Luciel’s grip tightened as she looked at Ardis’ silhouette, which shrank as he sortied as one of Wisteria’s main unit’s mercenaries.
All who were left were non-combatants and the minority of members that didn’t participate.
Along with Ardis, even Rona was rejoicing over the news and had departed. There was no one left by Luciel’s side.
「How unusual, Luciel. Not seeing Ardis together with you. 」
It was Sark that called out to her.
Apparently, the pair of twins, Sark and Elion had forced themselves quite a bit to get the news back, and so had incurred quite a few injuries.
Although it’s not severe to be considered fatal, they are still not at their best condition, and thus Greyth had forbidden them to come along, ordering them to look after the camp.
They were probably very frustrated over that decision. However, they probably also knew that they would be a liability and so followed the orders without complaining.
「That’s not a good way to put it. It’s not like Ruu is Ardis’s accessory or something. 」
Sark, the other half of the twin that had the same face added on.
「Why don’t you consider that people might not be a battle maniac like you are, Sark? 」
「Don’t call me a battle maniac. Well, it’s true that I feel a little more alive when I’m in a battle. 」
「So, if that’s not called a battle maniac, then what is? 」
Elion pointed out with a tired face when Sark started giggling.
Ignoring Sark who was like that, Elion asked Luciel.
「So, what is on Ruu’s mind? 」
「Is it…… that obvious? 」
「After all, it’s really showing on your face, even Sark would notice. 」
It seems like it was Sark who saw Luciel’s state and thus called out in worry.
Despite being known for his simple-minded and reckless personality, he still nonetheless had the sensitivity of a normal person.
「Could it be that facility? 」
From that alone, Elion was able to pick up on her thoughts.
That research facility was something for the twins――, or rather, for everyone of Wisteria, a place that contained only painful memories.
They knew Luciel and Ardis had been working hard to plan an escape for the children that are imprisoned inside. There were even a few comrades that offered their help.
However, the priority wasn’t that high.
For most of them, the utmost priority is to earn a living, and have their revenge against the woman general of Rodelia. It was probably only Luciel that put this much emphasis on rescuing the children from the facility.
This was why Luciel was alone in her goal to free the children.
The comrades that had promised a helping hand departed, and even Ardis had prioritized revenge for his deceased comrades before rescuing the children.
Elion showed an awkward expression to Luciel who talked about her recent interaction with Ardis.
「That’s……sorry. We’ve brought back the news at a bad timing. 」
「There’s no use saying that stuff now right, Elion? I understand Luciel’s feelings, but I don’t think Ardis was wrong either. After all, it was a problem that can be ultimately solved by dealing with the root. 」
「It’s not a problem with whether the logic checks out or not. 」
Sark retorted so, as Elion faced back to Luciel.
「However, Ruu. I wouldn’t know whether Ardis’s decision is right or not, but like Sark said, I don’t think it’s a totally wrong choice. 」
Luciel’s expression clouded at Elion’s words.
「I’m sure everyone that just went out will return in two or three days. It wouldn’t be too late to head to the facility then, right? 」
「At that time, Elion and I will help too. I’m getting itchy being left out this time after all. 」
「…………Then if I said we should go right now, will you two come? 」
Elion made a troubled expression as Luciel asked without constraints.
「That’s not possible. We’re following the captain’s orders to protect the camp until everyone return. Even if it’s not a role we want, we can’t really forgo it after accepting it. Ruu would understand too, right? 」
Of course, Luciel had known without them saying.
「Don’t tell me you’re thinking of going alone? 」
「Don’t get any weird ideas, okay? 」
Sark and Elion both were staring at Luciel.
「…………I know. I wouldn’t be infiltrating in there alone. 」
As Luciel replied with a beat late, the twins who seemed to be relieved left.
After seeing the two figures going out of sight, Luciel who was left alone went back to her own tent.
