The Amazingly Lucky Silver Haired Girl
Editor: Ulti, Striker
[Note: This story takes place sometime around volume 2, so the status quo is a bit different from the more recent volumes.]
This happened a few days after we defeated the Demon King’s general, Beldia, and got saddled with a huge amount of debt.
I was walking down Axel’s shopping district, hoping to come across an easy way to make money, when I saw a certain someone tackling someone I know to the ground.
“Wait, Aqua-san, there is an explanation for thisー!”
“Addressing me as Aqua-san is commendable, but unfortunately I can’t spare a random pickpocket that I only just met… Ah!? Look at this, Kazuma! I don’t really get it, but I caught a thief!”
Aqua looked up at me with a wide smile on her face, obviously fishing for my praise.
The other person is Chris, holding what appears to be someone else’s wallet in her hand.
“Hey, Aqua, let her go. And that isn’t some random pickpocket. You’ve met her before. That’s Chris.”
“…Chris? That name does ring a bell. But as a model priest, I can’t afford to turn a blind eye to crime.”
Saying that, Aqua reached out to take the wallet.
“Wait, wait, there is a reason for this!”
Chris, laying on the ground, curled up around the wallet in her hands like it was her own.
“ーSo basically, a certain newbie adventurer was forced into a duel with a mean adventurer and got his wallet taken, and you decided to steal it back for the newbie when…”
“I saw her in the middle of the act and decided to follow and restrain her!”
After going to the park to shake off the crowd of curious onlookers that were beginning to form, Chris gave us her explanation.
Aqua, however, still had the same smug smile on her face like she didn’t understand a word of what Chris said.
“Didn’t you hear her? Chris stole that wallet to return it to that newbie adventurer who had it unjustly taken away.”
Chris nodded along to my words, but Aqua suddenly put on a serious expression and said,
“Oh, Kazuma, no matter what the circumstances are, a crime is still a crime. The moment that adventurer got his wallet taken, Chris should’ve approached the police.”
Usually, she only spouts stupid things, but she does occasionally say something sensible.
“Now, hand over that wallet. I’ll take the responsibility for handing it over to the newbie adventurer in your stead. You should go to the Axis Cult church and confess your sins, and donate all your dirty money to the church. If you do that, I’ll overlook your actions this time…”
Giving her a benevolent smile, Aqua took Chris’s hand into hers and gently wrapped her fingers around the wallet.
“… Hey, Aqua, why did you follow Chris after witnessing her steal that wallet? Wouldn’t you normally just shout a warning at that very moment? And how are you going to return it? You don’t even know what the newbie adventurer looks like.”
My words caused Chris and Aqua to immediately stiffen up.
“U-Um, I think it’d really be best for me to return the wallet in person… A-Aqua-san? Umm, please stop tightening your grip, it’s starting to hurt…”
“Oh, is that so? Then hurry up and hand it over. Treat this pain as your punishment for doing something bad. Do you perhaps doubt a priest like me? Don’t worry, I won’t do anything untoward. I’ll just say I found it on the roadside and ask for a small reward… Let go! Hurry up and hand over the wallet! If you keep being stubborn, I’ll go to the police!”
“You are the worst! You remind me of that senpai I had who strung me around a lot in the past! Your face and name are the same too! Even though there’s no way she should be here!”
“That sounds like a wonderful person! Kazuma, if you want to repay your debts even a little, then…Ow!”
When I smacked Aqua on the head, she immediately let go of Chris to cradle her head and look at me with a hurt expression.
“What are you doing, you debt-ridden NEET! This is a respectable act of justice to punish criminals! In our current state, you shouldn’t be quibbling about methods!”
“What you are doing right now might as well be a crime! And don’t call me debt-ridden NEET, you dumb bitch! You were the one who got us in debt in the first place, so don’t stick me with such unflattering names!”
“You idiot! The sins of the adventurer who took this wallet by preying on the weak, and Chris who stole this wallet from that adventurer would be forgiven if she gives me this wallet as a donation! If you understand that, then hurry up and give me…”
As she said that, she turned back to face Chris…
“As expected of a Thief. The Lurk skill sure is useful.”
