EXPLOSIVE WEIRDO AND THE FOREST DEMON
Translator: Sine Nomine
Editor(s): YuNS, Nate
TL Note: Insert image – https://i.imgur.com/7HxZSEU. jpg
—In the endless plains outside the city.
It was said that there lived trash monsters like Giant Toads.
But they never came to the city, probably because of the heavily armed guards.
In front of the main gate of Axel City…
“Hey—! Wait, what are you doing—!”
The guard uncle ran over to me as I unleashed Explosion magic.
“Hey, little girl, what are you… I wanted to ask, why did you suddenly use magic, but why did you collapse on the ground? What happened? Hang in there!”
The guard carried me after I collapsed due to mana exhaustion.
I raised my head.
“Pl-Pleased to meet you… I’m Megumin, a Crimson Magic Clansman who recently moved to this city. I think these explosions will happen frequently from now on… Please excuse me…”
“Spare me! At least use magic only when there are monsters! Don’t use magic for no reason!”
Hearing me, the guard cried out in despair.
—I dragged my tired body along and staggered into the city with Chomsuke.
After using Explosion magic to release my frustrations, I thought and mumbled to myself.
“There was no recruitment notice today either. What happened? Did the adventurers in the city no longer need wizards…?”
I had been in this city for over a week.
Recently, there was no recruitment notice for wizards on the notice board of the Adventurer’s Guild.
There was only Yunyun’s notice, which nobody knew whether she was recruiting friends or adventuring companions.
Wizards were usually rarer than other jobs.
I didn’t think there would be no demand so quickly…
—After gratifying myself with using Explosion magic, I returned to the Adventurer’s Guild.
Noon was the time adventurers usually work.
At such a time today, I laid my head on the table again in the Adventurer’s Guild.
“What should I do…”
I whispered and sighed deeply.
This week, I repeatedly asked to join other parties for quests, but…
No matter which party, they all expressed disinterest after completing the quests. There was no intention to recruit me.
It seemed they were not interested in a wizard who can use only Explosion magic.
I was being treated as an unwanted person.
The genius me…
“Hey! What’s wrong, Megumin? Don’t shout so suddenly! I have a challenging task right now!”
Yunyun, who was playing at the same desk, complained as I hugged my head and shouted.
She was in the same situation as me, since she had not found any party member.
With a serious look on her face, Yunyun carefully stacked poker cards on the table into a pyramid.
Recently, her ability to play by herself was improving.
Perhaps, because she was concentrating so hard on this, other people were having reservations about approaching us.
I picked up Chomsuke, who was by my feet, and put it on the table.
Then, it took an interest in the poker card that Yunyun was holding shakily between her fingers.
It walked over to the card pyramid.
The fierce black beast, with its unfettered appetite for destruction, easily destroyed Yunyun’s work.
TL Note: Insert image – https://i.imgur.com/6fnpKEw. jpg
It was done by the cat, so it couldn’t be helped.
Chomsuke looked happy after the destruction of the card pyramid. I ruffled Chomsuke’s head as a reward.
“What should I do now…”
“Forget that. Apologize to me first!”
I didn’t know what to do, so I just ignored the grumbling Yunyun.
“—By the way, Megumin. Have you heard? Someone offered a reward for defeating the demon in the forest.”
I was running out of money, so such news couldn’t be ignored.
“…Oh. Tell me about it.”
“I heard that most of the monsters which used to inhabit the forest have been exterminated. Since then, monsters mostly dwell in the deeper parts of the forest and do not come near the city… But for some reasons, recently the monsters that live in the deep forest are appearing near the city… Therefore, the profitable monsters in the forest have attracted attention. There is a rumor that the demon is responsible for driving the other monsters close to the city.”
…The monsters from the deep forest were coming close to the city?
I remembered there was a similar incident in the Home of the Crimson Magic.
I thought of the demon Anis who drove monsters to attack the caravan during our trip.
Was it that female demon again?
I did not think Anis could survive my Explosion magic, but…
I thought this matter had nothing to do with me, but there was a bad feeling about this.
“Yunyun, that demon… What does it look like…”
I wanted to check its appearance.
At this moment.
“Oh, you even brought along two cute girls. You are just a rookie, so why are you starting a harem? I’m so envious. Give one to me!”
A crude, boorish noise resounded in the guild.
“Hey, what are you doing?!”
“Don’t pester me, you damn drunk!”
This was responded by some girls.
I looked at Yunyun as she sneakily glanced at the people who were arguing.
“No! Yunyun, don’t meet eyes with those kind of people, or we’ll get dragged into it.”
“Wa-Wait, Megumin. This isn’t right! Don’t you want to help them!?”
Yunyun complained to me, but this was the Adventurer’s Guild.
Most adventurers were barbaric, so this was normal behavior.
The ones who were being pestered were rookies. This was a form of baptism for adventurers.
“Give it up… I’m not a rookie. Despite my looks, I’m a very famous adventurer… I’m only here to recruit a priest. It doesn’t look like there’s any priest in the guild, so I guess I’ll return to the hotel for today…”
A deep voice was heard saying.
“What? Famous adventurer? I don’t recognize you. I’m a famous adventurer in this city!”
“You mean infamy? Let it go. He probably have the advanced job of sword master. And his sword might be magical. I can sense powerful magic at work.”
