Giving this grave letter a resolution!
Editing: Adam, Boring Bone, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Xenthur
– I want to have Kazuma-san’s children.
When I heard these passionate words, my body turned stiff, and tea started leaking from the corner of my lips.
The blushing Yunyun’s fists were trembling.
I wasn’t the only one who stood stiff.
Everyone else was dumbstruck too.
That was obvious, since Yunyun suddenly blurted that out…
“Hey Megumin, can you hold on and not make your move yet? If you let me take back my move, I’ll give you this weirdly shaped rock I found in a hot spring from Alcanretia.”
… No, there was someone who couldn’t read the mood at all right here.
And that was the troubled Aqua, who was sitting opposite of Megumin, with a chess piece in her hand.
I pulled myself together and wiped away the tea from my mouth. Darkness remained still with her teacup tilted-her tea spilling all over the carpet.
I placed my cup onto the table and asked Yunyun seriously.
“… What did you say?”
“I-I said, ‘I want to have Kazuma-san’s children’!”
Yunyun yelled out with a flushed face in answer to my query.
It seemed I didn’t mishear her words.
“… I want the first child to be a girl.”
“No, no, you can’t, the first born must be a boy!”
I thought she was an introverted girl, but she stood her ground stiffly when she needed to.
But I couldn’t give in either. All men want their daughter to address them as ‘daddy’…!
“No, hold on you two, why are you talking about boys and girls? How did the conversation progress to such a state? And Yunyun, why are you saying such nonsense? Do you know what you’re saying?”
Megumin came back to her senses and jumped.
“I-I agree with Megumin. You’re Yunyun, right? I don’t know what happened between you and Kazuma, but don’t be rash! Do you know what kind of man this thing is?”
Darkness said something unpleasant.
“Hmm? Please wait a moment! Yes, this is it! If I place the originally useless Crusader here…?”
Aqua was completely unaware of the commotion and mumbled to herself with a chess piece in hand.
Her opponent, Megumin, was grabbing Yunyun by the shoulders and shaking her violently.
“Wake up! Or rather, you’ll lose sight of things if you’re too rash! Please tell me in detail exactly what’s happening!”
“Be-Because!! If I don’t have Kazuma’s children, the world will–! The Demon King will…!”
Yunyun shouted through sniffles.
“Is that so, the world will… Don’t worry, everyone, you don’t need to say anymore. Leave the world and the Demon King to me. I’ll have a baby with Yunyun, defeat the Demon King and the world will be saved, right? How can I reject the request of someone in need?”
“Why, you! And you were always so resistant when I asked you to take on quests!”
“That’s right! You never listened to others, so why are you so eager at a time like this? And why don’t you have any doubts about this sudden turn of events?”
I said to the two of them who were interrupting me:
“Shut up! What are you two going on about just now? This is a matter between the two of us, right? Those not involved shjust shut up! It’s a rare chance for me to be so popular, so don’t get in my way!”
“This man’s twisting the facts and blaming us! And how am I not involved, my friend’s going to be abducted by a weirdo, of course I have to sound out!”
To shut the persistent Megumin up, I continued:
“After all, I’ve been meeting pretty girls and beautiful women all this while! it’s strange that there aren’t any developments at all! Aren’t we the heroes who defeated multiple generals of the Demon King’s army? Didn’t we resolve many incidents? It wouldn’t be weird for pretty girls who admire me or adventurers who want my signature to pop up!! Hey Darkness, you’re sort of a noble, so at least give me a medal in recognition of my merits!”
“Y-You! Don’t say that out loud, even if that’s how you feel! All your hard-earned achievements will be ruined if you say it out like that!”
Yunyun watched on as we squabbled.
“Please, please, calm down! Sorry, it’s all my fault, so please calm down!”
She timidly placed herself between us, but…
“I heard that people will normally get married between sixteen to twenty years old in this country, but it’s fine to do so from fourteen! Yunyun and Megumin are classmates, so she’s fourteen, right? Then there’s no problem! Wonderful, simply wonderful! A blissful life not bound by laws! The joy of not being a lolicon! This is the first time I’ve liked this world!! And what’s with the lot of you? Do you all have a thing for me? Jealous because I’m going to date Yunyun? Then just spit it out, you bunch of tsunderes!”
“This guy! Darkness, let’s get him! Let him taste death once more!”
“Yes, watch me beat up this useless bum who’s only good at yapping!”
“Oh? Oh? What, you want to fight? You girls never learn, huh! I can attack by using Drain Touch, and touching your body is proper self-defense! No matter where I grab, it won’t be sexual harassment!”
I opened and closed my hands rapidly to intimidate the two of them as Megumin gradually lifted her brows.
At that moment, someone tugged at the cape of Megumin, who was ready to pounce at any second.
“Hey, it’s Megumin’s turn to move. Look here, this is a move I’m confident of. Hurry up!”
Megumin shouted ‘Explosion’ as she flipped over the chessboard without even looking at it.
“Uhh… Uhh… I should’ve banned the Explosion rule…”
I glanced at Aqua, who was sniveling as she picked up the chess pieces scattered all over the carpet, as Megumin pointed her staff at me.
“Despite my appearances, I’ve been training everyday with the goal of being the strongest mage. Weak scum like Kazuma will be defeated easily even if I don’t use magic!”
