Offering a helping hand to the ghost of a young girl!
Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur, Boring bone
I brought Aqua along with me to a certain place.
I left Darkness at the guild, so we could get a good quest if there was one.
Megumin went somewhere early in the morning.
She would disappear like that sometimes. I wonder where she goes?
– The balance in our party was bad.
The good points were obvious.
Aqua was excellent as an Archpriest, Darkness, the tank in our party, was tough, and didn’t really require healing magic.
Megumin’s instant damage output was higher than most other mages, and could often resolve the problem with one spell.
But the current issue was the need for reliable damage output.
And thus, I had to learn skills and fight. However, I had the weakest job, ‘adventurer’, so I wouldn’t be strong no matter how hard I worked.
I wanted offensive skills.
And so, after I had leveled up in the dungeon run a few days ago, I came to this store.
“All right, we’re here. Listen Aqua, let me be clear, don’t make a mess or act violently. And don’t use any magic, understand?”
This was a tiny shop that sold magic items.
Aqua looked at the sign of the shop and confusedly tilted her head.
“Hey, why are you restricting me from this and that? I’ve been meaning to ask you, but do you think I’m a delinquent or a bandit or something? I am a goddess, you know? A holy being.”
I dragged Aqua who was complaining nonstop and opened the door of the shop.
The bell on the door rang crisply, announcing our arrival to the owner.
“Ahhh!? You finally showed up, damn undead! You dare set up shop here!? A goddess like me must sleep in the stables, but you can open a shop? You’re getting too full of yourself, lich! I’ll burn your store down in the name of the gods!”
I used the hilt of my sword to knock on the head of Aqua, who was running amok despite my reminder.
Ignoring Aqua who was sulking in a corner with her hands on her head, I greeted the frightened owner.
“Yo, Wiz, long time no see. I came to visit.”
“… Hey, doesn’t this shop know how to serve tea?”
“Ah, sorry!! I’ll bring it now!”
“Don’t serve her tea! I’ve never heard of a magic item shop that serves tea to its customers!”
I stopped Wiz from following the orders of Aqua, who was picking on her.
This was my first time in a magic item shop, so I toured around it, toying with the merchandise.
I picked up a small bottle.
“Ah, that’ll explode on strong impact, so please be careful.”
I put the bottle back in a panic.
I reached for another bottle beside it…
“Ah, that one will explode if you open the cap, so…”
I placed that bottle back gently, and picked up the one besides it.
“What about this one?”
“It’ll explode when it touches water.”
“… How about that one?”
“It explodes when heated…”
“Does your shop only sell explosives?!”
“No no no! All the explosive bottle series just happen to be on that rack!”
Ah, right, this wasn’t the time for this.
I didn’t come here to buy magic items.
I ignored Aqua who was drinking the tea she was pouring for herself and cut to the chase.
“Wiz, you mentioned this before, right? You said you can teach me some of the skills of a lich. I have some skill points now, so could you teach me something?”
After hearing what I said, Aqua spat the tea in her mouth all over Wiz.
“Hey, what are you thinking, Kazuma!? The skills of a lich? You say you want to learn a lich’s skills!? I was wondering what you said to her after taking this woman’s name card! The skills of a lich are all evil! It would be bad if you learned such skills! Listen, liches are basically the relatives of slugs that like dark and wet places.”
“How, how mean!”
Hearing Aqua’s definition, Wiz was in tears.
“No, I don’t care if liches are the relatives or siblings of slugs–it’s normally impossible to learn skills from a lich, right? I feel that if I learn these skills, I might be able to increase the combat potential of our party. You should understand that with our current powers, we can’t handle powerful foes or a large number of enemies, right?”
“But… As a goddess, I can’t stand my servant learning the skills of a lich…”
Aqua was still complaining after hearing my words, but relented.
Hearing Aqua’s grumbles, Wiz asked hesitantly.
“‘As a goddess’…? Um, I was almost destroyed when you used Turn Undead… Could it be, you’re a real goddess?”
If you wanted to ask what the real identity of Aqua was, a monster like a lich would know best.
As for me, I still doubted at this moment whether Aqua was a real goddess.
“You could say that. You probably won’t spread this around, so I shall tell you. I’m Aqua. That’s right, the goddess revered by the Axis Sect, Aqua. Mind your manners, lich!”
Wiz made a face of terror I had never seen before and hid behind me.
For liches, an existence like a god was like their nemesis.
