Gifting this sacred armor with a master!
Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
The sunlight of the summer penetrated through the gaps of the thick window curtains.
To avoid the sunlight, I buried my head in the blanket to enjoy the warmth. Just then, there was a violent knocking on the door.
“Kazuma, how much longer are you going to sleep? Are you dressed? You’re not doing anything weird, right? You aren’t, right? I’m coming in! … Why’s it so cold?”
Aqua, who was in high spirits early in the morning, entered the room and cried out.
My head emerged from the blanket.
“Hey, stop shouting in the morning. Close the door or the cold air will escape.”
“I keep saying every time– It’s noon already. And why is the room so cold? Is the Winter Shogun in your closet? Our house already has Chomusuke and Emperor Zell. We don’t need another pet, okay?”
“Why would I keep such a dangerous thing as a pet? Look at the corners of the room. There are buckets in every corner, right? There’s ice inside them.”
Aqua was probably intrigued by my words. She looked inside the container.
“Where did you get ice in the hot summer? I want some ice to help me sleep at night too.”
“Remember when Wiz said that she bought a lot of high grade manatite? I had an idea. Using the power of money, I bought the manatite cheaply in bulk, then used Freeze to create a lot of ice. This makes the room really cool even in the summer so I can daydream under my blanket. There are few things more enjoyable than this.”
Aqua looked at me under the blanket with envy and said.
“Kazuma, your ability to waste money and magic’s unsurpassed… Say, tonight will probably be hot too. Can you make some ice for me as well?”
“Sure, but why are you here now? Aren’t you going to the Axis Cult Church today?”
Yesterday, Aqua forcefully enlisted Chris for help and declared that she’d gather her worshippers in the Axis Cult Church today, but…
“Kazuma’s never been loved, so you probably don’t know this feeling. But isn’t it a bit embarrassing to ask my worshippers to host a celebration to praise myself? So I hope that someone will accompany me and insinuate them to host the event.”
Aqua said as she placed her hands into a bucket and enjoyed the ice.
“You dare to say that to me, who’s been popular among single female adventurers and receptionists after I made a ton of money? You never cared about the mood and did whatever you pleased, so why are you so bothered about it now? I already said that I won’t be helping yesterday. I don’t want to have anything to do with Axis cultists. You should ask Megumin or Darkness instead.”
“I begged Darkness many times, but she says she’s busy with lordship duties. Megumin says she’s meeting someone today, so she can’t play with me.”
Aqua said as she brought the ice bucket over to me…
“Hey, what are you doing with that? I won’t go. The weather’s too hot to be running around outside today. S-Stop it! What are you doing to my blanket? I just dried it in the sun, don’t wet it! I won’t forgive you if you wet… Fine, I’ll go, so put down that bucket!”
– It was a small building in the suburbs of Axel.
“Here we are. It looks like a very small church, but this accentuates the humility of the Axis cultists. It feels very nice.”
“This church feels like it’ll collapse if the wind blows too hard.”
Aqua and I arrived at this city’s Axis Cult Church.
By the way, this was the first time I came here despite living in this city for so long.
“What’s the person in charge of this church like? He isn’t someone with an intense personality, right? We’ve got too many people with awfully strong personalities. I’m leaving if it turns out to be some weirdo.”
“Everyone in the Axis Cult is a good person, so don’t worry. I’ve never met the person in charge of the church in this town, but It seems a new person has recently taken up the post…”
Aqua said and placed her hands on the door of the church…
“See. No problem, right? Verify it… Seriously, don’t make me deal with these kinds of goods again.”
Hearing the man’s voice from inside, she stopped her hand.
These kinds of goods?
“… Certainly, I was right to look you up. This are definitely first grade goods. Anyway, there’s nothing to worry about. There isn’t any danger once I got used to it. It’s only for my personal enjoyment, after all.”
Hearing the woman’s response, I shared a look with Aqua.
“It’s best that way. Even so, don’t drown yourself in pleasure and overdo it. It’s caused deaths every year, so be careful.”
This was a serious matter.
To think that the Axis Cult would be involved with banned items…!
Why doesn’t this feel odd?
“Hey Aqua. Let’s go to the police station.”
“W-Wait! My children aren’t criminals! This must be a misunderstanding! Don’t jump to conclusions before we find out what’s happening!”
“Your cultists’ provocation and sexual harassment of Eris cultists are already crimes.”
It wasn’t wise to remain here.
If the other party discovered that we overheard the conversation, they might attempt to silence us.
As I was about to leave with the unwilling Aqua…
“Seriously. You never change. Do you really like this white powder so much?”
– That was Megumin’s voice.
Aqua and I were shocked upon hearing the voice of someone familiar.
Why’s Megumin in this place?
She just said white powder?
No. Wait. If Megumin was involved in this dirty transaction, that meant…
“Is this really that good? I remembered you recommended it to me before. I want to try it out too.”
“Little girl. This looks like ordinary white powder, but if you add hot water…”
Hey, wait, stop!
The one speaking was definitely Megumin, right?
It can’t be someone else with a similar voice, right?
As Aqua and I were hesitating whether to rush in or not, we heard a deciding statement.
