"WHERE IS THAT DAMN WOMAN?!!" - Kagetora
"Don't shout!! What if she hears you!?" - Sukeroku
"Crap!!" - Kagetora
After that, Kagetora used both hands to cover his own mouth. He is a nice guy, but maybe due to his Oni-lineage, he often gets into fights. Due to that, he saved me when I was hunted down by a mad "hunter" that wanted me in her "collection". Still get the shivers by the thought.
"And stay quiet. If the rumors are true, then we made a mistake we may not survive..." - Sukeroku
As usual, Sukeroku is the brains of our trio. He's always been saving our butts, ever since the incident with that female blacksmith and her cursed swords that possessed a whole village, turning them into some sort of zombie-army. If he only knew about that fatal piece of information before we attacked that albino demon-woman yesterday...
"You thinking about something funny?" - Sukeroku
"No... not much." - Jim
We attacked the albino-demon after learning that her actions had endangered the lives of the city's locals. A type of G-rank monster named Lesser Dust Worms, dog-sized worms that live in the sand, can be found in an area not too far from the city. It, and the evolved Dust Worms, are an edible type of monsters, and easy enough to hunt that even civilians can take care of them with ease.
However, that special ecosystem that allowed the Worms to breed and grow so much was almost destroyed by a certain, white-haired demon wielding two swords a few days ago. Even now it's deduced that it will take 10 years before people can harvest Worms again, essentially destroying the livelihood of the people... something not so different from what the princess that summoned me to this world did. Crap, did my past experiences affect my ability to judge? No, who am I fooling?
THEY OBVIOUSLY DID, STUPID!!
Damn, I have no excuses, even with the many "experiences" I have under my belt.
The first thing I experienced in this world was the suffering at the hands of that goddess of erotica. I had to be her... "plaything" for ten months, surviving whatever wild "play" she could think upon while staying alive thanks to her whims and power over life. I would have gone crazy several times if it wasn't for her powers being capable of "healing" even madness. She even changed... mutated my body into its current appearance. And I used to be a proud member of the geek-club... and I do not want to retell the horrors I experienced during that time. It's not healthy for one's mind...
After I was "released" from my days of suffering, the goddess dumped me into a summoning ritual for an otherworldly hero or something. The "princess", as she named herself, was a person so horrible that I'm still confused over the fact that she wasn't of the demon-race. She forced her subjects to work in the farms and factories, and those that opposed her were either subjected to the Iron Maiden or were skinned alive. Then there was her sick taste in... nightly activities. No wonder the goddess threw me into that country. Ugh, the horrors...
I was lucky enough to kill her through a sheer coincidence and this armor that the goddess gifted to me, as I'm her "Champion" or whatever. That alone granted me the [Villain Killer] title as well. Just goes to show how horrible of a woman she was.
HOWEVER! That was just the tip of the iceberg! Due to some sick "Blessing" from that goddess, every psychopathic woman in the world came after me as if they were homing missiles! Ugh, my stomach's turning on itself from the stress...
That does not mean I've forgiven myself for mistaking the demon we attacked for the real culprit. According to Sukeroku's investigation, it seems that the woman we attacked was a colleague of mine, the Champion of the Darkness goddess. And despite her negative-sounding title, she is actually a hero who saved a city from an attack of several C-rank monsters and their armies, she cleared the city for several organized crime rings, and she even crushed a Dungeon filled with cursed undead!
As the final nail in the coffin, it seems she saved a local "Guardian Deity" from a wound possibly created by the same culprit that destroyed the habitat of the Worms.
According to all this, and more, Sukoroku concluded that the real culprit must be faking the image of this Champion-demon. We completely missed our mark!
"Hey... we've searched the whole town now. So why haven't we found either of them?" - Kagetora
"Because the Champion destroyed all the shikigamis. Just how much time does that bitch think I've spent on those..." - Sukoroku
Ulp, I have to find a way to pay Sukoroku back for that as well.
