Gifting a fateful explosion to this evil god!
Editors: Adam, BlitzBlast, Cannongerbil, Skythewood, Xenthur
The next day; After Aqua had caused trouble in our encounter with Wolbach—
“There’ll be no problems this time. Please let me do it!”
Megumin – who had hesitated to attack Wolbach yesterday – rushed into my room.
“Will you really be fine? What was up with you yesterday…? Was it because the enemy looked like a human? I mean, I understand how you feel. I can’t attack such a beautiful onee-san without hesitation either…”
Megumin furiously shook her head.
“To me, it doesn’t matter if the enemy is a human or a child. As long as they provide a large amount of experience points, I will attack without remorse, but…um…”
Like yesterday, Megumin hesitated to speak her mind.
She had been a little strange ever since yesterday.
Well, to be fair, even Yunyun seemed troubled by yesterday’s event. Her usual excitement was nowhere to be seen, and she had holed herself up in her room ever since.
Before coming here, I had noticed that Megumin seemed to be particularly sensitive to the name ‘Wolbach’. Perhaps she had a secret she couldn’t tell me about…
“I don’t really know too much about your situation, but we can’t rely on an ambush anymore. Our target will be more cautious from now on, thanks to a certain idiot who dumped water on her. Anyway, even though the fortress walls weren’t struck by explosion magic, it still received damage.”
It was a mistake to make an ambush in the forest near the fortress.
Aqua’s flood of water dealt the final blow to the fortress, which was already on its last legs.
Although she was forced to repair the fortress walls against her will, that was still nothing compared to what she had done.
The worst part was that we let our enemy know that we had the goddess Aqua on our side.
Even though this piece of junk lived day-to-day eating and sleeping without a care in the world, even though she would happily play with children despite her age, even though she would still get lost in Axel despite having spent such a long time there, she was actually a goddess.
After yesterday’s incident, there was no doubt that the enemy would be cautious of an ambush.
“…Is that so…? Well, if there’s anything you need help with, please feel free to call me. Even though I say that, my only strength is explosion magic…”
Megumin showed a wry smile.
“We still need to make a plan with everyone, so just take it easy-”
And go eat something…
Just as I was about to say this—
At the beckon of a familiar roar, the fortress began to shake violently.
—Megumin and I rushed to the scene.
When we arrived, the others were already inspecting the situation.
As we arrived—
“We need some help here! Go call someone who knows earth magic or golem summoning magic! We need to reinforce the walls before they collapse!”
The knights and adventurers were hurriedly moving to repair the crumbling wall.
I tried to look for Wolbach—
“There’s not even a trace of her here… She probably used teleport again to escape and buy herself time to recover her magic power.”
Megumin said as she looked for Wolbach with me.
Using explosion magic and then teleporting away—
It was a simple, but extremely effective strategy.
—It was something that we couldn’t allow to continue.
I moved towards the fortress wall, and planned to use ‘Create Earth’ to create some materials that could be used to repair the castle wall. I should contribute at least this much…
“—Ah! Hey, what happened here!? Why does the wall look worse than before!?”
A familiar voice came from beside us.
“…What’s with this costume, Aqua?”
Aqua – who was dressed in construction worker clothes – reminded me of the time when we had first arrived in Axel. Her head was wrapped in a bandana.
“What do you mean by ‘What’s with this costume’? Kazuma told me to participate in the fortress repairs, so I went to prepare…But then what happened here!? Who did such a terrible thing to our work!?”
“It was that evil god from yesterday. Didn’t I already tell you that she was the one destroying the fortress walls? Well, since you’ve already spent the effort to dress up, hurry up and go help everyone with the repairs over there.”
As I said that, I casted ‘Create Earth’ on a damaged portion of the castle wall.
…This work will continue for a while…
The adventurers and soldiers looked absolutely uninspired.
They gathered the rubble, and tried to fit it into the holes of the wall—
“Wait a second! You can’t do it like that! When constructing a wall, you need to first consolidate the foundation and then create an embankment around it. After that, use the plaster to reinforce the connections. So first, do it like this, and then this. Finally, it should be like this!”
Aqua’s excited voice came from behind me.
She must’ve been reminded of the time when we were constructing the outer wall of Axel.
Well, despite how she looked, she seemed to like manual labor.
As I was thinking about such pointless things, a commotion seemed to have began where Aqua was.
As I turned to look behind me, Megumin was stacking the dirt up, and Aqua worked on the cracks of the wall—
“How are you so fast!? And this quality…!? Hey, wait a sec!? What’s happening here!? Since when did you learn such high-level construction skills!?”
I exclaimed in surprise.
With a tone of ‘what are you saying now?’, Aqua replied:
“Who do you think I am? When I told the construction boss ‘I have adventurer work to do, so I’m not going to work anymore,’ he went down on his hands and knees to beg me to give up working as an adventurer and become a full-time employee!”
For real? The construction boss never tried to stop me though…
Well, I don’t really care about that.
When I was working with her, I didn’t really pay attention to what she did, but from the perspective of a spectator, there was no doubt that her techniques were on the level of a pro.
For a while now, I’ve been wondering why she learned so many pointless skills, but on this rare occasion, her skills were actually useful.
Prior to this, the people of the fortress had a rather heavy mood; after all, the fortress was on the verge of collapsing due to Wolbach’s attacks.
That’s why we tried to ambush her…
However, the parts of the wall that were repaired by Aqua were even harder than before.
“Hey, aren’t your skills a bit too perfect? Do you have some wall-repairing cheat or something? Also, isn’t this drying too fast?”
“Who do you take Aqua, the goddess of water for? I can control the water inside this to make it dry quicker you know? Think back, when it’s my turn to wash the clothes, the clothes always dry really quickly right?”
From now on, I’ll leave all the chores to her.
As usual, the fortress began to shake with a violent roar.
To think that she would continue to diligently cast explosion…
I turned to face Aqua, who became idiotically excited at the sound, and said:
“Yo Repair Chief, it’s your time to shine.”
“Leave it to me! Everyone, follow me! Today I’ll let you witness the chief’s artistry!”
“Chief, we’ll leave it to you!”
“Repair Chief, I’ll be in your care!”
At my command, Aqua – accompanied by a group of adventurers and soldiers – pridefully walked to the scene.
Darkness – who had temporarily become the commander of the fortress – had given Aqua the amusing title of ‘Repair Chief’.
“Repair Chief. Your task today is very important. The fate of the fortress is in your hands… then, please go ahead.”
“I understand, commander! There’ll be no problem, I’m the chief after all. Since I am such an impressive chief, there’s no way I would lose to that petty evil god!”
“As expected of the chief! Let’s go, the walls are waiting for us to repair it! Let’s see your magnificent performance today!”
The chief – who had been completely tricked by Darkness – cheerfully entered her stage.
—Three days after Aqua received the wageless and powerless title of ‘Repair Chief’.
Even though it was being attacked by explosion every day, the fortress walls were only becoming thicker and stronger with each passing day.
Why didn’t that idiot do this for a living?
The people whom had been forced to worked around the clock gradually regained their spirits. Aqua, on the other hand, seemed to gleefully enjoying being called ‘Chief’ by her now-subordinates. She even shared the wine she had brought with everyone. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that everyone was exploding with confidence.
“…Uhm, where did that heavy mood a while back go?”
