Today as a Follower
Editor: Cannongerbil, Sine Nomine, Skythewood
“It’s fine, Wiz, this is my penance. Kazuma gave a long lecture after that incident, and told me to pay for the losses incurred by the store. …So, don’t hesitate!”
“Aqua-sama… I can’t do this! Aqua-sama acted out of good intentions for this store! Even so…!”
This was a magic item store located on a certain street in the city of Axel.
Sweeping the ground in front of the store, Moi overheard the dreadful conversation.
Stopping Moi hand that was sweeping, Moi turned with a doubtful look to inspect the situation. The two who met Moi eyes turned their faces away.
“Come on, Wiz, this is the punishment I decided for myself. I have fully reflected on what happened this time. Even if I had good intentions, I must compensate for causing so much trouble. This is the natural method of repentance, so there is no need to hesitate!”
“No, Aqua-sama, just your feelings are already enough! If you have thoroughly reflected, then Vanir-san will surely forgive you! I mean, compared to how I always put this store in the red, that was just a small incident!”
As the discussion continued, Moi could no longer bear the two of them that snuck glimpses in Moi direction.
“… Alright, if you’re going to do something, do it now. The brain damaged goddess who has been trying to garner sympathy through underhanded methods, since you are a goddess of water, having water poured on you isn’t really much.”
Moi said to the goddess who sat with her hands wrapped around her knees and the store owner with a water bucket in her hand.
–– Just a few days ago.
Perhaps she had too much free time, but the goddess right here had been coming every day to play around with our idiotic store owner.
If we were to make use of the special trait of immortality, then purchasing land which would surely rise in price overtime was actually a good investment.
However as the two of them had not considered budgeting, interest, or taxes, they again produced more red digits.
In order to fill this hole, the brat that was this goddess’ guardian thought of this sales strategy…
“Vanir-san, you’re terrible! Don’t you see Aqua-sama reflecting to this extent!? Why would you allow such a terrible thing…! Kazuma-san is ‘Kazuma-san’, and though pouring water isn’t much of a punishment, but Aqua-sama is still a girl you know!? And, this…!”
“Wiz, thank you for saying that. Those feelings are already enough… Remember to always treasure that kind heart, ok? I may catch a cold from the water poured onto me and can’t come to this store, but please don’t forget me…”
Walking to the side of the two who continued their weird little drama, Moi picked up the bucket beside Wiz’s feet and emptied it over the goddess’ head.
“…Wait, what are you doing you brutish devil? Don’t you have any kindness in your heart!? Seeing this goddess weeping with sorrow, shouldn’t you say ‘I will forget about the red digits this time, it is my wrongdoing, Aqua-sama’, and cry for forgiveness?”
“Aqua-sama is right, Vanir-san. Shouldn’t Vanir-san be treating us with more kindness? Even the store has become wet.”
To the goddess who continued to act normally after water was poured over her head, Moi said.
“… Just finish creating your quota of items and go home already… Recently, the amount of time Moi spend with you has increased, and the indebted owner’s red digit producing ability has improved as well. If not for you and your brat’s suggestion to sell goddess’ broth, this month would’ve surely ended with us in the red.”
“Wait, please don’t give the holy water I make such a tasty name. Use names like ‘Aqua-sama’s holy water’ and sell it like that.”
“Ah, Aqua-sama, is the temperature of the water fine? If the water is too cold, please say so. I will add hot water immediately.”
While just touching the water would purify it, the goddess had a bodily trait that would convert water that she touched for long periods of time into holy water.
‘Use that power to create holy water with special effects to undead monsters’ – that was the strategy suggested by the brat that was this goddess’ guardian.
Although the method was accepted as it required no budget, but…
“Today is hot, so making the water colder is fine. Wiz, please add water. If you can, use water fresh from the well, the cool water feels good. Pour it all on my head!”
“Understood, I will immediately get the water from the well!”
The goddess was in high spirits as she continued to splish-splash around in the bucket. Moi wanted to say ‘what happened to your little drama just now’, but Moi no longer had any interest to stay in the store, and left her alone.
“I’ll leave the store in your care. Moi is going to the usual place.”
Said Moi to Wiz who was drawing water.
–– Moving towards the adventurer’s guild.
Recently a new business – a consultation center, was opened in a corner of the building.
The number of customers was steadily increasing today.
There were already people waiting for Moi at the corner of the guild.
“I have something to consult with you, it has already been three days and my pet neriod still hasn’t returned…!”
“It is stuck in your neighbor’s eave and can’t move, please go help it immediately.”
“I’ve come to consult. I manage the water purification facility of this town. Someone keeps shouting ‘I’ll help you purify this water!’ and then tries to jump into the pool…”
“That is an evil existence. I recommend spreading chili pepper around the pool to ward it off.”
“This is just something I want to consult about, but the ojou-sama from our house has formed a party with a man and has become stranger with each passing day. The retainers are all extremely worried.”
“She was like that to begin with, I recommend you quickly abandon the idea of helping her.”
“I’ve come to consult… The adventurers are causing all kinds of problems every day, and they keep saying ‘give me more enjoyable and well-paying quests!’ and I feel troubled…”
“… Being a receptionist is also quite difficult, isn’t it?”
There are quite a lot of customers today.
Although there were occasionally weird requests, combined with the money made from Wiz’s group’s holy water production, we should be able to avoid being in the red this month.
As I was pleasingly counting the money, the guild suddenly turned silent.
Looking around to figure out what had occurred, Moi found that that everyone’s eyes were focused on the guild entrance.
The adventurers of this town seldom stopped for anything.
In this town that housed a lot of peculiar people, the people were already immune to most events, but…
“Is this the adventurer’s guild…!?”
The figure muttered to herself as she walked in. Dressed in a commoner’s clothes and wearing a wide hat, was a girl who appeared to be around 12 to 13 years old.
While the girl was dressed in such a way, she did not hide the golden hair and blue eyes that indicated her noble heritage. She curiously and restlessly moved about the interior of the guild.
“Iri… No, Alice-sama, as your bodyguards, please do not wander around too much. Even though we chose a town with good public safety, we do not understand everything here. Especially because Alice-sama is this cute, you could be kidnapped by someone. Please be careful.”
