To the Dungeons along with this King of Undead
Editing: Striker, Ulti, Xenthur
Coloured illustrations: Kasen
–Dungeon, First floor–
“Fuhahaha! Fuhahaha! Begone, little goblins! Do you want to become the experience points of our customer so badly!? Unfortunately, we have no interest in small fry like you! Now, open a path!”
A Duke of Hell, former General of the Demon King’s Army, and a greater devil in his own right, Vanir.
Normally such a being would be some kind of last boss or something, but right now he’s our vanguard and scattering the goblins before him.
I want to say he is dressed in a manner befitting that of a great duke of hell…
But no, he’s wearing sandals, a pair of loose shorts and a half open shirt, like he’s ready to hit the beach.
Taking on a dungeon while wearing such an outfit strikes me as a little crazy, but I’ve long since stopped worrying about every little one of this devil’s peculiarities.
“I never thought there’d come a day where I could go on an adventure with Kazuma-san and Vanir-san like this! Today, I’m not the same old shopkeeper who always gets lectured by Vanir-san; I’ll show you the power of the famous great mage that I was known as!”
Wiz happily said as she brought up the rear.
Right now, I’m invading the dungeon bracketed by Wiz and Vanir.
Wiz feels particularly reliable today, unlike the usual inept air that she emits when she was working as a shopkeeper.
“Leaving Vanir aside, well… Is it really okay not to bring any weapons or armour, Wiz?”
Wiz, wearing the same frock that she wears in the store, gives me the same feeling that seeing Vanir in his beachwear does.
A man in beachwear and a large sack on his back, a woman wearing a simple frock, and then there’s me, the only one here bearing proper equipment.
I wonder exactly what kind of group we must look like to anyone else.
“It’s fine! Liches can only be damaged by magical weapons, monsters that have a lot of arcana within them, or high level magic! I am the King of Undead, after all. You know, this is the first place where I met Vanir-san. I’m going to give it my all!”
I let go of a little bit of my unease after hearing Wiz’s confident answer.
I’m starting to regret asking these two for help.
–Dungeon, Fifth floor–
“Perfect! Perfect! Today, Moi is in perfect condition! Fuhahahaha! A mere ogre dares to stand in my way!? How impudent! There’s no need to use magic, allow Moi to rend it limb from limb with my bare hands!”
“You’re in a good mood today, Vanir-san! But, unless you let Kazuma deal the last blow, the experience points…”
Vanir is squaring off against an ogre that’s at least three meters tall, while Wiz moved towards the other ogres that were following it…
Some of the ogres that were touched by Wiz fell to the floor, foaming at the mouth, while others lost consciousness and collapsed where they stood.
They are most likely affected by the Curse and Sleep status effects.
And my job is to deal the finishing blow to the ogres who have been immobilized.
I want to say that this is no sweat at all, but I’m not so cold-hearted that I could easily kill creatures that couldn’t fight back without even a hint of guilt.
Still, those two really are former Demon King’s generals.
Between the two of them, they took care of the horde of ogres with the same air as a regular person mowing a lawn.
As an aside, this dungeon really does live up to its name.
It’s said to be the deepest and largest dungeon in the world, and the size of its corridors is easily wide enough to allow a dragon to pass through without trouble.
It’s been a few hours since Wiz brought us here with her Teleport.
My level easily went past ten and is almost closing onto twenty now.
“This ogre will probably… Yes, I’ve reached level twenty! Thanks to you two, my levels have been rising really rapidly.”
After driving my sword into the ogre that Vanir wrestled into submission, I reported my current level to the others.
I removed my sword from the ogre’s body and clasped my hands over its remains.
To be honest, the fact that this feels so much like grinding in a video game disturbs me a little.
Especially when I’m killing humanoid monsters that seem capable of intelligence.
But I need to do this in order to become strong. Sorry.
Vanir seems slightly taken aback for once.
“Hmm, your level is already this high… Moi always knew you didn’t have much talent as an adventurer, but to think that it’s to such a degree… But, well, one supposes you can think of it as having a talent for gaining levels quickly… ”
“You are the absolute worst person to receive such words from. At least poke fun at me like you usually do…”
Just then, Wiz hesitantly extended a hand to me.
“R-Right then, let’s be on our way… Vanir-san, this is fine, right?”
“Indeed, there is no problem. The sight of my healthy customer is visible to me.”
“Stop referring to me as your customer, just address me normally. Now, then, please!”
After Wiz successfully reduced my level to one, I let out a breath.
“… So it really went off successfully. You are truly fortunate.”
At Vanir’s words, Wiz and I suddenly stiffened.
What did he just say? Don’t tell me he didn’t actually see the future…!
“Fuhahaha! Did that worry you? Worry not! Until you take those items off my hands, you need not worry for your safety… Oho, yes, these are some wonderful dark emotions indeed!”
Oh, yeah, this is the kind of person he is.
–Dungeon, Tenth floor–
“S-Say, Vanir… how deep are we right now? We’ve walked quite some distance by now, haven’t we? I have absolutely no idea how much time has passed. I didn’t get the chance to bring any snacks with me before I came here.”
Vanir is a devil that can see through all, Wiz is an undead Lich, and I can see in the dark.
None of us need light to see, so we proceeded on without any light sources, but I’m starting to get a little anxious due to not knowing our end goal.
I don’t have an accurate sense of time, but I’d say we’ve spent at least a few hours in this place.
“From what my all seeing eyes tell me, the twentieth floor is the lowest floor in this place. As for time, about half a day has passed. Don’t worry about food, Moi has made adequate preparations, so there’s no need to worry.”
Vanir patted the sack that he had on his back.
“… Normally, any spelunkers would explore this dungeon slowly and cautiously, taking several months to reach the bottom. The only reason we made it this far in such a short time is because of me using my powers of foresight to identify the traps and the right paths to take. If you understand that, then it would behoove you to buy a few more items than just what you originally wanted… Still, this dungeon has a pretty nice feel to it. Moi could very much imagine taking this dungeon for myself after dealing with the boss.”
“W-We can’t do that, Vanir-san! I’ll make your dungeon for you! I’ll be in real trouble if you stopped helping out with my shop now!”
Vanir and Wiz proceeded down the dungeons without the slightest bit of fear at all.
Hearing the sound Vanir’s sandals made, it’s easy to forget what a dangerous place this dungeon is supposed to be.
“… Say, just what is up with the clothes you’re wearing? I originally decided not to ask about it, but it really does bother me…”
“Hmm? Oh, these clothes? They were given to me by the widower madam that lives next door. She saw me cleaning gutters in my suit, so she gave it to me to try as it is easier to move in. What do you think? Does it suit me?”
Vanir posed and showed off his clothes before me.
It looks like the kind of clothes a middle aged man might wear to the convenience store, but thanks to that mask…
“In this place, it makes you look like some kind of rare monster.”
