Take on Another World with My Best Friend Vol. II Ch. 8

Akira, Shin, and Marcus are now surrounded by the guards of Romolo, pointing their swords at them. The guards are coming from every avenue of the street connecting the plaza. Even the ceiling of the building surrounding the plaza is swarmed by archers. An anti-magic area envelops the city. Akira raises his hand, but the anti-magic area is not dissipating.

"We're in danger. The anti-magic area is not crumbling down. Can you shoot them?"

"I'm low on ammunition. We used almost everything on the demons"

Akira whispers to Marcus in a hushed tone.

"Marcus. Betray us"

Shin heard that, but he trusted him in what he was about to do.


"Betray us. They will think you're one of them"

One of the knights, based on his armor, might be a Paladin. This Paladin is even bigger than Marcus. He is as tall as 3 adults standing on each other shoulders and as big as a fat bull. This odd human is carrying a great sword that is bigger than some building and a ballista which he is using as a crossbow. He points the crossbow at Marcus.

"Legatus Vesuvius. What's the Second-in-command doing in here?"

There's a hint of resentment in his voice. Vesuvius's response is unsheathing his sword with one hand and pointing the ballista with the other hand

"Traitorous profligate. We know everything. The Emperor would love to hear your excuses, scum"

"Sorry guys. I'm out of ideas. I can't cast my magic. We might be screwed here"

The guards put on manacles on their hands and chains on their legs. They are taken into the throne room of Romolo, where the emperor is sitting. There are nobles and soldiers in the courtroom. Sitting on the throne was a woman in a silk white-gold robe with a shiny golden laurel wreath encircling her head. Besides the emperor is a woman with a grey robe with a red streak running down her legs. The woman is marked with a red asymmetrical streak running from her chin down to her navel. The throne room erupts in loud chaos, some are throwing sandals at them. Akira doesn't flinch, but one look from Shin froze the audience. They were brought to their knees.

"The Emperor is a woman?"



The Paladin kicks Akira in the face with his sabaton. Akira bleeds from his broken nose. Shin is eyeing Paladin Vesuvius in anger. Vesuvius kicks his stomach.

"Vesuvius, cease!"

Vesuvius stops himself.

"Now, Akira. What's a king doing in my country? That's a declaration of war on Mercia. War is not the best answer"

"That's rich, coming from you"

The woman with the red streak speaks up.

"Emperor Reyman. These profligates have stolen our properties, sowed chaos throughout the country, and interfered with our war. This man is a Paladin, but he pledges allegiance to the pretender King. I believe death is a fitting punishment for them"

"No, Lucrezia. I valued your counsel greatly, but I have my own plan for this one"

"What are you planning to do?"

"I'm going to make King Akira my consort and enslave his whole country, including her animal wife"

Akira upon hearing this, struggles to break free from the manacles but his efforts are futile. He looks at Reyman and speaks in a growling tone.

"You will be dead before you step foot in Newlight!"

The defiant look of Akira makes Emperor Reyman aroused. She might be an emperor, but she is still a woman. Her basic needs are to be fulfilled. His angered looks enticed the Emperor even further.

"We'll see about that. My subjects, your slaves are robbed from you. I declare that the traitor and the small man are to be killed, but King Akira will be mine. For now, they will serve their punishment in Custodia Publica"

There are some whispers that everyone imprisoned at Custodia Publica is for prisoners whose sentence is death. The Paladin brought Marcus, Shin, and Akira.

"Vesuvius. Please entertain our guest"

Vesuvius opens his mask to reveal a pale white man with blonde hair. His head bears a scar from his widow's peak to his nose. A scar that runs down straight. He bears a smile of a serial killer.

"Thank you for your kindness, Your Majesty"

Akira, Shin, and Marcus were brought to the Custodia Publica. Usually, this place is designed as a prison for gladiators, but it was repurposed as a death row prison with an extra facility. The prison is an L-shaped building, but the prison goes deep under the ground. Making it some sort of a dungeon. Akira tried to connect with Shin telepathically, but it does not work. Akira, Shin, and Marcus are put in a separate jail cell. A smart decision. He chained them to the wall.

