The Silver trio, who had accepted Asley’s request to help Faltown in case it turned out to actually be in danger, were now already done with their preparations for battle. This was because Asley had asked them to do so beforehand.
Yesterday, they had been told that they would be called upon through Telepathic Call magecraft on the following day, and so they kept themselves at the ready, sitting in front of the Spell Circle in Asley’s room.
As one could see from their expressions, they were not at all nervous.
All three, as different from the other two as each of them were, had already steeled themselves to fight at a moment’s notice.
By the time night fell and the hustle and bustle of the town died down, Bruce had the honor to be the first to make a movement.
He merely raised one brow – as subtle as that was, it garnered a reaction from Blazer and Betty all the same.
Bruce nodded in response to Blazer’s questioning word.
All three, each armed with their respective favorite weapons, got up immediately and stood before the Spell Circle.
This was the Spell Circle of Teleportation, which Asley had set up before he had gone out.
Since the spell has yet to be set in two separate locations, the Circle here was inactive, but once Asley was done drawing the other Spell Circle at Faltown, they would be able to come and go through the link as they pleased.
With the hands of the clock making the only sounds in their ears, they let time pass – and eventually, Bruce’s face was painted with a disappointed scowl.
“Damn it, he messed up the timing. Must be a tough fight over there.”
“What do you mean? It’s always been like this.”
“Huhuhu, you can say that again.”
The two, witnessing Bruce having another taste of the glorious Asley-ness after such a long time, subtly smiled with the edges of their lips. And then those amused smiles turned into wry ones when, at the next moment, the Spell Circle shed its light, signifying its activation.
“It’s your time to shine! Blazer! Bruce! Betty!”
On the wall of Faltown’s north fate, a Spell Circle shed an orange luminescence and a wind-shredding shrill upon its invocation. And then, the Spell Circle’s light intensified as it absorbed in the particles.
Cleath squinted in face of the brightness as three silhouettes appeared before his eyes.
“I see the enemy. Bruce, you go in with me. Betty, cover us!”
“You got it!”
The Silver trio just appeared from within the light, but they immediately knew what needed to be done and acted accordingly.
Bruce charged at Cleath head-on, and Blazer stayed one step behind him, analyzing Cleath’s abilities as he went. At almost the same time, Betty threw a dagger, which she had already drawn out back at Asley’s room. The trio’s smooth and swift flow of coordination prompted Asley to taper his mouth to a point and whistle out of admiration. Cleath, on the other hand, was having an absolutely terrible time, as apparent from the look on his face.
For a single moment he had been distracted, his shoulder had taken a hit from one of Betty’s daggers.
Seeing how Bruce and Blazer seemed to have the fighting spirit of the Six Braves as they approached him, he now felt certain that he was in danger.
Behind them all, Asley had already started drawing Circles for spells to support the trio.
Cleath, getting his table turned over so suddenly and definitively, had a single drop of sweat run down his face.
“Tch – I, face this much opposition, never expected.”
Tzar had an indignant eye on him from further back. On the giant serpent’s body was a new arrival to him – the girl called Lala.
“ASLEY! I HATH CLEANED UP THE WEST!”
“Many thanks! All Up: Count 4 & Remote Control!”
Asley unleashed a body augmentation spell for The Silver and the newly-returned Lala, and then dashed up to Bruce’s side.
Surprised by the totally unexpected turn of events, Cleath instantly stepped further back.
Asley brandished his right fist and charged at Cleath.
Cleath brushed aside the arcane energy-induced punch, but then he realized how Asley employed an advanced form of martial art.
“Y-you! Not a mage?!”
“I’m a warrior!”
Bruce immediately answered.
“Kuh-! Did not ask you!”
“I’m a dog!”
Thrown off by Bruce’s vigorous shout, and then by the voice another new arrival from behind him, Cleath now faced certain defeat.
Cleath jumped back without realizing that the one waiting for him back there was none other than Pochi, and was subsequently bitten on his left arm.
In the end, Pochi successfully tore the arm off.
(Xem: FINISH HIM! -> Brutal Pochi move… -> Pochitality?)
Gritting his teeth to bear with the pain of his lost arm, Cleath spun around and grabbed Pochi on her head with his right hand, then stepped on her back and jumped away.
In one bound, he leapt all the way down the north-west section of the wall – his silhouette then blended into the shadow and disappeared.
Bruce landed at the same location, but although he had been tracking Cleath’s movements all the way through, he could not detect the strange man anywhere now.
“Gah – damn it! Never thought he’d escape so easily!”
“What, it’s over already? Pretty anti-climactic, if you ask me.”
“Now, it would’ve gotten dangerous if you guys weren’t here. Really, thanks. And sorry for asking for your help at such a busy time.”