“Hmm, so this makes me seem like a rare monster, huh? Moi needs to render my thanks to that madam when we next meet.”
It seems like being called a rare monster is a compliment amongst devils.
“… Vanir-san seems to be more interested in the neighbours than me… even though I’ve been with him for far longer…”
As Wiz started pouting, I heard a roar come from ahead of us.
Judging from the strong prickling that my Enemy Detection skill is giving me, this seems like a strong monster indeed.
“Ho, to think that there would even be a Cerberus here! This creature’s fur remains warm in any circumstances, so it’s highly sought after in the winter! Wiz, don’t let it go! If we successfully take it down, Moi shall let you eat meat for a week!”
“I’m sorry, but I like to enjoy the taste of protein from time to time too! I really like dogs, but I’m really sorry… Aah! Don’t run away!”
–Dungeon, Thirteenth floor–
“Fuhahaha, what an impudent lizard! Let’s demonstrate once and for all just which is stronger, a dragon or a devil! … H-Hey, Wiz, isn’t it done yet!? This guy is preparing to use its breath weapon! Moi is holding it down, but my body is starting to become charcoal!”
“B-But, Vanir-san, it might be a lesser subspecies, but it’s still a dragon! Dragons have high amounts of arcana within them, so it’ll hurt if it bites me!”
“Wiz, now is not the time to be saying such things! Vanir is getting eaten!”
A dragon in the flesh.
Wiz said it was a lesser subspecies, but it’s still larger than a storeroom and seems like it could eat a cow in a single bite…!
“Argh, it ate one of my arms! Moi cannot gather replacement materials for my body in this dungeon, so if it keeps breaking pieces off of me, Moi shall vanish altogether! Grah, this leaves me no choice! Dragon scales go for a lot of money and are worth a lot of experience points, but, Wiz! Forget it, take care of it with magic!”
“Understood! Stand back, Cursed Lightning!!”
Even though Vanir has lost an arm, he was still wrestling with the dragon when Wiz unleashed a bolt of lightning at it.
The bolt of lightning lit the pitch black dungeon up and blew a blackened hole through the dragon, showering the surroundings with bright blue sparks.
When the sparks died down and darkness returned to the dungeon once more, the dragon, which had a hole blown straight through its belly, fell to the ground with a heavy thud.
As expected of a lich, taking out a dragon with a single blow.
“Amazing… so a lich is stronger than dragon or devil.”
“Fufu, I’m not called the King of Undead for nothing… W-What are you doing, Vanir-san? S-Stop, don’t bring your severed stump any closer…!”
Vanir, perhaps irked by how the dragon he had a hard time against got easily taken out by Wiz, started teasing her.
As for me, being suddenly released from the pressure of being in the presence of such a strong opponent made me collapse to the ground in relief.
“Still, my level is almost twenty five. It feels like I gain a level for every battle we fight… The speed at which I gain levels is as amazing as ever, but I think I’m starting to approach my limit. Plus, Vanir is starting to struggle too, so maybe we should call it here…?”
My level quickly shot up to twenty five after I’ve been drained not too long ago.
It almost makes me wonder what exactly I spent the last year and a half doing.
The monsters we’ve encountered on this floor are all monsters that would’ve wiped us out if I ran into them with just my party.
How long has it been since I entered this dungeon?
Vanir said that half a day has passed back then, so it’s probably close to midnight right now.
“What are you saying!? The only reason Moi is struggling is because Moi is trying my best to restrain the monsters without killing them. If it is just getting rid of them, Moi can easily get down to the bottom floor in an instant!”
Vanir, who was waving his stump around in Wiz’s face, snapped towards me.
Actually just seeing it from the side is making my stomach churn, so hurry and patch it up already.
“But just as Kazuma-san said, we are going to have a hard time pressing on like this… In this case, I shouldn’t hold back. Cursed Necromancy!”
Wiz confidently walked up to the corpse and cast a spell on it.
… You know, I think I’ve really been underestimating what a Lich powerful enough to become a Demon King’s general is capable of.
She might be running a store in the town of beginners, she might be wearing the same frock that she wears in the shop, but…
“Alright, let’s turn a few more dragon-class monsters into my undead minions… A chance like this doesn’t come by very often, so let’s go all the way to the bottom floor today.”
She patted the neck of the undead dragon like she was taking a dog on a walk while saying that.
She seems to be saying to the dragon that she’ll release it after we reach the bottom floor in a very apologetic way.
“… Wiz, you really are an amazing mage.”
“D-Do you really think so!? N-No, I still have a long way to go… C-Come now, let’s carry on!”
Wiz blushed and got all flustered after hearing my words, but…
“Sorry, can we take a little break? I’m getting a little worn out. I know we came all the way down here, but the tension got released the moment I sat down, and the fatigue is…”
Seeing me sitting on the ground, Vanir sat down next to me and started pulling out various items from his rucksack.
I thought he brought that along to carry the various spoils that we came across in this dungeon, but apparently it was stuffed with various magic items, potions, and other daily necessities.
“Now, then, brat, Moi has prepared various items such as food, fatigue relieving potions, water and medicine, items that can instantly create a barrier, amongst other things.”
As expected of a devil with the gift of foresight, how considerate.
“Today is the special dungeon sale! All products are available for a fivefold price increase! Now, feel free to peruse, dear customer!”
As expected of a devil with the gift of foresight, choosing such the perfect time to hawk his wares.
… What a ruthless guy.
— Just how did things end up this way?
“Dammit, it’s already caught up to us! Stella! Stella! Are you sure there aren’t any more scrolls containing Flash!? If we can blind it just once more…!”
“There aren’t any left! We used the last one just now!”
Hearing Gil’s screamed question, I responded with the same despair-tinged scream of my own.
“We just managed to get the treasure! Are things really going to end right here!?”
Gain, bringing up the rear, mournfully wailed while carrying the bag filled with treasure over his shoulder.
Even though tears are starting to cloud my vision, I didn’t spare even a moment to wipe it off.
The only light that barely managed to illuminate our path came from a small lantern.
As we ran, I couldn’t help but regret my actions over the past few minutes.
We aren’t prepared for the thirteenth floor.
It took us over half a year to make it down to the twelfth floor, carefully probing for traps and meticulously observing the weakness and abilities of each monster we came across.
After stepping on the twelfth floor, we discovered all the monsters there could be easily taken care of, and that made us let our guard down.
We took so much care on the journey down, but just one misstep and…
Nobody has fully conquered this dungeon before, and common wisdom dictates that one should be at least three times the level of the current floor before exploring it.
Right now we are at the thirteen floor, so by right, we should at least be level thirty nine before stepping foot here.
The average level of our party is just barely below that number.
I could feel the presence of the monster that was chasing us in the darkness behind me.
