Silence. Complete and utter silence. Unexpected, albeit not unwelcome. A silence before the storm you could say. When the two shifters had begun their battle, ravaging the interior of wall Sina and destroying many buildings in the process, they never expected a single human being to make them go dead-silent and stand still. That is if you could even consider said human being a human being. His power was unmatched, limitless. Human beings were absolute predators, and if an even stranger being—an being that would become their predator would suddenly appear they would adapt, learn its weaknesses, and kill it. Just look at the Titans. Humanity might be on the brink of extinction, but they have killed more Titans than they would have done hundred years ago.
But now with a new means of victory on their side, something they had presumed to be lost mere minutes ago, they could finally turn the tide and defeat the demons knocking at their door.
"Well look who decided to show up." Levi said, crossing his arms and letting out a soft breath of what strangers could only note was relief. In actuality it was indeed relief. Saitama was still alive and kicking. Speaking of kicking. "Oi, baldy, make sure you actually finish her off!" Levi shouted at Saitama, who was standing between two fifteen-meter class Titan shifters ready to continue their fight at any moment.
"Captain." Armin began. "We should concentrate our force to take out Annie. With our combined attacks she shouldn't be able to take us all out. If we can get Eren to come to his senses we can have him pin her down so we can cut her out-."
"Arlert." Levi cut him off, shifting his gaze towards him. "Obviously you seem to have forgotten who is standing between those two. We're talking about a man who defies all logic and common sense. He doesn't need our help." Levi turned around and addressed his troops. "Everyone stay clear of the area. Let Saitama handle them while we concentrate on finding any survivors."
Olou came walking towards his Captain, his hands covered in the blood of Petra. "Sir, Petra's condition isn't getting any better. We need to get her to a field hospital right away. She had broken ribs and at least a heavy concussion. My gear is broken... but yours isn't. Captain please take her to a doctor. I... I don't want to lose her, sir." He looked down at the floor and balled his hand into fists. "If only I had been faster then I could have done something to stop her from getting hurt. If only I hadn't been so clumsy she would have still been unharmed."
"And you would have been dead." Levi retorted, shaking his head slightly before patting the man on his shoulder. "You did good out there, but now I need you to do better. Get yourself to safety, take a ride on Hanji's back for all I care." A quick glare at Hanji made her think twice before speaking out for herself. "Arlert, Ackerman take Petra to a hospital right away. I will stay behind to... observe."
'You mean double-team Annie again.' Mikasa thought, glancing back to see Saitama looking up at Eren. 'Do me a favor and take her down for good, Eren. I don't care how you do it and I don't care who does it," she focused her attention on Saitama. "Just take her down once and for all. Make her pay for all that she has done to us—to humanity.' She closed her eyes and let out a sigh of mild annoyance. "Looks like I'm having to depend on that bald pervert from keeping Eren safe." She looked at Armin, who could only look back at her with determined filled eyes.
"He won't fail us. They both won't." Armin reencouraged, holding Mikasa's hands into his own. "Come on, we have to get her to a doctor right away." He said, moving over to Petra who was being looked over by two soldiers. "Okay just... put her on my back and—Mikasa, what are you doing?!"
Armin stared at Mikasa in shock when she picked up Petra and in one swift movement placed her on her back. Folding the girl's arms in a cross in front of her neck, Mikasa made sure she was strapped on safely before taking off, Armin following her seconds later. The rest of the Survey Corps soldiers all stared at the scene that was about to unfold before their very eyes. A human versus a Titan. Man, versus demon.
No. God versus demon.
"Everyone move out!" Hanji said, picking up Olou and haunching him over her shoulder, much to his displeasure. "We search for wounded right away! We created this mess so we'll be the ones to clean it up... well, at least until the MP gets of their lazy asses and does some work! Now let's move out and split up in four groups!" She ordered. Her orders were received by a chorus of 'sir, yes sirs' before the remaining members of the Survey Corps took off. Now it was only Levi left to observe the battle for himself. He only took a small portion of gas from Arlert, not wanting the new recruit to be left without any form of escape should Annie have come after him. As for blades he had only two pairs left, so four in total. That should make do.