“Mhm… I wasted a night thinking about that…”
The two Crimson Demons who saw Aqua off showed troubled expressions.
I understood how they felt, but now was the time for more reliable strategies.
Because we were able to drag this out, we were able to reinforce the fortress walls, and sent a mage with teleportation to report to the capital.
Since we had managed to turn the battle into a stalemate despite the limited resources, the higher-ups began to believe that if they invested more efforts into this battle, we would eventually be able to turn this around. As a result, they began to send more supplies, as well as reinforcements of adventurers and knights.
The chief who was dearly loved by her subordinates, who carried the fate of the fortress on her shoulders, did not seem to treat the daily explosions as anything special.
In the end, she not only repaired and expanded the walls, she even began to make some magnificent murals on them—
In response to this different-from-usual announcement, Aqua and I turned to look at each other.
“—-What is this!?”
Wolbach uncontrollably trembled when she saw the main gate of the fortress.
“W-What do you mean by ‘what is this!?”
I fearfully asked under the gaze of the adventurers and soldiers.
As the person who was most familiar with Wolbach, and as someone who held a conversation with her in the past, I went to meet her.
She seemed to be displeased with my attitude, and furiously stamped her foot.
“I’m talking about the walls! It looked like it was on the verge of collapse a while ago, so how did it become like this!? Aren’t the walls thicker than last time!?”
“You’ll have to ask Aqua about that…”
“So it’s that woman’s fault—!”
Wolbach reacted intensely the moment I mentioned Aqua.
She probably held a grudge regarding their earlier encounter.
“Ah hah~, and here I thought someone important came…Hm? Isn’t this, um… Who is this person?”
“Wolbach! …It seems like it’s time for us to settle our differences… Um, eh?”
Wolbach prepared to confront Aqua, who had appeared behind me in a nonchalant manner. Then she—
Froze at the sight of Darkness’ group. Rather, it was more precise to say that Wolbach froze after seeing Megumin, who carried Chomusuke in her arms.
Wolbach stared at Chomusuke.
And Chomusuke stared back at her.
Seeing the evil god and the creature stare at one another, Aqua could no longer remain silent.
“Hey, stop, stop! Can you not look at our Chomusuke like that!? Even though you have a crude face, could it be… that you are the type to like cute dolls and stuff? That means your interests are a lot like Darkness’…”
“Hey, Aqua! I don’t like those kinds of dolls…! Why would some like me…!”
Aqua ignored Darkness, who began to furiously rebut her claims, and walked beside me. She stood in the way of Wolbach and Chomusuke’s seemingly intimate exchange.
“I’m not looking at it because it’s cute… but, well, it actually is quite cute…-?”
Wolbach suddenly stopped murmuring.
“Hey, you, what did you call that black cat?”
“Didn’t I just call it Chomusuke? Well, at first I thought the name was quite strange, but recently, I’ve began to think that it’s actually quite nice.”
“Hey, can you please not call its magnificent and powerful name strange?”
Hearing Aqua and Megumin’s short exchange, Wolbach—
“What the heck is this!?”
—shouted in disbelief, and slowly walked towards us.
However, she quickly stopped in her tracks.
Despite her emotional outburst, it seems that she was still aware of the adventurers standing behind us.
With a look of regret, she said:
“…Ah…uhm, if you don’t mind, I just want to say something. I think that that little one is a female… So I don’t think its name is very suitable…”
“Chomusuke is Chomusuke. It is my familiar and my pet.”
“Wh-What!? Hey, What did you say!? Why is my other half being treated so cruelly!?”
Wolbach suddenly spouted such outlandish things.
“…Hah, and here I was wondering why your divinity was so low. So it’s because our little one here has taken half of your power? …Hoho, with my peerless vision, I can see that some sort of seal has been placed on Chomusuke.
Said Aqua, who approached and examined Chomusuke.
In a way that seemed to be more than mere coincidence, Chomusuke began to struggle out of the hold of Megumin’s arms. It seems that it wanted to go to Wolbach.
Seeking her other half, Wolbach extended her arm and began to slowly walk towards us.
“We can’t let her have it! Megumin, don’t let go of Chomusuke!”
“Wait a second! Hey, that little one is my other half you know!? This should be the time for an emotional reunion between long lost other halves!”
Wolbach protested with a teary face.
“I don’t know what you want with our Chomusuke, but can you promise to not oppose us? Can you promise to not attack the fortress again? If you can’t, then we can’t just give our enemy a power-up, you know?”
As I said this—
“Hey, don’t come any closer. I don’t really hate you, so I came to talk to you, but if you want me to let go of this little guy, then you’ll have to listen to what I say. Well, how about this, since you’re a god, why don’t you bet on your name that you won’t ever oppose us again?”
—I began to laugh in a villainous manner that made everyone here uncomfortable.
Even the hardened adventurers around me released some uneasy murmurs. In a way, it made me I feel like I was doing some unsightly things.
No, this is merely an act to prevent things from taking a turn for worse…!
Anyway, I don’t care what these adventurers think about me… As long as my companions take my side…
“Hey, is this guy an evil god as well? I mean, what kind of person can make an evil god cry?”
“Don’t say that Aqua. This guy is trying his best to associate with others in his own way. For his sake, you should say those things later.”
“Kazuma-san, that’s a bit bad…”
… I want to cry as well.
“…I’ll retreat for today, but don’t get so full of yourselves! Even if I can’t destroy the walls, the situation is merely a stalemate. As long as this fortress exists, my side has no way to advance to the capital. However, as long as we have control of the forest, you won’t be able to defeat us either.”
“What’s next is a battle of attrition! Until the walls and those murals are thoroughly annihilated, I will continue to attack!”
Just as she was about to teleport away—
“U-, Uhm! Can I ask whether or not you still remember me!? My-, name is…Yunyun…”
Yunyun, who had been silently observing the situation alongside Megumin, suddenly said such odd things.
“…I remember you. That time on the carriage, I invited you to join me on my journey… By the way, your name isn’t a nickname either, right…?”
As I thought, she didn’t just know me, but she knew Yunyun as well.
“It’s my real name! Uhm… I remember that incident clearly as well! I even wrote it in my diary, and I would occasionally go back and read it.”
“I-Is that so…? To be honest you don’t have to take that incident to heart… but I guess it’s fine if you’re happy.”
Wolbach seemed to be at a loss for words.
Megumin uttered nervously in quick succession, and tightened her hold on Chomusuke.
“Do you still remember me? My name is Megumin…”
Wolbach showed a wry smile.
“I don’t remember.
With a small voice, she activated her teleportation magic and disappeared without a trace.
—At the gathering grounds of the fortress.
The knights and adventurers gathered here had a festive mood.
Till now, they had been forced to fight on the defensive, and it had caused a mental and physical strain. However, now that the situation had been somewhat overturned, their mood had become bright, and their gazes were filled with anticipation for the fight to come.
Though the war had merely been pushed to a stalemate—
They were now looking at my each and every action with heavy expectations.
Showered in gazes, I shouted:
“Alright, we’ll now confirm our battle strategy! First, the three of us will use the ‘Lurk’ ability to approach the enemy’s camp. Once we get into magic firing range, we’ll fire explosion magic at their camp, and then teleport to retreat! The enemies will probably counterattack afterward, so I would like to ask for everyone’s help when they do!”
Hearing what I had to say, the adventurers released spirited cries.
