Editing: Ulti, Xenthur
<Due to the shortness of this epilogue, I will be bundling the Dust 3 short story together with it as well.>
A very familiar trio is standing in front of the mansion.
Megumin, Alice, and Yunyun, huh. Their ages are pretty close, so they must find it easy to get along.
The fact that she’s playing around in Axel probably means that her business as the princess must be concluded.
Seems like Megumin and Alice are quarreling, and Yunyun is trying to stop them.
Poking my nose into the middle of a quarrel between women never results in anything decent.
I’ll just pretend I didn’t see them and pass by.
“Stop fighting, you two! Megumin, stop chanting your Explosion magic! Alice, too, stop showing off the ring you got from Kazuma-san! Aah! Dust-san! Please help me stop these two!”
Damn, she saw me.
I made shooing motions at Yunyun who approached me with teary eyes.
“Don’t drag me into this. They say that friends who fight with each other are closer, don’t they? Just leave them alone.”
“If these two really go at each other, it’ll be a catastrophe! Are you really fine with that!?”
The power of Megumin’s explosion is certainly something to behold.
The royalty of this country are rumoured to be pretty strong thanks to the blood of heroes flowing in their veins.
If the two of them were to seriously go at each other…
“Hey, you two. If you want to go wild… go do it in front of our usual tavern.”
“What are you saying!?”
“What? If the tavern were to be caught up in it and destroyed, my tab would be wiped clean too.”
“Do you even listen to yourself!? Don’t you have a single shred of humanity within you!?”
I thought it was a pretty good idea myself, but it seems like Yunyun disagrees.
Perhaps hearing Yunyun and me quarrel soothed their anger, but Megumin and Alice turned away from each other.
Apparently, Megumin had an errand to run or something, for she wandered off somewhere else, but Alice walked over to me.
She was staring directly at my waist for some reason.
“What, are you interested in a man’s ass now?”
“Of course not! That sword just caught my interest. I’m sorry for setting Claire on you in the past.”
Even though she’s royalty, she’s honestly apologizing. That’s quite impressive. Normally, nobles and royals would never admit their mistakes, instead stomping off back home to make some unreasonable demands.
“If you feel sorry, then treat me to a meal or something the next time you’re with Kazuma.”
“Hehe, very well.”
I thought that was the end of our conversation, so I moved to leave, but Alice jogged up to me and pulled on the sleeve of my shirt.
“What, was there something else?”
“Keep this between us, but a Dragon Knight-sama once took me on a night stroll together with him. Afterwards, I thanked the Dragon Knight-sama, but he claimed that he knew nothing about that. And now that I think about it, I feel that his physique was slightly different as well.”
She actually went and thanked him in person?
… I miscalculated. Given her personality, it would’ve been natural to expect her to do that.
“Dragon Knight? What are you talking about?”
“No, it’s fine. I’m just talking to myself. If you ever run into that Dragon Knight somewhere, please relay this message to him. ‘Thank you for giving me such a wonderful night, Dragon Knight-sama.’”
I waved my hand without turning around and left the place without saying anything.
There’s no need to confirm or deny that. As long as it was a happy memory for Iris, that would do just fine.
Short story: A serious day
“I think I’ll go on an adventure.”
I declared as we were having a meal at the guild.
My companions froze for a moment, but resumed eating their meals after giving me the barest hint of a glance.
I’m not one to be so easily discouraged. I stared at the ceiling, grabbed the hilt of my sword, and launched into a fervent speech.
“I don’t have any money. Normally I would laze around and think of ways to easily earn money. But I recently had a revelation. If I want money, all I have to do is to work hard for it.”
I personally thought that was pretty good.
I’m a little concerned over the silent reactions of my companions, so I lowered my gaze… To find all three of them silently eating their meals.
“… Hey, aren’t you going to say something? ‘Well said,’ or ‘I’m actually moved,’ or any words to that effect? It’s fine to praise me, you know?”
Towards my question, Lynn said in an exasperated manner,
“Aren’t you just stating the obvious?”
“I’m just guessing here, but you’re not going to say you saw a woman caring for a cat caught out in the rain and fell for her, and decided to raise your standing so you can woo her or something as cliche as that, are you?”
