Chapter 219, A New Encounter
“AAAHHHHHH! What’s with that ox, sir! It’s almost as big as Tūs!”
“Ahh, you’re right.
Should be about six meters long, I think But don’t worry about that, Shiro.”
“Wh-what do you mean, sir! Do you have a secret plan or something!”
Pochi promptly cheered up, I grinned at her.
“It’s not stronger than Tūs, at least!”
“NOOOOOOOOO! Isn’t that thing, you know, a Heavenly Beast! The one called Crimson King Ox! If I fight it, I’ll die for sure!”
“Bah, I really gotta spell it out for you, huh Just listen and stop worring…”
“Ohh! Do you have a secret trick or something, sir!”
Pochi stopped crying instantly, I grinned at her again.
“You’re a Heavenly Beast, too!”
I winked at Pochi, and her tears streamed out in parabolic arcs… yes, like a fountain.
How does she even do that
After a few… dozens of the roughly the same back-and-forths, we were back at the inn, where I proceeded to feed Leon some milk.
“Bah, and that’s my sightseeing trip ruined! I’m seriously pissed off, sir!”
“If anything, I’m glad that you haven’t started running for your life already.
“Yes! I knew you had it in you, mother!”
“Yah-! You mean it! Ehehehe…”
Pochi chuckled to herself, coming off as kinda… creepy.
But I’m more concerned about Chappie’s following silence.
“… What’s wrong, Chappie”
“I saw the ox’s eyes as it turned away – it definitely is an enemy!”
Now that’s rare.
It’s the first time since Leon’s diaper that Chappie has shown any hostility to anything other than monsters that were clearly trying to kill him.
…Hmm Now wait a second… If I remember correctly, there’s actually some legends floating around about Heavenly Beasts having turf wars among themselves.
Could Chappie have been subconsciously influenced by that
But Pochi didn’t seem to have the same reaction, though… Ugh, I don’t get it.
“Anyway… you two really like wearing those, huh”
“Those sunglasses, I mean.”
Pochi had put it on again after she was done crying, and Chappie had it always on.
“I say this is a must-have item for Violet Phoenixes everywhere, sir!”
“I very much like it, yes! This is a wonderful item, gifted to me by my father.
I’ll treasure it forever!”
“O-okay… glad you two like it.”
“Yeah, you too, Leon.”
Leon’s expression of amusement was so soothing that I almost smiled.
However, a disturbing flicker of arcane energy stopped me from doing so.
“Shiro, you feeling what I’m feeling”
“Yes, of course, sir.
This is… quite terrible, isn’t it”
“Yeah, it’s his arcane energy being disturbed… like when you’re begging for food, Shiro.”
“Wha- my energy control has never been this bad, sir!”
Yeah, and her already monstrous appetite still doesn’t measure up to THIS, either.
Pochi is sitting on a chair near the window, looking outside while holding up her sunglasses, what with it sliding off her nose so often.
So… It’s been a little over half a day since we arrived in Regalia.
And we’re finally being followed by… someone.
It’s quite surprising how much the Douglas household’s fighting power has decreased in one go, though.
They’re not highly skilled like Mu’myou or Chiuata… which makes me wonder whether or not they actually are after us.
In fact, this presumed pursuer’s level is even lower than that of Bright’s, so I reckon it won’t be too hard to maneuver around them.
Not that the enemy had many options, I suppose.
I don’t know what Chiquiata did after she left, but the rest of her raid team must still be in T’oued.
Does this suggest that the raid team and Mu’myou are the Douglas household’s entire fighting force Thank God if that’s the case…
“Well, just to be perfectly safe… I suggest that we take turns keeping an eye on our stalker there.”
“I’ll go first, then.”
“Really, Chappie Not that I’ll stop you, but are you sure you can do it”
“I can handle someone of that level, no problem.”
It’s not as if I thought Chappie wouldn’t be up for it – I was just somewhat surprised by his initiative.
I suppose it’s the Violet Phoenix instinct inducing in him the desire to be independent.
That would be understandable.
Pochi and I decided to take a nap just before dark, leaving Chappie to keep watch.
And then, once we woke up-
“Now this is strange.”
“Strange, indeed, sir.”
“That’s right, Leon.
Chappie isn’t here.”
I said as I cradled Leon and squeezed his hand.
