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A_4010 : The Truly Diseased.

Drafted By: Yoko Taro

Written By: Matsuhita Ayaki

Fan-Translated By: Barnabism#5350

From its centre, the large forest is as vast as the sea. With its heaps of branches and thick leaves buzzing in the wind, you find that when you stay for a long enough time, it begins to sound like waves. And if you were to stay even still enough, those waves begin to sound like a voice in song. That is why I like the forest; it is away from my family and covers and hides everything about me.

Pushing yourself through trails left by animals, silently picking nuts and mushrooms, and hunting isn’t bothersome in the least, either. Even smaller things like birds and rabbits were prepared well enough that my family was pleased after waiting for a return. Though I’m far from good looking with my freckles and pimples, I found it better to chase a deer covered in mud than mix in with the other women washing things in a well. Perhaps I should have looked more like my beautiful elfen mother, rather than my rugged human father — My bearded father, who sleeps with a big snore every night tells me in annoyance that I am still a young girl coming of age, even despite my few female friends. I didn’t really know what it was about him that made my mother love him so much.

“If we take this road, we should be able to see the spring. Mother, can you still walk? Should we rest a little?”

“I am in good condition, still alright. Thank you.”

Although I paid mind to care for my mother, I never broke my alertness to my surroundings. If anything, I wished to get out of this dense animal trail before sunset. It seemed that my younger brothers that were walking behind to protect our mother were finally getting used to walking in the mountains and holding weapons in their hands. Perhaps it was a lamentable sight, but everyone needed all the power they could muster to survive… No matter how hard it may have been.

I begin to speak with my two younger brothers.

“How are you doing?”

“You worry yourself, sister. If there’s an emergency, you can leave it to me!”

“I’ll also do my best, sister!”

“Good. If you exhaust yourself, you’ll have trouble staying alert, so take care not to overdo it.”

The town we lived in had been burned to the ground. A woman with a docile dragon had stayed at the inn one night; a young woman with shiny dark hair and gorgeous features. The village always seemed to stand out to travellers with an unignorable noble air to them, after all. After seeing them off, the innkeeper had picked up what looked like silver scales that had fallen off the dragon. “Silver brings good luck. It is a talisman for prosperity”, he had said — he hung it on the shop sign, but that was as far as his luck had run.

Though there had been rumours heard around the area in regard to “Dragon Hunters”, where people sent from the Union would use dragons in order to drive out other dragons that did not obey them, no one had ever dreamed of them visiting the remote village where such targets lived.

The town was mobbed, burned down overnight by the orders of a dragon hunter because it was a sin for an inn to offer hospitality to a woman with a dragon and not report it. No one should know a woman’s whereabouts, even if she was asked to tell of where she was heading. It was such a gentle dragon; it didn’t cause any harm to humans. I didn’t know anything — I wanted to help.

Father, who had always been proud of his loud voice, kept screaming. In the end he was cut down all the same as he begged them to overlook only the woman and children.

“Run away.”

Those were the last words my father spoke, spitting out crimson blood as he was thoughtlessly slashed aside. I did not hear his voice, but I saw how the dirtied lips moved from the distance — It was then my reddish-brown eyes were proud to have been able to see farther than other people's.

“Sister, up there…!”

Having been caught up thinking back on that image of hell, I was late to notice the sound of wings passing through the sky. With tongue-in-cheek I hurriedly gathered my mother and younger brothers behind a tree and squinted through the gaps of the overlapping coniferous leaves; the large shadow that covered the sky much larger than that of an eagle or hawk’s.

“The dragon… Someone is on it.”

The dragon flew straight ahead without attacking, its large wings looking like a light that pointed to where it would start going.

“Let’s go! Mother, we’re almost there. The green dragon’s village is near.”

I didn’t notice that for the first time in a long time, I was smiling. I just couldn’t help but feel happiness seeing my mother and younger brothers smile with relief as well.


The village of the green dragon… I never thought that we could really reach it. At first, I had thought it was only a rumour from merchants who visited our town, though it was just as true that we had no choice but to blindly follow those rumours. It is said that the small village was created by a green-scaled dragon and a priest who shared a tight bond with each other as a way to help those who had lost their way.

