“Asley! Check that out! That’s so damn awesome! Gotta go just a bit slower – just a bit – ah, there! It’s a Green berry tree! It’s rare to see one in the wild, you know! It’s so beautiful! Isn’t it, Asley? Isn’t it?!”
“See how Lala’s eyes turn into heart shapes each time she sees some rare plants, Master?”
“I already know that. Worrying about that all the time wouldn’t be good for my body, would it?”
“At any rate… it’s quite impressive that she’s able to keep up with us at this speed, sir.”
Bah, this is why I hate the concept of talent.
After explaining the deal about the Devil King’s resurrection to everyone back at the Agency, Pochi and I had departed from Beilanea. We were headed to none other than the first town we had found more than four years ago after ridding ourselves of the old dungeon dweller lifestyle. The one, from which Lina and I had then departed to attend Magic University… Faltown.
Yesterday, I had tried to use the Telepathic Call magecraft to speak with Ryan, what with me having not contacted him for quite a long time, but there hadn’t been any response. At first, I’d thought he was just sleeping, but there had been any answer when I’d tried to call him at different times, either.
I had two possibilities in consideration when it came to this situation.
Either the destination had been under the influence of Space Interference magic, or Ryan had been so physically weak that the telepathic connection had been disrupted.
In the former case, it was highly possible that Faltown was caught in battle.
In the latter case, Faltown would soon end up in deep trouble. Without his charisma to lead things in town, all the heavy lifting would fall to Reid, the other leading figure of town.
Well, no – it’s deep trouble either way.
I’d already planned to visit Faltown sometime once I was back to Beilanea anyway, and maybe surprise Reid with telepathy… with that in mind, I had set out with Pochi… but then Tzar just had to get his ideas running.
“”Listen, Lala – raise your feet up to a fixed height and maintain it. The more sloppy you are, the more unnecessary burden your body will incur, and the more inconsistent your muscle growth will be.””
“Yes, Sir Instructor!”
“”You ought to observe how our honored host Pochi runs. The sharp slide characteristic of one in tune with nature. Adaptation to uneven ground with the intuition of a beast. And eyes always on the way ahead. Like an old, battle-hardened warrior.””
“Yes, Sir Instructor! She’s damn cute, sir!”
“Master! At this rate, it’ll soon be appropriate for me to be called Master Pochi, right?!”
Master Pochi’s eyes glittered, her tail wagging, presumably because of Tzar’s words of praise from behind her. So befitting of a Master indeed.
Previously, Tzar had been twining around Lala’s torso, positioning his ends on both sides of her head, but ever since she’d bought a rucksack in Beilanea, he had been in it, sticking his heads out of there instead.
Lala had two responses to Tzar’s speech, with the latter one making Pochi blush quite clearly.
Bah, this has become quite an amusing party.
“Gah – 80 meters ahead, multiple Solid Slimes! Total… ten! Barely at the limit of Split Invocation, Master!”
Those were extraordinarily tough Slimes that gave out an extremely high amount of experience points. Chances are this will be enough for my final push.
They move fast too, but with my power now, I can take them…!
“Rise! Speed Down: Count 10 & Remote Control!”
“W-wha-?! Master! Lala’s disappeared?!”
“That’s impressive… she just used Water Manipulating magic. A composite spell that utilizes water, wind, and lightning, to be precise. Right, that would be convenient for fighting Solid Slimes… might as well use it, too! Invisible Illusion!”
“”Oh-ho, We see that you can use it as well, Sir Asley. That is wonderful indeed.””
“They can still see you, Pochi, so herd them to our side!”
Upon detecting Pochi, the Solid Slimes started sliding backwards with their ‘faces’ still facing forward.
Pochi herded them around, causing them to go from right to left and to right again, once she got around them, the Slimes were bolting right toward us, unaware of our concealment.
“Fire Stamp: Count 5!”
Aha, an earth-elemental snare. Nice. She’s got a solid foundation on her battle methodologies.
All the Solid Slimes found themselves caught in Lala’s Earth Clutch.
And then my Fire Stamp cracked that enclosure as it descended on the Solid Slimes. Looks like they’re finally down.
