Gifting a proper excuse to this restless night!
Editing: Adam, Boring Bone, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Xenthur
The next morning.
After finishing breakfast, we bid farewell to Megumin’s parents, who had to go to work, and then we lazed around in the living room.
“Megumin, Megumin, it’s a rare chance for us to visit, so take us sightseeing around the village.”
Aqua said to Megumin who returned from Yunyun’s house early in the morning.
“Sightseeing…? You do know that this village is at war with the Demon King’s army, right?”
I retorted, but after seeing how the Crimson Demons ravaged the Demon King’s army yesterday, it was understandable why Aqua said that.
“No problem. Since the village is safe, we can teleport back to Axel if you want to. Since Aqua proposed so, let’s spend the day relaxing in the village and stay another night.”
Even the person in question said so.
“Hmm, so there are people here who can teleport us to Axel. The journey back will be much easier.”
That was great news for me.
I didn’t need to pass through the orcs’ territory again.
“Trashzuma seems really happy. I’ll be sightseeing together with Megumin, what about the others?”
“All right, I don’t have anything to do anyway, so I… Hey, what did you just call me?”
I turned to Aqua, who tilted her head puzzled.
“Did I say something strange?”
“No, no… Just my imagination, right…? Never mind, what about you, Darkness?”
I tossed the topic to Darkness and she stopped cleaning her armor for a moment.
“There’s somewhere I want to go. I heard the blacksmith here is skilled, so I want to visit as an armor enthusiast. Scumzuma, go ahead with your sightseeing without me.”
“Well, okay… Hey, what did you just say?!”
“So, it’ll be Aqua, Lowlifezuma, and me sightseeing. There are many scenic places in the village, I don’t think it’ll be boring–”
“Wait a minute!”
I started yelling, Aqua still looked confused.
“What is it, Trashzuma who wanted to make a move on the sleeping Megumin?”
“I’m very sorry…!!”
I covered my face with my hand and slumped weakly.
Megumin seemed to have told everything to the two of them before I got up.
However, I’m a healthy boy, it would be hard not to go with the flow when I’m placed in such a position.
Or rather, it would be rude not to make a move on the girl sleeping in the same bed.
After my passionate speech.
“I hope the orcs attack you again.”
Megumin looked at me as if I was trash.
Sometime later, after I treated her to all sorts of food at the only cafe in the village, Megumin gave in and finally relented, taking us sightseeing.
“What is this?”
That was my first impression.
She brought me to a building that looked like a shrine and said:
“This is the holy relic of this village…”
“No matter how I look at it, this is a figurine of a cat-eared girl in swimwear.”
A figurine of a girl was placed deep within the shrine in deep reverence.
“A long time ago, our ancestors saved a traveler who was attacked by monsters… As thanks, the traveler gifted this holy relic to them. The traveler said that this is a relic even more important than his own life. We don’t know what goddess this is, but good things might happen if we pray to it, so we placed it here in deep reverence. I heard that the way to construct these buildings known as shrines was taught to our ancestors by this traveler.”
That traveler was definitely Japanese.
“Hey Kazuma, it displeases me how that figurine is being treated as well as me, an actual goddess.”
“As the one who sent the guy with this thing here, you should be the one apologizing to the Crimson Demons.”
– baffled by our reaction, Megumin brought us to the second scenic attraction.
“This is the holy sword that’s said to grant immense powers to the one who pulls it out.”
“As expected of the Crimson Demon village! Such an amazing thing!”
Before me was a sword in a boulder.
Whoever draws this sword will be the chosen one and receive legendary power… A cliché setting in games.
“Hey, hey, can we try?”
“That’s fine, but it’ll take some time; you need to pay a challenge fee to the old blacksmith first. You can challenge this after paying and each person will have only one try.”
Megumin poured a cold bucket over the excited me…
Take some time?
And a challenge fee?
“Isn’t this a sword only the chosen hero can draw? Ah, maybe the seal will grow weaker after some time, and it’ll be easier to draw…?
“The old blacksmith made this sword to attract tourists. A spell has been cast on it, so that only the ten thousandth person can pull it out. There have only been a hundred or so challengers. After all, this sword has only been here for four short years.”
“Hey, isn’t the history of his holy sword too recent?”
Aqua admired the holy sword from up close.
“Hey, I can probably break the seal with my magic. Can I take this sword with me?”
“Please don’t do that. This is one of the attractions in this village, don’t pull it out!”
– Next, we went to a fountain under the shade of a tree.
“This is known as the ‘Wishing Fountain’. There’s a legend about this fountain. If you give offerings such as axes or coins, you can summon the goddess of gold and silver. Even now, there are people who throw axes and coins in.”
This sounded like a messed-up version of a tale from my world.
“I don’t know who spread this legend… If not for the kind blacksmith who clears the fountain periodically, this place would’ve become a pool of weapons.”
“… By the way, what did the blacksmith do with the coins and weapons he fished out?”
“He recycles them into new weapons and armor, of course.”
I think I have an idea who started this legend.
“Well then, off to the next attraction… Hmm? Where did Aqua go?”
Now that she mentioned it, Aqua was gone.
Suddenly, a ripple appeared in the still fountain–
“… Hey, what are you doing? I can’t let my guard down with you around.”
The goddess (self-proclaimed) of water poked her head out of the water.
She dove into the water when I wasn’t paying attention.
“I heard there were people who threw their coins in, so I dove down and picked them up… Hey, when it’s the tourist season, I’ll allow you to hire me as the goddess of this fountain.”
“Okay, I’ll throw an axe into the water. Catch it and turn it into money for me.”
While I was looking around for something to throw, Aqua started swimming away.
“Let’s go to the next attraction, next one!”
The next place was an underground entrance that didn’t look aesthetically pleasing at all.