Another girl said as she followed inside. She was another golden-haired blue-eyed lady.
She was dressed in a white suit designed for males, with a short sword whose shortness matched her hair. Her visage was the splitting image of a pretty woman in male clothes.
Lastly, there was a short-breathed lady that seemed to be a magic user. Her plain attire indicated her common sense.
“The two of you, please stop drawing such attention, this is the place where that person lives. In the event that Alice-sama is discovered, he will unreasonably plead to bring him home with us.”
…If the three intended to not draw attention, it was already too late. Moi had the feeling that it would be troublesome to be associated with them.
The adventurers seemed to have the same feeling, and quickly averted their gazes.
“However Rain, I heard that the adventurer’s guild was a rowdy and crude place, but everyone is silent… From what I have heard, as soon as one enters the guild, they would become involved with some unlawful adventurers, and one would have to repel them to resolve a ‘template’, but it does not seem like the ‘template’ will occur…”
TL Note: Template is a peculiar term that Claire uses for an ‘event of destiny’ or ‘fated encounter’.
Said the girl that inspected the interior of the guild with a troubled expression. All the adventurers tried to avoid her gaze.
After briefly pausing, the girl tugged on the lady-in-white’s sleeve.
“Although I don’t understand what this ‘template’ is, but according to the people with weird names, it is an important event. Claire, please perform the ‘template’ ritual.”
“Understood, Alice-sama, I will use my authority to threaten the adventurers over there. Once they approach Alice-sama, I shall repel them.”
“Please wait you two! I just said that we should avoid drawing attention, so what are you doing now!? Please don’t forget the gazes in this direction!”
Finally coming to the judgment that they did not want to be involved with them, everyone silently returned to where they were.
The girl named Alice suddenly shouted.
“Claire, Rain! Look at that person!”
Their line of sight, for some reason, was directly aligned to where Moi was seated…
…Although Moi was able to determine who they were talking about.
Moi hoped that they would give Moi a break…
“Please calm down, Alice-sama, shall we still perform the ‘template’!?… Hm, is that the masked man!? But he has too good a physique to be the invader from back then…”
“Alice-sama, please don’t point at people, it is unladylike! …However, it is true that the mask certainly looks the same…”
The three of them discussed Moi’s appearance from afar.
Then, the lady whom Moi believed was the centerpiece of the group, began to move directly towards Moi.
“A-Alice-sama!? O please you cannot, do not approach that man with the shady mask…!”
As the two followers hurriedly chased after her, the girl called Alice stood in front of Moi.
“Good afternoon, Masked Man. I am the granddaughter of the capital’s Chirimen store owner, Alice.”
TL Note: Chirimen is a common fabric used for making kimonos.
In the guild which returned to its usual rowdiness.
“Please do not, Alice-sama! To ask this suspicious man to lead us around town…!”
“I-I agree, Alice-sama. In any circumstance, we do not know anything about this person. Please choose someone more appropriate!”
What has happened here?
After the lady named Alice introduced herself, these ladies, whom Moi had not so much as seen before, began to ask unreasonable things of Moi.
“…Hey, to show this behavior towards someone you had just met is rather lacking in manners. First, you must introduce yourself. Even this child was able to, therefore it should be expected of you two to do the same. Moi name is Vanir, Moi will be in your care.”
“I will also be in your care… No, wait…! My name is Claire. This is Rain. You are Vanir-dono, correct? Please excuse Alice-sama for troubling you, she was just curious about your mask. … Now Alice-sama, let us go!”
“Ah, Alice-sama! The people over there appear to be very kind! Let us go request them instead!”
The two companions of Alice prepared to bring her away.
“No, this person is fine! You called yourself Vanir-san, right? Actually, for you who wears this fashionable mask, I have a special request.”
“Hou? To be able to understand the fashion of this mask, your sense is quite refined, young lady. Do please state your request.”
Through Moi sight, Moi determined minimal details concerning Alice.
“You brute, to direct such a manner of speech towards Alice-sama! You should know your place!”
“Claire, don’t say such words right now! How many times have I mentioned that those lines seem like villainous threats!?”
Moi, who was curious about Claire’s words, unwittingly saw through the backgrounds of the three….
…All Moi was left with was regret. It would have been better had Moi not done anything at all.
If Moi were to meddle in the affairs of people of such status, the store owner and Moi might be able to get by. However, the store – in both material and societal aspects, would surely disappear.
From the disputing two, the more mature lady, Rain, said.
“Um… Actually, we came to the adventurer’s guild to find Alice-sama a follower for a day. They must have the ‘Hachibei’ job and must also be an excellent mood-maker…”
TL Note: A recurring character in the period drama Mito Kōmon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mito_Kōmon
Moi has never heard of the job ‘Hachibei’, but in any case, Moi – who was often cited as a classy gentleman by the married ladies nearby, would be unable to fulfill the role of a mood-maker.
“Hmph, actually, despite Moi being here in this place, Moi is not an adventurer. If you have a request, it would be better to ask someone else.”
However, in response to my words, Alice – who was debating with Claire, turned to face Moi.
“I can feel the presence of a magnificent Hachibei from you! It’s alright, the role of an Eighth Samurai is to merely praise and flatter your master, so it’s not a dangerous line of work! I ask of you, for just today, please be my Hachibei…!”
As she gazed in hope towards Moi, Alice proceeded to join her hands in a pose of prayer.
This pose would easily sway any male who possessed traits of a lolicon, but Moi was different from a certain brat who seemed to attract trouble wherever he was.
Surely, if Moi were to accept this request, then the likelihood of being involved in some troublesome event…
“The reward can be paid in advance! Although I don’t understand the fine details, I have brought some money from my family treasury-”
“Please do absolutely call me Hachibei!”
Before she could finish, Moi had already taken the heavy bag that was brought forth.
At the main street of the town of Axel.
“Unbelievable!? To think that Alice-sama, of all people, would take money from the treasury on her own accord…”
Claire, who paced several steps behind Alice, continued tirelessly to say such lines.
“Even I want to be able to spend my own money. Also, I did not take it of my own accord. When I was massaging father’s shoulders, I asked for a bit of allowance, and father said that I could take what I want from the treasury…”
Claire continued to lecture Alice, who had casually handed Moi a considerable amount as a reward.
