Gifting a legend to this town of rookies!
Editing: Adam, BlitzBlast,, Cannongerbil, Xenthur
“Hey Aqua! What’s going on?”
In the Axis Cult Church in the suburbs.
I heard they were here getting ready for tonight’s festival, so I rushed over and angrily shouted at Aqua. Who, at the moment, was having a toast with Cecily.
“Oh, Kazuma. What’s wrong? Why are you so panicked?”
Aqua was holding a wine glass while stroking the head of the chick resting on her knees. She was like a movie villain come to life.
Cecily was standing next to her as if she was a maid attending to her master.
“Wait, I know. Kazuma, you smelled a banquet and came over for some free food, right? I guess there’s no helping it, then. You may not be an Axis cultist, but you do deserve some of the credit this time. Come here and sit by my side, I’ll share some yakisoba with you.”
Aqua said casually while taking out some small plates.
“Now’s not the time to eat, moron! What the hell is this?!”
I flashed the proposal that I took from Darkness before her nose.
“Eh? Isn’t this the proposal I made? ‘First, from next year onwards, change the festival name to the Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival and disassociate it from the Eris Church. Second, relax the restrictions on Tokoroten Slime…’ Hey, I don’t remember writing that second one!”
“I wrote the second point, Aqua-sama! I worked really hard this time, so I think I deserve a reward!”
“I see, that’s fine then. So? What’s wrong with this?”
“It’s not fine, and there’s tons of things wrong! Tell me what the hell this is about!”
Faced with my rage, Aqua started to talk with Cecily who was beside her.
“Hey, why do you think Kazuma’s so angry? Is it because we didn’t invite him to our celebration?”
“I don’t think so, Aqua-sama. It must be because we didn’t include his wishes when we wrote the proposal.”
Nodding in acknowledgement, Aqua swiftly wrote something on the proposal and then passed it to me.
“Third, from now on, swimsuits will be the official uniform for poster girls during the festival.”
“Moron! That’s not what I meant! Didn’t you get completely caught up in the moment and say you’d work hard and honestly?! Why would you do something like this?!
“Aaaaaaah!! Hey, what’re you doing?! I even went through all the trouble of adding in your wish, too!”
While Aqua was flaring up at me for tearing up the proposal, Cecily slowly came before me.
“Wait, how could you just waste Aqua-sama’s good will like that? I may be unworthy of representing the Axis Cult, but I’ll stand outside your house every night and endlessly sing hymns if I have to, you know?”
“Try it if you can! I’m going to punish every last person who did something this stupid, including you two!”
“W-Why?! We’ve worked so hard, shouldn’t it be okay to get just a little favorable treatment?! It’s like Cecily said, ‘Aqua-sama is Aqua-sama after all. You deserve to live a pleasant life, so from now on the Axis Cult will put its full effort into pampering you.’!”
“Don’t be so easily influenced by people you’ve just met! Look, just go home and stop getting involved with weird things like this already! That goes for you too, don’t make Aqua anymore useless than she already is!”
“What do you mean ‘weird things like this’?!”
Smoothly dodging the hand I’d reached out with to drag her back, Aqua nimbly hid behind a shocked Cecily.
“I’m not going back while this festival is still going. Yeah, I’m definitely not going back! …I’m a genius you know, I’ve figured it all out. As long as I stay here, everyone will worship me! And besides, even you have to agree that this festival has been a much bigger success than normal. No matter what happens, there’s no way they won’t hold a Goddess Aqua Thanksgiving Festival next year, and all the years after too. Meanwhile, just go outside and look at the Eris Church’s festival! Day after day, their customers have been streaming away to our stalls! Almost all of their stalls have fallen into slumps by now!”
Sheesh. Here I thought that I’d be able to just talk things out this time, but I guess a leopard just can’t change its spots.
After seeing her recent change, I’d thought for sure that she’d eaten something strange, but I guess whatever happened to her didn’t reach the roots.
Give me back the joy I felt over your improvement— Was what I thought, but I also felt some relief at seeing her normal self again. I hated myself for being like this.
Cecily interrupted with a self-satisfied look.
“It’s just as Aqua-sama said. Our stalls are very popular now. At this stage, it’s almost impossible for the Eris Church’s side to become popular again. Also… Please don’t think that you’re the only one with business sense here. Aqua-sama’s come up with some amazing plans!”
Anything Aqua came up with couldn’t be good.
After I left the church, I wandered around the city considering how to make them suffer.
Aqua had only gotten so carried away because the Axis Cult had honestly done well for themselves this festival.
Should I switch sides to the Eris Church and come up with some suggestions for new stalls?
…No, that wouldn’t work. I’m out of ideas, and even if we started preparing right now we’d only manage maybe one or two stalls at the most.
But there also wasn’t any other real options, so for now I should go to the Eris Church.
—When I arrived at the church, I saw…
“Hm? Assistant-kun, how’d it go?”
Chris was sweeping the grounds in front of the church with a broom.
Her question was probably about how I rushed over to yell at the Axis Cult after I heard about their proposal.
“I couldn’t do a thing. It’s too late for me to talk them out of this, and besides, they’re the type that can only learn by crashing and burning… What am I supposed to do now? This all only happened because I helped Aqua get a festival permit, so I’m at fault here. I’ll have to figure out some way to slap some sense into them before they do anything even dumber.”
I’d gotten serious, but Chris just shook her head.
“Senpai deserves to be thanked by the people for making this festival so popular. On the other hand, I couldn’t even recover Aigis. That armor is so conspicuous, yet I still couldn’t find its current location. Maybe not holding a festival for me next year is for the best. I might feel a little lonely, but I’m sure senpai will make the festival lively next year too!”
After saying that, she laughed helplessly.
