Peace upon these Momentary Ordinary Days!
Editing: Keel the Swift, Ulti, Xenthur
“I originally thought that the trial was about answering riddles.”
Darkness spoke in a hesitant, stuttering manner while holding the cup of tea Megumin brewed for her.
“That’s my impression as well, but what could push you to such a state? The Chieftain’s trial is tough, but it’s something that could be overcome with two Crimson Demons. Just what happened? If it’s something unfair, I’ll go scold them for you.”
Megumin gently asked while stroking Darkness’s head like she was comforting a crying child.
“Megumin destroyed out all of the magic items they use to create riddles… They also said they were tired of riddles, so they decided to go with something else…”
“So it’s your fault!”
Megumin quickly averted her eyes.
“So what exactly did they make you do, Darkness?”
“‘The most important thing for a Crimson Demon is aesthetics! Strike a pose and name yourselves!’ they said, so they made Yunyun and me strike cool poses and name ourselves until they were satisfied.”
ーYuiyui ended up spending the night in a dungeon, so no shenanigans happened that night.
And next morning…
“Leave the trial to me today.”
The first thing Aqua said to Yunyun as she visited in the morning were those words that did nothing to inspire confidence.
“I feel a little uneasy leaving things to you, but Darkness is in no condition to participate…”
“Uuu…. I don’t want that sort of embarrassment… that is not the kind I desire…”
As Darkness mumbled gloomily, Yunyun gazed around like she was looking for someone.
“If you are looking for Megumin, she got taken away as the prime suspect for causing the explosion last night.”
“What is she doing!? And why is Kazuma-san so calm!?”
Oh, yeah, another explosion happened in the forest last night.
“Causing explosions and getting dragged away by the cops is just business as usual for her. More importantly, you’re taking your second trial today, right?”
“Y-Yes… I don’t think they’ll do something like yesterday’s trial…”
Yunyun trailed off.
“Say, can you show me the poses you struck and the lines you said yesterday?”
The normally shy and soft-spoken Yunyun strongly objected.
“N-Now then, Aqua-san, shall we head off?”
“Yes, I’ll show you what I can do today. I’ve been thinking of special poses and ways to name myself last night, so I didn’t get much sleep, but you can look forward to my performance today.”
“N-No, I don’t think they’ll use the same thing for the second trial…”
With a significant amount of unease in her voice, Yunyun headed off with Aqua for their trial.
“Now then, shall we go pick Megumin up?”
“Say, Kazuma, instead of going to pick her up every day, wouldn’t it be better to think of a way for her not to be thrown into jail in the first place?”
As we were walking down the street, I came across a strangely familiar young man.
“Oh, hey, Kazuma, it’s your rival.”
Darkness said something really strange upon seeing him.
“What are you talking about? The undefeated me has no rivals. Though, he does seem familiar somehow…”
“D-Did you really forget about him? He’s… umm, I think his name was…”
“It’s Mitsurugi! I thought the Lady of the Dustiness family was the most normal out of the bunch, but to think that you would forget my name too…!”
Indeed, the Swordmaster who wields the Magic Blade Gram is standing before me.
“Yo, it’s been some time. How’ve you been? Anyway, I’m in a rush, so…”
“Hold it! Why are you acting like you are avoiding me!?”
Mitsurugi hastily grabbed my arm as I tried to leave.
“Well, it’s not like we are that close. Plus, it’d be a bother if we get into a fight every time we meet.”
“W-Well, that’s true, but… No, more importantly, what are you doing here? The monsters around the Crimson Demon Village aren’t creatures someone of your level can handle.”
“A friend of mine is undertaking the Chieftain’s trial in this village, so I came here to help out. What about you? What are you doing here?”
From the looks of it, Mitsurugi came here alone without bringing his usual hanger ons.
“Well, this might sound crazy, but a divine relic of mine ran away… He left a note and went on a journey… Haha, it’s fine to laugh if you feel like it…”
Darkness, who doesn’t know about Aigis, gave Mitsurugi a genuine look of concern.
“Seems like you’re pretty worn out… There’s a hot springs around here, so take your time and recuperate… And, um, don’t push yourself, okay?”
“Haha, it’s only natural that you don’t believe me… The truth is, the Goddess Eris-sama appeared in my dreams. She entrusted me with a very important divine relic and asked me to save the world with its power, but… one day, I woke up to a letter… ‘As you are right now, you are thoroughly unfit to wield me. You depend too much on the power of that magic sword. As a divine relic, I too have my own matters to attend to. Set off on a journey to find me while I’m off tying up a few loose ends, and become stronger in the process! I’ll be waiting for you. Now, Hero, rise up to the challenge’…”
The matters that the divine relics set off to attend to is to see the Crimson Demons that are famous for having a lot of beauties.
“Afterwards, I’ve heard that there’s a skilled fortune teller in the Crimson Demon Village, so I came here to ask her to look into the divine relic’s whereabouts… But she probably thinks I’m pulling her leg too… She told me that he’s sexually harassing the waitresses at the pub, but that’s obviously facetious…”
That fortune teller is very accurate indeed.
“Well, that’s enough about me. It’s a trial that the divine relic Eris bestowed upon me set before me. I didn’t expect it to be so easy to overcome. Anyway, now that I’ve met you, I should pass on a warning.”
