Rain upon the Capital!
Editor: Makentosh, Marv, Ulti, Xenthur
[Thanks to Kasen for providing the coloured pictures]
“—And that’s the gist of it. So, I’m here to search for more party members.”
“Um… Everyone is seriously working as adventurers here, so it’d be best to play pretend with your own friends…”
The adventurer’s guild in Axel.
After confidently making my declaration to Kazuma, I made my way over to here and stumbled at the very first step.
“I’m being serious here, so why are you saying that I’m playing around!? I’m sure you of all people are well aware of my capabilities! Sure, I can understand why I had some trouble finding myself a party back when I first started out, but now I’m a high level Archmage with plenty of accomplishments under my belt! And here I am, offering to tag along with newbie adventurers on their quests!”
“I think you perform best when you are part of Kazuma’s party… I’ll put up a recruitment notice, but don’t expect too much, alright?”
“If possible, I would like members with high levels or advanced jobs, as befitting of myself.”
“This is a town of newbie adventurers! Those expectations are way too high!”
Ignoring my last request, the receptionist pinned a piece of paper up onto the notice board before returning to the counter.
—Three hours later.
“Umm, excuse me, but there hasn’t been a single person who has approached me after you put that notice up.”
“I think that’s just to be expected, but…”
After getting exasperated with the lack of applicants, I approached the receptionist at the counter to voice my complaints.
“Is everyone afraid of the young magical girl who wields the strongest offensive spell? I’ll go ask them in person, so could you please recommend a few people to me?”
“Recommend, huh…? Well, there’s Ashare-san sitting over there whose face just turned green after hearing our conversation. And then there’s Andy-san over there who’s looking at me with a pleading expression. And then…”
The next person the receptionist’s gaze fell on was the future chief of the Crimson Demons, who was fidgeting around while casting glances over in our direction.
“…Please just pretend she isn’t here.”
“Why would you say that!?”
Towards Yunyun, who screamed at me with teary eyes, I heaved an exaggerated sigh.
“There can’t be two Archmages in a single party! …And, actually, I thought you would definitely form a party with a few other adventurers after coming back from the Crimson Demon Village, but you are still as much a loner as before.”
It wasn’t too long ago that we went back to the Crimson Demon Village to brave the chieftain’s trial.
Back then, I told her that the adventurers of Axel were quite dependent on her, and that they probably wouldn’t refuse to join up with her if she were to ask them.
“W-Well, about that… I tried to call out to them several times, but the timing just didn’t seem to be right…”
“I mean, the people who are in the guild bright and early in the morning to pick up quests would already have a party and have made all the preparations they need, right? It wouldn’t do to make them throw all their plans out the window just because of me… And the people who came back to turn in a quest would be all tired out from work, so I can’t call out to them either…”
“You’re overthinking things again! Why do you always get caught up in the weirdest of considerations!? I told you, just be forward about it! Any party would be happy to accept you if you would but ask! …Plus, if that’s the case, couldn’t you just take a look at the recruitment notices on the notice board?”
Spellcasters and healers are not only rare, they are also a great boon to any party, so there’s always plenty of demand for them.
I really doubt there wouldn’t be a single party looking for a spellcaster…
“I did take a look, but all of them are asking for spellcasters… and I’m an Archmage, you know?”
“And an Archmage is an advanced spellcaster, so there’s no problem! Seriously, this girl…”
I grabbed Yunyun by the shoulder and pushed her into a more prominent position where everyone in the guild could see her.
“Does anyone need an Archmage!? This girl is looking for a party! She can cast both Intermediate and Advanced magic, and is a high-level Crimson Demon!”
In response to my declaration, the guild erupted into mayhem.
“Seriously!? Yunyun-san is looking for a party!?”
“O-Our party is one of the higher leveled ones in this town, so I think we’d be a good fit for Yunyun-san…!”
“Hey, you guys already have a spellcaster in your party! We could really use a spellcaster in ours!”
“Our party is all girls, so I think you would fit in very well, Yunyun-san…!”
In the midst of all that ruckus, I puffed out my chest and shouted,
“And I, Wielder of Explosions, will be joining together with her! Now, everyone who’s interested, please gather up!”
And with that, silence once again returned to the guild.
—That cinches it.
Now then, where was the guy who was really enthusiastic earlier…
“…Hey, what should we do? Yunyun-san certainly is appealing, but the one who comes with her…”
“Hmm, what should we do… I really, really want a sensible Crimson Demon…! But, in exchange, we have to take on that…”
“The bonus is way too much of a liability. You know the troubles Kazuma goes through…”
“M-Megumin, what you said was true… Ehehe, w-what should I do? I’m a little nervous, but with this, I should be able to find a party that will take me… Wait, what are you chanting!?”
“See, I told you! The bonus is going crazy again!”
“Isn’t there anyone here who can use Bind!? Her level is high, so she’s really hard to hold down!”
“Hurry up and throw her out!”
“Emergency Quest! Emergency Quest! Someone please stop Megumin-san! The reward is three thousand eris…!”
—After getting thrown out of the guild, we took shelter from the rain at a small cafe in the shopping district and ordered a few meat skewers to pass the time.
“We just had an unexpected windfall thanks to me. Yunyun, you should eat up too.”
“Now’s not the time for that! Why!? Why do you always mess things up for me!? It’s just the same as back during the chieftain’s trial! I told you not to use Explosion, but you repeatedly used it anyways! …Don’t just start stuffing your cheeks!”
Having completely lost it, Yunyun started pulling on my cheeks after I began chowing down on the skewers we ordered.
“Cuff it ouff! I haff foof in my mouff! I can’f jusff spit it ouf!”
