Gifting this talented advisor with responsibilities!
Editing: Adam, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
It was terrible.
Because of the din made by Aigis, everyone in the house was awake. Chris and I were forced to leave without stealing anything.
Although I believe nobody saw us, we should still be careful since we were criminals.
I returned to the house before dawn. After running everywhere to escape, I calmed down and finally slept…
“Good morning! Hey Kazuma! Good morning, wake up!”
… For one second, before being woken up by someone.
After being interrupted as I was about to sleep, I opened the door and roared angrily.
“What do you want so early in the morning? I didn’t sleep last night, so I was just about to sleep! Keep the noise down!”
This fellow usually slept until about the same time as me. She was up early today. The reason was easy to guess.
“What? Kazuma didn’t sleep? I know why Kazuma didn’t sleep last night.”
I became nervous hearing her sudden statement.
I shouldn’t have been seen by anyone. Did she see me?
How did she even know I went to steal from another’s house?
This fellow may not be a simple idiot.
“Kazuma must be too excited to sleep because of the preparatory work for the festival, right? Don’t worry. This is nothing shameful. It’s a festival after all!”
I was an idiot to suspect this girl.
The excited Aqua opened the curtains and pushed the clothes into my hands. I was still in my pajamas.
“The preparation for the festival can wait until the afternoon. Why are we going in the morning…?”
“What are you saying, Kazuma? We’re adventurers, so we’re going to hunt monsters!”
“Didn’t you say you wanted to prepare for the festival?”
“This is the preparation.”
What was this girl saying?
“Darkness and Megumin are ready! Come, Kazuma, quickly! Or we’ll be late!”
What was going on?
I put on my clothes and prepared my equipment–
When I opened the doors to the adventurer’s guild, I was stunned.
“… What’s going on? I’ve never seen so many people this early in the morning.”
A lot of adventurers were in front of the quest notice board.
I couldn’t understand at all.
Not long ago, they went with me to hunt the Kowloon Hydra, a large monster with a big bounty.
They should still be quite rich now.
“Anyone who wants to hunt the Lesser Wyverns that nest in the mountains, please come here! We need thieves that can use the Bind skill and archers that can attack flying enemies! The enemies are strong, so naturally the reward is good! There are six more slots!”
“There are a lot of bug monsters in the forest! Because of the large quantity, we need a lot of people. It’s a large scale expedition involving dozens of people! No limit on job and level!”
“A lot of herbivorous monsters appeared in the plains! If they’re left alone, large predators will come to feast on them, so we must exterminate them early. The guild’s currently providing free support supplies! The hunt rewards are also higher than usual! Please join us and make a profit!”
The guild members were moving about the sources of the announcements.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
I asked Aqua out of curiosity.
“If we don’t clear the monsters nearby, the festival can’t go on peacefully, so everyone’s putting in the effort. Unlike the strong monsters that appeared in the winter, weak monsters are most active in the summer. The hunt rewards are also the highest in this season, so it’s a good time to make money for adventurers.”
But if this was all to it, the people who received the reward for hunting the Hydra could still live leisurely.
… At this time, I noticed a familiar party and walked over to them.
“Hey, you guys are here too? Forget penniless Dust, why are the rest so enthusiastic? You people should still have some money, right?”
It was Dust’s party.
Keith, who was adjusting his bow, tilted his head and said:
“I thought Kazuma would want join the large scale expeditions.”
“Yeah. You’re a regular patron of that shop, so it’s a little strange. In this season, male adventurers will leave other matters behind to join large scale expeditions.”
Even Dust, who was sharpening his sword, said this in an unusually serious tone.
“What? You guys are this enthusiastic about the festival?”
“Festival? Well, the female adventurers are indeed hunting monsters to let the festival happen smoothly. After all, many of the female adventurers are Eris cultists. But we’ve got other reasons. The men here want to join the forest monster hunt.”
Compared to the forest, isn’t it better to hunt monsters near the city…?
By the way, why’s everyone so motivated? We can live leisurely.
Just as I was about to go back home.
The male staff who was passing out various items to adventurers shouted an encouragement in the noisy guild.
“Everyone, the forest monster hunt is a huge responsibility, so please do your best! It’s up to you whether we can live peacefully during the festival this year! Please eliminate the over-populated monsters…!”
“… Uh, what has living peacefully in the summer got to do with hunting monsters?”
Hearing my question, Aqua replied:
“? Obviously, it’s because there are too many monsters, so the citizens can’t work in the nearby forest.”
“No. I know that, but this problem isn’t only limited to the forest, right?”
“It’s the cicadas.”
Megumin said with hatred.
The singing insect that was symbolic of summer existed in this world too?
“Yes. If there are too many monsters in the forest, the cicada catchers can’t do their work. If the catchers stop, the cicadas will fly into the city. We’ll be hosting the festival just as they arrive in this cityl.”
Darkness said with a serious expression.
“So what? Aren’t cicadas the symbol of summer? They stay in the soil for a long time and emerge in summer to end their short lives in songs. Don’t do such unreasonable things just because it’s a bit noisy. That’s human arrogance and I don’t like it… So I’m leaving the cicadas alone. I’ll go home and sleep.”
As I turned to leave, my sleeves were pulled by Darkness and Megumin.
“I forgot, Kazuma isn’t familiar with this country’s common knowledge. Listen, Kazuma. This country’s cicadas are more aggressive than normal. Japanese cicadas live for about one week, but the cicadas here, being full of life and magic power, live for about a month.”
Aqua crossed her arms and said.
Even if you said so…
“You just wanted an explanation of the negative aspects of cicadas, right? For example, it may pee while flying about, making the place stink. Cicadas have to pee anyway. And you said its lifespan is just one month? Leave it alone.”
Megumin and Darkness looked at each other, as if saying, “Are you serious?”
“I say, Kazuma. There are two main differences between the Japanese cicadas and the cicadas here. Firstly, the cicadas’ songs are very loud. Probably a few times louder than the Japanese cicadas.”
That annoying song amplified a few times…
That was somewhat annoying…
“And… The cicadas sing without stopping, even at night.”
Yeah, that’d be super annoying!
– In the forest near the city.
