Art: Mishima Kurone
Finished this chapter early, so I decided to release it a day earlier!
Since I will be away from the 10th-14th, work training from 15th-22nd, and school from 23rd onwards, the release dates for future releases are the following:
– Main V10, Chapter 5 –> Jan 15th.
– Main V10, Epilogue-> Jan 25th
– Main V10, 3 Short Stories + Afterwords –> Jan 25th or Feb 8th.
– Continued, Chapter 4 –> Feb 8th or 22nd.
There’s also a partial patch of the game, ‘in the life’ here: link
FINALLY, KONOSUBA S2 STARTS ON THE JAN 11TH, DON’T MISS IT!
Editors: Deus-ex-Machina, Ruzenor
Chapter 4: Praising this Militant Princess!
The next morning—
Iris and I saw the others off in front of the hotel.
“Well then Kazuma, we’ll be going. I feel like I’ll definitely win today, ‘cause when I was drinking tea earlier, the tea stem was floating upright!”
<TL Note: Considered a sign of good luck in Japan>
“Aqua, since sunrise, weren’t you making tea and converting it back into water until the stem stood up?”
Aqua was headed to the casino.
As for Megumin, she wanted to search for something, so she was going to move independently.
“Kazuma, I’ll leave Iris-sama to you, ok? Although I feel somewhat helpless, but since the other party had told me not to come, it can’t been helped. I will go and investigate this town. At the very least, I should look for information that we can use as leverage in our negotiations.”
Darkness was planning to explore the town.
“We’ll be going then. We will absolutely secure the support funding!”
As the prince had pronounced yesterday, Iris and I headed to the castle.
Darkness signaled with her hands for me to come closer.
“Kazuma, sorry I can’t help. I’ll leave the rest to you. Originally, I was supposed to be responsible for this sort of thing…”
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll do something about this. I said it didn’t I, that I wouldn’t allow any misfortune to befall Iris.”
In response to what I said, Darkness nodded once, with a serious expression on her face.
“We’ll be going then. If I earn a lot of money, I’ll buy you a souvenir, ok Kazuma!?”
After Aqua finished, we left for our destinations.
––Arriving at the castle, Iris and I were immediately given a trial by the prince.
“By ‘competition’, what does he mean…”
We were brought to the training grounds of the castle.
The prince, sneered to himself, and said to Iris, who seemed to be bewildered.
“Not much. Yesterday, I thought that our negotiations were over. However, you guys said that you wanted it to continue. From my perspective, there’s no merit to be found in further negotiations, but…”
Saying that, the prince raised his hands towards the knights gathered at the training grounds.
“I like interesting things. Fight my subordinates here. If you win, then I’ll listen to what you have to say. How’s that, will you accept?”
Iris immediately pounced at the prince’s proposition.
Then, as if it was a given, she drew her sword, and gleefully stood in front of the prince.
I’m supposed to be her bodyguard, but it didn’t seem like Iris was going to make me do anything.
The surrounding knights – unable to believe that a young girl like her would step up the challenge – were stunned for a single moment…
“Prince Revi, allow me to handle this!”
“No, allow me! I’ll show this cheeky lady what proper manners are!”
“Please wait. I am the weakest amongst the knights here. It would only be proper for me to be the first…”
Perhaps feeling that they were being looked down on by foreigners, the knights all scuffled over who would fight.
On the other hand, the prince showed a rather placid expression—
“Well, just wait up you guys… Oi, are you fine with fighting? Are you sure you don’t want your brother over there to fight instead?”
The prince, as if to ridicule Iris, gave such a suggestion.
“It doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t reach the point where onii-sama would need to make a move. I alone am enough. Well then everyone, feel free to come at me anytime!”
Iris casually thrust her sword into the ground, and grandly announced that to everyone.
However, the ones who could no longer bear the ridicule were the knights.
She had said ‘Well then everyone, feel free to come at me anytime’.
“It’s not one on one? Even if you’re a princess of the Belzerg clan who are famous for being militants, aren’t you looking down on us too much?”
The man who seemed to be the leader of the knights, released a large amount of killing intent and stepped forth.
“That’s not what I intended… However, I’ll take as on as many opponents as needed. I am prepared for it anytime you see?”
The leader, who seemed to have bought into the provocation, didn’t wait for the starting signal, and raised his sword into the air—
Iris casually slashed forward. A moment later, the sword that was hoisted above the man’s head was cut apart and sent flying.
Someone leaked out such an utter.
The knights, who had been laughing or angered a moment ago, all stood silenced. The atmosphere in the training grounds came to a halt.
“Iris, if you make their swords unusable, then they can’t practice right? Look, there are practice swords with blunt edges over there. It’s fine if you use those.”
“Ah! You’re right. My apologies… Sorry, I broke your sword.”
Towards Iris, who apologized profusely, the man whose sword had been cut—
“Eh-!? N-, No. Uhm… I-, It’s fine, please don’t worry about it…”
Replied with an expression that showed that he hadn’t understood what happened.
Under the surprised gazes of everyone in the area, Iris leisurely walked to the wall, and picked up one of the practice swords that were hoisted against it.
“Well then everyone, please treat me well!”
She revealed a brilliant smile.
“—U-, Uhm, will you listen… to what I have to say?”
“Yes. Please tell.”
The unmoving, corpse-like bodies of the knight were scattered across the training ground.
At the center, of it all, sat the prince, who had become meek and obedient.
Iris, who didn’t break a single sweat after her rampage, showed a composed expression and thrust her practice sword into the ground. With a smile, she said to the prince.
“Thank you for being willing to listen to what I have to say! Well then…”
“Wait! I agreed to listen, but I never said that I would support you! Don’t get ahead of yourself!”
It was as though he was saying that it was a best-of-three after losing a game of rock-paper-scissors.
“Oi Iris, those knights are all unconscious, which means that there are no witnesses. Let’s take this chance and bury this guy alive.”
“W-, We can’t do that onii-sama. If we do that then we won’t be able to get the money!”
Rather than morals, Iris rejected my proposal over money.
It seems that my cute little sister has grown properly.
Said the prince, as though he was groaning.
