Behind the scenes of that story
Editing: Ulti, Deus ex Machina, Xenthur
The beer tastes really bad today.
Even though I was drinking together with my party members in the adventurer’s guild like usual, I couldn’t help but be in a bad mood.
“Eh? There aren’t any tomatoes in the salad. I like tomatoes… Hey, why do you keep frowning? You aren’t that handsome in the first place, so you really look like a two bit thug if you don’t smile, you know?”
The only girl in my party, Lynn, stopped stirring her salad to fix an exasperated look upon my face.
She’s wearing a blue mantle, with her red hair tied into a ponytail. Her face is still somewhat childlike. Looking at Lynn, I just can’t… No, let’s leave that aside for now.
“Who’re you calling a thug? Tsk, I was just thinking that the mood around town has been really bad since they came along, that’s all.”
“By they, are you referring to those newbie adventurers?”
Taylor, who’s still clad in full armour despite being in the tavern, jabbed his thumb behind him.
Behind him is a weak-looking, black-haired adventurer and three women… They really rub me the wrong way.
The archer of the party, and also the person I’m on the best terms with, Keith, seems to be fairly interested as well, and turned to follow Taylor’s finger while munching on a cucumber.
“Those were the guys who distinguished themselves in the fight against that Demon King’s General, Beldia, right?”
“Seems like it. I was late to the battle, so I don’t know the details.”
I was coincidentally waylaid by some issues, so I wasn’t able to be at the battle, but I’ve heard of their exploits.
“That Crusader took on the attacks of the Demon King’s General head on without showing even a hint of anguish, and in fact had a bright smile on her face the whole time. She truly is an exemplary Crusader.”
Taylor, being a Crusader as well, probably sees her as goal to strive towards. He’s looking at her with a look of utmost admiration.
“And that Crimson Demon girl wielded some incredibly destructive spells. She really showed the difference between a mage and an archmage.”
“The pillar of water that the blue haired Archpriest called down really was the highlight of the battle.”
Keith has his gaze glued tightly to that priest’s ass.
The blue haired girl was doing something with the fans she held in both hands. There’s the issue that she’s an Archpriest of the much reviled Axis Cult, but if you can overlook that bit, she’s definitely a flawless beauty.
And there’s the man looking for work while surrounded by those three. That fool who is looking for some luggage carrying quest despite having such powerful party members. Just seeing that pisses me off.
“Not to mention that they haven’t even given me a single word of greeting. Me, who’s in charge of the town of beginners. That really doesn’t sit well with me.”
“What the hell do you mean by in charge? Rather than in charge, you’re the guy who causes the most problems in this town.”
I ignored Taylor’s retort.
Keith and Lynn also seemed to say something, but I averted my gaze.
“Bringing three pretty ladies with top tier classes along with you. And the man in that harem is the one with the weakest job. Man, I really envy the pleasant life you lead!”
I deliberately said that in a voice loud enough for him to hear.
And he looked at me with a face full of anger-
YEAH! He agreed to exchange parties! That idiot!
I managed to fast talk that weakest class Kazuma guy into switching parties.
I’m a little concerned that he seemed to be smiling when we did the exchange, but that’s probably just him being unwilling to admit defeat.
He probably said something he shouldn’t have due to his anger, and his pride prevented him from backpedaling on those words. Otherwise, there’s no way he’d agree to switch out such excellent party members.
I didn’t expect him to agree to the party exchange after just a little goading.
Even if it’s only temporarily, he must really be an idiot to give up such great gems.
They all have advanced classes, and on top of that are all fine looking women too. One of them is still growing and has a somewhat pitiful body, but there’s no harm in ingratiating myself with her at an early age.
The promise was to switch parties only for a day, but if I show off my cool side here and impress them, I might end up permanently… No, that’s a no go. I can’t possibly leave Lynn alone. Perhaps I can convince them to join my party instead.
“Say, I heard talk about hunting goblins, but maybe we should go after something stronger instead? Like dragons! It’d be a piece of cake with us along.”
What’s this girl saying? She said something similar in the guild too. Does she really have a screw loose?
