Giving a Goddess’s Blessings upon this Man!
Editing: Ulti, Xenthur, Keel the swift
It has been raining since morning.
Despite that, Aqua has been out in the yard, seemingly paying no heed to the weather as she happily worked on her plot.
Next to her, Megumin, holding an umbrella, seemed to be giving her instructions.
“Say, Kazuma, can’t you say something to them? Farm work isn’t easy. Every year, some Matsutake and Bamboo farmers always end up going missing.”
Darkness said that with a troubled face as she looked at them through the window.
“I know farmers have it tough. There are typhoons in my country, and every year, a few farmers end up going missing during the typhoon season. But they won’t listen to anything I say, so what can I do?”
“You have typhoons where you come from too, huh? Yeah, the vegetables do get agitated during typhoon season…”
I was talking about the farmers who end up in trouble after going out to check on the irrigation channels and their fields, but it seems like we weren’t on the same page.
“Kazuma, come take a look! They’ve already started sprouting!”
Aqua excitedly shouted. She really is a goddess of water; she doesn’t seem worried about being in the rain at all.
“The eyes of the mackerel are also showing. They are a little grotesque to look at, but you should still take a look.”
Even Megumin is getting in the mood…
“Say, Darkness, don’t you think it’s odd to catch watermelons in the sea and harvest mackerel in the fields?”
“Why would it be odd? You say some really strange things sometimes.”
As I was experiencing my first culture shock in quite some time, someone knocked on the door.
When I opened the door, there was a penguin frantically waving his flippers standing there.
Before I could ask him how he knew where we were or what is he doing here, Aqua noticed him.
The penguin let out a bird-like cry in response to Aqua’s shout.
“I’m sure I told you that I’ll purify you if I see you outside. You sure have some guts coming here. Very well, that strange devil isn’t here to interfere, so I’ll send you to heaven right now.”
“No, please wait! There’s a reason why I came here. Vanir-sama and Storekeeper-dono are…”
—After braving the rain and rushing to the magic item shop,
“Wiz! You’re back! Everyone was worried about you!”
“Vanir-san, you idiot! That tactless part of you hasn’t changed in the slightest!”
“You shouldn’t expect any tact from devils in the first place, you foolish storekeeper! You’ve become a lovestruck fool after fooling around outside! If you want to get married, then just get to it!”
The sight of the two of them fighting greeted me the moment I opened the door.
“Are you really fine with that!? I’m going to get married, you know?! I won’t be able to come back to this store after that! The owner is going to change! Aren’t contracts supposed to be absolute to a devil!? What happened to the contract we had to make this shop prosper together!?”
Perhaps because she walked through the rain, Wiz was drenched to the bone.
As for Vanir, a vein was popping on the temple of his carefully crafted body as he responded.
“Left-on-the-shelf shopkeeper, after you leave the store and the new storekeeper takes over, Moi will just make the store prosper with him and gain the funds to construct my dungeon that way! So just relax and go get married, you lovestruck shopkeeper!”
Looking at Wiz tearfully grab at Vanir, I turned towards the penguin next to me and asked,
“What the hell is going on?”
“Vanir-sama and Storekeeper-dono have been like this for quite some time. I thought Storekeeper-dono finally came back, but she seems to have her head in the clouds and ended up getting angry at Vanir-sama. I can’t find a way to stop them, so I thought to seek your help, young man.”
I wanted to tell him not to call me for this sort of stuff, but it’s good to know that Wiz is back, so I’ll leave it for now.
A stern-faced Aqua charged between the two of them as they started to struggle with each other.
“Hey, Wiz, where have you been!? You really worried everyone, you know! Hurry up and apologize!”
“Aqua, they are a little preoccupied right now. Getting in there will just complicate things, so just stay with me in this corner for now.”
Megumin dragged Aqua, who once again was completely unable to read the mood, over to a corner of the shop.
Darkness then asked,
“In the first place, what are the two of you fighting about? Come on, even Count Zereshrute is troubled.”
Wiz tearfully hugged Darkness.
“Listen to this, Darkness! I’ve been wandering around the deepest levels of what is said to be the world’s largest dungeon for the past few days. I’ve been killing monsters while thinking about things.”
Just when I was wondering how would that lead to the two of them quarreling, Wiz plucked a flower from a vase in the shop and started playing around with it.
“That man… That Duke-san who suddenly appeared and said that he’d be willing to accept all of me… Why is he so passionate about me…”
Oh, is that what being lovestruck means?
Vanir seemed to have something to say, but Wiz didn’t notice at all and continued.
“I mean, I’m a Lich, you know? But even then, he said that he doesn’t care. He even said, ‘Even after turning into an undead, you’re beautiful. I like you just the way you are….’”
