Chapter 227, The Boss
The gigantic boar, nicknamed the Happiness Killer, lazily walked forward and stopped in front of us.
Its shadow cast over Pochi, making her black fur look even darker… Pochi herself seems to like it.
“Check this out, Master! I’m all black! So cool!”
That candy sure is working well.
It actually IS a normal piece of candy, but Pochi’s personality just went and convinced herself otherwise.
From what I’m seeing, the King Happy Killer is level 180, and is named ‘Bull’.
Right, that’s the same name I remember.
Considering its archetype’s characteristics, Pochi may very well lose to it in a fight if she lets her guard down.
In terms of raw power, the King Happy Killer is a Rank SS monster.
But Pochi has the special properties of a Heavenly Beast, which should be strong enough to kill even those overpowered things.
This round is going to be something to keep an eye on, and I have my privilege as a participating Master to watch it up close.
“Master, your orders!”
I’ll have to work with her as well.
Oh-ho, she’s really putting her voice into it.
Even in her fully gigantified form, though, her size still loses to Bull’s.
Looks like she’ll have to use her speed to confuse it.
“Activate Blinding Speed and Flight! Then move around and use Fortify Strength and Fortify Resilience when you can!”
“One more time, sir!”
“…Blinding Speed, Flight, Fortify Strength, Fortify Resilience!”
They’re not as effective as All Up, but Pochi hasn’t learned to use that yet – this is the best she can currently do to boost her own abilities.
Bull unleashed its fighting spirit and hostile intent, prompting Pochi to back away.
That pale earthy aura… it’s Fortify Strength and Fortify Resilience.
It doesn’t look all that fast, but its defenses are definitely off the scales – I’ll have to watch out for that, too.
“Bull~~ Just do it already~~”
Tūs is cheering his Familiar on so half-heartedly… is he really the same guy we know
“You got it!”
Its attack was almost instantaneous.
Bull started things off with a quick, powerful lunge, not unlike how Seki’teigyu did the round before, aiming right at Pochi.
Pochi promptly unleashed a breath attack to adjust her landing position.
If she had been any slower, things might’ve gotten dangerous.
The incoming attack’s power seems quite high.
A prolonged battle would probably be too nerve-wracking for Pochi to handle, what with her being the smaller one physically.
“Shiro! Think you can do this!”
“Of course, sir!”
Now Pochi’s drawing a Circle in her mouth, just like back when she fought Barun.
Her tongue moved around to weave together a formula, which for some reason also makes her eyes move irregularly.
Well, that’s just what happens when she’s concentrating, I guess.
“Whoa… that Familiar’s using magic by itself…”
Tūs on the opposite side of the arena voiced his surprise, and so did the audience.
Bull seems to have been taken by surprise as well.
“Re, Re, Re, O-re! Hype Up & Speed Up!”
Now that rhythmic chant was… great.
Anyway, now Pochi’s speed should be- damn, she’s FAST!
Like, so fast that I’m having a hard time following her.
Okay, looks like Bull can’t keep up with her speed.
Pochi leaped so close to the ground that it almost looked like she was sliding, getting behind Bull and then biting one of its legs.
The flesh covering its body seems to be quite thick, however, so the attack itself didn’t manage to sink in that deep.
But it’s only a matter of time…
“Re, Re, Re, O-re! Power Up & Title Up!”
Pochi has now dished out everything she had that could boost her abilities.
…This is bad.
Now that she’s got her title effects amplified, I can’t follow her with my eyes anymore.
I could use All Up to be able to see what’s going on, but if a participating Master like me were to cast a spell here, I’ll be suspected of cheating… so too bad, but I just can’t do it.
Might as well back away a bit, I guess.
Once I took a few steps back, I finally saw a bit of Pochi’s silhouette and the thread-like outlines of her movements.
Bull is reacting to every hit he takes, but doesn’t seem to have any counter to Pochi’s attacks.
Tūs doesn’t seem to know what’s going on, either.
I did think that Pochi could win this, considering her strength now and her opponents being their weaker past selves, but I never expected her to be this much stronger.
Could she have just acted up all that shaking earlier
…Nah, that can’t be it.
She’s always been that much of a scary-cat… well, dog.
Finally, she dealt a severe wound onto the base of its neck.
She’s been attacking that spot again and again, and now it’s starting to take effect.
Bull, whose body was already strewn with wounds, finally dropped to its knees and curled into a defensive posture.
“Stop! We surrender!”
I clenched my fists upon hearing Tūs voice his surrender.
Being able to use magic sure is a huge advantage in this day and age.
Not everyone would think that to be the case… and besides, the human lifespan is too short for one to teach a Familiar to actually use magic, I guess.
It’s a privilege given to only me and Pochi… and Tūs and Bull as well, as far as I know.
Still, how’d Tūs not recognize me, after eating a crushing defeat like this
I may have been a lanky little guy when I first met him in my time, but then I got this buff while training with him… huh
Could it be that THIS was too much of a pain in the ass for him to remember
…Well, this is Tūs we’re talking about.
That can totally happen.
