The wind was roaring outside the window.
The window panes made a rattling sound.
The rain that had not yet begun to fall was like the calm before a storm.
The white fluffy spirits had crawled under the bed and were nowhere to be seen since then.
Satori looked outside the window with a worried expression on his face.

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A once-in-a-decade, large-scale hurricane landed in Shikoku.
It was expected to maintain its massive strength as it moved northward across the western and eastern part of Japan from early dawn to tomorrow morning.

 “A-are you really going in this weather?”

Sousuke, who was getting ready to leave the house earlier than usual, didn’t show any annoyance to the worried Satori.

“I’ve called a taxi so it’ll be fine.
It’s not raining yet, anyway.
More importantly, how about you, are you fine by yourself, Satori?

Sousuke asked.

“I-I’m okay.
I’m okay but…”

Satori had experienced hurricanes many times in his life.
However, it was the first time he felt so uneasy like this.
He had been feeling nervous and restless since a while ago, and he had a feeling in his heart that he shouldn’t let Sousuke go alone.

“Can’t you just take a day off work for today?”

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Sousuke’s face turned into a surprised expression as Satori rarely asked for something unreasonable.

(It’s so unusual for Satori to be so selfish like this.
Does the hurricane scare him that much?)

Satori blushed.
Even if he told Sousuke that he had a bad feeling, Sousuke wouldn’t believe him.
Even Satori himself couldn’t properly explain what he was feeling right now.

“I can’t take a day off work.
But if you can stay at home properly, then we’ll go to buy ice cream on my next day off as a reward.”

Satori’s hair was being stroked as if he were a small kid, then he fell silent.

“Then I’ll be off.”

The front door was closed with a thud.
A little while after Sousuke had left, Satori took the wallet that was given to him for shopping and left the house to follow Sousuke.

Eerie clouds were swirling in the dark sky.
A strong wind blew Satori’s bangs up and a sickeningly lukewarm breeze caressed his skin.

As Satori left the lobby of the apartment, he could see Sousuke getting inside a taxi.
Satori looked around his surroundings.
An empty car came just at the right moment, so Satori held out his hand to stop the car.

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“U-umm, excuse me, I need a ride.”

(I was going to wrap up for the day, though.) 

The driver, a middle-aged man, looked uncomfortable when he saw Satori, but still reluctantly opened the door to the back seat.

“Sir, where do you want to go?”

(I hope it’s nearby.)

“Fo-follow the car in front of us, please.”

“What?”

(Follow the car in front, he said? Did he watch too many films? Ahh, I’m so unlucky today.
I sure hope I don’t get into some kind of trouble with this…)

“U-umm, I’m not a suspicious person.
Err, I just had some business with the person in the car in front…”

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Satori didn’t realize that the more he desperately tried to make excuses, the more suspicious he became.
Eventually, the driver fell silent.
He started the car while thinking that he should drop Satori off before he got into any trouble.

(Ah… Give me a break.
I’m so unlucky…)

As Satori thought that he heard a sound of a rain droplet on the windowpane, the rain suddenly started pouring down hard, like an upturned bucket.
Their vision immediately turned white and smoky, and it was hard to see anything ahead.

“Aah, the rain poured down… Sir, you don’t seem to be carrying an umbrella with you, is that alright?”

(I want to go home soon.)

Satori was focused on looking ahead, trying not to lose sight of the car that Sousuke was in.
He didn’t notice that the driver glanced at him through the rearview mirror with hopeful eyes then let out a sigh.

The rain and wind became stronger and stronger.
The trees on the street were swaying in the wind as if they were about to break.
At that moment, Satori caught a glimpse of something that looked like silvery-white scales through the gaps of the clouds.

“Ah!”

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The driver was startled when Satori suddenly let out a loud voice and leaned his body to the front.

“Wha-what’s wrong?! I-is there any problem…?!”

(What’s with him all of a sudden.)

Satori thought that what he had seen earlier must have been the Dragon God’s scales.
It was his true form of a dragon that Satori had seen only once in a distant past.
Why could he see that form again right now? It couldn’t be a mere coincidence.

If the “time limit” that the Dragon God had told him was today, then he should have gone to Satori, and not to Sousuke.

A cold sweat slowly broke out on Satori’s palm.
The bad feeling that he had was getting stronger and stronger.

A bolt of lightning struck through the sky.
With tremendous force, lightning struck somewhere.
Satori could feel the vibration in his body.

“Aah!”

(Seriously? it just struck somewhere.)

The lightning crawled upward from below.
At that moment, there was a rumbling sound that could split the earth.

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