Gifting beautiful fireworks to the night sky!
Editing: Adam, BlitzBlast, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
– The third day of the Thanksgiving Festival.
Dressed in a one-piece, an astounded Megumin said to me as I lay in my bed.
“… Never mind about coming back at dawn– What are you doing at this time? Hey. We’ve got a date to watch the fireworks today. Quickly, change your clothes!”
I drank too much yesterday.
After coming to this world with no minimum drinking age, I’d become very familiar with the taste of alcohol.
“Ugh. Squeezing in the crowd in this condition… There will be all kinds of things coming out…”
“This man is really weak! Normally, if a guy has a date with a girl to watch the fireworks, he should control how much he drinks. What were you doing last night? You were in high spirits when you came back.”
I couldn’t possibly say that I was out drinking with the succubus sisters.
“Ask for Darkness… Tell her to use her authority to postpone the fireworks event to tomorrow…”
“It’s great that you don’t want to break your promise, but if you say such willful things, Darkness will go crazy. Aqua and her people really ran her ragged today, after all.”
Aqua and her people ran Darkness ragged?
I thought their performance improved a lot last night– What happened now?
As I thought of this lazily, Megumin uncovered the blanket and reached for my clothes…
“Whoa? Hey, wait. What are you doing? Why are you suddenly undressing me? One of these days you’ll do something unexpected and give me a shock!”
I jumped out of bed before I could be stripped.
“I won’t be fazed by Kazuma’s nakedness. I’ve already seen you with your clothes dissolved in that fight with the Kowloon Hydra. Come, If you won’t undress yourself, I’ll do it for you.”
I felt that it wasn’t bad to let a girl strip me, but if either Aqua or Darkness saw this, I didn’t know what they’d say.
I changed my clothes and prepared to wash my face before Megumin, who was still watching.
“… I-I honestly didn’t think you’d change your clothes right in front of me.”
“Didn’t you say that you won’t be fazed by my nakedness? … Phew. I feel better after drinking some water. Anyway, you mentioned that Aqua and her people ran Darkness rugged. What did they do this time?”
“The evaluation for the Axis Cult’s stalls were fairly good last night. Their sales weren’t bad when compared to the Eris Church. As a result, the Axis cultists got cocky. Basically, since the sales of the Axis Cult was better than that of the Eris Church, they willfully demanded more space for setting up stalls.”
What happened to the Aqua I saw last night?
Did she revert to her usual form?
… No, no. It was too early to make that conclusion. She should’ve been a changed woman.
Right. It must be just a portion of the Axis cultists getting carried away.
“… I’ve got a bad premonition, but let’s leave it to Darkness. Yes. Let’s avoid the area managed by the Axis Cult today. Let’s watch the fireworks.”
“Yes. Since it’s summer and a festival, we should avoid trouble once in a while. Do something like a date.”
Megumin readily agreed as if she noticed something.
Yes. This was the summer festival.
I was always getting dragged into troublesome matters. Once in a while, I should have a chance to leisurely enjoy a festival too–!
“– Yes. I knew it’d be like this.”
“Why are you stopping suddenly? Come. Let’s go.”
Megumin looked puzzled and dragged me away from leaning against the entrance of the shopping street.
“This is my first time going to a festival with someone and watching the fireworks display! Hey Megumin. Is there anything wrong with me now? I really, thoroughly prepared for it!”
“Other than your excitement, there’s nothing wrong. Please don’t panic just because it’s a festival.”
Although she said it was a date earlier, Yunyun also came along.
I greeted Yunyun at the meeting place and dragged my feet dejectedly after them…
“It’s too early to be alone by ourselves now. After the fireworks display, let’s go back together.”
Megumin walked beside me and whispered in my ear.
“I’ve always stayed at home during every festival in the past. I didn’t expect I’d participate in a festival like this. It’s great that I left the Crimson Demon Village! … Kazuma-san, are you okay? You look a bit strange…”
“Whoa! N-N-Nothing. I’m very excited to participate in the festival too! By the way, Yunyun, festivals are when you can unexpectedly meet your friends. You stayed home on those days? Never mind. As a high level hikikomori, I can understand your feelings. I didn’t want to come out when there were festivals and crowds. Yes. Actually, this is quite normal.”
After Megumin’s successful ambush, I was in a mess. Yunyun was a bit surprised at my reaction.
“I’m not a hikikomori like Kazuma-san. Whenever I went to a festival alone, I’d meet some classmates playing together– Perhaps they were taking care of my feelings–and they would say, ‘Sorry, we didn’t invite you along’ and similar apologies…”
“I understand, stop talking! It’s my fault. Please don’t continue! I’ll play with you today!”
Damn. What’s wrong with this recent plot? It was as if Megumin had the initiative.
What? What were we going to do after going back by ourselves? Of course, it isn’t merely going home. What else will happen after that?
Is it okay for me to have some expectations?
Women were so cunning.
A mere whisper in the ear can cause confusion!
I used my Snipe skill to win at a shooting game stall, then used my naturally high luck to destroy the lottery stall.
“… How should I say this? Kazuma should learn to have some mercy.”
