I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Seventy]

Falling, falling, falling…

I was dragged into this black void… Did it happen recently, or has it been hours? In this darkness, I’ve lost track of time.

How long do I have to keep falling!? Was I even falling?

“…Dragon, where are you?”

“…Kyu–”

I heard a faint reply. What? Was that my Dragon? Was he close?

I reached out my hand and squinted my eyes, but I wasn’t able to touch anything.

…Well, as long as I could hear him, then I have proof that he’s okay.

But where the hell were we?

Sara-chan and Solan-kun weren’t here. There’s no one I can ask for advice… I tried to think on my own, but my head had already reached its limit.

“Is anyone there…?”

Maybe.

“No one should be here–”

…Did I just get a reply?

“…Is someone there…?”

Did you call for me?

So… Some… Someone’s here!

No way… I thought no one was here when I said that!

I was just talking to myself, and I really wasn’t expecting someone else to reply!?

Hmmm? Were you not calling me…? Then I’m going back to sleep.

“Ho… Hold on a second!”

I tried to maintain the attention of the sleepy voice I’m hearing.

This was a bit… Somewhat… No… A very suspicious voice, but it’s still way better than nothing!

It’s the only thing that’s changed in all the time I spent falling in this darkness. I shouldn’t let it fall asleep!

So, you heard me?

“Yes… Yes! I can hear you! I can definitely hear you!”

I raised my hand in confirmation at the presence that I couldn’t see… And might not really be there.

I may not see them in this darkness, but it felt good to have someone to talk to.

Well, get on with it then. I was about to go to sleep.

“Uhm… No, it’s just… I was a little surprised…”

They were already annoyed.

I felt like I was about to get scolded like a stupid little child.

In such an insane and confusing situation, I just needed some encouragement…

Was I selfish to ask for that…?

Isn’t this a nostalgic place?

“No… Nostalgic…? Do you mean you know where this is!?”

Oooh! I’m finally getting a clue to what was going on!

Please help me!

Oh, mysterious voice that guides me!

I do… But sorry, I can’t explain it to you.

“Whaaat!? Why not?”

“Any conversation with you would involve words that you won’t be able to understand… There would be no point to it.”

…It was pretty clear that I was being told I didn’t have the foundations to understand anything…

For the sake of argument, I’ll say that’s true.

However, I really wanted to know where we were, so I played along.

“Do you know how to get out of here!?”

“…You don’t have to yell for me to hear you.”

The voice sounded annoyed.

But I mean, the darkness made it hard to tell how far my voice would be carried!

Besides, how can I stay calm in this place, with nothing above, below, or sideways!?

Hmmm, I see. Well then, I’ll try to give you some basis.

The moment that word left their mouth, the space in front of me suddenly lit up.

Ughhh… It’s so bright…

My eyes hurt from the sudden addition of light to the area. It soaked into my eyes.

“–Huh? Where am I?”

My mouth hung wide open. A lady like me would generally have kept a more serious expression, but this much was okay. No one would be expected to act like a lady, given the current circumstances. Oh, what am I saying?

…Just forget about all of that for now.

What I saw spread in front of me was some kind of magnificent temple or palace.

Unlike the boundless darkness from before, now I was in a corridor with walls on either side… I’m here… Why was I here!?

Wha…

Hold on…

Whaaat!?

Before I could unravel the mystery of my situation, I was moved to another location! Why!?

“Kyuruuu!”

“Dragon! Dragon’s here! I can see him!”

What a noisy creature…

I heard the voice calling down from overhead.

Wait a minute. I’m just so happy to see my Dragon right now, so wait your turn.

It ignored my modest request, and a shadow loomed over my Dragon and me.

…What…

What’s that… Up above…!?

Feeling nothing but fear, I clung to my fearless Dragon as we both looked up towards the voice.

Has this one calmed down a little?

–Up there, with glittering diamond-like scales, was a Dragon.

“Kyuuu!”

“Ah… Ahhh! It’s the empire from back in the day… Wait, no. It’s a Dragon!”

This one is so fidgety…

No… No!

No, no, no, nooo!

No one could possibly calm down with such a giant Dragon in front of them!

I want to get out of here!


“–So, did this one calm down?”

“…Just enough to not scream.”

“It would have been challenging to stay in a place like this, so I have reduced the size of my form for you.”

“Uhm… Thanks, I guess?”

Your gratitude seems insufficient, but… Oh, well.

Well, sorry if it wasn’t enough.

What was I even supposed to be thankful for?

He stared at me as if frustrated, even though I thanked him as much as I could!

