Published at 22nd of October 2021 01:29:44 PM

Chapter 5.21

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Chapter 5 Part 21


Translator : PolterGlast




A roar resounded in the forest. The sound shook the trees and the atmosphere.

Everyone reflexively covered their faces from the wind that came along with a thunderous roar.



It has strong scales and vitality, and wings that allow it to fly through the sky. Its scorching breath can even melt iron. It was the most prominent among the demon beasts, and depending on the individual, it might even be able to destroy a fortress. It wasn't an existence that would normally wander around in such a place.


However, its body lacked the brilliance of its past vitality. The Dragon's eyes were cloudy white and one of its wings was missing. Its scales, which normally glowed in the sunlight, were also cracked in several places. The skin underneath it was peeled off and the muscles exposed.

An existence called Undead Dragon exposed its bare dead body under the sunlight.




Everyone present, including Nozomu, were dumbfounded as they looked at the beast in front of them. Their thoughts were halted by the sudden occurrence.

The Undead Dragon shook its head, perhaps because the sunlight had bothered it, but its white and cloudy eyes turned to Nozomu and the others.


"~! Dodge it, everyone !!"


Nozomu, who felt goosebumps from the Undead Dragon's gaze, immediately shouted and jumped from the place. His actions were followed by Irisdina, Tima, and Kevin.

The next moment, the Undead Dragon took a deep breath, and a scorching flame was exhaled from its mouth.

The exhaled flames flowed in a straight line, instantly carbonizing the vegetation and the ground in its path.


After spitting out flames for a while, the Undead Dragon lifted its neck and opened its mouth again. It rushed and attacked Kevin and the others.

Kevin shot a magic bullet at the Dragon's face to distract it, and at the same time, everyone scattered at once.

The rushing Undead Dragon lost its target, and its head simply plunged into the ground.

Escaping from the approaching giant, they joined the other party in the meantime and regained their posture.


"Oi, oi oi! What the hell just happened?!"

"Wha~! I didn't expect this situation at all! Why is there an Undead Dragon in a place like this!!"

"Wait a minute Jin! What are we going to do!?"

"What should I say?... We have no choice but to survive!"


Kevin, Feo, Jin, and the others were shocked by an unexpected mighty existence that suddenly appeared before them.

This makes sense. They had trained to the point of bleeding at Solminati Academy, but they had never met a demon beast of this caliber.

On the other hand, despite being taken aback by suddenly facing such a threat, those who were still able to move while thinking about what to do should be commended.

An average knight would stand terrified in front of such an Undead Dragon or become panicked and be killed in fear.

Kevin immediately distanced himself from the might of such an opponent, but his party members lying on the ground were reflected in his field of vision.


"Tch~! It can't be helped!"


Kevin rushed towards his party members who had fainted as the Undead Dragon stuck its face into the ground. He probably thought that if he continued to fight this Dragon, he might be crushed by it. So, he held the fainted swordsman and the spear-wielding girl under his arm and started running in a hurry.


"Gugu, ge~efu ..."


The Undead Dragon lifted its neck while letting out a muffled voice. Its cloudy eyes caught Kevin who was holding his companions.





The dragon rushing towards Kevin. Kevin runs at full speed trying to escape with his fainted companions in his arms, but the corpse gradually closes the distance while making a rumbling sound on the earth.


"Damn it! How long are you going to faint! Wake up or I'll throw you guys away!"


While cursing his fainted companions, Kevin never tries to let go of them.

The Undead Dragon approaches and managed to get just behind them. It opened its mouth and tried to eat them. Its sharp fangs look like a knife, and its breath mixed with rotten odor could be smelled.

The shadow of the Dragon covered the running Kevin, and when its mouth was about to catch him, a huge jet-black magic bullet was struck into the side of the Dragon.




The Undead Dragon screamed and staggered. Furthermore, a huge mass of wind struck its giant body, and the Undead Dragon collapsed due to the impact.

Meanwhile, Kevin succeeded in escaping from the Dragon's clutches.


"I-Irisdina. Even Tima?"


