Konosuba Volume 2: Chapter 2

Gifting the master of the dungeon with peace!

Tl: Skythewood

Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Boring bone, Xenthur


 

Part 1

“Let’s go to a dungeon tomorrow.”

“Don’t wanna.”

“You have to.”

Because Megumin tried to run, I grabbed her as I dismissed her protest.

It has been a week since I was decapitated.

My body has recovered to combat condition, so I raised this suggestion to my companions who were gathered in the guild. Unfortunately, Megumin seemed to hate dungeons.

“Don’t wanna don’t wanna, I’ll lose my reason for existence if I go to a dungeon! If Explosion magic that might cause the dungeon to collapse can’t be used, I’ll become a normal person!”

“You haven’t forgotten what you said when you joined the party, have you?! Wasn’t it something like, ‘I’m willing to carry the luggage or anything when exploring dungeons! Please, don’t throw me away!’”

When she heard that, Megumin whose sleeve I was grabbing lowered her head in resignation.

“Sigh… I understand, but I’ll really be useless, all right? I can only do things like carrying the bags…”

Megumin’s resigned expression had a hint of unease.

To soothe her, I said:

“Don’t worry, you just need to follow us until the entrance of the dungeon. If we meet any dangerous monsters on the way to the dungeon, I’ll be relying on you to repel them with magic, all right?”

“Hmm? Just the entrance? Will that really be fine?” Megumin questioned with a baffled expression.

“By the way, why did you suddenly want to go to a dungeon? If you want to explore dungeons, the party needs a thief, all right? How about Chris? I haven’t seen her around the guild lately.”

Aqua, who was resting her head on the table, lazily said.

In the week before I recovered to combat readiness, this girl had been hogging the warmest spot in front of the fireplace in the guild every day. She was either drinking or lazing around.

When I asked her ‘Are you of legal age to drink’, she replied ‘Don’t use Japanese laws in this fantasy world.’

It seemed that in this world, you could drink no matter what your age was. You were responsible for any consequences that occurred when you drank.

“Chris said she was really busy. She said the senpai who took care of her in the past was pushing all sorts of troublesome matters to her. Seems like it’ll be some time before she comes back. But she taught me Detect Traps and Disarm Traps which are necessary for dungeon exploration. Chris said the type of monsters in dungeons won’t change because of the seasons. That’s why I thought of going into one and giving it a try.”

After finishing the quest with Taylor, I didn’t do anything for the whole week.

Hunting Snow Sprites and goblins raised my level by three. Aside from Detect Traps and Disarm Traps, I also learned another skill.

Trap detection and disarmament seemed to be dependent on agility and luck.

My agility might’ve been average, but I have incredible luck, so it should work out.

Considering how I kept getting associated with weird people and getting into debt, my so-called high luck was probably the joke of the year.

Darkness, who seemed to have just gotten her armor back from the shop, was enthusiastically polishing it.

Darkness suddenly looked this way.

“Um, please wait a while more. My great sword broke during the fight with Winter Shogun. I have ordered a new sword, but it’ll take some time to finish. I can’t be considered a combatant right now.”

“You were never a combatant, so that’s not a problem.”

“!?”

Tears started flowing down Darkness’s flushed cheek. She was probably feeling half excited, half sorrowful.

She still had half-excited emotions left, so talking to her again was just asking for trouble.

So, I decided to continue.

“I’ll properly explain things so that there are no misunderstandings. The one infiltrating the dungeon will just be me, I hope everyone can be my escort on the way there.”

“?”

 

Part 2

After half a day’s work, we walked from town to the hills and into the wilderness.

How long did we have to travel in this snowy road with dangerous and annoying tree branches?

A solidly built cabin suddenly appeared before us.

On the cabin was a sign that said ‘Refuge’.

The dark cave that seemed to go on forever was right on the wall beside the cabin.

The cave might look naturally formed, but if you went further in, you would see a tidy set of stairs that descended all the way to the depths.

The dungeon was named ‘Keele’s Dungeon’.

– A long time ago, there was a genius archwizard named Keele who fell in love with a daughter of a noble house.