The one who said this was probably his fellow crony.
The girl’s advice reached our ears, but…
“So annoying. Shut up! I don’t care about magic sword. I’m not afraid of such things! Come, humor me! You are a famous adventurer, right? Then practice swordplay with me!”
“…It can’t be helped then. Let’s go outside. Both of you go and rest.”
“I understand. Then we’ll be leaving. Finish that gangster off.”
“He looks despicable. Don’t be careless, okay?”
They seemed to be of one mind.
TL Note: Insert image – https://i.imgur.com/xPCmMZ1. jpg
The people in the guild looked on as the source of the disturbance went outside.
Since it was an interesting development, I peeked in that direction too…
“Hey, Megumin. Didn’t you say that we shouldn’t meet eyes with those kind of people?”
Yunyun called out softly to interrupt with my peeking.
“Nobody would want to miss out on such interesting development. Let me look.”
“N-No way! In my eyes, the pesky one will lose. That gangster will get beaten instantly and return. If your eyes meet at that time…”
“—Bas-Bastard! What was that? That botter… Why is he both handsome and strong… Hey, what are you people looking at? Stop looking!”
He truly returned instantly.
It seemed he was defeated the moment he left the guild.
“That’s why I told you to stop. I know what your personality is like, so I won’t tell you not to bother people… but you should check your target out before picking on him.”
“I-I know. Next time, I will find someone weaker… Why can’t there be a weakling with a lot of pretty girls?”
I didn’t want to meet eyes with a gangster who spoke such boorish words.
To avoid getting involved, we left the Adventurer’s Guild.
—The second day.
The guard roared in a voice that matched the intensity of the noise generated by Explosion magic.
Following yesterday, I came to use Explosion magic again today, but…
“I told you yesterday not to use magic without reason! By the way, recently several huge craters appeared suddenly near the city! Those were made by you, right? It took a lot of manual labor to fill those holes!”
“Bu-But I did as you asked today. I used magic on a monster. I defeated a Giant Toad! …So can you just let it slide?”
I collapsed on the floor and begged the guard who was running towards me.
The guard sighed and picked me up.
“I can easily defeat Giant Toads and similar monsters. I alone am sufficient to deal with the toads appearing near the gate. Little girl, can you use this magic to defeat stronger monsters further away from the city?”
“After using magic, I won’t be able to move due to mana exhaustion. If I become immobile away from the city, I will be eaten by other monsters that come later.”
“Little girl, you should find some companions.”
I wouldn’t be in such difficulties if I could do that—
I said farewell to the guard uncle and dejectedly dragged my tired body back to the guild.
—I heard a familiar voice.
“Nooooo! I don’t want! Why? Why must I move bricks!? Find me a more suitable job!”
“Even if you say that. This is the only simple job that gives daily wages. It can’t be helped. Don’t be willful.”
“Noooo! At least let me be a salesperson! Let me be a salesperson again! I have confidence that I can do it right this time!”
“Where does your confidence come from? Miss, I’m begging you. I don’t want to do this either. I rather take on quests immediately, but we will die with our current equipment, okay? Don’t be picky and work here. Recently, there’s a shortage of manual laborers, since they are busy filling up holes in the plains near the city. Thanks to this, the wages are higher at this time. Don’t worry, you can do this easily!”
It was the strange duo that I was fated to keep meeting.
They were arguing outside the office for construction works.
It seemed they were here because the wages were good due to labor shortage.
But the blue-haired girl wanted some other job, so she adamantly refused to enter.
Good. It seemed I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t adjust to society and didn’t know what to do.
“Don’t say stupid things! Who do you think I am!? Dirty manual labor does not suit me! And shouldn’t you be feeding me better food? It has been bread crumbs every day! Why must I eat those things every day!? A noble existence like mine must watch what I eat!”
“When we first met, you were eating snacks! Enough. How long are you going to keep being coy? Let’s go! I want to prepare my equipment and start adventuring!”
“Noooo! I don’t want to move bricks! Why is a NEET like you so enthusiastic!?”
They were doing their best to make a living.
I watched the girl being dragged away. I sought work and companions too, so I walked towards the Adventurer’s Guild.
Several adventurers suddenly stood up when they saw me entered the guild.
As if they were afraid of something.
Perhaps it was because I was a Crimson Magic Clansman.
Or did I already possess dignity of an adventurer?
As I smiled happily at the thought, the adventurers who stood up went over to the notice board and tore down a recruitment notice.
“Ah, yes!? Wh-What’s the matter!?”
I spoke to one of them who tore down the paper from the notice board. She was ridiculously afraid.
“… Elder sister, may I see the paper that you just tore down?”
“Let me see.”
I forcefully snatched the paper from the elder sister who was unwillingly hiding it behind her back. Written on the paper was…
“Recruiting wizard. My party consists of four members. No limit on magic type.”
“Oh! No limit on magic type! How convenient! Actually, I’m a wizard without a party!”
“So-So-Sorry. The spot has been taken, so the party is full now. That’s why I tore down the paper…!”
I seized the elder sister who was intending to flee after saying that.
“This excuse is too lame! What? Are you looking down on Explosion magic? Do all the adventurers in this guild intend to ignore me!?”
