I am Tarawo.
My Master is Tifa.
As I had feared, the Lord and Retainer Contract between her and I, has not been voided upon leaving the Thirsty Desert.
According to Tifa’s hypothesis, it is possible that my inability to handle my original powers is caused by the insufficiency of my once-vast pool of arcane energy.
“If that is so, what about your ability to control me, Tifa?”
I had asked, but failed to receive an answer. Hmph, I fail to understand why she would not explain herself.
Still – something is not right. Ever since the Lord and Retainer Contract between Tifa and I has been initiated – ever since I have become her Familiar – I have felt that my worldview has become slightly wider.
All the people who appeared before us, the buildings in towns, the trees in the forest – all of them looked somewhat larger.
Several days after I first met Tifa, we spent our time on quite a long journey to arrive at this particularly large town called ‘Beilanea’.
It is a lively place, and seems to also have an abundance of mages. I noticed, a while ago, that this place has a strong scent of mages’ arcane energy flow.
Considering how rare of a monster I am, perhaps I will be facing a Familiar thief some time down the line.
Now that I’ve realized it so quickly, perhaps I should report it to my Master while I can. Huhuhuhu, such are the abilities of a King Wolf Garm!
“Tifa, is it not dangerous for me to be out in the open? I’ve heard that this place is somewhat rampant with Familiar thieves, so would it not be better for me to stay inside a Spell Circle?”
“You’ll be fine.”
What a colorless response. Not quite black, not quite white… if the color gray was a shade of emotion, then that would be what it was.
I can see that she is not much of a strong-willed girl deep down. Her arcane energy pool, on the other hand, is quite vast and powerful.
All the monsters we have fought on our way here were formidable. They were referred to as ‘Rank B’ among humans, which sounded fairly high, so I was quite horrified when I saw her burn them to ashes so effortlessly.
Anyways… she may say that I’ll “be fine” now, but in the case that I actually am stolen, she would surely panic and be driven to tears, would she not?
Huhuhuhu, see, this is the charming power of Tarawo! The Garm! The King Wolf- what the-?!
“What in the blazes…?!”
We stopped before the entrance of a certain establishment, the glass door of which reflected an image of Tifa and I… but is THAT supposed to be ME?!
Why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why?!
Why is the Familiar on Tifa’s side now a small-breed Chihuahua dog?!
This is inconceivable! Where did my elegant King Wolf form go?!
“Tifa! What happened to m-my… appearance?!”
Gah, what dreadful eyes this girl has. Those absolute zero-cold stares are as if she was intending to crush everything to death…
That made me let out an involuntary agreement! Again! I will never live this down… I will never live this down, you hear me?!
Anyways, what is this place?!
Now that I paid attention to my surroundings again, I realized that we are already in the center of town.
What in the world are these utterly massive blocks of buildings we are heading toward?
I am sensing a dense air of peculiar arcane energy from one side, and the collective scent of high-spirited human fighters from the other.
Hmm, so strange. Will it be fine for me to enter these buildings as well? For most buildings in other towns, I would be forced to instead show my elegant sitting form for the world to see… or in other words, to wait outside.
That does not seem to apply to this location – or rather, most of this whole town.
I don’t understand… I don’t understand, but still…all things considered, this town isn’t half bad.
Oh-ho, so we are going to enter the north-facing tower with dense arcane energy? I suppose it is only normal for Tifa to head there.
After another brief walk, we came across a human woman with an exceptionally high level of arcane energy.
Tifa slightly straightened up her short stature, stepped away from me, and observed that woman from where she could barely see her face.
Is this… a place to carry out some sort of formal procedure? That bespectacled blonde woman looked quite influential.
I sense no malice from her, but you still ought to be careful, Tifa…
“From Iverial town, here to take the entrance examination.”
Tifa passed an envelope to the woman on the other side of the counter’s glass window.
Hmm, I swear I just saw a sign of relief on Tifa’s face for a second there…was it just my imagination?
“The examination is taking place in a classroom beyond this hallway. Normally there would be one of the Archmage representatives of the University to oversee the process, but this time, I will be the one to instruct and observe your practical forms instead.”
“It’s not a written test?”
“The process was designed to give the candidates little time to think things over. The institution seeks candidates who excel in immediate responses and solutions.”
I’ve heard that human society has unwritten rules of courtesy pertaining to seniority by length of service, so is it appropriate for Tifa to be so blunt with the lady?
The woman herself does not seem to particularly mind, but… Hmm? Now that I think about it, why would I even concern myself with such matters?
I am a Garm – a King Wolf – and together with my Master, we shall conquer even the deepest depths of the underworld if need be!
“Now then, I will be guiding you to the classroom… Oh my, who’s this cute li’l doggo?”