… Yet when we actually arrived at it, we were quick to realise that it could hardly be called a village — It was more of a campsite, with simple tent huts lined up by the spring and surrounded by the forest. Even so, it was rather clean, and me and my family were grateful to have been provided a place away from the wind and rain for free. Many of the villagers had lost their homes and relatives due to the tyranny of the Union, and agreed with the priest’s idea of “Coexisting with dragons”. While collecting armour in secret, they saw an opportunity to rescue a dragon being used by the Union.

“Dragons are creatures just like we are. But those Union scum… They treat them like tools of war, oppress them, and hunt dragons that don’t obey.”

“I can see the priest’s green dragon — It’s watching over us so quietly… It is such a harmless dragon. It can do no wrong.”

“To kill both humans and dragons so indiscriminately… The Union is the incarnation of evil. They are no different than the former Empire! Beasts without a heart.”

They had no money, and food was scarce, but the abundant water of the spring saved them. Above all, the eyes of the people shone with determination and the light of hopeful resistance dwelled within them. This village had the green dragon and the priest by its side. One day, we’ll settle the score with the Union, free the dragons from enslavement, and build a community where everyone can live together. After losing my father, such an ideal thought warmed my heart.

“Hello. How are you feeling?”

“Over there! Over there! It’s the priest!”

A blanket is spread out, and my resting mother wakes up with a smile. I quickly stood up to prepare the hot water.

“Ah, the tea is almost ready. Please, sit down carefully. And as I have said many times before, I am neither a priest nor a minister. Please, call me by my name instead. It is most common here.”

“Thank you for taking such care of my mother, Mister Leonard.”

The village guardian that was accompanied by the green dragon at his side had a much bulkier body than what the rumours said. It was a strong and dignified form, so much so that the steel equipment was unbelievably reminiscent of a monk soldier’s, rather than a priest. Everyday, I occasionally snoop from the shade of a tree to watch him caring for the body of the dragon.

“Mister Leonard…”

He had eyes that sometimes shone in a forest green colour that reflected that of the dragon’s scales. It was beautiful to me, who had only ordinary brown eyes. There was a rumour going about that the dragon was compelled  to save humans and other dragons, and devotedly went about driving out dragon-hunting soldiers. I also know the beauty of the strong muscles hidden under his clothes. How reliable that disciplined figure was wielding such heavy and thick clubs and chains in the morning mist with such ease.

Suppose — Suppose I could have a special relationship with him. I wish I could be the only one who is irreplaceable to him.

“If that is the case, then no formal titles are necessary, you may call me Leonard. Just use only my name…”

I hide myself in the forest behind the dragon’s keep, the delusions of chasing after behind him setting my body aflame.

“Leonard…”

Leonard’s lips touch my small chest, rugged fingers slipping into the gap between my legs for a sweet moment. I chased it with my fingers over and over again. Even if such a day never comes, I can’t help but dream about it, biting my wet lips so that no one can hear.

One day, after I returned from hunting, I visited the simple, small home where Leonard lived. He greeted me with a smile.

“I see you have hunted rabbits; an admirable skill. A lady such as yourself did this?”

“Yes. You have always shared with me and my mother so much, so…”

“It is fine, you must look over your mother. To bring new life is to bring hope to our village, it is for that which we must only be considerate.”

Leonard smiled and gently touched the corner of my right eye. I was left bewildered by the indescribably soft, childlike fragrance from his fingertips. The colour of the tongue that licked away the dirted dark red on his thumbs I burned strongly, strongly onto the backs of my eyes.

“The rabbit’s blood… It is a waste how it dirties your amber eyes.”

With the sound of my heart beating out of my chest, I hurriedly turned on my heels and ran down the road to the forest. The young scent that was so unexpected of his body never left my mind. I wasn’t invited to his room, but I was happy just being touched.

One day with him, surely with him. My dreams grow more and more. Even so, I am no more than a villager. I can only softly gaze at Leonard when he visits my mother. I’m very glad my mother is pregnant. That way, he could visit us every two days, and I was able to stare at his dignified smile.

