Serving Divine Retribution to this Handsome chivalrous Thief!
Editors: Darkdhaos, TaintedDreams
My plan was to drag out the investigation so I could freeload in the castle.
After that night, the next morning.
“Really, will it kill you to not get involved in troublesome things? You even drag us all in. It can’t be helped, so I will assist you with this, so don’t complain about me. Really, Kazuma is so much trouble!”
“That’s right! This way, you can’t keep saying that we are troublemakers! Since you are our comrade, we’ll help you out. We won’t abandon you!!”
The two of them who did nothing but eat at the party last night said to me arrogantly.
I didn’t ask them to help me catch the thief, but after explaining the situation to them, they used this chance to put me in their debts.
The job this time was to capture the chivalrous thief, so I didn’t really need these two. However, they were really motivated to do this, so I didn’t stop them.
Right now, we had arrived at the house of the number one target that would be hit by the chivalrous thief.
“— And so, you came to my place without any hesitation?”
This was the villa of Alderp, the tyrannical lord of Axel Town.
All the nobles who got hit had a bad reputation with the people.
Judging from this, it wouldn’t be strange if this guy with terrible reputation was targeted. And so, we came here.
Alderp who came to receive us with his guards showed his displeasure, and without reservation, he looked at Darkness body with a hot gaze as if he was licking all her body.
I admit that Eroness had a really erotic body, as a guy who would look at Darkness when she finished her baths, I could empathize with him.
But staring at her body so rudely was too much.
Alderp probably noticed my gaze and glanced at me.
After throwing a cold look at me.
He then looked towards Aqua lacklusterly.
Aqua squeaked “Ekk” softly and hid behind me.
“… Oh… Oh! As expected of Lady Dustiness’ companion, how beautiful! If I am to compare… That’s right! Your beauty… is just like a goddess!”
“What do you mean by just like a goddess, I am a goddess! I am one!”
Aqua poked her head out from behind me and protested.
“Haha, not only is your beauty exemplary, your sense of humour is great too!”
“Just wait for your divine retribution!”
Despite what Aqua roared, Alderp seemed to be treating that as a joke too.
His eyes moved on to Megumin…
“Oh, you are really…”
When he was about to say something.
The male guard beside the lord whispered something to him.
I couldn’t hear it clearly as they were quite far away…
“… My Lord… Please be careful… with your words… That is the legendary girl with her screw loose…”
“… So she is…! Dangerous… screw loose…!”
The Lord’s expression changed instantly as he conversed softly.
“Hey, why did you avert your eyes away from me, explain it to me. If you are lucky, I might show you personally if I am just like what that man described.”
“No no, erm… Ohh, you look really cute and pretty…”
“Oh, what else?”
Megumin pestered Alderp, who then looked at me for help.
“… Hey, aren’t you too stingy with your praise for the one who protects Axel Town every day? I will show you how powerful my explosion spell is, let me borrow your courtyard.”
“No, I fully understand how outstanding you are!”
… I decided to not get involved for now.
“B-but Lady Dustiness, are you implying that I am a notorious noble who might be targeted by the chivalrous thief? And I thought you would be unwilling to stay in my house, but you don’t seem to be against it. By the way, it pains me that the famous Lady Dustiness would believe the rumours against me circulating in the streets. If you think I am someone that the chivalrous thief will go after, please don’t hold back and stay as long as you wish.”
Alderp said sarcastically with a smile as he tried to keep us in check.
“No, we wouldn’t suspect you that way… This is just a part of the investigation…”
I walked past Darkness who was making excuses in a panic and entered the mansion.
“We have permission to stay as long as we want! I will be taking the largest guest room!”
“That’s unfair, Kazuma! I think we should decide after discussing it! I want the room nearest to the dining hall!”
“I want the room on the highest floor! I don’t mind living in the attic!”
After we entered the mansion, Darkness said a little sheepishly:
“… My apologies, sorry for troubling you…”
“Ah, it’s fine… Erm, Lady Dustiness has it hard too…”
Alderp said sympathetically in a soft voice.
— The rumoured chivalrous thief seemed to be working alone.
He chose to only burgle the homes of nobles with a notorious reputation, and donates the loot to orphanages, a typical chivalrous thief.
And according to witnesses that somehow caught a glimpse of him, he seemed to be rather handsome.
Darkness said with a worried expression:
“What the chivalrous thief is doing is a crime and not worthy of praise. That might be so… but I still feel bad about catching the rumoured chivalrous thief…”
In the Alderp Mansion.
Everyone had gathered in the best guest room that I was occupying to discuss the strategy to deal with that chivalrous thief.
“That might be so, but stealing is still stealing. I hate handsome guys working under the fake banner of ‘friend of the weak’ and ‘saviour of peasants in trouble’ the most.”
When they heard what I said, Darkness and Megumin looked at me with a strange expression.
“… How should I put this… Your face isn’t that bad, so you don’t need to demean yourself that much. I had been wondering about this for some time, do you have some trauma with the term ‘handsome guy’? I am willing to listen if you want to vent it out alright?”
“I think Kazuma looks pretty good though. I think you need to be more confident.”
“D-don’t do that, why are you all treating me so gently? I will feel really narrow hearted so stop… What is it Aqua, you looked more serious than ever, what do you want?”
Aqua smiled gently at me.