She was laughing, but she seemed very lonely. Looking at her smile made my heart ache.
She was the thief whose naïvety got her into trouble. She was also the perfect goddess that everyone loved.
Not only was she my ideal type of girl, but she was also an important friend I could talk to about anything, from gossip about Megumin and Darkness to various stories about Japan.
And at the same time, she shared her secrets with me. Even though Aqua had also come to this world, she trusted me more.
When performing her duties as a goddess, she would stay in that white room alone.
When acting as the chivalrous thief, she was alone too.
She was my close friend, and my somewhat unreliable Big Boss—
She was the girl I longed for, the goddess I was happy to follow—
“I’m sorry I keep troubling you, Assistant-kun. First it was recovering the divine relics, and now it’s asking you to stop senpai’s recklessness.”
—She was sweeping the floor as if to cover up her loneliness…
“Thank you, Assistant-kun. You’re the only person who knows my true identity, as well as what I’ve been doing. I haven’t been secretly working against the Demon King’s army secret because I wanted to be praised but… Because of you, I feel like all of my hard work has been worth it.”
While smiling gently like the goddess Eris.
“Big Boss… No, Eris-sama. There’s something I’d like the Eris cultists to help out with.”
Facing the puzzled Chris, I once more repeated the phrase I’d said often to the committee members.
“I have a plan.”
—Today was the last day of the festival.
The weather was hot, but that didn’t stop the passions of the many customers.
“I’m very happy and honored to be the host of this event…”
Everyone was in Axel’s town square.
While standing on a stage in the middle of the square, a man wearing a tuxedo was speaking into a microphone-like magic item.
“A special event for this festival, organized by the Eris Church— The first Goddess Eris Beauty Pageant has officially begun!”
The host loudly announced. The audience below the stage cheered wildly.
This was my plan to kill two birds with one stone:
A beauty pageant organized by the Eris Church.
“Hey, Assistant-kun? There are so many things wrong with this situation I don’t know which one I should complain about.”
“It’s fine to just enjoy the festival, Big Boss.”
I casually responded to Chris’s helpless complaints.
I knew an event like this would make the festival more lively.
I knew it, but I didn’t actually think I could make it happen. I thought the straight-laced Eris cuItists wouldn’t tolerate adding Eris’ name to a beauty pageant.
But the situation was different now.
If the Eris cultists didn’t succeed here and now, their goddess might not have a Thanksgiving festival next year.
I used all of my might to convince the Eris cultists, which of course included Darkness. And at long last, this proposal became reality.
“I still can’t believe Darkness actually accepted your willful request.”
“Doesn’t that just show how important Eris-sama is to her?”
Darkness had ranted, “Using Eris-sama’s name for a beauty pageant is blasphemy!” and kept pestering me for a long time. I finally convinced her by saying, “This’ll restore the prestige of the Eris Church and help us recover a divine relic. Eris-sama won’t mind.”
Chris shyly scratched her cheek.
“I-If it’s just using my name, I don’t really mind…”
“Tell that to Darkness. She was still insisting that she didn’t want to go this morning.”
Chris and I were standing in the last row so we could see the entire square, including the stage.
That way, it’d be much easier to find and catch Aigis.
This wasn’t all just to save the Eris Church.
This beauty pageant was bait.
The precious divine relic that was still wandering around in the city might leave at any moment.
The fastest way to recover Aigis would be to find a beautiful woman that it could accept as a master.
So I asked Darkness to participate in the beauty pageant in order to be one of the lures…
“…Um, I think the main reason Darkness didn’t want to participate wasn’t the beauty pageant itself, it was…”
Chris was about to say something, but I couldn’t care less right now.
I’d rented a magic camera for the day and prepared a telephoto lens.
It was obvious what I wanted to do.
I aimed the camera at the stage.
The women of this city, who were especially confident in their looks, were all smiling on the stage.
“Now for the first contestant… Please tell us your name, age, and occupation!”
The major event involving the Eris Church, Chris, and Darkness had successfully started. But would Aigis really fall for a trap this simple?
This pageant was supposed to solve all of my problems at once but…
…Damn it, now I’m getting worried. I need to calm down, it’ll all work out.
That jerk’s thinking and behavior were both pretty predictable.
Although I’d rather not admit it, the fact was that that jerk was somewhat similar to me.
While vigilantly keeping an eye on the surroundings, I glanced at the beauties on the stage.
“Hmmm… In my opinion, she’s too thin. Her face is nice at least, but that’s about it…”
Chris thought that we would be in for the long haul, so she left to buy some drinks.
I was definitely just glancing.
Besides, I’d notice an armor as conspicuous as Aigis the second it appeared.
So I stared at the slender beauty and gave my own appraisal.
“Is that so? She seems like she’d have a strong personality type too. But you know, her figure is actually quite nice. It’s just her clothes that make her look thin.”
“That’s true, she definitely seems strong-willed. A slender body and a strong will, that’s a good combination. But she’s the type who looks thin in clothes, huh… I should’ve asked the judges to include a swimsuit segment.”
“Hey, why didn’t you include such an important item? What kind of idiot are you?!”
“I’ve caught you!”
“Ugh! What is this? What are you doing?! Don’t fool around while something so important is happening!”
I actually agreed that now was an important time, but one of the reasons this beauty pageant was even hosted was to catch this thing.
I tossed the net that I’d prepared earlier over Aigis, who’d appeared so blatantly before me.
The careless Aigis was easily caught by the net.
“I didn’t think you’d be dumb enough to take the bait so fast. This beauty pageant was organized to lure you out!”
“Wh-What did you say?! That’s actually a little impressive, my opinion of you has gone up!”
This idiot was what Chris and I had spent so much effort on?
I wished it could refund us.
