Gifting this bride with blessings!
Editor: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
The town was buzzing these past few days.
The landlord who was infamous for being a miser seemed to have spent a lot of money to announce his wedding, creating a festive mood.
He seemed to be sealing all the retreat routes so Darkness couldn’t change her mind.
The date of the wedding was set and announced.
The landlord probably couldn’t wait, setting the date of the ceremony one week later without any regard for anything else.
He must be anxiously awaiting the day of his wedding with Darkness.
“Kazuma. I’ve already asked plenty of times, but is this okay? Is this really okay? Is this really, really, okay?”
Megumin pressed me as I kept making all sorts of prototypes.
I mixed the sap of a plant named tar together with the digestive fluid of slimes, working hard on developing a new product.
By combining the two, I could create a half dried vinyl material.
I worked nonstop.
“I’ve already said it many times; I can’t do anything if she’s so stubborn about it. There’s still a week left, if she comes to me crying, I’ll think of something. If not, I won’t worry about it.”
After saying that, I blew air into the small vinyl droplet.
The process wasn’t easy.
There may be another method to more easily mass-produce this, but since I’m merely in the process of making a prototype, I’ll just bear with it.
Aqua, who was sitting at the side, didn’t pay any attention to Megumin and me, instead singing her song as she cradled her egg on the couch.
It was annoying, but letting her be was better than her interfering with my prototype.
But for some reason, I was a bit angry that her singing was quite good.
… Megumin picked up the prototype I was making.
“Stop fooling around! You should think about it more seriously! I won’t acknowledge this! If you’re just going to sit idly by, I’ve my own plans too!”
Megumin then tightly gripped the prototype she took from me.
“Hey, don’t cause any trouble, okay? If you go too far with your stupid plans, it’ll trouble Darkness. Darkness asked me to rein you and Aqua in… All right, give that back. I’ve spent a lot of time since this morning to make it.”
Coaxing the angry Megumin, I reached out my hand, prompting her to return that thing to me.
“… What’s this?”
Megumin fiddled with that thing as she observed it.
“I’m creating something known as bubble wrap from my country. It feels different because of the material and the way it’s made; I still think it’s workable.”
Megumin listened to my explanation carefully.
“… What’s it used for?”
She asked moodily.
“It’s meant to be popped. By popping it one at a time, your heart will become peaceful.”
“… That’s it?”
Megumin squeezed the bubble wrap I spent a long time making like a broken rag.
“What the hell–?”
I screamed when I saw Megumin popping the entire bubble wrap in one go with a yell.
She exhaled with satisfaction, smoothed out the ball of bubble wrap and returned it to me.
“… This does help one to calm down. I feel a little better.”
Megumin left briskly as I knelt onto the ground weakly.
T-The thing I spent so much time making was…!
Aqua who ignored our interaction sang:
“That’s the way the money goes. Pop, goes the weasel–”
Even my outburst felt annoying.
… Damn it!
Why did I vent this out on Aqua?
Why was I so irritable?
– Six days left before Darkness’s wedding ceremony.
“Excuse me, is there a Satou Kazuma-sama here?”
I was shutting myself in when a middle aged butler visited.
“Who is it? … Wait, I’ve met you before.”
That’s right, I recall that he was a butler serving in house Dustiness.
“It’s been a while, I’m the head butler of house Dustiness, Hagen. I’ve something to discuss with Kazuma-sama today…”
Looking for me?
Could it be, Darkness finally got off her high horse and was seeking help from me?
Contrary to my faint expectation, the butler named Hagen lowered his head.
“Actually, we’ve been receiving mail like this every day.”
He said as he handed a letter to me.
I opened and browsed through it…
“I’m very sorry! I’ll teach that dumb broad a lesson!”
“No, it’s fine. It’s just that it’d be bad if such letters are sent to the house of the landlord, that’s why I’m here before it escalates that far.”
I crumpled the letter and deeply bowed to Hagen.
After seeing off Hagen who left after performing his task, I looked at the crumpled letter again.
“A notice to the Dustiness house. According to reliable sources, a General of the Demon King’s Army might perform a terrorist attack on the Church of Eris in Axel. The day of the attack’s the day of the ceremony. If you don’t stop the wedding, the Church will be blown away by explosion magic. Please take this warning seriously… From a certain earnest mage.”
“Megumin! I’ve got something to tell you, open the door!”
With the threatening letter in hand, I roared at Megumin’s room.
– Four days before the wedding.
“All right, next! A rookie killer bigger than the bag itself will come out of it!”
“Are you trying to die by releasing that thing? What the hell are you doing, get over here!”
Right in front of Darkness’s house, I grabbed Aqua who was doing a strange performance in front of a huge crowd.
“Hey, what are you doing Kazuma, let go! I even submitted a request to capture a rookie killer just for this, okay? That aside, look at all these people!! All of them are here to watch my performance.”
“That’s why they asked me to come here, don’t cause trouble by doing this in front of other people’s homes! Stop it! Why are you even doing this?”
Aqua was cheered on by a massive turnout and donations came flying from everywhere.
“Ah, please don’t tip me, I’m not a busker, I don’t take donations… Kazuma, this is a plan to lure Darkness out of the mansion.”
Aqua earnestly rejected the donations as she whispered into my ear.
This girl, could it be…?
“You’re performing here in order to attract Darkness’s attention?”
“That’s it! Think about it, don’t you know about the story of the sun goddess’s cave? A certain goddess threw a tantrum and became a hikikomori, but she was lured by the singing and dancing of a party, got tricked and dragged out.”
“I heard about that before, but do all the gods in this world like parties? Not all goddesses are like you.”
Aqua ignored my retort and turned toward Darkness’s house.
“I noticed that the curtain in that room has been shaking from just now. It must be the curious Darkness who’s peeking. Hey~! Darkness, can you hear me? Come on out~! Quick, you’ll regret it if you don’t come and see! You can get to see my secret technique now! … Ah, hey Kazuma, what are you doing, unhand me!”
“Like I said, they came to me to complain, so stop performing in front of their house! All right, time to go!”
“Don’t wanna! If Darkness doesn’t come out, I’ll perform here every day!! Go away if you’re here to hinder me! Go on, shoo!!”
By the time I dragged the unnaturally stubborn Aqua home, the sun had already set.
– Two days before the wedding.
“Welcome back. Don’t do anything stupid again.”
Megumin, who just came home, stood listlessly at the door.
Disregarding my advice, she sent a threatening letter to the landlord’s home and was detained until today.
“Thanks to the people from Darkness’s house, I was given an exceptional pardon…”
“You wanted to help Darkness, but were saved by her instead. I know how you feel, but don’t be reckless now. Both you and Aqua are doing nothing but trouble, you know?”
I nagged at Megumin while developing new merchandise today too.
By the way, Aqua ran off to Darkness’s home today as well.
Recently, stalls had sprung up around Darkness’s home, turning into a tiny festival.
