Darkness’s Short Story
Editor: Striker, Xenthur
This short story was originally written for the WN after it’s conclusion. For the most part the WN ended in a relatively similar position to the LN, though there are some slight differences that I will point out if it becomes relevant. Anyway, enjoy.
“Do you honestly think you can take me on? Don’t you realize that your chances of winning are next to zero? I thought you were just naive because you’re a sheltered noble lady, but maybe you’re just plainly an idiot.”
“You are the first person who’d purposefully pick a fight with the famed Dustiness house. I’m not especially fond of using my family name, but in the name of house Dustiness, I shall strike you down.”
Seeing her standing barefoot in the yard, with her long skirt torn to allow easier movement, and her sleeves rolled up to her shoulders, it’s hard to see her as a noble lady.
Darkness, the noble scion of house Dustiness, one of the most esteemed noble families in this world, spouted a stream of extremely unladylike words.
Similarly standing barefoot in the yard, I cricked my neck while giving Darkness a provocative smirk.
“Who do you think is going to win, Aqua? I’m betting on Kazuma.”
“I’m placing my bets on Darkness. I doubt weak little Kazuma would be able to stand up to an enraged Darkness. If you want, I can bet tonight’s dinner on it.”
Sitting some distance away, the two of them chewed on some snacks while watching Darkness and I, as if watching some kind of wrestling match.
“Come to think of it, the only time we fought was back at the sparring grounds at my parent’s house… I lost to you handily back then, but don’t think it’ll go the same way this time!”
“Do you have problems learning? After losing once, you should seek to understand why you lost and come up with a countermeasure before trying again.”
Darkness and I are both bare handed.
Nevermind my sword, I don’t even have the wire I used for Bind with me, but still, I have absolutely no intention of losing.
After all, I have that skill that guarantees me a victory in any one on one fight.
“So, Aqua, do you want to bet tonight’s dinner? I’m in charge of preparing dinner today. Kazuma gives me quite a bit of money for food, but I would like to save up a bit more. If Darkness loses, you’ll be having salted rice for dinner tonight.”
“Oh? Very well. In return, if Kazuma loses, you’ll prepare some high quality red wine for tonight. Oh, and some high quality snow crabs, too.”
Off to the side, the spectators started placing bets on us.
Darkness lowered her center of gravity and braced herself.
“Here I come…!”
“Darkness, you don’t really seem much like a noble lady, do you?”
Aqua suddenly said after coming back from taking an explosive walk with Megumin.
It was so completely out of the blue that I really wanted to ask her what she was thinking.
Hearing that, Darkness, lying down on the sofa directly opposite me, said,
“…Where did that come from, Aqua? Well, the Dustiness family has always been fairly well liked by commoners, so I suppose in that sense, I’m not very much like a typical noble lady.”
Saying that, she elegantly lifted a cup of tea from the table and carefully tipped it into her mouth…
“I heard it from someone when I was walking back with Megumin. The noble lady at your house is not only ignorant of the world, but she’s also short-tempered and crass and doesn’t feel like a noble lady at all.”
“Ahh! What are you doing, you idiot!? You got tea in my eyes! …Ah, the 1/100 scale Mobile Fortress Destroyer model I was working on…!”
Darkness’s spit take covered me and the new product I had been steadily working on with my Blacksmithing skill since this morning in hot tea.
“…Cough, cough… Which idiot said such a thing! I’m not particularly naive, and I’m not short-tempered or crass either! Who the hell said that! I’m going to kill him!”
You are already being pretty crass and short tempered, though.
“Kazuma-san’s friend. He’s kinda thuggish and mostly hangs out by the guild, drinking all day. I think his name was Dust or something?”
“So it’s him! I’ll go find him and smack the lights out of him!”
The short-tempered noble lady shouted and ran out of the mansion while still wearing her usual clothes.
“Will she be okay? That delinquent is actually surprisingly skilled. He might end up taking revenge.”
I worriedly said, and Megumin took a seat next to me, pouring herself a fresh cup of tea.
“She’ll be fine. Darkness’s level has risen to the point where none of the adventurers here can really handle her. Even without her armour, with her high level and her focus on defensive skills, I don’t think there’s anyone in town who can seriously harm her.”
Saying that, Megumin took a sip from her cup with a satisfied smile.
“Pant… Pant… Damn, he sure made me work hard. As expected of a man who once visited my home to give a lesson on sword skills, he has some good moves. But I managed to catch him, pin him to the ground, and pull off his pants right in the middle of the street! …Pant… Pant…“
A sweat-drenched Darkness came back with a smile on her face as she said such outrageous things.
I kinda feel sorry for Dust. He just had to say those things…
“That thug-like person is pretty strong. I’m surprised you’re able to come back without a single wound.”
Aqua said in amazement as she touched Darkness’s body all over, seemingly intending to cast some healing spells on her.
