“Seh… hah… seh..
“Ngh… Rise, A-rise, Sharp Wind Cross! Chappie! Be careful – theyre behind you!”
What in the blazes!
“F-father! Mother!! A little help here!”
“Master! Four Assault Flybees coming from the right!”
“Rise! Earth Blast!”
“Now from the left! Three Mantis Soldiers, sir!”
“Damn it – rise, Volcano Rain!”
And no matter how many of them wed killed, more popped up almost just as quickly.
We hadnt gotten even a second of rest – almost makes me think that all of them, despite their differences in archetypes, had joined forces just to get us.
Pochis speed would have allowed us to stay away a reasonable distance from them, if not for Chappie being here as well.
And even if we were able to outrun them, the poor footing here meant that we were still vulnerable to airborne monsters.
When we had started up the Karam Mountain Range, the first thirty minutes were perfectly quiet.
However, once the chasing and running started, it was impossible to turn back.
The staggering number of monsters behind us reminded me of the Blazing Dragons last year… hell, this here was probably a larger army than the one back then.
Additionally, because of the sheer variety in their archetypes, it was also extremely difficult to counter them.
“Ooh, what is it, Shiro!”
“In the stories Ive read, theres that one thing thatd happen most of the time!”
“And whats that!”
“In times of trouble, your latent powers will awaken! Now, Master! Its time to release all that power you never knew you had – ouch! What are you doing!”
But now might be a good opportunity to try it out…
“All right, all right! Ill see what I can do!”
“What! You actually have it, sir!”
Even Pochi herself sounded as if shed never believed it.
Seriously… if she didnt actually think itd work out, then she never should have said it.
I stood up on Pochis back, and placed my hand on Brights shoulder as he looked up at me.
“Listen well, Master Bright! You have to grab on to Shiro so tightly that youd rip her fur, otherwise youll be thrown off!”
After saying what I needed to, I leaped, with my staff ready, into the swarm of monsters behind me.
“What the-! Have you gone insane, father!”
“He may be a fool, but he is ALWAYS sane!”
Pochi covered up for me… in a not-so-covering way.
If her voice hadnt sounded actually trusting, I wouldve gotten angry.
All these monsters coming at me just seem so… slow.
Its all right – Ive become much stronger than before.
Ill be fine.
Just gotta remember the sensation from back then…
Back when Id encountered the Havenly Beast Shishichou.
When Id released the arcane energy from my body before being crushed under the intense wind pressure.
Back when Id confronted one of the Six Archmages, Sayla the Frostgazer – Id let the arcane energy in my body run amok.
That technique Giorno used – with which he let his arcane energy flow, magically enhancing every single one of his movements.
My MP pool is a whopping 180,000 now; I can definitely do it.
That arcane energy wall that Id used to try and block EXP from entering my body… I should be able to do it reliably now-
I directed a high concentration of arcane energy into myself, so as to unlock the power deep within.
“Ngh… gh… cmon!!”
My movements are still pretty clumsy, but Ive managed to maintain the state… wait, for real!
“Incredible! Father is…!”
“He… hes flying…!”
The release is draining so much arcane energy! So much that Im levitating!
But again, the drain absurdly fast – itll run out real soon.
Ive got to concentrate my mind, and suppress the excessive release of energy… all right, looking good.
Wait… could this be… No, now is no time to have second thoughts!
“Holy World! Double Dragon! Fullspark Rain!”
I knew it!
“What a rapid succession of large-scale spells! But you didnt draw any circle – so how, sir!”
“Ill tell you later! And now! Hell Stamp! Icicle Shot!”
“Amazing…! The spells are melting through the monsters like butter…!”
Thats right – I was firing off large-scale spells as Id wished, with no regards to the monsters characteristics and archetypes.
And thats because the arcane energy consumption of those spells isnt an issue anymore; its the maintaining of this empowered state thats consuming.
In terms of time, Ill be able to hold it for about three minutes.
Pochi, Bright, and Chappie had been zigzagging around, but now they ran up to join me; once I was done wiping out the last of the monsters behind them, I fell to my knees right under Pochis nose.
“Woohoo! Nice work back there, Master!”
“Ugh… Im exhausted… and feel like throwing up… cant take it anymore…!”
“Now hold it right there! If you throw up on me, Ill rip your nails and hair to shreds, sir!”
I do appreciate Pochis kindness in only choosing the painless parts, but I had not the energy to laugh back at her now.
