Short story 2: Little Megu-tan dolls
On that day.
Together with Yunyun who was being a loner as usual, I was playing a board game at the mansion that’s our thieves’s hideout.
As I moved my Archmage into position, I said towards Yunyun.
“Do you know what is the hallmark of a top class adventurer’s party? That’s right, it’s having a good party composition. Yes, just like the party I have. There’s a Crusader, an Archpriest, an Archmage, and the additional one. This composition could almost be said to be perfect.”
It might be just a game, but even so, I have no intention of going easy.
This is the so called “psychological tactics”.
On the surface, I’m merely discussing the circumstances on the board, but the true purpose is to cause Yunyun to waver and make mistakes.
“… I’ll tell Kazuma-san that you referred to him as the additional one.”
“That was a poor choice of words. I mean, Kazuma is, right, he’s a versatile commander that can perform the roles of an archer, a vanguard, and a thief at the same time.”
I was planning on throwing her off balance, but I ended up being the one who was thrown off balance instead.
“Listen, if you talk to Kazuma at all about this, make sure you tell him exactly what I said just now. Don’t just tell him that I referred to him as the additional one, you hear?”
I need to make sure not to wound Kazuma’s fragile pride.
It has absolutely nothing to do with me being afraid of his retribution. I just feel that it’s a little too much for me to refer to my precious companion as “the additional one”.
“If you put it that way, Kazuma-san could form an entire party by himself…”
“E-Enough about that already! And, really, don’t tell him bits and pieces of this, you hear!? Kazuma is really scary when he gets angry!”
“Megumin-san! This is bad! This is really bad! Please lend your onee-san a hand!”
Just as I was awaiting Yunyun’s next move, a shout came from the front door.
“Right, it’s your turn, Megumin! What do you think of this?! You can only save either your Archmage or your Archpriest, and you’ve already used your one explosion for today! You’re done for now!”
Yunyun’s eyes glowed a bright red as she smiled triumphantly.
“No, let’s leave this game aside for now. Onee-san seems to be in some kind of trouble.”
“Eh!? W-Wait a minute, I mean, you can determine the victor in just a short while more!”
Yunyun’s triumphant look was immediately replaced with one of panic upon hearing my words.
“How could you? An important companion of ours is in trouble, and you’re more concerned about a little game? I’m really disappointed in you. Really, to think that my rival would be such a heartless person…”
“W-Wait, that’s not it! Yeah, true, now the Cecily-san is in trouble… Sorry, Megumin, I really don’t feel any sense of urgency for her…”
I feel the same way, but I’ll keep that to myself.
Shortly thereafter, Cecily threw open the doors of the living room and barged in.
“Megumin-san, this is bad! Onee-san is… Oh, are you two busy? I’ll wait for you two to finish up your game, then.”
“No, no, it’s fine. This is just a mere game, after all. There’s no way it can compete with Onee-san in trouble. I don’t know what happened, but leave it to me. No matter what it is, I’ll lend you my aid…”
“What is up with you today, Megumin? Just hearing those words alone takes care of all my troubles.”
“Megumin, since Cecily-san already said that, why don’t we continue– Ahhh!”
I flipped over the board and grabbed Cecily by the shoulders.
“Onee-san, get ahold of yourself! It’s probably some kind of slime related incident, right? It might end up causing harm to the citizens of Axel if we leave it be, so let’s deal with it at once… ”
“Hey, don’t you run away! There was no need for you to upturn the board! We could’ve continued the game later!”
I ignored Yunyun who grabbed onto me while in tears and asked Cecily for more details.
“Come on, I’m not like this heartless girl over here. I’ll properly hear you out.”
“W-Wait a minute, I can help Cecily-san too.”
To be honest, all I really wanted was an excuse to suspend the game since it looked like I would lose.
All I need to do now is settle Cecily’s problems somehow, and then…
“Don’t worry, it’s already resolved. The only thing I needed is Megumin’s permission.”
“Sorry, but can you please tell me just what have you done?”
“You see, in order to convey the cuteness of Megumin to the world, I worked together with that handsome masked gentleman to sell cute little Megu-tan dolls–”
I rushed out the door before Cecily could finish her explanation.