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Oct. 26th, 2004 @ 03:00 pm [RP Log] Marui, Kirihara
Summary: Kirihara, dragon apprentice, climbs up to the sacrificial grounds in order to pick up Sanada's dinner while the virgin Marui awaits his grand arrival. The two talk, chains are involved, blood and guts are spilled, a little prodding is done, embrassing secrets are revealed, and the virgin topic is inevitably discussed. The two bond instantly, but end up at the dragon's cave anyway.

It was one of those awfully beautiful days. The skies were so clear that the sun had no problem shining its iridescent rays down on the unsuspecting inhabitants below. The steady breeze that filled the air could have made any living creature feel alive. However, the same could not be said for all the inhabitants below the sky’s boundary.

Kirihara, dragon extraordinaire, stopped mid-climb as he stretched short, tired legs. He’d been sent by Sanada to retrieve a virgin sacrifice and it was with great horror that he found that not only did he have to secure the virgin; he also had to climb up hundreds of feet up a mountain in the middle of nowhere to look for the elusive sacrifice. It was times like those that he wished his flying skills were top-notch. Maybe then he wouldn’t have to deal with walking. Dragons were not made for walking after all.

Bunta sat with his knees pulled to his chest. The weather was good. That was good. With his horrible luck lately, he half expected it to be pouring until he got picked up to get eaten. It was a crappy day to die. So much for his resolve to, at the very least, die cheerfully. His legs were sore from the climb up the mountain. The sight of the crowd of onlookers at the bottom made him want to throw a fit and more importantly, throw stuff at them. As it was, his day could only get worse. Detachedly, the redhead was almost amused. He wasn't accustomed to really feeling down. He almost liked it. He was going to die, so he might as well wallow in the mood a bit.

How would the dragon come? In huge stomps that shook the ground? Swooping in from the sky? He'd never experienced a dragon attack and this was most certainly not an encouraging way to be introduced to it. He played with the hem of his white dress-robe thing as he waited. You'd think the dragon would at least have the courtesy to be punctual.

Taking an excruciating step upward, Kirihara grabbed on to a secure rock with fright, never mind that he didn’t have opposable thumbs. Loosing his footing was not on his list of things to do that day. He’d flown for about ten minutes since he started his journey so another flight would be out of the question.

“Stupid Sanada. At least he can fly,” he muttered, only then realizing that there was a crowd of onlookers a few feet down. He hadn’t been warned that there were going to be spectators. Then again, maybe it would make finding the virgin easier?

Still, how was he going to make his appearance less conspicuous? It would not do very well to look like a weak dragon. They had an image to maintain and Sanada would be furious if he found out that he was doing such a poor job of portraying them. Perhaps he should hide while climbing up and make his grand entrance when he made it to the top. He should at least be able to terrify the virgin who must have been expecting him by now.

Irately, the redhead wondered when the crowd would leave. He had the childish urge to start raining down pebbles and dust on them. It wasn't as if Bunta would run away. He hadn't planned on living past the humiliation of the 'sacrificial' (read: bridal) gown. Otherwise, he would have never agreed to the flimsy, white dress-robe thing. He would really rather sit there naked even with the crowd watching. Admittedly, it was better than he expected since half the people seemed to think he was a girl. There were even some people crying, people he didn't know. How weird was that?

"Hurry the fuck up," he muttered under his breath as he dropped his head to rest in the nest of his arms. Any longer and he may have to lie down. The sun was warm and comforting on his skin.

Hearing the short curse that Sanada told him to be uncharacteristic of virgins, Kirihara wondered if he was at the right sacrificial ground. On the other hand, the virgin may just have been becoming impatient since he was already late for the appointed meeting.

Making it all the way to the top, Kirihara spied the virgin dressed in a long, flowing, white gown that shone so brightly against the sun, he was almost blinded. That was his cue to make his entrance.

Hiding in a bush since he was small enough to do so and the right color to blend in, Kirihara considered the pointers he’d learned (most certainly not from Sanada) and decided on which grand entrance to use. One particular method came to mind. Satisfied that he was ready, Kirihara stepped out from the bushes, stealthily making his way to the virgin. When he was close enough, he dropped a cherry into his mouth for good luck before breathing in, puffing his scales, and then releasing as much fire as he could breathe out. He’d been told that the same method usually made him look a lot bigger than he actually was.

Bunta jumped at the sudden arrival. He turned as quickly as he could, dressed as he was, glaring at Kirihara.

