Im Guile… the leader of Master Polcos prided convoy guards.
Well, technically were a group called the Kugg Boars, but guard duties are pretty much the only thing were doing right now.
We were on our way to escort Master Polco back to Kugg Village when we met a strange Mage and wolf-dog duo.
It was a curious sight, someone having a beast as his Familiar amidst the current world situation.
We were condescending toward those two at first.
Learning magic wont do any good to a normal human, especially someone as young as the kid hes teaching.
Thats just common knowledge.
Of course, there are above-average mages around, like our Master Polco, but theyre the exception.
Though Master Polco himself did have to struggle through a lot when he was young, too… apparently.
But now, hes so powerful – so much so that everyone around him acknowledges how great he is.
Hes that awesome.
The wolf-dog was always the first to warn us of incoming danger.
Shes got the nose of a beast – we werent stupid enough not to trust that, at least.
One time, we were rushed by a group of B and A-ranked monsters.
Theyre quite a common sight these days, what with the Devil King expanding his influence.
Bloodthirsty fiends, the lot of them.
Although I saida group, their numbers actually werent that many.
Considering that, I let the rest of my crew take the credit of mowing them down.
Then I realized it – those two slipped through my crews blind spots, and the mage drew his Spell Circles with blinding speed.
From the way he did things, I knew that he was no normal man.
Not only that, his moves were so refined that ours looked crude in comparison.
Yeah, the dudes not just some random mage.
He knew how to move like a warrior – a mage that stood above warriors, so to speak.
Just one fight.
That was all it took for all my crew to change their opinion on him – no, THEM.
The wolf-dog was powerful, and so well-trained that none of us could consider herwild.
That didnt come from her kinds innate strengths, either.
Whereas others could only expect to bring out the same level for only a few moments, she fought at peak power constantly – tearing through the horde of deadly monsters like it was a walk in the park.
I didnt know whether or not the mage was aware of that, but that was as perfect as the beasts kind got.
The wolf-dog herself must have gone through a great deal of training and hard work, too.
We used to laugh in our own time about how the Fulbright boy was starting to learn magic, but if that guy was the one teaching him, the boy might very well be going places in the future.
He did give off a bit of a distant feel, though… but I guess that was just me.
I didnt need to talk to him much to trust him.
Thanks to all that, our journey to the Royal Capital went without a hitch.
Yeah, the place that even Young Lady Ferris rarely got to enter.
Could he have seen something in him, being fellow mages
My employer is a prudent man.
It really doesnt matter what I think, but… it WAS rare to see him like that, I can say that much.
Once we reached Kugg Village, those two went out to explore the area surrounding the village; meanwhile, I was told by Master Polco that Young Lady Ferris would be studying magic under the dudes guidance.
I never thought Young Lady Ferris had that much of a knack for magic, but that was Master Polcos choice, and the dude was the one teaching.
I agreed to that without any objecting, judging that there probably wont be any trouble.
And now, theyre back.
For some reason, the wolf-dog is wearing the dudes glasses.
Shes just passing through, nothing to it.
But… whats up with the pressure shes emanating
Its like the density of her arcane energy, or the existence of that energy itself has changed… or something like that.
It hasnt been very long since we met, but I do have a general grasp of the wolf-dogs abilities.
What could have changed during their short walk outside
Just look at the dude running in after her – he hasnt changed at all.
Low-profile as ever, footwork as splendid as ever.
Ill have to learn from his example.
Well, I guess one thing different about him now is that hes not wearing glasses.
…And now, it looks like the rest of my crew have noticed how the wolf-dog has changed, too.
All of them would turn to look at her once they saw her pass by.
If its not my eyes playing tricks on me, then shes got an earth-shattering concentration of arcane energy around her.
That dude… no, both of them – who the hell are they
Its not that I doubt the, but… its just strange.
Yeah, strange is the word.
Looks like the dude is in a good mood today.
As for why… Ive heard that Young Lady Ferris intermediate magic final examination ended with favorable results.
Id never expected the young lady to ever reach that stage.
He used to say that it wasLady Ferriss talent, but shes already had a few teachers brought in to teach her magic in the past… and failed.
Yeah, maybe I shouldnt mention that.
And thanks to her bad temper, even Master Polco used to have second thoughts about teaching her… The dude sure is one hell of a teacher, huh
Ive asked a while ago how old he was, and he said he was eighteen.
The wolf-dogs face made an odd twitch then.
And the dude looked even younger than what boys that age would, but it was such a small thing to lie about…
At night, an express messenger arrives for Master Polco.
We have the messenger wait at the gate, while I head straight to report to Master Polco.
Master Polco comes out himself and reads the letter, then proceeds to give me his orders.
Hes needed at Regalia posthaste – thats what the letter said.
I call over some of my best guys who are about to start their night shifts, assigning them as Master Polcos escorts.
I must spare some to keep watch on Young Lady Ferris and the Fulbright boy as well, so I make the best split I can out of the situation.
Master Polco seems to understand, too; after giving everyone some simple instructions, he immediately set the carriage on its way to Regalia.
One thing that surprised me was that he gave the dude his permission to use the Limit Breakthrough magecraft Circle.
That also means hes letting another houses servant into the main building – now I wonder if Master Polco has felt the strange sense of trust in the dude, just as I have.