The mage, who devoted his whole life to magic and had no interest in love, fell for the lady at first sight during a stroll through the streets.

Of course, this love didn’t bear fruit.

After all, the difference in status decided many things in this world.

The mage, who understood this well, worked even harder in his magic training and research to forget about his love.

As the years went by, he eventually became the strongest archwizard in the nation.

He didn’t hold back in bringing happiness to the country through his use of spells, and was praised by all.

And so, the mage was invited into the castle, to a banquet that was held in his honor.

The king said to the mage that he wanted to reward him, and was willing to fulfill one wish of the mage, with no restrictions.

The mage said he had a wish that would never be fulfilled.

– What the archwizard Keele wished for, no one knew.

It was only known that after this, the archwizard kidnapped the daughter of the noble clan, built a dungeon and refused to come out.

What happened next was a mystery.

But thinking about it, even if a mere mage built a dungeon to fend off any pursuers, he wouldn’t have been able to defend it for long.

And now, few people know the story behind the construction of this dungeon. The dungeon became a good training ground for novice adventurers to cut their teeth on.

At the entrance of Keele’s Dungeon, I looked back at the three people behind me.

“All right, I’ll go alone from here on. The three of you just wait at this refuge for me. If I’m not back within a day, go back to town and ask for help from Taylor’s group… That said, I’m just scouting the place out, so I should be back soon.”

Darkness crossed her arms and said:

“Are you really going solo? It’s preposterous to challenge a dungeon by yourself. I heard what you said Kazuma, but I think with my armor clanking loudly just by walking, it would be useless for me to follow…”

Well, this was the first time I went solo.

“Me too, I would just be a burden if I follow… Think it over, Kazuma.”

Megumin worriedly said.

“No problem, I’ll go with you!”

And Aqua suddenly said something unnecessary…

“… No, don’t follow me. I said I’ll be moving alone.”

I explained to Aqua once again what I told them on the way here.

“With the archer skill Farsight that Keith taught to me, I can see things in the dark. I’ve already tried this before. Even if there’s no light source and total darkness, I can still gauge the distance, where items are placed and their shapes. So, if I go alone, I don’t even need any light. The monsters that target adventurers with a light source won’t be able to find me.”

But if one could enter a dungeon solo just with these skills, all the archers in the entire world would’ve done that by now.

But–

“By the way, I also have the thieving skills Enemy Detection and Lurk. So, I can walk in the darkness, confirm the layout, detect enemies and avoid them. Lurk allows me to tide over danger when I can’t avoid them just by sticking close to the wall… Probably.”

Only this point couldn’t be confirmed without testing.

Even though I was going to explore a dungeon, it didn’t mean I took on a quest to clear the dungeon.

If I couldn’t get money after defeating the monsters, avoiding battles would be the best option.

Avoiding the monsters, taking the treasure and leaving.

Even though I felt it was something tomb raiders would do, this was one of the few privileges of adventurers who could cross the barrier of jobs and learn all sort of skills.

At a time like this, I should use one of the few advantages I had.

I took out the scent-removing spray I bought at the guild which was effective against monsters who are sensitive to smell.

The monsters in the dungeon were probably used to the darkness.

Which meant that apart from vision, the other senses of the enemies should be superb.

Such as their sense of smell or hearing.

For this part, I could only pray that I’d  be able to detect the enemies before they noticed the sounds I made.

If I encountered snakes which could detect heat or bats that use echolocation, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. But I heard from the people at the guild that there were no such monsters in this dungeon.

I already did my homework and obtained intelligence of the monsters inhabiting the dungeon from the guys at the guild.

I just died last week after all.

Even though I wished to meet Eris-sama again, dying so many times would be unacceptable.

I sprayed the scent remover on my body.

I didn’t know how effective it was, but it was better than nothing.

Furthermore, when I used Lurk after encountering the Rookie Killer, it sniffed the air around it before reluctantly leaving.

Which meant that the Lurk skill had the ability to make things like scent less obvious.

Yes, it would work. It probably would.

And this was just an experiment. It would be great to obtain results, but it was fine even if it failed.

