Adding these boisterous animal-eared girls to my harem!
Editing: Adam, Boring Bone, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Xenthur
As night was about to fall, we cleared large pebbles and pieces of rocks from the side of the road and laid out a piece of cloth to sleep more comfortably.
A cloth big enough for a picnic blanket–well, from the way we were using it, it was a picnic blanket.
The monsters in the vicinity were very strong.
We didn’t start a fire as it would be troublesome if we attracted monsters, and we chose to stick close together as we slept in the darkness.
After opening the lid of the undead repellent magic item that I purchased from Vanir, everyone placed their bags on the center of the wide blanket. Resting our backs onto our bags, we leaned on each other.
Probably because it was cloudy today, we couldn’t see any stars at all.
With my night vision from my Farsight skill and my Enemy Detection skill, I could detect enemies even in the dark.
Therefore, I would be staying up all night to keep watch.
It might be too much for me to handle alone, so the other three decided to rest in shifts.
Megumin and I took the first watch.
“… Kazuma, are you really fine with not sleeping? It’s true that from the type of skills you have it would be better for you to be awake, but…”
Darkness said to me.
“Don’t worry. I have the characteristic of being strong in staying up all night. In the country I was from, staying up all night was nothing to me.”
Megumin asked after hearing that:
“By the way, where did you and Aqua live in the past? I’m curious about your country. From the merchandise you developed, that country seems to have plenty of convenient magic items. I wonder what kind of life you had lived there, too. Just what kind of lifestyle could train up the characteristic of ‘being strong in staying up all night’…”
Darkness seemed intrigued by the topic Megumin brought up and glanced at us from the side.
What kind of lifestyle, huh…?
In the quiet darkness, I thought back to my peaceful life back in Japan.
For some reason, conversing in the dark like this felt like a night during a school excursion. Feeling melancholic, I started to recount my memories.
“I see… I was a Ranker in my country.”
Megumin and Darkness asked at the same time.
It was normal for the people in this world to not know about Rankers.
“If I must explain, it means someone with a high ranking. I was known to my comrades as ‘Kazuma-san who’s only lucky in getting rare drops’, ‘Kazuma-san who’s always online no matter what time I log in’, and so on… Anyway, I had all sorts of nicknames and was trusted by everyone. We raided fortresses, hunted powerful bosses; those were enjoyable times… Staying up all night was a norm. I didn’t eat proper meals, and only slept two hours a day before returning to my quest to hunt monsters…”
After hearing this, gasps came from beside me.
“How, how amazing… Attacking fortresses and hunting bosses…! I see, Kazuma reacts so quickly to any changes in situations because of the experience you accumulated…! How, how amazing…!”
Darkness said to me excitedly, with respect written all over her face.
“It’s hard to believe those words since I know how Kazuma usually is… But why, why do I get the feeling you aren’t lying? Just now, you were brimming with confidence and nostalgia…”
Even Megumin was saying something like this.
Aqua, who was right behind me, said:
“… Hey Kazuma, can I explain what MMOs are?”
“Please don’t do that.”
I promised Darkness, who said, ‘If anything happens, wake me up even if you need to be a little violent,’ that I’ll use an amazing way to wake her up in one shot, and started the watch with Megumin.
“… Um, what’s that amazing way to wake her up you mentioned? Let me make this clear first, you can’t cross that line with comrades, okay? You understand, right?”
“That’s the kind of creature men are, if you tell them it’s a wall they can’t climb over, they’ll want to scale it… That’s right, the higher the wall in life, the higher the mountain, the more one will want to overcome it. These are the same things.”
“No, that’s not it! Don’t mix that up with such a positive motivational speech! I’m starting to feel that taking a watch together with Kazuma is really dangerous!”
After Megumin said her piece agitatedly, Aqua turned in her sleep with a moan.
The two of us fell silent, thinking it would be bad to wake her up.
Finally, the sound of her rhythmic breathing started again.
We sighed in relief when we heard that sound.
“Speaking of which…”
“The topic we discussed before they slept… you came from a different nation, right?… Um. Kazuma, you never thought of going back?”
She asked timidly.
“I can’t go back even if I wanted to. Even if I do, I’ll just live a busy and meaningless life once again. I feel that my current life isn’t too bad. After the trip to the Crimson Demon village is done, I’ll be able to get three hundred million eris from Vanir and be a rich man. After that, I’ll live an interesting and peaceful life with everyone.”
There wasn’t much difference in being a NEET here and being a NEET in Japan.
The only difference was whether I would trouble my family.
There were games and computers in Japan, but not things such as succubus service; that’s about it.
Defeat the Demon King and return to Japan.
I didn’t know why, but that felt really reckless to me.
