Gifting this dragon with glory!
Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
I was responsible for creating this situation, but what should I do?
This was a small, new café outside Axel City.
Before me, with a smile frozen on her face, was Chris… No.
“What are you doing here, Eris-sama?”
The goddess Eris was before me, her identity exposed.
– The second day after I gallantly saved Darkness from being forcefully married out of a sense of responsibility, Alderp, the lord of Axel, suddenly vanished.
At the same time, many hidden evidences of corruption were discovered. Alderp’s evil deeds were exposed.
In the end, Alderp’s assets were confiscated and transferred to the next governing lord of this city.
The next lord of Axel was Darkness’s father.
At the same time, the debt that I paid on behalf of Darkness and the other funds… For example, the repair fees for the city district that was damaged during the defense against Beldia and the repair fees for the lord’s mansion that was destroyed during the threat of the Mobile Fortress Destroyer. All this money was returned as a special exception.
Alderp’s son, Walther, who once had a marriage interview with Darkness, was spared since he was unrelated to his father’s crimes. He’d be helping Darkness’s father from now on.
Currently, Darkness was taking on the temporary role of lord on behalf of her father, who hadn’t yet recovered. But perhaps because she was dissatisfied with the new nickname I gave her, that willful lady shut herself in the house and refused to come out.
I was here to report the situation to Chris, who’d just returned to Axel City, but…
“– I’m not Eris-sama. I’m Chris-sama, okay?”
I thought that Chris and Eris might be the same person, so I casually put it to the test. Chris continued to have that frozen smile on her face as she said such ridiculous things.
I said to Chris–no, Eris in her current state.
“No, no, no. This has been on my mind for some time. Eris-sama, in your current state, you’d only use honorifics when addressing your senior Aqua, right? You always call Darkness and Megumin directly by name.”
“… Because I’m a faithful and chivalrous thief who donates stolen money to the church. I can’t call the archpriest Aqua-sama by name.”
Eris’s eyes wandered. She scratched the scar on her cheek as she explained it away with a lame excuse.
“When Eris-sama was troubled, she’d habitually scratch her cheek too.”
Hearing this, her finger that was scratching the scar stopped.
“Let me ask again– What are you doing here?”
I asked Eris again as she fell silent.
“… Ha, well done, Kazuma-kun. No, I should say… Well done, Assistant-kun.”
After standing up suddenly, Eris was like a criminal who was exposed by a detective. She gave up and started a monologue.
“You’re right. It’s as you thought. Sometimes adventurer, sometimes chivalrous thief, and sometimes Darkness’s friend… But my real identity is…!”
“You’re unexpectedly enthusiastic, Eris-sama.”
“… Kazuma-kun, you’re unexpectedly calm… Since my cover was exposed, it can’t be helped. I’ll explain everything here–”
Eris said and sat back down. She changed her usual manner and spoke with a serious expression.
Her expression made it difficult to think of the Big Boss I was so familiar with. The current her was Eris, the most respected goddess in this world.
Facing her like this, I…
“But I really didn’t think that Big Boss would actually be Eris-sama. After all, your personalities and mannerisms are completely different. Oh, let me apologize. I’m really sorry that I stole Eris-sama’s panties when we first met.”
I didn’t care about the serious mood and apologized for my misdeed during our first encounter.
Eris made a troubled expression as if she wanted to say something, but stopped herself from doing so.
“Now that I think of it, there were other hints too. When we went to clear Keele’s dungeon and when Big Boss taught me the thief skills, you said such things before. Something like, ‘Because a senior who once took care of me was making unreasonable demands, I became really busy.’”
Now that I thought of it, the reason for her suddenly becoming busy was clear.
“You were busy dealing with the aftermath of Aqua forcefully reviving me after I was killed by the Winter Shogun, right? … Ah, I must apologize for that too. I’m very sorry for randomly groping you when I caught you infiltrating into the mansion.”
“Stop! Whatever, it’s fine! Or rather, stop reminding me of them!”
Eris blushed and repeatedly knocked on the table to interrupt me.
She then sighed softly, observed the surroundings and whispered to me.
“Don’t call me Eris-sama right now, Kazuma-kun… No, Assistant-kun. Watch your mannerisms too. Don’t use a reverent tone, speak to me casually as you did before. Please treat me as Chris.”
“… Chris. If you say so, I don’t mind. Then, let me ask you some questions. Why are you in the mortal world? Why’s a goddess stealing? Also, which of your mannerisms and personalities are the real you?”
“W-Wait. I can’t answer if you ask so many questions at once!”
Chris looked around again, coughed, and said seriously:
“Seriously… One of the reasons I’m in the mortal world is to find divine relics.”