Hearing Iris’ response, the prince vigorously rose his head and said.
“One-tenth! I’ll give you one-tenth first. M-, Mhm. It’s true that it would be a problem if we cut the support fees all at once. So we will continue to give one-tenth!”
“N-, No way! One-tenth is a bit…”
Seeing Iris’ sorrow, the prince showed a triumphant expression, as though he felt that he had finally won once. He announced.
“For a country bumpkin you have entertained me quite well. Consider this a reward! If you desire more money, then satisfy me more!”
“I understand Well then, please bring some more knights here!”
“T-, That’s not what I meant! Who said I was going to let you abuse my subordinates! I said for you to entertain me!”
Hearing Iris’ unexpected response, the prince hurriedly corrected himself.
“To entertain…. W-, Well then, uhm, I’ll give you my treasured taketon for a day…”
<TL Note: ‘taketon’ means ‘bamboo dragonfly’ (the one Kazuma gave her in vol 6). Much like Chirimendonya, this is gibberish to Iris, and is left as katakana in raw-text>
“Are you making fun of me!? That has to be some sort of child’s toy, right? That’s not what I meant at all!”
With deep, audible, ragged breaths, the prince said to Iris.
“Tomorrow! Come here again tomorrow! I’ll prepare an opponent that will surprise you. If you win, then I will increase the budget again. Understood!?”
Saying that, he left the training ground—
––On our way home from the castle.
Iris lowered her head and murmured.
“Onii-sama, I only managed to get one-tenth back…”
Originally, through this meeting, she planned to restore the former amount, as well as request for additional funds for attacking.
However, the support funds were massively decreased instead, so she was feeling down.
It wasn’t Iris’ fault at all, but…
“What are you saying? We’re getting one-tenth a day. Then if we go at this pace every day, then after twenty days of threa-… asking him, then we will have two times the original amount. If we think about it this way, then you’ve achieved some amazing results haven’t you?”
I gave a makeshift response hoping to cheer her up. Hearing that, she rose her head and showed me a smile.
“Although I don’t think that it will be that simple, I feel much better. Onii-sama, please take care of me tomorrow as well.”
“Leave it to me. Rather, I’ll actually help you starting tomorrow, in a variety of ways.”
From today onwards, Iris and I began our drop-in negotiations—
“Y-Y-Y-Y-, You’re kidding me right!?”
A shriek echoed through the training ground.
Of course, the shriek came from the prince.
“Fu, it seems that you misjudged my little sister’s strength. Something on the level of a mere griffon is obviously no match for Iris, right?”
“Y-, You, when you saw the griffon in the cage, weren’t you clamoring about how ‘this is underhanded and clearly against the rules’!”
With the body the size of a house, the flaps of its wings could sweep away adult horses and cows with no trouble. It was a giant monster that had the body of a lion, a pair of large wings, and the head of an eagle.
Although it wasn’t at the level of a dragon, it was still a dangerous opponent that a vast number of adventurers feared.
“I did it, onii-sama!”
“O-, Oh. As expected of my little sister. Well done.”
With a brilliant smile on her face, Iris lightly ran to where I was. While I was still slightly surprised, I praised her wholeheartedly.
“Uhm, prince Revi, then as per our agreement…”
“I-, I get it I get it! I will increase the support funding, so hurry up and put that sword away! Stop pointing its tip towards me!”
Hearing what the tearful prince said, Iris released an air of relief.
But, what the prince said next clouded her sunny smile.
“However, I am merely increasing it. Counting yesterday’s portion, the support funding adds up to one-and-a-half tenths. Now, that’s all for today…”
“No way! Please at least raise it to two-tenths!”
“Hie-, don’t point the tip at me… Oi, that’s too close! The point of the sword is pressing against my face! Are you trying to threaten me!?”
Iris, who had gotten worked up, reflexively drew her sword-arm closer to the prince. Well, it was hard to blame her.
“I’m not trying to threaten you, I just want to negotiate…”
“Then hurry up and put that sword away!”
Perhaps it was due to his pride as a member of royalty, but the crying prince didn’t falter despite the sword before his eyes.
I thought he was just a shitty brat, but unexpectedly, he might have more guts than I expected.
However, this prince looked down on us as country bumpkins.
If that’s the case—
“Then how about a match with me?”
I will strike his great pride.
“J-, Just who would continue to—”
“Oho? Don’t misunderstand me, alright? If you can’t even beat my little sister, then in a combat-type match against me – who has sent a countless number of demon king army generals to their graves – neither the countries’ knights nor a griffon are my equal. Ah, in that case, you might have no choice but to bring a dragon I guess.”
Hearing what I said, the prince gulped on his saliva. On the other hand, Iris, who understood the true extent of my abilities, looked at me with a gaze that screamed ‘what is this person saying!?’.
I’m somewhat hurt by that gaze, so please stop.
“The type of match I’m talking about is games. All said and done, you are the prince of the ‘great nation of casinos’. You like gambling right?”
When we returned home yesterday, Darkness told us information regarding this prince.
It seemed that this prince was extremely fond of games and gambling.
Rather, Elroad was a nation that was established entirely on casinos.
Thus, it should be a given that the descendants of its founders would take a liking to gambling.
“A game contest? If you win, I’ll increase the support funding. Is that what you mean?”
“Yep. After someone wins in a gambling contest, there’s something called ‘double-up’ right? Would you like to have a go at it with me?”
The prince understood my intentions almost immediately. Perhaps he had good apprehension abilities.
According to the information Darkness gathered, the prince was a sore loser.
Although she wasn’t really useful in terms of combat, she was unexpectedly proficient at simple tasks.
By the way, as for the remaining two, one of them had lost all their spare change at the casino, while the other had returned to the onion duck farm from yesterday, and used the spare change that Darkness gave her to experience the joys of hunting for survivors.
Since the two of them wouldn’t be useful in this situation, let’s just let them be for now.
After thinking for a brief moment, the prince nodded his head once.
“Alright, if I lose, then I will increase the support funding from one-and-a-half tenths to two-tenths. However, if you lose, then what will you pay me with?”
