Konosuba Volume 1: Chapter 1

Arriving in a New World with This Self-Proclaimed Goddess!

TL: Skythewood

Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil


Part 1

The carriage drove over the pavement and made a loud creaking sound.

“… Another world… Hey, it really is another world. Eh, it’s for real. Am I going to use magic and go on adventures in this world?”

Trembling with excitement because of the scene before me, I started talking to myself.

Before my eyes were houses built from red bricks, the streets right out of Europe from the middle ages.

There were no cars, bikes, power lines or telecommunication cables.

“AHHH! … AHHH! …”

I looked around the street, watching people pass by.

“Animal ears! There’s someone with animal ears! Elf ears! Is that an elf? With such striking facial features, she definitely has to be one! Goodbye hikikomori life! Hello different world! If it’s this world, then I’m willing to go out and work obediently!”

“AHHH! … AHHH! … AHHH! …”

I turned around and looked at Aqua who was hugging her head, screaming.

“Hey, you’re noisy. What would you do if people think I’m friends with a crazy woman like you ? Stop screaming. You should be giving something to me at a time like this. Look at what I’m wearing. Gym clothes? I’ve finally arrived in a fantasy world and I’m wearing a full set of gym clothes. According to the norm in games, you should be giving me the minimum equipment…”

“AHHH–!”

The goddess screamed as she pounced over to grab me.

“Whoa! What…? What are you doing, don’t act this way! I get it! I’ll do something about the basic equipment. I should say that I was wrong. If you hate it that much, you can go back. I’ll work out the rest on my own.”

Aqua tried to strangle me with teary eyes, so I shook off her hands and tried to shoo her away with an annoyed expression.

In the end, Aqua said with trembling hands:

“What are you saying? I’m troubled because I can’t go back! What now? Hey, what should I do? What am I going to do from now on?”

Aqua fell into a panic in tears, pacing about while hugging her head.

Her waist-length hair was a mess. She looked crazy right now, although she was a beauty if she doesn’t speak.

“Hey, calm down goddess, the first place to visit should be the tavern. Everything starts from collecting information at a tavern, that’s the standard in RPGs.”

“Huh…? You’re supposed to be just a hikikomori-gaming NEET,  so why are you so reliable? Ah, Kazuma, my name’s Aqua. I don’t mind you addressing me as goddess, but do call me by my name whenever possible or else citizens will surround us and we won’t be able to go on adventures and take down the Demon King. This might be a different world, but I’m still one of the revered gods in it.”

<TL note: NEET, A young person who’s ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’. The acronym NEET was first used in the United Kingdom but its use has spread to other countries and regions including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.>

Aqua confidently said as she followed behind me.

All right, there should be a group formed to take on the Demon King or an adventurer’s guild made to defeat monsters.

Speaking of which, Aqua was a goddess. Therefore, I could ask her if I had any questions.

“Aqua, please tell me where the adventurer’s guild is. Which way should we go?”

I asked Aqua, but she just looked at me blankly.

“…? I won’t know even if you ask me. I know the common knowledge of this world, but not the situation in town. This is just one of the many existing planets, and just a small town at that! How should I know?”

This girl’s useless.

There was no other way, so I asked a middle-aged lady passing by.

I didn’t ask any guys for fear of meeting delinquents, and the difficulty of talking to young girls is too high for me.

“Excuse me–may I ask you something? I’m looking for a place like an adventurer’s guild…”

“Guild? Oh my, to not know where the guild is, might you be from out of town?”

From what the lady said there really was a guild here, making me relieved.

“That’s right; I’m a traveller who came from a faraway land. I just reached this town.”

“Oh my… Since you came to this town, you must be aiming to become an adventurer. Welcome to the town of novice adventurers, Axel. Follow the main road and turn right, you’ll then see the signboard for the guild.”

“Take a right down the road. Got it, thank you very much! … Hey, let’s go.”

A town for novice adventurers.

I see. This was a good starting point for the dead transported here.

After thanking the lady, I followed her directions while Aqua followed me with respect in her eyes and sighed.

“Hey, you came up with an excuse right on the spot. Why are you able to handle this so perfectly? You seem to be a capable guy, so why were you a hikiNEET without any girls or friends? Why would you want to stay at home all day and be a hikiNEET?”

“Not having a girl or friends isn’t a bad thing. One can’t measure the value of a person by the number of friends or by having a significant other. Moreover, don’t call me a hikiNEET you damn bitch! Don’t combine hikikomori and NEET together…! I’m just sixteen; I’m too young to be a NEET by society’s standards…! There it is.”

Aqua pounced over to strangle me for calling her a bitch, but I ignored her and entered the adventurer’s guild.

– Adventurer’s Guild –

A place for adventurers to take up jobs which was a staple in games; an organization that supports the adventurers.

The job agency of this world.

There was a rather large establishment before us and the fragrance of food drifted from within.

Some rough characters would certainly be inside.

They might find trouble with me if they see unfamiliar faces.

After preparing myself mentally and entering…

“Ah, welcome. Please approach the counter if you’re looking for jobs. If you’re here to dine, then please take any empty seat…!”

A waitress with short red hair received us warmly.

The slightly dim interior seemed to double as a bar.

Seen congregating inside were groups of men in armour, but they didn’t seem to bear ill will.

However, unfamiliar faces seems to be rare, everyone was focusing on us.

… I realized why they were looking this way.

“Hey, they’re looking this way too blatantly. It must be the holy aura coming from me; they must’ve discovered that I’m a goddess.”

The reason was the appearance of the goddess speaking dumb words.

She was a beauty as long as she didn’t speak, after all, so everyone’s eyes were attracted to her.

For now, I ignored their gazes and went about my original objective.

