Gifting this Suspicious Incident with Aid!
Editors: Darkdhaos, Storm Loki
The restaurant of the hotel was situated on the first level.
“This city’s crisis appears to be dangerous.”
As we were enjoying a healthy and delicious breakfast, Aqua said these dumb words.
What do you mean by ‘crisis is dangerous’, can’t you speak English?
“After crying the whole night, you have been acting like this. Aren’t your body traits the most dangerous thing for this city? Don’t you dare use any other hot springs except the one that comes along with the room.”
Aqua slammed her hand on the table.
“Listen to me! I didn’t purify the hot spring because I wanted to! Even if you pour all the high quality shower foam Darkness was keeping in the bathroom into the bath water, I can purify it in an instant. It is normal for me to purify a hot spring.”
“What!? You used all the shower foam! They are luxury items I ordered from the capital!”
Aqua ignored the crying Darkness and continued.
“But this is weird, I took a really long time to purify the secret hot spring of the Axis cult. My purification power is beyond ‘amazing’… For example…”
After saying that, Aqua poke her index finger into the coffee cup I was about to drink.
The black coffee turned into clear warm water in an instant.
Aqua tilted her head slightly under everybody’s gaze.
“Right your head! What are you doing! Get me a new cup of coffee!
Aqua licked her index finger she dipped into my coffee and said to me as I placed the cup full of warm water onto the table:
“As you can see, I only need just an instant. However, it took so long that time which meant the hot spring was heavily polluted… I heard the water quality in all the hot springs were turning bad right? That means the threat my Axis cult will face is not a direct assault from the demon king army, but a strike against the Axis cult’s source of income— the hot spring!”
“Is that so, amazing!” x2
“Believe me this time okay?!”
Darkness and Megumin gave a perfunctory reply at the same time. Aqua hit the table again from frustration.
The two of them were confused by Aqua.
“Anyway, it is just the water quality of a few hot springs turning bad right? Why would you link it to the demon king army?”
“Indeed, the Axis cult is weird, does dumb things and is unpopular with people, but the demon king army won’t do something so troublesome because of that right?”
… Things were that troublesome.
Damn it, the man I met in the bath last night was definitely a minion of the demon king.
He did say something about sabotaging the cult’s hot springs.
It was good that Aqua was taking precautions, but…
What to do, should I tell everyone about this?
If I do so, it would definitely be troublesome.
If we report it to the adventurers guild in this city, they will definitely ask for our assistance.
The vacation would be ruined, and we would be forced to fight against people related to the demon king army.
My instincts told me that the two I met in the bath last night were really strong.
Bathing in the hot springs of Axis cult’s headquarter, and sabotaging them with just one person.
By considering the following, a weak adventurer who fell from a tree and died during a fight with mob monsters was no match for them.
“I will fight in order to defend this city! I hope everyone can give me a hand!”
“I need to go sightseeing, I don’t have time for this.”
“I experienced how scary Axis cultists are already, so I will pass this time. I will follow Kazuma today.”
Megumin gave a straight rejection.
“Why! Something like sightseeing can be done any other day! Megumin too, don’t hate on my devotees! Nah, Darkness…”
“Eh… I, erm, well…”
“Alright alright I will go! I will accompany alright! Don’t purify my grape juice!”
Seeing Darkness giving in to Aqua reluctantly, I remembered something.
“Hey, is Wiz still sleeping? Wiz can’t handle you at all, she will follow if you tell her to.”
“Oh, after I cried the entire night holding on to Wiz, I found her on the verge of dying because of my tears. She is recuperating on the bed right now.”
“Save Wiz first before you try to save the city! Wiz has been sleeping most of this trip because of you!”
After seeing Aqua dragging Darkness and setting off, Megumin and I thought about what to do next.
Even though we wanted to sightsee, but there wasn’t anywhere fun in this hot spring city.
If we wander aimlessly around, we will be approached in all sorts of manner to join the cult.
As I was troubled over what to do, Megumin tugged my sleeve.
“If there isn’t any good place to go, let’s head outside to cast explosion.”
