Adding fresh goddess juice to this lake!
Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
“Have you heard? Rumour says that a General of the Demon King’s army has taken over the old castle on that hill a short distance away from town.”
In the corner of the bar operated by the guild.
I was listening to a man sitting at my table and drinking during the day.
I wasn’t drinking beer though, but Neroid Swish.
What was Neroid?
What was Swish?
I only tried it out of curiosity since the people told me this was the non-alcoholic beverage of choice among patrons…
If you asked me if it was good, I could only answer it in this way:
… Um, I don’t know.
But I knew what swish meant.
It was the texture you felt when you drank it.
This wasn’t a carbonated drink. I didn’t really get what the swish texture was, but this feeling could only be described as swish.
I finished the Neroid and placed the cup on the table…
“A Demon King’s General. That sounds bad, but it has nothing to do with us.”
The man before me agreed with my negative and irresponsible words.
There was an unexpectedly huge crowd of people chatting in the guild, and I could hear many interesting topics.
For example, the places to avoid taking quests in because dangerous monsters have been spotted there.
I had a hard time just surviving since coming to this world and had never gathered intelligence in this way before.
Collecting information was the most important step to avoid raising flags.
Talking about such things in a bar had an adventurer-like feeling, so it made me happy.
The man sitting opposite me said:
“Anyway, it’s better not to approach the abandoned castle to the north of town. This isn’t the capital of the kingdom, so who knows what a Demon King’s General is doing here. But since it’s a general, it’s probably an ogre lord, vampire, archdemon or dragon. No matter what it is, it’ll be a monster that can kill us instantly. It’d be best not to take any quests around that place for now.”
After thanking the man, I left my seat and returned to the table my party was at…
“… What? Why are you all looking at me like that?”
Aqua, Darkness and Megumin took small mouthfuls of the vegetable sticks in the cup at the centre of the table as they stared at me.
“Nothing– I wasn’t worried about Kazuma joining another party or anything.”
Aqua said as she looked at me with uneasy eyes.
“…? Eh, I was just gathering information. That’s what adventurers do.”
I took a seat at their table and reached for a vegetable stick.
The vegetable stick dodged my outstretched hand.
“What are you doing, Kazuma?”
Aqua slammed the table, making the vegetable sticks jump in surprise.
While they were momentarily in the air, Aqua grabbed one and stuffed it in her mouth.
“… Hmm. You looked so happy. You were really having fun chatting, Kazuma. Were you that close with members of the other parties?”
Megumin slammed the table with her fist, picked up the vegetable stick that was too scared to move and shoved it in her mouth.
“… What’s this refreshing feeling? Seeing Kazuma being on good terms with the other parties, the melancholic feeling’s mixed with something good. Could this be the legendary NTR…?”
<TL Note: NTR (netorare) refers to the fetish of getting aroused by being cuckolded >
That crazy pervert who was spilling nonsense flicked the edge of the cup with her finger and grabbed a vegetable stick nimbly.
“What’s with all of you? Isn’t collecting intelligence in such a place what adventurers do…?”
I hit the table as I spoke and reached for a vegetable stick…
“… What’s with this dodging–!?”
“S-Stop–! What are you doing to my vegetable sticks!? No, don’t destroy the food!”
I grabbed the cup containing the vegetable sticks and prepared to throw it against the wall, but Aqua, who was on the verge of tears, restrained my hand.
“How dare a mere vegetable look down on me! It’s a little late to say this, but… But how can the vegetables run!? Can you please serve food that is already dead!?”
“What are you talking about? Be it fish or vegetable, it tastes better if it’s fresh, right? Haven’t you heard of killing it and serving it on the spot?”
Then kill it before serving it!
I gave up on eating the vegetable sticks.
“Right… Forget it, let’s ignore the vegetables for now, I’ve got something important to ask you. I was thinking about what new skills to learn after leveling up. To be honest, the composition of this party’s too unbalanced. So I’m thinking of making up for our weakness since I have the most flexible job. By the way, what skills have all of you learned?”
Indeed, in order to take on more difficult quests, it was important to consider the teamwork of the party before learning any new skills.
That was what I thought when I came to discuss things with them, but…
“My skills are centred around Physical Defense, Magical Resistance and Abnormal Status Resistance. I also have a skill called Decoy that’s used to taunt the enemy.”
“… Don’t you plan to learn something like Two-handed Sword to increase your attack accuracy?”
“I don’t plan to. It might sound like I’m boasting, but my stamina and strength are great. If my attacks land easily, I could easily defeat monsters without taking damage. And it’s not good to hold back intentionally. This is how things should go: Attacking with all my might but not being able hit the enemy and being captured as my strength wanes. That’s the best.”
“Enough you, shut up.”
“… Hahaha…! You’re the one who asked, but to treat me like this…”
I decided to ignore Darkness as she panted with a red face.
I looked at Megumin, who tilted her head and said:
“Of course, I learned explosion-related skills… Explosion, Explosion Damage Increase, Fast Chanting, et cetera. All the skills needed to cast the perfect explosion spell. It’s the same as before and will be so in the future.”
“… Do you have no intention of learning something like mid-tier magic?”
“I don’t plan to.”
This girl won’t do either…
“As for me…”
“There’s no need.”
Aqua was planning to explain her skills, but I shut her up immediately.
It was just party tricks, party tricks and party tricks anyway.
“Why can’t this party get its act together…? Maybe I should think about switching parties…”
My soft mumbling surprised the three of them.
– A few days after the emergency cabbage hunt quest.
All the cabbages captured back then had been sold.
And the adventurers got their bounties.
“Kazuma, look! I earned a lot, so I upgraded the armour I sent in for repair. How does it look?”
Inside the adventurer’s guild filled to the brim with people collecting their bounties, Darkness happily showed me the armour she got back from the repair shop.
If I wanted to put it simply…
“This armour looks like something the upstart son of nobility would wear.”
“… Kazuma’s merciless regardless of the situation. Even I want to hear an honest compliment from time to time.”
Darkness said with a dejected expression.
How could I tell?
“There’s someone even worse, so I don’t have the time to play with you. Could you please take care of that pervert before she drops lower than you?”
“Huff… Huff… I can’t, I can’t take it! The magic of this manatite staff, the colour and glister… Huff…Huff…”
Megumin was hugging her decked out staff and grinding her face against it.
Manatite was a rare metal said to have special properties. Utilizing it in building a staff would increase the power of its spells.
Megumin had been acting this way ever since she upgraded her staff with her earnings.
I heard the power of the explosion spell would increase by a dozen or so percent.
Why are you increasing the power of explosion magic which is already overpowered?
Instead of doing that, shouldn’t you be learning magic that can be more convenient? I had plenty of similar questions on the tip of my tongue, but I really didn’t want to bother with Megumin as she is currently, so I decided to ignore it.
I was already satisfied after collecting my rewards.
Darkness who attracted the monsters towards her.
Megumin who destroyed those monsters with a single spell.
And Aqua who chased the cabbages on her own without caring about these two.
