EXPLOSIVE NEET’S JOB HUNTING （raison d’etre）
Translator: Sine Nomine
Editor(s): Cannongerbil, Skythewood, Xenthur
Some time had passed since the disturbance with the evil god’s minions.
Yunyun and I learned magic, graduated from the school, and went our separate ways.
Since Yunyun learned intermediate magic back then, she joined the self-defense group to hunt down monsters so that she could eventually learn advanced magic.
As for me—
“Good morning, NEET Nee-chan! Feed me now!”
“Komekko, don’t call me NEET Nee-chan. Where did you learn that word from?”
I spent my idle days being called a NEET by my sister.
“Listen, Komekko. I’m not a NEET. A NEET is trash that doesn’t want to work. I’m looking for a job, but couldn’t find one. So I’m technically not a NEET.”
“Then what are you?”
“NEET nee-chan, I want to eat!”
I cradled my head after my sister repeatedly called my by this weird name. She bore no ill will, but…
—in the Crimson Demon Village, except for a few people who managed the necessary shops, most people worked on manufacturing the local specialty.
The Crimson Demon Village’s local specialty.
That was high-quality magic items and potions, made using our naturally powerful mana.
For example, the Skill Up Potion that Yunyun and I drank as though it was water could be sold outside the village for tens of millions of eris a bottle.
I only found out about this after I graduated. Why didn’t I keep at least one bottle back then?
The Crimson Demons could create a lot of the highest quality magic items.
After all, Archmage was an advanced job among mages that couldn’t be easily acquired.
Yet the people here had the potential to become Archmages from the moment they were born.
The magic items created by elite mages supported the village’s economy.
“…It would be great if there’s a workshop willing to employ me today…”
I sighed as I prepared Komekko’s breakfast.
—Leaving the village as an adventurer to meet the person who taught me Explosion magic.
That was my goal.
To become an adventurer outside the village, I must first go to a city.
But there were powerful monsters around the Crimson Demon Village.
I would become immobile after casting Explosion, so I couldn’t travel alone.
There was a group of teleporters that made a living by sending people to distant places. They should be able to send me to a city…
“A single ticket to Alcanretia, the city of water and hot springs, costs 300,000 eris. I only have 4,000 eris right now… Is there any job to make money…”
I looked at my lean money pouch and heaved a deep sigh.
I wanted to go to Axel, the town where rookie adventurers congregated.
But it was a rookie town surrounded by only weak monsters. For us Crimson Demons who could use advanced magic, it was not a popular destination.
To operate a long distance teleport, one must first go to the destination and record a save point. The local teleporters do not have Axel as an available location.
Thus, to reach Axel, I must first teleport to Alcanretia, then proceed on foot or by carriage from there.
Thus, I must find a job to earn money for the teleport fee…
—As I was thinking about this, I noticed my neighbor approaching from the opposite direction.
“Hey, Megumin, looking for a job today too? Or want to give up on working and join the Anti-Demon King Army Guerilla Unit? You can join us and Yunyun to defend the village’s peace.”
“No, no… But, that introverted kid really joined.”
“Yes, she’s quite enthusiastic. She says she will protect her comrades this time and learn advanced magic.”
Although the group name “Red Eyed Dead Slayers” embarrassed Yunyun, she joined these NEETs’ self-defense force in order to train and learn advanced magic.
She trained relentlessly in order to gain experience with Bukkoroli and the others, who were all elite mages despite being NEETs.
“By the way, Bukkoroli, is it really okay for you not to work? Your parents are always complaining.”
“My parents and society currently look down on me, but soon a great battle will come where we’ll need to use our power. To prepare for this, I must constantly train myself.”
Bukkoroli said and clenched his fist under his gloves, which groaned from the tightness.
“Well, seeya around, Megumin. As a fellow NEET, as long as it doesn’t require money, I’ll give you a hand if you have any problems.”
“I, I am not a NEET! I’m looking for a job!”
As I quickly retorted, Bukkoroli turned, waved, and left.
Oh dear, oh dear.
In Komekko’s eyes, I’m just the same as that guy.
No matter what, I must find a job today…!
In the Crimson Demon Village, creating magic items was the most profitable.
Thus, after graduation, I visited a lot of workshops for interviews…
“Today’s interview is at the tailor shop owned by Chekera… Today I must…!”
I slapped my face to encourage myself as I walked towards the interview site.
“Welcome! My name is Chekera! An Archmage who wields advanced magic! Owner of the Crimson Demons’ top tailor shop! You really came for the interview, Megumin.”
I didn’t know why he was wearing a cloak inside the shop. The owner of the only tailor shop in the village introduced himself and welcomed me. His name is Chekera.
This middle-aged shopkeeper seemed to be rather free. He went out of his way to maintain wind magic just to let his cloak flutter when I arrived.
After his self-introduction, he removed his cloak in satisfaction.
“Come in. My shop mainly manufactures magical fibers, used for making mana-enhancing robes. The strength of magical fibers depends on the maker’s mana. So firstly, let me witness Megumin’s mana.”
“Understood. Now witness my vast mana!”
I confidently declared as I was brought inside the workshop.
In terms of mana, I was fairly confident.
“Can you direct your mana into this? You already learned magic, right? This is similar to using magic, just direct the mana here.”
Chekera explained and brought over some fabric.
I picked up a piece of fabric and infused it with my mana.
The white fabric was soon dyed with a dark color that was a favorite among Crimson Demons.
The fabric transformation aroused my curiosity. I took the other pieces of fabric.
Infused them with mana as if I was normally using magic.
Infused them with mana…
“…Megumin. Hey, Megumin!”
As I infused my mana, my emotions became excited, and my eyes brightened.
Currently, my eyes must be glowing red.