I thought about seeing my family again, but I’m dead in Japan after all…
I was promised that any wish would come true if I defeat the Demon King, but could they fine tune these details?
– Megumin sighed in relief after hearing what I said.
“Is that so…? I like my life right now too, so this is good. We get into danger often, but everyone will work together to get through it. I’m very satisfied with my fun life right now.”
How could a life of falling into danger frequently be fun? I was about to say that when…
Megumin leaned on me and exhaled, holding my left hand tightly in the dark.
The sensation of Megumin’s smooth hand.
The touch of our hands.
– For some reason, I became very nervous.
Oh no, what was with this bittersweet feeling?
What should I do, what was this kid doing?
Why did Megumin suddenly hold my hand?
Yunyun’s announcement about wanting to have my child, and now this. Is my popular period here?
My past bittersweet memories flashed in my mind.
My first crush was my childhood friend who told me in primary school, ‘Let’s get married after we grow up’.
In the summer of middle school, I saw her sitting on the back seat of a delinquent senior’s bike. I couldn’t describe the feeling that came over me and I didn’t go to school anymore, spending my time in online games.
After that, I forewent sleep to exterminate monsters all day and night, and reached a status where the people who didn’t know about me were in the minority…
I spent the most important time of my life in self-torture, wasting my youth and school life. And now, I’m sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with a beautiful girl and holding her hand.
Oh no, what should I do, what should I do about this?
Is she tempting me?
Should I say some lines that match the mood?
I had never thought anything about Megumin before, and of course, I don’t have any romantic feelings for this loli now, either.
But for virgins who have no immunity against women, we’ll be very self-conscious if a member of the opposite sex suddenly does something like this. Don’t you even know that?
I steeled myself to say a line that matched the mood…
I noticed at this moment–
– With no regards for my nervousness and conflicted feelings, she was making deep sleeping sounds.
… This kid!!
“… Really, it’s all because Kazuma and Megumin were so noisy last night that I didn’t sleep well.”
“Sorry for the disturbance, but this loli fell asleep mid-way through her watch. Also, when it was your turn for the watch you wouldn’t get up no matter what, so how dare you complain. In the end, Darkness took your watch too.”
“No, I heard that Megumin was woken up in an amazing way by Kazuma when she dozed off, so I was wondering what would happen to me if I fell asleep mid-way through my shift. My heart was pounding non-stop and I couldn’t sleep…”
“Ughh… He, he did something really ridiculous to me…”
There was a bit of commotion last night, but we still welcomed the morning safely.
After settling breakfast casually, we argued about things as we proceeded without any tension…
“This is really…”
I stopped in the middle of the road and muttered to myself.
And surveyed the endless plains stupendously.
If we walk in such a place without cover, I won’t be able to use my Lurk skill.
We could only rely on Megumin, but unleashing a spell in a place with such a clear view will attract other monsters because of the noise, so it was useless.
But this was a path we had to take to reach the Crimson Demon village…
Even if I could detect monsters with my Enemy Detection skill, it was too open here and we would be discovered before the skill had any reaction…
There was no choice but to rely on my Farsight skill at a time like this.
Instead of relying on Detect Enemy, I just need to see the enemy before they see me.
“Hey, I’ll walk ahead alone, so all of you be prepared to run away at a moment’s notice. Aqua, cast a speed buffing spell on me so they won’t be able to catch me.”
If I got detected by a monster, I could use the Escape skill I learned recently. With Aqua’s buffing support, I could act as a decoy to lure the enemy away from the three of them behind me and hide somewhere.
I took off my chest plate, gauntlet, and greaves, handing them over to Aqua.
In a situation like this, I would prefer not to be weighed down.
To make it easier to run, the only weapon I kept was a dagger.
“You’re all ready to run at any moment, just how thick-skinned are you?”
I replied to Aqua:
“Well, I couldn’t fight the monsters around here head on anyway. The monster names listed in the information column all looked tough. And they won’t come one at a time, so I have to try my best in avoiding battle and adopt the policy of running away.”
The information listed names like ‘One-strike Bear’, ‘Griffon’, ‘Fire Drake’, and so on, all monsters with strong names.
No, there was one exception.
There was a name that could be found everywhere, a type of mob monster common in games and mangas…
I prayed that if we’re to meet any enemies, it would these guys, as I walked far ahead of the others.
“Well then, all of you keep a distance from me. Remember, don’t stay so far behind that you’ll lose track of me. If anything happens, I’ll give you all a signal. If you see it, run immediately.”
“I understand, leave it to me.”
“I understand very well you don’t know hand gestures at all. Darkness, Megumin, I’ll be counting on both of you.”
Darkness and Megumin nodded their heads.
The road extended through the vast plains.
Alone and lightly armored, I walked along the road.
I surveyed my surroundings restlessly, keeping watch for signs of any monsters.
