PRELUDE OF THE EXPLOSION MANIAC
Translator: Sine Nomine
Editor: Vysne, TaintedDreams, Skythewood
In my narrow and run-down house, there was a sound of someone searching the house violently.
That was to say that, someone was ransacking the house.
As to what that someone was, naturally it was a monster.
And inside the house should also be—
“Ko-Ko-… Komekko… Komekko has been—“
“Meg-Megumin, calm down! Ca-ca-calm down!”
Yunyun grabbed and shook my shoulder, as I stood unsteadily before the ruined door.
“Calm down! Megumin, just calm down!!”
Yunyun’s words snapped me out of my trance. My brain started churning rapidly.
True, I must think calmly in a time like this.
“No problem! My sister is the reincarnation of the god of gluttony, Ashtoreth! When she is in danger, her seal will be broken, and she will finally conquer the world with me.”
“I’m asking you to calm down! Pull yourself together, Megumin!”
After being slapped by Yunyun, I regained my composure.
“Pain, pain, pain… No-Now isn’t the time to say such things, Yunyun! Komekko should still be in the house! We should infiltrate into the house and rescue her! That child is more well-versed in the ways of the world than me, so she won’t be eaten by monsters so easily! Come, stop dawdling, let’s go!”
“…Ho-How can she suddenly become so positive…”
Yunyun followed behind and drew her dagger from her waist as she muttered. The silver blade flashed in the darkness.
“Yunyun’s weird actions are only reliable in such situations. After all, I don’t have any weapon, so it’s up to you in the critical moment, okay?”
“Weird!? What do you mean by weird!? Hey, am I doing something weird!?”
“Rather than weird— Only weird Yunyun would bring a dagger to school because she likes it. No matter how much you like the dagger, it is still ridiculous.”
“Ugh…! I, I can’t retort that… That’s true! But what is going on? I have a sense of unease since just now…!”
I put my index finger to my lips, signaling to the noisy Yunyun. I snuck quietly into the house that continued to be filled with “kada, kada” sounds.
There were no anguish cries of Komekko from the house.
The worst scenario flashed across my mind, but my sister was a great person so she must be alright— I tried to convince myself to calm myself down…!
—Upon going through the front door, I came face-to-face with the monster.
A reptilian monster with a bird’s beak was directly in front of us.
“……Ah, ahhhh! Yunyunyunyunyun! Yunyunyun! Yunyun!”
“Wait. Don’t push me! And why did my name become so strange? Wait, wait!”
“It is intimidating us, just intimidating us, Yunyun. Please use your dagger to stab it!”
“Even if you ask me to kill the monster, I…!”
The monster raised its voice after seeing us arguing loudly.
Yunyun forcefully took a pose with her silver dagger, but there was no strength in her. Her cheeks were shivering, as if she might cry at any moment.
The monster seemed to think Yunyun was easy to deal with, and extended its limbs to grab us—!
I pushed Yunyun hard. The monster’s belly was pierced by Yunyun’s dagger, and it cried out in agony.
Yunyun screeched along with the monster as she stabbed it.
I took the dagger from the screaming Yunyun, and went towards the wounded monster which was rolling on floor near the door. Holding the dagger in both hands, I stabbed the monster in its throat.
“Ugghhh! Megumin! Meg-Megumin— Ahhh!”
“You, you are so noisy, Yunyun! We are Crimson Magic Clan that even the demon king fears. How can you hesitate when driving out mon… sters…?”
There was something strange about the monster which was stabbed by me.
After being stabbed in the throat, the monster struggled in agony for a while, and then vanished in a puff of black smoke.
Why did the corpse vanish?
At this moment, I noticed that the house was silent once more.
It looked like there was only one monster searching my house, the one that died and vanished.
But there should be a lot of monsters coming in the direction of my house.
And why did it search a poor household with barely any food?
No, the most important thing now is—!
“……Yes, Komekko! Komekko, where are you!? It’s me, your sister!”
“Ko-Komekko? Komekko, where are you!”
Yunyun and I searched the house, but Komekko neither replied nor appeared.
A close examination revealed that there was no blood stain.
Which meant she probably escaped from the house.
Or was captured by monsters…
“Yunyun, she’s outside! My sister should be outside! I will go and find my sister. Yunyun, stay here just in case she returns home. Make a barricade out of the broken door and household items. Ah, lend me this dagger.”
I said and walked towards the door. Yunyun grabbed my collar.
“N-no! If Megumin, who has no motor nerves, goes, she would only be eaten! I will go too!”
“You are so arrogant just because you were lucky enough to win one match earlier. Fine, let’s go. But my condition is that when monsters appear, Yunyun will take full responsibility.”
“Eh!? This, this… uh…”
We argued as we exited the house…
—And walked into a monster tearing at the school bag I left outside.
“Kuro has—! I remembered you put Kuro inside the school bag!”
Yunyun cried in despair. The monster, which was tearing at the school bag, noticed us.
