Ryuu no Hanawazurai (Two Flowers for the Dragon) vol. 7 [summary]

A friend commissioned me to do a summary of this final volume in the series, when its US release was cancelled after six volumes. It is being scanlated (and since it took me a year to find time to finish this, much to my dismay), and volume seven is almost halfway done, but perhaps there are those who would just like to read the summary, or who would like to read ahead to the end of the series before the scanlators finish the final chapters. Anyway, here it is.

I had never heard of this series before I got the request, but ended up really enjoying it and definitely recommend it. You can find more info about the series on Baka Updates, as well as links to the scanlation group who are working on it.

Beneath the cut is a detailed summary of Ryuu no Hanawazurai vol. 7 by Kusakawa Nari. Don't click through if you don't want spoilers. Download the raw here.

The volume opens with Shakuya realising that Lucien attacked her in order to help her get her powers back, that he deliberately made himself the bad guy in order to help her.

She blushes at the thought, which makes Lupina concerned. When Lupina goes to get water for her, Kuwan says he'll keep an eye on Shakuya. Lupina says if he does anything bad, she'll never forgive him. He asks what, exactly, she'll do, and she says she'll make him drink a thousand needles.

Once Lupina's gone, Shakuya goes back to thinking about Lucien and what it must have cost him to do what he did, since he's normally so gentle. His words echo in her mind: when he asked her not to leave, when he told her he loved her, and when he told her how her letter was what gave him strength when he'd lost his memory.

Kuwan asks what Lucien did to her, and she says he helped her get her strength back. She thinks about her love for Kuwan, and about how many times she told Lucien that it was Kuwan she loves. Even after Kuwan's betrayal, her flower tattoo didn't fade. But now Lucien's flowers have grown, too, and as Kuwan takes her hand, his eyes widen in surprise at the sight of them.

Then Lupina returns with the water, which she brought in her hands since she had no cup. Grabbing Shakuya's hand, she pulls her away and says she should go lie down.

However, it's Lupina who falls asleep, while Shakuya lies awake thinking. She's not sure how she feels about Lucien's roses growing, but she knows she has to thank him. Just then he interrupts her thoughts, asking if she's having trouble sleeping.

She feels nervous and starts blushing and stuttering when she talks to him. She thanks him for helping her get her powers back, and he thinks that the reason she's so nervous is that she thinks he'll assault her again. He won't believe her when she tells him that's not it, and he just says he's glad she realised why he did what he did.

He gets up to go get some more branches for the fire, and when she grabs his sleeve, exposing her hand and wrist, Kuwan steps in and claps his hand over hers, hiding the roses. Lucien asks Kuwan if he's hiding something, but Kuwan denies it.

Later on, Kikoku and Kuwan are sitting around the fire. Kikoku asks Kuwan how long he slept after being healed by the gem and he says about three days, but he thinks Amaranth will wake sooner than that.

Kikoku says the Lord of the West will come after the princess, and Kuwan agrees. Kikoku asks if Kuwan will risk his life for her again, and if he'll be doing it for Amaranth. Kuwan says that goes without saying, but also that his time at the oasis was too comfortable. He thinks about the sense of superiority he felt when he saw that Shakuya's flowers hadn't faded after his betrayal, as well as his relief.

The next day, everyone heads back to the oasis on Shakuya's back, but as they get closer, they see that a sandstorm is attacking the palace. When they land, they find the head of the Kiri family and some other policemen attempting to get close to the palace. Kiri tells them that Shakuya's mom is trapped inside. He also says that while he's been in contact with the heads of the Sei and Rakka families, he hasn't heard from the Jouha or Kuda families.

Shakuya informs him of Jouha's betrayal, and says Kuda might be a traitor, too. She then says she's going to try and get into the palace, and her dad says that this is their chance since their enemies are not expecting them to be here.

However, before they attempt that, they tell Kiri about Kuwan's betrayal, and he throws Kuwan in jail. He says he has no words for how disappointed he is in Kuwan, but Kuwan asks to be let out, saying he can fight better than anyone else on the police force and he won't betray them again. However, Kiri says he just can't trust Kuwan anymore. Kuwan says if Shakuya agrees, he'll accept that.

Meanwhile, Shakuya is grateful for what Lucien did, but feels a distance between them now, so she decides to tell him about the flowers and show him how grateful she is. "This is why I've been so awkward!" she says, pushing up her sleeve.

But he doesn't believe her, thinking she just painted the flowers on, so she makes him touch it, and he realises it's real.