“Please come to the town’s clearing tomorrow. When the sun is set and a fire is lit, the children’s choir shall perform a new song.”

“Oh, most certainly.”

The choir was the village’s only pastime, and alongside Leonard’s presence was a large comfort to the people. It was a rule that only boys would make up the choir because it was ominous when a girl sang; it was believed it would awaken the former ruler’s evil spirit. All the rulers were women, and it was said that they had a mysterious power to kill people by singing songs. The populace loathed these rulers and called them “Intoners”. Others would laugh if they heard it, but I think Leonard’s strong obsession with superstitions and legends is one the reasons he is called a priest amongst the village… Such a serious, steadfast person. But even such a thing as that was absolutely beautiful. We both looked shabby, yet he resided in a completely different world than a lustful half-elf like me. My precious, shining hero.

“Oh yes, and Mister Leonard. My sons have recently begun to learn and sing songs from the choir.”

I have lost everything, but my heart is not at all sullied by it. It is clear, it is clear that I am simply diseased.

“I am glad to hear it. People and dragons are all the same precious creatures. If everyone can smile and live peacefully, then that is the best form of happiness one could have. Recently, it seems as if the trend of dragon hunting has begun to fall. Please rest at ease here and give birth to a strong child. If you can, a boy is good.”

“Oh my, I most certainly will have to try to deliver one then!”

I break down all of the gentle words and write them down within my heart. The sun had already begun to set by the time I saw off Leonard and cleaned up around the house, my little brothers returning just as I took a jug of water from the tent. The branches and leaves of the forest trees rustle slightly in the cold wind.

“How far did you go off to play?”

“.... Not really far. You have nothing to do with it.”

My brother, who looked like me and my father, left me with a blunt reply and went into the tent. My youngest brother, who ran up from behind me, smiled and pulled at the hem of my clothes.

“Sister, sister! We asked to join Mister Leonard’s choir. I won and got in, brother lost.” I told him not to go to Leonard or the dragon and bother him without me or my mother’s permission… Even after I gave him a small hit on the head for that, my little brother laughed jovially and was still in a good mood, seeming as if he was very happy to have beaten his older brother. Honestly… Men were such troublesome creatures when young. But, it was true that my youngest brother’s smiling face, cute and similar to my mother’s, fills me with a sweet sort of feeling. “I know why brother lost~! Wanna hear? Wanna hear?” “It can’t be helped, I’ll listen.” I crouched down and my brother whispered in my ears, still innocent and blowing warm breath. “So~ Mister Leonard said my brother lost because his thing was too dirty to be cut properly. Mine is smooth. Do you know what that means? ‘Dirty’?” The wind blew through the forest. The dusk-coloured branches and leaves shook in the breeze, and with an angelic smile my young little brother laughed, and laughed, and laughed.



A group of young boys line up in front of the fire. The large body of the green dragon lies beyond the burning flames, giving the appearance as if it, too, had a dedicated stage. Is it listening to the choir’s singing voice just like we are, in the audience? The dragon simply sat there with its eyes closed. I gazed at each of the scales that glittered off the fire, then turned it to the broad back of Leonard, who was conducting the choir. The melody becomes peaceful, blending with the moist air from the spring that blew downwards.

“Hey, did you know? Dragons only form bonds with lonely and strong humans. You see, that must mean Mister Leonard is alone…”

I heard a similar story in the morning when those gossip-loving women were wandering about and doing laundry by the spring. If that was the truth, then I couldn’t expect to form a bond with any green dragon for the rest of my life. Like Leonard, whose entire family was slaughtered by the Union, like a knight who drank the blood of a dragon while dying in the winter mountains, it is unlikely to end up alone no matter how far you fall.

“Hey sister, I get to start practising in the choir tomorrow~!”

“Shhh. Don’t speak in the middle of the song.”