As Kagetora said, we've been looking all over the city in search of either one of the demons. Both to stop the true culprit, and to apologize to the Champion. No, it's safer to say that we are going to beg the Champion for our lives. Even if she's no criminal, someone that has amassed so much chaotic Karma is bound to be merciless against people like us...
Maybe I should give her my armor as proof of our will to apolo...gize!?
"There! Over there!" - Jim
I was so excited that my vocabulary was failing me.
"Huh... hey, that's the girl!" - Kagetora
We saw a white, short-haired girl walk into an alleyway. From her figure and hair color, it's no doubt it's the girl we wrongfully attacked yesterday!
"After her!" - Sukoroku
We ran into the alleyway in the hope of reaching the girl when-
"Sorry lads. The barrels went crazy there."
When a bunch of barrels came out of nowhere, hitting all of us in the face. I excused the owner of the barrel and caught up to the other two who were still running after the girl.
But then we all slipped on some fluid on the ground and were sent headfirst into a huge pile of sand and... stuff that should not be mentioned publicly.
A quick Clean or ten later and we continued with the chase, thanks to the shikigami Sukoroku had sent after the girl. However, as if fate was laughing at us, we continued to encounter misfortunes that could have been taken straight out of an old cartoon. Like the sudden and unexplainable pitfall trap in the middle of the street, a carriage that crashed into us when we rounded a corner, a piano that almost squashed us, and a fury of fireworks that struck us directly, and many, many, MANY other incidents...
"Does this town hate us or something?" - Kagetora
I'm starting to think there is something among those lines. And the girl kept on walking despite all the clamor. Huh?
"Where did she go?" - Jim
"...The signal from the shikigami disappeared." - Sukoroku
"Crap, we lost her!!" - Kagetora
"Why didn't any of you blockheads think about calling out to her?" - Sukoroku
"Well... we're already in trouble for having annoyed one girl already..." - Kagetora
I was thinking of the same thing... and it seemed like Sukoroku did as well from the look on his face. Damn, is nothing going as I want? Even when I want to apologize? Real-life is a damn shitty game...
"Ehm, excuse me..." - ???
!? Were my prayers answered?! In front of us stood the girl we had... been... chasing...
"Did you want something from me?" - Albino rabbit-girl
The one we were chasing was a rabbit-type Therianthrope. A lop-eared one, so we couldn't see her ears from behind. Her tail was covered by a mantle leaving us with no chance to see she was a different person.
My legs gave out beneath me and I sat on the floor as all the energy in my body left me when I realized we had been following the wrong person... thinking about it, isn't what we did no different from stalking? Ah, I want to die... just let me rot in a hole filled with trash...
"Ehm, you see, miss, we are looking for a girl with the same hairstyle and color as yours, but we only saw the backside of your head, so we mistook you for her." - Sukoroku
Sukoroku tried to explain the situation to the lop-eared rabbit-girl in a desperate attempt to mitigate the damage. No good. It's no good. It still doesn't remove that we essentially stalked her. Someone, just throw me into the incinerator...
"...Does this person have blueish markings around their eye?" - Rabbit-girl
"-!! Y-yes, she does!" - Sukoroku
"You know her!?" - Kagetora
"...She is a regular my workplace. If you wait there, you might bump into her..." - Rabbit-girl
"S-seriously! Thanks! Hey, Jim! Did you hear?" - Kagetora
"...huh?" - Jim
"Crap, he's starting to become a member of the living dead." - Sukeroku
"The Champion-girl! We may be able to meet her!" - Kagetora
"...HUH!?" - Jim
After I was filled in on the situation, we followed the rabbit-girl to the rabbit-girl's workplace where my supposed colleague enjoys visiting. And that place was...... hell!?!?
I left the trio in the opening of the shop and went to the back room to change.
I got them, hook, line, and sinker! Heck, even the fishing rod!!
I looked at the trio through a peephole and saw them being entertained by the Lesser Succubi and Dark Elves that I had Flint and Lily take along with them after they had returned to the Dungeon to place the Phoenix Egg in the care of the Volcano Wyvern. Only that guy has enough firepower to hatch that egg after all.