Advancing cautiously on the open plains, I turned back periodically to check if the three of them were following me.
Things had been proceeding smoothly so far.
The monsters I had to be extra careful of would be those flying in the sky.
The monster listed included griffons, but even if I raised my head and watched the sky, I didn’t see anything circling in the air above me.
We had already detected several large-sized monsters and evaded them.
I just needed to pass through the plains, and then I would link up with everyone.
… At this moment.
I saw a lone figure standing in the middle of the plains.
That figure didn’t notice me yet.
Logically speaking, it was impossible for someone to be standing in a place like this.
That’s right, it was probably a monster.
I was only watching from afar, but I could take a stab at the monster’s identity.
The only name that didn’t fit in with the list of dangerous monsters.
A pig-faced, bipedal monster, highly reproductive and in heat all year round.
As they could mate with most humanoid creatures, I heard that you would suffer a tragic end if you got caught by them.
It was better to kill yourself on the spot than to get captured by them.
In games, they were on par with kobolds and goblins, a mainstream mob monster.
But why were the names of these guys published on the monster information list of this map?
I felt that there was no need to avoid them, compared to those large-sized monsters.
I only had a dagger on me, but it seemed like the opponent was unarmed.
Well, I had Drain Touch that could absorb its life force, and most importantly, there was only one of them.
I just need one hit after getting close to finish it off.
After judging so, I walked toward that figure in the distance.
I didn’t hide my presence and walked forth openly.
Or rather, there was no place to hide in the vast open plains.
When I got really close to the figure, it probably noticed me and started walking my way.
Naturally, I gripped the hilt of my dagger tighter.
“… Ka… Zuma! Ka…!”
I heard a voice coming from far behind me.
I turned back confusedly, looking at Aqua and the others who were shouting something at me.
From here, Aqua and Megumin seemed to be making hand gestures.
After watching for a moment, I understood their message.
That was what they were signaling.
No, the enemy was just a mere orc. I looked to the front once again.
That fellow was already very close to me, and stared at me right in the eye.
Because of the attitude and signal by the two of them, I felt a little uneasy and to play it safe–
I chanted a spell softly.
I secretly created sand in my left hand, intending to blind the orc, and prepared for a sneak attack.
After glancing behind, the two of them were waving their arms in a panic after seeing me approach the orc.
They made lots of ‘run away’ gestures desperately.
I should be the one telling you girls that.
The orc will target women like you, right?
Never mind, there would be no need to run if I defeat the orc here.
I faced the front once again; I was close enough to make out the face of the orc.
The orc looked more human-like than I imagined.
It had pig nose and ears, but the shape of the face resembled a human.
It was even wearing a set of clothes it probably robbed from some traveler.
And its most striking feature was its hair.
With its unkempt hair and green skin, the orc seemed human at a glance.
“Good day! Hey handsome nii-chan, want to have a good time with me?”
It spoke to me with a high pitched and fluent voice, so it was probably female.
… What was that, I didn’t expect that.
There were female orcs?
No, no, no, I heard they were really fertile, and could cross breed with other races…
Even though it looked human at a glance, it was still a monster.
I felt bad about rejecting the orc that went out of its way to invite me, but my strike zone wasn’t wide enough to see it as a woman.
I flat out rejected an invitation from a female for the first time in my life.
Even though I said that, the expression of the orc didn’t change much.
“Ara, is that so, such a pity. I was hoping you would do it with me willingly.”
After saying that, it revealed its teeth in an evil smile.
Disheveled hair, yellow teeth, and a round body shape.
Even without its pig ears and nose, I’ll flat out reject it.
‘Willingly’? What was it talking about?
“Since we can communicate, let’s talk about this. Please let me through. If you do that, I’ll share some of my food with you as thanks… What say you?”
If I use food as a condition, maybe it would let me through easily…
I held on to this faint hope.
Ah, what kind of meat were those jerkies made from?
Might it be pork?
If it was pork, letting it eat them would be cannibalism.
While I was thinking about that, the orc wiped away the drool from its mouth.
Mentioning food seemed to be effective.
… But that thought was shattered by its next sentence.
“That sort of thing doesn’t matter. This is the territory of orcs. We won’t let any males passing by go… How interesting, onii-san. For some reason, I sense powerful survival instincts from your seemingly weak body. My intuition has always been on point. Our child will definitely be strong… Come, let’s do something fun.”
Seemed like this thing wasn’t joking.
Immensely troubled by this, I turned and looked at the girls behind me.
The two of them were still making the ‘run away’ signal.
Only Darkness appeared to be confused, wondering if she should come over and join the fray.
The orc seemed to have noticed the girls behind me from my movements.
