Editor: Ulti, Xenthur
Leaving Aqua who was making a fuss behind, I followed Serena to a more secluded alley quite some distance away from the town centre.
There wasn’t much foot traffic around this part of town. The only store around these parts is that unpopular magic item shop.
I would rather have a talk in some cafe somewhere rather than this secluded alley, but…
Perhaps sensing my thoughts, Serena smiled at me.
“What I’m about to tell you isn’t something we should be talking about within a store…”
After saying that, she took a look around her surroundings and squatted down.
“People don’t often pass through here, and we can easily change topics even if someone stumbles upon us. So, shall we have a little chat?”
She had a serious look on her face that is a stark contrast to the gentle smile she usually puts on.
ーーWhat she told me next was a tragic and weighty tale.
It couldn’t be easily summarized with the vocabulary that I have.
It’s the kind of story that would rend the heart and sap the will of anyone who hears it.
“ーーAnd eventually, that person was consumed by evil forces… I don’t know when it started, but eventually, the people of the world ended up referring to her by a single name… The Demon King. The Demon King isn’t hurting the inhabitants of this world by her own will…”
“How could this be… To think that that sort of manga-like development would actually happen…”
I think I faintly recall reading something like this before.
Serena tilted her head.
“…Manga?… Anyway, because of that, that young girl ended up becoming the Demon King. Her form has been twisted to a truly hideous form by that curse, but it will soon be broken… Please, Kazuma-sama, as the one chosen by the goddess, I’m sure you’re itching to rid the world of the Demon King who has brought so much suffering to mankind. But the Demon King used to be a helpless young girl too! Could you please delay your plans of defeating the Demon King? If you really can’t… If you are truly dead set on defeating the Demon King, then please, allow me join your party and bring me to her…”
She wrapped her hands around mine and looked at me with upturned eyes.
What a dramatic development.
Yes, this is it!
This is the sort of thing I wanted when I came to this world!
Goddesses getting eaten by frogs, Demon King’s Generals who subsists on bread crusts and sugar water.
Chasing down runaway cabbages and working part time as a construction worker even though I’m an adventurer.
Cat-eared orcs and elves with detachable ears, etc, etc
Yes, those were the outliers!
Even in this world, there exists a proper tragic story, an actual fantasy-like development!
Yes, it’s just everyone I’ve met is odd!
“Still, Serena-san, why do you think I’m the one chosen by the goddess? To be frank, taking down all those Generals and high bounty targets is more of a fluke than anything else.”
Serena closed her eyes and quietly shook her head.
“I knew there was something different about you the moment I heard your name, Kazuma-sama. I do not know if you are aware of this, but every so often, beings with special powers will appear in this world. Those powers take the form of skills, of physical attributes, of strange magics and weapons. There’s a large variety of them, but one thing they all have in common is that they all strike fear to those of the Demon King.”
She’s talking about the cheat users who came from Japan.
“Err, well, I do kind of know of them… Anyway, you think I’m one of those guys because of my strange name, right? Well, sorry to say this, but I don’t really have any special-”
“No, it’s not because you have a strange name!”
Serena boldly declared.
“It’s true, those who possess such special powers tend to have strange names. But that’s not what convinced me that you are special. There was once a legendary swordsman who brought much destruction to the Demon King’s forces! The moment I heard your name, I was certain of it! You are his descendant!”
How could this be!?
“… Why do you think so?”
“That person’s name was Satou. Could it really be mere coincidence for someone else to have such a rare name? I do not believe so!”
That’s the most common surname back in my country.
She has completely mistaken me for someone else.
“Serena-san, I’m sorry to say this, but it’s the unmistakable truth that I’m an adventurer with the weakest job. The story you just told me was really exciting and all, but, well, it’s impossible for me to defeat the Demon King. I don’t intend to face him in the first place, and even if I did, I don’t have the ability to. Plus, from what you’ve told me, the curse is going to wear off soon, and the Demon King is just a young girl, right? No, no, that’s totally impossible. I don’t have the resolve needed to kill a person. Just dealing with humanoid monsters is tough enough as is.”
I expected Serena to be disappointed after hearing such pathetic words, but she surprisingly seemed relieved instead.
“You shouldn’t be that humble… Still… I see. Fufu, Kazuma-sama is a really kind person, aren’t you?”