“As expected, Aqua and I couldn’t achieve much. Kazuma, it’s about time you helped us interfere with the wedding, right?”
Megumin wobbled to the couch and collapsed onto it, and started saying such things again.
“… I’ll go if Darkness asks for my help.”
When she heard that, Megumin jumped up.
“You inhumane bastard! You’re known as Scumzuma and Trashzuma in town, but I still thought that you were someone who wouldn’t leave your friends in a ditch and would help when it was time to do so!”
She started her verbal attack on me as I meddled with my new product.
“Hey, could you tell me the names of the ones calling me by those names? It’s about time I settle things with them.”
Megumin sunk into the couch once again.
“At a time like this, the person I like would say, ‘It can’t be helped’ in an irritated tone and would come up with a plan. That’s the kind of man he is. He shouldn’t be someone who keeps throwing tantrums.”
“D-Don’t think I’ll help you just because you hinted that you like me, okay? I won’t be fooled so easily.”
To conceal my surprise at the sudden confession, I pointed at the product I was making to soothe her.
“Don’t be so mad, give this a try. This thing here’s a punching bag, used to vent one’s stress. It’s made with real leather, you know? Well, the only material that can be used is real leather though.”
To calm Megumin down, I pointed to the standing punching bag filled with sand and covered with real leather.
Megumin was intrigued when she heard the word vent.
“How do you use this?”
“Simple. Just attack it. Punching or kicking will work. Ah, let me be clear, spells are prohibited. That’s common sense, but I should tell you just in case.”
After finishing my work, I joked as I walked toward the kitchen to make some tea and rest…
When I heard Megumin’s war cry, I’d an ominous feeling and looked back.
“Hee… I feel a little bit battled. Excuse me, please make another one.”
“Why’d you use a knife? Didn’t I tell you to punch or kick it?”
With my utility knife in her hand, Megumin stood at the side with a satisfied look. As for the punching bag, it turned into trash now.
– I kept developing new merchandise nonstop, as if I were protesting the days without Darkness.
And the day was finally here.
Today was Darkness’s wedding day.
In the end, she didn’t come to us for help.
“Let’s go Kazuma! We’ll destroy the ceremony! … Hehe, a spell accidentally flies over and blows up the church, or a spell accidentally making the landlord’s mansion explode, such things are quite common.”
“Hey, don’t do that. Forget the debts, you really will become a criminal.”
In order to discuss things with Vanir, I was busy arranging the products I made on the table of the living room.
My time spent crafting all sorts of items were also coming to an end.
I couldn’t think of any more ideas.
All sorts of design plans and efficient production methods.
I didn’t really understand the details of farming, but I wrote down the basic knowledge I knew as a Japanese without hesitation.
Darkness’s wedding ceremony seemed to be scheduled for this afternoon, but I had no intention of attending.
Since she didn’t ask for aid, it wasn’t appropriate for me to barge in.
I was meaninglessly acting out of spite.
I knew that, but…
Megumin looked at me with a vexed expression, gripping her staff tightly as she said:
“The person I like isn’t someone who’d keep wallowing in depression! Kazuma! Are you fine with Darkness marrying the landlord? Are you fine with the landlord doing whatever he wants with Darkness?”
“It! Isn’t! Fine!”
I yelled at Megumin in response.
Megumin was shocked by my outburst and backed away.
“It isn’t fine; I don’t like that guy getting Darkness either! He’s ugly and has a bad reputation! You should know that! That old man got his hands on cute girls and good women through unscrupulous means, then chased them away with a token breakup fee after he had enough! Worst of all, despite his insidious behavior, the decisive evidence is always missing for some reason!”
Megumin silently lowered her head when she heard what I said.
“Sorry. So you investigated the person Darkness’s going to wed…?”
I tried finding out about him, and that landlord was worse than I imagined.
Even an amateur like me found out all sorts of things.
Taking bribes and extortion.
However, the key factor was the lack of evidence.
The women who were victimized refused to talk about it, and the lack of proof meant the kingdom couldn’t do anything about that old man.
I heard that Darkness’s dad was posted here to monitor the landlord and dig up decisive evidence.
Megumin tightly gripped her staff.
“That means we can’t just ignore this, right? Kazuma, can’t you think of any underhanded plan? Like you did for the hapless party before, think of something.”
… Underhanded plan, huh? Just in what light does she see me?
“But I can’t do anything this time. First of all, Darkness didn’t tell me how much she owes, so I’ve no idea about that at all. Next, even if I raised the money, I can’t convince Darkness. That stubborn girl won’t be willing to accept the money. And finally…”
Megumin was confused.
“This is a wedding ceremony between nobles. The security’s tight, so we can’t go near it… Or rather, that’s the reason why I’ve been waiting for Darkness to ask for my help. As for Darkness’s house, they strengthened their security after I broke in last time, so I can’t get in again.”
I wasn’t bothered by this until now, but I can feel the difference in status right now.
I didn’t want the dumbfounded Megumin to continue staring at my expression, so I averted my face.
My back was probably giving off the sorrow of a man who’d been robbed of someone he likes.
“Darkness’s father fell sick, so we’ll be rejected even if we seek an audience with him… I don’t have any ties with nobles that’d allow for me to enter the venue where the ceremony will take place… I’m just a commoner after all.”
I thought about using the relationship I fostered in the capital, but even if I asked Iris, she won’t be able to do anything if both parties were willing to marry.
Our statuses were different after all.
It was a miracle that we were able adventure together with Darkness for so long despite coming from completely different worlds.
After I made these excuses…
“I understand. I know that Kazuma investigated the groom and did what you could. That’s enough for me.”
Megumin sneaked a peek at my listless expression and showed a relieved smile for some reason.
“I’ll seriously think about it and take a path I won’t regret. Kazuma, please think it through carefully too and take a path you won’t regret…”
Megumin probably ate something weird and was acting strange. She used a sincere voice unlike her usual self and sounded like a real wise mage.
I was speechless as Megumin went out briskly.
… Should I stop her?
No, I can’t do that anymore.
After seeing Megumin off, I stood alone in the vast mansion.
It was rare for Aqua to have guests.
Right now, she was talking to the guest in her room on the second floor.
It seemed that she received a sudden job request, but I wasn’t in the mood to help Aqua today.
Everyone who didn’t have much to do would gather in the living room to lazily spend their time.
Staying here alone really made this house seem so big and lonely.
… It couldn’t be helped.
Adventuring together with a noble lady was something I’d never imagine when I was still in Japan.
Life won’t be so smooth, that’s how reality was right now.
I sat down on the couch and sighed deeply.
The door suddenly opened with a bang, destroying this melancholic mood.
The one who appeared was–
“Thank thee for thy patronage! Forget about the unreliable goddess, the devil who can see through everything’s here to help thou. Weep tears of joy for moi visit and cheer as much as thee wish. Come, let moi see the various knowledge possessed by thou!”
