Disclaimer: I do not own Konosuba
The loud shout was followed by an absurdly powerful blast that sent shockwaves throughout the surrounding forest as fire engulfed the abandoned castle. The smoke cleared away soon after thanks to a sudden gust of wind, revealing the shattered walls and broken towers that littered the area surrounding the building from being subjected to constant explosion spells.
"Eh, that wasn't half bad, but I couldn't really feel the heat from that one like I could yesterday's." Kazuma said after taking the time to evaluate the damage and results. This was the fourth week he and Megumin had been coming to this abandoned structure so she could unleash her powerful magic without raising the ire of the local guards. "But it did have a nice shockwave that made my heart temporarily stop. I'll give it a 70."
"Only?" Megumin's muffled voice groaned with her face buried in the soft ground after collapsing from using her magic. "I know one of those towers fell after that blast! That should add at least another 10 points!"
"Well…" the impromptu leader of the worst party ever known in this world glanced back towards the structure with critical eyes. The aforementioned tower was still intact, albeit barely, but it was close to falling over. In fact, the gentlest breeze could have easily…
Another gust of wind came by, causing the mentioned tower to slowly tip over, until it could no longer support itself. Stone blocks slid out of place or were crushed as half of the massive tower fell over, crashing into another tower in the process sending the two structures careening off the cliff in a landslide like way.
Kazuma whistled, truly impressed by follow-up destruction. "Alright, I'll admit that that was awesome. Today's explosion gets a 90!"
"20 bonus points!" Megumin exclaimed as she lifted her head to see what could have possibly elicited that kind of increase. The extra rubble on the bottom of the cliff brought a large grin to the young Arch wizard's face. "Hehehe, good explosion."
"Good explosion," Kazuma agreed, kneeling down to roll the girl onto her back. "Ready to go home, or to you want to admire the results for a little longer?"
Megumin thought about, and nodded her head once a decision was made. "Can you help me sit up? That last blast took a lot out of me; I don't really want to move right now."
"Sure," he did so, noticing with a frown that the girl was starting to fidget with a blush on her cheeks. "Are you sure you're ok?"
"Uhm… well…" Megumin didn't need to answer as a loud gurgle echoed across the clearing, originating from the now beat-red girl. "Did you bring anything to eat?"
Kazuma barely suppressed the amused snort that would surely earn him a slap from the girl, and reached into his pouch to pull half of a rice ball out. "Don't eat it too fast, you'll get sick."
"I don't need you to tell me that!" The girl exclaimed once again, but making no move to grab the food.
"I uh… I can't move my arms right now." Megumin admitted.
"…Do you want me to feed you?" Kazuma asked with a deadpan look. She turned an even darker shade red while nodding her head, refusing to say it out loud. He gave an exasperated sigh. It took a couple minutes to find a good way to do it – Megumin wouldn't stop fidgeting in his grip, but eventually she settled down enough for him to support her back with one arm while feeding her with the other.
"Would you quit moving?" He yelled, getting very tired of the girl's uncooperative attitude.
"This is embarrassing!" Megumin responded with equal volume. "Do you know how – mmph!"
Kazuma had taken the moment to shove the last of the food into her mouth. "There," he quickly moved her onto his back, and began the long trek home with a silently fuming Arch-wizard on his back.
"That was mean Kazuma." Megumin muttered after swallowing. Nevertheless, she leaned in and rested her chin on his right shoulder. "You shouldn't shove things into my mouth like that, I could choke."
"Don't say it like that! I already get enough glares from the women adventurers thanks to you and Chris!" He noticed the sudden sparkle from the corner of his eyes, and turned his head just enough for Megumin's face to come to view. What he saw sent chills down his spine.
That gleam, that same damn gleam that showed up before the girl shouted to everyone nearby that he subjected both members of his party to erotic acts involving the slime from frogs was back on her face.
"Is that so?" The all-to-innocent sounding question was followed by a menacing chuckle that would be a lot more sinister if she wasn't at his mercy right now. A fact he only now just realized.