I think it over as I watch Master Polco leave; once back in the house, I see that an unthinkable incident was waiting for all of us.
Young Lady Ferris and the Fulbright boy… have disappeared.
No wonder the wolf-dog is screaming.
I sure as hell would like to scream, too.
I immediately form a search team with all of my available crew – even waking up the sleeping guys as well.
Im also concerned about those two screaming behind me… but not for reasons concerning the current situation.
Out of the available crew, the ones best fit be leaders are… Kadaff and Linnets, I guess.
Once everyone has gathered around, the main buildings door slams open.
Its those two.
“You find out anything, Poer!”
“Yes; I think its likely that Lady Ferris and Master Bright have gone to the Blazing Dragons mountain!”
I doubted my ears at first, but its definitely not normal for those two to panic.
I immediately order Kadaff and Linnets to take care of the house.
Again, the situation were facing is NOT normal… and Im still young, even if not as young as the dude.
All right, there shouldnt be any problem.
All thats needed now is… people to go bring back those two kids.
“Poer! Lets go!”
“Huh! Youre going with us, Guile!”
As if Ill send someone younger than me to his death!
“All right, then! Get on!”
Whoa, shes releasing even more arcane energy when shes gigantified.
Hmm… her fur feels pretty damn good, too.
“Full speed ahead, you bastards!”
Dont any of you die on me, guys.
“All Up: Count 3 & Remote Control!”
I gaze at the Blazing Dragons mountain… and then my memory just kind of slips away.
Im unconscious, I guess… and I think Im hearing the dude shout something…
Something about a bean man… or maybe thats just me mishearing things.
Yeah, the way hes saying something weird amidst this serious situation.
Then I wake up, and realize that Im lying on the ground.
I get up, and what immediately enters my eyes is… a really ridiculous sight.
“Poer, dude… seriously”
The Blazing Dragons mountain… its on fire.
I can see the Blazing Dragons glaring at us – theyre super pissed.
Man, is this… is this where we die No, no… I cant let the dude go so soon.
I mean, hes just eighteen.
This eighteen-year-olds got a bright future ahead of him – way brighter than mine…
I have to… I have to do something!
“I wouldve liked to ask you to go with them and watch their backs, but…”
“Nah, Im just pullin your leg.
You think Id let you fight alone That said… theres only so much I can do when theyre flying, you know”
“…I have an idea.”
For some reason, Im not getting a bad feeling from this dudes smile.
Does he have a trick up his sleeve I cant think of anything myself, so I guess thats the only way to go.
“…Lets hear it.”
“Blazing Dragons are known to be mindful not to attack their own kind.
Considering their size, only four or five of them can surround us at a given moment.”
Oh, I see…
“You need a decoy…”
Id like you to bait that group of four or five Dragons and direct them to where I need.
That way, the rest wont come at us – they have to wait their turns.”
Man, the dudes making his outrageous plan sound so easy.
“And while they wait, youll shoot down all of them.”
“To be honest, itll be quite tough acting as the decoy.
If you dont want to do it, we still have time to-“
“-Things will get easier when that wolf-dog comes back, right Ill do it.”
I havent got much of a future anyway.
If Im going to die, Id rather have it be in a blaze of glory.
Not that I plan to die here, of course.
Right – I want to go for a drink with the dude.
With that in mind, I speak up,
“But I need you to promise me one thing first.”
“…What is it”
“…Buy me a drink when all this is over.”
“Nah, Id rather not.”
Why not Does he not drink
Well, just food is fine, I guess.
Lets see if hell take that-
“Instead, Ill have Lady Ferris treat all of us.”
“Pfft… hahahaha! Thats a good one! You know what, Ill be there for you when you break the news to the young lady, man!”
We havent gotten to talk much, but man, hes a real riot sometimes.
Now Im really looking forward to the party.
Hmm Well then, looks like those oversized lizards are tired of waiting.
“…About time, huh”
“I dont think youll be able to shoot down hundreds of them in one go, though.
And itll be all over if they see you, right”
“Rise, Invisible Illusion!”
And… hes gone.
Ive never seen a spell like this before.
“Heh, so you can do that, too.”
“Oh, I sure can.
Rise, All Up: Count 2 & Remote Control!”
“Man, I can never get enough of this.”
Im not sure if this is the same spell that he cast on me a while ago, but with it, Im sure Ill get through the fight a lot more easily
…Whew, now Im getting chills.
Not that I cant do this, though.
Just have to trust my instincts.
Has always worked before, will always work from now.
“Theyll be coming from all directions! Watch out for their Purgatory Breaths! Be on high alert at all times – and remember, you can use their bodies to your advantage while escaping, too!”
“I got it!”
His voice pushing me forward, I slam down my feet – as if to suppress my shaking knees – and charge ahead.
All right! Its all right! I can do it!
This attack… I can take it! Hell, I can even push it back!
Now theyre trying to hit from both sides… Dodge! Hell yeah!
Now from above… a breath attack! So the Blazing Dragons are careful not to hit their own kind, huh!
Yeah, no problem! My body works way better than usual – and my head, too!
One more coming behind me.
That makes five…!
Now, you little **s… Ill have you stay around for a while!