Gifting this quick witted girl with reeducation!
Editors: Darkdhaos, TaintedDreams, Nate
The surrounding was completely engulfed by darkness, and the hour was late when people should be sleeping.
Even though it was a time like this.
“Welcome back, Princess Iris!” x3
There were a large number of maid welcoming us as if they were waiting for Iris’s return.
This was the hall within the castle, located in the heart of the capital.
As I was thinking ‘how the hell did things turn out like this’, with my brain functioning slowly, I was rushed to follow behind the Princess.
I was led by the princess and the white suited woman to a luxurious room at the top of the castle.
The white suited woman said she needed to make some reports and went off somewhere; leaving just me, the princess, and the mage in the room.
People we met on the way did not question us, simply bowing before passing us by.
It might sound strange for me to be the one saying it, but was it fine to let a suspicious man like me wander in the royal castle?
What should I do, I really want to go back.
I was imagining excitedly a short while ago about what I should do if the Princess appointed me as her knight.
The sudden abduction left me in a daze, and the Princess whispered to the mage Onee-san in front of me.
The mage nodded and said to me full of smiles:
“Satou Kazuma-sama, welcome to the castle. You are a guest, so please make yourself comfortable. Just treat this place as your home and rest easy. This is now your room… Well then, please continue with your tales of adventure! The Princess said.”
“Pardon me, could I have a bit of your time, Onee-san? Mage Onee-san, this way please.”
When I heard what she said, I went to a corner of the room and gestured for the mage to follow.
“Is there anything I can do for you? …Ahh, just call me Rain. Don’t need to use honorifics with me. I might be a noble, but I came from a small house that can’t compare with the Dustiness House. As the friend of Lady Dustiness, your status is probably higher than mine…”
The mage Onee-san said something like this.
“I see. Well then, Rain-san, I have something to ask.”
“I already said there is no need for honorifics… Using my name directly is fine too… What do you wish to ask?”
Rain seemed to feel it was a pity for some reason, but I wasn’t that dense that I would call an older aristocratic woman I have never met before by her name directly.
Also, I was just lectured at Darkness’ home by the white suited woman for being insolent.
The other party might be agreeable to this, but Darkness who could cover for me if anything happened wasn’t here, so I didn’t dare to do as I please.
I kept one eye on the Princess who looked bored and whispered:
“Erm, Rain-san… I hope you could explain the situation… The Princess said she is treating me as a guest… But this abduction right?”
“It’s not like that. We are welcoming you as a guest. This is not an abduction.”
“No, this is obviously a kidnapping.”
Rain ignored my retort, bent forward slightly and whispered:
“… Her highness Iris always restrains herself, acts like a model royalty, is obedient and won’t give trouble to others. This is the first time in her life that she did something like this. In this city, Princess Iris had no playmates that matched her status and age. Since this is the first time Princess Iris is acting wilfully, could you play with her for a short period of time?”
“No no no, even if you say that… To be frank, I finished all of my adventuring stories just now. Could you tell that to her highness and let me go back? Just say that I have basically run out of adventuring tales the Princess enjoys so much.”
After Rain heard what I said, she went back to the Princess to explain my situation.
“I brought you here in order to get back at Lalatina who hit me a little bit, it is sort of a prank…”
The Princess listened to Rain interpret with a depressed face.
“… Also, I feel envious after seeing Lalatina and you all having fun together… Sorry about the sudden wilful request. Just for a bit, a few days, can you play with me? The Princess said.”
… Wasn’t she rather cute?
Which meant she wanted me to be the Princess’ playmate for the time being?
If I rejected her and spoiled the Princess’ mood, Darkness’ standing would fall too…
“… I understand. Well then, I will tell you about Darkness… Lalatina. Rain-san, my comrades will worry about me, could you inform them that I will be staying here for some time?”
Rain said “I understand,’ and left the room in response to my request.
And of course, this luxurious room only had the Princess and I left.
There were also two female knights standing by outside, probably the Princess’ guards.
But was it really fine for the young Princess to be in the same room as a man so late at night? Would they be okay for a suspicious person they just met to stay with the Princess? Well, it only turned out this way because of the Princess’ willfulness, but if the King or some other big shot found out, would it antagonize them— all sorts of negative thoughts flooded my head.
Princess smiled as if she had seen through my worries.
“Father, the general, and Onii-sama have set off on an expedition to the city near to the demon king army battle frontlines. If nothing serious happened, it would be fine… When it is just the two of us, use your usual tone with Lalatina… No, you all address her as Darkness right? Erm, speak to me like how you usually converse with Darkness… Please tell me about all sorts of things outside the castle.”
She sat onto the bed inside the room as she said that.
The white suited woman returned after sorting out the paperwork.
“Excuse me… Your Highness, the paperwork is done. Now, Kazuma-dono is now an official guest, and can stay in the castle without worries…”
The story I was telling the Princess was at its climax.
“And so, Darkness said ‘Ugh… why, why did it become like this…’ and the naked Darkness went around to my back, her face blushing to the tip of her ears. Grabbing the towel tight, she shyly…!”
“Sh-Shyly…! Shyly did what…!?”
“What shyly! What nonsense are you telling Princess Iris, you want to be turned into minced meat ahhhh!?”
The white suited woman rushed before me as if she was trying to protect the Princess leaning forward and engrossed in my story. She shouted angrily and drew her sword while doing so.
“W-Wait a minute! Please wait! Iris asked me to…!”
“A mere adventurer dare address Princess Iris by her name…! You shall address her as Princess! And what is with your tone towards her huhhh!?”
“Hold it, Claire, I requested Kazuma-sama to address me by name. I also asked for him to speak in a natural way. In, instead of that, Kazuma-sama, Lalatina she…! What did the naked Lalatina do after grabbing her towel tightly!?”
“Princess Iris, no! You can’t ask that, Kazuma-dono, please don’t say such things to Her Highness! And, and why is a peasant and Lady Dustiness erm… Ba-bathing together… T-That’s a lie right?”
The Princess had been clenching her fist tightly on the bed and listening to my story engrossingly.
While the Princess said “quick quick” to urge me to continue the story, I sat on the chair in the room and was bombarded with questions by the white suited woman named Claire who was as persistent as the Princess.
