Chapter 200 Gilles Garnier
◇◆◇ (Abigail's point of view)
She was accompanied by InoRyder to the underground of Fort 88.
The underground of the Fort is mainly a military-related facility, the dark side of society, and the prisons.
The number of prisoners at the Fort is actually small.
This is because criminal acts are often punished with a demotion or change of department.
This means that criminals are thrown into more dangerous places.
This was a strong enough factor to serve as a deterrent.
Even Fox was one of the most dangerous places to end up.
There was a reason that the Fox was looked at strangely by those around it.
Abigail's terminal is confiscated by the guards, and after an X-ray and body check, she is led to the inner passageway.
She crosses several reinforced glass and goes deeper and deeper.
Normally, visiting prisoners is done through a visiting room, but for Gilles Garnier, we were led directly to his cell.
–The cells were lined up along the corridor.
The rooms were fairly large, about the size of a one-room apartment.
However, the entire surface was made of thick, transparent reinforced plastic, so there was no privacy at all.
Most of the cells were empty.
InoRyder and I walked through the quiet corridor.
There were no guards to escort us.
Vani was away, as she was not acquainted with him.
She is now following Natsuki, and they have agreed to meet up in Valhalla at noon.
“This cell is rarely used.
It is mostly used for temporary punishment cells.
My ex-captain used to be in a regular prison cell.
But he has been in this prison for a long time now, because it is not safe for him to kill those fools who try to cause trouble with him.
He said it was better for him to stay here.”
“How long have Garnier been Fox's captain?”
“For a long time.
From the time Fox was organized until Whisley took over just a few years ago.”
“Then he's pretty old.
I looked it up, and it looks like it was over twenty years ago when the military structure of the 88 was reorganized and the Fox team was formed.”
“I don't know how old he is though.
But don't be surprised.”
After walking for a while talking about this, Abigail encountered an unexpected person.
She walked up the back passage accompanied by Claudia.
“Oh my, Abigail.
What are you doing here?”
“I thought I'd talk to the former captain of the Fox.”
“Talk to a prisoner?”
A suspicious glint appeared in her eyes.
I try to come up with a suitable excuse.
I heard that he is familiar with the areas on the front lines and the magical beasts…….
I also wanted to confirm something in order to summarize the current situation at Fort 89.
Garnier was also involved in the 89 defense so he must be familiar with the structure of the city.
I also wanted to ask him about the defense battle itself–“
Abigail hastily shut her mouth, thinking she had spoken too much.
“about the 89 defense battle……”
Yasmin looked into Abigail's eyes.
I appreciate your work ethic, but …….”
Yasmin suddenly threw a glance to the far end of the corridor.
“–Garnier is a monster in human skin.
He is a man who can kill a magical beast with his bare hands.
The windows in his cell are made of a special reinforced polymer, but don't provoke him too much.”
“I sometimes hear that rumor, is it true?”
Yasmin then smiled and put her hand on Abigail's shoulder.
“It is true.
He is a perfected hound who will bite off the throat of his prey without fail.
That's why he was called a werewolf.”
With these words, Yasmin left.
Claudia followed her with a small nod.
“–What a creepy old lady.”
InoRyder said with a suspicious look in her eyes.
Eventually, they came to a particular room and stopped.
A man was staring at them through the clear plastic window.
At first glance, Abigail felt a strong sense of discomfort.
His black hair was pulled back into a full headband and his face was like a statue.
His skin looked so young that he might still be in his 20s, without a trace of a beard or wrinkles.
His skin was not aged, but at the same time, it had no vitality.
I could not read any emotion from his facial expression.
I would say that he was a handsome man.
It was hard to believe that this was the face of a man who had been fighting on the front lines for 20 years.
–The only thing that crossed my mind was the word “drug”.
“You're related to Nigel.”
That was Garnier's first sentence, coming over the speaker.
He was speaking without the slightest hint of emotion.
He showed no sign of agitation at all in the face of Abigail.
The voice heard through the speakers made the anomaly even more apparent.
” You look a lot like her.”
“Good that you get to the topic so fast.
I want to ask you something.”
“I'm trying to find out if Nigel is really my sister.
Garnier, where did you meet Nigel? Didn't she use any other name than Nigel at the time? Wasn't Nigel the name you gave her?”
Garnier walks up to the plastic window.
“– Let me see your face.”
When asked, Abigail stepped forward.
The two stare at each other across the thick, transparent barrier.
Immediately, Abigail's heart overflowed with emotion.
She felt gratitude that without this man, Nigel would have died in the field.
Hatred for this man who had stolen her life and forced her to suffer.
Her heart was almost twisted in her chest by these two opposite feelings.
