I’m sorry for the late update, everyone! (An urgent matter came up last week. ༼ಢ_ಢ༽) I hope you enjoy CH19! ❤
Translator: Lucia Rose
Leslie doggedly circled around in the air, trying to locate where Livy was and thinking about how he could bring him back with him. But, in fact, Leslie knew very well in his heart that there was no feasible way he could take the crashed Livy back with him.
“Captain Leslie Lucrécy! You must evacuate the battlefield immediately! This is an order!”
Lieutenant General Montel’s voice sounded over the communicator, and Leslie frowned.
When Livy was hit, for a moment, he had forgotten how to fly. It was as if heaven and earth were upside down and everything was out of his control.
The only thought that brought him back to his senses was — ‘I have to protect him.’
“No, I can’t go back.” Leslie decisively refused the order of K11’s lieutenant general.
Livy’s crash site was west of the mine. Once K11’s and St. Louis’s forces withdrew, this territory would belong to the enemy, and Leslie couldn’t even imagine the consequences of leaving Livy here.
“If you return, I still have a way of saving Livy. But if you don’t return, at best, you will accompany Livy to visit God.” A refined and cool voice flowed through the communicator. The weight behind it was unmistakable but did not cross the line into oppressiveness. Rather, it held a confidence and certainty that swayed one into letting go of all doubts.
“Who are you?” Leslie frowned; he never trusted anyone easily.
“My name is Claude Sien. I won’t let the pilot flying the Pure-Hued Lady die so easily.”
“It’s you?” Leslie raised his eyebrows. Claude gave him hope, and he had no choice but to bet that Claude could save Livy, “Okay, I’ll trust you once. But if Livy……”
“If Livy dies, you will not be the only one who will suffer; all of us in Zone Z will have to pay a heavy price. That said, you have six seconds to escape the enemy’s siege.”
The communication frequency was cut off. Leslie took one last look at Livy’s crash site and squeezed out a “sh*t—” between his teeth before flashing past the enemy airships, escaping the siege.
Claude, who was in the control room, glanced down at his wristwatch and said coldly, “He really escaped the enemy’s siege in six seconds; prepare the particle cannon.”
“The particle cannon?!” Miller, who was standing off to the side, raised his voice, “Are you planning to blow up the whole mine?!”
“There’s no time to explain it to you.” Claude’s expression was unusually cold.
Just three minutes ago, Maurice, who had returned to Zone Z, said to Claude in a matter-of-fact tone, “I have good news and bad news for you.”
Because all of his focus was on the battle, Claude was simply uninterested in Maurice’s bullsh*t. In order to suppress his agitation and control his restlessness, he tried to keep all of his mind on the Pure-Hued Lady, but, in fact, as if he was in a nightmare, what continued to replay inside his mind instead was the image of Livy’s receding back as he whirled around and left his sight.
“The bad news is that Livy’s fighter was hit — it crashed in the center of the mine……” Before Maurice could finish his words, Claude’s pupils contracted for a moment.
“Hey……I’m not done yet; the good news is that his protection pod has activated, and you have twenty minutes to save him!” Clasping his arms, Maurice watched as Claude cast aside the holographic computer in his hands; the sound of the impact intermingled with the sound of artillery fire originating from the sky, creating a harmony that was inexplicably heart-breaking and terrifying.1[Lucia]: RIP computer ಥ◡ಥ
Claude sprinted out of Zone Z and activated the bullet transfer thoroughfare to get to the control center at the top of the base.
Everyone in the control room was busy redirecting the fighters.
Lieutenant General Montel had his eyes closed in resignation and his head hung low, while Miller stood still with his lips slightly parted, as if he was still coming to terms with an unpalatable truth.
“What’s the situation.” The impatience in Claude’s heart grew ice-cold as he watched the warplanes returning to base.
“Livy……” Miller began, not knowing how to say it.
