Gifting the Slacking Adventurers with Growth!
Editors: Deus Ex-Machina, yuNS
Aqua sat on the rug with her arms around her knees as she looked at me.
Why was this girl staring at me intently since morning?
From my relationship with Megumin and Darkness, this was my period of popularity, did this one fell for me too?
Could this be the eyes of a woman who likes a man?
I laid on the couch lazily and said to Aqua:
“… Why are you staring at me. Ah, you want this? You want to drink too?”
I said as I drank the entire champagne-like thing in my hand.
I wasn’t sure if I should describe it as fizzy or bubbly, the taste was weird.
According to Aqua, this wine was rather good, but I had no idea how since I didn’t know how to appreciate wine.
That might be so, but getting to drink such expensive wine in the morning was a privilege of the winners in life.
Aqua who was staring at me said:
“… After the festival ended, Kazuma has become a bum on an amazing level.”
Ara, so those weren’t eyes of admiration, but the gaze of someone looking at a bum.
But the me right now won’t waver or get angry because of something she said.
This was the magnanimity of a man who owns a huge mansion and made enough money to play an entire lifetime at such a young age.
“Hey Aqua, what are you talking about. I am a successful man okay? What’s wrong with living a life that befits my station? I have so much money in the bank that I can live off just the interest alone alright? Doing work is stupid. I will go adventuring when I am in the mood, and just play the rest of the time.”
After listening to what I said, Aqua mumbled ‘Oh I see’.
She then picked up the champagne I placed on the table.
“What you said seemed to be true. I will have some high class Neroid too.”
“… Isn’t that champagne?”
“It’s Neroid. There are no carbonic acid in this world. Basically, all carbonated beverages have Neroid mixed in.”
Aqua said as she went to fetch a glass.
Darkness and Megumin came over next.
… They were all dressed up and ready to go adventuring.
Darkness wore her full armour and Megumin held her usual staff.
When I saw this.
“Doing your daily explosion? Be careful on your trip. By the way, can you buy dinner on the way back? I will give you the money after. I want something fried tonight.”
I said to them while I laid on the couch.
Megumin and Darkness stared at me.
That’s the eyes of someone looking at a guy they love.
“… Darkness, what should we do about this man who is drinking wine idly so early in the morning?”
“… Let’s find a place and throw him out.”
… Guess I was wrong again.
Those were gaze of someone looking at a guy they no longer love.
“You people are really… I will make this clear, I don’t need to work anymore. Why do people work? To make money right? But I have secured enough wealth to splurge my entire life. Then what’s wrong with indulging myself for the rest of my life? I am not bothering anyone.”
I said as I snacked on the peas that goes with the wine.
Darkness sighed deeply.
“How pitiful… Not working because you have money? If everyone thought that way, the world wouldn’t function properly. Even if you have enough money to mooch off for your entire life, it is your obligation as a person to contribute to the world.”
I mumbled to Darkness who said those grand words:
“You nobles spend your days in the same way too.”
“I-Insolent! Don’t look down on nobles! You might think we are not doing anything, but the nobles are giving their all so the people can live peacefully. You have the power to do something for the citizens too right? Don’t just think about the money, how about doing it for the people you love. Even just defeating monsters that are a threat to humanity would be better than idling here…”
I turned my back to Darkness who was saying such grand things and buried my face into the back of the couch.
Darkness shouted when she saw that, but I ignored her.
In her long aristocratic life, this was probably the first time she was treated this way in the middle of a passionate speech.
My name is Satou Kazuma.
A man who will not bend before authority.
When Darkness who was part of the authoritative class told me to work, it was my obligation to resist defiantly.
Darkness was probably infuriated by my attitude and took large strides my way.
She then pulled the back of my shirt.
“Kazuma, enough talk, let’s go. Your skills will dull if you laze around every day. Let’s go together and… T-This guy! Hey, let go! Stop resisting!”
Darkness was serious about dragging me out as I grabbed onto the couch tightly…!
At this moment, Megumin stopped her.
“It’s fine Darkness, leave it to me… Kazuma, do show us your energetic side some times. Can you let me see your cool and reliable face during a crucial moment?
Megumin squatted beside me as I was grabbing on to the couch, and smiled gently.
I glanced at her.
Then turned my head to the couch again and grabbed on.
Megumin uttered a sound as if she suffered a heavy blow.
My name is Satou Kazuma.
A man who will not lose sight of the true nature of things because of a moment of impulse.
I won’t give in so easily, even if it was Megumin where things has been progressing nicely.
My schedule for the day is very tight. For example, I will drink until I’m slightly dizzy and sleep until evening, then go walk around at night after dinner.
I held on to the couch tightly and looked at the two of them in such a position.
“… Monsters are a threat to humans so we subjugate them when they are discovered, but those that are beneficial to us are left alone. I hate such an arrogant way of thinking. Human are intelligent beings. We can treat them in a gentler manner. I hope you two can remember the kindness you have when you were a child too.”
After telling the two of them that, I picked up a pea and popped it into my mouth, then turned to the back of the couch again…
“W-When you were deep in debts, you were also looking for high bounty monsters with bloodshot eyes!? Don’t just spout pretty words during such moments!”
“That’s right! Recently, you are so keen on buying the high class food Onion Ducks because they could raise your levels without any effort, and you dare say this now!? Darkness, you pull that side! Let’s pry him away!”
Darkness grabbed my legs while Megumin stuck closely to my back and grabbed my waist in an attempt to peel me off the couch.
I felt the body warmth of Megumin on my back and said:
“Hey, stick your chest closer to my back. If you do that, my hands that are holding on to the couch might loosen a little.”
“You are the worst! This guy is really the worst! Darkness, let’s tie him up and drag him to the guild!”
“H-How about we really find a place and dump this guy there…?”
The two of them said as they attempted to pry me away from the couch.
At this moment, Aqua came over with a tray in hand, with an empty glass, simple snacks and something like a lime on it.
