Part 108 (FINAL): A Tale of Men and Dragons (PROUD OF YOU)

Upon this platform is our final foe. Everyone, this is it. For our final battle, we'll be using Orochi, Mio, and Koron. It's been a long, long road—it's really all over this time, after this one. Honestly, even just starting to write this is getting me pretty emotional... but there's no way to go but forward.

At the end of our road, he stood upon the throne where Fomalhaut had once ruled.

Unit 13...

Hey, Take. Been a while.

...You. You're different. Orochi Hosokawa, huh?

It's good to see you, Takehaya.

You killed two True Dragons, wiped their existences off the map. I'm pretty impressed. ...Why are you here?

I'm here for you, Takehaya. I'm here to save you.

Save me? You should know that's not gonna happen.

I'll devour everything. Every single life. That's all I can do, anymore.

That doesn't sound like you. You're a stubborn man, Takehaya. Where's all that spirit now?

You want me to be stubborn now?

Takehaya. I, Human Dragon Orochi Hosokawa, am here to defeat you.

To slay me?

No. I'm going to beat you until every gene in your body submits to me. I'll force the Dragon in you to recognize its superior, recognize my path forward.

Takehaya, you're my rival. I'm not letting you go that easy. I'm going to give you the chance to be the hero you deserve to be.

Think you can? Well... you better try pretty damn hard!

Everyone! This is it—the real final battle for Unit 13!

Aww, I love happy endings. Let's rumble!

I've become far more powerful since last we met, boy. Prepare to witness my fullest force!

To the end, I'll support all of you. Let's go!

We've got this in the bag. Take's all talk!


Then, come on...

Murakumo Unit 13!

This time's for keeps. Our final battle is against Takehaya, Warrior of Humanity, and he is a doozy. He's the beefiest enemy in the game at 22,482 HP (the only enemy to break 20,000 that isn't an unwinnable boss), with unparalleled offenses, high speed, an unfortunate immunity to Hack, a 60% or higher resistance to every other status ailment, and a 30% resistance to Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Neutral damage.

He doesn't have perfect defenses, especially magically. However, he is still quite sturdy, and is going to take quite a bit of work to take down for any party. Last time, he got Venom Boosted into paste, but this time, we're going to have to DPS him down the old-fashioned way.

Okay. I can do this.

Watch out! He's going to come in hot!

Got it!


As before, Takehaya starts off the fight with SKY, a 12-hit perfect-accuracy physical attack.

Ugh, shit!

Man, he's fast

We're going to need to be able to weather assaults like that!

Surprise! New skill in the final boss! This is Regulated Breath, one of Orochi's Breath buff skills. The other ones are just shit and I never use them, but Regulated Breath increases the maximum HP of your whole party for a few turns, so I throw it on for a bit of extra survivability.

So you're not just coming here to play, are you? Fine! Show me what you've got!

Everyone okay?

Yeah, but he's not going to stay off us for long.



How did he even learn to use a spear

Here I go. Prepare yourself!

I concur!

Couldn't do that before. Ugh!

Surprise! Another new skill in the final boss! This is Vortex, Koron's upgraded Aerial skill. Keen-eyed viewers will have noted an omission earlier—Takehaya, say it with me, is weak to Aerial. It's not only the only element he doesn't resist, he takes 30% bonus damage from it. This is a big deal.

Orochi! That seems to be working.

Got it!

Lemme help with that!


Pretty good!


Missed me!

Double Javelin hits two random party members and can inflict Bleed.

Alright. Let's see how you like some more of that.

Everyone else, focus on patching up! I've got him for the moment!

Let's go, team! Chop chop!

Experience the depths of the deepest darkness, boy!

W-what, that supposed to be—ugh! It?!

Well, that worked wonders.

At its full power, Cure Beat is a 2.5x modifier on all healing. Hence, a Heal Aero 5 for 250. Very nice!

That's a cute trick you've got—


Hah... hah...

He's in enough danger that his draconic instincts are kicking in! We're making progress!