“Okaaay~”

I held my brother in my lap even more firmly. The warmth that came from such a young body was high, part of his hair stuck to his nose. Was it because he had tired himself out from playing? He smelled grossly sweaty. The beautiful singing voices seemed to strike something, and I felt the urge to protect them well up within me. I can never be alone. No one is ever alone. To protect my youngest brother in my arms, my mother next to me, my pouting brother next to her, the younger sibling in my mother’s stomach, for my father who wasn’t here,  I decided. And by Leonard’s side, I made a decision to be helpful to him, too.

“Sister, why are you crying?”

“.... Be quiet.”

By the time I had wiped away my tears, the crowd had broken out into applause. Leonard cast a deep bow to the audience after the requiem was finished, but suddenly lifted his gaze towards someone. My heart skipped a beat, but his honest eyes weren’t looking at me. In a quiet voice, he called the name of my younger brother who I held close to my chest.

“Please, come here.”

My brother’s face quickly brightened as he was beckoned over, I let him out from under my arms and he ran up to Leonard. Leonard leaned down to his level and held him in his arms, my brother proudly puffing his chest to the villagers before them.

“A new member has joined the choir. Everyone, I ask you watch over his efforts for a long time yet, and…”

A beautiful voice flows from his mouth, my brother’s proudly flushed cheeks illuminated by the bonfire. The moment I squinted against the dazzling glow, I heard a slight movement in the wind. It took me some time to recognise where it came from since the scene in front of me was so unrealistic.

My brother's small stomach was pierced by a large arrow, and behind the frozen villagers stood a man with a slightly dirtied crossbow and a deceitful face. Fresh, red blood fell from my brother’s mouth, the drops illuminated by the fire looking  like a vibrant red flower. The commands from the large soldiers roared at the same time the deafening screams began to erupt from the villagers.

“NOW! AIM FOR THE PRIEST AND THE DRAGON!”

Dragon hunters. Someone had told them. The afterimage of my father and my town aflame floats through my head. The arrows are fired. Crushing the resurrected nightmare back with my teeth, I kick the ground out from under my feet and run towards Leonard and the others as if something inside me had snapped completely.

“Please, take care of mother!”

I yelled over my shoulder without looking back at my younger brother, running forward as if in a daze. Soldiers rushed in from the forest behind the audience in such a vast amount it could almost be wondered where they were lurking, tents and small homes are set ablaze. Arrows fell like rain on the green dragon who was only now sluggishly getting up, and I saw those which did not reach it drive themselves one after another into the brains and backs of the young boys who had scattered in attempt of escape. I'm a sprint, I called out the name of my brother, and then that of my hero’s—

“LEONARD!!”

I rushed over to Leonard, who had curled up to protectively around my brother — And drew in a breath at the sight up close. The iron head of the arrow that had passed through my brother’s body had pierced Leonard’s as well. However, the light that dwelled in his eyes resembled nothing more than anger.

“This child’s life… What significance does the life of a child have to them….!?!?”

The weaponry he carried on his waist was removed, and when it seemed the five sections of the staff were connected, it immediately took the form of a large spear.

“HAAAAAGH!”

Leonard stands up while still holding the body of my young brother, swinging the steel spear with one hand and knocking back an enemy, his appearance like a demon’s. All the arrows that flew towards him were swept away before they could even hit, and the surrounding soldiers were blown away like dolls one after another.

…What strength, what anger.

The wings of the green dragon slowly unfurled like a large canopy over me, who was left too shocked to crouch down, Leonard slipping under the wings as well at the last second before they made a full cover. An expression of sheer exasperation and rage had remained on my face as I forcibly ripped away my brother’s body from his arms.

“Mister Leonard!!”

There came the sound of a sickle tearing flesh. However, despite the blood gushing from his wounds, he does not move.

“They have missed the vital points of both me and this child. Do not pull out the arrow, as it stands it is the one thing keeping the blood inside. He can surely still be saved... He, as well as the other children who are still breathing under these wings.”

“But with everything as it is… It is better you take the dragon and get away from here!”

As I cried, holding the tortured body of my younger brother, Leonard only averted his gaze downwards and muttered.

“.... I cannot. This dragon has no power to fly.”

“But that-! Did it not fly to you the day we arrived at the village!?”