Beyond his line of sight was Irisdina, who was standing with her rapier pointing at the Dragon, and Tima, who was holding her wand. Apparently, they were the ones who struck the Dragon with their magic.


"Kevin! Come over here!"


Although he was a little perplexed by Irisdina's call, Kevin go towards her with his companions in tow.


"Are you okay?"

"Y-yeah. You saved me..."


Kevin showed a relieved expression on his face. Irisdina turned her gaze on her classmate Kevin was holding, she looked worried.

Kevin was also worried about his companions, but when he catches sight of Nozomu next to Irisdina, his expression turned sour. As expected, he wants to make fun of Nozomu right now, but he refrained.


"Kevin, what about your companions' condition?"

"They're not dead, but they've fainted... I wonder what would have happened to them without me ..."


At that time, Mars' voice was heard in Nozomu's ears.





Mars running towards Nozomu. Behind him are Jin and Shīna.

At that time, the fallen Undead Dragon began to rise once again.


"Hey, you lowest. You guys are in the way, so get away quickly."


Kevin saw the rising dragon and strongly insisted on Nozomu and others to leave. But Iris Dina opened her mouth to block the words.


"Nozomu, I have a request. I want your party members to take Kevin's companions to a safe place along with them."


Irisdina wanted Kevin's companions to be taken to a safe place. Certainly, it was impossible for the fainted Kevin's companions and the exhausted Jin and his friends to face the Dragon they were about to face now.


"Y-yeah. I don't mind. Jin, can I leave them to you?"

"Yes. How about you guys?"


Jin and his friends understood that their current abilities would be a burden to them, so they obediently accepted Irisdina's suggestion and carried Kevin's companions on their backs.


"We will give you time to escape. Mimuru. Please tell about this to the administrative headquarters in advance."

"All right! Tom, please be careful."

"Yeah. The same goes to you, Mimuru."


After Mimuru nodded at Irisdina's request, she called out to her lover, Tom. Tom also spoke back to her.

Two people smiled at each other. After having a quick glance, whether it was enough for them, Mimuru quickly jumped into the forest.

Following her, Jin and his friends also carried the injured students on their backs and disappeared into the forest.


"Everyone else, including Nozomu and Mars, will deal with this Dragon. Is that okay?"


Kevin complained against one name Irisdina mentioned in her words.


"Oi, oi Irisdina! Even if this fellow is here, he would only burden our feet..."


Kevin pointed at Nozomu while saying so, but Irisdina interrupted his voice. His reaction, in a sense, was natural. Kevin had been swallowed by Mars' technique, so he didn't see Nozomu's [Phantom].


"It's okay. He'll be fine."


While saying that, Irisdina smiled despite the situation.


"Yeah. I think so too. He knows this forest better than anyone, and he has more experience fighting demon beasts than we do. So naturally, we need his power."


Furthermore, Shīna went along with Irisdina's words. There was a certain amount of trust in the eyes of the two who stared at Nozomu, as did Tom behind her. Behind Tom, Feo looked at Shīna and Irisdina with an amused expression.


"... Tch!"


Kevin clicked his tongue with an expression that looked like biting a bitter worm. For him who is in love with Irisdina, it wasn't amusing to hear the name of a different man came out of her mouth.

Meanwhile, Nozomu and Lisa's line of sight crossed.





Lisa and Ken glared at Nozomu. Nozomu felt ridiculed when he received their gazes. An indescribably heavy air enveloped the place.

When Lisa tried to open her mouth to say something, Irisdina interrupted her.


"Lisa, I don't know what happened between you and Nozomu, but right now..."

"Right now, what to do with the dragon is our top priority. I already knew without being told..."


Lisa further interrupted Irisdina's words. Her expression completely rejected Nozomu. It was as if she was imposing herself to do so.

Ken next to her was also glaring at Nozomu. His expression was expressionless, but his gaze was full of hatred that could freeze one's spine.


"~! It's coming!"


At that moment, Mars' voice could be heard. With his voice, everyone who was there held their respective weapons at once.




