After the serious business was out of the way, we finally got to enjoy our tea and sweets with Gaston, passing quite a bit of time in his office.
Was it just me, or had Gaston become a lot more lax than usual
By the time Fuyu began to rub her eyes out of drowsiness, we finally decided to break away from Gaston and return to our inn.
Just before we left, I also taught the Teleportation spells formula to Gaston and Fuyu.
I was frankly quite surprised to know that Gaston has yet to learn it after all this time.
Then again, its use was technically restricted due to it being the Nations property.
The higher-ups must have been hiding its particulars from those uninvolved.
That must mean Irene had been restricted from doing certain things with it, including unauthorized sharing.
Maybe they just thought having just a single Teleport point set up in each town is enough.
Betty seemed to already be asleep when we were finally back to the inn – thank God weve got separate rooms now – we simply headed straight to our room.
And were immediately welcomed by a totally expected visitor.
“Oh, for real.
It was so fun that I forgot to keep track of the time.
So… sorry that were late, Mel.”
I somehow felt a dash of nostalgia from seeing Melchis smile-nod combo.
“Well, not that Ive got much time to do that myself, so~~ Lets cut to the chase and keep it short!”
“Yes, Im sleepy, so please do hurry!”
“Nahahaha~~ I know, I know!”
With that banter was out of the way, Melchi put on a solemn-ish face and proceeded to delve into the main topic.
“Looks like the Nations ruler – War Demon Emperor Vaas – is being controlled by the one they calledGrey.”
“I knew it…”
“Oh You knew that already”
“Nahahaha… I never imagined our senior would go that bonkers, you know.”
Melchi wrung off a peal of laughter while her smiling face exuded a prominent air of sadness.
That was the true name of the one calledThe Grey.
He had been the first to study under the long-lived Tūs, making him a senior apprentice of Melchis and mine.
I had never met this Gaspard character, of course, but apparently back in the day, Melchi had considered him as her true brother.
From what Id heard, he was an excellent mage, and was supposed to be a kind-hearted man.
The latter point had been stated by Tūs, of all people, so it must be the case – without a doubt.
That was why Melchi had decided to infiltrate a territory as dangerous as the Royal Castle of Regalia – to investigate why Gaspard had become like this, and what he was trying to achieve.
And as it happened, yesterday, I had been made to know the big picture of it.
This still did not serve as evidence that Gaspard was the one doing it, of course.
In the end, should I or should I not pass the information I have over to Melchi I wouldnt want to hurt her, but as things stand…
“So Thatanother source of information of yours sounds a tad suspicious, yeah Mind elaborating on that, eh, Ash”
“But Pochis…already asleep.
Oh boy, fast to visit dreamland as ever, this girl.”
“Hey, check out her snot bubble… nice shape, huh”
“Its magnificent! Its perfect arc makes it look spherical from all angles! Its devoid of impurities! And the way it changes size with her breathing rhythm – truly mysterious! Id love to keep it as a sample for future research, but alas…”
Pretty sure anyone with half an hour of medical study would say that its chock-full of impurities, though.
“Hol up a minute… how about we pop it Snot bubbles exist to be popped, I say!”
“H-hey, youre right! Better than staring at it all day long, thats for sure.
As a researcher… nay, as an INVESTIGATOR – I yearn for the fleeting rush of instantaneous destruction!”
“All right… here I go…”
Simultaneously with that, Pochis body sprung right up to a sitting position, a feat courtesy of her marvelous abdominal muscles.
Oh, crap – did that actually wake her
“Master! You cant let Sir Giorno and Miss Lylia hog you all for themselves! Pay attention to me, too!”
Pochis sleep talk ended soon enough – and abruptly enough – as she fell face-up onto the bed once again.
…But wait… what did she say just now
“Well well~~ good to see thatol Pochi is as funny as ever.
Anyway, with that outta the way now, mind telling me about that sourcea info now”
“W-well, the thing is-“
I explained the entirety of last nights incident to Melchi.