“Aaaah! She got away because of you!”
ーAfter parting ways with Aqua who said “I can’t believe you let such a great opportunity slip away!” and other such stuff that doesn’t fit a priest at all, I returned to wandering around town.
After spending some time in the shopping district, I concluded that there doesn’t seem to be any easy money making opportunities available, and moved my search to a mostly deserted back alley…
“Fuahahahaha! Too bad for you! As long as my eyes remain red, I won’t let you get away with committing crimes in my sight!”
“Waaaait! Why!? The adventurer’s guild told me my luck was pretty good, so why are such things constantly happening to me today!?”
And once again ran into Chris getting tackled by someone I know.
Megumin, her eyes burning red, pinned Chris against the ground.
“Wait, wait, wait! Please, there’s a reason for this!”
“There’s no need for me to listen to whatever excuses you have for stealing! Now, give me the item you slipped into your purse from that store just now! If you do, I can generously overlook your actions this time… Ow!”
I snuck up behind Megumin, hit her on the head, and pulled her off Chris.
“Do you guys not feel satisfied unless you cause trouble while I’m not looking? At least limit it to one incident a day.”
“I have no idea what you’re saying, but I’m not causing any trouble. I’m simply capturing this shoplifter!”
Megumin indignantly pointed towards Chris.
“I told you that’s not it! There’s a reason for it…”
After Chris shakily got to her feet, she produced a small gem from her purse, which was glowing with a soft radiance that just seemed to suck you in the longer you stared at it.
Then, with a serious expression that stood as a stark contrast to her crying and pleading after being caught by Megumin and Aqua earlier, Chris said,
“This gem is called ‘Demon’s Blood’. It’s a really powerful cursed item, one that shouldn’t be in the town of beginners.”
ーThis gave me a sense of deja-vu, but we moved to a nearby park and listened to Chris explain herself.
“So, basically, it’s a gem that invites misfortune just by possessing it?”
“Exactly. To be specific, it lowers the luck of whoever has it. Nobles occasionally send such jewels to their rivals in the hopes of seeing them brought low.”
After hearing Chris’s explanation, I averted my gaze from the gem that was currently in the hands of Megumin, who was happily polishing it with a piece of cloth.
“Wouldn’t it be better to explain it to the owner instead of stealing it like this? Even the owner of a jewelry store wouldn’t want to hold on to it after hearing it’s a cursed item.”
In response to my question, Chris shook her head.
“Of course I did, but then the owner told me that it was an item he acquired on the request of a certain noble, so just leave it be…”
The owner acquired the item knowing it was cursed, and that it could be put to all kinds of harmful uses.
“So, you took the gem in order to foil the dastardly plans of whichever noble order it?”
“That’s exactly it. I didn’t steal it for money. Plus, I may not look like it, but my luck is pretty high. Just holding on to this gem wouldn’t harm me too much.”
The pickpocketing earlier and this current incident are technically crimes, but after hearing her out, I’m a little at a loss for what to do.
Chris probably understands that what she’s doing is a crime, too.
With an apologetic look on her face, she extended her hand towards Megumin who was still polishing the gem in her hands.
“So, please give the gemー”
“I respectfully decline.”
Megumin immediately hugged the gem towards her chest, almost as if she wasn’t listening to a word of Chris’s explanation.
“Hey, that gem makes you unlucky just by having it, you know? We already have enough misfortune on our plates as it is, so get rid of that stone already.”
I said and tried to take the gem back from Megumin, but…
“No way. This gem is called the Demon’s Blood, and it shines so radiantly even though it’s pitch black. There’s no way I would let go of such a treasure so easily. The fact that it’s a cursed item only makes it sound cooler, and it’s not like we can go much lower than this anyways.”
“What are you saying!? There’s plenty of worse things that can happen to us! Like me getting dissolved in a vat of acid! Just hand it over! Ack, t-this girl, you’re just a mage, so why are you so strong!?”
“It’s not that I’m strong, you are just weak! Plus, I’ve had my eye on this gem for quite some time now! I won’t give it up so easily!”
While shouting such things, Megumin fell to the ground and curled up around the gem like a tortoise.
