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I had heard my sister’s voice.

“Caim!” It called, sounding terribly young. It immediately dawned on me then that I was hearing things — It had been over a decade since Furiae spoke anything coherently. On a mountain steep enough that people didn’t even dare to climb it in the summer, it was practically impossible for Furiae to be here to begin with. It went without saying people wouldn’t dare enter in the winter, when they mourned the loss of all living things. From birds to beasts, even as much as a single plant…. The only exception being the dragon, said to live on the top of the mountain.

I was beginning to think that challenging the snowy mountain with my simple human body was recklessly extreme, now that I was hearing her voice — The voice of my sister, when she was young. She wasn’t even here.

I knew well that this excessive cold would not only sap away the temperature from my body, but the clarity in which I thought with it. At this point, a number of soldiers had already fallen off — Some were screaming and grieving, others laughed hysterically and bawled. Inevitably, they collapsed not long after and stopped moving.

In these frigid regions, it seemed that madness was the common precursor to death. And as I recounted that knowledge, my sister's voice softened. Death didn’t frighten me, it was the idea that it all ended without anything being accomplished that did.

What would come next after the illusion? Hallucinations? “Please, wait… Lord Caim….”

I wasn’t mishearing it that time. The voice of a soldier who should have been walking right behind me was distant. It sounded like his lips were too frozen to speak correctly, the words that had been squeaked out were unnaturally broken up. I realised that this was the voice I had heard earlier. There must have been times where that trembling voice had been caught up in the wind, and made it come out as if it were the muddle call of a young girl. I was still okay. I was still sane.

“Do not stop walking!” Caim’s voice rang out harshly behind him while he faced forward. If any of them stopped, they would never be able to move. That was how one soldier was lost, two soldiers were lost, and where over twenty soldiers were, now only five remained. Perhaps that was the only way he and the soldiers following behind him had managed to survive thus far. He hadn’t heard the voices of the other three for a while, now.

That said, it was impossible to check for their safety; to look back, let alone turn back. Even the slightest turn of his body would result in losing his sense of direction.

…No. He had already lost sight of the direction.

Caim was merely moving his legs to what felt like “Forward” from the start. Really, it was difficult to tell if he was truly moving forward or if he was just walking circles in the same place.

His field of view was entirely white; not to mention the surroundings, so much as the tip of an extended arm vanished in the white hue. Each step on the mountain trail felt like a miracle that he managed to climb without slipping down.

This snow was completely different than that of the kind he saw in the country he had been raised in. Caerleon was an inland country. It did snow in the winter, but the weather was only mild. Perhaps in recent years, there was a heavy snowfall that made it difficult for the carriages to come and go, but even so, the snow was nothing more than snow; and no matter how strong or cold it was, wind was simply wind.

…But for the first time, he had learned there on that mountain that the snow could be a flame that burned the skin, and the wind could be a blade that pierced and tore out limbs.

How much longer could he stay sane? How much further could he walk?

Could he really reach the cave where the dragon dwelled? And even if he did get there, could he retain his ability to think clearly?

He had to attempt to talk and negotiate with a dragon of high intelligence. It wasn’t just about getting there.

He had thought it was more foolish to try striking a deal with a dragon with a mere human’s body than it was to scale the snowy mountain with a human body, but now that he had witnessed such strong soldiers fluttering down, who had turned out to be the foolish one?

“It may be the pinnacle of recklessness, but we have no tomorrow if it is not accomplished. The Empire is gaining too much momentum.”

The pompous words that flowed from the face of a low-ranking priest flashed through his mind. That man’s face, the beginning of the matter and quite possibly the cause.


The Empire. It was not a name given to themselves, but they were called so for the sake of convenience by the Union.

The Union called the army led by “The Cult of the Watchers” the Empire — Their enemy, an evil empire built up by the hands of a ruthless dictator.

