It’s the most wonderful time of the year here in Iowa. The smell of Pumpkin pie is in the air, I no longer have to dream about honey glazed ham to see it, and all that corn I always see whenever I drive anywhere is now inside my home instead of out. And to all of you who wanted an early snowfall this year,
It didn’t take long to find Alphonse’s shop. It was in a prime location at the heart of the city. It was also very big.
When Ellis and Claire peeked into the store, there were numerous four-legged animal dolls and statues of various designs and sizes lined around the entrance.
A young man looking to be the shop’s clerk came out from the back of the store.
“Is Alphonse around?”
“If you are looking for the master, then I’m afraid he left to attend the morning guild assembly. I believe he should return soon.”
“Alphonse, is he a master of something?”
Claire asked the question both she and Ellis had been thinking, but the clerk only stared at them both wondering why they were asking something so obvious.
“When you girls say Alphonse, you’re talking about the Magicians’ Guild guild master right?”
Ellis and Claire shared a look. That was it huh. Two and two were beginning to equal four. Why was he able to smooth things over so easily after his out of control Gorgon Golem went berserk and destroyed a store? Why was he able to enter the university so easily with only a wave of his hand?
And then the two had remembered something. Pi-tan had used his ability right next to a very important person.
“Shall we head home?”
“That’s right, homewards.”
There is no question they would be interrogated in this type of situation. Their only hope was to escape.
“Well then sorry to bother you.”
The two girls turned around and almost ran out of the store. But that just led to a meeting. In front of the store, Alphonse was there with his arms opened wide and a smile spread across his face.
“So, which one of you two is Claire?”
Claire reluctantly raised her hand.
“That’s right, you’re daughter of Ares and Izerina.”
Alphonse was talking to them both with a smile that never wavered or changed.
“Because it’s a good opportunity, how about learning the structure of a golem? You have time, don’t you?”
Despite herself, Claire’s eyes were sparkling at the invitation. Ellis’s looked tired.
“So, he knows.”
And then it came.
“What did you two do to my golem?”
Although Ellis did take a little offense for being blamed of something that Katie had done, she knew there was no use in lying to the guild master of the Magicians’ Guild, so she told the truth. A metal eater had appeared in one of Warren’s labyrinths. Because it was getting in the way, the took it outside. In addition to training, it was also taught to follow commands and became an cute yet obedient pet.
“There’s no way I can just believe that.”
Alphonse chose to go with the natural response.
“Then I’ll bring him here to you. In the meantime, please tell Claire everything she wants to know about golems.”
Ellis took steps to quickly leave this place, but she made sure to look disappointed and sound like it just couldn’t be helped.
“Ellis, are you sure!?”
Ah, it’s useless. She’s too far gone. Claire already has a look in her eyes on the verge of fetishism.
“Yeah, he’s probably wrapped up in Katie’s arms right now, so I will go bring him.”
With those words, Ellis was released from having to hear a bunch of magical and mechanical talk that would just be painful for an amateur like her to hear.
Ellis was walking around the city on her own for the first time in awhile. Looking up at the people walking past her, she saw no pretty women. For the most part, every there were young delinquent-looking people who were having fun or older people with thinned out hair.
“Now that I think about it, all the noble girls and students should be at the university right now.”
Ellis solemnly shook her head out of boredom. There’s was nothing else to do other than to quietly look for Reeve.
Then a noise echoed out from the distance. The signs of activity piqued Ellis’s interest, so she decided to go take a peek. There, the Hero Gray along with Gise stood on one side facing Dams, Peach, and Cliff. The Brave Party was split in two and were fighting. Ellis was aware that things generally worked out for her when it came to the Hero and the Demon Lord, and she was more than happy to reap the benefits. Still, having a fight in the middle of traffic, it is a very undignified way to act. This was the thought running through Ellis’s mind as she eavesdropped on them.
“So, once I return to Skycastle, I can get more funds from the king. Until then, Dams’s group should do some caretaking quests here.”
“That’s it, so, you guys should just listen to Gray!”
“We’re practically penniless in this dull city!”
“That’s right. At least leave us some extra ril.”
“Gray, aren’t you just doing like you did in Wheat Grace and acting on your own for awhile?”
“No, to be honest, it’s just that the king’s impression of you three could not be lower.”
Indeed, it was as Gray said, and the three members of Dams’s group had no choice than to remain silent.
After acquiring the jet-black Resistance plate armor, Hero Gray has been putting pressure on the three idiot party members. He has not asked Peach to visit him, so there are no more weaknesses of his for Dams or the others to take hold of.
Gray and Gise have been setting up Dams and the others and had been hanging them out to dry when they got in trouble to make them quit the party themselves. This was the plan Gray had come up with when he read the ‘5 billion ril penalty clause.’
Of course, Ellis was still unaware of the details behind the idiots’ status.
“A little more, I want the Hero to hang those three idiots.”
It might be time for him to break away from Marilyn, but I think I’d like to keep the Hero on a leash as he is now. Find a new way to draw money out of the Hero through the three idiots. Or, create a situation where the Hero has no choice other than to drive those three away.
