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This was not war. This was slaughter.

The wind slowly stroked the swaying grass that spread across the plain full of greenery. In contrast to the peaceful scenery, the sky had grown filled with the screams and shouts of soldiers. A corps of dozens of armoured soldiers were ruthlessly assaulted, cut down like grass by one man unarmoured: Caim. Even the soldiers with heavy enough armour to be rendered null to the blade of an ordinary sword were nothing more than straw bundles for that man, now. A unit of not just one or two, but many was cut down and discarded, though no mountain of bodies came of it — The majority of enemies were broken into, scattered and blown away.

The sword glowed blue with a magical power; no matter how fierce the fight it went without chipping, and human fat did little to dull the sharpness. The blood of the dragon spread throughout his entire body, bringing forth dozens of times more strength than any normal human would find capable.

The red dragon looked fondly at the sight below it as it’s wings flapped through the sky. It was overwhelming. Caim’s speed didn’t slow in the slightest, whether he was running or holding his sword. His sword, his shoulders, his elbows, his arms, his knees and feet…. He ran at full speed while crushing everything he touched. The soldiers repelled by the mighty blade were blown away as if caught up in an explosion, no longer maintaining the shape of a human. A whirlwind of blood seemed to make its way across the battlefield.

The dragon checked to see where Caim had rushed off to — Towards the end of her line of sight, she caught the sight of heavily-armoured soldiers waiting in a diamond-shaped formation. Over one-hundred of them. A vigilant growl rose through the gaps in her fangs.

The number of soldiers wasn’t that big, but the problem lay in the crimson-painted armour — paint made by draining the blood of an elf. Such armour halved the damage from magic powers. It was a cursed concoction, one obtained through the slaughter of a minority race… But it was  the most effective countermeasure for opponents who made full use of magic power.

The dragon plunged down from the sky to support Caim; The number of soldiers would be burdensome for one person to take alone, and the blood-armour would reflect even the flames of the dragon had it supported him from the sky. The most effective tactic was to crush them in it’s claws.

The moment it began to descend, a strong thought from the battlefield loosened the wings of the dragon.

“Don’t go!”

“These… These are MY game!”

But by the time the words had left the dragon, Caim had already leapt into combat against the red soldiers. It was the fifth time he had refused support — He fought in such a way that it was as if he were in a hurry to die.

The magic which enhanced the blade didn’t work. It meant that he had no choice but to use the strategy of “Sheer force” alone. No matter how the blood of the dragon strengthened those muscles, Caim was left to struggle before the thick iron armour. He had crushed about eight people from momentum alone, but as expected, the speed of his rush was slowed by the armour.

The enemy didn’t miss the opportunity. Several heavily armoured soldiers slammed into his body, swinging down their red-painted swords. Caim managed to parry the attack with his own, the light equipment he wore having paid special attention to the capability of movement. The danger made it impossible to see what was going on… Though the standard attacks were all repelled from off the soldiers by the magical barrier, it was a different story if the opponent’s weapon happened to have magic powers applied to it itself.

One body, two bodies more…. The first few made were staved off by the sword, but there eventually came too many attacks to keep up. The moment his feet had wavered they had aimed, and at last his body had been stuck by the blade — Blood flowed from where he had been wounded, and Caim’s face grew twisted.

“Are you not able to see the elegance in giving chase to your prey?”

“Be quiet.”

The enemy that had delivered the blow attempted to take the opportunity to push the blade further and cut him down, however… There was no sign it had struck or broken through his skin. The blade had been forcibly put to a stop by the flesh strengthened by dragon’s blood.

Caim grabbed the blade, his face twisted into a fury that rivalled that of a demon’s. He pushed the sword back, and conversely twisted it into the soldier’s armour. The sword pierced through the soldier’s organs, pulling away to the right and crushing the next one’s skull. Screams rose one after another. The dragon scowled in disapproval at the sight of the high-handed battle.

Twisting bodies, slashing down enemies, heads falling, armour stripping, and soldiers splitting into eight pieces... Even if the blade that pierced their heart was what decided their demise, he would thrust his fingers in their eyes, and rip off their face.

Demon.

The word wasn’t enough to describe that terrible sight. The dragon began to regret giving Caim its blood.


It had been one month since the man and the dragon had met.

