Untitled Aqua Short Story
[Originally linked by Natsume from his blog on May 2nd, 2014, this story (and several more!) was never officially published. It might be that he dropped them, or that they didn’t make the cut (or maybe he just wanted to have fun?). In any case, this takes place around volume 4, so the status quo and character relationships are a little different from the later volumes.
Thanks to Striker for digging these up.]
“Vampire? You’re talking about a vampire? That high ranking undead monster?”
“Yeah, I heard he was living in a dungeon until a party of skilled adventurers decided to pay him a visit. Apparently, he decided to turn tail and flee to Axel. He must have used quite a bit of his power fighting with those adventurers, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he tried to regain his strength by sucking blood here. You have a skilled priest in your party, right? If someone manages to find that Vampire, they might give your party a call.”
And that’s what the adventurer told me.
It’s dusk right now.
We didn’t have anything to do today, so everyone is off all over town enjoying their day offー
“Ah, I see. Thanks for the info. The sun is about to set soon, so I’ll be careful out on the streets.”
“Well, there’s no need to worry too much about it. Vampires suck blood in order to absorb the target’s mana. There aren’t that many people with high mana in this town to begin with. At the very least, I doubt he’ll go after people like you or me.”
After saying that, the adventurer bid me goodbye and went back to join the rest of his companions at his table.
I came to this tavern to have dinner, and everyone is talking about this incident.
“Hey, two garlic-mashed frog meat sets over here, please~!”
“Stir-fry vegetables with lots of garlic, please!”
Most of the food being ordered tonight are ones with garlic in it.
It’s probably to ward off attacks from the Vampire.
Still, they’ll only target people with high mana, huh?
To put it another way, my party is one of the most likely targets for the Vampire.
Aqua and Megumin both have high mana, after all.
Aqua can handle herself against any undead creature, so she’ll probably be fine.
But Megumin… I think it would be best if I tracked her down and told her to be on her guard.
ーJust as that thought entered my mind, the door to the tavern opened.
Along with it came a boisterous voice that could be heard clearly over the hustle and bustle in the tavern.
“Zombies are nothing compared to me! You are really lucky that I happened to pass by just then! If you want to thank me, just buying me dinner tonight will be enough!”
“Y-Yes! T-Thank you very much…”
The person who entered the tavern was Aqua, accompanied by an unfamiliar woman with a pale complexion.
She had a parasol in one hand and covered her body with a black cloak, and she wore quite a bit of make-up on her face.
The best phrase to describe her would be “femme fatale.”
Aqua noticed me and walked over with the unfamiliar woman in tow.
“Kazuma, are you here for dinner too? Great timing, let’s eat together. Oh, let me introduce you. This is Carmilla-san. I found her outside town mobbed by a group of zombies and saved her from being dragged away.”
“P-P-P-P-Pleased to meet you! My name is Carmilla! I-I-I can’t thank Aqua-san enough for helping me…!”
Carmilla stammered repeatedly, and what little color was left on her face faded away.
“… Hey, Aqua, apparently, a vampire might have escaped to this town, so it’s best not to wander around too much at night.”
At my words, Carmilla trembled in shock.
“I-I-I-Is that so!? H-H-How scary! A-A vampire, huh?”
And spat those words out in a painfully false monotone.
“It’s fine. It’s just a vampire. You saw how I turned that entire horde of zombies to dust with a single Turn Undead, right? If a vampire shows up in front of me, I’ll just turn him into my experience points!”
In response to Aqua’s confident declaration, Carmilla let out a small squeal of fright.
ーNo matter how you look at it.
“Still, you must really be unlucky to be attacked by so many zombies while the sun is still up. Could a vampire’s presence really cause such a drastic change in their behaviour? Oh, right, garlic dishes are really popular in town right now. All the adventurers are eating them. A young girl like you is the perfect target for a vampire, so you should have some too, just in case.”
