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In the Womb is the eighth chapter of Abi Umeda's manga Children of the Whales.

Summary Edit

Chakuro pleads for Ouni to help them stop the Mud Whale from sinking. Ouni dismisses him, stating that they're all shut away on a little island, with the outside world trying to kill them, and asks him if there's anything worth saving here. Ouni then states that he's already killed the outsiders they want.

Lykos then notices the apátheia prisoner that Ouni had previously captured. Although tied up, she is still alive. As Chakuro moves towards the prisoner, Ouni tells him to get away, stating that there is no need to treat her like a person since she doesn't have a heart, and that it's no business of theirs if he turns his back on the island. Ouni moves his leg to kick the prisoner, but Chakuro stops him, telling Ouni that's he's lying, and not telling them his true feelings.

Chakuro states that Ouni has lost hope after seeing his friends have died and his dreams of the outside world has been destroyed. But actually, Chakuro states, Ouni wants to protect everyone but has no idea how to do so, and that upsets him. Ouni then punches CHakuro in the face, and says that everyone (on the ships) has already made of their minds about them, and not to make assumptions about him.

Chakuro and his group then walk away, and Masoh tells him that they shouldn't waste time on him, or they'll all die. They then rush towards the passages into the belly of the ship, which is heavily guarded by members of the Vigilante Corps, the peacekeepers of the ship. Masoh rushes towards them and manages to knock a few of them out. As the others look on in amazement, he states that he turned down an offer to join the Corps a while ago. However, reinforcements suddenly arrive, with far too many for Masoh to handle alone. He asks Nezu and Ro to help him, but they refuse, saying that they're not too good at using thymia.

As Chakuro an Lykos prepare to fight, Chakuro spots Ginshu among the reinforcements. Chakuro calls her "Miss Ginshu" and asks her to let him through. Ginshu then whack one of fellow Corps members in the head with her staff, incapacitating him. One of the other Corps members states that they have orders from the ELders to not let anyone below, but Ginshu states that she doesn't understand their orders, but knows that Chakuro is in trouble. She fights off several more Corps members, stating that is it all for her "sweet Chakki", but then wonders where exactly he is.

Chakuro and the rest, having used Ginshu as a distraction, head further into the depths of the Mud Whale. However, they then run into the Commander of the vigilante core. He grins and activated his thymia, but ends up walking past them without fighting Chakuro's group.They then continue deeper into the belly, where Masoh warns them that their thymia won't work. The Commander then runs into Ouni, and states that he felt his presence. The Commander asks him if he came to help "those kids" and says that it isn't like Ouni to do that. However, since Ouni would be trouble, he can't let him pass.The Commander tosses him a staff and tells him that if he wants to pass, he'll have to take him out.

Meanwhile, Nezu and Ro split off from the rest of the group to try and find Suou in the prison while Chakuro, Lykos, and Masoh continue onward. Masoh seems to have trouble breathing the further they go in, and Chakuro notes that the Mud Moths' numbers seem to be multiplying. Chakuro then asks Lykos what exactly it is down in the belly of the Mud Whale that can cause it to sink. Lykos tells him that he already knows, and it's something that he has touched before. The three of them then stumble into a cavernous area, where they see a giant creature of some sort on a rocking chair, with Neri sitting on one of the arms of the chair with the elders and members of the Vigilante Corps nearby.

Lykos states that it is the Nous Fálaina, and if you destroy a Nous, the ship will sink. Chakuro notices Neri near the Nous, and Hakuji of the elders speaks to Lykos, saying that she knows what is going on, but it is too late. He signals to the Vigilante Corps members, who let loose a volley of arrows to the Nous. The arrows pierce the Nous and it lets forth an inhuman shriek while Neri calmly watches. Meanwhile, others abourd the ship feel the Mud Whale shake with tremors.

Ouni and the Commander, still fighting, feel the tremors as well. The Commander notes that they'll all be dead in a few hours anyway, so they should keep playing until it all ends. Ouni asks him if he's okay with the ship sinking, and the Commander states that he just doesn't have that kind of attachment to his own life. As the Commander monologues about his nihilistic view of life, he seemingly gains the edge over Ouni. However, Ouni then whacks him in the face with the staff, and the Commander falls to the ground. Ouni tells him that it isn't his decision to make, and that "we'll" (meaning the younger people of the Mud Whale) decide what we want. The Mud Whales shakes more and more, and Hakuji signals the Vigilante Corps to fire one last volley to finish Nous Fálaina off. Lykos then runs and jumps in front off the arrows, with Chakuro calling out her name.