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Side 1: The Town of Axel – Akatsuki Natsume (Konosuba)
With too much time to kill, I went for a walk around town. That was when two girls descended from above.
The two girls that appeared before me with a flash of light showed confused expressions as they conversed in some mysterious language.
One of the girls, who had blonde hair and blue eyes, seemed to have a sophisticated bearing.
The other, who had silver hair and green eyes, bore an unyielding spirit in her gaze.
Their ages were probably the same as mine.
That means, these two are…
They cried out in a mysterious language I just couldn't wrap my head around, as they looked across their surroundings—
◆ ◆ ◆
"—So there you have it. The two of them are the new heroines."
"I still don't get what you mean though."
I had somehow convinced the two girls that suddenly appeared in front of me to follow me home using various gestures and expressions.
Then, I had introduced the two of them to Aqua, who had come to greet us, but…
"Two girls fell from the skies right in front of me as I was out in town for a walk. It's obvious what this means, isn't it? God saw how pitiful I, who was not blessed with any heroines, was, and decided bestow upon me true heroines."
"Just what do you take gods for? Plus, if you're talking about heroines then there's already one right here isn't there? One of unparalleled beauty. You'll be punished if you ask for too much, you know?"
So said the pretend-heroine as she snorted scornfully from her nose.
…Witnessing me start a scuffle with the pretend-heroine who had rushed at me, the blonde-haired girl let loose a giggle.
In response to her partner suddenly giggle, the seemingly panicked silver-haired girl said something in their mysterious language, while shaking her partner's shoulders.
Then, hearing what they said, Aqua suddenly came to a halt.
"Hey, where did you find these two? For your knowledge, the language they speak isn't from this planet."
Aqua declared out of the blue.
"I see I see. That's quite a pickle. Well, you're not the only one who's constantly around weirdoes and has to clean up after their mess. I understand how you feel."
Aqua nodded in agreement as she listened to what the blonde-haired girl said.
"The two of you became substitutes for the experiment? This Glen person sounds like a really outrageous instructor. If I ever meet him, I'll remember to scold him for you." Said Aqua with an expression full of pride and triumph.
I tugged on her sleeve to grab her attention.
"Yo Aqua, how are you able to talk to the two of them? While you're at it, act as an interpreter or teach me their country's language or something."
"I'm a goddess you know? With my super-duper divine powers, getting the meaning of my words across is a piece of cake. Anyway, interpreting for you would be a pain, so I'll make it so that you can understand their language."
Saying that, Aqua put a hand on my head…
"Hey wait a second! This is dangerous isn't it!? If I get unlucky my brain will go 'pop' won't it!? Stop! Stop!!"
I hurriedly removed Aqua's hand, but all she did was show me a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry about it, it's already done. Well Kazuma, I can't say I expected anything less from you, given that your luck is your only redeeming factor. It went well this time too!"
As I dove into Aqua, who casually almost made my mind go pop, I heard another giggle from beside me.
As I turned my gaze in the source's direction, the blonde-haired girl seemed to notice, bowed her head apologetically.
[Ah. I-, I'm so sorry! Seeing the two of you reminded me of how Sisti and sensei's arguments…]
[W-, Wait Lumia, do you look at him and I in the same manner?]
The silver-haired girl showed a rather flustered expression as she turned toward the blonde-haired girl called Lumia and…
[Oh wait-!? I can understand! I can totally understand what they're saying!"]
[Whoa!? I thought you couldn't understand what we were saying…]
The silver-haired girl retreated backwards in a perplexed manner as Aqua introduced the two.
"This cat-girl like girl is Sistina, and the blonde-haired girl is Lumia. Apparently the two of them got inside some mysterious device made by some guy called Orwell, and by the time they knew it they were in front of you, Kazuma-san."
[Cat-girl like girl…]
[Ahaha, you're treated like a cat no matter where you are.]
Lumia patted Sistina's back to comfort her, who seemed mildly depressed at the revelation.
Facing the two of them, I mustered the best 'handsome-man' voice I could make.
[My name is Satou Kazuma. I work as an adventurer in this land. The incident regarding the mysterious device seems rather troubling, so if you need any help, just say the word.]
[Adventure…r…? Errm, well there's something I'd like to ask, if you don't mind.]
