Before starting this chapter, read up to volume 8 of the main series and chapters 1-2 of the consulting spin-off! (made a mistake last post) Also, I’m working on a Megumin sketch in commemoration of season two! We’ll see it sometime before January…
There is a town named Axel.
It is a town where beginner adventurers look for companions.
It is also a place that is famous for its public security.
At the adventurer’s guild of this town named Axel—
“Stop…Stoppp! What do you think you’re doing!?”
—I was subjected to unfair and violent treatment.
With the request sheet I posted on the bulletin board in hand, the guild receptionist lady yelled at me:
“I’m not trying to do anything! This is a bulletin board intended for use by adventurers to gather party members. If you’re looking for people to play with please do so somewhere else!”
“Looking for people to play with? How rude of you! I’m actually looking for companions, so if you have any complaints about it, let’s hear it!”
The beautiful receptionist lady – whose big breasts lavishly stuck out of her chest – turned and lashed out at me.
“I’m sorry that I thought that you were playing around! Then, my complaint isn’t about the place where you put this, but the conditions of the recruitment!”
The receptionist lady pulled out the sheet, and began to recite its contents.
“‘Searching for those with the thief profession. For the sake of justice, we will resort to criminal methods. Limited to those who are strongly motivated. Our primary tasks include assaulting nobles…’”
The onlooking adventurers that heard what she said, looked at me as if I was some pitiable child.
“…Well I guess there’s no other way. Originally, I was gonna limit this to thief professions only, but I wouldn’t mind if they had other professions. So, let me change this.”
“That’s not the problem! I’m talking about the fact that you are using the guild’s bulletin board to search for companions in criminal activities!”
—That was something that happened back when I went to the Eris Thanksgiving Festival.
During that festival, I managed to meet the thieving group that I admired so much.
The silver-haired boss of the thieving group, whose mouth was covered by a cloth;
And the handsome masked mystery man, whom I’ve feel like I’ve seen before.
The silver-haired person that was called boss was fine person, anyhow, I liked her energetic mood and honest attitude.
The problem was the masked man.
That person wore a replica of Vanir’s mask… Well, it’s not like I care about how others think, but I can’t help but feel a sense of security when I’m around him, even though that was the first time we’ve met.
There was also that mask that symbolized the righteous duty of the thieving group.
—I was lovestruck.
Someone who could excite my heartstrings to this extent was definitely not an ordinary person.
In all honesty, I wanted to join them, but regrettably, I don’t have the skills of a thief.
“—Well then, as one of their fans, I decided to establish a sub-group to their thieving group. My idea was to gather people that would help them with their activities of justice.”
“Just so you know, if you’re going to form that kind of idiot group, you’re going to have a bounty placed on you.”
The receptionist lady confiscated my recruitment poster, and disappeared to the interior of the guild.
If I can’t put up a poster, I guess I have no choice but to personally scout for people. However, the people who overheard the conversation clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye with me.
I approached an onii-san nearby who seemed to have the thief profession. In order to lower his guard, I showed him the best smile that I could muster.
“The idling onii-san over there, do you have a moment?”
“Sorry, I’m busy counting the number of wood grains on this table, so come look for me later ok?”
The onii-san that deliberately began to count the grains on the table. He seemed to have grasped what I was thinking.
“Even though you were idle until a moment ago… Is there anything wrong with what I said!?”
“Please stop, just don’t involve me in your things! Why does it have to be me anyway!? If you’re looking for someone you can to conveniently use, don’t you already have that person!? That person has thief skills doesn’t he!?”
“Of course I already asked that man. He told me that ‘If it was a slightly cooler season, I’ll play around with you all you want’. For some reason, he doesn’t think I’m serious when I say that I want to create a supporting organization for that thieving group.”
“Well you’re trying to support a thieving group that has a bounty placed on them, of course he’s gonna think that you’re joking around.”
Offended by the onii-san’s response, I vigorously slammed the table.
“Even if people like you talk badly of them, that thieving group has been working day and night for the sake of humanity! Despite that, it seems like I’ll first need have to have a word with you over here!”
“Please just stop already, I don’t want to hear about that! And I don’t want to be related in any way shape or form with you either! Here, I’ll give you these peanut snacks so please just go bother someone else instead!”
…What is happening?
Does this mean that if I want to help the person I admire, I need to first resolve the misunderstanding of the masses first…?
As I looked around me, I put spread the peanuts on the palm of my hand, fed them into my mouth, and began to crunch on them.
As I thought, amongst the gazes that were averted from me, there was one that was strongly attached to my back.
When I turned to match the gaze, the owner frantically and ashamedly cast their head downward. Then, the owner turned their pupils upwards, as if expecting something from me.
“The onee-san over there that seems to be a thief, do you have a moment?”
“Hey Megumin, you saw me didn’t you!?”
The nearby onee-san turned to face me, and at the same time, the owner of the gaze, Yunyun, frantically rose from her seat.
“Well, you didn’t call out to me whatsoever. All you did was give me this gloomy gaze that said ‘I want your attention’! If you have something you want to say then isn’t it fine to just say it!?”
“Stop! I understand, so stop pulling on my hair already!”
I grabbed onto Yunyun, who – as usual – was being annoying. Despite that, her expression was full of resolve.”
“I don’t know what you’re planning to do, but I want to be one of your companions, I think…”
Yunyun, who recently became involved with a bunch of weird people, said what she wanted to with unusual vigor.
Did the child who got involved with strange people finally grow up?
“What are you saying Yunyun, aren’t you already the vice-leader of my thieving group? I already have you listed on the roster.”
“What, but I haven’t heard anything about this! Wait, so when you raised your voice just now, you were trying to solicit people for this shady group!?”
Yunyun, who raised her voice in surprise, began to lash out at me without regard for what I thought.
