It all began when Megumin got up that morning and discovered ALL her panties missing. Since it was obvious who the culprit was, she rushed downstairs filled with righteous fury to confront him. She burst into the dining room and pointed a finger at the guilty party.
"Hey! Where are my panties?"
Kazuma looked up from the breakfast table with a piece of toast in his mouth. "Huh?"
There was an obviously fake look of confusion on his face that only made her even more mad.
"Don't 'huh' me! All my panties are gone! I know you can't help being a huge perv and all but come on! Sneaking into a girl's room and stealing her underwear?! There are limits on how creepy you can be!"
Darkness, who was also having breakfast, let out a heartfelt sigh. "Kazuma, you really are a beast sometimes."
Kazuma put his toast down and got to his feet. "Hey! I didn't take your panties! I only ever do that when you've done something to deserve it. Besides, where's the fun in taking them out of drawer?"
Kazuma manages to dive out of the way of her spell. After they got the fires out and he got done spanking her (fortunately she was still wearing the panties she'd worn going to bed) Darkness suggested they go up to her room and investigate. Megumin promptly led them upstairs, charged through her bedroom door, stomped over to her bureau, threw open the bottom drawer and pointed.
"See! All my panties have been-" Megumin was just getting going when she noticed all her black panties lying there perfectly folded and in place.
Kazuma and Darkness saw them as well.
Kazuma glared at her. "I've always known you were a little crazy, but has all that Explosion magic made you delusional or something?"
Megumin gaped like a fish. "But, I… they were…"
Darkness came over and gently patted her on the shoulder while standing between her and the irate Kazuma.
"There, there, I'm sure you just opened the wrong drawer and made an honest mistake." The blonde turned to her wonderfully savage party leader and master. "Since she has already b… been p… pu… punished, can you just forgive her and move on?"
"Fine," he growled and sent Megumin a death stare. "Don't pull this crap again or I'm stripping you naked next time. And that would be a punishment for both of us."
"Yeah, I just… wait! What do you mean by that?!"
Kazuma didn't reply and simply left. Darkness remained behind and waited until he was out of earshot.
"Megumin, please don't make false accusations just to try and get Kazuma to punish you. That's my thing."
"But I swear to Eris that my panties really were missing!"
Darkness gave her a sympathetic smile. "It's fine, we all make mistakes." She then left the room.
Megumin remained staring at the underwear drawer that looked completely undisturbed. "I know my panties were all missing. You believe me, don't you Chomsuke?"
"Er?" A little round face with a red cross on its forehead and yellow oval eyes popped up from a hidden pocket sewn in her cape. It stared at her a moment before yawning and disappearing again.
"Great, not even my familiar believes me," Megumin muttered. Deciding there was nothing else to do she shut the drawer and left to go have breakfast.
As soon as she was gone a tiny figure peeked out from beneath her bed and was giggling as it rubbed its miniature hands together.
"Oof!" Megumin tripped and fell in the middle of the dirt street.
"Are you alright?" Darkness stopped and helped her teammate up.
Kazuma merely smirked as he looked back at her. "That's your third fall today. You're pretty clumsy this morning."
"Something tripped me!" Megumin declared as she hurriedly dusted herself off. The girl searched the street for a rock or piece of wood or a dead possum she could blame. But the street was entirely empty.
"Sure," Kazuma said with a roll of his eyes.
Darkness patted her shoulder and gave her a sympathetic nod before continuing.
Megumin looked about again, but there really was nothing. "Something definitely tripped me," she grumbled before catching up to her friends.
She tripped again two blocks later.
Megumin was sitting at a table with Darkness drinking ale while Kazuma decided what job they would do today. Kazuma had gotten into the habit of going to the message board on his own. When they went as a group, he tended to just ignore their opinions, call them idiots, and pick the job he wanted regardless. Darkness was quite disappointed with this new procedure as she rather enjoyed having Kazuma call her an idiot publicly. Megumin didn't mind as she was not one for his verbal abuse and didn't really care much what job they went on so long as she got a chance to cast explosion magic. While she would have liked to hunt down the black dragon Artaxes or take down a wyvern nest to build up her reputation, she knew there was no way Kazuma would let them. Not with the way he always whined about 'gruesome deaths' and 'bad ends.' So pretty much any job where she got to use Explosion was good enough.
"This has been a really weird day," she grumbled as she finished off her ale. "I swear, if I didn't know better, I'd think I was cursed."
Darkness sat there and gave her a sideways glance.
