Explosion spinoff 3: Chapter 1

ADVENTURERS OF THE TOWN OF BEGINNERS

Translator: Sine Nomine

Editor(s):  BlitzBlast, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Xenthur, YuNS

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PART 1

After defeating Arnes, the stalker who was after Chomusuke, we received some money as a reward from the caravan leader, as well as an arrangement to stay in this high class hotel.

“—Hey, stop joking! How can a modern man like me sleep in a stable!?”

Upon arriving in this town, I slept like a log and woke up to the sound of an argument downstairs.

The room arranged for me by the caravan leader was deep inside on the second floor.

The argumentative voices came from downstairs again.

“I don’t want to sleep in a stable either! But we have no money, so we have no choice!”

It seemed to be an argument between people who couldn’t endure living in a stable.

They must be rookie adventurers new to this town.

I rubbed my sleepy eyes and stretched my back on the bed.

The sky was darkening, so it should be around evening.

“This is different from what I expected of an adventurer’s life! An adventurer should make a lot of money, then live in the best room, and drink until he’s drunk for the next two days!”

“Why are you telling me that for?! We only have 1,000 eris left of the money that Eris Church uncle gave to us. We’ll use this money for dinner, then quickly get to sleep!”

“Da-Damn it! I didn’t come here to live like this!”

I listened to the voices and walked to the neighboring room where Yunyun stayed.

—Axel, the town where rookie adventurers gather.

This is the town that every adventurer would visit at least once.

“Yunyun, are you awake? Some noisy adventurers woke me up. Want to have dinner on the first floor?”

After knocking on the neighboring door, a sleepy-eyed Yunyun opened it.

“You don’t need to force yourself if you still want to sleep, you know?”

“…I want to go. It’s rare for me to be invited to dinner, after all.”

After Yunyun made such a sad statement, we walked down the stairs.

Most hotels utilize the first floor as a tavern and a pub.

Perhaps because it was dinner time, the pub was very crowded. We found an empty spot and ordered this town’s specialty, fried frog set meal.

I ate the set meal and asked Yunyun about our future plans.

“Okay. Although we had a lot of incidents today, we are currently in an unfamiliar town. We have no time to casually get into the right mood. Let’s set our itinerary for tomorrow.”

“That’s true. We need to take on quests to cover the cost of living. So we must recruit companions.”

Recruit companions, huh.

Then we should visit the Adventurer’s Guild in this town.

“You also intend to recruit companions, Yunyun? I can’t move after using Explosion magic, so I have no choice but to be in a party. But you can probably clear simple quests alone, right?”

“It’s discomforting to be mobbed by monsters, so I want adventuring companions too. We can live and eat together in this hotel. After finishing a big quest, we can cheer and drink in the pub… Eh. I left the village because that’s how things went, but this is unexpectedly good…”

Yunyun mumbled as she picked up the fried frog with her fork.

“In that case, we will find companions tomorrow. The Adventurer’s Guild should have a notice board for party recruitment. We’ll take a look there, then ask how to take on quests.”

I left behind Yunyun, whose eyes were sparkling dreamily, and gathered information from the other customers in the pub.

There was another mission I must complete in this town.

“—Excuse me. May I have a moment of your time?”

“Oh, what is it, little girl? Why’re you in a place like this at this time of night?”

“Your mother will be worried. You should go home early.”

I approached two uncles at a nearby table and was treated like a kid.

“No. I’m an adventurer who fights solo. Look at this, if you don’t believe me!”

I was a bit frustrated at being treated like a kid, so I pushed my Adventurer’s Card in his face.

“So-Sorry, I was wrong! So, what’s the matter, little girl?”

“There is something I’d like to ask. I heard that in this town, there is a mage who can use Explosion magic.”

“Explosion magic?”

Perhaps they did not understand the arcane jargon, as both of them looked doubtful.

“That’s the strongest offensive magic. I heard there is a pretty and powerful mage with big breasts in this town…”

“A pretty and powerful mage with big breasts… Ah, that should be the shop owner!”

“That’s right. It should be that poor shop owner!”

“Po-Poor shop owner?”

I received an unexpected answer.

“She is the famous owner of a magic item shop in this town.”

“Yeah. She used to be an adventurer. She is a very powerful mage.”

A powerful mage who was a former adventurer.

Is she the person I was looking for?

But I was a bit bothered by the description of her being “poor”.

She was a serious and reliable person, yet her business sense was terrible?

I asked for the shop address and engraved it in my mind.

Once I knew the address, I could visit her anytime I wanted.

Although I wanted to let her witness my growth immediately…

“…Well, that can wait after I have become an adventurer in this town.”

I was a bit timid when it was time to actually meet her.

 

PART 2

“Okay, Yunyun, let’s go! Be enthusiastic!”

“I-I know, but why are you so excited early in the morning!?”

We didn’t even do any research on this town, and headed to the Adventurer’s Guild bright and early in the morning.

“What are you saying? Our lives as adventurers that we were looking forward to are starting today! Having thrilling battles with strong, unknown monsters! Blowing them away with my Explosion magic! I’m nearly bursting just thinking about it! How can I not be excited!?”

Facing me as I excitedly waved my staff in the streets,

“I-I know, but please keep your voice down!”

