With everyone surrounding me in a circle, Pochi was the first to raise her hand.
“All right! Make me a cute girl, sir!”
Oh, I see… Turning Pochi into a human… Right, right… now hol up a minute – theres no way thats gonna happen.
“Nope, no way in hell!”
“Youre a beast and act like one, thats why – I turn you into a non-beast, and your disguise is as good as blown! Besides, I cant do illusion spells that high-leveled.
Youd have better luck asking God for that.”
“Oh, God! Why are you God!”
She actually started praying, and Chappie followed suit, imitating her actions.
I ignored them both and grabbed Bright by his shoulders.
“I-is something the matter… Instructor”
“Master Bright, the heart of this operation rests with you.”
As if he could sense my passionate intentions, Bright quickly regained his composure and looked back at me, his eyes full of determination.
“Anything you need, Instructor – you can trust me to get it done!”
Hes still got those innocent, childish eyes on him.
But Im thankful for that.
Never had I thought he would be so enthusiastic as to sayanything… Ill have to give this my best shot.
Pochi is now throwing a tantrum.
Good thing were at a distance from the enemy, so they didnt notice, otherwise Id have to scold her for her carelessness again.
Well, I had been screaming quite a lot since a few moments ago, too… is it THAT bad
…Referring to this transformation, of course.
“But why! WHY! Do I really have to disguise myself as a heifer!”
“Not like theres any option – when you think of something to pull carts, itd be either oxen or horses, but a little cow is the closest youll look.”
“Then why cant you at least make me a horse, sir!”
“Thats what Id like to do at first, but from what Ive seen through Telescopic Vision, it looked like this Nation uses carts more commonly than carriages.
That, and more oxen than horses.
You know, its like how you gotta hide a tree in a forest, yeah”
“T-this is too much…”
Pochi covered her face with her paws, not even minding the fact that they were covered in dirt.
Shed normally wipe them clean first, so she must hate what shes being subjected to THAT much.
“Im an ox! Look, father! Ive turned into an ox!”
I appreciate the enthusiasm, but Id prefer that you dont talk…
Using an illusion spell applied with the formula of Swindle Sleight, the body of a Violet Phoenix had been changed to that of a jet-black ox.
Being an illusion, it technically wasnt an actual transformation, but since it would deceive the eyes of both those looking at the target and the target themselves, I suppose it could be considered as such.
“Heres what you two will be saying.”
“Master!! Are you messing with me or what! Theres nothing aside frommoo written here!”
Pochi threw the script paper flat onto the ground.
I ignored her, turning around and walking the other way.
Its not like Id had any other choice.
If I hadnt made up something to limit them, theyd probably run their mouths however they pleased.
And normal cows werent supposed to even talk, after all.
Pochi hasnt transformed yet, but thanks to the colors of her fur, changing her form should be relatively easy.
Again, Ive got to ignore Pochi for now, because theres a more important problem…
Its a good thing wed managed to take out a cart that had been kept in the Storeroom, but the problem here was the beautiful boy shivering behind it.
His facial expression was utterly crumbled as he did his best to put up with his new… head.
“This cant be happening…! Whywhywhywhy…! How did I…!”
Today, Bright was failing quite hard at hiding his personality, what with him exuding a great deal of anger from just his mumblings.
I deliberately kicked the pebbles on the ground around as I walked up to him, making it clear that I was approaching.
Bright turned around, revealing the new style his hair had been done into – one that I had seen at one point at the Colorful Food District.
On that occasion, Haruhana had taught me that this beautiful hairdo was called thesix-section, and was worn even by children in this Eastern land.
In styling Brights hair, I had made an illusion-induced wig by remembering the difficult process I had been taught… and watching from afar the heads of the children of Toued.
“Whats the matter,Aki Were about to leave now.”
“Ngh…! Instructor! What is the point of me dressing like a lady!”
“Oh, theres a very good reason for that, Ma- I mean, Aki.
Its because you are the enemys main target, you see Since just your new face wouldnt do the disguise justice, I had to put some makeup on.
Moreover, changing your outward appearance to that of a girl would make them far less suspicious of us.
Fortunately, most of the people of Toued have black hair, so I can say with confidence –Aki will fit right in with my coordination!”
Aki clenched his fists while looking quite frustrated, apparently still not convinced.
In fact, he was squeezing so hard that he might bleed if he were to squeeze any harder.
“..B-but, Instructor… Can you say the same for this dress…!”
Aki grabbed the collars of his dress, openly expressing his dissatisfaction with it.
“Quite impressive, is it not Its made by my senior… in fact, its her masterpiece!”
One of the many Eastern masterpieces that Melchi had made while messing around.
Base color of light green, decorating patterns of autumn leaves.
She had said it was for herself, but had gotten bored of it after wearing it just once, and in the end, she had me put it in my Storeroom.
Well, more like casually dropped it in.
I had tried measuring Akis stature to compare to Melchis, and they turned out to match up quite well.
Perhaps thanks to having worn it for a few minutes already, Aki looked more like an actual girl the more frustration and embarrassment he was showing.
“T-this… this isnt what I came to Toued for… ngh-!”
“This is what you have to do to GO to Toued.
Please bear with it.
Not that I could tell myself, but… I must have laughed at least a bit there.
Creepy, menacing, unsettling… and invigorated.
“You did sayanything I needed and that I couldtrust you to get it done, Aki.”
All had been done in the name of teaching Aki the various ways of the world and its people.
I, on the other hand, wore a dark brown, Eastern-style gown – one withfor Ash use only written on the inner side of its collar – and cast an illusion to alter my appearance.
Pochi, who had been glancing at me to see what kind of face I would get, was quite taken aback by the finished product… and burst into an old mans gnarly laughter.
“Hyahyahya! Its Sir Tūs! A mini-Tūs! Ahahahahahyahyahyahyahya!”
Pochi slapped the ground so hard that she was scattering dust clouds everywhere.
Thats right – I had transformed into Tūs.
The most memorable face Pochi and I had seen ever since we began our journey.
A loathsome face this may be, but the more memorable it was, the easier it was to visualize.
The only modifications I had made were the darker skin tone, and switching his mutilated ears for normal ones.
And the size scaled for my body, of course.
Hmm, this should do nicely.
“…Is there nothing else we could try, sir”
Pochi dropped her shoulders, looking discouraged.
“This is the best my little brain could come up with.”
“Ill just have to live with it, then.”
Pochi understood immediately, while I could not for the life of me understand why she had agreed with that so easily.
But since Pochi seemed to have already resigned herself to fate, lets just not press this matter further.
Pochi proceeded to adjust her body with Gigantification, matching her size with Chappies.
On the cart, I pulled the reins on Pochis side, and Aki sat on a childs seat and pulled on Chappies side – this was how wed be moving.
I proceeded to cast the illusion spell on Pochi – who still looked like she didnt want to do it – turning her into a magnificent, black-and-white, spot-patterned cow.
Fast to act the part, I see… Oh wait, no, I saw tears in her eyes.
Shes actually crying.
And almost immediately following that, she noticed something.
What is it this time, though
I heaved a deep sigh and approached Pochi as she thrashed around, swinging her reins.
“Whats wrong, Shiro”
She shook her head and kept on screaming in pain.
I extend my hand to rub her neck and try to calm her, but then…
She bit me… for some reason.
Okay, this is obviously not normal.
Could the illusion spell have triggered a change in her physical condition
If that was the case, then I, along with everyone else, would have to be careful as well.
Now… what in the world is wrong with her
“E-e-e… e…! EVERYONE CAN SEE MY B.A.R.E C.H.E.S.T!”
…That IS a big problem.