Crap, I forgot to think of my side of the deal.
Since their bet was a claim to the nation’s money, my bet will surely have to have some enormous value.
Something that matches to that description is….
“I understand, then how about this? If you win, then I will give you a ‘shoulder-massage’ ticket for my little sister”
“I will work hard!”
“Are you retarded!? Who would gratefully accept such a thing! If anything, it has to be money! Money! Give me money or something of equal value!”
It’s because I don’t have any that I’m trying to coax you into such a deal.
Then, Iris timidly retrieved something that seemed important from her pocket.
“Uhm, then if onii-sama loses, I will let you borrow this taketon for three days….”
“What are you trying to do with a toy like that!? As if I would want something like that!”
Ah, this is the bamboo-copter I gave her a while back.
She kept it as something important to her huh?”
“Ah that’s enough. How about the support funding going to zero if you guys lose? Not a decrease, but zero. To start with, I followed through with your selfishness under the name of ‘negotiation’, so a compromise of this extent is necessary. Regardless of whether you come everyday from now on, and regardless of how much funding you’ve accumulated, if you lose once, then everything returns to zero. How’s that, still want to do it?”
As if he was provoking us, the prince scornfully laughed at us.
I see, if we lose once then the prince will be able to get everything back.
Not a bad play if I say so myself.
––That is, if his opponents weren’t Iris and I.
“Alright, that’s fine. Then I will decide the contents of our match okay?”
Was it beyond his expectations for me to accept it so easily? The prince showed a shocked expression.
In front of the prince, I took out a coin from my purse.
After hiding my hands behind my back for a brief moment, I stretched my clenched fists towards the prince.
“The contents are extremely simple. Where is the hundred-eris coin hidden?”
“…Basically, it’s a pure gambling contest? Are you an idiot? It’s too late to go back on your word alright?”
Hearing the contents of the match, the prince looked at me with a pitying expression. Then, Iris suddenly said.
“Now that I think about it, onii-sama is someone with unparalleled luck isn’t he!? I see, if that’s the case…!”
A bead of sweat trickled from the prince’s forehead.
However, there was no way for him to call the match off at this point. He looked intently at my clenched fists for a brief while and…!
“This side… No, this side! I choose this fist!”
The prince pointed to my right fist.
Hearing that, Iris gathered her hands together, as though she was praying.
Seeing the broad grin form on my face, he opened his eyes in surprise.
“What a shame! You’re wrong!”
I opened the fist that the prince pointed towards, which was of course, empty.
“We did it onii-sama! With this, we have two-tenths! Two-tenths!”
Iris innocently celebrated. On the other hand, the prince showed a composed, fearless smile.
“Don’t get ahead of yourselves after a single win alright? Unlike you guys, all I need to do is to win once. Brace yourself for what’s coming tomorrow!”
“‘Sacred · Lightning · Blare’!”
A white flash of lightning struck the center of the training ground.
The dazzling stream of light was accompanied by a violent torrent of wind.
At a corner of the training ground, the prince and I squatted down and shrieked.
After the intense roars settled, all that remained were large piles of stone.
This was probably the magic that the hero used during the fight with the last boss.
“I did it, onii-sama!”
Saying that, she ran towards me with a smile on her face.
Iris’ opponent today was a mob of golems.
The prince, who had determined that it would be pointless to have a one-on-one regardless of how mighty the monster he brought was, decided to force an advantage through numbers, but…
“Well done, as expected of my little sister. How’s that? Can you stop giving us these dull tasks already and give us the full aid?”
“You… Weren’t you shrieking together with me just a moment ago? That aside, if you want the support funding than you will need to keep winning. The current total is two-and-a-half tenths. Now then, what will you do? Do you still want to have a match with me today?”
In front of the prince, who showed a peerless smile, I wordlessly took out an eris coin.
“Hmpf, you have guts! I don’t know how good your luck is, but I am a member of Elroad’s royalty, whom have garnered their fortune from casinos. Just how long do you think you’ll be able to keep winning?”
Listening to the prince, I wordlessly flicked the coin into the air.
And then I swiftly caught it, and put my hands behind my back—
“—Now then, we’ve recovered three-tenths of the funds. At this rate, we’ll return to our original rate within the week.”
“…Should I say ‘as expected’? How should I say this…? Is your powerful luck really something that can’t be used for the sake of the world at this point?”
During our dinner, I, who had won against the prince once again, talked about what happened today.
“Kazuma-san Kazuma-san. Could you accompany me tomorrow? Come with me to the casino please. For just tomorrow only, I will call you Kazuma-sama ok?”
“No way. Anyhow, didn’t you gamble away all your spare change yesterday? So what exactly did you do today?”
Yes. This girl, despite having just arrived to this town, had already spent all the allowance that Darkness had given her.
Yet, she boastfully showed a heavy-looking purse to me.
“I went to the adventurer’s guild today. Iris subjugated a lot of monsters while we were on our way here right? I, the wise and cunning Aqua, gathered the expensive parts of the monsters you see?”
“So all you did was sell the parts of the monsters that Iris defeated huh. Oi, I won’t tell you to hand over everything, but give half of it to Iris.”
As I gestured to take the purse from her, she immediately pressed the purse to her stomach and entered a defensive ball curl.
“Uhm, onii-sama. Since I’m not an adventurer, I’m unable to sell monster-ingredients for money. So it doesn’t bother me…”
“It’s fine Iris. If you spoil this girl, she’ll try to push her luck.”
Realizing that her purse would be confiscated at this rate, Aqua hurriedly entered a battle stance. As she and I faced each other, Megumin butted in—
“I will look after Aqua tomorrow, ok? If we leave her alone she might rack up a debt at the casino.”
Well, if it’s Megumin we’re talking about then she wouldn’t become a gambling-addict, unlike Aqua.
“I don’t have anything more to investigate. So what should I do tomorrow?”
Hearing that, Aqua showed a ‘eureka!’ expression, and snuggled up to Darkness.”
“Hey Darkness, if that’s the case, come with me tomorrow. As your senpai in casinos, I will teach your everything there is to know.”
“…You’re not trying to coax me into giving you more allowance are you?”
