ng to feel frustrated and even angry with myself for not being able to answer Abigail's question with anything other than “I can't remember.”

 

 

 

 

“Clearly, you must either have seen or heard evidence of betrayal.”

 

 

 

 

So I told her the very end of my memory, namely the story of rescuing the citizens and my encounter with the armored knight.

 

 

 

The guy was substandardly strong.
He was bulletproof, and one swing of his greatsword tore through concrete like tofu.
Looking back on it now, I wonder how I managed to kill him.

 

 

 

“I think we probably traded a killing blow, but I don't remember the details.”

 

 

 

 

“Was there anyone else there at the time?”

 

 

 

“Hmmm …….”

 

 

 

 I cross my arms and let my mind wander.

 

 

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“— come to think of it.”

 

 

 

 Something comes to mind.

 

 

 

“I must have stayed back in the 89 for some reason.”

 

 

 

 

“Reason.”

 

 

 

“If I fought the armored knight in the first place, then maybe I was helping someone else to escape.”

 

 

 

“Someone.”

 

 

 

 

“Yes.
If I had worked alone, I would have run away without fighting.
Fox doesn't use their lives for things that aren't part of the mission.
If for some reason I dared to fight in spite of that, there must be a reason why I had to be there.
Maybe I had someone with me, probably a non-combatant because I was on a mission to withdraw civilians from the area.
But I don't remember that at all.”

 

 

 

“Maybe that someone saw your ……
last moment.”

 

 

 

“I don't know.
But if I were to think about it as if I were her back then, I would have made them wait for me.
I don't think I would not let a non-combatant act alone on a battlefield where I don't know where the aliens might be.”

 

 

 

“……
got it.
That's a great clue, thanks.
That's what I'm going to look into.
Maybe if I ask the civilians who were evacuated at the time or the soldiers who were on the battlefield during that time, they might be able to tell me something.”

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

 

“You don't trust me?”

 

 

 

“…..Not that…but…”

 

 

 

 

“I can't just sweep it under the rug.
The problems that are so intricately entangled in your mind are like a tangled yarn ball, you still have to untangle them one by one or nothing will be resolved.
Meaningless killing will solve nothing.”

 

 

 

“Meaningless killing solves nothing……”

 

 

 

 

“Killing indiscriminately won't clear that haze in your mind.”

 

 

 

 

Dantalion and you say the same thing.

 

 

 

 

Use your brains.

 

 

 

 

“But ……”

 

 

 

 

 I interjected.

 

 

 

 

“I still think it's not safe for Abigail to be here any longer.
If they poison you, even the most astute Fox team member won't be able to prevent it.”

 

 

 

 

“We're partners.”

 

 

 

Then Abigail inserted her white, slender fingers between my stubby ones and interlocked our hands.

 

 

 

“We are destined.
Your problems are my problems too.”

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

” If you want to kill them, fine.
Let's do it together.
We'll both deal with the bad guys.”

 

 

 

“The two of us?”

 

 

 

 

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“But not indiscriminately.
There are bad people in this world who need to die, but there are also good people we can entrust our future with.
And you know it.
Because Nigel fights with her life to protect it.”

 

 

 

 

 Abigail pointed to Natsuki and Yakumo.

 

 

 

 

 

“Natsuki and the others are proof.
They are alive and they adore you.
because there is still some noble and mercy left in you.
If you were a real monster, you wouldn't have opened up so much.”

 

 

 

 

 She tightened her grip on my hand.

 

 

 

 

“I swear I will help you to the end.
So please hold it for now.”

 

 

 

“Abigail is going to help me?”

 

 

 

“I'll investigate and pick the target.
You're the one who needs revenge.
So you can just go kill that guy.

 

 

 

“Pick the target….”

 

 

 

“Yes.
So can you leave it to me?”

 

 

 

 

-that's not what I would have wanted.

 

 

 

 

The only way to kill them all is to make a big move and do it in one swoop.
because if I do it slowly, they'll escape, but that's no fun.
It would be more enjoyable if I could take my time and narrow it down.

 

 

 

–The question is, can I let her do that?

 

 

 

This is my personal problem.

 

 

 

 

 It feels wrong to involve Abigail in this and leave her in this dangerous place for that.
Besides, if she is on my side, she is a traitor to humanity.

 

 

 

 Then, as if she had read my thoughts, she continued.

 

 

 

“I have no lingering attachment to them.
I'm also betrayed by my allies.
Remember? What I said to you in the burning forest.
What I said to you in the cave.
What I said to you in your arms when we decided on our escape plan.
Even now, those feelings have not changed.”

 

 

 

 

I was curious.

 

 

 

Why are you willing to do so much for me?

 

 

 

 

I was tempted to ask her that, but the unwavering glimmer of trust that flashed in her hazel eyes made it seem like a foolish question.

 

 

 

 

“If —- you die, I won't be able to hold it back.—- You must never die.
If you are in danger, will you promise to run away immediately?”

 

 

 

 

 

“Yes, of course.”

 

 

 

 Abigail nodded.

 

 

 

“I'll never leave Gevaudan alone again.”

 

 

 

 

 I myself have not the slightest bit of doubt about her, perhaps because she is a comrade-in-arms who got through those days in prison together.

 

 

 

 

“—-Alright.
I'll leave the helm to you.”

 

 

 

 

Abigail was relieved to hear my words, and at the same time, she gave me a caring look.

 

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