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The Finite: Kubera side novel translations - Naver Challenge version (new)

finite taksaka ian kasak

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#21
Mizura

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They moved so fast that she couldn't even see the landscape.
 
Apparently seeking a decent spot, Tak intermittently stopped, looked around, then ran again, until they finally arrived in a forest clearing filled with piles of blue-gray leaves. The violet sky indicated that they were very far from Mistyshore, and nearer to the city of Rindhallow.
 
As Ian observed the purple sky, mouth tightly shut, she screamed in surprise when Tak suddenly dropped her. However, she wasn't hurt at all, as the thick pile of leaves cushioned her fall. Ashamed of her screaming, she just stared at the ground.
 
"It's rather uncomfortable here too. But enough, I'm too sleepy."
 
"What?"
 
It wasn't a very dirty place to lie down, but she was currently dressed in a one-piece, sleeveless dress. The sky was a purple color seen only at Rindhallow at night. Rindhallow was close to the polar regions. Spending the night in the woods in that dress was suicide. As a Quarter, she had better physical resistance than normal humans, so she could still endure it a little bit, but it would be hard to hold out for long.
 
"Um... Tak..."
 
"What?"
 
"N-no. Nothing."
 
Even though Ian was trying to tell him something, Tak's irritated response startled her and made her shake her head. Tak knew that she was trying to say something, but wasn't in the mood to consider her condition. He was so sleepy that even hearing words from her mouth felt annoying. Of course, he didn't even think of putting on the earrings right now.
 
"...here."
 
Skipping everything else and uttering just one word, Tak found a spot well away from Ian, lied down, and fell asleep.
 
"..."
 
It was the same as the first day they met. Even then, she could only look on helplessly while he slept on the beach... Ian looked at him with mix of fear and disbelief, then eventually wrapped her arms around the exposed parts of her body, and tried to withdraw into herself as much as possible.
 
Did he want her to die... right here?
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 20: Redemption
──────────────────────────────────
 
It was the middle of the night, but Ian's eyes were still open. There was a time difference because Mistyshore and Rindhallow were far away, so even though it was night here, it would still be a bright afternoon in Mistyshore. She didn't know if Tak chose a dark place to sleep on purpose, but Ian couldn't just fall asleep according to his own sleeping patterns. 
 
"Haa..."
 
Her white breath dissipated in front of her. As time passed, her hands and feet became numb, and her thoughts became increasingly blurred. It seemed that any moment now, her spirit would drift off to where her dead parents had gone.
 
I can't. I can't die yet.
 
Ian shook her head to clear her mind, and tried to get up and crawl to Tak's side. Tak seemed to have no idea of Ian's condition and was sleeping very serenely. She didn't know why a Nastika was so overcome with sleep, but she needed to wake him up. She'd die anyway if she didn't.
 
"T... Tak. W... wake up..."
 
She called him with a trembling voice, but he didn't seem to care about the noise and didn't budge. Ian almost felt grouchy, and reached out with her trembling hands to pull on Tak's scarf.
 
Even when she pulled on his scarf, Tak still didn't move. It was only after the scarf caught around his throat that he sleepily half-opened his eyes. He frowned as he woke up, only to see Ian's tired blue lips asking again.
 
"Here... it's... too..."
 
It's too cold here. Could we go somewhere else? But her mouth was too frozen for her words to form properly. Tak looked as the shivering Ian stopped talking, then put a hand over her pale blue lips. As warmth spread from his hand, Ian inadvertently let out a sigh of relief.
 
"..."
 
With sleepy eyes, Tak squinted a few times at Ian's lips, then reached out and pulled her into his arms.
 
"...?!"
 
The surprised Ian found her head resting against Tak's scarf. The hem of his scarf brushed against her cold hair, and his scarf was laid across her exposed shoulders. Although troubled by the contact, Ian neither had the strength nor motivation to resist, and buried her face in Tak's chest while closing her tired eyes. Everything felt like a dream. She was still at home that morning, then everything spiraled out of control, and now she wondered what she was doing here.
 
It felt warmer than when he embraced her earlier in the city. At first she thought that it was because it was so cold outside, but it seemed to be getting hotter. Soon the heat had obviously increased beyond the normal range of body temperature. Furthermore, despite the temperature, it also felt dry as there wasn't a single drop of sweat. Her breath no longer turned white. Finally, unable to endure anymore, Ian shouted.
 
"Ah, hot!"
 
"..."
 
Suddenly, the temperature dropped. Ian winced at what she carelessly blurted out in casual language, but Tak just wordlessly put his hand on her lips again. Did he mean to silence her because of her use of casual language? Tak's hand over her lips felt like a threat that prevented her from speaking.
 
(note: Korean language has several levels of politeness, casual language can be considered rude)
 
Once again, the air started to warm up, until it was slightly above Ian's body temperature, and stopped only after she could breathe comfortably. After checking her breathing, Tak removed his fingers from her mouth and closed his eyes again. After bathing in the warmth for a while, Ian suddenly came to her senses and opened her eyes.
 
"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot..."
 
"..."
 
"... sleeping?"
 
"..."
 
"I'll go back to my spot. I'm a little better now..."
 
Even though Ian tried to get up, she was unable to budge him, and was stuck within his arms. She tried calling him a few times, but no answers came, so she finally gave up and closed her eyes. With the freezing cold suddenly turned warm, she soon fell asleep. Soon she fell into a deep sleep, without even time to consider how dangerous the creature embracing her was.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
As birds flew over the trees, the first to wake up was Ian.
 
The green sky announced the bright morning of Rindhallow. Snow had fallen overnight, and save for the space around Tak, all the other places were enveloped in pure white snow. This included the spot she had lain down on yesterday. If she had fallen asleep there, she would probably no longer be of this world by now.
 
"Tak..."
 
As Ian removed the scarf covering her body and straddling his shoulders, she called once to Tak, whose eyes were still shut. However, there was no reaction from him. He stopped hugging her and moved his arms away however, so he probably knew it was morning and that it was time to get up. Yet it seemed he couldn't be troubled to open his eyes.
 
"..."
 
Ian gave up on trying to wake him up and sat down next to him, staring at his sleeping face.
 
His dark, red skin were a darker shade than his horns. His thick eyebrows contrasted with the thin eyelashes underneath, and his double-eyelid eyes were shut tight. Overall, it would be difficult to assess his face as "handsome" or "good-looking", but it was close to her ideal male face. He currently only had the looks of a 15-year-old boy, but as an adult, he could have looks she could have fallen for. If he were a human, she would have liked to meet him as an ordinary person living in the city...
 
She then recalled his cruel appearance from the day before, however, and the fact he took her out almost by force. Looks she could have fallen for, what a joke. Alone, Ian shook her head and adjusted her thoughts, then examined him again. 4 red horns were visible between his curly dark brown hair, reminding her that he wasn't human.
 
"..."
 
Still staring at them, Ian carefully reached out a hand to gauge the size of the horns. His horns were tiny, but not small enough to be hidden by his short hair. She was wrong to think that they were covered by his hair before. It wasn't clear how he had managed to conceal them before, and she neither knew why or how he did it. Whether he was with or without horns, his personality seemed to alternate, but...
 
"Hand."
 
"...!"
 
At the sound of his callous voice, Ian recoiled in surprise and removed her hand. She didn't even touch his horns, so she didn't know how he found out with his eyes still closed. Ian quickly brought her hands to her lap, sitting down in a more polite position.
 
"I... I'm sorry."
 
"No, you don't have to be sorry."
 
Tak still kept his eyes closed, but seemed to wake up as he reached out his hands and fumbled around.
 
"Ah... where did they fall?"
 
"...?"
 
"There... look for the red earrings around me."
 
"Earrings?"
 
She had never seen the horns when he had the red earrings on. Ian searched for them on the ground, then placed them into his hand. Tak accepted them and silently put them onto his earlobes. Thanks to his regenerative abilities, the holes had already disappeared, but he made new ones whenever he pinched his ears with the earrings.
 
A few seconds passed after he put on the earrings. Ian stared wide-eyed as the four horns disappeared like a lie. But after that moment of surprise, she had to face a bigger change.
 
"I'm sorry!"
 
As soon as Tak put on the earrings, he bowed his head towards Ian. The bewildered Ian placed her hands on his shoulders and asked in a trembling voice.
 
"W... what are you doing?"
 
"..."
 
Before answering her question, Tak first wrapped his scarf around her.
 
"Damn... I must be crazy. No matter how sleepy I was, why here of all places... I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I should have taken better care of you since you are dressed like this..."
 
After wrapping his scarf around her once, Tak tied it up in the shape of a ribbon. Seemingly satisfied, he smiled. Ian was stiff with surprise. She noticed that he had returned to his friendly personality, and even spoke to her with a faint smile. Searching her expression, Tak asked mildly.
 
"Uh... did I scare you a lot yesterday?"
 
"..."
 
Ian said nothing, but gave a small nod.
 
"I... I'm sorry. I'm really unfeeling without the earrings. I promised myself many times that I would not show you that scary side..."
 
"..."
 
"When I thought I couldn't take you with me, I just couldn't bear it... so I removed the earrings. With the earrings off though..."
 
"..."
 
'In order to take you.'
 
Ian, still quivering, just shut her mouth tight as she looked at Tak. Even though his personality seemed to change with the earrings, he didn't seem intent on letting her go either way. Even the affectionate side of Tak would not allow her 'freedom.'
 
She wanted to cry. But crying wouldn't change anything. If he wouldn't let her go anyway, he should at least keep the earrings on. Whenever she recalled the horrible sights yesterday, she couldn't help but feel terrified. She didn't want to be with someone so cold-blooded who had no qualms against harming others.
 
"Tak... could you not remove the earrings?
 
"Huh...? These?"
 
Tak seemed to ponder Ian's request for a while, occasionally rolling his eyes in concern, then set his eyes on Ian again, causing her to recoil.
 
"You won't run away?"
 
"..."
 
Although he asked in a soft tone, his red eyes scared her. She didn't want him to discard the earrings.
 
"O...of course not. I won't run away."
 
"Okay. Then I won't take off the earrings."
 
Tak smiled happily, held Ian's hands, came a little closer to her and sat down. Ian was a little surprised by the sudden physical contact, but stayed still to avoid giving the impression of rejecting him. 
 
"You know... Ian, I'm a Nastika."
 
"Ah... I know."
 
"However, I can't tell you which species I am yet. Is that okay?"
 
"It's alright."
 
Even if it weren't, it wouldn't help. If she said it wasn't, he might remove the earrings again. She was devastated by how she had no way of refusing. She couldn't even escape save for committing suicide. Until now, since her goal was 'revenge', she didn't treat her life carelessly.
 
"..."
 
Wait. Revenge...?
 
As the thought emerged, she looked at Tak, heart pounding. It would be absurd of her to try to get revenge on her own, but if she borrowed the strength of another Nastika... if so...
 
Her future, that had seemed dark until then, suddenly seemed to brighten.
 
"Tak. Could you do one thing for me, please?"
 
"Sure. Just name it."
 
Tak smiled as he listened to whatever she was asking for.
 
"T...The first time we met, do you remember... what I said?"
 
"..."
 
"The evil dragon who destroyed my village... 'Taksaka', please help me kill him."
 
"..."
 
Tak's smiling face went stiff. It was him. The one named 'Taksaka' whom she wanted revenge against was none other than himself. Of course, he wasn't the one who destroyed her village, but she believed the culprit to be Taksaka. To solve the misunderstanding, he would have to catch the real culprit. But that was...
 
"I know it'll be hard. Taksaka is the No. 2 of the Dragon Clan... I've heard that he is much stronger than other Nastika. So I'm trying to ask this of you. Please... help me. I will do anything."
 
"..."
 
Voice trembling, Ian bowed to him. Tak started to feel uneasy and had a very awkward expression. Then Ian let out a whimper of surprise when he hugged her.
 
"Oh, okay. I'll help you. I'll help, so don't cry."
 
"Thank you. Thank you, Tak..."
 
"..."
 
Ian whispered in a small voice as she clinged to him, her head against his chest. Tak only managed to look cross, but was unable to push her away, so he just sat there while hugging her.
 
To be continued.
 
 
Congratulations Ian! You've nabbed yourself a husband who will do your revenge for you!
I bet Tak wants to beat up Visnu again.

Edited by Mizura, 05 July 2013 - 08:03 AM.

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#22
Mizura

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"Yawn."
 
In a wasteland covered in dark red haze, in a nest-like location surrounded by rocks, a large woman sat and yawned. The woman smacked her lips a few times, stretched roughly and tied up her blood-red hair. Two vertical lines split down across her eyes and face, but as she moved her hair, six more lines were visible on her neck. 
 
"Tak's not here, and Ria's gone to see her siblings. What's this? I'm dead bored."
 
The woman scratched her head with one hand, while scratching her side with the other, before taking a few steps. She seemed to lack any sense of decency or refinement.
 
"... so don't hide from me. I'm the only one here anyway."
 
As soon as the woman was done mumbling, the temperature around her fell sharply. The freezing cold even froze the moss between the cracks, but the woman didn't show any sign of being cold and just scratched her head. A man surrounded by bluish light appeared in front of her. His build wasn't so small, but the woman was so big that he seemed puny in comparison.
 
"The hair color, it's no longer the same. In the past it used to be a beautiful blue color."
 
After she said that, the man frowned in silence. Though he was still surrounded by blue light, his dark black hair tinged with strands of red was completely different from the blue color that the woman described. The gorgeous pair of curved horns between his red and black hair appeared closer to blue, but even so, they were a shade of blue closer to grey.
 
"As you can see, the nest is empty, and Tak went out. So what's the deal? Tell me. I'll stay."
 
"I shall deal with Taksaka directly. Do not meddle, Vasuki."
 
"Is that so. Tak didn't seem to care about you one bit..."
 
Kwaang!
 
Before the woman called 'Vasuki' finished talking, something brushed past her cheeks. Soon after, the rocks behind her came crumbling down, and the hill in the distant horizon crumbled.
 
"... ouch. This really fits the saying, 'A woman without one can make it frost in May and June.'"*
 
*(Korean equivalent of "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned")
 
Vasuki's cheek was wounded, and the blood from it was frozen, but with a swipe of her fingertips, it returned to normal. As she lifted her hand from her cheek, she spoke to the person while smiling.
 
"But you're a man now?"
 
"...!"
 
The man's face contorted into a terrifying expression as he launched another round of attacks, which Vasuki easily evaded before approaching the man in an instant. He immediately turned around at the sound of her laughter, only to find the spot empty as Vasuki suddenly reappeared in her original spot.
 
"No matter how strong those of the Dragon clan are, there are exceptions to the rule, Utpala. Even though I'm weakened in my female form, within my race I'm still the first in line to the throne's succession. Because there are so few of you in the Dragon clan, I just turned a blind eye to preserve an endangered species. If it weren't for that, you'd be getting your death notice by now. Heh."
 
"..."
 
As Vasuki laughed, the one called 'Utpala' could only bite his lip. His cold blue shining eyes seemed as though they could freeze everything reflected within, but Vasuki didn't back off at all. 
 
"Oh by the way, if you want to deal with Taksaka directly, you can come back later. Though, I don't know how long later will be..."
 
"Tell me where he went."
 
"Are you trying to get his attention?"
 
"None of your business!"
 
As Utpala spitefully screamed at her, Vasuki looked at him and sighed.
 
"You'd better tone it down, Utpala. I am extremely generous, but you know, isn't it obvious that Tak feels nothing but anger? So far, nothing you've done has really enraged him, but if Tak really gets mad at you, the fact that you're kin won't mean a thing."
 
"No matter how angry he gets, he won't kill me."
 
"No, I think Tak isn't how you think he..."
 
"Then, I'd rather he kill me. I'd rather die by his hands than live like this."
 
"Utpala..."
 
Vasuki tried to say something, but decided against it as he saw Utpala tearing up. When Utpala noticed that Vasuki had seen his tears, he quickly repressed them, and glared at her with a frown again. For a while, Vasuki looked at Utpala with eyes full of pity, then closed her eyes and muttered.
 
"Planet Willarv."
 
"...!"
 
"Remember? It's where you caused a riot not long ago."
 
"Taksaka is there?"
 
"Yes."
 
As soon as Vasuki replied, Utpala shrouded himself in blue light and disappeared. Soon after, the frozen temperature returned to normal. With Utpala gone, Vasuki stared at the remaining blue lights, and mumbled.
 
"Only males remain within the Dragon clan, and only jealousy remains for that Nastika... He truly is a pitiful guy."
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 21: The Jealous Dragon
──────────────────────────────────
 
"...hot."
 
Ian was crouching between some rocky crevices, waiting for Tak to come back. She was in the 'Twilight Valley', a little further than the Fire City of Atera. Unlike its romantic name, the terrain was engulfed in scorching hot lava. Since Rindhallow was too cold, he said he'd take her somewhere warmer, but brought her to a lava terrain... Tak's extremes were giving her headaches, causing her to bow and wrap her head in her hands.
 
