We were now at Radeata; on my bed at the inn, we gathered around and spread out a map.
In this era, many inns still allowed the entrance of monsters and beasts; its been a great blessing to us.
It was limited to well-disciplined Familiars, of course.
Bad-tempered monsters and Familiars would spell a great deal of trouble, after all.
And if they were to damage the inns property, the responsibility would naturally fall upon their Masters.
“Mother, father, what did you two think of my performance today!”
“Oh, youve got nice escape maneuvers.”
“Always ready to run away at full speed – now thats our kid!”
Strategic retreats are important, too, you know.
Running away gracefully could make ones opponents think that they had the upper hand, and in the case of human opponents, possibly make them consider it not necessary to give chase.
And thats much more strategically valuable than wasting energy and jumping head-first into danger.
Like that time earlier with Chiquiata…
We hadnt met the whole lot of them since then, but weve been getting some information and rumors.
It seemed that they were providing service to the Douglas household, working with them to strengthen the Reformist Faction.
The Devil Kings resurrection was just around the corner, and it must be hard to find someone whos willing to cooperate with the Nation; could they have been paid a large sum of money for their work
“By the way, Master, are you sure about not heading there from Brunnera Shouldnt it be faster to zip there first, then head to Toued, sir”
“Well, Master Polco did say that its faster to head east from Radeata, you see.
So after heading south, well then… Hmm”
Everyone tilted their heads in response to my abrupt pause.
Oh, man… shes sure quick to call me today.
“Is something the matter, Master”
Pochi understood what Id meant; Bright and Chappie turned to look at each other.
[“Sir Poer! Werent you supposed to contact me sooner!”]
[“I-It is fundamental for those who swore allegiance under the Holy Emperors blade to act an hour ahead of time!”]
For in-person meetings, perhaps, but I hadnt known that the ahead-of-time courtesy applied to instant calls as well.
Interesting… Ill write it in the Principles of a Philosopher, just in case.
“Shiro, what is that… book that Instructor is writing in”
“Ah, its a memoir of sorts; he calls it the Principles of a Philosopher.
Honestly, its probably just full of nonsense, though.”
It felt as if a suspicious flash of curiosity had run through Brights eyes just now.
Pochi seemed to have noticed that, too.
Still, though… really, Pochi Nonsense In my book As if!
[“So, Sir Poer, is Bright safe”]
[“Yes; earlier today, he valiantly stood with us against the Grand Centaurs-“]
[“Grand Centaurs! What is the meaning of this, Sir Poer!”]
I plugged my ears and turned down the volume of Junes voice.
Normally, Telepathic Calls were sent directly into ones head, but I had been able to tweak it a bit so that it sounded and worked like a normal conversation.
Man, I scare myself with my awesomeness sometimes.
[“Didnt you agree to let Bright fight against only enemies of Rank A or below!”]
[“It was an emergency, milady.
He didnt want to turn away from the Kingrun, either – I say hes m.a.t.u.r.ed quite a lot.”]
On the other side of this telepathic conversation, June must be covering her face and dropping to her knees right about now.
I had considered not reporting on that particular point, but if I didnt, then it would be quite scary if she were to find out herself later.
[“For the record, none of us had expected to encounter a Rank SS monster right before reaching Radeata, either.”]
[“Once there, we plan on heading east.
Lets see… over the Karam Mountain Range – is that right, milady”]
Welp, shes too far gone.
[“Please call me again when youve calmed down.”]
I told her and hung up the Telepathic Call.
Seeing in the way I heaved a sigh how I looked as if the interaction with June had sapped all of my energy, Pochi and Bright then turned to look at each other.
Bright proceeded to smile; it seemed that he could tell Junes reaction.
As expected of close siblings, I suppose.
Pochi does, too… uh, nope, she doesnt.
Shes smiling, sure, but the way shes tilting her head suggests that shes as clueless as ever.
A sound of someones breath is getting… closer
After the call, Id left Pochi on guard duty and gone out for a hunt alone.
Then, when I got back, I was so tired that I went straight to sleep… and Im pretty sure I locked the door
This breath and presence… its not malicious.
Who is it
Chappie No, doesnt seem like it.