Seeing a good opportunity as no one was around in the tent, Luciel put on her equipment, and wrote a note for Ardis before leaving the camp secretly.
At a distance where the camp was almost visible, she stopped and turned around once.
Not knowing who the muttered apology was for, Luciel faced front again and resumed her path.
The twins wouldn’t know what Luciel felt.
After all, they would’ve never known that Luciel and Ardis were both once imprisoned in a similar facility.
Luciel herself only had a body investigation done on her and had not experienced anything else.
If not for Ardis coincidentally saving her, she was sure worse things would’ve happened to her.
She might’ve followed a similar future as the future of those children currently suffering in that facility.
That’s why she wished that Ardis who was in the same environment would understand.
However, he had prioritized their revenge against the woman general and departed.
Greyth, Victor, Lexy, the three people who knew Luciel’s past together with Ardis had departed. There was no way that Elion and Sark who never knew her past would understand the pain in her heart.
In the first place, Luciel’s standpoint differed too great from the twins.
Half a day passed after that.
Enhancing her physical body with arts, Luciel had arrived at the facility much quicker than usual, as she stayed hidden in the forest and surveyed.
「They left it just like that……」
There was a huge hole where Luciel’s eyes looked at.
Inside it were remains with a toxic color piled up.
Without even burying the remains with dirt, Luciel felt intense anger at the sight where they were just abandoned there.
Had Ardis forgotten about it?
At the very least, the world in Luciel’s memories wasn’t that cruel.
People were rarely killed, and even without yearning for luxury, there were many delicious meals one could have.
Wrapped in a warm bedding, they had just enough money to get clean water to bathe every day.
With no work forced upon children, and never any killing among them.
The brilliance of the world they once lived in despite complaining about it every day, Luciel realized only after she had lost it.
However, these children were killed without a chance to even realize that.
Abducted from what only seemed like utopia now, losing a place to return to, being turned into a monster with no apparent reason, and being thrown away like garbage when their use was over.
The scene she saw while reconning the other day resurfaced in Luciel’s mind――.
Several men with white coats pulled along a large cart with unmoving grotesque remains of what used to be humans.
One of the white coats used what looked like a stick with a hook in his hand to pull off the grotesque bodies from the cart.
Another white coat kicked the remains into the depths of the hole.
Green fluids splattered out from the body that was kicked, staining the white coat.
The white coat shrieked「So filthy! 」 and retreated.
The grotesque body wriggled with many small waves forming, and just looking at that instilled one’s disgust.
If she didn’t know what the origin of those grotesque remains were, Luciel too would’ve cringed with disgust.
The remains were getting kicked into the hole one after another.
Among them, there were even a few bodies that looked entangled with each other.
「You can just use a shovel to chop them apart since they’re fragile now」
「Uhee, won’t some strange things fly out if we did that? 」
「Don’t talk, start working. We’re late in schedule. 」
After such exchanges, the younger white coat aimed a shovel at the entangled arms and put his entire body weight on it.
The arms of what used to be humans were easily chopped into two with a shovel.
「Take this, there are still a lot that are entangled, quickly chop them apart. For the bigger ones, just chop them into smaller pieces from the abdomen. If not, it would be too heavy to move after all. 」
Did he not know these were formerly humans, or did he already lose his humanity? The senior-looking white coat was giving out cruel orders indifferently.
Under Luciel’s watch, the grotesque bodies were chopped apart, hooked off the cart, then kicked into the hole.
It was too much disrespect for a person.
An outrageous act that can only be said as trampling over any remaining dignity of a person.
But even if she tried to complain that this is an act of blasphemy, there wasn’t anyone to listen.
In this world, there is no organization that protects human rights, and the concept of human rights didn’t even exist.
It was at that time.
Luciel heard a voice.
She heard it.
It might’ve been her hallucination.
It might’ve been her mishearing.
It might’ve been her misunderstanding.
But she heard it.
Dropped inside the hole, one corner of the pile looked like it twitched, as a soft voice was heard along with the sound of the white coats working.
