The Archpriest of Axel
Editing: Striker, Ulti
[Note: This story takes place sometime around season 1, around volume 2 ish, so the status quo is a bit different from the more recent volumes.]
I was laying down on the sofa, letting my hand dangle off the edge while gazing dully into the fire by the fireplace.
And just like that, half a day passed.
“Hey, where have you been staring at? Are you entering heat because it’s spring? You shouldn’t be staring at a person’s crotch like that, you know?”
I said to Aqua who had been lying in front of the fireplace like me and making strange movements.
She’s been talking to the fireplace and waving her hands like she was chasing something away.
“If you keep saying stupid things, I’ll send you flying. I’ve told you that there is the ghost of a noble girl in this house, right? Maybe she’s especially free today, but she’s been acting stranger than usual.”
As Aqua was saying that, she was staring directly at my crotch with a conflicted expression.
“You’re still saying that? You won’t scare us that easily… By the way, what is she doing right now? Not that I’m scared or concerned or anything, but…”
Megumin, who had been sitting cross legged on the carpet while polishing a crystal ball, nervously asked.
“She’s been poking her head out of Kazuma’s crotch while making strange faces.”
“Hey, it’s probably a joke, but please make her stop doing that. Not that I believe that there is a ghost girl staying here, but why does she keep doing such ridiculous things?”
“That’s what I want to know. Even though she can’t feel heat or pain, she’s been crawling out of the fireplace and rolling around like she’s burning, or pretending to lie dead on the table, or basically doing things to startle me.”
If there really does exist such a carefree ghost, I’d really like to talk to her.
Just then, Darkness, who had been reading a difficult-looking book while sipping hot milk, said.
“Oh, by the way, Aqua, a letter came for you from the Adventurer’s guild. It seems like a certain noble wants to make a special request of you, the only archpriest in this town.”
Saying that, she passed a letter over to Aqua.
“Oh? A request from a noble, huh? Sounds like he’d pay quite a lot for it. You should accept it. It’d go a long way towards paying off our debts.”
Aqua immediately rejected, sending the letter flying.
“… Can I ask why you refuse?”
“Obviously, because it’s cold. Only an idiot would go out doing hard labour in the winter.”
Aqua exasperatedly said to me, and I couldn’t help but get onto my feet in response.
“Don’t screw with me! You aren’t even doing the job you received over the winter! If you are going to say that, then stop lazing about and get back to knitting leather bags already!”
“I don’t want to! I’ve had enough of it! Why do I have to knit leather bags together day after day after day!? Why don’t you get a job instead? Even our youngest Megumin got a job to polish that block of crystal into a ball!”
“Are you an idiot!? I’ve been working as a night guard every night! It actually pays really well, so don’t lump me together with Darkness who is too clumsy to do any proper work!”
“Ah!? H-Hey, Kazuma, you only got that job because of my connections! I won’t let you say I’m useless!”
Darkness stood up with a start, dropping the book that she was reading.
Just then, Aqua let out a confident laugh.
“Then find me a job that befits my status! I’m an Archpriest, you know!? One with an advanced class! I’m not like you with the weakest class or a useless Crusader!”
“Aqua, you too!?”
Turning away from Aqua who was spouting all kinds of nonsense, I pointed towards Megumin who was silently polishing her crystal ball.
“You should learn a little from her! The only people who are actually working in this house is Megumin and me, you know!? Even the usually short tempered Megumin is still diligently working on such a menial jobー!”
“It’s done! Look at this shine, everyone! It’s practically sparkling now!”
Megumin interrupted, raising her crystal ball high into the air as she excitedly exclaimed.
ー Before nonchalantly tossing it into the fireplace.
She tossed the crystal ball that would’ve been worth quite a sum into the fireplace without a second thought, where it shattered into a billion pieces.
“What are you doing!?”
Megumin gave me a contented sigh.
“Ah, that was a load off my shoulders. I can’t go out in the winter, so the stress has been piling up, but I think I’ll be able to hold on like this… Why are you looking at me like that?”
“W-Why did you toss out the crystal ball like that? Didn’t you take the job to polish those rough crystal blocked into clear crystal balls?”
