The one-eyed Giant, with its sight locked onto Asley and Pochi, raised an earth-shaking roar.
The two, facing each other, with the former hugging one of the latter’s legs, slid sideways away from the monster.
Asley, covered behind the gigantified Pochi, fixed his misaligned glasses and whispered,
<“…*Pochi*, I require assistance. Anything will do.”>
Although he just called Pochi by her real name, no one was there to hear it, as Giorno has now taken his part of the battle far away.
“…Oh, *Asley*, I’m sure you’ll pull through juuuust fine…”
“Don’t be ridiculous. But, well…”
“That’s right, sir. If we don’t do something, we’ll definitely die…!”
Asley, suppressing his chaotic emotions, and then mobilizing all of the logic and intelligence he had, searched his brain for a solution to their predicament.
“S-so what should we do, Master!?”
“Of course… the only option is… RUN FOR OUR LIVES!!”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear!”
Pochi bolted off immediately as she finished saying so, prompting Asley to grab, and then pull her back, by the fur on her back.
“Damn you little-! You were trying to leave me behind, weren’t you!?”
“That’s not the case at all! Maybe!”
Asley, grabbing on to Pochi’s back as she ran off, rocked back and forth like a willow tree swaying in the wind.
Pochi, going ahead at full speed, invoked Tempest and Light Body.
“Yeah right… ‘not at all, maybe,’ choose one! Gah! Damn you-!!”
Asley also exerted his power, invoking Fortify Strength and Fortify Resilience.
Left hand gripping onto Pochi’s back fur, he bulked up his whole left arm at once, and then pulled himself up to sit on Pochi’s back. His face was all red by the end of it.
“Wait, Master!? You’re facing the wrong way!”
“Can’t worry about that now! Just keep running! I mean, dodge, dodge, dodge, dodge, dodge!!”
Asley, facing the opposite way Pochi was heading in, shouted as he saw the Giant Murderer staring right at them with its mouth wide open.
“Left! No, I mean, right! Nope, up, up, up! AHHHHHH!”
“Well, here goes!”
“Rise, Spring Wind!”
Asley cast a spell under Pochi’s feet, matching the time with the latter’s leap.
Achieving far more altitude than she had ever imagined herself capable of, Pochi screamed while in the air, her volume higher and higher the closer she was to landing.
Asley cast the same spell before Pochi hit the ground, preventing her from hurting herself, but it didn’t change the fact that she was physically and mentally overwhelmed by the shock of it all.
While those two retreated, Lylia shouted out as she dealt with her two designated Giant Murderers,
“Hey! Those two just ditched us!”
“Hahahaha, they sure did!”
“Ugh, exactly what we needed… so what now, Giorno!?”
“Well, we’ll just have to deal with this ourselves!”
“Damn it. So much for being helpful!”
Giorno stole a glance at Lylia as she grumbled so, and then looked in the direction Asley and Pochi had gone in.
“Hey! Help me out here!”
Giorno, wielding his sword in one hand, rushed to Lylia’s side.
He was holding something in his mouth.
Pochi, out of breath from her free falling experience, shouted as she pressed her hands on her chest where her heart was.
“Argh! That took five years right off my lifespan!”
“Yeah, me too!”
“Not like you’ll ever run out of it!!”
“Same goes for you!! C’mon, don’t stop now! Forward, forward!”
Pochi ran off once again despite her ragged voice and breathing, while Asley started drawing up a Circle.
The Giant Murderer now started giving chase, walking after them.
“An attack spell!? You think it’ll reach from this range, sir!?”
“I’ve got to at least try SOMETHING! Rise, A-rise, Fire Lance!”
Although it was an intermediate-level fire spell, Asley had chosen to shoot it with consideration of its effective range.
The Fire Lance was particularly excellent at reaching far-away targets, and it also happened to be an easy spell to draw.
Additionally, since Asley had improved its formula, its power was now comparable to unmodified advanced-level spells.
He was using this spell to judge whether or not his attacks could reach the Giant Murderer, and also how effective his advanced-levels would be against it.
“H-how was that!? Did it hit!?”
“This is bad, Pochi!!”
“What is it, Master!?”