“You don’t want to take a break even though we are on vacation?”
In Axel, Megumin’s daily explosion was already a fixture in the town, so there wasn’t too much problem. However, if we were to cast explosion magic inside the city, the nosey residents would definitely stir unrest.
This could be solved easily by going far enough from the city.
After I agreed to accompany her to cast explosion, Megumin sucked on her fruit juice happily.
“Good morning… Ugh, everyone is up so early…”
Appearing together with a lazy voice was Wiz whose face was exceptionally pale and devoid of life.
“Good morning, are you feeling better? I heard you almost disappeared because of Aqua.”
“Yes, I even saw my teammates from my time as an adventurer waving at me from the other side of the river, shouting ‘Don’t come over’… But I made it through in the end.”
Wiz casually said something frightening.
So this was the so called near death experience?
Even undead monsters will experience that?
“Wiz, do you have any plans for today? Megumin and I will be making a trip to the outskirts of the city.”
“I don’t have anything particular in mind… You two want to exit the city? The monsters around here are really strong alright? If you don’t mind, allow me to tag along.”
Wiz timidly made a suggestion that I like very much.
“Please do! Ara, it feels much safer being with a real arch wizard.”
“Hey, tell me why I am a ‘fake’ wizard?”
Before casting explosion, we decided to stroll inside the city since we had the chance.
We didn’t meet any Axis cultist soliciting us today.
Megumin walked happily in front with Chomusuke on her shoulder.
While looking at her back, I asked Wiz who was walking besides me:
“Nah, Wiz, when you mentioned your teammates from your time as an adventurer, I wanted to ask you why did you turn into a lich? This might sound inappropriate— but I feel Wiz is one of the very few normal people residing in Axel. Why did the famous adventurer Wiz goes against the will of god and become a lich?”
This had been bothering me for the longest time, but it was still very sudden to ask her this.
Aside from Wiz, the only other lich I met was in a dungeon.
That person said he became a lich in order to protect the one he cherished.
Wiz hesitated for a moment…
“That’s true… It is a long story, I will explain to everyone when Aqua-sama is present too.”
She said with a gentle smile.
Hmmm, since she said so, it would be better for Aqua to hear it.
I don’t know why Wiz turned into a lich, but if she was forced to do so, maybe Aqua would change her perspective of Wiz.
Let’s talk about it with Aqua present then— After I replied, Wiz giggled.
“Alright, let’s invite Vanir-san to hear it too. When I was still an adventurer, I had a deadly fight with him.”
Wah, I want to listen.
I am also curious why she befriended Vanir after that… By the way…
“Nah, how old were you when you turn into a lich, it sound like a long time ago…”
“I was about twenty.”
“No wonder, your appearance is about that age too. How long have you been like this? Eh, how old are you now?”
“Twenty, my age won’t increase after becoming a lich.”
“…? No, that…”
“I am forever twenty.”
“… Is, is that so.”
Feeling that the atmosphere was a bit heavy, I didn’t press further.
Asking a lady about her age was a taboo.
Suddenly, Megumin who was walking in front—
“By the way, I have something to ask Wiz… Aside from Wiz, are there anyone else in the demon king army who could use explosion? Erm… Do you know a big breasted onee-san who could use explosion?”
Why was she suddenly saying that?
“No, as far as I know, I am the only one who could use explosion in the demon king army. Also, it had been a long time since I visited the demon king-sama’s castle. Therefore, I am not sure about newcomers joining after that…”
“I see, that’s great…”
Megumin was relieved.
Great your head.
“Hey, what is that big breasted onee-san all about, don’t leave me hanging. Explain clearly.”
“Why you… It’s nothing important. Actually, one of the reason I visited Axel was because I heard there was a female mage that could use explosion there. It seemed like that rumour was referring to Wiz.”
“Hmmm? Then explain in detail what does it have to do with big breast?”
“At least say the whole thing, big breasted female mage. I want to be just like her. One day, we will meet again…”
“You want to be just like her… do you mean the size of your breast?”
