I want to be the strongest Mage
The next morning.
Megumin and I were strolling around the Home of the Crimson Magic.
We met Yunyun on the way, so all three of us stroll around together.
I thought Yunyun would be staying here a while, but it seemed that she would be returning to Axel immediately.
However, it was understandable why she wanted to return so anxiously.
After the battle with Sylvia, the Home of the Crimson Magic changed.
“Ah! It’s ‘the one with azure lightning on her back’, Yunyun! Long time no see, I am going for breakfast, want to join me?”
A girl about Megumin and Yunyun’s age said to Yunyun.
Yunyun shook her head with a blushed face.
The girl who chatted up Yunyun wasn’t unhappy about Yunyun’s reaction, said ‘is that so, such a pity’ and left with a smile and a wave.
“… How popular, ‘the one with azure lightning on her back’. It’s just a meal, why don’t you just join her?”
“Don’t say it! Stop using that name! Why, why did I do something so stupid…!”
Megumin words drove Yunyun to the verge of tears as she covered her red face with both hands.
After the battle, everyone’s attitude towards Yunyun changed.
They always treated her as the strangest person in the Home of the Crimson Magic, and thought of her as a girl with weird taste. All of a sudden, she became the most popular person in the village.
A guy passing by said to Yunyun:
“Oh, it’s ‘crackling thunder’ Yunyun! I am just going to eat…”
“Not going! I’m not going!!”
After Yunyun who was about to cry rejected him, the guy didn’t really mind, said it’s a pity and left with a wave.
This could be considered a new type of bullying.
“… How popular, ‘crackling thunder’. Just let him treat you to breakfast.”
“No! Please don’t say it! Don’t give me weird nicknames!”
Yunyun shook her head while covering her face.
Megumin suddenly used the tip of her staff to poke Yunyun’s cheek.
“What are you saying, number one mage of the Crimson Magic Clan! You ignored me and used that name, and now you say you don’t want one, how selfish! Come, show me that cool pose again!”
“Don’t, don’t say it! Megumin is still bothered by that!? I only borrowed it for a while!”
Yunyun rebuked Megumin who was poking her face with a staff.
I couldn’t help chipping in:
“The two of you are so close.”
When she heard that, Megumin just threw a glance at me–
Then she swung her staff around and looked unhappy.
“Let’s go! The teleporter already registered the destination to Axel! We need to hurry up and get ready for the teleport!”
“Ahh, wait for me Megumin!”
I smiled as I watch Yunyun chasing Megumin in a panic and walked slowly behind them.
… This time, the two girls about Megumin’s age appeared before us.
“Ah, Funifura, Dodonko.”
They were acquaintances huh.
The two of them pointed at Megumin.
“It’s been a while, Yunyun and useless mage! How have you been?”
“Ahhahaha! The number one genius of the Crimson Magic Clan became the number one useless mage! You are now the talk of the village!”
Megumin who was being teased pounced on the two of them without a word.
“Hey, your greetings are really special for meeting a classmate you haven’t met for so long!”
“It’s, it’s just a joke! Sorry, I’m sorry! It’s been so long, so why are you still so aggressive!?”
“Stop, what’s with your grip power! What level are you now, it hurts, violence is prohibited!”
The two of them lift the white flag in no time after Megumin’s attack.
… I don’t know what their relationship with Megumin was, but they were bad at handling Megumin.
One of the girls then said to Yunyun:
“… Erm, you were very cool yesterday. Up til now, I have always thought of you as a weirdo… Many things happened too.”
She averted her eyes in embarrassment after finishing.
“Yeah, I have changed my opinion of you too! Yunyun is so cool!”
The other person said…
“No,” Yunyun covered her flushed face on the verge of tears. “Please don’t say anymore.”
“The two of you are a bit off in some ways, so we were worried about you.”
“That’s right, Megumin acts childishly sometimes and Yunyun looked like she would be targeted by bad boys easily. But we are relieved that the two of you are doing well.”
I felt a sense of warmth in my heart after seeing their smiles.
This was great, even if Yunyun got left alone in Axel, her friends would be here for her.
At this moment, Yunyun smiled and said to me:
“Kazuma-san, allow me to introduce. This is Funifura and Dodonko. During my school days, they are my… fri-friends!”
After Yunyun made the introduction happily with a little bit of boastfulness, I bowed towards the two girls once again.
The two who were named as Yunyun friends returned the bow shyly.
“How do you do, my name is Satou Kazuma. I am one of Yunyun’s friends, and I have been in her care. Please take care of me too.”