Well, she seems confident in her own abilities, at least.
If I recall, this confident blue-haired Archpriest is Aqua, right?
“That sounds great! I always wanted to try taking a dragon’s fire breath head on! To have such hot flames smother and char my entire body… Ahh.”
Is this Crusader insane? Advanced class or no, if you take a dragon’s breath head on, forget getting charred, you’ll die right on the spot. And you want to take it head on? This girl…
“Say, I asked this back in the guild, but why aren’t you armed or wearing any armour?”
“Like I said earlier, there’s no point in me bringing weapons. And my armour was destroyed in that battle with the Demon King’s General.”
“… I don’t really want to let it slide, but leaving aside the issue of weapons… Isn’t it really bad for a frontliner to be unarmoured?”
“Don’t worry. Weak attacks won’t work on me at all! And if we are going up against goblins, it’d be far more convenient for me to be unarmoured.”
More convenient… In what way?
Why did she suddenly tear up and start breathing heavily? It’s just her getting excited before heading into battle, right? ….Right?
She did survive a battle with that Demon King’s General. Even without armour, she’ll still probably do fine against a few goblins… Let’s just leave it at that for now.
“Dragon hunting, huh? Very well! I’ll shatter their tough scales with my Explosion magic!”
The little girl who dramatically flared her cloak and brought up her staff is an Archmage of the Crimson Demons.
The Crimson Demons are a clan famous for having large amounts of mana and a strange naming sense. Her name is Megumin, was it? … With such a hilarious name, there’s no doubt that she’s a Crimson Demon.
“N-No. I’ve said it before, you guys might be powerful enough to deal with them, but I don’t think I’m strong enough to keep up. I’m sorry, but please be satisfied with hunting goblins today.”
Plus… I really don’t want to fight with dragons. If possible, I would rather avoid meeting one for the rest of my life.
“Fine, I guess it can’t be helped. I wanted to bag something big to show off to Kazuma, but I’ll lower myself to match your capabilities for today. Be grateful.”
“Yeah, I wanted to change the way he regarded us.”
“Oh, very well. I’ll leave becoming a dragon slayer for another day.”
They aren’t even considering the possibility of failure. Yeah, if they are this confident, they must be really powerful. No matter how you slice it, It’s really a waste that they are paired up with an someone with the weakest class.
“Say, why do you team up with someone who has the weakest class? With advanced classes like yours, you guys should have no shortage of parties to choose from.”
“Umm, that’s… I just can’t leave that hikiNEET alone!”
“Y-Yes, that’s it. It’s definitely not because I was rejected by all the other adventurers and have no other party to turn to.”
“Y-Yeah. It’s not because the guys I teamed up with started crying and begging me to spare them. Most definitely not. It’s just that I heard that a heinous adventurer is in the same party with two defenceless girls, so I eagerly requested to… I joined up to keep an eye on him to prevent him from doing anything to them.”
“Ah, yeah, I get it. Now I understand why you would willingly team up with that piece of trash.”
I just couldn’t understand why they would willingly team up with a man with the weakest class like Kazuma.
So it’s out of compassion and to keep an eye on him. I guess that makes sense.
“Yeah, given how powerful we are, that hikiNEET shouldn’t be arrogantly commanding us like that! He should be more respectful and give me more praise!”
“Yeah! He should be treating us better!”
“Kazuma looks down on us too much. Now’s the time to show him just how important we are.”
Looking at them getting this worked up, I feel like I really could bring them over to my party.
I’ll have to show off for them today. Ah, right, there’s something I should know in advance…
“Oh, may I know of your skills? It’s better if we all know what we are capable of.”
“I can use all the party and Archpriest skills. My specialty is Nature’s Bounty, I suppose.”
“Party…I-I see. Being able to use all the Archpriest skills is amazing!”
That means that she has the skill points to spare to learn party skills after learning all the Archpriest skills. She might be more talented than I thought.
“My name is Megumin! The strongest Archmage and wielder of Explosion magic!”
“O-Oh. I already know your name, but you can use Explosion? That’s awesome!”
