Zachary Dhalis and Erwin Smith were having a conversation about the events from earlier in the day.
- Good work, Erwin. Your mission was successful after all.
- Thank you. We had some small issues, but in the end everything worked out.
- About those issues, I do have my concerns. If I understand correctly, Eren Yaeger attacked Mikasa Ackerman and almost killed Desi right after he turned to a titan. That is very serious, Erwin.
How can we even trust him after such actions?
- I understand where you’re coming from, but thanks to Levi he managed to regain his senses, and completed his task.
- Even so, he endangered his fellow soldiers, and almost became a serious threat. I think it’s about time we settle this matter in court.
- Please, reconsider. I am certain Eren will learn to control his ability with just a bit more time.
- I apologize, Erwin.
Erwin Smith was about to continue his protest, but Zachary Dhalis stopped him with a raise of his hand.
- Even so, I did promise to aid you if you show good results and succeed with your plan, so I will buy you a bit more time.
Erwin looked visibly relieved.
- Thank you.
After the gate is sealed, we have a big party to celebrate it. After all, this is Humanity’s first big victory against the Titans. Everyone is hopeful, and has high expectations for the future.
It’s getting a little bit too noisy for me, so I go out of the cabin to get some fresh air.
- Ahh, such a peaceful night. A bit chilly, just perfect.
Jean walks out after me.
- Hey, Shortie, why are you out here? Is everything alright?
- Yes, don’t worry, I’m perfectly fine.
He smiles at me.
- Good. How is your body doing?
- Much better actually. This reminds me, I’m sorry I couldn’t be with the rest of you until the end of the mission. I wanted to stay, but the Commander wouldn’t hear of it…
- It’s alright. You don’t need to apologize. Besides, he was just looking out for you.
- You think so?
- Of course, it’s not hard to tell. I guess he really does like you, huh?
- I guess so…
- Well, I know what I said before, but as long as you both are alright with it; just go for what you want. Trust your heart.
- I’m your best friend after all! If I can’t do this much, what kind of a friend would I be?
And he gave me a big smile.
- You are the most awesome friend anyone can ask for!
- Good, I’m glad you realize it.
- It wouldn’t kill you to be a bit more modest, though.
- Not happening.
We share a laugh.
- I’m sorry if I’m interrupting something. I can come back later.
Mikasa speaks up. Seems like she just got out as well.
- Ah, no, no, its fine, Mikasa, stay.
- I’ll leave you two girls alone. Be nice!
- Yes, yes, of course.
I wave after Jean, and turn to Mikasa.
- Something on your mind?
- Actually…I want to thank you.
- Hm? What for?
- For coming to my rescue today. You had no reason to risk your life for me, but you did, even after I was horrible to you. Why did you do it?
- I did tell you before, I care for you, and I would never leave a friend in trouble, as long as I can do something for them.
When I joined the Survey Corps, I swore to myself to always give it my all. If I don’t, I will feel useless and I can never allow that.
- I guess I was very wrong about you. I apologize for spreading those nasty rumors…
- Oh? It was you? I would have never thought. But it’s fine, really. It hurt me at first, but I’m over it.
I feel like Mikasa is getting pretty uncomfortable in a situation like this one, so I decide to put an end to it.
- Anyway, everything between us is good, so you don’t need to worry. And I appreciate the apology. I will be out here a bit longer.
Why don’t you join the rest inside, and have a nice celebration? You deserve it.
- Yes, I will. Thank you.
And she goes back inside.
- Follow my heart, huh...
My legs have a mind of their own, as I walk away from the cabin.
- Now is our chance. Go and follow her, find out where she’s going.
- Why me? Why can’t you follow her?
- Because she will never suspect you, dummy. She is already suspicious of me.
- Fine! I’ll go.
Hmm, I can swear it feels like someone has been following me for quite a while now. I can hear their faint footsteps on the grass. I stop in my spot, and the other person seems to stop as well.
Alright, if that’s the game we’re going to play. I start running as fast as I can. The other person seems to hesitate for a bit, but soon I hear them again.
If I’m correct, they are close enough and I can catch them in the act. It’s now, or never. I immediately turn around and my eyes start their search.
I’m lucky the moon is quite full tonight, and I can see most of my surroundings clearly. I see the figure of someone attempting to quickly hide behind a tree. Quite tall, aren’t you? Got ya.
- I see you, Bert!
The figure doesn’t move at first, but then, just as I suspected, I see a very nervous Bertolt make his way towards me. I am trying to catch my breath.
- As fun as this game was, why the hell are you following me around like that? It’s very, very creepy.
- Ah, I’m sorry, Desi, didn’t mean to scare you. I saw you leave by yourself and got worried, so I followed you.
I wonder if he’s telling the truth.
- Thank you, Bert, but I’m perfectly fine on my own. You don’t need to worry about me.
- Yes, you’re probably right, I apologize.
- Have a good night.
- Ah, you, too, Desi.
And I continue on my way.
- How could you get caught??
- Well, I did. I didn’t expect her to suddenly run off.
- Damn it, now we both look suspicious. We need to find another approach.
- First Reiner, now Bertolt. I swear, they’re starting to make me suspicious of my own shadow.
When I reach a certain building, I stop and look at one of the windows.
- He’s still up, huh?
I hesitate for a bit, but my heart is hammering in my chest and begging me to just go in. So I obey it, like so many times before.