The Playboy Forms a Party
A town about a half day’s walk from the city.
On the street.
“Now, take a good look? These five rocks are going to turn to gems in front of your very eyes! One, two, three!”
When I clapped my hands and opened them again, the stones that were in my palms had become glistening jewels.
“Howddya do that~?”
The audience’s eyes, especially the girls, seem to gleam as they watched.
I theatrically sighed and,
“Hmmmm, well, if I had to compare my little rocks to the beauty of the ladies eyes before me, I’ll always come out second best.”
I say that, and with a poof the rocks turned into a bouquet of flowers that I handed to a young woman in the front.
“Here, for you. Ah, these are real flowers you know, not fakes? Make sure to water them properly. It’s important to nurture it everyday, right?”
“Fufu… Yes, you’re right, thank you very much.”
“Ahhh, perhaps young lady, what you really desired was this?”
I drew back the bouquet and held out my right hand, where one of the jewels from before had appeared.
The girl pouted, then laughed.
The audience joined in.
“But, my apologies, this is but a mere stone after all.”
I span the jewel on my finger.
In reality, it’s just a bit of glass. All I have to do is stick some glass on pebbles and employ just a touch of trickery.
The spectators raise their voice in admiration.
I ask them in a mischievous voice.
“Now then, young lady, what do you truly want?”
Split between being annoyed at being made the fool in my play and enjoying the magic trick, she pointed with a mixed expression.
“I’d like the flowers.”
“Really? Not this stone… Or should I say, this jewel?”
“Ah yes yes, I understand. Please don’t drop them.”
I gave her the bouquet.
As soon as I did, the young lady realized something was wrong.
“Eh? No way, really…!?”
From the bouquet of flowers, she took out a jewel.
“This is… real…!”
As the young lady seemed stupefied, I raised my hands and shouted.
“Consider it the assistant’s fee! Now everyone, please applaud this lovely young lady who wanted both the gem and the bouquet, and received bothー！”
” “Ooooh~~~~~~!!!!” ”
Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap!
“Jeez, thank you!”
The young lady jumped up and bashfully kissed me on the cheek.
Even I’m a little surprised.
“I suppose I got the pick of the rewards after all!”
” ” “Ahahahahahaha!” ” ”
A lot of people in the town had gathered to watch my performance.
“Great stuff, what a performance!”
The money that couldn’t fit inside my hat piled up like a mountain beside it. With this money, I could give ten more of those jewels to that young lady.
“Yo playboy, why don’tcha come on over? Our ale is delicious!”
“Ah~, then why not come to my place instead, I’ll be a good girl until morning~”
“Oi playboy, why not come with me instead!”
“Thank you very muuuuuch!”
The people who aren’t used to shows like that in their town get a little over eager when praising me.
Well, it’s all in good fun.
As I receive the adulation of the audience, I think a little bit about what’s to come.
I’ve made enough to cover my travel expenses, or at least enough to cover the teleportation service costs, so I should start making my way there.
The sacred place of jobs――Babel.
◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
In a place far from the capital lies a tower that pierces the heavens. It literally towers endlessly through the sky.
Its name is ‘The Heavenly Tower of Babel’. I’m just going to call it the ‘Tower’.
It seems like it was built in mythological times.
It’s the oldest dungeon on the continent, filled to the brim with monsters and treasure alike.
Once you go there, ‘Adventurers’ will gain their job titles.
The job system is something that is controlled by forces outside of human imagination.
Originally, the intention was to conquer the ‘Heavenly Tower of Babel’.
But, it is also now used for countering the ‘Demon King’.
In order to destroy the Demon King, the Alliance sent powerful ‘Adventurers’ to the Demon Continent. They are the ones called ‘Heroes’. Like those guys I partied with.
Laius is meant to be the ‘Conquering Sword Hero’, but according to the Tower he’s just a ‘Warrior’.
The ‘Mage Hero’ Aiza is just a magician.
The ‘Saintly Hero’ is just a priest as well.
They were just a bit higher level than most, is all. So we were all chosen by the Alliance and just got on with it.
By the way, even though my professional job was a jester, I was called the ‘Playboy’. Why was I the only one who wasn’t called a hero?
Well, it’s fine.
When I left the inn, I looked for a teleportation magic service.
Is what I was thinking of doing.
I heard a voice from below me.
A small girl was looking up at me. Judging by the height, maybe 13?
“What’s wrong, little miss?”
The girl looked like she was about to confess, considering how red her face was.
“P-please party with me!!”
I can’t quite keep up.
Things are advancing a little too fast. Reality is always like this, isn’t it?
I took a closer look at the girl.
She looks a little plump… Oh, that’s not her stomach, it’s her chest.
Those tits are kind of big, aren’t they? Despite being so short. Growth spurts sure are tough….
For some reason though, she’s wearing light armour, with a sword on her waist and carrying a large shield. Is she playing dress up? But, that sword is real. A bit dangerous, actually.
Oh, I got it. Perhaps what she means by party is…
“Is it a costume party? Did you want me to perform some magic tricks for you?”
I smiled as I answered her.
“T-that’s wrong! I mean an ‘adventurer’ party!”
“Um, you’re Dylan-san, right!? The legendary jester!”