Then, she made a small bow.
“Now then, I shall…”
“Celestina-san! Is that Celestina-san!?”
A sudden voice interrupted Serena’s goodbyes.
That person was…
“Ah, Kazuma-san too! What are you two doing in such a place? You really have some kind of fate with the Demon King’s Generals. First me and Vanir, and now Celestina-san too! Did you already make friends with her?”
The store owner of the magic item shop nearby, Wiz.
“… Have you mistaken me for someone else? I’m a priest named Serena. I’m sure you’ve got the wrong person-”
“Celestina-san, you really should visit my store now that you’re here. Kazuma-san, you’re welcome too. I’ll put on some tea.”
Wiz simply ignored Serena’s attempts to fool her. It’s almost like she’s a genius when it comes to that.
Serena maintained a smile as she looked towards me.
“Kazuma-sama, do you know her? Could you explain to her that she’s got the wrong person?”
“Why won’t you look at me, Celestina-san? And what’s with that posh way of speaking? You didn’t forget about me, did you? It’s me, Wiz! I lived with you in Demon King-san’s castle way back when! Celestina-san!”
Wiz grabbed Celestina by the shoulder and started shaking her.
Serena, probably up to her limit, pried away Wiz’s hand.
“Would you j-Could you please stop that? I am Serena. That Celes-whatever is a different person, so could you give it a rest?”
“What are you saying? However you look at it, you’re Celestina-san! You’re the Dark Priest Celestina-san! The only human in the Demon King’s army who’s great at scheming and infiltrating-”
“You seem to have split ends. Let me take care of it. Heal! Heal!”
“Ow! Ow! What are you doing, Celestina-san! What is up with you!? Fine, I don’t know you anymore! I thought I’d show you that interesting magic item I just got my hands on… Kazuma-san, do drop by my store soon.”
After bidding me farewell, Wiz stomped away in the direction of her store in a huff.
“… What a strange person. Smokes comes out of her when she gets healed.”
“Well, she is a Lich after all. Though I’m sure you already know that, Celestina-san.”
I returned Serena’s attempts at deceiving me with a smile of my own.
Even so, her smile didn’t falter in the slightest. I kind of admire her determination.
After a short silence, Serena raised her head.
“That’s not it!”
It doesn’t seem like she’s given up.
She has gumption, I’ll give her that.
“It’s true, I’m one of the Demon King’s Generals, Celestina. But please hear me out, the story I told you earlier is the truth! I’m actually the Demon King’s older sister. In order to save my sister, I had no choice but to join the Demon King’s Army! Ah, when I think about her…”
Just as Serena was in the midst of her passionate performance, a man appeared behind her.
“What’s this about a sister? Boy who’s worried if he’s actually under a curse that causes something to interfere whenever things start going well. That disappointing storekeeper who merrily bought some trash again told me you were nearby. Moi might be willing to help you with that for a fair price. How about paying the shop a visit?”
Serena stiffened up upon hearing that voice.
After Wiz, yet another one of the Demon King’s generals, the Masked Devil Vanir, appeared.
As Serena looked around fearfully, their eyes met.
“…Good afternoon. Nice to meet you. Are you a friend of Kazuma-sama? Um, Kazuma-sama, you seem to be quite busy, so I shall take my…”
“Nice to meet you for the first time, pure and upright priest who’s not the slightest bit suspicious. Now, now, there’s no need to rush home. As proof of our meeting, and on behalf of the charred and melting shopkeeper, moi shall offer one of the items that shopkeeper so gleefully bought a short while ago for a low price.”
Serena let out a relieved sigh at Vanir’s words.
Vanir pulled out a small cone shaped object.
“This is today’s recommended item! The best friend of traveling adventurers, the Bug Killerin! Don’t be fooled by its cute name, this is very powerful indeed. It’s a magic item that bestows a powerful death curse upon any creature smaller than a mouse that approaches it. In other words, if you put this under your pillow, you will be able to sleep without worrying about being stung by any annoying insects.”
Serena and I said at the same time.
There are mosquitoes and the like in this world.
I’m not aching for money, and something like that does sound useful.
“There’s got to be some kind of downside, isn’t there? Like putting that death curse upon humans with a low chance of success or the like?”
“Not at all. It will not have any effect on any creatures larger than a mouse. The only things that will die are creatures smaller than rats.”