“The spell just went out like it was nothing! Like, ‘poof’! I don’t think even my large-scale spells will put a scratch on this thing!”
“So why are you sounding so worry-free!? Hurry and do something about it!”
“You say that like I have any spell I can even use!”
“What about the Pochi Pad Bomb that you used earlier!? It’s got my name on it!”
“The Bomb isn’t gonna have enough power, and the Pochi Pad Breath covers way too much area! Giorno and Lylia will be caught in it, too!”
“Aha! I know! You’ve got THAT! The super-duper awesome original spell!”
Pochi, out of breath from running nonstop, shouted just the right words – Asley gasped in realization.
“Oh, yeah! Gate Eater!”
A spark of inspiration jolted through both their heads, prompting them to crack broad grins on their faces.
“We’re too far away! Pochi! Can you get within the range of a hundred meters!?”
“I’d rather not, but I sure can!”
“Rise, Power Barrier: Count 2 & Remote Control!”
Asley immediately invoked a spell on both him and Pochi for some shock absorption.
Pochi understood that, although it wasn’t much, it was better than nothing.
Seeing that the Giant Murderer was about to unleash another one of its breath attacks, Pochi made a U-turn, then leaped up in an arc.
Asley, fully concentrating on his Spell Circles, has yet to fix the direction he was facing – he left his safety in Pochi’s care.
The roaring of two Giant Murderers, and also Lylia’s, as well as the clashes on their weapons, were getting close and closer.
Upon sensing Asley and Pochi’s approach, Giorno chuckled. It was likely that he had known from the beginning that the two weren’t simply running away.
“What the heck, NOW they’re back!?”
“Calm down, Lylia. It’s just how Poer fights – no need to be… suspicious!”
Giorno spoke sarcastically in between each time he parried the enemies’ metal-chunk daggers.
“Well, I’ve never seen anyone fight by running away… before!”
Lylia pushed on with her attacks, lifting up and blowing away the Giant Murderers on the receiving end.
The other Giants, upon seeing Lylia’s ominous grin, felt chills run down their spines.
“Your mouth is open so wide, it’s almost to your ears, you know.”
“Hell if I care!”
Lylia rested her great sword on her shoulder and charged ahead; Pochi appeared and ran up from behind as if chasing her.
“Come on, Master!”
“AAAAAAAHHHHHH-RISE! BEHOLD! GATE EATER!”
Asley the Mage – still faced the wrong way on Pochi’s back – took aim as the latter jumped over the one-eyed Giant Murderer’s shoulder, and then shot a jet-black sphere of magic at the back of its head.
The Giant Murderer’s head instantly disappeared. Pochi, during her descent, unleashed a Zenith Breath Attack onto the ground to help break her fall.
The remaining four Giants were distracted by their ally being so suddenly put out of commission. Judging that Asley was the one who had done it, they rushed at him all at once, thirsting for blood.
The battle wasn’t quite over just yet.
Giorno and Lylia understood that well. Fortunately for them, the momentary distraction gave them the perfect opportunity to take down one of their targets each.
While the monsters’ heads started to roll down, Asley shouted again,
“Enemy Trap & Gravity Stop!!”
The two remaining Giants flinched under the weight felt on their shoulders – no, on their entire bodies.
The pull still wasn’t enough to bring the monsters to their knees, but for Giorno and Lylia, it provided enough opening to finish things up.
“Way to go, Poer!”
“…Tch, I can’t stomach their attitude!”
With Giorno and Lylia’s coordinated cross-shaped slashes cleaving the Giant Murderers from their shoulders down, the battle finally ended.
The pair then descended, clinging to the Giants’ slowly collapsing bodies.
‘Poer’ and ‘Shiro,’ on the other hand, were on all fours, panting incessantly, their eyes and noses running water like a river.
“Hah, hah… hoo! Need to… catch m’breath… gah-!”
“HAHHH… HAHHHH… MASTER… GIVE… AIR… CAN’T… BREATHE- GAH!”
While the Giant Murderers’ bodies fell to the ground, Giorno and Lylia looked on at the two, the former with cynical humor, and the latter with a great degree of satisfaction.