“Yes. Both the onee-san at the shooting game stall and the uncle at the lottery stall cried. They said they’d have to close their stalls today.”
I was strolling along various stalls with the two Crimson Demon girls.
“Listen. A festival’s a war with the stall owners. In my country, the top prizes for the lottery are often not won by anyone, even after the lottery’s sold out. And when you happily return home with a prize, you may find that it looks like an imitation product upon closer inspection.”
“I need to ask about your country in detail one day… Anyway, the festival this year’s much more joyous when compared to previous years. Is this the costume parade suggested by Kazuma? Everyone can walk about in their favorite costumes. There are even excessive succubus and incubus costumes. Real succubi may get attracted to this festival.”
There was a sudden coldness on my back upon hearing Megumin’s sharp reaction. I continued to watch the festival nonchalantly.
This was an Axel unlike any other.
Vanir had opened a stall selling unusual masks.
Seeing smiling succubi among the customers, even Megumin wanted to buy the masks.
For some reason, Yunyun suddenly pestered Vanir, asking him to go back and watch the shop.
There were more than devils at the festival, including the rarely seen beastmen, short-eared forest elves, dwarves, and other races.
Under the lights, this fantasy scene strongly made me realize that I was in another world.
“This is really another world…”
Then I noticed I was smiling.
Megumin was staring at my reaction, showing an uneasy expression as if she wanted to say something.
“What? Why do you have this look as if you’re banned from using Explosion magic?”
“… No. It’s nothing…”
Megumin always spoke her mind, even to a general of the Demon King or to a royal princess. It was very rare for her to be so reserved.
I’ll have to tell them that I came from another world one day.
But even if I tell them, nothing will change.
They didn’t believe Aqua’s self-proclaimed divinity. They might think that I started to talk nonsense too.
Perhaps because life was settling down recently, I occasionally felt that coming to this world wasn’t so bad.
Someday in the future, I’ll tell them about my country–
At this time, there was an alarming disturbance and noise in the direction of Axel’s cistern.
It seemed that the fireworks display started.
The night sky lit up with colorful lights, cheers rose up everywhere.
Looking up at the night sky, Megumin changed her silent mood and held my hand tightly…
“Kazuma, let’s go! If we don’t hurry up and join the fight, it’ll be too late!”
She said in an intense mood…
“… Join the fight? Uh, wait. Don’t drag me! Can’t we see the fireworks clearly here?”
“What are you saying? We’re adventurers! If we don’t join the defensive line, who’ll protect the festival?”
What were you saying?
But before I could say that, the behavior of the surrounding adventurers stopped me.
Mages were running over in excitement.
Even Yunyun, who was merely standing aside earlier.
“Hey, explain this situation! What is it? Isn’t this the fireworks display? Where’s everyone rushing to?”
I shouted as I ran after Megumin, then–
“It’s the insects!”
Yunyun replied on behalf of Megumin, who was running in front.
“Insects? What about insects? Aren’t there a lot of bonfires during the festival? Aren’t the insects attracted by the fire everywhere in any case?”
Megumin answered my questions.
“Every year, in this season, the guild will request for insect extermination. Attracted by the festival’s bonfire at night, the active insects will fly toward the city from the nearby forest and plains. They will circle in the sky above the city, waiting for a chance to attack. Thus, the fireworks display was organized to cast Detonation magic and Blast magic into their midst.”
Uh, what the heck is going on?
“I don’t know what fireworks are used for in Kazuma-san’s country… In this country, fireworks in the summer are declarations of war against the swarming insects.”
That was why this world is really…!
Megumin was saying sweet nothings about being together alone earlier, raising my expectations. Once the fireworks display started, she immediately rushed to the frontline.
By the way, when she was about to use Explosion magic inside the city, the police arrested her.
… And then took her away.
She was so unromantic to this extent.
I even got excited under the influence of the summer mood– Return my feelings to me.
I stopped the insect invasion and returned home, walking dejectedly to my room.
Being depressed wouldn’t help.
Even though I joined the festival, I had no bow or other ranged weapon with me, so I could only dodge the flying insects. While I was idling, Chris caught me and hurriedly decided on a particular matter.
– I wore my black clothes and put on the strange mask.
I packed the magic items I bought today into the backpack; everything was ready.
Yes. I’d exact vengeance on that damn armor now.
I prepared special magic items to deal with that armor’s shouts.
It was nearly midnight.
Aqua was still celebrating the success of the festival, so she wasn’t back yet. Darkness was probably asleep.
I intended to leave from my room’s window instead of the front door and travel to meet up with Chris.
I’d be in trouble if someone saw me wearing the mask in all black.
Leaving Aqua aside, Darkness knew this costume. She’d know what I was going to do if she saw this.
Okay. Time to leave.
I lowered the rope from the window. As I was about to leave…
“Kazuma. There’s a light in your room. Are you asleep?”
I heard this as I was about to leave. I quickly removed the rope and closed the window.
“N-N-Not yet! I was about to sleep!”
I quickly hid the rope, checked that the door was locked and breathed out in relief.
If she saw my attire, she’d surely interrogate me about where I was going.