"Fuck, if you torch my hair I'll kill you before you eat me," he screeched irately at the dragon. It was then that he got a decent look at the almighty dragon. At best, he would have described it as a very large lizard. It wasn't that the dragon looked completely unimpressive. It would have been pretty cool if it was blown up about five times its size, but the thing was smaller than Bunta. The redhead had butchered animals larger than that. "You're going to eat me?"

If there hadn’t been a more disrespectful virgin, Kirihara would have already bit the sacrifice. It didn’t matter that he didn’t like the taste.

“Ewww, of course not!” he accidentally blurted out. He knew that he was going to get in trouble for that later. Nevertheless, there was still the sacrifice to deal with and an audience to please. The rather rowdier ones who were cheering him on wanted him to devour the virgin right then and there. The other few who were crying were also sadistic enough to shoot him down with arrows. The dragon business was a rather dangerous one.

“Umm,” Kirihara said uneasily, scratching the back of his head with well-sharpened claws. “Do you mind helping me out here? I won’t eat you. I promise.”

A disbelieving expression settled on Bunta's face. The dragon was scratching itself. It rather resembled an oversized dog. Actually, the redhead thought that maybe even some dogs would be bigger than this thing. The 'ew' and the tone - he felt like he was with one of his younger brothers except, maybe, less cute.

"Right," he dusted himself off a little and walked closer to the dragon, unafraid. He could wrestle that thing to the ground, no problem. "I need to help you?"

Dealing with this little dragon was proving to be confusing. This was definitely not the magnificent dying scene he'd imagined for himself. That one was filled with blood and splattering, maybe some stray innards dripping from the dragon's jaw, and some crying women. Instead, he was talking to a pint-sized dragon that claimed it wouldn't eat him, all this within the view of cheering and crying men. He swore he could hear his father and his brothers. Sadly enough, his brothers were possibly one of those cheering for immediate carnage and his father was crying like a woman.

The disrespect was undeniable but, Kirihara kept on telling himself to take things in stride and let Sanada deal with the bullies later. It really did help to have a 6 ton menace on your side even if the said menace was usually temperamental. The big grump did have his advantages.

“Act like you’re dying a painful death?” he requested, pointing to the sack of crushed cherries he’d brought with him. It looked like blood and guts and the few branches that happened to be mixed in with the concoction looked like intestinal pieces. He’d worked on it the day before. At least from their level above the ground, the spectators couldn’t see what he was up to.

“If not, then I’ll eat you for real!” Kirihara continued. It didn’t hurt to threaten.

Kirihara exposed very sharp teeth that could cut through massive stone like hot knife on butter. He may not have killed very many, if any at all, but he was capable of doing so. If the sacrifice managed to anger him further, he might very well increase his kill count to one. The situation with the rowdy villagers, the ill-mannered sacrifice, and his long hike up the mountain was starting to make his blood rise to his head. His eyes were feeling fiery.

Bunta stared at the mass of red in disbelief. "Okay, is this what happens to all the sacrifices?"

In consideration of Sanada’s still unblemished image, Kirihara answered the question as best as he could. “No. Sanada usually eats them alive and nibbles on the innards afterwards,” Kirihara answered.

Bunta was starting to think that maybe he won't die, but he tried to control that inevitable bit of hopefulness. On top of that, it now meant that he had to live beyond the humiliation of the wedding gown and now, the humiliation of playing dead. He was right when he thought that the day would only get worse, but it wasn't like there was much else to do.

He’d seen enough animals die to have a good idea of how to die like a cow or like a horse, but human was something he wasn't very sure about. Shrugging a little, he just decided to screech. A few swear words, screams, and the random tossing about of cherry juice soaked branches and he finished off his little show with a feeble cough. It was very tiring apparently. His white gown was covered nicely in red and clumps of dirt. He wondered if he would have the chance to clean-up before getting eaten. At least the red went with his hair and the outfit wasn't white anymore.

Kirihara was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which he convinced the sacrifice. He watched as the sacrifice held such a dramatic display that made him nauseous. All of a sudden, the cherries did not look like cherries but blood and guts. Kirihara was sorely tempted to cover both his ears and his eyes, but he had to keep up the act and take part in the carnage.

Soon afterwards, the crowds below started to disperse with one wailing man cursing him for murdering his first born. Kirihara felt a pang of guilt touch him although he didn’t really kill the bloody, or rather, juicy mess below him. When the act was done with, there was nothing left to do but stare at the sacrifice.

