The Dragon's Claw (龍の爪, Ryū no Tsume) is the eleventh episode of Akatsuki no Yona.
Summary[edit | edit source]
In a peaceful forest by a riverside, Kija walks towards the stream stating how pleasant the atmosphere was. Looking into the river channel, Kija sees the reflection of him and reminds himself on how the king he has waiting for has finally appeared. His clan’s greatest wish that has been passed down from the age of myth has now turned into reality for him; to the people he has left behind and the generations of Hakuryuu’s that didn’t get this chance, he vows how he will protect the king in place of them. He glances happily at Yona, only to be interrupted by someone calling him a ‘White Snake’. As Kija looks up, Hak approaches him teasing him on how the Hakuryuu must be exhausted from his short journey. Annoyed, Kija warns Hak on how the next time he calls him a ‘White Snake’ he will tear out his throat. Kija also informs Hak on how he is hardly worn out at all. Such a short journey could not cause the proud Hakuryuu to lose the battle against tire. Despite hearing this, Hak continues to irritate Kija saying how he must be missing his village by now. But Kija dismisses this, saying how if his master Yona asked him to protect Hak if it becomes necessary then he must fulfil this- he has no place inside him to form any misses for his village. A short conflict between the two begins to form and Hak provokes Kija’s anger by questioning if a sheltered boy like Kija would really know how to fight, let alone protect anyone. A moment later, Yona shows up between the pair and hits the two of them on the chin to prevent further strife. Enough is enough. Yona refreshes Hak and Kija’s memories, voicing how if they are going to travel, they mustn’t fight. Since this is Kija’s first time leaving the village, it is obvious he must be anxious, so Hak should keep the teasing to a minimum even though it’s Hak’s basic hobby. Yona then tells Kija how Hak’s teasing shouldn’t be taken to heart, with Yoon encouraging the group to get going. As Yona walks freely with Yoon’s lead, Hak and Kija turns to look at each other once again, holding their actions and feelings within as Yona said.
Yoon looks troubled. Even with a map on him, he has difficulty in finding the location of the next dragon. Yoon then remembers how Kija said he was able to sense the other dragons, is it possible for him to do it now? Kija smiles at Yoon, revealing how he can perform such a task just by simply sharpening his mind’s eye. As Yoon asks him to tell him which dragon is the closest, Kija utters how he will try his best to, before closing his eyes. A short moment passes and Kija affirms that the nearest dragon from their current location is the Seiryuu, the Blue Dragon. Impressed by Kija’s ability to deduce exactly what dragon it is and not just by the skill to sense its location, Kija then points towards a direction the forest. Yoon looks at the path sighing on how broad it was. Kija then confidently says how they should not worry and tells the group to follow him. Yoon corrects him on how he should be worried, as a young man like Kija who has never once been outside before is now telling them to follow his lead. This may be a big mistake. Kija tries to calm Yoon down saying how it is indeed his first time outside, but he knows a lot about the world itself. His clan has visited various regions and gathered information on them, which has been passed onto Kija. Kija then trips and falls down to be surrounded by insects crawling onto him- his new found personal enemy. Screaming, he tells the insects to stop going near him. An irritated Yoon then says how it would be best for Kija to follow behind the group instead.
After Kija manages to make his way out of the hole, he spins around and pats his clothes with hope, to remove any more insects that are still clinging onto him. Even though it’s likely there isn’t any on his body, Kija’s fear makes him believe that they are still crawling all over him. Hak teases Kija saying how he is surprised to see that a dragon is actually weaker than an insect. Kija reacts quickly, trying to mend this mess up of his, saying how that is not true; he just simply detests ‘creepy, crawly creatures’. As a human who has been granted the legendary power of the Hakuryuu, such a trivial thing cannot stop him. Hak continues to tease him saying how there are more bugs on him as he talks, and how he is not expecting anything extraordinary from his dusty olden-age power. But before Hak and Kija could continue further, they both hear someone or something heading towards the group. Hak tells Yona to hide immediately and Yoon becomes alarmed saying how they are near the Fire Tribe’s land, which is why they know that there is a group in the forest. If they catch them here then this journey would all be for nought. Kija asks if the Fire Tribe is their enemy and Hak tells him that it’s pretty much the case. Yona asks Hak if she can use her bow but Hak doesn’t allow her to. Once again, he tells Yona to hide- which leaves Yona disappointed.
