OKay everyone, RonaldweasleyTheHero here with another Commander chapter, this is the second to last chapter of the very first Arc of Commander, this is more of a transition chapter more than anything else, as chapter 10 will be a doozy and set somethings up for the second arc, dont worry Commander is just getting started, and not to mention there is going to be alot more Aruani to come =). well enjoy this chapter, and chapter 10 will be coming as soon as possible. I also want to thank everyone for the all the reviews, follows, and favorites for Commander, The Breaker, and all my oneshots. it has been an amazing experience writing this fic and all my others and it's all thanks to you guys. Okay i'm done =)
Chapter 9: Scum
A 9 Year old Armin Arlert smiled, the book of the outside world firmly in his grasp, the contents warming his heart and invigorating his mind. He would do anything to see the things in here one day, especially the sea, the vastness of it sounded unreal, impossible even. He was sitting on a wooden box in an alley near the Shinganshina Markets, his best friend Eren Jaeger sitting beside him looking bored.
"Come on Armin let's play, you've been looking at that book all month long, let's do something else already!"
"Wait, let me finish this chapter, it's on the sea, According to this the Sea not only makes up most of the world but it is so deep that we could never fully explore it!"
"So if the Sea takes most of the world, shouldn't there be a sea nearby? All we have are rivers." Eren stated.
"I guess," Armin's head suddenly snapped up, a thought coming to his head "Maybe the rivers are connected to the sea! Maybe if we followed the rivers they would lead back to the Sea!"
Eren let out a broad smile at the idea "Yeah...wait," Eren frowned "Didn't you say that most of the sea had salt in it? Why aren't our rivers salty if it is connected to the sea?"
Armin's smile disappeared as he realized the truth of that statement, there had to be more to this than he thought.
"Wait, I know!" Armin stated triumphantly, the blonde boy pointed up and Eren's eyes followed to see the sky. "The Clouds!"
"What about them?"
"Maybe clouds are salt!"
Eren raised an eyebrow and look at his best friend like he was insane. "So...salty clouds?"
Armin nodded his head. "Remember what they teach us at school, that the sun is hot and makes the water in our rivers steam away before bringing it back down as rain. Rain doesn't have any salt in it, maybe it is the same way for the sea. The sun steams away the sea and makes it rain non salty water, like a giant filtering system."
"So what you're saying is that only the water comes down and the clouds are the salt leftover from the sea!" Eren exclaimed, had him and Armin just discovered something amazing!
Armin looked at Eren who stared back.
There was a moment of silence before they both began laughing uncontrollably.
Mikasa suddenly walked into the alley.
"Eren, your mom told us to get some salt from the markets..."
They looked at her before exploding again, holding their stomachs in almost painful amusement
Mikasa concluded that boys were simply strange.
The Moon was shining brightly overhead in the night sky but Corporal Levi had no time to enjoy it as he frowned. He tuned out Auruo and Petra's squabbling, his focus entirely on looking for the building the wagon driver had described. They had been lucky, he realized, after him, Erwin, and his squad had left, Erwin had suggested to go to the academy and try to take the road to Sina in order to get some clues. Fortunately they had found some, the tracks of the wagon were still fresh and it took no time for Levi squad to track down the rider. He and his team had watched as Erwin interrogated the frightened looking man, who was more than willing to spill his guts if it meant he could get away Scott free.
Levi was not going to have that, there was a lot of corruption within the three walls, and most of the time there was nothing he could do about it, but letting someone like this man walk free was the last thing Levi would ever do.
"Don't run, you'll make it worse on yourself. And if you do run and I find you-and I will find you- I'll just exercise my rights to execute you for your crimes." his piercing gaze had left the man petrified with fear.
They had left the scumbag shortly after, and Erwin had informed them of the general location of where they were headed and a description of the structure they were looking for.
"The corporal would never say that..."
"Shows what you know Petra, There are very few women in the world that can resist my charms."
"I'm going to have to agree with Petra here, Auruo, especially with that last part...which was disturbing." Eld Shin said.
Gunther who was a bit ahead, gave them each a hard glance. "Remained focus guys, we still don't know what we're dealing with here."
