22 “An Idea”

Mina's POV

Sawney and Bean were the names that Captain Hange has given to the latest test subjects. I hadn't had the chance to witness her experimenting on them, so as we rode off to our designated location, my mind continued to create a plan on how to make them realize one major thing:

The origin of the Titans.

I gripped my saddle and continued to ride as fast as possible, telling myself that even if it was too soon for them to know, it was better than being too late.

However, by the time we finally arrived, all that was left of Sawney and Bean were bones. My plan of action was damped, worsening my mood. 

Captain Hange screamed. 

Hearing her cries only added to the immense rage that I was currently feeling, thinking about what I could have done if I learned about this sooner. How pitiful! Great job, self! Please proceed to hang your bloody and useless being!

"Sawney! Bean! This can't be real…" Captain Hange, as anguished as she is, fell to her knees. "Tell me this isn't real!" 

"Captain…" I clicked my tongue and surveyed the surroundings. It was futile, though, because whoever did this is already long gone. 

"Those subjects were very valuable…"

"Did one of the soldiers do it?" 

"Yeah," Eld answered Gunther's question, frowning even deeper. "We don't know who yet. They were both killed at the same time before dawn. When the watchmen noticed, they'd used their maneuver gear to escape."

Dawn! 

I tightly gripped both of my hands and growled. I was awake at that time, and the perpetrator got away! Fuck!

But… maneuver gear? "I see…" So, it was them, of course!

Fucking cowards! Traitors! 

My blood continued to rage upon visualizing those three cadets. Must they always soil my plan?!

"Sawney!!!" 

"Look, Squad Leader Hange's going nuts." Olou comments, wanting me to punch his old face. Yet Petra has beaten me to it as she elbows her comrade. 

"Let's go," Captain Levi called out to his group and added, "It's up to the Military Police now."

"R-right."

But before he could take another step, I desperately held on to his uniform, pleading to listen to my voice. "Captain Levi, wait! If I told you that I have an idea on why they did this… will you listen to me?" 

"Ha?" He glared at me, his gaze telling me not to cross the line. But in this case, I just had to! "Tell that to Hange, shitty brat." 

I pleaded, gripping his uniform as tightly as I could manage. "I would if she's in her right mind, but we need to catch the perpetrator as quickly as possible!" 

"What are you talking about, Mina?" Petra tried to comfort me by patting my trembling arm, which was tightly holding on to their captain. "First, calm down. Okay? Breathe." 

And so, I did.

I didn't even notice that my eyes were shaking as well. "I'm sorry. I-I apologize." With those words coming off as a whisper, I eventually let Captain Levi go, my eyes darting shamefully to the ground.

It was hopeless. I came back to this timeline to create a change, and yet... and yet! 

These things still happen.

I was frustrated, angry, and, most of all, tired. Why is it so hard to make them see the things that I wanted to show them? Why am I… so useless? 

"What do you mean that you know why they did this?" Not until a certain commander came into our view as his blue and straightforward gaze captured my trembling ones. "What do you think the enemy is?" 

A fire so little began to ignite within me. But I couldn't possibly say it here, now, can I? This place was filled with naïve and terrified soldiers, after all. 

And Erwin Smith noticed it; Ymir bless such an intelligent man!

***

Upon Commander Erwin's instruction, we were to conduct a meeting in the old Survey Corps HQ, where no one could even try to eavesdrop on whatever discussion we talked about. It's both nerve-wracking and terrifying, but isn't this what I wanted? It's too soon, yes, but achieving my third goal of keeping our commander alive is something that requires careful treading and a more precise plan of action.

As to how I'll do it, I can only think of one thing, and that's to make him greedier. It's my first plan of action to accomplish my third goal.

Motivation will aid a human being in accomplishing even the most impossible task. As for Erwin Smith, seeing the contents of the basement isn't enough. He gladly offered his life and gave up on learning what the basement may hold.

And that's where everything went wrong. 

If he truly wants to live, then Commander Erwin must do everything he can to survive the charge. It requires two other things, but that's for another time. For now, giving him more motivation will add to his survival in the battle with the Beast Titan.

I'm unsure if it will work, but it's better than doing nothing, and I've already done the latter.

I knew from my memory that the inspection of maneuver gears was currently being done. I'm sure the soldiers were doing their jobs properly, but they missed one certain fact about how a perpetrator can go unscathed from all these.

