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On the Wrong Side of the Wall

Chapter Text

"Armor, this has nothing to do with a hex!" Bertholdt exclaimed, laughing.

Armor sighed, steam coming out of the jaw cracks. Bertholdt was teaching geometric shapes for the titan armored by means of drawings in the mud for hours .. but it seems that this stuff doesn't work with Armor. The titan had difficulties in memorizing them, and he always wondering what the hell to use it for! Humans and their things .. are more complex than I had imagined, Armor thought bitterly.

"There, that's a hex .. now repeats." Bertholdt said drawing the six-sided poligono large enough for Armor to see. although Bertholdt believes that Armor can see small details very well

The armored titan sighed hot steam again and imitated Bertholdt's drawing with his large fingers while the jaw titan watched everything with fun, perched on the armored shoulder. Sometimes Armor wondered if the smaller titan understood these geometric forms and what they are used for, since she has the function of spying and giving information to the beast titan about human fortifications. But the answer seems to be yes, since she is mocking of him by his absence of intelligence, leaving the titan of fifteen meters more irritated.

"Good, very good .. now make ten more hex" Said Bertholdt with a shy smile on his face. Armor snorted angrily (again) and growled low in his throat, while the jaw titan seemed to be facing an internal battle not to laugh.

"Hey, buddy, it's okay ... actually humans repeat various tasks to memorize them, like ... when I was teaching you to write, I always asked you to repeat, to .. to help you memorize them. " Bertholdt said, sweating nervously. Despite his great confidence with the armored giant, he was still afraid to leave the titan angry because he did not know what the titan could do, and he intends never to know.

The two titans noticed the nervousness in Bertholdt's voice despite him trying to disguise, but unfortunately Berth is an open book and titans have great senses. The jaw titan nudged the armored titan's neck as if to say "idiot look what you did!". Armor caught the message behind the smaller titan's blow and regretted. Armor had not snorted at Bertholdt, he just snorted because he was sick of these geometric shapes. Then armored titan thought of something funny to say.

"I'm going to eat the unfortunate human who invented these diabolical traits." Armor said in a slightly hoarse voice, but thanks to his coexistence with the human, his voice became more like a human tone. But that did not matter, ever since Armor got a little Bertholdt's smile.

Jaw titan clapped his hand on her forehead and thought you should not have mentioned "I'm going to eat" to a human. You stupid bastard.

"Well, those diabolical traits were invented years ago. The creators are certainly dead, "said Bertholdt, half laughing. But this statement "I'm going to eat" left Bertholdt a little ... apprehensive. Has Armor ever eaten or was it just a joke? He mentally begged it to be the last option.

Armor lowered his huge hand and began the diabolical traits (according to Armor) on the damp earth they were using as a slate, and forming these strange drawings that humans called hex which he had no idea what they were for. Then he made another and another until he was ten. God, what the other titans would think about seeing the "mortifer armored machine" doing strange shapes on the floor, that would be very strange indeed ... though Armor found these human things interesting.

<Ten thousand more!> Said jaw titan in her native tongue in a playful tone, but Armor wasn't in the joking mood and kicked the smaller titan on his shoulder with the sudden movement of his hand, as if he were to drive away an insent. Bertholdt laughed, though he did not understand the complex languages of a titan's trills, he found the scene funny, they look like two teenage frenemy.

Ungrateful! Shouted the smaller titan as she jumped on the taller branches, having been expelled from her personal armored perch. Armor just snorted and growled low in response.

"Do you want a break for your brain to cool down?!" Bertholdt said smiling, mocking his armored friend.

In response the fifteen meters titan dropped his massive body back to lie on the dense grass, causing a tremor on the ground because of the impact. Bertholdt deduced that this was a "certainty" and went hunting for some small prey to eat, leaving Armor alone with his precious rest.

This rest came at a good time because Armor was already sick with those lessons and having a five meters annoying titan perched on his shoulder. Though it was curious to learn about human contraptions, and that changed the way Armor thought about humans because he once viewed them as inferior, stupid, and weak beings, now he realizes how much the ability to think of this species is complex. Which made Armor wonder how much information these skulls can fit in these skulls so small, smaller than the tip of Armor's finger. Anyway they are worth living ... though Armor still finds humans physically weak, but that was just a matter of physiognomy.