“Thou hikkikomori who is at a lost. Don’t blame yourself too much… It is the world’s fault that thou don’t want to work hard, it is thy environment’s fault that your personality is twisted, it is thy gene’s fault for being ugly. Don’t blame thyself, just push the blame to others…”
“Don’t joke with me, my self esteem is not that low! Looks aside, my character is…! Hey, stop that, why are you all smiling wryly!? In the end, my appearance is still at the average standard! Hey… don’t come near me so gently!”
I shooed the three of them who were acting more gently than ever away, and begun formulating the plan to capture the chivalrous thief.
The chivalrous thief seemed to be working between midnight and dawn.
After coming to this world and going through all of sorts of hell, my instincts told me that this villa would be targeted next.
I had a feeling that this would be a long battle.
— The next day after moving into this mansion.
I came out of the room that I am not familiar with and started wandering around the mansion.
This was to find out the chivalrous thief’s infiltration path and target.
I observed the exterior of the mansion by putting myself in the shoes of the chivalrous thief.
Ara, the windows of the kitchen on the first floor was a little worn out.
Alderp was probably stingy about the repairs fees and only reinforced the broken window amateurishly by nailing it down.
Yup, if it was me, I would sneak in from here.
I returned to the kitchen and imagined what I would do if I was the thief that broke in through the window.
I would probably do it late at night.
The corridor would be pitch dark then.
The only ones who could learn ‘farsight’ that enables night vision would be those with archers or adventurers jobs.
Hence, the thief would only be able to move slowly in the dark by keeping to the wall…
While simulating the action of the thief and moving in, I came to a quiet room.
It might look like a room that had nothing in it, but if I was the thief, I would still go in and check it out.
I opened the door while thinking that…
“Hm? What, it’s just you. What is it, there is nothing here alright? Don’t wander around the villa like that.”
For some reasons, Alderp was here.
Just like what Alderp said, this room had nothing except a large mirror on the wall.
But what is this old man doing in such a room?
As I wondered suspiciously, I realized that Alderp was cleaning this room from the bucket and towel in his hands.
He was cleaning it personally even though he had servants…?
I thought it was strange, and then a figure appeared on the giant mirror hanging on the wall.
“Huh? What is this mirror, a magic item? Like a magic mirror?”
A maid working in this mansion appeared on the mirror.
She seemed to be cleaning the shower room next door.
Although I could see the maid, she didn’t seem to notice me.
“Old man, are you here to clean this mirror?”
When he heard that, Alderp averted his face aside and said softly:
“… Want, want to watch together…?”
“There is no way I could accept such an invitation. Really, you bought this mirror because Darkness is staying here? I could empathize with you as a man, but… Keeping this room a secret from my comrades is the best I can do. But in exchange, I will be staying in this room during our time here alright? I need to stay here as a safety measure. Get out of here, hurry.”
When he saw me chasing him off with a wave, Alderp drooped his shoulders sadly and walked out…
And suddenly stopped.
“Wait. You want this room, that means…”
“Hey, stop your baseless speculations! Don’t think that I will act the same way as you! I am just staying here to protect my comrades!”
“Then you don’t even need to stay in this room, you just need to keep an eye on me when your comrades enter the bath! You get out of here too! How can I let a brat like you see Lalatina’s naked body!”
“Too bad, I already bathed together with Darkness! That aside, I don’t want to waste my precious time watching over an old man! Not just Darkness, do you want me to tell all the maids that there is such a room!? This is a win-win deal, shut up obediently if you don’t want to be hated by all the woman living in this mansion!”
“Tell the maids all you want! I paid them a good salary, and being sexually harassed is part of the maid’s job! But they look amazing when they stripped alright? Aren’t you interested? …How about it, want to make a deal with me? For some reason, I smell the scent of a comrade from you. In such a situation, shouldn’t we guys compromise and work together for our happiness?”
“… Are, are they that amazing?”
“Of course, they are really amazing.”
I reached out my hand quietly, and when Alderp was about to shake my hand…
“What an interesting topic. Pray tell what is so amazing.”
At that moment, a familiar voice came from the door. Both of us withdrew our hands in a panic.
Before we even confirm the identity of that person, Alderp and I pointed at each other.
“This guy is planning to peek…!” x2
The magic mirror was smashed.
— Three days after we moved into the villa as guards.
The thief had yet to show up so far, and we lived a peaceful life just like we did in Axel Town.
Since they came to the capital, Aqua and Darkness had been going out frequently and I basically don’t see them around.
Aqua said she wanted to chase out the church of Eris that had been throwing their weight around the royal capital and had been performing mischief in the name of preaching her cult.
Darkness received plenty of invitations from the nobles in the capital and had to socialize with them.
In the meantime, I—
“Oh, morning Kazuma. Although it is already noon.”
I came to the dining hall after waking up and saw Megumin who was having lunch there.
“I got up late intentionally to keep watch against thieves breaking in. I am not living a depraved life… And didn’t you stay up late every night when I wasn’t around?”
“!? W-well, I did do that! But I still got up early! Instead of that, any sign of the thief!?”
Megumin who was panicking more than usual said with the bread she had bitten into in her hands.
What the hell, this was like a love comedy.
“Why are you panicking? Are you really worried about me just like what Darkness said? Isn’t that really cute?”