"Okay you two, come out of your Titan form and let's have a nice talk. We don't have to fight." Saitama instructed, holding out his hands in front of his chest. "A lot of buildings were damaged after you two started fight-."
Before he could even finish his sentence, Saitama was grabbed by Annie and thrown into a destroyed building. Annie, not wasting any time ran after him and started kicking the rubble several times before slamming her foot down once more, hoping this would have done the trick. If one stomp wasn't enough, she would just have to stomp more. Annie smirked, satisfied with her work. She turned around to face Eren, who had already got into an offensive stance, ready to take her on. Annie got into a stance of her own, but was suddenly swept of her feet by a red boot colliding with one of her legs, sending her tumbling to the floor. Said floor crumbled and Annie was now on her back. She took one glance at her leg and saw that the joint of her hip was completely dislocated. That would take a few minutes to heal. Trying to push herself up, Annie was sent flying backwards into a set of houses by a fist the size of a wrecking ball colliding with her face.
Of course, Eren Yeager. How could she forgot the naïve boy who knew of nothing of the power he held. Slowly pushing herself up, Annie looked down at her hip and aw that it had begun to heal, albeit slowly. She concentrated all of her energy on the dislocated bone, hoping it would heal before Eren got the chance to take her out. But before she could even stand straight, a fist collides with her chest and sent her flying upwards. The force if the impact made Annie close her eyes for a brief moment, but when she opened them again; she noticed the sun had become a lot bigger than usual. Also, why was she weightless all of a sudden? Looking down her eyes widened in shock when she realized she was now hovering midair, possible two hundred meters above the ground. She could see the city so clearly now. Even the walls... it looked absolutely stunning. Was this how birds view the from the sky? Was this their everyday view?
Were it not for the fact she was about to fall said two hundred meters down, she would have gladly stayed up here for a few more minutes. She looked down and watched a flock of birds pass her/ She smiled a bit.
"Quite the sight, isn't it?" Asked a voice.
She looked to her right and wasn't as shocked as she initially thought she would be. There was S Saitama, arms crossed and looking up at the sun with a calm expression on his face. She nodded in agreement.
"Can't we just stop fighting? I don't mean to brag but we both know how this is going to end. You did some pretty bad stuff today, and you did some pretty bad stuff yesterday. Heck, who knows how much bad stuff you have done. But if you could just come out of that Titan body of yours we can get this over with." Saitama said, closing his eyes. "Unless you want to have a chat with Levi after I take you out of your body.
Annie realized she was now beginning to descend to the ground. The impact should immobilize her for a good few minutes if it did not kill her. Was this the end of her mission? Eren was still in his Titan form down at the surface. Plus, Levi was down there too, and he didn't seem all that happy. Especially considering the fact she probably mortally wounded one of his squad mates. There were only two options she could come up with. One: fight, knowing it will do no good and get taken out by Saitama with just one punch. Or two: surrender and hope for a quick death. Her mission was a failure, that she realized the moment Saitama entered the scene. It angered her how quick the tie had changed into the favor of the demons that lived on this island. She was told they were nothing more than that, demons. Well if they were the demons, then the man beside her had to be the devil himself. It was going so well up until the point he appeared seemingly out of thin air and decided to aid these... these devil spawns.
Her anger subdued after a few moments, Annie got out her Titan body, the upper half of her body appearing out of the nape of her Titan form. "You win... but I will not betray the people from my hometown! I'd rather die than to live one more day in a world where you exist!" She shouted at him. Launching herself at the bald man, she reeled her fist backward and screamed as loud as she could, releasing all of her emotions, her anger, her fear, and yes, even her guilt into this one final attack. Her fist collided with Saitama's face and his eyes widened for a moment before closing. Did she knock him out? Perhaps there was still a small chance she could win this...
