“Guh – ngh – go – ho-! Can’t… move…!”
Tarawo, body rendered immovable within the Quadra Boundary, tried every way he could to escape, but I wasn’t quite sure whether his arcane energy level was enough to deal with it.
“I will never live this down! You hear me?!”
Lina and Pochi were speechless, not only by the surprise from seeing the magecraft’s invocation, but even more so by the fact that it had been used on Tarawo.
Lina, her face indicating a slight change of mood, held her hands forward, in Tarawo’s direction.
Then she let loose a fairly hefty burst of arcane energy.
It flew to where Tarawo was. Oh, I see… it was for blowing apart the Quadra Boundary’s stakes.
Tarawo’s face cramped up, scared out of his mind by the incoming energy blast, but not even a second later, the Boundary disappeared, setting him free.
“Oh… OOOHHH! That was quite impressive, Lina! Come, I grant you permission to carry me! Don’t be shy, now!”
Lina heaved a sigh of relief then stepped forward, not toward Tarawo, but to Tifa… with quite an angry look on her face.
“What’s wrong with you, Tifa?! Tarawo hasn’t done anything wrong!”
Well, rather than angered, Lina is looking pretty cute and childish here, what with her not being the kind to scold other people much. Tifa doesn’t seem to be used to taking a scolding, either… just look how she’s twitching right up, her eyes shut tight.
“Remember, your Familiar is your most important partner! His life depends on you!”
And now Pochi’s riding on the momentum. Great.
You really should keep your mouth shut for now, doggo.
“But look at you, using Tarawo like he’s a tool! You have to consider his feelings, too!”
“Speaking from experience, I wholeheartedly agree!”
“You can’t keep doing this forever! Just think of his mental health!”
“You heard her, Master!”
Oh? Why’d Pochi turn on me all of a sudden?
“I know there are mages who control their Familiars by force, but… Tifa, you mustn’t… do that…”
Even though Lina’s eyes were back to their usual, gentle look, Tifa still kept her eyes closed.
Oh, now they’re open.
“I-I’m only doing it the way Sir Asley taught me!”
Lina and I were taken aback, while the two Familiars turned to look at me, confused.
I mean, what?! I don’t even know what she’s talking about! Seriously!
“Master! What in the world did you teach her?!”
“Asley! I’d never thought you were plotting to assassinate me!”
“W-wha-wait! Tifa, when did I even teach you something remotely close to that?!”
Tifa, keeping her voice low, pointed at a certain book on the table.
That’s… one of my research journals.
“And what’s the deal with that, Master?!”
“Considering the situation, it can only be a diary that he doesn’t want to open up ever again. That, I am sure of.”
Although this was technically class time, Lina called out my name with quite a prominent berating tone. She proceeded to open the book…
Then the Familiars, both Pochi and Tarawo, heaved a sigh and declared,
“We must get to the bottom of this!”
“Yes, once and for all!”
“Ah – hey! Stop it!”
And there they go, snatching the book for themselves…
They proceeded to flip through the pages, with Lina looking at it from above as they went.
Now I remember, somehow. This ‘research’ journal… and the events it chronicled. If memory serves-
~Fifteenth Day of the Tenth Month~
Pochi was annoying today, as with any other day. Ahh, so annoying. So very annoying. For breakfast, honey. Lunch, honey. Snack time, honey. Dinner, honey. Late night snack, honey. Just look at her. Look at her smile. Can’t she see how I’m already so sick and tired of it?
‘It’s delicious!’ she said… sure, but only for the first bite. Good God, she’s annoying. Come the second bite, well, I thought all hell was about to break loose. She’s trying to kill me. There’s no doubt in my mind. One of these days… I’ll get my payback one of these days.
~Eighteenth Day of the Tenth Month~
Pochi was annoying today, as with any other day. Ahh, so annoying. So very annoying.
She’d said she wanted to help me with this important research – pretty unexpected – so I’d asked her to transcribe some text.
I went to check her work after a while and saw that she’d stamped the text with her paw prints on the approximate interval of three words. Since when was this a government office?
‘How’s this? Artistic, isn’t it?’ she said as I burned those ruined parchment sheets away. Good God, she’s annoying. I couldn’t even read them properly, for God’s sake. She’s trying to destroy my research efforts. There’s no doubt in my mind.
One of these days… I’ll get my payback one of these days.
~Nineteenth Day of the Tenth Month (One O’clock in the Morning) ~
Pochi was annoying today, as with any other day. Ahh, so annoying. So very annoying.
She’d perform alchemy and created vantablack paint – the blackest black there ever was – and proceeded to splash it all over the room.
I’d thought she would clean it up afterwards, but instead she’d jumped into the sea of paint, turning herself completely into a black dog. In that state, she was the dreadful kind of beast that I’d never ever wish to see at night.