“Hey, even I’ll take offence from that. What makes me dangerous is how I defeated so many powerful foes despite my low stats. I’ll never lose against a dumb explosion mage who can only use one spell. The muscle-headed crusader isn’t even worth mentioning.”
Amidst the atmosphere on the verge of a fight, Yunyun suddenly shouted with tears in her eyes:
“Megumin, listen to me! The home of the Crimson Demons… The Crimson Demon village is going to disappear!!”
“Please excuse our mediocre tea and hospitality.”
“No, it’s fine, thank you very much.”
Yunyun sat on the couch as ushered, accepted the tea from Aqua, and finally calmed down.
“… Well then, what’s going on? The Crimson Demon village disappearing is bad news. Can you explain it in detail?”
In response to what Megumin said, Yunyun wordlessly handed her a letter.
Megumin received the letter and took out two pieces of paper.
“… This is the letter sent by Yunyun’s father, the village chief, huh?”
‘By the time you receive this letter, I would have probably passed on from this world’…
Megumin’s expression gradually became serious as she read the content of the letter.
It was understandable for Yunyun to fall into confusion after reading the contents of the letter.
It seemed that a general of the Demon King’s army had appeared near the Crimson Demon village, and was building a military base with a large number of underlings there.
And the general seemed to have high magic resistance.
And right now, they couldn’t destroy that military base…
The letter emphasized how the village chief was placing the pride of the Crimson Demons on the line and was determined to die together with the Demon King’s General.
‘I entrust the position of village chief to you… As the last of the Crimson Demons, don’t let our bloodline die out…’
“Hold on, isn’t there another Crimson Demon here?”
“Ignore that for now, look behind! There’s another page!”
When the agitated Megumin heard Yunyun say that, she started reading the other letter.
‘– The diviner in the village foresaw the attack of the Demon King’s army and a visage of despair for the Crimson Demon village. But that same diviner also saw a glimmer of hope. As the only survivor of the village, Yunyun…’
“Like I said, why is Yunyun the only survivor? What happened to me?”
“No, ignore that for now! Continue reading!”
“… As the only survivor of the village, Yunyun hid her goal of defeating the Demon King in her heart and focused on training. Sometime later, she’ll meet a certain man in the city of beginners. Unreliable and powerless, that man would be her future spouse.”
“… Why are you looking at me? Is the unreliable and powerless man referring to me? And Yunyun, you came here based on just that?”
Yunyun averted her eyes when she heard that.
“I’m going to read on, okay?”
‘Time passed in a flash. The child of the survivor of the Crimson Demons and that man was already at the age of youth. Just like his father, he became an adventurer and went on a journey. But that youth still didn’t know he would be the one who’ll avenge his clansmen and defeat the hated enemy–the Demon King…’
After hearing this, not just me, even Darkness and Aqua gasped.
“Our, our child will defeat the…?”
“Wait, wait! What’s with this nonsense? Hey Kazuma, someone as paranoid as you wouldn’t believe in something as vague as divination, right?”
“Hey, that would be troubling! It would be troubling for me!!”
While I was surprised by the heavy burden of my destiny, Darkness and Aqua started to panic.
Could it be, they were jealous?
Ah, huh, really?
What a youthful scenario, it’s really–
“I don’t want it to be so troublesome, so can you hurry up and defeat the Demon King? It’ll take too long for Kazuma’s kid to grow up! Hey, at what age can one be considered a youth? Is three years okay? If not, let’s pretend that divination doesn’t exist!”
– Not at all.
And what do you mean ‘three years’, do you want a toddler to defeat the Demon King?
“The Crimson Demon village has powerful oracles! Which means that divination is…!”
“I understand, leave it to me. This is for the sake of the world, it can’t be helped.”
“Why you, you… Is this fine? You’re always wishy washy, so why did you pick today to be so decisive?”
Darkness grabbed my collar and leaned her face close to mine. At this moment, Megumin, who finished reading, said in a soft voice:
“… On this page, the last part says, ‘Legend of the Crimson Demon Hero, Chapter 1, Author: Arue.’”
When Megumin said that, Darkness, Yunyun, and I all snapped our heads her way.
Aqua leaned over and read the letter.
“Let me see. Oh, the handwriting is different from the first page. The first page is written by Yunyun’s father. The second one has the postscript ‘postage is too expensive, so I asked the village chief to send it together with his. I’ll send chapter 2 over when I finish it’…”
Yunyun snatched the letter, crumpled it up, and threw it away.
“Waaahhhh, that’s too much! Arue, that idiot, ahhh!!”
Feeling confused, I asked Yunyun, who was kneeling on the carpet and wailing:
“Hey, explain to me what’s happening! Who’s Arue? What about our children? What should I do? Should I strip here or in the bedroom?”
“You can wash up, go to your room, and sleep… Arue’s my classmate from the Crimson Demon village. How should I put it; she’s a weird girl aiming to be an author…?”
Darkness showed an expression of relief when she heard what Megumin said.
“Oh, so it’s just a story… Hmm? Wait, what about the first letter?”
“The contents of this one should be true. The Crimson Demons have been an eyesore to the Demon King’s army for the longest time. This day was bound to come sooner or later anyway. They’re probably getting serious about attacking the Crimson Demon village.”