After somehow managing to fend her off, I put some distance between me and the teary-eyed Yunyun while I swallowed my food.
“And things were going so well! Now I’m too embarrassed to ever speak to them again! Hey, what should I do!? I want some companions of my own too!”
“If you want companions, here I am. What kind of tone are you taking after restraining that companion of yours to get a reward?”
“Maybe I should start calling you ‘Three Thousand Eris’ from now on… Ow, ow, cut it out!”
As I pressed my knuckles into Yunyun’s forehead in retaliation for her giving me a rude nickname, I realized something.
I’m way too well known in this town.
But, what would happen if we were to go to a town that hasn’t yet heard of my reputation?
“By the way, why did you suddenly start recruiting members? What happened to Kazuma-san? …Eh? W-What? What’s wrong?”
Having thought as much, I placed a hand on Yunyun’s shoulder who only started asking about that now.
“…And that’s the gist of it. Do you get it?”
“Yes, I understand very well just how much of an idiot you are!”
Yunyun, with eyes glowing bright red in agitation, shouted at me after hearing my explanation.
“Hey, isn’t that a little harsh coming from someone who claims to be my friend? At times like this, you should go ‘Kazuma-san is really horrible, isn’t he? I understand how you feel~ Let’s go grab something delicious. It’ll be my treat, of course!’ or something like that! That’s what friends should do!”
“Friends who would say something that superficial aren’t true friends at all! Plus, I know very well just what Kazuma is feeling! After all…”
Yunyun motioned to her surroundings and screamed.
“After all, isn’t this the royal palace!?”
“Drink your tea and calm down. Sorry, can I get another cup?”
Right now, we’re at the royal palace a fair distance away from Axel.
We got here thanks to Yunyun’s teleport, after which we managed to gain entrance to the waiting room by virtue of our reputation.
“I am calm… Um, sorry for shouting earlier. I’m really sorry. I was tricked into coming here, so please don’t execute me!”
“What are you saying all of a sudden!? They are not going to take your head for just entering the palace!”
Yunyun downed the cup of tea that the old butler provided her in a single gulp, before fixing me with a doubtful look.
It seems like she’s become significantly less trustful of me after I led her all the way to the capital by just telling her to trust me.
“There’s no need to worry, I’m just here to invite my underling to come with us on an adventure, that’s all.”
“Underling? …Say, Megumin, I have a really bad feeling all of a sudden…”
As Yunyun’s face turned green, the old butler appeared next to her with a fresh cup of tea in his hands.
“Megumin-sama, here is your tea. Are the tea and snacks to your liking?”
“I would like to bring back the leftover snacks as a gift to share with everyone else, so please wrap them up for me.”
“That’s really impudent, you know!? S-Sorry, I raised my voice again…”
As Yunyun seemingly shrunk out of embarrassment, the butler knocked twice on the large set of double doors in front of us.
And then he opened the door…
“Aah… I knew it…”
Yunyun mumbled in a depressed tone.
“Boss, Yunyun-san, welcome to the royal palace! And, Yunyun-san, allow me to introduce myself once again. The granddaughter of the owner of a Chirimen store and the underling of a thieving band, Alice, is actually an alias I’ve been using… My real name is Iris. Belzerg “Stylish Sword” Iris, at your service!”
Iris, standing at the far end of the hall, and flanked by her two bodyguards Claire and Rain, said with a bright smile—
“—And thus, I’m here to invite you on an adventure.”
After summarising the events of the past few hours, Iris agreed to come with us without any hesitation.
“She will not! Iris-sama, please don’t say stupid things!”
“Yes, Iris-sama, please keep your position in mind! Megumin-san too, please stop inviting her to go with you on your games!”
The other two immediately started objecting, but Iris tightened her expression and went,
“Claire… I apprieciate your loyalty and I understand how much you cherish me…”
Claire was taken aback by the serious expression on Iris’s face, and Iris took that chance to take her hands into hers.
“But I am a princess of Belzerg. The first princess of this kingdom that’s known for producing skilled warriors! Claire, believe in the one whom you serve. After being under your wing for so long, I’m now a dragon slayer. Indeed, it is now my turn to protect you. As the princess of Belzerg, I will protect this country from the evil monsters lurking around!”
Overcome with emotion, Claire clung onto Iris’s waist.
“I-In all my years of serving you, I’ve never been this happy in my life! Very well, I won’t say anything more! I’ll put my trust in you and pray for your safe return, Iris-samaaaa!”
She buried her face into Iris’s chest and wept tears of joy.
Iris seemed somewhat troubled by that, but she still raised her fists in victory and softly went,
“No, it is not a good thing, Iris-sama! Claire-sama, please don’t be fooled so easily! Judging from what she said just now, there’s no need for Iris-sama to brave the risks of an adventure!”
“Hah!? O-Oh, that’s right! Iris-sama, the country is not in a crisis right now, so there’s no need for you to personally head out to defeat some monsters!”
Having been brought to her senses by Rain’s words, Claire hurriedly stood back up and breathed out.
And Iris looked up at her two retainers with puppy dog eyes.
“…Will you two really not listen to my request?”
“I’ll listen to anything you say.”
“Please do not do that, Claire-sama! Iris-sama, since when did you pick up such underhanded tricks? I’m begging you, please don’t trouble us like this…!”
Really, I wonder who she picked up such tricks from.
Seeing Iris pick away at her opponent’s weak point in a way very reminiscent of a certain NEET I know, I can’t help but think that the two of them really do come off as siblings, blood relation or no.
Claire has already fallen, but Rain was still stubbornly holding on…
Iris inflated her cheeks and used her special move.