“I don’t want to die… I don’t want to die!”
My younger sister was sniffing between sobs as she ran behind me.
We are not far from the stairway that led to the twelfth floor.
If we manage to make it up there, the monster that’s chasing us shouldn’t follow.
The monsters that inhabit this dungeon aren’t like the monsters that naturally spring up on the surface.
Most of the monsters here have been summoned by someone or something. They are only able to function by absorbing arcana that’s directed through the dungeon by the summoner.
Unlike monsters that exist on the surface, the monsters in this dungeon cannot exist without consuming arcana.
Arcana is said to be the air of hell, just like how mana resides in the air on the surface, but, in any case, all the arcana that exist in this dungeon originates from the owner’s room at the bottom floor.
Naturally, the deeper you get, the closer you get to the owner’s room, the thicker the concentration of arcana.
Stronger monsters require greater amounts of arcana to function. Conversely, weaker monsters can exist in places with less and less arcana.
“The stairway to the twelfth floor is just ahead! This monster might be persistent, but it wouldn’t chase us up to where there isn’t as much arcana in the air! We’ll be safe as long as we can get up there!”
Gil said that, almost as if he was trying to convince himself.
When the monster first ambushed us, the item that we used to create a barrier, a most essential item when dungeon delving, got destroyed.
Not only that, but we also lost the bag in which we kept our food and supplies.
In other words, we can no longer take a rest in this dungeon.
There’d be no way to replenish our mana.
Even if we are able to escape from it, the chances of us making it back to the surface will be extremely low.
Even so, it’s still a better prospect than being killed by that horrible monster.
As long as we can make it to a higher level, that monster will surely give up the chase…
Gain’s scream brought me back to reality.
Looking back, it seems that Gain has scattered the various pieces of treasure he was carrying on his back.
I wanted to yell at him, but now is not the time for that.
That thing in the darkness managed to grab onto Gain’s back.
Knowing that Gain wouldn’t be able to get away, all of us stopped running and turned around.
I could hear the sound of something getting dragged along the floor coming from the dark.
Despite being a crawling creature of the depths, this monster is surprisingly fast.
Just as it seems like it would step into the range of our lantern…
“So it finally decided to show itself. No choice, Stella! Prepare your magic! We’ll give it one good blast to startle it, and during that time…”
Just as Gil said that, another sound came from the other direction.
This time it’s the slow pitter-pat of footsteps.
Upon hearing that sound, Gil swallowed his words and gave me a look of despair, and so did the other two.
Please make it such that the monster coming for us doesn’t like to toy with its prey…!
“Welcome to Wiz’s magic item shop, deep dungeon branch!”
Such completely unexpected words, such completely out of place words, brought the four of us to a halt.
The thing that appeared in front of us was a masked man.
… How do I put it. The clothes he is wearing makes people want to question exactly what kind of prank is he pulling.
Visible in the light of the lantern was a white shirt, a pair of loose shorts, and sandals.
It’s the same kind of clothes a middle aged man might wear to the market…
“It must be fate for us to meet right here! Now then, I have plenty of goods that would be useful in a dungeon… Oh?”
The masked man seemed like he was about to put down the bag he was carrying over his shoulder, before he suddenly raised a note of surprise.
Watching him reminded me of the creature that was chasing us.
“You should run too! That thing… that thing caught up to us–!”
“Isn’t that a hell neroid!? What’s a hell neroid doing out here!? Here boy, over here. Come on.”
… Hell neroid?
The masked man interrupted my warning and referred to the thing that chased us as a Hell Neroid before casually approaching it.
The indescribable creature that was chasing us regarded the masked man and his outstretched hand, and, like a housecat leaning into a headpat, leaned in…
“Kyaaaaaa! Your hand! Your hand is…!”
“Now now, don’t bite on my hand. That isn’t something you can eat. Now, hurry up and spit it back out! Come on, get on with it… Vanir style Death Ray!”
As the masked man with one hand chomped off said that, a harsh light came out from his right arm.
When the light touched the hell neroid, it exploded into a flurry of goop.
The masked man took out the monster that gave us so much trouble in an instant.
Then, he stuck his stump to the remains of the hell neroid, from which a new arm sprouted back out of, almost as if time itself was being reversed.
Seeing that unbelievable sight and his strength, one can tell at a glance that he isn’t human.
“What an uncivilized neroid. This must be a stray. Still, why would a domesticated creature that’s found only in hell show up in such a place… ? Could the arcana here be so strong that it inadvertently opened a connection to hell?”
Saying that, the masked man placed a hand upon his chin.
At the very least, this person that’s definitely not a human did save our lives.
Then, at the very least, I should offer him thanks on behalf of the other three who’ve been standing in stock disbelief.
However, the masked man put down his bag and opened it before I could get a word out.
“Well, there’s no need to concern myself too much with a single strange neroid. Now then, dear customers, Moi has plenty of items that are essential in the dungeon! The prices are set at the standard dungeon price, but please, feel free to browse.”
As he said that, he spread out the contents of his bag on the floor.
“Barrier stones! He has disposable barrier stones! Pardon me, please sell these to me! Just how much is the dungeon price!?”
“He has medicine and potions too…! W-We’re saved… ! The stairs to the second floor is just around the corner too! With these, we’ll be able to make it back to the surface!”
“There’s even food available! All our food got eaten by that guy earlier… ! We’re saved! We’re saved!”
My companions snapped up the items that the masked man brought out one by one.
Just what is this man?
“Thank you very much! Fuhaha! Business has been roaring from the moment the store is opened! Perhaps Moi should consider doing this on a regular basis!”
… Just what is this man?
He’s smiling and laughing as his stocks fly off the shelves.
This man appeared out of nowhere with just the right items to save us from our predicament.
It’s almost like…
“Even if you are my customers, it’s terribly rude to compare me to a god.”
He got angry the moment I mentioned god.
He must be a devout person to get so angry over being compared to a god.
“To think that Moi would actually end up clearing my stock. Thank you very much, dear customers.”
“No, t-that’s our line…! If you hadn’t shown up, we would have been doomed. These items really are exactly what we needed! I’m really grateful!”
As the masked man happily packed up after cleaning out his stock, Gil hastily offered his thanks.
“No, no, seeing my customer’s safe is the most important thing. Now then, thank you for your business! Please come again!”
Saying that, without even a torch in hand, the masked man walked off into the darkness, leaving only the slowly fading pitter pat of his footsteps.
The four of us stood in silence for a while after he left, until eventually, one of us spoke up.
“Just who was that person…?”
That person left without giving us his name,
Could he be some kind of dungeon fairy?
No, to me, there’s only one kind of being that person could be…
“Oh, god whose name I do not know, I give you thanks from the bottom of my heart…”
“Why would that rare monster want to take a walk in this dungeon anyway? I’ve already eaten, so I’d really want to get going now.”