“Ah, I didn’t pick up this job for the money. I just thought it’d be really relaxing to see a crystal ball I’ve polished to such a fine sheen shatter to pieces … I’ll have to pay for the crystal ball and failing the quest, so, Kazuma, can you lend me some money?”
“Right, hand me that rotten stick of yours. I’ll sell it to the weapons shop and use it to pay for the reimbursements.”
I started closing onto Megumin who hugged her staff in a protective manner. It seems like she has quite the attachment to it.
Just then, Aqua let out a snort, as if she’s happy to have one more slacker friend to count on.
“Seems like that settles it. In the first place, you’re mistaken if you think that all I do is laze about at home. When I head out into town during the milder days, I’m not doing it for fun. I go out looking for lost spirits and convince them to move on!”
As Aqua boasted with a wide smile on her face, Darkness, who had been reading through the letter, pushed the letter in her hand towards Aqua.
“Oh, that’s great. The request is for you to exorcise lost spirits.”
“… Hey, Darkness, I’ll apologize for calling you a useless crusader just now, so can we at least wait till tomorrow?”
The next morning, we decided to make our way to the house of the noble.
Apparently, he lives on the outskirts of the town in a mansion that was considered particularly small for a noble.
“Hey, why are you all following me? Are you really that attached to me?”
“If we let you go by yourself, you’ll definitely find a way to mess it up.”
There weren’t very many people out on the streets in the middle of winter, so we made swift progress.
“You are dealing with a noble, you know? If we let you go visit him alone, most likely, you’ll end up on the chopping block.”
“Just what kind of person do you think I am, Megumin? I have a perfect grasp of courtesy, you know?”
“The request came from the Tranzam family. Their name might not be of particular high standing, but they are still an exemplary noble family with a long and respected lineage. This goes for the two of you too, please be on your best behaviour today. Please try not to do anything that would give offense.”
Darkness warned us as though she was the only person who understands the meaning of courtesy.
“… You should pay attention to that yourself too. Every so often you start speaking like some haughty noble knight. I understand that being a Crusader is a bit like being a knight, but you should be careful not to put on airs in front of a noble.”
“Still, you usually seem quite ignorant of common sense, but you seem to know a lot about nobles whenever they are brought up.”
Darkness seemed like she was about to say something, but she immediately stiffened up and stared right at me upon hearing my words.
“T-That’s, um, well, I had a lot of chances to learn the names of the local nobles thanks to my father’s job, so I just happened to know…”
Is her father one of the merchants that deals with nobles?
Before I could think on this problem for very long, we finally arrived at the noble’s mansion.
The gate was flanked by a pair of guards.
One of them approached us.
“Ugh… Who are you guys? What business do you have here?”
Feeling a shiver go down my spine in the face of his aggressive attitude, I took a moment to compose myself and picked my words carefully.
“Ah, yes! Err, we are here to perform the exorcism request that was sent to the adventurer’s guild…”
Upon hearing that, the two guards let out an enthusiastic cheer.
“P-Please wait here for a moment!”
The two of them said before hastily running into the mansion.
ー When the two guards finally returned, they led us into a resplendently furnished study.
Just one of the furniture on display would probably go a great deal towards clearing my debts.
And, sitting on a sofa on the far end of the room was a plump young man who doesn’t seem much older than us. He gave us an evaluatory look.
This young man is probably the head of the Tranzam family and the one who made the request.
“I’m Tranzam Russo Abrams, the person who made the request…”
Halfway through his speech, he made eye contact with Darkness and suddenly startled.
“Oh, my, my apologizes for having you make the journey all the way to my residence. I’ve heard that you’ve joined up with a party of adventurers, but to think that the renowned Dustinesー”
“Aaaaaah! Pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Tranzam-dono! I’m a mere crusader working as an adventurer, my name is Darknaaaー!?”
I hastily grabbed Darkness after she interrupted the noble with her own self introduction.
“What are you doing!? You are the one who told us not to do anything that would give offense!”
“T-That’s, err…! There is a reason…!”
Darkness whispered to me in a tone that seems to be on the verge of tears.