The Undead Dragon's roar resounded once again. The dragon opened its mouth and released a scorching breath towards them.



"Leave it to me!"


Tima responded to Irisdina's yell and cast a magic barrier. If they received the scorching breath directly, their bones would become charcoal, but the invisible wall cast by a human with the highest magical power did not allow such scorching breath to invade.


After Tima blocked the Dragon's breath, Irisdina cast magic with her [Immediate Deployment]. The surrounding wind gathered in front of her in a spiral and let out a reverberating sound.

Irisdina's [Wind Tunnel of the Hungry Beast] collided with the Dragon's breath and the continuously released flames scattered for a moment, creating a path towards the Undead Dragon.


"Hey, lowest! Don't get in my way!"


Kevin ran after throwing cursing words at Nozomu. In the blink of an eye, he dashed through the gaps of the scattered flames and rushed towards the Undead Dragon.

When the Dragon saw Kevin rushing in, it moved its neck and tried to direct the scorching breath it was currently vomiting at Kevin, but the hot breath couldn't catch Kevin's movement and only burned the ground.


"It's slow!"


Kevin focused Qi on his fist. The distance had already been shortened by dashing, so he slammed his palm against the Dragon's chin. It was as if his claws were stabbed into his prey.


"Take this!"


Qi technique [Piercing Claw and Fang]

A Qi technique that simultaneously strikes the opponent with a double attack, the impact of an explosion of Qi released from the palm and the piercing claw.


Along with a shockwave echoing through its belly, its fragile scales cracked and blood spurted out of its skin.

However, the Undead Dragon still tried to eat Kevin regardless of the blood gushing out from its wounds.




Kevin slipped under its chin and dodged the Dragon's fangs. Kevin moved around towards the other side. At the edge of his field of vision, the Dragon's mouth closed with a crackling sound above its head. This time he focused his Qi on his toes and fired a kick towards the Dragon's chin once again.


Qi technique [Ripping Blade]

The kick-enveloped Qi that was swung out swiftly slashed and cut through the exposed skin whose scales were peeling off, like a knife.

However, the dragon tried to stomp on Kevin with its forearm while the skin on its chin was torn.


"Tch~! Is it not working?"


Kevin jumped back and dodged the Dragon's oncoming arm, and Mars rushed in that gap.


"Then, how about this!"


Marus, who was moving around from the other side, thrust in while holding his Qi-enveloped greatsword.




Mars swung his Qi-enveloped greatsword downwards. With sufficient speed and acceleration, the greatsword shattered the Dragon's scales and cut its flesh deeply, furthermore, the wind blades attached to the greatsword gouged out the Dragon's flesh.

However, regardless of its injury, the Dragon raised its tail as high as possible to get rid of Kevin and Mars.





Mars and Kevin tried to dodge the approaching tail, but Mars who had just swung his greatsword couldn't move immediately. On the other hand, Kevin whose body was suffering from severe pain from the wounds inflicted by Mars' combined use of magic and Qi, had his movement slowed down for a moment as he tried to jump back up. At that moment, Kevin couldn't dodge the oncoming Dragon's tail in front of him. The swung tail hit them directly.



"Damn! Gaahh!"


Being hit, both of them were thrown to the ground. Furthermore, the Undead Dragon approached the two who had fallen.



"Tch~, it can't be helped!"


Tima saw the blown Mars and made a sad voice. She immediately chanted [Calamity of the Sinner] and cast it at the Undead Dragon.

Feo also took out a talisman from his pocket, created three flame bullets, and fired them.

A huge explosion hit the Undead Dragon. The explosion overran the surroundings. In addition, Feo's flame bullets hit the Dragon directly. The smell of burning meat could be smelled all around.


The soul was blown away and the ground was gouged out. Irisdina and the others relaxed their facial expressions slightly when they saw such a scene, but when they saw a huge shadow from the depths of the rising smoke, they immediately hardened their facial expressions again.