“I will kill you.”
Megumin raised her staff to whack me on the head, but I grabbed her head to stop her.
“… Hmmm? I think I saw that person somewhere before…”
Wiz looked in the direction of the city where there was plenty of hot springs.
Following her line of sight, I saw—
“Hey Megumin, Wiz! Let’s hurry and cast the spell, then go sightseeing!”
After I saw that guy, I pulled the two of them along and left.
The guy Wiz said was familiar.
Was the man who mentioned about some conspiracy in the bath yesterday.
It was confirmed.
Since Wiz knew him, that meant he was without doubt a member of the demon king army.
Hold it, I am just a powerless person, an adventurer that was just a little bit stronger than adventurers!
Don’t involve me in troublesome matters!
“That’s true, let’s get the routine work out of the way and enjoy the tour! Wiz is here today, so I feel very safe! Just find some monsters and cast explosion at them!”
“Ahhh, Kazuma-san, don’t need to rush!… Hmmm, who was that man?”
I don’t want Wiz to meet that guy.
My instincts told me to absolutely not do that.
Maybe it was because the land in the vicinity had the blessing of water.
Once we left Alcanretia city, we could see the thick forests.
“Let’s go into the forest! There must be lots of monsters there! Let’s hurry and kill them all!”
Wiz and I warned the bloodthirsty Megumin to be careful as we followed her into the forest.
Using ‘detect enemy’, there was indeed a lot of monsters in the forest.
“Yup, there are tons of them, and they already detected our presence, so why aren’t they attacking?”
They were right there, but they don’t want to come out.
“Because we came out from Alcanretia, they are wary of us. Most of the residents there are from the Axis cult… I heard monsters tend to shy away from Axis cultist.”
Just how unpopular are those people.
“If there is any other reason… It is probably because I am here too. They instinctively avoid me who is a lich.”
Wiz said with a wry smile.
Ah, I forgot about that. Wiz was a boss(lol) of the demon king army too.
Although she was a boss(lol), but she had power befitting a boss.
When powerful beings like Beldia and Vanir came near the town, the monsters became wary.
The situation was probably the same as that time— they were afraid of Wiz.
After living in Axel for so long, the city had not been invaded by any monsters before. Maybe this was because Wiz was living there.
“Ugh… can’t be help, let’s settle this fast with one hit. I wanted to cast it in the midst of monsters and raise my level as well, but…”
Megumin said something dangerous as she started chanting explosion magic.
Huge amount of mana gathered around Megumin’s petite body instantly.
Why was she casting spells requiring so much mana so meaninglessly? Is there a screw loose in her head?
In this world, there must be plenty of ways this spell could be used.
Before I knew it, Megumin completed her preparations.
The explosion spell flew towards somewhere in the distance, and the ground trembled with a huge boom. This girl was really casual in choosing her target.
Trees were uprooted and the terrain deformed. A corner of the forest was destroyed beyond recognition.
Because of this act of violence, the birds flew away and the forest was in an uproar.
“Hmm… Let’s go back then. Kazuma, please carry me.”
The reason for this destruction was flat on the ground when she said that arrogantly.
I was thinking about leaving the thick skinned Megumin behind.
“Can’t you make things easier for me, it always turns out like this. I will share some mana with you, so walk yourself.”
I said as I gave her some mana through drain touch.
I could only spare her a little, but Megumin managed to stand up after receiving the mana.
She peeked at her adventurers card and smiled.
“Hoho, there were a few hidden kobolds who got caught in the explosion. The adventurers card said I defeated kobolds today.”
… That wasn’t good.
Thinking about it carefully, the lowest level member in the team was me.
I raised two levels from the Lizard Runners and Hawkite Runners recently. However, my level was still the lowest.
Due to the level up, I gained more skill points, should I learn offensive skills that will help me grind levels?
As I was pondering what to learn—
“… Hmmm? Something is running this way. My detect enemy skill tell me it is really fast.”
“Oh? It is coming even after hearing the sound of explosion?”
something was charging here from the depths of the forest. Even with my farsight skill, I couldn’t tell what it was in the dim forest.