With the earrings on, he obviously had a crush on her, and was somehow trying to impress her. But everything turned out clumsy. Though his clumsy appearance was cute, it would sometimes be overlapped with his earring-less appearance, and all thoughts of 'cute' would halt. It was fake. The real side was the one without the earrings. The side of him that was cute, affectionate and always smiling, it was all just an illusion caused by the earrings... Whenever she thought of this, her faltering mind would grow cold and bitter towards him again.
 
"Ian. Did you wait long?"
 
"...!"
 
Lost in her thoughts, Ian was startled by Tak's sudden voice. Tak reached between the crevices and smiled happily.
 
"I bought an empty house in a town nearby. They gave it to me after I caught a Garuda Sura and gave it to them."
 
"..."
 
"I'm sorry I had to leave you alone. Since the shock hasn't subsided yet, I didn't want you to see me hunting Sura."
 
"...okay."
 
"Now that we have a house, let's go."
 
Ian took his hand only after confirming that he had his earrings on. He gently pulled her into his arms and hugged her, rubbing his cheek against hers.
 
"..."
 
Ian seemed a bit rigid, but didn't show any apparent signs of dislike. More precisely, it was a 'I'm afraid he'll remove the earrings if I look like I hate it' look, however.
 
"I missed you, Ian."
 
"... you were barely gone for half a day."
 
"..."
 
Tak looked a bit disappointed at Ian's indifferent response, but Ian quickly patted him on the back and said.
 
"I missed you too, Tak."
 
"R... really? Heheh..."
 
He let out a goofy smile. Watching Tak, Ian unknowingly let out a sad smile. Even goofy, she would have preferred this to be his genuine self. Then, she could have tried to truly like him.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
At the edge of the Twilight Valley, there was a village gathering people who had faith in Sura. Fiendish Magic had disappeared in this age, so one could no longer borrow power by believing in the Sura, yet a small number of people still remained their followers. They may have had a Sura ancestor, received help from a Sura, inherited the will of their parents or had simply been disappointed by the Gods... They all had their reasons for their faith, but the followers of the Gods just labeled them as 'heretics'.
 
As Ian stood in the square at the entrance of the village, she saw a statue shaped like a snake, and somewhat reluctantly looked around.
 
"Tak, this is..."
 
"This is a village that worships the Ananta clan Nastika, Vasuki."
 
"..."
 
Sura were divided into several species depending on their shape. The heretics of this village worshiped the Asura clan (Sura shaped like insects) and the Ananta clan (Sura shaped like snakes), which had bad reputations... Ian felt uncomfortable with the idea of becoming part of this disreputable village, and anxiously looked around.
 
"You don't have to be wary. There isn't much to the Sura worship. You just have to clear a rite of passage, and they won't ask any more of you."
 
"Rite of passage?"
 
After a while, a lot of villagers gathered in front of Ian, and she became alarmed as Tak handed her a paper. The paper contained articles insulting the Gods and praising Sura. To become a resident of this village, one had to read it from the beginning to the end. Tak was smiling playfully as she started reading, but after reading the first sentence, Ian couldn't read anymore and fell silent.
 
"Isn't she going to read anymore?"
 
One resident pointed at Ian with a hand, but she didn't answer and just bowed her head, as the hands holding the papers trembled.
 
"Uh... Ian?"
 
Tak looked alternately between Ian and the residents, then approached Ian who was still clutching the paper. After using his body to shield her expression from the gaze of the residents, he bowed his head and carefully observed her face.
 
"..."
 
Ian was crying with her lips tightly closed. Though she was overcome with sorrow, she remained silent.
 
"Hey... did you come here to incite us into believing in the Gods?"
 
Another resident pointed at her, and others began to stir. As many started to gossip, Tak frowned, not wanting Ian to hear the unpleasant sounds, then blocked her ears with his palms while lowering his face.
 
"I'm sorry, Ian. I thought wrong. Let's go somewhere else."
 
Even outside the city, he thought she'd be a little happier with other people. He chose this town of heretics, but... It was a very bad idea. She had lost her village because of a Sura. She could not live in this town among those who worshiped Sura.
 
"If the girl sides with the Gods, she'd be better off just living in the cities..."
 
"The guy isn't eligible to live in the city, though."
 
"So, they'll have to break up?"
 
"..."
 
They whispered among themselves so Tak wouldn't hear them, but unfortunately, Tak's ears could hear everything clearly. If it weren't for the earrings, things would have turned bloody by now, but because he had the earrings on, rather than feeling anger towards them, he first thought that they were wrong.
 
It was all his fault. It was because he took Ian out. But he couldn't return her to the city now. They'd have to somehow find a way to live outside the cities...
 
Eventually, an older woman turned towards Ian and asked her, worried.
 
"Where will you go? Those who believe in the Gods live in the cities, those who believe in the Sura live in villages like these. Which will you choose?"
 
As she finished speaking, another resident spoke up.
 
"You'd better not be dreaming of living alone as just the two of you. You'll be in real danger."
 
"Once they learn that you have the skills to catch them, all the Garuda clan Sura will be after you. Even if you try not to leave her alone, she won't be able to stick to you forever..."
 
"They might attack her when she's alone."
 
"The girl should really forget about such a reckless idea."
 
"..."
 
Tak paused at their words, but took Ian and started leaving. As Tak disappeared over the hill, the residents scattered save for a crowd around one man. It was the man who had sold the house to Tak, who had basically obtained a Garuda clan Sura for free, and was enjoying the windfall. Several people stuck to him, asking him to sell the eyeballs cheaply, or pestering him for a few feathers.
 
"..."
 
For a while, the woman who spoke worryingly stared at the hills that Tak disappeared over, then ran up the hill, unable to overlook this.
 
"Wait, you two! Please think again, don't do this! Outside of the cities and the villages..."
 
She stood on the hill, but all she could see was endless wasteland. It was a long distance downhill, and there were no crossroads, so no matter how fast they walked, they still had to be near the hill. However, there weren't even traces of the two young lovers who left the village.
 
To be continued.
 
 
Tak: I need money...
Tak: I could catch a Garuda Sura...
Tak: *eyes Kalavinka*
Visnu: NO.
Tak: Aww.
Kalavinka: ;_;
 
Meanwhile, Tak's dating plans list:
- Polar regions Somewhere fresh -check
- Lava land Somewhere warm -check
- Peaks of the mountains
- Bottom of the oceans
- Through clouds of storm
- Watch stars from up close
Stay strong Ian, pretend it's the trials for your revenge, or something. But Tak, did you really want your girlfriend to worship your best friend? :S

Edited by Mizura, 28 June 2013 - 01:52 PM.

3492bk6.jpg


Kubera stuff: Character charts , Races and Cities , The finite (official side novel) ,
Official English Webtoons: https://www.webtoons.com


#23
Mizura

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"Phew..."
 
Tak arrived in a field near the sea, far away from the Twilight Valley, then laid Ian on a pile of fluffy-looking wildflowers. She needed to work things out, but it was obvious that she was currently too tired to do so.
 
"Just close your eyes. I'll find a way somehow."
 
"..."
 
He had recklessly brought her out, but he didn't know where to go from here. He had thought of just buying or building a house somewhere, but the villagers' words remained. If Ian didn't stay close to him, it would be very dangerous for her. He'd try to stay with her as much as possible, but he didn't know what would happen if...
 
If only he could take her to his nest in the Sura realm... she'd be safe there. But no matter how he thought about it, she didn't appear to have the physical resistance needed to withstand the Sura realm environment. Even if it weren't for her physical condition, she would not want to live in the bleak Sura realm.
 
"Tak."
 
"Huh?"
 
When Ian called him, he set aside his worries and sat down with a smiling face. Ian's weary body could barely sit up, and she bowed pleadingly towards Tak.
 
"Anywhere will be fine. It doesn't matter if I'm homeless... so... please help me exact revenge against Taksaka."
 
"..."
 
"I've lived only to fulfil this goal. I used to live with others, and had family, friends and other things precious to me, but... Taksaka deprived me of all of it. Revenge is my sole reason to live. So I don't care about anything else anymore. If I can accomplish this alone, I don't mind sleeping in the streets."
 
"..."
 
Upon hearing her say that, Tak fell pensive for a while, then asked her with a serious tone.
 
"After your revenge... what then?"
 
"...what?"
 
"You said revenge was your sole reason to live. So, what about after your revenge? After your reason to live disappears?"
 
"..."
 
Ian was momentarily struck speechless by the point raised by Tak, then stiffened. She had thought that it would suffice if she could dedicate her life to harming him in any way. As a result, she never considered surviving her revenge against him.
 
"Um... I..."
 
After dwelling on the question for a long time, she couldn't look at Tak straight in the eyes as she stuttered.
 
"I, I don't know. After my revenge... I never thought of surviving after facing Taksaka..."
 
"..."
 
You're facing Taksaka right now... Tak felt sorry for her for not knowing anything, but on the other hand, he found her cute and smiled. Since Ian had answered seriously though, she seemed a little offended as he did so.
 
"Why... are you smiling?"
 
"Oh, Ian. I need you. I promised to help you with your revenge. But if you die, what about me?"
 
"..."
 
"You didn't even think about me. I'd hate to help you like this."
 
"W-wait a moment. What I said was wrong."
 
"Wrong? So, after I help you get revenge on the culprit who destroyed your village, what will you do then?"
 
"..."
 
For a while, Ian hesitated, an expression of loss on her face. Then she turned to Tak, held his hand, and urgently spoke.
 
"W... whatever you want."
 
"...?"
 
"You can also do whatever you want... to me."
 
"..."
 
Tak just stared at Ian blankly without an answer. Ian became embarrassed by the lack of response, and bowed down while blushing. This was the best proposal she could think of in order to obtain Tak's help. She wasn't sure about the earring-less side of him, but with the earrings on, he definitely had a crush on her, so why wasn't it working? She felt ashamed for what she had just said, and just wanted to hide somewhere.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 22: The Jealous Dragon (2)
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Ian."
 
"Y... yes?"
 
Ian was very tense as she looked up. Tak was so close that they could almost touch foreheads, and he spoke to her softly.
 
"There's something I can do to you right now. With, or without your permission."
 
"..."
 
Ian became pale. Seeing her scared, Tak smiled before withdrawing.
 
"I wasn't trying to scare you, I'm letting you know that to me, there is no meaning in offering your body."
 
"S... so... what do I need to do..."
 
"Um..."
 
He wanted to say 'give me your heart', but a person's heart couldn't be forced. It needed time to move naturally. He thought about what else he could ask from her, but it'd only needlessly burden her, so for now he buried it all into his heart.
 
"Just... just don't die. If you neglect yourself once your reason to live is gone... I'll be very sad."
 
"..."
 
Ian had never considered suicide as a way of escaping Tak. Seeing Tak depressed as he said that, her heart wavered. No matter how cold-blooded the earring-less Tak was, or what horrible things he had done, she didn't want to hurt the Tak with the earrings on.
 
"O... okay... I won't neglect myself."
 
"Really? Promise!"
 
"As long as you don't remove the earrings."
 
"..."
 
Tak flinched a little at the end, but smiled again as he replied.
 
"Yeah. Alright."
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
As the Sun set down, Tak remained pensive as he watched the twinkling stars and the distant sea. Behind him, Ian occasionally rolled over and groaned, but he'd just smile whenever he looked back at her, and didn't move closer to her. Perhaps he didn't think of touching, or even deliberately avoided touching her.
 
"8 years ago..."
 
The perpetrator attacked Ian's village 8 years ago... Someone obviously impersonated him using his name 8 years ago, and he had received a report that this person had destroyed a village on Planet Willarv. However, he was already so sick of the mischief caused by the impersonator that he forgot about it the moment he heard it.
 
"I should have paid a little more attention... well, even without that, it's obvious who the impersonator is."
 
In fact, impersonation using a Nastika name usually almost never happened. In particular, one would never impersonate a Nastika as strong as Taksaka unless they were ready to die. But nevertheless, there was one guy who'd impersonate him.
 
"Because I stayed quiet while he impersonated me, I turned into a very notorious Nastika..."
 
In fact, unless humans angered him first, he would never cause them harm without a reason. However, the person impersonating him had harmed countless innocent humans using his name, and because of that, among humans, 'Taksaka' had acquired a reputation for being a very evil dragon.
 
"He'd been quiet for a while, so I thought he had finally calmed down..."
 
Tak covered his forehead, sighed deeply then closed his eyes, depressed. With the earrings on, sleep did not come, and the days of the distant past emerged as a blur.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
The Sura realm was a world of red sky and endless stretches of wasteland, with poisonous fumes that could dissolve flesh and gravity so strong that it could break down bones. However, to Nastika and numerous other Superior Sura, this environment was not a problem. Rather, for those who didn't suppress their powers that could easily destroy stars and planets in the human realm, the Sura realm was a much more stable world that could firmly withstand their power.
 
"...what happened here?"
 
A young man walked through the poisonous winds of the Sura realm. With dark brown curly hair, four red horns, very tall height, and a massive figure befitting of youth, he appeared to be around his mid-20's. His long scarf blew in the wind. 
 
"Answer me, Utpala. The one under your foot is a Nastika from another race."
 
Smiling, the girl called 'Utpala' turned to speak. She appeared to be around 10 years-old, though in the Sura realm, one's apparent age had no meaning.
 
"Ah, it's no big deal. This person seemed to like you, Taksaka."
 
Utpala stepped on her once more, then smiled towards Taksaka. Her short hair was a beautiful blue color, and she had two curved blue-gray horns.
 
"This person seemed to like me, so you did this to her?"
 
Taksaka had an expression of sadness. Back then, it seemed he could express a variety of emotions even without the earrings.
 
"So what? I only gave her a little beating."
 
"...she's already dead."
 
"Oh, is she? Was she that weak?"
 
Utpala kicked the female form Nastika that she was stepping on, and the lifeless body helplessly crumbled apart. Taksaka looked sadly at the dead Nastika, and with a headache surfacing, he closed his eyes and spoke.
 
"Utpala. The number of Nastika is limited. You must not kill them for trivial reasons. We do not know how long this Universe will last. If the balance between the races is broken..."
 
"It wasn't trivial!"
 
"..."
 
At her insistent cry, Taksaka stopped talking and looked at her.
 
"Originally, Sura fell in love within their own race. That's only normal."
 
"..."
 
"However, the Dragon Clan is an exception. If we love one of our own race, we die. This rule is ridiculous because if we want to love, we have to love one of another race. Is this normal? No, it's not."
 
"..."
 
"-She- had the audacity to say that she likes you, when I'm the only one who should be able to say so. If I hadn't blocked her for you, she'd have gone after you! That dirty bitch! I can't stand her!" 
 
"Utpala."
 
"That's the story, Taksaka."
 
"..."
 
Taksaka wanted to say something then, but turned silent as Utpala started crying.
 
"I'm insecure. You are very strong, so many Nastika are interested in you. Even if I stay by your side, I can't do anything, but it's different for those others. As time passes, you'll eventually fall prey to their temptations. So I... I'll be abandoned. As a woman, I can't give you anything..."
 
"..."
 
"Huu... uuh...."
 
Even though the blue-haired girl had slain a Nastika of another race, she was crying as though she was the victim. With a small sigh, Taksaka slowly walked up to her and knelt down in front of her.
 
"Utpala. Stop crying, look at me."
 
"Uuh..."
 
"Our King, Vritra, has gone to discuss this issue with the Primeval Gods. He will return soon with good news. So can you behave until then?"
 
"..."
 
Taksaka reached out a hand. Utpala roughly wiped her tears and took his hand.
 
"Okay. In exchange, no matter what the results brought by Vritra, the relationship between us must not change."
 
"..."
 
Still holding Utpala's hand, Taksaka stood without a word.
 
She spoke of the relationship 'between them.'
 
She didn't hesitate to kill other Nastika who approached him, and even for Nastika she couldn't kill, she'd still persistently pick on them until they gave up. Other Nastika who were interested in Taksaka treated Utpala like an eyesore, but because she had a close relationship with Taksaka, many had to step down in the end.
 
"Hey. Why don't you answer?"
 
Utpala continued to pester Taksaka for an answer. Taksaka was growing tired of her complaining, but still put up with it. All Nastika were born at the same time at the beginning of the Universe, but maybe this was how a child would act.
 
As his memories surfaced, he recalled that after birth, Utpala had approached him faster than anyone else. While other Nastika looked at him with fear, she just fearlessly sat onto his lap. Taksaka had just laughed at her capriciousness. It was the first time since birth that he had met someone favorably. In the early days, getting his favor wasn't that simple. Eventually Utpala ranked first among them, and she sat on his lap when he had not allowed anyone to do so until then.
 
That time, it was his mistake to not shake her off immediately... Taksaka looked at Utpala with a smile on his face. While other Nastika found their own ways and found colleagues, Utpala relied on and was attached to Taksaka alone. Naturally he began to spoil her, while she hid and yelled from behind the bigger Taksaka, and as a considerable amount of time passed since the beginning of the Universe, she couldn't avoid becoming a spoiled little girl.
 
If he abandoned Utpala now, she wouldn't survive because of the grudge she had accumulated with other Nastika. It wouldn't have been too difficult for him to pass a decision that would lead to her death, but by now he had a certain degree of affection for her. Knowing what would happen, he couldn't bear to abandon her.
 
"Taksaka! Answer me?"
 
