Today at the Consulting Center
Editors: Cannongerbil, Sine Nomine, Skythewood
–– Wiz’s magic item shop.
The establishment was located at a place that could only be called the ideal street. In a way, the store was considerably famous in Axel, the town of rookie adventurers.
“Vanir-san, I wanted to apologize about for my bulk purchase of manatite. I will work without sleep or rest in order to make up for it. Since I’m a lich, I won’t die even if I don’t rest. Ah, that was just an exaggeration, if I really don’t rest at all…”
A large reason for the store’s fame was because the store was owned by a beautiful and powerful former adventurer.
“Please, Vanir-san, stop being so moody. I will work hard from today onwards! The situation might be such, but I’m actually quite good at shop keeping, you know? Of course, the manatite incident happened, but my speciality is getting rid of inventory. When I went to the grocer, the ojii-san there said: ‘Wiz-san, your face looks rather pale today. Even if you don’t have money, you shouldn’t be eating pickles everyday. Please take care of your health.’ and gave me a radish.”
However, the greatest reason was…
“Hey, Wiz, where did you get this bunny toy that keeps jumping around? I’m just a bit curious.”
“Ah, as expected of Aqua-sama, you have a good eye for value! This is a magic item called the ‘Frog Killer’! There have been a lot of giant frogs near the town recently right? So you can put this in front of the giant frog, and then the Frog Killer’s quick maneuvers will make them appear to be worthy prey. Once the magic item is swallowed, the blast magic sealed inside will cause the frog to explode int-…!”
“Amazing! If we have this then we wouldn’t ever be scared of those wicked frogs!”
“I know, right!? The price of this magic item is 200,000 eris! This way we won’t have to be scared of the frogs even during their mating season!”
By the way, the reward for slaying a giant frog and selling its meat was 25,000 eris.
The greatest reason why this store was famous.
It was that the owner was a collector of useless junk – such was this owner’s sense for products.
“If it can slay that powerful enemy, then it will surely sell. I don’t have any money right now because I bought Emperor Zell, but I can try scrounging Kazuma-san for some money.”
“Please do, Aqua-sama! I have faith that Kazuma-san will come to understand the wonderfulness of this magic item as well!”
Moi stopped the work at hand, and looked at the store owner and the abominable blue-haired girl, who carried the same level of sensibilities as the store owner.
“The racketeering goddess who has nothing better to do but come to drink tea, please refrain from expressing any suggestive words or actions. Our indebted owner will misunderstand. … What are you doing here anyway? If you have so much free time, go and pester that poor brat.”
The girl, who drank tea and played with the bunny toy, seemed like a goddess for a fleeting moment.
The reason Moi thought she ‘seemed like a goddess’ was due to the divine light that shone from her, but after observing her words and actions, Moi did not want to believe that she was the fated enemy of devils like Moiself.
“Why? I haven’t caused any trouble in this store recently right? And it’s not like this deserted store has any customers today anyway. As for Kazuma-san, he said that it is too hot outside and became a shut-in using freeze magic. He won’t come out at all before the weather cools down, so I have a lot of spare time until then.”
Honestly, Moi did not want to admit that this was Moi fated enemy.
“Anyway, what were you doing just now?”
The blue-haired girl put the junk in her hands on the desk and looked beside Moi hands.
Beside Moi hands was an incomplete document.
Beside Moi feet were paper balls made from documents containing forsaken ideas.
“Moi is crafting new ideas. After all, my wishful plans were shattered at the hands of this tea house owner. … Actually, if we continue like this, we may be unable to pay next month’s rent. In the worst-case scenario, Moi would have to work in other stores. You’re a self-proclaimed goddess, right? Could you please bring guidance to this splurging store owner and Moi?”
Perhaps it was because this blue-haired girl had too much spare time, but since she involved herself in this matter, Moi decided to ask her without expectation.
“To call me a self-proclaimed goddess, are you trying to provoke me? Your desire for god’s knowledge for your selfish benefit and convenience is wishful thinking, but since you begged for it, I will tell you.”
“What would you propose we do!? Please do enlighten me, Aqua-sama!”
Whilst Wiz was begging the blue-haired girl, Moi lifted Moi face from Moi palms in response to her unexpected answer.
“Fufu, then listen carefully. Since a goddess like myself has descended into this world, it is only a matter of time before the demon king is defeated. In the peace that follows, the population will gradually increase, and after centuries, there will eventually be a lack of land. Then, you can sell land for a huge profit! The key to profit is land! Now hurry, go and buy lots of land! This can only be done by immortals like you two!”
“Amazing, Aqua-sama, that is a way to make massive profit! Vanir-san, land! Let’s buy land!”
‘If you own land, you would have to pay taxes.’ and ‘Where would the money come from?’ would be the response of an inelegant straight-man, thus Moi instead speechlessly stood from Moi seat.
“There is no need to rush, Wiz. I don’t only have one strategy for making huge profit, there are still many more, you know? I have one that would only take a day’s time. Beyond that, I have several that would only take a short time to make a large turnover.”
“I want to know, please tell me about those strategies Aqua-sama!”
… For the sake of sanity, Moi escaped the noisy store and moved outside.
Not long after leaving the store.
While brainstorming new business strategies, Moi spotted an incident occurring through the corner of Moi eye.