Those were powerful cheat items given to people who were sent to this world.
To recover the divine relics which lost their masters and then give them to the people who come to this world.
This probably was the main reason she was in the mortal world.
“I see. That’s why you took the thief job, since it’d be more convenient to recover the divine relics. Unlike a certain goddess who only eats and sleeps, you’re really serious and responsible… You said this was one of the reasons. What are the other reasons?”
Hearing my question, Eris’s serious expression softened slightly.
“Also, it was to be a friend to a certain noble lady who wished to have companions…”
She said and shyly smiled, scratching the scar on her cheek.
Darkness’s father mentioned this before.
Before she became an adventurer, Darkness used to visit the Eris church daily to pray that she could find adventuring companions.
Then, one day on the way back from church, she met Chris.
“… What can I say? I feel that Eris-sama’s really a goddess.”
“I told you not to call me Eris-sama! … No, but I actually enjoyed adventuring with Darkness. My real identity is a secret between just the two of us, okay? Especially Darkness. Don’t ever let her know, okay?”
Chris said as she shyly looked away and scratched her cheek.
Perhaps because Eris was inside that body, every movement made by her seemed very cute.
This must be the enhancement of a goddess.
But to guide the dead, find divine relics and even befriend her own worshipper… She really loved working.
I wished the other goddess, who was still eating snacks when I died, could learn from her example.
“Then, for my last question. Which mannerism and personality is real?”
Eris made a naughty expression as if she was about to pull a prank.
“Between Chris and Eris, which one do you like?”
“I like both.”
“Uh… Oh… Is that so? I wasn’t expecting you to respond without hesitation. I thought you’d be… How should I say this? … The kind of person who hesitates at saying these confession-like words.”
Chris’s eyes wandered uneasily as she suspiciously opened and closed the salt bottle on the table.
“No. I wasn’t confessing. It’s just stating my plain preference… The tomboyish Big Boss and the soothing Eris-sama. I feel neither should be given up… Ah! If Chris and Eris could be swapped back and forth daily, it’d be like dating two people at the same time! That’s Eris-sama for you. You’re so awesome to be able to make a solo harem. Please go out with me…”
“You’re the worst!! You really are scum! Also, I told you not to call me Eris-sama!”
I caught the salt bottle Chris threw at me and felt relaxed at our conversation.
For some reason, once I knew she was Eris, I could easily say that I liked her and asked her to go out with me.
Was it because she was an untouchable existence, the goddess Eris whom I admired?
Or was it because she was my friend Chris who did stupid things with me, like forming a thieving band?
I didn’t know what the reason was, but such a subtle connection gave me a soothing feeling.
“Sigh… Really. A climatic scene like revealing my secret identity was ruined…”
“I’ve got nothing but bad premonitions– Are you going to make me find divine relics for you?”
Facing the cautious me, Chris grinned widely.
“You caught on quickly, Assistant-kun! The divine relic this time’s the Sacred Armor Aigis. It was a set with the Sacred Shield Aegis, but we just need to find the armor this time…”
“La la la, I’m not listening! I don’t want to head down such dangerous roads anymore! Recently, my relationship with Megumin’s pretty good. Darkness seems to be somewhat interested in me too! And after receiving the large amount of money, there’s no need to work. I want to spend my decadent life with everyone affectionately!!”
“You just asked me to go out with you! What are you saying now? I can entrust only you with this job! Ah, hey, don’t cover your ears. Aren’t you going to obey your Big Boss’s orders?”
Chris shouted and shook me as I covered my ears and lay my head on the table.
Several customers and staff took notice of our disturbance.
Maybe because she noticed their gaze, Chris finally quieted down.
I thought she’d given up, but she slowly lifted her head…
“Satou Kazuma-san. Please… For the sake of this world, could you please help me…?”
The goddess Eris took a beseeching pose before me… No, before me was Chris, who wore the expression of the melancholic Eris.
… That’s unfair, Eris-sama.
– After that incident, I accepted Chris’s request. Sometime after that, in the living room of my mansion…
“Everyone. Humans are a species capable of conversation. Let’s talk this through.”
Vanir said as he kneeled in the living room, both hands bound by powerful magic ropes.
Aqua and Wiz separately squatted on either side of him. They frowned and stared at Vanir so closely that they’d touch his face in a few more millimeters.
Darkness finally came forth from her home. She was now standing before Vanir, frowning and crossing her arms.
Darkness had returned safely after being coerced into marriage by Alderp. The lost funds were also returned.
For me, this was a happy ending, but…
“You’re the one who profited most from that disturbance, right? It’s so good to be able to buy the rights to various products from Kazuma so cheaply… I heard about it. You resold Kazuma’s product rights at a high price and earned a huge profit. You’re so clever, so there must’ve been other solutions beside such indirect ones. Tell us the truth.”
