Merry Christmas everyone!
A little fun trivia about Iris is that the name of the 6th volume of the series is named ‘Princess of the Six Flowers’ which is a reference to ‘Braves/Heroes of the Six Flowers’ series (Rokka no Yuusha). There are many other references to be found in the titles of each volume as well!
first second version of the ENG patch for KonoSuba! In the Life! game has been released! Click here! (for those that have downloaded the first version of the patch and started a save, you’ll need to redownload the ‘Data.zip’ file and make a new save file for the combat pop-up dialogue to work).
Editors: Deus-ex-Machina, Ruzenor
Chapter 3: Punishing this Insolent Fiancé!
This is what this nation is called by others.
The great nation of casinos, Elroad.
Arriving at the capital of the neighboring nation of Elroad, we were overwhelmed by the bustle and activity on the streets.
“Hey Kazuma, the amount of people here are pretty much at the level of Axel during festival time! I mean, where do they get all these people from!?”
Our carriage moved along the main road at walking speed, and Aqua, who had gotten excited after seeing the amount of people, moved to the driver’s seat of the carriage. She turned her eyes everywhere whilst making a big fuss, and giggled to herself as she saw the people passing by.
“Oi Aqua, we’re travelling incognito here, so could you not draw so much attention? Don’t forget what we came here for alright?”
I reminded her just in case, but Aqua was already absorbed by the stalls along the streets.
But it’s not like I didn’t understand how she felt.
Using Japan for comparison, I would say that this place was as busy as Shibuya’s Scramble crossroad.
Compared to Earth, the population of this world was considerably lacking.
If there are still so many people here despite that, that means…
“This is an advertising strategy to make the capital appear as though it’s bustling with activity. Look, you see that guy over there by the corner? I’m pretty sure he turned the corner and came back, which means he’s just an actor. I’m pretty sure he’s being hired to walk around pointlessly.”
“As expected of your observational skills Kazuma-san. I thought this was a little weird as well, I mean, if this was real, then isn’t the place where we set our base, Axel, practically the countryside?”
As Aqua and I chattered amongst ourselves, Darkness seemed to blush a little.
“Stop saying dumb things and be quiet you two. I can’t bear being thought of as a country bumpkin.”
Well, it can’t be helped that Darkness thinks of us as some country bumpkins.
After all, the stalls on the road were lined with foods we’ve never seen before, and the traders and shoppers raised their voices so that they would not be drowned out by the others.
It also seems that our lodgings were prepared in advance. Our carriage stopped in front of a giant building that faced the main street.
“Now, this is the hotel that’s been prepared for us. Everyone should go to your rooms and sort your luggage. Iris will meet with the prince tomorrow, so for today, we can take our time to go sightseeing and take a rest from our travels.”
After leaving the carriage to one of the hotel workers, Darkness explained as such.
Whilst the rest of us were in high spirits, Iris shook her head a single time.
“I need to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting… since this is my first time meeting the prince, I’m feeling a bit nervous. Perhaps this is the reason I’m feeling stressed. I’ll be resting at the hotel, so everyone should feel free to go sightseeing.”
Saying that, she took her own luggage.
“Iris-sama, weren’t you looking forwards to coming here? Since we’re your bodyguards, leaving you behind is a bit…”
“Y-, You can’t! Please go and relax. Since we’ve come all the way to the nation of casinos, I wouldn’t be able to rest with peace in mind if I keep you holed up in the hotel!”
“Come on Darkness, Iris has said this much, so let’s just go vent our stress and relax ok?”
“u….. A, Alright…”
As Iris showed a friendly smile, Darkness, who was hesitant to leave her behind, seemed to be compelled by the hidden but powerful determination behind Iris’ gaze, and meekly nodded her head.
After arranging our luggage in our rooms—
“Casinos! Let’s hit the casinos first! After we win big, we can take the money and go on a feast! I’m sure that they’re selling super expensive saké here as well!”
“No, we should go to the weapons and armor store here first! I’m sure that we’ll find a super powerful staff that can match up to me!”
We immediately took to the streets.
“Mmpf, is it really fine for us to leave Iris-sama alone like that…”
Only Darkness seemed to feel uneasy.
To me, it seemed that Iris was eager for this meeting to be a success.
In order to prepare for tomorrow, she skipped out on playing around. She’s probably running simulations on her own at this very moment.
Worrying too much about it would probably have the reverse effect. I’ll go buy a gift for her later.
However, even if I say that…
“As usual, neither of you guys can agree on one thing. Since we came all the way here, why don’t we go sightseeing first? There was a lot to see in the Village of Crimson Magic, so I’m sure that this town…”
Would have a lot of rare sights, of course.
––Just as I was about to say that.
“Oho? What beautiful adventurers. Hey, blonde-haired onee-san over there, why don’t you leave that boring guy alone and come with us?”
“It’s true, they’re super pretty! I prefer that blue-haired onee-san!”
“As for me, it would be that pretty black-haired red-eyed girl…”
To put it shortly, they were a group of superficial-looking carefree group of three guys.
From the looks of it, they were about one or two years older than me.
Dressed in the attire that that was unique to the big city, the three of them looked toward us with grins plastered on their faces.
They physiques seemed pretty terrible, so they gave off the impression of being spoiled brats who came to the city to play around.
As for my three companions that had been called out to by those guys…
They looked through their surroundings, searching for girls who met the traits the guys mentioned.
…Finally, they noticed that the guys had probably been talking about themselves.
The three of them began to act all flustered and suspicious.
Darkness hurriedly turned her back and played with her hair, and Megumin began to pat the dust – that had accumulated during our journey – off her robes.
And then Aqua said.
“Hey you guys over there, did you just call us pretty? Did you just call us beautiful? Say it one more time!”
There were no guys in Axel that were benevolent enough to say such things to them huh.
So I suppose that they wanted people to praise their appearance once in a while huh…
Seeing how bewildered they were when they were mistaken for top-class pretty ladies, I was moved to tears.
“Eh…. You onee-sans are beautiful and uh… would you like to come with us, um…”
Said one of the three. Were they the ones that were bewildered by Aqua’s reaction instead?
Hearing that, Aqua and co. huddled together to form a ring.
And then, they began to chatter amongst themselves.
Finally, Megumin – who appeared to be the representative for the three – stepped forth.
“Basically, the three of you are saying that – ‘If we could go on a date with a super beautiful girl like you and these two beautiful girls, we’re willing to put our assets and life on the line. That said, why don’t we go on a date?’ – Is that what you wanted to say?”
“““Not to that extent.”””
The three guys immediately rebutted.
This is the capital of the kingdom of finance, the nation of casinos.
Of course, I want to go here and there to relieve my stress.
But what if these three problem children were following me around?
Think Satou Kazuma, think. There’s no way that these three wouldn’t cause trouble.
And at the end of it all, the burden of dealing with it will be placed onto me.
However, what if I wasn’t there when they caused the problems, but rather, these three guys?
“Hey… Could it be that we’ve tried to hit on a weird bunch?”
“Oi… doesn’t this seem a bit bad? We came all the way here to go sightseeing, but aren’t we spreading our wings a bit too far with this?”
“N-, No, but although they a bit weird, they’re THAT pretty you know?”
As the three guys began to chatter amongst themselves, Aqua and co. walked up to me.
Their prideful triumphant expressions made me feel a tad uncomfortable.