“… Listen carefully Aqua… They’ll give us a tutorial if we register, enabling us to earn a living, that’s the kind of place adventurer guilds are. We should be able to take out a loan to prepare ourselves, complete simple jobs to get by and introduce ourselves to a good tavern. Most games start out this way. Normally, preparing the minimum essentials to live in this world should be your job, but never mind that. For today, let’s register with the guild, get some equipment and money and find a place to sleep.”

“I don’t care about that. My job’s sending the dead to this world, but I get it. I’m not familiar with games, but what you said seems to be common sense for this world. So I just need to register to be an adventurer too, right?”

“That’s right. All right then, let’s go.”

Taking Aqua with me, I made a beeline for the counter.

There were four counter staff members.

Two of them were female.

I queued up at the counter with the prettier lady.

“… Hey, the other three counters are empty. Why are you queuing here? We won’t have to wait if we go to another counter… Ah, because this counter worker’s the prettiest, huh? Really, I was just a bit impressed and thought that you were reliable, but you’re really doing this?”

Aqua who was following me didn’t seem to know anything, so I whispered to her quietly:

“Building a good rapport with the guild’s counter staff are the basics and the pretty counter lady definitely has plenty of flags to raise. This means that there’ll be more shocking hidden side quests waiting for us. For example, the counter lady might be a powerful adventurer or something.”

“… Now that you mention it, I saw something similar in a manga. Sorry, I’ll wait in line obediently.”

Because we didn’t approach the other empty counters and intentionally queued here, the other staff people were looking at us curiously. Nevertheless, I decided to pretend not to notice.

It was finally our turn.

“Good morning, how may I help you?”

The counter worker was a gentle beauty.

Her wavy hair and large breasts made her look mature.

“Eh, I want to become an adventurer. I come from the countryside and don’t know anything…”

If I tell the counter worker that I come from the countryside or a faraway nation, they’ll give a more thorough explanation.

“I see. There’ll be a registration fee, will that be okay?”

That’s right this was the basic tutorial.

I would just need to follow the instructions of the counter worker…

… Registration fee?

“… Hey Aqua, you’ve any cash on you?”

“I was transported here suddenly, so how’s it possible for me to have any money?”

… How can this be, shouldn’t they loan some money to us or put it on a tab for now?

I moved away from the counter and discussed the strategy with Aqua.

“… Hey, what now? We’re in a pinch right from the beginning. In games, you’ll normally get the minimal equipment and some money for living expenses too.”

“Suddenly you become unreliable. However, there’s no helping it, since you’re a hikikomori after all. All right, it’s time for me to shine. Just watch, I’ll show you the capability of a goddess.”

Seated at a table wearing the loose and cumbersome clothing of a priest was a man.

Aqua approached the man confidently…

“Man of the cloth, please state thy religion! I’m Aqua. That’s right, the goddess Aqua worshipped by the religious order of Axis! If thou art a believer…! … May you give me some aid by lending me some money?”

With an attitude that seemed lofty yet humble, she asked him for money.

“… I’m from the Eris Sect.”

“Ah… I see, sorry…”

I didn’t get it, but they seem to be from different religious orders.

When the dejected Aqua was preparing to come back, the priest stopped her.

“Ah… Madam, you must be a follower of Axis. There were stories about Goddess Aqua and Goddess Eris being close, so this must be fate. I’ve been observing you. Might you be having trouble paying the registration fee? It’s just a small fee, so please take it as a blessing from Goddess Eris. But no matter how devout you are, you shouldn’t use the title of goddess in vain.”

“Ah… Okay, sorry… Thank you very much…”

The eyes of Aqua looked dead as she returned with the money.

“Ha, he didn’t believe that I’m a goddess… By the way, Goddess Eris’s my junior. I was pitied by the believer of my junior goddess and received his money…”

“What matters is that you completed the task. Think about it. If he really believed that you were a goddess, there’d be a different kind of trouble!”

Aqua had an expression that seemed to say she lost something important, so I half-heartedly encouraged her.

“Eh, we’re back with the registration fees.”

“I… I see… The registration fee is 1,000 eris…”

Aqua received 3,000 eris from the priest.

According to Aqua, one eris was about one yen. Therefore, she received about 3,000 yen.

The counter lady didn’t interfere with the commotion we stirred up, but was unwilling to look both of us in the eye.

It seemed that I’d broken the flag between this lady and me.

“All right. Since you said you want to become an adventurer, you should have some level of understanding, but I’ll explain it from the start… First, adventurers are responsible for the extermination of monsters wandering outside the town, people who get rid of dangerous creatures that might harm the citizens. They’re also jacks-of-all-trades, taking on odd jobs that require their talents. Collectively known as adventurers are people who earn a living this way. And among adventurers, there are different jobs.”

Finally, it was coming.

This was a norm for adventurers. Be it jobs, class or whatever name, you’d to choose the way you fought in this world.

Compared to the blunt warrior profession, flashy jobs like mages should be better.

The counter lady handed Aqua and I one card each.

It was about the size of a driver’s license and seemed to be a kind of identification card.

“Please look over here; do you see the word ‘Level’? As both of you know, all things in the world have souls no matter what form it takes. If you eat or kill a being, you can absorb a part of the memory of the soul, known as ‘Experience Points’.

“Experience Points are normally intangible things, but…”

The counter lady pointed to one part of the card and continued.

“With this card, the Experience Points the adventurer adsorbs will be shown here. At the same time, displaying the level corresponding to your experience points will be here. This shows how strong an adventurer is, and how many enemies you defeat will record here. With the accumulation of experience points, all creatures will grow stronger rapidly at some point, known as leveling up. Simply put, leveling up will grant you all sorts of benefits, such as skill points to learn new skills. So please work hard to increase your level.”

After listening to the explanation, I recalled something Aqua said.

She asked me, “Do you like games?”

I got it. After listening to all that, this world was just like a game.

“First, please fill in your height, weight, age and other details in the blanks.”

I filled in my measurements on the form given to me by the counter lady.