“Oi, you have a cute face, ojou-chan. Say, want to come play with us?”
“Hehehe, we’ll bring you to an interesting place.”
In a deserted alley, two youths tried to pick up a young girl.
This scene could be seen anywhere, but the tone in which the two youths said their pick up lines was unsettling.
Put it another way, the two of them didn’t seem like the type of people who would spit those words out.
Either way, they seemed like plain youths you could find anywhere.
There was also a frog-faced boy who hid himself behind a wall and closely observed the situation.
And it looks like this blond-haired boy seemed to be prepared to run in and save the day when the timing was right.
Though this suspicious blond-haired boy drew Moi curiosity, the girl that was entangled in this situation caught Moi attention.
The crimson-eyed girl carried a shortsword and wand at her waist.
She – who commanded great magic power, who was born a magician, and was given a weird name – was without a doubt a Crimson Demon.
“………? ……m!? M-Me!? Did you just say ‘come play with us”!? I-I’m not really cute… Being with me is boring…I think… D-Do you really want to play with me?”
The Crimson Demon girl, who seemed troubled by the sudden proposition, lowered her head and mumbled in a low voice.
When the youths heard her reply, they let off a dumbfounded expression.
“W-We didn’t really mean that! No, you really are cute! Let’s play together! Please play with us! I know a good store nearby!”
“Un, we can go eat there, and then the three of us can go to the movies afterwards…!”
The two youths spoke so excitedly that their unnatural tone of voice disappeared.
In response to this unexpected situation, the boy hiding behind the wall hurriedly rushed out.
“Hey, you bastards sure are courageous now! Don’t forget your job or I’ll kill you!”
He said as he ran to the side of the girl and the youths.
–– After the two youth hurriedly left, only the Crimson Demon girl and the blond-haired boy were left.
The blond-haired boy whose eyes were seething hatred, showed an eased smile.
“… That was dangerous. You were lucky I passed by, otherwise you would have been in trouble with those two beasts, ya know?”
“Eh…? Um…. Erm…”
Seeing that the girl didn’t understand what he said, the blond-haired boy quickly explained.
“Basically, I am your benefactor and your hero, get it? If you understand, then let’s eat somewhere together, your treat. Let’s go, there’s a good store near here. Come on, hurry up. Hey, what’s wrong!? Hurry up and come!”
“Sto-…! W-Wait, stop, please stop! I will scream for help! If I do, you will be in trouble…!”
Moi approached the carefree brat from behind, and kicked him square in the back.
“Guah!? W-What the heck do you think you’re doing? Are you trying to provoke me you… w-who are you? Seriously, where the hell did you come from and when did you get here!?”
The flustered boy, who was kicked in the back by Moi, took several steps back.
At the same time, the Crimson Demon girl readied her wand.
“Devil…! That evil aura and that suspicious mask. This person is definitely a devil! From the amount of magic power your body is giving out, you must be a top class devil…!”
Moi could not help but be impressed with the crimson-eyed girl that determined my true identity with a single glance.
“Ah!? A top class devil? What about it, I am a famous adventurer in this area, I won’t be scared of a mere devil!! You can call me Dust, devil sir! By the way, I don’t have any money, so if I give you my boots, could you let me live?”
Moi could not help but be impressed with the gold-haired boy that reversed his attitude once he knew that Moi was a devil.
“It seems that Moi cannot keep my real identity hidden in the face of a Crimson Demon… What is it? Moi means no harm. Moi name is Vanir. The Duke of Hell known as the Devil who can see through everything, Vanir is Moi name.”
After persuading the Crimson Demon girl that Moi meant no harm, the three of us went to an empty area where no one would disturb.
“So like Moi said, Moi works part time at a store in this town. Moi’s affiliation with the Demon King’s army is a thing in the past. Now, Moi routinely meets with the nearby madams to do idle gossip, enforces the rules for trash dumping, and is called the ‘Crow Slayer Vanir’ that drives crows away from dumpsters. Moi is a model citizen of Axel, so you have no reason to be hostile towards me. Am Moi understood, Crimson Demon girl?”
Moi completed the account of Moi life in Axel until now, and shifted Moi gaze to the person who would go next.
The delinquent who introduced himself as Dust, crossed his arms and released a deep breath.
“…. So that’s how it is. When I was sent flying by this strange guy, I was wondering what the heck was happening. Let me reintroduce myself, my name is Dust. As you can see, I am an adventurer. I am quite famous in this city, if you have anything troubling you, you are welcome to talk to me.”
Through Moi eye that sees through all, I can tell that this was not his true name.
“You can usually find me drinking at the adventurer’s guild, and I occasionally try to teach the weaker adventurers there. By the way, I don’t have a girlfriend. About what happened just now – where I tried to dashingly save you from delinquent A and B but instead cowered in front of Sir Vanir; please don’t say anything about it. As long as you don’t report it, I am willing to pay with my body. I’ll say it one more time, I don’t have a girlfriend.”
Despite Moi’s doubts and him having said words like “I saved you” to that Crimson Demon girl, Dust tried to retain his appeal of mystery.
“U-Um, was I saved? To be honest, I thought those guys were acting strangely from the beginning, and from the timing at which Dust-san showed up, wasn’t it a staged event…”
Said the Crimson Demon girl timidly.