As Wolbach said—
The battle was currently in a stalemate.
That said, there was no reason for us to not make a move.
The battle strategy this time was extremely simple, but equally effective.
After all, that was the same dastardly strategy that the enemy used.
“So it’s another sinister plan… Ah whatever, as long as the counterattack works, I won’t raise any complaints…”
Darkness, who was the only one present who could resist explosion magic, and Aqua, who had supreme healing power for both people and the fortress, would stay on standby.
From the looks of it, the people who had been forced to hole up in the fortress had lot of pent up frustration.
The adventurers and knights gave us – who planned to attack the enemy camp directly – their encouragement, and patted us on the back.
In charge of using teleportation magic, and our backup for special combat situations, Yunyun.
The field commander, and someone with the ‘Lurk’ and ‘Enemy Detection’ skills, me.
Finally, the main cannon who used explosion magic, Megumin.
The ones in charge of the counterattack operation were just the three of us.
—As everyone in the fortress saw us off, we began to infiltrate the forest near the fortress.
Monsters liked natural habitats such as forests, so there were a lot of enemy troops stationed in an orderly manner around the area. That way, they wouldn’t have a problem residing here for a long time.
However, the forest was also advantageous for us.
Due to the large amount of flora obstructing vision, it was the perfect location to display the maximum potential of the ‘Lurk’ skill.
Once we get close enough, we’ll be able to detect the enemy movements to some extent.
Perhaps under the impression that Wolbach’s explosion magic was on the verge of annihilating the fortress, the enemies seemed like they were here for a picnic rather than a war.
I pulled my clothes down, and glanced to the side. Megumin nodded her head in confirmation.
This was the signal that the enemies were in range of explosion magic.
I turned to glance at Yunyun, and she tightened the grip on her wand.
—Alright, let’s begin our counterattack!
As Wolbach had come day and night to fire explosion magic at the fortress, our enemies felt like victory was already in their grasp. However—
The sure-kill magic was fired at the center of the Demon King’s army encampment.
Since they had been so assured of an easy win, the Demon King’s army that held banquets day in and day out fell into a state of disarray.
The monsters near the center of the encampment were sent flying, and all that remained was a massive crater.
“W-…What, What is this———!?”
“W-What was that!? Explosion magic—!?”
“It’s the enemy, it’s an enemy ambush—!”
The monsters with higher intelligence quickly became cautious of their surroundings.
“Ah! Look over there, those people—! It’s two Crimson Demons and…”
By the time they discovered us, Yunyun had already activated the teleportation magic.
“—It’s a big success!”
Returning to the fortress with teleportation magic, we reported our great results.
The suppressed anxiety and frustrations of the knights and adventurers were released in the form of cheers.
Shouts of ‘Just like they deserved!’ and ‘I could see it all the way from the watchtower!’ could be heard, and everyone was in an ecstatic mood.
“The enemy has begun to move—!”
The adventurers in charge of scouting hurriedly returned, and pointed in the direction of the forest.
Everyone assembled in the formation that we had discussed beforehand, and prepared to confront the Demon King army.
The Demon King’s forces were probably furious after our ambush.
Their gazes were filled with killing intent, and they seemed to have rushed here without even bothering to get into a formation.
Once we completed our job, the adventurers and knights would take it from there.
It would be troublesome to attack the enemy with our disadvantage in numbers, but it was a different story altogether if we were defending.
In a chaotic battlefield, there was no place for me to display my abilities.
“My adventurer brethren! We’ll leave the rest in your hands!”
Hearing my shout, the adventurers gave a cry that overcame the intensity of the Demon King army’s killing intent.
“It’s those guys again! Don’t let them get away this time. Get them!!”
“You dare kill my comrades! Don’t think I’ll let you live! Surround them! Surround them!”
A variety of ghouls and demons whom were the elites of the Demon King’s army released angry howls.
—We continued to attack everyday at various times.
“The food! The food storage has been blown apart!”
“Damnit, they’ve come again! Can they at least not come at the break of dawn!?”
“Hurry up and call Wolbach-sama. Tell her to blow those imbeciles away!”
“Wolbach-sama just used explosion magic as well!”
“Just endure it! If we wait a little longer, their fortress walls will fall! When that happens, we can get rid of these pests in one fell swoop!”
“I won’t let them go today! Don’t let them use—“
—Each and every day, we would fire explosion magic as if it was a chore.
“Wahahahahaha! My name is Megumin, the number one mage of Axel! Come, you shall all become my experience points today!”
“Run, hurry up and get outta here—!!”
“Idiot, don’t group up! That fanatic Crimson Demon will fire at places with lots of people! Go over there!”
“No, Not there! We need to split further apart if we don’t want to get hit by—!”
—As her level soared to the skies, her magic power and explosion’s destructive force grew with no end in sight. She was on the verge of being taken by the pleasure and adrenaline of her explosion magic. Heck, she’s even already at the stage where she’s begun to laugh wildly before casting explosion.
“Wahahahahaha! WAHAHAHAHAHA! I have come again today!”
“We understand! We understand! We surrender! We surrender already! Here, do you want some candy!?”
“I still have a mother to take care of back at home, so please—!”
“Don’t you think that the Crimson Demons and Demons have quite similar names? Hey, I’m sure we’ll make great friends!”
“Let’s talk this out, alright!? I’m sure we’ll come to a peaceful understanding! War is for idiots, after all!”
“Look, we’ve already dropped our weapons, you see!? The great and elegant Crimson Demons wouldn’t attack defenseless people r—“
—Once the enemy spotted us.
“Megumin, over there! Those people look like they’re running in different directions, but they’re actually gathering up!”
“I understand! Don’t think you guys’ll get away!”
“Wahhhhhhahhhhhh. God, please save me!! Wolbach-sama please—!!!”
“If I can choose my life and start over, I don’t want to be a demon! I want to be a cat… I want to be fed by a beautiful lady owner everyday… I want to be embraced by her…”
“This is just a dream. That’s right, when I wake up, my mother who had gone out for a walk will come back with a wild boar to make steak…””
“I-, I-, I-, I’m someone who is a candidate for a Demon King general! If you let me live, I’m sure Demon King-sama will pay a great ransom for me…!”
—They begin to frantically hide and run away.
“I won’t let you get away! Why would I let you escape…Ah! Wait!”
“…Alright that’s enough. Let’s call it a day for now.”
I’ve lost count of how many days it’s been since we started attacking the Demon King army.
When we first started, they would diligently counterattack whenever we ambushed with explosion magic. Now, their morale seemed to be utterly crushed. It appeared that they would pack up their bags and run back to the Demon King’s territory anytime now…
“I can’t tell which side is the Demon King’s army anymore…”
Yunyun, who had accompanied us this whole time, uttered fearfully.
Recently, whenever the enemies saw Megumin, they would kneel on the ground. Others would lie on the ground and pray. Overall, they had given up on trying to run away.
I felt like there wouldn’t be a problem if they deserted the army, but it seems that the Demon King army’s hierarchy was rather oppressive, and that there was no way the troops could disobey their superior’s orders.
“Ah, this is worrisome. I wouldn’t be able to level efficiently anymore…”
“I’m just gonna remind you, but we didn’t come here to farm experience points, alright?”
The spirits in their eyes had completely faded. It was probably time to stop.
Heck, even I started to feel bad about this.