I need to find a job today, so I have to do my best!
The fabric that was being infused with mana turned black in an instance, then reddish black, and eventually bright red…
Suddenly, Chekera took the fabric.
And hurriedly threw it deep into the shop.
After the shout, the red fabric was frozen instantly.
Chekera looked pale.
“What are you doing?! Are you trying to destroy my shop?! A few more seconds and it would have exploded!”
“So-Sorry! But, but I was doing as you instructed…”
Oh no. This is going to end up like the other workshops…!
Chekera tilted his head, bewildered—
“Strange… Even if a fresh graduate exerts her full power, it shouldn’t end up like this…”
He mumbled something and took out a handkerchief-sized cloth.
“Hey, try touching this cloth and infusing it with mana. Just your index finger would do.”
I did as instructed, lightly touching the cloth with my finger.
And it was dyed black, then became pure red as before…
Chekera used the same magic and froze the red handkerchief.
He slowly shook his head.
“Megumin, your natural mana reserve is too strong and you can’t properly control it.”
He regretfully looked at me.
“Megumin, your father Hyoizaburo possesses a great mana reserve as well, but he always creates some weird magic items. Having a great mana reserve is a natural endowment, so you should train your magic and learn to control it. When you learn to control your mana flow during infusion, you can come here again.”
I lost count of how many times I had been rejected.
—After leaving the shop, I felt lost.
It was the same as in other workshops. I got fired on the first day.
It seemed my magic power was too strong.
Normally, this should be a good thing…
But the problem was I only learned Explosion magic. No matter how much I practice, I couldn’t understand how to control the amount of mana during infusion.
Explosion magic was very exhausting, so using it required a full flow of power without restriction.
I didn’t know how to control my mana flow.
In the end, no magic item workshop wanted me.
Maybe I could help my father to make magic items for a bit of cash?
No, no. I’m very well aware that my father’s magic items were all faulty and unsellable.
My poor family had no spare cash to employ me.
If it was like this, then…
I walked towards the potion-making workshop in the village—
“That’s how it is. I thought that this place doesn’t pay as well compared to creating magic items, but now I have no choice. I’m quite confident in making potions, so please employ me.”
“It’s admirable to be honest during job hunting, but can’t you be more polite? Couldn’t you say something like wanting to cure sick people or help the needy?”
“Then I’ll take my leave.”
“Wait, don’t go.”
I forcefully trespassed into the potion workshop and asked the shopkeeper for an interview.
I achieved some results in school for making potions.
Although I can’t make super difficult potions like the Skill Up Potion, I should be able to manage this.
The shopkeeper looked troubled, but soon gave in and sighed.
“I already have enough workers here… but since you just needed short-term work to pay for teleport fee, it’s fine too.”
Success! I should’ve been more positive and went straight to the potion workshop!
It looked like money made me lose my way in life.
I must correct this fault, or my future companions would hate me.
“There are enough mixers, so you can gather some ingredients. Go into the forest and hunt three One Strike Bears and retrieve the livers.”
For the sake of my unknown companions in the future…
“…What did you say?”
“I said go and retrieve the livers of three One Strike Bears. Ah, this is a potion that will attract monsters. You can use it to lure them.”
The potion shopkeeper smiled happily.
To an ordinary adventurer, a One Strike Bear was considered a powerful foe. But to a Crimson Demon, who mastered advanced magic after graduation, it was merely a source of experience points.
But, for a specific reason, I couldn’t preserve only the liver of a One Strike Bear…
…It looked like I couldn’t work in the potion shop either.
—After leaving the shop, I felt lost again.
How could this be?
I, who was regarded as a genius, couldn’t find a job.
I even lived off the food my sister acquired somewhere. I was hopeless.
The potion shopkeeper also said that I could also be a tester for new potions.
In times of desperation, should I risk my life and test strange medicines?
But I was physically smaller and weaker than other people of my age, so would I even qualify as a lab rat?
I’m out of options. In my current disturbed condition, I couldn’t find a solution.
Right, at times like this, there was only one thing to do.
To prepare for the event tonight, I should go back now and take a good rest.
—Late at night. The night was quiet except for some insect noises.
At a time when the residents were already asleep, there was an explosive noise in the Crimson Demon Village.
Shortly after, the bell towed to alert the entire village of an emergency.
“There it goes again!”
“I definitely won’t let you off today!”
Outraged voices echoed throughout the village.
The adults were angry at having their sleep disturbed. They unleashed fire magic into the sky to illuminate the area.
The bright sky made it seem like it was daytime. Two suspicious silhouettes were moving around.
“Komekko, faster! Ouch! Komekko, don’t grab my legs. Grab my upper body!”
It was us.
“Nee-chan, the fireworks are pretty tonight. Are we doing it again tomorrow?”
“The security should be tighter for the next few days… Never mind, if you want to see it, we’ll do it again tomorrow… Right, Komekko. You’re grabbing the right place now, but go slightly slower…!”
After casting Explosion magic into the night sky, I was exhausted to the point of immobility. Komekko was currently dragging me along.
My young sister couldn’t possibly pull me along without aid.
Therefore, I was placed on a sled and pulled along. The sled was too small, so part of me was protruding.
Previously, Komekko was pulling on my lower body, so my head was on the ground. Now, I made her change to pull on my upper body…
“But if we don’t move fast, people will come, right?”
Hearing my sister, I merely moved my head slightly since I was totally exhausted. The adults continued to release magic into the sky and were slowly getting closer.
This was bad!
“Komekko, it’s fine to use more force! Retreat from here quickly!”
—Currently, the Crimson Demon Village was troubled due to an attack by the Demon King’s army.
As far as attack goes, it was merely making a loud bang late at night to disturb everyone’s rest and enrage them.
