On our way back to the innTougenshuku, where we were supposed to meet up with Polco…
A certain woman appeared before us, with a shopping basket in one hand, a little girls hand in the other.
Us and them – we both looked at the other, and eventually blurted out the same idiotic-sounding utterance of realization, then hopped back a step.
“Oh, my… Its been a while, hasnt it, Poer-boy Hello, Shiro… and Chappie, was it”
“Well, well… If it isnt Chiquiata! …You look like youre getting along well, hmm”
Chiquiata, still holding hands with Myans after the hop, shyly let go of the kids hand.
Looks like Dīnō isnt with them this time.
Pochi and Chappie had been able to enter Eddo, but I suppose the inspectors were not about to let a monster of Dīnōs size in – or maybe it was still keeping watch at the checkpoint.
Hmm, at least shes got her guard fully up now, unlike before.
Thats only reasonable, though – wed gotten much stronger than before, and Chiquiata was currently the only viable combatant on their side.
Myans seemed to have improved at the same rate as Bright, but she was still no match for us now.
If a fight were to break out, Pochi alone might be more than enough, even.
“Those clothes look great on you.
Even better than your usual outfit.”
“Thanks, I guess.
Howd you get into the town, anyway”
“I cant see anything, Teacher.”
“You just stay there and be quiet.”
Chiquiata stopped Myans as the latter tried to sneak a peek.
Meanwhile, Pochi whispered into my ear,
“Master, this feels kinda awkward to say now, but its like both us and them are in the wrong place at the wrong time…”
“Mother, I feel like shouting the bawk word as well.”
Chappie didnt seem to understand the meaning of the word – didnt use the right ones, even – but hes got the spirit of it.
Our opponents are technically at a big disadvantage now, but it wont be good for us to stay here for long.
Im really feeling like bawking like a chicken right now… that ought to help relieve some stress, right
Its like… dealing with a human opponent is already bothersome enough, and I really dont feel like starting a battle with such an accidental encounter.
First off, lets try to be upfront with them and run, I guess.
Look over there.”
“What is it, Master”
“What is it, father”
“Its the sunset… so orange, so beautiful…”
“So orange, sir…”
I pointed to the sky and explained what I saw as I saw it, with Pochi and Chappie following up with their shoddy improvisations.
“…Uh, so were doing this or what”
With me unable to tell her this straight verbally, while her student is watching, I instead initiated a Telepathic Call with Chiquiata and stated:
[“We really cant fight at this place and time.”]
[“Well get you next time…”]
I almost erupted when the same line I had said to Chiquiata came back to me.
[“Consider this a favor, then,”]
I replied with a refreshed tone… She didnt reply to that.
After that, the rest of the way back to Tougenshuku, Pochi was breathing heavily from her nose, seeming quite happy.
“Ahh, that felt GREAT! Wed had so much trouble fighting them last time, but now were the ones letting them go! Its the best, Master!”
“Im also quite hyped by the act of letting go of enemies stronger than us!”
For now, I decided not to make a comment about the latter needing to fix his understanding of certain vocabulary.
Its better to consider that as proof that we had gotten stronger… Its better than nothing, at least.
I had never meant to poke my head into high-level political issues here; and killing or injuring someone when its not a serious conflict, is going to leave quite a bad aftertaste.
Not that Id deny this whole situation being a serious conflict, but it really hit me after we had battled Maüs and his Laughing Foxes team… In the thick of it, I hadnt thought much of anything since the situation was indeed dire, but thinking about it after the fact, well, it was not good.
And if I were to say Id have an easier time if they were monsters… then monster-made-Familiars would be angry at me, but it would be easier to justify nonetheless – be it to protect our own people or to secure our livelihoods.
People might call me naive, but words are cheap – and Im fine with that for now.
“How naive! That wont do at all, Instructor!”
Oh no, I think my heart is about to break.
Once we were back at the inn, we talked to Polco and Bright about the incident, resulting in Bright grilling us down with quite a stern look.
