To someone as powerful as Ezra, covering five hundred meters was the same as making a five-meter trip. It was never going to take that much time.
And the moment Ezra reached Zayn would be the moment he faced his death.
It was a salient realization to the one who was supposed to die. It was why instead of running around heedlessly to dodge him, Zayn tried to come up with strategies to save himself from his enemy’s lethal wrath.
As that was going on, his other acquaintances had arrived. Lysithea, Taio, Joe, Hollis, Caspian, and the others were fast, but none of them could hold a candle to the exalting level legendary fighters like Ezra effortlessly demonstrated.
An apex fighter like him terrified them, be it in terms of speed or raw power. They could not help but be wary of the man’s existence, which made them realize that as long as Ezra was a contender, the Ambrosia fruit would never be theirs.
Hollis was the first to shout in fury, “F*ck! It was within our reach before that Larson dipsh*t ruined every f*cking thing!”
“What kind of bloody people do you recruit into your team, Joe? Our mission is a fiasco! An utter and complete fiasco because of braindead morons like y’all Insurgent Trifecta! And now one of your people took that fruit for his selfish purpose, and then it’s been stolen by Sicut In Caelo’s Ezra Sword.”
“You people are gonna get skewered by your superior’s wrath, just you wait!” Caspian piled on.
Taio made sure his lividity was known too. “You guys can’t get anything right, but f*ck me, you’re all pros at turning things to sh*t! This is what you Insurgent Trifecta have always been, a group of ragtag trash!”
“And now, thanks to you people, the rest of us have failed the mission too! You people are dead!”
Joe, Dick, and the rest of the Insurgent Trifecta listened to their vitriol in silence, which belied the fact that they, too, were stung.
They had never imagined that Zayn would claim the fruit for himself, it was as though he had stabbed all of them in the back.
“H-hey now. Sergeant Larson isn’t known for being self-aggrandizing, remember?” Liam piped up among the dissents. “Maybe maybe there’s a perfectly understandable reason behind what he did?”
His call for a more charitable interpretation sounded so soft-spoken and timid that it simply drew the fire and ire from all sides to him. Someone instantly shot back, “Understandable excuse, my *ss! He’s taking it for his own selfish purpose, and it’s all because of the Insurgent Trifecta’s magnificent, oh-so-flawless assessment of character. Now, look at what’s happened!”
“Zayn Larson is a f*cking traitor! I knew that something was wrong with him the moment I laid my eyes on him, and now I’m proven right. What happened is just great, isn’t it?!”
“Get ready to be skinned alive, Insurgent Trifecta!”
“Enough!” Joe erupted as his patience was at its end. “Zayn Larson is one of our own, yes! He exhibits unprofessional judgment and behavior that compromised the mission, which is also true!”
“Hence, the responsibility for failing that mission falls squarely on my shoulders, and I’m ready to take it on alone!”
Taio snickered. “You sure about that, Joe?”
“What’s not to be sure about, huh? The worst I get is an execution. So what?” Joe fired back with a disdainful sneer. “I recruited him, so he’s my responsibility. And now that he’s made a mistake, I’ll take whatever comes with my back straight and my head high.”
“Whatever punishment they come up with, I’ll accept it without batting an eyelash! So, save your breath from the unnecessary trash talk and irrelevant takes. No one’s interested.”
His words inspired Liam to stand up and take his share of the responsibility too. “Director Pennywise is right. I was the one who recruited Zayn. I’m willing to take responsibility for his betrayal!”
Dick, Byleth, and many others rose to their feet and echoed similar declarations. It had gotten to a point where a clear, cohesive stance had taken form. However, watching all of the Insurgent Trifecta getting ready to die on this hill brought frowns to Taio, Hollis, and the rest.
There was just nothing more for people outside the organization to say when the organization was so ready to face the consequences.
Joe turned to the direction where Zayn had disappeared and stared in a trance, his eyes pensive and a million years away.
“Please have a good reason, Sergeant Larson. Please,” he muttered under his breath. “Please don’t tell me you’ve turned your back against your nation…”