“N-No! I don’t look down on Explosion magic. Recently, there… Recently, there’s a rumor that a girl from the Crimson Magic Clan, who uses Explosion magic, is very… Whenever she sees monsters, she will use magic without regard for the surrounding. She is said to be sick in the head…”
“This is just picking a fight! Sick in the head! Let’s see if you all can still be so garrulous after witnessing my magic! …Ah, what? Let me go!”
“We’ll be troubled if you use magic in the guild!”
As I chanted the incantation despite being out of magic power, the guild staff and other adventurers stopped and dragged me off further into the guild.
“—Miss Megumin. This is not acceptable. It is forbidden to use advanced magic or higher in the city. If you do this again, you will have to spend the night in the police station.”
If I ran out of money, it wouldn’t be bad to go to jail. At least, I wouldn’t have to worry about food and shelter. I was probably hopeless to think like this.
After being severely lectured by the staff, I walked over to Yunyun who was enthusiastically playing alone…
“—N-No way! Do you think I’m a cheap woman who would blindly follow anyone!?”
“I didn’t say that! I’m just begging you. Please. I’m not plotting anything! I just want to let my mother be at ease. Just pretend to be my lover for a while! My sick mother said she wanted to see her grandchild before she dies…! If not, at least daughter-in-law… I can only beg this from my only friend, Yunyun…!”
“On-Only friend… No, even so, pretending to be a lover is too—! I’m only 13-year-old. I’m not an adult yet!”
Seeing her troubled face, the man said.
“No problem. Just a simple greeting will do! I don’t intend to do anything, so there won’t be any issue! No problem!”
“Really!? Wa-Wait a moment. Why are you trying so hard!? I should refuse…”
“Please! I beg you, I beg you. Just one date. If convenient, one hour. No, 30 minutes would do!”
The man begged with a despairing voice. He was already on his knees to beg Yunyun.
“No, this violates the original intent…! Isn’t it pretending to be lovers before your sick mother!? Why is it a date now…”
“I beg you. I beg you. I beg you!”
The man finally kneeled down.
“Wait. Please wait. Wait a bit…”
“Please. Please. Please! I beg you. Just for a bit. I’m begging you!!”
Perhaps unable to turn him away, Yunyun looked afraid and troubled. She said to the kneeling man.
“Ugh… Th-Then, just for… a while…”
“Really your head. What are you up to exploiting another person’s kindness!? Want me to call the police?”
“Wh-What are you saying!? Ah, oh. You are that sick-in-the-head wiz…! Wait, spare me. Not the police! I understand! I will leave obediently!”
Seeing my sudden intrusion, the man hurriedly escaped.
I chased him off and interrogated Yunyun.
“What are you doing? You are being too easy to lead by the nose! What are you going to do if you get kidnapped like this?!”
“Bu-But, but! He said his sick mother needs to see his lover…!”
“That was a definitely lie! Who else!? When I was absent, were you being asked to do strange things by other people!?”
“N-No strange requests! The uncle who frequently drink beer during the day requested, ‘From now on, don’t call me uncle. Call me daddy.’…”
“That is already very strange! You surely refused, right!? Or rather, don’t ever talk to him again! The chief, your father, will cry if he finds out that his daughter is calling a stranger ‘daddy’ in a faraway city!”
Seriously. Why was she so vulnerable?
She was only in this city for a week and already encountered such dangers.
Yunyun flashed a piece of paper before me. She stared and said.
“But it can’t be helped. After spending so many days in this tavern, the only person to talk to me was an Axis Cultist trying to convert believers…”
“Why are you handing out pamphlets for that person!? Throw it away!”
I crushed the Axis Cult Recruitment Form in Yunyun’s hands and threw it away.
This would not do.
If I left Yunyun alone to force her to overcome her communicative barrier, her social inadequacy would just worsen beyond the point of redemption.
But I was too busy trying to find adventuring companions…
“Yunyun, how about it? While we are still looking for new party members, want to form a temporary party with me?”
Hearing my invitation, Yunyun was shock for some reasons.
What? Was the invitation that strange?
“Bu-But…! I made such a determined decision earlier…! After making such an announcement, it has been only a week… That…”
What was Yunyun talking about?
“What? I merely asked if you want to form a party. Why are you troubled over it?”
Hearing this, Yunyun’s face twitched.
“…I-I say, Megumin. Do you still remember what I said last time? You think, that… Once I learned advanced magic, we’ll have another match…”
“Oh. After defeating Anis, you were mumbling something in the carriage. What was it again?”
I urged her to continue, but her eyes were getting more teary.
“You are asking me ‘What?’… Wait a moment! How can you so easily forget such an important promise?! Megumin, you are always like this! What kind of Crimson Magic Clan’s top genius is this? You are just an idiot who can’t remember important things!”
“What did you say?!”
“It would be troublesome if both of you fight in the tavern!”
After receiving the second lecture of the day, Yunyun and I were driven out of the guild.
“Seriously! Why is Megumin always like this? Don’t you have any memory? Did your memories get blown off by your own Explosion magic?”
“You are at it again! We are outside now, so nobody will stop me even if I make a scene!”
“Wh-What? Want a fight!? Your mana has been exhausted. You can’t even walk properly. Do you think you can win against me in your current state!?”
