Untitled Megumin 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.]
On a certain afternoon.
“I really want to see a real mage at least once.”
After enjoying a light meal at the guild, I muttered that over a cup of tea.
As I did so, Megumin, seated opposite me, dropped her spoon along with her jaw.
“… W-What did you just say?”
“Hmm? No, I just thought I wanted to see a real mage at least once. There are a lot of people in this town who happen to be spellcasters, but they don’t quite match the image of a mage that I have.”
ーAt those words, the atmosphere in the guild changed.
“… Kazuma, are you picking a fight with the mage right in front of you? As a Crimson Demon, famed for producing many exceptional mages, I can’t let that slide… Why don’t you describe the image of a mage that you have in your mind? If there is even one person in town who fits that image, I’m going to have you apologize.”
“No, I’m not trying to pick a fight or anything. It’s just that my idea of a mage is…”
Megumin slammed on the table in protest, and some of the other adventurers in the guild nodded in agreement.
“… It’d be someone who has a high amount of pride in the value of magic and refuses to use it for trivial matters… Like using Tinder to warm up the snacks he was served while drinking, or casting Blizzard in the stables on warm nights only to get scolded in the morning for drenching the place…”
The man a few tables over casually roasting his squid over a plate, along with several other adventurers, suddenly stiffened up.
“And there’s the guy who scalded himself after throwing a fireball into the public baths after complaining that the water is too cold, and the guy who uses his instant kill spell that he’s so proud of for construction work…”
“Please stop! I’ll admit that we aren’t that great, so please don’t say anything more!”
With Megumin’s concession, and seeing some people in the guild were shifting uncomfortably in their seats, I agreed to stop elaborating there and went back to the original topic.
“Well, we’ve gotten a little off track, but I really want to see a proper mage. I mean, the mages in this town are, you know, depending on their mood, they’d blast away with offensive spells and pick a fight with muscle-bound vanguards. Mages are supposed to be more mild-mannered, calm… And wise, you know?”
“I-I’m plenty mild-mannered… Sorry, sorry! I’m sorry for blasting away with Explosion without thinking! Please stop looking at me like that!”
“… Anyway, I want to see a real mage. For instance… Does anyone here have a grimoire or something? Like someone whose actual day job is deciphering magical texts?”
At my words, the various mages who were listening closely to me suddenly averted their gaze.
“Is there not a single one!? Like researching lost magics or refining magic circle constructions or doing experiments with alchemy!? Mages are supposed to be the same as scholars, aren’t they!?… Hey, you’re burning the squid!
ーIn a dimly lit room, a hooded figure chanted in a low and heavy voice like she was reciting a forbidden spell.
“Oh, great power of the earth, waters that trace from the source of life… Red… Red… The fresh, red fruit of the devil…! Mix together with the flesh of the devil, and be transformed by the heat of my fires to what you should be!”
The robed figure raised both hands as the pot in front of her started giving out a wonderful scent.
“Thee who has been transformed into thy most appetizing form! Become my blood, my flesh, and the source of my power!”
ーMegumin said with a smile, removing her hood and ladling a scoop of frog meat stew onto a plate.
“… Say, this is just stew, right? Do you really need to do such a dubious ceremony to create it?”
“Of course. That is the power of words. By doing so, the bruised ingredients that we were able to get cheaply will be transformed into high quality food.”
“… Oh, so magic can do that too. When you said you were going to show me your wizardly side and started cooking, I had half a mind to go home… So this really was a magic ritual.”
“No, it’s just a lie. This is just a normal stew, I just said those lines during cooking for the atmosphere… Ow-ow-ow, I’m sorry, please stop!”
As I pulled on Megumin’s cheeks, I heard the footsteps of several people rushing about in the room outside.
Megumin said that she’ll show me a proper magic ritual and led me to the kitchen after borrowing it from the guild, but…
“Hey, hurry up and prepare while the Crimson Demon girl buys us time! We’re going to show that guy real magic…!”
“How do you draw a magic circle again!? Does anyone know the magic circle for summoning familiars!?”
“Crystal balls are pretty mage-like, right? Where do they sell them again?”
As the mages made a fuss out in the guild, I took a sip from Megumin’s stew.
“Sorry, I didn’t expect my careless remark to result in such an incident… This is pretty good.”
“Well, spellcasters in general tend to be a prideful bunch, so be careful in the future… Would you like seconds?”
As Megumin got me another ladle full of stew, the doors to the kitchen flew open.
“We’re done with the preparations! Now, let’s show you what a true mage is like!”
ーReally, how did it come to this?
“Heheh, now, listen to me. When you talk about mages, what comes to mind is, of courseー!”
“If you say magical girl at your age, I’m gonna smack you.”
One of the ladies, dressed in a frilly, gothic lolita-looking outfit, backed away in tears.
“… Really? I thought a mage would definitely be some old geezer, so I went out and bought a mustache…”
“I-I’ve been catching pigeons at the park so that I could make them appear from my handkerchief…!”
That isn’t magic, it’s just a trick.
ーJust as the spellcasters started raising a fuss.
“Say, what exactly is this ‘real mage’ you’re talking about? Can you tell us what kind of magic you have in mind?”
A lady dressed in a bunny girl outfit standing next to the guy with pigeons asked.
…Did I accidentally ask the spellcasters in this down to do something impossible?
Like creating a house out of gingerbread?
No, no that’s just from a fairy tale. If I raise the bar even higher than it is now, I might end up making all the candy store owners and children in this town cry.
The other thing that mages can do is…
“… Oh, yeah, fly! They can ride on a staff and fly through… Judging from your faces, that seems impossible.”
I trailed off after seeing the sullen faces looking back at me.
“… Fly. Okay. Fly. If we can fly, you’ll acknowledge us as true mages, right!?”
However, the bunny girl lady said that with determination.
The lady’s expression is firm, and I can tell there’s a strong will behind it
Just as I started feeling a little remorseful for hurting their pride like this.
As I heard that voice, I….
… Huh …
ーWhen I woke up, I was wrapped inside a thick futon and tied to a broomstick.
I don’t know exactly what happened, but a clearly nervous and fidgeting Megumin was standing in front of me, her staff at the ready.
“Ka-Kazuma… Everyone’s agreed that theoretically, it should be just within safe limits. I think it checks out, too. There’ll be people waiting for you at the landing point, ready to catch you with wind magic, so…!”
As the other mages nervously watched on, Megumin gulped and started the chant for her Explosion…
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry! You are all exceptional mages! Actually, why are you making me fly!?”