…Actually, it was unclear if there really was a dictatorship… The inner workings of the Imperial Army and the Cult of the Watchers was completely unknown. They didn’t know the temperament of its leader, not even their gender. The possibility that it was a system made up from several other leaders couldn’t be denied, either.

However, in order to promote their own image of justice, it was more convenient to call it a “Dictatorship” or an “Evil Empire”. But, even if the Union was the “Image of  Justice”, the power of the Empire was undoubtedly increasing day by day. While the territory belonging to the Union had only dwindled, the lower-ranked priest in question had said “There is no tomorrow for us”. Such words were no exaggeration, nor even that pessimistic a thing to say.

Recently, the Union had been having debacle after debacle. Morale had been declining on every front. Rumours ran wild that the Empire soldiers were monsters. Eyes red like blood, and bodies that got up even after they were defeated. Even if their arm was cut off, or if they sustained wounds that were clearly fatal, they never let go of their swords and went on for what seemed like forever. It was no wonder why the soldiers were frightened by their ghostly appearance; Many of them tried to escape while in front of the enemy.

“What we need is power. To inspire the weakened soldiers; if we had the power to change the course of the war, it would lift their spirits!” “And why tell me that?” Caim was starting to get tired of the arrogant ramblings of the low-priest Verdelet.

“I have heard tales of a commander who stands on the front lines against the red-eyed Empire soldiers, and never retreats. He battled like a war god of old, and it was his fearlessness that greatly improved the spirits of the Union.”

“You overestimate me. I am no commander.”

It was true that those who knew his lineage would begin to revere him, going: “Lord Caim! Lord Caim!”, but he had no intent of leading them. Now that his country was gone, his status as royalty was a thing of the past.

But still, for better or for worse, Caim was known as “The survivor of Caerleon”. Five years ago, a black dragon had murdered the king and his wife, and the red-eyed monsters flooded from the palace, attacking anyone near them indiscriminately. If one were lucky enough to survive a disaster great enough to cause an entire country to collapse, it would have been tempting to take advantage of that luck; it was for that reason that one couldn’t help but understand why the soldiers wanted to go under Caim. Even if he wasn’t as lucky as they thought, the scale of life or death could be tipped by something like a little luck or a single match on the battlefield.

Caim didn’t want to lead them, but he couldn’t be bothered to drive away the soldiers, so eventually they had begun to flock around him on the battlefield. From the sidelines, it seemed as if he was the commander. The soldiers had faith they could survive with Caim — There was no questioning the fact that he seemed to have “Greatly improved the spirits of the Union”.

It was right to say that Caim did not step back in front of the Imperial soldiers, the reason behind Caim’s choice to treat himself as a soldier was simply to kill the red-eyed monsters. To destroy the monsters that took his homeland.

Caim chose not to let a single one get away. He didn’t feel like stepping aside no matter what, as long as there were Empire soldiers in front of him — Even if the entire army was ordered to withdraw.

It was for that reason that he felt he couldn’t lead the soldiers, why he didn’t wish to be in the regular army. He was more than aware that his actions were not just “Doing Battle”, but rather, “Committing Slaughter''. Caim simply stood on the battlefield with the desire to kill people. Even if the idea of a crazed murderer being entrusted with the lives of soldiers was some kind of joke, it was beyond bad in nature.

“You need not become commander, should you undertake this task.”

The answer had already been decided from the start, he didn’t even need to ask beyond that.

Absolutely not.

He had no time or effort to spare outside of killing Imperial Soldiers, but… “Our intention is to form an alliance with the dragons.”

He didn’t immediately understand what he had said. Caim thought those words sounded ridiculous. “If the Imperial soldiers are monsters that do not seem to bear semblance to human beings, then it shall remain so until they are countered with a power that is inhuman as well.” “That’s too bad. Ask another.”

He didn’t have enough time to waste chasing a pipe dream. An alliance with dragons? How utterly foolish. “It is said that there are dragons who live on the tops of steep mountains to turn humans away. Have you not seen it for yourself?”