“In that case, why don’t you try it? Don’t worry, Megumin. Everyone’s a little afraid at first, but after you try it, you’ll be addicted…”
I kicked down the door and rushed in.
“– This is it, you evil cultists!! What are you doing to my companion? Do you have a death wish?!”
Inside the building, a man and a woman stared in surprise as I kicked down the door.
“K-Kazuma? Why are you here…? Even Aqua’s…!”
Standing between the two of them, Megumin was shocked.
“Who cares why! Stop right there, criminal scum! I’m a famous adventurer in this city. If you resist, don’t blame me if you get hurt!!”
Hearing my threat, that woman…
Shivered with the white powder in her hands. She looked like a priestess of the Axis Cult.
“W-Wait! Although this is a banned item, it’s for my personal use only…”
“Who’d believe that nonsense! You were just trying to entice my companion! Stop joking. How are you going to compensate if my companion becomes even weirder after using that thing?! I’ll use Tinder and burn those damn things away!”
As I raised my right hand, that priestess hurriedly held that powder to her chest.
At this time, Aqua rushed past me.
She attacked the confused man with her fist.
Aqua’s fist accurately hit his belly and the man collapsed without a word.
“Wait! What are you two doing? Why’d you suddenly barge in?”
I ignored the confused Megumin and clenched my fist at the priestess.
“Megumin, shut up! Hey, you evil priestess who attempted to entice an innocent girl into misdeeds! I’m someone who supports gender equality, so I’ll raise my hand even against a woman with a sacred job. As retribution for enticing my companion to play with this weird thing, I’ll let you feel my sacred fist on behalf of a goddess who can’t set a good example for her worshippers.”
“Hey Kazuma. Don’t be so quick to judge! This kid must have some mitigating circumstances! This man here probably isn’t an Axis cultist, so I passed judgment. But I can sense the aura of an Axis cultist from her! I think we should let her explain first!!”
Aqua got in the way as I was about to pounce at her with my fist.
Looking at Aqua, the priestess widened her eyes.
“You’re? … Ah, for such a thing to happen… Ha. I mustn’t be rude. Fine, I lose. If you want to burn this or hand me over to the police, do as you wish…”
Upon seeing Aqua, the priestess confessed her crimes and shrugged.
At her side, the bewildered Megumin looked at me and the priestess.
“If you surrender, we won’t do anything to you, but please cooperate with the police. Pay for your crimes there.”
“Okay. I know… Ha. Megumin, are you still willing to call me Onee-san? Don’t worry. After I pay for my crime, we’ll meet again… Yes, probably around this evening…”
The priestess said with a weak smile…
“… This evening? What are you saying? Why would you be released so soon?”
“What are you saying? Illegal possession of tokoroten slime will at most be punished with a lecture for about an hour.”
“… What’s that slime? Is it poison or a drug that makes you high…?”
“Nothing like that. It isn’t so dangerous. Tokoroten slime’s easily swallowed and feels elastic in the mouth. It’s a popular food among kids and old people.”
Hearing Megumin’s explanation, I fell silent.
“… But, from the conversation earlier… Don’t some people die from this yearly…?”
“Because of the food’s nature, a lot of people swallow without chewing properly, so some choke to death every year. I heard this was the favorite thing for wives to give to their mother-in-laws.”
“No, but isn’t it a banned item? And the white powder? The possession itself is a crime, right?”
The priestess nodded with a sorrowful expression.
“Previously in Alcanretia, the Demon King’s army used tokoroten slime as part of a terrorist attack… It involved turning all the hot springs in the city to tokoroten slime. After that, the nation decreed that tokoroten slime must have dangerous side effects for the Demon King’s army to use it, so they started an investigation… In the end, the law banned the consumption of tokoroten slime before the investigation could confirm that it was safe to use.”
Why would the Demon King’s army do something so ridiculous?
“But to me, tokoroten slime’s irreplaceable! So even though I know I’ll be lectured, I still do it…!”
The priestess cried as I considered leaving.
Aqua rested her hand on the priestess’s shoulder.
“You, devout Axis cultist… Remember the seventh doctrine of the Axis Cult.”
The priestess lifted her head as Aqua patted her shoulder.
“The seventh doctrine…? …! ‘You shall not endure. Drink when you want to drink. Eat when you want to eat. Because you might not get to eat it tomorrow…’”
“That’s right. You shall not endure. Even if it’s fried chicken in someone else’s bowl, eat it if you want to. If you want to eat tokoroten slime, don’t hold yourself back. After all, holding it back isn’t good for the body.”
“Ah… Aqua-sama, thank you…!!”
I distanced myself from the strange behavior of Aqua and the priestess. I went next to Megumin and whispered in her ear:
“Hey, what should we do? Should we stop them? Or is it better not to get involved?”
“If you’re asking that, it’s definitely better not to get involved. If you leave it alone, it will probably stop by itself… Anyway, why are you here? Aqua said she wanted me to accompany her somewhere this morning. Was this the place?”
– I watched over the unconscious seller until he woke up and left.
I ignored Aqua who was still acting strange and explained the matter.
“… So you thought I was being enticed by weirdos into misdeeds and charged in?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. You’re familiar with that priestess, right? I’ve caused you trouble because of the misunderstanding.”