However, the contents of said lecture…
“That person is truly unbelievable, to think he would pamper Alice-sama this much…! If you wanted an allowance so much, you should have just asked me! Compared to Alice-sama’s father, I would pamper Alice-sama much more! If there is anything else you may want, please call on me at any time!”
“Claire, no matter what I request from you, you will take it too far. Hasn’t your behavior been rather strange ever since we entered the bath together?”
I-In any case, this reeked of sinfulness.
As the two continued this conversation, Rain spoke to Moi in a hushed tone.
“Ah, Vanir-dono… About the reward that Alice-sama had given you, um… Alice-sama and Claire-sama both have no knowledge of the outside world… If it is possible, I would like you to take the reward based on the standard…”
“Hmph, super refused.”
“Ah, Ah… I will be yelled at by the finance management…”
As Moi carelessly responded to the teary-eyed Rain, Alice, who had been walking in front of Moi, explained the details of the request.
“Alright. Listen up, Hachibei. From here on out, we will be fighting against all that is unjust! I heard that the town is under the oppression of a tyrannical ruler, that the public order of the town has been worsening day by day, and that the citizens are suffering from high taxes. That tyrant shall now receive divine retribution! Helping the masses undergoing hardship is our work! The Hachibei shall oversee and praise our work, and to get the audience worked up!”
Towards Alice’s confident speech, Moi was speechless.
That tyrannical ruler couldn’t be…
“Um, Alice-sama…? The person whom you are talking about, is it the man named Alderp? About that, irrefutable evidence of his crimes have surfaced recently, and he has gone missing. As of now, the area is governed by Dustiness-sama and the new policies have improved the welfare of the people…”
In response to Rain’s words, Alice let out a surprised cry.
Hmm, so it was indeed that tyrannical ruler, the man Moi brought to hell the other day.
Alice begun to shake where she stood.
“N-No way…. Then, what did I come to this town for…? I had planned to do as Onii-sama had taught, and like Goroukou-dono would have, gracefully expose the crimes of the tyrant… Then, I would reveal my true identity to everyone. Then Onii-sama would hear of this and rush to meet me, that was the plan…!”
TL Note: A character from Mito Komon, https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%BE%B3%E5%B7%9D%E5%85%89%E5%9C%80
“So you had that sort of scheme in mind, Alice-sama! You cannot, Alice-sama, I will not allow you to meet that man. I have already told you that many countless times!”
“So that’s why when you said you wanted to ‘correct the unjust’, you did not choose towns close to the royal capital, but instead chose this place!”
Even as she was lectured by Claire and Rain, Alice did not retreat one step.
“I-, I, even if it’s only just a little, I want to be praised by Onii-sama! All I wanted was for him to say ‘You’ve worked hard’! I don’t doubt what Onii-sama said about him defeating the Demon King, but based on his personality, he will completely forget about me after a while! If other girls make a move, he would go with the flow and…!”
“It is better for that man to be led away! You’ve been affected by that man too much, even your shortcomings are becoming similar to his, Alice-sama!”
“Please, if I may say, do not shout in the street, Alice-sama. You will really be discovered by that person!”
It seemed a complicated situation had emerged from behind Moi.
“Hrmm…, about the ‘Goroukou-dono’ and ‘Hachibei’’ you have been talking about, what are they? Moi have been curious for a while now.”
“That ‘Goroukou-dono’ is one of the great politicians that Onii-sama knows about! He hid his identity and roamed the vast world. With his magnificent followers, he fought to correct the unjust! Goroukou-dono did not participate in battle. In his stead, his two royal guards, ‘Sukesen’ and ‘Kakusen’ would fight, and after emerging victorious, he would announce his identity. Through that method, Goroukou-dono would display his influence on the masses. The work of the ‘Hachibei’ would be to change the murderous atmosphere after the battle, and according to some sayings, he play the role of ‘the fool’ in order to do so.”
“In short, this man called Goroukou handed off the hard work to his subordinates, and then after the battle, he would bask in the glory of their efforts. Isn’t this man just an exploitative tyrant?”
“N-No, you’re mistaken! The Goroukou-dono that I heard about from Onii-sama was a truly righteous person!”
Due to what seemed to be her strong beliefs regarding ‘Goroukou’, Alice strongly refused Moi statement.
“By the way, since you called yourself ‘granddaughter of the Chirimen store owner’, Moi was wondering what kind of products a Chirimen store sells.”
“…A Chirimen store is a Chirimen store. … Say, Claire, Rain. What is a Chirimen store?”
TL note: Store is pronounced as ‘donya’. When separated ‘don’ stands for bowl, while ‘ya’ stands for house’ (specialized store). E.g. Katsudonya specializes in pork bowls.
“In any case, a Chirimen bowl house should be a restaurant, right?”
“What do you suppose the Chirimen in a Chirimen bowl is? I’ve never eaten it before…”
In response to Moi question, the three people began to silently discuss amongst one another.
Vigorously turning to face Moi, Alice changed the topic of discussion.
“Anyway, if there’s no tyrannical ruler here, then it can’t be helped. For the sake of announcing my true identity, we must find someone who plans to do something evil in this town. Ideally, the target would be someone who plans to abuse their power to oppress the masses, but we don’t have the freedom to choose! After we capture and punish some convenient evil person, I will announce my identity. Well then Hachibei, let us go!”
“A-Alice-sama… your method and plan is already exposed…”
“Ah… that disciplined and understanding Alice-sama has become this indulgent… This must be the negative influence of that man…! But, this selfish Alice-sama is not bad either…!”
Rain and Claire released a long sigh.
Moi master-for-a-day happily walked ahead.
–– The town of beginners, Axel.
With its title, the town was famous for its good public security.
As should be expected of its title, there are police in this town, and it would be unthinkable for any idiot to commit crimes at the peak of noon.
“Hachibei, is there anyone who is performing treacherous acts or something like that?”
Having roamed the town for two hours, and having not discovered any incidents, Alice inquired with a troubled expression.
“The public security of this town is very good, and while there are some weird people here, there are no truly evil people…”
As Moi continued to walk alongside Alice, the two who trailed behind us began to discuss.
“Hey Rain, the people of this town seem to be ignoring him despite his gentlemanly attire. Is dressing with a mask not particularly rare in this area?”
