Yuusha Party no Kawaii Ko ga ita no de, Kokuhaku Shite Mita – Chapter 16
I tried changing the appearance.
“Captain, who and where is the guy that made Shiek cry? Please tell me, or I won’t be able to live with myself if I don’t beat him bloody!”
It was the day after we returned to Minerva. I was tired from the work in Dagaz Village, and was sleeping on my bed at the inn when Duke and Hapyneth suddenly burst in through the door to visit.
With the door making a sudden sound, I jumped to my feet. Word traveled to them way too fast.
“Hey, chill out guys! …Where did you even hear about that?”
“We already knew Shiek had gone out on a job, so Hapyneth and I were going to welcome him home with a party for a job well done. But yesterday when I called out to him, his expression was dark, and I heard the whole story from him directly.”
Come to think of it, Shiek had disappeared at some point after we got home yesterday.
It happened when I was negotiating with the old man running the inn about putting the gargoyle, disguised as a Buddha Statue, into my room.
Moreover, a party for a job well done? Why those little…why was I the only one not invited…?
Didn’t I always do my best on my jobs? Granted, even if they invited me I wouldn’t have been able to go, since I was negotiating late into the night with the old man at the inn, but still!
“Rest assured, you guys, I took care of the asshole that made Shiek cry. Broke both his legs and an arm, and tossed him into the river.”
After I told them about my revenge on Mirror, both Duke and Hapyneth shook their heads and had an expressions of ‘good grief’ on their faces. Was it something I said?
“Tsk tsk tsk, you were too soft on him, Captain. If it were me, I would have ground all his bones into dust, then put a weight on him and dropped him into the ocean.”
Isn’t that a little harsh, you guys?
…Well, when you think about what Mirror did, that might have been the way to go about it.
Still, right now he was floating down the middle of a river somewhere. In the first place, he might not even still be alive, so it was fine.
“Anyway, I took him down, so everything’s all right. …The real question here is, why aren’t you two at work?”
Duke was always suited up in his armor so it was harder to tell with him, but Hapyneth was still in her maid uniform. And it was still too early for it to be their lunch break, so these two were probably…
“No problems here. I’ll be getting back soon enough.”
“No problem my ass! You both blew off work to come here, didn’t you?! Go back, right now!”
If Raven or Sophia-san caught wind of this it would be unacceptable. And what am I gonna do if I get dragged into it?
“But Captain, y’know Shiek right now, no matter what we say, he’s not feeling any better! Aren’t you worried?!”
I see, so that’s what this is all about. I folded my arms as I went into thought. If even these two couldn’t cheer him up, I had no choice but to ask Celia-san. Even if I didn’t ask, she would probably help Shiek, that’s just how she was.
“Let’s leave this matter to Celia-san. Shiek is already over there anyway.”
“Is that so? We weren’t able to help, but maybe if it’s Celia-san, she’ll be able to comfort him.”
They both agreed with me. Maybe now they’d get back to work.
“Oh right, Captain? I’ve been meaning to ask since I got here, but…what is that?”
Duke pointed at the gargoyle’s big Buddha statue form. I wondered if I should tell them the whole story behind it. And just as I was mulling it over…
“I gotta say, it’s butt-ugly. What garbage pile did you pick it up from? It doesn’t match the room, and frankly, it’s in the way. You should toss it back in the garbage heap.”
I couldn’t get a word in edgewise as they continued their trash talking. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the Buddha-guised gargoyle shaking slightly. He was obviously listening in.
“You really need to toss this thing. I can’t even imagine what was going through someone’s head when they were making this.”
“Silence you fools! Running your mouths off like that… I’ll have you know I have not assumed this form of my own volition!!”
Even the gargoyle had a limit for the verbal abuse he could take, and understandably blew his top when it was surpassed.
Maybe it was because the Buddha statue suddenly began to speak, but they were both instantly surprised, then quickly recovered. Duke drew his sword from his scabbard, and Hapyneth began to cast a spell.
Sensing the danger emanating from their quick reaction, the gargoyle busted out of the Buddha’s body, revealing his true form.
The situation quickly turned critical, but I’d be in trouble if they broke out into a fight here, so I stepped in to stop them.