The elites of the Demon King’s army had already lost over half their troops to our daily explosion magic.
Under Aqua’s command, the walls of the fortress were repaired to the extent that they were decorated with ornaments. All said and done, the walls were sturdier than when we arrived.
To be honest, I feel like she would be better off being an artisan or a craftsman. At the very least, it was far more beneficial to society than if she were to be an archpriest.
Anyhow, this should be enough.
“Then Yunyun, let’s retreat for today. Even though it’s a shame I can’t fire explosion magic now, we can come again at night when those guys are starting to feel secure. Well then, please prepare the teleportation magic.”
Megumin said as she rested her staff on her shoulder.
It was then—
“I’ve been looking for you guys for a long time. It seems we finally meet.”
Wolbach, who seemed to have given up on attacking entirely, appeared. Her expression was heavy and pained.
We’re in trouble.
To think that this kind of situation would occur here…
“It seems that that person isn’t here today.”
Wolbach looked towards our group and began to chuckle.
She was probably talking about that idling goddess.
It seems that this evil god was still cautious of that person who wasn’t useful for normal situations.
Wolbach gazed at Megumin and I.
“You guys went a bit overboard here… To be honest, I don’t want to fight anyone I’ve talked fondly to, so I’m a bit annoyed…”
“W-Wait a second! I don’t want to fight you either, after all, we took a bath together before!”
Megumin and Yunyun collectively showed their surprise.
“…Please don’t mention such things in this kind of situation…”
We were talking about important things right now, so I hoped that they won’t butt into the conversation.
“U-, Uhm, I feel like they have some sort of misunderstanding…”
“I don’t care if they misunderstand. Since we took a bath together twice, and you even said you don’t want to treat me as a stranger…”
“I did say that! I know it’s true that I said that! It’s also true that we did take a bath together, but—!”
Wolbach squinted her eyes into a cruel gaze in my direction, and tried her best to change the mood.
“I’ve already investigated you, who have ambushed my subordinates day in and day out. Beldia, Vanir, Hans, Sylvia… Do you still remember these four names?”
Wolbach listed the names of the generals related to me.
“Wolbach onee-san, your ears are really red.”
After I reminded her of our times together in the bath, Wolbach’s face began to turn red as well.
“I do remember them… but I still don’t want to fight you.”
“Even if you don’t want to, I still can’t let you go. I also need to retrieve my other half. Also, if you’ve managed to defeat four Demon King generals… could you be the hero of that fairy tale?”
I am the hero with the weakest job. My special move is peeping.
Wolbach didn’t seem to know what I was thinking.
“Once I learned of your name, I realized I couldn’t let you go. Do you know? The name of the hero in that fairy tale?”
Said Wolbach with confidence. It was like she was saying ‘I already know everything about you!’
“…I don’t know the hero of whatever story you’re talking about. What’s his name?”
“Don’t play dumb. Is it because it happened too long ago, and you’ve already forgotten? The name of the hero in that fairy tale was Satou. Yes, the name is the same as yours, Satou. This name is already rare to begin with, so do you think that this is mere coincidence?”
—But this was a common name in my homeland.
Though, I understand.
Wolbach probably thought of me as some hero’s successor or descendant or something.
Even though I felt like I had no relation whatsoever to the Satou she was talking about.
Megumin lowered her staff and said—
“Do you really not remember me?”
Megumin’s entire face was dyed a shade of light red. Her eyes glowed bright crimson.
However, Wolbach only so much as glanced at her.
“….Didn’t I tell you already? I don’t remember you… but don’t worry, I’ll remember you well from now on—as my sworn enemy who killed many of my subordinates.”
Without another word, she quickly began to chant her magic.
“Oi!? Wait a second, I really don’t want to fight you…!”
Even though I said that, I could sense that her intent to fight was real.
It was because that chant was—
“Yunyun, hurry up and chant your teleportation magic!”
“I-, I understand, I-I’ll do it as fast as I can!”
As Wolbach began to chant explosion magic, Yunyun hurriedly followed, and began to chant her teleportation magic.
Megumin seemed to be depressed that Wolbach had said ‘I don’t remember’, and showed no intent to cast her magic.
As I was starting to regret leaving the magic tools which I wholeheartedly prepared back at the fortress, an idea hit me—!
After frantically searching my pockets, I pulled something out—
I ignited the thing that had been shrunken earlier, and threw it towards Wolbach.
As Wolbach spotted the strange object, she hesitated, unsure whether or not she should dodge and cancel her magic.
Without waiting for the thing to explode, I grasped Megumin’s hand and pulled her towards Yunyun—!
Hearing Yunyun’s shout, I closed my eyes tightly.
Having barely escaped with our lives, Yunyun and I fell on our backsides after the teleportation completed.
“Hey, what happened Kazuma!? Isn’t the explosion sound rather small today?”
We teleported to the center of the gathering hall.
Darkness inquired about the situation as we sat on the ground.
Those who noticed that something went wrong with our plan today frantically gathered around.
“Hey Kazuma. What’s up? Why is your face so pale? Did you get beat by that goddess?”
The goddess Aqua squatted down beside me.
“We almost got blown away by explosion magic, and all I could do was throw the explosive in my bag and run away. Ah, this is the first time where I’ve felt that my luck is actually good.”
I took a deep breath and shook my head.
“…Hey, what is it? Why are you so excited? Is your other half nearby or something?”
Chomusuke – who I left in the care of Darkness and Aqua – climbed onto my knee.
If what Wolbach said was true, then this little pet of ours was half of an evil god. How should we deal with this…
“Hey Kazuma, by that explosive, you mean the thing you made before? If you threw it and the explosion noise could be heard from all the way over here, that means that the self-proclaimed goddess got blown to pieces, right?”
…That’s true, what should we do now…
If the explosion could be heard from all the way over here, that means the dynamite was not a dud.
However, even though I didn’t know how much force it had, I don’t think it’d be enough to defeat a Demon King’s general.
Megumin, who had approached me while I was distracted in my thought —
“Even though I have been boasting since we left Axel, I wasn’t able to use magic at the crucial moment. Please forgive me…!”
Gazed directly into my eyes.
“Did something happen between you and that onee-san in the past?”
I asked out of curiosity.
“…I can’t tell you.”
Megumin turned her gaze to the ground. Her expression seemed to be filled with pain, and it looked like she would start crying at any time.
Facing this expression—
I was at a loss of words.
Damn, I did something unnecessary.
No. If Megumin of all people hesitated to attack with explosion, then there has to be some special circumstances, right!?
Rather, it was impossible for there not to be. What should I do… She looks like she’s about to cry…!
I cast a hopeful glance towards the audience, but not only did the adventurers look away, even Aqua and Darkness actively avoided my gaze.
To think that these guys wouldn’t give me a single reprieve…!
“Hey, isn’t that Wolbach!?”
Someone cried out.
Out of curiosity, the adventurers herded around the windows of the gathering hall.
Of course, I did the same, and followed the gazes of the other adventurers—
Wolbach – whose body was dripping in blood – was walking towards the fortress.
“That Wolbach of all people is injured to this extent…!”
“You were called Satou Kazuma, right? Not bad at all!”
“I heard from Aqua-sama. Unlike us, you don’t have any cheats, right?”
The adventurers who saw this began to praise me.
Despite that, I wasn’t happy at all.