“Well, just work seriously from now on.”
These guys… They saw through my perfect strategy!
I tried to put into action one of the tips for raising affection that I came across in one of the books I read at the general store, but it didn’t have any effect at all.
Dammit, it’s because you stock such useless books that your store isn’t crowded. That old man really should treat his work more seriously.
“Right, then, let’s go on an adventure.”
“Why are you deciding things by yourself? Before we talk about adventure, do we even have a quest?”
“Oh, I found a quest that really caught my eye earlier and brought it with me.”
Saying that, I energetically slammed the request against the table.
After confirming the contents of that quest, my companions turned to look at me with doubtful eyes.
“What’s with this quest?”
“It’s just as it looks. Capture a giant frog alive. It shouldn’t be a terribly difficult task with our party.”
“Well, it’s certainly possible, but, say, Dust, what exactly is anyone going to do with a live giant frog?”
Keith exasperatedly and repeatedly slapped the request.
Taylor didn’t say anything, but he nodded along. It seems like he shares their opinion.
“Well, that piqued my interest too, so I tried to get in touch with the person who put that quest up. As it turns out, the original requestor was a certain noble lady.”
“A noble lady? What exactly is someone like that going to want a live giant frog for?”
“Maybe she’s interested in the food that commoners eat and wants to try some? But there’s no reason to request a live capture in that case.”
“Hmm… Perhaps she is particular about the freshness of ingredients?”
My companions discussed amongst themselves.
I was similarly confused when I first got the information, but everything clicked together the moment the guild gave me the name of the requestor.
“Yeah, you’d think so, right? But, what if I were to say that the certain noble lady was Lalatina?”
“Why would Darkness…” x2
Lynn instantly caught onto it, whereas Taylor and Keith still seemed a little confused.
Come to think of it, Lynn experienced Darkness’s… peculiarities first hand, but Taylor and Keith have yet to see her in action.
“Well, there are a lot of uses for one.”
I wouldn’t mind enlightening them, but Taylor does look up to Darkness as a fellow crusader. There’s no particular pressing reason to shatter his illusion of her.
There are quite a few adventurers who remain ignorant of her true nature. They’ll probably fall into despair if they learn of it.
“Darkness probably won’t stiff us on the pay, but before we actually go out and grab one… wouldn’t it be better if we talk with Kazuma first?”
“There’s no problem as long as we get the money, right? Why do we need to confirm everything with my friend?”
“Hearing that she wants a live monster brought before her gives me nothing but bad feelings.”
Actually, yeah. I didn’t think too much about it because she’s a pervert, but… What exactly is she going to do after getting her hands on a live giant frog?
The last time I saw her fight, she threw away her armour and charged into that horde of goblins…
“… Yeah, maybe it’s better to run this through with Kazuma.”
“Right? It’s not like we would lose anything if it turns out to be nothing. Kazuma is the leader of that party, after all.”
“Alright. We’ll head over to Kazuma’s house after lunch.”
When we eventually met up with Kazuma, it seems like it’s the first time he’s heard about this request, so he called Darkness out to give her a lecture.
“It’s not because I’m jealous because you guys are the only ones who get eaten! I just want to get all slimy with that saliva…”
She tried to keep a straight face while spinning all kinds of incomprehensible excuses for Kazuma, but receiving Kazuma’s scoldings just seems to make her more excited.
This girl is absolutely beyond help.
The quest was retracted, but we did receive a cancellation fee. I guess it’s not too bad to live seriously every once in a while.
<And that’s it for Dust 3. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately, similar to Dust 2, I wasn’t able to get my hands on the other short stories, so this is the only short story from this volume that will be placed up.
As usual, I’ll be taking a few weeks break to finish up the rest of volume 15. The tentative release date would be 28th December, though I’m considering pushing the day I release chapters to Saturday for logistical reasons. We’ll see how things go when I get around to it.
I’ll also be putting up the Dust 4 Drama CD sometime between the break to make up for the lack of short stories, so look forward to that as well.And of course, you’ll be able to access my works a week in advance through my patron.
Anyways, thank you for your patience, and I’ll see you guys again next month!>