“Never heard of that.”
Chappie replied, prompting Shishichou to snicker once again and stare back at him.
“But now you know.
That is the truth, always to be carved in your flesh and blood.”
“Dont know, dont care.”
One proof of it is the fact that hes standing normally in front of the much more powerful Shishichou.
If it was against anything else, he definitely would have gotten scared and run away right about now.
Hes able to do this… probably thanks to his Violet Phoenix flesh and blood.
And thats exactly why Pochi is stopping me from taking action.
Technically, its the Archetype Changer magecraft Id used that caused all this.
Chappie just happened to be caught up in it.
The little guy is young – not even a full year old.
Itd be a terrible thing to have his life end now.
But as a researcher, Im not sure if I should be messing with a species Commandment.
Now, what should I do
Shes keeping her voice low, apparently having read the mood of the situation for once.
What a rarity.
“What should we do about that… thing Isnt the chicken clearly in danger”
Thats true and all, but… Pochi here wont let go of me!
The effect of Invisible Illusion had already worn off, so now I could see Pochi pushing down her paws on my mantle.
Ferris and Bright, having noticed where I was looking, are now trying to figure out the reason we… no – why Pochi isnt budging.
And of course, Im the only one who has an idea why.
Pochi is technically a Violet Phoenix – shes stopping me because of her connection to their kind.
Its notyou better not move kind of heavy, but theIf you want to go, then go, but I wont go kind.
Or… perhaps something likedont get involved if you dont think you absolutely have to would be more accurate.
Yeah, thats what shes probably implying.
I can definitely see it from how Pochi is clenching her teeth.
“Gah, you people and your vexing reluctance!”
Regardless of that, the young lady of the Adams household acted of her own accord.
Ferris jumped out of the bush, ran past Chappie – who was quite spooked, by the way – and without regard for manners, stood directly in front of Shishichou, a Heavenly Beast.
“I heard you talking about killing this chicken like its your choice to make – know that hes House Adams precious emergency food! Id appreciate it if you didnt kill him without my permission.”
How about you get your permission from your Instructor before talking nonsense, young lady
Even with Ferris jumping out like that, Pochi didnt change her course of action.
And Bright… well, hes baffled as all hell.
“…Why is there a human here”
“Yeah, what are you doing here, Ferris”
“You just up and disappeared, so weve been looking for you – thats WHAT IM DOING HERE! Come on, wed best leave soon.
Theres nothing to do around here.”
“…Right, we should.”
Chappie thought for a moment and then answered.
He must have remembered that his coming here had been a subconscious act.
Shishichou said, but Ferris did not stop walking.
Nor did Chappie, whose beak was grabbed by Ferris.
I know shes Polcos daughter and a tomboy princess, but… thats some impressive fortitude.
Me in the past would have stopped and been shaking like hell – shes quite a fearsome girl, more fit for a warrior than a mage, even.
…Okay, that was quite fast.
Im not sure I could have caught it if I hadnt been at my current level.
And that translated to me and Pochi being the only ones among us able to keep up with it.
And for a moment – just a brief moment – the Shishichou unleashed its energy wave, causing Ferris to fall on her b.u.t.t.
Because of how said energy wave works, Ferris wouldnt recognize it as its actual function: inducing fear.
Not noticing her trembling knees, she tried to stand up, only to fall down again.
She looked on, not quite understanding what she was seeing… but beyond that dark silhouette was in fact, Shishichous concentrated murderous intent.
Before she could fully scream, Chappie stood himself in front of Shishichou, confronting it.
Seeing him do that, Shishichou cracked a wicked grin.
“Yes, thats good…”
NOT AT ALL! Im at my limit!
Shaking myself off Pochis restraint, I jumped out and stood in front of Chappie.
“…Oh, its you.”
It knows me
…Ah, right, while we were in town, it mustve been watching Chappie from the sky and saw us with him.
No wonder it knows who I am.
“Sorry, but would you kindly back off”
I put my hands out in front of me, while Shishichou kept on starting, its murderous intent as strong as ever.
“…That is quite an inhuman level of arcane energy.”
“Hah, you think so”
To be fair, I AM unleashing a bit more power than I usually would.
Sure would be nice if we could bail out of here with just threats and bluffing… now, whats it gonna be, big bird
“…The Commandment of our kind is absolute.”
…So much for getting out of this mess without difficulty.
“Sorry, but Chappie here is my son.
The Commandment of our family dictates that he be home by five.”
“What arbitrary nonsense…!”
“Yeah, Im just pulling your leg.”
“And lets agree to leave it at that.
If you insist on overstepping your bounds, then I wont be able to hold myself back.”
As I said that, I drew out even more arcane energy from the core of my body.
“-! You – what are you…!”
After mumbling my name as if digesting it down, Shishichou spread its wings and flew up, spreading out a cloud of dust.
“…I will remember that name.
Let us consider this bout called off for now, Poer.”
With that, and one last glare at Chappie, the Shishichou ascended high into the sky and disappeared into the clouds.
Reminding myself one last time of the Violet Phoenix Id meet again one day by looking at its falling feathers, I then turned around to Chappie.
“Weve been looking all over for you.”
I gave Chappie a pat on the head and walked over to Ferris, who still couldnt stand up.
I crouched down and looked at her, only to have her turn away to hide her teary eyes.
“Seriously! You shouldve told me that you were going out – I didnt even need to do that at all!”
“Apologies, Lady Ferris.”
I borderline parroted to Ferris the words of apology that Chappie had given me mere moments ago.
Except what I got in response was her groaning and turning away to another side.
Ferris course of action back there was the most human thing to do.
On the other hand, I had calculations running in my head, slowing me down.
Sometimes its more important to just do something than being stuck thinking about what to do.
And thats another lesson Ive gotten to learn from one of my students, I suppose.
“Now, give me your hand, Lady Ferris…”
Ferris turned away, took my hand, and slowly stood up.
Bright, now out of hiding, rushed over to us.
“What, youre all here And, uh, wheres my mother, Bright”
“-You three, please wait here for a few minutes.”
Seeing how Bright took a glance in the direction of the bushes, I walked over to where Pochi still was hiding.
She hasnt moved a step away from her original spot, and acts similarly to how she did at that one time the Devil Kings fetus acted up.
Still, she didnt seem as scared at that time.
Rather, what I could see from her expression are anxiety and a deep sense of seriousness.
I put my hand on Pochis head, and she quietly muttered to me,
“That one favour you owe me… Id like to use it now.”
“Really Does it have to be right now-“
Mid-sentence, I caught up with Pochis train of thoughts.
What had clued me in was Pochis face, looking quite exhausted, as if she had just waged war against her own kind.
I already knew what Pochi would say next, but I asked her anyway,
“Well, what is it”
Pochi looked down again and said,
“Promise me that if… if that Shishichou appears before Chappie again… youll protect him.”
Her voice sounded so… powerless.