Chapter 257, The Stable Loop of Repayment
[“Master Bright! Why are you– well, I suppose we don’t have time for that now.
I’ve already been informed of your absence by Master Polco, so please return home immediately–“]
[“Yes, I’ll sit through that lecture later.
Right now, please listen to my… no, OUR request!”]
He’s clearly in a hurry… Which means the situation is probably super serious.
[“Please explain, and quickly.”]
[“Chappie has gone with the Violet Phoenix to engage in a duel…!”]
[“And he left you behind”]
Oh, so that’s what happened… I should’ve taught him some better decision-making skills.
In this case, he’d been presented with some serious choices, and decided to protect others at the potentially fatal expense of himself.
That’s worthy of some praise… after a stern lecture, that is.
[“As for the way they went in… Um, where are you now, Instructor”]
“Rise, Magic Connect!”
By casting this spell onto the Telepathic Call’s Craft Circle, I can immediately inform Bright of my physical location.
[“From that location… the mountain to the northeast! Please hurry…! Help him!”]
[“Yes, I understand!”]
Although that was his telepathic voice, I could feel that Bright has gotten rid of a little bit of his villainous tone.
Hmm, so she’s become somewhat more heroic now, eh
Whatever experience he’d been through so far, they probably steered him in a good direction.
“What’s up with that weird grin, Master And who were you talking with”
“Huh, you could tell that I was in a call”
“What’re you saying, sir I just saw you use Magic Connect, that’s why! And besides, subtlety isn’t in your list of expertise, anyway.”
Yeah, Pochi, and you’re the prime example of subtlety…
“Well, who was it”
Seeing Pochi tilt her head, I remembered what I was supposed to be doing, and immediately hopped onto her back.
Yeah, this is no time to be standing around here talking about irrelevant stuff.
“–Wait, don’t jump on me before I’m gigantified, sir!”
“Stop complaining! C’mon, go that way! We gotta hurry!”
I tapped Pochi’s waist, and in response, she groaned and stood up on her hind legs.
As anyone would expect, I fell down, and man… that freaking hurt!
“What the hell! Can’t you gigantify just fine anyway!”
“Some things need to be done in the right order, sir! Try running like a horse, and you’ll understand!”
“This look like the time for that! Any why a horse!”
“I’ll help you, well… sympathize better with Familiars — well, ME, sir!”
Okay, so it’s Pochi being Pochi.
How can she be so carefree when Chappie’s life is in danger Bloody hell…
–Ugh, there isn’t even time to talk about THAT.
I put Pochi on my back and… tried running.
On all fours.
“Y-you’re actually… YOU’RE ACTUALLY DOING IT!”
“HAH HAH HAH HAH! GAH… HAH HAH HAH!”
“Whoa!! And you’re already breathing like a beast!!”
“I’m just out of breath, you stupid dog!”
You’re not supposed to talk, sir! It ruins the coolness of the scene!
“THE HELL! I’M SUPPOSED TO STAY SILENT LIKE A HERMIT OR WHAT!”
“Yes, sir! Like a hermit who’s mastered the art of firebending in the mountains, sir!”
The rest of that until the next scene is… a blur to me.
I kinda feel like Pochi’s slapping my butt and pulling my mantle and stuff… but the only thing actually on my mind right now is getting to Chappie as quickly as possible.
I swear, my path to achieving the Philosopher prestige is weird as all hell…
“Hmph… You’re all talk.”
I see them!
One of them is down on the ground… is that Chappie!
Shit, he’s been beaten up real bad!
“You didn’t seriously think you could defeat me by yourself, did you Now don’t take this personally — it’s the way of our kind.
At least I can make it quick and painless.”
“C-Chappie Mask… is a hero of—“
“–Enough blabbering– what!”
“HAH…! WHEW…! HAH…! WHEW…! HAH…! WHEW…! HAH…! WHEW…! HAH…! WHEW…! HAH…! WHEW…! HAH…! WHEW…! Gah–! A-ahem! H-hey, sorry we took so long, Chappie!”