“Please, please take care of me too!” x2
Speaking of which, there were plenty of beautiful girls in the Home of the Crimson Magic.
And that made me a little nervous.
However, the two of them seemed a little tense too, or maybe it was just my imagination.
Megumin who was watching our conversation suddenly threw a bomb.
“Hey, I understand you don’t have much chance to meet guys and are lonely, but please don’t flirt with my man.”
When they heard that, all three girls except Megumin were shocked.
“Hey, hey, what did you say…!? So you were serious when you said you like me last night!?”
This shocked the three of them even more.
Dodonko and Funifura were at a loss and asked in a fluster—
“Ma-ma-man!? That Megumin who didn’t care about anything other than magic has a man!? Is that a lie? It is right? You like him as a boyfriend?”
“That-that-that’s right, it must be. Megumin who isn’t concerned about such thing, suddenly having a man… is impossible huh?”
The two of them said.
What is this?
Yunyun asked in a panic:
“Ka, Kazuma-san? Is this true? Me-Megumin made such a confession…”
She asked softly.
I asked Megumin with eye contact, ‘would it be fine to tell the truth?’
“Don’t think too much about this– Kazuma already met my parents and gifted them with snacks. We even bathed together before, and had been sharing in the same bed and blanket with our bodies rubbing against each other. That’s how simple our relationship is.”
The pale Funifura and Dodonko took a few unsteady steps back.
Megumin wasn’t lying though.
The corner of her lips rose in a smirk as if she was showing off.
“… Wah, waahhh! So, so what if you have a man ahhh!”
“I, I am not envious! I am not envious ahhhh!”
The two of them uttered such lines before running off.
Next, Megumin said to Yunyun who was blushing and at a loss.
“Yunyun, there is a place I want to go with Kazuma. Sorry, but can you help me ask the teleporter to get ready?”
“Huh!? That, that is… Erm, I can do that…! So you two are really…?”
Yunyun timidly looked at Megumin and me.
Used a tone like a highschool girl which she normally wouldn’t use and said:
“Even if one of us found a boyfriend, we will still be friends forever!”
“Wah, waahhhh! You normally won’t say I am a friend! I don’t feel like I lost to Megumin at all!!”
Following behind Funifura and Dodonko, Yunyun ran away too.
— Megumin brought me outside the Home of the Crimson Magic.
We entered the forest and came to a quiet place with no one around.
Only the chirping of the insects could be heard.
At this moment, Megumin turned her head and looked at me.
… Hmm, what was this situation?
No, she already did.
… Did she?
No, was that really a confession yesterday?
No no, she said just now that I was her man too!
However, she probably just wanted to show off before her friends just now…!
Don’t be careless Satou Kazuma, if I say ‘I like you too, please go out together with me!’, her answer would definitely be ‘I don’t mean that kind of like’ or something like that.
In the end, do I really like Megumin?
No, I will fall easily when a member of the opposite sex treats me gently.
I didn’t expect to be such an easy guy to score with!
Such thoughts flashed across my mind and made me uneasy.
Megumin stared at me and said:
“Kazuma… I asked you yesterday, and I will ask you again. Kazuma, wants an excellent mage right?”
… What was this?
She asked me the same last night too, so what was the meaning of this?
I gave the same answer as before.
“If you asked if I want one, then the answer is yes, of course.”
I answered matter of factly.
Was Megumin satisfied with this answer?
“Is that so… Hmm, I made up my mind.”
She suddenly smiled.
… When facing a virgin boy who had never dated before, it was foul play to attack with such a smile.
In a quiet place with no one around, saying ‘I made up my mind’, and asking ‘Do you want an excellent mage’, wouldn’t that make my heart skip a beat?
“I, plan to start learning advance magic.”
Megumin’s thinking was too extreme, she was asking too much to a virgin… What did she say?
“… Hey, what did you say?”
My voice turned shrill.
When I told her I would cut her meals from three to two if she wanted to cast explosion, she would choose to cast the spell without hesitation. What did such an explosion maniac say?
Megumin took out her adventurer card.
And showed it to me.
“I have been feeling troubled. Even before Yunyun said I am a useless mage. Maybe I wouldn’t consider such things if I never met Kazuma, Aqua and Darkness, and keep on raising my explosion level. It was evident from meeting Funifura and Dodonko that everyone in the Home of the Crimson Magic must be utterly disappointed in me… I will not be a burden for Kazuma anymore. I will be of help to Kazuma and everyone… So, that’s why, from this day forth, I will seal my explosion magic.”
After finishing, she smiled at me again.