It felt like I was being coached by my student.
Pochi was already hanging his face down, while Chappieshype had long gone into the negatives.
Polco has been chuckling the whole time, though, so I wonder if Brights way of thinking was just something unique to the aristocracy of this era.
Well, no – I DO know that I was in a difficult situation where my life was being threatened.
Perhaps I had acted too carelessly, thinking back.
Wait, no, but then again, maybe yes, I mean, no-
When Brights sermon of complex mindsets and ideals had died down, Polco finally came to the rescue.
“Settle down, young Bright.
Young Poer didnt necessarily mean any harm.”
“But Master Polco-“
“-Besides, adventurers are free to live their lives as they please.
Keep in mind that we cannot measure them by our standards, yes”
“…That is right, sir.”
Pochi and Chappies faces instantly lightened up.
Now thats our man Polco.
Hes always been showing the Senate leaders whos boss.
His command over his speech is quite astounding.
Thanks to his terrific rescue, Pochi was now smiling, and Chappie looked happy, too.
“Still, Sir Poer…”
“It doesnt mean that you have been forgiven for your mistake – the mistake of letting slip the enemies of young Bright, your target of protection.”
The man, who had just given off the air of forgiveness moments ago, promptly cut me off.
“I thought it was a non-issue, of course, but your employer is of a different opinion.”
I practically saw the ogre-like face of enraged June manifest behind Polco, in contrast to the latters refreshed smile.
This man… did he just tell June all about it through a Telepathic Call
“Apparently, shes docking your pay.”
My Familiar promptly shouted out.
In her brain, shed had the wordmoney directly linked to hereating habits, no doubt.
“HAHAHAHAHA! Now, perhaps I ought to help you out by upping the pay on my side…”
Considering the mans personality, hed probably done that on purpose.
Perhaps the exchange hed be calling for was the safety of Leon, the kid sleeping peacefully in my shirt.
Yeah, Im sure thats what itll be.
Pochi gleefully ran to Polcos side- wait,
“Hey, isnt your Master supposed to be ME!”
“Oh, no, what a blunder! Wait- maybe not!”
This is bad… All Im seeing in her eyes are food and more food.
Finally, when the matter was settled, Polco left Tougenshuku, saying he would find another place to stay.
I had told him it was dangerous, but he would not listen to me, so instead, I had him agree to tell me his location once he settled on a place.
As long as we knew where he was, we would be able to provide backup in case of danger.
Chiquiata must have not yet been aware of Polcos visit to Toued, after all.
Speaking of which, what was the prophecy that Polco and Bright had heard about, I wonder
Would they tell us if we were to ask them Well, probably not – we ought to leave Bright alone for the time being.
As long as he doesnt ask about our part, its probably not a good idea to pry into his.
Ah, right, almost forgot…
I probably should erase the Teleportation Spell Circle that Polco had come through.
Itd be quite bothersome if someone were to get on it accidentally.
Thanks to some more tinkering at some point, I suppose I could say that the spell had finally been completed.
I had made it so that people with malicious intent toward me would not be able to get the Circle to work.
Quite splendid, if I were to say so myself.
I held up my Torrent Dragon Staff and approached the Teleportation Spell Circle.
But then something strange happened – even with my arcane energy and deliberate intervention, I couldnt dispel it.
“Is something wrong, Master”
“…Someone from the Adams house side is using this Spell Circle…”
“Wouldnt that mean someone has broken into your room, Master!”
Feeling the air grow tense, I nodded to Pochi.
Who in the world was it that had noticed the Spell Circle under the bed
Anyway, itll be alright.
Only those without malicious intent can invoke the- huh Its starting up!
The Teleportation Spell Circle radiated light over the whole room, signifying its invocation.
The one who appeared from the light, and proceeded to take a look around, was the young lady of the Adams household.
“Hmm, so Im in Toued now Looks like a fun place!”
Someone, anyone, please help Bright.
Hes hiding in my mantle again.