"Say anything to anyone about that, and I'll drop you off in-front of the frogs and wait for them to swallow you before I kill it."
That wiped the smirk off her face instantly, replacing it with a disgusted shudder. "No, please! I promise I'll be good from now on! Don't bring me back to the frogs! Anything but the frogs!" Megumin wrapped her legs around his body while her arms gripped his neck in a choke-like grip, earning a strangled gasp from the older teen.
Too tight! Too tight! Kazuma screamed internally, struggling desperately to loosen the grip around his neck while savoring every ounce of oxygen he could suck in. "Alright! No frogs!" He choked out.
Relief coursed through the girl's body, allowing Kazuma to pry her hands away. Note to self, never mention frogs when Megumin's on my back.
"Thank you," she whispered gratefully, wiping away the dampness in her eyes.
Kazuma in the meantime was sucking in air desperately. "Don't mention it, ever."
He continued to carry the girl in silence with the only sound being heard was the occasional bird call. Despite the calm atmosphere that surrounded them, Megumin's thoughts were anything but.
We've been at this for a whole month so far and Kazuma has been showing a growing appreciation for explosion magic. She sent a quick glance towards his face, turning away just as quickly so he wouldn't notice. Kazuma's stats should be enough for him to learn the skill, although, he probably doesn't have nearly enough skill points to acquire it yet. I'll ask him about it later, Megumin decided, before making herself more comfortable on his back.
Kazuma's thoughts, however, were much simpler. Explosion… explosion… maybe I should come up with a better point system focusing more on the initial shockwave and volume instead of the total damage done. I don't think the castle can take to many more blasts.
"Huh?" Kazuma blinked, and tilted his head back a little to bring Megumin into view. "What's up?"
"We should go out and celebrate tonight."
"Celebrate what exactly?"
"A whole month of explosions on that abandoned castle!" Megumin pumped her fist into the air following the declaration.
He shook his head, but couldn't stop the smile from forming. "You're the only person I know that would consider celebrating something like that."
"But it's the first time this has ever happened!" Megumin leaned forward even more, and pressed her cheek against his while holding an arm in-front of them. "We'll call it 'Kazuma and Megumin's explosive one-month anniversary!'"
Too close! Does this girl not understand the concept of personal space? "First of all…" Kazuma started, moving the girl back to her original spot, "people will get the wrong idea if you call it that. Second, do you know anyplace we could celebrate other than the guild?"
"…No." Megumin replied, her eagerness deflating a little.
"Besides, what about Aqua and Darkness? They'll probably want to join us."
"They left for a mission this morning; Aqua said it would take all day to finish."
There was a pause. "What mission?!" Kazuma yelled, startling the nearby birds away.
"I don't really know," the Arch-Wizard shrugged, "Aqua mentioned it was some kind of exorcism mission, and Darkness volunteered to go with to keep her safe.
That means she'll be trying to take every attack thrown their way, Kazuma figured with a shake of his head. He was barely able to repress a sigh at the thought of Darkness spouting out some nonsense to justify all the hits she would be taking.
"Do you know anyplace we could go?" Megumin asked, bringing his attention back to the conversation.
He shook his head in response. "There was never any reason to eat anywhere other than the guild." Is there really any other place we can afford to eat? He had an idea. "How about we eat at the guild like normal then go out to do something else after?"
"Alright," Megumin agreed, having no better idea herself.
"Damn it!" A voice roared from underneath the rubble created from Megumin's latest explosion. The massive cobblestone blocks shook violently as purple energy began to emit from the miniscule openings, and were soon after blown away, leaving a hole in its place.
"Every. Single. Day!" An armored hand reached up from within the hole to grip the edge of another stone, and with a grunt of effort, the headless knight Verdia Dullahen hauled himself out. "Over and over and OVER!" Another pulse of energy emitted from the General, blowing away the top layer of debris surrounding him.
"What kind of cowardly wretch would attack my castle with explosion magic without actually challenging me in person?" His voice screeched at the last few words – a clear indicator at how annoyed he was. "No matter," he continued, gazing in the direction of the beginner's town, Axel, "I will deal with them soon enough, and put a stop to whoever is doing this."