In a word, it was like the entrance to a nuclear shelter…
“This is the underground facility that seals the ‘weapon that might destroy the world’. No one knows when it appeared here… I heard that this facility was built at the same time as that mysterious facility over there…”
There was a giant mysterious facility in the direction Megumin was pointing at.
What was that thing for? It looked like a building made from concrete.
“What do you mean by ‘mysterious facility’? What’s that building used for?”
“I mean it’s literally a mysterious facility. Even after going inside to investigate, we still don’t know who built it, for what purpose or even when it was built. So, we call it the ‘mysterious facility’ and it has been like this all this time.”
What was wrong with this village?
“Well, the ‘weapon that might destroy the world’ sounds really scary, but this entire village are experts in magic, so the seal won’t be undone so easily. It was a good choice to seal it away here.”
I said to myself.
“Hey Megumin, are there any other amazing things being sealed here?
“You came too late; there was the ‘tomb of the evil god’ and ‘place where the unknown goddess was sealed’. But something happened and their seals were broken.”
“Aren’t your seals here too unreliable? Hey, is it fine to put the ‘prohibited weapon that might destroy the world’ in this place?”
“No, no problem. To unseal the place, you need to solve a riddle and input the correct answer. The riddle is written in an ancient language no one understands… So, there are no problems, trust me on this!”
– Megumin said there was a place she wanted to go and brought us to a certain shop.
This should be a tailor shop.
The entrance of the shop had an old signage with a clothing logo. Through the glass door, I could see the shop owner wearing long black robes and a stern expression.
Megumin entered and the shop owner shot a glance at us…
“Welcome… Hmm? Megumin, are these two outsiders?”
He asked while studying us with sharp eyes.
Aqua was frightened by his gaze and hid behind me.
What, what? Was something wrong?
Could it be that some of them had prejudice toward outsiders?
As my heart rate increased, Megumin nodded her head.
The shop owner suddenly jumped up and flicked his cape nimbly inside the cramped shop.
“I’m Chekera! An Archwizard that wields Advanced Magic! Shop owner of the number one tailor shop in the Crimson Demon Clan!”
So, the people in this village couldn’t make self-introductions without going through the whole motion?
After stating his name and title in all seriousness, the shop owner smiled with satisfaction.
“Once again, welcome to my shop! Oh, it’s been so long since I saw an outsider! How long has it been since I made my grand introduction? Thanks to you, I’m much more relaxed now.”
… So, this is a way to relieve stress.
“I’m Satou Kazuma. So this is the top tailor shop of the Crimson Demons, that’s impressive.”
The shop owner smiled happily because of my praise.
“This is the only tailor shop in the Crimson Demon village , after all.”
“Are you messing around with me?”
I retorted on reflex.
“There aren’t many shops in the village anyway. This is the only tailor and there’s only one shoe store. All the other shops are one of a kind too.”
That Bukkoroli guy also said he would inherit the number one shoe shop of the Crimson Demons.
Megumin averted her face awkwardly under my gaze of disgust.
“Putting that aside… What brings you here? You want new clothes?”
“I want to buy a spare robe to wear. Do you have the same type as the one I’m wearing? Yunyun gave me this robe, but it isn’t convenient if there’s only one.”
She said as she showed the robe she was wearing to the shop owner.
“– This type… I have a batch that’s just been dyed.”
We were brought before a row of robes hanging from a laundry pole.
The robes on it were all the same type as Megumin’s.
“I’ll take them all.”
“All of them? Oh, that Megumin is now a bourgeois…? Seems like you’re doing well as an adventurer.”
“Of course, it’s about time the villagers learn about my exploits outside. And this robe is my battle wear, it’ll be good to have more of it… And so, Kazuma who’s going to be rich soon, lend me money.”
“Ah, you… Hah, forget it, we probably won’t visit this village ever again. I’ll lend you some.”
After making a tidy profit, the shop owner was all smiles as he took down all the robes from the laundry pole.
I yelped when I saw the thing that I thought was a laundry pole.
“…? What is it?”
Megumin seemed to be asking what was wrong with the laundry pole.
“You, this… Hey wait, how can you use this terrible thing as a laundry pole?”
“Oh, do you know what this thing is used for, customer? This laundry pole has been passed down in my family for generations. It won’t rust, so we treat it like a treasure.”
The shop owner said with a peaceful face…
Aqua looked at the laundry pole and said curiously:
“No matter how I look at it, isn’t this a rifle?”
It was about the size of a laundry pole, but looked like an extra-long rifle, and it was being used as a laundry pole.
The villagers must not have known that this was a weapon.
A cat ear shrine, a holy relic, this rifle, and the mysterious concrete building… What was wrong with this village?
After leaving the shop, we walked around the village and rested on the grass of a small hill.
“The view here’s really great. If I knew, I would’ve brought our lunch box and we could have picnicked here.”
“If you want to see the view, there’s an observation platform at the top of the hill. The magic telescope is powerful enough to see the Demon King’s castle. I heard the most recommended watch spot is the room of the Demon King’s daughter.”
“You guys are really worthless; even the Demon King’s castle has been commoditized by you.”
Lying casually on the grass, Aqua said:
“Hey Megumin, the view’s nice here, but didn’t I tell you I wanted to visit somewhere romantic?”
“This place is romantic. This is known as the ‘hill of the demon god’. Legends say that if you confess here and become a couple, you’ll be bound together by the curse of the demon god and can never break up. This is a romantic attraction made for lovers…”
“What a depressing love story! It’s not romantic at all…! What’s that?”
The entire village could be clearly seen from the top of the hill.
There were black figures squirming outside the wooden fence, near Megumin’s home.
Feeling that it was suspicious, I looked with my Farsight skill…
“Hey Megumin! There are Demon King’s soldiers there! Isn’t that near your house?”
Megumin’s home was in a corner of the village, rather far away from the homes of the others.
These people, who were probably from the Demon King’s army, were gathering in the place that could be considered the outskirts.
