“Damn, that flying thing actually WORKED! C’mon, Asley, one more time!”
Looks like Betty’s totally hooked. She’s practically begging for me to cast the spell again, and also trying to distract me from the fact that I’ve just been through tickling hell moments ago.
Well, I did manage to bail myself out of there, at least. Using my barely movable fingertips, I invoked my brand new Levitation spell and forced my way out, ascending into the air and dragging everyone along with me.
While everyone was distracted by the fact that my body actually was levitating, I flew out to the garden and shook them off of me… or, well, attempted to.
Blazer and Ryan immediately let go, but Betty and Bruce… and, hell, everyone else, started having fun real fast after the initial shock, holding on to my body and screaming orders at me, like go this way, go that way, go higher, et cetera…
Honestly, this makes me think this team might actually be higher than S-ranked in terms of insatiable curiosity. Am I the only one who feels that way?
At one point, Pochi shouted at me to ‘do the thing,’ whatever that was. It piqued Bruce and Betty’s curiosity enough for them to tighten my hold on me as if they were in a concert, riding on a hype wave resulting from a song they didn’t even know the meaning of. And to think I’m still the only one out of the whole group whose status spreadsheet contains a ‘Fool’ title. Ugh…
In the end, I activated my Ultimate Limit form and spammed a bunch of spells to get everyone off of me. Regardless, though, Betty was utterly unaffected.
And come to think of it, I’ve really been using the Ultimate Limit for increasingly mundane things as of late…
“At least lemme eat first! I’m starving!”
“Then you’ll fly, right!? I’m looking forward to it, Airship Asley!”
Man, there really is no winning against her.
Pochi and I went to the living room, and after eating breakfast prepared by Haruhana, we headed out to the hall, just as Blazer had told us to do so after we were done eating.
Once there, we saw that Lylia and the whole Team Silver were already waiting for us.
“Whoa! Idéa and Midors! Long time no see, guys!”
“Heh, you look just about as stupid as always.”
“Big talk, coming from the guy who almost pissed his pants to that arcane energy surge just now.”
“Uh, Idéa, that was just… Uh…”
“Anyway, forget him. So you actually managed to beat the Devil King, huh?”
“Well, yeah. Just ask Lylia about it — she was part of the fight, too.”
“Don’t forget me!”
Idéa pulled a sour face at Pochi’s attempt at calling for attention, then turned to me again.
“I know you had to work your ass off for it — I mean, if THAT doesn’t scream effort, the whole world might as well be considered lazy.”
“Hahaha, no doubt!”
Huh, these two seem to have… become way nicer. Is it because it’s been so long that they’ve finally grown up?
“And, well, you know…”
“Go on. You said you’d say the whole thing yourself, Midors.”
“Yeah, but now that he’s right here, it’s a bit…”
Whatever are they even on about now?
Also, they seem to have gotten quite close… Not that that’s a bad thing, though.
“Truth be told, I didn’t think you’d return in one piece, really! Welcome back, man!”
Midors said, extremely embarrassed, and Idéa proceeded to burst into laughter.
“Ahahaha! That sounded way better than I expected from you! Hehehe…”
Idéa held her stomach as she kept on laughing, and Midors covered his face with both his hands. Midors isn’t the type to say ‘welcome back’ to anyone, true, but hey, I’m not the type to not appreciate the attempt he made.
“T-thanks. It’s good to be back. Hahaha…”
“Hey! What’s that laugh for!?”
“Nah, man, I’m not laughin’! I’m not! Hahaha…”
“C’mon now, the whole team is here, so how about you sit back down?”
Calmed down by Idéa, Midors went silent, albeit while still looking pretty grumpy. In an attempt to shift the atmosphere, I greeted the other members who had just returned to the mansion after days on their missions.
“So… welcome back, guys. How’d your work go?”
“Went without a hitch! But man, you really hit an awesome breakthrough today, huh?”
“Yeah, the spell just now… Levitation, was it? Now THAT was a surprise!”
I swear, Bruce and Betty’s personalities probably won’t ever change, regardless of how much time passes.
In response to my greeting, Blazer, Ryan, and Reyna nodded and smiled. Natsu raised one hand and boasted of how hard she and Shiny had worked.
“By the way, Asley, you gotta hear this! My bro just tripped and fell, like, real comically — at an important part of the fight, no less!”
“Hey, Mana! You’re not supposed to tell anyone!”
“The Chief got pretty angry at him, too.”
“Not you, too, Adolf!”
“Hahaha… Good thing you’re still alive, eh, Reid?”
As though my remark was the finishing blow, Reid heaved a deep sigh.
Blazer, seeing that as a good point to cut in, coughed once to clear his throat. Looks like the meeting is finally starting.
“All right, let’s begin the Silver’s meeting. Haruhana, was there any problem here while we were away?”