“Hey Wiz, I know that undead and goddesses are akin to oil and water, but you don’t need to fear her that much.”
I consoled her, but Wiz said:
“No, I don’t mean it that way… I heard that the Axis cultists have mental problems, so it’s best not to get involved with them–that’s part of the common sense of the world. And she said she was the goddess of that cult, so I…”
“What did you say!?
“… Sigh, the topic isn’t progressing at all…”
I chased Aqua to the side, letting her browse the items in the shop.
She obediently shopped around, picking up some potions randomly and sniffing inside.
I kept an eye on her as I continued talking to Wiz.
“Speaking of which, I heard recently that Kazuma-san’s party defeated Beldia-san. That Beldia-san was a powerful swordsman among the Demon King’s Generals, you know? You guys are amazing.”
She said that with a gentle smile…
“‘That Beldia-san’? It sounds as if you were acquainted. Did you know each other because you’re both undead?”
In the face of my query, Wiz said in an idle manner.
“Ah, I didn’t make this clear before, I’m also a General of the Demon King’s army.”
She said with a giggle.
Aqua who was browsing the merchandise suddenly pounced on Wiz!
“Wait! Aqua-sama, please let me explain!”
Wiz who was pinned down by Aqua wailed.
Aqua wiped the sweat from her cheeks and reported her victory.
“This is great, Kazuma! We can clear our debts now! Not just that, we’ll become rich! Nevermind renting a place, we could even buy a mansion!”
Aqua joyously shouted.
I squatted down and looked at Wiz who was subdued by Aqua.
“Hey Aqua, let’s hear her out… Um, what does being a General mean? If you are a spy of the Demon King, as adventurers, we can’t let you off…”
After hearing this, Wiz explained in tears.
“That’s not it! I was asked by the Demon King-san to maintain the barrier to the Demon King’s castle! I’ve never harmed anyone before. You won’t get any rewards for defeating me!”
Wiz’s words made me and Aqua look at each other.
“… I don’t know what you’re saying, but we should play it safe and destroy you.”
“Wait a moment, Aqua-sama!”
Wiz screamed again.
I hurriedly stopped Aqua who had started chanting.
“Eh, what do you mean? Is it like the cliché in video games, where the main character opens a path to the Demon King’s castle after defeating all the Generals? And Wiz is the one in charge of maintaining that barrier?”
“I don’t know what video games are, but that’s it! It was the Demon King who requested this of me. Because I didn’t want to stop running a shop in human territory, the only thing he asked me to do as a General was to maintain the barrier! He said no one would suspect that a General of the Demon King would set up a shop in a human town, so the barrier would be safe!”
“Which means humans can’t attack the Demon King’s castle if you’re alive. This will give us plenty of trouble. Kazuma, let’s do away with her.”
Upon hearing Aqua’s words, Wiz wailed.
“Wait, please wait! With Aqua-sama’s power, you could easily break through the barrier created by 2 or 3 Generals! But there are 8 Generals in the Demon King’s army, so there will still be 6 Generals even if you defeat me. Even Aqua-sama can’t break through the barrier of 6 Generals! If you want to attack the Demon King’s castle, you’ll have to defeat the other Generals. I beg you, please don’t kill me before you take out the other Generals…! I have some things I need to take care of…”
Facing Wiz crying from under her, Aqua made an awkward expression.
She would glance at me every now and then, observing my condition… Did she want me to make the decision?
“Eh, I think that should be fine. Even if we defeat Wiz now, the barrier would still be intact, and the barrier can only be dispelled after all the Generals are defeated. But with Aqua here, we could break through the barrier without taking out all the Generals, right? Then we’ll just need to wait for someone to take out the other Generals other than Wiz.”
To be honest, I didn’t think an immature party like ours could do anything to the Demon King’s Generals. And I didn’t plan to do something that dangerous.
Even if we didn’t do anything, someone like Sword Master Mitsurugi and his magic sword–people who were transported here with blessings–would kill the other Generals of the Demon King’s army.
But, if Wiz was here, the barrier would be intact and they couldn’t get to the Demon King.
So, before we get strong enough to defeat the Demon King, it would better to maintain the status quo.
Wiz, who didn’t see through my despicable schemes, smiled after hearing my words.
“But, would that really be okay? The Generals of the Demon King are Wiz’s acquaintances, right? Won’t you get angry at us for defeating Beldia?”