“Then, frontline fighters who are confident in their defenses, please apply this oil to attract monsters. Everyone, listen. Although the enemies are weak and small insects, the quantity is staggering, so don’t be reckless!”
The guild staff who was leading the adventurers said with a megaphone.
The quest this time was considered a large scale expedition.
Because there were too many monsters, a single party couldn’t complete it, so the guild staff organized such a large group.
The staff usually wouldn’t leave the guild to come to the scene, but they would do so if a leader was needed, such as right now.
Adventurers tended to be carefree and lack coordination. Without a guild staff, there might be internal disputes.
“As the acting lord, I’ll attract all the monsters! That’s right. It’s my duty to protect the citizens! Give me all the oil!”
“No. We only want to attract monsters. If you apply too much, not just the monsters, even other creatures will attack you.”
“I-I hope so!”
– This girl.
“Hey pervert, don’t make trouble for the guild staff! You just need to defend our party members!”
“Ah! The monsters are very enthusiastic in the summer! Please Kazuma, the request of my life…!”
I dragged Darkness away while she was troubling the staff to give her all the oil.
There were a total of more than 30 adventurers in this expedition, including us.
Most were parties consisting of four or five members.
Among them, the frontline people with powerful builds applied the oil.
Darkness also applied her portion of the oil on herself…
“… Hey you… Didn’t you hear what the staff just said…?”
Darkness seemed to have taken an extra bottle of oil from the staff and was currently applying it on herself.
In response to my helpless complaint, Darkness said:
“Ha. You usually say that I’m useless, so now’s the time I prove my worth. A Crusader is a meat shield, so let me take on everything. You seem exceptionally motivated today, so do your part without reservation, and leave the defense to me.!”
Perhaps because she hadn’t done a quest for a long time, Darkness smiled bravely and said such cool words excitedly.
“Of course. This is to let everyone in the city sleep well. I’ll exterminate the evil monsters and the cicadas. I’m different today. Watch closely!”
Hearing the nature of the cicadas in this world, I finally understood why the male adventurers were so motivated.
Correct. If we can’t sleep because of the cicadas’ songs, the shop which provides people with amazing dreams will be meaningless.
And it must be endured for an entire month.
Perhaps motivated by Darkness and I–
“Both of you are very excited, but I’ll be the one who kills the most number of monsters. Kazuma, please watch me!”
– Megumin smiled confidently as if she wanted to compete with us.
“…? What is it? Why are you looking at me?”
“Eh? …Uh, nothing. I thought you’d be the first to get carried away and cause all kinds of trouble.”
I said to Aqua, who was unusually reserved.
“You. What do you take me for? I can learn too. You people who get carried away will definitely fall during the fight… My vast wisdom has seen through it all– Pride precedes a fall.”
I couldn’t believe my ears.
Aqua, who messed up everything she did, who attracted undead even without doing anything, actually…!
Witnessing Aqua’s growth, I couldn’t help but cry…
“? W-What? Hey. Why are you crying, Kazuma?”
I stopped looking at her, who was asking worriedly. I covered my face, lowered my head, and indulged in my sentiments.
Perhaps because they didn’t hear our conversation, Megumin and Darkness looked at us in puzzlement.
“Adventurers! The first wave of monsters is coming! A vast amount of insecticide has been prepared here. It’s up to you, everyone!”
At this time, the staff shouted–
Insect monsters approached.
They emitted loud buzzing noises as they charged toward the people who applied the oil.
“Ugh! Wait…! There are too many. Some support please!”
A certain frontline adventurer shouted.
He was surrounded by a mob of flying rhinoceros beetles, each the size of a small dog.
Although they were only the size of a small dog, it was enough to overwhelm him.
I heard that the horn of a flying rhinoceros beetle could smash the front window of a moving car.
Then this world’s rhinoceros beetles must be bad news, even if they were just living out their lives.
As I thought and watched the flying rhinoceros beetles, they went with the momentum–
As they continuously turned their bodies, their horns moved in a twisting motion and struck…
An adventurer was hit hard in the belly and cried out.
I heard the sharp noise of metal being struck.
On the belly of the adventurer wearing metal armor…
“Ah, it hurts! Damn. It’s shallow, but my belly’s been pierced! Be careful! Weaker armors will be ruined!”
The rhinoceros beetle deeply pierced the armor of the adventurer who was screaming and crying.
They were too aggressive!
The other adventurers helped to remove the beetle from the armor.
At the same time, the wounded adventurer’s body started to glow.
“Ugh…? … Oh. Healing magic!”
The adventurer exclaimed as his injury vanished. It must be Aqua’s healing magic.
Then, the adventurers acting as meat shields started to glow one by one.
Aqua used various kinds of support magic on the adventurers everywhere.
What was up with Aqua today? Why was she suddenly so reliable…?
At the moment when I was surprised and moved.
“Twenty! I can take on twenty of them! Come on! Bring them on!”
In the midst of the frontline adventurers who were blocking the flying monsters, my party’s crusader attracted the most enemies and was shouting happily.
As mentioned before, Darkness was really cool and reliable today.
My companions were unexpectedly active.
Then I couldn’t carry on like this either.
I held the insecticide provided by the guild in my hands. It was like a small water gun that was made of bamboo.
I sprayed at the insect monster flying toward me.
The other adventurers also started spraying to protect the frontline meat shields.
There were more than just rhinoceros beetles. There were also mantises, stag beetles, and a lot of other insects. They were all huge.
Even if they were insects, they were still considered monsters.
There were wounded adventurers everywhere, but Aqua was busy healing them.
And she did this silently without bragging or complaining.
As I prepared to protect Aqua by spraying insecticide, someone pulled on my sleeve.
“Is it not time yet? Kazuma, is it still not time for my grand entrance?”
Watching everyone perform actively, Megumin couldn’t wait to use Explosion magic.
I knew she wanted very much to take action, but…
“Sorry, you shouldn’t take action this time. After all, this is a forest. If you use magic, the surrounding trees will be destroyed, so you should rest today–”
She purposely prevented me from finishing my sentence by suddenly roaring out her spell.
At a point in mid-air above our location in the forest.
