Chapter 216, The Best Job Ever
“Master Polco, Master Polco!”
“What is it, young Shiro”
“Why does my Master look so… grumpy He usually never gets like that… well… except whenever I use up the contents of his wallet”
“Wellllll… it’s complicated, you see Ah, no, well… ahem.
Um, excuse me, young Poer Would you mind coming to my room for a few minutes”
“Cut the crap, old man!”
“Whoa! You actually freaked Master Polco out, sir! Like, he actually JUMPED! You look a whole lot like a monster now, Master!”
Damn you… damn you, Polco Adams!
I didn’t know that my capabilities are worth THAT MUCH!
But now that Mu’myou has mentioned it, it makes perfect sense.
Pochi and I are around level 170, and have been working around the clock to teach and guard the heirs of both the Adams and Fulbright households, AND acting as the guardian of the prioritized Holy Emperor candidate.
Not to mention an infinite amount of other fine details and minor errands.
Hell, I’ve even helped out with grocery shopping from time to time.
I’ve been working for one of the most significant figures of this Nation.
The person guarding his daughter is supposed to be paid quite an exorbitant amount.
“Damn you, Polco Adams…!”
“Master, you do know that you’re shouting that out loud, right”
“Damn you, Polco Adams!”
“I don’t think he even hears me… Well, I’m my Master’s Familiar, so I might as well join in on the fun!”
“Damn you, Polco Adams!”
“Damn you, Polco Adams!”
Ngh… I think Pochi’s interruption is actually helping me clear my head.
“Now would you look at that… our powerful enemy is visibly distressed for once.”
“Huh! Since when was Master Polco our enemy, sir!”
“You do know that he’s the one paying for your food, right, Shiro”
“…Damn you, Polco Adams!”
“Yeah! That’s more like it!”
Polco heaved a deep sigh.
Not that doing that will get any sympathy from me – I’m the one who should be doing that, and clutching my head from all this bull**…
“C-come on now, young Poer, why don’t we talk this over We’re friends, aren’t we”
“To my knowledge, the ‘friendly pricing’ usually discounts only thirty percent at most, sir.”
“I know, I know… We’ll go into more detail in the other room, if you don’t mind…”
Polco gave me an exquisitely crafted smile and left the room, escaping Pochi’s glare.
“Shiro, stay put.”
“Aye, aye, sir!”
Leaving behind the arrogantly groaning Pochi, I followed Polco outside.
Once we arrived at Polco’s room, I sat down immediately, before Polco even told me to.
Surely he wouldn’t mind.
We’re FRIENDS, after all.
Polco’s eyebrows twitched as he poured mead into a glass, just like June had done when I’d gone to meet her, and placed it on the table in front of me.
Shall we negotiate our formal terms, then …And record it in writing this time.”
“That would be for the best, sir.”
I said nonchalantly, to which Polco responded by stroking his beard.
“Just so you know, I WAS thinking of paying all of the amounts you rightfully earned, of course.”
“You ‘were thinking’, sir”
I gave him a hard look of suspicion, wondering if I would ever get paid that amount at all.
“Well, you see, it seems that Mu’myou has… embezzled quite a large portion of our funds.”
“What the… seriously”
“I’ve just noticed it myself.
Now I’m seriously questioning my ability to be a leader of the people, letting the villagers’ taxes be stolen like this…”
Polco does look genuinely sad, casting his eyes down like that.
“That is… unforgivable, sir.
Have you any idea where the gold might have gone, sir”
“Quite simple, really – it’s most likely sent over to House Douglas.
In fact, I don’t doubt that one bit.
Which brings us to the point about your payment, young Poer…”
I could tell by the look on his face that he was having a hard time saying it.
Burdened by a mix of emotions, I heaved a sigh.
“You know that, sir Forget about the payments up to now.”
Polco immediately looked up.
“BUT from the next payment onward, I’ll take every coin I’m supposed to get.”
Well, not like any of that has been written down in a signed contract in the first place, anyway.
And it’s partly my fault for assuming that was a reasonable amount, what with it being equal to what the Fulbright household had been paying me.
…Huh Now that I think about it, doesn’t it mean that the Fulbright household has been hiring me for dirt cheap this whole time
-Okay, to be fair, I was still weak at the time, Giorno recommended it specifically to me, and it WAS a Guild-approved job…
“Ignoring how Mu’myou even sent the gold to the Douglas for now, where did he even take it from in the first place, sir”
“It was… from this room, actually.”
Seeing me react with surprise, Polco proceeded to touch an unassuming spot on the wall next to one of the bookshelves.
Suddenly, a Spell Circle appeared, its diameter as long as an average person is tall.
Looks like it’s set to be unlocked with Polco’s arcane energy.
Polco transmitted his arcane energy into the Spell Circle.
A moment later, the room’s ceiling cracked open, revealing a staircase.
“This is quite a mechanism, sir.”
“At least this much should be expected.
It is to guard the money of all the people, after all.”
Now then, how did Mu’myou open this arcane energy lock and get himself upstairs
“Have you figured something out”
“There’s a… loophole in this formula in the corner, sir.”