Since the alarm wasn’t raised, it meant that the Crimson Demons hadn’t noticed them.
“Let me look. They’re relentless. I don’t understand why they keep attacking despite us beating them up so thoroughly. If they’re sneaking around, their objective is probably not to attack the people, but something like the facility inside the village.”
Facility inside the village…?
“Isn’t there a tomb sealing an evil god? An objective that matches the Demon King’s army would be the revival of an evil god… But isn’t the seal broken?”
“It was broken. What else would the Demon King’s army want…? Could it be the holy relic inside the cat ear shrine…?”
“If the Demon King really wants something like that, I think it’d be better for him to be wiped out along with this village.”
Well then, what was their goal then?
“Maybe they’re aiming for the prohibited weapon that might destroy the world or something?”
“That’s impossible. After all, that facility’s sealed differently from the other places, and no one knows the way to use that weapon.”
Why was this village keeping something so troublesome?
“Anyway, no one in the village has discovered them yet, they’ll be invaded! Let’s hurry down and tell everyone that the Demon King’s army is here!”
“As expected of Kazuma, skillful in using the influence of others to intimidate people.”
So, what if I am?
I asked all the villagers I ran into along the way to join us as we went to Megumin’s home and found…
“What’s with this woman? Where did she come from? What’s your goal?”
“Sylvia-sama! She didn’t run for help and lacks any means to attack powerfully, that’s too suspicious! This might be a trap, let’s retreat!”
After breaking in through the wooden fence, the Demon King’s army was facing off against Darkness who was wielding a greatsword.
“You shall not pass! You’ll have to defeat me if you want to go any further! However, I definitely won’t be defeated by the likes of the Demon King’s army!”
“What a troublesome woman! Her attacks are pathetic, but her defense is incredibly tough! Why can’t she just run after learning the difference in our prowess? Sylvia-sama, let’s ignore her and complete our main objective!”
Darkness, who made it back to Megumin’s home after hearing the wooden fence breaking, was stalling time for us.
The Demon King’s army was blocked by Darkness and couldn’t make it further.
I was moved by Darkness’s growth after seeing her performance that exceeded expectations.
“Darkness, good work in hanging in there for so long! We’re here to save you!”
“Ka-Kazuma? What, why are you here so soon…?”
Darkness mumbled in regret…
I was an idiot for feeling moved just now.
“I was disappointed when I heard the orcs I had great hopes for were all female, and now, even the Demon King’s army boss is a woman! Hey, if you’ve any pride as an underling of the Demon King, show me your might! If you have the guts, make me submit to you and scream ‘Master~❤’ or something!”
“Just shut up, you just messed up your chance to put up a great performance.”
Seeing the Crimson Demons I brought along, the Demon King’s general turned purple from fear.
To protect her subordinates, the boss stood in front of them. This one was Sylvia, right?
“Hee… Did you miss your attack on purpose to make us underestimate you, while your real purpose was to buy time? With defenses powerful enough to stop us for so long, you must be a high leveled Crusader… Not hitting my minions with your attack was just an act to hide your real skills huh… Not bad…”
“… Ah, ah, since, since you saw through it… It can’t be helped…”
The aristocratic lady, who was being overestimated and wasn’t good at lying, glanced my way, seeking help.
The powerful Crimson Demon mob was behind me, though.
Since they had the wrong idea about Darkness, I’ll use this chance to scare them a little.
“You’re Sylvia, right? That Crusader’s my comrade and the hero who took an Explosion head on in the battle with Demon King’s general, Vanir. You’re pretty good to grasp her true abilities in just this brief exchange…”
“Hey Megumin, the way Kazuma’s putting it seems weird.”
“Shh! It looks interesting, so let’s observe for now. Maybe he’ll boast about us too.”
The two of them whispered beside me.
The Crimson Demons were also watching the development with interest.
All right, I’ll do just that for Megumin this time.
“… Vanir, you say? I heard he went to Axel and never came back… Could it be you all…?”
Sylvia and her minions retreated a few steps with a shocked expression.
“That’s right, the one beside me–Megumin, dealt him the final blow.”
After hearing what I said, not just Sylvia, even the Crimson Demons were surprised.
My words made Megumin stiffen her lips, trying hard to suppress her smile.
“Not just that, the four of us even faced the Dullahan Beldia, the deadly poison slime Hans, and the high bounty target Mobile Fortress Destroyer, and defeated them all!”
“What, what did you say…? I heard about the defeat of Beldia, but when did Hans–? His periodic report from Alcanretia stopped, so it might be true…!”
I see, the Crimson Demon village and Alcanretia were rather far apart, so having to check in periodically made sense.
She probably found my words very convincing; Sylvia clicked her tongue with hate.
“… You’re the leader of your team, right? Can you tell me your name?”
My, my name? I don’t want a Demon King’s General to remember my name…
“… Mitsurugi Kyouya. That’s my name.”
“Mitsurugi…! Now I understand. I heard about the magic sword user Mitsurugi… You’ve got a weird sword with you too, which confirms it. You’re my type, you know…? But for the Crimson Demons and a powerful character like you to be here, this is troubling. Can you let me off this one time?”
Sylvia probably mistook my katana for the magic sword and started pleading for clemency.
Mitsurugi wouldn’t have any problems even if the Demon King’s army marked him.
And from what Sylvia said, the Demon King’s army already knew about Mitsurugi.
“… This jerk got scared at the crucial moment again. He just had to state that fellow’s name.”
“He was arrogant because of the mob of Crimson Demons behind him, but he’s backing off right now.”
The audience sure was noisy.
“That’s true, it would be my victory if we fought right now, but it wouldn’t feel right. It’d be as if I borrowed the might of the Crimson Demons to defeat you. Very well, I’ll let you run for now. That is, if the Crimson Demons behind me will allow you to.”
