“—You again, Captain Vladlena Millize.”
The superior, seated behind the desk, frowned bitterly as he watched Lena enter the room.
His uniform was completely wrinkled, and he had not shaved for days; this superior of hers showed no impression of a soldier at all, and as she watched this unkempt sight of his, Lena could only lower her head coldly at him.
She had a brand new, form fitting black uniform on her, and silver, silky long hair, with a few dyed red. Half a year ago, she led Spearhead Squadron, the deathrow squad designated to exterminate the remaining Eighty-Sixers, and sent them off to the other side of the battlefield. Ever since then, she had maintained this appearance. The black uniform was for mourning, while the red represented their blood that was shed.
As she had defied orders and provided assistance, she was demoted by one rank to a Captain. It was unlikely that she would never be promoted again.
“You used the interception cannons on your own volition, provided ammunition and equipment, and commanded the other squadrons personally—how many times do I have to emphasize not to do anything unnecessary for the Eighty-Sixers (pigs). Do you know how many times the logistics and armor corps have complained to me already?”
“They would not have if you had given the command, Lieutenant Colonel. Regarding what they have complained about, and how much efforts you put in, I have no intention to understand.”
The Lieutenant Colonel narrowed an alcohol-intoxicated eye, the area beneath wrinkled.
“Watch your words, lady. As a mere Captain, you should know your place.”
Lena merely sneered at it.
He was basically revealing that he was no threat to her, except for his rank, and had no guts to implement any actual punishment.
The squadron under Lena’s charge had defeated the most units on the Eastern Battlefront. The performances of the subordinates would directly affect the ratings of the superiors. At the beginning of the war, a vast number of actual soldiers were sacrificed; this man before her seized the opportunity provided by the power vacuum, and climbed to the position of Lieutenant Colonel. Unsatiated, he wanted to continue climbing, and for him, Lena was a ‘hen laying the golden eggs’ that should never be defeated.
As long as she did not go overboard, he would shield her from anything.
“If you will excuse me, Lieutenant Colonel.”
She gracefully bowed.
The first legislative zone had lots of historic buildings, and the military headquarters was as rich and colorful as a palace. She walked down the corridors, and surrounding her was condescending, spiteful, mocking glares and mutter.
She was a fool to abandon her post as Major, and a future stake at leadership, all for a bunch of mere Eighty-Sixers. This Princess cannot understand the difference between humans and livestock. In a year, all forces will stop, and the war shall come to an end. Yet she believed in the sleeptalk of the pigs, and became a clown who proposed ‘to prepare for a battle of attrition’. It would be a matter of time until all the Colorata died off, yet she put in the effort to send them off on the battlefield. Truly she was the vicious Bloody Regina.
The Para-RAID on her neck was activated, and she stopped. The heels of her military boots clicked on the parquet wood. After a moment, she quickly moved on.
“You hear me, Handler One?”
“Cyclops.—the , no? What is the situation?”
Through the Para-RAID, she heard the gruff voice of Captain Iida Shiden—codenamed ‘Cyclops’. He was the leader of the squad under Lena’s charge, the squad called the ‘Queen’s Officials’.
Ever since the incident with Spearhead Squadron, she would ask for the names of all the Processors on the day she took charge, but would only call them by codename.
She could not save a single one of them. She had assumed that she could treat them as people, and called them by their names. However, they could not escape the inevitable, to die without a burial, nameless, as a Processor.
“The enemy had advanced to Point 112, at the old railway terminal. Sorry, the radar’s jammed right now, it was too late by the time we noticed…looks like the new meat is going to suffer here…”
Lena clicked her tongue.
Truly, the situation was dire. On this battlefield, where there was zero dead declared, many died, and a single mistake would result in a catastrophic sacrifice.
“Deploy the main forces at Point 062, and lure the enemy over with the mobile forces. The remaining interception cannons should be able to hit them, barely. That place is clustered with private houses and narrow streets, so it should be advantageous to the smaller “Juggernauts”.”
“So we intercept them right in front of the base. If we can’t do it here, this battlefield and the minefield of you Republicans will be leveled.”
“But if we’re going to survive, that’s the best point to intercept I can think of.”
Lena said decisively. Cyclops silently grinned.
To survive. This went not only for the Eighty-Sixers, but also the Republicans, including Lena, who were besieged by the “Legion”.
To keep on living, so she was told.
They believed that she would keep on fighting, and living, and she had to keep that promise.
“Understood, your Highness…we shall inform you once we’re in position. Anything else, and we will inform you immediately.”
The Para-RAID was disconnected.
Lena hastened towards the Control room, and once she saw the scenery outside a window, she slowed down.
The capital of San Magnolia, the only ones walking down the stone pavements were Albas of silver hair and eyes. The five colored flag, symbolizing freedom, equality, fraternity, justice, and purity fluttered under the clean blue sky of Spring, along with the portrait flag of the revolutionary San Magnolia that stood tall.
Soon, it would be the season when she first encountered them, the Spearhead Squadron.
Being able to reach the end of a journey was freedom, fighting until the very end was glory. They, who smiled as they departed, would never return.
Where exactly did they reach?
At this point—on a clearly blustery Spring, flowers bloomed everywhere across the endless wilderness.
If they died, did they have the rest they deserved?