"If not for this Anti-magic area, I would gouge your eyes out, giant fucker"

"AHAHAHAHA. Do you still believe that this is an Anti-Magic area? Do you think that the first barrier breaks because you want it to break? Let me give you some knowledge in your head. The barrier breaks down because Her Majesty wills it, and this is not Anti-Magic Area. This is a Negative Zone. Any magic you have is useless here"


"Not feeling talkative, are you now?"

Vesuvius punches Akira in the liver. He puked and some blood are mixing with the bile. Vesuvius kicks his legs, breaking his kneecaps.


"AKIRA! You gigantic fuck!"

With the pain he's experiencing, Akira is reduced to a growling animal with rabies. Saliva mixed with blood is drooling from his mouth. Akira struggles to break off the chain. His efforts are futile.

"Still alive eh? Well, it's not I'm trying to kill you, future king consort"

"Lord Akira! Please endure"

"Be quiet, traitor! You pledge your allegiance to this weakling? How you have grown weak! I never knew why they created you in the first place. You are not one of us! A defect! That's what you are!"

"That's rich, coming from you. Didn't you become second in command because you're a complete failure?"

Vesuvius's smile disappears. He went to Marcus's cell and punch Marcus in the face. The force of the punch is enough to make his nose go inside of his face.

"I'm going to enjoy ripping your limbs, defect. But I'm not going to give you the pleasure to pass on so easily. I will take my time with you"

Vesuvius keeps punching Marcus. On the face, body, legs, and arms until every bone in his body breaks, and every wound bleeds.

"You're tough for a defect. I guess that's given. Every Paladin is a construct grown"

It's a wonder that Marcus is still alive. A normal human would be dead from the first punch.

"Kiss...a dog...underneath its...tail, Vice Captain. You think...I...the Demonic...Paladin...will break?"

"Oh no, no. You got it all wrong. I'm just getting started"


Shin's scream went unheard by the echo of the underground jail. Hours passed and The sun is already gone from rising to setting. Vesuvius went hours torturing Marcus. There is no longer any noise from Marcus's cell. Vesuvius went out of Marcus's holding cell. Vesuvius looks at Shin's cell. Desperation and anger are all he sees in Shin.

"How pathetic"

He walked towards Akira's holding cell. He went in to give Akira one last punch for the day. This time, he broke his elbow.



Shin cannot do anything. He cried silently. Vesuvius went out and return for the day. He cried loudly as Vesuvius left the
Custodia Publica. He laments that he feels helpless and powerless.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry I couldn't fight back. I'm sorry I felt so afraid. I'm a coward. I'm sorry I couldn't help you"

Heaving, Akira spoke slowly, but enough for Shin to hear it.

"You're...strong. You're...Shimazu"

Shin lifts his head slightly.


Akira loses consciousness. Shin is no longer bawling in his holding cell. In his mind, there is only one thing. Killing Vesuvius. Killing him until nothing of him remains, not even a memory. His desperation, his anger turns into greed. Obsession. His obsession was distracted for a bit when an unexpected visitor.

"Ivanov! Boy, what are you doing here?"

Ivanov whimpers. A demon dog like Ivanov can sense if his master is in danger.

"I'm sorry, boy. But I can't do anything. I'm chained. Akira is in the next room"

Ivanos went to see Akira in the next room. Once he enters, he wails. He cried for hours. Once the wailing stopped, Shin could hear something breaking. After a moment, Shin is shocked to discover that Ivanov walks on two legs, standing almost as tall as Shin and big enough to carry Akira on his back. Ivanov puts Akira on the floor of Shin's holding cell. He licks Akira almost wanting to wake him up. He cries again.

"Boy, are you okay?"

Ivanov whimpers. Shin can see that even Ivanov is getting teary.

"I can't heal him. We are in the Negative Zone. Not even his power is useful here"

Ivanov licks Akira where he bleeds. Most of his bleeding is external, but the kneecap and elbow were busted creating an open fracture. He licks the blood and heals the open fracture. The wound closes itself, but the bone that was outside was discarded. In its place, the bone regenerates instantly. Ivanov's licks only heal the open fracture, but Akira's broken ribs remain.

"You...healed him?"

Ivanov nods in confirmation.

"Thank you very much, boy. But can you do me a favor?"