On the road back to the hotel.
We were still arguing.
“Seriously…! It was my once-in-a-lifetime declaration, and you completely forgot about it…! Unbelievable! Simply unbelievable!”
Yunyun covered her face with her hands, and shook her head angrily.
“ I know, I know. It’s my fault for forgetting it. Then? What is that important promise? Please tell me again.”
Yunyun blushed upon hearing my casual statement.
“What do you mean by ‘Eh’? What is that important promise? This time, I will listen carefully. Come, please say it out loud.”
I walked to the grass patch by the side of the road and sat up straight, making a serious pose to listen to her.
Seeing my behavior, Yunyun panicked even more.
“N-No. No. Uh, I say… Forget it this time. Yes, forget it. It’s nothing! I will say it next time.”
“Hey. You just insulted me as an idiot, so what is this about? I don’t know why you are so embarrassed, but spit it out now. I will listen seriously this time.”
Looking at my serious pose, Yunyun was on the verge of tears.
But she still made her resolve and opened her mouth to speak…!
“Uh… When I learned advanced magic and won’t be a liability, I will—”
“Excuse me, both of you!! May I have a moment of your time?”
An old man wearing a tailcoat like a seneschal suddenly talked to us, interrupting Yunyun.
“No. We are talking about something important. Go away.”
“D-Don’t be like this! I’m actually looking for someone!”
Hearing the uncle, Yunyun and I shared a look.
“Actually, the lady of my household ran away from home because she didn’t want to be married… I’m sorry to bother you, but please help me find her…! In this country, having beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes are a sign of noble bloodline. My lady has long blonde hair set behind her head. If you see someone like this, please inform Dustiness family. We will reward you for the trouble…!”
The old man said and bowed.
Dustiness family belonged to the high nobility that even the ignorant us knew about.
The lady of that family running away from home was a major event.
That lady must be a cute and pure girl.
I imagined a dignified and delicate little girl. I wanted to see this noble lady and I was interested in the reward from a noble family.
“Leave it to me. If I find her, I will earnestly protect her.”
“Thank you very much. I’ll leave it to you!”
The old man said sharply and ran over to another passer-by.
“Yunyun, let’s go! For us who lack money, protecting the lady is the best event!”
“Hey, hey! I’m not in need of money!”
I dragged Yunyun along and ran—!
“—So tired… In the end, we didn’t find the lady…”
“Ugh…! I was hoping to make some money from Dustiness family. We searched the city thoroughly so many times! Where was the lady hiding…”
We searched everywhere in the city, but we didn’t find any clue. We were very worried about the lady’s circumstance after she ran away from home.
After all, she was a noble lady.
If she ran away from home, she might be scared and hiding somewhere, not knowing what to do.
I hoped she hadn’t been kidnapped by some bad guys.
I thought blonde hair with blue eyes would be rare, so it would be easy to find her, but…
The only blonde person we met in the city was wearing heavy armor and saying dangerous things like “There seems to be a demon in the forest! Let’s kill it in the name of Goddess Eris!” That elder sister rushed out of the city with a silver-haired thief.
In the end, after so much effort, we still couldn’t find the cute noble lady.
“… It can’t be helped. It seems we can’t depend on luck! Tomorrow, let’s take on a quest together!”
“In the end, we are still making a party!? I already said meaningfully, ‘Before I learn advanced magic…’! it took a lot of courage for me to say all that! Can you really not remember!?”
The second day morning.
We came to the Adventurer’s Guild early. Taking advantage of the absence of other adventurers, we checked the various quests.
I left Chomsuke in the hotel because I thought Yunyun and I couldn’t protect it when we encountered monsters.
“Hey, Megumin. Let’s do an easy quest first, okay?”
Yunyun said and passed me the most basic request in this city— the quest to hunt Giant Toads.
I also knew that the Giant Toads, with its high reproductive rate, was one of the food sources that maintained the city.
We could keep that in reserve.
I roughly scanned the notice board…
“Clean the tomb of a mansion in the outskirts of the city”, “Recruiting civil engineers to fill the craters in the plains”, “Hunt the necromancer in the communal cemetery”, “Finding the lady who ran away from home”, “Investigate the water quality of the lake. Because of the increased work of civil engineers, sandy waste was reported to be flowing into the lake.”, and so on…
Hm. Which one should we pick?
Our party consisted of two wizards.
Should we choose a hunt quest that could capitalize on our powerful offensive power?
“So let’s go to the forest, since recently rumors say it has been very profitable.”
“Eh? Wasn’t there a warning about a demon in the forest that warranted a bounty? We are just two persons after all. Let’s do something easy and go to the plains where there are a lot of weak monsters!”
What was she saying? I was aiming at the reward for defeating that demon.
But I was worried that cowardly Yunyun would end up playing alone in the guild again.
Oh well. Let’s kill some trash monsters in the plains today and let her gain some self-confidence—!
“—Oh. Little girl has brought along a companion today. Good. I’m relieved that you have a companion. As long as it is far away from the city, you can use magic as you please.”
When we reached the city gates, the guard uncle said to me.
It seemed he already remembered my face.
After leaving the city gate, Yunyun said with shiny eyes.
“Megumin. When were you so active that even the guards recognize you? I thought you were just strolling around randomly.”
