Chapter 2: A Match Made in Edgeville

"Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a bird, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!"

Fumikage Tokoyami

The dark victor stood over the corpses of his foes, shadows swirling about him. "And so, they fall, one by one, my foes hapless before my dark power."

Sato Kazuma rubbed the bridge of his nose and let out a heavy side. "Careful, Birdbrain, or you're going to cut yourself on all that edge."

Seriously? He was doing this? AGAIN? After defeating the Devil King, he'd wanted to have a nice, long retirement. Preferably one where he shacked up with Megumin, maybe actually shed his virgin NEET status for good. But that had lasted about 10 seconds. No sooner was Aqua gone back to the divine realm than ANOTHER Devil King showed up, this one calling himself the "Lord of the Tomb" or some such bullshit.

So of course, Kazuma had been tasked with forming a party of Adventurers to go off and defeat the Lord of the Tomb. Since he'd been asked by his dear little sister Iris, he'd naturally obliged. Heck, he'd even had divine help in the form of a certain thief. He'd also gotten Yunyun to tag along as well, seeing as how she was actually pretty handy in a fight.

And then things had all gone to hell almost immediately. Turned out, this Lord of the Tomb was a super powerful undead lich, with hordes of demons and monsters at his beck and call. It would have been really useful right then to have a goddess that was an Infinity +1 Sword against the undead, but instead they'd had a complete TKP. He'd wound up in the divine realm, and then his actual retirement had begun.

See, Aqua and Eris had sworn they'd get Kazuma and friends (and Yunyun) resurrected or reincarnated, but then something had gone wrong and apparently the Lord of the Tomb had conquered the world or some such BS, so the Goddesses were busy processing all the dead people.

Which had meant that Kazuma, Megumin, and Darkness (oh, and Yunyun) had been allowed to sort of just hang out in Aqua's divine paradise. Aqua had unlimited high speed internet and all the latest games, and Kazuma had wasted no time in converting his party to NEEThood. Admittedly, the girls had gotten a bit bored lately, but why complain? All the creature comforts they could want, and they'd never get old.

Sometimes Aqua roped them into a few favors for her, but Kazuma didn't mind that much. It was sort of amusing to get to play literal god for a while and pass judgement on poor lost souls. He'd sent loads of NEET gamer types to other realms to be heroes, even giving them some cheat items and good advice. Really, he should just be promoted to deity and be given an award.

"Until this jackass showed up," Kazumu muttered. He glared at his companion, a bird headed high school boy from some sort of world Kazuma had never heard of before. "Are you done posing yet?"

"I am not posing," Tokoyami intoned, resting one leg atop the breastplate of a fallen undead. "I am brooding." He covered his face with his hand, letting out a dramatic sigh. "My dark powers were too much, once more they have erupted and slain those around me."

Kazuma pursed his lips and made a face, looking down at the shattered skeletons beneath Tokoyami's feet. Talons? No, he had on shoes, must be feet. "Yeah. Real impressive. You totally wasted a bunch of low level undead. Real awesome."

"Yeah!" the bird-boy's shadow squawked. "We're totally wicked!"

"Dark Shadow, I believe he was insulting us. He does not comprehend my burden," the bird boy said. Apparently, he was human, but from Yet Another World.

That was the weird part. Aqua had burst in on Kazuma and Megumin, right as they'd been in the middle of an epic grinding session. Yunyun had been trying (and failing) to play with them, while Darkness had taken a break for another of her workout sessions.

"Holy crap guys, there's a big disaster! I need all hands on deck! You've got to help me, I've got thousands, maybe millions of souls to judge all at once!" Aqua panted.

"Huh? Yeah, just let us finish this dungeon run," Kazuma said, not looking up from his computer.

"Guys, guys, wait for me, I'm stuck!" Yunyun wailed, helplessly clicking her mouse as her character was caught on some random geometry again.