“Hey, bring the beautiful shop owner over here! Change, change! Why must I discuss business with you when I am feeling down? I want the beautiful shop owner! Wiz! Give me Wiz!”
I sat down opposite Vanir in the living room while I was saying that.
“Right now, she is busy tending the shop while crying, saying that she ‘wants to sleep longer’. Unexpectedly this had the effect of ‘the owner who is crying as she works is so cute’ and ‘She will cry tears of joy if the merchandise sells well! Buy buy buy!’, which made moi extremely happy. Also, it is impossible for that debt creation machine to negotiate business with others. Yesterday, moi was feeling charitable and gave her a short break, but I only took moi eyes off her for a moment and she brought in these pendants, saying that she wants to sell them to adventurer couples.”
“What kind of pendants?”
“These are pendants that will explode by burning the last shred of the person’s life who is on the verge of dying. The underlying principle is ‘sacrificing your life to protect the ones you most cherish at the final moment…’ Isn’t that romantic, she kept excitedly going ‘hyaa’, ‘hyaa’. However, this thing is too powerful, not just the enemy, even the person you are protecting will be blown away. It really makes moi doubt the owner’s business sense. Thou want one?”
“… I-I will pass… That aside, what do you mean about helping me?”
Vanir didn’t answer my question.
“Leave that aside for now. Bring out the goods first. Moi will use my eyes to see through the appropriate price… However, moi have already prepared the money that will satisfy thee.”
He said while tapping his small black bag.
The devil who could see through everything was really efficient.
“That might be so, but I might still haggle with you. This is the compilation of all the knowledge I have. It should be obvious that I have no intention of selling it for cheap.”
If I couldn’t save Darkness, there was no meaning in selling them.
Vanir said in a tone as if he had seen through everything.
“The man who wants to rescue the armour girl very much but is afraid of being rejected. The devil Vanir who can see through everything announce this here. Thou will relinquish all thy intellectual property rights in exchange for what is inside this bag.”
… The devil who can see through everything is really troublesome.
Vanir stuffs all the design plans, prototypes and intellectual property rights certificate I handed to him into his huge bag without even checking them.
There was no need to do so for him.
By the way, I didn’t say I would sell them yet…
… Because he is a devil who can see through everything?
“Hey Vanir, you know everything right?”
I pretended to be casual as I asked Vanir who was stuffing the documents into his bag.
Vanir didn’t even look at me as he kept stuffing his bag and said:
“Hmm. Not everything, but moi can see through most of it. For example, moi knows what thou art going to ask next. Why did the armour girl you care so much about owed a huge debt to the landlord. Is there any way to save her. Why isn’t there any evidence despite all the landlord’s wrongdoings.”
“… Hey, even though you are a devil…”
“Even though moi art a devil, why art moi aiding you without anything to gain? Is moi plotting something… Of course there is. Moi art a devil after all. For example, in order to buy the valuable intellectual property thou art keeping on hand for emergencies at a bargain…”
Vanir not moving his hands and smiled at me.
Tch, this bastard.
“You can’t do anything if I don’t sell it. Instead of that, if you know something that I want, then just tell me.”
“All right all right. Well then, moi will reveal the truth to thee! For example, what type and colour the shop owner is wearing today! Hahaha, just kidding… Hmm? The delicious negative emotions didn’t flow out.”
“Please tell me about that later.”
“O-Okay… Well then, I will tell thou the things thee really want to know. The armour girl is in debt because…”
Aqua’s voice suddenly cut Vanir off.
At the same time, Vanir was surrounded by a pillar of light.
After the light disappeared, only Vanir’s mask was left spinning on the ground, making a clattering sound.
“Hey Vanir! You’re an arch devil right? It is fine, you won’t die because of an attack from the goddess of toilets right? Wake up!”
“What? I take my eyes off you for just a moment and Kazuma gets brainwashed by a devil? Hey, why are you helping the devil? And I am the goddess of water!”
She probably saw Vanir when she was walking down the stairs and threw her spell at him.
Aqua kept her pose after casting her spell while she was shouting all that.
This bitch always does unnecessary things during the most crucial moments!
A familiar middle aged man was behind Aqua.
He was house Dustiness’ butler who has been coming every day to complain.
I didn’t know what kind of job request he had for Aqua, but he was surprised by the situation before him.
Right before my eyes, Vanir’s body started growing from beneath the mask.
… How convenient for him to have a set of clothes on him whenever he resurrects… No, his clothes were destroyed by Aqua in the first place because they were a part of his body.
“Hahaha, thou actually use sneak attacks just like a devil, delinquent goddess! Look, moi cool mask is cracked!”
“Com now~ Devils are like pests, aren’t they~? Will you give pests a heads up before exterminating them, and say ‘I am going to kill you, so I’m very sorry’? Isn’t that dumb? Don’t make me laugh.”
The two glared at each other and a dangerous atmosphere arose. I hurriedly stopped the two of them.
“Hey you two, pick another day to fight. Aqua, I want to hear what Vanir has to say, don’t get in the way!”
After hearing what I said, Aqua reluctantly backed off.
Hagen, who was behind Aqua, could sense the dangerous air in the room.
“E-Erm, I don’t know what the fuss is about. Archpriest-sama, the ceremony will begin at noon, we’ll be in your care. Well then, I’ll excuse myself.”
He then crouched and walked briskly between Aqua and Vanir, walking out of the door in a rush.
I was curious about why he was here, but Vanir’s matter was more important right now.
The corner of Vanir’s lips rose as if he was boasting his victory to Aqua.
“Hahaha, useless goddess who wasn’t of any help for this incident, bite vexingly at thy handkerchief as thee watch the grace and utility of moi!”
This devil was unexpectedly childish, and even stuck his tongue out to Aqua to taunt her.
Aqua’s brow slowly rose up. We couldn’t talk like this, so please hold back.
She cradled her precious egg and sat on the couch, between me and Vanir.
She was probably intending to listen in too. Sitting with her arms around her knees, she glared at Vanir from so close their nose was almost touching.
“It is hard to talk like this… The sad man who can’t even depend on her even though a goddess is by his side. Thou want to know why the armour girl is in debt? It all began with the subjugation of the Mobile Fortress Destroyer.”
Vanir said in a casual tone as if he was just making small talk.
What did he just say?
Vanir laughed when he heard what I said.
He didn’t dally and continued:
“There isn’t much details to speak of. Like other cities in the past, the landlord will lose their territory after the Destroyer rampaged through it. The citizens will lose their homes and the nobles will bear the responsibility, everyone will be uprooted from their lives. This might be a relatively better ending for the wandering adventurers. However, this city wasn’t ravaged.”
… Wasn’t that a good thing?
Vanir probably saw through what I was thinking and laughed once again.
“The town is saved. The people whose livelihood is in the town was spared. It’s the same for the citizens too… And the Destroyer was defeated at the city gates. At the same time, the flood control facilities, granaries and all sorts of structures were destroyed.”