“H-How rude! I don’t have the same social inaptitude as you do. While you were playing alone by yourself, I have become very famous in this city. Even in the Adventurer’s Guild, there are many who recognize me.”
“When did this happen!?”
I ignored Yunyun, who was surprised. I walked and searched for monsters on the plains.
… I probably did not lie at all.
Yunyun’s magic killed the Giant Toads congregating on the plains.
It was nowhere near Explosion magic, but it still made a considerable explosive noise, charring the toads nearby.
I felt a bit hungry after smelling the fried toads.
“… Yunyun, did you bring some salt?”
“You want to eat now!? No. These toads are meant to be sold to the guild. After deducting the cost of transporting the toads, the net profit is 5,000 eris each. After killing five of them, there will be a quest completion reward, so this job is fairly profitable.”
Hearing Yunyun’s explanation, I looked at the charred toads.
There were three dead toads near us.
Selling them would get us 15,000 eris.
If we killed another two more, there would be an additional 100,000 eris.
I heard the guild staff mentioned this before. Hunting toads would make money quickly. This was indeed profitable.
It was very profitable, but…
“Okay. You should be confident now. Ask the guild to collect the dead toads. Let’s go to the forest.”
“It’s too early!? Let’s do another round!”
I admonished Yunyun, who was shocked.
“It’s noticeable after fighting a bit. Truly, the magic of Crimson Magic Clansmen like us is too powerful. Don’t waste time with the trash monsters here. Let’s find more powerful enemies. Besides, killing trash monsters isn’t good for gaining levels.”
“That’s true. But Megumin, you are not doing anything! Uh, I’m the only one who is fighting. I think in our current situation, we will surely encounter that demon if we enter the forest…”
“It’s even better if we encounter it. Think. I defeated Anis, okay? Despite how she looked, Anis was a greater demon. Compared to her, what is that wandering demon in the forest? Yunyun can take on the trash monsters. If that demon appears, I will take care of it. How is this?”
Hearing my self-confident words, Yunyun looked at me suspiciously.
“… Is it really okay? Whenever Megumin is so confident, she usually screws up…”
“H-How rude! Think about it. If we defeated that demon, we would be thanked by the other adventurers. Then, there would be plenty of parties inviting us to join them…”
“…… I’ll go.”
And so we decided to go.
In the dense green forest, we penetrated deeper with Yunyun at the front.
We had not encounter any monster yet, so things were going smoothly.
When I came to the forest not long ago, we were attacked by slime and flying squirrels. Yet there is nothing today.”
“Flying squirrels? There are flying squirrels in this forest? Flying squirrels sound rather cute.”
Yunyun said calmly, being ignorant of how scary they were.
It seemed it would be good for her to be urinated upon once.
“Oh. Speak of the devil.”
There was some rustling in the aftergrowth. I raised a warning.
Yunyun became alert, having readied her staff and dagger.
What appeared before us was…!
Yunyun muttered with shiny eyes.
The thing that appeared before us was about the size of a small dog. It was a rabbit with cute round eyes and fuzzy fur.
But there was a horn on its forehead.
But regardless of how cute it might be, a monster was still a monster.
TL Note: The horned rabbit is a monster in Arabic myths. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-mi’raj
“Yunyun, this is the monster the guild staff warned me to be very careful about. It’s a One Hit Rabbit (aka Lovely Rabbit). Don’t be reckless just because it is cute. Kill it carefully.”
“Eh!? We are killing it!?”
Yunyun said on the verge of tears.
Even if you looked at me like that, it was still a monster.
Since we were adventurers…!
The rabbit cried out before us.
And tilted its head slightly.
E-Even if it was this cute, a monster was still a monster.
We must not be reckless…!
In a manner that was worrying, the One Hit Rabbit staggered shakily over to Yunyun’s feet.
“S-So cute…! What should we do, Megumin? So cute! It’s too cute! It must be a mistake to consider it a monster! After all, it’s so cute!”
“Wake up. This is the monster the guild staff warned us about. And I’m very concerned about such a dangerous name like ‘One Hit Rabbit’. Don’t be…”
As I spoke, the One Hit Rabbit stared at me with its wet red eyes.
It tilted its head as if saying, “Can’t you touch me?”.
… I wanted to touch it.
I wanted to hug it roughly and touch it!
“Come. I have some veggie sticks! Come and eat, eat~”
Yunyun had already fallen. She left some veggie sticks on the ground. Those were probably her afternoon snacks.
“So cunning. I also want to…”
Feed it— As I was about to say that.
The rabbit ignored the veggie stick and continued to stagger towards Yunyun.
There were rustling in the after-growth from which the rabbit appeared.
“…… ……?” X2
We shared a look and extended our heads over the after-growth for a look…
White rabbits were surrounding a huge thing.
What were the rabbits doing there?
… Upon a closer look, we realized what they were doing.
A huge gray wolf was lying there. It was dead with a huge hole in its body.
And the rabbits were surrounding it.
The hole was probably caused by the sharp horn.
In other words…
We cried out in shock. The rabbits turned towards us.
I took a glance at the rabbit that was still moving towards us step by step and got down into prone position.
In a moment, something white flashed pass above my head.
At the same time, I heard something struck the tree.