Yunyun embarrassedly said as she looked around.

As it was still early, there were few people in the streets.

We came to the Adventurer’s Guild to find companions.

Before the doors, the future hero candidates were ready to make trouble.

I stopped before the door and said to Yunyun, who was panting.

“Yunyun, listen. The first impression is very important. The Adventurer’s Guild is full of rowdy people, who will look down on young rookies like us. To avoid that, we must declare our names in a loud voice! The Crimson Demons must not be underestimated!”

“Ahhh… Please don’t let there be any scary people, please don’t let there be any scary people…”

I opened the door and flicked my cloak, declaring loudly!

“My name is Megumin! The top mage of the Crimson Demons, who specializes in Explosion… magic…”

There was nobody there.

“Ho-How embarrassing…!!”

Yunyun blushed and shivered behind me as she hugged Chomusuke.

Hearing this, my face reddened somewhat.

“Coming… Ah, how can I help you this fine morning?”

An onee-san came forward from deep inside the seemingly empty guild. She looked like a guild staff.

I looked at the guild again. Forget about adventurers taking on jobs, there weren’t even any normal customers in the tavern.

I readjusted my mindset and approached the onee-san at the counter.

“Goo-Good morning. I’m Megumin, an Archmage. This is my first time being an adventurer, so I don’t know what to do…”

“Ah, your eyes. You must be a Crimson Demon, right? I see. If I remember correctly, Crimson Demons receive their Adventurer’s Cards in school. Then, do you have your card? I need to examine it before you can take on quests, checking for issues like criminal records…”

“Excuse me, is it okay if I wait a little longer? I would prefer it to be when there are more adventurers around.”

“? Sure…”

I left the bewildered onee-san and sat at a nearby table.

“Megumin, aren’t you submitting your card? I will do it first if you aren’t.”

“Go ahead. I’ll do it when there are more people around.”

Yunyun seemed confused and handed her card to the receptionist.

“Let me see… Eh! Th-That’s the Crimson Demons for you! This is my first time seeing someone with this much magic power!”

“Th-Thanks…”

I listened to their conversations and smiled, waiting for people to arrive.

 

PART 3

The guild eventually became crowded. Some people were eating at the tavern, while others were looking at the notice board for jobs.

I listened to the din typical of a tavern and said to myself.

“…It’s almost time.”

Yunyun, who was eating noodles, lifted her head to look at me as I stood up.

“Say, why did you wait until it gets crowded to submit your card? It was empty earlier…”

I said, “I’ll be right back” to Yunyun, who didn’t understand anything, and walked over to the receptionist.

By the way, there is a convention for choosing the receptionist.

I must choose the most beautiful receptionist.

This type of receptionist usually has a shocking background, such as being the guild’s poster girl or a powerful ex-adventurer.

I learnt this in school. It was common knowledge as an adventurer.

“Next… Oh, you are a Crimson Demon?”

A beautiful receptionist with big breasts and wavy hair said as she looked at my eyes.

“As you can see, I’m a Crimson Demon. From today onwards, I intend to use this town as a base, so I’m here to submit my Adventurer’s Card for examination.”

“I see. Let me take a look… Thi-This is!? Awesome, that’s the Crimson Demons for you. Your intelligence and magic power stats are so high…!”

The receptionist said in shock, and the adventurers took notice of the disturbance.

This was it. This was what I wanted. A receptionist who was shocked by my stats and thus made the other adventurers take notice!

This way, I wouldn’t be underestimated by the adventurers in this town…

“Your magic power is not as high as the person who came yesterday, but it is still quite high… Good. No criminal record. The card is genuine. You may take on quests now.”

…Eh?

“Sorry, wait a moment. Not as high as the person who came yesterday? That means, there’s someone who has even more magic power than me?”

“Yes. It was someone who registered as an adventurer yesterday… Because her intelligence is too low, she couldn’t become a mage. I think she took the job of an Archpriest.”

Archpriest?

“Oh, that person yesterday, right?”

“It should be her.”

“She’s indeed beautiful, but she… said something about being a goddess.”

“If only she wasn’t an Axis Cultist. If she didn’t say such weird things, I would have invited her…”

“She shouted out such weird things precisely because she’s an Axis Cultist.”

The adventurers started talking among themselves after hearing the receptionist.

What was that about?

Was it about that Archpriest?

Anyway, if she became an Archpriest, she wouldn’t be an obstacle to my goal of becoming the most powerful Archmage. So whatever.

More importantly…

“You! Are you free? Do you have adventuring companions in this town?”

“Hey, wait! That’s not fair! I was here first!”

“My party has two members with advanced jobs! How about it!?”

Hearing my conversation with the receptionist, the other adventurers rushed over to invite me.

 

PART 4

—At a corner of the tavern, I listened to a guy and a girl introduce themselves.

“I’m the fighter, Rize. This is the thief, Reiner. Pleased to meet you!”

“I’m Megumin. Please to meet you.”

“…Is that your real name?” X2

“It is my real name. If you have any problems about by name, let’s hear it.”

“N-No! No problems whatsoever! Right, she’s a Crimson Demon after all…”

“Uh, er, I feel it’s a nice name!”

They said in a panic.

I chose to join this party of two siblings.

