Gifting the Stay-at-home Princess with Bad Friends!
Editors: Darkdhaos, TaintedDreams
“Demon King Army raid alert! Demon King Army raid alert! We detected a Demon King Army group forming up in the plains nearby! Knights Corps prepare to move out. Because of the massive scale of the attack, we are appealing for the adventurers within the capital to join in the battle! All high level adventurers, please gather urgently in front of the castle!”
The broadcast that echoed through the capital at dawn.
At the same time, the place that was quiet had started getting rowdy.
“Kazuma, you awake!? You heard the broadcast just now!? Get your gear ready!”
Along with Darkness’ frantic shouts, a knocking sound came from the door.
“I’m still sleeping.”
“Idiot, this is no time for jokes! The Demon King Army is here, we have to join in the fight too!”
I poked my head out of my blankets and answered to the door that was being knocked even harder.
“You are the one who’s kidding me! Listen to what’s being broadcasted, ‘all high level adventurers, please gather urgently in front of the castle’. I’m only level 17, I can’t even be considered a mid level adventurer. And there are skilled adventurers like Mitsurugi gathered in the capital right? Even without us, they can repel the Demon King Army easily.”
“Why, why you! Forget it, I will join the fray with Aqua and Megumin! Low level adventurers just need to hide in their beds and shiver!”
Darkness, who was rapping the door, walked away with loud angry steps.
“Not going! Why must I go to such a dangerous place!? I came to the capital to play! And you want me to fight the Demon King Army? Definitely not going!”
“Aqua, stop squirming around! This is a battle against the Demon King Army, the more healers we have, the better! Just look at Megumin! See how pumped she is…!”
“Darkness, I won’t be going to the castle, I’ll go straight to the Demon King Army! If things turned chaotic after the battle, I won’t be able to use my spell! The first shot is mine! Or rather, just let me used my powered up magic to wipe out the Demon King Army in one go!”
“Wait, Megumin, don’t fool around! Aqua stop playing, let go of the bed! Really, Kazuma, I beg of you, please think of something!!”
How long were they going to be so noisy!
On top of that, I won’t be troubled by money woes once I return to Axel Town.
There was no benefit in risking my life in this battle…
I throw off the blanket and jumped up.
Even if I took part in this battle, the remuneration wasn’t attractive to me.
But, what if I achieved great merits in the battle…?
That’s right, capturing the thief was a failure, but if I accomplish something prominent…!
Also, there were supposedly many adventurers with cheat-like powers such as Mitsurugi in the capital.
It was unlikely that we would lose, if I emphasized my presence during this battle and reached the status of the guardian of the royal capital, there might be a chance for me to stay in the castle.
There wasn’t a need to act like a dynasty warrior against the Demon King Army.
I just needed to show off my efforts all over the battlefield.
“Don’t force me Darkness, I have a bad feeling about this! This is the instinct of a goddess! The same feeling as the ice cream you bought dropping onto the floor, or all the lottery ticket you collected from a shop not winning! An accident will surely happen! So I beg of you, I will give you one of my sausages from breakfast, so see you tomorrow!”
“Let me go Darkness! ‘When the kingdom’s soldiers reached the battlefield, they could only see the Demon King Army that had been utterly and mercilessly destroyed, as well as a mage leaving quietly…!’ I want to recreate this scene! This is my chance, let me go!”
“Kazuma! I can’t do this alone, do something about these two!”
I opened the door fully armed and said to the noisy trio:
“What are you lot doing, a crisis is upon us. Off we go! Now is our turn to take the field!”
— When we reached the castle, a fully armed knight corps had already gathered and was standing in organized formations. There was a large group of adventurers too.
“Adventurers gather this way! There are no specific instructions for everyone! As you have not received training in military group maneuvers, you will be acting separately from the knight corps, so just fight freely! I will inspect everyone’s adventurer card before the battle. We will provide additional rewards based on the number of monsters you subjugated after the battle, please do your best!”
It was probably one of the staff members from the guild in the capital that gave the instructions through a loudhailer type magic item.
We mustered at the designated area and a staff member requested for us to show our adventurer card.
After inspecting my card, the staff frowned a little uneasily and said with an apologetic face:
“Satou Kazuma-san right? I am sorry, but it is too dangerous to take part if you don’t have a top tier job and you are below level 30, so we can’t accept your participation. Please return and defend the city…”
“It’s fine. That man is a veteran adventurer who achieved plenty of merits.”
The one who interrupted the staff was Claire who made her way to us before I noticed.
Claire and a group of nobles probably came here to raise the morale of the knights and adventurers mustered before the castle.
And the nobles were looking at me with expectant eyes.
Despite the failure in apprehending the chivalrous thief, they were still looking forward to observe our prowess that defeated multiple bosses of the Demon King Army.
At this moment, I saw a figure looking down at us from the balcony in the castle.
On a closer look, it was Iris who was looking straight at me with eyes filled with expectations.
Without a doubt, this will spur my fighting spirit.
Leave it to me, Onii-chan will work hard!
… At this moment, someone tugged on my sleeve.
“Kazuma-san, Kazuma-san. I am very smart and have the ability to learn. I will definitely get into trouble if I take part. For example, a kid whose head was caught in the door when she was young might drag me into her explosion spell. Or someone whose brain is squashed by muscles might attract monsters and pull me into danger. Say, it’s not too late, why don’t we return to Axel Town?”
“Not just Aqua, I have the ability to learn too, so that kind of thing won’t happen!”
“Hey Aqua, can you not call me a muscle head? It feels as if the impression of me being the dumbest had been fixed…”
I faced the uneasy Aqua and showed a fearless smile.
“What, the opponents are just mobs that have numbers. It is about time for me to strut my stuff!”
After I made my determined announcement, the nobles around me showed their face full of expectations.
Claire then faced the knights in neat formation and the gathered adventurers, and commanded loudly.
“— Demon King Army subjugation group, move out!”
“… Hello. It’s been a while, Eris-sama.”
When I came to, I was standing in the middle of a familiar shrine.
Just how many times had I died so far?
Killed by Jack Frost, snapped my neck falling down from a tree.
“Sorry, I didn’t think that I would be killed by Kobolds at this level…”
I was mobbed and clobbered to death by Kobolds.
That’s right, those kind of Kobolds.