"..."
 
To stop her pestering, Taksaka just closed his eyes and nodded.
 
To be continued.
 
Tak nearly adds the Sura realm to his list of dating sites. Ian mentions the Afterlife, but Tak quickly vetos. o,o Say... did Ian have anything to eat since she left Mistyshore? I doubt there was much to eat in Polar land, or in Lava land...
 
... I can't even think of anything funny to say about Utpala. D:

Edited by Mizura, 08 September 2017 - 09:42 PM.

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#24
Mizura

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As the King returned with news from meeting with the Primeval Gods, all the Dragon clan Nastika gathered.
 
Most were in male form, though some female form Nastika were also scattered about. Unlike Nastika from other races, whose human forms boasted above-average looks, most of the Dragon Clan Nastika had below-average looks, and some were even ugly enough for one to frown at. In the end, the other races concluded 'those of the Dragon Clan can't change their strength and appearance.'
 
Meanwhile, those within the Dragon Clan who at least had better looks were treated as fairly handsome or beautiful. The King sat on the platform.
 
"While I was away to meet the Primeval Gods, another Nastika died. This is really unfortunate."
 
Though the King said it was unfortunate, he just held an indifferent expression.
 
His jet black hair and gray skin were shrouded in the surrounding darkness and difficult to see, but his searing scarlet eyes were difficult to face directly, and created an aura of intimidation. Because he was sitting in a position higher than anyone else, and dressed in gorgeous clothes -even though the structure was simple, the clothes wrapped around his waist draped to the bottom-, he easily stood out from those gathered in this place.
 
"As you know, in the other races, in addition to the fact that most Nastika are still alive, the number of Superior Sura born to Nastika has long exceeded the number of Nastika. But we don't have a single Superior Sura born to Nastika, and the number of Nastika has also fallen to 7th rank since the early days of the Universe. More crucially..."
 
Until then, he just read what was written on the paper as he fingered it. It seemed he had not properly memorized the content he had to say.
 
"Crucially, Visnu said... if this goes on, our race will become the first extinct."
 
At the word extinct, those gathered under the platform became agitated.
 
Taksaka was sitting with a serious look, a hand on his chin, while listening to the King on the platform. Utpala was at his right, surrounded by blue light, and hugging his right arm as though someone would take her away.
 
"Visnu does not wish for such a result. So he consulted with Brahma to offer us an opportunity for change. This is still possible because this is still the early days of the Universe, but the change will become impossible as more time passes, so the decision must be made soon."
 
Above the platform, the King turned over the paper as he finished reading. He seemed lost for a while upon seeing no content on the back, then leafed through the other papers placed underneath. Sitting behind him, a woman with white hair -or perhaps silver, though it was hard to see her figure hidden in darkness- picked up a sheet of paper and handed it to him.
 
He received the paper, cleared his throat a few times, then continued reading the contents as though nothing happened. Usually, in a conference, this situation would have elicited a few laughters, but none of those gathered there found the situation funny, and everybody looked on with stiff expressions.
 
"The first method of change is to eliminate emotions. This is the surest way to block love, but Brahma said that interfering with emotions would be extremely difficult.
 
However, our race has relatively dull emotions compared to other races, so it is possible to control emotions to some extent by strengthening our racial characteristics, but she told me that she couldn't guarantee perfect results. 
 
In particular, she said that if the emotions were more prominent than usual, then rather than coming under control, they could end up more pronounced than before."
 
Eliminate emotions? Taksaka, who was listening seriously, frowned. He seemed to have considerable objection to this method, but he just sat without a word as he waited for the King to finish speaking.
 
However, Utpala sitting by his side could no longer endure and spoke up.
 
"Eliminate feelings, isn't that absurd? If change is needed, they should just eliminate the penalty."
 
Above the platform, the King paused as the noise broke the flow of the meeting.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 23: The Jealous Dragon (3)
──────────────────────────────────
 
Though Utpala was very young in appearance and had a very small physique, she could draw everyone's attention because she was directly under the platform hugging Taksaka.
 
Describing her hair as profound blue was insufficient - from resplendent white to pale blue, aqua, ripples of jade and concealed black - though her short hair was barely shoulder-length, it was difficult to describe its beauty with words.
 
"The penalty is so unfair. Doesn't everybody think so? Love within the race becomes a poison leading to death, all this for just one skill, the 'Breath.' The price is too high.
 
Look at the other races. They are all deliberately increasing the number of Superior Sura in order to expand their forces. But what about us? Let alone Superior Sura being born, many Nastika have died before the cause was even determined.
 
Rather than the absurd proposal to eliminate feelings, shouldn't this unfair penalty itself be eliminated? Or give us something else as a substitute for Superior Sura!"
 
Many of those gathered couldn't help but nod as Utpala concluded, but the active feedback did not reach the one on the platform. Feeling frustrated, the still sitting Utpala shook Taksaka's shoulders.
 
"Say something, Taksaka!"
 
"..."
 
"Our feelings will be eliminated? No, what am I to do then? Huh?"
 
"..."
 
"This method is ridiculous! Say something against it..."
 
However, no matter what she said, Taksaka didn't say a word. As Utpala sat besides him clenching her teeth, she loudly burst into tears.
 
"Heu, heuu... euwaaa!"
 
"..."
 
As her cries filled the hall, Taksaka now looked at Utpala.
 
Looking at her in pity, it seemed he wanted to tell her something. However, the conference had to proceed first, so with little protest, he seated her on his lap, hugged her and patted her back. As the cries subsided a little, the King who had stopped talking until then, resumed talking on the platform.
 
"How dare she interrupt me... I have been dignified all this time, but I can't remember the last time I was so angered. In this state, even with feelings further dulled, I won't remain the ultimate generous King."
 
"..."
 
Taksaka apparently wanted to say something to the King, but soon bit his lip and swallowed hard.
 
The King waited for a while for Taksaka to answer, but since Taksaka didn't say anything, he slouched, sat cross-legged and muttered 'that guy is no fun.' While he was sulking though, he noticed the woman behind him, then fixed his posture with a 'Oh okay, okay."
 
"Enough with the formalities... they shouldn't be followed when it's important. You are allowed to speak, Taksaka."
 
"I wanted to say something, but I forgot when this guy started crying."
 
"Really? Too bad. I felt like aiming my Breath."
 
The King said those alarming words casually as he looked down on Taksaka from the platform. Taksaka faced his eyes for a while then, apparently lacking interest, turned his head away and patted Utpala on the head as he muttered.
 
"If you were expecting me to protest the control of emotions, I won't say that. I believe these to be the results of your negotiations with the Primeval Gods, Vritra."
 
As Taksaka concluded, Vritra seemed to nod, then with a 'What was I talking about?', he leafed through the papers in front of him again.
 
"Taksaka."
 
As her crying subsided, Utpala called Taksaka. He answered with a 'In order not to interrupt the meeting, could you quiet down for now?' Though it was a short response, she seemed satisfied with it. She roughly wiped the remaining tears in her eyes, then spoke in a resonant voice.
 
"I have decided to love you to the end, even with the penalty of death. Even if they decide for the feelings of the entire race to disappear, my feelings for you shall remain until the end.
 
Even if all your feelings disappear, Taksaka, and you no longer look at me, I shall do whatever it takes until you look at me again."
 
"..."
 
Though Utpala's eyes were quite serious, Taksaka just looked down at her in silence.
 
"Hey. Why aren't you responding to what I've said?"
 
As Utpala became tearful again, Taksaka couldn't help pulling her into his arms and hugging her again.
 
"This won't do, speak to me. I can't rest assured until you speak."
 
As Utpala murmured, Taksaka smiled faintly -although his smile couldn't be seen as she was buried in his arms- and whispered in a soft tone, as though soothing a spoiled little sister.
 
"Then I shall forgive you no matter what you do, Utpala."
 
"Heheh... really?"
 
Seemingly reassured, Utpala smiled. Her smile was so pure that he could no longer think of her as the annoying little girl crying from before. He wished she could always smile. Taksaka patted Utpala on the back again, and listened again to the King on the platform.
 
"Ah... was it here?"
 
Vritra spent some time leafing through the stack of papers. Again, he found the sheet of paper with the help of the woman in the back.
 
"Oh, yeah. Here it was. So, since it's not a perfect way to get rid of feelings... well, I expect more opposition, but it's the only way. From now on, our race can only live as males."
 
"...?!"
 
The Nastika gathered in the conference room became greatly agitated. Especially, the female form Nastika didn't hide their slight anxiety. This was also true for Utpala in Taksaka's arms.
 
"What the... what nonsense is this!"
 
She seemed to doubt her own ears, and glared at Vritra wide-eyed and frowning. She even dared to stare at the King. But, rather than punish the girl for her rudeness, Vritra just glimpsed at Taksaka beyond. However, receiving no worthy response from Taksaka, he soon lost interest and just turned his head as he spoke flatly.
 
"You don't get what I'm talking about? Utpala, from now on you'll have to live as a man."
 
"..."
 
"Surely as a man, you won't stay stuck to Taksaka?"
 
"..."
 
As his name was mentioned, the listening Taksaka looked seriously at Vritra.
 
"Congratulations in advance, Taksaka. You can peel off that annoying girl, and soon you'll be free."
 
Vritra smiled towards Taksaka, and after glancing once at the devastated Utpala, disappeared through the veil behind the platform.
 
To be continued.

Edited by Mizura, 02 August 2013 - 02:01 AM.

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#25
Mizura

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Drop.
 
As soon as the King of the Dragon Clan had gone behind the curtains, he dropped down and shut his eyes. The woman behind him, who had helped him find the right papers, then rose up and went through the curtain as well. Below the platform, the gathered members of the Dragon Clan noisily voiced their respective opinions, while Utpala noticeably screamed as she reached for Taksaka.
 
"What is this? What is this! Isn't this crazy? Huh? He held negotiations and this was the result?"
 
"Utpala. Watch your mouth. He is still our King."
 
"Oh come! Why are like this, Taksaka!" 
 
Thud!
 
She turned nervously after Taksaka's elbow connected with her stomach. Even though she wasn't injured, it was a significant blow coming from Taksaka.
 
"Uh... oh... I, I'm sorry, Taksaka. It was my mistake..."
 
"..."
 
Utpala hurriedly apologized, then tried to get closer to him, but Taksaka waved her off. His upper teeth bit his lower lips as he held a frowning expression. Noticing the meaning of his expression, Utpala stopped trying to approach him and took a few steps back, crestfallen, while the remaining crowd in the Dragon Clan also quickly fell silent.
 
The near-seething Taksaka tried to calm down by holding his mouth shut and closing his eyes, until it was so silent that one could hear a pin drop. He then opened his eyes again.
 
"Because of this decision, do you think the ones who will take the most damage are the female form Nastika who don't want to live as men?"
 
Nobody took the initiative to answer Taksaka's question, but some of the female form Nastika including Utapala nodded silently. Taksaka sighed as he continued.
 
"These are still the early days of the Universe. Compared to that, you will be living far longer in the future, and you will have plenty of time to get used to the change."
 
"It's easy for you to say because you've lived as a man! It's not that simple!"
 
Utpala, who could barely stand it, was the first to interrupt Taksaka, but as she made eye contact with him, she realized that he wasn't in the mood to be interrupted and fell silent again. Taksaka then shifted his attention from Utpala to the other female form Nastika.
 
"I know it won't be easy. It will take a very long time to adapt. But since there is no limit to our lifespan, time won't be a major issue. What's more, even though you usually take female form, I've heard that you take the stronger male form when fighting... Whenever it's beneficial, it's not out of the question for you to take male form. So I'm sure you'll try to adapt."
 
As he finished speaking, the female form Nastika looked at one another and nodded. Except for one.
 
"Taksaka! I..."
 
"Yes. Utpala. You fight in female form. When you couldn't fight, I fought in your place."
 
"..."
 
"But for you, too, like the others, your male form is stronger than your female form. Instead of depending on me, why don't you fight by yourself and look for your own way of life?"
 
"But Taksaka..."
 
"At the very least, you're better off because your female form is weaker than your male form."
 
"..."
 
As he finished speaking, Utpala seemed to quiet down, humbled, and bowed. The other Nastika nodded among themselves, and some of them gazed sadly at the curtains behind the platform.
 
"Everyone seems to have forgotten because our King is strong in his usual male form... but his female form is much stronger than his male form. In his female form, he was a contender for the position of the strongest King in the Universe.
 
Yet the King... made the decision to live forever as a man."
 
"..."
 
Most of the Dragon Clan listened to Taksaka with a solemn expression. Utpala still seemed unhappy, but even if she complained now, nobody would sympathize with her claims.
 
"As you know, most of us are stronger in male form than in female form. So, if the whole race needs to become a single gender to prevent love within the race, then male form seems like a better choice.
 
Yet, for the King himself, this isn't the better choice. He made this choice for the sake of the whole race rather than for himself, so try to be a little more understanding."
 
As he finished speaking, Taksaka felt the gaze of someone from the platform above.
 
The woman standing next to the curtain was watching Taksaka, and lightly smiled and nodded at him as they made eye contact. Then she disappeared again behind the curtains.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 24: The Jealous Dragon (4)
──────────────────────────────────
 
As she went behind the curtains, the woman walked softly to the King's side. She had a beautiful face that none of those of the Dragon Clan outside could compare to, as well as slender arms and legs that seemed to have never been used for hard labor. But at the same time, her looks did not seem to match her strange feeling of weight.
 
"Taksaka defended you. He seems like a more decent guy than I thought."
 
"..."
 
Lying on the floor, face buried into the carpet, the King of the Dragon Clan gave no answer.
 
"Well done, Vritra. It was a tough decision..."
 
"..."
 
Since Vritra still gave no answer, she came to his side, sat down and patted his head. Vritra remained quiet for a while, then muttered with a drowsy voice with his eyes still closed.
 
"It's tough... because I'm King."
 
"Yes. I understand."
 
She laughed. Though she was the King of a race other than the Dragon Clan, she understood the feelings of their King better than any of those outside the curtains.
 
"Taksaka suits the position of King better than I do... if only there was a way to pass on the throne... I just want to give this shit over to him."
 
"You know there is no other way save for you to die."
 
"I'd hate to die."
 
Suddenly, Vritra's hand caught the hand patting his head. Surprised at the sudden action, she looked at the King.
 
"If I die, I can't see you anymore, Kinnara."
 
His searing scarlet eyes looked straight at Kinnara. Other Nastika would have avoided looking at him in the eyes, but she was an equivalent King, and therefore only blinked.
 
"I, too, do not wish to die, for the same reason, Vritra."
 
She smiled as she answered, and Vritra, seemingly relieved, put his head on her lap and closed his eyes.
 
"If I weren't from the Dragon Clan, I would have kept all other guys away from you, and kept you solely by my side."
 
"You wouldn't let me go if you weren't from the Dragon Clan?"
 
"Yes. Because you're the King of the Kinnara clan... for the prosperity of my race, I cannot pair up with a Nastika from the Kinnara clan."
 
"True, Vritra."
 
"It's just the perspective of a King."
 
"Jealous?"
 
"Yes."
 
At the seemingly indifferent response, Kinnara smiled cutely at the dragon lying on her lap.
 
"Kinnara."
 
"Hm?"
 
"If the whole race turns male, that may solve the problem of love within the race... so why do feelings have to be eliminated?"
 
"In this world, there isn't merely the love between a man and a woman."
 
"..."
 
At Kinnara's response, Vritra opened his eyes and stared at her. It seemed difficult for him to comprehend.
 
"A person can be more attracted to someone from a race other than his own, or to someone more powerful, but in some rare cases, one could prefer a man of one's own race to a woman from another race. After a long time has passed, if they die because of such a love, then the race could be destined to die out..."
 
"I like you, Kinnara. Why do I have to make the decision to abandon these feelings?"
 
"There can be no exceptions. For the sake of the entire race."
 
"..."
 
As Kinnara concluded, she could only helplessly watch as Vritra's eyes closed.
 
"Yes, for the sake of the entire race..."
 
"..."
 
As Vritra confirmed was she said, he suddenly thought of something, opened his eyes and made eye contact with her.
 
"Kinnara. I wonder what will happen when my feelings disappear?"
 
"..."
 
"If you get together with some other guy... what would I think about?"
 
"..."
 
"Or..."
 
After muttering to himself for a while, he ended up falling asleep. Kinnara looked down at him sadly, lowered her face to his sleeping form and kissed his forehead.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Taksaka, Taksaka!"
  
"..."
 
While Taksaka was strolling through the wilderness, Utpala ran up to him with her short legs. As a Nastika she could change her gender or age at will, but she almost always looked like a little girl.
 
"I hate this. I can't do it. I don't want to become a man!"
 
"You'll have to even if you hate it."
 
Taksaka stopped and turned to Utpala. His eyes were filled with sympathy and compassion, but this girl needed to accept that she'd have to turn into a man.
 
"What if everyone else turns into men, and I remain a woman? Vritra probably won't ever ask this for my sake. So Taksaka... if you could ask the Primeval Gods..."
 
"Any woman would become the seeds of destruction. This choice was made to avoid love within the race. Not a single woman can remain."
 
"Oh..."
 
