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“Ye-yes!! I am deeply moved by your kind words. I shall remind them that they are to pay the utmost attention to avoiding any loss of lives. Do not worry on that account!!”
“Good. I eagerly await a positive report.”
She said, and then the transmission ended.
The screen blinked off and Michelle let out a deep sigh.
Now that she had said that, they would focus on the mystery enemy rather than the destruction of the resistance.
Unfortunately, for this mystery enemy, it would have to be used to buy them some time.
Now she would just have to contact her informants and give orders and somehow use the situation to help them recover.
Jegyll smiled wryly as she appreciated the work her friend was doing.
“You must be tired, Michelle. I cannot imagine what it is like, keeping your subordinates happy while helping the resistance…”
“Yes… But it cannot be helped. What they say is right, and in terms of fairness, we are not without fault. The truth is, we do not have enough resources for everyone, and we make them suffer a little…”
Michelle answered with a small smile of her own.
The Mechanized Empire of Almsbine had no real intention of annihilating the resistance–thought none actually knew this.
Only a few of the top people in each city were aware.
The first great war would never have even occurred if there had been enough resources.
If people cared too much about themselves, it became easier to grow discontent when others made profits.
Even more so when your life was on the line.
In reality, it was just not possible for the Empire’s food processing plants to make enough food for all of humanity.
It was even less realistic to provide clothing and shelter. And so there was no avoiding having people bear their situation.
It was clear, since a city had already been destroyed.
That was the reason that Michelle’s father, the Emperor of Almsbine, had abandoned those who lived outside of the city.
–Reconciliation was not to be wished for.
They would not destroy them, but they would not save them either.
They would be given scraps from the city, without even knowing it…
Those were the words of the Emperor.
No one knew about this.
This was because it would not gain any support.
“Well then, I will send word.”
“Yes, thank you. Jegyll.”
Jegyll bowed and left the room.
Michelle was now left alone.
“…Destruction. In this situation, we are probably just delaying our last days… But having an enemy to fight against might…”
She closed her eyes and thought.
Even if the world was headed for destruction, Michelle was determined to fight it.
To that cause, she was willing to be merciless and cold.
The resistance was not a threat now. If anything, as enemies, they provided her men with a reason to live.
Michelle wished that things could just stay as they were.
(…This mystery enemy.)
Then a thought came to her.
From what she had heard, it was incredibly strong.
As long as they did not know where it was from, it could not be ignored.
In any case…while they were problem cases, the subordinates who were sent were good.
So everything should become clear soon.
(…However, I hope that the resistance don’t become arrogant through this…)
If their existence became a threat to the city…
Michelle thought about this dark possibility.
(…A storm might as well come and just wipe us all away…)
The fear of annihilation, suspicions and doubts. This was a world where people only felt a reason to live through finding enemies.
The atmosphere was polluted and you could not even see the sun during the day.
While it seemed childish to want help from god, you could not help it.
Michelle sighed again, as if to mock herself.
The sound of something sizzling on the grill filled the air.
The smell of something delicious wafted as several children gathered around with bright eyes.
“Kaaa-hahaha! It is almost ready. You should all wait in line. And do not forget to bring the parts!”
It was Veldora.
Veldora was cooking okonomiyaki on a grill.
Where did the grill come from? What about the heat? Such things were of no concern.
It was Veldora. And anything was possible.
“Oh, it’s ready. So, you want to be first? Where are the parts?”
When the okonomiyaki was ready, Veldora called to the child who was first in line.
“Here it is! It is a drill arm with a powerful electric motor inside!”
“A drill arm!? That sounds very cool! Alright, let’s trade!!”
“Who is next?”
“Me! Can I trade this?”
“Oh, a caterpillar. Hmm, very well. It’s hot, so don’t burn yourself.”
“Yes! Thank you, mister!!”
These transactions continued as Veldora gained more parts and passed out okonomiyaki to the children.
He looked very satisfied and his smile widened as he looked at the increasing amount of parts he was getting.
The children happily ate the okonomiyaki and let out cries of overwhelming delight.
“It’s delicious! This is so good!!”
“What is this!? It’s hot. My tongue hurts. But I can’t stop eating it!!”
While the taste changed so you would not get bored, the children still ate the same thing everyday.
And it was of course, neither cold nor hot, and the taste did not spread.
It was clear what the difference was between artificial and natural.
And so the taste and heat of Veldora’s okonomiyaki practically exploded in the mouths of the children.
In spite of his warnings, some of them got burns in their mouths.
“Kaa-hahahaha! How is it? Good? Don’t fret, there is plenty more!!”
The children gathered around Veldora.
He had become their hero in no time.
While he was just luring them with food, Veldora was on top of the world.
Just how had this happened…
The adults lived as always in this claustrophobic space, with no hope for the future.
But among all of this, the children tried to find some fun in their days.
And so they thought of a game–robot wrestling.
This involved gathering discarded parts and creating robots to fight each other.
Robots that were especially well-made would be made part of the Remote Robot force and sent out into the field.
This was considered to be the highest honor for the children.
They looked through the mountain of junk that the adults brought back and searched for promising parts.
They would then learn how they worked on their own and install them into the robots.
This was to make the best possible machine they could.