“The subject of delinquent C’s staging aside, it seems that in the end it is instead Moi that saved you from delinquent C. Moi will not force you, but if you wish to return the favor, you may pay me in cash. By the way, if thou does not report this incident, a curse of being unable to make friends shall befall…”
“Stop! It’s the first time we have met, so how could you pinpoint the curse that I would hate the most!?”
Cried the tearful Crimson Demon girl.
After the Crimson Demon girl clamored briefly, she regained her posture with a cough and took a step back.
Then, she flipped her cape and drew her wand with a serious face, putting up a pose.
“My name is Yunyun! An Archmage that wields advanced magic. One of the top Crimson Demon mages, and the one who will be the next village chief!”
“Are you provoking me?”
“No, no, no, no, you are mistaken!”
Facing Dust who put on a serious face, the flustered Crimson Demon girl, Yunyun, hurriedly flung her hands in denial.
“Puwahahahahah! A-As expected of the clan of naturally born weirdos!”
“S-Stop! We are not a clan of weirdos! This is the official way for Crimson Demons to introduce themselves, so there was no other choice!”
As Yunyun tearfully protested, Dust spoke.
“…So, on such a nice afternoon, why would you wander into a deserted alley in your spare time? No one passes through that alley, so I would work with people there to try to pick up girls. This town might have good public security, but if you wander into bad places, you’re bound to meet bad people, ya know?”
“At least you’ve admitted that the incident was staged. In either case, to be able to call that a ‘pick up’ is quite impressive. … U-Um….All the people I know are weird… So, I thought that if I went somewhere normal people won’t go to, I might… meet someone I knew…”
“What do you mean? So what you are trying to say is that you were wandering pointlessly in that place hoping for a chance meeting with someone you knew? Regardless of whether they are a friend or an acquaintance, it would be better to just meet them directly.”
In response to Moi words, Yunyun hurriedly shook her head.
“H-How… To show up unannounced, what if they were busy… A-Also. if I show up suddenly, they would say things like ‘If you have nothing important, don’t come here’ and then they would hate me…”
If it was as you said, what time would be alright to go meet that friend?
Whilst Moi was considering that, the boy who was least related to the term ‘friend’ said something unexpected.
“… Really, the heck is this? You don’t even have a friend? Then it can’t be helped… since I have free time as well, I’ll help you make some friends.”
Despite his delinquent appearance, could he unexpectedly be a decent man?
While Moi began to doubt the my ability to judge characters despite having eyes that see through everything, Yunyun turned and looked curiously at Dust.
“Um… This is the first time we’ve met, so why would you do that?”
In response to Yunyun’s doubts, Dust said.
“For the sake of you making female friends. … If you make cute female friends, introduce them to me…”
“Please return the little appreciation I had for you.”
Today too, Moi clairvoyant eyes are in good condition.
“Alright. So let us think of how this lady with thin luck could somehow make a friend. Perhaps this is fate as well, so Moi will help. Well, if you can make a couple friends, you can repay this debt with money.”
“Don’t forget my favor either. Remember, I want cute girls kay?”
“………. U-Um….. Is it okay if I leave…?”
Together with Yunyun who had an insecure expression, Moi was seated at an open-air cafe.
There, at an organized and stylish table, we initiated our strategy council.
… Then, a waitress approached Moi to take our order.
“Welcome customers, have you decided on your orders…?”
“I’ll just have water. I don’t have any money.”
In response to Dust who opened his mouth to say such things, the waitress’ temple twitched irritatedly.
“A-Ah…! Um, Dust-san and Vanir-san, I owe you two favors, so I will pay for your orders… What would you like…”
Though Moi was unsure whether Yunyun cared about the waitress or Dust, she passed the menu along.
Taking the menu, Dust said words like ‘Oh, thanks’ whilst examining the contents.
This man showed no resistance to the letting a girl younger than himself pay for his meal.
Moi opened the menu, and looked through…
“Hmph. Miss, what dish would you recommend?”
In response to Moi words, the waitress showed a great smile and replied.
“A recommendation! Here, this wild mushroom spaghetti is our store specialty!”
Said the waitress as she pointed to at an image of a spaghetti dish.
“Come on, this tastes really good! Wild mushrooms are also in the best season you know!”
“That right! The harder it is to catch it, the better it tastes! This is the season’s recommended dish!”
“Then Moi will have a cup of plain water.”
The waitress’ terrible expression was delicious.
“E-Excuse me! I will have the recommended spaghetti dish!”
Yunyun hurriedly ordered the wild mushroom dish, and the waitress who seemed to be at her limit replied with a ‘Yes, Madam’ and placed the order.
Continuing to view the menu, Dust said.
“Hey, hey, what is up with this store? It doesn’t even have alcohol. What a disappointment… Since there’s nothing good to drink, I’ll have a cup of water.”
“I’m sorry! I’m very sorry my companions have caused so much trouble. I’m so sorry!!”
–– Dust and Moi had cups of water placed in front of them, whilst Yunyun appeared to be reigning in anger as she waited for her dish to be served.
As of now, the meeting was unsuccessful.
If anything, it was because Yunyun had rejected all the plans Moi set forth.
Dust expressively crossed his arms and said.