What was the purpose of this meaningless harassment?
They’ve failed every time they tried to catch the perpetrator in the village’s surroundings.
Based on the massive explosion and the cunningness to escape capture, the village agreed unanimously that it was a terrorist attack by the generals of the Demon King’s army.
The next morning, after we returned home.
“Get out here!”
It was early in the morning, and someone was knocking on the door.
I rubbed my sleepy eyes and opened the door.
“…What is it, Yunyun. Don’t make such a fuss so early in the morning. The neighbors still need to sleep.”
“Megumin, you’re not in any position to say that! I’ve been working non-stop to find the perpetrator of yesterday’s explosion!”
With heavy eye bags, possibly from working overnight, Yunyun charged in as she ate her meal.
“Even if you complain to me about it… The perpetrator was some explosion demon from the Demon King’s army. You should save your complaints for the perpetrator.”
I immediately acted ignorant. Yunyun frowned and suddenly brought her face really close.
“Eh. So Megumin thinks the recent explosions were caused by the Demon King’s army?”
“Of course. It must be a general for it to be so formidable. The responsibility is truly too heavy for Yunyun and the other villagers.”
I said lightly. Yunyun narrowed her eyes.
“Eh?! Even though the explosions only happened on days when Megumin went out job-hunting, this could still be explained as the work of the Demon King’s army?!”
Yunyun grabbed my shoulders and brought her face even closer.
“Of course! What? Are you suspecting me? Yunyun, you know that I can’t move after using magic!”
After being grabbed at my shoulders, I racked brains to think of a way out of this mess. Yunyun’s mouth started moving once more.
“Eh!?!? On the morning after each explosion, Komekko, who usually wakes up early, sleeps through the morning. Is it really coincidental!?”
Ah, this isn’t good!
“Wh-What? Are you really suspecting me? I’m so disappointed! I’m so disappointed in you, Yunyun! I thought you were my friend, but you actually think of me this way! True friends definitely wouldn’t suspect each other!”
Yunyun’s eyes glowed red. Arteries appeared on her cheeks. She used both hands to hold onto my head.
“Even though you’re my friend, if you think I’ll forgive you for this, you’re dead wrong!”
“Ahahah, stop! I know, I know! My head, my genius head!”
I confessed everything to Yunyun after my head was subjected to vigorous shaking.
“Seriously! Why are you doing this, Megumin?! Are you stupid? Although you’ve often been regarded as a genius, you’re just one step away from being an idiot, right?”
I was ordered to sit straight on the floor and listen to her lecture.
Yunyun was now part of the self-defense force.
Although the self-defense force only had a name without any resources, they would still take the initiative to investigate such situations.
What could I say? I was probably the prime subject ever since the first explosion incident.
“I admit it was my doing this time, but now I also understand now that Yunyun suspects her friends so easily. I’m so disappointed.”
“You’re still at it! Anyway, you should be grateful that I’m the first to know! I don’t know what the others would do if they find out! If the villagers find out that the genius Megumin, whom everyone has great expectations for, learned Explosion magic, you’d be finished!”
Yunyun angrily roared as I shivered in fear.
Explosion magic was a useless magic.
It consumed an amount of mana beyond what normal people possessed, and unleashed a destructive force that was overkill.
And it required a lot of skill points to learn. Mages would regard someone who learned it as an idiot.
I sat straight and stole a glance at Yunyun.
“Don’t you think I’ve been enduring for a long time? It’s been almost half a year since I learned Explosion magic. Even if my tolerance is strong, it will be at its limit soon.”
“Don’t use such a strange method to excuse yourself! In any case, until the disturbance dies down, you’re banned from using Explosion magic, understand?!”
“I will actively find a way to compensate.”
“I, I understand! Don’t get so close. Don’t look at me like that!”
It was inconvenient to talk outside, so I invited Yunyun into the house.
“So what are your plans for the future? Still can’t find a job?”
Yunyun caressed Chomusuke, who was curled up on the table.
I couldn’t help it. There isn’t a job that would take me.
“Things can’t go on like this. As a last resort, I’ll have to sell my body.”
—The potion shopkeeper suggested the job of testing new potions.
“Ah? Wh-What are you saying?! Hey, Megumin. What did you just say?! Pull yourself together!”
Yunyun’s face turned red, then green. She panicked.
“After all, this body is all I have left. But my body is thinner and weaker than most people. I still need to ask again if I can really do it or not.”
I didn’t avoid the usual physical education lessons for no reason.
I had confidence that my constitution was the top in class, counting from the bottom.
Even a lab rat needed to be someone with a strong, healthy body.
But if it was to test for negative side effects, perhaps a weak body would be more suitable?
“No, no, no! Although you have a thin body, you’re only 13 years old. There is still chance for growth, it’s too early to give up! I think Megumin is merely suffering from malnutrition! In the future, I will treat you to some milk…”
Yunyun expressed sympathy for me.
But why was she staring at my chest?
As Yunyun said, I was weaker than others because of malnutrition and lack of exercise.
But why milk?
If she was treating, I would prefer something that can fill my stomach…
“The shopkeeper was kind enough to say that he’ll take care of me, so I shouldn’t spurn his good will.”
“That friendly looking old guy gave you that kind of proposal!? To take advantage of your situation like that, this is unforgivable!”
Yunyun had been sitting calmly so far. Now, she suddenly stood up, clenching her fists.
What was wrong with her? She looked like she was about to rush out and beat someone up.
Testing new potions would be risky, but there was no need to be this angry.
What should I say? For her to be this worried about me… I felt a bit embarrassed.