“… Is this a new game? Tell me the rules.”
“That’s not it! We are talking about taking on a subjugation quest together. But Kazuma is throwing a fit and says he is not going… And Aqua, don’t get poisoned by this man too…”
Darkness showed a troubled expression when she saw the tray that Aqua was holding.
… Saying I am poisonous is rude. Or rather, Aqua has always been like this.
Aqua tilted her head, then picked the lime on the tray and popped it into her mouth. She showed a really sour face.
“Is that so? I don’t mind going, but I think it would be really difficult to drag Kazuma out of the mansion, who is in his scum hikkikorimori mode after the festival ended. How about leaving the Kazuma who is the weakest and has the worst job at home, and go by ourselves?”
——She said something I couldn’t ignore.
I jumped up because of Aqua’s unintentional words.
“… Hey, you have guts to say that, Aqua-san who has a top tier job. Think about it logically, I am the strongest one in the team. You are still saying I have the weakest job? Even though it is meaningless to compare who is strong and who is weak as we perform different functions in the team, but it still irks me when the weakest top tier job holder says that about me.”
I turned around and decided to make this point clear.
Aqua was making a very sour face, but she still popped a second lime into her mouth.
“Ara, so Kazuma, you think you are the strongest one here? Your skills might be convenient, and can take down people like Darkness easily with Drain Touch… But have you forgotten? A lich skill like Drain Touch will only work if I am not paying attention. You really think you can do anything to me?”
“Hey wait, I am not that weak. In order to defend against Drain Touch and magic attacks, I strengthened my resistance against abnormal status and increased my magical defence…”
Aqua who had a lime in her mouth said such provocative words.
I would be an idiot if I fall for her taunt.
It might be moronic, but I still need to settle this.
“Hey Aqua, you think I am a man with just one weapon, Drain Touch? She might be tough, but a mob character like Darkness whose attack can’t hit is no match for me anyway. I am the great Kazuma who can use all kinds of skills okay? I have all sorts of spells and skills, including long distance sniping and close quarter sword attacks. You think you stand a chance?”
“Hey! Even if I can’t hit anything, I am confident of my stamina and endurance! If I drag out the battle, I won’t lose to you…!”
Aqua’s twitched her brow when she heard me.
She then placed the tray on her hand onto the table.
“Ara ara, looks like you are misunderstanding something, Kazuma-san. My job might be an arch priest, but with my high stats, I can take on any jobs I wish except for mages okay? You can use swords a little? Use bows a little? If I cast support magic on myself and fought hand to hand with you, Kazuma won’t even last a minute okay? Ah, also…”
Aqua flicked her long blue hair and continued confidently:
“I remember you learned something like bind right? Regrettably, only people on Darkness’ standard would be caught by that skill. I have a spell called ‘break spell’ that can negate all magic and skills. I have spent a long time with you Kazuma, you think your little tricks would work on me?”
“Hey… It’s true that I can’t move if I get hit by bind. However… By the way, if you can do that Aqua, shouldn’t you have use that spell when I was bounded earlier…”
I said unhesitantly to Aqua who was showing a fearless smile.
“… Alright, let’s have a match.”
In the corner of my eyes, Megumin was patting the shoulders of Darkness whose face had turned red and has become depressed.
The Adventurer Guild I had not visited for so long.
How long had it been?
I saw a few familiar faces, and they waved at me when they saw me.
I walked pass the blonde delinquent who laid drunkenly on the table in broad daylight, and headed for the notice board where the requests were pasted.
Aqua who was beside me stared at the notice board, searching for a prey suitable for our match.
We couldn’t just fight like that, so we decided to compete to see who could hunt more monsters.
Megumin was the judge.
It was a bit hard for Aqua who didn’t have a weapon to fight monsters bare handed, so a Darkness was given to her.
Darkness who was given as a complementary gift was about to cry.
As it was a match of numbers, it was better to choose monsters that were great in numbers.
As it wasn’t their breeding period yet, toads doesn’t surface often, and would be subjugated in no time if they did.
In that case, a suitable quest would be…
At this moment, I heard Aqua mumbled:
“… Subjugating a pair of Manticore. A request to repel a subtype of wyvern building its nest on a rocky mountain… They all lack impact…”
Looks like i have to be the one to decide the quest.
… And then, I saw a notice.
‘Subjugation of rookie killer and goblins’
—— Rookie Killer, a monster had some fate with us.
It was said that only those who defeat this strong enemy could be called mid level adventurers, an adversary that gave me a hard fight in the past.
But our levels were no longer that of a rookie.
And we fought enemies stronger than rookie killers several times.
This was a revenge match.
I was already a veteran adventurer, but I have yet to defeat this fellow.
I tore down the notice and showed it to them.
The three of them frowned immediately with reluctance.
They probably had a deep psychological trauma because of it.
When they joined another team, it took them everything they had to escape from this monster.
“This thing will use a weak group of monsters as bait to lure in rookie adventurers right? We will compete and see who can kill the most number of goblins that is protected by this thing. Also… the one who defeats the rookie killer will win huge bonus points alright? We are already veterans… How about we show it who is boss?”
After hearing what I said.
The three of them smiled confidently this time.
—— The place where the rookie killer was sighted.
It was a forest that was rather far from town.
A zone where there wasn’t enough trees to call it a forest, a group of armed demi-humans seemed to be there —— goblins.
A Rookie Killer seemed to be around the area protecting them.
The sly monster that uses the weak goblin that gives high bounty as bait for rookie adventurers doesn’t seem to be around.
“The goblins are here! I can kill an enemy of this level in a second with my God Blow!”
As Aqua said, these goblins are digging at the roots of the trees to unearth yam like things, or hitting the fruits hanging on the trees as they forage for food.
Goblins which were the mascot character for monsters were performing such actions.
We hid in the shade of the trees to observe them, and slowly close in on them.
