Headed by a Snake
377 Popoto Politeness
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Headed by a Snake
Author :CouchSurfingDragon
© Wuxiaworld

377 Popoto Politeness

After discussing the matters with Athena Vanzano and Sorina Capulet over the evening meal, it was decided that Sol Invictus would focus on two major projects to elevate House Vanzano's name. 

The first was to increase the profits from their businesses. For that, Tycondrius unreservedly trusted Sorina with the task of rooting out whatever flaws she could find... And, in her words, she would subsequently administer an Armor Gauntleted ⌈Cross Chop of Market Equilibrium⌋ to ensure scaling profit could be achieved. 

Sorina displayed the skill in its full glory at the dinner table, going as far as to offer to teach it to Tycon and Athena. 

Tycon refused to learn such a stupid skill and forbade her from teaching it to Athena. 

...though he was fairly certain the two of them willfully ignored that order. 

The second was to reestablish House Vanzano's strength through military force. Tyrion nobles were allowed a small private army, within certain size and strength parameters. While, in theory, they currently sponsored Guild Stormbrand... but no such paper contract existed, nor was there substantial funding invested to hint at such a contract. 

According to Tyrion law, the Stormbrands were undeniably an independent adventuring company. 

Tycon found no other hireable group in or near the city of Silva worth his investment, the Stormbrands included. 

Thus, he decided to make a new one. 

It did have the small issue in that Tanamar had wasted so much of his coin and effort in supporting his brother's guild. 

He'd get over it. 

With the sun declining past the horizon and businesses closing around the city of Silva, Tycon finally returned to the estate. He had taken half-a-bell of time, purchasing food from a popular outdoor stall. Though he could not undervalue the complimentary breadsticks that came with a meal at Olea Garden, he needed meat in his diet, else he'd go hungry. 

He'd barely finished his own meal when a visitor arrived at the Vanzano Estate, a member of the Courier's Guild. 

A young Popoto wearing a red uniform tunic entered Tycon's room, holding her uniform hat in her tiny hands. Popotoes were short, humanoid creatures generally the height of Tycon's waist. Their ears were pointed, their skin was bronze, and their noses looked like beady black buttons.

This particular Popoto was a brunette wearing two high pigtails and a shy expression. On her back was a bag, containing a bundle of scrolls and what appeared to be a lengthy sword, wrapped in leathers. 

She introduced herself as Potata Pota, which Tycon found aesthetically pleasing. Popotoes tended to have lovely rhyming names.

"S-sir Tycon? Right? I have... some missives for you. You're the biggest delivery, so I get to go home after this."

He gave her an encouraging smile, "Ah, yes. Thank you, young lady. I have been waiting for these responses for quite some time."

The young Popoto responded with a sudden growl... or rather, her stomach did. She blushed deeply in embarrassment, hiding her face with her oversized hat, "I apologize, Sir. I... I haven't eaten supper yet... And it smells so good, in here."

Tycon raised an eyebrow, his gaze drifting over to the remainder of his meal. He had ordered more than he could eat, having fallen prey to a nefarious 'Buy One, Get One Free' offer. 

It was fortunate for him, though. He would give her food instead of paying coin for Potata's faithful delivery. 

"Here," He handed the young Popoto the bag, "I believe this is skewered, marinated lamb; flatbread, chickpea paste, and a small salad. Oh, and there is a delectable garlic sauce for the lamb."

"Oh, no, Sir, I really shouldn't..." Potata said... even as she gazed longingly at the offered food. 

How polite. 

"Please," Tycon stood up and pulled out the chair at his desk, gesturing for her to sit, "I insist."

"Well... okay..." She relented almost immediately. 

Potata climbed atop the chair and seated herself as Tycon pushed her seat in. She opened up her box meal, her eyes glowing greedily at its contents. 


Seated on the bed, Tycon leaned back, tossing away the first missive in frustration. 

"What's wrong, Sir Tycon?" Popoto Potata Pota asked. 

She pouted as if she was the letter's author. 

Tycon sighed, "I had requested the Patriarch of the Ivory Judge Hidden Sect for training advice concerning a woman with a Yin Body... a frost-mana soul, in layman's terms."

"H-hidden sect? F-frost-mana soul?" The young lady's eyes widened in confusion, "Do those things really exist?"

"They do."

"...Oh." Potata used a fork and knife to cut meat off of her lamb-skewer. It looked like a great deal of work. She politely dabbed at the corners of her tiny mouth with a napkin, "What did he say?" 

Tycon shook his head, "Useless drivel. He suggested that Miss Athena gain experience through continuous fighting."

The logic was sound, but woefully simplistic. If an athlete wanted to train to throw a javelin for distance, some would opt to improve by throwing hundreds and thousands of javelins. Such rote practice would also fully ingrain the athlete's errors and bad habits. 

If he were the athlete on task, Tycon would elect to research and practice proper form, and to perform targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles involved in the throwing motion. Such a skill relied on the core muscles, legs, hips, arms, and back... Only then would he elect to practice throwing. Practicing with a fundamentally strong base would be far more beneficial than without. 

Close combat dueling also came with the high probability of injury, which would slow or even regress Athena's development. Tycon had a healing skill he could use... but she also had no peers able to fight her evenly. 

She had a mental inability to fight Tanamar. Both Zenon and himself far outclassed her in magery and physical combat, respectively. Either she would gain no injuries or have to convalesce for several suns after she was thoroughly trounced. 

Conversely... he could reasonably find the young lady some training partners from their guild recruitment drive. Patriarch Kimura Daigo was an idiot, but even an idiot's advice could be useful from time to time. 

He explained his thoughts to Popoto Potata Pota. The members of the Courier's Guild were under a magical contract of confidentiality, so he wasn't worried about revealing the existence of Athena's Yin Body or the fact that the Hidden Sects were more than mere myth. 

"Well..." Potata took a sip of her wine (she watered it down, herself)... "There's the... the martial tournament in Caeruleum in a few moons?"


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