The dungeon I was challenging this time was considered low tier for my level.

After confirming the best ways of exploring dungeons, I could challenge more difficult dungeons to earn money.

And it was a dungeon that was just half a day’s journey from town.

The dungeon had probably been picked clean by the other adventurers.

So I wouldn’t be at a disadvantage even if I encountered enemies in the dungeon.

“I’ll be going then. It’s cold here and you might encounter monsters, so go back to the refuge and wait.”

I waved goodbye to everyone and headed toward the entrance of the dungeon.

– At this moment, I heard someone following me.

Aqua stood behind me as if it was only natural.

“… Didn’t you hear what I said? It’s more convenient for me to move alone. It’s dark in there, so you can’t do anything even if you follow.”

After hearing my words, Aqua leisurely laughed.

… I really wanted to punch her.

“Hey, Kazuma, have you forgotten who I am? Archpriest is just my mortal disguise. Come on, say it–although Megumin and Darkness still don’t believe me–come, tell me what my job is!”

“Goddess of poverty?”

“No, I’m the goddess of water! You could’ve at least said I’m the goddess of banquets!”

It really doesn’t matter what goddess you are. What was this woman trying to say?

“I’m a goddess after all; my eyes have the power to see through everything. Before Kazuma was reincarnated, I accurately told you the cause of your death, right? My powers have weakened after coming to the mortal world, but I still have a couple of godly powers, you know? I can’t see through everything right now, but there’s no problem in seeing through the dark!”

Seeing Aqua puffing her chest out arrogantly, I felt uneasy.

To be honest, I had no idea what moronic things this woman would do and it worried me.

What to do, how should I turn her down… At this moment, Aqua said to me:

“The monsters in dungeons are usually undead. Those fellows would be attracted to the life force of the living. This means the Lurk skill is useless against undead monsters. This problem can only be solved if I come along, right?”

Her words only increased my uneasiness.

 

Part 3

I didn’t know how long I walked on the stairs that extended from the dungeon entrance.

Even after walking in the dark for so long, there was still no passageway in sight.

It was a dungeon for novices, so I thought it would be small. This would probably take longer than expected to explore.

Still, the purpose of this dungeon run was to test if the thief skills would be useful here.

To be honest, my method was wrong in the eyes of people who explored dungeons properly.

As I felt the aura of ease from Aqua behind me, I continued descending the stairs.

“Hey, Kazuma, is your night vision fine? My divine eyes can see the ugly posture of Kazuma walking timidly down the stairs. Tell me if your night vision isn’t working well, okay?”

It was hard to tell if Aqua was really worried or just picking on me.

“I can see clearly; your useless posture that hesitates every time you take a step down is shown plainly before me. Treat this as my request, please don’t fall down.”

I turned back and saw Aqua smiling without a care in the world.

“Really, my field of vision is so clear that I can run away if there’s any danger. Do tell me if any monster approaches us. I’ll watch our backs, so don’t touch my butt, all right?”

“Don’t worry, I don’t care about your butt. Let me tell you what I’m thinking–I’m seriously considering the ways to abandon you in the deepest parts of the dungeon.”

Aqua and I stood still and looked at each other’s faces.

“How mean~ Kazuma keeps making jokes like this! Hehehe!”

“Silly Aqua. I was serious just now. We’ve been together for so long, so you should know when I’m serious~ hahaha!”

As we chatted, we finally reached the end of the stairs.

It was pitch black, but thanks to the night vision skill, the walls and layout of the dungeon were clearly visible.

The objects in the darkness had a green and white outline; it was like seeing a thermography.

After the stairs, there was a left and right route.

And I immediately noticed something after getting off the stairs.

“… What is this?”

Although I had night vision, I could only see a green silhouette, and couldn’t tell the original color of the object.

Right, the outline looked like a decomposing human body…

……

“Wahhh!!”

It was the decomposing corpse of an adventurer.

Was it someone who attempted to challenge the dungeon alone, or a person who had been abandoned by his companions after dying?

I didn’t know what happened to it, but it was certainly the remains of a person.

Aqua came to the side of the corpse.

“… This corpse is about to become an undead monster. Kazuma, wait for a moment.”