I teased her with a devious smile, and Megumin said with a blushing face:
“… O-of course I will worry. Kazuma is really weak after all, and always gets dragged into trouble. And unlike the protagonist in stories, you won’t be saved in the nick of time during a crisis, and might die at any time.”
“I-I don’t want to be dragged into trouble either, and I didn’t die because I want to! Hey, don’t do that, I won’t know what to do even if you put on a serious face to lecture me!”
When she saw how I was panicking because of her response, Megumin chuckled.
“Despite that, you attempted to do things to me back in my village. Kazuma, you are unexpectedly cute.”
As she said that, she smiled mischievously as if she was taking revenge on me for teasing her.
Damn it, she didn’t have any experience with love either, why was I at such a disadvantage?
And just what was with our relationship?
Just what did Megumin mean when she said she likes me?
If I interpret it literally and said ‘I like you too’, she will definitely reply ‘I don’t mean it that way, I like you as a friend…’
Such cliche development could be seen in mangas and light novels anywhere in Japan, ‘the readers would feel anxious thinking ‘the feeling is mutual between the two of them, just get together already’.
However, when you were the one in their position, it was hard to do so.
You would be afraid of damaging the good relations the two of you had and hesitate about taking the next step.
In the end, what did I like about this girl?
Boys were naive in during their youth.
Just holding hands or seeing some actions you like would make you conscious of a girl and fall for her.
Megumin finished her meal while I was thinking about all that.
“Kazuma, want to go on a date with me after you finish your breakfast?”
She said nonchalantly to me with a smile.
— Megumin’s voice echoed through the open hills of the capital.
I knew it would turn out this way!
After being invited to a ‘date’, I came to the outskirt of the capital in search of a place to cast explosion with Megumin.
“Look, that explosion just now! Be it destructive power or effective range, it is really mighty today, super strong!”
“Alright alright, explosion spells are amazing. Hey, don’t fidget so excitedly, it’s hard to piggyback you this way!”
“Even if you say that, I couldn’t see the boulder being pulverised before I…!”
After she came back from the Home of the Crimson Magic, Megumin’s passion for explosion reached new heights.
Now that her explosion had been strengthened with all her accumulated skill points, the magic power of this Loli was catastrophic for humans.
For the residents of Axel Town, the daily explosion boom was a part of the town’s scene, and no one was bothered by it anymore.
But that wasn’t the case for the capital, it seemed that people had been complaining to Alderp.
Even though she only came to the capital for just a few days, Megumin was already known throughout the city.
After I tweaked Megumin’s adventurer card in the Home of the Crimson Magic, the troubles that had been weighing her down was all gone and she didn’t know how to hold back.
Why did I do that in the Home of the Crimson Magic?
I muttered to myself with Megumin on my back.
“I should have made you learn advanced magic…”
“Did you say something I can’t just ignore!? Kazuma’s words and actions moved me so much back then!”
I fended off the grumbling Megumin on my back as we headed back to Alderp’s mansion.
— A week after we stayed in the mansion.
There were still no sign of the chivalrous thief.
“Hey! Don’t look down on the goddess of water, you can’t hide matters related to wine from me! Aren’t there high class wine in the study room!? Hurry up and bring it here!”
During this week, Aqua drank all the wine Alderp had in his collection dry.
“… And then, my explosion burst out! I pity the fool, demon king army boss Hans who was turned into dust! Next, I will tell you what I did during the fight with the demon king army boss Sylvia…”
Not just the servants in the mansion, Megumin didn’t let Alderp off either, and talked about her heroic exploits to whoever she nabbed.
“Maid-san, Maid-san! Please give me the usual massage! Ah, I want to eat white beef sukiyaki for dinner tonight. Also, when the king size bed and soft and fluffy duvet I ordered arrive, please send it to my room!”
I made myself right at home here.
Recently, everyone had been lazing around together at the reception room.
If I couldn’t go back to the castle, it might be great to keep being a bother here.
… Alderp who seemed to have gotten thinner these few days looked at us and said in a soft, tired voice.
When she heard him, Darkness who was curled up like a ball in a corner of the room shivered.
“Erm, although I did say you can stay as long as you wish…”
“You don’t need to say anymore! We will move out right away!”
Darkness lowered her face shamefully on the verge of tears.
— Midnight, when most of the world was asleep.
“Oh no… I thought this mansion would definitely be targeted…”
At the same time, it was the period when the undead and NEETs were the most active.
I couldn’t sleep because I slept too much in the day, and headed towards the kitchen because I was hungry.
But this would be difficult.
What the hell, why wasn’t the notorious Alderp with such a terrible reputation burgled?
If this went on, my plans to catch the chivalrous thief and return to the castle would…
The ambush would end right here when I leave the mansion tomorrow.
Did he saw through my ambush here?
And shouldn’t my luck be great?
Speaking of which, I heard Eris-sama was the goddess of fortune.
Maybe Eris-sama was taking revenge on me who bullied Darkness too much, since she was a devoted Eris believer?
Or maybe that chivalrous thief’s luck was better than mine…
When I reached the kitchen, I sensed that someone was here before me.
I could sense a presence, but the light in the kitchen wasn’t on.
In that case, the one who would be there at such an hour would be—
… Aqua who had better night vision than me and had a similar life cycle like I do.
If it was that girl, she was probably here for snacks to go with her wine.