I looked back in trepidation and saw the rabbit struggling as its horn pierced my hat and the tree.
I ran over to the struggling rabbit, which was still stuck on the tree, and broke its neck.
I pulled the unmoving rabbit off the tree and recovered my hat.
“Yunyun, these monsters are just shameless! They will act cute and harmless, then suddenly ambush you!!”
“Such a cute thing. It even goes ‘Chu—’. What kind of vicious monsters are these!?”
The rabbits pounced towards us!
We finally escaped the mob of rabbits and rested on a tree stump.
“Ugh, why is it like this? It made a hole in my hat… I’ll have to borrow thread and needle from someone when we get back to the hotel…”
I hugged my hat while on the verge of tears.
“(Puff)… (Puff)… S-So scary… When cute monsters attack in a mob, it got practically induce a heart attack…”
After using magic continuously, Yunyun was panting heavily as a lot of her magic power was consumed. Her face was pale as she said that.
They were indeed scary enemies.
The initial staggering walk was probably an act.
After that, while chasing us, their pacing was so fast…!
“We managed to escape because there were so many rabbits. But we couldn’t bring back the bodies of the rabbits we managed to kill, so we can’t get reward for rabbit meat.”
“That’s true, but Megumin, do you want to go back to where those killer rabbits are? I don’t. They looked so cute yet they were feasting on the wolf. Just watching that scene made me want to cry.”
I didn’t want to go back either.
“Megumin, shall we go back today? I used a lot of magic in the earlier battle. At least, go back to hunt on the plains.”
Hearing Yunyun’s suggestion, I nodded unwillingly.
After resting a while, we took a detour to return to the city, avoiding the location where we met the rabbits.
“By the way, I gained a level from killing all those rabbits earlier. At this rate, it won’t take too long for me to learn advanced magic.”
Yunyun said happily.
“… From tomorrow on, let’s stay in the plains to hunt weak monsters.”
“W-Why? You just don’t want me to catch up, right? Is it? Am I right?”
As Yunyun grabbed and shook my shoulders violently, I suddenly noticed it.
“…? Is something approaching? Do you hear it?”
That was a slight tremor on the ground.
“…? Yes. What is it? Monsters? Good timing. I can directly gain another level…”
Yunyun also noticed the sound from faraway.
“So cunning. My turn now. Yunyun, please standby.”
“What are you saying? Megumin is the trump card against the demon, right? Even if you don’t want me to surpass you… I say, is it a bit strange?”
Yunyun said uneasily.
It was indeed strange.
Or rather, the amount of cries…
“I have a bad feeling about this. Let’s try to avoid this, okay?”
“F-Fine. I had enough today anyway. Let’s go back and use the money from selling the toads for a meal.”
As Yunyun said, the noises became even louder.
This was the sound of a mob of monsters closing in…!
“Quick, run, Yunyun! This is bad. It will be dangerous if we stay here.”
“W-Wait for me, Megumin! Don’t leave me behind… Ugh!”
The noises that was closing in ceased without us noticing.
The surroundings became silent, then a sound was heard from the undergrowth behind us.
What suddenly jumped out from there were…
The One Hit Rabbits that we fought previously.
Either they were chasing us or something was chasing them.
The rabbits before us did not look cute anymore.
The rabbits appeared behind in twos and threes, crying out together.
“Megumin, Megumin. There are too many! Lightning! W-What should we do!?”
“Y-You try to buy me some time. I will destroy them in one shot!”
I said to Yunyun, who used magic on the first wave of rabbits. I raised my staff and started my incantation.
“Using Explosion magic in the forest will provoke others, right!? I even avoided using Fire Ball so I won’t start a forest fire! Blade of Wind!”
A One Hit Rabbit pounced at Yunyun, who was retreating as she chant her incantation.
Yunyun drew her dagger immediately to strike the rabbit’s horn, creating some sparks.
“If it goes on, we will be eaten by rabbits! Destroying nature is nothing. If I fear such things, I won’t become an Explosion magician! Yunyun, get down!”
“Eh!? Wh…! Wait…!!”
I unleashed my magic at the rabbits as they closed in, knowing that I will be dragged into the explosion as well.
The tip of the staff glowed and the light shot into the mob of rabbits.
In an instance, the surrounding trees were blown away by the explosive flames.
Yunyun and I were helplessly blown off by the violent winds—
“—Hey… Humans… Hey, humans. Still alive?”
I heard this seemingly faraway sound.
It seemed I lost consciousness for some time.
I was currently lying flat on the ground.
My cheeks felt painful due to tree branches or something, so I should still be in the forest.
I opened my eyes slightly and saw Yunyun’s sleeping face.
I distractedly slapped Yunyun’s cheeks.
Seeing Yunyun reacted to the pain, I breathed out in relief to know that she was fine.
How long was I unconscious?
I used Explosion magic earlier, yet enough of my magic power had recovered for me to move my body, so it must had been quite long.
“Are you awake? Those eyes… Are you a Crimson Magic Clansman?”
A voice came from above my head.
The speaker must had been protecting us while we were unconscious.
“… Ugh. So painful…? Where am I? Every part of my body hurts…”
Yunyun opened her eyes and propped herself up.
I also got up—
And looked at the person who spoke earlier.