Height was 165 cm (5 ft., 5 in), weight 55 kg (121.2 lbs.). Sixteen years old, black hair and eyes…

“That’ll be fine, please touch this card. This will display the strength of each of your abilities for reference to choosing your job. After accumulating skill points, you can learn skills that are available to your position. This is one of the key points in choosing occupations.”

Oh, it was time for this.

The time to show my amazing potential and create a big commotion in the guild.

With tense emotions and a heart full of expectation, I touched the card.

“… All right, thank you. Satou Kazuma-san, right? Let’s see… Strength, vitality, magic, agility and speed… All of them are average. Intelligence’s slightly better than average… Huh? Luck’s very high, but it’s not very relevant for adventurers… This is troubling. From the numbers, you can only choose the most basic Adventurer job! Since your luck’s so high, I suggest you give up being an adventurer and be a merchant instead… What’ll you like to do?”

Hey, denying my life of adventuring right from the very start! What was this?

The corners of Aqua’s lips were high in a smile, tempting me to punch her.

I being weak doesn’t help your cause.

“Um… I’d like to become an Adventurer…”

The counter lady said with a face of worry:

“I-It’s fine. After levelling up and raising your stats, you can change your job! In addition, the adventurer job is like its definition, it’s a combination of all jobs. That’s right, it might be a basic level job, but it doesn’t mean it’s worse than others are! Adventurers can learn and use the skills of all jobs after all!”

“On the other hand, you’ll need more skill points to learn skills. Without the bonus attribute of the actual job, your skills will be weaker when compared to them. It’s a jack of all trades, master of none.”

After the counter lady pointed out the good points, Aqua immediately shot me down.

I should find a place to throw her away.

It seemed that I would be taking a basic job, a beginner job.

Anyway, it was the weakest job.

However, I was still an adventurer that appeared in this world.

As I received my card with my name and the job ‘Adventurer’ written on it with a heavy heart…

“Eh? Huh? What are with these numbers? Leaving the lower than average intelligence and luck that’s rock bottom aside, the rest of your stats drastically exceed the average! Especially your magic, it’s abnormally high! Who in the world are you…?”

The counter lady screamed after looking at the card Aqua touched.

The place was in an uproar.

… Weird, shouldn’t that be happening to me instead?

“Ah, is that right? Therefore, it means I’m amazing. Oh my, it’s normal by my standard.”

No matter how useless, she was still a goddess.

However, Aqua being so happy that she became embarrassed pissed me off.

“This… This is way beyond amazing! Mage-type jobs that require high intelligence aren’t available… However, you may choose any other job! The holy knight with its strongest defense: Crusader, the swordsman with the strongest attack: Sword Master, and the top-tier cleric: Archpriest. You may choose most of the top-tier jobs right now!”

Slightly troubled by the counter lady’s question, Aqua said:

“Well, it’s a pity that goddess isn’t available as a job. It’ll be Archpriest for me then.”

“Archpriest! Archpriests can use all kinds of recovery and support spells. They can even take the role of vanguards, a strong all-rounder job! I’ll register you now… Done. Welcome to the adventurer’s guild, Aqua-sama! All of our staff look forward to your grand exploits!”

The counter lady said with a pleasant smile.

… Strange, what was this?

As I said, this should’ve happened to me…

Ah, forget it–

With that, my life as an adventurer began in this world.

 

Part 2

“All right, good work everyone–! That’s it for today! Here, this is today’s salary.”

“Thank you! Good job today, boss–!”

“Good job–!”

After the boss announced the end of the workday, Aqua and I received our salary, bowed and greeted him.

“Everyone, we’ll make a move first–!”

“Goodbye–!”

“Oh–thanks for your hard work! I’m counting on you tomorrow too.”

I bid farewell to my seniors while Aqua followed my lead.

After hearing the reply from the seniors, Aqua and I left the workplace.

Ah, I worked the whole of today too.

Even I was beginning to doubt that I was ever a hikikomori.

Aqua and I took our salary for the day and headed for the public bath.

The public bath was no different from the ones in Japan.

Judging from the average salary, the entrance fee was higher than Japan’s. However, I couldn’t change the habit of taking a bath after finishing work.

“Ah, I’m alive again…”

I soaked my shoulders into the warm water, leisurely relieving my fatigue from work.

This place seemed to be from the middle ages, so I thought it would’ve been luxurious to take a bath here, but that was just me.

I was grateful, so grateful…!

After leaving the bath, I saw Aqua waiting at the entrance for me.

Bathing longer than a girl was a bit off-putting, but that was the nature of the Japanese.

“What would you like to eat today? I want some smoked-lizard hamburger steak and the heart-freezing crimson Neroid!”

“I want to eat meat too, so let’s go to the tavern and get two smoked-lizard steak set meals.”

“Agreed!”

After finishing our meal, Aqua and I didn’t have anything to do and went to the stables.

After picking hay not stained by horse manure to make a bed, we laid down immediately.

Aqua was sleeping beside me as usual.

“Well then, good night.”

“Good night. Phew… I worked hard today too…”

With that, I drifted off into dreamland…

“No, wait a minute!”

I suddenly sat up.

“What is it? Did you forget to go to the washroom? It’s dark out there; do you need me to accompany you?”

“No way! Hold on, it’s not that. I just realized that we’ve been living the life of manual labourers so far.”

Indeed.

For the past two weeks, Aqua and I’ve been working on the walls outside the city.

We were construction workers.

That was too far off from the life of an adventurer I was aspiring to live in this world.

Or rather, why’d Aqua get so used to this lifestyle without any complaints?

Weren’t you a goddess?

“You don’t work, you don’t eat, isn’t that obvious? HikiNEETs are fussy. If you prefer to, you can work as a store clerk too!”