Ivanov barks.

"Can you loosen the chain on the wall?"

Ivanov barks and transforms again into his bipedal form. He yanks the chain until it is loose.

"You're not affected by the negative zone?"

Ivanov barks.

"Oh, right. You're a demon dog. But what are you?"

Ivanov barks several times.

"You're a son of Barong?"

Ivanov barks again.

"But you were cast out because you're a glutton?"

Ivanov whimpers

"I see. Don't be sad. You still have us. We'll help you whenever we can"

Ivanov barks and wags his tail.

"Ivanov, I have a plan. Can I ask you to return to Erik? Ask for his help to destroy the Negative Area?"

Ivanov barks.

"Thanks. Put Akira back in his holding cell. If he's missing, someone will be suspicious"

Ivanov is hesitating.

"If he's missing, the Paladin will be suspicious. Our priority is to disable the Negative Zone. Once the Negative Zone is disabled, we can use our magic. The only person that doesn't have magic is Erik. We need his pure violent strength"

Ivanov barks. He puts his face as if he understands the plan completely.

"That's right. Hurry, Ivanov"

Ivanov reverts to his dog form and runs as fast as possible. Demon dogs ran faster than horses.

"Thank you, Ivanov. Now this plan is in motion, you're our best hope"

Akira in his holding cell is still unconscious. There's not a single voice from Marcus holding a cell. Shin decided to go to sleep. When morning comes, Shin is sprayed with a bucket of dirty water, mixed with piss. Shin wakes up after the rude wake-up call.

"Ow what the f-"

"Rise and Shine, profligate. You have a guest"

From behind bars, Shin sees Emperor Reyman Gaius Merciae. She dressed like a male, but beneath the armor she dons, a muscled abdomen bulged from beneath.

"You must be the other king. Pleased to meet you"

"What do you want?"

"Mind your manners"

Vesuvius punched Shin in the gut.

"Vesuvius, stop"

"As your wish, Your Majesty"

"What do you want?"

"I came here to see if there's some mutual ground we can stand on"

"I don't see any mutual between you and us"

"No. Not that. I wish to see if there's an agreement we can come across. I conquered the land, so the people wouldn't have to deal with monsters. To eliminate inefficiency between countries"

"Get to the point already"

"Fine. I need you to convince your friend, the King to submit to Mercia. I wish to marry him for the legitimacy over Newlight"

"Never in a million years. Submission to Mercia means slavery will take place on Newlight. You'll just see them as tools for your mean"

"Oh. Do you think that's any different from what you are doing? Stealing our slaves for your country?"

"We're saving them from you. To return them to their family"

"For what? So they work harder since their family is back. And when they did come back to their family, what do you think will happen? You make them work for your country? How is that any different?"

"They'll be free"

"Free. Do you think humans can be trusted with freedom? They are living freely, and look where that went. Banditry, Corruption, Killing, and stealing. Do you think that's the best course of action? No. What they need is a strong leash to keep them in line and someone brave enough to be a tyrant to lead them to move forward with an iron fist. Let me tell you something. It is better to be feared, rather than be loved"

"No way"

Emperor Reyman nods. Shin knew exactly what was going on.

"My people are unable to love me. So I need someone that can be loved. Akira"

"He would never agree to you"

"Be that as it may, he will learn to love me, the easy way, or the hard way"

Emperor Reyman chuckles. Her chuckles turn into laughter.

"I don't care if it will take me a day or a decade. He will be MINE Alone"

"You're crazy"

"Crazy? No, no. If he's mine, then I could conquer the world with him and me as Gods"

Her laughter is getting manic.

"You're batshit crazy"

"Call it what you want. Once we rule the world, you will be already out of the picture entirely"

Emperor Reyman went out of Shin's holding cell. She walks past Akira's holding cell. She looks at Akira lustfully

"Ahh... Look at that beautiful face. My love, sooner or later, you will be mine"

"You just after his body"

Vesuvius talks back.

"What was that?"

"Nothing, Your Majesty"

"Did you rough him up?"

"I did, Your Majesty"

"He looks fine"

"He's not waking up, is he?"

"Give it time. Once he woke up, bring him to my chamber"

"Yes, Your Majesty"

Emperor Reyman went back to Shin's holding cell.