I said with a brave smile…
“My deep thanks, Mitsurugi. Farewell, we’ll have a proper match next time! My name is Sylvia, a general of the Demon King’s army…! Retreat!”
“You won’t escape! Lightning Strike!”
“Light of Saber!”
“Catch her for magic experimentation, ahhh!”
Sylvia turned and fled with her minions while the Crimson Demon mob chased behind.
Seeing off Sylvia who was leading her underlings in flight, I said while pondering something:
“– General of the Demon King’s army, Sylvia, huh…?”
“Hey Kazuma, you’re not done with your act yet?”
“That onee-san was amazing! She was fine even after being hit by magic and arrows!”
– That night.
We decided to spend the night at Megumin’s again. After dinner, Darkness earned rave praise for her performance earlier today.
“Ha, it’s nothing… As a Crusader, this isn’t much…”
Darkness, who wasn’t used to being praised, sat gracefully in the living room. Komekko’s words made her feel shy.
“I heard about it too, Darkness-san. You’re the one who stopped Sylvia’s infiltration, right? This team’s dependable, I can leave my daughter in Kazuma-san’s care without worries now. Oh right, about the room allocation tonight, Kazuma-san…”
Madam leaned this way as she spoke, I noticed something at this moment.
“Eh, where did Hyoizaburo-san go?”
“My husband said he had plenty of work to do and decided to sleep over at his workshop… I’ll heat the water up, then.”
Madam said nonchalantly and left the living room in a hurry.
When we were eating dinner together earlier, Hyoizaburo-san was throwing a fit, saying ‘I’m worried about my daughter, so I’ll sleep with Kazuma-san tonight’.
… Did Madam do something again?
“By the way, your taunts are great, let’s settle things with Sylvia next time!”
“That’s a great idea, I already ordered a popular model of armor from a skilled blacksmith, and it’ll be done in a few days. Hehe, I’m looking forward to the armor and the duel with Sylvia…!”
Megumin and Darkness clenched their fists excitedly.
I made it clear to them both:
“What nonsense are the two of you saying? We’re going home tomorrow. We finished sightseeing and have no reason to stay in this village. We’ll rush home with haste tomorrow and spend our days lazing at home.”
When they heard what I said, Megumin and Darkness shouted in surprise.
Aqua who was drinking wine and eating pea pods chipped in:
“Running away after saying such a cool line? Didn’t she ask you to settle things with her next time?”
“Fighting such a beautiful general would weigh on my conscience, so let’s adopt a more conservative strategy this time. We can enjoy a bubbly NEET life after going home, so why should I wait here for that Demon King’s general to find trouble with me?”
“Why you! After making such a grand scene, you’re going to run away?”
“You’re not planning to meet them ever again after intimidating them so much? That’s going too far!”
Their reactions were intense.
“Not really, I was just thinking that we’ll be going home tomorrow, so I acted cool for fun. The chance of us meeting again will be very low. Why would I say something like that to a Demon King’s General? I only did so because the Crimson Demons got my back in that moment.”
“This fellow’s too much! What a jerk!”
“And you call yourself a human being?”
I covered my ears and ignored their complaints.
“Everyone, the water’s ready… Ara, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, let me take the bath first.”
“Hey wait, don’t run!”
“We’re not done yet!”
I rushed into the bathroom with curses coming from behind me.
– After my bath, I came back relaxed and found Aqua, who seemed all steamed up, heading to her room.
“Hmm? Why do you look as if you just had a bath?”
“I bathed outside, they told me there’s a bathhouse nearby called ‘mixed hot spring’.”
Hey, why didn’t anyone tell me! We’ll be heading back tomorrow, what should I do?
While I was deliberating whether to stay for another night…
“Megumin, where are you going so late at night? I won’t allow my daughter who’s in her delicate age to stay outside! You came back from somewhere early this morning too!”
“For me who’s in my delicate age, my own house is the most dangerous, so I’ll sleep over at Yunyun’s! You’re scheming to make me sleep with Kazuma, right?”
“Ara, it’ll be fine if it’s Kazuma-san. Trust your mother’s judgement, he definitely wouldn’t let me down…”
“You’re turning against your daughter for an outsider? No, you only said that because you understood his true nature, right? ‘Not let you down’ means exactly that, correct?”
I heard Megumin arguing with her mother at the entrance.
“I don’t care what you’re quarreling over, I’m going to sleep… After my bath, I see that even Darkness is sleeping, I should turn in too…”
Aqua stretched tiredly and walked toward her assigned room; she probably drank too much.
Looking carefully, Darkness’s sleeping posture looked unnatural.
Without a doubt, the madam must’ve…
“No point in talking about this further! I’m sleeping over at Yunyun’s place!”
“I won’t let you escape! Ankle Snare!”
“What, what? You used magic on your own daughter, are you really a mothe-…?”
I heard something hitting the floor after Madam uttered her spell.
Finally, Madam showed me a gentle smile.
“I’m sorry, Kazuma-san, my daughter fell asleep at a strange place… Could you help me carry her to her room?”
– What should I do?
How should I handle this situation?
“Hey Megumin, stop pretending to sleep. You’re awake, right?”
I said to Megumin who was in deep slumber beside me.
And of course, Megumin didn’t answer at all.
I was the type that would go easily with the flow.
Could I really go all the way for this?
I thought back to how Megumin suddenly grabbed my hand at the campsite and held her hands as I listened to her steady breathing.
Her hands were a bit cold, so it felt comfortable holding them.
… My mind raced.
I would just be a criminal if I carried on.
First, I need a proper reason for me to lay my hands on Megumin inside the bedding.
… And suddenly, an inspiration struck.
When Megumin woke up last night, I snuggled into her bedding by saying that it was too cold outside. I just need to turn this excuse into reality.
I just needed to lower the temperature of this room until it was necessary to hide inside the blanket.
That’s right, my powers probably existed just for today.