“Vanir-san wearing that weird outfit really does give off a feeling of a rare monster, doesn’t he? He seems to have taken a liking to that outfit for some reason… I only hope he doesn’t get attacked by some adventurer…”
Vanir wandered off somewhere as I was taking my meal break.
I’m currently behind a barrier that though being simple to put up seems fairly effective, so I can recover in peace.
But even so, I can’t quite relax while I’m in the middle of a dungeon.
I really wish that rare monster would stick around.
As Wiz was stroking the jaw of the undead dragon that she raised, she said.
“Still, I wonder where he went. It might draw other monsters to us too, but do you want to try calling out for him…?”
And just as those words left her mouth, Wiz trailed off, her gaze squarely fixed at something behind me.
Curiosity piqued, I followed her gaze.
“… That’s a… monster… right?”
“It must be. There’s no way a normal girl would just be hanging around this deep in the dungeon… ”
A blonde haired girl was shyly peeking around the corner some distance away from us.
If you encounter a normal seeming girl this deep in a dungeon, there’s no way she’d be a human.
“That’s odd, my Enemy Detection isn’t reacting at all. Does she not bear any hostility towards us? But, judging from her age, it’s hard to see her as an adventurer… ”
“It isn’t reacting? Actually, just what kind of monster is she? She doesn’t seem like a ghost, and a doppelganger wouldn’t normally take that kind of form… ”
A girl that doesn’t trigger my Enemy Detection skill.
Wiz and I guardedly observed her as we whispered to each other.
Then, the girl tilted her head and said.
“Onii-chan, Onee-chan, are you two bad adventurers? Or good adventurers?”
Wiz and I looked at each other for a moment before guardedly replying.
“… If I have to choose, I’d say, a good adventurer.”
“I’m not an adventurer, but I don’t think I’m a bad person.”
Then, the girl broke into a wide smile.
“What a relief. My name is Amarilice! Say, do you want to have a chat? I’ve been stuck in this dungeon for a very long time, and it’s really lonely down here.”
“… I don’t mind talking, but what are you doing all by yourself this deep in the dungeon? In the first place… Well, are you human?”
Amarilice seemed to tear up slightly.
“… Right now, I’m no longer human. You know, the old man who raised me was a magician. For the sake of his magical research, he turned me into a chimera. After that, I can no longer live in the cities, so he told me to hide myself in this dungeon. He said he’ll come get me when he finds a way to turn me back to normal, so I’ve been living here ever since.”
Hearing her tell such a heavy tale, Wiz and I fell into a sullen silence.
“Umm… What is that old man to you? What happened to your parents?”
“Papa and Mama died. The old man said he bought me. He brings me food to eat, so he’s a very good person!”
… That old man who told this girl to hide herself in this dungeon probably had no intention of coming back for her.
This orphaned girl was bought by him to be used for his experiments, before being abandoned here.
In this heavy, depressing atmosphere…
“In that case, let onee-chan fix you right up! I might look this way, but I’m actually a really amazing mage. I used to know a chimera too, so I’ll definitely be able to turn you back to normal!”
Wiz suddenly said that, and showed her a reassuring smile to put her at ease.
… I’m struggling to recall why I thought so lowly of her.
“R-Really? Will you really turn me back?”
“Yes, of course. So there’s no need to be afraid, you should come closer. This dragon zombie is my friend.”
Wiz said in a very motherly tone, but Amarilice still seemed a little hesitant…
“But will onee-chan really not be scared when you see my body? You won’t be disgusted?”
She slowly, tentatively, said that.
“It’ll be fine, onee-chan can make friends even with ghosts. So don’t worry, come over…”
Wiz, who had been saying such gentle words earlier, abruptly stopped upon seeing Amarilice’s body.
As for me, I was almost about to piss myself.
Amarilice’s head is attached to a spider’s body.
Amarilice scuttled towards Wiz with a surprising swiftness.
“W-W-W-Wait! A-A-A-Amarilice-chan, wait a minute, okay!? Onee-chan will calm down in a moment, so please wait a minute!”
I let out a fearful shriek and ducked behind Wiz, and Wiz herself pleaded with Amarilice through tearful eyes.
“What’s wrong, Onee-chan? Didn’t you say you wouldn’t be scared!? You said you’d fix me! You promised!”
Amarilice shook her head as she shrieked, her hair flowing into a mess around her, and strange cracking sounds could be heard from her neck as she approached.
What kind of horror B-movie did we stumble into?
“Young lady, please calm down! Onii-chan will give you a sweet! Here!”
“W-W-W-Wait it’s fine onee-chan isn’t scared or anything I’ll fix you I’ll turn you back to normal just please calm down aaaah Vanir-san Vanir-san Vanir-saaaaaaan!”
“Ah, wait, I do like children, but please wait a minute young lady!”
Wiz and I clung onto each other in fear and screamed.
“Why are you two raising such a racket… Oh, is that Amarilice-dono?”
Vanir’s voice came from behind us.
Upon hearing that, Amarilice stopped in her tracks.
“Oh, that beautiful mask must be Vanir-sama. Fancy meeting you in this dungeon.”
Wiz and I slowly turned to look at Vanir, even as we remained clinging to each other.
“Amarilice-dono, you’re as lovely as always. Moi begs pardon to interrupt you while you’re enjoying feasting on the dark emotions of fear, but these two are my companions.”
“Oh, that was rude of me. I hope you take no offense. Ah, well, you see, I was chasing Strelksy, my pet hell neroid that suddenly ran away, when I stumbled upon this place. It seems like the large concentrations of raw arcana created several connections from this place to hell… Anyway, I followed the path and end up running into these two, and it has been quite some time since I had a snack, so…”
Wait a minute.
“Wait, what? Amarilice isn’t a chimera, but actually a devil? Then what was all that talk about a magical experiment and chimera and what not?”
“Oh, that was all a lie. You see, I have a particular fondness for the taste of fear, which is why I assumed this form… Oh, these feelings of embarrassment and rage are more to the taste of Vanir-sama. I’m not particularly fond of them myself, so thanks, but no thanks.”
… I hate devils.
“Now, then, I should get back to looking for my pet… Oh, that’s right, Vanir-sama, you can use your powers of foresight to locate my Strelksy!”
“Oh, my, look at the time. We should really be going. Farewell, Amarilice-dono! May we meet again in hell!”
Faced with Vanir’s tepid response, Amarilice waved us goodbye before scuttling away into the darkness.
“Sniff… sniff… It’s good that she wasn’t an actual chimera… It’s a good thing, but it’s still really hard to accept….”
I understand her feelings very well.
Actually, I think I actually did let a little bit out.