She explains that she's just nervous, and he pulls her into a hug, saying he's wanted to do this for a long time. As he holds her, she thinks this is what it means for two hearts to be in tune with one another.

Then there are footsteps, and Lucien recognises them as Kuwan's and asks why Kuwan isn't in jail. Kuwan says that Kiri let him go on the condition that if Shakuya didn't want him to fight with her, she could put him back behind bars. He even gives her the key. She asks him why he wants to fight and he says it's simply that he doesn't like the Lord of the West. He says he won't admit any other reason unless he's alone with her on his death bed.

She realises that what she felt when Lucien hugged her was the same as what she felt that time with Kuwan. It hadn't been just one-sided; their hearts had been in tune.

She asks him to hold out his hands and she undoes the handcuffs.

With Shakuya in dragon form, they attack the palace, which is defended by sand people. They find a man still loyal to Shakuya and her mother, who tells them of Kuda and Jouha's betrayal, and says that it was them who brought in whoever's creating the sandstorm. He tells Shakuya where to find them, and also that her mother is pretty much on her own as there are only a few people still able to fight. Shakuya reassures them that everything's all right and goes off to find her mother and the traitors.

The head of the Kuda family is sitting in the tower, wondering if Shakuya's mother Itoki is dead yet and talking about how Shakuya must be married to the Lord of the West by now, when Kuwan and Hakurai arrive on Shakuya's back. Kuda is first shocked by the fact that Shakuya hasn't lost her powers as they were told, and then by the fact that Hakurai is here. She realises the whole story about him being thrown out was a ruse and accuses him of plotting against them. "I could say the same of you," he says, and points out that she sold them out to the Lord of the West.

Meanwhile in the upper part of the tower, Lucien and Shakuya attempt to rescue Itoki. However, the sand men keep reforming whenever they're cut down, and they can't get to her. She tries to use her tail to take them all out, but the mages just stop the sandstorm and instead concentrate all their power on forming more sand men, and it's too much even for Shakuya.

Lucien tells her to change back to human form and they jump out the window. She doesn't know what he's planning at first, but when he tells her to fly high, she realises his plan. She breaks open the tower and pours water down into it, washing the sand away and saving Itoki.

When Itoki sees Hakurai, she collapses into a chair he has handily provided for her, having guessed she'd react that way. She is prickly, but their affection for each other is clear. Kuwan asks Shakuya if that's what she'd like in a relationship and she says, "So what if it is?" and he says, "Well, it is ideal." He then changes the subject back to the situation at hand, and Shakuya says it will now be all-out war with the Lord of the West.

Meanwhile, the maids tell Lucien he should just give up and call him pitiful. They admit they're surprised Kuwan finally seems to be showing in interest in Shakuya, but now that he is, Lucien should just back down gracefully. But Lucien says he doesn't feel pitiful.

Later, Shakuya is changing his bandages and says it looks painful. She remarks that it would be better if they had the gem, but he says he prefers having her tend to his wounds. She asks him if he's ever been unhappy with being her fiance.

He says he hated it when he was little, and that he used to think he could have had any woman he wanted, so why was he saddled with her? She's shocked that innocent little Lucien would have thought such a thing. He says he doesn't think so now and asks if she remembers what he said before. She repeats what he said about a leader needing charisma, but he says she left out the important part, the part where he said she should ask him to give his life to her. She says it sounds too much like a proposal, and he asks her if she knows what fiance means. She says of course she does, and then sort of trails off. He asks her to at least say half of it, then, and when she asks if it has some meaning, he says it has meaning for him.

"Come on, say it," he says. "Say it with a smile." So she smiles and says, "Give me…" and he leans in and kisses her on the head. Just then Lupina clears her throat and interrupts them, saying Itoki wants to talk to them.

Itoki explains that with everything going on, with Kuwan's betrayal, and the betrayal of two of the five houses, she is breaking off Shakuya and Kuwan's engagement and doing away with the five houses altogether. And although Lucien has done nothing wrong, she is breaking off the engagement with him as well. She wants Shakuya to choose a suitable husband herself.

The next chapter opens with Shakuya thinking about how sheltered her life had been. First she had grown up knowing she would have an arranged marriage, and then even once she had two fiances, the choice would be made by whoever had the most flowers. Now she has to make the choice herself.