“Where is his crash location?” Claude’s voice was unemotional as usual. He directed his words to the liaison officer sitting off to the side, and the other party quickly reported Livy’s coordinates.
“What is the heat-resistant temperature of the sealed compartment within the Blue Crisis?” Claude braced his hands on the counter in front of the monitor. His eyes were completely expressionless.
“Two thousand degrees Celsius to three thousand degrees Celsius.” Looking at the impassive Claude, Miller’s bewildered heart slightly regained its sanity.
“Activate the particle cannon; target the mine.” Claude’s voice was subdued, and almost no one saw his lightly trembling fingers.
While Miller and the others in the control room balked at his order, Lieutenant General Montel suddenly commanded, “Activate the particle cannon; target the center of the mine. Fire within one minute.”
Miller sucked in a breath and gradually understood the reason behind Claude’s order.
Since the mine was destined to be occupied by the invaders anyway, there was no use in keeping it. And if they wanted to save Livy, they had to end the battle within twenty minutes, no…… in a much shorter time frame. Therefore, they could only fire the particle cannon.
Furthermore, the maximum temperature of the particle cannon was three thousand degrees Celsius, which was exactly the upper temperature limit of the sealed compartment.
But, in general, even in a war, no military commander would order the use of the particle cannon because after the explosion, the land would become near-impossible to recover and would be turned into a desolate desert.
At this time, Livy was lying in the darkness of the sealed cabin with his eyes wide open.
Inexplicably, he was reminded of the time he had lost his eyesight.
At that time, he had tried his best to hide his helplessness by congratulating himself that, at least, since he was now a second lieutenant, when he was discharged from the army, he didn’t need to worry about food and clothing. However, deep down inside, he knew… not being able to pilot the Pure-Hued Lady again was a despair more painful to him than losing his eyesight.
“I only have twenty minutes left……” Livy sighed. He knew there was no way of escaping this situation, save for becoming a prisoner of those alien invaders.
“What will they do to me? Dissect me?” Livy shook his head, “No, I’ll just kill myself.”
He was a little remorseful. Why didn’t they put a gun in the sealed cabin?
If there was a gun, at least he could still kill himself.
“Why do they say the purpose of the sealed cabin is to protect the pilot? It’s obviously used to collect our bodies.” Livy sighed again. If there wasn’t a gun to kill himself, at least give him a cigarette so he could smoke.
Because of the stringent health requirements, warplane pilots were prohibited from smoking. After all, smoking was extremely harmful to one’s health, and nicotine was a dangerously addictive substance.
However, Livy decided the first thing he would do after retiring from the military was smoke a cigarette, because — in all of the old movies that he watched — the leading men looked so stylish holding cigarettes between their fingers.
Staring upwards, he had no way of knowing how much time he had left. The darkness made him feel depressed.
His thoughts began to roam… and suddenly, he remembered the pounding he had felt in his heart when, as a child, he had slipped under Leslie’s window and looked up to see the exquisite side profile of his face. He even remembered the look of disdain Leslie had given him when he brought his lunch snacks to the other party.
When Leslie was being bullied by his seniors, Livy had foolishly stood up for him and was flattened to the point where even his own parents didn’t recognize him. At that time, Leslie had just turned around with his backpack and left; and all Livy could do was bear the fists of others while staring longingly at his cold silhouette through the gaps in the crowd.
It was at that time he realized it was possible for one person to give all they had for another without regard for being paid back anything in return.
Just like today, when his judgment had completely obeyed his instincts, and he had rushed up to block the missile for Leslie.
He wondered if Leslie would still be like that high-minded little princess of the past…… oh no, he should say that high-minded little prince, showing indifference to all he had been given.
And, the saddest thing for Livy was that he couldn’t even use his own death to protect the female officer of his choice but rather another…… well, barely a comrade-in-arms guy.
At least as a soldier it was an honor to die for another comrade, though in Livy’s POV, this was utter bullsh*t.