"Ha! These pathetic fools shall face the might of my ultimate technique!" Megumin chortled as her hands furiously dashed across the keyboard, unloading spells into the dungeon trash. Credit where credit was due, she'd turned out to be quite the gaming prodigy. She was no match for Kazuma of course, mostly because she always came up with insane builds that revolved around unleashing a single nuke that nearly always pulled aggro or left her at no HP and MP, but that one nuke was a sight to behold.

"No guys, now!" Aqua snapped. Yunyun squeaked and took off her headset, quickly scampering over, but Kazuma and Megumin were in the zone, and just ignored her. "Ugh, Darkness, make them stop!"

Darkness had gotten up from doing her crunches, flushed and looking pent up and tense as usual. Apparently, no sex was a hard and fast rule in the divine realm, as Kazuma and Megumin had discovered when his "holy sword" had utterly failed to rise to the occasion. It sucked, but at least he had 2D waifus and video games now. Of course, it also meant that since there was no pain or suffering, Darkness couldn't ah, 'stimulate' herself, either. So she just did a lot of exercises and occasionally played games with Kazuma and Megumin. She was actually a really good tank, once she'd figured out how aggro worked. She did complain it wasn't satisfying enough though. Friggin' pervert.

"Wait, Darkness, no, don't-" Kazuma pleaded, but she simply unplugged the router, dropping their connection. "Dammit, there goes the run…"

"We have a duty to fulfill," Darkness vowed, making a fist. "I failed one realm, I shall not fail another!"

"You're just horny and bored again," Kazuma complained, but he set down his headphones and sighed. They'd had that dungeon on farm anyway, even with Yunyun's pathetic attempts. "Yeah, fine, I'll help judge lost souls or whatever. You coming, Megumin?"

"Yes! They shall all tremble before my crimson gaze!" Megumin declared, wrapping herself in her cloak and putting on her mage hat. She normally lazed around in her pajamas like Kazuma did, but she did love to play up the drama of a good soul judging session.

"Can I help? Maybe I can assist you, Lady Aqua!" Yunyun offered.

Aqua glanced at Yunyun and frowned. "Didn't I reincarnate you already?"

"Um, you said you would, but then you got drunk and-"

"Oh yeah, whatever. Go help Eris out or something," Aqua said with a dismissive wave of her hand. "I'm busy."

"Um, maybe I could help my best friend Megumin then?" Yunyun hesitantly offered.

"Ha! Megumin, Dark Goddess of Explosions, does not need the help of her inferior rivals! Begon, Demon, lest I banish you from this realm!" Megumin had twirled her staff and struck a pose as Yunyun ran off crying.

"Do you really have to be so hard on her?" Kazuma sighed.

"Hmph. She insists on being my rival, even now. Besides, I see the kinds of waifus you look up," Megumin had sniffed. "It is best if busty temptation does not come your way!"

"Oh come on! If neither of us can get laid, at least let a guy relieve some tension!" Kazuma had protested. But he'd changed into his old Adventuring gear instead of his tracksuit, and gone off to judge a few souls.

The first one had thrown him for a loop. For one thing, he'd always just judged regular humans before. When he'd seen the name Fumikage Tokoyami, he'd thought that was what he was going to do again. Oh, how wrong he had been.

"Can we just get going? I'm hungry, and it's going to get dark soon and I'd just as much assume we stay at an inn instead of in this rocky canyon," Kazuma complained, gesturing around them. He and Tokoyami were stuck out in the middle of the wilderness near one of the supposed "starter towns" in whatever world currently needed Adventurers to help defeat the Lord of the Tomb. He kept showing up, which was weird but Kazuma didn't care all that much. Usually. Now he sorta wished he'd paid more attention.

Finally Tokoyami nodded. "Yes, it would be wise for you to get under cover before nightfall. In the darkness, my powers might consume us all."

Great. Kazuma had traded in one melodramatic middle schooler for another. And this one wasn't even a hot chick to make up for his garbage personality. Oh well, at least he seemed to be competent in a fight. Those undead knights had ambushed them only minutes after they'd arrived here in this new world, and Tokoyami and his weird "quirk" or whatever had annihilated them in short order.