“What do you mean by ‘shady group’!? We will perform righteous and just thieving activities. We will be a thieving group that exists for the sake of the people!”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying! As expected, I have a bad feeling about this, so stop this already!”
As Yunyun and I were arguing, the onee-san that I called out to had frantically rushed out of the guild.
Before Yunyun could get away as well, I grabbed her tightly by the arm.
“Why does this Crimson Magic clansman wannabe look so scared!? Geez, it’s because you caused this mess that everyone is cautious of us now. Come on, don’t whine about every little thing, let’s go search for some group members already! If we get more members, that means you have more companions. Now, let’s go increase your friends!”
“Like I said, if you think I would do anything for the sake of making friends, you’re wrong—!”
“—Hey, what about that person over there? He looks like he’ll become a thief someday.”
“Shhhh Megumin, you’re being too loud! That oji-san’s just has a scary expression, and he’s also not an adventurer, just an ordinary person you know!? By the way, what about those people over there who are about the same age as I am…”
“Aren’t they just ordinary people? Just to remind you, we’re looking for group members, not friends alright?”
On the main streets of Axel—
I sat on a bench with Yunyun, who had joined me without me having to say another word; and observed the people who passed by.
If we found anyone that we thought was suitable for the task, we would immediately scout them.
However, since Yunyun and I had differing opinions, we have yet to call out to anyone.
“Ah, what about that girl over there? I can’t see her face because of the hood of her robes, but she doesn’t seem to be that much older than us. Since she’s carrying a sword, she shouldn’t be an ordinary person either, right?”
Yunyun pointed to a short girl who wore an unfashionable robe.
I can’t really see her hair, but the eyes that peeked out of her hood were clear blue…
“Wait a second, why is that girl alone in this town?”
“W-, What’s up Megumin? Do you know that girl?”
As the hooded girl walked through the streets of the town, she – with a deep sense of interest – rapidly turned her head thru and thro, back and forth, here and there. She seemed to be dizzy from all her turning around.
Then, the oji-san of the barbeque skewer store called out to her.
“The little lady over there, how ‘bout a skewer? Since you’re so cute, I’ll charge you a tad less. So how ‘bout one skewer for a hundred thousand eris?”
“Barbeque skewers… This is a food I haven’t seen before. Did you say one hundred thousand eris? Then, would three of these suffice?”
The oji-san entered a state of shock as the girl pulled out her purse…
“What do you think you’re doing!? You can’t just spend money like that!”
“Eh-!? Ah! You are Megumin-san!”
The young girl that took out extremely valuable coins from her purse with an expression of ‘Of course this is normal!’, was none other than princess Iris. She presented the coins, and the store owner quickly took it from her hands.
Ignoring the store owner who stared in shock at the value of the coins in his hand, I lectured Iris.
“When the oji-san said one hundred-thousand eris, he was just joking. What he really means is one hundred eris. You wouldn’t find any barbecue skewers worth one hundred thousand eris anywhere.”
“I-, Is that so? I didn’t know the standard, so…”
Then, with the best honest expression he could muster, the stall owner presented the skewers.
“Nope, one skewers is actually a hundred thousand eris, but this little lady is so cute I’ll sell three for a hundred thousand.”
“Is that truly fine for you? Thank you very much!”
“Don’t believe him so easily! The oji-san is just trying to trick you since you don’t know anything about the world! Come on, it’s three hundred eris in total! If you really feel like fooling this ignorant girl, then fight me first!!”
––After purchasing the skewers for the normal price, we walked to the nearby park.
“Ah Geez, why are you here alone? What happened to your guardians?”
Before I could ask, Iris was happily munching on the skewer.
I’m not sure if this was her first time eating commoner foods or something, but her cheeks seemed to loosen in glee.
“What do you mean by ‘guardians’? My name is Alice, would you be mistaking me for someone else? …By the way, this skewer is quite delicious. This might be the first time I’ve eaten something so mildly warm as well… If you’d like, please take one.”
In an innocent manner, she offered the skewers. Though, it was obvious to me that she was simply playing dumb.
Anyhow, it seems that she is using the alias of ‘Alice’.
I took a skewer from her hand and said:
“Haa… Well then, what is Alice-sama doing in such a place? Though the security of this town is pretty good, you never know when a mistake will occur you know?”
“Please stop calling me Alice-sama, just call me Alice. …Fufu, actually, I came to this town to play the other day, and though I wasn’t able to meet onii-sama, I was able to meet an interesting person… I learned that there are a lot of strange people in this world, and so I came again to study society in depth.”
Hearing the contents of her speech, I sprayed the chewed remains of the skewer across the floor.
Wasn’t the capital in trouble right now?
“Now now, the one over there, please help yourself to one as well.”
“Ah-, thank you very much Alice-chan! Uhm, please call me Yunyun. …Hey Megumin, this girl has blonde-hair and blue-eyes… could she be some noble lady?”
Yunyun reservedly received the skewer from Iris, and timidly took a bite.
“No, I am merely the granddaughter of the capital’s chirimendonya store owner, Alice. I am not anyone of the likes of a noble lady.”
I don’t know who or what she was influenced by, but Iris was saying some strange things.
“Well, if you insist then let’s leave it like that… But this is a bit troubling isn’t it… Since we found you here… Even if we decide to leave you alone…”
If we just so happened to find the princess of a nation walking around alone, we couldn’t just leave her alone, could we…?
While I began to feel troubled by this newfound problem, Iris took another bite from her skewer.
“By the way, what were the two of you doing?”
Faced with Iris’ nonchalant question, I hesitated to tell her to truth. Though it was only for a fleeting moment.
After all, there was no way that this girl carried any ill feelings towards that thieving group.
“Actually, we were thinking about making a sub-group of the Silver-Haired Thieving Group.”