"Have you reconsidered my offer?"

"I would rather eat demon's shit than agree with you"

"So be it. Vesuvius. I'm leaving. Do whatever you want"

Emperor Reyman exits the holding cell back to the castle. Vesuvius locks the cell. He cracks his knuckles.

"You'll never break me!"

"They all said the same. Those who are too stubborn died. Let's get started, shall we?"

Vesuvius starts by punching Shin in the face.


"I got you until sundown. You better give me my satisfaction"

Shin endures, and endures, and endures. Hanging on to his obsession with Vesuvius, until sundown arrives.

"Whew. That was fun. See you tomorrow"

Shin is a hair width from death until he feels his magic returning to him. Vesuvius left the Custodia Publica. Now, a broken Shin is almost unconscious until a familiar figure is in front of his cell.

"Thank god you're alive."

"Head...What are you...doing here?"

"Saving you. What else?"

"No, save Akira. Please"

"We're here for you both"

"But...there's three of us?"

"I'm sorry. I looked over the cell next to yours. He didn't make it. They chopped him in pieces"


Shin is shaken. Marcus, the recently gained ally that wants nothing more than to live freely, is no longer alive.


"I'm sorry. Now let's get out of here. We have a short window"

Head and the other Hands begin lockpicking the door. Once the gate is open, they release Akira and Shin from their chain. Head gives his Healing potion to Shin and makes him drink it. He is healing, but the broken bones remain.

"Sorry. Our healing potions are not effective"

"It's okay. Let's go"

Head and The Hands carry them in a piggyback. Since Custodia Publica is nearing the west wall of Romolo, they carry hoist them with a rope to the top of the wall. Head and The Hands then scale the wall themselves. After they are outside the wall of Romolo, they carry them in a carriage. As of now, they are outside of Negative Zone. Shin tried to cast healing magic but was prevented by the Head.

"Don't. Let's get as far as possible first. That Negative beacon can detect magic being cast"

"I'm in so much pain"

"Endure it a little bit longer"

"Alright, then hurry up"

Once they are already in the carriage, they rode the carriage off toward the grassland. Once they are far enough to be not noticed, the Head gives Shin a thumbs up, signaling that it's okay to cast healing magic. In an instant, Shin is completely healed.

"Thanks, Head. How did you find us?"

"We found the dog and he told us what happened"

"Ivanov? Where is he?"

"He's on his way to your friends"

"Hey. We owe you one"

"Nonsense. You have done more than what we agreed on. Thank you for risking your life for us"

Shin smiles. But that smile quickly disappears

"I can't believe Marcus is dead. What am I to tell Akira?"

"Can't you tell him the truth?"

"I will, but how can I say it? He made a promise to get Marcus back to Newlight. He would be livid"

"You know him the most, right? What do you think will happen?"

"I don't know anymore. He's not the same Akira I knew before"

"Has he changed that much?"

"He was a timid one before coming here. Ever since he got this power, it's like he dwells on it too deeply"

"Do you think we'll fight him one day?"

"It's possible, although very slim"

The Head thinks about it for a second.

"If push comes to shove, we have to kill him. I find his unlimited power to be scary. Soon, every country will feel threatened by its power. Not only Suleyman but even Sanctus Theocracy might brand him heretic"

"Sanctus Theocracy? They are a religious country. Why would they intervene in other countries affairs?"

"You don't know their power. If you were to be branded a heretic or at least an enemy of Sanctus Theocracy, the whole world would have to obey and agree to kill you, even if you're allied with those countries"

"What? How?"

"They have the so-called mandate from God. But I don't believe it. Nevertheless, that Mandate could be used to start a war"

"God. Mandate. Huh. Can I ask you something?"


"Could it be that Sanctus Theocracy is the home for League of Red Sky?"

"SHHH! Don't let anyone hear you say that. If someone from the Theocracy hears you, you'll be branded blasphemers"

"There's no one here"

"They might be listening. But let me tell you something. Before Mhar Dann's disappearance, he was set on a pilgrimage to Sanctus Theocracy. You might be on to something"

Shin is too tired to think any further. He asks the Head for him to sleep. He sees that no one is around so he advises them to sleep. Once the night is at its peak, they arrive at Sabea. The place is packed with military activity, but there is some commercial activity on the city walls. The merchants are trading outside of the walls since the city is prohibited from entry, fearing espionage activity.