“Hey Kazuma, what are you going to do? I’m feeling quite troubled by this you know? I was called a pretty lady, and they even asked us out for dates as well. Although Kazuma, who was called ‘boring’ by the three of them is probably already used to it, right? Well, I hope that you’ll come to realize that it’s truly a blessing that you’re able to be in a party with pretty ladies such as ourselves, because if you don’t, your important party members might just go along with these guys you know?”
“Please go ahead.”
Hearing me say ‘go ahead’, not only Aqua and co., but even the three boys froze in place.
“…Uhm, hey Kazuma. Just now, what…”
Insecurity could be felt behind Aqua’s voice.
These people are high-level adventurers.
I don’t think that their ability falls behinds that of a couple of ordinary onii-chans. Either way, I don’t have the right to say anything about who these guys wanted to date.
Rather, I’ve already shoved them over to the three guys for today. I said happily.
“I said ‘please go ahead’. I mean, it’s not like I’m your mom or anything. I don’t want to spend all my time babysitting you. I’d much rather take some time to relax by myself. I honestly don’t think that it’s a crime for me to want to do that every so often.”
Hearing my unexpected words, Aqua and co. released strange voices.
“…Oi, that guy just said ‘babysitting’ didn’t he?”
Hearing that, one of the guys murmured to himself.
And, Megumin, in a somewhat panicked manner—
“Wait Kazuma, what are you saying all of a sudden! Listen closely alright? I will… No, we will go and play around with those people. Are you not going to feel jealous or depressed…?”
“Not in the slightest.”
“He said it like it was nothing!”
Megumin seemed to be shocked. Well, we’ve had a good atmosphere here and there, but it’s not like we’re dating each other or anything.
Either way, I didn’t have the right to say anything about it since all that ever comes out of my mouth is Iris and Iris.
Then, Darkness firmly put her hand on Megumin’s shoulder.
“Wait a moment Megumin. You should know that this man is not the honest-type, right? Fufu, yes, he’s definitely a classic tsundere.”
She then showed a bargaining smile in my direction.
“Hey Kazuma, why don’t you be a bit more honest in situations like this? You’ll be going with a pretty lady like me who’ll be hit on like this all the time you know? Would you like to lock arms with me? You might even get a chance to ‘accidentally’ nudge my chest…”
“I’ll pass. I mean, you’re entire body is just muscle and your chest is probably hard as well.”
Ignoring Darkness, who seemed to have received a terrible shock, the guys discussed amongst themselves.
“Oi, what do you guys think? That man is a terrible person, but I can’t help but get a bad feeling about this.”
“Let’s stop. Since we came all the way here to sightsee, I’d rather we not do anything weird…”
“Y-, You’re right. ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’… there’s such a saying, so let’s give up… ah, even though they’re so pretty, what a waste…. U-, Uhm! We have somewhere we need to…”
Before the three of them could escape, I vigorously pulled them back.
“You said that you wanted to go on a date with my companions right?”
Hearing what I said, one of the men’s faces twitched, and moved his body to fling my hand aside…
…But It didn’t work.
“Huh? Ah-… O-, Owowow…! Hey, I’m sorry, I was lying. It was my bad for trying to hit on your company! It was my bad for saying that you were a boring man! We’ll be going so-!”
I was an adventurer with a considerable level.
Since my status had risen, my strength won’t lose to that of a normal person.
“No no, it’s fine, it’s all fine. My three acquaintances are quite beautiful right? Mhm, mhm, I understand, I really do.”
The three of them gazed at me as though I was some shady, strange man, and were unable to hide their unease.
Speaking in low voice, I continued.
“You see that blonde-haired armored onee-chan? She’s even more amazing without her armor you know? I mean, just what are those hips man!”
Hearing what I said, the guys gulped on their saliva.
Towards the three, I continued.
“The blue-haired onee-chan over there really likes saké you know? If you say that you’ll buy her saké, she’ll be really happy.”
And then, I looked them straight in the eye, and said.
“As for the black-haired girl… Uhm, you know, she raises a cat, so she probably likes cute things. She might be happy if you bring her somewhere with cute animals to see.”
The three of them nodded their heads in unison.
“““Th-, Then, we will take you up on your kind offer……”””
Turning away from the three of them, who began to laugh amongst themselves, and whose attitudes softened tremendously, I waved ‘bye’ to Aqua and co.
“Well then you guys, see ya later. Go all out today and have some fun and vent your stress, ok? That said, don’t cause any trouble for me starting tomorrow alright? After all, you can do whatever you want for today.”
Hearing what I said, the men’s unease returned.
Aqua and co. turned to them and said.
“Listen up okay? I didn’t bring any spare change with me alright? However, the great Aqua-san will not take any cheap saké ok?”
In response, one of the three pounded their chest with the hand.
“P-, Please leave it to me! The three of us have a lot of money, after all, our relatives are all from upper-class society. If need be, you can leave all your expenses in this town to us!”
He said it.
I, who heard that loud and clear—
“Well then, please enjoy yourselves, you guys. I’m gonna go and relax as well, so I’ll leave them to you. Don’t try to ditch my acquaintances, or escape from any responsibilities, alright?
Said that, I turned my back to leave…
“J-, Just how far are you going to push my expectations… The part where you don’t seem to be putting up a front, but rather, sound completely serious, is really unbearable. I can’t help but feel a chill down my spine… This is just another one of his tricks right? Just a facade, right? …Oi, you guys, just a warning, but don’t try to do anything strange to us. Otherwise, who knows what that man who’s called ‘the brute’ in the town of beginners, Axel, is going to do you?”
Darkness said some rather disrespectful things about me from behind my back.
“That’s right. Judging by his attitude that allowed him to leave some weak and beautiful girls like us behind without hesitation, just what kind of person do you think he is? If you don’t treat us well, that guy will bare his fangs. Despite how he looks, he has the ability to infiltrate the heavy security of a noble’s mansion, and snipe a target from afar. If you make him your enemy, don’t even think about sleeping.”
“Hey, don’t say such terrible things about him you two! Kazuma is not that much of a demon. It’s true that he blew up the mansion of an authoritative figure and was labeled a traitor to the nation, and it’s true that he’s someone whose forbidden from entering the capital due to problems he might cause, but…”
Oi Aqua, please try harder.
There’s no one else to follow up on you, so please try harder!
The three of them who replied with silence, slowly turned their heads towards me….
“…Uhm, actually, I think we’ll pass on this, I don’t want to have any ties… Ahhh-!? He ran away~!”
One of the men said something to me.
“““He ran! That guy really left us behind!”””
In addition, I left Aqua and co., who shouted something at me, and dashed through the streets of Elroad!
This was the first time I’ve been to a foreign country since coming to this world. Not only that, this metropolis made the town I’ve been in until now feel like the countryside.
I, at the kingdom of Elroad—
“This ends here! Take this!”
“You’re kidding meeeeee!”
Joining a card-game competition at the last moment, I was now steadily advancing through the ranks.
“Who the heck is that guy?”
“I haven’t seen him before, but there’s no way someone as skilled as him could be unknown!”
Witnessing my streak of wins from afar, the onlookers raised a stir.
“That man’s fierce and relentless assault… Isn’t he similar to the rumored ‘Katarina the Black’?”
“What, that legend!? No, but I heard that ‘Katarina the Black’ is female…”
Who the heck was ‘Katarina the Black’?
“Wait, look at the way that guy uses his trap card. He might be ‘Kroad the Schemer’…”
“True. I can’t think of another else other than ‘Kroad the Schemer’ that would use traps in such a way…”
Yes, but who the heck is ‘Kroad the Schemer’?