Monsters that you grind to gain levels, and a synonym for mob monsters in this world— I was surrounded and bashed to death by them.
I looked at Eris who was silent before me.
“Let me explain, Eris-sama. Things were going well until the middle part. After receiving buffs from Aqua, I followed behind Darkness. The powerful monsters had been taken by the other adventurers, but I felt that I could kill more monsters than that bunch…”
That’s right, things were going well in the beginning.
I kept drawing my bow as I hid behind Darkness, and kept accumulating kills.
It turned into a free for all battle shortly later. In order to save the wailing Aqua who had been bitten by the Kobolds—
“‘The likes of Kobolds are nothing’, ‘I have grown stronger too’ — With such thinking in mind, I charged forth to build on my victory…”
As I chased the weaker Kobolds all over the place because of my arrogance, I was deep inside enemy grounds before I realized it and was surrounded and mobbed by a huge group of Kobolds.
Oh no, it would be so embarrassing if I revive now.
I even made a declaration of victory before the fight, and now I got clobbered to death by Kobolds. I really felt like digging a hole and hiding in there.
Eris didn’t speak all this while, she definitely had no words for me.
“Er, erm, Eris-sama? I will reflect on dying so carelessly, can you please soothe your anger?”
I asked timidly and Eris replied with a blushed face.
“… Sexual harassment, is bad.”
She glared at me.
Cold sweat ran down my back.
Speaking of which, Eris could see what was happening in the mortal world.
I groped that thief girl so eagerly not too long ago, and she happened to be a devoted Eris believer.
Eris was probably angry about her important devotees being bullied.
“No, let me explain Eris-sama, it couldn’t be helped. When I first grabbed her, I thought she was a boy because her chest was too thin… No, I am really sorry, please forgive me, I won’t find any more excuses!”
Seeing Eris’ mood becoming worse, I got down on my knees and lowered my head in apology.
“… Really, your sexual harassment is really too much. I will only forgive you this one time, okay?”
Eris sighed and scratched her cheeks troublingly.
“Thank you for your magnanimity, Eris-sama! I was just thinking what I should do if the important orthodox main heroine Eris-sama was to detest me.”
“You are saying such things again… Aren’t you overjoyed because of your new sister?”
Just how much did you spy, Eris-sama.
While I was dumbfounded, Eris chuckled.
“I will stop my teasing here. Also, I have a request for you.”
“… Request for me?”
“The devoted who was sexually harassed by you last night already told you part of it right? The divine relic Aqua-sempai gave to the reincarnated people is circulating in the world.”
“Oh right, there’s that too. By the way, if I remember correctly, the divine relic will choose its owner right? I thought I could use that cheat-like magic sword when I took it, but I learned that it would just be a normal sword in the hands of others.”
That’s right, I thought I could use it when I stole that magic sword from Mitsurugi, but was informed of that instead.
“This explanation is correct… The divine relic will only display its full power in the hands of the one who had been bestowed with it. A powerful magic sword that can cut through anything will become a normal sword. A staff that can draw forth endless mana will become a normal staff that increases mana regeneration. Other such divine relics wouldn’t give much problem if they were misused…”
According to Eris, the two divine relics that were lost would affect the world greatly even if it couldn’t use its original power.
Firstly, the divine relic that could summon and command monsters without needing to pay the price. It will become a magic item that would require paying a price after summoning monsters.
The other was a divine relic that could exchange body with another person. The effect changed from being permanent to temporary.
A keyword needed to be said in order to use either of the divine relics, so they can’t be misused so easily even if they were lost in the world.
But there was still a one in a million chance.
If someone uttered the keyword and summoned a monster inside a city, it would be terrible.
If someone walking the dog switched body with his pet coincidently, a new type of Kobold would come into existence.
“Hand the retrieved divine relic to Aqua-sempai to seal. There are no rewards or fame for this job. And you can’t bring up the divine relic to people you don’t trust. Since it is possible to for people other than the reincarnated person to use a toned down power of the divine relic, there might be people who might go after the life of all the reincarnated people.”
Eris held my hands seriously.
“Will you heed my request to collect the divine relics back?”
— When I opened my eyes, I found Aqua looking at me with all smiles.
“Kazuma-san who died to the Kobolds, welcome back!”
I really felt like beating her up!
“Is that the first thing you say to someone who just revived!? Learn how to act like a goddess from Eris-sama!”
After lecturing Aqua, I looked around me. The battle was over.
“… Hey, this might sound conceited to the person who resuscitated me, but can’t you do it earlier, when there is a chance for me to redeem my honour?”
“Why should I revive someone who died to Kobolds? If you die again shortly after, it would be a hassle.”
I croaked that easily just now, so I couldn’t retort her.
“… Hey, I have one more thing to ask. Is that alcohol I smell on you? Did you took a swig of wine in the middle of battle?”
“Of course not. The wine was given to me by everyone after my exemplary performance in battle. While Kazuma was lying down as a corpse, everyone acted amazingly. I wish I could show you how big a contribution my ‘Turn Undead’ and healing spells were!
… I see.
That was why Aqua was showered by gaze full of respect and admiration from all around.
“Last question… Why is there something heavy tied on to me?”
“Well, Darkness said it would be troublesome if Kazuma’s corpse gets damaged in the battle, she asked me to throw you in a corner so you wouldn’t get in the way. But after Kazuma was dumped in a corner, there was a monster that attempted to drag you away…”
“Enough, I don’t want to hear the rest! I get it, you didn’t want me to be dragged off, that’s why you tied me down with something heavy! Thank you for your kindness! I have been thinking about this all this while, you guys really have no respect for the dead!”
After getting a grip on the situation, I checked my surroundings again.
The scale of the Demon King Army attack this time was rather large.
Even though a rookie like me can’t grasp the numbers accurately, the subjugated monsters were easily over a thousand.
Despite that, there was no one with obvious injury, or any death.
“Aqua-san, thank you for your hard work in resuscitation. Here, this way please!”
“Ara, as expected of an arch priest, what splendid technique! You even mastered resurrection…!”
“Thanks to you, there are no casualties around here! Aqua-san, thank you very much!”
After Aqua revived me, several knights came to thank her.
I see, Aqua healed the injuries of all the wounded.
Her performance was unlike her usual wacky actions and speech.
