Humiliation (1)

Translator: Alice

Editor: Claire

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Humiliation (1)

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“Rosen.”

 

“Miss Walker!”

 

The cell door opened, and she was pushed into it. Joyful voices were heard everywhere. She tried to smile, but nausea and dizziness overwhelmed her.

 

About 30 female prisoners were packed into a small space with no ventilation. Not only could they not go to the bathroom properly, but many got seasick. The room was full of human waste. After breathing fresh air for a while, the smell was disgusting.

 

In the end, she vomited, making the room even more filthy.

 

“What do you think?”

 

Maria patted her back and asked softly. They had been together since Al Capez. The time when she was captured and the time when the unconvicted woman was sentenced to go to Monte coincided. Should she call this a coincidence or a purposeful action?

 

She wiped her mouth and frowned.

 

“What?”

 

“Ian Kerner. Didn’t you say he called you for an interview?”

 

“…I did.”

 

“What did he say?”

 

“I think it would be best not to think about escaping.”

 

Maria laughed. Her yellow teeth were revealed through the chapped lips. Teeth needed to be brushed so they didn’t rot, but there was no way prisoners could afford such luxury. Rosen asked if she wanted the bad ones pulled out with tongs, but Maria said she would die anyway, and refused.

 

“What did you expect?”

 

“What? A young, pretty prisoner went to the commander’s room, who is also very young and handsome… my imagination keeps running wild. I mean, tell me in detail.”

 

“Am I young and pretty? Are you saying that even when I’m in this state?”

 

She tucked her tangled hair behind her ear and chuckled. Maria shrugged.

 

“Anyway, you are the youngest among us. Did nothing really happen?”

 

“Ian Kerner is a very famous man. Would he really touch a filthy prisoner if he was in need of a woman?”

 

“Why don’t you listen to me? Just like in Al Capez. I’ve lived long enough anyway. I’m old enough that I can live in a cell and go out as a corpse, but you won’t, right?”

 

Maria had always been like this. Rosen knew that they would rot in prison for the rest of their lives, but on the pretext that Maria was old and Rosen was young, she always urged her to do something. Maria was the one who pushed her whenever she felt weak or wanted to give up.

 

Digging a tunnel for five years in Al Capez would not have been possible without her help. She sighed as she looked at Maria and the other prisoners listening to their conversation.

 

“…There are monsters in the sea.”

 

“So you want to give up?”

 

Maria looked at her sharply. Her fingertips soon began to tremble. Rosen glanced at her. She wasn’t stupid enough to think that Maria cared for her or loved her, and that’s why she helped her escape.

 

She was called the witch of Al Capez, but it was Maria who better suited the name. If the guards controlled the prison, she was the one who controlled the cells. Anyone who displeased Maria died before they could serve their full sentence.

 

From the beginning, Rosen was Maria’s favorite. The reason was simple. She escaped from the Perrine Women’s Prison, and then she was caught and transferred to Al Capez. Maria found out about her second jailbreak while she was digging under her toilet in Al Capez.

 

After making a name for herself as a prison breaker, her life became rather boring. Ironically, she did better in Al Capez, which was worse than Perrine Women’s Prison. The inmates treated her well. Their favor was strange at first, but now she understood why.

 

“Are you going to give up?”

 

“No.”

 

Rosen firmly shook her head. There was relief in Maria’s eyes.

 

“I ran away twice. There’s nothing I can’t do three times. I’ll at least try.”

 

They wanted her to succeed. They hoped that she could live a peaceful life somewhere and destroy the pride of the Imperial Army. She was charged with murdering her husband and escaped twice. She was their idol.

 

“I thought so. Smoke this.”

 

Maria gave her a cigarette. Rosen smiled at the unexpected gift. It must have been difficult to find, as there were no supplies on the ship. She lit a match and put the cigarette in her mouth.

 

Gray smoke rose from the tip. She thought of Hindley as she watched the hazy air. She didn’t smoke until after he died. He often tried to hand her cigarettes, but she hated the smell and said no every time.

 

But now she enjoyed it. 

 

After savoring the smell for a while, she suddenly thought of something.

 

“The commander, Ian Kerner. Wasn’t he originally a pilot?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Maria replied. She asked curiously.

 

“He must have done great things during the war. What is he doing here? This isn’t even a job in the Air Force.”

 

“Well… Wasn’t he demoted because he’s broken?”

 

“He looked fine.”

 

She frowned. Ian Kerner and ‘broken’ didn’t go well together. His limbs were intact, and he didn’t even have an awkward prosthetic or a fake-looking nose. Although there were lots of disabled soldiers on the streets of the Empire, Ian Kerner stood before her with a perfect appearance.

 

“You don’t have to be cut somewhere to be broken.”

 

“Then?”

 

“I don’t know exactly. How would I know? But war twists people in one way or another. There aren’t many who can survive the chaos. I’ve seen a lot. I can’t always pinpoint when they get weird, but they change.”

 

Maria put her hand on her forehead and sighed. She was over sixty. That meant she lived through all the wars that took place before Rosen was born. But her stories weren’t easy to understand.

 

“Not Ian Kerner. That man is brave. He is gifted, and he has many achievements. Everyone says so.”

 

“It has nothing to do with that. He’s broken.”

 

Maria chuckled. Then she started poking her in the side again.

 

“My head is spinning right now… After you sleep with him once, do you think he will give you another trial?”

 

Is hope’s only purpose for people to have such absurd delusions? Besides, she had no hope that she would ever be set free. She screamed in embarrassment.

 

“It’s Ian Kerner. Ian Kerner!”

 

“All men are the same.”

 

Of course she agreed with that. In fact, she had similar thoughts until she was called to his cabin for an interview. All she had planned to do was distract him and steal keys from his belt.

 

But she realized something after seeing him in person. He was a man who couldn’t be fooled that way. Even if she managed to get him to sleep with her, he would not give her anything like the stupid guards at Al Capez.

 

“Will you look better after washing? You are too dirty.”

 

Maria grabbed her skinny body and spun it around. She pouted her lips. It was really annoying, but the sight of Ian Kerner left her with no energy to be annoyed at Maria.

 

“He’s not like that. I told you.”

 

“Really? Do you have any other plans?”

 

“…I honestly don’t know what to do.”

 

Suppose she succeeded in getting the key. It was impossible to cross the sea full of monsters in a lifeboat without an engine. She didn’t think there was any other way. Maria hardened her expression and started stroking her hair.

 

“Think about it, Rosen.”

 

“I’m thinking. So please, let me.”

 

Maria took the cigarette out of Rosen’s mouth and puffed on it. Maria was clever, quick to make decisions, and her execution was good, so she had an aptitude for politics in prison. However, her patience was too short. She wasn’t the kind of person to escape.

 

Had she been a little less hot-tempered, the most famous prisoner in the Empire would have been Maria, not Rosen.

 

“I’m sure I’ll still be-“

 

“I didn’t say anything.”

 

Maria looked at her, confused. It turned out that the sound was coming from outside, not from inside. Rosen looked around with a puzzled expression.