Just as I was debating whether I should tell him about Aigis or not, Mitsurugi’s face suddenly turned serious.
“The Demon King’s Generals have put the town of Axel in their sights… No, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the Demon King’s army is aiming for Axel. I don’t know if their goal is the destruction of the town itself, or you, or perhaps even Aqua-sama, but if you aren’t confident about standing up to them, it’s best that you lay low in this village or the capital for awhile.”
Saying that, he turned around.
“You defeated me once before. It’d be problematic if you were to lose to the Demon King. I’ll definitely beat you next time. And then, Aqua-sama will…”
Leaving behind such dramatic parting words, Mitsurugi left.
“… Say, Darkness, doesn’t the way he put it make me sound like a main character of some sort?”
“No matter how you slice it, he looks much more like a protagonist than you.”
After seeing off Mitsurugi-
“Now, then, let’s go get Megumin-”
“… S-Say, Kazuma, getting Megumin back is nice and all, but maybe we could take a little walk before then? I mean, back in Alcanretia, we explored the city together too, didn’t we?”
Darkness suddenly said.
“I don’t mind taking a walk, but I don’t know what Megumin will say if she found out that we went out to have fun without her.”
More to the point, if it was just a walk, we could go get Megumin and walk around with all three of us…
“W-Well, I thought we could do something date-like for once…”
Darkness trailed off…
A date, huh?
“You know, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a proper date before…”
“R-Right!? No, I do think that walking around town together is pretty date-like, but I’ve always looked up to those storybook-style dates where you fuss over what to wear and arrive at the meeting point earlier than the appointed time-”
Darkness slowly blushed as she said all that in one breath.
“So you have a maidenly side too. If you had this ojou-sama-like feeling back when we first met, I might’ve fallen head over heels for you.”
“Eh!? Is-Is that so? … I thought that such maiden-like hobbies wouldn’t be a good fit for a noble lady of a great house, but… I see…”
Well, I was more talking about keeping her sexual fetishes hidden and coming off like a regular girl, but I guess it doesn’t matter.
“S-Say, Kazuma, the weather is really great today!”
“Apparently the Crimson Demons use magic to control the weather, so it’s always sunny around these parts.”
Since it’s always sunny out here, the Crimson Demon Village is always perfect for a walk.
They’re wasting magic as usual, but the magic of the Crimson Demons is impressive nonetheless.
“Look, Kazuma, a cat is taking a nap on that fence! It’s great that it’s peaceful out here.”
“That’s a Crimson Demon familiar. Apparently they’re there to monitor the area around the village.”
I relayed some local trivia to Darkness when she happily pointed towards the cat.
“Look, the elderly are leisurely fishing over there…”
“Ah, those guys are gathering up the monsters who live in the river. They are using steel cables for fishing lines, so they can send lightning based magic down the lines when they get a bite and level up that way.”
Darkness, who was so elated a short while ago, slowly frowned.
“… Kazuma, I don’t think this village is a good place for a date.”
“Well, it’s the home village of the famously combative Crimson Demons, after all. What, do you really want to go on a date that badly?”
Darkness, walking next to me, suddenly turned to face me.
“Of course! In the first place, you were trying way too hard to get me to fall for you!”
“That’s not how I remembered it! I lent you a hand and you fell for me on your own!”
I immediately retorted with a sound rebuttal, but it seems like what I just said was the absolute worst possible thing.
“OーOn my own!? I fell for you on my own!? Who was it that barged into my wedding back when I was about to be married off to Alderp!? And you scattered your entire fortune in front of everyone and declared that you bought me or whatever before taking me away!”
“W-Well, I can’t help it, now can I?! It’s not like I can help being cool! I can’t help getting all kinds of accomplishments! Sorry for being cool! I’ll apologize for achieving all that glory! Yeah, normally everyone would fall for me, right!?”
“What glory!? Don’t get ahead of yourself! The only people who’d fall for a trashy man like you are weirdos like Megumin and me!”
“Do you like me or hate me!? Pick one and stick with it already! If you like me, then praise me more! There’s a fan waiting for me when I go back to Axel, you know!”
Darkness looked at me with a doubtful gaze upon hearing that.
“Don’t tell me you actually believe that? It’s probably some scammer attracted by your wealth or fame. It’s a little strange for me to say this, but there’s no way a fan of you can exist.”
“S-Shut up! My only flaw is being unwilling to work! I’m otherwise a pretty good catch, you know!?”
“Being unwilling to work is a fatal flaw!”
Just as Darkness and I were locking horns,
“If Kazuma doesn’t want to work, I’ll just find a job to support you.”
“You’re being too soft on him, Megumin! This is why he’s becoming more and more slovenly!”
“You’re one to talk! Didn’t you say that your type was a trashy man who doesn’t work!?”
The two of us turned around, and standing right there was Megumin.
“You two sure seemed to be having fun while I was in the lock-up. Do you mind if I join in?”
Darkness and I lowered our heads-
“-I told her multiple times that we should go pick up Megumin, but Darkness…”
“Y-You were saying that you never went on a proper date or whatever too! N-No, Megumin, that’s not it, we haven’t been here in quite some time, so we were talking about going sightseeing…”
In response to our utterly pathetic excuses, Megumin shot us an exasperated look.