An adventuring party is normally composed of four to six members.

I joined this party because a smaller party meant a larger share of the reward.

I currently only have the cash reward from the caravan, so I must make some money.

Somewhat concerned, I looked over to the other table and noticed Yunyun looking around suspiciously.

She raised her hand and whispered “Uh…”, but nobody heard her in the din.

This was a good opportunity for Yunyun to improve her social skills, so I shouldn’t intervene. Let her resolve it herself.

“What is it? Is there another adventurer you want?”

“There are only three of us including yourself, so it’s okay to recruit more members.”

“No, it’s nothing. Let’s find a subjugation quest to test our compatibility. This would be like a probation period.”

They didn’t have any objections.

In the distance, after being lost for a while, Yunyun took some paper from the receptionist and started writing something.

It seemed she gave up on asking for an invite and decided to make her own notice to recruit members.

“There’s a subjugation quest for squirrels. Megumin, how about this?”

“The squirrels must have fattened in this season. They should be delicious.”

What is a squirrel?

They said it was delicious when it became fat, so it must be an edible monster.

Now is a good season to work up an appetite. It was the season for chestnuts.

This monster’s name was tempting.

“Let’s do it then!”

As this was my first quest, I nodded my head excitedly.

 

PART 5

Squirrel.

It is a creature that loves to eat chestnuts and its meat is tender and tasty.

About the size of a dog, the squirrels would agilely invade the agricultural regions of the town and ruin the farmers’ harvests.

“Megumin, Megumin! A lot of them are coming! They’re heading our way! Please wipe them out with magic! Reiner, support Megumin. Don’t let the squirrels get close to her!”

“Onii-chan, be careful! One just appeared from the shadows!”

“Ugh! That was close…!”

A metallic noise rang out from Rize’ shield.

He used the shield to block the squirrel’s attack.

“Leave it to me. I can clear them all with one hit! Just give me some time!”

“Are you sure!? There are more than 20 of them!? Anyway, please hurry!”

“Onii-chan, in front. In front of you!”

Reiner shouted as she slashed at the squirrels. Rize raised his shield hurriedly.

A metallic sound rang out once more. The squirrel’s barb scrapped against the shield.

Despite having a cute name like “squirrel”, these monsters have barbs covering their bodies.

A person without metal armor would be heavily injured if subjected to such attacks.

Reiner tossed her daggers at the squirrels, while Rize forced himself to take the blows.

With no margin for failure, sweat flowed down my nervous face.

I completed my magic incantation, raised my staff, and shouted at them.

“Both of you, pull back from the enemies! I’m going to blast the center of the monster mob!”

“Understood!” X2

Both of them pulled back from the squirrels.

At the same time, I chanted!

“Explosion—!”

A beam of light shone from the tip of the staff straight into the mob of squirrels.

The target glowed white as light and heat expanded with the magic.

An explosion rang out in the agricultural district, and  my magic mercilessly blew away all the squirrels.

The power of the Explosion did not stop there. Even the chestnut trees, which the squirrels fed on, were uprooted. Rize and Reiner were rolling on the ground.

The two of them were shouting pitifully, and I too was blown off my feet by the shockwave. I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment of having cleared so many monsters in one move.

…But next time, I should take better note of the area that my shockwave would affect.

“Ah… Wh-What…”

“What is this!”

Reiner and Rize stood up and cried out upon seeing the surroundings.

“Ha. Once I make my move, the squirrels’ fates are as you can see! That magic just now is my finishing move; the ultimate offensive magic, Explosion magic!”

“Ex-Explosion magic! The Explosion magic that can’t be used even after learning it due to consuming a vast amount of mana!? I heard it was a useless spell, but how is this useless!? This has completely changed the terrain!”

“Clearing so many squirrels in one attack… S-So powerful…!”

They sighed as I indulged in self-satisfaction.

Then Rize said.

“Let’s move on to another location. Also, can you use other magic besides Explosion? The bounty for squirrels is quite low, so selling squirrel meat is the main source of income.”

“That’s right. And even the chestnut trees were uprooted. I don’t know how much we will have to compensate for that… But if we can hunt 100 or so squirrels, it would be enough. By the way…”

Reiner bended over next to me.

“—How long are you going to lie there? Are you hurt after being blown away by the shockwave?”

She asked worriedly.

“No. I merely cannot move due to exhausting my mana. And with that, I cannot use any more magic today…”

Rize said as he looked at Chomusuke, who moved its face to my nose and sniffed.

“Is it that exhausting? Then, starting from tomorrow, let’s seal this spell. Use other spells for now. Save Explosion for emergency situations.”

“That’s right. Just use intermediate or advanced magic…”

I replied to both of them.

“Can’t use.”

“…? Can’t use what?”

“Ah. Can’t use advanced magic, right? It’s fine if it’s intermediate magic…”

“No. Can’t use anything other than Explosion magic. I only learnt Explosion magic.”

“…” X2

Both of them were silent for a while. Then Rize said slowly.

“Then. That is the only spell you know?”

“Yes.”

“… In other words, you can only use magic once per day?”

“Yes.”

Both of them were speechless.

“….We need to discuss this. Please wait.” X2

“Eh?”

They said and left me there on the ground.