A group of bandits circle around Hak and Kija. As one of the bandits mention how they are impressed how they have found some prey in such a place, one other bandit says how Hak and Kija appear as though they have little on them. But the bandit from before corrects him saying how this is not true at all, as they have two women hiding in the bushes. Plus, they also have Kija, whom is wearing nice clothes. With his eyes and gaze upon Kija, the bandit places a knife towards his face saying how the bandit group could even sell him. Unimpressed, Kija then asks Hak if it’s alright for him to tear the bandits apart. Hak tells Kija that he could either do that or even hide. Kija smiles slyly, questioning Hak on whom exactly is going to hide? The bandit who is holding a dagger next to Kija’s face was unable to grasp the situation and conversation between the two and touches Kija’s arm. The bandit’s hand immediately burns, forcing him to move back towards his group. The bandit is confused on why his hand flared and even more confused on why his prey’s arm was flaming hot. In fact, Kija’s arm was preparing for battle all this time. As Kija declares that his hand should not be touched, he enlarges his arm saying how it was a power even he cannot control properly. Struck with fear, the bandits are in a position of being unable to move, as they do not know what is exactly happening before them. Kija then apologises to the arm of the Hakuryuu for staying shut down for ages until this time before charging at the bandits.
In seconds, he slashes and clears five bandits; with the remaining bandits labelling Kija a ‘monster’. Kija continues to smile slyly as he slashes his sixth target due to the time has come to protect his master. This is the time he has been waiting for. Yona and Yoon are left to watch in surprise and Hak left to observe with excitement. This power Hak has been teasing all this time has finally come to the surface, shining and impressing him. As Hak mentions how Kija is actually more heartless than he looks, Kija then says how six is not enough to satisfy him. He then asks Hak if he needs him to protect him as Yona had told him to. Hak then prepares his spear, declaring how he doesn’t need any protection. With bandits charging at Hak, Hak runs towards them to battle them. Hak’s incredible speed slices through them easily, leaving the remaining little amount of bandits to shout that Kija and Hak aren’t normal. Hak then tells them how it was rude to call him abnormal, since the only one who isn’t normal is actually Kija, the ‘White Snake’. Moments later, an extended white arm passes towards Hak, almost hitting him. Hak manages to dodge it, leaving him to question Kija on what he was doing. Kija reminds Hak that earlier he did say he would tear out his throat wouldn’t he? As Hak tells Kija that his teasing really is just a hobby, Kija is reminded that he shouldn’t take what he says seriously. Hak notices how Kija is getting thrilled with his power and tells him that he may be attracting too much attention because of it. Kija then runs towards Hak saying that nothing would delight him more than protecting the princess. The only person in his way of protecting the princess is Hak. He runs towards Hak and as Hak’s spear and Kija’s claw clashes, they take a back-to-back stance. Kija asks Hak why he protects the princess, to which Hak pulls his tongue answering that he won’t tell an idiot he just met. Kija is left in surprise whilst Hak charges at his next group of targets. Kija watches closely, amazed by Hak’s strength even though he assumed he was nothing more than a helpless human. Even though Kija does not want to admit it, its possible Hak’s strength is on par with the Hakuryuu’s Claw. Yoon and Yona examine the battle, with Yoon commenting on how Kija isn’t something of this world and how Hak’s speed isn’t normal either. Yoon then turns to Yona and asks her if she will use her bow, but Yona tells him she will not. Yoon then convinces her saying how she has practiced for times like these and if she wants to test her ability, now is the time to do so. With Yoon calculating the distance from Yona’s decided target, Yoon manages to successfully teach Yona into shooting her target’s hand. Yona complements Yoon saying how he is a better teacher than Hak, with Yoon ending it, stating it’s easy for him to help others but hard for him to hit anything himself.