As I scratched my head and apologized, Megumin smiled and said:
“It’s nothing. After all, you were so worried about me, huh? I remember it was, ‘– This is it, you evil cultists!! What are you doing to my companion? Do you have a death wish?!’, right? Ha. I got another of Kazuma’s quotes to remember.”
“D-Don’t. Forget it, I was too anxious then… Hey, stop giving me that cheeky look or I’ll pull on your face. Hey.”
Even with my threat, Megumin continued smiling.
… Since there wasn’t a serious matter…
At this time, a sharp cry echoed in the church, breaking the peaceful mood.
It was the voice of the priestess who was being consoled by Aqua until now.
“What’s happening? What’s with this person!? To make Megumin smile so coyly! Megumin even has that slutty tsundere look! Ah! Megumin’s still so cute! Can I hug you?”
“P-Please don’t. Anyway, I haven’t introduced all of you to this Onee-san, right?”
Megumin pushed the restless priestess away with both hands and said to us:
“Kazuma, Aqua, let me introduce you. This is Cecily-san. She’s the manager of this church. Uh, her relationship with me is…”
“I’m her older sister.”
“Please don’t invent fictitious relationships! Uh, I should say she took care of me previously…”
What was with this Cecily?
She was very pretty, but I could sense an aura of uselessness from her like my companions.
Cecily bowed her head to Aqua and said:
“Let me formally introduce myself… Pleased to meet you, Aqua-sama. I heard about you from our church’s highest ranking official Lord Zesta. My name’s Cecily. If I can be of use in any way, please let me know.”
Cecily said and smiled gently as if facing her lover.
“Oh. You’ll do anything? There’s a hole in my sock, will you buy me a new pair?”
“Of course, Aqua-sama! I’ll naturally serve you and help you wear the socks… Ah. What are you doing? Even though I’m pretty, it’s wrong for you to do such things!”
I dragged Cecily who was saying stupid things to a corner of the church.
“Hey, she’ll get carried away if you dote on her too much. By the way, why are you so devoted to Aqua whom you only just met…? Has the Axis Cult realized her true identity?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Aqua-sama’s Aqua-sama. She’s the Archpriest who saved our city. She’s the Archpriest who’s named after our goddess. She merely shares the name of our goddess. I came to this city to serve Aqua-sama and rely on her brilliance to spend my days leisurely.”
“Can you please return to Alcanretia?”
But I still sensed it from her reaction.
The Axis Cult probably knew about Aqua’s real identity.
And they didn’t intend to declare the advent of the goddess Aqua, choosing to observe silently.
At least they didn’t intend to harm Aqua and me.
… At this time, Aqua somehow came over to my side and pulled on my sleeve.
She glanced at me expectantly, as if she wanted to say something.
What? Was she embarrassed to say it herself, so she wanted me to ask Cecily to host the Aqua Festival? So troublesome.
“Uh, you’re Megumin’s acquaintance, Cecily-san, right?”
“Don’t be so formal. You can be more casual. You can call me Cecily-nee.”
What should I do? Looking at her, it felt as if there were two Aquas now.
At the side, Aqua’s eyes were sparking and silently urging me on. It was annoying.
“… Uh, you know… Actually, this city will host the Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival soon–”
“I know! Of course, I know! Those damn Eris cultists plan to leave our Aqua-sama in the lurch with this ridiculous Eris Festival!”
Cecily indignantly interrupted me.
“It’s the summer season. What do you think of in summer? Yes, of course it’s the sea, the pool, and the Axis Cult. Then, what do you associate with celebration? Of course it’s the Axis Cult. We love banquets, celebrations, and summer. To leave the Axis Cult aside and host the Eris Festival during summer’s practically provoking us. That’s right. This is war. There’s no choice but war!”
Were there only these kinds of people in the Axis Cult?
Aqua was moved instantly by Cecily’s words. Her eyes were aglow.
“Therefore, I’ll divide up the roles. I’ll smash the windows of Eris Church. Megumin will coolly declare herself and get rid of the angry Eris cultists who’ll be chasing me. You’ll sneak into the crowd and mutter, ‘Divine retribution has befallen on those evil Eris cultists…’ and other such meaningful statements. Aqua-sama will just relax here and drink some wine… Then, let’s do this!!”
“I won’t let you do this. There are too many things to complain about!! … You people, don’t give me that look as if you really want to try it out!”
Ignoring Megumin, who was giggling over her imagined activity, and Aqua, who was happily drinking wine according to Cecily’s plan– I must first deal with this Axis cultist.
“I don’t mean that. Uh, I feel that you can start hosting something like the Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival celebration as a resistance.”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Cecily, the manager of Axis Cult’s Axel branch. I have something I need to discuss.”
In Axel’s shopping district.
The shop owners of various shops there were preparing for the Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival.
“What’s this? I was being so polite. What are you dissatisfied with? … Ha. It seems you intend to reject me first then blackmail me later. You’re going to say this, right– ‘Hahaha. Pretty priestess of the Axis Cult, if you want me to grant your request, then show me some sincerity.’ And then, you’ll do that to my voluptuous body…! I won’t let you heathens have your way. I’ll show you the power of an Axis cultist!”
“What a crazy woman! This is why I refuse to have dealings with Axis cultists. Stop, wait! Someone help!”