Laying there, I couldn’t hear what they were discussing.

After a while, they returned.

“Sorry to keep you waiting… Let see, how should I say this? I feel that a rookie party like ours is unable to provide you with the opportunity for action.”

“Yes. With powerful magic like Explosion, it would be a waste for you to stay in our party.”

They humbly said.

“I don’t mind. As long as there’s a chance…”

Compensating for each other’s weakness is the point of being in a party.

But Rize hurriedly shook his head as he heard that.

“No, no, no. We are just a rookie duo. We were getting too ahead in ourselves in trying to recruit a Crimson Demon Archmage!”

“Yes, yes! And, you see, neither of us have advanced jobs! So in terms of compatibility and balance—!”

Yes… If that was how it was, it couldn’t be helped.

“We would make a loss due to the chestnut trees being blown off this time, but we will pay for it!”

“That’s right, so we will work hard to become stronger, until we are worthy of Megumin. At that time, we will reconsider this, okay!?”

They spoke hurriedly as they carried me back to the guild.

 

PART 6

This was difficult.

I felt bad about letting someone I just met pay for the damaged trees caused by my explosion, so I paid the compensation myself…

“I ran out of money so quickly…”

I dragged my exhausted body and collapsed on the table as the lonely Yunyun distractedly ate her meal.

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Nobody came while  I was out questing?

When my magic power recovered slightly, I became curious and went to look for Yunyun’s ad on the notice board…

“Recruiting party members. Must be gentle and willing to patiently listen to boring chatter. Must not mock people with weird names. Must be able to stay together even on days with no quests. Must be a frontline fighter. Preferably close to my age. I’m a 13-year-old Archmage—“

Is this a notice for recruiting a friend, boyfriend, or what?

I felt that nobody would come if the recruitment wasn’t done in a more relaxed manner…

There were many things to complain about, but it was taking all my effort just to settle my own affairs.

…That’s right. I didn’t want to think about it, but could it be that I was being kicked out of the party earlier?

They said their abilities were too low for me, but that could be a convenient excuse to kick me out…

—As I was pondering in silence.

“Hey, newbie! You don’t even know what a mackerel pike is!? How have you been living your life so far!?”

“No. I know what a mackerel pike is. It’s a kind of fish, right? It’s meant for the ‘Roasted Salt Mackerel Pike Set’ on the menu, right?”

The tavern owner in the guild was arguing with a youth with brown hair.

It was the guy I saw through the carriage window when I first arrived in the town.

His clothes were strange, so I remembered him well.

I didn’t see him this morning, so he must have just started working here.

“Right. It’s that mackerel pike. A fish. Very active and covered in scales. In this season, it fattens and is especially tasty.”

“I know. I’m very clear about that. I’m sorry. Can you repeat your instructions?”

“Go to the field behind the guild and catch two mackerel pikes.”

“Are you making fun of me?”

The youth threw his apron at the tavern owner angrily.

This was the archetypal, easily angered spoiled brat.

What was so revolting about a simple job like catching mackerel pikes in the field?

A blue-haired waitress walked by the brown-haired youth, who was arguing with the tavern owner. Somehow, she was carrying an impossibly large number of beer mugs with both hands.

I remembered that she was with the brown-haired youth.

She must have starting working here today, like that youth.

“Sorry for the wait!”

“Oh. I’ve been waiting for this… Huh?! Wh-What? This is plain water! Hey, you think I’m stupid?!”

“Newbie! What is the meaning of this? You’ve been serving plain water to the customers since the beginning! Where did the wine go? Were you drinking it on the sly?”

The tavern owner turned from the youth to scold the waitress.

“N-No! I merely touched the wine with my finger…! Listen! This is the way my body is! Actually, I’m the goddess of water…!”

“Hey, uncle, listen to me! Don’t take me for a fool just because I’m new to this town! How can you do this to a NEET who is now seriously working? What is this? Workplace bullying? Did you give out nonsensical instructions to get satisfaction out of my confusion!?”

A girl who was complaining and a guy who was making false accusations.

Faced with these two, the tavern owner’s vein popped on his forehead.

“Dammit! What you’re saying makes no sense! You are both fired! Fired!”

Hearing this, the guy finally grappled with the tavern owner, while the girl cried out loud without regard for the public.

…Well, at least I’m still doing better than those two.

Feeling a bit more confident, I decided to return to the hotel today.

—On the way back to the hotel with Yunyun.

“Megumin, how was it today? Did you find a good party?”

“No. We did a quest… but they said it would be a waste for me to be in their party.”

“Is that so? Well, your magic is very powerful, so you must find a proper place to use it.”

Yunyun said and looked around, as if she was concerned about the situation in this new town.

“Yunyun, I saw your recruitment notice. Did anyone come?”

“Yes. Someone came… But it was an uncle about my father’s age, who said, ‘I heard you’re 13? Uncle… No, I’m 13 too! You’re looking for a frontline fighter, right? Leave it to unc-me… I’m a high level crusader! I will protect you, m’lady!’”

“You rejected him, right? Of course you rejected, right!?”

“I-I rejected in the end… But that person chatted with me for a long time and treated me to lunch. I feel like he’s a nice person. He said he will come and chat again tomorrow…”

“Ignore that person if he approaches you tomorrow! And rewrite your recruitment notice!”