“That can’t be right… perhaps the people are already used to this…?”
Ignoring the two who said disrespectful things about Moi, who was known as the mystery gentleman in this town, Alice gazed with longing curiosity at the stores we passed.
“Hachibei, what store is that? These children are carrying something into that store…”
“That is Axel’s famous Neriod house. The children who catch Neriod bring it to that store to sell for some pocket money.”
“What is a Neriod?”
“A mysterious creature that creates a drink that fizzles. From what Moi have heard, the creature prefers dark areas, and has various species.”
After hearing Moi explanation, the two who followed behind us began to discuss noisily.
“Rain, is what he said actually true? From that masked gentleman, I get the same suspicious feeling as that man.”
“His statements regarding Neriod are correct. If that explanation was not enough, Neriod also make a ‘Nyaa’ sound when captured.”
To think that they would not know about Neriod. It seemed that not only Alice, but even the lady named Claire had lived life sheltered from the outside world as well.
The two, lacking the basic knowledge of commoners, gave the impression that they were daughters of nobility.
On the other hand, the lady named Rain seemed rather down-to-earth, and had an abundance of common knowledge. However, as a result, she seemed to have undergone many hardships.
As Alice looked at the stores around us, she displayed a growing curiosity.
“Hachibei, what is that!? What is that store selling?”
“That is a store that sells magic items. However, if you want to purchase magic items, Moi recommends Wiz’s magic item store, which is more famous in this town. That store has a lot of powerful magic items for sale.”
Having overheard the discussion between Alice and Moi from a short distance away, Claire approached and asked.
“Vanir-dono, umm, what is that store over there? The sign says that it is a fruit store, but why are there so many cages?”
“That is for selling amanatsu. When dealing with amanatsu, if you let down your guard just a little, they will spray juice at your eyes. In this season alone, there have been a countless amount of people who have suffered after being been struck by juice.”
As Moi explained with a tone of ‘How could you not know this?’, Alice’s curiosity seemed to deepen.
“There are really amanatsu that are that vicious? It seems that there are many things about this world that I don’t know… When I meet Onii-sama again someday, I must apologize. When Onii-sama said that there are cats that spit fire and can fly, I called him a liar…”
“That kind of thing can’t possibly exist. There is no doubt that that man tried to fool you.”
Covering her face that turned red with embarrassment, Alice released a frustrated groan. Moi decided to continue our search through the town.
From there, we continued to search the town even more thoroughly, but no special incidents occurred.
While we had come across a delinquent harassing and soliciting females, Claire quickly caught the person and handed him to the police. The peace in Axel was only further confirmed.
“–– What should we do? We’ve made no progress towards our original goals… The only incident we’ve resolved was that strange incident where that slanty-eyed gold-haired outlaw said ‘This is just picking up girls! Sir, please explain to these people!’ as he was taken away. There just aren’t any big crimes that would make it appropriate for me to announce my identity…”
Despite her outlandish mood earlier, Alice lost her spirit.
Anyhow, it seemed that her time in this town was limited.
Moi heard that for the sake of this one outing, she had greatly increased her efforts in her daily studies.
That was how much she wanted to meet her brother in this town.
Though Moi was surprised that there was someone of that status living in this town.
“…Um, Alice-sama? Why don’t we just give up on the ‘correct the unjust’ activity that that person told you about for today, and instead just plainly go there to play? Even if you did not ‘correct the unjust’, I’m sure that person would be very happy to see you.”
“What!? Rain, what stupid things are you saying!? I wholly object, if you let that man meet Alice-sama…! If we go there to play at this time, then that man that spoils Alice-sama… will definitely try to make her somehow stay at his house!”
“…I see. Evidently, as bodyguards, we must also stay at that person’s home. However, since it is that person’s home, there is still a necessity to closely guard Alice-sama at all times. It certainly is a situation we should avoid.”
“… To closely guard Alice-sama… When means, we would bathe together, sleep together… Um, Alice-sama, if you want to go there no matter what, then we can bend the rules…”
The conversation occurred between the two.
“…Please stop. If It is about Onii-sama, then surely he will have already performed more heroic feats. Then in my case, before I meet Onii-sama again, I want to show him evidence of my hard work that is worthy of his praise. I want to be like the ideal politician Goroukou-dono that Onii-sama told me about. That is why…”
Having said that, Alice’s shoulders dropped and continued to walk dejectedly. Moi decided to say the only thing that Moi could think of.
“If that is the case, then Moi have good news for you. Actually, the wanted criminals that caused the large incident in the capital, the silver-haired thieving group, have hidden themselves in this town. If we search for them…”
“N- NoNoNoNo, we really cannot do that! Err, I have been allowed to go outside for today only. So, I don’t think we can capture that kind of famous figure in a day’s time!”
For some reason, Alice flusteredly rejected Moi suggestion.
“No, please wait, Alice-sama. Describe the situation with the wanted criminals again. I’m very curious as to why there are powerful thieves like them are hidden in this city.”
“I-, I am also slightly curious…”
Hmph, although Alice rejected Moi for some reason, the other two seemed to entertain the idea.
A while ago, the adventurer’s guild requested Moi to foretell the whereabouts of the thieves, however, due to a blinding light that obstructed Moi eye, Moi gave up on the request.
It has been a long time since that incident. Given the circumstances, should I try to foretell the true form of the thieves one more time?
“If we look from the perspective of their results, those thieves had actually saved us! So, I don’t think we should…!”
When Alice was trying to explain herself.
The ground started to shake, and the sound of an explosion can be heard in the distance.
“W-What happened!? Don’t tell me, a remote town like this is being attacked by the demon king’s army!?”
“The explosion sound just now! Alice-sama, this is an emergency situation! Please forgive me for ruining this enjoyable moment, but before we clarify this incident, please do not move…!”
“For just a moment, I felt the presence of an enormous amount of magic power from faraway. It seems to be magic casted by someone…”
In contrast the three who responded tensely, the passersby acted as though this incident was a regular occurrence.
Alice inquired the complacent reaction of her surroundings.
“Hachibei, despite the explosion just now, the people of this town do not seem to be distressed. What happened? Do you know anything about it?
“Ah, that is just the natural scenery of this town. That explosion occurs once a day. It is like how every town has their specialty products. What happened just now is similar to that.”
