This is the thirty-ninth chapter of the DARLING in the FRANXX manga.
At Mistilteinn, Zorome admires himself in his formal attire as he inspects his reflection in the bathroom mirror. He goes downstairs and the others are waiting for him near the front door. Futoshi says Zorome has been watching himself in the mirror all morning. Mitsuru asks how can he do that and not get bored, which irritates Zorome. Kokoro compliments how Zorome looks better than usual but Miku says she is too kind to him and Zorome is full of himself. Zero Two says she doesn’t want to go. Nana replies it is Papa’s order and tells the others to get going.
Hiro narrates that for a month, the plantation has moved to the Gran Crevasse, which is the base of the Klaxosaurs; the klaxosaurs have attacked many times but the squad won each time. However, Zero two seems to be getting ahead of them and they are catching up with her. But, the squad’s efforts have been recognized by Papa and they are receiving medals. Upon arriving at the city, Hiro notes they, as children, are not allowed into the city, which he describes as a large space, a city of adults. While walking to the HQ Parliament, Nana notices Hachi looks troubled. He says the timing of the award seems suspicious.
In a flashback, Hachi learned from the APE council about the medals via monitor. Papa explains, since ancient times, it has been a form of inspiration for brave soldiers and Squad 13 has shown better performance than the other squads. The Vice Chairman says the squad is inspiring the adults. Marmoset agrees and notes Hachi was once like that. In the present, Nana says their development is surprising and they have surpassed other units. But the next stop is at Gran Crevasse and the numbers of Klaxosaurs have increased and it is risky to interrupt the medal ceremony because their morale needs to be increased. Hachi says Papa’s expectations are already high. He wonders that if Papa expects that much from an experimental unit, then something serious has happened. Nana says he is just overthinking.
At the Main Building of the center district, the mayor welcomes the squad as the first children allowed into the city and it is honor to have them, and he thanks them for protecting the adults. He approaches Ichigo and thanks her for her success as the leader, and she shyly thanks him. He thanks Zero Two but she ignores him and he then thanks Hiro. When he reaches Zorome, Zorome says his dream is to become an adult and live in the city, and extends his hand for a shake. The mayor smugs at him and walks away. Hachi then announces the end of the ceremony by asking them to salute the mayor.
Everyone is disappointed it was over so fast and Futoshi says he was hoping for a feast. Zorome sulks over the mayor not shaking his hand. Miku says that was rude of the mayor but Zorome tells her not to talk like that about the adults and insists he isn’t feeling down. Miku tells him to calm down but Zorome retorts she doesn’t understand him and it is unfortunate that he has her as his partner, which causes her to cry and she runs away. Zorome chases after her despite Goro saying they need to return to Mistilteinn. Saying it sounds fun, Zero Two dares Hiro to catch her and throws her medal away as she takes off running, and he runs after her. Ichigo and Goro, realizing this is bad because of how different the city is to Mistilteinn, report this to Nana, who is dismayed that four people are missing and how everything has gone wrong. Goro offers to go look for them but Hachi says the Intelligence Service will take care of that and the squad has something important to do. Hachi explains he got a rescue signal in the co from room and it seems his worst fear has come true. Outside the plantation, a a decaying Nine Model approaches the plantation.