Wait, she’s had her eye on it for quite some time?
“Oh, you little shit, the reason why you didn’t confront Chris right away but waited for her to walk into a deserted alley was so you could take the gem for yourself, right!?”
Chris let out a surprised gasp, and Megumin exposed her face to me from within that curl and gave me a victorious smile.
“Heheh, as expected of Kazuma. Indeed, everything is as I planned! I was window shopping at that store today while arguing with the shopkeeper when I noticed Chris acting suspiciously. She must have been attracted to its glow just like I was…”
“That’s not it! I don’t care about the glow of the gem at all! Don’t lump me together with you Crimson Demons!”
Chris grabbed Megumin’s shoulders, or at least what she could with her curled up like that, and started shaking her.
“And thus, my plan was to watch Chris while she stole the gem and confront her later on with the offer to hand over the gem or I start telling everyone about it!”
“First Aqua and now you!? Why are all of you so callous? What you are doing is a crime too, you know?!”
Chris and I tried to retrieve the gem from Megumin, but even with the two of us against her, Megumin held on stubbornly.
Eventually, this commotion attracted a small crowd. Perhaps anticipating that, Megumin suddenly shouted.
“Somebody! Please help me! This man is trying to take my precious something away!”
“You, you little…!”
“Hey, isn’t he the rumoured panties-stealing fiend?”
“Yeah, that’s the fiend who’d steal your panties and threaten to wave it about unless you buy it back from him!”
The things the surrounding onlookers are saying aren’t exactly wrong.
I don’t see things ending well for me if I continue to stay here.
“Dammit, Chris, this is looking bad. We’re retreating!”
“Eh? I need to run too!?”
“Of course! If anything, I don’t have a reason to run at all. The one who’d get in trouble with the police is you!”
Chris and I made a path through the gathering crowd of onlookers and ran away as Megumin sported a triumphant smile.
… How did it end up like this?
Chris and I ran down the twisting back alleys while trying to shake off our pursuers.
“Hey, I’m supposed to be pretty lucky, so why did things end up like this? Whenever I get involved with you, I end up with my panties stolen or chased by the cops or, or just bad things!”
“The reason why your panties got stolen is because you challenged me to a duel, and this happened because you stole something! And, thinking about it, you are the one who dragged me into this!”
Yeah, why am I running away with her?
The one who commited the crime was her, not me.
As that thought crossed my mind, my pace slowed to a crawl…
“Hey, you’re not planning to slip away by yourself, are you? We are companions connected with a strong bond of friendship, aren’t we?”
“You’ve only just taught me a few skills! We’ve never even seen each other very often since then! Hey, they’ll think I’m with you, so stop pulling on me!”
I was planning to quietly slip away, but Chris grabbed onto my shirt and refused to let go.
“Hey, did you hear a voice coming from here?”
“… Is that so? Let’s go take a look.”
The moment we heard those voices, Chris and I crammed ourselves into a notch in the wall and activated the Lurk skill.
“Hmm? … That’s odd, I swear I heard something…”
The officer tilted his head as he looked around the alley.
Chris suddenly said.
There’s no way they’ll believe it’s a cat at this stage!
“What, so it’s just a Neroid?”
“They do often hang out in back alleys like this. I really want to catch it and turn it into pocket change, but we are on the job right now. Let’s just leave it be.”
While saying that, the two of them left the alley.
“… Say, I’ve heard the name before, but what exactly is a Neroid? I’ve heard that it goes ‘swish swish’ when you drink it, so I thought it’s some kind of drink or something, but from what they’ve said, it’s a kind of animal?”
“Neroids are neroids. They are mysterious creatures that hang out in back alleys and go ‘swish swish’ when you drink them.”
Without enlightening me even the slightest, Chris let out a deep sigh.
“Anyway, that was really close. Still, it’s more thrilling than my usual jobs, so I suppose I had a little fun.”
“… Chris, do you always do these kinds of things?”
Stealing isn’t exactly praiseworthy, but there are some cases where normal justice wouldn’t apply.
Thinking about it that way, I suppose I can’t really lecture Chris for what she’s doing.