But there were only three goblins.
I said to the confident Aqua beside me.
“Weren’t you helpless against the toads in the past?”
“The rubbery stomach of the toads can absorb impact. Everything in this world has compatibility you know? Kazuma, you don’t even know that? Are you stupid?”
I pulled Aqua’s cheek and made her show a face on the verge of tears.
The goblins seemed to have noticed us.
Damn it, it’s all because of the noise from doing dumb things.
Two of the goblins looked fearful when they saw us fully armed, but still took a stance.
The remaining goblin let loose a piercing scream.
It’s better to finish them before the rookie killer showed up.
As I was thinking about that——
“Alright. Goblin subjugation, begin!”
Megumin gave the signal and move a distance away from us.
“Watch carefully Kazuma! It’s just three goblins, I will finish them off easily!”
Aqua rambled noisily as she charged into the goblins excitedly.
Her body was glowing faintly, probably because she casted some support spells on herself.
Darkness chased after Aqua in her heavy gear, her armour clanking loudly.
I watched them go casually, then raise my bow…!
I sniped the head of the goblin that was about to attack Aqua.
As Aqua and Darkness were stunned…!
I was 20 meters away from the goblins.
From this distance, I couldn’t miss if I use my sniping skill.
Aqua and Darkness charged first, but I finished off the three goblins before them.
“Hey Kazuma! What is the meaning of this, killing the goblins I was about to kill!?”
Aqua started harassing me.
“If I kill off the monsters you laid your eyes on first, I will never lose.”
Aqua and Darkness yelled at the same time.
—— Dashing through the trees.
“Ah wait! I saw a shadow there! You can’t escape from my eyes, Kazuma!”
I listened to the voice behind me.
“Stealing my prey every time! How annoying! Come out and fight properly!”
As I searched aimlessly in the forest.
The score right now was me 8, my opponent 0.
I hid behind them with Hide and stole their kills happily. The two of them drew in the goblins while I Sniped from a safe spot.
I adopted a perfect tactic, but my two opponents got mad for unknown reasons, and were chasing me around in circles.
Resorting to violence just because they couldn’t win, how despicable.
I couldn’t shake Darkness who was wearing heavy armour off my tail. She was probably strengthened by Aqua’s support spell.
It didn’t feel much usually, but it was troublesome when support spells were casted on the enemy.
As I escaped using my Hide skills, I spilled water on the floor with magic, and froze them.
I then turned off my hide for a moment.
This might be a primitive trap, but…
“Ah, I found you Kazuma! You are just standing there motionlessly, brace yourself…. Uwah!”
“T-There you are Kazuma! Hah… Hah… I-I will get my revenge today!”
I said to the two who slipped on the ice and fell hard ——
“Serves you right ahhh!”
I mocked them loudly, and Aqua jumped up fiercely when she heard that.
“Darkness, let’s surround this man! Beat him up! Surround him and give him a good beating!”
After hearing Aqua’s words, Darkness got up clumsily from the frozen ground.
“… We chased so hard but is getting hit one sidedly… It is vexing but… I think it’s not bad too. Am I weird…”
Yes you are.
“… Really, what are you all doing. Don’t forget about hunting goblins.”
When I heard what Megumin said, I activated my detect enemy skill and scanned for goblins in the vicinity…
“So you are not running any more, Kazuma. Anyway, apologize. I will think about how to punish you later, you Hikkikorimori dog!”
“Wait, we are surrounded.”
That was expected.
After all, we had been yelling as we chased each other for so long, that was like advertising to them ‘please attack us’.
After hearing what I said, Aqua and Darkness seemed to realize this wasn’t the time to play around.
I could see goblins between the trees.
There were more than ten, not a number I could handle by myself.
On top of that…
The goblins surrounded us from afar.
A black beast seemed to be announcing that it was their protector as it walked towards us from the middle of the goblins with lots of swagger.
—— Rookie Killer.
We will defeat this thing that has some history with us and become veteran adventurers glamorously.
Even though we were in the midst of quarreling, our thoughts were in sync.
Darkness went in front to pull all the aggro to herself.
She took position at the most prominent position, and used her ‘Decoy’ skill, turning herself into bait.
“Alright Kazuma, I will reluctantly cast buffing spells on you.”
Aqua said as she cast magic onto me.
My body emitted light immediately, and I could feel my physical abilities increasing.
Alright, this would work.
Darkness was on defence, Aqua took care of healing.
And I was responsible for dealing damage.
Each of us had our own job.
There was no need to decide who was the strongest.
I should reflect on on this for letting the heat get to my head.
I nocked an arrow onto my bow and stood to the back right of Darkness.
“Don’t worry, I won’t misfire onto your back. I will be counting on you, Darkness.”
“I am the one counting on you. I won’t let any of them pass, I will leave the attacking to you.”
Darkness stabbed her great sword onto the ground, using it to steady her footing and face forward, saying all that without turning back.
Just looking at that reliable back made me feel that it wouldn’t be a problem no matter what kind of powerful enemy assault us.
“I will heal if you are hurt Darkness, so don’t worry! Go, we will definitely take out that beast this time!”
Aqua who retreated to the back left of Darkness puffed her chest out as if she was saying ‘this formation is invincible’.
I turned to Megumin and said:
“Hey Megumin. You said at the mansion earlier that you want to see my amazing performance, and my cool side during crucial moments right? I will show it to you, if we work together, no matter who the enemy…”
With a loud boom, the shock wave radiated out to the surroundings.
Before I finished my cool lines, she abruptly unleashed her spell. That overly brutal violence wasn’t satisfied with just pulling the goblins and the rookie killers in.
Darkness who was at the fore of the formation was blown away despite her heavy armour and sticking her sword onto the ground to stabilize herself.
Even me who was behind her couldn’t do anything about the shockwave and was pressed onto the ground.
… Lying facedown to the ground, I lifted my head and looked towards the miserable sights.