“Everything I said is true. If you don’t believe me, you can test it out. There should be one of that thing in such a big castle right? It’s found in the police station of large cities, that thing that will ring loudly if you tell a lie, used during interrogations. If there is one, I won’t mind you bringing it here.”
When she heard what I said, she seemed to understand that I wasn’t lying.
“I will take your word for it, since I did doubt you at Dustiness’ mansion just now… H-however, please don’t tell such things to Princess Iris!”
Claire finally sheathed her sword, and said to me with a glare:
“Princess Iris will be the one to decide whether she wants to listen. It doesn’t make sense for her to listen to the opinion of a minion like you. We were just getting to the good part when you came in and ruined the mood! Go away! I’m going to continue can you please leave!?”
“What a joke, how can I let you continue!? And I am not a minion you insolent fool! I am the elder daughter of House Symphonia that can even match House Dustiness which you are so close with. As the escort of Her Highness…”
Ignoring Claire who was blowing her own horn for some reason, I said to the Princess:
“Since the white suited woman is throwing a fit and object to this topic, let’s talk about something else.”
“W-What do you mean by white suited woman you lowly brash man, address me as Lady Claire! Ahh, really, what is with this man… Lady Dustiness must have had a difficult time…!”
The Princess was probably concerned about the persistent Claire and showed an expression as if thinking that it was a pity.
“It can’t be helped… It’s a pity, but let’s hear that story next time.”
Claire sighed deeply in relief when she heard the Princess being so sensible.
I see, so it was true that she wasn’t wilful normally.
“Well then, let’s talk about something else. I was having a competition with Darkness, and we made a bet that the loser will receive an amazing punishment. In the end I won and…”
“P-Please tell me quick! Please tell me about this!”
“No, you can’t! You can’t Your Highness, don’t listen to what this man is saying! This man is a good for nothing!”
It was probably deep into the night.
Claire who had been listening to my stories together with the Princess all this while had been busy raging, raging, and raging again.
Laying on the bed the Princess was sitting on drowsily, Claire probably was exhausted from being angry and dozed off.
As for the Princess, she really liked my stories and had no intention to sleep at all, listening to me enthusiastically.
We had became friendly with each other and our tone turned casual.
And I shared all my stories of adventure and things about my comrade until I ran out…
“Really? Please tell me in detail about this school place and its cultural festival!”
“Details… Eh, kids about Iris’s age will perform all sorts of practical activities. Such as a cafe-like shop.”
The topic shifted to the country I was from.
I didn’t say that it was an alternate world, just that it was a far away nation.
I only mentioned how it was like in my school life, and the Princess looked so envious, imagining about this unknown country in her head.
There were no monsters and children about the Princess’ age learn and play peacefully each day.
It was a boring everyday life to me, but to the Princess…
“What a fantastic and happy place. That really is… Ahh, but running a shop with people my age… What should we do if bad customers who refuse to pay come? And it will take a lot of people to run the shop right? Can we really earn enough profit to pay everyone…?”
Thinking back, it was quite an envious life.
I smiled and looked at the Princess who was much younger than me:
“Running the shop is for our own enjoyment… Not to make money. Putting it frankly, it is to a game to enjoy running a shop. Everyone will wear the same uniform and tout for customers outside. We are only doing this because it is fun.”
After hearing what I said, the Princess had a look of envy and seemed a little bit lonely.
That was to be expected, this girl was the Princess after all.
She didn’t have normal peasant friends, and couldn’t go to school.
In the end, aside from the highly knowledgeable and independent Crimson Magic Clan, there wasn’t mandatory education in this world.
Now that I think about it, their scale was small, but the Crimson Magic Clan was really smart if they could implement a system to send all the children to school.
… Leaving their personality aside.
The Princess muttered enviously… School.
I said thoughtlessly to the Princess:
“If you like it, how about building a school here? I think it would be very beneficial without any drawbacks. It would definitely be helpful for the kingdom.”
When she heard what I said, the Princess wanted to say something, but held her peace.
As I was feeling baffled, bells that echoed through the night sounded out.
The sleeping Claire jumped up from the bed when she heard that.
She just woke up, but Claire immediately regained her usual calm and composure.
“… So, it’s here again.”
She muttered to herself and got up and charge out of the room.
What did she mean by ‘again’?
Before I even asked, a loud voice ruptured through the quiet night.
That was the broadcast that I would sometimes hear in Axel when there was an emergency quest.
“Demon king army alert, Demon king army alert! The knight corps have already moved out. All adventurers please maintain the peace and security within the city and stop any monsters from infiltrating in. All high level adventurers please come forth to assist!”
After hearing that broadcast, the Princess had a lonely and fragile smile.
“With how things are, I couldn’t focus on academics leisurely.”
She mumbled to herself.
I remembered what Aqua said to me before I came to this world.
Ahhh, this world was in trouble because of the demon king.
“We have successfully suppressed the night raid by the demon king army. Thank you, adventurers for your assistance. We will reward everyone who took part in the emergency quest. Please head to the adventurers guild counter…”
This broadcast was heard less than one hour after Claire rushed out with her sword.
It was resolved really splendidly.
However, this was the royal capital, were things going that badly if even such a place suffered a night raid?
What were those people with cheats from Japan doing, I wished they could be more serious about this.
I would probably be retorted ‘that’s not what someone as useless as you should say’.
Really, I want to leave this dangerous place that was so close to the front lines.
I wonder if my thoughts were reflected on my face.
“Thank you for telling me so many interesting things. Rain will send you back to your town tomorrow… Can I trouble you to tell Lalatina that I am sorry? For bringing you to this place… It might not be the frontlines, but it would be attacked every now and then, so it wasn’t completely safe.”
The princess probably said this out of concern for me.
… That’s right, I wouldn’t be able to protect the city or be of use even if I stayed here.
I felt bad for Her Highness, but it would be better for me to leave this dangerous place earlier.
“Thank you for accommodating my willfulness tonight, Kazuma-sama… If there is the chance, can you tell me stories of your adventures next time?”
Her Highness said with a smile befitting her age.
… Isn’t she really cute?
I didn’t mind telling tales of my adventures to this girl sheltered by her vassals in this huge castle and didn’t have any friends about her age…
I am slightly moved by the innocent smile of this traditional, beautiful girl, and in order not to reveal my emotions, I replied with a smile:
“Of course. To be frank, I am actually quite timid and wish to go back earlier… But, erm, for Iris’ sake, I will gather all sort of stories of adventurers and come back again.”