Wiz pondered for a moment and said:
“… Beldia-san and I weren’t on great terms… He rolls his head under my skirt to peek at me whenever I took strolls. There’s only one person who was on good terms with me among the Generals, and that person probably won’t die so easily… Also–”
As Wiz spoke, she–
“As of now, I have decided to live as a human.”
– had a lonely smile.
“Eh, well then, I’ll display all the skills I have once, take note of anything you want to learn. You let me go the previous time too, so consider this as a sign of my gratitude…”
After Wiz finished, she seemed to be thinking of something, and looked back and forth between me and Aqua with a panicked face.
“What is it?”
Wiz looked at Aqua timidly.
“I can’t use my skills without a target. Which means… If no one can be my target…”
I get it, so that was why.
“Hey, Aqua, do it.”
“Ah? A mere undead wants to use her skills on me?”
Facing Aqua’s intimidation, Wiz took a few steps back in fear.
“Eh… How about the skill Drain Touch? Ah, I’ll just drain a little health! For Kazuma-san to learn this skill, I just need to drain just a tiny bit to show the effect, and he’ll probably learn it!”
Wiz explained in a panic. Aqua showed a devious smile.
One was a powerful lich, the other a goddess. Both were powerful people.
But looking at the two of them, I couldn’t tell which was the goddess, and which was the lich.
“It’s fine, no problem. Drain as much as you like, come!”
Aqua extended her hand.
Wiz timidly took Aqua’s hand…
“Um, excuse me… Hmm? What’s happening?”
I didn’t understand what was happening, and it was a surprise to Wiz too.
“Oh, my, is everything okay? Didn’t you want to drain my health and mana? Oh, my, you’re a top-tier undead, but you can’t even use Drain Touch?”
Unlike the arrogant Aqua, Wiz looked as if she was going to cry at any moment.
“What, what’s happening–!?”
It seemed like Aqua was resisting her, not letting her drain any energy.
– I silently slapped the back of her head.
“Ouch! Hey, don’t interrupt me Kazuma! This is a battle between a lich and a goddess! I’m an elite amongst the goddesses, how could I let her drain me so easily?!”
“Come on, I won’t be able to learn the skill like this, just let her drain a little… Sorry Wiz, this girl keeps on finding trouble with liches because of the nature of her job.”
I apologized to Wiz on Aqua’s behalf. Wiz shook her head strongly.
“It’s, it’s fine! It’s, it’s because I’m a lich…”
I asked Wiz to display her skill again.
“Well then, excuse me…”
Wiz took Aqua’s hand and used Drain Touch once more.
Drain Touch seemed to be a skill unique to the undead, capable of draining an opponent’s health and mana.
At the same time, it allowed one to share their health and mana with another.
By using this skill well, we might be able to make up for the lack of offensive power in our party.
After watching Wiz’s skill, I checked my adventurer’s card.
A skill called Drain Touch appeared on the card.
I used my skill points to learn this skill without hesitation.
“Um, Aqua-sama? It’s fine now, could you release your hand… The hand that you’re grabbing is turning numb, please let go!”
I watched them closely. After Aqua heard what Wiz said, she held onto Wiz’s right hand tightly, using her other free hand to grab Wiz too.
“Ah, Aqua-sama? Um, my hand is hot… Also, it hurts, it hurts! Aqua-sama, my body is gradually… Being purified and evaporating! I’m disappearing, Aqua-sama! I’ll disappear if this goes on!”
“What are you trying to do now?”
I knocked the head of Aqua, who refused to let go of Wiz, with my fist.
Maybe it was my imagination, but did Wiz look more transparent?
– At this moment.
“Pardon my intrusion, is Wiz-san here?”
A middle-aged man opened the door and walked in.
The visitor was a real estate agent.
It seemed that all sorts of spirits were appearing in the empty houses.
The visitor even asked around the adventurer’s guild. Everyone said that this was the first time they encountered something like this and didn’t know how to handle it.
Even after posting a quest to subjugate the spirits, new ones would move in right after the quest was done.
“No matter how we exorcise them, the evil spirits keep coming one after another. Nevermind selling the houses, just clearing the houses of spirits is a pain.”
The middle-aged man sighed with a fatigued expression.
So why was he discussing this with Wiz?
Maybe it was the doubt written on my face, the man explained to me immediately.
“Before Wiz-san set up shop here, she was a powerful mage. Whenever the people in town ran into any difficulty, they would seek Wiz-san for aid. And Wiz-san seemed to be the expert on handling undead monsters. That’s why I’m here asking for her help.”