“…I think I might end up hating you two.”
“How could you say that, Iris-sama! Actually, Claire-sama seems like she’s about to have a heart attack, so please don’t say such things!”
Supporting Claire who suddenly collapsed, Rain begged in a voiced that seemed almost on the verge of tears.
Seeing that, Iris let out a sigh.
“Oh, very well. If I can’t persuade you with words, I’ll have to find some other way to convince you.”
“Iris-sama, do you really think of this as persuasion!? No matter what you do, I, Rain, will not be swayed! Not after my salary has been reduced this much after your frequent escapes!”
Rain, despite being wary of Iris’s next move, adopted a determined posture that just seems to scream “Bring on what you must.”
“The two of you, please meet me at the training hall.”
After a moment of confusion, Rain’s face slowly started to pale.
“I’ll demonstrate to the two of you that I won’t lose to any monsters even if I were to leave—”
“Have a safe trip, Iris-sama.”
Rain almost fell into a deep bow before Iris could finish her sentence.
“Do take care of your two bodyguards when you get back, alright? Otherwise, we would be turned away at the gates the next time we show up. Still, you’ve gotten pretty strong-willed since I last saw you.”
“I’ll pick up some souvenirs for them. There are plenty of things in the outside world that would be of help to me. I’ll treat this as an opportunity to learn more about the world.”
After leaving the palace, and with an exuberant Iris in tow, we headed off towards the adventurer’s guild.
“Still, the monsters around the capital tend to be on the stronger side. No matter how powerful you are, it’s still dangerous to let your guard down, Alice. Well, if it comes to it, there’s no need to worry too much. You have two of the world renowned Crimson Demons with you, after all.”
“Yeah! I can’t use very many offensive spells, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing the various spells that you two can use!”
“W-Well, the minor spells aren’t really my style, so I’ll probably only show off one spell today. If you really want to see a variety of spells, you should ask Yunyun.”
And, just as I said that, I noticed something.
One of our party members had been awfully quiet for quite some time.
“What’s wrong, Yunyun? You’ve been awfully quiet today.”
The moment I called out to her, Yunyun knelt down and prostrated herself before Iris.
“I might not have known, but please forgive me! Most of it is Megumin’s fault!”
“What are you doing all of a sudden!? Stop apologizing for stuff I don’t remember!”
Iris seemed somewhat flustered by Yunyun’s actions, but she moved towards Yunyun and said.
“P-Please raise your head, Yunyun-san! There’s no need to do such a thing…”
“I always thought that you were someone important, but I never thought that you were a princess! The other Crimson Demons have nothing to do with this, it’s all Megumin’s fault! And perhaps a little bit my fault as well! So if you need someone to blame, please use Megumin! If that’s not enough, I’ll bear the rest, so please, spare the rest of the villagers…!”
“What kind of things are you saying!? Why are you treating me like some kind of criminal!?”
It seems like Yunyun is apologizing for any offense she might have given Iris while she was unaware of her identity.
Seemingly grasping the situation, Iris shook her head, even as she started to blush.
“Please raise your head. My status doesn’t bother me in the slightest, and it’d make me really happy if you would treat me like you usually do.”
“There’s no need for -sama either. Please just treat me as your friend, like you have in the past.”
Iris gave Yunyun a bright smile as she slowly raised her head.
“For someone who once called Kazuma insolent back when he was grumbling, you sure have grown quite down-to-earth, haven’t you?”
“P-Please forget about that! I’m quite conscious about that time too!”
As Iris pressed her hands against her cheeks to hide her growing blush, Yunyun, whose eyes were shining bright red for a completely different reason, shakily got back to her feet.
“Thank you, Iris-chan. To think that you’ll remain friends with someone like me… I’ll do my best to learn the advanced transformation spell, Shape Change. Then, if you ever get caught up in a conspiracy that would shake the nation, I’ll become your body double and repay the life you graciously spared today.”
“Every single word you said is way too heavy!”
—The capital’s adventurer’s guild.
There was a clear difference in the quality of the adventurers who made their residence here compared to the ones staying in Axel.
Such was obvious from a glance. The equipment they bore is high quality, and almost every single one of them radiated an aura of strength.
It was these adventurers that fixed us with a steely gaze when we entered the guild
“See, this is what a real adventurer’s guild is like, Iris. Being just three young girls, I’m sure we will be set upon. First, to make sure we aren’t looked down upon, we’ll wipe out those thug-like adventurers who come to hassle us in a single blow. Once we’ve established our mettle, we’ll be able to have our pick of the quests.”
“Ah, that’s like the ritual that Onii-sama taught me about! Claire was with me back when I visited Axel, so no one wanted to participate, but it seems like I’ll be able to complete that ritual here!”
As we whispered amongst ourselves, the other adventurers averted their gazes at once.
“…Say, Megumin, did you do something at this guild too?”
“Hey, stop saying things that’ll make me look bad!”
Judging from where the adventurers are looking…
“The cause is definitely this girl. A young girl with such golden blonde hair and clear blue eyes appearing in the capital has got to be some kind of high-ranking noble.”
At those words, Iris trembled in shock.
“But they are looking at you too.”
Yunyun said, staring right at me, but I have absolutely no idea–
“Boss, you once showed off your skills in front of a large crowd of adventurers at the capital before, right? Could that be why…?”
“I knew it, it was your fault after all!”
No, wait, sure, I did show off, but it’s still strange for them to be this afraid of me.
“In that case, Yunyun, you too were going wild at the fort near the front lines together with me, weren’t you? Kazuma’s skill allowed us to get close to the Demon King’s army, my explosion blew them away, and then your teleport allowed us to escape—”
“AAAH, t-that’s! I was just playing the role of support, there’s no need to be this afraid…!”