“Hey, I’m here, too!”
Chappie would’ve seen her too, if only she’d not HIDE BEHIND THAT TREE!
“M-Mother… what is going on here…”
Well, looks like Pochi still can’t bring herself to walk into a fight with another Violet Phoenix.
Is it an effect brought about by changing her Archetype The commandment of their kind
It’s probably deeply rooted in her instincts now.
“Master, you remember that promise, right! Yes, that one!”
Yeah, and no one had ever dreamed of that one promise would bring into this situation again.
…Or maybe Pochi had seen it coming from miles away.
Maybe that’s why she asked me for THAT promise specifically.
And man, that happened when we were on Kamiyama in T’oued, huh Feels like so long ago now…
“You are… the human from– I mean, Poer.
There’s no way I could mistake that arcane energy… What do you want”
“Hey, you remember me Cool.
But you shouldn’t have to ask — I’m here to save my son, that’s what.”
“…The human mind continues to boggle me.
A Violet Phoenix is your son And that wolf-dog is a Violet Phoenix’s mother That makes no sense at all!”
A fair point coming from someone who’s always been upholding the commandment of their kind, I suppose, but…
“Look, I know you’ve got your kind’s rules and whatever to stick to.
Well, so do we — family is family.
How about you stop following Chappie around and we call it a day here”
And I’d really appreciate this bird not impose its views onto us.
The bird is totally hostile… looks like we have no choice but to fight.
“I’ve gotten much stronger since then.
Now, do you think you can protect your little boy with what you have”
“Rise, Sancta Boundary!”
I instantly surrounded Chappie with a force field to block all outside attacks.
“W-when did you–!”
“Well, this whole time! It’s an application of the tongue-drawing technique my dear Familiar came up with — why do you think I’ve been looking around randomly for”
“What! Did you just draw a Craft Circle… with your EYES!”
“Bit of a headache to do, but it makes for a neat party trick, you know”
I taunted Shi’shichou by doing the confident hand-on-hips pose, which got me quite a threatening look from the Phoenix.
“I’ll kill you…!”
In the blink of an eye, Shi’shichou soared high into the sky, then flew around in unpredictable directions at blinding speed.
…Yeah, it’s fast.
Chappie’s fast, too, but the real deal is on a whole nother level — like, it almost looks like it’s teleporting.
That’s on about Pochi’s level whenever she takes things seriously.
So that’s it — even if the Phoenix is lacking in raw power, it will still have the advantage if I can’t keep up with it.
I see it, even if just a split-second — it’s got its wings folded and beak sticking out, diving right at me… and then whisked right past my face.
“…What was that What just happened”
Snapping to a stop behind me, Shi’shichou asked, sounding quite confused.
“Ngh… one more time!”
Changing up its trajectory, now it’s coming at me from behind, and even faster.
Shi’shichou landed right in front of me, and proceeded to turn around, even more confused.
“What did you do! How did I… not land that hit!”
“F-Father… What was that…”
“T-that was creepy, sir…”
Looks like only Pochi saw through my… second spectacle.
Yeah, I’ll call it that.
“Fine, I’ll show you… This is what I did! HMPH!!”
Shi’shichou looks surprised as all hell… and Chappie’s got his eyes sparkling.
“FWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is the ultimate bodybuilder pose! The Most Muscular! For your first attempt, dear Shi’shichou, right before your beak touched my shoulder, I expanded my arm muscles to create an energy wave that made it feel like you landed the hit — I call it the Muscle & Magic Control! And for your second attempt, just before you hit my back, I generated a layer of pressuring arcane energy to reinforce my muscles and force a boost of my reflexes! You know what I mean! It’s the fusion of brute strength and magic! The ultimate arcane energy! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!”