Even if I wanted to complain… That would be a bad idea in front of such a powerful being such as this Dragon.

“So… Uhm… Long time no see? How have you been these days?”

…This one has a lot of questions…

Uh-oh. The Serpent Dragon’s gaze was becoming more and more annoyed.

But to point out the obvious, I was just a human, and he’s an actual Dragon. He was much bigger than me… So, I needed to change the topic before he got too annoyed!

“Not at all! I’m just a bit off, is all! By the way, what should I call you?”

…This one may call me Kongoryu.

He told me his name—topic change, successful.

“Then, Kongoryu-sama, where’s this place? Why did that black mass suck us up?”

Hmmm… Mmmm…

“I don’t know if going outside would be the right expression, but can my Dragon and I go back?”

Yeah… Yeah!

That’s the spirit! Don’t ask for complicated details you won’t understand, just stick to the simple things and have intelligent people explain them later! With such a mighty Dragon cooperating with me, I must focus on escaping! I must be crazy!

If that is your wish, then you have no choice but to go forward.

He gestured his snout in the direction of the dark corridor.

In the depths of the corridor that seemed to go on forever was a mysterious hazy covered window.

“There? Doesn’t it seem like we’d have to walk a lot?”

“Kyuruuu?”

When we looked up at Kongoryu-sama, he sighed with tremendous power.

It’s your choice. Go forward if that’s what you want.

He said it more assertively this time.

Well… Here I go…

Having heard him say that, I looked down the corridor again… It remained dark… Even when I squinted.

Uhm… How far do I have to go?

I can’t even see the end!?

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Sixty-Nine]

As we desperately chased after Rururia-san, the gap that had swallowed her up vanished as if to mock us.

Faced with such circumstances, we could only stand helpless in the pouring rain.

“It… It can’t be… Why did it have to be Ria…”

Sara-san was always unfazed with a fearless smile…

But the woman in front of me now was sitting on the ground, crying and screaming.

All I could do was stroke her back… I couldn’t think of any way to ease her pain.

Disregarding my aristocratic manners, I bit down on my lip reflexively.

…What was up with this unfair reincarnation? I felt so powerless.

The annoying feeling of the rain hitting my cheeks reminded me of how I had died in my past life.


I am a reincarnated individual.

Hearing me say that might make me sound crazy, but it’s true.

I remember my life as a different person and the kind of world I lived in.

I’m the daughter of a Duke in this life, living a luxurious life… But I was a commoner before.

I was raised downtown with a candy maker for a father.

I lost my mother early in life and had unwavering respect for my father, who had the stubbornness and soft-spoken nature of a true craftsman.

My dream was to be a candy maker like my father someday.

“I just don’t know you, dad!”

That’s what I had said when I left home.

Feelings of embarrassment, betrayal and unbelievable anger ran through my head.

“All you have to do was succeed me.”

That one phrase made me feel like my entire self was rejected, and I couldn’t breathe because it was so painful.

Was it because I was too weak… Because I was a woman? Afraid to hear the answer, I decided that I needed something different for myself and ran away.

Fittingly enough, it was raining outside, dousing me like a tragic heroine.

As my shoes squelched, my feelings of anger and resentment towards my father turned to anxiety and doubt.

“…Maybe I should go back home.”

I was entirely soaked and freezing.

And above all else, I felt hungry… I was really in a bad state.

Well… Even a heroine got hungry, so I tried to wipe my wet face with the hem of my uniform, though the rain made it impossible.

I covered my eyes with both hands, as they hurt from crying so much… I tried to calm down.

Thud.

There was a loud noise near my ears. The shock echoed through my body.

Huh?

I didn’t understand why, but it felt like I was rising into the gray sky in slow motion.

The sound hit my whole body, leaving only a chilly feeling on my cheeks.

In the distance, someone was yelling something, and even if I wanted to respond… I couldn’t move my fingers, head, nor my legs.

My eyes were blurry, and I couldn’t understand what was happening.

I felt something warm on my fingertips. A warm liquid was spreading slowly.

…Ah, was this my blood?

Was I dying?

Disorganized thoughts went through my head.

I tried with all my might, but I couldn’t move my fingers… Oh, no...

I felt that sticky liquid, which felt different from rain, slowly flow from my skin and spread out… Oh, no… No, no…

I can’t die like this.

I haven’t apologized to my dad yet.

I could no longer hear the voice of whoever was yelling. All I heard was the annoying sound of rain.

That rain ruthlessly washed my life away.

–Ah, it’s cold…

So cold…

Don’t wash me away…

No, no, no–

“I don’t want to die.”