"What? What's with that look?"
Darkness took a deep pull of her own drink before setting the mug down and speaking in a slow, cautious tone. "Megumin, are you… interested in Kazuma?"
"Huh?!" Megumin gaped at the other girl. "Are you out of your mind?! You think I'd fall for the guy who steals my panties and spanks me?!"
Darkness's cheeks reddened and her breathing got a bit heavier. "P… Please don't r… remind me. He hasn't d… done that t… to me once. I'm s… still jealous."
Megumin stared at her. She liked Darkness and knew she was a really good person. But why did some people have such extreme personalities?
"Listen, I would never like Kazuma that way. I'll be the first to admit he's a great party leader and I appreciate him carrying me on his back all the time. But him and me as a couple?" She made a face. "I'd sooner date Dust!"
(Somewhere on the road Dust suddenly sneezed and an odd sense of dread washed over him for some reason.)
"Really?" Darkness let out a breath. "Well, that is a relief."
"Whatever," Megumin stood. "I'm going to use the privy."
"Don't take too long. You know Kazuma likes to head out as soon as he's picked the mission."
Megumin went into the women's privy and took care of things. As she did so her mind wandered to the situation with her underwear drawer. No matter what Kazuma or Darkness thought, Megumin damn well knew all her panties had gone missing the first time she checked. She couldn't explain how they suddenly reappeared. Megumin had personally cast protective wards all over the mansion for their own security. No uninvited guest could break into the mansion without disrupting those wards and alerting her.
Well, it was technically possible for someone very skilled in magic to enter without breaching the seals. But who in the Seven Hells would use their magical talent to sneak into her room, steal all her panties, let her discover the fact, run downstairs to confront Kazuma, then return everything and sneak back out again? All without stealing anything of actual value? Who would go through that kind of trouble just to embarrass and humiliate her?
Megumin smacked a fist into a palm as the culprit suddenly became obvious.
"Yunyun! It was definitely Yunyun! That girl's always been obsessed with me. I'll need to confront her and get her to confess everything to Kazuma and Darkness."
Relieved to have finally figured out the truth Megumin finished up and headed out.
As she returned to the table, she saw Kazuma sitting there, his foot tapping a mile a minute and looking like a stoppered kettle about to explode. Megumin approached them about to tell them what Yunyun had done, but the instant Kazuma spotted her he glared and shot to his feet.
"What took you so long?" Kazuma demanded. "Were you eating pork rinds again?"
"Huh?" Megumin stopped and blinked. "What are you talking about?"
"We've been waiting for you for over an hour!"
"Pffft!" Megumin rolled her eyes. "You need to learn some patience. I was only gone for about five minutes." She nodded at an uncomfortable looking Darkness who was still seated. "Tell him."
Darkness frowned and shook her head. "Megumin, it's been well over an hour. I even went to check on you, but you didn't respond."
"Huh?" Megumin was even more confused. Unlike Kazuma, Darkness wasn't a liar. She wasn't the sort to try and cause unnecessary problems. But the fact was Megumin hadn't been on the pot that long and she definitely hadn't heard Darkness call for her. Though she had no idea why the two of them were making stuff up, Megumin wasn't going to put up with these false allegations!
And that was when a long, loud, ripping fart could be heard coming from her along with a noxious scent akin to week old dead skunk.
"Ack!" Kazuma covered his nose and backed several steps away.
While less dramatic, Darkness also pinched off her nose and got some distance. Throughout the guild hall people were looking at her in disgust.
Megumin's cheeks turned scarlet as she stared at all the revolted faces. "It wasn't me!"
Kazuma pointed at her. "Damn it, Megumin! No more pork rinds! You know what they do to you!"
Despite her undeserved embarrassment they eventually made it out of the guild hall and set out on their mission. It was a straightforward monster extermination. They were to kill a twenty-foot-tall purple ape the locals called 'Grape.' Apparently, it had had a talking beagle in control of it, but when its master died the giant ape had gone on a rampage, thus the request for its elimination.
As they searched for their target Kazuma went over the plan while staying upwind of Megumin.
"When we find the purple ape Darkness will fight him and get his attention. I'll use Bind on his feet to hold him in place. It won't work long on a monster that size, but so long as you don't waste time with your chant it should be long enough."
"Got it," Megumin said with a curt nod.
Kazuma eyed her.
"What?" Megumin snapped.
"I just need you to be quick with Explosion, that's all. Like I said I don't know how long Bind will work."
"I got it! Who's the explosion expert here? Me or you?"