“What do you mean by that!? Please tell me in detail!”
Eh-, her response was beyond my expectations…
“No uhm, I’m trying to form a sub-group of the chivalrous Silver-Haired Thieving Group, but it’s not like I got their permission or anything. I just wanted to gather bunch of companions that would support them. That’s the kind of group I’m trying to make.”
“That sounds like fun! So are there any tests for joining this organization!?”
She had a positive reaction, as expected, but I can’t help but feel a bit doubtful. I raised my head towards her, and said:
“What, could it be that do you want to join? You can’t, after all, we don’t plan to play around. After making a secret base that will be our hideout, there are many things I must do to expand our forces. Of course, all members of the group will be put to work.”
“A secret base!”
Despite my lecturing, Iris’ eyes seemed to shine in excitement.
“U-Uhm… To add on, we’re going to be using illegal methods to punish treacherous nobles, so…”
“Punish treacherous nobles!”
Despite my continued lecturing, Iris’ eyes flared up even more.
“Please allow me! Please allow me to join as your companion!”
Somehow, the scene seemed to have tugged at Yunyun’s heartstrings, and she looked at Iris with a flushed face and raised fists.
“Hey Megumin, since she has so much spirit, wouldn’t it be fine to just let her join us? …I-, It’s not like I’m happy that I’ll have a companion of the same age or anything alright?”
For one reason or another, Yunyun was also pushing for this girl to join the group.
On the day that someone finds out that the princess joined such a dangerous organization, will I be hanged?
Anyway, aren’t the people that we’re trying to punish the same people that are related to this girl?
“Well well, Yunyun, if you’re going to be so assertive, I suppose I have to listen to what you say. However, Alice, since we’re not playing around, I’ll have you take an entrance test. Also, if you do well on the test, I’ll give you the title of the ‘left-hand’ of my great thieving group.”
“Hey Megumin, I’m just curious, but who is the ‘right-hand’? I’m just a temporary member ok? You didn’t make me a general or anything did you Megumin!?”
Yunyun’s expression seemed to darken at my words.
Conversely, Iris’ expression seemed to shine.
––On the plains a short distance from town.
“A-Alice-chan are you alright!? In terms of size, the toads around here are quite big!”
For Iris’ practical test, we were going to make her fight a giant toad. It was one of the famous monsters of this town, as well as my arch-nemesis.
“I’ll be fine! The royal…I mean, the Chirimendonya clan are quite strong!”
Was Chirimendonya some special race like the Crimson Magic clan?
Facing a giant toad, Iris drew the sword from her scabbard and readied her stance.
As she shouted, she swung her blade without regard for distance.
Unbefitting of Iris’ small frame, the luxuriously decorated longsword cut swiftly through the air—
And without so much as touching the blade, the giant toad that leaped towards Iris was cleanly sliced in half.
As Yunyun and I shouted out in surprise, Iris – with an air of satisfaction – elegantly returned to sword to its scabbard.
“Megumin-san, how was it? Did I pass the test?”
“Eh-!? …Uhm, this is just the first phase of the test! The giant toad you defeated just now was just a monster that any well-equipped adventurer could beat! The fact that you could kill it in one hit is a given!”
“Even though you were swallowed by said giant toad…”
As I heard such a traitorous murmur from behind me, I decided to give iris a couple more tests–
“Wait a second! What is that ‘bang, bang’ skill that you’ve been using this whole time!? Isn’t it a bit too strong!? How are you one-hit killing large monsters like one-hit bears!?”
Even though I had upped the difficulty significantly, I still can’t see Iris’ limit.
“This is a skill that is passed from generation from generation, and is a skill that only those recognized by this holy sword can use. It’s a special move that releases an intense shockwave!”
必殺技) is literally translated to ‘sure-kill skill’, ‘shockwave’ (斬撃) is literally translated to ‘slash’>
“Could that be the hero’s legendary… N-No, actually, there’s no point in thinking too much about it.”
Royalty would marry powerful heroes, and pass on their power through the bloodline. So it wouldn’t be strange at all for this member of royalty to have a foul amount of power, but…
“If that’s the case, then that just means you have a really strong weapon. Our thieving group will be performing rough and dangerous duties, so anyone whose abilities are merely superficial are unqualified to join. What I want to see is your own power. Please display that to me.”
“Hey Megumin… isn’t Alice-chan stronger than us regardless? Can you just admit that you’re being irresponsible for what you said already?”
Yunyun tugged at my clothes while saying such irresponsible things. Anyhow, I was not in a position where I would be allowed to easily admit that.
“Well then, go and defeat those monsters over there without using your holy sword alright?”
As I dragged the fraidy Yunyun along, I pointed to the group of monsters faraway, but then I noticed…
“Wait, that’s not just goblin mob! Don’t go! Near tasty looking mobs of monsters like that, there has to be a rookie killer or some strong enemy like that…”
Despite my warning, Iris pointed her hands towards the group of goblins––!
“‘Sacred · Lightning · Blare’!”
When Iris shouted––
A flicker of pure white light shone on the goblins, and in the next instant, a white bolt of lightning was unleashed, accompanied by a fierce gale that mowed down anything and everything unfortunate enough to be caught in its path––!
After we returned to Axel, I clapped my hands.
“Well then, that concludes the first test. I’ll admit that our newbie here is quite skilled, but my thieving group doesn’t need that much firepower. After all, just being powerful doesn’t mean you’re a great thief.
“Wait Megumin, isn’t that a bit different from what you said before! You said that we’ll be doing rough tasks. You also said that we don’t want anyone superficial abilities, but you––!”
Yunyun – who had been dumbfounded by Iris’ display of power until now – returned to her usual annoying self.
“S-Shut up, isn’t it fine that she passed the first test without any problems!?”