“Well, I haven’t had many chances to go on adventures since Darkness joined your party, so I’ve been hanging around town doing these kinds of things… I suppose I just can’t leave newbie adventurers alone.”
Now that she mentions it, Chris called out to me when I was agonizing over what skills to learn.
Maybe she’s just the kind of person who can’t help but get involved when she sees someone in trouble…
“… No, no, no, wait. Come to think of it, back when you taught me those skills, you suddenly stole my wallet and challenged me to a match to get it back, didn’t you? You said you stole that wallet because some mean adventurer challenged the newbie to a duel and took it from him, but isn’t that basically what you did to me?”
“Now then, things should’ve cleared up now, so let’s change locations. I got a little reward after returning the wallet to that newbie adventurer, so let’s go have a glass of Crimson Beer. It’ll be my treat!”
“Hey, you can’t fool me by offering me a beer! I was a fledgling newbie adventurer too! Don’t you feel bad for stealing my wallet from someone like that!”
“Y-You already stole my panties as retribution! Please don’t remind me of that day!”
ーWe went to the adventurer’s guild because Chris said she’d treat me, and ordered a pair of drinks even though it’s still light out.
“Pwaaah! Drinking beer during the day is the best!”
“That sounds like something a layabout would say. Well, I do think the same way.”
After coming to this world, I learnt the taste of alcohol and became completely hooked to the pleasures of drinking in the day.
What you do after drinking is your own responsibility.
The age of marriage is 14.
Such relaxed ordinances and laws are some of the things that made me glad to come to this world.
As Chris happily drained her glass while foam pooled around her lips, I gave in and dug into my glass too.
“I may not look like it, but I do work hard every day. It’s nice to let loose like this every so often.”
“Hey, Chris, all you did was steal stuff all day, are you really saying that was tedious work?”
“T-That is a different story. What happened today is like a hobby I picked up to spread my wings.”
Just as I gave Chris a disbelieving look after she hastily explained herself,
“Aaah! There you are! You sure have some guts to abandon me to go drinking in the afternoon!”
Turning behind to face the source of the voice, standing right at the entrance is Aqua who was covered in mud for some reason.
“What have you been doing?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’ve been looking high and low for you two criminals!”
“Hey, Aqua-san, you’re too loud!”
Chris hastily got to her feet and placed her hands in front of Aqua’s mouth, but Aqua simply waved them away and continued.
“Who cares about that!? While looking for you, I ended up in someone’s yard, got chased away by their dog and ended up covered in mud after taking a tumble down a hill! I’m calling the officers here… Ah, what are you doing!? Kazuma too, what are you doing! Let go of me this instant!”
After gulping down the mug of ice cold Crimson Beer, Aqua let out a contented sigh.
“Pwaaah! Drinking beer during the day is the best!”
She said as she helped herself to the snacks that we ordered.
“Yeah, you have good taste, Aqua-san! It’s nice to let loose every once in a while after working hard all day!”
Chris happily said in response.
“You do get it, Chris. Yes, drinking beer during the day is like a reward for all the hard work we put in every day. As a priest, I have to be on my best behaviour in front of everyone, so it’s particularly taxing on my nerves. If I don’t vent that stress every so often, I’ll be run ragged.”
“Even a priest should let their hair down every once in a while. Yes, I understand. I understand very well.”
Chris enthusiastically nodded along to the words of the priest who has never put in a shred of hard work in her life.
“Pardon me, two mugs of chilled Crimson Beer here, please!”
“And bring up another pair of fried frog legs too!”
Chris shouted to the guild waitress, and Aqua added her own orders too.
ーAqua, who tried to turn Chris in for stealing the newbie’s wallet back, immediately dropped the matter once she heard that the money Chris got as a reward is going towards these drinks.
And now, the three of us are drinking together…
“It’s the first time I’ve had a proper talk with you, but I think I like you. It’s a pity that you worship Eris. You seem like you’d fit right in amongst the Axis Cult.”
“To be honest, when I first saw you, you reminded me of a senpai that I didn’t quite get along with, so I tried to keep my distance, but… After having this talk with you, you really don’t resemble her at all!”
They were fighting when they met this morning, but…
“That person must really be a piece of work for someone as friendly as you to dislike them. If I ever run into them, I’ll be sure to give them a good talking to.”
