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A_5040 : The Land of Dragons

Drafted By: Yoko Taro

Written By: Eishima Jun

Fan-Translated By: Barnabism#5350

“Be strong, Manah. Mother… She’s already dead.”

He found that his voice was trembling badly, perhaps that being the reason why his sister Manah stopped to tilt her head and look up at Seere. However, while she had a strange look on her face, her clear red eyes immediately took on a look of anger.

“Liar!”

“Manah…”

“Mother! Seere is a liar. He’s a bad child.”

A tone that was a little elated and a little prideful, and rottenly so. Manah used that voice whenever  she told her mother something. And, as always, Manah wrapped her hands around her mother’s neck and stuck her cheek to her mother’s cheek.

There was only one thing that was different than usual — There was nothing below their mother’s neck.

Seere knew that their mother had been killed by Union soldiers, and if they were found, they would be killed as well. Even if he was just six years of age, he could understand well what the adults were saying in their conversations.

That aside, the cathedral was littered with corpses as far as his eyes could see — They were soldiers, having died protecting Seere and the others. They were, without a doubt, on their side, though they were always silent and somehow… Creepy.

“Manah, we need to hurry and run away…”

Though the extended hand was violently slapped away, Seere still grabbed onto Manah’s hand. For the sake of keeping the promise he had made with his mother.

“Alright? Neither of you two should leave this place. If you hear people’s voices or any sounds, you mustn’t make any noise.”

Their mother spoke quickly, pushing on one of the strong cathedral walls. Seere stared at the darkness with his mouth agape, immediately he knew that it was a secret door.

He stepped into the darkness as he was hurried along, and desperately embraced the Manah he hated and raged against. His mother, pleading for Manah’s safety, seemed ready to start crying at any moment.

His mother relied on him. Only him…

He was so proud of that, he was overjoyed. So, it was then he had decided to protect Manah.

“I hate you, Seere! Get away from me!”

Manah resisted fiercely as Seere held on to that hand, dragging her along by force. It was an impossible thought from the start, trying to drag someone with the same physique.

But, they couldn’t stay here forever. The soldiers couldn’t protect them anymore. If they didn’t run away, and quickly, the Union would come for them. Even so… Manah wasn’t listening to him at all.

It was when Seere was at a complete loss what to do that he wanted to just sit down and start crying.

“Lady Manah! Lord Seere! What are you doing here!?”

Seere heard a familiar-sounding voice — It was a person from the cult, alongside several armed soldiers.

“What a terrible sight…”

The person got choked up on their words. After giving their first glance, they likely realised the weight of the situation.

“I was told to run and flee. But, I hated the thought of Lady Manah becoming separated from her mother, so I…”

There was no further explanation needed. The adult lifted the curled up Manah gently, but with compelling strength.

“This place is dangerous. Those berserkers and demonic dragons of the Union are heading to the cathedral as we speak.”

Manah’s red eyes glanced around anxiously.

“Do not worry about the priestess. We will certainly bring you to her.”

To where? To where would we be taken?

As he grew sceptical, Seere was also hugged like Manah was. Instead of playing with Manah in the courtyard and corridor, adults continued to run through the dimmed off stairs and passages he had never seen before.

When they escaped from the cathedral and came to the outskirts of the Cathedral City, the adults suddenly drew near the shadows of a building; Seere took a casual glance to the sky, and was met with the sight of dark red wings. It was a red that was too similar to the blood which flowed from his mother.

“A dragon…?”

He knew it from the tense, whispered voices that had met his ears. Seere had immediately recognised it as the dragon from the Union, called “The Devil’s Dragon”.

It could spit out flames so hot, it burned whole villages in an instant; it’s claws were so powerful they could crush rocky mountains in a single swipe. And on it’s back there rode a madman who killed everything within his sight.

It was scary, but on the contrary, Seere couldn’t peel his gaze away. It was a terribly long time before those blood-coloured wings had disappeared from his sight. When it seemed like it was over he found his body trembling, though he didn’t feel the least bit cold.

Fortunately, the red dragon had flown away without noticing the party. Together, they headed back towards the cathedral where they had just escaped.

The adults exhaled a breath of relief, and silently did they begin to run once more.


The Cathedral City had turned into a sea of fire.

She heard a scream. Whether it was a young girl who was too late in escaping, or a soldier who was left immobile from a serious wound, or something of that nature, there was no one left to fight. The Empire had collapsed long ago.