“Of course. After taking on the Demon King, there’s no way I would be waylaid by a common thug like him. Since nothing can hurt me, all I need to do is hunt them down and wrench them into submission with my superior strength. Heh, I doubt even Kazuma can defeat me as I am now.”
Darkness said with a bright smile on her face, seemingly in high spirits from her victory earlier.
Hearing those words, I put down the parts I was working on on the table.
…This naive and ignorant noble lady seems to have let the fact that she actually won against someone get to her head.
“Seriously, this is why sheltered noble ladies are so troublesome. Don’t think I’m on the same level as a third-rate delinquent like Dust. I’m an expert in fighting others, you know. You won’t even last a minute against me. This is why I can’t leave dinner in your hands.”
“T-That’s nonsense! I’ve already learned the right price of everyday items, and I know that fish don’t swim about already filleted! Even the other day, I successfully bought the salt and pepper you asked me to get!”
“When people normally ask you to buy salt and pepper, normal people would just get a couple bottles or a sack of them at worst! Not to get an entire cartload from a wholesaler!”
Darkness awkwardly averted her gaze at my words.
“…T-That was eventually taken back to the mansion because my father needed it, so isn’t it fine──”
“It isn’t fine at all! Your father dotes too much on you! What does he mean by ‘dishes prepared with salt bought by my daughter really taste different’!? It’s just salt! Stop spoiling your stupid daughter!”
“D-Don’t call me a stupid girl! I simply don’t have much knowledge on the outside world! Father is just happy to eat homemade food seasoned with the salt I bought for him! He’s not smitten with me or anything… Or anything… Uuugh… “
Darkness crouched down, covering her face in embarrassment.
After having won the verbal battle, I was satisfied and returned to working on my Destroyer model…
“…So, who would win in a fight? Darkness or Kazuma?”
…Aqua, seated on the sofa and casually munching on some snacks, said such unnecessary things.
“That idiot always loves to say unnecessary things…!”
I muttered after walking to the yard and squared off against Darkness.
Neither Darkness or I had any weapons or armour.
The grass felt comfortable, so I took off my shoes and am currently barefoot.
Darkness was similarly barefoot, and tossed a wooden sword at me.
Then, with a surprisingly gentle expression on her face, she said,
“Come to think of it, this might be the first time we’ve seriously fought each other. Even though we’ve fought besides each other multiple times, we’ve never crossed blades before. Perhaps we could train like this from time to time──”
“No way, it sounds like a chore. There’s no need for me to work hard to raise my level. Even if I ever run low on skill points, all I need to do is pay Vanir and Wiz to lower my level and gain more skill points. The only skill I need to develop is my one handed sword wielding, after all. In the first place, if you are going to say that, you should pick up a greatsword wielding skill first. Leaving me aside, you’re not exactly growing, are you?”
We stared at each other in silence for a while.
Eventually, Darkness’s face turned red, her shoulders started shaking, and tears welled up in her eyes.
“…I’m going to kill you!”
As she shouted that, she slashed at me with her wooden sword.
This is strange.
This is very strange.
She has the spirit, but either because she’s targeting the wrong spot, or misjudged the distance, or only attacking in simple straight forward cuts, I didn’t have any issues avoiding her attacks, but even so…
“What’s wrong, Kazuma? Your breathing is getting ragged!”
Darkness taunted with a smile through a sweat drenched face.
I’ve hit Darkness multiple times since the start of the match, but my skill hasn’t activated at all.
This battle should’ve concluded a long time ago with my Hand of the Undying King skill!
[Hand of the Undying King is a skill that Kazuma learns from Wiz in the WN along with Drain Touch. It allows him to inflict random status effects on contact. Wiz makes use of it in Volume 4 against the Rookie killer and again in volume 13 to drain Kazuma’s level. In the LN, Kazuma didn’t learn this skill because Natsume judged it to be too overpowered in his hands.]
“Dammit, what is going on!? Did my luck decrease?”
It seems like I am not the only one who’s getting rattled upon seeing Darkness’s surprisingly good performance.
“Kazuma, what are you doing!? Get a hold of yourself! At this rate, my allowance will all be turned into Aqua’s drinks!”
Megumin screamed in frustration from the sidelines.
Even if you tell me that!
“Go for it, Darkness! With our powers, we can really make that man suffer today! If you make him cry and beg for mercy, I’ll give you a crab leg later tonight!”
Dammit, shut up out there!
I’m trying to concentrate, so just shut up…
“Hey, Aqua just said ‘our powers’ earlier. You didn’t have her cast any buffs on you, did you!?”
“Hah, it took you long enough to notice! I had Aqua cast a buff on me to prevent status effects! Your trump card won’t work on me!”
Darkness gave me a smirk before tossing away her sword and charging at me.
This isn’t good, in a pure contest of strength I have no chance of winning!
“Go for it, Darkness! Grab him and finish him off! There’s no way that beansprout of a man would be able to match you in terms of strength!”