Then I fell flat on my back… and vomited right then and there in part thanks to the putrid smell of the monsters corpses around us.
It wasnt as if I had gotten sick; this was a common side effect of the arcane energy exhaustion Id just experienced.
That, or the human bodys defense mechanism.
Pochi and Bright proceeded to rub my back until I started to get better.
Chappie also continued to fan me quietly with his wings.
Afterward, Pochi let me lie on her back as we proceeded up the mountain; we found a nice little cave just before reaching the summit, and decided to camp here for the day.
We made a campfire, and Pochi left to confirm the safety of the surrounding area; I had recovered by the time she was back… at which point she proceeded to hound me for answers.
“Explain yourself, sir!”
“Nah, its a drag… and your face is way too close, doggo.”
“Now, dont you look away, Master.”
Did you not hear me Your face is way too close, damn it!
In addition to Pochi, Bright was naturally interested as well, despite him never stating as such.
Chappie is still fanning me.
I can see the fatigue on his face – he must be really tired by now.
Im all right now, though… But its nice and cool here thanks to him, so I appreciate that.
Despite me trying to turn away from Pochi, her eyes were fixed right on my face-
“When are we having dinner, sir!”
THATs what she wanted to know
“Thats not it, Shiro.”
Hmm, hes gotten to the point where he can calmly point out Pochis absurdity now.
Its quite fun, seeing my student develop his character like this.
“Oh, thats right”
Pochi uttered as if she had actually forgotten, tapping the back of her head and sticking out her tongue.
“Come on, explain it in a language we understand, Master!”
I scratched my head then started talking, as if compelled to by the stares of those two,
“I temporarily pulled out the arcane energy limiter – like, plop.”
“”Arcane energy limiter””
Seeing them both tilt their heads in the same direction at the same time, I almost let out a chuckle.
Pochi would get angry if I did, of course, so I held myself back – doesnt change the fact that its funny, though.
“Arcane energy is usually contained within our bodies, you see, and only comes out when we use magic spells or special technique.”
“I can sometimes feel a strong concentration of arcane energy in the air, though – is that the exception, sir”
“Its a release of energy that happens to all living things – an everyday occurrence.
The stronger the arcane energy an individual has, the more excess energy theyll release.”
The two nodded.
“And what I did was expand thatleak from which arcane energy is usually released in small portions, letting it out all at once.
Its hard to say for sure myself, but that was quite a lot, wasnt it”
I explained to Pochi, then turned to ask Bright,
“Yes, Instructor – that was the first time Ive ever felt so much arcane energy in one place.”
“And that was why I exhausted my arcane energy so quickly.”
Bright cast his eyes slightly down, looking satisfied with the answer he had gotten; to his side, Pochi proceeded to ask me another thing – something she must have been curious about.
“And how were you able to use magic without drawing a Circle, sir”
Yeah, of course shed want to know that.
“Hmm… As much as Id like to explain it, its quite hard to put into words, you see All I can say now is that, given the right circ.u.mstances, I can just do it.”
“Oh, I see, I see,”
Pochi muttered; I couldnt tell whether or not shed seen through my lie.
Well, she seemed to have seen through my reason for saying that, at least, so thats fine by me.
To be honest, I still havent quite figured out how the whole thing worked, either.
But that state of perpetual arcane energy release was probably a simple Swift Magic-enabled space.
…Which lets one invoke the spell circles in their head without limitations – thats the most likely explanation.
The truth is that Id planned to use the resulting arcane energy shockwaves to take out the monsters, but my body just… did its own thing.
In that state, my body just knew what to do.
Still… that technique was quite difficult to use properly.
The best adjustments Id managed gave me three minutes.
And that consumed more than 180,000 MP, all at once.
Using Giving Magic on me wouldnt work, either, so I dont see this release technique being something I could use very often.
I reckon itd be more efficient to improve my Deca Spell, in fact.
Ill probably not use the release unless the situation absolutely calls for it – and I sure as hell hope that situation doesnt ever come.
…While I pondered over things, I received another Telepathic Call.
[“Is something the matter, Lady June”]
[“H-hello, Sir Poer! Can you hear me!”]
She seems a bit fl.u.s.tered… whatever could be going on
[“Apologies for the late notice! I had my information slightly wrong last night – when crossing the Karam Mountain Range, you ought to go through the cave at the foot of the mountain.
The surface is infested with a great variety of monsters, you see.
Please, dont let my brother Bright cross paths with them.”]
I wish Id known that way sooner, milady.