Surely, that was the sound of a certain Crimson Demon releasing explosion magic.
“Scenery… So in small towns, you will occasionally hear the sound of explosions.”
“We do not know much about the everyday lives of the masses, but from the reaction of the citizens, it seems that this is nothing new. I have learned much from leaving the capital.”
“The two of you, please do not simply agree, there is obviously something weird about this town!”
Only Rain alone seemed to protest what Moi said.
“Rain-dono, you are the only one who is agitated by that in this town. If you continue like this, you will draw unwanted attention, so please consider what just happened with a bit more common sense.”
“Me!? I’m the weird one here!? I’m the one that stands out!? I stand out more than the person who wears a mask!? I’m the one amongst us with the least common sense!?”
Though Rain seemed to have taken a big shock, she calmed down as she followed our steps. As we continued to walk down the street ––
“You, what kind have education did you had!? Before you is the one who used to manage the town’s finances, the duke Aurip!”
Just then, Moi heard a good voice.
One of the duke’s followers pointed to an obese man to indicate his identity.
Seated in a palanquin was a man who, together with a group of knights that acted as bodyguards, created an oppressive atmosphere.
If Moi were to guess, the incident seemed to involve a woman.
“You say that, but it can’t be helped, you just aren’t my type…”
The woman said with a contorted expression. She was a female adventurer that Moi would occasionally see at the guild.
“…You, are you serious? To be chosen by Aurip-sama is extremely lucky, you know? Aren’t you an adventurer?”
The follower couldn’t comprehend why the woman would reject his master, and revealed a surprised expression.
“Huh. Yes, I am an adventurer… Anyway, since the beginning you’ve been saying that I am lucky and that I have been chosen, but in the end, what kind of merits are there?”
In response to the words of the passionate follower, the female adventurer merely inquired.
The follower raised his chest in pride.
“A beginner adventurer like you, who wouldn’t have been able to experience the best of life, has now been granted the choice. The monthly earnings of a beginning adventurer should be around 100,000 to 200,000 eris, right? However, if you become Aurip-sama’s lover, then your earnings will at least double!”
The female adventurer proceeded to spit on the floor, and quickly turned to leave.
Glancing at the follower who stood still, she proudly said.
“I had a bit of anticipation since he was a noble, but to think he was so poor!”
She then spit on the floor again, and left with a bad mood.
Though this was the town of beginner adventurers, for some reason, there were many chances to encounter high bounty targets, and as a result, a majority of the adventurers here were rather wealthy.
Unable to accept her disrespectful attitude, the follower who was frozen in place began to move once again.
“Hey. Hey, what was that!? That poor adventurer, what kind of attitude was that! Hey, you there! What is the name of that adventurer!? You are also an adventurer, so you should know that person’s name, right!?”
The follower solicited a passing adventurer, and pressured him with questions.
“Hah? How would I know that? Do you know how many adventurers are in this town?”
“!? Y-You bastard, what kind of attitude is that!? Do you not know who that person…”
“Though I don’t really know, he’s some noble-sama, right? Yea yea. Nobles are really amazing. In this town where the service in stores are perfect, where the employees are all beautiful onee-sans, they are the weird people who would rather choose some female adventurers to hold a spat with. The adventurers of this town are already used to the weird habits of nobles.”
The adventurer, who was being interrogated, brushed the follower off and continued on his way.
To the people living in this town, the words of a noble didn’t have much of an effect.
That was because a certain lady of a major noble family had caused the might of the noble title to plummet. Now, the adventurers of this town looked down on nobility instead.
“––What happened to this town?”
Moi heard a couple of troubled voices from behind Moi.
The first was the voice of Claire, who steadily observed the situation unfold.
The second was the voice of Rain, who seemed to be dumbfounded by the sudden development.
“A-Anyway, we should stop that noble, right? Um, it’s good that the situation looks like he is abusing his power…”
They muttered amongst themselves…
“No, that level of odd behavior is an everyday scene in this town. Either way, the person who is the natural counter to nobles – the lady deputy lord of this town – will arrive here soon. Moi thinks that it would be better to let this one go…”
The three people glanced backward at Moi with confused expressions.
Then, the obese noble Aurip disembarked the palanquin, and shoved aside the follower who had wordlessly frozen in place.
“You idiot! You didn’t do anything and let those disrespectful plebeians run away! Go and arrest some nearby adventurers and investigate the identity of those two! Once you capture those two, bring them to me and execute them!”
As Aurip shouted, he glared at the nearby adventurers.
“It seems that this won’t do.”
Having heard Aurip’s words, Rain lifted her staff and said.
“As I expected, we should subdue that man. That person is Aurip, a close relative of Alderp, the former lord of this town. Furthermore, he is currently being investigated as the primary suspect for various crimes, and has been summoned to the Dustiness house for a hearing in the near future. However, since there are many pieces of incriminating evidence, Aurip seems to be running rampant before his formal arrest.”
“You’re right, this man is truly the shame of nobles. However, this incident seems to be one that Alice-sama has hoped for. Although I don’t want Alice-sama to meet that man, it can’t be helped…”
Claire drew the sword at her waist, and looked intently at the noble that was harassing his followers––
“Aurip-sama, so you were here! It seems that the situation has taken a turn for worse. They said a representative’s explanation is insufficient, and that there are also many questions that must be asked directly. As expected, it seems that there are many things that must be explained by Aurip-sama himself…”
A large group of knights suddenly appeared.
They came from the direction of the Dustiness house, where they had been questioned.
Due to the sudden increase in their opponent’s numbers, Claire and Rain stopped to observe the situation.
As Alice’s bodyguards, they seemed to have made the judgment that it would be dangerous to fight this many people.
Hearing what the knight said, Aurip’s face turned pale, and he hurriedly embarked the palanquin.
“You, go and say that my health is deteriorating! Tell them that after my health has recovered, we can schedule another time for the hearing!”
After giving that order to his subordinates, his entourage turned to leave the town…
“…? You, what is wrong with you? Hurry up and get out of the way! What is a commoner like you doing!?”
The passing adventurers that heard the conversation casually blocked the road.
Though there were more than a dozen knights facing them, the adventurers did not intend to fight in the slightest. Instead, the adventurers forcefully began to chat amongst one another.