It was only in the early days she felt even a little emotion burning non-resisting human beings, but now… She didn’t feel anything. She never had any strong feelings for humans from the start — It wasn’t to say there weren’t exceptions, but the dragon race was generally of that nature.

On the contrary, while it didn’t have any sort of particular emotional attachments or such things to humans, the red dragon thought there was no need to bother in burning down the Cathedral City, where even those who could be called soldiers were gone. So when Caim had returned from the empty shell of the cathedral, she had spread her wings with the intention of taking leave.

However, as soon as Caim mounted her back, he had told her to burn it down.

… No, he didn’t “tell” her. All that was transmitted was through thoughts — A bare urge of sheer destructive impulse, not even put into words.

“Nothing shall come of burning it down. After all, have you not cut down all the survivors?”

Caim did not answer, simply kicking her back a number of times in an ill humoured mood. Hurry, burn it down now, was all he said.

Lately, no answer was returned whether she spoke in human tongue or called out in thought. It had been a long time since anything that could be called conversation had disappeared.

Though, she knew the reason for Caim’s agitation. Simply put: It wasn’t enough to just kill.

According to a report made from the advance team, the remaining Empire soldiers in the Cathedral City had been wiped out. However, the report had not made its way to Caim — He couldn’t comprehend a single word of the messenger.

Whether it was an enemy that stood before him or not, it was all the same reaction.

It was likely just that — What was understandable to Caim now? It was simply doubtful whether or not he could distinguish what was an enemy, whether they were human or non-human. After all, this man didn’t even show the slightest bit of hesitation when it came to laying his hands on his own flesh and blood — His sister.

“Caim, my brother!” She remembered her screams. At that moment, the red dragon knew that the young girl riding on the silver dragon was related to Caim. While the dragon race did not have families themselves, they were aware of the special feelings humans shared among their own families.

It was for that reason she tried to distance herself from the silver dragon. As Caim didn’t recognise that it was his own sister in front of him, it was the only way. Once they were out of his sight, he didn’t even remember the girl riding the back of the silver dragon.

However, the other dragon was relentless in its chase. Perhaps his sister wasn’t sane, either. The way she screamed for her brother, over and over again, was so abnormal it was as if she was possessed.

In the end, the crazed brother killed his crazed sister.

As one would probably expect, she looked down on human beings as foolish creatures. They drew lines between those who they shared their blood with and those who didn’t, at times they were unabashedly discriminatory towards others, and sat by hating on some people more than others. The existence of humans was an unreasonable one.

But now, the dragon knew she had no place to jeer at humans. It was none other than her own blood that had driven Caim to madness.

Perhaps, if Caim hadn’t been gripped by that madness, or maybe if that girl had retained her sanity, it would have ended differently for her. It wouldn’t have been a necessarily happy ending, but it was better than brother killing sister.

But the red dragon couldn’t imagine how those siblings could be happy in such a case. She couldn’t imagine any kind of good ending for them, whatsoever.


Little by little, he couldn’t help but admit that Manah was starting to act strangely.

“Mother!”

There is no one who stands where Manah laughs and waves her hands to. But, perhaps she was able to see their mother.

“Together with mother!”

Manah laughs happily. Every time she laughed, Seere wanted to cry.

“But, Manah is my sister… I can’t…”

It was always because of that Seere thought he shouldn’t cry — Even if Manah said things he didn’t understand. Even if she behaved as if she could see their mother, who should have been dead.

Even so, since their mother had died, Seere had grown tired of the days spent walking, frightened of the Union’s pursuit. Their escape with the adults from the cult was supposed to last another month.

Whenever Seere spoke of how many people had been chased down by the Union, the adults always sadly said: “Only we are remaining.”

It was said that the Cult of the Watchers had many more believers, and a vast number of strong soldiers until the “Devil’s Dragon” had joined the side of the Union.

Now, everyone was injured or ill, and they could barely walk. Others had gone insane and couldn’t even speak coherently. Still, it encouraged Seere to see the increase in the number of adults.

From the looks of it, it seemed that Seere and Manah were supposed to lead the believers, rather than be led around by the adults. Seere and Manah, the high priest and priestess of the “Cult of the Watchers”, were to lead their follows to “The Land of Rest” …At least, that’s what the adults seemed to believe.

Two of the grown-ups had chosen to head back to their hometowns, isolated stone villages hidden away from the world. Others chose to go on trails in the mountains that were well-hidden from sight. However, not one of them said a word about it.

Though they were only six years of age, Seere and Manah were revered as “Holy Twins”.