I see, liches are known as the overlord of death after all.
This man probably didn’t know Wiz’s identity, but Wiz was really suited for something like this.
But that man seemed troubled as he looked at Wiz.
“But… Wiz-san seems unwell today. Your face had always been pale, but it’s even more so today. How should I put it, it feels as if you could disappear at any moment…?”
I stared wordlessly at Aqua who was planning to purify Wiz. She immediately averted her gaze in an awkward manner.
Wiz revealed an awkward smile and patted her chest.
“No problems, leave it to me. We just need to settle the evil spirits in town, right?”
“Ah, no! I wasn’t planning on troubling Wiz-san to exorcise all the evil spirits in town… Just that mansion will be enough.”
“Ah, that mansion. I see…”
Wiz nodded to acknowledge her understanding what the man said… That mansion?
“Leave it to me. I just need to expel the spirits wandering in that mansion, correct?”
After hearing that, Wiz immediately stood up, but sat down again due to the lack of strength.
“Ah, ahhh! Wi-Wiz-san! Forget it, if you’re not feeling well, please don’t push yourself!”
The man hurried over to help Wiz up. Aqua, who couldn’t watch any longer, turned her gaze in an absurd direction; she was getting more embarrassed.
I walked to Aqua’s side, staring at her face wordlessly.
“… This, this quest, please let us take it…”
Aqua couldn’t ignore her guilty conscience and said softly.
“So, this is the mansion.”
It was a mansion in the suburbs.
According to that man, the number of rooms were few for a mansion, but it sure doesn’t look like it.
It was several times the size of a single mansion in Japan, and used to be the villa of a noble family.
But that aristocratic family had abandoned this villa.
As the villa was about to be sold, evil spirits appeared within it.
“Not bad! This place is great! This is where someone like me should be staying in!”
Aqua shouted while hugging a small bag. Megumin also had a bag with her, and seemed to be blushing with excitement.
Living in this villa.
This wasn’t one of Aqua’s delusions.
Because the mansion was huge, there were plenty of evil spirits within. As a result, it had been widely regarded as a haunted mansion.
And the reward for the exorcism was allowing us to stay at the mansion for free, in order to get rid of the bad reputation.
Which meant that after completing this quest, we wouldn’t need to save up our money to get by during the winter.
It was really lucky for us to happen upon such a great opportunity.
“But can we really exorcise the evil spirits? I heard new spirits would keep coming back no matter how much you clear them.”
Darkness who was carrying a large pack said.
Indeed. Going by common sense, finding the reason why the spirits kept coming and resolving the issue was the best strategy.
But the quest we took was limited to exorcizing the spirits.
To be honest, thinking about it in the long term, the longer we dragged on the quest, the longer we could stay in this villa.
“But it feels like this place has not been occupied for a very long time. Didn’t the disturbance of the spirits only happen recently? Could it be, this mansion already had issues before the spirit problem hit the entire town…?”
Megumin said uneasily.
“Yes, but even if this mansion had problems, we’ll be fine. We have Aqua with us, right? No worries, she’s an expert in fighting the undead.”
Even though I felt a bit uneasy while saying that, I still thought her abilities as an Archpriest were very impressive.
“Leave it to me! … Fufu, I can see it, I can see it! With my spiritual eyes, I see the noble, who was fooling around with a maid, and the child that the maid bore, who was kept here as the illegitimate child of the noble clan! The noble died from illness, and the maid went missing. The young girl left here contracted the same disease as her father, and died without ever seeing the faces of her parents! Her name was Anna Filante Asteroid. The things she liked were her dolls and the stories of adventurers! But please don’t worry, this spirit won’t pull pranks on us. She will not harm us! Ara, she might be a child, but she liked mature things like drinking fine wine. So, prepare some wine as an offering!”
Aqua kept clamoring on like the cunning psychics that appeared on television all the time. I looked at her with the eyes I reserved for a suspicious conman, and asked Darkness and Megumin.
“… Hey, what do you think? I want to ask why this girl knows such unnecessary settings and names… Is she all right in the head? Or perhaps I judged her too hastily?”
I don’t know if they harbored the same uneasiness as me, but they didn’t answer my question.
– Late at night.
We took off our equipment and settled down in the mansion.
We had settled the distribution of the rooms, and brought our respective luggage there.
Aqua would be staying in this mansion from today onward, so I held on to the faint hope that the evil spirits would be exorcised because of that.
On the other hand, I was worried that her goddess constitution might bring more of them here.