The client didn’t seem to be angry, but seemed a little taken aback.
“A-Ah, yes, this is the first time we’ve met, Da….rkness… dono. Ah, there’s no need to be that on edge! You can relax a little, so please let go of Darkness.”
Perhaps he’s used to dealing with commoners, but he didn’t seem to raise an eyebrow about our behaviour and took it in stride.
“Really? My deepest apologies. She didn’t mean any ill will by that, it’s just that she has a few peculiarities… Hey, Darkness, hurry up and apologize to Tranzam-sama already!”
“… I-I deeply apologize for speaking out of line as a mere commoner..!”
“No, it’s fine! I don’t need an apology, and there’s no need to address me with -sama! Just address me as Abrams!”
When I first saw him, I thought he was a pretty judgemental person, but it seems like I was getting ahead of myself.
It seems I might have to adjust my impression of what an average noble is like.
“Now then, allow me to introduce myself. I’m an adventurer, my name is Satou Kazuma. She’s an archmage of the Crimson Demon tribe, and she is…”
As Megumin fell into a bow, Aqua, who had been observing the entire scene, interrupted.
“I am Aqua the Archpriest. I am the one who accepted the request, Abrams.”
“Why are you speaking so haughtily? Hurry up and bow already! And just because he said you can relax doesn’t mean you should speak so casually to him!”
“Ah, no, that’s fine, you can address me without an honorific… Darkness-dono, please address me directly too.”
Even though he winced at Aqua’s words, Abrams said that while giving Darkness an ingratiating smile.
“I can’t help but think that this mansion is possessed by some manner of evil spirit.”
I asked for more details about his request, and this is what Abrams told us.
It seems like recently, there have been several strange happenings occurring in this mansion.
For instance, a live-in maid found every drawer in her closet opened and the contents tossed all around the room.
Or the maids feeling the strange sensation of being observed when they were washing their hair in the bath.
“… Couldn’t that just be that someone living in this house is a pervert?”
“T-That can’t be! Apart from me, everyone who lives and works in this mansion are women! And I wouldn’t do such things! In fact, it’s precisely why all the maids clearly suspect me!”
Abrams desperately pleaded.
“But that wouldn’t necessarily mean that it’s the work of an evil spirit. What made you think it’s done by a ghost?”
“T-That’s because… I occasionally hear voices. Voices that no one else seem to be able to hear…”
“Rather than calling an exorcist, you should probably go see a doctor.”
“Hey, Megumin! I’m really sorry, Abrams-dono!”
“N-No… It’s only natural to think that way. Please raise your head, Darkness-dono…”
Abrams had a forced smile on his face when he said that.
Still, he is hearing voices, huh?
Just when everyone was deep in thought.
“I see it! There’s definitely a spirit living in this mansion!”
Aqua, who had been casually enjoying the tea and snacks until just now, exclaimed.
“I-Is that true, Archpriest-dono!?”
“Call me Aqua-san, you uncouth person. Yes, there’s definitely a spirit living here. However, I don’t think it’s an evil spirit.”
“I’m really sorry, Abrams-dono! Aqua, please pay attention to your words!”
Darkness hastily apologized for Aqua’s words, and Abrams made a genial gesture in response, even though his eyes seemed to be like that of a dead fish.
“Your father died recently after a piece of Tokoroten Slime got stuck in his throat, right? That’s how you became the head of this house.”
“H-How do you know that!?”
Abrams had been regarding Aqua with a suspicious gaze, but now he let out a startled voice and sat up straight in his seat.
“Well, when you’re as skilled as I am, that comes easily. The spirit that resides in this mansion is your father, Tranzam Russo Pickles. His hobbies are playing the guitar and tending to the garden. His favourite thing is an eleven-year-old pink neroid.”
“You even know that!?”
Abrams seems to be seriously impressed by Aqua now.
“… He’s saying that the bottle of pink neroid that he shared with you the day before he lost his life to the Tokoroten slime was the best bottle he ever had.”
Abrams fell down to his knees, tears streaming from his face as he screamed that name, all pretenses to upholding his image forgotten.