“Tha-That furball is a goner, let’s give up! It sacrificed its life for us, so I will erect a tombstone for him! No problem, that furball will always be with us. Yes, it will forever live in our hearts…!”
“It is still alive! Look carefully, that child is still alive! You are giving up too soon!?”
Yunyun said, pointing to the school bag, as she grabbed my collar as I turned to flee from the monster.
Truly, Kuro sneakily crawled out from the torn school bag.
However, the monster did not harm Kuro who was crawling out of the school bag. It merely watched the cat silently.
Furthermore, the monster noticed us a long time ago, but it seemed disinterested in us.
“In any case, this is a rare opportunity! That furball must have aroused the monster’s protective instinct! We should take the chance to escape and find my sister…!”
“Wait! I know you are worried about Komekko, but please save Kuro too!”
“What are you saying? If we take Kuro from the monster that is so obsessed with it, the monster will pursue us! I have a premonition!”
Hearing this, Yunyun showed a look like a child acting coyly at her parents, begging them to adopt a stray puppy.
……Ahhh, how irritating!
“Prepare to run away! I will retrieve the furball my sister fed so dedicatedly.”
Of course, it was “fed dedicatedly” to become an emergency source of food— But it was better not to tell her this.
Yunyun’s expression bloomed like a flower. I held the dagger and circled around to the monster’s back…
—Simultaneously, the monster also acted.
It reached for Kuro with its claws and used both hands to carry it.
Kuro did not resist. It seemed really docile to the monster which was carrying it.
As the monster was about to spread its wings to fly into the sky…!
“My sister is full of expectations for it to grow. If that furball is taken, my sister will hate me! Taste my weapon toss skill!”
I exerted my strength to toss the dagger, which flew off in an unrelated direction.
“…Unbelievable. This monster is even protected by a wind magic barrier…”
“There’s no barrier! No matter I see it, it was Megumin who threw the dagger over to a weird place!”
“Now is not that time for this trivial argument! Kuro…!”
“True! What Megumin said is true! But I keep having this uneasy feeling—!”
As we were arguing, the monster took Kuro and flew into the sky towards somewhere…
—Watching Kuro being taken away, I said in a strangely quiet voice.
“…That furball must be a messenger from Heaven. It merely returned to its original home. So, stop crying, gently send it on its way…!”
“Don’t add on such a strange setting and let Kuro die! What should we do, Kuro was taken! The monster must be taking it to its lair to eat it! What should we do!”
Almost in tears, Yunyun recovered the dagger and said.
“Hm. Calm down first. Kuro did not struggle when taken by the monster, so it should be safe. That furball received my family’s Spartan style education, so it can sense danger.”
“Hey, how did you actually educate it!? Were you abusing it!?”
Yunyun grabbed my shoulders and shook me.
No matter what, Komekko was more important than Kuro.
“Leave Kuro for now. The important one is Komekko. My sister is very brave and experienced. I didn’t raise her to be the kind of naïve brat that will cry at any event and then get killed. She must be hiding somewhere now…”
“T-That’s right! Hey, Megumin, do you know where Komekko might be!?”
A place where Komekko might go…
I couldn’t possibly have a clue.
But I felt that something Komekko said before was very worrying.
What was it, what was it…
“I have no evidence, but I am a bit concerned about something. After all, when I was young, I was just like Komekko…”
I frequently snuck out of the house to play, provoking my parents to scold me.
—As I was about to say this… A certain memory flashed across my mind.
I remembered when I was young, I once played with the evil god’s seal as if it was a toy.
“……? What is it, Megumin?”
Recently, when I asked Komekko where was she playing, she answered.
“I found a toy, so I kept playing! Sis wants to play too?”
……This, is this really…!
“Ahah… Ahahahah… Don-don-don-don’t tell me it…!”
“What!? Wha-What happened, Megumin? Why are you panicking…”
It all made sense. It finally all made sense.
My poor family has no toy.
But Komekko said she found a toy.
It was possible that my cute sister merely received a toy from a neighbor, but the most likely scenario would be…!
—The tombstone of the evil god was erected outside the village.
Lit by magic lamps, the tombstone gave off a sinister feel in the night.
Monsters continued to circle in the sky above. We arrived at the tomb.
The monsters ignored us as we ran here. They seemed to be looking for something.
“Hey, Megumin, Komekko wouldn’t run to a place like this…”
I did not reply when Yunyun said so uneasily. We hid in the bushes to observe the situation at the tombstone.
“……She’s really here.”
Komekko held the puzzle pieces and stood blankly before the tombstone. I did not know what she was trying to do.
I recognized the thing Komekko was holding as the seal fragments.
Why was this kid holding such things in this place?
As I pondered this, I followed Komekko’s gaze…
“……Great, Yunyun. That furball is fine too.”
“Why are you so calm!? Isn’t this situation really terrifying!?”