“I was watching from afar using Lip-Reading, but did he actually say that?”
Ignoring my words, Wiz continued fiddling with the flower.
“And he proposed to me on our very first meeting… He even told me that ‘Such a beautiful flower isn’t suited for such dangerous work. I’ll protect you from now on, so…’”
“He didn’t say that.”
Yeah, he didn’t go that far, did he?
“Kazuma-san, I’m talking about very important matters right now, so please be quiet… Even though he proposed to me, I still have the contract with Vanir and my store to look after… Aah, what should I do…”
Wiz stole glances at the person at her side as she said that, and Vanir, his face a mask of annoyance, said,
“She’s been that way ever since she came back. Moi told her that if she wants to continue being a storekeeper, she should stop running away from the store and work properly, and if you want to get married, then do as you will, but for some reason she got mad after that.”
“Can’t you treat me with more care?! Is that all our relationship is worth? Aren’t Vanir-san and I partners who teamed up to make both our dreams come true?”
Vanir made a extremely disgusted expression upon hearing the word ‘partners’.
“A contract is absolute to a devil, but… Even Moi has been on the verge of breaking down in the face of your haplessness… Moi has been thinking if I should take a little break in our contract-”
“I won’t let you give up on our contract! I know very well that this store would’ve long since closed down if Vanir-san wasn’t here. B-But, the only person who can make the world’s largest dungeon would be me. Are you really fine with giving up on your dream of facing down adventurers at the bottom of the world’s toughest dungeon, Vanir-san?!”
Wiz desperately tried to convince Vanir as she clung on to him.
“So, are you willing to get together with him? Or is he not your type?”
Hearing that, Wiz played with the flower in her hand while subtly trying to keep an eye on Vanir’s reaction.
“That man doesn’t look too bad, and he seems pretty devoted to me… But, you know, I have a duty to see Vanir’s dream realized…”
“As far as Moi is concerned, Moi doesn’t really care who the storekeeper is. All Moi needs from you is for you to build the dungeon after Moi acquired the required funds.”
“Is Vanir-san a tsundere?! There’s way too much tsun and not enough dere! Please at least care a little more about me! Haven’t we known each other for a long time? Are you really fine with me leaving with that man!?”
The flower in her hand slowly wilted. Did she activate her Drain Touch out of anger?
“It’s quite troubling to call the genderless Moi a tsundere… Okay, okay, fine, Moi will put a little more effort into my all-seeing gaze this time. Moi will go chase him away if Moi sees anything too horrible about him, are you happy now?”
Seeing the annoyed-looking Vanir, I realized that this might actually be good for Duke.
The biggest obstacle to Duke taking over Wiz’s store would be Vanir, but it doesn’t seem like Vanir himself is too opposed to it.
It’s just like a devil to think so coldly, but with this, Duke’s biggest obstacle has been removed.
… No, wait, there’s the possibility that Vanir may find fault with him after turning his all seeing gaze upon him.
Just when I’m wondering if I should stop him, Vanir’s eyes shone with a suspicious gleam…
“Ho… He is in sight. The man who is so obsessed with you is currently busy collecting information about you in town.”
After hearing that, the edges of Wiz’s mouth twitched upwards slightly despite her attempts to keep her face straight.
“… Hmm? Oh, my, this is… How wonderful! This truly is wonderful! Moi wondered why he was so difficult to see, so this is why!”
“W-What is it, Vanir-san? What’s so wonderful about him? It’s really rare to see you praise someone so wholeheartedly.”
Just as Wiz was taken aback by Vanir’s sudden change in attitude, the self-proclaimed all-seeing devil joyfully said,
“The devil who sees through all so declares! When you respond to that man’s feelings, a man will experience delight and merriment to a degree never before seen in this world.”
As we were making our way back from the magic item shop,
“Still, to think that Vanir would accept that man so easily… As expected of the man I acknowledged…”
Thinking back to what just took place, I couldn’t help but think out loud.
“Why is this man so enamoured with that stalker, I wonder… Well, compared to a certain person who’ll go have fun with some female adventurers the moment you take your eyes off him and find excuses to fool around in the bath after just a little seduction, his devotion is pretty respectable…”
Megumin shot me a meaningful gaze.
“Yeah, unlike a certain someone, he seems pretty devoted to the woman he wishes to live together with. W-Well, being unfaithful is one of the hallmarks of a trashy man, so I don’t dislike it…”
Darkness also shot me a meaningful gaze…
“What? Yeah, the bath incident was my bad! But if you don’t mind me saying, you guys were at fault too! Megumin keeps sending me all kinds of hints but never crosses the line, and Darkness keeps flaunting her needlessly erotic body but always gets embarrassed and chickens out-”
“This guy has started throwing away the last shreds of his dignity!”