“Chill out! Don’t go wild in the room; who do you think has to pay for repairs if anything gets damaged?! All of you sit! Then explanations.”
I reprimanded all three of them, then explained the gargoyle’s circumstances to Hapyneth and Duke.
“Heeeeh, is that right? My bad, drawing my sword on you. I’m called the Duke of Dullahan, nice to meet you. And this is Hapyneth, a Harpy. She’s a bit short on words, but she’s a good girl. I hope you’ll both get along.”
“Hrhmm…So you’re the brat’s friends…I am but a mere gargoyle. I have no name. A pleasure to meet you.”
“It’s gonna make it hard to address you with no name. I wonder if we could give you some kind of nickname…”
“Ooo, that’s sounds cool, doesn’t it? Guy…it gives off a strong and manly feeling.”
“Hmph…Call me what you will.”
Thank goodness…no one went wild in the room. And it looks like they’ll all get along well. In this short time their friendship even progressed to the stage of using nicknames. Even I thought calling him just “gargoyle” was a mouthful. I wondered if it’d be okay for me to call him “Guy” too.
“But still, to think your disguise was Captain’s fault…I wouldn’t have been able to stand looking like that.”
“I, myself, had actually thought the same, but in order to blend in with the humans, I had little choice…”
And just as they were getting along happily, they then all started to bash my Big Buddha masterpiece. So I joined in and ‘happily’ gave them a piece of my mind.
“…You’d better knock that shit off now, you little bastards.”
In the end, I snapped, and the room turned into a warzone. After causing a ruckus for a while, there was a knock at the door. Hapyneth and Duke were one thing, but if anyone saw the gargoyle we’d be in deep shit, so I quickly coated him with my earth magic.
As the Big Buddha proved so unpopular, I tried a different statue this time. And just as I finished the door opened.
“It appears I was correct in thinking you’d be here…Hapyneth.”
And it was Sophia-san who’d come to call.
It was clear how angry she was with the vein popping on her forehead. I more or less understood why.
“Yesterday, I believe Cecilia-sama left you in charge of training the new maid, did she not? This is no time to be playing around in a place like this. We’ll be returning to the mansion immediately. Ah, Youki-sama. Please allow me to thank you for accompanying the Young Miss to Dagaz Village. But I must say…I cannot approve of this statue. Now then, we shall take our leave.”
With a beautiful bow she grabbed the runaway Hapyneth by the scruff of her neck, and just like that she was dragged out of the room.
“…So this is where you were.”
This time, entering immediately behind Sophia-san, was Raven.
“Didn’t I tell you yesterday that we were heading out to Dagaz Village today to take the bandits Youki and Miss Aquarain caught into custody? We were supposed to depart this morning…but we were waiting on you, Duke. C’mon, let’s get going. Also Youki…when we get the chance, let’s hang out for real next time.”
“Oh…okay, next time then.”
“Next time…then. By the way, I think that statue has got to go. It’s different and all, but I’d definitely recommend getting a new one. …C’mon, let’s go.”
“Captain, we’ll settle this next time!”
Maybe it was to keep him from running away again, but Raven took Duke by the arms like he was taking him in for questioning and left.
“…I guess that’s that.”
“Hey brat…you dirty dog, just what have you done to my body…”
Seeing as to how insults had come from all sides today, the gargoyle was irate. Even I was in shock over the matter. Sure I hadn’t had much time to think of something, but it wasn’t like I had just tossed something together at random!
“The Big Buddha was a big failure last time, so I even went to the trouble of thinking up something cool for this one…”
I thought the Sphinx was amazingly awesome…but for some reason no one else did. I bet it’s all because I was reincarnated from elsewhere, and the inhabitants of this world had different aesthetic tastes, that had to be it. It looked like I needed to seriously study this world’s fine arts.
“Forget about that though, this room is an absolute mess. At this rate the repair costs are gonna be ridiculous. …I’ve got enough gold on hand, but I really wanna go bug Clayman right about now. It’s been a while, but I think I’ll go stop by the guild.”
“Hey, you’re going to leave me looking like this?! Get your butt back here, you brat!!”
I ignored the Sphinx-gargoyle and headed out to the Guild to earn some money for the room repairs.
