A girl was striding through a hallway with a bouquet in her hand, arriving at the medic station where the door was at ajar. Astrid, the girl with a bouquet, entered the room quietly. Inside which, another girl was sleeping tight on the bed next to the window.
Even though Astrid had tiptoed to the bedside, she still alerted Aurora on the bed. As soon as Aurora saw Astrid, the vigilant look on her face was eased.
“Here you are, Astrid,” said Aurora with a tired smile.
“Aurora, I was terrified when Schnauzer told me that you fainted yesterday.”
“I’m sorry. I must have been through too many missions without enough rest lately. I feel so much better now after a sleep.” Aurora then sat straight and gave Astrid a bright smile.
Not only was Aurora a combatant with the most privilege, but she was also an earthling born in the first patch. Still, she never acted superior than any other earthlings.
“How about you? Isn’t the recon division busy too? Is that okay for you to visit me?” Aurora cared about Astrid, even who was lower in rank.
“It’s been intense out there. So many fellows were killed in reckon missions lately, so all non-emergent missions are suspended,” Astrid explained.
“I wish the war could end sooner.” Astrid heaved a sigh.
“...Right. I hope so,” Aurora answered after a pause. Meanwhile, the smile on her face vanished, changing into a grim face.
“But I don’t think this wish would come true easily…” Aurora concealed this thought.
“Huh? Aurora, what’s with the pigment on your elbow?” Astrid asked when she spotted something unusual on Aurora’s arm.
When Astrid was reaching for further inspection, Aurora raised her arm one step faster.
“It must be some dirt. I’ll get myself clean later.”
Lowering her head, Aurora glimpsed at the dried cracks on her elbow, which was exceptionally obvious compared to her light and smooth skin.
“Yes...I’m alright. This is merely the injury I got from the last mission,” Aurora comforted herself. Deep down, she doubted it.
Astrid continued sharing her daily life without sensing Aurora’s anxiety. Their conversation went on until someone showed up——Shamash the Eldus.
“Aurora, get ready. Take down the corrodent leader.”
“Lady Shamash, Aurora is not in the perfect shape for battle now. I don’t think she is suitable for fighting those ferocious beasts…” Astrid made her decision when she saw Aurora’s pale face. “I’m willing to fill her spot.”
“You?” Shamash stared at Astrid in disdain. “Impossible. Even for the combatant division, only a few are strong enough to battle those corrodents, let alone a reckon earthling like you? Stop daydreaming.”
“I’ll go,” said Aurora, who managed to get out of bed and knelt with one knee. “I’ll deliver your order, Lady Shamash.”
“...Get yourself ready.”
Aurora got out of the bed as soon as Shamash had left. She patted Astrid’s shoulder to reassure her, “I’ll be alright. Don’t worry.”
After the farewell, Aurora joined Shamash’s squad, heading towards the lair of the corrodents in the south.
Arriving at the destination, Shamash spoke to the most well-built beast among the others.
“Kingpin, we’re here to challenge you with your favourite deathmatch.”
“Alright. There’s only one rule for our clan. The last one standing will be the king,” said the kingpin, staring at Shamash with its bloody-red eyes. “Who will be my challenger?”
Aurora stepped forward. As her limitation was disabled by Shamash, the energy cycle had been activated and her body became translucent.
“Humph. I was expecting a stronger challenger...Mmm!” The kingpin shut its mouth when it saw the dent smashed by Aurora barehanded.
“Am I strong enough for you?” Aurora remained calm.
“Hahaha. Great! Looks like I’m gonna have a good time! Tiny girl, don’t die too soon!”
Reflecting bloodlust in its bloody-red gaze, the kingpin flexed its muscles and smashed an even bigger dent with its thick arm.
After displaying the strength of both sides, the fight officially began. Heavy punches were thrown at each other again and again.
Although Aurora was no match for the kingpin in terms of physical strength, the durability of her enhanced body was superior to the kingpin’s. She recovered quickly even after taking multiple heavy strikes from the beast. With her agility, she eventually took down the kingpin.
“Mmm…” Aurora paid the equivalent price for her victory——three broken ribs, a broken right arm and a broken left leg. Still, it wasn’t the physical injuries that hurt her the most, but Shamash’s cold attitude, who cared nothing but her dominance in the clan.
“Ha...We earthlings are nothing but disposable tools to them…” While Aurora was mocking at her insignificance, her body was falling forward——
Someone caught her in time. It was Schnauzer, another combatant.
“Stop talking and save your breath. Let’s go back for a proper treatment,” said Schnauzer while scowling at Shamash.
“Stop that, Schnauzer. You’re acting too obvious. You’ll be punished if someone sees that.”
The moment Aurora pulled Schnauzer back, Schnauzer was utterly shocked by what she saw.
“Aurora, your face!”
“What? What happened to my face?”
Aurora was unable to touch her face, for her fingers had vanished.
This was merely a beginning. The decomposition started spreading from her limbs to her torso, which broke down into dust as if a piece of crumbling leaf.
“Ah...Can’t imagine that I’m dying in this way…”
Although Aurora was shocked at first, she accepted the truth very soon, for she had figured it out somehow.
“I can’t change my death, but at least I can do something to stop this tragedy from happening to my brothers and sisters …”
Pressing her cracked forehead against Schnauzer’s, Aurora said with her last breath, “don’t...trust...the Eldus...They’re...liars...Schnauzer...Please...protect...Astrid...and the others...for me…”
Aurora’s voice diminished just like the way her body decomposed. At last, there was nothing left but dust in the air.
Schnauzer lost control of her tears at the moment she stared at her empty arms. Unable to withstand the heartache, she vented the pain through a cry.
Yet Aurora couldn’t hear or feel anything anymore...