We decided to not split the earnings from the cabbage hunt and collected our own bounties.
The one who suggested this was Aqua, whose harvest was only second to mine.
And that person was waiting her turn to collect the bounty, but…
“What’d you say–? Wait, what’s this?”
Aqua’s voice reverberated through the guild.
“Hey…! How could this be…!”
As expected, Aqua was arguing with the person manning the counter.
She grabbed the collar of the counter lady and was protesting something.
“Why’s there only 50,000 eris!? Do you know how many cabbages I caught!? It’s more than 20!”
“Um, this is hard to say…”
“… What Aqua-san turned in was mostly lettuce.”
“… Why was lettuce mixed in there!?”
“Even if you ask me that, I wouldn’t know!”
From their conversation, there seemed to be a problem with the bounty.
Aqua probably realized there was no use in arguing with the counter lady. She put her hands behind her and approached me with a smile.
“Ka~zuma-san! How much did you get from this quest?”
“A little over a million.”
Aqua, Darkness and Megumin were stunned beyond words.
Indeed, I earned a small fortune from the sudden quest.
The cabbages I caught were mostly high-grade cabbages that yielded plenty of experience points.
This was the difference in our luck.
“Kazuma-sama–! How should I put this, I always thought you were such a great person!”
“Don’t push yourself if you can’t think of any ways to compliment me. Let me say this first: I’ve already decided on how to utilize the money, so I won’t give you any.”
After hearing me interrupt her, Aqua’s smile stiffened.
“Kazuma-san–! I thought I’d earn a lot from the quest, so I spent all the money on me these past few days! I estimated I’d make a killing, so I owe nearly 100,000 eris in this bar! I can’t pay it off with the bounty!”
I pulled Aqua who was crying as she clung on me off. As I pressed on my temples, I wondered why this girl couldn’t think things through carefully.
“I don’t care, you’re the one who wanted ‘everyone to keep their own earnings’. Anyway, I should find a house for myself. It’s uncomfortable to keep staying in the stables, right?”
Normally, adventurers wouldn’t buy a house.
Because adventurers didn’t seek stability and travelled a lot.
The reason why there were so few successful adventurers were due to most of them making only enough to get by.
To be honest, it was impossible to take down the Demon King with these members. I was on the verge of giving up.
The job of fighting the Demon King’s army should be left to the people sent here before me who had gotten powerful abilities and equipment.
After all, I had the basic job anyone could take, the weakest job, Adventurer.
And unlike those who’d trained to be adventurers from the beginning, all my stats were low; I was really a commoner you could find anywhere.
After adventuring in a safe place to satisfy my curiosity, I’d be satisfied in spending the rest of my days leisurely.
Hence, I was planning to find a small house to rent and buy if it was cheap enough.
Aqua looked like she was about to cry as she grabbed onto me tightly.
“Why did it turn out like this? Ahhh! Please, Kazuma, lend me money! Just enough to pay off my debts! I know Kazuma’s a boy and you’d do sneaky things in the stables sometimes, so I understand why you want a private room! 50,000! Just 50,000’s enough! Please–!”
“I get it, 50,000’s just chump change! I really get it, so shut up!”
“Kazuma, let’s hurry and find a quest! One with lots of weak monsters! I want to test the power of my new staff!”
Megumin suddenly said.
“You’re right, when we were hunting the zombie maker, I didn’t have time to test out my new skills. Let’s find a safe and simple quest.”
“No, let’s find a quest that can earn lots of money! I cleared my tabs, so I don’t even have money for food today!”
“No, let’s find one with strong enemies! One with monsters that have strong attacks and are tough as nails…!”
Hey, there should be a limit on how disunited a party could be.
“Anyway, let’s decide after looking at the bulletin board.”
Everyone followed my suggestion and moved to the bulletin board.
“… Weird? Why are there so few requests?”
Indeed, the board was usually full of requests.
But there were only a few today.
“Kazuma! Pick this one, this one! A giant bear showed up in the mountains, its name is Black Fang…”
“Rejected! Hey, what’s this? Why are there only high-difficulty quests left!?”
Precisely, all the quests left on the board were beyond our capabilities.
As we were filled with doubt, a staff member came to us.
“I’m sorry… A Demon King’s General seemed to have moved into a small castle near town… It might’ve been the influence of the general, but the weak monsters in the region have all lain low, resulting in a drastic drop in quests. A band of knights dispatched from the capital will be here next month to take out the general. But before that, there are only high-difficulty quests left…”
When she heard the staff member say that, the penniless Aqua screamed.
… Even I was feeling sympathetic toward Aqua.
“Really… Why did he pick this moment to move here!? I don’t know what this general is, but it’d better watch out if it’s an undead!”
Aqua complained in tears as she browsed through the employment magazine.
The other adventurers were feeling the same and seemed down. There were more people getting drunk in broad daylight.
I didn’t know why the general chose to move here.
Frankly speaking, most of the adventurers in this town were about our level.
There were many parties stronger than us, but their powers were still limited.
This was the first town novice adventurers visited, a place for beginners to learn the basics.
In gaming terms, a Demon King’s General should be a character that appears toward the end.
We had a hard time fighting toads, so there was no way we could take on a general no matter how many of us there were.
“That means that before the powerful adventurers and knights from the capital arrive here next month, we can’t work as usual.”
“That’s how it is… During this period when we can’t do quests, I’ll need you to accompany me…”
I came with Megumin to the outskirts of town.
There were no dangerous monsters around town right now.
After the Demon King’s General arrived, the weak monsters all hid themselves in fear.
I came along with Megumin, who couldn’t use Explosion because we couldn’t take on quests, for a walk.
This girl had something she needed to do every day, which was casting her Explosion.
Would I need to accompany this fellow out here every day for the entire month?
I thought about ignoring Megumin and asked her to go alone, but she countered that no one would be carrying her on the way back.
“Here should be far enough, right? Hurry up, cast your spell so we can head back.”
A short distance from town, I rushed Megumin to cast her spell.
But Megumin shook her head and said:
“No, the guards will lecture me again if we do this too close to town.”
“You said ‘again’ just now, right? Because it was too loud?”
Megumin nodded to acknowledge me.
It couldn’t be helped. I felt a bit uneasy without my weapon, but there were no monsters around anyway.
And so, I decided to hike a bit further.
Now that I thought about it, I didn’t have many chances to walk around outside leisurely like this.
My trips outside were usually for hunting monsters or quests.
Not a casual stroll like this…
“…? What is that, an abandoned castle?”
On the hills some distance ahead.
An ancient, dilapidated castle was erected there.
It looked just like a haunted house…
“It feels creepy… As if there are ghosts residing in there…”
I mumbled to myself…
“Let’s pick that place! No one will complain even if I destroy a ruin like that.”
Megumin happily prepared the spell after she finished.
A breeze blew through the hills, making me feel refreshed.
The chanting of the explosion spell that didn’t fit in with the comfortable atmosphere was carried off by the wind…!
… And so, Megumin and I started our new daily routine.
The penniless Aqua was working hard every day.