After saying that, Aqua started mumbling something like a prayer, and the corpse emitted a faint light.

She was probably guiding the lost spirit to the afterlife, preventing it from turning into an undead.

If she acted like this more often, she would probably have more believers.

But to think we would encounter a corpse right after the stairs. My heart wouldn’t be able to take it if this went on.

If Aqua wasn’t here, I probably would’ve turned back.

“But, puhehe! This is too stupid, pushing himself to challenge a dungeon alone–Puhah! Hahaha!”

Okay, I’ll definitely give her some time to think on her own after reaching the deepest part.

… Something seemed to be coming this way.

With my Enemy Detection skill, I sensed hostiles approaching me and stopped.

It was probably the sound of us talking or the light from Aqua purifying the corpse that attracted them here.

I looked at Aqua and pointed in the direction where the enemy was coming from, then pointed my thumb in the other way, gesturing her to escape.

“What, what? Why are you making weird gestures suddenly? Want me to perform hand shadows? Then give me a light. Foxes and bunnies are out of fashion, let me show you the shadow of the Mobile Fortress Destroyer.”

“No! And what’s this Destroyer?! I’m just signaling to you that the enemy is coming, so we should run this way! Damn it, they spotted us! Hey, help me fight them!”

I felt awkward for screaming at her so loudly.

I drew my sword in the darkness and slashed at the small humanoid monster that came at us!

“… Hmm, I don’t know what this is. I can see the shape, but not the color, so I can’t tell. Hey, do you know what this is?”

The corpse of a small humanoid monster was on the ground.

Aqua looked at it and said:

“This is a low-tier demon called a Gremlin. The magic in dungeons are more powerful than the surface, so weak demons like this appear sometimes.”

I see, there was this name in the list of monsters I might encounter, given to me by the guys at the guild.

… I suddenly noticed something.

“Hey, let me ask you, can you really see clearly in the dark?”

Hearing my question, Aqua said with an ‘obviously’ expression.

“My vision now is no different than in broad daylight. What is it?”

……

“So, when we were sleeping in the stables together, you saw everything?”

“I didn’t see anything. Because when I heard fap, fap, fap, your back was facing me.”

“… Thank you for your mercy Aqua-sama.”

The scent of the Gremlin might’ve attracted other monsters, so we quickly moved on.

 

Part 4

The Aqua today was different from her usual self.

Yes, totally unlike the Archpriest she usually was.

She wasn’t the goddess of banquets or poverty, either.

“Lost souls wandering the cold dungeons, rest in peace. Turn Undead!”

At this moment, she looked just like a holy goddess as she purified the undead with wide-area spells.

– As for me, I underestimated the dungeon.

The combination of night vision and Lurk was useful during dangerous times.

And they were effective towards most monsters.

But, as Aqua said, for the undead that had been wandering the cold dungeon for a long time, living beings shone very brightly.

In the short time since we encountered the Gremlin, she had purified a lot of undead.

If I was alone, I would’ve been surrounded and beaten to death by the mobs of undead.

I really didn’t know we would encounter so many undead-type monsters in dungeons.

I could only reflect on my naivety.

Aqua, who finished her purification, breathed out in relief.

“Thanks, Aqua, you’ve been a great help. It would’ve been dangerous if I had come alone.”

Aqua who heard my praise wasn’t humble at all.

“Hmm? You’re finally seeing me in a new light…? Anyway, where are the treasures? This dungeon has been explored so many times, so I’m not expecting much either.”

We had reached a rather deep part of the dungeon.

It was deep, but this dungeon only had one floor, so it didn’t mean depth as in further underground.

But, this was quite vast.

Aqua who claimed to be able to see as clear as day in the darkness, marked the wall with chalk whenever she reached a corner.

Normal adventurers making a dungeon run would be tensely watching for traps, lighting torches and marking the way as they proceeded cautiously.

But for us who could see in the dark, we could reach deeper with me at the front scouting for enemies.

We could’ve retreated after confirming that this exploration method was feasible. But since we came all the way here, we still wanted to get some treasure or something valuable before leaving.

