Lecturing the Girl who Ran Away from Home!
Editor: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
“Adventurers! Thank you for your hard work yesterday!! Congratulations on the successful subjugation of the large bounty monster, the Kowloon Hydra! Everyone will receive a grand reward too!”
Upon hearing the announcement by the staff, cheers echoed throughout the guild.
After defeating the Kowloon Hydra and recovering from the fatigue of the intense battle, we gathered in the adventurer’s guild.
Right now, all the adventurers who took part in the raid were here.
Everyone was probably looking forward to the bounty, and they were all smiling.
“Speaking of which, we’re finally going to accept the reward, so why isn’t Darkness here yet? Did she forget about the party that’s going to be held today? Or is she still embarrassed about what happened yesterday?”
“That might be so. Last night, Darkness was much more tensed up than usual. She normally doesn’t drink much, but got dead drunk that time. She’d usually lecture me whenever I wanted to drink, but Darkness actually offered me some…”
At the table in the center of the guild, we thought about Darkness, who was really worked up last night.
“Darkness might be the eldest among us, but she’s like a child in many ways. She’s a useless child who gets shy easily, so it’s understandable why she won’t come out to meet everyone. Let’s buy some gifts for Darkness for taking care of the house.”
Aqua nimbly twirled the egg in her hand, showering it with warm light as usual, acting all matured.
“Why are you nonchalantly treating Darkness as the oldest and making yourself look young? Aren’t you a grandma in terms of age?”
“I told you before right, Satou Kazuma-san? If you say something like that, you really will suffer divine retribution. I’ll curse you and the cold drink you ordered will become warm instantly.”
I ignored Aqua who was speaking foolishly with a straight face and watched the adventurers who were happily collecting their payout.
The one billion eris bounty was divided equally among all the participants.
One billion eris.
The bounty for that monster was one billion eris.
They said that without the Hydra, the land around the lake will become fertile.
The amazing one billion eris bounty was the reward for opening up vast tracts of land for cultivation.
The number of adventurers who participated was about fifty.
Which meant twenty million eris each.
The adventurers were called by name one after another, and finally, it was my turn.
“Satou Kazuma-san’s team of four will receive eighty million eris, and with the request of all the other participants, they’ll receive an additional twenty million eris. Please accept this one hundred million eris!”
“Thank you very much! All right everyone! The twenty million eris will be used to treat… Hey, hey let go! Why are you so reluctant to give me the bounty? Hey, give it to me!”
After snatching the bag of money from the staff.
“Hey everyone! Thank you again for the support yesterday! Let’s have a party!!”
The rowdy cheers filled the entire guild.
It was still noon, but we probably wouldn’t be going back any time soon–
After the sun had completely set behind the horizon, we walked on the street leading back to the mansion.
With the successful subjugation of the Hydra, we bought higher class food than what we usually ate with no hesitation.
We planned to use these to have an after party with Darkness back at home.
What we bought were Snow Crimson Crabs.
A high class dish we haven’t had since Darkness’s folks sent us some back then.
Aqua became really excited after seeing these.
“–Hey Darkness, we’re… Back…? Hmm, where’s that girl? Did she go out?”
We reached home, but Darkness wasn’t there.
At this moment, I noticed a piece of paper on the table.
It was Darkness’s handwriting; she said she was going to the landlord’s place to report on the subjugation of the Hydra.
The landlord’s mansion, which I destroyed, seemed to have been rebuilt.
Aqua took out the egg from her pocket the moment she got home and sat on the couch to resume her work of incubating the egg. Like a chick waiting to be fed, she noisily grumbled for dinner to be served.
“Hey, stop asking. Even if the dishes are done, we have to wait for Darkness to come back, all right? And don’t just incubate the chick, help with the chores too. Are you cleaning the toilets properly?”
“Really Kazuma, I think you should be nicer to a woman raising a child. And stop calling it a chick. If you keep bullying this child, I won’t even care if Emperor Zell bites you after it hatches, all right?”
In the end, Megumin and I guessed that Darkness would come back later, so we made dinner.
The other person had to incubate the egg, so she sat idly on the couch.
After cooking up dishes that were more lavish than usual, we set them on the dining table in the living room.
“Hey Kazuma, why isn’t Darkness back yet? I can’t hold it anymore with the food right in front of me. Hurry up and find Darkness, hurry up.”
“You didn’t fork out the money or cook the meal. Do you think you’re some kind of princess?”