"Although… this whole situation wouldn't be so bad if Wiz was here with me," Verdia gave a perverted giggle at the thought of the well-endowed lich. "Oh, if only I could get another peak up her-"
Something made a noise above the headless knight. "Huh?" He looked up, and his one visible eye widened at the sight of more rubble falling down. "KYAH," he screamed, before being buried once again.
"Did you hear something?" Kazuma asked, pausing at the top of the hill – that was overlooking the city – to turn back to the forest.
"No, it was probably the wind."
"Yeah," he agreed after a moment, turning back to finish the last leg of the return trip, "it was probably the wind.
KO - NO - SU - BA!
"Aqua, are you sure this is the correct path?" Darkness looked around the area she and the Goddess were traveling – a simple dirt path through the forest – and frowned when she once again saw no monsters or spirits anywhere. "I was expecting to be assaulted my multiple enemies at this point." Her cheeks flared with heat as the last thought brought about all sorts of fantasies for the Crusader.
"This has to be it." Aqua insisted, looking over the quest sheet for the umpteenth time. She read every line of information with such intensity that Darkness briefly entertained the idea that it would start on fire. "This doesn't make any sense! The area should be littered with small time spirits just waiting to be exorcized by an Arch-Priest, such as myself."
"Do you think they only come out at a certain time?"
Aqua bit the corner of her lower lip. While it didn't explicitly state that they would… "I suppose it's a possibility."
Darkness opened her mouth to further question her companion, but the sound of distant thunder quickly gained her attention. "A storm? Do you think it will hit us?"
"It better not…" Aqua muttered bitterly. I swear, if this is your doing Eris then we are going to have a very long conversation when I get back.
The two of them came across an empty clearing that seemed to act as a dead end since there was no other path besides the one they were just on. Trees and grass swayed back and forth from a strong wind while in the center of the area was a dirt ring – roughly ten feet in diameter – that was outlined by several small rocks.
"Perhaps the spirits are here?" Darkness watched in fascination as lightning struck the area within the dirt ring multiple times over the course of a few seconds.
"Maybe we should leave," Aqua suggested, having a very bad feeling about what was about to happen.
Sure enough, multiple skeletal hands broke through the ground, revealing themselves to be undead warriors as they pulled themselves completely out of the mass grave to confront the trespassers.
"Okay, we should definitely…" Aqua made a move to dash back down the path they just came from, only to find another group of undead marching from it. "Alright, no big deal, if we run out into the forest I'm sure they'll…" several more of the monsters emerged from the tree line, effectively trapping the two party members. "Well… at least it can't get any worse."
The sky boomed once again, and a single drop of rain was all the Goddess needed in order to predict the absolute downpour that would follow.
She began to cry.
Megumin let out a satisfied breath of air as she sat down on a tree stump that rested near the stables they were staying at. She had just finished placing her cape, hat, and eye patch on the drying rack – which was nothing more than two sticks holding up either her staff or Aqua's – depending on who was using it – and was now waiting for her friend to finish up whatever he needed to get done. After some time passed, she began to hum a simple tune while watching the sunset with a small smile.
"You ready to go?"
Her smile widened. "My gear is still drying, but I can go one night without them."
"You sure?" Kazuma asked, glancing towards the mentioned articles of clothing. "We could wait a little longer if you want."
"It's fine, it's fine, don't worry about it." Megumin stood up, and grabbed his arm before attempting to drag him along. "Now come on, I want to get there before it gets too crowded!"
Too crowded? "Alright, I get it, no need to worry. It's not like we ever need to worry about getting a seat anyway." A clap of thunder caught Kazuma's attention, causing the young adventurer to look in that general direction where he saw large thunderclouds hovering just outside the city. "Looks like a pretty nasty storm."
Megumin looked as well. "Wow…" she breathed watching a bolt of lightning streak across and through the clouds like a serpent which was then followed up by boom of thunder. Even from this distance the two of them could feel the sound waves reverberate through their bones. "Oh well," she dismissed it with a wave of her hand, "it's not going this way anyway, so we'll be fine."
