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This is the drama CD of the third volume of DARLING in the FRANXX. It contains three story plots. It was released in October 2018.

Synopsis

Part I: Nines

Dr. FRANXX reports to Papa that the 9’s are receiving their maintenance and will be waking up soon. 9'α recalls how the 9’s were born knowing nothing other than they are APE’s special elite forces. Upon waking up, the 9’s fill out their report regarding Gran Crevasse, in which they tell Papa via monitor that the area is surrounded by 265 bodies of dead parasites, 1 Lehmann Klaxosaur, and 3 Gutenberg Klaxosaurs. However, the 9’s were able to collect cores without issue and he praises them. Alpha says Hringhorni requires the purest and highest quality of cores and Alpha believes only they can operate it. Alpha also says the 9’s have no human limitations and can connect with their FRANXX units more deeply than the humans can.

They get to the topic of Zero Two not having her dosage of maintenance and how she is able to connect with Hiro. Delta tells her squadmates not to mention Zero Two and Squad 13. They, however, talk about how different Squad 13 is and the 9’s don’t understand reproductive behavior, such as kissing. Delta is repulsed when it means because she retorts it will spread bacteria and 9'ε replies humans can’t live without kissing. They then discuss how Zero Two lives with humans. 9'δ and 9'γ have soil and other elements of Mistilteinn to show Alpha who berates them for bringing the elements without quarantining them. One of the elements is candy that belongs to Zero Two, which she once said gives her an experience of human emotions. Alpha is not interested because the 9’s don’t need to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom like humans. Nevertheless, he and the others try pieces of candy and Alpha reacts positively to its sweetness. Alpha is curious how humans can endure such ‘temptation’. Epsilon becomes intoxicated by the sugar and dances while Beta and Gamma try to have fun while intoxicated too. Alpha becomes irritated at his comrades and the doctor concludes the 9’s inherited Zero Two’s characteristics. He also concludes, without the 9’s knowing, the old stench of human behavior has begun to spread.

Papa asks Dr. FRANXX what he is planning and the doctor replies nothing but he has gotten good results for letting the 9’s interact with others. He leaves after saying he is still monitoring the children and taking his eyes off them once will cause problems. The APE council discuss how they don’t understand emotions. Alpha says they don’t need warmth but all they know is that they are the 9’s and they were chosen by Papa for follow his highest orders.

Part II: Nine Children and a Baby

Zero Two has a dream, in which she was a little girl and was crying because she had just been born but she feels Hiro’s hands taking care of her.

In her room, Hiro brings her lunch and notices she is acting weird. He says he thinks it might be because of Kokoro and Mitsuru’s wedding. He tells her that a wedding ceremony is when a group of people come together. Zero Two starts talking like a baby and she tries pronouncing Hiro’s name but he is amused and points out she used to try calling him by his code number. Because he has trouble understanding what she is saying (u ool) Hiro assumes she is trying to say school, but she annoyingly bites his hand. In pain, he remembers the last time she bit him and he caresses her head, which calms her down, and he thinks she is saying drool. He tries giving her her food and then becomes worries they can’t pilot Strelizia as long as Zero Two remains like this. He wonders what happened to her but proceeds to refer to her as a beautiful doll. She smiles, making him realize she may not understand him but she recognizes him. She sits on his lap and he gets excited, which embarrasses him and he tries counting klaxosaurs in his head to calm down but only does when he imagines Zero Two calling him a pervert. The rest of the squad comes in the room and finds Hiro with Zero Two on his lap, and they assume the two are getting intimate. Embarrassed, Hiro explains the situation to them.

Everyone wonders what happened to Zero Two, who starts crying out and repeatedly says “Mama”. Mitsuru assumes she may be hungry and Futoshi tries to feed her his bread but she doesn’t eat it. Mitsuru recalls reading a book in which newborn animals drank breast milk from their mothers. The girls feel wary of this as they realize what it means. Zero Two latches onto Kokoro and calls her “Mama”. Zorome wonders how they can give her breast milk. The girls compare their breasts to each other’s and Ichigo decides not to because her breasts are too small. Miku and Ikuno refuse to try breastfeeding Zero Two. Kokoro offers to try but everyone freaks out and stops her.