Itoki goes on to say that while Kuwan's betrayal is difficult to forgive, there is the matter of the police force's morale, so they should keep it a secret for the time being. Then she asks Lucien what he will do now that he is no longer Shakuya's fiance. He says he'll fight; no matter how strong the dragon's powers may be, Shakuya is still just Shakuya, and he can't send her off to face the Lord of the West on her own. They may not be engaged anymore, but she is still important to him, he says.

Itoki then tells Kuwan to stay in the palace until the time comes to fight, and he agrees. She says she'd like to cut him to pieces right now if she could, for what he's done.

Once she dismisses them all, Lupina tries to reassure Shakuya, saying that most people don't have arranged marriages.

Lost in her thoughts, Shakuya stumbles, and Kuwan catches her. He calls her "Shakuya" instead of "Shakuya-sama", which startles her, and then he explains that it's because they're no longer engaged, and wonders why it should make her blush so much.

Once Kuwan's gone, Lucien steps up and cups Shakuya's face, then after looking her in the eyes for a moment while she blushes and looks nervous, he turns away and says he's going to go play with the tigers.

Just then the ground shakes and the two of them fall. Lupina says Lucien's heart has turned into a poltergeist from all the pressure, but then someone comes to tell them that a palace has risen up out of the desert.

It's the Lord of the West, and Shakuya can sense the gem inside the palace. She realises he may be using it to increase his power.

She starts to dash off, saying she'll transform and protect the townspeople, but Lucien grabs her by the wrist and says she should leave that to the police. She then suggests helping keep the sand from burying the city, but he reminds her that she is the one the Lord of the West is after. He says that as long as the gem is in the enemy's hands, she should conserve her strength; she can't just go dashing off as she's used to doing. He says if she falls, then they really will be drowned in sand.

Shakuya starts to protest again, but then Hakurai and Itoki show up, and Itoki says she agrees with Lucien, and also reminds Shakuya that Shakuya is not the head of the dragon clan – Itoki is.

Shakuya reluctantly agrees, and they go to get Kuwan. However, when they arrive at the room where he's been locked up, they find Ginga and Kintora unconscious and Kuwan missing. Shakuya realises that Kuwan stole the key from her when he embraced her.

It turns out Kuwan has gone to see Amaranth. She wakes up and he tells her all their friends are safe here in the oasis. She asks why he's wearing his uniform and he tells her that since Shakuya lost the gem while protecting their friends, he has to help her get it back. She tells him it's foolish to go alone, and when he responds that he isn't the type to take on a losing battle, she says he is the type to take on a battle where the odds are against him.

"Is that how you see me?" he says. "I find it oddly irksome when you're kind like this," she responds. "Really? Because I've always meant to be kind to you."

She then remembers their childhood and how him losing his eye strengthened their bond. "It may have been a fire born in darkness, but it was warm," she thinks.

Back to the present, where he tells her he's leaving. She takes his hand and says she's glad she can't see how much that flower is tangled around his heart. She then tells him she can feel the gem nearby, and when he leaves, she tells him not to die.

Meanwhile, Shakuya is shocked to realise Kuwan has gone after the gem on his own, and wonders if he means to give his life for it.

As Kuwan is racing down the hall on his horse, hands of sand suddenly reach up and kill the horse. He recognises this as a warning.

Shakuya bursts into Amaranth's room, but Amaranth tells her if she's looking for Kuwan, he's gone to the Lord of the West's palace. Shakuya orders Ginga to go look for him, and tells Lupina to go help with the evacuation. Before Lupina leaves, she gives Lucien some extra clothes for Shakuya, and then tells him to make sure Shakuya brushes her teeth before bed and to not give her too much of her allowance at once. XD

Amaranth tells them Kuwan knew his chances of getting the gem back were slim, but went anyway. She then apologises for the things she's done, and Shakuya tells her apologising doesn't make it better.

Lucien asks her what she was thinking when she stabbed him five years ago, and she says she was thinking about how she had killed someone at his age, and that she hated herself for attacking a child, but more than that, she was thinking that she refused to let it end without taking over the oasis.

He says, "Well, that's what's happened," and she agrees. He then gives his condolences, and says now she may lose the second most important thing as well.

Shakuya asks her if she's worried about Kuwan, and then tells her there's nothing she can do about it.

Kuwan finds the Lord of the West and plunges a sword though his head, but he just melts like sand and calls Kuwan a fool for coming alone. Kuwan tries to blow him up, but that still doesn't kill him. The Lord of the West says if Shakuya had been born sooner, she would have been a formidable enemy, but lucky for him, she's still young. Then as Kuwan begins to scream, he starts sucking the life out of him, and says, "Tell me how it feels to be mummified alive."