“Is that so…? Sorry I came over late at night. May I have a moment of your time?”
I couldn’t tell her the truth, but Darkness’s current tone of voice was different from normal.
“… I understand. Can you wait a bit? You can’t see me like this.”
“? I-I-I understand. Sorry to interrupt you.”
While Darkness was panicking over something, I quickly removed my clothes.
I hid the mask and the backpack in my closet.
“Ha… Ha… S-Sorry for the wait…”
“Nothing. I didn’t wait long… Hey, are you naked? I won’t ask what you were doing earlier, but at least stop panting!!”
Seeing me panting hard, Darkness blushed and looked away.
I messed up. I was in my underwear.
“Wait! I wasn’t doing anything indecent! Don’t misunderstand!!”
“I-I know! I won’t misunderstand, so put on your clothes! And if you’re doing that kind of thing, wash your hands before you sleep!”
This girl definitely misunderstood!
I wanted to explain myself, but there was no time.
“… Forget it– What’s the matter? Aqua will spread some weird rumors if she sees you hanging outside my room in that attire.”
Darkness was wearing a flimsy one-piece pajama. I didn’t know where to look.
If I didn’t need to recover the divine relic, I’d stare until I’m satisfied.
Of course, I was staring right now.
“Uh… It isn’t convenient here. May I come in?”
I didn’t really want her to enter, since there were things in the closet that’d cause trouble if they were discovered.
But I didn’t have any excuse.
I allowed her to enter and I sat down on my bed.
“Why the sudden visit? Can’t it wait until tomorrow morning?”
“N-Nothing! It can wait until morning, but… Uh… Lately, everyone’s been busy, so we seldom meet even in the house, right?”
Darkness wasn’t being straightforward. She looked around my room as if she couldn’t calm down, then carefully sat on the bed.
Chris was still waiting. I wished she’d quickly finish the conversation.
At this time, Darkness was fidgeting with her fingers. She finally made a decision and raised her head.
“Kazuma, you, uh… I only apologized to you. I haven’t thanked you yet… I was waiting for a chance to be alone with you to thank you properly…”
Her voice was very soft. She looked straight at me sincerely.
Oh. Was this…?
“Is this about the old man lord stealing you away? That was my own initiative, so no need for thanks. Didn’t you take on my debts on your own initiative? I didn’t thank you for that either.”
I said jokingly to Darkness, but she didn’t seem to accept it.
While we were stalling like this, Chris was waiting for me.
What a troublesome woman. There’s really no need to thank me.
As my attention began to wander…
Darkness showed a pitiful expression as if she was about to cry. She forced herself to smile and said.
“From you… I gained a lot of happy, refreshing, sad, and angry memories. As the daughter of a noble family, I normally wouldn’t have such experiences. If I had never met you, I wouldn’t have been able to travel with everyone and experience those dangerous adventures. The past year after I met you has been the happiest and most blessed time of my life.”
She said softly, reaching out both her hands to hold mine tightly while I was still dumbstruck.
“So I want to thank you. Not only because you saved me from the lord. When other people learned of my identity, they’d keep me at a distance, but you stayed with me even after you knew I was a noble. Thank you. I’m very happy living with you all in this mansion. It’s basically like… Yes. If my deceased mother whose face I don’t remember was still alive, I should’ve known this feeling…”
She continued shyly.
“So, let me thank you once more. For staying with me all this time. I sincerely thank you for rescuing me, even after I’d given up…”
Darkness suddenly used the tone of a noble lady and firmly held my hands.
– My heart was about to burst from excitement.
What was going on? Why’d this love event suddenly happen?
Wasn’t I already on the Megumin route?
I thought I was getting it on with Megumin. After confirming the route, the elder sister route suddenly appeared.
Perhaps other people might not understand what I was saying, but actually I didn’t understand myself.
Why’d it become like this?
No. Wait. Calm down, calm down, Satou Kazuma. She merely came to thank me. I’m not a virgin, so there’s no need to panic.
Wait, no, I’m still a virgin!
But from a common sense point of view, it’s unacceptable to let this carry on. I was so excited to watch the fireworks with Megumin earlier. If I become so close to Darkness on the same day, I can’t deny being labeled as trash. No, wait, that isn’t the problem now!
What was I thinking? I was confused. Wait. Don’t panic yet. The other person’s Darkness, who frequently spoke in a weird way. It was Darkness who raged easily. It was Darkness who nearly crossed the line once.
“So tonight. Uh… As thanks…”
Darkness was blushing. Darkness was leaning her face closer. Darkness licked her lips out of excitement. To Darkness who was like this, Satou Kazuma, show her your manliness!
Just calmly lead on and wait for the mood to improve, then–
“No, no. Don’t mention it. When I was with Megumin, she thanked me for saving you as well. It’s nothing. After all, we’re so close!”
Good. Although I wasn’t really calm, I’ll give myself 80 points. Now to let it develop naturally–
“… Seriously. Mentioning Megumin at this time; you just can’t read the mood.”
– It didn’t develop. Darkness stood up, a bit troubled.
“By the way, I received a notice from the police. Megumin will be released later tonight. I’m rather despicable to come to you at this time…”
After saying that, she suddenly bent over and leaned close to me.