Yeah, even taking into account how we went up against a Demon King’s general, it is still weird for everyone to be avoiding us like this.
We went up to a nearby adventurer to ask about what’s going on. That’s when it happened—
“Haha, you’re just as energetic as ever, young lady! The reason why everyone’s afraid of you is because of something else.”
The person who suddenly called out to us was a large man sporting a scar across his nose. He was seated at a nearby table and seemed to have already been drinking even though it’s still in the middle of the day.
Seated next to him was a pretty but sharp-eyed woman, and a man who was shouldering a large axe. Both of them were giving me and Yunyun a wide smile.
“Why are you acting so familiar? If you’re looking for some girls to hit on, please go somewhere else.”
The three of them squaked out in surprise for some inexplicable reason after hearing my words.
Then, Yunyun brightened up in an instant.
“Rex-san! And Sophie-san and Terry-san too!!”
I see. So they are acquaintances of Yunyun.
“It sure is rare to run into adventurers that Yunyun knows. I’m sure you have a lot to catch up on, so Iris and I will be taking our leave.”
“Heeey! Wait a minute, young lady, why are you acting so distant!?”
The man called Rex hurriedly raised his voice.
“…? Ah, were you one of the people who were blown away by the shockwaves of my spell when I was fighting a Demon King’s general? I’m really sorry about that then, but it was in the middle of a battle. It really wasn’t something I could avoid.”
“That’s not it! Why are you acting like we just met for the first time? We were originally from Axel too! Remember, back when you first arrived and were looking for members!? And we fought a devil that appeared close to town together, didn’t we!? We even invited you to join our party after that! ‘Wanna come to the capital and make your name there!?’ Remember!?”
Did such a thing happen?
I scratched my head in confusion, and Yunyun surreptitiously elbowed me.
“Have you forgotten? There was that time when a devil called Hoost appeared near Axel, right? We fought alongside them, remember? And we also went to capture a Rookie Killer together.”
…Oh, I remember now!
“Yeah, I remember now! Rex, you were the guy who was mocking me for being a spellcaster who can do nothing but flap her gums, right!? Us meeting here must be heaven’s way of telling me to get revenge, so bring it on!”
“Why do you have to recall that of all things!? Besides, I already apologized about that back when we defeated the devil! We got along far better after that, so why did you forget about everything that came after!?”
It’s slowly coming back to me.
Yeah, that was back before I joined up with Kazuma’s party.
If I recall, these people were powerful enough to be compared with the hero of the magic sword’s party.
“Ah, so you were the Rex-san who was making a scene, begging me to join your party. It’s been some time. Did you manage to become a little more famous?”
“I didn’t embarrass myself like that! W-Well, leaving that aside, I did manage to make a bit of a name here. Of course, I’m not as famous as you.”
“Have you heard of my accomplishments too? Well, it’s even made it into the newspapers, so I suppose it’s not surprising. So, what do they say about me here?”
“It’s about why everyone’s so afraid of you. You and a young man named Kazuma picked a fight with a bunch of delinquents just because you didn’t like their faces, right? It’s quite a persistent rumour, you know?”
Ah, now that he mentioned it!
“Oh, yeah, I did end up fighting with a bunch of delinquents with Iris here! I see, it’s really refreshing to finally know the reason why everyone’s avoiding me.”
“I knew it! It was your fault after all!”
There was this incident where Iris and Kazuma switched bodies thanks to a body switching divine relic.
Back then, Iris, in Kazuma’s body, got into a fight with a bunch of delinquents.
“I see, so Boss gained a bad reputation thanks to what I did back then. In that case, it’s only proper for me to take responsibility. Would it be best for me to apologize in person…?”
Seeing the troubled expression that Iris was making while muttering to herself, Rex spat out the beer he had in his mouth.
I see. This is the capital, after all.
I beckoned Iris to come closer.
“Iris, doesn’t pretty much everyone in this city know your face? So that means that they aren’t just avoiding us because of me, but because they recognise you…?”
Seeing us whisper to each other, Yunyun softly said.
“…The reason why I can’t find a party isn’t because of the company I keep, right…?”
—Leaving behind Rex and the others, who have started positively trembling in their boots after learning of Iris’s identity, we approached the guild worker that was manning the counter.
“W-W-W-Welcome! How may the guild help you today!?”
The man appeared to be quite nervous and is compensating for it by raising his voice.
“We would like to take on a quest. It’d be best if it features fighting a strong enemy, offers good rewards, and is within walking distance of the city.”
“Wait, hold on, that kind of quest might be a little hard to find…”
The man broke out into a cold sweat after hearing my request.
“You’re causing trouble for the man! Umm, as long as it’s a quest in the nearby area, we’re fine with it. And, Um…”
After interjecting, Yunyun glanced at Iris and said…
“It’s best if it’s a quest that is as safe as possible and doesn’t require getting dirty.”
“This is an adventurer’s guild, so a safe and clean job is a little…”
Iris went up to the counter and stared at the man with stars in her eyes.
“Then, tell me the location of a Demon King’s general! We’ll hop on over and take care of them for you!”
“Please stop! Even if there isn’t a Demon King’s general there, my head will roll for just sending you to such a location! Plus, finding one that Iris-sama would be able to take on is a problem in itself!”
It seems like the man recognises who Iris is, just like the other adventurers.
Still, considering her skills in combat, it certainly is possible for her to take care of a general in a jiffy.
I understand why Kazuma keeps saying that they might as well just send her to defeat the Demon King.
