Chapter 349, March of Three Kings
Looking at Pochi’s face of pure shock, it’s quite apparent that she only remembered just now as well.
I left her standing there, closed the Storeroom, and immediately teleported over to the Resistance hideout.
Thanks to how quick and competent Warren and Trace were in taking action, Catherine and Jacob were as good as unharmed.
“Hahaha, even I wouldn’t have expected this sort of… souvenir!”
Warren burst out laughing, tears welling in his eyes as he held his belly.
“Ugh… I know they’re good-for-nothings, but they’re still some of the War Demon Nation’s most important people, you know.
What are we even supposed to do with them”
Irene groaned, holding her head in frustration.
“Can I leave them to you, Miss Irene”
“No, you cannot… is what I’d like to say, but I don’t see any other choice…”
Seeing Irene resign herself to the circumstances, I let out a dry chuckle and scratched my cheek.
But I’ve got to wonder, too — what will happen to those two They’re not exactly friendly to us, but they’re still authority figures of the War Demon Nation.
“…All right, fine.
They might have some information we don’t, so we might as well try interrogating them, at least.”
Despite her tendency to complain, Irene does do her job well… Which is a good thing, of course.
And, well, she’d probably get Warren or Trace to do this sort of annoying minor-ish task, though.
“I expect some souvenirs next time as well, Asley.”
“Sure, I’ll grab something that looks delicious from over there.”
“Oh, that would be nice.”
Warren clapped his hands, seeming happy.
Has this guy always been this cheerful
…Nope, apparently not.
Even Irene looks a bit surprised by that.
Maybe it’s because he hasn’t had more than a handful of friends before, what with how mysterious he was
“Well, I’m leaving now.”
“Hey, remember to grab some souvenirs for me, too!”
I let out a dry chuckle at Irene’s last-second demand, then returned to the team’s house in Eddo.
Pochi and Haruhana are probably tired of waiting for me now.
“S-s-s-so, how were they, sir!”
“They’ll be safe, at least.”
“Oh, that’s good to hear…”
Pochi heaved a sigh of relief.
Well, that’s understandable.
I did lock them in there without any food and water for days, so I would’ve felt a bit guilty if they were to…
“…Now give me a moment to put the dirt back in these holes, sir!”
…God damn it.
So what she was actually worried about was… having to bury those two in foreign soil.
Hats off to Pochi for her sensibility-defying line of thinking, I guess.
“Hmm Are the kids here already”
I could hear the sounds of them running and shouting in the hallway — and I could tell that those were footsteps because they were getting closer to my room.
Pochi’s ears twitched in response to those sounds, and before long, the door to my room slid open with a bang.
“”IT’S REALLY HIM! ASLEY’S BACK!!””
The crowd of almost twenty kids rushed into the room like a tidal wave coming straight at me.
Then they jumped on me, turning me into their bouncy cushion.
Hmm Is this who I think it is
The arms wrapping around my abdomen feel longer than those of the other kids… and pretty strong, actually Whoever they are, I feel like they’re pressing their head against me, too…
“A… a, a, a…”
Then I heard another surprised-sounding voice to my left.
I peeked through what little gap there was in the wave of people, and saw a familiar… well, Familiar Chihuahua, looking quite shocked.
I slowly sat up, causing all the kids to slip right off me… except one — the green-haired girl who still held on tightly to my waist.
And she’s still shouting just like the other kids.
But then the others around me started going silent.
The green-haired girl, not noticing that change, continued pressing her face against my abdomen and shouting my name.
The other kids proceeded to either chuckle among themselves or make some sort of gesture as if to send a sign to the girl.
Now, I’ve already figured out who this is — And her name was starting to be mentioned by all the others, too.
The most prominent of them all was probably Tarawo, who had an expression as if the world had ended as he said…
“What are you doing, Tifa”
Tifa’s silence lasted for several seconds — which still felt longer than expected.
Then she released the tight grip of her arms and slowly backed away, her face a deep red.
She proceeded to cover her face with her hands, run out into the hallway, shout out some… strange noise, then run away as fast as she could.
