This is the forty-fourth chapter of DARLING in the FRANXX (manga).
As a child, Mitsuru asks Hiro about the promise but Hiro doesn't reply and Mitsuru tells his young self not to admire that traitor. In his room, Mitsuru wakes up from his dream, panting and perspiring. Zorome notes that it's rare that Mitsuru oversleeps, to which Mitsuru doesn't reply and he frowns in dismay.
Later in the greenhouse, Kokoro plays pretend with her baby doll. As she asks the doll if the flowers smell nice, Mitsuru walks in and asks what she is doing. Shocked by his sudden entry, Kokoro freaks out and unintentionally tosses the doll into the air. Mitsuru notices the baby book on the table, picks it up and starts reading. As he does, Kokoro wonders out loud why humans stopped having children. Mitsuru replies it's probably because it's useless and it is evident by looking at the adults that they don’t need others to live for. Kokoro asks Mitsuru if he feeling alright because he looks unwell. He assures her that he is fine and asks about the 9’s. She tells him that she brought food to Alpha but he doesn’t need food to eat.
Earlier, Kokoro and Futoshi brought a tray of food for Alpha. Alpha explained he and the other 9’s had absolute control of their metabolism and they don’t even need to use the bathroom. Futoshi said he would eat the food then. Kokoro said she knew Zero Two eats and takes a bath. Alpha noted that’s the strange thing about her - she does unnecessary things on purpose, which he couldn’t understand. Alpha added that Zero Two had the same powers as the 9’s but he wondered why she still tried to act human.
Back at the greenhouse, Mitsuru remembers that Zero Two inherited Klaxosaur blood. Kokoro says it's similar to the 9’s. Mitsuru says it Is likely the knowledge in this world is insufficient and Kokoro quickly agrees.
Meanwhile, Ikuno is looking for Mitsuru. Futoshi, who is sitting on the stairs and has just eaten the food meant for Alpha, gleefully says he saw Mitsuru heading towards the greenhouse where Kokoro is at. Miku says to Ikuno that those two have been acting weird. This catches Ikuno and Futoshi’s attention and they seem intrigued.
Hiro meets with Hachi for a meeting. Hachi asks Hiro what he wants and Hiro asks what happened to Naomi because not even he knows what happened to her. Hachi says he doesn’t know what happened to her but there was no reason for Naomi to receive special treatment and pruning may have been applied. Hiro asks if all adults and Papa have done this. Hachi confirms this and rationalizes with Hiro that he understands how Hiro feels because he and Nana experienced the same situation and at the end, Nana’s memories were erased and he couldn’t do anything about it. Hachi tells Hiro it is good to worry about his previous partner but he still has a duty to complete. Hachi mentally tells himself that after being reinstated, he and Nana became who they are, neither children or adults but given the important task of pairing the children in twos in different cities. Hiro replies he understands.
During a battle, Zero Two begins violently rampaging against a horde of Klaxosaurs. Hiro tried to slow her down but she says she has more than enough to stop the Klaxosaurs and says she needs to put an end to them or else no one will live. Hiro asks her why she is acting this way and why her horns have grown. He wonders if this behaviour is due to the sudden growth of her horns and asks for her to tell him because he wants to know more about her. Zero Two tells him enough and she retorts this has nothing to do with him. Hiro is unfazed and he declares it has everything to do with him because he vowed he will always be with her. Strelizia proceeds with fighting the Klaxosaurs as the others watch. Ikuno says Zero Two is acting strange. Ichigo is concerned. Mitsuru pants in Chlorophytum, which Ikuno quickly notices. Mitsuru angrily tells Hiro to not act like he has feelings because he isn’t that kind of person. The battle then ends as dozens of Klaxosaur remains lay scattered on the battlefield.
At Mistilteinn, Mitsuru walks along the hallway, leaning against the wall for support as he continues to pant. Ikuno comes up behind him and tells him to go the infirmary, to which he tells her to leave him alone because he doesn’t want to cause her any problems. Ikuno is unfazed at this. At this moment, Futoshi bursts into the room and declares he wants to fight Mitsuru for Kokoro. Futoshi shouts at Mitsuru that he wants to tell him this face to face - Kokoro is his, not Mitsuru's partner and for Mitsuru to leave her alone if Futoshi wins. Ikuno tried to calm Futoshi down until they see Mitsuru collapse to the floor. Futoshi stops and Ikuno tries to get help for Mitsuru.