The Imperial Army had organised around the ecstatic “Cult of the Watchers”, the nations ruled by the lords conquered by an army which manipulated magic and used monsters. These nations, fearing for their safety, formed an alliance and came to be known as “The Union”. However, these were countries that were originally in conflict with each other. The fragile alliance that came from such a shaky assembly was unable to stop the momentum of the Empire, and three-quarters of the allied nations were set to be destroyed.

The way the Empire did war was different from just general aggression — They were merciless, killing not only soldiers, but women and children with them. They held no interest in land, people, or resources… Only their advance. It was a war of thorough annihilation.

There spread a confused panic from within the Union. From it, emerged a man named Verdelet — In the end, his plan had resulted in making contact with the dragon race, and he had gained the position of Hierarch. Since becoming the de facto leader of the Union, Caim, and the red dragon that accompanied him, could seek out all the blood they could ask for.

It was said that Caim’s strength was a match for a thousand, and with the power of the Union by his side, that they could overpower the Empire. Verdelet’s aim was to organise a dragoon unit using dragon blood. At first the red dragon had refused, but, after growing frustration with the repeated requests and Caim’s appeals doing no good, it had eventually given up some of its blood.

But… This attempt would only end in failure.

Around ten strong warriors were selected by the Union to drink the blood of the dragon, but none succeeded. Some met their end screaming, some ended their own life, and others simply went mad. Even after the failure became an issue within the army, Verdelet continued to experiment in secret using sinners. However, when the number of victims had exceeded 100, the sinners used as fodder were running dry. Finally, the experiment was deemed a failure.

The red dragon didn’t understand why it’s blood only affected Caim. Was he only the first person for it to have that effect? Or… Did Caim have something special?

Verdelet, left impatient after having failed the experiment, decided to change his strategy. The goal was to have a decisive battle with the Empire. While guiding away the continuous advance of the enemy army with a diversion unit, the remnants of the enemy would be defeated individually. Additionally, the main units from each country would carry out a pincer operation against the invading core units of the Empire. After the enemy army was defeated, the plan was to move in an immediate counter-offensive attack to the Cathedral City, where the Cult of the Watchers dwelled… At first glance, the plan seemed decent; but when the number of remaining forces of the Union was taken into consideration, it was a reckless operation.

…Even so, there was no other way.

Instead of making him fight on his own in over half the fields of battle, Caim happened to be the centre focus of this operation — Since he moved with the dragon, ordinary soldiers were unable to keep up with the speed of his advance. Because of this, he was best fit to engage in harsh battles in most places without food or medical assistance. Drinking water from streams, repeatedly pillaging from private homes, and even so the dragon and the human kept fighting. It seemed that he was in no state to claim his loyalty to the army anymore, but it hardly bothered Caim, who threw himself into the days of battle.

The great plain was concentrated with a vast amount of enemy troops. Caim, having finally joined in with the mass of Union soldiers, prepared for a fight to the death in the battle that could turn the tide for the Union in one foul swoop.

Though he was unaware of it, Caim had gradually been growing more barbaric. The blood of the dragon did not simply just take his life — Rather, it had been steadily eroding at his body and mind. When he fought, the smile vanished from his tough appearance, and instead was replaced with enraged and twisted laughter. The dragon stared at the swordfighter, drowning in the whirlpool of revenge — his original intention — turned to the pleasurable impulse of slaughter with mixed thoughts.

She had never intended to stay by Caim’s side for this long — Originally, she had never taken interest in the battles of humans. She knew they were foolish creatures, and it didn’t matter which ones had died.

But this man, Caim, for some reason she could not take her eyes off him. She wasn’t sure why. The dragon had never had such feelings.

Perhaps she had wanted to see the fate of the man who had survived by her shared blood, to see how the dice she shook would land. Or perhaps, she had already given up on finding an answer. She knew the reason and meaning of her own life…… Perhaps she had expectations about his own.

Human to inhuman, Overflowing light,[]

The other side of despair, Growing fresh wings.[]


There came a thundering noise from the distance.

None other than the calls of the charging knights, the whinnies of horses, and the screams of soldiers being hacked in two. The war had been brought to the great plains, surrounded with noise and full of the stench of death. Thirty minutes had passed since the clash between the Union and the Empire. A sound came to the stalemated battlefield.