Perhaps no one could hear my faint, choked up voice–

-A girl’s scream made me open my eyes.

It wasn’t rain or asphalt that encompassed my vision, but a lace fabric.

“Irene!”

A man came in through the door without pausing… Who was that?

He approached my side with an expression of great concern on his face and gently embraced me.

I was immensely relieved by the feeling of his dry shirt, which was smooth and soft, as well as his body heat against me,

“What happened? Did you have a bad dream?”

He had a soft, calm, and low voice as he stroked my hair with his gentle hands. I felt my tense and fearful face soften as tears spilled out.

His hands stopped for a moment at my sudden crying, but he gently rained his fingers through my hair in support and encouragement.

…Oh, that’s right.

I am ‘Irene‘ and this man was my ‘dad‘.

I raised my eyes again, and through my tearful distorted gaze, I saw my father’s face.

…Ah, I need to say something.

I tried to swallow through my tight throat, struggling through my own sobbing.

“–I don’t want to die.”

I had opened my mouth to say, “I’m okay, Dad!” but those words wouldn’t come out at all.

Although my father understood… Although I didn’t need to say it… My feelings of fear had been overflown like a river that couldn’t be dammed.

“What is it, Irene?”

“No, I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!”

I interrupted my father, yelling. I was trying to shake off the cold horror spreading through my body.

I kept yelling until my throat was raw.

I clung to my father as I kept screaming.

“–I don’t want to die!”


“–Well, this is awkward.”

I heard a cold voice from my past and saw Perseus standing in front of me.

The temperature made me stiffen and freeze.

Perseus, the Crown Prince, was using traces of magic around him to move through this space.

He was approaching me with a sinisterly expressionless face.

He was looking at Sara-san with his icy gaze. How scary…

Sara-san dug her pretty hands into the dirty ground at his cold voice and glared back at him.

The combination of rain and tears would make it difficult for an average person to look at him, but Sara-san was more substantial than an ordinary person.

She had the intensity of a rakshasa wanting to burn the world to dust. Wow…

Perseus took in his surroundings, looking at everything that had been swept away, and snorted.

How cruel. To be so dismissive of her, who was just worried about her best friend…!

I opened my mouth to protest, but he looked at me as if to freeze me up with his blizzard-like gaze.

Ooof… So cold… Just with his gaze it felt like I’d freeze to death!

I clung to Sara-san as she tried to encourage me.

Rather than shaking me off, she adjusted her position to block my vision with her back.

I felt her back tremble, and my compassion for her doubled.

Perseus continued to stare at her, irritation creeping into his cold gaze.

“You choose to just sit in the mud pathetically? Just crying and glaring stupidly, was that your answer?”

Without saying anything, Sara-san sat motionless, continuing to be battered by the rain.

Perseus aggressively grabbed her by her shoulders, bringing his face so close their lips nearly touched, and stared into her eyes.

“Don’t disappoint me.”

After a momentary pause, a crisp sound echoed. It was the sound of Sara-san slapping Perseus’ arms off her shoulders.

“I don’t care to know about your selfish desires.”

At some point, she had stopped trembling.

In the next moment, she had stood up gracefully as if dancing at a ball.

Her whole body was wet from the rain and covered in mud, her dress full of wrinkles, and her hair out of sorts– Yet she was still as beautiful as ever.

“Who chose this? Who answered? Care to speculate?”

“…Well, I leave that all to you.”

Sara-san was laughing confidently, back to her usual self.

Although I still felt powerless with the pain in my chest, I stood up slowly, as well.

“Well? Weren’t you the one who put this system in place, Crown Prince? Not that you would tell me?”

“You weren’t a very cute and quiet subordinate to begin with, were you?”

I left the two of them alone as they rapidly exchanged with each other.

…After all, I’m an ordinary person.

Even with a past life… Even with a bit of magical ability… I won’t be able to compete with such true geniuses.

I’m genuinely useless.

“–Irene!”

“Huh?”

My thoughts were devolving into self-criticism, but I was brought to attention by Solan-kun’s voice.

His eyes were red. Had he been crying?

He’s always been a crybaby, so he definitely was.

…It seemed he was also profoundly affected. He averted his eyes as he vented his emotions.

“…Are you okay?”

“…Solan.”

I was going to ask if he was worried but realized it was a dumb question.

How did he become her friend first?

Lady Rururia cared about him a lot.

…No, it doesn’t matter. But I don’t know what to do.

“No, Ria wouldn’t like it if I cried.”

He said it so shyly.

It seemed at some point that he had finally grown up. I should be happy to see my friends growing. Was I actually just deceiving myself…?