Holding Megumin’s hand with my right, I put my left hand outside the blanket and cast a spell on the window.
A blow that used up almost all the mana within me.
This spell froze the surface of the window, encasing it with several centimeters of ice.
And the temperature in the room dropped drastically.
Oh, that was the effect I was after!
With the window frozen, Megumin couldn’t escape by the window like she did yesterday!
I’m really a genius to have thought of such a flawless plan!
… While I was impressed with my scheme…
Maybe I was too loud in chanting my spell, Megumin seemed to have woken up.
“Morning Megumin, did you sleep well?”
“… Morning. Hmm? Is this my room?”
Megumin held hands with me as she looked around the room in a daze. She was probably still half asleep.
Finally, she realized she was holding my hand.
“–!! You finally crossed the line, you beast! Kazuma, you animal! I thought you are a coward who would commit sexual harassment, but doesn’t have the guts to do it when the time comes!”
Megumin charged out of the beddings with tears in her eyes.
“Hey, hold it, I didn’t do anything! It’s just handholding, don’t make such a fuss! Look, isn’t it much colder than yesterday? I only held your hand unconsciously because it was too cold.”
Megumin realized the room was exceptionally cold after I said so, and she shivered.
She then checked her body carefully and finally said with a blushed face.
“You, you really didn’t do anything? And with the lesson from yesterday, I won’t trust you so easily.”
“Idiot, how long did you think you’ve been sleeping? I’ve been staying by your side honestly all this while.”
“Is, is that so? Sorry, Kazuma, I misunderstood you again. That’s true, if Kazuma had the guts to cross the line, you would’ve taken a gamble and made a move on Darkness… I said something rude, I apologize.”
Megumin said apologetically under the vague moonlight.
“Ah, it’s fine. However, it would be nice to thank me occasionally, right? All of you keep getting caught up in troublesome matters, and I keep having to clean up after you. Don’t you think I deserve some thanks?”
Such a scene that made my heart skip a beat was my just reward.
I wanted to say more, but I couldn’t continue when I saw Megumin’s face that was lit up under the moonlight.
“… Gratitude, right? You have a point.”
Megumin, who always looked at me with wrath, resignation, or pity, had a rare smile that matched girls her age.
Her straightforward expression made me feel uneasy.
“… Thank you for taking me in when I had nowhere to go in Axel, even though I’m a troublesome mage who can only use Explosion. Thank you for carrying me home after I exhaust my mana. Thank you for letting me stay on the team despite all the troubles I caused you.”
Megumin, who was always picking a fight, said something out of character.
Her white porcelain skin, contrasted with her black hair, had a hint of red.
The sign that Crimson Demons are excited–her red eyes glowed with mesmerizing light.
“What’s the matter? I’m just thanking you, right? Weren’t you the one who asked for this? Why are you acting so shy?”
Megumin said to me mischievously as I just stared at her dumbfounded.
Ah, I feel so embarrassed right now.
She always gave me attitude, but being gentle with me so suddenly caught me at a loss.
I hesitated on what to say.
“… Well, um, I was saved by you all numerous times too. According to your customs… I’m Satou Kazuma, the one who gets dragged repeatedly into troublesome matters, holder of the weakest job in Axel. My goal is to earn a lot of money and live happily ever after with all of you… Please, please take care of me from now on!”
I became more embarrassed as I went on, and Megumin giggled.
“Me too, please take care of me from now on… By the way, it’s really cold today. The house is run down, so maybe the cold got in from somewhere… Um, Kazuma really won’t do anything to me, right? It’s too cold, so I’ll go back into the blanket.”
Megumin said as she snuggled into the bedding with a red face.
Getting into the bedding under such an atmosphere would make me more nervous.
But it was cold today.
It couldn’t be helped…
… At this moment, I noticed the ice on the window.
What excuse should I make if someone saw it?
If Megumin saw that, the Kazuma stock that rose after so much effort would plummet.
What was I thinking when I did something that dumb?
I might’ve acted a little too rashly.
At this moment, Megumin leaned toward me.
She was much closer than before when we were lying side-by-side.
“… Me-Megumin, aren’t you a bit too close…?”
Megumin said as if she was teasing me:
“You’re always sexually harassing me, and now you act all timid? And you said you wouldn’t do anything, right? It should be fine then.”
My nervousness was totally different from just now.
It should be fine.
That’s right, this wasn’t much.
After all, I did say something really embarrassing and she became really trusting.
If she saw the frozen window, her wrath would reach a historical height.
Suddenly, my right hand was covered by something cold.
It seemed like Megumin was holding onto my hand willingly.
“… Hey, hey, don’t be so proactive, young girl. That time at the campsite too, if you do something like that out of the blue, my heart won’t be able to take it… Last night, Darkness even told your mother that letting you sleep with me was like putting a lamb into the cage of a beast that had been starving for a week.”
The room was cold but I started sweating. My voice was one pitch higher because of nervousness.
In response, Megumin laughed.
“Did Darkness say that? But she also said that even in a situation where you can do it for real, you would be too timid to act and brush it off with a joke.”
“Hey, what do you talk about with Darkness when you’re alone with her? Tell me, I promise I won’t get angry.”
Megumin panicked a little when she heard me and averted her head.
“… Hey, you two must’ve been speaking ill of me.”
“It’s a secret. Be-besides that, let’s tuck in early. We’re returning to Axel tomorrow, right? Let’s go back to our peaceful days there.”
She was trying to brush it off.
… At this point, Megumin, who was hiding in the blankets, said shyly:
“… I feel like visiting the washroom.”
With that, she climbed out of the bedding.
… Hey, wait!
“Ah, but your mom locked the door today–”
– Before I could finish, Megumin smiled wryly.
“She really… Never mind, I’ll go out from the windows tonight…”
Megumin looked at the windows and stood there stiffly.
… I covered my ears and hid my head back under the blanket, and curled into a ball.