“You’re talking about ‘first tests’ and whatnot, but they didn’t even exist when I joined did they!? Anyway, no matter how I think about it, this girl is better––“
“S-, STOPPP! You can’t say anymore! It’s all over if you admit defeat!
To be honest, I had underestimated the power of the royal family.
I heard that royalty and nobles were born with special abilities, but I couldn’t have possibly imagined that it would be to this extent.
Anyway, wouldn’t it be fine to send this girl to subjugate the demon king?
“To blow away the onlooking rookie killer at the same time… Alice-chan used some amazing magic. I mean, even as a Crimson Magic clansman, I’ve never heard of such a magic…”
“That was the royal family’s… No I mean, the chirimendonya’s magic that is passed down from generation to generation. The magic unleashes a lightning bolt by calling on holy power. It is something like the legendary hero’s original magic.”
In any case, the chrimendonya were full of mysteries.
“That aside, what will the second test be? I have confidence in my bodily capabilities, so I will take any kind of test!”
I pressed my arms against my head at the sight of Iris’ spirited attitude.
What should I do now?
If it was revealed that the royal princess joined a thieving group of her own according, I can only imagine how much trouble I’ll be in.
To be honest, I wanted to make her give up by pointing out her faults, but…
Then, Yunyun sighed, and said:
“It’s pointless to have any more physical tests, so why don’t we test her on her education and common sense and stuff like that? Well, Alice-chan seems to be well educated, so her academics should be quite good.”
Yunyun’s nonchalant chattering had given me a revelation.
The opponent I face right now is a magnificently educated princess-sama.
Of course it was pointless to test her on academics, but common sense was a different story altogether—
“Thieves don’t need to be strong in a fight, nor do they need to be brilliantly smart, the most important thing is common sense! Whether or not Alice has common sense, allow me to be the one to judge!”
“For Megumin whose common sense is the most outlandish in Axel to judge the common sense of other people…What kind of joke… Ow, ow!”
Though Iris seemed to be a bit troubled when I started pulling on Yunyun’s hair, she gripped her fists determinedly and said:
“I-It’s fine! I’ve snuck to this town once before, so I’m sure that my body remembers some of the common sense of this town! So please start this exam!”
––About the results, well, it was terrible.
“That’s not how you eat that little lady. Peel the skin first, then eat the insides.”
We had gone to the shopping street to buy some relevant things, and the events that followed made it seem that it was the first time that that Iris had seen a piece of unpeeled fruit. She had bought a mango moment ago, and proceeded to bite into it without peeling the skin. Currently, she stood still in the middle of the street.
The store owner stared curiously at Iris, whose face turned red in embarrassment.
Geez, this is why this little princess-sama that doesn’t know a thing about the ways of the masses is…
“Well it can’t be helped, after all, until now, all the fruit you’ve eaten had all been beautifully peeled and gracefully served on a shining silver platter right? Now then, allow me to teach you some common sense. When it comes to fruits, after you peel the fruit and eat the contents inside, you fry the seeds and eat those, and then boil the skin and eat that as well.”
“You’re abnormal too Megumin! Normally you just throw the skin and seeds away!”
Yunyun’s unexpected straight-man-act, caused my treasured foundations of common sense to suddenly fall apart.
“T-That’s not possible is it? I mean, if you fry sunflower seeds until they’re parched, they’re quite tasty, and if you boil the skin you can eat that as well! Well, Yunyun was always the most abnormal person back at the village. Geez, this is why this girl without common sense is…”
“Hey stop for a second! Between the three of us, I’m obviously the one with the most common sense! And wait-, Alice-chan, you can’t eat before you pay!”
“E-Excuse my manners! The people around me always rush to pay for me, so…!”
Now that my weaknesses have been revealed in such an unexpected manner, so I can’t allow this test to go on any further.
Hmpf, from a fighting perspective and a talent perspective, she’s definitely beyond capable, but…
“Hey Megumin, I don’t know what you’re trying to do over there, but isn’t it about to stop messing around and just let Alice-chan join already? Uhm, if I can’t make any companions, then I’ll feel a bit heartbroken…”
“Yunyun, please stop talking about such severe things! I understand already. The test will be postponed to a later date, and Alice will join a provisional group for now. However Alice, should the people around you find out about this, even I have no idea what they’ll say alright?”
I stopped Yunyun from convincing me any further, and came to this compromise. In any case, Iris expression visibly brightened up.
“So in conclusion, you, who are now part of the provisional group are the lowest ranking amongst us. Thus, from now on, be sure to follow I, your leader’s instructions ok?”
Yunyun, who had listened intently to what I announced, showed an expression of sudden realization.
“By the way, why and when did Megumin become the leader? It’s not like I want to be the leader or anything, but as Megumin’s rival, if I become her subordinate of my own accord, it’s as if I’ve already lost to her. So I’d rather not.”
“This child is saying such annoying things again isn’t she? Anyway, isn’t that obvious? I’m the strongest and most mature in the group, so isn’t there no other choice but for me to take care of the rest of you guys?”
It seems that my two subordinates didn’t quite understand what I said, and they both showed subtle changes in expressions.
“Royalt…Chirimendonya are strong you know? If you want to say that, then why don’t you fight me first!?”
“Fighting…hah…, that might be a bit difficult, but if were talking about who the most mature person is, then shouldn’t that person be me? I mean, I have common sense, and I’m also the tallest one here.”
Witnessing my subordinates bring up such annoying topics, I could only shake my head, and muttered ‘my my’ under my breath.”
“Of course, if you want to take this seriously, then both are you are truly children. Either way, it’s evident that I’m the most mature one amongst us, after all…”
Then, I clapped my hands and announced:
“I asked to man to come to my room to play tonight.”
I revealed the fact that, just the other day, I had made a promise with that person…
“Wha-!? W-What are you trying to do! Stop! Stoppp! Please get off me! Stop pulling on my robes!”