… I knew that did happen.
However, wasn’t the damage already minimized?
“Because the granaries are destroyed, the crop workers lost their jobs and fortune. It wasn’t easy to rebuild the granaries. And so, these people sought help from the landlord.”
… I already have a bad feeling about this and frowned.
“That’s right, it is just as thou think! That landlord said to the people seeking his help: ‘Just making out with your life is already a blessing, don’t ask for more. If you want to complain, complain to the adventurers who failed to protect the granaries. Look, the adventurers received a huge reward and have money to spare. Why not make them compensate with their bounty?’”
… The evil landlord was making my face pale.
“Yes. Except for the irresponsible landlord, no one is to blame. The adventurers already performed above expectations. There wasn’t any doubt with that. However, the refugees still lost their homes, and their feelings were understandable. Even if thou tell them ‘this is just like a natural disaster, so give up’, that won’t change their views.
Vanir had a smile that befits that of a devil.
– He then casually said something I couldn’t ignore.
“The people who were rejected by the landlord went crying towards someone. That’s right, they went to seek house Dustiness, who has close ties with all of thee. They said ‘The merciful Dustiness-sama who shouldered the cost of the flood damages for a mere adventurer. Please take pity on us too’… That’s how it is.”
“What did you say? What happened to the buildings damaged by the flood?”
When he heard my question, Vanir smiled just like a devil.
“The serious damage done to the buildings is not something just a few hundred million can settle. When the guild staff asked thee to compensate for the building damages, didn’t they already told you? ‘Not compensate all of it, but at least some of it.’
“Aside from the mansion, most of the wealth of house Dustiness was used to pay for the damages. After losing most of their assets, the armour girl from house Dustiness lowered her head to the landlord to take out a loan in order to help the people who are suffering because of the Destroyer.”
What is that girl thinking, doing all that on her own?
“The landlord who was reluctant to lend his money added the following condition, ‘if something happens to the head of the house Dustiness which makes it hard to return the loan, then use your body as collateral.’”
The sound of my hand banging the table cut Vanir off.
I then offered my hand to Aqua who was surprised by my action.
“… Hey Kazuma, banging the table in a fit of rage hurts right? It hurts right?”
Everything lined up.
The rude butler who visited our house was probably sent by the landlord.
He knew about the ailing health of Darkness’ father, and came to pressure them for payment.
And in order to get the money, she mentioned something as stupid as subjugating the Hydra.
However, when she saw the adventurers who were worried and gathered for her, she thought that she shouldn’t give them anymore trouble and became less fixated on all sort of things–
I asked Vanir quietly.
“How much is Darkness’ debt?”
Vanir probably saw through this as well, and took out a bag he had prepared.
“Thy entire fortune together with the contents of this bag, will be enough to pay off the debt… Well then, let’s talk business!”
This thing was really a devil!
“You’re really…! You’re really beautiful, young lady…! After the ceremony, we must let old master who’s recuperating in bed to see your glamourous appearance!”
The new maid was full of praise after seeing me in my wedding gown.
When I heard that, I couldn’t help smiling wryly.
The new maid didn’t know about the reason behind the marriage.
If my father sees me like this after the wedding with the landlord, he’ll be devastated.
I was doing this just for my self-satisfaction.
… I could hear curses coming from the corridor.
“Why are you stopping me from seeing the bride? Hey, get out of my way! I can’t wait any longer! Lalatina will be mine in a few hours, it’s just a matter of time! Scram! … Lalatina! Lalatina!!”
… Fufu, it seems that man no longer wants to hide his true nature.
“No. This is the waiting room of house Dustiness. Since the ceremony has yet to begin, only those from house Dustiness can pass through this place. Please turn back.”
After hearing the voice of the agitated landlord, a servant of my house calmly replied.
“You fool! Listen well, I’ll be your master after the ceremony ends. You should think carefully if you should stop me!”
Even after hearing such an unreasonable request, the servant remained calm:
“You shall not pass. You’re not currently my boss..”
“… I’ll remember you. After the ceremony ends and I’ve my way with your precious young lady, you’ll get it from me.”
After saying that, the landlord left with heavy footsteps.
“… Please ask that person outside the door to come here, I want to thank him.”
The maid nodded to acknowledge my request and summoned that man in.
“Young lady, you’re really beautiful…!”
With a sigh, the man smiled with his wrinkled face.
He was one of the tenured guards working in my house.
He was really inflexible. When I wanted to leave the house to play, he wouldn’t let me go.
I’d be found out immediately even if I scaled the fence.
For a period of time, I was really obsessed with sneaking past the guard to get out of the house.
I’d throw a ball out of the fence from the garden, cajole him to get it back for me, and run out when that man went for the ball.
He’d catch up to me after I left and bring me back immediately. But I found that amusing, so I threw the ball out every day.
I amused myself by tricking the man to pick up the ball and sneaking out.
Thinking back, I understood that after my mother died, I lost my playmate and got this man to play with me instead.
“I’m sorry… It’s fine to let him in, all right? I don’t mind anymore. I’ll talk to him so he won’t punish you.”
“I plan to resign after the young lady marries, so don’t worry. After all, the only one I’ll serve is the Dustiness house. But if it’s a man the young lady acknowledges, I’ll be willing to serve him too.”
The man started getting embarrassed after saying that and I smiled wryly.
Speaking of the man that I acknowledge, the figure of the one who raided my room at night, scurried around and said a threatening line before falling out of the window painfully appeared in my mind.
I couldn’t help but smile when I recalled that incident.
“Young lady, the smile you show from time to time is beautiful. I feel blessed to see that expression at the very end.”
The man had a satisfied smile and turned around.
“… E-Erm, this might not be my business, but the young lady’s really beautiful and elegant after all… Please don’t go too far when you play by yourself…”
After awkwardly saying that, he left.
The two maids averted their eyes from me.
I really wanted to teach that man who mimicked my voice and created such a nonsensical rumor a lesson!
He was a rude man who was foul mouthed, ignorant of etiquette, knew a bunch of weird things, but didn’t understand things that were common sense.
Timid and reserved, but will act recklessly sometimes, an unfathomable man.
His job’s the weakest, and aside from his luck, his stats are below average. Using his myriad of skills and cunning as his weapon, he was a mysterious man who fought on par with the Demon King’s Generals, bounty targets and all sorts of monsters.
When I revealed that I was a member of nobility, he was more interested in my name than my heritage. A strange man.
I almost crossed the line with this weird guy, so I must be a weird woman too.
I thought back to my happy adventuring days.
Normally, a noble like me wouldn’t be able to live my life so freely, including the choosing of my marriage partner.
Despite that, I’d been able to spend my time together with close friends so far.
… It was enough. It’d be greedy to wish for more as a noble.
It’s time for me to pay the people in this town back .
I won’t let that landlord do as he pleases anymore.
I’ll find out his secret while that landlord obsesses over my body.
