“Huh… so thats why your clothes are all messed up.”
“Yeah, Fuyu healed my body up really good, but most of my equipment got busted, so… How about you come shopping with me sometime tomorrow”
“Sure, why not”
“Fuyus coming as well, of course! Could you please let her, Sir Gaston”
“…Well, if its just for one day… then I suppose I can.”
“You mean it, Sir Gaston!”
Fuyu pushed Pochis head down as she sprung up from her seat toward Gaston.
Betty chuckled, and Gaston let out what could constitute a sigh through his nose.
Wait a second… do the Magic Guardians not get days off very often or something
“But I never expected to get a pass after losing the match, you know.
I wouldnt regret it since I did give it all I had and stuff, but then again…”
“Hmph, I DID tell you that it constitutes a passing grade, didnt I”
“Owowow… that hurt, Fuyu…”
Pochi puffed up her face, and Fuyu proceeded to poke those puffs while also apologizing to her.
“So what happened on your side, Asley What did you have to do for your test”
So first, we-“
“*I* fought with Sir Barun of the Six Braves – and WON! Eh-hem!”
Commotion broke out among the Guild patrons again.
It seemed that Gaston was surprised as well, what with him widening one eye.
“Barun… Thats the one whos been rumored to have recently become one of the Six Braves in Blazers stead”
Opinions started spreading among the other adventurers present, such as on howit must have been too much work for him andhow humiliating it must be to be defeated by a Familiar.
I did think he was plenty good as far as his abilities were concerned, so these guys were probably biased by their prejudice and jealousy.
“Let me confirm that, little girl… you WON against him”
“I sure did! Arent I amazing! Perhaps you could congratulate me by ordering me some desserts and moving your seat a bit away, sir!”
“Heh heh heh… very well.”
To everyones surprise, Gaston actually ordered some desserts for Pochi… and moved his seat a little closer to her.
Gaston then proceeded to pet Pochis head as she closed her eyes with her paws.
The scene was met with an awed silence of everyone in the vicinity – Fuyu included.
I know I havent had many chances to see this side of Gaston, but it was quite a surprise that he was so nice and gentle.
Betty was so surprised that her jaw dropped to the floor, albeit only briefly – she shook her head and asked me about my story once again.
“Doing a quest for the Guild, huh… considering it was S-ranked, it mustve been a lot of trouble, right”
“Welllll… theres a lot of stuff I ought not to talk about now, so maybe someday later.”
“Still, that is quite an… unconventional evaluation process.”
Gaston commented, and I expressed my agreement with a wry smile.
It was totally true that my examiners had operated it their own way.
But considering that my target had been the Resistance, I reckon examinees who merely qualified for S Rank wouldnt necessarily succeed.
That was because, despite most of the mages and warriors there averaging on Rank B, they also had to take on Warren the Black Emperor, whose abilities were fit for the S rank himself, and also Jennifer the Bone Fist, a former member of the Six Braves.
An average examinee wouldnt be able to get it done in the five hours that I had been allotted.
Does Gaston not usually concern himself with the details of the Guilds works I would have expected him to know about it, what with the other party being the Resistance… Perhaps I should investigate this matter further while Im still here in the Royal Capital.
“So thats all you had to do”
“No, there was one more.
Had to show Sir Jacob a magic spell that would surprise him.”
“Yeah… I figured hed know most of the spells out there, being one of the Six Braves and all.
So I thought and thought and-“
“Eh – you mean you didnt actually have an original spell beforehand, Master!”
Ngh… If I let her keep talking, she may very well expose the business with Warrens lot.
That was why I refrained from disclosing any more information and only clenched my fist.
Ive got to save some strength to pull Pochis tail later, after all.
Whoops, my hand slipped.
“Yeowch-! What are you doing, you foolish Master!”
“If only youd kept your mouth shut, my Evaluation wouldve been way easier! You damn stupid dog!”
“If only you were talented, you would have gotten to Rank S ages ago!”