Since Tak turned down her request, Utpala started crying again.
 
"Utpala. Why do you hate becoming a man so much?"
 
"Because I love you!"
 
"But you can't achieve your love right now anyway, even as a girl."
 
"..."
 
"Yes, no matter how much you love me, I can't answer that love. If I do, both of us will die. If you are to remain like this forever, it won't matter whether you become a man. We'd only be like brother and sister. What's the difference?"
 
"It's different!"
 
"..."
 
Yes. It was too different. There was no point in claiming otherwise. Taksaka closed his eyes in irritation. As a result of the negotiations between Vritra of the Dragon Clan and the Primeval Gods, they would lose all ability to turn female. All the female form Nastika would take male form, and the whole race would be forced to stay male, then all emotions would disappear after that.
 
"The other Nastika are all fine with male form. You have to decide now. They're all waiting for you."
 
"I hate this."
 
"..."
 
Though her tone was soft, Utpala was adamant in her answer. In the end, Taksaka decided to be firm on the topic, even if she became slightly hurt.
 
"...if you keep this up, I won't be able to protect you."
 
"Why? Why can't you watch over me?"
 
"Because the entire race comes first before you."
 
"..."
 
If she insisted on retaining her female form, their King would attempt to remove her as a threat to the survival of the race. Though Taksaka cared about Utpala, if she became an obstacle to the entire race, he would no longer be able to protect her.
 
When he said that the entire race came first, Utpala became greatly shocked and tears started dripping. She didn't cry loudly as usual though. Taksaka didn't figure that she'd be hurt this much, and wiped her tears with his right hand as he spoke to her.
 
"Utpala. Even as a man, the fact that you're the dragon closest to me won't change. So stop insisting, okay?"
 
"..."
 
Utpala took his hand against her face, and tried to refrain from crying.
 
"A...are you sure? Really, even if I become a man... I'll still be the one closest to you?
 
"Yes. You will forever be the dragon closest to me."
 
There was a significant difference at the end, but each side thought they conveyed their thoughts to the other intact, and thought the other side understood it as such. With no further questions, the long struggle seemed to end peacefully.
 
"Alright... alright, Taksaka. I'll become a man like you asked."
 
"That's good, Utpala."
 
Taksaka gave Utpala a few pats on the shoulder.
 
"Your promise to me, you must never forget it!"
 
"Okay."
 
At Taksaka's answer, Utpala stopped crying then smiled towards him.
 
To be continued.
 
For those wondering about Female-form Vritra vs Ananta: basically, people seemed to debate which one was stronger.

Edited by Mizura, 30 June 2013 - 12:24 PM.

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#26
Mizura

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On a verdant planet, deep within the forest, there lived a boy who hated the desolate landscape of the Sura realm. Save for conversing with Nastika who occasionally came to visit him, he had little contact with the other Sura. He would sit back and enjoy life in the forest, occasionally dipping his tail into the valley as part of his hobby, fishing.
 
One day, some time after the two changes occurred in the Dragon Clan, a Nastika came to visit the boy.
 
"The entire Dragon Clan has turned male?"
 
The white-haired boy seemed surprised as he put down the empty pipe from his mouth. 
 
"Is that true? Vritra really made such a decision?"
 
"..."
 
Kinnara nodded blankly, while the boy smacked his tongue while looking sorry.
 
"Tsk... Since the beginning of the Universe, I had always expected an excellent match between Ananta and Vritra over who was strongest... Now the match has been determined before they could even fight. How unfortunate. Because of this, Vritra must be very disappointed now."
 
"Not so, Yaksha."
 
"...?"
 
As Kinnara spoke, the boy called Yaksha listened. His bright blue and azure eyes held a gentle charisma. What appeared at first glance to be a mischievous face in fact reflected the dignity of old age.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 25: The Jealous Dragon (5)
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Vritra was never interested in such a competition in the first place."
 
"What? Vritra?"
 
Yaksha opened his mouth, apparently intending to ask Kinnara something, then rolled his eyes for a moment and asked while holding the empty pipe.
 
"...yes. Certainly. I'm sure he'd have listened if it were you speaking."
 
"He won't even listen to me now."
 
"Huh?"
 
At Kinnara's answer, Yaksha removed the pipe again and looked at her.
 
"Two solutions were used to prevent love within the Dragon Clan. The first was for all of them to turn male, the second was to eliminate feelings."
 
"Eliminate... feelings?"
 
"Yes."
 
"Hm... Then, the most serious issue wasn't the Dragon Clan turning male. If it affects the love between the races... then even Vritra and you now..."
 
"I also did not realize the true extent of the feelings' disappearance. Even if passion were to burn up, and love were to peak and wane... no, I actually believed. Even if the feelings disappeared, feelings that were prominent before would have become more pronounced... I believed that Vritra's love for me would certainly remain. But..."
 
"..."
 
Kinnara now held a sad face, while Yaksha, not seeking to comfort her, sucked on his empty pipe.
 
"I was wrong. His love for me did not remain... Now he... won't even look at me."
 
Rain started falling as tears formed in her eyes. Until not long ago, the King of the Dragon Clan rested his head on her lap, but now she could no longer reach him. Her crying face reflected the extent of her pain.
 
"..."
 
For some time, Yaksha let her cry, then stood and approached her as her cries subsided. He patted her shoulder reassuringly, then let out a long sigh as he gazed at the distant mountains beyond the mist.
 
"Compared to others, they have always felt like an isolated race... Now the Dragon Clan will truly be alone. I would have to..."
 
His sad voice dissipated in the mist. As the static passed, Yaksha carefully delivered his words to the no longer crying Kinnara.
 
"But Kinnara. Do not prolong your grief. You are the King, and you must lead your clan. Previously, through Vritra, an alliance was recognized between the Kinnara clan and the Dragon clan, but that is no longer the case. Once the others realize what has happened to the Dragon Clan, they will attack your clan. You need to reorganize your clan and properly guard it before then."
 
"..."
 
As Kinnara listened blankly to Yaksha's advice, she immediately wiped her tears and straightened herself. She was the King of the Kinnara clan. Even if heartbroken over love, there was no break for her.
 
"Yaksha, what about you?"
 
"Huh?"
 
"You... Now that Vritra no longer supports me, will you attack my clan?"
 
"No."
 
Yaksha's answer reassured her.
 
"I will not. However, you will need to deal with the others yourself."
 
"..."
 
"All I can do is live while maintaining a state of mind as peaceful as I can. If my mind becomes agitated, the whole Yaksha Clan becomes agitated... and even those not yet violent may then become violent."
 
"For even this much, you have my thanks."
 
"There is no need to be thankful for something like this."
 
As the smiling Yaksha held his empty pipe, Kinnara disappeared into the mists of the forest.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Some time after the two changes to the Dragon Clan, the Dragon Clan stronghold in the Sura realm appeared very noisy.
 
However, the source of the uproar was unclear, as the Dragon Clan had remained calm even when the race was fading away. The conference hall where the Dragon Clan had gathered now fell into ruins, leaving only a half-torn curtain fluttering dismally.
 
"Taksaka. The only emotion that guy has left is 'anger.' Say something wrong and he'll burn everything."
 
"..."
 
The three Dragon Clan Nastika had come to see Taksaka to inform him of the problems after the changes occurred. Taksaka was sitting still in the corner of his nest, head bowed. It wasn't clear whether he heard the words spoken by his brethren.
 
"Though it seems the other races have been more tolerant to maintain the small population, if you don't sanction him soon, he'll die."
 
"Even though the two choices were made to prevent the destruction of the race, it seems like this one will have to die because of them."
 
"Vritra vanished into hiding. Taksaka you should somehow..."
 
"Are you listening, Taksaka?"
 
"Shut up."
 
"..."
 
At a single word from Taksaka, all three from the Dragon Clan went silent. There were those who were quite outgoing before the changes, but after the changes, they'd have lost their outgoing trait and become more moderate. However, with a few exceptions, almost all within the Dragon Clan had become entirely numb after the changes, save for one or two emotions.
 
"So just what do you want me to do?"
 
"..."
 
His voice was low, and a loud growl seemed to form. As soon as they heard that sound, the Dragons quickly turned to avoid, and soon after a crater formed in the ground from right in front of Taksaka until the end of the horizon. No, it didn't even stop at the horizon.
 
"Whether he dies is not my problem. Don't bother me."
 
As he finished speaking, Taksaka bowed his head down again and became silent.
 
"..."
 
The Dragon Clan members looked at one another in silence, then quietly left his nest to avoid irritating him further.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Well. I see that Taksaka was left with only anger as well." 
 
As the three from the Dragon Clan left Taksaka's nest, they started conversing as they walked in the wastelands of the Sura realm.
 
"He didn't use to become angry often, so why is anger all that's left of him?"
 
"Do note. Anger was his only prominent emotion."
 
"True, he never smiled nor cried."
 
These three of the Dragon Clan had relatively moderate personalities, but were still expressionless as they discussed the impact of the changes.
 
"The King has disappeared, and the No.2 is sitting quietly in his nest, ready to kill anyone who approaches him. In addition, a high number of dragons have scattered..."
 
"Hopeless."
 
"Now I wonder about the future of our Dragon Clan."
 
"..."
 
As the conversation stopped, all that could be heard was the sound of footsteps and of the wind blowing. Suddenly, one of the Dragons spoke up.
 
"There's the guy who always stuck to Taksaka."
 
"Utpala?"
 
"Yes. Utpala. If that guy could somehow approach Taksaka, he could convince him to hold a meeting for the clansmen on behalf of the King."
 
"Indeed, prior to the change, Utpala bothered Taksaka for quite a while..."
 
"Just by watching from the sidelines, we managed to irritate Taksaka. You could see how irritated he was, right?"
 
"Indeed, he was really pissed off."
 
"If the only emotion he has left is anger, wouldn't he get just as angry at Utpala?"
 
"But where is Utpala now?"
 
"..."
 
The three fell back into silence. Finding Utpala did not appear to be a simple matter. 
 
"But do you know what emotion Utpala has left?"
 
"It should be obvious. If you think how she was usually."
 
"..."
 
"It's... jealousy."
 
"Great, things won't end well if we take him to Taksaka." 
 
"Let's just find another way. We'll just have to give up here and leave."
 
"..."
 
As the Dragon went ahead, the other two nodded.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Left alone in his nest, Taksaka closed his eyes, but then suddenly opened them again and looked around. He noticed the crater in the ground, starting right in front of him and reaching until the end of the horizon.
 
"..."
 
He nearly hit the clansmen who came to see him. Why...
 
Head hurting, Taksaka frowned. He still hadn't adapted to the effects of the change, but he didn't like how awkward he had become.
 
Obviously, he remembered his personality from before the change, as well as his behavior until then. Though he wasn't the type to express joy or sorrow, he could still be sympathetic and understanding of others to some extent, and he had the patience to soothe a loudly crying child.
 
This was no longer the case.
 
Expressing sympathy or emotions became impossible. His mind became a mess, and in his condition, even the wind was irritating.
 
"Roar!"
 
He suddenly roared, and at the sound, his nest was completely blown apart. He stood in its midst grabbing his face.
 
Everything in the world seemed bleak, and only anger rose within him.
 
He would rather have lost all emotions. This outcome was worse.
 
To be continued.
 
 
Yaksha appears this chapter. Currygom also mentioned a few things about Yaksha on her me2day (Korean twitter-equivalent):
  • Yaksha's original form was that of a grandfather, but he quickly took the form of a young child. Apparently one's original form is closest to one's essence. Taksaka's original form was that of a 15-year-old boy, and Utpala that of a 12-year-old girl. Gandharva was indeed male, but his age was different.
  • Yaksha's human form is that of a 12-year-old boy with blue eyes and white hair. His non-humanized part is his tail. He's usually biting something like a pipe.
  • Regardless of his age appearance, he has the emotional sensibility of a grandpa. He loves to play with children. He is very favorable towards humans, and very antagonistic towards Asura.
  • He once fought against Asura and nearly killed him, but stopped at the last moment.
  • Yaksha died because he gave too much to humans. He would have survived otherwise.
  • Since he's already died, we won't be seeing him in the webtoon.
Oh yeah, you heard that right. Taksaka was left with just anger, not because he used to get angry all the time (he didn't), but because it was the only emotion he really expressed Sometimes. D:

Edited by Mizura, 02 August 2013 - 02:34 AM.

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#27
Mizura

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He couldn't tell how long it had been since he had left his nest, nor did he know the reason for his rage. But suddenly, Taksaka realized that he had entered the territory of the Ananta clan.
 
"..."
 
All non-living things within sight had been trampled on and demolished. He had arrived here after leaving his nest, destroying everything on his path, and had caused significant damage to the Ananta clan. If there were even dead Nastika...
 
Should he go to the Ananta clan and explain the situation? Taksaka thought for a while then shook his head. He didn't want to apologize. Even if he didn't mind apologizing, it was unlikely that they'd accept his matter-of-fact apology. The Ananta clan Sura were known to be quarrelsome, so the apology might turn into a fight instead. It may have been different before the change, but now he would not be able to resist becoming angry.
 
"You're just going back after making a mess here?"
 
"..."
 
At the voice, Taksaka turned his head, deadpan. 
 
"We are each the No. 2 of our races, so we've met quite a few times in public, though... I guess this is the first time we meet in private, Taksaka."
 
He was a large man of similar stature to Taksaka. Rough, blood-red hair stretched past his shoulders, and two lines stretched down from his forehead to his eyes then to the bottom of his neck.
 
"..."
 
From the lines on his face, Taksaka knew who he was. The hair obstructed part of a total of 8 lines. The man in front of him was the nine-headed snake, Vasuki.
 
"Got anything to say?"
 
"..."
 
Even after Vasuki's question, Taksaka just looked at him without answering.
 
"Hm... When I saw you in public, you could express yourself quite well, and you had a moderate personality... But now you're not even saying a single word of apology, so something must have change..."
 
"..."
 
"That's fine. Even though you destroyed quite a bit, no Nastika were killed, so it's not a big problem. "
 
"..."
 
After Vasuki said that no Nastika were killed, Taksaka literally ignored him and turned to leave. Vasuki looked irritated, scratched his head and hesitated before calling Taksaka again.
 
"Hey! In fact, you almost did kill many Nastika of my clan."
 
"..."
 
"So who's going to prevent it from happening again?"
 
"..."
 
Taksaka turned back. Vasuki was subtly pointing at himself, a triumphant expression on his face as he smiled.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 26: The Jealous Dragon (6)
──────────────────────────────────
 
While Vasuki and Taksaka held the conversation -which consisted mostly of Vasuki loudly talking by himself-, the other Ananta clan Nastika stared at the two from a distance. Taksaka had attacked them for no reason, and they were saved just before they were killed thanks to Vasuki.
 
"Vasuki, will he be alright?"
 
"He will. Taksaka is the No. 2 of the Dragon Clan, while Vasuki is the No. 2 of the Ananta clan."
 
"But there could be a gap between the No. 2's..."
 
"How do we inform Ananta?"
 
"If we watch any longer, the mood may become worse..."
 
"It might be too late already."
 
"It's not too late, no."
 
The Ananta clan members, who were talking to each other, all looked back at the same time at the person who spoke with a smile on his face. He was a boy with long, brown, loosely-braided hair, and did not seem to belong to the blood-red Sura realm as he stood there, arms crossed, with a fresh smile on his face. The boy appeared to be around 17-years-old, and held a mysterious but graceful appearance. 
 
"Ananta..."
 
"Since when did you..."
 
"Since earlier."
 
The King of the Ananta clan gave that short reply, then smiled and sat down. He then took out a bag of sweets, and watched Taksaka and Vasuki as a spectator without any concern.
 
"I came here with Vasuki. However, Vasuki said to just leave it to him, and left."
 
"Why... Vasuki could be in danger." 
 
"Ah, it's just..."
 
Ananta took a handful of sweets from the bag and put them into his mouth. He tasted the sweets, tried to say something, then chewed and swallowed before speaking. 
 
"It's better for them to speak as equals. If I had intervened, it may have provoked Taksaka instead."
 
"Why not provoke him? Whether Taksaka is angry or not, you're still much stronger than him, Ananta."
 
"It is not a matter of strength, the Dragon Clan is a race whose numbers can no longer increase. We must not carelessly kill even a single one."
 
"..."
 
The Nastika who were nearly killed by Taksaka seemed unsatisfied with this, but none of them objected to the King.
 
"Oh, right. Do you want to eat this? I received this gift from Kinnara, it would be a waste to eat it alone."
 
"..."
 
Ananta encouraged his brethren to eat the sweets with him. At the mention that it was a gift from Kinnara, all held uncomfortable expressions, but none could refuse.
 
"How about it, good?"
 
"..."
 
Everyone nodded in silence, but their expressions contorted as soon as they started chewing, so it seemed the sweets didn't taste so good after all.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
"So... you're staying with me?"
 
After listening to all of Vasuki's talking, Taksaka only looked irritated as he questioned him.
 
"It won't be forever... it's just until you're able to somewhat control this sort of unprovoked anger."
 
"No way."
 
At Taksaka's immediate answer, the other side held a mix of frustration and killing intent. But in the end Vasuki just laughed it off, and spoke to his face without any fear.
 