“That must have been you seeing wrong, then. This dragon is not capable of flight, nor is it capable of breathing fire. It was for that reason that it had been abandoned by the Union.”

I looked up at the wings as he said that, and only then did I understand it: The peaceful dragon that followed Leonard was not just dignified and quiet. The large amount of scales that seemed ready to fall off, the wrinkled and dirtied skin on the back of its wings, the loose fangs that trembled slightly in it’s mouth, and the eyes that were somehow dull — I didn’t notice because I was just staring at Leonard. Everything was so different from the silver dragon I saw. This green dragon hardly even had an easy time moving at this point.

“And even still… It’s trying to protect us…?”

Beyond the wings of the silent green dragon, Leonard continued to struggle fiercely by himself against the advancing army’s forces. Somehow, his powerful yelling came as an inspiration to me. For him to fight for us, to protect us, I knew I had to help him. I pulled the boys who were still breathing under the dragon's wings and tried to stop the bleeding as much as possible. But, it hardly made a difference to the situation.

“It hurts, it huurts…! It hurts, please don’t! IT HUUURTS!!”

“Wait… Wait, wait, WAIT….!!”

The crying screams of my youngest brother were enough to break the remaining innocence in my spirit. The choir boy drags himself to his feet, distorts his face into a scream, his body twisting, and then dies. The dragon lets out a pained shriek. Had it been shot with a flaming arrow? I tried to block the sound from my ears. I wanted to just close my eyes, crouch down, and cry.

“Leonard…. Leonard….”

I am tarnished, holding a dagger rather than the sword that’s always at my waist. I tore at my clothes, using the strips of cloth as bandages, knowing how imminent the threat of death was if I were to leave these wings. What should I do? What should I do? What should I do?  Was mother safe? Was my little brother with her already-? I couldn’t find a way out. My arms trembled in the midst of the chaos and wouldn’t stop. A large body tumbled under the dragon's wings.

“Ah…!?”

Hunched over a boy’s dead body was an adult woman with an arrow stuck in her leg. Given her groans and struggles, she was clearly still alive, but…

It was my mother, with a countless amount of arrows stuck in her back like a cloak. Underneath her was my brother.

“Mother!? Mother!!”

Something sways behind me. A shadow falls over me, and calls towards me.

“Ahaha…. There’s such a great feast here… So I have to help… I’ll give you my help….”

It was the reason my mother had come here — A strange elf woman who was unfamiliar to me. I had never seen such a mysteriously beautiful woman among the villagers, but she wasn’t wearing Union armour, either. There was a crooked sword she held in her hands that dripped with blood. The woman gave me a dark smile, turned around and went to stand next to Leonard.

“The soldiers here… Soooo many, do you think you can beat them all?”

“Arioch… What are you doing back here? You must leave!”

Leonard’s harsh tone didn’t seem to bother the woman called Arioch in the slightest. Rather, she turned her sword over in her hands as if she were a lady invited to a dance, and looked comfortably around the world of blood and flames.

“Do you need assistance? Then… You’ll allow me a part in this feast, won’t you?”

“Kgh… I suppose there is no other way to go about this without making a fair share of sacrifices along the way… We must focus our efforts on saving only the life that remains unscathed!”

What happened between them? I knew nothing. Having no choice but to hold my breath, I watched the two battle with such skill that it hardly seemed to be the work of simple human beings, all while I myself hid in the protective shadow of the green dragon’s wings.

Crooked as it was, Arioch brought her sword to pierce through the soldier’s vitals and slash through their necks with incredible ease. Leonard’s spear broke the tendons of the soldier’s arms and legs to keep them from using their weapons, and though not lethally, smashed their bones with his fists. The way they fought almost completely differently, but were both of the same breath to annihilate the enemy together, made it as if I were watching them dance around each other. The way the blood scattered was beautiful. Little by little, I feel the trembling in my body subside. Perhaps these two could save us.

Just then, the feeling of hot air had blown in from a distance. Bright red flames are hurled towards the side of the spring. I instantly recognize the clear unnatural shift in the air as the result of a fireball fired by a dragon.

