“Tetya, you’re no longer needed in this party.”
I was told that all of a sudden, my mouth fell open in shock.
The woman sitting before me is my mentor, Frey. She is an A-ranked Adventurer, an amazing mage called the “Witch of Explosions.”
She was like a goddess to me, who had been kindly teaching me since I became her disciple two years ago.
My master had silver hair and incredible feminine proportions, she had a warm heart that compelled her to reach out to anyone in need, but now she’s glaring at me colder than the most powerful ice magic.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said you’re no longer needed in this party anymore,” she repeated, probably because I didn’t react.
My frozen throat finally managed to spit out some words: “No way… why are you doing this, Master?! I’ve been giving my all so far!!”
The master I’ve always admired wouldn’t suddenly say that for no good reason.
I didn’t even care about the stares from the other adventurers around us, I screamed and stood up so fast I knocked down my chair, but Master kept repeating those same words.
“You’re not useful for combat, aren’t you?” Master said.
“That’s… yes, you’re right…” I said, turning my face down.
Yes, I joined this party because I wanted to be a cool witch like Master… but unfortunately, I didn’t have any magical talent.
My mana is moderate, my magical affinity is poor, and I’ve got basic spells at best. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t use magic that could be useful in a battle against monsters.
That’s why… I can’t insist that there was some kind of mistake.
“It was fine for you to want to be like Frey but you’re not cut out to be a witch. It’s better if you quit,” says Mr. Grants, the warrior who acted as our party’s vanguard.
He was a tall man with a hard face and a big physique, and though he was a little rough he was a nice person.
And like Master, he’s urging me to give up.
I felt that my training had all been for nothing, my vision was blurring from my tears.
“Sure, we all know you’re doing your best but… adventurer’s don’t play around, they can’t just say they’re doing their best,” says Mr. Taurus, the fine gentleman who serves as our scout.
He was always cool and doesn’t show much in the way of emotions, but today he has a slightly frustrated look on his face.
“But… but!” I stammered. “You’ve all been relying on my support these days, haven’t you?! Can this party go on without me?”
Everyone was agreeing to kick me out, but I still couldn’t give up.
I’m useless in a fight, so I’ve contributed to the party by delivering orders for quests, arranging for transportation, sorting out our inventories for traveling, and desperately doing all the other small chores.
They always said that they didn’t know what they would do without me, but… was that all a lie…?!
“I’m saying there are more disadvantages to having a support who can’t defend herself,” Mr. Taurus replies. “Our next goal is to subdue a dragon… no matter how much Frey is one of the strongest witches, you’ll weigh us down, so we’ll be better off without you.”
I was so shocked I couldn’t even raise my face, I finally called out to Master who had remained silent as we were talking.
“Master… you can’t be serious…?”
“I’m no longer your master, Tetya.”
Tears spill from my eyes.
For my beloved master to tell me that, I have no words to say…
As I stood up, I quietly headed for the Adventurer’s Guild’s exit.
“Master… no, Ms. Frey… Mr. Grants and Mr. Taurus… thank you for everything you’ve done for me…”
I bowed and turned back to the door.
I don’t want to see the faces of my seniors anymore–
So I didn’t notice.
Master looked at me so sad as I walked away.
After I watched Tetya leave and waited a few moments in silence, I slammed my head against the table.
“Uwaaaaaannn!” I wailed. “Tetya absolutely hates me nooooowwww…!”
“Frey, that’s why I said you should tell her honestly, didn’t I?” Grants says, looking frightened at my outburst.
That’s why, that’s why…!
“I told her over and over again, didn’t I?” I said. “Tetya should find her own path but if she told me she wanted to work harder with those glittering eyes of her, I wouldn’t be able to say anything back to her!”
For sure, Tetya didn’t have the magical talent to contribute much to our party when combat is involved.
But if you say she’s incompetent, I can vouch that that’s absolutely not true.
Due to her dexterity and her enthusiasm for research, she was a genius when it came to making items, and her ability to support the party with them as needed is top-notch. If you look all over the royal capital, you won’t find anyone who could do her job as well.
But Tetya just wanted to be a witch like me.
It’s good to stay enthusiastic in achieving your dreams, even if you’ve still got a long way to go till then.
But in Tetya’s case, she blindly believed she would eventually succeed so long as she received my guidance.
It was useless. I want her to find her own way after recognizing her talents and aptitudes.
While I hoped for something like that to happen and was wondering how to tell her as much, I suddenly heard a rumor.
–It said that the adventurer who was banished from their party learned their true talents and through novel encounters grew up dramatically.