“Hey, wait, wait, what about my tender heart? Don’t mess with me! I was prepared to take my pants off and now you tell me this? What about Yunyun? Yunyun and I will become sweet lovers, right?”
“It won’t happen. You’re in the way, just step aside and play with Aqua… By the way, Megumin, why are you so calm? Aren’t you worried about your family and classmates? Your home village’s in danger, right?”
Prompted by Darkness’s words, the wailing Yunyun lifted her head suddenly.
“That, that’s right. Now’s not the time to be crying! Hey Megumin, what should we do? I think it’s true that our village’s being attacked! What should we do?”
After listening to Darkness and Yunyun, Megumin said:
“We’re the Crimson Demons that even the Demon King fears, right? I don’t think the people in the village will helplessly await their demise. Also, if Yunyun, the daughter of the village chief, is here, the bloodline of the Crimson Demons won’t be broken no matter what happens to the village. So, I think it would be better to think about it this way–everyone in the village will live on in our hearts–”
“Megumin, you cold-hearted girl! Why do you act so heartless every time?”
Yunyun looked toward me with tears in her eyes and blushed cheeks.
“Um… Sorry for saying something weird so suddenly. How, how should I put this… Kazuma-san is the only man I know…”
“Oh, right. It’s fine. Anyway, what are you going to do? Isn’t your home village in danger?”
Yunyun wiped away the tears from the corner of her eyes and said:
“Yes, I’ll prepare to leave for the Crimson Demon village now. After all, it’s my home village; my f-f-friends are there.”
She probably wasn’t certain if they were friends.
“Well then, sorry for bothering you, everyone! Um, you too Megumin. Goodbye…”
We watched as Yunyun walked away lonelily.
“… Kazuma, will it be fine to let that girl go alone? I thought you would be driven by your lust and try to act cool by saying, ‘I’ll go with you’.”
“Didn’t she say a General of the Demon King’s army is attacking? Even if I went along, I would just get in the way. It’s dangerous and scary, and I’m tired after my journey back… But Megumin, if you’re worried about that kid, you can tag along with her, you know?”
“Th-this guy; you were just boasting about being a hero who took out the Demon King’s Generals! And why would I be worried about Yunyun? She’s my rival, okay? Something like an enemy to me.”
As Megumin said these strong words, deviously Darkness and I smiled at her.
“Hey, she might be saying that, but didn’t she look really uneasy all this while?”
“Don’t be so mean, Kazuma… But I know Megumin’s not being honest. Why don’t you give her a way out of this?”
Megumin glared at the two of us who were chatting happily.
“Hey Aqua, say something… Ah…”
I turned toward Aqua.
And saw Aqua sleeping soundly on the couch.
It seemed that the discussion right now proved to be too difficult for her.
… In the end, Megumin secluded herself in her room on the second floor and sulked.
Darkness, who was in the living room with me, said:
“Hey Kazuma, is it really fine leaving her alone like this? Um, isn’t that Yunyun girl Megumin’s friend? I heard that she’s strong… But still…”
“It’ll be fine. She’s a real Crimson Demon and can use advanced magic. Or rather, she’ll be safer going alone instead of having us tagging along. After all, we have someone deeply loved by the undead in our team.”
I said as I looked toward Aqua, who was curling herself up and drooling on the couch.
Also, even though she was being stubborn now, after some time, Megumin would…
– That night.
After dinner, I was mulling away time in my room when I heard a soft knocking on the door.
“Please come in.”
Entering after hearing my response was of course…
“… Kazuma, are you free? I have something to discuss with you.
Megumin, who was in pajamas, seemed reluctant to speak.
“What are you doing here so late at night? Did Yunyun’s words ignite your competitive spirit, and you’re now here for a night raid?”
“Watch it, I’ll blow you away! Your verbal sexual harassment has been really going strong ever since I turned fourteen!”
I sat cross-legged on the bed and urged Megumin, whose face was flushed with rage, to go on.
Although I have an idea what she was going to say…
Megumin coughed dryly and said:
“Well, you know. I don’t really care what happens to Yunyun, but actually, I have a sister much younger than me back home.”
“That’s why, even though Yunyun has nothing to do with me, I’m still worried about my sister… Why, why are you laughing so deviously?”
I smiled deviously at Megumin who was making such a tsundere-like speech.
– The next morning.
After getting a map detailing the vicinity of the Crimson Demon village from the adventurer’s guild, I looked at everyone and said:
“Anyway, the situation is like this. This tsundere says she wants to go back to her home village, and I feel that going to the Crimson Demon village to play is a neat idea too.”
“Who’s a tsundere? Didn’t I say that I was worried about my little sister…?”
I patted the head of the persistent Megumin and interrupted her.
“The village seems to be at war with the Demon King’s army, so first we’ll watch the situation in the village from a distance. If it’s as dangerous as the letter suggested, we’ll go home immediately. If we discover any Demon King’s army forces, we’ll also go home. We have to do our best to avoid fights with monsters too!”
“That battle plan’s so depraved, as expected of Kazuma! But it’s fine. Even though we just returned from a trip… I’ll use my power to save the people in Megumin’s home village!”
Aqua, brimming with confidence after defeating a general of the Demon King’s army, said while clenching her fist.
“Crimson Demon village, huh? That’s a haven for powerful monsters. And there’ll be hordes of Demon King’s army forces attacking…! Ah, what if we get overwhelmed by their numbers and become their prisoners? Hey Kazuma, if that happens, don’t worry about me, just take care of yourselves!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be very happy to dump you there. Please don’t come back.”