Melchi kept quiet and listened through it all, but her mind most likely wasnt as calm as her exterior suggested.
Despite that, Melchi bit her nails – quite furiously, at that – in an attempt to suppress her emotional impulse.
I had been unsure whether or not I should discuss all that information with her, but in the end I had decided to go through with it, running on the judgment that if it would cut deep either way, it would be best to do so as soon as possible.
And so Melchi had taken the whole story in one go.
I was at a loss of what to say to Melchi as she stood up and looked out the window.
“Its… almost too much to take, you know.
Especially when its THAT credible.
And especially when I compare it with what I have… I just cant possibly disagree with it.”
Melchi said, shivering as she pulled her wizard hat down to obscure her eyes.
Her voice sounded as if she had wrung out a boulder blocking her throat.
I, having never gotten used to such occasions, found myself in yet another dilemma.
Should I have NOT told her that No, she would have known it sooner or later.
Despite that, I would still consider this a failure on my part.
I had never even imagined that Melchis heart could be so fragile.
My failure was that I had not known enough of Melchis past.
Although she was my senior apprentice, it didnt change the fact that she was a younger girl.
Although she had never told me her age, I KNEW that she was – and if I were to make a girl cry, Pochi would never let me hear the end of it.
So, as a man, I ought to do at least a thing or two to try and cheer her up.
I had exercised my logical thoughts only up to this point, for the things I uttered from now flowed out of my mouth so naturally and spontaneously.
Or rather, FLEW out.
“I swear Ill do something about Gaspards Devil! I dont care if its by black magecraft or even a super ancient magecraft, I swear Ill get that Devil out of him! So you stop crying, Mel! Youre my senior! You have to set an example for all of us! Trust that Ill do something! You cant act uncool! I dont wanna see you like that! Ill…! I… Ah.”
Before I realized it, Melchi had lifted her wizard hat up and was now looking straight at me.
Before I realized it, Pochi had awakened and was now staring blankly at me.
Thats the second time today… what in the blazes did I even think I was saying
My intracerebral scheduling program had raised logic after logic, possibility after possibility, all for the best answer… so how did things turn out like this
Both rendered speechless, Pochi and Melchi turned to look at each other… then burst out in laughter.
It didnt take long at all for the room to be wrapped in a thunderous commotion.
…Now Im hearing some giggling from Miss Silver Tiger in the next room over, too.
I wanna die.
“I really, really wanna die.”
“You cant, sir! If you die, who will be taking care of me!”
“Take care of yourself!”
“You know I wont let you, right, Ash Else Ill act uncool again, yeah”
“Yeah, do it all you want.”
“Dont talk through the wall like that, damn it…!”
While I covered my face with both hands, Melchi, seeming perfectly energetic now, pushed open the window and leaned her body out of it.
Catching a peek of her through my fingers, I saw that she might be smiling, at least a little bit.
“And now, Ash, you get this juicy intel from me to aid your quest to slay the Devil King!”
“Apparently, some old of the royal family was the one that set the Prophecy Monument within the Royal Castle.
The thing hasnt been destroyed yet – probably because the government needs to keep its public appearance.”
“NAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Well then… Ash, Pochi, Big Betty! Ill see yall later! WOOSH!”
And so my senior left happier than when she had arrived, her thunderous roar of laughter resounding through the city for a short while before fading into the dark of the night.
Did she do all that on purpose just to get a reaction out of me Gah, this is why I can never understand women, damn it!
As for my Familiar… perhaps I should just leave her to suffocate, what with her seeming to enjoy herself so much now, holding her belly as she practically wheezed out her incessant laughter.
And Ill help her when it looks like shes about to die.
THEN Ill have the last laugh.
At any rate, Pochis sleep talk sure was suspicious… whatever sort of dream could she be seeing
How did Holy Warrior Giorno and Warrior Lylia even appear in her dream And them interacting with me and her, no less.