In the control room, Hachi and Nana see there is a problem and Hachi decides to go. Nana wants to go too but he tells her to stay. Nana retorts he has always followed orders without complaining and she has never bent her opinion. Hachi notices she is annoyed and Nana calls him cold who only hurts a woman’s feelings. Hachi mentions to himself this is the first troublesome emotion he has felt in 10 years.

The squad gives Zero Two normal milk and they then assume she wants to play after she is done feeding. Miku and Zorome tickle her and make her laugh. However, Zero Two becomes brash against Zorome and causes chaos by trashing the room. Hachi decides to intervene or else he will be replaced for not supervising the children and tells Nana to stay. However, Hiro manages to calm Zero Two down and rock her to sleep. They all talk about how much trouble she caused them but Hiro points out they were once like that, as Zero Two taught him that they were originally children. Miku suggests they give Zero Two candy to make her normal again. Dr. FRANXX calls them via comms and tells them it’s useless because what happened was due to her not taking her maintenance and the effects will wear off soon. He tells Hiro to go to the basement and look inside the sofa, and Hiro remembers there is a bag of food there. They wonder why Zero Two hide the food and Hiro believes it is her secret. Dr. FRANXX explains she will return to normal once she sleeps and then the squad’s test will be over, and they can leave. When asked what test this is, he doesn't say anything other than there is no explanation on the possibility the human subject and hangs up. Ichigo says she will be sad when Zero Two returns to normal. Kokoro says it will be a while before she will be like this again. Miku asks what she means and Kokoro replies it is a secret. Mitsuru whispers it is his and Kokoro’s fault (implying Kokoro is pregnant with his child). Ichigo says Hiro taught her that they will leave one day but will never forget they were once here. Hiro tells Zero Two he is glad to have met her and everyone agrees, and they bid her farewell. In her sleep, she says “darling”.

The next morning, Zero Two wakes up and has returns to normal. She wonders where she is and Hiro says she is becoming more human. She says she slept great for the first time in a long time. Everyone comes in the room and hugs her, and call her their precious friend. Zero Two narrates how that casual day became her treasure and she is ready to face tomorrow’s destiny. Meanwhile, Nana berates Hachi for stealing pudding meant for her a long time ago, much to his annoyance.

Part III: At That Time, You...

Nana reports it has been 62 days since Hiro and Zero Two left through the gate passage, the soil from Mistilteinn has been implemented at the Bird Nest, and klaxosaurs have returned from space and dove into the ground. Hiro and Zero Two are content with traveling in space together. To pass time and imagine living a normal life, they role play as a married couple, such as Hiro pretending to come home and Zero Zero preparing a delicious meal and warm bath for him. Zero Two says this isn’t fulfilling and they can’t get married like this. Hiro asks her if she still wants to get married and he attempts to recite the wedding vows but she tells him he doesn’t need to because they already promised to be together forever. Hiro talks about how they discuss casual topics he read from books to pass time and Zero Two says they should imagine making something delicious to eat. However, Hiro says he doesn’t have the desire to eat and sleep, and Zero Two realizes his body has been constructed into a klaxosaur, which makes her sad that he will never be human again. Zero Two alerts him that VIRM is approaching them and they fight the fleet. After eliminating the fleet, Zero Two says she feels stronger with him and she is happy for the others living happily but she regrets only that he can never recover his previous body.

Hachi reports that 252 days have passed since the gate passage, many parasites have begun to have children and receive the treatment needed, and Strelizia has not been re-registered since disappearing. Hiro realizes Kokoro will be giving birth soon. Zero Two assures him that Kokoro and the baby will be alright. Hiro wonders what Mitsuru will name the baby. He feels pain due to the damage and magnetic storm they’ve endured. Zero Two asks him to tell her if he hurts but he says she feels the pain as well. She tells him they have a long way to go but they must do so slowly. Hiro agrees as long as they are together.