"Welcome to a haven, at least for now"

"Where are the slaves?"

"They are inside. Halim's arranging transport for the slave to go to Newlight"

How many are in total?"

"We are still counting, but last time I checked, around 2 million people. Is your kingdom able to handle all these people?"

"Yes. Although we are small, there is still 80% of unused land. He's been thinking to add another city because we currently have 2 cities"

"What are you planning?"

"Currently, maybe mass transportation. People can travel between cities in hours"

"Is that possible?"

"It's very possible. This guy can make everything"

Shin points at Akira.

"You guys are a surprise one after another. Who are you?"

Shin is found silent at the question.

"We're just who we are. I'm not going to say that we are still finding out who we are in this world because no one can find the answers, not even I care enough to find out. We just live for the moment, and have fun doing it"

"Well, I can't force an answer out of you, so we'll leave it at that"

They arrive at the courtyard of the palace where the slaves are brought for census. Shin lifts Akira from the carriage. At first, they are ecstatic that their savior has returned, but their spirits were crushed when they see their savior is unconscious, possibly dead.

"Is he alive?"

"He is, but his condition is still unstable. We'll let him rest, please"

The slaves were disheartened. Akira was brought inside the palace. King Halim was supposed to greet them, but due to the influx of new temporary residents of Sabea, he was super busy. He saw Akira was brought with a makeshift stretcher.

"Wha-Is he going to be okay?"

"He's unstable, but he's alive. We're going to heal him after this"

Shin tries to use his healing magic, but he was not waking up.

"My magic is not working!"

Ken, Talos, and Erik went into the room, they see that Akira is laying down on a stretcher.

"What happened to him?"

"He's unstable. My Worldly eyes tell me due to overexposure to Negative Zone seeping through his open wound"

"Hold on. Let me call Galena"

Ken pulls out his phone and calls the old healer Galena on her phone. The call rings a few times until Galena answers the call.

"What, Kid?"

"We have an emergency, granny"

Ken turns his phone call into a video call he points the camera at Akira.

"Akira is not waking up"

"Give me a closer look"

Ken moves his camera closer to Akira. She looks closer at his illness.

"I have seen this once in a book, Magic Blockage. What is happening to Akira is that he's overdosed on dark elements"

"How do we cure it?"

"I'm sorry, but there is no information on how to cure him. It's only a matter of time. I'm sorry"

Galena ends the video call. The gang is desperate about this situation. Akira is doomed to die here. But Halim wasn't about to give up on him.

"There's one way that might save him, but I'm not sure it would work"

"Please! Even a slight chance of success, It's worth trying"

Erik pleads. Shin is too focused on healing Akira with every healing magic he can try. Each minute passed, and Akira's skin turned blue.

"Bring him toward the Mosque. Quick!"

Shin and Ken bring him with the stretcher to the Palace Mosque. They set him down behind a podium.

"I need you to trust me. This will take several days"


"I'm going to pray. You guys just rest for now"


"Yes. The process is long, but I will do my best"

Shin extends his hand to King Halim, and Halim grabs his hand.

"Thank you, King Malik. Akira trusts you, so I trust you"

"Thank you. Now leave us"

King Halim starts to close the mosque door and sees a simple mosque with no decoration. The walls and the floor are made of marble. Halim starts cleansing himself by washing his palms, mouth, nose, face, arms, hairs, ears, and legs three times in that order. He starts praying with Akira in front of him. When he's done praying, he recites a chant over and over and over again. He repeats praying and the chant for 4 days. When he was reciting his chant, Halim feels a slight tap on his shoulder.

"You have done well on your devout prayer, Halim. You were truly a pious ruler. Don't open your eyes, keep your faith high for me. Your prayer is answered"

Halim, with his eyes closed, smiles. He keeps him chanting although he is tired. He heard an unknown sound in front of him. Halim fights his curiosity and keeps chanting. After a few seconds, he heard a booming sound, not an explosion, but a zooming noise.