“How did Aqua know about such a trivial thing…? Though it seems the client is completely taken up with it.”
“Say, it sounds really suspicious, but maybe it’s fine to just leave this matter in her hands?”
“I…I want to say it’s fine, but…”
ー After Abrams calmed down, we once again returned to discussing the details of his request.
“To think that the evil spirit I was expecting turned out to be my father… Originally, I was only planning to have you cast Turn Undead on the premises, but I would like to make some changes to that request. I would like to find a way to have my father move on on his own.”
According to Aqua, if a spirit doesn’t have any regrets in this world, they’ll be able to ascend on their own without the need for purification magic.
In other words, there’s still something tying Abram’s father to this world.
“Well, I don’t mind going along with it, but if you don’t want us to resolve this with magic, the only thing we can do is act as interpreters.”
“That’ll be enough! I’ll address my father’s regrets with my own power!”
Seems like we’ve reached an agreement.
Abrams’s attitude towards Aqua has changed completely the moment he knew she could really see spirits, and now seems to treat her with a great deal of reverence.
From the looks of things, we can just leave this matter to Aqua…
“Now, for his first request… Kazuma, can you go out and buy some pink neroid right now?”
What is this girl asking of me out of the blue?
“Stop fooling around, why do I have to go out and buy that? In the first place, it’s not like ghosts can drink anymore.”
“What are you saying? If ghosts put their minds to it, they can partake in drinks and food too. Don’t you know what Poltergeists are? Those things manipulate objects and cutlery the same way. It seems like this guy really wants an eleven-year-old pink neroid for the memories.”
Abrams looked at me and pressed his palms together.
Seems like he wants me to buy it too.
“Oh, fine. Give me a cut of the rewards too, okay?”
I reluctantly headed towards the market district.
“How did things end up like this?”
After returning with the pink neroid, I couldn’t help but mutter upon seeing the scene before me.
A stuffed bear was seated on the sofa in the study, which is surrounded by a legion of maids all fawning over it.
“Oh, Kazuma, welcome back. Just leave the neroid on that table over there.”
And Aqua was seated right next to the stuffed bear, helping herself to some fruit while seemingly acting as an interpreter.
As I stood stunned by the door, Megumin came up and explained.
“The former head of this family, Pickles-san is currently residing within that stuffed doll. And this is what Pickles-san asked for, apparently…”
Looking back to the stuffed bear, it remains completely immobile, but the maids were currently in the process of hugging it one by one.
Just then, Abrams seemed to notice me return and waved me over.
“Oh, you’re back! Come on, bring the neroid here…”
“Hey, Aqua, is Pickles really in this stuffed doll? You aren’t pulling a prank on us just because you’re bored, are you?”
“What are you saying? This is all what this old man asked for. He’s always wanted to be waited on by his maids in life, but in order to keep up an image of strong and respectable family head, he’s always had to restrain himself.”
“Maybe you should just cast Turn Undead on him.”
Abrams bowed apologetically upon hearing those words.
“My father has been pushing himself. I want him to at least do what he wants once before he moves on, so please, I hope you guys can cooperate.”
I couldn’t really say anything in response.
I came over to this world because there are things I wanted to do before I died, after all.
When you think of it that way, simply getting fawned over by maids isn’t really thatー
… Just then, Aqua, who had been nodding towards the stuffed doll for a while, said.
“It seems like he wants to be hugged by Megumin next.”
“… Well, it looks just like a cute stuffed doll, so I don’t mind hugging it.”
This Pickles sure is getting full of himself.
When I looked at the stuffed toy with a suspicious gaze, Aqua perked her ears towards the doll and, after nodding like before, said.
“That commoner’s face irks me for some reason, so someone slug him.”
“Oh bring it on you stuffed animal! I’m going to turn you into a cleaning rag!”
“W-Wait a minute! I won’t ask you to be beaten, but Father will ascend on his own after his desires are fulfilled, so please forgive him!”
Abrams grabbed on to me as I moved to wrench the stuffed bear from Megumin’s grasp.
“Still, how many of this stuffed doll’s requests can we fulfill before he moves on? I think we’ve already fulfilled quite a number of them.”