Aqua said as she carefully hugged the egg named Emperor Zell.
“Vanir-san. What’ve you been doing behind my back? You resold the product rights you got cheaply from Kazuma-san? Unbelievable…! Ah, what should I do? To think that money in the vault came from blackmailing Kazuma-san…! I want to return it, but the money’s already…!”
Wiz covered her face and apologized guiltily.
Looking at her as she said, “My house’s Vanir has troubled you. I’m sorry, so sorry.”
… I started to feel sorry for her instead.
“Calm down, gangster girl and destitute shop owner. Although there are other ways to solve this… Problem…? … Wait. Thou disaster of a shop owner, what did thou just say? What happened to the money moi left in the vault? That isn’t an amount that can be spent so easily.”
Vanir, who was trying to placate Aqua and Wiz, stopped.
Wiz, who was covering her face with her hands, lifted her head. Her expression brightened up.
“About that– Praise me, Vanir-san. Actually, while I was tending the shop, a regular patron of mine brought a lot of manatites. He said he’d sell them to me at half price, so I used all the money in the vault to buy them! I really bought some good stuff this time! Based on my evaluation, those were definitely high grade manatites!”
Manatites were one-use items that could provide mana for magic.
They were expensive and could only be used once.
Therefore, in this city where most adventurers were rookies, there was no demand for such high grade manatites.
I felt pity for Vanir after hearing this.
I casually asked Vanir:
“Forget it. I didn’t think you’d do that much. But I’ll ask you this. According to Aqua, Darkness’s father was under a devil’s curse… And you’re the only devil in this city.”
That’s right. This was the reason Vanir was considered the prime suspect, but…
“Hahaha. Moi would never use a curse that could kill the victim! The one who placed the curse was an arch-devil with strange mannerisms and a screw loose in the head.”
“Isn’t that you?”
Aqua and Wiz heard that and tightly grabbed Vanir’s shoulders. Darkness whose father was cursed this time took a step forward.
“Wait. Dost thou think that a gentleman like moi would be a broken devil with strange mannerisms? Come on, let’s be reasonable! Moi admit that moi did a lot of circuitous matters this time. Moi admit that things developed so moi could taste the negative emotions of the lord after his bride was snatched away. But moi wish thou will listen to moi explanation. Especially thou, who’s been staring at moi since earlier, who developed strong feelings for that guy over there after this incident, who changed all the clothes thou wears in the house to thin, flimsy material…”
“Ahhh! Revenge for killing my father!!”
“Hey, don’t break my mask! Don’t intentionally break my mask! And your father’s not dead!”
Darkness suddenly shouted and rushed at Vanir, who was pinned by Aqua and Wiz. She attempted to break his mask.
Megumin pulled on my sleeve as I watched the scene.
“Kazuma. It seems Vanir’s confirmed to be the mastermind behind the incident. I think I can go outside the city for my daily Explosion now. Kazuma, if you don’t mind, could you come with me?”
“Fine. This doesn’t seem like it’ll end soon anyway, so I’ll go with you. They should’ve calmed down when we return.”
After saying that, I casually geared up and left with Megumin.
“– By the way, I haven’t thanked you yet.”
A short while after leaving the city, on the way toward the hillside where there were a lot of boulders.
Megumin, who was walking beside me, suddenly said.
“Thanks? What for? … Ah, is it for apologizing to those parents after you made their kid cry? That was in the past. But from now on, don’t bully a kid just because he calls you names, okay?”
“N-Not that pathetic matter! And I wasn’t in the wrong then. It was that kid’s fault for looking down on Crimson Demons!”
As Megumin became agitated, we arrived at the site for Explosions.
Recently, we’ve been coming here every day since Megumin seemed to like it here.
I didn’t want to know what exactly she liked about this place, but there were a lot of boulders around.
It’s probably because she wanted to satisfy her destructive impulse by smashing those boulders instead of using Explosion in a random location.
I originally intended to earn some experience points by killing monsters along the way, but the monsters didn’t appear today.
“I want to thank you for saving Darkness.”
Megumin casually found a large boulder by the hillside. She knocked on the boulder to check its state as she said that without turning her head.
It seemed she found today’s target.
“That incident, huh? Darkness owes me too much. I won’t let her leave the party so easily. Besides, it wasn’t the first time I cleaned up after you all. There’s no need for thanks at this point.”
I shrugged casually and said to Megumin, who was distancing herself from the boulder.
Megumin smiled and answered happily.
