Ryuu Kusari no Ori -Kokoro no Uchi no “Kokoro”-


Chapter 7.23

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Chapter 7.23

“No way… Such a thing happened to him…”

After receiving treatment from Zonne, Tom, and Somia, Lisa was told the general situation by the three of them who had treated her.

It would be more accurate to say that the three of them had no other choice but to tell her.

Lisa had been healed of her wounds by Zonne's arcane magic, but now that she had recovered and was feeling better, she began to make a lot of noise, calling out Nozomu's name.

At this rate, she might run off in search of him. In fact, as she was about to run off deeper into the forest, Zonne and Tom had to stop her in a hurry.

At the very least, she needed to be made to understand the current situation. After clarifying the cause and effect of the fact that Nozomu was attacked, Tom decided to calm her down by telling her about Nozomu's secret and the current situation as far as he knew for the time being.

Both Tom and Zonne initially considered covering the issue by using vague expressions, but they decided that a poor cover story could conversely raise Lisa's doubts and fuel her suspicions.

In fact, this was the right decision. She had heard the name "Tiamat" mentioned by Azel to Nozomu.

"Umm .... Lisa-san, are you okay?"

"Yes, thank you .... I'm fine now..."

Lisa was shocked by what she heard from Tom.

Somia was concerned about her and approached her, but Lisa's response was clearly lacking in energy.

It was understandable.

The dragon that a.s.similated into Nozomu was said to be the strongest among the spirit species. Moreover, even within the dragon race, Tiamat is a being that is considered out of the norm. He was carrying in his body an existence so out of the norm that it could easily crush such a tiny person.

She herself had a feeling that Nozomu might have a secret of his own.

It all started when Nozomu had a close encounter with Jihad at the martial arts garden. Her doubts were confirmed when Nozomu saved Lisa from being devoured by Ken, who had become a monster.

Her memory at that time was vague, but she knew that Nozom had helped her.

At the same time, this fact made her understand that he was far from the Nozomu she knew.

However, the name mentioned by Azel, who had chased after Nozomu, and what Tom had just told her, shocked Lisa more than enough to leave her stunned.

She had thought he might be involved in something she didn't know about, but she had never imagined that he would be involved with something so dangerous.

"Perhaps, driven by Tiamat's anger, the boy is now out of control and on a rampage. Before, there would have been room for him to return to normal, but now..."

"On a rampage?"

Stunned by his words, Lisa turned to look at the old man, who was crossing his arms with a bitter expression on his face.

Somia, who had been concerned about Lisa, also looked up and turned her gaze to the old man, who was pondering in front of her.

"When I arrived in this alternate world, I felt the aftermath of a powerful clash of forces. Furthermore, considering that the young lady was seriously injured, to the point of life or death, it is easy to guess how things turned out."

"That's true……"

Tom gave a small nod at Zonne's words.

Lisa Hounds had nothing to do with Tiamat, and even for Azel, her presence was nothing to think about. She should be ignored like a weed growing in the area.

Considering the fact that she was lying wounded, it was easy to imagine who did it in what situation and what kind of result it brought.

"Azel's removal of the young lady as an obstacle and wounding of her touched the boy's anger. At the same time, the boy had lost control of his mind after he unleashed Tiamat's power, and now he is completely in sync with Tiamat's hatred."

"If this continues, Nozomu's body won't be able to handle it. At worst, Tiamat will break his body from the inside."

"If that happens, Nozomu will..."

"Of course, he will die."

At the mention of Nozomu's death, Lisa's pupils dilated. At the same time, she staggered like a doll with a broken thread.

Somia, who was by her side, quickly supported her swaying body, but Lisa's complexion turned as pale as a sick person's. Tom looked at her painfully. Lisa shook her head as if she were switching her mind and turned her gaze to Zonne.

"U-, umm! If it's you, old man, can't you do something about the current Nozomu-san!?"

Somia, who was supporting Lisa, made a voice similar to a scream.

However, Zonne's lips remained tightly closed.

"As I said earlier, if I were to appear in front of Tiamat, there is no doubt that it will fuel her anger even more. If Mikael is alright, he will be able to suppress the kid's movement to some extent, but I don't know if he can restore his reason..."


"The boy's and Tiamat's souls are connected even deeper than on the surface. I have tried to confirm the boy's soul in the form of divination before, but it didn't work. It seems that I am powerless to interfere with the boy's soul."

"No way..."

"I don't know why, whether it's because Tiamat is preventing me from interfering or because the kid is still an incomplete dragon slayer..."