“What do you mean by that Megumin!? By that man you mean Kazuma-san right!? D-D-, Did you cross the line!?”
“Y-Y-, You seduced onii-sama to come to your room!? Uhm, to onii-sama, who would blindly follow anyone who tries to seduce him!? Megumin-san isn’t a proper lady yet, so as onii-sama’s little sister, I can’t turn a blind eye to this kind of rotten relationship!”
I pushed away the two who had grasped onto me, and straightened my – now messy – robes.
“I’m already of marriageable age. Also, if I remember correctly, I’ve entered the bath, and even slept together with that man before. Anyway, we’re a young man and woman living under the same roof, so is it really that strange for this to have happened?”
Towards my pale-faced subordinates, who had listened to my announcement I said:
“So, is there anyone who objects to me being the leader?”
After clearly drawing the line between me and them, we travelled to our original destination, but—
“The great Megumin would like that much. Can you do this much?”
The owner of the real estate shop rejected me immediately.
“What about this deal are you not satisfied about!? Even though I’ve defeated numerous demon king army generals, do you still not trust me!? There are no other magicians in the world that are as recognized and valuable as me you know!?”
“I don’t care about that! No is no! You don’t even have the money to pay the collateral fee, and you say that you want to buy the largest building in the entire town! How shameless are you!? While it’s true that your party has a lot of achievements, I know better than to choose a party that was nominated as ‘most likely to wipe’!”
“W-What! Who and where is this person who gave us such an unfair and baseless evaluation!?”
We had come all the way to the real estate shop in Axel in order to purchase a place to use as our hideout, but as you can see, I am being treated harshly.
“Anyway, a deposit of thirty thousand eris is not enough. You know, I’ve been in this business for a while now, but this is the first time that someone has asked me to hand over the best building in town for so little money.”
“Kuh… I guess there’s no way. I was saving this precious thing for an emergency situation but…”
I placed a ten thousand eris bill on the table. In response the owner extended his hand, and flicked the bill off the table.
“You imbecile! What are you doing to my precious thing!”
“It doesn’t matter if it’s thirty thousand or forty thousand eris! It’s not enough either way! Please just go home already!”
I could feel someone pulling on my mantle, as if trying to get me to leave.
“Hey Megumin, aren’t you being a bit unreasonable? Also, you were actually serious when you said you were making a secret base and hideout huh… Um, I agree that there should be a place where we can gather with our friends, but let’s just go home for today, and come again when we have money.”
Knowing I had no choice but to accept what Yunyun said, I gritted my teeth in frustration.
“Ah… How much money would we have to borrow to buy the biggest building in this town?”
Iris poked her head out from behind us, and timidly asked the owner.
“If you’re talking about the biggest estate in town then… Well you’ll have to pay installments of two million eris a month, as well as a five million eris upfront deposit.”
Yunyun and I softly pushed towards the owner.
“I’ll give you the right to have this girl call you ‘oji-sama’ everyday, so can’t you lower the price a little bit?”
“Why do I have to do that kind of thing!?”
Yunyun put her hands around my neck and began to strange me.
As I was about to reverse this situation, Iris tapped my back.
“What is it Alice? I’m in the middle of an important negotiation, so…”
Then, as if to tell us to stop, she took a deep breath.
“Uhm, would this be enough money?”
Iris took out an eris bill of tremendous value.
Seeing the bill, the owner stopped moving entirely.
Yunyun stopped strangling me, and her face began to twitch in an excessive fashion.
“…U-, Uh, this is more than enough, but to buy an estate, I’ll need to see your personal identification, as well as a guarantor for your purchase…”
Faced with the owner’s apologetic demeanor, Iris showed a troubled expression.
“Uhm, would this count as personal identification?”
As she said that, she pulled out the pendant that was hidden under her robes. That was…
“Please excuse my behavior! Your highness may buy as many buildings as you wish! Of course, the payment is fine as well! I will go retrieve the key to the estate now, so please wait here for a moment!”
Before we could reply, the owner had already rushed into the interior of the store.
“…Hey, is Alice-chan actually the child of some amazing family?”
“…She’s just an underling of our thieving group.”
“Yes, I’m just an underling!”
For some reason, Iris happy to be called an underling. On the other hand, Yunyun’s expression was nothing short of miasmic.
“But, based on that oji-san’s change in attitude, she has to be the child of some famous family right? …Hey Megumin, was it really fine for us to involve Alice-chan in our idiotic game? Could we have done something we really shouldn’t have done?”
It was already too late for Yunyun – whose lips twitched furiously – to realize the graveness of this situation.
“I’m sorry for my lateness, here is the key! …Please. This real estate store shall welcome your patronage at any time, and forever to come!”
Said the owner as he flew back to the storefront. His face was drenched with sweat, and his stiff smile was twitching intensely.
“…Hey Megumin, if we cause anymore trouble for the police, I won’t be able to face the people at the village…”
“It’s fine, all we need to do is protect Alice. Nothing more, and nothing less. Understood?”
Near the center of Axel, on the best plot of land, was a large mansion.
The size of the structure made the mansion that I lived in feel like an ordinary house. Anyway, from today onwards, this will be our hideout.
As Yunyun and I looked up at the massive mansion, we whispered to each other:
“…I suppose we must decide the name of our thieving group first. Then, how about we called ourselves the Axel Branch?”
“Hey Megumin, are you sure you’re not thinking on the wrong scale? At first, I thought we were just playing around. It’ll be scary if our activities go any further, so…”
To be honest, I was getting impatient since things weren’t going according to plan, but I tell her that.
Anyhow, the fact that the town’s greatest mansion had fallen into our hands on the day of the groups’ establishment was already beyond my plans.
“Wow what a big mansion! It might even be bigger than my father’s villa!”