As that would be confirmed immediately after, with the fanfare that I hadn’t heard for such a long, long time now ringing in my head.
Way to go!
After I confirmed that there was no longer a threat, I invoked my Appraisal Glasses.
- NAME: ASLEY
- TITLES: The Eternal Fool, The Polarizing, Hermit Candidate, Great Mage, Alchemist, Staff Master, Six Archmages (Tentative), Honored Teacher, Rank A, Top Student, No Guts, SS Slayer, Guardian Mage (Tentative), The Strong
- LV: 100
- HP: 2,900
- MP: 34,091
- EXP: 9,999,999
- SPECIAL SKILLS:
- Attack Magic (Skilled)
- Support Magic (Skilled)
- Recovery Magic (Skilled)
- Purification (Advanced)
- Fortify Strength
- Fortify Resilience
All right, good.
I’d finally reached level 100. Well, I suppose it would be correct to say ‘merely’ reached 100.
This wall of numbers must be crossed, but that isn’t something anyone of us can do now.
All of us have to get as strong as we possibly can.
Right – like that muscle Philosopher.
“Damnnn, you’re damn strong, Asley!”
“Well, I finished them off this time, so the next monster is for you, all right?”
“Leave it to me!”
“”Sir Asley, please do not hesitate to have her work more. We do not mind at all.””
“Sir Ashley, please don’t hesitate to spoil me more. I don’t mind at all!”
“Who the hell are you calling Ashley?! Oh, now that I think about it, how about we let Lala finish off all
the monsters for a while from now on? Looks like I’ve just reached Level 100 from that last one.”
“”Oh-oh, We suppose congratulations are in order. You ought to do what he proposed, Lala.””
“I HATH STARTED THE HUNT! OHHH~~!”
And so we headed south with an incredibly fast pace, and with plenty of battles on the way.
It was a tough trip, what with us having to sort through the monsters’ loot, taking only the remarkable items and leaving piles and piles of the rest.
That made me especially appreciate having a party that didn’t have to worry about carrying limits.
Iverial town, the place we had first met Dragan of the Six Braves and his pupil Egd, was now mere moments away.
“WE HATH ARRIVED!”
“”Lala, do not jump on your bed.””
“We’re finally here!”
“Damn it, stupid dog! Don’t get on the bed before cleaning your paws!”
“I HATH GONE TO SLEEP!”
“”Lala, go brush your teeth if you do not want cavities in them.””
“Good night, Master… ZZzzz…”
“Hey, not so fast! Hey! Damn it, Pochi! …Gah, already fast asleep.”
“”Hmm, same here. Now, Sir Asley, since you have free time on your hands… care to have a discussion with Us about that lass you are so fond of?””
…What in blazes even led to this?
“Well, we ought to be up early tomorrow. If possible, I’d like to arrive at Faltown the day after tomorrow.”
“”The Lina lass is quite a well-developed character, would you not agree? What do you think of her, Sir Asley?””
“”You did not think you could avoid Us by feigning sleep, did you?””
Oh, for the love of… I can’t even tell if he’s a kid or an adult.
“Lina… Well, she’s a good girl, just as you said, but I still don’t have that solid of an opinion. I’ve just met her again after my two years’ absence, and haven’t gotten to talk with her much yet.”
“”We have heard from Miss Betty that you two have been keeping in touch and were on good terms over those two years though?””
Damn it Betty, telling people the most unnecessary things…
“That’s exactly why. The longer we’re apart, the longer time passes, the less people will understand each other. So I’m going to-“
“”Distance yourself from her again?””
“…Not to get too close too quickly, was what I meant.”
“”Hmm, We do understand your circumstances at least to a degree, Sir Asley. Now, do not fret. If things do not work out with Lina lass, We could send Lala your way instead.””
(Anna: (′ʘ⌄ʘ‵) for real?! LoL)
“I won’t ask why or how you even came up with that, but it wouldn’t be good to treat Lala so lightly, don’t you think?”
“”Hmph, fair enough. What a blunder. Please forget We ever said anything.””
“I’ll forget it. Oh, and good night.”