According to the adults, Manah was a living copy of the woman of the first suzerain who saved the people from suffering, creating the “Cult of the Watchers” long ago. Indeed, when he first looked at the portrait in the Cathedral City, he was surprised to see an adult Manah standing there. She truly did seem to be an ancestor of Seere and his twin.

Seere had shared similar facial features to her, but the colour of their eyes were different. The first suzerain had red eyes, just like Manah did. But not just her and Manah had them — There wasn’t a single person in the cult who didn’t have those same red eyes. His mother also had red eyes. Seere’s were the only ones that were different.

…But red eyes were ominous, and looked like blood — That’s why his mother hated them. He would have liked to have the same colour as his mother, but she was glad his eyes were green.

He wondered, what if the people from the Cult of the Watchers didn’t come to pick them up that day?

Mother wouldn’t have been called “The Holy Mother”.

Mother wouldn’t have been killed by the Union.

Mother would have still hated those red eyes.

Mother would surely… Only me….

… No. I have to stop that.

Seere’s head clouded with thoughts he shouldn’t have had, so he quickly cleared them away.

“The Watchers, the Watchers, the Watchers sing! Lalalalala~!”

Suddenly, Manah began to sing. She spread her arms wide while laughing, spinning round and round, dancing.

The dragon is enlightened, and seeks out power.

That is the dark chain of fate.

Manah was completely out of her head, and Seere was sad. It wasn’t normal to be able to laugh like that, even when everyone looked so tired — Even Manah should have been exhausted and hungry by now. But…

Even if it was odd, it was the right thing to do… Wasn’t it? Hearing Manah’s voice, an elderly man who was sitting nearby stood up. A woman who was about ready to collapse started walking again. Surely, they were empowered by the joy in Manah’s voice.

Even if she grew to lose her mind, Manah was doing something for everyone. Seere truly did believe that she was the reincarnation of the first suzerain, that she truly was the high priestess of the Cult of the Watchers, that she truly was a Holy Twin.

… But, I can’t do anything. Even if we are twins. I… I don’t want to be a high priest or “Holy Twin”. All I really wanted to be was…

“Lalalalala! Lalalalala!” While she sang, Manah danced and weaved between people. Their expressions seemed to be brighter only when they were around Manah.

At that moment, there came a loud and sudden noise from behind them — The sound of armour and swords, yelling and shrieking.

“THE UNION! THEY BROUGHT PURSUING TROOPS FROM THE UNION!” He heard a voice scream.

It finally dawned on him. The Union. A beast more frightening than a swarm of monsters.

Seere heard a roaring sound. He thought the mountain had collapsed—

…No. It wasn’t a mountain, it was people. Union soldiers rushing in. Their footsteps and yelling, the sound of people being cut down, falling, and the sound of screams from those who fled. All of them mixed together to make a sound like roaring, shaking the ground.

If they didn’t run away now… He knew he had to hide himself with Manah. But he couldn’t move. Seere no longer knew if it was the earth that was trembling or himself.

He smelt blood. He saw people being slaughtered. Manah was still singing.

How long would this nightmare last?

He didn’t want to see this anymore. When he tried to shut his eyes closed tightly, a large shadow fell over him. He looked up and the sight of wings covered his vision. Dragon wings.

And what was more beyond the chaos, a dragon was there… Seere was speechless. He was done for.  The “Devil’s Dragon” and it’s associates had appeared, and those words were the despair of Seere in and of itself.

He stared in shock at those jet-black wings. A huge claw plummeted. He and Manah would be torn piece to piece by that claw and die.

Rising splatters of blood met his eyes, a scream ripping through the air that neither a man nor a woman could make.

“...Huh?”

Seere didn’t know what happened. Indeed, the dragon’s claws tore easily through the human body. However, it wasn’t Seere, or Manah, or the believers of the Cult of the Watchers those claws tore through — It was the bodies of Union Soldiers.

The black dragon repeatedly ascended and descended, raising the soldiers up to the bloodbath. No adults from the Cult of the Watchers were among those it claimed; the dragon attacked only those of the Union forces. It didn’t seem to be allied with the red dragon at all.

“Is it… Helping us…?”

The black dragon looked back, as if to answer Seere’s words. It had brilliantly shining eyes. Seere felt his legs tremble again. He knew it wasn’t an enemy, that it saved him in a dangerous place, but for some reason, he was scared.

“A dragon!”

Manah rushed towards the black dragon.

“DON’T! Manah!”