Her lips gently touched my cheek.
She then stood up again and said shyly:
“This is what was promised. If we defeat the Kowloon Hydra, I’ll kiss you on the cheek… As for saving me from the lord, some other day…!”
As Darkness turned to leave hurriedly…
I shouted toward her:
“What is this? Wait, Darkness. You made the mood so hot just to kiss me on the cheek? Stop messing around! Both you and Megumin are alike! What do you want, making me so full of expectation? Retake! I want a retake! If you really want to do it, you can do it well. Bravely take that step!”
“Why are you always like this?! Give that sweet moment back to me!!”
After Darkness angrily returned to her room, I intended to return to bed stiflingly.
When I realized I’d forgotten about Chris, I hurried to the meeting place. It was already two hours late.
When I arrived, I saw Chris, who was also in all black with a mask.
“You’re way too late! What took you so long?”
“I’m really sorry. Something happened with Darkness. I didn’t expect her to run over to my room late at night while wearing something like that…”
Chris, who’d been fuming at me until just now, opened her eyes wide in utter astonishment.
“Y-You’re doing it again. Randomly saying stuff to turn my anger away; it won’t be so easy. Even if you say it so meaningfully, basically nothing really happened, right?”
“Well, nothing much happened. Darkness merely kissed me suddenly.”
Chris, who was pretending to be calm, cried out in alarm. Her expression froze in shock.
Her expression wasn’t very fitting for a goddess.
“There’s not much time left. Stop making that funny expression, let’s go. Maybe because of what happened earlier, I feel really good tonight.”
“Eh~? Hey, wait! Why are you so calm after being kissed? You’re lying, right? Hey! This is just unrequited love, right?”
I didn’t know why Chris was so obsessed with this topic.
“It’s true. Ask Darkness if you don’t believe me. ‘Did you visit Kazuma’s room late at night and suddenly kiss him?’ Still, what’s going on? Previously, Megumin also said she likes me and that we should go back together alone after the fireworks display– But she ruined it herself. Big boss, what should I do? Maybe I’ll step into adulthood during this festival.”
“Really? You also said this before, ‘Recently, my relationship with Megumin’s pretty good. Darkness seemed to be somewhat interested in me too!’. Uh. Wait. Isn’t this a love triangle?”
Chris covered her mouth and looked at me in fascination.
“Eh?… When did Darkness become so bold? Earlier, you said Megumin liked you too? What are you going to do? Who are you going to choose?”
“Hey, it’s too early to make such conclusions. I’m having a headache as well. The current situation is the routing stage often seen in Japanese novels. Right. All the girls like me and the harem’s being formed… But though those two girls look pretty enough, there’s some issues about their inner selves. Following this trend, I may raise flags for other girls too, so I think I should wait before making a decision. What do you think I should do?”
“I think you should go and die… But I’m really surprised. When did everyone start to…?”
Was she unused to talking about love because she was a goddess? Or was she shocked because her intimate friend Darkness might unknowingly step into adulthood before her? Chris staggered behind me as I led her toward Undine’s mansion.
It was a cloudless night with the full moon high in the sky.
There was a reason for suddenly taking action tonight.
The other party will be on high alert after the previous failure to steal the armor.
But they’ll be somewhat negligent during the festival.
And this was just after the fireworks display.
The guards of this mansion also participated in the defense of the city earlier. This was probably the so-called noblesse oblige.
So, they must be tired. And since this was the annual festival, there must be drunkards everywhere.
I was prepared to deal with the noisy armor. If this failed and we were pursued, we could discard the black clothes and masks to mix in with the drunkards along the streets.
– Soon, we arrived at Undine’s mansion. The back door we entered previously was completely locked. The other entrance was the front door with two sentries.
According to Chris, since our previous infiltration, there were sentries every night until the morning.
“What should we do, Assistant-kun? This mansion isn’t as large as the palace. It’s hard to infiltrate when there are sentries.”
“Yes. What should we do? Isn’t there a way to distract them…?”
While we were observing the mansion from a distance and planning our next move…
“Uh… Are the two of you the Silver-Haired Thieving Group?”
Suddenly, someone spoke out behind us. I immediately turned around.
“P-P-Pleased to meet you! No. Actually, we met before! I met you in the palace once… I’m your fan, Megumin the Archmage!”
Megumin, who should’ve been arrested by the police, was standing right behind us.
Seriously. Why’d things become like this?
“Wow. We’re really famous! After all, we have a bounty of 200 million eris on our heads!!”
After hearing Megumin declaring herself as our fan, Chris was shyly pleased.
I wanted to complain that she shouldn’t be shy at a time like this, but I didn’t want to make the situation worse.
Chris and I’d intentionally altered our voices, but a clever enough person can still recognize us.
Thankfully, Megumin was too star-struck–
“It’s so amazing that a band of thieves has such a high bounty! Oh, I’d like to ask… When the two of you snuck into the palace, was it really to protect the princess from a dangerous divine relic?!”
