That was their pride, so they said.
But they did not know there was more to come.
~Frederica Rozenfort (War Recollections)
The crimson color of the Poppies filled every corner of the battlefield, appearing so maddening and beautiful as it appeared to burn everything beneath the skies.
The Eighty Six area of the Republic was near the North of the continent, and once the sun set, the cold came. The dusk breeze robbed away the heat of the long battles, and Shinn lifted his head towards the darkening sunset.
For over a year, he had been a processor of the Republic's 'Manned Drone', the unmanned "Juggernaut". Already, he was used to the surrounding serenity.
For that was after everything, both friend and foe, were wiped out.
No matter the squad he was assigned to, what welcomed him at the end was the silence of his slain comrades. For over a year, the inevitable repeated, and he got used to it.
The birds and beasts stopped crying, and nary an insect flew by in this world, for they were intimidated by the stench of smoke and the roars of the cannons, and the world was seemingly encased in peace and silence. The voices of the Dead lingered in his ears, but they sounded so distant and vague. The "Legion" remained hidden in its controlled areas, and it appeared they would not be back for the today.
It was reckless of Shinn to remain alone on the battlefield for no reason, but he decided to remain for a while. He, long used to the battlefield, was only 12, in the body of a child that had not grown. The fighting against the "Legion" remained intense, and during the battle, his entire squadron was wiped out. It was no wonder then that he was weary。
──"…Undertaker. Is there, anyone else?""Undertaker"
The pretentiously kind Handler had no self-awareness of being a citizen of the Republic (White Swine). The voice rang, and Shinn narrowed his eyes.
The question itself was unnecessary.
It was natural that on the battlefield with zero dead, the Processors were supposed to die.
The Eighty-Sixers were supposed to die.
The walls and anti-personnel mines had blocked off all retreat paths, and upon this battlefield, they fought and died in place of humans. Even if they could survive, surely they would inevitably die a meaningless death. It was those Republic citizens who had imposed this upon the
The processors had lost their parents, their siblings, and were not protected as they grew up. All they faced was the sheer malice of the Republic soldiers, clearly or quietly hoping for these Eighty-Sixers to die off. They were used to their inevitable deaths, whether it was the next instance, or five years later.
They had to.
──Well, if we're going to die, guess it's not bad to have our death god leading us there.
Once those words were said, everyone.
Left before him.
Maybe—so Shinn thought as he narrowed his bloody red eyes towards the colors that dyed both the skies and the earth.
In the first squad he was assigned to, Shinn was the only one who survived the annihilation.
The same happened for the next squad, and the following squad, and even this squad. He was always the lone survivor.
He knew others were saying he was a monster who could hear the dead and summon death, and he was used to being alienated.
Perhaps that was fact.
──It's all your fault.
Just as his brother had said.
Though that was said.
What was left for him was the back facing him as it walked off, with no intentions of looking back.
The sun sank completely, and the sky was dark. He reached his hand out, knowing it was unreachable.
Why did you do this to me.