It’s been a while~
A couple notes for readers:
– Please refrain from posting spoilers to unreleased content on the website. You are free to search for spoilers and summaries elsewhere, but please do not post it in the comments for everyone to see, as not everyone enjoys being spoiled. I’ve had several complaints about this already.
– Also, do not send spoilers to my email, as I don’t read more than 2-3 chapters ahead to preserve the reading experience; I believe that knowing too much is bad for translation quality. (e.g. knowing what happens next will make me misidentify foreshadowing when there isn’t.)
– Also, please don’t email me about releases. Releases will come when they are ready.
Editors: Keel the Swift, Deus-ex-Machina
Special thanks: Frozen(-senpai) for some TL confirmations/help on the second story.
KonoSuba Volume 11 Short Stories
From the Gamers First-Print Limited Edition:
Side Story: For Iris-sama’s sake
Just how did this come to be?
“Then let’s begin, Dustiness-dono. Even if you are my opponent… No, it is because you are my opponent that I will not hold back!”
“Agreed, Shinfornea-dono. Shinfornea of the sword. Dustiness of the shield. Together we are the two noble families that have protected this kingdom through the years. Let us decide which of us is superior here and now!”
We were currently at the capital’s training grounds.
Iris bodyguards and educators, Claire and Darkness, were currently facing one another with swords in hand.
The person in question, Iris, merely looked on in excitement.
There’s a reason for this, of course.
It all began back when we were all enjoying our afternoon tea.
After hearing about Iris’ heroics, I had praised her with all my heart, but—
“—Iris was so incredible back then. No really, it was amazing! I think my little sister is the strongest in the world!”
“Onii-sama, you seem to only talk like that when it’s about me, but you shouldn’t forget that this nation is filled with talented people. In particular, Claire and Lalatina are my prided retainers.”
Claire and Darkness became bashful upon hearing Iris’ praise.
I’ve heard about Claire’s skill, but I’m more than familiar with the other’s worthless tendencies.
Perhaps noticing my doubtful gaze, Darkness, whose gaze floated freely, initiated an unexpected conversation in an effort to shut me up.
“Even if you say that, I fear that I cannot win against Kazuma.”
Her hurried flattery was, in a sense, much like hush money.
“Now that you mention it, Kazuma-dono is certainly someone who would give me a hard time as well. That said, I would hesitate to call the way he fights as ‘combat’.”
Claire, who had once had her underwear stripped by me, agreed with a strained laugh.
“Onii-sama, you had a match with Lalatina as well?”
“Mhm, I did. Well, I’m the guy who defeated the hero of the demon sword, so It’s a given that they would lose to me, right? There’s nothing for them to be embarrassed about.”
That may have been a bit cocky of me, but Darkness and Claire remained silent.
“You really are full of mysteries, onii-sama. Your level is not particularly high and your stats are all so low, but for some reason you still manage to win in the end. I don’t know anyone quite as miraculous as you.”
“That’s right. That’s exactly right. Listen Iris, there are a lot of things in this world which cannot be measured by numbers alone. What’s truly important is this.” I said, as I thumped a fist against my chest.
I immediately retorted Iris, who was a natural airhead every once in a while.
“Oh. By the way Onii-sama, who was trickier for you to handle, Lalatina or Claire?” Iris asked with keen interest.
For her to be curious about this sort of thing, she really was a militant princess.
“Hmm, if I had to choose, It’d probably be Darkness. All in all, she’s really tough and has a lot of stamina. Metaphorically speaking, she’s pretty much a barbarian.”
“Might I suggest a change of wording perhaps? Or would you prefer to experience my ‘toughness’ firsthand?”
I ignored Darkness, who aggressively clenched her fists.
“As for Claire, she admitted defeat after I stripped her of her panties so I really can’t say much about her. Either way, haven’t the two of you already fought before?”
Darkness and Claire turned to glance at one another.
Seeing this, Iris explained.
“Lalatina lives in Axel, so there hasn’t been a chance for that… But that said, a little part of me does want to see how the two would fight one another.”
Upon hearing Iris’ wish, her two loyal retainers stood up from their seats—
Claire screamed like a bird in heat or something and struck Darkness’ armor.
Judging from the scratch on her armor, Darkness seemed to gain a good idea of Claire’s offensive power. Darkness abandoned all defense and swung her greatsword with all her might in a wide arc.
