Chapter 81: Byakuya's True Intentions

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"B... Byakuya?!" Tamie mumbled through her bloodied lips as she eyed the risen man who looked so different yet his eyes shone so familiar. "W... Why?" Could it be that he, as a Leo Dragon, had the same Illusionary Clone powers as his late cousin Erik, and was sealed the same way, so he used her just like Erik wanted to, to free himself?! Judging by his cold face, it had to be true. "Y... You fiend! You used me, all this time!" 

"I did not use you. You did it all of your own free will, remember? Debbie did not enter your body until you said you wanted to unlock the seal".

"You... Ugh!" she leaned on her hands at the full little force she had left and stood on her feet.

"Oh, quite impressive, to stand up after such pressure..." Byakuya chuckled and clutched the handle of his sword. "What do you plan on doing now?"

"I shall throw you back in that cube where you came from!" Tamie's eyes blazed with rage as she took her battle stance, barely moving, so wounded and bleeding she was, but she didn't mind as she was determined to teach this trickster a good lesson - to be lied to for so long, and she thought he was her friend! What a fool she was! "I bet you were sealed for a reason".

"Hmm, I guess I have no choice... Come at me!"

Tamie snarled even more as she understood he was mocking her. She took a deep breath, gathered up all her strength, and yelled an incantation:

"Libra Style, Writer Art, Summoner Mode; Tiger Spirit, Ring Five - White Air Tiger!" she got embraced by a big White Tiger spirit, "Muse Summoning - Demon Lord, Kokujin D'Infernal!"

Kokujin, who had regained some of his powers while in Tamie's dream world, emerged and sneered at Byakuya, sparkling up with the Blue Fire:

"You... traitor! I am going to pulverize you!"

"Oh, it's no good to hide behind your muse, hein?" Byakuya chuckled, "Leo Style, Sworder Art, Samurai Mode; Dragon Spirit, Ring Five - Red Fire Dragon! Muse Summoning - Faithful Sword, Deborah Yamamoto!"

In an instant, that same blue-haired girl, Debbie, emerged from his very sword. Tamie gasped - so this female muse was his?!

"N... No way..."

Byakuya had a muse?! She had to fight mused one? She had never done it before! Now she got truly scared. Kokujin frowned at smirking Debbie:

"Okay, let's take you down first..."

"Bring it on!" Debbie dashed at him and took him away from Byakuya's and Tamie's battlefield.

"Now then, let's test your true strength, without muses..." Byakuya grinned, and the Red Dragon spirit of his charged on.

Tamie widened eyes in fright, but then jumped at him with her Tiger spirit as strongly as she could. A fierce battle began. The Tiger spirit snarled and swung its clawed paws and sharp fangs, trying to lacerate and bite the Dragon, and swiftly moved through the air with the speed of the wind, while the Dragon spirit unleashed also at only Ring Five (as Byakuya seemed to still be maintaining his Blade Warrior Code and fought Tamie on equal strength she had unleashed) blew fire out of its mouth and hit the Tiger at multiple spots as this latter was already too weak due to its owner being injured, so it moved at less speed than it should have. Soon, Tamie got exhausted and used up her final energy, and Kokujin too lost the battle against Debbie who was full of energy from the very beginning. Tamie's Tiger spirit vanished, and she collapsed. She could see how Byakuya who had retrieved Debbie in his sword walked up to her and put the tip of that same blade on her neck.

"Any last words, Tamie?"

Tamie sneered, but then, fear seized her - the fear of the end. Tears filled her eyes as she watched how the man, whom she considered she had feelings for, had betrayed her so direly.

"I thought... you were different..."

"I am".

"Huh?"

"You charged on. I had to do something," he shrugged and quickly withdrew his sword, sheathing it back in its scabbard. Then he picked her up as if nothing. "Come on, we have work to do".

"Ah! What are you doing?!"

"You didn't notice? I caught two birds with one stone - I unleashed myself, and you reached the eighth rank of the Writer Class, due to the blast you performed..." 

Tamie got shocked and looked at her Order ring - indeed, she had raised a rank!

"Huh? You did it all on purpose?" 

"I'd never doom you to a fatal end, Tamie... but we cannot defeat Gustav Jaeger without a Bearer either. Edmund doesn't have enough stamina, but you do, so I had to speed up the process..." he sighed, "I... I am truly sorry, to have let you suffer from so much pain, but..."

He felt a kiss on his cheek. He blushed and looked down at smiling Tamie in a stupor - how could she forgive him so easily?

"Sorry for doubting you. It is just that, I've made many mistakes in the past when it came to defining men. I was more like... afraid. I feared I'd be wrong about you too, and it brought me so much pain in the heart..."

Byakuya first blinked in stupefaction, but then smiled and kissed her on the forehead. It was Tamie's turn to go all red.

"I am sorry for letting you experience such fear and pain, but... I promise, from now on, you shall never feel any pain or fear again!" he clutched her in his arms and beamed with pride: "Let's go help our friends... and our brothers".

Tamie grinned and clung to his neck, being carried by him as she was still weak, even though raising a rank gave her new energy. Byakuya unleashed his Red Fire Dragon spirit and flew out of the cavern, carrying the girl in his arms in the Dragon's core, and blasted off towards the New World Order building at the speed of light. 

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