This was an alternate world where famous adventurers had nicknames.
So it might not be all that strange for famous gamers to also have aliases.
Back in my world, my net-game companions also called me names like that.
Yes, ‘Lucky-Bastard Kazuma-san’ and ‘Hyena-Master Kazuma-san’ and other disgraceful names…
…As I was lost in thought, a lady came before me.
“You’re my opponent? Fufu, I’ve never seen you before. It seems that you are good at drawing cards, but this isn’t a game where you can win with luck alone you know? Yes, it is a game of wits and strategy. You might be able to beat intermediate players with pure luck, but against me – who has a nickname – you’ll soon meet your end.”
I won’t say things like ‘Isn’t having a nickname too embarrassing?’ and other straight-man rebuttals.
After all, I, as a gamer, haven’t felt this excited in a long time.
“Your winstreak will end here, by the hand of ‘Marinaise the Iron-wall’.
Marinaise the Iron-wall.
This onee-san whom was clearly older than me, announced her name without shame, showed a daring smile, and drew a card—!
—As I walked along the streets whilst looking at my refreshing and new surroundings, I spotted a building from which cheers could be heard from every so often. On a bout of curiosity, I walked into the establishment.
After looking around as an audience member for a while, I realized that the card game being played here was quite similar to a famous game that I was familiar with, and decided to join at the last moment.
The Japanese people that were transported to this world were probably the ones that spread this game.
As someone who liked and was experienced with this game; In addition to the standard pack, I also bought the premium pack that had a couple of rare cards included in it.
I, who had created an infamous, heinous deck that was banned in Japan—
“—My turn! My turn! It’s forever and ever my turn!!”
“Demon! Just what is with this guy? That combo is too cruel! The outcome of this match is already decided!”
“There is a limit to overkilling! Why does he have to go this far! Isn’t the winner already clear!?”
“Oi, ‘Marinaise the Iron-wall is crying! Someone go stop him already!”
With my back turned to such an audience, I continued to indulge in this nostalgic game.
“Please end this already. I’m sorry for being so cheeky there.”
The onee-san that I had brought an end to without allowing her to do anything, cried as she apologized.
“It was a good match. Let’s play again sometime.”
“Never. Please give me a break.”
I offered to shake hands at the end of the match, but instead, my hand was filled with the bet for this match.
Yes, this was the nation of casinos, Elroad.
Even a simple game would be tied to gambling.
After the onee-san left, I shouted to everyone in the building in high spirits.
“Next opponent please!”
––A few hours after that.
After my winstreak with no foreseeable end, I left the building, and headed to the next place.
I didn’t have a specific destination in mind, but exploring an unknown town made me feel excited.
As I shook my – now – considerably heavy purse in a good mood, I began to feel a bit hungry. So I decided to look for an appropriate shop around me—
“Kyaa-! Someone help—! There’s someone who looked like they turned into a mummy in the sand bath! Is there anyone that can use healing magic!?”
Seeing a pasta store, I decided to stop there for lunch.
“Welcome, may I ask if you are alone? If that’s the case, sit anywhere you like on the counter—”
Sitting on the counter seat that the waitress led me to, I ordered a few appropriate dishes.
As I waited idly for my dishes to arrive, the voices of men sitting on a nearby table came into earshot.
“My, what a yield we had today! A toast for Elroad!”
“You got that right. With business going this well already, everything seems to go well no matter what we do. I was worried when I heard that his highness would be leaving on a diplomatic trip for a long period of time, but my, isn’t the prince is a lot more capable than we thought?”
I heard that this nation was going through economic difficulties. What do they mean by ‘business is going well’?
Hearing about that stupid prince has really caught my attention as well.
“But you know, the reason our business is going so well is probably due to the management of the prime minister-sama. Although the idiot prince seems to have the last call on political manners, I heard that he doesn’t do anything but play around all day.”
“Rather than a toast for Elroad, we should have a toast for the prime minister-dono!”
“““OOH, a toast to the prime minister—!”””
Based on what they said, the one directing the political matters in this nation was the prime minister?
In other words, that means the prime minister was the one that cut the support?
However, the king isn’t in this nation right now, huh?
Although I heard that the prince was about the same age as Iris, it was a given for royalty in this world to participate in political matters at around this age, right?
When I was about Iris’ age, I was being scolded by my parents for playing games all night—
After leaving the store, I began to think about Iris, who I’d left back at the hotel. So I decided to go buy the gift.
I didn’t have any clue as to what kind of things Iris liked.
I feel like she’d be happy with anything I buy, but there’s no way I could buy something too cheap for the princess of a nation…
“Oi, it seems that there’s an amazing artist at Masheran!”
“Masheran? You mean the super high class store, Masheran? There’s no way an artist could get into that store you know?”
“Just come with me already! It seems that she’s freely using the equipment from that store as her props!”
I saw some men come dashing out of a certain, small store, and my eyes inadvertently drifted to the sign.
It seemed to be an accessory store. I entered the store looking for something I could buy as a gift.
The only person in the store was the rather unsociable store owner, who continued to sit behind the counter and read the newspaper.
Looking around, I saw a variety of small accessories that ranged from handmade necklaces for ladies, and burly bracelets for men.
Glancing at the counter, I saw a variety of considerably classier-looking accessories lined behind the glass case.
I’ll just choose something appropriate from there.
Thus, I began to look for something that would be fitting for Iris…
“Uwoah-!? W-, What, is it an earthquake!?”
Ignoring the store owner’s shouts that mixed in with the exploding sounds from outside, I suddenly remembered—
When I infiltrated the castle in the past, I had stolen Iris’ ring.
Although I still held onto it with the utmost care, I’m still troubled about whether or not to return it.
That’s it, a ring!
Although I can’t really say much since I was the one who stole it in the first place, I’ll feel bad if I don’t do anything about it.
It might be a different ring, but I want to at least give her a temporary replacement.
Then it’s decided, I’ll buy her a ring as a gift.
In any case, I’ll buy the most expensive ring this store has. However, looking through the glass case, I didn’t see any rings.
“Old man, are you selling any rings? The more expensive the better.”
“Rings? We don’t sell such high-class goods here, you know? At best, there’s the one for kids over there.”
The store owner who had been startled by the explosion pointed towards a corner of the store.
Placed there, were rings priced at a couple hundred eris a piece.
Is this really suitable for a princess?
Speaking of which, I just came to this town, so I don’t know any high-class accessory stores. What should I do now?
Ah, that’s right.
I’ll just buy this for now, and I’ll give it to her if I can’t find anything else.
“Old man, give me one of this ring!”
Putting the ring in my pocket, I left the store—
“Ah, you’re back. So, how was your sightseeing?”
Near evening, at the place where we separated at around noontime—
When I returned, my companions were already waiting for me.
Aqua sat on the ground hugging her knee, and rocked back and forth in a carefree manner, whilst Darkness had a wholly satisfied expression as warm air exuded from her body.
As for Megumin, who was being carried by Darkness, seemed to have a refreshed expression.
As for the three men that served as their escorts…
First, one of them was missing.
Another stood frozen in place, and stared blankly into the distance with a darkened expression. As for the last person, he sat on the floor, hugged his arms, and murmured to himself, as though he had been scarred for life.
I don’t really want to hear what happened…
Having noticed my feelings from my expression alone, Megumin said.
“Kazuma, I know you don’t want to hear this, but I think it would be better for you to know.”
“…Alright, let’s hear it.”
It can’t be helped…
I cast a glance towards Darkness, who seemed to be in a good mood.
