‘Michelle is the highest in command of the Machinery Four. I’m sorry to say it, Sharma. But I believed you were all being tricked.’
‘We were told to gather our fighting force. I shall give you my support. We will send as many men as we can.’
‘Zalando. Aren’t you being a little hasty?”
‘Perhaps. But, Blancha. There is no future for us unless we act. Many are dying due to our life support machines failing. We cannot find new homes now. It is too late. Even if it turns out to be a trap, we have no other hope.’
‘It’s true. We must give this some thought… I had wanted to watch you a little longer before deciding. But I shall come to a decision tonight.’
Their reactions varied.
As Sharma had arrived earlier than scheduled, many of them had not come to a decision yet.
And the main reason for this was that most of them did not entirely trust Michelle. They believed that Sharma was being deceived.
However, now that Sharma had arrived safely, they were starting to think that they could trust Michelle.
Still, it seemed that it would be difficult for them all to be in agreement.
And so it was decided that the talks would end for now, and they would continue the meeting on the following morning.
Now they just had to wait for their answers.
That’s what Sharma thought.
Michelle had requested that they gather a fighting force that they could trust.
However, information was still to be kept from them for the most part.
Each director knew that Michelle was a collaborator. Michelle had allowed her to share this information.
Even if there was a spy in their midst, Michelle thought it would be a good opprotunity to find the traitors. This willingness to sacrifice herself was well-received by the others, and Sharma fully trusted her now.
And so she had told the other directors of Michelle’s request, that they gather their men.
There was a possibility of fighting within the empire, and the resistance would act in accordance.
She told them that Michelle would be in their debt after this, and would promise to aid them…
It was no surprise that the other directors had their doubts.
They too had comrades to protect. They did not want to lose men if there was no need.
It would be difficult to persuade them, but not impossible—that’s what Sharma thought.
As some of the directors had said, the shelters were at their limits.
The surface was full of threats, but their claustrophobic homes would no longer be able to support them.
So they had no choice but to strike out.
In that case, there was no better time than now.
They had a collaborator within the empire. Michelle. And so helping Michelle to destroy the current regime became a path to survival for the resistance.
With this renewed conviction, Sharma directed her thoughts towards tomorrow’s meeting.
Unfortunately, things would not be favorable.
An unexpected problem awaited them.
Sharma and the others finished their communication with the directors and returned to the main hall. There, a stranger awaited them.
She was covered in wounds, proof that a battle had been fought.
Currently, Karman and Reiz were treating her.
“Who is that?”
“She is General Michelle’s adjutant. Her name is Jegyll. I don’t know what happened, but she arrived here like this. Barely breathing…”
Karman answered Sharma’s nervous question.
It seemed that the stranger had escaped from the empire.
But there were no pursuers.
Jegyll must have killed them so they would not locate this place.
That’s why she was wounded so badly.
“I have used healing drugs and she seems to be improving. Her loss of consciousness should be temporary…”
“…Where am I?”
Just as Reiz was explaining this, Jegyll’s eyes cracked open and she muttered.
“Oh, she has come to. Adjutant Jegyll, it is me. Reiz. Do you understand?”
“Reiz… So this must be Shelter 5. The one that General Michelle prepared?”
“Did anyone follow me?”
“No. Karman’s men are patrolling the area. No enemies have been sighted.”
“I see. So I killed all of them then…”
Jegyll said. Then she sighed with relief.
Karman nodded and said,
“Adjutant Jegyll. It’s Karman. General Michelle told me everything. I am now just like you.”
“I see. That is comforting. As for the rest of you, I apologize for such a rude greeting. I am Jegyll. I am Michelle’s adjutant and I know of her intentions. I am not your enemy. Please rest easy.”
Jegyll said this, and Sharma and the others introduced themselves.
While this happened, a man who could not read the room—or had no intention of trying—asked Jegyll a very blunt question.
“So, Jegyll or whatever your name is. Why are you here?”
Hey!? Zaza became frantic.
Not just Zaza, but Karman and Sharma as well.
Reiz was speechless at the lack of manners.
This person was Michelle’s adjutant. A noble of the highest rank who belonged in the ruling class of the empire.
And yet he had no respect for her.
Even Reiz felt he had to say something…
“No-now, now, Mister Reiz. Calm down. And Mister Veldora, let’s try to be a little more polite. Actually, we will be dealing with all the negotiations. You can go over there and play with the children…”
Rindo said as he quickly stepped in between them.
“Ka-Hahahaha! The children are already asleep, thanks to my flawless ability to babysit. Besides, negotiations are very important. You must leave it to me. Don’t worry, I won’t let things go wrong.”
That’s what we’re worried about!! Everyone who knew Veldora thought this.
However, none of them said it out loud.
“Hohohoho. We cannot allow Lord Veldora to do something as low as that.”
“Ye-yes, Master. We have a nice room prepared. Why don’t you go and have a rest!”
“Hmmm. I hope you are not just trying to get rid of me…”
Veldora muttered as he started to walk away, but then—
“Th-that’s right! This is no time for talk. General Michelle has been taken!! You must help me…”
Jegyll’s face went pale as she dropped this unbelievable bomb on them.
And so in a flash, the situation suddenly changed for the worse.