“I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t think this guild has a quest fit for Iris-sama–”
Just as the man started bowing repeatedly,
“—Why not!? This is the adventurer’s guild, right? So why can’t I put up a quest!?”
“Like I said, we can’t accept a quest with such ill-defined contents! I’ve never even heard of a monster known as a King Toad!”
At the counter next to us, a bespectacled man that seems to be here to submit a request is having a loud argument with the lady behind the counter.
“The King Toad does exist! The reason why there are so few reports about it is because almost all the parties that ran into it got completely wiped out! According to my research, it’s a special humongous frog that appears during particularly strong rainy seasons, much like the one we have now. If you manage to exterminate it, it would benefit this kingdom greatly too!”
It seems like the man who just launched into a fervent speech had just had his request denied by the guild.
Still, something about what he said really caught my interest.
In particular, the phrase “King Toad”.
With my long and storied history with toads, this isn’t something I can ignore.
I drew closer to the bespectacled man who was still in the middle of his rant and said,
“I’m just a passing Crimson Demon, but it sounds like you’re in a spot of trouble. I don’t know what kind of quest you are trying to put up, but would you mind telling me more details?”
“My name is Barton. I’m a wildlife researcher.”
We decided to take a seat at a table at the corner in order to hear him out.
This Barton, who calls himself a wildlife researcher, seems to be pretty famous in the capital as a weirdo.
“I see, wildlife… So, basically, you study monsters in order to identify their weaknesses and the like, right? That doesn’t sound particularly strange. In fact, the kingdom should be offering to support such efforts.”
I put to words my understanding of what he just told me, but Barton responded with a confused look.
“No, I have no interest in the weaknesses of monsters. What I’m researching is something far more fundamental. For instance, why do cabbages fly? Why, out of all the fishes, do only mackerel grow in the fields? Those are the questions that I’m interested in answering, ones that everyone have always wondered about.”
“No one would be wondering about such childish questions all the way till adulthood.”
“Er… I-I might be a little interested…”
Yunyun, who’s always been a bit of a weirdo amongst the Crimson Demons, shakily raised her voice.
And it seems like Iris thinks the same way too.
“So, why do cabbages fly?”
“How would I know? Perhaps it’s in their nature, or their fighting spirit, or magic, or perhaps it’s just their desire to fly. More importantly,”
Barton dismissed the question with a bunch of nonsense sounding reasons even though he was the one to bring it up in the first place, and continued on even as Iris started tearing up.
“There are creatures known as snow sprites in this world. They are said to shorten the winter whenever one of them is killed. The monster I’m looking for, the King Toad, is a similar creature that can bring an end to the rainy season when defeated.”
Despite being treated so unreasonably, it seems like Iris is still drawn by her sense of curiosity.
“Barton-sama, what led you to this conclusion?”
Iris asked in a genuinely curious tone, but Barton returned with a moody frown.
“If you wish to ask me a question, address me as professor.”
“P-Professor, how did you reach the conclusion that killing one would end the rain–”
“How would I know? Those frogs always start croaking and groaning during this season, so I thought that they might be calling the rain or something. S-Stop, what do you think you are doing to your client!?”
Barton angrily protested as Iris suddenly started swiping at his glasses.
Yunyun, who has been listening in silence all this time, tilted her head questioningly.
“So, you wish to test your hypothesis by putting out a request for the extermination of a King Toad then, Barton-san?”
“No, I just hate the rain. I don’t really care about my hypothesis, I just want the rain to be gone as soon as possible.”
“There are people who can manipulate the weather in the Crimson Demon Village, so why don’t you just go make a request there…?”
In response to my facetious suggestion, Barton arrogantly pushed his glasses against the bridge of his nose.
“How long do you think it would take to get to the Crimson Demon Village from here? The truth is, there is a very particular reason why I specifically came down here to make a request today. It would be very troublesome if it is still raining tomorrow.”
Upon hearing that, Iris seemed to forget about the unreasonable way she has been treated up till now and asked.
“…You have such an important reason? Depending on the circumstances, it might not be too bad to accept this request…”
“This bartender that I’ve been chasing for quite some time, Barbara-chan, said that she would go out with me tomorrow if it’s sunny out… H-Hey, what is this child trying to do!?”
Barton angrily shouted as he jumped back to avoid Iris who seems about ready to break those glasses in half.
This man seems to be the only person in this entire guild who has yet to realize Iris’s true identity.
“Our Axis Cult priest made a teru teru something or the other earlier, so it’ll probably be sunny tomorrow.”
[Teru Teru Bozu, children often put them up in Japan to hope for good weather so they can go out to play.]
“What’s with that fishy sounding superstition?”
Aqua’s normally pretty flakey, but for some reason, she’s really accurate whenever it comes to the weather.
“What you were saying before is even more fishy!”
After hearing Iris’s puffed up words, Barton once again adjusted his glasses.
“What’s with this girl!? This is why I hate kids! Every time I try to explain a hypothesis, they’ll always constantly ask why this and why that until it’s completely full of holes!”
“Why are you so sloppy and non-committal!? Please give me a proper reason as to why killing a King Toad will lead to the end of the rain!”
“It’s my gut feeling! The same instincts that I’ve honed through my long years as a wildlife researcher!”
Gut feeling is a pretty shaky foundation too.
After hearing that, Yunyun pulled me aside and whispered.
“Say, Megumin, I have a really bad feeling about this. I don’t think this man is completely right in the head. We should go back to the counter and take a proper quest.”
“Even if you say that, what do we do about her?”
As I said that, I pointed towards…
“Very well! Let’s go find and kill a King Toad! Then, if it is sunny tomorrow, I’ll accept that you are right!”