The "shop" is actually an old bar that I had borrowed from the Adventurers' Union. It used to be their property, but the sales were too low so they abandoned it for a much bigger building later on. I was allowed to use it for this stunt due to it being me who was the source of the Aquarect Queen that's been sold on the first day of the auction, plus fixing the shop a little. The furniture, costumes, and drinks, all comes from Blot's wallet after I told him the troubles that our "precious" boss had made with my appearance.
"Boss... when can I change clothes?" - Lily
It's not just me who's here. Lily and Noire are also present... dressed as bunny girls. Lily's outfit fits her pretty well, but Noire's is somewhat flabby. It's their punishment for not keeping that walking calamity in check.
"Not before those three are out for the count," I said, temporarily dispelling the rabbit-girl appearance. Damn, it's tiring to keep that up all the time. My shoulders are turning stiff.
"Why are you even doing this intricated plot anyway? Couldn't you just have taken them out with those traps you sprung on them while leading them to this place?" asked Noire with tears in her eyes as she tried to prevent her clothes from slipping.
"I wanted to. At least, in the beginning, but I was refused." - Garami
Oh, I so seriously wanted to butcher them up. Not that converting them would give me anything useful.
"Holy Knight" would evaporate the undead the moment they're created, and "Escape Artist" is useless on someone that's supposed to fight for me. "Onmyoji" may be a rare class, but its true worth lies in the shikigami it can make, but they can only use the same ones they've made themselves, meaning that one's also useless on newly-created undead. "Samurai" sounds strong, but I have lots of Warrior-line classes from the Civil War, so a somewhat exotic variant has low value in my eye.
And as the final drop, the Extra Skills of the hero (lol) would be lost. Rather, it would create the chance of someone else getting it. Like a subordinate of the Demon King which we're supposed to defeat. There's also the fact that we would incur the wrath of most of the Luxuria continent, which recognizes the hero (lol) as their savior for being part of the subjugation group of the Disaster of Life.
"-is what Blot told me when I asked for support," I told the two.
"W-wow... only negatives..." - Lily
"Therefore, Blot told us that he wanted to force the hero into the organization." - Garami
Having the user of the [Charity] skill, one of the greatest recovery-skills in the World System, protect the boss is an idea most would welcome.
"And there's the fact that he's a literal hero, despite the appearance." - Garami
"Now I see. As expected of Blot. Using a real hero for PR-work is something he would do." - Noire
After I told him that it was Filyn that they were really after, his face looked more like he was planning on using him as a sacrificial pawn. Something I'm all for. Go, go, sweatshop owner Blot!! I'm counting on you to make the hero experience a real hell on earth!!
"That's why we went with this plan." - Garami
"You mean... the shop is a huge honey trap?" - Lily
"Only for his companions," I answered while looking at the interior of the shop and saw the Oni and the fox being led astray by the girls. Damn, that was too easy. Gotta build a shop or ten in the Dungeon. It's gonna be way more effective than even Rare Treasure Chests, or even a Treasure Chamber filled with them.
"Why is... what's wrong with that guy!?" shouted Lily in surprise after looking into the shop as I started to dress for "work".
Not that one can blame her. The hero's currently looking like he's wasting away by the second. When I last looked at him, he was starting to reach the Zombie-level.
"Lookie here," I said, showing the status page of the hero that I had registered in the Kigal-Note. More specifically, the hero's titles.
"......Garami, why did you go with this strategy again?" - Noire
"To physically- and mentally torment and exhaust that bastard to sign a magical contract~♡." - Garami
"...Boss, that's too evil." - Lily
Don't compliment me~. After changing into an outfit that includes slacks and a vest that shows off my arms and bellies, transforming back into the rabbit-girl form, and making sure the several fake-status accessories were working, I went back into the shop.
In there, I saw the hero having escaped the girls and sitting by the counter. Flint, who's taken the role of the barkeeper, keeps him company.
"Mister, do you want something to drink while waiting?" - Garami
"Y-yesh... p-pleashe due..." -
Wow, he's gone past "Zombie" and will soon reach "Skeleton".