"You. Before you get used to the changes to your emotional state, there will be more days like this. You're lucky today that I showed up and saved the other Nastika before they died, but there won't be any guarantees that there will always be some stranger to stop you. So do you want to kill other Nastika indiscriminately regardless of your own will? You're not that kind of guy. More than anyone else you were a guy who always attached great importance to the balance between the races."
 
"..."
 
"So you'll need someone to always watch you from the side and who can stop you without being killed. The King isn't someone who can just monitor one guy, and it takes quite a lot of Nastika to stop your power... So then I'll just do it myself."
 
"Does it have to be you?" 
 
"Yes."
 
At Vasuki's laid-back answer, Taksaka looked at him silently for a moment, then slowly answered.
 
"I may be stronger than what you've just seen."
 
"Yeah? Then we can hug and self-destruct, yeah."
 
"..."
 
As Vasuki looked mischievously while saying those serious words, Taksaka's forehead slightly frowned as he glared at Vasuki.
 
"Hahahah! It's a joke. Yes, Taksaka, I may not know how much power you're hiding, but no matter how angry you are, I think there's still some reason left in you. You're the No. 2 of the Dragon Clan. You ought to have that kind of mentality."
 
"..."
 
"Your answer?"
 
"..."
 
At Vasuki's question, Taksaka's eyes just turned to the ground. He then turned around and moved away from Vasuki.
 
"..."
 
Vasuki just smiled as he watched his back, then soon strode along. Taksaka shoved Vasuki away when Vasuki tried to put an arm around him, but otherwise did not reject his companionship.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Did you hear? Taksaka let another Nastika live in his nest..."
 
"Is it that guy called 'Utpala'?"
 
"No, not him. He's living with Vasuki."
 
"Vasuki?"
 
The rumors spread like wildfire throughout the Sura realm. Even if they weren't in a serious relationship, the fact that the No. 2 of two clans were living together was in itself a tremendous issue. 
 
"So who's the female?"
 
"Vasuki of course. Those of the Dragon Clan are stuck as men."
 
"Vasuki taking female form... I never even thought about it."
 
But after a while, after they ascertained that Vasuki was still in male form, another rumor began to spread among Sura.
 
"Vasuki didn't turn female, so both of them are in male state?"
 
"Really? Surprising... those two were never like that."
 
"Maybe they're just friends?"
 
"The No. 2 of different species are living together. I'm not convinced that it's just because they're friends."
 
"Yeah. Vasuki doesn't have anything to do in his clan... but why did he go to Taksaka?"
 
"They must be dating."
 
Quite a few guessed that Vasuki was keeping an eye on Taksaka, but the rumors ignored the dull 'truth' and leaned instead towards what was interesting, and soon the rumor that the two were dating was almost treated as fact.
 
Not long after, as a result of the rumors, one person from the Dragon Clan came to Taksaka's nest.
 
With wild blue hair and a gorgeous pair of blue-gray curved horns, this was the man who had disappeared for a long time, Utpala.
 
To be continued.
 
 
--
So these Ananta were minding their own business, relaxing in the Sura realm while enjoying the smell of fumes, but then this mean ol' dragon suddenly showed up out of nowhere and started beating them up for no reason, but fortunately Vasuki saved them, so they lived happily ever after before succumbing to food poisoning. o,o

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#28
Mizura

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A large number of Nastika had come to Taksaka's nest. Though they were not the Kings of their races, they were a gathering of 15 top-ranked Nastika who had come on behalf of their races.
 
They were here to find out the truth about the rumors surrounding Taksaka and Vasuki. Once the misunderstanding was cleared however, instead of leaving, they gathered and started gossiping about what was occurring within each clan.
 
"You don't know where Vritra went?"
 
"He was neither seen in the Sura realm nor the Human realm..."
 
"Did he go to a dimension lower than the Human realm?"
 
"Surely."
 
While they chattered, Taksaka had to sit through it all in silence. Fortunately, now that some time had passed since the emotional changes, Taksaka was no longer angered by the level of noise caused by conversation. His droopy eyes didn't seem to follow the conversation, and he'd occasionally yawn in boredom, before returning to a bemused state.
 
"But what happened to Utpala? From what I've heard, he was the dragon closest to you within the Dragon Clan..."
 
As the Nastika questioned him, Taksaka stared at him blankly before giving a short answer.
 
"He left."
 
The gathered Nastika seemed to take interest as they each asked on.
 
"He left? How unexpected..."
 
"Indeed. The only emotion he had left was jealousy, though since he was left as a male..."
 
"..."
 
Taksaka heard their chatter with a sleepy expression on his face, then suddenly noticed something outside of his nest. Vasuki, who was talking to another Nastika, followed his gaze and looked up as well. Utpala was standing there, face turning pale then red, as he faced them.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 27: The Jealous Dragon (7)
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Utpala...?"
 
"That's Utpala?"
 
"That's his male appearance, yes."
 
"Taksaka!!"
 
Utpala made his way through the gathered Nastika and walked straight to Taksaka. Taksaka just sat there silently, looking at him with indifferent eyes.
 
"Each time I tried to approach you, you drove me away, right? So why are you living with Vasuki? And what's with all these people gathered here?"
 
"Vasuki is monitoring me to prevent me from going out of control. And I drove you out back then because I couldn't control my anger."
 
"... so, you drove me away to prevent me from getting hurt?"
 
"Correct."
 
After that, Utpala's angry face seemed to soften, and he sat in front of Taksaka.
 
"So it will be alright now?"
 
"Maybe."
 
As soon as Taksaka answered, Utpala sat on his lap.
 
"So I can stay here like before?"
 
"..."
 
Taksaka gave no response. The moment Utpala sat on his lap, his expression twisted slightly, but no emotions could be read on his face.
 
"U... Utpala, that's a bit..."
 
"Go away, you guys!"
 
The other Nastika around Utpala tried to say something, but Utpala interrupted them by shouting. All of these top-level Nastika were more powerful than him, but Utpala believed that Taksaka would side with him as before.
 
"Sheesh..."
 
Though they all mumbled in disapproval at Utpala, they no longer meddled and stopped talking. Only Vasuki seemed to find the situation funny and started laughing.
 
"Taksaka."
 
"..."
 
Still sitting on Taksaka's lap, Utpala stared at him. Both of them had the appearance of adult men, but Taksaka was over 2 meters tall with a strong build, while Utpala in comparison was a bit over 1.7 meters with a skinny build.
 
"I don't need anyone else. I only need you."
 
"..."
 
The other Nastika held astonished looks, but Taksaka still seemed indifferent. However, his indifferent expression soon cracked to the sound of laughter coming from across him.
 
"Heh.... heheheh.... Hahahaha!"
 
Vasuki was laughing like crazy. The other Nastika seemed uneasy, telling him 'Hey, Vasuki... it's not funny...' in hushed tones, but Vasuki didn't care about them and only started laughing more.
 
"... you, why are you laughing?"
 
Utpala watched Vasuki with a contorted expression, and Vasuki answered while wiping his tears.
 
"It's funny. You still stick to him... heheh... even though you're no longer a girl?"
 
"What does this have to do with gender?"
 
"Ah... well... yeah, apart from you, what about Taksaka?"
 
"What?"
 
"Does Taksaka also like you?"
 
"Why of course..."
 
Utpala confidently faced Taksaka, but fell silent when he saw his serene expression replaced by anger.
 
"Get up, Utpala."
 
"Taksaka..."
 
"Get up."
 
"..."
 
At his stern voice, Utpala lingered a while but eventually got up from his lap.
 
"I deliberately let you get away with it before. But you can no longer stick to me like in the past. The other Nastika who came here give me enough distance, so I allowed them to come to my nest."
 
"You want me to stay as far away as these guys?"
 
"Yes."
 
"No. Why should I be at the same distance as these guys? Aren't I supposed to be the one closest to you?"
 
"..."
 
Noting that Taksaka was barely angry, Utpala believed there was some edge to what he said and raised his voice. Knowing the risk, the other Nastika were closely observing, ready to avoid any situation, while Vasuki held a relatively carefree expression and stood on the rocks expectantly. 
 
"You promised. After the change, I'd be the one closest to you!"
 
"I promised that you'd be the 'closest Dragon.'"
 
"What...?"
 
"In this nest right now, the only ones from the Dragon Clan are you and me. I kept my promise properly, don't you think?"
 
"T... then, someone can get closer to you as long as he's not a Dragon?"
 
"That's unsure for now."
 
Utpala stared at Tak in an incredulous manner, then looked around again. Among the gathered Nastika, there were also three in female form. One of them seemed to be frowning at Utpala's unsightly behavior since earlier.
 
"You. What's your problem?"
 
"You mean me?"
 
The frowning Nastika unfolded her arms and took a step forward. Her hair was a blend of pale cobalt and mauve, and despite its very short length, she exuded feminine charm. Her perfect face seemed sculpted by craftsmen, and she held a shapely figure. She was the Nastika 'Urvasi', who came on behalf of the Gandharva clan -a race of aquatic organisms-, and was one of the leading beauties within the Sura realm.
 
"Yes. I have a problem. Some time ago, a friend of mine died."
 
"How's that my problem?"
 
"That friend, you're the one who killed her."
 
"..."
 
"There was this cool and sweet man who lived in the Dragon Clan. One day she went to Taksaka to speak to him, and she never came back. As it turned out, she was killed by some crazy bitch who was leeching onto him."
 
"Who are you calling a crazy bitch?"
 
"Shut up, this is where you-------------------."
 
When far from feeling sorry, Utpala retorted boldly, Urvasi started pouring a stream of harsh words upon him without even a pause for breath. The profanities were such that even Utpala was left speechless and frozen.
 
"Calm down, Urvasi!"
 
"You're telling me to calm down? My friend who liked Taksaka is dead! My friend!"
 
"This is Taksaka's nest. If you want to fight, take it outside."
 
"..."
 
As the other Nastika intervened, Urvasi bit her lip and took a step back. Utpala grinned at Urvasi mockingly, then quickly hid behind Taksaka when Urvasi lunged at him. With Utpala hiding behind Taksaka, Urvasi was unable to attack him, but she spoke to Taksaka, almost on the verge of tears, when he still didn't say anything even in that situation.
 
"Taksaka. That guy doesn't care for anyone but you. He'll do anything to monopolize you."
 
"I know."
 
"Then you know what's wrong? Heed my advice, if you do not rid yourself of him, his sins shall fall back upon you. If you offer your protection to someone like him, even I will start to blame you."
 
"..."
 
Urvasi seemed as though she wanted to say more, but restrained herself and forcibly shut her mouth, then immediately turned around and left Taksaka's nest.
 
"Taksaka!"
 
Utpala, not sensing the mood, hugged Taksaka from behind.
 
"..."
 
Though Taksaka still hadn't spoken thus far, his expression, in contrast, had become bloody. However, Utpala at his back did not seem to notice.
 
"Funny, right? She was anxious to tear us apart, but it was useless. Didn't you promise to forgive me no matter what I do?"
 
"..."
 
Utpala added that at the end to appease him. At the time, he didn't think about how dangerous the promise was, but he thought about it again before Urvasi left, and realized that it formed terrible shackles. He deserved those shackles for his inattention. Furthermore, with the infinite lifespan of the Nastika, these shackles may persist until the end of the Universe.
 
Closing his eyes for a while, Taksaka came to a decision before speaking.
 
"Get out, Utpala."
 
"Huh?"
 
"I no longer want you close to me, so get out."
 
"What... what's wrong?"
 
Utpala quickly came in front of Taksaka and stared at him with a look of hurt.
 
"I will keep my promise. While you're far away from me, I will never get close to someone from the Dragon Clan other than you. Then the fact that you're the Dragon closest to me won't change."
 
"Why? This is pure deterrence!"
 
"This deterrence is for your sake, Utpala."
 
"What?"
 
"A guy is trying to take the place of the person closest to me, shouldn't I deter him? I can no longer tolerate this behavior of yours. At any moment, I could get mad and end up killing you."
 
"..."
 
Taksaka's eyes were sincere. Seeing his eyes, the intimidated Utpala hesitated, then finally caved in to the pressure and left the nest. One of the female form Nastika started laughing at Utpala's plaintive look, but stopped when Utpala came back to the entrance of the nest.
 
"Taksaka... I cannot give up."
 
"You have to go."
 
Utpala flinched at Taksaka's answer, but shouted again without regard.
 
"Don't ever forget my words. That even if you no longer look at me, I shall do whatever it takes until you look at me again."
 
"..."
 
However, Taksaka no longer answered him, so Utpala finally gave up on an answer and turned away.
 
"Is that okay? Just like that Urvasi, there are many Nastika who have a grudge against Utpala. Utpala will have a hard time surviving away from you."
 
Once Utpala was completely gone, Vasuki spoke to Taksaka in a slightly concerned voice. That seemed to catch Taksaka's interest as he replied.
 
"It's fine. There aren't any problems even if we're apart."
 
"Until now, people knew that Utpala was under your protection. But once word gets out that the two of you have separated..."
 
"Then, to those of you gathered here, return my words to your respective clans. Taksaka no longer covers for Utpala like before, but he doesn't want Utpala to die. "
 
"..."
 
It meant that no matter what Utpala did, they were prevented by force from killing him. Though the gathered Nastika seemed unpleased, they didn't speak back and just nodded.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
The day had already begun to redden. Realizing that the night had gone, Tak looked up to the sky of dawn, and stopped reminiscing about the days of old.
 
As expected, Utpala caused trouble here and there, but he was never killed. As he lacked the power to cause serious problems alone, and Tak overlooked the issues no matter what, Utpala eventually got tired and his activities gradually decreased. Just... they weren't a big deal by the standards of Sura. But from the point of view of humans, those problems could be quite serious indeed.
 
"Ian."
 
"..."
 
Tak called, but from her breathing, Ian still appeared to be in a deep sleep.
 
"I'm sorry. Because of my wrong behavior, I made you unhappy."
 
"..."
 
"I'll do all I can to pay you back somehow. So you'll no longer be unhappy."
 
"..."
 
Tak's lips lightly touched the forehead of the sleeping Ian. As if thinking that a bug had landed while she was sleeping, Ian lifted a hand to slap her forehead. Tak watched Ian silently while smiling.
 
To be continued.
 
 
... hey wait, I want the ability to slap bugs in my sleep too. I usually have to wake up first and chase them across the room. :( I was surprised at first that Taksaka wasn't that mad with so many Nastika in his nest, then I reminded that -Vasuki- kept him company all the time... Good practice for anger control. xD

Edited by Mizura, 10 July 2013 - 02:14 PM.

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#29
Mizura

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"How was it?"
 
At the sound from above, the boy immediately lifted his head. However, he couldn't see in front of him, so there was nothing where he faced. The white-haired woman sitting in the tree then jumped and landed in front of him, her braided hair waving and straightening as she did so. 
 
"Haaah~ Yes, well, has everything been resolved smoothly? Nard."
 
"I... I don't know. What qualifies as smoothly by Nastika standards?"
 
"It didn't appear so smooth."
 
"It wasn't."
 
After Nard left Huen somewhere far away, he went back to examine the site. However, Tak and Ian were already gone, and several of the fighters had left to report to the temple. When he questioned the remaining fighters, he learned that their ankles had been torn off and that one person's tongue was ripped out... Just listening to these frightening scenes made him shudder.
 
"Taksaka displays his power in a way very different from you."
 
"He isn't just different from me, he is also different from many other Nastika."
 
"Is it just because he is from the Dragon clan?"
 
"Rather, it is because of his attribute. Taksaka's source attribute is 'Destruction'... throughout all the races, there are now merely five Sura with that attribute. There were a few more originally, but the numbers have since decreased. Because there were originally so few of them, their true abilities were never clearly revealed."
 
"Why is the Destruction attribute so rare?"
 
"It isn't one of the original natural forces, but the power emitted by the Primeval God of Destruction, Shiva." 
 
Nard pondered for a while. He had obviously never learned of this during the school courses. 
 
"So, Taksaka has part of the power of the God Shiva."
 
"Yes. Originally, it should have been so."
 
"...? Originally so...? Is there something more to that?"
 
"Yes. The other Nastika with the Destruction Attribute are not as strong as Taksaka. Because Taksaka was abnormally strong, the Primeval God Visnu believed that there was something wrong, which is why he assigned us this mission."
 
"..."
 
As the woman concluded, Nard looked uneasy and gulped.
 
"T... Taksaka took Ian and left the city. What should we do now?"
 
"Then next... someone will come in search of Ian." 
 
"Ian? Um... Surely not the Gods? I heard from earlier reports that the fighters had gone to the Temple..."
 
"I don't know yet. If Taksaka is going to fight, then we'll have to get out of this planet."
 
"T... then what do we do? I can't access Taksaka anymore."
 
"Me neither. Taksaka and I have never been on particularly friendly terms, and now because of Ian, he'll be in a heightened state of vigilance."
 
"So..."
 
"We'll have to ask someone else. Preferably someone Taksaka is acquainted with."
 
The woman took away Nard's cane, then held him before he could say anything. They shined brightly on the spot, then the light disappeared into the distant sky.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 28: Home
──────────────────────────────────
 
The rising Sun shone on the sleeping Ian.
 
