Chapter 261, The Flames of War
Hopping down from Chappie’s back, I was welcomed by Lylia astride Weldhun, resting her sword on her shoulder.
“Took you long enough, Poer.”
Lylia must’ve sensed the Pochi Pad Breath’s explosion just now.
And the explosion site isn’t all that far from here, so it makes sense that she’d be here already.
“Giorno is here, too — he’s keeping watch over there.”
To be specific, he’s on top of Sodom’s south gate, looking into the distance.
Standing to his sides are my reliable apprentices, though they do look a tad out of place.
“Everyone has got their bearings together now.
And they want to leave the command to you, apparently.”
“We… by which I mean the townspeople, have concluded that you’d be the most logical choice, that’s all.”
Lylia explained that to me as she and the fully-armored Weldhun turned around.
“I’LL TRAMPLE OVER THEM ALL!”
Weldhun proceeded to shout with excitement as he started to walk away.
“I’ll tear them apart…”
And Lylia muttered to herself in the same way she’d wonder what’s for dinner.
Weldhun and Lylia… they’re pretty much an invincible pair, and it helps that both are quite into carnage.
“What should I do, father”
Hmm, let’s see…
I called over my two apprentices.
“What is it, Instructor”
“Why did you not call my name before him!”
“Because you became my student after him.
Anyway, Bright, I’m thinking you should help Chappie with air raids.
Can you do that”
“Leave it to me.”
Bright bowed, and went to stand next to Chappie.
He knows what he’s supposed to do, so teaming up with an already compatible ally like Chappie would do well to expand his coverage.
…The ground is shaking.
A gigantic horde of monsters will be here soon, I’m sure.
We must hurry — now, as for that young lady standing over there, looking all grumpy…
“…So we’re up against another major threat”
Ferris walked over to Pochi and stood next to her.
“Very perceptive, milady.
I’ll have some candy ready for you later!”
“W-wha– I don’t want it!”
“Do you need any bodyguards, Master”
Pochi asked, tilting her head.
“The first wave will likely be a monster horde, and I’ll be on full support role — so no, I don’t need anyone to guard me.
If an Apostle of Despair shows up, use the Telepathic Call to inform me.
No one is to fight it — not even you, Shiro.”
“Yes, I understand, sir!”
For some reason, Pochi seems unusually cheerful as she answered.
Bright and Ferris obviously aren’t good enough to go against the Apostles yet.
Pochi knows that, too, so she’s probably thinking of Ferris’ safety first and foremost.
“Chappie, you stay behind Lylia… And Shiro, behind Giorno.”
The tremors are getting more intense.
All right, time to set some extra things up — first, an ally-only amplified voice-transmission Spell Circle on top of the town gate.
“…Hey there, Poer.”
“Your predictions were spot-on, Giorno.”
“All I thought was that the Devil King had been suspiciously slow to act — which means us not doing anything now would spell trouble for us later.
And boy, am I glad I sent you out scouting today, Poer… Ahahaha…”
Giorno casually rambled on as I set up the Spell Circle.
Man, how carefree can this Hero be We’re about to face the Devil King’s army head-on, for God’s sake…
That level of grit does make Giorno deserving of that title of his, I guess.
“Do you think the town will be all right”
“Hard to say… I’d like to keep as much of it intact as possible, of course, but we can’t afford to lose capable personnel here.
That’s why I’ve set up Teleportation Spell Circles throughout the battlefield — to evacuate everyone in the case that things go south.”
“When did you even prepare that”
“Well… during the week when you and Lylia were busy with my students.
Oh, and the people who can’t participate in the battle should already have evacuated, too — because I’ve informed them through Telepathic Call while on the way here.”
“Ahahaha, seems I chose the right man for the job after all♪”
Hearing Giorno sound all worry-free, I could only crack a dry grin.
…Because in the corner of my eye, I saw clouds of dust starting to kick up.