As the other kids burst into laughter, I turned to Pochi and tilted my head.
I don’t know why Pochi is chuckling now… and I can’t tell why Tarawo is shouting out in horror, either.
Itsuki also dropped by to sort out everyone’s room assignments and observe the situation on this side.
Leaving her to do her thing, I went with Tifa and Haruhana to the Adventurers’ Guild, planning to take on a party quest or two.
I’ve already submitted my paperwork for the appointment with Kaoru and Jun’ko, so all I have to do for that now is wait for a response.
Left with some time to spare, I figured that I should see how much stronger my student has become.
“Fwahahaha! So this is T’oued! Mark my words — someday this land will kneel before me!”
And this Chihuahua, whose size I still am unsure whether to categorize as too big or too small, seems to be enjoying life so much.
Makes me glad that Sagan treated him well back in the day.
Still, there’s one thing that’s concerning me…
For some reason, Tifa hasn’t said a single word this whole time, and Haruhana is facing away from her.
Man, Haruhana talks like that, too Who would have thought
Tifa is still covering her face… And so is Haruhana.
She did come along with us, though, so surely she wants to take part in the hunt and get stronger as well.
At one point, Haruhana grumbled to herself about ‘her day being ruined,’ whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Seeing that, Pochi seems to be having a hard time holding back her laughter.
“…Uh, so here’s the deal — our targets are three monsters: a B-ranked Zombie King, and the A-ranked Ghoul King and Orc King.
They’re not all that strong individually, but might prove to be difficult if they come at us all at once.
Don’t let your guard down.”
This doesn’t feel right.
Did Haruhana have a sudden shift of personality She was her usual self just this morning, too…
Could it be that she doesn’t get along with Tifa No, that can’t be — she was one of Tifa’s first friends in Beilanea.
Are they fighting over something, then And besides, how is Tifa able to walk straight while covering her face
“””Hmm hm hmm~~♪ Hmm hm hmm~~♪ Hmm hm hmm~~♪ …Hey, Master~~!”””
Pochi and Tarawo seem to be on perfectly good terms, what with him humming the same tune together.
Again, what is that song Is it famous among the Familiars or something
“Hmm! Master, I sense strong sources of arcane energy up ahead!”
It seems that, in exchange for her loss of the wolf-dog’s keen sense of smell, she has gotten much better at detecting arcane energy.
Quite praiseworthy that she’s able to notice it earlier than Tarawo, too.
“Hmm! Hmm! Sniff, sniff, sniff…! What! Where!”
Tarawo, on the other hand, seems to have not detected anything yet…
“Tifa! Something smells off! That way!”
Tarawo pointed behind him with his hind leg.
Just to be sure, I turned around to look, but did not sense any arcane energy.
Really, there’s no need for him to try and show Pochi up so much… But then again, I guess that’s what makes Tarawo who he is.
Yeah, let’s just let him be.
“Oh, yeah, I’m sensing something, too.”
“Ohh! Is that true, Asley!”
Well, yeah, he could try heading straight that way for ten days or so — he’s bound to run into a monster eventually.
Tarawo wagged his tail happily.
Then the other doggo jumped at me.
“Gah! What do you think you’re doing!”
“Not that way! I know I’m right!”
Now Pochi is getting grumpy, too.
Man, is there not a way to satisfy everyone…!
In the end, though, that grumpiness of hers did not last long.
Pochi promptly got off me, and Tarawo suddenly stopped laughing, Tifa took her hands off her face, and Haruhana now looked straight ahead.
Everyone got into their combat-ready stances — a complete change of mood, achievable thanks to their experience from countless battles.
I pushed up my glasses and looked ahead as the three kings appeared before us.
“Get ready to engage.”
“Fwahahaha! Leave it to me!”
Zombie King, Ghoul King, and Orc King — Everyone was ready to take them all on.
But then Pochi and I noticed something unusual.
The three kings each had an aura around them — a dark gas-like aura, spewing all over and obscuring their figures.
To me, that’s one hell of an alarming signal.
“Why are there Inspirited monsters here in T’oued…!”