The man in charge of the merchant district committee was being strangled by Cecily before my eyes.
“… Hey Megumin. She’s your friend, right? Go and stop her.”
“Not a friend, just an acquaintance. Please don’t misunderstand.”
We were here only to get the permit for celebration. Why did disputes happen whenever there was an Axis cultist around?
I left Aqua back at the church because I thought that bringing two problem kids would completely stall the negotiation, but it seemed just one didn’t make much difference.
Megumin and I looked at the scene in the shopping street again.
The shop owners of various shops were very busy, preparing to set up stalls or shelters.
This scene reminded me of Japan’s cultural festival.
I was sent to this world right after the end of the cultural festival.
I didn’t go to school during the day of the cultural festival, but I didn’t know I’d be coming to this parallel world. I have some regrets for not going to the festival for one last time.
My class seemed to be setting up a yakisoba stall.
Cecily was still strangling and scolding the chairman.
… These Axis cultists were just trying to host their own festival, right?
Feeling nostalgic about Japan, I came over to the chairman and stopped Cecily from choking him.
I just accompanied them to the shopping street, but seeing this scene, my thoughts changed slightly.
“Cecily-san. Things won’t progress like this. Go and take a rest, I’ll persuade him for you.”
Hearing this, Cecily let go. The chairman coughed and said:
“You said that you’ll persuade me on her behalf, but no matter who… Hmm? Are you that billionaire adventurer, Satou Kazuma-san?”
So I was nicknamed as the billionaire adventurer? Not bad.
Seeing that the chairman was willing to listen, Cecily calmed down. She carefully tidied up her attire and placed her hands together as if in prayer, looking at the chairman in the eyes.
“Actually, regarding this year’s Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival. We wish to change it to the Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival…”
“…! … Ugh!”
“Things really can’t progress if you keep doing this. Onee-san, please come here! Let’s go and play!”
Megumin took Cecily away as the latter prepared to pounce again. I softly said to the frightened chairman:
“My companion has caused you trouble. Sorry about that… But our purpose here’s related to what she said.”
“The Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival mentioned by that Axis cultist? Impossible. I don’t know what the Eris cultists will say if we do that…”
I lowered my voice and whispered to the chairman who was unwilling to negotiate:
“No. Unlike that Axis cultist, I’m not making an unreasonable suggestion like changing the festival. I wish to host both festivals at the same time. Make it into Goddesses Eris and Aqua Thanksgiving Festival. Everyone will be satisfied with that.”
The chairman listened and looked puzzled.
“That won’t be permitted. It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And it doesn’t seem like there’s any benefit…”
I pretended to have an epiphany.
“The Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival is supported by the merchant district stalls every year, so the annual income must be good, right?”
I asked in a casual tone.
“Uh, I’d be lying if I said there’s no profit. But lately, due to the Demon King’s army becoming more active, it wasn’t as grand as before… So what about it?”
I see. I see.
“Eris cultists and Axis cultists. Their relationship isn’t very good–but it’s only the Axis Cult which shows hostility. If the festival is co-hosted by both cults, what would happen? Since Axis cultists love celebrations, they’ll compete with the Eris Church and make the celebration go into full swing. Then, the Eris Church wouldn’t sit by and do nothing.”
“… Please elaborate.”
I said to the chairman who was listening seriously now:
“Let them compete with each other. The more aggressive their competition turns into, the grander the celebration will become. Naturally, the merchant district will benefit and increase profits.”
The chairman bowed down and stroked his chin, thinking about it seriously.
But those weren’t the only benefits.
“… One more thing. Where do the annual funds for the festival come from?”
“Funds? Most of it comes from the donations of the Eris Church. The rest comes from various aristocrats and our merchant district fundraising…”
I also bowed down like the chairman.
“Isn’t it great to let the Axis Cult, which wants to co-host the celebration, contribute to the funds? This way, perhaps just the Eris Church and the Axis Cult alone will raise enough funds.”
“… Do it then. Please do it this way! Wow. That’s our young and wealthy Kazuma-san for you. I’d like you to be our advisor for this celebration event… Of course, you’ll be compensated…”
Oh. This was truly an unexpected development.
Although I no longer lacked money, there was no reason to miss out on such a good deal.
“If you don’t mind, I’ll be the advisor. I’ve got a lot of good ideas. Let’s make a profit out of this.”
“Hahaha! This really is a good deal!”
We suddenly laughed out loud. Among the people watching–
“Is it really okay to leave it to him?”
“Even I, your Onee-san, feel somewhat uneasy.”
Such whisperings were heard.
In the café that recently became my meeting place with Chris, I reported the events over to her.
“– And that’s how it went.”
“Why? Why did it become like this? I thought it’d never be approved. How did senpai convince the merchant district chairman?”
Chris shouted, slammed the table and stood up.
“Well, convincing the chairman took some effort, but it ended in a success.”
“So it was you–?”
Chris tearfully pestered me as I nodded and crossed my arms as if I did a good thing.
“Why? You’re so afraid of trouble, so why’d you make things so troublesome? In this case, I’ve got no choice but to leave aside my own festival to help out with senpai’s festival! This is just crazy!”
“No, no. Why’s it a given that you’ll help her? You should just reject her outright.”