"Megumin or Darkness could have beat up low level mooks like that," Kazuma grumbled under his breath as they walked out of the canyon and picked their way down the rocky mountain slope. The path wasn't too hard, and there were lots of grassy handholds and a few trees growing on the mountainside.

"What was that? Are you complaining that I chose you as my bonus again?" Tokoyami asked.

Kazuma glared at him. "No, I miss my friends, you chickenheaded moron! Why'd you have to go and demand that I be your cheat item! You could have had anything! Like a magic sword, or maybe a black cloak that always blew in a dramatic wind so you could have your little juvenile delusions whenever you wanted!"

"I simply said that if you were so well acquainted with the destruction of evil overlords, why don't you accompany me and show me how it's done, you arrogant buffoon," Tokoyami shot back.

"Yeah! Shut up, you useless idiot!" Dark Shadow, the apparently sentient power of this boy, squawked.

Dark Shadow. This guy was even worse at naming stuff than Megumin. A half smile appeared on Kazuma's lips as he caressed the hilt of Chunchunmaru on his back. Sure, at first he'd hated that stupid name, and it was still rather embarrassing, but now...well, it was something to remind him of Megumin. He was going to miss his little jailbait, and, well, if he were honest with himself, Darkness and Aqua too. They just better not let Yunyun use his character, she'd waste all his good items.

Well now Kazuma was stuck with Captain Edgebird here, who claimed to be from some wacky version of Japan where people had all these weird "quirks" or whatever. Kazuma just figured that meant they were all a bunch of over dramatic dumbasses like Tokoyami. Megumin really would have loved it, but Kazuma was already sick of the nonsense.

The village down below them seemed to be built of houses made out of mortared stones with tile roofing, with a couple of scattered larger buildings. Supposedly it was a "starter town" with low level monsters around that you could use to level up. Those undead had actually been fairly high level, despite Kazuma's disparaging remarks. Dreadknights and a skeletal mage. Pretty powerful foes, and he'd been scared near shitless until Tokoyami had dispatched them with ease. Edgelord he might be, but apparently he could back up the posturing. Sorry, 'brooding.'

As they approached, a few villagers looked up and noticed them. Several pointed and screamed, then ran off.

"I do not understand, why do they fear us?" Tokoyami asked Kazuma, frowning.

"Probably because you look like a reject from the latest monster manual," Kazuma sighed. "Look, I'll handle this. Let me do the talking."

"Hmph. Very well. Prove your worth, Kazuma," Tokoyami agreed. "Since it apparently does not lie in combat."

"Hey, listen, I play a vital role! I'm the plan man, and the skill monkey!" Kazuma argued. "Plus, I didn't ask to be dragged into this world!"

"Well, you were so insistent that I save it, and rather boastful of your own abilities," Tokoyami pointed out. "As I recall, you claimed to essentially have defeated this 'Devil King' single handedly."

"Yeah, but you're a wimp! You suck!" Dark Shadow squawked.

"I do not suck! I did defeat the Devil King! I just, you know, had some friends who helped me," Kazuma muttered as they walked past the first houses towards the village.

Tokoyami smirked at Kazuma. Which was impressive, considering he had a beak. "I suppose that I can provide the combat prowess in this party. Such is my burden, and duty, as one cursed with dark power…"

"Oh, you're cursed with something, alright," Kazuma agreed. He looked around at the empty fields and shut up houses, frowning. "Guess everyone's scared of us or something."

"Halt, monster! If you take one step closer, I will be forced to stop you!" a female voice suddenly shouted from behind a building.

Kazuma blinked. No. It couldn't be.

Tokoyami, however, was not impressed, and stepped forward, making a slashing motion with one hand. "I am no monster! True, I am a being of shadow and darkness, but though my soul lays in shadow, I am a champion of the light! If you seek to challenge me, I shall be given no choice but to unleash my inner demon upon you!"