“… Erm, first, let’s talk about the person that isn’t here. When he heard that we had just arrived, he said that, ‘in order to soothe our stress from travelling, we should first head to a high-class healthcare facility, and take our time to enjoy ourselves while we’re there.’”
“When he brought us to the healthcare facility, I noticed that they had my favorite sand bath. When you take a sand bath, you lie down on the floor wearing something called a YU-KA-TA, and then you are buried in heated sand. It’s truly a wonderful experience, but… for some reason, that man thoughtlessly followed my lead and took a sand bath as well. And then he said ‘Alright, I will stay in this longer than Darkness-chan, and show my guts and cool sides!’, so I unconsciously got serious about it as well…”
“By the time I noticed it, he was practically on the verge of death. The employees there, who had noticed this as well, brought him to the hospital.”
…I see, so that’s why one of them was missing.
Continuing, I moved my eyes to the man who had his arms around his knees.
When I did, Megumin awkwardly looked away.
“…Uhm, right. So, that person said ‘I’ll bring everyone to somewhere nice’ and brought us to a creek outside town… And then he was like ‘Look at this, how’d you like it? This is a famous scenic spot in this town, known as the onion duck breeding grounds. They’re really cute right?’ while looking proudly at the mob of onion ducks. Well, you should know this, but onion ducks are monsters that gives a large amount of experience points, you see? So I was like, ‘why don’t I clean them up in one fell swoop using explosion magic?’… After that, he looked like he received some massive shock, and has been like that ever since…”
I mean, he brought you to see a flock of ducks just to have them blown away before his very eyes.
I turned my eyes away from the guy whose body trembled uncontrollably, and turned towards Aqua, who kept saying that ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’.
… I get the feeling that what she did was the worst out of the three.
“Uhm, as for Aqua, you see…”
As Megumin remained at a loss for words, the man who had been remained still this entire time as a result of exhausting all his willpower, vigorously stood up.
“After getting dead-drunk in this town’s most high-grade store, this onee-chan said ‘let me show you a super-duper amazing performance!’ and freely used the store’s equipment and started some kind of show. No, it was a truly amazing performance. It really was, but you know, how could anyone have possibly known that there were no special tricks being used at all!? Hey, an entire grand piano completely disappeared after being wrapped in a handkerchief you know? From size alone, there’s no way that it could be hidden in a handkerchief right!?”
She did something strange again huh.
But she really did catch my interest. I’ll tell her to show me some other time.
“After that, that high-class store charged us for the equipment and piano that was used in the performance you see… And then, the onion duck cultivation center… I didn’t even ask them to pay the full reparations, all I asked was for them to pay half…. Ah! Oi wait, I’ll be scolded by my parents at this rate! Even a third is fine…!”
We covered our ears and fled the scene.
“How was Elroad? Did everyone have a good time?”
Iris came to greet us when we returned to the hotel.
“I created a legend in this town you know? As for these people over here, in some other sense, they created a legend as well.”
Iris tilted her head in confusion, but after seeing Darkness and co.’s expressions, she decided not to go any further.
It was then—
“Well then Iris-sama, you must be tired from today’s activities, so why don’t you sleep early tonight in preparation for tomorrow? To allow you to rest comfortably, I’ve requested that your meal be directly sent to your room. Please rest well.”
Said Darkness. The way she spoke was more formal than usual.
“Isn’t it rather early to go to sleep? Well, it’s true that I too want to prepare well for tomorrow, but…”
In response to Iris, who tilted her head in puzzlement, Darkness, seemingly as though she was acting, showed an extremely apologetic expression.
“Iris-sama, your meeting tomorrow is of utmost importance. Just for today, I feel that you must absolutely go to sleep early, so that you may display the limits of your beauty tomorrow.”
“…Is that so? I understand, well then, I will retire early for tonight.”
As Iris turned to return to her room, she stole a couple of glances in my direction. Then, Darkness clapped her hands with a loud ‘smack’.
“Alright, then let us go to sleep early as well, after all, we have an important meeting tomorrow. Although I feel that it’s rather early, resting when we should is also part of our job as bodyguards!”
––This is… probably ‘that’ right?
What Darkness and Rain had discussed back at the castle, the plan where Darkness would drug me, right?
Since I’ve known Darkness for this long already, there’s no way I wouldn’t notice something fishy like that.
I, who had quickly returned to my room, made no plans to sleep, and continued to be cautious.
Just what kind of method will she use to drug me?
The most direct method would be for her to kick down the door and make me drink it through brute force.
However, there was still the danger of me resisting.
There was also the possibility of her mixing it into my dinner, but all of us had gone out to eat today.
I’m pretty sure that she’s going to conduct her plan tonight, but just what kind of methods will she use…
Then, as I worriedly tried to read Darkness’ thoughts—
“Kazuma, are you still awake?”
The knocking sounds on the door meshed with Darkness’ voice.
It was currently 8 o’clock.
Even in this world where the consensus was to sleep early and wake early, this would still be considered too early to go to sleep.
“I’m awake. The door isn’t locked, so feel free to come in, ok?”
However, she wholly underestimated me.
Did she really think that I would be drugged so easily?
Although I didn’t know what method she planned to use, but since I have the upper hand, I’ll take her for a spin—
…Then, such thought immediately flew out of the door.
“I-, Is that so? Then I’ll come in. I have something I want to talk to you about.”
Because Darkness entered wearing an extremely revealing negligee—
––Entering the room, Darkness placed a giant bottle of saké on the table in the center of the room.
The one that took this too lightly was me.
Yes, my opponent was a noble, whom were adept at trickery and schemes.
However, I hadn’t once expected her to use seduction.
“W-W-W-, What is with that dress? I can almost see it you know? A variety of things that absolutely shouldn’t be seen, that is.”
Hearing my straight-man rebuttal, Darkness’ face immediately flushed red in embarrassment.
That’s good. At the very least, she didn’t seem composed enough to be immune to what I say. It didn’t seem like she would shamelessly try to coax me either.
“Really? Well, this should be normal right? There’s a saying that travels will release the restraints of people. More importantly, here, why don’t we first have a drink?”
Hearing what I said, Darkness maintained her composure and removed the bottle’s cork.
The dull sizzling sound shows that the bottle hasn’t been unsealed until now.
In any case, the saké shouldn’t be drugged.
“Sure. Since it’s still too soon to go to sleep, why don’t I have some sleep-saké? You went through all the trouble to bring it here after all.
Saying that, I grabbed one of the glasses that Darkness was about to pour the saké into, and—
And heavily dropped it on the floor.
Accompanied by the sound of crashing glass, the shattered fragments spread across the floor.
Seeing Darkness’ face begin to change color, I pointed my hand towards the shattered pieces and—
I used wind magic to drive the fragments into a corner of the room.
“…Hah. Sorry about this Darkness, my hand slipped a little…. Well, there is still one more glass isn’t there? I’ll go downstairs and get another one, and have the employees here clean this up tomorrow.”
Saying that, I turned to leave the room…
“W-, Wait Kazuma. I mean, uhm… One glass is enough isn’t it? To start with, all I was planning to do was pour the saké for you, as a reward for your hard work until now!”
As I was about to leave, she pulled strongly on my clothes.
This girl. For a noble, whose skill in trickery and finesse should be a given, she sure was bad at deception wasn’t she?
“Hmm? And what kind of work have I done? Do I look like I’ve been working hard? I, who have done nothing but sleep in everyday?”