As before, Dragon Blood, used once he drops below 65% HP, is the signal that he's entered his second phase.

Okay let's be chill, but we do have to go fast!


I pop a Dragon Egg on Koron, knowing full well what's about to happen.

Dieee! Orochiiii!

Takehaya barreled into me at supersonic speeds, shredding my flesh. It was... very, very painful.

Is she alive?!

She better be!

Oh my god!

Ugh... ow... ow. My bones.

Supersonic Spin has perfect accuracy and deals 1000% damage. I will reiterate—you will not survive Supersonic Spin.

He's regenerating!

Of course he can regenerate.

Fine, if you're going to be like that!


Okay. Okay, that hurt less this time.


Mana Spring has activated quite a few times off-camera and it didn't come up enough for me to mention it, but this was a really, really good time for that.

Man, he really hurts.

We just have to keep going!


I know, I know. I'm indispensable.

I pop another Dragon Egg on Koron.

Rrraagh! Hrrraaaagh!

Mio! Help me crush him.

If you're sure!

Not... this again!!

The debuffs had run out and it's real solid damage. Takehaya has two scripted uses of D-Cell Activate, so if he gets both off, which he likely will, he really has more like 28466 HP. It's a lot to burn through.


Don't... d-don't worry about me!


Damn... it!


Ugh, I can't—

Thunder Breath is rough. It's perfect accuracy heavy Lightning magical damage, which can inflict a 45% action negation Paralysis and a 5-turn 33-damage Burn... if it doesn't kill you outright.

You know, crushing these things is oddly satisfying.

I just cannot do without the ability for Koron to bust out a Miracle Cure. I need it.

You better—!

Appreciate this.

I do! Thanks.

Do you need any help?


Mio made a noise somewhere between a gurgle and a screech.

Get up.

I'm really glad you can do that! Let's make sure it lasts.

Yeah, an extra turn of Rescue React is reaaaaal nice right about now.

With that said, it's the final battle, and the Dark Countess Mio Akaneno takes to the stage for her last dramatic clash with the Dragons!

The assistance of...

...her lovely assistants, would be greatly appreciated!

It's game day, kids! Go, go, go! FEVER!

I use Arena Plus here in an attempt to get some out-of-turn DPS.

Here! Another one of their cakes!

Must be good cakes.

I'm not... I'm not done yet...

He's spinning again!

Hey, Takehaya! I hear Aitelle's been making eyes at another man!



The rage began to fade from his eyes.

What's... Ha... hahaha! Come on! Come on! You can do better than that! I'm not done yet!

man i hate it when i lose my dragon strength

Human Blood signifies Takehaya's moving to his final phase. Once you're through here, you're done worrying about Supersonic Spin and Thunder Breath—he'll stop using them. However, you are very much not out of the woods.

Here I go.

Alright! Everyone okay?

Enough to do this!

Takehaya! I'll crush the hunger within you with this blade of mine!

Ten-chi Tachi!

Gaaaah! Hah, hah, c'mon! That all you got, Orochi?! You couldn't have saved the world if that's all you have!

He's still fighting after all of that?

Get ready! You're going straight to hell!

H-he's unleashing a hidden store of energy—is this the Exhaust phenomenon?!

Once Takehaya moves into his final phase, he gains one last new trick—Exhaust Mode will outright double the damage of the next attack he deals. That next attack is going to be SKY, the 12-hit physical. He'll continue using Double Javelin and SKY along with regular attacks in this phase afterwards, occasionally busting out the Exhaust SKY combo again. Here, I simply don't have the juice left in me to survive an attack that powerful.


He's almost down, guys!

But he's about to totally flip us!

The Dark Countess is here! Koron, get the heck over there!

So since Koron is slower than Takehaya, I use Follow Me...

Much appreciated! Hurry up and admit defeat, boy! spend the last of Koron's MP on one last Frostburn... finish it on my final possible action.

It was a good fight, Takehaya.

But it's over!

Mate in 16!

...Yeah. It was... a damn good fight.

Now you can be a Warrior of Humanity, too!