Meanwhile, as Shakuya leaves Amaranth, she tells her that she will be the one to make Amaranth's hopes come true, not Amaranth. After she's gone, Lucien asks Amaranth if it's galling, and she says it is, then with a grimace, tells him not to ask her just how much.

When Lucien rejoins Shakuya, he asks her if she means to rescue Kuwan, because that's what it sounded like she meant. She says Kuwan still means a lot to her, and she won't stand for him dying like this. She says she still needs to yell at him, and Lucien agrees. Then he says, "Even if you end up choosing Kuwan…" and holds out his hand. "I'll go with you." "Where…?" "You want to show him the dragon's power, don't you? Come on, let's go rescue Kuwan."

Shakuya remembers asking Lucien for his life, and thinks about how she loves Lucien's kindness, and how his kindness makes her strong. "Thank you, Lucien," she says, while thinking she still can't tell him that yet.

Meanwhile, while helping the townspeople evacuate, Lupina runs across her mother and six little brothers, the youngest of whom is rescued from a sudden wave of sand by a still-handcuffed Kikoku. One of the policemen asks him what he's doing there and he explains that the sand that spilled in broke open his cell. Lupina thanks him for rescuing her brother, and he says it's a good thing there wasn't a banana peel around. She says, "Did you do something to a banana in a former life?" XD The policeman grabs him and tells him to come along, and he says to Lupina that if he didn't have handcuffs on, he would have petted her hair, then says goodbye.

Then the policemen look up and see Shakuya in the sky, heading for the Lord of the West's palace. "Don't let anyone make you cry anymore, Shakuya-sama," Lupina thinks.

The next chapter opens with Hakurai saying to Itoki that he's not sure letting Shakuya go was the right decision. She agrees, saying there's no one else who can defeat the Lord of the West, but that it's scary to think the fate of the oasis is up to Shakuya."If only she were a little older, maybe she would have been able to control the gem," he says. They agree that the Lord of the West has an advantage, and Itoki wonders if Kuwan going after the gem will turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing.

Meanwhile, Kuwan is still fighting the Lord of the West and it's not going well. Kuwan pulls a knife, but the Lord of the West observes that Kuwan must already be losing feeling in his right forearm, "like a dying tree".

Kuwan's arm turns to bone and snaps off, but just then Shakuya and Lucien arrive. Seeing Kuwan's arm, Lucien calls out to Shakuya. "I know…" she says. "I'm…calm…"

Kuwan tells them the gem is still in the Lord of the West's chest, and Shakuya responds with "I know" again, and then tells the Lord of the West that she is here to defeat him. "I wouldn't make it sound that easy," he retorts, but when he puts his sand hands on her, she tells him it will take more than that to dry a dragon's scales.

The Lord of the West attacks her again and tells her he had originally thought if there was anyone who would be a match for him, it might be the dragon princess, but his fears were unfounded.

Shakuya asks him what his goal is in destroying the oasis. He says he is culling the oasis. "Culling!? To make it easier for you to control…!?" she says, and he agrees, but adds that it is to give himself time…time to enjoy wielding his power.

"I must defeat him! But first I have to get the two of them out of here…" Shakuya thinks, and tells Lucien to grab Kuwan. They grab on to her, but as she tries to fly them out, she transforms back into a human and they fall to the ground.

Lucien realises how much more powerful the Lord of the West really is when Shakuya doesn't have her gem. And he also realises that Shakuya knows this, too.

Kuwan is dehydrated and running a fever. Lucien wonders if they'll really be able to get Kuwan out of there safely.

Just then, the Lord of the West attacks again, and Kuwan urges the other two to leave him behind. "I didn't think you'd come after me," he tells Shakuya, and she says she came to yell at him. Kuwan says he thought Lucien would stop her, and Lucien says, "Don't ask the impossible."

As Shakuya cries over Kuwan, he tells her that he wants her. He says when he was with her, he'd occasionally imagine that this could really be his life. He'd thought it laughable when she was a child, but now he really does want her. "Not that I can do anything about it…" he says.

She asks him what about Amaranth, and he says she's precious to him. Shakuya holds his hand in hers, the chains of flowers clearly visible on each hand, and he says, "You of all people should know that a heart can love more than one person…"

He tells her again to leave him and she wonders what she should do. The Lord of the West is strong, and in his present condition, Kuwan will just be in the way. But… "I love you, Kuwan. You are precious to me."

