Are you well?
Please forgive me for leaving House Fulbright without prior notice.
I very much intend to acknowledge every bit of trouble and worry I have caused you.
However, I want to see more of this world. To expand my horizons, to learn things I cannot learn from House Fulbright… And I do intend to return home one day.
Until then, until we meet again… please stay in good health.
“Hah-! Bright! It’s going your way!”
“Rise! Inferno Storm!”
Anyways, I have already learned quite a few things since my departure.
First, that our party is exceptionally balanced.
Ferris is the front-line combatant, wielding a rod longer than she is tall, while Chappie provides cover from the air. I, on the other hand, am the rear-line combatant.
I initially felt shameful to have a girl fight in front of me, but she insisted on putting the right person in the right post. That was frankly surprising, coming from her.
“Good gracious… was that the end of it?”
Now, there is one thing in particular that is bothering me.
“Hmph! That marks the third settlement that Chappie Mask has saved!”
Contrary to our initial plan, Chappie is not heading straight to Sodom.
Him being a Violet Phoenix, his hypersensitivity to arcane energy fluctuations enables him to detect people under attack and generally in need of help… And so we have been going around, helping out settlements along the way.
Each and every time, I was dragged into combat, and we strayed further and further from our reunion with Instructor Poer and Shiro.
“Oh? What’s the matter, Bright? We just defeated an S-ranked monster – shouldn’t you be at least a bit happier?”
“What is there to be happy about, Ferris? With all the detours we’ve been taking, when do you think we will actually reach Sodom?”
“PA PA PA PAM PA PAM PAH PA PAAAMMM!!”
Still, we do not have access to a more efficient mode of transportation than the bird victory-dancing on that boulder over there.
We’re still going faster than simply walking to Sodom, at least.
Surely, no one would blame me for heaving such deep sighs.
Seeing me this way, the perpetually grumpy Ferris came over to me, looking even more grumpy than usual.
“That doesn’t really matter. I’m having fun with what we’re doing now.”
“Um, this isn’t about whether or not it is fun-“
As I was saying that, Ferris moved her face in close to mine.
“-Listen up, Bright. How about you start with thinking about what we’ve been through?”
What we’ve been through…? What in the world is she even referring to?
“First off, that time we caused trouble for the whole Kugg Village by walking into the Blazing Dragons’ nest…”
No, not us – that was all on her.
I did have a part in it as well, but I would say that it was Ferris who had forced me to go along with her.
“That incident made me think… I don’t want to stop growing, even if I still don’t want to become an adult.”
…On second thought, both of us were to blame.
I’ve remembered just now how my sister was mad at me for what had happened.
I had forgotten about that punch I had taken… how my cheek gradually swelled, and the pain that came with it…
Ferris, on the other hand, always remembered.
Could that be why she never stopped whatever Chappie decided to do?
In this day and age, the excuse that ‘we are just children’ simply does not cut it anymore.
That could be why we are not making a beeline for our objective, and are learning various things and gaining experience during our detours.
“Is something wrong, Bright?”
I was faced down pondering things over, and when I looked up again, Chappie was already standing in front of me.
And I wonder… why in the world would he wear those sunglasses whenever he gets into battle?
“Good, then. Now I’m detecting some bad vibes coming from over there.”
Chappie pointed his wing toward the northwest.
“Oh, but isn’t that the opposite direction of where Poer is?”
Seems like Ferris did not see that coming, either.
“Ngh… A-are you going to stop me, Ferris?”
And it seems like Chappie is scared of Ferris’ reaction this time, what with her agreeing with his choices every single time before.
Now then, I wonder what I should say…
“…It’s fine, it’s fine. I’m having fun with this, so let’s- wait……”
I blurted out quite a lot of unnecessary words.
…Wait, was that real? Did those statements really come out of my mouth?
It was so out of left field, even Chappie and Ferris’ mouths were agape with surprise.
And as one would expect, the one to start losing it was Ferris.
Chappie followed closely after.
And no, I did not even chuckle – it was no laughing matter for me.
Those two are shaking more and more, and are turning their backs on me in an attempt to hide their laughing faces, but it’s so obvious that it’s amusing.
If Shiro was here with us, she would undoubtedly already be laughing like there was no tomorrow. And since Chappie acts by Shiro’s examples, he would undoubtedly be laughing with her, instead of trying to hold it in like this.
Hmm, I suppose that at the end of the day… Chappie and Shiro do have different personalities, despite usually appearing to be so similar.
“Hah… I can’t believe these troublemakers…”
“Now hold it right there, Bright… I heard that, you know? Who do you think you’re calling a troublemaker, hmm?”
“Ah, um, well… Didn’t Chappie just say that he detected some bad vibes? I’m thinking it might be more troublemakers we have to deal with… Hahaha…”
Now Ferris is staring hard at me.
I feel that her guessing game has gotten much better today… or she’s been getting more difficult to deal with in general.
“C-come on, Chappie! Let us go get rid of that ‘bad vibes’ over there!”
“Hah, you’re not getting it at all, Bright…”
What? What is wrong with him now?
And when did he learn to sigh sarcastically like Ferris?
“Listen up – I am NOT Chappie.”
Then what does he want me to call him with?
…Oh, of course it’s THAT – why do I even bother to wonder?
Although exasperated, I refrained from pointing it out, and waited for Chappie to continue.
“I am a hero of justice! CHAPPIE MASK!!”
His ‘mask’ is, of course, just a pair of sunglasses.
It is impressive how he keeps insisting otherwise every single time.
Still, since he’s so insistent, whether because he wants it to be or he actually believes it… I suppose I can roll with that.
“Yes, yes, I know. Let us go, Chappie Mask. To the northwest!”
“Hehehehe… this is fun! And it’s only going to get more fun from now, Bright!”
“We’ll fight a lot of monsters! We’ll defeat them all! We’ll see that justice is served! And when I see father and mother again, I’ll show them just how much improvement we’ve achieved!”
Ferris and I nodded to each other and hopped onto Chappie’s back, who proceeded to spread his wings.
“The day will come when we blow the Devil King away!”
“Ohh! That’s right, Ferris! He’s the root of evil! We MUST blow him away, in the name of justice!”
“Seriously… ‘blow him away’? How unrefined can you two be? Remember, Ferris, you and I are members of aristocratic families. And Chappie, you are acting together with us. Both of you would do well to choose somewhat more elegant words….”
This time, I said it loud enough for them to hear clearly.
It feels like I’m the only one here who cares about appearances, and I cannot let that be the case.
If Instructor Poer and Shiro were here, they would easily rectify this issue, of course…
Chappie, hearing me loud and clear, turned his head back around to look at me.
Birds’ necks sure are convenient, especially how some of them can turn around more than 180 degrees.
“How picky can you be, Bright? Well, what do you suggest we say?”
“That’s right! Are you claiming that there’s a more wonderful thing than blowing your enemies away?”
Ferris wrapped her arms around my waist.
Is it just me, or is her grip getting stronger with each passing day?
Instructor Poer, Shiro… We may have become quite a ragtag party of adventurers ourselves.
“All we need to do… is burn the Devil King to ash.”
“”YEAH! BURN HIM TO ASH!!””
Yes, we’ll do that someday, of course. Emphasis on ‘someday’.