… I met this fellow before.
I remembered there was a ferocious monster that coexist with herds of weak monsters such as goblins and kobolds.
Simply put, it was a sabre tooth tiger with black fur.
The nemesis of beginner adventurers, the rookie killer.
“Wiz Wiz! Quick, think of something!”
“Kazuma, use snipe, snipe! It is still far away so shoot it with snipe!”
“I left equipment like my bow in the hotel!”
“Useless, how could you be so careless! That is why your level is so low!”
“You jerk, who did you think attracted all the monsters here?! You want me to drain all your mana and leave you behind?!”
“I will take care of it, so the two of you calm down! Leave it to me, back away!”
Wiz stood in front of the two of us who were bickering.
I made some sand with create earth and prepared to support Wiz.
Megumin stuck close behind me.
… The rookie killer gradually drew closer, but Wiz showed no sign of casting any spells.
“Hey Wiz? Hey, hey—- Wiz!”
The rookie killer pounced on Wiz who stood her ground before our eyes.
Wiz was easily pressed onto the ground by the rookie killer that was as strong as a bull.
Megumin screamed while I grabbed the sand and prepared to blow it into the eyes of the rookie killer with wind magic…!
The rookie killer on top of Wiz suddenly foam at the mouth and pass out.
Wiz who got out from under it didn’t had a scratch on her. When the rookie killer pounced on her, she should had been hit by its claws…
“… Oh right, other than attacks from weapons enchanted by magic, all physical attacks against a lich are harmless. Also, lich had drain touch that absorb their opponent’s life force and cause all sorts of abnormal status effects— poison, paralysis, sleep and curse. For Wiz, she could defeat the enemy without using magic.”
Lich were strong.
The scene of her being bullied by Aqua and Vanir all seemed so fake.
“Phew… Let’s return to the city.”
Wiz sighed, dusted herself and smiled.
When we returned to the city, we found a group of people gathered on the bustling street.
“What is happening? Some kind of event?”
“This is a tourism city after all, maybe they invited some celebrities to perform and entertain the visitors.”
Megumin and I were curious and walked in that direction.
“… It is Aqua-sama. What is she doing?”
In the middle of the crowd was Aqua.
She was standing on top of a wooden crate with something like a megaphone in hand. Besides her was Darkness with her face beet red showing an embarrassed face. What were they doing?
I recalled that was a magic item that utilized wind magic. She must be up to something.
At this moment, Aqua started shouting loudly.
“My beloved Axis cultists! Right now, the demon king army are conducting destructive attacks on this city!”
Darkness lowered her head embarrassingly when she heard that.
“Their destructive attack refers to the poisoning of the city’s hot springs! I already confirmed that many of the hot springs had been hit!”
That girl, did she inspected all the hot springs this morning?
“I have never heard of that. I just bathed in that hot spring there, it seem to be fine.”
One of the audience commented.
Aqua nodded in agreement.
“That is because I purified the poison in all the hot springs. All the hot springs in the vicinity had been purified by me. However, we can’t let our guards now yet! Everyone, please don’t visit the baths before this incident is concluded!”
The people around her started wavering.
Aqua then poked Darkness who was standing beside her.
Darkness trembled, showed a face as if she was going to cry and remained silent.
An old man pulling a cart said:
“This is the city of hot springs, priest-san. If you forbid the customers from visiting the hot springs, how can we do business?”
“That’s right, and why would the demon king army poison a place like this?”
The other audiences supported him.
“They did this in order to cut off the tourism income for this city off, and crush the income source of the Axis cult! That’s right, the demon king army fears the Axis cultists! I won’t allow them to stir trouble because they are jealous of our hot springs! Please, faithful believers of the Axis cult—”
At this moment.
“Ah! So there you are! Hey, what did you do to my hot spring!? It is just warm water now!”
Probably the owner of a hot spring somewhere.
The owner glared at Aqua some distance away from the crowd.
Not just him, a group of menacing people were glaring at her.