“How long are you two going to be sniffling? Come on, we should get going. Fuhahaha, more importantly, rejoice, Wiz! The items that the brat didn’t buy were all sold off too! Perhaps we should make this a regular event!”
“… I think I’m starting to hate devils a little…”
“W-Wait, isn’t it a little presumptuous to apply the actions of one individual onto the entire race?”
–Dungeon, fifteenth floor–
“Vanir-san, just a little bit! Just a little bit would do!”
“Stop, to a devil, mana is the source of our powers and even the very foundation of my existence! H-Hey, stop trying to use Drain Touch on me! If you need to replenish mana, just drain it from the next monster we meet!”
“Monsters who live deep in the dungeons have a lot of arcana in them, so their mana is really heavy and feels like it’ll give me indigestion! Just give me a little bit! Aren’t the mana of devils said to be of the highest quality!? Just a little bit! Just a very small sip would do!”
“S-Stop it, stop trying to touch my mask! In the first place, how could we run into enough monsters that it drained a lich like you in such a short period of time? It’s certainly sufficient for raising the brat’s levels quickly, but the number of monsters we are seeing is still truly odd…”
As Wiz and Vanir argued, I kept watch for any nearby monsters.
“Come to think of it, we really did run into a lot of monsters, didn’t we? It’s nothing like how it was on the surface. I never thought I’d gain this many levels in a single day.
My level has already been reset twice since I came here, and I’m fast approaching the point where it’d be a good idea to reset for a third time.
On the surface, just tracking and killing five frogs took me around half a day.
There is really something strange with the encounter rate in this dungeon.
Just then, Wiz, who had been struggling with Vanir to drain a bit of magic from him, pulled out the rosary that she wore around her neck and showed it to him.
“That’s probably the work of this rosary! It’s said to bring about wonderful encounters just by wearing it, and it seems like the monsters in this dungeon are also affected… aaaaah, Vanir-san, what are you doing!? Give it back, don’t try and throw it away!”
Seriously, every single thing that she buys are all…
“Moi knew something was off…! Moi shall restrain the next monster that we come across, so bear with it until then! … Still, do you really wish to get a boyfriend so badly? Moi does have a friend who is somewhat lacking in brains, but he’s quite handsome by most standards and good at taking care of others. He’s a devil named Maxwell who came here from another world, but Moi could introduce him to you if you want.”
“… A considerate and handsome man… No, as long as he’s a compassionate and kind person, his appearance doesn’t matter too much… When you say he’s lacking in brains, what exactly do you mean? Is he bad at calculations?”
“He lacks the back half of his head entirely.”
“He’s literally lacking in brains!? Of course not! Come to think of it, aren’t devils genderless!?”
Seeing the two of them reenact some strange comedy skit, I’ve completely forgotten that we are currently in the depths of a dangerous dungeon…
–Dungeon, seventeenth floor–
I wonder exactly how much time has passed.
I’m currently taking my second break right now, but because of how I’ve been keeping my guard up throughout the entire journey, I’ve completely lost track of time.
I bought several fatigue relieving potions from Vanir. Thanks to them, I don’t really feel tired, but I can feel my thoughts starting to slow.
“… Oh? Are you starting to feel sleepy? Well, that is only to be expected. Almost one full day has passed on the surface. Here, drink this potion. It’ll bring you back to full alertness in a single blow.”
“Vanir-san, you brought that along? But the side effects are–!”
Wiz started to say something, before Vanir cut her off by placing a hand over her mouth.
I looked down at the potion in my hand.
“What exactly is this revitalization potion made out of? It’s not addictive, is it?”
“Of course not, to someone with as high luck as you, this potion has practically no side effects… Yes, I see it now. I see a future where you are practically bouncing off the walls after drinking that potion.”
“Don’t play with my heart like you did earlier, alright?”
I still had my doubts, but I sat down on the cold floor and hesitantly downed the potion.
“I’ve earned quite a nest egg of skill points, so should we not head back around now? We’re here to raise my level, not conquer the dungeon, after all.”
Just as I said that, Wiz pried Vanir’s hand off her mouth and said.
“What are you saying!? We’ve come all the way down here, so let’s push through to the end! At the very bottom of this dungeon, in the owner’s room, lie vast riches and powerful equipment! They will surely be of use if you plan to fight with the Demon King-san!”
… D-Demon King, huh…
“Well, I’m still not fully decided if I really want to take on the Demon King… Actually, isn’t he a friend to you two? Do you really think nothing of someone taking him out?”
Wiz and Vanir did use to work as Demon King generals, after all, and from what I heard, they shared an amicable relationship.
But Wiz and Vanir simply shared a glance.
“Getting defeated at the end is just part of the job for a Demon King, right, Vanir-san?”
“Indeed. Constantly causing trouble for humanity, clashing magnificently with a band of valiant adventurers, before magnificently exiting the stage. That’s what a Demon King is. Besides, the Demon King is getting on in age. I’m sure he wants to end his reign with a bang and pass his crown to his daughter soon.”
I don’t think I quite understand how devils think.
Come to think of it, building a grand dungeon isn’t the end goal for this devil. If I recall, his end goal is something like getting defeated by a band of adventurers and taste the ultimate dark emotions from them just before he truly vanishes into the void.
These two probably have their own sense of values and aesthetics.
After all, there exists a race of Archwizards powerful enough to rule the world if they put their minds to it, but instead of becoming adventurers, they chose to become cobblers, tailors, and even NEETs.
I already knew that there are a lot of weirdos amongst the residents of this world, but…
“So the Demon King is getting up in years, huh? But, still, if he’s still the Demon King, that must mean he is still the strongest being in the entire Demon King’s army, right? … Or he is going senile to the point where even I can deal with him somehow?”
“No, he’s not necessarily the strongest. His daughter has probably exceeded him in strength by this point. As for whether you can deal with him, Moi cannot say, but even as old as he is, the Demon King is still strong enough to crush an ogre’s skull with a single hand.”
Yeah, of course.
There’s no way he’d be that easy to take out.
“But, wait, isn’t strength everything to the people of this world? I was sure the position of the Demon King would be taken by whoever happens to be the strongest, or something simple like that.”
“Do you really think that everyone in this world is a musclebrain? Or does the country you came from award its highest governmental position to whoever has the highest combat capability? Moi cannot speak for your world, but for the position of the Demon King… first, they must have the charisma to command a large number of Generals. Then, they need enough strength that they wouldn’t be looked down on by their subordinates. And Moi supposes they would also need to be fairly intelligent as well. Out of all of them, the most important quality would be the charisma to manage a band of Generals with their varied personality quirks.”
“Looking at you and Wiz, I’ll have to say that the Demon King probably has a lot of trouble with that.”
Looking at this free-spirited fellow made me think that the Demon King probably has his hands full as well.
Not long after, Vanir stood up, making a time to move on motion.