 


 

Bertholdt pulled a sharp stone knife from his waist as he saw a boar cub all alone near a pond. The little animal was distracted drinking water and did not notice Bertholdt approaching silently. Although a cubs is an easy target, the mothers are not; Berth had to redouble his attention, since he did not want to repeat the same episode with the momy bear. but he saw no sign of a big mama. And that was a good sign.

As quiet as possible, Berth approached the little boar. The soft grass beneath her feet helped to silence her footsteps. It was a few meters between them, until "CRACK". Bertholdt had stepped on a dry branch. The cub caught by surprise, looked back. And as soon as it saw the figure about two meters behind him, he ran toward a closed bush and screamed desperately for help.

Bertholdt cursed his incompetence and tried to catch the little animal, but the boar cub was faster.

"Damn it!" exclaimed Bertholdt as he ran after his prey.

The little boar ran swiftly like a fox through the thick woods, much faster than a normal human. Fortunately Bertholdt was taller than the human average, that means he has long legs that can cover more space, leaving his speed almost equivalent to that of the boar's cub, but his resistance was not equivalent. Little by little Berth's legs began to fail and his lungs demanded for air. He had no choice but to stop and assume that the persecution failed. The wild boar disappeared through the dense foliage, and its cries were diminishing as it distanced itself.

"Stupid pig" said Bertholdt, breathless and sweating rivers, as he supported his hands on his knee trying to draw his breath.

Bertholdt leaned against a tree to rest, but all his energies came to light when he realized that two massive adult boars with huge pointed teeth and skin and muzzle marked by years of fighting were racing toward him. These were probably the parents of the little boar. Great! The little bastard called the cavalry.

 "Fuck!" Exclaimed Bertholdt as he fled from this pair of beasts.

 With the adrenaline rushing in his veins, Bertholdt climbed a nearby tree like a cat running from a dog. The boars hissed and placed their front paws on the trunk of the tree to try to reach the Bertholdt, but their paws were not made to climb. Fortunately. Bertholdt wiped the sweat from his forehead with his hand and continued to climb; putting his hands and feet in the crevices of the trees to help him to climb up.

 The tree was probably about twelve masters, and was one of the highest among the others, giving him a good view of the area around him. Bertholdt leaned on one of the branches near the treetop and looked down. The foliage almost obstructed the vision, but he could still see that the two boars were still there, waiting patiently like guards' dogs for the human to get tired and get off the tree, but that will not happen so soon.

 The boar's cub joined the parents, and shouted with happiness around them, as if mocking Bertholdt. And it probably was. The big boars sniffed and examined the restless puppy to see if it was all right, but that did not mean that they had diverted or diminished attention from Bertholdt. They wanted a piece of his ass.

 It had been about ten minutes, but Bertholdt felt as if he had been hanging on that tree for hours. Berth sighed wearily. His back and ass were aching because the trunk of a tree was not one of the most comfortable, and his tanned skin was being punished by the the midday sun without clouds; unfortunately the leaves of the tree top were very sparse, and did not give him a good shade. Bertholdt sighed in frustration for the thousandth time and looked down. The boar couple were lying on the fluffy grass under the shade of a tree while the boar cup ate some red berries in a bush. What a good life. Bertholdt wondered if it would be better to come down and confront the boars or stay right here, and the answer was: Better to stay here.

 Already tired, Berth grabbed a thick branch and climbed higher to the top of the tree. The creaking of the woods caught the attention of the wild boars that immediately rose and placed their front paws on the trunk of the tree, and hissed loudly, eager to kick the human ass. Bertholdt just showed the middle finger and continues to climb the tree to get a better view around him and try to think of something so he can get away from these pigs.

 The branches on the top of the tree were thin and could break easily, Bertholdt had to be careful where he was stepping, as he did not want to end up falling below, where two beasts are waiting for him ... though Bertholdt was almost ten meters off the ground, and the minimum height the human can drop without dying is up to seven meters. Bertholdt swallowed and grabbed a branch with his hands that creaked threatening to break, but bore his weight. Fortunately. 

 Determined that he was high enough now, Bertholdt looked around. The human discovered that this forest lay on a slightly high ground, which gave him a wider view.

 "I'm glad there's no titan around, either," Bertholdt said thoughtfully. In fact Bertholdt had not seen Titans have a time. He does not know if it's the titan armored that keeps them on the edge, or if it has something to do with migration. Hange had raised theories about this, but nothing concrete. But anyway, Bertholdt felt safe with the removal of these titans. Though there was concern in his mind.

 Berth lifted his hand to shield his eyes from the excess of clarity and looked around. He saw trees, forests, hills, some pebbles, trees, more trees, destroyed houses .. WAIT, WHAT ?!