Ian, who was lying on her side, woke up then immediately sat up upon seeing Tak standing some distance away. She hastily rubbed her eyes and wiped her face, then quickly tied up her hair. Despite straightening her crumpled skirt and roughly shaking off the sand, she hadn't properly washed for days, so the bitter feeling of being a homeless person still lingered.
 
Until she could get a decent bath, if only she could at least wash up roughly somewhere...
 
At the thought of bathing, Ian thought of how pathetic she was and sighed. Tak's shadow suddenly appeared next to her, startling her and causing her to look up.
 
"Did you wake up?"
 
Tak's smiling face was still that distinctive shade of dark red, but it didn't seem dirty at all. Despite staying outside like her for several days, his hair and clothes were as though he had just taken a shower, and the new clothes he had on were pristine. The face was the same, but she wondered how he replaced his clothes. 
 
"Nastika always keep their clothes clean I guess."
 
"Huh? N... no, it's..."
 
Tak lifted the hem of his scarf to say something, but then shrugged and smiled.
 
"I'll tell you later. When you get up."
 
"Is it something you shouldn't tell me? Like a secret...?"
 
"It's not a secret, but you might feel embarrassed by it."
 
"...?"
 
Tak held the hand of the puzzled Ian, preventing her from shaking out the sand, then spoke.
 
"First, we'll go to your home."
 
"My home?"
 
"Yes. The place where you originally lived before going to Mistyshore."
 
"..."
 
Ian was silent for a while, then spoke in a trembling voice with both eyes downcast.
 
"But there's... nothing there anymore."
 
"..."
 
It appeared that her home town was not a place she wanted to return to. Tak felt sorry for her, but carefully touched her small trembling hands and spoke.
 
"I know it will be hard for you to go back. But I think I can find clues by looking there first. Even though I have a guess, I can't be sure it is correct yet."
 
"..."
 
"Can we go?"
 
"... yes."
 
As Ian gave the awaited answer, Tak hugged her. Ian stumbled a bit in surprise, then hugged Tak's neck. The pleasant feeling of her arms around his neck made him smile.
 
"This is comfortable?"
 
"What?"
 
"At first I didn't know where you'd put your hands."
 
"..."
 
Ian blushed, unable to remove her arms from around his neck, and lowered her head. 
 
Tak looked like a boy just slightly taller than her, but because of her slim build, it would be very easy for him to lift her. No, whatever her physique was, it wouldn't be difficult for a Nastika anyway...
 
But no matter how gently Tak could lift her, it would be very inconvenient to move this way. This was because all the physical contact with Tak was appalling to her.
 
[There's something I can do to you right now. With, or without your permission.]
 
Tak's words from yesterday still lingered. Even though Tak had not intended to scare her, those evocative words still reminded her of her inability to refuse him.
 
If he weren't a Nastika...
 
With neither fear nor oppression, if they had met in a free setting...
 
If so... a little more...
 
...
 
Realizing that Tak was watching, Ian tried to pull herself together by biting her lips tightly and closing her eyes.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Of the places they passed by, Ian held dim memories of quite a few. Finally, Tak arrived at the location of her former home.
 
It was a basin surrounded by fairly tall mountains and tall, dense weeds. The weeds grew as tall as Ian's face, making it hard to walk properly in a straight line.
 
"Ouch."
 
While Ian was trying to observe the location of her village, weeds scratched her arms and caused her to let out a small shout.
 
"Ian. Wait."
 
"...?"
 
Tak hugged Ian and blew gently behind her, as though blowing a candle. Soon after there was a rustling sound as all the thick weeds scattered into ashes.
 
"It's okay now."
 
"..."
 
As she was freed by Tak, the surprised Ian watched the ash with blinking eyes, then returned to a state of calm as she recalled that he was a Nastika.
 
Fear and oppression didn't matter. He had the power to aid in her revenge, and as long as she could achieve revenge, any price was acceptable. If he weren't a Nastika, her lifetime revenge towards Taksaka would be nothing but a futile dream.
 
"..."
 
It was a dry valley where water used to flow. Walking slowly, Ian stopped in front of the valley and smiled sadly.
 
"I used to swim here... When the older women were doing the laundry, I would hide underneath then pop out above the laundry to surprise them. Still, the children would persevere underneath. It was nice to swim here because the pool was so deep."
 
"..."
 
"Ever since the Destruction Dragon swept through here, the water stopped coming back."
 
"..."
 
If I had swept through here before, those weeds would never have grown.
 
Despite thinking this, Tak swallowed the words, then nodded in agreement at the conclusion of Ian's sentence. Ian took a few more steps ahead of him and pointed to various spots in the ash.
 
"There used to be a bridge here. There were two houses on opposite sides, and a big tree beyond..."
 
"...!"
 
While Tak silently listened to her words, something felt off. At lightning speed, he suddenly came besides Ian and hugged her.
 
"...? Tak...?"
 
Ian gave him a strange look, but Tak just held her without answering, glancing around the boundaries.
 
A while after, she saw someone walking towards her while treading on the ash. Because he was far away, Ian's eyes couldn't clearly distinguish the form from the shadows, but Tak looked straight in his direction.
 
"Shess... why are you here?"
 
Shess? Shess was the name that Tak gave to his sponsor. She had thought it to be just some random name, not the name of another person. As Ian looked in the same direction as Tak, the figure became more distinct from the shadows.
 
『Originally, I often came back to this planet, didn't you know?』
 
He approached until Ian could see him. He was a very tall, young man with short pink hair. From the two horns on his head, he did not appear to be human.
 
To be continued.
 
Nastika. Taking showers and doing the laundry while you sleep. [/Ian's imagination]
 
Still wondering if Ian had anything to eat these few days...
 
On her me2day, Currygom noted that there are many Nastika with the same Source attributes, not just one per attribute per clan. There were originally 3 Dragons with the Destruction Attribute, but 2 have since died.

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#30
Mizura

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Tak remained silent. Watching for his reactions, Shess carefully approached until a distance of about twenty steps away. Ian felt slight pressure on her hand.
 
『About me... you don't need to be so wary, I have no intention of laying a hand on her. I wouldn't dare consider such an act.』
 
"..."
 
Despite the clarification, Tak's wariness hardly faded. Realizing that he couldn't get any closer, Shess stood in that location and tried to initiate a conversation.
 
『It seems you are searching for something, perhaps I could help...』
 
"Ah, it hurts!"
 
"...?!"
 
When Ian screamed, Shess stopped speaking and looked at them.
 
"S... sorry! I-I-I I I used too much power in my hand without thinking. Did I break anything?"
 
The No. 2 of the Dragon Clan was bowing towards a human. He even fumbled near the end. 
 
"You didn't break anything... but you were grabbing so strongly..."
 
"That, it's so you wouldn't be taken away. You mustn't leave my side. That guy there, he's a Rakshasa."
 
"A Rakshasa?"
 
Among the ranks of Sura, Rakshasa were the highest after Nastika. Like Nastika, they were Superior Sura who could take the form of humans, but they couldn't form human words.
 
"That guy was talking, but you couldn't hear anything, see? It's the Sura way of speaking."
 
"..."
 
As Tak explained, Ian looked at Shess with wavering eyes. Shess seemed stumped and shook his hand in an attempt to convey that he had no intention of hurting her. Then he made eye contact with Tak and lowered his hand with a small sigh.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 29: Sacrifice
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Do you hear me? I want you to pass along the message to Taksaka."
 
"..."
 
"You won't answer?"
 
The white-haired woman sat cross-legged on the rock as she asked Shess, though it was more like a command.
 
"No way, the Nastika is reluctant to go, so she's dumping it on a Rakshasa now?"
 
Besides her, Nard seemed to be worrying about Shess, but the woman ignored him and only demanded an answer from Shess. Shess hesitated for a while, then reluctantly gave the answer she wanted.
 
『Yes. I will go.』
 
"Yes. You're kind as well Shess. You're a lot like your mother!"
 
"..."
 
Seemingly satisfied, the woman smiled, held Nard and stood up. 
 
"Well, you have to. You wouldn't want to see this planet destroyed, do you?"
 
"..."
 
"Answer."
 
『Yes. Of course.』
 
"Okay. I'm counting on you. Goodbye."
 
After the order-like words, she gave a friendly wave towards Shess, then with a ray of light, she disappeared with Nard.
 
"..."
 
Left alone in the spot where the woman and Nard disappeared, Shess looked at the distant sky they had disappeared into and closed his eyes.
 
Tak was one of the worst cases for emotional control within the Dragon clan, since he was one of the Dragons left with only 'anger'. Since anger was the only emotion that was amplified, he would kill for even petty reasons such as disturbances to his sleep. Shess was one of the Sura who were quite well-acquainted with him and could approach him relatively easily, but it was a different matter if he was on guard because of a girl besides him.
 
In the worst case, he had to be prepared to die.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
"What are you looking at, you?"
 
At Tak's gritty voice, Shess couldn't do anything but smile. Ian was now eating the biscuits brought by Shess, but Tak seemed less pleased with this act of goodwill as he sat slouching.
 
Rather than worried, Tak appeared to be severe. However, with his girl there, he would refrain from violent behavior in front of her, so Shess didn't need to worry for his own safety.
 
"Tell me what you're here for. Then we'll see."
 
『You appeared to be searching for something. I thought I could help.』
 
"You can't help. So don't bother us for nothing and leave."
 
『I came to this planet 8 years ago. Is there really no way I could help?』
 
"..!"
 
Though Tak didn't reply, his eyes showed surprise.
 
『Though I didn't see it by myself, I heard that a black and red dragon appeared and killed all the villagers. And on this planet, that red and black dragon was thought to be you, Taksaka.』
 
"..."
 
When Shess mentioned the name 'Taksaka', Tak instantly tensed as he glanced at Ian. Ian wasn't listening to Shess, and was eating biscuits and drinking milk while completely unaware.
 
Thinking that it would be better for Ian not to hear the conversation, Tak began speaking in the way of Sura like Shess.
 
『Shess. The black and red colors aren't uncommon. Starting with the King Vritra, there are lots of dragons below the #2 rank that are black and red. It's the most common color, so suspicion based on color alone is no good.』
 
『I of course do not think that you were responsible. The most obvious explanation is that it was Utpala-nim, who had already impersonated you. He was originally a blue color, but became black and red as he committed more wrongdoings... However, I'm curious as to why you are interested in his motives 8 years ago. Why do you suddenly mind what was done by Utpala-nim?』
 
At Shess' question, Tak seemed startled but just shook his head.
 
『While impersonating me, Utpala increased my notoriety a lot. Being reviled by Gods and humans didn't bother me at all. But...』
 
Tak stopped speaking for a while, a very serious expression on his face. Thanks to Visnu's earrings, his emotional state was exposed by his expressions.
 
『This is strange. The scale is too small for Utpala to bother. What meaning was there to eliminate just one human village? He couldn't be trying to get my attention by acting strange on purpose...』
 
『Isn't it childish? I'm afraid jealousy doesn't take age into account.』
 
Shess smiled. Thinking that he knew something, Tak glared at him with a scowl. Thanks to the earrings, his face really showed just a 'scowl', when it would usually project an aura of intimidation.
 
『I will tell you everything I know about what occurred 8 years ago. Could you promise me one thing in exchange?』
 
"..."
 
When he promised to tell everything, Tak relaxed his expression as he looked at Shess.
 
『Please take your fights outside of the planet, to avoid harming other creatures. Those who are aware already know that the misdeeds caused in your name were committed by an impersonator. And you wouldn't want to increase your notoriety further among those who don't.』
 
『From what you're saying, you mean there'll be a fight?』
 
『Maybe.』
 
"..."
 
Tak thought for a while, but since it wasn't a big deal, he gave a slight nod.
 
『Alright. Taksaka-nim, the first thing I'll tell you is that those living within the cities refer to villages outside as villages of 'heretics.'』
 
『I know. If they can live together without fear outside the Barriers, it means there's something they believe in. Not long ago, I went to a village of Vasuki's followers... They take in those who have rejected the cities.』
 
『The villagers here were followers of the Dragon Clan. Taksaka-nim, that means the race you belong to.』
 
"..."
 
At his explanation, Tak tilted his head in wonder.
 
『They worshipped the Dragon Clan? That's weird. They wouldn't have anyone to worship.』
 
『That's right. Most Nastika of the Dragon Clan stay only in their nest, so dragon Halfs are extremely rare. Even if the villagers were followers of the Dragon Clan, there wouldn't have been any Dragons to protect them. Perhaps some time in the distant past, there was an exchange with a Dragon Half, and the tradition has since been passed down.』
 
『Then did this village maintain its state?』
 
『It did fine. Just from the fact that they were followers of the Dragon Clan, many Sura avoided this village, because of none other than you, Taksaka-nim.』
 
『Because of me? That's interesting. No matter how angry I get, surely they wouldn't believe that I'd get mad at them for touching one village... Until I met Ian, I had no interest in this planet, I didn't even know about this village.』
 
『There is no harm in being careful.』
 
『In any case, that's all the more scandalous of Utpala. He's been impersonating me to kill humans that worship our race. And the only reason he did that was to get my attention. That's too much.』
 
Taksaka seemed pretty upset. Until now, it was just the disappearance of a little village, but all of a sudden his attitude changed. Was he weak towards followers? Shess found Tak's anger to be somewhat cute and smiled.
 
『Taksaka-nim. This is just my guess, but I do not think that Utpala attacked this village merely to gain your attention.』
 
"...?"
 
『I heard that at first, there was a clear demand for a sacrifice. So probably, because the sacrifice was not offered, the disaster was caused in turn. Isn't such a pattern common in folktales?』
 
『Utpala demanded a sacrifice from the humans? Ridiculous. There's nothing he could gain from humans... that guy even used to say that he didn't need anyone but me.』
 
For a moment, the image of Vasuki teasing him emerged, putting him into a very bad mood and causing his expression to darken.
 
『I of course do not know the details of the matter. Only, the sacrifice was quite specific... something you might be concerned about.』
 
『Who was the sacrifice?』
 
At Tak's question, Shess hesitated for a while before replying.
 
『I do not know for sure, but the name of the girl who was demanded was 'Ian'.』
 
"..."
 
Ian, still unaware of their conversation, was eating biscuits while looking at Tak strangely. 
 
"Why are you looking at each other without talking? I don't hear a conversation from either of you."
 
"Ah, that's... we were talking about what happened here..."
 
Tak looked frustrated as he mumbled, then inquired towards the watching Ian.
 
"You said Taksaka swept through here 8 years ago."
 
"Yes. He did."
 
"Did he... demand you as a sacrifice?"
 
"..."
 
Ian's eyes seemed to momentarily lose focus and became hazy, then seemed to clear up again.
 
"That's right. That was what was required. But my mother hid me away..."
 
Ian stopped speaking briefly, then looked back at the village, now devoid of human presence, before speaking again.
 
"As a result, all the villagers were killed... the villagers, my father, my mother, all of them..."
 
The wind swept over the desolate field, reminding of the landscape from that day 8 years ago.
 
To be continued.
 
Ian finally gets fed! After all that, she only gets biscuits though. She really is turning into a homeless person.
... did you know that Google translates Nard as "Nerd"?
 
In other news, Currygom stated that she may be switching to an irregular "once every 2 weeks" release schedule. It's because she isn't paid for the novel releases, and she's having a hard time managing both the webtoon and the novel releases.

Edited by Mizura, 21 July 2013 - 06:43 AM.

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#31
Mizura

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Krrng.
 
Upon hearing the sounds, the young Ian opened her eyes and looked around. She was unfamiliar with the room in the corner of the basement. She remembered being told to stay in that basement until she was let out.
 
She wondered how long it had been since she had fallen asleep. The hunger had become unbearable, so she stood up on the spot.
 
"Mom..."
 
She called out in a quiet voice, but her mother did not answer. As she stood in front of the basement door, Ian hesitated, before carefully grabbing the handle and turning it.
 
Krrrk... tchk.
 
However, the door refused to open further. A padlock appeared to hang separately from the door handle.
 
"Mom...?"
 
The young Ian tried to seek her mother beyond the narrow gap. However, she couldn't feel any signs of her within the wreck that her house had become.
 
Krrng.
 
Through the broken ceiling, a red light flashed and disappeared. In the distance, she could hear the sound of something breaking and collapsing. Shortly after that, she heard the sound of an unknown beast.
 
"Roooooar..."
 
"..."
 
Her small trembling hands fell off the door handle. The young Ian shied away then sat down, curled up in a corner of the basement. Then with both hands covering her ears, she buried her face into her lap, and silently wept.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 30: Oath (Part 1/2)
──────────────────────────────────
 
Ian was only rescued three days later.
 
The village was quite far from the cities, and witnesses were too afraid to intervene. Luckily, rumors spread by the witnesses prompted the Magic Guild to send an investigation team. If her luck had been any worse, Ian would have died.
 
Ian was rescued by the investigators in a near delirious state caused by extreme dehydration, and she wasn't able to hold a normal conversation until a fortnight had passed.
 
In fact, the investigation team had no interest in taking care of Ian. But one magician felt differently. This was because he heard a rather interesting rumor while investigating the surrounding villages.
 