Darkness said she would return home to train.
The idle Megumin went to the abandoned castle to cast her explosion spell daily without fail.
Whether it is a cold evening with icy rain…
… Or a lazy afternoon after lunch.
… Or a refreshing morning when she went for a stroll.
But no matter the time, Megumin would cast her spell at that castle every single day…
And I watched Megumin’s spell every day, and was even able to judge whether the condition of the explosion spell was good or bad.
“Oh, that seemed pretty good. The impact of the explosion could be felt through my bones, followed by the air tremors which trailed immediately after. It’s strange that the abandoned castle remains intact but… What an explosion!”
“Great explosion! Kuku, Kazuma understands the way of explosions more now. Your comment today hit the mark and was poetic, so… How about it? I’m not just talking about this casually; Kazuma do you want to seriously consider learning Explosion magic?”
“Yeah– the path of explosions is interesting… But from the composition of our current party, there’s no need for two mages. But when I retire from adventuring and have leftover skill points, it would be interesting to use them to learn explosion magic.”
Megumin discussed such things with me with a smile.
Just like this, we had conversations about explosions. We’d rate them based on things like their sound (not just the volume, but other factors like the pitch as well), and just chatted about the path of explosions in general.
– A week after we started our explosion stroll, in the morning.
“Emergency broadcast! Emergency broadcast! Attention all adventurers, please prepare for combat and report to the main gate of the city!”
The familiar emergency broadcast could be heard through the entire town.
After hearing the broadcast, we put on our gear and rushed onto the scene.
A lot of adventurers were gathered at the main gate. When we reached the scene, we saw an intimidating monster standing before us, and we could only blankly stare at it.
A monster that brought despair and the premonition of death to men.
After turning into an undead, its physical strength was stronger than it was in life, and it gained unique powers as well.
The knight in black armor standing at the front gate held his head on the left side of his body. Before the eyes of the gathered adventurers, he presented his head that was covered fully in its helmet before everyone.
The head said in a distorted voice:
“… I’m a Demon King’s General, and have recently moved into a castle nearby…”
As he spoke, the head started trembling…!
“Every day, every day, every day! Where is that crazy idiot who comes to my castle to cast Explosion every day–!?”
This General of the Demon King’s army was seriously angry.
The yelling Dullahan seemed to be suppressing his anger until he couldn’t hold back anymore, making the adventurers around me chatter.
… Or rather, everyone present didn’t seem to get what was happening.
Anyway, the reason for the emergency summons was probably due to the Dullahan going mad from fury before us.
“The one who knows explosion magic is…”
“If you’re talking about Explosion, it would be…”
The gaze of the people around us naturally fell on Megumin beside me.
… Megumin, who was the center of attention, turned her head sharply at a girl mage standing beside her.
Affected by her action, I looked at that girl. Everyone else was also influenced and stared at that girl…
“Huh? M-Me? Why are you all looking at me? I can’t use explosion magic!”
The girl mage being framed denied in a hurry.
… Wait, could it be…? The abandoned castle where we cast explosion magic every day!
Could it be…?
I peeked beside me at Megumin, and saw her sweating.
This fellow noticed too.
Finally, Megumin sighed and walked forward with an annoyed face.
The adventurers reacted to her movement and opened a path to the Dullahan.
Megumin stood about 10 meters from the Dullahan and faced him.
With me in the lead, Darkness and Aqua also followed behind Megumin.
Aqua, who would aggressively attack whenever she saw an undead, probably thought the sight of an angry Dullahan was a good thing and was expectantly watching what would happen.
“So, it’s you…! Are you the moron who cast Explosion on my castle every day? If you knew I was a general of the Demon Army and wanted to challenge me to a fight, then enter the castle! If not, then just hide in town and tremble! Why are you bothering me with such evil means? I knew there were only low-level adventurers in town! I wanted to leave such minor characters alone, but you can’t catch a clue and come boom, boom, boom with your spells every day…! Is there something wrong with your head?”
Probably irked by the daily explosion magic, the helmet of the Dullahan trembled with rage.
Megumin was intimidated and a bit scared, but she still flicked the cape she wore…
“I’m Megumin. As an Archwizard, I have mastered explosion spells…!”
“… What kind of name is Megumin, are you mocking me?”
“No, that’s not it!”
Despite the Dullahan’s retorts, Megumin composed herself and continued:
“I am a Crimson Demon, and the elite mage of this town. I cast explosion magic continuously to lure you, the Demon King’s General, out…! As I planned, you came to town alone after being tricked; your end is near!”
Seeing Megumin pointing her staff at the Dullahan excitedly, I whispered to Darkness and Aqua behind her.
“… Hey, this girl actually said that. She was playing around, saying she would die if she didn’t cast explosion magic every day, so I brought her to the area around that castle. When did it turn into her plan?”
“… Yeah, and she used the chaos to declare herself as an elite mage of this town.”
“Shhh–! Don’t say that out loud! She hasn’t used her explosion spell yet and a bunch of adventurers are backing her from behind, so she’s adopting a strong position. She’s still talking, so let’s see how this goes!”
Megumin probably heard what we said; even though she maintained her posture, her face turned red.
Somehow, the Dullahan accepted what she said.
“… Oh, a Crimson Demon. I see, so that weird name wasn’t a lie.”
“Hey, if you have any comments about the name my parents gave me, spit it out!”
Megumin became angry after hearing what the Dullahan said, but he paid her no heed.
… Or rather, he wasn’t bothered after seeing the adventurers of the entire town gathered here.
As expected of a Demon King’s General; he probably didn’t think anything about us rookies.
“… Hmph, forget it. I didn’t come here to mess with peasants like you. I’m here to investigate something. I’ll be staying in that castle for the time being, so don’t cast Explosion on it anymore. Understand?”
“That’s like asking me to die. Those of the Crimson Demon clan need to cast explosion spells once every day, or we’ll die.”
“Hey, I’ve never heard of this before! Stop bullshitting me!”
What should I do? I wanted to see Megumin and that monster chat some more.
I looked at Aqua; she was happily watching Megumin messing around with the Dullahan.
The Dullahan placed his head on his right hand and shrugged.
“You don’t plan on giving up explosion magic no matter what? Even though I have taken the side of darkness, I was a knight before and have no interest in slaughtering the weak. But if you continue to bother me with such things, I have my way of handling things too.”
The Dullahan emitted a dangerous aura, making Megumin take a few steps back.
But Megumin had a cocky smile…!
“We’re the ones being bothered, alright!? Because of you staying in that castle, we couldn’t even do our work properly! Hmph… You can only act high and mighty now. We have an expert that deals with the undead here! Master, I leave it to you!”
After throwing out big words, Megumin left everything in Aqua’s hands.
“I guess it can’t be helped–! I don’t know if you’re a Demon King’s General or what, but you’re unlucky to come here when I’m around. An undead coming out in broad daylight when your powers are at their weakest; you’re just asking to be purified! It’s all your fault that I couldn’t take on any quests! Okay, are you ready to face the music?”