"Does that mean, there's nothing we can do?"

Even if they could hold him down, it would be meaningless if his heart did not come back to him.

Somia couldn't help but turned her eyes down after hearing Zonne's bitter words.

Tom bit his lip at the young girl's pained expression.

"I hope Irisdina-san and the others could get Nozomu-kun back to normal..."

"It may be difficult. The situation is different from before, and the boy himself has lost his mind... It would be counterproductive for me to step forward in this situation."

Tiamat hated the dragon race. And the dragon race had the means to seal Tiamat. Since both sides had tremendous influence over each other, it would be difficult to make a calm decision in such a dire situation.

Furthermore, even if they were to suppress Nozomu, it would be meaningless if he did not regain his reason.

How could they restrain Tiamat's anger?

No, could Tiamat's and Nozomu's spirits be separated?

At that moment, Zonne's words from earlier stuck in Tom's mind.

"By the way, old man, you said that Azel-san was chasing after Tiamat to avenge her father, Mikael. And you also said that if only Mikael were alright. So, he's still alive, right?"

Azel was chasing after Tiamat to avenge her father, Mikael. And from what Zonne had just said, it seemed that her father was still alive.

Mikael. Could that existence be deeply connected to Tiamat's hatred?

While thinking so, Tom frankly asked Zonne the question he had just felt.

"Yeah. Technically, Mikael still exists in this world. And just like Azel, he should be trying to seal Tiamat by now. However, the current him has no body or power as a dragon, and his soul has become the key to seal Tiamat..."


Tom asked Zonne to make sure.

As far as he heard, Mikael had already lost his body as a dragon. But he didn't die.

In the first place, if he was killed by Tiamat, Tiamat must also have the power of a white dragon.

However, Tiamat didn't have the power of a white dragon.

According to what Tom had heard from Nozomu, Tiamat was a giant dragon with five colors and six wings, but the white wings, the symbol of the white dragon's power, were not mentioned in the story.

Tiamat didn't kill Mikael. However, there must be a reason for Azel to target Tiamat.

"What did you guys do to Tiamat? No, what happened to that dragon in the first place?"

Perhaps it all lies in Zonne's statement, "Mikael is the key to the seal", but unfortunately, he still didn't have enough information about Tiamat to make a judgment.

"According to the literature, Tiamat is treated as an evil dragon who devoured her friends because she wanted power. However, from what the old man told me, it sounds like there is more to the story than that..."

"The stories about Tiamat that humans know today are only fragmentary and superficial ..."

Zonne exhaled deeply at Tom's question, dropped his shoulders, and began to speak slowly with a mysterious atmosphere.

"Five thousand years ago, I was the chief of the White Dragon Clan. At the same time, I was the one who changed Mikael's appearance and sealed Tiamat."

There was not a trace of the usual cheerfulness in his voice.

"Before Tiamat was called the Abominable Dragon, she and her friends worked together to save the suffering humans and established an order. At the intersection of dragon veins, where nature raged wildly and disorderly, dragons, humans, beasts, and all other species cooperated to create a utopia. However, numerous schemes, desires, and misunderstandings resulted in the collapse of all of them..."

While biting his lip and with a pained expression on his face, Zonne continued.

"After their utopia was destroyed by their own hands, we, the Dragon Clan, sealed off the ruins of the utopia she had built, in order to hold her at bay as she rampaged through the destruction of everything. In the end, that was all we could do."

With deep regret in his eyes, Zonne looked up at the gray sky with a sad expression on his face.

"...It was a sad misunderstanding. Both Tiamat and Mikael were only trying to do the best they could for those they wanted to protect."

Zonne spoke only a few words, as if he was at a loss to say more, and then fell silent.

Zonne's heavy breathing echoed in the ears of Tom and the others.

Looking closely, they could see blood dripping from his tightly clenched fist.

Tom and Somia could do nothing but stare in silence at Zonne's grief-stricken face.

"Kuh~, ugh!"

At that moment, Lisa stepped out to walk deeper into the forest, her mouth distorted in frustration.

Somia, who was supporting Lisa's body next to her, called out to her in a hurry.

'Li-, Lisa-san, are you all right?"

"I'm alright ... I don't have time to be shocked in a place like this, I'm going to ... Nozomu's place."

Her voice sounded impatient as if driven by frustration.

"What are you going to do when you get to Nozomu's place?"

"I don't know what to do, but I can't stand doing nothing like this ..."