“You really have been turning into the type of man that I used to consider my ideal as of late…”
Just as the two of them started berating me, Aqua, who was tottering around behind us, suddenly declared,
“I won’t accept this. I won’t accept a man with such an unknown background! Isn’t it odd? This is Wiz we are talking about! Why is he so obsessed with her? He must definitely be up to no good! This is a goddess’s intuition! That man is definitely not in love with Wiz!”
In response to Aqua’s sudden declaration, I turned around.
“You just don’t want to lose the only friend you can have tea with, right?”
“Well, yes, but I still have a bad feeling about this! It’s hard to put it in words, but I feel like this will end with someone I really hate getting really really happy…”
I see. I don’t get it at all.
“Even so, now that Wiz seems like she’s into it, it’s not really our place to interfere. If you wish for her happiness, you should just let things take their course…”
Aqua reluctantly sunk into silence upon hearing Megumin’s words.
–After Vanir gave Duke his glowing endorsement, Wiz deliberated for some time before saying that she’ll handle this soon and headed back to work.
In other words, it’s now a problem between the two of them. As outsiders, we shouldn’t interfere.
“… I’ll test that man.”
Aqua said, her eyes brimming with determination.
“What do you mean by test? What exactly are you planning to do?”
I couldn’t help but ask, and Aqua confidently answered,
“I’m going to test if that man is truly a devoted and earnest man. Yes, I’ll seduce him.”
“A-Are you insane? You don’t even know the first thing about romance, and you want to seduce that man? Are you serious?”
Nevermind that man, you can’t even seduce a random person off the streets.
“Who do you think I am? I’m the goddess with ten million devotees of the Axis Cult, the extremely popular Aqua-sama! I’m well-loved by the neighbourhood kids, and even an old man gave me sweets recently. If I give these two a little bit of instruction, that man will easily fall before us.”
Where are you getting that confidence from?
…Wait, hold on, give these two a little bit of instruction?
Ignoring my inner doubts, Aqua continued with what seemed to be even more confidence than before.
“After all, we have the Loli Killer who is extremely seductive towards anyone whose preferences leans that way, and Eroness who can take care of anyone who appreciates a more lewd figure. If he can avoid being led astray by the seductions of these two, I’ll acknowledge him.”
“Wait, is that Loli Killer me? I won’t do something so stupid! Even if it is to test that man’s devotion, I am a devoted and principled woman too! I already have Kazuma, so I’m not seducing anyone else!”
“Stop making it sound like I’m in charge of all things lewd! I feel like the way you guys are treating me is getting worse by the day! I’m a little bit angry at myself for enjoying that kind of treatment…”
Aqua ignored the objections of those two,
“Those two are inexperienced with matters of romance, but I’ll properly instruct them, so don’t worry! Just watch, I’ll prove that my intuition wasn’t wrong!”
“I’m not doing it, okay? I’ll definitely not do it! Are you listening to me, Aqua!?”
Megumin declared to me as she violently shook Aqua.
At a small bar that could be said to be at the edge of town, a beautiful woman appeared.
That woman could be described as bewitching. Wearing an expensive dress that seemed most out of place in this cheap bar, the woman approached the robed man who was enjoying a drink alone.
“May I sit next to you?”
“… If you’re here to solicit me, I’m not interested.”
The smile that the woman tried so hard to put on froze on her face.
…Yes, the woman who approached the lonely robed man – Duke – is Darkness acting on the instructions of Aqua.
“Hey, Aqua, she dressed up and put on makeup and everything, only to end up getting mistaken for a prostitute and dismissed… pfft.”
“Don’t laugh, Kazuma, we’ll be discovered… pfft.”
I don’t know if Darkness heard our voices, but her face slowly turned redder.
This is the bar that I once ran into Duke before.
Aqua and I were seated some distance away from the two, using the Lurk skill to blend in together with the customers and ready to bail Darkness out in the event that Duke really does start hitting on her.
Of course, Darkness failed at the very first step…
“She got all fired up and said that all nobles are well -versed in the art of cajoling men and what not when I told her that it was impossible for her… Hahaha.”
“‘Very well, this is for Wiz’s sake. I’ll show you the glamour of a noble lady.’ she said. Ah, she was really cool back then.”
Darkness was quite opposed to the idea at first.
She even said such troublesome lines like ‘Don’t you feel anything about me hitting on other men?’, but when I said I wanted to experience what that famous NTR really felt like, she suddenly got really into it and eagerly agreed to help Aqua.
Seems like my words were very persuasive to a pervert like her.
By the way, Megumin ran off somewhere before Aqua could even begin to persuade her.
Just when we were whispering to each other, Darkness seemed to remember her original purpose and regained her original, gentle smile.