A gigantic body emerged from within the smoke. However, perhaps not completely unharmed, its body was burned in several places. Apparently, the exposed skin where the scales peeled off was burned.


Mars and Kevin stood in the meantime

However, Kevin's left arm hangs loose, seemingly broken, and Mars appears to be standing with his greatsword for support.

Both of them had an unsteady gait and blood was dripping from their mouths, probably because their internal organs were injured. Obviously, their injuries were quite serious.


"Gururururu ..."


While the smoke raised from its whole body, the Undead Dragon tried to go toward Kevin and Mars.



"Damn it……"


Kevin and Mars gritted their teeth. It seemed that their bodies, which were completely paralyzed from the previous impact, were able to stand up but were unable to move.


"It's bad!"


Nozomu threw a Flash Ball at the Dragon. The Undead Dragon temporarily lost sight of Mars and Kevin due to the flash generated by the Flash Ball. Meanwhile, Nozomu and Feo rushed towards Mars and Kevin, then grabbed their collars.



"It's a little rough, but please bear with it!"



Nozomu and Feo left while dashing with their legs. It was as if they were dragging them. The Undead Dragon tried to chase after them, but the support from Irisdina, Tima, Shīna, and Tom stopped the Undead Dragon's movement.


"Ken! Camilla! Support me!"


Lisa, with her crimson hair fluttering in the wind, headed towards the Dragon to replace Nozomu and Feo. Moreover, a torrent of magical power exploded from behind her. Camilla and Ken chanted [Icicle Dance] magic and shot several ice spears at the Undead Dragon in quick succession.

Most of the ice spears that attacked the Dragon were blocked by its scales protecting it, but some of them hit where the scales had peeled off and pierced through its skin.


Furthermore, Ken created a huge ice spear and shot it at the Dragon's chest. The Dragon's body hit by the huge ice spear staggered, and meanwhile, Lisa activated her [Niveei Witch] ability and gave it to her own saber to double the damage dealt.

As her blade burn and drew a trajectory in the air, she closed the gap at once. Aiming at the Dragon's abdomen, she swung the saber in her hand with all her might.




Her slash was blocked by the Dragon's scales and repelled with a sound that hurt one's ears. The sound was like metal rubbing against each other. However, her slash managed to peel the Undead Dragon's tattered scales off and exposed its soft skin.


"Take this!"


In addition, Lisa overturn her saber and stabbed it deep into the Dragon's abdomen. She immediately activated the magic contained in her saber. The torn wound burned at the same time she activated her magic, burning the Dragon's internal organs from within.

A clearly fatal blow. The feeling that came to her hand was certain, and Lisa was relieved and naturally smiled.




However, her smile soon turned into a surprised expression. The dragon, whose stomach was torn and its internal organs should have been burnt, raised its log-like arm.

Regardless of its own seemingly fatal injury, the Undead Dragon swung its arm at Lisa.





Lisa was blown away slammed into a nearby tree.

Due to the shock, her breath was blocked and she coughed violently. She couldn't move at all, probably because she was slammed too hard.

Ken rushed to help Lisa. Camilla tried to cast her magic again but they were clearly not in time. The Undead  Dragon opened its mouth while trying to eat Lisa.


"Aa ... aa"


Lisa had no choice but to be stunned and look at the approaching death in her eyes.

However, the next moment, something flew towards the Undead Dragon's right eye. At the same time, the Dragon's face exploded.




Furthermore, a shadow cuts in between Lisa and the Undead Dragon.

The shadow sent his Qi on the katana he had in his hand and swung it towards the Undead Dragon.


Qi technique [Phantom -Recurrence-]

Nozomu's extremely compressed Qi turned into a flying slash and cut off another eye of the Undead Dragon.

Perhaps the Dragon, which had completely lost its sight, was taken aback, so it staggered as it moved backward.


"... Nozomu?"


Nozomu received Lisa's surprised voice on his back without looking back.








(……I made it in time)


Nozomu felt relieved while muttering so in his heart. Mars and Kevin, who couldn't move due to their injuries, were entrusted to Tima and the others who went to support them. It seemed that what he did was correct.