Perhaps out of coincidence, the sword grazed the tip of Claire’s nose, and her face turned pale.
“Dustiness-dono, do you understand that this is not a deathmatch but a spar!?”
“And what about it? There’s no need to worry. After all, we have Aqua who can use ‘Resurrection’ in case something happens, so don’t hold back! Come at me like you wanted to kill me! Now, let us continue with all due haste! I look forward to a much sharper strike than that! Show me the true strength of the Household of Swords!”
“What has come over you Dustiness-dono!? What has become of your ever-present reason!?”
The two continued to battle feverishly even amidst their exchange of words.
“Onii-sama, in your eyes, who do you think is better?”
“You’re asking for my personal opinion? Given my familiarity with her, I would probably favor Darkness. On second inspection though, Claire isn’t looking too bad, but in certain ways, she doesn’t quite measure up to Darkness.”
Maybe she overheard our conversation, I saw a happy smile trickle onto Darkness’ face.
“Sorry about this, Shinfornea-dono, but it seem like he has quite a bit of faith in me, so as regrettable as it is, it’s time for me to stop playing around. Let’s finish this.”
Ignoring Claire’s puzzlement, Darkness threw her sword aside, postured to take the fight seriously…
“You certainly seem to have a high opinion of Lalatina, Onii-sama. Is the difference between the two really that great?” Iris asked as I observed the climax of the desperate battle between the two.
“First off, Claire is way too slender, if you know what I mean. By my personal taste, I much prefer Darkness’ figure. Second, long hair scores high points in my book. No… short hair isn’t exactly bad either, you know? But in truth, Darkness has a better body and bigger chest, so it would only be fair for her to win out in the end.”
“Onii-sama, what are you talking about!? I was talking about who you thought stronger, not who is more to your taste!”
From the Toranoana First-Print Edition
Side Story: ‘The Strongest Skill…’
The day we returned to the capital—
“So then, I said this. ‘Before my explosion magic, a dragon is naught but a lizard…!’ After that, Iris made eye contact with me as if to tell me that ‘I will concede this prey to you’.”
A banquet was held for us after we escorted Iris back to the castle.
The hot topic at the moment was of course Iris.
To hear about Iris, various nobles and people affiliated with the castle gathered to attend the banquet.
“In that moment, I thought to myself. ‘Would it not be for the greater good were I to concede this grand accomplishment to Iris…?’ While it is certain that my explosion magic can slay a dragon with ease, my explosion magic is simply far too powerful. If I were to strike it with my grand magic, there is no doubt that naught would be left of the dragon’s valuable corpse.”
The nobles gathered around Megumin, who fluently told the tale of her gallantry.
“The purpose of our journey was to obtain the wealth needed to fight against the demon king army. If my opponent were just a dragon, then I, a crimson magic clansman, can beat it without breaking a sweat. However, I ask of you all, would there be any meaning it doing that!? Having found my answer, I decided that I would only make my move if Iris were to miss her chance, so I prepared my magic and patiently looked on.”
“As one would expect of the wise Crimson Magic Clansmen. The wisdom to be able to consider so many factors in an instant is truly superb!”
Megumin has been spreading exaggerations for a while now. If I had to give it a number, I’d say that her stories were exaggerated nine times over.
In truth, Megumin had been really flustered when the dragon appeared, but…
“What happened next, Megumin-dono? How was the dragon defeated? Please continue!”
The nobles who each held a wine glass, who were perhaps excited due to their drunkenness, passionately prompted Megumin to continue.
Megumin, who bore a serious expression, nodded in response.
“’Sacred · Explode’. When Iris shouted that, the entire mountain was covered in light…! Then before I knew it, the dragon was dead.” She bluntly explained.
“That’s our Iris-sama! Her talents stand out even amongst royalty!”
“Would it not be best for Iris-sama herself to personally embark to slay the demon king?”
“Before that, you would have to convince His Majesty. Surely you know how much he dotes on Iris?”
“However, is it not because our final trump card, Iris-sama, is present at the capital that we may send the greater half of our forces to the frontlines without worry…?”
“That aside, the power is as one would expect of the world’s strongest skill. The security of Belzerg is practically guaranteed!”
The attention of the listeners swiftly drifted from Megumin to Iris.
Megumin, who firmly believed that explosion was the strongest, showed a displeased expression when she heard the conversation. Suddenly, a moment of realization seemed to have overcome her visage.
