Natsuki Subaru walks through a dark tomb as he hears a voice compliment him on the desires that drive him. Suddenly, he finds himself on a grassy plain, and the voice from before beckoning him to come to her location. He turned to face the voice and saw a woman with long white hair and wearing a pitch-black dress sitting at a table. The woman asks if she surprised Subaru before remembering she hasn't introduced herself to him yet. The woman calls herself Echidna: the Witch of Greed.
Chapter 1: At the Place they Returned to
Subaru, Emilia, and the villagers of Irlam Village prepare to leave the Karsten Mansion in order to return home, with Crush, having lost her memories after being attacked by Lye Batenkaitos of the Witch Cult, says to Subaru that the mansion will feel empty without him, and while he apologizes, he says there are things he needs to take care of, nor does he want to abuse her hospitality anymore than he feels he has. He also knows that she has problems of her own, as due to Anastasia Hoshin having come out of the conflict with the Hakugei without any clear losses compared to the Crush Camp and Emilia Camp, so they will have to be careful regarding her.
Nevertheless, Subaru tells Crush that he will return to the Captial after returning everyone home, which Crush says she will be waiting so she can repay Subaru for everything. Subaru tells her to never mind, as he already feels he has been rewarded by her with his Ground Dragon Patrasche. Despite Crush saying it isn't enough, Subaru insists that Patrasche saved him even though they haven't been together for so long. Wilhelm speaks to Subaru saying Patrasche's breed of Ground Dragon is very temperamental, so it is rare for him to see one so loyal to her rider, meaning the two of them are extremely compatible. Hearing that, Subaru tells Patrasche he wouldn't ride any other Ground Dragon than her, causing her to affectionately nuzzle his cheek, while also humorously scratching his cheek as well.
Subaru says goodbye to Wilhelm and wishes him good luck with his reopened wound, which he thanks him for. He then hears Ferris say to Subaru that he has secured Rem, which he sees for himself. He asks if she will fall out while riding and he says he made sure she won't, though he is a little sad he can't help her. Subaru apologizes for leaving, saying he needs to find another way to help Rem, though Ferris adds that Subaru needs to rest himself considering how strained his Magic Gate has become. He says to Subaru that even though the gate is cleaned, he can't abuse it for about two months, causing Subaru to worry he has set off a flag when he said nothing else may happen. Subaru, however, thanks to Ferris for his healing, for fighting the Hakugei and Petelguese, and of course, Rem. He teases Subaru about how he said that and how he will do anything to protect Crush, so he better keeps his promise or else.
Emilia comes out from the carriage asking if they are ready, and Ferris asks Crush if she has anything else to say to Emilia. Crush approaches Emilia and thanks to her for everything, saying that even though she has lost her memories, she feels they are connected on a much deeper level. Emilia, in turn, nervously asks if she is afraid of her because she is a half-elf, and Crush answers that the worth of a soul is determined by the worth of a person's actions, so they should live in whatever fashion that represents them. She asks if Emilia feels she live shamefully and Emilia denies, so Crush says she is grateful she met her, which makes Emilia very happy. Crush wishes Subaru luck in the future as they finally take their leave.
As they rode back to the village, Subaru comments on how lonely it is without riding with the kids from the village before Otto reminds everyone he is present by asking about a lack of a topic to discuss. Subaru teases him before stating he knows Otto wants to talk to Roswaal and have him buy his cargo, though he still mercilessly teases him about his odds of success. Emilia says the two of them get along, though Subaru says otherwise as he closes the window to keep Otto from listening in on them anymore. Emilia and Subaru share a small laugh before Subaru sits next to Emilia and she comments how now that feels natural to her, which delights Subaru.
Emilia turns attention to Rem, saying she can feel he is still thinking of her, which he doesn't deny. He confirms Rem is just as precious to him as Emilia is and that he will find some way to bring her back. Emilia says to Subaru that while that is a selfish motive, she says she feels she is participating in the Royal Selection for selfish reasons as well. He questions her about it but she says she can't explain it properly to him, so he agrees to wait until they see Roswaal again. Emilia decides to turn the topic to Rem, and he agrees to tell her everything he remembers about her until the finally reached the Mathers Domain.
Upon reaching the Mathers Domain, the notice that Irlam Village looks strangely empty. Subaru wondered if Ram and the villagers from the Sanctuary haven't come back, which Otto says isn't possible considering the distance and how long their group was in the Captial, and how powerful Roswaal is, causing them to wonder if something happened at the Sanctuary. Due to not knowing much about the Sanctuary, Subaru and Emilia decide to head back to the mansion, for now, even inviting Otto to stay as well.
The group returns to the mansion as Subaru tells Otto to put Patrasche and the dragon carriage behind the mansion while he gets everything ready inside. Emilia and Subaru (who is carrying Rem on his back), walk up to the door as Emilia knocks on it. Both of them hear a reply though, from a new voice. The doors open and standing before the two of them is a woman with long blonde hair and emerald eyes. Emilia recognizes the woman as Frederica Baumann, who greats the two of them warmly with a smile. Subaru, without thinking however, blurts out that Frederica has a scary face because her teeth were filled with fangs.