I could have just dismissed it as another rumor, but I felt that Tetya couldn’t grow any further if she remained by my side. So, with Grants and Taurus’s help, I decided to kick Tetya out of the party.
I didn’t want to do it. I honestly hated that I did…!
“Uuuh, Tetyaaa…” I mumble.
If I show off my magic, her eyes would shine and she would whisper, she followed me like a puppy everywhere I went, I would never forget her.
No matter how much this is for Tetya, I feel ready to die when I think that she would never have that innocent trust ever again.
“Honestly, Frey…” Grants said, “wasn’t this all your idea? Even after all this, you’re still her master, so you should keep yourself together until she comes back.”
“Uuh… you’ve got a point,” I said. “According to the rumor, the exiled adventure will find a great new life, and at the end, the party they used to belong to will collapse and they’ll say ‘Serves you right!’1 Now that I’ve gone this far, I must continue to play my role!”
“Are you saying that Tetya’s going to become crazy strong….? And someday, we’re going to fall apart?” Grants asked. “That doesn’t sound right to me.”
I clench my fist.
Well, I don’t think we need to fall apart. It’s just the last wall to overcome.
“Well then, we should look for a substitute to Tetya… I don’t think we can, though?” Grants asked.
“What if we can’t find one?” I asked.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Taurus said. “The quest to subdue that dragon will be a failure but… I can’t help but think about how we’re going to work without her from now on.”
“I’m sorry, I took both of you down with me,” I said.
“Don’t worry about it,” Grants said. “Vacancies in a party are nothing new.”
“We’re not immature enough to say we can’t fight if our party’s no longer complete,” Taurus said. “If we get desperate, we’ll just join other parties to earn money.”
I’m just grateful to my two friends who can just smile and say this.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but… I’ll never forget these two, no matter what.
“Thank you, the both of you!” I said, returning a smile.
They both look embarrassed.
But all that being said, will Tetya be okay? I said such terrible things and kicked her out, I hope she wasn’t taking it too badly.
… I’ll go check her on real quick.
Contrary to my worries, Tetya has grown tremendously since she was kicked out.
She began with saving the Princess when she happened to be in the right place at the right time, then her talent for alchemy blossomed. She created highly effective magical medicines and tools and saved scores of people.
She sold potions to adventurers who got injured during their journeys, she made medicine for plague-stricken slums, she made a magical fireplace to keep warm during cold winters, and magical lights for illuminating the towns at night.
I looked out the window at the royal capital’s streets, which had changed so much over the past year, and meanwhile, I…
“Oh, I’m so hungry…”
Things were fantastically terrible.
… Well, yeah, you get what I mean. But let me make a defense for myself?
First of all, the dragon-slaying quest failed shortly after Tetya was kicked out.
I was hoping to find someone to replace Tetya, but I failed and had to turn down the quest and pay the penalty. (The dragon itself seemed to have been slain by Tetya’s new party sometime later. Incredible.)
After that, I had to find new quests when… for certain reasons, I couldn’t spend much time on my adventurer activities, so my activity record dropped sharply.
Grants and Taurus found different parties to join for most of their quests and our group naturally dissolved. We’re still in touch but we’re no longer adventuring together.
And as just one adventurer, I have to do solo quests but… this life is difficult.
Resupplying and preparing consumables, arranging transportation, butchering hunted prey, making deliveries to the surrounding guards… the things I have to do myself increase dramatically and so do the risks I’m taking. I can’t aim for big game quests without a party.
And under circumstances like that… I was drinking at the bar every night to quell the loneliness I felt without Tetya around and ended up eating my savings during that year.
“Uuh…” I moaned, “I just want to eat decent food for a whole week straight…”
Niga-niga grass is an herb that grows everywhere. If chewed, sweet juice comes out.
… However, the bitterness is so strong that you can’t even sense the sweetness if it wasn’t cooked first.
It seems that it was named by the poor person who had to desperately chew on it and endure the bitterness to sate their hunger, but I wouldn’t be able to prove it myself.
Seriously, I was told that I was talented for climbing to A-rank at age 18, but when humans fall, they fall fast!
“Work… I have to find work…”
I need money to get food, and I need to do a quest to get money.
That’s why, right here right now, I whipped my body up and headed off to do a quest.
I went into the woods near the royal capital. My goal was to collect herbs.
… It’s a job a newbie adventurer would do, no matter how you think about it, but I can’t subdue monsters with my current physical strength.
“Hey, look there, it’s Frey.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize it was her, she looks so terrible. For an A-rank adventurer, she looks so miserable.”
I overheard the adventurers heading to the deeper part of the woods as I was trying hard to collect herbs while chewing the niga-niga grass.