Hearing Megumin’s words made something click in my mind.
“Yeah. This guy doesn’t seem like he has any intention of moving on at all. Hey, Aqua, if he makes another ridiculous request, just hit him with Turn Undead.”
“Wait, my father has been an upstanding lord well loved by the people! Can’t we at least give him a peaceful sendoff in his last moments!?”
Giving Abrams a sideways glance, Aqua once again perked her ears up towards the stuffed doll.
“Alright then, that’s enough fun for now. Let’s move onto the main issue. The truth is, there is a journal filled with my embarrassing fantasies in the basement of this house. I would like you to take care of it. Or so he says.”
“I knew you were just fooling around! Forget about the Turn Undead, let’s just throw this bastard into the fireplace!”
Shaking off Abrams, I grabbed the doll from Aqua and prepared to throw it into the fireplace. Just then.
“Now, hold on, Kazuma. If destroying that journal would allow him to move on, then just put up with him for just a little while. For nobles, there are issues that would be really devastating if it leaks out.”
Darkness took the stuffed toy from my grasped and gave me a wry smile.
Abrams nodded along, and a few moments later, Aqua said.
“You know, it’s been bothering me, but you bear an uncanny resemblance to the wife of the Sir Dustiness whom I’ve always nursed a flame for. I really want you to hold me like you’re embracing a lover, he says.”
Upon hearing that, Darkness, with a conflicted expression on her face, reluctantly hugged the stuffed animal.
“Please nuzzle your cheeks against me more. After seeing her be taken away by that Dustiness fellow, to have his daughter do something like this as atonement for her fatherー”
“Aqua, you don’t need to interpret anymore! We should throw this thing into the fireplace just like Kazuma said!”
“Darkness-dono, please restrain yourself! Actually, father, as your son, that’s one thing about your past I never wanted to know!!”
Abrams muttered in a slightly surprised voice.
“There was a secret room here…”
Inside Pickles’s now unused bedroom, we found a secret entrance leading down into the basement.
If we found such a place so easily, I suppose Aqua’s ability to talk to ghosts wasn’t just a delusion of hers after all.
In the corner of the basement, we found a dust-covered book.
This is probably the journal filled with embarrassing fantasies that Pickles mentioned.
Aqua, holding the stuffed doll in her hands, started talking upon seeing the book.
“Thank you very much. Especially to you, the priest who acted as my interpreter. And to the slender and beautiful young lady, and the woman who looked very much like my first love… And the young man whose only use was being an errand boy.”
“Right, let’s give that journal a read. Then I’ll make copies of it and spread it throughout the town.”
“It’s just a little noble’s joke, so don’t lose your head, short-tempered commoner. I’ll give you a reward, so stop it…. Say, you do have a reward prepared for me too, right?”
As Aqua and I argued, Abrams took the diary into his hand and fell to his knees.
“… Father, I’ll properly dispose of this journal, so you can rest easy. I didn’t expect to be able to meet you again like this. May you find peace by the side of the goddess Eris…”
Saying that, he carefully cradled the journal against his chest.
In response, Aqua gently put down the stuffed bear.
“My son. Now that I think about it, I never did spend much time with you, even when you were young. This is some parting advice from your father. You shouldn’t restrain yourself like me. Instead, live a life full to the brim with all the maids in the mansion…”
In a gentle voice, Aqua conveyed Pickles last words.
… I suppose this is technically a touching farewell scene, but I’m just not feeling it with the contents of what is being said and the participants involved.
A young aristocrat holding a journal filled with embarrassing fantasies crying in front of a large stuffed teddy bear.
Even the other people watching this scene were…
“… As a Crusader of the goddess, I’ll offer a prayer on your behalf…”
Wait, why are Megumin and Darkness tearing up!?
Is it me?
Am I the strange one for not being moved by this scene!?
“… It seems like Pickles is running out of time. If you have anything left to say to each other, please do it now. You truly will never be able to see each other again after this, so don’t leave any regrets behind.”
Aqua said solemnly, and Abrams took the stuffed doll’s hands into his own.