Thump… Thump….

A low noise. A growing sound from the distance. Everyone on the battlefield had simply attributed it to thunder. On a harsh battlefield with soldiers competing for their lives, no one could be bothered to care about it. But as the sound grew ever louder, the soldiers had started to grow suspicious. The sound was too much to simply be passed off as thunder…. No, it was a vibration. The Union soldiers began to feel unease.

The vibration gradually turned into a strong tremor, becoming so intense that they could no longer stand. “What’s going on!?”

The shift in the air brought upon by the sound also fell on the dragon, who had made no contact with the shaking of the ground beneath her. Her wings cut through the air. The dragon roared at the unpleasant feeling.

“Silence! SILENCE!” From the ground, the commanders were trying to calm the panic of the soldiers under their command. While the soldiers did not try to make escape, the horses, shaken up by the sound, began to run. Though, it wasn’t the calm that kept the soldiers there — They didn’t know from where the shaking in the sky and on the earth came from, and they hadn’t a clue what direction to escape.

The fear came from their heads, not their eyes. The soldiers were panicked by the impact brought upon by the invisible bombardment at such a close range, but there was no escaping it. There was no choice but to panic, scream, throw down their weapon and crouch on the ground.

Thump!

A large tremble pushed its way through the ground. Soldiers and horses were shot up many metres, causing large cracks in various places. Long trails of clouds of dirt rose from the bottom of the earth, and the violent shaking seemed as if it were the end of the world. As the screams and roars swirled from below, the first person that had noticed was Caim, who braved the shock from the sky.

“What… Is that thing!?”

A shadow slowly spread over the distant hazy mountain.

It was some large, large…. Very large “human”. Seeing “That” over the haze of fog in the mountains, something too huge, something  too unrealistic, something that made it feel like they were trapped within a dream. “That” had the form of a large human, but possessed nothing that could be called a head. Instead, a large hump-like mass was positioned on its neck.

As the soldiers of the Union looked up in a daze, the centre of the giant’s hump slowly opened. Blood and liquid flowed forth from the crevice, but the high altitude caused it to turn into a red mist in the middle of its fall. The rift widened, and a large eye appeared from inside — One large, golden eye that stared eerily up at the sky.

The distance from the battlefield to the giant was far enough that they heard no sound from it, the haze in the air making the figure look as if it were two-dimensional. The soldiers on the ground forgot to even scream while they looked up. All that could be heard on the battlefield was the sound of the wind and the occasional neigh of horses.

The golden eye of the giant slowly looked down. It was looking there. Caim felt a cold sweat break down across his spine; an instinctive fear that was unable to be suppressed no matter how wrathful he may have been. “Those fools! Running away!”

A thin beam of light reached the ground from the eye of the giant, a ray that shone with the same intensity as the sun. The soldiers all immediately shielded their eyes, the light grew even stronger. Though they attempted to scream at the painful heat, their voices had become steam and evaporated before it even had the chance to escape them. “That ray…!?”

The giant’s golden eye was wide open. Just when Caim thought he saw the central pupil momentarily expand, the thickness of the ray suddenly swelled up tens of times. Within the next moment, both Caim and the red dragon were left open to sweltering heat.

“AAAAAAAHH!!”

The dragon instantly flipped around to protect Caim. The light shone mercilessly, burning into the skin with a roaring sound. As a tailspin was made in order to escape from the heat, the dragon took notice in something spectacular.

“Fool!”

A sphere of pure white was generated around the place where the light had reached; if one looked closely enough, they would see it was a giant explosion. The surrounding forest was torn up with the ground and shattered into pieces. All soldiers of the Union in sight, and the battlefield where they stood, was swallowed.

The dragon flew into one of the cracks that had opened on the ground. As the earthquake unfolded, she tried to move away from its centre by following the crevice and avoiding the falling rocks.

“A situation such as this requires us to make our escape… ”

A terrible shock wave passed through the surface of the earth before Caim could even cry out. The air in the cracks was suddenly sucked out from beneath them, the storm overwhelming the two and knocking them back into the sky.

“HOLD ON!”