A blinding flash of light and a roaring noise occurred.
After the destructive winds passed, all that was left were Darkness and the other adventurers on the ground.
The small insect monsters couldn’t withstand the powerful shockwave and were all motionless on the ground.
There was painful groaning everywhere. It seemed only Aqua barely avoided the attack. She was desperately healing the people on the ground.
Megumin, who was lying next to me, said softly:
I got up angrily and pulled up Megumin, who was still indulging in self-satisfaction.
“Why did you do this even after I said no? Look at this tragedy! You better apologize to everyone!”
“This is because Kazuma said I won’t get a chance to act! Besides, every adventurer in this city’s already used to Explosion magic. There’s no problem!”
The truth was exactly like what Megumin shamelessly said. The adventurers stood up as if nothing had happened, without a single word of complaint.
These people were really…
As I walked toward everyone, Darkness attempted to get up. But she was struggling since her armor was too heavy.
When she was about to stand up–
“… What’s going on? My body feels itchy.”
She tilted her head, puzzled…
I looked closely at Darkness’s armor and backed away a few steps in shock.
“Hey, you…! Your armor! Ants are swarming over it!”
A large swarm of ants was surrounding Darkness.
It must be because she ignored the staff’s instruction and applied too much monster-attracting oil.
Surrounded by ants, Darkness retreated and looked at Aqua and me.
“Ah…! Wait Kazuma, please! It itches! They’ve gotten inside the armor! Create some water for me…!”
Unable to scratch through the armor and unable to remove the armor easily, Darkness struggled and wailed.
I ignored her because it was too troublesome. Plus, she was just reaping what she sowed.
Finally, as if already used to the ridiculous behaviors of adventurers, the staff stood up without complaining.
“Everyone, well done. Then, the second wave should be arriving soon…”
… Second wave?
As the staff said that casually, the loud buzzing noise of insects was heard.
All the insects in the trees were enraged probably because the blast and shockwave of Explosion magic that shook the entire forest.
“… This isn’t good.”
“Wah! Kazuma! I’ve got a bad premonition!”
Aqua, who was strangely well-behaved this time, shouted with a worried expression.
The bad premonition came true. Because their homes were destroyed, a few hundred angry insects flew over…!
Hearing my command, the staff and the adventurers scattered.
“– Ugh… Boohoo… I worked hard this time… Even though I didn’t get carried away and worked really hard…”
On the road back with the guild staff and the other adventurers.
After being attacked by insects, Aqua was crying with her hair in a mess. I brought her along and sighed deeply.
I also carried Megumin, who was happy about killing a lot of monsters with Explosion magic, on my back.
Although the other adventurers were made to face that final danger, a lot of monsters were safely taken care of.
The rich reward was to be divided among everyone, so they were very happy too.
“Ugh… Grrr… Ha… Ha… Kazuma… K-Kazuma… This is a new feeling… This feeling’s really refreshing…”
Darkness blushed and said these stupid words. It seemed there were still a lot of ants inside her armor. At first, she was shouting and crying about it being painful and itchy, but now she was in ecstasy.
Why did I waste my entire fortune to rescue this pervert back then?
After that, our daily life was busy and fulfilling.
We hunted monsters in the morning and prepared for the festival in the afternoon.
Normally, I wouldn’t be motivated to hunt monsters on my own. But because of that shop… No, because of the upcoming festival, I didn’t get too fed up with it.
Was a hikikomori like me secretly interested in school activities like the cultural festival?
I participated in the merchant district committee almost daily and made a lot of suggestions on the basis of making this festival a success.
Another week to the festival.
“– As a means to increase sales of various stalls, I suggest every stall should make their poster girls wear swimsuits!!”
As the advisor, I slammed on the table and put forth my suggestion.
“This idea is great! It’s great, but, if it gets carried away, the police will intervene, right?”
“How can anyone enjoy the festival with the fear of police intervention? The advisor’s suggestion will definitely increase sales! What kind of merchant wouldn’t do it when he knows it’ll be profitable?!”
“No. The chairman’s concern’s reasonable. If we focus only on the present profit, we may lose the profits of the festivals in the future… Damn. If only there was a proper excuse for poster girls to wear swimsuits…”
The chairman was in a dilemma.
The committee members were troubled.
I looked at them and proposed my secret plan.
“I’ve got a plan.”
Hearing this, the mood in the committee room changed.
“Advisor, what’s this plan?”
I looked at them and said:
“This year’s festival name includes ‘Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving’. That’s right. The festival banner includes the name of the goddess of water.”
Everyone present seemed to be sobering up.
“Since it’s the festival of the goddess of water, let the poster girls wear swimsuits to play at water fights. It won’t be a problem if we say, ‘This costume is appropriate for playing with water!’ And besides, the festival’s held during the hottest time of the year. Then, this can be a way to prevent heat stroke. If the police intervene, we can counter with, ‘If someone collapses because of heat stroke, will you take responsibility?’ The police aren’t used to handling ‘responsibility’ so they’ll shut up.”
“Genius! Advisor, you’re practically a genius!”
“Please help out my shop after the festival!”
The sound of applause echoed in the committee room.
“– Hey Kazuma. The festival committee submitted a ‘Heat Stroke Prevention and Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival Summary’. You’re a committee member, right? Then this…”
“Yes. Because the day of the festival will be very hot. To prevent heat stroke, we decided to host water fight events everywhere. Thus, the usual clothes worn by the poster girls will be inappropriate. If they get wet from the water fights, their underwear will be exposed. Swimsuits will allow for them to play without reservations. Because I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in such festivals in my country, I want to let this festival be successful…”
“I-Is that so? Sorry, I misunderstood. In that case, it’s fine. I agree. The first summer festival we spend together must be successful.”
Thus, the politically inexperienced temporary lord Darkness agreed to my plan.
– Three days to the start of the festival.
My position as the advisor wasn’t without difficulties.
Sometimes, I’d argue with the committee members.
“Detonation magic users have gone to the capital as reinforcements against the Demon King’s army. Thus, there isn’t enough firepower for this year’s fireworks display. I’m afraid we have to cancel it.”
Hearing this, I retorted.