“…Then how about this. First, I will find somebody who looks weak and cowardly. I will bring them into a dark alley, and then I will harass him. When I do, you can appear and…”
“We can’t do that! Why have all the suggestions so far been staged acts?!”
Moi thought that Dust’s suggestion was a good strategy, but it seems that it won’t work either.
“First, Moi will transform into a girl of your age. Then I will shed the appearance and make it a clone doll. After that, you can give the Moi who looks like a young girl a name, and bring it around wherever you go as a companion.”
“No! Not only does that not solve anything, but people who look at me with that doll will have the impression that I’m a dangerous girl!”
This won’t work either, huh.
Then, Dust suddenly started making a fuss.
“… Sir Vanir. Could sir make it have any appearance? Then… For example, you could make a clone of a naked pretty woman… H-Hey, I’m just joking! I’m just joking so don’t look at me like that…!”
Under Yunyun’s scornful gaze, Dust’s expression abruptly froze.
However, what should we do about this?
“What type of friends do you desire anyway? Do you have any minimum requirements?”
This was something that must first be established.
For example, even if they were of the same age and gender, she could have specifics like ‘someone of this personality would be better’ or other requirements…
“Uhm, if possible, I would like them to be of the same gender. N-No…! Erm, I wouldn’t ask so much… As long as they are someone I can walk alongside and talk with, it doesn’t matter if they are a child or an old man….. Erm…. if they aren’t human, then at it should at least be something that understands what I say…”
With her fists held over her knees, Yunyun showed a serious expression.
“W-What is it? Why are you two looking at me with such pitying gazes!?”
As Yunyun protested in tears, the waitress arrived with Yunyun’s spaghetti in hand.
Speaking to the waitress,
“Hey Nee-chan. This might seem sudden, but please be this girl’s friend… She’s not a bad person, she just clumsy and thinks too much of her surroundings…”
“S-Stop, Stop! I-It’s alright! Even if I don’t have many friends I will be fine! As long as I have Othello and board games, I can pass the time alone so it’s alright! A while ago, I put a poster at the bulletin board in the adventurer’s guild looking for companions. Even if no decent people respond to it, I have already given up. So I will be fine alone!!”
Yunyun, who trembled in embarrassment, tearfully stopped Dust.
…Bulletin board in the adventurer’s guild.
“That’s it! Moi has a wonderful strategy!! This will not only help the Crimson Demon lady who has nothing but plants for friends, but it will also help Moi who has been thinking of ways to earn money!”
“I don’t only have plants for friends! Once, I had human friends as well!”
“You, you didn’t object that idea that you had plants for friends! Also, sir, what about me!? You said it would help both sides, but I’m being excluded!”
Ignoring Dust’s playful retort, Moi quickly stood up.
“The Crimson Demon lady , let us go!”
“H-Hey, Sir Vanir, will I also make female friends!?”
As Dust followed behind Moi, Yunyun hurriedly stood up.
“Eh, Wa-Wait a moment! I haven’t eaten the spaghetti yet…!”
While saying that, she followed…
“Customers, the receipt…!”
“A-Ah! E-Excuse me! I’m so sorry, sorry!”
We finally arrived at the adventurer’s guild.
Pushing open the guild doors, Moi solicited the first guild employee Moi spotted.
“The lady over there! Moi am the hardworking worker of Wiz’s magic item store, Vanir. I have a request for you!”
“V-Vanir-san!? Um, What brings you here today…? This is the gathering place for adventurers who fight the Demon King’s army day and night, so it’s best if you don’t come here…”
As she cautiously surveyed the area, the employee whispered strange words to Moi who was a model Axel citizen.
“Moi doesn’t understand what you mean, but this is the adventurer’s guild, right? The gathering place for people who help citizens that are going through difficulties they cannot resolve themselves. Thus, the weak and powerless Moi would rush to this place if troubled.”
“It is what Vanir-san is saying that I don’t understand, but I’ll let it be. You’re here to place a request right? We definitely won’t take any task that would actually trouble you of all people. For requests like ‘Slay the Demon Dragon’ or ‘Repel the Demigod’, you’re better off going to the adventurer’s guild at the royal capital…”
“Why would a plain citizen like Moiself have such a ridiculous request? Either way, Moi did not come here to place a request, rather, it is the opposite. Moi would like to borrow a corner of this guild.”
To Moi’s request, the employee returned a blank expression.
“Moi will repeat one more time. Moi wishes to borrow a corner of the tavern in the adventurer’s guild. …Why would Moi suddenly come to say such things? It is embarrassing to admit it, but Moi is working a part-time job, as the magic item store’s business is not going well…”
“Of course; I know that already.”
As expected of a guild employee, news came quickly for them.
“Well, actually, our store has no decent products as of now, so Moi’s presence in the store would make no difference to sales. If the store keeps functioning as it is now, the monthly rent will go unpaid. So, before I can find a new product to sell, Moi came here for a personal request.”
Having listened to Moi words, the guild employee was on the verge of tears.
That was natural, as what Moi asked for was to be able to accept requests without having to rely on the adventurer’s guild.
Of course, the guild would not allow the rules to be broken like that.
“You want to say ‘If you want to accept requests, then why not become an adventurer’ right? However, while Moi cannot indulge the reason, there are various complications. Moi has a fatal complication that will not allow Moi to become an adventurer.”