But now she had another problem. She would hit the ground in a matter of seconds, and it wouldn't be pretty. She braved herself and hoped her Titan abilities would even regenerate the damage she was about to take from this fall. She closed her eyes and outstretched her arms, hoping it would slow her down a bit. She thought back to her father and the training he would have her go through every day. She remembered how she once talked back to her father and injured his leg while training. That moment she realized she should never talk back to him ever again. For after that incident her training became even more intense. For a moment her life seemed to flash by, but when she felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around her waist she sighed in defeat. Looking down at her belly, she saw two red gloves. Looks like he was still kicking after all.
"What happens now?" She asked, in defeat, lowering her head in shame. "Will you kill me?"
"Nope." Saitama replied.
"Then what will you do? Lock me up again?" Annie asked.
"I don't know what I'll do." Saitama replied. "But you need to understand a few things Ms. Leonhart." His voice suddenly became stern. "What you did is unacceptable. Whatever you did and whatever reasons you have might be important to you, but you shouldn't get other people involved or put them in danger. I've met my fair share of people, monsters, heck even aliens who all hurt people because of their own needs. One even killed thousands of innocent people just because of some prophecy that he would get the greatest fight of his life. And opponent to match his strength."
Annie opened her eyes and turned hear head sideways, looking at Saitama. "And was the prophecy fulfilled? Did that man find someone who could rival his power?" She asked. Why the hell was she asking this all of a sudden?
"He did, I think. I don't know but the guy was strong. He even punched me into space. Although I defeated him, it was a good fight. I haven't had a good fight in quite some time. But still a lot of people died back then, and those people died because of one man—or alien's wish. Now that doesn't seem fair now does it? How would you like it if people started attacking your home and killing people left and right? What if one of those people was your mother or father?" He asked, clearly curious but also a bit angry at what could possibly be her reason for all this death and destruction. Heh, if only he knew.
"If you're trying to scold me then you best stop. I'm not telling you anything. My path... is of my own choosing." Annie replied, chuckling to herself. "Just get us down and lock me up again. The torture sessions with Levi will be a thing I look forward to every day." She laughed a but to herself before closing her eyes. The future was turning out to be a grim one.
"If you're so sure you chose this path all by yourself, then why are you shaking?" Saitama asked. "If you're working alone then you should have nothing to worry about. But... you're not in on this alone, are you?" He looked down at the girl in his arms and noticed she had begun to cry. He sighed before moving one of his hands to her head and patting it softly. "Don't worry, everything will be okay."
"How can you be so sure?" Annie asked, looking up at him with red eyes. "Do you think I wanted to become a monster? Do you think I liked killing all those people? There is blood on my hands and I can't wash it off. You don't understand a thing."
"Well then make me undertand." Saitama retorted, staring down at her. "If I don't know about the situation then how am I supposed to help?"
Before Annie could reply she felt a sudden shockwave going through her body. Loud cracks could be heard and she could see stone and dirt flying everywhere. It took a moment for her to realize they had finally made it back to the surface, and that they were not standing in a crater created by the impact Saitama had made. She heard another crash and watched as he Titan body exploded into a piece of the wall, breaking it and sending several pieces flying everywhere when it hit the ground. God knows what would have happened to her where she still in her Titan form. She recoiled a bit when Saitama let go of her, and almost fell to the ground when her feet made contact with it. Shakily she started to walk forward, not knowing why she was walking in the first place. Perhaps it was the shock beginning to settle in. Or perhaps it had to do with her being so high up in the air. She did start to feel a bit dizzy when she was so high up.
All of a sudden, she was knocked back by a foot colliding with her chest. She gasped for air before a hand grabbed her by her hair and pulled her up.