“Idiot! We can’t cancel the fireworks display. What are you thinking? Aren’t fireworks always accompanied by people in yukatas? What’s the point of the festival if you don’t get to see people in yukatas?”
“Advisor, please calm down! Are ‘yukatas’ referring to that clothing from a faraway country?”
“Isn’t it just a fireworks display and yukatas? What’s the big deal?”
“I understand our advisor’s full of anticipation for yukatas. I heard that it’s indeed conventional to wear a yukata during a fireworks display. But if there is no Detonation magic user, what can we do? I don’t know if we can find a Blast magic user…”
“Everyone should know how pathetic the fireworks are when made with Fireball magic…”
I looked at everyone and brought out my secret plan.
“I’ve got a plan. One of my companions can use Explosion magic–”
“Rejected! The festival itself will be destroyed!”
“I want to retract what I said earlier about you being a genius! You’re an idiot!”
“We shouldn’t have let this man be our advisor. We must’ve been possessed…”
My suggestion wasn’t effective, the committee members complained.
I grabbed the collar of the chairman next to me.
“What are you saying, you fool? You should resign as the chairman! Firework displays are romantic! It’s a necessary event for the summer! You get to watch fireworks with girls in yukatas! And nonchalantly hold their hands! There’s no point to the event if there are no fireworks!”
“You damn brat! In that case, you provide a plausible suggestion! Ah, what’s with your hand? Is it really okay for an adventurer to use violence against a commoner?”
“Kill him! This upstart adventurer isn’t capable! Everyone gang up on him!”
* * *
“– ‘Detonation Magic Potion Permit Application’…? Hey Kazuma. Why do you need this thing? Isn’t it dangerous? And… Why are you hurt all over?”
“This magic potion is necessary for the festival. I’m shouldering everyone’s will to not let this festival fail.”
“Uh, hmm. You look so serious. I guess it must be true, I understand. Permit granted. Still– Why are you hurt?”
“A man has things that he must protect at all costs. These wounds are my proof of manhood in protecting what must absolutely be protected.”
“I-Is that so? I understand, I won’t ask further. I feel it’s better not to do so.”
I kept on convincing the indecisive Darkness and spent my days busy with preparing for the festival.
I never participated in the cultural festivals during middle school.
This was my willfulness to make up for the school life that I missed out on.
Honestly, the reward for being an advisor wasn’t important.
I turned my back on Darkness, who was still somewhat uneasy, and walked toward my own room.
I prayed that the festival will proceed smoothly.
From the start of the festival, there was still…
– The festival will start tomorrow. Today was the last committee meeting.
To complete my last mission as the consultant, I shared my remaining awesome suggestions with my associates in this short time.
“In my country, there’s a place called Asakusa. Every year, the festival in Asakusa includes a Samba carnival which parades sensuous women on the streets…”
“Stop lying. What kind of festival is that? You just made it up! You’re just a horny brat!”
“Previously, you mentioned a festival whereby women sit on huge phallic objects that are carried around like sedan chairs! Such ridiculous festivals are impossible!”
I slammed the table and vigorously retorted.
“Everything I said is true! Don’t treat me as if I’m crying wolf! Anyway, the Eris Festival’s too rustic! What’s with everyone going to the Eris Church to offer prayers? Isn’t there anything else to do? For example, having both sides carry their mikoshi and oppose each other.”
“A festival’s sacred by nature. The kinds of festivals in your mind are ridiculous!”
“Making money is important, but if we do that, it feels like something important will be lost!”
“Your suggestions are too blunt! It’s not that there can’t be erotic elements, but can’t they be a bit subtler?”
* * *
Then, at night.
This type of conversation with Darkness was becoming a habit…
“– Hey Kazuma. Can I have a moment of your time?”
“What is it?”
“I completely can’t understand the purpose of this ‘costume parade’.”
I knew she’d ask this question.
“Goddess Eris will descend into this world in disguise and act on her own. Have you heard of this legend?”
“Oh, yes… This is a popular legend among Eris cultists. Thus, every year at this time, a lot of people in the city will dress up as Eris-sama so she can enjoy the festival in her true form. When the real thing’s mixed up with the fakes, Eris-sama won’t be so noticeable.”
Oh. I thought it was purely for cosplay, but it seemed there was a deeper reason.
“This event is to accommodate with the tradition you mentioned. It’s not restricted to dressing up as Eris-sama. One can dress up as a hero, a princess, or Goddess Aqua. In my country, there’s a festival called Comiket, which features all kinds of costumes.”
“I-Is it? Uh, I think I understand the purpose of this event. But… But this is a festival to praise the goddesses, so… Isn’t the permit to dress up as a succubus inappropriate…”
“What are you saying? This is a rare festival. It’s not just the goddesses who want to relax in their true forms. Don’t worry, just make an exception for this festival. It’s just a few sensuous onee-sans walking the streets, it won’t hurt.”
“Even if you say so… Uh? Wait. What did you just say? The way you said it sounds like there will be non-divine entities infiltrating the city…”
“Fine, fine. Don’t worry. Just stamp the seal! This is the dream of all male adventurers! And the onee-sans agreed that if this proposal is approved, they’ll be willing to really dress up as succubi!”
“Who are these ‘onee-sans’ you mentioned? By the way, why are you so persistent? I get it, I get it! To think that there are women who want to dress up like that. Who are these people…?”
In this manner, although it was busy and messy, the preparation for the festival proceeded smoothly.
Finally, the day came.
“Citizens of Axel, are you ready for this long-awaited day? I officially announce the start of the Goddess Eris & Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival!”
The announcement through the broadcast magic item echoed throughout the city.
At the same time, various kinds of magic were fired into the sky to celebrate the start of the festival. The ground roared with similarly loud cheers.
“It’s already morning…”
Today’s the first day of the festival.
I was playing the games brought back by Aqua from the Crimson Demon Village since last night as a reward for my hard work over the past few days. I realized it was morning after hearing the announcement from outside.
I was hungry, so I went downstairs for food. I found Megumin eating breakfast alone.
“Good morning, Kazuma. Everyone got up early today, including Aqua and Darkness.”
