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“Fwahahaha! So light! I’m practically weightless now!”
“Rise, A-rise, Transient Blades!”
Tarawo, in his Garm form, utilized his greatly enhanced power and speed to attack the three kings and keep their attention on him while Tifa whipped out the big moves to deal heavy damage.
I expected the fight to be more… balanced than this. Maybe I should have cast some more powerful enhancements on the enemies.
Anyway, Tifa has gotten quite a lot stronger. From what I’ve seen through my Appraisal Glasses, she’s not S-rank material just yet, but seeing that she had gotten up to Rank A, she must have been pushing herself quite hard.
She’s still a student at the Magic University and a member of its Student Council, too, so finding the extra time to train couldn’t have been easy. Maybe she couldn’t help but try her best since her excellent seniors — like Lina, for instance — were always so close by.
“All right, that’s good enough, you two.”
“Hah hah hah… Y-yes, sir!”
“Hmph, so what now? I wouldn’t mind taking them all on by myself, you know?”
“Hey, that sounds like a good idea!”
When I said that, Tarawo’s face instantly turned to one of panic.
“Wha–!? N-now hold it right there, Asley! You haven’t had your turn yet, have you? Hmm, yes, you ought to show us what you’re made of! Isn’t that right, Tifa?”
“…Yeah. I’d like to see you fight, Sir Asley.”
“Fwahahaha! Of course you do! So do I!”
“Yes, Sir Asley. I would like to see you in action as well.”
Greatly troubled by how Haruhana and Tifa were looking at me, I resorted to turning to Pochi. Pochi being Pochi, though, she only yawned and scratched her neck with her hind leg.
Ngh… looks like she’s bored out of her mind.
Well, who can blame her? The three kings, despite starting off all high and mighty thanks to my power boosts, are now all exhausted. Well, except the Zombie King — that thing can’t exactly show emotion or signs of fatigue, after all.
Still, they want to see me fight, huh…
“Sure, why not? I’ll give it a try.”
As Tūs advised, I should go all out from the very start…
“First of all… All Up: Count 3 & Remote Control!”
“Hmm!? You’re casting enhancement spells on THEM… again!?”
“And he makes it look so easy…!”
So Tifa and Haruhana are keeping an eye on my spell casting speed and general movements — makes sense.
“Now, watch carefully — I’ll show you how to win this without attacking even once!”
And Tarawo… he’s still acting high and mighty, but he’s already turned back into his Chihuahua form. Looks like that potion is good for only ten minutes even after all the ingredient adjustments. Well, at least it’s better than the older one’s five minutes.
“First, release as much arcane energy from your body as you can. Hmph!”
“”–!? That’s so much energy…!””
“W-what is with those bulging muscles!?”
Heh, I’ll make sure to treat Tarawo to something nice later.
“Next, control the energy that’s being released — and no, not with the Remote Control spell. Adjust the direction you want to release it in, and make it swirl like a vortex around the monsters.”
“Ah, controlling arcane energy with arcane energy, yes?”
“You’re reflecting the first release of arcane energy with a second release, creating a controlled path for the arcane energy to flow through…”
“That’s exactly right, Tifa. And once the vortex is fully formed, it’ll gather the rest of the energy that comes out of me. The energy will be the most focused in the center of the swirl, where the Zombie King is… yeah, it’ll be the first to go.”
And as I predicted, the Zombie King started becoming dazed and eventually collapsed on the spot.
“That’s a severe case of arcane energy intoxication. People can faint when hit by powerful surges of arcane energy if they’re not strong enough to handle it — but I never knew it could happen to monsters, too…!”
“Moreover, that’s no weakling! It’s a strengthened B-ranked monster!”
And then the Orc King and Ghoul King collapsed. Confirming that they were definitely out of commission, I stopped my arcane energy release and turned to the three behind me.
“See, that’s not too complicated, right?”
“Hmm? What is it, Tifa?”
“That’s… way too high-level for me to learn from. I can’t use it yet.”
……God damn it.
In the end, Pochi… well, stopped feeling bored and killed off the three kings in their sleep, completing the party quest. Back at the Guild, we took on some more S-ranked party quests, and while getting them done, I focused on letting Tifa and Haruhana get their training in.