“Yes. That’s right. We’re the chivalrous thieves. Normally, we’re just commoners, but we couldn’t let an innocent girl be exposed to such dangers, even if she’s a princess. Whenever someone’s in trouble, we’ll break in to help, whether it’s a noble’s mansion or the royal palace. This is the Masked Thieving Group.”
I was secretly pleased to see Megumin looking at us with such admiration.
“Wait, Assistant-kun. Isn’t it the Silver-Haired Thieving Group? It’s too opportunistic to change the name at this time. I’m the boss, right?”
“What are you saying, Big Boss? When we were in the palace, you said I could be the boss too. So it’s fine to name it the Masked Thieving Group!”
We ignored Megumin with her glimmering eyes as we held our private conversation. At this moment–
“Then, what are the two of you doing here? This is a noble’s home, right? … And his reputation isn’t that good…”
Megumin looked at us, full of anticipation.
Chris and I shared a look and nodded.
“You’re… Megumin, right? Actually, we’re after something hidden in this mansion. It’s necessary for the future of mankind. Stealing is not a praiseworthy deed, but… For us, there are some things which must be done even if we end up being regarded as criminals.”
Megumin looked at us as if we were heroes.
“Yes. We’re going to steal from this house. This way, we’ll have something to decisively end the battle with the Demon King’s army. If you want report us, we won’t stop you… But please believe in us. It’s for the sake of mankind!”
“I believe! I believe in you! Of course, I won’t report you! … But I have a little request.”
Megumin started uncertainly, as if she was embarrassed.
“Please read this! This is a fan letter describing how cool and charismatic both of you are! In order to hand it to you personally, I’ve been carefully bringing it along everywhere I go!!”
She bowed her head and offered us a letter.
Right. After we returned from the palace, she was writing something that she hoped to hand over to us.
But receiving a letter like this made my heart pound faster.
Of course, for Megumin, this was a letter to her heroes. But it still felt like receiving a love letter.
When I was about to take the letter–
“Thanks. After we’re done with our work, I’ll be sure to read it.”
Chris snatched the letter first.
“Big Boss, what are you doing? That letter was for me!”
“What are you saying? Megumin said it’s a fan letter to the Silver-Haired Thieving Group! It’s not yours, but ours. As the boss, naturally I should keep it!”
We started to argue among ourselves softly. Megumin bowed once more.
“Thanks for receiving it. There were supposed to be a lot of things to look forward to after the fireworks display tonight, but I messed it all up. I was somewhat depressed… But thanks to that, I can meet both of you. So, it wasn’t all unlucky.”
She said and smiled innocently.
“Big Boss, it’s good that we didn’t expose our identities. But meeting her at this time, I don’t know if we’re lucky or unlucky.”
“With both of us here, there won’t be any unlucky event. We even got a fan letter.”
“Although I wish I could help out, I should probably return earlier to apologize to someone…” – Megumin said and left. She was still worriedly looking back at us.
Was she going to apologize to me?
“Big Boss, should I go back first tonight? If I go back now, I feel an event will happen with Megumin.”
“No way. In many ways, today’s the best day to infiltrate! Anyway, what kind of event will happen with Megumin? At least choose one between Darkness and Megumin!”
It couldn’t be helped. I’d just have to finish the work fast.
At this time, I noticed Chris was keeping Megumin’s fan letter inside her clothes.
“… Big Boss, after our work, let’s decide who gets to keep that letter.”
“Fine. Let’s decide it with a game of rock-paper-scissors.”
“Don’t decide this with luck!”
– Because of some unexpected incidents, I needed to go back earlier than expected tonight.
We should finish this quickly.
“Let’s subdue the sentries. I feel good today; I can handle two people easily.”
Was I unusually excited because things were going well with both of them?
“You were this excited too back when we infiltrated the palace… You get really lively at night. Are you a devil or something?”
“If that’s the case, then all the NEETs in Japan would be devils. Big Boss, use the Lurk skill so we can get close to them. It’s full moon tonight and the festival’s bonfires are still burning, so there’s a lot of light. Be careful.”
Chris and I used the Lurk skill and clung to the walls as we crept slowly toward the sentries like ninjas.
The two sentries were leisurely chatting away.
It should be possible to ambush them.
To get the timing right, I calmly listened in on their conversation.
“This festival’s awesome. It’s unlike any festival before! This is all thanks to the participation of the Axis Cult. Making the poster girls wear swimsuits is a stroke of genius.”
“Same with allowing succubus cosplay. I found an amazing babe. This festival has just been amazing. But did you hear? Supposedly, there was some outside help in the management this time around.”
Oh. That’d be me.
I was popular enough to be the topic of interest among soldiers, what a great feeling!
“The outside help was from that guy, right? Pitting the Eris Church and the Axis Cult against each other, then fanning the flames just so he can get a bigger commission out of it… What a bastard.”
“Oh, right. Bringing in the Axis cultists, allowing for succubus cosplay, making the poster girls wear swimsuits… I heard all of these suggestions were his. His name should be–”
I jumped out of the shadows.
When they noticed me, they attempted to draw their swords from their waists–
“Double Drain Touch!”
But I covered their mouths with my hands and used Drain Touch to drain their mana.