"... Certainly, where there's a will, there's a way. But, miss, you're not doing it out of desperation, do you?"

Zonne's sharp gaze pierced Lisa.

For him, Lisa was the key to Nozomu's rampage. If she made a bad move and died, it would be irreparable.

"If I said I didn't... I'd be lying. Frankly, I was tempted to slit my own throat..."

Even now, whenever she recalled the past words she had said to Nozomu, she still felt the urge to stab her own chest.

"But I can't do that. If I did, everything that Nozomu has endured up to now would be in vain. That's the only thing I can't let go to waste... Irisdina-san and the others made me realize it..."

As Irisdina and the others said, Nozomu wished that Lisa had to move forward again properly.

Although Lisa's feelings towards Irisdina for reprimanding her were complicated, she also felt that she would not be satisfied if she ran away from the current situation.

She smiled as she dismissed the feelings that welled up in her chest as a natural compet.i.tive spirit.

"I still have a few words I haven't said to him yet. If I don't say them properly, I won't be able to move forward... Besides, we can't let him die, and that means the same for Irisdina and the others, can we?"

Zonne groaned at those words.

Lisa's words were right in the sense that they couldn't let them die.

In this case, Lisa was the trigger for Nozomu's rampage, but in some cases, it could have been Irisdina and the others.

If Azel had gotten Irisdina and the others involved, Lisa's position with them would have been reversed.

Furthermore, they couldn't let such a situation, where Irisdina and the others facing the out-of-control Nozomu, go on for too long.

If he were to injure or at worst killed them with his own hands, it would be an irreversible situation.

He had established a deep connection with them, so the despair he would feel when that happened was immeasurable.

Even though Lisa was able to escape from the brink of death for the time being, the situation was still very unpredictable.

'Well, I guess in the end, we have to act to get it started... Anyway, let's join with Irisdina-san and the others first."

There was still no way to solve the problem, but no more time could be spared. Tom, who made this judgment, decided to join with Irisdina and the others.

Even if they were to discuss it here, action was always necessary to solve the problem.

Knowledge is power, but decision is also power.

Tom couldn't deny that there was no part of him that wouldn't give up, but either way, it was hard for Irisdina and the others to keep Nozomu at bay on their own.

Then they would have no choice but to act.

However, Tom's inner mind was still in a state of shock. He could confidently say that he would never be able to face Nozomu even in his suppressed state, let alone the current Nozomu who was in a state of releasing his powers.

He could still remember Nozomu's figure who was dismantling and disposing of the Undead Dragon that had attacked him. The black power emanating from his body, combined with his horrifying figure.

Tom's whole body was tense. He almost chickened out.

"Tom-san ... pfft~!"

He tried to smile to rea.s.sure Somia, who looked up at him with an anxious expression, but his mouth stuck and he couldn't smile properly. His mouth twitched like that of a squashed frog's.

Somia laughed at him, and Tom shyly cleared his throat to cover it up.

The tension in his shoulders had somehow been lifted.

"We'll go, too. And old man, there is one more thing I want to make sure of."

"What is it? I don't want to hide anything from you now. Ask me anything."

"That is……"

Tom asked Zonne one last question as he looked deep into the forest, toward where Irisdina and the others were probably fighting.


In his bright red field of vision, Nozomu continued to raise his voice in anger.

He could no longer tell whether the hatred that welled up with pain was his own or that of Tiamat.

The emotional outburst was caused by Lisa being injured.

Nozomu's and Tiamat's souls synchronized and resonated with each other, blurring the boundaries between the two.

It was like melting into lukewarm water.

His entire body that had been pressed down by fatigue was forcibly moved by the power that was overflowing from within his body.

He could no longer feel any pain in his body.

He no longer felt any discomfort from the crimson-tinted vision. On the contrary, the crimson color that stained his vision gradually deepened.

He only looked at the glowing white "enemy" in front of him, raised his katana to slaughter it, and continued to push forward.

(Tet, thank you for your hard work.)

(Seriously~. Why do I have to take a human form like this~!)

(I already told you, didn't I? I told you that if you are the head of a country, you need to have the dignity to match it. Tet, you're a disappointment on the inside, so you should do something about your appearance at least, for now, don't you think?)

(Uuu, Mikael is awful ...)

Voices echoed deep in Nozomu's ears. The voices of those he knew and the voices of those he didn't know.

The voice he knew had no anger in it but was tinged with confusion and shame.

The stranger's voice, which sounded cruel, was also somehow familiar.

Every time he heard that voice, the pain that pierced his chest increased as well.