"... Nozomu?"


Lisa's voice seemed surprised. It had been a long time since Nozomu had heard her voice without hatred.

The same nostalgic voice as when she was still with him. At the same time, various emotions came and went into the depths of Nozomu's heart.

However, he didn't know how he really felt. Whether it was the anger that came from being betrayed, the sadness that he continued to be hated by her, or the joy that he was able to protect her once again.

His feelings kept rising from the depth of his heart, mixing into a mess and became chaotic.




A tingling pain ran through his nose, and swollen emotions ran down his throat.

However, Nozomu desperately restrained himself from leaking the thoughts that kept popping up in his heart.

The vortex of overly chaotic thoughts continued to rage like a storm, and if he uttered a single word, Nozomu himself had no idea what he would say.


Nozomu was confronting the Undead Dragon while feeling her presence behind his back.

The Undead Dragon's huge body was as big as a house. The rotten odor could be smelled by his nose. Its wings and scales were tattered. The greatness that once existed now became a ruin.


"Lisa! Are you okay!?"


Ken rushed to Lisa's side. As soon as Nozomu heard Ken's voice, the violent emotions that filled his heart began to blacken.


(What's wrong? You just need to swing your sword, right?”


A voice could be heard from the depths of the abyss. The appearance of a giant dragon with 6 wings and 5 colors flashed every time his heart made a sound. The Undead Dragon in front of him and "that" figure overlapped.


"Yo, Nozomu! What the hell was that. You had such a ridiculous skill."


Feo rushed to Nozomu's side and spoke to him in the same way as usual. He was surprised that Nozomu, who was inferior to him, had the ability to cut through the Dragon's body and its scales, but the current Nozomu couldn't afford to answer his words.




Nozomu tried to shake off his wicked emotions that had started to dye his mind black.

The Undead Dragon took a deep breath and tried to exhale a scorching breath at Nozomu.

Nozomu moved his legs and activated his [Instant Move]. He kicked the ground as he thought about tearing the shackles due to his Ability Suppression.


He didn't move directly in front of it, but diagonally near the side of the Undead Dragon. He lowered his posture and ran through the side of the scorching breath. The scorching breath that could even melt iron burned Nozomu's hair and skin that was grazed by it.

But still, Nozomu didn't stop. He had no choice but to fight in close-quarter combat. In order to grasp his only chance, Nozomu ran towards the Dragon's body and slipped into the Dragon's feet.


"Haaaaa !!"


Nozomu activated [Phantom -Clad-] on his katana and slashed at the huge figure in front of him. The blade, which was infused with extremely compressed Qi, turned into a magic blade. The blade sliced through the Undead Dragon's body along with its scales and the friction caused sparks.

A stench emanated from its open wound, and its flesh spilled out. On the other hand, Feo slammed his staff into the gap between the scales.

The Undead Dragon swung its arms and tail as if to repel the clinging worms, but Nozomu kept slashing at the giant while moving following the Undead Dragon's blind spot relentlessly.


"Shit! It's not working at all!"


However, Nozomu's slash wasn't as effective as he expected. Perhaps because Feo's attacks were also ineffective, Feo also had a stiff expression on his face.

Originally, the Undead Dragon was dead, so there was no pain. Apart from humanoid-sized undead, Nozomu's katana and Feo's staff were too small to slash through such a giant, which was bigger than a house.


"Nozomu! Get away!"


Nozomu and Feo gave space by taking some distance because of Irisdina's voice that was heard from afar. Immediately after, a rain of magic fell and hit the Undead Dragon's body, but it was mostly repelled by its scales and scattered in vain.





Next, Tima made a huge rock spear with [Sharp Rock Dance] and shot it at the Undead Dragon.

The huge rock spear reminiscent of a battering ram pierced the Undead Dragon's scales and pierced its chest deeply.




However, the dragon, which had turned into an Undead, rushed towards Tima in the direction where the magic had flown from, regardless of whether the rock spear had pierced its heart.


"Eh! Kyaa!"