While I was talking with Aqua, Megumin prepared four sets of cutlery and tea.
“We put quite a bit of effort into the meal tonight. Even the noble lady Darkness won’t be able to eat something like this often. Fufu, I’m looking forward to her reaction after eating my dish.”
“Didn’t you only add some salt and set the dishes?”
But I understood why Megumin was so proud of it.
It might be a bit cocky for me to say this myself, but the meal tonight was really well done.
After visiting various delicious restaurants, I wasn’t easily satisfied with simple food anymore. Hence, I paid some money to learn a cooking skill from someone.
After all, I planned to limit my adventuring time to the realm of being a hobby.
That’s why, instead of combat related skills, I chose something that’ll raise my daily standard of living.
I’ve already earned a fortune; it’d be nice to open a restaurant myself too… I thought about various things as I waited impatiently for Darkness to return.
– Finally, late into the night.
After so long, Darkness still hadn’t returned.
“Hey Kazuma! The dishes are cold, go reheat them.”
“… The meal’s right before me, but I have to wait… I’m not Darkness, I won’t be happy with such a play… After she comes back, I’ll punish her by making her sit in front of the couch and finishing the meal in front of her.”
“I don’t think that’s really a punishment, it’s more like a… Frankly speaking, she’s too late. I’ve already told her that we’d be back before dinner, so what’s she doing? Was it just like Vanir divined and something happened to her house? Even so, she’d tell us what happened.”
Everyone complained as we waited.
In the end, the frustration turned into anger and it turned into a conference on how to punish Darkness after she came back.
We seriously thought about the most effective way of dealing with that woman who treats most punishments as a reward.
Even so, the suggestion that ‘we should eat first’ didn’t come up.
And so, we decided to make her wear the super cute attire designed by Aqua and parade in the streets and the guild. And even if it was just for a day, we’d rent the super expensive magic camera and hold a photoshoot.
By the time we decided on Darkness’s punishment, it was almost time to flip to the next page of the calendar.
“… She’s late.”
Even though Aqua said that, no one made any move to eat.
Did reporting the successful subjugation of the Hydra need so much time?
I don’t think that lecherous landlord would do anything to Darkness, who was a noble… Maybe she wouldn’t return today even if we wait like this.
If she comes back early the next morning, I’ll go all out to punish her.
“She probably won’t return tonight. Really, at least give us a heads up if you’re not coming back… Hey, let’s eat.”
Despite what I said, the two of them showed a troubled expression and refused to move their utensils.
… Ah, damn it!
That little masochist, I’ll make her cry for real.
I’ll borrow Vanir for over an hour or so and conduct a thorough interview of shame.
That’s right, it’s a plan.
The later she returns; the longer Vanir’s interrogation will be.
I made up my mind in secret.
But Darkness didn’t return that day.
Or the next day.
Or the day after.
Darkness didn’t return–
“Hey Kazuma, what’s that? What are you making?”
Beside the table in the living room, I’d been hard at work since early in the morning.
I picked it up and showed Aqua the thing I was making
It was an imitation of a stick of dynamite.
It’s just like what Nobel made in the beginning by bundling solidified nitroglycerin and sand together with paper, along with a fuse to create a simple bomb.
Nitroglycerine hadn’t been discovered in this world yet, and there wasn’t any gun powder to make a fuse either, so igniting this thing won’t make it explode.
And since I don’t properly understand the underlying principles, I won’t be able to recreate it…
“I just have a rough idea of the principle and appearance, so I can’t craft the item because of the lack of materials; but I can still make a rough shape of it. Still, someone smart enough will find a replacement for nitroglycerin and buy this.”
“I see; bringing advanced weapon technology to this country, right? Kazuma… You really are scary…!”
Even though I didn’t think there was a market for items like this, I still made it just in case someone wanted to buy it. Aqua cradled the egg as she picked up the dynamite imitation and observed it.
There was a reason why I started developing it.
Early this morning, we received a letter from Darkness.
“What’s the thing Aqua’s holding used for?”
Megumin, who was reading Darkness’s letter seriously, lifted her head and asked.
“This is an imitation of a magic item called dynamite, used to recreate explosion magic.”
Megumin snatched the item from Aqua’s hand.
She seemed to be reacting strongly to the phrase ‘recreate explosion magic’.
“The good thing about this is that anyone can use it and doesn’t consume mana. However, it can’t…”
“Ahhh? It took a lot of effort to make that! What are you doing?”
Megumin ran to the window and threw it with all her might.