After ensuring the room ahead didn’t have traps or the presence of an enemy, I entered cautiously as if I was walking on thin ice.

Looking around the room…

“… Tch, there’s nothing good here.”

“Hey, Kazuma, the way you were exploring and that line you said made me feel like we are tomb robbers.”

Don’t say it, I have that feeling too.

I felt a bit guilty when I thought about the people who challenged the dungeon head-on.

“…? Hey, Kazuma, there seems to be something there.”

Aqua found something in the corner of the room.

We went over and found…

“Hey, that’s a treasure chest! That’s great Kazuma, we were right to explore the dungeon!”

I hastily restrained Aqua who was happily charging towards the treasure chest.

“Hey, wait, wait. Don’t you think it’s weird for a treasure chest to appear in the dungeon where tons of people have explored…? Hmm, as I suspected, Enemy Detection is responding.”

And of course, the response was coming from the treasure chest before us.

I see, so this was the legendary fake treasure chest.

“Ah… So it’s a Dungeon Mimic. It’s unfortunate, but it can’t be helped…”

Aqua threw something at the chest as she spoke.

It was the empty bottle of the scent remover I used earlier.

The bottle drew an arc in the air and fell toward the ground near the treasure chest.

The moment the bottle hit the ground, the walls and floor around started shaking, and the treasure chest opened a gigantic mouth to swallow the bottle whole.

The walls and floor that appeared to be part of the dungeon were squirming. It seemed to be chewing the bottle it just swallowed.

“H-How disgusting! What is that!?”

I thought she said, ‘Dungeon Mimic’.

“As the name of the monster implies, it cannot move, but part of its body can mimic the form of a treasure chest or money, luring the prey to take the bait. It’ll sometimes take the form of a human, and hunt the monsters that prey on men.”

It even ate monsters, how terrible!

Speaking of which, the guys at the guild did mention the Dungeon Mimic.

I heard you could detect it easily with the Enemy Detection skill, but this was too…

Seems like the rules of nature applied to the creatures in dungeons too.

It wasn’t easy to live in this world.

 

Part 5

“Turn Undead!”

Under the magic of Aqua, the body of the zombie disappeared.

I lost count of how many monsters were defeated.

Before me was still a thermographic scene, and I was thankful for learning Farsight.

If we had advanced with a torch like normal, I would’ve probably cried if we encountered a mob of zombies.

After getting attacked by a large group of undead, it wouldn’t be surprising if it left any psychological scars.

“… Hey, isn’t this weird? There are too many undead here. A party without an Archpriest wouldn’t be able to subjugate the dungeon, right? And we haven’t found any treasure yet. Let’s forget it and go back.”

This was a dungeon for novices to grind.

But I couldn’t imagine how the novices would handle the surge of undead.

Despite casting magic non stop, Aqua didn’t seem tired at all.

She was a goddess after all.

But even Aqua couldn’t keep it up forever, so maybe it was time to retreat.

“You’re right. We didn’t find any treasure, but I’m satisfied after purifying so many undead… Hold on a minute, the scent of the undead is still lingering here.”

My Enemy Detection wasn’t even triggered, seemed like Aqua was in great condition today.

We had reached the end of the dungeon, but Aqua was still sniffing the air like an excited cat.

Detect Trap and Enemy Detection still didn’t have any reaction.

But since Aqua who was in excellent condition said so, there was probably something behind this wall.

Aqua and I split up to investigate the wall, scrutinizing it for ten minutes or so.

Just as we thought about giving up…

… A part of the wall suddenly turned sideways, opening a gap.

We didn’t do anything. It appeared to have been opened from the inside.

A low and vague sound came from the other side.

“Is there a priest amongst you?”

 

Part 6

There was a simple bed, a cabinet, a table and a chair in the room.

The person was sitting on the chair beside the bed.

An oil lamp was placed on the table.

“Good morning, this is the first time we met. Though, I don’t know what time it is, so should I say ‘Good evening’ instead?”

I could only see the silhouette with my skill.

After greeting us, that person lit the oil lamp with magic.