“Eh!? N-No, it’s fine! I’m concerned about my breath, so…”
“Now is not the time to be worrying about bad breath. Kazuma is right, you should have some garlic to ward off vampires! Or what, is there some other reason why you can’t eat garlic…?”
“No, of course not! I’ll have some! I’ll gladly have some garlic!”
As Aqua started staring her down, Carmilla hastily agreed.
Judging from her reaction and when she showed up, she’s definitely the Vampire that everyone’s talking about.
ーCarmilla, tearfully, and with an expression that seemed like she was struggling not to puke, brought a spoonful of the garlic-sprinkled dish we ordered to her mouth.
The adventurers around me were giving her curious glances.
It seems like I’m not the only one who thinks that Carmilla looks like a vampire.
The only reason no one said it out loud is because no one particularly liked the idea of fighting a powerful undead inside a tavern.
And of course, there’s Aqua, who, completely oblivious to any of this, and heaped a large spoonful of mashed garlic from her salad onto Carmilla’s plate.
Carmilla shot up in panic at the sudden increase in garlic.
“You seem to like garlic to the point of tears, so I’ll give you some of mine. Don’t hold back, just dig in.”
Aqua gave her a wide smile.
“T-Thanff youff… vefy muff…!”
As Carmilla sobbed, Aqua leaned in close and whispered to her lowly.
“I’ll give you something to ward away the undead. You seem to be really attractive to zombies, so this should be useful to you. Here, hold out your hand.”
“Hmm? What is thaaaaaーー!
The moment Aqua dropped something into Carmilla’s hand, it began smoking, causing Carmilla to roll around on the floor in pain.
“That’s the holy charm of the Axis Cult that I poured a lot of my holy mana into. It’ll be very effective against the undead, so keep it on you… Hey, what’s wrong? Why is smoking coming out of your hand?”
“Aaaaarrggh, t-this is, I-I-I’m allergic to this kind of metal! Thank you very much! I’ll treasure it!”
Carmilla carefully picked up the holy charm pressed into her hand with a pair of chopsticks, warily wrapped it in a handkerchief, and stuffed it in her pocket.
Aqua took Carmilla’s smoking hand and gently placed her other palm over it.
“Sorry, I didn’t know you were allergic to metal. Don’t worry, I’m an Archpriest! I’ll heal you right now! Heal!”
“Aaaaaaaa… Tttttthank you, veeeeeeery muuuuuch!”
Carmilla quickly pulled her hand out of Aqua’s grasp the moment she started casting a spell.
“Hmm? It felt like your hand just disappeared when I casted my healing spell on it…”
“T-That’s just your imagination! Thank you very much, I feel much better now! I’ve already paid for your meal, so I don’t want to overstay my welcome…”
Carmilla quickly spat out those words before standing up and making for the door.
“Yeah, I’m getting bored of teasing you like this. I suppose it’s time to properly purify you.”
“Y-You knew who Carmilla was all along!? So all that stuff was you putting on an act?”
“Of course! Just who do you think I am? I could tell she was an undead the moment I laid eyes on her.”
This woman is atrocious!
“P-P-Please spare me! I-I haven’t hurt anyone yet, so please let me go!”
“No way! Undead are my enemies! So make peace with… Ah, wait, Kazuma? What are you doing!? Don’t get in my way!”
I grabbed Aqua from behind and shouted at the teary eyed and trembling Carmilla.
“Run! I’ll let you off on account of you not having hurt anyone yet, so hurry up and run!”
“T-Thank you very much! I owe you for this!”
“Aaaah! Traitor! Kazuma you traitor!”
Carmilla hastily left the tavern, and Aqua managed to slip from my grip after a short period of thrashing around and went after her.
“Hold it right there! You’ll become my experience points!”
“P-Please let me go!”
With Aqua hot on her heels, Carmilla vanished into the night.
This is a world where even vampires have a hard time surviving.
If there really is a goddess, please give your blessings upon this harsh worldー