I was about to call out to her…
“To not have a single sentry, am I overthinking this? To think that I had been avoiding this villa because I had a bad feeling about this place…”
I heard a soft mumbling in the darkness.
The day before leaving the mansion, I finally hit the jackpot.
Thank you very much, goddess of fortune Eris-sama!
“…? I sensed a weird presence just now…”
Ara, no good. The opponent was the chivalrous thief, he definitely had the job of a thief.
He might had detected me by using sense enemy.
I activated my hide skill unconsciously, stick close to a wall in the darkness and remained still.
“Just my imagination…?”
With the soft mumble, the infiltrator started groping around in the dark.
From the way he was moving, he didn’t seem to have night vision.
I followed behind the infiltrator and noticed something after closing the distance.
“Well then, ‘detect treasure’… Good. Hmm, so it’s this way…”
The infiltrator who kept mumbling was—
I felt a soft sensation when I grabbed the infiltrator.
That’s right, the thief was a woman.
“— Okay, keep still! Wahaha, the thief disrupting the peace in the capital, you picked the wrong opponent! You might be able to get by those mediocre people, but don’t even think you can escape from me who had fought the bosses of the demon king army directly!”
“Stop!? Wait—!? This voice, could it be…!”
What was going on? I felt that I heard the thief’s voice somewhere before.
“Is it Kazuma-kun!? By the way, wait— Hey, you are grabbing a strange place!”
“No, I am just catching a burglar… Hmm, are you…”
I couldn’t see the face with my night vision, but I realized the identity of the infiltrator.
“It’s me! I am Darkness’ good friend, I even taught you a skill before…!”
She was Chris who had concealed her mouth with a cloth.
It’s a pity, but I let go of Chris’ hands.
Using the lighter I got from Wiz’s shop, I lit a light in the darkness that revealed Chris who was holding her own body tightly with tears in her eyes.
“Ughhh… I had been violated… I can’t marry anymore…”
“It couldn’t be helped, I thought you were a thief. I don’t have a skill to capture a target. Even if you take this to court, I am confident I will win the suit.”
“I will teach you the convenient ‘bind’ skill next time…”
I observed the sobbing Chris once again.
Chris wore tight black pants and shirt, and even covered her mouth with a black cloth.
She broke in wearing such an attire, which meant…
“So Chris is the rumoured chivalrous thief huh.”
“That’s right. By the way, what are you doing here?”
After hearing my explanation, Chris’ expression stiffened.
“D-Darkness is here!? Oh no, oh no, she will be mad if she knew I am doing this!”
“It can’t be helped. Even though you are a chivalrous thief, what you are doing is still a crime. Anyway, Darkness will be on your side. If you apologize properly, you won’t lose your life at the very least. You do the crime, you pay the time.”
“Wait! You got it wrong, there is a reason for this!”
Although Chris was saying that desperately, my hands were tied too.
What I needed now was merits.
And since she was Darkness’ friend, she won’t be executed so easily.
The money stolen from the nobles were gotten through dirty means, so it would be hard to pass judgement officially.
I feel that things could be resolved under the table by using this fact.
While I was thinking that, I heard sound of people rushing over.
We made too much of a ruckus.
At this moment, Chris who had resigned herself to her fate and was sitting down on the floor meekly raised her head.
“It can’t be helped, I will tell you the truth. Darkness will understand and help me after she hears me out.”
When I saw her determined expression, I had an ominous feeling.
That’s right, this development was—
“Actually, there is a reason why I had been burglaring the nobles’ houses. That is…”
I was about to be dragged into trouble again, the same development as usual!
“Wait, stop, I don’t want to hear it! And don’t tell Darkness either!”
Chris tilted her head confusedly as I stopped her in a panic.
It would be troublesome for me if she did inform Darkness.
If the stubborn Darkness knew something big was happening, she definitely wouldn’t leave it alone.
I really want merits right now, but doing so safely with minimum risk took precedence.
After I was dragged into trouble numerous times, my instincts told me terrible things would happen if this went on.
“Don’t! Get out of here before someone else comes, I will let you go!”
I pushed Chris to the kitchen as I told her that.
“No, no, erm… Like I said, I need your help for something…”
“I don’t want to hear it! And have you thought it through!? The one rushing here is the notorious landlord known for his lechery! If he saw the captured Chris, he would…”
“I-I will retreat for now! I will find you next time to discuss that matter!”
“You don’t need to! Ah, bind me before you go! That would give me an excuse for letting the thief go!”
“I-I got it! I’m off then! ‘Bind’!”
Chris grabbed a rope and shouted, and my body was bounded just like that.
She then dashed out and disappeared into the night through the window.
“— Kazuma, are you alright!?”
The first one to reach was Darkness who was holding a lantern.
Aqua and Megumin were right behind her.
“This is…! Kazuma, you got hit by a ‘bind’!” Where did the thief that broke in go!?
“Regrettably, I let him slip away just inches from capturing him! I was too careless…!”
I roared in frustration in my bounds.
“He escaped… But that can’t be helped. After all, the opponent infiltrated the heavily guarded residence of nobles repeatedly. Instead of that, are you hurt? What kind of person was the thief?”
Darkness squatted down beside me and tried her best to undo the ropes. However, she didn’t succeed as the bind was done by a skill.
“The thief is a masked man wearing a strange mask. He is incredibly strong, probably stronger than a boss of the demon king army.”
“H-he is that strong!?”