“No, I didn’t get up early. I was playing games all night. By the way, those two are up? I don’t see them. Where’d they go?”
“Aqua was too excited to sleep last night, so she went out at dawn.”
She was like a kid who couldn’t sleep in anticipation of an excursion.
“After I told Darkness that Aqua was gone, Darkness rushed out as well, saying she wants to keep an eye on Axis Cult so they won’t do anything stupid.”
“That girl sure is busy after becoming the temporary lord. Megumin, are you going to the festival?”
“No. I intend to visit Yunyun, who’s probably about to cry over the fact that she has nobody to go to the festival with. I’ll walk around before her, but I won’t invite her along, so I can mess with her feelings. Kazuma, want to come along?”
“Y-You’re… Just go with her to the festival. I’ll take a short nap until evening, then I’ll visit the festive stalls.”
“I don’t think that can be considered a short nap anymore… By the way, Kazuma, are you free on the third night of the festival?”
After finishing her breakfast, Megumin casually said as she drank her tea.
“The third day? I’ll probably be roaming around, visiting the stalls or something. Why?”
“Nothing. There’s a fireworks display on the third day. Since the festival’s held in conjunction with Axis cultists, I’m not sure if we can get to the third day safely. Then again, I can’t be sure that there’ll definitely be an accident… If it’s all good, do you want to watch the fireworks with me?”
Megumin said and took her tableware into the kitchen without waiting for my reply.
… There’s going to be fireworks.
Going to the festival and watching fireworks with a girl.
What was this? Has my youth arrived?!
– In the evening of the same day.
Because of the unexpected fireworks event, I couldn’t sleep well. When I noticed the extraordinary bustle of the town, I got cold feet.
The crowd was the natural enemy of a hikikomori.
There were a lot of people once I came close to the shopping district.
A huge banner was hanging at the entrance. The banner displayed ‘Goddess Eris Thanksgiving Festival’ in large font.
And ‘Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival’ in small font, squeezed in along the sides.
I should visit the area managed by the Axis Cult first to get a handle on the situation.
The sky was completely dark and the street lamps were lit.
The merchant district was much livelier than usual, full of adventurers, commoners, and merchants–all kinds of people.
Small stalls and shops were everywhere; the entire district was engulfed in noise.
I hope the area managed by Aqua will be as popular.
And my worries came true. There seemed to be a disturbance in the area where Aqua was to set up stalls.
“You can’t sell these things without a permit! Why do you Axis cultists always make trouble?”
“What do you mean by ‘these things’? This is the stall carefully planned by Aqua-sama. How dare you insult it!”
The one arguing was Cecily.
She was arguing with the policeman who was patrolling the festival.
“Hey, what are you doing? I asked you people to get enthusiastic, not to get into an argument! You make trouble for the police the moment I take my eyes off you. Must you people always be like that?”
“Oh, good! Listen, Kazuma-san. This guy’s picking on us to disrupt our business!”
“I’m not picking on anyone! It’s simply not permitted for you to sell these things!”
What were they arguing about?
I looked at the stall. There were a lot of tadpoles in a basin full of water.
“… What the hell is this?”
Those tadpoles were a bit too big.
At this time.
“Aqua-sama said that there should be goldfish scooping in a festival. I’m not familiar with goldfish scooping, but I still did my best to recreate the scene. Since it’s difficult to find wild goldfish, I used tadpoles as a substitute…”
Cecily said and looked at me as if wanting me to help her out.
No. Why’d anyone want to scoop this?
By the way, aren’t these…
“Hey, aren’t these tadpoles a bit too big? Are these really tadpoles?”
As if answering my suspicion–
“In any case, it’s forbidden to sell the young of Giant Frogs in this place! These things will grow huge in a very short time! If the kids buy them, the city will be covered in Giant Frogs in a few months! How will you compensate for that?”
“Hey, spray some pesticide in here, quickly.”
Hearing the policeman’s words, I decided to get rid of these things. Cecily hurriedly stopped me.
“Stop! Don’t ruin my shop! Aqua-sama said that Kazuma-san would feel nostalgic and be very happy! You should like goldfish scooping, right?!”
“Yes, I like scooping goldfish! But who’d want to scoop these unlovable things? Casually releasing them will cause trouble. If you don’t want them killed, take them far away! You people said I could leave it to you once the permit is granted. Now look at this!”
Cecily chuckled at my words.
“Did you think there’s only one stall that the Axis Cult can be proud of? For this festival, all the Axis cultists in the city gathered and thought of many creative things!”
Cecily pointed in front to over 30 different stalls.
There were actually other Axis cultists besides Cecily in this city. This reminded me of a certain organism which was said to have an entire nest present if merely one individual was seen.
There were quite a few window shoppers; it was quite lively.
I felt relieved for a moment that these people really worked hard, but I suddenly noticed something wrong with these stalls–
“A string of roasted kraken! This is made from a young kraken. Rare and special roasted kraken! Very delicious!”
“Hey, isn’t this just an ordinary squid? It’s no different from the taste of a squid…”
“What are you saying? Have you eaten a real kraken before? The Axis Cult can guarantee that this is definitely a roasted kraken!”
There was a onee-san selling squid as the so-called kraken.
“Come and visit the Amazing Hut! Currently exhibiting the rare hybrid offspring of a fish-man and a mermaid! Caught by brave Axis cultists… Ah! Customer, please don’t get crazy in the hut!”
“This is nonsense! Return my money, bastard! That’s is just a big fish inside a tank!”
“I’ve said already. This is the hybrid offspring of a fish-man and a mermaid!”
… There was a problem with the Amazing Hut the instant a customer entered.
“Come and play the shooting game! There’s a grand prize for anyone who can hit the target between the eyes…”
“Hey, the shooting target looks like Eris-sama! Stop this blasphemy against Eris-sama!”
“Ugh. Eris cultists attempt to disrupt us on the first day of the festival! Police! Over here! Arrest those Eris cultists… Ah, what are you doing? I didn’t ask you over to close my shop. I want you to arrest those Eris cultists…!”
… And someone whose shop was being closed down by the police.
“Onee-san, is that a real dragon?”