Despite their odd behavior, it was evident that the adventurers were opposing Aurip.
“These people intend to block the road, but they are unarmed. What should we do?”
“I don’t care, just push past them! Release magic near them and scare them away!”
“A-Are you sure, Aurip-sama!? This is the middle of town, and it is also governed by the Dustiness family…”
“Whatever, just do it! I’ll be arrested if we don’t go soon!”
Though they were doubtful of Aurip’s order, the knights began to chant magic.
Seeing the situation, Alice’s face went pale.
“Claire, Rain! If this goes on then the people of this town will––! Let us go, we will stop them!”
Alice prepared to rush out, but Claire held her back.
“Please wait, Alice-sama, that person is serious. We should wait for help to arrive, and then help them control the situation. I cannot allow Alice-sama to be put in danger.”
“Claire-sama is correct! Releasing magic in town will cause a large disturbance, and the police will definitely respond quickly to this incident. Right now, we are at a numerical disadvantage, let us observe the situation…”
In response to her followers’ words, Alice revealed a remorseful expression.
In a disciplined manner, she heeded her follower’s warnings.
It seemed that the usual Alice was not this indulgent.
Her sad gaze was directed towards the knights, who finished their chants and fired magic into the sky.
Wearing an expressing that displayed her regret for being so helpless in this situation, the outrageous acts of the knights were burned into her memory.
––Well, contrary to the severe atmosphere that surrounded the three, the actual situation was quite different.
“Ah, this savage, he’s using magic in town. Based on that conversation, isn’t that dude being pursued by Lalatina? Let’s work harder to make him stay longer.”
“Hey look, these guys are just a bunch of chickens. See there? that tiny fireball was fired at the sky.”
“I’m––so––scared! I’m––so––scared! Someone help meeee!”
“Hey, don’t say too much, otherwise that uncle’s veins will pop from his blood pressure. Isn’t that guy a noble? Call the counter-noble personnel Lalatina here. Lalati~na––“
Although magic was casted in their direction, the adventurers weren’t fazed at all.
Next to the adventurers, the passersby didn’t even bother to look at the fireballs flying past them, and moved through the crowd and continued on their way.
Well, this much was expected.
It was this town after all…
“Hmph, such meager fireballs are all they’re capable off.”
“Vanir-dono, as I thought, this town is really weird! It’s magic, you know!? They’re releasing magic in the middle of town, you know!? If a fireball was released at the capital, everyone would be crying out in terror!”
Rain, who lacked the common sense of this town, seemed to be flustered by the situation, but to the people of this town who were used to a young lady that released explosion magic in town, an incident of this extent wasn’t anything notable.
“This town treats the release of explosion magic as natural scenery, so they don’t really care about an incident of this extent. Rather, there are many things that thou do not know in this world. Anyhow, this incident is becoming more amusing…”
“How can that kind of natural scenery exist? Please do not dismiss this question! I’m certain that I have common sense and knowledge! In the first place, how could the adventurers of this town have such rambunctious behavior towards nobles!? If one were to so much point a sword at a noble, they would be unquestionably executed!”
“That is why everyone is quarreling whilst unarmed.”
“This town is really weird!”
Rain, the only one blindsided to the common sense of this town, began to make a ruckus. Then, the knights drew their swords and prepared to display their true strength.
It seemed that their patience had been worn thin.
Seeing the situation unfold, Alice looked as if she was about to cry.
“Forgive me, Alice-sama, but please wait a little longer!”
“The police that uphold the security of this town will arrive soon!”
In response to the two’s words, Alice gripped her small hands in a tight fist.
“…Even though I learned different ways to fight from Onii-sama’s companions…”
She muttered with her head down.
“Oho, what is it that makes you sad, Moi master? Moi master-for-a-day desires to be like Goroukou, yet wants to personally dirty her hands in these affairs? Shouldn’t thou let thy excellent subordinates do the fighting?”
To Moi words, Alice quickly raised her head.
With a hint of expectation in her eyes, she looked towards Claire and Rain.
“S-Surely Alice-sama wouldn’t be… You wouldn’t want us to charge into this many enemies… right…? That seems to be a little selfish… No, I feel rather happy about her selfishness… Ahhh, Alice-sama is looking at me with those eyes…”
“Claire-sama, our job is to guard Alice-sama, but if it continues like this…”
Faced with Alice in a begging posture and the knights that released a murderous intent, Moi barely brushed between the two bodyguards and moved to the front.
“Since there are only this many enemies, the two of you don’t need to act. Please allow Moi to handle this.”
Moi, who was a devil, was not performing an act of goodwill.
Moi, who was a devil, did not sympathize with this master-for-a-day.
Hmm, yes. Rather, Moi thought that this influential master would give Moi a bonus if Moi played a more active role. Not once had Moi doubted that thought.
As this small master’s subordinate, Moi somehow felt worked up.
This was undoubtedly the aptitude of a king.
Moi heard that royalty carries powerful skills and were endowed with great talent, so perhaps this lady had some sort of special skill.
Surely, in the future, this lady will become a great politician.
“Doesn’t the Hachibei carry the title of the fool you ask? Fuhahahahahaha, I am in perfect form! In perfect form! Today’s Moi is in perfect form! In the city of Axel, there are no fools greater than Moi today! My master-for-a-day, tell Moi thy wish!”
“Vanir-dono, what are you doing all of a sudden!? Against this many enemies, that is too reckless…!”
“The title of the ‘fool’ doesn’t stand for your body being in good condition! But from Vanir-dono, I can sense an indescribably amazing magic power…! Alice-sama, between the two parties, Vanir-dono is clearly far more dangerous. If possible, please do not order him to do anything strange…!”
TL Note: Some puns involving 調子者 and 調子
The two followers tried to stop Moi.
However, as if she could understand Moi power, Alice’s eyes glittered radiantly as she said.
“Hachibei! Go teach those people a lesson!”
In an alley away from the main street, Claire, whose face was red and dripping in sweat, sat on the floor. Rain, whose face was had instead turned a deathly pale, dropped on all fours and tried to catch her breath. It was then that Alice, the only one who had not broken a sweat, took a short breath and smiled from the bottom of her heart.