No matter how long it’ll take, I’ll be able to go on if I’ve the memories of our times together with me.
… But, this felt strange.
In the past, I thought marrying this landlord wouldn’t be so bad, but I couldn’t feel any charm from him now.
Was it because of that person?
Thinking back to my constant banter with him, the corners of my mouth rose in a smile.
“E-Erm… Young lady?”
Seeing me suddenly smile, the maid helping me with makeup was troubled and stopped.
“Oh, sorry, it’s nothing.”
I pressed the maid to continue with the makeup and thought of my comrades with contrasting personalities.
If they found out the reason I was in debt, what would they think?
Megumin will probably get angry.
Aqua would probably cry for some reason.
If it was that man, he’d probably scold me saying: ‘Why are you doing such a dumb thing?’ and see through the real reason why I was avoiding them and take swift action.
And then uncover the landlord’s secret, putting an end to all this.
Will this group of cheerful people still accept me as a companion?
“Young lady, how beautiful…! Please come before the mirror…!”
I followed the instruction of the maid and smiled wryly as I looked at myself in a wedding dress.
Regrettably, the one who’ll see me like this will be that landlord.
However, although normal people won’t be able to attend the ceremony, they’ll be able to see me after the ceremony was over.
Will he come?
… No, he definitely won’t.
He’s probably still fuming alone in the mansion.
I couldn’t help smiling awkwardly just thinking about his unhappy face.
“It’s time. Let us be off, young lady. The priest who’ll be gifting this wonderful day with her blessings is the best in this town. This will definitely be a joyous wedding…”
The butler Hagen who was the longest tenured servant in our house knelt on one knee and offered me his hand.
I was filled with gratitude for the people in this town who granted me with my freedom so far.
Ah, those happy times…
The year I spent with everyone was filled with joy every day.
And took Hagen’s hand–
This was the most holy place in Axel.
The church of Eris… The attendees were influential people in town or nobles who came from neighboring countries.
Everyone knew that the wedding was a sham.
The seated audience were chatting as they pleased, without any tension despite the ceremony which was going to begin momentarily.
The underlings of the landlord guarded the entrance of the church and a large crowd gathered in order to catch a glimpse of the bride.
Most of them were adventurers.
Darkness kept her noble peerage a secret when she became an adventurer.
News of her becoming the landlord’s bride was spread everywhere and they probably gathered here to see Darkness in a wedding gown instead of the suit of armour she usually wore.
What a bunch of curious people.
They probably became adventurers because of their strong sense of curiosity.
The rowdy church finally quieted down.
Waiting rooms for the bride and the groom were situated on either side of the church’s entrance.
Hagen accompanied the bride’s pure white figure from the bridal room.
As her father was feeling unwell, the butler took over his duties.
Darkness who was walking with her head lowered and covered by a veil was so stunningly beautiful that no one could take their eyes off her.
Shortly after, the landlord who was wearing a white tuxedo also came out from the groom’s room.
His large round body puffed his tuxedo up like a balloon. Like the other attendees, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Darkness either.
With his mouth half opened and eyes on Darkness, he waddled forward… And only came to his senses when Darkness’s butler dryly cleared his throat.
The attendees didn’t even look at the unsightly figure of the landlord and only focused on Darkness.
A moment later, the church’s organ started playing solemn music. The landlord and Darkness walked on the same wedding aisle, but his eyes didn’t look forward, resting on the bride beside him instead.
Darkness who walked on the same aisle kept her head lowered.
Seeing Darkness like that, I felt extremely flustered.
She even said: ‘He’ll probably ravage me for days without anything to eat or drink, how exhilarating.’.
Where did your usual perverted expression go?
What happened to your face that’d redden when you took on monsters?
What about your words that could even turn off the Demon King’s Generals?
It was a wedding, but I couldn’t see any happiness on her face.
Darkness seemed so lonely with her head lowered.
It was finally time to take the wedding vows. Under the watchful eyes of the attendees, they came before the altar.
That’s right, before me, who was standing beside the altar.
In this world, as long as you’ve a profession holy in nature, you can solemnize weddings even if you weren’t a pastor.
For example, the lone rare existence in the beginner town–an Archpriest will do.
For this event, the priest hired by the butler Hagen to gift her blessing for this wedding was the one with the highest ranked holy job– Aqua-sama.
And as her assistant, I stood beside her in plain sight.
Even after reaching the altar where he’ll take his vows, the landlord was still focusing on the bride, while Darkness kept her head down.
The solemn music stopped and a voice that wasn’t solemn at all sounded out:
“Do you, Darkness, take this old man who’s so fat that he’s sweating oil, to be your wedded husband, in defiance of my wish as a goddess? Do you promise to love this old man, comfort this old man, honor and keep this old man in sickness and in health, safekeeping your virginity from this old man as long as you both shall live? You can’t do it, right? Well then, I want to go home together with Darkness and eat the dishes made by Kazuma and drink all I want…”
An out of place speech was heard.
Everyone was surprised and their eyes fell onto Aqua.
The landlord turned his head to Aqua with a start.
“…? What? Y-You’re the woman who gave me a ton of trouble in my house! What are you doing? Why are you here?”
The curses of the landlord rang out. Darkness looked at Aqua and me in shock, her mouth gaping open and shut.
Using this chance, I tightly grabbed Darkness’s arm.
Dear father and mother.
The cute son you wanted to raise to be a righteous man.
Has thrown his peaceful life away and challenged the people with the most authority in this world by kidnapping a noble lady.
When Darkness snapped out of her shock, her face slowly turned green as her tears flowed freely.
“W-What have all of you done…? Aqua… K-Kazuma! K-Kazuma, let go of me! Just what are you two planning to do? This is no joking matter! Barging into the wedding ceremony between nobles will end in nothing short of execution! What foolish thing have you done? Why are you so foolish?!”
I cut off Darkness who was crying emotionally and telling me off:
“Shut up idiot! You’re the one who’s stubbornly doing stupid things, don’t just decide to cover my debts on your own! Do you think you’re my wife? If you like me, just tell me straight– I’ve already told you that!”
“When did you ever say that? What are you talking about, you buffoon?”
After listening to the inopportune bickering between Darkness and me, the stunned landlord finally came to his senses.
“T-Take this man! Arrest him and the phony priest! He… He’s just a commoner and he dares disrupt the wedding of nobles! Hurry, hurry up and seize him!”
The landlord yelled and tried to take Darkness back from me.
I blocked the landlord who pounced over and forcefully hid the crying Darkness behind my back.
The landlord’s face turned purple immediately…!
“Damn you! This has nothing to do with you, get lost! You might like Lalatina, but–! She owes me an enormous debt that you won’t be able to pay in your entire lifetime! If you like this woman so much, then prepare the money to buy that woman first, plebeian! That is if you can even do that!!”
When I heard the landlord’s provocative words, I picked up the bag beside the altar.
