The four of us stayed put and watched over their actions.
Although we were hidden by my illusion spell, we still minded our sound – down to the sound of us swallowing saliva.
Their levels were… around a hundred and twenty on average.
Theyve got a few wagons, too; how troublesome.
Chiquiatas had gotten her level up to a hundred sixty.
Well, being an aristocrat, she probably had the disadvantage of being unable to be on the front row in battle.
Considering how theyre able to roam around the place now, theyre probably working for that household… the Douglas, was it It this group of people was all theirs, then the house itself must be quite ambitious.
Surely the Empress would favor them if they were to weaken the power of the Adams and Fulbright households.
And at any rate, they sure move fast.
Assuming that they had been heading straight to Toued, they must have gotten their information about us within half a day.
Which then meant that the Douglas household had access to the means of quickly obtaining information.
That was the only thing that went through my mind.
Could the Adams household have already been infiltrated
Come to think of it, howd they even get the information so quickly that time when Chiquiata appeared at the Blazing Dragons Mountain
Perhaps with that Torrent Dragon… yes, perhaps it was possible to get there quickly enough from Regalia by riding their Cobalt Dragon.
Or could Chiquiata have happened to be operating in Kugg Village…
…Thats very possible, too.
She didnt really need to be in Regalia to be able to act, after all – not to mention being in Kugg would make things faster for her.
She could have gotten the Adams households information by herself, or through a spy within the family.
Maybe Ill discuss with Polco about that later.
About whats happening now, too.
If they had been following right behind us, then they would have gone up the Karam Mountain Range, too.
But they had chosen to go this way.
After all, it was the only way normal people would go with.
Which would mean that their stream of information had stopped at the Adams household in Kugg Village.
Then theyll probably be getting their next message at Toued when they arrive there.
Ngh, I wouldnt like them to cause us trouble while were in Toued, though… What to do, what to do…
When the group eventually progressed past us and went completely out of sigh, Pochi and Bright let out a sigh of relief.
“That was quite a surprise.
Id never expected House Douglas to already be taking action…”
“What should we do now, Master”
Heh, Pochis actually raring to go – thats despite Dīnō getting her good last time.
Could this also be another apparent effect of the Archetype Changer
“Now that weve chosen to hide, continuing immediately will be difficult – we cant simply run past them.
Lets take a short break here, then carefully proceed when the coast is clear.”
The three nodded; we all sat down and stayed put for a while.
In the meantime, I made a Telepathic Call to Polco.
There are a lot of points Im concerned about, after all.
[“Goodness! House Douglas, so soon”]
[“Yes, sir – they must have obtained their information extremely quickly.
[“Oh, I see… that does make the people in the mansion suspicious, yes.”]
Polco replied instantly – even before I had finished my statement.
I knew I could count on him.
It wouldve taken me much longer to arrive at the same conclusion.
[Thank you for letting me know, Sir Poer.
Ill see if I can find anything on this matter.
Now, please do continue on to Toued.
And by the way…]
[“What is it, Master Polco”]
I proceeded to passive-aggressively complain – I mean, explain our situation up to now to Polco.
[“Hehehe… Hahahaha! Lady June was slow to inform you… I see, I see.
Its partially my fault as well, I suppose.
Ill apologize properly some time later.”]
[“Oh, please dont – this isnt that serious of an issue.”]
[“Hehehehe… At any rate, do tread carefully.
Ferris seems to already be missing you all, by the way.”]
The tomboy princess, missing us, huh
[“Apparently, shes been going around asking the servantswhere has Poer reached by now this morning.
Sounds like she wants you back soon.
Frankly… as her father, Im jealous, but it seems that she has taken quite a liking to you, doesnt it”]
Hmm, thats most likely her way of making an excuse to hide her fondness for Bright… could Polco not be aware of that
Now hol up a minute-
[“Come to think of it, Master Polco, Ive noticed that her temper has settled down lately… or has it”]
[“Well, that sure is an interesting question, isnt it Hehehe… Now then, if anything comes up, do report to me as soon as possible.”]
Leaving off with just that, Polco cut the Telepathic Call.
