Editor: Cannongerbil, Striker
Several hours have passed since the siege of Axel.
Despite facing down such a huge battle, the town was filled with the usual hustle and bustle. Even the severely injured have been healed by the priests and were now happily reveling in the celebratory banquet.
If this town has something that could be called its ‘style’, this was definitely it.
If there’s one thing that concerns me, though, it’d be a certain strange rumour that’s started circulating throughout the adventurers.
“I swear! I saw two dragons fighting in the sky! A red dragon and a white dragon were fighting an epic battle! I’m not lying!”
“I saw it too. And there was someone riding on the white dragon too! It must be the legendary Dragon Knight here to save us!”
A few adventurers were passionately talking about such tales to their friends, though the ones they were talking to seemed to just be giving them lip service and didn’t seem convinced at all.
It should all be forgotten in a few days.
We were sitting in our usual spot at the guild, drinking wine while surrounded by such gossip.
“I wonder what Kazuma and the others are doing now? Did they manage to reach the Demon King’s Castle after all?”
Taylor muttered under his breath to no one in particular.
“Kazuma said he only wanted to bring Aqua back, but if the past is any indication, he probably got caught up in something big and they all ended up getting involved to take down the Demon King.”
Keith speculated in between mouthfuls of beer and food.
“It’s possible. Then, he’ll probably fight the Demon King with underhanded tricks while complaining the whole way. If that’s the case, Dust, do you think he has a chance of winning?”
Lynn threw the topic to me, making me think for a while.
Could Kazuma fight the Demon King? Well…
“In theory, he should have no chance of winning, but he always seems to find a way. We’ve taught him all our skills, and he has always had good luck.”
Despite saying that, I sincerely believed that Kazuma would be able to successfully defeat the Demon King.
If my prediction was wrong and something unexpected happened, I could always help out and rescue him with Faitfore.
Speaking of, what was my reliable partner doing? I looked over to see Faitfore digging into a large meal in the form of a young girl.
Well she worked hard today, so she can eat as much as she wished.
“Kazuma needs to come back safely and return the precious sword that the Hero used…”
“Oh, right! If my best friend becomes the hero, the value of the sword I lent him would be worth a small fortune. I’ll be able to live a leisurely life after I sell it”
“You don’t have the slightest intention of selling it…”
“Lynn, did you say something?”
She was so happy just now, so why did her mood sour all of a sudden? I never understand women.
“If Kazuma defeats the Demon King, he’ll become a Legendary Hero. It’s kinda crazy to think about.”
“True. If that happens, he’d become a completely unreachable existence for us.”
Keith and Taylor stared off into space with troubled looks.
“Ha, don’t be ridiculous. If he really did defeat the Demon King, he’ll just brag about it and get carried away until we get annoyed and start a big brawl. That’s how it always goes.”
Kazuma definitely wouldn’t change much. If he changed at all, he’d just be more obnoxiously confident.
I tried to imagine that scene, but surprisingly it didn’t piss me off that much. It would still be annoying though.
He might be involved in a battle to decide the fate of the world right now, but we are just casually drinking.
The adventurers continued to drink in the guild throughout the day, getting gradually rowdier.
“We really did great this time! It’s not like the Dullahan and the Destroyer when we had to rely on Kazuma.”
“Yeah, this time we can finally hold our heads high and say ‘We won this battle!’”
The team of adventurers nearby began to brag loudly.
The battle of Axel was won as a result of everyone working together. Though I was certain I played the most important role, it’s better not to mention that.
It’s fine to let them bask in the limelight.
“Oh, everyone did well, except for a certain someone who was slacking off!”
“I know, and he claims to be the representative of the town! Ahahahahaha!”
“Hey, hey, stop talking. The coward is going to cry, you know? Gyahahahaha!”
I instantly knew who those words were intended for. They were looking my way with those infuriating faces of theirs while laughing away.
“You bastards! You’re still saying that? Alright, I’ll make your bodies understand just how much I’ve done for this town!”
“You’re still saying that!? I still haven’t forgotten how you shattered my dreams so cruelly!”
“I’ll never forget how you led me on with those cruel tricks of yours!”
I picked up my chair as they approached me with angry mutterings.
“Alright, that’s enough! This is a celebration party, so don’t do anything stupid now. You don’t want to get knocked out and wake up to find you missed the entire party, do you?”
“Yeah, everyone’s having a good time, don’t ruin it for them.”
After being scolded and preached at by Lynn and Taylor respectively, they reluctantly returned to my seat.
“Ha, you deserved that.”
“Shut it, Keith! It’s not like you did much either! Ouch! That hurts! Don’t smack me on the head! What will you do if I become stupid!?”
“Hmph, as if you could get more stupid than you are right now.”
I grumbled at Lynn as she swung her wand, but she just snickered at me.
It wasn’t exactly the most loveable expression.
I thought the distance between us had shortened a bit after all this, but here we were, back to our normal relationship. But my feelings for her remained the same. Is that what they mean by falling head over heels for someone?
I slowly enjoyed my mug of beer while listening to Lynn’s nagging.