“The ‘fatal complication’ I of course understand. However, if Vanir-san also wants to accept requests, then… if all the monsters are hunted to the extent where the ecosystem is destroyed, then Axel will lose its ability to foster beginner adventurers. If possible, I would like you to refrain from that…”
“Why would you assume that Moi would destroy the monster’s ecosystem? I say this many times, but Moi am merely a model citizen. Moi would not do something so ridiculous.”
To the employee who had been speaking ridiculous things, Moi straightened Moi posture and continued with the main topic.
“––The superiors at the adventurer’s guild likely already know about this, and to forbid you from saying anything about this may feel strange… but don’t be frightened, ok? Moi actually has a pair of eyes that sees through anything, that has the special ability to see a target’s past and future…!”
“Of course, I know that already.”
“––Give me a break, Sir Vanir, aren’t you going a bit fast…!?”
“Ha…Haa….D-Don’t leave me behind please…”
To the two who arrived here late and were ignorant of the situation, Moi explained the recent turn of events in an excellent mood.
After hearing what Moi had to say, Yunyun tilted her head and asked.
“Consulting center…? What kind of consulting center is it?”
“––Hah. As expected of Sir, you’ve thought this through.”
Whilst Yunyun curiously inquired, Dust unexpectedly understood Moi idea.
“W-What are you talking about? To think Dust-san would understand before me, I can’t help but feel a little shocked…”
“Hey, what are you saying with such a calm face. Alright, listen in. You want to know and meet people, right? Then, Sir Vanir is starting a consulting center… Hey, got a hint now? You see, for a fee, sir will introduce you to wonderful people. So, instead of a marriage consulting center, it’s more like a companion consulting center.”
It seems like he didn’t quite understand.
“No, I wasn’t planning to do anything of that sort. What Moi plans to do is…”
“So even outside the Crimson Demon village, there are wonderful places like that! I will pay up! No matter what the fee is, I will pay, so please help me meet some good friends!”
… I feel like a companion consulting center may work as well.
“What Moi plans to do is an even more honest business.”
That is, a consulting center where troubled residents of this town could come to.
By using the power of foresight, Moi would solve the problems which the adventurers could not.
However, if Moi power of foresight was used for easy profit, it may result in an unpredictable outcome.
The misuse of this ability could have great consequences.
But if Moi uses this power to help those in need, then the reward would naturally be the payment, and the backlash of the power could be minimized.
“The requests that the adventurer’s guild receives don’t necessarily have to be slaying dangerous monsters. Those requests that the muscle-headed adventurers cannot resolve, Moi will easily be able to.”
Actually, the adventurer guild’s employees once, with a large compensation as the condition for cooperation, requested Moi to gather information and assist in the capture of a high bounty criminal.
The contents of the request was to locate the hiding place a masked thief group hiding in this town.
But for whatever reason, even with Moi’s powers, Moi has not been able to able to locate their hiding place.
As attempting to foresee any details was too blinding to Moi eyes, Moi gave up on the search.
It was at that time, that Moi realized that using this power for easy profit was not a viable methodology.
For the profits that Moi reaped from that brat to be exhausted by Wiz. It may be a consequence of using this power.
… Well, leaving that thought that aside.
“First, I will need to solve the troubles of people here, and become a well-known fortune teller. Then what would come after, you say? Once Moi acquires the trust of the people of this town, Moi will then, without using Moi power, tell them things like ‘This month’s lucky item is a defective product from Wiz’s magic item store, it will bring unexpected results…’.”
“I see, Sir sure is clever.”
‘That isn’t clever at all! In the end, isn’t this just another staged scam!? Also, what does this have to do with my search for friends… . … A-,Um, what are you grinning about?”
To the uneasy Yunyun who retreated several steps, Moi could not resist smiling and said.
“Thou, who art a lost customer. As the honored first customer, Moi shall tell your fortune free of charge!”
In the corner of the adventurer’s guild, Yunyun became nervous under the focus of curious gazes.
“Welcome to the consulting center, lost lady! Thou art the very first customer. No matter what your problem is, please tell moi without reservation. Thyself will do whatever Moi can to resolve it!”
At the corner of the guild, on the table of the makeshift consulting center, was a crystal ball Moi brought from the store to create the atmosphere.
Whilst the crystal ball wasn’t necessary, Moi rested Moi hand on top of it, and drew the attention of the adventurers towards Yunyun, who stated her troubles.
“I-I-I want… friends…”
“What? Please speak in a louder voice, or the people around us wouldn’t be able to hear!”
To the red faced and teary eyed Yunyun, who inaudibly whispered, Moi prompted her to repeat what she said.
Yes, Moi had placed her in the spotlight.
By purposely making her the first customer, Moi would be able to solve the problem under the attention of the masses.
If Moi could gracefully display the ability to solve problems right from the start, then Moi would be able to secure a sizeable amount of customers in the future.
“I… want friends…!”
“What is this? You want friends!? Moi see, Moi see, being alone is painful. Very well, through Moi power, thy problem shall be solved!”
“Amazing Sir, to reveal that kind of trouble in front of this many people. Yunyun’s eyes have already lost her spirit! Even I won’t be able to perform such a cruel public execution!”
The surrounding adventurers who heard this exchange fired sympathetic gazes towards Yunyun, whose eyes were dead and whose body stopped moving. Perhaps she was suffering too much.