She let out a small chuckle and continued,
“You are really funny. I’m not a woman of the night. I’m an owner of a small store here in Axel; the name is Lalati-”
“Hey, isn’t that Darkness? What are you doing here with a dress like that? This isn’t a shop fit for nobility, you know? Hey, Lady of the Dustiness house, now that you’re here, why don’t you treat me to a drink?”
The blonde-haired delinquent adventurer suddenly butted into the conversation.
Come to think of it, he was here back then too, right? Seems like he was a regular in this store.
“… Have you mistaken me for someone else? I am-”
“What are you talking about, Lalatina? It’s me, Dust! We’ve adventured together and gone through a lot of other stuff too! Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about that!”
Darkness turned her back on Duke who was looking interestedly at the two, and slipped Dust a small pouch of money.
Dust seemed a little unhappy for getting chased off like that, but he still took the money and left the scene.
Darkness flashed a wide smile in an attempt to smooth things over.
“… There are always such people who come up to pester you after claiming to have met you somewhere before, aren’t there?”
“So, what does the Lady of the Dustiness family want with me?”
Welp, that’s it. The jig is up.
Aqua and I moved to a corner visible only to Darkness, and started making ‘give up’ and ‘come back’ hand signals at her.
But Darkness merely bit her lip after seeing us.
“Seemed like I pushed my joke a little too far. I’ll introduce myself once again. My name is Dustiness ford Lalatina, the daughter of the Lord of this town and an adventurer.”
Seems like she intends to continue as planned after her true identity is revealed.
Sitting next to Duke, Darkness gave a gracious smile towards the barkeeper.
“Please give this man and I a glass of the best red wine in this bar.”
“There’s no way such a cheap bar like mine would serve red wine, Dustiness-sama.”
“Don’t laugh, Kazuma! It can’t be helped! Darkness is a noble lady, so she doesn’t frequent such stores!”
“Then why are you laughing!? Don’t do that, I won’t be able hold it in either!”
Facing not just ours, but the laughter of everyone in the bar, Darkness blushed all the way to her ears.
“Then, just give me the most expensive item in this store…”
“A barrel of ice -cold Crimson beer, right? Thank you for your patronage!”
Following Darkness’s order, the barkeeper brought out a barrel along with a mug.
Its completely over. Everything she does just makes things worse.
“… Wow, can you really drink this much?”
“… I thought I would treat everyone in this bar to a drink to celebrate our meeting…”
Darkness said softly, seemingly deflating by the second.
— After watching our fill of the scene, we, along with Darkness who extradited herself from the impromptu party that the bar turned into, walked back home under the night sky.
“I won’t ever do something like this again! Damn you Duke, how dare you embarrass a noble like me so!”
Darkness angrily grumbled as she removed the white gloves she was wearing.
“You brought it all on by yourself. Duke didn’t do anything… Pfft!”
“Hey Kazuma, Darkness didn’t catch his interest even after everything she did! If you laugh at her too, it’d be way too pitiful! Darkness, I think you did pretty well. Especially that line about celebrating our meeting and starting a drinking party! If someone said that to me, I’d definitely show them one of my special party tricks.”
Darkness finally crumbled, buried her face in her hands, and screamed.
Afterwards, she looked up at us with a tear-stained face.
“But that man, he wasn’t swayed at all by my seduction or my status… I didn’t misjudge him. He’s completely different from a certain easily seduced someone. He’s gained a little more of my respect…”
Hearing Darkness say that with a serious tone, Aqua too assumed a serious expression-
“So, Kazuma, did you experience the glamour of a noble lady?”
“Sadly, I did not. That was the supposed art of cajoling men that all nobles are well -versed in. Was it helpful for you?”
I answered with an equally serious expression, and Darkness threw her gloves at me.
“I’ll fucking kill you!”
As we were running away from Darkness, who finally snapped, I shouted towards Aqua.
“Idiot, you went too far! She is really angry now!”
“Waaah! You were the one who made her snap, so you do something about this!”
“I’m not angry at either one of you, but both of you! You’ll just make things worse if you run! I’ll teach the two of you a good lesson before we return to the mansion!”
The first thing I saw after returning to the mansion was Aqua hard at work in the yard.
“So you dare shamelessly walk back in, you runaway NEET! Darkness ground my temples into dust yesterday, you know?”
Darkness was just way too scary after she snapped, so I ran away with my Escape skill and spent the night outside.
“Nevermind me, isn’t there something strange growing in your field?”
“Don’t try and change the subject. I sacrificed myself to soothe Darkness’s anger in your place, so show some more gratitude to me.”
Ignoring Aqua’s grumbling, I crouched down in the field.
Growing right there is a figure-sized little girl.