“I don’t really care about getting the acceptance of a child.”
“Just what is wrong with you!? Argh!”
Perhaps it’s the first time Iris has been treated in such a way, but she ended up accepting the quest in a fit of indignation on her own—
Seems like Yunyun’s instincts aren’t half bad.
“Behold! Behold, Megumin-kun! Alraunes immobilize their prey like this in order to implant their seed onto their bodies before releasing them! This is how immobile plant-like monsters like them are able to expand their range to new locations!”
“Waaaah! Barton-saaaaan! She planted one on you! There’s a seed on your back!”
Inside a forest a fair distance from the capital.
After being caught by an Alraune, a monster that looked like the upper body of a young girl sprouting from the middle of a giant flower, Barton said,
“Now now, there’s no need to be hasty, Yunyun-kun! Alraunes are not particularly dangerous monsters. While it’s implanting its seed in its prey, it would laugh like this in order to put them at ease.”
“That’s not a calming laugh at all! It’s way too scary!”
Even as he was still tangled up in the vines, he jovially launched into an explanation of the Alraune’s life cycle.
“The seed of an Alraune would not bring any harm to the creature it’s implanted on. In fact, it would inject a highly nutritious sap into the creature in order to give it a burst of energy. The implanted seed would also not remain in the body of the creature indefinitely, but will eventually be naturally excreted by the creature. This is most likely done both to avoid being regarded as a threat and to aid in spreading its seeds as far as possible! Now, ladies, please put away those dangerously looking implements! Ahahahaha! Ahahaha!”
“It’s injecting something into you, Barton-saaaaan!”
“Boss, what should we do? At this rate, Barton-sama will be…!”
Yunyun shouted as she started stabbing at the vines holding Barton in place with her dagger, and Iris, sword in hand, frantically looked towards me for instruction.
“Barton-san seems pretty happy, so wouldn’t it be fine to just leave him here like this?”
“Our client is getting parasitized! We can’t just leave him here! Barton-san, I’ve cut through the vines, so please come over here! Quickly!”
Despite being released, Barton, his face a bright red, began speaking rapidly.
“By the way, the famous Tranquility Girl is an offshoot of the Alraune. Such plant type monsters must take the form of young girls in order to trigger a sense of compassion from humans and attack them while their guard is down! Ahahaha! Alraunes are the best! Alraunes are the best!”
“This old man is done for. Let’s just wish him a happy life and be on our way.”
“Stop saying stupid things and help me!!!”
All this happened mere moments after we set foot in the forest.
Not only Yunyun, even I’m starting to get a bad feeling–
—My premonition was spot on, and Barton’s eccentricities continued.
“Just like that! Iris-kun, stay just like that!”
“Now is not the time for that! Iris-chan, don’t listen to this man’s words! You can go ahead and exterminate it!”
Right in front of us, Iris is facing off against a Rookie Killer.
Apparently, Rookie Killers have a knack for determining the strength of their foe.
This one in particular has been frozen in fear the moment it met Iris’s gaze, and hasn’t moved an inch since our encounter.
“B-But, Yunyun-san, seeing it trembling in fear like this makes it really hard for me to kill it…”
“Just a little while more, Iris-kun! Just a little while more and my sketch will be complete!”
“Barton-san, do you really not know who Iris-chan is!? Megumin, hurry up and do–!”
Yunyun, who was protecting Barton, turned towards me, and I replied
“Rookie Killers are really cool, aren’t they? I quite like them. Barton-san, did you know that there are some Rookie Killers that like eating wolfberries?”
“Oh, that’s interesting. You must tell me more about them later–”
“Light of Saber!!!”
Losing her temper, Yunyun swung her spell at the Rookie Killer, causing it to immediately dart away.
—As we proceeded deeper into the forest, we came under attack from monster after monster.
“Iris-kun, I’ve misjudged you. I was under the impression that you were a rich young lady who has been waited on hand and foot for your entire life, but you are actually pretty skilled, aren’t you? Would it be possible for me to keep you on a long term retainer? If you want, I can even hire you as a live in assistant.”
Paying no heed to the fact that he was being protected by girls less than half his age, Barton said some ridiculous things.
“Thank you very much! If I ever find myself thrown out onto the streets, I’ll be sure to look you up!”
Swinging her ornate sword through the air, Iris said something even more inane as she cut down an Elder Treant, a large plant-type monster that resembled a rotting, moving tree.
The only way this girl would be thrown out onto the streets is if the kingdom were to collapse first.
“Say, Megumin, if we take this man out here and made it look like an accident, do you think they’ll pardon us if we told Claire-san what he just said? I think it’s important for us friends to protect her from bad adults…”
“Please don’t say such dangerous things with a straight face… In the first place, he’d probably be executed on the spot if Claire ever hears about what happened here.”
As Yunyun and I whispered to each other, Barton and Iris were chatting up a storm in front of the treant’s corpse.
“I see, I see! Very well, as a candidate for my future assistant, allow me to pass on some knowledge! The branches of an Elder Treant make for great kindling. If you put them into boiling water and make tea out of it, it’ll give you a mysterious high when you drink it. I highly recommend you take a few back with you.”
“I’ve learnt a lot today! I’ll bring them back as souvenirs for Claire and Rain!”
Upon hearing that, Yunyun strode up to beat some sense into Barton.
—And after finally making our way to the swamps that lay in the depths of the forest…
“Yunyun-kun, you should use ice magic on the Scallosaur!”
“I-Ice magic!? Understood! This is the first piece of proper advice you’ve given all day, but leave it to me! Freeze Gust!”