Even though she was a beautiful lady, she was still our enemy. She was a Demon King’s army general, and an enemy of humanity.
Yeah, there was no need to feel bad about it. That was just self-defense, after all…
Just as I was conflicted, someone said.
“Hey, she looks a bit weak right now. If we go now, we could probably beat her, right?”
The cheaters who heard this gave doubtful glances at one another.
“Alright, then let’s go! The elite of the Demon King’s army have also been decimated!”
“Even though she looks like a beautiful onee-san, this is not the time to be focused on that.”
“If we let our guard down for even a moment, we’ll get killed. Hey, anyone who is able to fight, get ready to go! Once we defeat Wolbach, we can press the advantage and clean up the rest of em’!”
Hmpf, as the adventurers said. What I did was the natural course of action.
The people quickly trickled out of the gathering hall.
The adventurers and knights were making an uproar that didn’t seem like they were going to war in the slightest. Behind them was Aqua – who was hurriedly catching up to the group – and Darkness, who showed a stern expression.
… As they were leaving, Darkness turned her head and gave me a sideward glance.
Once we made eye-contact, she nodded her head.
What? What do you mean by that? How do you want me to resolve this!?
You want me to somehow take care of Megumin right now? Is that right!?
Megumin didn’t show any reaction when she heard the news that Wolbach had arrived, and remained standing where she was.
Ah, I was not good at dealing with these heavy atmospheres; after all, I’ve been living life without any worries whatsoever!
As I randomly walked around the room, Yunyun said:
“That person… is a Demon King general, and an evil god.”
Her eyes began to gleam, and she picked up her wand.
“Even though she had invited me to travel with her, even though she made me happy to the point where I have reread that diary entry many times, even though I couldn’t sleep for a couples days after I regretted not accepting her invitation—”
Her heavy words brought Megumin and I to a standstill.
“—We are Crimson Demons. We are members of the strongest magic race that was made to resist the Demon King. No matter what happens, no matter our circumstances, we shouldn’t get close with a Demon King general. It is our destiny after all.”
Yunyun said with such a serious demeanor, but did she know the real identities of Vanir and Wiz… She would go play around with them once in a while after all…
With wand in hand, she walked towards the entrance of the gathering hall.
“I exchanged a few words with that onee-san before on a carriage. So if she’s going to be defeated by the other adventurers who don’t know anything about her, I would…I, I…I would rather…!”
Even though she tried her best to stay strong, she could no longer hold it in. She began to tremble, and tears trickled down her face.
Despite Yunyun’s words, Megumin, who felt guilty about doing nothing when we encountered Wolbach, remained silent.
She picked up Chomusuke from the ground and hugged it tightly. There was no way I could understand was she was thinking.
However, I understood that something had happened between her and Wolbach.
Furthermore, it was something that made her not want to attack.
I said to Megumin:
“…What do you want to do?”
—As if I was asking her where she wanted to go and play around.
“I don’t really understand what happened—”
Megumin looked at me perplexedly.
“But something happened between you and that person, right? Are you going to willingly watch her get eliminated?”
—As if I was inviting her out for a stroll.
“Our opponent will use her full power if she can, and if she continues to pursue Chomusuke, then our lives will be endangered. So I wouldn’t stop the other adventurers from defeating Wolbach.”
As I said that, I picked up Chomusuke, who would probably hinder our next battle.
“Isn’t stealing the spotlight the specialty of the Crimson Demons?”
Megumin raised her head to face me. Her eyes shone a brilliant crimson. I said to her—
“If you have an opponent you want to defeat personally, I don’t mind helping you.”
Under the watchful gazes of the adventurers and knights—
With Chomusuke in my arms, I, together with Megumin, faced Wolbach.
The adventurers that were itching to fight were hard to restrain, so in exchange for letting us have a showdown with Wolbach, I let them in on a little secret. I told them that ‘since you guys have cheats, your adventuring progress has been too quick, so you failed to notice an amazing store in the city of Axel’.
Since their cheats weren’t just for show, they already have funds comparable to the bounties of Demon King generals.
I can’t help but feel a bit jealous…
I turned my head to glance at Darkness and Aqua, who seemed like they were about to say something. With a small gesture, I told them to stay quiet.
“You, so you really are the hero’s descendant aren’t you? You even used such a fearsome thing…”
Wolbach said. Her voice was filled with irony, and her cloak was in tatters.
“That was merely a product of civilization. However, I didn’t think that it would have such a strong effect on a Demon King’s general. Now that I’ve seen its effects, I should consider mass producing this…”
With Chomusuke in my arms, I taunted Wolbach.
“Hey, why did you come here? The winner of this battle is clear, so isn’t it about time for you to retreat? If you promise to stop pursuing Chomusuke and not make us your enemy, I’ll let you go.”
I already knew that she wasn’t going to accept this proposition, but it won’t hurt to try.
“It’s regrettable, but if you are going to mass produce that fearsome thing, there’s no way I can let you live. Also, I cannot let that little one go. If I don’t retrieve my power from it, then I will disappear.”
As she said that, she raised her right hand.
If I looked hard enough, I could see through it.
“…So you are something like an undead?”
“My, how disrespectful of you. I am in my current state because I lost a lot of my power. If this continues, my existence will be devoured by my other half.”
Her other half she said, does she mean the little guy I am holding in my arms?
“Um, could I ask something? If I give this guy to you, how would you retrieve your power? Are you two going to morph into one?”
“No, I will need to destroy it with my own hands. If I lower my guard, it will go on a rampage. When we were unsealed, it followed its nature and caused a lot of trouble for me, so I sealed away most of its power…”
I didn’t understand the details, but she said she wanted to do some cruel things to Chomusuke.
As a cat-lover, I wouldn’t let that happen.
Then, Megumin, who had remained silent the whole time—
“When you and Chomusuke were unsealed, did you see a little girl? A crimson-eyed girl around 5 to 6 years old…”
She gripped her staff tightly, and asked her question again, this time with resolve.
“I don’t remember.”
Despite being denied in such a ruthless manner, Megumin’s gaze did not avert from Wolbach.
This was a bad turn of events.
I should ask that question again, and change the topic…
“…Hey, if we can talk peacefully like this, why did you join the Demon King army?”
With a solemn resolution, Wolbach said:
“If you want to know, then defeat me.”
—With a provoking smile, she repeated her answer.
As I thought, it didn’t work.
It seems like there was no way to avoid fighting her.
“You should know already, but this girl can use explosion magic as well. In other words, by the time the winner is decided, there’ll be no way for us to talk to each other.”
“…I suppose you’re right, then…”
The corners of her lips seemed to pull at her smile.
“Ask the Demon King. He will definitely tell you the truth.”
Despite her sorrowful voice, she began to chant her magic.
—Damn! I felt that she was becoming weaker so I tried to buy time, but she was going to strike preemptively!
I knew how fast Megumin could chant her magic.
However, if she started now, there was no guarantee that she would catch up.
I looked at Megumin, who stood beside me—
“…You really remember me, don’t you?”
She gripped her staff with both hands.
Seeing as she hadn’t even started, I could feel my skin turning pale. I was about to grab her hand and run away—
“When we talked to each other with Yunyun, you asked about her name like this: ‘…By the way, your name isn’t a nickname either, right?”