After a rowdy and raucous party, Lynn and I found ourselves alone in a square near the main gate. We were sitting on a bench staring up into the night sky.
……How did we end up like this?
I said I was going outside to sober up, and Lynn, her face flush, said she was coming with me and followed me out.
So we walked casually in the middle of the night and made small talk… That’s how we got here.
What exactly was she planning here?
I was trying to keep my cool while having a conversation, but I just can’t get a read on Lynn.
Some people would’ve called this a good mood. However, I’m not proud of this, but I have absolutely no idea what to do in such a situation.
Sexual harassment I’m used to, but this tender atmosphere was new and terrifying.
I snuck a look at Lynn only to see her looking at me with innocent eyes and a flushed face.
Ah, I see, this expression must mean she’s asking for a kiss! That’s right, that’s it! If I didn’t kiss her now, what kind of man would I be?
I put a trembling hand on Lynn’s shoulder.
Although she seemed a little surprised, she didn’t resist. Seeing this, I closed my eyes.
“I want to finish what I couldn’t before…”
This is going to work!
As I slowly moved my face closer, the moment our lips would touch–
Suddenly, a white object yelled and jumped out of a nearby bush.
The thing slammed into my stomach hard.
“Gah! What’s going… Faitfore?”
“Huh? What are you doing here?”
The young girl was rubbing my stomach with her cheeks, Faitfore.
Lynn and I were dumbfounded at her sudden appearance.
“Hey, hey! Dust is my master. Lynn is bad! Grrrrr!”
Faitfore bared her teeth at Lynn.
“You-you got it wrong, I’m not gonna take him away!”
Lynn quickly tried to calm her down and held out her hand, but Faitfore just got ready to bite the hand.
This was the first time I’d seen her show anger in her human form… But thinking about it calmly, I couldn’t really put her at fault.
“Calm down, Faitfore, it’s nothing like that. But how did you get here anyway?”
“Umm, Cheese and the others chased after Dust, so I followed them.”
“I see, I see. Cheese… Keith, you mean?”
“Un, he’s over there…”
Faitfore immediately answered and pointed to the bush where she’d come from.
At that moment, I heard a rustle and couldn’t help but notice the branches shaking.
“Okay, whoever’s hiding there, come on out.”
After I shouted angrily into the bushes, the bush answered with a raspy “meow”.
“What the hell, it’s just a cat. Okay Lynn, squash it with magic.”
“Right, I’ll put it out of its misery.”
Lynn walked around my right side with a wicked grin and pointed her wand at the bush.
“Stop! Don’t do it, I’ll come out right now!”
Three figures rushed out of the bushes.
Standing before us were Keith, smiling awkwardly, Taylor, scratching his head idly, and Loli Succubus, holding a notepad with a gleam in her eye.
“I tried to stop them, I’m sorry.”
“I was really interested! It was a bit awkward, but that’s alright, please continue!”
“Just forget we’re here and go all the way… We’ll just come out and interrupt right before anything good happens.”
Only Taylor apologized, and the other two showed not even a sign of remorse.
I couldn’t make out what Keith said at the end, but that look on his face meant nothing good.
“What do you think I’m going to do after you completely ruined the mood? Right, Lynn?”
“Did it? I’m completely fine. If anything, maybe we should let them watch.”
This unexpected answer caused me to let out a cry in surprise. I looked to my left and saw Lynn smiling at me.
She closed her eyes like before and stood on her toes.
Although I was uncomfortable with the gazes all around me, I couldn’t leave Lynn like that.
At that moment, I made up my mind and brought my face close to hers.
“Mwahahahaha! What a shame, it was actually Moi!”
…And Lynn’s face shifted into Sir Vanir’s right before my eyes.
“So many high-quality negative emotions! This shall offset some of the money you owe.”
Stunned in silence, I couldn’t make a sound… Wait, the money I owed him was for asking him to help protect Axel, right?
“You already got 10 million Eris from Luna, isn’t that good enough…”
“These are two different things.”
I was too careless at that time, how could I have made such a stupid deal. While I was wallowing in self-pity, someone placed a hand gently on my right shoulder. I turned my head and saw Lynn give me a wry smile.
That’s right, Lynn was standing on my right, not my left. With everything going on, who would’ve noticed that!?
“What’s the matter, delinquent adventurer, your whole body is shaking. Do you have a fever?”
“No, I don’t even have the strength left to be angry…”
After Sir Vanir left contentedly, we returned to the guild together.
Faitfore seemed exhausted and fell asleep on my back.
Feeling that she was going to slide off, I stopped and carried her in my arms as I caught up with my friends.
“Let’s go have some drinks! Come on, it’ll be my treat, so don’t look so depressed.”
To think that Keith would offer to give me a treat. I suppose miracles do happen.
“You are undoubtedly the one who contributed most to the successful defence of Axel. the others might not know about it, but we do. Isn’t that enough?”
Even Taylor was acting nice; was he drunk? He must just be messing with me.
“Although his battle plans were underhanded and despicable, Dust-san did his best! It’s amazing!”
Loli Succubus nodded admiringly.
“What’s wrong with the three of you? Did you eat something strange?”
“You know… We were being nice because you won’t be able to be acknowledged by the others. You did really well this time.”