“You’re so kind, Aqua-san. I really wish my senpai would learn a thing or two from you.”
Now the two of them are getting along like two peas in a pod.
The two of them happily snacked on fried frog legs between toasts.
I already knew that Aqua had a thing for alcohol, but I didn’t expect Chris to lose herself in her cups as well.
“I really had the wrong impression of you, Chris. I thought you were some thug preying on newbies after you took Kazuma’s wallet a while back, but you really are an upstanding girl. I can’t really approve of stealing, but when it’s done to take back something that was unjustly taken away, I can’t really condemn it.”
“Thank you very much. Ahh, when you first caught me this morning, I thought you were one of those uptight priests who wouldn’t let even the slightest thing slip by. It’s really a relief to know that you’re such a kind person!”
Chris said, as a tinge of red started creeping along her cheeks.
Does Aqua really seem like a serious and uptight priest at first glance?
“I’m a very flexible person, you know? One of my juniors is a hard headed girl who always goes on and on about regulations and procedures and such. I really wish I could give her even a fraction of your flexibility.”
“For Aqua-san to say that, she must really be something. It’s best for a priest to be an easygoing person like you. Living free is best for humans. Leave the seriousness and uptight attention to detail to the goddesses who are doing actually important work like managing this world.”
“I think goddesses should let their hair down and live freely too, but I like the general idea, Chris. I wonder if I could make you my junior instead. Yeah, spending every moment paying attention to rules and regulations is no way to live. My junior is always so serious, she’s always following after me, asking me to teach her how to enjoy good wine and tell her tales about the phantom thieves that are popular in the place that I governed… I wonder what she’s doing now…”
Aqua happily stared off into the distance.
The two of them have been getting on so well that I couldn’t even get a word in edgewise.
It’s almost as if they’ve known each other for a long time.
Just as we settled into our drinks and things started feeling really easy-going,
“Ah! Isn’t that man the one you stole the wallet from?”
The person Aqua pointed to was someone I’ve never seen in this town before. He might be carrying brand new equipment, but he doesn’t strike me as a newbie adventurer.
Gathering information in the bar is the basics of adventuring. As a firm believer in that principle, I’ve spent a lot of time in this place, so I’m confident that I can at least recognise the face of all the adventurers who live in this town.
However, I have no memory of ever seeing that man who was downing a mug of beer with a scowl on his face.
He must have moved here recently from another town.
Just then, Aqua suddenly rose to her feet.
“I thought that person was a victim at first, but after hearing your explanation, I’ve changed my views. Just wait here, Chris. I’ll bring that man to justice just like a proper priest would!”
The alcohol and Chris’s praise must have inflated her ego, for Aqua confidently stated that before walking over to the man’s table.
“H-Hey, shouldn’t you stop Aqua-san?”
“It’s fine, just leave her be. She’ll probably come back here in tears after he turns the tables back on her.”
“That’s not fine at all!”
Chris and I exchanged hushed whispers.
“I haven’t seen you around here before! My name is Aqua. The Archpriest, Aqua. If you said you don’t know who I am in this town, you’ll be laughed at without a thought!”
Aqua crossed her arms and proclaimed.
The people in the tavern briefly stopped to look at the source of the voice, but after noticing who it was, they quickly returned back to what they were doing.
The adventurer seemed taken aback by the sudden accosting and the reactions of the people around him.
“It’s just a little rumour I heard on the winds, but it seems like you’ve been picking on vulnerable newbie adventurers and challenging them to duels!”
The man let out a bark of laughter at Aqua’s accusations.
“Hey, now, I don’t know where you heard that from, but that’s just slander from sore losers. I didn’t force anyone into anything. They agreed of their own free will. If anything, I’m even putting a handicap or two on myself during those duels. Accepting a duel is your personal responsibility. Choosing to go along with a duel only to start spreading such rumours once you lose is true villainy.”
The man said, casually taking a sip out of his mug. In response, Aqua’s temples started twitching.
“You aren’t going to fool me that easily using big words like free will or handicap or personal responsibility! I don’t really get it, but you are a bad guy! After all, your eyes look extremely suspicious!”