The sentries who nearly exposed some important secrets to Chris soon quieted down.
“Hey, Assistant-kun. Don’t be reckless! Although surprises are good, they nearly raised the alarm just now!”
“I feel good today, so I’m confident I can handle them. I managed it in the end, right? No problem. Leave it to me.”
That was so close.
I wasn’t afraid that they’d shout. I was afraid of divine retribution if they continued talking.
The two sentries were unconscious due to mana exhaustion. Chris dragged them away into the trees.
“Even if it ended well, you mustn’t be reckless. Most soldiers joined in the defense against the insect invasion. They were careless because they were tired. This won’t happen again.”
“I know. Let’s go then. I want to go back early to be affectionate with Megumin.”
“Weren’t you getting on well with Darkness earlier? I won’t care if you get killed as a result. I won’t agree to another resurrection if you die this way.”
Don’t say things that make people uneasy.
“By the way, about the sentries’ conversation earlier… External support for the festival… Assistant-kun, do you know anything about it?”
… That was another reason to finish this job fast.
– We successfully snuck into Undine’s mansion this time.
It was partly due to the fact that we were familiar with the layout since this was the second time we’re here.
But we were safe along the way mostly because there was a goddess of luck present.
Although I didn’t really want to think of it– If I hadn’t caused the alarm in the treasure vault to go off when we infiltrated the palace, that mission might’ve gone smoothly too.
We arrived at the treasure vault soon and nodded at each other before the secret door.
I retrieved a key item from my pocket and pushed open the secret door.
Before Aigis could shout, I smashed the magic crystal I bought as I entered the room.
As the crystal shattered, a special seal was set on the entire room.
This wasn’t bought from Wiz’s Magic Tool Shop. It was a normal magic item that was actually useful.
Although the duration was short, this magic crystal could create a weak bounded field.
So even if Aigis shouted via telepathy, nothing could be heard outside the room.
Chris retrieved a magic sack that could block weak magic from her backpack. The sack was bought from the same magic tool shop.
If Aigis was covered in this sack, telepathy should be unusable.
“I was wondering who it might be. It’s the previous thieves again! Haven’t you had enough? Thieves! Thieves–!!”
Aigis immediately shouted as soon as it saw us.
I ignored its shouts and started to remove the chains on Aigis.
“Hey, what are you doing? Why are you still in the mood to do this? This is a noble’s mansion. You’ll be executed if you’re caught… Eh. The mansion’s too quiet. What happened?”
“Ha. Do you think we came unprepared? Your telepathy won’t be transmitted to the people in the mansion. Too bad!”
I vengefully mocked it while I removed the chains on Aigis.
“What did you do? Hey, fine. I understand! Let’s make a deal!! You want my power, right? Then find a worthy master for me, and I’ll cooperate with you! I can compromise a bit regarding the master. Please!!”
Aigis beseeched us fervently. Where did it’s arrogance go?
“You should’ve said that when we first came! Idiot– Idiot– It’s been decided that your master will be a man, and it’s an uncle with big shiny muscles. Be prepared to serve your new master!!”
“Don’t speak nonsense, you bastard! Hey, stop! Think from the perspective of an armor! Please! You don’t want to be worn by a slovenly uncle, right? If you must protect someone, it’d be better to protect a cute girl, right?”
“I agree completely, but it’s your fault that we were so miserable. We won’t listen to your requests anymore, you great idiot!”
“A-Assistant-kun. I know I argued with it last time too, but arguing with an armor’s too childish…”
Chris was holding the sack open. She couldn’t endure it further after watching me argue with Aigis like she did the previous time.
“Ah! No! No! Woman! I must be worn by a woman! A black-haired beauty, a blonde lolita or a sexy brunette. Right now, I’ll fine as long as it’s a woman! You know, my wearer would sweat a lot during combat. Consider my feelings about being drenched in a man’s sweat!”
Aigis cried out in anguish. I felt a bit of pity for it.
To protect a vulgar man, you ended up being drenched in his sweat. This wasn’t something that could be excused as a ‘punishment game’…
“Give it up. Also, it’s useless to shout on the way. Chris’s sack can block weak magic. You’ll be wrapped in it while we take you back. Anyway, you’re an inorganic item, so why do you have so many demands? Stop being willful…”
As I said that, the last chain on Aigis was removed.
Following the shout, I was hit on my jaws and became dizzy.
“A-Assistant-kun?! Hey? Why are you moving?”
I held my shaky head and looked at Aigis to understand the situation better–
“I’ve decided. I’ll go on a journey to find a pretty woman worthy of wearing me. Although it’s nice to be waxed daily by the maids in this mansion, people like you may show up again. I’ll find my own master.”
After being freed from the chains, Aigis made a fist briskly.
Chris was still persuading it when it started speaking nonsense.
“Wait, Aigis! This world needs your power! If it’s okay, before your new master’s found, let me wear you…”
“Fuck! Where’s the fun in being worn by an androgynous thief? I said I’ll find my own master… Since you want to wear me so much, let’s evaluate our compatibility… Well, your face is A grade. Job compatibility is C grade. Breast size is below grading. I’m sorry, we’re not fated to be together…”
“Why you–! I was imploring you so nicely! Let’s use force then! Bind!”