“My finances may have something to do with it, but the shopkeeper is just trying to help me out… I am a bit scared and nervous, but that shopkeeper is famously skilled at that sort of thing, so I don’t think it’ll be too bad. It should only take about half a day, so if I just lay back and close my eyes and, it should be an easy job ”
“Fam-Famously skilled!? That uncle is famous in what aspect? He has a wife and kids! This is unbelievable!”
I wanted to humor her, but I didn’t think she would get even angrier.
Yunyun’s eyes turned bright red in excitement.
What? Why was she so angry?
Did she think that since the shopkeeper had children of his own, he shouldn’t treat the children of other families as lab rats to test new potions?
“N-No problem, Yunyun. A few months ago, I had my 13th birthday, so I’m not a child anymore. Besides, the shopkeeper said he wanted to try it out on other young people of my age…”
The medicine was probably used to inoculate youths of my age against sickness.
“Unforgivable, absolutely unforgivable! To think he wants to test it on youths of Megumin’s age? I will burn down his unethical shop!”
“Wait! Yunyun, you’re acting really strange today. What’s wrong? Wait!”
I strolled along with Yunyun in the village, although Chomusuke felt a bit heavy on my shoulder.
“Seriously! I already sensed this some time ago; you’re too sex crazy, Yunyun! Why would I do such immoral work?!”
“Bu-But, but! You were the one who put it in such an ambiguous manner!”
Later, we discovered that we weren’t on the same page, so the misunderstanding was cleared up.
“When I said a weak body, I meant an unhealthy body due to malnutrition! Not puberty development! Just because you’ve become more developed recently, you’ve started to look down on others. So rude!”
“Then, why did you let me treat you to milk?! I thought it was strange! Someone would actually be sexually interested in the underdeveloped Megumin?!”
“Ah, how dare you! Although my body is underdeveloped, it’s still very popular in certain circles! On the other hand, Yunyun’s body is not as developed as Arue’s, yet is not as humble as mine. It’s just sitting on the fence, yet you still look down on others. How infuriating!”
“Sitting on the fence. You say I’m sitting on the fence?”
Yunyun, who was walking in front, suddenly turned around.
“Yes! Your body is sitting on the fence, and so is your magic! Any male demand for you would also be sitting on the fence… Ah, what are you doing?!”
Teary-eyed, Yunyun tackled me, causing Chomusuke to fall off my shoulder.
I grabbed Chomusuke’s neck and put it back on my shoulder. It held on tightly with its claws to get a more secure grip.
Yunyun saw our actions and stopped as well.
“…Really. Stop making me worry.”
She grumbled unhappily.
“Oh, you’re worried about me, your rival?”
“Eh? N-No…! I just thought that if you can’t find a job and use Explosion magic to vent your frustrations, it’ll create trouble for me! Okay, let’s go!”
Proud Yunyun walked before me.
After our chat about the potion shop.
I discussed with Yunyun about the money needed for travelling, and my resultant job-hunting. Eventually, she decided to accompany me to find a job.
No matter what, Yunyun was a kind-hearted, gullible kid.
But after being rejected by all the workshops in the village, I felt there was no job left…
“This is it! This shop is very busy in the afternoon, but there’s only the shopkeeper working here. The work must be tiring for him, so he will surely hire you! Ever since we graduated, I’ve felt lonely eating alone, so I often sit on this bench to eat and watch others.”
Yunyun brought me to the village’s famous restaurant.
Yunyun and I sat on the bench not far from the restaurant, and observed the situation from a distance.
I unintentionally heard Yunyun’s sad history and decided not to ask about it.
“Well, this shop is indeed popular. Maybe there’s a position available but…”
Hearing I broke off my sentence, Yunyun tilted her head.
“Is there a problem? The shopkeeper is a friendly person. When I sat on this bench to eat my packed meal, he even kindly said to me, ‘It’s cold outside, come and eat inside the shop’…”
“Your story is too depressing, so please stop. By the way, couldn’t you just sit inside the shop and order food normally? …I feel that shop may be unsuitable because… Other than magic item and potion workshops, other shops have a very low wage, right?”
“You’re so picky! That’s why you can’t find a job! If you don’t get a job to earn money, you will never be able to travel! What about your dream to meet the onee-san in the long robes? Come on, let’s go!”
Well… She had a point.
Yunyun took my unwilling hand and approached the shop.
“—Sorry to bother you, I would like to work here.”
We waited until there were fewer customers and the shopkeeper looked free.
I applied to the uncle for an interview.
By the way, Yunyun was very enthusiastic earlier, but when she met the shopkeeper whom she wasn’t close to, she withdrew. In the end, I had to approach him by myself.
Yunyun originally came here to cheer me on, yet now she was nervously hiding behind me.
“Oh, isn’t this Hyoizaburo’s daughter… Megumin, right? Want to work at my shop?That’s not a problem, but I can’t afford a wage like that of a magic item or potion workshop.”
“It doesn’t matter! I can wash dishes or whatever! Please hire me!”
A genius like me was working in a restaurant…
Although I originally wanted to do a magic-related job, this would have to do.
I didn’t have any clues on finding that onee-san in the long robes anyway, so there was no need to rush.
It was fine to be a waitress and slowly earn money.
Since I often took care of Komekko in my parents’ absence, I was well-versed in cooking.
Compared to collecting potion ingredients, being a waitress was far easier—
“After peeling the potatoes, wash the dishes, then take out the Onion Duck meat from the refrigerator!”
“I’m on it!”
I was a fool to think this job was so simple.
—Lunchtime, the shop’s busiest time of day.
There were only a few restaurants in the Crimson Demon Village.
This popular shop became a battlefield.
I rushed between peeling the potatoes and washing the plates.
For some reason, even Yunyun was by my side, attentively cutting cabbages. She didn’t need to work, yet she was assigned a role anyway.
“Megumin, there are customers. Stop washing the dishes and take their orders!”