It seems like she was.
Leaving Aqua, who puffed her cheeks and showed her will to protest, alone—
“Anyway, leave the support funds to us. At this rate, we’ll be plucking the prince dry.
Iris and I exchanged a nod, and thus, the task of babysitting Aqua was shoved to Darkness, who seemed somewhat unwilling to take it up.
From there on—
“What a shame! You’re wrong!”
Iris and I had been coming to the castle in the name of ‘negotiation’ for a week now.
Since no opponent that could match Iris could be found, she was kept out of the matches entirely. Thus, the matches with the funding at stake were entirely left up to me.
In exchange, the number of gambles had increased to two a day. The gamble of ‘guessing the location of the coin’ was rather simple, but because it was so simple, it pushed the sore-loser attitude of the prince further than ever.
“We did it onii-sama, with this, the defense funding has been entirely restored! After that, is the offense funding that I had originally intended to request…”
“W-, Wait wait! That funding is a big ‘no’. Leaving the continuation of the defense funding aside, if we provide funds that are used to attack the demon king army, then a variety of problems will arise.”
I thought that the prince would continue to have these matches against us, but he seemed to be an unexpectedly prudent person.
“Oi, are you fine with losing to me like this? As the prince of the great nation of casinos, Elroad, are you fine with getting smashed by someone made fun of as a ‘country-bumpkin’ in a gambling contest? Are you really just going to accept this?”
I desperately provoked the prince, but all he did was chuckle to himself.
“Like I would fall for such an obvious taunt. The reason I accepted these matches was because nothing would really change even if I lost to you. If I win, then I’ll be able to publicly announce the cutting of funding for a just cause. However, my nation does not want to agitate the demon king army. Thus, we will not provide any funding that is used for the sake of attacking.”
Unexpectedly, this guy might not just be a simple-minded idiot prince.
It can’t be helped then, I’ll have to disclose the secret.
“Are you really sure? Perhaps you might win next time?”
“How heavy-handed of you. Having lost this many times already, do you believe that I honestly think that I still have a chance of winning? Who do you think I am? I’m the prince of the great nation of casinos you… know…?”
The prince’s calm expression became dumbfounded, and his mouth swung wide open.
He stared at my open, right hand.
By the way, the prince’s wrong guess just now was my left hand.
“Onii-sama, could it be that from the first match, the coin was in neither of your hands?”
Although it wasn’t quite to the extent of the prince, Iris also showed a surprised expression.
“Yeah. My clever little sister, you still remember what I said when I suggested this match right?”
“What you said? Erm… ‘The contents are extremely simple. Where is hundred-eris coin hidden?’ right? …Ah-!”
Following Iris, the prince also realized it.
“Yes, when we first started I said ‘guess where it’s hidden’ didn’t I? I never said to guess ‘which hand it was in’. I simply asked where the coin was. And the crucial point is that the coin was hidden in my back pocket!”
“Wah! As expected of onii-sama! There’s no one that’s better you at doing sly things like this!”
Towards Iris, whose eyes glimmered, I instinctively replied.
“You’re praising me, right?”
“Mhm, I’m praising you.”
After saying that Iris began to giggle to herself. As I was doubting her, thinking that ‘there’s no way she’s praising me’—
“Y-, You dirty dirty dirty bastard! To think that you dare would use such tricks against me! Do you have no shame as a member of royalty!?”
“Not at all.”
I mean, I’m not a member of royalty anyway.
Seeing my reaction, the prince rudely said.
“…Ku-, this is why country-bumpkins are—! Well fine, despite being the prince of the great nation of casinos, I was foolish to have not seen through your trick. I wouldn’t ask you to return the money.”
In the end, the prince didn’t fall for my provocation.
“It’s pointless to try to provoke me any further. My nation will continue to provide the defense funding, however, we will not increase it. This is absolute… To be precise, the one who called for the funding to be ceased was Ragcraft you see? The only reason I accepted it was because I didn’t want to be wedded to some country-girl. Well, it’s a shame that I didn’t win in the end, but I had a lot of fun.”
The prince, who said that without consideration for the other party—
“Well then, this is goodbye. I’ll be praying for you guys to beat the demon king alright?”
As though this was an unexpected and sudden parting for him, the prince urged for us to leave.
“—So, that said, I want to let that shitty brat go through some painful experiences.”
“Alright, well said Kazuma. As if I would just let Elroad, who can’t do anything but earn money, look down on my nation of Belzerg! I’ll beat that little kid to death for making a fool of Iris-sama!”
After returning to the hotel, Iris holed up in her room, feeling down from the results. Unbeknownst to her, I held a discussion with Darkness’ group.
“I have no complaints of course. Mm, it doesn’t matter if it’s attacking the castle or anything else, just leave it to me. Even if it’s just an underling, my comrade has been made fun of. A crimson magic clansman will not stand by and watch while such a thing happens.”
“I don’t really know what’s happening, but I got the monster ingredients from Iris, so as long as it isn’t anything scary, I’ll help you guys out, ok?”
Amongst them, two were unusually motivated. As for the odd-one out, I wasn’t sure whether she was motivated or not. Towards them—
“That shitty brat, I’ll make sure he regrets having ever looked down on me…!”
I had formulated a plan a long time ago, for if by some chance we were be unable to obtain the support funding. Now was the time to bring it to fruition—
––In the morning, the sunlight shimmered through the windows.
The warm and gentle light brightened the dim room.
During this pleasant daybreak, our moods were rock-bottom.
“Hey let us out! What’s our crime!? Tell us what our crime is! This arrest is unjustified!”
Since this morning, Aqua had been shouting whilst banging on the prison bars.
Yes, we were currently imprisoned.
Having thought that my plan was perfect, I’d never expected that it would fail.
Right now, all of us had our equipment confiscated, and were locked into a prison at the police station.
The station was constructed from stone, but for the current season, it was unexpectedly warm.
The prison cell was mostly made of stone as well. Inside the room that was sealed with metal bars, were a set of chains used to hold down rowdy prisoners, and a rather crude-looking toilet.