“Ah!? I-I don’t feel like I wrote anything wrong…!”

 

PART 7

—The second day.

“Welcome. Ah, adventurers, right? There are some precautionary matters today. You can get the details from the receptionist.”

The waitress onee-san said to me as I arrived at the guild.

Precautionary matters?

I warily went over to the reception area. The receptionist was currently explaining to other adventurers.

“There is a report that devils have been sighted in the forest. According to the report, they probably aren’t low level devils like gremlins. Devils often have high intelligence and can use magic, so they are powerful enemies. This matter is currently under investigation, so for the time being, please refrain from accepting quests in the forest unless you are really confident in your capabilities.”

After this, adventurers everywhere sighed.

A lot of quests with good rewards were related to the forest.

Rookie adventurers began with hunting Giant Frogs to increase their levels. Once their levels are high enough to handle the frogs, they would usually enter the forest—

Hearing the notice, I walked towards the notice board for recruiting party members.

As a thank-you gift, the caravan leader paid for our hotel rooms for two weeks.

After that, the hotel will kick me out, so I hoped to find a party and secure my income before then.

“I’ll find a party which is looking for members today.”

I mumbled softly as I examined the notices.

The first notice seemed like a new one written by Yunyun.

“Recruiting party members. Hopefully, someone who doesn’t mind when the conversation stalls. Someone who wouldn’t avoid me even if I visit every day. Someone who won’t get angry even if our eyes do not meet. No restrictions on job and age.”

She compromised on the job and age requirements.

I felt that what she compromised on was somewhat odd…

I looked at Yunyun, who was once again sitting in a corner of the tavern and waiting for people to come.

Yunyun was playing a combat board game that she brought along for the trip.

Her sad demeanor made me uncomfortable and want to talk to her, but it was probably better for her to improve herself.

I continued to examine the recruitment notices on the notice board. There were all sorts of notices

“Recruiting mage and priest. The three current members are Swordmaster, Lancer, and Thief. Our goal is to defeat the Demon King. Rookies are welcome, as long as you are enthusiastic. Will you not join us and help save the world?”

From heroic sounding notices—

“Recruiting party members. The two current members are crusader and thief. Requires kinky trash, one frontline fighter and two rear guard supports. Looking for decent people with sound judgement.”

—To recruitments with something blotted out.

The former portion’s handwriting was different from that of the latter portion. What was originally written in the part that was blotted out?

After being puzzled for quite some time, I noticed a decent one.

“Recruiting party member. We are currently a party of four. Two vanguards, A priest from the Eris church, and an Archer. Mages only.”

Not a bad party.

I went for an interview with the party that posted the recruitment.

“—I see. Megumin, is it? That’s a Crimson Demon name indeed. I’m the party leader, Ain. I have great expectations for you.”

He said. With a sword by his waist, the man looked like a warrior.

The others included a person with a lance, a priest wearing an Eris Church pendant, and a person with a longbow on his back.

They looked at me with critical eyes.

They were all males, averaging around Level 12.

That is almost the level to graduate from being a rookie adventurer.

“Pleased to meet you. Then, should we take on a quest to gauge each other’s abilities?”

“Yes… Let’s go into the forest. There are eyewitness reports of devils, but we shouldn’t have a problem with a Crimson Demon mage. Any problem with this?”

“No problem. I don’t care if it’s a devil or anything else, I will kill it in one hit.”

Hearing my self-confident reply, the party members smiled.

 

PART 8

In the wide forest near the town, Ain roared loudly.

“There are too few! Jack, Thomas, and Megumin, back off! Rhodes, come with me to crush them!”

The accepted quest was to kill the slimes which appeared in large numbers in the forest.

Slime monsters are not scary when they’re small, but if they ate enough and grew, they could become difficult monsters that even first-class adventurers could not defeat.

It is a creature with strong resistance against physical attacks and could continue moving as long as the core within its body wasn’t destroyed.

“Ain, weapons are not very effective against them! Megumin, can you use magic to clear them off!?”

Rhodes shouted as he pierced a nearby slime with his lance.

“Sorry. In this situation, everyone will be dragged into the magic effect. I could do something if we were in an open space…!”

“I-Is that so? It can’t be helped then! Hey, Rhodes, let’s go!”

“Dammit, guess we are doing this the old fashioned way, then!”

As rear support, we could do nothing except watch the frontline fighters drive off the slimes.

Finally, they returned, panting and covered with burn wounds.

The priest Thomas ran over to heal them.

“We were lucky the slimes weren’t that big. Megumin, how was it? Are Rhodes and I of acceptable standards?”

“Of course. Both of you are really cool. Next time, let me show you my real strength.”

Hearing this, Ain and Rhodes said shyly that they had great expectations and turned their backs to leave.

“—Why are there Blood Stink Flying Squirrels here!? Don’t they dwell deeper in the forest!?”

“We can’t reach them! Jack, Megumin! Use your bow and magic to hit them!”

We were ambushed by a large group of flying squirrels as we trekked deeper into the forest.

Both Ain and Rhodes used their weapons to intimidate the flying squirrels from getting too close.

