At dusk on the outdoor training field, a female earthling Schnauzer was punching a training pole with all strength. She didn’t ease up a bit even when her fists were all swollen.
“Damn it! Damn it! Aurora died in my arms and I couldn’t save her…” Schnauzer vented her anguish through her fists.
Earlier the day, Schnauzer had gone on a mission with another combatant Aurora, who had taken down the king of corrodents by herself. However, the battle had burned out her vitality, which led to her death in Schnauzer’s embrace.
With this traumatic separation, even a calm individual like Schnauzer was unable to take it. So, she headed to the training field to release her emotions as soon as she returned to the base.
“Huff…” The exhausted Schnauzer finally stopped and collapsed onto the ground. At this moment, she glimpsed at a quarrel happening at the field entrance.
“P-Please...L-Let me go…”
A ragged girl had her wrist grabbed by a male earthling.
“This is the training field exclusive for combatants,not a place for you slave to visit,” warned the male earthling.
“I-I just want to talk to my sister...I didn’t mean to trespass! Please let me go…”
“No! What’s the purpose of having rules if I just let you go? You shall be punished——AHH!”
While the male earthling was wearing an indecent grin, he got knocked out by Schnauzer.
“Radha, are you alright?”
Radha ran into Schnauzer’s embrace and sobbed, “sister… I’m scared…”
“Everything is alright now, you silly cry baby,” Schnauzer comforted Radha with a gentle pat on her back, as if an elder sister was pampering her beloved younger sister.
Schnauzer and Radha were not blood-related, but they were born in the same batch. As they had known each other for a whole life, they decided to call each other sisters.
“Of course I’m not scared when I’m with you, but even a tough one like Aurora would be dead…” Radha continued with tears in her eyes, “if you’re gone, I’ll be unprotected in the slavery division…”
“Radha,” Schnauzer stroked Radha’s head and reassured her, “don’t worry. I’ll find a way to get you out of the slavery. If I can bring you to the supply division, you’ll have a better status and privilege.”
“...Thank you,” Radha said as she snorted.
At this moment, someone was coming in a hurry.
“Astrid! Feeling better after waking up?”
Astrid shook her head; after calming her breathing pace, she gave a stern look at Schnauzer. Sensing something important, Schnauzer’s expression became serious too.
“Schnauzer, I have something very important to tell you,” Astrid said hesitantly while guarding against Radha, implying a lack of trust in her.
“It’s alright. You can trust her. Just say it.”
“...The physique of combatants will fall apart after twenty five to fifty battles. I heard it from Enlil.”
“Are you sure about what you just said?” Schnauzer was utterly stunned.
Astrid reluctantly nodded and continued, “...I also found the dying, cracked earthlings in the storage. Those Eldus must have hidden them to keep us away from the truth.”
“...The battle over-consumed Aurora and caused her immediate decay…”
Schnauzer went silent; next second, she threw a hard punch at the ground, smashing a dent out of it.
“Those scums...I will never forgive the fact that they treat us like disposable tools…” Explicit hatred was exuding from Schnauzer’s squinted eyes. “We earthlings have the advantage in number. As long as we stand as one, we can overthrow those Eldus eventually. Astrid!”
“I’m in. They must pay for what they’ve done to Aurora.”
Schnauzer and Astrid left the conversation for their crusade, leaving Radha alone who watched them worriedly.
“We the earthlings can never win the masters. What should we do if we get busted…”
Worrying about Schnauzer and Astrid, the absent-minded Radha bumped into Shamash while she was delivering earthlings’ food.
“I...I’m so sorry!”
Radha knelt on the ground and begged for mercy as if she had committed a deadly crime, shivering like a weak prey to a lion.
Sensing something wrong in her strange behavior, Shamash interrogated coldly, “why are you so frightened? What are you hiding?”
“I...I didn’t.” Radha’s denial was so weak that anyone could tell she was lying.
“Earthling Radha, at my order, tell me what you’re hiding.”
Shamash’s words triggered the spell programmed inside Radha before she had been fully-grown, which would amplify earthlings’ fear towards Eldus. Whenever this spell was triggered, the earthlings would not be able to reject any order from the Eldus.
The moment when Radha was drowned by fear, she spilled everything to Shamash. That was the reason why the revolution died before it could begin.
Schnauzer, who confessed all the crimes, was exiled to the underground, while Astrid was demoted to the slavery division. As for Radha, she was promoted to the supply division, which was responsible for the preparation of weaponry and other battle supplies.
Just when Radha thought that she could lead a more secure life, something unexpected happened to her.
This day, she ran into an acquaintance when she was picking herbs in the forest.
That came from a low but soft voice, yet it sounded like a nightmare to Radha.
“You are...Schnauzer...I thought you were dead,” the terrified Radha said in a shaky voice.
“Almost, but the machinas pulled me back from the verge of death,” said Schnauzer, revealing her metallic body under the cloak.
Stepping back with a gasp, Radha said, “the way you look...The masters will definitely hunt you down if they see you. Why did you come back?”
“I’m here for you, Radha,” said Schnauzer, reaching out towards Radha.
“Would you like to move to Mech City with me?”
“Huh? Meaning I have to live with those machinas?”
“Yes. Don’t worry. They’re very kind and they’ll never hurt you,” Schnauzer reassured Radha.
“I’d rather die than be with those steel objects! I won’t let you ruin my peaceful life!”
While Radha was having this thought, she said to Schnauzer with a weak smile, “well then...Just give me some time to pack my stuff and I’ll meet you here.”
“Alright. I’ll wait here,” Schnauzer said, nodding without doubts.
Yet Radha was not going to pack her belongings, but she went to inform Shamash again, who led few Eldus to meet Schnauzer along with Radha.
“Sigh, I started feeling sorry for you,” Shamash teased at Schnauzer. “I can’t believe that you would be fooled twice by her.”
To her surprise, Schnauzer laughed out loud instead of getting enraged.
“Hahaha. I knew that you were the snitcher, Radha.”
Radha looked away cowardly to avoid Schnauzer’s gaze.
“...Then why did you do it if you knew it was a trap?” Shamash was perplexed.
“That’s because I want to make a deal with you.
When Schnauzer looked into Shamash’ eyes, there was no fear or respect, but her unbendable will.
“You want to defeat the machinas, don’t you?”
Intrigued, Shamash grinned and said, “interesting. Tell me about your thoughts.”