The dragon skillfully manoeuvred its wings to regain its standing at once. After taking a breath in, Caim looked behind him and saw what could only be described as the spreading image of hell. As far as the eye could see, the ground had been scooped out and rocks were burning. A fierce wave of heat attacked them, as if to catch up. He couldn’t stand it the further they rose, having been given a full bird’s-eye view of the situation.

There was a great depression in the ground at the explosion point. The air burned; a bright red flame swirled and climbed up to the ends of the sky. She… Had never seen destruction with such great impact, before. A groaning voice was heard from the back of the surprised dragon.

“What is it?” The dragon looked back, and saw Caim… His skin had begun to peel from the heat wave and was dyed a bright red. While the power of the dragon’s blood was doing its part, the degree of the  injury was far too severe. If left untreated, it was likely to be fatal. However, his mouth… It seemed to be laughing.

“......Go.” “You fool! Sustain an injury such as that, and fighting shall be impossible!”

Caim went to speak in ignorance of the dragon. “Pay it no mind, fly! What right do you dragons have to call yourself a proud race, I wonder… Do you wish to be known as a coward among even the most craven for the rest of your life!?” “What…!?” The red dragon bared its fangs and growled like a beast. “I don’t recall any human ever saying such a thing to me! Insolent fool!” “Is that so!? Good!”

Caim fixed his gaze on the giant. “Don’t let it fire again!”

As the dragon twisted it’s neck, she saw the giant’s eye slowly closing. Caim yelled down to the dragon. “That giant can’t shoot it multiple times in a row!” “If what you say is true, we have a clear opportunity! However, there is no certainty that it will not fire once more…”

It was a monster neither had seen before. Neither Caim nor the dragon knew the make-up or attack method at all. “In any case, if we allow it to fire again, the both of us shall die. We haven’t a choice!”

The red dragon prepared herself for the worst, taking a sharp turn and turning its nose towards the giant. “Very well… Hold on!”

Though the height of the giant made it look like it was close, looking at its feet they saw it was close to the two mountains. They couldn’t fly fast enough to reach it with the dragon’s wings. Magic power was concentrated on them, and they folded so they were half thinner than before. The built-up magic flowed into the tips of her wings, the air sounding as they cut through it with ease. After the magic had been built to its limit, all of it was released at once, a sound of explosive impact was heard as the dragon’s body became like a sharpened arrow heading straight for the giant. “Gh…!!”

Caim clung desperately onto the dragon’s back, blood lost from the immense acceleration, and his vision grew dark. Moisture and dust in the air cut through his skin like sharp needles in a violent wind, a shock which would have broken most humans. It was only by the blood of the dragon and Caim’s fixation on the task that he could withstand it.

“Ten seconds left!” The dragon shouted. As Caim clenched his teeth and opened his eyes, he saw the giant gradually approaching.

“Seven seconds!”

The giant’s eye began to open, as if noticing something. The dragon sped up.

“Five… No, four seconds!”

The giant’s golden eye was approaching. They couldn’t grasp the distance well enough in such an unfamiliar landscape; the pupils at least seemed to be the size of a small village. Light began to gather again in its centre. A high-pitched noise was heard, and the temperature around the dragon took a sharp spike upwards. “DAMN!!”

The dragon changed the direction of its magic power, and shifted into an ascending orbit.

“GO OVER THE BEAST’S HEAD!” “UNDERSTOOD!”

They flew over the giant’s head to avoid being in it’s large line of sight, sensing everything from behind them growing hot. As the first signs of the beam begin to show, they could feel the air burning.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!”

Below the eyes of a dragon which flew with all its strength and power, the giant tried to bend back to aim at them. The moment after it’s figure was confirmed below them, the dragon’s body was forcibly pulled up into the sky — Following the second’s worth of confusion at what had just happened, the dragon looked down, and the moment it did, everything became clear.

It was Caim. He had used the dragon’s body as a stepping stone and rushed straight down. “Is he mad!?”

Caim pulled all the magic power he could into his sword, falling straight down to the giant’s head. His eyes weren’t open anymore. He didn’t need to see — With such a huge figure, he could hit it without looking. His mouth opened in an odd way, and a voice slipped out from him.

“Ah… Haha… Fufu…. HAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!”

With laughter in his voice, Caim, who had turned into a high-speed magic bullet, hit directly into the giant’s skull.


The dragon was utterly dumbfounded.