“How can I let something like this recreate the ultimate magic so easily? I won’t accept the development of deviant weapons!”
“T-This girl’s annoying…!”
Even though the agitated Megumin was breathing hard, she remembered something and looked at the letter she was reading just now.
That was the letter Darkness sent us.
Megumin read the letter for the umpteenth time, searching for some hidden message, and then gently put the letter down.
“Darkness’s really going to leave the party, huh…?”
Aqua and I fell silent when we heard what she said.
“… It can’t be helped. It’s her family’s problem. It’s strange as it is for her to adventure with commoners for so long.”
“But, but! This is really strange! Darkness actually left without saying anything! Our relationship isn’t so shallow that a farewell letter would be adequate!”
Megumin rejected my comment.
“That’s right. I think it’s because Kazuma has been going too far with his sexual harassment. I really don’t think you should throw our laundry into the tub and yell, ‘Yahoo~ Underwear bath!’.”
“I didn’t! I haven’t done that yet!”
“Did you say ‘yet’?”
I picked up the letter Megumin placed on the table and read it once more.
‘I’m deeply sorry for telling you this so suddenly,’
I read it again…
‘I’m in a complicated situation that I can’t tell you about in detail. This is something I have to bear as a noble.’
I crushed the letter into a ball.
And threw it strongly into the trash bin.
‘I can’t meet all of you anymore. It’s willful of me, but I hope you can remove me from the party. Please find a replacement vanguard to take over for me.’
Seeing how I was acting, Aqua and Megumin seemed a little intimidated.
Damn it, why was I so angry?
‘I’m deeply grateful to all of you and don’t know how I can repay your kindness… I really enjoyed my time adventuring with everyone. Those were the happiest moments of my life so far. I’ll never forget my days adventuring with all of you.’
In the end, she was still an aristocratic lady living in a world that was different from ours.
She merely returned to the world she belonged to.
That’s right. The problem would be solved if I could find a vanguard whose attack actually hits.
Sitting before the table, I started crafting the next product.
‘Thank you for everything.
Dustiness ford Lalatina
The deepest gratitude to my beloved comrades–’
With a crack, the pen knife in my hand snapped.
I probably used too much strength without realizing it.
When she saw me like this, Megumin said:
“… Kazuma, you’re very concerned too, right? Be more honest with yourself! Make a trip to Darkness’s house!”
She said that as she approached me with clenched fists.
That day when Darkness didn’t return.
A while after the date changed, we silently ate the cold dishes.
Filled with the passionate feelings of ‘don’t make us worry!’, we rushed to Darkness’s home early in the morning–
“We’ll be stonewalled again. She’s a grand noble after all. If we try to break in, we’ll be arrested. Darkness and her father won’t go so far as to execute us, but we can’t do anything if she doesn’t want to see us.”
After hearing what I said, Megumin drooped her head, depressed.
We went to Darkness’s mansion, but the guards only said, ‘We can’t say anything, please go back’ and chased us away.
I agitatedly looked for a replacement for my snapped penknife…
“Kazuma, aren’t you thinking about doing something for Darkness? Developing new products like this; did you buy into the advice given by that useless devil? Devils are beings that merely operate on their twisted logic, you know? They won’t help others if there isn’t something in it for themselves.”
After my thoughts were pointed out, my movements dulled.
“I-I’m not concerned about that! I just don’t want to do more hard work and earn more money easily!”
When Aqua heard that, she said with a serious face:
“Tsundere? Hey Kazuma, are you a tsundere? You’re not being honest. Are you feeling lonely because Darkness isn’t here? I only acknowledge blonde twin tails to be tsunderes. If you understand, go dye and tie up your hair right now.”
After I grabbed the egg from Aqua, she tearfully apologized while grappling with me who planned to make it into lunch.
Megumin softly muttered in a lonely tone:
“Even though these two are interacting as usual… It still feels like something’s missing…”
Megumin followed behind me sneakily as I went toward the guild.
To be honest, I was hoping she’d stay at home together with Aqua, who was incubating her egg.
“… Hey Megumin, I’ll give you some spare change, so can you return to the mansion?”
“Don’t wanna. I’m a member of the party too, so I should have the right to decide on the new member.”
Megumin had been refusing to listen to me for awhile.
It couldn’t be helped.
Right now, I was planning to head to the guild to find a vanguard to replace Darkness.
Megumin walked briskly to my back and said:
“It’s only been a few days and you’re already abandoning the comrade who’s been through thick and thin with us so easily? Kazuma’s inhuman. Inhuman.”