And that's all she wrote of 7th Dragon 2020-2.

The game saves clear data after beating Takehaya this time, obviously, or else you could never actually see that item.


Ugh... I...

...What the hell?

Feeling any better?

Well. I'm in a lot of pain, not sure whether I'm hot or cold, bleeding from my upper arm, and whatnot. But...

I can hear myself think. Been a long time since that was true.

The hunger of a Dragon is nothing to be trifled with. The fact that you were able to maintain yourself for as long as you were is pretty impressive.

What did you do?

Didn't I say? I'm VFD, so I dictated the path of evolution. I've made my force known.

In a way, you could say I just recruited you as an Imperial Dragon of sorts. Congratulations on your promotion.


From behind, Aitelle darted over, but stopped short of actually touching him.


Aitelle. I know you've seen me like this, but it still isn't my idea of a good time...

I... I never dreamed of such an outcome. I... I'm sorry, Takehaya. That you suffered so is my sin to bear, and that you may now live again an unparalleled relief.

You haven't changed a bit, Aitelle. Always trying to take on more than you should. ...It's something I find very charming about you, y'know.

Sorry, can I interrupt here for a bit? I wasn't done talking.

Oh. ...My apologies.

So, obviously, I haven't completely removed your desire to devour information. That won't be gone until I've fully proven myself—but there are ways to deal with it. If you're ever having problems, stop by the Diet Building or wherever Murakumo is stationed, and they'll make you some of Dr. Hashizawa's Info-Chew!.

...Run that by me again?

It's utterly vile chewing gum, the worst thing you've ever tasted, but if you're specifically experiencing Draconic hunger cravings it's great for abating them. I brought a few boxes for you to tide you over.

First, I handed him said boxes, which he looked at in his hands as though he was witnessing the moon turn bright pink, before shrugging and putting them in his pockets. Then, I sheathed Ame-no-Ohabari, and presented it to him.

Your sword?

Once, I wielded your sword. Now, you need to wield mine. There's two more times the world is going to come under attack by the Dragons—once in 2100, and once more, millennia from now. I won't be here to protect the world, to make sure that the history of our battle isn't erased. Takehaya. I need you to be my emissary to the future—I need you to carry this sword, Ame-no-Ohabari, to the future where it's needed.

This thing... This is a blade forged from your heart, huh? You sure you want to entrust something like this to a guy like me?

What was that you said once? "Ersatz power can't beat the real thing", or something like that. You always called yourself an ersatz hero, but in all honesty, I think you got to being a real hero far before I did.

You made the choice to become a Dragon just as I've made the choice to become a human. There's nobody else I'd rather have as my counterpart in this venture.

So hand off this sword to whenever new hunters appear, and in the meantime, do whatever, huh?

That's about the size of it. Congratulations on your new lease on life. Have you heard Maki and Shino are having a child?


It is true.


You should come by and visit some time. You know, when you've got more of a handle on things.

we'd all be happy to have you back, bud

...You know, I'm only now noticing this. What the hell is with your head?

What's with yours?


...Thanks. All of you. Thanks. I owe you. But I think I've got places to be. ...With Aitelle, if she'd have me.

Takehaya... there is nobody in this or any world who I would rather be with.

The two of them vanished into the same blue glow as the spirits, as glittering sparkles rained down from above. Where the two of them went that day, I don't know.

So that's it? We're done?

We're done.

Oh, we're hardly done. We've got quite a lot of work to do.

The world is in ruins, after all. In order to help any future hunters in weathering the storm, we need to do our part to make it one that they can be proud to live in.

It was good going hunting with y'all one last time.

Yeah. Good work, team. We all did great.

Yeah. Now, let's get out of here—

Back to our world. Back to Tokyo.

And that's how our very last battle ended. One last wrong righted, and with hope for the future. There was still plenty of work to do, but... I believe in humanity. I believe in our planet Earth's ability to survive. I believe in us.

...Oh. And one last thing. When we returned to Tokyo—

Well. With that said.