“Are you really a virgin?” he asked.

Bolting straight up at the question, Bunta only barely remembered to keep his voice down. He could be pretty damn loud and he didn't really have the energy to go through that act again.

"What kind of question is that?"

Why was it so hard for people to believe that he was a virgin? And when they did believe him, why was it so hard not to laugh? His face flushed bright red in irritation and humiliation. He did not have to take this kind of abuse. He was already going to be eaten. Wasn't that enough? Sulky, he stared down at the ground and kicked up some dirt in the dragon's direction, "If I wasn't, why would I be here?"

Kirihara blinked scaly eyes at the sacrifice’s reaction. He’d asked the question many times before and each of the potential virgins he’d questioned never failed to either deliver him a hard blow or a very heated response.

He noticed the once pale cheeks of the sacrifice turn cherry red, the same color of his hair and the same color of his ruined clothing.

“Hmm,” he said, wondering if that was a typical virgin reaction. “There’ve been many villagers who’ve tricked us before. When Sanada finds out, he gets pretty mad,” he warned. He wanted to find out what reaction that would bring about. If the boy was indeed a virgin, then he might have just hit the jackpot. A little questioning was in order.

"Why would someone claim to be a virgin to be sacrificed?" Bunta asked disbelievingly. He examined the scaly beast for a moment before coming to a conclusion, "You don't know what a virgin is, do you?" He was really stuck with a baby dragon it seemed. It would have been funny if he weren't still worrying about his impending death.

Flabbergasted, Kirihara shook his head. How could he possibly have been figured out? Was it all over his face? He went over the conversation in his head once again and could not figure out what he said that triggered the suspicion.

Bunta got up to his feet now that the crowds had completely dissipated. "It doesn't matter, does it? If he's angry I die. If he's not angry I die." He rested his hands on his hips as he waited for the dragon to give him further instructions.

“Hey, I’m the dragon here. I ask the questions,” he said, crossing his arms as much as he could despite having wings attached to his forearms.

Still, there was some amount of pity that came with his reply. There was just something so pathetic about humans being eaten – the way they scream, the way they cry, the way they beg for mercy. It was just too disgusting. Perhaps, he should ask Sanada to spare this one. That is, if he admitted he was a virgin. Otherwise, he would have no use for him.

“Are you a virgin or not?” he asked again.

When the overgrown lizard crossed his arms, Bunta couldn't help but to think that the odd little dragon was disturbingly cute in a silly kind of way. And the fact that the thing didn't know what a virgin was, he didn't really mind admitting. But since he was going to be difficult if he was going to die anyway, he might as well get his last dosage of amusement. "I dunno, depends on what you consider a dragon." He bit his lip to keep the grin off his face.

“What does that mean?” Kirihara said, raising a brow - not that he really had a brow. He did not understand what the virgin meant by the statement. Perhaps it was an insult? The sacrifice was mocking him? That was unacceptable!

Retrieving the chains Sanada had instructed him to bring, Kirihara took out the heavy metal links he’d had to carry all the way up the mountain. The bag of cherries was hard enough. With all the exercise he’d been doing, he figured that his leg muscles were now more powerful than his wing muscles. He was really exercising the wrong muscles.

“That’s it! I’m taking you back,” he said, trying to threaten the sacrifice with the chains, but somehow, it worked against him. He got himself tangled up without realizing it. Not for the first time, his size was becoming an issue. It would have been so much easier to have bigger hands and a longer reach.

“Help!” he called out pathetically. It was shameful, but at least no one else was watching.

A laugh popped out of Bunta’s mouth without his control. It was just too ridiculous - play dead, baby dragons that didn't understand virginity, and now the little thing was tangled in chains. He bit his lip to control the laughter. The little thing wouldn't appreciate it. He walked over to examine the tangle of sturdy metal chains, pulling part of the chain over the head and twisting little sections, working at the chains diligently to get the dragon free. Tossing the chains aside, he pat the dragon's head as he would a puppy.

At first Kirihara, was mildly insulted by the ensuing laughter, but try as he might, he couldn’t get himself to stay angry at the virgin sacrifice. He was being aided after all and if he was lucky, maybe the sacrifice wouldn’t tell Sanada about his horrible display.

“Thanks,” he muttered, moving a few limbs this way and that to assist the other in getting him out.