“I heard you loud and clear, so make good on your promise, old man! Take this, the debt Darkness owed you, two billion eris! Two thousand pieces of magic silver eris coins worth a million eris each! I wiped away the debt, so I’ll be taking the girl! Also, I don’t like her that way! S-She’s just an important comrade!”
I corrected the landlord’s words and dumped the contents of the bag onto the feet of the landlord!
As for why I dumped it onto the floor…
“Ahhh? What, two billion? Ah, wait, my Lalatina! Give Lalatina back… Ahhh, money! Pick them up! Hey, pick them up for me!”
The landlord started frantically picking up the money.
At this moment, the attendees around the area started picking up the coins.
There might be people who’ll pocket the money, but I didn’t care that much.
Using this chance, I pulled Darkness’s hand as she stood still amidst the chaos, and people who appeared to be the underlings of the landlord ran toward me.
Darkness then shook my hand off and protested.
“W-Why you!? Who asked for you to do that? You’re making a mockery of my resolve! And the money! Where did it come from?”
I answered Darkness who was still so stubborn during such a moment agitatedly:
“I sold them. I sold all the ideas I could think of. Together with my savings from doing quests, it comes to exactly two billion eris. I’ve no choice but to earn an honest living from now on… It can’t be helped, I sold them all. I can’t buy them back even if I want to. If you understand, then let’s go!”
Seeing me like this, Darkness had a complicated expression of worry, joy, crying and laughing, and said:
“To go so far, you… You’re really…! I-I…!!”
The underlings of the landlord ran up to us, I was at the limit of my patience, so I grabbed Darkness by the shoulders and shook her!
“Stop wasting time and get it together, you don’t have the right to reject this anymore! Stop arguing! I’ve already bought you from that old man landlord! You’re mine now! Listen well, I’ll be working you like a horse! Steel yourself to pay back my hard earned money with your body, you perverted Crusader!! Understand? Answer me if you get it!!”
Being shook around, lectured in public and being called a pervert made Darkness’s eyes water and her face ecstatic in a bad way. She answered in a weird voice.
As I held onto Darkness’s shoulders, her legs gave way and she collapsed onto the ground.
My words seemed to have scored a critical hit on this masochist.
Why’s this girl always getting in the way during critical moments?
I forcefully picked up Darkness in a princess carry and charged toward the entrance of the church.
The attendees were all powerful and influential nobles.
They were either bad at dealing with ruffians or didn’t want to be dragged into troublesome matters. Aside from those picking up the money beside the landlord, no one else tried to stop us and just watched idly.
“Hah… Hah… I-I’m sold… A noble like me, sold to this man! To think, that, that I’ve to pay back with my body…! Ahhh, what’s with this situation…? Abducted from the scene in a princess carry…! This is… This is…!”
Darkness who was in my arms blushed in a way I’ve never seen before and her breathing was so heavy that it seemed dangerous.
“Hey, hey you-your drool! You’re drooling! Are you really okay?”
Seeing me warn Darkness, Aqua who was following behind showed an enlightened expression.
“As expected of the mean spirited Kazuma-san! You’re just paying back the debt that was shouldered for you, but you twist it into you buying Darkness! Hey Kazuma, if Megumin hears what you said about getting Darkness to pay back with her body, you’ll eat an Explosion, you know? If your body’s gone, I can’t revive you. So watch yourself, okay?”
“No, that’s not it! Don’t make it sound so bad, I was just going with the flow! I’ll just make her pay me back as a Crusader and an adventurer!”
As I was agitatedly replying, the underlings of the landlord blocked our way as we ran along the red carpet.
I said to Darkness who had a dazed expression:
“Damn it! Hey Darkness, how long are you going to stay like this? It’s time for you to run by yourself! And you’ve a lot of heavy muscles!!”
“Why, why you! It’s a rare moment, so why did you say such things and spoil the mood?”
With tears coming out from the corners of her eyes, Darkness tore the lower half of her skirt off in a single daring move in order to facilitate easy movement and jumped out of my arms.
“We’ve already went this far, there’s no other way! I’m fine with it! Get out of my way, dogs of the landlord! I’ll kill anyone in my path!!”
She then took off and tossed her veil aside before charging the minions of the landlord with her long hair flowing behind her.
The minions grabbed onto Darkness who was uttering dangerous words in an attempt to restrain her, but Darkness didn’t even dodge and reached out her hand.
Several of them grabbed her shoulders and arms, but she ignored their resistance and dragged them with her as she tightened her grip on the faces of two minions.
Their head made creaking noises under the power of Darkness’s Iron claw, and they screamed.
“Hey, we came here to save you, so why the hell are you charging to the front? Aqua, please buff me! Buff!”
“Leave it to me! You want the super entertainer spell?”
“Of course! That’s super useful!”
Behind us were the landlord and some of the attendees who were doing their best to pick up the money.
After becoming a versatile talent with Aqua’s support spell, I ran behind Darkness and shouted with my mouth covered:
“Hey, don’t bother with them! Just let them go for now! All of you come help me pick up the money!!”
Mimicking the landlord’s voice, I ordered the minions that were wrestling with Darkness.
“Ah? Oh! Yes, Sir!!”
They thought that that was the instruction from the landlord and ran past us toward him.
“Morons! Why are you all here? Go and capture Lalatina!”
The minions who let us off chased us again in confusion.
In no time, the number of underlings before was more than a dozen.
Without any weapons, we might not be able to break through even if we had the buffs from Aqua.
Seemed like it was time to show the serious mode I used in the capital…!
As I was about to go all out after getting Darkness back.
“Light of Saber!”
A familiar voice erupted from the front door of the church, and a flash of light cut through the brick wall beside the door.
That was a spell that Crimson Demons are fond off. It cut through anything by concentrating mana onto their chopping hand.
A moment later, the wall of the church collapsed along with the door.
Two figures stood there with their backs to the glaring sun.
Many adventurers here to see the wedding surrounded them from a distance, watching with intrigue.
The underlings were on guard, fearfully putting some distance between them.
“Megumin, I did it! Because we are bosom friends! I-If it’s my bosom friend’s request, I’ve no problem with doing something that seems to be a crime! After all, I was told: ‘Please help me, my bosom friend!’, so I can’t refuse!”
“Yes, yes, yes, thank you for your hard work, Yunyun. As expected of my bosom friend. Well then, you can go back to the inn now.”
Two girls with crimson eyes stood there.
Megumin took a step forward and the underlings of the landlord backed away with a cramped face.
Their eyes were on Megumin’s staff which was glowing at the tip.
… What the hell?
She seemed determined to finish her Explosion spell in the middle of town.
Megumin raised the staff that was filled with a fearsome amount of concentrated mana, a never seen before seriousness on her face. Her eyes glowed red as she flicked her cloak fiercely.
She then said with a calm and adamant voice:
“The evil mage is here. Following her instincts, the evil mage is here to kidnap the bride.”