Verdelet walked and cut in front of him. At first glance, he seemed to be a small-minded man, but now Caim was starting to think of him as a rather conscientious sort.

“I know not of the sort of dragon it is. Could it be a dragon with wings as blue as the sky, or perhaps, one with silver scales like the snow? Even so…” Caim saw a cunning glint in his eyes. “Perhaps if it were a black dragon that resided there, you would find it worth your time.”

The black dragon. Five years ago, it was that dark calamity landed in the courtyard of the royal palace and murdered his parents. He hated that black dragon, he hated it with the same strength he hated the red-eyes. Just like the Imperial soldiers, he wanted to mince that dragon.

“We may bring knights of your choosing to follow as your subordinates. Defeat this black dragon with them, and avenge your parents.” “And suppose if there was another dragon?” “If that be the case, then I would like you to approach it as a negotiator. Is the black dragon not the one target to which you owe your revenge?”

Caim was familiar with the name of the mountain that Verdelet had given him. While not adjacent to Caerleon, the mountain wasn’t far, either. It was a place that was easily accessible to anything with wings. If that was the case, then it may just have been possible that none other than that dragon was living there.

“If you kill the black dragon, other members of the dragon race may very well become our enemies. I cannot say if they truly do possess a sense of companionship, but should they turn against us, we will no longer have an alliance. Is that clear?” “There is no other way. To challenge that snowy mountain is akin to giving up half of one’s life! What other reward would you have that would be worth a mission as reckless as this?” “.... I understand.”

Kill the black dragon. Should it have been another dragon, negotiate an alliance with it. It was a simple and straightforward transaction. “Will you accept it….? Ah, thank you! On the evening of the alliance with the dragons, I shall have you honoured and titled as a knight…”

Once again,  Verdelet began to ramble on boisterously, to which Caim just turned his heels while listening to him go on…

A man hates and seeks power.[]

There, he finds the crimson bond of fate.[]


He no longer heard anything outside of the wind. All answers from the soldier walking behind him had ceased — No matter how many times Caim had called for him, there was no reply.

Verdelet had said he could bring the knights of his choice, but it seemed that none had survived. The soldiers that were chosen were among the first to drop early, and instead, it was those who had volunteered to follow that had held out to the end. They were from the same mercenary corps as he was, soldiers with no title. Knight or not, titles had no meaning to this snowy mountain.

When they were halfway up the mountain, those who were falling behind had begun to stand out, and the weather had worsened.

Caim had ordered that those who were falling behind or had fallen down be left behind — As those who tried to help would end up collapsing themselves. The mountain was not a charitable place; it didn’t allow the hands of the people to be used for anyone but themselves.

This was where that small sacrifice had gotten him. Was it possible to defeat the black dragon without a single ally?

…Could he even reach the dragon’s lair at all?

Caim’s head felt as if it had been split open; he couldn’t even think anymore. His ears rang. He couldn’t hear the droning sound of the wind anymore. White spots flashed in his field of view like stars, to the point he thought it strange it wasn’t night. His consciousness was dragged off somewhere.

This was bad. He didn’t know what was going on, but it was a bad sign.

He moved his limbs blindly, feeling only numbness. The feeling in his fingertips was long gone, and that same nothingness had spread to all his limbs as well.

He hadn’t lost his power, yet; he could still move. I have to do something while I can still move.

It was at that time that he moved on by the sheer sense of irritable impatience that had caught him, forcing himself forward one step at a time.

Caim heard a sound like rumbling thunder. Shock flooded through his body, shattering all prior feelings of vagueness that had clouded him earlier. Everything had been overridden with fear: Caim immediately realised that he was caught in an avalanche.

“Death”. That word called to him. I do not want to die. He could only struggle desperately. He thought how imperative it was to him; to escape the hands of death at all costs.