“Kazuma, you have revived! Are you fine? Does it hurt anywhere?”
Darkness whose face and armour showed signed of being charred came over with several knights in tow.
From her tattered armour, she fought really hard.
“Lady Dustiness! That was a wondrous performance!”
“That’s right, it was simply marvelous! Ara, the way Lady Dustiness took the spell with an easy expression, and the way she charged into the middle of the Demon King’s Army was astonishing!”
“I won’t forget the face of the Demon King commander when he saw the way you fought any time soon!”
“Thanks to Lady Dustiness drawing all the enemy’s attention, there weren’t any heavy injuries. You were a big help!”
The knights looking at Darkness with admiration kept on praising her.
I see. In such a large scale battle, Darkness’ aggro must have been incredibly effective.
Darkness’ attacks might be terrible, but her defence was the best in Axel.
I felt a bit vexed for missing the rare chance of seeing her putting on a show.
Speaking of which, where was Megumin?
… As I was searching for her, I found Megumin who was being carried like a fragile item on a stretcher approaching.
The knights leading the way for the stretcher chased off the crowd of adventurers who were peering curiously.
“Hey, the MVP of the battle is coming through, make way!”
“Great work, Megumin-san. Make way, you want to be blown away by an explosion spell!?”
“The top mage in Axel who returned everything into dust, Megumin-san is coming through! Make way!”
… What the hell.
Looking carefully, I could see a giant crater somewhere in the distance.
“When the battle became chaotic, Megumin was frustrated because she can’t use her spell. But the Demon King Army started to withdraw when things were going badly for them. In the end, the enemy commander said :”This is just a prelude battle. One day, I will bring an army several times this size and grind the capital into dust!” After that, when he was attempting to escape…”
Aqua looked at Megumin as she explained.
“Ara— that felt great, Megumin-san!”
“That’s right! That commander had been getting on my nerves since long ago! That bastard, dropping that type of speech and running whenever things get dangerous.”
“But this is wonderful! Casting the magic into the center of the retreating Demon King Army and saying ‘I am Megumin! The number one arch wizard of Axel, user of explosion magic…! You are the one who will return to dust…!’ Megumin-san was so cool that time!”
“That’s right, this is the best! To think that you can cast such a powerful spell by exhausting all your mana!”
Megumin was carried over as if she was on a pedestal, and she seemed to be enjoying this treatment.
“Isn’t that right! However, there is no way a small fry like that could stand before my ultimate technique. After all, I am the one who sent the Demon King Army boss into the other world, and even pulverized the legendary bounty target, the Destroyer!!”
Megumin got even cockier now that she was carried on a stretcher.
“So it’s true you took down the Destroyer!?”
“What a great arch wizard! Megumin-san, can you show me some magic other than explosion!?”
“Ohh, allow me to witness it too! I wish to learn the destructive power hidden behind Megumin-san’s advanced magic!”
“… Well, I do want to show it to you, but I already exhausted my mana. Such a shame…”
“Of course. It’s fine if you do so tomorrow too, Megumin-san!”
“Ara, I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!”
“I will tell the others too!”
“… W-well, erm, I might be busy tomorrow… Ah, Kazuma! Great, you have revived! It must be difficult for you after just reviving, so let me look after Kazuma tomorrow…!”
… Megumin got into trouble because she let her cockiness get to her head, but it looked funny, so I let her be.
“The knights and adventurers have returned victoriously—!”
Someone started it with a shout, and the capital erupted in cheers.
We were greeted by the exuberant crowd in the city when we returned to bring news of our triumph.
Some lowered their head in gratitude while others raised their arms in glee.
Seeing this scene, the knights and adventurers entered the castle proudly with their head held high.
After entering, I could see Iris and Claire leading a group of happy nobles waiting for us.
Claire was wearing white as usual walked in front of us.
“Dear Knights and adventurers! Thank you for your hard work! The capital is safe thanks to your exemplary performance! Her Highness Iris expressed her sincere gratitude on behalf of the Kingdom… Look forward to your bounty payment!”
The adventurers cheered excitedly when they heard that.
“Also! To reward everyone for their efforts, we are preparing a banquet. Everyone must be tired after the battle ended. Please rest until evening before coming back to the castle. We will then present a special reward for those with outstanding performance! That is all, thank you everyone!”
The cheers reached its crescendo, and the adventurers’ started getting excited. They acknowledged the cheers happily as they talk about how to kill time until evening and left.
“Lady Dustiness, pray tell us about the detail of the battle inside the castle…”
“I heard about your exploits in this battle…!”
“Right, I wish to learn about Lady Dustiness’ glamourous fight too!”
Darkness was surrounded by nobles and brought to the castle in a blink of an eye.
She looked towards me for help as she was being taken away, but as the man who was killed by Kobolds, I didn’t want to attract too much attention.
“Hey Kazuma. Before the party begins, I am going to preach to the people I healed and invite them to join the Axis Cult. I healed them after all, they should show me their gratitude.”
“They will thank you properly even if you don’t bring it up. You are always doing such things, that’s why your devotees doesn’t increase.”
Aqua ignored my advice and walked towards the knights.
After watching her go, a voice came from behind me.
“Ah, just put me down here. I will let my comrade carry me.”
The knights who carried her all the way here in a grand formation lowered the stretcher gently on Megumin’s request.
After being lowered, Megumin gestured at me to come over.
I didn’t recall being her designated piggy backer.
“Didn’t you say you will take care of me who had just revived?”
“I will do that tomorrow, please spare me for today. Kazuma, we will be returning to Axel tomorrow right, let’s leave first thing in the morning.”
After being carried on my back, Megumin said as she wrapped her arms around my neck as usual.
At this moment, Iris ran to us with an innocent smile.
“It’s great that you are safe, Onii-sama! Welcome back!”
“Oh, it’s Iris. No, I’m not completely fine. I died and was revived.”
Iris stopped in her track in shock.
“You died once!? Onii-sama, are you alright!? Come rest in the castle until the banquet begins, Onii-sama’s room is still being kept in the same state!”
“She said Onii-sama again!!”
“Thank you. But you don’t need to worry so much, the resuscitation was done perfectly.”
Megumin who was on my back was really noisy all this while.
Why was she so excited about the phrase Onii-sama?