I was so busy that my world seemed to be spinning.
Take orders from the new customers, then back to washing the dishes…
“Bring these two set meals over! Then take the orders from the new customers!”
“Okay. I’m going over!”
I brought the set meals to the customers, then quickly took orders from the newcomers.
I was about to smile at the customers, greet them and take the orders—
“Let me see, what should I… Eh? Isn’t it Megumin!”
“Eh? Really. Megumin, you’re working here?”
…The new customers were Funifura and Dodonko.
Their lines of sight shifted from the menu in their hands to me, who was wearing an apron and a waitress costume. They smiled maliciously.
What were they planning when I’m in such a rush? Hurry up and place the orders!
I didn’t know if they could sense my mood. Funifura looked at me from head to toe.
“Your dress is so cute, waitress. Cough… cough, cough…! Megumin! The genius in our class is wearing an apron and smiling at customers…! Hahaha!”
“Smiling and welcoming people! Hahaha! Our pretentious genius used to be too good to form a group during physical education lesson! Hey, give us another smile!”
“Then, customers, please place your orders…”
Both of them banged on the table as they looked at me and laughed. I could feel my arteries almost bursting on my cheek.
Bear with it.
Crimson Demons never back down from a fight.
That was the clan’s unquestionable standard, but this was a restaurant. And I was currently working.
Revenge would have to wait until after work.
After all, it was hard to find this job. It would be too childish of me to do something rash here.
Funifura and Dodonko seemed to get bored after some time, and they finally started ordering.
“Hey, Megumin. What are the chef’s recommendations here?”
“Ah, me too. But I want something different from Funifura.”
The owner said they were…
“Today’s recommendations are Seasonal Fried Vegetable set meal and Onion Duck’s Onion Soup And Rice set meal…”
“Oh. I want River Fish set meal.”
“I want the daily set meal here.”
I almost rushed over to beat them up.
Bear with it. Just bear with it.
I would definitely seek vengeance on them after work.
Against the brocon Funifura, I would make some groundless accusations about her brother.
Against cowardly Dodonko, I would pretend to be a ghost and scare her when she was alone.
I secretly made my plans.
“Messing with you is boring, so forget it, hurry up and bring out the food.”
“Yeah, I’m hungry. Messing with Megumin won’t fill my belly.”
Both of them said as if they were bored.
Good. I managed to bear with it. Even I could grow and improve.
By the way, they had not paid yet.
This shop required payment first.
“River Fish set meal costs 700 eris. Daily set meal costs 600 eris.”
I announced the prices. They looked at each other, and smiled maliciously.
“You always cheated Yunyun back in school, so if you don’t give us a treat now at work, there could be retribution.”
“Good idea! Uncle, the cost of the meals will be deducted from Megumin’s pay…Ughh!”
“Hey! Sorry! We admit our mistake! Stop casting magic!”
“You are too impetuous! Although Funifura and Dodonko were in the wrong, you’ve only been working for less than an hour! To use magic in the shop… what were you thinking?! It was good that nobody noticed what it was. If someone who knew the incantation heard you, they’d know you were going to unleash Explosion magic! Then, the explosion incidents will be revealed to have been your doing!”
“I know. I’m reflecting on my mistake…”
My casting was interrupted by other customers, so I used other methods to get at them.
A nearby customer was eating a mixed stew set meal— I forced the hot stew into both their mouths.
They cried and went away. Naturally, I was…
“Sacked again. It looks like there really is no job suitable for me…”
I said to Yunyun dejectedly. After all, I couldn’t even find a job that was not magic-related.
“I thought of something else! Megumin should be able to do that.”
Yunyun suggested another location for work.
—Heavy clouds congregated in the sky. It looked like it was about to rain.
At this time, three serious-looking Crimson Demons stood afar, holding their staffs.
“I’m going to start!”
An onee-san shouted from a distance.
At the same time, the other people scattered in different locations raised their hands, signaling back.
Seeing the signal, the onee-san who shouted earlier set her staff on the ground…!
“Feed upon the power that is mine, bestow upon this earth a bumper harvest! Earth Shaker!”
Following the exaggerated speech, she loudly chanted the incantation.
She was probably channeling all her mana into this magic.
The onee-san activated a powerful earth magic, encompassing every bit of ground in her sight within the area of effect!
The ground rose and shook, as if it was a pulsing artery.
The earth moved as the caster willed. The broad land before me was being cultivated.
…Correct. This was merely to plough the land.
They were shouting exaggerated speeches, expending their vast mana merely to plough the land.
Another man took the opportunity and walked forward with a big box.
He put the box on the ground, raised his staff, and shouted seriously.
“Go berserk, atmosphere and wind! As I will it, let the raging winds dance! Tornado!”
The wind magic filled the air with quivering power, swirling up the box content and scattering them towards the ploughed land.
Yes, this was scattering seeds using wind magic.
He looked in satisfaction at the scattered seeds and nodded towards the last person.
“With my full power, let the natural order be twisted and the weather be in my hands! Control of Weather!”
Following his speech, the dark clouds in the sky started to rain.
The thing that was burning since earlier seemed to be used for preparation of the rain magic.
…Watering the planted seeds.
They were indeed engaging in normal farming activities, but it involved using powerful magic to complete by exhausting their mana.
—The food source of the entire Crimson Demon Village was provided by around 10 farmers.
The village contained hundreds of people.
The food for hundreds of people was being produced before my eyes in the open agricultural district.
This was a “waste”, right?
If those great adventurers saw high level Crimson Demons using magic just to plough the land, they would find the waste of magic unbearable—
—Instead of using magic in this place, why not use it to fight the Demon King’s army?!
“Let’s stop here for today! My mana is almost exhausted. We will join in the harvest too! Part-timers, please take care of the rest!”