I don’t that.

“You’re not worried?”

“The moment Ria was sucked in, I threw in a wedge so that space could be temporarily fixed.”

“You… You did!? But, Rururia still wasn’t safe!”

…I feel like a child having a tantrum.

It wasn’t enjoyable… I want to stop, but I can’t control it.

Solan-kun gently laughed as if to calm me down.

I looked at him… What… Had he also gotten taller?

He was always a target.

Someone who gambled with his own life and that of his country. Someone who had a one-way ticket to a horrific death.

–And yet, he was my treasured friend.

“Try to think, Irene. This is Ria we’re talking about. The girl with a Dragon Crest, riding a Dragon, confronting Fallen Heroes, being chased by mysterious objects, making contracts with Dragons, and even transforming it… She’ll be alright, won’t she?

…When he said it like that, it seemed strange that she had lasted this long for some reason. That made me feel a little at ease.

Nothing had changed, but I remembered her neat little face, and a smile crept onto my face.

I pictured her with no regard for any trauma, just stroking the Dragon on her shoulder and complaining.

It seemed foolish to worry about her now.

“Well then…”

“Yep.”

“It is Rururia-san, after all!”

“It is Ria we’re talking about!”

Our voices were unexpectedly in unison. Despite the circumstances, we looked at each other and let out sighs.

…Ah, Rururia-san was just too strong…

I looked at Solan-kun’s gentle smile, the one that Lady Rururia had helped change, and I smiled back.

–I felt my stomach rumble, making the situation awkward. Ah, what… Why?

I felt a sudden rush of emotions and turned my gaze.

I saw Sara-san, laughing like she was invincible. And at her side… Was Perseus clutching his head, but I’ll not focus on him.

So what will we do…? She seemed to think, conveying it wordlessly in her gaze, and I felt my head and stomach flutter with confusion.

I can’t just help my dear friend.

–It has to be done, of course, that’s what I’ll say.

“Let’s go! We must do our best to save Rururia!”

“Alright! Irene, first off–”

Standing next to me, Solan-kun began his complex theoretical explanation on how we would save Lady Rururia.

We… We have to try…!

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Sixty-Eight]

I was stunned to see that familiar black mass clinging to the glass ceiling.

Ah. All I wanted was advice from my friends on how to avoid getting married…

…I had just come up with a perfect plan for what to do with my Dragon.

I looked at him, who had turned brown again, and he cocked his head as if to say, “What’s wrong?

–Why don’t you see the black thing right in front of us!?

“Ria!”

Solan-kun’s frustrated voice snapped me out of my daze, making me look up.

Wow, the black thing was expanding right in front of me.

As I continued to watch, stunned, it began to entwine itself with my body!?

Then, as the black object began to float up, my body floated up with it… I’m floating!?

Hey… Why… Hold up, wait!? You don’t want me. You don’t want me!

“Ria! Give me your hand!”

“Ru… Rururia-san!”

Sara-chan reached out her hand to me, and Irene-sama was casting magic circles as she approached.

Black tendrils extended out to block the two of them.

Why wasn’t it catching them, too? Why just me? Oh, man… I just want to go home!

My heart cried out in empty despair as part of the black object broke the glass ceiling.

…Huh? Was this the end of my wildlife…?

As I worried about that, the black object slipped through the smashed hole in the glass, dragging me with it out of the room.

–Raindrops hit my cheeks.

The cold wetness hitting my body indeed confirmed that I was outside, but I felt like I was watching this happen as someone else, not living. But that wasn’t the case… Was it!?

The black thing began to grow and expand some more as it rose into the sky.

And it took me up and away with it… Ah, Sara-chan and the others were getting smaller and smaller down there!

Solan-kun was desperately running away from a black tendril below, shouting something and pointing behind himself as he did. I’ve got a bad feeling about that. Please stop!

My body reacted and was forcibly moved in the direction Solan-kun was pointing at.

It seemed my hunch was correct, as they usually were when they’re ominous premonitions.

In front of me, apart from the black object, the ground below was churning menacingly!

That space spread out across the ground like a spilled puddle of ink.

It was as if that the impenetrable black-like object carrying me had painted the ground itself, and it seemed to want to swallow me up. That looks bad. I mustn’t get close.

–Nevertheless…

The black object was taking me straight towards that void!

Was… Was there anything!? Anything that can save me!

I reached out and reflexively grabbed something I saw in the corner of my eye. It was the window frame of the tower by the Training Grounds. For now, at least, by holding on, I’m not drawing any closer to that void.

As I held on, I looked down and scanned the scene.