Komekko, who was holding the puzzle pieces, faced the monster, which was holding Kuro.
“Wha-Wha-What do we do now! And where are the adults in the village!?”
“Looking at the current situation, it is unlikely for new monsters to appear from the tomb. The adults must have confirmed this and dispersed to drive away the monsters inside the village.”
Since earlier, the villagers had been firing colorful magic into the sky.
If the situation wasn’t like this, I would be watching the “fireworks” from my house’s window along with Komekko and Yunyun.
“Hm. Calm down. As you can see, there is only one enemy, who is concentrating on Komekko. It should be fine if we proceed carefully. After all, we already killed one.”
“I, I see. You have thought this out well.”
Yunyun started to calm down as she looked at me.
Then, Komekko put the puzzle pieces down on the floor, suddenly raising both arms towards the monster.
“……What is Komekko doing?”
“Probably intimidating the monster. It looks like she wants to take Kuro from the monster.”
Faced with the advancing Komekko, the monster backed off.
Even Kuro, who was being carried by the monster, started shivering.
“It feels like the monster has been suppressed by Komekko. Although I want to watch how this develops… Let’s go, Yunyun. I’ll entrust you to be the bait.”
“O-Okay… Hey, wait! Why am I the bait!”
“Clumsy Yunyun couldn’t possibly kill it in one hit, right? So lend me that dagger… I won’t toss it this time. Quickly give it to me!”
“No, no! This time I will hit it, so Megumin be the bait…! Hey, ah!”
As we argued over the dagger, she suddenly looked up at the sky and exclaimed.
Looking closely, there were five monsters descending near Komekko.
“No-No problem, right!? Megumin must have thought of a plan, right!?”
“Of course, in such critical moments, surely a hidden power will be awakened, or someone will come to the rescue. Therefore, we just need to shiver and scream like helpless girls…”
“Megumin, what are you saying!? And where are you looking at? Your eyes have become swirly*! Hey, are you unexpectedly bad at handling sudden crisis!?”
Note (*): See examples of swirly eyes at http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/anime/answers/show/509532/post-characters-with-swirly-dizzy-eyes
Komekko was oblivious to me, while I was losing my grip on reality. She started making intimidating noises at the surrounding monsters.
“—Hey, Megumin. Will Komekko really be okay!? That kid is trying to fight so many monsters! And why is she not afraid, instead why are the monsters getting scared!”
My little sister might really be a great person.
Leaving aside Kuro who treated her as a natural nemesis, why were the monsters afraid of her?
It was as if they were infected by Kuro’s fear.
“Eh, now is not the time to simply wait! ……I didn’t want to do this……”
I took out my trump card from my pocket.
Looking at it, Yunyun said.
“Adventurer’s Card? …Ah!? Megumin, you…!”
—Exactly. I had to choose the lesser of two evils.
If I had to choose between my sister’s life and Explosion magic, then of course—!
“Stop right there!”
Komekko and the monsters looked at me.
I held my Adventurer’s Card, jumping out of the bushes.
“My name is Megumin! Crimson Magic Clan’s top genius who wields advanced magic! Leave my sister alone!”
“Ah, sis! They snatched away my meal!”
“Komekko!? What meal!? You mean Kuro!?”
Both of them just ruined my cool debut!
Yunyun held her dagger and emerged after me.
“…Hey, Megumin, you really want to learn advanced magic? But you love Explosion magic so much……”
“A genius like me can easily regain the points by hunting a lot of monsters. No matter how long it takes— Even if it takes dozens of years, I will never give up on Explosion magic!”
……I said that, but my heart still felt heavy.
Even though I needed to confront the monsters now.
The monsters changed their targets, slowly surrounding and closing in on us.
One of them spread its wings, intending to attack us from the sky.
—My hand was shaking as it held on to my Adventurer’s Card.
After all, it was my childhood dream. It wasn’t so easy to give up on.
But there was no other way to save my sister.
……No problem. I just had to work harder from now on.
I convinced myself and took my Adventurer’s Card—!
“Your voice and body are shivering. You can’t bear to do it, right?”
Yunyun put her dagger back at her waist.
She held her Adventurer’s Card in her hands, just like I was.
“What are you—“
—trying to do?
As I was about to finish my question…
I was interrupted by Yunyun’s incantation.
I followed the star-like street lights, running as I held Komekko’s hand.
“Sis, Yunyun is so powerful! The lightning went ‘dong’—!”
Maybe she was too excited, Komekko held onto my hand very strongly.
“Yes, very powerful. But Yunyun has surpassed me now! I thought she will be at a loss while standing to the side…!”
I complained to Komekko as I ran to find the adult villagers.
—Yunyun learned intermediate magic.
After learning intermediate magic, she would have to graduate.
So she could no longer enjoy the privilege of being an immature Crimson Magic Clansman — an easy way to obtain the rare Skill Up Potion.
If Yunyun decided to learn advanced magic, she must fight monsters to gain experience and level up.