“You want a proper date, huh? So let’s go on a date with all three of us. I’ll guide you to some great shops.”
“That doesn’t sound like a date… No, nevermind…”
We didn’t do anything particularly bad, but for some reason, I just couldn’t say anything.
“Anyway, let’s go for lunch. There’s a restaurant I used to work at around the corner.”
Following the strangely chipper Megumin, we ended up taking a walk around the village.
“-Welcome! Oh, hey, Megumin! It’s been a while. Have you learnt any other spells apart from Explosion?”
“Yes, it has been some time. I have no intention of learning anything else other than Explosion. There was a period of time where I considered learning Advanced Magic, but when I gave my card to Kazuma over here, he said ‘The only spell that suits you is Explosion. Only focus on pursuing the path of explosions…”
“I did not say that. I definitely did not go that far.”
After I denied Megumin’s rampant delusion, the other Crimson Demon said.
“Oh, that’s good. We had a really long argument over what we would do if Megumin learnt some other spells.”
“Oh, so you called a meeting over my Explosion magic? Well, of course you would. Learning any other magic would be a waste of skill points, after all.”
“No, we were discussing your new nickname. The title of the Crimson Demon’s number one mage would become the one who calls down roaring thunder, I mean, Yunyun’s title, right? That’s why Megumin’s new title should be the number one joke mage of the Crimson Demons-”
Megumin pounced on him without a word.
“Hey, calm down, Megumin! Your opponent is an Archmage! They have really low constitution, so don’t strangle them!”
“I too am an Archmage, and a girl on top of that! I’ll show you the power of the joke mage!”
A flurry of voices shot out as Megumin started rampaging.
“Ten thousand eris on the joke mage!”
“Thirty thousand on the worst mage!”
“Fifty thousand eris on the Explosion mage!”
“Hey, I don’t mind you guys betting on me, but stop calling me by those weird names! Though, Explosion mage sounds cool, so I’ll let that slide… Oh, fine, I’ll take all of you on!”
“I don’t care what you do, just take it outside!”
After getting thrown out of the restaurant, we decided to head back to Megumin’s house for lunch.
“Are the two of you alright? Seriously, picking a fight with Crimson Demons… There’s a limit as to how reckless you can get.”
“You were the one who charged at them in the first place. Is that really something you should be saying? Anyway, it’s fine, isn’t it? Having scrapes like this from time to time really makes me feel like an adventurer.”
Megumin ended up attacking all those people who were jeering at her, and after seeing the numerical disadvantage that Megumin had, Darkness and I entered the fray on her side.
“Yes, as a knight, I couldn’t stand idly by as my companion is being called worst mage and joke mage. Plus, it was a pretty good match. I enjoyed myself quite a bit!”
“The guy who was facing you ended up begging you to let him off with tears in his eyes, you know? You really should stop getting others to satisfy your masochistic urges.”
Megumin let out a small giggle.
“To us Crimson Demons, calling you the worst is somewhat of a compliment. It’s an ancient saying that anyone who is referred to as the worst would end up awakening to new powers.”
“That’s pretty cliche development, but… I really don’t get the sensibilities of you Crimson Demons.”
As we were making our way back to Megumin’s house, a familiar looking girl called out to us.
“Oh, Megumin? It’s been some time!”
“Hey, Arue. It’s really rare to find you outside considering how often you hole yourself up in your home. Are you still a NEET aiming to be an author?”
The person who called out to us was a fairly well developed young lady wearing an eyepatch.
“I-I’m not a NEET! I’m a proper author! I’m writing for the Crimson Demon newspaper, and I even released a book recently! I’m earning money, so I’m not a NEET!”
“I-I get it, so stop pulling on my eyepatch! It’s something you gave to me! Plus it hurts!”
This troublesome Arue girl pulled upon Megumin’s eyepatch as a form of protest.
I think I recall being thrown for a loop in the past thanks to her actions…
Oh yeah, Yunyun’s letter!
“Hey, Megumin, she’s the strange girl who mailed that scribbled story to Yunyun and caused us all kinds of problems, right!? I haven’t forgotten that!”
“Ah, you’re the outsider who tore up my manuscripts! I didn’t forget that either!”
Arue angrily said, her eye glowing bright red.
“What’s the difference between an author and a NEET anyway?”
“I’m a Crimson Demon! If you make me angry, I’ll blow you away with advanced magic!”
“You two shouldn’t have had much contact with each other, so why are you two fighting from the moment you meet!? Calm down!”
Megumin stepped in and prevented Arue from grabbing me.
“You must be one of Megumin’s classmates. I’m Darkness, of the same party as Megumin. I’ll only be in the village for a short time, but please take care of me.”
Saying that, Darkness extended her hand with a smile.
“My name is Arue, the number one author of the Crimson Demons. I’m relieved that onee-san seems to be a sensible person. Nice to make your acquaintance.”
Arue returned with a smile of her own, in complete contrast to the attitude she showed me.
“Hey, why is there such a big difference in the treatment we are getting? And you sure are introducing yourself in a really grandiose way! Why don’t you tell me exactly how many authors there are amongst the Crimson Demons before calling yourself the number one?”
“Isn’t it obvious to proceed in a friendly manner with one of Megumin’s companions? I would’ve treated you the same way if you hadn’t hurt me before. As for the number of authors amongst the Crimson Demons, I have no comment.”