“Ara, those over there… What, all of them are females. I don’t care about them. But for you, let me think… Three days. How about going to my village for three days or so? Hehe, it’s a harem for you there. You’ll learn what heaven in this world is. Well, the men we capture do go to heaven for real!”
Looking at the orc saying all this with an evil smile, I instinctively felt fear and chanted my spell.
I used wind magic to blow the sand I hid onto the orc.
The orc bent over and groaned after the sneak attack blinded it.
I rushed forth, not with my dagger, but with my bare hands, and grabbed that orc!
After using Drain Touch to absorb the orc’s life force until it was on the verge of death, I left it right there without dealing a final blow.
I just pulled an all-nighter, so it was just the right time to absorb some life force.
That thing mentioned a village.
It would be troublesome if the other orcs came to avenge its death if I killed this one.
I spared its life based on this judgement…
After defeating the orc and walking a bit further, I noticed a presence behind me.
I turned and saw Aqua and the others running to me in a panic.
“… What is it? It would be meaningless for me to walk in front if all of you are so close to me. Keep some distance away from me.”
When they heard me say that…
“What are you saying, Kazuma? You defeated an orc! This plain is the territory of the orcs. Which means you will be their target until we cross this plain!”
Megumin said with a strong tone…
… No, wait.
“Isn’t it good if I’m being targeted? Just why do you think I’m so lightly armored? To attract attention and be the decoy! And I don’t want to see your tragic outcome if you get caught by the orcs.”
Orcs had high libido.
The scene of these girls being ravaged after being captured, I don’t even dare imagine it.
While I was thinking that, Aqua said to me:
“Oh, right, Kazuma’s an idiot who doesn’t know the common sense of this world. Can’t be helped, let me tell you… Ow, ow, stop! ”
I pulled on the cheeks of Aqua who was acting arrogantly as I urged Megumin to explain.
“… Kazuma, listen. There are no male orcs in the world.”
When Darkness heard what Megumin said, she screamed tragically for some reason.
“Male orcs died out a long time ago. Even when the occasional male orcs are born, they’ll be squeezed dry by the females and die before adulthood. Thanks to that, the orcs crossbreed continuously and gained the excellent genes of various races, becoming monsters that could no longer be considered orcs. Right now, orcs are known for infiltrating the turf of other races, kidnapping the males and bringing them back to their village, making them suffer terribly; the nemesis of men… Also, um, Kazuma, you…”
Toward the end, Megumin lowered her volume and became hesitant to speak.
“Wait, wait, orcs should be the nemesis of female knights! Driven by their strong libido, they’ll pounce on any woman they see, the males of these orcs…”
“Are extinct… Kazuma defeated a female orc. All of them want a powerful male with excellent genes. So, they won’t let Kazuma who defeated their comrade go… Look, just like that.”
Darkness was depressed by this news. At this moment, Megumin pointed to a certain direction.
In that direction, with the orc that was rendered immobile by me in the lead, many female orcs were forming ranks.
They might have the excellent genes of various races, but I didn’t expect that orc to recove its life force in such a short period of time.
As there were cat-eared and dog-eared orcs, they must’ve cross bred with various animals.
I stared at these animal-eared orcs and remembered the saying ‘reserved for pretty girls only’.
The orc I knocked out earlier said:
“You’re a good man. To think you can knock me out! … I won’t let you go. I’m mesmerized by you, how are you going to make it up for me? I definitely want your child!!”
After making such a chilling declaration of wanting a child, the orcs pounced at me while panting!
“What? Wait…! Waaahhhh!”
Why must I meet with such a tragedy?
Because I was rude to a real goddess and this is my retribution?
Because I treated the weird rock, which Aqua treasured so much, as trash, and threw it away?
Oh God, you’re mistaken. That girl will bring back any weird thing she finds.
Because I placed her holy relic hagoromo together with my underwear in the wash?
Oh God, you’re mistaken. I just thought that clothes which are washed together with the hagoromo, which had a cleansing effect, would become cleaner.
I’m already repenting this.
Ahhh… Please, my God…!
“I want the first child to be a boy!”
“I want sixty boys and forty girls!”
“I want to live in a white house overlooking the sea, making love with you everyday!”
God! From the bottom of my heart, I repent! Please forgive my sins!
Spare me! No, if I don’t kill them, I’ll be raped!
I stabbed with my dagger without hesitation, but that orc had the gift of excellent genes and evaded my dagger easily…!
“All right! It’ll be over soon. It’ll be over in no time so close your eyes…!”
It then knocked my dagger away easily and pressed me onto the ground.
I was too foolish.
I underestimated the strength of the orcs that survived in this dangerous region!
“Save me! Megumin, use that! Use that and finish all of them in one shot!”
“If I use Explosion at such a close range, we will get dragged in as well! Darkness, stop being depressed and rescue Kazuma…!!”