“No! It’s not that. How should I put this? What I’m after is exciting battles against monsters! A life like that! Moreover, isn’t this world in a crisis with the invasion of the Demon King? Isn’t it amazingly peaceful here? There are no signs of demons at all, hey!”

I got excited as I spoke. With my voice growing louder, our neighbours lectured me.

“Hey, can it! Be quiet!”

“Ah, sorry!”

Adventurers who were just starting out were poor.

It was normally impossible for us to rent a room in the tavern every night.

Usually, adventurers would share the rent with other adventurers and sleep in the communal room.

Alternatively, they could do what we were doing and sleep on the hay in the stables.

Yes, this was different from the adventurer lifestyle in an alternate world that I was looking forward to.

Staying in the tavern daily was the same as sleeping in a hotel every day in Japan.

It was impossible for adventurers with an unstable income to do so.

… Indeed, our income wasn’t stable.

No simple herb-picking or monster-hunting quests that appeared in games were available.

Monsters didn’t burst into loot and money when you killed them.

In addition, the forest near town has long since been cleared of monsters.

The forest had turned safe after the monsters were gone, so no one would hire people to harvest materials for them.

This was obvious.

The outdoors was so safe that the children could roam free.

There were guards manning the gate, but instead of maintaining round-the-clock security, it was easier to exterminate all the dangerous monsters since the forest wasn’t too large.

It was the most logical method, but I’d rather not know this.

An adventurer who was just slightly stronger than normal people could spend half a day harvesting herbs that were easy to spot and earn enough for food and lodging.

There was no way such an easy job existed.

Japan was a prosperous nation on Earth, but even so, no laborer could live in a hotel on their daily pay.

Minimum wage? Labour laws? What were those, could we eat it?

That was the kind of world this was.

“It’s useless even if you tell me these things. This is the town furthest away from the Demon King’s castle after all! Who would come all the way to attack a town of beginners at the borders…? Anyway… Kazuma wants to live more like an adventurer, right? You don’t even have the proper equipment!”

Aqua went straight to the point and I couldn’t protest.

That was right, Aqua and I didn’t even have a full set of basic equipment. We were hoping to buy them, which was why we were working so hard at the construction site.

“I’m getting bored of construction too. I didn’t come to this world to be a labourer; I came to this world with no computers and games to adventure. And didn’t you send me here to challenge the Demon King?”

After hearing what I said, Aqua made a ‘what are you talking about’ face, pondered for a moment and responded:

“Oh! There was such a thing! I forgot, immersed in the happiness of working. I can’t go back if Kazuma doesn’t defeat the Demon King.”

Listening to her dumb reply, I recalled the counter lady’s words. It seemed that this girl’s intelligence really was below average.

“All right, let’s go challenge the Demon King! Don’t worry; it’ll be a breeze with me here! Look forward to my performance!”

“That makes me uneasy… However, you’re a goddess after all, so I’m counting on you! Okay, we’ll buy some basic weapons and armour with the money we saved and go grinding tomorrow!”

“Leave it to me!”

“Didn’t I tell you two to can it? Do you want me to beat you up?”

“I’m very sorry!”

As we apologized to the other adventurers, I got ready to sleep with a heart full of excitement.

 

Part 3

– Under the clear blue sky.

“Ah! Help! Aqua, save me…!”

Puhehe! This is hilarious! Kazuma, your face’s all red and you have tears in your eyes! You look really desperate!”

Okay, I’ll bury this girl before going back.

As I made up my mind, I continued to run and scream for help as a giant frog-like monster chased me.

This was the open plain outside of town.

We took a quest from the guild in the morning and headed there.

As for the bare minimum weapon needed, I chose a short sword.

Aqua was acting dumb, saying a goddess wielding weapons was unglamorous and wasn’t equipped with anything. She was leisurely watching the frogs chase me.

Don’t look down on them just because they’re frogs.

They were bigger than bulls. It was their mating season, so they were accumulating nutrition to lay eggs. They roamed around human settlements where food was more plentiful, swallowing goats raised by farmers in a single gulp.

If they could swallow a goat whole, swallowing Aqua and me would be easy too.

In fact, children and farmers often went missing during their mating season.

Even though the looked just like a frog, they were still dangerous monsters, stronger than the small and exterminated monsters near town.

By the way, their meat was a bit tough but it was pleasant and refreshing. A rather popular ingredient.

Their thick fat was effective against blunt attacks.

They hated metals, so they wouldn’t hunt you if your equipment were complete. It was an easy foe for normal adventurers.

That was why skilful adventurers like to hunt them, but…

“Aqua–! Aqua–! Stop laughing and save me–!”

“For starters, add a ‘-san’ when you address me.”

“Aqua-sama–!”

I’ll bury this girl all the way, only leaving her head above ground. I’ll let her know the horror of frogs targeting you.

I was on the verge of tears, looking back at the frog hopping behind me.

At this moment, I realized that the frog was heading in a different direction from me.

Before the frog was…

“Can’t be helped–! All right, I’ll save you, hikiNEET! However, you’ll need to worship this goddess from tomorrow onward! You’ll have to join the Aqua sect in town and pray to me three times a day! You can’t object if I take any side dishes from you during meals! In addition… Ugh?”

Aqua who was puffing her chest out and rambling on about something disappeared.

I turned my head and saw that the frog had stopped moving.

Something white was dangling from the corner of its mouth.

That white thing was…

“Aqua–! You…! How could you get eaten–?”

Art_P28.jpg

Aqua eaten by the frog had one leg dangling out of its mouth, which was spasming.

I drew my short sword and charged at the frog!

Sob… Ugh, ugh– WAHHH…!”

Before me covered in sticky frog fluid, Aqua was hugging her knees while sitting on the ground sobbing.

Beside her was the frog with its head smashed.

“Ugh… Sob… Thank, thank you… Kazuma, thank you…! WAHHH…!”

Aqua had been crying non-stop ever since I dragged her out of the frog’s mouth.