A stray thought brought another question out of Kazuma's mouth. "How long did you say Aqua and Darkness would be gone?"
"They said it would be all day," Megumin replied, refusing to let up on her iron-like grip – much to Kazuma's exasperation. "Why?"
"Just curious is all."
"Turn undead! Turn undead! Turn undead!" Aqua repeatedly called out in a panic induced rush as she was chased around the clearing by a horde of ghoulish warriors. The Holy spells were only interrupted by the occasional frightened scream as the Goddess narrowly avoided the lightning that struck the ground around her.
Within the center of the clearing, surrounded by a loose ring of skeletal warriors, stood Darkness who was completely drenched from the intense downpour of rain. Her armor was still intact but with noticeable cracks and dents on it. Her breath was visible in the form of steam, matching the woman's quick and shallow exhales. The sword in her hands shook violently in what the monsters though was fear.
They were wrong to assume that.
"It's just as I thought…" Darkness started with red cheeks and glazed eyes, "you soldiers have been deprived of physical stimulation for so long that you are planning on using me – a Crusader, you're natural opposite – for satisfaction, and to shame me in the process!"
The fighters looked amongst themselves, momentarily thrown off by her accusations.
"Uhm, we're not actually…" one of the soldiers's muttered, but was cut off by Darkness.
"If you think it will be easy then just try to take me on!" She threw her sword to the side, and held her arms to the side in a strange welcoming gesture. "Well…" Darkness insisted when none of them made a move. "Just try it!"
"Sacred turn undead!"
A large, magical circle formed around the monsters with Darkness as its focal point, and within the second, it erupted as a pillar of Holy light that traveled upward into the sky, piercing through the storm clouds quite easily. Once the light died down, the Crusader found herself alone within the natural spotlight that was quickly being covered by the clouds.
"That…" the Arch-priest sucked in some much needed oxygen after utilizing her lungs for such an extended period of time. "That was scary."
"This was a bit more… extreme than what I imagined it would be." Darkness semi-agreed, attempting to hide her disappointment by sheathing her sword. "At least it is over."
Had Kazuma been there, he would have screamed at the masochist Crusader for triggering a flag.
The ground suddenly shook beneath their feet, causing the two of them to stumble in place as a large, armored hand came out a short distance away, scattering large amounts of debris over the field. They watched on – one in fear the other in dranged excitement – as a creature covered head-to-toe in thick armor slowly emerged from the ground to stand over them like a giant would to an ant. To match its imposing stature was a massive broadsword with bits of the blade's edge missing, giving it a serrated look.
It hefted the blade up and swung it the side as a display of strength, shattering the earth by its feet while the nearby trees in that direction struggled to stay rooted as the displaced air threatened to topple them down. Once that was done, the massive monster raised the blade to rest it on its shoulders, apparently waiting for them to make the first move.
Aqua's face paled considerably, and she let out an earsplitting scream before turning on the spot to run away.
Darkness, however, stood her ground with the blush from earlier returning tenfold. "I am a Crusader! I will not back down from any creature, even if it costs me my innocence!" The idea was enough to make her quiver.
The monster tilted its head it the side, visibly confused by Darkness' statement. Why did she phrase it like that? Was she expecting it to do something to her?
But whatever fantasy was being thought up in the woman's head was shattered as Aqua came back – still screaming – to stand by her friend. "Nature's beauty!" The Goddess cried out, sending a small, pitifully small, stream of water into the monster's already drenched helmet.
It waited for her to do something else.
Aqua didn't need any more prompting, so she turned back around, grabbed Darkness' shirt, and ran away with the protesting Crusader in tow, leaving behind a giant standing alone under the dark clouds.
And despite its skull being completely devoid of a brain, it was still able to have one conscious thought.
Did I really wake up for this?
"We'll see you guys tomorrow!" Kazuma called out to the cheering guild members as he and Megumin walked out the door. He breathed out a relieved sigh once the doors were closed. "Boy, they were in a good mood today."