For some reason, Darkness sat still in the prison cell with a flushed face. The bothering part was that she stared intently at the chains without even the slightest movement.
In response to Aqua, the expression of the guard, who sat sitting outside the prison cell doing paperwork, stiffened.
“Y-, You’re asking about your crime…? I never thought that you would say something so shameless, but… Late at night, you guys used some great magic that caused a thunderous roaring sound. Did you really think that no one would be angry?”
Megumin grasped the bars of the room with her arms, and said.
“In the town I live in, I was simply warned that ‘the terrain near the town might change, so please do it somewhere further away’. Isn’t this just the first time I’ve released the magic near this town? The people in this nation are really narrow-minded aren’t they?”
“You idiot-! If you really want to point fingers, then it’s obviously just the people in your nation that are strange! The people in this town thought that a war started and practically sprang from their beds you know!?”
The guard had a point.
“The inspector will arrive in a short moment. If you have anything to say please tell them instead. Well, releasing magic in the middle of the night and waking up all the citizens is not really a severe crime. You guys will probably just be fined, so just act mature and don’t cause any more trouble.”
After hearing what the guard said, we didn’t say anything more, and obediently waited the prison cell.
––Yesterday night, as everyone else was sleeping, we snuck past the guards of the gate, and stealthily exited the town.
At first, I thought that it would be fine to cause a bit of trouble at the castle, so I entrusted them with the task of creating a distraction outside town.
But then, Megumin suddenly said that, ‘If there’s a small hill, it’s possible to cast an explosion magic that could be heard throughout town. Trust me, I’m used to this.’ Although what the last part was a mystery to me, I decided to follow through with it.
When they released the magic outside town, I would take advantage of the chaos and infiltrate the castle.
After getting into the prince’s sleeping chamber, I would leave a knife and letter at his bedside.
Written on the letter would be:
‘Foolish humans, you think that I would overlook you if you announce neutrality? After I dispose of that annoying Belzerg nation, you’re next!”
We would forge the impression that the demon king army would not accept their neutrality, and force them to come to our side.
It was a thorough and flawless plan to create a wholly staged crisis.
Then, they would probably feel a sense of danger, and may even decide to work with us…
That’s what I thought would happen, but—
Shortly past daybreak, when the sounds of human activity could be heard from our cell, that woman appeared.
With a precisely fitting attire and orderly facial features, she gave the impression of being a keen and capable person. To add onto that, she tied her red hair into a ponytail, and looked at us with a sharp gaze.
She reminded me of the inspector back in Axel named Sena.
That person had the same scary image, but I wonder if she was doing well right now?
According to some rumors, after resolving a certain incident, she had returned to Axel as the capital’s inspector.
The woman hung her coat on the wall behind her, brewed something that appeared to be black tea, and glanced at us from behind the prison bars. She then wordlessly turned her eyes to the prison guard.
She probably wanted to ask, ‘Is it these guys?’.
“Since someone used explosion magic on the outskirts of town, I quickly rushed to the scene, but when I arrived I found these people being chased by a large mob of undead. As they had left town at that time of day, and decided to use explosion magic to subjugate undead, I decided to arrest them. The report is over there.”
After smoothly answering the woman’s silent question, the guard pointed to the documents on the desk.
On top of the carpet outside the cell, was a table, stool, and sofa.
Even if this was a detention facility, I couldn’t actually make the connection.
Having seemingly noticed our gazes, the inspector took a sip from her black tea, and said.
“This is the nation of Elroad that has flourished from casinos, and it’s not a place that has many particularly villainous criminals. This building in particular is a something like a protection facility for those who are so broke that they have no place to stay or for drunken tourists. A facility that makes sure that such people wouldn’t die from the cold… Now then, let’s have you speak one by one.”
She looked coldly at us as she said that.
Perhaps she had some sort of intention, but she decided to question us in front of the cell.
Instead of bringing us to a small room, the questioning took place at the table that was placed on top of the carpet.
The guard would stand behind the person that was being questioned, so that the person could be held down if they tried to do anything funny.
It seems that the questioning was set to begin at this very moment. Usually speaking, wouldn’t it be better to question us one by one in a secluded space, so that we would be able to collude our testimonies? That’s what I thought, but…
My questions were immediately answered by the familiar item the inspector brought out.
“Well then, let’s hear what you have to say shall we? …By the way, there is a magic tool here that rings if anyone is lying… As a result, it’s pointless for you to collude your testimonies.”
Saying that, she took out a small bell on top of the table.
She joined her fingers together, and looked sharply at the person in front of her.
“…Hmpf, for whatever it’s worth, I’m still a crusader. In the name of the goddess Eris, I swear that I will not lie.”
…Somehow, Darkness’ face was flushed red, and her eyes shined with high expectations.
In response to Darkness, the inspector merely murmured ‘as you wish’.
Looking through the documents, she said.
“Your job is ‘crusader’, and you are a believer of the Eris cult… Now then, first, what is your name…”
“I choose to stay silent.”
Darkness decisively stated such.
The inspector reflexively rose her face, and looked at Darkness dubiously.
“I said that I choose to stay silent. If you wish to know my name, feel free to torture or interrogate me as you please! However, in the name of the prestigious house Dustiness, I swear that I will not speak easily!”
“Dustiness-san was it? …Erm, we wouldn’t torture or interrogate you, ok? In a world where there is magic to decipher the truth, those are outdated methods. Please rest assured… House Dustiness… That famous house Dustiness? …It can’t be… However, the bell didn’t ring…?”
The inspector looked suspiciously on the bell, and murmured to herself.
…Would it be better if I explained the situation alone?
Having already foreseen the events that would unfold in the near future, I started to feel sorry for the inspector.
“Now then Dustiness-san, why did you go to that sort of place to cast that magic?”
“I choose to stay silent. If you wish for me to speak, feel free to use brute force.”
Darkness continued to stubbornly refuse.
Just how troublesome and annoying was this person planning to be?