A-ahem. Well. So, if this went well, there was one last thing I wanted to say.

Oh, yeah?

Mio. You and I have known each other for a long time, and a lot's happened over that time. I don't think anyone could've possibly imagined how this all could've all gone. But... You're a wonderful person, even if sometimes you don't know that yourself. I love you. And what we have now, it's special. It's precious to me. You're precious to me. So—

I produced a small box from my pack.


I actually get to be here for this?!

Oh, finally!

Eheheheh. Don't wanna get upstaged, huh?


Mio. Will you marry me?


7th Dragon 2020: Sympathy for Chisa Inomiko
(an EOV LP Anniversary Project, among other things)

Original Game Character Cast

Akira Ishida as Kirino Ayafumi

Aki Toyosaki as Navigator 3.7 "Jeanne"

Miyuki Sawashiro as Navigator 3.6 "Miroku"

Haruka Terui as Aoi Unose

Joji Nakata as Genji Gatou

Megumi Toyoguchi as Rin Dojima

Rina Satou as Sharon Furusuga

Mai Todo as Miya

Yukiyo Fujii as Reimi

Shunzo Miyasaka as Keima

Hiromu Miyasaki as Waji

Aoi Yuki as Shizuka Tomagi

Takahiro Sakurai as Takehaya

Yukana as Neiko "Neko" Ariake

Daisuke Ono as Daigo

Yui Horie as Aitelle

Yukari Tamura as Emille

Nana Mizuki as Natsume Hikasa/the Dragoness Mizuchi

Aoi Yuki as Izumi Sakuraba

Kamiya Hiroshi as Shouji Sakuraba

Saori Hayami as Marina

Hatsune Miku as Herself

and the unvoiced

President Jack Muller

President David Griffith

3rd True Dragon Niara

5th True Dragon Fomalhaut

Tsuki no shizuku o tenohira ni atsume
(If I gather droplets of moonlight in my hands)

mune ni sosogeba yasashiku sukeru
(and pour them on my heart, they'll gently show through.)

Aoi kizuato jounetsu no kioku
(These pale scars and passionate memories)

yume dake ga buki no WARRIORS
(are the dreams we warriors wield.)

Kirino's new arm was capable of extending like a spring-loaded punch gun, a facet of it that he found endlessly delightful. He scurried about the house giggling like a lunatic, yelling, "Rocket puuuunch!" again and again as he grabbed mundane tools.

"You know, Richter," Kirino said, "this is great, but what if we went further? What if I really did get to become a superhero?" He returned to pacing. "Oh, but I'd have to have a secret identity! Hm. What could I do for a cover story? Oh! What if we made a video game, and then I acted like I was a cosplayer for the protagonist of the video game, when in fact I'm actually the very real superhero?"

Richter smiled, nodded, and said, "I think that would mean you should go to bed, Kirino."

Kanashimi ga tada furitsuzuku machi de
(In a town where sadness just keeps on falling,)

ikiru koto sae tatakai dakedo
(even living is a battle.)

Nemurinasai ai ni mi o yudane
(So sleep, my love, and let love whisk you away,)

hageshi sa o tojireba ii
(shutting out the violence.)

Also featuring the unportraited efforts of, in no particular order

Private Sasuga
Colonel Kamachi
Sergeant Ikoma
Sergeant Makita
Prime Minister Inuzuka
Secretary Makabe
MP Hatano
MP Ariake
MP Fujita
MP Ukai
Alan "Utsurome" Smithee
Hamachi, a human being

and the unportraited, but newly named, efforts of,

"Girlish Man" as Tsukasa Nagataka
"Sharp Businesswoman" as Yui Nagataka
"Breadline Maid" as Charlotte Haishima
"Pleasing Lass" as Naomi Yagumo
"Flashy Woman" as Ageha Yamazaki
"Gentleman Rep" as Arashi Sunamori
"Effusive Rookie" as Taichi Inomiko
"Polite Rookie" as Shichiro Togetsu
"Sardonic Rookie" as Asumu Nishitani


kaze no naka de iki o tome miteta
(I held my breath in the wind, and watched)

eien yori nagai natsu o
(this summer longer than eternity.)