“This magic formula is certainly wonderful, and it can basically be opened only with your own arcane energy… BUT to convert it to a fixed-position type for identity authentication, you need to fully – and I mean FULLY – embed the necessary data.
If not, then… it can be bypassed with just a tiny bit of energy through this loophole here… like so!”
Once I transmitted my arcane energy in, the staircase retracted and the ceiling closed, returning to how it had been before.
“…I’ll admit… I’ve been had, big time.”
Polco pressed his palm against his forehead.
“This isn’t something just anyone would find, sir.
The enemy was just that good, so to speak.”
“I’ve heard that some of the Eastern clans are quite insightful, yes.
But that is that – it doesn’t excuse the mistake on my part.”
“…By the way, whatever happened to Mu’myou, sir”
“I’ve left him to Guile.
Do you need something from him”
I know that there was at least a bit of interrogation, but that’s it.
I got angry and left the place while it was still going on, after all – I bet it still hasn’t ended yet.
One thing I know for sure, though, is that I can’t just abandon Polco – not when he’s in so much trouble.
“…Hmm Or perhaps you have some ideas in mind”
“Why don’t we go on the offensive for once, Master Polco”
“As I’ve told you earlier, Chiquiata, the famous mage of the North, has already dissociated herself from House Douglas.
And we currently have Mu’myou in our custody.
In this day and age, it must be quite difficult to find replacements for such capable personnel.
So if we were to go on an offensive against House Douglas and gather evidence that they have been targeting Houses Adams and Fulbright, we could put an end to this… secret war, don’t you think, sir”
Polco’s face turned a little grim.
“Verbal evidence from Mu’myou will not be enough to keep House Douglas’ maneuvers under control, that is for sure.
But to find another way is to cross a dangerous bridge – who would be willing to do it”
“Us, of course!”
The room’s door slammed open – the one who did it, my Familiar.
“Young Shiro… No, that wouldn’t do.
Our opponents must already know what you look like-“
“Tsk, tsk, tsk! It doesn’t matter if they know, sir! We can just transform ourselves with my Master’s illusion magic!”
I’d told her to stay put, but she’s actually been listening in, AND even revealed the existence of one of my magic spells… Good God, she’s such a CAPABLE Familiar… Ugh.
“And what of Ferris and young Bright No matter how many of their pawns we’ve eliminated, you can’t afford to abandon your bodyguard duties now, can you”
“The right person for that is currently visiting this house, isn’t she”
“…Lady June, you mean”
We could make my publicly known assignment be something like… a mediator for official business, which would put me into the office work of both Houses.
Besides, Lady Ferris and Master Bright have gotten strong enough to defend themselves, to some extent – I don’t think there’s as much need to worry about them now.”
Polco sat down in a nearby chair while listening to my proposal.
Looks like he thinks it’s worth considering.
Still not giving an answer, though… Huh I think it’s a pretty damn good idea, though
“Is there an issue, sir”
“Actually, yes – it lies in the fact that you two will be absent from this house.
And I don’t mean that as a weakening of our security force, of course.”
“So what exactly is it, sir”
Pochi restlessly alternated her sights between me and Polco.
“You may not realize it, but you two are a major factor in our opponents’ considerations now.
You being away from our home often is… practically a cause of concern for them.”
“So it’s ideal that my mission is publicly known as requiring me to be in Regalia long-term… is that what you meant, sir”
“That is so.
I think that would play into our favor… but I can’t think of what to detail, explain, or even throw out as an excuse.”
While the three of us were twisting our brains to come up with something, a knock sounded in the room – it’s quiet enough to not interrupt, unlike ones done by Pochi.
“Who is it We’re in the middle of an important discussion here.”
“Sir Polco, this is June Fulbright.
I just wanted to say hello before taking my leave.”
“Oh, Lady June.
Please let yourself in.
Sir Poer is here with us, too.”
Well, he can’t just let the head of the Fulbright household leave without a greeting, at least for formality’s sake, I suppose.
June entered the room, took a brief glance at me, then walked over to Polco.
“I heard that you did a good job, Sir Poer.”
“I only did what I had to, milady.”
“Sir Polco, there’s one thing I’d like to ask, before I take my leave.”
“Hmm What is it”
Polco asked as he led June to the chair opposite to his.
“About the event two weeks from now, sir – House Fulbright plans to attend as a representative of the Holy Emperor.
Will House Adams be participating as well”
“Two weeks… aha!”
Suddenly, Polco widened his eyes.
Pochi and I turned to look at each other, then back at Polco again.
“Is something the matter, sir”
Being asked such a simple question by June, Polco’s expression slowly relaxed to a grin.
“Hehehehe… Poer and Shiro, listen well.
I have found you the best job ever, if you would accept it.”
“The best job…”
As Pochi and I tilted our heads in doubt, this time it was June who stood up from her chair.
“Sir Polco Are we sending these two… THERE!”
“I see you’ve caught on, Lady June.
This place and-or event they’re referring to… where, or what, could it be
“Master Polco, hurry and explain it to us, please! What did she mean, ‘there’! C’mon, Master, say something to him, too!”
“So, what’s this job you’re speaking of, sir”
Polco drank the rest of his mead in one gulp, set the glass down on the table, and smiled again.
“So there’s this event called the Familiar Chalice…”