—But she avoided my hand, and without a single motion, she continued to talk to Wolbach. She still hasn’t started her chant…
“There’s something I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, something I wanted to you to see.”
Towards Wolbach who continued to chant explosion magic—
“The explosion magic that you taught me has already reached the stage where I can control it without chanting aloud. My explosion magic is stronger than anyone else’s.”
—she said ‘thanks’.
The Demon King army’s offensive force was cut in half, and the general that led them was defeated.
This would usually be the time to celebrate, but because of Megumin’s circumstances, we decided to call it a day.
We left the fortress the next morning after bidding farewell to the people there in an uncharacteristically proper fashion. Right now, we were at the hot spring inn where I bathed with Wolbach earlier on this journey. Using my arms as pillows, I laid on the bed.
Since a lot of things happened yesterday, it would be best for me to take a bath and quickly go to bed, but the girls were in the bath right now.
There was no problem from a legal perspective; however, when I tried to enter the bath, I noticed the crimson glow of somebody’s eyes, and quickly ran away.
…The dangers of this battle were incomparable to anything I’ve experienced.
Compared to our opponents from before, she was more…How should I say this? There was always somewhere to run to. This time around, we were on the receiving end of explosion magic. It was a truly terrifying experience.
Well, I’ll make sure to not make Megumin angry.
As I reflected on what happened, I put Chomusuke – who had been following me around – on my chest.
…By the way, just what is this little guy?
Wolbach had disappeared without a trace.
Even if was explosion magic, it shouldn’t completely annihilate a Demon King general – at least, not to the extent where there were no remains whatsoever.
All that was left behind from the explosion was a beautifully shaped and empty crater. Since I didn’t want to see that onee-san’s corpse, maybe I should consider myself lucky?
When Megumin released her explosion magic along with her thanks, I think I saw Wolbach smile…Was it just me?
It would be better if it was just me…
Also, shouldn’t this tired furball disappear as well? Its other half was destroyed, after all…
I couldn’t keep up with the rapid turn of events.
There were just too many things that I didn’t understand. My thoughts were just a jumbled mess.
As I was lost in thought, Chomusuke suddenly poked me with its nose.
…I don’t care if you are an evil god.
The only one that can cure my heart is you…
As I rubbed Chomusuke, it released a purring noise.
“Kazuma, are you still awake? Everyone is done with their bath.”
Someone knocked on my door. It was Megumin.
“Oh alright! I’ll go in a bit!”
I didn’t want to disturb Chomusuke’s peaceful rest, so I had no choice but to lay here.
Then, the door was opened.
“…So Chomusuke was here, I was looking for it you know?”
As she entered the room, she smiled at the sight of Chomusuke resting on my chest.
She then casually closed the door, and sat on my bed.
“This is my healing time, alright? So come and fetch this guy later.”
“I didn’t come here to fetch him. I just thought that it might’ve run away from the inn. Seeing Chomusuke with Kazuma is a pleasant thing.”
Despite what she said, Megumin stretched her hand towards Chomusuke, who was resting peacefully on my chest.
“…Hey, hey, are you looking for a fight?”
Megumin rubbed Chomusuke, and laid down on the bed beside me.
She slowly began to inch closer.
As if it could read the situation, Chomusuke jumped from my chest, and laid down on the floor.
Megumin ignored my troubled comment, and – as if to hide her expression – she buried herself under the blankets.
“Can I sleep with you tonight?”
Since yesterday’s events, this person had shut herself in her own room… So what did she want from me all of a sudden?
They had known one another, and she had ended her life with explosion magic.
—So it’s not like I didn’t understand her feelings, but…
“…Can you what? What did you say? I don’t know what you’re planning, but I’ll let you know that I’m not the same as I was during my hikiNEET days… Ah I remember now, I promised to myself the first time we stayed here, that if you or Darkness tried to provoke me with underhanded methods, I’ll ‘follow through’ no matter what happens.”
I joked around to lighten the mood.
Megumin’s eyes flared crimson.
“I can, right? I mean, that’s why I came here tonight.”
She said with a giggle.
…What was she thinking?
The feeling of her breath on my chest was a little hot.
Ah, what’s happening all of a sudden? I can’t help but feel a little nervous now…
I’m in big trouble, she’s not just playing around after all…
If this goes on, my lower half will start chanting explosion magic.
“Hey, I’m a healthy young man, so don’t say those kinds of jokes. If you say those kinds of things, men will misunderstand. I heard that there are some unpopular men that fall in love with a girl the moment they shake their hand, so be careful, alright?”
In the best stern voice I could muster in my nervous state, I lectured Megumin, who laid beside me on the bed.
—But then, she stretched her arms behind my back, and hugged me tightly.
“I told you before, didn’t I?”
Even though I couldn’t see her expression, I could hear her soft voice clearly.
“—I love you.”
How did it turn out like this?
What’s with this sudden development?
No, calm down Kazuma! This is the usual Megumin. She’s just a bit strange right now, that’s all…
—But I couldn’t control my urge to continue.
Let’s start with a self introduction—
I love manga.
I love light novels
I love games, and I love anime even more.
When I was enjoying these wonderful things, I often thought to myself:
—Why isn’t he making a move even though this beautiful girl has pushed on so hard!? It’s not like you’re gay or impotent or something! If it was me, I would’ve given in a long time ago.
But now, I was the one put into the situation of the male lead of a manga.
It was now, that I finally understood everything.
Please forgive me for saying such things to you guys.
Right now I am being hugged by a young girl in a bed, and she just confessed to me. Please tell me what to do.
Megumin’s hug became tighter.
—But it wasn’t anything like a painful bear hug.
It was as if she was trying to tell something to my heart, and that hugging me tightly was part of the process.
…I’m in trouble, aren’t I?
In this situation, one small move – one small burst of bravery – is all it would take to cross the line.
No, no, no! I can’t cross that! If I do then I’m finished!
Calm down and think, Satou Kazuma! Think!
This is not too different from that time with Darkness.
Back then, Darkness thought she was going to be married off, so it was a last resort for her.
But this time the person in question had voluntarily come here!
Since our party all lived under the same roof, if Megumin and I did that kind of thing, what would happen in the end…!
This is wrong, this is really wrong!
This girl definitely ate something wrong or hit her head or something—!
Alright, alright, calm down Kazuma. Let’s not rush this too hard.
Yea, she’s just hugging me right now, and all she ever said was that she liked me.
I could feel my head getting hotter by the moment.
I mustered all my words, and said with a hoarse voice.
“I-, If you keep this up you’ll definitely be a bad woman when you grow up. You can’t do these things so carelessly, alright? Listen closely, if you do something like this to a man, the man’s thing will go out of control and they won’t be able to resist the urge. In the future, please think a bit before you say such things. Lucky for you, I am a true man with a mind of steel, otherwise you would already be…”
During my speech, Megumin continued to breathe on my chest. I tried to ignore that, and say what I had to with as much modesty as I could.
Megumin began to giggle.
“…When I grow up? What are you talking about?”
Then, she pulled herself closer to me, and said with a light voice:
“I’m almost 15, you know? I’m already an adult.”
I should stop thinking too much.
—I put my right hand on Megumin’s head, and felt her cool hair between my fingers. As if my fingers were a comb, I began to stroke her pretty hair.
Megumin, who continued to lower her head, moved her left hand to my head, and began stroking my hair as well.