“Ah, that’s her alright! She dares show her face around here! Hey— everyone! Grab her! She is turning the hot springs in this city into warm water, how evil!”
“Yeah, she might be a dog of the demon king army here to destroy the Axis cult!”
What an unexpected development.
She said that she will protect the hot springs, but she was the one to destroy it.
“No, wrong! There is a reason for this! Let me explain! The hot springs I purified is poisonous! I admit that some of the normal hot springs might have been purified too, but this was for the sake of everyone…”
“If it is true then tell us earlier! And even if you purify the hot springs, it is impossible to purify such a huge number of hot springs! You must have sneaked in when no one was around right! Using that chance, you drain all the hot spring water away and replace it with warm water for showering, right?!”
“That, that’s not—! Because, if others saw me perform the purification, my real identity would be exposed! That will cause a huge commotion…!!”
Ahhh, this was bad!
She will definitely say something she shouldn’t say.
“Hey Megumin, Wiz! Let’s get out of here before she notice us! We have to pretend we don’t know her, understand?!”
“Hmmm!? She already made this big mess, and you are planning to abandon her, Kazuma?! And it can only be settled if you intervene, Kazuma, hurry up and do something!”
“Aqua-sama is going to cry you know!? Kazuma-san, if this goes on…”
As I listened to their pleas, I glanced at Aqua who was some distance away.
At this moment, one of the hot springs owners shouted:
“Is rumour mongering all you could do?! The situation is really serious now! And who are you anyway!? Are you really a minion of the demon king?”
“Eh!? No I’m not! Nah, Darkness, don’t just stand there, say something! And say the lines like I told you— ‘Axis cult, Axis cult is depending on you!’ Say it, don’t be shy, go on!”
“A, Axis cult… is… depend…”
With the crowd staring at her, Darkness mumbled with her face red.
… My condolences.
“Ahhh, really! Alright, I will tell you who I am! Devoted Axis cultist! My name is Aqua. That’s right, the object of your worship, the goddess Aqua! My beloved believers! I am here in the mortal world in order to save you all!”
Aqua stood on the wooden crate as she finally said that out loud.
The audience who was just listening silently turned silent.
“… Okay, let’s go, quick! Megumin!”
“… This is bad. It might be salvageable earlier, but it’s a gone case now, let’s run!”
“Wait, wait— Kazuma-san! Megumin-san! What about Aqua-sama and Darkness-san…!”
Megumin and I decided to make our escape. Suddenly, angry voices started erupting.
“Don’t joke about this you heathen!”
“You think you can impersonate Aqua-sama just because you have blue hair and eyes?! You will receive divine retribution!”
“Death penalty! Tie her up and throw her in the lake! If she is really Aqua-sama, she won’t die even if she is thrown into the water!”
“Wahhhh! No!! I am telling the truth, I am really Aqua!!”
“Ahhh! No, don’t throw stones…! No, no…! Aqua, hide behind me quick!”
“Hey, where are the two of you going off to, Aqua-sama she…!”
Megumin and I left Aqua and Darkness who were being pelted by stones and ran away.
— We made a roundabout way back to the hotel. Aqua was already back before we returned.
She kept wailing.
I think she had been crying after coming to this city.
“A, Aqua-sama, I brought you some warm milk, take a sip and cool down…”
Wiz kept consoling Aqua who was sobbing in the middle of the girl’s room.
Darkness seemed beaten up, but her face was still flushed as she drank tea with satisfaction.
They were cursed and pelted with stones after that. However, she seemed to like this city full of weirdoes.
Let’s leave this one here too.
“That’s so cruel! I, I worked so hard for everyone! Why must I be pelted with stones by my own believers! Waaahhhh!”
“Aqua-sama, please, please calm down! Or else, I will disappear because of Aqua-sama’s aura because you are upset—!”
The hapless Wiz offered hot milk to Aqua.
Aqua looked at the milk, sniffed and said.
“… I want to drink wine.”
“You aren’t upset at all right?”
Wiz rushed downstairs to find wine. Aqua lifted her face swollen from all the crying.