These days I’m seen with harsh eyes because of how incompetent I was to kick out someone of Tetya’s talent.
I’m a complete joke, with my thin body, my rag-like robes, and my silver hair has become dull like an old woman’s.
Grants and Taurus seem to be hiding from me. I didn’t mind because they weren’t spreading rumors about me.
And… the exiled adventurer is said to be completely released from the curse of their past by confronting the cause of all their misery, then they’d fly off into the world, free.
If I’m dying anyway, I want to be struck down by Tetya and used as fuel for her success!!
“That’s why I can’t die in a place like this!!”
And that is why I’m currently running away from a monster that suddenly appeared.
Although the place where medicinal herbs grew is in the shallow part of the forest, if there was no danger at all, they wouldn’t be asking adventurers to go there in the first place.
So it’s still expected to come across monsters while collecting. But why is it a Wyvern!? It’s a B-class monster!! It’s not the level that usually appears in such a newbie zone!!
“Guh, I can’t escape…” I huffed. “I’ve got no choice but to kill it…!”
It was a monster that flies, as the name suggested. It wasn’t the kind of beast that humans could run away from.
No matter how far I’ve fallen from grace, I was originally called the “Witch of Explosions.” I can take out a wyvern with a single blow…!
“Ah, oh no…”
As soon as I started chanting with my wand, my vision got blurry and I couldn’t stand. I haven’t eaten any decent food lately, so that and my having run must have been the culprits.
The wyvern opened its big mouth and is already right on top of me. My second attempt at chanting won’t be in time.
Before I became an adventurer, I never thought this was how I’d meet my end.
Ah… I at least wanted to see Tetya again before it was all over…
Something like a potion flies over my head and near the wyvern’s feet.
What the hell was that? Before me, the wyvern tilts its head—then the bottle explodes with a loud “kaboom.” Shockwave and flames spread out around me.
The force of the explosion sends me flying through the air for a few seconds.
The Wyvern, which was closer to the blast, had its insides scorched because its mouth was open, it died in one hit.
“–Are you alright?!”
That was a ridiculous amount of power. And yet, that wasn’t magic…
Impossible, I thought, but when I looked at the person kneeling beside me and speaking, there she was…
“What a relief… it looks like you’re okay.”
Her golden hair shines brilliantly in the sunlight.
Her green eyes stare at me, as beautiful as jewels, and combined with her friendly smile, they gave her an angelic cuteness.
“I’m glad I made it in time… Master.”
She was my former disciple, the witch apprentice Tetya.
Now she, who had already made her name as the best alchemist in the royal capital, was here before me.
“Tetya…?” I said. “Well, um, about that…”
During this exploration, I manufactured an unfortunate situation so my ex-disciple would help me, I was worried for a while that it wouldn’t work… then I realized I hadn’t needed to.
Yes, I’m currently playing the fool for Tetya to use as a source of growth.
I’m not fooling around now, I was legitimately floored by the blast, but the moment I’ve been waiting for a year for has arrived. I have to keep myself together till the end.
“Fufufu, it looks like you’ve gotten stronger, Tetya…” I said. “Yes, maybe I can let you form a party with me like before? You should feel grateful!”
She had just saved me, so I know I really should have thanked her. Still, I dared to say that so haughtily.
“What are you talking about, Master…?” Tetya asked, looking at me with stunned eyes. “It’s too late for you to say that.”
I never thought that after a year, this young girl could still look like this.
But this is fine. Come on, Tetya, sever your last ties with your past and fly off into the world, be free!!
“I already know what you thought of me and why you banished me, Master!! So all your attempts to get me to hate you don’t make sense!!”
Hold up, eh? Aren’t I supposed to be rejected right now?”
“Well, um, uh… Tetya, I, I think you’re misunderstanding something? Come one, I’m incompetent, I didn’t see your talent, did I?”
“What’s with this stiff script reading?” Tetya asked. “It’s useless to try, you already knew about my abilities, didn’t you, Master?”
“W-What in the world are you talking about?!!” I yelled.
“What else would I be talking about…? That day I was banished from the party!” Tetya yelled. “The old lady who gave me a beginner’s alchemy set alongside some skewers while I was wandering uselessly about town! That was you transforming yourself with magic, wasn’t it, Master?!”
“Huwaah?!” I yelped. “Wh-Wha-Wha-Wh-What are you saying, Tetya?! The-The-The-Th-Th-There’s no w-w-way that’s t-t-true!”
“I don’t understand, why are you even trying?!” Tetya said. “You’re so bad at lying, Master!!”
She was right through me, I could only stammer, flustered.