Tilting her head at the term 'adventurer', Lumia nervously continued.
[First of all, where are we?]
◆ ◆ ◆
The mood in the living room was quite gloomy.
The source of it was Sistina, who lay languidly on the couch.
[Impossible… Hey Lumia, do you believe that we're actually in an alternate world?]
[Well, I can't think of any other possibility to explain this situation… Plus, didn't Professor Schuzer say something along the lines of 'I have a sudden urge to eat the pinnacles of stews, so I've been searching for the ultimate ingredients. If there aren't any here, we just need to go to a place where there are! Anyway, I've invented a special teleportation circle that will automatically calculate the location with the peak ingredients. Also, since Glen-sensei has kindly offered the two of you as scapegoats, I will entrust the two of you with gathering fresh vegetables!'… Remember?]
The two discussed such incomprehensible things.
…No wait a second.
['Alternate world'? You just said 'alternate world' right?]
[Huh? Y-, Yeah… That's what I said. I don't find it believable. Even if it's true… I would honestly question the sanity of anyone who would suggest that…] Said Sistina with a strained smile.
As an alternate world specialist, her dilemma was quite relatable.
[No, I believe it. I mean, I couldn't understand what the two of you were saying at first.]
The two's eyes widened in surprise at my declaration.
[Do you really believe something so absurd? That we were sent to this world for a stupid reason like gathering ingredients?]
[I do. After all, you're not the only one surrounded by people who do ridiculous things for stupid reasons.]
"Hey Kazuma, why did you look at me when you said that?”
While Aqua clutched my shoulders and shook my body, Lumia turned her gaze upwards and inquired.
[B-, But why is it that you believe our story so easily?]
[Well, it's cause I'm also from an alternate world. My name is Satou Kazuma. I come from a distant world called 'Japan', entrusted with saving the masses of this world from destruction. I was brought into this world as a hero who bears the hopes of the gods.]
"Hey Kazuma, to be completely honest with you, I didn't have such high hopes for you."
Aqua's comment aside, the gazes of the alternate world duo, particularly Sistina's, seemed to suggest that they were suspicious of me.
[Hey Lumia, was it alright for us to follow this guy? I followed along since we didn't have anywhere else to go… but to call himself a hero of the gods…]
[They're a little… different, but I don't think they're bad people…]
It seems that they don't believe me at all.
It was then—
"We're back—. Oh, do we have some guests?"
Noticing the front door of the house open, I figured that they were back after firing explosion magic like usual. Seeing the guests in the living room, Darkness inquired about the situation while carrying Megumin on her back.
I began to explain the circumstances regarding our mysterious guests—
◆ ◆ ◆
The day after I introduced the two of them—
[Hey, what are you doing!? Didn't you come here to look for fresh ingredients!? Stop hiding behind my back!]
[That's right, we came here to look for fresh ingredients! But first, what the heck is that white thing and why is it chasing me!?]
I had brought Sistina along to the large farm near Axel to gather vegetables.
[This vegetable is called a cabbage. It's quite crispy, so it works well with stew.]
[Did you really just call that a vegetable!? By that you mean the thing that's chasing me is actually a vegetable!?]
Sistina faithfully played the role of the straight-man.
"Kazuma, stop playing around with that cabbage and do something about this mushroom!"
[Hey, Darkness-san is getting swarmed by mushrooms!? Those are mushrooms right!? Why can they move!? By what principle are they able to move!?]
Sistina cried out, noticing the swarm around Darkness as she ran away from her pursuers.
After getting the cabbage I was chasing under control, I quickly shoved it into the basket.
[The vegetables of this world can move. The reason they can move is because of magic, you know, that magic. To put it another way, these vegetables are magicians.]
[Are you mocking me!? I will never acknowledge that as magic!]
"Aah, the mushrooms…! These big black mushrooms are coating me with spores…!"
While I was caught up by Sistina, Darkness started spouting some obscene things as she was counterattacked by the mushrooms.
Seeing that, Sistina hurriedly stretched and arm out and—
[<Oh the great winds>--!>]
The sudden gale blew away the swarm of mushrooms together with Darkness.
[A-, Are you alright Darkness-san!? It seemed like an emergency so…]
Sistina quickly rushed to Darkness, who had been sent flying.