Arue said in a nonchalant manner.
“Oh yeah, come to think of it, I haven’t heard any of the Crimson Demon’s flashy introductions since I came here.”
“You know you only introduce yourself when you meet someone for the first time, right? By the way, I’m not doing that to you. You don’t seem like a good person.”
This girl has quite the tongue on her.
“I’ve heard that Megumin made a boyfriend, but don’t tell me this is the guy in question? Don’t think too badly of me for saying this, but it’s still not too late to go back to the Yunyun route.”
“Is that a declaration of war, you one eyed woman? You said you just released a book, right? If I find any of your books in a bookstore, I’m going to put them beneath other author’s books.”
Arue’s eyebrows twitched after hearing my words.
“Megumin, this man is no good! I’ll get rid of him right this instant!”
“Oh, you want to go? My Steal is pretty unique, you know? Don’t think that your eyepatch or panties will be safe!”
“If you two insist on fighting, then I’ll be your opponent! Don’t think that a high level Archwizard will have any trouble taking on a pair of NEETs!”
“I-I’m not a NEET!” x2
“Waaaaaah! Bwaaaaah! Waaaaaah!”
Aqua came back to Megumin’s home in tears.
“What happened? Striking a few embarrassing poses shouldn’t be that traumatic after all the embarrassing stuff you did. Just what exactly did they make you do?”
I asked Aqua as she wailed on all fours.
… Looking closely, Aqua seems to be covered in mud.
“Uuu…uuu… Today’s trial was… ‘What a Crimson Demon needs above all is luck. You two can attempt this challenge as many times as you want until you pick the right door’, they said, before shoving us towards a series of doors…”
Could that be that event that often appears in Japanese game shows, the one where you get dropped into a pool of mud if you pick the wrong door?
Of all things, it had to be a trial that relies on luck. It’s pretty much the absolute worst fit for Aqua.
“Still, you managed to pass the trial, right? Good work, go ahead and take a bath. In the meantime, I’ll whip up some high quality snacks for you with my cooking skill.”
“… Shiokara would be nice…”
<TL Note: Shiokara: paste made from salted fermented seafood (squid, fish entrails, etc.) It’s generally considered a poor man’s dish.>
After requesting a surprisingly commoner-sounding dish, we sent Aqua off to the bath.
“Megumin’s mother, um… t-tonight…”
Darkness hesitantly started while sneaking glances at me.
“Don’t be so distant, just call me Yuiyui.. Anyway, what about tonight? Darkness-san seems to be in heat tonight.”
“In heat!? No, I mean, could you not have Megumin and Kazuma sleep in the same room tonight…”
Darkness seems strangely conscious about that today. Is it because of this afternoon’s date?
“Why should they not? Do you want to have a secret rendezvous or something?”
“Secret rendezvous!? No, of course not! It’s just, a lot of things happened today, so thinking that they’ll share a room on this day gives me a sense of alienation…”
Saying that, Darkness glanced at me as if she was signalling me to back her up…
Megumin tilted her head.
“Did something happen today?”
“Not at all. Darkness just got carried away on her own.”
“Whaー!? Hey, Kazuma, after going on that date, that’s a little-”
The moment Darkness turned around, Yuiyui started chanting magic behind her back-
“-Yahoo! It’s a fourteen year old girl’s bed!”
“You little- Why must you bring focus to that of all things?”
After dragging away the soundly sleeping Darkness and whipping up the snacks, Megumin and I retired early.
“It’s a 14 year old’s bed, you know? A 14 year old, not a 15 year old’s. It’s a very precious thing, so I thought I should say it out loud.”
“I really don’t get what the big difference is. Girls’ beds are all pretty much the same…”
I threw myself onto the bed the moment I entered the room and rolled up and down it.
“Well, if I were to start going into the specifics, we’d be talking until dawn, so let’s leave that to another day.”
“I’ve always had this impression, but you’re not a lolicon, right? You didn’t fall for me because I’m small, right?”
Megumin coldly stared down at me.
“How rude, I properly like huge breasts. Ones like what Darkness has are my ideal body type.”
“I didn’t ask the specifics of your ideal, but as long as you aren’t a lolicon… You seemed really happy to have Komekko and Iris look up to you, so I was a little worried…”
That’s because I like little sister characters. It’s not because I like little girls.
“Well, I feel like a war will erupt if I go into the specifics of that, so let’s leave it to another day.”
“I-Is that so… Well, I didn’t really care that much. Anyway, there’s not much else to talk about, so let’s hurry up and turn in.”
Saying that, Megumin slipped onto the corner of the bed, leaving a fair distance between us.
“Say, why are you sleeping so far away from me? We’re already at the stage where we use arms and chest as pillows and the like, so is there really a need to hold back like this?”
“Of course there is, if I get close to you, you’ll end up having to bear with it, won’t you? I’m doing this so I won’t raise your hopes unnecessarily.”
“My hopes were already raised from the moment we ended up in the same bed, so it’s a little too late for that.”
“Do men really think about nothing but that!? Something will end up interrupting anyway, so nothing will happen!”
Is she talking about the curse I brought up?
I got Aqua to cast Break Spell upon me repeatedly the other day despite her saying that she can’t detect any such curses hanging over me.