“No matter what, there is definitely some sort of sabotage being conducted. Many of the hot springs I visited had been seriously contaminated. If the customers visit those baths, they will definitely fall ill.”
“Since Aqua whose only saving grace is her priestly powers said so, it must be true right? But we can’t find the culprit this way.”
”That’s true. Let’s just go to the adventurers guild and the hot springs management to make a report, we will leave the rest to them.”
Aqua grounded her teeth unwillingly.
This involved the Axis cult, therefore she wanted to resolve it through her own hands.
However, they might be the devotees she cherished, but there was no need to risk being beaten up and cursed.
“Wooo… But if this goes on, my cute believers will…”
Aqua grabbed the corner of the table tightly with her face full of tears.
There was no helping it then.
“I will give you a hand tomorrow, but I won’t participate in any fights alright? If we can find the culprit, we will hand it over to the adventurers guild to resolve it, will that be fine?”
When she heard me, Aqua’s face brimmed.
“Well then, I will wait in the hotel. Please be careful.”
The next morning.
Wiz saw us off and we head for this city’s adventurers guild.
I left Wiz behind to be our point of contact.
She will collate the intelligence and tell us if anything pops up.
Leaving Wiz in the hotel, the four of us head towards the hot springs.
“Anyway, how would we know who the culprit is? Even if we find someone suspicious, we have to catch him in the act for it to be convincing.”
I had an idea who the culprit was.
It was probably the tanned skin brown haired man I met in this hotel’s hot spring.
I haven’t seen that man or that onee-san since then.
That onee-san also said she can’t recuperate in this hot spring anymore. She has probably left the city.
In that case, only that man would be working in the dark alone…
“Hehehe, leave it to me! I already thought of a way to find the culprit! Listen, the culprit will visit several hot springs in a day. Visiting as a customer would be the least suspicious way of doing it.”
On this rare occasion with Aqua using her brain, she said arrogantly.
“We will then ask all the managers of the hot springs, and ask them which customers they had the deepest impression of— I already distributed survey forms to them…”
“You are really working hard on this…”
She really cherished her devotees. It would be great if she had this drive normally.
“I see, No matter how much someone loves the hot spring, bathing several times in one time would be suspicious. By collating the customer that frequents the most from the managers, we can lock on to the target… Right?”
The smart Megumin agreed with a nod.
“Also, If something happens to the hot spring that person frequents, it means he must be the culprit.”
Darkness was impressed.
“That’s the idea! Come, let’s collect the survey forms back.”
I hope she can maintain this attitude from now on.
I was surprised by Aqua’s efficiency once she got serious.
We split up to collect the survey forms from the managers.
And gathered in a garden, tabulating the results on a bench.
“— The results of the survey are out! The features of the most frequent customer is…”
“A woman with blue hair and eyes, wearing a light purple hagoromo.”
“So you are the culprit.”
“Wrong! Wait, I did visit a lot of hot springs, but that was to purify the water! Let’s look at the survey about the water quality turning bad, the last one to visit is the most suspicious!”
Following her directions, we compiled the features of the customer that last entered the hot spring before the water quality dropped.
“A woman with blue eyes and hair changed the hot spring water into warm water as a practical joke…”
“… Isn’t that also you.”
“Why is it like this! What is going on!? This is useless!”
“No, hold on.”
The raging Aqua was about to tear up the survey forms when Megumin stopped her.
“Look, this ‘man with tanned skin and brown hair’ was second in his visit frequency to Aqua. Does he like hot springs that much?”
Hoho, as expected of the Crimson Magic race known for their high intelligence.
“So he is the criminal as expected. He is a tall man with bulging muscles.”
I said unwittingly as I took the survey forms from Megumin…
“…Hey, wait, what do you mean by ‘as expected’, why do you know something like that? Were you secretly worried for me and investigated, even though you keep saying it is troublesome? Is Kazuma a Tsundere?”
Aqua said with eyes full of anticipation.