"There, what are the chains for?"

Curiously, Bunta looked at the dragon this way and that way, lifting one of the thin scaly arms, examining the developing wings. He poked at the filmy skin experimentally, noting how cool the scales were.

Getting out of the mess he made was easy, but what followed after was a little more awkward than Kirihara expected. He was surprised to find that the sacrifice was not afraid of him at all. In fact, he was being quite daring as he played with Kirihara’s wings. Usually, this type of activity was unacceptable, but for some reason, he felt at ease with the other.

“What’s your name?” Kirihara asked. It might be a problem if he got too attached to Sanada’s food, but he really couldn’t resist asking.

He poked near the dragon's nostrils, wondering if they had wet noses like dogs did. "Marui Bunta, how about you? Do dragons have names?" He wondered how heavy the dragon was. Curiosity took over his moodiness from being a sacrifice.

He certainly didn't feel endangered in front of this dragon. It got tangled on its own. He could probably have easily injured it enough to escape. It acted almost like the way a weird human child would, which he knew because the redhead himself acted like a weird human child, a little boy. He wondered how he could tell the dragon's gender. He lifted the thin scaly arms again, examining sharp claws. Those looked like good cutting tools.

“Hey!” Kirihara said, accidentally blowing fire out of his mouth, a reaction to his nostrils being tampered with. At least the fire was not strong enough to burn Sanada’s food. Did humans not know better than to touch dragons? They were like huge contraptions. Push one button and something goes off.

“Don’t touch,” he instructed, fanning the flame that was left from his last fiery breath. “Of course we have names!” he continued. “Who do you think the Sanada I keep on talking about was?” He was being sarcastic and difficult only because the situation was becoming more awkward by the minute.

“The name’s Kirihara,” he said, shooing away the curious hands. One wrong move and he could cut a body part off.

The redhead drew his hands away to avoid the little flames, holding his hands up in a pacifying gesture. He was curious about the structure and meat quality of the dragon, pure professional habit. But seeing the possible consequences, he settled for dissecting this new specimen by sight only.

"I thought it was some kind of dragon language for 'master' or something," he shrugged faintly. Now that his hands weren't occupied poking and prodding at the large reptilian, they went back to toying with the chains, lifting them up to examine again. "Anyways what were these for?"

“They’re for tying you up,” Kirihara answered, forgetting that the question had been asked earlier. He assumed it was obvious, but with the way he’d been bumbling maybe it wasn’t all that apparent. “I can’t let Sanada’s food get away. Well, he is my master, but I’d rather not call him that…”

Kirihara proceeded to figure out how to work the chains but continued talking. “Besides, dragon language can’t be heard very easily by humans. To you, they might sound like incomprehensible roars.”

He was giving away too much information, but he figured that it wouldn’t hurt anymore than it already had. He was becoming very attached to the human already. Marui was a fascinating ‘virgin’. There was a possibility that he was a mountain of information when it came to virgins.

"You're not tying me up," Bunta stated simply. He wasn't going to be pushed around on that topic. It was stupid enough that he was in women's clothing, but he wasn't going to be tied up like a slave. "I can't run away from the almighty dragon," he stated with a hint of sarcasm. He held most of the rest back. Truth was if he ran, he'd probably be pinned as a traitor of the country or something ridiculous like that.

He grabbed a section of the chains and yanked it away from the dragon. He'd look like freaking Andromeda if he was tied in that crap. "Besides, I untangled you. You owe me." He wasn't sure if reasoning with a dragon was very useful, but if things got down to being unreasonable, Bunta could be pretty unreasonable.

Kirihara considered his options before deciding that the chains were not necessary - that was, unless Bunta decided to flee. It would be disastrous if the food were to disappear before he’d delivered it.

“What assurance do I have that you won’t run away?” he asked, still holding on to the chains without attempting to secure them on Bunta. The metal links were heavy enough and with a virgin attached to the other end, there was no telling how heavy the load was going to be. Nevertheless, he didn’t want to be running after stray virgins either.

"I could have run away while you were tangled," he stated simply. Maybe he should have, but it seemed so pointless. On top of that, it would have been disgraceful to his personal code of living.

He poked the dragon firmly on the nose again, snatching his hand away quickly to avoid any stray flames. "Does the almighty dragon not have the confidence that he'll catch the little virgin if I did run away?"

Nearly burning Bunta’s hand while sneezing, Kirihara stepped back and covered his mouth. Humans really didn’t know when to stop.