If nothing’s changed even after that, then…
“There is the possibility that the person who cursed me is the Demon King that even Aqua has trouble dealing with…”
“How frivolous could the Demon King be? Don’t you feel sorry to pile even more slanderous rumours upon the Demon King?
Megumin might say that, but if the Demon King really put such a curse upon me, I would’ve had no qualms about setting off right now to vanquish him.
Just then, just as I was thinking about that.
I felt something soft grab onto my right hand.
It seems like Megumin grabbed onto my hand under the blankets.
“Just holding hands is fine, right? You won’t start feeling pent up like this.”
Megumin shyly smiled at me.
She’s probably doing this as recompense after what I said about the distance between us, but…
“Of course I will, what are you talking about?”
“Even this!? Er, well, my heart’s starting to beat really fast too, but if you have to say, shouldn’t this be more comforting?”
She doesn’t get it. She doesn’t get it at all.
“Since you’re so afraid of loneliness, we can hold hands while we sleep tonight, but you really should pay more attention to yourself. Don’t do this with anyone else. They’ll definitely get the wrong idea and eat you up.”
“There’s no way I’ll end up in this situation with anyone else! Why are you using that ‘Ahh, it’s a good thing I’m such a gentleman’ tone of voice!?”
Saying that, Megumin tightened her grip…
“Ouch, that hurts! Your level is a lot higher than mine, so be careful! You might end up crushing my hand if you use too much force!”
“There’s no way my strength would be that monstrous! Actually, you should really raise your levels. I’ll go with you on as many monster extermination quests as you want.”
Raising my levels, huh…
“Even if you say that, do you understand the pain of not seeing your status rise even though you leveled up? Recently, apart from my luck, my stats barely rise at all. Having more skill points is nice and all, but as a NEET, there aren’t that many skills that are beneficial to my lifestyle. I’m having trouble finding the motivation to level up…”
“You’re reaching your stat cap, huh… Hmm, well, there are several expensive potions that can permanently raise your stats. We can defeat monsters and use the money we earn to buy those potions and get stronger that way…”
“Rather than using such potions on me, wouldn’t it be better to use it on people who are already talented in the first place? It’s not like these potions grow on trees, right?”
Megumin fell silent for a moment.
“… Then, we can at least do something about your equipment…”
“My strength isn’t very high, so there aren’t that many items that I can properly use.”
While still holding onto my hand, her hand started moving in a pseudo-petting motion, as if she was trying to comfort me.
“…You’re pitying me, aren’t you?”
“N-No, if there’s anything I can do, feel free to tell me. That includes when someone bullies you. Anytime I run into an adventurer who calls you weak, I’ll make sure to pick a fight with them and respond with, ‘Seems like you are the weak one,’ when I beat them…”
“Stop doing that! So that’s why adventurers I never met before were calling me Weaklingma-san who needs a girl to protect him!”
That’s just like her, but I’d really wish she’d spare a thought for my feelings before doing those sort of thing.
“But you and Darkness got angry when I was being made fun of today, didn’t you? So why can’t I get angry when you are being made fun of?”
Megumin said with a smile.
It’s almost like she was teasing me.
… This just happened not too long ago, so I can’t really say anything…
“I was really happy when you two got involved in the fight, you know? The way things were going, I would’ve lost due to being outnumbered. Well, if I did lose, I would’ve sent my thanks each night to the houses of those who teased me that day…”
I’m really glad I intervened when I did.
“Anyway, who’s going to be Yunyun’s partner for tomorrow’s trial? The first two trials were just them playing around, but the last trial is going to be pretty tough. The most important trait that we Crimson Demons as modified humans need is the ability to survive in any battlefield. The last trial would be to survive a night in the forests where the strong monsters make their nest.”
And suddenly they brought out a trial that actually felt like one instead of being some kind of prank.
“… They sure became serious all of a sudden. Darkness can withstand a lot of attacks, but she can’t land her blows, and it’d be really bad if Yunyun ran out of mana. And Aqua would probably just attract a horde of undead if she were to spend a night in the forest…”
“Before you say it, I can’t let you, with your black hair and eyes, compete while the ninnin is still wandering around out there.”
“… Should we search for a Crimson Demon to be Yunyun’s partner tomorrow?”
“Don’t do that. Walking around and asking if anyone would be Yunyun’s friend would be like some sort of punishment. She’ll probably cry.”
At the end of the day, it’d really be best for me to go out there. It’s not like we have any other alternatives.
With judicious use of Enemy Detection and Lurk, spending a night in the woods is entirely possible.
And it seems like Megumin figured out what I was thinking.
“You can’t, okay? The one out for you is the Bomber Majin. Aqua can’t resurrect you if you get blasted to ashes by a Detonate.”
“Even if you say that, we don’t have anyone else to partner with Yunyun. You’re also keeping quiet about the Bomber Majin so that Yunyun’s chieftain’s trial won’t be disrupted, right?”
Yeah, she’s spending every day in the cells for the sake of her friend.
“… That’s not true at all. Didn’t I tell you before? By keeping quiet about ninnin, I can take him down before anyone else and steal the position of Chief that way.”
“Oh, that’s a tsundere alright.”
Megumin raised her head from under the blanket.