While many of the Lucier children appeared older than they were, really, they were in fact children. So, when Big Sis Sumie declared that it was time for her to tell them a story, they eagerly gathered around, one and all. (Well, some were slower than others, as they were all individuals who were learning to exist in their own right.) A young man with a blade and an android with two guns stood guard duty to ensure no monsters interrupted them.

Marina sat at the head of the pack in today's Lucier gathering at the city hall of a small town in Shimane which had survived the wars. Sumie cleared her throat. "Okay, everyone," she said, "today, I'm going to tell you the story of the sons of Sparda. It's a pretty exciting one, and I think you'll learn a lot!"

...Of course, sometimes, this new Royal Historian was not entirely clear on which of her stories were fiction or fact—but that was part of her charm, was it not?

(And so I'll never forget)

ame ni nureta kimi no sugu soba ni
(the story of how, next to you in that rain,)

tenshi ga ita monogatari wo
(there was an angel.)

7th Dragon Extra Cast

Miyuki Sawashiro as 2nd True Dragon Allie Nodens

Yu Kobayashi as Nagamimi

the unvoiced 6th True Dragon Haze

Aoi Yuki as "Archon" / 1st True Dragon Iod

Reminiscence Extra Cast
Yuuya Inomiko
Ikuko Inomiko
Tsubaki Kujo
Rin Hashizawa
Nanako Hashizawa
Kojiro Hashizawa
Pavel Weber
Cocona Fudoji
Ryoma Fudoji
Mimiko Morishima III
Satoko Inoue
Jong-ki Park
Fuhito Inoue
Mitsuru Sumadera
Ryuji Kozakura
Kyosuke Ayana
Raquel Edelweiss
Megumi Kirisame
Heinrich Scuttler
Rokuro Togetsu
Jiro Togetsu
Himiko Akiyama

Reminiscence + Prologue Canon Portrait Extra Cast

Chelsea Toranosuke, AKA F-Hacker, as Herself

'Pain', or 'Mugen', AKA M-Psychic, as Renji "Mugen" Urasaka

'Dynamo', AKA M-Destroyer, as Kyoshiro Tamura

'Katanako', AKA F-Samurai, as Touko Kujo
Kirimaru Ayanokoji, AKA M-Samurai, as Himself
'Pink Harley', AKA F-Psychic, as Botan Sumadera
'Nikujaga', AKA M-Trickster, as Himself
'Momoko', AKA F-Trickster, as Herself
Citron, AKA F-Lucier, as Herself


Rie Tanaka as Homura Akaneno

Futsū no ishi o hikaraseru koto ga
(You told me that making a simple stone shine)

koi no imida to kimi wa ittane
(was the meaning of love.)

Nemurinasai soshite arigatou
(So sleep now, and thank you,)

itoshi sa ga ima mezameru
(for awakening my love.)

Youka Fudoji awoke one day to look out the window of her apartment. It was a new apartment now, decorated all about with pictures and keepsakes of so, so many people. It was almost unfathomable to her, how many people looked up to her.

A photo of Park making accessories for Mio's dress—of Neko and Daigo going cross-eyed at a lecture on infophysics from Mimiko—a bar crawl with Botan where Youka wore Genji's armband, just to make him feel included—Satoko, Sumie, and Mio sitting Richter down to watch his first Precure—

Tears had come to Youka's eyes before she realized it. Even on a day where she needed to stay in bed for her own health, she could look around and know that she was not alone—that her life had found meaning again. "Cocona, Ryoma," she said, "I'm happy. Don't worry about me, if you are. I've got a good life, here."


Kimi to fureru SERIOUS na KISS ga
(Sharing a serious kiss with you)

houseki yori utsukushikute
(is more beautiful than any jewel.)