The Training Grounds was overrun with black tendrils. They were everywhere

The only difference from before was that we were floating, so Solan-kun and Irene-sama couldn’t get close… At least that’s what I think was happening.

What on earth was that thing we’re approaching? Looking back, I saw something scary. A relatively large tree branch was being sucked into the swirling black void.

–It was twisted and bent as it went in, disappearing.

“I can’t go in there! Somebody save me!”

My voice sounded pathetic as it echoed down, but I didn’t care.

I felt like multiple people were staring at me, but I didn’t care about that either… Just save me!

“Lady Rururia!”

At my cry for help, the Knight Commander had appeared.

He was not in his usual neat uniform, but an ordinary indigo shirt and black pants.

His usually well-kept, short hair was wild, and he clutched his sword in hand.

But due to the black tendrils, even the Knight Commander couldn’t get close.

My fingers were starting to hurt…

I’m about to lose my grip…

“Ria! Keep thinking! Don’t let go!”

I heard Sara-chan raising her voice in fear.

The Knight Commander cut a gap through the tendrils, and Solan-kun and Irene-sama flanked him on either side.

I felt afraid at the glimpse I caught of Sara-chan’s serious and frustrated expression.

This was awful… Such an appalling situation… But my fingers were about to reach their limit.

“Kyuuu!”

I suddenly heard my Dragon’s call from behind me.

“Kyuruuu!”

–He fell into the black space.

…He fell!

My Dragon had fallen!

He was only just on my back.

…But now, he’s fallen!

It happened the moment I got distracted.

“–Ah…”

My hand slipped.

A black tendril wrapped mercilessly around my body, dragging me towards the void.

Oh… It’s taking me into the darkness!

“Lady Rururia!”

“Ria!”

“Ria!”

“Rururia-san!”

I raised my eyes from the overpowering blackness towards the direction of the voices.

Solan-kun’s head was slumped down, stunned, and defeated.

Irene-sama was desperately holding back a pale, crestfallen Sara-chan.

Sara-chan was screaming and crying loudly as she tried to rush towards me.

…I’ve never seen her like that before.

–And then…

I saw the Knight Commander extending his hand out to me as I fell.

As I looked into his light blue eyes…

I felt a pain like I was being cut into a thousand pieces.

The dark void swallowed me up and closed itself off behind me.


I stared at my hand as it cut through the sky, unobstructed.

–No one had reached out to grab it, so why was I looking at it?

The black object which had troubled us so much had disappeared as if nothing had happened. The black void that had grabbed her was likewise gone.

…Why her…?

Why not me?

“Ria! No! It can’t be!”

“Sa… Sara-san! Calm down!”

That woman, who had been spending time with Ria, knelt covered in dirt, desperately casting magic at the spot of the ground where Lady Rururia had vanished. I couldn’t tell from her gaze what she was thinking.

I couldn’t resolve things with magic the way she was trying to.

I knew it would be useless to stab the ground with my sword or dig by hand, but I couldn’t help but feel an urge to do so.

–I couldn’t remember ever feeling this helpless before.

–I couldn’t remember feeling so much regret as I did now, wishing I had stretched my arm a bit farther.

…Visions of her hand, just out of reach, welled up in my mind. My chest hurts.


I was falling. I kept falling and falling.

I thought I would be bent and twisted like that branch I saw earlier, but my body appeared to be in one piece… I think.

It was hard to tell, as it was so dark to the point where I couldn’t even see my hand.

Well, I didn’t feel any pain, so I’m okay… I think.

Even so, it was dark, and I couldn’t see my Dragon, which should have fallen in here earlier. I didn’t hear his cry, so perhaps I was entirely alone.

I’m just falling continuously in darkness.

When falling into such strange circumstances, I felt no fear.

…Huh?

How long was I going to keep falling?

There’s not some hard surface waiting for me at the bottom, was there?

Looking at my right, there was black. Looking at my left, was more black, and down below… Nothing but black surrounded me.

–Whatever this was…

Please let me land safely!

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Sixty-Seven]

It’s raining a bit today.

I, Rururia, sat on the terrace, looking through the glass while in the middle of a meeting.

The former first aid room that had become my temporary residence hadn’t been this stylish.

When I returned from the Frontier, I found many magicians lined up in my room for some reason.

They then completed the glass dome they were assembling and vanished in the blink of an eye.

What the hell was that…?

It’s a complete mystery to me.

Now, three people were sitting, relaxed, in front of me.

I had assembled them today to discuss the serious issues that had happened to me.

My Dragon sat on my lap, awake for once.

“What should we do!? What’s the right move!?”

