It was early morning one day; the sun was not even over the horizon yet. Kazuma and Darkness were busy unloading a wagon and bringing in crate after crate of playing cards, plushies, action figures, and other related HeroMon products into Wiz's Magic Shop.

"Thank you so much for getting this delivery in today," Wiz said. "I was starting to run low on starter packs and Princess Iris Bride and Homemaker dolls."

"No problem," Kazuma said. "I can't have my original distributor running out of inventory. Not only would it damage sales it might cause a PR hit."

Darkness frowned as she put down the last crate in the back of the storeroom and came out into the main part of the store. "Kazuma, why do you talk that way whenever we deliver things?"

"What do you mean?"

"You sound like a merchant. I've gotten used to you saying strange words when we are out adventuring. But hearing you speak like a tradesman makes me… uncomfortable."

Kazuma smirked and rolled his eyes. "Seriously? That's all it takes? Retail, sales tax, employee benefits, consumer goods, time management."

Darkness started squirming and rubbing her arm. "Stop it."

"Kazuma," Wiz came over and wagged a finger at him. "Please don't tease Darkness. Given how amazingly successful you've been as a merchant I'm sure she's worried about you retiring as an adventurer to focus entirely on business."

He frowned at her. "How many times have I told you I'm not a merchant? I'm CEO of Satou Industries LLC."

"I still have no idea what that means," Wiz sighed. "I just know you've become one of the richest business owners in the country in under a year. It wouldn't be odd at all for you to retire as an adventurer."

"You won't, will you Kazuma?" Darkness asked. "I can't even imagine being in a party without you. You're my ideal p… p… partner!"

"I know, it must be my high tolerance for stupidity. You and Megumin both lucked out. Anyway, don't worry about it. I like being an adventurer. I definitely won't quit."

"R… Really? That's a relief."

"At least not until it gets boring."

Darkness sent him a nervous look, but he missed it as he looked over Wiz's shop. About half of what was on sale was HeroMon products, but the other half were still an eclectic mix of trinkets, doo dads, and stuff.

"You've still got the shelf full of unmarked explosives I see."

He pointed to said shelf filled with brightly colored bottles that would blow up if shaken or opened or breathed on.

"I'm certain I will eventually sell some of them," Wiz said.

"Does that mean you haven't sold a single one yet?"

She glanced at the floor avoiding his eyes. "Some products are just waiting for the ideal customer."

"You mean like with the portable toilet?" Kazuma said as he pointed at said product.

"E… Exactly!" Despite her cheeks going red with embarrassment Wiz almost sounded like she actually believed it.

"Wiz, you're making a profit from selling my stuff, right?"

"Yes."

"Then why not just sell HeroMon products exclusively?"

"But then I wouldn't be able to provide things for adventurers and other magic users! I'm grateful for the sales I get from your goods, Kazuma. It's wonderful to not be facing eviction every month. But it was always my dream to have my very own magic shop! I refuse to give up on it! I mean you still buy kerosene and monster repeller from me, don't you?"

That was true. Kazuma also knew that a few other adventurers got supplies from her as well. It wasn't as if she had zero sales of her other goods.

It was just near zero.

"Besides," Wiz continued. "An old friend of mine has promised to stop by and help me with my inventory. He's very clever and I'm very sure with his support I can improve."

"Oh yeah? Well, that's nice." Kazuma didn't really give it much of a thought. So long as she didn't accidentally blow up her shop it was fine.

As the two of them had chatted Darkness had taken the time to peruse the shelves and look at various trinkets. Something caught her eye, and she brought it over to Wiz.

"This looks quite nice." In Darkness' hand was a choker.

"You have a good eye. That's a magical item that's quite popular among women."

"Oh? What does it do?"

"Well, you make a wish and put it on. The enchantment will cause it to slowly begin tightening until your wish is fulfilled. If the wish isn't achieved within four days, it strangles the wearer."

Hearing this, Darkness felt her cheeks turn red and began to breathe heavily. "R… Really?"

Kazuma's reaction was a bit less enthusiastic. "Oi! Wiz, why are you selling cursed items? Isn't it bad enough just selling useless ones?"

"It's not cursed," she insisted. "Women mostly use it to motivate themselves to lose a few pounds. It's a wonderful source of inspiration to do things you normally put off. Would you like to try it? Whatever your heart's desire is when you put it on, this will drive you to achieve it."

"Yeah, but if you can't you die in four days, right? There's no way I could assemble a harem of bunny girls in that amount of time."

Darkness peered at the choker in her hands, then glanced at Kazuma. "K… Kazuma, w… what w… would you do if say I was going to die unless I were married and-"

Kazuma reached out and slapped the hellish device out of Darkness' hand.

XXX

With the delivery complete it was time to go. Near the door Kazuma motioned Darkness over and spoke to her.

"Hey, I need a little time in private with Wiz. Can you just wait for me outside for a bit?"

Darkness narrowed her eyes. "Why do you need to talk to her alone? If it's a business matter can't you do it in front of me?"

"Well, it's not exactly about business."

"Th… Then what is it about? Kazuma, I know you are a savage, but Wiz is a good person. P… Please don't take advantage of her kind nature."