The goblins and Rookie Killer were gone.
Darkness probably hit her head when she was blown away, and was motionless on the ground with her eye whites showing.
“Bleh… bleh… my mouth is full of sand…”
Aqua who was lying prone next to me whimpered.
And beside me, the mastermind who created all this mess was lying on her back.
The culprit said without remorse:
“I couldn’t resist the instinct of the Crimson Magic of stealing the limelight. Now, it is confirmed that I am the strongest in the team right?”
“Why you! I was thinking that you were really docile recently, then you pull this stunt! Aren’t you the judge!?”
In one of the days where we were spending our time as usual.
The morning rays shone through the window, and the dust in the air sparkled.
“It’s a rare sight seeing you up at such an hour. What’s the occasion? Going on a quest?”
In this refreshing morning, Darkness was holding a book as she drank tea at the dining table. She sounded surprised as I descended the stairs to the living room.
“I just haven’t slept yet. It’s hot nowadays after all. During such times, it would be best if I made the room really cold and sleep until evening.”
“I-Is that so. It’s great that you are the same as usual. By the way, it is the same as the time you went to that mission, recently, you didn’t do any maintenance of your weapons and armour at all. You have lost the bearing of an adventurer completely.”
To be frank, I think I was looking less like an adventurer as the days passed.
“Personally, I think it’s fine even if I retire. The next step would be working as a merchant of sorts, living an easy life from the margins I make in business.”
“Will it kill you to not utter nonsense periodically? I have never heard of anyone retire from adventuring in their teens without taking an arrow to the knee.”
Megumin who was sipping on her after meal tea said resignedly.
Ignoring what she said, I pulled out the newspaper sticking out from the mailbox at the entrance.
“Whatever. In the end, an accomplished adventurer like me will read the newspaper and take note of world events while recharging my batteries, this is for the good of the town.”
I sat on the couch and flipped the newspaper open as I said that——
“Hey Kazuma, let me read it first. I just want to read the comics. I am curious what happened to Jack Frost who was chasing after the abducted snow fairies in the last issue.”
“Wait, I am curious about that comic too. I came downstairs just for that, alright?”
Megumin was dumbstruck as she watch Aqua and I fighting over the comics, as if she had something to say.
At this moment, I saw a piece of news.
“‘The Demon King Army Boss moved to the frontlines, the battle is intensifying. The capital is in danger’ ——? Hey, that’s dangerous. Will my sister Iris be okay?”
“Don’t treat Princess Iris as your sister, you impudent fool! —— Crisis in the capital? Let me read that.”
I handed the newspaper to Darkness, who read it with an expression more serious than ever before.
“It seemed the forward fortress near the capital is being attacked by a Boss of the Demon King Army. The paper says that the Boss is an evil god that can use terrible spells.”
Megumin stood up when she heard Darkness’ words.
“What’s the matter Megumin? …. Ahh, the term evil god must have tugged your heart strings. After all, you did say something stupid about you being an evil god in your past life.”
“I am probably an evil god in my previous life but that’s not what I want to talk about! It’s that I probably know that evil god…”
Right then, Aqua who snatched the newspaper from Darkness to read the comics frowned unhappily.
“I don’t know what this evil god is, but anyone proclaiming to be a god will receive divine retribution.”
“Aren’t you proclaiming to be a goddess too?”
As I took on Aqua who threw the papers my way and pounced on me, Megumin picked up the newspaper and said softly:
“The Demon King Army Boss who changed the battle drastically, evil god Wolbach——”
The next morning.
During the cool night, when I was about to snuck into my blanket and sleep, someone who disturbed my blissful time came.
“Kazuma, are you awake? The sun just rose, so you should be right? Come, let’s go to the capital together Kazuma! It’s now time for us to make an appearance!”
Megumin who was in high spirits early in the morning opened my door.
I poked my head out of the blanket and said:
“… Are you acting up again? Just having a weird name and acting weirdly are enough. What do you want to do in the capital? I’m not bragging, but it will be terrible if I go to the capital. I can’t say why, but if I can go to the capital, I would have moved there already and be near my sister.”
“You are talking nonsense about your sister or something… No, forget about that. That’s right, this concerns your sister Iris! If this goes on, she will be in danger! Kazuma, is this the extent of your love for your sister!?”
When I heard Megumin saying such unexpected passionate words, I couldn’t help sitting up.
“I thought your relationship with Iris is bad, but that’s not actually true is it? You are talking about the news on the papers yesterday huh. I will be lying if I say I am not worried about Iris, but the opponent is a Boss. Even if I go…”
And it’s an evil god on top of that.
It’s nothing like the Bosses we fought so far, and have the feeling of being a final Boss.
I knew the capability of that person proclaiming to be a goddess, so it might not be a big deal.
When she heard what I said, Megumin said something unrealistic with ragged breath:
“I am very bothered by the Boss of the Demon King Army known as an evil god. You see, didn’t I told you about Chomusuke’s true identity last time? I think Chomusuke is that evil god, although that’s just my gut feeling.”
“I just saw that evil god of yours being chased around by a chick.”
Megumin said with a serious expression to me who completely refused to believe her:
“I am not asking you to fight with the Demon King Army Boss, Kazuma. Please, I need to resolve this, so you just need to accompany me and stay by my side.”
“Absolutely not, why must I go to such a dangerous place? Do you really understand? Just being in the frontlines is dangerous, and on top of that, the enemy is the evil god? It’s not something like the slime or undead we faced alright? Evil god is in the realm of final bosses.”
In response to my immediate answers——
“… I know, I already know Kazuma will say that. We did spend so much time together after all. I already understand this very well before we took the Rookie Killer quest.”
Megumin’s cheek blushed a little and she looked at me who was sitting on my bed.
“Really, it can’t be helped, how about this. If Kazuma comes with me… Erm, when everything is settled, I will spend a night in your room…”
After she said that in a barely audible voice, she pulled down her hat to cover her face shyly.
