Chapter 313, One Shocked Tarawo
Once Asley walked out the door, Tangalán was understandably spooked.
He could not see anything beyond the open door — for good reason.
Asley had used Swindle Sleight to obscure the interior of the building from view.
What actually spooked him was not that, however, but the presence of Asley.
It was not the fact that Asley was here, either.
Rather, it was because Asley was completely different from what he had known.
[When did this boy get… even bigger]
After closing the door behind him, Asley simply stood before the visitors.
[Guessing from the arcane energy I sense, most of these guys are the Magic and Warrior Universities’ senior-year students… And there’s about a hundred of them.
Hmm… Add Tangalán and Dragan, and everyone inside the house won’t stand a chance, what with how exhausted they are.
Oh Tangalán is one of the Six Archmages now Man, a lot of things sure have changed while I was away…]
“…Hello, Mister Asley.”
It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it”
One among the Six Braves, Dragan the Dainty Tiger, was certainly much stronger compared to when they last met… But from Asley’s perspective, he was still weaker than the weakest of the weakest in ancient Sodom.
“We have no business with you, Asley.
Kindly stand aside.”
“In case you’ve forgotten, Sir Tangalán, this is my house.
If you have any business with anyone here, you do it through me.”
“…Are you sure you want to speak like that, considering that the innocent children behind you are on the line”
The children under the Pochisley Agency’s care — As roundabout as Tangalán’s question was, he was quite non-subtly holding them hostage.
However, Asley simply pushed up his glasses and said quietly,
“Are YOU sure you want to speak like that to ME… considering that your life is on the line”
Asley’s hair started swaying around.
And then Tangalán felt a pressuring sensation, as if something was squeezing his internal organs.
Inside the Pochisley Agency building…
The exhausted soldiers of the Royal Capital Magic Guardians began to teleport away.
By the time only the handful of higher-ranking members remained, the front door of the building started rattling loudly.
“…What is this”
Just as Viola asked herself that, the windows were the next to shake.
“…! Sir Asley’s arcane energy”
“Whoa, how did he…!”
“This level of power is inhuman…!”
Lina, Hornel, and Viola were surprised to sense an arcane energy level that surpassed even what Billy had shown during yesterday’s battle.
“This is awesome…!”
A flame of admiration lit up in Tifa’s eyes, while Tarawo was so startled that he had to cover his eyes with his paws.
“Wh-whwhwhwhwhwhat’s with this arcane energy surge! I have… I HAVE felt it before! No, not the Living Dead King! Why is HE here now!”
Tarawo’s memories flashed back into his obscured eyes.
Tarawo himself could not exactly call those memories particularly vivid, however.
“Holy moly…” Barun muttered.
“Even Tangalán may not be able to take this head-on…”
As Barun had guessed, Asley’s silently raging arcane energy aura was making every single person in front of the Pochisley Agency shudder.
“What in the world…!”
Many of the students of the Magic and Warrior Universities, hit by the overwhelming power, were down on the ground; some of them had their faces distorted with fear, and some even fainted on the spot.
“Sir Tangalán, please don’t raise a fuss around here.”
Tangalán and Dragan were down on their knees, unable to do anything but listen to Asley.
[How did he gain this much power…! Was Irene right all along! Was it a mistake to expel him at that time! No–!]
Tangalán looked up at Asley and scowled into his eyes.
“Heh, you look like you’re barely making an effort… As if you’re saying this isn’t even a fraction of your power… Fine, I’ll admit — I can’t measure up.
I made the RIGHT choice to expel you…”
“Yes, sir, you did the right thing.
I was able to become this strong because I left this town.”
Asley gaze was as intimidating as it got.
Tangalán, the so-called Meteor Battlemage, could only cast his eyes down — whether it was because of his own past failures, the surge of arcane energy pressuring him, or simply the way that Asley was looking at him.
“Mister Asley… Please hear us out!”
Instead, the one to talk to Asley was Dragan.
Mustering all the resisting arcane energy he could from his body, he stood up and managed to take a step forward.
“I swear, it would be better for them to be arrested by us here! If we pull back now, the situation will escalate irreversibly! Surely you are not aware of what Lady Ishtar is capable of — how dreadful she is! At this rate, it will be an all-out war! No, perhaps not even that — she will simply trample you all down! That is not the future any of us wants! Think of the children — the leaders of the next generation!”
Dragan’s borderline begging shout was heard even by those inside the Pochisley Agency.
Asley was utterly unaffected, however.
After all, this time he was up against the Devilkin of the present day… the Devils that were active in the core of the Nation.
So he opened his mouth…
“Ishtar is a Devil.”