“So-Sorry. If the flying squirrels congregate in low altitude, the spell will explode next to us!”

“You must be joking! Isn’t there some smaller scale spell… Damn, Jack! Think of something!”

“Un-Understood. Leave it to me!”

Jack repeatedly shot down the flying squirrels which were circling around. To protect Chomusuke from getting hurt, I hugged it closely, making sure not to get in the way and lowering my head.

At this time, some sort of liquid dropped onto my hat.

What was that?

There weren’t any dark clouds in the sky, so it couldn’t be rain…

At this time, Ain raised his shield overhead and shouted.

“Blood Stink Flying Squirrels mark their targets with their pee! If you get drenched with it, the strong stink can’t be removed for a week!”

I knew I couldn’t do it, but I still attempted to hit the Blood Stink Flying Squirrels by swinging my staff in rage.

“Hey, Megumin, what are you doing!? Keep your head down!”

“Don’t get in my way. I won’t stop until these flying squirrels are exterminated!”

As Thomas grabbed both my arms, most of the Blood Stink Flying Squirrels were finally defeated. The surviving few realized their disadvantage and escaped.

“—My important hat is ruined… I just have to wash it and leave it in the hotel for the stink to dissipate…”

During the rest after defeating the flying squirrels, I stared hatefully at the stinking hat in my hands.

Rhodes came over to the tree stump on which I was sitting.

“Hey. I want to ask. Under what conditions are you able to use magic?”

“Yo-You are asking about conditions… I guess as long as the enemies are far away in an open space, with no one else in range of its effect?”

Since I couldn’t do anything in the previous two battles, Rhodes probably felt I was unreliable.

“I see. Then it was a mistake to enter the forest. Today, we will let you witness our abilities. Tomorrow, we will hunt on the plains instead.”

Ain said as he listened on the side and stood up.

I felt apologetic and embarrassed.

At this moment.

The trees rustled as if something was coming our way.

“Slime? Is it attracted by the scent of blood of the flying squirrels? Good timing. Now we can complete our quest…”

What came forth was indeed a slime, but…!

“It’s huge!” X4

That slime was as large as a storehouse.

“Hey, this is bad! We can’t handle one this size! Retreat!”

“Bu-But are we leaving it to grow further!? If we don’t destroy it now, it would really become unstoppable! There are flying squirrel corpses everywhere, so there is no lack of food…!”

Ain and Rhodes panicked. Jack and Thomas stood in a daze.

I tersely said to the four of them.

“Please keep your distance from the slime.”

Hearing me, all four of them turned around.

“Wh-What? You intend to use magic?”

“It’s better to run away now…”

The four of them said to me as they moved away from the giant slime.

The slime started to engulf and consume the flying squirrel corpses.

Perhaps because there was tasty food, the slime couldn’t be bothered with us.

The four people moved behind me as I started the incantation.

“I say, don’t slimes have high resistance against magic? Small ones are manageable, but even a Crimson Demon couldn’t handle a slime of that size, right?”

“Shh! Shut up. This is a good chance to witness the rookie’s ability. It’s fine even if she can’t defeat it. If she can damage a slime of that size, then she is definitely worthy of being in our party.”

Ain’s and Rhodes’ voices came from behind me.

“Let’s give up on the reward this time. Compared to this… The slime is too big. It’s fine if we just report it to the guild immediately.”

Jack said as he prepared to run away.

The priest Thomas was puzzled as he listened to my incantation.

“What is it, Thomas? Is there a problem with the rookie’s magic?”

“Oh. There’s static electricity around Megumin. Ah. Is this lightning magic?”

Unlike Thomas, Ain and Rhodes became interested and said without panic.

As the only magic-user besides me, Thomas realized that the upcoming magic was of an abnormal scale.

The other three saw Thomas’s face pale, and turned to look at me.

“Hey, Megumin. There’s no need to defeat the slime here. There is no adventurer in this town that can defeat a slime of that size. If we report it to the guild, they will summon more powerful adventurers from other cities.”

“S-Say, is there something bad happening? The atmosphere feels like it’s quivering…”

Ain and Rhodes uneasily said.

As I continued the incantation, I pointed my staff at the slime, which was still consuming the flying squirrel corpses.

“Wa-Wait! This feels really bad! Hey, back off further!”

“Eh? What are you saying, Thomas? We’re already so far away. No matter what, this distance should be…”

As Rhodes said that, the incantation for Explosion magic was finished.

“Everyone, please lower your heads! A mere slime will be blasted into oblivion by my sure-kill magic!”

The four of them heard this and dropped to the ground.

“Explosion—!!”

As a beam of light flashed from the staff tip and penetrated into the slime’s body, the huge body expanded.

Following a blinding flash, the explosive wind knocked down all the surrounding trees.

All the birds in the forest flew off because of the explosive noise, and the shockwave shook the entire forest.

As the smoke cleared, the huge slime was gone. Including me, the five of us were prone on the ground.

… I should stand a little further back next time.

 

PART 9

—In the tavern of the guild.

After exhausting my mana, I collapsed on the table. Ain and the rest started drinking beer in high spirits.

“Ah. You are truly a Crimson Demon. So admirable!”

“That scene was so awesome! I was trembling after seeing the ruin left in the wake of that spell!”