Seere tried to stop her, but was blown away by an unexpectedly strong force. Having fallen on his back, Seere had no choice but to watch from behind Manah as she neared the dragon.

“A tool of the Gods. My servant….”

Manah spread her arms wide as she approached the dragon. The surviving followers all kneel at once to her figure.

“The saviour has descended!” They shouted.

“It is the return of the first suzerain!” Their voices cried out.

WHY!? Did no one find this strange!? Manah was just out of her mind!! Dragons were supposed to be terrifying creatures!!

Only one person stood with wide eyes of a differing colour. Seere stared at that odd-looking scene.


Today as well was spent chasing the black dragon.

Defeat the black dragon that had slaughtered his parents and drove the kingdom of Caerleon into collapse. To Caim, it seemed that only that desire was unwavering.

He didn’t answer when he was called for and showed no emotion, though it all changed whenever he saw a dragon. She felt the strong murderous intent and the urge for destruction swell on her back.

It was only then that it dawned on her — She realised that this man still wasn’t dead yet, that he was still surviving.

If it wasn’t for that, she couldn’t even be sure if it really even was a human being on her back. It was true she felt the warmth from his body, but how different was it from that of beasts and monsters? What was the difference in appearance between him when he swung his sword down to the Earth, and that of a puppet controlled by strings?

“Come! These are… These are MY game!”

Even the voice that refused her support was nostalgic now. At that time, there was still words exchanged between them. From all odds and ends, the red dragon was able to see and understand the past of that man, Caim.

He had lost his parents, his country, killed his own sister by his hands, and finally, Caim had let go of his intellect and emotions completely.

“And even so… No. That is why you fight.”

Even if the dragon’s blood chipped away at him and destroyed the contents of his being to the point he no longer retained even his original shape, his hatred of the black dragon would remain unchanged.

Revenge. That was all that the man was made of.

….

However, finding the black dragon was extremely difficult; the sky was too vast to encounter even a single dragon. Not only that, but if it was the same species of dragon, it would move quickly. No matter how fast they would have flown, the other would have flown at just the same speed.

“Would it not be best if we strike back at the herd of dragons, taking them one at a time and using the full extent of our power? As the black dragon leads the flock, you may reach it one day or another.” Verdelet said with a cunning smile. Every time she saw the man, the red dragon felt bitter.

Were the dragons striking back at them, as well? The lowliness of the humans showed tremendously. It wasn’t that she had turned against them — Her compatriots were only reminding her of common decency, weren’t they? That reminder of common courtesy was a useful tool in differentiating the haughty humans from one another...

She stowed away her irritation in her stomach for now, accompanying the Union with full consciousness of the crimes she was committing.

Although he was no more than a human, she accompanied him to the end of life and death, to a fate of utter insanity. An insanity that was undeniably a mistake of her own hands… So then, it fell on her to see him to that fate of madness.

In the end, she let Caim chase after her brethren as he wished. She tore to pieces and scattered the humans who sided with the dragons. When asked to set fire to a town, she set fire to it.

She saw many dragons go after them in pursuit — Some dragons spoke no words. Some dragons were old and couldn’t fly. There were some dragons that ate other dragons. There were also various humans who had concerned themselves with them, but all of them seemed to be afflicted with some kind of disease.

Perhaps… Human and dragonkind shouldn’t act together.  If they concerned themselves with each other, something would be twisted along the way. That’s what seemed most likely.

But then, why were humans and dragons trying to grow closer? Why was the dragon species that once gave up on humans trying to be by their side again, once more?

The red dragon thought and thought, but she couldn’t figure it out.

It was only a while ago that the information was provided that the black dragon had sided with  the remnants of the Cult of the Watchers.

When the words “Black dragon” left the mouth of the messenger sent by Verdelet, Caim’s expression changed completely. The murderous man hurried away with almost animalistic haste when he was told the name of a mountain where a black dragon had appeared.

Wasn’t it said that  the enemy of an enemy is an ally? The flock of black dragons joined together with the Cult of the Watchers, the remnants of the Empire.

But, it was odd. The Empire had already collapsed. Many soldiers were killed in repeated hunts for remnants; they had heard that women and children were the only church officials that had managed to escape. There was no benefit to the dragons bothering to form an alliance with them. 

Did they decide to help the non-resisting ones because they couldn’t stand the thought of them being killed?

… No, there was a different motivation. They should have already exhausted all their love on those sweet-faced human beings who were so quick to take advantage of their kindness — The red dragon would never forget the wrath of her brethren who all took flight from humankind that day.