“In any case, it would be good if we could find any items that would increase your meagre combat prowess. Of course, what I’m hoping for are treasures that could be easily converted into money! Wait for me, o master of this dungeon! Moi shall be taking all your treasures with me! Fuhahaha!”
Staying with him made me feel like I’m an armed burglar rather than an adventurer.
“By the way, have you thought about what kind of skills you want to pick up, Kazuma-san? I can teach you teleport before we leave this dungeon if you want.”
I really want Teleport. That one spell can be put to use in any number of ways.
Yes, like, for instance…
“Crimes committed with the use of teleport or light bending magic will receive a much harsher sentence.”
“What!? I-I-I didn’t say anything! I just thought that teleport seems like it’d be useful in any number of ways! You know, like using it to escape if I run into a tough spot after sneaking into the Demon King’s castle!”
“… If you are intending to use Teleport as a way to escape, it wouldn’t work unless you do something about the barrier first. Leaving that aside, perhaps you might want to learn one of my skills first? Such as my eye beams and instant death rays?”
“… If a human like me were to use an instant death ray…”
“Of course, you would die. But think about it. The exact instant you unleash your ultimate technique, you fall dead on the spot. Your opponent would surely be taken aback. There aren’t that many other art forms that you can dedicate your mind and body to like this.”
“Unlike a certain goddess, I’m not intending to commit my soul to the perfection of an art!”
–Dungeon, eighteenth floor–
“Vanir-style death ray! Vanir-style death ray! Vanir-style… Grah, there’s way too many of them! Wiz, do something about it! This is getting tiresome! Turn them all to dust at once with Explosion!”
“I-I can’t use Explosion magic in a dungeon! If the dungeon collapses… Ah, my dragon zombies! They just got surrounded by a horde of minotaurs!”
“Uwaah! Hey, they are over here too! The monsters are coming this way too!”
The moment we went down the stairs, we found ourselves being completely surrounded by monsters.
It was like stepping into a monster house.
Even Wiz and Vanir weren’t able to fully contain the horde of monsters that awaited us, and one of the minotaurs charged up towards me…
I quickly ducked, and the minotaur’s axe swept by just a hair’s breadth above my head.
If I was just a bit slower, my head would’ve been sent flying.
Without Aqua present, if I die, it’s all over.
Dungeons are scary! No, wait, monsters are scary! My heart is about to leap out of my chest!
Yeah, in a normal battle, if you die, you’re out.
Only now am I realizing how important Aqua is.
I thought I was bringing along some future cat-like robot when I first chose her, only to find out that the fourth dimensional pocket was sold separately, but I think I’ll treat her more kindly in the future.
Vanir and Wiz had their hands full dealing with the other monsters.
I had no choice but to draw my sword to face down this giant ox man who’s several times my height.
“Dammit, to think I’d appreciate Aqua’s good points only at such a time! Like hell I’m dying here, after I bring Aqua back, I’m going to live a decadent life full of joys! I’m going to laze around drinking wine early in the morning and go out for some fun at night! I also want to travel somewhere for a vacation! Even though I’m an adventurer, I haven’t really seen much of this world at all!”
After hearing my words, Wiz shouted.
“Ah, he said it! Did you hear that, Vanir-san!? The usually dishonest Kazuma-san finally spilled his heart out! Kyaa, realizing your true feelings during a time a crisis, how romanti– ugh!”
A minotaur drove its axe into the side of Wiz’s head as she was wriggling about while saying some incomprehensible things.
Despite being sent flying by the blow, Wiz got right back up as though nothing happened to her.
“Then I must make sure Kazuma-san and Aqua-sama meet once again to affirm their love for each other! Vanir-san, I’m going to use a large amount of mana now, so I’ll be counting on you to replenish my mana after the battle, okay!?”
Wiz definitely had some kind of misunderstanding.
She walked right into a horde of minotaurs and ignored the blows that they rained down on her while she started chanting some kind of spell.
I know liches won’t suffer any damage from non-magical weapons, but seeing it in person sure is a sight.
Next to me, three dragon zombies were engaged in full on combat with the minotaur horde.
As for Vanir, he’s drawing something on the floor with the blood of the minotaur he just defeated…
The minotaur facing me raised its axe with a roar.
I dived between its feet and sliced upwards with Chunchunmaru.
But considering my weak strength, my attack only left a shallow cut on the minotaur’s skin.
I’m already over level 30, so why is my attack stat so low!?
However, the minotaur never got the chance to bring down its axe on me.
The spell that Wiz unleashed turned the minotaur that I was fighting with into stone.
And not just that one minotaur, but almost every monster that surrounded us were turned to stone too.
“Fuhahaha, well done, Wiz! Now then, Moi too shall… In the name of the duke of hell, Vanir! Crawl forth, my servants!”
With a bout of laughter, Vanir pointed his hand at the magic circle he drew with minotaur blood which immediately started glowing with a strange light–
When the light disappeared, a bunch of creatures that seemed exactly like the classical image of a devil, with black, muscular bodies and bat like wings were standing on top of the circle.
Facing the sudden appearance of a horde of devils, the monsters that were led here by the minotaurs started running away in fear.
Looking at the true power of the devil that normally acts the fool, I can’t help but feel a kernel of fear…
“What’s the matter, Vanir-sama? It’s quite troublesome for you to call us up out of the blue in this busy season… ”
“Yeah, spare a thought for us who have to work our asses off to cover you after you left your territory to go play on the surface.”
“More importantly, what’s with your clothes? That’s not how a duke of hell should dress…”
The summoned devils grumbled endlessly.
Even though every single one of them looked fearsome, I couldn’t bring myself to be afraid of them at all.
— It almost felt like I was part of a small army when we headed down with a horde of demons and undead around me.
All the monsters that appeared after that were ones that my sword couldn’t do much against.
If I wasn’t surrounded by such a huge group, I would probably have wet myself the moment I laid eyes on any of those monsters.
Wiz raised each of them after they were defeated, adding to our forces.
That’s how we made progress. Eventually…
–Dungeon, twentieth floor–
This floor gives off a completely different feel from the previous floors. The walls are aglow with a soft light.
I’m not sure if it’s because the walls are enchanted, or if glow moss were planted on them.
Strangely enough, I couldn’t detect any monsters since we came down to this floor.
This floor is probably forbidden to anyone other than the owner of this dungeon.
Right now, we were standing in front of the room at the very deepest level of this dungeon.
There are many evil-seeming and extravagant engravings upon this door, much like what you’d expect of a door leading to the last boss of a video game.
The owner of this dungeon is probably behind here.
I nodded towards Vanir and Wiz, and slowly pushed the door open.