After answering decisively to Darkness who was blabbering nonsense, I picked up the bag I hadn’t even unpacked yet and left the mansion with the three of them.
We would normally need to travel by public coach, but I had a better idea.
“Hey Kazuma, where are we going? Aren’t we going to the Crimson Demon village with that Yunyun kid?”
“Yunyun left yesterday afternoon in a coach. We can’t catch up even if we go now. And I’ve had enough of traveling by coach. Also, there’s somewhere I want to go.”
– We reached the destination while I was conversing with Aqua.
“… Ugh. So, this is the place you want to go…? Um, I’m a Crusader who worships Eris-sama, so I don’t really want to be here… After all, there’s–”
“Welcome! The man who didn’t raise much in levels despite having a job that’s easy to level; the little girl who wasn’t of much use aside from relying on the power of her family name; the delinquent priestess emitting an annoying light; as well as the useless Crimson Demon who’s a master of a useless spell! Thou came at the right time!”
“This fellow here…!”
“Use-, useless Crimson Demon…?”
After the greeting from the shop worker who was cleaning the shop while wearing a strange mask, Darkness and Megumin groaned with frustration.
I came here to finalize my deal with Vanir, and I also had some business with this devil. However, …
Vanir ignored Aqua who was trying to intimidate him by swinging her fists, came behind me and pushed me into the shop while saying, “Please, come in.”
There was no sign of Wiz in the shop.
In place of her was a sobbing sound coming from the depths of the shop.
I said to the suspicious worker as he pushed me:
“What do you mean by ‘coming at the right time’? Did you import weird merchandise again? I’ll make this clear now, I won’t buy anything from this shop.”
“Don’t say that! Moi has no intentions of peddling garbage every time, this shall definitely suit your taste.”
Choosing the most opportune time, Vanir started promoting his product to us as we entered the shop, showing us a small box with its lid open.
“…? What’s this?”
“This is a magic item to repel the undead. Just by opening the cover, holy air that’ll keep the undead away will be emitted continuously, and will last for half a day. Well, you have a strange team member that attracts the undead, correct? You suffered much in thy previous journey because of that, right? With this, you would be able to sleep peacefully even if you camp outside!”
“Hey, that ‘weird teammate’ isn’t referring to me, right?”
Repel the undead, huh?
It seemed convenient just from the sound of it…
“Well, what are its demerits? There’s definitely something wrong with it, right?”
“There are none. The only bad thing about this is the high price and one-time usage. But it’s very effective! So effective that the clumsy shop owner couldn’t come out of the shop after accidentally opening the box, and has been crying all this while.”
“No, close the box and ventilate the place! So, that noise is Wiz crying? And Wiz too, why did she buy this…? But it really is convenient, so give me one. I’ll need it soon anyway.”
I thought about the need to camp outdoors as I opened my wallet…
“That’ll be one million eris! Thank thee for thy patronage!”
“So expensive?! At that price, I would rather fight with the zombies!”
Vanir ignored my protest and deftly placed a new box into a bag.
“Oh, this is nothing, dear customer. After all, customer, you are going to be a very wealthy man soon! All the intellectual property rights you own as of now are to be sold to moi for three hundred million eris! Will this contract suffice?”
He said as he produced a contract.
“Three hundred million eris…? If you give such a huge amount to this man, he’ll really become a bum who lazes around all day! However, that sounds good too…”
Darkness softly mumbled strange things to herself.
Aqua and Megumin pulled on my sleeves from either side, all smiles.
“Kazuma-san, Kazuma-san. I want a pool in the mansion.”
“I want a mana freshener that’s said to improve mana recovery rate.”
“Oh, you zombies attracted to the smell of money. A pool and mana freshener both sound expensive, so I won’t even consider it right now. Rather than that, go pick out some items we might need for this trip.”
After telling that to Aqua and Megumin, they started browsing the items in the shop cheerfully.
I chose to let Vanir purchase the rights to all the merchandise I developed in one go.
I was always being dragged into troublesome matters.
Hence, I felt it would be better to run with the money right away if there was a need.
After all, this town had been attacked twice in just one year, once by the Demon King’s army and the other by Mobile Fortress Destroyer, and was in danger of being destroyed both times. It was only logical to be extra careful.
“– Well then, just deduct the cost for this undead repellent magic item from the three hundred million eris. It’ll be some time before you can raise the three hundred million, right?”
“Yes. Moi must apologize; after all, the loser shop owner who imported unnecessary junk increased our expenditure. Finances were already short before that. But moi will procure a large sum of money next week. Moi has gathered investors in this town.”
Next week, huh? Next week, I’ll be a rich man in this town!
“By the way, I have some business with Wiz. Can you please get her for me?”
After hearing my request, Vanir closed the box emitting white fog with a face of pity.
After opening the windows to ventilate the room, Wiz finally came out.
Fresh from a tiring journey, Wiz, who almost ascended to heaven yesterday, looked even more pale than usual. She welcomed us with a smile.
“Yo, Wiz, are you feeling well? Sorry for bothering you again today. I didn’t come here to buy stuff, but to seek your help.”
“…? Seek my help?”
I nodded at Wiz who tilted her head.