That’s right, this was the perfect chance to activate Lurk.
While I was doing that, Megumin stared at the window blankly.
“… Kazuma, what’s going on?”
“… Winter Shogun passed by just now and left after freezing the window.”
Megumin pulled my blanket off immediately!
“Kazuma! What happened just now? This must be Kazuma’s handiwork! I know Kazuma did this, but I don’t understand what your objective is! Why did you freeze the window?”
It was cold after she took the blanket.
I curled into a ball and evaded Megumin’s gaze.
“… If I tell you that honestly, will you promise not to be mad?”
“If you don’t tell me, I’ll get everyone to treat you in a crueler manner than today.”
– I confessed everything.
“… Are you an idiot? Is Kazuma someone who can react according to the situation or an idiot? Give my gratitude just now back!”
“You’re absolutely right. I think it’s strange too, why did I act so dumb for two nights in a row?”
Maybe I’ve been traveling too much recently and my brain had burned out.
Megumin knocked on the frozen glass gently.
The freeze magic that used up all my mana left a thick layer of ice on the window; it won’t break just by knocking it a little.
Seeing that, Megumin rushed to the door.
“Open the door! Hey, open it…! Mom, mom!”
She kept yelling as she banged on the door.
However, the house was silent and no one showed any signs of waking up.
It was too cold, so I sneakily picked up the blanket and covered myself.
“… How should I put this, it’s cold so let’s sleep for now. It’ll be fine, I won’t do anything, trust me. If you can’t hold it in… There’s an empty bottle over there.”
“Let me ask you again, what do you want me to do with that empty bottle? And I trusted you until just now, but I feel a sense of danger like never before! Ah, this is really…”
Megumin yelled at me as she held back her anger.
The warm atmosphere earlier was completely gone.
“It’s my fault, I guarantee you that I won’t do anything. I must’ve been possessed by an evil spirit to have frozen the window with magic. I’m really sorry.”
When she heard that–
“At least say that when you’re out of the blanket…”
Megumin gave up on doing anything to me and returned into the bedding. She probably couldn’t stand the cold anymore.
“Kazuma, you’ll get it from me in the morning.”
In response to my exclamation of joy, Megumin announced this to me with red glowing eyes.
A certain great man once said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
And so, I decided to follow the teachings of my predecessors and live in the present.
Megumin, who proactively held my hand earlier, was sleeping in a corner with her back toward me.
This felt like a married couple who were tired of each other.
“… Hey, aren’t you cold? I’m really cold, so come closer.”
“… I really want you to give back the nice atmosphere just now…”
Megumin said in resignation. I chanted as softly as I could.
“You just complained about it being cold and you’re casting freeze? Just how much do you want to stick to me?”
After I was scolded by Megumin…
“Sigh… There’s only one pillow, so you use it. I’ll sleep on your arm.”
Megumin mumbled and leaned over.
“Hey, hey, I’ll feel troubled if you lean over so obediently.”
Megumin ignored me and placed her head onto my right arm, her face touching my chest.
“Just like Darkness said, ‘Even in a situation where you can do it for real, you’ll be too timid to act and brush it off with a joke.’”
Megumin said as she giggled inside the blanket.
Could it be, Megumin wasn’t unwilling?
So, it’s my period of popularity…!
Just when my faint hope was gradually growing.
“Demon King’s army alert! Demon King’s army alert! A portion of the Demon King’s army has infiltrated the village!”
… Yeah, of course, I knew it would end up like this.
Madam opened the door with a face of pity after hearing the alarm.
I took my sword and dashed out together with Megumin.
Once outside, we met with Sylvia, who was covered in wounds.
“Ah… Ahhh! Just a bit further! A little more…! … Sigh, why must I meet you at a time like this? As expected of you, my subordinates’ diversion attack didn’t work on you at all! Did you rush here after realizing my true objective? Mit–”
“You’re noisy, shut it.”
Wearing pajamas and bare footed, I drew my sword and approached Sylvia slowly.
When she heard me, Sylvia–
“Asking me to shut it? You might be a magic sword user, but a mere human dare–”
“Didn’t I tell you to shut it? Are you looking for a beating? Interrupting me when things are going so well, who do you think you are? What time do you think it is? Do you think the neighbors don’t need to sleep?”
I cut Sylvia off and roared at a general of the Demon King’s army as if this was my first time being so mad.
Faced with the explosive wrath of the human, Sylvia started to panic. But she regained her composure in no time.
“Hey, how dare you yell at me, you’ve got guts. Come at me together with that girl there, I’ll finish off both of you in one go!”
Prompted by her, I looked back.
Before I realized it, Megumin had come to my back with a staff in her hands.
Sylvia squinted her yellow feral eyes.
Just what race was she–? At first glance, she looked like a beautiful woman.
If she could move around in daytime, then she wasn’t a vampire.
Her ears were a little pointy… was she some type of devil?
She didn’t have any weapons with her, but what was that rope-like thing on her waist for?
Steeling myself, driven by the fury of her messing up my night, I stood before Megumin as if to protect her from Sylvia.
When Sylvia saw this, she licked her lips and smiled lewdly.
“Ara, ara, were you having a good time with that kid there? I really did something that spoiled the mood then.”
Sylvia taunted as she lowered her guard toward me and Megumin.
From the way she glanced at my katana from time to time, she was probably still mistaking me for Mitsurugi.
“Hey! Why is it so noisy in the middle of the night? What’s happening? Did Megumin sleep too much and cast an explosion?”
Aqua seemed to have been woken up because of the commotion, and poked her head out from the entrance.
“Hey Aqua, a general of the Demon King’s army is attacking! Get Hyoizaburo-san or Madam to come here!”
Aqua retreated back into the house immediately.
I really felt like slashing Sylvia who disrupted my happy times.
“I won’t hold back just because you’re a beauty! I’m all for gender equality, a man who won’t hesitate in drop kicking an evil woman!”