Either way, Ellis was happy to have some dark homework for her. She shouldn’t get bored again for awhile.
After awhile Ellis found Katie who was walking the streets alone. Pi-tan was inside her arms.
“Katie, where are Reeve and Frau?”
“Oh Ellis, I was looking for you nya. Reeve said she was bored and went back to the inn nya. Frau didn’t want to go back until she bought enough ingredients from the store nya.”
“Well then should we head to the golem studio?”
“Would that be fun nya?”
Ellis and Katie started walking together at a leisurely place for the time being, but then Ellis started thinking that this was probably the first time the two of them had walked around alone like this.
“Is there anywhere that Katie wants to go?”
“I have fun anywhere nya.”
“Even at a golem studio?”
“I don’t know how it works or how it moves, but it’s fun to watch Pi-tan eat it nya.”
A cat girl who enjoys life more than anyone.
“Oh, a beastman, how unusual.”
“She has a beautiful face at least.”
Yes, a couple of idiots have come along. But Katie did not say anything to the two rude men and silently handed Pi-tan over to Ellis. And then she spoke.
“Oh, some filthy men, how unusual nya. You have stupid faces at least.”
A cat girl who is not afraid to start a fight.
“This beast has quite the mouth on her.”
“What, are you the pet of that blonde-haired girl over there?”
Crap, he’s half right.
“Yeah, I’m a pet nya.”
Katie didn’t deny the claim and instead answered with some pride.
“That’s right, then how about we make you a little cuter.”
One of the men grabbed Katie’s arms and spoke as if the matter had already been decided.
“I’d like to get a little cuter nya.”
Katie was dragged away just like that. The second man followed after them both with a disgusting smile spread across his face.
“Little girl, she agreed to this. She’ll be back soon so wait over there. If that cat girl starts calling for help, that’s perfectly natural and it can’t be helped.”
Leaving those lines behind, three people disappeared into an alley.
“It can’t be helped.”
Ellis shrugged her shoulders and waited for Katie while rolling on the balls of her feet at the main street.
The man was right, and Katie did in fact return rather quickly.
“You didn’t kill them right?”
“They are not dead nya. They were definitely twitching nya.”
Then Katie held up the two men’s wallets in her hands, and Ellis released a long sigh.
“You didn’t steal from them right?”
“The two of them voluntarily gave these to me nya.”
A cat girl who is living her life to the fullest.
“Well we had our fun. Let’s hurry to the golem studio before something else happens.”
Inside the workshop, Claire had been receiving instructions from Alphonse about the mechanisms behind golems, looked over some designs based off how golems are constructed, and reviewed several different methods to creating golems. The key is what the material the doll is made out of–the doll being the construct that is eventually turned into a golem. The most important thing is to make sure the doll’s joints are adequate. Magical Horses are made out of straw, so they don’t have any joints to speak of, but Gorgon Golems are traditionally made out of a hard, heavy metal which can make joint construction and function difficult.
“We’re here!” It was at this point in the lesson that Ellis and Katie walked through the front of the workshop.
“Alphonse, this child here is the metal eater Pi-tan,” Ellis said, gesturing to the creature sleeping in her arms.
“Hoh, this is my first time seeing one. So, does it really eat metal?”
“We can give it a try if you don’t mind losing another Gorgon Golem.”
Interest piqued, Alphonse left for a moment to grab one of his golems from the back of the studio. After repeating the command word, the miniature cow doll slowly grew to become a large black bull.
Ellis raised Pi-tan up and recited a command word of her own.
Pi-tan’s tongue shot out of his mouth and touched the golem. The Gorgon Golem made a sound like a pumpkin dropping immediately after. Its four legs snapped in half, and the brittle lump of metal collapsed underneath its own weight. When Ellis placed Pi-tan on top of its bull-shaped head, Pi-tan started nibbling off the horns making a sound similar to someone eating some chips.
Alphonse was astonished. Pi-tan was the natural enemy against any metal magical creature. No matter how big a golem it was, if it was made of metal, it would be destroyed after a single lick.
“Madame, can you give me this creature?”
“I think if I did that, this entire workshop would be full of degraded materials and your studio would go out of business.”
All of the sudden, Pi-tan started acting unusual and threatened Alphonse with a jab from his tongue. It flew right past Alphonse’s cheek and was quite impressive coming from a monster with zero attack power. He clearly knew exactly what Alphonse was saying and had promptly given his opinion on the matter before starting to crisply eat once again. Katie was standing next to him with a satisfied look on her face.
“By the way, can Claire make a golem?” Ellis asked the question she knew she would have to eventually ask with a half-tired look on her face, and as expected, Claire’s eyes were shining.
“I can probably do some amazing things!”
Ellis had already prepared herself beforehand. Maintenance on Cross Town will be delayed. Let’s quickly make a golem.
“Well, it’s about time for us to all meet up. Let’s all head back to the inn.”
Allowing Pi-tan to take the head of the broken down bull back with him as a snack–Ellis, Claire, and Katie all waved farewell to Alphonse and left the studio behind.
1. A sound effect that represents something slicing through the wind.