subaru notices that Beatrice is in possession of a Witch’s gospel. Seeing this, he begins to doubt that she too was a member of the witch’s cult.
However, when he confronts Roswaal about this topic, the latter assures Subaru that Beatrice is not a member of the Witch’s cult. According to Roswaal, Beatrice is only staying in the library (refusing to venture out of it or help others) because of a contract that she cannot overlook or break. Finally in the third witches tea party, Echidna reveals to Subaru the details of her contract with Beatrice.
So what exactly is this contract that Beatrice is bound by currently.
The following part of the article contains major spoilers for Arc 4 of Re:Zero. Read ahead at your own discretion!
Beatrice & the forbidden library:
Beatrice is actually an artificial spirit created by Echidna 400 years ago. If you read our previous blog regarding the sanctuary, you already know that the Echidna created the Sanctuary too. While she lured the demi humans inside, guaranteeing them safety, she actually did so in order to gain protection from Hector, the Warlock of Melancholy. Beatrice was helping Echidna to create the sanctuary and the barrier around it.
However, Hector attacks before the construction of the barrier around the sanctuary is complete. Though Echidna is able to stop him then, she doubts whether she would be able to do so again. So she asks Beatrice to connect the forbidden library using her Door Crossing magic to the Roswaal Mansion. Beatrice wanted to stay and help Echidna. However, Echidna asked her to guard the forbidden library instead. The library was a treasure trove of knowledge that the Witch of Greed had collected. She wanted it to survive, even after her death.
Echidna further tells Beatrice she will be guided by the gospel that she gave her. Beatrice was asked to guard the library, until the day she would encounter a certain person in the forbidden library. But Echidna does not specify who the person would be or when that person would appear. Beatrice was to handover the forbidden library and its vast knowledge to this certain someone.
Sometime after ordering Beatrice to stand guard to the library, Echidna is defeated and sealed by the dragon Volcanica.
What is Beatrice’s contract?
So in short, Beatrice’s contract with Echidna in Re:Zero as her artificial spirit is to guard the forbidden library till “that person” arrives. When that person arrives, she can handover the library and its knowledge to him/her. The gospel would guide Beatrice, is what Echidna tells her. She could not leave the forbidden library (for long periods or stray too far away from it), unless the contract is broken. This is the reason why she stays behind to protect the library, ignoring the safety of other people. To her, the library of utmost importance.
In reality Echidna only wanted to see who Beatrice would choose to hand over the library and its knowledge. It was not meant to be a specific person at all. However, she does not specify this part to Beatrice when they form their contract. This was just Echidna acting to satiate her greed, rising from the curiosity of how Beatrice would behave and whom she would choose as “that person”.
Since she considered Echidna as her mother, Beatrice stayed loyal to Echidna’s wishes for close to 400 years. And without knowing that she could hand over the library to anyone she chose, Beatrice diligently watched over the library and waited for “that person”. In fact she was so lonely from having waited for so long that she asks Subaru to kill her! The reason why Beatrice asks Subaru to kill her when she meets him in Roswaal’s mansion in Re:Zero Season 2 is because she was looking for a way to be set free, without having to break her contact with Echidna.
In Re:Zero Season 2 Episode 8, Roswaal asks Subaru to tell Beatrice that he is “that person” she has been waiting for. This would free herself from the contract and she would be able to leave the library and be honest to her feelings.
What do you think about Beatrice guarding the forbidden library for close to 400 years due to her contract. Who could be the person that Echidna referred to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!