“Ara, I was hoping you’d show me some mercy. Thank you for calling me a beauty! I feel like just eating you up!”
I was thinking of using earth and wind magic combo to blind her, but unfortunately my mana had been used to do those stupid things, so I couldn’t even use them now.
I threw a bag I took when I charged out of the room at Sylvia.
“Hmm, what is it? A gift for me?”
Sylvia didn’t dodge, catching it with one hand.
At the same time, I slashed at her, but she caught it easily with her other hand.
Hey, what the hell was with this general?
Having caught my katana easily, Sylvia refused to let go.
In the end, she showed a confused face.
“… This is a magic sword? The craftsmanship’s too rough… Are you really Mitsurugi? Is the magic sword Gram something like this?”
Oh no, because the quality of my weapon and my swordsmanship were too poor, I got found out immediately.
No, it’s not over yet, I’ll–!
I was planning on intimidating her with lies, but Megumin spoke before I did.
“I said this sword is Chunchunmaru. This is a really normally named sword, Chunchunmaru. Don’t compare it with Gram, some name that sounds like the bones of a horse.”
The culprit who gave my sword this weird name said passionately.
“… Fufu, hahaha! You’re not the magic sword user Mitsurugi, right? Can you tell me your real name, and why you’re pretending to be Mitsurugi?”
Sylvia started laughing heartily. What’s so funny?
“… My name’s Satou Kazuma. I pretended to be Mitsurugi because I don’t want you to know my real name and target me.”
“Ah, hah! Hahaha! That’s amazing, your idea is too wonderful! I like it!”
When she heard my answer, it flipped a strange switch in Sylvia and she started laughing like a maniac.
The entrance door opened once again and Aqua poked her head out.
“Hey, I already told Madam who’s waking Darkness, she’ll be right there!”
It happened in an instant; Sylvia pulled the katana she was grabbing toward her.
Still holding on to the katana, I lost my balance and was pulled toward Sylvia.
I let go immediately, but it was too late.
My face fell right into Sylvia’s breasts.
Sylvia threw the katana aside and held me close to her chest.
Thank you for your hospitality…
No, no, no, it’s a trap!
That’s right, even if she was a big breasted woman with smooth skin, tall and slender built, a beauty with all the right curves, now wasn’t the time to feel happy about– Thank you for your hospitality!
I buried my face in Sylvia’s breasts and resisted futilely…
“Stop resisting! Bind!”
I’ve seen this before; this was a skill which restricts the movement of an opponent.
This should be something only adventurers with rogue jobs could learn!
Is she a boss with the skills of a rogue?
Sylvia bound my body to her waist while I maintained the situation of having half my face buried in her breasts.
With my body close to Sylvia and a rope around us, I wondered if I would be able to live here anymore.
“This man’s my hostage! That girl over there, I don’t know why you didn’t cast any spells, but this man will be dragged in if you do!”
“What…! Ka-Kazuma! Are you all right? You seem to be enjoying yourself.”
Megumin looked at me with cold eyes.
I couldn’t help it, hurry up and save me!
Well, don’t rush on my account, but do save me!
“Hmm? You look like a devil! I won’t let you escape, the one panting heavily in your chest right now’s my important… Important… Hey Kazuma! What’s my relationship with you? What should I say to look cool?”
Aqua who wanted to cast some spells to stop Sylvia shouted.
It seemed like this girl had stayed here for too long and was influenced by the Crimson Demons, as she refused to cast her spell without saying a cool chunni line.
Just shout ‘important comrade’, that’ll do, so hurry up–! I wanted to shout, but with my head caught between Sylvia’s breasts, I couldn’t say anything.
… Just what was with me recently?
Since that day when Yunyun said she wanted to have my baby, until this night.
Yunyun, orcs, Megumin, and Sylvia.
I’ll classify the orcs as a punishment game, but even so, overall, my luck was pretty good.
This was my popular period after all.
Or was it my only strong point–? Was my high luck stat working brilliantly?
I buried my face into her breasts and let her do whatever she wanted to.
“Hey boy, don’t breathe hot air into me, it’s making me excited. Be a good boy and I’ll give you a reward later.”
My popular period was here!
“But, but I can’t breathe like this…”
It was a joyous feeling for me, but I couldn’t breathe like this.
While I was squirming to change my posture…
Sylvia lowered her guard because she was facing my way, and Aqua used this opportunity to cast her spell.
A large column of light shot up from beneath me and Sylvia.
And of course, I was caught in it too…!
Sylvia screamed loudly.
I was also engulfed by the purification spell, but was unharmed.
In contrast to the unharmed me, Sylvia’s dress was all torn up after she was hit.
“You, you’ve done it now…! Even my leather one-piece dress made from the skin of low-level devils is torn…! But too bad, I’m not a pure devil. It might hurt, but it’s not lethal. Listen up, if you attack again, I’ll kill him!”
The half-naked Sylvia threatened Aqua as she undid my bounds, turned me around and pulled me close. The back of my head was squeezing her breasts.
She had solved my breathing problem compassionately.
“My name is Sylvia! Director of the monster enhancement division, the one who’ll keep modifying my own body! That’s right, I’m a chimera, growth chimera Sylvia! I’ll take this boy with me. My cute boy, become one with me again, Bind!”
… ‘My name is Sylvia’, huh… Seemed like she had been poisoned during her repeated battles with the Crimson Demons.
While Sylvia was announcing her title, she planned to tie me up with Bind once again.
Frankly speaking, I didn’t have any weapons on me and had my back to the enemy. I had no means of fighting back.
And so, I didn’t resist and lifted my hands up cooperatively and allowed her to bind me with ropes.
“Ka-Kazuma! Give Kazuma back…! … Kazuma, you didn’t resist just now, are you doing this on purpose?”