Learning intermediate magic consumed 10 skill points.
To regain these skill points, she must increase the same amount of levels correspondingly.
Also, the higher your level, the more difficult it is to gain a level.
Low-level Yunyun should gain levels very fast.
But no matter how fast, it would still take at least one year to gain 10 levels.
For the next year, my rival would be seen as an incompetent Crimson Magic Clansman.
Even though she worked really hard as the chief’s daughter and always achieved excellent results.
“Sis, are you crying?”
“I’m not crying! I’m just feeling vexed, causing my mana to flow from my eyes!”
Yunyun used lightning magic to attack the head of the monster holding on to Kuro, and said.
—I will save Kuro. You take Komekko and find the adult villagers—
Because I was indecisive about learning advanced magic, Yunyun had to graduate from being an apprentice wizard.
And that child, who disliked killing, could actually unleash magic without reservation like this.
Although normally awkward, she would come forth when someone needed protection.
My rival’s posture was really dazzling—
“…? Sis, what is it? Too tired to run?”
Komekko was bewildered as she stared at me, who stopped moving.
My self-proclaimed rival was fighting monsters alone.
My self-proclaimed rival who never won me.
My self-proclaimed rival was a lonely person with no friend, and would pester me all the time.
—If I ran away now to achieve my dream, I would never be qualified to have a match with my self-proclaimed rival again.
“Komekko, do you like sister?”
Komekko smiled and answered.
“……Even if sister cannot use the most powerful magic, cannot become the most powerful wizard?”
“I will do it in sister’s place, so no problem!”
Komekko continued to smile and answer.
At her young age, she was already aiming to become the most powerful. Truly, she would become a great person.
“……Komekko, I am going to save Yunyun, so you……”
As I was saying, I looked at the sky, searching for the nearest battle location.
There were a few flashes of light shooting from the ground up nearby.
I squatted down to Komekko’s eye level and said.
“You run to where that light was. The adult villagers should be there. The flying monsters seem to be searching for something, so they won’t be hostile to you. For someone who can safely arrive at the tomb in the midst of this confusion, you would be fine. Avoid street lamps and similar things so you would not stand out, and stealthily—“
“Don’t want! I want to be with sis!”
“……Listen properly, I’m going into battle, but no matter how strong or cool I am, there is a chance of losing. So—“
As I attempted to persuade her, my sister clenched her fists and said roughly.
“I want to fight too! I will take back my stolen meal!”
She said these worrying, yet reliable words.
—I turned back on the road and repeatedly instructed my sister.
“Listen properly! You must not leave my side!”
“Do not charge the monster which had taken Kuro! I will help you recover Kuro! You understand?”
“Okay! I will try to not charge at it!”
“Not try, you absolutely must not!”
Was this really okay? Honestly, I felt uneasy…
But driving away the persistent Komekko might be even more dangerous.
……I made my decision.
I will not give up on Explosion magic. Even if I had to spend a few years or a few decades, I would absolutely learn it.
This was just a slight detour.
Right, just a slight—
“Blade of Wind!”
Yunyun shouted and slashed down her hand, creating a blast of wind.
The wind became a blade and cut down one of the monsters in the sky.
Normally, intermediate magic was unable to deal so much damage.
This must be because of Yunyun’s naturally strong magic power. She was truly the one whose power was second to me.
As we returned to the scene, we watched Yunyun fought on desperately.
“Sis, aren’t you going?”
“Wait, Komekko. Your clever sister suddenly realizes something. There is no need for advanced magic. It is enough for us to just survive this encounter.”
I said as I watched the battle.
……I was not backing out from my decision.
If intermediate magic was enough to fight off these monsters like Yunyun was currently doing, why waste points to learn advanced magic?
Yunyun was already gaining the upper hand.
Since the monsters did not leave their corpses behind, it was impossible to determine how many she had killed. But when I was running away, there should be six of them.
Now there was only one left.
Yunyun stood in front, leaving Kuro protectively by her feet.
“……But this is terrible. Yunyun is going to defeat all the monsters.”
“? Isn’t it good if Yunyun defeated them all?”
“Of course not. If so, my decision to return would be…”
At this moment.
My wish was granted. Seven monsters descended from the night sky.
Good, I would coolly debut and save her, repaying everything she was due!
“My name is Komekko! Watching the house is my job. I’m the Crimson Magic Clan’s Number One Femme Fatale little sister!”
Komekko interrupted me and presented herself first.
“Komekko! You… Why do you keep interrupting my glorious debut!”
“I won’t apologize!”
“Hey! Why are you two still here!? I told you to run away!?”
Yunyun fixed her gaze on the oncoming monsters, as she shouted at us.
I said to her.
“You think I will owe my self-proclaimed rival a debt of honor and run away by myself?!”
“It’s about time you drop this ‘self-proclaimed’ prefix! After all, I am now a true wizard after learning magic! I’m different from the fake wizard Megumin!”