"By using the maneuver gear of a dead person." I tightly held the cup of tea that Petra had offered to me earlier, eventually seeing the reflection of my tired eyes. "As to why they did it, probably because they learned about the experiments being done, hence, killing the Titans to halt us from learning more about them." 

"Them," Commander Erwin hunched forward, his eyes determined and curious. "You keep saying them, who are they?"

"Our enemies." I returned his look, one that purely admires his intellect and initiative. "You asked us, Commander Erwin, what do we think is the enemy? I have a few ideas that I want to share, but… It's not pleasant."

My gaze eventually wandered to the lone figure at the side, wondering if he was trying to think of a way to vaporize me at this instant. Commander Erwin must have noticed it, the observant being that he is, because the next thing I know, he's telling me not to worry about his corporal.

Captain Levi took this a lot harshly. "Oi."

"Don't mind him, you can continue."

I nodded my head, wanting nothing more than to share my thoughts about this matter. "Commander Erwin, have you ever wondered what the original form of the Titans is?" 

"Original?"

I gulped. "Yes, sir. You see, after I have seen Eren emerging from his titan form, the first thing that I noticed was its location." I lifted my arm and pointed squarely at my nape. "Isn't this too much of a coincidence? Why is it that every time he transforms, his original body is found exactly where the titan's weak spot is?"

"And that brings us to the main point," I looked down and gazed at my reflection before placing it back up to directly stare right into Commander Erwin's soul, wishing for my words to touch the very being that I couldn't allow to die. "If Eren can transform into a titan, what about the armored and the colossal titans? It's just a hypothesis, but what if the original form of every titan, both normal and abnormal, is actually…"

"Human." Commander Erwin finishes, his eyes becoming clearer with every second that passes. 

The dryness of my lips eventually bothered me, forcing me to take a sip from the cup of tea that Petra had made. "I-it's just an idea, commander, but after seeing what happened to Sawney and Bean…"

It became clearer. 

Someone deliberately killed two titans to halt any form of experiment. Why haven't they thought about this in the second world? 

Is it because they haven't thought about humans being their enemies? 

… Or maybe I'm becoming the weird one here. Oh… Oh no, what if telling him these things will put me under suspicion again? 

I paled.

Was I too fast? Should I have just sacrificed Ragako Village and let them realize the truth behind the Titans? However, if I allowed it to happen right under my nose, then why did I even come back? 

"You… thought about all these things just from seeing Eren's transformation and the death of two experimental titans?" Commander Erwin's voice immediately called me back to reality as I began to think of a logical response.

One that may somehow help me in avoiding the suspicious route.

"Am I… overthinking things?" I bit my lip before avoiding contact with his gaze. "Please excuse my forwardness! I may have just wasted your time-"

"No, no, you haven't wasted anything." His words eventually lifted my spirits. However, upon seeing his smile across the table, I gulped. "It's an idea worth remembering. The way your mind works is wonderful, Mina. If I am ever in need of your thoughts-"

"I'll do it!" The smile on his face only brightened. "Please, call me anytime, commander!"

"Have you both lost it?" 

Ah.

I almost forgot that Captain Levi is still here.

He stepped toward us, and I felt a tiny bit of devilish aura pouring out from his look. To say that I had goosebumps is an understatement. "So… you're telling me I've spent all this time and energy running around, killing people?"

I abruptly stood and tried to diffuse the situation by calming the raging wolf. "It's just an idea, captain! Please don't take it to heart-"

"Is that right?"

Then, before I knew it, he was right in front of me. Our height is so similar that I had to look the other way just to avoid his glare. "I have no proof, and it's just a hypothesis. As a member of the squad that leads the titan research, all I can do for now is find proof of my ideas. But since there's none, I'm speaking bullshit!" 

"But as I had said," Commander Erwin stood as well and walked towards our figures. "It's an idea worth remembering. Say, Mina, what do you hope to find someday? What are your intentions of joining the Survey Corps?" 

My intentions? 

I mulled it over without even trying to distance myself from the man who continued to glare at me. It's a common reaction, one that is more human, so I don't blame him. I respect him even more because of it. 

"The source." There was no point in lying at this point. So, as honestly as I could, I spoke. "I aim to find where the Power of the Titans originated."

"And? What then?" 

"Eradicate." I looked up and properly gazed at Captain Levi's deadly stare using my earnest ones'. "I vowed to destroy the titan's nest and its creator. Just like how a colony of an ant works, I plan to behead its queen." 

And their extinction would soon follow. Maybe by then, it would give Eren and Mikasa the freedom they have always yearned for.

***

avataravatar
Next chapter