But she was an Archpriest after all, and her real identity was the goddess Aqua.
She wasn’t the type that allowed spirits to do as they pleased in the place she lived.
I took the biggest room on the second floor of the mansion, and slept quite soundly.
At this moment, I heard wails coming from Aqua’s room, whom I had placed so much hope in.
“What is it!? Hey, Aqua, what happened! Are you okay!?”
I rushed to Aqua’s room and rapped on the door.
No reply. Judging that something was amiss, I rammed the door open.
Before me was…
“Boo… Wooo… Ka-Kazumaaahhh!”
In the middle of room, Aqua was cradling an empty wine bottle and crying.
“Well, what happened to you? Say something, why are you hugging a bottle? If you made that sound because you were drunk, I’ll wake you up with Create Water.”
“That’s not it! I didn’t drink the wine! This was my precious and valuable wine. I was looking forward to enjoying it after my bath! But it was empty when I returned to my room, ahhh!!”
I decided to go to sleep after a bath.
“I see, good night, see you tomorrow.”
“Ahhh!? Wait, Kazuma! A spirit! This must be the work of an evil spirit! The wild spirits that congregated here, or the illegitimate child that was bound to this mansion! It must be either of these two! I’ll make my rounds around the mansion and destroy all the spirits I see!”
I didn’t know if wild spirits existed in this world, but since Aqua said she would exorcise them, I had no reason to stop her.
“… What happened, what’s with the ruckus?”
“Is something wrong? It’s getting late, so please behave yourself.”
Darkness and Megumin were here too, probably drawn in by Aqua’s wailing.
“This girl said her wine was taken by evil spirits and wants to exorcise them now. I thought about saying, ‘Why would spirits want to drink spirits’. But there were too many things to pick apart, so I didn’t manage to. I think I’ll sleep now, so I’ll leave the rest to you.”
As I returned to my room, Aqua was still lecturing me from behind, but I didn’t mind.
If the spirit was just mischievous to the extent of drinking people’s wine, it would be fine letting it be.
I woke up in the middle of the night, wondering how long I had slept.
The mansion was silent, so it should’ve been late at night.
– I wanted to go to the toilet.
I tried getting up from the bed…
… But my body couldn’t move.
What was happening… Sleep paralysis?
I tried sounding out, but that failed too, only a mumble escaped my lips. I couldn’t call out to Aqua for aid.
I realized how desperate the situation was.
Correction, my need to pee was facing a never-before-seen crisis.
No, I had to endure, I was already an adult!
There were only two situations for an adult to urinate as he pleased:
1) In a special shop, or 2) If you were an old man.
Unable to move my body, I gritted my teeth to hold it in. At this moment, I heard a sound come from the corner of my room.
It sounded really loud in this quiet room.
Hearing this sound, I shifted my gaze to a corner of the room.
In the corner of the room stood a tiny doll of a girl in a dress. Why did she appear here?
I gulped unconsciously.
Cold sweat kept breaking out.
What was going on, why did this object appear here?
I didn’t have any recollection of this thing being in this room in the first place. Did Aqua place it here to scare me?
Yeah, that should be it. It had to be it.
That useless goddess; I would take care of her tomorrow.
I pushed the blame onto Aqua and closed my eyes to escape reality.
A sound reverberated through the entire room, and made me burst out into cold sweat.
Yeah, that’s right. It was too pitiful to blame everything onto Aqua.
Yeah, that’s right, that girl also had times when she worked hard, so I should be gentle to her every now and then.
She was a goddess-sama after all, yeah!
Correct, a goddess was living in this mansion.
Evil spirits? Those things would be killed instantly if they met Aqua. Our Aqua was a goddess that could easily purify a lich!
I’ll apologize to Aqua for the incident in the morning. I was too disrespectful to a goddess. Yeah, I would reflect on it, I would reflect on it.
– Clank clank clank clank clank clank clank clank clank, clank clank clank clank!
Ahhhhhh, I’ll absolutely apologize and turn over a new leaf!
I’ll apologize, so Aqua-sama, please help me!
… I wasn’t sure if my confession and prayers worked, but the sound from the corner of the room stopped.
That was great, there were no such things as spirits after all.
I relaxed slightly.
At the same time, a certain curiosity welled up within me.
– Should I open my eyes?
I wanted to open my eyes, and check on the status of that doll.
But, my instinct or something like a sixth sense was holding me back.