……… Strange. Why did the black dragon not eradicate the humans at that time?

Humans were, by nature, vulnerable creatures, no matter how many of them there were. She had forgotten after so much time with Caim, whose strength was far beyond that of a normal human’s.

It wouldn’t be impossible to make a hard hit on the number of humans  if a herd of dragons tried seriously enough. But, the black dragon still didn’t do it. No, it didn’t allow itself to do it.

On the contrary, after that the black dragon set up its little game of “Rebellion” against the Union.

Why? Why would it do such confusing things? All it had to do was  just burn those humans all together, all together into a large bundle. Didn’t it work that way for armour painted with elf blood? … No, if one had that many compatriots, there were many ways to do it.

Why? What was the black dragon thinking?

The unease of that question made the wings of the red dragon grow restless, flying straight ahead towards the mountain where the flock of dragons had gathered.

Something was happening. But, perhaps the Union couldn’t see it. Even if they couldn’t see it, however, it was clear that this “Something” was creeping closer……


Seere had no idea what was happening. He didn’t know anything other than that  he had to run away. He didn’t want to be there.

Having  grown scared of Manah, his sister of which he shared his blood with, and the adults who were supposed to be protecting her, Seere had secretly slipped away.

None of the adults who had grown obsessed with Manah, nor the crazed Manah herself, had noticed Seere. Under the protection of the black dragon, the party climbed up a rocky mountain near a hidden stone village.

Seere had run towards the spires of a castle he saw in the distance. There were always towns and villages near castles; if he went there, surely there would be someone to help him.

He could only run, repeating to himself like an incantation that this was for the best. Because…

I don’t want to be a leader of the Cult of the Watchers. I don’t want to be a “Holy Twin”.

What I wanted to be was the “Little Hero” in the picture book that mother read. I wanted to be mother’s “Only one baby”.

But the adults from the Cult… Ruined everything.

That day, Seere’s mother hated her red eyes until the people from the Cathedral City had come for her. He avoided looking into mirrors, as when he did he was coldly hit with Manah, who had the exact same features and eyes as he did.

Seere’s mother only accepted Manah as her daughter when she was informed by the revered priest to be a living copy of the first suzerain, and she was called “The Holy Mother” among the people.

For Manah, it was a dream-like day when she finally got her mother’s love, and for Seere, it was a day when he was deprived of half of the love he had been given for himself.

He tried to tell himself that Manah was his sister. That he had to put up with it because he was her brother. Even so, somewhere in his heart he still hated Manah and resented the people from the cult.

Perhaps such an evil wish had found its way to heaven, as the happy days of Manah ended earlier than expected.

He was terribly sad when his mother was killed, but it just didn’t make him quite as upset to think that Manah had lost that love again. Actually, he thought it was good.

That’s why he had said it to Manah, who just couldn’t accept her mother’s death — “Mother… She’s already dead.”, he had said.

With that one word, he could clearly see Manah’s heart break. Her mother’s love that she had finally gotten after craving for it for such a long time… But… It would never belong to him. It was a terribly cruel fact.

“It’s all my fault… It’s my fault that Manah became like that.”

Behind everything however, the guilt was heavier than Seere had expected. Everytime the word “Mother” left Manah’s lips, regret burned in his chest. He expected that there would certainly come punishment for it someday…

Especially if Manah was the reincarnation of the first suzerain, who had mysterious powers.

He had to run away. No one could blame him if he ran far enough that neither Manah nor the adults in the cult could find him. After all, he didn’t have a mother anymore…

He couldn’t think of where to go or how far he had to escape, but Seere ran. And he kept running.

He ran and  ran until the sky turned to twilight.


It was an evening after continuous flight by the time the red dragon had reached the mountain they were heading towards.

This mountain was different than the one it had met Caim on on; rather than being covered with snow, it was a smaller mountain with rocks and boulders both small and large piled upon it. There was little vegetation, likely due to the area, and the bare surface of the rocks formed the ridgeline of the mountain as it stood. The sun had already set to the west, dyeing the sky red.

A flock of dragons flew around the top of the mountain that was by no means high, and stuck to the slopes were the figures of a few humans, as well. Were they the remnants giving orders?

It was the humans who noticed the red dragon and raised their voices first. She could hear the cries of the “Devil’s Dragon” and “Berserker”, among other things. It was only a little later that a voice rang out, calling the others to be quiet. It was a young voice, and somewhat lispy as well.