After Megumin addressed her as master, Aqua cheerfully stood before the Dullahan.
The adventurers gulped nervously as they wondered how things would develop. Under the eyes of the masses, Aqua extended her hand out at the Dullahan.
Seeing that, the Dullahan offered his head to Aqua excitedly.
This was probably the way for the Dullahan to express that he was ‘watching seriously’.
“Oh, impressive. You’re not a normal priestess… but an Archpriest, right? But no matter what, I’m still a Demon King’s General. I have not fallen so low that I would be purified by a low-level Archpriest in a place like this. I have my ways of dealing with Archpriests too… But I’ll start by torturing this Crimson Demon girl!”
As Aqua was preparing to chant her spells, the Dullahan moved and pointed his index finger at Megumin.
The Dullahan then shouted!
“I shall predict your death! You will die one week from now!”
As the Dullahan cast his spell, Darkness grabbed Megumin’s collar and hid Megumin behind her.
As Megumin screamed, Darkness’s body glowed with a faint dark light.
Damn, she was hit! Was that a proclamation of death?
“Darkness, are you all right? Does it hurt anywhere?”
I asked in a hurry, but Darkness stretched her hands a few times to confirm it.
“… Yeah, I didn’t feel anything.”
She said casually.
But the Dullahan did shout that she would die one week from now.
As Aqua was touching the cursed Darkness everywhere, the Dullahan announced delightedly:
“That curse won’t harm you now. My plans were foiled a bit, but since the camaraderie among adventurers is so deep, this must hurt more… Listen carefully, Crimson Demon girl… If this goes on, that Crusader will die in a week. Hmph, your important companion will be tortured by the horror of death in the meantime… That’s right, this is all your fault! In the following week, you will see the pain of your companion and regret your actions! Hmm… Hahaha, you should’ve obediently listened to me!”
As Megumin’s face was turning pale because of the Dullahan’s words, Darkness shouted as she trembled:
“There… There is such a thing!? That means you have cast a death curse on me, and I must do as you say for you to release said curse! That’s what you meant, right!?”
The Dullahan didn’t seem to get what Darkness was saying and reacted plainly.
I didn’t understand what she was saying either… And I didn’t want to understand.
“Ugh…! Just a mere curse, don’t think you can make me submit…! I won’t yield…! But, what should I do Kazuma!? Look at that Dullahan, look at his evil lustful eyes under his helmet! No matter how I see it, he wants to bring me back to his castle and do as he pleases if I want him to release the curse. A pervert that wants me to do hardcore perverted play!”
The pitiful Dullahan who was accused of being a sexual deviant in public said:
“Even if you can do what you want with my body, you will never have my heart! I’m going to become a female knight imprisoned in a castle and let the henchman of the Demon King do unreasonable things with me! Ah, what should I do…? What should I do, Kazuma!? This situation is more thrilling than I expected! I don’t want to go, but I have no choice! I’ll resist to the very last moment, so don’t stop me! Well then, I’ll be back in a jiffy!”
“Stop right there, you can’t go! Look how troubled the Dullahan is!”
Darkness was in a hurry to leave with the enemy. When I grabbed her collar from behind, I could see the Dullahan breathe a sigh in relief.
“A-Anyway! If you have learned your lesson, stop casting Explosion on my castle! And the Crimson Demon girl! If you want me to release the curse on that Crusader, then come to my castle! If you can make it to my room at the very top, I’ll release her curse! But… My minions are everywhere in the castle, and it is full of undead knights. Can you rookie adventurers make your way to me? Hmm? Hmm? Hmm? Hahaha!”
After saying his piece, the Dullahan laughed loudly as he rode his headless horse and went in the direction of the castle…
This cruel development made the gathered adventurers stand stiff with a blank face.
I was the same.
Beside me, Megumin tightly gripped her staff and trembled, her face green.
She planned to head out of town alone.
“Hey, where are you going? What do you plan to do?”
I tugged on her cape.
Megumin replied without turning her head:
“I’m responsible for this incident. I’ll head to the castle and cast Explosion on that Dullahan directly to dispel Darkness’s curse.”
There was no way Megumin could do it alone.
… That was why.
“I’ll go with you. If you ran into some minions and used your spell, that would end right there. I didn’t realize that was the castle of the Demon King’s General either, even though I was with you all this time.”
Megumin made a heavy expression when she heard me. In the end, she drooped her shoulders and gave up her original plan.
“… Well then, let’s go together. But he said that there would be a bunch of undead knights there. If that’s the case, then weapons will be useless. My magic will be more practical… So, you have to rely on me when the time comes.”
Megumin said with a smile.
From the name ‘Undead Knights’, they should be enemies wearing full armour.
In the face of such foes, my cheap weapon would be useless.
But I still had other ideas.
“I can use my Detect Enemy skill to search for monsters in the castle and conceal myself with Lurk and sneak in. Or we can visit the castle every day and defeat the enemy on each level, one day at a time, before coming back. We’ll reduce enemy numbers slowly… And since the time limit is one week, this plan should work.”
Megumin probably felt that there was hope after listening to my suggestion and cheered up. Megumin and I turned and looked at Darkness.
“Hey Darkness! We’ll break your curse! So, don’t worry…”
“Sacred Break Spell!”
Just when I was encouraging Darkness.
Aqua’s spell interrupted me and Darkness’s body glowed faintly.
Darkness then looked as if she had missed a chance for something and was down; in contrast, Aqua was happy as she said:
“With me around, breaking the curse of the Dullahan is easy! What do you think? I look like a priestess sometimes, right?”
… And to think Megumin and I were debating so passionately; give my motivation back to me.
– A week after the Demon King’s General incident was resolved peacefully.
“I want to take a quest! It’s fine even if it’s a bit hard, let’s take a quest!”
Megumin and I expressed our displeasure when we heard Aqua say that.
Except for Aqua, our wallets were very full.
And there were only high-difficulty quests left; I didn’t want to go out of my way to take those jobs.
“I’m fine with it… But I alone won’t have enough combat power and Megumin…”
Darkness glanced at Megumin and me while saying this.
Even if you looked at us, Megumin and I have no reason to force ourselves to take on a dangerous quest.
Looking at how disinterested we were, Aqua cried out loud.
“Please, I beg you–! I don’t want to work anymore! The store owner gets mad if I don’t sell all the croquettes! I’ll work hard! I’ll do my best this time–!”
Megumin and I looked at each other.
“All right then… Then look and see if there are any quests that look fine. We’ll go with you if the quest isn’t too bad.”
Aqua rushed to the bulletin board after hearing us say that.
“… Kazuma, shouldn’t you look too? If you leave it to Aqua, she’ll probably pick an incredible quest…”
“… You’re correct, but I won’t mind even if the quest is a bit hard…”
After listening to Megumin and Darkness’s comments, I had an ominous feeling.
I came to the bulletin board and stood behind Aqua as she was thinking about which quest to pick.
Aqua didn’t seem to realize I was behind her and browsed the quests seriously.
Finally, she tore a paper from the board.
