Part 32: A God's Beast

By the time the rest of the group let me out of bed, I was feeling a bit better. Honestly, I was rather happy for reasons I couldn't quite describe. Koron, Satsuki, and Youka kindly didn't tell me what exactly they'd gotten up to in the intervening time until a while after this, so that all didn't affect me at the moment—but on the other hand, I was going to go talk to Takehaya, and that was always a mixed bag.

So how is he?

He is surviving, at the very least.

With his condition, that's all that could be expected of him.

So I've never met this guy personally. Will I be able to tell which one is Takehaya just from looking at him?

Oh, yeah. He's unmistakable.

just look for the guy who looks the most like an anime protagonist and you're golden

Look, it's just, I hate fish, okay?

Yuki: You hate fish? It's funny they call you 'Neko', then... You know cats love fish, don't you?

Uh, no, easy mistake, haha, I'm not Neko, I'm, uh, Neiko, see...

You're trying that excuse again?


Yuki: You know being overly thin isn't in, right? People like girls who are a little on the plump side these days.

Wha—no way! Seriously?!

Yuki: Sure, sure. I mean, look at Mio here. She's got admirers all over City Hall.

...You do?

Oh, hey. You're their maid or whatever.

My job title is 'archivist', actually. I take down notes on proceedings, handle their excess stuff, all that business. You're not totally wrong, though, I do do a lot of cleaning!

Notes? Like study notes?

Yeah. It's an important job.

Do they like, pay you for that?

I mean nobody's getting paid right now, it's the apocalypse. Fiat currency has no assigned meaning.


Right, you're like, a greaser or something. Okay, fiat currency means—

You know what the yen is, right?

Yeah. Duh.

You ever think about how a yen only has value because we as a society collectively agree it has value? Like, any amount of given yen doesn't really have the same value as what you're spending it on, but we as a society all agree it has that value to make trading easier.


Neko's face scrunched up for a moment.

Ohhh, so like how like... 200 yen can't hydrate me but a bottle of water I buy can, but that's what a bottle of water costs from a vending machine?

Yeah, exactly. That's fiat currency.

Whoa. That's deep!

Sorry, can we get back to the subject of these admirers?

You hadn't noticed? The people love Mio.

Yuki: See? Even Captain Chisa does. Especially Captain Chisa, in fact. So why don't you go ahead and eat? Food is valuable these days, after all.

Chisa, I would recommend you take your hand off of your katana.

They'd better stick to admiring.

Whoa, where's the possessiveness coming from?

We all paused for a moment.

Ah, it's no problem.

No problem? Of course it's a problem, duh. It's not like I wanna be here.

But if you think about it, we met Takehaya thanks to Murakumo, and that's how we formed SKY. So maybe they weren't so bad for us in the end after all.

Oh, don't worry, she's just being tsundere.

Nice jump.

...For about half a year after we escaped Murakumo, we lost track of Takehaya.

But he showed up again to help us out. We listened to his stories, and buzzed about Tokyo doing this and that for him.

When we got to Shibuya, it was like being in heaven! A full belly every night, no pain, no anger... Just the joy of being together.

Living like that, we started to gather a crowd, one by one. That's how SKY came to be.

This might surprise you to learn, Neko, but all moms aren't actually super buff.

Yeah, but buff moms are the best moms!

Aww, that's sweet of you to say. Thanks.

Dang it you set me up!

Ku hu hu.

Daigo's my real mom, you hear?!

I mean that's fine. Youka's my mom, and you can't have her, and also, she could beat up your mom.

Nuh uh!

...She literally did. She beat both of us up, Neko.

Yeah, but... but... but... but my dad could beat up your dad!

my dad's been dead for like fifteen years

No he's not, he's right there.

Are you kidding? Richter's not my dad. He's my funny older brother.

I appreciate being part of your family tree nonetheless.

...He could... probably beat any of my brothers in a fight. But my dad wins by default! Hah!

This is tough. Do any of us have a dad we can send in to fight? I don't.

Mine's dead too, and I was disowned ages ago anyway.

I don't even know if mine is alive, and even if he was he is a thoroughly ordinary fifty-something German man.

I don't talk to my dad much.

Well, I'm sure my father could defeat Takehaya. After all, a thoroughly heterosexual white knight like Takehaya would burst into flames if he spent much time in the same room as my hysterically flamboyant father.

...I don't know what those words mean!

Well, 'time' is—

Oh my god, you weren't kidding! That's some hair right there! And... wow.