Hmpf, it seems that Moi had flawlessly completed the request.
Moi had lived up to the title of the mood-making fool.
Although we were unable to announce her true identity due to the urgency of our escape, having done this much should have already been enough.
As Moi looked at our surroundings, Moi said to Alice.
“Alright, it seems that we have escaped our pursuers. Then Alice sama, please complete the concluding remarks. If Moi am not wrong, it should be something like this. ‘In this manner, the incident has come to a close’…”
“Like this incident has ended!!!”
Shouted Claire, whose face seemed to turn redder.
“How can it end this way!? What was that just now!? Hey Vanir-dono, what exactly are you!? Aurip’s subordinates, with a swing of your hand, were blown away like pieces of garbage…!”
“Claire-sama, please do not remind me… The knights of nobles, who had undergone harsh training, were crying for help as they tried to escape. I couldn’t bear to look…”
Moi, who was considering the special reward had let loose, and seemed to have traumatized these two as a result.
“What are you saying? Moi had sealed the sure-kill techniques of the death ray series, and fought while holding back Moi true abilities, you know? Moi only planned to lightly teach them a lesson, and while some light injuries were caused, there were no casualties.”
“That’s not what I meant! Because of your rampage, the town will be surely fall into a state of chaos! Rather than solving the problem, we ourselves have become the culprits! And, that was you holding back…”
As she said that, Claire shivered.
“Actually, Vanir-dono… What Alice-sama wanted to do was to teach the evil people in front of the masses, and then announce her true identity. However, for some reason we are now the ones chased by the city guards… If this continues, there wouldn’t be an opportunity to announce her identity…”
Rain let out a long sigh.
Hearing the opinion of the two, Moi reflected on Moi actions. It seemed that Moi had truly gone too far.
However, in truth, the announcement of her identity carried no meaning.
That man from a noble family did not react to Moi who was on a rampage. Rather, when he had seen the faces of Alice and Claire, his face became a pale visage and his body began to uncontrollably tremble in terror.
No matter how Moi looked at it, it was clear that the noble had figured out Alice’s true identity.
If his quarrel with the royal family were to be known, that noble would be executed without trial.
So, he should not so much as utter about Alice’s identity…
In any case, if it was a only dispute of this extent, then a certain impatient noble lady would quickly dismiss it. Moi did not think that anymore disturbances would occur.
To start with, that man was trying to escape his hearing, then Moi might be able to anticipate a suitable reward for Moi assistance in this incident.
“Ahahahaha––! Ahahahahaha! This is the first time I have to escape so far, and the first time I’ve run around so much! It’s also the first time where I’ve felt so refreshed! Claire, Rain, did you see it!? That tyrannical noble willingly ran to the police station and begged for protection, right? The last time I felt so happy was when I went together with Onii-sama to snitch food and had to run away from the head chef!”
“Alice-sama, your smiling face is truly wonderful, however, after causing so much of a disturbance, this is not the time to laugh!”
Though she was lecturing Alice, Claire’s face only continued to redden.
“Yes, Alice-sama, if we were caught by the guards then… Ah-Ahh, I can already see the amazed expression of Lady Dustiness…!”
Rain’s face turned paler.
“L-Let’s go home, Alice-sama! If Lady Dustiness was to discover that we had come this far to this town just to cause a disturbance, we wouldn’t be able to face her!”
“Alice-sama, Claire-sama is right. While I do understand your sentiment to meet that person after having come all this way, please understand…”
Despite the two’s suggestions, Alice radiant smile was unfazed.
“Yes, we can postpone the meeting with Onii-sama for today. Then, I would like to leave that matter for when we come again… Hachibei, could you accompany me for just a little longer?”
With nothing specific to do, we openly roamed the streets.
Afraid of being captured by the police, Claire and Rain looked around in distress.
However, opposite to those two ––
“Hachibei, that is!? What kind of thing is that!? There is someone that can breathe fire! Is that person a half-dragon!?”
That person was something like a street performer. For a professional entertainer, that kind of trick wasn’t much. At the store where Moi work, the entertainer that often comes to play around can summon a rookie killer from a small bag.
“I see, so people in this line of work can use breath magic and summoning magic at the same time. While hiding in the rear, these type of people can show their true colors…!”
As Alice was excited, she displayed an ever-growing curiosity towards her surroundings.
“I see, so that is a street performer… We should enlist more street performers into the anti-demon king army corps…”
“Claire-sama, street performers don’t have fighting capabilities. They will cry if you send them to the battlefield, so please stop there.”
Without care for what the other two said, Alice happily ran around the streets while pulling Moi hand along. ‘Hurry, hurry’ she would say.
Well, there was no reason to not enjoy this.
Today was the opening of the annual summer festival.
Though, this small festival was merely a prelude to that detestable Eris Thanksgiving Festival.
As if this was the first time she had seen roadside stalls, Alice’s eyes shone with energy as she inquired about this and that.
“Hachibei, does the festival involve this many people every year? And there are also other people who also wearing strange face masks. By the way, will the coming Eris festival be enjoyable like this one?”
“Those are not face masks, they are festival masks. Also, Moi do not have any interest in the Eris festival, but Moi know this little rumor. It is said that the goddess Eris will descend to the human world to secretly enjoy the festival. To allow goddess Eris to roam freely in the crowds during the festival, there are a lot of people who will cosplay as her. Basically…”
Alice gazed at Moi with an excited expression befitting of her age.
“…During the festival, even the goddess will descend into the world. Moi thinks that even if a hime-sama was to disguise herself in a crowd of people, no one would ever notice.”
A brilliant smile surfaced from Alice, and her eyes widened in surprise.
“… Then, even an average girl like myself would not stand out at all during the festival…though I cannot come to this town, I will consider participating in the Eris festival at the capital…”
Saying that, Alice laughed softly.
“––Then, Vanir-dono, thank you for your care today. Although a lot has happened today, I did not think that it would have turned out this way. Despite us having roamed around the town in such an open manner, none of the policemen seemed to care about our presence. It seems that the disturbance we caused was not as large as I had imagined…”
“That is obviously not the case! This city is definitely weird to shrug off such a large incident,!”
The sky had already turned dark. It should be time for them to return home.
In response to Claire’s words, Rain, who lacked common sense, continued to complain.