"Hello there." Said a grim sounding voice. When the blur that Annie was seeing faded away, she saw the face of none other than Humanity's strongest himself. Great, this guy was probably not going to be as gentle as Saitama. "How are you holding up? Good? Oh, that's great." Levi said, bringing his knee into her stomach. "You're going to pay for what you did here. For what you did to these people. For what you did to Petra." He retracted his leg and placed it in the ground. "Let's see how long it'll take for you to break when we leave the knives in your flesh instead of taking them out."
Annie muttered a pair of incoherent words, but said nothing more when Levi threatened her by holding one of his blades to her neck. It was all over now. She had lost. Her mission was a complete utter failure. It was up to the other to finish the mission. Annie closed her eyes and let out one final sigh before losing concioucness.
"Tch." Levi said, dropping her to the ground. "Looks like she couldn't handle it anymore." He said, turning his attention to Saitama. "Excellent job out there. Although I have one question for you... where the hell where you when she," he shouted, pointing a finger at the unconscious Annie. "Was running rampant through the city?!"
"I was helping people." Saitama replied, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "People got stuck under some buildings and couldn't get out, so I helped the escape. By the time I got here I saw Annie and Eren—oh, hey Eren, what's up?"
Levi turned his head slowly to see Eren, still in his Titan form, glaring at Annie. He kneeled down and reached out to her, but stopped when Levi held out hs blade to his hand, threatening to slice it off. "Hand to yourself, kid. She's defeated. Now get the hell out of there before I get you out of there myself."
Titan Eren, however, didn't seem to care about orders right now as he continued to reach for Annie. Levi, not wanting to deal with another shifter at this moment, shot his cables at the Titan's face and reeled himself upward. Propelling himself behind Eren and attaching his cables to his neck, he swiftly and efficiently cut Eren out of his Titan body and threw him on the ground, shaking the boy out of his trance and leaving him with quite the headache.
Eren held his head in pain before slowly getting up. He looked at his Captain and then looked down at Annie. If looks could kill then Annie would have not been unconscious anymore. Eren decide to speak up. "Sir, what do we do now that she's been defeated?"
"We lock her up and this time we keep her locked up." Levi replied, running a hand through his hair. "I think it's about time we got some much-deserved rest. Today has been a... rough day for all of us. Especially for him." He said, motioning to Saitama.
"Saitama, sir!" Eren exclaimed, running up to the bald man and saluting. "I thought I'd seen the last of you. When they told me what Annie did what she did I thought you were gone for good. I thought humanity was back where it started." He looked down at his feet and shook his head a few times before continuing. "But now I know never to doubt you ever again!" He beamed, holding out his hand. "It is an honor serving beside you. With this victory we can finally get back at the Titans for everything they took from us."
'But can we really call this a victory, Yeager.' Levi thought to himself as he observed all of the damage. Dozens of homes were destroyed and hundreds of lives were probably lost. But such if the price of war, right?
During the entire operation to capture the Female Titan over one hundred soldiers lost their lives. Those numbers include Survey Corps member and Military Police personnel. During the time it took for the entire operation to be called a success many actions had to be taken, and many more lives were lost. The operation turned out to be a success, and with the recent re-capture of Annie Leonhart humanity seems to have the upper hand in this war once more. For a long time, this seemed to be a far away dream, and illusion one could say. But after recent events, such as the discovery of Eren Yeager's Titan shifting abilities and the strength of Saitama humanity seems to be on the verging point of taking the fight to the Titans. Soon they might even take back Wall Maria. And soon even the whole world.
Although new threats lurk around every corner and new enemies appear to stop the advance, humanity will not stop until they have taken back what is rightfully theirs. Their homeland. The world.
But sometimes the enemy can be right underneath your nose.