The guild was lively as always; it wasn’t even noon and there were already a few adventurers knockin’ ’em back. And as always, I went right to Clayman’s desk, but…
Clayman wasn’t there. There was even a little handwritten sign that noted his absence.
Clayman, that sorry sod, he’d always been lazy and troublesome, but now he’d finally entered the realm of skipping work! Could it be, his wife had finally gotten tired of his ways and left him? And that had left him so mentally scarred that he’d had to be admitted to a psychiatric ward?!
“Um~ Pardon me…”
I was off in my own personal La-La Land of delusions when the pretty young receptionist lady that always worked next to Clayman called out to me.
“Oh, sorry about that. I was lost in thought.”
But I didn’t add that the thought had been about one of her coworkers.
“No, it’s fine…you’re the person who always comes in to talk to the Assistant Guildmaster, right?”
And just when did I meet such an influential person of power?
“But the only person I talk to in the guild is Clayman…”
“Isn’t that what I said, the Assistant Guildmaster?”
It wasn’t just not possible, it was impossible. At work he had 3 requisites: to always be lazy, difficult, and indifferent. The name Clayman was synonymous with “Lazybones”, and he’s the Assistant Guildmaster?!
I didn’t realize this world also had something like April Fool’s day. Surely Clayman was just waiting somewhere to jump out in surprise after writing that little note on his desk.
“Are you alright? You’ve gazed too long into the abyss, please return to reality!”
The female employee had grabbed ahold of my shoulders and was shaking me. After my head bobbled around, I finally regained my senses.
“Oh, sorry. My normal everyday routine has been disrupted in an unimaginable way that I just kinda…”
“Haha…I completely understand.”
“Oh, I’m sure you do.“
“However, although he may complain, he always does do his job well. Whether it’s the reception desk, sorting documents, breaking up fights between Adventurers, he can do pretty much anything around the Guild.”
“You certainly wouldn’t know it just looking at the guy.”
“Unfortunately with his usual countenance that’s all too true. But, his hard work speaks for itself.”
She had no reason to lie, so it was likely the truth.
Speaking of which, Clayman did say himself that he wasn’t normally a receptionist, didn’t he.
“Even during the Hero’s Parade, as a joke the Assistant Guildmaster said everyone but himself should take a paid holiday to go see it. And when he did, everyone took him seriously, and for three days he managed the Guild all by himself.”
So that was the day I first came to Minerva then. He was grumbling quite a bit to himself about it, but he did do all that work by himself in those following days.
Even with all his moaning and groaning he still did his job. And whenever I took on a large amount of quests, he always processed everything perfectly and easily.
“So…just what exactly is this Clayman-who-actually-does-a-good-job-at-work up to today?”
“It has to do with the Guild’s integrity, and is thus not a public matter. However, since you’re good friends with the Assistant Guildmaster, I’m sure it’d be all right to tell you. …Can I trust you not to tell anyone else?”
For privacy’s sake, I drew my ear close to her mouth.
“The truth is that he and his wife got into a lover’s quarrel. In the end, the Assistant Guildmaster suffered a grievous wound that will take a month to fully heal, and is currently hospitalized and getting medical treatment, and took a leave of absence.”
That was the second time today I’d been left slack jawed. I had a sense of déjà vu, but still felt like I should at least go pay him a visit.
“Could I trouble you to give me the details of where Clayman is hospitalized at? I’d like to pay him a visit.”
“Sure, that’s fine. The Assistant Guildmaster is currently being hospitalized in the best treatment facility in Minerva. You can find it at–“
After I finished speaking with the female employee, I found it was only about a 10 minute walk there from the guild. I thanked her for her help, and headed out to Minerva’s best medical clinic.
“…And so, that’s how you came about visiting me?”
Clayman was sprawled out on a bed in the clinic.
Almost his entire body was covered in bandages, yet he still managed to have that same annoyed look on his face. He certainly didn’t look like a patient sentenced to a month in the hospital. Still, this was all done by his wife, just what kind of monster was she to go this far?
“I heard you got into a fight with your wife. I bet you did something to get on her nerves, didn’t you?”
I mean, this is Clayman we’re talking about. If even at home he doesn’t do housework, is lethargic, and still thinks everything is bothersome, it would definitely incite rage in his wife.
“You’re right about that. It happened on the day of our wedding anniversary.”