“Rain-dono, if thou art a true respectable lady, then please keep your composure and refine your common sense a little. You were being stared at by the passersby, you know? Please do not draw so much attention.”
“Are you talking about me!? Compared to this town, I have far more common sense! Back in the capital, I was troubled because I did not draw any attention at all! I don’t even know what to feel anymore, everything is so convoluted!
“Rain, why are you making such a ruckus? Vanir-dono is correct, please calm down a little.”
“Why am I being lectured by Claire-sama!?”
Ignoring Rain, who was being noisy, Alice looked towards Moi and said.
“Hachibei, I have been in your care today. Thank you for maintaining the act of the foolish mood maker to the very end. I really enjoyed it, you know?”
Alice smiled happily.
The two followers at her side lightly bowed in thanks.
“Moi too enjoyed it very much. Moi little master-for-a-day, if there is another chance, you are welcome to come to this town to play.”
Also, you are welcome at Wiz’s magic item store.
“Yes–! Um, Hachibei? Hachibei, what kind of work will you do from now on? You said you run a consulting center, but isn’t that an unstable occupation? If Hachibei would like to, then not just today, you can come and stay with us from now on…”
Moi put Moi hand on the little master’s head, and stopped Alice from saying anymore.
“Though Moi would like to leave behind everything and go to some faraway place, there is a friend here that Moi cannot leave alone. That said, Moi would be more than willing to be your Hachibei for a day at any time.”
To Moi words, Alice smiled once more.
“Hmph… To be honest, with Vanir-dono’s level of power, you would be able to earn far more money… If you come with me, I would be able introduce you to various good jobs.”
“Claire-dono, if Vanir-dono was to come, then our jobs as bodyguards would disappear. Either way, does anyone think that Vanir-dono’s power is an anomaly…? Though Vanir-dono was just talking about how the goddess would come down to play during the Eris festival, when I think back to Vanir-dono’s rampaging visage, I can’t help but think that the demon king has descended instead.”
Having said that, the two of them bowed elegantly
It was a bow that was truly befitting of nobility.
To those two, Moi said.
“It seems that Moi has found a way to change employment if there comes a time when it is necessary. If Moi can no longer stand my everyday life, then at that time Moi shall be indebted to thee instead.”
Moi returned a bow that only nobles knew.
Seeing that gesture, the two’s eyes widened.
“Ah-, Um… I have been curious since we first met, but the way in which Vanir-dono behaves, and his manner of speech…Could it be that you are a person of great status in another nation?”
While Moi was considering how to respond to Claire.
“The reason you always wear that mask, could it be that it is in order hide your prestigious identity…?”
Rain inquired in a small voice.
Now then, how should Moi respond?
Despite Moi appearance, Moi was the duke of hell.
Though it would be appropriate to say that Moi was the duke of a foreign nation, but…
“If Alice-sama is the granddaughter of the Chirimen store owner, then Moi am merely someone who runs a consulting center, and work part-time at certain magic item store. Moi am nothing more, nothing less than that.”
Having said that, Moi released an unrepressed laugh.
Claire and Rain audibly gulped.
By the way they fidgeted, it appeared that they strongly desired to know Moi true identity…
“Considering that we are indebted to Hachibei, should we at least tell him my true identity?”
Alice seemed slightly anxious about the conversation, and decided to ask.
But Moi lightly shook Moi head.
“Regardless of who thou art, today, thou art Moi master, and Moi am your Hachibei. Now, Moi little master-dono! Why has the cute face that is the evidence of Moi effort disappeared!?”
To Moi who had admirably played the fool.
The princess that called herself Alice, showed a brilliant smile befitting of her age.
––Under the starry sky, Moi hurriedly returned to the magic item store.
Today Moi earned a fortune.
There was the initial amount, however, Moi had performed the role of the Hachibei beyond expectation, and received a special bonus.
With this much money, even if the troublesome store owner managed to punch out more red digits, Moi would not have to worry about having nothing left.
As expected, that lady would have a bright future.
Not only did she complement Moi mask, but if there would be a day when Moi current livelihood faded, Moi could even go there to play.
…That said, Moi’s wish was to help this undependable friend, and one day have her construct a great dungeon for Moi.
Having decided to tell the house-sitting store owner of Moi’s adventure today, Moi opened the door to the magic item store.
“Wiz, Moi have returned! Listen well, today’s earnings are truly outrageous! Since the opening of the consulting center, this is surely the top customer, and…”
Everything around Moi ceased to move.
For some reason, Wiz appeared from the store, carrying a mysterious pile of rubble. What has happened in Moi absence?
Then, she noticed Moi who had stood there dumbfounded.
“Y-You are mistaken, Vanir-san.”
Wiz, who was carrying a pile of garbage, slowly retreated from Moi.
“What am I mistaken about? What has happened this time? Though I don’t really want to hear it, I will grant you a chance to explain.”
Calm down, just now, didn’t Moi pledge to help this undependable friend?
Though Moi wanted to chase after Alice’s group at this very moment, it would not be too late to do so after hearing her explanation.
“Actually, Umm… Aqua-sama’s holy water was well received. For the first time, they actually sold out!”
Wiz who had an impatient expression, said something out of Moi expectations.
“Sold out? That holy water? Moi thought it would be some cruel punch line again, but it was actually a rare piece of good news.”
Though Moi had doubts at first, that strategy had come from that little brat.
If it came from the brat that specialized in earning money, then this profit was nothing rare.
“And then, you see, Aqua-sama and I were very happy to have sold out the holy water, so we decided that based on the usual sales, we would increase the amount of production to earn more money. After all, Aqua-sama and I, who would often trouble Kazuma-san and Vanir-san, wanted to show you that we can occasionally come up with something good…”
“So you mean you wanted to impress Moi. Then?”
Moi words caused Wiz to shake violently. She then pointed deeper into the store.
“Um… then we decided that we would use the potion series that couldn’t sell, and convert that all into holy water. That way, we could even save the time needed to bottle the holy water!”
“And then, you see… in the storage deep in the store, there is a potion that would explode when opened… Eh, Ahh!? Vanir-san, where are you going all of a sudden!? Please wait Vanir-san, please listen to the end!”
Having heard this much, Moi turned to chase after Alice and plead her to hire Moi.