“Hey, did you actually plant a mandrake here? It’ll become a really big problem if it starts screaming in the middle of town, you know? Didn’t you say you will wait till next year to plant mandrakes?”
“The seeds were cheap, so I bought them, but it shouldn’t have sprouted so soon. Still, just what is this girl? I feel like I’ve seen her somewhere before. Only plant-type monsters would grow so rapidly, but…”
I realized what it was after hearing Aqua’s words.
“Hey, isn’t this a Tranquility Girl?! Why the hell did you plant one here?!”
“W-Wait, I just planted the seeds that the traveling salesman sold me! He was selling the seeds really cheaply too! There’s no way such a kind man would sell me a monster seed!”
“The seeds are cheap because it’s a monster seed! Are you not satisfied with buying a chicken egg in place of a dragon’s egg!? Now you want to raise a useless monster too!?”
“Emperor Zell isn’t a chicken! Anyway, what should we do with this girl? Darkness will definitely get angry if she learns that we planted a monster!”
We probably made too much noise.
“… Good morning, Kazuma. So you dare shamelessly walk back in, huh?”
Turning towards the source of the voice, I saw Darkness putting on her sandals as she prepared to walk into the yard.
“Kazuma, Darkness is coming this way! Do something about this kid!”
“Well, I don’t really care if that Tranquility Girl gets killed…”
Aqua started hitting me with the bottom of her hand as I prepared to run away.
“You devil! You really are a devil NEET! Don’t you feel anything for this newly -born life!?”
“Why don’t you share some of that compassion with actual devils and the undead!? Ah, dammit, she’s here!”
We stood in front of the Tranquility Girl in order to hide her from the sight of the approaching Darkness.
“Sorry, Darkness, it was my fault! I took things too far yesterday! I’m sorry, so please forgive me!”
“Yeah, Darkness, let bygones be bygones. Anyway, I’ll make a delicious breakfast for you, so let’s head back in!”
Hearing that, a distrustful expression appeared on Darkness’s face.
Leaving me who immediately apologized aside, Aqua’s behaviour is definitely suspicious.
After all, Aqua would normally say something like ‘You got so angry at me yesterday, so you need to let him experience the same thing,’ and the like to drag me down with her.
Shifting her distrustful expression from Aqua to me, Darkness asked,
“…So, what exactly did you do?”
“Hey, why are you looking at me? The number of problems I’ve caused should be countable on one hand!”
Darkness shifted her gaze to my side after hearing my words, and Aqua immediately averted her gaze.
I’ve felt this way for a while now, but this girl really is way too bad at hiding things.
“What on earth did you do this time!? Hurry up and tell me!”
“Why does everyone immediately think I’m the culprit whenever something goes wrong?! I really don’t think it’s good to be so prejudiced towards others!”
Saying that, Aqua pushed on Darkness’s chest as if she wanted her to leave.
“H-Hey, why do you want me to leave this place so badly?!”
Darkness struggled with Aqua in order to resist her pushes, and her gaze suddenly fell to what was behind Aqua…
“That’s not it!”
Ignoring Aqua’s fervent denial, Darkness continued with a serious expression.
“Aqua, isn’t that a Tranquility Girl…”
“No, that is just a cute little mandrake that sprouted quickly! I did buy a mandrake seed this time!”
I really don’t know if a Tranquility Girl or a mandrake would be more dangerous, but Darkness pushed past Aqua and screamed,
“You planted that here? In the first place, a mandrake isn’t any less dangerous than a Tranquility Girl! Move, Aqua! I’ll take care of it before it develops sentience! I won’t tolerate any discussion!”
Darkness rolled up her sleeves and moved to uproot the Tranquility Girl.
Well, yeah, this is only to be expected.
There’s no way we can raise a monster in town, so the only option is to kill it. Aqua didn’t plant it here on purpose, but we can at least grant it a swift end…
“No, stop! I already gave a name to her! I thought she was a mandrake, so I named her Deadscream Bloody Mary-”
“Giving a mandrake a name like that means that you know exactly how dangerous they are, you idiot! To think I even sympathised with you! Darkness, hurry up and end it!”
Just as I moved to grind my knuckles into Aqua’s temples,
“Good morning. You guys sure are lively this morning too. What happened this time?”
A mud -covered Megumin appeared at the door.
After taking a bath, Megumin heartily dug into her breakfast while letting her body cool down.
“Just where did you run off to, Megumin? I didn’t think you hated the idea of seducing that guy so much that you’d rather camp out in the wilds. I wouldn’t have forced you to go through with it, so don’t go to such dangerous places anymore, okay?”
“That’s not it. Just what kind of a barbarian do you think I am? It’s true that I left because I didn’t want to seduce that man, but there’s a proper reason for why I’m so covered in mud.”