This man saved Nigel, this man kept Nigel alive, this man gave Nigel a place to stay, this man drugged Nigel, this man took away her future, this man led Nigel into the battlefield and this man made Nigel into a killing machine.
Nigel's foster parent.
The eyes of the man who was responsible for her salvation and destruction at the same time were so calm.
Abigail felt that they were the eyes of a parent looking at their own child.
“—- Nigel is the name she gave herself.”
“Nigel was found in the woods near Fort 19.
It was a defensive battle between 21 and 19.
That battle was a crushing defeat in which humanity lost two forts at the same time, but the central forces were brought in late due to the efforts of a large regiment that had been assembled from the surrounding area to hold their ground.
This caught the unwary alien army by surprise.
The aliens were also dealt a heavy blow by the huge counter-offensive operation that began there, and in the end, the enemy chose to retreat, leaving the battle unresolved.
It was a very chaotic war.”
“I was part of that operation and was on my way to retreat after the failed defense of Fort 19.
I found Nigel.
Then, for a while, after I brought her back to 88, she hardly spoke to anyone, but at some point she started to call herself Nigel.”
“Why did you bring Nigel back?”
“Nigel, who was very young, was a non-combatant taken by some operational unit, but after that unit was destroyed, it seemed that she was wandering alone in the forest.
What I saw was a young child, cowering in a forest already stained with the alien elements, eating insects and drinking the blood of decaying magical beasts to survive.
The flesh and blood of monsters living in alien lands are poisonous to mankind.
I was amazed at her will.
And the strength of her internal organs.
The ability to eat a lot of anything is a gift in itself.
I have a gut feeling that Nigel will be a 'good soldier'.”
Abigail bit her lower lip to calm her fuming head.
“You are Nigel's flesh and blood, no doubt.
You have the same genetic traits, starting with the iris, which is not influenced by environment or growth.
You don't seem to be twins…….
May I ask your name?”
“Nice to meet you, Abigail.”
Abigail's eyes caught a glimpse of his right arm, which was missing from the elbow.
Then, seeming to notice her gaze, Garnier spoke up.
“I lost this arm during the 89 defense.”
“……Did Nigel die during the 89 defense?”
“I heard that you saw Nigel's body.”
There was hesitation for just a moment, and Abigail didn't miss it.
“–I saw it.”
“I wonder if you could tell me how she died?”
“Nigel was already dead when I arrived.”
Abigail squeezed out a question.
“A single stab to the chest.
Fatal blow from a dagger.
An alien armored knight was lying on top of her, but it too had been deactivated.
Not far away, Nigel's sniper rifle lay on the ground.
The barrel had been cut off.
The last thing Nigel held was the revolver.”
“So you're saying that Nigel was engaged in a battle with this alien?”
“Given the circumstances, it was concluded that this was the most likely scenario.”
Senpai must have stepped up and fought until the very end.”
InoRyder, who had only been watching next to her, crossed her arms and said proudly
“Was there anyone else around at that time?”
“Anyone else …….”
Garnier closed his mouth at Abigail's pursuit.
Then InoRyder interrupted.
“What do you mean, Abby-chan?”
“Nigel went back to the 89 to assist in the retreat.
There, if she dared to fight, she must have had someone on her back to protect.
Vani said it too.
She said it would be foolish to go to the trouble of fighting when you're not on a mission.
Isn't that Fox's policy?”
This was a theory that Gevaudan himself had told me, since he had said it himself, the theory sounded convincing.
InoRyder looked at Garnier.
“I have heard rumors of a black armored knight while I was being held captive in an alien city.”
She proceeds to weave an appropriate lie into her story.
“I heard that the knight was famous for being one of the top-ranking monsters among the aliens.
I think I understand Nigel's superhuman survival skills from what I've heard so far.
I wonder why she dared to stop and fight such a monster, despite having her favored gun destroyed.”
Garnier opened his mouth.
“The aliens followed shortly thereafter, and Nigel's body was not recovered.
At a glance, there was no other human-like figure in the place besides Nigel.”
Nothing could be read from Garnier's expression or voice.
Abigail remembered the question she needed to ask.
Garnier, What did you think of Nigel?”
Garnier looked at Abigail, turn silent for a moment, and then answered quietly.
“She was the best soldier I ever raised.”
“Is that so ……
thank you for answering.”
Abigail quickly turned away and headed to the ground level.
She was not feeling well.
On her way to Valhalla to meet up with Vani, she asked InoRyder about Garnier.
“Do you know what Garnier is in there for?”
“Well, technically, it was a violation of the order.”
“Violation of order?”
After all the troops were ordered to retreat, he ignored the order and went back inside the 89.
It's very rare…….
No, as far as I know, that's the first time a former captain has violated an order.
I think he was trying to help Senpai.”
“To help Nigel?”
“He's not a very emotional person.
But I think Senpai was very special to him.