“…If you choose to stay silent, then I shall assume that there is some crime you are guilty of, you know? I said that I wouldn’t use such outdated methods, but I have the tools to do so. However, I do not feel like using them. Please rest assured, your sentence will be light, so please don’t be stubborn and be forthcoming with me instead. For your information, if I judge that suspects are withholding important information, then I am permitted to use torture. I would recommend that you don’t act rashly…”
“Just as I like it! Rather, come at me with the most intense methods you can!”
Seeing Darkness lean across the table excitedly in response to what she said, the inspector retreated backwards with a stiff expression.
And then, she looked at the bell on the table.
…Of course, it didn’t ring.
Confirming that the bell hadn’t rung, the inspectors’ expression stiffened even more.
“…Uhm, that’s enough… next please!”
“—What is this… A situation where I’m captured and subjected to interrogation and torture… Even though it’s a situation that probably won’t happen another time in my lifetime… To think that it would come to an end so quickly…”
“You, don’t make others feel troubled because of your fetish.”
As Megumin was called to the table, Darkness returned to the cell with a downtrodden expression.
It pained for me to see the inspector’s somewhat exhausted expression.
Once Megumin sat down, the inspector recomposed herself and put forth a stern expression. Again, she placed her hands on the table and crossed her fingers together.
“…Now then, you are the person that casted the magic correct? And if I’m not wrong, your job is ‘archwizard’ right? Now then, first, let’s hear your name.”
“I am Megumin.”
The inspector maintained her stern expression.
“…What did you say?”
“I am Megumin.”
Hearing what Megumin said, the inspector instinctively looked at the bell.
…Of course, it didn’t ring.
Seeing the inspector’s movements, Megumin—
“Oi, if you have any problems with my name, let’s hear it, shall we?”
“N-, No! Please excuse my disrespectful behavior.”
The inspector hurried recomposed herself.
“Now then, why did you case that disruptive magic in the middle of the night?”
“I have the duty of ‘one day, one explosion’. Back in Axel, I would cast it as though I was releasing fireworks.”
Hearing what Megumin said, the inspector froze.
As should be expected of her, she turned her eyes towards the bell. Of course, it didn’t ring.
Although Megumin hadn’t answered her question, the inspector seemed to be curious about what she had meant by ‘one day, one explosion’.
“…What will happen if you are unable to perform this ‘one day, one explosion’ duty you speak of?”
“I don’t even want to think about it. Should it ever come to that, I suppose that ‘KABOOM’ will happen.”
What do you mean by ‘KABOOM’?
The inspector seemed to be thinking the same thing. She looked at the bell that hadn’t rung, and softly grunted.
More importantly, why didn’t the bell ring?
Could it be that ‘KABOOM’ will really happen??”
“Let’s change the question. Regarding the casting of explosion magic in the middle of the night, what do you think of it? Don’t you think that it is a crime in any way?”
“Not at all, because I believe that there is no doubt that I was a god of destruction in my last life. As a result, destructive activities are wholly justified.”
The Inspector turned her eyes away from Megumin, who began to ramble about incomprehensible things, and looked at the bell.
Of course, it didn’t ring.
…Could it be that the bell’s broken?
“Hey Aqua, you are fascinatingly beautiful today.”
“Hm hm, what’s up with you all of a sudden? What’s wrong with you, Kazuma? Could it be that when we were getting hit on a while back, you were actually jealous…”
Before Aqua could finish, the bell on the table rung.
“…Please do not obstruct the questioning.”
“Sorry, I was just wondering whether the bell was broken or not…. Ow-! Oi stop, what are you doing? I praised you so why are you strangling me! To start with, a while back, to test whether or not the bell was broken or not, didn’t you do the same thing to me?”
As I tried to undo Aqua’s hold, the inspector, who seemed to be a bit relieved that the bell rung for once—
“Let me ask you one more time. Why did you cast explosion magic in the middle of the night?”
She asked Megumin with a softer attitude.
“Because that is the meaning of my life.”
Hearing that, the inspector flinched.
As should be expected of her, she once again turned her eyes to the bell…
“……….Erm, next please…”
Seeing that the bell didn’t ring, she lowered her shoulders in exhaustion. She seemed to be getting fed up.
“—My name is Aqua, ok? I’m something like a manager or guardian for those three over there alright?”
Hearing what Aqua said, the three of us in the cell looked intently at her.
The be precise, we looked intently at the lie-detection bell placed in front of her.
“Aqua-san… yes? You have the same name as the goddess of water.”
For some reason, the bell didn’t ring.
“Hey, why didn’t that magic tool ring?”
“As long as the person themselves believes deeply in it, then it’s not a lie. When Megumin said those strange things, the bell didn’t ring right?”
“Oi, what do you mean by ‘strange things’, let’s hear it shall we?”
If it was as Darkness said, then does it mean that that idiot deeply believes that she’s our guardian?
If that’s the case, I want to slap her hard.
“Let’s hear it then. For what reason were you at such a place at such at time?”
“That’s because that man over there named Kazuma is in heat all year round. There was no other way to make sure that he wouldn’t start creeping into girl’s beds at night, so to rest assured, we brought him there.”
This little shit, was this payback for my lie that I used to cause the bell to ring?
Rather, she said that she was our guardian a while ago. If it was as Darkness said, then did she really believe deeply in such a thing? To be honest, I think that it’s actually because this girl’s mind’s default setting was on ‘weird’, but…
The inspector reflexively looked at the bell, but once again, for whatever reason, it didn’t ring.
Seeing that, the inspector looked at me with disdain.
…Y-, You’re mistaken.
However, is that bell really, really not broken?
“Erm, well then… From your perspective, why did your group cast explosion magic in the middle of the night..?”
“In order to protect the town from an incoming mob of monsters! Yes, together with those three, I, the great Aqua have protected the town!”
Despite how blatant of a lie she was telling, the bell – as expected now – did not ring.
Seeing that, the inspector seemed to grow increasingly weaker.
“…It seems that… you weren’t lying. What is this… You protected this town? You say…?”
The inspector’s expression quickly turned an apologetic one, and she looked at Aqua sincerely.
Correcting her posture, she looked Aqua straight in the eye and said.
“As the representative of this town, allow me to express my thanks. You are Aqua-san yes? And your job is ‘archpriest’ correct?”