What should I do? I was so bothered by it. It would be scary if I opened my eyes, but it was also scary if I didn’t!
After considering it for a moment, I remembered I couldn’t go to the toilet if this went on.
And so, I made up my mind to open my eyes slightly…
I locked eyes with the doll that was staring at my face.
I screamed as if I was squeezing my psyche dry, and swiped the doll away the moment I could move my body.
I ran barefooted in the corridor toward Aqua’s room.
I could hear something chasing me from behind.
How scary, scary, super scary! What was that, why was this happening?
– Clank! Crack crack crack, bang bang bang!
As I listened to the unpleasant noise behind me, I didn’t even knock and charged straight into Aqua’s room.
I closed the door in a panic and locked it.
A second later, I heard something crashing into the door.
I felt the impact through the door, and hastily looked around the room.
Aqua wasn’t here.
In her place, sitting in the middle of the room in the darkness, was a black-haired girl with blood-red eyes.
I couldn’t help screaming, and the brunette before me was also shrieking for some reason.
She sounded familiar, and upon closer inspection, I realized it was Megumin in her pajamas.
After Megumin and I screamed for a moment, we regained a bit of our composure.
The banging sound kept coming from the door.
It was too scary, so I didn’t dare to think about what was hitting against the door.
“Don’t, don’t scare me Megumin, I almost pissed myself!”
“That, that’s my line! Why did Kazuma come to this room! I thought Aqua was coming back…!”
Hearing Megumin’s words, I calmed myself down.
“And why were you in Aqua’s room? And where did Aqua go?”
“Ugh… Eh, there, there was a doll, eh, moving around my room…”
Ah, so Megumin encountered the same thing as me.
“And… Well… I wanted to ask Aqua to protect me… I wanted to ask her to take me to the ladies…”
“… So, you too…?”
Hearing what I said, Megumin seemed to realize I was in the same boat as her.
“Kazuma was chased around by dolls too? I think Aqua and Darkness went out to exorcise the spirits.”
“… Aqua aside, even Darkness… Ah, that girl is a Crusader.”
Darkness might’ve acted that way, but her job was still a Crusader. Crusaders were holy knights that followed the will of the gods.
They might not have been at the level of priests, but they should be able to invoke holy powers.
I didn’t think the muscle-headed Darkness would learn magic skills, but she should’ve been able to do something like offering prayers to gods.
But that meant Megumin and my situation had gotten worse.
As it was too sudden, things like weapons had been left in my room.
Megumin didn’t have her staff either.
Using explosion magic indoors without her staff would be devastating.
As I racked my brain over what to do, Megumin seemed to realize something and said:
“Kazuma, the noise outside the door seems to have stopped. Maybe the dolls aren’t there anymore?”
Ah, now that she mentioned it, yeah, the sound had stopped.
Still, I didn’t dare to open the door.
Aqua could purify a lich easily, so she would not be taken down by a doll.
If that was the case, we could only defend this room until Aqua and Darkness exorcised all the spirits in the mansion.
– But there was another problem.
“Hey, Megumin, please face the door and cover your ears. Excuse me, but I’m going to relieve myself at the balcony…”
I slowly undid the belt on my trousers. To settle my biological calls, I walked toward the balcony…
At this point.
Megumin grabbed the belt of my trousers from behind, not letting me go.
“Hey, what are you doing? Release me, or my trousers and the carpet in this room will be ruined!”
“I won’t let you go! How could I let you relieve yourself! Aren’t we comrades?! Whether it’s the toilet or anywhere, we’ll go together…!”
Megumin said with a serene smile…
“Stop that you! Why are picking this moment to talk about being comrades! Didn’t you say that Crimson Demons don’t need to use the washroom?! How about… Look, there’s an empty wine bottle there, just use that!”
“You said something incredible! What do you want me to use that empty bottle for!? I won’t let you get your way! I can at least guard Kazuma’s back while you pee… That’s why, let’s use the bottle together…”
I felt something wrong when Megumin’s voice became softer, and looked at her.
I found her staring intensely at the balcony window.
… I looked over there with a foreboding feeling.
Was this unexpected, or was this just as expected.
Many dolls were pressing against the window and looking our way.
Megumin and I screamed at the same time and charged out of the room.
“Sniff… Kazuma, are you there? Don’t leave me, okay?”
“I’m here, of course I’m here, I won’t leave you even if the doll comes out, so hurry up.”
After dashing madly along the corridor, we hid in a toilet in the vicinity.
Our bodies had reached their limits.