I explained the situation in Megumin’s home village and what my request was.
“– I see. So, I just need to send everyone to Alcanretia with teleport, right?”
To travel to the Crimson Demon village, we would need to go to Alcanretia and proceed from there.
This lady who was an undead lich but loved bathing really liked the hot spring we visited on our last journey, and had set Alcanretia as a teleport point.
While I was talking to Wiz, the others were browsing the merchandise in the shop.
“Um, hey Vanir, how effective is this potion that attracts monsters? What’ll happen if you get sprayed by this?”
“This is meant to be drunk. After drinking this, not just monsters, even the people in town, your family, and your comrades will detest you and attack. This is an excellent product that complements your twisted fetish perfectly. Want one?”
“… Even my family and friends…? Ugh, it would be troubling if they keep hating me, but if the effect is temporary, I might consider buying…”
“… Oh, there are potions that increase the effectiveness of a specific spell temporarily. Are there any potions that’ll enhance the power of explosion spells?”
“Right now, the only spell enhancement potions we have in stock are for Curse Magic and Marsh Magic. The Curse Magic potion will increase the area of effect of your spell, so you yourself will also be rendered immobile if thee use it against an enemy. The same with Marsh Magic, it increases the area of effect and will drown the caster in the marsh too.”
“Useless products… And what about this doll with such a strong sense of presence?”
“Those are Vanir dolls, made by embedding fragments of moi mask. A great product that wards off evil spirits out of their fear for moi. This is also the only hot selling product in this shop. It’ll laugh in the middle of the night, but its effects are splendid. There are no evil spirits in your mansion, but there is a spirit there… How about getting one?”
“Laughing in the middle of the night is just like having an evil spirit in the mansion. And if there are any spirits in the mansion, our Aqua won’t let it off anyway.”
“Hey, wait, Megumin still doesn’t believe what I said? Didn’t I mention that there’s a spirit of an aristocratic girl living in the mansion? Because she’s a pitiful child, I didn’t purify her and let her roam free!”
“Yeah right. That spirit will occasionally drink Aqua’s wine, right? I get it, I get it.”
“Even Darkness? Believe me!!”
How, how noisy…
While I was distracted by the people behind me, Wiz said with a nostalgic expression:
“But, the Crimson Demon village… I went to purchase supplies in that village in the past. I went to visit a famous magic item crafter called Hyoizaburo back then, but he wasn’t home, unfortunately…”
Megumin, who came to my side, gasped softly.
“Please, please, wait a moment. Did you say Hyoizaburo?… By the way, when did you visit the Crimson Demon village?”
“I visited about two years ago? Right, right, when I visited the craftsman’s home, there was a cute girl that resembled Megumin-san very much who greeted me…”
When she heard that, Megumin held her head and squatted down.
“What’s the matter? Something wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing… Just that my unnecessary judgement disrupted your business trip…”
As Megumin was saying something strange, sounds of an argument came from behind her.
“Don’t touch that, you plague goddess! Every potion you touch turns into water!”
“What kind of attitude is this? Aren’t customers goddesses? On top of that, I’m a real goddess! Show the appropriate respect for a goddess!”
“You are thick-skinned enough to say that after destroying moi merchandise , you goddess of poverty? Hey Wiz, moi heard what you were saying! You are sending these bunch away, right? Do it before she destroys all the merchandise in the shop!!”
When Wiz heard what Vanir was yelling, she prepared her spell with a wry smile.
Vanir whispered into my ears:
“Since thee purchased an expensive merchandize, moi will gift you this advice. The devil of prophecy warns… At the destination of thy journey, there will be a time when thy comrade will share their doubts and approach thee for advice. That comrade will change her path according to thy words. Thou should consider it carefully and give an advice thy won’t regret.”
He said something deeply profound.
Although this guy’s advice had always been dubious.
After shutting Aqua up, who was still complaining , the four of us gathered in one spot.
“Well then, I wish you a safe journey…! Teleport!!”
I opened my eyes, which I closed on reflex because of Wiz’s spell.
Before me was the city of water and hot springs, Alcanretia.
To think that after just one day, I was back in this city I thought I would never see again…
“Hey, hey Kazuma. Kazuma.”
“We’re leaving right away, I don’t want anything to do with your religion and cultists anymore.”
After rejecting Aqua who wanted to spend a night in this city, I looked for information regarding Yunyun.
Yunyun set off yesterday.
She probably went by public coach, but the distance from Axel to Alcanretia would require an entire day even if she set off in the morning.
That’s why I figured that we arrived here before her thanks to Wiz’s teleport spell.
… But, when she heard about my plans to meet up with Yunyun when she arrived–
“Kazuma, I’m not going back home because I’m worried about Yunyun, but for my sister. So, let’s move on. If it’s her, she’ll catch up soon, don’t worry.”
Megumin said with an awkward face.
She seemed adamant about her excuse of being worried about her sister.
…What a tsundere.
In the end, we didn’t stay long in Alcanretia before leaving the city and setting off for the Crimson Demon village.
It would be troublesome if we met Axis cultists. It didn’t really matter to me either way…
However, there was no public coach that was heading for the Crimson Demon village.
The way to the Crimson Demon village was said to be dangerous terrain even caravans wouldn’t risk.
Most importantly, the Crimson Demons could teleport between cities freely.
