Translator and editor: SaltyTank
An atmosphere of despair filled the base.
Seeing Marie carry the heavily injured Andre back, Jade and Geraldine both knew things were not looking good—because Prommel was not with them.
Trying to ask about what had happened from the usually silent, not to mention now mentally burdened, Marie was a difficult task, but they still had to do it with pained hearts.
Arnold and Lenora supported Hilde from both sides and joined them. The two kids could not comprehend the situation at first, but it did not take long for them to realise from the adults’ conversation that their dad was never coming back.
Geraldine brought the crying kids to her room. Meanwhile, the still-fragile Hilde hugged Andre tightly while tears streamed down her cheeks.
Prommel had treated all his wounds already, but due to the massive loss of blood, his entire body was ghastly white and cold. He looked no different from a corpse right now. Still, his body simply would not let him perish. His body and blood, all corroded by brain cores, were no different from a curse that bound his soul, not permitting him to extricate from his near-death state.
Jade looked at everyone, her heart aching. Andre and Hilde were gravely wounded, while Marie was almost shutting herself off from anyone and anything.
Prommel was never going to return; although Geraldine was soothing the kids, the mental blow she suffered must have been greater than anyone else.
There was nothing Jade could do to help. As an ordinary human that simply spectated the group of ‘devils’ who fought the gods, she could only watch on powerlessly.
The whole base was as silent as a graveyard. Jade pulled herself together and prepared food for everyone, but no one had the appetite to eat at all, not even taking a single bite.
Alone, Jade tidied up the base that had come to a standstill. She then went over to Andre’s room and sat beside his bed blankly, letting time flow by silently.
After who knew how long, the dead silence in the base was finally broken.
Andre snapped his eyes open and shot up from his bed. His surroundings were rather dim, only lit weakly by a few lightstones. He then noticed he was in his room, and beside him was a startled Jade.
He was dazed for a moment before he could grasp his situation. He quickly kicked the blankets away and was about to get off bed when Jade briskly pushed him down to make him stay.
‘Wait, your body’s still weak right now!’
‘I have to go save Prommel.’
Andre looked right into Jade’s eyes, making her unsure where to place her sights at. She pressed onto his shoulders with all her strength to stop him.
‘It’s, it’s too late…’ Tears trickled out of her eyes. ‘You’ve been lying here for a whole day.’
‘Then, I’ll go avenge him.’
The difference in strength between the two was too much; even though Andre was weakened, he still managed to push Jade away. Those who had eaten brain cores recovered faster than normal humans anyways.
Andre grabbed the neatly placed armour on the side and quickly equipped all his gear. He then picked up the backup sword and headed out, or at least tried to.
Jade spread out her arms and blocked the door.
‘Don’t, don’t do it!’ Jade said in a saddened tone, her eyes red and swollen. ‘Everyone’s really sad already, don’t throw your life away!’
‘It’s all over.’ Andre looked away. ‘All of you should pack up and leave… As far away as possible.’
Andre tried to force Jade’s arm out of the way, but she was persistent on obstructing the doorway.
‘I won’t let you leave this room!’
‘Jade, do you not understand? We lost! Resistance is futile! There’s no way to hold them back anymore!’
Andre shouted at Jade, to which she responded with a shout of her own, ‘Then why do you seek revenge? If there’s no way to hold them back, you’re… just committing suicide!’
‘You… Andre, what is with you? This isn’t something you’d say…’
‘What do you even know about me?’
Andre forcefully pushed Jade aside, shoving her to the ground. Just as he was about to leave, she crawled to her feet and held onto his hand.
‘It’s true I don’t know much about you.’ Jade had put everything behind her. ‘But you’re the one who saved me… You’re the one who let me know there’s still hope in the world.’
‘Those feelings aren’t real… They’re fake, they’re wrong. Hope, it’s non-existent for a long time already.’
‘Then so what?’ Jade still refused to let go. ‘Even if it’s such a world, I still want you to live on!’
Having his words used against himself, there was nothing Andre could say to refute her.
‘It took me so long, too long, to realise your way of fighting’s nothing but seeking death! Don’t you think it’s somewhat selfish?’
Undaunting despite the risks, putting his life on the line, using attack as defence; even Prommel had warned Andre of his fighting style several times, though even he had no idea Andre was doing it intentionally.
‘I know you hate the world and those “monsters”… Actually, Hilde told me a few days ago. About the things you and her experienced in the past.’
‘She spoke too much.’
‘Hilde and Marie both lived on because of you, and they still do. They need you to lead the way. If you die, do you think they can live on like they have?’
Andre lowered his head, forgetting his struggle.
‘That’s why I want you to look after them for me, so they can break free from this abnormal relationship.’
‘Not a chance,’ said Jade angrily.
‘I’m selfish, approaching you when they’re not by your side. But on this matter, I’m absolutely on their side. If they can’t stop you, I will. Try noticing their feelings more, and if possible… mine too.’
Andre turned silent and had nothing to say. Seeing he still had not changed his mind, Jade obviously continued to hold onto him.
‘Heh, even you can say such things… my lil’ sister Jade.’
Hilde suddenly showed up not far away. She was still having some problems with coordinating her body and had to lean onto the wall as she walked slowly to the two.
‘I and Marie won’t stop you of course… Like what Jade just said though, if you choose to die in battle, the both of us will follow your steps. Even if our relationship’s strange, or even if we just seek warmth from one another, so what?’
Tears dropped to Hilde’s bangs, and she could no longer keep her voice together.
‘We’ve… already lost Prom, we can’t lose you also, Andre.’
Dropping the sword in his hand with a loud clang, Andre dropped to his knees and cried his heart out, letting his emotions run free.
Hilde held Jade’s hand and went over to hug him. They also let loose the dam within their eyes, bearing the pain and sharing warmth together as a whole.
Meanwhile, Marie was hiding somewhere far away within the base. She huddled against a corner on the floor and buried her face into her knees, crying ever so silently.