“No, the first day we came to this city, I met this guy by chance in the hot spring saying ‘That damn cult is finally going to be destroyed. The work in destroying the secret hot spring is complete, the progress in the other hot springs are also proceeding smoothly. Now, we just need to wait. For us who have long lifespan, waiting a decade and two is no big deal.’… Wahhh! What are you doing? Stop!”
After hearing what I said, Aqua started strangling my neck!
“Why didn’t you say so earlier! If you told me earlier, I wouldn’t need to work so hard!”
“Hey stop it! I’m here to bath in the hot spring and recuperate! Why must I be dragged into troublesome matters all the time?! Why would I plunge my head straight into trouble!”
“This man finally admitted it! Don’t you have any pride as an adventurer?! No matter how you looked at it, that is the scene of the demon king army scheming!”
“Aqua, I will hold this trash down, beat him up good!”
“Hey, wait, stop! You really want to go!? Don’t blame me for not holding back!”
“Wooo… I was ravaged… He actually fought back…”
After losing her mana from drain touch, Megumin laid on my shoulder and said grudgingly.
“What a petty man…”
Darkness whose face was covered in mud because of a combination of create earth and create water magic added tiredly.
At this point, Aqua whose hair had patches of frost due to Freeze showed a piece of paper to us.
Right now, we were in this city’s adventurers guild.
Aqua sketched a portrait that eerily resembles the real thing from the survey results and my testimony.
We were here in the adventurers guild to request for them to arrest this man.
“It is troubling to suddenly ask us to do that. We can’t arrest this person just with your one sided account. Adventurers with good reputation and is active here for a long time might be okay, but it is hard to believe some unknown adventurers we are not familiar with… At least give us some evidence…”
The receptionist at the guild looked trouble.
Aqua shifted close to this receptionist.
“Hey. Since you live in this city, you must be an Axis cultist right? Look at my face, does it look familiar?”
“…? I am not an Axis cultist… Hmmm, now that you mentioned it, I did see…? Ahh! In that shop downtown, the second most popular—!”
“Wrong! Say any more and you will receive divine retribution! I have never worked in such a dirty place before! And why is it second most popular! How infuriating!”
Hearing Aqua who took the bait after hearing some nonsense, I remembered—
Compared to this goddess(lol) who wasn’t recognized in this city full of her devotees, we have someone more famous.
“Hey Megumin, back me up.”
“Back you up? What do you want—?”
While talking to Megumin who was on my back, I shared some of my mana with her through drain touch, allowing her to stand by herself.
After letting Megumin down, I pushed Darkness to the front.
“Look closely at who this great person is! She is the daughter of the Dustiness clan, the great noble family known as the ‘beloved sword of the kingdom’— Lady Dustiness fon Lalatina! How impudent to say that she is some unknown adventurer!”
Darkness and the receptionist yelled at the same time.
Megumin who instantly knew what I was planning went to Darkness’ side.
“My lady, please show the item that proves your identity as a member of the Dustiness family for the block headed staff to see!”
“Hmmm!? E, even Megumin! Wooo… To think I will use my clan’s name for such a thing…”
She probably didn’t want to use her authority as a noble. She squirmishly took out a pendant.
That was the pendant I saw during my criminal trial.
This was probably as powerful as a master ball was to pokemons.
<TL: Jap text refers to a period drama that ends each episode by revealing an item, Inro, that reveals the identity of the hero. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mito_K%C5%8Dmon>
“This is really…! My, my apologies! We will put this man on the wanted list immediately!”
The pendent was super effective. The receptionist took the sketch from Aqua in a hurry.
“As expected of Darkness! That’s how you use the authority of a noble!”
“Ah, Aqua! Don’t say that promote negative influence so loudly!”
“— We, we have started a manhunt for that man as instructed by Lady Dustiness, we will contact your hotel if we receive any news!”
“Ah, yes, sorry for troubling you.”
As the guild staff saw us off with a bow, Darkness shrinked her body guiltily.
I added to the staff from behind Darkness.
“Ah, by the way, please charge all the necessary expenses for the manhunt to the Dustiness family.”