Asley did not forget to apologize for their inconvenience as well.
Tzar scowled in the direction Cleath had disappeared to with quite the grim look in his eyes, but since he no longer felt any danger, proceeded to slowly shrink himself back down.
“”Good grief, what a troublesome opponent he was. Our shoulders shudder at the thought of him pulling ‘that move’ off.””
“…But Master! No matter how much I look, I can’t see Tzar’s shoulders at all!”
“Hey hey, you’re talking crazy again… wait, you’re right!”
“”What do you mean, We have… no shoulders?!””
The dog and her Master, having received an unexpected follow-up, turned to look at each other with the same expression of despair painted on both their faces.
“NOOOOO! How come I can’t find Tzar’s shoulders anywhere?!”
“Calm down, Pochi – They must’ve fallen off and buried under the rubble there! Go look for them!”
“Leave it to me! HA! HA! HA! HA!”
Taking a sidelong glance at Pochi as she started to actually dig through the rubble, Tzar heaved a sigh.
Asley, seeming satisfied by whatever he had achieved, turned to the exasperated trio of warriors behind him and gave them a thumbs-up.
Although the battle had ended with the enemy’s escape, the trio received a sign of victory.
They had not participated for very long, still a win was a win. They all shook off the looks of doubt on their faces and gave the same sign back to Asley.
Seeing that, Lala thought over what the sign could mean, but since she did not reach any answer, she stopped thinking and went by her instinct, proudly imitating the pose instead.
Meanwhile, the grief of a certain Familiar resounded far and wide from the top of the severely damaged section of Faltown’s wall.
The Silver, Lala, and Tzar kept watch at the main entrance of town, and Pochi, on the other hand, still persisted in digging through the rubble.
Faltown had taken quite a severe hit to its integrity, with its utterly exhausted townspeople and warriors now all gathered at the plaza of the central district.
There, Asley finally saw the faces of Ryan, Reid, Mana, and Reyna, his dearly missed friends.
All their faces suggested a great deal of fatigue, but they did not seem too heavily injured, so Asley felt a fair degree of relief.
He prioritized those more severely wounded to be targeted by his recovery magic, and sent to Lala’s way those lightly injured to receive their healing.
Time passed quickly, and now, it was almost dawn.
While he was going around doing his thing, he saw some familiar faces among the fatigued townspeople.
He went to greet and heal them, without forgetting to give everyone a hug. Although this was indeed a time of sadness, none of their faces was darkened by despair – Asley smiled, surprised by their strength to carry on.
Pochi came back by the time the sun had fully risen.
The others, on the other hand, started snoring in their sleep, having relieved themselves of the tension and chaos at last.
Asley, having completed his part for the time being, heaved a sigh of relief and settled himself down on a pile of suitable rubble.
“Good work out here, sir!”
“Found any shoulders?”
“Sorry to disappoint, sir, but there were only Goblins’… wha?!”
As Pochi put on a sarcastic display of regret, several pairs of footsteps approached from behind her.
Seeing five long shadows cast on the ground, she raised her face up, and instead saw five silhouettes bow their heads down.
The five in question were Ryan, Reid, Mana, Reyna, and Adolf – Asley sprung up from his seat, disturbed by the unexpected gesture.
“What are you all doing?! P-please, raise your faces up-!”
“…We must thank you for coming to save us and the town, Sir Asley. Moreover, it is only natural for me to act like this. It is because I was emotionally moved my body took action. I cannot possibly raise my head just because you told me to do so.”
Ryan’s words prompted the rest of the townspeople to stand.
A silent wave it may have been, but it took no time at all for all the people to bow their heads.
Faced with such a gesture, even someone like Pochi hid her eyes away in shame.
“Asley, man… before we get to our reunion talk, just let us thank you first. So, yeah, thank you. I mean it.”
“You really saved our hides back there, Asley. Thanks a million.”
Reid and Mana subsequently expressed their deep gratitude, disregarding the fact they were having a reunion with a friend after two and a half years.
Following suit was Reyna, then Adolf, and then all the townspeople.
Tickled in all the right spots by Faltown’s gentle movement, Asley raised his hand to scratch his cheek.
And then, amid the seemingly never-ending storm of thanks, he finally discarded his shame, took a deep breath, and stood proudly.
“Yes! You’re all welcome!”
Upon hearing so, Ryan finally raised his face, with a subtle smile on his lower lip.
Asley, riding on the hype wave, rose up in laughter, prompting another wave among the townspeople – each raised their heads up, each showing a brilliant smile.
Losing his bearings to a mysterious feeling within himself, Asley hugged Reid’s shoulder and let out an encouraging shout.
“Master, is it fine for me to open my eyes yet?!”
Pochi’s comical predicament, on the other hand, would be noticed by Asley a good ten minutes later.