Even a goddess couldn’t stand the horror of being prey.

“Are… Are you okay, Aqua? Be strong… Let’s go back for today. The quest we took on was exterminating five frogs in three days, but they weren’t opponents we could handle. Let’s try again when we’ve better equipment. Look, I only have a short sword, no armour and I’m still wearing my gym clothes. Let’s come back when we’re dressed more like adventurers.”

To be honest, a novice like me only defeated the frog because it stopped moving as it tried to swallow Aqua.

If the frog had attacked me without hesitation, I wouldn’t have had the courage to face it.

Aqua stood up with the glossy fluid all over her body.

“Ugh… For a goddess like me humiliated by a frog, how can we retreat? I’m already defiled. If a believer sees how dirty I am… Their faith will most certainly plummet! If people knew that I ran from frogs, it’d be a disgrace to the name of the beautiful Goddess Aqua!”

You didn’t have worry about that. You carried several times more construction materials at the work site than the men did, whilst looking happy working. Your greatest joy was eating dinner after taking a bath; you were sleeping so soundly that you even drooled while sleeping in the stables beside me. After seeing the way you conduct yourself, being covered in goo isn’t too much.

However, before I could stop her, Aqua charged toward another frog in the distance.

“Ah! Hey, hold up, Aqua!”

Aqua ignored my voice, drawing closer to the frog using her momentum to throw a punch at the belly of the frog.

“Feel the wrath of a goddess! You dare to oppose a goddess! Repent in hell! God Blow!”

I remembered the staff member in the guild telling me that physical attacks weren’t effective against giant frogs.

Her fist sunk into the soft abdomen, while the frog seemed unaffected…

Aqua looked at the frog meekly in the eye and said softly:

“… Looking closely… frogs are actually quite cute, right?”

… I defeated a second giant frog that stopped moving as it attempted to swallow its prey. The adventure for today ended with me bringing a wailing goddess covered in slime back to town.

Part 4

“I get it. Just us two isn’t enough, let’s recruit more members!”

After returning to town, the first thing we did was head to the bathhouse to wash up. We then ate fried frog meat in the adventurer’s guild and discussed our plans.

Apart from being a meeting place for adventurers, the adventurer’s guild also doubled as a bar. It allowed adventurers to sell the monsters they hunted, and serving tasty monsters was also abit of a selling point for them.

We sold the meat of the two frogs we hunted to the guild, earning some allowance.

The frog was too big for the two of us to carry, but, if you turned in a request to the guild, they’d provide delivery service, transporting the monster one defeated.

Selling one frog and deducting the transport fee, we earned 5,000 eris.

The earnings were about the same as doing construction work.

However, the slightly tough fried frog meat was unexpectedly tasty, which surprised me.

When I first came to this world, I was a bit hesitant about eating lizards and frogs. However, after having one prepared and served to me, I found it to be delicious.

Of course, the goddess before me ate anything without hesitation.

“But… Even if we want to recruit comrades, do you think anyone would want to team up with novices like us who don’t even have proper equipment?”

With a mouthful of frog meat, Aqua waved the fork in her hand.

“Wiff mi hare, I juice node…”

“Swallow. Swallow before you speak.”

After Aqua swallowed, she said:

“With me here, I just need to holler and people will line up to join us. I’m an Archpriest after all, the top-tier job! I can use all sorts of healing spells, support magic and relieve poison and paralysis statuses. I can even perform resurrection; a talent any team would want. I might’ve fallen into the mortal world and my powers are far from my peak, but I’m still a goddess… Ahem! I’m Aqua-sama after all! I just need to put up a notice and a bunch of people begging me to ‘bring me along on quests’ will show up! If you understand, then give me another piece of fried frog meat!”

After finishing, the self-proclaimed goddess grabbed a piece of fried frog meat from my plate as I watched her with worried eyes.

Part 5

– The next day, at the adventurer’s guild.

“… No one’s coming…”

Aqua dejectedly mumbled to herself.

After displaying a recruitment notice, we sat at a table inside the adventurer’s guild and waited for companions to show up. It’d been half a day.

The other adventurers saw our notice.

Besides us, several adventurers were recruiting members; they conducted interviews, talked with them and went off.

I knew very well why no one was coming.

“… Hey, let’s lower our standard. Our goal’s to defeat the Demon King, so such conditions were necessary… However, ‘only recruiting top-tier jobs’ is a bit too gruelling.”

“Ugh… But…”

In this world, adventurer jobs were divided into tiers, with some of them being top tier jobs.

Aqua’s Archpriest was one of those top-tier jobs.

It was difficult for normal people to qualify for this job. She could very well be a hero candidate.

Moreover, it was normal for such hero candidates to enjoy a privileged life in other teams…

Aqua probably wanted to recruit powerful companions to take down the Demon King.

However…

“If this goes on, no one will apply! You might have a top-tier job, but mine’s the weakest. I’ll lose my place if elites suddenly surround me. How about lowering the entry requirements…?”

As I was preparing to stand up…

“I saw the notice to recruit adventurers with top-tiers jobs. Are you the ones who posted it?”

She regarded us with red, sleepy eyes.

Her smooth black hair reached her shoulders.

For us, she was a girl in classic witch attire with a black cloak, dark boots, pointy hat and a staff.

Her features were delicate like a porcelain doll–it was a loli.

It wasn’t surprising for children to work in this world…

The small, frail girl who looked about 12-13 had an eyepatch covering one eye. She flung aside her cloak hard and said:

“My name is Megumin! My calling is that of an Archmage, and one who controls the strongest offensive magic, Explosion…!”

Art_P33.jpg

“… Are you here to tease us?”

“I-I’m not!”

I couldn’t help retorting at the self-introduction of this girl as she denied in a panic.

Moreover, what was with the name Megumin?

“That red eye, are you a Crimson Demon?”