 On a lower ground, there is.. or there was a small village with houses near the others, and a few high buildings in the center and it was also possible to detect the open fields with fences around it, probably used for planting. Reminding him of the humble villager that Bertholdt lived in the time of his childhood. But now there were only ruins and scraps scattered about the abandoned village, and the fields were being dominated by the dense undergrowth that gradually slumped, just like a cancer. Despite all the trash of croncreto and plaster, there was life growing there. Shrubs and creepers grew through the craters of the ruins, and some trees competed space between the streets of the village. Now that humans have not been, nature is taking its rightful place. Bertholdt wondered if the villager where he lived in his childhood  was suffering the same.

 Bertholdt was astonished and even forgot for a moment that there were two wild boars trying to kill him below, but looking more closely, Bertholdt noticed some marks of giant hands and feet in the ruins. In fact, it was obvious that this villager was destroyed because of the titans, but one detail caught his eye; there were large, deep (and familiar) footprints that had been marked on the ground for years. Although these footprints had suffered through the action of time, Bertholdt could still recognize them. Those were Armor's footprints. He destroyed this village and probably killed the people who inhabited it.

 His fifteen meters giant friend caused this destruction, well .. it was not exactly news to Bertholdt because jaw titan had already revealed that Armor had killed humans before “Strange, Armor would boast about his history of massacres.” But the fact that disturbed him was, why did Armor lie? If it was a common task for him to kill humans, why did not Armor tell me when I asked him if he had ever seen another human before. Maybe the jaw titan was right, the reason he did not tell me was because I was ... naive? It makes no sense! if Armor is a cruel and heartless killer, why does he act so different from me just because I'm not assertive?

 Bertholdt shook his head to scare away his thoughts. At that point he needs to focus on how to get rid of these wild boars so he can get off that tree. Bertholdt inclined his head thoughtfully. What are the boars afraid of? But no idea came into his head.

 Come on, come on! Come Bertholdt, if you were a predator, what would you be afraid of? Of a bigger predator? Bertholdt thought.

 Then an idea popped into his mind. A bigger predator. Wild boars can be large, strong creatures that no human would face hand in hand. But if the boar were in front of a momy bear for example, would a boar take on a creature four times larger? Of course not.

With an idea in mind, Bertholdt breathed in his lungs and then howled. Wolves were animals of the size equivalent to wild boars and always hunt in flocks. Perhaps the boars would confront them with their large tusks and body weight, but they would not risk the lives of their offspring. Immediately the pair of wild boars below raised their ears and moved their heads intently around them after hearing the "howls" without knowing that it was the human who was imitating the sound of a wolf. The couple of boars did not think twice and preferred to abandon the human on the tree, because the safety of  their cub was much more important.

 The sounds of the boars's hooves moving away relieved Bertholdt. Now that these "guard dogs" had left, Bertholdt took advantage and carefully descended from the tree because the branches appeared to be fragile, and in some crevices of the trunk were mosses. There was a great risk of falling. A three-dimensional maneuvering equipment would be welcome now. The brunet thought.

Despite all the difficulty, Bertholdt was able to descend unscathed. Now on the floor, the brunet looked around to find out where he came from. It was not a difficult task because Bertholdt's path had been several strangers in the vegetation on the way, Bertholdt was of great stature, so it was common for his to leave a mess wherever he went, especially if Bertholdt was rushing through life in a place with little space.

Bertholdt retraced the path, stopping to orient himself a few times, but he easily recognized where he went because the vegetation in this area was more or less low, it is difficult to get lost here. Different from the black forest where the armored titan inhabited, there the vegetation was so dense and rich that the light hardly entered, and to make matters worse the foliage also had dark tones, definitely that giant forest was where the night reigned 24 hours. The brunet raised one hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. He had not imagined that he had come this long. Bertholdt made a mental note not to hunt so far next time.

Minutes later Bertholdt could see the two titans and laughed at the sight. Armor was rubbing his back on the floor and grunting as if he had an orgy and the jaw titan was biting a branch, like a dog gnawing a bone, maybe she was grinding her teeth or something like this, the brunet thought. Bertholdt stepped forward and stretched out his arms.

 "Hey Armor, I'm back!"

 The titan stopped scenting his scent on the ground and sat cross-legged with an annoyed snort. While the jaw titan remained indifferent with the arrival of Bertholdt.