“That’s a relief… But Onii-sama, did you achieve a great enough merit for you to stay in the castle!?”
Iris’s expression turned from gloomy to bright in an instant as she asked expectantly.
“No, that… Well, I will fail sometimes too right? My condition wasn’t good, so I didn’t accomplish much…”
“Is that so… But it is enough that you came back safely! And even if you didn’t achieve any merits, it is still a fact that you fought for the capital. I will plead with Claire once more and maybe Onii-sama can stay in the castle!”
“Thank you Iris. However, my death was really embarrassing, so it probably won’t work… Anyway, I will see you tonight.”
Iris looked really lonely after hearing what I said.
“… I haven’t seen you for just a while, and that Iris kid is really close to you huh.”
After Iris and Claire returned to the castle, Megumin who was on my back commented.
“Right? I finally have a sister I was looking forward to so much. Maybe I do like girls younger than me.”
“… After we go back to Axel, I will call you Onii-chan then.”
“You are an important Loli character alright? I’d prefer to have another younger sister instead.”
“Hey, it’s about time you stop treating me as a Loli character!”
Together with Megumin who was strangling me nimbly while on my back, we returned to my old room.
After returning to the place I used to stay in, I put Megumin down on the couch as she looked around the place.
“Hmm, this place isn’t bad. Living a casual life under the care of the maids and butlers huh. I understand why you don’t want to go back.”
“I know right? The food is nice and the servants attending to your every needs. You would not want to go back if you stayed here too, Megumin… Ah— in the end, I didn’t accomplish much, so I have to return tomorrow…”
I took off my gears as I said that and sat on the bed.
As I swung my legs, Megumin who had yet to recover much of her mana replied lazily:
“… I think this is great too. Showing my prowess in the capital is fun too… However, I like the times when we complete quests together and bicker rowdily in Axel the most. From tomorrow onwards, the four of us can live together again.”
She said with a smile from the bottom of her heart…
“Oh, yeah, you are right. I am not that serious about wanting to live in the castle!”
My emotions were running high because of Megumin’s reaction for some reason. To conceal it, I kept swinging my legs.
“Really? You might be saying that now, but don’t you really enjoy your time together with that child Iris?”
Megumin asked me teasingly, amusing herself based on my reaction.
How should I put this, in the end, I only think of her as a sister…
That’s right, I just couldn’t leave her alone when I see that kid.
She was another type of loner that was different from Yunyun…
At this moment.
“Onii-sama, sorry for disturbing you…”
We were just talking about Iris and here she was, calling out to me.
“— I am very sorry, Onii-sama can’t stay in the castle. Even though I tried to convince Claire in all sorts of ways…”
Iris who was sitting beside me said with a depressed face.
“It can’t be helped. Or rather, it is my fault for not doing enough.”
“Onii-sama, you don’t need to apologize. You literally put your life on the line to fight…”
Iris then looked at me with tears in her eyes.
Looking at her serious expression, I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the fact that I was clobbered to death by a mob of Kobolds because I got too arrogant and wandered too far into enemy territory. I simply looked quietly at Iris.
And so, the two of us stared at each other in silence.
“… Did the two of you forgot that I am here?”
“No!? I, I didn’t forget!?”
“Iris is right, I didn’t forget about Megumin! I am not a lolicon, don’t look at me with such suspicious eyes! Iris is just like my sister, there is nothing strange about this atmosphere! …W-what, Iris, don’t look at me with such sad eyes, wouldn’t that cause more misunderstanding, even I might misunderstand too!!”
Megumin ignored my suspicious actions and seemed to realize something.
“… Hmm? As expected of your Highness, you have a powerful magic item on you. The amount of mana is worlds apart from others. Is that necklace a divine level magic item? It doesn’t seem to be a product of the Home of the Crimson Magic, just where did it come from?”
Her interest was piqued by the necklace on Iris.
On Iris’ chest was a necklace with a simple design that had a different style from the other accessories she was wearing.
“You mean this? I think this was a necklace that was given as a tribute to my real Onii-sama… As the representative of the royal family, I am just holding on to it for my Onii-sama who is out on an expedition.”
Megumin leaned forward with sparkling eyes as she studied the necklace.
“And so, what powers does this magic item have? With its extraordinary magic power, its effects must be spectacular! It might be a magic item strong enough to destroy the world!”
Your fetish was obvious to see.
“No, actually… The way to use this magic item isn’t known yet. It is said that the powers of the magic item can be activated by chanting the keyword… Word-like engraving can be seen on it, but the scholars in the castle couldn’t decipher it despite their research…”
Iris showed the reverse side of the necklace to us.
Something was carved on it…
“Hmm? Isn’t that Japanese? ‘Your things are mine, my things are yours. I will turn into you!’… Who made this kind of keyword, are you kidding me?”
Or rather, such a sloppy keyword…
The one who handed the divine relic to the Japanese was the prime suspect.
“Hmm? W-wait, Kazuma, the Princess’ necklace is shining!?”
“O-Onii-sama!? Could it be, the magic item is activating…!?”
“Eh. W-wait, throw it out! Iris, throw it out the window right now!!”
As Iris and I frantically tore the necklace off, the gem in the middle of the necklace shot out a beam of light…!
“… Hmm? Nothing happened.”
After listening to what Megumin said, I opened my tightly shut eyes.
And I was right before me.
With my hands still stretched out, I was using a stunned face and staring at me.
“How long are you two going to stare at each other? Just now too, don’t keep forgetting about my existence.”
Megumin sighed without hesitation despite this strange event…
“Wrong, Megumin, something incredible just happened!”
“W-what, addressing me directly by name is really callous of you, Your Highness. I am an older sister, if you want to call Kazuma Onii-sama, then address me as ‘Megumin-Nee’ or ‘Onee-sama’… And it’s better for you to not talk in such a tone alright? That Claire woman said that you received a bad influence after getting involved with Kazuma, I think it’s too late to save you.”
Megumin looked at me with regretful eyes…
The me who was standing before my eyes raised his hand timidly.
“E-erm… I am Iris…”
Everyone turned silent.
“… I-I-I turned into Iris!? What is going on!? Ahhhh! For real!? A dress! I am wearing a flimsy dress! What is this, the fresh feeling of wearing woman’s clothing right after opening my eyes!”