(Mikaeeelll !)

A voice filled with hatred. But Nozomu didn't sense that it belonged to someone else. The crimson color that stained his vision was already as black as blood, and the anger that welled up within him knew no bounds.

Nozomu and Tiamat. Both of them kept pushing forward like a mad chariot while feeling a dull pain in their chests.


"" Oooooooooo! ""

An angry scream echoed through the gray-colored forest.

A young man, stained with rage, came running forward, slamming his feet on the ground.

In the direction he was headed was Mikael, who was lying on the ground, helpless. And Irisdina stood to protect him.

"Mimuru-kun, I leave it to you!"

"Alright, leave it to me"

Irisdina picked up Mikael, which had fallen at her feet, and tossed it to Mimuru.

Mimuru caught the thrown crystal with a nimble movement and tried to move backward as it was.

Nozomu's gaze turned to Mimuru, who had caught Mikael.

Along with a roaring sound, his [Instantaneous Movement] was activated. Nozomu closed the gap with Mimuru like a gust of wind, and with a fury, he raised the katana in his right hand.

"Nya-nya !?"

"I won't let you!"

Mars stood in front of Nozomu, raising his greatsword as if to intervene.

As Nozomu rushed forward, Mars swung his greatsword down vertically with all his might.

His physical abilities, which had been enhanced by releasing his Qi to the limit, and the weight of his greatsword. Combining the two, his blow had such power that even a rock could easily be shattered.

"~ !"

However, Nozomu easily parried the blade that was coming at him.

Mars's blade, which was swung down with great force, glided over Nozomu's katana and got deflected to the side.

Nozomu dealt with Mars's slash as if he were dispelling an insect with one hand. He took a step forward, and as if to counterattack, he swung his katana sideways.

Nozomu's sword was swung with his drastically increased physical strength. Coupled with his katana which already had sharp Qi blades enveloped within it.

If he were to take it seriously, his blade would cut a human body in half, including the weapon itself.

Furthermore, with his greatsword drawn, Mars was in a state full of gaps, with his upper body completely exposed.

"Don't underestimate me!"

Just when it looked as if Nozomu's blade would cut off Mars' torso, the back of Mars' gauntlet burst again along with a flash of light.

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Immediately after, the greatsword was pulled back at an unbelievable speed, catching the oncoming Nozomu blade.

Furthermore, Irisdina attacked Nozomu from the opposite side.

A katana and a rapier clashed. Irisdina's [Lunar Eclipse] canceled Nozomu's [Phantom -Clad-], and Tima's strengthening magic stopped his physical strength.

Irisdina and Mars held Nozomu by pinching him from both sides.

"Guu !?"

"Alright, I've got him!"

"No matter how strong you are, you can't fling us back with just one hand!"

No matter how strong Nozomu was, he couldn't push Irisdina and Mars, whose abilities had been drastically enhanced, with only one hand. However, neither Irisdina nor Mars was able to push forward.

"We're counting on you, Shīna-kun."

In the midst of such a compet.i.tive situation, Irisdina looked at the girl who was waiting behind her.


After retrieving Mikael, Mimuru crawled over to where Shīna was and unintentionally jumped on her best friend's leg and screamed.

"Hiih~! I thought I was going to die!

She was so scared that even her tail, which she was so proud of, wagged and shrank.

"Mimuru, thank you for your hard work. Quick, give me the crystal."

"Gosh, Can you give me a better word of grat.i.tude !? I almost lost my neck and torso, you know!"

"For example?"

"As expected of Mimuru-sama this Shīna is extremely grateful. Please continue to use me in the future ..."

"Just give it to me! We don't have time for this!"

Shīna forcibly took the crystal that Mimuru had been carrying. As expected, she did not have the luxury of listening to Mimuru's jokes in this critical situation.

Shīna had already tried to call Nozomu through the path they previously tied. But all she could feel was a searing rage.

She had tried many times to synchronize with Nozomu's spirit, but the synchronization between Tiamat and Nozomu had progressed too far that it had become difficult to separate Nozomu's spirit from Tiamat by external interference alone.

Previously, Nozomu's spirit was cornered, but he remained rational. This time, however, his reasoning had been blown away by his synchronization with Tiamat.

“Uuu, even though it was just a joke, Shīna is really cold. Tom, please come back soon…”

"Mimuru, don't keep dawdling. You still have things to do!"

"... Someone please give me a smile"

While kicking Mimuru's a.s.s, who was shedding tears, Shīna immediately tried to connect a path with Mikael with contract magic.