Sympathy for Chisa Inomiko's Unit 13

Emiri Kato as Mio Akaneno

Hoko Kuwashima as Youka Fudoji

Yukari Tamura as Sumie Kazuki & SATSUKI

Yoko Hikasa as Koron Nagataka

Takahiro Sakurai as Richter Esslinger

Yui Horie as Human Dragon Orochi Hosokawa

and finally,

Chisa Inomiko as Herself

(So in these brand new days,)

Kimi wa warau joudan no you ni
(you laugh like it was a joke,)

tenshidatta watashi no koto
(and say that the angel was me.)

"Do you think this is too much?"

Koron said, huddled about a series of pages on which she'd written a multi-page speech to present at the next meeting of the Diet. Pavel pointed a pen at one point and said, "You're being too nice. Isn't this bit directed at the guy who tried to get you fired?"

"What, Ukai?" Koron snorted. "My distaste for him is well-known. Frankly, it goes without saying. It just reads better if I don't directly insult him, anyhow."

"I don't actually know what this word means, gonna be real," Nanako said. "What does 'ungermane' mean?"

"Irrelevant to the topic of discussion," Chelsea answered. Nanako huffed and muttered that that was kind of mean.


Kaze no naka de iki o tome miteta
(I held my breath in the wind, and watched)

eien yori nagai natsu o
(this summer longer than eternity.)

Sympathy for Chisa Inomiko Additional Credits

Written and Directed by: Kinu Nishimura II

Technical Support, Co-commentary, Editing: Rea

Character artwork: KiraKiraKat

Internal data: Araxxor

That one VFD screenshot and Typo Reporting, Inadvertently: BisbyWorl

Original Character Concept (Raven Hillshead): Araxxor

Original Character Concept (Mio Akaneno): Endorph

Etrian Odyssey V Character Designs: Yuji Himukai

7th Dragon 2020 Original Protagonist Character Designs: Shirow Miwa

7th Dragon Monster Designs: Akifumi Yamamoto

Etrian Odyssey 5 Insert Songs: Yuzo Koshiro

(And so I'll never forget)

ame ni nureta kimi no sugu soba ni
(the story of how, next to you in that rain,)

tenshi ga ita monogatari wa tsuzuku no
(there was an angel—it's neverending)


In a small club for discerning individuals with a taste for smooth jazz, a largely anonymous woman played the piano for hours at a time, pressing the keys away, letting her fingers move themselves. With her eyes closed behind her glasses, she played with a deliberate sense of time and force, letting her passion—her desire to enjoy the music to its fullest—make each performance better than the last, through hard work, and effort.

Day turned to night, and night to day, again and again, but it seemed that never once would a patron of this club realize that this woman named Homura had once been known as Japan's most beautiful genius. Perhaps that was for the best.

Kimi to fureru SERIOUS na KISS ga
(Sharing a serious kiss with you)

houseki yori utsukushikute
(is more beautiful than any jewel.)

Music Credits

"Furueru Kokoro" / "In Your Belief" (Theme of Youka Fudoji)
Composed by: Chikayo Fukuda
Vocals: Tomoyo Mitani

"IN MY WORLD" (Theme of Koron Nagataka)
Song by: ROOKIEZ is PUNK'D

"Hartes ciel, melenas walasye" (Mio Akaneno EX Quest)
Composed and sung by: Haruka Shimotsuki
Arranged by: Takashige Inagaki
Lyrics by: Nao Hiyama

"SYNCHRO" (Theme of Richter Esslinger)
Song by: Plastic Tree

"NIGHT RUNNING" (Theme of Sumie Kazuki)
Composed by: Shin Sakiura

"Monochrome" (Theme of Mio Akaneno)
Composed by and Lyrics by: Mai Iida
Arranged by: Eisaku Nanbu, Daikoku Azuma

"PROUD OF YOU" (Ending Theme / Theme of Orochi Hosokawa)
Composed by: Naoto Kine
Lyrics by: Yukinojo Mori
Vocals by: Hekiru Shiina