Megumin shouted when she heard that.
At this moment, Aqua who had been quiet all this while moved to my side in a hurry.
“… Kazuma, seeing how you are tied up like a bagworm, you can’t move right?”
She squatted besides me and asked.
“It’s obvious right? I was just one step from subduing him, but I took a hit from his bind skill when my guard was down. Oh, your magic can dispel this right? Your magic can undo things like barrier correct?”
“Who do you think I am? Of course I can dispel this.”
Aqua said with a chuckle.
“As expected of Aqua, so dependable during critical moments! Free me please, it’s uncomfortable like this.”
I had a bad feeling about this and plead with Aqua with a friendlier tone than normal.
“Neh, Kazuma. This is probably not the time for this, but I want to apologize to you for something.”
“… What, just tell me.”
A really bad feeling.
“Do you know? Because you didn’t come back for a long time, I ransacked your room to kill some time. And then, I broke the figurine you were making when I played with it.”
What did this bitch do the merchandize I want to sell, I wanted to beat her up after my bounds were undone.
But the situation was to my disadvantage right now, so there was no other way.
“That, that is fine, I can just make another one. I won’t mind since you apologized so frankly. Instead of that, my bounds…”
“You forgave me? Well then, I will say the rest too! Actually, I thought that no one was using the room anyway and drank in Kazuma’s room. You know, isn’t it a hassle to clean up the bottles and snacks if you drink in your own room? And so, I broke some other things when I got drunk.”
Aqua said casually with a insincere apologetic expression.
“I am sorry❤!”
I really felt like slapping her onto the ground.
From the way she was apologizing when I couldn’t move, she was doing this on purpose.
However, I don’t know what she would do to the immobile me if I lose my temper and lash out at her.
“I-it’s okay, Aqua and I are great friends right? It is also my fault for not going back! So instead of that, hurry and do something about this bounds…”
At this moment, Darkness and Megumin shoved Aqua aside.
“Yo. I just realized…!”
“This is a really joyous situation!”
Their expression illuminated by the lantern’s light were twisted in an evil smile.
— Alderp who heard the commotion rushed into the dim kitchen with his guards.
“What’s going on! Did that thief broke in… W-what happened here!?”
And he froze after seeing my pitiful sight.
I screamed when I saw Alderp:
Darkness looked down at me and said happily from the bottom of her heart:
“Not ‘save me’! Say it! Say ‘I am very sorry for being so arrogant lately’! Say ‘I deeply regret troubling you all the time’! Say ‘I apologize humbly for shaming you’!!”
“I am sorry! Sorry for troubling you! Sorry for shaming you!!”
“I want to hear Kazuma say that line again! Quick, say that cool line from that time again! How many points? How many points is my explosion?”
“Don’t do that! The feeling is only there if you say such lines once! Don’t make me say it so many times, I will feel really embarrassed!”
“Come on, say it quick! Hurry up, don’t be shy!”
“Wahaha, it’s great to reverse the role every now and then! Next will be…!”
I cried at the man I despised deeply:
— The next morning.
We came to the castle to report yesterday’s incident.
This was the deepest part of the castle known as the audience hall.
“I see. Despite your confidence in apprehending the thief, you failed.”
Claire said sarcastically to me.
As the stand in for the King who was away on an expedition, she sat on the throne that was in the deepest part of the audience hall.
I couldn’t tell them that the chivalrous thief was an adventurer I knew, so I gave a fake account of how the thief looked.
And so, the thief was a strong bandit wearing a strange mask.
“No, it wasn’t a complete failure! If not for me, all the treasures from old man Alderp’s house would had been stolen!”
This caused an uproar among the nobles.
The content of their whispers were ‘he is no big deal after all’.
“… Hmm, let’s say that is true. Since this is Kazuma-dono who fought with the bosses of the demon king army, we won’t need to use the magic items that detect lies. That’s right, seems like that chivalrous thief is a hard opponent to beat.”
This woman was definitely doubting my words.
When she heard Claire’s belittling words, the atmosphere around Megumin who was behind me changed.
Darkness panically restrained Megumin who was planning to do something, and Iris stood up from her throne at this moment.
“Erm… No matter what, thank you for your hard work! This wasn’t a failure in capturing the chivalrous thief, but a success in preventing his theft. No one has the right to blame you!”
She clenched her fists and said with a blushed face…
While I was feeling moved by Iris’ speech, Claire said with a bitter expression.
“The generous Princess Iris have spoken. You uttered such boastful words before so many nobles but failed, normally, you should be punished. Be grateful to Her Highness Iris for her mercifulness… Since you failed to capture the thief, there is no reason for you to linger in the castle, leave at once!”
— On my way out of the audience hall, the maids and butlers showed a cold attitude towards me.
They seemed to have learned of my failure.
News of me not being a big deal had spread.
“Sigh, don’t be bothered by this incident. You have done well. Like Princess Iris said, it is true that you stopped the criminal. But we will be going back alright? No one will ask you to work for a while back in town. Aren’t you going to get a huge sum of money from that fellow Vanir soon? I think you should relax for a while.”
“Kazuma, you’ve played enough right? Let’s go back to Axel Town. Even if you don’t stay in the castle, isn’t lazing around at home in Axel fine too?”
Darkness and Megumin consoled me.
… I wasn’t that insistent about being a hikkikomori in the castle.