"You saying I can't get women?" Levi's voice silenced his quad, whose only response was to gape.
"C-corporal!?" Petra stuttered out,
Eld Shin on the other hand broke into a nervous sweat as His superior looked at him with his signature impassive eyes "No!-I mean...yes!..I-I'm sure you receive plenty of female attention."
"Of course he does!" Auruo added loudly "Since I get some all the time then so does he, it's only natural!"
If they weren't in midair then Petra would have slapped that smug look off his face herself "Be quiet!"
"Were here..." Levi heard his Commander's statement and motioned for his squad to land. Altogether, the six members of the Survey Corps landed lightly on a nearby rooftop.
"Where is this place?" Levi asked Erwin, who was observing the surrounding area.
"This is an old Wallist church, they expanded in recent years so this must be one of their old abandoned places of worship."
"Wallists, huh...fucking psychos."
"Levi, I want your team to place yourself strategically around the building. You and I will approach it and determine the situation more close-"
Erwin never got to finish as the door to the Church suddenly slammed open and over a dozen men ran out, their stampede drawing all attention and silencing all sound. Some of them held their hands above their heads in sign of surrender. Others, too absorbed in their panic, just continued to run.
"We give up! Please don't kill us!" one screamed.
"I got a wife, please!" Another one yelled.
Levi looked to Erwin, who looked as astonished as he felt.
"What the hell is going on?" Auruo asked.
Erwin simply shook his head, "I don't have the slightest idea."
"It doesn't matter. Let's go already." Levi unstrapped the gun from his back.
"Wait, Levi" Erwin grabbed the small Corporal by the shoulder and looked at him, sending him a silent message.
"Everyone!" Levi said addressing his squad "Arrest those fuckers! Me and Erwin will assess the situation inside the building"
Before they words were fully out of their mouths, Levi squad used their Maneuver gear to land in front of the men, their guns pointed directly at their forms.
"On your knees, hands behind your head!" Gunther roared with authority. The men did as they were told as Petra began to tie them up one by one.
Levi and Erwin walked into the church, hoping for answers.
Armin clenched his teeth as pain rattled his body. He couldn't believe he found himself doing this again. At least last time he hadn't been fighting for his life. He had very little time, he knew. All the men had to do was go outside and realize they weren't surrounded by Military police and he had been lying the whole time. The first thing they would do was come back and kill him, and this time he would not be able to bluff his way out like he had before.
He glanced around hoping to catch sight of something familiar. A sense of direction. The dungeons were beginning to get confusing and he had no idea where he was going. Did he really have a chance to get out of here if had no idea where the exit was? In the end there wasn't much choice.
He turned a corner and gasped at what he saw. It was a cell much like his own but it was much larger, and what it contained chilled him to the bone. Young children and women were tied and scattered in different parts of the cell, even in the dim light Armin could see the bruises that lined their skin, and some of them weren't even...
Armin resisted the urge to throw up.
He took control of his quaking leg and took a step forward.
As he got closer to the cell, the scattered women and children let out simultaneous whimpers of fear. Their eyes wide as they stared at his form.
He then realized why they were so afraid. He had a large sharp looking knife in one hand. He felt like hitting himself for his careless mistake. He hid the knife behind his back but it was too late, they had already seen it.
They began to beg and plead not to be hurt and Armin was trying desperately to try to calm them despite all the noise they were making.
"Wait, I'm not here to hurt you!"
They began to thrash around the cell.
"I'm here to help! I can get all of you out!"
They were screaming now, their eyes wide, wet and streaked with red veins in the throngs of their panic. Armin though, was getting tired of it all.
"Would everyone shut the hell up!"
The chaos came to a screeching halt as Armin's loud and angry voice seemed to echo through the hall.
Seeing that he had everyone's attention he toned down his voice to be soft and pacifying.
"I'm going to get everyone out ok?"
He approached the cell and took a look at the rusty lock that held it closed. It looked weak enough to smash open. With as much force as he could muster Armin pounded the hilt of the knife against it, after a few strikes the rusty lock gave way and broke, clattering dully to the floor as the cell door opened with a noisy creak.