“Even so, it’s still necessary. I’ve said this before back in the Crimson Demon village…”
She turned her back on me and raised her staff–
“You complain a lot. But in the end, you’ll still help everyone. I truly like you the way you are.”
And casually said such words…
“… Hey, seriously, don’t just say such things so casually. I don’t know whether to take it seriously or not. I remembered you saying this before, but just casually say that you like me. I’ll take it the wrong way. What does it mean? Should I take it as a confession?”
I pretended to be calm to prevent her from noticing the stirring in my heart.
“Who knows? You can interpret it whichever way you like.”
Megumin kept her back turned and said, laughing.
… Was this girl being serious?
Or was she messing with me?
No, wait. Think about it, Satou Kazuma.
Since the beginning, Megumin would always seem restless around me and have an aura of good feelings.
I didn’t know why she’d affirm her good feelings toward me now, but the only reason I could think of was the incident where I saved Darkness.
It was a bit embarrassing to say it myself, but at that time, I was probably really cool.
Yes. I was like the protagonist of a romance novel.
That night after saving Darkness, I was shivering beneath my blanket, worrying over if I’d be executed for that event. However, when I thought about it now, I was practically the hero back then.
… Besides, we’ve been living in the same house for quite some time now.
It wouldn’t be surprising if someone developed feelings toward me. Or rather, it was strange that I still didn’t have a harem after living among the girls for so long.
Say it. Say it, Satou Kazuma. The success rate is high. Don’t be afraid!
There won’t be rejection or being kept at a distance! … Probably not…!
Okay, I’m ready. No problem. Be courageous!
From today on, I’ll be a normie!!
“About that… Megumin, I’m very happy about your feelings. Actually, I’m also…”
“What happened to you? Why are you so annoyed?”
Since I started carrying her on my back, Megumin was grumbling non-stop like a dense protagonist.
I didn’t actually think much of Megumin, so it was fine even if I was interrupted,.
Right. Her looks weren’t bad, but she was a weirdo who only had Explosions and more Explosions in her head.
I was almost taken along by the mood, but I won’t be tricked so easily.
“Kazuma. Did you say something when I was casting Explosion magic? I didn’t hear anything because of the explosion, but I felt you were saying something important.”
“Nothing! I feel nothing about Megumin!”
“What are you annoyed about? You’re even being coy. You should keep such bad tempers in check. When we get back home, I’ll give you one extra pudding that I bought the last time.”
“… I’ll forgive you if you give me two more.”
I said to Megumin as I placed my hand on the main door.
Then the door was opened.
“I can’t give you two more. Including Aqua’s and Darkness’s share, there’s only one extra. If you get two more, someone will have nothing to eat…”
Megumin stopped talking midway.
… Of course, I was stunned too.
Back in the house, before us was…
“Give it back! Come on, give it back! Give my cute Emperor Zell back to me!! Wah! Give it back!”
“Hahaha! You deserve it, you cuckolded goddess. Your precious pet… Hahaha… Damn it, hey! Go away, bird. Go back to your owner!”
Before us, Aqua was wailing and pounding on Vanir’s back.
… Wiz and Darkness were on the carpet with their eyes rolled up.
No, wait, Wiz was so translucent that she was about to vanish.
And the most important thing was probably the cause of Aqua’s wailing.
At the feet of Vanir, who was being pounded by Aqua…
That was definitely a chick.
That chick was pestering Vanir’s feet.
“– So, what’s going on here?”
I put Megumin down on the sofa and made Aqua and Vanir sit straight before me to explain matters.
I didn’t know the details, but these two people must’ve done something for Wiz to be near the vanishing point and for Darkness to roll back her eyes,.
Darkness wouldn’t be hurt by Aqua’s attacks. Vanir’s attacks wouldn’t cause Wiz to vanish.
The two people who were kneeling on the carpet pointed at each other.
“It was this person!” x2
The two people who said exactly the same thing glared at each other from a very close distance.
Aqua frowned and clenched her teeth in rage.
It was difficult to see Vanir’s expression because of his mask, but his mouth was twitching.
There was a yellow fur ball on Vanir’s legs.
… The situation was so messed up. What should I do?
At a loss, I decided to listen to them one by one.
“Listen to me! Listen to me, Kazuma! When we were interrogating this weird masked guy, he suddenly attacked us! He even shouted Vanir-style whatever! I deflected it with magic, but it hit Darkness and she collapsed. I counter-attacked with purification magic! Then this guy used Wiz as a shield and caused her to nearly vanish! When I decided to destroy this guy…!”
I don’t get it at all.
