Story by Tsumori Tokio
The two Ra-Phael officers discuss the matter at length. Lucifard reasons that the only way for the snipers to have known about his rendezvous with Red was if someone had tapped his email, so best place to search for the culprit would be in the communications section. He asks Nicole to send a message to O2 reporting everything they know and asking for information; the telepath can then scan those working in communications to see if anyone was gaining secretive access to their correspondence. The scenario reminds Lucifard of how he had asked his father for information about the Houraijin, and he briefly thinks about Saladin.
When the two go to receive O2's reply, they can't determine who was responsible for tapping Lucifard's mail. Lucifard himself had checked the computer and discovered five separate instances of software making copies of his mail, but he can't tell which were put in place by enemies and which were done by female officers hoping to glean more information about him. During the conversation with O2, Nicole flirts shamelessly, even to the point of asking O2 for his son's hand in marriage. Lucifard attempts to protest that he's heterosexual, yet he finally gives up and declares that he refuses to be the uke. Explaining the unfamiliar term to his father, Lucifard gleefully describes Purple Heaven. Nicolaroon is aghast, wondering how the officer can so readily admit to such an influential military superior that he enjoys reading gay porn. He is shocked even further when O2 asks for a copy of the next volume, which will star Lucifard as the main character.
The topic of conversation then turns to Nicole's private life. Nicolaroon was adopted by one of Mariliard's close friends, a Black Ra-Phael who had played an influential role in setting up the new colony on Caiu. O2 suggests that Nicole has such a strong father complex, it makes him think he's attracted to any man with black hair. On top of that, he claims that Nicole is mixing up his taste in women with his father complex, so that he is only attracted to strong warriors such as Hexanauts and, ironically, Freedom Zero. The Hexanaut woman whom Nicolaroon loved had been killed decades before by Weave, O2's (now deceased) Hakushi wife. Since Nicolaroon's strong psychic powers make him the leading candidate for replacing Mariliard as the representative of the Ra-Phael, there is a significant amount of pressure on him to return to Caiu, get married, and do his duty to help increase the Ra-Phael population. Both Lucifard and O2 strongly insist that there is no reason for him to marry a woman he doesn't love; he should stick to his guns and remain single if that's the life he prefers.
They conclude the conversation and try another gambit to find the spy. As they pass through the communications center, they discuss the secret group "Evil." One of the men present reacts instantly, pulling a gun and shooting Lucifard. Nicole, furious, uses his psychokinesis to attack the man, but Lucifard stops him before he can do too much damage. Lucifard uses his body to shield Nicole from the rebound caused by cutting off his half-formed attack.
Lucifard's body heals itself, yet he realizes he's woozy from blood loss. He tries not to let it show in order to avoid upsetting Nicole, but after the golden-haired officer leaves, he is forced to call Kaja for help. While he is waiting, he is set upon by the security officer who was responsible for carting away the brainwashed spy. He doesn't really believe Lucifard's story and begins pelting him with taunts such as, "How many superiors' asses did you have to lick to get all those medals?" Lucifard is so bored by the uninspired insult that he muses upon whether such a scenario would make him the seme or the uke. Weakened to the point that he can only remain standing by sheer force of will, he eventually snaps, going into killing mode and demonstrating his dominance. Finally Kaja shows up and replaces his lost fluids, making sure that the officer gets safely back to his quarters.
Unfortunately, Lucifard only manages to get two hours of sleep before Kaja and Nicole, both severely drunk, show up at his apartment to crash for the night. The two had met up at the hospital and gone out drinking together, when they were summoned by Lucifard's nightmares of his time at Al Jafar's hands. Nicole usurps Lucifard's bed and Kaja his couch, leaving him with nowhere to sleep. As Lucifard leans close to the muddled Hakushi to hear what he's mumbling, Lilah walks in with Saladin. The doctor had heard Lucifard was injured and came to see if he needed any help; at catching him apparently intimately engaged with Kaja, he turns around and leaves.
At Lilah's urging, Lucifard chases after the doctor and explains the situation, dragging him back to have some tea. Saladin is jealous of how easily and casually Lucifard interacts with "Ben," but at the same time he knows that he definitely does not want Lucifard to consider him "cute." He wants so much more than that from their relationship. The topic of Purple Heaven comes up again, and Saladin reveals that the very first issue had paired him and Kaja together. That issue was subsequently banned from the hospital permanently. He shows extreme distaste at the mere suggestion that he could be romantically interested in the Hakushi.
Lucifard debates whether he should risk sharing his bed with the drunk Nicole or bunking with Lilah and having her keep him awake. The Houraijin, for whom foreplay rather than the act of sex is the important part of an intimate relationship, considers their blunt discussion rather vulgar. The two hurry to assure him that their feelings for each other aren't *that* kind of relationship; they liken their bedroom activity to a couple of puppies wrestling to let off steam. Each would gladly see the other fall in love with someone else.
After the doctor leaves, Lilah gives Lucifard his anticipated haircut. He decides he's probably best off tumbling into bed with Nicole for the short amount of time remaining before he has to get up in the morning. Nicole climbs on him in an attempt at seduction, but the conversation quickly turns to the Ra-Phael's emotional fragility. Lucifard is angry at hearing that Nicole has previously felt the need to use sex to make his missions succeed and tells him that he doesn't have to go that far. O2 accepts failure from his subordinates when the circumstances make it unavoidable; he doesn't expect success at all costs. Lucifard staunchly asserts that the people who truly love Nicole won't stop caring for him just because he fails at something or expresses a bit of selfishness. They love him no matter what. After the Ra-Phael is reduced to tears, the two finally fall asleep.
End Volume Eight
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