“M-Master… Everything’s spinnin’ ’round and ’round…”
My Familiar collapsed in front of me.
This doggo… could it be that she’s actually the strongest Familiar in this era
“Hahahaha, you totally outdid yourself, young Shiro! To think that even I couldn’t follow your every move!”
“Ah-ha! I was barely getting used to harnessing that much power myself, sir!”
“That was amazing, Shiro! How did you become so strong…!”
“Well, you see, Master Bright… it’s a secret! HAHAHAHAHA!”
After the semi-final rounds, the finalists were given a two-hour break time.
During this time, the usual people came to visit us in the waiting room.
“So, do you think you can win against Lady Lylia, hmm”
“…Do you think I can, Master”
Pochi asked me, tilting her head.
What, is she gonna not have confidence if I don’t say it
“If you can achieve that much speed and power again… you might win, I guess.”
“That means she must go all out on the very first move, yes”
“That is right, Master Bright.”
I’m not so sure if she’ll have the time to pull everything off, though, being up against Seki’teigyu and all.
Seki’teigyu winning by herself against that Ox does sound a bit too much…
“What’s going on, Master”
Pochi tilted her sunglasses down to reveal her eyes, then scratched her paw on my knees as she looked at me.
“What, you’re gonna keep those sunglasses on for the final round”
“No, of course not.
You’ll have to keep them safe for me, Master.”
Ugh, I don’t wanna…
“By the way, everyone, it seems that you all got to meet with His Majesty – how did that go How does it feel to be face-to-face with the Nation’s ruler”
“Hmm, it was quite a bit stressing, I must say.”
Huh, so even Ferris got intimidated by the aura of authority
I guess that’s normal – considering the things she must have heard and been told up to this point, meeting the real deal for the first time is bound to be nerve-wracking.
“And how did it go for you, Master Bright”
“He was quite amazing! I felt compelled to bow without so much as a prompt, but doing so felt refreshing – that was how charismatic he is.”
The same thing for him, huh.
And to think he might take on a different attitude as he grows older… the flow of time sure is cruel.
Anyway, considering how highly Bright thinks of the Emperor now, it seems like Leon has a very high hurdle to overcome.
“Oh, no, as long as you grow up nice and strong, everything’s all good~~!”
“Huh Did you say something, Instructor”
“No, I didn’t-“
I hurriedly denied the question, and at the same time, someone opened the door.
Hmm, were we expecting anyone else’s visit
In an attempt to dodge Bright’s question, I looked over to the other side of the room, and to my surprise… and everyone else’s, a certain person was indeed approaching us.
Polco’s voice was hoarse – now that’s a tone I don’t hear him take often.
Both he and June stood up the moment they turned around.
Bright and Ferris, once they realized what was going on, promptly knelt down.
Pochi hid behind my legs, as if to shelter herself from the rain… does she think she’s Bright or what
“We’d never expected your visit here and now…”
“If only we’d known, we would have gone to your escort…”
Polco bowed and kept his head low as he spoke.
June then followed suit.
Prince Zaths doesn’t seem to have come along, though, so why has the Empress come to a place like this
Ah, I don’t like the look she’s making at all.
Could it be that she didn’t know that the Adams and Fulbright households’ main members were here
No, that can’t be – I’m participating as a servant representing both houses… but wait, maybe the Empress wasn’t involved enough to know that
“I am simply visiting the finalist Mage whose Familiar has provided an excellent display in their semi-final round… is that out of the ordinary”
Her voice was low, but also quite smooth – so smooth that it drowned out the hostility of her words.
But I definitely felt it.
The Empress’ words were full of unpleasant emotions.
Everyone else must have noticed that, too – not only Polco and June, but also Bright and Ferris.
She clearly doesn’t take kindly to the members of the two households.
Now, what should I do here Maybe I’ll keep an eye on Polco and- huh
“A-ah, you as well, Your Majesty Hahahaha… we have just finished doing exactly that ourselves.
It seems that our lingering here will only be in the way, so I suppose we ought to excuse ourselves now.
Come, Lady June… and kids, you two should be back at your seats soon.
Well then, excuse us, Your Majesty.
They just walked out and swung the door shut behind them… Huh.
“They just ditched her, sir.”
“They totally did.”
Pochi and I whispered to each other, our voices dry.
“And look at you two, buzzing like little flies…”
She got real savage real fast, this woman.
“I am standing right before you, yet you do not kneel.
Never have I met someone, let alone two, who would dare to do such a thing.”
Whoops, totally forgot about that.
She doesn’t have that aura of authority about her, unlike the Holy Emperor.
“I do not necessarily dislike interacting with fools, mind you.”
And that’s another stake to the already irremovable Eternal Fool title in my list.
“My deepest apologies, Your Majesty.
If I had known that you were visiting, I would have made the suitable preparations… Is there anything currently lacking, if I may ask”
“Too much excess dust.
Not enough light.
The air reeks of wild beasts.”
Oh, that last part is Pochi’s doing.
“It is most unsuitable for the breathing.
Resolve this issue immediately.”
Okay, one doesn’t even have to be like Tūs to think this:
Her Majesty is a pain in the ass.