Chris became troubled.
“That’s true… But whenever senpai asks for help, I’ll naturally do it… Like cleaning up the mess after your resurrection. Somehow, that became part of my job too…”
“A-About that… Thanks for taking care of me then… But calm down. There are good reasons for this.”
I explained to Chris who was unable to calm down the conversation I had with the chairman, leaving out the parts about being an advisor and its reward.
“That’s roughly what it’s like. Because of the problem with the Demon King’s army, the populace can’t get excited about the festival. So I proposed co-hosting it with the party-loving Axis cultists. This is to let the people forget about the Demon King’s army and fully enjoy the festival.”
“If you put it like that, I can’t object… But are you really the kind of person to think of the citizens?”
“Hey, what are you saying? I’m the kind person who not only defeated countless strong enemies, but is also helping you to find divine relics.”
“S-S-Sorry! I-I didn’t mean it that way…! Hmm. I understand. That should be fine. Senpai probably won’t be too outrageous… Right?”
“… Leaving that aside for not, co-hosting is merely a one-time experiment. Given Aqua’s personality, just hosting it once should be enough to satisfy her. It should be back to normal next year.”
“Hey, why didn’t you answer about her being outrageous? Is it r-really okay? … And will my celebration be cancelled next year if the Axis Cult’s festival’s grander? … No. I-It’s not like I want to be honored in a festival, okay?”
Chris was worried about the festival next year, saying troublesome things like Aqua.
Were all the goddesses like this?
“Let’s leave this for now. The important thing is… Have you found the divine relic yet?”
“Yes. I found the location. But it’s being kept in a rather difficult place. The current owner’s a noble named Undine. This person has a hobby of collecting strange items.”
A noble who collects strange items.
Because all the nobles I met so far were like that, my impression of nobles in general was set in stone.
“If the other party’s a noble, maybe we could ask Darkness for help? Use the authority of Darkness’s family to make things easier…”
“No way. Undine probably used illegal methods to acquire this divine relic, so he’ll definitely deny it. He’s a noble known for using unscrupulous methods to get what he wants. Even if Darkness negotiates with him, he’ll end it with a simple ‘I didn’t know such a thing existed.’”
Truly, the nobles in my mind were all rotten.
I didn’t know whether the so-called illegal method was blackmail or theft.
But if he was like that, then we can use illegal methods ourselves.
“Then, it’s going to be that, Big Boss?”
“Yes. It’ll be that, Assistant-kun.”
It seems like I’ll have to break out that mask again.
– After scouting out the noble’s mansion, I was thinking about how to infiltrate as I returned home.
Aqua, who came back first, was making a scene.
“Darkness! Please. I’ll help you to lecture him when Kazuma returns, so please come out of the toilet! I’ll be troubled if you stay in there, ! The toilet on the second floor is jammed because someone didn’t clean it properly! I beg you, come out! Come out already!”
Aqua was banging on the door of the first floor toilet.
It seemed Darkness locked herself inside.
“I’m back. Hey, what’s going on? What’s this about lecturing me?”
From the way Megumin lay on the sofa in the guest hall, she seemed to have used Explosion magic in Aqua’s company.
“Hey, you damn NEET! It’s your fault for spreading Darkness’s shameful secrets. Darkness was crying when she returned! ‘Young Lady Lalatina, is it true that your abs have six packs?’, ‘Young Lady Lalatina, is it true that your groom ran away?’, ‘Young Lady Lalatina is so pretty, so men will still want her even if she’s a used woman,’ and such. She said that every adventurer she met said such things! I say, come out already, Darkness. You can definitely find a new groom! I won’t call you a used woman anymore! Please don’t be angry!”
Aqua who couldn’t read the mood shouted such things, uncertain whether she was trying to persuade Darkness to come out or to continue to stay in the toilet.
“Hey Darkness. You’re causing trouble for everyone, so come out quickly. When I infiltrated into the Dustiness mansion and said that I would reveal your shameful secrets, you replied that I could do whatever I want. But never mind. Consider it my fault, Lalatina.”
The toilet door resounded with a bang as if something just pounded on it.
Lalatina had stopped crying and was currently angry.
She didn’t respond to Aqua’s shouts. She ignored me for some time.
But if she continued to stay in the toilet, it’d be very troublesome.
“I know I’m at fault, but you’re partly responsible, too. It takes two hands to clap. I apologize, okay? Let’s make up… I can find a random place to solve it, so it’s not a big problem. But if you don’t come out, Aqua will be in trouble. Don’t be angry anymore.”
“A goddess doesn’t use the toilet, so there’s no trouble! The toilet on the first floor’s my responsibility! If Darkness doesn’t come out, I can’t clean it! There’s no other reason! So come out already!”
Aqua uncomfortably shouted.
I felt like letting Aqua hold it in for a while, but I remembered it was my responsibility to clean the second floor toilet.
It’d be bothersome if Aqua pestered me on this point, so I gave Darkness my ultimatum.
“Hey Darkness. We’ve known each other for some time now, so you should understand me. If you don’t come out of the toilet, I’ll make you cry and beg me to stop.”
A chuckle was heard from inside the toilet.