“F-Fake wizard!? Ho-How dare you, you intermediate magician!”
“Don’t call me an ‘intermediate magician’ like I’m a substandard Crimson Magic Clansman!”
While we were arguing, one of the monsters who descended earlier suddenly pounced at Yunyun.
Even though she was arguing with me, Yunyun was still watching the enemy’s movements. She picked Kuro up, and quickly rolled out of the way to avoid the attack.
Then, she drew her dagger with her other hand and threw it at the monster.
Maybe it was just luck, but Yunyun’s dagger hit the monster’s throat.
The wounded monster let out a sound like a lute, and collapsed while holding its own throat. It then vanished in a puff of black smoke.
Seeing this, the remaining monsters rushed at Yunyun!
“Looks like you are in danger! Intermediate magician Yunyun! Now is time for the advanced magician Megumin to take care of these trash in one go!”
“Eh!? Megumin, what are you saying all of a sudden!? Why did you think I learned intermediate magic…!”
Yunyun got up quickly and raised one hand to the sky.
“From now on, I will not say ‘self-proclaimed’ anymore. I will treat you as an official rival! And I don’t intend to owe my rival a debt of honor! What were you thinking? You wanted to graduate first and widen our distance? You said you wanted to graduate with me together, now we can…!”
Yunyun did not listen to my speech to the end. She unleashed a fire ball at the oncoming enemies.
This magic must have been infused with all her mana.
The monsters were hit directly by the fire ball, creating such a huge explosion that nobody would believe it was an intermediate magic. A loud boom echoed through the sky.
Seven monsters fell from the sky, instantly reducing to ashes.
At the same time, after confirming all the enemies were defeated, Yunyun knelt down on the floor, possibly due to mana exhaustion.
I hurried over to her side.
“This way… Megumin does not need to learn advanced magic…!”
She said with an expression that was flaunting her victory.
“……Why must it be you. And didn’t Yunyun object to me learning Explosion magic? Why did you change your mind!”
I said as I laid her head down on my shoulder.
“No-not changed my mind… Even now, I object to you learning Explosion magic, but I feel it will be a pity to give up your dream for this reason… An-and! It took so much effort to make you owe me one. I won’t let you repay me so easily! There was never much opportunity to make you owe me a favour!”
“Then since you are unable to move due to mana exhaustion, if I send you home, it would cancel my debt of honor, right?”
As I decided to forcefully carry Yunyun home, Komekko rushed forward and carried Kuro.
I really hoped that the reason she fixed her gaze on Kuro and had her eyes glowing bright red was because she was happy to see Kuro unharmed.
“Hey, Megumin! I learned intermediate magic to help you, yet you said merely carrying me home would cancel the debt. This is too much!”
“You are noisy. You cannot move due to mana exhaustion. If I abandon you here, you would be eaten by the next wave of monsters, right? In other words, I’m your savior… See, this is similar to you saving me earlier.”
“This is sophistry! I risked my life to fight all these monsters, yet Megumin……”
Yunyun was grabbing me tightly. She suddenly stopped her protests.
I followed her gaze and was dumbstruck as well.
“Sis, so many of those winged things are coming! Hey, are they edible? Can I eat them?”
We watched the swarm of monsters that could darken the sky, as Komekko said and jumped for joy.
It seemed I was running around everywhere today.
“Meg-Megumin, it is painful! My tip of my shoes are about to be grinded off!”
Yunyun tearfully complained on my back.
“Don’t be so willful! Since I’m short, I cannot help it! Who asked you to grow so tall! If it hurts that much, then pulled it up yourself.”
“Then I will carry Yunyun’s feet!”
We fled along the dark road as I took Komekko and carried the exhausted Yunyun on my back.
“Pain! Pain! Komekko, wait! If you lift my legs like this, my posture will be like a fried shrimp…!”
“This is such a desperate situation, what the hell are both of you doing! Don’t move about on my back! Or I will dump you here and abandon you!”
As I grumbled, many of the monsters that were covering the sky passed over us.
……Why have so many monsters congregated here?
As if to answer me, magic flashed towards the sky one after another. Without us noticing, the amount of magic we were seeing had increased.
It seemed we had shortened the distance with the magic-using villagers.
In other words, these monsters were not congregating, but were being driven here.
“It seems most of the monsters are using this place to regroup.”
“In other words, the evil god’s minions are gathering at the evil god’s tombstone!? Why are they doing this… Because there are too many monsters, so they want to drive them here and seal them all at once?”
……So that was it. The adults were probably intending to seal them all in one go, or simply use super powerful magic to destroy them.
If so, we must quickly leave this place.
Although the situation was urgent…
“……Yunyun, now is a good time for that famous phrase. You can loudly say classical quotes like ‘Just leave me behind. You go ahead first!’”
“No, no, no, don’t abandon me! Megumin said earlier that carrying me home would repay the debt of honor!”
