Pochi gigantified and carried Ricky, who was stuck in his gigantified form himself, while I put my staff away in the Storeroom in order to carry both Barun and Betty at once.
Since we had headed out with Barun, one of the Six Braves, I hadnt been able to sneakily set up a Teleportation Spell Circle near Regalia like I usually would.
By the time the sun inclined to the west, at the point where we could see Regalia in the distance, the three finally woke up.
Barun instantly jumped off me out of embarrassment, while Betty instantly… slapped my b.u.t.t.
Ricky seemed to be doing fine, too.
There was an old horoscopic belief that went along the lines ofdog women and monkey men get along well, but like his boss, Ricky instantly jumped off Pochi.
“-And so the Shishichou appeared in front of me, and then soon left without a trace.”
When I was done talking, Betty g.r.o.a.n.e.d at my explanation of what had happened.
“Hmph, I wanted to get a long look at it too, you know.
I mean, its a legend and everything…”
“Havent you had enough of THAT I wish to never see it again, personally.
I was quite curious at first, but after all that, Id say nothing good can come from being involved with those Heavenly Beasts.”
Barun, appalled at Bettys attitude, spoke in opposition to her.
“Ahahahahaa, that bad, huh What about you, Asley Since you got to actually interact with it, whats your opinion on it”
In response to my statement of intention, Barun turned away from Betty to me.
“Yeah, no, thats something humans can never achieve.
I mean, our levels dont go over a hundred, right Itd be wise for us humans to know our limits, I say.”
“And thats what the boy says.
“Hahaha, you never know until you try.”
“No, I definitely do.
Youd be the fool among fools to actively risk your life over things like this.
Anyway, were done here, right Ill just excuse myself now.
Ricky hopped onto Barun shoulder.
“…Well see you later.”
Was it just me, or did his parting words have a reluctant feel to them
With Barun running off into the distance, the rest of us also picked up our pace.
Betty kept an eye on him as he faded out of sight and proceeded to say,
“…If we dont get that strong, then… well never survive what well eventually have coming at us, huh.”
The meaning behind her words was plain and simple.
Monsters all over the world will be getting a power boost come the resurrection of the Devil King.
That had happened before, and the Shishichou had lived through it.
No matter how I thought about it, the wall me must cross this time was just too high.
I wonder what Bettys take on this is.
“…Well, weve got a big long-term goal to strive for now!”
Betty, ever the wide-eyed optimist, winked to assert that optimism of hers.
She didnt seem to be putting up a tough act, but it did feel like she was being somewhat non-committal with her declaration.
With her spending a good chunk of her time in battle, she had naturally become quite s.e.n.s.i.t.i.v.e to such an obvious difference in power.
Seeing her off, Pochi and I then also went into our room.
Once I rested my head on the Pochi pillow, Pochi spoke up, seeming quite worried for Betty.
“Betty must have taken quite a blow to her ego, sir.”
“Of course she has.
That thing is just way too powerful, you know.
Its too far of a goal, long-term or not.
Even one of the Six Braves, the supposed best warriors of the Nation, ended up like THAT.
I know theres a big difference in Barun and Charlies skills, but… in front of that violet phoenix, they might as well be nothing.
I wouldve freaked out real hard if I hadnt gotten to know and train under Tūs, honestly.”
“But do you think Tūs can win against it, sir”
“Hmm… I cant really measure his power by my standards, you see.
You could say that its the same case for the Shishichou, but I THINK he can pull something off, at the very least.”
“Goes to say how strong he is, sir.
What about you, Master Do you think you can win”
“Youre THAT sure!”
“More than twice the cap… I see.
I cant remember if I asked, but did you ever find that thing The… Philosophers Stone, was it”
“I dont know if its the actual thing, but Ive found a crystal encasing a Holy Warriors body.
It didnt seem to fit the description Id gotten from Tūs, though.
Maybe what he meant was different from what Id inferred from him.
The crystals in my Storeroom now, and Im saving it for when it might be important, so Ive got to take good care of it… Anyway, what about you, Pochi What do you think about what little youve seen”
“Youre quite a lot serious than you usually are, sir~~”
“Hey, Ive got to get things done, too.”
“Hmm, if you say so.
Im leaving all the planning to you, Master.