So, there was no need for caravans to risk a visit.
“It’ll take two days to walk from this city to the village. Many dangerous monsters frequent the road there, so we need to rely on Kazuma’s Enemy Detection skill.”
After leaving Alcanretia, we walked along a smooth road toward the Crimson Demon village.
To be frank, camping in a place full of dangerous monsters sounded scary.
I hoped to close the distance as much as possible during the day.
“Don’t worry, leave it to me. Didn’t I defeat some mob monsters in the previous journey? I raised a level back then. With the excess skill point, I learned the rogue skill Escape. With this, I can run away at any time.”
“Hey, isn’t that skill only effective for Kazuma alone? Do you mean you’ll escape by yourself if you detect any enemies?”
I ignored Aqua who raised a sensitive topic.
Our formation was Darkness taking the vanguard, followed by me, Megumin, and Aqua.
“Kazuma’s job is Adventurer, which levels easily, right? But after such an intense battle with a Demon King’s general , you only raised one level? My level raised to 33 in one go!”
“Hey, don’t flash your adventurer’s card in front of me or I’ll snatch it and throw it away. It can’t be helped, you can steal the kill on the general and blow tons of mob monsters in one go. On the other hand, my only means of attack is this sword with a weird name and a bow.”
After walking for some time, we reached a forest.
Darkness, who was in front, suddenly stopped.
“… Hmm, someone’s there.”
When we heard Darkness, we looked in that direction…
At the entrance to the forest, a green haired girl sitting on a boulder seemed to have spotted us, and started waving.
What was she doing alone there?
… I shifted my gaze to the girl’s leg.
On her right ankle were blood-stained bandages. She would glance at her right feet from time-to-time with a pained expression.
She then lifted her head and looked our way.
When she did, one of my skills reacted.
… How should I put this?
… This world is cruel!
“Aren’t you hurt? Hey, are you alright?”
I grabbed the shoulder of Aqua who was carelessly approaching the girl.
When they noticed my actions, not just Aqua, even Megumin and Darkness turned to look at me.
“My Enemy Detection skill activated. That’s a monster in disguise.”
I ignored the gaze of the girl who was looking this way with a sad expression. I kept my guard up while taking out the map to the Crimson Demon village which I got from the adventurer’s guild.
Information about monsters found along the road was published on it too.
I searched for a monster that matched the description of this girl…
And found it.
‘Tranquility girl’… That’s her name.
Aqua said to me while I was reading the details:
“Hey Kazuma, I think she’s looking at you with very sad eyes. I feel the urge to cast a healing spell on that child.”
I kept on grabbing the shoulder of Aqua who was saying that, and read the explanation panel of ‘Tranquility girl’.
‘Tranquility girl. This plant type monster won’t harm people physically… However, it’ll give travelers a strong urge to protect it, luring them to its side. The temptation is hard to resist, and if you become emotionally attached, you’ll be trapped until death. It’s rumored that this monster possesses high intelligence, but that’s still inconclusive. It might sound cruel, but any adventurer team that encounters this monster must exterminate it.’
“Hey Kazuma, she looks like she’s about to cry. Is that really a monster?”
It was uncharacteristic of Darkness to sound so worried.
‘As the monster will smile with relief when travelers stay by its side, it’s hard to leave her. It’ll show a crying face if you want to leave. The kinder you are, the more likely you’ll be trapped by this monster, so please use caution.’
“Ka-Kazuma, that child’s smiling while doing her best to hold back her tears. She’s waving as if to say goodbye. I really feel like going over to give her a hug.”
I unhanded Aqua and turned to grab the collar of Megumin who spoke just now.
‘Once you’re trapped, it’ll cling on to you, making it hard to get away. Also, when the traveler tries to leave because of hunger, the most dangerous thing this monster will do is pick the fruit it bears and offer it to the traveler. It tastes delicious and gives those who eat it a sense of being full… However, the fruit contains no nutrients, so whoever eats it will slowly wither away no matter how much they eat. The traveler will be stricken by their conscience when they see the girl cutting and offering the fruits it bore itself. In the end, they won’t even eat, and will die of malnourishment.’
“Ugh…! Even if she’s a monster, ignoring a casualty is…”
Darkness who couldn’t bear it any longer approached the tranquility girl.
As the map stated that the monster wouldn’t attack physically, I didn’t stop Darkness and continued reading.
‘Eating the fruits of the tranquility girl for long periods of time will result in the danger signals sent by your body for hunger, fatigue, and pain being cut off. The fruits might contain something that affects the central nervous system. Hence, travelers will stay close to the girl and grow frail in a dream-like state. There have been many cases of old adventurers seeking a peaceful and tranquil death, which is the origin of the name, ‘Tranquility girl’… After that, the tranquility girl will enroot itself on the body of the dead traveler, using it as nutrients–’
… I stopped after reading up to this part.
I released my hand unconsciously; Megumin and Aqua immediately ran to that girl.
Everyone was hesitant about touching it after learning it was a monster, but they all showed an uneasy expression.
The tranquility girl seemed to be asking, ‘Are you going to stay by my side?’, looking at the three of them with eyes filled with expectation.
The protective instincts of these three were probably stimulated by her gaze, as their hands kept opening and closing.
“It’s a type of vegetation monster that won’t deal physical damage, but it’ll stop travelers by stimulating their protective instincts, starve them to death, and enroot them.”