I do not want to die…….


…Suddenly, his body became lighter. Caim hurled himself out from the snow, throwing his body violently to the ground.  He was unable to breathe as he pushed desperately through the snow in front of him; in the back of his mind, he thought the sensation felt similar to what it must have been like to drown. The suffocating feeling was overwhelming, the ringing in his ears back again. Still, Caim pushed through the snow and continued his crawl.


He had noticed what felt like ground under his body. There wasn’t any snow. It smelled like soil.

Caim attempted to get up, but his body refused to listen. It seemed instead to go lax, relaxing itself after such exhaustion. He had never arrived in an area that had felt so safe.

He had to pry off the body that felt as if it was sewn to the ground, raising the upper half to come face-to-face with a rock wall — Though it was dim, it was enough for him to tell he was in a cave. From the bottom of his heart, Caim felt more grateful beyond anything that it hadn’t yet reached nightfall.

When he looked to the light, he saw an entrance. However, that entrance was almost entirely buried under the falling snow. If it wasn’t moved, then it would more than likely end up being completely blocked off. …He didn’t care. Not now, anyways. Caim turned back towards the inside of the cave. From it’s darkest reaches, he felt something.

“...A human?”

Just as he thought. While the words were understandable to Caim, they carried a sound with them that made him quick to realise that this was no human being. Caim stood fully now, supporting his swaying body with his hands on the wall. The palm that had pressed up against the wall held no feeling at all. The foot that had moved forward in what was going to be a strong stride felt as if it had been borrowed, and felt terribly unreliable. Still, he was managing to walk somehow.

“Leave this place.” He went further in defiance of those words, well aware the authority that voice had over him — A supreme creature that preferred not to show it’s presence to mere humans, yet had intelligence high enough to speak fluently their language… Creatures powerful enough to be called “God’s Mistake”. “A dragon…”

The outline that hovered in the dim light was huge. Caim made sure to keep his eyes on it, and slowly did they become accustomed to the bright colour of crimson — A feeling of both immense disappointment and relief spread through his body. Disappointment that he hadn’t found what he was looking for, and relief that this dragon wasn’t even aware of his parent’s deaths.

Though, he didn’t need to check for the colour of the dragon’s body in front of him to know that it wasn’t the black dragon from five years ago. Had it been the black dragon, it would have known it was him the moment he stepped into that cave; he could recognise that feeling of ill-omened violence to the bitter end.

Above anything else though, this dragon couldn’t have attacked any human beings in such close proximity to it. All those years ago, the black dragon had slaughtered his father and mother like a carnivorous beast with its prey.

Instantly had his father’s arms been torn from his body as he went to protect his family, his head bitten straight from its shoulders. His shrieking mother snatched from her feet, the dragon shook her body in it’s jaws before crushing it completely.

Caim had stood there. He stood there frozen, at a loss for what to do, as his mother’s arms, legs, shapeless viscera and head fell in front of him with a warm downpour of blood.

“What are you doing? Hurry now and go.” There was more annoyance in its tone than before. However, it showed no sign of attacking.

It seemed that dragons also varied from individual to individual, just as humans did — The red dragon that he stood before was clearly different from the black dragon. The feeling he had gotten from it was intimidating, but certainly not murderous. Did it intend to pay no mind to humans?

“Speak to me.” One step, two steps closer. Caim couldn’t help but keep his composure, but he was surprised at himself for that calmness in his heart when set before the abominable dragon species.

He still loathed dragonkind as a whole, regardless of the colour of their scales. If he was to tell the truth, he truly was wondering if they could have a discussion at all. Caim supposed he should have, due to his promise with Verdelet.

Black dragon or not, a dragon was still a dragon. He wouldn’t hesitate to kill one. …But, he had changed his mind.

“Listen to me.” “You do not concern me. Leave.” The crimson dragon closed its eyes as if to say that was the end of the conversation.