...I don't believe I've had the pleasure.

Mio Akaneno. Hi. I'm the other member of Unit 13.

Shouldn't you be in bed, Takehaya?

I was already beat up. A few more scars and some internal bleeding won't change much.

It's been ten years, but it's like I never left.

But this is City Hall.

...Don't split hairs with me, you know what I mean.


Still. With all the bad blood, I never figured an honest-to-god Murakumo employee would do us a favor like that. You're decent people, Esslinger.

It's only fair. I may have joined Murakumo rather recently, but I am an employee of the group that performed those atrocities. Doing everything in my power to assist you is simply the right thing to do, now that we've finally opened a proper dialogue.

This guy's a real square.

What's a guy like you even doing joining Murakumo in the first place?

I wanted to feel like my talents were being put to genuine use, as you earlier surmised, and I got the offer. As it turns out, evidently I'm doing quite well, if prophecies from the stars have placed me in a position to be a destined savior of Earth or what have you.

Mind you I am a scientifically-oriented person, and so I would love to speak with Miss Aitelle further about the mechanisms inherent. Not to mention inquire about whatever manner of technologies the people of Hypnos may have possessed—I'm sure there's a bevy of information that could be found and utilized for the advancement of human society!

You're taking aliens surprisingly well for a man of science.

Well, of course. Science is the understanding of physical reality, and Miss Aitelle is very real, so science must be adjusted to accommodate her.

...I'll take your word for it. And you?


You... uh, doing alright?

As best as I can be, given the circumstances, I think.



That ice queen disappearing's kind of a jackpot, but I guess you must be pretty worried about your buddies, huh?

Frankly, I've put together what I feel like is a fairly salient theory of what occurred. I've simply yet to discern an endgoal.

I couldn't think much about that. The woman in the bed next to me last night kept muttering.

Mom did?

...I don't see the relation.

In-law. She's Mio's mother.

In that case, yeah. Her.

She ran out of the room yelling something or another a bit before you showed up. Some sequence of numbers.

I really hope she doesn't still have a concussion—

Get them up here, NOW!

I am! With Dr. Akaneno's assistance, we've managed to pinpoint Kirino's location! Please hurry to the Control Room!

Chisa, Mio, the rest of you, get the hell up here!

The sheer surprise of Homura sounding as urgent as she did was enough to stun Mio and me for a moment.

We should hurry.

Unit 13, you're here!

Homura was sitting at a computer, her hands running through her hair, having broken out in a sweat.

...and who're they?

You came with?

Takehaya bowed his head.

Natsume took care of us some time ago. If it's alright, we'd like to return the favor.

Huh. Sure, okay.

Excuse me, but this is urgent. We've managed to locate Kirino.

She refuses to explain how she busted in here knowing that.

Just pull it up!

Recon unit, please monitor.

...Aren't those coordinates...?

...Tokyo Tower.


I'd been to Tokyo Tower once myself. The view from the viewing platform was a lovely picture of the Japanese city line, and while it had been rather typical of a date location, I still had fond memories of it.

...However, when I remember Tokyo Tower now... all I can remember is the carnage.

Countless corpses, human and dragon, littered the ground in front of the tower. I recognized many of their faces, had seen them moving and emoting and standing just days before.

The camera panned out, to show that the carnage continued—upended cars had crushed a few poor souls, and a number of the dragons had perished, torn apart, with pieces of dead human in their mouths. Only Aoi and Kirino stood alive, Kirino huddled in terror.

...What the hell is this? Everyone's... dead.


...Nacchan... god damn it!

Homura slammed her fists on the desk.

...Poor form for a president, then. Easy to forget just how much of a monster she is.

...What? What are...

That's Kirino and Aoi there, isn't it? What the hell is going on?!

Aoi staggered to the ground, clearly bruised and beaten.

Aoi... it's okay now... please stop...

No... I couldn't save the people of City Hall...

Because I... I made a promise to my senpai...

What the hell is she doing out there? Run, you idiot! Whatever did that, you can't fight it!

That was when I realized that that vibration in my bones had come back, that sense that told me that something horrific was coming—something that wanted me dead. Youka yelled helplessly at the screen, but the rest of us stood, utterly transfixed, hardly able to comprehend what we were witnessing.

Then... she spoke.

In an instant, she appeared in the sky.

W-what... who are you...?

As she crashed to the earth, it quaked beneath her. I can only imagine Kirino was in denial. Mio slumped to her knees beside me.


...You look hideous. You ought to be ashamed.