Darkness, who had been silent so far, said:
“You too. After knowing me for so long, you should know that most things will just be pleasurable to me. Are you going to attack me with vicious words? I control the toilet. No matter what you say, if I cover my ears and endure it, you’ll be the one who’s disadvantaged. The Dustiness Clan has always been good at enduring things… Let’s compete for endurance! I’ll stay here until you apologize and say, ‘Lady Dustiness, please forgive me!’”
Hearing this, I moved the heavy table in the guest hall to block the toilet door.
The toilet was located in the corridor next to the guest hall.
The table was as wide as the corridor, so it completely blocked the door.
I whispered something to Aqua and left the area.
Aqua watched me leave and shouted at the door.
“Hey Darkness. Kazuma said he’s going to ransack your room and satisfy his desires on your bed, then he left.”
The loud sound of someone collapsing was heard inside the toilet.
Then, as if she was trying to open the door, there was a sound of the door hitting the table.
I ignored these noises and climbed the stairs to the second floor…
Behind me, there were repeated sounds of the door slamming against the table. Darkness yelled at me:
“Kazuma! Stop! Stop, despicable man! Hey, stop! St…! You’re joking, right? Aqua! Kazuma’s actually still there, right? Megumin! Kazuma’s still outside, right?”
Darkness’s voice became uneasy and sounded tearful.
Megumin was resting on the sofa in exhaustion, yet she was still caressing Emperor Zell, currently sleeping in Vanir’s empty shell. Both Megumin and Aqua replied:
“He isn’t here.” x2
“Kazuma, I was wrong! It’s my fault…! Hey, let me out. I can’t come out! Aqua, Megumin, let me out! Kazuma, I’m sorry, I apologize! Sorry! Please forgive me, Kazuma-sama!”
– A while later.
“… Ugh. My favorite underwear has been…”
“… Uh, what happened to Darkness after that?”
We were eating dinner together and discussing our future plans.
“If you want to know, ask Darkness for details. Aqua, I got the festival permit for you, so can you settle the rest?”
“Of course. There won’t be any problem once I get the permit, so leave the rest to me. I have my own plans.”
Since I got the permit from the merchant district chairman, I’ll dump everything else on Aqua.
I still felt a bit uneasy, but since I wasn’t an Axis cultist, there was no need for me to get involved.
My goal was to make the festival grander by letting the Eris Church and the Axis Cult compete with each other.
I’d fanned the enthusiasm to this point, so they could motivate themselves after this.
Fight… Fight hard…!
“Hey Kazuma. How’d you get the festival permit?”
“Fig… Oh, the merchant district chairman said that letting the Eris Church and the Axis Cult co-host the festival will make it grander than before.”
“The permit was really granted, huh? How did…? No. It was you after all. You must’ve used some underhanded methods, so I won’t inquire further. Ah. Why’d this happen when I’m acting as lord…?”
Darkness said and sighed, eating her pasta.
“Hmm…? This pasta’s tasty. Or rather, today’s food is good. Although it isn’t up to the standard of my House’s chef, it’s good enough to sell in shops. Who cooked the dishes today?”
“Me… Oh right. You probably didn’t know because you were in the mess with the previous lord at that time. I learned Cooking. You see, I won’t have to worry about money now, so I’m thinking of living casually from now on. Compared to skills that are useful only while adventuring, aren’t these skills that can improve my lifestyle much better?”
Darkness said with a pained expression:
“Y-You…? When you were learning the escape skill, I already had a bad premonition. What are you trying to become? … Usually, only chefs will learn the Cooking skill.”
Even if you say that–
Thereafter, Aqua went to the Axis Cult Church every day to prepare for the festival. The days were peaceful for some time.
Then, on a certain peaceful night, a few hours before daybreak.
Chris and I stood before our target, Undine’s mansion.
“Assistant-kun, why’d you choose this time? Wouldn’t a bit earlier be better?”
“People tend to be deep in sleep at this time. When a person has just fallen asleep, a bit of noise can wake him up. When living with my family at home, this is the best time to sneak downstairs for snacks. This is the wisdom I gained from my lifestyle.”
At the moment, we weren’t Kazuma and Chris, but the Silver Haired Thieving Band’s Assistant-kun and Big Boss.
Wearing that mask and black clothes, I carried a large sack on my back.
There was an overcast sky today.
Without the light of the stars or moon, the surroundings was cloaked in darkness.
“I don’t want to criticize you anymore… Then, what are you carrying? What’s inside the sack?”
Chris was somewhat interested in the thing on my back.
I was carrying the material to absorb the sound of crashing objects.
It was the bubble wrap I created through experiments.
The first prototype was ruined by a certain girl who was sick in the head, but I made the second and third prototypes after that.
After all, we were after a suit of armor.
If we just carried it off, it’d cause enough noise to wake people up.
After hearing my explanation, Chris widened her eyes in admiration.
“I see… Assistant-kun, this bubble wrap is available in Japan, right? The one you pinch for fun…? Say, can I–”
“No, you can’t pinch it. It’s very troublesome to make. Let’s hurry.”
– We went to the mansion while it was still dark.
Actually, the difficulty wasn’t high this time.
It was far easier than infiltrating the royal palace. And although Undine was a noble, his family wasn’t famous like Darkness’s family.
