I want to be the strongest mage!
Editing: Adam, Boring Bone, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Xenthur
– The next morning.
Megumin and I were strolling around the village of the Crimson Demons.
We met Yunyun on the way, so all three of us strolled around together.
I thought Yunyun would be staying here a while, but it seems that she’ll be returning to Axel immediately.
However, it was understandable why she was so eager to return.
After the battle with Sylvia, the village of the Crimson Demons changed.
“Ah! It’s ‘the one with azure lightning on her back’, Yunyun! Long time no see! I’m going for breakfast, want to join me?”
A girl about Yunyun’s age said to her.
Yunyun blushed and shook her head.
The girl who chatted up Yunyun wasn’t unhappy about Yunyun’s reaction, and said, ‘Is that so, such a pity’ and left with a smile and a wave.
“… How popular, ‘the one with azure lightning on her back’. It’s just a meal, so why don’t you just join her?”
“Don’t say it! Stop using that name! Wh-why did I do something so stupid…?”
Megumin’s words drove Yunyun to the verge of tears as she covered her red face with both hands.
After the battle, everyone’s attitude toward Yunyun changed.
They always treated her as the strangest person in the Crimson Demon village, and thought of her as a girl with weird tastes. Suddenly, she became the most popular person in the village.
A guy passing by said to Yunyun:
“Oh, it’s ‘crackling thunder’ Yunyun! I’m just going to eat…”
“Not going! I’m not going!!”
After Yunyun who was about to cry rejected him, the guy didn’t really mind, said ‘it’s a pity’ and left with a wave.
This could be considered a new type of bullying.
“… How popular, ‘crackling thunder’. Just let him treat you to breakfast.”
“No! Please don’t say it! Don’t give me weird nicknames!”
Yunyun shook her head while covering her face.
Megumin suddenly used the tip of her staff to poke Yunyun’s cheek.
“What are you saying, number one mage of the Crimson Demons? You ignored me and used that name, and now you say you don’t want one, how selfish! Come, show me that cool pose again!”
“Do-don’t say it! Megumin’s still bothered by that? I only borrowed it for a while!”
Yunyun rebuked Megumin who was poking her face with a staff.
I couldn’t help chipping in:
“The two of you are so close.”
When she heard that, Megumin just threw a glance at me–
Then she swung her staff around unhappily.
“Let’s go! The teleporter already registered the destination to Axel! We need to hurry up and get ready for the teleport!”
“Ah, wait for me Megumin!”
I smiled as I watched Yunyun chase Megumin in a panic and walked slowly behind them.
… This time, two girls about Megumin’s age appeared before us.
“Ah, Funifura, Dodonko.”
They were acquaintances, huh?
The two of them pointed at Megumin.
“It’s been a while, Yunyun and useless mage! How’ve you been?”
“Ahahaha! The number one genius of the Crimson Demons became the number one useless mage! You’re now the talk of the village!”
Megumin, who was being teased, wordlessly pounced on the two of them.
“Hey, your greetings are really special for meeting a classmate you haven’t met for so long!”
“It-it’s just a joke! Sorry, I’m sorry! It’s been so long, so why are you still so aggressive?”
“Stop, what’s with the strength of your grip? What level are you now, it hurts! Violence is prohibited!”
The two of them lifted the white flag in no time after Megumin’s attack.
… I don’t know what their relationship with Megumin was, but they were bad at handling her.
One of the girls then said to Yunyun:
“… Um, you were very cool yesterday. Up until now, I’ve always thought of you as a weirdo… Many things happened too.”
She averted her eyes in embarrassment after finishing.
“Yeah, I’ve changed my opinion of you too! Yunyun’s so cool!”
The other person said…
“Please don’t say anymore.”
Yunyun covered her flushed face on the verge of tears.
“The two of you are a bit off in some ways, so we were worried about you.”
“That’s right, Megumin acts childishly sometimes and Yunyun looks like she’d be an easy target of bad boys. But we’re relieved that the two of you are doing well.”
I felt a sense of warmth in my heart after seeing their smiles.
This was great. Even if Yunyun got left alone in Axel, her friends would be here for her.
At this moment, Yunyun smiled and said to me:
“Kazuma-san, allow me to introduce them. This is Funifura and Dodonko. During my school days, they were my… fr-friends!”
After Yunyun happily made the introduction with a little bit of boastfulness, I bowed toward the two girls once again.
The two who were named as Yunyun friends shyly returned the bow.
“How do you do? My name’s Satou Kazuma. I’m one of Yunyun’s friends and I’ve been in her care. Please take care of me too.”
“Ple-please take care of me too!”
Come to think of it, there were plenty of beautiful girls in the Crimson Demon village.
And that made me a little nervous.
However, maybe it was just my imagination, but the two of them seemed a little tense as well.
Megumin, who was watching our conversation, suddenly threw a bomb.
“Hey, I understand you two don’t have a lot of chances to meet guys, but please don’t flirt with my man.”
When they heard that, all three of the other girls were shocked.
“He-hey, what did you say…? So, you were serious when you said you liked me last night?”
This shocked the three of them even more.