Woah, this guy is the worst. What on earth did he do on their anniversary?
“Let me guess, you forgot your anniversary so your wife beat the crap out of you?”
Things like anniversaries were very important to girls. However, Clayman shook his head, dismissing my theory.
“Fuck you. Of course I remembered. The thing is, I had to think of a present to get her. It was too much of a hassle so I procrastinated, and then the day of the anniversary came…”
“So you didn’t get her a gift at all? That’s how you ended up like this?”
“Well, I was out looking for a present, so hard infact, I wound up in a daze, and before I realized it, it was the middle of the night. I hurried back to the house, and my always expressionless wife was even more expressionless…”
“You’re an idiot.”
There was no hope of not ruining the anniversary. The present is optional, the important thing is celebrating and spending time together.
“Geez, it’s all such a pain in the ass…”
“It’s your own fault. You need to apologize to your wife!”
If he did it soon maybe he could still salvage this situation…or maybe not, but at least he might be able to avoid divorce!
“Naw, she ain’t mad anymore. Plus, she’s gonna come pick me up after she’s done with work today. She’s gonna nurse me back to health at home~”
‘I bet you’re jealous, right~?’ his smiling face seemed to brag. …I knew it, it was deja vu, him talking like this. The truth was so far out of my expectations, I ended up just asking Clayman out of the blue—
“…Clayman, your wife, she’s a maid, right?”
“Oo! So you knew. But she’s not just any maid, she’s the Head Maid. Amazing, right?”
He proudly announced, almost as if he was praising himself, but it was at that moment I finally figured out who exactly Clayman’s wife was.
“Huh? How in hell do you know my wife’s name?”
Shit, I accidently said it out loud. It wasn’t really something to panic about, so I wasn’t exactly worried. But, I didn’t want Clayman to get any funny ideas, so I quickly explained.
“Actually, I’m an acquaintance of the Young Mistress of the Aquarain household. Also, one of the maids there is my old friend. That’s how I knew about her.”
And with that, the case should close without any further suspicions. Sure enough, that skeptical look soon returned to his usual unmotivated gaze.
“Sorry, sorry. Didn’t mean to doubt you. But that’s right, there was that one time the Young Lady at my wife’s job dropped by to visit. I’m relieved, just thinking about if someone’d done something to my lovely wife…someone~”
For a split second I felt a large amount of killing intent directed at me.
With a face that serious, it was hard to believe this was the same lazy guy I knew. I guess he wasn’t the Assistant Guildmaster just for show.
“Hey hey, point your hostility somewhere else! I’d never lay a hand on Sophia-san…”
“Ah, is that so. Okay then. Sorry ’bout that.”
What’s wrong with this guy? If he’s that possessive of Sophia-san he shouldn’t be screwing up his wedding anniversary. And where’d that serious face from just a moment ago get off to? It’s already turned back into his dull everyday face.
Still, first Sophia-san, now Clayman, both of them were pretty big deals.
…It made me wonder how exactly they’d met.
“So uh, just where and how did you meet Sophia-san?”
“Huh? What’s with the bolt from the blue?”
Probably because of the sudden change of topic, he gave me a dubious look. But as someone who’d fallen in love, this guy was more or less a success story if there ever was one. If I heard it from the source of a man whose love had turned into marriage…it could serve as great reference material.
“Come on, come on. Out with it.”
“Hmm, well, I was getting tired of sleeping anyway. All right, I’ll tell you the story of our fateful encounter all the way through our lovey-dovey marriage ceremony.”
He clearly put on an attitude of looking down on me as he began, and I suddenly wanted to punch him in the face.
But, I was the one that brought it up and wanted to know, so I kept my fists down with all my might.
“So it all started when…”
From there, Clayman proceeded to regale me with his tale. It was supposed to be the story of how he met Sophia-san, but turned into how when he was young, he was hailed as a genius, and how awesome he was.
I hoped that it would lead into something more relevant soon, and nodded and responded when appropriate while listening intently. Apparently Clayman was a Solo Adventurer up until he was 18, and made Rank A all by himself.
He was such a genius that he could complete anything and everything with ease, and just when he felt his life had become boring, he met Sophia-san.