A taste of the greatest of negative emotions – Moi will settle for this much.
“Let’s see, thy bright future shown by Moi power is…! Future… ….?’
“Please don’t stop, what about my bright future!? It’s making me super anxious!”
Yunyun, whose eyes were dead a moment ago, was now gripping Moi shoulders and shaking repeatedly.
“Now settle down, lady whose future Moi would not want to look directly at. From what Moi sees, you are a high level adventurer. While not comparable to the nuisance of a store owner who has too much free time, to have so much power at your young age that even Moi would struggle to see through is quite a great feat.”
“You have only said terrible things since we met, so it’s rare for you compliment me, but I heard you say ‘lady whose future Moi would not want to look directly at’ and not mention what to do about it at all!”
Whilst Yunyun continued to shake Moi, Moi considered the next course of action.
To be unable to see through was beyond Moi expectations.
No, Moi was able to at least confirm that she would soon make a friend.
“… Say, I’m just slightly curious. Sir Vanir said ‘at your young age’, so what’s your age right now? By the way I’m 18 years old. If our ages are really close, I won’t mind becoming your friend…”
Who her friend would be, and with what trick this friend would be made, Moi was unable to see through.
“Ah, I just turned 14 this year!”
“So you’re just a little brat outside my strike zone! Even though I could say that your body is quite developed, return my efforts and time to me!”
“Little brat!!? I was called a little brat by some delinquent adventurer I only just met today! I may look like this, but I’m quite powerful, you know!? I made plenty of achievements during the recent Kowloon Hydra hunt!”
“If you want to put it that way, then I achieved a lot as well! When the other adventurers were cowering away, didn’t I bravely charge in alone!? Although I won’t describe my condition after that in this place where people eat, I have been resting my body ever since in order to recover!”
… Moi sees a flash!
“You said you achieved a lot, but during the Kowloon Hydra fight, I didn’t see anyone like you!”
“I didn’t see you achieve anything notable either!”
“Hey, you two! Moi has thought up a wonderful idea! This idea, unlike the other ones, requires no excessive amounts of effort! Yes, the way to solve your problems is close to you!”
Moi said to the two who began fighting as Moi was thinking.
“What is it!? Please tell me, Vanir-san!”
To Yunyun whose eyes were filled with expectation, Moi said.
“The two of you can just become friends!”
“I refuse. Even I should have the right to choose my companions.”
“You…! I thought you were hesitant and weak hearted, but you just said that so straightforwardly! Bring it on, you little bratttt!”
Yunyun brought her wand to a ready stance and proceeded to threaten Dust, whose veins had visibly popped up.
“Well, even Moi understand that idea was rather unreasonable. This man is truly terrible, however, if you want to be so picky then you cannot complain. First, you should practice associating with others…”
“Practice… Even though it’s practice, this person is a bit…”
“Alright, come at me, you little brat. I will make you understand how it is like when an adult becomes serious…ah-ah-,aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!”
Dust, who seemed like he would attack any moment, suddenly started screaming.
“Oh shit, how could I have not thought of that! I have, yes I do have, even I have female friends!”
Dust who suddenly shouted such things, kicked the chair under his feet.
“You two, come with me for a moment! I have a good idea!”
Yunyun and Moi briefly glanced at each other, and chased after Dust who had hastily ran off.
We were guided to a pretty looking inn.
Dust, who Moi was following, rushed inside and shouted.
“Lynn! Is Lynn there!?”
Though the customers of the inn seemed annoyed at the shouting, we continued to look around the inn.
The first floor of this inn seemed to be a cafeteria, and Dust soon spotted his target there.
The person in question gave the impression of a female mage.
She was probably around one to two years older than Yunyun.
The girl who was called Lynn flusteredly rushed to Dust and said.
“What are you doing out of the blue, Dust? I won’t lend you money or become your guarantor, alright? If you want me to, at least pay back what you owe me first.”
“That’s not it! We can talk about that later, right now I have different request!’
As Dust spoke, he nudged Yunyun and Moi to the front.
“Hey, Lynn! This is Yunyun. She’s an acquaintance of mine. Yunyun, this is Lynn, one of my adventuring companions.”
As Dust continued to speak, the person called Lynn continued to loudly crunch on vegetable sticks.
“…Hmm? Where I have seen this person? Ah, I remember now. Isn’t she the one who always goes solo hunting?”
As she said that, she looked intently at Yunyun.
Yunyun, who was being stared at, shamefully lowered her head and wordlessly nodded.
Then, she slowly and softly mumbled.
Seeing the two of them interact, Dust spoke up.
“… Hey, your ages aren’t too far apart, right? Lynn, if it’s fine with you, could you become friends with this cheeky brat?”
… I see, this man had, albeit rarely, thought of a normal way.
Yunyun’s face expressed embarrassment, but her eyes glinted with positive expectations towards Lynn.
Lynn continued to crunch on the vegetable stick.
“Eh? Don’t want to, what are you even suggesting?”
Yunyun immediately ran off, leaving only tears behind.
── After Yunyun rushed out of the inn.
“Y-You…! Why the hell did you say that!? To a loner with tiny expectations, who would say somthing like that?! Even I can’t take that lightly!”