The oil lamp illuminated the person who was in the dark. He was a skeleton covered in dried skin, with a long robe draped around him.

“I’m Keele, creator of this dungeon. I kidnapped the daughter of a noble. That’s right, I’m an evil mage.”

– A long time ago, there was an archwizard named Keele who fell in love with a daughter of a noble clan during a stroll through the streets.

Keele, who knew this love wouldn’t bear fruit, devoted himself in his magic training and research.

As the years went by, he eventually became the strongest archwizard in the nation.

He didn’t hold back in bringing happiness to the country through his use of spells, and was praised by all.

And so, the mage was invited into the castle, to a banquet that was held in his honor.

The king said to the mage that he wanted to reward him, and was willing to fulfil one wish of the mage, with no restrictions.

The mage said he had a wish that would never be fulfilled.

And that was the happiness of the one he loved, who had suffered so much.

“After making this wish, I kidnapped that lady,” Keele proudly said.

“…Which means you’re not an evil mage, but a good one? To get on the good side of the king, the daughter was offered to the king as a concubine. But she wasn’t loved, and didn’t have a good relationship with the queen and the other concubine. And you said something like, ‘Since you don’t want her, give her to me’, right?”

After hearing this, the bones in Keele’s throat area rattled, as if he was laughing.

“That’s the gist of it. Afterwards, I proposed to the lady I kidnapped, she accepted me. Then I eloped with her while fending off the army of the kingdom… Ahh, that was fun. Oh, by the way, the one on the bed is her. How does she look? Isn’t the curve of her collar bone is beautiful?”

I looked in the direction Keele pointed at and found a skeleton placed on the small bed.

… What was with that?

Aqua who was beside me looked at Keele with shining eyes.

She probably couldn’t wait to purify him.

“And so, I have a request for that lady over there,” Keele suddenly said.

“Request?”

Hearing my words, Keele nodded–

“Could you send me to the other world? This lady should have the power to do so.”

 

Part 7

Aqua chanted every line of her spell clearly.

The great archwizard placed his ‘hand’ on the ‘hand’ of the lady lying on the bed.

Aqua said that the lady had moved on with no regrets.

Although the magic circle just needed to fit Keele alone, Aqua was really into it, and so the circle not only encompassed the bones of the lady, but the entire room as well.

Keele was heavily injured in a fight to protect the lady. To guard her till the very end, he abandoned his humanity and became a lich.

It might not have been proper to say this, but I think that turning into a lich that way was really cool.

Perhaps it’s because I saw Aqua bully Wiz before, but I felt that this lich here was really manly.

After becoming the concubine of the king, the lady didn’t have many chances to go outside. She was suddenly the enemy of the state and toured the entire world to escape capture, and spent the last moments of her life in this dungeon.

Despite the lack of freedom while on the run, she didn’t have any complaints, and smiled happily instead–That was what Keele said.

“Did I make her happy?”– He asked himself.

“Ah, that’s a big help. A lich can’t do something as ridiculous as committing suicide after all. I was quietly waiting for myself to decay when I felt a powerful holy aura, so I woke from my long slumber.”

In the gentle magic circle that covered the entire room, Keele said amidst laughter.

Aqua finally finished her chanting.

And using a gentle expression I had never seen before, she smiled at Keele.

Ch2 insert.png

… Who is this girl?

As I was wondering if I saw an illusion, Aqua said gently to Keele:

“Archmage Keele, you have forsaken the laws of the gods and became a lich by your own conviction. In the name of the goddess of water Aqua, I absolve you of your sin… When you wake up, you will find yourself before a goddess with unnaturally large breasts named Eris. If you don’t mind the age difference between you and the one you love, or if your relations aren’t between a man and a woman, and if you wish to meet her no matter what form it may be in… You can try asking Eris. She will make your wish come true.”

Seriously, who the hell is this girl?

Just as I was feeling uneasy about Aqua’s uncharacteristic behaviour, Keele bowed his head deeply in this room illuminated by light.

“Sacred Turn Undead!”

– The light dissipated, and the room was enveloped by darkness once again.

The lich and the remains of that lady (for some reason) had disappeared without a trace.