“Alright alright. I want to sleep now, we can discuss this tomorrow.”
Maybe she was really confident, my reply hit her really hard and her face was stiff.
My answer was probably out of her expectation, and Megumin started panicking.
“W-Wait. I just said something incredible with really deep resolve.”
“… How many times did you think I had been fooled? You think that I am that easy to tackle? Just like Darkness who wanted me to fight a high bounty monster with just a kiss, you all overestimate yourselves too much.”
Megumin’s expression turned stiff with surprise.
“Don’t think I am a normal virgin in puberty. You two might have the looks, but your personality are a huge minus. If you are aware of that, then you should provide better service.”
After what happened recently that night, I won’t be fooled again.
After hearing my firm reply, Megumin started trembling.
“What, you are still holding a grudge about that night!? Even though Kazuma was so eager recently when I flirt with you a little, and you are putting on a strong front now!”
“I-I-I’m not that eager you are just imagining it! When did I ever say I that I have a thing for you!?”
Men were creatures that would fall for the other party when they see the girls express interest in themselves.
That’s right, that was the condition I was recently.
I was almost tricked, but I am not such a simple man.
She was just part of the regrettable girl series who only got looks.
“You are really the worst! What do you mean by that!? Did you plan to spend the night with a girl you don’t like in the slightest!? You were so excited back then!”
“T-T-That’s not it moron, I thought there would be some kind of trick back then and never expected anything from the start, don’t think too highly of yourself you Loli!”
Megumin became agitated and pounced on me!
—— After Megumin and I strangled each other for a while, my head was completely clear and I gave up on sleeping, opting to lie on the couch to read the papers today.
“Kyouya Mitsurugi is number three in the adventurers ranking? What kind of joke is this, that trash is ranked so high but I am unranked! Which news company published this, I want to protest!”
Darkness who was cuddling Emperor Zell together with Aqua showed a taunting smile and said to me who was raging about being unranked:
“That’s the ranking for adventurers who are active in the capital, it’s impossible for someone like you who shut himself in this town to make it. The only way to make the rankings is to be active in the frontlines alright? How about going there to help? I am bored with all the paperworks I had to do recently, and don’t mind coming along okay?”
Seems like this girl was in cahoots with Megumin.
After Darkness made her obvious taunts ——
“That’s right, what Darkness said is true. You want to make the rankings? Want to be famous? Then let’s head to the battlefield! And defeat the Boss of the Demon King Army!”
Megumin grabbed the opportunity and said.
I ignored them, and threw the topic to Aqua who was attempting to train Emperor Zell by saying ‘Shake! Emperor Zell shake!’ but was pecked in the hand.
“Hey Aqua, talk some sense to these two. They said they want to protect the fortress at the frontline. We never meet anything good when we went on trips, but they have yet to learn this lesson at all. You oppose fighting the Boss of the Demon King Army right?”
Unlike the two who were all hyped up about fighting powerful foes, this girl who was just like me definitely understood my thinking.
But my assumption was overturned by unexpected words.
“I’m okay with that. The Boss of the Demon King Army is troubling others right? How could the beautiful and impartial Aqua-sama abandon the people in the mortal world who are seeking salvation?”
What wrong with this girl, did she eat something wrong?
Megumin and Darkness were surprised too, and looked at Aqua worryingly.
“What’s with you all of a sudden. Normally, you are the first one to refuse in tears when we encounter such things.”
“That’s only natural, monsters that could be seen anywhere don’t require my presence right? The opponent this time is an evil god, an arrogant being that dare proclaim to be a god without even sending me a greeting. As the founder of the Axis cult, I have to teach him a lesson.”
Looking at Aqua who was sprouting the lines of a delinquent whose territory had been disturbed, I felt that things were really bad.
“I won’t do it, definitely not. The opponent is always a boss of the Demon King Army, who can take on such a thing? In the end, there are tons of adventurers more powerful than us right? Why not leave the capital to those guys? Why are you so eager to seek your death?”
“Don’t be stubborn and accept your fate, don’t be so difficult. It will be fine, I will finish it in one shot! You don’t need to worry this time, just come along just in case!”
“Don’t you think our formation don’t have an ‘in case’? Think about all our past experiences, if you are sure there won’t be any problems then go! … Hey, don’t look away, look at me!!”
I grabbed the chin of Megumin who turned her face away, trying to force her face this way even if I need to do it forcefully. At this point.
The door at the entrance opened after a timid knock.
“H-Hello everyone… Erm, I found this child, so I brought it back…”
At the door was Yunyun who was holding Chomusuke.
“Please have some tea.”
“T-Thank you… Erm, Aqua-san. This…”
“It might be cheap, but the tea tastes nice right? I bought this with the allowance Kazuma gave me, I have been drinking this recently.”
“Ah… Yes, erm, this is tasty…”
Yunyun held the tea Aqua made for her and nodded with a baffled expression.
I took a glance and found the water to be clear…
No, this was just hot water.
Although Aqua brewed tea as a show of hospitality, but she turned the tea into water by accident.
Yunyun was probably concerned about the feelings of Aqua who was looking satisfied, and finished the water in the cup to destroy the evidence. She then picked up the motionless Chomusuke with both hands and gave it to me with a troubled look.
“Erm, when I was taking a stroll in the park nearby, I found Chomusuke was caught and bullied by kids, so I took it into custody…”
The mysterious furball that had a pair of small wings was the perfect toy for mischievous kids.
Seeing the still Chomusuke, I whispered to Megumin beside me:
“Hey, your evil god was chased by a chick, and now it is bullied by kids?”
“Y-Yunyun, you came at the right time! It’s not a big matter, but the situation is now a little bad!”
Megumin passed the newspaper to Yunyun as if she wanted to muddle through my comment.
Yunyun who showed a cautious face to the term bad and took the papers reluctantly.