Dust, who stood confused momentarily, began to lash out at Lynn.
“Sir! This isn’t funny in the least!”
Dust flustered turned towards Moi, but as a devil, how could I not laugh at this merry sequence of events!
Lynn, up until now, had only continued to inattentively crunch on the vegetable stick, but towards the unexpected situation, she inflated her cheeks and protested.
“Wait, why have I become the bad guy? If you didn’t introduce her, I won’t have rejected her either. I mean, given that it is Dust introducing someone at this time, there has to be a catch, right? After all, you are the type of guy who would for your own benefit, pretend to not notice a crying little girl and walk straight past.”
“Alright. Come out here for a bit, I need to punish you.”
Dust gestured with his thumb for Lynn to follow him outside.
“Anyhow, isn’t that girl cherished by the guild as the super Archmage? A fledgling mage like myself won’t be able to match up to her as a friend anyway.”
As she muttered to no one in particular, Lynn stood up, took her staff, and followed Dust’s lead.
…Cherished by the guild?
“Vegetable eating girl, what do you mean? That Crimson Demon mage is endeared by other adventurers?”
To Moi’s inquiry, Lynn gave a short glance.
“…And you are the town’s rumored masked man? Our Dust is just an idiot, so don’t teach him anything strange alright? … That Yunyun girl, she is quite famous in this town, you know? She is the one who doesn’t form parties, the solo hunting super rookie Archmage.”
“In this town of newbies, she has rescued various adventurer parties when they are in trouble, but every time people give their thanks, she would say ‘Sorry for doing something unnecessary!’ and shamefully run off. Any party would want someone as strong as her, but because she always hunts solo, rumors like ‘there is no doubt that she hates associating with people’ have been spreading. As a result, everyone is leaving her alone as a way of returning the favor.”
“Anyway, what is with that girl? With her cuteness, common sense, and great power, why would she want to be friends with me?”
“…Hmph, don’t worry. More importantly, that guy is waiting for you outside, isn’t he? Is it fine to not be going? His personality aside, that man is actually quite capable. Girl, given the haste of the situation, will you be alright?”
Moi was not actually worried, rather, Moi was wondering why Lynn seemed to be brimming with an air of undefeatable confidence.
“There wouldn’t be a problem, after all, that guy’s an idiot at heart. He’ll think of me as someone soft, and will start by telling me to repent and then preach something to me with a bossy attitude, right? Then I can just complete my chant before I leave the inn. When he starts preaching, I’ll catch him off guard and blast him with magic.”
“…The residents of this town are really something else. Then, Moi will take Moi leave.”
“Bye then, masked person. Although that guy is my companion, I think that being able to choose my friends is better, you know?”
After that, Moi listened to Lynn begin chanting, and then promptly moved outside.
“Hoh, I see the stumbling idiot Lynn finally coming out. Alright, originally I was gonna beat you without giving you a chance to talk this out, but since I owe you money, go sit over there instead. Then, now I’ll…”
While listening to the melody of Dust’s screams amidst the explosion sounds coming from behind, Moi remembered a certain incident.
Since Moi has met this interesting Crimson Demon girl after all this trouble, Moi cannot just leave the situation as it is.
Moi, to help achieve the wish of the customer who had run away in tears, turned to approach the triumphant Lynn outside the inn.
In a place away from the main street, at a nearly deserted park.
“──Ah, I found her! So she was at a place like this.”
“H-! L-Lynn… san…”
At a corner of this park, there was a tearful crimson-eyed girl casually playing with a stick.
“Sorry about that just now, it happened so suddenly and I was surprised. Uhm, let me explain what happened… about what I said, there were reasons…”
“Eh!? N-No, it’s fine! At the Crimson Demon village, I was considered a weirdo, so I’m already used to this treatment! Please don’t worry about it, Lynn-san…!”
In response to those words, Yunyun flusteredly stood up.
“Then… Uhm…, would you be my friend?”
“O-O-O-O-Of course! If you would have me, please be my friend!”
To ‘Moi words’, a teary smile floated onto Yunyun’s face.
“I see I see, so thou wants to be Moi friend so badly! Alright, the devil who sees through all, Vanir will allow it! From today thou may name thyself as Moi friend! Thou thought it was the vegetable lady? Too bad, it is Moi!
Seeing Lynn’s appearance distort to Moi’s original appearance, Yunyun’s displayed a dumbfounded expression as her lips quivered.
“Oho, the negative emotions of Moi friend tastes delightful! Fuhahahahahahaha!”
Yunyun drew her shortsword in tears, and Moi continued to laugh.
“Fuhahahahaha! The lady who normally acts like an adult is actually unexpectedly violent! Moi have a message from the other lady for you.”
“… A message?”
With tears still in the corner of her eyes, Yunyun took a deep breth and stopped moving, shortsword still in hand.
“Yes, a message. ‘Although I don’t know why she wants to be friends with me, if I decide to play with her, it means that she will become friendly with my party members, right? We also have another punk like Dust in our party, so getting her involved with us is probably a bad idea.’ That was what she said.”
Hearing the message, Yunyun showed a regretful expression and let out a long breath.
“I see… It’s good that she doesn’t hate me. Anyway, to think there was another person at that blonde-haired person’s level… I feel a bit scared.”
Then, she turned and stared at Moi grudgingly.