'Before he caused the disaster, Taksaka demanded the sacrifice of the child named Ian.'
 
He took Ian along, and sought many ways to send her into a city. This was the child that was initially supposed to be killed, but the village was destroyed instead. She was a child that a Sura wanted to kill, so she would be in harm's way wherever there were Sura. Thus, the child had to be sent to a safe location.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
"It was the town of the heretics who worshiped the Dragon Clan."
 
Summer of Year D865. In Mistyshore, the priest handled the paperwork as he spoke, his tone irritated due to the heat preceding the rainy season. A shabby-looking girl stood in front of him. She was the girl brought by the magician.
 
"The village was destroyed because of Taksaka's anger, and she is the sole survivor, correct?"
 
"Yes. Her name is Ian Rajof."
 
The magician brought Ian closer to the priest and bowed towards him as he spoke. The priest tilted his head, glanced at Ian, then spoke indifferently.
 
"She is quite a lovely child, but she could have been adopted in the nearby cities, don't you think? Why did you bring her here?"
 
"I had gone first to Atera and Rindhallow, but they refused to grant her a residence permit."
 
"Oh? Why so?"
 
"This child is a Quarter, so she is legally an adult. For this reason, they would not overlook the matter of heresy just for her being child-like."
 
"Hmm."
 
At this, the priest put on eyeglasses and took a better look at Ian before speaking again.
 
"The other cities have refused, so if I allow her..."
 
"Then the people would praise Priest-nim's virtue."
 
"Isn't that so?"
 
At the magician's answer, the Priest of Mistyshore let off a seemingly satisfied laugh, then raised a hand as the magician attempted to sign Ian's residence permit.
 
"Oh... by the way, there is one more procedure before she can be recognized as a citizen."
 
"What procedure do you mean?"
 
"She needs to publicly reject the Sura and swear to believe in the Gods, within the sight of the citizens."
 
"..."
 
Among the people, there were those who fiercely hated heretics, and quite a few would point their fingers at the young child. Yet it was already extremely harsh for the child to lose her entire family and all the villagers overnight. The priest was finally persuaded, but this condition could not be refused. The magician showed some signs of worry, but nodded.
 
"Alright. Let's write down the words to prevent mistakes."
 
"Let's prepare a schedule with the assistant."
 
"Yes, we look forward to seeing you again soon."
 
The magician nodded towards the priest, then led Ian by the hand through the room.
 
"This may be a bit difficult, but if you pass, you will be able to live within the city. Tomorrow, you'll just need to speak what is written down, alright?"
 
"Yes."
 
In an emotionless voice, Ian gave the brief reply to the magician's encouragement.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
At dusk, Ian arrived with the magician to his home. It was a spectacularly grand and ornate house within the residential district at the outskirts of Mistyshore.
 
The name 'Chen Sairofe' was displayed in brilliant gold on the nameplate attached to the side of the gate. Ian, who lived marginalized outside of the city, could never imagine such an esteemed family, but now, in front of the house, she felt no inspiration at all.
 
"Whoa! Daddy!"
 
When they entered Chen's house, a barefoot boy came running to them. He was about 12~13 years-old, and looked more like an older brother to the lone Ian.
 
"So you're not coming home too? I'll end up forgeting your face!"
 
"Hahah. There are too many places waiting for your father's help."
 
"Who is she?"
 
"She's a child who used to live outside the city. She'll soon be living within the city, so she'll stay at our home for today. She's a Quarter, so she's much older than you, so don't speak to her thoughtlessly."
 
"Yeah? Okay!"
 
The boy with light brown hair looked at Ian curiously then laughed. But Ian's eyes were unfocused, and she just stood there idly without a glance at the boy.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Ian received a guest room. She quickly washed up and covered herself with a blanket. There was no way to turn on the light, so she'd have to go to bed early. There was nothing to do anyway...
 
She tossed around a little, trying to fall asleep, when,
 
Tok tok tok. Tok tok.
 
"..."
 
Waking up to the sound of knocking on the door, Ian laid down the blanket and sat up.
 
"Hey, open up! There's no light in the room? So I brought one."
 
"..."
 
It was the boy's voice. The son of the magician. Ian hesitated for a moment then opened the door. Though she needed the light, she hesitated to receive any more help. 
 
"Now, here. So when you turn this... hey! It lights up?"
 
"..."
 
"You look prettier in front of the light."
 
"..."
 
Even though he called her pretty, Ian showed no interest, and just stared at the lamp with unfocused eyes. At a loss, the boy scratched his head before asking. 
 
"Ah... what's your name?"
 
From his father, the boy had already obtained a rough idea of the girl's situation, such as her name and background, but he pretended not to know in order to ask. Ian just stared blankly at the lamp before replying.
 
"... my name is... Ian."
 
"Yes. Ian. Your name is pretty too. I'm..."
 
"I'm tired and I'd like to sleep. Could you leave?"
 
"Huh? Um..."
 
At Ian's cold reply, the boy stood up and shrugged. He walked back towards the door then looked back at Ian. Ian was still expressionless and staring at the lamp. Although, considering what she had been through, her cold attitude was understandable. Recalling the things his father told him, the boy felt sorry for Ian. He opened the door and went out.
 
Tchk.
 
"..."
 
After the door closed, Ian, who was still staring at the lamp, unwittingly shed tears. The first few days, she couldn't stand it. The next few days, she didn't want to acknowledge the reality. It all felt like a dream.
 
However, this was not a dream.
 
She wanted to run away, but she couldn't escape reality. Her parents gave up their lives to defend her, so she had to somehow endure. And yet.
 
"I can't just kill myself..."
 
It was the agony of the sole surviving child. She'd rather have died so she'd not have to bear the pain. Even though she survived, she'd have to bear the guilt of what happened to her parents and the villagers.
 
Ian took the lamp, placed it besides the bed, then took out a pen and paper.
 
She would not be able to endure with just a vague thought such as 'I have to live on.' She needed an excuse able to relieve the enormous amount of guilt she felt. She would not forget, she would not ignore it, so, she would remember.
 
Ian filled the sheet of paper with the name 'Taksaka', slashing into it with her pen. Then, she put down the pen and picked up the paper. 
 
Shriiik-
 
The shredded pieces of paper fell from Ian's hands onto the bed. Ian looked down upon these pieces of paper, her eyes cold.
 
To be continued.
 
 
Huh, so Huen Sairofe was the son of Ian's benefactor. And Ian didn't remember him at all. xD

Edited by Mizura, 16 August 2013 - 04:08 PM.

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#32
Mizura

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Countless people gathered at the square in front of the Temple of Resurrection. All came to watch the child from the village of heretics. Many felt compassion for the child, but some were openly hostile, and would curse or throw things at her.
 
"Didn't they say that she's a Quarter? That village served the Dragon Clan, so is she a Dragon Quarter?"
 
"Maybe, maybe not. You know, there are Quarters out there other than of the Yaksha Clan. Most are mixed races though."
 
"But will she really take the oath? Will a 20 years-old really believe?"
 
"I heard that the entire Dragon Clan village was eaten? Nevermind 20 years-old, she'd believe even if she were 200 years-old."
 
"..."
 
The boy, who came along with his father, was frowning in disapproval at the abusive gossip aimed at Ian. Not noticing the boy's discontent, one of the gossiping people smiled and greeted the boy.
 
"Ah, the boy from the Sairofe family? For you to come to such a place..."
 
"Her name is Ian, my father brought her here."
 
"Oh... oh really?"
 
The people around the boy coughed and avoided him, while the boy walked up to the platform where his father was, and silently looked at Ian.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 30: Oath (Part 2/2)
──────────────────────────────────
 
As soon as the Priest gestured from the platform, the loudly talking crowd quieted down. From his position, the Priest gave a gentle but dignified smile, and spoke to the girl in front of him.
 
"Ian Rajof. All the heretics by your side have died. Depending on the answer you give now, your future shall be completely different."
 
"..."
 
Ian didn't answer immediately. Instead, she just knelt, head bowed, while trembling. Did they need to present them as heretics, and remind her that they had all died? Watching from the sidelines, the magician Chen frowned slightly. However, Priests were those who were closest to the Gods, and most opposed to the Sura. It was understandable that he would be merciless towards the heretics who worshiped Sura. Just listening to the speech made Chen feel sorry for the child.
 
As time passed, people could be heard asking 'is she crying' here and there. Ian tried to suppress her tears and barely managed to speak.
 
"As of now, I, Ian Rajof, abandon my faith in the Dragon Clan."
 
Voices whispering 'Look look, she discarded it' could be heard all around.
 
"I shall live on, and my aim in life shall be to take down Taksaka."
 
Taksaka? Ha!! Many people started laughing and chuckling. Even the Priest in front of Ian seemed to find it absurd. Because of this, her last sentence could barely be heard as it got drowned out by the sound of laughter.
 
"And I shall become a great magician to prove my faith in the Gods."
 
Ian finished speaking and bowed her head.
 
Even though she seemed to be crying, her face was dignified. Beneath the platform, the boy had an expression of shock and couldn't take his eyes off her. Her cold determined lemon eyes had never looked so beautiful.
 
"..."
 
The Priest facing Ian felt uneasy, but soon smiled as he became aware of the eyes of the citizens. 
 
"What a good attitude. By all means, I would like to see Ian Rajof as a magician very soon."
 
After this, the Priest went down the platform. As Ian followed on wobbly legs, she stumbled and was barely caught by Chen, who lifted her back into the right posture.
 
"You only needed to memorize and speak what I wrote down for you, you didn't need to add anything."
 
"..."
 
"I don't know if such extreme statements may be better for the general public, since they see you as a heretic, but at least some of the magicians won't welcome children like you who make statements against Nastika."
 
As Chen explained, Ian replied with a look of incomprehension.
 
"Why? Magicians believe in the Gods and reject Sura, there is no reason why they would ill accept vows to bring down Nastika, the highest authority of the Sura."
 
"But Nastika are stronger than the Gods. Claiming to bring down a Nastika, also means claiming to surpass the Gods. In a way, it is being arrogant and blasphemous."
 
"That... that's not what I meant! I won't be able to obtain power that surpasses the Gods..."
 
"Ah. So in the end, your goal is just a pipe dream, huh?"
 
"..."
 
"A dream that isn't likely to be achieved will only make you wander around in life in vain. I will give you support until you're fully independent. Forget everything and try to live life as an ordinary citizen."
 
"..."
 
Ian no longer answered Chen, but rather than accept Chen's advice, she just clenched her teeth. Chen watched her some more, then decided that anyway, she'd give up on the idea over time on her own. He patted her on the shoulders and came down from the platform.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Ian stayed at the same house as Chen's son for a little longer, but as Chen noticed his son's interest in Ian, he quickly completed plans for Ian to depart. Though the magician was warm and generous, he didn't want his son to become attached to an orphan heretic girl.
 
In addition, Ian was a Quarter, whose growth rate was much slower than average humans. When one considered their appearances after 50 years, preventing them from becoming friends of the opposite sex early on was better for the both of them.
 
"Dad! Where's Ian?"
 
Late in the morning, Chen's son came down from Ian's room and shouted. Chen was sitting at the table, casually reading magic books, as he replied.
 
"She left early in the morning. She won't be coming back."
 
"How come? She didn't even say goodbye to me?"
 
"Is there a reason for Ian to say goodbye to you? Does she even know your name?"
 
"That, at least I should have a chance to... oh, at least tell me where she went."
 
"I can't tell you."
 
"Tch..."
 
With a sour expression on his face, the boy noticed the stack of papers on the side of the table and took a peek at the documents concerning Ian.
 
"Huen!"
 
"Whoa!"
 
Startled at suddenly getting called, Huen missed the documents, scratched his head and looked at his father.
 
"You... you surprised me, Dad."
 
"Pull yourself together. Ian is a Quarter."
 
"..."
 
"Unless you plan on just remaining friends, it is better not to start a relationship in the first place."
 
"..."
 
After that, Chen finished reading the magic books, gathered all the documents next to them, and went into his room. Huen was left alone in front of the empty table, and stood there without a word until food was served.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Despite her young age, Ian had to adapt very quickly to living alone.
 
Chen helped her find a home and obtain a room. The landlord woman tried to take good care of the young Ian, but not to the degree of being patronizing. Ian would seem uneasy at first, but then only showed people a bright and friendly appearance, and soon, people only remembered her as a 'well-mannered child.' Though, some people still hated her.
 
For the first three years, Chen supported Ian for her living expenses. Ian ate sparingly in order to save for the magic school entrance exam. She couldn't get a recommendation because of her birthday attributes, so the exam fees were like pouring water into a bottomless pit.
 
"... You called me to talk to me about something. It was to tell me that I shouldn't save money by eating less or spending less on clothes?"
 
Though she was smiling when she first came when called, Ian's face had become very dark.
 
"This is for your sake. The way of the magicians is something innate. This situation will only be a waste of time and money, so why don't you look for a path other than that of magicians?"
 
"..."
 
Although Chen's intentions were good, Ian just looked at him with discontent, and lowered her head without a reply.
 
"I didn't mean to offend you. I have no right to discriminate against you. My son as well, though I could have forcefully sent him to a magic school, I sent him to a general school for him to walk the path of academics instead. But my son's birthday attributes aren't as bad as yours. Rather than blindly striving to become a magician, I think you'd better find a better way to make use of your talents."
 
"I'm not going to change my dream of becoming a magician. You know why I want to become one. Becoming a magician is just a step on the path. My true aim is separate."
 
"Did you... still not give up?"
 
"Yes. I can't give up. Otherwise I can no longer live."
 
"..."
 
At a loss for words, Chen looked at Ian for a while. Just as she didn't give up on entering a magic school, she also didn't give up her pipe dream of bringing down Taksaka. In the end, Chen told her to give up on her dream, or he'll cut off support for her living expenses. Ian thanked him for supporting her until now, then left his side.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
From then on, she began her real life alone.
 
At first, she couldn't get part-time jobs and just helped with household chores, but as she struggled on and grew up a little more, she started working part-time at a cafe. However, the money earned from a part-time job was nowhere near the support for living expenses provided by Chen, so it was very hard to save money for the magic school entrance exams.
 
It had been 8 years since she entered the city.
 
She was still so far from achieving her dreams. Let alone taking down Taksaka, she couldn't even pass the first step of getting admission into a magic school. The exam fees for the magic school enrollment were huge, but every time she only received a notice of rejection in return.
 
"I can't achieve my dream..."
 
As Ian once again received a notice of rejection, she looked at the sky with a bemused face from among the successful applicants.
 
She actually knew.
 
Before Mr. Chen told her,
Before she swore in front of the Priest,
Before being rescued by the investigators,
 
No...
 
The moment she shrank back into the basement.
 
She knew all too well that she could never win against Taksaka. But the idea of giving up on revenge was terrifying. She couldn't bear the guilt of all those who died. Even if she spent all her money on this pipe dream and had to live at the bottom... a life of revenge was far more valuable than giving up, at least she thought so.
 
To be continued.

 


Edited by Mizura, 30 August 2013 - 05:38 PM.

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#33
Mizura

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"Still, I believed I could become a magician."
 
As Ian told her story, it increasingly deviated from the original topic.
 
"But I couldn't even get admitted into a magic school. Even when I performed well in the preceding tests, I'd always fail because of my attributes. However, attributes were not an absolute criteria, so even then... I thought that somehow, if I could receive better test scores, I would be able to attend."
 
As Ian recalled the most recent magic school interview, she let out a long sigh. Then, suddenly realizing the lack of response from Tak, she looked at him.
 
"..."
 
It was difficult to define Tak's expression in one word. Irritation, sadness, bitterness and anger.
 
"Ah... that, that was the end! I'm sorry, I said too much. My story was too long... You probably didn't intend for me to talk about all this..."
 
Bothered by how she couldn't identify his expression, Ian hastily concluded the story. When Tak noticed, he just smiled and took her right hand.
 
"No, Ian. It was worth hearing the story. It's just that... I'm so angry at the guy who ruined your life."
 
"Ah..."
 
At that, Ian seemed a little relieved, and lowered her head while blushing.
 
『What do you think, Shess?』
 
After reassuring Ian, Tak spoke to Shess using the way of the Sura. Shess was merely listening while sitting at a distance, but he answered Tak's call.
 
『The situation was graver than I expected. For humans, 8 years is a very long time, and under such circumstances, the childhood impact would remain to a large extent. I don't believe the situation will be resolved without the body of the real criminal.』
 
『No. That's also a problem, of course, but the bigger problem is why this guy demanded Ian.』
 
『I don't know. I am unable to attribute it to a reason other than jealousy...』
 
『That could be the case with the current Ian. But Ian back then was very young. We were total strangers. There wasn't any reason for Utpala to bother coming here.』
 
『What if he came while aware of this future?』
 
"..."
 
At Shess' comment, Tak looked at him with a rigid expression.
 