I screamed while being pressed down by the orcs!
“Talk! Let’s talk first!!”
“I would love to talk erotic things with you! Go on, say it! Tell me all the embarrassing fetishes you have! Huff, huff, huff!”
The orc panted as it tugged at my shirt!
I immediately used Drain Touch to sap away its strength!
I struggled to reach out with my hand, but the orc dodged nimbly, and my hand was caught instead.
What’s more, that orc even licked my palm.
Please, please, spare me, ahhh!!
I could feel all the hairs on my body stand and my pleading was just like a howl…!
“Stop, stop, ahhh! Name! I still don’t know your name yet! This might be my first time! So, let’s start with self-introductions, ahhh! My name’s Satou Kazuma!”
“I’m Swatinaze, a young and energetic 16 year old orc! Come, let your lower half introduce himself, too! Introduce the son you’re so proud of!”
“My son’s a little shy! We already exchanged names so let’s call it a day, ahhh! Aqua! Aqua! Save me!”
Just as I was screaming like a teenage girl and Aqua was shouting…
I heard a familiar voice, followed by screams.
While being pressed down, I twisted my head towards the origin of the sound and saw that the orcs were struggling in a giant swamp.
And behind that was…!
“Yunyun! Isn’t that Yunyun? Ugh, uwahhh!”
After seeing that Crimson Demon girl, I was so relieved that I cried.
The orc riding on me gasped.
It seemed to be at a loss after finding its comrades trapped in the quagmire that appeared out of nowhere.
The orc slowly got off me, guarded against Yunyun.
I rolled and crawled to Yunyun’s feet.
“Yunyun! Yunyun! Thank you so much, ahhh!”
I hugged Yunyun just like that.
“Hya…! Wait, wait Kazuma-san? It, it’s fine now, it’s fine, so… Don’t cry… Um, my important robe is being stained with snot…”
The orcs who were targeting me stared at Yunyun, checking their comrades who were struggling in the swamp.
They wanted to save their comrades, but didn’t dare to move out of fear of Yunyun.
Aqua stood beside me, who was squatting on the ground, and said:
“It’s great that you’re fine, Kazuma! … What, what’s the matter Kazuma?”
I hugged the legs of Aqua in tears as she spoke to me.
I had never experienced such fear even when I was fighting with the Demon King’s Generals.
“There, there, you must be terrified, Kazuma. It’s fine now, don’t worry. Everyone will protect you.”
I felt at ease when Aqua said this while patting my head, how shameful.
After glancing at the orcs, who were guarded against her, Yunyun felt embarrassed, but still flicked her cape and struck a pose with her staff lifted, and announced:
“I’m Yunyun! One of the top mages of the Crimson Demons, an Archwizard that wields Advanced Magic. I’m the one who’ll be the next chief of the Crimson Demons…! To the orcs who built a village near the Crimson Demon village: I’ll spare you on the count that we’re neighbors. Take your comrades with you and go!”
After hearing what Yunyun said, the orcs tore their shirts and threw it to their comrades trapped in the swamp in place of a rope.
“Kazuma-san, let’s use this chance to retreat .”
After passing through the plains controlled by the orcs, we entered the forest and chose a spot where we could rest for a moment.
“With Yunyun around, there’s no need to fear monsters. Really, this is too easy.”
Aqua said something that would raise a flag again.
However, I understood what she meant.
With Yunyun who could use Advanced Magic around, it was far more secure.
… Since just now, I had been unwilling to leave Aqua’s side.
Staying beside Aqua who I’ve spent the most time with made me feel at ease.
Aqua seemed a bit troubled by me, but she didn’t complain at all and stayed by my side. Thank god for that.
Really, thank god.
Experiencing that deeply traumatised me.
After changing out of my tattered clothes and putting on the equipment that Aqua was holding onto for me, I thanked the savior who reached out to me in my time of need.
“Yunyun, once again, thank you. Really, thank you. If I must describe how thankful I am, it’s like–if anyone asks me who I respect the most, I’ll answer ‘Yunyun’ immediately.”
“Please, please, don’t do that, it’ll look as if you’re mocking me!”
I held tightly to a corner of Aqua’s hagoromo and expressed my gratitude to Yunyun, but she seemed embarrassed after hearing that.
“By the way, why’s everyone here? Is Megumin coming home because you’re worried about everyone?”
“Yes, right, it’s my sister! I’m a bit worried about her. After all, she’s always doing reckless things.”
“Yup, that’s true. She’s a child who can’t use magic, yet she is so eager to fight.”
Yunyun agreed with Megumin’s explanation.
“… Why, why’s everyone smiling deviously?”
Aside from Yunyun, the three of us looked at Megumin deviously as she averted her face.
I held the mug filled with coffee in both hands.