“Hahaha. Thou only mention the things beneficial to thyself, ye insidious woman! This woman, along with that muscle woman and that traitorous shop owner declared the innocent moi to be guilty! Moi couldn’t possibly accept a judgment without a lawyer, so I acted in self-defense by attacking with my Vanir-style Death Ray. Then, this fellow reflected moi ray to that muscle woman. Then, this unreasonable woman used magic on moi in revenge. Moi promptly used the shop owner as a shield to ensure my safety. When moi decided to settle it all at once…!”
“Emperor Zell was born!” x2
I don’t get it at all.
– Kingsford Zeldman.
The one chosen by the water goddess out of a clutch of eggs was basically a normal chick.
“The name isn’t bad. It’s a name full of majesty. No wonder it wants to stay close to moi.”
“Of course it’s good. Who do you think gave its name? It’s unacceptable for it to be close to you, but this kid was chosen by a goddess like me. It’s destined to become the emperor of dragons.”
Kneeling on the carpet, Vanir and Aqua argued over this while the chick was completely unconcerned.
Its appearance was no different from a typical chick in Japan.
As a weak newborn, it wasn’t afraid before a goddess and a devil. It even stood majestically upon the legs of the greater devil and stared at it.
It bore the hope of becoming the dragon king and had the nickname of Emperor Zell.
I casually picked up Emperor Zell from Vanir’s legs and said:
“… So what should we do about this thing? How about fried chicken?”
“No way! Kazuma, you’re inhuman! Sometimes, I feel that this masked devil has more humanity than you!”
“Don’t be rude, cuckolded goddess. This man’s evil is unmatched in Axel since the disappearance of the evil lord. Don’t compare him to moi, who’s popular for patrolling the area when children go home from school.”
Can I cry?
… But I roughly understood the situation.
While Aqua and Vanir were arguing, Emperor Zell hatched. Since it saw Vanir first, it acknowledged Vanir as its parent.
Megumin, who was resting on the sofa, looked at Emperor Zell in my hands with admiration and interest.
She probably wanted to touch it.
I passed Emperor Zell to Megumin and took care of Wiz and Darkness, who were still on the floor.
“… Why’s a newborn so cute? Is its cuteness a defense mechanism against predators?”
Megumin looked at Emperor Zell as she held it gently in her hands. I came next to the collapsed Wiz and Darkness.
… Wiz’s body was still almost transparent. This was beyond me.
So I lifted up Darkness from the carpet and patted her face, but she didn’t wake up.
“In any case, you’re hindering Emperor Zell’s education, so get lost. I’ll let this kid receive elite education… Look at Megumin’s decadent expression as she looks at Emperor Zell. She’s totally seduced. Emperor Zell’s born a lady killer. It’s said that beautiful women are weak against a heroic male. His future’s bright.”
“Hmph. No need for ye to say. Moi will be leaving anyway. After all, the money moi earned has all been turned to rocks by that liability of a shop owner. Well then, goodbye humans. Please patronize Wiz’s Magic Tool Shop again when thou has saved some money!”
Vanir said and grabbed the collar of Wiz whose body had turned translucent.
“Hey. Sorry, but can thou give moi some sugared water? Left alone like this, this undead lich will become a dead lich. Let her regain some nutrients, give her some sugared water and she’ll revive like a bug.”
What was Wiz’s usual diet?
Vanir said and walked toward the kitchen…
“Ah! W-What is it, Emperor Zell?”
Megumin was shocked when Emperor Zell suddenly started struggling in her hands. She gently put it down on the carpet.
What’s this? Even Megumin called it Emperor Zell normally. Wasn’t there a sense of wrongness?
This is a chick after all.
Even though it is a chicken, its name was the most impressive among us.
Before everyone, the yellow fur ball with an impressive name walked unsteadily over to Vanir’s feet and rubbed its body against Vanir’s shoe.
After seeing this, Aqua pestered me.
“Wah–! Emperor Zell’s been stolen! Kazuma! Kazuma! Please, destroy this masked devil and return Emperor Zell to me!”
“No. Why should I do it? You’re capable of dealing with Vanir. Anyway, it’s just a chick, not a dragon. Why can’t you accept this?”
Aqua reached for Emperor Zell and lovingly carried it to her bosom.
“If I destroy the masked devil, Emperor Zell who’s close to him will hate me… Maybe the blind Kazuma can’t distinguish it, but this kid’s a rare breed of dragon with fur, the shaggy dragon.”
“I understand why you don’t want to admit that you were cheated, but give it up. This guy’s definitely a normal chick.”
I looked at Aqua who was covering her ears and ignoring me. Then, I said to Vanir, who was showering Wiz with sugared water:
“Hey, Darkness isn’t showing any sign of recovery. Is this a problem?”