Lynn said with a broad smile as she lightly pressed her fist to my chest.
…So they really did care about me.
I voluntarily gave up my status as the youngest Dragon knight and was expelled from my country to become an adventurer… But there were still people who cared about me.
Even though I lived my life as I pleased, followed my instincts and got up to stupid things, my friends never left me. Not only that, but they willingly walked side by side with me.
I might be a fool who withdrew from his spot on the main stage, but I can still play the part in front of my friends, right?
“What are you standing around for? Come on, let’s go!”
I was stuck in place, but Lynn took my hand.
This wasn’t the time to immerse myself in the regrets of the past.
I am going to live my life in this town, alongside my beloved friends.
We’ve reached the final volume!
This would be my final afterword, so I thought I’d reveal some things I never was able to before, but first, let me touch on the contents of the final volume.
In Konosuba Volume 17, while Kazuma and the others were fighting in the Demon King’s castle, the town of Axel was attacked by the Demon King’s Army at the same time. How will the adventurers of Axel stand up to an enemy they should have no chance of defeating? And what would Dust’s role be!? Well, that’s the story of this volume.
When I received the suggestion from my editor to write a spinoff for the Konosuba series, I jumped at the chance, and the pressure greatly exceeded my expectations. Just this once, I’d like to praise myself for finishing this story.
As I mentioned before, I am a big fan of the Konosuba series. I’ve read all the chapters in the web series and I’ve also bought all the volumes. This is why I had a hard time writing for this spinoff series.
I had considered simply borrowing the setting of Konosuba and introducing a bunch of my own characters to play around with, but after considering it from the perspective of a fan…
“I would rather know more about the existing characters and untold details behind existing stories than read a story about unknown characters written by a new author.”
So, the only completely original character is Faitfore, who appeared in Volume 5. This is the only character I thought up from scratch and proposed.
From the feedback I’ve received from Volume 5, it seems to be received well by the readers, so that’s a relief to me.
Looking back on the whole series, it really makes me feel a lot of emotions.
I rewrote and revised the first volume countless times, I had nothing but apprehension before the publication. I was so afraid of the reader’s reactions that I couldn’t even look myself up, and I spent my days with my stomach hurting out of anxiety.
The pressure had eased somewhat when it came time for Volume 2, so I decided to take a crack at Alcanretia. Yes, the headquarters of the Axis Cult. It was definitely a place I wanted to write about in a spinoff… But I didn’t have the courage to do it with Volume 1.
In the third volume, I decided to let Iris, one of the more popular characters from the main series make an appearance. I’ve lost count of the number of times I read and reread Iris’s dialogue scenes. If Iris didn’t feel like Iris here, it would’ve been a big problem. It’s with that in mind that I focused my efforts when I wrote that volume.
Volume 4 is where Loli Succubus took the center stage. In truth, the conversations between Dust and Loli Succubus are very easy to write.
Loli Succubus was originally only intended to play a small role, but when I got her involved with Dust she became really funny and enjoyable to write, and before I knew it she had become an indispensable main character. Also I really enjoyed having the chance to write Zesta!
Volume 5… Is the Volume where Faitfore made her first appearance. I’ve already touched on this earlier, so let’s move on.
Volume 6 is where Princess Leonor made her debut. She made me work hard as a writer too. After all, she needed to be a character with a strong personality who could take even the current Dust for a spin. Incidentally… I also wrote a happy ending where Princess Leonor and Dust could be together, but it wasn’t adopted and later deleted and rewritten.
And now, the seventh volume!
Please enjoy the work, I put my all into this!
Lastly, I would like to render my thanks.
Akatsuki-Sensei, thank you veeeeeeery much! I have nothing but thanks for you letting me play around this freely. If I were to express all of my gratitude in words, It would fill out the entire afterword, so I’ll leave it here. Also, Volume 17 was the most entertaining volume I ever read!
Mishima Kurone-Sensei, I’ve yet to see the illustrations for Volume 17 at time of writing, but I’m really looking forward to it! I wonder if that scene will be illustrated?
Yuuki Hagure-sensei, thank you for sticking by me to the last volume! I reviewed the illustrations you provided for the entire series, and all the characters were drawn so well that they filled my heart with nostalgia and joy…
Manager M-san, I’ve finished writing the spinoff for Konosuba!
To the people at Sneak Bunko, to the sales staff, to the design team, to the editors and the many others who assisted in getting this book published, thank you very much!
And my biggest thanks to all the readers who stayed with me to the end!
(Thanks to Kasen and Ulti for touching up the artwork)
And that’s it for Dust 7. Sorry for the long delay, and once again thanks to Nickwonton for providing the initial translation and lighting a fire under my ass. And of course I’ll have to thank Kasen, Xenthur, Ulti and Striker for jumping right back into things after an almost year long break.
Dust 7 has two short stories that I was able to get my hands on, and those should be coming out over the next two weeks. Beyond that, who knows? There’s still Yorimichi 2, of course, but I’m not quite sure if I’ve regained enough of my time to commit to a new project. We’ll see how things goes.
Anyway, till we meet again.
Short story 2