Annette’s eyes widened.
She threw the blanket down and approached the people who were having a conversation.


 “Excuse me, is it true that Cynthia was bombed?”


The nurses who were talking looked at Annette in surprise and nodded awkwardly.


“Yes, it’s in an article.
The bombing of the capital was so shocking that Cynthia was not reported in detail…”


 “Why did they bomb Cynthia? What is there to gain by bombing there?”


Annette’s voice trembled as she asked.


The capital was a symbolic place, and even then, Cynthia was just a dense old town.


“Oh, it …… was originally going to bomb the factory area near Cynthia.
The bombers flew in at night, but it seems they made a misfire because of the recent foggy and dark conditions.”


“Then the damage–how much damage did you say was done?”


“I heard that the damage to the buildings was severe, but I am not sure about the damage to human life.”




The two nurses noticed Annette’s unusual reaction.
One of them clumsily offered comfort.


“Well, there is a difference between damage to buildings and damage to human lives.  If it is not a busy place like the capital, maybe not many people have died.”


But that consolation did not touch Annette.
The nurses didn’t know what a place Cynthia was.


Cynthia was a densely populated residential area.
On top of that, they were all old buildings, so underground facilities and air-raid shelters had not been properly constructed.


At the moment she could only hope that the bombers had bombed a wrong place and not a residential area.


“Yes, I hope so.
Thank you for telling me.”


Annette returned to her seat as she answered absentmindedly.
She struggled to pull back the bulky blanket to cover her.
Her body kept shivering, but it was unclear whether it was because of the cold or some other reason.


‘Are Catherine and Bruner all right? And Olivia? Their house is relatively suburban, so they should be fine, right? No, but…There was a misfire to begin with.
Come to think of it, Hans ….
Does he know this fact?’


The unanswered questions came out like a tangle web.


Currently, she could not even expect to exchange letters.
Relying on newspaper articles and the situation as it was heard she had to guess.


Annette hugged her body tightly.
A familiar feeling of uneasiness crept up her limbs.


Like everyone, Annette detested anxiety.
Formless and result-free, it squeezed one’s brain and made it difficult to think properly.


She leaned her head against the exterior wall of the half-broken building and closed her eyes.
The coldness passed through the concrete wall, but it was enough to forget her thoughts.




The moving procession continued.


The circumstances were such that they could not move quickly otherwise, but the movement was considerably slower as they proceeded to help the injured residents who were crushed by the rubble.


They had been hiding to avoid the bombing and enemy forces, but when they saw the procession of allies, they slowly came out.
However, they seemed more than a little disappointed by the fact that the majority were wounded soldiers and nurses.


The inhabitants stood among the buildings ruined by the bombing.
Among them Annette suddenly spotted a girl.


The girl, who had lost one of her legs, was on crutches, staring at the procession.
The child’s face was expressionless.


Annette’s and the girl’s eyes met.
Empty eyes caught Annette’s.
For some reason, Annette could not take her eyes off the girl for a long time.


Suddenly, the girl began to approach the moving procession with a limp.
Annette paused for a moment.


Nurses and soldiers passed by Annette.
When the girl took a few more steps, a soldier reached out a hand to stop her.


“Oh, don’t come any closer.”


The girl silently raised her head and looked up at the soldier.
The soldier snapped his fingers.


“Go to your parents.”


“I don’t have any parents.”


“Then there must be an institution run for war orphans in the country….Visit them.”


“… I heard it was full.”


“There are other facilities.
Or you could go to church.”


“It’s not safe there.
The injured people are hiding there.”


“Then go to ………”


“Wait a minute.”


Annette, who had been listening to their conversation, interrupted.


 “What do you mean there are injured people hiding in the church?”


“Just about everyone is hiding there.
Some are residents, some are soldiers.
Everyone is hurt.”


“There are soldiers?”


The last question was from the soldier who stopped the girl.
Immediately, Annette and the soldier’s faces became serious.


“Is it true? Where is that church?”