However, despite being a twelve year old kid, Iris who wasn’t wilful and had been holding back—
I was just concerned about Iris who had to spend her days lonelily in the castle that had no virtue other than being large and vast.
… But for me who had a large difference in status and had no important business here, what could I do for that child…
Regrettably, I couldn’t think of any feasible methods.
Looking back at the imposing castle behind, I could feel my powerlessness acutely and sighed.
“… Let’s return first…”
When they heard what I said, Darkness and Megumin showed a relieved expression.
“Neh, Kazuma, can we go back tomorrow? It’s a rare chance for us to come here, I want to buy some souvenirs back. The capital have plenty of good wine. Neh, you are very free right? Accompany me to go shopping.”
Aqua who couldn’t read the mood as usual said suddenly.
“The wine in the capital isn’t as great as the rumours made it to be. Compared to their standard, the ones in old man Mike’s shop back in Axel Town is better.”
“Who is this old man Mike? And the acquaintances you know in the town is increasing. The butcher even delivered high quality meat to the mansion some time ago, he said it was a gift for healing him.”
I was forced to shop with Aqua in the capital due to her wilfulness.
Darkness and Megumin went to search for the inn we would be staying in for tonight.
I really wish this bumbling girl could learn from Iris who was always careful not to trouble others.
“Hey, this is the first time I heard this. I don’t remember receiving any meat from you.”
“You and Megumin were out at that time. Because we hadn’t had lunch, I asked Darkness to cook it and the two of us finished it off.”
I fended off Aqua as the two of us pushed against each other with our hands clasped.
“Ara? What a coincidence to run into Aqua-sama here!”
Someone called us from behind.
The one standing there was the sword master who uses a magic sword.
It had been a long time since I met this strange fellow…
I remember his name was Matsuragi, a man who came from Japan just like I did.
He always brought two girls along with him, but seemed to be alone today.
Aqua said suspiciously:
“… W-who are you?”
She was the one who sent him here, but she seemed to have forgotten.
When Katsuragi heard what she said, he smiled happily.
“Aqua-sama, you like to joke as usual.”
However, Aqua hid behind me instinctively.
“Neh, Kazuma, who is this person? He is acting familiar…”
“Erm, it’s me? The person you bestowed a magic sword to, and was chosen to save this word. The sword master…”
“This is Katsuragi-san. We met him before, remember?”
“W-who is that! I am Mitsurugi! Can you at least remember my family name!?”
Mitsurugi roared at me with veins popping up on his head.
Aqua didn’t seemed to remember after hearing his name.
Even though we did meet during the battle with Destroyer.
“You can’t remember just by the name Mitsurugi? The one who uses the magic sword?”
Her memory was probably jolted by my words, and Aqua clapped her hands together.
Mitsurugi finally realized that Aqua wasn’t joking and really had forgotten.
“… Why. Hey, Satou Kazuma… Did you really remember my name wrongly? To confirm this, can you say my given name?”
“We are not so close that we address each other on a first name basis.”
“I am Kyoya! Just say it honestly if you can’t remember! Mitsurugi Kyoya, remember that!”
Mitsurugi who raised his voice placed a hand on his temple and shook his head.
He finally calmed down and said after exhaling.
“… Really, seems like we need to determine who is stronger. My abilities have risen since that time, I won’t lose shamefully now! Come, let’s—”
“What the hell are you talking about? We already had a match, and I won. And I won’t accept any more challenges. So let me retain my record of winning against you as a rookie adventurer.”
“… You are…”
Mitsurugi’s expression seemed a bit lonely, but I had no chance of winning if I fought someone with a high tier job possessing a magic sword head on.
“… Never mind. Instead of that— It’s good that we met here. I have something to tell both of you.”
He said so seriously.
— Aqua and I sat opposite Mitsurugi in a cafe in the city.
“Alright, back to topic… So, before that, I have something for Aqua-sama.”
Mitsurugi took something out as he said that.
It was a small box that had been wrapped beautifully.
Mitsurugi offered it before Aqua who was concentrating on folding a napkin and said:
“Aqua-sama, from what I see, you don’t normally wear jewelry right? You are charming even if you don’t wear it… But if it pleases you, please take this…”
He even said such a cliche line.
I was certain that this guy was a normalfag back in Japan too.
“…? What? A present for me?”
“Yes, please accept it. It is not expensive, so I am not sure if it would fit Aqua-sama’s taste…”
Mitsurugi replied with a refreshing smile.
He was really a handsome guy.
Which irked me.
“What happened to your two minions? Is it fine for you to flirt in such a place?”
“They are not minions, they are my important comrades! They are grinding their levels in the neighbouring country. Because if we are together, I will always be the one that defeats the most enemies. That’s why I am staying here to fend off the demon king army that would attack occasionally.”
Aqua ignored our conversation and opened the box, taking out a tiny ring from within.
No matter how I looked at it, it was a high class ring that didn’t look cheap.
Although he humbly mentioned that it was cheap, he definitely spent a lot on this.
But, did he knew Aqua’s ring size?
Just when I was wondering about that.
“…? The ring is too small, it won’t fit.”
Aqua gave up quickly after trying it on her fingers.
Mitsurugi said with a wry smile.
“This is enchanted with magic, you can adjust the size here…”
When he was about to say something.
“Kazuma, Kazuma, look here quick.”
