"Eden's destroyer?" I repeated the words in shock. My entire body felt paralyzed at the thought, as my mind raced to understand what Alma meant. A destroyer...of this world? But why? But how?
"Oh, what an interesting reaction. How cute." Alma giggled. Their jeering laughter broke my confused train of thoughts as I vigorously slapped myself and looked them in the eyes.
"Explain to me! What do you mean?! E-Eden's destroyer...what nonsense!" I rebuked angrily, my body trembling as both fear and curiosity filled me.
Fear of the answer to come, yet a burning desire to know what Alma is to say.
Watching as Alma's face curved to a mischievous smile, our eyes locked without break in what felt like an eternity before they finally began to speak.
"Eve is "the women of the end". A scourge who shall sever the threads wrapped tightly around the necks of humanity like a noose.
To the hell brought upon this innocent world, she shall tear apart the illusions of paradise deceived by those calling themselves saviors.
" Alma slowly explained, not a hint of emotion in their voice.
"And like a virus, she shall infect the body of those imprisoned in ignorance and take revenge upon the lies spread by the false god who has devoured the world.
" As they spoke the last sentence, a terrifying look of satisfaction appeared on Alma face.
"False god...?" I carefully repeated in disbelief. The words Alma spoke made no sense, yet it did not feel unfamiliar. As if I had heard it before, my heart raced as I struggled to comprehend.
"Takatora Ryuuko, how much do you know about the world you're currently residing in?" Alma suddenly asked.
"A-are you talking about Artificial? I w-was told it was a fake world, created to mimic our own.
That where the entire population of the real world is now living in some kind of endless loop of the same day over and over again." I answered nervously.
"That the people are like puppets, controlled and not able to even see beyond what they are allowed to. Is...is that true?"
"My my...those boys really are impressive. Indeed, Takatora Ryuuko. What you have been told is quite correct." Alma mused.
"Why?! Why was Artificial created?! What purpose does it serve to imprison the people like this and why have we been taken away from our real world?! WHY HAVE YOU DONE ALL THIS?
!" I demanded, All the questions I had desperately wanted answers to flew through my head and out of my mouth.
"Is that what those boys told you as well? That I'm the main cause for all of this? So it seems that in the eyes of humanity, I am the villain. How interesting."
"Don't dodge my questions! Answers....I want answers! Isn't that what you have promised me after demanding that I meet you." I screamed. At that moment, my anger overtook me.
Reaching for the holster on my leg, I swiftly pulled out the coil gun and pointed it at them.
"I've had enough of your riddles and nonsense! I will never forgive you, for threatening the lives of the people and my friend.
Now, SPEAK YOU MONSTER!!" My finger were twitching as I held steadfast on the trigger.
Yet as I threatened them, Alma would only chuckle slightly as if amused by my outburst.
"Your wrath is quite exceptional. How quickly you are growing, Takatora Ryuuko. I'm very pleased. But it's no use. I know that "gun" cannot function without that clubmate of yours.
And even if it did, you cannot harm me."
"Wha...How did you-" I immediately caught myself as I remembered that Alma knew about things they were not there for. That they had been watching me.
I looked at the coil gun, the weapon was silent without senpai in it.
An empty threat...a spur of the moment that I had hope to use to gain an upper hand, but they saw right through me. But even so, I still felt angry as I hesitantly lowered the weapon.
"Speaking of which, it seems you've gotten quite close to those boys. I wonder, do you now consider them your friends?" Alma suddenly asked coyly.
"Ugh..." I struggled as I tried to find words to speak. I did not want to give the satisfaction of answering them, but at the same time I felt compelled to reply.
"That's right. I am proud to say that I'm a member of the A.R.C., that they are my fellow club members and...and..." Taking a deep breath, I steady myself as I spoke with conviction.
"That they are my friends."
"I see. It was only 3 days, yet you have changed so. You called them your friends, yet that same sentiment is not shared towards me. It saddens me very much.
" Alma spoke with a smile, yet their voice was a tone without emotion. It was impossible for me to tell if they were being truthful or just another trick.
"But if they were your friends, why have you brought them to die?"
"Wha-?! W-what do you mean?!" I gasped.
Alma snapped their fingers and suddenly the world around us changed. Bright lights flashed in my eyes as greenery stretched before me.
And as I looked ahead I saw an enormous white building towering before me. No...not a building. It was...
"A tree!?" I exclaimed.
But my attention was then shifted to the sound of screams and roars as I turned my head to see the sight of the President and Hideyoshi fighting off hordes of horrifying yet familiar monsters.
"DAMMIT ALL TO HELL!" I heard Hideyoshi cursed as I watched him get knocked to the ground.
He was holding back the biting jaws of a monster as it sneered and ripped at him before plunging a knife into its skull.
"Hideyoshi!" The president called to him as he was struggling with multiple monsters leaping on top of him and tearing into his back.
As he fought, he suddenly turned his head to our direction and his eyes widen as they met with mine.
"Ta...Takato-" I heard him gasped as suddenly another sound of a snap occurred and everything turn back to white.
"NO!! PRESIDENT! HIDEYOSHI!!" I cried out as I ran towards where they were. "WHY?! WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!"
"I had warned you before that there was no guarantee of their safety if they were to come along, yet you still brought them. However, it is quite amusing to watch them struggle so well.
For the Anti-bodies to come into defense, they must really be perceived as a threat. Wonderful." Alma chuckled.
"You...YOU BASTARD!" I screamed as I pulled out a knife, my mind filled with rage.
"Oh? What do you hope to do with that? Ah, do not worry. We are quite safe from them here." Alma giggled, no change in appearance even as I held the knife directly at them.
"I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU! PULL THOSE MONSTERS BACK RIGHT NOW OR I'LL...I'LL...!" I threatened, as my entire body shaking violently.
A mix of fear and anger, as the idea of using a knife on somebody suffocated me, but in desperation to help the A.R.C. I did not know what else to do.
"Or you'll what?" Alma mocked.
Upon hearing those words, I felt myself losing control. Everything seemed to have blacked out as I lunged myself towards them, my hand gripping tightly to the knife.
"There was no going back anymore. I have no other choice. To save the others I must..." Were the only thoughts that raced through my mind.
Then everything was still. As if suddenly the world had stopped. No...not the world...it's...it's...
"Ah..." I let out a weak croak from my paralyzed body.
Completely frozen, I watched as Alma slowly floated towards me, the ripples in the ground spreading apart like waves in water under their feet.
"It is unfortunate. I did not want to do this to you, my dear Eve. But your instability will only hinder you as a weapon towards the false god.
Your current memory and your will, I shall reject them for you."
"A....ah...." I weakly gasped as I struggled to break free, to no avail.
"Do not worry, Takatora Ryuuko. When the next time you wake surely we will still be...friends." Alma smiled.
"No no no NO NO NO!!!" I screamed internally, desperately fighting and begging as I watched helplessly Alma's finger moving towards my head.
I don't want it to end like this. Please, somebody help me...
"GOT YOU NOW YOU SON OF A -"
"Tsk!" Alma winced as they pulled their hands back from the sudden jolt of electricity that ran through my entire body.
Finally breaking free from my confinements, my body dropped to the ground as I wheezed and gasped for air.
"Ryuuko! Ryuuko! Are you alright?!" Called a familiar voice from my holster as I felt the humming of my coil gun.