Dodonko and Funifura were at a loss and asked in a fluster–
“Ma-Ma-Man? That Megumin who didn’t care about anything other than magic has a man? Is this a lie? It is right? You like him as a boyfriend?”
“That-That-That’s right, it must be. Megumin who isn’t concerned about such things suddenly having a man is impossible, huh?”
The two of them said.
What is this?
Yunyun asked in a panic:
“Ka-Kazuma-san? Is this true? Me-Megumin made such a confession…”
She asked softly.
I asked Megumin with eye contact, ‘would it be fine to tell the truth?’
“Don’t think too much about this–Kazuma already met my parents and gifted them with snacks. We’ve even bathed together before and had been sharing the same bed and blanket with our bodies rubbing against each other. That’s how simple our relationship is.”
The pale Funifura and Dodonko took a few unsteady steps back.
Megumin wasn’t lying though.
The corner of her lips rose in a smirk as if she was showing off.
“… Wah, wahhh! So-so what if you have a man, ahhh!”
“I-I’m not envious! I’m not envious at all, ahhh!”
The two of them uttered such lines before running off.
Next, Megumin said to Yunyun, who was blushing and at a loss.
“Yunyun, there’s a place I want to go with Kazuma. Sorry, but can you go ahead and ask the teleporter to get ready?”
“Huh? That, that’s… Um, I can do that…! So, you two are really…?”
Yunyun timidly looked at Megumin and me.
Used a high school girl like tone that she normally never used and said:
“Even if one of us found a boyfriend, we’ll still be friends forever!”
“Wah, wahhh! You normally won’t say I’m a friend! I don’t feel like I lost to Megumin at all!!”
Following behind Funifura and Dodonko, Yunyun ran away too.
– Megumin brought me outside the village.
We entered the forest and came to a deserted place.
Only the chirping of the insects could be heard.
At this moment, Megumin turned her head and looked at me.
… Hmm, what was this situation?
No, she already did.
… Did she?
No, was that really a confession yesterday?
No, no, she said just now that I was her man too!
However, she probably just wanted to show off before her friends…!
Don’t be careless, Satou Kazuma, if I say, ‘I like you too, please go out together with me!’, her answer will be ‘I don’t mean that kind of like’ or something like that.
In the end, do I really like Megumin?
No, I’ll fall easily when a member of the opposite sex treats me gently.
I didn’t expect to be such an easy guy to score with!
Such thoughts flashed across my mind and made me uneasy.
Megumin stared at me and said:
“Kazuma… I asked you yesterday, and I’ll ask you again. You want an excellent mage, right?”
…What was this?
She asked me the same thing last night too, what was the meaning of this?
I gave the same answer as before.
“If you asked if I want one, then the answer is yes, of course.”
I answered matter-of-factly.
Was Megumin satisfied with this answer?
“Is that so… Hmm, I made up my mind.”
She suddenly smiled.
… It was foul play to attack a virgin boy who has never dated before with such a smile.
In a quiet place with no one around, saying ‘I made up my mind’, and asking ‘Do you want an excellent mage?’; wouldn’t that make my heart skip a beat?
“I plan to start learning advanced magic.”
Megumin’s thinking was too extreme, she was asking too much of a virgin… What did she say?
“… Hey, what did you say?”
My voice turned shrill.
When I told her that I would cut her meals from three to two if she wanted to cast Explosion, she would choose to cast the spell without hesitation. What did such an explosion maniac say?
Megumin took out her adventurer’s card.
And showed it to me.
“I’ve been feeling troubled, even before Yunyun said I was a useless mage. Maybe I wouldn’t have considered such things if I never met you, Aqua, and Darkness, and kept on raising my Explosion level. It’s evident from meeting Funifura and Dodonko that everyone in the village of the Crimson Demons must be utterly disappointed in me… I won’t be a burden for you anymore. I’ll be of help to you and everyone… So, that’s why, from this day forth, I’ll seal my explosion magic.”
After finishing, she smiled at me again.
“Hey, wait a minute. While it’ll be a big help if you can use advanced magic, there’s no need to seal away your explosion magic. We won’t be doing quests every day, so you can cast your explosion spell every day if you’re free. Also, instead of using it every day, it can be a trump card during crucial moments…! And didn’t you tell Yunyun earlier that you put all your skill points into increasing the power of Explosion and raising the chanting speed?”
Megumin broke out in a laugh after hearing what I said.
“You remember it well. To learn this skill at any moment, I had been saving up my precious skill points… After chanting Explosion and exhausting my mana, I won’t be able to use other spells for the day. On the other hand, if I use advanced magic, I won’t be able to use Explosion which requires all my mana. When I learn advanced magic, I need to keep on casting it to increase my proficiency, and I would need to keep on practicing it.”
Megumin stared at the adventurer’s card in her hand.
… I suddenly remembered.
When I left Axel, Vanir said to me:
“At the destination of thy journey, there’ll be a time when thy comrade shares their doubts and approaches thee for advice. That comrade will change her path according to thy words. Thou should consider it carefully and give an advice thy won’t regret.”
I see, so he was referring to this.