“Kyuru?”

“So… About your marriage, Ria…”

“Rururia-san is getting married…”

“To think Ria’s getting married…”

The three of them had been kind enough to arrive at my heartfelt plea.

Sara-chan had her typical smiling expression, Irene-sama sat with her hands clasped, looking off like she was daydreaming, and Solan-kun was giving me a doubtful look.

I understand you, Solan-kun.

I’m feeling a lot of doubt myself.

Meanwhile, Sara-chan seemed to be enjoying herself, while Irene-sama was off in a world of her own.

It’s a little odd that it was Solan-kun, the man, that understood me best.

I’m not getting married!

I pled again, but they ignored me and just kept looking at the matchmaking papers.

Heeey…

Please pay attention to me…

“So? Who are you going with?”

“Who… Well, that’s what I wanted your advice on, Sara-sama.”

Sara-chan seemed amused as she played with the Crown Prince’s page.

What? Do you want that one? Go ahead. You can have itOh, I’m sorry, Sara-chan!

“Wow, the school director was in here. What about him? He’s handsome and unexpectedly nice!”

“He’s only nice to you, Irene-sama. Didn’t he propose to you?”

Irene-sama cocked her head as if she didn’t remember.

She doesn’t even remember…

What a sinful woman that Irene-sama was.

“…What… Irene-sama… With him…..”

“Yeah… Yeah! Let’s focus, Solan-kun! We’re here to talk about me right now.”

Solan-kun used magic to snatch the School Director’s page out of Irene’s hands to rip it all up.

That was my paper, though… Ah, whatever.

“It must be tough to choose from one of these, Ria.”

“I know, right!? What should I do…”

Sara-chan smiled at my distress.

Wait, what!? What’s so funny to you!? Why were you being like this, Sara-chan!

“Or maybe, you want someone not here. The Knight Commander, perhaps?”

“Wha… Wha… What… Why would you say that, Sara-san!?”

At my uncontrolled outburst, Sara-chan looked at me with her ancient, dark dragon smile as if she’d caught me in a trap.

Oh, she really does look scary when she does that!

I looked down at the tea in front of me to avoid Sara-chan’s terrifying gaze.

Oh, Your Majesty, why have you put me in this situation!?

It’s not about the Knight Commander!

I don’t care about him… I swear!

I tried to enjoy my tea as I broke out into a cold sweat. Irene-sama just murmured, in turn.

“Oh, Rururia… If only I had a brother, you could have… One of my distant relatives has a son that might just be right… If I adopted him and you married him, we could be family, Rururia…”

“Don’t involve that poor soul in all of this. Knock it off, Irene-sama.”

“…Oh well.”

Irene-sama slumped her shoulders dejectedly.

Thank you anyway, Irene-sama.

I know you’re looking out for me.

But I don’t want you trying to put me into the Duke of Dilaver’s house all of a sudden!?

…We wouldn’t have any space…

I felt like I was losing my life.

I leaned back farther into the sofa as everyone sat silently thinking.

Once again, I felt overwhelmed and defeated. I collapsed slightly.

…Yeah, I know.

It’s like His Majesty had said, as long as I’m an essential asset to the country, I can only choose from within this bundle of papers.

Despite all that, I felt like there was no correct answer here, and I felt so bad about it.

It felt strange to rush to choose a partner and marry them so quickly.

I needed to find some way to overcome this situation!

“…Alright, let’s pick someone.”

I just let it out involuntarily, and the three of them looked stunned before bursting into laughter.

Huh? Perhaps they’ve come up with a resolution to this situation!?

“By the way, Solan-kung, whatever happened to those soybeans you wear working on?”

“Oh, yeah! I’d been looking forward to that!”

“Uhm, well… Uh… I got… They don’t explode anymore…”

Wait… Wait a minute.

“Why would there be explosions involved in breeding plants?”

“Well, I didn’t want it to… I just took a shortcut and…”

“Well, that explains it! For sure!”

Wait, wait, wait.

“Do they taste good, at least? If not, then there’s no point to breeding them?”

“Exactly! So, were the exploding soy beans delicious?”

“I can eat more than before, but they weren’t quite ready for me to give to you yet, Irene-sama.”

Waaait! We’re supposed to talking about the big problems in my life, right!?

“Kyu!”

“…No, Dragon, just because I stood up doesn’t mean I want to play.”

“…So, you really can communicate with him now.”

Solan-kun murmured with a smirk.

No, no, no!

I can’t communicate with him! I just said I didn’t feel like playing with him… That was all!

The Dragon swung his tail excitedly on the table.