Vanir listened, looked at Darkness in disbelief and said:
“Well, her wound should be healed by the goddess over there. But it’s amazing to still be alive after receiving moi Vanir-style Death Ray. True to its name, the ray kills anyone it hits. Moi wants to know why she isn’t dead yet. Perhaps her magic resistance’s ridiculously high… But this incident will hurt moi reputation as a harmless person. After that woman wakes up, ask her for moi, ‘How thick are thy muscles?’”
“I’ll get beaten up for that… Forget it. So, what should we do with this thing?”
Vanir lowered his head to look at the yellow fur ball which refused to leave his feet.
I felt it wasn’t a problem if Vanir took it away.
“Well. It can’t be helped to fall in love with moi who art an idol in the eyes of women. But the difference in species between birds and devils is simply too great. Although moi feel sorry for Emperor Zell, he just has to give up on moi.”
“No, it evidently considers you as its parent.”
Vanir crooned softly.
“… It can’t be helped then. Hey, where’s Emperor Zell’s nest?”
Aqua wordlessly pointed to the sofa in the living room.
No. Don’t make that place into a nest.
Vanir took a look and carried Emperor Zell to sit on the sofa.
Emperor Zell was obedient only when carried by Vanir.
This fellow truly treated Vanir as its parent.
Vanir lowered his body with Emperor Zell held in both hands…
After a sound, Vanir split into two.
Emperor Zell was being carried by Vanir’s clone, so it couldn’t see the second Vanir.
After leaving an empty shell to carry Emperor Zell, the devil seemingly capable of doing anything waved and said:
“Then, moi will be leaving.”
“I think that I’m familiar with the creatures of this world by now, but you’re the wackiest of them all.”
On the second morning after the birth of my home’s mascot.
“… Hey Kazuma. Can you not eat eggs in front of Emperor Zell? I feel that the kid’s shivering as it looks at you.”
Aqua said to me as she fed bread crumbs to Emperor Zell.
“Isn’t it a dragon? If so, it has no reason to fear someone like me… Rather, can you do something about Vanir’s empty shell? Its sense of presence is too strong. I can’t eat in peace while that thing’s staring.”
I used my chopsticks to point at Vanir’s empty shell, Emperor Zell’s substitute nest, currently seated next to Aqua.
Although there was nothing inside, its exterior looked like Vanir himself, so it had a strong sense of presence. Even without moving, it made people uneasy.
“This can’t be helped. After all, Emperor Zell likes this… Anyway, what’s up with that little one now?”
After being pecked painfully by Emperor Zell, Aqua looked at the corner of the room.
“It looks like it’s afraid of this yellow fur ball.”
In the corner, Chomusuke was curled into a ball, maintaining vigilance against Emperor Zell.
I was worried that the yellow fur ball would be eaten by the black fur ball, but I didn’t expect it to be like this.
“Probably because of magic power.”
Megumin stared at Emperor Zell as she ate her toast and said.
“Yes. Magic power. I can sense great magic power from Emperor Zell.”
… From this fur ball?
“It’s probably because it received magic power from the most magically powerful people in this city, namely Aqua, Vanir, Wiz, and myself, when it was still in the egg. When a dragon incubates its eggs, it‘ll channel magic power into them to keep warm, allowing the baby dragons to hatch with great magic power. It’s a famous legend, but it’s surprising that the same phenomenon happened with a chicken egg. This may be good news to the people who rear dragons.”
Which meant what exactly?
Could this chicken become a powerful fighting force like Aqua said?
“Then, if we take care of it, it could eventually become a trump card against the Devil King…”
“Nope. It’s just a chicken after all. It can’t use magic, it can’t use magic power to fly like a dragon, and it can’t exhale dragon breath.”
“Then will it awaken to great power one day? Its magic power could induce it to become a chicken with super physical attributes…”
“That’s impossible. Magic power can control aging and extend one’s lifespan, but this kid’s just an ordinary chicken. It won’t awaken any special power. At most, it’ll use its vast magic power to frighten off wild monsters.”
What a waste.
“Ah! Right. Then, I can use the Drain Touch skill to use this fellow as a substitute manatite and replenish magic power.”
“That won’t work either. It’s just an ordinary chicken. If you’re not careful, you can drain its life force and it’ll die.”
What was the use of this thing?
“… If I eat this fellow, will it instantly boost my magic power?”
“… I don’t know. I don’t really want to do that since it’s cute, but if it can instantly increase magic power, it might be worth a try.”
“If you’re going to look at my kid like that, then get lost! Darkness, you must protect Emperor Zell from these two people!”
Darkness gracefully drank black tea after breakfast and laughed lightly as she watched our exchange.
“… Ha. Looking at you people, I feel like I’ve really returned. Kazuma, Megumin, don’t bully Aqua too much. We must live together peacefully from now on. No more quarrels. Let’s get along.”