“S-so… you used arcane energy to manipulate your consciousness… and used your reinforced body to defend while minimizing damage…”
“I could have done it with the Abdominal & Thighs pose as well, but my pecs were raring to get some action just now, you know Well, how was that, Chappie!”
“T-THAT’S SO COOL, FATHER!”
Hehehehe… yes… a son ought to grow up strong, proud of his father’s wide back bulging with MUSCLE!
Hehehehe… Let’s write that down in the Principles of a Philosopher.
This goes in the chapter of wise quotes… or is this more suitable as childcare advice Yeah, maybe I’ll have to set some pages aside for that childcare chapter.
Hehe… heh… hehehehe… Really feels like this book is going to be a big deal down the line.
“So creepy, sir…”
“What, don’t you see how cool those poses are And you call yourself my Familiar…”
“B-but you look like a rock, sir! A ROCK!”
“My muscles aren’t that soft!”
“I meant the appearance, not the hardness!”
Huh… now she looks and sounds perfectly healthy.
Sitting out the fight’s gotta do wonders to her energy, huh
All the work she’d done over the past year must’ve helped strengthen her core.
“A-anyway, as you can see… you can’t put even a dent on me.
Just give up on Chappie, and I’ll let you leave without a fuss…”
“…Do you seriously expect me to do that The fight hasn’t been decided yet…”
Okay, no, Shi’shichou DEFINITELY knows that it has no chance.
Its body is shaking, and it can’t even bring itself to attack me now.
“Pochi… you know what to do, right”
As Shi’shichou kept on standing there, I started slowly drawing a Spell Circle.
Pochi closed her eyes with her paws.
And now… to boost my drawing speed!
“Rise, Blash Flash!”
Shi’shichou screamed bloody murder.
Pochi’s got her eyes blocked, and Chappie’s got his sunglasses–
“AHHHHHH MY EYESSSSSS!!”
–Welp, looks like the light was too bright.
Some of it must’ve gone in to his eyes through the sunglasses’ sides.
“Guh… MY EYES!!”
Man, this thing’s really effective against Violet Phoenixes.
Having lived in human society has given me an advantage here… in that I know to exploit simple weaknesses like this.
Intense flashes of light like the one just now aren’t so common in the wild, after all.
I quietly walked over to Shi’shichou and grabbed its long neck as it writhed around on the ground.
“Give it up.
You’re dead now — by which I mean, it’s now up to ME whether you live or die.
I know you know that you’re not getting out of this by yourself…”
“Then kill me!”
You know what… I’m not gonna — hell, I technically can’t even do that!”
“W-what do you mean…!”
Man, if I COULD actually talk about it, so many things would’ve gone so much easier.
But I can’t, because I don’t know just how much of history will change… Well, not that I’ll know what got changed and what didn’t.
“If you’re not going to kill, then release me, damn it! Get your hands off me!”
Seeing Shi’shichou trying hard to break free, I heaved a deep sigh.
“But should I, or should I not That’s the question… huh”
A gust of wind suddenly blew in front of me, and the next moment, a punch landed on the big Violet Phoenix’s face.
“…Hmph! That’s what you get for bullying my beloved son! Now I’ll let you off the hook… just to save my Master the trouble, that is!”
Damn, Pochi, pretty big show and talk for someone who just jumped out last-minute.
And Shi’shichou is looking pretty dazed right now, so we could very well just leave it here and get away.
“You heard her.
We’ll be busy getting ready to face the Devil King, so I’d be real grateful if you’d just stop acting like a stalker.”
“…Now wait a second… Ah, I see.
So that’s it–“
“What’re you mumbling to yourself about, Master”
Pochi gigantified, smashed the Sancta Boundary, and picked up Chappie with her mouth… while the latter is still recovering from the flash.
…Anyway, I get it now.
What this is about, and how it’s important…
Yeah, we’ve finally come full circle.
“Okay, Shi’shichou, I’ll stay a while longer… so listen up.
Now you owe me one favor.
I’ll have you help us out someday.”