With the back of my head deep within Sylvia’s giant breasts, I denied it clearly.
Because Sylvia was tall, I couldn’t reach the ground when my head was on her breasts. After being tied up, I was hanging in the air.
What was with this soft and serene feeling?
It was like finding the home I had been searching so hard for all this while.
Megumin was looking down at me with an ice-cold glare. At this point–
“Ugh…! I was too careless…!”
When I heard this familiar voice, I turned to find Darkness in casual clothes without armor, panting as she ran over.
She was wearing a thin black shirt and tight skirt with a greatsword in her hands.
She probably came here in a panic after Madam woke her.
Darkness, her hair still a mess, stood in front of Aqua and glared at Sylvia.
“Demon King’s general! The people in this household have gone off to get the other Crimson Demons! It’s only a matter of time before reinforcements come. Throw that hopeless man who’s closing his eyes blissfully while putting his head into your breasts away and disappear! If you want a hostage no matter what… Pick me…! I’ll take his place! Please let me be the hostage in place of Kazuma!”
Darkness said suddenly, Sylvia laughed cheerfully after hearing that.
“Ara, hey, you’re quite the ladies’ man! Two lovers? But no, I like him. Hey, you’re Kazuma, right? How about joining the Demon King’s army? I think you and I’ll get along well.”
She caressed my head gently as she said that.
“… Hey, Kazuma has gotten really close to the enemy before I knew it. She’s even patting his head.”
Aqua didn’t know what else to say, and Darkness continued–
“… Hey Kazuma, why are you stuck in a place like that…? Sigh, I really can’t let my guard down. You must’ve been seduced by the breasts of that woman. Can’t be helped, I’ll save you now, so stay still…”
My instant reply made the four other persons shout out harmoniously.
I laid back as if I was lying on a high-class couch, rubbing my head as much as I pleased against Sylvia’s bountiful breasts.
“I said don’t bother. All of you, especially Darkness, your attitudes toward me recently have been terrible. Sylvia-san here’s treating me very nicely. As you all have been treating me terribly all the time, I was just thinking of switching my allegiance to the Demon King’s army, instead. Apologize, it’s about time for you to apologize for making me clean up after you girls! Megumin thanked me just now too, so apologize!”
I said to Darkness.
Darkness was stunned when I said these willful words, just like something Aqua would say.
“Hey… Hey Kazuma, don’t joke like that. It’s so convincing that it doesn’t feel like a joke at all. Um… It’s true, we were a bit mean to you… Um, I went too far when I was introducing you to Megumin’s family, sorry. Oh right, didn’t you say you wanted a medal? I understand, your accomplishments are exemplary, when we go back to Axel I’ll…”
“Can you act more sincerely?! It’s too late to tempt me with money now, show me your sincerity! Look closely at the situation right now! Sylvia-san’s showing me her bountiful peaks! And what about your strong point? Say it! Say it now!”
I talked over Darkness and said all that in one go.
Darkness was a bit uneasy and squirmed as she said:
“My, my defense…?”
“Wrong! Isn’t your strong point your slutty body that can seduce men? Why are you saying stupid stuff and pretending to be a pure girl?”
“Hey, this man’s beyond saving. He’s talking strangely, let’s leave him to the Demon King’s army.”
“No, we can’t, even so, he’s still useful during crucial moments.”
Megumin and Aqua whispered quietly to each other.
They must be discussing how best to rescue me.
Darkness covered her body shyly and said:
“I-I…! Never, did seduce…!”
She furrowed her brow as she blinked away tears, planning to refute my accusations.
“Yes, you did! Really, your body’s so slutty! Tonight! My luck stat is at the max! This is probably the most popular period of my life! Apologize now! If you don’t want me who’s at the most popular period of my life to leave with Sylvia-san, then apologize! For example, … Let me think…”
I let my arrogance get the best of me and uttered these words, which made Darkness speechless. At this moment, Sylvia put her hands on my head and said.
“Good, good… As expected of the man I set my eyes on! I’ll let you join the Demon King’s army! But don’t bully that Crusader girl too much, all right? You have to treat the delicate hearts of girls with care.”
Darkness glared at Sylvia when she heard that.
“You’re a demon, but you could empathize with the feelings of young girls, huh…? It’s impossible to discern the age of demons from appearance, could your empathy stem from experience of being a thousand-year-old woman?”
After Darkness taunted with a sword raised, Sylvia answered matter-of-factly.
“Ara, of course I understand, be it the heart of young girls or boys.”
Hoho, as expected of a beauty of the demonic race, she understood the hearts of both men and women.
Sylvia continued as she caressed my head.
“After all, half of me is a man.”
She added nonchalantly.
I couldn’t understand what she just said and turned back to face her.
Some parts of the village were probably on fire, which illuminated the sky behind her back. I noticed something at this moment.
Sylvia’s lower jaw.
Not just her jaw, there was a faint tint of blue around her face…
“Hmm, didn’t I tell you?”
The blue earring on her sharp right ear was sparkling…
“I’m a chimera. These breasts you like so much aren’t natural, but added after the fact.”
She was speaking as if it was nothing important.
My brain was working hard to reject what I just heard.
Doing all it could to not understand that sentence.
After all, that would mean…
I had been getting excited over the breasts of a man all this while, that…
“… Ka-Kazuma? Um… You, pull yourself together…! Hey! Snap out of it! It, it’ll be okay, calm… Calm down…”
I heard the soft voice of Megumin and recalled a rumor I heard long ago.
Men who wore their earrings on the right ears were–
“By the way, you really are a nice man… Just caressing your head like that makes my breasts and lower body excited.”
Because of our height difference, my butt was at the height of Sylvia’s nether region.
“Sylvia-san, Sylvia-san, there’s something hard pressed against my butt… that’s my imagination, right?”
In response, Sylvia said that popular Japanese phrase shyly:
“I did that on purpose.”
– My brain froze.