“Onii-sama!? Onii-sama is inside my body!? Onii-sama, don’t do something so crude with my body!”
“Because, because this is bad in all sorts of manner, Iris! The dress is bad, I can’t rest easy for the lower half! Girls are amazing, to walk so confidently in public in such a defenseless state!”
As I was flipping my skirt around, me, no, Iris who was in my body grabbed onto me in tears.
“Onii-sama, don’t do that anymore! You can’t, stop!”
“You are the one who should stop! I have a rough idea what happened, but the scene of you hugging that body who is flipping the skirt around is too impactful!”
Someone knocked on the door suddenly.
“Iris-sama!? I heard you scream just now, what did they do to you!?”
Claire’s voice could be heard.
She seemed to be standing by outside the room as Iris’ escort.
In order to stop her from opening the door, I blocked it from the inside.
“C-Claire, it’s nothing! I just got a little excited when I was chatting with Onii-sama!”
“Is, is that so? That’s fine, but don’t chat too long with that man. Or you will learn bad things from him.”
“I-I’m fine, please carry on your sentry duties!”
After saying that, I slid down to the floor slowly with my back to the door as my heart was filled with the strange new experience of being forced to wear a dress and speaking in a female tone.
— The three of us sat in a circle in the middle of the room, reviewing what just happened.
“What should we do next? Personally, I don’t mind living as a pretty young girl from now on, but it is hard to give up the body that had been with me since birth. How can we undo this?”
“You just said something incredible just now. By the way, does anything feel unnatural to you? Any pain or discomfort?”
“I have no problem. As for my personal opinion, erm… A man’s body is tall and strong. I feel like going out on an adventure right now.”
“I am sorry Princess, but I hope you don’t speak in such a tone with that body…”
Megumin seemed to be on the verge of tears as she looked at Iris.
“But what a failure. Even when we tried that keyword again, the necklace only glowed, but the swapping didn’t occur…”
We tried using the power of the necklace again, but the swapping didn’t work again.
“There might be a keyword to undo the swap. But this is an amazing item since it can swap people’s body. I have never heard of such a powerful magic item before.”
Megumin’s words made Iris depressed.
“What should we do… We can’t go back to normal like this right? I will have to live on as an adventurer… Chased out of the castle and be a free adventurer… Find reliable comrades and defeat the monsters blocking my way one after another, and travel to cities I have never been to before…! Onii-sama, what should I do!? I don’t really hate such a life! Even if my body stays like this forever!”
“Calm down your highness! You just said something really stupid!”
Iris’ expression kept changing, her depressed look turned into a bright face. But we couldn’t go on like this.
If the source of the magic item’s power originates from a curse, Aqua should be able to do something about it…
… Speaking of Aqua, I remembered.
That’s right, this body swapping magic item was the one given to a Japanese by Aqua…!
“It will be fine, I know what this magic item actually is! This is a divine relic. If someone other than the one it was bestowed upon uses it, the body swap would be temporary. I don’t know how long it would take, but we definitely won’t stay this way forever.”
Megumin sighed in relief after hearing what I said.
Iris had a complicated expression for some reason.
“… Which means, we will return to normal if we just wait it out. It will be great if we recover before the victory party tonight…”
I walked to the bed and was about to sleep until it was time for the party.
“O-Onii-sama! Erm… I have a request!”
Iris sat properly in front of the bed with a serious face.
If she sat like that with my body, it feels as though I was being lectured, I really wish she didn’t do that.
“W-what? … Haha, Iris is about that age too, curious about a boy’s body right? Hey, toying with my body is no good.”
“T-that’s not it! Onii-sama, I should be telling you not to be mischievous with my body! …W-well… Even if it’s just once, I hope to take a look outsider the castle without bringing my vassals along…”
Iris peeked at my face uncomfortably, like a child afraid of being scolded by a parent.
As she was always followed by a vassal, she had never properly toured the city she was born and raised in.
Even if she wants to sightsee, she couldn’t visit the shops as she likes with a group of guards in tow.
But, she could stroll around outside with my body.
… However, would the unworldly Iris be fine alone?
I didn’t know how to answer, and Megumin who had been keeping quiet sighed.
“You two are really a handful. Kazuma can’t accompany you like this, so I will follow you. It’s fine, I won’t ask for much like your vassals. Even if you dislike someone’s face and pick a fight, I will just watch from the sides.”
“You should stop her then, why else would you be accompanying her!?”
Iris stood up happily.
“Let’s go together then, Onee-sama!”
“Ah, well… I did ask you to address me as Onee-sama just now, but please just call me Megumin…”
… Was it really fine for her to be an escort?
“Megumin-san, please take care of me!”
“Leave it to me. From bargaining prices to handling people looking for trouble, I will teach you everything.”
Would they really be fine!?
After sending Iris and Megumin off, I strolled inside the castle with Claire in tow.
Since both of them had left, it wasn’t appropriate for the Princess to stay inside my room alone.
I was planning to kill time causally before Iris and Megumin return from their trip.
Everyone lowered their head and bowed to me during my stroll.
I nodded in an exaggerated way in response.
Oh no, this felt really pleasant, I might get addicted to this.
“… Your Highness, what happened in that man’s room just now? The air about you seemed different… Did he teach you something bad?”
Claire who was walking behind me was talking something rude again.
“Claire, that isn’t a nice thing to say about Kazuma-san. He is a great person, he might even leave his name in the Kingdom’s history books.”
“Princess Iris, tell me what did he say to you!? As I suspected, it would be better to finish that man off…”
I really wish she wouldn’t think of such a dangerous thing right behind the person in question.
I could see the figures of adventurers everywhere I walked.
They were probably just killing time before the victory feast tonight.
Looking carefully, the people standing there were those who had exemplary performance.
Most of them had black hair and eyes, probably Japanese just like me.
I thought about chatting with my fellow countrymen, but it wasn’t convenient because of my current body.
“Hmm, isn’t this Princess Iris and Lady Claire?”
At this moment, a familiar adventurer greeted me.
Claire replied happily when she saw this adventurer.
“Mitsurugi-dono, you performance is wonderful this time too! My apologies for letting you take on the dangerous role of vanguard again.
The one talking to me was the adventurer Mitsurugi.
Mitsurugi showed us the refreshing smile of a cool guy.