“Yes. I’m a Crimson Magic Clansman by the name of Meg—“
I turned my head and froze.
Yunyun got up beside me and said casually.
“…? What is it, Megumin? You look strange… Wait. Ah! I remembered! I say, Megumin, what were you thinking when you used magic in such a close range… You. What is… it…?”
Yunyun wanted to lecture me, but when she saw me in a stunned state, she followed my gaze—
“Hello. May I have a moment? My name is Hoost… Actually, I’m looking for a huge black magical beast in this area… Wait. Eh? Hey, your face looks familiar. Or rather, you look like someone else…”
That was a demon.
It had pitch black skin with a metallic luster.
It also had huge bat-like wings.
It had a body capable of suppressing a giant as well as very noticeable horns and teeth.
A greater demon.
This type of demon should be in the deepest level of a dungeon. It was looking right at us.
“… My name is Hoost. I’m not a giant kobold, but a greater a demon. I’m ordained to be in service to a certain brat in future… How is my self-introduction? You are Crimson Magic Clansmen, right? This should be your custom for greetings, right?”
Looking at the demon who grinned with a mouthful of teeth, we cried out in anguish and ran away.
TL Note: Insert image – https://i.imgur.com/xPCmMZ1. jpg
How far did we run?
We left the forest without realizing it. After confirming that the demon was not chasing us, we collapsed on the ground.
Yunyun must be scared out of her wits as her eyes were swollen from crying.
“(Puff)… (Puff)…! W-W-… What is that!? Th-That demon was a preeminent greater demon! It looks really powerful and terrifying!”
“(Puff)… (Puff)… I really underestimated the demon in this place. I wasn’t expecting something this powerful…”
Honestly, if I encountered it alone, I would probably pee in fright.
Anis, who I fought previously, was also a greater demon, but this one was really too scary.
Yunyun calmed down slowly and said.
“Megumin. Did that demon say something strange? Something about Crimson Magic Clan and looking for a huge magical beast…”
“I don’t really remember, but it’s pointless anyway. I think he said I looked like someone… Never mind. Whatever. It’s lucky to survive after meeting something like that. I don’t want to enter the forest anymore for now.”
Yunyun’s face was pale while she nodded at me. I sighed heavily.
“So tired… Hey, let’s go back to rest, okay?”
“Let’s do that… But before that, let’s go to the guild for the payment of selling the toad meat. We can also make a report on that demon.”
We rested in the border between the plains and the forest, then walked towards the city.
—We left very early in the morning to hunt in the plains and forest. Unknowingly, a considerable amount of time had passed.
In the glow of the sunset, we opened the door to the Adventurer’s Guild.
“I’m serious! It stared at the abandoned castle on the hill near the city! It then got on the headless horse pulling the war chariot and went somewhere…!”
There were adventurers drinking and being noisy everywhere, probably because this was the busy time belt for the guild.
We went pass the noisy crowd and approached the reception area.
“Sorry for the trouble. We are here to collect the payment.”
“Oh. It’s Miss Megumin and Miss Yunyun. The toads have been collected. Three toads for a total of 15,000 eris. Please wait.”
We said to the elder sister receptionist who was preparing our payment.
“Uh… May I ask if there is any request for One Hit Rabbits? We killed a lot in the forest.”
I presented my Adventurer’s Card, which recorded the kills.
“No. One Hit Rabbits are monsters in the deeper region of the forest. People won’t normally be attacked by them, so there is no hunt quest… But someone saw them near the city recently, so they may become a target for hunt quest.”
Oh. What a pity.
… Ah, and that too.
“Actually, we encountered the demon in the forest. It is a greater demon. It has the intelligence to introduce itself as a greater demon. Its huge body and pressurizing presence confirm that it is a powerful demon.”
Hearing this, the elder sister’s expression froze.
“And it said that it was looking for a huge black magical beast. It could communicate and didn’t suddenly attack us. Maybe it is a friendly demon…”
Yunyun said as the elder sister wondered.
“Huge black magical beast? … I know something like that. The Rookie Killer is a dangerous monster with huge body and black fur. Why is it looking for such a thing though? As a pet…?”
The elder sister was troubled for a while.
“Oh. Thanks for your report… Greater demon and Rookie Killer, huh? This isn’t merely dangerous anymore. We may have to forbid entry into the forest before investigation is finished. Please do not enter the forest anymore.”
The elder sister said and handed over the payment for the toads.
“I think the this has become a major incident.”
We were on our way back to the hotel.
Yunyun muttered along the way.
“We encountered it at a very bad time. Right after we depleted our mana. Otherwise, upon meeting it, I could give it a…”
“Don’t mess about! We couldn’t win something like that! I feel that demon could even withstand Explosion magic!”
“… Oh. Is this a challenge? Very well. Let’s change our plans for tomorrow and go back to the forest…”
“No way! I definitely won’t enter the forest! You can go alone if you want!”
We bickered as we walked pass the office for construction works.
“Th-Thanks… Supervisor, you have been troubled…”
“Boss, you have been troubled~!”
The familiar and noticeable duo appeared before the office.
It seemed they just got off work.
The guy looked really tired. The girl, who hated manual labor so much yesterday, was smiling as if she spent a productive day.
The guy staggered along and said.