 “Over there, sir.
It’s a bit of a walk.”


The girl pointed in the direction they had passed.
It was also an area already occupied by enemy forces.
Annette grabbed the soldier and said.


“If it is true, we must check it out.”


“But ……”


“There are injured people and even soldiers.
I think it is right to report it.”


“I will report it to the higher-ups…… in due course.”


The soldier replied with a sigh.
The girl stared at them with a puzzled look on her face.
Annette took a small breath.


As for Annette, there was nothing she could do for the child now.
Her lips trembled, and she ended up giving out  irresponsible words.



“We’ll look into the church …… we’ll see what we can find out.
Stay as safe and sheltered as possible.”




The girl’s words were true.
Some wounded residents and soldiers were hiding in a church located inside the occupied area, and they 

seemed to be in a situation where they could not make a move.


They had to be rescued when conditions were right.
The church was not far from here, but there were two problems.


The first was that the area was already occupied, and the second was that they could not miss the moving procession while they carried out the operation in question.


“Can’t we go in disguised as civilians?”


“Nurses would be able to get in and out of the occupied areas.
There are nurses like Mother Shelley………….”


Mother Shelley was well known for her ability to move from place to place on the battlefield, treating both ally and enemy troops.


She was sometimes criticized for treating even enemy troops, but she was an amazing person anyway.


Quite a number of nurses went to battle in her cause.
Perhaps because of this, the enemy forces were generally not hostile to nurses.


“But with civilians even hiding, how can we be sure that we are safe just because we are civilians or nurses?l


Someone objected.
It was a valid point.
If the enemy forces could easily spare civilians, there was no reason for them to hide.


It’s a sensitive situation for both sides in the war.
Aren’t they frantic to find the Padania army hiding all over town?”


“You’re right.
Enemy forces will think that churches and villagers are hiding their allies.

And that’s actually the case.”


“Then what should we do……”


After a long meeting, it was decided to send a small number of soldiers and nurses.
But again there was a problem with this.
Would there be nurses who would volunteer?


Initially, the nurses who followed the moving procession were those who had left the dangerous Huntingham Field Hospital.
The probability of sneaking into a place that might be even more dangerous was extremely low.


Fortunately, although there were a few volunteers, it wasn’t enough.
The higher ups said they would sent 

resources by tomorrow morning, as they did not have enough time.


The nurses who were preparing in the underground shelter sighed.


“I hate to say this, but aren’t the living people more important? Not just one or two people get hurt and die, you can’t save everyone.”


“That’s what the military is like.”


“You’re being facetious for no reason……………”


“The truth is, in the larger scheme of things, this is correct.
This is a matter of fraud.
Think about it, a colleague gets hurt or leaves the ranks, but no one goes to help.
So what do those who see it think?”




“They’ll think, ‘If I get hurt or desert, they’re not going to come to my aid.’ That’s why in the military we often sacrifice the many to save the few.”


Their voices gradually quieted.
Someone blew out the candle.
Soon the surroundings were completely engulfed in darkness.


Annette stared at the dark sky late into the night.
The image of the girl on crutches did not leave her mind.


Strangely enough, the image of the girl overlapped with that of Catherine, who was dragged away from the piano recital.


Annette reconsidered the life choices that had troubled her countless times.


The choice to reflect on her own position.
The choice to reflect on others’ situations.
The choice to face, to judge, to act.


There were always a myriad of choices.


She just didn’t choose them herself….


Annette tossed and turned.
The cool air penetrated the inside of her blanket.
A constant darkness serrated her vision whether she closed or opened her eyes.


Sometimes the world she had never known approached her with more vivid sensations in the darkness.


She was still not good at distinguishing between right and wrong.
With any of those choices came responsibility, and any of those

choice did not always have a good outcome.


In the past, Annette always chose the “don’t.” And then came the responsibility and the consequences.
But it would have been the same if she had chosen the “do” option.


Something had to be given up.
Something had to be indulged.


“You may go.
Forever.” (H)


Even if it hurts someone else again……….

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like