Megumin let out a deep breath and wiped her mouth, seemingly having calmed down after having a meal.
“So what’s the reason? Did you find a monster worth a lot of experience points and chase after it? Or did you chase after the children after they made fun of your name?”
“Just what do you think I am!? There isn’t any child around here who would make fun of my name anymore. I made sure to teach all of them a lesson.”
“H-Hey, the parents around town have been coming to me to complain about your actions, you know? I have to apologize for you every time, so please keep that in mind and don’t do that sort of thing anymore, okay?”
Darkness uneasily said.
Megumin explained what happened to her over a pot of tea.
“Well, I didn’t really have any place to go after running away from home last night. I thought I’d be able to meet some adventurers I know, so I wandered around town for a bit…”
Seems like Megumin was unable to meet any adventurer she recognised with after wandering aimlessly around the town last night. So, she headed towards the adventurer’s guild because she thought that there should be a couple of familiar faces there…
“I came across Yunyun who was desperately trying to recruit others who would undertake that trial with her, so I lent her my aid once again.”
“Yeah, I think I know what happens next, so you can stop there.”
I tried to interrupt her, but Megumin continued with sparkling eyes,
“Listen to me, Kazuma. I have the ability to learn, you know? Last time I undertook the trial, the first riddle was too troublesome, so I ended up blowing it up with magic. This time, in order to prevent myself from letting loose in a fit of rage, I entrusted my staff to Yunyun and was only there to be her follower.”
Seems like this girl who only knew how to seek the limelight has matured a little.
“But, leaving Yunyun who failed the last trial aside, I’m now forbidden from being a partner after destroying the trial grounds the first time. So, after discussing it with Yunyun last night, we formulated a plan to sneak into the trial under cover of night.”
No, scratch that, she’s still as immature as ever. She’s still coming up with all kinds of ridiculous plans.
“After splitting up in the woods, we arrived at the newly constructed trial grounds without issue. This time, we properly tried to solve the riddle. After all, there’s the number one genius of the Crimson Demons and the one who claims to be that genius’s rival at the scene. Problems involving intelligence like riddles should be a cinch with the both of us.”
“I can’t help but get a bad feeling about this.”
Megumin quickly averted her gaze as if to support my expectations.
“Come to think of it, I don’t think either of us have properly studied anything since graduating from school… The magic item refused to accept our answers no matter how many times we attempted it, so I got fed up and took my staff back from Yunyun… Perhaps because it was night when we attempted the trial, but the monsters started gathering after hearing the sound…”
“…I’ll ask just in case, but you didn’t get found out by the people in the village, did you?”
I tentatively asked, and Megumin flashed me a triumphant look.
“Who do you think I am? As we were running away from the monsters, the people from the village started rushing over after hearing the sound of the explosion! Yunyun used Teleport to transport us to the village, so we managed to slip past them and made ourselves dinner while we waited for them to come back! But I underestimated the magical knowledge of the Crimson Demons. They somehow knew that I was the culprit by the next day, and asked me to compensate for the magic item…”
“Well, of course! Your Explosion is the most definitive evidence in the world! What magical knowledge?! You are the only Crimson Demon who can use Explosion!”
Megumin apologetically handed me the bill for the cost of the magic item, and I handed over enough money to cover the costs to her.
“Sorry, Kazuma. I’ll make sure not to leave any traces behind next time.”
“I feel like you’re taking away the wrong lesson from this whole incident. You shouldn’t be doing this in the first place!”
As Megumin finished the tea I brewed,
“So, what exactly happened with you guys?”
She asked while tilting her head.
“W-What should we do?”
“What else is there to do? This is as much your fault as it is Aqua’s. You did make the field together with her.”
Megumin said in a wavering voice after seeing the newly sprouted Tranquility Girl.
“Yeah, but I didn’t expect there to be monster seeds mixed in…”
Megumin started mumbling excuses.
“Kazuma, I’ll properly raise this girl. The reason why the other Tranquility Girls grew up to be bad apples is definitely because they were raised in a bad environment. If she is raised by a pure-hearted person who showers her with love, she’ll definitely grow up to be a good kid.”
Aqua pulled on my clothes and said such things…
“Enough. Aqua, Tranquility Girls are monsters. They are dangerous monsters that cause multiple deaths-.”
“Oh, yeah, we can raise it! Not bad, Aqua! You’re really smart today!”
I loudly interrupted Darkness as she tried to convince Aqua.
I thought of a really great idea!
“What, did you think of a great idea? I knew it, Kazuma-san always comes through at times like this! Hurry up and tell me!”
