“Excellent job, Sir Poer.
I had never expected Bright to improve his abilities so much.
Lady Ferris, too.”
“Yes, I had my doubts at first, but by having her and Master Bright together, they were able to provide each other with a good motivational factor.”
In fact, those two were remarkably compatible with each other.
Bright has been resisting Ferris bullying antics to the best of his abilities, and Ferris has been keener and keener to show him her good side.
Would have been a better fit if they had their genders swapped, though…
“As we had agreed upon, your reward will be given in gold.
Make sure to collect the payment from Alfred later.”
“Now, let me ask – how did you like your job Would you be willing to keep on teaching Bright the ways of the arcane arts”
“Might I take that offer as a positive evaluation of my work thus far, milady”
All right, things are heading in a good direction.
With this, she might be willing to hear out this selfish request of mine…
“If so, then I would like to make a request…”
“What could it be As long as it is viable, I will be happy to oblige.”
“It concerns Master Brights level.
Up to now, he has been able to cast spells with my assistance – which is practically abusing a loophole – but it will be difficult for his abilities to grow if his own level stays the same.
I would like to go on low-level monster hunts and get hands-on combat experience… Could you please allow that”
June crossed her arms and fell silent.
That fact wont ever change no matter what era it was.
I was fully aware of how much June doted on Bright, but the boy would never grow up if things stay this way.
I would like for June herself to move out of the comfort zone, too… I wonder if she is willing to do that
“…I understand what you are suggesting, Sir Poer.
But you see, if-“
“-Enough with the ifs and buts!”
Ferris slammed the reception rooms door open and let herself in.
…Followed by young Bright, falling forward with the opening of the door; it seemed that he had been listening in on our conversation.
“Lady June! Bright wont ever get anywhere if you keep up that attitude when it concerns him!”
“Well… its because Bright is so adorable! Would you not agree, Lady Ferris”
“Im speaking for us both him and me here – if we dont get stronger, well never be able to keep ourselves safe!”
“Listen, Bright needs me as much as I need him.
I will protect him myself.”
“Then what has he been training for over the past month! Did you have him learn all that magic just to keep him entertained!”
“That is not what I meant! …But- wha-!”
“What in the blazes!”
Alongside the quaking of the ground, I felt a pulsation in the pit of my stomach.
That was quite a strong tremor… Could it be…
“The Devil Kings… fetal form…”
Ferris, normally the strong-willed one, was now crouching down and hugging her elbows.
On the other hand, Bright, usually the faint-hearted one, was now supporting Ferris by holding her shoulders.
“Sister… I would like to go along with Instructor Poers suggestion.
He had quite a strong, unyielding look in his eyes – I couldnt tell what June thought of that.
One thing I was sure of, however, was that she felt how much the boy had grown over the past month.
At any rate, I had never expected the Devil King to have already come this far through the Fetal Stage…
Overwhelming arcane energy pressed me down by my shoulders.
It felt as if my heart organ was being squeezed at directly… as if I was just half a step away from death.
It was so powerful that I could barely keep myself standing.
Pochi must be covering her eyes and cowering under my bed right about now… I should go help her out.
“Yes, you may…”
“Hey, Shiro! You feeling all right down there!”
As I had expected, her muffled voice came from under the bed.
“Cmon, theres no need to worry now.
The Devil Kings resurrection is still far off.
All we need to do is get stronger by then!”
Well then, it looks like shes genuinely scared.
Its her bestial instincts making her s.e.n.s.i.t.i.v.e to this sort of threat, I suppose.
Her voice was a little shaky – quite a rare occurrence for someone like Pochi.
“Soooo… come help me out here, will ya”
“…Yeah, I need you out here because Im so useless!”
Shes starting to move out from under the bed – just the tip of her nose for now.
“What is it… Pochi”
“Promise me… that you wont ever leave me behind…”
I was at a loss of words.
Could it be because this was the first time I had ever seen Pochi this timid
Wait, no – it was because of our time together.
Pochi had said what she did because of how long we had been – so long that one could consider it an eternity.
Right… a long, long time… I was at a loss of words because she was the oldest friend I ever had.
“…I should be the one asking you that.”
That was the best reply I could muster up now – barely got it out, even.
Pochi withdrew back under the bed, pulling in the beds sheet with her and ruffling it up… and then leaped out as if nothing had happened.
She headed to the window, and said with her back facing me,
“Come on! Its about time for afternoon classes, so get ready, Master! Dont just stand there!”
Then she hopped down to the garden.
“…Heh, didnt know she could be THAT scared.”
She must have felt a great deal of pressure from the powerful, virtually universal presence that was the Devil King.
Well have to make ourselves stronger as soon as possible.
At the very least… up to the level where we can stand on equal ground with Giorno and Lylia…
When the time for afternoon classes came, young Ferris insisted on staying in her room.
‘I just need this one day off, she said, refusing to come out.
Neither I nor Bright could convince her otherwise, so we carried on with the lessons by just the two of us – its been a while since wed last done that.
Considering his arcane energy pool, it would be a while off until I could teach him intermediate-level spells, but that didnt mean I had already run out of things to teach him.
We still could go more in-depth, covering spells effects, range, viable targets, such and such.
Moving on from classroom theories to real application was a technique I had always used for myself, too.
Seeing how young Bright had already perfected his understanding of the fundamental elementary-level spells, though, I would assume that he wanted to take things to the next level right about now.
Hes looking quite eager too, from what I could see.
While I was having trouble making a choice after seeing Bright like that, June approached me.
“Is something the matter, milady”
“Its about the low-level monster hunts we discussed earlier, you see…”
Lets see it, then…what effect did young Brights resolve have on her
“I would like to send him up north.
The level of danger should be relatively low there.”
Brights expression instantly brightened up as he ran up to give June a hug.
Although she briefly smiled, by the time she looked at me again, June had the look of a warrior in her eyes.
“I am currently unable to leave this house.
Can I trust you to keep him safe, Sir Poer”
That surprised me quite a bit.
I hadnt expected her to be this trusting of me after such a short period of my employment.
…Ill have to let her know how grateful I am, and also live up to her expectations.
“Yes, you can count on me.”
I bowed deeply.
Still, the north… The north of Brunnera… Could we be heading in the direction of Radeata and Regalia
“You will depart the day after tomorrow.
Jetta will be there to look after Bright as well.
You will hear from the people of House Adams for further instructions.”
“…House Adams, milady”
“Sir Polco Adams is the only one I can trust with this procedure, you see.
On the day of your departure, you will be heading north together with Sir Polco and his escort.”
“Lady Ferris will be joining us as well, I assume”
“But of course.
House Adams is based in Kugg, a village to the west of Regalia.
Since Sir Polco would be returning home, its only reasonable for his daughter to go together with him… Oh, is something the matter, Bright”
I understood very well how the boy Bright was feeling as he dropped to his knees while hugging June.
Still, somewhere near Regalia, huh… Assuming that the Holy Emperor is living there now, the region must be relatively safe.
This means Ill be moving farther and farther away from Sodom, too.
I suppose it would be better to consider that as on par with my current skill level.
According to the information I had heard in town the other day, the Devil King had entered his Fetal Stage last year.
And since well be going somewhere with lots of low-level monsters, I sure would like to try some things out…
“Thinking about some weird stuff again, Master”
“Oh… you know me so well, eh, Shiro”
At any rate, weve got to get stronger.