“However, what you did just now was wrong. While I’m grateful that you brought the message, do you know how overjoyed I was when you said ‘Would you be my friend?’? As a human, there are things you can and can’t do, you know?”
Yunyun sheathed her shortsword and discontentedly stopped speaking.
“You just said such words to a devil. Anyway, when we were discussing your minimum requirements for friends, wasn’t it you who said that ‘if they aren’t human, then it should at least be something that understands what I say’. As the ‘devil that loves his subordinates’ that is also highly rated in this town, what about Moi as a friend is unsatisfactory?”
── In front of Moi who had returned to the adventurer’s guild, Yunyun was thinking ‘Is this really alright?’ with an anxious expression. Despite that, the corners of her mouth would occasionally rise.
“Then, this request is complete. As promised, the first customer will not need to reward Moi work. However, in exchange, you will guide adventurers you are acquainted with to Moi if they have any troubles.”
“Y-Yes… … acquaintances. Adventurers whom I am acquainted with… …I will definitely tell them.”
It seems like Moi chose the wrong first customer.
“I-It’s alright. Rather, from today onwards if you have free time, you can come help Moi with my work. After all, you are Moi friend. Like Moi helped you this time, when your friends are undergoing hardship, it is natural to help them without reward.”
In response to her friend’s words, Yunyun twitched in response, but then burst into a brilliant smile that stated ‘of course!’
Wageless laborer. Acquired.
“Huh, wait a second, that’s not right! Isn’t this happening exactly as she said it would!? That I would be easily tricked by a bad guy who says ‘Let’s be friends’!?”
Ignoring Yunyun who pressed her arms against her head and loudly shouted to herself, Moi posted a paper in front of the request board.
‘The consulting center is now open’
As Moi looked at the far away paper in satisfaction, Moi said to Yunyun who was still shaking her head.
“While Moi would like to know what you are conflicted about, do wrap it up soon, alright? There is somewhere that I would like you to accompany Moi to.”
── Together with Yunyun, who expressed curiosity towards our destination, Moi opened the store’s door and walked in.
Yunyun stood in front of the door, and looked as if she was considering if she should follow Moi into the store.
“Although this is not Moi store, given that Moi works and lives here, it can be said that this is Moi home. … Hurry up and come in. Are there people who would hesitate to enter a friend’s home?”
Hearing what Moi said, Yunyun showed a happy expression, and then lowered her head in embarrassment as she entered the store. To the old friend who showed a beaming smile as she watched the situation, Moi said.
“Moi has returned, housekeeping store owner. Let me introduce to thee this interesting girl, who is slightly happy to be recognized as a friend by a devil!”
It was already dark outside. Perhaps it was because she was enjoying her time, but Yunyun seemed reluctant to leave even as Moi sent her off.
“──Moi did not think that thou would be familiar with that lady. This world sure is small.”
“Yunyun-san had visited this store before Vanir-san arrived here. If I recall correctly, at that time, she purchased a paralyzing magic enhancement potion that I recommended.”
Once upon a time, to combat a devil near this town, Yunyun came to this store to purchase powerful magic items.
Saying ‘Thank you for helping me that time’, Yunyun bowed to Wiz in thanks countless times.
“Yunyun-san is sure cute, isn’t she? I also made a new friend today!”
Probably thinking of Yunyun’s happy reaction when she had told her ‘You can come again anytime’, Wiz’s lips curled into a smile.
“Store owner with a pleasant mood, Moi has wonderful news that would make your mood even better. Moi opened a new store today. From the reactions of other customers who watched today’s events unfold, it seems the reception of the consulting center will not be bad. Moi foresees that this way, this month’s rent will be somehow paid.”
“I-I-Is that right! That’s great!”
Although this was a happy moment, for some reason, Wiz averted her gaze.
“…Say, did you do something again?”
Wiz began shake at those words, and forced a smile at me.
“… Can you promise to not be angry when I say it?”
“Spill it. What you say might make Moi angry, or it may not, but if you choose to not say anything, Moi will douse you with the Vanir-style Death Ray.”
“……I was going to initiate the strategies that Aqua-sama taught me, but…”
That brainless strategy, she was really going to do it.
The one where you should buy land now, as the price will rise after a couple centuries.
In the first place, it would be abandoned as there isn’t any money to buy land with.
Anyway, if we had that much money, it would be better spent improving the store.
Moi remembered what Lynn had said some time ago.
── ‘Being able to choose my friends is better.’
Looking at Wiz who moved nervously with a frightened expression, Moi smiled wryly.
“Usually, Moi would lecture you for falling to that goddess’ level, but today, Moi is in a rare good mood. Although I am not agreeing with that goddess’ playful words, but devils and liches do have an indefinite life span. Earning money slowly would be fine, right?”
Working laboriously with this old friend with lots of faults to make this store great would also be quite fun.
Hearing what Moi said, Wiz happily clapped her hands.
“Thank you very much Vanir-san! My chest was pounding just thinking of your anger! Aqua-sama brought Kazuma-san to meet me, and when he dryly explained things like taxes and funds, I noticed…! I then hurriedly went with Aqua-sama to return the borrowed money, but as we had borrowed quite a considerable sum, just today’s interest amounted to a monstrous sum.”
“Vanir-style Death Ray!”