When she heard what I said, Her Highness said shyly with joy from the bottom of her heart:
“Hehe, thank you. I feel that you are just like my Onii-sama from long ago. He might be my Onii-sama by blood, but royal siblings will become strangers after some time. My own brother won’t chat with me like this anymore… I wish you could stay with me a while longer, but if I keep acting so wilfully…”
“What did you say just now?”
I asked after hearing the Princess’ casual chatter.
“… Eh? W-well… I said that I wish you could stay with me a while longer…”
Her Highness replied shyly.
But that was wrong, not that part.
“What did you say before that? Before that line, what am I like…?”
The Princess heard what I said and replied:
“Erm… I feel that you are just like my Onii-sama from long ago…”
“Please say it again.”
Her Highness was a bit troubled but she still humoured me:
“Y-you are like my Onii-sama.”
“Can you say it more intimately, again…”
She said to me.
“Like my Onii-chan.”
And so, I chose to stay in this castle.
There was knocking on the door that wasn’t too loud or displeasing.
I opened my eyes after hearing that sound, and felt confused by the unfamiliar room I was sleeping in.
“Kazuma-sama, have you woken? I am here to bring you breakfast.”
After hearing that voice from outside the door, I remembered what happened last night.
That’s right. I would be staying in this castle from this day forth.
“Good morning, I’m up.”
I shouted towards the door, and an elderly man with white hair entered after saying ‘pardon me’.
I pushed myself off the bed and saw that elderly man who was probably a butler pushing a breakfast cart in.
I will call him Sebastian then.
“Today’s breakfast is Lesser Dragon Bacon with fried egg, and salad with plenty of asparagus. Please choose a bread you prefer to go with your meal. The salad is made from fresh ingredients picked earlier this morning. The asparagus have powerful attacks, be careful not to get hit.”
The elderly man said plenty of things I want to retort, placed breakfast besides my bed and excused himself.
It was a surprise that the powerful dragons in fantasy worlds were served to me as a bacon, but the high attack power of asparagus made me concerned too.
Let’s start from the low difficulty item…
Without any care for etiquettes, I propped myself up on the bed and poked the fried egg with my fork.
I was very surprised when the fried egg made such a sound. While I was inspecting the plate carefully, my door was knocked once again.
“Please come in.”
I gave up eating the egg and answered. The door opened gently.
“…… G-good morning…”
Hiding half of her body behind the door, Iris said with a soft and shy voice.
— As Iris glanced this way while hiding behind the door, she kept fidgeting and didn’t came in.
What was with such a refreshing reaction.
If it was the group of females around me— they would either shout in front of my door, barged in or threaten to break the door with magic if I don’t come out.
“… M-morning, Your Highness Iris. We chatted for so long last night, but you still got up very early.”
“Erm, if you can speak to me as intimately as yesterday in this castle, it will make me very happy…”
The two of us greet each other stiffly and looked at each other.
We were close last night, but that was at night and both of us were rather hyped then.
Iris had calmed down in the morning.
She glanced at me from time to time shyly.
“Is that so? How about trying it again?”
“Yes!… G-good morning. O-O-onii-chan…!”
My mood improved drastically because of her ‘Onii-chan’, but I would frighten Iris if I stood up suddenly.
Keeping in mind I need to act gentlemanly, I got down from the bed and spoke with an easy smile.
She was probably feeling embarrassed because of my mature actions, Iris who was blushing slightly looked very cute.
“Good morning, Iris.”
“… Erm, please wear your pants…”
— After tidying my attire and finishing my meal, I took a walk around the castle together with Iris.
“That’s not it Iris. Onii-chan is not a pervert. It just happened that I didn’t have my pajamas with me so I slept in my underwear.”
“I get it I get it, so stop talking about that, Onii-sama!”
After that incident in the morning, Iris refused to address me as Onii-chan.
Onii-sama felt distance, which made me sad.
When I asked what should I do in the castle, I was told that I just need to tell Iris about something she didn’t know or was of interest to her.
“Which means I just need to be Iris’ teacher.”
“No, not really. My teachers are Claire and Rain, so Onii-sama is, eh, my playmate…”
Iris who was walking besides me softened her voice from guilt and finally lowered her head.
The one with the highest status in this city was this child, so she could just state what she wanted and let the others abide by her will.
Was there a way to correct her introvertistic personality?
A child receiving such a high level of education was surprisingly matured, so she had probably considered how her actions would affect those around her.
She was aware of the authority royalty wielded, and how much trouble she would cause by being wilful.
The mage Rain told me that bringing me to the castle was the first time she acted wilfully.
She also wanted to get back at Darkness by bringing me here, but it wasn’t a bad deal to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle just by being a playmate.
While we were discussing all these, Iris and I made it to the courtyard.
There were a table with a parasol and chairs, with a board game laid out.
“Actually, I don’t have lessons today, so I hope you could play this game with me…”
Iris asked timidly as if she was afraid that her invitation would be rejected.
I sat on the chair and said while placing the pieces onto the board.
“I am not a vassal of Iris’ House, so I won’t drag it into a draw and lose on purpose. If we are going to play, we should go about it seriously. I don’t think I will lose in a game alright? Are you fine with that?”
“O-okay! That’s what I would prefer! No one in the castle wants to be my opponent out of reverence for me! I am fine with losing! It is fine even if I lose, so please have a game with me!”
“That’s the spirit! Don’t cry if you lose okay? If I made the Princess cry, it would be troubling in all sorts of ways! I’m going for it! If we are going to do this seriously, we should bow before we start. Please take care of me!”
“Please take care of me!”
And so, I took up a piece from the board…!
“… Erm, erm, the sky’s getting dark, can we call it a day?”
“Don’t joke with me, you want to run after winning!? Didn’t I tell you that you have to give it your all!? I can finally see through Iris’ moves, just a bit more and I can win! By the way, don’t even think about going easy on me because you want to end this early! I will know if you lose on purpose!”
“You are the one who wanted to play seriously, so how did it turn out like this? Onii-sama is so troublesome!”
“Noisy! I hate this game anyway! I have a comrade who likes this game too, it irritates me whenever I see her use teleport!”
“Even if you tell me that—!”
Claire who was shocked rushed towards us as we were arguing.