Yes, on the day I kicked her out, I was worried about Tetya, so I secretly followed her and turned myself into an old woman so I could listen to her.
I was certain that alchemy was the most suitable path for Tetya. However, I never thought she realized it was me…!!
“That wasn’t all of it, was it?” Tetya asked. “At the time we were slaying that dragon, our odds were down and we were cornered in a dangerous place… that flame magic that flew out of nowhere as if it was perfectly timed! You fired it, didn’t you, Master?!”
“Even during the epidemic at the slums, I was struggling to make medicine for those about to die, but a few people recovered slightly overnight… when I asked them later, everyone said, ‘A silver-haired woman who said she had a contract with you as your guardian spirit stood at our bedsides and cast healing magic on us.’ That was you, wasn’t it, Master?! I don’t have a guardian spirit!”
“I thought I couldn’t make a detoxification potion for the quest to go to the Poisonous Swamp, but for some reason, it found its way on my desk, or that time I was about to go to court with a merchant over the magic tool I made. All of a sudden, their attitude softened up during the deal… there are a lot of cases where you involved yourself, Master, and a lot where it was undeniably your work! Or to put it another way, did you think I wasn’t good enough to make it on my own?!”
Almost all of my work over the past year, uncovered one after the other.
Yes, I’m glad I kicked out Tetya, but I couldn’t be so ruthless as to leave my cute disciple as she was… I kept secretly supporting her from the shadows.
That was why I could hardly do any adventurer work.
Of course, I told Grants and Taurus about what I was doing, so I asked them to cheer me on with bitter smiles.
However, I never thought that Tetya herself would figure it out…!!
“You used all your precious items and time you could have spent for adventure work, and at night you drank until you got wasted?! Is this how an A-rank adventurer falls from grace?! Are you an idiot, Master?!”
“Uuh, I, I have nothing to say for myself…!”
At Tetya’s piercing words, I bow deeply on the spot.
However, I was so worried!! I couldn’t be so irresponsible after doing my best to kick Tetya out!! So I thought it was my last responsibility as her master, my last job…!!
“Seriously… you’ve always been like this, Master,” Tetya said as she crouches in front of me. “You’re clumsy, once you set your mind onto something, you rush in without a care, and you were second to none… that is until I came in,” she said as she gently holds my face and lifts it.
Her green jewel eyes had the same kindness and trust as before, with a new sense of understanding and compassion, they sparkled as she smiled.
“Because you were like that, Master, I thought I’d become your disciple. I couldn’t be a cool flame-shooting wizard like you but… the means may be different, but I’m strong enough to stand beside you. You think so too, right?”
“… Of course,” I said. “I can say with confidence you’re so much better than me, Tetya.”
What I said earlier about joining me in a party again was part of the act, but it wasn’t a complete lie.
Right now, Tetya is a great alchemist and skilled adventurer recognized all throughout the royal capital. Really, I should be the one bowing down and begging to join her party.
“I’m glad to hear you say that, however… I have a request that I couldn’t tell you for the longest time, Master,” Tetya said. “Can you hear me out?”
“Yes, what is it? Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”
Tetya asked me so sincerely, I had to say that in reply.
She smiled, said “Thank you,” then took a deep breath…
“Master… I’ve always loved you since I first met you. Please marry me.”
“Yes, I… wait, what?”
She just said that.
… No, no, hold up, was that really what she said?
“I’m sorry, I’m so hungry I’m going crazy,” I said. “I just hallucinated you saying something, Tetya.”
“This is a huge problem!” Tetya said. “That’s why I’ll have to cook and feed you everyday, let’s get married!” she said as she hugs me and picks me up with ease.
“Nope, this isn’t a hallucination!” I shout unintentionally.
Wait, isn’t Teya so strong!? We’ve got quite a few significant differences in body size, how can she pick me up so easily?!
Oh, is she using a magic tool for physical power? How convenient!
“Wait, wait, Tetya, you realize what you’re saying, yes?!” I asked.
“I know,” Tetya said. “I’ve saved a lot of money from my adventurer work this year, so let’s open a shop in the countryside and spend a slow life together. I found a great place while I was on a quest, it looks perfect.”
“You’ve got such solid plans?!” I cried. “Even so, you’re still a child, Tetya, and we’re both women beside!! And what of your party members now that you’re living in the countryside?!”
“It’s fine, I’ll be 15 and an adult soon,” Tetya replied. “And it’s also okay if we’re both women. My party member, Princess Primera, will change the laws a bit so she can marry our female warrior, Liza. You can breathe easy.”