“Not at all, this is nothing. I think of protecting Your Highness Iris who watches over the citizens of the Kingdom as my duty.”
He gently patted my head as he said that.
“Claire, sentence this insolent man who touched my head to death.”
“Princess Iris, you have been acting strangely since just now. What happened!?”
He probably won over all kinds of girls unknowingly by patting their head and chatting them up with a smile.
I chased the natural airhead Mitsurugi away and continued exploring the castle.
There was a reason why I was wandering around the castle.
“Say Claire, where is Lalatina? I want to tease… No, I want to compliment her for her efforts in this battle.”
“Lady Dustiness suffered flame attacks during the battle and is covered in soot all over. She is bathing right now…”
“Claire lead the way! I am going in right now to wash her back!”
“Your Highness!? What is the matter? For a royalty to wash the back of a vassal, even if it is Lady Dustiness…”
“As thanks for all the hard work you have done, I will wash your back too, Claire. Do you dislike it?”
“No such thing Princess Iris! Let’s go, come, hurry!”
Claire usually displays exceptional loyalty towards Iris, but her expression seemed a bit dangerous as she walked briskly in front of me as if she was in a trance.
When we reached the bath inside the castle, we entered the changing room and ran right into Darkness who had just finished bathing.
Regrettably, she had already dressed herself.
“Greetings Princess Iris, are you cleansing your body before the banquet?”
Darkness said with a smile as she dried her hair with a towel.
“No, I just wanted to wash the back of Lalatina who performed wonderfully during the battle… But it seems that I came too late. Such a pity…”
I lowered in my head depressedly and Darkness became frantic.
“N-not really! I couldn’t waste Your Highness’ goodwill! There is still plenty of time, I will enter the bath again!”
She started taking her clothes off in a hurry.
“Dark…! L-Lalatina, wait, if you take off your clothes without any shame or hesitation, I, I have not braced myself mentally…!”
“P-Princess Iris, what’s the matter? Your cheeks are turning red…”
Darkness who was stripping looked at me with a concerned expression.
Her face is too close, her underwear is… No she wasn’t wearing a bra!
Ah, right, she would be wearing a dress for the feast, her strap will show if she wore a bra!
As I was staring at Darkness, Claire who had changed and wrapped herself in a towel was watching me worryingly…
“Your Highness, are you feeling alright? You have been acting strangely since just now…”
She said as she placed her cool hands onto my cheeks…!
… I understood now.
Why the Japanese who reincarnated before me wanted this divine relic.
Iris will know from the scent of the soap that I have bathed after reverting back, but I didn’t care about it right now.
A great man in Japan once said:
“Worry about tomorrow’s problem, tomorrow.”
Goddess of Fortune Eris. I express my deep gratitude for possessing such great luck…
As I offered my prayer between these two half naked beauties and was about to take my own clothes off…
My consciousness suddenly flew away—
“— How dare you speak to the boss like this! You must have braced yourself huh!”
“You, you bastard, bad mouthing the boss that far! Look, the boss turned dumb because of your words!”
“D-don’t be stupid, I didn’t turn dumb! I am just a bit shocked after being scolded so badly for the first time in my life!”
Before me were three angry men.
… Eris-sama, changing channels when I was about to stripped, that’s too cruel.
“Yes that’s the way, well said! Next is the winning line! ‘… Enough talk. I am not that free either. I will turn you all into my experience points…!’ You will make the grade after saying that, all that is left would be to beat all of them up!”
Megumin who was on my back said. She seemed out of breath.
… Hold it, what was with this situation.
I know that I have returned to my original body, but what were Iris and Megumin doing, this looked like a prelude to a fight!
“Looking down on us this much…! Let’s get it on!”
What did they say to the guy called boss before me? He swung his fist at me with tears in his eyes.
“Uwah!? You, you guys! Can’t you see that I have someone on my back, you despicable scoundrels!? If you want to fight, let me put her down first!”
“Despicable scoundrels!? Hey, aren’t you the one who said ‘I don’t need to go all out against trash like you. I will give you a handicap, so you three come at me together’!”
“Just how much do you want to insult our boss! What did he ever do to you!?”
“It’s fine, let’s just beat them up! Calling us delinquents out of the blue, let’s make them suffer!
After taking a hit, my response agitated them further.
“Kazuma, are you back to normal! Hurry, transfer your mana to me via drain touch, then I can fight as well!”
“You are the one who stirred up this trouble! Settle it yourself!”
I nursed my face that was hit as I transferred mana to Megumin with tears in my eyes—!
“They are just a bunch of delinquents, powerless before my overwhelming strength.”
“Your job is not the physical attack type, but you are still a high level adventurer. Why did you get so serious in beating up normal people?”
We defeated the trio, but left for the castle as the number of onlookers increased.
“I wanted the Princess to have a go at it, but you revert back just when the mood was great. Such a pity.”
“No, what if Iris gets into trouble? Don’t involve the fragile Princess into a fight.”
My words surprised Megumin.
What are you talking about, royalty are really powerful alright? Because of their bloodline, the royals have great talents, and receive an elite education to protect themselves from young. That Princess is stronger than Kazuma okay? She will win easily even if she fought in Kazuma’s body.”
That was exaggerating too much.
“By the way, how did the quarrel start? What did those guys did to you two?”
“Actually, after shopping around all sorts of stores with the Princess, they appeared out of a desolated alley.”
I see, and then they started harassing Megumin…
“Normally, if they saw a girl like me, shouldn’t they say: ‘Hey, your girl looks pretty good. We will give her a good time, so you can scram now’ and start harassing me right. But they only took a glance at me without saying anything. Seeing how gutless they were, I scolded them fiercely.”
“You are the delinquent! Don’t drag innocent pedestrians into this!”
W-what should I do, I should apologize…
“Forget it, I might be the one who taunted them, but they are the ones who hit you first. It will be fine, we will win even if it got taken to court. The ones who got physical after a little squabble are the one in the wrong.”
“That’s not for someone who loses her temper with just a little provocation to say! Ah, really… I will apologize if I ever run into them again…”
While I was troubling over that, we finally reached the castle gates.
“Never mind, some things happened, but Her Highness had fun. It was her first time eating from a roadside stall, she really enjoyed herself.”