『Gods are often said to know things, such as the fate of relationships... If you were fated to be with her, and if a God informed Utpala of this fact...』
 
『Why would a God inform Utpala of something like that?』
 
『I don't know. Since you didn't respond to larger acts by Utpala-nim, perhaps he hoped for a larger reaction to something like this.』
 
『The problem is whether the God could see me in her future. Is it possible for one, using insight into numerous human beings, to find that Ian, among them, was destined to be with me? Rather, it'd be more plausible for a God to use insight into my future instead... but a God capable of such a thing...』
 
『There are only a handful of possibilities. No, in fact, isn't there just one?』
 
"..."
 
The person whom Shess was alluding to was someone that Tak knew very well.
 
The one who saw his future, and the one who called him to this planet: his longtime friend, the Primeval God Visnu.
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 32: Shadow
──────────────────────────────────
 
『The gods that may have seen your future are the 4 Primeval Gods. Of those, Brahma-nim and Shiva-nim are known to never release information from their insights. Kali frequently lies, so the credibility of her insights has fallen. What's more, she has been missing lately. The only person remaining is Visnu-nim...』
 
『It's not him.』
 
Tak firmly cut him off.
 
He attempted to kill Ian through Utpala 8 years ago, then came, made him the earrings, then played matchmaker through a milk delivery? Such contradictory behavior did not make any sense. Why would he do all this if he saw into the distant future? It could absolutely not be Visnu.
 
"..."
 
Shess seemingly had more to say, but did not talk back to Tak. Visnu and Tak were close, so it wouldn't do any good to cast doubt on Visnu.
 
『You asked me what I was going to do once I caught the culprit. Rather than what Ian wants, I should consider whether to release him. I can't bear to kill Utpala, so should I make him come and beg on his knees in front of Ian?』
 
『Would it not be dangerous? 8 years ago, he demanded her as a sacrifice, then completely destroyed her village. If you told him to come in front of her to apologize, then his reaction would be...』
 
"..."
 
At Shess' conclusion, Tak thought for a while, then breathed in as a headache seemed to form.
 
『The culprit isn't Taksaka but some other guy, but since I can't bear to kill him, could I ask her to forgive him?』
 
『Absolutely not. From what I've heard so far, this won't be enough to resolve the situation. You would need to ignore her past. If you like her, you would absolutely not choose this.』
 
『Damn it! What am I supposed to do? Should I commit suicide as the culprit instead of Utpala? I can't. After I got involved in all this, it won't mean anything if I die. I need to somehow sort out the situation, and Ian...!』
 
Tak turned red with agitation. Though Ian couldn't hear their conversation, she found Tak's expression to be rather frightening and cringed.
 
『Taksaka-nim, please control your expression.』
 
"Oops."
 
At Shess' warning, Tak returned to smiling.
 
"..."
 
Ian loosened her shoulders, but couldn't get used to the sudden shifting atmosphere, and held a frustrated expression. Even so, she was definitely more comfortable with his smiling expression, compared to the one he held when they left the city. Though she made him promise not to remove the earrings, she had no idea whether the promise would be kept.
 
"Tak... the earrings, don't remove them."
 
"I know. I promised."
 
"Really? No matter what... you must absolutely not remove them."
 
"Alright."
 
Though Tak was smiling as though it wasn't a big deal, Shess, next to him, held a rather serious expression as they discussed.
 
『Taksaka-nim. Can you take dragon form while wearing the earrings?』
 
『No.』
 
『So, how are you going to protect her?』
 
『Well, I should be able to win in this state. You're pretty famous too, Shess.』
 
『But...』
 
However, it'd be another issue if the opponent were a Nastika like Tak. Before coming here, Shess had assumed that Tak was expecting the upcoming battle. Tak could not win against that person while in human form.
 
『Taksaka-nim, why don't we change locations first?』
 
『Location? Why?』
 
『This place reminds her of her dark past, and... it wouldn't be very comfortable for her to sleep here.』
 
Though, in fact, it was because of the higher likelihood of that person returning there. If the culprit were to return to this planet, the first location he was likely to go was right here, the place he came 8 years ago. It was better to go to a place where they could watch and prepare, rather than be caught in a surprise attack. In particular, if Tak were to keep his promise to Ian not to remove the earrings... he needed at least some extra time to get her consent to remove the earrings.
 
『...Yeah, I suppose. Then take us to a decent place, Shess. I don't know much about this planet.』 
 
『Yes. Then, I shall take you.』
 
On the spot, Shess was engulfed in bright light and wind as he turned into the shape of a huge horse, so huge that he made mountains seem small. Ian's jaw dropped at facing the Sura form of a Superior Sura. Tak held the surprised Ian, jumped and landed on Shess' head.
 
Ian's vision was obscured as her hair whipped back and forth from the high winds. After she roughly adjusted her hair and looked down, she let out a small scream and clung onto Tak. Tak laughed in satisfaction, treaded Shess' head and spoke.
 
『Well, guide, take us to the coolest place on this planet.』
 
『Rather than a cool environment, isn't it more important to find an environment that she can withstand? The coolest locations are the polar regions...』
 
『Don't ask for the obvious.』
 
『Okay.』
 
Tak continued to step on Shess in search of a suitable spot, then sat down with Ian. Shess wasn't too happy at having his head stepped on, but nevertheless began to move towards the destination.
 
Shess came because of the white-haired woman, but Tak was the same. As the strongest creatures in the world, Nastika were arrogant and selfish. At least, Shess was gentle and had a very good personality, and even knew how to treat those weaker than him. There was much worse, so just getting stepped on the head was still alright.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Both Tak and Ian had left.
 
Suddenly, over Ian's village, dark clouds gathered and heavy rains began to fall. A man appeared and slowly walked into the village. Though at first, only a looming silhouette could be seen, a flash of lightning momentarily illuminated a solid outline. 
 
The first thing that stood out was the pair of seemingly out-of-place horns. The blue-gray horns did not match the color of the hair, and they were too large and sharp to be hidden by other means such as a hat. Underneath the horns, the black hair dripped with rain, and the seemingly wild hair was tinged everywhere with red. The hair was slightly shorter than shoulder-length, and lightly covered the nape. He had a pale, expressionless face with sharp lines, and impressive bright blue eyes. His upper body was bare, revealing lean muscles, and the pants beneath his gorgeous waist cord seemed plain. His feet were bare.
 
He walked on the pouring field for a while, but finally stopped and spoke after several flashes of lightning.
 
"She was alive."
 
Yet there were no changes in his facial expression, so it was unclear whether there was any meaning to his words.
 
"Ian Rajof."
 
As he completed his short sentence, he turned his head to the sky and closed his eyes. He breathed deeply, as if trying to suppress his emotions. After a while, he opened his eyes, muttering 'after everything we've been through, you take his side' to himself and turning around.
 
"I do not know what conclusion you want, Visnu."
 
No one could hear his words, and soon he trailed after the smell of kin.
 
To be continued.

Edited by Mizura, 30 August 2013 - 05:38 PM.

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#34
Mizura

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"I ask you once more. Why did you come to find me?"
 
The man had 'fatigue' written all over his face. He opened the door, strode in with fast steps, then piled the documents he was holding onto the desk. The enormous pile of paperwork trembled for a moment, but did not topple over.
 
"As I've told you, Yama, I am asking you to extend the life of a human, Ian Rajof."
 
Visnu came along behind the man named 'Yama', then gently beckoned the younger Gods, who were bewildered at the sudden appearance of the Primeval God, towards the door.
 
"Really? Is that really why you followed me here? While you are here, wouldn't a long time have passed in the world of humans?"
 
Indeed, this was the residence of the God of Death, Yama. According to the rule, the higher the dimension, the faster the flow of time, so his residence, which was located much higher than the residence of the God of Sky, Indra, was a place where time really flew. 
 
Nevertheless, he had a reason to reside here, and that was to reduce the number of appeals regarding human lifespans by even a little. While they were here arguing with him, the human target of the appeal would die. Although sometimes, people timed the appeals for when he descended to a lower dimension to handle tasks, it was sufficient for him to ignore them until he returned to his residence as he did now.
 
"It's fine. She won't die in the near future, she will be fine until I return."
 
"..."
 
Yama let out a 'Ha!', a mix of a laughter and a sigh, then raised the corner of his mouth slightly as he glared at Visnu.
 
"Did you see that I would not refuse your request?"
 
"..."
 
Visnu did not answer. Yama looked at Visnu a while longer, before returning his gaze to the documents on his desk.
 
"How extraordinary, the one able to see through the consequences of all choices ~the one who can be referred to as Visnu-nim of 'trial and error.'"
 
"..."
 
"I wonder, are your powers overrated?"
 
"..."
 
Visnu made a frustrated gesture and smiled. However, Yama then added 'No, it's not.', causing the smile on his face to fade away.
 
"This is how I see it."
 
Stopping for a moment, Yama took his eyes off the papers, and spoke while looking directly at Visnu with his distinctive cold green eyes.
 
"You are deliberately making the wrong choice."
 
──────────────────────────────────
The finite - Chapter 33: Catastrophe
──────────────────────────────────
 
"Wow..."
 
Ian couldn't stop gapping as she watched the field of flowers, which stretched from one end of the horizon to the next. She ran a few steps, even her plight forgotten, then stopped after a few steps and fell into silence. This was because of the ones who were watching her, the Rakshasa named Shess, and the Nastika boy with the elusive personality.
 
She didn't even know the Nastika boy's real name or race. Though she didn't know why, it was evident that he liked her, and since she couldn't avoid him anyway, she only sought to use him for her own revenge. There was a day when she felt emotions for him as well, but they were long buried into the depth of her mind. Whenever she felt swayed by his kind image, she was reminded of the day when she was captured in the city.
 
『It seems she doesn't like it here much?』
 
『Rather, the situation does not look good. It would be hard to expect a positive response from her even with a luxurious home or feast.』
 
『That's right... I just took her out on my own.』
 
Tak nodded in apparent agreement. Watching him, Shess thought for a while then asked him.
 
『Did you really just take her out? I clearly heard her tell you not to remove the earrings... perhaps something serious happened when you removed the earrings...』
 
『No, that wasn't it! I... ugh.』
 
Tak tried to deny it, but sighed as he remembered what happened at the amusement park. Why did he do it? He wished he could turn back time, but even then all he wanted was to quickly take Ian out. In fact, a human had haughtily provoked him, but there was no need to punish him in front of Ian. 
 
『I got a little angry at the appearance of a third wheel within the city.』
 
『Right. Why did you feel a sense of crisis against a human male?』
 
『It wasn't a sense of crisis... it just felt like that guy was going to rob me...』 
 
Ian stood unmoving among the flowers, then turned around and came back to Tak. Aware of her discomfort, Tak pointed to a lakeside shore away from them and told her to take a rest there.
 
『But why would you feel insecure? There was no competition in the first place. You were inside the city anyway, Taksaka-nim, so if you had remained calmer, more favorable conditions would have...』
 
『You wouldn't know that...』 
 
『Is that so? If such a situation arises again, please tell me of your problem. Perhaps I could give you advice...』
 
『Hey, no matter how awkward I am in this area, you're still in no position to give me advice. Anyway, both of us have been living for a long time, and neither of us have a single offspring, and...』
 
『I've had many former lovers.』
 
『Shut up.』
 
『...』
 
Displeased at the fact that he had less dating experience than a mere Rakshasa, Tak felt his dignity drop and turned grumpy.
 
『What are you doing anyway? Don't you have anything better to do? Why are you meddling?』
 
『Taksaka-nim.』
 
『Don't interrupt. Rude kid! Come to think of it, you seem to be disrespecting me lately.』
 
『I would never, Taksaka-nim, but rather...』
 
『Rather what?』
 
『I can't see your girl.』
 
『?!』
 
Astonished, Tak turned around. She was clearly resting near the lake, but...
 
"The lake..."
 
『The lake?』
 
"There was a lake..."
 
『What do you mean... though there are many flowers here, the climate here is closer to a desert climate. These flowers are unusual, they cannot grow in conditions where there would be lakes... Were you not mistaken?』
 
『...!』
 
Apparently realizing something, Tak hurriedly went to the location where he saw the lake and started searching in the vicinity. However, there wasn't a single drop of water, just an arid garden of flowers, and not a single trace of Ian, who had gone to the lake.
 
"Damn it. That guy..."
 
『That guy?』
 
"I'm talking about Utpala! That guy showed up. There's no doubt, he tricked Ian to a fake lake and hid her away. I never would have thought that he'd appear here and now."
 
『...』
 
Though Shess had expected Utpala to appear, he did not know of this ability. Surely, it was impossible to approach Ian without being detected by Taksaka... If he had known that this would happen, he would have discussed the possibility of Utpala showing up sooner. However, he had doubts as to whether to intervene too much between them. Since the results were there, he'd just pretend that it was the right decision back then.
 
"Damn it. What do I do? What do I do, Ian... Ian..."
 
Tak was close to tearing his hair out. Because of the earrings, he could express a variety of emotions, but the intensity of these emotions was very unstable. He may be going overboard. Rather than worry about Ian, he should remove the earrings to stabilize his emotions.
 
『Taksaka-nim, remove your earrings now, then you'll be able to reign in your troubled mind...』
 
"No!"
 
『...』
 
"I promised Ian. I can't remove them."
 
『But how will you get her back if you don't remove them? Do you intend to face him without taking Dragon form?』
 
"..."
 
『You need to pull yourself together. At this rate either you or the one you like will die. If he attacks in Dragon form, you must not wear the earrings. No matter how strong you are, you can't beat him like this.』
 
"Is Ian... alive?"
 
『Yes. If he just wanted to kill her, he'd have done so immediately, so it seems he merely intended to take her away.』
 
"T... then, let's look for Ian. Once we find her and get permission from her, the earrings..."
 
『Taksaka-nim!』
 
"..."
 
『I don't know how important that promise is, but you must remove the earrings. Since you were shown a lake, it was very likely an ability to interfere with the mind. What if you get hurt while searching in this state? A Nastika with exceptional mental interference abilities could even manipulate another Nastika.』
 
"That's right. Utpala was also capable of that."
 
『Don't you realize the problem? Surely you won't go looking for her in such a petty state.』
 
"..."
 
『Remove the earrings and search for her in Dragon form. In Sura form, those of the Dragon clan can override all mental interference. You'll be able to find her with such a tremendous ability.』
 
"..."
 
Shess was clearly right. In the worst case, Utpala could manipulate Tak into killing Ian with his own hands. Even if it meant breaking his promise to Ian, he had to put a stop to such a situation.
 
"I'm sorry for breaking the promise... I meant to keep the earrings on. I really did."
 
Tak muttered by himself to the absent Ian, then removed the earrings with trembling hands.
 
──────────────────────────────────
 
Splash.
 
With a small sound, the stone thrown into the lake disappeared into the water. 
 
"..."
 
Watching idly, Ian yawned in boredom, before turning her head in Tak's direction. She wondered if he was still talking with the Sura called Shess, and what they were silently and secretly discussing.
 
"..."
 
However, as Ian turned her head, she stood up quickly without any time for spare thoughts.
 
"...Tak?"
 
Her face instantly hardened, and she hastily looked around. She couldn't see the two men in front of her. Not only that, there was something different about the surrounding field of flowers. This was no longer the same location.
 
"Tak!! Tak!!!"
 
She called his name several times, but the sound merely scattered into the wind across the field of flowers. Near tears as she contemplated the situation, Ian ran to where Tak was earlier. However, the earlier location was replaced by a completely different landscape, and there were no traces of them. She was alone, abandoned in an unknown location in the middle of nowhere.
 
"Ah... wah..."
 
With the situation out of control, the frightened Ian collapsed onto the spot. Someone, please help me, even Tak if you're not wearing the earrings, was all she could think of.
 
To be continued.
 
--
 
Ian's rather pathetic. D: Now Shess, on the other hand...
 
Tak: Kid, what makes you think you're in a position to lecture me?
Shess: Unlike you, I've had many lovers in the past.
Tak: ...
Shess: And I'm not a virgin.
Tak: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
 
Shess. The manly pink guy. B)
 
By the way, I think I've figured out something that's been confusing me before. Yama's residence is probably Not located in Hell, but he goes there sometimes for work. That's probably why in the original version, time apparently passed "slowly" in hell but "fast" in Yama's residence.

3492bk6.jpg


Kubera stuff: Character charts , Races and Cities , The finite (official side novel) ,
Official English Webtoons: https://www.webtoons.com


#35
Mizura

Mizura

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Oh hey, I was wondering why there weren't any new updates in a while, and I only noticed just recently (I tend to just check the updates from the me2day): Currygom has decided to stop the finite for now. Because the finite differs significantly from the blog version from now on, she can no longer write as fast as for the first part. By the time Catastrophe (1) was published, her stockpile had reached bottom. She could not continue without compromising the quality of both the webtoon and the novel, and the webtoon is currently at a crucial part, so since she's a webtoon artist first, she's decided to put the finite on hold.

 

She may start posting again next year once she's stockpiled some more. In the meantime, she says we can see the ending on her blog (the ending will be almost the same). As for which version, blog or Challenge League is official, her answer is that both are, it's like how a film version will be deployed differently. However, the Webtoon Kubera will officially follow the Challenge League version.


Edited by Mizura, 24 September 2013 - 01:00 PM.

3492bk6.jpg


Kubera stuff: Character charts , Races and Cities , The finite (official side novel) ,
Official English Webtoons: https://www.webtoons.com