After saying her piece, Megumin backed away and followed me a few steps behind.
“No, that’s wrong. It’s Darkness’s wish for us to recruit a new member, right? I think it’d be best if Darkness returns. But she…”
When she heard that, Megumin rushed behind me again.
“You’re just throwing a tantrum. Like Aqua said, you’re just shy, right? You don’t want to admit it and are putting on a strong front, huh? You just don’t want others to know that the reason you haven’t taken in any new members is because you can’t put Darkness out of your mind, right?”
Megumin briskly pulled away again after saying that.
After that, Megumin followed me from a short distance all the way to the guild.
She could’ve walked beside me, but she chose not to do so.
Even so, she wasn’t so far away that I could lose her by sprinting ahead.
After making it to the entrance of the adventurer’s guild, Megumin came to me and tugged on my shirt.
“Kazuma, I advise you not to go in. If you do, you’ll learn the terror of the Crimson Demons.”
“Give it a shot if you can. If you do anything unnecessary, I’ll use your precious staff to clear the toilet.”
With Megumin who had a stiff expression in tow, I entered the guild.
Going to the notice board for recruitment of members, I browsed through the prospective candidates pasted on it.
I didn’t need to put up a recruitment poster as we were quite infamous around these parts.
Even if I advertised for the recruitment of a vanguard, I knew very well that no one would come.
Hence, I needed to grab a guy looking for a party and force him into my team.
… I found a suitable candidate in no time.
A warrior, proficient in one handed sword.
Confident in his defense, wishing to play the role of tank as a vanguard.
An eighteen-year-old guy.
… Sounds pretty good.
I tore that paper off and headed to the table that adventurer was sitting at.
“Erm… Excuse me, I’m here because I saw this notice.”
The man probably didn’t know about us and showed a cheerful face.
“Ah, yes! Nice to meet you, I’m a warrior…”
“Wait, you don’t need to introduce yourself.”
As we were having a man to man talk, we were interrupted by Megumin from behind.
… I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
“Before that, I want to test to see if you’re worthy enough to be in our party. After all, we’re a first class team that fights on par with the generals of the Demon King’s Army. The test consists of hunting a high bounty monster alone… Ouch!”
“There are no tests! Please ignore what she said!! Sorry, please wait a moment.”
“Eh, all right…”
As Megumin was spouting nonsense, I hit her to shut her up.
“– Hey, come here. Come here right now.”
“I refuse… Ahhh, don’t pull on my collar, this cloak’s an important gift from my friend, you’re stretching it!”
I pulled Megumin to a place where the warrior guy wouldn’t be able to hear us.
“Don’t you understand? We can just be a party of five when Darkness comes back, right? I’m not tough enough to be a tank. Same with Aqua, even more so for you. Since Darkness isn’t here, we’ll need a tank to keep the monsters at bay.”
“I got it, I got it Kazuma. I understand the importance of the vanguard role. All right, let’s start the interview.”
This girl definitely didn’t understand. I knew she’d stir up some trouble.
“Listen up, it won’t be strange if we get targeted by the Demon King since we defeated a lot of generals. Vanir was dispatched here because Beldia was defeated in this town. To be safe, we need to at least ensure that we can fight at any time. If it’s really too much for you, we can let that guy join as a temporary member. Got it? Don’t mess things up, okay?”
“I got it. I won’t mess it up, I won’t.”
Unexpectedly, Megumin readily accepted it.
Honestly, it was better to assume she’d mess things up when she was so docile.
I kept an eye on Megumin as I went back to the table.
“Well… Sorry for the interruption. I’m Satou Kazuma. Just call me Kazuma. And this is…”
I was planning to introduce her, but Megumin flicked her cloak and said in a voice loud enough to make everyone in the guild jump.
“I’m Megumin! The top mage in Axel and the one who wields Explosion magic! My nickname in this guild’s the Explosion girl with a screw loose! Come, let’s… Ouch!!”
I knocked the head of Megumin, who drew the attention of the entire guild with her terrifying self-introduction, but it was too late.
The face of that warrior guy was stiff beyond hope.
“E-Erm… I heard the rumors, you’re that… S-Sorry, I thought the rumors were exaggerated at first, but… I won’t be able to keep up with your party, erm, please find someone else…”
What the hell was that rumor?
Our reputation might be worse than I imagined.