As I glanced at ‘Alice’, who displayed her warped conception of this mansion, I opened the entrance door.
Like the mansion that had become my home, the first room was a large living room. Well, perhaps noble mansions tended to have the same sort of architecture.
Though the mansion had been maintained in an excellent condition by the real estate store, it was lacking the important furniture. The only furniture in the room was a large sofa and table.
I threw myself onto the sofa, and lazily laid down.
Then, I announced:
“As of today, this is officially our hideout. From now on, we can come here when we’re discussing our plots, planning our activities, or if we just have too much free time. Well, basically, this is a place where we can gather in. Each of you can come get a key alright?”
When I said that this was a place to gather, Yunyun’s eyes began to shine, and she showed a happy expression. On the other hand, Iris seemed happy and with a wide smile, she jumped onto the sofa without regard for her etiquette.
Then, Yunyun – with a silly smile of her face – seated herself on one end of the sofa. Fixing my posture, I said:
“We somehow managed to easily obtain this hideout, but I suppose that connections can also be called a talent. If it’s something we can use, we should use it without any regrets… Now then—”
I put my hand on the table.
“Now that that’s settled, let’s discuss the future of my thieving group.”
After my introductory remark, I began to explain to the two—
“—And that is everything you need to know. They are not doing this for our own benefit, rather, they are chivalrous thieves that are the ally of the masses. To them, it doesn’t matter if they criminals, or have great bounties hung on our heads, they will continue to do what they do for the sake of the world, for the sake of humanity! Even if no one witnesses what their righteous acts, even if no one understands what they do, even then, they continue to fight!”
“Amazing…! What kind of virtue could they possible have…? Megumin, I’ve decided! Though I was trying to back out from pointless game a moment ago, from now on, I will do my best alongside you!”
I was slightly curious of what she meant by ‘pointless game’, but since she was motivated now, I suppose I’ll let it be.
Then, I noticed Iris’ trembling stature. She had been silent all this time.
“Alice? What happened? Your face is flushed and your eyes are wet…”
As if she hadn’t heard what I pointed out, Iris slammed the table and rose from her seat.”
“I will go to my father right now. If there’s a chance that I can get the bounty of that thieving group lifted, I don’t mind saying selfish things to my father! If that doesn’t work, I will go to onii-sama and get him to spoil me!”
“What is this girl saying all of a sudden!? The part about the bounty is fine, but why do you need that man to spoil you!”
Consider the flow of our discussion, how did we ever get to this topic?
‘Even if it is the princess, we will not turn our eyes from a young girl exposed to danger. If there is a crisis that beckons us, it makes no difference whether it is a noble’s mansion or a royal castle, we will infiltrate it. That is the mission of the Masked Thieving Group’
Even thought that was what the masked man had taught me that the last time we met…
“More importantly, we need to discuss our future plans. As of now, we’re only three people. Not to mention, the three of us are still relatively young. For now, let’s focus on expanding our reach and increasing our numbers. Of course, don’t take this task lightly. To add on, if we recruit some more tough and capable members and improve our reputation, we’ll soon be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Silver-Haired Thieving Group!”
“Tough and capable members huh… Those people are more like outlaws than thieves, not to mention that nothing good will ever come out of them…”
As Yunyun mumbled to herself, Iris crossed her arms with a troubled expression.
“Uhm, Megumin-san. The last time I came to this town, I managed to meet a superbly magnificent person. Should I invite him to this group?”
“A superbly magnificent person you say? I don’t know about what happened when you came to this town last time, so could you please tell me more about this person?”
Iris returned a small nod in response to my inquiry.
“That person is called Hachibei. During the day that I spent with that person, he had assumed the role of a foolish mood-maker, and had showered me with thoughtless praise. As long as there is a sufficient reward, he will will help with anything.”
“That’s enough Alice, you must cut your ties with that person immediately! What I seek is someone who can sing and dance at the same time! That’s the kind of amusing person I am looking for!”
Well, since we were just established today, there’s no hurry to increase our numbers right?
I shifted my focus to my original plans:
“The two of you, please turn your attention here for a moment. Let’s talk about our plans for tonight.”
As I said that, I spread a map of the town across the table—
At the villa of a certain noble—
Our gazes were fixated onto the guards stationed at the front gate.
“—Hey Megumin, I’ve meant to ask you for a while now, but are you an idiot? What happened to you? Weren’t you the top student back at the village?”
Ignoring Yunyun, who continued to pester me about the same thing over and over again, I continued observing the exterior of the mansion.
“Hmm, if there’s only this many guards, and if the mansion is this big… Then with my explosion magic I can take them all out in one go right?”
“Hey Megumin, forget about what I said, you’re clearly one of the top idiots of the Crimson Magic clan!”
Since we can’t allow ourselves to draw the attention of the guards, I hurriedly covered Yunyun’s blabbering mouth.
Iris lightly tugged on my mantle. When I turned to face her, she carried a bewildered expression.
“Uhm, Megumin-san…? I don’t know much about the common sense of the world, but I’m certain that this is something we can’t and shouldn’t do. At the very least, if there isn’t any evidence…”
In order to comfort Iris, I showed a confident smile and declared:
“Everything will be fine Alice. The Crimson Magic clan, who specialize in creating magic tools, have a saying: ‘Create what you don’t have’”
“Stop right there Megumin! I mean, the meaning of that phrase is different from what you meant!”
Yunyun was putting up an unexpected straight-man-act again. In order to resolve this, I turned my gaze towards the mansion, and announced:
“Everything will be fine Yunyun, after all, we have Alice. As long as we hide behind this girl’s back, we can’t be prosecuted in any way.”
“Hey, I didn’t want to force you to tell me about this, but let’s hear it! Who exactly is Alice-chan!? Could it be that we’re not actually doing what I think we’re doing!?”