“Let me see… The daily serialization comic of Jack Frost’s journey. Penpal recruitment column? Hey Megumin, can you give me this newspaper if you don’t need it anymore? Just giving me the penpal recruitment would be enough.”
“Just what are you looking at! Here! Look at this article!”
Megumin snatched the papers, and flipped to the report in question for her.
Yunyun who was skeptical had a sudden dramatic reaction.
“Hmmmm——!? W-Wait!? Megumin, this is…”
“Y-You are reacting too much this time, Yunyun! The article is not that bad!”
“No, I am not overreacting at all! The evil god Wolbach is the one that was sealed in our village——”
“Shh! You are too loud!”
“I think I heard something incredible just now.”
“You misheard, Kazuma. This girl will say weird things sometimes, that’s why she was ostracized in the Home of the Crimson Magic.”
Megumin averted her face strongly when she heard what I said. Yunyun became agitated because of her words.
“W-Wait, you are the one who is weird, Megumin! Nevermind that, listen to me Kazuma-san! This evil god Wolbach was sealed in our village in the past. The seal was undone one day, and Megumin made that evil god into her familiar wilfully behind everyone else’s back…”
“S-Stop! Don’t spread the ills of the Crimson Magic, we need to subjugate the fake proclaiming to be the evil god and making a ruckus in the capital, then pretend nothing happened!”
I looked at Megumin who was trying to cover Yunyun’s mouth frantically, and said to Darkness who was pressing her temple.
“Hey Darkness. Use your connections to borrow that magic item which will ring when it detects a lie from the police station.”
“I-I will be right back. Ah, I hope we won’t unearth more incredulous facts…”
“I, I didn’t do anything wrong! Lawyer! I demand a lawyer!”
Megumin who was subdued by Yunyun and Aqua yelled as Darkness walked out with an expression on the verge of tears.
—— A few hours later.
After getting the lie detecting magic item, we surrounded Megumin whose hands were tied as she knelt on the rug.
“Alright. Please answer honestly… So, what is the evil god Wolbach mentioned in the news?”
“Actually, Yunyun and I have some run ins with this evil god. That’s why we were concerned, and researched on the evil god in the village… Wolbach seemed to be the evil god that is the patron of Sloth and Violence.”
Hearing this unbelievable words, I looked at the magic item.
But the magic item didn’t ring, because Yunyun who was also a Crimson Magic seemed to know about this and kept quiet.
“Why is something that incredible sealed in the Home of the Crimson Magic?”
“A long time ago, our ancestors had fought the evil god in an intense battle over several days, and succeeded in sealing it. After that, they brought the evil god to the Home of the Crimson Magic to guard over it.”
The magic item rang immediately.
“… Someone said ‘the place where the evil god is sealed sounds cool’, so they wilfully kidnapped the evil god that was sealed by people in the past, resealed it in a corner of the village, and made it a scenic point.”
The magic item didn’t react to her explanation.
In response to my words, not just Megumin, even Yunyun averted her eyes.
Darkness who had been holding her head all this while said:
“That doesn’t matter, we can’t do anything about the past. Now we know how the evil god was sealed in the Home of the Crimson Magic. And so, why did that seal break? Who undid the seal?”
“It’s probably the evil god who manipulate its minions to undo the seal, so it could regain its original power and destroy humanity…”
We gazed at her wordlessly, and Megumin lowered her head as if she had given up.
“… My sister undid it playfully.”
“Wait!? Hey Megumin, this is the first time I heard this!”
Yunyun screamed when she heard Megumin’s confession, but…
Megumin was surprised that the lie detector rang for some reasons.
But she understood it shortly after ——
“That’s right! The seal of the evil god was undid twice. I undid it by accident the first time, and things work out well because of the help of an Onee-san who happened to pass by. My sister broke the seal the second time.”
After she said that and confirmed that the magic item didn’t ring, Megumin nodded satisfactory.
“What is this ahhhhhh!”
“W-What are you doing!? S… Stop! I will answer honestly, so calm down!”
“You Crimson Magics are always making a mess.”
I sighed as I watch the two clansmen wrestling on the floor. At this moment, Aqua picked up the magic item excitedly for some reason.
“Megumin Megumin, do you like the Axis Cult? Or do you hate it? Cecilia from my church said that you have some fate with the Axis Cult, and might join if I pushed you more forcefully.”
“I won’t join no matter how much you pressure me! Cecilia-san is always giving me trouble, and I don’t want anything to do with the Axis Cult that is a mob of problematic people. If you ask me, of course I hate…”
Aqua’s expression blossomed the instant she saw the magic item rang, while Megumin averted her gaze shyly.
“… The cultist member did take care of me in the past, so I don’t really hate…”
After seeing Aqua use the lie detector in an awesome way, I felt moved.
I always thought she was an idiot, but she might actually be a genius.
“Hey Megumin, what do you think about us? Answer in terms of like or hate.”
“Yeah, I want to ask too. You even made amulet for everyone the other time, so how do you feel about us?”
“… W-What, there’s no need to answer this sort of questions… Hey, don’t look at me with a devious smile like that!”
Seeing us toy with Megumin with the magic item, Yunyun stroked Chomusuke’s back and said as if she just remembered something…
“E-Erm… This child should be the evil god that is sealed, but the news stated the name Wolbach, so what is going on…?”
I turned to look at the magic item, and it didn’t ring as if this was expected.
“Wait, I just heard something incredible. This thing is that evil god? Chomusuke is the evil god!?”
“I already told you. This child is an evil god, and also my familiar. I was wondering what the Boss of the Demon King Army pretending to be this child was thinking.”
After Yunyun, Megumin also said something to the same effect, but the magic item still remain dormant.
“Hey, this cute thing here is actually the evil god? Is the magic item broken?”
As a cat lover, I hope Chomusuke that I had been brushing and playing with is not such a horrific existence.