He was practically like a parent to her.
Senpai was also very open with the former captain.
Oh, But I don't think they had any physical relationship though.”
how can someone be detained for several years for a single violation of an order?”
“We've asked for bail many times, but we've never been granted it, and he hasn't complained about it either.”
InoRyder gritted her teeth.
Then she spoke curiously, “Speaking of which…”
Earlier, when you were talking about whether or not there was someone at the scene of Sempai's death.
You sounded pretty convinced about it.”
-There was no point in dragging this out anymore.
Abigail paused silently, and InoRyder turned around.
Here is where the play begins.
“InoRyder, I just can't believe it.”
InoRyder cocked her head at Abigail, who had a mysterious look on her face.
“That Nigel is dead.”
InoRyder pondered for a moment, and then a question mark popped up oh her head.
“You do, too.
You said you believe that somewhere Nigel is still alive.”
“No, I mean, that's just nonsense……
I'm human too, and sometimes I get emotional……….”
“I'm on the scientific end of the spectrum.
I don't believe in the mystery thing, but there is a part of me that still believes in the human sixth sense.”
“Ummm, you see, Abby…”
“I think Nigel is alive.”
“They haven't found a body yet.”
“That, well ……”
InoRyder, who was becoming increasingly puzzled, folded her arms.
“If that's true, then why do you think Nigel didn't come back?”
She's being held captive by the enemy?”
“Or there's a reason she has to lay low.”
Abigail takes one deep breath and tells her.
I'm going to do a thorough investigation of my sister's last moments in order to track her disappearance.
I even suspect Fort's involvement.”
“As usual, you're blowing me away with all that reasoning…….”
“You're not interested?”
InoRyder clears her throat a little.
–Abigail was able to get a good grip on the expression on her face.
The look of confusion she showed was mixed with a hint of both curiosity and hope.
“Would you like to come with me tonight?”
“I'm meeting someone I know, and I'm going to tell them about this.
But I need some power to do so.
There is a possibility that the 88 are going to turn against me, and I am already at odds with AASPINT.
I need the power to repel such an enemy.”
InoRyder questioned back at the unexpected word.
I was originally an AASPINT.”
Abigail then revealed her background.
“That makes sense …….”
“The reason I was taken prisoner by the aliens in the first place was because I was set up by the people in the central.
One day, I headed to the front line based on information that there was an unknown alien weapon that needed to be recovered, but there was no such thing, and the unit that was following me as an escort withdrew without me.
I was right in the middle of the alien front line.
The person who seems to have orchestrated it is now in a position to command AASPINT.”
ahh, It seems like I heard something I shouldn't have …….”
InoRyder pressed her finger between her eyebrows.
Abigail took her hand.
“You're the only one I can count on right now.
Only bonding relationship that Nigel left me.”
“It is, but ……
InoRyder is a 88 citizen.
When she is caught between the chopping block of Abigail and the government, she has a tough choice to make.
“If the time comes, you can cut me off.
But until then.
I hope you can help me follow a thread that leads me to a glimmer of hope.
I don't have anything left to offer you, but if you're okay with my body, then I'll let you have it all.”
Holding her mouth tightly shut, Abigail gives InoRyder a clinging look.
Then InoRyder furrowed her brow tightly and clench her mouth shut.
After a pause, she looked up and her face was full of joy.
“–A good hound will return to its owner no matter how far it has to go!”
She clenched her fists.
“I haven't actually stopped being my senpai's hound yet! I haven't been in the mood at all since then, and I've been free for a long time, unattached to anyone! That must have been for this moment!!”
InoRyder, with tearful eyes, hugged her tightly, and Abigail let out a small cry, “Ugh …….” Her spine was creaking.
“This is it, I waited for a situation like this by Senpai's Big sister to rely on me, and to be able to live up to my reputation!”
“Isn't that sound interesting? Senpai's last secret.
I've fantasized many times about the possibility that she might still be alive.
It was about time, I was getting tired of killing aliens so I decided to bet on Abby's sixth sense and take a chance on a big game.
And I'm sure you're right!”
“Are you sure you want to?”
“Oh, no, it's fine.
The main reason I joined Fox was that I admired Senpai, and if you want, I would be happy to leave the military here.
It happens all the time.
There are a lot of guys who quit after a long vacation and never came back.
Well, I'll let Abby take care of me for the rest of my life.”
Abigail hugged InoRyder back.
well, I guess that means you're going to pay it back, right?”
She giggled as she rubbed Abigail's ass.
“So, who are you meeting tonight?”
InoRyder asked, pulling her body away.
“It's a man named Logan, who I'm going to discuss about Natsuki and Yakumo.
He's a senior FORCOM official and my ……………
The air froze, and then there was a sound of something cracking in the air.
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