“’Sacred · Explode’. Doesn’t this name remind you all of something else?” said Megumin with an expression full of confidence and triumph.
“What does it remind me of…? The name ’Sacred · Explode’ reminds me that it is a legendary sword skill that only the most talented of the royal family, armed with the holy sword, can use,” said one of the nobles as he nodded his head.
A different man cried out as if coming to some sort of realization.
“’Sacred · Explode’… Isn’t the name ‘Explode’ eerily similar to ‘Explosion’? Perhaps there is some relationship between them… Ah, probably not huh…”
Embarrassed by what he said, the man tried to pass it of as a joke.
Megumin snappily pointed to the man.
“You sir have some very keen insight. Yes, ’Sacred · Explode’ and ‘Explosion’ have pretty similar names, do they not? Do you all understand what this means?”
“To be honest, I don’t think there’s any special meaning behind the similar names.”
“Shut up for a moment, Kazuma.”
I was told off by Megumin the moment I butted into the conversation.
“Allow me to tell everyone this. The magic, ‘Explosion’, is humanity’s penultimate attack that was devised by a certain grand magician who devoted his life to opposing the absolute beings that exceed human knowledge. If a dragon will meet its end in one strike, then what of demons and gods? Even such great existences will be damaged by this magic of unparalleled destruction.”
Hearing that, the audience gulped.
“’Explosion’ and ‘Explode’. One is the ultimate magic, and the other the ultimate strike. At this point, it would be strange for you all to fail to see the connection, especially after I have said so much… Yes, the creator of the ultimate strike bore reverence towards this ultimate magic and invented this skill through reference!”
“I-, Is that so?”
“No, but the names are certainly quite similar…”
“Simply put, this skill is a rip-off of ‘Explosion’. Then would it not be correct to say that the dragon was merely defeated by a poor-man’s ‘Explosion’?”
“What the heck are you saying?”
“Shut up, Kazuma.”
As I pulled a straight-man act towards Megumin’s unbelievable statements, the nobles began to discuss this newfound controversy.
“Oi, haven’t you thrown everyone into disorder with your statements? What’s are you going to do if the scholars start doing intensive research because of this?”
“Do you mean to complain about my conclusion of what the strongest skill is? To start with, the very fact that Explosion was even compared to other inferior skills is very irritating. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.”
This is quite defiant of her.
“Remember when we visited the castle a while back? You got full of yourself and called yourself a grand magician, but when people pestered you to show some advanced magic, all you could do was act all flustered. Who knows when that might happen again? Wait, you didn’t say anything crazy like that anywhere else did you?”
Megumin abruptly turned her eyes away.
“…N-, Nope, not at all.”
“Oi, don’t tell me… what the heck did you do this time? Was this in Axel? Or maybe the village? Oh I see, so it is the village, isn’t it!? Now that I think about it, you sent some pretty exaggerated letters a while back didn’t you!? So, what the heck did you tell them this time!?”
–It wasn’t until several days after we returned to Axel that I learned what Megumin had written.
From the Digital Special Edition
Side Story: Regarding the dangers of that skill.
“Kazuma-san, Kazuma-san. What about that fat guy over there? Try reading what he’s saying.”
After escorting Iris back, we stayed at the castle for several days.
These few days were filled with consecutive parties dedicated to Iris’ dragon slaying feat and hospitality for us.
“You mean that noble old man over there? Alright, leave it to me.”
During these parties, Aqua and I didn’t have anything particular to do besides eat and drink, so we took to observing others.
It was then that I paid more attention to a certain skill of mine.
That being said, I could use my recently-learned lip-reading skill somehow to entertain myself.
“What’s this…? ‘We are out of mushroom sauce for my favorite lizard-dragon dish…? If there was that, the meal would have been perfect…’”
The old man gave the feeling that he was dreaming about the food.
“I see I see. Hey, isn’t that skill really fun to use? I would learn it if I still could.”
“You’re not wrong, but let me tell you this. When people are giggling in your direction, you have to be extra extra careful. Even if the person you’re using the skill on doesn’t want you to hear their shit-talking, you’ll be able to read it all in an instant. Some time ago, I used the skill on some female adventurers that were smiling towards me, thinking they were interested in me, and ended up taking some unexpected damage. That said though, I ended up confronting them about that. Heck, I persisted until they gave in and apologized. I even made them continue until I was satisfied.”