“—N-, No!? Uhm… I mean, didn’t we defeat another demon king army general just a while ago!? The fact that we’ve buried a countless number of demon king army generals is actually an amazing thing you know!?”
Darkness hurriedly thought of an excuse, and with a slightly serious expression, she looked me straight in the eye and said.
“I believe that we could do all this because you were our party leader. I know we cause you nothing but trouble, but thanks for everything, Kazuma…”
Saying that, she showed a refreshing, ulterior-motive-less smile.
I see, so this is the way in which nobles mix truth with lies.
…However, it’s too naïve.
Although I was fazed for a mere moment, I am a careful man that doubt anyone during meetings.
I grabbed Darkness’ hand that held onto the bottle.
“That’s what I should be saying. I’m just someone who holds the weakest job of ‘adventurer’. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without you guys. Especially you Darkness. If you weren’t here, our party would’ve probably been wiped several times over. The one who should be rewarded for their work is you. Here, take the glass. I will pour for you.”
Looking towards my hand, Darkness let off a surprised yelp.
After a short period of shock, she realized that I was about to take the bottle off her hands.
“N-, No no, it’s fine Kazuma. Just your words are enough to satisfy me. Also, I came here for the purpose of rewarding your efforts, so I’ll feel ashamed if I let you host me instead. Come on, let go of the bottle and take the glass. I’ll pour for you.”
Despite her calm tone of voice, she forcefully grasped the bottle in order to stop me from taking it away.
Judging by her resistance, it seems that – rather than the saké – the glass was drugged instead.
“No no no, how could I let a noble like you pour saké for me? Let me suck up to this ojou-sama every once in a while, otherwise, well, you know, we’re going to the castle as bodyguards tomorrow, right? There’s a chance that we might make some huge mistake. So if I don’t do this, I won’t be able to shamelessly announce your name when the time comes!”
I tightened my grip and tried to pull the bottle away, and finally, Darkness’ true nature came gushing out.
“Hey, stop being fussy and let go! You always treat me however you like. At this point, do you really think that that kind of makeshift excuse will still work!? In the first place, on our way here, you kept scolding me saying that there was no use for me here, didn’t you!? You always treat me with prejudice, making fun of me by saying that I’m a useless girl, saying that ‘because crusader is a defensive class, there’s no occasion for you to play an active role in anything’!”
“You should be the one to let go! Despite you having no intention to actually reward me in the first place, I would much rather you ‘reward’ me with ‘service’ rather than saké! Look, this glass is laced with something right? If it’s nothing to feel ashamed of, why don’t you drink it, huh!?”
“Kuh, i-, it isn’t anything to feel ashamed of! But I’m not going to drink it regardless. After all, this saké is meant as a reward for you! But I see, rather than saké, you prefer my body instead right? Alright then, if you’re going to go as far to say that, then why don’t I reward you with my body!? Go and lie down on the bed!”
“You… For someone who just tried to drug me, you sure are angry, when it should be the other way around! Alright then, if you’re going to say that, then do reward me!”
An eye for an eye. Darkness and I, with unusually high-strung emotions, moved to the top of the bed.
Although she spouts this kind of nonsense on a daily basis, I know full well that she’ll back down come the real thing.
I removed my top, and lay spread-eagle on the bed.
“Come at me!”
Seeing my naked upper body, Darkness – unsure of where to look – turned her head away.
“Oh, what’s wrong, what’s wrong? Are you really just an ojou-sama who’s all talk!? Well of course, whilst you always call incompetent or worthless, in the end, you’re actually just some ojou-sama that would get embarrassed by a kiss on the cheek!”
“You’re getting ahead of yourself. How could I let a plebeian like you belittle me! How about I keep to my word, and reward you with my body, hm!?”
Without waiting to finish, Darkness straddled my body.
Though, it seems like she was just pressing on my body without any idea of what to do.
“Ooi, you’re not thinking that this lukewarm massage is actually ‘rewarding me with your body’ right? You get what I mean right? After all, your mind is full of nothing but those dirty fantasies!”
“Don’t call it dirty fantasies! I am Dustiness Ford Lalatina. I have decided that regardless of the difficulties ahead of me, I will never run away…!”
The door was swung open with a loud slam.
Standing there was Megumin in her pajamas, whose eyes shined bright crimson red.
“What’s with all this noise, don’t you think you’re being a bit annoying!? Just what the heck are you doing!?”
I, who was pressed down by Darkness, immediately called to Megumin for help.
“Save me Megumin, I’m being violated!”
“Aah, y-, you-!?”
“Geez, just what the heck is going through your mind, Darkness? Although I’m not telling you to stop being in heat, Iris is also staying at this hotel, you know? At the very least, please wait until we get home to do that kind of thing.”
“Y-, You’re mistaken Megumin! There’s a reason for this!”
When Megumin entered the fray, I – who was almost assaulted by Darkness – immediately reported the situation to her.
“What is there to misunderstand? You even tried to drug me. The glass was laced with a sleeping drug right? If you weren’t thinking of doing ‘that’, why don’t you drink the saké with the cup you brought? After I fall asleep from the drug, you were planning on ‘amusing yourself’ with my body, am I wrong? After all, you already have a previous offense.”
“Y-Y-Y-Y-, You’re wr…! That’s not what I was thinking, I have a valid reason for this….”
Given all the irrefutable evidence, Darkness was at a disadvantage.
And there was also one more piece.
“What is there to misunderstand when you’re dressed in such a shameless fashion? Just a little bit more and I’ll be able to see ‘a variety of things’. It futile to say anything Darkness! Come on, just come clean and tell us your true intentions!”
Yes, the fact that she was dressed more shamelessly than usual was nothing but an arrow to the knee.
Now that I think about it, just what was she thinking dressing in such a manner?
“This is-, uhm! …uu, this is… because you will undoubtedly do something strange during tomorrow’s meeting, I decided that I would drug you to force you to sleep for a while. But I couldn’t help but feel that it would be pitiful if you stayed asleep the entire time during our stay at the nation of entertainment, so…”
“I see, so the reason you’re dressed that way is because you intended to give a bit of ‘service’ was it? In any case, you were surely thinking to yourself that ‘keep going like this…!’ and actually looked forward to this just a little bit, right? Geez, you’re such an obscene noble lady aren’t you!?”
In the face of Megumin who did nothing but accuse her, Darkness accepted her fate.
“You’re wro…! U-… U-…, I wouldn’t deny it any longer, I am an obscene noble lady…”
“Exactly. If Darkness’ dad back in Axel finds out about this, I wonder what he would say? Haa… Haa… Come on, what’s the problem! Say it loud and clear!”
Megumin, who was heatedly berating Darkness, began to take heavy breaths.
Occasionally, I think that somewhere deep inside her, she was bit of a sadist.
I sat cross-legged on the bed directly in front of Darkness. Still half-naked, I stretched out my legs, and said in an arrogant manner.
“Geez, Darkness. I’m not stupid enough to do something that would make trouble for Iris you know? I wouldn’t suddenly attack Iris’ fiancé, so rest assured ok? I merely dislike this engagement that doesn’t align well with my will. When you were forced into a marriage by that lord old man, I came to save you right?”
<TL Note: The specific phrase Kazuma uses ‘ふんぞり返る’ can mean both ‘lying down and stretching out legs’ as well as ‘becoming arrogant’.>
Likely, thinking back to when I saved her, Darkness lowered her head, and her ears turned slightly red.