“Really… that’s fine… I guess? I hope they won’t say I was a bad influence again…”
“… Kazuma spoils her too much. Not just her young age, many aspects of her character overlaps with mine too, it makes me strangely uneasy.”
“You, you are still insisting that your character overlaps with that beautiful, gentle, and elegant girl?”
I entered the castle gates while discussing that with Megumin.
Darkness and Claire who had blown their top were standing there like statues, waiting for us.
As I was shrinking in a corner of the banquet, trying to avoid attention , Aqua came to me while cradling a high class wine carefully.
“Hey Kazuma, why are you so stupid? You always treat me like a fool, now is my chance to use that against you. Hey Kazuma-san, you are really big idiot huh?”
I couldn’t retort the idiot who was cradling the bottle like a treasure.
“No, I didn’t have such intentions in the beginning too. But, how should I put this… All sorts of people bowed their heads at me while I was strolling in the castle, and I felt that I would be forgiven even if I did something…!”
“So you really are an idiot huh? If I search the term ‘idiot’ on a computer, Kazuma’s name would be the first result right?”
I thought about snatching away her bottle and making her cry, but I couldn’t say anything right now.
The moment I returned to my body, Iris also reverted back to her body in the changing room.
After seeing Iris turned frantic suddenly, they found out about the situation after asking her…
“Even Iris got so furious… Damn it, Onii-sama can’t live anymore…”
“… Really, just squat in this corner today, be a good boy and don’t attract any attention. I will get you some delicious food later.”
Aqua who was gentler than usual healed my fragile soul.
No matter what, she was still a goddess, and was reliable when I was really suffering…
After Megumin found out what I was doing before returning to my body, she turned silent just like Darkness.
“As expected of the one who was with me the longest. I really hope the others could learn Aqua’s leniency. I have been wondering since just now, what is that wine you are cradling? When we went to search in the city yesterday, we didn’t find any good wine right? Did you buy something else?”
“Oh this, didn’t the people in the city said they were giving out special rewards for outstanding performances? They asked me what I wanted, and since everyone was busy, I asked for this wine on behalf of our team.”
This girl decided on our reward on her own.
I would worry about Aqua dropping it if she held on to it.
I was thinking of safekeeping it for her before we return to the mansion and stretched out my hand.
“It couldn’t be helped, wait til we go back to Axel, we all can…”
I was about to say ‘drink it together’ when Aqua smacked my hand away.
“… What are you trying to do? You will break it or lose it somewhere anyway, it would be a waste of the high class wine. It would be fine if you bought the wine yourself, but this wine is a reward for everyone’s exceptional performance. Here, I will hold on to it for you.”
“Don’t wanna. I got this wine myself, I won’t give it to anyone alright? After all, the one who gave it to me said ‘Everyone performed well, but Aqua-sama’s work is exemplary!’ It’s all because of me that no one died in battle, which made him happy. Getting this reward should be normal for me.”
“Hey, this is the fruit of everyone’s labour!? It look really exquisite, let me… ah this girl!”
Aqua was afraid that her precious wine would be taken and ran away in a panic.
And I became alone again…
— With the exceptional adventurers at the core, there were many different groups around the place.
As for the nobles who didn’t mingle with the crowd, they were also chatting about the battle in high spirits.
“Ara, this battle was a piece of cake! With Lady Dustiness leading the way, her team fought on the front lines like ferocious lions, contributing greatly to the battle!”
“That’s right! Lady Dustiness who took all the enemies’ attack alone, as well as Aqua-dono who purified a large number of undead and could heal wounds in an instant no matter how grievous they were. Last but not least, Megumin-dono who gave the retreating Demon King Army the final blow! With just the three of them, they might even defeat the Demon King!”
“Indeed, the three of them would be able to fight on par even with the Demon King! I already heard that the three of them took down several bosses of the Demon King Army. As expected of them…”
“We also have the pride of the kingdom, the magic sword hero Mitsurugi-dono! If he joins this trio, wouldn’t that be the strongest team that will surpass the Demon King…? He also has a lancer and an archer girl in his team. Wouldn’t that be a perfectly balanced team?”
“That’s it!” x3
Hey, did you ignore one person from the formation of that team?
Well, I understood it clearly too.
I didn’t achieve much and even died to Kobolds.
And the gaze that fell on me…
“That’s the one…”
“Yes, that’s him. Lady Claire mentioned that he is nothing but talk…”
“And his job is the weakest adventurer, and his level is low.”
“Really, why did Lady Dustiness allow such a person to be her comrade…”
“Maybe he is a guy who is good at currying favours. He even amused Princess Iris and tried to move into the castle to stay…”
How uncouth. But I couldn’t retort because some of the things they said were true!
Unlike me who was staying in a corner alone, my other team members were surrounded by nobles and adventurers, and showered with praise.
Megumin seemed to be surrounded by mages.
People healed by Aqua congregated around her.
Mitsurugi was the handsome guy representative of the capital, greeting groups of people around skillfully.
It seemed that the ratio of girls were higher around him.
Observing carefully, Megumin was getting arrogant after hearing compliments, and Aqua was still running around with her bottle, chasing those who came near her away.
She probably misunderstood and thought everyone was after her wine.
“That’s right, she is a daughter of an aristocratic family after all.”
The dress Darkness was wearing differs from the one she wore in the other banquet. Normal adventurers were attending this victory feast too, so she was sitting with some of the noble guests and chatting happily in the VIP table.
A group of knights was around them, it wasn’t easy to go near.
This scene made me realized the difference in our status, and it felt a little lonely.
— At this moment, Iris who was seated at the VIP table locked eyes with me.
Iris was furious earlier, but her eyes seemed really lonely right now.
I will be going back tomorrow.
It was a relief that the last time I saw Iris wasn’t her angry face.
To be frank, I wished I could see her smile for one last time…
“Oh, so you are still in the castle, plebian.”
Suddenly, someone talked to me who was by myself.
She wore her usual white suit even for this banquet.
It was Claire who was glaring at me with a wine glass in hand.
I didn’t contribute to the battle this time and with the body swapping incident to boot, her tone towards me were worlds apart from the first time we met.
Was she influenced negatively by me too?
“The guest of honour tonight, Lady Dustiness and the rest will stay in the castle tonight. You can go back already.”