After all that, I realized something important…
In the evening, after telling Itsuki that we would have dinner at the Guild before coming home, we spent quite some time lounging around at the guild over some drinks and snacks.
“Man, we really made some good money today!”
“70,000 Gold in total…”
Tifa is surprised by just how much gold the leather bag is holding.
The reward amounts for most jobs in T’oued are lower than in the War Demon Nation, but that can be easily counteracted by taking on more quests. There are a lot of S-ranked quests to choose from anyway — way more than I ever expected, in fact.
“This is amazing. It took a few quests, but we’re now earning more from this compared to the previous mission that Team Silver accepted.”
“Government work is bound to pay more, seeing that they’re not processed through the Guild and all. If those jobs we just completed came directly from the Nation instead, we probably would’ve been paid as much as 200,000 Gold.”
“That’s at least 200 meals!”
“Not happening, doggo.”
Gotta stop her now — because she totally would eat that much if she could.
Haruhana, hearing my explanation, put her finger to her chin and pondered the information over.
“What’s up, Haruhana?”
“Does that mean the Guild takes a cut of the reward, then?”
“They do deduct the amount beforehand, yeah — before we see the amount we get on the request papers, even. Duncan never told you about it?”
“Never did, yes. What do they use the money for, anyway?”
“Maintenance costs and the staff’s wages, mainly — and maybe some research and development. Guild members in dangerous regions need to be stronger. There’s also the locals to consider — many of them can’t just leave, and can’t afford the costs of posting a quest, either — so sometimes the Guild covers the cost for them. That’s why the Nation can’t intervene in the Guild’s business too much. There’s no telling for sure what will happen to the War Demon Nation from now on, though.”
My explanation is pretty rough, but Haruhana seems to understand it.
Then this time, it was Tifa who tilted her head.
“It’s a good thing that you’re curious about this, Tifa. Go on, ask away.”
“I’ve never been taught this in the University — is there any reason why they wouldn’t teach it?”
“Well, the Guild has always been a completely separate entity from the Nation’s government, so there’s no one reason I can point at, I guess. It’s been this way before I was even born, too, you know.”
“Hahaha… If you say so, Sir Asley.”
Tifa laughed. Tarawo, seeing Tifa like that, was so surprised that his mouth was agape — and milk started dripping from it.
“Well, you might know the reason if you ask HIM, though…”
“Who do you mean by… ‘him’?”
“The Guild Master, who else? You know how Lina and Fuyu are going everywhere recruiting people? Well, the Master of the Adventurers’ Guild has agreed to visit our hideout, apparently.”
Hearing my explanation, Haruhana and Tifa turned to me.
“Oh, so we DO have one…”
“The Guild Master, huh…”
Oh, they’ve never learned about THIS, either?
Still, I suppose being able to focus on this kind of stuff could be considered proof that the Devil King’s influence over our society is starting to weaken.
After a while, when Haruhana started getting tipsy and… aggressive, I got away from her by grabbing the sleepy Pochi and leading everyone back to the mansion.
Once there, Tifa reluctantly teleported back to her Magic University dorm room with Tarawo.
Then I gave Pochi a vial of Pochibitan D and walked outside again in order to confirm what I had learned earlier today. Yeah, that important thing I realized quite a few paragraphs ago.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Master? Why are you in such a hurry?”
“So… you remember how I cast enhancement spells on those monsters?”
“Yes, you’re probably the only person in this world who would do that, Master!”
“Nah, no way. There’s got to be at least one other person, somewhere out there.”
“Anyway, why’d you bring that up, sir? Did you figure some secret thing out?”
“Oh, you know me so well, Pochi!”
“Flattery will not get you anything, sir — well, aside from my drool and the growling of my stomach, that is!”
Yeah, and I’m not desperate enough to ask her for stuff right now anyway.
“Ahem, back to the main point… There IS something probably no one but me does — and that is, I keep track of my experience points while I fight.”
“And why does that matter, sir?”
“So earlier today, when I kept my Appraisal Glasses activated during the fights, I noticed that I gained more experience points from the monsters that I have cast enhancement spells on. Which means… we could use this to level up efficiently even in the current era. That’s it.”