Chris finally freaked out and shouted as she tossed the wire at her waist.
A metallic wire took away Aigis’s freedom–!
“Oh. What are you doing with this wire? What? Do you want me to bind you up with this? Hehe. You look so pure, yet your taste’s so heavy!”
– But it was unsuccessful.
The wire Chris tossed over fell off for unknown reasons.
Aigis shrugged and mocked Chris who was stunned.
I used the same skill as Chris and my wire fell off as well.
“Didn’t you learn your lesson? Really, you still don’t understand? Who do you think I am? I’m the legendary Sacred Armor Aigis. I’m the toughest in this world. I’m immune to magic and skills and can heal my master. I’m the sacred armor that can sing and dance! I won’t lose to thieving brats like you!!”
“Big Boss. Even if skills are useless, it can’t be too powerful since it could be chained down! Let’s subdue it together!”
“I-I understand! I’ll go from the right. Assistant-kun, circle around it!”
Hearing our plan, Agis made a fist.
“Hey, you still want to fight? My fist’s really a steel fist. That’s right, I’m a weapon incarnate!”
“What’s this fellow talking about? So noisy and annoying! It’s too talkative for a suit of armor! Ha!”
“Good. I caught it!”
Chris and I pounced at it at the same time and pressed down on Aigis’s body.
“Boss. Take its arm off! Disassemble it and stuff it in the sack! Since it’s so talkative, leave the helmet behind in this room!”
“Hey, your line of thought is very dangerous. My body can’t be disassembled. When my master wore me, he used a keyword to do it. Instead of carrying me away, it’ll be easier to just wear me. The keyword to equip is ‘I want to be an armored girl!’ Come, say it once.”
“I-I want to be an armored g…”
“There can’t possibly be such a stupid keyword, Big boss. You’ve been tricked! Hey, th-this fellow’s much stronger than expected…”
Aigis shook us off from its arms and walked toward the room exit…!
“Big Boss! Not good! If it leaves the room, it can’t be silenced!”
“Oh. Hey, be obedient, Aigis! I’m Eris. The goddess in charge of this world, Eris! I have an obligation to manage you. Come obediently with me!”
“You’re really trying hard… What a waste. Your face’s cute, but one must still consider the inner self. While searching for a master, I must be more mindful.”
“What did you say–?”
Hearing Aigis’s disbelief in her divinity, Chris was raging.
“Then, we’re parting ways. If you want me so much, learn to be charming enough to keep a man first, little girl. The most essential point is breast size. Some people say that flat-chest’s a novelty, but I think that’s just a bluff by people who don’t have the stuffs.”
Even though the angry Chris held onto Aigis’s arm, it merely dragged us along out of the secret door.
“Everyone in Undine’s household who can’t keep me, a world class treasure. You’ve taken care of me so far! Please forgive me for leaving on my own to find a master. If you want me, prepare a world class beauty! I’ll come back in that case!”
A telepathic message rang out in the mansion, so strongly that everyone’s heads were hurting.
“Ah! I’m free! Yes, now I’m totally free! The sky’s the limit! Aigis Kick!!”
After shaking us off, Aigis came out of the treasure vault and left through the window on the third floor with a flying kick.
At the same time, the lamps in the mansion lit up. There was shouting everywhere.
Hearing this commotion, everyone in the mansion was awake.
“What? The thieves are back again?”
“That was Aigis’s voice just now! Check the treasure vault!”
This is bad. There were voices coming in this direction!
Last time, we made a rope out of the window curtain to escape from the treasure vault.
There was no such thing this time, perhaps as a defensive measure or because the new curtain was simply not ready.
“Big Boss, this is bad. This is the third floor; we’ve got no escape route. We’ll secure your wire to that pillar and go down from there!”
“Hey, you’ve got a wire at your waist too. Use yours!”
“My wire’s an expensive, custom-made special item! They’ll track me down if they investigate it!”
“Is that why you hurriedly picked it up after it failed to bind Aigis? Mine’s also custom-made, so they can track me down with it too!”
There was no other option then. We might have to break through forcefully like we did in the palace.
“Big Boss, be prepared. It’s been a while since we showed our true abilities.”
I adjusted my breathing.
“No need to panic, don’t worry. There’s always a way when we get to it. Who do you think I am? I’m the goddess of luck!”
Chris smiled playfully as if she was pulling a prank.
Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light outside the window. Every window in the Undine mansion shattered simultaneously.
As the broken glass flew, an explosive roar which everyone in the city was familiar with, rang out in the summer night sky.
– This was all the fault of that damn armor.
“Kazuma. Come out! If you come out now, I’ll merely lecture you!”
Darkness was kicking on my door in a rage.
“This is unacceptable, my lady! If you’re a lady of a noble family, you should behave more demurely.”
I shouted toward the other side. To prevent the door from being kicked open, I used all my strength to push against the door.
“Don’t treat me as a noble lady only at times like this! Kazuma, come out and explain yourself! Or else Chris here will receive your punishment too!”