“I came to get Princess Iris because dinner is ready— but what are you doing! What kind of tone is that, and stop throwing tantrums! Admit your loss obediently and go to the dining hall before the food gets cold! Don’t give Iris unnecessary troubles!”
“Damn it, we will decide on the match tomorrow since Claire is interfering! But I will definitely win next time!”
“A kid! Onii-sama is a kid!”
“Onii-sama!? Y-your Highness Iris, by Onii-sama you mean this man!?”
The sound of Claire and I arguing reverberated in the classy and quiet castle.
From this day forth, I took up the role of being the Princess’ playmate.
Rain’s voice came from inside the room.
“— And that is why, each generation of royalty is born with more talent than normal people. Taking the heroes who defeated the demon king into the family as a husband is not just to reward the hero.”
She seemed to be teaching history, but I knocked on the door without hesitation.
“… Kazuma-sama, my apologies. Now is the time for Iris’ lessons, can you come back later?”
The teacher Rain said expressionlessly.
“How long is ‘later’? Five minutes?”
“No, the history lesson will last until evening…”
Looking into the room, Iris who saw me was a bit restless.
This seemed to be the first time someone invited her to play, so she was happy about it.
However, she didn’t mention that she want to stop the lesson and play outside, and seemed a bit troubled.
“It can’t be helped then, I will kill some time outside.”
“That’s a big help. I won’t keep you then…”
I walked out of the room as Rain sighed in relief.
Iris seemed a bit lonely when I left the room, but it couldn’t be helped.
I went to the courtyard and prepared myself right below Iris’ classroom…
“I want to fly freely in the sky~ Go, bamboo dragonfly!”
I sang the song everyone knew loudly and set off the bamboo dragonfly Vanir refused to develop. At this moment, the window opened suddenly.
“Kazuma-sama! Iris’ attention is focusing outside the window, please don’t sing and play over there!”
— Killing time while disrupting the lesson, I finally grind through the time and see Iris charging here. It seemed that she had finished her lesson.
“Onii-sama, what is that magic item just now!? You looked like you were having so much fun, can you let me play too…”
Iris probably came here in a hurry and was out of breath.
“Oh, you mean this? This is a high quality magic item that has been enchanted with wind magic. There are no limits to its usage. You just need to turn it like this and it will fly off.”
“How amazing! A magic item with unlimited usage— Isn’t that a divine class item!?”
I handed the bamboo dragonfly to Iris who believed me easily.
“If you play that game with me and accept my condition, I can give it to you if you like.”
“R-really!? I accept, I accept! Please tell me what the condition is!”
— Ten minutes later.
“Checkmate! Yeah! I am the winrar!”
“Alright alright, it’s my loss. Really, Onii-sama is just like a kid.”
“Oh? Acting all high and mighty after you lost. Okay, I will give you the bamboo dragonfly as agreed.”
“Thank, Thank you very much! … But, is this really fine? Just giving up one chess piece as a handicap for a magic item…”
Iris held the bamboo dragonfly preciously and said with guilt.
… Suddenly someone spoke to us.
“So you are here, Princess Iris. Leaving me, your escort behind and running off by yourself is really… Uwah, Kazuma-sama. Is that a bamboo dragonfly? An adventurer with a strange name I met in the past made something similar for me.”
Rain seemed to have been searching for Iris who dashed out the moment the lesson ended.
“Rain knows how this magic item is made? Amazing, this can rival a divine class item…!”
“Magic item? No, this… is made from bamboo, something like a toy for kids. Anyone can make one after learning the way to craft it…”
Before Rain even finished, Iris glared at me with tears in her eyes.
“Onii-sama is a liar! I won’t acknowledge such schemes, the match just now don’t count!”
“Oh, what about it? I already said yesterday that I will give my best to win. If I am not as good as the opponent, I just need to gain an advantage in some other way. The situation right now is that I found Iris’ weak point of being unworldly and won a tactical victory… Refusing to admit your loss, Your Highness Iris is so hard to please!”
“Then, then one more match! We will do it again! The same conditions as just now!”
“Ara, it is almost time for dinner. Look, Claire is here to fetch us. Today is my complete victory.”
Iris requested for a rematch but I rejected her, the opposite of what happened yesterday.
The one who saw us like this was Claire who came to fetch us for dinner—
“Are you trying to run after winning!? That is so unfair, one more time! Help me convince him Claire! Please!”
“Hey Claire, tell Iris the exact same phrase you told me yesterday! Tell her to admit her lost obediently and go to the dining hall before the food gets cold! Say it, quick! Don’t take her side just because she is a Princess!”
Caught between us, Claire was at a loss—
“— Iris, have you thought about going outside to play? I don’t mean going to a city like Axel, but to hike around and go sightseeing. There are many things in this world that we don’t understand.
There might be weird devils with good reputations in the neighbourhood, or a friendly lich that eat bread crumbs as her standard meal.”
After Iris finished her lesson in the morning, we went to the balcony of Iris’ room which was the top most level, and played games while drinking tea.
“If I leave the castle, an order of knight would need to be assigned to be my escort. And I am not permitted to leave the capital alone without my vassals… Also, there is no way such devils and liches exist. Please don’t look down on me because I am unworldly… ‘Teleport’ to this grid.”
Iris moved her chess piece on the board as she stared at me with doubtful eyes.
She seemed to be wary of me because of what happened yesterday.
Rain who was beside me didn’t join in the conversation and simply poured tea into the empty teacup.
After moving my piece, I said:
“You don’t believe me huh. In this world, there are many things that couldn’t be explained with common sense. Do you know? Normally, fish are usually caught in the sea or river, but saury are caught in the farmlands.”
“That is obviously a lie okay!?”
“I-it’s true! When I was working in a restaurant, I was asked to go to the farm behind to catch saury!”
“That, that is… Onii-sama was fooled…”
Rain whispered to Iris who said something rude:
“Your Highness Iris, Kazuma-sama is not lying. Saury are caught in the farm.”
“Is that true!? How could it be… A dog flying in the sky would be more believable…”
“I have never seen a dog flying in the sky, but I did saw a cat that spit fire before.”
“That is definitely a lie! Liar! You are a big liar!!”
“It’s true! My comrade has one!!”
“Ka-Kazuma-sama, that is really…”
“Even Rain! Damn it, even though I didn’t lie this time!!”