Aqua excitedly said to me, and I returned the smile and explained,
“Right, listen up, Aqua. First, we’ll raise this Tranquility Girl. Then, we’ll plant more of them. Tranquility Girls are monsters that convince travellers to rest by them before letting them wither away, right? That means that they have low offensive power. Still, they are worth a lot of experience points. So, if we have a field full of them, we’ll be able to easily level up-”
“I was a fool to even rely on you in the first place, you shitty NEET! Just which pit did you dump your humanity in? Even I’m taken aback!”
And she suddenly started dissing me.
“Hey, wait, isn’t there a leveling method where strong Crimson Demons immobilize monsters so that weaker Crimson Demons can deal the finishing blow and level up that way? I was a little taken aback when I heard about it, but isn’t this the same thing? You were the guys constantly pestering me to raise my level!”
“The leveling method passed down through the Crimson Demons involves risking life and limb in order to immobilize strong monsters in the first place! Don’t compare it to this rule-breaking leveling up method!”
“Y-Yeah, this method may be effective, but this is just too inhumane…”
Great, everyone is against it.
I thought they’d be able to accept it because they know that Tranquility Girls are devious from the moment they are planted.
Even though they suffered immensely at the hands of the Tranquility Queen too…
“Say, let’s leave this matter aside for the moment. More importantly is that man who dumped Darkness in a wonderful manner last night.”
“A-Aqua, can you please, don’t keep saying that I’ve been dumped…”
Ignoring the depressed Darkness, Aqua confidently declared,
“Now that Darkness, the one in charge of all things lewd has failed, the next assassin is Lolimin. If he can withstand both of their attempts, I’ll have no choice but to acknowledge him.”
“I’ve said it multiple times, but I definitely will not do that! And don’t call me Lolimin! If you are willing to go that far, how about you stop standing on the sidelines and do it yourself!?”
Hearing that, Aqua slammed a fist into her hand.
“Yeah, that can work. If he can resist the charms of the beautiful and lovely Aqua-san, then his feelings must be quite determined indeed. Very well, Darkness might have failed, but I’ll have him dancing to my tune in no time!”
“Say, it’s a little thick-skinned of me to say this myself, but I don’t think I’m worse than Aqua as a woman. Hey, Aqua, you just snickered, didn’t you? Hold it right there, just how low do you place me in your mind!?”
We came to the bar that I’ve visited who knows how many times by now, and were sitting at a corner table to watch over them.
“I still don’t believe that Aqua has the ability to seduce a man. In the first place, she’s the woman furthest away from any concept of romance.”
Darkness repeatedly nodded in agreement to my words.
“Well, Aqua does look beautiful, so we can’t say for certain… But, yeah, her personality is a little…”
“Still, Aqua included, we’ve all been hit on when we visited other cities. We have a bit of an unfair reputation in this town, so no one dares to approach us, but normal people will fall right for us beautiful girls… W-what, Kazuma? Why do you look like you’re holding back laughter?”
I activated my Lurk skill while listening to Megumin’s protests in order to avoid attracting attention.
And I activated my Lip-Reading skill in order to follow the conversation between Aqua and Duke.
Today, instead of her usual divine hagoromo, Aqua is dressed like a normal village girl.
Under our gaze, Aqua unsteadily tottered over to where Duke was sitting.
Judging from her confident demeanour and the looks she’s sending over to me, this is probably her idea of a sexy walk.
“Hey, handsome-looking onii-chan drinking alone over there, you have the same air of loneliness as the shitty NEET at home. Can I have a moment of your time?”
Aqua made contact with the target, and mixed in some very rude sounding lines into her opening speech.
Just as I quickly conveyed those lines to Megumin and the others, Duke turned around with an annoyed face, only to freeze upon seeing Aqua.
I can understand the sentiment. It’s the same kind of feeling as coming across a strange animal.
Perhaps mistaking that reaction for something else, Aqua was all smiles as she took a seat next to Duke.
“Oh, were you surprised by how beautiful onee-chan is? Fufu, how cute. The truth is, I have something very interesting to tell you. So, would you like to hear it?”
Is she trying to assume an older onee-san character?
Seems like that’s Aqua’s idea of a good woman.
Including that line, everything about her make her seem like a suspicious saleswoman. Does she really think she can seduce someone like that?
But, when I saw Duke’s reply, I started suspecting that I may be seeing things.
“…Oh, something interesting?… I see. Very well, I’ll play along. Barkeep, give this woman a cold one.”
Are you insane!?
Why is that man accepting the offer of that suspicious-looking organism?
“Oh, thanks. Usually the NEET I’m raising will treat me to a drink, but unfortunately he isn’t present today.”
I’m going to make her cry when we get back.
Actually, she might have already forgotten that we are right here, watching over her.
Just when I was interpreting their conversation for Megumin and Darkness, I heard a clattering noise.