At Yunyun’s shout, a cloud of white mist appeared from her wand and enveloped the Scallosaur, a large lizard with a torso the size of a cow.
“Barton-san, it looks totally fine!”
After taking the spell head on, the monster let out a vigorous screech and seemed even more energetic than before.
“Indeed, that’s because Scallosaurs are immune to ice magic! More importantly, behold! Notice how the scales of the Scallosaur are turning blue after getting hit with an ice spell? That indicates that it’s absorbing the magic from the spell and turning it into its own strength! Such a vibrant blue! Don’t you think it looks pretty!?”
“It’s amazing, Barton-sama! I rarely see such a strong shade of blue in my life!”
“Are you an idiot, Barton-san!? Please don’t get in the way! Iris-chan, you shouldn’t be praising him either!”
After being called an idiot, Barton carefully adjusted his glasses as he responded.
“Harumph. I’m most certain you are unaware, but if you kill a Scallosaur while its scales are in such a state, those scales will forever retain that vibrant shade of blue. They will sell for almost double the price of a regular scale–”
“Professor Barton, do you have any other similar knowledge? I wouldn’t mind calling you Onii-chan for the duration of this request.”
“Wait, Megumin, what are you saying!? You’re no longer troubled by money problems, right?”
Immediately after saying that, Yunyun started chanting another spell.
And, just then.
Iris, who was protecting Barton, suddenly looked around…
“Everyone, the monsters and creatures in the area have grown silent. Something’s coming.”
Now that she mentioned it, it is true that the sounds of the creatures that normally permeate the forests have gone silent.
Iris, who didn’t even bat an eye when faced with the Scallosaur, showed me a serious expression for the first time today.
At that same instant.
The Scallosaur standing in front of us disappeared with a small squeak.
And not long after that, the very earth started rising from the swamp.
We must have woken it up.
“There it is! That’s the one we are looking for!”
The reason why I originally thought that it was part of the earth was because it’s covered in moss.
It probably cultivated that moss to allow it to better blend in with the environment.
This creature has been living in this swamp for who knows how long while covered in a thick layer of moss large enough to envelop its entire body.
“I didn’t hear anything about this! You said it was a more advanced version of a giant frog, not a creature that’s on the same level as a high bounty target!”
This is the King Toad that the self-proclaimed wildlife researcher so aptly named.
“I’ll go out in front, so please stand back and support me with magic!”
It was comparable in size to our mansion, and the tail of the Scallosaur that we were fighting was hanging out the corner of its mouth.
Such a creature is now looking down at Iris.
“I didn’t expect it to be this huge! Tsk, as a wildlife researcher, I always thought it’d be nice to experience being swallowed at least once, but I’ll definitely die if this creature swallowed me! What a pity! …But still…”
“We are in quite a pinch right now, so stop sounding like our Crusader and hurry up and hide somewhere! Iris, take care not to be stepped on! Yunyun, please cast some ice spells on it! Frogs should be weak against the cold!”
After pushing Barton that was getting excited for some reason behind me, I started giving out instructions to the two.
“Hey, is it really weak to ice!? I just got tricked by Barton-san earlier, so will it really be alright?
“Oh, I wonder? The Scallosaur that was living in this very same swamp was strong against ice, so what about this King Toad? If you want a hint, call me Professor Barton–”
“Professor Barton who claims to be a wildlife researcher, allow me to enlighten you about certain facts of Crimson Demons. On the whole, Crimson Demons have short tempers and are utterly merciless when riled–”
“It’s weak against ice! And it’ll be slowed afterwards, so lightning spells would be very effective against it!”
Just as Barton hastily spat out his hint in response to my threat, and Yunyun started chanting–
The King Toad’s tongue shot out towards Iris like an arrow, and Iris swung her sword to intercept it.
The shockwave that emerged from Iris’s blade sliced off the tongue and sent it flying, but—!
“The King Toad has terrifyingly strong regenerative abilities! Small wounds like these will heal right away! This information is all in the book I released last year, Professor Barton’s Monster Guide for Dummies, so I highly recommend all adventurers to pick it u–!”
“Now is not the time for advertising! Iris, um, can’t you fire off something more impressive!? You know, like the attack you used to take out that Dragon!? Now’s the time to unleash the seal!”
I shouted towards Iris, but she gave me an apologetic look—
“I’m sorry, that skill is tied to the holy sword that has been passed down through the Belzerg royal family for generations, so I can’t use it without that divine relic in hand…”
“Why didn’t you bring it with you today!? You should just keep it with you every time you go out!”
“B-But… It’s a sword that has been passed down for countless generations, so the hilt really stinks!”
“Hey, this isn’t the time to be arguing about thaaaaat!!”
Yunyun’s shout drew my attention back toward the giant frog, and the tongue that was cut off just moments ago has already been mostly regenerated!
“Yunyun, we should retreat temporarily! Cast your teleport! That thing is way too big for us to deal with right now!”
As Yunyun started making preparations to cast Teleport, Iris repeated unleashed her skill at the frog in order to buy time.
The invisible blades of wind rendered large gashes in the King Toad’s flesh, but it didn’t seem to phase the King Toad at all.
Perhaps because it can’t feel pain, or perhaps because it’s just far too large to feel such pinpricks, the King Toad simply waved its mostly healed tongue in our direction in preparation for another strike–
“W-Wait, hold on, if we retreat now, what about the quest I gave you today!?”
“Now is not the time for that! If we stay here, we’ll all end up as frog food!”
“But then, the promise I made with Barbara-chan…!”
“A waitress at a bar or your life, think about which is more important! Besides, I’m pretty sure that Barbara-chan of yours says the exact same thing to all the other customers!”
