King Wolf Garm No, thats not possible – and not the main point, anyway.
Whats important was the family name.
On the spur of the moment, I pulled out my knife from my c.h.e.s.t pocket.
Sure enough, it had an engraving of the nameDon Kisaragi.
Leaus and Don had the same family name as that guy.
I knew they were skilled, but I had never expected their lineage and weapon shop businesses to date this far back.
Still, it just felt too good to be true – me meeting all these people and names that I recognized in such a short span of time since coming to this era.
Perhaps God had meant for such a thing to happen, but I still couldnt quite get a read on his intentions in the big picture.
Thats how you feint your opponents with magic spells.
Act as if you have erased an in-process Spell Circle halfway through, but maintain its composition with one hand.
With it, you could exploit an opening and interrupt your opponents attacks.”
It hasnt been long since I had started teaching them martial arts, but Ferris untapped talents were already beginning to show.
Young Ferris had an affinity for this branch of discipline, so it seemed.
Naturally, mages came in different types.
In these kids cases, Bright would be more suited as a full-time rearguard, while Ferris would fare better as a front-liner.
This could be considered one of the few aspects where they didnt resemble their descendants, I suppose.
“All right, looking good.
In group battles, always having at least one of your allies in the enemies blind spots will work greatly to your advantage.”
“But… were not even landing any hits!”
“I cant read your moves, Sir Instructor…”
In this fight, it was me versus two staff wielders.
Ferris faced me head-on, while Bright attempted to snipe me from behind.
I had decided on the spur of the moment to have them team up; it turned out that they were quite compatible with each other.
A result of their long, inseparable friendship, perhaps.
“Now lets up the difficulty some more.”
I raised the density of the arcane energy aura around my body up a notch.
Just by doing that, the two kids faces immediately tensed up.
Their feet, which had been nimble until moments ago, were now weighted down in place, and a great amount of sweat ran down their cheeks.
“Shiro, help them out.”
“Yes, sir! First off, Ferris! You dont need to pin all of my Masters movements down! Just half his body – no, even one eye is enough!”
“Now youre being ridiculous!”
“And Bright! Keep in mind that my Master holds his staff in his right hand.
He might be trying to spring a trap with his left!”
Thanks to Pochis direction and moderate support, Ferris was now able to take a step forward, and Bright was able to keep his emotions in check.
Although I had said that I would up the difficulty, all I did was raise the arcane energy around me; that didnt do anything to increase my fighting prowess.
They may not seem much, but those skills actually work to enhance their abilities as mages by leaps and bounds.
Leaving fighting skills aside, their breadth of knowledge was… on the level of Magic University freshmen, I suppose.
“Well, dont just stand around! You help us fight, too!”
Pochi, screaming as she was punted forward, leaped right at me with tears welling in her eyes.
“W-wait! You arent supposed to do that!”
“Ill use any means necessary to win! That is the way of House Adams!”
“Watch out, Master! Suuupoer Paw Attackkkk!”
Pochi pretended to hit me; she didnt even have her nails out.
Ugh, so much for not playing along, huh
Bright proceeded to cast his elementary-level spells at me, aiming each one to best exploit my opening.
Oh, my God, what an opportunist.
And now Ferris decked me right at the back of my head.
She definitely had been aiming right at it.
Upon impact, however, her staff made a heavy impact sound, and then a jolt of numbness ran through her hands.
The rebound knocked Ferris staff away.
“Gah! H-how is your head so tough!”
“I was wondering the same thing, Master! I thought you werent very good at using your head!”
Oh, Pochi, so noisy when shes on her high horse…
“Ive invoked the Shield spell in a limited area.
Weve already gone over this spell, havent we”
“Wow, that was amazing…”
“Ive never heard anything about Shiros direct participation in this activity, either, so…”
I painted myself a full-face smile and answered Ferris; in response, she turned away, her face reddened up.
Despite her slacking somewhat when it came to physical training, her rate of improvement was quite good.
Bright, on the other hand, now sat down and began considering the applications of the limited-area Shield I had used earlier.
His skills were improving at a good pace, too.
Because of that, I would like to get rid of his level bottleneck as soon as possible.
Although I was appointed as his bodyguard, the easiest way to go about doing it was to make my target of protection stronger.
Doing so will improve his flexibility of movement and make him aware of what he should be doing for each situation, after all.
And fortunately, it was now almost a month since June had left on her mission.
She was scheduled to return home soon; until then, I suppose Ill only have to focus on raising the standards of our training.
~~Six Oclock in the Afternoon, Eighteenth Day of the Sixth Month, Hundred and Twentieth Year of the Sacred Calendar~~
As Bright ran out to welcome her, June kneeled down and gently wrapped him in her arms.
Since this was very early in the morning, Ferris was still sleeping, but since Bright was up already, I had to be as well.
“Mm-hmm~~ I smell my dear brother! Youre the best, Bright! Sniff, sniff…”
It was apparent that she was starving for her brothers affection; she was all over him the very moment she was in the house.
By the time she regained her reasoning, it was too late.
All Pochi and I could do was look on with troubled looks on our faces.