Megumin hummed agreement, before looking up at the night sky. "I wonder if it's still open…"
Although it was nothing more than a whisper, Kazuma was skill able to catch part of it. "What was that?"
"Oh, uhm… Before we do anything else, could we go to the Mage shop nearby?"
"I guess," he shrugged, "but I don't know where it is."
"I do!" Taking his hand in her own, Megumin began running down the streets with her stumbling ally in tow.
They passed inns, houses, shops, other pedestrians, wagons filled with various kinds of products, and fellow adventurers as Megumin expertly lead the two of them through the city. It was another few minutes before the Arch-wizard finally stopped in-front of a building with a simple wooden sign hanging on the edge of its roof. A basic staff was engraved on it to indicate the shop's specified trade.
"Here it is," Megumin said with a light pink dusting her cheeks from the small exertion. She turned to send him another smile.
Kazuma felt heat creeping up his neck as he looked away, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. It didn't help that she was still holding his hand. "What exactly did you need here," he asked while gently prying her hand off.
Her smile faltered for a moment, until it settled. "I ordered a book a while ago and it should be here by now."
They opened the door, only for the magical charm above them to play a pleasant tune as it shot out a pink spark that traveled to the backroom. There was a startled shout, and an old lady walked through the door way a moment later, garbed in what Kazuma assumed was standard mage gear, muttering a few choice words while rubbing the side of her face.
Her gaze fell upon them, and she offered a warm smile while stepping behind the counter. "Hello, how can I help you two today?"
Megumin wasted no time to step forward to bring up her order. Kazuma, however, began walking around the store, making a mental list of items he could use once his goal of becoming a semi-proficient mage came to pass. Last was row upon row of staffs that instantly grabbed his attention, figuring that one of them could occupy his other hand.
They varied from being simple looking wooden sticks with a basic crystal loosely connected to the end, to metal ones that looked capable of dealing physical damage, and past them were a few seemingly made of solid gold with jewels adorning their head while magical runes ran along the entire length of the object.
He evaluated each one that caught his eye: testing their weight, checking what magical properties were given, how much it cost, and other such factors. None of them appeared to fit what he wanted, so he would place them back, and move onto the next one to repeat the process over and over, until his eyes landed on the last two on the row.
Both were a solid black with one appearing to be very basic – it didn't even have a crystal on the end – while the other one continued to form a ring as big as his head with five, evenly spaced magical gems on it. The simple one did have five orbs lined up next to it, each one glowed red, blue, yellow, green, or brown respectively while a unique rune shined brightly within each one.
"I see these two caught your interest."
Kazuma almost jumped in surprise from hearing the voice behind him. "Huh?" He turned around to see the old lady stepping up next to him with an expectant look on her face. "Oh, I…"
"These two are meant to be used by someone who doesn't specialize in any single field of magic. In fact…" the woman continued with a knowing look on her face, "they are best used by people who haven't specialized in the mage class and simply wished to use magic with whatever job they chose."
"Really?" Kazuma asked, becoming more excited with each explanation.
"Yes, you see," she pointed to each gem on the ring-staff and explained its purpose. "The red one enhances fire-based spells and those belonging to the detonation class. Blue is used with water spells – that includes ones that involve ice – and recovery magic works as well… I think.
"Lightning spells and abilities are used by the yellow gem along with a few support spells. Brown works especially well on earth magic, I can't really remember if barrier spells applied to that area or not though."
"Isn't that something you should know?!"
"And finally, this green one enhances wind magic, and if you learn them, speed spells as well."
"Speed spells?" Kazuma questioned despite having a pretty good idea given the name.
"To be honest, those type of spells fall under the Support section of magic, but there are quite a few of them, enough that I think it should have its own field. However, I'll show you the one that makes it worthwhile!" She gestured for him to step back which he did so. A white glow surrounded her just as she called out "Speed!"
The shop owner then left the next instant; the only indicator that it wasn't a teleportation was the gust of wind that followed, rattling the staffs around him.