The Lord of the West creates a sand prison around them, sucking all the water out of them. Shakuya tries to strengthen the water wall around them, but because she can't reach any outside water, the only water she can use is what's in their bodies, accelerating the dehydration.

Shakuya realises there's only one thing she can do. Lucien tells her to stay calm, and she replies that she is. "You probably think you are…" he says. He also says it's true she hasn't lost control lately, despite thinking about the oasis all the time. Her control has gotten better. Kuwan tells her to control the gem, that's the best course of action.

The chapter ends with Lucien looking chagrined and saying that Shakuya's heart still belongs to Kuwan.

The final chapter opens with Shakuya saying she'll try controlling the gem. Kuwan asks Lucien if he will save Kuwan, and Lucien responds that the oasis needs Shakuya and she'll wilt if Kuwan dies.

Shakuya can feel the gem. If she can just gain control of it, she can attack the Lord of the West from within. She thinks, "I'm done with letting the dragon's power control me…!"

Meanwhile, Kuwan asks Lucien why he's doing this. This could be his chance to make Shakuya his own. Lucien says he's not doing this to be kind; it's a matter of pride.

The Lord of the West can feel Shakuya trying to get at him. He attacks, but she refuses to back down. Lucien tells her that if she needs more water to strengthen the barrier, she can use the water in his body. He was just taken by surprise before, but this time he can bear it. She says she can't, but he insists.

She holds him in her arms and sucks the water from him as she attacks the Lord of the West. Then she says to Kuwan that it's true you can love more than one person, but that is why she wants to choose just one. He asks her who she'll reject, and she says, "You, Kuwan," and then, "Lucien, give me your life. Please."

"This is who I want to love," she thinks, and Lucien says, "Then you won't get mad this time?" and then kisses her.

The Lord of the West can feel Shakuya's control over the gem growing stronger. "Why…!?" he shouts. "I won't let you have the gem!"

"Fine," Shakuya says, now in dragon form. "If you won't relinquish it, that will allow me to defeat you." Then with one final flood, she defeats him and washes his palace away.

Kuwan says one day Shakuya will be spoken of the way her dragon ancestor is now, and Lucien agrees.

Three months later the oasis is still recovering from the Lord of the West's sand attack. Kikoku is in prison along with Amaranth, and Lupina hasn't seen him since.

While Lupina is out, she comes across Lucien and Shakuya bathing the tiger cubs and eavesdrops. Lucien asks Shakuya if she regrets her choice and she says she's fine. He says he wants to see how much the roses have grown over the past three months and she pulls open her shirt to reveal them all the way up to her collarbone, however, they turn out to be just painted on. Lucien is disappointed, of course, but Shakuya says that while it's just paint right now, it will eventually grow that far, and that he shouldn't worry about Kuwan's flowers.

Just as they kiss, Kuwan shows up, saying he's going to prison today and wanted to say his goodbyes. He thanks Shakuya for visiting him in the hospital. Then he congratulates Shakuya on her engagement, and Lucien says, "No congratulations for me?"

Kuwan goes down on one knee before Shakuya and says he doesn't think one man could handle the dragon princess alone, so once he's out of prison, would she accept him as a lover. She gasps. Lucien looks annoyed.

The final narration says, "This is the story of a white dragon in the desert a long, long time ago. Tattooed flowers break through her scales, blooming sweet and maddening, until the day the dragon closes her eyes."

The bonus story, "Lucien the Father", has Lucien walk in on his daughter drawing a picture of Kuwan. He panics and tries to lock up his daughter and her maid in a drawer. When Shakuya sees the drawing, she immediately calls Lupina, who explains that their daughter must have seen Kuwan today when he came to visit after his release from prison, and thought he was cool. "So what!? Get a hold of yourselves!" she says.

Once Lupina leaves, Lucien turns to Shakuya and says, "That's right…he was here today. Kuwan and Amaranth haven't changed a bit. Shakuya, you did refuse his offer, didn't you?" She says she did refuse to take him as a lover, and also got him and Amaranth to promise to help rebuild the oasis, so there will be no problem. She then laughs and comments that it's funny how Kuwan still has such an effect on her and Lucien, and he agrees. He picks up their daughter and says he now has both Shakuya and their daughter, so he's no longer pitiful.

Then their daughter (who is never named in this, by the way) asks for money so she can hire "the man in black" as her bodyguard…

But then Lucien wakes up and realises it was all a dream. The series ends with him kissing Shakuya on the cheek and saying, "…Oh well, whatever."

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