“… It’s true that Yunyun is a very important friend. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, rather than me who doesn’t want to get too far away from Axel, or the others who aren’t that into it, Yunyun is best suited to be the chief. But…”
With her bright red eyes staring straight at me, she said,
“Whenever I see you risking your life for someone else, I feel really jealous for some reason.”
… … … …
“Say something! Keeping silent just makes me feel embarrassed!”
“I’m the one who’s embarrassed! What are you saying!? My face is getting hot enough to cook eggs, so can you please cut it out!?”
The two of us let go of each other’s hands as we hastily turned away from each other.
“Anyway, don’t participate in tomorrow’s trial, okay!?”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it! There’s no way I can participate after you gave me such a passionate appeal. We’ll think of some other way.”
“Passionate appeal!? Er, I can’t deny that it isn’t passionate, but… Ah, nevermind, we have to get up early tomorrow, so let’s hurry up and sleep already.”
Perhaps to hide her embarrassment, Megumin ducked beneath the blankets..
As for me…
“Hey, weren’t we going to sleep while holding hands tonight? I want to sleep while holding onto a 14 year old girl’s hand all night.”
“You’re really great at ruining the mood!”
Early next morning,
The Megumin who thought so much about her friend and tribe yesterday is currently…
“You foolish Crimson Demons! I’ll lay waste to this entire village!”
Scuffling with the Defense Corps.
“I told you when we let you out of the cells yesterday! If you cause another scene with your Explosion, you’ll be tossed into the cells until the chieftain’s trial is over! So behave yourself! Gurk, I’m pretty high level too! Even if you strangle me like that…”
“She’s starting to chant! Cover her mouth! Don’t let her chant!”
“Watch out, she’s really strong! Think of her as a rabid beast!”
“Ahhh! Bukkoroli! Hey, get Megumin’s hands off him! Bukkoroli is foaming from the mouth!”
The members of the Defence Corps were pushed to the limit trying to restrain the high leveled Megumin.
I’ve thought this about Darkness too, but I can’t shake the feeling that this party would do better if they just fought with their fists.
“Yunyun! Go ahead and attempt your final trial or whatever while I’m in jail! But don’t think you’ve won yet! If you still aren’t chief by the time I get out, I’ll take over that position!”
“Megumin, please let go of Bukkoroli! Otherwise we’ll need to use Resurrection!”
As I was watching Megumin getting dragged away, I turned to the dumbfounded Yunyun…
“Anyway, about Yunyun’s final trial…”
“I’m definitely not participating.”
Aqua instantly rejected.
“I-I… Erm… Well…”
Darkness mumbled, but it’s clear she isn’t keen on being her partner either.
“Why are the three of you so calm? Megumin is getting dragged away again, you know!?”
Yunyun seems like she wants to say something, but we are already used to it.
More important is the fact that the other two declined to participate.
Well, it’s not that much of a surprise, I suppose. Not only is it the infamous Crimson Demon trials, but this is also the toughest one out of all of them.
“… I was Yunyun’s partner during the first trial, and Aqua was her partner during her second trial, so wouldn’t it be fitting for our leader Kazuma to be her partner for the third trial?”
“Darkness is saying something great for once. Yeah, let’s leave it to Kazuma who hasn’t done anything up till now.”
Aqua swiftly agreed to Darkness’s proposal, but,
“Unfortunately, I can’t participate. Moguninnin is around, after all.”
“Seriously, what is a Moguninnin?”
Go ask the Crimson Demons who named him, not me.
“Well, personally, I really want to take the trial, but after everything Megumin said to me, it’d be a jerk move to ignore her and participate anyway. Though, I do think it’d definitely go smoothly if I joined up…”
“Aaa… But I have no one else to ask other than Kazuma-san…”
Yunyun seemed on the verge of tears as she said that.
“Well, I do know of one guy who’ll definitely let you clear that trial.”
“This is the divine relic Aigis.”
<“Just like what he said, my name is Aigis. My hobby is rating girls and my special skill is enraging others. Nice to meet you.”>
I introduced Yunyun to the dancing and singing divine relic, Aigis.
“D-Divine relic… Hey, Kazuma, what are you saying? This set of armour is a divine relic?”
Darkness looks bewildered upon seeing the armour spew out a constant stream of words in front of her.
<“Hmm? This blonde lady seems familiar… Oh, I know, it’s that girl with that erotic body who appeared in the beauty contest! Yo, ojou-san, I’m Aigis. You’re wearing some pretty good armour. Wanna polish them together someday?”>
“What’s with this vulgar suit of armour? Kazuma, is this thing really a divine relic?”
“Don’t ask me, ask Aqua. And he himself says he’s a divine relic.”
“Hey, Kazuma, I don’t know anything about this. Don’t just push everything to me.”
Aqua replied in a slightly vexed manner after I directed the conversation towards her.
<“Hmm? I think I’ve seen you somewhere before. Strange. Even though she’s a beauty, I don’t have any reaction towards her at all. Say, onee-chan? Are you human? Or perhaps you are a man? You’re not packing anything down there, are you?”>
I really wanted to tell them that they should know each other very well.
After triggering Aigis’s weirdo sensor, Aqua started kicking at the suit of armour.
Yunyun tilted her head and asked.
“Can I really pass the trial for sure if I teamed up with him?”