The mansion’s front gate had no overnight sentry. It may not even have patrols inside.
I used the night vision of the Farsight skill and flattened myself against the mansion wall.
“I’ve been wondering about it for some time. Big Boss, you’re a goddess too. Don’t you have night vision like Aqua?”
“This body’s merely a disguise for use in the mortal world. Because I didn’t descend directly into the mortal world, I can’t sense devils, undead, and evil. But by the same token, I won’t emit divine aura that attracts undead.”
I see, but at times like this, it could be somewhat inconvenient.
“Then, Big Boss, hold my hand. I’ll lead the way.”
“Assistant-kun, there’s no need to hold hands. When we infiltrated the palace, I could follow without any problem, remeber?”
“What are you saying? There was moonlight then, but there isn’t even starlight tonight. An accident here could be fatal. Don’t underestimate this place just because it’s easier to infiltrate than the palace. Come, give me your hand…”
“Satou Kazuma-san, you’ll receive divine retribution if you sexually harass me, okay? For example, the toilet will be occupied just when your stomach suddenly becomes uncomfortable. Then, when you finally manage to get in, you’ll find that there’s no more toilet paper.”
“I got carried away. Please forgive me.”
This was different from Aqua’s divine retribution. Eris’s divine retribution was no joking matter.
I trembled as I moved along the walls to reach the back gate.
“Let’s just boldly enter today. There’s nobody around anyway. We easily can do it with the Trap Detection skill and Lockpicking skill. The important issue is after we find the armor. I don’t know how effective the bubble wrap is in reducing the noise…”
“I’ll put my trust in Assistant-kun’s creation. In the worst case scenario, we can break through like we did in the royal palace!”
As if reminiscing about the infiltration back then, Chris smiled happily as she opened the lock.
Now that I thought of it, it was a rather fun time.
At that time, for some reason, I was in extremely high spirits.
“By the way, Assistant-kun’s mask is really cool. You said you bought it from the magic tool shop in this city, right? I’m also quite interested in that masked doll on the sofa in your mansion. After our work’s done, bring me to visit that shop.”
“No problem… But, Big Boss, won’t you argue with the shop assistant? The shop assistant there has a bad relationship with Aqua. They argue every time they meet.”
“I won’t argue. Senpai’s always like that. She argues with everyone…”
Hmm, she said Chris was a disguise. If Vanir met Chris, would he see through her real identity?
It seemed Chris couldn’t use the powers of a goddess in this form. Perhaps they wouldn’t realize each other’s natures even after meeting.
… No, no, no. If they accidentally realized each others’ real identities, they might get in a fight that’ll cause unnecessary trouble. It’ll be better to not let them meet…
“Okay, it’s open. Let’s go, Assistant-kun.”
As expected, there were no patrols in Undine’s mansion.
The crime rate in this city was lower than elsewhere, after all. That was probably one of the reasons.
I led the way in the dark corridor.
We moved in the direction indicated by Chris’s Treasure Detection skill, but…
“Big Boss. Can you not stop every time we find some treasure? Let’s get the divine relic and go home to sleep.”
“Ugh. Yes, I understand. But how should I put this? Whenever I see treasure, my thief’s blood begins to boil… When I consider that an item like this can help a lot of poor children, my hand just…”
Whenever we came across paintings or ornaments along the way, Chris would stop moving.
“Can you please be the chivalrous thief when I’m not around? Besides, there’s definitely more expensive and less bulky items in the vault.”
“That’s true. Assistant-kun, you’re quite familiar with the art of theft… You gained quite a few levels, so you must be near the point where you can change jobs, right? Change jobs to be a thief!”
“My next goal is to live a decadent life, so it’s better to be an adventurer who’s weak but capable of learning different skills. Next, I want to learn the Create Earth Golem skill. I’m wondering if I could use that skill to create a golem to do housework.”
“… You sure like to waste magic and skill points on weird things. Speaking as a goddess, I wish you’d learn some proper skills to prepare to fight the Demon King…”
What are you saying to the person in this world with the highest death count?
– With the help of Chris’s Treasure Detection skill, we finally arrived at a thick door.
At this time, my Trap Detection skill, which was seldom used, responded.
“There seems to be a trap here. Let me see… Oh. It’s an alarm trap… Say, Assistant-kun.”
“I’m not stupid. I won’t repeat the same mistake I made in the palace… R-Really. Don’t look at me like that…”
As Chris disarmed the trap, I used the Enemy Detection skill to see if there was anyone nearby.
Not an enemy.
It wasn’t an enemy, but there was a subtle presence in the treasure vault.
And it wasn’t the presence of a human or a monster.
“Okay, trap disarmed! The lock’s also been opened, Assistant-kun!”
Chris said and put her hand on the door.
“Ah. W-Wait, Big Boss. There’s–”
Before I could tell her about the mysterious presence, she opened the door.
“…? What is it, Assistant-kun?”
There was nobody in the treasure vault.
This could be my imagination, but I still sensed the presence inside.
And there was a mountain of strange items and treasure…
“Assistant-kun! Assistant-kun, look! This is a very expensive item!”
“Hey, Big Boss, that’s cheating. I saw that first!”
I completely forgot about that presence and indulged in sorting the treasure.