Heh heh. You're the same as ever, aren't you.

...All any of us could do was watch. I felt my breath stop in my throat.

There's an odd feeling when you watch someone you've known, worked with, come to care about, die utterly without dignity—being torn open and left to bleed on the ground. Their body makes noises that a human body isn't supposed to make, moves in ways that a human body isn't supposed to move. Aoi wasn't the same as the last time I'd seen someone understand their own death—until the moment she died, she had some manner of spark in her eyes, a will to fight. But then, the monster in front of her switched her off—so casually it was like flicking a light switch.

Kirino's screams were redoubled. I had no doubt that Aoi's death was instant, so perhaps he was screaming for the both of them. It's understandable, I think. It's that odd feeling—it's like reality is rewriting itself around you, like suddenly you've jumped into some bizarre parallel universe where that person simply doesn't exist anymore. When someone dies with dignity, bows out on their own terms, you can grieve them properly. But it simply doesn't feel possible that a real live human being, someone you know and care about and work with and exist alongside, could just be switched off by the whim of someone or something else. It makes you feel fragile, makes you keenly aware of your own mortality.

But that monster is still there, and you have to confront the fact that something that can switch you off exists in front of you. And, in this case, this monster could talk, and feel, like a person... This monster could laugh.

Look at you, having your guts for garters... Why, you really ought to be ashamed!

This monster could feel spite, and antipathy, and take delight in your suffering.

...E—I—uh—u-unusual readings at Tokyo Tower! I—what the hell is—?!

...What else was I supposed to do, huh?

Switching camera feeds!

What did you want me to do? What did I do wrong? you... really hate me that much? Nacchan?

Natsume Hikasa had never been the kind of woman who would be satisfied with a simple gesture like mass murder. No, that would be fleeting. If there wasn't some kind of mark, a lasting legacy to show that it was her who was in charge, it would all be useless. So, from that perspective, what happened next made perfect sense.

That was the only perspective from which any of what followed made any sense.

Tokyo Tower grew. It grew, and it grew. The upper reaches of the metal landmark stretched and stretched and stretched into the sky, twisting and writhing as they did, as though something from the leylines beneath had gotten in there and started wearing it like a second skin.

Pieces of the glass and foundations broke off and burnt up in the atmosphere as they did.

I wonder what the stars above may have thought of this beast of iron suddenly shoeing in on their territory? In a way, it made me a little nostalgic—it wasn't the first time I'd seen a 'tower' that reached up into the stars, after all.

...Of course, at the time, I wasn't thinking that. I wasn't thinking much of anything.

Until, eventually, the chaotic screeching of metal on metal came to a halt... it reached its apex.

The place she had claimed wasn't quite that high, though.

Finally, the hour has arrived... the time for a banquet to honor a new god.

I've made many mistakes—let me begin by apologizing. I once claimed that ordinary people were worthless, but it seems I was mistaken.

Thank you, my hardworking comrades. Please—enjoy yourselves. Oh—Kirino. Can you hear me? Your last task awaits, you pitiful fool. Namely, to bear witness to the incredible power I now possess, and ensure that all Japan is aware—especially my dearest friend. Ah—but I imagine she's watching now if she's awake from that blow to the head, isn't she? I hope so—I have nothing but thanks for you, Homura, and your perfect hero.

I shall have to bow out of any future scintillating conversation as a result—I'm sure you can understand that I have moved past the need to converse with heroes. For that reason, I shall not be allowing any prophet, or any hero, to christen me so patronizingly.

Now, I have some stray dogs to take care of.

The—the signal's moved! I don't—

She's going to Shibuya. Scan that location.

How do you—?

She's going to Shibuya.


The ground in Shibuya began to quake.

W-what's going on?! There's an Imperial rising!

In Shibuya?!

What an amateur... Quit being such a drama queen, Hikasa!

Now, off to America. I wonder if that woman still lives...?

The Dragoness Mizuchi disappeared from sight once more—and all was quiet in the control room.

...The first sound to break that silence was Homura slamming her hands on the table, standing up, and yelling into a computer monitor.

What the hell was I supposed to do? How was I supposed to know that that was what she wanted to do? What was I supposed to do differently to stop this?!

I don't think anyone else was used to Homura asking people questions, either... and even if they were, nobody had any answer for her.

Somebody tell me what the hell I was supposed to DO!

Then, there were little sniffles, the kind a young boy wanted to hide.

Natsume, you... you idiot, you stupid idiot...