Emilia scolds Subaru and demands he apologize despite Frederica dismissing his comment, though Subaru does apologize anyway. Frederica again dismisses the apology and she says there is a reason why she was recalled to the mansion, which she feels is mostly due to Rem, who she sees as a spitting image of Ram. Subaru remembers hearing that a maid had quit before he came to the mansion before Frederica corrects him saying she was taking a leave of absence, and when she came back and saw the mansion empty, she found a letter from Ram. Subaru asks Frederica why Ram called her back and she says it was because the manor was in disarray when she came back, which annoys Subaru that Ram called her back because she couldn't handle the maid work by herself. Emilia wonders why Ram struggled all this time Frederica was away before remembering she was never alone from the beginning, something Subaru understood and accepted.
Subaru takes Rem to her room as Subaru confirms from Frederica that she does not remember her at all, he decides to tell her about her like what he did with Emilia prior. After laying her in her bed, Frederica offers to help her but Subaru insists he can do it, though he does ask for her to look over her as much as she can, though Frederica wonders how Roswaal and Ram will react when they see her, something Subaru doesn't want to think about. Subaru asks Frederica if she knew about the Royal Selection before she left, which she confirms, though she says she suspected it would bring trouble and how he sent away several maids including herself. Subaru asks if she knows how much he actually told her, and while she says she doesn't completely understand how he thinks, he should consult the only people he trusts: Ram and Beatrice.
Subaru meets with Beatrice in the Forbidden Library where he greets her warmly. Beatrice, however, retorts that his prescence means the ruckus from before has passed. Subaru confirms but not without saying he wished she had helped out during it, causing her to retort again that she never asked for him to worry about her, though Subaru insists she apologize to everyone. Beatrice remains adamant about doing such a thing, causing Subaru to continue to tease her about shedding tears while crying, only for her to throw his words back in his face by reminding him of how he cried in Emilia's lap that one time.
Subaru finally comes forth with his question and asks Beatrice about how much she and Roswaal knew regarding past events. Beatrice just asks what Subaru expects her to say to him, causing him to get annoyed at how she is refusing to think about what Roswaal was thinking when he left everyone in the mansion behind to deal with the Witch Cult without a plan. This does cause him to pull out Petelguese Romanee-Conti's Gospel and show it to her. To his surprise, she recognized it before asking about the original owner. Subaru confirms he killed Petelguese which causes Beatrice to say that 'Guese' has left her behind. Subaru inquires what she meant but she changes the subject to the status of Petelguese's Witch Factor, but Subaru knows nothing of what she is talking about, asking once again what Roswaal is thinking about. Beatrice answers saying everything he needs to know is at the Sanctuary, and that Frederica will guide him there. Subaru yells why she is answering his questions now and she says she has the right not to talk about it to him. She angrily tells him as she ejects him from the library that she is not a tool for his convenience while he wonders why she was making a sad face while throwing him out. Afterward, Subaru continues to think about what Beatrice told him, unaware that he was laying on Otto's back and his question of how Subaru came out of the restroom after he did.
Subaru and Otto return to the main room where they meet with Emilia and Frederica, with Emilia, who saw the two of them talk about what happened when Subaru landed on Otto, say to Subaru that he and Otto get along well. He once again denies this saying he just wants to buy his oil, but Emilia insists he is friends with Otto considering how close apparently he became with Julius Juukulius. Subaru correct her saying he still hates Julius and boys should just be stubborn, so Emilia says that the more they argue the closer they become. Subaru says those who argue get along poorly, but she reminds him of their argument and how close they became afterwards.
Back on topic, she asks if he spoke with Beatrice. He answers that while he did meet her, he doesn't know if he spoke with her properly at all. Frederica admits she was surprised he was able to talk to her at all considering how long she has worked in the mansion and never once had an easy time talking to her, but also reveals she was awaiting his hopefully successful return after Emilia spoke highly of him, causing him to be surprised and her to get extremely embarrassed. After calming down, Emilia reveals she convinced Frederica to tell her about the Sanctuary before asking a favor of Subaru. Subaru panics thinking she wants to leave him in the mansion and starts making a case for himself to join her just as she explains she does indeed want him to join her.
With that settled, Frederica explains she can't leave the mansion and go with them. When Subaru asks how they are supposed to get there now, Otto reveals he collaborated with Emilia to take them as far as the Sanctuary, though Subaru deduces his ulterior motives are to meet with Roswaal to get him to buy his oil, which Otto is unable to deny. Nevertheless, Frederica tells them that she will tell them how to reach the Sanctuary of Kremaldy, but before that, she tells them to be mindful of an individual who they must take the utmost caution around: 'Garfiel'.