‘This is so fun!’ she said, but did she even realize that she’d soaked my precious research black as well? Good God, she’s annoying!
The main dungeon was now in jet black. She’s the kind of Familiar that exists to hinder my progress in every way possible. There’s no doubt in my mind.
One of these days… yeah, no, I WILL get my payback. Definitely will.
~Nineteenth Day of the Tenth Month (Sixteenth O’clock in the Afternoon) ~
Okay, technically four o’clock in the morning. Pochi was annoying today, as with any other day. Ahh, so annoying. So very annoying.
The time has come. Now the resident black dog shall know what’s coming to her when she crosses me! Pochi’s belly inflated and deflated in rhythm with every breath she took.
‘I can’t eat another bite!’ she said, but she’ll be running on ’empty’ by the time she wakes up! She always is! Good God, she’s annoying!!
First of all, I’ll make it so that Pochi shuts up for some time. All I need to do is cover her mouth – then I can kiss goodbye to the noisy cave and days of exclusively honey diet. Mm, this is definitely the way.
Heh heh heh…… payback has been served.
~Twentieth Day of the Tenth Month~
I woke up early in the morning to my Familiar’s pained groans. With teary eyes, she glared at me… then scratched me.
Ouch-?! That hurt like hell, damn it!
“What the hell are you doing?!”
She probably would say ‘I should be the one asking that’ if she could. But, well, she obviously couldn’t. I won’t waste my breath trying to make her understand, either. Just give her a day to think it over, and she’s bound to mend her ways from here on out. Disciplinary measures are needed from time to time. Mm, this is definitely the way.
Heh heh heh… payback – I mean, disciplinary action has been served.
…Yeah, this was… a thing.
If I remembered correctly, this was not long after Pochi had become my Familiar, so… it should be seven or eight hundred years by now.
“So, yeah, disciplinary measures.”
Tifa said in a showoff-ish tone.
Pochi, reminded of everything that had happened, blocked her eyes with her front paws out of embarrassment. That was, so to speak, the dark age of the history between me and her. Well, Pochi seems to still be in that ‘dark age’ though, considering what she’s experiencing right now.
Lina pressed her own forehead, looking quite troubled. Having heard what she’d heard, I suppose it would be hard to come up with a reply.
But then Lina heaved another sigh. Looks like she’s gotten her thoughts together now.
“Don’t you get it, Tifa? Sir Asley and Pochi are this way because of how they trust each other. Whether it’s Pochi or Sir Asley who gets out of line, they are always ready to forgive each other – that’s how much they get along. But the same cannot be said about how you’re acting, don’t you think? All you did was abuse the power you have.”
Seeing Tifa keep silent, Lina continued,
“They may act like that, but they don’t mean harm – that much is clear to anyone who knows them. That’s why everyone can laugh along with their antics. But look at Tarawo – he actually resents you for what you did. Do you understand, Tifa?”
“…I don’t know.”
Lina raised an eyebrow.
Tifa startled Tarawo with how firmly she held her ground. Is this escalating into an actual fight? …Huh, that’s been a while.
They used to occasionally get into arguments back in my old magic classes. Most felt quite similar to the one going on right now, too, now that I think about it.
“How do you expect me to know?! I’m just doing it my way! You can’t just walk up and criticize how I do things!”
The way Tifa’s talking now… she used to do that, too – especially when she was being careful with her stance around Lina.
“Oh, really? Then why did you just say that you were doing it the way Sir Asley taught you, hmm…?”
On the other hand, Lina was working at it with logic and reason, albeit in a passive-aggressive manner.
“Shut up! I won’t let myself be pushed around by you anymore!”
Tifa was way past her boiling point.
“As if I’ll lose that easily! I’m still way ahead of you!”
Lina, seeing no other choice, flicked on her preaching mode in full force.
“They’re raring to go at it any second now, aren’t they? Are you sure you don’t need to stop them, Master?”
“Well, I did plan to start things off with a sparring match, so… it should be fine?”
“I see, I see! No worries, then!”
“W-what a powerful clash of arcane energy! I must get away as far as possible!”
True – the pressure of the situation now might be too much for li’l Tarawo.
“Tarawo, get over here!”
“-A-rise, House! Come on out, Baladd!!”
“MY TIME TO SHINE!”
The four-winged dragon appeared before Tarawo’s eyes.
Tifa was surprised for a moment, but still showed no sign of backing down.
“She’s calling you, Tarawo!”
Okay, now Pochi’s just being ruthless for the sake of it.
I mean, telling him to just go against Baladd – in different circumstances, that’s practically telling him to go die.
“I said get over here, Tarawo!”
Again, she’s calling you, Tarawo.