Chapter 345, A Party Quest
“Ah, Master’s back!”
“Man, we’ve been waiting.”
Welcomed back by Pochi and Bruce, I sat down in the same seat as before.
“So, are Kaoru and Jun’ko doing well, sir”
Pochi asked, jumping happily at my feet.
Come to think of it, she didn’t have much of a problem dealing with Kaoru and Jun’ko — just a little spooked at first.
I left her here because of that first impression, though.
Maybe I should take her along to see them next time.
“Didn’t get to meet them — looks like I had to file an official appointment first.
They didn’t pick up my Telepathic Calls, either, so they’re probably busy.”
“Oh, is that so That’s too bad.”
“Looks like the form can be submitted through the Adventurers’ Guild, so I’ll be doing that later.”
Adolf, seeming to have waited for Pochi and me to be done talking, walked up to me.
“So, sir Asley! About that monster hunt I mentioned — Please come with us, if you have the time!”
“Hmm Ah, that quest you mentioned earlier I can help, yeah — but are you sure you want me working on your party quest”
“Well, actually, I talked with the Chief, and he advised that you should be added to an A-ranked team!”
“Oh, so the Silver is divided into different teams Makes sense — working together with Pochi and Lylia all the time wouldn’t help that much with training.”
“Yes, that’s right!”
Damn, have some sense of personal space, kid.
It’s hard to hold a conversation like this… Ah, the woes of being Mister Popular.
“That must mean Pochi, Lylia, and I will be assigned to different teams”
The plan is for me to go with Ryan, and Reid with Lylia.”
Bruce explained, and Pochi sat down next to him.
“And I’m hanging out with the girls — Haruhana, Mana, and Betty!”
She really just went ahead and called a monster hunt a ‘hanging out with the girls,’ huh That’s… very Pochi.
“Which means I’m with Adolf, Miss Reyna, and Natsu”
Adolf cheerfully replied, and Reyna smiled.
I don’t remember having gone on hunts with these three very often.
Now this might be a good opportunity to build our friendship.
“Asley, I’m gonna show you all my awesome magic!”
“Sure thing! Looking forward to it, Natsu!”
By the way, looks like Blazer isn’t back yet.
Well, he’s probably got a lot on his plate, being the leader of Team Silver and all.
“All right, let’s go get rich!”
Nodding to Bruce, we all got together with our respective team-ups and walked out the city gates.
We were together with Bruce’s party on the way there; after splitting with them, though, we started moving as an independent team for the first time.
“By the way, Sir Asley, would you like to be the party’s leader”
“Maybe… Who’s usually the one in charge”
Reyna looked somewhat troubled when I asked her that.
“It’s either the Leader or the Chief, most of the time.
I have covered for the role multiple times as well, but to be honest, I’m not very good at it.
I was hoping you would give it a try, Sir Asley.”
I’ll take the lead, then.”
“Thank you very much.”
Reyna nodded and smiled as we walked on our way.
This lady hasn’t changed much at all — she’s as serious as ever.
While thinking that to myself, Natsu started drawing a Spell Circle as she walked in front of me.
Whoa, those distinctive black horns and bright golden coat…
Could it be…!
“Natsu, is that a Sun Sheep”
“Yup! Asley, meet Shiny! Shiny, meet Asley!”
Natsu looks super happy to be able to introduce her friend.
I nodded to her and stooped down to the sheep.
“Hey there, I’m Asley.
It’s nice to meet you, Shiny.”
They did form a Familiar Contract, but the beast retains its mind as a beast — just like the contract between Fuyu and Platina.
I can kind of understand by the Familiars of those two specifically would choose to be this way.
Those two girls had been sold by their parents to the Colorful Food District.
And so, regardless of their working relationship, they probably wanted their Familiars to live their life however they wanted.
That was likely the main factor behind that choice.
That’s my theory on the Masters’ side of the choice, anyway, but what about the Familiars Did they choose to be the way they are because they knew what their Masters’ wanted for them
Whatever the case, though, it doesn’t change that Natsu, Shiny, Fuyu, and Platina are wonderful people with kind hearts.
“Hahaha, you’re so cute, Shiny!”
I couldn’t help but crack a smile while stroking the sheep’s cheek.
And man, it finally feels like I’m finally back home.
Because of all the chaos before this, it used to still feel like I still was back in the past.
I shook my head to rid myself of those thoughts, and at the same time, Adolf put his hand on the handle of his sheathed sword.
“There’s something there.”
“Hmm, let’s see, let’s see… Rise, A-rise, Telescopic Vision! …Aha, Kerberos, A-ranked monster.
Two of them, about two-hundred meters ahead.”
“Ooh, that’s awesome!”
“I’ll teach you later, Natsu.
Adolf, Miss Reyna, Natsu, Shiny.
Get ready to fight!”
Hmm, Reyna’s fighting style isn’t bad at all.
Still feels somewhat unrefined, though.
The deliberate and weighty way she wields her sword is exactly the same as how Ryan does it.
Aha, I see.
That’s why it doesn’t feel exactly right.