Aqua said as she covered the ring with a napkin.
She pulled the napkin away with that sound effect.
And so, the ring that was there disappeared without a trace.
“… Amazing. This is amazing, but where did the ring go?”
Aqua replied to me:
“…? It has vanished, even I don’t know where it had gone.”
Mitsurugi made a stunned sound.
… I felt a bit sorry for him.
“Even though it was a cheap item that didn’t fit, it could be used in a performance. Thank you~”
Mitsurugi was speechless when he saw Aqua’s innocent smile.
“No, no need…! I am happy to be of help for Aqua-sama’s performance.”
Mitsurugi laughed dryly as he said that.
… My condolences.
— Aqua continued humming as she folded her napkin as if nothing had happened.
After Mitsurugi watched Aqua with gentle eyes, he turned to me.
“I will get to the point. This is something that concerns you too.”
This was the summary of what Mitsurugi said.
According to him, the first demon army king boss was dispatched to Axel Town was because the prophet in the castle of the demon king said that a bright light had descended there.
The demon king wasn’t very convinced when he dispatched Beldia.
Beldia was then defeated, and Vanir who was sent next went missing in action.
Even Sylvia who was attacking the Home of the Crimson Magic recently was subjugated.
There was a rumour circulating among the demon king army that all these incidents were done by a certain adventurer team.
And now, the demon king had turned his attention towards this adventurer team.
He might attack Axel Town which the team was using as a base, or send more minions over.
… Hey, was that team referring to us?
“But, the bright light descending on Axel Town is…”
I unconsciously turned to look at Aqua who was making something.
Mitsurugi’s gaze turned to her right after.
“… I think that was referring to Aqua-sama too. I thought in the beginning that the bright light the demon king was wary about is me… D-don’t look at me like that…”
Mitsurugi noticed that my gaze seemed to be implying ‘Ughh… what is with this laughable narcist’, and frowned unhappily.
At this moment, Aqua said to Mitsurugi—
“It’s done. For you, a gift for the ring. The theme of this work is goddess Eris transforming combination robot. The chest armour is detachable, and there are three forms it could change into.”
Aqua said something weird as she presented her folded napkin.
Mitsurugi took it from Aqua with a wry smile.
“Haha, thank you Aqua-sama. I will carefully keep…”
He said while receiving the napkin with a smile.
Mitsurugi and I glanced at it for a moment.
The folded napkin that gave the impression of Eris-sama was beyond the realm of paper folding and was a piece of art.
“… Hey Aqua, make one for me too.”
“Don’t wanna, I won’t make the same thing again. A mobile suit Jack Frost would be fine though.”
“M-make that one then.”
After taking my request, Aqua started folding the napkin silently.
Mitsurugi stood up with a smile when he saw that.
“Satou Kazuma. Before I become stronger, please protect Aqua-sama… Well then, goddess-sama, I will excuse myself. I will treasure this paper folding.”
When Aqua heard what Mitsurugi said, she raised her head with a “hmm?”
“…? Ah, goodbye… Say, Kazuma, is transforming necessary?”
“It’s necessary, please do the usual.”
Mitsurugi looked at the both of us with a slightly lonely expression.
“You and Aqua-sama really get along well with each other.”
After saying that, he bidded farewell and left.
— On the way back to the inn.
“By the way, it’s been a long time since I was addressed as goddess-sama. That Katsuragi person might be a good guy after all.”
If you really think that, you should remember his name first.
Although I was partly at fault for calling him Katsuragi in the beginning.
I pondered while watching Aqua who was saying that cheerfully.
The demon king was cautious about this ‘thing’?
… No, that’s not possible.
“By the way, what’s for dinner? Compared to Axel Town, the capital is a battle ground, so large amounts of meat from powerful monsters could be gotten here. Bringing ingredients to the restaurants in the capital seemed to be the common sense here. I heard that we can request the staff at the inn to use our ingredients to cook delicious dishes that gives plenty of experience points… I feel like eating something heavy today. Let’s get some high class meat for the inn to grill them for us.”
“I want to eat something light. I want to something to eat something together with vegetables that goes with wine.”
Although Mitsurugi said that I got along with Aqua, our opinions clashed immediately.
“Let’s have a match then. Thanks to Mitsurugi, I remembered that you are actually a goddess. I will give you a special handicap then. If you can win once against me in three rounds of rock paper scissors, I will make the dish you like.”
“Hmm? What? You are really confident, Kazuma. In that case, you might as well just listen to me straight. Let’s go! Rock scissors…!”
Together with the goddess who completely forgot how strong I was in a game of chance and lacked the ability to learn, I returned to the inn together with high quality meat.
— That night.
I woke up from my slumber in the hotel when I detected someone’s presence.
“… Get up… Hey, get up quick.”
In the darkness, a figure was looking at me as she whispered in a familiar voice.
“Waahhhh! Wait, it’s me! Neh, I’m Chris! Stop! Where are you touching, stop! Darkness! Darkness, save me ahhhh!”
After grabbing the intruder, I realized she was Chris.
“What, so it’s Chris. Hey, since you barged in so late at night, you have something you can’t let anyone else know right? Even so, why are you calling out to Darkness for help?”
“You, you jerk! Didn’t you grabbed me after confirming that it’s me!? You wouldn’t need to touch that place if you want to subdue someone right!?”