Dammit, what does she mean by finishing me off!? I’ll go finish her off later!
Darkness charged at me with both her hands spread wide apart.
I threw away my sword too and spread my arms out like I was preparing to receive Darkness’s charge.
“You intend to pit your strength against mine? Seems like I’m really being looked down upon!”
Darkness shouted as our hands met.
I shouted in response,
[Kazuma also gained the ability to cast buffs in the WN, which he didn’t in the LN.]
That’s a buff spell that temporarily increases my strength.
But even after hearing that, Darkness’s confident smile didn’t waver at all.
“Even with your buffs, the difference between us is-aaaaaaah!?”
Darkness’s words turned into a high pitched scream.
I grabbed a hold of Darkness’s hands as she hastily tried to tear them away.
“What happened to that confidence of yours? Go on, say something! Wahaha! I can’t believe you actually tried to pit your strength against mine even after I received a buff! You really let your guard down. You should know that there’s no way I’ll just go head to head with-aaaaaaaaaah!”
An unimaginably strong force wrapped itself around my hands, causing me to scream out in pain.
Darkness smirked at me.
“H-Hehehe… D-Drain Touch, huh…! I completely forgot about that skill, but I’ll crush your arms before you are able to drain my stamina dry!”
“Wahahah, if you think you can do that then go right aheaaaaaaaa! Ow! Ow, ow, ow! It’s breaking! It’s going to break!”
I’m draining her stamina with Drain Touch, and she’s trying to crush me with her strength.
Neither of us are planning to give in, and neither of us can anyway.
Darkness is pushing me to the edge with her strength, but even so I can see her expression waver.
I’ve already drained quite a bit of her stamina, but there’s no telling how much longer she will be able to hang in there.
“Aaaaah! Kazuma! You have to put some distance between the two of you, then attack with magic from afar!”
“It’s unfair for spectators to be giving advice, Megumin! Ahahaha, looks like I’ll be having crab stew tonight! I’ll drink up the entire contents of your pitiful wallet!”
“It’s even more unfair for you to buff her beforehand! The God of Bets will punish you!”
Such pitiful cries from the audience drifted towards me.
“H-Hey, Darkness, how about we make a bet too!? Whoever wins can make the loser do one thing he says…!”
Gritting my teeth, I was just barely able to force those words out.
“A-A bet…!? H-Heheh, you’re just trying to buy some time by talking! Fine, I’ll take that bet. If I win, I’m going to make you get on your knees and beg for forgiveness!”
She fell for it.
“W-We have a deal! D-Don’t go back on your word!”
“Yeah, I’m a woman of my word… But really, you aren’t going to last much longer! Hurry up and surrender! Otherwise you might really end up with broken bones…!”
My back was pressed against a large rock in the garden by Darkness’s strength.
“Really! It’s a promise! If I win, I won’t stop even if you cry and apologize!”
I sneered at Darkness despite my current disadvantaged position.
Darkness’s strength grew slightly weaker, perhaps because that caught her attention.
“…? What exactly do you plan on making me do if you win?”
“It’s not really something I can say…! Fuhahaha, you promised! Now, let’s get this on the road! I can’t wait to see you begging for forgiveness after I win…! I’m going to hear you say ‘Please forgive me! Please let me off! Anything but that!'”
At my words, Darkness shivered in shock.
And the strength she was using to push me down weakened.
“Kuh…! J-Just what exactly are you planning…? Tell me!”
“Eheheheh, it’s definitely something far beyond anything you’re imagining right now!”
“Wha…! S-Stop…! Kuh…! E-Even if I want to resist, my strength is getting sucked away… A-At this rate…!”
The only thing that would be affected by Drain Touch is stamina, though.
Her strength slowly ebbing, Darkness suddenly fell down onto one knee.
“Pant… Pant…! W-What do you intend to have me do…!? Pant… Pant…! I’m going to lose at this rate…! A-At the very least, give me time to wipe my sweat off…!”
Darkness’s breath started getting heavier, her face blushed red, and a single drop of sweat flowed down her neck to her collarbone.
“There’s no way I’ll wait that long. If I win, I’m going to make good use of you all the way until morning!”
“Aaah! T-That’s…! I might have lost the match, but no matter how much humiliation I am put through, my soul wouldn’t bow to you! Now, I’ve lost, so hurry up and bring it on! Hurry up! Come on, hurry up!”
Letting go of my hands, she sat upright on the grass and looked up at me with an expectant gaze.
“Yes! Thanks to that I’ve saved money on food! Aqua, that was really low for you. Thanks to that, I’ll be sure to give you plenty of pickled radish too!”
“Waaaaah, why!? I was sure that Darkness was going to win!”
As the spectators started making a fuss, I looked down at Darkness and gave her an order.
“Go back to your family house and tell your father ‘Daddy, I love you!’ repeatedly until dawn!”
“P-Please forgive me! Please let me off! A-Anything but that!’