Adolf’s sword fighting style is… tricky, but he’s making forceful movements as if he’s trying to fit into a pre-determined pattern.
Hmm, it really doesn’t look like he’s comfortable with it.
From the way he moves and the look on his face, he might be aware of that himself, too.
“There, Shiny! Blam!”
Holy… Shiny’s hind leg kick just broke the Kerberos’ jaw! Is a Sun Sheep supposed to be THAT strong
“Wha-whoa! Oof! …Huh”
…Then Natsu tripped and fell.
She was about to be bitten by one of the Kerberos’ heads, but I stopped it just in time.
“Come on, Natsu.
I grabbed the Kerberos by its tail, swung it around, and threw it far away.
And that’s the end of that.
Now then, I’ll have to act like a leader for once.
Adolf’s probably looking forward to learning from me, too.
“Miss Reyna, you put too much weight into your moves.
Try to be more nimble, and rely less on brute force!”
Man, he’s having a ton of fun with this.
“For today, try fighting the way you want to, not the way you’ve been taught to!”
“Ah…! …Uh, I understand!”
Yup, looks like he’s been feeling uncomfortable about using his own fighting style.
“Natsu, your tag team with Shiny is all over the place! You can’t just rely on each other — you need to trust each other as well!”
After I pointed all that out, Adolf, Natsu, and Shiny were able to fight more efficiently.
Reyna’s moves, on the other hand, didn’t change all that much from before.
After killing the two monsters, I whispered to Reyna,
“U-um… I’m sorry…”
Welp, looks like I didn’t need to whisper at all.
“Please don’t apologize.
That’s not what I meant to say.”
“You see, the height difference between you and the person you’re learning from is too great for the style to work.”
“What… do you mean”
“I mean, you’re totally mimicking Sir Ryan’s fighting style…”
With me saying that, Natsu and Adolf started giggling, while Reyna turned red to her ears.
“W-w-w-well you see, you know what they say about learning from the best, yes I’m trying all I can, too, so that I can be as good as the Chief.
Yes, I know I’m not there yet, so sorry about that!”
She couldn’t come up with an excuse, and instead tried to distract me away from THAT point by talking a lot very quickly.
Turns out she actually has a funny side to her, huh
“You CAN learn from Sir Ryan’s style, I’m sure, but you’d be better off not fully copying his full moveset.”
“I-is that so”
“There’s one thing that will always be different between you two: your body builds.
What do you think is the difference, then, when it comes to moving your bodies”
“Well, it’s… brute force, right”
Oh, she does get it.
That will make it easy to explain things, then.
Miss Reyna, your brute force isn’t quite on Sir Ryan’s level.
Trying to make the exact same moves he does will always end with inferior results on your end.”
“Ideally, you’d make moves that are more fitting for your weight and height.
You might want to ask for some pointers from Betty.”
I’ll talk to her as soon as we’re back!”
Whew, all right.
She got the message.
“And so, Adolf.”
“You need to try and be more practical, rather than practicing things by the book.
Bruce is good at doing that, so maybe you should get help from him.”
“Ah, um, are you sure I should ask him…”
Although he’s improving, his movements are probably the result of developing his own style.
And being an adventurer, he’s supposed to value the skills that make him unique, even when working as a part of a team.
Adolf’s curiosity might have been suppressed by his attempt to fit a mold.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.
The worst you’ll feel for asking is a short moment of embarrassment — but if you never ask, you might embarrass yourself your whole life!”
Still, though, even a mage like me has noticed it — Surely the older fighters in Team Silver have noticed it too
Or… not Is it because I’m a bit of an unfamiliar figure that I managed to get the message across Huh, maybe that’s why I was chosen to work with this party.
While thinking things to myself, I felt a tug on an edge of my mantle.
“Hey, what about me”
There’s Natsu… and even Shiny is tugging at my mantle with its mouth.
I knew it — these two want to be stronger, too.
“Well, Shiny’s hind leg kicks are powerful, but they leave a pretty big opening.
You should be Shiny’s eyes and cover that opening up, Natsu.”
“And here’s a little trick.
Magic, when wielded skillfully, can be used as a tool for diversion, too — Even if you don’t invoke a spell, the concentration of arcane energy can distract your enemies by forcing them to divide their attention.”
“Oh I don’t even need to invoke them”
And doing that can help Shiny move around more easily.”
I said, giving both Natsu and Shiny a pat on their heads.
And then I felt the wind carry a surge of arcane energy our way — one even stronger than before.
“…There it is.
Our quest’s target, the S-ranked Scylla Queen.”
A Scylla is a monster with a humanoid female form for its upper half, a long fish-serpent-like form for its lower half, and several dog heads protruding from its abdomen.
This one being a ‘Queen,’ well, it’s bigger and stronger, quite naturally.
With an S-ranked adventurer like me in the party, the three others — all A-ranked — will be able to fight against a higher-ranked enemy just fine.
They all seem to be nervous, but not in a bad way.
“All right, everyone! Think about what you’ve been told, and get ready!”
Now, everyone’s eyes are filled with energy and determination.