With her back to the sun at the entrance of the dim church, Megumin was as cool as a hero, making me who came to get Darkness earlier seem much less prominent.
… I wanted to do that!
As for the attendees and the landlord’s underlings.
They fell into a state of panic and watched every move of this evil mage.
“Do you know what they call me? If so, then you must know what the magic at the tip of this staff is, right? Let me make this clear, controlling this spell requires a lot of concentration… If you sneak up on me and I lose control, it’ll go boom! Think about that if you want to rush me.”
Simply said, she meant that she’ll lose control easily, and they were free to go for it if they were fine with the consequences.
What a perfect threat of an evil mage.
The underlings surrounded Megumin from afar with a cramped expression.
The ones who wanted to grab Darkness ahead of us and the ones who were fooled by us and were chasing from behind were all reluctant to capture us after seeing this.
Yunyun, who was standing beside Megumin, surveyed the church.
“… Hmm? Megumin, Kazuma-san has already… Look…”
Megumin looked at me, Aqua and Darkness with her torn wedding dress as prompted by Yunyun. She understood what happened and smiled with narrow eyes.
She then pointed the staff at us to open a path for us to escape.
When she did that, the underlings before us scampered away into the audience seats.
Using this chance, the three of us ran to Megumin…!
“W-What? What are all of you afraid of? You bunch of imbeciles! She must be making an empty threat! That idiot definitely knows the consequences of releasing explosion magic here! She won’t cast her spell, so get them!”
The landlord who was still busy picking up the coins yelled.
But when she heard that.
“Ho! You think I’ll be scared? You dare say I’ll be too scared to cast Explosion, are you for real? Very well then! I accept this challenge!”
“Stop! We won’t approach! We won’t, so please stop!”
“We won’t attack, so don’t do it!”
“Alderp-sama! Please don’t provoke her!”
The landlord’s underlings all pulled away with a stiff face when they heard what Megumin said.
Megumin’s notoriety reached such an extent.
After all, Megumin won’t cast Explosion in the middle of town… She won’t… Right?
Thanks to Megumin intimidating the underlings, we managed to link up.
“I wanted to show off my cool side and you two stole the best part from me! But I’m grateful that you came. Thanks!”
Megumin smiled when I finished.
“Elegantly taking the best part is a Crimson Demon’s instinct. Really Kazuma, I knew you’ll do something even though you said you won’t… To think that you made your move before I did.”
Megumin said with a satisfied expression for some reason.
“Megumin! Even Yunyun went so far…! After we go back… I’ve something to say to all of you. After we go back…! I’ll say my thanks…!”
Darkness was either really emotional or had yet to cool down from the excitement earlier. She couldn’t even talk properly, and Megumin replied a little shyly.
“Don’t mention it, well… We’re comrades… H-How can I let such an excellent Crusader go?”
Megumin probably felt embarrassed about saying the word comrade and tried to cover it out by vaguely squeezing out the last few words.
When she saw Megumin acting like this.
“Comrades… How nice to have comrades, Megumin! Erm, as a bosom friend, will you also rescue me if I fall into the same situation?”
“No, Yunyun’s just a bosom friend and even proclaims to be my rival… You’re not a comrade, so no…”
Megumin emphasized the term bosom friend and mercilessly rejected Yunyun.
“Really, now’s not the time for a casual chat! Give us a plan!”
The underlings were gradually surrounding us as we stood at the entrance of the church.
Megumin was the most dangerous one right now and might go ballistic at any moment.
I don’t think they’d charge forth in such a situation… The landlord was probably feeling frustrated because his underlings didn’t charge at us and shouted:
“Hey, that group watching over there. Don’t look around, I’m talking you bunch of adventurers! Over there are a bunch of criminals! Get my bride back from them! I’ll give you a grand reward in return! Or I can hire you to be my guards! You’ll then be free from the tedious job of adventuring! Please! My Lalatina! Bring my Lalatina back!”
The onlookers looked at each other after listening to what the landlord said.
“…? Hey, didn’t you hear me? I’ll pay you! How much do you want?”
Not only did the adventurers not move, they even suddenly turned around and lazily stretched their backs, pretending they didn’t hear anything.
Seemed like they wanted to let us off.
You have my deepest gratitudes, not joining in was a big help!
“Hey Darkness. Just like the other time you challenged the Hydra alone, lots of people are helping you this round too. It’s time you reflect on your stubborn temper, you know?”
Darkness’s face blushed happily as she nodded with tears in her eyes.
Things were going smoothly so far…
I understood what those adventurers were thinking, so I didn’t say anything to spoil the mood for Darkness right now.
Everyone was smiling…
And when Darkness returns to the guild in the near future – ‘Young lady, Lalatina, aren’t you going to wear your beautiful wedding dress?’– She’d be teased like that.
All the adventurers in this town knew that Darkness was a noble lady now.
I didn’t think the crude adventurers in this town will become afraid of Darkness who they’d known for so long.
I might be dragged in too, so I won’t avoid Darkness who’d definitely be teased by them.
… Shortly after, while we were surrounded by the underlings, the people in the church started congregating toward us.
It was a stalemate.
The opponents weren’t stupid, they weren’t goons that’d stand around and wait to be defeated.
They heavily outnumbered us and wouldn’t let us escape easily.
If we used weapons in town, our criminal actions would be set in stone.
No, our crimes were already beyond debate.
“… Ugh! Kazuma, I’m at my limit in controlling my spell! Can I fire it off? We’re already criminals anyway! I can’t wait any longer, may I shoot it at those guys?”
Everyone was shocked when Megumin suddenly said this.
“Ughh, I can’t do it anymore, it’s gonna blow! Run, get away from me!”
She lost control at this crucial moment?
If it was any other mage who said that, it’d probably be a bluff.
However, everyone here knew Megumin very well and scattered, their faces green.
I hid immediately too…!
Megumin cast the spell skywards.
With a terrifying boom, a streak of light arced through the sky, followed by a grand explosion.
The shockwave shattered all the glass within town and everyone threw themselves onto the ground, covering their heads with their hands.
“Quick, use this chance…”
Megumin, who depleted her mana, looked at me as Aqua supported her, but her voice suddenly faded away… In the end, she stared at me dumbstruck.
Under the bask of her cold eyes, I realized the situation I was in.
I was curled up in a ball behind Darkness…
“Hey Kazuma, to think that you can do something as shameless as hiding behind the person you’re rescuing.”
“… Yeah, Kazuma seemed really cool today, I was just wondering if there was something wrong with my eyes. I’m glad it was just my imagination.”
“K-Kazuma-san… You’re the worst…”
The last words by Yunyun dealt a fatal blow to me.
The onlookers who were lying prone on the ground were looking at me as if I was trash.
Leaving that aside, the opponents were terrified by Megumin’s Explosion, so this was our chance.
We were planning to break out of their encirclement, but…!
“The explosion magic can only be used once per day! Now’s our chance, get them!”