Sipping it slowly, I could feel my heart, wounded by the chase of the orcs, gradually healing.
Hiding in my cloak, I looked at everyone and said from the bottom of my heart:
“… All of you are beautiful.”
Inside the forest by the road… Everyone was stunned after hearing what I said.
“What, what is it? Kazuma he, he has always been talking strangely, but it’s worse today!”
“Calm, calm down! This fellow must have an ulterior motive. We can’t let our guard down around him. We’ll regret it if we become happy about it!”
Aqua and Darkness said something rude.
Megumin kept her head facing away from me while pouting, looking at me from time-to-time as if to say, ‘What are you up to now?’.
Yunyun seemed to be at a loss for words, her face completely red.
After making it to safety from the hands of the orcs, I was completely relieved. Looking at the four of them, I exhaled and said:
“All of you are real beauties.”
“What’s happening? Someone tell me! Kazuma’s acting weird, what’s going on?”
“Calm down, Aqua! First, cast a healing spell on Kazuma!”
Looking at the panicking Darkness and Aqua, the guarded Megumin–and Yunyun who was lowering her flushed face–I’m filled with the joy of escaping from the hands of the orcs.
“– Megumin was always the top of the class in magical studies and mana capacity… The villagers all think of her as a genius and had high expectations of her… If they knew Megumin had fallen and became a flawed mage that can only use Explosion…”
“Hey, don’t call me a ‘flawed mage’. In terms of magical destruction, I’m without a doubt the best of the Crimson Demons, that’s a fact. Please don’t speak ill of the explosion magic I’ve devoted my entire life to.”
After the short break, we set off for the Crimson Demon village once again.
“What’s the use of explosion magic? It’s too powerful, and can’t be used in dungeons or it’ll cause a collapse! Even if it has the longest attack range, it’ll hit the caster and allies if the targets are too near! Even very high-level mages can’t fire it twice in a row, the mana consumption is too great! No matter how you look at it, it’s overkill, right? Explosion is a useless spell and a waste of skill points that no one will bother to learn.”
Yunyun had been picking on Megumin since just now.
The fact that Megumin could only use explosion magic seemed to be a secret to the villagers.
Hence, Yunyun had been warning her not to let it slip…
At this moment, Megumin stared down Yunyun from the front.
“… How dare you, Yunyun. You said something you shouldn’t have said. Something more serious than making fun of my name, the biggest taboo–!”
“What, what, want to get it on? I’ll accept your challenge. I won’t lose to Megumin anymore!”
Yunyun heightened her guard and pulled some distance from Megumin.
Megumin glanced at Yunyun…!
“Kazuma, let me tell you Yunyun’s shameful secret. All Crimson Demons receive a tattoo after birth. The placement of the tattoo is different for everyone, and Yunyun’s tattoo is at…”
“Shut up, what are you telling Kazuma-san? And why do you know the position of my tattoo? You can’t use Explosion in a place like this, right? It’s easy to subdue Megumin who can’t use magic!”
Yunyun, on the verge of crying, pounced over, but was nimbly dodged by Megumin.
“Aqua, give me a buffing spell! I’ll teach this kid a lesson!”
“D-Despicable! Megumin’s so sly! You’ve always been so sly!”
“– Hey, this way! I hear human voices from this direction!!”
A loud and shrill voice came from the depths of the forest!
“Hey, you two, we’re going to be discovered by the enemy! Keep it down!”
Darkness crouched down and lectured the two of them.
“It’s all because the bad tempered Megumin raised her voice!”
“Yunyun has a worse temper than me! You’ve been doing things without regards for the consequences since long ago! See, even Chomusuke doesn’t dare to come out from the hat now!”
“What did you say?”
“The two of you shut up! I already told you we’ll be discovered if you talk so loudly! Hey Kazuma, tell them!”
Darkness pressed down on both their heads and hid into the trees.
I shouted at the two of them, who were wrestling with each other quietly:
“Hey, that doesn’t matter, tell me where Yunyun’s tattoo is!”
“Found them, over there! There’s someone there!”
“Why, you! You really…!!”
“Found two Crimson Demons! The rest look like human adventurers! Hey, this way, quick! There are two Crimson Demon kids! This is a chance to earn some merits!”
It was an armored monster.
Sharp ears and dark skin, a slim and muscular demon.
On its head was a single horn. It was glaring murderously at Megumin and Yunyun.
When she saw that figure, Aqua who was hiding in the trees stood up…!
“Hmm–? You seem to be pretending to be a low-level devil, how annoying! You can’t even become a proper devil, just a ghoul-like half-devil. What’s with that? What do you want to do? Exorcism magic won’t even work against low-level monsters like you. Isn’t that great news, the guy who can’t even become a devil? Pfft! I don’t have time for half-baked devils like you. After you become a proper devil, I’ll be your opponent. I’ll spare you today, so scram. Go on, shoo!”