...Dragoness... Mizuchi?

...So... so you're saying it was all for nothing? Everything we went through, everything you put us through... You didn't even want your goddamned weapon? You weren't satisfied?

All of that shit you put me and my friends through, it's all just sour grapes to you, huh?!

I guess it's always been like that, huh.

We're all idiots... we're all the idiots...

...Aoi and Kirino... they're both...

This sort of loss wasn't the sort of thing to faze Major Dojima anymore, I supposed.

Makita, assemble all army rangers! Medics just behind them! We're going to rescue them—Kirino, Aoi, and everyone else who's missing!

Private Makita: Yes, ma'am!

Then we'll be heading to Shibuya.

Yeah! Like hell I'm gonna let her mess with it!


What about you?

...You're gonna have to give Satsuki a moment.

She's sensitive, see. Takes these sorts of things hard. She's got the kind of pure heart I lost a long time ago.

I see. And you?

Oh, me?

I'm gonna get out there and snap her goddamn neck, is what I'm gonna do!

Of course you are. That's an order.


We're heading to Shibuya with you, Takehaya.

Yeah? Do as you like. Here I thought you'd—

Hurry up and go.

Catch you on the flip side, then.

Satsuki. Koron. You two can handle the back on our initial deployment. Richter, Youka. We'll form the vanguard.

Handle the back?! And let you—?!

So that you can fight more effectively when the time comes for it.

Right. Sure. You're right.

...What are you... talking about?!

I don't understand. What's going on? I don't get it.

We're leaving Shibuya in your hands then, Chisa!

Why are you all just... I don't...

Aaargh, fine! I, well, I suppose this is happening now! I suppose this—Sure! Fine!

Aoi... everyone...

By my waist was the same blade I'd used the first time I had ever cut the flesh of a living human being. How fitting. I suppose perhaps Tomoegozen was cursed.

You know, let me get an outside opinion.

How are you handling this?!


There! Okay! There's my brain! Let's go!

Every bone in my body was screaming... but it wasn't a scream of fear.

I don't understand! What's going ON?! How are you just charging into battle like—like yesterday didn't—

She wants to fight me.

What are you talking about?!

She wants to prove she's better than me, so she became a monster to do it. My job is to kill monsters. I'll cut down everything she throws in my path, and then I'll cut her down. It's as simple as that.

No, it's not! That's my Aunt Natsume! I've known her since I was a kid! She's—she's—you're—

She betrayed you and hurt you. She left you. She didn't spare you a word.

She betrayed everyone here. She betrayed their trust and the intent of their fight.

She betrayed Mom, who thought of her as her only real friend in the world, out of a petty rivalry and inferiority complex.


Don't worry, Mio. I'll cut down anyone who makes you cry.

Unit 13, move out!

Please... please don't go, I...

Don't leave me all alone...


Pilot A: Dammit, what's with this Dragon?! It's flying at Mach 4! That ought to be tearing it apart!

Pilot B: We'll shoot it down when it gets here. Patrol the area and wait for your chance.

Pilot B: Come on, you piece of shit Dragon! You're messing with the US Air Force now—

Pilot A: ...Hello? Lightning F! Lightning G! What the hell is going on out there?!

Pilot A: Huh... hahaha, is this... some kind of joke? That's a woman, not a Dragon. How the hell—


The ground was already littered with more corpses.

Hey. Are you okay?

What do you mean?

You've got that look on your face.

She hurt people I love. I'll never forgive her.

I don't want you charging off on a death march again—

I won't die. Someone has to bring her to justice for hurting Mio.

Well, I hope you're not jonesing for the killing blow. That's going to me.

As if. I'll be the one to kill her.

Chisa, if you're sure you're alright—


But otherwise, I'm fine. Let's go.

...Damn it. These kids didn't deserve this.


Guchi: W-wah! M-Ms. Fudoji! I, I, uh, I-I didn't do it! I didn't kill anyone!

I know. But what did

Guchi: Just quit it! I don't know a thing, okay?! I didn't see anyone, I don't know anyone! Aaaahhhh!!

Whatever happened must've been pretty bad.

I'll say. I hope Ino's alright—usually those two are inseparable.

It appears the tree overgrowth is even worse in this area...


Good work.

I like to think I am. Don't worry—we'll assist you.

MP's Son: I'll be good, promise! Grandma told me to be—d-do you know where Grandma is?!

We're a bit busy at the moment, but we'll do our best to look for her, kiddo.

Goddamn dead ends.

Nothing for it. Let's turn around.