“Fine,” he answered with a sigh. “We’re not going to use the chains.” He’d done enough for the day and certainly didn’t want to be put to the test. Bunta did have a point. Now that he thought about it, where else would he run off to? His family and the villagers probably assumed him to have been devoured. Going back would only mean shame for him. It would also anger Sanada who would surely demand twice the number of virgins for the next sacrifice. It wasn’t worth it.

Having come to an agreement, Kirihara grabbed a hold of Bunta’s once pristine white gown and tugged. It was about time they returned to the cave.

Bunta trudged along with the large lizard, the sharp claws tugging at the edge of the dress like a child with their mother at the market. It really was hard to remember that he was supposed to be dying soon. Much more easily, he would focus on how freakishly tired he was. He'd hiked up the mountain, hiked down the mountain, and now they were still hiking some more.

"Are we there yet? My meat will get tough if I walk like this, at least without seasoning."

To make sure that they were not seen, Kirihara picked a less conspicuous route, one with many bushes and trees to conceal them. The walk was a little longer than his travel up the mountain, but at least there was no incline or dangerous climb.

“No,” he answered, concentrating on getting them both to their destination. He was so distracted with trying to hide the both of them that he did not hear the rest of what Bunta said. It did not occur to him that with his height disadvantage, it looked like Bunta was walking alone.

“Don’t be too loud. Someone might hear us.”

The redhead looked around with a bemused expression.

"Who?" There was no one in sight. They weren't walking on any path at all, having to push through bushes and wind around trees. "And besides, they'd only see me," which was humiliating seeing as he was in a 'blood-stained' dress. He couldn't at least look clean, could he?

He'd heard that the dragon's cave had been surrounded by crazy chanting people lately. Why was it so important to hide the location still?

"Hello," he hollered out into the woods the way someone lost might have, "See? No one."

“That’s what you think,” Kirihara said, tugging on Marui’s robe to catch his attention. “Anyone following us home will make Sanada angry. You don’t want Sanada angry,” he warned.

Kirihara thought it prudent to shush Marui before anyone heard them. There might have been a few humans, or god forbid, fairies, elves, and the annoying species following them. After being blamed by Sanada for leading strays home, it was best if he be more careful. At least the last batch of campers had been eaten before they could reveal the exact location of the cave.

"Why do I care if Sanada is angry? I'm getting eaten, remember?" Marui stated in a frumpy voice. He didn't say anything else though as they walked through the wooded area to the dragon's hide-out. He hoped that they would arrive soon, but for as far as he could see, there were only trees and greenery all around.

Some things were better left unsaid, so Kirihara did just that. Sanada’s reputation preceded him. Some dragons were far too sadistic. It wouldn’t do to terrify the potential food lest he decided to bolt at the last minute.

"Hey, you don't know what a virgin is, right? Want to know?" Bunta was bored anyways. Messing with the juvenile dragon would prove to amuse him during his final hours.

Kirihara continued to walk alongside Sanada’s food, occasionally cutting down some of the sharper branches that were blocking their path. He wasn’t one to slack off after all. So concentrated was he on fulfilling his duty that it was only a few minutes later when he realized that information was being so generously offered to him.

“What? You’ll really tell me?” he said, having realized what Bunta had said. In a burst of excitement, Kirihara did not notice his wings flap, bringing him at eye level with the other.

If they weren't dangerous, flesh eating monsters Bunta thought that dragons might have made good pets or even adopted children. It was amusing to watch the little thing flap its underdeveloped wings in excitement to look at Bunta in the eye. Idly, the sacrifice wondered if dragons could fly backwards.

"I said I would, didn't I? A virgin is…" he paused for dramatic effect, watching the way the reptilian eyes shone in excitement. "I deduce that you are a virgin," he nodded as he said that to convince the large lizard. "And I am a virgin," he continued, ignoring the fact that he just said one of his most hated phrases, "So if we compare the two of us, we'll be able to define the word 'virgin.'"

“I am?” Kirihara asked, not being quite able to accept that he might be potential food for Sanada. He continued to hover above ground, moving backwards as Bunta moved forward. Finally, he just might be able to find out what exactly a virgin was. After all, there must have been something about virgins that made Sanada as powerful as he was.