"Whatever," Kazuma sighed and walked ahead.
As he did so Darkness slid up beside her and spoke in a low voice. "You shouldn't take your frustration out on Kazuma. I know he is a beast at heart, but he didn't say anything to deserve your ire."
"I know, I know," Megumin grumbled. "This has just been a really, really frustrating day."
Darkness nodded and patted her shoulder. "We all have bad days, but don't take it out on Kazuma. He might tie you to a tree and leave you here."
Darkness said that with longing as she stared at Kazuma's back.
Using Kazuma's Detect Enemy and Tracking skills they soon found the giant purple ape. As planned Darkness charged in to attack the beast, while Kazuma sneaked up on it to cast Bind. Ropes sprang out and wrapped themselves around the feet of the monster, temporarily holding him in place.
"Megumin, do it!" Kazuma shouted.
"Got it!" Megumin eagerly lifted her staff above her head. As awful as the day had been so far this would make up for it! Nothing in the world compared to the joy of getting to use explosion magic.
"Oh, purple behemoth know fear for- accck!" Just as she was gathering mana into her body to cast her spell a fly flew into her mouth causing her to gag and disrupt her casting.
"Oi! Explosion loli! What are you doing?!"
Still coughing, she was momentarily unable to answer. The twenty-foot-tall purple gorilla broke free of the ropes and began thrashing Darkness. (Not that Darkness was complaining about it.) Unable to rely on an explosion spell to end things quickly Kazuma yanked out his sword and vanished from sight to try and backstab the monster.
By the time Megumin regained her composure her teammates were in close combat with the beast and she couldn't cast Explosion without hitting them. As Darkness was a level fifty-two Crusader and Kazuma a level forty-eight Adventurer they were both very capable and managed to bring the mighty ape down. Though it was more of a struggle than it would have been if that damn fly hadn't entered her mouth.
More importantly, when the fight was over Kazuma was more than a little annoyed with her.
"Hey, hey you're not really going to leave me here, are you?"
Megumin was currently bound in ropes to a tree and couldn't move a finger.
"Just be glad I decided to do it in the yard," Kazuma growled. He'd originally threatened to tie her up in the forest where they fought the ape and just leave her there. Darkness had talked him down a bit and convinced him to 'only' bind her after they returned. The other girl was standing nearby looking on with tears in her eyes.
"So unfair," Darkness muttered beneath her breath. "I always get left out."
Megumin was glaring at Kazuma. "You're just a bully!"
"And you're a brat," Kazuma said without an ounce of sympathy. "Think of this as punishment for all the crap you pulled today. Accusing me of theft, keeping us waiting, poisoning the air around us, and worst of all letting us down during a mission. I know you're self-centered and love attention, but there are limits!"
"None of those things were my fault!"
"Oh yeah? Then whose fault, were they?"
Megumin opened her mouth to yell at him but couldn't think of an answer.
Kazuma nodded and began walking back to the mansion. "If I'm feeling generous, I might untie you after dinner. If I'm not you can spend the night out here. You should probably hope I have a good meal."
Darkness sent a Megumin a last envious glance before departing as well.
"Well, this is just great," Megumin moaned once they were both gone. This was definitely the worst day of her life. Not even losing to Yunyun in breast size could top the frustration and embarrassment she was going through right now.
And as she was stuck there stewing Megumin heard laughter.
"Ha, ha, ha! How does it feel, Destroyer? This is only the beginning of your torment!"
A thin figure the size of a doll with butterfly wings suddenly materialized in front of her face. He had his tiny arms crossed and since he was only inches away, she could clearly see a triumphant smirk.
"Did you really think you could escape your punishment after what you did?"
Megumin blinked in surprise. She immediately recognized the creature as a fairy. While they tended to remain hidden, they did occasionally reveal themselves to others and their appearance was well known.
"Hey, are you a fairy from the Enchanted Forest?"
"Of course, I am!" The fairy yelled in an offended squeak. "I'm here to exact revenge on you for your crime, Destroyer!"
"Seriously?" Megumin asked. She let out a defeated sigh. "Fine. I'm sorry for calling you a bunch of assholes and all the other things I said. Since I apologized can we- Ow!"
The fairy flew in and kicked her nose.
"You think a few words can make up for your offence?!"
"Geez, what else do you want? I mean all I did was make fun of you people. You already stole three months from me and my friends. Isn't that enough? I mean how petty can you fairies be?"
She saw his teeny tiny jaw drop and he started buzzing about like an angry bee.