Looking next to me, I noticed that the both of them were pale-faced and trembling.
“Y-You’re lying…You’re lying, right, Kazuma? That man rejected me without even looking twice. Why would he treat Aqua to a drink… D-Do I really have less sex appeal than Aqua? Aqua always acts like an airhead and doesn’t give off the appeal of a woman at all, but could it be that men like that kind of woman…?”
“C-Calm down, Darkness! He’s just treating her to a drink right now! Aqua gets treated to a drink pretty often, so this isn’t anything unusual!”
Just as the two of them were shaking to a degree that I never thought was humanly possible, Aqua and Duke were chatting it up.
“So, what is this interesting thing you wanted to tell me?”
“Fufu, you’re a hasty one. Very well, I’ll tell you. I heard this from my neighbour Sutton-san. If you stick your finger into the butt of a stray neroid, it’ll let out a far louder nyaa than usual. You didn’t know this, did you?”
“… Is that some kind of code? Or is she speaking a different language?”
Duke seems to be seriously listening to it, but do I really have to interpret this crazy conversation of theirs?
“Ka-Kazuma, what are they saying? He seems very interested in what Aqua has to say…”
“Hey, Kazuma, not only my sex appeal, but is my skill at wordplay also lacking compared to Aqua? It’s not like I was really comparing myself to her, but this is still a little shocking…”
Continuing to interpret this conversation to Megumin and Darkness would just make me feel dumb, so I focused on catching their conversation.
“Then did you know about this? Even though the Pink-Shelled Mirumiru has the word ‘shell’ in its name, it’s actually a relative of the sea anemone. In an emergency, it will twist its body in an imitation of a conical shell, and drill its way through the water at high speed. Ah, but you probably don’t know what a drill is, right?”
What’s a Shelled Mirumiru in the first place? Why is she loaded up on these kinds of useless knowledge?
In the first place, what the hell kind of nonsense is she saying? Is that the flirting technique of a goddess that she was so proud of?
“My apologies, but I have not heard that word before. In fact, I can only understand perhaps half of what you just told me, but you do not seem to be lying or attempting to trick me. I can’t detect a shred of wickedness from you. Whenever humans spout a lie, no matter how small a lie it is, they will definitely let out an aura of wickedness. From just that point alone, you appear to be exceptionally pure to me.”
“Oh, why would I ever tell a lie? Still, you have a pretty good eye. You’re a fantastic judge of people, especially when it comes to women.”
“I’m quite confident in grasping a man’s true nature.”
Are you sure you aren’t blind?
I wanted to say that to him right now, but what the hell is going on?
Is Duke judging people through some form of supernatural technique, like seeing a person’s divine aura or something like that?
Probably thinking that the mood is right, Aqua broached upon the main topic.
“Still, it’s such a waste. You have such a good eye, but you choose to fall in love with a corpse. I’ve heard that you are in love with an undead.”
“What!? Me, love an undead? How preposterous! There’s nothing I hate more in the world than undead and devils!”
“Hey, what happened, Kazuma? What are they talking about?”
“You suddenly turned really pale. Did that man say something?”
Wait, hold on, that has to be some kind of mistake…
“Well, aren’t you a sensible man!? Yes, undead and devils are meant to be eradicated on sight! Especially devils! Just catching a whiff of their scent make my stomach churn!”
“Well said! Devils irritate me on a base level. Just why must such creatures exist in this world… That goddess Eris must be slacking in her job.”
Eh? Did the conversation just take a strange turn just now?
The image of him I had in my head is slowly…!
“It can’t be helped. That Eris can’t do anything without the backing of her capable senior. Go ahead and relay this should the topic come up. Oh, and I’ll tell you some very useful information. Eris pads her chest. This is a very important piece of information that is written in the scriptures of the Axis Cult. Go ahead and spread it.”
“Eris pads her chests… Hahahaha, I’ve learned a very interesting piece of information! If I ever get the chance to see Goddess Eris again, I’ll be sure to tease her with this.”
“Hey, Kazuma, explain things! They sound like they are really chatting up a storm!”
“Aqua looks like she’s enjoying herself more than she ever had before. Are the two of them alright?”
How are the two of them having such a great time talking about such ridiculous topics?
“It’s been quite some time since I had so much fun talking about undead and devils! I would love to treat you, but sadly, I’ve run out of pocket money.”
“What are you saying? Of course I’ll be handling the tab! Now, drink up!”
There’s no way I can accept that Aqua is actually popular amongst men.
“Kazuma! That man is ordering a whole bunch of drinks for Aqua! Doesn’t that mean I’m completely defeated?”
“Darkness, as Aqua said, we’re children. This is reality!”
I wordlessly stared at this completely absurd sight.
“Then let’s drink till we drop!”