"It's done. You can rest now, child"

Halim opens his eyes. He sees that Akira's complexion has returned to normal. He called a servant into the mosque.

"Call the servant to carry Akira to his room and informs his friend. Call the servant too to carry me to my room"

Halim collapsed on the floor after finishing his chant and fell asleep. Akira and Halim were brought to their room and taken to rest. A few hours after the prayer is completed, Akira wakes up. He is greeted from the land of the dead by the gang.

"Hey, guys. How long have I been out?"

Erik rushes to Akira. Hugging him tightly.

"Ow ow ow, careful"

"Sorry, I'm just happy you're alive"

Ivanov jumps up to his chest and licks Akira's in his face. He licks his face with a sound almost like crying.

"Oh, hey buddy. Sorry, I have been out"

Akira looks at his gang.

"Thank you for keeping me alive"

"Make sure you thank Halim too. He's the one who brought you back"

"Yeah. I'll do that"

Akira scans around the room. Something seems missing. Or rather, someone.

"Where's Marcus?"

Everyone grew uncomfortable. Akira can see their faces, but not sure what is going on. Shin sighed.

"Marcus...didn't make it"

Akira's eyes widen. His body is still, but he's every bit shaken, and it's shaking violently.

"How...how did he...?"

"They chopped him into pieces. Vesuvius did it. He..."

Shin wants to continue but decided not to.

"Sorry guys. Can you guys leave me alone?"

Everyone leaves Akira in his room, except for Shin. He remains in the room to give Akira a hug, and he breaks down into tears. Bawling like losing a family member. Shin did not say anything. He just comforts Akira. On the other side of the door, Talos, Erik, and Ken hear his cries which makes Ken sit down feeling depressed. Talos is unfeeling, but he sympathized with Akira. Erik, being a giant with a sensitive soul, started crying too. Erik doesn't spend much time with Marcus, but he knows Marcus longer than the others. Akira calms down after a few moments, which breaks his hug with Shin.

"I'm going there"

"No, don't. Just rest now"

"How do you expect me to rest, after everything that happens?"

"Look. I want to punish them too, but we can't be too hasty. We have been doing your way, and look where it got us. Let me think of something, okay?"

"We don't have time for planning"

"We do. They are in their Negative Zone, our magic will not work, not even yours. We fell right into their hand last time. If we're going to fight them, we need to be smart. Charging there would be suicidal"

Akira tried to jump out of bed, but Shin didn't let him.

"We need to lure them outside of their Negative Zone"


Knocking on the door, Ken opens the door and enters his room.

"You guys okay?"

"We feel like shit. What's up?"

"I might be able to help. Mercia is a prideful empire, there's no doubt about that. They might be planning a countermeasure for our plan. We need more information. So if there's something we can use, please tell me"

Akira doesn't remember anything that could be helpful, but Shin speaks up.

"Back when Reymanius visited my cell, he told me that her goal is to marry Akira and claim the legitimacy of Newlight. But her main objective is to have Akira for herself"

"She did?"

"One more thing. There's a slight chance that she is also a reincarnate. She quoted Il Principe"

"Il Principe?"

Akira asks.

"A book by Niccolo Machiavelli. It tells you how to rule and how to govern. But she takes the message wrong"

"What kind of message?"

Ken asks.

"The book mentions that if impossible, it's better to be feared rather than to be loved. She fully uses fear without even trying to be loved"

"Any power we should be aware of?"

"Other than the Negative Zone, no"

Akira speaks up.

"That giant Paladin, Vesuvius. He's really strong. I figured he would be beside her. We should be worried about him"

Erik enters the room with Talos.

"Leave Vesuvius to me. I owed him plenty"

"Boss. Should we bring Those here?"


"No, we wouldn't be needing those"

"Alright. But I will be going back there to bring more firepower. I'm sure Grimgunn made lots of them"


Talos teleports away to Newlight.

"Erik, do you have that minigun I gave you?"

"I do"

"Wait. That's it!"

Ken exclaims joyfully.


"If they are using Negative Zone to block our magic, then we use technology to defeat them"

Erik's, Shin's and Akira's eyes widen upon Ken's idea.