"I don't understand what you're saying, but I understand that you did it to save me. It may have been better to allow to mushrooms to violate me a little longer, but you have my thanks regardless. I've managed to protect what a woman must protect even with her life. Kazuma, please tell Sistina what I said." Darkness said with a straight face as she got up from the ground and gave Sistina a smile.
"Is this some kind of punishment game?"
[Hey Kazuma, what did Darkness-san just say to me? I understand that she meant to thank me, but could you please translate?]
I've learned the language of their world thanks to Aqua's mysterious god powers, but I strongly protested against having Darkness and Megumin do so as well.
After all, with bad luck, it seems that the power also has a side effect of frying the brain.
[She definitely meant to thank you. At the rate it was going, the mushrooms were in danger of climbing the stairs of adulthood. She is thankful for that.]
[Could you not phrase in such an obscene manner! Just translate to get the right meaning across.]
As Sistina shouted at me with irrational anger, Darkness said with a warm smile.
"Ah, the wind magic just now felt wonderful. The pleasure I felt as I rolled across the ground was truly out of this world. Please tell her that I would be happy if she would hit me harder next time."
[I-, It felt really good when she rolled across the ground due to your wind magic. If there's a next time, please do it harder…]
[There's no way someone as polished as Darkness-san would ever say that! Even if we can't understand what the other is saying, I can tell what kind of person she is just by observing her at the mansion! Darkness-san is a noble lady from somewhere, isn't she!? I don't need to read hard into it to notice that much!]
[I'm telling the truth—! Rather, I sugarcoated what she said—!]
I desperately tried to justify myself in the face of Sistina's wrath.
–The reason we came to the farm to gather vegetables goes without saying.
After hearing about their circumstances from Sistina, we started thinking of a way to return the two to their world…
[Hey, can you two really get back after you gather the ingredients? Is that professor what's-his-name really someone you can believe in?]
[Umm… I-, It's hard to say whether he's someone trustworthy… But although he's a fool, he's also a genius of sorts. The direction of his mind may be a bit off, but he definitely has the ability. Once we complete our goal, we… should be able to get back.]
It seems like these girls had come here by the instruction of an inventor called Orwell, having been tasked with the errand of gathering ingredients.
Their class instructor was apparently supposed to be the one to run this errand, but they had been used as substitutes in his stead.
[You're not completely sure about that huh… Well anyway, this Glen guy sound like a serious piece of work. What kind of instructor would use their students as substitutes?]
"Kazuma, I don't understand what you're saying, but I get the feeling you're trying to dismiss what you've done in the past…"
Darkness expressed her doubt as I picked up the mushroom laying near Sistina's feet.
[Well, he really is a piece of work… but he has his good moments I guess. Like uhm… When he became our instructor, he didn't really have any motivation to teach and most of the learning was from self-study, but…]
I couldn't really tell what Sistina was thinking, but her forehead progressively curled until her eyebrows were in a 八 shape.
[…O-, Oh that's right! He gradually started to lecture us properly! Also, he gave everyone advice during the games festival and err…]
[Wow~, he sure sounds like a man of passion. From what I heard yesterday, he seemed like quite the untrustworthy person. You know, like the kind who would gamble away everything and use others around him for his own benefit. Man, I must've totally gotten the wrong impression.]
Sistina fell silent for a moment, her lips curved in a へ shape.
[……Right! He supported my dreams and ambitions and even got himself into a duel to help break off a marriage I didn't want…]
[I have to admit that that's pretty cool. He must've almost been as cool as I was when I gallantly swooped in to prevent Darkness' marriage that one time. So, anything else?]
Hearing what I said, Sistina's expression seemed to grow grim.
[…What should I do, now that I've calmed down and thought it through, there really aren't that many praiseworthy aspects about him.]
[You could at least try a little harder. I'd feel bad for Glen otherwise.]
"Hey Kazuma, translate for me!"
It was then—
I spotted a cabbage that had snuck up behind Darkness.
Cabbages were weak to heat.
Having been an adventurer for a long time, I've managed to learn such pieces of general knowledge.
As the cabbage was set aflame, its leaves gradually lost strength…
[What was that!?]
Sistina, who did not have the general knowledge of adventurers, cried out.
To be continued…
 Note that Orwell & Schuzer are the same person; First and last names.
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