“After seeing the requests you made of your maids, I’m certain that I’m truly your son. I know exactly what embarrassing fantasies are written in this journal. After all, I hold those very same thoughts in my mind… Father, take care in your next life. I’ll properly take care of things here, so you can rest easy…”
Aqua’s gentle laugh broke through this solemn air.
“As expected of my son. I never expected you to turn out this much like me. After losing her to the Dustiness family, I couldn’t bring myself to take another wife. But I still needed an heir, so I adopted you on a whim, but I never expected you to follow in my footsteps this closely… I told you that your mother died of a passing epidemic before, but that was a lie. In the first place, that…”
At that point, Aqua stopped talking.
Abrams, who received this explosive revelation right at the end, froze while holding onto the stuffed bear’s hands.
“… It seems like he took care of all his regrets and successfully moved on.”
“In the first place… what!? Why would you ascend right at that moment!? Just whose child am I!? Fatheeeeeer!!”
ー After leaving the Tranzam mansion, we made our way home with a very subdued air about us.
“Say… Will he be able to recover?”
“H-He’ll probably be fine. He might look like that, but he’s pretty tough mentally. Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be fine!”
Hearing Darkness’s hastily muttered assurances, I was reminded of the weird feeling I had before.
“By the way, do you know that person?”
“W-What!? Of course not! That man is a noble. There’s no way a commoner like me would’ve had the chance to get to know him.”
“Yeah, I suppose that’s true. There’s no way you could have any connections to the nobility. You’re short tempered and have such a sketchy personality. Aww, I was kind of hoping I would be able to meet an actual noble lady…”
Darkness immediately launched into an explanation, but completely stiffened up upon hearing my words.
“Kazuma, do you like noble ladies? Though, I suppose I understand why you would want to meet one in person. A noble lady is sure to be graceful and delicate…”
“Yeah, exactly. The kind who never picked up anything heavier than a teacup and would probably faint the first time she runs into a goblin.”
Darkness started groaning for some reason as Megumin and I talked, but I’ve gotten used to this girl’s eccentricities by now, so I let it go.
“Still, we did good work today. The client was grateful, and the reward was amazing too. It’s a million Eris, you know!? A million Eris! We won’t need to work for quite some time!”
“D-Do you really think we did a good job back there?”
Abrams’s father’s last words will probably haunt him for the rest of his life.
“Of course. He didn’t even manage to bid farewell one last time, you know? Just thinking about that would naturally make anyone grateful. And look, he even gave us this bottle of expensive pink neroid. We’ll be able to throw a party tonight.”
“Did Pickles really ask for that bottle of pink neroid? You didn’t come up with that yourself because you wanted to drink it, right? … Though, give me some of it later.”
“Oh, fine. Well, alcohol tastes better when drunk together with friends. Plus this bottle was given to me. Tonight, we’ll host a party to commemorate the time Aqua-sama put her all into a job!”
Aqua said while carefully cradling the bottle of pink fluid to her chest, a wide smile on her face.
After returning home to the mansion, we spent a little more money on food than we usually did, and went to bed after sharing the bottle of expensive pink neroid.
And after that, around midnight, I suddenly woke up.
My throat feels really dry. I must have drunk a little too much last night.
As I headed down the stairs to get a glass of water, I noticed that the fireplace in the living room was litー
“So that’s how that old man Pickles successfully moved on thanks to the efforts of yours truly. Abrams ended up crying, but that’s just the whims of life. You can’t really fix that.”
Aqua was inside the room, talking to the air with a half empty bottle of pink neroid in her hand.
She often gets up to weird things, so I never really paid much attention to her, but she’s probably talking to the ghost of the girl that she was talking about yesterday..
She poured the contents of the bottle into a cup and pushed it across the table.
And when she did, the contents of the cup slowly drained away.
So she was telling the truth when she said that ghosts can drink wine after all.
I think I recall Aqua saying “I didn’t drink that wine! It’s the work of the ghost living in this mansion!” when the bottle of expensive wine I got as a bonus for working at the liquor store suddenly disappeared.
Seems like I’ll have to apologize to her tomorrow.