“Not at all. And thanks to Sir Asley’s guidance, our revenue has received a significant boost.”
Haruhana nodded and reported to Blazer.
“We have completed a total of sixteen monster hunts — eight S-ranked, five A-ranked, and three B-ranked — and received a total of 230,000 Gold as compensation.”
Whoa, we made that much money? I don’t remember it being all that much work, but the monetary value would naturally add up, I suppose.
Bruce whistled, seemingly impressed. But then Haruhana turned gloomy. Huh, what’s up with that?
“Due to some… unforeseen expenses, however, I was able to send only 200,000 Gold to Miss Itsuki.”
“Wait, what’d you even spend a whopping 30,000 Gold on!?”
With Reid asking that, Haruhana looked at me apologetically.
What, me? What did I–
As I was about to ask, Haruhana’s sights shifted to… Pochi. Specifically, she’s looking at Pochi’s Belly. At that very moment, everyone figured out exactly what the cause was.
“HAHAHA! Pochi’s belly, huh? Gotcha, gotcha!”
Bruce clapped his hands and laughed.
Then Pochi turned to me, apparently quite spooked.
Yup, you’re not getting away with any of that, doggo.
I’m sure Haruhana tried her best to keep costs down, but even then, she had to spend THIS much… yeah, the doggo’s gluttony is one hell of a big deal.
“S-sorry, Blazer. I’ll cover for that later.”
“No, you don’t have to. That doesn’t change the fact that you did a lot of work for us. We can consider the food to be Pochi’s share.”
“He’s right. There is no need for worry, Sir Asley.”
Blazer and Ryan said, covering up for me.
I mean, I guess it’s fair to compensate Pochi for her efforts, but are they sure they want to keep enabling her behavior like this…?
“All’s well that ends well, Master!”
I let out a dry chuckle at Pochi’s attempt at winking.
With the first topic done, the meeting moved on, with Ryan asking me,
“And was there any issue on your part, Sir Asley?”
“Huh? Well, let’s see… I suppose I just remembered that Jacob and Catherine had been locked up in my Storeroom. I’ve already delivered them to the Hideout. Miss Irene and Warren will be interrogating them, or so they told me.”
“Oh-ho, those two…”
Ryan muttered while rubbing his chin.
“Ah, now that you mentioned them… I forgot about them, too. Hahaha…”
Well, Bruce is totally the kind of guy who’d also forget them, so that’s fair.
“Hah, unbelievable… You know that we’d be in big trouble if the Warrior University staff came banging at our doors, right?”
Idéa grumbled, narrowing her eyes.
She does have a point, though — those two are some of the most important people, as far as the Warrior University is concerned.
“Hahaha… right. By the way, I’ve done some hunting on my own time as well, in addition to when I went with Tifa and Haruhana. What would you like to do with the Gold I earned?”
“Tifa…? When did she even– Ah, never mind. It’s quite impressive how you went above and beyond. Don’t you think so, too, Leader?”
“Yes, even I am amazed.”
“Hahaha! Now that’s not a reaction Blazer shows every day — you really gone and done something special there, eh, Asley?”
Is it REALLY that unusual?
No, no time to dwell on that — I still have other things to report. Wouldn’t want to drag the meeting on for too long.
“A-ahem. This might not be directly related to Team Silver, but… there’s something you might want to know about Tifa’s Familiar, Tarawo. So, the thing is, I taught a special magecraft to Tifa before she left yesterday…”
“When a Familiar’s Master invokes the magecraft on their Familiar, it will experience a temporary awakening of its latent powers. Originally, it was designed for inexperienced Masters so that they could force their Familiar to draw out its full power during battle. I made some improvements to it, and now it’s able to temporarily cancel out the effects of Tarawo’s curse.”
Unlike the Familiar Brainwashing Pact, it functionally just enables a Familiar to fight with its regular power level at a time when those powers would otherwise be unusable due to the Master’s limitations. I didn’t think it would work this way on Tarawo, but when I tested it… well, it just worked.
“Huh, so you’re saying Tifa can just cast that magecraft to make Tarawo turn back into his true form?”
“That’s right, Bruce — though for now, it’s only good for ten minutes or so… and can only be used once every 24 hours. I think it’ll become more and more effective once they start to trust each other better, though.”
Hearing my report on that matter, Ryan and Reyna proceeded to bow to me.
“Your concern is very much appreciated, Sir Asley.”
“We would like to thank you — on Tifa’s parents’ behalf, too.”
Tarawo, as a King Wolf Garm, is quite powerful.
Even if it’s only for ten or so minutes a day, he now has the means to protect Tifa. Those two just seem to make a good tag team in general, too.
“Please don’t worry about it. I just did it because I wanted to.”
Tifa looked grumpy back when I taught her the Temporary Awakening magecraft, but I could tell that she was secretly happy… Like, so secretly that she herself might have not realized it.
“Now, moving on to the next report…”