A second later, Yona is dragged by a bandit from behind, who declares he will take her hostage. Hak and Kija arrive in time to save Yona, after they have finished off with their opponents. Kija asks Hak how many people he managed to strike down, to which Hak replies he doesn’t know. Kija proudly says how he got 28, with Hak saying he must have got 40 then. Provoked, Kija then calls Hak a liar and says how there wasn’t that many people in the first place. Suddenly, a sharp draining pain looms through Kija, leaving him on his feet. He was supposed to fight more elegantly than he should have he says. But Hak says that this should not be the case and he should care less about it, as he personally likes the Hakuryuu’s bloodthirsty style of fighting. During the period when Hak was in the castle, nobody had ever come up to him in a similar way. Later, Hak collapses from his previous injury. After Kija works out that Hak is almost like a monster, seeing as though he has the ability to move so swiftly after sustaining such injuries- he carries him with his dragon arm, since Yona is unable to do so. Kija then states how his arm has ten times the normal strength of a human arm, which leaves Yona placing her bow and arrows in Kija’s other arm. Then, Kija adds further information, saying how that it is in fact only his right arm, not both.
During mid-day the group is still travelling. Yona tells Kija how one day she wants to protect Hak, as she has been protected by him from the very start. He has been loyal to her and she cannot maintain this side of her any longer. She must act and do her part. As Kija watches and listens astonishment of his master wanting to guard someone even though she is fragile, he happily tells himself that this Is what he has come for. Yona has a strong will. Despite living in a castle and being protected, she actually wishes to switch the standard job of a princess to the polar opposite. Even though the princess is a weak, frail young girl in the current moment, Kija wishes to support her to the end.
Kija observes his food closely and is shock when he notices they are the things found along the mountain side, he labels them as ‘weeds’ to which Yoon corrects him saying they are actually mountain vegetables. Kija should be grateful that he even gets food and even more grateful that Yoon did not add insects to the food he has prepared. Kija then panics asking quickly if Yoon actually eats insects. Yoon tells Kija that insects are actually nutritious; with Kija left to turn to Yona asking if she is fine with the food Yoon has cooked. Yona says she is fine with it although she still cannot eat insects. Plus, Yona has had worse times with Hak, before Yoon arrived in their group. Hak then wakes up, and Yona kindly offers to feed him. Hak opens his mouth wide to be greeted by Kija, whom has taken the spoon off Yona. He will perform this menial task in place of Yona. The rivalry between the two begins to creep up from the core with Yoon saying in the background that he’d like to discuss the location of the Seiryuu after he has finished eating. After asking Kija to use his sensing abilities once again, Yoon asks Kija once again if he knows anything about the Seiryuu. Does he live alone or as a group? Kija states he is unsure as his subordinates only gathered that the Seiryuu lived secretly in the Earth Tribe’s land a long time ago with its clan. However afterwards, the Seiryuu’s village disappeared mysteriously and the clan itself went missing. It’s possible the Seiryuu may be separated from the clan or still with it. The Seiryuu’s clan wasn’t destroyed though, as Kija can still feel the beating pulse of the Seiryuu. After gaining this information, Yoon has then pinpointed the most certain possible locations of the Seiryuu on his map; Yona complements him for being able to work it out so quickly before Yoon announces that it’s time to go to sleep in their location. Panicking, Kija is left to disbelief that the group will settle in a dirty forest for night.
Kija wakes up having little to no sleep. His face is tired and Yona becomes frightened since Kija’s beautiful face has vanished overnight. Kija apologises that his master has to see such a sight. After arriving at their first point, Yoon asks Kija if he can sense the Seiryuu. Kija replies no, to which Yoon then decides on their next location. Hak then tells Yoon that they must not go to the next location as planned, because it’s actually a training ground for the Fire Tribe. Kija frowns in little disappointment at himself, since he is unable to help the group as much as he would like to. Seeing Hak being useful and having vast knowledge on the area discourages Kija. Seeing Yoon try so hard does the same. His only worth right now is his sensory abilities, but they aren’t sharp enough. After Yoon pinpoints the only three more possibilities on his map, the group then heads quickly towards these areas.