“Anyway, you came way too fast! It hasn’t even been five minutes since the pageant started! You’d better apologize to Chris, she went off to buy some drinks because she thought this would take a while!”
“Hey, can you quiet down? I can’t hear that girl’s self-introduction. Look, the host is asking her what she’s been eating to get breasts that big.”
“…I guess there’s no other way, then. We’ll continue after she finishes. But I get to keep the upper hand here, okay?”
“That’s fine, we’ll resume after that girl goes backstage.”
After we decided on our temporary truce, I tried not to let Aigis out of my sight while I waited.
The guests around us didn’t notice the disturbance we made, they were fully concentrating on the stage.
Finally, the girl finished her introduction and walked off the stage.
“Okay, let’s continue! I went through a lot of trouble because of you, so you’d better behave yourself!”
“Hah, come at me if you can! The Sacred Armor Aigis more than lives up to its reputation! In the past, my master and I sliced and diced an exceedingly great number of monsters! Throw whatever you want at me, I’ll cut it to ribbons!”
As we started fighting again, we both tried various ways to gain the upper hand. And then—
“Alright, thank you very much. And that was Sonya’s introduction! Wow, that contestant sure had some splendid twin peaks! But the next entry shouldn’t be underestimated either! She’s the well-endowed contestant who could potentially be the winner of this pageant!! Now, open the curtains!”
The host’s words put the audience in an unusual frenzy.
Aigis and I both stopped pulling at the net and watched the stage intently.
The girl who appeared next really was impressive.
As for how impressive— She was probably a match for Wiz or Darkness…
“…Hey, can we wait until she finishes before starting again?”
“…It can’t be helped. Let’s wait until then.”
“Sorry about this. Also, can you take a picture with that camera? Don’t worry, I won’t try to escape.”
“……Now that I think about it, there’s not much point trying to hold you down. There are so many people around that even if you tried to run away in all of that armor I could just ask them all for help and catch you easily. And holding this pose is exhausting, too.”
I loosened my grip on the net and pointed the camera at the stage.
“Hey! Look at that, that’s foul play! Ugh, why couldn’t you arrange a swimsuit segment?!”
“I didn’t have a choice, I was in a tight spot too! My companion said that if she had to wear a swimsuit, she wouldn’t participate! But damn, now I’m kinda regretting it. If I knew things would be like this, I would’ve insisted…!”
Aigis and I complained while standing on our tiptoes to watch the beauty pageant—
“Hey, hey, hey, is that defenseless outfit really okay?! Then again, it is summer after all. I guess there’s nothing wrong with wearing a swimsuit!”
“She’s one of the poster girls, I was the one who suggested letting them wear swimsuits. It’s, um, to prevent heat stroke. Oh, and to make things more convenient during water fights.”
“You’re really quite clever. I suppose it can’t be helped if it’s to prevent heat stroke. It’d be bad if they got sick, after all. Woah there, the next girl isn’t very good. Her dress is cute, but she’s trying to get by on just her outfit and her makeup.”
“That’s just heresy, makeup should only enhance your natural look. If I were the judge, I’d deduct points for using that much.”
I complained, not that it stopped me from snapping a few shots anyways.
“Time for the next contestant! Everyone should be familiar with the destitute shop owner whose name is synonymous with ‘pitiful’! But recently she seems to have made some money, so the truth is somewhat different now! Her reason for participating is to win the prize money to clear her debts! Everyone, please welcome— the shop owner of Wiz’s Magic Tool Shop!”
“Yeeeeeees! It’s Wiz, it’s Wiz! Aaaah, I just knew that Wiz looked her best in an apron!”
“Hey, I want to hug this high level girl! I want to tightly hug this woman who looks so huggable! Or let her come inside me! But it’s obvious that she’s a magic user, how regrettable that her job is so incompatible with me. Damn it, why couldn’t she change to a frontline job?!”
Aigis and I were excited at Wiz’s unexpected appearance.
The audience was energetic too. I was worried that the high voltage atmosphere might make the next contestant nervous, but…
“Now then, next up is… Oh. It’s the contestants in succubus costumes! To think they’d dare to dress up as demons even though this pageant is being held in the honor of Eris-sama, these ladies are quite… bold…”
The excited host’s voice grew softer and softer before finally becoming silent.
I couldn’t blame him.
“Uwaaaaaaaaaaah! Hey, what is this? To think that there’d be three people with such a high level! And the sultry lady on the right and the loli on the left are both very nice, but just what’s the deal with that beauty in the middle?! I’ve never seen such gorgeousness! What a demon! No, a demon girl! That goes far beyond a mere devil, that’s an outright demon girl!”
As if it were broken, Aigis made a tremendous uproar. The audience was absolutely silent.
There were three succubi on the stage.
I was familiar with the ones on the left and right.
They worked at the shop I frequently visited.
But I had never seen the beauty in the middle, even though I was a regular customer.
Next time, I should ask for her to appear in my dreams.
The succubus beauty in the middle took over the microphone.
“Everyone, good evening. After seeing so many contestants, everyone must be a little tired… Let me strip off my clothes and bring everyone into the world of fantasy…!”
The beauty said with a seductive voice as she placed her hands on her clothes—
Everyone’s gazes were fixed on the succubus costume, which was very alluring to begin with.
Nobody in the audience spoke a word, having swallowed their saliva in anticipation of the next moment.
Was this beauty really going to strip in front of so many people?!
Was she serious?!
Had these lusty monsters been affected by the festive mood? Were they going to show their true forms?!
“Hey, hey, get the camera! Get the camera ready! Stay focused!”
“Ah— My bad! That was dangerous, even I got caught up… But that’s a true succubus for you, what a pro at fanservice!”