A human facing up against giants who cut through mountains and shatter open the ground!?

Even if he had grown stronger by the powers of her blood, such a small human….!?

However, no matter how strong the attack was that landed on the giant…… When he thought to draw his blade back up from it, blood and shock waves sprang up from the place where he had landed. It was then that he came to his senses. “!!”

The dragon made a sharp turn towards the nearest landing point for him. As it passed through the gushing blood from the giant, she could see a large hole placed at the top of its head, a hallowed trace of the explosive impact Caim had left behind — Without any hesitation, she dove into the large hole. She thought it would have been blocked up by flesh right away, but instead, she felt something completely different and… Unexpected.

It was water… No, hot water. The dragon immediately understood: This liquid, just below its skull, was the inside of the giant’s eye.

“Where!? Where is he!?” She looked for any signs she could while diving; the temperature of the hot water increasing and starting to boil. She searched desperately for Caim, but to no avail…  It was horrifying to think what that rise in temperature could mean.

“Show yourself now!! You fool!!” She yelled out for him, and something touched the tip of her opened mouth. A bloodied up Caim drifted, while holding his sword. Though she didn’t know if he was alive or dead, he flipped over in her mouth. The dragon had lost her sense of direction in the boiling water, but she could see that the upper part was brightening.

“UUURAAAAAAAAGGHHH!!”

The last of the magic power was released from her wings, and she leapt into the light with all her might.


The giant was looking straight up at the sky, its large pupil pointed straight up. Something broke through its centre — A red dragon. In its mouth lay Caim, unconscious. The giant, in immense pain, tried to hold it’s eye with its left hand, at the same time reaching to the dragon that had leapt out. The dragon kept flying while evading arms and fingers the size of a grand castle, managing to make her escape. However, the magic that had built up inside of it was long used up, and finally, she had lost her boosted power.

The dragon eventually slowed, and then crashed. Looking at the giant with hazy eyes, the wounds that Caim had left on its head were almost closed. The surface of the eye that they had just broken through was starting to regenerate.

Mon…ster….

If they were to strike back at its eye again now, there lay a chance they could be able to defeat it. But… That was impossible. There was no power for magic left, not to mention the fact that she couldn’t move her wings. The temperature of their surroundings began to rise again.

Her eyes began to fall as she thought to herself. Perhaps this was a good thing. The long battle had finally reached its end. Relief slowly filled her body……

‘.........’

She heard something.

‘.........!’

The dragon tried to turn in the direction of the voice, but her neck wouldn’t move — How bothersome… She decided to leave it alone, letting it go. However, the sound grew into a clear voice that jumped to the dragon’s ears.

‘....The rest is up to we!’

It was a dragon communicating through thought.

Why were there other dragons here….? She couldn’t sort out her exhausted thoughts. The dragon felt something gentle on her back, a sort of soft crash. When she looked closely, she saw the back of a large dragon. What was going on?

‘Begin the first wave!! Attack!!’

She finally noticed it. The surroundings were full of many dragons — dozens? Hundreds? There was a horde that turned the sky black. It had been thousands of years since she had seen so many…

She could see the dragons, empowered with magic, busting into the giants eyes one after another without giving them the chance to regenerate. The skull of the giants cracks, and blood spurts out. Light flashes from within, and a burst of flames begins to burn up their body. Their thoughts resonate once more.

‘If we attack as one from the inside, then even this mighty giant shall not be able to keep itself standing!’

She managed to look up, following the sound of that thought. Just overtop of her flew a black dragon.

‘I have seen you in battle. Your power, your bond with that human… You have done enough to remind we dragons of the precious pride our species had lost. That is a wonderful thing.’

The understanding of the black dragon’s words had flown over her head, likely due to fatigue. However, she knew for a fact that they were reinforcements. Many of the red dragon’s brethren were eating the giant from the inside. She saw them attacking the Empire soldiers left on the ground as well, tearing them limb from limb with claws and fangs.

Where had all these dragons been lurking when she searched so much for them? And… Why were they now willing to help save the humans of the Union? The red dragon wonders this as she faded in and out of her pained consciousness. And then she remembered. Caim’s target of revenge was that black dragon.

As it’s brethren danced, the red dragon closed its eyes, as if sinking into darkness.

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