“What is your problem!? Judging someone as evil just because of their looks is way too unreasonable! Isn’t there any shred of reason in your brain at all!?”
“You’re not fooling me with big words like that! I’m a really good judge of character, so I can’t be wrong! Call it a goddess’s intuition!”
“Oh, just get lost! My intuition and my Enemy Detection skill are telling me not to get involved with you! What’s this about a goddess? How stupid! If you don’t get going I’m going to start throwing peanuts at you!”
After getting chased away, Aqua came back to us in tears.
“Now is not the time for that! Aqua-san is crying!”
Aqua grabbed my shoulders and shook me as tears started pooling around her eyes.
“Kazuma-san, I was defeated, so take revenge for me! He keeps using big and complicated words as excuses! You might be weak and unreliable, but you are an impertinent NEET, so no one can defeat you in a battle of wits!”
“Are you picking a fight with me too?”
As Aqua clung onto me, an idea popped into my head, which I whispered into her ear.
After learning my plan, she nodded and went back towards the other man.
“You sure gave me the runabout earlier! You might have run circles around me last time, but don’t think the same tricks will work on me!”
“You came back…? I’ll give you these peanuts, so hurry up and go home.”
Aqua accepted the plate of peanuts the man offered, and while helping herself to the dishes, said.
“I won’t back down. I challenge you to a duel.”
“… Challenging some to a duel after accepting food from them? Are you really a priest? Well, I don’t really mind having a match with you…”
Likely confident in his abilities, the man readily accepted the duel despite his misgivings.
“Hey, is Aqua-san really going to be okay? That man doesn’t seem like a newbie adventurer. I don’t know what kind of duel he’s going to propose, but wouldn’t the odds be on his side?”
Logically, that’s the conclusion most people will come to.
“Don’t worry. She might look like that, but apart from luck and intelligence, her stats are…”
Just as those words came out of my mouth,
“The duel will consist of a single roll of the dice. If the number that comes up is four or below, you win. If it’s five or six, it’s my victory. What do you think, the odds are in your favour, right? Even if you are a newbie adventurer, the gap in our levels wouldn’t matter much in a contest of luck.”
This isn’t good. Aqua will definitely lose.
“Ah, I see. Aqua-san would have a high chance of victory in such a contest.”
“No, change of plans. Aqua will lose.”
She has extremely low luck and intelligence.
“Eh!? No, no, Archpriests are supposed to be high in luck, like thieves. The other guy seems to be a thief, but in such a contest, Aqua would surely have the advantage…”
Chris said that, but that’s definitely a flag.
Now that people are expecting great things from her, the chances of Aqua losing have now become a near certainty.
“… Oh, I see. You are dressed plainly, but you are actually a pretty high leveled adventurer. You probably did something bad in the other towns and got thrown out, and now you’re relying on your high stats to make up for the handicap you give yourself to prey on newbie adventurers with low stats, right!?”
The man grimaced in response to Aqua’s confident declaration.
“Tsk… I only just came to this town, but my cover is already blown. Oh well, guess it’s time to go to another town…”
“Well, nevermind that! Hurry up and take out your dice! Let’s set up the contest already!”
Despite having seen through the man’s schemes, Aqua still wants to continue with the duel.
I surreptitiously crept to Aqua’s side.
“Hey, this is the point where you chase him out of town after seeing through his tricks. Why are you challenging him to a duel?”
“Oh, Kazuma, don’t you get it? We’ve already seen through his little stunts. A great man once said, if you know your enemy, you have a high probability of defeating him in a hundred battles, or something like that.”
The saying is ‘If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles’.
If you mean to follow that saying, you first need to know yourself.
It was only then that I realized that this is beyond my ability to stop.
The patrons in the bar, attracted by the commotion, have formed a small but rowdy crowd around Aqua and the other adventurer.
Some of them have already started betting on who would win.
“Right, then, let’s start this game. The bet is the contents of our wallets. I’ll explain the rules once more. This match will be decided by this die. If the numbers one through four comes up, it’ll be your victory. If it comes up five of six, I win. If you want, you can provide your own die, too.”