"Yes, very sure," the redhead nodded vigorously even as he pet the diminutive dragon lightly on the head. He had no idea how the wings worked, but it amused him that Kirihara could fly backwards. "So now why don't you tell me about yourself so I can figure out what we have in common?" It would help to pass the time if nothing else.

“Umm, I’m 500 years old,” Kirihara said tentatively, unsure of what information was wanted of him. His common sense told him that it was not a good idea to be revealing too much, but he ignored it in favor of a conversation that involved the revelation of what virgins were. “I’m a fire dragon and future ruler of all the lands… once I get to overthrow the current ruler.” And that would be the reason why he wanted to find out the secret of the virgins.

"You're 500 years old?" That was definitely a surprise. Bunta felt much better that he wasn't the oldest virgin he'd met. "Uh, well I'm 20 years old and a butcher, so not that. Go on," he invited the ancient lizard thing, curious to learn more. He wasn't planning anything, but it was certainly a way to pass time until they got to the hidden dragon cave.

“What is it you want to know?” Kirihara asked specifically, finally feeling the strain of flying and flying backwards no less. He landed himself gently on the ground, looking up at Bunta instead. They were nearing the cave so it was best to talk about these things while there wasn’t a third party, in the form of the mighty dragon himself, around to listen in on their conversation. If he didn’t find out enough, he would most likely have to stall the virgin’s imminent demise. He was already forming a plot, trying to figure out a way to convince his hungry housemate that eating the redhead was not in his best interest.

The redhead pressed his lips together in a pout. He didn't think they'd get to finish their conversation properly. He wished he'd had more time to toy with the small dragon, but that wasn't really up to him. So instead, he just gave his dragon companion a hint to the answer. "Think along the lines of what you haven't done, maybe?" He walked a bit in the general direction that Kirihara had been leading him in silence, letting the dragon think on that suggestion.

What he hadn’t done? At his age, there were so many things Kirihara hadn’t done compared to the older dragons that have lived for thousands of years. Specificity was obviously not a talent of this accosted virgin.

“I haven’t eaten a whole human?” he said uncertainly, feeling a bit more open with the redhead that he revealed one of his more embarrassing secrets. The redhead had a high probability of being eaten anyway, right?

“I did maul one, enough to incapacitate him!” he added very enthusiastically. It was, after all, one of his greatest achievements. “What haven’t you done?” he asked, turning the question around.

The redhead raised an eyebrow at that. Well, it made sense. The dragon was a large lizard but certainly not large enough to eat an entire human. "Well, I maul cattle and all kinds of livestock on a regular basis, but I don't eat them, so I guess that's one thing in common."

He walked along, wondering how much further it was until the cave. The walk seemed to stretch on forever and he didn’t mind. He'd rather spend the rest of his life walking and talking with the weird little dragon than ending his life right now.

"I haven't…well there're lots I haven't done. I haven't been placed in a dress before today. I've never…" Bunta tried to think of things he hadn't done and listed them off at random. Stupid things like he'd never had purple hair. He would look awful with purple hair anyways.

“Maul cattle?” Kirihara’s eyes sparkled. And there was yet another reason to keep the redhead alive. He’d surely learn a lot from this creature. Maybe with a little prodding, he’d be taught how to successfully kill a human.

"Well I'm a butcher and stuff. It's my job," he shrugged a little at the odd expression in Kirihara's eyes. He personally thought the slaughtering and cleaning was rather gross. That was the reason he'd gone vegetarian.

Pausing to stretch quickly tiring midget legs, Kirihara suddenly spotted the rather inconspicuous tree that alerted him to the approaching cave. He hesitated, continuing to walk, trying to figure out what he should tell Sanada. Never had he been this uncertain before. Usually, he’d just shove the virgins into the cave and wait for Sanada to eat them.

Bunta watched as the baby dragon stretched a little, catching the way his beady eyes fixed onto a certain tree. "We're getting close, right?" Bunta was pretty much resigned to it. It was stupid and weak but damn his legs were tired and fighting seemed pretty pointless.

Kirihara did not speak and nodded instead. They had to reach the cave eventually. He wanted to avoid having to explain to Sanada what he had in mind by all means possible. How exactly would you tell a hungry dragon that you’d like to keep his food alive?

Leading the virgin around the tree, they came face to face with the very large, very minimally decorated cave that he liked to call home.

“We’re here,” he whispered. He was sure Sanada would emerge from the dark cave soon. Whatever disrespect this virgin had for him was surely not going to be carried on to Sanada. At least, that much he was sure of.

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