“Unbelievable. To think that magic resistant slime was defeated in one hit…”

The three of them repeatedly praised me.

At this time, Rhodes came over with a drink.

“Uh, how should I say this? Sorry. I thought you were just bluffing about being a mage. My apologies.”

I lifted and shook my head at Rhodes, who lowered his head and handed over some fruit juice.

“No. There is something I should say, so if you want to apologize, do it later.”

Hearing this, the four of them wore puzzled expressions.

“Actually, I can only use that Explosion spell that I used earlier. In other words, I can only exert all my power to use that spell once per day. I’m confident that I can be a trump card against powerful enemies, but will this party be fighting such powerful enemies every day?”

Hearing this, Ain quietly swallowed his saliva.

“… You can’t use other magic? Like, intermediate magic, for example.”

“Nope.”

“… It’s fine if you can’t use it now. We can help you to gain levels, then you can learn intermediate magic…”

“I don’t intend to learn any skill that does not boost Explosion magic.”

“…” X4

Receiving my immediate response, the four of them finally became silent.

“Uh. Our party members feel that it is sufficient to earn some money by fighting weak monsters. As of now, we have no plans to challenge powerful monsters. I’m sorry. Can you find another party…?”

—After receiving today’s reward and saying goodbye to them, I dragged my tired body along, my mind troubled.

Could it be that I was not a genius after all?

Am I a kid who nobody wanted?

… No. There’s no need to panic just yet.

I’ve only been in the town for three days.

—I drank the drink given by Rhodes and recovered my wits. I searched for Yunyun, who should be searching for party members like me. She was still in the same seat as this morning, playing a board game by herself.

I walked over to Yunyun and tapped her shoulder from behind.

“He-Hello!? Welcome. My name is Yunyun. My job is Archmage, but I can use only intermediate magic…”

Yunyun quickly  said as she turned around. Upon seeing me, a disappointed look came over her face.

“What’s with this attitude!? I came over because you were so pitiful playing alone in the corner of the tavern!”

… I thought no adventurer would come over after seeing her notice.

I sat opposite of Yunyun and rearranged the pieces on the game board.

“Ah, wait. Really. I was halfway through my game…”

Yunyun complained, but she smiled happily.

We played the board game as we chatted.

“Megumin, have you found some party members?”

“No. I went along with a party for a quest today, but they couldn’t utilize me properly.”

“Is that so? As for me, there was only an uncle who drank beer early in the morning. He said, ‘I’m a non-combatant. If that’s okay, I will join.’ I considered it for a while, but I felt that it would be pointless if it wasn’t an adventurer’s party. So I declined… Checkmate.”

“No. Just reject it without considering! Why do you always attract such uncles? I’m really worried… Even if they try to pick you up, don’t follow them blindly. Teleport.”

“I won’t follow them. I’m not Megumin who would be hooked by a meal… Okay, your turn.”

“I won’t be hooked by a mere meal. You wait and see. A few days from now, I’ll be fighting some fierce criminals…!”

In the corner of the noisy tavern, we grumbled to each other as we moved the game pieces about.

“Upon seeing our crimson eyes, adventurers should be rushing over to invite us to their parties. This is truly the City of Rookie Adventurers. Don’t they know anything about the Crimson Demons?”

“Maybe existing parties don’t lack mages… But the school taught us that mages and priests are fairly rare. Maybe we are being avoided because of our age… Checkmate.”

“Ugh. If I retreat here, that Swordmaster would rush forward. This square is within the shooting range of that Archer… So teleport there… There aren’t many mages in the town, so there should be some demand for us.”

There were some people who avoided our gazes after seeing our crimson eyes.

But none of them came to talk.

Was it really as Yunyun said? Were we being avoided because we were too young?

“Although teleport is very annoying, this is the end for you! You were careless just because the Adventurer is the weakest game piece. Level this Adventurer piece to become a Swordmaster! Good, now the die is cast!”

“…Explosion!”

“Ah!!”

I used the special skill of the Archmage piece to flip the board over and sighed deeply.

Could I find companions tomorrow?

“Megumin, another game! Let’s play another game! The rules said Explosion can only be used once per day, so I will win in the next game! …Hey, where are you going? Don’t run off after winning!”

 

PART 10

I thought about today’s events as I made my way back to the hotel.

Today, I experienced my second party.

Is a mage who could only use Explosion magic really that undesirable?

No, no, no. A party that specializes in hunting weak monsters really would not require such a mage, but if it was an elite adventurer, or…

Right. For a party that specializes in high reward quests, or a party that fights in the frontline to defeat the Demon King, I must be necessary.

There must be some of them in this town.

Adventurers who aimed to defeat the Demon King.

As I thought about this and dragged my tired body along the street, I heard an imposing cry—

“Don’t miss out on this! Come and take your pick of fresh bananas just caught from the river! Only 300 eris! Only 300 eris! Want some!?”

“Get some! …Eh. Hey, what did you just say? Did you say these bananas were caught from the river?”

In front of the fruit store were a brown-haired guy and a blue-haired girl who was holding a fan.

I seem to run into them quite often

“Come and see! Now only 300 eris! Two bunches for 600 eris! …That’s what it should be, but listen! Two bunches should be 600 eris, but there is a special discount now! Only 500 eris! It’s a very good deal!”