The girl nodded in response to Aqua’s query and presented her adventurer’s card to Aqua.

“That’s correct! I’m an elite mage from the Crimson Magic Clan, Megumin! My magic’s powerful enough to split the mountains…! … That’s how it is. Do you need an excellent mage? … By the way, I’ve a favour to ask. I haven’t eaten in three days; may you give me something to eat before the interview…?”

Megumin looked at us with sorrowful eyes.

The heartbreaking ‘ugu’ sound came from Megumin’s stomach region.

“… I’m fine with treating you to a meal, but why are you wearing an eyepatch? If you’re injured, do you need this girl to heal you?”

Humph… This is a magic item to restrain my overwhelming power… If you pull it off, a gigantic disaster will befall the world…

“Oh… So it’s something like a seal?”

“I made that up. This is just a normal eyepatch. It just looks nice… Ah, sorry… Please don’t pull on that, stop!”

“Eh… Listen Kazuma, Crimson Demons are born with high intellect and strong magic power, with most of them having the potential to become powerful mages. The Crimson Demon’s known for their red eyes and their strange names.”

Aqua explained as I pulled on Megumin’s eyepatch.

… I understood. Just listening to her name and seeing that eyepatch, I thought she was teasing me.

I released the eyepatch and she said sternly:

“It’s rude to say that our names are weird. From where I stand, the names of the people in town are the weird ones.”

“… Right, may I ask for your parents’s names?”

“My mother’s Yuiyui, and my father’s Hyoizaburo.”

“…”

Aqua and I were silent.

“… Anyway, this girl’s clan from produces many powerful mages, right. Could we recruit her as a companion?”

“Hey, if you’ve got a problem with the names of my parents, say it to my face!”

Megumin leaned forward and Aqua returned the adventurer’s card to her at this moment.

“It should be fine, right? The adventurer’s card is real; her job’s top-tier with the ability to use powerful spells–Archmage. The magic stat on the card’s very high, so she has a lot of potential. If she really can use explosion magic, that would be amazing! The explosion spell’s the top-grade spell in detonation-series magic and is hard to learn.”

“Hey! Stop addressing me as she, use my name!”

As Megumin protested, I handed the food menu to her.

“Don’t mind the details, order something to eat. My name’s Kazuma, this is Aqua. Please to meet you, Archmage.”

Megumin seemed like she’d something to say, but just took the menu quietly in the end.

 

Part 6

“Explosion’s the strongest offensive spell. On the other hand, it has a long casting time. Please keep that frog at bay until I’m ready.”

We brought Megumin who’d eaten her fill along to seek revenge against the giant frogs.

I could see a frog at a distance on the plains.

The frog had already noticed us and was charging our way.

In addition, I could see another frog heading toward us from the opposite direction.

“Please target the frog further away. As for the one nearer… Hey, let’s go Aqua. We’ll avenge ourselves this time. You’re a former goddess, right? How about showing what you’re made of sometimes?”

“What do you mean by ‘former’? I’m a current goddess! My position of an Archpriest’s just a disguise!”

Megumin looked at the self-proclaimed goddess choking me and said:

“… Goddess?”

“… Just a pitiful woman claiming to be a goddess. She’ll say stuff like this from time to time, so please don’t mind her.”

After hearing my explanation, Megumin looked at Aqua with sympathetic eyes.

Aqua was on the verge of tears and charged toward the nearer frog in frustration with her fist clenched.

“You’re just frogs that are strong against physical attacks! let me show you the power of a goddess! Kazuma, watch this carefully! I haven’t done anything great yet, but I’ll definitely succeed today!”

Aqua, who lacked the capacity to learn, shouted and succeeded in infiltrating into the body of the frog, stopping it’s movements.

As expected of a goddess, sacrificing herself to buy us time.

… Then, the air around Megumin started to tremble.

Even a novice to magic like me could tell that Megumin was preparing to use remarkable magic.

Megumin’s chanting grew louder as sweat fell from her temples.

“Watch closely, this is the strongest attack spell known to humans… The ultimate attack-magic.”

The tip of Megumin’s staff started to glow.

The scale might’ve been small, but it seemed to accumulate a vast amount of light as it shone brightly.

Megumin’s red eye shone with a brilliant light.

“Explosion!”

A light flashed through the plains.

The light emitted from the tip of Megumin’s staff pointed toward the distance, hitting the frog approaching us dead on…!

Seen immediately was the violent effect of the spell.

That dazzling light and loud bang reverberating in the air made the frog explode into pieces.

Almost blown away by the strong wind, I covered my face and braced myself.

After the dust settled, a crater twenty meters in diameter revealed where the frog was, showing how powerful the explosion was.

“… Amazing–so this is magic.”

The power of Megumin’s spell moved me, and at this moment.

Another frog climbed out slowly from underground, probably awakened by the shockwave and sound of the explosion.

I was thinking that without rain and a water source in the plains, the frogs would dry up under the hot sun. It turned out that they burrowed underground to avoid baking alive.

The frog climbing out was near Megumin, but its movements were very slow.

If we used this chance to move away from the frog and let Megumin use her explosion spell again, we could blow the frog into cinders.

“Megumin! Let’s retreat for now and attack from a distance…!”

I looked over at Megumin.

My body turned stiff…

Because Megumin was lying face down on the ground.

Humph… Explosion’s my ultimate spell. It’s powerful and uses a lot of mana. Simply put, the mana I used exceeded my limit, so I can’t move. Ah, to think that a frog would appear out of nowhere… No good, I’ll be eaten. Sorry, please save me. Hya…!”

frog.jpg

With their movements sealed by the body of Aqua and Megumin, I finished off the two frogs.

We completed the mission to defeat five giant frogs in three days.

 

Part 7

“Ugh… Ugh… Sniff… It smells… It smells like fish…”

Covered in slime, Aqua snivelled as she followed behind me.