“Well, yes, but…?”
“I’m an ‘adventurer’ too! I just haven’t formed a party yet, so…!”
“Eh, an adventurer? No way. How old are you?”
“I might look like this, but I’m eighteen!”
I… I’m not seeing it!
No matter how I look at her, she can’t be older than 13, maybe 14… Height wise… Wait, that chest though…
“Ah, crap. That almost went bad. Child, she’s just a child…”
“No, I am not!”
The girl doesn’t seem to mind.
“I see. So that explains the armour and sword. You didn’t just borrow it from your dad for a costume party, it’s yours?”
“Yes! Though I did see my dad yesterday! Ah, I was returning home for a visit! I want to return back to Babel now though! I was gonna walk because I don’t have any money, but I heard there was a cheap teleportation magician in this town! But even if I got back to Babel by myself, I still don’t have a party, and as I was thinking about what to do, I saw Dylan-san doing his street performance!”
She jabbers on and on.
I answer with a forced smile.
“Oh, is that so?”
Then the girl stood on her tiptoes and tried to look in my face.
“I… I thought it must be destiny! To meet such a legendary jester in a place like this!”
Her eyes were gleaming.
A look of respect.
“So that’s why you scouted me out… It’s pretty rare to be invited to join an adventurer party though, this far away from Babel.”
“Um! Then let’s go together to Babel!”
“Hmm… Sorry, but I refuse.”
“I don’t want to party up.
The girl became stiff as a board. A smile frozen on her face.
“Besides, I’m already thinking of quitting being a jester. I’m going to climb the tower on my own for a while.”
“Ha… Ehh… I… I see…! Then I… I… Um… For bothering you I’m… I’m sorry!!”
The girl bowed at a ninety degree angle, then sprinted away without lifting her face. She ended up smashing straight into a pillar head first, but she just got back up and started running again without even hinting at how badly it must have hurt.
If she’s that tough, I guess she really is an adventurer.
Judging from her equipment and ability to take a hit, she must be a warrior?
I gazed at the direction the girl had run off in.
――She was crying.
◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
Thirty minutes later.
I was eating a lunch of bread and fried chicken at a shop specializing in snack food.
“Eh, a super cheap magical transportation service!?”
From behind me, I heard a familiar voice.
That same voice I heard about 30 minutes ago.
Looking back, I saw the girl from earlier walking with two suspicious men.
I wonder if I should go there later as well.
That’s what I thought, as I enjoyed my juicy chicken covered in gravy.
◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
“Nooo! Please stop!”
It was an unknown basement.
The girl had her arms held behind her back.
Besides her, there were two men in the room.
One of them held the girl’s hands behind her, the other held a piece of paper in her face.
“It’s a contract for a crest of magical power. Even if you try to escape, I can always find you.”
The man grabs the girls hand to try and complete the contract.
A slave contract can be concluded with the magic in one’s palm like this.
This basement is where they do their business, kidnapping and selling off young girls.
The men would put the girl’s hand on the contract, make it binding, then sell her off into slavery.
“She’s still just a kid, but her chest is that huge already!”
“We’re going to be rich!”
“Stoooop! Let me go!”
The laughter of the men and the screams of the girl echo around the cellar.
“Oh, I see.”
An out of place man in a tuxedo and silk hat appeared.
“Ah, who the hell are…?”
“How did you even get in here?”
“Normally, I just used the door.”
With a clang, the lock on the door fell off. It was made of iron, but it seemed to have been filed clean through.
However, the only thing that the man in the tuxedo holds is a playing card.
“A guard!? No, an adventurer!”
“I’ll kill ya!”
Mister Tuxedo’s body seemed to flow as it moved.
From the point of view of the girl, it seemed to just slide right through the two men.
The girl didn’t even dream that there were magic tricks like that.
The two men didn’t say a word, they just crumpled.
Mister Tuxedo spoke to the guys on the ground.
“I don’t think you’ll die since I avoided all the important parts, but I’ll still tell it all to the guards.”
Then, he turned to the girl.
“…Are you okay, little miss?”
The girl trembled, but slowly nodded.
“There there, it’s alright.”
Mister Tuxedo placed his hand on the girl’s shoulder.
“UWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Dylaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! I was so scaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaared!”
The girl plunged her face into Mister Tuxedo’s chest and burst into tears.
For the time being, hearing her out is probably for the best.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
The next day.
After arriving at Babel using teleportation magic, I arched my back and looked up at the sky.
The tower I first tried to scale when I was fifteen.
When I became a jester at age 20 three years ago, I was invited to the party of the ‘Heroes’.
Well, it’s been some time.
I took a deep breath.
And towards that deep blue sky and endless tower.
I shouted out.
From here, I’ll start over again.
My days of being the clown are over.
From now on, I’ll be the lead chara――
“I ALSO CAME BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!”
I was interrupted. I think it’s a little rude to mess with my monologuing.
The girl who had been crying so bitterly the day before, now shouted to the heavens with a bright red face.
Then turned to me, her face full of smiles.
“A party! Please look after me, Dylan!”
I smiled back, a little less enthusiastically.
“I got it… Tina.”
Well, the show needs more than the main character, we also need some supporting roles.
The Heroine? Or something like that.