“Good your head! What quest are you taking!?”
I snatched the client request from Aqua’s hand.
‘– Hunting the Manticore and Griffon–The Manticore and Griffon are fighting for territory. It is dangerous to leave them alone, please hunt them both. Bounty is 500,000 eris.’
I shouted as I returned it to the bulletin board.
I was right to follow her. I was almost dragged into an incredibly dangerous quest.
“What we need is to let Megumin hit them with an explosion while they’re together to settle it in one shot. Why are you so timid…?”
This fellow was planning on letting me take the task of getting these two dangerous monsters to gather at the same spot.
How about taking this quest and letting her do it alone? As I was thinking it over, Aqua tugged my sleeve excitedly.
“This one! Look at this one!”
Listening to what Aqua said, I looked at the request form she was pointing at.
‘– Lake purification–The lake which was one of the water sources for the town has been polluted; brutal alligators have moved into the lake. We request for someone to purify the lake. The monsters in the lake will leave after purifying it, so there is no need to fight these monsters. *Requirement: Priest with purification magic. Reward is 300,000 eris.’
“… You can purify the lake?”
Aqua snorted and said:
“Idiot, who do you think I am? From my name and appearance, you should be able to tell what kind of goddess I am, right?”
“Aren’t you the goddess of banquets?”
“As if, you hikiNEET! I’m the Goddess of water, all right! Didn’t you see my beautiful blue eyes and hair?”
Earning 300,000 just by purifying the water, it was a great deal.
Not needing to fight meant it was worth it.
“Let’s take this one. Or rather, wouldn’t you alone suffice if it’s just purifying the water? You can hog all the rewards this way, right?”
But Aqua didn’t agree with me.
“Well… the monsters will harass me while I’m purifying the water, right? Before I finish the purification, I hope you all can protect me from the monsters.”
So that was the plan.
But from the name ‘Brutal Alligator,’ wasn’t it an alligator-type monster?
This sounded dangerous…
“By the way, how long would the purification take? Five minutes or so?”
If it was just a short while, we could wing it with Megumin’s explosion magic.
Aqua tilted her head and said: “… About half a day?”
“That’s too long!”
Fending off monsters with such a dangerous name… Who would want to do that?
As I was planning to put the bulletin back…
“Ahhh! Please, I beg of you–! There’s no other quest that’s as good! Please help me, Kazuma-san–!”
I was planning on sticking the paper back on the bulletin board, but Aqua grabbed my right hand and begged me for help. Looking at her, I thought of an idea.
“… Hey, how does the purification process work?”
“… Hmm? To purify the water, I just need to touch it with my hand and continuously cast purification magic…”
I see, so she needed to touch the water.
I had an idea, but that way…
… No, wait.
“Hey Aqua, I think there’s a way to purify the water safely. Do you want to give it a try?”
There was a large lake some distance from town.
This lake was one of the town’s water sources. A stream that flowed out of it lead straight into town.
The lake was beside a mountain, and water flowed endlessly down from it into the lake.
I got it now.
As stated in the request, the lake water appeared a bit murky and showed signs of stagnation.
I thought monsters preferred clean water, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case.
As I looked over the lake, I heard a timid voice behind me.
“… Hey… Are we really going to do it this way?”
Aqua sounded uneasy.
My plan was flawless, so what was there to worry about?
“… I feel like a captured rare monster that’s going to be sold…”
… The rare monster was locked in a steel cage, hugging her knees in the center as she spoke.
I planned to throw Aqua along with the cage into the lake.
In the beginning, I was planning to let her stay inside the cage some distance away from the lake. But since purification required contact with the water, the plan had evolved into this.
As the goddess of water, Aqua could stay at the bottom of a lake for an entire day without breathing and wouldn’t be uncomfortable.
From what she claimed, even without purification magic, there would be a purification effect just by immersing Aqua into the lake.
That was her godly nature. No matter how lousy of a goddess she was, it was still impressive.
Darkness and I had already moved Aqua’s cage to the side of the lake.
It was a steel cage that we had the guild loan to us.
As some quests included capturing monsters, these items were meant for such quests.
We didn’t come here to throw the useless goddess into the lake, so we didn’t need to carry it too far.
We just needed to put it by the lake so Aqua could touch the water.
This way, she would be fine even if the brutal alligators attacked her while she was purifying the waters.
It was a cage meant to transport captured monsters anyway, so it should be able to keep Aqua safe.
I heard from the guild staff that the monsters would leave the lake after the purification was completed. But just in case they refused to leave Aqua after that, we attached a strong chain to the cage.
Because the cage was heavy, we dragged it here using the horse we borrowed from town.
In the event of an emergency, I intend on using the horse to drag the cage to safety.
The cage had been lowered into the edge of the lake, soaking Aqua’s feet and buttocks in the water.
All that’s left is to wait and observe from a distance. Aqua hugged her knees and said softly:
“… I feel like a tea bag being drained of its flavour…”
The purification device…
Aqua had been placed in the lake for two hours.
There was no sign of any monsters attacking her.
Darkness, Megumin and I stayed on land about 20 meters from Aqua to watch over her.
I yelled at Aqua who was soaked in the lake.
“Hey–Aqua! How is the purification going? Is it cold staying in the lake? Give a holler if you want to go to the restroom! I’ll let you out of the cage–!”
I yelled from afar, and Aqua yelled back.
“Purification is proceeding smoothly! And I don’t need to go to the restroom! Archpriests don’t go to the restroom!”
Aqua said something idols in the old days would say.
I was worried about her since she had been in the water for quite a while, but she seemed to be doing fine.
“There seem to be no problems. By the way, Crimson Demons don’t need to use the restroom either.”
Megumin said without me asking.
I felt like saying ‘You and Aqua are always eating so much, where does all that stuff go…?’
“As a Crusader, I also don’t… Need to go… Ugh…”
“Darkness, don’t compete with these two. And as for you two, I’ll accept a quest that can’t be completed in a day to confirm if they really don’t need to use the restroom.”
“Don’t… Don’t do that, okay? Crimson Demons really doesn’t use the restroom! But I apologize, so don’t do that… By the way, the brutal alligators aren’t showing up. It would be great if things end peacefully like this.”
Megumin said something that could raise a flag.
And as if on cue, ripples appeared on the lake.
In terms of size, it was about the same as alligators on Earth.
But it was a monster after all, so there was some difference with Earth’s alligators.
“Ka-Kazuma–! Something’s coming over! No, lots of things are coming here!”
It seemed like the alligators of this world moved in a group.
– Four hours since the purification began.
Aqua simply soaked herself in the water in the beginning, and used the passive skill of a goddess to purify the lake. But she probably wanted to finish the purification sooner and head back, so she had been chanting purification magic nonstop.
“Purification! Purification, Purification–!”
A large group of alligators was surrounding Aqua’s cage and gnawing at it.
“Purification! Purification–! The cage is creaking! It’s creaking! The cage, cage is making weird sounds!”
Aqua screamed inside the cage, but we couldn’t blow them away with explosion magic either, so we couldn’t do anything about it.