By the way, I also made them tell me ten good things about myself before I let them off.
“You’re as shady as ever aren’t you? Well, what about those people over there? Do you see those oji-sans that are about as shady as you? I don’t know what they’re doing, but given how they’re gathered near the wall and murmuring about stuff, I think they’re up to no good. Call it a goddess’ instinct if you like, but I think they’re making some kind of evil plot!”
Aqua pointed towards a group of two nobles, whom appeared to be rather unwelcoming, discussing something off to one side of the room.
“Hmm… interesting. Alright, I’ll give it a try!”
“Hey, I’m pretty sure they’re up to ‘that’ sort of thing! You know, like stealing the castle maid’s underwear!”
Listening to what Aqua said, I started reading the conversation.
“‘So, are the rumors true? That Elroad’s prime minister was a pawn of the demon king army?’ ‘Mhm, there’s no doubting it. Events will take a turn for worse if our secret dealings with the prime minister are discovered. If we don’t hurry and destroy the evidence…’”
Having read the exchange, I quickly surveyed my surroundings.
It doesn’t seem like anyone else saw or heard any of that. I should be in the clear.
“What are we going to do, I thought they were just playing a prank, but it seems that we’ve gotten ourselves into something bigger again.”
“Hey, I didn’t see or hear anything, but shouldn’t we report whatever it is to Iris, Darkness, or some other big-wig? Once we’re done with that we can clean our hands of it.”
I nodded in agreement and accepted Aqua’s suggestion without another word. Recently, her ability to detect danger has flourished.
That said, I might be better off sealing this skill for good.
At this rate, I might accidentally come across some national secret and get ‘erased’ as a result.
Having quickly realized the dangers of this skill, I pledged in my heart to never use this skill again—
“Hey, look look, over there. Someone is hitting on Darkness over there.”
Aqua pointed towards the V.I.P. seats, where a well-dressed Darkness was being passionately hit-on by a noble youth.
Irritated for no particular reason, I activated the lip-reading skill which I had sworn not to use again mere moments ago.
“Kazuma, knowing you, you’ll read what they’re saying, right? Tell me about it, ok?”
Aqua, who was brimming with curiosity grabbed onto my shoulders and shook me around.
“Alright, listen in. Here’s what that guy is saying. ‘It sure has been a while, Lalatina-sama. Ooh what is this! Since we last met, you have become magnificently beautiful! Your looks lead me astray! You are… yes, you are as beguiling as a death ambrosia blossoming deep in the mountains…’ Sorry, I can’t do this anymore, it’s too embarrassing. That said, I don’t know what a death ambrosia is, but is that really a compliment?”
“That guy said that in a serious manner? Hey, then what about Darkness? What did she say?”
“‘What are you saying, Count Befrantz? I heard that you had taken personally to the battlefield the other day and that you have worked up your courage for the moment. You are… yes, you are as courageous greater king goblin….’”
“Kazuma-san Kazuma-san. This is a personal request from me, but hearing you talking like a girl creeps me out, so you can stop now, alright?”
This is embarrassing for me, so could you not shut me down so calmly?
“Anyway, I understand the general gist of how lip reading works. Hey Kazuma, I’m going to try to read what they’re saying, so give me the correct answer once I’m done okay?” Aqua loudly announced.
The surrounding people turned to look at Aqua.
As they all knew that Aqua was an excellent performer, they looked towards her with brimming expectations.
Well, lip-reading is sort-of like a performance skill, so she might be unexpectedly good at it. I then started reading what Darkness and the youth were saying.
‘By the way, Dustiness-sama, would you mind if we discuss a potential engagement?’
“By the may, Dustiness-sama, would you mind if we discuss a potential engorgement?”
Almost, but not quite.
Hearing ‘Dustiness-sama’ mentioned, the surrounding onlookers seemed to understand what Aqua was doing.
‘Count Befrantz, House Dustiness shall politely decline your proposal…’
“See-through Pantsu-loving Dustiness shall wifely…”
“Alright, people are looking so stop! Don’t start weird rumors about Darkness again!”
The day after. It turns out that my hurried efforts to stop her were for naught. Darkness’ home had received a colorful variety of odd presents at once, and a troubled Darkness, who was suddenly the receiving end of a mysterious case of sexual harassment, soon came to consult with me—