Armin slowly dragged himself inside, making sure to stay near the wall to maintain his balance. He slowly approached the closest people to him, a small girl dressed in tattered clothing tied up near another woman who resembled her.
'Probably her mother, or sister' Armin thought.
He took the knife and put it against the rope that tied the little girl up, noticing how the eyes of the woman followed the sharp objects every movement.
"What is your name?" he asked gently, slowly cutting into the thick rope.
The small girl looked to the older woman, as if asking permission to speak, and the older woman gave a small nod.
"My name is Joanne." She said, her voice was hoarse and scratchy from the screaming that they had all done earlier.
"That's a pretty name." Armin finally finished cutting into the rope and the girl gave a squeal of delight as she was finally free.
Armin went to the girl's mother and began to cut the rope "I hope you'll realize now that I'm not here to hurt you..."
The rope was finally cut and Armin felt his heart soar as mother and daughter embraced each other.
Tears ran down the mother's eyes as she cried openly, she glanced at him, pure gratitude shining in her irises.
"Thank you!" She clutched her daughter tighter "Thank you so much!"
Armin would have let them enjoy their reunion, but there was very little time to waste.
"Can you help me?" He asked.
The mother nodded "Yes, anything."
He grabbed her hand and gave her the knife. "I don't think I even have the strength to hold this thing anymore. Can you untie everyone...please" as soon as he finished his sentence Armin had collapsed to the ground, unable to hold himself upright anymore.
He watched as the woman began to free every occupant in the cell, their cries of joy at their freedom being returned to them gave him a feeling of accomplishment that he had never felt before. He was on the verge of passing out when he saw two young women pull him to his feet and start carrying him.
"Make sure you're careful! I think his leg might be broken, look at it..." he heard a woman say.
"He saved us. I can't believe were free..." That voice was clearly one of a young boy.
"He must be an angel, Mommy, look at his hair!" A small girl stated, her small giggles a delight to his groggy mind.
He heard a round of laughter "Of course he is, dear."
"Does anybody know a way out of here?" He asked weakly.
"You rest now honey. You deserve it."
Rest sounded great, and Armin was already close to closing his eyes and letting himself pass out when a voice rang through the area.
Armin managed to lift his head, his heavy eyes found a short, dark haired man standing in front of the group of people he was with. The Wings of Freedom on his jacket pocket, and the narrow dull eyes made him instantly recognizable to Armin. The small Corporal was flanked by a tall blonde haired man that had an aura that demanded respect.
They were here, he realized.
For the first time since this mess began, he truly felt safe.
Humanity's strongest soldier and The Commander of the Survey Corps had arrived.
The Military Police had arrived, Levi noticed their wide eyed stares as he walked out of the church with Commander Erwin who had the small boy Armin in his arms along with several dozen people in tow. The Officers were bumbling around trying to figure out what to do with more than a dozen criminals that needed to be arrested.
Levi shared a glance with Erwin, the same question on both their minds.
How had Armin escaped? And why had they given themselves up so readily? None of it made sense to Levi. He would have to ask the blonde kid what had happened in there. But for now…
The Slavers were lined up against the wall of the church, the Military Police officers replacing Levi squad at watching over them.
"What is the meaning of this Levi, Erwin!?"
Here came the leader of the idiots...
Nile Dawk landed in the area and immediately turned his attention to his fellow Commander, who stared at him aloofly.
"Who authorized this!?"
"I wasn't aware that protecting the lives of citizens needed to be authorized...Nile" Erwin responded calmly. There was an edge to his voice though and if Levi didn't know any better, Erwin sounded almost angry. He decided to step in before they started throwing their political bullshit at each other.
"You can thank us for doing your job later, right now you should focus on getting these people to safety, and also get these assholes hanged."
The Commander of The Military Police clenched his teeth before marching towards the slavers in a huff, barking orders at his men the entire time.
"Levi, we must return to headquarters immediately," Erwin gestured to the boy in his arms "The boy is in need of medical care."
"I'll be right there...there is something I got to do first."