“I want your power.” He didn’t dare use the word “Alliance”. On this snowy mountain, everyone else had died save for himself. Not just the “Knights of his selection”, but the strong soldiers who had countless battles on the field as well. That dragon in front of him was living on this snowy mountain — There was now a clear answer as to how far its power surpassed that of a human’s.

Naturally he knew that even if humans did approach with the intention of forming an alliance, they would be promptly brushed aside. Still, it was because of that power that he wanted it on his side. He wanted them to fight together. Just imagining the sight of trampling down a flock of Empire soldiers with that great power was enough to make him tremble in delight.

Now, Caim didn’t care the slightest about Verdelet’s request. He was fascinated by the thought of such overwhelming power. He wanted that power, even if it was of the same species that slaughtered his parents.

“Fight by my side. So that we may defeat the Empire.”

The dragon’s eyes remained closed. Caim didn’t know whether it was listening to him or not, but he continued to speak. Of the war that had divided the world in two, the ever-expanding reach of the Empire, and the predicament of the Union….

…Even after he had finished talking, the silence remained. The dragon’s eyes were still shut. Had it fallen asleep? Growing impatient, Caim opened his mouth to speak once more. “You would be doing a favour for the likes of humankind.”

The dragon was slowly lifted out of its silence, eyelids slightly lifted. However, those half-lifted eyes did not seem to reflect Caim’s figure within them.

“You wish to use me to fight? Even if they do not bother to kill each other, human lives are ephemeral.” There was clear mockery in its voice as it continued to say things of little use to the situation. “We dragons have no such practice of flocking together like birds. To fight with you… Is out of the question.”

Both eyelids fell shut once more. It was as if it was trying to block everything out, keep everything terrible at bay.

“You say that fighting is futile? That your species cares not for flocking together? What of it!?” He had kept climbing that mountain, a mountain which had turned away all living creatures. The road was too steep to have just been looking for a dragon. What was wrong with wanting proper compensation in exchange for that?

“If that is your answer, then I shall end your life here!!” It was what he had intended to do from the beginning. He had only been captivated by the thought of such power, and for it, had changed his mind. If he couldn’t have that in his grasp, then he would carry out his original objective.

Caim reached for his sword. Both thought they felt the cave begin to tremble, and what followed was the sound of a crash.

Caim let out a groan as his line of vision was abruptly overturned. …What had just happened? It took him quite a bit of time before he realised his back had just been hit up against a wall.

Suddenly, a white gust of wind rushed in. Why…. Had he been thrown out into the snowstorm again?

It was the sound of a roar that met his ears — One that wasn’t of the crimson dragon. Though he couldn’t make it out in the middle of the snowstorm, it was that of another dragon.

It was then he had noticed it: Caim hadn’t been thrown out of the cave… The cave had been destroyed. That mysterious dragon had smashed the entrance and broke into it.

The dragon spread its large wings wide. When he looked closely, he saw that it was a slightly dirtied colour, neither grey nor brown. It attacked the crimson dragon; claws flashed and red splattered against the snow.

The dragon, bathed in blood, let out an even shriller shriek of a roar; yet the crimson dragon remained still.

“A dragon gone mad….?” Caim muttered in a low voice. He couldn’t help but shout. “What are you doing!?”

Why wasn’t it trying to fight back!? Even though it was in danger, it didn’t want to fight back? “Do you wish to die!?”

The sword fell over with a noise. It seemed it had been unintentionally pulled out from its hilt. But his fingers, left black-and-blue, swollen and immobile in the freezing weather, were unable to grasp it…

The dragon’s eyes turned to Caim, shining in the exact same vein a title like “Mad dragon” would suggest. The shimmering glint in those eyes had seemed as if they had overlapped exactly with that of the black dragon.