“It’s starting to get funnnnnn~~”
“Just don’t forget that you have to keep everyone safe, all right”
“Now that you mentioned that, Poer… it’s thanks to your backup that can charge ahead together with Lylia and Weldhun, you know”
“Flattery won’t get you anything, Giorno.”
“I’d at least like an enhancement spell, though~~”
“Heh, you actually did it… and an advanced one, no less.
Glad to have you on our side, Poer.”
“…I should be the one saying that.”
“Ahahaha! Well, I should get going now!”
Giorno hopped down from the top of the gate and went to stand next to Lylia and Weldhun.
Man, I’m so jealous of him, having the confidence to stand in front of a large crowd like that.
“Come on! Let’s get a little closer!”
“No, milady! We’ll only be a liability to those three! And above all else… I’m scared!”
…The hell are Ferris and Pochi doing over there
“I can keep you safe just fine!”
“I’m still stronger than you, you know!”
“YOU keep me safe, then!”
“You’re not supposed to backpedal so fast, milady!”
“Oh come on! All we need to do is work together!”
“Ohh, sounds good to me! Let’s go! …Now wait a second! Why do I feel like I just got tricked!”
Because you totally did get tricked to do the little lady’s bidding, doggo.
Those two have always gotten along well for the most part, so that’s just par of the course, though.
And for how much of a coward Pochi is, she IS competent and DOES get things down when the moment arises, so there’s no need to worry about her.
“Chappieeeeee Mask! Hath arrived! Come on, Bright, you too!”
“No way in hell.”
“What! I’m going to shake you off if you don’t!”
“Wha–! Stop! We’re in a combat situation, so take this seriously!”
“I am ALWAYS serious!”
So he says, while looking hella goofy with those sunglasses on.
Chappie’s stubbornness seems to be fully inherited from both Pochi and me — for better or worse, he’s sure not to budge until he gets his way.
Which means… Bright is left with no way out.
…Huh, so he’s got himself a pair of sunglasses, too.
“What’s with that disappointed look!”
“You’ll have to practice more after this fight is over!”
“…Ugh, fine, I’ll play along as much as you’d like… if we all make it through this mess.”
They sure make a good team.
Now then, time for me to make the announcement, I suppose.
I stepped onto the ally-only amplified voice-transmission Circle, then invoked the spell.
[“Hello, hello, test, test… Everyone, this is Poer speaking.
The battle against the Devil Army’s first wave will begin shortly.
Please remember to help one another, and make sure every one of us makes it back alive.
Giorno, Lylia, and Weldhun will be leading our charge; Shiro, Ferris, Bright, and Chappie will be the main officers supporting them.
I’ll be in charge of overall support.
When you run into trouble, don’t panic, don’t act rashly — remember to seek any assistance you can.
I’ve set up Teleportation Spell Circles, and also continuous-effect type Circles of Giving Magic and Restoration, at various locations throughout the battlefield.
Feel free to use them whenever you want.
I’ll also be using a sound collection spell on myself — whenever you’re in trouble, call out my name, and I’ll provide assistance as much as I am able.
Now, best of luck to all of you…”]
Those adventurers, they’re all here by choice.
Just like me, they live their lives their own way, carving a path to their ideal futures.
Ferris — because things won’t get any better if she doesn’t act.
Bright — because aristocrats won’t have anything to rule over if the Devil King destroys everything.
Chappie — to be the best Chappie Mask he can be.
Lylia — to tear things apart.
Weldhun — to trample over things.
Giorno — to blow a hole through the Devil King’s chest, I guess.
Pochi — food.
“Remember… all we need to do is blow the enemies away, get home, and stuff our cheeks with food! That’s it!”
I took a deep breath and shouted once again the words I had declared just before I came to this era:
[“I live with death close by my side!!”]
Everyone followed suit as if they had planned it beforehand, shaking the town of Sodom with their unified voice,
“”I live with death close by my side!!””