“So I was in the Guild, just sipping away on some alcohol at a table, no interest in anything. The Adventurer business was too damn boring, I just couldn’t get into it anymore.”
Other than drinking alcohol, that wasn’t much different from how he was now. But anyhow, he had lost his motivation to work.
“Then someone called out to the likes of me, and that someone was Sophia!”
It looked as if he remembered that day in great detail, and his whole face lit up. Then, without any of his usual laziness, the tone of his voice became empowered.
“And what do you think she said when she walked up to me?”
What was this, a pop quiz? I didn’t really give it much thought and just gave an offhanded answer.
“Did she want to be friends with you?”
Clayman snorted at my answer. Is that how you treat someone after they’ve been listening intently to your story?
“Sophia came up to me and said, ‘You look like you’re strong and have some free time. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to form a Party.'”
Hearing the response, it definitely sounded like Sophia-san. ‘You look like you’re strong and have some free time’…her insight was impeccable. It was easy to spot someone with a lot of time on their hands, but it was much harder to tell if someone was strong.
“I turned her down at first, but because I was drunk off my ass at the time, before I answered I copped a feel. Sophia’s a beauty after all.”
“You really are an idiot.”
And just what would Sophia-san do if someone did that to her? Even without asking I knew the answer.
“She soon removed herself from my embrace, and with that expressionless face of hers, she knocked me around good. She mercilessly beat me without holding anything back until she was satisfied. Drunk though I was, in my whole lazy life of being able to do anything and everything, losing to Sophia was more than a little shocking.”
“Let me rephrase that, you’re a huge idiot.”
There’s no reason Sophia-san shouldn’t have won against that carelessly lazy Clayman. Or maybe I should point out the fact that up to that point he thought he was the strongest person around?
“And that’s how Sophia and I met.”
“Wait, that’s it?! What the hell happened after that?”
“The next day, I was the one who asked if we could be a party, and Sophia very willingly agreed.”
Agreeing to be in a party after this guy just copped a feel…but she was the one who originally asked him, so I guess it’s not completely implausible?
“After that Sophia and I were golden. We even made a big name for ourselves.”
‘A big name for ourselves’, normally in a fantasy setting an awesome pair would be known by some kind of special title, wouldn’t they?
“I bet it was some embarrassing chuuni couples name that would turn your ears red just from hearing it.”
“They called us ‘The Invincible Languorous Couple’.”
“What’s with that totally unenviable pair name?!”
That name is 100% Clayman’s fault. And with Sophia-san normally being expressionless, she may have actually appeared that way to some people. Poor Sophia-san.
“So after that you two were going steady?”
“That’s just what the assholes around us called us. It was too much of a hassle for me to do anything about it, and Sophia just thought the whole idea was stupid and never rejected the name. And so it became permanent.”
“Is it really alright to leave that alone…? So soon after that you two tied the knot?”
Even if they were called such a weird couple, that might not have actually been the case. There should have been a moment when the magic happened.
“Yeah…marriage. Marriage, huh…”
He suddenly closed his eyes, immersed in his own memories, leaving me sitting here dying to know what happened… If I let him go on like that, I’d never hear the ending, so I made quick work of waking him up.
“Hey! I’m beggin’ ya, finish the story!”
“Uwa?! Ah, sorry, sorry, I suddenly got hit with a wave of nostalgia.”
I successfully pulled him out of his world of memories and back into the real world. Did I maybe do something bad…? Nah, he can reminisce after I go home.
“First of all, maybe I should tell you about the proposal that led to our getting married?”
“Eh?! Did that really happen?”
“You betcha, as our little duo became closer, seeds of love began to sprout. On one of our days off, we were on something of a date.”
“Love can come out of nowhere, huh?”
Rather than spontaneous combustion, it was more like spontaneous companionship.
“Well, right when I popped the question, a really terrible incident occurred…”
“…Do I really want to hear about this?”
Maybe he had to convince her parents, or maybe he had another lover on the side, or some other daytime soap opera scenario. Was it all right for an outsider like me to hear about this? Feeling my worried tension in the air, Clayman lightly laughed.
“I think you might be thinkin’ a bit too hard there. I’ll tell you this, it’s certainly not whatever you’re imagining.”