Aqua remembered something and said abruptly:
“Hey Kazuma. I have always thought that you are a wonderful person with a gentle heart. I have always felt deep gratitude for you.”
“Hey, what are you saying all of a sudden? Are you trying to get on my good side because my period of popularity is here? Even if you compliment me so exaggeratedly, I won’t give you allowance…”
Aqua nodded satisfyingly as she looked at the ringing magic item.
“No problem, the magic item is working just fine.”
“Alright, let’s bring it outside. You have been looking down on me recently. Looks like I have to teach you a lesson.”
As I stood up, ready to grab Aqua.
Megumin who had been kneeling on the rug suddenly lowered her head and said:
“… Kazuma, sorry but I need your help. Can you go with me? Actually, Chomusuke had been a kidnap target plenty of times. I think the person in the news won’t let this go easily. As its owner, I want to dispose of the self proclaimed evil god calling itself Wolbach.”
The hot tempered Megumin who don’t like to ask for favours lowered her head as she pleaded.
The opponent was a Boss of the Demon King Army who was powerful enough to change the tide of the battle alone.
To be frank, I don’t want to go. Even so…
“… Can’t you go?”
When I saw Megumin looking up at me timidly with red eyes that had a flicker of uneasiness.
I felt that I was too much of a pushover.
This was the only reply I could make.
“I can’t really do anything about you!”
The day after I accepted Megumin’s request.
I needed some time to make preparations for the long expedition and told everyone we will set off tomorrow. Then I sat on the couch cross legged, using my crafting skills to make something.
Darkness also sat on the couch and watch me intriguingly. Aqua who sat on my other side said:
“Hey Kazuma, what is that?”
“Something I bought from Wiz’s shop, a potion that will explode on impact.”
Darkness got up in a panic after hearing what I said, and took a step back together with Aqua.
My materials were laid scattered on the table.
There were paper, dropper and a special type of soil that could absorb a lot of liquid and ignite easily. It seemed to be formed from the decomposing matter of a certain plant.
I had been using the dropper to transfer the potion that would explode on impact onto the soil on top of the paper.
Aqua back away slowly as she asked uneasily:
“H-Hey… Why are you making something so scary? What do you plan to do with that?”
I gently position the bottle in my hand away from me.
And placed it gently onto the floor.
“I always thought that this is something like a magical potion. But it will explode when it touches fire too. A single drop will go boom when it comes into contact with fire. So I was thinking if this is similar to nitrates.”
We will be going to a dangerous battlefield where the Boss of the Demon King Army was.
The frontlines where the adventurers with cheats couldn’t get any advantages.
When Darkness was forced to marry the landlord Alderp, I thought about reproducing a certain thing in this world.
But I couldn’t find anything to replace nitrates back then, so I could made a replica that only look similar in appearance.
And the replica was thrown away by Megumin after I finished it.
I said to Aqua and Darkness who were looking at me with a confused look.
“I can make something with this. What kind of enemy will we face at our destination tomorrow? If I can make this, it will become our trump card in the future.”
After she heard me, Aqua looked at the materials on the table and seemed to have figured out what I was making.
That’s right, it’s that famous…
“I see… It is summer now. The Japanese blood in Kazuma’s body is urging you to make fireworks.”
Darkness asked confusedly.
“Fireworks? Dynamite? I never heard of them. What are they used for?”
I handed the three sticks I completed to Darkness who was tilting her head in confusion.
The one I almost completed was thrown away by Megumin, but I still tried making a few when I was bored. Right now, I am rushing to finish it for the expedition tomorrow.
Aqua picked up the imitation dynamite I just completed and inspected it curiously.
She then covered it with both hands.
Aqua placed the imitation dynamite on the table.
It was obviously two sizes smaller…
I snatched the dynamite shrank by Aqua. This wasn’t like the magic of some comedian on variety shows, it really turned smaller physically.
“You…! What did you do to this thing that I spent so much time making!? What can I do with this, can you turn it back!? And can this still be used!?”
“It definitely can’t be turned back.”
Aqua who performed this trick out of nowhere showed no signs of remorse when she said that.
“Do you understand? I am making this for the expedition tomorrow. You are quite good with your hands, make one to compensate for the one you spoiled.”
“If I make it, one out of three of the sticks will turn small okay?”
“Why!? Are you hiding a shrinking gun on you!?”
I couldn’t bear throwing the miniaturized dynamite either, so I tried stuffing it into my pocket. It was small and convenient, which irked me even more.
I have no complaints if it could still be used like this.
Darkness who was observing the finished product she picked up ignored our arguments and asked curiously:
“So, what is this thing exactly?”
“I will show it to you after lunch. You will definitely be surprised. Especially Megumin.”
I said confidently.
“Time for lunch. Tidy up the table and wash your hands… What’s the matter? Why is everyone staring at me like that?”
Megumin who was cooking today brought out lunch on a tray, and had a baffled expression.
—— Far away from the city, on a hill with lots of boulders.
This seemed to be the spot recommended by Megumin for her explosion strolls.
“What a rare sight, everyone came along for my stroll. If I knew, I would have made lunch boxes instead so we could picnic outside.”
Megumin was probably elated that everyone was accompanying her for her daily explosion spell, she waved her staff along happily.
Megumin chanted her spell…
With a boom, the surroundings were hit by shockwaves.
The strongest spell that could disintegrate everything shattered the target boulder easily.
Darkness stood nonchalantly in the hail of debris to protect us while we kept our head down.
I supported Megumin who was about to fall from mana exhaustion, then injected just enough mana through Drain Touch so she could walk by herself.
“Ho, that’s a high score today.”
“Right? I think the effect is really nice. Phew, I’m satisfied. Let’s go back…? Kazuma, what is that?”
Megumin was intrigued when I took out two imitation dynamite.
I wrapped several layers of paper around the soil soaked with the exploding potion to stabilize it, with a fuse soaked in the same potion placed into its very center. That’s how simple this dynamite was.