The onee-san who started using magic first earlier said to us.
Yunyun said the job was to harvest vegetables.
Ploughing, watering, etc could be done with magic, but harvesting required manual labor.
Yunyun and I went to help, working together with the mana-exhausted farmers.
In the other field, the high quality potatoes came together to resist harvest. Yunyun was engaged in a bitter fight.
Attacked by the potatoes en masse, Yunyun fell down after being hit on the knee.
Yunyun was probably angry after being teased by the vegetables and drew her dagger. I glanced at her and went to the onion field for which I was responsible.
The vegetables were rather lively this year.
I readjusted my mood and held the onion tightly at the root. As I was about to cut it with a sickle…
—I was suddenly slapped in the face by the onion.
“Hey, you two. This is an important commodity. Don’t damage it while harvesting.”
The onee-san reminded us when she saw we were about to beat up the vegetables.
—After a few hours of battling, we finally finished the harvest in our assigned field.
…Farming was really difficult.
We needed to wake up early to drive off insects and beasts, and even harvesting required combat.
I finally understood why the farmers had the highest level in the entire village.
“Good work, both of you! Well done on your first day. This is your pay. If possible, come again tomorrow!”
I took the money from the onee-san and went home with Yunyun, dragging along our muddied bodies.
It was already evening.
Before I left home, I prepared breakfast and lunch for Komekko. She was probably getting hungry now.
“Uh… I don’t want to ever see a potato again… Why do they keep attacking my knees? …Vegetables that are smarter than monsters are really annoying…!”
Yunyun was knocked down repeatedly by the potatoes. She wiped the mud from her cheeks with her sleeves and cried.
“But we leveled as a result, so it wasn’t too bad… I didn’t know farming would be that difficult…”
Both Yunyun and I had leveled.
I was rather amused to have leveled from harvesting vegetables, but this merely showed that today’s vegetables were very lively and were considered tough opponents.
Today’s pay was 4,000 eris.
It was considered a high wage for a few hours of work.
…But it was still far from my target of 300,000 eris.
And harvesting won’t be available for long.
I sighed helplessly.
“…Looks like I’ll have to sell my body after all…”
“What did you say!?”
I listened to Yunyun as I reflected on today’s events.
Funifura and Dodonko making trouble, being provoked by onions…
At a time like this, I really wanted to vent my frustrations with Explosion magic.
I considered as I walked home with Yunyun. Suddenly, I realized something.
Previously, I let Komekko drag me home after I exhausted my mana.
I unleashed my magic in the village because I couldn’t bring Komekko into the dangerous areas outside the village.
“My reliable Yunyun, I would like you to help me with something.”
“Re-Reliable? What’s wrong, Megumin? You were always like “I’m Number 1”. It’s so rare for you to honestly praise someone else.”
So that was the impression other people had of me.
“…I occasionally praise others too. And thank them as well. Thank you for accompanying me at work!”
“It, it’s nothing… Anyway, what is the matter?”
Yunyun blushed shyly and tilted her head.
“I hope you can keep me company for a while. Would you like to go on a little date with me?”
“Ahhh! Stupid, stupid! I’m so stupid! I know Megumin is an idiot, but I’m even more idiotic than her today!”
In the forest close to the village, Yunyun shouted in tears.
“Compared to a ridiculously clever person, isn’t a somewhat stupid child more lovable?”
“Shut up, shut up! Ah, seriously, Megumin, hold on tight! Or you’ll fall off!”
Yunyun was running in the forest.
Of course, I was laying on her back.
“Yunyun’s back is so broad. It’s really reliable.”
A lizard monster with blood-red scales was chasing us in rage.
It looked like it was enraged after being blown off by my Explosion magic.
“I thought that this would be slightly better than using magic in the village. I was a fool! I wish I could scold myself from several minutes ago!”
“Don’t blame yourself, Yunyun. As someone who wouldn’t refuse others, you’re really attractive.”
“I’m really going to toss you down! Ah, mommy!”
—If Yunyun was around, she could carry me home.
Therefore, Yunyun accompanied me to unleash Explosion magic. Unfortunately, the chosen location was bad, and I woke up a sleeping Fire Drake.
Which led to our current situation.
Yunyun carried me, who was totally exhausted, on her back as she cried and ran through the forest. Even with me on her back, her pacing was steady.
She was truly an all-rounded, excellent student.
“Sometimes, I will even mistake Yunyun for a guy. You are reliable in times of crisis. Although you’ll grumble somewhat, you still put up with my willfulness.”
“Shut up! If we’re talking about masculinity, you’re more like a guy than me! You have short hair and are underdeveloped… Ouch, ouch! Don’t pull my hair at a time like this!”
Hearing her mention puberty development, I intentionally pulled her hair, causing her to scream.
This probably disrupted her balance, causing her to trip over a tree root and fall over.
Naturally, I was thrown off her back.
Chomusuke released its claws on my shoulder and jumped down agilely.
“Ouch, ouch… this is all Megumin’s fault!”
“What? It’s because Yunyun mocked my body’s characteristics…! Ah, it is catching up, hurry up and carry me!”
“…I really want to abandon you.”
While Yunyun was bitterly considering the matter, the angry Fire Drake arrived.
“This is bad. Yunyun, be prepared to fight here! There is only one, and the Fire Drake is the weakest among the powerful monsters near the village! As long as you avoid its fire breath, Yunyun can win this!”
“I might be able to win, but you shouldn’t be saying such things while lying face down on the floor!”
Yunyun drew her dagger and confronted the Fire Drake.
In order to observe the fight, I turned my body to face upwards with some difficulty.
After turning around, there was conveniently a tree root nearby to raise my head, so I could see the fight.
The Fire Drake is a large reptilian monster, crawling on the ground with four legs.