After seeing off the man who kept apologizing, Megumin smiled at me, her expression a mixture of satisfaction and losing something important.
“Kazuma, he doesn’t look good. I was just introducing myself and he got scared off. Next, let’s find the next one.”
What an evil suicidal attack; I underestimated Megumin’s resolve.
She actually called herself a retard.
Even though she said to find the next one…
Even when Megumin and I went to the notice board and looked toward a suitable candidate, they’d avert their eyes.
… The self-introduction that echoed throughout the guild was a fatal blow.
Damn it, she usually cast her Explosion without any thoughts, but she just had to be quick witted at such a time.
At this moment.
“Hey Kazuma. What’s up, looking for party members? You should’ve given me a holler.”
The one who struck up a conversation with me when I was in a pinch was Dust. His party members didn’t seem to be around today.
“Don’t you already have a party? Where did they go?”
Dust frowned unhappily when he heard what I said.
“Listen to this Kazuma. Those guys are really too much, saying they earned a tidy sum in the fight against Hydra and won’t be coming to work any time soon! I didn’t take the reward for subjugating the Hydra, so I have to earn my keep here. But most of the adventurers had money to spare, so I can’t even find a temporary party. Warrior types are a dime a dozen… Well, basically, if you are looking for a vanguard, why don’t you take me in?”
Megumin glared at Dust as if she was cursing him for showing up at this juncture.
The quality of this delinquent was a bit lacking, but his capability was solid enough.
Megumin and Aqua teamed up with this guy once before and I knew this guy rather well.
There was no reason to reject, so I tried forming a party with Dust.
– And so, we formed a temporary team to test out our compatibility and took a random quest before heading to the farm in the outskirts.
It was the raining season now.
When you talk about raining season, you’d think of frogs, but there were opponents that were much harder to handle.
“Snipe! Snipe, Snipe, Snipe! … No good, my arrows aren’t dealing damage! These things are too tough!”
“Arrows and blades are meaningless against adaman snails! Kazuma, please hold them back with magic! I’ll protect the farmland from them before the loli’s spell is ready!”
“Hey, who’s this ‘loli’ you’re referring to? Why don’t you tell me?!”
Dust, Megumin and I joined a few other adventurers who took the same quest to exterminate the parasite beasts.
During raining season, a large number of giant snails known as adaman snails would show up to feed on the crops.
And now, behind us…
“Hey! Joseph got stabbed right in the butt by a summer bamboo shoot! It’s a serious wound, so he won’t be able to do farm work anymore! Stretcher him out right now!”
“The wild boars are here! Wild boars and other pests are using the chaos as a chance to sneak in!”
The roars of the farmers harvesting the crops could be clearly heard.
No matter what world it was, farm work wasn’t easy.
“Freeze! Freeze! Freeze! Freeze!!”
I cast Freeze on the adaman snail to lower its temperature, slowing their movement for a moment.
As expected of adaman snails; not just its shell, its other parts were really hard too.
I could only buy some time.
In the middle of the field, Dust, after fending off a few monkeys, stabbed his sword into the ground. Holding tightly onto the hilt of the sword, he held the shield before him with his left hand.
A large boar charged through the field, heading right toward at him.
Dust was going to block it straight on.
“Bring it on!”
Dust lowered his stance and put in more strength behind the shield.
If it was Darkness, she’d definitely block it without even flinching.
After all, she even tanked the fierce attacks of the Hydra.
But it’d be too brutal to ask that of Dust.
A boar the size of a bull charged at Dust…!
Dust was knocked into the sky by the boar.
However, the boar wasn’t unscathed after colliding with Dust, who was covered in steel armor. It staggered about and stopped its rampage.
I charged at the boar and slashed at it.
Unlike my usual tough battles, I easily took out the boar and watched how everyone else was doing.
Monkeys broke through the defense line of several adventurers and invaded the farm.
Ah, damn it!
Ignoring Dust rolling on the ground after he was sent flying, I picked up my bow and sniped the monkeys.
“Kazuma! I finished chanting Explosion!”
Megumin informed me that her spell was ready. I pointed at the escaping monkeys and shouted:
“Do it! Megumin, blow them all away!”
One of the other adventurers seemed to have heard my instructions.
Megumin’s explosion enveloped the monkeys, boars, and adaman snails, and blew them sky high… along with the crops.
We went back to the guild to report after exterminating the pests that were invading the farm.
The reward for each participating adventurer was twenty thousand eris.