“Aqua–! Tell us if you want to give up–! We’ll drag you along with the cage with the chain–!”
I had been shouting that towards the cage for some time now, but Aqua refused to abort the quest despite being terrified.
“I-I don’t want to! Giving up now means I won’t be able to get paid for my time! Purification! Purification–! … Wahahaha–! There was a cracking sound! The cage made a sound it shouldn’t be making!”
Aqua screamed in tears while the brutal alligators that surrounded her didn’t even look at us.
Darkness mumbled to herself as she looked at the situation over there.
“… Staying in that cage seems rather good…”
“… Don’t even think about it.”
– Seven hours after the purification began.
The battered cage was alone in the lake.
There were bite marks all over the cage after the brutal alligators attacked it.
The purification was probably done, so the brutal alligators left the cage and moved upstream.
The sound of Aqua chanting the purification spell couldn’t be heard anymore.
… Or rather, we haven’t heard Aqua make a single sound for about an hour now.
“… Hey Aqua, are you all right? The brutal alligators have left for some other place.”
We approached the cage to check on how Aqua was doing.
“… Sniff… Ugh… Hic…”
She was crying while hugging her knees. If you were so terrified, you should’ve given up the quest earlier…
But it was hard to scold her under the circumstances.
“Good girl, the purification is done… Let’s go back. I’ve discussed with Darkness and Megumin, and we won’t take the reward this time. The 300,000 is all yours.”
She had buried her face in her knees, so all we could see were her trembling shoulders.
But she didn’t want to come out from the cage.
“… Hey, it’s time to come out of the cage, all the brutal alligators are gone.”
When she heard me, Aqua said something softly:
“… like this…”
“What did she say?”
“… She said the world outside the cage is scary, so bring her back to town as she is. ”
… It seems like this quest has left a deep scar in Aqua’s heart too.
“Do Na Do Na Do–Na–Do–Na–…”
“Eh… Hey Aqua, we’re already back in town, so can you stop singing that song? We’re gathering a lot of attention just by dragging a battered cage with a woman hugging her knees inside. And it’s safe back in town, so it’s about time you come out.”
“Don’t want to. This is my holy realm. The world outside is scary, so I don’t think I’ll be coming out for a while. ”
The horse dragged the cage containing Aqua, who resolutely refused to come out.
We completed the quest safely and returned to town. Under the gaze of the townsfolk, we headed for the guild.
Because of Aqua, our speed was slow despite the horse helping to drag the cage.
But aside from the psychological trauma, there was no damage worth mentioning.
Although I wanted to try out my equipment and spells, it was still great to finish the quest leisurely.
Completing the quest without any issues was great…
Maybe it was because I raised a flag with my thoughts that…
“G-Goddess-sama! Isn’t this goddess-sama? What are you doing in such a place?”
A man suddenly shouted, rushed to the cage and grabbed the bars.
And amazingly, the bars that held up to the bites of the brutal alligators were easily bent by the guy who offered a hand to Aqua.
Ignoring Megumin and me who were dumbstruck, the unknown man reached for the speechless Aqua…
“… Hey, don’t act familiar with my companion. Who are you? If she knew you, why is Aqua not reacting at all?”
As the man was about to take Aqua’s hand, Darkness stopped him.
Unlike her envious eyes when she saw Aqua surrounded by brutal alligators, Darkness was now a shield protecting her comrades; a proud Crusader.
… It would be great if she always acted this way…
The man glanced at Darkness, sighed and shook his head.
His demeanor seemed to be saying he didn’t want to create trouble but he had no choice.
The man’s attitude clearly pissed off Darkness who didn’t normally show her emotions openly.
As the tension rose, I went to Aqua who still refused to leave the cage despite the situation and whispered:
“… Hey, it’s someone you know, right? He called you goddess-sama just now. Go and handle that man.”
After hearing what I said, Aqua made a ‘what are you talking about?’ face and…
“… Ah! Goddess! That’s right, I’m a goddess. And? What problems do you want this goddess to settle? You guys are really helpless!”
Aqua finally came out of the cage.
Did this girl really forget about being a goddess?
After exiting the cage, Aqua tilted her head at the man.
“… Who are you?”
She didn’t know him.
… No, she probably did.
Because the man opened his eyes wide in surprise.
Aqua probably just forgot about him.
“Why are you saying this goddess-sama! It’s me Mitsurugi Kyouya! I received the magic sword, Gram, from you!”
Aqua still tilted her head, but I finally got it.
His name might’ve sounded like the protagonist of an anime or manga… But since it was a Japanese name, he must’ve gotten a powerful weapon from Aqua and came here before me.
That brown haired man seemed to be the cool type with a strong sense of justice.
He was wearing expensive looking armour that had a bright blue sheen. On his waist was a sword in a black scabbard.
Behind him were a beauty with a long spear that seemed to be the warrior type, and a pretty girl wearing leather armor with a dagger on her waist.
This fellow claiming to be Mitsurugi was about my age.
To describe this man in one sentence…
He looked like the main character of a manga.
“Ah! Yes, there was such a person! Sorry, I totally forgot about you. I sent a lot of people here, so it can’t be helped if I forgot!”
After an explanation from Mitsurugi and I, Aqua finally remembered.
His face was a bit awkward, but Mitsurugi still smiled at Aqua and said:
“Eh, it’s been a while, Aqua-sama. As your chosen hero, I’ve been working hard every day. My job is Sword Master. I’m already at level 37… Oh right, what is Aqua-sama doing here? Or rather, why were you locked in a cage?”
Mitsurugi said as he stole glances at me.
When Aqua sent him to this world, she made up something irresponsible about him being a hero chosen by the gods.
She didn’t remember this person existed, which showed how irresponsible her words to Mitsurugi were.
So, in Mitsurugi’s eyes, was I the one locking Aqua in the cage?
… Well, normal people would think so.
Even if I were to tell him that she was the one who didn’t want to come out, this guy wouldn’t believe me.
Even I, who saw it with my own eyes, wouldn’t believe there was such a weird goddess.
I told Mitsurugi what happened to Aqua and me after being transported to this world…
“… Preposterous, this is too illogical! What were you thinking, bringing goddess-sama to this world? And you locked her in a cage and threw her in the lake for this quest?”
Mitsurugi grabbed my collar in righteous fury.
Aqua restrained him in a hurry.
“You, what are you doing? This is nothing. I’m living every day happily, and am not angry about being brought to this world! And I can go back after defeating the Demon King! Today’s quest was a bit scary, but it was resolved smoothly. No one was hurt and the reward is 300,000. 300,000! And everyone said they would let me take all of it!”
Mitsurugi looked at Aqua with pitiful eyes after hearing what she said.
“… Aqua-sama… I don’t how this man talked you into this, but you’re being treated too illogically. After such a sacrifice, you only earned 300,000…? You are a goddess! For a goddess to be treated this way… By the way, where do you stay at night?”
I felt like telling Mitsurugi to stop saying ‘goddess’ by the side of the road but he seemed to be on the verge of losing it, so I decided against it.