I knew Tetya was with two other girls, but a princess and a female warrior, wasn’t this too crazy?!
Eh, and in the first place, was the Princess becoming an adventurer all part of a strategy to improve her image among the people and gain support to allow same-sex marriage? Isn’t that a little too bold?!
“Our party’s already disbanded,’ Tetya continued. “At the time we said our goodbyes, I received an owl messenger, it read, ‘You should do your best to capture your Master’s heart, as the law will be changed by the time you’re an adult.’ We’ve got the blessing of the royal family!”
“You had a direct line to some of the most powerful people in the world and I didn’t know that?!”
What is with this officially-sanctioned by royalty marriage?! Why was I not part of the royal family or even a nobleman?! Has my ability to veto completely disappeared?!
“Um, well… do you hate the idea…?” Tetya asked, going from aggressively pushing for it to looking at me uneasily.
This face reminded me of the one she made when I banished her from the party and she cried… I smiled bitterly and shook my head.
“To be honest, I’m surprised but I don’t hate it,” I said. “I just realized that I couldn’t do anything without you this past year, Tetya. But is this okay? I said those words…”
“It’s alright now,” Tetya said. “I’ve come to love you, Master, including your clumsy brand of kindness.”
Her gaze with that smile has my heart suddenly throbbing.
She was the cute disciple I once kicked out. She was a beautiful girl with a petite body but thanks to her well-known reputation, I’m sure she’d had plenty of suitors knocking on her door.
Even then, she chose me.
To be honest, that made me very happy.
“So I’ll say it again—please marry me, Master!” Tetya said, gently stroking my cheeks as she begged.
… I smiled back at her. “Yes, I will. I also want to retire from the adventurer life and retire to the countryside and I’m sure I’ll live happily with you, Tetya. If we’re really getting married… happy to be yours, I guess?”
“I told you before, I’m no longer your ‘Master.’ Call me ‘Frey’ from now on?”
“…!! Yes! Ah, um… thank you, Frey…” Tetya says, happy but somewhat awkwardly.
It was kind of funny, so I snorted.
“D-Don’t laugh!” she said. “I’ve always called you ‘Master’, so it’ll take a while for me to drop the habit!”
“Ahaha, you don’t have to do it right away, you can take your time,” I said.
“Will do! Eheh.”
Shy Tetya is really cute if I do say so myself, and it doesn’t matter how trivial the reason was.
But, I suppose that’s just the case since I love her.
“I’m grateful to you. But, Tetya? Can I ask you a favor?”
“Yes, what is it?”
“… I’m embarrassed, so I’m wondering you can put me down now…!”
After she picked me up, Tetya rushed back to the royal capital while we talked… and right now, she’s just arrived in front of the checkpoint.
I couldn’t help but ask because Tetya, a famous celebrity, was returning with me, an infamous celebrity.
It’s good that we still have some distance to go, but I wonder how much they’ll see if we get closer… it’s scary just to think about it.
Seeing me like this, Tetya smiles like a mischievous child with a scheme in mind.
Why do I have a bad feeling about this?!
“Fufufu, just a while back, Master… wait, no, Frey, don’t you remember the way you spoke to me? You said such rude things.”
“Y-Yeah, I was rude, wasn’t I?”
“Did you reflect on your words?”
“I did, I swear I did!” I said.
It wasn’t just once or twice that I thought there was a better way to do things. Even Grants and Taurus were amazed at how much of a “clumsy girl” I could get.
But why bring that up now? I’m worried about her… no, I don’t care so I don’t have to say it.
“Then, as your repentance, stay quiet as I carry you like this till we get back to the house I rented! ♪”
“Iyah–?!” I squeaked. “Hold up, let’s calm down and think about this! Let’s calm down!! I know I agreed with your proposal but I don’t remember agreeing to this kind of public shame play?!”
“This is a bit of my revenge, so your consent doesn’t matter. I’ve heard from Mr. Grants and Mr. Taurus that you wanted me to go ‘Serves you right!’ to you, Master, so please think of this a substitute for that.”
“Did those two betray meeeeeee?!”
The two of them were why Tetya was so confident in her knowledge about my covert actions!
They promised to keep silent, but they were traitors!!
“Well, then, let’s go! ♪”
“Hold up, are we really going like this?” I said. “Wai-Wait a minute, please forgive me?!”
After Tetya and I passed through the barrier with dignity, we were exposed to countless eyes and questions, and rumors that Tetya decided to take me down nigh-instantly spread throughout the capital. But that’s another story.
- Known in Japanese as “Zamaa!”, used to describe revenge stories or underpaid, overworked, and unappreciated characters getting their rightful recognition.