“Assistant-kun, save me!!”
Chris’s voice was heard from the other side of the door.
“Too bad, Darkness. This trick won’t work on me. That sounded like Chris, but my reliable Big Boss won’t give in so easily. You’re using Aqua’s Super Entertainer magic to mimic her voice, right? Don’t underestimate my reasoning power. That’s right. It was your voice earlier!”
“Wrong. Assistant-kun, what are you saying? There must be a limit to your reason!!”
After I reasoned it all out, I heard Chris’s agonizing voice.
I was currently hiding in a certain hotel.
After being defeated by Aigis, Chris and I broke through the servants, who were scared by the Explosion. We ran everywhere in the city and finally hid inside a random hotel…
I heard Darkness on the other side of the door again.
“Kazuma, it’s about time you come out! There is only Chris and I here. No police, no people from the Undine family. Come, your boss may end up very badly. Is this really okay for you?”
I merely said:
“Go right ahead.”
“Traitor! Hey Darkness, untie my rope! I’ll help you get Assistant-kun out!”
“Y-You two are really…!”
– An hour later.
Darkness kicked down the door and subdued me. With my upper body bound, I was sitting up straight with Chris.
“So, why were you doing this? Last time, you promised to notify me at the start. Seriously. There are eyewitnesses from the Undine family. A lot of people including the city’s adventurers are hunting you down for the bounty!”
After hearing our explanation, Darkness pressed her forehead and sighed.
While being tied up, I moved my head to indicate to Darkness.
“I’ve said it before, ‘If the other party’s a noble, maybe we can ask Darkness for help. Use Darkness’s family for political advantage.’. Then, Big Boss…”
“Ah? It’s true that Assistant-kun said it before! But Darkness, that noble acquired the divine relic via illegal means and his reputation isn’t good. He’ll definitely deny it! And you were busy with the lordship duties!”
Darkness sighed heavily.
“If you intend to commit a crime, I’ll think of something no matter how busy I am. Even for something acquired illegally, nobles have their ways of dealing with it. If the price is right, it’s still possible to negotiate with nobles who are very sensitive to benefits. And…!”
“Ow! Ow! Darkness, stop! I’m sorry. Next time I’ll inform you before stealing!”
“Don’t you have other options besides stealing? Anyway, I’m most angry with–!”
Darkness was drilling Chris’s temples angrily. She glared at me fiercely.
“After that incident with me last night, it’s unforgivable for you to leave as if nothing happened! Don’t you have complex emotions of excitement and confusion? Do you know? When I think back on what I did, I struggled internally for a long time due to the embarrassment…!”
“Ugh! Stop, stop! My head’s about to crack! Sorry. Sorry, it’s my fault! But if it’s so embarrassing, then don’t do it in the first place! Anyway, that cliffhanger kind of kiss was unbearable for me too!”
Darkness grabbed my head and choked me…!
Chris suddenly cried out after hearing our conversation.
Then she started trembling…
“Whoa…! What Assistant-kun said last night was true…! You really did it! Darkness really took the initiative to kiss someone!!”
“Hey? Chris, this isn’t important right now! Anyway– Kazuma, you even told her such things?”
“It can’t be helped. Big Boss was interrogating me for coming so late! Anyway, given our current relationship, there’s no need to be embarrassed over a kiss! We washed each other’s backs and saw each other naked in the bath before, didn’t we? You even suggested becoming adults together when I broke into your house.”
“Ugh! Kazuma, you…! Fine, I understand. This topic is over. I’ve got no time to fool around with you! I’ll undo the ropes. Leave. Both of you can help!”
Darkness blushed and hurriedly removed the ropes.
“I just heard something amazing again. What was that about? Which stage is your relationship at? Am I the only one who’s still a kid?”
“Chris, we’ll talk about it another time! Come, let me remove your rope…”
“It can’t wait! I want details! Wait, Darkness. Why aren’t you telling me? What happened to the friendship between us girls?”
Looking at them as their roles were reversed, I rubbed the area tied by the rope.
“Y-You’re annoying, Chris. That’s not important! Seriously, both of you. Aqua. Megumin. Why must everyone make trouble when I’m acting as the lord?”
Darkness said and pressed her forehead again.
“… Uh? Hey, besides me, did Aqua and Megumin cause trouble too?”
“… Megumin’s being held at the police station. Supposedly, she used Explosion magic for no reason within the city. No matter how she was interrogated, she just said, ‘It was unbearable since I couldn’t use magic during the fireworks display. My Explosion magic’s prettier than other fireworks. I won’t repent, but I’ll compensate.’. They decided to lock her up until the end of the festival.”
Of course, Megumin was responsible for the shockwave that assaulted Undine’s mansion last night.
After watching us leave, Megumin was still concerned about us. After seeing the lights in the mansion, she knew we were in danger and used her magic.
Then, she was arrested since she couldn’t move after using Explosion magic.
I felt sorry for her. I should bring her something later.
“What about Aqua? What trouble did she cause again?”
Darkness frowned unspeakably.
“Using the unexpected popularity and turnover of this festival as the reason… The Axis cultists want to host the Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival by themselves next year.”