Story by Tsumori Tokio
Illustrations by Kobari Nori
Summary by Amparo Bertram

Lucifard continues to trade insults with the mercenary Bloody Les, still holding the injured telepath Red in his arms. Les attacks him with an energy whip, striking him in the face and damaging one of his eyes. Red uses his telepathic powers to block the officer's pain. During the interchange, Les reveals that Al Jafar, the doctor responsible for kidnapping and experimenting upon Lucifard ten years ago, is present on Vermillion. Lucifard nearly explodes with emotion, summoning up tremendous quantities of telekinetic energy. Fortunately, Red is able to bring him back to his senses before he starts ripping the whole planet apart. Lucifard quickly makes his escape by levitating onto a passing boat.

As soon as Red stops suppressing his pain, his body naturally begins healing itself, to the point that he even grows a new eye to replace the damaged one. The extent of his own monstrous power ashames and disgusts him. As they ride the boat, Lucifard's interest is captured by the Mermenoid's fin-like ears and he asks permission to touch them. No one had ever asked such a thing before, since most humans avoided mentioning his differences in an attempt not to make him feel set apart and lonely. He is astonished to discover how sensitive his ears are to another's touch and at the same time saddened at the thought that Lucifard will never touch him that way again.

Finally Nicolaroon arrives in an aircraft to take them to the base hospital. When the Ra-Phael officer flirts in his usual way, Lucifard reacts dangerously seriously. After going into battle mode and then suddenly being forced to rein in and control his power, Lucifard is extremely aroused. He concentrates on stifling his urges for the sake of those around him. When he delivers Red into Kaja's care, he assures the diminutive doctor that everything is all right. His resemblance to Mariliard, who constantly endured his own pain while assuring everyone that he was fine, is so striking that Kaja bursts into tears.

As Lucifard is about to leave, he meets up with Saladin, who is concerned by the damaged and blood-stained state of the officer's clothes. He gets Lucifard alone in an elevator and presses him for details--at which prompting the overloaded officer presses the doctor against the wall in passionate warning. Saladin seductively invites further action, but just as they are about to kiss, the elevator reaches its destination. Lucifard regains his composure and stalks away, believing the doctor is teasing him the way Nicolaroon had.

The doctor follows the officer outside, still trying to satisfy his concern that Lucifard might need medical attention. Exasperated by his persistence, Lucifard reveals his ability to heal. It suddenly hits Saladin that, with such an ability, Lucifard would not have any need for his Houraijin blood and thus would never become a Hunter. He begins weeping with joy at the realization that Lucifard will never betray him. In order to protect the doctor's dignity, the officer urges Saladin into the car with him so no one else will see the tears.

In the car, Lucifard talks about what had happened to him at Al Jafar's hands, and the lengths his father went to in order to save him. The man is a dangerous criminal who has never been captured. Whether he has precognitive abilities or simply is skilled at evading arrest, not even O2 has been able to get his hands on the twisted professor. Saladin sympathizes...though at hearing about the PC collar Lucifard had been forced to wear, he has an enjoyable time imagining the officer in a black leather outfit complete with collar and buckles and chains...

During the course of the conversation, the doctor smiles at Lucifard, who is again assaulted by his barely suppressed passion. He pulls the car off to the side of the road and tries to escape. Saladin offers to use his scent, allowing the officer to succumb to his instincts without blaming himself. Lucifard grabs the doctor's neck as a threat, but the touch on his greatest erogenous zone merely makes the Houraijin more excited. He traps Lucifard with his gaze, encouraging further contact. Yet the instant before their lips meet, the doctor's pager goes off. With the spell broken, Lucifard races from the car into the woods beyond.

With no one in the vicinity to be injured, the officer releases his psychokinetic power in a raging storm of branches and other debris. Saladin follows and watches as, his excess power expended, Lucifard returns to being his usual playful self. After the doctor again informs him that he is most definitely not a monster, he's beautiful, Lucifard hugs Saladin in gratitude and says how much he likes the doctor. The Houraijin knows it's not quite the same kind of love he's hoping for, but he enjoys being held and he treasures the officer's affection and trust.

Lucifard drops the doctor off where he can pick up a car to return to the hospital, then goes back to his quarters to prepare for giving his official report about the incident. He runs into a bit of trouble when he tries to re-grow his partially damaged hair to its original length, since he can only grow *all* his hair at once and not just individual strands. This makes his hair bush out like a mane. Lilah does her best to style it, promising she'll tackle it with thinning shears as soon as she can buy a pair. Lucifard concludes his eventful afternoon by heading for his superior's office.

End Volume Seven

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