Chapter 224, A Formidable Enemy Appears
Familiar Chalice, day two…
In another block, Lylia and her Familiar Seki’teigyu have been winning, and also instilling fear in all the other contestants.
They’ve already won their third round, and apparently they’re getting past the fourth round by default because their opponent is a no-show.
It’s apparent that Lylia is famous around here as well, which with the addition of the Ox’s overwhelmingly threatening aura is bound to scare just about anyone off.
“Eh-hem! How was that, Master I won the third round!”
“…Yeah, well done, I guess.”
“…What’s up with the forced compliment, sir!”
Tch, I knew she’d catch on.
As far as I could see, there’s no Familiar in the competition that could hope to match Pochi.
Except for Lylia’s Seki’teigyu, that is.
As far as our block goes, Pochi is pretty much guaranteed to make it to the semi-finals.
Despite that, she’s demanding all the praise in the world every step of the way.
Not that I don’t understand where she’s coming from, but it’s starting to get annoying, you know
I mean, she’s taking ‘every step of the way’ quite literally.
That’s considering how the monster hunts from before were much more work, too…
“And why are you ignoring me, Master!”
“C’mon, just live a little.
Can’t stay uptight all the time, you know!”
“WHAT! I AM taking it easy, sir! I can breeze through this just fine even without your help!”
This little **…
“Buuuuuut I still need you to watch over me, Master!”
“Always so quick to change your agenda, huh!”
“Ohohohoho! Thank you for your compliment! Now, it’s time to rub my tail, sir!”
Rubbing a dog’s TAIL Is that even necessary
“Yeah, yeah, sure! I’ll do it… like SO!”
“Yeowch! N-now you’ve done it, Master! Here’s my reward for you… TAKE THIS!”
“Ow-! S-stop it… ngh! Gah! H-here, Leole, you sit here for a moment~~!”
I put Leon down on a nearby bench; he raised his hands up cheerfully.
“Dammit, Shiro, you just tore a hole in one of my favorite pants…! Looks like you’re in for a good beating or two…”
“Consider that as my autograph, sir! Besides, you’ll look better with a few more holes anyway, so don’t worry about it!”
“Hell no, I don’t! C’mon, I’ll let you eat some delicious knuckle sandwiches, so get over here!”
“That’s not delicious!”
Tch, there goes one of the tricks that worked a few hundred years ago…!
“Now, remember well, Master… THIS is what liars get…!”
Pochi opened her mouth wide and began to concentrate arcane energy in the center of it.
W-wait a second! Is she seriously going to blast a Zenith Breath at my face!
No, the energy is too compressed for that… What the hell I don’t think I’ve seen her do this before!
Her high-pitched voice pierced my ears.
So she DID unleash a breath attack together with that shout, but with a clearly narrower area of effect and more compressed energy than the usual blasts.
It was as thin as a paintbrush, in fact, and it had been aimed at my shoulder.
I stopped the blast in its path by deploying a wall of compressed arcane energy, which I could feel being burned away at the moment I held it up.
“You caught it! NO WAY!!”
Gotta… gather more… energy…!
“Owowowow… gah, that was dangerous! If that actually hit me, it would’ve blown a hole in my shoulder!
Besides, there are people behind me… oh, wait, there’s not.”
“I did think that through, sir! Besides, I thought I’ve already made myself clear – you’d look better with a few more holes, sir!”
Yeah, right, she DID say that.
And she did mind her surroundings before blasting it out, she gave a prior warning, and she didn’t unleash any intent to kill… but that doesn’t mean she can just try and blast her Master’s with that kind of attack, damn it.
And more importantly…
“What’d you just do, anyway I’ve never seen that before.”
“Hehe… so you’ve noticed It’s my new special technique, the Zenith Lazer!”
“Really, ‘lazer’ The hell is up with that spelling…”
“For added impact, sir! That’s what I came up with after considering the dramatic effect of the word!”