Damn it, that cheating devil, he already foresaw this far?
After I go back, I’ll rub holy water on the door handles of that shop.
But I could only imagine a future where Wiz scalded her hands badly.
As if she was holding a treasure chest full of precious memories, Megumin stared longingly at the card.
She then closed her eyes quietly.
Took a deep breath, and opened them again.
She then turned her backs toward me and offered her card as if she were enduring something.
Megumin’s shoulders were trembling slightly.
“Sorry, Kazuma. Can I ask you to do something mean?”
“… You can’t press the button to learn advanced magic yourself, so you want me to help you press it, right?”
Megumin nodded her head.
What an idiot…
“How about thinking over it again? We already got a huge sum of money in the bank, right? We don’t need to do dangerous quests anymore. We can live a carefree life in that mansion, you can wipe out some small fries with Explosion every now and then, and all of us can live happily ever after.”
Megumin blurt out a laugh.
“When I said I didn’t plan to learn intermediate magic last time, Kazuma kept nagging me about it.”
Her shoulders were quivering as if she heard some joke, but still pushed the card in front of me insistently.
I took the card silently.
“… You won’t regret this?”
I said to Megumin’s back.
“I won’t. I don’t want to be a burden anymore. If I’m a normal Crimson Demon, Kazuma won’t be chased by orcs and be forced into tears… Sylvia wouldn’t have been able to kidnap Kazuma, either… I’m the number one mage of the Crimson Demons, the one who wields the power of advanced magic! … I’ll say that from now on. I have more mana than Yunyun, so if I can use advanced magic, I’ll be the strongest mage of the Crimson Demons. I won’t let Yunyun take my number one spot.”
Megumin said determinedly.
With a forced smile on her face.
…What an idiot.
She liked Explosion so much, and gave her everything to explosion magic.
I operated Megumin’s card in silence.
But to think it was possible to use another person’s card.
If only I knew that earlier.
For example, when I first met with them, I would’ve stolen Darkness and Megumin’s cards, and allocated the skill points on their cards against their wills.
After I was done, I handed the card over to Megumin.
Without taking another look at the card, she casually took the card and stuffed it into her chest.
She then turned around.
“It’s about time to go back to the others! Together with Aqua and Darkness, let’s go back to Axel. Oh right, the bounty for Sylvia’s really high, right?”
“Hmm, is that so? Let’s go back and have a party then.”
When Megumin was about to return to the village of the Crimson Demons, I stopped her.
“Oh, that’s right. Megumin, try casting an explosion spell.”
I asked her suddenly.
When Megumin heard me say that…
“… You’re really… I just steeled myself, and not five minutes later, you want me to cast Explosion? Just what are you thinking?”
She didn’t know what else to say.
“From where I was from, there’s a saying ‘I’ll work hard tomorrow.’ Also, I’ve yet to see a one-hundred-point Explosion from you. The Explosion that defeated Sylvia borrowed the power of the weapon too. Are you fine with your final Explosion being so lackluster?”
“… You really don’t hold back, do you? All right, this will be my final Explosion spell. I’ll show you a powerful shot!”
After finishing, Megumin aimed at a boulder some distance from us with exaggerated movement.
“… Wait, Me-Megumin. Hold on. Don’t aim so close, set your target further away. You’ll be giving it your all for this ultimate blow, right? Then aim at that boulder over there.”
I pointed at a giant boulder beyond the forest, situated right in the middle of a plain.
Megumin tilted her head when she heard my sudden request.
“I don’t mind, but that’s barely within my range … Well then, let me show you my full power final Explosion!”
The elation on her face right now came from the bottom of her heart, not that fake smile she was forcing earlier.
The giggly Megumin was enjoying herself as she began chanting her explosion spell…!
On the tip of her raised staff, an intense light was shining; the beam shot straight at the boulder.
Without question, it was the best Explosion I’ve seen so far.
Along with the deafening roar, a wind blast that was bigger than I imagined blew toward me.
If she had unleashed this on Sylvia, she might’ve just defeated her without relying on that weapon. That was how powerful it was.
After witnessing the power of the spell, Megumin was shocked and took out her card in a hurry.
After checking the content, she stared intensely at me, unable to suppress the joy in her heart as she showed a complicated expression that was a combination of resignation and happiness.
A moment later, she flicked her cape and had a smile freed of doubts as she introduced herself.
“I’m Megumin! The number one mage in Axel, an Archwizard that uses Explosion, and the one who’ll reach the peak of Explosion Magic!”
The usual Megumin was before me.
I went against Megumin’s will and put all her skill points into increasing the power of her Explosion.
She asked if I would want an excellent mage.
But there wasn’t any mage more excellent than our Megumin.
After all, she just needed one explosion spell to make a fool of the Demon King’s Generals and defeat them.
If there were any mages that had better results than her, I’d like to meet them.
And what I wanted the most wasn’t an excellent mage, but…
The arrogant Megumin puffed her petite chest out and asked:
“How many points was that Explosion?”
And of course, it’s…
“One hundred and twenty points.”
Megumin smiled brilliantly when she heard those words–