Iris said to me as I was rapping the table in frustration.
“You lost focus, Onii-sama. My plan worked! Alright, it’s my win!”
She checked me with a smile that befitted her age.
Iris was becoming more and more witty lately.
The honest and straightforward Iris that I met was gone.
… Really, even though it was great that she was smiling more, but I think she was completely looking down on me.
And as a gamer, I couldn’t accept losing in games indefinitely.
Even if it was to get back the dignity of an elder brother, I need to make it clear with her who was better.
It had almost been a week since I came to this castle.
Iris had gradually grown close to me, and I had also gotten used to life in the castle.
— It was probably noon.
Iris’ schedule today was to have lesson until three in the afternoon.
After waking up, I didn’t plan to get down from my soft bed, but clapped my hands instead.
This was to summon the butler before the door.
The one who appeared was an elderly man with white hair wearing the attire of a butler.
“What can I do for you, Kazuma-sama.”
I said to the elderly man bowing deeply at me.
“Could I trouble you to prepare some coffee to freshen me up, Sebastian?”
That’s right, my personal butler, Sebastian.
“Thank you, Heidel.”
It was Heidel.
After asking for coffee from the butler Heidel, I laid down onto my bed again.
There was another task waiting for me to begin the day.
The maid Mary will come and change the sheets later.
However, I couldn’t let her change the sheets so easily.
I had to obstruct the maid in all sorts of way to stop her from completing her work.
This was the hobby of the nobles.
When I made Darkness act like a maid, she said that so it couldn’t be wrong.
Before Iris’ lessons end, I would kill time by teasing the maid.
Finally, there was a knocking on the door.
“Good morning Mary. But don’t think I will you change the sheets so easily alright? Come, if you want to quickly finish changing the sheets and go about your other chores, you need to say this. ‘Master, please…’”
But the one who entered was Darkness.
“… Master, please…? What’s next, Kazuma, go on. Here, let everyone here have a listen. Continue.”
Behind Darkness who had a scarily serious expression were the dumbstruck Aqua and Megumin.
“M-Master, please allow me to use the sheets filled with your fragrance…”
“Do what to the sheets filled with your fragrance? What, isn’t sexual harassment the norm for you? Stop acting shy and hurry up! Say it to everyone here!”
“S-spare me…! Anyway, why are you doing here Darkness!? This room is a sanctuary bestowed to me! Who gave you permission to come in!?”
Hearing me lash out in frustration, Darkness’ brow started to burrow…!
“You are asking me why I am here!? To bring you back, of course! Really, how long are you going to trouble them here, go back with me at once! Why, why did you do something so out of place? Megumin was so worried about you being caught up in some trouble and couldn’t sleep!”
“I-I’m not that worried!? I just happened to stay up a few nights. Don’t misunderstand!”
I wanted to question Megumin who was making excuses in a panic, but I heard something that I couldn’t just ignore.
“Don’t joke with me, I took up the position of Iris’ playmate! I want to live happily in this castle, don’t get in the way of my peaceful life!”
“Moron! There is no such job in this country! Listen up, Kazuma. You have no reason to stay in this castle. It is bad to keep a man with an unknown background in the castle!”
“Then I will be Iris’ teacher or something! That unworldly Princess who gets deceived easily will be trained properly by me! By the way, what about you? In terms of unworldliness, you are on the same level as Iris!”
“Why, you really…! Teacher huh, I already heard all that from Claire! Because of you, Iris received weird influences! When she was taking military and battle tactics lessons, she would use absurd strategies or despicable methods…! Unlike adventurers, royalties and knights have to fight honourably! Don’t teach her your unscrupulous way of fighting! Aqua, you tell him too!!”
Having been called by Darkness, Aqua who was furious said to me with her hands on her hips:
“That’s right, it’s not fair that only Kazuma gets to live in the castle! Everyone worked together to defeat the demon king army bosses right!? If Kazuma gets to live in the castle, I should be able to live here too!”
“Be quiet Aqua, you are making things more complicated!”
Darkness pushed Aqua who was complaining that it was unfair for me to get the rewards alone and took a step forward.
“Huh, what? You lost the last time we competed and you still want to challenge me? Even though I think of a muscle brained sheltered lady, but you actually lack the ability to learn huh. I want to live a carefree and happy life in this safe castle. Go back if you don’t want me to make you cry!”
“… Alright, I will take you on. Everyone, please wait outside the room for a while.”
Darkness who was wearing a one piece dress and didn’t even have any weapon said that to me.
The group shuffled out of the room when they heard that while I smiled with confidence.
“Are you serious? You think you can win without your armour and weapon? You are wearing just a flimsy and pretty dress today. If you take a hit from my steal that has certain kill properties in battle, you would end up in a disastrous state.”
“Just try me.”
Darkness treated my words as baseless intimidation and said curtly.
“… Do you really understand? If you wear so little, you will end up naked after taking three hits from steal. I can still forgive you now…”
“I said try me.”
Darkness cut me off and took another step forward.
“Hey, are you kidding me? Is this really okay? I really will do it alright?”
“I’ve already said, try me if you dare! It’s just you and me here! Come, strip me now if you dare!”
This girl didn’t care about that!
“Wait, I get it, let’s talk this over calmly!”
“There is nothing to talk about, I’ve already steeled myself! You can sexual harass others lightly, but are a coward who doesn’t dare to cross that line, strip me if you can! If you strip me and push me down, you can do whatever you want to me! Try me if you have the guts!”
“The one in charge of the erotic stuff! You really are the one in charge of the erotic stuff! I will call you EroNess from now on! Ahhhh it’s breaking it’s breaking! I’m sorry for lying! Some, someone save me!”
Darkness easily grabbed my wrist and pushed me face down. I cried at the door for help.
The one who responded was…
“Er, erm… Lalatina…! Please don’t overdo it…”
Iris who ended her lesson early and came to look for me to play.
Iris seemed a little timid, but she still raised her head and spoke out.
She was hit by Darkness once before, but even so, my sister still tried to help me bravely—
“Princess Iris, you can’t spoil this man! He is a lustful beast wearing the skin of a man. He will bath together with any girl he sees, or steal their panties with skills. That’s the kind of man he is. I will be the sacrifice, so Your Highness, please wait outside…!