“Hey, wait a minute. It will be a big help if you can use advance magic. That might be so, but there is no need to seal away your explosion magic. We won’t be doing quests every day, so you can cast your explosion spell every day if you are free. Also, instead of using it every day, it can be a trump card during crucial moments…! And didn’t you tell Yunyun earlier that you put all your skill points into increasing the power of explosion and raising the chanting speed?”
Megumin broke out in a laugh after hearing what I said.
“You remember it well. In order to learn this skill at any moment, I had been saving up my precious skill points… After chanting explosion and exhausting my mana, I won’t be able to use other spells for the day. On the other hand, if I use advance magic, I won’t be able to use explosion which requires all of my mana. When I learn advance magic, I need to keep on casting it to increase my proficiency, and I would need to keep on practicing it.”
Megumin stared at the adventurer card in her hand.
… I suddenly remembered.
When I left Axel, Vanir said to me:
“At the destination of thy journey, there will be a time when thy comrade share their doubts and approach thee for advice. That comrade will change her path according to thy words. Thou should consider it carefully and give an advice thy would not regret.”
I see, so he was referring to this.
Damn it, that cheating devil, he already foresaw this far?
After I go back, I will rub holy water on the door handles of that shop.
But I could only imagine a future where Wiz scalded her hands badly.
As if she was holding over a treasure full of precious memories, Megumin stared longingly at the card.
She then closed her eyes quietly.
Took a deep breath, and opened them again.
She then turned her backs towards me, and offered her card as if she was enduring something.
Megumin’s shoulder was trembling slightly.
“Sorry Kazuma. Can I ask you to do something mean?”
“… You can’t press the button to learn advance magic yourself, so you want me to help you press it, right?”
Megumin nodded her head.
What an idiot…
“How about thinking over it again? We already got a huge sum of money in the bank right? We don’t need to do dangerous quests anymore. We can live a carefree life in that mansion, you can wipe out some small fries with explosion every now and then, and all of us could live happily ever after.”
Megumin blurt out a laugh.
“When I said I don’t plan to learn intermediate magic last time, Kazuma kept nagging me about it.”
Her shoulders were quivering as if she heard some joke, but still pushed the card in front of me insistently.
I took the card silently.
“… You won’t regret this?”
I said to Megumin’s back.
“I won’t. I don’t want to get in the way anymore. If I am a normal Crimson Magic Clansman, Kazuma would definitely not be chased by orcs and forced into tears, Sylvia wouldn’t be able to kidnap Kazuma too… I am the number one mage in the Crimson Magic Clan, the one who wields the power of advance magic! …I will say that from now on. I have more mana than Yunyun, if I can use advance magic, I will definitely be the strongest mage in the Crimson Magic Clan. I won’t let Yunyun take my number one spot.”
Megumin said determinedly.
With a forced smile on her face.
… What an idiot.
She liked explosion so much, and gave her everything to explosion magic.
I operated Megumin’s card in silence.
But to think it was possible to use other people’s card.
If only I knew that earlier.
For example, when I first met with them, I would be able to steal Darkness and Megumin’s card, and allocate the skill points on their cards against their wills.
After I was done, I handed the card over to Megumin.
Without taking another look at the card, she casually took the card and stuffed it into her chest.
She then turned around.
“It is about time to go back to the others! Together with Aqua and Darkness, lets go back to Axel. Oh right, the bounty for Sylvia is really high right?”
“Hmm, is that so!? Let’s go back and have a party then.”
When Megumin was about to return to the Home of the Crimson Magic, I stopped her.
“Oh, that’s right. Megumin, try casting an explosion spell.”
I asked her suddenly.
When Megumin heard me said that,
“… You are really… I already steeled myself, and not five minutes later, you want me to cast explosion, just what are you thinking?”
She didn’t know what else to say.
“From where I was from, there is a saying ‘I will work hard tomorrow.’ Also, I have yet to see a one hundred points explosion from you. The explosion that defeated Sylvia borrowed the power of the weapon too. Are you fine with your final explosion being so lackluster?”
“… You really don’t hold back do you? Alright, this will be my final explosion spell. I will show you a powerful shot!”
After finishing, Megumin aimed at a boulder some distance from us with exaggerated movement.
“… Wait, Me, Megumin. Hold on. Don’t aim so close, set your target further away. You will be giving your all for this ultimate blow right? Then aim at that boulder over there.”
I pointed at a giant boulder beyond the forest, situated right in the middle of a plain.
Megumin tilted her head when she heard my sudden request.