I set up the camera, preparing to take the best possible shot I could. And then, the beauty stripped off her clothes…!
“Gorgeous molting! Muwahahahahaha, did you think I was a succubus queen? Too bad, it was actually moi, the assistant of Wiz’s Magic Tool Shop! Oooh. This entire location is overflowing with negative emotions, how delicious!! Wiz’s Magic Tool Shop is currently offering life consultation. If anyone has any problems, please visit us!”
“Please don’t throw things onto the stage! I understand everyone’s feelings, I really do! But please stop throwing things!”
Even after Vanir and the two succubi had left, rubbish was still being thrown at the host, who was still on the stage.
It goes without saying that Aigis and I were throwing things too.
After the audience had calmed down, the host pulled himself together and pointed exaggeratedly at the other side of the stage.
“N-Now then! Next up is a favorite to win today. Surely everyone in this town must already know her! Sometimes she’s an adventurer and sometimes she’s the multiple-time champion of the Endurance Contest. And now, she’s a contestant in the Goddess Eris Beauty Pageant! Please welcome the daughter of the noble Dustiness family, Lady Lalatina Ford Dustiness!”
She was finally here!
Since she was good looking, I asked her to act as the bait for Aigis. But since I already caught Aigis back at the start of the pageant, her entry was kind of pointless now.
I wanted to ask Megumin too, but too bad she was still held up in the police station.
“Wow! Good, good, she’s very good! A pretty face, a sexy figure, and she’s a noble?! She’ll definitely get a high score!”
Aigis got excited when Darkness appeared.
Darkness had dressed up beautifully today, like she was a noble lady visiting a villa for leisure or something. She seemed very concerned about the pageant.
She was wearing the white dress that she usually wore in the mansion. She’d put on some light makeup, had her hair tied into a single braid hanging over her shoulder, and had a big white hat on her head.
Standing in front of the audience, she shyly blocked her blushing face with the hat and lowered her head.
“That’s right, that’s right! This girl is one of my companions. I asked her to participate as bait to lure you out!”
“Are you serious? She’s great, really great! Hey, I’ll let her be my master! I’d definitely protect that sexy body from harm!”
Not only was capturing Aigis unexpectedly easy, but finding it a new master also turned out to be simple.
“But she’s a Crusader, you know? A frontline job specialized in enduring the enemy’s attacks. Didn’t you say before that even an armor feels pain? And it might not be obvious right now, but she’s got a six pack of abs.”
“I see. Well, that’s not too bad… But a Crusader… Damn it, why’d she have to be a Crusader… I really love how she looks too, it’ll probably be hard to find someone better…”
Secretly, I agreed with Aigis’ troubled assessment.
It was true that from the outside, she looked great. Both her face and her figure were astounding.
If only her personality was better, then she would be perfect. But instead she turned out like that.
Sheesh, what a waste…
“Well, you might as well keep watching. There’re still other contestants.”
“You’re right, there’s no need to decide before the pageant is over. Oh, her self-introduction is starting.”
The host’s voice had gone up in tension, probably because Darkness was a noble.
“Now then, let’s do this properly! Everyone should already know you, but please give us your name, age, and occupation!”
“…My name is Lalataina Ford Dustiness… I’m 18, and right now I’m working as the temporary lord…”
Maybe it was because she was nervous, but Darkness’ voice was very soft even after the microphone amplified it.
Her inner turmoil was obvious, even from a distance.
At that moment, an adventurer in the audience shouted out.
“Lalatina! Speak louder, we can’t hear you!”
Then, one after another—
“You’re so pretty today, young lady!”
“What happened to your usual armor? But what you’re wearing right now is cute too, Lalatina!”
There were voices teasing her everywhere.
Besides me, Darkness was also well known among the adventurers in this town.
And these drunken adventurer acquaintances of hers were taking the opportunity to tease her.
Looking at her face, embarrassed to the verge of tears, awakened my inner sadist.
“Well done, Lalatina! Now’s your chance to show us the abs that you’re so proud of!”
“Isn’t she your companion?”
“You moron, isn’t that why I have to cheer her on? Look at that blushing face on the verge of tears. You won’t see something like that everyday, you know? She can definitely win like this!”
“I see, so you’re actually doing a good thing. Okay, I’ll help you! Hey miss, give us some more fanservice!”
Following my lead, Aigis egged her on. Seeing this, the other adventurers also started taunting her.
“Yeah, yeah, show us your body!”
“How about putting on a swimsuit?”
“Your lordship, lift up your skirt for us!”
The usually useless Darkness was now in the limelight like an idol.
I was very excited and shouted even louder.
“You might as well strip!”
Hearing this, Darkness looked at me with a shocked expression.
Whoops, I’ve been found.
“That’s right. Strip now!”
At this single moment in time, everyone in the square was of one mind. We all shouted out in unison for her to strip…!
“What are you two doing?”
Chris had returned with the drinks. Her icy voice sobered Aigis and I up.
“—Seriously, you guys are terrible. Don’t bully my friend.”
“It’s not like that, it’s just that when I saw all of the attention and cheering Darkness was getting, I got the impulse to set her up as a… super idol or something…”
“What kind of super idol gets yelled at to strip? …Even Aigis was messing around like this… You’re supposed to be a divine relic of the highest grade, too…“
We were at a place just a little bit away from the last row of the audience.
Standing in front of Chris, who was so disappointed that she was about to cry, Aigis and I were bowing our heads.
I spoke up as she was sighing deeply:
“But hey, at least we caught this thing like we were planning. And one way or another, this event’s made the Eris Church pretty popular too. Isn’t that a good thing?”
“This isn’t good at all! Anyway, how are we going to clean up this mess?!”
There were cries of anguish and complaints coming from the audience now.