If she were to look closely enough, she could see a child standing at the top of the mountain. The dragon had heard lately that the leader of the Cult of the Watchers was a young twin, but it was surprising to see that it was such a small young person.

The child’s eyes turn straight up towards the red dragon. And, as if in response, the flock of dragons began to move. Among them, there stood out a colour of jet black.

She felt the murderous intent swelling from behind her. It seemed that Caim as well had caught eye of the black dragon.

“It is no matter if the words do not leave you. I understand what I must do.”

The only target was the black dragon. Yet… There were so many other dragons; she knew that reaching the single one would be no simple task.

“Hold on, tightly!”

As soon as the words left her mouth, the dragon tried to thrust forward with her wings with all her strength, the flock of dragons moving in such an unexpected direction that it had caused the dragon to involuntarily turn itself around. She began to feel suspicious that she had fallen into a trap.

… But, it wasn’t.

“Wha….!?”

The child had disappeared from the top of the mountain. Blood and bits and pieces of organs and entrails were scattered across the surface of the rock. The dragon did not hear the young screams, perhaps the young child had been stuffed into the dragon's stomach before they could even become aware of their death. Instead of the child, it was the kneeling believers who were screaming. It soon became quiet, however — Before even being given a moment’s time to escape, the believers were chewed up by the dragon's fangs.

All that remained was the sound of chewing bones and meat. Immediately, the top of the mountain had turned into hell.

The red dragon’s brethren fought a greedy battle against one another for human flesh, like beasts crawling on the ground.

“This… What in the name of the Gods is this…!?”

Didn’t the black dragon, the leader of the flock of the dragons and its multitude of compatriots, support the Cult of the Watchers? Wasn’t the Union’s red dragon and the commander going after the ones they bared their fangs at?

She felt the sound of a laugh.

‘Everything is as I had expected! All that I had planned to befall on this day, at this time!’

The thought that had been transmitted, along with the loud laughter, was that of the black dragon’s.

‘I have been waiting for this time… Humans bowed their heads, forcing our brethren into obedience until the hatred which rests within them devours all reason… It has all been for the sake of this moment!’

The laughter, put together with the sight of the jet-black dragon’s bent back figure, was like a formation of darkness and evil.

She understood. Somewhere in her heart, she felt this malice herself. That day, when the black dragon appeared as an aide to her in the Great Plains… She was not completely unfamiliar with the black dragon — That was why she didn’t understand it.

Was he doing it to help his companions? Was he content with being used by humans? Impossible. The idea of “rebelling” and “living alongside” humans both nothing more than a faerie-story, wasn’t it…? It was all staged from the beginning. All of it.

‘The disease of humans devours the dragon, and the madness of the dragon devours this world.’

Disease? Madness? The red dragon was began to ask what he was saying, but the words were quickly lost.

The eyes of the red dragon were dyed red. Just like the soldiers of the Empire, just like the priestess of the Cult of the Watchers, that same colour. It was as if one were to take in the colour of the blood that flowed in the evening sky and across the surface of the rocks, those red eyes.

… No, the black dragon wasn’t the only one with them. Looking closer now, the eyes of its brethren who had devoured the humans had also been red since before she was even aware of it, the darkness of the night had merely distracted her from noticing. When was it that their eyes had changed colour?

‘From when…? From when happened… this!? What has the foolishness of these times grown into!?’

“The disease of humans devours the dragon”, the black dragon had said. Those red eyes… Were they the disease? The eyes of the Empire’s soldiers were dyed red as blood, violent people who had no humanity. Was that madness because of this “disease”?

If that was the case, then… It was certainly a foolish question to ask “When”. It was at most three or four years ago since the Empire’s power had spread at the alarming rate that it did, but red-eyed fanatics had existed long before that, since ancient times, when the Cult of the Watchers was first created.

It had been quiet at first, though the momentum began to grow, and the number of red-eyed people had increased with it. With that… It meant it was an infectious disease. Even if the Empire and the Cult of the Watchers was destroyed, the disease would still remain, spreading from person to person.

…And this spreading illness seemed to have changed it’s direction… From vulnerable humans, to the strongest creatures in the world.

She didn’t know when or where the black dragon had learned this terrifying truth, or why he wanted the disease to spread…

… All that was certain was that if dragonkind were allowed to lose their sense of reason and descend into madness, the world would be destroyed without a trace. There were no creatures that were capable of stopping dragonkind with force.

It was exactly right, the world would have been “Devoured”. By those mad dragons.