After Iris left, I will give this girl hell like what she said.
Specifically speaking, I mean stripping her.
Don’t think I will just be gutless til the very end…!
Iris seemed really depressed when Darkness said that.
She didn’t say a word and fell into lonely silence.
“Ugh… P-Princess Iris…”
Even Darkness found it hard to handle Iris.
Seeing how lonely Iris looked, I maintained my posture and shouted:
“Hey~ making the Princess so sad, you are really the worse it hurts it hurts it hurts!”
“You shut up! … Your Highness Iris, please listen to me. In the mansion inside Axel, this man has some fame as an adventurer. His friends will worry about him if he goes missing. We came here today out of concern for him too… That’s why, can you please let this man go?”
Iris nodded gently with a sad expression when she heard what Darkness said.
“… You are right. Sorry for being so wilful…”
Work hard Iris, just a bit more!
Don’t give up, you have the highest authority in this castle, you can afford to be more wilful!
Iris who was lowering her head suddenly raised it and faced Darkness.
“Lalatina, in that case, at least for tonight… Can I host a farewell dinner party…?”
She pleaded hesitantly.
A dinner party for nobles and royalty.
It was simply too extravagant.
“Hey Kazuma, this is super delicious! This natural melon together with dry-cured ham! This seem to be really fresh wild honeydew, it is really juicy.”
“Kazuma, Kazuma, this is really tasty too… Nom. The high class pudding on the sushi complements the wasabi and soy sauce! I don’t know what dish this is, but the sticky sweetness is mixing with the sauce, making it thick but not greasy…!”
Watching my companions eating the dishes ferociously, I understood how out of place we commoners were.
We borrowed suits and dresses from the castle to dress up, so our appearances matched the event. However, our atmosphere was out of place when compared to the other guests.
Several bartenders hired for this occasion stood at a corner of the hall and mixed cocktails according to the wishes of the guest. But Aqua felt it was a hassle to go to them for seconds, so she dragged her table filled with food before the bartenders and started feasting there.
Megumin who was beside me was filling her empty containers with food hastily.
Normally, someone who would feel embarrassed by this would restrain them…
“Lady Dustiness, it’s a rare sight to see you at such a party, since you dislike them! Ara, I’m so glad that I came tonight! Thanks to that, I get to see the beautiful you!”
“Lady Dustiness, is your father Lord Ignis doing well? I once served under Lord Ignis when I was young…”
“Ahh, Lady Dustiness! I thank the Goddess of Luck Eris for letting me meet you tonight! I have heard of your beauty for the longest time, but you are more beautiful than I imagined…!”
“Really, seeing is believing! Compared to your beauty, even the mystical one night flower that blooms once every century, the moonlight rose loses its luster before you! I know of a place that will suit you. After this party is done, may I have the honour of escorting you?”
“No no no, sir, your house is probably not good enough to escort Lady Dustiness. Please allow me to…”
Darkness was surrounded by a group of nobles, basking in their compliments that reeks of sourness.
As for Darkness herself, she probably had gotten used to such a situation as she rejected their invitation tactfully with a gentle smile.
“Thank you everyone for your warm reception. I am not used to parties, so I hope everyone will go easy on me please.”
I wanted to retort and ask ‘who are you?’
The face of Darkness who was acting like a quiet and gentle lady was cramping.
Maybe she was having a hard time too.
But, she was really popular.
And those surrounding Darkness were young handsome guys with blonde hair and blue eyes.
“So there you are, Lalatina. Oh, you are really popular huh, Lalatina. Your dress suits you really well today, don’t you agree, Lalatina?”
I suddenly sauntered up to her and address her as Lalatina continuously, making Darkness spit out the red wine in her mouth.
“Puah! Cough, ex-excuse me!”
The nobles around her all looked at me in surprise as Darkness wiped her mouth with a handkerchief with tears in her eyes.
“Why the sudden comments, adventurer comrade Satou Kazuma-sama? It would trouble me if you keep calling me by that name in such a place. You sure are mischievous, wouldn’t that lead the others to misunderstand our relationship?”
She maintained her pretty smile and said with strong emphasis on the ‘adventurer comrade’ part.
Really, who are you?
When they heard what Darkness said, the tension of the nobles eased.
“Haha, I was surprised when he addressed Lady Dustiness directly by name. In order to protect the people from monsters and out of interest, Lady Dustiness dabs into the adventurer’s line of work. Ara ara, I almost misunderstood their relationship to be closer than imagines.”
“Well said. However, as expected of Lady Dustiness’ companion, his joke is straight to the point. It might just be a prank, but I am envious that he get to address Lady Dustiness directly by name.”
“Very true, what an enviable position to be in… Speaking of which, has Lady Dustiness been betrothed to anyone yet? If not, please allow me to present myself as the lucky man who would get to address you by your name…”
“No, the honour should be left to me who has been proposing to the Dustiness House all this time…”
The aristocrats started persuading Darkness again, keeping each other in check and refusing to leave Darkness alone.
I was impressed by these handsome guys with money and power.
They sure were persistent and brimming with confidence.
Just when I was about to drop another bomb to tease her.
“—For Lady Dustiness who had been contributing greatly in recent years, there should be a more suitable candidate. At least, it is not the gentlemen gathered here.”
The man who interjected the conversation with such lofty words seemed really familiar.
Hairy body with thinning hair, a huge and fat middle aged man.
“Lord Alderp, that comment is really hurtful…”
Naturally, I won’t forget the lord of Axel town who tried to frame me and get me executed.
“Why the hell are you here?”
“You, it’s you! It’s all because you teleported the core of the destroyer to my mansion, that’s why I have to rebuild it! Before the mansion in Axel is finished, I can only stay in my villa inside the capital! And why is a mere peasant using ‘the hell’ before me!? Address me as Lord Alexei!”
Alderp yelled at me angrily.
So this old man has a villa, how rich.
“By the way, Lord Alderp, who is the man who can match Lady Dustiness? I heard some rumours that you are really obsessed with Lady Dustiness, could it be…”
The group pestering Darkness who was interrupted said sarcastically.
“Of course, it’s not referring to me. Ahh, and not my boy too alright? For Lady Dustiness, leaving her prestigious house aside, we have to consider her personal achievements. And so, there is only one man who is fit to be with Lady Dustiness.”
Alderp said mysteriously with a face of confidence.