“If Iris really desires this marriage, then I wouldn’t do anything to get in the way. I just dislike the fact that she’s willing to sacrifice herself through this marriage, even if it’s against her true desires. Although there isn’t much I can do if it’s a noble or a princess, I don’t want anyone I know to fall into that kind of situation. I can’t stand it when a female friend becomes another man’s object when they haven’t so much as dated you know?”
“This man. He sure has the guts to say such a thing when he ditched us in front of those other men.”
“Agreed. Sometimes, I’d like to see what goes through his head.”
“That’s because I believe in you guys you know? You guys aren’t easy girls that would get seduced by some random guys that we’ve never seen before, right?”
Hearing what I said, the two of them showed troubled expressions, and exchanged glances with one another.
“Despite him being so carefree, this man is quite underhanded occasionally.”
“That’s right. Although he doesn’t seem like the kind of person that would be easily led on by girls, he – as usual – has a silver tongue and is quite crafty with his ways…”
Uhuh, it doesn’t seem like I’m being believed in the slightest.
Well, during the time I was alone in the afternoon, I had taken a minor detour to look for indecent stores like the succubus service store, so I didn’t have the right to say anything, but…
Then, Darkness stood up, as if something had come over her.
“I understand Kazuma. As someone who’s continued to refuse matchmaking sessions, I don’t have the right to berate you in any way. If anything happens, I will take responsibility, so do as you please. You will have the backing of my household from here on out.”
“Well, that sounds pretty good. I mean, the nee-chan named Claire said the exact same thing you know? With the backing of two, great noble families, I should be able to go out of my way to do some things without being in too much trouble.
“Claire believed in you enough to entrust you with this? Do you even understand what this is?”
“Not really, but from your attitude, I can tell that the white-suit nee-chan trusts me a whole lot more than you do.”
Hearing what I said, Darkness, who had known me far longer than Claire, seemed to fall into frustration. She reached for the similar looking pendant that hung around her neck…
“Kazuma, I believe you as well, so take……uu, t-, take this…”
“What is it? If you’re going to do it then stop putting on airs and hand it over! Oi, what’s the problem? Let go!”
As she continued to hesitate, I forcefully pulled the pendant out of her hands, and hung it around my neck.
“Anyway, just leave everything to me tomorrow. Basically, our main goal for tomorrow is to prevent the defense funding from being cut, and I just need to avoid disturbing the other sides’ mood right? I won’t do anything bad, ok? After all, I’ve decided that I won’t allow any misfortune to befall Iris.”
Hearing what I said—
“I see… Mm, I suppose that’s right. I understand then, I’ll leave everything to you tomorrow, and I shall entrust Iris-sama to you! If everything goes smoothly, then…”
Darkness, who seemed relieved—
“This time around, I wouldn’t thank you with a childish kiss to the cheek, and give you something more real instead…”
Although she said that with barely audible murmurs, I could clearly see what she said using my lip-reading skill.
And so, I burned those words into my mind.
“Woah— Oi, oi, this castle is pretty expensive-looking isn’t it? Darkness, regardless of whether it’s the size of the financial sector or the size of the castle, doesn’t our capital lose to this place in a variety of ways?”
The next morning.
Arriving at the castle in Elroad, we felt pressured by the sheer size and glamour of the castle.
“This is really something else isn’t it? If I struck this place with explosion magic, I wonder what would happen? I feel like I might start chanting just thinking about it.”
“Alright Megumin, we can take it from here, so feel free to go back to the hotel, ok?”
Without delay, Megumin began to spout such absentminded, dangerous things. Hearing that, Darkness grimaced, and acted to keep her in check.
“Hey hey, if I do a performance to change the sign on the castle’s flag to the insignia of the Axis cult, do you think that they’ll be surprised?”
“Aqua, Aqua. When we get back to Axel, I’ll have house Dustiness donate to the Axis cult, so please act maturely for today.”
Grabbing on to Aqua, who continued to stare at the top of the castle, Darkness looked as though she was about to cry.
Idiot. Why would you only pay special attention to me when our entire group is full of problem children?
“Alrighty then, let’s see how much of a man that little brat we’re going to meet is. I wonder how long he’ll last under my attacks?”
“What happened to what you said yesterday!? If you’re planning to do something stupid, then return the pendant that I gave you… Ah-!”
I avoided Darkness’ hand that stretched towards my neck, and quickly hid the pendant that bore the insignia of her household.
“Y-Y-, You, where did you just put the pendant of my household! In some sense, it is a family treasure, so…!”
Seemingly disgruntled that I hid the pendant from her, Darkness lashed out at me.
“Oi, you’ve been pretty noisy for a while now. Just where do you think we are? Not only are we bodyguards, we are also representatives of our nation. Be a bit more conscious of your behavior would you?”
“Why are you of all people warning me? Ah geez, I’m begging you, just act maturely…!”
Seeing us being as noisy as usual, Iris happily giggled.
“This is my first meeting with the prince, but I don’t feel nervous at all because everyone is here with me. Thank you everyone.”
“Look, Iris is completely calm and displaying proper manners. Despite being her retainer, why are you being the noisiest out of all of us?”
“Y-Y-Y-, You…! Whose fault do you think it is that I’m being noisy…!”
After being told that the prince would personally come to receive us, we waited tens of minutes.
As we couldn’t bear to wait any longer, we began to poke fun at Darkness. It was then—
“Geez, this is why Belzerg’s commoners are so-… Making a fuss in front of the castle, do you even know what etiquette is?”
He had a high-pitched voice that was unique to children.
From the looks of it, he should be around the same age as Iris.
Although, despite his age, he was rather tall. From a size perspective, he was about the same as me.
The red-haired, freckled boy, as if to show off his power, brought a large amount of retainers with him.
On his head was a tiny crown, and it would appear that he was Iris’ fiancé.
“Look, didn’t he just get angry cause Darkness just couldn’t calm down?”
“Geez, Darkness. We’re facing royalty, you know? This isn’t the place to make a fuss in.”
Starting from the prince, Megumin and Aqua who stood beside Darkness, also cautioned her. Darkness, whose face flushed red with embarrassment, promptly lowered her head.
Then, Iris, who had been behind Darkness, walked in front of the common-senseless, mannerless, idiot retainer.
“Are you the first prince of Elroad, Revi-sama? I am the first princess of Belzarg, Iris. I came all the way here to see you, so I’m happy that we are able to meet today.”
Iris showed a fresh smile. With a small, clear, mature voice that was unbefitting of her age, she elegantly, adorably, and perfectly performed the proper etiquette.
Her appearance, which seemed as though it was covering for Darkness, was like the mature and somewhat nervous appearance she had when I first met her. It was truly befitting of a princess of a nation.
Darkness raised her voice, moved by the noble appearance of her lord that she once thought of as a little sister.
I don’t have the right to say this, but regardless of whether it was this girl or Claire, everyone was overprotective of Iris.
“So you’re my fiancé? Although I heard that even the female children of the Belzerg clan are militants, you actually look pretty weak. And here I was thinking that I would see a strong and cool appearance. How disappointing.”
“Eh-? Ah, uhm… Sorry…”
“And why do you have so few bodyguards? Is Belzerg really that poor? Instead of only training your muscles, it would be better to put some effort into training your heads so that you can earn some money you know!?”
Saying that, prince Revi showed a belittling smile. Leading his retainers on, they began to laugh.
What’s with this little brat? His attitude is quite something despite this being our first meeting.
My first impression of this prince was that he was an idiot child.
Also, I get a revolting feeling from his retainers as well.
Rather, just how is this nation allied or in good relations with ours?