It’d be rude to continue eavesdropping like this, so I’ll just boldly walk out there, get the water, and go back to sleep.
“I gave you such expensive pink neroid, so you’ll forgive me for making you take the fall for when I drank Kazuma-san’s wine, right?”
If I keep listening, maybe she’ll slip up again.
I pressed up against the shadow of the wall and activated my Lurk skill to erase my presence.
“What? You want me to tell you another story about the other world instead? You really like those stories, don’t you?”
Aqua shook her head along with an exasperated sigh.
“Well then, let me tell you a story about the kind of life I lead before I came here. This is before Kazuma appeared before me after dying in such a hilarious and strange way.”
And thus, Aqua started telling a tale to the ghost of the girl.
I could occasionally make out her saying snide comments about me. It almost made me want to jump out and shut her up right there.
“ーAnd that’s why I was such an important person in heaven and regarded so highly. I had many angels reporting to me, and every day I was waited on hand and foot. I could get any sort of snacks and drinks that I wanted, and as many of them as I wanted. It really was a wonderful time.”
That sounds more like a life of decadence to me.
“That’s when that man appeared before me! That man who forcibly brought me down with him, and yet has no useful skills or work ethic! Seriously, just who does he think I am?”
I want to tell her I regret taking her with me too.
“But now that I think about it, Kazuma-san seems like the sort of person who’d get lonely easily, so he’s probably just scared of being left alone in another world. Seriously, Kazuma is really… He seems like he has his stuff well put together at first glance, but he constantly slips up. He really can’t make it without my guidance.”
I really want to jump out right now and pull on her cheeks while asking her to take a good look in the mirror.
“Hmm? Do I want to go back to heaven? Hmm, well…”
The ghost girl must have asked her a question, as Aqua crossed her arms and fell into deep thought.
Hurry up and go home already.
“Well, there’s a lot of hardship I have to endure in this world, but, Megumin is a strange girl, but I’m never bored whenever I’m with her. Darkness is a strange girl too, but I’m never bored whenever I’m with her either. And…”
I want to tell her that she is the strangest girl out of the bunch.
Just as I was biting my tongue to prevent myself from interjecting, Aqua smiled at the ghost girl.
“Kazuma is really weak and will easily die if you take your eyes off him for just a little while, so I’ll be really worried for him if I weren’t here. So, even if I were to go back to heaven, it’d have to be after this world is safe first. Besides, I can’t go back without taking down the Demon King first.”
Hearing Aqua say something so big-sisterly-like gave me a weird sense of ennui, and I decided it’d be best to head back.
I don’t really like draining my mana like this, but I’ll just use Create Water to quench my thirst and go to sleep.
I didn’t have any intentions of seriously trying to take down the Demon King before now, but…
“Well, at the end of the day, I don’t hate my current lifestyle. I’ve made a lot of friends amongst the people and adventurers of this town. And there’s always something exciting happening every day, so I’m fine with just that.”
Well, if I ever get super strong to the point where defeating the Demon King is a distinct possibility, I suppose it’s worth considering.
I turned around and started walking back to my room.
“Fufu, if such stories are enough to entertain you, you can hit me up whenever you want … What? You’re going to tell me one of Kazuma’s secrets as thanks? Well, let’s hear it then.”
“So he does such things when he’s alone in his room, huh? Well, after coming to this world, anyone would like to practice coming up with some original spells. It’s amusing, though, so I think I’ll tease him about it later… Oh, so he says such things while practicing with his sword in the yard? “Be judged!” and “Fu, once again I’ve cut a worthless object…”, I see. I’ve written that down. Even though he constantly complains about Megumin, he’s still thinking about what finishing line he’d use. Seriously, Kazuma.”
I stopped walking and wiped off the sweat that has started flowing down my face.
I really don’t want to hear any more of this.
But I need to confirm just how much does she know…
“Tell me more about the stuff Kazuma gets up to on his own. The next time he gets angry at me, I’ll be able to use that to turn the tables on him… Not inside the closet, but on top of it? What did he hide there?”
I immediately turned around and shouted “Don’t say anything more!” as I ran down the stairs.