Where did she…? Kazuma briefly wondered, just as the old lady reappeared with a cup of tea now in hand.
"Ah…that hit the spot. Any who," the cup was carelessly tossed aside, "What were we talking about again?"
"The staffs! You got distracted by speed magic!" Just how bad is her memory?
"Right, right…how far did I get?"
Apparently very bad, it might even be worse than Aqua's. "…You finished explaining what the gems did for that staff, but what about that one?"
"Phew, I was worried that I would have to explain it again."
Again?! You just asked me how far the explanation got!
"This one in a sense applies the same concept of the previous staff, but with a bit more… flair too it." She grabbed the staff in question, waiting briefly to build up some form of suspense – of which Kazuma felt none – before tapping one of the five runes that Kazuma was now able to see.
The green orb suddenly floated up, and launched itself towards the top end, and to the adventurers amazement, it melted into the staff where a green energy flowed down it as more of the orb was absorbed into it. Black turned to green as the energy continued down the item while silver markings – that shaped themselves to look like wind – formed along its sides. Halfway through the absorption, the energy had reached the bottom, and then began to extend further as a silver, pointed end. When that finished, the remaining green substance reshaped itself into a rectangular gem – not unlike an emerald.
The old lady herself looked impressed as she beheld the magical item. "How did this get in my hand?"
Something is seriously wrong with this shop owner. Kazuma frowned. It's like her memory has been getting worse ever since we came in. "Are you alright?"
Her eyes went wide, and she turned towards him with a questioning look. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"
Just then, the magical chime sent out another pink bolt, striking the old woman in the head where the energy arced across her face. It dispersed a moment later, and she suddenly looked a lot more focused. "Oh dear, looks like this old thing needs to be charged again,"
"Oh!" She looked up to offer an apologetic look. "I'm so sorry about that, but in my old age, my memory has begun to fail me, so I had this rune made to help." A small, flat rock was pulled from an inside pocket, it was presented to the Adventurer, allowing Kazuma to see a very dim glow on it.
"Then what about that door chime?" Kazuma asked, pointing to the small object in question.
"It's just a backup," the old lady replied, before changing the subject. "Now, while my explanation may have been a little vague about this staff's abilities, it does explain all you really need to know about it." There was a brief flash of light, and suddenly the staff was back to its original form with the green orb floating behind the woman. "Each orb offers a unique transformation. Course, most people usually focus on the other staffs, paying no attention to these ones since they look so plain."
"I know the feeling…"
"Hmm…" She looked at him with piercing eyes that made Kazuma feel slightly uncomfortable. "Are you still an Adventurer?"
Surprised by the strange question, Kazuma merely nodded.
"Were you planning on choosing the Mage class?"
"Eh, I don't know, my party already has three people in the advance field, and I've already learned a few skills from multiple areas." He scratched the back of his head, feeling a sense of frustration at being unable to pick a single class to focus on. "But magic is something that fascinates me."
"Then these two staffs would be perfect for you," the old lady decided with a sharp nod. "The one with the ring will be good to use now while the other one should be saved until you've learned some advance magic."
"Well…" Kazuma hesitated, checking the price for both of them. "I could buy that ring one now, but income isn't really stable enough for me to risk it."
"That's a shame." She set the other staff back, before suddenly coming up with an idea. "What if I reserved it for you? That way, you'd be able to buy it whenever you felt that money wasn't a problem anymore."
"You'd do that?"
"Of course, like I said, people don't really pay attention to it anyway. Now that we have that taken care of, why don't you grab your friend and head out. I'm worried she'll finish that book of hers if we talk any longer."
Kazuma blinked, and turned around to see that Megumin was indeed almost halfway through a red, leather bound book. "Right… Hey Megumin, we're heading out now."
"Ok," the Arch wizard marked the page she was on, and walked over with an absolutely breath taking smile. "Thanks for coming here with me, Kazuma."
Said Adventurer immediately turned around to head out the store in an attempt to hide the blush that was trying to make itself known. "D-don't worry about, besides, we still need to come up with something else to do." What is wrong with me today?