June, slightly red from embarrassment, coughed to clear her throat before handing her luggage to Alfred and walking up to me.
“Have you gotten used to your work yet, Sir Poer”
“Yes, though it would have taken less time if not for a slight mishap.
Then again, I have gotten somewhat used to the latter happenings as well…”
I forced out a chuckle and told her; in response, June tilted her head, questioning what I had meant.
Young Bright, noticing how I was having difficulties articulating my explanation, proceeded to speak for me instead,
“Well, Ferris came over and…”
“Hmm What about her”
“She is currently resting in a guest room on the second floor.”
Once Alfred told her just that, June seemed to have understood the whole situation, as apparent from her putting a hand over her forehead.
And then she heaved a sigh, expressing how apologetic she was towards me.
“The first day of this month, milady.”
“I see… Well, let us discuss this in detail after the sun rises, Sir Poer.
And as promised, your bodyguard duties should be lessened from now on.
I need to get some rest first – let us talk later.”
And with that, June went into the mansion with Bright, Alfred, and the rest of the servants.
And then, for a brief moment… I felt a piercing gaze from behind me.
It didnt contain any murderous intent, but it was certainly unsettling.
I immediately turned around, but there was no one there; only the silence of the late hour.
“Shiro, did you sense something just now”
I asked Pochi without looking away from where I was staring; Pochi answered me, her eyes in a sharp stare as well.
“Yes, my nose cant be deceived… Theyre already getting breakfast started!”
Not that, damn it!
Two hours later, after Bright and Ferris had finished their breakfast, I let Pochi have her breakfast first… because she was so dazed that she had seen my hand as a chicken wing.
Young Bright had come to wait in my room, so as to make my bodyguard job easier.
And, well, that might also be an excuse for him to get away from young Ferris, at least for a little while.
“Ow… Howd you even see my hand as food, anyway For the love of God…”
“You can look quite delicious at times, Master!”
Thats just a sign that youre getting hungry, damn it!
“Anyways… Master Bright, is Lady June not awake yet”
Since she didnt get up for breakfast, I could only assume that she was quite exhausted from her journey.”
Well, I could only assume that she had rushed back here with tremendous speed…
After Pochi finished her meal – which included stealing from my portion as well – I had to settle with a single piece of bread as my breakfast.
It wasnt quite enough for a fully grown man, but Ill have to make do.
And as such, todays morning magic lesson began.
“Simulated enemy, Sir Instructor”
For this activity, Shiro will fight the two of you while imitating the abilities of a beast-type monster.”
“Heh, that sounds quite interesting.”
Said Ferris, looking happier than usual, while standing with her hands on her h.i.p.s.
“Would you like to go first, then, Lady Ferris”
“Oh, of course.”
“Shiro, Rank D Hellhound.”
Pochi took a brief glance at me.
It felt as if she was questioning whether I was sure that she should do it.
I was sure, though – it wouldnt mean anything if this exercise wasnt carried out against a theoretically unbeatable opponent.
“Here I go!”
Right at the beginning of the match, Ferris rushed at Pochi with her staff, aiming for the latters nose.
However, even though Pochi was holding back, she still was imitating the strength of a D-ranked monster; Ferris couldnt hope to defeat her now.
“Ngh – take this! And this!”
Young Ferris breath grew more and more disordered as Pochi continued to mess around with her.
“Stop… dodging… around…!”
In an instantaneous movement, Ferris switched the staff from her right hand to her left and then swung at Pochi.
“Not goosh enuff!”
Not good enough – was what Pochi wanted to say, if not for the fact that she had to catch that swing right in her mouth.
Pochi held on to the weapon, and just like that, snatched it away.
For a moment, Ferris looked miffed at the outcome – only for a moment.
She had grown over the past half-month, after all.
Back when she had started out, she probably wouldnt have accepted defeat, but now she was perfectly aware of her limits.
She went to sit in her chair, making way for the next participant, Bright.
The boy held up his staff and bent down his legs slightly – that was probably his battle-ready stance.
I nodded at Pochi as a sign to allow her the first move.
And so Pochi did – she leaped toward Bright, closing the distance between them, but the boy dodged her easily enough.
Ohh, he drew that Circle with one hand!
Great choice, too – that allowed him to nail down Pochis movements, which would otherwise be too difficult to read due to how she was constantly side-stepping.
Pochi flipped in the air and dodged the elementary-level spell, and then dug her heels into the ground as she landed.
…But then the next moment, she took a step back.
What just happened And why am I feeling some sort of intense pressure coming from the mansion
Only Pochi and I noticed that, so young Bright took that chance to close his distance.
Pochi moved her head to dodge the swing, and then aimed to snatch the staff away with her mouth, just as she had down with Ferris.
Im feeling the pressure again!
Searching for its source, I looked up at the second floor of the mansion, where the most of it seemed to have been unleashed from.
Is there someone staring at us… from that window
Once I focused my eyes, I saw June observing the match there, emitting an indescribable aura while clinging to the glass window.
Oh, I see… she was worried for her little brother – so much so that she was directing hostility at Pochi, his opponent.
Ah, the window just cracked…