It looked up at Yunyun and showed its red tongue to intimidate…
No, that was not a tongue.
This monster was true to its name. It could breath fire, although the small fire this time was merely meant to intimidate an enemy.
“It didn’t attack immediately after catching up, so… Yunyun, the enemy is afraid of us.”
“What ‘us’? It’s only me that it’s wary of! But the culprit who blew it away with magic is currently lying helplessly next to me, so it probably won’t give up!”
Yunyun stared at the lizard and said.
At this time, I suddenly felt a weight on my belly. I looked down and saw Chomusuke curled up leisurely on my body.
“… it’s still quite calm even now.”
“Isn’t it just like its owner?!”
The Fire Drake came closer to a fighting position. Yunyun didn’t take her eyes of it. She held her dagger in one hand and reached out with the other hand.
She was only four meters away from the Fire Drake.
The enemy could attack at any moment.
Following her incantation, the air around the lizard turned chilly.
She used intermediate magic to create a cold mist.
Snow formed on the lizard, turning its red scales to snow white.
Its thrashing tail slowly drooped.
Reptilian monsters were scared of cold.
For unknown reasons, using ice magic on reptilian monsters would slow them down. This was common knowledge among mages.
But even though the lizard’s movements were slower in the cold, it continued approaching.
Yunyun noticed this and was preparing another spell to finish it off… Suddenly, two reinforcements appeared behind that lizard.
“Oh, it realized it cannot win, so it summoned help. We have me, Yunyun, and Chomusuke on our side. So we are evenly matched in terms of numbers… It looks like there’s no need for me to act. Yunyun, finish them off.”
“Quit trying to look cool from down there! Run away! I could still deal with one, but fighting three monsters and protecting the helpless Megumin is really beyond me…! Freeze Gust! Freeze Gust! …Megumin, we’re escaping now! While they’re slowed down, I can escape even with Megumin on my back!”
After using magic on the two newcomers, Yunyun backed off, grabbed my arm, and supported me with her shoulder.
Chomusuke used its claws to hold tightly to avoid being abandoned. As Yunyun put me on her back…
And was about to run away, the lizard breathed a large burst of flame!
“Hot! Hot, hot, hot! Yunyun, it’s too hot! Us-Use ice magic! Use ice magic on me! Is my back on fire?!”
“It-It’s fine! Just the edge of your robe is burning! We’re running away!”
Yunyun carried me and sprinted off. Realizing our intentions, the lizards breathed fire again.
But the flame didn’t reach Yunyun. My back on the other hand…
“Ahhh! Yunyun, my back, my back!”
“Don’t trash around! I almost fell! A bit further and it’ll be fine!”
Yunyun adjusted her grip on me and said without looking back.
“Yunyun! They’re coming, more of them are coming! This is really bad. Run!”
“I know! Don’t grab so tightly, it’s hard to run like this! Ah, seriously! I won’t do this ever again!”
Yunyun and I escaped the lizards and arrived at the village. The villagers must have heard the sound of the Explosion, so they were in quite a panic.
It looks like even the forest was not far enough from the village.
“Oh! Megumin, Yunyun, are you okay? Why do you look so roughed up? What happened?”
As a patrol of the so-called self-defense force, Bukkoroli discovered our charred appearances.
My school uniform, which I usually used as personal clothes, was badly burnt by the lizards.
What do I do now? I only have this set of clothes…
Yunyun, who was still carrying me, didn’t know how to explain.
I came down from her back, using her shoulder for support.
“We were training our levels in the forest and suddenly encountered the legendary Explosion Demon.”
Bukkoroli shouted in surprise.
“Why is Yunyun surprised as well!?”
Yunyun, who also exclaimed with Bukkoroli, hurriedly shook her head.
“That Explosion Demon is as the legends say. It must be a cadre of the Demon King’s army. Yunyun and I fought it valiantly, but it still managed to escape, so we came back.”
“What?! …Ah, so Megumin exhausted her mana, losing strength in her limbs! …Even the genius with vast mana, Megumin, became like this. The enemy must be quite powerful!”
“That’s right. That… must be a devil! A female devil with a voluptous body and horns!”
“Don’t lie so much…!”
Yunyun whispered into my ears as I leaned on her shoulder.
This way, no matter how many times Explosion magic was used in the future, they would all be blamed on the female devil.
My only decent clothes were ruined. This appearance looked as if I was in a difficult battle, making what I said more credible.
“It’s good that both of you came back alive then. Leave the rest to us. Go home and rest.”
“Yes… Ah, if you see some frost-covered Fire Drakes in the forests, please kill them quickly. They are very aggressive and would be trouble if left unchecked!”
“Ah, is it… okay, I’ll get rid of them if we see them.”
I entrusted my revenge for my ruined school uniform to Bukkoroli and reminded him to be careful.
“That Explosion Devil is strong, please be careful.”
—Although this character didn’t even exist.
“Ah, I know… By the way, it should be Detonation devil, not Explosion devil, right? The name Explosion devil sounds as if it could use Explosion magic.”
“Uh, uh… During the fight earlier, the opponent used Explosion magic in the end…!”
Hearing my explanation, Bukkoroli laughed aloud.
“Explosion magic? Hahaha. That fellow is nuts! A cadre of the Demon King’s army learned such a useless spell! I heard some immortal liches or devils may learn Explosion magic for fun since they have too many skill points… Even so, she wouldn’t use Explosion magic!”
I agreed with Bukkoroli as I tried to keep my mouth from twitching. I said to Yunyun, who was suppressing her laughter.
“Let’s go quickly, Yunyun! Komekko is starving at home!”
I urged Yunyun to leave quickly.
“Sigh. I’m so tired today… You’re banned from using Explosion magic for a while.”