I put my arms behind her back and hugged her petite body.
Megumin seemed to relax, and released a deep breath.
…As a virgin, I have tried hard.
So what should I do next?
Please, someone teach me what to do.
Am I supposed to go for a kiss?
Damn, think of the simulations I’ve done using the succubus service!
During the silent moment where I was conflicted, Megumin and I continued to hug one another and rub each other’s hair.
Her cool and damp hair was really soothing.
I slid my head under the blanket, and was now face to face with Megumin in the dark.
I can’t really see her expression at all.
Using the power of ‘Night Vision’ and ‘Farsight’ I could clearly see the outline of her face.
I managed to arrive here by following the flow, but I still didn’t understand what was happening all of a sudden.
My nervous mind felt like it was going to break down, but at the same time, my heart was full of expectations.
My chest feels heavy, and my heart is beating nonstop.
Is this ‘love’?
Did I begin to like her without noticing?
My heartbeat was not caused by my sexual urges.
I thought and thought on, and finally arrived at a resolution.
—No problem, I have a house, and I have money.
I will definitely be able to live well with Megumin.
Then, Megumin began to pull me in.
Our heads were almost aligned, and her body came closer. Her lips drew close to my chin.
Everytime she breathed, my neck would become hot.
Towards her lips, I will…!
“Megumin! Where are you Megumin!? Are you here!?”
Goddamnit! I knew that this would happen!
In response to Aqua’s voice in the hallway, I quickly pulled my head out of the sheets.
Outside the door were sounds of frantic running.
I felt nothing but intense anger for the people who couldn’t read the atmosphere at all, but I managed to calm down a little. I also felt a little more relaxed.
Mm, I will definitely regret this if I let myself be pressured into it.
After all, today’s Megumin was a bit strange.
If I cross the line with her, then our relationship with everyone else will be in jeopardy.
Yea, didn’t she say so herself when she was making the charm?
‘Of course. These amulets all hold my wish, that everyone will stay together forever… I’m grateful to you too, Aqua. Let’s always be together.’
Even if we cross the line, we can still be together with everyone.
But what she wanted was to forever live in harmony with everyone.
Then, this is enough, isn’t it?
It was too early for me to do this kind of thing with a girl I haven’t even dated before.
“Aqua, did you see Megumin on your side?”
Hearing Darkness’ voice, I decided to get up from the bed.
However, I was stopped by Megumin, who tightly pulled on my hand.
Even though everyone was waiting for her outside, she still wanted to continue?
“M-, Megumin, Aqua and Darkness are…A-Are you alright with this?”
I had my doubts, but I laid back down on the bed.
Even though I had asked her that, she continued to hug me without another word.
“Um, I think Megumin wants to be alone for now. I want to as well… Something happened between her and Wolbach a long time ago, after all…”
Yunyun’s voice permeated through the door.
“Is that so…Mm, well there wouldn’t be a problem as long as she doesn’t leave the inn… Then Aqua, let’s go to bed first.”
“Eh~ I wanted the four of us to play poker together…”
Megumin and I were already wrapped in each other’s arms, and I no longer paid attention to the conversation occurring on the other side of the door.
Since neither of us had the courage to make the next move, all we could do was imitate one another.
However, if I’ve already gone this far, then I should see this mistake through to the end.
The relationship between companions?
My relationship with others might be in jeopardy?
Why should I care?
Yea, before I go for a kiss I should say something.
Megumin already said that she likes me, then I should say something back to her.
“M-Megumin. Uhm, you said you love me right? Well…Uhm…I think I also love you too!”
Now I can just go ahead and do what I want!
Just as I was about to pridefully start this revolution, Megumin—
“…Really? What do you like about me?”
Her head was lowered until now, but now she raised her head and returned my gaze with eyes full of expectation.
Since I wasn’t much of a ladies-man, I couldn’t really think of anything sweet to say.
“…Um, well, like…explosion magic and such…?”
“If you really have nothing to say, do you think that throwing some explosion magic gibberish would make this better?”
Megumin’s gaze went from soft to sharp.
Damn, I shouldn’t have done something I’m not used to. Now I’ve made a huge mess…
Why do I have the ability to crush such sweet atmospheres to smithereens?
Maybe I was cursed with being a virgin for eternity.
But then, Megumin – who I thought didn’t want to continue anymore – buried her face in my chest and laughed.
“I love this uncomposed side of you, Kazuma. You have a lot of self-awareness, and when we meet some powerful enemies you won’t try to be manly or anything and protect us girls. Instead, you willingly use Darkness as a shield. Also, you don’t have the guts to do anything cruel, but you aren’t needlessly righteous about what you do either. You’ll do bad things when no one is looking, and you’ll do good things when you feel like it. You are a paradoxical, uncomposed normal person.”
…Eh? Was she complimenting me?
“If you’re in debt then you’ll work hard, if you’re wealthy then you’ll stop working. If you’re in a good mood you’ll be gentle, if you’re in a bad mood then you’ll be vicious. You seem to think about your companions, but at the same time you’ll won’t hesitate to give your party members the short straw. Even though you seem really smart and flexible, sometimes you’ll do some unimaginably dumb things…”
Megumin looked at my troubled expression, and began to laugh.
“Finally, I love you, who always complains about every little thing, but chooses to help everyone in the end. Even though you aren’t straightforward with us, I understand that you are truly kind at heart. When it should be time for you to make a move, you decide not to – just like you are now. You can’t act cool, and you drop the ball at crucial moments, but that is the you that I love.”
She smiled while saying such things, and she brought her hands from my back to my neck.
With the glimmering moonlight behind her, Megumin closed her eyes.
Seeing her like this, I couldn’t help but feel an urge to follow her lead.
Was this really alright?
If it kept going like this then this’ll work.
Yea, this was another world.
Even though I was still a student back in Japan, in this world where people’s life expectancies were short, we were already considered adults.
Megumin was already of marriageable age, so there was no need for me to say any more.
Alright, I’ll take this responsibility.
As I slowly drifted my face towards her with resolution—
I saw tears trickle from Megumin’s closed eyes…
“…Hey, hey, don’t force yourself! Do you really love me? Or is this a bit too early for you? Since I’m a gentleman, I have no problem with waiting, you know!? I am a man with much to spare, in terms of both money and love experiences—!”
Megumin suddenly began to cry. In response, I began to nervously spout sentences that I couldn’t really understand.
“Ah! N-No, this is…!”
Megumin hurriedly recomposed herself, and used her fingers to wipe her tears.
She breathed deep breaths and began to calm down.
“…By the way, why did you come here tonight?”
I asked her such a question on the eleventh-hour.
With the pillow in my arms, I stared blankly at the roof.
“That was something that happened when I was about the same age as Komekko.”
Megumin laid beside me, and with her hands on her stomach, she continued her monologue.
“One day, at the Crimson Demon Village, I undid the seal on the evil god. That was when everything started.”
When she was young, Megumin – while playing around – undid the seal of the evil god Wolbach.
At the same time, a giant, black-colored monster suddenly appeared.
Chomusuke – before his power was sealed – tried to attack Megumin.
At that time, Wolbach had used explosion magic to suppress it – and in the process – saved Megumin’s life.
Explosion magic left a large impression on Megumin, and because of that, she had a certain dream.
That onee-san really did some unnecessary things, didn’t she?
A long time after that, Megumin learned how to use explosion magic.