「……Don’t want……to die」
At that moment, an indescribable shock ran through Luciel’s body.
Anger, surprise, sadness, resentment, despair, hostility――.
The intense emotions that could not be described gripped her entire body in pain.
Not able to contain the emotions that assaulted her, teardrops started overflowing from Luciel’s black eyes.
By the time she realized, Luciel was already on her way back to the camp.
As soon as possible, I must rescue the children from that place, she thought.
She couldn’t know how long the voice that sounded on the verge of death could live.
A normal person that is on the verge of death would probably survive for another half day.
However, they are those who had lost their human bodies after being experimented upon.
There’s a possibility they might survive longer than usual.
Then she must quickly make a return trip to the camp and rescue them while they are still alive.
Luciel was still grasping onto that tiny hope.
Even if they can be rescued, they can never live as humans anymore.
However, she thought it was better than dying a dog’s death.
Luciel understood the logic behind Ardis’s words.
Even if everything goes well and they rescue everyone from this facility, they’re only a small piece of the bigger picture.
If they don’t eradicate the source, there will just be more facilities sprouting out, and more children meeting the same death.
If looking broadly, Ardis’s decision surely is the right thing.
However, being right doesn’t mean she agreed with it.
The reason why Luciel prioritized this facility over the woman general was solely because of what she heard.
If it’s now, they might still be able to rescue the owner of the voice.
But the possibility remains only in a day, even just half a day would drastically reduce the chances.
However, even Luciel herself wasn’t confident whether the voice was real.
She doubted that it may have been a hallucination that her brain made her see to make her avert her gaze from the shocking sight.
That’s why, Luciel couldn’t tell Ardis.
If she had told him, Ardis’s decision might’ve been different.
However, she couldn’t bring herself to use something that even she herself is uncertain of to convince Ardis.
As the result, Ardis had departed to subdue the source that is the woman general.
As for Luciel, she had left the camp and came thus far alone being pushed by the indescribable sense of urgency.
「Is there…… anyone? 」
Luckily, there was no one near the large hole.
For the white coats, this place is probably a dumpster for the monsters they no longer needed.
With not even a single guard in sight, and being in a blind spot of the facility, Luciel didn’t have to worry being discovered even if she came out of hiding for a little bit.
「Please, respond to me if you’re there. I’m here to save you. 」
She spoke to the remains that piled in the hole.
Even Luciel herself didn’t think of a risky move like infiltrating the facility on her own.
However, since this hole is in a place where there’re no guards around, if there’s any survivors, Luciel thought she could carry them out by her own.
「There’s none of the terrible people that did things to you here. Rest easy, let’s escape together. 」
Luciel’s voice reverberated vainly in the silent surroundings.
From the hole where grotesque remains piled up, there were no voices, not even a sound of any movement.
「It’s the truth……so, respond…… if you hear, please……」
Luciel’s voice was trembling, on the verge of disappearing.
「If you respond……, then I…… will save you……. Please……」
There was already no one that Luciel could save from the pile.
The surroundings dominated by silence ascertained the cruel reality.
「Sorry……. If only I was…… a little earlier……」
For the ones that could not cry as a human.
For their family that didn’t even know about their whereabouts and death.
The period of sadness slowly flowed.
However, no matter how many tears were dropped, the cruel reality did not change.
For Luciel who had none of authority nor financial power, all she could do was to fight with brute strength alone.
Fight, survive, and save those who are in reach. It is her only allowed freedom.
Telling that to herself, Luciel who was about to leave after wiping off her tears heard an extremely loud explosion.
Alarms and an announcement accompanied with angry voices arrived at a surprised Luciel.
『Multiple experimental subjects are revolting. They are currently escaping from the rearing area in a group! 』
『What are you doing, quickly suppress them! Dispose of them! 』
Hearing words that she could not ignore, Luciel started sprinting unknowingly.