“Yes. Of course, it’s a dragon. The Axis Cult’s currently operating dragon-rearing ranches. One for only 500 eris. Come, buy one.”
And a fool who caught a lizard from somewhere painted it with vibrant colors and planned to cheat kids of their money.
“Eh… 500 eris’s all of my pocket money. If I buy it, I won’t be able to buy other things. No thanks. Anyway, it looks like a lizard…”
“Is it? How regrettable. But if it’s like this, these children won’t be sold. Of course, unsold dragons can’t simply be released into the wild. They’re dangerous, after all. I can only send them to animal shelters… But if they can’t find owners there, they’ll eventually be put to death…”
The kid became anxious because of that fool’s lies.
“W-Why’s it like that? Th-This is a lizard, right? Just releasing it will be fine.”
“What are you saying? This is a trueborn dragon! Hey, are you buying? Is it really okay not to buy it?”
That fool continued to pester and blackmail the kid who was about to cry.
“Ugh… B-But if I buy it, my pocket money will…”
“So you’re not buying? Then you’ll definitely regret it! These poor dragons are destined to be sent to the animal shelters!”
“If you keep fooling around, I’ll send your chick to the animal shelter! How can you bully a little kid, you fool!”
I slapped Aqua on the back of her head.
“Because you were scammed into buying the so-called dragon egg, you intend to mass produce similar victims to take revenge on society?”
“What are you saying, Kazuma? Don’t you know? In the special situation of a festival, a certain amount of profiteering is acceptable! Aren’t Japanese festivals like this? And Emperor Zell’s a real dragon!”
I hugged my head as I dragged Aqua away from selling lizards.
I hadn’t seen any normal stalls so far.
I shouldn’t have left it to them. Aqua and the others were too useless. It was impossible to hope for competition between the two cults.
“This isn’t an ‘acceptable amount’ anymore, you fool! Look. Your area’s not lively at all, and the customers are losing patience with all of you! Darkness said she’ll be coming for inspection. If that rock-headed person sees this tragedy, she won’t permit the Axis Cult to host a festival ever again.”
Hearing this, Aqua finally understood the situation–
“Th-There! Kazuma, there’s a popular stall there! There are definitely no tricks and it’s the most profitable stall!”
She dragged me over to a certain stall.
In the corner of the area managed by the Axis Cult, there was a small stall.
This stall was unexpectedly popular.
… Upon a closer look, I was so surprised that I nearly fell off my feet.
It was Chris, with a darkened expression.
“I saw Chris idly strolling around, so I grabbed her to man the stall!”
What was she doing? Seriously.
Why was the goddess of the Eris Church manning a stall for the Axis Cult?
Chris sat there, hugging her knees. With spiritless eyes, she waved at us.
This stall was running lotteries.
“Hey, again! Please, once more!”
“Wait, let me go first! I’ve spent a lot of money here already!”
If you drew the winning lot, you’d get twice the money you bet.
This was a simple stall with no schemes. But there was an unusual amount of people, and somehow everyone was obsessed.
A male customer handed over eris coins and drew one of the three lots in Chris’s hands.
He opened it nervously…
“Damn. Lost again! Hey, show me the other two lots!!”
Chris obeyed and opened her hands to show the other two lots.
“You win” was written on both of them.
Ah, so only one in three lots will result in a loss.
Normally, a losing rate of one in three was beneficial to the customers.
“Fine. I’ll win this time! Since I don’t see any cheats, I should win soon!”
“I don’t sense any trace of blessing magic, so why do we always lose…? Hey, stop playing.”
“Once more! It’s fine if I don’t recover my losses. I’ll be satisfied if I win once! I won’t accept this pathetic record of not winning even once!”
The rules were obviously biased toward the customers, yet they kept losing until they were too hot-headed to leave.
It wasn’t that you were weak. Your opponent was just too strong. After all, this girl was…
“Okay. Just this time! Goddess of luck, Eris-sama! Please let me win! Or I’ll convert to the Axis Cult!”
“Eh? Hey. W-Wait!”
Hearing the man’s words, Chris panicked.
Too late. The man drew his lot…!
“All on this one lot! … Damn it!! I hate Eris-sama the most!”
After losing again, the man threw the lot away. Chris cried out in distress.
“Well done, Chris. It was worth the effort to beg and coerce you into helping! You didn’t just man the stall, you even converted an Eris cultist! Previously, I found a strangely shaped stone from the Kowloon Hydra’s lake. I’ll give it to you as a present.”
“I don’t want it! Ugh… My precious worshipper…”
What the heck was she doing?
Chris must be here because she couldn’t refuse Aqua’s willful request…
As the traumatized Chris lowered her head, Cecily came over after arguing with the police.
“Aqua-sama, what should we do…? Now that the obsessed customers have left, even the lottery stall… We can only use the tokoroten slime stall recommended by me.”
“Hey, stop selling weird stuff! I’ll think of something for you people.”
Seriously, why’d this happen?
I had no intention to work hard, but now the Axis Cult couldn’t compete with the Eris Church.
Forget about making the festival livelier. If this carries on, they’ll perish.
In the area managed by the Eris Church, the stalls were selling various goods at decent prices, so it was quite lively.
Choirs sang praises to Eris. Thanksgiving to Eris and “Cheers!” could be heard anywhere.
There was nothing creative, merely exhibiting the mood of a traditional festival. But looking at the Eris cultists with their smiling devotions along with drinks and laughter, it seemed natural to host a thanksgiving festival to Goddess Eris…
“– Hey, Kazuma. What should I do?”
“This is the time for your Party Tricks. After attracting customers, you can help out. Cecily will attend to the customers. Chris can help me with the cooking.”
“Oh. I just need to attract customers? Leave it to me!”
“I just need to use my charms to receive the male customers? Leave it to me!”
“Hey, why am I still helping out?”
I gave the orders and started to cook deftly.
A saucy scent filled the shopping district.
The guests were attracted by the scent, finally–
“Okay, next! More mayonnaise and seaweed, right? Hey! Aqua, cut more cabbages! I’ll leave the pork to you, Chris!”
“Hey Kazuma. Let me cut the pork! Today’s cabbages are too lively and aggressive!”
