This is the forty-third chapter of DARLING in the FRANXX (manga).
At Mistilteinn, 9'α finds it stupid that Ichigo is visiting him despite his condition. As she tends to 9'δ, Ichigo agrees it is stupid, as well as going against the adults. However, she says she can’t let these things happen and the squad will try to do as much as they can. She looks at Naomi’s mirror on the table.
Mitsuru tells Kokoro that it’s too early to celebrate because the adults will soon find out they took the 9's from the hospital. Buying enough time will be their main issue. Kokoro says putting the 9’s in the unused room was a brave move, as she would have never thought of that. She praises him but he replies he just wanted to think of an idea before Hiro. He shows her a photo of a group of parasites and says he found it in the unused room. Kokoro asks who are they and he says they seem to be the people who lived in Mistilteinn before them. This scares Kokoro as she remembers Zero Two talking about another squad that was destroyed. Kokoro tells Mitsuru that she doesn’t want to live only to die fighting and he says he doesn’t want to either.
Watching them from the stairs, Futoshi is sad that Kokoro is getting close to Mitsuru. Ikuno says it can’t be helped because Kokoro needed to hear those words and Mitsuru said them. Thinking back to when Futoshi said Kokoro was more important to him than the 9’s and of Ichigo, Ikuno says she doesn’t think he was wrong, as when it comes to protecting someone special, they need to act. This deeply moves Futoshi and he agrees.
Nana and Hachi approach Mistilteinn but when they enter, they find the squad guarding the unused room. Nana criticizes them for doing something terrible and demands they tell them where the 9’s are. Ichigo refuses or else the 9’s will be thrown away. Hachi replies it was Papa’s order and children don’t have the right to disobey. Hiro says they know that and are not against Papa but they just want to help the 9’s. Kokoro stays in the room with Alpha and Delta. Nana shouts at them to stop talking and move aside as she goes into the room.
Much to Nana’s surprise, Kokoro guards the two and pleads for Nana and Hachi not to give up on them. This prompts a shocked Hachi to remember when a teenaged Nana pleaded for her mortally wounded partner, begging the adults not to give up on him. The adults said he couldn’t pilot with those injuries and he would be thrown away. They then forcibly took Nana away while Hachi stood by and watched. Nana suddenly remembers this and has a painful headache, and she backs away. Hachi asks Kokoro once more if she wants to help the 9’s. If this is reported, the squad will be punished and yet they still want to help the 9’s. Hiro says he left Naomi alone and he regrets it. Ichigo says this is Squad 13’s collective will. Seeing the entire squad’s determination, Hachi remembers when it was determined Nana was a negative influence on the squad and the suggestion was to restrain her after purging her memories, which left Hachi horrified.
Hachi says he will report the completion of the pruning of the 9's and the 9's will stay hidden in Mistilteinn. Nana is horrified by this but Hachi says he doesn’t want to lose the whole Squad 13 but warns them that he can’t guarantee anything. After Nana and Hachi leave, Zero Two visits Alpha, who says Squad 13 is not ordinary. He adds he lost an eye and Delta is unconscious, and there is no reason for keeping them alive. Zero Two says they are in the rebellious phase of wanting to go against the adults. Alpha notices her horns have grown bigger and he says he has seen that before. She warns him not to keep talking or he'll be dead.