When they heard what I said, they seemed relieved, and walked to the tranquility girl’s side.
… Didn’t they hear the part about starving travelers to death?
“I’ll heal your wounds! … Huh? These aren’t wounds. These aren’t bandages either, just something that looks like it.”
After hearing Aqua, I went closer to observe the girl.
The tranquility girl was wearing clothes that were common for girls in town.
She was bare footed and was smiling happily as we surrounded her.
Looking carefully, the boulder under her butt was also a part of her body.
Behind the boulder was something like a branch; small fruits were growing on it.
Be it the clothes she was wearing or the blood-stained bandages, all these were mimics to draw the attention of people.
Disguising herself as a girl who couldn’t move due to her injury… how evil.
The three of them didn’t care about what I was thinking and started doting on the tranquility girl.
Megumin gently reached her hand out and the tranquility girl showed a hesitant face that seemed to be saying, ‘Can I hold your hand?’, and took Megumin’s hand.
After holding Megumin’s hand tightly, her expression changed to that of happiness from the bottom of her heart.
… The three of them were completely taken in by that expression.
I heard that the Crimson Demon village was in crisis, but this thing was a danger in another way.
I remembered the warning about the monster.
‘The kinder you are, the more likely you’ll be trapped by this monster, so please use caution.’
‘Any adventurer team that encounters this monster must exterminate it.’
I stood before tranquility girl and drew out my katana, Chunchunmaru.
“Hey, what are you thinking Kazuma? Are you going to use this child to earn experience points?”
When she saw me do that, Aqua hugged the Tranquility girl as if to protect her.
No, hold it, that’s a monster!
It’s a monster that kills people!
“I heard about tranquility girls before. However, we can’t hurt a monster with an appearance of a girl, right? Although Kazuma’s renowned for being an evil bastard, I know Kazuma has a side that cares for his comrades, a kind and gentle side. Kazuma wouldn’t do something like that… You wouldn’t, right…?”
Megumin held the hand of tranquility girl and looked up at me with pleading eyes.
Just like a kid pleading to her parents not to send a kitten she picked up off to animal control.
… I-I wasn’t doing this because I wanted to.
Darkness seemed hesitant just now, but seemed to remember that this was a monster–
“… No. If Kazuma decided to exterminate it, then it should be done. I came over because I thought it was injured, but it wasn’t hurt at all. Judging from this, this monster must be a very cunning mimic. If we leave it alone, there’ll be more victims in the future.”
She drew out a great sword while saying this, and took a stance against the tranquility girl.
At this moment, the tranquility girl said, with a lisp like a child, and a voice that was soft and vague:
“…Want kill… Me…?”
The tranquility girl held onto Megumin’s hand like a drowning man grasping at straws as she raised her head and looked up at Darkness. Tears filled her eyes as she quivered nonstop.
So, it could talk…?
The great sword in Darkness’s hands started shaking intensely, and she looked at me with an expression completely identical to the tranquility girl.
Even you? Looking at me with such eyes. What the hell!
I pushed the immobile Darkness aside and walked forth with my unsheathed katana.
Aqua stood before the tranquility girl to block my way, waving her fists as if she was a boxer.
… This girl was an actual goddess. Why was she so easily charmed by this monster?
The tranquility girl looked at Megumin, who was holding its hand, then said to me timidly:
“…Want kill… Me…?”
Seeing the teary-eyed girl tilting her head to express her doubt, it felt like a knife was tearing away my insides.
The three people and one monster stared at me.
Pull yourself together, this monster will kill people.
If leave it alone, someone else might fall victim to it. I didn’t want to say anything grandiose, but leaving a monster alone would be wrong, right?
Or was exterminating it wrong?
Seeing me stab the katana into the ground and scratching my head from this dilemma, Aqua said:
What illogical thinking, just like that of a bum.
But wait, there was another reason why I couldn’t let the tranquility girl off.
The things that were happening in Megumin’s home village.
The place we were going has a general of the Demon King’s army and minions waiting.
I don’t plan to fight them, but to be on the safe side, I still want to raise my level as much as I can.
Since tranquility girl was a monster found in such a dangerous habitat, it should yield quite a bit of experience if I defeat it.
The three of them looked at me with complicated expressions.
As well as the tranquility girl who had a face of unease.
I had a proper reason to do this.
If I don’t exterminate this monster, there might be victims in the future.
… Ahhh, damn it, it can’t be helped, so please forgive me!
That’s right, even though its appearance was human, it was still a monster on the inside, a monster, monster…!
… Seeing how conflicted I was, the tranquility girl said in a soft voice:
“You look painful… Sorry because I live…”
The tranquility girl said as she showed a fragile smile.
“Because, I, monster live… Will cause trouble…”
Specks of tears appeared in her eyes.
“Since born, first time, talk with humans…”
It clasped its hand before its chest as if in prayer.
“First, and last time met with you, wonderful… If, another life… Next time, not monster, will be wonderful…”
After saying its piece, it closed its eyes in resignation.
… No way I could do it.
We let the Tranquility girl off and carried on walking down the road.
I didn’t want to care about that anymore.
Someone might fall victim to it in the future, but I was not so persistent in the belief that human lives were the most important, and would not kill a monster with an appearance of a girl.
… That Tranquility girl would definitely charm someone who was going to pass through there.