This guy was really rude.
He didn’t understand Aqua at all.
Hearing Mitsurugi say that, Aqua was a bit frightened and answered timidly:
“With everybody, in the stables…”
Mitsurugi grabbed my collar with more force.
Hey, that hurts!
Darkness grabbed Mitsurugi’s hand at this moment.
“Hey, watch yourself. You’ve been unreasonable all this while. This must be the first time you’ve met Kazuma, so there should be a limit to how rude you can be.”
Darkness, who was usually quiet when she wasn’t spouting nonsense, had gotten angry.
On a closer look, Megumin had picked up her upgraded staff and seemed to be chanting explosion magic… Wait, stop!
Mitsurugi let go of my hand and excitedly observed Darkness and Megumin.
“… Crusader and an Archwizard? And… They look rather good too. Seems that you had great luck in finding companions, but that doesn’t make sense. Don’t you feel ashamed in letting Aqua and these two excellent members sleep in the stables? You mentioned your job was the weakest Adventurer, right?”
From the way this guy described it, my situation seemed great.
From the people who didn’t know us, I seemed so lucky.
I whispered to Aqua:
“Hey, isn’t staying in the stables the norm for adventurers in this world? Why is this guy so mad?”
“Well, I think he was granted a powerful sword when he was transported to this world, and completed a bunch of high-difficulty quests from the beginning. He probably had no worries about money… But that’s the usual case for people with special abilities or equipment.”
A flame of anger burned in my heart after I listened to Aqua’s answer.
The guy who didn’t undergo any hardship because of a powerful sword gifted to him… Why was he acting so high and mighty to me who had to work hard from the very start?
He didn’t realize my seething anger and said to Aqua, Darkness and Megumin with a sympathetic smile:
“It must have been hard on you all so far. Please join me from now on. Of course, I won’t let you all sleep in the stables, and will buy the full set of premium equipment for you. The balance of the team is great. Me as a Swordmaster, my Warrior comrade and you as a Crusader: along with my Thief comrade, this Archwizard and Aqua-sama. What a perfect combination, it’s a match made in heaven.”
Ara, it didn’t include me.
Well, I didn’t want to join this guy’s party anyway.
After hearing Mitsurugi’s proposal, my three companions started talking among themselves.
Mitsurugi might’ve been a self-centered hero, but the terms he offered weren’t bad.
And compared to acting alongside me, going with Mitsurugi offered an easier route for Aqua to take down the Demon King.
The Demon King needed to be defeated before Aqua could return to heaven.
Although I only thought of her as a complimentary gift for moving to this world, the heavens would probably allow for her to return if she finished the job of defeating the Demon King with another hero.
I thought Aqua and the others would be moved with such excellent terms, so I strained my ears behind them to listen. In the end…
“It feels wrong. The self righteous way in which he talks made me cringe. And his narcissistic tendencies frighten me.”
“What should we do? I feel physically repulsed by this man for some reason. I prefer active people over passive ones, but somehow that guy makes me want to beat him up.”
“Can I cast my magic? Can I throw an explosion spell into the face of that elite who’s talking down to us without ever experiencing a day of hardship?”
Oh, seems like they don’t think that highly of you, Mitsurugi-san.
After that, Aqua tugged at my sleeve and said:
“Hey Kazuma, let’s hurry to the guild, okay? I might’ve been the one who gave him the powerful sword, but I think it would be better not to get too close with such people.”
To be honest, his actions were infuriating… But it would be for the best to leave as Aqua suggested.
“Well– My companions don’t seem keen to join your party. We still need to report the completion of the quest, so we’ll take our leave…”
After saying that, I led the horse dragging the cage and prepared to leave.
“… please move out of the way.”
I said in an annoyed tone to Mitsurugi, who blocked my path.
What should I do, he is the type that doesn’t listen to others.
“Pardon me, but Aqua-sama is the one who bestowed this sword to me. And seeing my benefactor who granted me power fall to such a state, I can’t simply ignore it. You can’t save the world, the one to defeat the Demon King will be me. It would be better for Aqua-sama to follow me… You said you chose Aqua as the item to be brought along to this world with you, right?”
Going by the cliché developments of a manga, I could predict what would happen next.
This guy will most certainly…!
“If that’s the case, then how about making a bet? You chose Aqua-sama as the ‘thing’ to be brought along with you, right? If I win, you must give Aqua-sama to me; If you win, I can promise you one thing, anything.”
“Okay, I accept! Take this!”
Just as I predicted.
I was almost at my limits, and attacked without saying anything more.
I moved my left hand out of the way and used my right to swing my sheathed sword at him immediately.
Fortune favours the bold, there was nothing unscrupulous about it!
If anything, a high-level sword master with a powerful sword challenging a novice adventurer with weak gear was the unscrupulous one!
Mitsurugi didn’t expect for me to attack the moment I answered him.
“Eh? Wait! Hold…!”
Mitsurugi seemed to be in a panic, but as expected of a high-level adventurer…
… He drew his sword and braced it horizontally to fend off mine.
As the sword in my right hand was about to hit Mitsurugi’s sword, I reached out my left hand…!
The moment I yelled, I felt the weight of a sword in my left hand.
Oh, I hit the jackpot!
The sword Mitsurugi was planning to block my blow with disappeared from his hands.
I wondered who uttered such foolish sounds.
Probably everyone present, except for me.
With my skill working together with my attack, Mitsurugi couldn’t do anything except receive a hard blow to the head from me.
“Scumbag! Scumbag! Scumbag! Scumbag–!”
“How dirty! You’re the worst, scumbag! Can’t you fight honorably?”
Mitsurugi’s two female companions lectured me.
It was music to my ears.
Although it was with the scabbard, Mitsurugi was still hit by a rather heavy sword on the head and laid on the ground with the white of his eyes showing. It was comical.
I announced to the two followers who were protesting:
“No matter what, I won. This guy said he would promise me anything if he lost, right? Then I’ll be taking this sword.”
After hearing what I said, one of the followers became agitated.
“What!? What absurd thing are you saying!? Only Kyouya can use that magic sword. That sword chooses its owner, and it chose Kyouya as its master! The blessing of the sword won’t work on you!”
After listening to the girl’s confident words, I turned toward Aqua.
“… Is that true? I can’t use the spoils of war? I was thinking that I had finally gotten a strong piece of equipment.”
“It’s true. Regrettably, the sword Gram is the exclusive weapon of that unpleasant guy. It bestows one with arm strength beyond the human limits when equipped, and the sword is a sharp weapon that can cut through steel like a vegetable. But in Kazuma’s hands, this would just be a normal sword.”
So, there was such a thing…
But since I got something great, I should take it with me.
“I’ll be on my way then. Tell that guy when he wakes up that he was the one who wanted the duel, so no complaints… All right, let’s go to the guild for the bounty, Aqua.”
After finishing, I turned to leave. Mitsurugi’s female companions raised their weapons against me.
“Y-You, hold it right there!”
“Give Kyouya’s sword back! We won’t acknowledge your win!”