The terror caused by the impact of the explosion spell only lasted for an instant and the underlings of the landlord charged at us without hesitation.
Megumin who was on Aqua’s back shouted.
“Yunyun! I’ll leave this place to you, we’ll make a move first! No matter what happens to me, you mustn’t turn back! Fight on!”
Yunyun heard what she said…!
“Idiot! We’re already bosom friends! What are you talking about, how can I ditch Megumin and…? What did you just say? Didn’t something like this happen in the Crimson Demon Village too?”
Yunyun asked in return.
“Please stall for time, my bosom friend! I’ll introduce my friends to you next time!”
“I understand, leave this to me! We’re bosom friends after all, it can’t be helped!”
Seeing the cheerful Yunyun blocking their way, the underlings all showed a guarded expression.
A-Ah, if you don’t mind, I can be your friend any time…!
After we left Yunyun behind and ran off…
“She’s just a Crimson Demon girl! Get her before she completes her spell!”
When I heard the underlings say that, I felt a chill on my back.
It can’t be helped, I’ll stay behind and stall for time so Darkness can escape…!
Just when I was thinking about that and turned back.
“That huuuurts! Why’d you push me suddenly? Ahhh, my bones! My bones!! Dust, save me!”
A man fell onto the ground with a scream.
“Hey Keith, are you okay? How terrible… It’s a comminuted fracture!”
I heard a familiar voice and name.
“What? I just bumped into you, don’t try to pull a fast one! He was the one who dashed out all of a sudden and fell by himself! Hey, why are you grabbing my legs?! Didn’t you have a fracture? Unhand me!”
The underling retorted.
“Hey, hey! Are you trying to run after paralyzing him from the waist down? I don’t care if your boss’s the landlord or whatever, that’s too unreasonable!”
While we were running, I could hear the voices of the delinquents behind me.
The underling who was harassed by the mean spirited delinquents lazily said – “You just said it was a comminuted fracture, and now he’s paralyzed? What the hell, don’t bother me! Scram! I’ll let you have it if you get in my way…!”
The underling then shoved the delinquent aside.
“That hurts! I’m an upstanding citizen and he used violence on me! He hit me! All right, the brawl’s on! Let’s go! I was abused by a certain noble recently too! I already hate nobles; I’ll vent it out on you then!”
“Hey? Wait, don’t?”
“The fight’s on!”
“Hey, I’m joining in too!”
“That landlord pissed me off since a long time ago!”
“Wait! D-Didn’t you’ve a fracture? You said you’ve a fracture! Wahhh!”
I sneaked a peek behind me as I ran.
The on looking adventurers were ganging up on the underlings of the landlord and were beating them down.
I’ll treat them to a drink once things die down.
“Lalatina! Don’t go, Lalatina! Lalatina!”
The heartbroken cries for Darkness came from far behind us.
“– Y-Young lady? Your dress…! H-Hurry, come in!”
After escaping from the underlings, we ran to Darkness’s house.
A guard hurriedly opened the door for us.
Suddenly abandoning the wedding ceremony, Darkness, who was in a tattered wedding gown, ignored the shocked people in the mansion and walked straight in.
The three of us didn’t know where she was going and followed behind.
“Dear father, pardon my intrusion.”
Darkness went toward one of the rooms.
By ‘dear father’, she meant…
Oh, when I broke in earlier, I broke the windows in her father’s room when I escaped.
So her dad had to change rooms.
Darkness entered without waiting for an answer.
Was it fine for a noble lady to do that…?
Her father was in no condition to answer the door.
He was frailer than that time I broke in, with dark circles under his eyes. He was breathing deeply in his sleep.
Her dad opened his eyes slightly.
Darkness and us walked up to her dad’s bedside.
Seeing Darkness, her father…
“… Oh, Lalatina… How beautiful… Just like your mother…”
He said with a kind but weak smile.
Darkness apologetically lowered her head before her father.
“… Erm, I’m very sorry, dear father… I decided on the wedding on my own… But I destroyed it in the worst possible way and ran away…”
When he heard that, her father excitedly closed his eyes.
“Is that so…? That’s good. Don’t worry about it, there’s nothing to apologize for.”
After saying that, the father turned toward me.
“Kazuma-kun, could you please come over here.”
I approached the bed.
“… I’ll go get some fresh air outside.”
Megumin who read the mood left for the corridor.
… While the one who couldn’t read the mood approached the bed of the father and gawked around.
There was a patient here, so I couldn’t lecture her and let her be.
“… You did great this time. Thank you, you have my deepest gratitude.”
Even if you thank me so suddenly…
“I merely cleared the debt I owed your daughter.”
When he heard me, this father laughed once more.
He then said something incredible before Darkness.
“Kazuma-kun, I’ll leave my daughter to you. Please.”
Darkness was surprised by his sudden words.
“There’s no need. Is this a punishment game?”
Darkness screamed even louder when she heard me.
She looked straight in my eyes and seemed to have something to say.
The father smiled cheerfully when he saw me like this.
… It couldn’t be helped.
It seemed like the treasured sword of the kingdom saw through my mind.
I get it, I’ll take care of her, I won’t let weird guys harass her.
The father probably saw through what I was thinking and sighed in relief.
“Lalatina. Are you living happily now? So happy that you don’t mind throwing everything else away?”
He said softly with his eyes closed.
Darkness answered immediately without hesitation.
“I am. I want to give up everything to protect my comrades.”
When her father heard this, he nodded with satisfaction and answered, ‘Is that so’ softly.
“Lalatina. Choose the path you wish to take. Leave everything else to me. Even with my body like this, I can still do something at the very end.”
When she saw her father acting like this, Darkness went near him and held his hands.
“My beloved father, thank you for raising me…! When your health gets better, please chat with me and tell me about my late mother until I fall asleep…”
“I love you, my cute daughter. Yes, next time, I’ll tell you about how I met your mother…”
Darkness’s eyes were moist.
Her father muttered ‘next time’ again with a happy smile and held onto Darkness’s hand…
He was suddenly covered by a magical light.
“Sacred Break Spell!”
That girl who couldn’t read the mood cast a spell.
The sudden light made Darkness and her father scream.
When the light dissipated, her father’s eye circles were gone. He was still thin, but color returned to his skin.
With everyone watching her, Aqua cockily said:
“It’s a curse! This must be a curse from a powerful devil, but I undid it easily!”
The father regained his vigor thanks to this goddess who couldn’t read the mood. He and Darkness looked at each other while holding hands.
Darkness slowly released his hands as her face turned beet red. She whistled and looked out the window while her father pulled his blanket up to cover his awkward expression.
I could catch a glimpse of his face–which was as red as Darkness’s.
… They were father and daughter after all.
“But it’s fine now! That’s great, Darkness! You can chat with your father about your late mother as many times as you want!”
Aqua’s cheerful voice bore no malice.
Darkness covered her face and squatted down.
I guess all’s well that ends well…