After I finished, I waited by the door for Megumin.
She’s been talking for a while, maybe because she was worried about me leaving her behind.
“… Um, Kazuma, it’s a bit embarrassing to go to the ladies’ room like this, could you loudly sing a song or something?”
“Why do I have to do something so embarrassing like sing a song in front of the toilet!? And we’ll run into the same situation if we camp outside or visit a dungeon, what will you do then?!”
Although I said that to Megumin, I was feeling quite awkward too, so I sang a song to smoothen the atmosphere.
Speaking of songs, I only knew Japanese songs, so I just randomly hummed an acapella.
“… Um, you can stop now, Kazuma. That was a weird song, I’ve never heard of that melody before. I’ve always wanted to ask… Where are you from, Kazuma?”
“I come from a wonderful nation called Japan that has the custom of singing before the toilet in the middle of the night. If you’re done, then come on, let’s link up with Aqua and Darkness.”
Megumin quietly followed behind me after I casually answered.
Anyway, right now Megumin and I were helpless before the evil spirits.
So, we had to link up with Aqua’s group as soon as possible.
– And then.
As Megumin and I made our way to the corridor from the toilet…
When I heard this sound, I shrunk my body.
Megumin beside me grabbed my sleeve and drew near while trembling.
How scary, dolls were scary.
The doll probably wouldn’t kill us, but if you thought about it, being chased by human-shaped dolls wearing western-style dresses in the middle of the night was horrifying.
The shivering Megumin moved her hands from my sleeve, pointed both hands to the front and was mumbling something…!
“Hey, what are you planning to chant! Are you planning to blow the whole house away?!”
I covered the mouth of Megumin who was chanting explosion magic out of fear. I pushed my entire body onto her to stop her from moving.
– Before we realized it, that clanking sound before the door had stopped.
Megumin grabbed my hand with trembling hands and looked up at me.
Damn it, I had to make a stand!
“Megumin, charge out after the door is open. I just learned Drain Touch, so I can absorb some mana from the dolls! Even if the dolls attack me, I won’t die from that!”
Megumin whose mouth was covered by me nodded after hearing my shout.
“Come at me! If you have the guts then do it, evil spirits! My mad dog goddess will teach you a lesson later, ahhh!”
I shouted and knocked the door open. Bang! Something collided with the opening door.
That was great, the dolls that might chase us were sent flying from that blow!
I pulled Megumin’s hand and dashed out of the door, planning to break through in one go…!
“Aqua! Hey Aqua, are you okay!”
As I was planning to run, I turned stiff. Before the door was Aqua, who was squatting down, nursing her face, and Darkness who called out to her.
“Yes, no more problems. There were plenty of evil spirits here. I worked until daybreak.”
After Aqua purified the last spirit possessing the dolls, she said so while looking outside the brightening window.
Even an expert in fighting undead like her took an entire night to dispose of all the spirits in this mansion.
“Hmm, I think we should report this to the guild. Although we didn’t take on this quest in the guild, this is a job for adventurers anyway. We might get some unexpected bounty for exorcising all the spirits in this mansion. I also want to know why there are so many spirits turning up in town suddenly.”
Everyone agreed with Darkness.
I asked Darkness and Megumin to stay in the mansion to tidy up the place, and headed with Aqua to report to the guild.
On the way there, Aqua and I talked about exorcising the undead from the house.
“Speaking of which, where was the illegitimate child you mentioned? Didn’t you say the spirits wouldn’t harm us?”
Aqua hit her fist onto her palm, as if she just thought of something.
“Ahh! That child was present too! Don’t worry, this incident was caused by the wild spirits from other places. I think the one who drank my high-class wine was that illegitimate child of that noble! Hey, Kazuma, could we bill that wine under necessary expenses…”
I ignored Aqua and extended a hand to open the door into the guild.
“Good morning. It’s a bit early, but I have something to report, is it convenient?”
It was early, but the receptionist onee-san was already working.
“No problem, may I ask what is it?”
Aqua and I explained to her how we took a request from the property agent and went to subjugate the evil spirits in the mansion. The receptionist onee-san looked at Aqua’s adventurer’s card and nodded.
By the way, the adventurer’s card seemed to record information and the number of monsters you defeated.
“There are many who are seeking help due to the spread of the evil spirits. Since you’ve successfully repelled the monsters, we should give you some bounty rewards. Thank you for your hard work.”
After listening to her, Aqua and I quietly made a victory pose.