Leaving wild boars aside, that was the payout for subjugating monkeys and adaman snails that won’t threaten the lives of humans.
Twenty thousand eris was reasonable…
As for us–
“So, Satou Kazuma-san, Megumin-san, and Dust-san will only get five thousand eris…”
We blew up the crops, so the reward was greatly docked.
This was my fault for giving that reckless order to Megumin.
In response to my apology, Dust said:
“Hee, don’t mind it, shit happens. I earned enough money for beer today. Don’t let it get you down. After all, the monkeys would have escaped and the quest would’ve failed if not for the Explosion!”
He just smiled and ordered an ice cold beer with the money.
“Erm, I think the three of us did great if we consider the fact that Aqua and Darkness weren’t around. And there were too few adventurers for this. They should’ve recruited more people.”
Megumin said that too.
Megumin seemed happy about completing the quest, but her expression said otherwise.
… I know, it’s because of Darkness.
It was cruel to compare him to Darkness, but we acknowledged the strength of our masochistic crusader and couldn’t help comparing others to her.
Dust killed quite a few monkeys and performed admirably as a vanguard… But if it was Darkness, even when her attacks wouldn’t hit, she wouldn’t have budged when the boar charged at her. I kept thinking about such unnecessary things… No, it’s useless to compare others to that girl now.
Let’s keep Dust as a temporary member and see how things go.
– The next day.
The door at the entrance opened without being knocked and a man barged in.
“… I did say something about forming a temporary party and telling you to visit my place to introduce you to Aqua, but what are you panicking about?”
When he heard my query, Dust said while panting.
“Kazuma, this is bad! Help me out! Please, can you come with me?”
It must be something important if the man who tried to kill-steal the Hydra was acting so flustered.
I turned to the other two–
“I don’t know the details, but I’ll be going out for now.”
Dust pulled me as we left the mansion.
– Dust walked in front of me and explained to me what was ‘bad’.
After hearing him out, I stopped in my tracks.
“… Eh, hold up. Is that what it is? The bad news is that Lynn has found a man?”
“That’s right! This is a really huge matter, but Tyler and Keith just brushed me off with a ‘is that so?’”
No, that’s all I would say too.
However, Dust raised his fist and said:
“My important comrade is being intimate with some random guy! If a girl from your party hooked up with some strange guy, you’d worry too, right?”
Eh, if a female friend I was close with found a boyfriend…
“I kinda get it.”
“Right? As expected of Kazuma, you really know me, man!”
The hyped Dust seized the momentum and continued explaining.
According to him, Lynn seemed to be drifting away from him.
Dust felt suspicious and followed Lynn for an entire day until he saw her entering the room of an unknown man.
“… H-Hey, you’re st…”
“Which means! A wild guy appeared out of nowhere and conned Lynn! I’m worried about my comrade. I want to investigate that guy’s background. Please Kazuma, the other two guys aren’t dependable! I’m begging you, help me out!”
Seeing Dust clapping his hands together as he pleaded with me, I thought it over.
It wasn’t cool to interfere with someone else’s love life, but did I have the right to accuse others?
For example, if Darkness found a boyfriend suddenly, I’d want to find out more about that guy too.
Also, it was a given that Darkness’s taste in men was just too weird.
“… I understand. It’s a little disgusting, but if I were in your shoes, I might’ve wanted to investigate that guy too. I don’t think Lynn will have any problems, but I adventured with her for a while, so I’m concerned about who that guy is too.”
“Whoa! You have a way with words, Kazuma! I’m counting on you!”
I was a bit uneasy about Dust, but I was unconsciously projecting Darkness who I couldn’t contact onto Lynn and followed him.
– Dust brought me to a small but nicely decorated hotel.
It was a hotel not too suitable for adventurers, but felt right for couples.
“This is the place, Kazuma. The scum conman’s right here.”
We didn’t know about that guy at all, right?
Seeing how mad Dust was, I started worrying about him going wild.
“And so, how are we going to do this? You’re not going to barge into that man’s room, right?”
Dust had a sinister smile when he heard my words.
“Just how long do you think I’ve been an adventurer for? You won’t live long if you don’t make through preparations in our line of work. I’ve already found out where he’s staying and rented the room next to it.”
I was wondering if I should call the cops, but Dust had already opened the door to the hotel.
I reluctantly followed.
By the way, if he used his planning and execution capabilities for more important things, Dust would definitely accomplish something bigger.
The inside of the hotel was really plain.
The first floor was the dining hall and the rooms were on the second floor.