"A demon? Is it a strong one?" a familiar husky voice asked, growing slightly manic as it continued. "The sort that does all sorts of cruel unspeakable things to two poor, defenseless ladies?!"

A new voice, this one also female, but unknown to Kazuma, called. "Um, Darkness, I think I know that guy, he's actually-"

"I would never intentionally befoul a lady!" Tokoyami sighed, turning and covering one eye with his hand as Dark Shadow rose around him. "But beware! If you should awaken my demon, it shall ravage you and your companion! Stay back, fair maidens, or else-"

"Ok, seriously, Tokoyami? You recognize me, right?" A girl a couple of years younger than Kazuma, dressed in the same red and blue tracksuit as edgebird stepped out from behind a building, putting a sword back into its sheath at her side. She was pretty cute, in a bubbly sort of way, and definitely had a decent rack, easily an 8/10."There's really no need to fight!"

"Oh no, I insist!" Darkness, the worlds' most perverted knight declared, practically salivating as she hurried around the corner, her sword out in both hands. "Let me face this terrible demon, Uraraka! Don't worry, I'll protect you! Just like before, I'll distract them then-"

"Down girl!" Kazuma ordered, pushing past Tokoyami. "And you chill out, Edgebird! There will be no fighting, and no attempts to out ERP each other! Keep that stuff to private chat!"

"K-k-kazuma?!" Darkness gasped, taking a step back and going even brighter red than she had before. "What are you doing here?!"

"I should ask the same of you, Sir Pervert!" Kazuma snapped, stalking over to glare up at Darkness. It really wasn't fair that she was so much taller than him, or so much more well muscled. "I thought you were supposed to be helping Aqua judge those souls and recruit some more people to fight the Lord of the Tomb! What are you doing here?"

Darkness lowered her sword, stammering and looking embarrassed. "Well, um, you see, this young lady was in need of a protector, and er-"

"She was bored and wanted to come with me, and she's like, super buff and tough and said she'd teach me everything she knew about fighting monsters, so I chose her as my bonus!" Uraraka said, smiling at Kazuma. "Hello! Are you Tokoyami's bonus? Kazuma, right? I'm Ochako Uraraka, pleased to meet you!"

"Er, Sato Kazuma. A pleasure, miss," Kazuma said, reaching out to take Uraraka's hand and kiss it. She was a cutie, after all.

But of course, Darkness had to slap his hand away. "Off of her, Kadzuma! You're not going to work your wiles on this innocent young lady! Not when you have promised yourself to Megumin." Then Darkness looked coy. "Of course, now that we're out of the divine realm, if you were to feel lonely at night, and you had enough MP for your bind skill…"

"No! I told you, I am not into that!" Kazuma snapped, jerking away. He sighed, looking at Uraraka. "Let me guess, you got sweet talked into taking this walking disaster zone with you. What, exactly, happened?"

"Um, well, I mean, I guess I died?" Uraraka said, glancing at Tokoyami, who looked upset that his little drama display had been interrupted. "Did that happen to you too?"

"Yes, I met this...individual, who claimed to be some sort of god, and said he would allow me to take on the mighty task of defeating the Lord of the Tomb. Naturally, my dark powers called to me, and I undertook this perilous mission to-"

"Neat! I was a bit worried it would just be me and Darkness, but it looks like we have a whole Adventuring party!" Uraraka said excitedly. "We already beat up a bunch of undead monsters and saved this village! They made us their local heroes, and said to come and defeat a new monster they saw up in the mountains, but I'm guessing that was just you, Tokoyami. Darkness is like, super tough! And with my Anti-Gravity quirk, it was a piece of cake to destroy those guys!" Uraraka flexed her arm and grinned. "We'll beat this Tomb guy in no time!"

"Wait, are, normal?" Kazuma asked cautiously. "And...competent?"

"Um, yes? I think? I mean, I did get into UA, and well, my quirk isn't the best, but I've been working really hard and I think I really could become a great hero!" Uraraka burbled. "Plus, Darkness is going to teach me how to fight! Check it out, I already got this sword from the Baroness!"