Aqua and I were silent in the heavy atmosphere.

I slowly told her:

“… Let’s go back.”

 

Part 8

On the way back to the surface, I kept talking to the silent Aqua despite the darkness and risk of being discovered by monsters.

“Hey, will that undead meet the lady again?”

“… Who knows. Eris will probably do something about it.”

Aqua replied coldly, so I could only softly acknowledge.

After that, I tried to squeeze out a bright voice to change the topic.

“Anyway, that lich was a nice guy. He said money is useless to him and gave us all of his fortune. I don’t know how much it’s worth, let’s split it equally when we get back to town.”

Aqua’s shoulders suddenly shuddered.

“… That’s right. We have to use this money properly for his sake too.”

Aqua’s voice was louder than before, and more energetic too.

……

To lighten the mood further, I decided to ask the question I was saving for when she regained her vigor after reaching the surface.

“Hey, Aqua, that guy said something earlier.”

“… What?”

Aqua was still a bit depressed.

“… That person. He said he woke up after sensing a powerful holy aura. Could it be that the reason we encountered so many undead monsters in this dungeon was because of you?”

“!?”

After hearing my question, Aqua turned stiff.

In the end, she squeezed out a sentence:

“I-I-I think… It shouldn’t be… Probably?”

She gave a rather vague answer.

“… When the Dullahan attacked, his undead knights seemed to be very attracted to you..”

“!?”

Aqua shivered again. I quietly pulled away from her.

Seeing me pull away, she kept drawing near.

“Hey, Kazuma, you can’t stay too far away from me, all right? Don’t you think we should be closer to guard against monster attacks? Al-Also, with Kazuma’s half-baked night vision, you won’t be able to see the exit I marked with my chalk!”

Hearing Aqua say that, regret flashed across my face for an instant.

“Hehehe, that’s how it is! There’s no way you can leave me behind here! In this situation, we’re ants on the same rope… Actually, no, without me who can tell the path back and fight off undead, Kazuma won’t be able to return by himself! The situation is in my favor! If Kazuma understands the situation, address me as Aqua-sama from now on, and spread word of my elegant performance in the dungeon to the people in town…!”

As Aqua was shouting.

From the darkness of the dungeon, the howl of a beast could be heard.

It was probably attracted by Aqua’s voice.

After confirming with Enemy Detection , I sensed something charging this way.

“……”

I leaned against the wall silently, activating my skill to blend into the darkness.

“Hey, wait Kazuma! Wait!? Don’t abandon me! Sorry, I’m sorry, it’s all my fault! I’ll apologize, so let me hide too! Please Kazuma! I beg you, Kazuma-sama!!”

 

Part 9

“… I can probably guess what happened, but allow me to ask anyway. What the hell happened?”

That was the first thing Megumin said to us at the cabin.

“Wahhh! Kazuma, he! Kazuma, he wahhh!”

She stroked the head of Aqua who was sobbing behind me to console her.

“Don’t blame me, this is because you attracted all the undead! You didn’t even reflect on it when we were returning! I’m taking back the high evaluation I gave you earlier!”

“But but–that’s just the way I am, I can’t help it! What do you expect!? Drop my holy aura to the same level as a hikiNEET like Kazuma!? If that really happens, all Axis devotees over the world would cry…!”

“You’re not reflecting at all! Go visit the dungeon and find the treasures that the lich and lady gave us, and learn something from those two! Let them teach you how to live properly!”

“Damn hikiNEET, how dare you ask a goddess to learn from a lich!”

I pushed Aqua who wanted to strangle me aside. At the same time, Darkness asked:

“… The lich and the lady?”

I fended off the wailing Aqua and I explained the gist of our trip.

“From what Aqua said, that lady had no regrets and properly passed on. What was the hard life on the run to her? That lich was still wondering if he bkessed the lady with happiness. But from the way I see it, she was undoubtedly blessed.”

Hearing my casual comment–

“… Of course she was happy, it’s obvious that she was blessed. I dare say her life on the run was one of the happiest times of her life.”

Darkness said something that seemed to have hidden meanings with a somewhat lonely smile.

 

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