…Hmmm? Dragon… Ah–

“Ah, I got it! It’s because I have a Dragon that people want me!”

I lifted him high and asked seriously.

“Dragon! Hey! Become a dog!”

“Kyuru?”

“Huh?”

Everyone looked at me, wanting to know what I had just said.

Relax, everyone…

Just be calm like me.

“If I made him look like a harmless dog instead of a Dragon, then I’ll be on the clear, right!?”

…Huh? Why were they still looking at me like I’m crazy?

Yeah, I guess no one would believe that my Dragon could become a dog! It’s understandable!

“You can go now, Dragon! Since the Heavenly Dragon is a friend now, right!?”

“…She just disclosed some pretty confidential information, right?”

“…Well, you’ll all be careful about all of this, won’t you?”

“A Dragon with human friends… Incredible!”

Well, I just kind of said that… It’s not really true!

Well, Dragon! Just read the room and become a dog for me!

Dog, dog… Dog…

A little puppy dog… With big eyes… A little tail…

“Kyuuu!”

The Dragon in my arms let out a loud shout, but did not stop being a Dragon.

“Kyuruuu!”

I took a closer look at him.

“…Dog?”

Hmmm, let me think…

Well, he was already small with a bit of tail and squishy round eyes…

“He has too many eyes.”

“He shouldn’t have horns.”

“I have never seen a dog like that.”

“–It’s not a dog! It’s a monster!”

If I tried to take him on a walk, I’d be called a monster’s master!?

…No, no, no, but my Dragon did his best. He’s a similar shape to a dog, so I can make him like a dog if I kept trying. Yeah! Definitely! Let’s go with that!

This would make it seem like I no longer have connections with Dragons, so that this marriage problem would go away… It’s perfect!

I pet my three-eyed, brown scaled Dragon as I thought about the future–

Hm? Brown? Actually, wasn’t he looking a bit black now?

“Ah…”

A familiar black sphere floated near the ceiling.

“Ah!? That…”

“Ria!?”

“Rururia-san!”

Solan-kun and Irene-sama rushed toward me, casting magic circles as they did.

Why me again!?

Was the black thing not finished with me yet!?

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Sixty-Six]

“Today’s complaints are…”

The moment I took a step out of the Crown Prince’s office, I was snatched by a Knight of the Guard and was led away.

It seemed like His Majesty wanted to start complaining the moment I was thrown into the Reception Room, so I decided to take the initiative.

“Uhm… Your Majesty, haven’t you complained enough about now?”

It’s time that I raised my hand and gave him some advice.

He said Irene-sama was refusing to get engaged and rejected every suitor that came for her.

He said she just wanted to concentrate on the work with the Duke’s family.

So, what else was there to complain about? Couldn’t he just let me go now?

“Recently, my relationship with lady Irene had been good…”

For some reason, His Majesty looked directly at me. I had no idea why.

Huh? What’s with that? Was I right to assume?

Did you no longer need a complaint listener anymore?

“I have a lot of complaints about you, Rururia.”

“Ugu! And you’re going to force me to listen to them!?”

…This again!

The King was the same as the Crown Prince!

I guess this was all I could expect from these two brothers! How was I supposed to deal with this!?

Leaving me screaming, the King turned to send a signal to the servant behind him.

“Well, complaints aside, I have other business with you needed to be tended today.”

As he said that, the servant dropped a bundle of papers between the King and me.

The impact of its landing caused one sheet to fall off the mountain of paper.

Huh? It was a picture of someone with some inscriptions on the bottom…?

“They’re family trees you’ll be needing for matchmaking.”

“…Whaaat!? For me!?”

I didn’t need to have a fiancée, but to be honest, even I was starting to wonder what to do about that.

It would be troublesome to have His Majesty set me up with someone… So, if possible, I wanted to refuse.

Despite me being confused, the King started to show me portraits one after another.

They were pretty detailed and precise, appearing to have been drawn with the latest technology.

No way… The Crown Prince’s portrait was in here, too!?

…I must be cursed!

“You can pick whoever you want. This Perseus guy seems nice.”

“No, the Crown Prince is a bit…”

I had only just met the Crown Prince, but there was something off about him.

I can’t compete, and even if I got engaged, I’d have frozen to death before the marriage with my luck.

I just have a dangerous life… I must, by all means, decline.

However, my Count-level family was low enough that refusing such a match would be incredibly rude.

Even so…! There were other family tree options in here, which meant it would be okay to reject the Crown Prince, right?

“Well… How about Solan, who you’ve been getting along with so well recently?”