"Kuh~ !!"


The Undead Dragon that rushed in tried to attack Tima with its arm. Irisdina and Camilla cast their magic in quick succession, and Nozomu fired another flying slash. The flying slash cut through its body and the magics exploded. However, the Undead Dragon didn't feel any pain.

There was no other choice for Irisdina to strengthen her body with all her might and rush towards Tima like a gale. She held Tima's body and tried to jump away, but she couldn't completely dodge the Dragon's arm that was swung.

She deployed a magic barrier with [Immediate Deployment]. She managed to block the Dragon's arm for a moment, but the magic barrier that was generated instantly couldn't withstand it for long, and the two of them were flung and slammed into the ground.



"Tima! Damn it!"


Nozomu and Mars screamed when they saw the two who were blown away.

(No way... are they...)

Such a thought came to Nozomu's mind, and his chest tightened.




However, the two bodies twitched and moved slightly, perhaps in response to the voices calling out to them. Apparently, the worst thing Nozomu feared didn't happen.

Meanwhile, the Undead Dragon was calmly searching for its next target.




The next thing the Undead Dragon noticed was Camilla who was still casting her magic.




Nozomu rushed to the Undead Dragon with [Instant Move] to prevent it from going. Nozomu cut the Dragon's body while clinging to it. Feo also used his magic from behind and attacked with all his might. However, they couldn't stop the Dragon because their attacks couldn't do much to stop it. Sweat dripped down Camilla's forehead, and the facial expressions on Nozomu and Feo's faces also looked impatient.




At this rate, even they would be killed. With that thought in mind, Nozomu grabbed the invisible chains that bound his body.

They were the shackles that exists inside him, the chains that bound the dragon.

Even though it was the surest way to kill the Undead Dragon, the release of that power could cause another tragedy that Nozomu himself could not have imagined.

In fact, he had once used that power and sunk into his rage. It literally caused a tragedy.

His opponents back then were demon beasts and not humans, as well as giants who had the ability to surpass ordinary humans with ease.

If such a power that could easily slay giants was used against humans, then the nightmare he had been having all along would become reality.




Nozomu still couldn't overcome his hesitation.

However, at that moment, a light suddenly surged behind Camilla.


"That is……"


Certainly, it was contract magic with spirits he had seen before.

The light grains gather at one point while drawing in a spiral. Standing at the point of convergence was an elven girl with blue hair.

She decided that she couldn't defeat the Undead Dragon with her own strength, so she sought help from the friends she had spent time with since she was a child.


(Maybe this will work……)


Nozomu considered her spirit magic, which could even seal the black demon beast, as a way out. But something unexpected happened.

A gust of wind suddenly appeared. The vortex of wind flowing in the opposite direction blew away the gathered spirits around Shīna and dispersed the contract magic.


"W-w-what happened !?"


Shīna let out a panicked voice at the unexpected occurrence. When Nozomu and the others turned their gaze to the source of the wind, it was Mars with a greatsword in his hand. One of his hands was broken, so he was holding the greatsword with the other hand. He sent his Qi and magic power into his greatsword with all his might.


"No matter how strong the dragon is, if I use this then...!"


Beyond his line of sight was Tima, who had fallen on the ground. The moment Tima and Irisdina were blown away, anger and impatience instantly burned his heart.

Mars tried to use his strongest skill right now, thinking that he had to do something about the current situation while being pushed by those flames.

Certainly, he was able to use that technique in the previous turbulent battle. But that was only because he could "use" the technique, but he still couldn't "manipulate it at will."

Unaware of that fact, Mars misunderstood that he could master it now, and as a result, the situation that Tima and Nozomu feared occurred.




A burst of magic power and Qi made a noise and swirled within the body of the greatsword. The stormy vortex of power continued to rage in harmony.

Due to the injection of excessive power that originally couldn't mix, Mars couldn't control it and started running wild.


"Why! Guahhh!"

"Kyaa !!"


The wind beast was released with a roaring sound.

The wind that gathered around the greatsword finally left Mars' control and bared its fangs to the surroundings.