It was enough for prototype number one.
“After obtaining the weapon known as wealth, I wondered if I can kill my opponent with money and tried making prototype one. Watch carefully.”
I stick that behind a boulder in the vicinity, shifting the fuse towards me so I could see it easily.
“… Wait, I think that thing Kazuma made looks familiar…”
Megumin said something, but I didn’t answer and just pulled some distance away.
I ignited the fuse from far away.
Sparks flew out from the fuse…
An idea struck me, and I reached my hand out towards the boulder and shouted:
With a boom that covered her shout, the make shift dynamite exploded, and a crack appeared on the boulder.
The power still couldn’t match those used for demolition works huh.
But it was more than adequate as a weapon.
Megumin was trembling beside me, while Darkness clenched her fist with a flushed face.
“A-Amazing Kazuma! When did you learn explosion!?”
“Hmmp… the hardworking me had been leveling up in secret while you all were sleeping.”
I said casually to the excited Darkness.
Megumin made a soft sound and started shaking a lot.
At this moment, Aqua tugged at my sleeve and said:
“Kazuma Kazuma, give me one too. I want to try using explosion.”
“This is a prototype, I will give you one after making a dynamite with longer fuse. I am worried, and ignited it from afar.”
“Got it. Remember to let me play with it after you finish.”
“That’s fine, but the potions are expensive and the supplies are limited. So you can’t just play with it.”
“I-If I use that, even a crusader like me can use explosion? Or did you learned magic for real? H-Hey, if you make a new one, I want to try too…!”
I was bothered by Megumin who had been deathly quiet unlike the hyped up Aqua and Darkness.
I thought she would have the biggest reaction, but she had just been making quiet noises since just now and shivering.
I stood before Megumin and make a pose with one hand stretched out.
“I am Kazuma! Number one adventurer in Axel, the one who control explo——”
Before I finished, Megumin grabbed my collar and shouted:
“That thing! That thing is not explosion magic! The power is only at the level of blast magic! That thing! That… that…!”
“Hey, I get it, calm down, wait! That is just a tool, I’m kidding, kidding!”
I explained frantically, but Megumin who was grabbing my collar while screaming snatched the last stick of dynamite from my hand.
“Ah, hey! It takes a lot of money and time to make one, give it back!”
“No! With me around, there is no need for this thing to exist! This, this thing!”
Megumin yelled as she threw away the thing I spent a lot of effort to make.
“I will throw it away if I see that again! That is a deviant thing! I won’t acknowledge that fake!”
“I know I know, I know alright… Really, I only made this to accommodate your willfulness.”
“It might be useful, but no!”
I will make it in my room secretly behind Megumin’s back then.
… I reached for the dynamite Megumin threw far away.
Using the chance while Megumin was still fuming, I chanted a spell softly.
I covertly chanted the spell and ignited the fuse.
It was a pity to throw away the thing that took so much effort to make, so I simulated the explosion spell for the second time today.
Megumin didn’t speak with me until dinner.
—— The next day.
I wore my new equipment, and slotted the katana with a shameful name onto my belt.
Putting the cape that was the trademark for adventurers, I shouldered a backpack that had enough food to last for a few days.
“Weapons check, food check, equipment check! All the items are ready!”
Although we fought many Bosses and bounty monsters, the circumstance this time was different than before.
This time, we were the one picking the fight.
The trump card I made yesterday might have been refuted, but I found plenty of magic items from Wiz’s shop that might be of use, preparing ourselves well and thought up several tactics.
“Kazuma, you were so unwilling just a while ago, yet you are so eager about this now. What’s the occasion?”
Aqua said. I wondered what Aqua stuffed inside her backpack to make it so full.
By the way, Emperor Zell was still a newborn and needed to be cared for, and she forcefully pushed it to Wiz early in the morning.
“Because I thought about the battle this time, and found that our chances are quite good.”
We will be heading to the fortress near the capital at the very frontlines.
Right now, the strongest forces of this nation had been gathered at that fortress.
On top of the Kingdom’s Knight Corp, there were many adventurers with cheat like powers there, so they won’t lose if the Boss of the Demon King Army didn’t join the fray.
With a bunch of cheaters defending the fortress, we just need to repel the Boss of the Demon King Army with Megumin’s explosion.
—— I think this was a simple and effective plan.
Compared to the fights before this, we could defeat the enemy in a safer manner, and the rewards would be much greater too.
“Furthermore, Yunyun who could use teleport would be coming along.”
I said as I looked towards Yunyun who was inspecting her luggage beside Megumin.
Yunyun who had risen her level through hard work and learned teleport said she wanted to go with us.
The places Yunyun registered were the capital and Axel town.
Being able to return to this place at the sign of danger was a great advantage.
“I-I will work hard! I will carry the luggages, make the food, keep watch at night and storm the front, I will do anything!”
“Oh, alright then, I will be counting on you. We will feel more at ease if we encounter powerful monsters during the journey if Yunyun is with us.”
Yunyun who was always by herself seemed really happy about going on a trip with everyone.
She had been fidgety since just now.
“Is everyone ready? Did you forget anything? I have handkerchiefs and toilet paper, just tell me if you need any!”
“Please calm down, we are not kids going on a field trip.”
I looked at the rare sight of Megumin calming Yunyun down, looked at everyone to confirm they were all ready, then nodded.
“We will be in your care, Yunyun. We will teleport to the capital first, then walk to the fortress from there. It seemed that veteran adventurers can reach it in about two days. There are accommodations available along the way, so we will head there first.”
“Okay, I have prepared all manners of board and card games for our stay outside, so don’t worry!”
So that was the reason for Yunyun’s huge luggage.
She seemed to be looking forward to staying outside with everyone.
Maybe this was the first time she took a trip together with everyone.
As I was sadly thinking that she could have just invited us out to play, Yunyun finished chanting her spell.