“If only you were a competent Familiar, I would have gotten to Rank S centuries ago!”
Of all people she could have asked, she chose to approach Gaston first… Oh, how far she has fallen!
“Oh, that reminds me…”
“Eh – you do have a slot open! W-wait, I suddenly felt an urge to give back to nature and make space for tomorrows food, so… excuse me!”
That was quite a convoluted way to sayuse the toilet… guess thats another girly aspect of her.
And now that its brought up, I just remembered that Gaston did have a Familiar… I wonder what creature it is
Since hes one of the Six Archmages, I reckon its a fairly impressive monster.
“I suppose I ought to introduce someone to all of you… House.”
As Gaston invoked the Familiar summoning magic spell, a shadowy figure emerged from the Spell Circle.
It was small – as in even smaller than Irenes sparrow friend.
“This is Konoha, my Familiar.”
It was a mouse – and as the name suggested, it was small and delicate like leaves fluttering in the wind.
It hopped on Gastons hand and stood up.
Its been a while, yes.
Master, who are these people”
“Asley and Betty… and thats Pochi.
They were the ones who took the Rank-up Evaluation to Rank S today.”
Id always heard that Familiars personalities resembled their Masters, but this case seemed to be a particularly close resemblance.
Although a critter, its tone of expression was exactly the same as Gastons.
Aside from it giving an impression of being somewhat young, the creature felt very much like a mini Gaston.
Im the one called Asley.”
“And Im Betty.
Nice to meet you!”
“I am Pochi!”
Dont you need to go use the potty, my Familiar
Right – no need for that excuse anymore.
“Its quite rare for you to introduce me to someone, let alone a group, Master.
Everyone, I am Konoha.
The p.l.e.a.s.u.r.e is all mine.”
Konoha bowed its head down extremely briefly.
Well, a bow is a bow, I suppose.
“It seems that the young man will be talking about his original spell.
You ought to listen to it as well.”
“Oh-ho… of course, anything you say, Master.”
“Eh – shouldnt he be keeping something like that to himself, sir”
“Theres no need to worry.
No one in this Adventurers Guild has the ability on the young mans level.
I reckon there isnt a chance of him being copied.”
In response to that statement, Betty opened her eyes wide in shock, Fuyu pinned her mouth shut, Konoha swept its line of sight around the group, and Pochi burst out in laughter with tears welling up in the corners of her eyes.
Without a doubt, Gaston HAS praised me.
Me… in the Royal Capital Regalia Adventurers Guild… the strongest… huh.
“Fwahahahaha! Look at that, Pochi! Recognize how impressive I am!”
“What are you even boasting about! I did legitimately defeat one of the Six Braves, you know!”
“Thats right, youve surprised my brother and Blazer quite a bit since youve come back, Asley!”
“Bruce has praised me too, you know!”
“Yeah yeah, Pochis gotten strong, too!”
“Master, these people…”
“…Right, theyre otherwise brilliant, save for the flaw in their mentality.”
“E-excuse me, everyone.
We all ought to calm down and…”
Disregarding Fuyus attempt at controlling us, we made quite a fuss in the Guild establishment.
Eventually, Betty realized that Konohasthese people might have included her as well, and was quite angry at it as a result.
Gaston, at his wits end, stepped aside from all of it as the vicinity got more and more hyped up by the story of our Rank-up Evaluations, including Gastons legendary display of power.
Once we were back in our inn, the overstuffed Pochi refused to become the Pochi Pillow for tonight.
When I tried poking her belly, she said some gibberish like how she felt like she was turning into a water fountain.
Now then, tomorrow Ill be out shopping with Betty and Fuyu.
Since itll be in a group, I reckon things wont ever get awkward like when Id gone with Haruhana.
Fuyu hadnt gotten to say much of anything today, so itll be a good chance to ask her stuff about the Royal Capital Magic Guardians, too.
At any rate, Im so eagerly looking forward to tomorrow.