Laughter echoes in the sky. The black dragon turned around and flew away. Caim let out a exclamatory shout from her back, wanting to tell her to give chase, and quickly.

His brethren, who had devoured all the meat and bones, all took off at once. But even then, the red dragon felt unable to move from its current place.

The darkness of the night was burning.

Neither humans nor dragons wish for anything.

They are starved and desiccated, and if sated, they cease.

After devouring the followers of the Cult of the Watchers, the dragons took off in search of more prey, the flames that spewed from their mouths burning across the dark sky. Even though it was far from daybreak, everything was as bright as daytime.

It was still evening when she had caught up with her brethren that surrounded the top of the mountain. At that same time, Verdelet had arrived unexpectedly to the Union soldiers. In less than half a day, all of them would  be devoured and killed.

It was just as she had feared — This was no more than a sort of game to the dragons, just like their “Rebellion” against the Union. The Union battalion, which had been marching on their way to hunt down the remnants of the Cult of the Watchers, was destroyed in an instant. Archers had turned into balls of fire with only a spit of flames, and large anti-aircraft weapons had been turned into charcoal without even needing to exert their power.

Having lost all means of attacking the sky, The Union immediately began their retreat — But they were not in time. One unit was engulfed in flames. Another was eaten up by the crazed dragons.

“Now, only you and I are remaining…”

It had taken them longer than expected for them to join back to  the main corps, having to use a great deal of time in effort fighting against dragons that seemed to come from nowhere. Yet even after that… After dealing with the maddened dragons attacking one after another, they had found that the main corps of the army itself had disappeared.

It wasn’t just the army that had disappeared — The neighbouring towns and villages had vanished as well. Once towns and villages, and now a mere feeding ground for dragons. How many humans were enough to satiate them? The slurping blood and devouring of meat wouldn’t stop.

After eating the humans there, they would attack another town or village. If it was already wiped out, then they would go to the next. Then…

It seemed likely that it would continue until every human was wiped from the Earth.

She thought she felt an indication of laughter.

“Caim?”

She looked back. Caim was laughing. He held a bloodied sword in one hand, kneeling down on one knee and looking for his next prey. By the time he had reached that point, a number of dragons had already attacked —  Some of them had been killed by Caim.

He had jumped on the back of the red dragon as if it were a stepping stone, swinging his sword in the momentum of the fall…….

The red dragon hurried in the sky as fast as it could to serve as a landing point for Caim, half amazed and half disgusted at the battle that seemed as if there was no need at all for the earth beneath them. 

A crazed dragon flew in from the side with a loud shriek, and Caim leaped back. While wrapping around them, the red dragon spit fire at another which attacked from the opposite direction. She didn’t allow herself to distract Caim.

The crazed dragon screamed, its eyes struck by Caim’s sword. While pulling out the blade that had been dug into the hilt, Caim kicked his foot off from between the dragon’s eyes and jumped. One would have expected there to be no place to land after jumping.

“Your actions are absurd…”

… Still, the red dragon did not miss Caim, who leapt and swung his sword just as his instinct commanded.

It was this day that the red dragon had killed many of its own brethren. But Caim had also done off with an unprecedented number of the dragons himself.

She felt that he would be satisfied with this. Caim was the only one left among the soldiers who had died in horror, crying and screaming.

“You may be the right person for this world today.”

A sudden switch of temperament seemed to strike the dragon, and she chased after Caim with a playful joke. If this was their final destination, then that was fine.

In the midst of the flames and roars, the red dragon and Caim rushed through. A dragon with a cut throat, a dragon that was wrapped in flames, a dragon with a smashed skull, their life came to its end and they all fell from the sky.

Be that as it may, how had that number of the dragons been faring? Even though she was killing from one end, there was no sign that the dragons were decreasing at all. Where on Earth were all of them coming from….!?

…Something happened then. Something unexpected.


Suddenly, something warm was scattered all over her back. Something crossed her eyes. Something red, that dripped from the dragon’s ankles.

What was…. That?  

Something had slipped off her back. A cold wind blew on her back where the warmth had remained.

What? What was happening? Why did she feel so light?

Why was she bathed in Caim’s blood?

Why was she chasing after him?

Why wasn’t he on her back?

Why…

Why was Caim falling?

He shouldn’t have been falling. Caim never thought she wouldn’t be there when he jumped. He had thought she would always be there to catch him, and yet…

She wasn’t reaching him. He was falling, she had to put an end to it. Caim.

She didn’t want him to fall.