She said and smiled peacefully at us.
“… You shut yourself at home, but now that you’ve come out, your mood’s improved. After being abandoned by that old lord, is your emotional scar really healed? But I feel that a used woman who’s still a virgin’s quite new and refreshing. It’s not bad for you to keep accumulating attributes.”
“I wasn’t abandoned! The lord went missing because he ran away after his corruption was exposed! … And I’m not a used woman. My family registry’s still clean and pure.”
Darkness said and smiled fearlessly.
“…? … Ah! You used the privilege of nobility to tamper with the records! Hey Megumin, look at what she’s become. She acted cool before by saying that the Dustiness family wouldn’t abuse its political power, but this is what she does the moment there’s trouble.”
“Darkness has truly changed a lot since then. She’s no longer stubborn and inflexible. Her brain has probably softened because she’s being influenced by Kazuma.”
Darkness blushed after her actions were exposed.
“Both of you, stop it! Actually, Darkness’s a very dreamy girl, okay? She likes cute dresses even though she says they don’t suit her. She likes dolls too. She’s a good girl who’ll take note of when nobody else’s around so she can secretly play with Emperor Zell! Such a pure and lovable Darkness merely tampered with her family registry a bit… Ah. What are you doing, Darkness? I was defending you!”
As Darkness tearfully attempted to pounce at Aqua and cover her mouth.
There was a knock on the main door, followed by the sound of the door opening.
“Sorry to intrude… Everyone, it seems rather joyful today too.”
The one who entered through the door was Chris, who smiled bitterly while looking at our usual selves.
“– That’s how it is. I requested Assistant-kun’s help before, but if possible, I hope everyone can help find the divine relics.”
Chris explained the situation. She continued to consciously stare at Vanir’s empty shell that was Emperor Zell’s nest. She sighed.
After Chris finished explaining, Darkness frowned with an apologetic look.
“I’d like to help you… But sorry, Chris. Because the lord’s currently missing, I must perform the lordship duties on behalf of my father who hasn’t recovered yet. Therefore, I can only help out after my father’s health has recovered…”
“No problem. After all, your work’s more important. I’m happy that you wanted to help me. Thank you, Darkness.”
Chris smiled and said to Darkness, then looked expectantly at the other two people.
“I’ll help if I can, but my capabilities are very limited, okay? If those divine relics are in the hands of villains, I can help you to threaten them with Explosion magic.”
“Th-Thank you, Megumin. If there’s need to trouble you, I’ll ask for you then. Uh, then…”
Chris looked expectantly at Aqua. Aqua, who was cuddling Emperor Zell, plainly rejected.
“It’s regrettable. I can’t help.”
Perhaps surprised by these words, everyone looked at Aqua.
“Other than feeding the chick, you’re just idling away, right? You’re the idlest out of everyone here. Go and help her.”
Aqua hugged Emperor Zell and merely smiled at my words.
It was infuriating, but the conversation couldn’t go on if I made her cry.
As if the tiny wings of Emperor Zell felt good in her arms, Aqua kept stroking them and said in satisfaction.
“Kazuma. Do you understand a parent’s feelings?”
“… What are you asking all of a sudden? If I understood such things, my online friends wouldn’t call me Kazuma-kun Who Made His Mother Cry.”
“Yes, that’s true, that’s Kazuma for you. You just played games every day without going to school and ignored any attempts to urge you to go to school. So hopeless… But even a useless son like you is adorable in a parent’s eyes.”
If Aqua was talking about me, I’d give her a whipping.
“Hopeless kids are cute. I know that, but I want this kid to become stronger than everyone, become the most respected dragon! Elite education is a necessity for it to rise to the top of the dragon world… So the clever me thought of this. Look, people say that kids grow up watching the silhouettes of their parents, right? So, I intend to let this kid see how powerful and respected I am.”
I asked Aqua, who was serious like never before.
“What exactly do you intend to do?”
“I think that my current power’s slightly insufficient to defeat the Demon King, so that’ll be the last resort.”
“… I don’t know what kind of power you have that’s slightly insufficient to defeat the Demon King, but didn’t you originally intend to use this chick as a fighting force against the Demon King? It seems your premise has changed.”
“Kazuma, what are you saying? How can I let my cute kid do such dangerous things?”
“You’re the one talking nonsense.”
Did this fellow awaken her motherly instinct while incubating the egg?
“But letting it witness my power can wait. Compared to that, currently there’s an even more important event.”
… Important event?
Aqua looked around at us.
“Has everyone heard of the Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival?”
She suddenly said such things.
– Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival.
That was a festival whereby people joyfully give thanks to the goddess of luck Eris for passing a year safely.