So just let me play along whatever you come up with, all right”
“Welp, looks like were all gonna die.”
“Ahahaha… I only know how to go straight ahead, sir.
Ill leave the creepy wiggly juking to you, Master.”
Pochi said all that so nonchalantly.
As roundabout as that was, she was probably telling me thatits all up to me.
Looks like Ill actually have to give it my best from here on out.
…The Shishichou, one of the Heavenly Beasts, huh… It sure was an outrageous creature.
It was as if we had been shown the sheer difference of us and it as lifeforms, but then there was Tūs – technically one of us – also standing on that seemingly unreachable peak.
Nothings going to change for me from this point on.
Ill keep studying, studying, and even more studying.
Now then, theres a lot of things to get done in the span of one month from now.
Pochi and I will have to obtain as many titles as possible during this time.
Ill also have to use my alchemy skills and craft Artifacts to prepare for even stronger monsters.
And I mustnt forget to invent new spells and improve the ones I already have.
For this in particular reason, Ill probably need some help fromthat person.
At the end of the day, what we need to achieve is the ability to hunt down high-leveled monsters.
For everyones sake, Ill try to earn as much money as possible, and also study up as much as I can on monsters trends and nature.
Wonder what job well be taking tomorrow…
The next day, Betty was back to her usual self, as if she had swallowed everything down with just a single nights sleep.
Then, at the Adventurers Guild, we surprised the Guild staff with the astounding amount of work we completed: three Rank S, albeit minor ones – and also seven A-rankers, and two B-rankers.
To be honest, I felt like I was being dragged along by Betty almost the entire time.
It seemed that she was more energetic today than she had ever been before.
Wed made quite a lot of money today, even after deducting inn rent and other expenses.
To be specific, it was a whopping 1,017,780 Gold.
Everyones in for a treat when we get back to the Agency.
Once we had taken down our last requested monster of the day, Betty, Pochi, and I had all agreed to return to Beilanea immediately.
Before then, I used the Telepathic Call magecraft to inform Gaston of our leave, and also initiated my first call with Fuyu.
It seemed that Fuyu had already tested the Telepathic Call with Gaston beforehand, so she wasnt so spooked when I had called, but was still surprised by the fact that I could use magecraft.
I had also given her the Teleportation formula that linked to the Circle in my room, so that she could come over to the Pochisley Agency whenever she had the free time to.
I was quite surprised by how ecstatic Fuyu had sounded, but it was all good as long as she appreciated it.
~~Six Oclock in the Afternoon, First Day of the Fourth Month, Ninety-Fourth Year of the War Demon Calendar~~
In the woods southeast to Regalia, I invoked the Time-Limit Termination formula onto the Teleportation Spell Circle, then activated the latter.
In an instant, we were transferred to my room back in Beilanea.
However, we were welcomed by quite a bizarre situation that just happened to take place at the perfect timing of our arrival.
What I heard coming from the other side of the door was a throaty, fussy voice of a dog.
And there was also a girl, in a gray hooded robe, sleeping on my bed.
Pochi and Betty, being transferred a few moments after I had been, looked to see what was up – the former at my side, and the latter over my shoulder.
“What have you done! The town security is going to be out for your neck again, sir!”
“Shes a bit too young, dont you think I never knew you were into this kinda thing.
“Hell no, Im not! Anyone with half a brain would know that I dont know anything about this!”
I swear, all these joking false accusations I get are starting to become unfunny.
So, this girl… She looks to be about the same age as Natsu and Fuyu.
Why was she sleeping here, of all places
Could she be a kid the Pochisley Agency had helped out while I was away
“Jeez, gimme a break… Hmm Wait, this kid… I think mightve seen her before…”
“What a coincidence, sir! Thats what I thought, too!”
“Oh, yeah I dont think I remember her from anywhere, though”
If Betty doesnt know her, then… when and where did we meet, again Hmm, I think I might have an idea… Cmon, its on the tip on my tongue here…
< “Why is this door not opening! I will never live this down! I will never live this down, you hear me! Aha! All I have to do is spin the doorknob! Heh heh heh heh… Perfect logic, Tarawo! Hmph! Hoh-! Damn this little-! Cant… reach…! Hey, open the door! OPEN THE DOOR, TIFA!!”>