Those eyes. It was those eyes. Those same eyes that shone with the vicious glint from that day. The fingers on his left hand were still barely capable of movement. Caim numbly held the handle of the sword in his right hand, kicked the ground from underneath him with his unsteady feet, and swung the sword up overhead.

Since that day five years ago, he could only think about defeating the black dragon in hopes of putting an end to it in their next encounter.

Whenever he had heard the rumour of a dragon sighting, no matter how far away, he had always gone in search of it. He researched endlessly what dragons were said to dislike and what the weaknesses of their species were, continuing to think on how to defeat a dragon by gathering together various myths and fairy stories.

As time passed, the war spread and there was no longer a place he could approach the dragon — But he never forgot. Even if he eased his anxieties by killing Imperial after Imperial, Caim’s hatred for the species of dragons had never disappeared.

Caim slipped past the claws that swung down at him, leaping within reach of the dragon. Its back was covered with hardened scales with no weak points, but he could pierce the sword through its stomach.

The terrible stench of blood. He immediately took notice of the metallic scent, and that of flesh. Ah… He expected that much from such a filthy colour. This dragon must have laid carnage to any living thing that had happened to catch its eye, whether a predator or one of even its own species.

Even despite his extremely dangerous situation, Caim began to laugh. That dragon may just have been similar to himself cutting down whatever Empire soldiers he could get his hands on.

Dragon killing dragon, human being killing human being. Perhaps it certainly was just useless... But was that so wrong? Didn’t he have to kill to survive?


…And right now, which of the two would survive?

Caim aimed towards the dragon’s throat and thrust forward his sword. Yet, he had missed his aim. The dragon bent its upper body back to an astounding degree.

Before the misstruck tip of the blade had lost its place completely, he laid eye upon a scale that had a single horizontal crack running straight through it. Perhaps an old wound? Caim immediately slammed his sword into it. The dragon screamed, flames burning the snow that fluttered gently from the sky. Once more... Once more did he gouge into the same place with his sword.

In the next moment, he felt his body floating. The dragon was rampaging. Immediately after he realised he had been hit, Caim had been sent flying. He couldn’t breathe. His lungs felt tight with pain and burned in his chest.

Hurry. Hurry, get up, and grab my sword. If I waste any time, it will be my life. I have to hurry.

As the crazed dragon’s tail, wings, and claws swung wildly in its rampage, Caim was immediately thrown off in his approach, his body slammed against the ground. Still he stood up once more, and drove his sword into the beast several times over.

It seemed that even the sensation of pain had diminished then, and he couldn’t tell whether he was walking on the ground, or floating in the air.

The howling suddenly stopped. He heard a rumble in the earth, and the giant dragon disappeared from sight.

He didn’t know he was even holding his breath. The body of the dragon tumbled down the side of the cliff, leaving the scent of blood sprinkled through the air.

“Can it be? The likes of a human defeating a dragon… A dragon such as that…!” The crimson dragon was surprisingly close nearby. “You would be correct…” He muttered to himself.

In the middle of such a pressing discussion, I…

He felt like his feet were stuck in the ground, and his right shoulder was greatly displaced. Caim supported his body with his sword, stunned. The right hand, dirtied with blood, had no fingers. The fingers on the other hand he used to hold his right hand with were discoloured to black.

I knew it. It was from the time he lost the pain in his fingertips from the cold. Perhaps his legs looked similar.

He thought that he was the one who had survived….

Caim’s knees folded from underneath him. As soon as he attempted to get up again, he broke out into a coughing fit. His spine screamed in pain, red flowers bloomed in the snow at his feet. “An injury like this….”


…I shall not die. I shall not die here!!


“Do you wish to live?” “Is that… Not… Obvious….?”

Didn’t all creatures exist for the purpose of living? If one didn’t want to live, what was the point of being alive to begin with?

“Dragon…” He stood, using his sword as a sort of cane. “We have yet to finish our talk.”

A fingerless hand pressed up against the handle and dragged up his immobile right foot. If he fell here, it would be over. Everything would be over.

