Chapter 3 - Execution - battery=02:14:17
The person who found that place was Lilith.
When it was almost dawn, we started to get anxious about finding a place for us to hide for the day.
"Isn't this the entrance to the waterways?"
Lilith pointed at the waterways entrance below the iron bridge. The area was covered with bushes, and the entrance rusted all over as well. This reminded me that the demon god Darke used an exit covered with bushes when he left the castle secretly.
"Volkov, try to open it."
Listening to Lilith's instructions, Volkov bent his knees, extending his hands towards the cover of the waterways. Noise of metallic friction rang, then the cover opened with a clank.
A hole was below the lid, tempting us to enter the dark underground world.
I observed the hole while asking, then Lilith answered: "We can only go in. It's going to be daytime soon."
"But……" I looked at Volkov.
"Ah, that's right……"
Lilith seemed to have noticed it too. The diameter of the hole leading to the waterways was about a meter wide. Disregarding Lilith and I, Volkov could never get into the hole.
She sighed lightly, saying: "Then we don't have any choice. Let's find another place." Lilith abandoned the plan of using the waterways.
At that moment, Volkov suddenly said.
"Hmm?" Lilith had took a few steps forward. She turned around and said, "What are you talking about, Volkov?"
"Volkov- stay. …… Lilith- and- Iris- go."
"Eh? You're telling us to leave first?"
"Idiot, what are you pretending to be cool for."
LIlith flicked Volkov's arm with her fingers. However, Volkov did not answer Lilith, but placed his large right arm on her shoulders.
"W- what's the meaning of your hand……?"
That was the darkest moment before dawn.
Countless dots that looked like stars appeared in the sky that Volkov was looking at.
"Hey! Aren't those the army!"
The dots in the night sky enlarged. Those were helicopter units. The searchlights passed over the top of our heads.
"Lilith- go- quickly."
"What are you talking about! We're escaping together!"
However, Volkov forcefully held Lilith's shoulders, repeating his previous words.
Then, he forcefully carried Lilith, pushing her down the entrance.
"Wait a minute, Volkov! Let go of me!" Lilith frantically struggled, but Volkov did not stop.
"Military- chasing- Volkov."
Volkov carried me as well, pushing me down the waterways after Lilith.
That moment, Volkov suddenly looked at me. His eyes seemed like they were soundlessly pleading something. That would probably be—
"Lilith, let's go."
I pulled Lilith.
"Wait, why are you saying this as well!"
"Please consider Volkov's feelings."
"Broke." Volkov suddenly said, "Volkov- broke."
"……Eh?" Lilith stared at Volkov with uneasiness written all over her face.
As though he was talking about things that did not concern him, he explained: "Volkov- burnt- in- truck. Safety- circuit- broke. So- Volkov- used- weapons…… So- it- activated."
Lilith asked cautiously as though she was afraid of hearing the answer, while Volkov answered in his usual deep voice.
At that instant, Lilith was dumbfounded.
Volkov doesn't lie, and doesn't joke.
Not even once.
I grabbed the ladder of the waterways, looking at Volkov's face again. A silent but determined will was hidden in the pair of square eyes.
I noticed. Volkov was scared. He was scared that he would trouble us if he ran away with us as a military robot.
Lilith slowly shook her head, asking.
"You're joking, right? Self-destruct settings and such, those were just lies that you just thought of…… right?"
Lilith gazed at him with a penetrating stare.
Volkov answered simply: "Really."
The cover of the entrance was covered up. Volkov's face gradually disappeared as well.
"Volkov, no! Don't decide things by yourself! We're running away together!"
He did not answer Lilith, but looked at me while saying.
"Iris, I'll leave Lilith to you."
I nodded. His determination wouldn't be stopped. Also, we can't stop him by our powers alone.
But Lilith did not give up, she shouted "What are you doing, stop that! Let go of me!", while frantically pushing away Volkov's hands with her left hand. Volkov tightly held Lilith's arms, sealing her movement. Then, he stared directly at Lilith.
"…… Volkov?" Lilith shot an uneasy gaze towards the giant who suddenly stopped his movements. Volkov gazed at Lilith soundlessly. It was as though time stopped flowing at that moment, the two gazing at each other.
That moment, Volkov's words weren't discontinuous like usual, but fluent like the words of a young man.
Those words sounded just like a confession.
"It's so great to have met you."
Lilith's eyes turned round. Her lips trembled, looking as if she wanted to say something.
But at the next instant, Volkov rammed into her.
"Ahh!" Lilith made a short shout, falling into the depths of the waterways. I fell in there along with her.
At the last moment when before we fell, I saw a sad glow in Volkov's eyes. Even so, the entrance of the waterways was quickly covered, and the glow vanished.