In other words, she’s just like the Archpriest and learned Explosion after picking up a bunch of other spells. If that’s the case, she must be pretty skilled too.
There’s no way she would be stupid enough to skip learning other spells just to learn Explosion.
I heard that she defeated the underlings that the Demon King’s General brought out in a flash, so there’s no need to doubt her firepower. I suppose I could flatter her a little.
“I can’t believe I’m partying up with someone who could use Explosion! You’re awesome! I need to brag about this to my friends later.”
“To understand the splendour of Explosion magic, you must be a pretty capable person. They probably won’t get mad if we are this far away from the city, so now’s a good chance. Let me show you my power!”
What is she saying? If you set off an explosion in such a wide open plain, the noise will bring monsters running right over. She’s joking, right?
As I let out a wry laugh, a large amount of magic gathered atop the staff in front of me.
My vision was filled with dancing sparkles. And this prickling is… Is she insane?
My voice was washed away by the outpouring of magic, smoke and sound, and the strong shockwave… Uwooah!
“O-O-O-Oh! G-Get down!”
I immediately dropped down to the ground in order to protect myself from the shockwave, but the Crusader resolutely remained standing.
Behind her, the Archpriest sat down, hugging her knees as she yawned.
This is strange! Am I the only one who’s scared? What are these people?
I shakily got to my feet after the shockwave passed, and noticed that a large crater has been blasted into the middle of the plain.
“Seriously? I’ve never seen such destructive power before…”
“What do you think of the power of my Explosion?”
When I turned towards the Archmage who was so proudly boasting of her prowess… She was lying face down on the ground.
“Hey, why are you sleeping?”
“I used up all of my mana…”
“Riiight… eh? You used up all your mana in one shot? You’re kidding, right?”
A mage who uses up all of her mana with a single spell? Isn’t that completely worthless!?
“Why did you fire it when there aren’t any enemies present!? I don’t get you at all!”
“Explosion magic is something you let loose when you’re feeling excited. That’s why you’re an amateur.”
“Don’t get so worked up. It happens all the time.”
“What do you mean by amateur? We just lost our spellcaster, you know?! Please at least get a little more worked up!”
Why are these guys so relaxed?
Ah, stop pulling on my clothes! Are you a kid? It’s probably just an adventurer or a guard who’s running towards us to investigate that noise.
“I think I can see a four legged black furred beast coming towards us… It feels like a fierce creature is headed right for us?”
I have a really bad feeling about this. I narrowed my eyes and focused on that figure.
A large feline creature covered in black fur, with a pair of large fangs protruding from its mouth… Hey, hold on.
“That’s a Rookie Killer! C-Come on, we’re running!”
It was probably drawn by the sound of the explosion. It’d be hard to fight it off with one of our party members down..
I piggybacked the mage who’s completely useless after using up her mana and tried to run, but,
“Is that a Rookie Killer? I always wanted to face one! I’m borrowing your sword!”
“Hey, wait, that’s my precious-”
The Crusader grabbed my sword and charged off toward the Rookie Killer. What the hell is that idiot thinking!?
Rookie Killers are monsters that herd small weak monsters like goblins or kobolds as bait to lure in adventurers that they then prey on. Normally, a party full of advanced classes like mine should be able to take one on… But seeing their actions so far, I can’t help but get a bad feeling about this.
“Get him, Darkness! Sock him in the jaw!”
Don’t cheer her on, you shitty priest! If you are going to do that, then at least cast some support magic or something!
“Taste my blade!”
The Crusader who fearlessly charged in found her sword slashing through empty air.
It’s not that the Rookie Killer dodged the blow, she simply sliced away at empty air. She readied her sword and attacked it again and again… But all she ended up accomplishing was seriously menacing the wind.
“Hey, what the hell is…”
I asked the explosion girl who I was carrying on my back, and received a precise answer.
“Didn’t she mention it earlier? Darkness can’t land any of her attacks. Her defence is impenetrable, though.”
So that’s why you said there’s no point in bringing weapons!
A Crusader who can’t hit her targets… An Archmage who unleashes her magic in a place without enemies and becomes immediately useless afterwards…
… No wait, it’s too early to despair! This Archpriest is definitely a proper priest. I need to get her to do something with her support magic before that Crusader is taken out!