Special Thanks to:
My wife Taylor
The Black Rock Shooter model viewer people, too
Geoff "Pokeytax" Embree, for his hard work on the fan translations, and his frequent input on the story
All composing staff on the following games:
-Breath of Fire 4
-Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana
-Team Fortress 2
-Portal 2
-Half-life 2
-Super Robot Wars V
-Super Robot Wars T
-Super Robot Wars OGs
-Karous: The Beast of Re: Eden
-Asura's Wrath
-Yakuza 4
-Yakuza 5
-Ar Tonelico 2
-R-Type Final
-R-Type Final 2

all Imageepoch staff

and you. To say 'thank you for reading' seems a bit paltry—after all, this is a 'Let's Play'. So—

(So in these brand new days,)

hane o shigiri ningen ni nattano
(I shed my wings, and became a human—)


Thank You for Playing!


There are three more subjects on which I must speak. To call this 'reminiscence' would be incorrect—rather, to you, these are tales of the future.


Upon a day in the apartment of Taichi Inomiko and Touko Kujo, the two bantered about ordinary subjects over the dinner table. "I'm telling you," Touko said, "I could be great too! My skill with a blade is second to few, and the spirit of my blade is unsurpassed!"

"Sure, sure," Taichi said with a shrug, "and like I said, I don't know when the next entrance exam is, so you're going to have to take it up with management, Touko—"

The phone rang, and Touko reached over to get it. "Hi," said Orochi Hosokawa, "is Touko there?"


"Yes, ma'am," Touko said, her squeak going up an octave or two, but not becoming awfully loud because she had gotten used to this, "speaking."

"Hi! It's Orochi. Listen. So, some things have come up, and I actually think I could use your help." There was a pause. "Tsubaki told me once that I could cash in a favor from the Kujo family. Is that offer still valid? It's a pretty big ask."

One thing led to another. A call was made to Chelsea Toranosuke and Citron as well. Suffice it to say...

...when the 2nd True Dragon, Nodens, battled the hunters of 2100 in Chidorigafuchi Park, she faced a stronger resistance than she expected. But the subject of the battle between Nodens and the hunters of the future is one outside of our bounds.

And yet I am overjoyed, as I see her stand and take the hand of the warriors of the future... that the people of which I was the first need not be wiped out again before my eyes.


This tale takes place far in the future, over five thousand years after the end of Unit 13's battle. It takes place in a small prison in the Kazan Republic. A battle against the 6th True Dragon, Haze, has just been won—all of Earth's people are rejoicing together with their hunters. One sister of Hypnos, and the man she loves, are among them.

However, the other sister of Hypnos sits within this jail cell. She is a woman who has long struggled with the depths of her own 'will', and what it means for her—and in the end, it causes her to make rash decisions in this battle. She could leave this jail cell, but she has not—she believes it is important to absolve herself, remembering the words of those she knew long ago.

Footsteps come down the stairs to the prison, but Emille, woman of Hypnos, does not look up. She imagines that it is Aitelle, come to lecture her. Emille is not interested in hearing Aitelle speak.

"What are you still doing down here?"

The voice is not Aitelle's. Emille looks up. There is a woman, about twenty, with a sword by her hip. Emille recognizes the crest on the sword—it is the family sword of a family called Daidouji, a well-known military family. While she knows the man Bradley Daidouji, current head of the family, she does not know this woman—and yet she does.

"...Your victory is not for me," Emille says. "Someone like me is not meant to bask in the light of victory."

The woman who has come to see Emille shakes her head. "Do you really think that? Emille, it's over. The war is over. The thing you've been fighting all this time is done."

"I am a criminal," Emille says, looking away. "I have committed crimes against humanity and the Lucier time and time again."

The cell door is not locked, so the woman opens it, and squats next to Emille. "Then do you not want me to fulfill my promise to you?"

There is a moment of silence as Emille's voice cracks, and she looks up and sees her friend, the Human Dragon who stands before her. "You... I see. So your gift of mortality—it is a gift of birth and death, is it?"

The red swoop of the Human Dragon's hair is not alone. In her further incarnations, it is more honest, joined by more red streaks within her dark hair. Her eyes glow with joy, and she beams at seeing Emille again.