"Right…but now that I think about it, the Beginner's town only has cheap houses, a few inns, a relatively simple market section, and the guild hall. People usually don't use their money on anything besides food, lodging, and gear in this area, so there's no real demand for entertainment areas."
"Great," Kazuma groaned as he realized just why everyone gathered at the Adventurers guild every day. Ok, we're in a town with no known way to keep its occupants busy other than work, two of our party members are doing a quest – which I'm still pissed Aqua didn't tell me about – and we live stables with the only outstanding feature being that nearby lake I found…wait a minute. "Want to go stargazing?"
"What do you mean I didn't complete the quest?!" Aqua demanded as she shook poor Luna – the guild's receptionist – while Darkness stood by, attempting to calm the irate Goddess down.
The two had returned to the guild soaked, covered in twigs and leaves, were exhausted from the day's endeavors – Aqua especially since she dragged the Crusader almost the entire way back – and now they were told that all of that work was for nothing.
"I-I'm sorry," Luna apologized, "but the monsters you needed to take care of were simple animal spirits. The monsters you fought are usually taken care of by the stronger adventurers for experience."
Aqua let her go, vaguely registering that her arms fell to the side while she looked nowhere in particular with a blank look. "All of that work…and we didn't even fight the right monsters…"
"While it isn't really a quest, I could offer you a free meal for the effort."
"Thank you. We'll gladly accept that after a bath, right, Aqua?" Darkness waited for her friend to responds, but the water Goddess only muttered incoherently in response. "Right, so we will be back later."
With some effort, Darkness was able to move Aqua away towards the bath house.
"This is nice."
Kazuma remained silent, but couldn't deny that he was enjoying himself as well. This world wasn't affected by light pollution to the extent Japan was, and out at the outer edge of the town – where the stables that they slept in resided – it was almost nonexistent. Near those stables was a lake, it was there, on one of its many hills, that Kazuma and Megumin watched the sky as the countless number of stars illuminated the area. Adding onto the wonder was the lake itself, without any form of disturbance, it acted like a large mirror, reflecting every star it could.
"How do you know about this spot?"
"…It was during the first week Aqua and I were here." Kazuma replied after figuring out how to properly explain it. "We were doing construction work at the time. "We've never lived in stables before, so it was a trial-and-error situation as we slowly figured out how to maintain the area."
He heard Megumin moving, and he turned around to see if she was still listening. She had merely rolled onto her side to focus completely on him.
"So…" he continued after refocusing on the sky. "One night, I wasn't able to sleep because of the horse crap next to my head. It was bad enough that I decided to walk around the area to clear my head." His nose scrunched up in disgust at the memory. "After that, I followed the stream all the way down, and that's the how this lake was found."
"…That's pretty boring."
Kazuma whipped his head around to retort, but whatever he was about to say died on his lips at the sight of Megumin's eyes slowly closing, with her face taking on a dazed look.
"You want to head back?"
She nodded, stifling a yawn but making no move to get up.
"Want me to carry you?"
"Alright," he had done the task so many times now that it took almost no time at all to move the Arch wizard into place, and start walking back to the stables.
"This was nice." Megumin said once again, with a noticeable slur. Her head was soon resting comfortably against his shoulder.
The young Adventurer gently tapped the side of his head against hers, silently trying to convey his agreement without re-awaking the girl. Soon enough, he felt her breathing slow as sleep took over. So, with the starry lake behind him, an Arch wizard resting comfortably on his back, and hopefully a good night's sleep ahead, Kazuma decided then and there that maybe – just maybe – this good-for-nothing world wasn't as good-for-nothing as he thought.
And that's a wrap to Chapter 1. Thank you to everyone who decided to click on this story and read all the way through. It's an absolute crime that there isn't anymore stories for this section, so I decided to add mine to the list.
In terms of updates, I can't promise anything. I will try my best to keep a regular update schedule, but if all else fails, know that this story will not be abandoned.
Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day, and I'll see you in Chapter 2.