“According to my eyes, this die isn’t tampered with. So, are there any other prohibitions or rules?”
“Well, not really…”
“Right, there are no other restrictions! Blessing!”
“Ah, you littleー!”
Aqua immediately casted the luck increasing buff spell upon herself the moment the man opened his mouth.
Even the people in the crowd started booing her when she did that.
“Hey, Aqua, that’s dirty!”
“I have money riding on you losing, fight fairly, dammit!”
“Oh shut up, you guys aren’t involved in this! And shouldn’t this be the part where you guys start cheering for me over this adventurer who came in from somewhere else!? If you aren’t going to cheer for me, then scram! Otherwise, I’m going to start charging money!”
Seeing Aqua start arguing with the onlookers, Chris frowned and started muttering something under her breath.
“… I always thought she resembled senpai, but no, it can’t be right. Yeah, this can’t be it…”
Ignoring her, I approached the adventurers that were running the impromptu betting pool.
“I put ten thousand eris on Aqua losing.”
“Why! This should be the point where you bet on me! Oh, fine, just watch! If I win, I’m going to take ten percent from the betting pool!”
Taking the die into her hands, Aqua declared with a confident smile on her face.
With her previous Blessing and her current words, the result of this match is now clad in stone.
“Right, let’s go! See, I lost… Wait, why!?”
“You even used Blessing on yourself, so how did you lose!?”
“Just what do you do every day to have luck this bad!? I was a fool for believing in you for even an instant!”
“Oh, shut up! You were the ones who put money on me on your own, so don’t start complaining when I lose! …Waaah! My wallet!”
As Aqua started arguing with the crowd, the adventurer picked up the wallet that Aqua placed on the table as her bet.
“Well, I was a little worried when you used that little trick of yours, but too bad! Now, as promised, your wallet… Hey, there’s only three hundred eris here! What are you playing at!? How could you challenge someone to a duel with so little on you!?”
“I’m in debt, so that’s honestly my entire life’s savings! Anyway, as promised, I’ll give you the contents of my wallet, so return the wallet back to me! That’s the japanese-style wallet that Kazuma let me have because it didn’t fit the fantasy theme!”
The man gave the wallet another look over after hearing those words.
“Oh?… I don’t really get what fantasy theme or Japan means, but this is quite a unique looking wallet. Alright, I’ll be taking this as my prize.”
“What we bet were the contents of our wallet! If you aren’t going to follow the rules we set out, then the contest is void! Void! If you are going to take the wallet with you, then you are just a plain robber! I won’t even give you the three hundred eris! Return it to me! Otherwise, I’ll wear iron clogs and tap dance in the room above yours when you’re trying to sleep!”
“What kind of weird threat is that!? Plus, I don’t want to hear that from someone who used Blessing on herself!”
The two of them started fighting over the wallet.
I let out a sigh and approached the man. Seems like we ended up getting involved with yet another troublesome opponent.
“Hey, would you have a match with me? You can bet that wallet. I won’t be using Blessing or anything like that, so… What do you think?”
I said with a confident smile and presented my wallet.
The man looked me over with a wary eye before muttering under his breath.
“I’ve heard that this town is a town of beginners, but it seems like there are people like that here too.”
With that, he returned with a confident smile of his own.
“Fine, I’ll take you on. Just to be sure, I’ll check your wallet… Hey, you only have eight hundred eris! Are you all here to make fun of me!?”
After confirming the contents of my wallet, the man tossed it on the floor.
“Hey, how crude do you have to be to check my wallet right there? This is the point where you should boldly accept my challenge.”
“Seriously, couldn’t you at least read the mood a little?”
Being told that by someone who normally couldn’t read the mood at all, the man blushed.
“Screw it, I’m never letting go of this wallet. Even if you sue me, I’m never giving this wallet back! Especially not to you!”
“What should we do, Kazuma? This guy is really petty!”
“Dammit, we sure got involved with a really troublesome person…”
“I don’t want to hear that from you who dares to challenge others without any money on you!”
Just as I was racking my brains for a way to retrieve that wallet.
“… Say, would you mind having a match with me?”
Chris, who had been silently observing up till now, said.