…So that he could get the truth out.
Everyone present was taken aback by Asley’s statement.
“That’s all I’ll say to try and stop whatever you’re doing now.
None of you have to believe me — But I’m not about to let Sir Gaston’s death be in vain.”
The senior-year students were particularly disturbed by the last part of what they had heard.
The death of Gaston, one of the Nation’s leading figures — Only Tangalán and Dragan had known this beforehand.
Due to the shocking truth, commotion soon broke out in front of the Pochisley Agency.
“Is that true! Headmaster Dragan!”
Neither of them said anything back.
The senior-year students were further disturbed by the silent treatment they got.
One after another, the students went silent.
“You wouldn’t subject the next generation to a future built on lies… would you”
“Hmph, it’s the cost of preventing civil unrest!”
“This whole fiasco is what’s CAUSING unrest… Sir Tangalán.”
“…It doesn’t matter whether what you just said was true — the reality is that the Nation is united.
You’re the one who’s disturbing the peace!”
“You’re still insisting on that when the Devil King’s resurrection is right around the corner”
“It’s only a big deal if you believe in false prophecies, Asley.”
The word ‘Devil King’ had certainly induced at least a flicker of doubt in the eyes of Tangalán, Dragan, and all the others.
But then Tangalán held everyone’s attention together by denying it without a moment’s delay.
[Man, his old age isn’t just for show.
I should’ve seen this coming, what with him being the Magic University’s headmaster for so long… Oh, looks like everyone’s done evacuating.]
Asley opened the front door to the Pochisley Agency…
“All right, sir, let yourself in and investigate as much as you like.
Watch out for a stupid dog who’s sleeping on the second floor, though — she DOES bite.”
…And then disengaged his arcane energy aura.
“Hmph, we were distracted for too long…! Come, Dragan, we’re leaving!”
Glaring at Asley one last time, Tangalán turned away and started walking in the direction of the Magic University.
The students followed Tangalán.
Dragan was the only one remaining, and before he left, he asked Asley,
“Did you speak the truth”
“I think Sir Gaston’s death is enough to tell you everything.”
Dragan certainly looked sad, despite trying to not let it show.
“If you’re in our way, don’t expect me to pull any punches.”
“I was afraid you would say that… I shall investigate things on our end.”
“Just don’t dig in too deep.”
“Thank you for your warning, but… It is within my nature to leave no stone unturned.”
Dragan said, true to his nickname of Dainty Tiger, and then took his leave.
“Whew…… Ahh, that was scary.”
Asley went back inside the Pochisley Agency.
And he felt another nudge on his abdomen.
“Huh T-Tifa! You didn’t leave with everyone”
Tifa threw her arms around Asley.
Tarawo then jumped up and clung on to Asley’s shoulder… and Tifa quickly pulled the dog off.
All the while, Asley stood in place, puzzled.
“Well, I’m not… I mean, I live in the University dorm…”
“What in the world! Tifa, was it just me, or did you actually sound CUTE for a second there! This is the first time you’ve ever– oof–!”
Tifa kicked Tarawo away before he could say another word.
“Ahahaha… Looks like you two have been getting along better, huh”
“…Don’t know, don’t care.”
“Yup, seems like it.”
“But I just said–!”
Asley patted Tifa’s head as she looked up.
“You’ve grown a great deal, Tifa.”
That very moment, droplets overflowed from Tifa’s eyes.
She had chased after Asley all this time, not letting anyone else get close to her.
Just a word of compliment from him was enough to melt and smash down the wall of ice that she had created for herself.
“Yes…! Thank you…!”
Asley smiled happily as he put his hands on Tifa’s trembling shoulders.
“It’s dangerous to stay here, Tifa.
I’ll send you my Teleportation spell’s identification code later through Telepathic Call, so hurry back to your dorm room for now.”
“I want it right now.”
Tifa said as if begging for it.
She either did not trust Asley to keep his word… or simply wanted it as soon as possible.
“Tifa! Did you really ASK for something! Did you hear that, Itsuki! This is unprecedented — it must be a sign! There’s going to be a thunderstorm tomorrow — No! Heaven is going to flip over!”
Itsuki was more taken aback by Tarawo’s astonishment than anything that was going on.
Seeing from Tifa’s eyes how pure her intentions were, Asley chuckled and held up one of her hands.
Then he slowly wrote the recognition code onto Tifa’s tiny palm.
Feeling ticklish, Tifa’s expression began to change into…
“…A **ILE! Look, Itsuki! Tifa’s **ILING!!”
“Ha ha ha…”
Itsuki only let out a dry chuckle.