“It’s smelly inside the frog, but the warm feeling isn’t too bad… I gained some knowledge that I’d rather not know…”

Megumin, who I was carrying on my back, covered in goo like Aqua told me something I never wanted to learn.

If someone used magic that exceeded his or her mana capacity, it’d drain his or her life force to make up for the difference.

Using powerful spells with your mana depleted might even lead to death.

“From now on, explosion magic’s banned unless there’s an emergency. Please get by with your other spells from now on, Megumin.”

Megumin who heard what I said grabbed my shoulders harder.

“… I can’t.”

“… Huh? You can’t what?”

I parroted Megumin’s words.

Megumin grabbed even harder and pressed her lacking chest onto my back.

“… I can only use Explosion; I don’t know any other magic.”

“… Are you serious?”

“… Yes.”

As Megumin and I turned silent, Aqua, who was snivelling, joined in our discussion.

“What do you mean you only know Explosion? If you’d enough skill points to learn Explosion, you must’ve learned other spells, right?”

… Skill points?

Speaking of which, the counter lady at the guild did mention something about skill points.

Seeing that I was confused, Aqua explained to me:

“Skill points are something you earn when you choose a job; it’s used to learn skills. The more skill points they start out with, the better the person is. You can learn all sorts of skills by investing skill points in them. For example, the excellent me has learned all the banquet party tricks as well as all the spells of an Archpriest.”

“… Where are you going to use banquet party tricks?”

Aqua pretended not to hear my question and continued:

“Depending on the person and the job, there are restrictions to the skills they may learn. For example, someone with a fear of water would need more points to learn water or ice elemental spells… However, detonation-series magic are composite spells, you’d need deep knowledge of fire and wind magic to master it. This means that people who can learn detonation magic should be able to easily learn other spells.”

“This means that it doesn’t make sense to be unable to learn low-grade spells when you know high-tier magic from the detonation-series… Anyway, where can you make use of banquet party tricks?”

Megumin mumbled when I finished my sentence:

“… I’m an Archmage that loves Explosion. What I like is not detonation-series magic, but Explosion.”

Really, what was the difference between detonation spells and Explosion? I didn’t get the difference at all.

Aqua listened to Megumin’s monologue with a serious face.

No, compared to that, I was very distracted by the banquet party tricks.

“Adventures will definitely be easier if I learn other spells. Fire, water, earth, wind and light… Learning spells related to this should be good enough… However, I couldn’t do it, my only love is Explosion. Even though I can only cast it once per day, even if I’ll collapse after using the spell, my one true love is still Explosion! The only reason I chose the path of the Archmage was to cast explosion spells.”

“Incredible! Great! Your resolve to follow your romantic dreams despite knowing it’s inefficient really moved me!”

… Oh no, it seemed like this mage was going to be useless.

The best evidence was her hitting it off with Aqua.

After two battles with the frogs, I highly suspected the usefulness of this goddess.

Honestly, just Aqua alone was troublesome enough. If another one were to join in…

All right, I made up my mind.

“I see. I think this will be a difficult path, so do work hard. Ah, I can see the town. Let’s divide the rewards equally at the guild. Yes, let’s meet again if our paths cross once more.”

Megumin grabbed me harder after I finished.

Humph… My only wish is to use explosion magic; the bounty’s just a complementary bonus. How about this, I don’t need to split the rewards evenly. If you’re willing to foot the bill for food, bath and miscellaneous items, I can consider not taking any rewards. That’s right, my power as an Archmage is available at the price of meals and other miscellaneous fees! How could you miss this opportunity to form a long-term contract?”

“No, no, no, our weak team isn’t worthy of such amazing power. That’s right, it’s too much to ask Megumin to stay in our team with your amazing powers. A team just starting out should make do with a normal mage. Look at me, my job’s the weakest adventurer too.”

To chase away Megumin who was grabbing on to me tightly when we reached the guild, I attempted to loosen her grip.

Nevertheless, Megumin refused to let go.

“No, no, no, it doesn’t matter if you’re novices or weak. I might have a top-tier job, but I’m still a beginner too. My level’s just six. When my level grows, I won’t collapse after using my spells. So let’s talk this over, and then you may pull my hand away, okay?”

“No, no, no, it’s too hard to utilize a mage that can only cast one spell a day. Ugh, she’s a mage but her grip’s strong…! Let go, the other teams probably didn’t want you either. Or rather, one can’t use explosion spells in dungeons or indoors, which would render you useless. Hey, release your grip! I’ll split the rewards equally with you, so please let go!”

“Please don’t ditch me! No team’s willing to take me! I’m willing to carry the luggage or anything when exploring dungeons, so please don’t throw me away!”

It was probably because Megumin on my back was yelling, ‘Don’t throw me away’, that the passersby started whispering while looking at us.

Because we were in town and Aqua’s appearance drew a lot of attention, it made us the center of focus.

“– No way, that man wants to abandon that child…”

“– He has a girl covered in slime with him.”

“– To toy with such a small child and to abandon her after that, what trash. Look, why is there goo covering the girls? What weird sexual games did that pervert make them do?”

… The passerby maligned me.

Aqua smiled deviously upon hearing them, how hateful.

Megumin seemed to have heard their whispers too.

I looked at Megumin who was peeking over my shoulder, a malicious smile showed on her face…

“I’m fine with any sort of play! Even using the frog’s slime just like now is okay…”

“All right–I get it! Megumin, I’ll be in your care!”

 

Part 8

“All right, everything’s in order. I’ve confirmed that your team has finished the quest of defeating 5 giant frogs in 3 days. Good work.”

After reporting in at the guild’s counter, I received the promised reward.

As for Aqua and Megumin who were covered in slime, they’d be too smelly if they didn’t wash up. It might cause misunderstandings for me, so I shooed them off to the bath house.