Enraged by the repeated cries to strip, Darkness had pounced at the audience and started to beat up the adventurers.
The adventurers had frantically tried to resist, but since everyone was unarmed, Darkness had the upper hand.
…It might be a good idea to have her try fighting monsters unarmed next time.
“This is getting interesting, that girl’s tough! Beauties and brawls are the spice of any festival, I’m getting pumped too! Burn, my passion! Glow, my body! Alright, I’m joining in on this fight!”
“Don’t make this mess any bigger! Aaaaagh, Aigis, I’m begging you, please just settle down… Look, after the Demon King is defeated, I won’t just grant the hero’s wish with my authority as a goddess. I’ll grant your wish too, so please…
Chris sighed as she held down Aigis, whose excitement had been set off by the sudden brawl.
In response, Aigis shrugged.
“So this kid’s talking about being a goddess again. Listen, girlie, I know goddesses. I’ve met with them before. Or rather, it was a goddess who gave me to a certain girl. Anyway, let me tell you this: when it comes to goddesses, there isn’t a single decent one around.”
“What did you saaaaaaaaaay?!”
Yeah, there really wasn’t.
The goddess who (probably) gave this armor away and was currently in the midst of plotting evil deeds with her cult flashed through my mind.
“You…! You…!! Ugh, I can’t take this anymore! Before I find a suitable new master for you, I’ll seal you away in the lake! There are other divine relics in there, anyways, so you can just keep each other company!”
“A punch like that won’t leave a scratch on my body! I’m a divine relic, after all! Haha, you should try harder, little girl!”
I ignored Chris, who was still trying to punch Aigis despite the pain, and took a look at the surroundings.
The audience members nearby were all enjoying the ongoing fight between Darkness and the others.
This was far from what I’d planned, it was practically becoming a circus show. Still, it was definitely really lively.
But what about the main goal of this event?
Luring Aigis out was our goal.
But we were also supposed to be using today’s festival to restore the authority of the Eris Church…
—And then, by chance, we learned that this goal had not yet been achieved.
“Man, that was hilarious. I guess this was supposed to be a beauty pageant, but all of the famous girls in our town only look nice. Something like this was bound to happen. But you know, for something that straight-laced Eris Church came up with, this was actually kinda fun.”
Said one of the audience members before us.
“Yeah, I guess. But personally, I think we should just let the Axis Cult host the festival next year. Those Axis cultists are all idiots, but they sure know how to throw a festival!”
“That’s right, those people might be idiots, but they’re always so merry! They really are idiots, though!”
Similar comments sprung up everywhere. There were even people who wanted to leave after finding out who was the most beautiful girl in town.
Chris stopped her attacks on Aigis.
“The Eris Chuch really did work hard, but for something like an annual festival it’s just better for things to be lively.”
“That’s for sure. I heard the planning committee’s still thinking about whether or not they should officially change it to the Aqua Festival next year. It might end up a vote.”
“Is that so? Well anyways, I bet the Axis cultists are doing some stupid stuff right now at their stalls. Let’s go over there once this event’s over.”
“Ah-Ahahah. The children here worked really hard, but I guess it couldn’t be helped. But wow, I guess people really are talking about canceling the Eris Festival from next year.”
As if to avoid worrying me, Chris smiled and looked at me. She seemed very lonely.
“Actually, I guess I shouldn’t have been having fun at a festival in the first place. Even as we speak, a lot of people are being tormented by monsters… So I need to focus on gathering as many of the divine relics as I can.”
Chris, who had been secretly doing good deeds for the world, said while pretending not to mind.
She then looked at Aigis again.
“Please, Aigis. Will you obey me?”
“Guh… This scene is a little moving, but I won’t obey you just because you look sad!”
“Hey, Aigis. I’ll introduce you to a very beautiful girl, so could you listen to Chris’s orders?”
“Hm? A very beautiful girl? …Wait, I know what you’re planning. You’re talking about that, aren’t you? That masked man from earlier! You’re just going to make that guy transform into a beautiful girl then tell me, ‘Look, I introduced you to a beautiful girl.’ Well you won’t fool me so easily—“
“Big Boss… No. Let me address you as Eris-sama… I have a somewhat— No, a very difficult request.”
I interrupted Aigis’ speech, looked into Chris’s eyes and lowered my head.
Chris looked a bit embarrassed.
“Hey, isn’t this girl named Chris? What do you mean by Eris-sama? Has your brain… Hm? Is this heat stroke? Or maybe a fever? Anyways, this won’t do. You said it yourself, it’s important to prevent heat stroke. Wait here, I’ll get a doctor. Consider it your reward for coming up with such a wonderful plan—“
“It’s fine, Assistant-kun… No. I will listen to your request, Kazuma-san. If it is within my capabilities, please tell me.”
Chris looked at me seriously.
“Bah! I might have a calm temperament, but I’ll still get angry if you keep ignoring me! Hey, what’re you two planning?!”
I spoke to Aigis, who was complaining in a metallic voice after being ignored.
“Hey, Aigis. I’ll let you see the real thing next.”
In the end, the berserk Darkness was subdued by the management and brought to a room to calm down alone.
The scene was still a bit restless, but at least the event could continue now. The host on the stage used his microphone once more.
“Um, the disturbance has more or less ended. Now then, all of the contestants have shown themselves. It’s time to announce the winner of the Goddess Eris Beauty Pageant—“
At the moment the host said this.
—The noisy crowd suddenly fell silent.
The rowdy adventurers.
The merchants who were preparing to leave.
Everyone, regardless of gender or age, was focused on the stage.
At some point, a gently smiling girl had appeared in the middle of the stage.
“…What… Huh? Uh, um…”
Everyone was staring at the girl. Only the host managed to say something—
“…Um. We’ll consider you as a last minute contestant… if that’s… okay…?”