And so, I lifted my hand and wriggled my fingers before the two ladies.
“It’s fine if you want to bring it on… But I’m a believer in gender equality, a man who dares to use drop kicks against girls. Don’t think I’ll hold back against you two! I should say that since you are girls, I might humiliate you in public with Steal.”
The two girls looked at my hand and backed off with an uneasy face.
My companions looked at me with scornful eyes which pricked me.
Dragging the borrowed cage with us, we finally made it back to the guild.
Since we decided all of the reward would go to Aqua, I left the task of reporting the completion of the quest to Aqua and the others while I returned the borrowed horse. I took my spoils–that magic sword–to a certain place and reached the adventurer’s guild a bit later than the others.
Aqua’s loud voice could be heard from inside the guild.
Does this girl not feel at ease without creating a commotion everywhere she goes?
I entered the guild and saw Aqua grabbing a staff member of the guild with tearful eyes.
“Didn’t I tell you, the cage I borrowed from you wasn’t damaged by me! It was that Mitsurugi guy who bent the bars! Why do I have to pay for it!?”
I see, so that guy did bend the bars in attempt to save Aqua without getting the full story.
And Aqua had to compensate for the broken cage.
Aqua insisted for a moment, but she finally gave up, taking the reward and coming to our tables with heavy footsteps.
“… The bounty this time, after deducting the compensation for the broken cage, was only 100,000 eris… The staff said that the cage was made from a special process and material, so it cost 200,000…”
Seeing how dejected Aqua was, even I felt a little sorry for her.
Meeting Mitsurugi was an unexpected disaster for Aqua.
“Next time I meet that man, I’ll definitely give him a God Blow! And get him to cough up the compensation for the cage!”
Aqua said through gritted teeth, tightly holding the menu as she sat down.
As for me, I didn’t want to ever see him again.
… As Aqua was grumbling grudgingly.
“So that’s where you are! I had a hard time finding you, Satou Kazuma!”
Speak of the devil, Mitsurugi showed up with his two female underlings at the entrance of the guild.
Shouting my full name which I never told him, Mitsurugi rushed to our table and slammed both hands down.
“Satou Kazuma! I asked a female thief about you and she told me everything immediately. She said you like to strip woman of their panties. Other than that, your interest is to cover girls in slime. Lots of people are talking about you, devilish Kazuma.”
“Hold on, who’s the one spreading this? Tell me properly.”
I knew who the thief was, but the problem was the other parts.
Spreading such rumors from somewhere and adding the title ‘devilish’ before my name…!
As Mitsurugi closed in on me with a serious face, Aqua stepped before him.
“… Aqua-sama. I swear to you, after I get my sword back from that man, I will defeat the Demon King. So please join me and form a party- Puah…!”
After being punched by Aqua, Mitsurugi flew out.
Mitsurugi’s two female companions rushed to the fallen Mitsurugi.
Mitsurugi showed a baffled face, not understanding why he was hit. Aqua took large steps toward him, grabbed his collar and said:
“Compensate me for the cage you destroyed! It’s all your fault that I had to pay for that cage! Because that cage was made through a special process and material, it cost me 300,000, okay! 300,000! You hear me, pay up!”
Didn’t you say the cage cost 200,000 just now?
Mitsurugi, who hadn’t even stood up after being sent flying by Aqua’s punch, dumbly forked out the cash.
After getting the money from Mitsurugi, the satisfied Aqua picked up the menu once again.
Mitsurugi composed himself, watching Aqua happily calling for the waitress with a menu in hand as he said to me begrudgingly:
“… Even though I was defeated in that way, it was still my loss. Although it is shameless and selfish of me to say this after promising to do anything you wish… I beg of you! May you return the sword to me? That sword wouldn’t be of much use to you, it’s just sharper than normal swords if you wield it. That’s the most you can get out of the sword… How about this? If you want a sword, I can buy the best one in any shop and give it to you… May you please return it to me?”
He said it himself that it was a selfish request.
No matter how useless, Aqua was still the gift I was bestowed with when I came to this world… Something I should get when I made up my mind to come to this world.
In other words, the thing I gambled was of equal worth with Mitsurugi’s sword.
But if you asked me whether Aqua’s worth was equivalent to the magic sword, I could only refuse to answer.
“Using me as a prize without my permission, and asking for your sword back by offering to buy a good one in exchange… There’s no way this deal would work! Or do you think my worth is equal to the most expensive sword in a shop? Insolent fool! I’m a goddess! A goddess! To use me as a betting chip, what the hell are you thinking? I don’t want to ever see your face again, shoo. Hurry up, scram!”
Aqua held the menu in one hand while waving the other, gesturing for Mitsurugi to leave as she said it out loud, which made Mitsurugi turn pale.
Well, nobody asked him to court trouble, so he only really had himself to blame. After everything he did, of course Aqua would get angry.
“Please! Please wait, Aqua-sama! I’m not looking down on your value…”
As Mitsurugi started explaining, Megumin tugged on his sleeve.
“…? What is it little girl…? Hmm?”
After getting Mitsurugi’s attention, Megumin pointed at me.
To be precise, she was pointing at my waist.
“… Just a heads up, the sword is no longer with this man.”
Mitsurugi noticed after hearing Megumin say that…
“S-Satou Kazuma! Where is the sword? You, where did you take my sword to?”
He was breaking out in cold sweat as he pressed me for an answer.
I replied in three words.
“I sold it.”
Mitsurugi rushed out of the guild in tears.
“… What’s with that guy… Speaking of which, he had been addressing Aqua as a goddess all this while, what’s up with that?”
After Mitsurugi left the guild.
That commotion drew the curious eyes of many adventurers. Under these circumstances, Darkness asked.
… Right, the word goddess was mentioned so many times. It was normal for her to ask.
No, should I use this chance to tell both Megumin and Darkness?
I looked at Aqua who had a face saying that she knew what I wanted to say as she nodded.
Aqua then faced Darkness and Megumin with a rare serious expression.
Darkness and Megumin also noticed that Aqua felt different, and were listening carefully to her…
“I’ve never told you this before, but very well… I’m Aqua, the patron goddess of the Axis Cult, goddess of water… That’s right, I’m that Goddess Aqua…!”
“… So, that’s the backstory you’re going by?”
“That’s wrong! And why did both of you say the same thing!?”
… So, it turned out this way…
At this moment.
“Emergency broadcast! Emergency broadcast! Attention all adventurers, please prepare all your equipment and gather at the town’s main gate ready for battle–!”
The familiar emergency public announcement resonated throughout the guild.
“Again…? There are so many of these ‘emergency summons’ recently.”
Could I not go?
I knew I probably couldn’t, but after that incident with Mitsurugi, I felt so lazy…
As I rested my face lazily on the table.
“Emergency broadcast! Emergency broadcast! Attention all adventurers, please prepare all your equipment and gather at the town’s main gate ready for battle–! Especially Satou Kazuma-san and his companions, please head to the scene as soon as possible!”
What did the broadcast just say?