The explosion blew away the creator Mars, as well as Camilla and Tima who were nearby. Shīna was protected by the spirits she gathered, but as a result, she completely lost her spiritual protection afterward.

Shīna, who had lost her spirit protection, shot her arrow with a bitter expression, but the Undead Dragon wouldn't stop with just that level of attack.


"Kuh~ !!"


The Dragon headed towards them without worrying about their desperate attack. Its figure was almost exactly the same as the figure of the giant Dragon that Nozomu saw in his nightmare.

Nozomu had no time to hesitate anymore. In front of him were Irisdina, who had fallen to the ground, and Shīna, who was holding back her fear while continuing to shoot arrows.

Swinging his katana, Nozom dashed past the Undead Dragon's side as if to dispel the nightmares, fear, and anxiety in his head, and then he immediately turned around. He turned around, scraped the ground roughly, touched the invisible chains that bound him, and tried to tear them apart with all his might.


"W-why ..."


However, for some reason, the invisible chain didn't break. Nozomu tried to break the chain repeatedly, but no matter how hard he exerted his strength, the invisible chain didn't budge.




Nozomu was taken aback. At that moment, the approaching Dragon swung its tail and hit Nozomu and Shīna with it.





Nozomu and Shīna were thrown and slammed to the ground. Nozomu couldn't take a defensive stance because he was attacked when he was completely taken aback, and his consciousness turned pure white due to the impact.


In his vanishing consciousness, Nozomu's hazy field of vision shifted from the Dragon's fangs approaching in front of him to a man wearing silver armor and carrying a black gigantic sword that appeared like a gale from the depths of the bushes.












The darkness slowly faded. The first thing reflected in Nozomu's blurry vision was the ceiling of the tent.


"Where is this……"

"Looks like you're awake."


Looking at the person who spoke those words, Norn-sensei came from the back of the tent. Apparently, this was the first-aid station at the administrative headquarters.

Norn came to Nozomu'side, grabbed his hand, measured his pulse, and looked into the back of his eyes to check his physical condition.

Norn diagnosed Nozomu and told him what happened after he lost consciousness.

According to the story, when Nozomu and the others were in trouble, Jihad, who received the report from Mimuru, took off immediately and started fighting the Undead Dragon. Eventually, the Dragon was slashed by a blow of Jihad's gigantic sword, and its neck was severed. It seemed that the Dragon was defeated by being slashed by a single blow.


"Yup. It's alright now. Despite being undead, I was worried when I heard that you encountered a dragon, but I'm glad you're safe."


After finishing the diagnosis, Norn started to put away the equipment she used earlier. Nozomu was worried about everyone else's condition and opened his mouth to ask Norn.


"Umm... what about the others?"

"Irisdina and the others have already been treated and are outside now. Certainly, everyone's injuries aren't minor, but none are life-threatening. Except for Shīna..."

"I'm here."


Shīna's voice could be heard from the other side. When Nozomu turned around, there was Shīna who just lifted her upper body on her bed. A bandage was wrapped around her head, and a bloodstained bandage could be seen from under her uniform coat.




Red spots on her white skin that shouldn't have stains. Nozomu's face was distorted by the painful sight.


"...I'll call Irisdina and the others. You two just get some rest."


After Norn-sensei came out, the inside of the tent was filled with silence. Shīna looked at Nozomu, but Nozomu couldn't look back at her.


(Because I couldn't release my power at that time ...)


Regret swirled in his heart. If he could release his Ability Suppression, they might not be hurt.


"Hey ……"


Of course, that's a possibility. But, that was meaningless now that the battle with the Undead Dragon was over.

However, the fact that he couldn't do what he needed when it mattered the most, deeply pierced Nozomu's heart.





Nozomu suddenly turned around because of Shīna's call.


"Please listen. I've been calling you since a while ago..."



Maybe she thought she was being ignored, Shīna showed her dissatisfied expression to Nozomu. Nozomu hurriedly apologized to her, but his mind still drifted elsewhere.