“I’m not good at handling cabbages either! Assistant-kun, let me do your job. You cut the cabbages!”
Aqua was struggling with the cabbages. Chris was complaining as she cut the pork.
“It can’t be helped then. Chris, check out my vegetable-cutting skill! … Oh. The cabbages are especially crispy in summer. They’re most tasty.”
“Uh… Yes. I like summer cabbages the best. Winter cabbages are too violent. Autumn cabbages can fly, so they’re very difficult to deal with…”
“Both of you are supposed to be working. Why are you eating? This customer has waited for a long time! Big bowl of noodles with extra pork slices!”
As I cooked, the stall became popular.
The menu was the usual set meals in Japanese festivals, everyone’s favorite yakisoba.
Ever since Japanese people came to this world, all sorts of ingredients had been brought over as well.
Although ingredients for things like miso, grilling, and hamburgers were available, there were a lot of dishes not known to people.
“This yakisoba thing’s really delicious! The sauce’s awesome!”
“Yes. I feel hungry just smelling it!”
“Bro, one big bowl of noodles with mayonnaise and cabbage!”
“Thanks for your patronage. I have your order! Hey, Cecily. Record the order… Stop eating the cabbages!”
The sauce for the fried noodles was probably something new to this world. Everyone was enjoying it.
Even if the people who came from Japan knew how to cook the noodles, they might not know how to mix the sauce.
I didn’t find curry or okonomiyaki, which required mixing various spices– This required professional knowledge to cook.
As for why I know how to make the sauce for the yakisoba…
“I didn’t expect someone with the cooking skill to open shop here. This year’s festival’s really sumptuous! Looks like we can let Axis cultists join in the festival next year as well!”
“Isn’t that chef the famous adventurer, Satou Kazuma? That guy can even cook?”
Yes. It all depended on the cooking skill I learned earlier.
This skill was meant to improve my standard of living. I didn’t think it could be used in this situation.
After all, the people who reincarnated from Japan wouldn’t learn the cooking skill.
Or rather, they couldn’t learn it.
Since they reincarnated into this world with cheat items, they wouldn’t belittle themselves by taking on the weakest job of Adventurer.
If the Eris Church wanted to have a traditional festival, we’d oppose it with a modern festival.
Perhaps because it was refreshing or creative, Cecily’s idea of wrapping the yakisoba with the Axis Cult Recruitment Form was well received.
Seeing this, Aqua’s eyes glowed.
“Hey Kazuma. Axis cultists are being praised! This is something new to me!”
“Should we add tokoroten slime as an after-meal dessert? Sweet and soft Tokoroten Slime!”
“Hey, don’t add weird illegal items like tokoroten slime! Ha. How is it, Aqua? If you’re serious about doing business, you can make a profit! No need for tricks. Just doing it honestly is the best! … Still, look at this popularity. Maybe I should actually open a restaurant. Oh, my. Although I already made enough money for my entire lifetime, seeing this scene still makes me laugh happily!”
“Hey, Assistant-kun… It seems that even the customers from the stalls managed by Eris cultists are coming over. What am I doing…?”
On this night.
Among all the Axis Cult’s stalls, the only profit-making stall was this noodle stall.
“– Then, this is today’s sales record.”
In the committee room where the members were gathered.
After the report on the sales record for the first day of the festival, everyone, including me, cried out in joy.
“It’s almost twice as much as the previous year! This year’s festival is a big success!”
“It’s all thanks to our advisor’s suggestion to let the Eris Church and the Axis Cult compete with each other! Although the sales in Axis Cult’s area aren’t that good, it motivated Eris cultists to be more enthusiastic.”
“Yes. I hope the Axis Cult can do better, but this isn’t bad. The Axis Cult’s stall selling yakisoba is very popular. I heard it was opened late just when the festival was closing. Tomorrow, it should open earlier, so it’s worth the anticipation.”
After seeing this huge result… The committee members, who always argued with me during planning, were all smiling happily at me.
I heard that a portion of the profits will be shared among the committee members who were involved in the festival planning.
Of course, as the advisor, I’d be getting a share.
So for the committee members, it didn’t matter which cult won, as long as there was profit.
“Actually, it was because the Axis Cult was too useless, so I had to open a noodle stall selling my country’s food. I’ll work hard as the advisor tomorrow. I still have a lot of good ideas.”
The committee members looked at me with a new sense of respect.
“That’s our Satou-san. I heard you were involved in the incident that made a lot of money for Wiz’s Magic Tool Shop. It seems that isn’t just a rumor!”
“Yes. No wonder you got so rich in such a short time!”
“It looks we can look forward to the next two days!”
Ah. I got embarrassed after being praised to this extent.
I merely replicated Japanese festivals.
“Leave it to me! Satou Kazuma will work hard tomorrow!”
The first day of the festival ended like this.
“… Uh, Kazuma. Do you still intend to help the Axis Cult?”
The second day of the Goddess Eris & Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival.
As the sky darkened, the citizens began to walk toward the merchant district.
Sleepy Darkness, with heavy eye bags, called out to me in a tired voice as I was about to leave the house.
“Yes, I do… What’s up with you? You look pale.”
Darkness turned while lying on the sofa and shut her tired eyes.
“Of course. I didn’t think that lordship duties would be so tiring… The complaints for these two days were a lot more than those during the festival preparatory period. An idiot dumped the young of Giant Frogs into the Kowloon Hydra’s lake. What was she thinking…? And the scam of the Amazing Hut. And customers being groped in the haunted house by Axis cultists disguised as zombies…”
Well, I personally witnessed a few cases.
“And Axis cultists infiltrated into the Eris Church’s stalls and loudly demanded protection money. Male shopkeepers wearing swimming trunks. And the incident involving painting colors on a lizard to sell to children…!”
I decided to brew some tea for Darkness.
Darkness took the tea and sipped, sighing.
“Thanks… I feel that I’ve aged a lot in these few days…”
“How unlucky… But remember this feel. I felt the same way every time I had to listen to the willful demands of you all. Uh, although most of the complaints last night seemed to involve me somewhat, I don’t think there should be too many more complaints. So hang in there.”
Hearing my encouragement, the tired Darkness’s eyes were moist.