Wholeheartedly did she reach out a hand to him, holding Caim’s weakened body.

… A hand? Why?

She didn’t care about that. She could only be left in muted shock at the coldness of the body she held in her arms.

Her throat trembled. A loud sound left it. Whether it was a scream or a roar, she didn’t know... It just left her. For a long, long time. The wind fanned her hair as her rage began to boil.

Something flashed before her — The way it had blocked her view infuriated her, and so she was quick to get rid of it. It had felt as light as cutting grass, and her field of vision was cleared once more to the sight of two large, falling bodies.

…Ah, it wasn’t them…

The moment she noticed that, her throat stopped trembling. That wasn’t the dragon. The one who had killed Caim.

“I will never forgive….”

There came a sound of wings, taking flight to the dragon whose fangs and ankles had been dyed red with the blood of Caim. Seizing it, forcefully tearing it apart, crushing the blood-dyed fangs and ripping off the ankles with its limbs alongside it.

It wasn’t enough. It still wasn’t enough. Even if she killed the maddened dragon that had killed Caim. Even if she had torn it into thousands of pieces. It wasn’t enough.

Claws were raised against another dragon. While grey matter scattered round, she slammed its struggling body against the earth.

It wasn’t enough. Something like this wasn’t enough in the slightest.

“I will slaughter you ALL!!”

Her claws outstretched towards their next prey. The back of her throat began to tremble again. But this time, it wasn’t a cry that left it.

A laugh? Was I laughing?

She didn’t know. With no way to name the feelings inside of her, the red dragon continued to seek out the blood of her compatriots.


“Dragons? … Why?”

Seere, trembling from his hiding place in the cave of a giant tree, had forgotten about his tears as he looked up to the sky. The “Devil’s Dragon”, who had been fighting against the dragons with eyes dyed red, had suddenly changed its appearance.

Seere saw the outline of the red dragon shift as it chased the falling berserker, and in the next moment, it was a human’s hand that was embracing the body of the madman. The figure, with red hair fluttering in the wind, was unmistakably human-shaped.

The only thing that differentiated  it from humans were its wings, they were wings  that were reminiscent of that of a bird of prey’s.

Spreading those ferocious, non-human wings, the once red dragon held the berserker’s in one hand.

“Is that… An angel…?”

When he was much smaller, Seere had seen an angel in a picture book that looked just like that. To follow after God, to bless many people.

Was that red-haired angel there to save him? Or…

The long hair fluttered violently in the wind.

“It disappeared?”

…No. It was moving. It was flying at a speed he couldn’t imagine possible with such wings.

Suddenly, the body of a crazed dragon was split in two. Unsure of what just happened, Seere stared at the rain of blood that poured from the sky. The body of the dragon, now in two, made a thundering sound as it fell before him.

In the sky, another dragon had been painted with blood. This time, instead of just two, the other dragon was ripped into chunks of meat.

When he looked, he saw that the right hand of the red-haired angel had been dyed with blood. It was then he understood what he was seeing — With its bare hands, it was tearing apart the crazed dragons singlehandedly.

Red hair rushed through the air, the man's body still held in one arm.

What a terrifying creature… Tearing apart a dragon, what was called the strongest creature in the world, with bare hands like it was nothing more than paper. Would the dragons who were trying to kill all the humans be reduced to creatures like that?

It seemed like they were becoming something. The contours of the other dragons suddenly began to shift, just like when the red dragon changed shape.

After a moment, all the dragons had transformed into humans. Just like the red dragon, they too had wings that grew from their body and colourful hair which fluttered in the wind. The only difference was their shining red eyes.

There came a rise in the sound of the human-shaped monster's voices. They were odd voices, ones that seemed as if they didn’t belong to this world.

The earth rumbles, and cracks run everywhere. The monster’s flapping wings form a wind that blows on its surface. Buildings and trees collapse, boulders tumble down, and dust rushes into a sandstorm.

“I need to run away…”

There was nowhere for him to hide anymore. Even knowing that, his legs were frozen and he couldn’t move.

Where could he even escape to in the first place? He knew that his being alive now was only the result of miraculous luck.

“Hgh..!”

Seere began to cry.

Before he knew it, two glowing red eyes were staring directly at him. A mouth, split to its ears, and a face as smooth as a mask grew immediately closer.

He saw long nails flash before him. Those same, sharp claws that tore the dragon’s bodies like paper…

Seere couldn’t run away.

“The Watchers do not laugh!”

Somewhere, he heard Manah’s voice.

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