“Is that… A yellow dragon…!?”

Beyond the spring, a Union troupe was blocked off from their advance by a particularly large dragon with yellow scales. The sharp shape of the yellow dragon’s wings stuck me as familiar — That day, when I thought we were being led to the village, it was those wings that flew over the forest like an arrow.

And then I remember ⸻ The dragon-slaying army that had burned down my hometown was looking for a woman. There was a dragon responsible for gruesome slaughter, and a woman that followed it. I had heard that the colour of the scales of the dragon, neither good nor evil, were a beautiful yellow, like a flower that chased the sun… If you wiped away the blood.

“A dragon gone mad…”

A chill went down my spine. With Arioch’s laughter overlapping with the roars of the yellow dragon, I inadvertently hugged around my shoulders. It was then, something touched under my feet. No longer able to hold in my fear, I look over my shoulder defenselessly.

In all truth, I didn’t know who or what it was. The tortured body of my mother suddenly spread her legs, a red fluid that dragged behind her feet continuing to stream out. There was something hidden between the exposed legs that looked like a lump.

“I need…. Help…..”

“Mother—!”

Finally a voice had come forth that I knew belonged to me. The Gods do exist, I immediately thought to myself; but snap out of it quickly. In such a hell, life still exists, and my mother is struggling desperately to create that new life. I could say this much without calling it “The will of the Gods”.  Ah, how beautiful was the concept of life! I felt as if I had heard a voice whispering to me, telling me to live. Live, live, live. Because, you are not alone. I am not alone. You cannot ever be alone, no matter what.

At that moment, my eyes opened to pure red. I saw the sky. The smell of air grows stronger. The canopy that was supposed to protect us ⸻ One of the green dragon’s wings had fallen off. The roar of the shaking ground drowned out the groan of the powerless dragon. The red eyes of the yellow dragon which had destroyed the other were shining, and it’s fangs thrust into the flesh of the green dragon.

“I knew I would have it even when I was driven out… The day when delicious food gathers here. That man is hogging it all to himself.”

I noticed that Arioch stood behind me, the crimson blood that covered her hands would have looked beautiful on the lips that sat against white teeth.

“Arioch, please, stop this!”

Leonard rushed to place himself between me and Arioch, but she was quick to thrust the point of a sword stolen from one of the Dragon Hunters towards me, and with her right hand, placed the tip of the crooked sword on the stomach of my younger brother lying next to me.

“If you move any further, then should I kill one and take them for myself~?”

“To behave so foolishly… We were both robbed of our family and children at the hands of the Union. Why are you doing this?”

“If I kill them, then I can protect them. I can take care of them, I won’t lose them anymore… So then, which one? Which one would you like?”

I tremble, crying and staring at Leonard. For the first time, I call out his name and beg with amber eyes full of tears.

“Leonard… Help me…”

But, he hesitates. Between me and my little brother, he can’t decide.

“Which one will it be~?”

Arioch hummed in a sing-song tune, both swords brandished in her hands. At the moment the tears overflowed from my tightly closed eyes, the unpleasant sound of a faint groan reached my ears.

“..... Leonard…”

Leonard rushes to protect my brother,  the blade of the twisted sword sunk deep into the back that covered his body. Arioch tosses away the sword that was pointed at me, and with a loud laugh, pushes the twisted sword further into Leonard’s body.

“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Just as I thought! He’ll be together with me! You couldn’t give up one of those sweet, sweet children! Sweet, so sweet, even dead on the ground!! The children are so beautiful, we both know we are driven to protect them…~!”

Leonard had chosen not me, who was alive, but my younger brother, who had been exposed to the sweet death at the hands of the poison applied to the arrowhead that struck him down. The blade thrust through Leonard’s heart and cut down his back. Still, the man who was my hero held onto my brother and never let go.

“................”

In his last moments, he muttered my younger brother’s name, and that was the end of his life. I was stunned, unable to even blink. My mother was still groaning from behind me. It was Arioch who gently wiped away the tears that welled up in my eyes. She smiled as she licked away the tears on her fingertips.