The receptionist onee-san continued.
“Sorry for taking your time, but we’ve found out why the evil spirits were wandering around; here’s the report. There’s a public cemetery in Axel town, right? I don’t know who played a prank, creating a giant holy barrier on that cemetery. The spirits in the cemetery had nowhere to go, so they had to go to town and haunt houses where no one was living in…”
– Aqua’s body shook for a moment and stiffened.
“Excuse me for a moment.”
I interrupted the onee-san and pulled Aqua to a corner of the guild.
“Hey, you have some clue, right? Tell me!”
“… Yes. Didn’t Wiz ask me to periodically visit the cemetery to send the lost spirits to the other world? But going there every now and then is a real hassle, right? So, I thought if I chased all the spirits in the cemetery away and let them wander around, they would dissipate naturally over time…”
Aqua seemed to have given up struggling, revealing the truth honestly.
Which meant that because of this girl’s laziness, the spirits had nowhere to go and came to town.
… How absurd. That didn’t make sense no matter how you thought about it.
“… We won’t claim the reward from the guild, understood?”
Aqua nodded guiltily.
“After this, we’ll head over to the property estate and apologize, since what we did was just like fraud.”
“… Yes. I’m very sorry.”
After leaving the guild, we decided to go to the real estate shop next…
But I thought we should inform Darkness and Megumin first, so we returned to the mansion and informed the real estate agent who was there.
“Ara ara, I was worried and came to look. I didn’t expect all the evil spirits to be exorcized!”
Seeing the smiling face of that man and knowing how worried he was about us, I couldn’t stand it anymore.
Aqua and I started to explain what happened, and were planning to return the house to that man after finishing the exorcism.
“I see… But if it’s possible, could you please stay here from now on? This house is too big, and there are more evil spirits here than other places, so it has a bad reputation…”
“We’re very sorry!” ×2
Aqua and I fell on our knees and placed our foreheads onto the ground. The man said in a panic:
“Ahh, it’s fine it’s fine! Please raise your heads. Well then, it’s settled–all of you will stay here for now. To dispose of so many spirits proves that you are powerful adventurers. Providing support for adventurers is the obligation of the citizens in this town. And if you continue to live here, the bad reputation of the mansion would gradually fade away…”
In the face of that man’s generous suggestion, Aqua and I bowed again.
“Ahh, enough, stop doing that!”
There were two conditions for living in this mansion.
Both were a bit strange…
“After finishing your adventures, or when eating dinner, you have to chat about your adventures with your companions… That’s a strange condition, but it’s not very hard.”
I muttered to myself as I squatted in the courtyard of the mansion.
That man made some strange request.
The other condition was–
“Kazuma-san, morning! Are you cleaning the tomb?”
As I was squatting near the tomb clearing the grass, I could hear someone talking to me from behind.
I turned back and saw Wiz who looked much better than yesterday.
“Are you all right? Sorry that idiot gave you so much trouble yesterday.”
“Don’t worry, or rather, it’s great it has been settled this way. She definitely won’t be lonely now.”
Wiz said something I didn’t understand as she smiled at me.
The other condition for living here was–cleaning the small tomb at the corner of the courtyard.
And so, I started weeding the courtyard immediately.
For some reason, Wiz looked very happy seeing me working hard at weeding.
When I was about to invite her in for a seat, Wiz said she needed to tend to her shop and left after bidding me farewell.
What did Wiz come here for?
Did she get worried about us and come to look?
I poured water over the tombstone and cleaned it.
While doing so, I could make out some vague words on the tombstone.
This had to be the name of the person who was resting here.
It was unclear, but I could see the word ‘Anna’.
– Anna… Anna?
Who was that? I thought I heard it somewhere recently…
As I was thinking about it before the tombstone, a shout came from the mansion.
“Kazuma! Lunch is ready, come quick! If you don’t come over now, your food will get cold!”
It was Aqua who was sticking her head out from the window of the mansion, waving and shouting at us.
“I know, wait a moment, I’ll be right there!”
After answering, I used the cloth to wipe the tombstone, cleaning it.
The tombstone displayed the name ‘Anna Filante Asteroid’ prominently.
I’m certain that I heard this name somewhere…
“Kazuma! Megumin says that for every minute you’re late, there’ll be one less piece of fried meat! Take your time, you don’t need to hurry, our lunch will be more bountiful that way.”
“Wait for me, how could you brutes do that?!”
I finished up cleaning the tombstone and ran toward the mansion.