"Oi! What kind of guy do you think I am?"

"The kind who would make a helpless maiden wear cat ears and-"

"You're about as helpless as an ogre on steroids," he opened the door and gave her a quick shove in the back. "Just wait for me, okay? I won't be that long." He shut the door and locked it before Darkness could reply.

When he turned about to face Wiz she was fidgeting.

"Uh, is there something I can help you with, Kazuma?"

"Yeah. There's something I've been meaning to ask you for awhile now. Are you a vampire or a lich?"

"What?!"

He chuckled at her sudden panic. "You really need to work on hiding your feelings better. When Aqua asked you if you were one of those your reaction was about the same. That's how I know you're one or the other."

Apparently feeling defeated Wiz dropped her head. "I'm a lich."

"Seriously? I was sure you were a vampire. I mean, I didn't think regular undead could jiggle."

"When I was alive, I was called the Ice Witch and had considerable magical power. When I used the incantation that transformed me into a lich, I was able to preserve my form."

"Huh, that's actually kind of amazing. How did you end up here in Axel running a Magic Shop?"

"What do you mean? I already told you; this has always been my dream. After I left the Devil King's castle I-"

"Woah! You worked for the Devil King?"

She looked embarrassed. "Uh, I was actually one of his eight generals and was responsible for maintaining the barrier for the castle."

Kazuma took his sword out and was about to scream for Darkness.

"Wait! Wait! Wait!" Wiz waved her hands about in desperation. "I've never hurt a single person! In fact, the kingdom doesn't even have a bounty on me! All I want is to exist in peace and run my shop. I'm no threat to you or anyone else."

Kazuma paused to think it over. Eventually he slid Excalibur back into its sheath. "Okay, I believe you. To be honest, Wiz, you've always been way too hopeless to seem dangerous."

Wiz stood there. "Thank you?"

"Listen, I like you, Wiz. I think we have a great business relationship and I consider you a friend. I certainly don't plan to expose the truth and make everyone turn on you."

"Thank you, Kazuma," she said in relief.

"But if I keep this secret for you that's a pretty damn big favor. I think it'd only be fair for you to give me something in return."

"Give you something?"

"That's right."

"What do you have in mind?"

Kazuma looked her in the eye. "I think you already know what I want."

Wiz gulped and reached up to begin undoing one of the buttons on her dress. "I- I understand."

"I want you to teach me a basic spell or lich ability."

Her hands froze. "What?"

"I'm an Adventurer. That means I can learn any basic spell or ability. If you're a lich you have to have something really useful you can show me."

"Oh, I understand now," Wiz said in relief. "Well, I suppose the most unique basic skill I have is drain touch. It will allow you to drain the life force from someone you're in physical contact with. You can then either use that energy yourself to restore your health and mana or pass it on to a third party."

"Yeah, that sounds pretty useful."

Wiz began to fidget. "Uh, I'll have to demonstrate on you. It's a bit painful, and I'll need to touch your body."

"Touch my body?"

She nodded. "There's no other way, and since I don't want anyone else to know I'm a lich I can only demonstrate with you."

Kazuma felt his heart begin to race. He looked her up and down. Her figure might not quite match Darkness's, but she was still gorgeous.

"That's fine, do whatever you need to."

Nodding, Wiz approached him. "Very well."

Kazuma stared at her full, luscious lips. He closed his eyes and puckered up.

Then he felt her grab his neck.

XXX

"Yaaaaahhhh!"

Darkness heard a high-pitched shriek from inside the store that had to have been Kazuma. She began pounding on the door.

"Kazuma! What happened? Are you alright?!"

After about a minute with no response Darkness lowered her shoulder and was about to barrel into the store when she heard the lock click. The door opened and a pale Kazuma stood before her, his legs were trembling, and he could barely move.

"Kazuma! What happened?!"

He turned lifeless eyes to her and spoke in a bare whisper. "Wiz…"

"Wiz? What about her? D… Did she do something to you?"

"She sucked it out of me."

"W… W… What?!" Darkness cried out in utter shock.

Standing behind him was Wiz, her cheeks filled with color and life and a look of shame and embarrassment clear to see.

"Wiz! D… Did you and K… Kazuma…"

"Sorry! But I have to get the store ready to open!" The other girl hurriedly slammed the door and locked it.

Kazuma barely made it to the wagon and climbed up to the passenger side. Darkness took the driver side and hold of the reigns.

"Kazuma! What exactly happened with you two in there?!"

He turned to her, clearly dazed and only half awake. "Wiz sucked the life out of me. It was my idea… but I never thought it'd be like that."

Darkness gaped like a fish. "K… K… Kazuma! If… if th… that's th… the sort of thing y… you want, I can definitely take care of th… that for you!"

Kazuma's eyes were closed, and he was sleeping.

Without much other choice Darkness returned the wagon to the mansion and put Kazuma to bed. He seemed completely exhausted and worn out.

Darkness then went out to the market and returned home with three large cucumbers. Rather than eat them in the kitchen though she brought them straight to her room while muttering something about 'practice.'