"Petty?! Petty?! You wiped out my village and killed everyone except me!"
Megumin gawked at the little creature. "I did?"
That brought the fairy to a sudden halt. He hung in the air and stared at her. "How can you not remember?!"
Megumin stopped and thought about it. "Wait, was your village in the middle of the clearing I blew up?"
"Oh," Megumin nodded. "I guess that explains how I suddenly reached level fifty-four. I was actually wonder- Ow!"
The fairy kicked her nose again and brought his little face right up to one of her eyes.
"Is that why you did it? To gain a level?! I thought it was out of anger for us shifting you through time. I should have expected a Crimson Demon to be ruthless. You killed them all just for the sake of power!"
"Hold on, hold on," Megumin said trying to calm the situation. "I think there's a misunderstanding here. I had no idea your village was even there."
"Liar! I heard your declaration of war on us before you unleashed your hellish spell! 'Oh, wicked faeries fear my wrath! I am Megumin nemesis of the fae! Taste of my vengeance!' Does that sound like a mistake?!"
It had been a while ago and Megumin didn't remember what she'd said but had to admit that sounded like her.
"Okay, I can see where the problem is. Let me just explain."
The fae flew back and hovered about a foot in front of her, arms crossed and glaring. "You think you can explain what you did?"
Megumin nodded. "What you have to understand is that I love Explosion more than anything in this world. To me every explosion spell is a work of art and it's worth casting even if there's no real target. I've blown up forests, fields, rivers, lakes, deserts, swamps, flower beds, beaches, hills, mountain tops, and even old, abandoned castles. I don't care where or when I use my spell so long as I get to blow something up. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Explosion is my reason for being."
"So, for you the day Megumin graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me? It was Tuesday."
"Ow! Ow! Ow!" Megumin could only close her eyes and shout as the fairy rained down punches and kicks on her face.
When the little creature finally got tired of the beating it flew back again and spoke with righteous fury.
"You should know that before I tracked you down, I visited every other fae village and told them about you! For every fairy throughout this land the name Megumin is synonymous with evil and destruction! For the next hundred generations fae children will be raised on the tale of Megumin the Destroyer!"
"Wait, really?" Megumin perked up. "you're telling me that all the fairies know my name? That I'm famous among them?"
"Infamous more like."
"Yeah, yeah, but they know who I am and think I'm powerful?"
"We call you the Destroyer and the most wicked creature in all the land!"
Hearing that Megumin couldn't help but smile. "Heh, heh, heh well maybe today wasn't so bad after all."
Seeing this reaction, the blood drained out of the fairy's face. Then he shook himself and regained his composure.
"I want you to know that your suffering has only just begun! I could kill you but that would be too merciful! Instead, I will make every day of your life a misery! I am Twinkleface! Your nemesis! You will never- Aaaaaaahhhh!"
The angry little guy was cut off mid rant and let loose a high-pitched scream as Chomsuke flew out and chomped down on him. Hanging there tied to the tree Megumin just watched as Chomsuke ate her nemesis.
A little after sunset Kazuma came back out to untie her. She did not mention Twinkleface as she was not about to admit that a single fairy had caused her so much grief. Or that she'd been saved by her pet.
The next morning things were back to normal. Kazuma and Megumin were at the table having breakfast. Darkness seemed to be running a little late.
"So, no more craziness, okay?" Kazuma said between bites of egg and sausage.
Megumin nodded as she ate her rhubarb pancakes. "I'm sure yesterday was a one-time thing, and we can go back to our routine."
"Good," Kazuma said with a relieved nod. "All I want is a peaceful, normal life with no unnecessary drama."
Just then, Darkness burst into the dining room in her pink nightgown. With flushed cheeks she pointed an accusing finger at Kazuma.
"K… K… Kazuma! A… All my un… un…. underwear are g… gone! I accuse you of s… stealing them!"
Kazuma and Megumin both just sat there frozen, forks midway to their mouths.
"W… We h… have to investigate! A… And if it turns out I'm l… lying you'll have to p… p… punish me!" Her face was getting redder as she started to pant.
"…" Kazuma dropped his fork and stood up. "I'm going to the guild hall to get drunk."
"B… B…. But you need to punish me! I've b… been b… bad!" Darkness started chasing after him. "K… Kazuma, it's not fair if you play favorites!"
Megumin just sat there alone at the table after they both left.
"Those guys are so lucky they have me to keep this team together."
She returned to her breakfast and thought about what she should blow up today.