Hearing what the inspector said, Aqua suddenly rose from her seat.
“Fufu-, ‘archpriest’ is just a front! There is no need for me to hide it anymore. I am none other than the one and only goddess of water! Yes, the goddess Aqua, that is who I am!”
Hearing that, not only the inspector and us, even the guard turned to look at the bell.
…It didn’t ring.
Seeing that, the inspector sighed, and murmured to herself.
“Ah, so it’s just broken hm…”
“Why would you say that—!”
Aqua, who began to act violently, was pressed down by the guard, and returned to the cell.
The inspector, who had listened to the testimonies of the three, ordered the guard to bring the magic tool somewhere, and rubbed her eyes in exhaustion.
…I feel sorry for her.
Empathizing with the inspector, I turned to Aqua, and whispered to her.
“Oi, why didn’t the bell ring? Do you have some sort of convenient magic?”
In response, Aqua said.
“That bell can detect the evil intent of people when they lie, and well, I’m a goddess you know? There’s no way I would generate evil intent by lying just a little, right? Even if it does happen, my radiant, divine aura will immediately dissipate it. If it’s going to detect it, I suppose it has to be a huge lie that I absolutely don’t believe in, and that goes against my very morals to say.”
She said that in a casual manner.
Occasionally, she displays the abilities of a goddess doesn’t she?
For better or worse.
“…Hm? That means it won’t react unless it’s a huge lie that goes against your will? A while back at the mansion, the bell reacted when you praised me didn’t it? Which basically means that…”
“Then, last person… please.”
As I was about to question Aqua about what happened then, I was ushered out of my cell, and brought in front of the exhausted sounding, pitiful inspector.
“—My utmost apologies! I never thought that you were related to the famous houses of Dustiness and Shinfornea!”
Before me, the inspector’s attitude completely softened up.
On my neck hung the pendants that Darkness and Claire entrusted me with.
Having seen that, the inspector continued to earnestly apologize to me.
“Well well, the fact that we had released explosion magic in the middle of the night is an unmistakable truth. However… you see? There is an inexplicable reason for doing that. I mean, my nation and your nation are allied and friendly nations right? We’ve come here in secret, so I would like for this not to become a big incident…”
“Yes, I understand. I fully understand! If this gets out of hand then it will become a problem of foreign affairs! I will not ask for you too deeply for your reason!”
As expected of the authority of nobility.
To think that it would cause the inspector to clammer up immediately, I’ve truly gained a wonderful tool.
“Well then, are we free to go home?”
Hearing what I said, the inspector showed a relieved smile.
The inspector even went as far as to see us off at the station’s main entrance.
It was then—
“Uhm—, about this faulty magic tool, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it, you know? Well, I switched it out just in case but… Oi, we switched this one out, so put this in the storage for me.”
The guard whispered to the inspector, and called for another guard.
Then, the inspector tilted her head in puzzlement.
However, how could she say that Aqua was a goddess…?
As I was considering such things, the inspector glanced at me.
“… I just wanted to ask, but about the what the blue-haired girl over there said earlier, are you so in heat that you would crawl into girls’ beds at night if those girls put their eyes off of you…”
“It’s just a lie! Of course all of it was a complete lie!”
Despite my reply, the inspector slightly distanced herself from me.
“I-, Is that so? Well in any case, I wouldn’t say anything, so…”
Overhearing my conversation with the inspector, Darkness patted me on the shoulder.
“U-, Uhm… We believe in you. We believe that even if we were alone and defenseless, you wouldn’t try to do anything to us. Isn’t that good enough?”
After Darkness said that, something rang inside the building.
Hearing that, the inspector took another step back.
“No one would think that Kazuma would do such a thing. When Kazuma is on watch-duty, I’ve never done anything like sleep lightly as a precaution.”
…The inspector wordlessly took another step back.
And then, a certain person that just couldn’t read the mood clenched her fist and…!
No wait, it should be fine. As long as it wasn’t a huge lie that she’ll feel ashamed of, she won’t generate any evil intent…
“I believe. I believe in him, ok!? Kazuma is not a pervert in the least, and has never crawled into Darkness’ bed at night! I honestly believe that he is a truly kind hearted and extremely sensitive man, ok!? The things that I said back then were all lies!”
Chi-ring, Chi-ring, Chi-ring, Chi-ring—
“Chi-ring Chi-ring Chi-ring Chi-ring shut up! So that’s how you perceive me you bastards! But I have some self-consciousness and I’ve reflected on it already, so please don’t say anything more! I’m very sorry!”
Returning to the hotel, we noticed Iris sitting there waiting for us, with tears in her eyes.
“Onii-sama, thank god you’re safe! When I heard that everyone was arrested, I thought that there might be no choice but for me to break through the prison, even if it means starting a war…”
“Wait, calm down. It’s fine now, we weren’t mistreated at all!”
After a while, the princess-sama that said some dangerous things, finally calmed down and recomposed herself.
“Well then, why was onii-sama’s group arrested? The hotel employees told me about that you were arrested, but never told me why…”
Although we had decided to do this against her knowledge, Iris, who was clever-minded with sharp-instincts, would quickly figure this out even if we tried to keep it a secret.
After we explained what happened, Iris buried her face in her knees, and sat still.
Darkness, who seemed like she wanted to plead for forgiveness, timidly stretched her hand towards Iris.
“I-, Iris-sama…? Uhm, please forgive me for acting on my own with Kazuma. However, we had good intentions…”
Without answering Darkness, Iris murmured something.
Darkness asked again.
This time, Iris said that one word in a voice that we could her.
Hearing that, Darkness, without a trace of her usual idiotic attitude, kneeled down before Iris and lowered her head.
“I’m very sorry Iris-sama, this incident is a result of my lack of virtue. Please…”
Then, Iris raised her hand to interrupt Darkness.
“I said that I’m pathetic. I didn’t do much during our negotiations, and left most of it to onii-sama… And then when my request for additional funds was rejected, all I did was hole up in my room and sulk. Even though I haven’t done anything…”
No, Iris had done enough.
Rather, if Iris wasn’t strong to this extent, I wouldn’t be have been able to force the prince into gambling matches.