I don’t really care if some strange man is getting tricked, but if this continues, there is a great possibility that something horrible will happen to Iris.
I doubt she’ll actually be killed by a frog, but after bringing out the princess like this, if she were to head back home covered head to toe in slime, I’ll probably be executed.
I’m not about to lose my life over such a stupid thing, so all I can do right now is wait for Yunyun to finish her chant—!
“I see… Well, even the guild rejected my request, so I’m really grateful to you all for bringing me this far. And, the King Toad was far larger than I expected. I guess I shouldn’t expect it to be taken out so easily…”
That’s a far cry from the Barton that has been acting so audaciously since we met him.
“Is that person really that important to you?”
Perhaps having her curiosity piqued by such a drastic change in his attitude, Iris asked, her sword still squarely focused on the King Toad in front of her.
“Indeed, I’ve been chasing after her for a very long time now. I’ve known her since childhood, and she ended up taking over that debt-ridden bar from her parents, and even now, she works hard to keep things afloat. Even though she has gone out with the other customers on countless dates, for some reason, she’s always rejected my invitation. She’s stubborn like that.”
“Of course, I know why she keeps refusing my advances. Most likely, she can’t see me as anything other than her younger brother from when we were kids. That’s why, when the rain starts falling non stop around this time of year, she’ll say ‘I’ll go out with you if it’s sunny tomorrow’ …Even so, I’ve always held on to this small hope…”
I can’t possibly stand by and do nothing after hearing such a story.
“Yunyun, you’re done with preparing your teleport, right? Please stand by. Iris, come back to me. I’m going to unleash my magic now, so please protect yourself.”
“Wait, hold on, if you use Explosion on that frog…!”
Yes, there is a reason why I’ve refrained from using my Explosion even after encountering such a large enemy.
“Boss, I’ll be fine. The remains of the frog will most likely end up splattered everywhere, but I’ll handle Claire somehow.”
Iris said with a bright smile. She probably anticipated what is going to happen next.
“Very well, let’s all end up covered in slime on our first adventure together! Come to think of it, back when I first joined up with Kazuma, I ended up covered in frog slime too! I’ll take down this guy in a jiffy and we’ll all have a bath together afterwards!”
“I don’t really mind the bath, but don’t get upset after comparing your bodies with ours… Ouch! Stop throwing stones around and start chanting already!”
Yunyun shouted at me.
“Can you really bring the King Toad down…?”
My reply to Barton’s uncertain sounding words came in the form of my chant.
At that time, perhaps learning that its tongue will be cut off every time it attacks, the King Toad retracted it and gathered its legs beneath it.
After completing my chant, I gave Barton a bitter smile.
“I learned a lot about the ecology of monsters from you today, so in return, allow me to teach you something about the feelings of women. The reason Barbara-chan keeps turning you down is–”
Before I could finish, the King Toad leapt into the air, seemingly intent on crushing us with the weight of its body–
[Once again, big thanks to Kasen for colouring the pictures in]
“Oh, welcome back.”
When I returned to the mansion, Kazuma, who was lazing about on the sofa, greeted me.
Next to him, Aqua was repeatedly hitting Kazuma on the back as she wailed…
“You were out pretty late today. What were you up to? You weren’t up to anything weird like Aqua was, were you?”
“Apologize! Apologize to Teru Teru Megumin!”
“Hold on a minute, I just heard something I can’t ignore. And what do you mean by apologize?”
“Megumin, listen to this! This moldy NEET gave the Teru Teru Megumin I made to Chomusuke to use as a chew toy! Thanks to that, the Terumin got torn to pieces…!”
“Stop calling me moldy NEET, that makes it sound like I’m going to sprout mushrooms. Anyway, she made a Teru Teru Bozu that looked a little like you, but it’d be problematic for me if it’s sunny tomorrow, won’t it?”
“Didn’t you say you’d go out with me once it’s sunny!? What kind of half-hearted promise is that!?”
“What? Okay, fine, it’s my fault! Anyway, didn’t you head out on an adventure? You kinda smell nice. Did you take a bath?”
Aqua has moved on to Darkness who was sitting on the far end of the sofa and is probably trying to fix the Terumin with her.
I glanced at them out of the corner of my eye and said.
“Yeah, it’s an amazing adventure that’s sure to make you jealous. The bath is, well, I suppose you can call it destroying evidence…”
“Oh? Well, we can’t go out because of the rain anyways, so why don’t you tell us all about it? Hey, Aqua, I’m sorry alright, so stop crying already. I’ll bring out some wine, so let’s listen to Megumin’s story together, okay?”
“If you are talking about the bottle you kept hidden away behind the drawers, it’s already gone. I found it yesterday and drank it all.”
I moved away from the two of them as they started fighting again and approached Darkness, who appeared to have pricked her finger but is looking at her perfectly unblemished finger with a look of disappointment.
“If you don’t mind, I would really like to hear what adventures you went on today. You’ve been heading out to the lake for your daily explosion trip recently, so did you go even further away this time?”
Darkness said, giving me a gentle smile as though she was enjoying the peaceful mood of a rainy day.
“It’ll be a long story, so let’s wait till after dinner. We fought against a large variety of monsters, and at the very end of it, we helped a man who has been pining for his unrequited love. But before that, I would like to ask Aqua for a little favour–”
The two of them temporarily ceased fighting after hearing my words, and I flashed them my most charming smile–
“Can you make a Teru Teru Aqua, Teru Teru Kazuma, and a Teru Teru Darkness too? I really want it to be sunny tomorrow—”
[Teru Teru Bozu literally means Shine Shine monk, and she’s replacing the monk part with a certain character instead]