Dust probably gave the staff a heads up since he didn’t mind us when we entered and merely yawned with an uncaring face.
Dust went straight up to the second floor and stopped before a certain room.
“Okay, this is it… The walls are thin, so keep it down. Lynn should be in the room next door right now. She has good ears and might notice our voices.”
I nodded and entered the room with Dust.
It was a clean room with just a bed, table and small wardrobe.
Dust closed the door carefully and placed his ears onto the walls.
I thought it was wrong to do that but I still leaned my ears against the wall.
And a familiar girl’s voice came from the room on the other side–
“Even if you say that… It’s hard for me to ask too…”
Without a doubt, that was Lynn.
However, she didn’t sound happy in this conversation.
“Lynn-san, I know this is asking for a lot. But this is a taboo in the first place. But I just can’t help falling in love!
“C-calm down! Erm, have you thought it over? You’re a noble, so you shouldn’t be finding an adventurer as a partner. And the problem isn’t…”
The man seemed to be a noble.
Firstly, Lynn was being wooed.
But from her tone, she didn’t seem to like it.
A noble and an adventurer.
People from two different worlds that shouldn’t have the chance to cross paths their entire life.
Darkness and me adventuring in the same party was an exception.
While I was thinking about that, the conversation on the other side of the wall continued.
“Lynn-san! I know very well that my feelings can’t be conveyed because of the difference in status! No, I also know about the bigger obstacle before me. But, at least…! I want to take some photos with the magic camera that I bought after breaking the bank!”
“C-C-Calm down! Please calm down! Just calm down, all right?”
I got the rough idea after hearing their conversation.
The noble youth fell for Lynn, but they couldn’t be together because of their difference in status.
Taking photos, that’s all?
What, he didn’t seem to be such a bad guy at all.
“If possible! Right, make it lewder!”
“Calm down! I’m begging you, calm down! Let’s go downstairs and eat something to ease the mood, all right?”
… No, that wasn’t all.
Dust quietly stood up at this moment.
“I’ll go beat him up right now.”
“Hey, wait, don’t leave! Now’s not the time!”
After stopping Dust with some effort, the sound of the door opening and shutting came from next door.
The two of them probably went to the first floor for a meal.
As he heard that sound, Dust silently showed an evil smile.
“Hey Kazuma, look at the clothes that are dumped around the place! As expected of a noble, this is all great stuff!”
I followed Dust and sneaked into the room next door.
I felt my head aching as I watched Dust ransack the things in the room.
He finally committed a crime.
We were breaking and entering.
“Okay, let’s see, what treasures does that young master have…? Eh, this is?”
Time to stop.
Breaking and entering, and now burglary…? He crossed the line.
I put my hand on the shoulder of Dust who was stunned after seeing something in the closet…
“Look Kazuma, red lace lingerie! That bastard, he wants to take pictures of Lynn wearing this? That pervert even prepared this! I’ll use it like this!!”
The raging Dust yelled and stripped without a moment of hesitation, and equipped the lingerie.
Without a doubt, this man was the pervert right now.
“All right, Kazuma! Use that high quality magic camera to take my pictures! I want his expensive films to be filled with my naked pictures. Just in case he gets a picture of Lynn, this will at least scar him for life!”
How should I respond?
Overwhelmed by his imposing manner, I picked up the magic camera as he ordered.
The design was simple and I could feel powerful magic concentrated inside it.
Right now, I was doing the most retarded thing in the world with a magic item that costs as much as a house.
With his arm crossed and clothes off, Dust arched his back and took the bridge posture without using his hands.
A pervert wearing red lace lingerie was supporting his trained body using his thick neck. His toned body drew a beautiful arch.
“All right, do it Kazuma! Immortalize my beautiful body!”
– I didn’t know how many photos I took.
Dust made plenty of poses while smiling all the while. As for me, I went from the top of tables to going prone onto the floor, taking pictures of him from all sorts of angles.
Pose of an eagle to that of a leopard.
For aesthetics, I made him take the pose of the thinker too.
“Well done Dust, that’s the way! You’re sparkling right now!! We’re done with glamorous poses, let’s move on to the lewd ones! First, bite your finger and point your ass this way!”
Dust did what I told him to do and melancholically bit his thumb as he directed his butt covered in a red underwear to the camera.
After a few shots, I gave further instructions.
“Okay, now for a cooler feeling! Spread your legs, lower your waist and put your hands… Right, that’s the feeling!”