“Do you still try to go that far in attempt to live, human?” The voice was filled with both suspicion and doubt.

Perhaps the dragons had forgotten. Dragons, being given such a long span of life, had forgotten the natural desire to live.

“Why?” “Do you know, dragon? I merely… I merely wish to live!”

He thought he spotted some odd glint in the dragon’s eyes. Was Caim seeing things? Surely. His vision had been dark for a while, now, and was only further diminishing — Rapidly, at that.

“Should you sustain such serious injuries, you shall never be able to wield that sword again. And yet, you still wish to live?” “Yes. Even so…”

His spine quivered irregularly. Caim didn’t even recognise the pain anymore.

“I…. I choose to LIVE!”

The crimson dragon slowly lifted its neck. Near its throat was a scar; a wound inflicted by the claws of the crazed dragon.

Though the drops of blood should have been enough to dye the snow red, the crimson dragon had stopped bleeding, the wounds were already closing…. A showcase of its miraculous vitality. Caim dreamed of being able to possess even one piece of that power to where it was enough.

“Then, let us both partake in the way of life.” It was as if it had stated his thoughts exactly. The crimson dragon suddenly tilted back its neck. The wound that had been closing opens up again, and blood begins to drip down once more.

“This blood shall prolong your life and return your limbs to as they were. Their prior state. From it you shall also receive a power beyond that of normal humans… But be warned… This power shall become a curse that wears the body, heart, and soul. Do you still wish to do it?”

Caim nodded immediately, no questions asked. A curse or whatever else it had brought, he was willing to accept it. If he could live, then he would take it.

He showed no signs of collapsing as he eagerly stepped forward, heading towards the blood that flowed from the dragon’s throat to its chest. His lips were placed against the red drops, the same crimson red as the dragon itself.

It felt like drinking fire, the blood of the dragon instantly turned into a power within him — However, that curse certainly came with it.

A sound between an ear-piercing scream and a powerful shout burst from the depths of his throat, splotches of snow dancing in his vision.

Even through the pain, he was alive.

Caim felt both pain and strength surge through his body. He felt the power. The power of the dragon’s blood. Now wielding strength beyond the reach of ordinary humans, he could take the sword once more…..

Caim could only tremble with that delight.


A room enclosed between cold stone walls.

It was damp, filled with mould, moisture, and an unpleasant odour that permeated the air. There seemed to be no noise from the outside, only the faint sound of something wriggling in the corner of the room. It was dark and hard to make out, but it was probably a sort of poisonous grub.

There were no windows, only a single door fitted with an iron grille. From that alone, it was clear what purpose that room served, not to mention the girl chained to the wall.

In one way or another, she was a rather mysterious girl. While her hair and eyes weren’t the most uncommon of colours, to an outsider, her attire was rather… Odd.

The girl simply stared at the man in front of her; a man neither opposed to her nor one mourning her captivity. The dim light provided by the candles was not enough to read what emotion she held on her face.

“.... That is why we had obtained the 'Power of the dragon'. An unstoppable power desired by we.” The voice of a man who seemed to be in the priesthood echoed through the small room, perhaps keeping back the enthusiasm in his voice as he played with locks of golden hair streaked with grey.

Judging from his attire, the man seemed rather content with being in such a low position for his age. Even so, there was no denying the glimmering light he held in both eyes. Even as he stepped into old age, he wasn’t giving up his ambitions.

“.... Is that so... But, Verdelet,” The girl slightly frowns. “Isn’t there anything satisfactory in that future?”

The girl’s words didn’t reach his ears at all. The man lifted his hands high into the air, weaving an endless web of joyous words. “With this, we have assured the Union’s victory! The Hierarch shall certainly be pleased. And perhaps I, too…”

The girl let out a small sigh, and from her mouth let slip a faint grumble.

But, those words never reached anyone’s ears.

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