That last laugh of his seemed to be implying a deeper meaning, but I couldnt quite put my finger on what it was.
Still, young Ferris, eh… Maybe I should give her a call for a bit
I hadnt taught the Telepathic Call to anyone other than Bright, so she might be surprised in the beginning… but that also might be funny.
With that in mind, I invoked the Telepathic Call to Ferris.
[“Lady Ferris, this is Poer.
Can you hear me”]
Hmm, it seems that Ive spooked her.
So, what is… this”]
[“Its a magecraft called Telepathic Call, Lady Ferris.
Were on our way to Toued now – Ive been informed by Master Polco that youve been concerned about our progress, you see.”]
[“Papa told you that Ugh, hes such a blabbermouth…”]
Oh Ive just noticed this, but… Ferris doesnt seem to refer to Polco with the honorificfather
Could this be how she usually called him at home I hadnt gotten to see them together much, but their relationship as a family seemed to be going good.
[“So, how are things over there Bright is all right, I assume”]
[“But of course.
Weve had almost no issues on our way up to now.
And by the way, Lady Ferris, are you having any problems with the homework Ive left you with”]
[“Hmph, theres no need to worry.
Youll be in for a surprise when you get back.”]
This girls got a great rebellious spirit and a strong drive to improve herself, thats for sure.
Now Im excited to see what she has in store when I get back there.
[“Hahaha, I look forward to it.
Now then, Ill excuse myself-“]
Before I could hang up, Ferris interrupted my parting words.
[“What is it”]
[“C-contact me again when youre able.
Thats an order.”]
I cut the Telepathic Call; Pochi, seeing me, grinned and said,
“What with that look, Master Did something good happen~~”
“Uh, well, a little bit, I guess.”
Pochi nodded and smiled, as if she somehow understood the meaning of my words.
Young Bright and Chappie – who probably didnt get that – turned to look at each other, confused.
Now that I thought about it, Ive been seeing Pochi and Ferris often talking together recently, too.
Could they have some common interests, being both girls and all that
My student and my familiar, growing up in ways I could never understand… huh…
“…It looks like were clear to go now, doesnt it”
“Yes, I think so, too.”
With Bright and me agreeing that now was a good time, we resumed our journey to Toued.
Fortunately, the ruts of Chiquiatas carriage showed us the direction we were heading.
One thing we need to be careful about is that we mustnt catch up to them, who must still be marching ahead of us.
Relying on Pochi and Chappies senses of hearing, we carefully adjusted our pace and kept our tension down.
And so, past noon of the third day on our way…
Brights exhaustion was very apparent from the sweat running down his face, and Leon, perhaps getting a second-hand effect from that, started breathing more heavily in his sleep.
Him being a child born to be a Holy Emperor, he sure gives off quite a different impression when he was a baby like this…
Just aquiet child wouldnt be enough as an explanation – Its like hes able to get a grasp on the current situation from the expressions of the people around him.
The tension that seems to go on forever is beginning to wear all of us down – and Im starting to feel tired, and Brights breathing is getting worse and worse; by the time I figured we ought to take another short break, I caught a glimmer in the distance – the light that signaled the end of the cave.
Pochi and Chappie looked at each other then proceeded to run, their mouths agape.
Well, Pochi must have decided that it was fine.
Theres probably no danger up ahead.
…But then I heard Pochi and Chappies screams.
What the-! An ambush!
But that cant be – damn it!
I ran in a straight line towards the scream.
Then, as I emerged out of the cave, I caught sight of Pochi and Chappie squeezing their eyes and crouching down.
“Hey, are you two all right!”
As I could see, there were no injuries, nor any presence of enemies.
Only the beautiful blue sky and the shining sun.
…Huh Cave… Sunlight…… Adaptation to the dark
“NWOHHHHHH! ITS SO BRIGHT! WHY!”
“MY EYES HURT LIKE HELL, SIR!!”
…Looks like theyre having fun.
Seeing Pochi like this really reminds me of the Pochisley Agency.
I wonder… is everyone doing all right back there
“”MY EYES!! AHHHHHH!!””