One of the frogs we defeated disintegrated because of the explosion magic, so I was afraid it might’ve affected the completion of the quest. But the type and number of monsters defeated were recorded on the adventurer’s card, so there were no problems.

I handed in my and Megumin’s card to the counter lady, to which she put in a strange box-like machine. The confirmation was done just like that.

Things developed in this world used magic instead of science, so the technological level of this world was quite advanced.

I looked at my card again and saw that I was at level 4.

I heard that those frogs were great for novice adventurers to grind levels.

I defeated 4 frogs by myself, enough to raise my level to 4.

It was easier for low-leveled people to level up.

All the stats on the card increased slightly, but I didn’t feel myself getting any stronger.

“… But, I can really get stronger just by killing monsters…”

I mumbled to myself.

The counter lady did mention that when she explained it in the beginning.

All things in this world have souls. No matter what form it takes, if you eat or kill a being, you can absorb a part of the memory of the soul. That was what she said.

This part felt like a computer game.

Looking at it closely, there was something called ‘Skill Points’ on it, which showed the number 3.

Just by spending these points, I could learn skills.

“Well then, turning in 2 giant frogs and the bounty for completing the quest’s a total of 110,000 eris. Please take this.”

110,000.

These giant frogs yielded 5,000 eris after deducting transport fees.

So the bounty for the 5 frogs was 100,000 eris.

Aqua said that quests were completed with a team of 4 to 6 adventurers.

So for normal adventurers, risking your life to fight 5 frogs for a couple of days would yield about 125,000 eris. For a 5-man team, that would be 25,000 eris each.

… It wasn’t worth it–

Finishing the mission in one day meant a daily salary of 25,000.

It might’ve seemed like a good deal for a daily salary, but considering the risk involved, it didn’t seem to be worth the effort.

If another frog had shown up and eaten me, the three of us would’ve been wiped out.

That sent a chill down my spine.

I looked at the other quests, the ones on the bulletin board were–

– Cut down the evil trees corrupting the forest, bounty’s dependent on the amount turned in.

– Help me look for my pet white wolf.

– My son’s swordsmanship lesson *Requirement: Rune Knight or Sword Master.

– Recruiting subject for magic practice * Requirement: High HP or strong magic resistance…

Yeah.

It wasn’t easy to survive in this world.

I felt like returning to Japan on my second day of adventuring.

“… Excuse me, may I ask…?”

Just when I was getting a little homesick as I sat down on a chair nearby, someone behind talked to me.

Feeling tired of dealing with the realities of this different world, I turned my head with hollow eyes.

“Is something the matter…?”

I was speechless when I saw the person talking to me.

She was a female knight.

She was a super beautiful female knight.

She gave off the vibe of a cool beauty at first sight as she looked at me expressionlessly.

She was a bit taller than I was.

My height was 165 cm (5 ft. 5 in).

A bit taller than me should be about 170 cm (5 ft. 7 in).

She was wearing solid metal armour all over her body, a beauty with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Probably a year or two older than me.

I couldn’t tell her body shape from her armour, but I felt that she was very curvy.

Her face seemed rather cold… How should I put this, it picked on your masochistic side…?

… Ah. This wasn’t good, I was entranced.

“Ah, eh–what’s the matter?”

Facing Aqua who was about my age and Megumin who was younger than me was fine, but this beauty slightly older than me made me stutter.

That was the bad point about living the life of a hikikomori for an extended period.

“Um… The team that put up this recruitment notice was you, right? Are you still looking for people?”

The female knight showed me a piece of paper.

Indeed, we didn’t tear away that notice after Megumin joined our party.

“Oh–we’re still hiring. Although I wouldn’t recommend you joining…”

“Please pick me! Please let me join your party!”

When I was about to reject her tactfully, the female knight suddenly grabbed my hand.

… Eh?

“No, no, no, hold up. Our party has plenty of problems, the other two members are burdens and my job’s the weakest. Because of that, my two companions were covered in slime… Ow! Ow! Ow!”

When I mentioned the slime, the female knight tightened her grip on my hand.

“I was right, those two covered in goo were your comrades! What happened, how’d they end up like that…!? I-I also…! Want to experience that…!”

“Huh?”

What’d she just say?

“No, I phrased it wrongly. For the two young girls to experience that at such a tender age, as a knight, I can’t stand by and watch. My job’s the top-tier Crusader, it should fit your recruitment criteria.”

What was with this female knight, her eyes looked dangerous. I thought she was a calm and collected big sister!

But my danger radar was acting up.

She seemed to have something similar with Aqua and Megumin.

… She might’ve been a beauty, but it couldn’t be helped.

“Ara–I didn’t finish. I really don’t recommend you joining. One of our party members is useless, the other can only cast one spell a day and I’ve the weakest job. That’s the lame party this is, so I suggest you find another…?”

The female knight strengthened her grip further.

“That’s perfect! To be honest, I’m confident in my strength and durability, but I’m not too agile with my hands… So I can’t hit the enemy…”

My sensor was right.

“So you don’t need to mind me having a top-tier job, I’ll just charge ahead without a care, so abuse me like a shield.”

The female knight shoved her pretty face in front of me who was seated on a chair.

Her face was too close!

Because I was sitting, she was looking at me from up high. The female knight’s golden locks brushed against my face, making my heart race.

My time as a hikikomori was affecting me again…!

No, this was simply too stimulating for an adolescent virgin boy, making me uneasy.

Calm down, don’t get seduced by her charm!

“No, how can I let a girl act like a shield? My party’s super weak, so the attack will really hit you. The monsters might gang up on you in every fight!”

“That’s the way I like it!”

“No, how should I put this…? My two companions were eaten by frogs and covered in slime! This might happen every day!”

“That’s exactly what I want!”

Art_P45.jpg

… Oh, I get it.

The blushing female knight who was holding my hand.

Looking at her, I understood something.

… This girl wasn’t just useless, her character was rotten to the core.

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