Uraraka drew her blade, holding it out for Kazuma and Tokoyami to see in both hands. It looked like an ordinary arming sword to Kazuma, but Uraraka seemed extraordinarily pleased with herself to have it. "Darkness is going to teach me how to use it!"

That made Kazuma snort, and he looked at Darkness, who looked away, kicking at some rocks with her feet. "Wait, you're going to learn how to use a sword from HER? For one thing, she uses two handed swords, not a one hander like that. For another, she couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with her sword!"

"I could hit a barn," Darkness muttered. "If it did not move too much."

"Um, is that why you had such a hard time against those skeleton guys?" Uraraka asked, looking worried. "I mean, they couldn't scratch you, with that cool armor and all, but, well, I mean, I did have to destroy them all myself…"

"Yeah, this crusader is actually pretty useless," Kazuma sighed, shaking his head. "Well, come on. Let's go find the local Adventurers guild. I'll need another card, mine got destroyed when we died the last time."

"Oh, there isn't one," Darkness informed Kazuma. "We already checked."

"Wait, what? What sort of starting town is this?!" Kazuma demanded. "Every starting town in an RPG has to have an Adventurers guild!"

It was Uraraka's turn to look at Kazuma uneasily, while Tokoyami rolled his eyes. "Um, Kazuma, you er, realize this isn't a game, right?"

"I know that!" Kazuma snapped. "But the last world I was in totally worked on the same rules! There were Adventurers, a guild, skill points, magic, the works!"

"That sounds highly unlikely," Tokoyami said, folding his arms over his chest. "And utterly absurd. Skill points? What, did you simply learn new quirks whenever you felt like it? Or somehow acquire combat skills at the push of a button?"

"Well, yeah," Kazuma admitted. "Hey Darkness, back me up on this one!"

"Um, he's right, I mean, I put all my points into defense and HP, and skills that would draw the ire of foes, so, um, my offensive abilities are rather lacking," Darkness admitted. "Truely, I did not realize that Kazuma was originally from Japan until after we had died. I thought he was making that up, and the bit about Aqua being a goddess. I never even realized I was actually close friends with my own Goddess, Eris…"

"I knew you weren't a god," Tokoyami laughed. "What, are you an ordinary highschool student who got transported to another world like in those silly stories for children?"

"I was, but then I became a god, just like Darkness became a goddess!" Kazuma snapped. Then he almost immediately relented from the incredulous expressions of the two hapless highschoolers he had as tagalongs. "Well, OK, demigods. We had a few divine responsibilities like judging souls and granting divine gifts to prospective recruits to fight the Lord of the Tomb and his minions."

Darkness looked down, shuffling her feet. "Um, mostly we sat in Aqua's chambers and played video games. I was quite fond of the Em Em Ohs that Kazuma introduced to me. I rather enjoyed taunting hordes of monsters and having them wail on my character…"

"Well, I mean, that''re still sort of a goddess, right?" Uraraka asked, looking very uncertain now.

"Not really," Darkness admitted. "More like a goddesses helper."

"Demi-god! We're demi-gods, OK? Listen, we've both defeated the Devil King," and Kazuma was not going to admit the Devil King just been some random asshole from Japan who happened to get the right cheat items to fool everyone into thinking he was the Devil King, "and we performed divine judgement! We're like, super important."

"I think you're lying. You have yet to prove even the slightest bit useful," Tokoyami declared. "I think I wasted my bonus."

"Oh yeah!? I'll show you! I've got loads of skills," Kazuma said, stretching his fingers out towards Tokoyami. "You want to see some?"

"Oh, please, enlighten me," Tokoyami said, rolling his eyes.

"Yeah, bring it, chump!" Dark Shadow agreed.

"You asked for it!" Kazuma snarled, stretching his hand out. "St-"

Suddenly, Uraraka jumped in the way arms spread wide. "Guys, there's no need to-"

"-eal!" Kazuma finished, unable to stop himself. He looked at his hand, then slowly opened it to reveal a pair of practical white panties. Score!

