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In episode 10 of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, during the events in the Research Lab 5, Edward Elric is severely hurt. Later in the hospital, he writes down everything he had come to know, and he discusses with Alphonse, Hughes, and Armstrong about what to do with the information to continue the investigation.

At this point, King Bradley arrives with lemon into the room. He finds out what they are doing but acts very calm and chilled out and allows them to continue investigation while being careful.

Why did he not get Hughes and Armstrong killed at that point? Or at least tell them to not investigate at all?

  • I think he expected them to be dead or unable to stop him by the time his master plan was at the critical point. So it didn't really matter, and he chose to act cautiously and keep the farce going. – Hakase Aug 26 '17 at 0:36
  • Hughes was killed by Lust was not Armstrong. – quantum231 Aug 26 '17 at 13:28
  • I think you accidentally a word – Hakase Aug 26 '17 at 15:52
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    That's really weird question. Issue itself implies that army higher-ups are involved in this. If Bradley tell them not to investigate it, first thing they would do is to start suspect him to be involved as well. And killing? He would need to kill Edward and Alphonse as well (as Ed and Al are not persons who could just shut up about this). And 3 persons found dead in capital hospital? Giving that two of them are healthy and strong fighters. That would create a ruckus much more problematic than those trio trying to investigate this further. – lentinant Aug 30 '17 at 8:01
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    Your question implies that you have not yet wached the show in full, as this gets explained later down the line (and you're quite wrong about one thing in particular, but that's a massive spoiler). You're right to identify that some behavior (e.g. Bradley) is unexpected. But do you really want us to spoil the future story for you? I can write an answer with full justifications, but depending on the depth of the answer that will spoil most of the plot. Trust me when I say that all your current questions will be answered by the show at some point. – Flater Sep 1 '17 at 14:33
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This wouldn't work, for a number of reasons.

Ordering them not to investigate

If Bradley orders them to stop their investigation without cause, it could only mean two things:

  1. Bradley doesn't want them to discover something, implying he is somehow involved with or related to their findings at the Fifth Laboratory.
  2. Bradley is an idiot.

Since I don't think anyone present would accept the second explanation, it clearly implicates Bradley as being involved with the homunculi somehow. I doubt this would stop Mustang since he aims to become Fuhrer, and exposing the current one could help him achieve that goal. The Elric brothers would likely just be even more motivated as well.

Killing them

If Bradley killed them, it would indeed stop their investigation in its tracks, since everyone who knew about it would be dead. There might be some gossip about the Fuhrer inexplicably killing military officers, but it would probably quiet down eventually.

However,

  • He cannot kill Ed or Al since they are important sacrifices for the homunculi's plot to

    turn Amestris into a philosopher's stone.

  • He can't kill Mustang either since he's a potential candidate for the above plot.

He could kill Hughes and anyone else present, but that would just add fuel to the fire for Mustang and the Elric brothers, increasing the chances that they will discover his real motives.

For these reasons, he decided to allow them to continue their investigation in the hopes that they will be thrown off of the trail and not suspect that he is involved.

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