“I don’t mind, but that is barely within my range though… Well then, let me show you, my final explosion with my full power!”
The elation on her face right now came from the bottom of her heart, not that fake smile she was forcing earlier.
The giggly Megumin was enjoying herself as she began chanting her explosion spell…!
On the tip of her raised staff, an intense light was shining, the beam shot straight at the boulder.
Without question, it was the best explosion I have seen so far.
Along with the deafening roar, a wind blast that was bigger than I imagined blew towards me.
If she unleashed this on Sylvia, she might just defeat her without relying on that weapon. That was how powerful it was.
After witnessing the power of the spell she casted, Megumin was shocked, and took out her card in a hurry.
After checking the content, she stared intensely at me, unable to suppress the joy in her heart as she showed a complicated expression that was a combination of resignation and happiness.
A moment later, she flicked her cape and had a smile freed of doubts as she introduced herself.
“I am Megumin! Number one mage in Axel, an arch wizard that uses explosion magic, the one who will reach the peak of explosions spells!”
The usual Megumin was before me.
I went against Megumin’s will and put all of her skill points into increasing the power of her explosion.
She asked if I would want an excellent mage.
But there wasn’t any mage more excellent than our Megumin.
After all, she just need one explosion spell to make a fool of the bosses of the demon king army and defeat them.
If there were any mages that had better results than her, I would like to meet them.
And what I wanted the most wasn’t an excellent mage, but…
The arrogant Megumin puffed her petite chest out and asked:
“How many points was that explosion?”
And of course, it is…
“One hundred and twenty points.”
Megumin smiled brilliantly when she heard these words–
“My own home is the best after all! I don’t want to go on anymore trips for now! And something is wrong if a hikikomori like me keep traveling around!”
Once I return to my home that I had been away from for so long, I felt at ease from the comfort of this place.
I had been running about recently, but it was strange for a hikikomori person like me to be so earnest.
I will be getting a huge sum of money from the business deal with Vanir soon anyway.
I probably won’t need to travel any time soon.
No, I might as well stay inside the mansion all day for a while.
Luckily, the Crimson Magic Clan was fine with us taking the entire bounty for defeating Sylvia.
And so, I suddenly got a large amount of cash.
I decided. I won’t find any more trouble.
Even if someone came crying to me, I will still chase them away.
“Really, Kazuma, showing your bum nature immediately. But for some reason, seeing you like this makes me feel at ease. It’s like I don’t need to work hard anymore.”
“Aqua, you are just relieved after seeing your own kind! Don’t be depraved and be like that guy, he is a negative example!”
Darkness said something rude after listening to Aqua.
“Don’t say that. In the end, Kazuma performed quite admirably this time. He deciphered the ancient language and found out how to use the weapon. He even defeated Sylvia.”
Megumin seemed to have forgotten her medicines and was speaking up for me.
“We only defeated Sylvia because of Megumin’s power. I merely directed it.”
“No no, if not for the weapon that converts magic into pure destructive power, I wouldn’t be of much use. This is all thanks to Kazuma who brought the weapon there.”
Megumin and I pushed the credit to each other.
“… Hey Aqua, what is with the two of them? I think something is different about them after the trip… Could, could it be, when they were sleeping in the same bed, they…!?”
“Hey, don’t talk nonsense, I didn’t do anything wrong! Hey Megumin, we didn’t… Hey, deny it properly! They will become suspicious!”
Even though Darkness gave us suspicious looks, Megumin still didn’t deny anything, and started walking towards Aqua.
Seemed like she was very concerned about the thing in Aqua’s hand.
By the way, Aqua would normally be the first to say something, so it was a rare sight for her to be quiet.
What had she been doing on the sofa…?
“When did you bring the game console back!? Hey, let me play too, this is the most suitable item for a gamer like me!”
“If you want to borrow it, you need to pay the price! Specifically speaking, clean the bathroom for me tomorrow!”
As I was fighting for the game girl Aqua brought back.
There was a knock on the door and the voice of a man came from behind it.
“Excuse me, is anybody there?”
Aqua and I looked at each other and nodded at the same time…
We sneaked to the door.
“Is someone there… Oh, greetings sir. Are you the owner of this mansion… what, what are you doing sir! Stop…!?”
“I don’t know where you came from, but it is probably some troublesome problems! Go back, you harbinger!”
“Kazuma, use drain touch! Suck his life force and knock him out! Then throw him outside and pretend he never came here!!”
“What are the both of you doing all of a sudden!? Hey, Kazuma! Stop it!”