The girl continued to stand in the center of the stage, smiling warmly.
The beauty’s face, her dress, her everything, it all looked like the commonly depicted form of the goddess Eris in this world.
“That’s alright. I’m sorry for deciding to join the contest at the very last minute. I must have troubled everyone.”
Eris put her hands together and bowed to apologize. That alone was enough to cause the host almost unbearable embarrassment.
“N-N-N-N-N-No, it’s okay! Amazing! What an amazing surprise! Thank you very much for participating in this Goddess Eris-sama Beauty Pageant!”
And just like that, the host added “–sama” to the name of the event. Maybe he’d somehow sensed the true identity of the girl standing in front of him.
But everyone still had some doubts like, “Would this really happen?”.
The square that had suddenly fallen into silence as if time had frozen began to move once more, though there still wasn’t much noise.
Completely silent and totally still, Aigis stood beside me.
Finally, the host on the stage pulled himself together and awkwardly moved the microphone before Eris’ face.
“So, um, so then… Because every contestant needs to answer some questions, please forgive me but… If you can, could you please tell us your name and such…”
The host asked in trepidation and anticipation.
Hearing his question, Eris smiled so sweetly that everyone sighed. She said:
“My name is Eris.”
In an instant, cheers echoed through the city square.
There were people fanatically screaming “Eris-sama”.
There were people silently looking up at Eris as if they were intoxicated.
There were also people who put their hands together in sincere prayers.
The people near me, who were possibly Eris cultists, kneeled down and cried.
“S-So this is the power of a goddess. This goes way beyond any of my expectations.”
A bit uneasy with this exaggerated reaction, I tried to speak to Aigis, who was still standing as still as a statue next to me.
Then, the unmoving Aigis finally started to tremble.
“I’ve found her…”
It said softly.
“I’ve found her. I’ve found heeeeeeeeeeer! I did it, I found her! I’ve found my master! Who is she? Hey, who is she!? Why is there such a beautiful girl in this world!? I don’t understand. I don’t understand!!”
“H-Hey, calm down! It’s weird saying this to an armor that shouldn’t even have a personality, but you’re breaking characterI”
I tried to calm the panicked Aigis down. Meanwhile, the host continued his questions on the stage.
“I, um, uh, wow, uh, th-thank you very much! Thank you very much for answering my question! Um… There are still two more questions, so…”
The excited host flinched and asked.
The two remaining questions were her age and her occupation.
“Those are a secret.”
She playfully closed one eye and put her index finger to her lips.
Cheers resounded once again. The entire scene was shaking.
As was a person— No, an armor…
The (self-proclaimed) divine relic roared as it shook unnaturally!
“No good! This is just no good! Eris-sama, please stop making those killer moves! I, Aigis, cannot endure any more of your mischievous poses!”
“You’re the only no good thing here, are you even the same armor anymore?! Anyways, you’re being noisy so shut up. If you can do that, I’ll introduce you to her.”
Hearing this, Aigis trembled violently.
“Seriously!? Really? Did you… No, did milord just say that I’d be introduced to that lady?!”
“Yeah, isn’t it like I just said? ‘I’ll introduce you to a very beautiful girl, so could you listen to Chris’s orders?’ By the way, the goddess Eris standing over there is actually Chris. She said she was a goddess a few times herself, but you just refused to believe her.”
“Fuuuuuck! What should I do? What should I do!? How should I apologize to Eris-sama!? Hey, you, come and apologize with me. I’ll let you wear me for a while!”
Honestly, I didn’t want to wear Aigis, but it had no more reason to disobey Chris now.
I smiled bitterly at her, who was watching us from the stage and smiling happily—
“The goddess Eris-sama has descended!”
I heard someone shouting loudly.
“—Eris-sama, please shake my hand! Recently, I’ve been really unlucky! Please bless me as the goddess of luck!”
Who said that?
Perhaps it was a very urgent wish. This person’s shout was heard clearly even amidst the noise and fervor.
The scene quieted down as a result.
…Wait. Wasn’t this situation really bad?
“Me too! Eris-sama, please shake hands with me too!”
“You idiot, I was first!”
“Eris-sama, I have a hungry kitten at home! Please bless me so I can win the lottery on my way home…!”
The excited audience members were trying to climb onto the stage.
“Everyone, please calm down! Please don’t climb onto the stage!”
The host tried to maintain order, but nobody was listening to him anymore.
On stage, Eris was a bit troubled, but she still shook hands with her believers.
Eris-sama, you’re too obliging. Everything would’ve been fine if you’d just solemnly refused!
“Hey, we have to protect Eris-sama!”
“Y-Yeah, this is getting bad! Look. There’s a greedy idiot who’s holding Eris-sama’s hand and refusing to let go!”
Shouting these words, the Eris cultists near me charged.
This was indeed getting bad. The mood was like an idol shaking hands with her fans, but these people were unnaturally excited. It wouldn’t be weird if someone tried to pull something bad.
“Hey, Aigis, help out already! If this keeps up, Eris-sama will get squashed! If you want to apologize to her, then do a good job protecting her!”
“Oh! What is this development that could let me die without regrets?! I’ll definitely protect her! I’ll super protect her! Let me, the Sacred Armor Aigis, protect Eris-sama’s untainted body and her chaste blood!”
“Huh? No, um, what do you mean by chaste blood…? You must not know much about this. Do you even know what that means?”
“Eris-sama is a goddess, so she must be a virgin! She must be the type that will scream and cover her face in embarrassment when she sees a naked man. But she’ll still peek through her fingers because she’s slightly curious. She’s kind-hearted and gentle, so her scent is very fragrant.”
How obsessed were you?