What Clayman said relieved me. Honestly, I’d seen so many soap operas in my previous life, I’d almost forgotten that they don’t actually happen in real life.
“Then what actually happened?”
“…I was the one to propose. With all the time we were spending together, I was falling more and more in love with Sophia every day. I had spent a life lazing away, but for the first time in my life I wanted to take something seriously.”
I’m sure he agonized over how to propose seriously without any hint of his normal laziness. All he had to do was just declare his honest feelings. There shouldn’t have been any terrible occurrence about it.
“Ring in hand, I made sure to invite her out to a real classy place to eat. And then I asked her, ‘Wanna get married?'”
“Isn’t that normal?”
It wasn’t even interesting, much less a disaster. What terrible thing could possibly happen?
“Sophia normally went along with whatever I said…but this time, when I asked her, she completely snapped. The result was me being laid up for half a year recovering from her assault.”
Clayman went pale at the mere memory of the incident. I vaguely recalled Celia-san telling me a similar story. So it was about the day of their proposal.
“She should have said yes, what reason was there for her to refuse?”
“…I told Sophia she should stop being an Adventurer. Around that time, I talked about how I might like becoming the Assistant Guildmaster. I mean, we were talking about marriage, so I didn’t think I had to tiptoe around the subject. And so, she snapped. Apparently, Sophia wanted to continue to be the ‘Invincible Languorous Couple’. And while she was beating the shit out of me, I kept trying to convince her…and eventually she gave in.”
There were so many comebacks I could make, I didn’t even know where to start.
Why on earth did Sophia want to continue being known as the ‘Invincible Languorous Couple’, where the hell did talk of becoming an Assistant Guildmaster come from, but what I wanted to know the most was…
“…So in the end, you got married and have been living a lovey dovey life every since?”
Clayman cracked a wide grin. I don’t know why he didn’t want to tell the story at first, it was certainly worth a listen, wasn’t it? While I was lost in my own thoughts, there was a clanking sound as the door opened up behind me.
“Dear, I’ve come to pick you up…why is Youki-san here?”
Coming through the door was Sophia-san in her ever present maid outfit. I heard she was going to come see him, but wasn’t this a little early?
“Ahaha…I’m always bothering Clayman at the Guild, so I came to see how he was doing. But I just noticed, it’s not even noon, don’t you have work Sophia-san…?”
“I see, you know my husband through the Guild. Today I was actually supposed to be on leave. But we suddenly had a new hire brought on board, and Hapyneth skipped out on the job, it was just one problem after another, and all this before morning was even half over.”
Sophia-san answered in her normal expressionless and indifferent tone. So that’s why when she was chasing after Hapyneth earlier she seemed to be in such a bad mood.
“Honey, you came for me.”
Clayman calls Sophia-san Honey?? … But Sophia-san very quickly went to Clayman’s side and said,
“And just who is your ‘Honey’?”
Sophia-san delivered a beautiful dropkick right into Clayman’s gut. Sophia-san watched, still expressionlessly, as Clayman clutched his stomach and tried not to blackout.
“You always call me Sophia, right?”
“No, it was just a little joke. Also I can see up your skirt.”
Clayman switched back to his usual lazy self and said something completely unnecessary. If you say something like that, she’s gonna kick you again…
“And what of it? It matters not.”
“It doesn’t matter?!”
This was definitely a strange turn of events, so surprising my jaw dropped and the words just flew out. To answer my outburst, Sophia-san turned around and stated—
“He’s my husband after all.”
I was left at a loss for words. Leaving me like that, Sophia-san put her arm under Clayman’s shoulder to help stand him up.
“Well, I’m off, see you back at the Guild. My body is ridiculously hardy, so I should be back in about a week.”
“Now then Youki-sama, if you’ll excuse us. For visiting my ailing husband, I humbly thank you.”
No matter how many times I saw it, Sophia-san’s bows were always beautiful. She left with Clayman, him waving his hand goodbye. After saying their farewells, they both left the room.
“…I better get home.”
I headed out of the clinic back to my lonely abode by myself.
Walking back in with a deflated aura, the Guy-turned-Sphinx asked what was wrong, but I ignored him and threw myself on the bed.
Seeing those two happily together, I wasn’t able to admit how jealous I was. I also wanted to have a happy marriage like that.