“I can empathize with you on why you don’t want to get involved with any trouble, but you can’t assault someone you just met!”
Darkness and Megumin subdued me after I pounced on the guest, and my hands were bonded.
The visitor was a man dressed like a butler, about fifty years of age.
He panted hard as he watched Aqua and me cautiously.
After Darkness got a good look of that butler dressed man, she suddenly said loudly:
“What, aren’t you Hagen? Didn’t I tell you to not come to this mansion unless there is an emergency? I am not worried about you giving me trouble, rather, like just now– I was afraid that you will suffer inhumane treatment…”
Seemed like this butler was an employee of the Dustiness house.
And what do you mean they would suffer inhumane treatment if they visit?
… Although he did suffer inhumane treatment.
That butler coughed dryly and regained his composure.
“Young lady, naturally, I am here for a matter of grave importance. Actually…”
Enough, I don’t want to be involved in more troubles!
I covered my ears to ignore the butler’s words, but Darkness grabbed my wrist and pulled them away from my ears, forcing me to listen together with her.
“No, don’t wanna! This has nothing to do with me, so don’t make me listen, don’t involve me! I don’t want to go anywhere or go near danger! I want to stay safely at home!”
“I am concerned about the hygiene of the toilet after the trip, I will go clean it!”
Darkness grabbed me who was resisting intensely, captured Aqua who was attempting to slip away and asked the butler.
“What is the matter? Did something happen at home?”
In response to Darkness’ question–
“It’s really terrible young lady! If this goes on, your only good point will disappear!”
The butler said something we couldn’t ignore.
“Hey wait, what happened to Darkness’ only good point!? Is it sagging!? Is her slutty body going to sag!? I have always found it strange, her body is way too sexy! She must have used her money and authority to get magic items that makes her boobs big!”
“What are you talking about!? My strong point would be defence… That’s not it! Hagen, you are too mean, I should have more strong points…! Say it, Megumin, Aqua, I should have other strong points too right!?”
Darkness was on the verge of tears.
“Instead of that, does the breast enlargement magic item exist? If there is, please…”
“Kazuma and the old man are too mean! Our Darkness has many good points! She is soft hearted, and agrees to anything if you plead to her in tears. She believes everything that you teach her, so it doesn’t feel boring hurts hurts hurts! Stop it Darkness, my head is going to explode! I am praising you, so what are you doing!?”
Darkness grabbed the temples of Aqua, making her scream. The butler said:
“That’s wrong! If this goes on, the old master might be stripped of his nobility and the young lady will become a peasant! The unworldly young lady would only be able to make a living by selling her slutty body– Young lady! Please don’t do that to my old bones, I will die!”
While Darkness was strangling the butler in tears, a letter dropped to her feet.
“…? What is this?”
“It’s a letter from the royal palace. Young lady, after you read it, you will understand the crisis impending on house Dustiness. And this is related to Satou-san over there…”
The butler glanced at me.
Stop, don’t drag me into this!
After opening the letter, Darkness’ face became more and more pale before finally kneeling onto the ground.
The content seemed really serious.
“… What is it about?”
I asked timidly, and Darkness snapped back to her senses.
“No-no-nothing at all! This has nothing to do with Kazuma! Please don’t mind it!”
Darkness suddenly used weird honorifics in her words, making me feel that something was off. And so, I reached my hand out.
“Show me the letter.”
“No, I refuse. No, I apologize for dragging you in every time. Hey, that’s what you said right? You don’t want to be involved in troublesome matters anymore! And so, this matter–”
After I stole the letter, I read it quickly along with Aqua and Megumin who were peaking from behind. It wrote…
“To the one who defeated many demon king army bosses, a great adventurer who made exemplary contribution to the nation, Sir Satou Kazuma. I have heard about your marvelous accomplishment, and hope to meet with you face to face. May I enjoy a meal together with you?”
At the end of the letter were the emblem of the kingdom and the name of the author.
The name was Iris.
Even though I was unfamiliar with this world, I still knew that she was the first princess of this country.
A royal princess.
“Kazuma, let’s reject this invitation! If anything happens to the first princess Iris, we will lose our heads! It will be a big problem if one of us did anything rude! You don’t know the ceremony and etiquette right? You hate such restrictive events right? Am I right? Lets reject it! Yes, that’s right, the Dustiness house will book a good restaurant and we will only invite close friends to hold a party that commemorates your achievements! So…!”
I exchanged looks with Aqua and Megumin, and we all nodded our head together.
“Our time has finally come!”
Darkness shook her head with tears in her eyes, grabbing onto my waist and refusing to let go.