“Hey, hurry up already! Once you reach the stage, hide Eris-sama inside yourself then break through the mob!”
“This is great! To think I’d become one with Eris-sama so soon! E-Eris-sama will be inside my body… Heheheh…”
“Hey, are you really okay? Why do I suddenly feel like you’re the most dangerous thing here? You should just concentrate on clearing the mob, didn’t you say you were good at fighting?”
As if to answer me, Aigis charged into the chaotic mob.
“Indeed. After finding my true master, I’m blazing hotter than anyone else in this crowd! Make way! Touch me and you’ll get burnt!”
“Agh, hot! What’s wrong with this guy?! Who wears a full suit of armor on a day as hot as this? He’s crazy!”
“Don’t push! Your hot plate armor’s going to burn… No… Ugh!”
“Pour some water on this guy!”
Oh, right. This thing had been standing around for a while on such a hot day. The entire armor must be scorching.
I passed through the crowd, which had split up to escape the scorching Aigis, charging right for the stage.
“K-Kazuma-san! H-How should we resolve this disturbance…?”
Eris asked in panic as she continued to honestly shake hands with the mob.
“Aigis is coming. Hide inside him and escape to somewhere quiet! …Hey, you! Stop holding onto Eris-sama’s hand! If you like shaking hands so much, then give my hand a try!”
“No, stop! I’ve already vowed to never to wash my hand again for the rest of my life!”
I forcefully shook his hand and made him cry. At this moment, Aigis had made its way past all of the people and arrived on the stage.
“Sorry for the wait, master. Please enter my body! The chant to equip me is ‘I want to be Aigis’ bride!’ Hurry, say it!”
“I-I want to be Aigis’ br…”
“Don’t be tricked, Eris-sama! And you! Stop messing around already, this isn’t the time!”
Aigis shrugged in regret.
“If I must… Come, master! Combine!”
And then, the armor emitted a glaring light.
The light was so bright that everyone, including the host and I, hurriedly shut their eyes. And when we opened them to look at Eris again…!
“Hot! It’s so hot, Kazuma-san! I’m going to be cooked!”
Eris cried out in anguish from within the armor.
Not good. I forgot this thing was really hot right now.
I lifted my right hand towards Aigis.
“Magic is useless.”
Oh, right. Skills and magic didn’t work on this thing!
“Where did Eris-sama go?!”
“Did she return to the heavens?”
“No, those two guys who climbed onto the stage did something!”
After realizing Eris had vanished in the flash of light, the crowd started climbing onto the stage while pointing at Aigis and I.
“This is bad… Hey, Aigis! I’ll draw their attention, you run away with Eris-sama!”
“Leave it to me! And since you’re so working hard, let me reward you with some good news! Just as I thought, Eris-sama smells really good!”
This thing was hopeless.
But, well, I’m still kind of happy to hear that!
“K-Kazuma-san?! The crowd is getting violent, that’s too dangerous…!”
Unconcerned with Aigis’ naughty words, Eris called out in a fuzzy voice from inside the armor.
“It’ll be fine. These guys don’t have any weapons, I can’t lose.”
That’s right. If the opponents are unarmed, then I have the advantage with my Drain Touch skill.
I raised my hand towards the people who were climbing onto the stage.
“Why don’t you cool your heads?! Create Water!”
As I said that, a great deal of water rained down on their heads!
“Gwah?! This bastard!”
“You’ve really done it now! Hey, let’s do him in!”
“That’s Kazuma, the infamously weak adventurer! Gang up on him!”
The people who I’d just drenched climbed onto the stage and charged right at me.
I’d successfully gotten their attention.
Perhaps because Eris was still resisting inside the armor, Aigis hadn’t left yet. So I said:
“Big Boss, please get out of here. It’s the minion’s job to cover for the boss when they have to escape capture, after all.”
I turned my back on Aigis, who was still hadn’t moved, and faced the crowd.
“Anyways, today’s the last day of the festival. When you think about festivals, you should think of stalls and fireworks. And of course, the spice of any festival, a brawl!”
I clenched my fist.
“Bring it on!”
Aigis must have finally brought her away, because Eris’ voice was getting more and more distant behind me. Listening to her shouts, I charged the angry mob——!
Standing in front of me with her arms crossed, Darkness was looking down at me.
“Well if it isn’t the mastermind. So? What do you have to say for yourself about this incident?”
After making a scene at the beauty pageant, I was arrested by the police and thrown into jail.
After being instructed to “stay here and calm down”, I spent the last day of the festival hugging my knees alone in jail. And then, finally…
“Hey. I’m grateful you bailed me out, but isn’t this treatment is a bit much?”
Thanks to Darkness, I was released from jail. But upon returning to the mansion, I was immediately forced to sit up straight in the living room.
Aqua was sitting right next to me. She was hugging Emperor Zell and looking at me with glowing eyes.
It looks like this moron did something dumb.
But why did Aqua look at me like I’d come to join her in getting lectured?
Like me, Megumin was also released due to Darkness pulling some strings. She was tiredly lying on the sofa while looking at me as if she didn’t know what to say.
“And why are you calling me a mastermind? Tell me the details of what happened after I was arrested by the police.”
Although I couldn’t imagine what I might’ve done wrong, I still placed my hands on the carpet, ready to bow my head at a moment’s notice.
“Then let me ask you… When you suggested to the shopping district chairman to let both cults jointly host the festival, did you say: ‘If we incite Axis Cult and Eris Church to compete, the festival will become livelier and the shopping district will make more money.’?”
I kneeled down at lightning speed.
Darkness continued to speak.