Saitama shook his head when two Survey Corps member tied up Annie's arms behind her back and placed a piece of cloth in her mouth to prevent her from biting herself again. He started walking towards her, but was stopped by Levi who placed a hand on his shoulder. "Don't. It's best if she's taken back into her cell first. Obviously, she isn't going to be talking for a long time seeing as she's knocked out-cold." He shot a quick glare at Annie. "But we'll get he to talk eventually."
"I just hope she doesn't escape again. Last time I am falling for the "I need some fresh air" lie." Saitama mumbled underneath his breath.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Levi asked, raising an eyebrow. "You said something about a fresh air? What do you mean by that?" He pressed on.
"I... might have taken Annie out of her cell to get fresh air, she was hyperventilating. The small room didn't help. I had no idea she would transform. Heck I don't even know how they do it." He replied.
Levi's eyes widened and he stepped forward a bit. "So, you're telling me," he said, now standing directly in front of Saitama so he could look him into his eyes with a look of pure disbelief on his face. "That you are to blame for all those deaths? All those people died because of your mistake." He grtted his teeth. "Do you have any common sense in that thick skull of yours?! You need to think before you act, idiot! If word gets out you'll be executed on the spot!"
"Then we have to keep this a secret." Said a voice from behind the two.
Both Saitama and Levi shifted their attention to the origin of the voice, and were both equally surprised to see Commander Erwin walking towards them with a small smile planted upon his face. "Although Saitama miscalculated his plan his intentions were of purest heart. Levi, I know this is hard to accept but... think of it as a necessary part in the key to humanities' victory."
"But you can't possibly tell me you just want to accept this and-."
Both Erwin and Levi looked at Saitama with raised eyebrows.
"Come again?" They said in union.
"I apologize for my actions. I didn't think them through and people died because of it. This is why I prefer to do things alone. If possible leave me out of any business involving lots of people in crowded areas. I don't want to be responsible for this ever again." Saitama said, his eyes serious and his fist clenched tightly.
Erwin took some time to process Saitama's words, but eventfully nodded his head. "Agreed. Saitama, I must apologize for the things I put you through up until now. Although there is one things I must know... how far are you willing to go to assure humanities' survival?" He asked.
Levi looked at Saitama and then back at Erwin, curious as to what Saitama's answer would be.
"If people won't get hurt, then I am all in." Saitama replied.
"But people will get hurt." Erwin retorted, placing his hands behind his back and looking around the market square which had now been completely destroyed. "Look around. This happened way before you even arrived to save the day again. And even before you arrived here in the first place people were already dying. As we speak someone is currently getting murdered in the lower levels of this city, or dying because of a disease or starvation. People die and people get hurt every day, Saitama. You cannot blame yourself for not being able to save everyone. But what you can do is secure a better tomorrow for the people who are still alive as we speak." Erwin placed his hands on Saitama's shoulders and continued. "You cannot be in several places at the same time. But remember one thing: what you did here, what you did yesterday saved thousands of lives. Sometimes the death of two is enough to prevent the death of a hundred."
Saitama raised an eyebrow at Erwin's words, but before he could reply something else caught his eyes. "Hey, why is there a Titan in the wall?" He asked.
Both Erwin and Levi's eyes widened when Saitama said those words.
Looks like humanity might be back where it started.
In the dark.
A/N: So here you have it, the conclusion to the first ARC of this story. This is where things will start to get interesting. Now I know it seems weird that Saitama is responsible for those deaths, but let's admit it... Saitama did probably kill people when he destroyed that meteor that threatened to destroy Earth. And let's not forget Saitama's punch to Beefcake literally destroyed city-B-making his absentmindedness indirectly responsible for very, very likely killing tons of people-and his response to that was "Oops."
So, my guess is Saitama would most likely act the same way if the meteor killed people (which, let face it, probably did even if the media didn't know it). But I didn't want Saitama to act this way since... well it just doesn't really fit who he is. And even though no one pointed this out to him in the manga or anime, it happened in the story. I just hope I don't piss off too many people with it that's all. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Please leave a review telling me what you thought of it.