“It-It’s a great offer! …Hey, did you say earlier that the bananas were caught from the river…”

It seemed this duo that was fired from the tavern was starting a new job selling things.

As if excited by the gathering crowd, the blue-haired girl raised her voice and knocked the table with her fan.

“Good. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Next, I’ll make these bananas vanish!”

“Hey, hey. Can you really do that!? There are so many people here. What are you going to do if you fail!?”

I was interested in the blue-haired girl’s words, so I stayed and watched.

“There are no secret devices and no tricks! I will merely cover the bananas with this cloth! Then chant ‘Vanish!’ Vanish, vanish… Okay, look!”

“Oh!?” X4

I cried out in surprise along with the watching crowd.

“Awesome!”

“What is with that girl?! I have never seen such a good performer!”

“Hey, I will buy one! One bunch of bananas!”

“Ah, I want to buy too!”

“Me too! I want two bunches!”

The audience changed into customers and rushed to the blue-haired girl.

“Nice job! Hey, if this carries on, this’ll be so easy! Okay, bring out the vanished bananas! We’ll have a great sale!”

The brown-haired guy said happily, but the blue-haired girl showed a puzzled expression.

“What are you saying? The bananas have vanished, so they aren’t  here anymore. Okay, bring out some new bananas to sell!”

“Ah!? No, I don’t understand what you mean! What do you mean by ‘Vanish’? How can the bananas just vanish!? Hey, where did you hide it? Stop joking and take them out already!”

“I’m not joking. I said there are neither secret devices nor tricks. Hurry up and bring out the bananas for sale and for the vanishing performance.”

“Stop fooling with me. It’s already afternoon , so stop dreaming!”

11 - 8CcXCM7.jpg

Before the customers, both of them were tapped on the shoulders from behind.

The fruit store owner was standing there with a hard expression.

“Fired.”

“Why?!”

“Hey, please wait. It has nothing to do with me! She’s the one who made the bananas vanish!”

The blue-haired girl cried in grievance, while the brown-haired guy tried his best to explain.

After seeing that farce, I felt silly being troubled, so I turned my back on them and returned to the hotel.

 

INTERLUDE: SCENE 1

—A Lonely Girl Who Was Looking For Companions—

I sat in the corner of the Adventurer’s Guild, and repeatedly looked at the party recruitment notice board with a sense of unease.

Megumin, my fri… rival, who’s traveled with me so far, has found a party and left to do a quest.

On our first day as adventurers, our distance had widened.

Although Megumin was petty, bad tempered, and had a weird perception, she still had considerable social skills.

After living so long, the thing I’ve talked to the most was the marimo reared at home.

TL Note: Marimo is a kind of green algae ball found in lakes. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marimo

It was too difficult to talk to strangers. I simply couldn’t do it.

Therefore, I posted a notice at the party recruitment notice board…

“…! I see it! Someone just looked at my notice!!”

Looking in the direction of the notice board, I saw a small adventurer’s party reading my notice.

Maybe these people would accept me as a companion. How should I greet them? I’m so stupid. I never thought of how to greet them until now. I should keep to the order of name, job, and skill…!

As I was getting hot-blooded, those people pointed at the notice and nodded. They looked around happily, as if looking for someone…

Meeting my eyes, they trembled.

Finally, this small party shrank and left hurriedly.

It seemed they were not recruiting…

But no problem. The notice clearly stated the job of Archmage…

If I waited, surely some adventurers…!

—Did not come at all.

Some other people read the notice later, but for some reason, they left without saying anything after seeing me.

… At this time, an onee-san with spectacles came over to my table.

“Uh, uh… Excuse me.”

“Ah, yes! What is it!? My name is Yunyun. My job is Archmage, but I can only use intermediate magic. Sorry, but no problem. I can learn advanced magic soon!”

“No, no. I’m a staff of the Adventurer’s Guild! Sorry, I didn’t come over because of the recruitment notice!”

She seemed to be a guild staff.

“Uh, did something happen? Was there a problem with my recruitment notice…?”

“No. Although I do think there’s a problem with the way it was written… A lot of people complained that whenever they read the notices, a girl will stare really hard at them. They felt it was very scary…”

It was a misunderstanding! It was because I was very concerned.

“I know that very few adventurers are considered worthy of a Crimson Demon, but please don’t glare with your crimson eyes at those that don’t meet your criteria. It’s somewhat scary…”

Wrong! A Crimson Demon’s eyes would glow crimson only when excited!

I was excited because there was someone coming.

“…So-Sorry. I will take note of it…”

Hearing my reply, the staff breathed a sigh of relief and left.

… People were afraid of me. I was kind of hurt.

As I laid my head on the table slightly dejectedly…

“I heard you’re 13 years old?”

I raised my head and looked.

“Uncle… No, I’m 13 years old too! You’re looking for a frontline job? Leave it to unc—me… I’m a high level Crusader! I will protect you, my little sister!”

No matter how I looked at him, he seemed to be over 40 years old. The heavily armored uncle panted and said quickly…

“…Uh, uh, let’s chat.”

“Eh!?”

Even though he was the one who initiated the conversation, the uncle cried out in surprise.

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