“Skills and magic doesn’t work on him, and on top of that, his entire body is made out of orichalcum. The final trial is to spend a night in the forest, right? He is tougher than Darkness and constantly boasts about having an impenetrable defence, so I think you’ll be fine with him.”
Aigis is an autonomous artifact. He can stay up all night and would be able to protect her even if they were ambushed.
<“What did you want me to do? Sorry, but I have an appointment to be the figurehead of the mixed hot springs tonight. I need to protect those naked and defenceless onee-chans from the shadows.”>
“Just so you know, the mixed hot springs are neither mixed nor hot springs.”
<“Are you kidding me?”>
Just then, Darkness gently tugged upon my sleeve.
“Kazuma, will he really be of use? Sure, he looks tough, but I can’t help but worry about leaving him and Yunyun alone together.”
<“Oh, I can’t let that slide. Do you doubt my abilities? In that case, why don’t you try me on yourself? Nothing beats the hands on experience. You won’t want to wear anything else after trying me on.”>
Aigis defiantly declared. Seems like armours have their own sense of pride too.
“Grr… Fine, if you’re going to go that far, I’ll try you on. I’m fairly experienced when it comes to armours too.”
<“That’s more like it. But don’t come crying to me afterwards. My internal structure changes to fit its wearer, creating a perfect fit to ensure maximum performance at all times.”>
This conversation is starting to seem like some sort of contest.
“In other words, it’d be just like an order made suit of armour!? Now you’ve got my expectations up. Don’t disappoint me now.”
<“Now then, to start with, you need to strip. It might be a little embarrassing, but your underwear needs to go too. It’s necessary in order to ensure maximum performance.”>
“I-Is that so… W-Well, it’s just a piece of armour. It’d be stranger to be concerned about it… Let’s just go over there…”
“You didn’t have any issues back when you made Eris-sama wear you, did you?”
<“Don’t say that now! This girl was this close to falling for it!”>
“I-I’ll break you to pieces!”
An indignant Darkness joined Aqua in whaling on Aigis.
“U-Um, Aigis-san, I have a request!”
<“What is it, big breasted onee-chan? Go ahead and say it.”>
Yunyun, even though she’s blushing from the sexual harassment, stood in front of Aigis with a serious expression.
“W-Would you be my partner for today’s trial!?”
<“Is that like inviting me on a date? As you can see, I’m a little preoccupied right now. Do you mind stopping this muscle headed girl?”>
“Yunyun, this guy is no good! Let’s think of another method! For example, it’s a little unfair, but how about having Aqua, Kazuma, and me take it in turns to help you…”
Aqua whispered into my ears after hearing Darkness’s words.
“Hey, Kazuma, you should be a little more prudent. Look, the pure and upright noble lady is now saying saying such things.”
“It’s not my fault, she recently even started to learn how to abuse her power. I’m sure her true nature as a noble has awakened.”
“Oh, shut up! In the first place, we already changed partners between trials. Was it ever written down that you can’t change partners within a trial? If there isn’t…”
Aqua once again whispered to me.
“Look, Kazuma, Darkness is even saying the same type of sophism that you come up with.”
“Don’t just blame everything on me. I’m not this devious.”
Darkness glared at us with tears in her eyes.
“… No, I want to have a proper trial. Then, this time, Megumin will…”
The one who will become the chief of the Crimson Demons
The final trial is to survive spending a night in the forest where strong monsters make their nest.
<“Oh, the brilliant me had a great idea. Ojou-chan, register this place as a teleport destination and let’s spend the night at some other town. We’ll teleport back here at dawn. The forest is really scary at night… Actually, you could just scream and cry and have the judges let you off!”>
“Kazuma-san suggested the same thing when he heard about what this trial would be. But I won’t cheat. I want to become the chief with my own strength…”
<“It’s honestly kind of shocking that Kazuma had the same idea.”>
ーBecoming the chief of the Crimson Demons.
For me who never had many ambitions or dreams, that was my only goal.
On the day my magic power and intelligence were measured, they praised me and said that I really was the chief’s daughter.
That made me really happy.
From that point on, aiming to become the chief just felt natural to me.
<“Say, Ojou-chan, why are pretty girls so soft? Why do they smell so nice? I think I should study that and write a paper on that subject. I’m sure it’ll be an asset to this world.”>
“I think it’s fine to do whatever you like, but why did you bring it up all of a sudden?”
I was walking towards the depths of the forest together with Aigis-san.
<“Nah, it’s fine if you don’t get it. Say, ojou-chan, do the people around you ever call you dense and a poor judge of character?”>
“I don’t think so…”
Well, not exactly…
<“For armour type divine relics like me, it’d be better for there to be someone inside me, don’t you think? Like, you pry open this armour and a pretty girl is inside! I think the customers would be very happy to chance upon such a gap.”>
“I don’t really get what you mean by customers, but is that the case?”
To guard against sudden attacks from monsters, I’m currently within Aigis-san.
“Aigis-san, is it really fine for you to be fooling around out here? Aren’t divine relics created by the gods to fight against the Demon King?”
<“Hmm? But that’s boring. I mean, sure, if a pretty onee-chan is about to be subjected to the Demon King’s perverted tastes, I’ll go save her, but there isn’t any hint of that. Not to mention that the Demon King Army’s demon girls and monster musumes are pretty appealing. I’m having trouble deciding which side I’d rather be on.”>
The gods created Aigis-san for a very important purpose.