However, at each of these three points, Kija could not sense the Seiryuu at all.
At the arrival of their 4th point, the group’s resting point; Kija uses his sensory ability again in the direction before him. He states how he cannot sense the Seiryuu from that direction, but he can sense it from further way in a different direction that he is pointing to. Yoon sighs and finds it odd since he visited all the likely places, but the Seiryuu was not found in any of them. Kija then catches Yona scrubbing her leg for ease. Worried, Kija questions his master is she had become injured but Yona assures him that she is fine. Yoon gives Yona loquat juice to calm fatigue and then tells her to rest for the rest of the day. Kija watches sadly in the background, almost upset that he cannot be of any use to his master and most of all: his master sustaining an injury for walking so far for nothing but hope.
At night, Kija still has difficulty in sleeping. He shivers from the cold and looks at the group. He grips his left arm with his dragon hand telling himself that he’s been seeing then walking off the beaten trail for days, with all of them concealing their true feelings and injuries. Kija blames himself for Yona’s injury, Hak’s and Yoon’s efforts on securing locations for the Seiryuu because he is unable to do his part in sensing the Seiryuu’s location properly. Falling to frustration, Kija calls out to the Seiryuu, his brother by dragon’s blood to come forward. After seeing his master try so hard despite her delicacy, he really wishes to meet him. Isn’t his dragon brother waiting for the king just like him?
Kija wakes up to realisation that he actually fell asleep for the first time outside of his village. He hears a piercing sound nearby and stands up to find the source of the noise. But after following the sound, he only finds Yona practising with her bow, shooting arrows ever so occasionally onto the tree-trunk at night. Kija is surprised, and calls out to her, only to be stopped by Hak. Hak tells Kija that Yona shoots 200 arrows every night, ever since she had started. Kija then asks Hak why she would continue to practice an art in archery when she has him by her side. Hak corrects Kija saying how she does indeed have him by her side, but nevertheless, Yona will not stop herself from practicing archery. Hak notices how Yona dislikes being powerless and ever since her father died and she exiled from the castle, it would be a shame for her to do nothing. She must find what she cannot do by herself and struggle to find what she must do as a result. Yona has had the option to do nothing, but to her, it’s simply wrong. Kija then quietly questions Hak if he would simply not stop her from using weapons. Hak expresses his conflicted feelings stating how he does indeed dislike her engaging in such arts, but at the same time he is happy to see her struggle like a normal human being would. This leaves Kija full of knowledge on the pain and struggle Yona has been fighting all this time just to become independent and strong. He slumps towards a tree and holds his suffering within. Yona’s pain is his pain. He really wants to be of use to her. Kija then works out that Yona is very similar to him. They both want to protect something and be of some use to protect the ones they care for.
In the morning, Yona tells Kija that he should rest well since they won’t be able to progress without him. She can tell Kija has had a sleepless night once again since he isn’t used to sleeping outside; he must take better care of himself. This warms up Kija’s heart and leaves him to asking Yona if he is of any use to her at all. Yona turns to him smiling sharply to express how sure she is. She states how nobody can replace Kija and he is without a doubt, useful to her. Kija then blushes, his face turning red and his dragon blood left in excitement due to the praise. Nearby, Yoon clicks his fingers.
Yoon has finally worked out the location of the Seiryuu and tells the group that he actually missed the location by mistake. With Yoon pointing ahead, he announces that near the border and towards the mountains before them, is the location of the one they have been searching for: the Seiryuu.
Characters In Order of Appearance[edit | edit source]
Abilities, Weapons and Items Used[edit | edit source]
- White Dragon's Claw
- Hak's Spear
- Bow and Arrows
Trivia[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
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