After learning magic, Megumin became a fully-fledged Crimson Demon, and set off on her journey.
For the sake of repaying the onee-san that had saved her life, she left on a journey.
For the sake of showing the onee-san she had learned explosion magic.
Her entire journey had been for the sake of searching for her benefactor.
“I didn’t repay her in the end. Instead, I destroyed her by my own hands…”
Megumin continued her monologue, shrouded by the darkness of the room.
She, who was tormented by her own guilt, became uncharacteristically gentle. It seemed like she would disappear at any given moment.
“…Did I tell you before, that back at my homeland I did nothing but sit at home? That I was a NEET that did nothing with my life?”
I suddenly began to talk about my life, and Megumin turned her head to face me.
“Mm, you’ve said that a lot of times already. That…”
I cut her off before she could say any more.
“If you want to talk about being ungrateful, then there is no one who can beat me. My parents spent a fortune to send me to a private high school, but I never went to class, not even once. At first I was just trying to get a bit more free time to do what I wanted. On weekends I would stay up all night to play games, and during the weekdays I would be tired and annoyed. Since both my parents had to go to work, I thought this was a good chance to secretly cut class.”
I began to share my history, which I had kept hidden until now.
“At first I just wanted to be lazy for a day. Then, I would skip class once a month. Then, I would skip class every monday. Before I knew it, I had decided to no longer go to school.”
Now that I think about it, my attitude back then had been a disgrace.
Even though I had decided to not be a NEET once I had graduated from college, that had failed miserably.
In the morning, I would pretend to go to school. Then once my parents left for work, I would sneak back home.
The school called home and asked, but I gave them some random reason to take the day off, and continued playing games.
Finally, the school contacted my parents, and I was forced to go to school, but after a while, I returned to being a NEET.
“You said that you failed to repay her, but weren’t you the one to unseal Wolbach in the first place? Then, Wolbach’s other half came to attack you, and she had saved you and taught you explosion magic. You know, this is what they call a ‘match-pump.’ I know an delinquent adventurer that does that kind of thing.”
<TL note: Match-pump, Japanese loanword. Roughly speaking, it describes someone who does something stupid without fully considering the circumstances, only to run around trying to fix things once things have gotten out of control. Think the sorceror’s apprentice.>
Megumin looked at me with a puzzled expression.
“In order to save the benefactor that unsealed her, she stopped the rampage of her other half. That’s what anyone would’ve done, so there’s no need to treat her as your benefactor… If you’re troubled by such a little thing, how would I ever be able to face my parents?”
However, even if I wanted to see them, there was no way I could.
“So what I mean is…How should I say this. In terms of the extent of ingratitude, no one can match up to me. In the time that you spent troubled by this, I had already become a piece of living trash. So, uhm…”
I didn’t really know what I wanted to say.
As I was at a loss for words, Megumin began to laugh.
She buried her face in my chest, and pressed on my shoulders to resist the urge to laugh.
“…What is that supposed to mean!? I just tried to comfort you in my own way, and you repay me with this clown act? I even dug up my embarrassing history in order to do it! Now this is really what I would call ingratitude!”
“I’m sorry. It not that I’m looking down on you, I just thought it was sad that those parents had such a child. I also thought that using such a weird way to comfort me was pretty funny.”
This damn kid!
“Well I’m sorry I did something I’m not good at! Listen up! You might think that you are the female lead of some tragedy, but the one who is suffering the most is actually me! You came to my room so that I could comfort you over some insignificant problem that didn’t even exist in the first place! Have you ever thought about my feelings!?”
As I continued to complain, Megumin continued to grab my shoulders and wipe her tears of laughter.
“Then do you want to continue?”
“N-N-N-No way! Even though I would hurt myself to solve some insignificant problem, I won’t allow someone to lay a hand on me by taking advantage of my wounds!”
I adamantly replied, and Megumin began to laugh as she usually would.
“Well then, that’s a shame isn’t it?”
Her eyes shined crimson in the darkness, and no matter how I looked at it, I couldn’t feel a hint of regret.
“…Well then, if you can finally let go of your guilt towards that onee-san, and if you wanted to do that kind of thing again, I have no reason to refuse—!”
Feeling like I had done something I would regret, I tried to save what was left.
Megumin shook my shoulders and said—
“Is that so? If that day really comes, then I’ll come to your room to play again.”
She showed a brilliant smile.
‘Thank you very much, I feel a lot less burdened now’ — Leaving such standard lines, she left the room.
Opposite to her lightheartedness, I was turning restlessly in my bed.
“Ahhhhhhh! I wasted such a good chance, and I even said such disgusting things! Agghhhh!!”
Since her troubles were now transferred to me, I decided to cool my head somewhere.
Unlike before, I decided to take a cold shower.
I regretted what I did, but to be honest, I felt that making such a rookie mistake wasn’t bad either.
Anyway, based on what happened, Megumin and I are now in a relationship.
After all, I told her things like ‘I love you’ and stuff.
Since I thought ‘this relationship isn’t bad either’, that means my feelings for her were deeper than I thought…
…Eh, does that mean she’ll be my girlfriend starting tomorrow?
Hey Hey Hey, am I finally going to experience real life!?
“No no no, calm down for a moment. Megumin has been a bit strange since yesterday. I’ll just observe her situation before I decide.”
I muttered such things to myself while in the changing room.
“…What are you doing?”
Chomusuke had suddenly appeared at my feet, and I involuntarily asked such a question.
This little fellow had been staying out of our way for a while, but I suppose it was about time it returned to normal.
Since it didn’t like baths, I shouldn’t let it go…
“…This is the bath that you hate very much, you know? Are you sure you want to go in?”
Keeping an eye on Chomusuke, who had adamantly followed me all the way here, I sat down beside the shower and turned the valve.
As I showered, I thought of what would happen from now on.
All in all, I should just pretend that nothing happened yesterday.
I should wait for the person in question to decide to approach me on her own accord, only then will I count that incident.
Even though I was slightly annoyed at my resolution, I decided to stick with it.
After showering, I could feel my head and body becoming cooler, and quickly moved to enter the bath.
As I was about to enter the bath…
“…Y-, You want to come in?”
Chomusuke leaned its legs towards the pool, and looked like it was eager to go in. I was a bit suspicious of its sudden change in behavior, but I decided to ignore that for now, and carried it into the water.
“You’ll drown if you enter the bath, so just use this for now.”
As I said that, I filled the shower bucket with spring water, and put it off to the side. Chomusuke, as if testing the water temperature, dipped its paws into the water. Finally it rolled itself into a ball and laid down in the bath.
…What was up with this cat…
Well, it wasn’t really a cat.
I didn’t really know why it suddenly liked baths, but it was a good thing if it liked to be clean.
I can’t help but feel like it was a lot like that onee-san.
I absentmindedly asked:
“Wolbach-san, how is the water temperature?”
The moment I called it Wolbach, one of its ears moved a tiny bit.
Was it just a coincidence?
Or did that mean that Chomusuke was going to transform into a human shape?
If we raise this cat, will it eventually become that onee-san?
“…Nah, it couldn’t be.”
I submerged my shoulders into the water, and gazed at Chomusuke who comfortably lay in the bath.
“…Hm? By the way, you haven’t grown at all in the last couple months, but I can’t help but feel that you look a little bigger now…”