Vanir denied my deductions for once.
Could it really be a decent item…?
“What a wonderful item. In other words, if I put that under my pillow, even the swift and glossy black fearsome emperor will die if it gets close. Please give me one…”
“Thank you for your business!”
Seeing Serena happily buy the item, another thought came to me.
“… Say, Vanir, any living thing smaller than a rat that gets close will die, right?”
Vanir instantly answered.
“… Then, the bacteria living in human’s guts and symbiotes and whatever else will die too?”
So it really is a piece of trash after all.
She doesn’t know what bacteria or symbiotes are, but Serena must have deduced it was a defective item from my tone.
Serena tried to subtly return it, but…
“Hold on, newly introduced person. Moi treats the personal information of my customers with the utmost respect, but should you return that item, you shall cease to be a customer of mine. Hmm, yes, I see something… The future of someone who will get mauled by the adventurers after a certain masked gentleman reveals all sorts of secret…”
“I’ll buy it! I’ll buy it! How much is it!?”
“Fuhahahaha! Moi is in a very good mood today! After all, the pieces of trash that the defective shopkeeper bought actually was turned into money! Originally, this item goes for 400,000 Eris, but considering it’s our first meeting, and moi’s good mood, moi shall let you have it for 1,200,800 Eris!”
“The price went up you piece of shit! Why do you know exactly how much money I have! Don’t use your all-seeing sight on everything!”
Serena yelled and threw her entire wallet to Vanir.
Her sudden change in tone made her seem like a foul-mouthed adventurer.
“Fuhahahaha! Till we meet again, brat! Oh, and, person whom I just met, your dark emotions are delicious indeed! Most delicious indeed! Fuhahahaha!”
After catching the wallet, Vanir heartily laughed and strolled back towards the shop with a spring in his step.
Watching his retreating figure, the Demon King’s general, Celestina, mumbled,
… My condolences.
Thank you very much for buying this volume.
Recently, after my tendency to slack of while working from home was discovered by my editor, I was dragged to Kadokawa’s meeting rooms and isolation rooms to work.
I became a writer because I hated commuting every day, so how did it end up like this?
I know, it ended up this way because I didn’t work hard. I’m sorry.
Even after becoming a writer, it seems like I’ve not matured at all from my time as home security.
ーーIn this volume, the two rivals finally reach a conclusion- no, they ended up becoming eternal rivals.
The pair were originally born out of the concept of having two rivals that are complete opposites yet at the same time very similar, so I’m sure they’ll keep fighting even as they get along with each other from now on.
And this story finally reaches a high point.
The Demon King’s army finally starts moving, a Demon King’s General appears in Axel, and Kazuma’s daily life will be brokenーー
Nah, there’s no way this series would’ve such a serious development. Still, please look forward to the next volume.
Now then, I’ll put an end to this volume’s afterword here. Next up is some advertisements.
The currently on sale “Combatants will be dispatched! Vol 2” has a short story collaboration with Konosuba, so anyone who’s interested in that, please don’t miss your chance. It’ll make the publisher happy too.
Additionally, the Konosuba animated movie has been announced.
This is growing so large that even I don’t have much of a feel for it anymore. It is all thanks to everyone’s support and the support of those involved in the development. Thank you, thank you…
This volume too was only completed after causing everyone no small amount of trouble.
I keep delaying the manuscript again and again and forcing Mishima-Sensei to complete the illustrations under very tight deadlines. I’m really sorry for that!
I also caused a lot of trouble for I-san in charge, the editors, the designers, the sales people, and a ton of other people as well, but for sticking with me to the end…!
Along with my thanks and apologies to all of them, I would like to express my deepest thanks to everyone who picked up this book!
And that concludes Volume 14. That was a wild ride, wasn’t it? There are still a few short stories left, fortunately unlike the Dust volumes, I managed to get my hands on all three of them this time, so they’ll be coming up over the next few weeks at the same timeslot.
As usual, I’ll be taking a short break to work on my next project, which will be the translation of the third Dust spinoff, Bestowing the Starry Sky upon this Dreaming Princess, which features princess Iris rather prominently. Assuming nothing goes wrong, the prologue should be up on the 26th of October. Of course, backers to my patreon will be able to view them one week earlier.
See you then!
Short story 3