The next thing Kazuma knew, he was down in the dirt, and his jaw hurt, badly. Darkness was crouching over him, looking concerned, but also trying to hide an amused smile. "Kazuma, are you well?"

"Yeah," he groaned. "That was, ow, a pretty good hit, Darkness. Geeze. I didn't even mean to do that. Well, this time."

"Oh, that wasn't me. That was Uraraka. When you took her undergarment, well, I must say, I think that girl has potential as an adventurer. Only level 1, and such a powerful blow! Granted, you are rather weak, but still, she took out a medium level Adventurer in just one hit!"

"Yeah," Kazuma sighed, sitting up. He looked around, spotting Tokoyami down on the ground as well. "Why'd she knock out him too?"

"She-hehehe-she didn't-hahaha! She didn't touch me!" Tokoyami gasped. "You're worse than Mineta! That was hilarious, one blow and you were down like a bag of rice!"

"You've got a glass jaw, Kazutrash!" Dark Shadow chuckled.

With Darkness' help, Kazuma got back to his feet, rubbing his sore jaw. "Yeah, yeah. Damn uptight bitch."

"I would not say such things," Tokoyami said, wiping his eyes and getting back to his feet. "She is likely to do even worse to you if she hears that."

"It wasn't even my fault!" Kazuma protested. But he resolved to be rather respectful towards Uraraka from now on. She'd just about broken his jaw. She went from an 8/10 to a 6/10. Well, 7/10. She was pretty cute.

"Come, let us meet with Baroness Von Galen. I would learn more about this world we find ourselves in," Darkness said. "Perhaps you should let me do the talking for once, Kazuma."

"Sure thing, Lalatina," Kazuma muttered.

Darkness sputtered, and Tokoyami laughed again. "Lalatina? I thought your name was Darkness?"

"I...I don't like my name," Darkness muttered. "Just call me Darkness. I rejected my family name when I became an adventurer."

"Oh, don't let her grace, Mayor Lalatina Ford Dustiness fool you," Kazuma chuckled, warming to his theme. "Sure, at first she was a bad girl, but she just kept shouldering more and more responsibility! By the end of it, she was practically wallowing in her responsibilities!"

"O-only because I had to!" Darkness protested as they walked through the village. People were peaking out of window shutters now, gazing at Kazuma and his companions with wide eyes. "Truely, I want nothing more than to be Darkness, a valiant crusader, who walks a dark path to protect those she loves!"

"Yes, I understand," Tokoyami said, nodding. "You were rejected by society, your own primal urges driving you to the shadows. There, you found strength, and knew that forever more, you would be marked!"

Darkness stopped, her eyes going wide. "Y-yes! Exactly! Something within me could not be content in polite society! I was an outcast, an exile! Only when my true powers were revealed and I could no longer hide did the nobility accept me again!'

"Yes! You know what it is to walk the dark path, so that you may defend those who live in the light!" Tokoyami agreed, Dark Shadow spreading out around him so that it seemed that the shadows were emanating from Tokoyami.

"Oh, wow, all we need is Megumin here and we'd have our little junior high edge fest complete," Kazuma sighed. "I thought you were going to be polite long enough to meet this Baroness Von something or other."

"Oh, yes, um, right," Darkness agreed. She took a deep breath. "I shall restrain myself, and put on the mask of Lalatina…"

"Indeed, I shall subdue my inner demons, that I will not strike fear into the hearts of the unenlightened," Tokoyami agreed, and Dark Shadow shrank down to the size of a normal shadow.

"Oh boy," Kazuma sighed. "Here we go again. I'm stuck with a perverted crusader, a tsundere, and edgebird. Well, I beat a Devil King once. How bad can it be?"

Kazuma deliberately did not mention that he had, in fact, watched all his friends die once already. This time would be different. Somehow.

Authors Note:

1v1 me Edgeville wildy DDP++ no food no pots