Ignoring Yunyun’s incessant shouting, I targeted the space above the mansion with my magic and—!
“Ir-…! A-, Alice-sama, I’ve been looking everywhere for you!”
Then, suddenly, a teary voice came from behind us.
I quickly turned around. Behind us was woman dressed in a white suit, with a sheathed sword at her waist.
Her eyes glistened on the verge of tears, and her breath was ragged. It seemed that she had been searching for Iris with deathly conviction.
If I remember correct, this person was called Claire, and was one of Iris’ two bodyguards.
“Claire!? H-, How did you know that I would be in this town!?”
Iris exclaimed in surprise. She probably didn’t think that she would be found so easily.
“How much do you think I know about you, Alice-sama? As a loyal retainer of my level, as someone who measures how much Alice-sama grows each week, as someone who counts how many times Alice-sama yawns in a day, as someone who would even measure the amount of times Alice-sama pushes green peppers to the side of her plate; of course I would see through Alice-sama’s plans.”
Ah, this person is a degenerate as well.
“C-, Claire, though that is slightly disturbing, it is as I would expect of you! But to think that you would find me with such pinpoint accuracy… More importantly, Claire, Please! Just for tonight, let me stay at onii-sama’s mansion—”
“I cannot allow that.”
Claire – who would not even allow such a wish – caught Iris by the wrist, pulled her in, and hugged her tightly, as to not allow her to escape.
“Let go Claire! I can’t allow you to interrupt my plans for tonight! I’m going to trick onii-sama!”
“That’s truly a great thing! A man like him should not only be thoroughly deceived, but also deserves to be henpecked! Now Alice-sama, please stop being selfish and think about me as well!”
(of a woman) continually criticize and give orders to (her husband or other male partner).>
As Claire shouted such things, her face turned redder, and she tightened her hug on Iris.
“C-, Claire? I didn’t really mean to go to that extent, but first, can you loosen your grip a little?”
Despite her plea, Claire proceeded to rub her nose against Iris’ hair, and breathed in deeply with an expression of inappropriate joy.
“I cannot. This is punishment Alice-sama. For I, Claire, who cannot do these things to Alice-sama from now on, can only tighten my hug as if possessed by the devil. It is as if…Ow, ow-! P-, Please wait a moment Alice-sama! Forgive me Alice-sama! It is my fault for putting up such a foolish act, so please don’t tighten your hug any further!”
Iris, who had tightened her hug in turn, had caused inappropriate sounds to creak from Claire’s body. When Iris finally released the hug, Claire turned towards me:
“It has been a while Megumin-dono. I cannot thank you enough for protecting Alice-sama on this occasion. After we return to the capital, I suppose that I need to increase the supervision of the teleport store, so that Alice-sama will not be able to come to this town again in such a manner. Well then, I suppose it’s time to say our farewells…”
Hearing what Claire said, Iris showed cast her head downwards in defeat
Seeing Claire’s angry expression, I suppose that the situation is as I suspected. Iris had snuck out of the castle of her own accord to come to this town.
The castle’s security will be increased after this. Furthermore, if she can’t use teleport, then we wouldn’t ever get the chance to meet again due to the difference in our status.
Iris pressed herself against Claire’s back. No matter how I look at it, her downcast expression was that of a child that hadn’t had to the opportunity to play around.
“When you return to the capital, remember to keep your ears open. I’ll send you a signal someday. If you hear the signal, please come go to the front gate of the capital at sunset of the next day.”
It was like a promise to play again some other time.
Iris raised her head with a confused expression.
“Even if you are a provisional member, you are definitely a member of our thieving group. Now that you’ve joined the group, don’t think it’ll be so easy to leave alright?”
Hearing what I said, Iris expression quickly brightened up—
“Yes! Of course boss!”
And so, she exclaimed with a wide smile.
“…Alice-sama, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but we need to hurry up and leave alright? N-, No, please don’t do that Alice-sama! Even if you turn your eyes up towards me with such a cute expression—! Now, let’s hurry to the teleport room. I’m sure that Rain is crying whilst searching for you back at the capital.”
And then, Claire, together with Iris – who continued to energetically complain despite her hands being restricted – headed for the teleport store.
“And they’re gone……”
Muttered Yunyun. As if unable to pay attention to anything else, she looked towards where they left.
“Yunyun, if I’m not wrong, you said that you learned teleport magic the other day right?”
When she heard my inquiry, Yunyun tilted her head slightly.
“Eh-? Ahh, yea… I wanted to use it to return to the village anytime, but I only learned it recently…”
“I see. Then I have something I want you to do. We’ll go to the teleport room right now. Then, once we’re brought to the capital, could you register that place as a teleport point?”
“The capital? …Well I don’t really mind, but you’re plotting something weird again aren’t you Megumin?”
I just wanted to visit my underling whenever I wanted.
“How disrespectful of you to call it a plot. I merely want to go on an excursion somewhere faraway. It’s a pity that our plans for today didn’t work out, but we can postpone that to some other time. Now then, let’s go!”
“I did say that I don’t really mind, but why are Megumin’s eyes glowing so brightly!? I mean, I have a bad feeling about this!”
––Using the teleport store, we arrived at the front gate of the royal capital.
Well then, please go over there and register the teleport point. I have something I must do right now, so once you’re done registering please come back here.”
“I’m fine with that, but what is it that you ‘must’ do? Does it have something to do with what you said to Alice-chan?”
I turned my back towards Yunyun, who showed an uneasy expression, and walked towards a small hill a fair distance away from the gate.
Hmm, from here, the people in the capital shouldn’t be able to see me.
For the sake of my underling, I started chanting my special magic—
“Wha Megumin, what are you chanting!? You’re not planning to strike that kind of place with explosion magic are you!?”