I just can’t picture it.
…Then, Revi, with piqued curiosity, walked passed Iris and towards us.
The entourage of retainers that followed behind the prince acted the same as well. The gazes they cast towards Iris showed that they were looking down on her.
And then, some of the retainers opened their eyes wide when they saw Aqua and Megumin.
“On top of that, your bodyguards aren’t really anything to write home about either. Their age aside, their equipment looks pretty cheap. I’m actually impressed that you managed to get here safely.”
Without noticing his retainer’s expressions, the prince continued to make fun of us.
However, this time, not a single laugh could be heard from his retainers.
Thinking that that was strange, the prince turned towards his retainers.
“If you’re looking for a fight, then I’ll bring it to you.”
Megumin, whose eyes were shining bright crimson, took a large step forward.
Originally, this act was probably all intended as a diplomatic strategy.
Although I wasn’t sure why, the provocation of the prince was probably intended to give us a bad impression of him and to make us angry.
However, they made a single miscalculation—
“You’re mistaken! Prince Revi is not familiar with your nation, and doesn’t know about the existence of the Crimson Magic Clan! We weren’t trying to provoke you or belittle you at-…!”
“Prince, look at them closely! That is a crimson magic clansman! They’re a troublesome group of people that even the demon king is forced to acknowledge. They’re a group of people that don’t understand jokes, so please don’t say any more careless things!”
“I-, I understand. I’m sorry! It was my mistake, so please stop chanting your magic!”
At the strong remonstration of his retainers, the prince showed a frightened expression, and immediately apologized to Megumin, who had started to chant her magic.
“I’ll turn a blind eye this time, but don’t let there be a second time, alright? My name is Megumin, the one who controls explosion magic, and the one who has buried a countless number of demon king army generals. It would be better for you to not anger me.”
“Understood Megumin-dono. We will work hard to ensure that this never happens again!”
As one of the retainers profusely apologized, the prince showed a somewhat disgruntled expression.
Standing beside us, Darkness pressed her hands hard against her head. She looked as if she was about to cry.
“I don’t really understand this, but the willingness to apologize is a good thing. When you said that ‘we’re nothing to write home about’, I wanted to give you a taste my holy fist, but I will forgive you this time.”
Just as the situation was about to finally settle, Aqua decided to say something totally unnecessary. In response, the prince glared at her in rage.
“You imbecile, you’re just a mere priest. You dare to…”
“Prince, prince, she is an Axis cultist. On top of that, considering her blue hair and the way she’s dressed, she must be an extremely passionate one! Axis cultists are said to be more troublesome than tranquility girls and more tenacious than undead.”
The prince, who had changed his target to Aqua, was sharply warned by his retainer. He released a small, frightened yelp.
“Hey, I would very much prefer that you stop putting Axis cultists in the same group as tranquility girls and undead! Apologize! Apologize for putting my children in the same rank as monsters!”
The prince, frightened by Aqua who acted like a self-righteous monster, cast a frightened gaze towards Darkness and I.
Then, he whispered to the retainer beside him.
‘Oi, if that’s the case, then the blonde-haired knight is not an ordinary person either is she?’
‘Prince, that person over there is Dustiness-kyo. They’re a clan that’s known as the shield of the royal family, and they have many powerful knights in every generation. I would advise against making her your enemy……’
The two might’ve been whispering to one another, but because they didn’t hide their mouths, I could know everything they said.
Then, as should be expected, the prince turned his eyes towards me…
‘That means, that ordinary looking man over there is also…’
‘No, I’ve never seen or heard of him. He’s probably a pack mule or something.’
I’ll make sure to send you packing alright.
––Then, as everyone was troubled about how to resolve the situation.
“What is all this noise about?”
Although his appearance was rather normal, I could tell immediately that he was some great authority in the nation. The man wore precisely tailored clothing.
The man, whose presence seemed to overwhelm the prince himself, walked towards us from the castle with an air of composure.
“Prime minister-dono! No, this is…”
From a single line of the retainer, I was able to grasp this person’s identity.
He was the prime minister that I heard rumors about in the restaurant yesterday, and it seemed that as of now, he had an iron grip on this nation.
As everyone turned meek and obedient, Iris pulled herself together and greeted the prime minister.
“Nice to meet you. I am the first princess of Belzerg, Iris. I am honored to meet you.”
“Oh my oh my, from the rumors I’ve heard about the Belzerg clan, I would’ve never imagined that they would have such a cute princess. I am the prime minister of this nation, Ragcraft. I shall be in your care.”
The prime minister who settled the situation in a brief moment, performed a friendly rite of etiquette, and turned to walk back to the castle.
Everyone released an exasperated breath, and followed behind him.
“Well then, please come this way Iris-sama. I’ve already prepared a warm reception, so…”
Aqua, who followed shortly behind the prime minister, began to casually pat his back.
“Wh-, What is it, priest? Is there something about me?”
Towards the prime minister’s instinctive response, Aqua tilted his head in puzzlement.
“I don’t really get it, but I can’t help but feel that there is something weird about you, uncle. However, you don’t stink like a devil or have the presence of an undead you see… Hey uncle, do you happen to be friends with any devils? Or are you raising an undead as a pet or something like that?”
“My apologies Ragcraft-dono! This person is well known as a strange person even amongst axis cultists!”
Aqua, who suddenly said some rather disrespectful things, was immediately pulled away by Darkness, who hurriedly lowered her head to apologize.
Hearing what Darkness said, Aqua slapped and attempted to fling the hand that grabbed onto her.
“No, there’s no helping it if she’s an Axis cultist. Ah, please, I really don’t mind, so…”
The prime minister, who had been touched by Aqua, showed a rigid expression.
“I-, I ask of you, somehow, please!”
Iris, who had been pleasantly conversing with the prime minister, suddenly raised her voice.
Entering the castle, we received a warm welcome just as the prime minister had said.
However, for a great kingdom like this, this party was rather frugal.
“Even if you say that, no can do. My nation is currently undergoing financial difficulties. Please look at this party. Even though this is the reception of the princess of our important allied nation, Belzerg, we had no choice but to cut even those costs, and save on accommodations. That’s why, regardless of how much Iris-sama pleads us, we are unable to take the burden of providing defense funding any longer.”
The prime minister, who only appeared to be apologetic, was quite clear with his rejection.
Besides us, the prince, the prime minister, and a few followers, there wasn’t anyone here. In this small party venue, everyone ate and went about as they pleased.
“However, from what I’ve seen of this nation, I don’t believe that it is undergoing any financial difficulties….”
I wandered aimlessly around Iris to eavesdrop on the conversation. However, given how it was going, the likely winner of this meeting was evident.
“No, that’s just how it appears from a foreign nation’s perspective. All the people of this nation are suffering, and we don’t have anything to spare to support you…”
“I-, Is that so…”
Hearing what the prime minister said, Iris cast her head down despondently.
This would be Darkness’ – a noble’s – time to shine, but unfortunately, she didn’t have the opportunity to turn her eyes away from the two problem children whom were eating and drinking without a care in the world.
Which means that it’s my time to shine.
“Excuse me, but may I have a word?”
As I intruded on the conversation, the prime minister showed a thoroughly disgruntled expression.
“If I remember correctly, you are one of Iris-sama’s bodyguards. I am currently having an important conversation with her, so could you please wait until later?”
“No no, I’m her brother after all. Thus, I would like to say something as her guardian.”
The prime minister who was looking at me with ‘who the heck is this guy’ eyes a moment ago, opened his eyes wide when I said that I was her brother.