“I’ll say it right now. The treasure we steal must be donated away, okay? Even if the other party’s evil, we shouldn’t steal for our own gain…”
“Shh. What’s this super shiny thing? It seems to be worth a good price! Oh, what’s this strangely shaped stone? I remember Aqua’s collecting strange stones. Let’s bring it back as a present for her.”
“… Say, Assistant-kun, are you listening? We can’t do that. We really can’t keep them, okay?”
At this time, I suddenly noticed.
I noticed that although there were a lot of expensive items in this room, the most important one, the armor, was missing.
“Big Boss, I don’t see anything like a divine relic.”
“Eh? Uh, that’s true. But there’s a sense of a divine relic. Why isn’t it here?”
I became interested in the presence I felt earlier and looked in that direction.
In that direction was a wall. There was nothing unnatural there…
As I touched along the wall, a portion of it sunk. As if we were in a ninja’s house, the wall swung open.
“A secret door. Not bad, Assistant-kun.”
“After all, I’m confident that my luck is second only to Big Boss’s luck.”
Carefully, we walked into the room beyond the wall.
– In the middle of the room, there was a suit of armor chained down on all sides as if it was being sealed away.
That suit of silvery-white armor seemed like a complete work of art.
There were no joints. Its appearance was a smooth set of full-body armor.
Even for someone like me who isn’t familiar with armor, my heart raced as I looked at that suit. The armor gave a sense of invincibility in terms of equipment.
“This is the Sacred Armor Aigis… The toughest divine relic in this world that will bring its wearer victory.”
We came closer to the armor and reevaluated it.
“Upon closer inspection, there are scratches everywhere.”
Hearing my monologue, Chris emotionally put her hand on the armor.
“… Yes. After all, this is the armor that protected its master against the Demon King’s army. No matter what challenge the armor’s master faced, he never lost to anyone. Right up til the end…”
She seemed to be verifying every small scratch on the armor one by one.
“You were dedicated until your master died of sickness…”
Chris whispered to the armor and gently stroked it.
Ah. At this time, she really looks like a goddess–
While I was thinking and looking at Chris’s profile.
“Hey, boy. Don’t touch me casually.”
A man’s voice suddenly resounded in my mind and broke the solemn mood.
Chris, who was touching the armor, probably heard the voice too.
“Uh. B-Boy? Is that me? No, what’s happening? The voice earlier was you? Sacred Armor Aigis?”
“Oh. What? Not a boy? Then you may touch some more. Let me introduce myself. Pleased to meet you two. My name’s Sacred Armor Aigis. I’m a multi-talented divine relic that can speak and sing. You may call me Aigis-san.”
Hey, what was this talkative divine relic?
This guy was the subtle presence I felt with my Enemy Detection skill.
“Uh… I’m a bit shocked since I’ve never heard that the divine relic could speak. Therefore, Aigis–”
“I told you to call me Aigis-san, brat.”
“I’m not a brat! And why’s a divine relic being so arrogant?”
“Big Boss. We didn’t sneak in here during the middle of the night to argue with an inorganic entity! Let’s complete our objective!”
I stopped Chris, who was arguing and hitting the divine relic’s chest. To complete our primary objective, I took out the luggage on my back.
Chris suddenly looked serious and put her hand on the armor’s chest.
“… Right. Aigis-san. We came here to borrow your power once more. I’ll help you find a new master. That person will come from another world like your previous master. It’ll be someone from a place called Japan, a person destined to save the world!”
Chris said and smiled as if encouraging Aigis…!
“Ah? What are you saying? Why must I do such things even now? Impossible. I’m not willing. Borrowing my power means I have to be an armor to protect the master, right? Are you stupid? Even an armor can feel pain when hit. My cool, shiny body will be damaged! By the way, what’s that so-called master like? Is it someone I can accept?”
Faced with Aigis’s complaints, the smile froze on her face.
“… Uh, although I can’t promise it, the person should be full of righteousness and courage, and very gentle…”
“No, no. The personality doesn’t matter! The important thing is appearance. Appearance! Big tits? Or thin models? If it’s like that previous brat, then forget it. Ah. I prefer cuties to beauties. The previous master was a swordsman, so a swordswoman would be better this time. I hope that person will wear less beneath the armor.”
“I say, is this tasteless armor really that important? I think it’s better to let it sink to the bottom of the sea.”
“Assistant-kun, I understand your feelings, but this is a divine relic. Yes, I can understand your feelings, but please bear with it.”
It seemed she still wanted to bring this ridiculous armor back.
I silently brought out the bubble wrap for packing…
“Hmm? Hey, what’s that guy doing? … By the way, who are you people? Did you mention ‘sneak in here during the middle of the night’ earlier?”
Aigis asked me.
“Yes. We’re infiltrators. We’re going to bring you back and hand you over to the master. You’re a divine relic, a sacred armor, right? Then work hard for me.”
Chris watched me work from the side as she touched the chains on Aigis’s body.
“There aren’t many girls sent here from Japan, so it may be hard to meet your requirements. But if a girl comes along, I’ll make you a priority for her…”
At the moment she said that.
Aigis shouted in a loud voice that echoed throughout the mansion–
I wanted to play the straight-man and scream, “You’re not even human!”