The sealed cabin which had been silent until now suddenly vibrated violently, and Livy reached out and touched the roof of the pod; it was so hot that he instantly retracted his hand.
Originally at peace with himself, Livy suddenly grew nervous. Could it be that the intruders had captured the sealed cabin and wanted to blow it up?
No no no……he would rather die of asphyxiation after twenty minutes than become a test subject for that group of alien pigs!
‘What to do? What to do?’
Come to think of it, everything that happened today all happened because Claude had insisted on debugging the Pure-Hued Lady! Otherwise, he would have just flown the Pure-Hued Lady from the start, and he wouldn’t have had to deal with all this crap!
Lovely! Now, he, Livy Van Perle, was going to visit God; and he’d be d*mned if he didn’t first lay a curse on that guy to never find a pilot better than himself before croaking!
In that instant, Livy’s heart ached violently.
A large sea blue emerged before his eyes, raging inexorably as if to drown out everything, just like Claude’s eyes, inundating him and smothering him to death.
“That b*st*rd…… he must be impatient to find someone else to replace me.” Livy gritted his teeth, not even noticing the rising temperature within the cabin. In a narrow space like this, if the temperature went above thirty-five degrees Celsius, Livy wouldn’t even need to wait for the oxygen to run out, as he would suffocate all the same.
“Then……he’ll use those eyes that look at me……to look at others.” Pulling up the corners of his lips, Livy laughed bitterly, “What ‘Livy you are one of a kind’? God knows, in his heart, only the Pure-Hued Lady is truly one of a kind.”
‘There is no one in this world who is irreplaceable.’
At this thought, Livy grunted coldly.
“Well, the Pure-Hued Lady is indeed the best fighter I’ve ever seen; it’s just that if that guy is going to get someone else to fly it, I’d rather it be Leslie.”
Just like everyone else, Livy stayed in the fortress city all his life. From elementary school to high school to the Air Force Academy, the only time he had ever had the chance to see the sights outside the fortress was during flight drills.
Even during flight drills, he never left his cabin once. Thus, if his sealed cabin were really to be blown apart by the intruders, then at least he would be able to breathe the air outside the fortress once before he died.
What was the air outside like? Was it imbued with the scent of grass? Just like those lines written in the prose and poetry he had read, along with the moistness of the earth?
But wait, this was a mining site…… so maybe it didn’t smell very good. There would probably be the smell of sand and gravel…… it should be very dry…… along with Livy’s unrestrained thoughts, his breathing grew shorter and shorter, and his brain became foggier and foggier.
This was a prelude to asphyxiation.
‘It’s really hot in here……it’s so hot that I can’t think of anything……’
His thoughts seemed to be constantly falling down into a dark, bottomless sea, constantly falling down, falling down……
Soon, there would be nothing left.
All of a sudden, he heard the sound of his overhead mechanical hatch being opened, and a bright light rushed into his eyes.
“He’s here! Hurry! Oxygen!”
T/N: Yay, Claude to the rescue! ٩(◕‿◕｡)۶
- 1[Lucia]: RIP computer ಥ◡ಥ
3 thoughts on “Chapter 19 – In the Darkness”
That was a daring way to rescue, but I’m glad it worked!
Thank you for the chapter and I hope you’re doing well!
Aww, thanks so much for your concern, theeggmonger! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡ I hope you enjoyed the chapter! ☺
Indeed, that was quite a daring (and destructive) way to rescue! I’m guessing the higher-ups will not be 100% pleased with Claude’s decision, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.
Lastly, I just wanted to let you know that there were two paragraphs that I forgot to include which were supposed to be placed at the beginning of the scene change from the control room to the sealed compartment — “At this time, Livy was lying in the darkness of the sealed cabin with his eyes wide open.” and “Inexplicably, he was reminded of the time he had lost his eyesight.”; I apologize if the omission of those two sentences caused you any confusion while you were reading that part! (๑•́ㅿ•̀๑)ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ
I hope you’re okay now ❤️