Nana reports that 702 days have passed since the gate passage, Goro has found new elements near Mistilteinn and fossilized klaxosaurs in the ocean, and all of APE’s previous systems, including the code numbers, have been suspended. Ichigo leaves after meeting with Nana and is surprised by Goro, who returned from his traveling to surprise her. He is surprised that she is finishing Zero Two’s picture book and Ichigo says she realized Zero Two believed she would never return but Ichigo wants to finish for her. Goro worries she is pushing herself and she admits that, although she is scared, she accepts their fate and they are all linked through Hiro and Zero Two’s bond. Goro tells her she was not the only one who cared about them because everyone loves them.

Zorome tells Miku that he is thinking about leaving the Bird Nest and starting a school for the next generation of children. Miku is confused and he says the parasites are allowed to leave but have been asked to stay close by. Miku acts like she doesn’t care and they get into a brief argument. When she tries to leave, Zorome gives her a necklace with a fragment of Argentea and she is angry at him for risking punishment for riding it without permission. Showing he also had a pendant with a fragment, Zorome explains it is proof of their bond and, since Hiro gave all of the parasites names, he wants to do something for the children by becoming a teacher, and asks Miku to start a school with him. She cries and he wonders if this is her way of making fun of him. She calls him an idiot.

Mitsuru helps move supplies from the plantation to Ikuno’s office and she says she will be asking for Dr. FRANXX’s notes on the FRANXXs. She starts to feel nauseous and curses the doctor. Mitsuru saves her when a stack of books fall and he tells her to take it properly despite its advantages and not to push herself. She laughs and explains how she wonders why they are humans. She points out to Mitsuru that so many things happened to him and he is a dad now. She tells him that she is happy for him because he has someone he loves and is moving on with his life. Mitsuru asks her about herself and she tells him not to tell anyone about her weak health, as she has decided to surrender to her accelerated ageing process. She also says she intends to live with everyone as long as she can.

Ai calls out to Futoshi and Kokoro asks her to call him ‘Uncle Futoshi’. Futoshi is still amazed that Kokoro is a mother and he tells her the children will be starting school soon. He then tells her that he is planning to leave so he can pursue his new dream of becoming a baker. He explains that he wants to give the new children delicious bread for them to eat. Kokoro compliments him and she thanks him for always being there for her when she felt she didn’t do anything for him as a partner and he protected her when all she could do was cry. Futoshi tells her to smile and he credits her for changing Mitsuru just like Hiro and Zero Two did for the others. He also credits her helping him grow up and she thanks him.

Nana and Hachi look at the stars and Hachi mentions it is Tanabata Day. They think about Hiro and Zero Two fighting while everyone is building a new community. Hachi says the children are destined to become humans and Nana says she hopes everyone’s feelings reach those two. In space, Zero Two asks Hiro to rest for a while before they reach the enemy zone. Hiro says he is fine despite both taking damage. She convinces him to rest because, as they are the Jian, they can’t do anything without the other. Hiro finally falls asleep. Zero Two is sad that She can not stop Hiro and wishes things had been changed but she believes he is strong enough to hold on for a bit longer. The squad goes outside during nighttime and looks at the stars, wondering about Hiro and Zero Two. Miku and Ikuno wonder about them being with the stars and Mitsuru says Hiro and Zero Two can see them from where they are positioned, which makes Miku tease him for sounding romantic. Goro mentions until recently, none of them were able to make it in their own without Hiro. Ichigo says they will continue living strongly for Hiro. After shouting encouragement to the sky for Hiro and Zero Two to do their best, Ichigo orders everyone to return because they have so much to do tomorrow. In space, Hiro wakes up and tells Zero Two that he had a dream of their friends living good lives and of another dream in which the two of them meet in a distant future. However, Hiro believes it is their hope. Zero Two replies that no matter what destiny they face, they will meet again.

Trivia

  • In Part 3, Hachi mentions it is Tanabata Day on the lunar calendar. In Japanese culture, it is a day of festivities also known as the Star Festival and is held on various days between July and August. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi; according to the legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar.
  • However, this would be inconsistent with the timeline; Hiro and Zero Two left Earth on May 10 and the approximate date should be April 11 after 702 days pass.
    • On the other hand, in the last scene of Part 3, when Hiro wakes up from his dream, 783 days had passed since the gate passage, according to Episode 24. This would put the date at July 11.
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