“…How long is ‘for a while’? Until the day after tomorrow?”
“‘For a while’ means ‘for a while’! What day after tomorrow?! That’s too soon!”
“That is very difficult for me. If I don’t use Explosion magic every day, I will die…”
“If you mess around again, I’ll strangle you!”
—With Yunyun’s support, I finally arrived at my home. I sat by the door as I listened to her lectures.
Mana exhaustion. I felt like not moving at all for the rest of the day.
Yunyun probably wanted to go home early too, so she didn’t grumble anymore.
Then, she bashfully played with her fingers and whispered.
“Again, Megumin… Then, tomorrow…”
“Yes. Come along with me for work. I can’t harvest those vegetables by myself.”
Yunyun smiled, nodded in satisfaction, and went home.
She was so easy to deal with. I was getting more and more worried about Yunyun’s future.
I sat by the door and shouted into the house.
“Komekko! Nee-chan is home!”
Komekko heard and ran over quickly.
“NEET Nee-chan is back! Make food quickly!”
“Komekko, nee-chan is not a NEET anymore. I worked today, so I’m really tired. My body is dirty, so I should take a bath first. Can you boil some water for me?”
Komekko ran to boil water. This kid is too energetic.
The bath utilized mana to start the fire.
It was considered a high quality magic item elsewhere, but in this village it was just a common household item.
It requires a fair amount of mana, but my sister could already use it.
Perhaps she possessed even more talent than me.
I pondered as I sloppily lay down in the corridor. Chomusuke moved from its fixed position on my shoulder down to my belly.
Recently, it was getting more and more impolite.
…I ruffled its head. At this time,
“Sorry for bothering you at this time of night— Is anyone there?”
Someone knocked on the door, and a feminine voice called out from the other side.
I couldn’t recognize this voice.
“The door is open. Please come in.”
The door opened slowly.
I sat up and looked at the person who spoke.
She was about 20 years old.
A red haired beauty, covered in dirt as if she had been travelling for a long time. She was dressed like an adventurer, specifically a mage.
This woman glanced at me, then slowly lowered her gaze—
When she saw Chomusuke on my belly, she suddenly knelt on the floor.
She lowered her head as her falling hair obscured her expression.
Her face was covered by her hair, so I didn’t know what expression she was making.
She seemed very excited. Her voice trembled softly.
“After a long journey, I have finally found you! Great master!”
INTERLUDE: SCENE 1
—Aqua-sama, I won’t let him escape!
Alcanretia, the City of Water and Hot Springs.
In the city center stood a great cathedral.
In this place, where nobody except Axis Cultists would come close—
“May I help you? Do you wish to join the Axis Cult? Or are you just here for a chat? You look quite handsome, so I will permit you to give me a treat. But don’t think I’m a frivolous woman, it’s just a treat, okay?”
“No, I’m not here for a chat. I’m here to find a healer to join my party. Our goal is to defeat the Demon King.”
The youth said something really strange.
“What a fresh way to strike a conversation. There’s a nice café nearby, let’s go there to drink and chat. Ah, my name is Cecily, the beautiful priest of Axis Cult.”
“Eh. Hm, Miss Cecily? I said I wasn’t here to chat…”
Then, I noticed there was something hanging by the waist of this cool youth.
“Oh. Is that a magic sword hanging by your waist? …To possess a magic sword. Are you a powerful adventurer? You should be quite rich then… I love Tokoroten slime. It’s sticky, mushy, and soft, so delicious.”
“Uh, no… I’m here to look for a companion…”
“By the way, I like handsome guys who are younger than me. Of course, pretty girls are fine too! A handsome young man with a magic sword like you should rate even higher!”
“…No, sorry, uh, sorry for bothering you…!? Ce-Cecily-san!? Can you take your hands off me?”
I didn’t understand why the magic sword guy wanted to run away.
“Just call me Cecily-nee!”
“Sorry, I have to go… Ce-Cecily-san! Please let go of me. I will give you money to buy Tokoroten slime!”
He said and tried to remove my hand from his cloak with some difficulty.
“I won’t let my handsome magic swordsman escape this easily! After bulk ordering all the tokoroten slime two days ago, I’m bankrupt! But it was a limited edition wind grape flavor, so it couldn’t be helped! Although I love tokoroten slime, eating it daily is still unbearable! I want to eat some solid food! As a priestess of the cathedral, I get a monthly salary, but this also means I am not qualified to receive the charity of the church to the poor!”
“I know! I know! So stop pulling on my belt! My pants will drop! Really will drop…!”
The youth hurriedly grabbed hold of my hands as I held on to his belt to prevent him from escaping.
But he didn’t run away or remove my hands. His resistance was weak.
“Eheh. You say that, but your body is honest to what it wants! Why aren’t you resisting!?”
“Be-Because a powerful diviner in the Crimson Demon Village once told me, ‘You will meet a priest from the Axis Cult, who will become an important person to the fate of the world. You must protect this person at all costs.’ Otherwise, I would have run away long ago!”
“…A diviner in the Crimson Demon Village said so? You will meet a pretty priestess who will become important to you? She’ll become someone you must protect at all costs?”
“No, how do I say this, the details are a bit different… The divination didn’t mention ‘pretty’ and it wasn’t someone ‘important to me’…”
I held onto his hand with both hands.
I won’t let you escape.
“Uh, Cecily-san, are you listening? She only said ‘An Axis Cult priest that I will meet’; it does not necessarily mean it is you…”
“Ah, Aqua-sama! You have gifted me with this rich, handsome guy just as I’m low on cash! I’m so blessed! I will let him feed and take care of me!”
The youth dislodged my hands and ran away. I pursued with all my might.
—Aqua-sama, I won’t let him escape!