After preparing for the manhunt, on our way back to the hotel.
“You jerk! Jeeerrrrkkk!!”
Darkness was still angry.
“What!? I said I’m sorry already right!? Let Aqua pay for the manhunt expenses then.”
“Eh!? It’s on me!?”
“That’s not the point! My family name is not to be used so lightly…!”
“Hey Aqua. The Dustiness house has their hands full raising this pervert, so pay for the bill alright? Isn’t this for the sake of saving your cult anyways?”
“Ahhhh… Alright alright I get it, it can’t be helped. The Dustiness house has it hard huh, I will pay then.”
“Wahhh! You, what, stop it!”
I dodged the pouncing Darkness deftly and took a defensive stance.
“Really, how long are the two of you going to fight. There are people watching. Darkness, you are sort of a lady, so act like one…”
“What do you mean by ‘sort of’!? I am a proper lady! Ahhh really…!”
I shushed the resigned Darkness and said to her:
“Just like the time we fought the Destroyer, you are useless most of the time. Now that you have a chance, you should do something that befits nobility!”
“None of your business! Damn it, you have been playing me like a monkey since just now!”
“Haha, your attack is too easy to read! How would your clumsy attack ever hit me?!”
“I will kill you!”
“Stop being noisy, what are you two doing in public?!”
With a yell from Megumin, Darkness who was being bullied by me and spouting curses finally calmed down.
“Forget it, people who don’t change their attitude even after knowing I am a noble are rare.”
Darkness said with annoyance.
“Everyone always say they don’t mind, but will still be slightly afraid of me…”
She might be feeling glad for not changing our attitudes towards her even after finding out she was a noble.
“I don’t care about noble or peasants, Darkness is just Darkness, I will always treat you the same. And the Crimson Magic race doesn’t fear authority, and will treat royalty and aristocrats the same okay?”
“In the country I was from, there are plenty of people complaining about the politics. I am not concerned about status or gender. I won’t show bias towards a weird noble like you.”
“Even Kazuma… No, wait, did you say weird noble?”
Darkness grabbed the back of my collar angrily.
I didn’t answer her, turning to look at Aqua who was at the tail of the party.
“Hey Aqua, tell her what you think too, don’t let her flatter herself and be conscious about her status as a lady… Hey, what are you doing, what is that?”
I stopped. Aqua was nimbly creating something small as she was walking.
It was something like clay, I don’t know where she got it from
She was focused on making it.
“This is…? Ah, this is a fake of the pendant Darkness took out just now. Look, it looks exactly the same right? With this, I can claim to be a child of the Dustiness house, and say anything I want… Ahhhh!”
Darkness grabbed the clay from Aqua’s hand and threw it out.
“— Welcome back! Any progress?”
Wiz came out from the hotel to receive us. We reported what happened to her.
Since the guild had handed out wanted notices to the hot springs, our quest was complete.
That man won’t be able to get near the hot spring or wander around this city any more.
We just need to stick to the original plan and enjoy the hot spring in the hotel.
“We did something incredible again. But it is great that we stopped the schemes of the demon king army… Hey Darkness, you are a sheltered lady so you might not know. There is a custom among the commoners that man and woman who goes on vacation together has to visit the mixed bath once together. We will be going back tomorrow, so let’s get it done tonight.”
“!? I, I have never heard of such a strange custom!”
“I already said it is a custom of the commoners. You are a noble so there is no way you could have heard that. If you want to break the gap between you and real commoners like us, you have to follow the ritual once.”
“So, there really is such a custom…!?
“How is that possible.”
When she heard Megumin’s retort, the red faced Darkness attacked me again, and I dodge deftly again. Suddenly, someone knocked the door to the room hastily.
“Coming, who is it?”
Aqua opened the door and found the staff we met at the adventurers guild. He must have ran here and was out of breath.
“What, what happened?”
I asked that person, an ominous feeling welling in my heart.
“Terrible news! The hot springs…! Contaminated water is flowing out from the hot springs everywhere in the city…!”