The blonde woman, exiting the office, noticed me as I stood in wait a short way apart from my Master.
“He’s my Familiar. The guard at the entrance has given me permission to bring him along.”
“…Huhu, this exchange reminds me of something from my… relatively recent past. Oh, and there is no issue with him being here of course.”
After spending a brief moment to reminisce about her past, the woman pushed her glasses up and led the way, her glittering hair swaying beautifully with every step.
It seems that we are heading to the so-called classroom place immediately.
On the way, we met a blue-haired young man. At first glance, I mistook him for my former Master that abandoned me, but it turns out that he is a different person.
The boy bowed to the blonde lady.
“Good afternoon, Professor Trace… Oh, are we having another examination?”
The young man glanced briefly at Tifa. According to him, the blonde woman’s name is ‘Trace’. I see, I see…
Hmph, you greenhorn. An examination, you said? The extent of my power dwarfs even those of elite humans! Whatever the test is for, I shall ace it even with my eyes closed!
“Yes, Hornel, as you can see. I think she has the potential to become quite an excellent student.”
This blue-haired man is called ‘Hornel’… noted. Heh, remembering some names is but a simple task for an intelligent creature such as I.
Trace, after exchanging some simple greetings with Hornel, started to walk ahead once again.
Hornel looked at me as if he was seeing an unusual sight, and then went on his way, his boots ringing quite a nice ‘click’ with his every step.
Upon reaching the place called ‘classroom,’ I saw that a long chair had been set in front of its entrance. I see, so this is where the examinees would sit in waiting during busy hours.
“This is the site of the examination. You will be entering this room to undergo a question-and-answer session with me, followed by a test of combat form. Miss Tifa, if you please.”
“Hmm… well then, let’s go, Tifa. We shall show her what we are capable- bwah!”
Once those two stepped into the room, the door slid tightly shut.
Ngh… why was I unable to enter just as they did?
“Ngh…! Hey! Hello?! I’m stuck out here! Ngh… why won’t it open?!”
This door is quite sturdy.
Leaving scratch marks on it would most likely enrage Tifa later on. And that, in turn, would result in me having to go through the worst punishments imaginable.
With that in consideration, I shall sit here in all my elegant, graceful, beautiful glory.
Even under the long chair, my magnificent presence shall overwhelm those on top of it, for I am a Garm! A King Wolf! I am Tarawo!
Heh, wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!
I silently sat on, and eventually I started hearing another set of footsteps approaching my direction from my right.
That… is a young human woman. She looks older than Tifa, but not by much.
Ngh – she also seems to be an influential individual.
This new arrival, with reddish brown hair, exudes an air of tenderness of personality.
Moreover, her posture suggests proficiency in martial arts. Hmm, it seems that she has already taken note of my presence?
“Oh… you’re the examinee’s Familiar, aren’t you?”
The young woman crouched down and sparked a conversation.
“Hmph, you are being over-familiar, lass. Why don’t you introduce yourself first?”
“Ah, sorry about that. I’m Lina. And you?”
“I am Tarawo. I am a beast of high class who bears the title of King Wolf.”
“I see, I see… Tarawo… what a cute name!”
Lina gently pet on my head.
Ngh…what an unceremonious girl. If I were to go on a rampage now, Tifa would surely kill me.
I ought to resign myself to the disgrace of being played with, but upon reconsidering my current image, I shall not…! I will make sure that she regrets touching my body with those hands of hers!
…Hmm? Oh? Ngh…
Well, this does feel quite good. Ah, yes, a little lower under my chin… yes, that’s good…
Huhuhuhu, she definitely knows what she is doing. Oh? Oh, now my tail? Is that where she is going?
Huhuhuhu, very well. I shall permit it.
She is an influential person at this location, is she not? If that’s the case, I shall grant her the permission to spend her time by my side.
Now, feel free to pat my head and rub my back once more, yes?
See, sitting like this makes it easier for her, does it not? Well? Ngh – why is she stopping?! Why?! I don’t understand!
“Oh, I’m sorry, but I’m needed at the Student Council Office now. Your Master is still in the middle of the examination, right? We’ll meet again after your Master passes the test!”
That Lina Lass… She actually went without fanfare after saying what she needed to.
Of course, there is no way Tifa would fail that examination, whatever its contents may be. That dangerous Master of mine is on a whole another level from the usual mages of today!
“We’ll meet again,”
– she said. I am very satisfied by such considerate words.
The next time we meet, perhaps I shall have her become my servant to rub my fur all day.
“Hey, why’re you making that creepy face?”
When I regained my grip on reality, I realized that my Master had returned.
…I have shown my disgraceful conduct in public! What a blunder!