Koori no Mamono no Monogatari
Volume Thirteen

Story by Sugiura Shiho
Summary by Amparo Bertram

The six-armed Kauzel found a young demon and gave him the name "Kaerichi," the blood that splashes onto someone when wounding another. Kauzel was the West Leader, not because he wanted to command but because the others were too afraid to defy him. Kaerichi never said a word, merely sat blankly as the others in the group turned their fear of Kauzel into anger at him. One day they surrounded him, declaring that the only value of a mute, unresponsive pureblood was to amuse them by his death. He smiled for the first time and said that he doesn't speak to idiots.

Without spilling a drop of his own blood, he killed them all. Just as Kauzel had hoped by his naming. However, it worked too well, and Kaerichi turned against him also, severing three of his arms.

Kauzel's spirit vanishes after saying that Ishuca is still lacking something and bidding Kaerichi to protect him for the time being. Hearing Kauzel say that name makes Blood feel ill, until Ishuca calls him and snaps him out of it. Raugul assures them that Kauzel is gone. While Blood sets up wards around the place, Raugul introduces himself charmingly to Ishuca and Rapunzel, forming himself a little harem (to Wild's and Blood's dismay).

They discuss that the apparition only had one arm. Blood cut off the three right arms, so there should be three left ones remaining. (Wild teases-"Oh, so *that's* the demon you used to live with.") Ishuca is stunned at how frightened he was during the attack. Raugul reveals that Kauzel had two arms at the temple, so he must have put the missing arm inside someone there. He urges Ishuca to leave quickly, before Kauzel targets him again, but Ishuca won't go without freeing Wild and Rapunzel.

Raugul offers to remove the kekkai imprisoning them, figuring that the least he can do with the power in his poisoned body is help them escape. However, Ishuca immediately picks up on his intention to die (having made that decision himself before) and shouts that he has to live for the sake of the person most important to him. Blood promises that he and Ishuca will get rid of the kekkai.

Ishuca reasons that he was able to make the spell visible, so he can make it tangible too. When it works, Blood understands Wild's warning about the power, but he's sure it's all right as long as he's there. He shatters the spell, which crumbles into little magic fragments. (The scene vastly amuses Wild as he envisions them playing with kiddie toys.) Rapunzel feels that no matter what happens, Ishuca and Blood together can handle it.

Kauzel survived on instinct alone after Blood attacked him, draining every bit of energy left in the other demons Blood defeated, becoming absolute darkness. He can't enter something that's pure; he prefers tainted vessels. He's rather disappointed he can't enter Ishuca yet. As he gave Kaerichi his name, he intends to give the boy a curse.

Ishuca feverishly makes the most of his chance to braid Blood's hair while Wild and Rapunzel pack for their trip to their tower in the east. Raugul decides to stay behind, the demons erecting a kekkai around him to protect him from Kauzel. Wild urges him to have Ishuca heal his wound, an ability that astounds the priest even further.

Back at the temple, all of the highest ranking priests have been massacred by Kauzel's power. Amashi insists that it's the work of a golden haired demon that has broken the seal placed on him sixty years ago. He relates that the demon stole a boy with special powers away from him. When Sergi contradicts him and proclaims it's the work of the black-haired Kauzel, no one believes him. His position is worsened when Amashi challenges him to explain why he met with the very demon who kidnapped the boy (info gained from the possessed Leo). Sergi replies that the boy and demon belong to each other, and it was Amashi who was doing the stealing by trying to separate them.

He follows that up by asserting that the demon is his friend and would never slaughter people. The head priests knew about Kauzel but kept silent. Unfortunately, Kauzel possesses Chess' body and has him deny everything. He orders Amashi to imprison Sergi for his betrayal. Amashi obediently agrees to brand Sergi with the mark of a traitor for consorting with demons.

That evening, Ishuca is slightly troubled about traveling in the dark, which makes things difficult to see, but then he realizes no matter how dark the night becomes he has the "moon" with him. Raugul binds up his injury with a ward so the demons won't be able to sense it anymore; Blood believes it's due to Wild's medicine while Wild assumes Ishuca cured it. The two couples set off in a wagon.

Raugul contemplates that his resolution to risk his life fighting to the last possible moment is different from choosing to die, which is why Ishuca didn't pick up on it. He intends to invite Kauzel inside the powerful kekkai, trapping the demon in with himself, and bind him with the spell fragments imbued with Ishuca's power.

Blood grumbles over how cozy Ishuca and Rapunzel are inside the wagon, insisting Rapunzel trade seats with him at least while they eat. Ishuca has their planned route explained to him--they're going to leave the road before it dips too far south and cut straight across the wilderness. Musing over his feelings, Ishuca predicts that he's going to become more selfish in the future. He has the impression that he'll go to great lengths, even if it means shoving others aside, to keep Blood for himself.

He spots something in the river that appears to be a drowning child and exclaims they have to save it. Blood pulls it out of the water (making sure he doesn't get wet himself), and it turns out to be a baby kappa demon that had been washed away by the current. All the kappa can say is "Where Sheece-sama?" Sheece is the name of the water demon who was the South Leader.

Word spreads around the temple of what happened to Sergi. He had many friends among the staff who don't believe he turned to evil, but he admitted making friends with a demon so they don't know what to think. Amashi is determined to capture the golden haired demon he's certain is responsible for so much death. Sergi sits in his cell and silently urges Blood to run.

Wild illustrates that the South Leader must now be sealed in a kekkai in the east. Ishuca realizes that they're avoiding traveling south partly to avoid encountering the kekkai binding the West Leader, Kauzel. Then, of course, he concludes that since they're heading east anyway, they may as well take the kappa with them. Trapped in a tree above a lake he created, Sheece senses someone approaching. He instructs his water demons to hide. The possessed Leo walks across the lake's surface to meet him.

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