- Sir, there is no sign of the titans, but we saw the figures of two people on horses riding away from the wall.
- Did you see who they were?
- No, Sir, it was impossible to recognize them in the dark.
- Damn it!
Erwin Smith was beside himself with anger. How did they manage to lose both of them so foolishly? He never expected the Armored Titan to show up as well.
It was a perfect trap, and they fell right into it, not to mention all the lives they lost.
- Oi, Erwin, we’ll find them.
Captain Levi placed a hand on Commander Smith’s shoulder, and then turned to the Scout.
- Do you have any idea in what direction they went?
- We think they might have headed for the Forest with giant trees, but I’m afraid we will have to wait until morning to establish a search party.
- The question is whether they will make a stop once they reach the forest, or continue on their way. And where exactly are they going?
- I understand why they would be interested in Eren, since he has the same power as them, but why would they kidnap Desi?
Erwin Smith couldn’t help voicing the question, swirling around his mind. Captain Levi thought for a second, and answered.
- Maybe she knew something.
- But she never told me…Wait.
Erwn Smith remembered the folded note in his pocket, and took it out.
- “If anything were to happen to me, read this note” – those were her words.
- What are you waiting for? Read it.
Levi rushed Erwin. He unfolded the note quickly, and began reading it out loud.
“My dear Commander, there is something important I must inform you about.
I fear there are traitors among us, people who know more about the titans, and are possibly able to turn into them as well, just like Eren.
These are only my theories, but I've been suspicious of two members of the Survey Corps – Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover.
When I questioned Reiner about the possibility of humans turning into titans, either by will or be forced to do so, he called the idea crazy and it was obvious he was hiding something from me.
I’ve noticed them split from our group many times, and one sleepless night I heard them whisper to each other outside when they thought everyone was sleeping.
I didn’t hear the whole conversation, but they were definitely plotting something.
And if my suspicions weren’t enough already, afterwards I caught Bertolt following me late at night when I was making my way to your office.
It’s possible he was trying to find out whether I will inform anyone about my assumptions.
I fear they will sooner or later try to get rid of me, so before they do I want to make sure you know about all of this.
I sincerely hope you will find this information useful, and I was able to aid humanity even a little bit.
The Commander finished reading her note, and was left speechless. But then he pulled himself together, and turned to the Scout.
- Did Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover make it back after the attack?
- I’m not sure, Sir. Do you want me to go check?
- Of course! And be quick!
- Yes, Sir!
Then another question emerged in his mind.
- If one of them is the Armored Titan, who is the Female Titan? She doesn’t mention anything about it.
- It’s obvious she didn’t know of the existence of the Female Titan before last night. If those two are titans, the Female Titan is probably someone close to them, a friend, or an acquaintance.
Someone who probably resided in Wall Rose. For them to escape that quickly after abandoning their titan form, someone was waiting for them with horses ready.
But the Scout told us only two people were seen riding away, which means…
- One of them might still be inside Wall Rose. - The Commander added.
At that point the Scout made it back.
- Sir, there is no sign of either one of them. No one has seen them ever since we left for the mission last night.
- Did they leave together with the Survey Corps?
- Yes, Sir, we have witnesses, who can confirm it.
- That means they must have slipped away during our fight with the Female Titan. Alright, tell everyone to take a short rest. We leave for the Forest of giant trees first thing in the morning.
- Yes, Sir!
After the Scout left them alone, Levi turned to Erwin.
- What are you thinking of doing with this small amount of people?
We lost a lot of soldiers, and we will be running after at least two titans, not to mention all titans who will show up on our way and in the forest.
- I am aware of all of this, Levi, but it’s not like we have any other choice. We need to get Eren and Desi back, and I am willing to gamble on our chances of success.
- Alright then. I will trust in your judgment. You take a rest as well, you look like shit.
- Thank you, Levi, I’ll try.
The Commander took one last look at the note.
- I swear I’ll bring you back, Desi…
- Jean, you’re not going to sleep?
- I can’t sleep, Connie.
- I know you’re worried, but if you aren’t rested enough you won’t be able to do anything once we leave on our mission.
- I know that…It’s just…whenever I close my eyes, I imagine her lying somewhere…dead…Fuck!
- It’s going to be alright. Think about it, if they wanted to kill her, why take her away in the first place?
- Yeah…you’re probably right. She’ll be fine. Thank you. I’ll try to get some sleep. Good night, Connie.
- Night, Jean.
But sleep didn’t come to Jean until much later.