“Should we find a different job tomorrow…? As you said, we really cannot do this job.”
I looked at the guy who complained.
“What are you saying? Seriously, you are such a NEET… How can we change job suddenly after starting? Let’s go. Use the wages to have a good bath and meal! Work hard again tomorrow!”
The girl’s eyes brightened and she clenched her fist.
It seemed she discovered the joy of working.
“What are you standing there for? Megumin, do you know them?”
“… No. I don’t know them. It’s nothing. Let’s go.”
I urged Yunyun back to the hotel.
… That’s right. They were merely people I accidentally meet.
But, for some reasons, I felt good to see them.
I was somewhat concerned.
“I want to drink ice cold beer!”
“Hey, hey. That’s alcohol. Can we drink alcohol? What is the law in this country?”
“Seriously, why are you so timid? Then let’s make do with cold Neroid today.”
“Neroid? What is Neroid?”
That girl did not reply.
“I’m hungry. Let’s go! Do you know? The public bath houses open at this time. I can have a good bath at this time! I’ll go ahead first!”
She shouted and ran off.
“Ah! Hey. Wait. What the heck is Neroid!? By the way, if you run like that, you will fall…”
Before the guy finished saying, the girl fell down.
“… Megumin. Maybe it’s better if we don’t look…”
“T-True. Let’s go.”
I listened to the girl who was crying after she dropped her purse when she fell—
We returned to the hotel.
—A lot of things happened today.
I took a quest with Yunyun, then hunted toads and rabbits.
And encountered a greater demon.
… What exactly is that demon?
When it saw my face, it said I looked like someone…
I remembered that it was looking for a huge black magical beast.
Now I thought of it, perhaps it might have been better to listen to it further.
I opened the door to my room as I thought about this—
After walking in, I immediately rushed out and knocked on Yunyun’s door.
“Yunyun, I’m sorry. Come quickly. After I returned to the room, our little black magical beast Chomsuke wasn’t moving!”
“What’s the food? You locked it in the room since this morning, right!? Didn’t you leave some water and food for it!?”
INTERLUDE: SCENE 2
—A Lonely Girl Who Was Troubled—
“Listen to me! If you are looking for a companion, I have a good recommendation! There is an excellent spearman by the name of Rein Chelka in this city! He should be the youngest Dragon Knight from the neighboring country. He’s very famous…”
“Don’t you find it suspicious? Anyway, if he is so famous, why is he adventuring in the Rookie City? By the way, do you know his appearance?”
“Hm… Uh… I don’t know his appearance, but I heard that he is of noble birth! Except for those who bought their status with money, nobles should have blond hair and blue eyes! That’s right. Just find a polite handsome guy with blond hair and blue eyes!”
The noisy conversation echoed in the Adventurer’s Guild.
Upon closer examination, a girl with a spear on her back was arguing with a girl who looked like a thief.
Both of them were about my age.
“Excellent spearman, huh? Blond hair is very conspicuous. Anyway, I want a wizard or priest. If you see someone like that, please persuade the person.”
A young man with a magic sword was talking cheerfully with them.
It seemed all three of them were in one party.
Anyway, that big brother said he was looking for a wizard or priest just now…
This was a chance.
If I continued to be so passive, the distance between me and Megumin would only widen.
I had given up on adventurers coming to talk to me. If I did not act now, I would regret later.
I could not accept being inferior to Megumin all the time!
I made my decision and stood up, walking over to the big brother with the magic sword…!
… After coming close to the big brother, I turned back as I was afraid of the threatening gestures of the other two persons.
—This wouldn’t do.
I was a lonely coward, destined to be Number Two forever.
At this time.
“—Little girl, what is troubling you? Despite how I look, I’m still a priest. If you don’t mind, I’ll listen to your problems.”
As I sprawled on the table in despair over yet another failure to find companions, a beautiful elder sister came and talked to me.
That elder sister was wearing a blue priestly robe, so she was probably an Axis Cultist.
On the way to this city, I was troubled by the Axis Cultists, so I didn’t want to get involved with her, but…
“… After coming to this city, something that should have been easily resolved was unexpectedly difficult, so I was very troubled…”
Unwittingly, I confessed my problem to the elder sister.
Even though the other person belonged to the Axis Cult, feared by everyone for their unrestrained behaviors.
The elder sister quietly listened to my problem and then said.
“No problem. Lady Aqua will also help you.”
Hearing her kind words, I couldn’t help but raise my head.
As I looked at her respectfully, she immediately took out a piece of paper.
She gently handed the paper to me. It was something I had seen before.
Axis Cult Recruitment Form.
“Come. If you join Axis Cult, you will definitely meet someone good…!”
The elder sister’s attitude suddenly changed and forced me to receive the paper…!
“T-Too much… That’s indeed the Axis Cult to take advantage of a kid’s depression. Rescuing someone from the quicksand in order to kick the person off the cliff! Look at her happy expression!”
“Their doctrines teach them to do things that annoy others. Unbelievable… But that kid still won’t…”
The people in the distance said as they observed our situation.
I clutched the recruitment form tightly.
“I want to join the Axis Cult! In this way… In this way, I can make friends and find companions, right!?”
Hearing my decision, even the big sister from the Axis Cult was surprised.