Ignoring Yunyun, who chased after me after registering the teleport point—
Though I was only using for its sound, I unleashed my tried and true explosion magic––––!
“––Hey Megumin, from now on I’ll call you the number one idiot of the Crimson Magic clan alright?”
“If you’re gonna call me that, I’ll call you the number one loner of the Crimson Magic clan alright?”
After returning to Axel using Yunyun’s teleport magic, I—
“…Just so you know, I’m fine with leaving you here.”
“Oi, if you leave me in an immobile state in a place where so many people pass through, I’ll never forgive you. If some pervert sees me in a state where I can’t move after using magic, what am I going to do?”
Was currently being carried home by Yunyun.
“A ‘special’ person who would do perverted things to someone like Megumin… the only person I can think of that would do that in this town is Kazuma-san…Ow ow!
Since Yunyun was saying some clearly unnecessary things, I lowered my hands from her neck, and gripped her ‘chest armor’ to my hearts content.
“Well anyway, I didn’t think it would cause such a mess.”
“Why didn’t you think it would? Well, the capital gave the demon king army attack announcement, but no matter how I look at it, it’s obvious that that was because of Megumin’s magic attack.”
“…Well, don’t you think that that was a fine debut for our elite thieving group?”
“We’re thieves not terrorists! Hey, can we disband already? I think that if we keep this up, we’re going to have a higher bounty than the silver-haired thieving group.”
That is exactly what I wish for.
“Well isn’t that fine? The people at the capital will get used to it anyway. After all, we’re going to do that every day from now on.”
“Wait a second!? But I didn’t hear about this!”
“Oh, well I guess we’re almost there huh. Well since my magic power has recovered a bit as well, it’s fine to drop me here.”
“Hey, are we going to do this again tomorrow!? Actually, I think I’d rather leave the group!”
As Yunyun’s fussy noise trailed from behind me, I headed towards the mansion—
As I returned home, I was greeted by Aqua. She was diligently feeding the yellow furball than rested on her knee.
As I walked into the living room, I could hear angry shouting coming from the kitchen.
“—Like I said already, the food that your make just aren’t that tasty. To be honest, they’re just straight up plain! Since I have the cooking skill anyway, just leave this to me, and go wait over there or something!”
“—I mean I have the essence of a lady as well! If I just sit around doing nothing everyday and let a man cook, then how I can I face my retainers that have taught me how to cook since I was young! Its fine, just leave this to me. Go and lounge in the living room or something!”
It seems that they were fighting over who was cooking today.
Having been chased away from the kitchen, Kazuma entered the living room with a moody expression.
“Oh? Welcome home Megumin. Hey, hear me out alright? That girl Darkness was saying some troublesome things and—“
I said to the idiot that was sleeping on the sofa:
“Well, Kazuma, you probably said some unnecessary things…More importantly, uhm, about tonight…”
“…O-Oh, tonight is that huh. Yea, it’s that tonight.”
Kazuma got up from the couch with a flushed face.
About ‘that’, it seems that he was thinking of something else entirely.
“What is it you two, what happened? You guys look a little weird, and what is ‘that’ anyway?”
“Noth-, it’s nothing alright-!? It’s that you know? That. Oh yea, Megumin was talking this morning about how she was going to make some organization or something you know!? Anyway, how did ‘that’ turn out!?”
Kazuma, who was questioned by Aqua, feverishly tried to change the topic.
“I made a surprising amount of progress today you know? Not only did we get a hideout, I also gained two subordinates”
“I see, that sounds like fun doesn’t it? When I was a kid, I made a secret hideout to play in as well. But when the neighboring kids take over or destroy your hideout, don’t cry or attack them or anything alright?”
“What do you think I was doing all this time!? Anyway, you’ll be surprised when you see my hideout alright? After all, it’s larger that this mansion. Also, one of my new subordinates is wields a holy sword, and can also legendary-rank magic, so haven’t I already made good progress for the first day of establishment? If we continue like this, it won’t be long till we can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Silver-Haired Thieving Group.”
“I see, isn’t that great~! A new friend that has a holy sword and can use legendary magic is a good fit for you right? But don’t cause too much trouble for them alright?”
Really, this man was going act disrespectfully till bitter end.
Anyway, I should really tell this person about what happened to Iris.
…Well, there’ll be some chance to explain that in the future I guess.
Then, when I was considering what to do, Kazuma turned to face Aqua and said:
“Well that aside, oi Aqua. You can drink the expensive wine you bought today without any regrets alright? You’ve been working hard taking care of Emperor Zell all this time, so you can take a break every once in a while and drink as you like.”
“Hm? What kind of revelation did you get? I mean, you always punish for doing this and that. Have you finally opened your eyes to repent for forgiveness? Well, usually, I would gladly take this break, but I’ll pass for tonight. I promised to brainstorm with Megumin about the name of Emperor Zell’s special move for when he gets one, so I’ll drink some other time alright?”
“Hah-!? N-, No no! Can’t that wait till when Emperor Zell actually gets a special move? I mean, Megumin is tired from playing outside today, so she should go to bed earlier right? Right!?”
Kazuma raised his voice in fearful desperation.
…This person really thinks I went to play around today.
I wanted to explain in detail what happened today, but I guess I don’t have to tell him right now… He’s not a group member anyway.
I’ll tell him someday, when this thieving group becomes bigger. Someday, when I have told him about what I promised to him.
Then, someday, when this man tells me he wants to join the thieving group—
“You’re right. Since I’m tired today, I’ll go to bed after eating. Now that that’s settled, Kazuma, about what we promised, please come tomorrow instead.
—I will also tell him about the day that I met that masked thief.
- Yunyun’s ‘Hey Megumin’ and ‘but…’ are parts of her speech pattern. It’s an indication of her timid and uncertain demeanor.