Levi stepped up to a nearby Military police officer and tapped him on his shoulder. The officer turned around to see the strongest soldier in humanity with his hand outstretched "Give me one of your blades."
"O-okay...h-here you go sir!"
Levi took the sharp small object and began marching towards the slavers. The many people in the area all followed his movements.
He stopped in front of the Survey Corps slaver who looked downright terrified.
It happened in an instant, one minute the man had been standing and the next he had collapsed from a vicious knee to the groin area. Levi put a firm foot on the man's throat.
"Gunther, Auruo." He called "Come here. I need you two to hold him down..."
The two wasted no time in following their Corporal's command as they each held an arm to prevent the soldier from moving.
"W-what are you doing!?" He asked, his eyes wide with terror.
Levi didn't answer, instead he took the blade piece and bent down.
Every single person flinched as the soldier screamed, Levi's blade digging into his flesh as he began to rip the wings of freedom from the breast pocket.
"I'm sorry, I'm usually better at doing this..."
Levi twisted the blade and the soldier howled in agony.
Levi continued his outline of the Insignia with the blade, deep cerise blood leaking from the wound that Levi had no doubt inflicted.
With a final jerk of the blade, Levi had ripped it off. His fingers slick with blood, he held it tightly in his hand.
The soldier made a small whimpering sound, palms pressed against his chest to stop the bleeding.
Gunther and Auruo looked at their leader. The cold fury radiating in his eyes and the small bloodied piece of fabric that was now in his hands…Combined, it all birthed a terrifying image.
Levi simply glared down at the Slaver with absolute distaste and loathing, one word spilling from his tongue.
I remembered what Levi did for episode 22 and this idea popped into my head and i decided to roll with it...so there you have it! I can't wait for everyone to read chapter 10 hehe...hehehehehheheAHAHHAHHA!
Stiller3: I kind of wanted her to win too lol, but thats not the story i wanted to tell unfortunately, but im glad u reviewed! =)
wanxers: lol thanks, i appreciate the reaction XD
new fan: lol thank you, yes Erwin has some plans for Armin, which you will see soon enough, the humor is something i try to insert once in awhile to keep people from drowning in the mood of the story=). and yes thats what i intend to do, write armin in an intelligent way, its the reason i fell in love with his character.
waterxeno: I am happy you found it entertaining, the whole bluff thing just jumped on me while i was writing, because i was trying to tap into Armin's mindset in that situation,i mean he couldnt walk, he couldnt fight them off even if his leg was working, then what option did he have besides tricking them somehow? so i set it up in that way and then the story became something even more interesting in my opinion.
jacob kenny: Wow ur review was really flattering, I'm really glad that you have so much confidence in my writing ability. The mikasa annie fight took me a decently long time to write as i wanted to make it perfect and do both girls justice, and thank you, i do try to take my time with the stories as the things im trying to portray can be sometimes complex but i want to portray in a way thats simple and entertaining to read. im glad i have your faith and i hope i can continue to keep your interest.
NinjaCats: your favorite? thank you! and yes unfortunately there arent many Armin centric fanfics out ther, i think im one of the longest and most reviewed which should be a good thing, but at the same time, it kinda makes me sad T.T anyway thanks =)
Bara-san: Haha lol, i completely agree, no one can tell me Armin is weak or a corward, because strenght can be defined in many different ways.
kage kitsune no yami: me too i love the guy, and throughout the series he has shown an ability to be sort of manipulative and think straight in tough situations. glad i got it right =)
tinodnyc: Ha, me too lol, i feel like im a read sometimes too, and i am so excited for each chapter.
Keosif Faostro: yes! yes he is lol, and everyone should know that =)
Agoz25: Hahaha, his bluff was one of the greatest bluffs ever indeed
pansy25: yes Erwin is a master strategist and he likes to take big risks too =), thank you for the compliment, more to come.
Brook Uchiha Daughter of Zeus: yup he made it out lol, all on the power of his mind!
MostardaProductions: Yes armin is definitly a genius, and the dialogue took me forever to do as it had to be just right. glad you enjoyed the chapter.
tbiris: Armin likes to do that, the whole blowing mind thing XD