Why did I say such unnecessary words…!
Amidst the monsters’ disgusting roars, I gave my all to drag Yunyun and escape.
Even if I learned advanced magic, it would be impossible to deal with this many monsters.
I silently prayed that we would not be seen and hid in the shadows by the street lamp.
At this time.
Kuro cried while being held in Komekko’s hands.
—The cry was so soft, yet the monsters circling in the sky flew over here.
The monsters’ behavior finally granted me an epiphany!
“Komekko! Throw that furball into the sky!”
“What are you saying!? Megumin, what are you saying!?”
“It took so much effort to snatch back my meal, I can’t just throw it away!”
“Komekko, you too! What are you saying!?”
……How did things come to this.
Why did I notice this only at this time.
The reason the monsters attacked my house was probably Kuro.
The time when we were having field training as well.
That monster ignored other students and charged at me who was carrying Kuro.
Recently, Komekko had been running out to play with the evil god’s seal fragments.
Komekko suddenly brought back this furball one day.
At the same time, the village started having eye witness reports of the evil god’s minions.
There was only one conclusion that all these clues pointed to—!
“Ahah, what a headache! My head! If I think any more, my brain’s self-defense mechanism will be activated!”
“Hey, Megumin, what nonsense are you spouting!? Stop avoiding reality, okay!”
Hearing Yunyun’s words, I recovered my wits and reevaluated the situation.
It looked like all the flying monsters were fixing their gazes on us.
I wanted to abandon Kuro and run, but…
“Sis, this is a good opportunity! Let’s catch one home!”
With the aura of a great person, Komekko carried the shivering Kuro and said with a grin.
I looked my sister in her sparkling eyes and put Yunyun down from my back. I gazed at the sky and took out my Adventurer’s Card.
Yunyun asked uneasily from the ground.
Not far from here, magic continued to blast into the sky.
I must learn advanced magic to buy some time.
If I unleashed advanced magic here, the adult villagers would rush over immediately.
“Sis, what’s wrong? Your eyes are much redder than usual?”
Of course, they would be red.
After all, my emotions were surging.
“Yunyun, run away with Komekko.”
I gazed at the sky and accumulated all the mana in my body.
Even if I never used magic, I could still control the flow of mana in my body due to the nature of Crimson Magic Clan.
The evil god’s minions in the sky did not descend, probably thinking we were using Kuro as a hostage.
But I felt they would not just keep waiting. After all, they were currently at trigger point. Given an opening, they would attack all at once.
—For example, I unleashed a magic— This would definitely create an opening.
No problem. I made my decision.
“Meg-Megumin. I feel they are observing our situation. Let’s just wait for the adults to arrive…!”
I would not regret it. I would simply work harder in future.
“Sis, your eyes…!”
Still carrying Kuro, Komekko looked at me worriedly.
I patted her head gently and told her I was fine.
Then, I made my final stand and took out my Adventurer’s Card to learn advanced magic.
—I looked at my card and froze.
At the time, I laughed aloud uncontrollably.
“Wh-What is it!? Megumin, have you finally gone crazy!?”
“Sis is broken!”
“Ho-How rude! What are both of you saying!”
Even as I rebuked them, my eyes did not leave my Adventurer’s Card.
—I had enough skill points.
I had enough skill points to learn Explosion magic.
Even though I knew it was a foolish move, I still insisted on learning this magic.
“Sis is making crackling sounds!”
“Megumin, Megumin!? What is it, what is it!? What advanced magic are you using!? When the villagers used their magic, there was never such a phenomenon! Hey, what is this magic!?”
Since I was young, I memorized the incantation and practiced chanting this magic daily.
The surrounding atmosphere changed along with my gathered mana and the incantation I was chanting.
With me at the center, the surrounding atmosphere was filled with static electricity and became hazy.
After all, this wasn’t just my first time using magic. It was also my first time using Explosion magic, known for its highest difficulty.
I could not completely control the power, so some of it seeped into the surrounding and interfered with the environment.
—As I chanted the incantation for Explosion magic, I remembered many things.
Things that happened after I was just one point short of learning Explosion magic.
After I fought Yunyun in the park, I strangled a wandering Onion Duck.
At that time, my level had increased, and my skill points were sufficient.
As if sensing the uneasy mood, the evil god’s minions cried out in disarray.
I could feel my mana being consumed for every line of incantation I chanted.
Even though I was confident in my amount of mana, I still sweated uneasily.
Since Explosion magic consumed a vast amount of mana, if the caster did not have enough mana, the magic could not be used even if it was learned.
The sentences from the textbook flashed across my mind, but as a Crimson Magic Clansman, it was impossible I could not use this magic. I shook the troubling thoughts out of my head and continued the incantation.
Finally, the magic incantation was completed—
There was a small ball of light in my hand.
……It was done.
To create this small light, I had been working hard since I was a kid. I finally succeeded.
I still did not have a magic staff to boost the magic power.