“-Wait, we’re not supposed to be sitting around! Where’d he go!”
“Huh Master, isn’t that…”
I looked out the window where Pochi’s paws were pointing, and saw Chappie, with his huge wings, flying in circles high in the sky.
What is he doing up there
“Ah, he’s coming back, sir!”
Chappie, perhaps noticing that we were awake now, descended and entered the room through the window.
“Good ‘morning’, mother, father.”
“I was worried, you know, waking up to see that you weren’t here.
Did something happen”
“Actually, yes – there’s someone keeping watch outside of the inn.
Some other suspicious people have been walking in front of the inn regularly, too, so I went to get a look at them from the sky.”
Man, he’s doing his job quite well.
Very good, very good.
Now I feel like punching my past self for doubting Chappie a while ago.
…And perhaps sensing my thoughts, Pochi proceeded to poke my cheek with one of her nails.
That kinda hurt, actually… But then Pochi lowered her head, she probably knew what would follow.
…So I flicked her on the forehead.
Then I beamed her a broad grin, and then she-
“That hurt! Can’t you dial it back a bit, Master!”
…Shouted at me, covering my face with her spit.
I proceeded to quietly wipe my face.
Looks like I’m not used to controlling my Holy Warrior power yet – I’ll have to be careful when tending to Leon.
Whoops, it’s about time to go.
Feeling the alarm of my Biological Clock magecraft, I jumped out through the window, leaving Pochi to take care of things in our room.
“…Whew, looks like we made it out unnoticed.
Well, if Chappie could sneak around them, there’s no reason we can’t, I suppose.”
“Yeah, Asley is getting pretty strong now!”
I hopped from one roof to the next, all the while talking to Leon, with him giggling back.
Polco’s instruction was to go to… the lake north of Regalia, I believe.
…Wait a second.
I don’t remember there being any lakes within Regalia… Well, maybe he meant one outside the city, not in the northern district
Ngh- looks like I misunderstood my order.
I might be running late.
“Master Leon, hang on tight – I’ll be going fast!”
I covered Leon with a shield of arcane energy and focused my strength into my legs.
“Rise, All Up!”
The moment my feet separated from the ground, I cast an enhancement spell on myself, boosting my speed as I efficiently moved northward through the city.
And I’ve just noticed this, but my drawing speed of the All Up spell has improved quite a lot.
I know it’s a benefit provided by MY title, but it’s hard to accept this power as my own, having gained it so suddenly.
It’s kind of frustrating, honestly.
Well, now I can focus on expanding the varieties of my magic and magecraft, I guess.
And that Ox… even Pochi was startled by it, but not me – I didn’t even feel all that scared when I saw it.
Partly since Lylia was the scariest one around at the time, really, but because of my newfound power, I felt as if I could measure up to her.
But then again… Tūs still feels like a wall too tall to cross.
…Damn it, is there even a limit to that bodybuilder’s power
“All right, here five minutes before the appointed time.
Leon is also full of energy even at this late hour, probably because he has been napping just before this.
…And it’ll be one hell of an ordeal to get him to sleep later tonight, I reckon.
Now, let’s see here… according to the sign, this place is… the Regalia Lake.
I don’t remember it being here in my time period.
Perhaps it’s dried up completely over the millennia
Oh Looks like there’s someone sitting there.
He seems to have noticed us already, too.
And he’s not threatening, as far as I can see.
Overall, he comes off as a normally friendly guy.
“H-hello there, sir! May I have your name, please!”
Is this some kind of pick-up line of this era
Well, unfortunately for him, I’m not interested in hooking up with guys.
Still, a name, huh… Can’t hurt telling him, right
There’s no one else around here, as far as I can see – he’s probably someone Polco wants to introduce to us, or someone related to the current project.
“My name’s Poer.”
“Oh, so you can introduce yourself now! Nice work, Leole!”
Instantly, the face of the man in front of me changed drastically.
He looked so… jaw-dropping surprised as he proceeded to take a few steps back and kneel down, his movements as if he was some kind of mechanical puppet.
“M-my name is Hatchel! Sir Poer, I have been tasked with asking you for the password, on the occasion that you arrived for the meeting! So please, sir!”
“Ah, well… ‘Adams and Fulbright’…”
“A-answer acknowledged, sir! Hah-hah!”
…I shudder to think how disruptive he would come off as if we were in the city.