It was reportedly a customary event that happened around this season annually in this world.
I glanced at Chris, who was drinking black tea next to me. She shyly looked away.
“This city will be hosting the Eris Festival, right? My village has done it too. It’s said that if you dress up as the goddess of luck Eris on that day, you’ll spend the next year safely until the next festival.”
Eh? Was there really such a good thing?
I sighed and looked at Chris, but she gently shook her head.
It seemed to be a superstition.
“My family participates in the Eris Festival annually. Every generation of the Dustiness family has always been respected by Eris cultists. We donate a lot of money every year to the festive event.”
Chris looked embarrassed upon hearing this.
“This means that we can see people cosplaying as Eris-sama in this city… Hey, I’m somewhat looking forward to this!”
“Is it? I don’t quite like that celebration because it’s just women who dress up as the goddess Eris.”
“That information’s unnecessary.”
At this time, Aqua slammed the table and said:
“Everyone, why are you being excited? I’m not asking everyone to enjoy the celebration! I’m being left aside… Ouch, ouch, ouch! Emperor Zell, why are you pecking me? What about mommy are you dissatisfied with?”
Aqua was about to say something, but the slam on the table frightened the chick, causing it to peck her hand.
“What are you trying to say?”
Aqua responded to its query.
“Since there’s an Eris Festival, it’d be unfair not to have an Aqua Festival. Let’s put an end to the Eris Festival this year and replace it with the Aqua Festival!”
Chris sprayed the tea out of her mouth.
Aqua ignored the coughing Chris and continued loudly.
“Don’t you think it’s very unfair? There’s an Eris Festival, yet why is there no celebration for Aqua, who’s Eris’s senior? Isn’t it fine for me to take her place once in a while? I want to let Emperor Zell see my awesomeness!”
What was this girl saying in front of Eris herself?
“And I don’t know why Eris is so popular! That kid looks very demure but she’s actually very naughty, okay? And she takes responsibility for many things on her own initiative. She’s a boring girl who tries to do everything by herself. I helped that immature kid clean up her mess so many times!”
I moved close to Chris who was still coughing and whispered to her ear:
“What’s she talking about? Did you really let her help you lots of times?”
“… J-Just once. Because I was continuously doing the work senpai pushed to me, my own work began to pile up without me realizing… When I was troubled by this, senpai said with self-satisfaction, ‘Really, you’re hopeless! Eris just can’t do without me!’ and helped me out…”
Hey, what the heck was that?
Darkness ignored our private conversation and said to Aqua:
“Seriously. Aqua, do you know that the reason you have such bad luck is because you always make impertinent remarks to belittle Eris-sama? Aqua’s repeated sufferings are no doubt divine retributions from Eris-sama.”
“What! So when a wild dog I was playing with suddenly chased and bit me, and when my ice cream dropped on the floor, it was all Eris’s doings? Why’s that cute wench Eris like this?”
I glanced to my side and saw Chris violently shaking her head in tears.
“Uh, whatever it is. Of course I won’t be helping. I’ve said earlier, I’ve got a lot of lordship duties to perform. I won’t be able to find time to be with you during the celebration.”
“Why? I just joined Kazuma to rescue you from marriage. I even removed the curse placed on your father!”
“Ugh… I-If you say that, I’ll have nothing to retort. But I’m still a devout Eris cultist…”
Hearing Darkness’s reply, Chris breathed out in relief.
“Enough. Darkness is a used woman and an abandoned bride!”
“Wait, Aqua, this nickname’s…!”
“Megumin? What about you, Megumin? You will help out, right?”
“A used woman, an abandoned bride…”
On the verge of tears, the used woman lowered her head. At this time, Megumin, who was gently caressing Emperor Zell, said:
“I’ve no problem with that, since I’m not an Eris cultist. I also know some Axis cultists who took care of me previously.”
Darkness raised her head in surprise, while Aqua expressed a naïve sense of joy.
“That’s my Megumin! Kazuma will of course–”
“Not do it.”
“Come and help, you damn NEET! You’re sleeping all the time! Please! I’ll let you feed Emperor Zell! Only once!”
“No! Why’s feeding that chick considered a reward?”
“Uh, I kind of want to feed it…”
It seemed it was indeed a reward for most people here.
“Anyway, it’s impossible to end the Eris Festival. The Eris cultists would go berserk, right?”
“Eh… It’s Kazuma’s job to resolve such issues…”
“Are you joking?”
Hearing my retorts, Chris breathed out in relief.
Aqua stood up aggressively and declared:
“Forget it, petty Kazuma! I’ll resolve everything together with Megumin and Chris!”
Chris cried out in her loudest voice today.