“It’s definitely gonna be effective against smaller targets when you want to aim at specific parts of them, but couldn’t you have done something about that voice you made That’s already almost bad enough to kill your enemies, you know”
“The blast needs to be squeezed out of my vocal cords, sir.”
Sounds like that special technique is going to kill her own voice as well.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but she sure acts in a lot of ways that are beyond the scope of a Familiar’s permission.
My Appraisal Glasses didn’t show any difference, though. Could it have been an oversight in our Contract
I’ll remember to find some other analysis spells for this.
Not that there’s a problem with it, since they USUALLY don’t result in injuries, but I am a little curious.
“Well, all things considered, that special technique was pretty awesome.
Maybe you could use that to attack the Ox’s weak points or something”
“I know, right! I was sure that you would’ve loved to see it at least once, Master! And you even praised me! Hehehe!”
That was her plan all along Reveal the technique so that I would praise it
The sloppy, potentially dangerous showcase, just to test out a new way to get me to praise her
I cast a recovery spell on myself and held Leon up in my arms again.
At the same time, I felt someone approaching from behind.
“I’ve only seen her from afar, but… this is quite an impressive Familiar you have here, isn’t she”
“She must have caused quite a disturbance.
Apologies on her behalf.”
I bowed my head, the man responded with a smirk.
Who could he be I’ve never seen him on this block before… oh, but from his characteristic ears and aura, I can tell that he’s an Elf.
Other than those, he looks like a simple man, wearing modest clothes not quite suited for the big city.
Oh, wait, he’s got black hair and eyes.
Only Bright comes to mind when it comes to this color combo… never thought there’d be an Elf with the same look.
Wait, no… I might’ve seen him before… or to be exact, I recognize his voice, but not his handsome face.
Maybe we’ve talked back at Sodom, when I was working part-time advertising the massage place
“No, don’t worry about it – see, the head of my village just up and told us ‘come here and win,’ so here we are.
We were getting really bored, but then you came along and helped us feel a bit motivated, so thanks for that.”
“You’re welcome, I guess… Are you the one who will be facing us in the fourth round, then”
“Hmm, if all goes well, we’ll meet in the fifth round, probably.
I’m sure it’ll be some good distraction before fighting Lylia… Hehehe…”
Heh, someone’s confident.
And as I expected, he seems to know Lylia, too.
I guess that’s only reasonable, what with her being so famous.
Wait, he just said ‘fifth’ round, right That means he’s potentially our opponent in the semi-finals.
“I sure hope it will be a decent challenge for us… and by that, I mean for my Familiar, of course.”
It seems that he’s trying to provoke us – classic strategy right there.
But we aren’t about to play into his game.
…Because Pochi’s preoccupied, starting at the tournament chart to contain her excitement for the fourth round.
Hmm The guy doesn’t seem all that strong, relatively speaking.
Mage, level around 130…
…Could this mean that his Familiar has been doing most of the fighting
It’s not something for me to say out loud, but I can really tell that he’s quite a pain in the ass, in one way or another.
That’s apparent from even the way he talks.
“We’ll be seeing you in the semifinals, then.”
“Ah, yes, of course- oh, wait, what’s your name- annnddd… he’s gone.”
Well, guess I’ll find out later.
Although the guy was pretty casual about it, he approached us probably because he’d seen Pochi’s abilities and could tell that she could fight, so we’ll have to be ready for whatever he’ll dish out.
“Oh, no, it’s nothing.
Nothing at all, Leole~~”
Leon pointed his fingers in Pochi’s direction.
I can’t tell if he’s trying to direct me there.
Is there something wrong She’s just sitting there, staring at the tournament chart.
Could she have found some curious names in there That, or the identity of the Elf I’ve talked with just now
As I approached Pochi, she called out to me without turning around.
“What’s up, Shiro”
“Look at this spot in this block, sir – there’s a name that really… catches my eye.”
I looked at the match results that Pochi was pointing at.
“Huh, they won against the defending champion in round three.
“See the name written below here, sir”
I looked down with just my eyes, as if tracing a ladder lottery, and read the name…
“……This is bad.”
“…VERY bad, sir.”