Heads up!

Magnetic Golems are just like the previous Golems we've fought, with Golem Hammer, Earthquake, and a self-buff.

You're going down!

Splitting apart!

This is the first time I've used poisnjam, Richter's attack and all-stats debuff on Hacked enemies. It does a good job.

Alright, we'll need to branch out from this point—


Is it the Imperial?!


Youka looked into the distance, and just managed to pick out two bleached heads she recognized.

Akira! Tao! Get the hell out of there!

Tao: Wait, w-wasn't that Ms. Fudoji's voice? I-I think this must be too much for us, maybe we should just go—

Akira: What, are you an idiot?! Just be patient until Takehaya gets here!

Tao: B-but—I-it's coming!

The Imperial Dragon of Shibuya had become restless from its long sleep, no doubt—it soared through the sky on its butterfly-like wings, raining down its scales upon the heads of the helpless members of SKY.

Akira: Huh...? What's this about running away, now...?

What's going on over there?!

Could it be another mind-altering effect like Lore-a-Lua's?

Damn it, damn it... Come on, hurry!

Enragelopes might as well be Goombas. They have a skill that can inflict Confusion, and a decently powerful single-target attack, but they have just under 200 HP, so you can just splatter them lickety-split.

Like so.

Akira! Tao!

Tao: Here to kill us? Yeah? Got something to say?! So you think you can just murder us?! You're never gonna murder us!!

From the look in their eyes, it was clear they were hardly even able to see us.

God damn it, you stupid kids!

Akira: The voiiiices... They're all mixed together all crazy-like in my head!

You couldn't stop us last time, and you won't stop us now!

My hand twitched on my katana.

With a single leaping swing, I felled Tao. He hadn't gotten much stronger—he fell unconscious just from that single blow.

Chisa's newest Battou Stance attack. This one's got a Bleed rider!

Akira: Make it stop, make the voices stop, aaaaaaagh!


Youka punched him in the stomach, then chopped the back of his head. Akira was down just as fast.

Akira: Gah...

It seems this Imperial Dragon can control people's minds somehow... Oh, no, does that mean all the carnage around here—T-there's no time! You have to beat it, hurry!

Yeah, let's get going!

Sorry, guys!

They'll thank us later.


MacGyver: At her current rate of speed, the Dragoness is going to be here within a few minutes!

Prepare to ambush the Dragoness! I'm authorizing the use of all tactical weaponry.

MacGyver: Yes, ma'am!

...Why are you so quiet all of a sudden?

I hadn't accounted for the existence of this sort of threat. And her use of Murakumo to these ends...

What are you talking about? You know, you've always been one to keep us in the dark—mind filling us in, just this once?

A genetic record of the Dragons, dating before your recorded history—compiled by the ancient peoples of Earth and key to wounding a Dragon god... Japan has long nurtured hunters. Long ago, I cooperated with the Hikasa family to that aim—and that in and of itself has proven a fatal error.

You're saying ancient humans crossed swords with the Dragons?

An ancient oceanic empire battled a god of the Dragons who attacked humanity—but the race of men who inhabited it have been wiped out, and with it, their method of using the Dragon Chronicle. What they did with it only wounded that god, as the Dragon Chronicle was as of yet unfinished—however, Natsume Hikasa has finished it, and found a method to utilize it to her own desire. This 'Dragoness Mizuchi' is the worst possible outcome.


Secretary David: Yes, sir?

Lead the surviving citizens to the bunker. Immediately.

Secretary David: But what about—

I didn't ask for an argument. Do it now!

Secretary David: Y-yes, sir!

...If what you're saying is true, then yes, more than likely, we're going to lose this war against the Dragoness. But as representatives of this world, we can't just put away our swords.

We'll try, and see if we can tough it out.


Miss Aitelle!

Takehaya is waiting for you. ...I would like very much if you could cooperate with him, to defeat the Imperial Dragon.

That's what we're here for.

I'm not gonna let that thing take this town. I'm here to protect SKY, too.

Excellent. I... admit, Miss Inomiko, that I had begun to worry about you. You are not Takehaya's 'paragon of justice', but I am glad to still be able to rely on you...

I almost didn't hear it—there was a little laugh under Aitelle's breath.

Something funny?

...Living with Takehaya and the others has changed me a bit. Perhaps you will understand this... I find myself tempted to call you the protectors of the planet, and allow myself to, at last, live as simply a woman. It is a strange feeling for me—I, too, wish to prevent her from destroying this city.