 What? Do you want to give me more of these damn lessons and mock me ?! Armor thought.

 Bertholdt approached the titan seated, ignoring his childish anger. The brunet remained silent for a while, thinking of the right words to say.

 "I ... I need to talk to you, it's important," said Bertholdt kind of shy. The jaw titan noticed the change in the environment and decided to leave, leaving the two alone because she already had notion about what Bertholdt was about to speak with Armor. It was something personal and she did not want to be in the middle of it.

 The armored titan tilted his head in confusion and changed his position to be closer to Bertholdt's level. He lay on his stomach and folded his arms under his chin to support his head. Bertholdt approached near his large armored face and sat down. Now there was only a short distance between them. Bertholdt sighed before speaking, and Armor deciphered that this was a bad sign.

 "You lied to me, don't you?" Bertholdt asked though he already knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from Armor's mouth.

 Armor stared at him for a while. He knew what the human want mean with that, but he lacked courage, which is hilarious because he is a massive fifteen meters titan covered in armor and responsible for various massacres, he was practically one of Earth's greatest predators. But at this very moment he feels the cornered prey. He liked this little being, and considered him a member of the family, so Armor had promised himself never to hurt him and would never let anything hurt him, even though he was not physically. But it seems that fate has a sense of humor, and nothing happens in the way we want it to happen.

 "You do not have to tell me if you do not want to," Bertholdt said flatly, getting up and away from Armor.

 Quickly Armor moved one of his arms. and placed his forearm in front of Bertholdt, creating a wall for the human not to leave. Bertholdt sighed, frightened by the movement, and turned to meet Armor. Bertholdt swallowed, fear trailing down his spine. Maybe if he had been silent and not provoked the titan would be better, but Armor's words left him in a trance.

 "Yes, there were innumerable human fortifications there, and yes, I was responsible for the destruction of several of them!" Exclaimed Armor. Although he felt a great deal of relief in taking this weight off his back, he was nervous about how Bertholdt would react to it. He could have been furious with anger or so terrified to the point of not wanting to see him again, but instead, Berth remained immovable and still, processing all this information. his expression had a mixture of sadness and perplexity.

"So .. why did you ... spare me?" Bertholdt finally said.

"Well .. the first time I saw you, I seriously thought about killing you .. but I felt like I could not do it, I mean, you didn't mean a threat, had no reason to do. Since then I got to know you better and I liked you" Armor paused because of cough, the effort to utter this alien language was painful sometimes "And even being of different species I considered you a family. I swore I'd protect you from everything, so I'm so fanatic about mark the territory. If something bad happens to you, I would never forgive myself. So I lied to you about the existence of other human territories, because if you knew that I was the main responsible for the extinction of them .. I was afraid that you would never want to see me again." Armor said, his voice hoarse and coughing at the end for the effort of saying so many words in English.

Bertholdt listened intently, and was also surprised that Armor had spoken so long, since the titan usually always gave short answers because of his difficulty speaking because of lack of lips. But Berth had to forget his fascination aside and focus on what was important.

"I ... I ... Arg! I can not believe it! "Said Bertholdt, unable to express what he felt. Anger or fear? Bertholdt has always been a withdrawn child who prefers to remain silent and leave it instead of expressing what he felt, which has made him a target for bullying and provocations. But at that moment he was trapped, the arm of the armored giant surrounded him, not letting him flee, and this giant waited for his answer, but the problem was: Bertholdt did not know what to answer or what he felt. He was annoyed that Armor had hidden this from him, but he understood that it was for a good cause so he did not feel angry. Bert also felt that he should be afraid of this giant, but everything Armor has done until now has been protecting and welcoming him, what only his deceased mother did, so why Bertholdt was afraid of his friend?

Bertholdt sighed and looked into the golden eyes, and with a shy smile he said "I forgive you." Bertholdt said softly, but Armor's sharp audition picked up.

 If Armor had lips he would have a wide smile now, but unfortunately he does not, so as the only way of showing that he is happy; Armor blew steam directly into Bertholdt's face, ruffling his hair in several directions and taking a laugh from Bertholdt.

 "Hey, that's unfair, you big fool!" Exclaimed Bertholdt, trying to protect himself from the "steam attack" with his hands. When he felt the steam over, Bertholdt ran to his face and hugged his big armored nose. He was surprised how hot the metal was, but it was not insanely hot. 

 Armor raised a nonexistent eyebrow behind his face armor, and wondered why Bertholdt was grabbing his nose.