"We're idiots. I have never thought of that. We're becoming too dependent on our magic"

"Thanks, Ken. But we're still vulnerable. Especially the Paladins are powerful enough to raze a city alone"

"Did you guys not notice the orb pedestal thing on top of the wall tower?"

"What orb pedestal?"

"Oh my god"

Ken takes out his phone and shows the gang a photo of a triangular pedestal that holds an orb on top of the pedestal. The orbs glow pink and there are 25 of the wall towers that the pedestal sits on top of it.

"If you didn't notice, the city is shaped like a Pentagonal cupola. The middle part is the strongest since that's where the castle is. There are 25 orbs in each tower. We destroy the 5 central orbs, their orbs will only protect the wall area. But in order to shoot them down, we have to be really high up in the air. I can't fly and I'm not good with guns, so count me out"

"I can, with my lightning. But I can't snipe well"

"I can't fly, but I can snipe"

"So, Akira can lift Shin up in the sky while holding Shin, while Shin snipes"

"You have become a great strategist, Ken"

"Well. Being a guild master gives me a perspective to give the new adventurers"

"That's the plan. Any objection?"

"I do. I know I'm going to go toe-to-toe with Vesuvius, but what should I do?"

"You have the best one. Go wild"

"Hoo boy. You're a kid after my heart"

"But don't go too wild. If you cannot fight anymore, retreat. I can't have another precious ally dying on my account again"

"You were worried about me? Aww"

Erik hugs Akira. He was overjoyed about how his new friend worried about him. The camaraderie of soldiers is one of the things he appreciates the most.


"Hehe, sorry. I'm not turning down a challenge, but do you think I can do it?"

"Hehe. I fought you before, Big Brother. You are able to fight me on par, even before you evolve. I honestly am scared how strong you become"

"Aww. Don't worry Little guy"

Erik rustles Ken's head playfully.

"I would never hurt my friend"

"Alright. That's the plan. Do any of you have any objection?"

None of them raises an objection.

"Great. For now, let's recover first. We still have time until they retaliate. If there's anything you want to do here, do it now. A little preparation never hurts"

Ken went out of the room, along with Erik and Shin. Leaving Akira with Ivanov.

"Are you tired, buddy?"

Ivanov barks.

"Hehe. Here's the box you ate last time. Eat lots. Since we will not be eating for a while"

Akira takes out the meat box from his item box. Ivanov jumps from the bed to eat. As Ivanov eats the meat, Shin came out of the room again.

"Hey. Do you want to eat something?"

"No, not at the moment"

Shin looks at Ivanov eating heartily. He cooks his own meat with his breath.

"Shin, do you think Ivanov can evolve?"

"Dunno. Wanna try?"

"Let me ask him. Boy, come here for a second"

Ivanov turns his head to Akira and jumps up on the bed.

"Boy, do you want to evolve?"

Ivanov tilts his head as if he doesn't know what he is asking.

"Basically, it will make you stronger with money, but it will make you temporarily tired. I will not you evolve, so I'm asking you"

Ivanov barks and licks Akira. His tongue is hot, and his saliva is burning, but it didn't cause any damage.

"You want to evolve?"

Ivanov barks and nods.

"Okay. Shin. Here are 100 platinum plates"

Akira tossed 100 platinum plates in a pouch to Shin.

"How much money do we have?"

"Last time I checked, it was 389 platinum plates left"

"Do you think we have enough?"

"I think so. This is not our country fund, this is our adventuring fund. It'll be fine"

"Alright. Boy, come here"

Ivanov walks toward Shin. Shin holds the plate pouch in his left hand and chants the prayer. The coin disappears from his hand and Ivanov starts glowing. His evolution is an instant one. His body is engulfed by a red and gold light. His previous fur was red but is changing into a gold-yellowish white. His fangs that were protruding out were getting smaller, shaping them into a fang of a normal dog. But one thing stood out the most.

"Well, isn't this a surprise"

"Boy, Are you tired?"

"A little bit, Father"

"Great. Come here, boy"

Ivanov jumps on top of the bed. Shin notices it earlier.

"Hold on, Ivanov. Did you just talk?"

"Yes, Father"

Ivanov licks Akira's face. It feels cool when he licks his face. Akira lies there astounded by Ivanov's new ability.