“Don’t you cry. You must be a strong woman… See, it smells like blood… The smell of life… The smell of a woman… What a splendid scent.”

The same smile remained on her face as she tossed away her sword and without hesitation, pushed my mother on her back, put her right hand between her legs, and began to push her stomach hard with her left hand.

“AHHHHHHHH!!!”

My mother screamed. Arioch laughed.

“Ahahahahaha, that warmth! What a pretty colour, look at that pretty head! Look, look at those small hands!!”

“Stop….”

I spoke out in a desperate voice. I tried to get closer to her, but my legs felt as if they were glued to the floor. No matter how I tried, they wouldn’t move... They wouldn’t move.

“How delicious!! Ah, come! Hurry inside, my sweet child, and we’ll become one. Mhmhmhmhmhm… Ahahahaha, look!  Yes, come out! Come out!!”

“Stop, stop, stop, sto… o…p…”

My teeth do not bite. I can only make out a fuzzy voice. Even if I wanted to bite off my tongue, I didn’t have the power. Before my own unfocused eyes, I saw my mothers chest grow wet, and the faint smell of milk came in. Behind Arioch, dragon devours dragon. The sound of bones crushing under sharp fangs creates an eerie, percussion-like rhythm. In front of me, a woman laughs in delight, her arms dyed red with blood as she prepares to dig into her feast. Her lips rested on the thread of life that connected mother and child.

“So delicious…. So sweet, so sweet, so delicious….! I’ll protect you, you’ll be born again, I’m your mother, your mother… I’ll protect you…”

What is this?

What should I do?

Suddenly there was a dull sound, and the warm, wet baby slipped and fell out from under her hands.

“What….~? Do you also…. Want to join me…. In this feast…?”

“...........................”

The tip of the large sword was thrust into the woman’s stomach. It crushed her spine and pierced through the womb, where I left the blade. Like a swordsman, I took the twisted sword that had been left in the back of Leonard’s corpse, and with it I mercilessly struck down Arioch. The brandish of the sword was so light I wondered where it got such power. One after another, I destroy Arioch’s fingertips, wrists, her upper arms... Even with the blood that splattered on my face, even with her head completely detached from her body, I couldn’t stop attacking.

“.... You may leave it at that. She is already long dead.”

“...........................”

A beautiful voice echoed from somewhere. It was a mysterious voice, like the sound of the trees in the forest.

“This village was bait for that maddened elf woman and her yellow dragon.... What a foolish scheme. I will take care of the rest.”

“...........................”

“Do mad people tend to naturally flock to one another? How laughable. I cannot abide this...”

The man with hollow eyes fell quiet, simply standing still  in the blood of both my mother’s womb and that from the crazed woman’s body. With the shadow of a burning fire flickering behind me, I felt a strong wind blow, and a new dragon came down from the sky. For a moment, I had thought the man had grown wings. The colour of the dragon’s scales were crimson, a crimson brighter than even the surrounding flames. The ground shook as it’s flames hit the maddened yellow dragon that was absorbed in sucking on the green dragon’s bones. With each flap of the crimson wings came a powerful gust of wind, and the surrounding trees sway, and sway, and sway. The tune of the swaying leaves, however, didn't bother me. In the end, I couldn't hear anything.

Mother had stopped moving a long time ago. The baby didn’t make a single cry. My body swayed as I stood up, and a hand pressed to my abdomen, feeling a dull pain. The black blood was thick, it had looked as if I had never seen the white inner thigh underneath.

That was the last colour I ever saw.

The red dragon's display of power in slaughtering the crazed yellow dragon was immense, and the lips of the knight had distorted into a faint laugh as he watched it.

That voice was the last thing I ever heard.

Beyond the spring, in front of the dense forest, the eyes of a black dragon shimmered softly; a momentary, dull glow with jet-black scales that reflected in the moonlight. That is what I saw — …No, perhaps it was only an illusion. My amber eyes didn’t show anything right.

I didn’t see anything. Anything. Anything.

I blinked slowly, opened my dampened eyes wide, and thrust my nails into those amber eyes.

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