After all, even after we agreed to spare it, everyone was still reluctant to leave. Aqua and Megumin were hesitant to leave, making me spend a lot of effort to herd them forth.
Ahhh, how annoying. Be it kill or spare, both options leave a bad taste in the mouth; this monster was really evil.
However, it said this was the first time it spoke with a human, so no one had fallen into its hands yet.
So, sparing it would be…
“— But I am so glad that Kazuma still has some shreds of humanity in him. I thought you would say ‘become my experience points!’ and murder it, then burn it away with fire magic.”
“I think there is a need to talk with you about how you normally see me. All of you should know very well that I won’t do something like that, right?”
I said as I looked towards Darkness and Megumin…
The two of them averted their eyes in silence.
I really want gentle comrades who could really understand me.
“Hey, wait. Isn’t it bad if there is a Tranquility girl on this path?”
Speaking of gentle comrades, I remembered Yunyun who would be right behind us.
If that kid with no friends, who feared loneliness and paid extra attention to her surroundings, were to pass this way…
The Tranquility girl said that we were the first humans whom she spoke to.
In that case, Yunyun was definitely behind us.
“Your face is the same color as Wiz, what’s the matter? Does your stomach hurt? There’s some trees there, we will keep away so go there and settle it quick.”
“That’s not it! Hey, you girls go first! I’m going back to the Tranquility girl; I have something to discuss with it!”
“Huh, wait, wait Kazuma?”
I ignored the confused voice of Aqua and charged back the way we came.
It hadn’t been five minutes since we parted with the tranquility girl.
I’ll reach her soon if I run there.
It might be a bit thick-faced of me, but let’s try asking that girl.
Ask it to not smile or wave at a girl with red eyes that might pass by this road.
I thought about it as I ran.
Right, if talking worked, I could try asking her not to seduce travelers.
… Yes, that’s right!
I could request the Axis cultists in Alcanretia to send it things that can serve as nutrients periodically, so that gentle monster won’t attack humans anymore…!
I would be a rich man after going back to town anyway.
It won’t be a problem even if I foot the bill to feed it.
I came up with a plan as I charged back to its place…!
– In the place we were just now, I could see someone talking to the tranquility girl.
I immediately used Lurk and observed the situation with Farsight.
The one talking to the tranquility girl was a lumberjack.
Someone living in Alcanretia?
The lumberjack approached the tranquility girl with an axe.
Was he planning to exterminate that child…?
Without dismissing my Lurk skill, I crouched and moved closer to eavesdrop.
And so, I heard the man’s voice.
“Ahh… Damn, why must it be so…? Sorry, I’m sorry! Forgive me! It’s the rule of the lumberjacks which dictates that I must exterminate you upon discovery…!”
The lumberjack was on the verge of tears.
So, he was planning to murder this child?
I was about to dismiss my Lurk skill…!
“Because, I, monster live… Will cause trouble…”
“Since born, first time, talk with humans…”
Word for word.
“First, and last time met with you, wonderful… If, another life… Next time, not monster, will be wonderful…”
The tranquility girl said the exact same line as before.
“Ah… Ahhh… I can’t do it. Damn, I can’t do it!”
The lumberjack screamed as he turned and ran.
I didn’t cancel my Lurk skill and just stood in the shade of the trees, speechless.
I thought it said to me that I was the first one it talked to.
“Ahhh~, failed again. That lumberjack looked quite meaty and would’ve been great fertilizer…”
… After the lumberjack was out of sight, I heard the voice of the tranquility girl speaking smoothly.
I sneaked to the back of the tranquility girl and cancelled my Lurk skill.
But the tranquility girl didn’t notice that I was behind it.
“Uwaaahhh… Damn it, no fertilizer’s coming… It’s a bit cloudy, but let’s photosynthesize a little… Sigh– What a pain.”
It mumbled and stretched itself to expose its entire body to the sunlight…
Leaning back, it locked eyes with me standing behind it.
After staring at each other wordlessly for a moment, the tranquility girl finally said softly:
“Just now, those words, could you, pretend you, didn’t hear them…?”
“So, you could speak fluently, and were playing me like a damn fiddle!!!”
– I caught up with Aqua and the others and found them taking a break at the same spot, probably waiting for me.
Seeing my face as I ran over, Aqua smiled.
“You looked refreshed, what happened? What did you say to that child? And why did you have to go back anyway?”
In response to Aqua, I showed them my adventurer’s card with a brilliant smile.
“Look everyone! I raised three levels in one shot! This way, I’ll be of some use after going to Megumin’s place!”
After hearing what I said, the three of them stood there stiffly.
“Waaahhhh… Waaahhhh! Kazuma, you demon! Evil demon! Compared to you, Vanir’s much cuter!”
“Ah… Ahhh… Ahhh… It’s all my fault… All because I mocked Kazuma after raising so many levels…! Kazuma laid his hands on that child because I agitated him…? It’s, it’s all because of my arrogance that I did all that…!”
No, all of you wait.
… I was about to explain to the two crying girls when I noticed Darkness standing stoically at the side.
I turned and looked at her.
“It must be painful, right?… You fulfilled the obligations of an adventurer. Sorry, I left such an unpleasant task to you…”
Darkness said with a pained and serious expression…
– I spent an entire hour trying to explain to them what happened.