“… No, I understand you are angry. I also know that I was too arrogant. But this is already the last night, so just be nicer to me. Aren’t you a little happy to bathe together with Iris?”
“D-don’t sprout nonsense, what are you saying!? That I am happy to bathe together with Her Highness… That… Forget it. I won’t pursue the matter.”
This woman definitely has other feelings beside loyalty for Iris.
Be it Darkness and her unique fetish and old man Alderp, why are all the nobles like that.
“Just like your attempt to capture the chivalrous thief, you didn’t show any result this time either… You are really all talk. I did some investigation during the fight with the bosses of the Demon King Army, the one who dealt the final blow were Lady Dustiness and that mage right?”
She said something sarcastic again.
“My job is to provide support for them. By the way, they have flaws too alright?”
“I already knew about their flaws. However, it won’t be a problem if the kingdom provides support. They would be invited to join Mitsurugi-dono’s party later. That way, we can realize the grand dream of taking down the Demon King right? Don’t you already have loads of money? Why not leave the team and live merrily in that town of yours?”
What was this woman talking about?
“I agree with you on the living merrily part, but why are you forcing me to leave the team? A group of ruffians said the same thing to me, but came back running in tears after teaming up with them. Can you support them properly?”
“Like the battle this time, just support them with a group. With their exceptional skill, their strengths can only be brought out in a large scale battle. Do you have any skills like they do? …Think about it. In the end, if you display an ability better than Mitsurugi-dono and the others, we can just laugh this matter off.”
Asking a guy who was just killed by Kobolds to display his powers on the same day, what was this ‘S’ type woman saying?
Enough, I didn’t want to stay in this castle anymore, I will go home!
… Ah, right.
“Putting that aside, what are you going to do about Iris’ necklace? Don’t let her wear that, it seems to be a divine relic. My comrade Aqua can seal the divine relic, how about leaving it to her?”
Claire gave an unexpected answer to my advice.
“That can’t be done. That is a tribute for the first prince Jatis. Before His Highness Jatis returns, we can’t dispose of it on our own… Or rather, it is just a divine relic that switches body for a short period of time, it is not harmful at all right?”
Claire averted her flushed face as she said that.
… She experienced something good during that incident today.
Forget it, it would just be a simple decoration if the keyword wasn’t chanted.
And the switch would just be a short time.
Claire then smiled gently.
“Rather than that— you will be leaving the capital tomorrow. The capital doesn’t need you. If you insist on staying, I will chase you out by force. Never mind, you can enjoy this party today too… if you can show the merits of you deserving it.”
I came crying back to my residence and wailed in the dim room.
“How vexing! What is with that woman, saying such hurting words on this last night! I know I am at fault too! Or rather, it is all my fault!!”
Since Darkness and the others won’t be able to get away from the crowd, they would attend the party til the end and stay the night in the castle.
… Maybe they would really join Mitsurugi’s team?
What was with this feeling of being alienated?
I had always been planning on leaving them behind and join a normal party. But when I tried imagining such a situation, I felt a sense of unease…
Enough, I don’t care anymore!
I will return to Axel and use the bounty for Sylvia along with Vanir’s payout to live a carefree life!
What should I do after returning to town?
It might be a carefree life, but spending every day sleeping would be boring.
Not having games and computers in this world was a tragedy.
No, speaking of which, Aqua brought some games back from the Home of the Crimson Magic.
Alright, I will confiscate them from her and play to my heart’s content.
As I thought about that, I realized…
… I had yet to decide the match with Iris properly yet…
While mulling over Iris as I thought about Iris.
Someone knocked on the window.
— Looking outside, I saw her standing nonchalantly on the 2nd floor’s window ledge.
Under the moonlight, a silver haired thief girl was standing there.
After opening the window, Chris entered briskly.
“Yo. Isn’t there a party tonight? You are back really early huh?”
Chris said as she smiled knowingly, seemed like she found out everything.
Why did she know about the divine relic and the party?
Maybe there was a thief guild that was exclusive only to thieves.
“I won’t agree no matter how many times you ask. But I will tell you what I do know. There is a divine relic that can switch bodies in the castle. However, the period is short and unlike the monster summoning magic item, I think it is rather harmless.”
I remained lying and twisted my body after saying all that, turning my back to Chris.
Or rather, I hope that I could bask in my memories of Iris at least for tonight.
Although Eris-sama requested this of me when I died, I just didn’t have the drive to do it.
Chris said to my back:
“That magic item. If one of the body dies during the swap, it won’t switch back.”
Chris muttered casually…
“… Hey, what did you just say?”
I got up from bed and asked.
Seeing how frantic I was, Chris laughed softly.
“If that magic item was used well, one can gain eternal life, that’s how powerful it was. If your body starts getting old, you can swap with a healthy body and kill the other party. It would be even better if you transfer your fortune to the younger person in advance.”
She said something incredible.
… I see, so it was a divine relic after all.
But right now, the only ones who knew the real power of the divine relic were just me and Chris.
If we leave it alone, it won’t be misused since no one knew right?
“I remember that this magic item was bought by some noble at the very beginning.”
Chris said calmly, as if she had seen through what I was thinking.
“But, it somehow landed in the hands of the Princess… Isn’t that strange? Who, and for what purpose, gave that thing as a tribute to the royal family?”
… Wasn’t the objective obvious?
The goal was to swap bodies with the person that held the highest authority of the kingdom…
“Hey, this is no time to joke. We have to report this to the big wigs in the kingdom…!”
Chris shook her head regretfully.
“I advise you not to do that. Can you predict the movement of the people who knew about the powers of the divine relic? I can tell for certain that the nobles will lay their eyes on the divine relic… Not just that, the royals might even use it for misdeeds too. No, the more authority one has, the more one craves for eternal life.”
I was speechless.
“I only told you about this because you are someone who won’t use it for evil even if you got hold of the divine relic.”
We weren’t that close, so why did she trust me that easily?
But it was true that I didn’t have the guts to misuse this thing.
Even when I swapped bodies with Iris, the most I did was take a bath with others.
… Hmm. I did do a lot of misdeeds…
Chris said to me who had fallen silent again.
“Neh, you are the playmate of the Princess right?”
With the moonlight behind her, Chris stood by the window again and smiled.
“Want to go to Her Highness’ side and play?”