Murmurs of ‘Brother? That is prince Jatis!?’ spread throughout the room.
“I see. Iris-sama called you onii-sama, so could it be that you are… I heard that you were supposed to be fighting on the frontlines against the demon king army, so could it be that my information was wrong? Also, that black hair, and black eyes… could it be the hero’s atavism?”
The prime minister seemed to have forged a misunderstanding on his own.
I don’t really get the strange things he said about black hair and eyes being a result of some atavism or something, but it suited me just fine for the current situation.
“Anyway, regardless of who comes to request us, we are unable to provide any more support. My apologies, but please give up on this.”
He said so with a strong, emphasizing tone. Perhaps he was cautious of me.
“I see… Iris, if that’s the case, why don’t we go and ask prince Revi? If we ask the prince for money, then you wouldn’t mind right?”
“Wha-!? Didn’t I already say that we don’t have anything to spare? Furthermore, the politics of this nation are under my management, so even if the prince says anything…”
Towards the prime minister, whose facial colors began to distort, I rubbed my palms together and moved my face closer.
“I heard this rumor in town, but the prince has decisive authority over the political matters of this nation right? Also, the people in town are praising you you know? Saying that ‘business is going well thanks to the prime minister-dono’ and the like. Wait what what? Business is going well you say? Don’t you get the feeling that something doesn’t add up?”
Hearing what I said, the prime minister showed an extremely displeased expression.
“I understand. However, please discuss this matter with the prince himself, as I have no authority to say anything to him.”
He said that as though he was throwing something away.
Alright, things seem to be going better now, and that prince seems like an idiot as well.
Iris and I quickly headed to where the prince was. The prime minister followed shortly behind, probably so that he could oversee the situation.
He was probably making sure the prince wouldn’t be won over by us.
“Prince Revi, how do you do? May I have a word with you?”
Iris smiled towards the prince, who was having a pleasant conversation with his retainers.
In response, the prince, who had been in a good mood showed a sour expression, and—
“Now’s a bad time, but what do you want to say? I don’t have anything to say to the Belzerg’s barbaric princess alright?”
To say such insolent things to Iris…
Alright, I’ll tell him off.
“Oi you little brat, you’re saying quite harsh things to my little sister again, aren’t you? Do you even know what etiquette is? Are you making fun of us? Hey, that isn’t the attitude a fiancé should be showing, right?”
“Wha-!? You imbelice, you dare say such… Onii-sama?”
Iris pulled my arm, and brought me to a corner of the room.
“Onii-sama, please don’t act so imprudently. I must procure the defense and expedition funding for my nation. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to reward the adventurers for their efforts. Please, even if it’s just for my sake, could you endure this?”
“… If you’re going to say that, there’s no way I wouldn’t listen, you know?”
Moved by her pleading, upward glance, I retracted my seething rage.
Speaking of the prince, he was looking at me from a fair distance away, and chattering with his retainers.
There were probably explaining who I was.
Of course, I wasn’t really her brother.
“My, I’m so sorry for what I said just now. Anyone would get angry if their little sister was belittled in front of them right? Whilst you might’ve made fun of my little sister, I was also in the wrong, so I hope that this will be water under the bridge. The mentally strange crimson magic clansman and axis cultists were just about to make a move, you know?”
“Hie-!? N-, No, mm. I said too much as well, so let us consider this as water under the bridge.”
The prince showed a rather interesting reaction. Perhaps he was extremely afraid of the crimson magic clansmen and axis cultists.
Let’s go with the flow and ask about the money.
Realizing my intentions, Iris nodded her head, and turned to face the prince.
“Actually prince, about the defense and support funding…”
Before Iris could finish, the prince flatly rejected her.
There wasn’t a trace of his fearful expression to be found, as should be expected of a member of royalty.
“I heard about it from Ragcraft. My answer has already been decided. Absolutely ‘no’.”
This is what they call ‘being unapproachable’.
<TL Note: The phrase Kazuma uses here is 取りつく島もない (tori tsuku shima mo nai), which translates to ‘there’s not even an island to latch onto’. In this instance, it describes Revi as showing a cold attitude, without even leaving a choice to reply.>
“Uhm, may I please ask why? If my nation cannot gain support, and is conquered by the demon king, then the next nation to be targeted will be yours you know.”
“You don’t need to worry about that. We already have ideas in store. Rather, from today onwards, my nation has no intention of opposing the demon king army. Thus, it will be hard to ask for our cooperation even if it’s not related to funding or support.”
“That is…! W-, What do you mean? If that’s the case, what will become of the alliance between our nations?”
“We have our own circumstances. We can continue to be allied, but we do not want to incite the demon king army you see? Ah, also, while we’re at it, let’s dissolve our engagement. In the first place, my parents decided it on their own. To start with, I didn’t want to marry a barbaric Belzerg princess. Once I heard that the ladies were stronger than men there, I decided that there was no way I would marry you.”
For a mere moment—
For just a mere moment, Iris showed an overjoyed expression, to the point where tears immediately filled her eyes. In the next moment, she grabbed the prince by the chest.
“I don’t care in the slightest about the marriage, but as for your complete refusal to support…!”
“It doesn’t matter if you show that kind of expression, the answer is still ‘no’, If you consider yourself to be a member of royalty, then… Gu-, wa-, wait stop, I can’t breathe….! Hey, stop…!”
As Iris continued to hold the prince by the collar, his face turned paler and paler. The surrounding retainers hurriedly move to stop her.
“Geho-…! W-, What a barbaric girl! As I thought, I made the right choice by dissolving this engagement. This is enough. Since you’re done saying what you need to say, scram!”
The prince, whose eyes filled with tears, gave his verdict to Iris.
As Iris lowered her head, the prince showed a happy expression.
“I see. Then…”
“I will return tomorrow.”
Iris interrupted the prince with a bold statement.
Towards the puzzled prince, Iris rose her small chest high, and pronounced.
“I will come visit tomorrow. No, not just tomorrow. I will come visit the day after, and the day after that. Until I managed to secure the support, I will come visit as many times as I need to.”
Faced with Iris, who looked him straight in the eye, the prince’s mouth opened wide in surprise for a moment, and then—
“D-, Do as you like!”
When he finally recovered his composure, he stated such.
Hearing that, Iris said with a smile.
“Yes, I will return!”
Iris then took my hand, and turned to leave.
Then, to our backs—
“Oi, you can only bring one bodyguard tomorrow! And don’t bring the crimson magic clansman or the axis cultist! The same goes for the house Dustiness’ lady! You’re only permitted to bring your weak looking brother!”
The prince, as if to at least put up some form of resistance, spouted those words at us.
In Kazuma’s thought towards Megumin: ‘Occasionally, I think that somewhere deep inside her, she was bit of a sadist.’ The literal translation is ‘Occasionally, I think that somewhere deep inside her, she had an aptitude for bullying.’
Aqua’s description of ‘self-righteous monster’ is the in-context equivalent of the Japanese term ‘Monster Claimer’ (モンスタークレーマー). Originating from the a mix of the English word ‘claim’ and the phrase ‘monster parent’, this term most often used to describe consumers who make unreasonable demands (claims) towards businesses, believing that it is justifiable and within their authority. Stereotypically, ‘Monster Claimers’ often ‘claim’ that ‘I myself am justice’ or ‘The customer is always right’ or ‘The customer is god’ (a saying in japan). In Aqua’s case, it is used to describe that she is in no position to demand the prince to do as she says.