When it heard Aqua’s words which might be a taunt or a threat, the supposed devil monster ground its teeth.
Seeing this, Darkness drew her great sword and walked forth in silence.
Since it was wearing armor, this guy was probably a part of the Demon King’s army that was at war with the Crimson Demons.
We weren’t far from the Crimson Demon village now, so it was no surprise to find the Demon King’s army patrolling around here.
The face of the guy with a short spear turned a darker shade as it glared this way in wrath.
Suddenly, a group that shared a similar appearance appeared behind it.
Their weapons might vary, but they were all armed demonic creatures.
Things were going bad.
And there were many… Too many!
“You want to spare us? Hey, that priestess over there, what did you say? … There are two kids of the Crimson Demons that gave us so much trouble. How can we let you go? Hey, tear them to pieces!”
More than twenty monsters like that devil appeared behind it.
Yunyun took a step forward…!
“Light of Saber!”
She shouted as she chopped the air with her hand.
Following the path of the chop, a beam of light flashed.
A few of the devils’ bodies were sliced off when the light passed through and they dropped to the ground.
“S-Surround them! She can’t do anything if we surround and charge her, kill that Crimson Demon girl first!”
The devil shouted agitatedly after seeing its companions fall.
To stop the devils who were attempting to surround Yunyun, Darkness placed herself between them.
Aqua casted buffing magic on Darkness, who took the vanguard.
“Yunyun, you said Explosion is a useless spell, right? I’ll let you witness the destructive power of this useless magic!”
“Eh? Wait, wait, are you going to?”
Megumin ignored the panicking Yunyun and let loose an explosion spell, engulfing many minions of the Demon King’s army in the distance.
The trees in the surrounding were uprooted and blown away, leaving the devils who witnessed the destructive power dumbstruck.
After the dust settled, there was nothing aside from a large crater.
“Did you see that, my ultimate move–Explosion! Do you still dare say it’s a useless magic? How’s that Kazuma, how many points for that explosion?”
“Minus ninety points! You idiot, what do you intend to accomplish by exhausting your magic like that? There are still enemies left, I can’t piggyback you and run!”
“Ka, Kazuma-san! While you were talking, more enemies were attracted by the noise!!”
I forcefully picked up Megumin, who had collapsed onto the ground after exhausting her mana.
“Hey, what are you doing? Can you even fight these guys?”
I shouted at Aqua who was trotting up confidently as I shared some of my mana with Megumin.
When she heard me, Aqua tilted her head side-to-side.
… Seemed like she was trying to make a cracking sound with her neck.
She kicked the ground, lowered her stance, and lifted her fists.
“Fufu, please remember it well. You don’t think I’m a woman who can only use recovery magic, right? I’m Aqua-sama with maxed out stats! I just need one hand to settle thing with these mob level devils. Watch, I’ll show you that I can act like a proper goddess occasionally, too!”
… This was bad.
I could foresee how this would end up, so I stopped pumping mana into Megumin’s body and lent her a shoulder to lean on.
Even though we had Yunyun with us, we were terribly outnumbered.
I didn’t know how far I could carry Megumin who had exhausted her mana, but it was a better bet than fighting the innumerable Demon King’s army forces.
“Aqua, we’re running! Stop intimidating them with those weird poses and come here!”
Aqua was striking all sorts of poses to frighten the minions of the Demon King’s army.
With Megumin on my back, I was planning to tell everyone to withdraw when Aqua said in a soft voice:
I turned after hearing her voice and saw the underlings of the Demon King’s army charging this way.
They didn’t take any battle stance, simply abandoning their weapons and running this way.
As I was wondering what was going on.
– Suddenly, a group of four men in black robes appeared out of thin air.
No, not all of them were in black robes.
Two of them were dressed like bikers with their black full body suit, wearing fingerless gloves.
Some of them held wands, some were bare handed.
There might be more hiding elsewhere, and only these four were revealing themselves.
Their weapons and costumes might be different, but they had one common point.
All of them had a pair of scarlet eyes.
The group of black clothed men had scarlet eyes just like Megumin and Yunyun.
That’s right, they were from the Crimson Demon Clan.
Their appearance out of thin air was probably the effect of invisibility magic.
And so, the Demon King’s underlings weren’t attacking us because they noticed our presence, but were running away from the Crimson Demon’s assault.
This was proven when they were stopping before us at a loss, alternating their gaze between the pursuing Crimson Demon Clan and the four of us.
In the end, these guys judged that the four of us were easier targets.
They planned to charge our way–
– At that instant.
“Disappear without even a trace of your flesh, burn in the dark flames from the abyss of my heart!”