But Aigis-san seems to be quite self-centered…
“I’ve heard that the Demon King Army’s ultimate goal is the eradication of humanity. Wouldn’t the pretty ladies be wiped out too?”
<“Well, yeah, that’d be a problem~. In that case, I’ll get as many of the pretty girls I can find and have them stay by my side so I can protect them. That way Eris-sama wouldn’t be angry too. Sadly, my new master is just too hard headed to get along with.”>
Divine relics are supposed to be created with a grand purpose in mind, but he seems quite free-spirited…
<“Anyway, that’s enough about that, what do you plan to do after becoming chief? How about making a law to have the robes of the Crimson Demons extend for no more than five millimeters from the waist?”>
“I won’t do that! I’ll be kicked out from the first day!”
What I plan to do after becoming chief.
First off, gather up monsters with high intelligence, tame them and make them my friends…
<“Well, if you want to be chief that badly, I’m sure you have a dream that can’t be accomplished without becoming chief. How about letting me in on it? Do the Crimson Demons have some great secret?”>
“I don’t have any such dreams that requires me to become chief to accomplish. And, even stuff I want to do…”
<“Eh? You’re kidding! Then there’s no need for us to try this hard, is there? Why don’t we live a little more enjoyable life? How about coming with me on my journey to befriend beautiful women all over the world?”>
“That sounds nice! Ah, I don’t really care about the beautiful women part, but travelling around the world and befriending a lot of people…”
No, that’s not right.
I’m the one who will become the chief of the Crimson Demons.
That’s been my goal ever since I was young…
<“To be honest, I didn’t expect them to accept me as a partner. You Crimson Demons really are a free-spirited bunch, aren’t ya? I was really surprised when a bunch of them froze the lake just so they could go fishing for wakasagi in this season. Aren’t there more worthwhile ways to use your powers?”>
<TL note: Wakasagi: Japanese pond smelt. Usually only caught during early spring when the ice starts melting and water temperatures are just slightly above zero.>
I really didn’t want to hear this from Aigis-san, but yes, Crimson Demons are, as a general rule, a free-spirited bunch.
In the past, I had a close friend who was called the number one genius of the Crimson Demons whom everyone had great hopes for.
That stupid close friend who ignored everyone’s hopes and expectations, pursued her own dreams, and ended up getting referred to as the idiotic worst mage.
Even so, she has loads of fun every day, made plenty of companions and friends and even found a man she loves, an extremely stupid and important-
<“Oh boy, monster right ahead! Ojou-chan, go ahead and let loose with your magic! Don’t worry about running out of mana, I, Aigis-san, shall protect you…”>
“Leave it to me! I’m the one who will become the Chief of the Crimson Demons! Combat is my greatest talent!”
I wonder what would’ve happened if Megumin had seriously set her sights on becoming chief.
If someone else had set their sights on becoming chief. If someone else had asked me to let them have that position…
<“That’s the way, Ojou-chan! I really love girls like you! The first enemy is a One-strike bear. I really hate them. Their attacks really hurt.”>
“I’ll do my best not to leave even a scratch on your armour! Leave the offense to me!”
<“Ooh! How reliable! This is the first time I’ve had a spellcaster inside me, but could it be that we have amazing compatibility? Say, Ojou-chan… No, my friend Yunyun, after this battle is over-“>
Aigis-san is saying something, but before that-
Sticking out one hand, I unleashed my magic on the One-strike Bear in front of me-
“… I can’t use magic or skills when I’m wearing you, Aigis-san…”
<“Yeah. To a spellcaster, I’m a surprisingly worthless piece of junk.”>
“A-Anyway, what were you saying just now? I recall you saying something about amazing compatibility and being my friend!”
<“Ah, sorry, that was nothing. Anyway, do something about Kuma-chan here.”>
“No, you definitely said something! I definitely heard you call me your friend! There’s no way I could’ve misheard that!”
<“What’s with this girl!? Did I step on a landmine? Anyway, do something about this bear! Even if you can’t use magic, you’re still a high level Archmage, right!? My defence is stupidly high, so please do something!”>
Right, now’s not the time to be talking about unnecessary stuff. I need to focus on taking down the enemy right in front of me…
“Oh, yeah, that’s why I have my dagger… Ah, but that’s an important memento from my first shopping trip with a friend…”
<“Are you okay!? Is this girl right in the head!? Hey, once we’re done here, can you get out of me for a moment? Let’s start things over from the beginning!”>
ーOnce this trial is over, this time, I’ll be able to tell my rival that it’s my victory this time.
And, together with that, I’ll tell her what I’ve never been able to…
“My name is Yunyun, an Archmage who wields advanced magic…”
I was able to come this far because I had a friend like you.
My shallow ambition only became important to me because of you…
It’s only because a far stronger person than me is so doggedly pursuing her dreams despite the mockery of everyone.
Thank you for being my rivalー!
“The strongest spellcaster amongst the Crimson Demons, and the one who will eventually become chief!”
<“It’s ringing inside me! It’s really ringing! Hey, hurry up and get out of me, Ojou-chan! Otherwise I’ll get shaken to pieces!”>