And I can hear Pochis snoring loud and clear… Could it be Bright, then
I opened my eyes by a needles width… and sure enough, what I saw was Brights waist.
Hes facing… huh The dresser And hes got a few knick-knacks placed on it.
What is he up to
Relying on the information derived from what I could hear, I kept tabs on young Brights actions, eventually hearing a familiar sound.
The contact of glass and metal.
The glasses I had taken off before I went to bed-
“The lenses are perfectly normal.
And here I thought this pair of glasses were special…”
Oh, but he would be right – they ARE special.
But then again, only Pochi and I know how to invoke the Appraisal Glasses… I suppose theres no need to worry.
“Oh, and where isthat…”
Whatever could he be referring to
While I thought about it, Bright reached into my c.h.e.s.t pocket – wait, what the-
Gah… that tickles!
“Here it is…”
Just as I was about to gasp for breath, young Bright stopped his hand and tookthat out of his pocket.
The Principles of a Philosopher.
My oh-so-precious magnum opus.
I had no intention to hand it over to anyone, but if it were to be inherited or go public, it was sure to shake the world and carve its name into legends.
“It is possible for one to trip on nothing, even on flat ground with absolutely no debris-“
Thats what I had written back when Id had the serious discussion with Tzar.
“Humans tend to easily forget past acts they want forgotten-“
Thiss what Id written the first time Id shown the Principles of a Philosopher to Pochi.
“Humans tend to let their guard down in critical moments, for they are shallow in immediate assessments-“
Man, they all bring back memories-
What did he just say
Okay, I could sit right up now and give him a preaching, but hes probably just joking around.
I only have to watch out for when things actually get dangerous, after all.
Hehehe… such is the way of the respected teacher Asley.
Well, technically Poer now.
Bright closed the book and proceeded to return it into my pocket.
Then he heaved a deep sigh, put his hands on his h.i.p.s, and looked at me… wait, what
“Instructor, its all well and good to pretend to be asleep, but I say you should discipline your students more strictly…”
…What a surprise.
When I opened my eyes, Bright was already in his bed, with his back to me.
Theres no way he knew for sure that I actually was aware of his shenanigans.
Or maybe he did – wouldnt have deliberately said anything tosleeping me otherwise.
Ngh… hes becoming more and more like Warren.
Really feels like Im the one being outwitted here.
Surely its still a matter of the far future, but this still induces within me a… disgustingly nostalgic feeling.
A babys voice echoed through the room in the middle of the night.
Seeing that Leon was out of his blanket, I got up to cover him again and went back to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, young Bright had his usual wonderful smile plastered on his face.
Chappie tried to keep sleeping until the last second, but instantly jumped out of bed when Leon plucked his wings.
And Pochi… is still asleep.
I poked her unnaturally inflated belly; she let out her trademark sleep-groan.
Chappie tried to imitate me, but when he poked Pochi, the pain it caused prompted her to jump right up to her feet.
That must have been quite nice and sharp.
She did cast an auto-recovery spell Recovery Magic on herself beforehand, though, so I reckon theres no need to worry.
After preparing for our departure and having breakfast, we headed to Radeatas east gate, at which we stopped to look up at the Karam Mountain Range.
“So thats the Karam Mountain Range, Instructor”
“We couldve gotten over it quite quickly if he could gigantify, but hes helplessly bad at changing his body size, so…”
As I explained, I looked at Chappie.
“Dont worry, father – give me another two-hundred years and Ill master it!”
“We cant wait that long…”
“Yup, no way!”
Pochi and I answered in succession with the same bitter smile.
I patted Chappies neck as she cast her eyes down in discouragement, then proceeded to hop on the gigantified Pochis back.
Our destination now: Toued.
Technically, Pochi should be able to make it through the Karam Mountain Range on foot within three days, but with Chappie with us, I reckon we would need five.
Not to mention the fact that we have to take care of Leon and Bright as well; the path we tread may be quite unforgiving from this point on.
Which reminds me… back whenthose two escorted me and Pochi to Brunnera, it seemed that they were having a hard time managing us, too.
So this is to be my way of learning
Well, at any rate, our destination is Toued.