Behind it is…
“Finally, there’s someone strong enough to make it all the way here. Allow me to compliment you for conquering the dungeon this far. Now, show me your strength! I, the king of undead, an immortal vampire that has lived for a thousand years shall be your… your…”
In the very center of the room is an ostentatious throne, upon which the owner of the dungeon lazed on and started giving a bombastic speech before trailing off.
It’s probably because he sighted what was behind me.
“Oh, my, when did vampires take over as the king of undead when liches still exists? It’s certainly a nice bit of comedy after coming all this way. Ufufufu, ahahahaha!”
Wiz, who has unleashed many high level spells on the way here and replenished her mana from various struggling monsters broke out into maniacal laughter as tears streamed from her eyes.
“Fuhahaha! Fuhahaha! Fuhahaha! My, my, this has truly been a pretentious dungeon you’ve created. Then again, what could anyone expect from a fledgling who has barely lived a thousand years!? Fuhahahahaha!”
Similarly, having expended a large amount of mana with those eye beams of his before coming here, Vanir broke out into a laughing fit too.
As for the owner of this dungeon who had completely stiffened up.
“… Um, I’ll go put on some tea now, so, w-why don’t we talk about your business first…?”
Tried his best to school his face, which had been almost on the verge of tears, into a smile.
… My condolences…
“Ah, this is legendary tier! A legendary tier magic item!”
Vanir and Wiz excitedly rummaged through the treasures in the back room of throne room.
As for me, I was sipping tea with the vampire.
“Umm, well… sorry for the trouble my companions are causing.”
“No, no, I should be sorry for creating such an ostentatious dungeon when I’m just a mere vampire. After you are done, I intend to go back to my home in the countryside and live a peaceful life as a tomato farmer.”
An elder vampire that sells tomatoes in the countryside, huh?
A sun-hating vampire working in the fields is also something to talk about, but–
“Yeah, I suppose that’s a decent way to live too. You won’t end up having to suffer something like this, at least.”
“Indeed, if I have to go through something this horrifying, I would rather live a quiet life in seclusion. In my thousand years of life, I’ve never thought I’d be staring down a horde of demons and undead like this. And not only that, but also led by a lich and a greater devil that has lived far longer than me. I’m happy enough just be not getting destroyed.”
Saying that, the elder vampire took a sip of tea and looked towards Vanir and Wiz.
“Fuhahaha, what a mountain of gold! With the money gained from what that brat is buying and all this treasure, Moi shall be able to finance a big establishment! Yes, a casino! Wiz, let’s create a casino with this money! A giant casino that makes Elroad look like a roadside poker game!”
“Aah, look at this, look at this, Vanir-san! This item emanates a strong magical aura! I don’t know what effect it has, but I’m sure it’s powerful enough to turn the world on its head…!”
Looking at the two of them acting like children in a toy store, I can’t help but feel that the vampire elegantly sipping tea feels more fitting as a last boss.
After the vampire surrendered, Wiz relinquished her hold on the undead dragon and the other monsters, and Vanir has also let his underlings go home.
As I chatted with the vampire, Vanir hurriedly stuffed the various treasures that he offered after his surrender into his rucksack.
“Oh, dear, this is a problem! There’s too much treasure! There’s no way to carry them all back like this!”
“That’s a problem, Vanir-san. What should we do? I can feel strong magic coming from every single item here. I really want to bring them all back if possible… ”
As the two of them said that, they stared at the vampire.
… You’re not asking him to help you move too after taking everything valuable he has, right?
“Wiz, teach me teleport right now. I’ll register this place as a waypoint. That’d solve our problem, right?”
That answer probably satisfied them. Vanir and Wiz came over bearing a set of items, a formidable seeming sword and a suit of jet black armour.
“Brat, you should take this with you. This is the weapon with the strongest magical aura in this mountain of treasure. It’d fetch a princely sum if sold, but it’d be better served in your hands.”
“This armour seems pretty powerful too. It radiates a strong magic aura, so there shouldn’t be any problems if you wear this to the Demon King’s castle.”
Those items are probably worth a small fortune, and they are happily handing it over to me.
At the end of the day, it seems like they really do care about me.
I started to feel a little embarrassed, but I gratefully put on the armour-
“… It’s too heavy to move in.”
Just putting on one of the gauntlets practically immobilized me in place.
Come on, this is really odd.
It might be the weakest class and all, but I’m already over level thirty.
Unlike the last time it happened, my strength has gone up by quite a bit now, so…
“Ah, right, that armour can only be equipped by Crusaders. And that sword too can only be used by Sword Masters.”
The vampire whose name I still do not know said that.
No, wait, what do you mean my class limited equipment? Is the weakest class not even allowed to wield legendary tier weapons?
“Say, are there any powerful items that can be used by an Adventurer?”
“M-My apologies, not many people choose to specialize into the Adventurer class, so there aren’t many craftsmen who would make powerful equipment for them… At the very least, I don’t have any of them in my possession…”
At those words, Vanir broke out into laughter.
“Fuhahahaha! Isn’t this just fine, brat who could never become a hero, this is more your stride! Weak equipment and skills that are hastily put together! If you defeat the Demon King in such a state, you would truly be hailed as a great hero! Oh, your future is showing itself to me! You shall be hailed as the harem bastard, the strongest hero, the strongest of the weakest class, and many other amusing titles! Fuhahaha!”
When I get back to town and learn all the skills, I really want to use this guy as my first target.
“Dammit, what is wrong with this world? Ah, but Crusader exclusive equipment, huh? It looks pretty ominous being all black like that, but I suppose it’d make a good gift to bring back for Darkness. I don’t suppose there’s a magic staff too, is there?”
“I don’t really keep a lot of equipment for mages. Ah, right, this ring I’m wearing increases the power of any spells the owner casts. Do you want to take it with you?”
Saying that, the vampire started pulling the ring from his finger, but I hurried to stop him.
“N-No, that’s fine. It feels like I’m trying to strip you bare, so… Actually it kinda feels like we are robbing you, so sorry about that.”
“No, no, a dungeon is there to be broken into. The items and treasure here all came from the adventurers who tried to challenge this dungeon and failed, so don’t worry about it. But this ring is one of my possessions from back when I’m still alive, so I suppose it’s a relief.”
Saying that, the vampire let out a sigh of relief–
“Is that a ring that increases the power of spells?”
Wiz stared at the ring with a greedy look in her eyes.
… Please don’t go any further.
By the time we teleported back to town, it was completely dark out.
After spending more than a day in the dungeon, my sense of time is completely out of whack.
“It’s probably too late to catch the late night carriage by now. Plus, you might have cheated with the fatigue relieving potion and the alertness potion, but rapidly leveling up and keeping a state of high tension for a long period of time does put a certain amount of strain on your body, to say nothing of the day you spent in combat. It’d be best to spend the night resting before setting off tomorrow.”
Vanir, his rucksack and hands completely stuffed with treasure, said to me.