“Th-Thank you…! You’re the only one who can understand me…! Now that I think about it, I’ve caused you a lot of trouble, really a lot… Uh, wait. Your latter sentences…”
Intending to stir up the stalls managed by the Axis Cult, I left without waiting for her to finish her sentence.
– Upon arriving at the area managed by the Axis Cult, I found a lot of people gathered like yesterday, but the reason for gathering was different.
“Welcome! This way for a certain country’s festive food, yakisoba!”
“Roasted octopus caught from the forest! These octopi pieces are chewy and tasty!”
“Have some shaved ice! Tasty shaved ice! There’re strawberry, lemon, pineapple, red bean, and tokoroten slime flavors!”
Although there were some differences, what I saw before me was very similar to a Japanese festival.
“Ah. Kazuma, why are you so late? Look. This is prosperous! The shaved ice you made in the afternoon ran out! I’ll create water, so hurry and turn them to ice!”
Aqua ran over with the ice containers when she saw me.
Although the various stalls were somewhat different from those in a Japanese festival, it was similar enough to the original. It was very popular. Its novelty might be one of the reasons.
Good. At this rate, there should be a huge profit today.
My reward as the consultant will be great.
“The condition’s not bad today. Yes. If you work hard honestly like this, your worshippers will definitely increase. Isn’t it nice that everyone can be happy?”
I smiled and said to Aqua as I used Freeze magic to create ice cubes.
She gave me a rarely seen genuine smile.
“Yes. This is all thanks to you. Look, Kazuma. The children of the Axis Cult are smiling so happily.”
She admitted frankly, unlike her usual self–
“Kazuma, Kazuma. I feel that hosting this festival is great. Thank you for helping the Axis Cult.”
– And smiled innocently.
… What was going on? Did the festive mood fry her brain?
This, plus the time she said, “Pride goes before a fall” during the expedition against the insects– I felt Aqua was acting strange recently.
Was it because of Emperor Zell?
Did she mature because she had a kid?
No. She merely called the chick as “my kid”. She merely incubated an egg.
But her sincere thanks made me uneasy since I’ll be getting a lot of reward money from the festival committee.
I decided to change the topic–
“By the way, since these stalls are popular, you must have earned a lot? It’s a rare opportunity. Use the earnings to rebuild that dilapidated Axis Cult Church.”
“We didn’t earn much. Yesterday you said, ‘If you’re serious about doing business, you can make a profit! No need for tricks. Just doing it honestly is the best!’. I obeyed and implemented a low profit, high sales approach. This festival is co-hosted, so the festival committee is making the Axis Cult pay for the cost of operation. If you include this cost, we’re still losing money.”
What happened to this girl? Why’d she suddenly become so obedient?
By the way, was the Axis Cult still losing money?
I was the one who suggested letting both the Eris Church and the Axis Cult share the cost of operation.
“… Is it? But as the sales increase, you should stop losing money soon! After all, this is unprecedented! I’m surprised that the impoverished Axis Cult could afford the cost of operation!”
“I paid for it myself. I received the reward for the previous Kowloon Hydra hunt. That reward money plus my usual savings managed to pay for it. I wanted to build a beautiful dragon nest for Emperor Zell, but I guess we’ll just have to make do.”
“… I-Is that so?”
I felt guilty. I couldn’t look Aqua in the eyes.
“What happened? If you’re unwell, I can heal you. After all, you’ve worked really hard lately. Okay, don’t move. I’ll give you an extra powerful one.”
Aqua smiled and used a powerful healing magic on me.
– After the festival ended on the second day, I walked toward the committee room.
Aqua enlightened me.
She purely wanted to enjoy the festival.
And what was I doing?
I was driven by my passions, wanted to watch the poster girls in swimsuits, organize cosplay events, make the two cults compete and make a profit of it all.
… I decided.
I’ll tell Aqua everything I’ve done so far, apologize to everyone and resign from my post as advisor. From tomorrow onward, I’ll enjoy the festival too.
Yes. Tomorrow will be the third day of the festival; there’ll be a fireworks display.
I’ll watch the fireworks with Megumin, listen to the complaints of Darkness who’ll be very tired, and drink wine with Aqua.
I thought of these as I opened the door, intending to inform the committee of my resignation–
“Oh. We’ve been waiting for you, Advisor-dono!”
“Come, Advisor-dono. Take a seat!”
I was stunned after opening the door to the committee room.
The committee members smiled and urged me to take the seat of honor. There was something else.
Or rather, my eyes were glued on a few of the people present.
“Good evening, regular patron-san! We heard a lot about your miracles from the committee members~”
“Thank you for your frequent patronage, customer! I heard we owe it to you for the succubus cosplay being permitted in this festival!”
Right. They were the assistants in the shop I frequently patronized–the one providing the succubus service.
The chairman pushed me to my chair as I stood dumbly in the doorway.
Wh-What’s happening? This was bad. This was really bad!
Specifically, the unusual way the succubi were dressed. This was exceptionally bad.
The succubus onee-san in a sensuous black bodysuit and the loli succubus smiled at me seductively.
Perhaps this was what succubi normally wear.
The chairman whispered into my ear as I stared hard at the succubi.
“It seems you know them too. They operate a small restaurant in this city. This time, they wore swimsuits to serve as the poster girls of various shops. They say they want to reward the advisor who acquired the permit for this costume…”
I was very troubled.
I originally intended to tell them I wanted to resign.
Aqua was working so hard. I should decline solemnly and decisively.
If I accept their reception, I’ll surely be lost. Wake up, Satou Kazuma! Are you a man who’s so easily manipulated?
Right. Even if the sensuous succubi wanted to repay me–!
“Since we’re having a festival, let’s drink and keep you company. Hehe. We won’t let you go back tonight. We must let regular patron-san enjoy himself!”
I took the wine glass without hesitation, letting the onee-san sit next to me and pour me some wine.
The chairman raised his glass.
“Then, cheers to our consultant’s activeness and sales! Come, Advisor-dono. Please give us a cheer!”
I stood up immediately between the two succubi and raised my voice.
“Let’s achieve happiness by making a lot of money! Cheers!”