I filled the hero's glass with some cheap but effective booze. Prolly to wash away his anxiousness or something, he downed the whole thing in a blitz. I refilled the glass, saw his drink that one up as well... and gave him another refill. And again. And again.
And again... whoops. The bottle's empty. That's the third one already! They need to make these bigger! Big as life!!
Tch, then the next one! We can't stop here-
"*Snoooore*..." - Hero
...He's the kind who gets wasted when drinking alcohol. Damn, there goes my blackmailing plans of telling the world of the evils(?) he did while drunk. Tch, dammit.
As for the other two... they're drunk on the Charms from the Lesser Succubi. So envious... maybe I should place some sorta voting for subordinates that wanna act as "maids" in my personal living area? Limited to female humanoids, of course. Maybe an "assistant"...
Whoa-, that scared me! Hey, you f*cker!! Don't scare people... glad to see you're healthy, vice-boss!! Are you having a wonderful evening?!!
"So, these are the so-called heroes?" asked Blot while looking at the sleeping hero and his two charmed comrades. Why's he here? Not to mention that he's emitting some crazy pressure as if he's facing the killer of his whole family!
"*Snore!*, *hick*, why're you to shmell with thse door like-" started the hero that was woken up by the noise-
Eh? What? Was he punched? The hero looked as if he was punched in the stomach. The reason why I believe that is because there's the imprint of a fist on the armor he was wearing.
Damn, so fast that even I couldn't catch it, and with enough force to break the armor where it was... wait a sec!! I sneakily Identified the armor, and it's an Extra-tier item like my Kigal-Note! Why is something that has no durability to lose being broken like that!?
"Hey, what are you-guuh!?" - Oni
Seeing the hero getting his gut punched out woke the Oni up from the Charm-induced stupor, only to be greeted with a storm of punches coming literally from every direction. Seriously! How's that even possible!? And Blot's not moving from his spot!
Right before the Oni turned into mince-meat, Blot stopped his attack and picked him, and the hero, up and started to juggle them around as if playing with balls as he walked towards the remaining member of the hero-party, the fox-Onmyoji. Hey, vice-boss! Even if they're some stupid heroes, treating them like juggling balls is just too disrespectful! Not that I'm gonna say that out loud.
The fox-guy tried to counter-attack with his shikigamis, but each one was crushed by two fist-blows from each side, not that different from a vice. How do you turn paper-dolls into dust with just the force of a punch or two...*Shiver*
Aaaaand... the fox is out. Not by a punch though, but from getting an Oni-missile in the stomach. Geez, and that guy's supposed to have True Order? Loyalty can be scary...
"Garami, I will educate these three into true gentlemen who will not try to even think about harming their lady." - Blot
"Ehhhh...okay?" - Garami
"Good. Your reward for trapping these worthless sacks of meat and bone in the usual fashion." - Blot
W-wow... time to destroy those escape plans. Don't wanna get on these glowing glasses' bad side...
"Wait, you said something about being 'rewarded in the usual fashion'? When was I ever rewarded?!" - Garami
You even refused to sponsor the Dungeon!! Heck, I've yet to get a real paycheck!!
"Hmm? We have sent your payment to your Bank Union account." - Blot
When did I ever have that!?
After that, Blot left the store, dragging the three broken toys with him before I could ask him.
......We-well, if I'm getting rewarded without doing so much, then I'm fine with that... I need a-
"Don't." - Noire
Look who's finally outta the back room! Couldn't you have-!
"The others are mentally wounded enough for one day. Don't add another one, even if it is only the icing on the cake in comparison." - Noire
The others? Let's see... shivering Lesser Succubi, pale-faced Dark Elves, a Living Chimera that looks like she's seen Fear himself, and a Lizardman who simply looks confused as hell. Guess Flint's made of tougher stuff than I first anticipated.
......I have seriously no clue for what Noire's referring to, but I let the bottle go for tonight. I-I gotta check out that Bank Union tomorrow. I gotta stay on my A-game. A-ha-ha-ha...ha...