A crystal that Azel called Mikael. If her guess was correct, this crystal was Tiamat's childhood friend and Azel's father.

If so, he may know how to stop the current Nozomu.

"Mikael, the royal family of white spirits. Please listen to my words... "


With a sliver of hope in her heart, Shīna poured magic power into the crystal in her palm and made a simple contract.

However, the crystal in her palm did not respond.

Shīna's voice must have reached Mikael, but his reply was silent. As his appearance showed, he was as silent as a rock.

However, Shīna could not back down either. She continued speaking, regardless of Mikael's silence.

"Please. Please help us to stop Tiamat. You are her ..."

(It's no use ...)


(Her heart is already painted with hatred. My voice can no longer reach her.)

What was heard was an indifferent, emotionless voice.

"You and Tiamat are childhood friends, so..."

(That's why she will never forgive me. I have no intention of being forgiven either. All I can do is accept that she and I to be forgotten with time..)

"But in the worst case, let alone the people who live here, the world will..."

(Besides, I already have no power as a Dragon. What I have is only the ability to suppress Tet's power and push her into that world. Even if you ask me to break the sync between him and Tet, I don't have that kind of power...)

"No way..."

Mikael's reply left Shīna speechless.

If he's right, that means he can't bring Nozomu back.

"" Ooooooooooooooo! ""



"~ !? Irisdina-san! Mars-kun !?"

At that moment, along with a scream, a single shockwave rushed through the gray forest.

Irisdina and Mars were blown towards Shīna and the others, who were jostled by the shockwave.

"Wait, wait Fu-, guah~!"

"Fugyaa! Ah, it's kinda soft ..."

Mars's body that was blown collided with Feo and blew both of them away. Irisdina's body was firmly caught by Mimuru as she collapsed.

"d.a.m.n, I never thought you'd use our own attacks that were pinching you from both sides..."

"Is it no good to simply compete with force alone?..."

Nozomu, who was being pinched from both sides, found it difficult to escape due to the force and suddenly relaxed his arms and immediately crouched down on the spot.

Normally, he would have been cut down by the swinging blades, but because Mars and Irisdina were pinning Nozomu from both sides at that time, their weapons collided in midair. As such, Nozomu adjusted the two weapons' trajectories.

Nozomu, who was free for a moment, immediately aimed at Mars' back and blew them away with his Qi technique [Cannon].

"~, Kuh~!? The control technique is collapsing!"

Feo, who was controlling Tima's magic, was blown away, and the reinforcement magic on Irisdina shattered.

"Tch~! Mimuru! We'll have to manage to hold out together until Irisdina's technique is repaired!"

"Ue~!? I-, I'm going to the front!? I can't! I'll die!"

"I can't hold Nozomu off by myself! I'm not asking you to fight him, I'm just asking you to distract him. Let's go!"

"d.a.m.n it! Every single person in this party is too rough with cats~!"

Mimuru pulled out the dagger from her waist with teary eyes.

But here a question arose in Irisdina's mind. Why didn't Nozomu slash them down when he escaped from the restraints?

The question was soon answered. An enormous amount of Qi was concentrated on Nozomu's left hand.

A strong chill ran through everyone who was there, including Mars and Mimuru, who were about to step forward.

It was the preparation for Nozomu's only and greatest eradication Qi technique.

Qi technique [Light of Extinction].

If activated, there would be not even a speck of dust left of the physically weak Irisdina and her friends. Nozomu was planning to destroy Irisdina and Mars as well as the rearguards.

"~ !? This's bad! Everyone, fortify your defenses!

Irisdina hastily tried to cast barrier magic on her feet, but Nozomu's left arm was already emitting a blinding light, obviously, she wasn't in time.

"" Ooooooo! ""

In addition, five different colors of elements erupted from Nozomu's body and flowed into his left arm.

The shimmering light of the elements, like a fire, snapped Irisdina's fighting spirit, who was trying to create a barrier.

If Tiamat's power were to be added to the [Light of Extinction], even if the barrier magic was activated in time, it would not be able to block the attack.

Even so, Irisdina was determined not to give up and tried to deploy her magic.

Nozomu's left arm swung down toward the ground.

However, his arm did not reach the ground. A flame bullet fired from behind Irisdina landed on Nozomu's left arm and dissipated the power that was contained in it.

"I got here in time…"

"Lisa, -kun?"

After Irisdina turned around, she saw Lisa standing there with her crimson hair flowing in a dignified manner.

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