It's not that odd, I don't think. Relying on people is a good thing to be able to do.

...Perhaps you are right. Miss Inomiko, and Unit 13, please—the hideout is to the west of here. Hurry. I wish to rely on you, not as hunters, but as people.


Something about that snapped me out of the odd mood I'd been in.

Right. I can do that.

Let's go, everyone!

It seems more Dragons have moved into this area... Still, cooperating with them is your best bet. Please continue west like she said.

On our way, we found Ino.

Ino: Guchi, where you going?! Hahahahaha! You can't be serious, giving me this?! Did you think I was lonely?! Hahahaha, ahaha, ahahaha!

...Let's leave her. She isn't doing anyone any harm right now.

Dragons... I'm not gonna let you stand in my way!

I'll show you what I can do!

We've also switched out the Dragon theme for the lategame, and I'm noooot as big on this one. It's fine, but it's a bit more slow-paced and I like the frenetic energy of the first one.

Anyhow, Tyrannosauruses are our Bloom wall Dragon for our second foray into Shibuya, and as per the usual they're pretty chufty and rather threatening.

If it wasn't obvious already that 7th Dragon tends to play very fast and loose on what a "dragon" even is, well, apparently tyrranosauri count.

Whatcha gonna do, hit me with those stubby little arms?

We'll need to tear through as fast as possible!

I couldn't help but feel like there was a much more obvious path to take to fighting us that this dinosaur didn't take, but it did in fact attempt to slash Youka.






She grabbed its arm and hurled it over her shoulder to slam it on the ground.

Then it got up again... and tried again.

...This time, it came away with a wholly broken arm.

It's liable to attempt to bite you, you know.

Oh, I know.

Nice job, Youka!

It went in for a rending bite this time.

Youka ducked under it, and delivered a fist right into its jaw. I could hear the cracking of bone from where I stood.

i think it might be mad

Let it get mad.

Sharptooth is a very damaging attack, and Tyrant's Roar is a 4-turn 25% buff to both damage dealt and damage taken.

You can be mad at us from the afterlife!

Did I say that Tyrannosauruses were threatening? Sorry, I should rephrase—They're threatening unless you have a Destroyer. Remember, the first two turns of any Dragon are 100% consistent—that's always going to work. So basically, Youka is the true ultimate predator of the Mesozoic era.


Well, if he survives this I'm marking that down on remarks to tease him with later.

We passed a dead SDF soldier, his helmet warped by impact. Satsuki blanched, but Koron called out.

There's the bastard that did it, no doubt.


The fabled, the legendary... Dragonfly.

It's no Big John, but it'll do.

Watch out! It's liable to have similar abilities to the earlier type.

Dinosaurs and dragonflies this time, eh?

Chisa! Now would be a good time for that one technique, please!


See now that's appropriate.

please keep those things away from me btw

On it! Chisa!

You're done!

Ah, there's Kimo and Kaku.

Kimo: Huh?! Who're you calling Murakumo?! You're Murakumo!!

Kaku: ...Hey, huh?

Kaku: Yeahhh, we know all about you guys! Murakumo, God's gift to humanity!

Kimo: How about we put them in their place?! C'mon, Kimo, let's punish these guys!!

Bad idea!

Kimo: ...huh? Oh, it's Ms. Fudoji... sorry, something kept telling me...

Kaku: Oh, geez, sorry or whatever, sorry, sorry, sorry, just don't hit me anymore!

Are you really that afraid of me?

ah, i see. it's their merch pile.

Boys, what have I told you about keeping supplies to yourselves?

Kimo and Kaku: Sorry, Miss Fudojiiiii.

Youka stopped dead in her tracks. Three corpses lay on the ground, claw marks beside them. Two people still stood in the center.

Oh my god...

Shiro: Yeah, yeah! You, me, Yuu, Tora, Jin... Any three of us combined would be hella scary!

Maki: Eeeehehehehe. Hey, don'tcha think so, Yuu?

Maki: Yeah, no matter what happens... we'll, we'll get through it all together...!

They... kept going in this vein, with tears in their eyes.

...Good god.

You okay to keep going?

I knew these kids. I've known them for months now. To make Maki and Shiro kill those three... god, they'll be crushed when they wake up...

Goddamn dragons!

I agree!



But we... we have to keep going. We need to...

I steadied my breath for just a moment, closing my eyes and evening out my breathing.



Let's hurry. We need to get over there as fast as we can.

Next time, we finally team up with Takehaya properly.

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