Iris, who didn’t know how I felt, shook her head and said.
“While I was busy sulking, Lalatina and onii-sama exerted yourselves and tried your best, even though that it was I that was supposed to do.”
No, it was wrong for the princess of a nation to say that.
However, I won’t rebut Iris with such an unpolished straight-man act.
Then, Iris picked up the sword that was hoisted on the wall, and said to Darkness, who kneeled on the floor.
“Dustiness Ford Lalatina, I will now go visit the castle. Please come with me.”
Darkness, who was suddenly called by her full name, rose her head in surprise.
Seeing Iris’ expression, Darkness’ face flushed red, and she lowered her head as though she were a true knight.
“From there, I will appeal to prince Revi for additional funds. Yes…”
This wasn’t the Iris that I had first met.
Nor was this the Iris that I knew, who smiled, who got angry, who was curious about everything.
“In the name of the descendants of the hero, Belzerg, I will do whatever it takes, and whatever I must to complete this task!”
“As expected of Iris-sama! I, Lalatina, will protect you regardless of what happens!”
The person who stood there was undoubtedly a descendant of the hero.
During the prelude to war, her blue eyes shined radiantly with fighting spirit.
There stood the militant princess.
––On the street leading to the castle.
Seeing Iris’ grand appearance as she tread towards the castle, the people on the street naturally moved to the side.
“Oi Kazuma, how do you like today’s ‘Iris-sama’! Ah, to see the gallant appearance of the master that I serve… As a noble that protects my nation, nothing could make me happier!”
Darkness, who began to mutter things akin to the white-suited lady that loved Iris, Claire, tread half a pace behind Iris. Her breath was ragged, but in a matter that was different from usual.
“It’s true that today’s Iris is really cool, but your depraved condition is completely cancelling it out. If you still consider yourself a follower, then please act a bit sharper.”
Darkness gritted her teeth in frustration at my straight-man rebuttal, but at the very least, she seemed to have a bit of self-conscience. She quickly relaxed her expression and composed herself.
“Rather, what is Iris planning to do? She said that she would do whatever it takes, but does she mean that? You know, charge straight in and raid the treasury?”
“What are you saying, you imbecile!? Iris would never do such a thing! …If we’re talking about ‘any methods’, there are a few ways. Rather, when Belzerg was first established, and when there wasn’t enough money, there was something that they would often do…”
If there was such a method, then tell me sooner. Geez.
As I was about to say that—
“What are you here for, princess Iris? The prince has commanded that ‘from henceforth, princess Iris and her subjects are not to be allowed into the castle’, so please…”
Ignoring the soldier that tried to stop her, she slashed towards the closed castle gates, without leaving so much as a moment to question her motives.
The sturdy-looking gate was cut apart in a single strike, and – accompanied by the sound of crashing metal – it collapsed.
“Princess Iris? W-, What are you doing all of a sudden…!”
Ignoring the perplexed soldier once again, Iris tread forward with heavy steps.
The gate guard, knowing that he was unable to stop her alone, took the whistle that hung from his neck and—
The high pitched noise of the whistle rung through the castle.
––The path leading to the audience room was buried under the unconscious bodies of knights and soldiers.
The groans of those that had been struck by the body of her sword came from every direction.
“Y-Y-Y-Y-, You realize what the consequences of doing this are, right!?”
The teary-eyed prince, faced with Iris whose sword was unsheathed, tried his best to put up a strong front.
I leaned towards Darkness, and whispered into her ear.
“Hey, I said this on our way here, but we’re not really needed here, are we?”
“S-, Shut up, be quiet! We’re just getting to the good part!”
Perhaps she was conscious about it as well. Her face flushed slightly as she replied.
Aqua, who had followed closely behind, slowly drew away from Iris after seeing her violent acts.
“Hey Kazuma, I’m starting to get worried about Emperor Zell, so I want to go home. I’m sure that that child is crying right now because it can’t see me.”
“I’m pretty sure it forgot about you after taking three steps, so don’t stress about it, ok?”
I grabbed onto Aqua’s hagoromo, and pulled her back.
Whilst we were doing that, the prince’s mood seemed to heat up.
“Oi, are you listening, you country-bumpkin!? Since you’ve done such a thing, you’re basically asking for a war between our nations aren’t you!? The other nations that support you will not stay silent you know!? This is a huge foreign affairs prob…!”
With single call from Iris, the boisterous prince became as silent as the surface of still water.
The prime minister’s expression stiffened, and he, who was standing directly behind the prince, took several steps back.
“I’m only here to have a discussion with you. I apologize for my violent behavior, but as you have said so yourself, my nation is a barbaric one. This is something that is done by an impolite country-bumpkin like myself, so would you please turn a blind eye towards it?”
“Wh-… As if I would excuse such an idiotic…!”
As the prince was about to lose himself to rage—
“If you refuse to excuse it, then—”
From behind us, came a calm voice.
Her eyes shining red, and her staff in hand, she took a large step forward.
“With my explosion magic and Iris’ sword, we will destroy this nation—”
“W-W-W-, What did you say!?”
“Megumin-san, please don’t interrupt and say such superfluous things! That is not my intention!”
Pushing Megumin, who wanted to steal her thunder back, Iris, whose momentum had been killed, lightly blushed.
“Then what do you want from me!? If you want to ask additional funds, even if you threaten me…!”
Even when pressed to a corner, the prince did not back down.
“During the establishment of my nation, Belzerg, this is something that the royal family would often do when we didn’t have enough funds…”
Iris thrust her sword into the ground of the audience room..
“Please tell me about the strongest, most harmful monster in this nation.”
Looking the perplexed prince straight in the eye—
“I, Belzerg Stylish Sword Iris, will eradicate it without fail.”
She showed a sweet smile.
Iris’ family name, Belzerg, is written as ベルぜルグ. Removing the intonation for the ‘Ze’ and ‘Gu’ sounds respectively, you get Berserk (ベルセルク).
Iris’ magic, Sacred Lightning Blare, has been changed from Sacred Lightning Prayer (I misread the text during Continued, Explosions.)