Dust lowered his waist like a sumo wrestler, stretching his right arm to the front.
He’d a serious expression on his face as he repeated the lines I told him.
“Let’s get it on!”
At this moment, we hit our limit and rolled on the floor laughing our asses off with tears in our eyes…!
Our eyes met Lynn who was looking at us stupefied, her staff dropped onto the floor.
“… So, what’s this all about? I know Dust’s a dumbass, but Kazuma too– What are you two doing?”
Dust and I kneeled before Lynn and the noble youth.
“I’m very sorry.” x2
We apologized at the same time.
What a blunder.
Spurred by a whim, the two of us lost ourselves in taking retarded photos.
Lynn sighed from the very bottom of her heart.
And looked at Dust with piercing eyes.
But Dust wearing that underwear was more of an eyesore, I wished that she at least made him wear some shorts.
“Sigh… Really, there was no point in me worrying so much. Ah, do what you want to him, I’ve nothing more to say… Kazuma, let’s go.”
Lynn said with a tired expression and reached her hand toward me.
“… Hmm? No, letting these two be alone together is bad. It might lead to trouble.”
Lynn pulled my hand and I was forcefully dragged out of the room.
“Whatever, I don’t want to care anymore.”
Lynn said as she closed the door behind her.
“Dust-san, I didn’t imagine that you would be in my room while wearing that…”
“Ah? So what if I committed breaking and entering, you got a problem with that?”
The voice of the duo could be heard inside.
Dust who didn’t give a damn after he got caught sounded agitated.
And he didn’t seem to understand how he was dressed right now.
“Hey Lynn, shouldn’t we stop him? He’ll definitely do something, right?”
But Lynn just shook her head in resignation, fatigue all over her face.
“I don’t know if he’ll be the one doing, or be the one receiving… I did my best. Yup, I tried. Even though I did try, that dumbass was right in the room wearing that when I opened the door. That’s like a duck holding some spring onions jumping into a pot and closing the lid. It’s too late for me to do anything now.”
Our conversation didn’t seem to be going in the same direction.
“O-Of course I won’t mind, Dust-san! Dust-san…! Ahhh… Dust-san! Waahhhh, I’m so very grateful! Even though Lynn-san said that I should give up, but to think that… I was right to join the Axis Cult and devote myself in prayer…! T-There really is a goddess…!”
“I don’t know why you’re so happy, but if you think everyone’s afraid of the nobles, you’re wrong. I’m used to dealing with royalty and nobles. And it’s just two men here right now, things like status doesn’t matter. Do you get what I mean?”
“What? You mean you don’t care about our difference in status? And you said that it’s just two men in here…? Ahhh… Ahhh…! Today’s truly a great day, I’m immensely grateful to you, Aqua-sama…!”
Lynn and I left the hotel as we listened to Dust and the noble youth’s conversation from behind the door.
“– Well then, what were the two of you doing in that place? Just what happened?”
Lynn asked after leaving the hotel and I wondered about how I should answer…
I recounted the brief details of the events and told her the most important point, which was Dust being worried about her… And that led to Lynn holding her stomach in laughter.
“Ah, ahahaha…! T-that’s too stupid! There’s definitely something wrong with you two! Ahahaha!”
She was right.
Or rather, my usual self wouldn’t have pitched in. But in the end, I projected the image of Darkness onto Lynn… Lynn wiped the tears coming out from the corner of her eyes and said with her shoulders still trembling:
“Sigh… Listen to me, the one the noble likes is Dust.”
I felt time stop when I heard that.
What did she just say?
“And so, that noble came to discuss with me about what he should do as he had fallen for Dust. He mentioned that he didn’t harbor any hope of being together with Dust, but wanted to take some photos of him at the very least.”
… At this instant.
A chilling scream came from the second floor of the hotel.
A cry I’d never heard from Dust before.
… I was thinking about roping Dust in as a temporary member, but it’d be better if we table this matter for the moment.
I hypnotized myself with ‘nothing happened today’ and walked alongside Lynn.
I felt tired, I should go home and sleep.
Just as I was thinking over today’s plans, Lynn suddenly nonchalantly said:
“By the way, that noble reminds me that Lalatina’s a noble too. I only found out recently, what a surprise.”
“You found out? From who?”
I asked on reflex and Lynn looked at me strangely and replied:
“The news’s all over the town now. Lalatina’s the daughter of house Dustiness and will be marrying Alderp, the landlord of this town soon.”
“Please tell me the details.”