To unleash Explosion magic like this, the power would probably be about half of what it should be.
But, even so.
“Yunyun, Komekko. Get down.”
I was still confident that I could wipe these monsters out in one strike.
Yunyun dragged her weakened body next to Komekko and hugged her as she lay down on the floor.
It looked like she understood what I was about to do.
The glowing light in hand was hot like a fire. The pressure from the compressed power was comforting.
No problem. I would surely control this properly.
I silently encouraged myself, gazing at the sky.
The Explosion magic I always wanted to learn.
The Explosion magic of my dreams.
The Explosion magic that I staked everything on.
Neither dragon nor demon, neither god or demon king, would survive a direct hit. This was mankind’s ultimate move.
The scene from my childhood memory was still as clear as yesterday. This time, I would personally—
“My name is Megumin! Crimson Magic Clan’s top genius who wields Explosion magic! I have— I have finally attained the magic of my dreams! I, I will never forget this day! …Eat this!!”
I opened both my eyes and lifted the ball of light in my hand into the sky, then shouted.
The light from my hand shot towards the center of the monster swarm.
The light disappeared as if swallowed by a monster.
One second later, a flashy and glorious firework bloomed in the night sky—!!
“Hahahaha! This is it. This is what I wanted to see! What a glorious explosion! What destructive power! What an uninhibited feeling!”
While hugging Komekko, Yunyun cried out in despair. I ignored the violent winds and the explosive roar, and laughed aloud.
The shockwave broke the trees beneath the explosion. I was pushed onto the floor.
The monsters in the sky were devastated by the magically powered explosive winds and routed by the irresistible, overwhelming violence. All of them had vanished.
I lay on the floor, gazing at the sky.
I could not move due to mana exhaustion, so I could only watch the smoke cleared away in the aftermath.
When the smoke finally cleared, the vast quantity of monsters had all vanished.
“……Wha-What is this… This is Explosion magic…? This is beyond the description of ‘powerful’ or ‘strong’… Even without the control and boost effect of a magic staff, it is this powerful. No wonder it is called the most powerful magic… I can somewhat, somewhat understand why Megumin is so obsessed with Explosion magic.”
After witnessing the destructiveness of Explosion magic, Yunyun sighed.
I did not intend to respond, merely lay there quietly.
A single use exhausted the entire mana reserve, and even consumed physical stamina.
After using this magic, the caster would be completely helpless.
This meant that to become an adventurer, I must have companions who could defend me when I was completely exhausted.
I always thought I would be fine by myself.
But there were things I could not do alone.
I must remember today’s experience. I must definitely treasure my companions.
I heard voices from afar. The adult villagers sounded very anxious. I imagined the appearances of my future companions whom I have never met……
“Ah!! Sis blew away all the bird meat!!”
—A few days later.
After the adults who saw the Explosion magic arrived, the situation became very chaotic.
After all, the chief’s daughter and me were lying on the floor, while Komekko was carrying Kuro and standing nearby.
I was carried home unconscious. The next day, Yunyun and I reported what happened to the homeroom teacher.
As for the other adults, I told them that after reaching home, I found the door broken, Komekko missing, and brought Yunyun along to find Komekko.
As a result, there was a new question circulating among the villagers.
“…Hey, Megumin, what do we do now?”
Yunyun asked without any expression. I had no answer.
The homeroom teacher said the school would have a graduation ceremony for us on the weekend. We just needed to go to school then.
We had nothing to do these few days, spending time in the nearby park.
Since she called me, I turned to look at her.
She turned slowly and stared at me at a close distance—
“……Megumin ……What are we going to do!”
I shut my eyes, cupped my ears, and squatted on the floor.
“Now is not the time to pretend you didn’t hear anything! What are we going to do! Mr. Buzucoily said the seal on the Nameless Goddess of Vengeance was also broken! The seal location was exactly when Megumin used magic on! The released goddess is currently missing! What to do!? Hey, what are we going to do!”
Yunyun forcefully shook my shoulders as I continued to pretend I didn’t hear anything.
Although I wanted to just avoid the issue like this, I heard a line that must be corrected.
“Yunyun, wait. The way you said it will easily give other people the mistaken impression that ‘I’m the one who broke the seal’.”
“That isn’t a mistake, right!? Mr. Buzucoily said many dangerous things were sealed in that place! Unleashing the powerful Explosion magic in the sky above that place will cause the seals to break!”
I said to Yunyun, who would not stop pestering me.
“But the adult villagers have a different explanation. The released evil god fought the awakened goddess. In the end, the goddess won and wiped out the evil god’s minions in one big explosion. Thereafter, she flew somewhere…”
“This is completely wrong! It was the fault of Megumin’s magic!”
None of the villagers thought it was Komekko who broke the evil god’s seal.
And they did not know I learned Explosion magic.
Only the homeroom teacher knew what we learned.