"Yup~, everyone's safe, you know."


Shīna sighed at Nozom's behavior, but maybe she was trying to cheer him up, so she spoke to Nozomu in a bright voice as much as she could, in the same way that Mimuru would usually say.




But Nozomu's expression showed no improvement, he gritted his teeth and clenched his fists to endure something.

Then they both fell silent. As silence enveloped the tent, Shīna opened her mouth again to ask Nozomu something.


"Hey, what was ..."

"Nozomu, are you awake!?"


But when she tried to say the words, Irisdina rushed into the tent to block her next words. Maybe she came in a hurry, she was breathing wildly and her chest was inflating and deflating violently.

It seemed that Irisdina wasn't the only one worried about them, Tima and Feo could be seen behind her.


"Y-yeah. Looks like you two are alright."

"Um. I'm glad ... I was worried."


Irisdina was relieved when she saw Nozomu's safety. Her pure feelings could be seen from her expression and her moist jet-black eyes. If others looked closely, she had bandages all over her body, just like Shīna.


"Yeah. Sorry, I made you guys worry..."



Nozomu's expression who saw Irisdina's wound became even more cloudy. Irisdina fell silent because of Nozomu's behavior.


"Yo, Nozomu, the most important thing is that we're fine. And also..."



Feo who was behind Irisdina tried to talk to Nozomu, but just then, Mars appeared from behind them.




Maru appeared blocking Feo's next words. He walked up to Nozomu's bed, ignoring everyone else.

The next moment, Mars' fist was reflected in Nozomu's field of vision, and shock hit Nozomu's cheek.

A striking sound echoed through the tent. Nozomu's body was thrown off the bed and knocked down a table beside him. A medical examination instrument was thrown to the ground.

Mars' face was dyed fiery red with anger, and he was still glaring at Nozomu.


"Why ..."


Mars' voice was suffocating. His clenched fist quivered, and he gritted his teeth to the point of crushing.


"Why didn't you take it seriously !!"


Mars rushed to the fallen Nozomu and grabbed his chest.


"If you were serious, you could have easily defeated such a lizard !!"



Nozomu couldn't say anything to Mars' words. He just looked down and gritted his teeth to endure.

Nozomu took his words as punishment. However, Mars became even more frustrated with Nozomu's behavior, who said nothing.


"This ... just say something!"


Mars swung his fist again.

Irisdina and the others were flabbergasted by the sudden occurrence, but they immediately tried to stop Mars from trying to hit Nozomu again.


"Mars-kun! Don't!"

"Stop it! Mars!"

"Wha~, calm down!"


Tima and Irisdina clung to Mars' arm, and Feo jumped onto his waist.

Mars refused to lower his raised arm, despite three people trying to stop him. He let himself sank into anger and shook off Tima who was clinging to him.





Tima, who wasn't strong, was easily shaken off. Perhaps Tima twisted her leg, she was holding her ankle while her face was distorted in pain.

However, since the anger has already reached his head, Mars didn't even look at Tima, and he hit Nozomu again with his freed arm.

Nozomu collapsed again on the medical examination instrument. Norn screamed from the tent entrance as Mars tried to plunge further into Nozomu.


"What are you doing! This is no place for you to make such a fuss!"



Everyone became calm as if they were hit by water. Their eyes swam in the air and their behavior seemed awkward to one another.




Mars was still staring at Nozomu. His eyes were angry but somehow he looked sad and sullen. However, the color of his eyes changed to disappointment due to Nozomu's behavior of refusing to say anything.


"...I thought you were different..."



Mars spoke so, turned around, and left the tent. Tima called out Mars' name, but he left without even looking back.



"...Nozomu, are you okay?"


Nozomu, who had fallen, stood up, but his legs were weak and staggered.

Irisdina offered her hand to support Nozomu's body, but Nozomu didn't take the outstretched hand. He ignored her and headed for the tent exit.

Irisdina tried to reach Nozomu's back as he left, but her hands couldn't reach him and just float in the air.


After the two came out, only heavy silence floated in the tent.

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