A man who could match Darkness in terms of accomplishments.
“You mean me?”
“Things will become complicated, so shut up! Go over there and play with Aqua or Megumin!”
Maybe she couldn’t spare the effort anymore, Darkness’ mask started cracking as she lashed out at me.
Alderp ignored our exchange and said with a smile:
“He is the man commanding our forces alongside His Majesty in the war against the demon king army, His Highness, the First Prince Jatis. Normally, Lady Dustiness would need to take in a husband in order to inherit her father’s title, but they just need to have more children and let the younger one inherit the Dustiness house.”
The aristocrats all had a defeated expression when they heard that.
“Lord Dustiness who always worked in the frontlines is a given, and Lady Dustiness who defeated several bosses of the demon king’s army is also a hero of the kingdom. Marrying his daughter into the royal family will be a fitting reward for Lord Dustiness. And the couple will definitely produce strong, beautiful, and excellent heirs… How about it, aren’t they the perfect match?”
I remember that this old man had a strange obsession towards Darkness.
Did he realize that Darkness was beyond his reach no matter how much he struggled, and finally given up?
“The perfect match made in heaven…”
The nobles reluctantly backed off after hearing those words.
When Darkness was about to say something.
“Hey, what about your complicated relationship with me? Lalatina, are you going to ditch me!?”
Everyone fell into shock after they heard my revelation.
“You you you, what are you saying out of the blue…! Wrong, such an incredible prank to pull, Kazuma-sama. I did mention that such mischief would trouble me in such a setting, right?”
Darkness reached out to me with a smile, as if she wanted to lock hands with a man she was closed to.
I dodged nimbly.
“Lalatina, think back to our sweet moments together! Didn’t we spend every day living under the same roof, and even bathed together!? Didn’t you wash my back!? Recently, you even called me Master in a special type of play…”
“Kazuma-sama, something incredible will happen if your mischief goes too far!”
To fend off Darkness who charged at me without any regards, I took her straight on, pushing each other with our hands clasped high.
“Ara, are you sure this is a good idea Lalatina!? Displaying your monstrous strength before the Lords and Nobles!? I’m at fault for stirring things up, but you need to marry someone eventually right? And you are at the age where it would be terrible for a noble if you don’t marry isn’t it? Young lady, if you show off that strength, no one would want you aahhhhhhh!?”
“Ara ara, Kazuma-dono, what exemplary acting! I am not using much force, but you are acting as if I am! I wonder what will happen if I go at it seriously!? Do you want to experience my power after I levelled up!?”
“You are going overboard with your joke Dustiness-sama!”
— I only felt a little guilty.
Or rather, I felt angry seeing Darkness being this popular and went to disturb her naturally.
It was the feeling of seeing a female friend you were close to but don’t want to date, but felt repulsed about her becoming someone else’s girlfriend.
I was blinded by the rewards and pushed for Darkness’ marriage not too long ago, but now I am getting in her way after I became rich.
It was regrettable, but I am really wilful.
The party was supposedly held in my honour, but thanks to Darkness attracting all the attention, I was basically ignored.
… I wouldn’t be happy about the noble guys surrounding me, and I didn’t feel lonely either.
The aristocratic ladies were chatting with Aqua and Megumin, asking them what brand of shampoo they used and what kind of soap they prefer.
Yup, those girls look fine as long as they keep their gap shut.
… But, I was not envious or anything…!
“– What are you doing in a place like this?”
Iris said to me as I was leaning against the wall in the corner watching everyone enjoying themselves.
“Iris, as expected of Iris! How gentle and considerate, Iris! I was by myself and all alone at the party, you are a great sister, Iris!”
When I showered her with praise, Iris muttered softly and lowered her blushing face.
Recently, she would come to me unhesitantly and talk back, but she was really docile tonight.
Iris leaned against the wall besides me with her face flushed.
As it was a party within the castle, that annoying Claire won’t stick by Iris’ side.
Iris looked at the dazzling hall.
“From tomorrow onwards, this castle will quiet down too. Because the one that made Claire angry and troubled Rain has to go back.”
She said softly as she leaned against the wall.
“During this entire week, the two of them thought of me as an eyesore. By the way, isn’t it great for the castle to become quiet? In my mansion, it is like a riot every day. If I could have one wish, I would wish to have a peaceful life.”
Iris who glanced at me from time to time while leaning on the wall had a sad smile.
… What was happening, just seeing her lonely actions tightened my chest.
Was I such an easy man?
“I shouldn’t say this since I treated you like a little sister from day one, but Iris, you have gotten so close to me just after one week.”
To avoid being noticed that I was moved by a twelve year old kid, I tried diverting the topic.
“Did I troubled you?”
When she looked up and told me that shyly, I was shaken even further.
“No, I am really happy about this. However, I was wondering why you like someone like me so much.”
Somehow, I kept my stiff voice from leaking out and Iris giggled.
“This is the first time I met someone like you. Everyone keeps on their toes around me and showers me with concern. Only one person was lofty, rude, merciless, and taught all sorts of weird things to me, despite me being royalty. He even went all out to compete with me without any semblance of an adult…”
“Hey, I didn’t ask you to list out things you are unhappy about me. I am asking what you like about me alright?”
I expressed my doubt after hearing Iris’ words.
“But I am listing out the reasons I like you though?”
She said with a happy smile…
Damn, she was really cute!
Be it Eris-sama or Iris– why do all the prim and proper girls have such a huge barrier from me?
No, I only see Iris as my sister.
Just treating her like a twelve year old kid!
“By the way, my win-loss records are better in that game, so it’s my victory right?”
“Hey what do you mean by that, towards the end we split the games 50-50, or rather, I have more overwhelming wins. If we play on, it would definitely be my victory.”
“Can’t you just admit your loss honestly? Onii-sama is really a kid!”
“Ara, declaring your victory against a child, aren’t you a child too!?”
After arguing with Iris momentarily, we finally got tired of it and leaned against the wall once again.
Really, being so stubborn to the end.
That might be so, but recently, Iris seemed happy even when she was bickering with me.
After that, Iris and I turned silent and stared at the party absent mindedly.
We talked a lot during this one week together, and I made her mad and made her smile. But for some reasons, the both of us were quiet.
Aqua and Megumin were stuffing themselves with food. Darkness was still being swarmed by nobles.