The man gave Chris a suspicious look.
“From the looks of things, you are a Thief, right? As you can see, I’m a Thief too. That means you can use Steal, right?”
In response, the man nodded.
“In that case, how about a contest in using Steal? I have enough money, and on top of that, I have a special something too.”
Saying that, Chris motioned to the dagger hanging on her waist.
“The grand prize is this Magic Dagger. It’s worth at least four hundred thousand eris… So, do you accept?”
Saying that, she let out an unblemished smile.
As the sun began to set on the town of Axel, we made our way over to the stables where we usually spent the night.
“Seriously, you are really something. You must really have a lot of guts to challenge him while having so little in your wallet.”
“And you are up to your same underhanded tricks. I wish I could’ve captured his face when he opened his palm to find a pebble in his hand.”
Chris and I shared a laugh.
“Hey, Chris, thanks for returning my wallet to me. I don’t really have anything to repay you right now, but if you ever want to convert from the Eris Church to the Axis Cult, you can talk to me anytime.”
“Y-Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind…”
Aqua gave Chris an unblemished smile when she said that.
Seeing Aqua’s guileless expression, Chris and I shared a wry smile.
ーJust when I thought that things might actually end well today.
“Aaaaaaaah! Stop, stoooop!”
“I will not stop! Just how did you get your hands on such a thing!?”
I’ve grown tired of hearing such voices now.
I really want to go back to the stables and sleep, but they probably wouldn’t let me.
We approached the source of the voice, and of course, right there was…
“Just what are you guys doing?”
“Ah, Kazuma. And Aqua and Chris too. I’ve had my hands full for the past few hours.”
Standing right in the middle of the shopping district is Darkness, with Megumin curled up on the floor next to her hugging something close to her chest.
Surrounding them is a small squad of police officers.
“… Give me an explanation.”
“Yes, you see, a series of wonderful, no, I mean unfortunate… No, no, it’s really wonderful after all! I mean, somehow, an item that could reduce your luck just by holding it somehow found its way into Megumin’s possession.”
Saying that, she raised a palm to keep the police officers at bay while staring down at Megumin curled up at her feet.
“I’m not giving this gem up! I picked it up myself, so I should at least have ten percent ownership of this item!”
Megumin normally pays no interest in jewelry or gold and the like, but for some reason, she seems to have taken a liking to this gem.
“Enough already, hand it over! You don’t normally care about gold and money and the like, so why are you so attached to this thing all of a sudden?”
“This black lustre, this red shine, the name Demon Blood, and the rumours that this item is cursed! There is nothing else more fitting of a Crimson Demon!”
“You know that is a jewel that brings misfortune to its owner just by having it! I’ve already had my fill of unfortunate events today, so please don’t give me any more trouble!”
“That is just a superstition! I’m not so gullible!”
“You idiot, what are you saying!? You are about to be dragged off by the police, you know!?”
Despite my words, Megumin stubbornly clung onto the gem.
There are just some things that I will never understand about the Crimson Demons.
“Seriously, why do all of you do nothing but bring trouble onto me! Just which troublemaking noble ordered this item into town!?”
“Y-Y-Yeah, what a troublesome matter. Just which noble brought in this wonderful, I mean, cursed item into this town…”
Darkness averted her gaze for some reason.
“Listen, Megumin, this is your last warning. If you refuse to return the stone, I’ll have to take it back by force.”
“Oh? If you think you can do it, you’re free to try! But you best be prepared for a fierce struggle! Crimson Demons never back down from a fight… What are you doing, Kazuma? What’s with those hand movements? Wait a minute, you are doing it too, Chris?”
I thought of Eris, the goddess that’s said to be the patron of luck in this world.
“Say, Megumin, there just so happens to be two people who can use Steal here.”
“Okay, I get it, Kazuma, let’s talk first. We are companions, aren’t we? Fighting amongst ourselves would be the height of foolishness.”
Toward her, I offered a prayer from the bottom of my heart.
“What are you doing? What are the two of you doing!? You’re not serious, are you? We are in the middle of the streets! I get it, I surrender, so please, wait!”
If my luck is so good, please stop dropping such troublesome matters into my lap!