“Oh no, I can’t suppress it anymore! Become the sacrifice to pacify my destructive urges!”
“Come, fall into eternal slumber… In the embrace of my ice-cold arms…!”
“Please rest in peace. I won’t forget you all. That’s right, your existence will be engraved forever… In the memories of my soul…!”
Those… Weren’t chants for spells.
They were lines they said to act cool!
They probably enhanced their physical abilities with magic and caught up with the underlings in an instant.
In the end, they all chanted the same spell.
Seeing that, the underlings defended their bodies with their hands in a futile effort…!
“Hey…! Wait…! Stop…!”
One of the minions wanted to say something, but the spell chants of the Crimson Demons were already completed.
“Light of Saber!”
“Light of Saber!”
“– Of Saber!”
As they shouted one after another, light flashed from their slashing hands.
The beams of light cleaved the minions consecutively.
There were only the shattered remnants of the minions’ carcasses left.
What the hell, the Crimson Demons were super scary!
No wonder the large group of minions were running away!
It was so terrifying that it made one hesitate to retort and ask them where the dark flames and ice-cold arms went to.
… At this moment, one of the Crimson Demons looked toward us.
It was the man who said, ‘Disappear without even a trace of your flesh’.
“I heard the sound of Explosion in the distance, so I came with the members of the anti-Demon King’s army guerilla unit… But isn’t that Megumin and Yunyun? What are you two doing here?”
He said to us in a casual tone.
When Megumin heard that, even though she was still staggering, she stood up.
“Aren’t you the son of the shoe shop owner, Bukkoroli? Long time no see, we heard that the village was in danger and rushed back.”
<TL note: Sky translated that name as Buzucoily for some reason that I am I completely unable to grasp.>
After hearing Megumin’s reply, Bukkoroli said “Danger?” and tilted his head in confusion.
Meanwhile, the other Crimson Demon clansmen looked this way curiously.
That man named Bukkoroli–
“By the way Megumin, are they your adventuring comrades?”
Asked such a thing.
In response, Megumin nodded a little shyly.
Seeing her like this, Bukkoroli showed a serious expression and flicked his cape.
“I’m Bukkoroli. Son of the owner of the number one shoe shop in the Crimson Demon village. Archwizard that wields Advanced Magic…!”
Bukkoroli suddenly made a self-introduction.
Normally, I would have responded with silence, but I had gotten used to it after my interaction with Megumin and Yunyun.
“Well met, I’m Satou Kazuma. Master of many skills in Axel, one who battled with the generals of the Demon King’s army. Please take care of me.”
I nonchalantly introduced myself to match him.
The Crimson Demons shouted suddenly.
“Awesome, so awesome! Normally, people would have weird reactions after we introduced ourselves…! I never thought there’d be an outsider who’d reply in kind!”
The other Crimson Demons nodded their head in agreement with Bukkoroli.
“… Kazuma seems really friendly with Bukkoroli and the others! And you didn’t react this way when I made my introduction!”
Megumin started throwing a fit.
Oh no, how should I react?
Logically, I should assume she was being jealous and my heart would pound a little.
But the other party member was an older man, so there wasn’t any reason to be jealous.
… However, going by the common sense of the Crimson Demons, something was angering her.
What was that about?
There was no feeling of jealousy, and my heart didn’t skip a beat.
There was no romantic atmosphere like those rom com light novels.
As I was wondering about the situation…
“I’m Aqua! An existence worshiped by the masses, the one who’ll defeat the Demon King! My real identity’s the goddess of water!”
No one asked her, but Aqua suddenly introduced herself.
She must’ve been influenced by the Crimson Demons.
“Is that so, that’s amazing!”
“Wait! Why? Hey, why am I the only one who gets such reactions?”
The Crimson Demons shifted their eyes from the shouting Aqua to Darkness, showering her with gazes filled with expectations.
Under their gaze, Darkness was a little hesitant but…!
“I-I’m Dustiness Ford Lala… ti… na… From Axel… Ughh…!”
She wanted to meet their expectations, but Darkness’s voice grew softer from embarrassment.
Why were you trying so hard?
As Darkness blushed and teared up from embarrassment, Bukkoroli grinned at her and started chanting a spell loudly.
“Megumin, I’m glad you have such wonderful comrades. The village is still some ways off. Come, we’ll show you in, outsiders. We’ll send you there with Teleport!”
After saying that, Bukkoroli cast his teleport spell.
The scenery changed suddenly after the Teleport, making me dizzy, and the surroundings were completely different.
It was a small village that could be described as ‘peaceful’.
Bukkoroli smiled at us as we dumbfoundedly looked around the Crimson Demon village.
“Welcome to the Crimson Demon village, outsiders. Megumin and Yunyun too, welcome home!!”