“My time spent with you during this one week, will definitely be a precious memory for me…”
Iris muttered to herself while looking at these scene.
“I am really envious of Lalatina. She must be having fun every day…”
She said with a lonely smile.
… She got this close to me in just one week.
If I go back, the child would need to suppress her personality to fulfil her obligation as royalty and act as a good child who is not wilful.
… Wasn’t there any way for me to stay in this castle?
How about asking her to appoint me as a knight?
No no no, it would be hard for a weakling like me to get into the Knight Corps even with Iris and Darkness’ influence. And the reason why I was being chased out was because of the bad influence I was giving Iris, and the fact that I wasn’t contributing to this castle meaningfully.
… Maybe a boss of the demon king army would happen to attack?
If I defeat a boss of the demon king army elegantly, my place here would be acknowledged by others, and my slightly wilful request would be granted.
It would be fine even if it wasn’t something that grand, what I wanted was accomplishment that would let me stay in the capital.
I felt that there would be less resistance against me that way…
While I was thinking over this silently, Iris said:
“I want to be an adventurer just like Lalatina. All generations of royalty possess high potential for using magic alright?? I probably can’t be a crusader like Lalatina… But what about a mage or priest? Or maybe… a thief, being something like the chivalrous thief that is the talk of the city would be nice! But would Claire be angry if I say that I want to be a thief?”
She giggled after saying so…
“… Hmm? What did you just say?”
Iris suddenly lift her head and looked at me, tilting her head puzzledly.
“Onii-sama, you don’t know about the chivalrous thief who is the talk of the city? He seemed to be hitting the home of nobles with bad reputations and stealing the wealth they got through despicable means. And on the next day, a large donation would be made to an orphanage ran by the church of Eris… That’s why the thief is known as the chivalrous thief.”
“As a royalty, I probably shouldn’t acknowledge someone who steals as a chivalrous thief… but don’t you think it is cool? I might be situated on the side that was being stolen from… But even so, I still yearn for such a title a little.”
When I see Iris’ eyes that was sparkling, I felt jealous of the masked thief I had never seen before and wanted to capture him.
… Capture the chivalrous thief?
“… It’s decided that it would be you ahhh!”
“Darkness! Dark—ness! … Ah, good, Claire is here too!”
“Why, why are you here again… I am busy, didn’t I tell you to chill somewhere else?”
“H-how can I help you, Kazuma-dono…”
I rushed to Darkness and Claire who seemed annoyed their conversation was interrupted.
“Hey, listen to me! Isn’t the capital in serious trouble!?”
The two of them seemed baffled when I said that.
“Well, it is rather troubling. The royal Princess is badly influenced by an adventurer, if news of her addressing that adventurer as Onii-sama is to reach his Majesty’s ears, you will lose your head.”
“As Lady Dustiness said, I have no intention of covering for you when his Majesty returns from the frontlines. I will report what happened in this castle truthfully.”
“No, not that! I am just accompanying and playing with a young lonely girl who is lonely because her parents are out! Instead of that!!”
I used a voice loud enough for the other nobles to hear.
“What I mean is the chivalrous thief committing crimes in the dark! I heard news about it! The thief is targeting the nobles residing in the capital!”
“That, that’s true, it seems that the nobles with bad reputations had been hit…”
“What do you mean to say, Kazuma-dono.”
In the face of the two confused grand noble, I pointed to my chest with my thumb.
“I will capture that chivalrous thief who disrupts the peace in the city.”
Darkness and Claire were stunned.
At the same time, there was an uproar amongst the nobles.
“He wants to catch that thief, even though the knights and police couldn’t find any clue despite their extensive investigation?”
“Speaking of which, who is that man who had been loitering around suspiciously? I am concerned.”
“Shh! That plain looking man seems to be Lady Dustiness’ comrade…”
“That guy!? Instead of an adventurer, he looks just like a normal man!?”
“I remember he is a NEET who is Princess Iris’ playmate. I saw him being waited on by maids in the courtyard and taking a nap until evening.”
Hey you nobles, I heard that.
But I ignored their whisperings.
“Look, I am close to Darkness who is a noble right? From my point of view, this so-called chivalrous thief who steals from the homes of nobles, no matter how popular he might be with the weak, he is still my enemy. After all, he might target Darkness’ house next.”
“Hey hey! My house didn’t do any evil things that might attract the attention of the chivalrous thief!”
I clenched my fist and said loudly in response to Darkness who retorted dutifully.
“Don’t you agree, Darkness, if it is us who took down the boss of the demon king army, we will definitely be able to solve this case. After all, not only did we save Axel Town, we even resolved the crisis in Alcanretia and the Home of the Crimson Magic! It must be fate since we are here in the capital. Even though he is a chivalrous thief, stealing is still a crime. We can’t ignore this!”
“That, that’s true… But for someone without a sense of justice at all, what are you scheming? Just what do you want?”
It seemed that Darkness couldn’t accept this completely and looked at me with suspicious eyes.
“Look here, if I catch this thief, I can ask to freeload in this castle…”
“I, have never seen such a thick-faced…”
When Claire who was dumbfounded was about to say something.
One of the nobles cheered for me.
The other nobles also joined in…
“As expected of Lady Dustiness’ comrade! Ahhh, no, I didn’t do anything that might make me a target of the thief.”
“He seems to be a man who has fought with the boss of the Demon King Army before. Catching the thief must be a walk in the park for him.”
“Although I have nothing to hide, it would be good if the thief is captured! Of course, I don’t feel that I would be targeted.”
This bunch was really easy to read.
… But this was the effect I was after.
This way, I could continue to stay in this castle using the excuse of capturing the thief.
If the thief was caught, I could stay here formally and receive some rewards too.
Even if I couldn’t catch him, the longer the search, the longer I could stay with Iris.
The eyes of Iris who was behind me brimmed with expectation.
Really, you do like seeing your Onii-sama in action huh!
Leave it to me, after I laze around the castle for a while longer, I will catch the thief properly!
Claire looked at me and pondered for a moment, and knocked her fist on top of her open palm as if she figured out something.
“I understand. Kazuma-dono, please moved into the house of a noble you think would be targeted and stay on guard there. If you do catch the thief, I can consider letting you stay in the castle… Please don’t hold back everyone, please do all you can to assist Kazuma-dono!”