“Hmph, nice blows!”
Hmm? She can withstand the attacks of a Rookie Killer even though she isn’t wearing armour?
Even though her clothes were torn to shreds, she herself was looking perfectly fine. In fact, she had a smile on her fact, for some reason I don’t understand … Or rather, I don’t want to understand.
She even threw away my precious sword and is currently fighting the Rookie Killer barehanded.
“So you intend to push me down and satisfy your animalistic lust with my body! Even a beast desires to do all kinds of things to my smooth skin…kuu!”
Leaving aside how easily she stopped that attack for a moment, what smooth skin?!
The Rookie Killer had its fangs buried in the shoulder of the writhing Darkness. Is it my imagination, or did it just look afraid for a second?
… Even if it’s just my imagination, why is Darkness not even showing a hint of pain after being bitten in the shoulder? Why is she smiling without a care in the world?
I get it now. These guys are all abnormal. They all have a few screws loose in their head. That’s why Kazuma was so eager to accept the party exchange, almost as if he was pushing them away. I get it now!
“Drool on me more, and bite down harder! Then, rip my clothes to shreds and slowly corner me as I struggle… I can’t wait! Haa!”
The Crusader let out a high pitched cry before rolling her eyes and collapsing. Just when I was worried that she was going to be finished off right there and then, the Rookie Killer released its bite on her shoulder and took a step back.
Was it scared by that inexplicable vigour and abnormal atmosphere? That Rookie Killer?
N-Never mind the reason. Now that it’s retreated, here’s our chance!
“Alright, let’s run!”
“What are you saying? If we defeat the Rookie Killer, Kazuma will get down on his knees and treat us to two or even ten drinks! That’s how it’s supposed to be! Taste the fist of a goddess! God Blow!”
“Are you retarded? Why are you charging in now?”
Just as the priest’s fist was about to touch it, her foot landed on a puddle of drool that the Rookie Killer made when it was biting the Crusader and slipped.
Her form destroyed, the blue-haired girl fell and slid until her head is right in front of the Rookie Killer. Seeing that, the Rookie Killer immediately chomped on her head.
“Aaah! It bit me! It’s chewing on me!”
She sure is doing well even after being bitten on the head. Did he lose strength in his jaw after chewing on that tough Crusader for so long?
“Let go of me! You’ll receive divine retribution for chewing on a goddess like that! Actually, it’ll be really bad if you keep doing this… Somebody help! Kazuma-san!”
Seems like she can still last for some time, but I can’t possibly just leave her be.
I placed the explosion girl I was carrying face down on the ground, and picked up her staff.
“Hey, I can’t see anything like this! At least tilt my head upwards.”
She screamed up at me, but, sorry, I did that on purpose.
The Crusader is unconscious, and the noisy priest is too busy thrashing around in its grip to pay attention to me.
“A staff doesn’t count, right?”
I lowered my center of gravity and casually swung it around to check its balance. It’s not quite the same thing as a spear, but, against a Rookie Killer, it’s more than enough!
After having chased away the Rookie Killer, carrying the immobile mage on my back, with the crying priest next to me piggybacking the Crusader who had lost consciousness and was showing the white of her eyes, we somehow crawled our way back to the guild.
Who was the one who said it was a harem in the first place? If I could turn back time, I’d give that guy a full force running punch!
I’m totally worn out. My body and spirit are in tatters… This is the first time I’ve felt this exhausted after returning from an adventure.
Are they back yet? There’s something I need to do after I get back.
“-That felt like a big adventure today!”
I heard Lynn’s exhilarated voice from the other side of the door.
In contrast, such is my current state.
Two of them who couldn’t move and a girl in tears.
After I open the door… I’ll apologize and ask for my friends back.
I don’t care if I have to prostrate myself before him, I’ll do anything to get my companions back!
TL note: If your memory is a little fuzzy, this is Dust’s version of events from the party swap back in Volume 2, chapter 1. Here’s a link to Kazuma’s side of events, if you need a refresher.