"I'll say it again," she says. "The war is over, Emille. We can all move forward. You don't have to be a leader anymore, and you don't have to fight. You can just be yourself. Just Emille."

Emille's body shivers. She falls onto her hands. When was the last time that tears began to come to her eyes? Had they ever? "Please," she says. "Please."

The Human Dragon wraps Emille in a warm embrace. "Orochi," she says. "My name is Orochi Hosokawa."

"Orochi," Emille says. The name is soft, gentle on her lips, a sweet note from a tongue that could only ever produce sour. In this small jail cell, Emille, for the first time, allows herself to fall into another's arms, weeping tears—of sadness, regret, joy, relief, but not of hatred, of anger. "You've come back to me."

Emille was not alone. She had a friend who understood her. She had another—another who had given her the chance to be more. She could face eternity without the fear of loneliness. "Orochi," she says again. "Orochi. Orochi, Orochi." To say this name which she has desired for so long.

"I missed you too, Emille," Orochi says with a smile. "I really missed you... but I knew I'd get to see you again someday."

Orochi stands Emille up. With tears in her eyes, Emille, who has gotten taller, but not by that much, looks up at Orochi and grimaces. "You would willingly shackle yourself to me? To be my companion?" Orochi nods without a word. "You are a fool. You could have better friends."

"I can, I have, and I do," Orochi says, "but none of them are you."

It is quiet in there, away from the noise. It is a moment for the two of them. Orochi, however, turns her head to look at the stairwell and say, "So... do you want to go anywhere?" She turns her head back and smiles. "You can't stay here."

Emille thinks for a moment, and then she herself smiles, awkward-looking as it is. "Looking at anywhere now is bound to look different. With my purpose complete, my freedom gained... and with you. Show me your favorite places, Orochi. Show me what it is like to be human through your eyes."

Orochi laughs. "If you insist," she says. And though she is no longer an authority, Emille no longer needs that authority—wherever she goes, no matter what she has done over her life, there is someone to accept her. Their hands are clasped tightly together for the rest of the day, and all through the night.


The carriage comes to a stop, at long last, after hours and hours of tales recounted. The three women within—Orochi Hosokawa, Mio Akaneno, and Chisa Inomiko—exit. Orochi breathes in the air again, of the farmlands on the continent of Arcania, on the planet that so long ago, she herself breathed life into.

How are Orochi and Mio here? It is simple. Homura fulfilled her promise, and nothing more needs to be said.

"So this is it," Mio says, looking at the old, two-story farmhouse. It is a familiar sight to Orochi—she knows well the family who live in this house.

"They've been wonderful to me," says Chisa, who has lived here for many years now. "Mr. and Mrs. Hillshead, I mean. You'd think that a kid from another reality just popping into their house one day would draw some attention, but nope, crazy, right?"

Orochi begins to walk towards the front door. "Hey," Chisa says, "are you sure you don't want me to just... tell you? Or maybe go in first?"

Shaking her head, Orochi turns around and faces Chisa, the girl around whom so much of her life revolved. "I want to find out for myself. What happened to Raven Hillshead? Is he dead? Did he simply vanish? Or..."

—is he still here? Did he return, his love unfulfilled but his quest complete?

"And if he is gone, will they..."

—will the Hillshead parents recognize her? Will they recognize this woman not simply as a Hillshead, but as Raven himself? Even for Orochi now, this was a question she needed to find the answer to herself.

Mio puts her hand on Orochi's shoulder. "It's gonna be okay," she says. "Whatever happens, nothing changes who you are. Nothing changes who we are." A ring on her finger glints in the sunlight.

With a nod, Orochi says, "Yeah."

Then she walks towards the front door of the Hillshead home—the home which I myself visited all those many eons ago—and turns the knob. She opens it wide, letting light rush to fill the space within the open door... and smiles.

"Welcome home."

7th Dragon 2020: Sympathy for Chisa Inomiko

The End

Previous Update
Table of Contents