I, with the souvenir for Darkness in my hands, gave my thanks to Vanir and Wiz.
“Thank you. I’ll definitely bring that idiot back here.”
“Moi does not care about that goddess.”
“That isn’t good at all! … Kazuma-san, if it comes down to it, I’ll help protect this town from the shadows. I’ll make sure to protect this place that Aqua-sama calls home, so set off without worries. When you make it back, I’ll go with you to raise your levels or whatever you want.”
Please spare me.
To be honest, dungeons are really scary.
When I picture being surrounded by monsters far stronger than myself again, my survival instincts can’t help but scream at me not to put myself into a similar situation.
I get the feeling that dungeons are going to become a bit of a sore spot for me in the near future.
“There are still quite a fair bit of treasure left in the dungeon, but Moi understands that you have pressing business to attend to, so we’ll leave the rest of the treasure to after you come back. So, please do come back alive. Just thinking about making it to the depths of the dungeon the long way round again gives me conniptions.”
That really does sound like Vanir.
“When you come back, I’ll properly teach you Advanced Magic, so please come back safely!”
Wiz sent me off with a gentle smile.
I wanted to learn Advanced Magic as well back when she taught me Teleport in the dungeon, but I couldn’t master it.
I had more than enough skill points to spare, of course, but it didn’t show up in my learnable skills column.
Beginner’s Magic can be activated by just yelling the name of the spell.
Intermediate Magic is a little more complicated to activate.
Those two can be picked up even by a complete amateur, but when it comes to Advanced Magic–
“When it comes to Advanced magic, one must be intimately familiar with the gestures, chants, flow of mana, and all kinds of other factors that goes into casting the spell. It’s not something a person can learn in a single night… Ah, but as for Explosion Magic, you’ve been together with Megumin-san for a long time now, and you’ve spent every day observing her, right? Then–”
“I don’t need something like that.”
In the first place, even if I learnt Explosion Magic, I wouldn’t have the mana needed to cast it.
Even Megumin, a Crimson Demon that’s naturally overflowing with mana, uses it all up after a single shot.
… Still, Advanced Magic, huh?
I want the spell that can make myself invisible. I really want it.
Of course, I haven’t thought about what I’d use that spell for, but…
“Oh, the future is coming to me. A future where the brat learns advanced magic to make himself invisible and enters the public bath.”
“Thanks for the help, everyone! I’ll come again before we set off, so see you tomorrow!”
Useless Goddess Interlude 2
It’s almost dawn now.
“… I thought the pick up point for the carriage is here, but did they move it without me knowing?”
Having lost track of time completely while I was telling stories, I’ve been walking around searching for another carriage out of this town.
I’m the one with the best sense of direction within the party, so there’s no way I could’ve gotten lost.
That means that the pick up point must have been changed.
Whenever we are on a quest, the three of them would disappear if I take my eyes off them for even an instant.
They would definitely get lost if they were to chase after me, and the journey would be thrown into chaos.
Oh no, maybe I should’ve waited till everyone could stand on their own feet before setting off on this journey.
Just as I was wandering around town searching for the pick up point and getting worried for the rest,
“… Aqua-sama? Just where are you going dressed like that?”
The one who called out to me was one of my cute believers, Cecily.
“What a coincidence, meeting you at such an early hour… No, there’s no way this is a coincidence.”
Yes, as expected of the exemplary Axis Cult.
They felt the decisive battle coming on the wind, which is why she is out here so early in the morning.
“No, I was asking for more wine even after the bar has closed and before I knew it, it was morning. By the way, that’s the place I was drinking at.”
Cecily pointed to a tavern that I’ve been to many times before.
If I recall, this tavern was located in a much busier section of town.
Not only did the pick up point change, but it seems like even the tavern has relocated without me noticing.
“Well, it can’t be helped if you’ve been drinking. I too get angry whenever I hear calls for the last order. Whenever that happens, it turns into a bitter endurance match. But they always call Kazuma-san to fetch me home.”
“I understand you very well, Aqua-sama. Whenever I get drunk, I always want to drink and celebrate more, so the last thing I want to do is head home.”
As expected of the Axis Cult. They sure are an agreeable bunch.
“By the way, the owner of that tavern said don’t worry about the tab, just please don’t come back…”
“I see, the owner is a tsundere. There’s no reason to bar any members of the pure and upright Axis Cult, so the owner is a tsundere to the core. Take it from a regular.”
“Understood, Aqua-sama! … So, back to my question, what’s with your outfit…?”
With a carefree smile, Cecily asked me that question again.
“Listen well, my devout Cecily. Seeing the current state of this world pains me. The proper, hardworking residents of this world are currently under threat of the Demon King. Thus, I shall now go on a journey to wipe out that root of evil!”
“W-What did you say!? In other words, Aqua-sama is joining the battle in person? What about Megu-tan!? I don’t see Megu-tan anywhere! No, I mean, what about Megumin-san and Kazuma-san? And that Crusader from the Eris church!?”
I’m a little interested in when our Megumin evolved into Megu-tan, but,
“This upcoming journey would be fairly grueling. I’ve judged that those three fledglings won’t be of much help. That’s why… I shall personally set off to defeat the Demon King!”
“You can’t… Er, I mean, Aqua-sama, it might be impudent of me, but I think that it’d be best to bring those three along. Otherwise, regardless of if you win or lose, you’ll get lectured.”
Win or lose, I’ll get a lecture.
“… What should I do? Maybe I can smooth things over with a souvenir or two?”
“I don’t think that’ll work.”
Maybe I should leave taking out the Demon King to some other day.
Those words came up to my throat, but I couldn’t say it out loud.
She might not know my true identity, but I still can’t appear that pathetic in front of one of my believers.
“By the way, what do you intend to do from now on, Aqua-sama?”
“Well, first off, I thought I’d take a carriage to somewhere cold. The Demon King’s castle seems like it’d be in a cold place, don’t you think? Like, somewhere to the north?”
“Very well, Aqua-sama, please allow your humble servant Cecily to accompany you for part of the way.”
As expected of the perceptive Axis Cult, she must have been motivated by the scent of the upcoming holy war.
“If you are willing to go that far, then I suppose I’ll allow it, Cecily. Let’s head towards the north.”
“Roger, Aqua-sama. But first, let’s ask the carriage driver to head in the direction of the Demon King’s castle. They are professional transporters, after all. I’m sure they’ll take us to where we need to go.”
As expected of Cecily. She’s sharp as always.
I’ve been together with this girl for quite some time now. Perhaps it’s time to tell her the truth.
“As expected of Cecily, what a capable girl. As a reward, perhaps it’s about time I tell you the truth about–”
“Please don’t say anything more!”
Cecily let out a scream with an uncharacteristic haste.
As expected of the humble Axis Cult, they have no greed at all–!