If the adult villagers knew I learned Explosion magic and Yunyun learned intermediate magic, they would be very disappointed.
The homeroom teacher understood this, so it was kept a secret from the villagers.
It seemed the homeroom teacher, whom I always thought was hopeless, still cared about the students.
“Yunyun, today can’t I…”
“No! Why do you need to ask!? The disturbance has finally ceased, are you trying to create chaos again!? You have not used Explosion magic these few days, so you can endure it, right!? …Ev-Even if you make such a sad face, it is still impossible! And I’m thinking of your welfare!”
Yunyun said that even though she was wavering a little.
It was a few days ago when I tasted the feel of Explosion magic.
Thereafter, Yunyun banned me from using Explosion magic.
The reason being releasing the magic nearby would cause another disturbance in the village, after the homeroom teacher managed to cover it up.
Yes, I understood the reason.
Although I understood…
“Yunyun, you should know how much I love Explosion magic, right?”
“Yes, I do. I understand that Megumin’s love for Explosion magic is, in other people’s eyes, an obsessive mania.”
If she knew this much, then it should be easy.
“Listen, Yunyun. To explain how much I love Explosion magic— If I had to choose between ‘Use Explosion magic and eat one passable meal per day’ and ‘Eat three meals plus dessert without Explosion magic per day’, I would gladly choose to eat one passable meal and use Explosion magic. After which, I would eat the remaining two meals plus dessert. I love Explosion magic this much.”
“Eh… Glutton Megumin can actually say…? Eh, uh!? Hey, can you repeat what you just said? I feel that you just said something very strange!”
Yunyun hurriedly interrogated me, but actually I understood using Explosion magic would create a lot of trouble.
I scratched the head of the furball at my feet.
“Hm. I will endure it for some time. Once I cannot endure it anymore, I will travel and use Explosion to devastate the world beyond the village.”
“You, you better not do that! Not even as a joke!”
I stood up and decided to change the topic.
“It is good that nobody was injured in the incident. Although the understanding of the villagers is different from the truth, it’s fine if they can accept it.”
I picked up the furball at my feet.
Yunyun looked at Kuro in my arms and asked with mixed feelings.
“……Hey, Megumin. What is Kuro exactly? Why does Kuro attract all those monsters? Is it related to the evil god? And how was the evil god’s seal broken? Is it really like the villagers said? That a passing tourist pulled a practical joke…?”
Yunyun did not get to the core of the issue.
After all, nobody would think that the seal was broken by a child out of curiosity.
If I had not done the same thing when I was young, I would never suspect Komekko.
After interrogating her thoroughly at home, I found out it was indeed Komekko who broke the seal.
I wanted to scold her, but I could do it when she innocently took out the seal pieces and asked me if I wanted to play.
The only damage to my house was the front door. It wasn’t serious, so I just kept quiet.
—The question was, what to do with this fellow.
“This furball is so shameless. A kitten should act cuter.”
Kuro, who was sought out and carefully carried by the evil god’s minions.
Its true form was probably…
“Hey, Megumin. Are you going to keep it at home? Uh, uh… Komekko’s look is very…”
Yunyun stopped speaking half-way.
Yes, of course I understood what she wanted to say.
“What to do. Seriously, if I leave it at home, Komekko may eventually eat it. But at this moment, neither giving it to someone else nor letting it go is a good idea…”
I carried Kuro with both hands and lifted it to my eye level. It did not resist.
Yunyun looked at Kuro and thought of a plan.
“Right! Why not officially establish a familiar contract? If it is sister’s beloved familiar, Komekko probably won’t…”
She deflated as she spoke.
Of course, I understood what she meant.
For my little sister lived by her instinct, such reasoning did not apply.
“…A wizard who controls the evil god… It doesn’t sound bad.”
“? Megumin, what did you just say?”
It looked like Yunyun did not hear what I just mumbled to myself.
“I said letting it be my familiar does not sound bad.”
I haphazardly glossed it over.
And smiled at this furball with a grand background.
Yunyun relaxed and heaved a sigh of relief. Suddenly, I thought of something.
“Yes, if it is to be my familiar, this temporary name is no good.”
“Eh!? Can’t you use Kuro as the official name!?”
“No, for it to have this tasteless name is just too sad.”
I ignored Yunyun who was in shock. I thought hard about its name.
At this time, Kuro suddenly turned its body.
As if it was saying, “Kuro is fine.”
“Look, Kuro seems to like his current name. And this kid is still a kitten, changing its name randomly would confuse it.”
Yunyun insisted that the name she gave was better. But I already thought of a good name.
I said confidently. Conversely, Yunyun looked uneasy.
“Hey, Megumin. Kuro is a female cat, okay? Consider this fact and give it a cute name…”
I interrupted her.
I looked at my familiar before me and announced to it.
“—Your name is Chomsuke. That’s right, Chomsuke.”
The familiar that usually swaggered about, and possibly had a very terrifying true form—
Shivered like never before.