Chris was panting hard in the darkness.
I thought Darkness would rush over after hearing that scream, but no one showed any signs of waking up.
“Really, I can’t let my guard down at all… It’s really regrettable that you are the only one I could ask.”
“You came all this way to night raid a guy’s room, so why are you shouting after I touched you a little? Is this some kind of badger game!?”
“This is not a night raid! Nor a badger game!! I already told you that I would explain the reason for breaking into that mansion later! Ah, wait! Hey you, don’t pretend you didn’t hear that!!”
Chris pulled at me as I attempt to hide inside my blanket with my hands over my ears.
“Didn’t I tell you I don’t want to listen to your circumstances when we were in Alderp’s mansion!? My mood is terrible right now after parting with the Princess! Tell me next time! Specifically speaking, some time next year!”
“Why can’t I tell you now! Listen to me! There is a good reason why I broke into the homes of the nobles…!”
Chris explained to me as I continued to resist and hide in my blanket—
In this world, there were powerful equipment and magic items known as divine relics.
They were called divine relics after all, so it was not easy to obtain.
However, all the possessor of these relics had one similarity.
They all had black hair, black eyes and weird names.
“This means, normally only people with weird names like you would be able to get these items known as divine relic.”
“Don’t tell me my name is weird. As if I’m from the Crimson Magic Clan.”
My resistance didn’t work, and I heard a weird explanation from Chris as she peeled my blanket off me.
Aqua explained these divine relics to me a long time ago.
It meant those cheat like item from the ‘power you can obtain catalogue’ I was shown before coming to this world.
“However, I don’t how it came to be, but two of these lost divine relic have been bought by a certain noble.”
Simply put, if the owner of the divine relic dies, it would be left behind in this world.
One of them was an item that could summon and command monsters without needing to pay any price.
The other divine relic seemed to be able to exchange the user’s body with someone else.
Being able to summon and command monsters seemed powerful and easy to understand, but what was the person who asked for the body swapping relic thinking?
With no regards for my doubts, Chris sat on the bed with her legs swinging off the edge and said:
“Among my thieving skills, there is one that could sense the location of treasures, known as ‘detect treasure’. And so, I used that skill to search each of the noble houses in the capital.”
“You mean only notorious nobles with more money than they could ever spend would collect those rare treasures huh.”
“That’s right! But I couldn’t find the relics even after I infiltrated in. I had always wanted to do something thief like, so I swiped some of their ill gotten money when I was in!”
So this girl only became a chivalrous thief at the spur of the moment.
“After that, I sensed a powerful treasure from the mansion you were residing in and snuck in.”
“I see. Yup, I understand why you infiltrated in. But I still don’t understand why you are collecting the divine relics.”
When she heard what I said, Chris scratched the scar on her cheeks and looked a little troubled.
“The reason I’m collecting the divine relics… Eh, I just might tell you when the time comes? … And so, did you see any strange treasures in the mansion? Did the old man called Alderp used any magic item that seemed really powerful?”
Aside from the magic mirror he installed in the bathroom, there wasn’t any special magic items… By the way, might the powerful treasure you sensed be Aqua’s hagoromo? She had been boasting that her hagoromo was a divine relic or something since the beginning.”
When she heard what I said, Chris lowered her head depressedly.
“A-alright, it’s fine then… And so, there is a reason why I snuck in here.”
See, it’s here!
“Shut up, I don’t want to be dragged into troubles! And this feels like a really terrible matter!”
“Ah, hey! Don’t be such a bother and listen to me! Actually, I could sense a powerful treasure in the castle’s direction. And it is the same level as the one I felt in the villa, the presence of a powerful treasure!”
“… I think it is naturally for powerful treasures to be inside the castle… And so?”
“Well, I remember you have the night vision skill ‘farsight’! I also taught you ‘hide’ and ‘detect enemy’! Using these skills, you can sneak in together with me…”
“Don’t attempt to make me your partner in crime! I had a bad feeling about this since you told me you wanted to discuss something with me in Alderp’s villa, why would I help you!”
“Neh, don’t reject me so fast, hear me out properly! It would be terrible if I don’t recover these two divine relics!”
“Ask someone who is more hero-like than me for such an important thing! Right, there is a guy in this city called Mitsurugi! If it’s that guy, you just need to tell him ‘the world will fall into chaos if the lost divine relics falls into the wrong hands…!’ Just incite him a little and he will definitely help you!”
“So cold! I just want you to be the one to help me! Enough, I am going to wake Darkness and ask her!”
“Hey stop! Darkness is a noble, if Chris’ real identity is revealed to the nobles, she would be placed in a bad situation!”
“Alright, hurry up and go home, go home! If you don’t go, I will use the bind skill I learned after you it cast on me to tie you up and sexually harass you! I suffered so much because of that yesterday!”
“Wait!? I-I understand, I will withdraw for today! I will discuss this with you tomorrow!”
“I already told you not to come here! Bi…”
“I-I will be going now!”
After opening the window, the shrieking Chris jumped out and disappeared into the city that was on the verge of dawn.
Really, she wanted to give me even more trouble, just spare me.
Honestly speaking, where did my supposed good luck went?
The goddess of fortune Eris-sama, I will convert to the church of Eris after Axel Town if you grant me with peace.
I prayed as I hid into the blanket…
— After that, the alarm woke me up as if it was waiting for this moment.