“And I heard from Aqua that you were the one who first thought of combining the Eris Thanksgiving Festival and the Aqua Thanksgiving Festival. Meanwhile, the shopping district chairman said that you were the one who came up with those suspicious proposals like making the poster girls wear swimsuits and that costume parade… It’s all true, isn’t it, Mr. Advisor? This was brought over by the chairman. He said it was your reward.”
It seemed everything was exposed when the chairman sent the reward over.
Very few people knew that I was living with Darkness.
What should I do? Everyone’s gazes were so icy.
Could I get by by playing the fool?
“Don’t make that guilty expression like we’re bullying you. But still, I guess I shouldn’t blame you. It’s not like keeping a cut of the festival’s profits was something the previous landlord did. You should be proud of yourself and openly take this money… What? Aren’t you going to take it, Mr. Advisor?”
Intentionally pretending to be understanding, Darkness showed me a huge bag of money.
Just stop. You might as well just scold me fiercely.
“Darkness, wait. There’s something I’m concerned about too… Kazuma. I’ve heard that recently, you’ve gotten close to a lot of women. For example, you’ve supposedly been out drinking all night with those women who dressed up as succubi. Now I’m not saying you can’t do that. After all, it’s not like you’re dating anyone.”
Megumin suddenly tossed out a bomb.
“Y-You really did as you pleased this time… Um, but I guess it’s not my place to criticize your private life. We don’t have that kind of relationship, after all… But we were getting along so well, don’t you feel guilty at all?”
Hey, Darkness, what’re you saying?
When she heard that, Megumin snapped her head towards Darkness.
“Wait, I just heard something I can’t ignore! When were you two ‘getting along so well’? What’s that supposed to mean? Do you think you’re some kind of princess now after he saved you from the landlord? But more importantly, exactly how well are you two getting along? What stage are you at? Did you cross the line during the festival and enter a physical relationship? That’s just debauchery!”
“N-No, it’s not like that…! Actually, we don’t even have a physical relationship yet…!”
“Did you say ‘yet’? So it’s going to become that kind of relationship someday?! You slut!”
Darkness cried out in anguish while being pestered by Megumin. I turned to Aqua—
“Hey, Aqua. Don’t you think that right now I’m like a harem protagonist?”
“Wait, you’re being lectured right now. Why are you so happy?”
Hearing our conversation, Darkness hurriedly spoke up to avoid Megumin’s interrogation.
“Anyways. Anyways! Aqua! Next up is you! Really, how are you going to solve this?!”
Darkness’ hair was already a mess.
“…Darkness, let’s talk this over. It’s like that masked devil said, humans are a species capable of communicating.”
While sitting next to me, Aqua placed Emperor Zell on her knees and said something unusually reasonable.
By the way, what’d she actually do?
“That’s true. I think communication is very important too. Yes, if you’d talked to me from the start, things wouldn’t have become like this.”
Darkness replied after thinking for a bit.
—When I asked for details, it turned out to be like this:
On the day of Goddess Eris Beauty Pageant.
The Axis cultists were getting carried away because their stalls had been very profitable recently. They decided to use one of Aqua’s business schemes to deliver a finishing blow to the Eris Church.
It was one of the fabulous plans that Cecily had mentioned.
This moron who knew way too much about Japanese business had gotten involved with a ridiculous scheme.
“But wow, who would’ve thought that you could come up with such an impressive marketing scheme. A scheme that’s only profitable for the people at the top, too. Hey, isn’t it amazing that Aqua came up with something so amazing?”
Megumin asked as if she was impressed.
Meanwhile, Darkness leaned forward as if that weren’t important at all.
“So, just who taught you this ‘pyramid scheme’? I find it quite hard to believe that you could come up with such a difficult crime on your own.”
Darkness brought her face close to Aqua.
Aqua turned and pointed.
“Stop screwing around, you’re just trying to frame me! Wait, now that I think about it, a long time ago when I was complaining about our debts I said ‘Sheesh. We can’t make money at all. Maybe I should try out a pyramid scheme.’ And then I explained how to do it!”
“So it was you! How involved do you have to be in this incident before you’re satisfied?!”
“Wait, I didn’t ask her to do this! In my country, this was widely considered criminal… Hey, Aqua. You should’ve known very well that this was criminal! Don’t pretend you didn’t hear that part!”
That’s right. This idiot used the Axis cultists to run a pyramid scheme.
The legal system in this parallel world was not as extensive as the one on Earth, so it had no resistance against pyramid schemes.
And thanks to all the people drawn in by the festival, the pyramid grew rapidly and made a lot of money in just one day.
In fact, it made too much money.
So much that Darkness immediately noticed.
Aqua suddenly lifted her head to look at Darkness.
“I couldn’t help it! I heard that Eris herself shamelessly joined the beauty contest pageant! If things kept going the way they were, the Eris Church would become popular again! And besides, I needed a lot of money to host the Aqua Festival by itself next year…!”
“That’s not an excuse to commit a crime! And now that I think about it, the root of this problem was you whining about wanting the Axis Cult to host a Thanksgiving Festival…”
“But, but, isn’t it unfair to only praise Eris? Why can’t I have a festival!? Why can’t I be praised!? I want to be served and worshipped too! And besides, pyramid schemes aren’t considered a crime!”
“You’re right, they’re not a crime yet. Not yet, that is! There just isn’t a law regarding this new form of scam yet, it’s clearly something wicked!”
As their argument started to heat up, Megumin and I shared a look and smiled bitterly.
“Since the law couldn’t stop me, what I did can’t be considered a crime! So give me back the money I made! Give me back the funds for next year’s Aqua Festival!”
“That money has already been returned to the victims! Aqua, if you keep this up, you’ll have a criminal record like Megumin and Kazuma!”
“Hey, wait, I only got put in jail to clear my head, that’s not a criminal record!”
“Yeah, what he said! I only got warned by the police, too!”