“Ugh!? Solan-kun is just a friend…”

“Hmmm… How about that School Director that you know? He’s part of the Marquis Family.”

“Wha… Ho… Hold on a minute!”

“We also have… the Chief Magician or the Margrave… You’re both pretty close in age, weren’t you?”

“Yo… Your Majesty! Please wait a minute!”

But the King kept going through pictures one after the other unceasingly.

What the hell was happening?

Your Majesty, we’ve never talked about this before?

“What happened… That you’re suddenly setting me up with suitors?”

The King’s expression changed when I asked.

The mirthful atmosphere suddenly became solemn.

“Lady Rururia, you have come to hold an important position in our country. If you don’t marry into a house connected to the Royal Family or some other high ranking figure, it will be a huge scandal.”

His voice was somber, so I hid my sigh as not to be rude.

Huh… Wow… I didn’t realize I was so important…

How troublesome… This was all because of those two damned nicknames, wasn’t it!?

Ahhh. I just want to give them back! Who even gave me those titles!?

“And also, anyone that marries you will get the Dragon with you. A bunch of proposals had come in from abroad, as well.”

So, he’s the bonus…. No, in this situation, it’s like they’re marrying the Dragon, and I’m the bonus.

But I don’t want to get sent off abroad just because of my Dragon!

Although I was indignant, I tried to play along at least a little with the matchmaking to please His Majesty.

“Uhm… What about the Knight Commander…?”

…Ah, that’s not a great option either.

It’s not like I particularly wanted to marry the Knight Commander. I just thought it was weird that the Chief Magician was a candidate, but he wasn’t.

I tried to think up excuses, but the King’s eyes narrowed, bearing the face of a politician.

…At that pressure, I felt strength enter my body.

The King slowly opened his mouth.

“Anyone but Lionel.”

The King’s voice was icy, giving me goosebumps.

Huh… Why was it just him that’s off-limits?

My confusion must have seemed obvious, so His Majesty kept talking.

“It would have been best if you were just the Dragon Knight’s Bride, but now you’re also the Savior of the Nation and the Love of Dragons. Such a woman must be with one of a strong bloodline… So, some man with an unknown pedigree… would be unsuitable to be with you, Rururia.”

Even so… There was one more annoying little thing I wanted to ask, but I decided not to.

I felt uncomfortable at the King’s use of the words: unknown pedigree.

I thought the King was tolerant; he allowed Vidika-sama, a foreigner, to be accepted as a Knight Captain, marrying a nobleman… Which was something unthinkable in any other kingdom.

It’s odd to hear him talk about blood and birth like this.

Then I remembered… Didn’t I hear that the Knight Captain was a nobleman?

“Wasn’t the Knight Commander the son of another former Knight Commander?”

“Well… I won’t go into detail, but the man said, ‘That’s not my child.‘ So, he’s…”

His Majesty puckered his face as his words trailed off.

I have a bad feeling about this.

“They say he’s the child of a monster.”

“What do you mean?”

I responded reflexively. I clenched my teeth unconsciously, a groan emerged from my mouth, but I didn’t care.

Who would say such a thing about their son!?

What a harsh man he must have been.

Why make him your son if you had such abusive words to say!? Oh, how that angered me!

…So, the King thought that the Knight Commander was unsuitable for me?

“…Your Majesty, do you really believe that?”

The King laughed in a low, lonely voice, not hiding his irritation.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. The more I researched, the more it seemed as though he’s not fully human… So, I just stopped looking.”

His Majesty’s words knocked the wind out of me.

I felt sadness well up in my chest.

Maybe the King searched so hard because he wanted to prove he was really human.

The King’s eyes appeared more sunken as I thought about that.

I closed my eyes and remembered the Knight Commander.

I remembered his expressionless, blood-lusting, rude laughter.

…I guess he was more potent than a human, with an iron mask-like expression and a talent for killing.

Even so…

“He’s still the Knight Commander.”

I didn’t really reply with that. I just muttered.

How can the King claim to know a man he’s never met?

I wouldn’t even be here if he hadn’t saved my life.

…Right?

The King looked straight at me then laughed happily.

But in the next instant, it turned to a mischievous smile.

“Why, Lady Rururia, were you so attached to Lionel… Oh, I see, I see…”

“Hey, what do you mean by ‘I see‘!?”

No, no… This was the typical reaction.

It’s not… Not… It’s not like he’s special to me or anything…

“I understand what it’s like to be young, but those feelings will interfere with your marriage.”

“Why go back there? There’s no interference at all! Come on, Your Majesty!”

The King ignored my screams, seeming excited as he shoved the pile of papers in my direction.

The Crown Prince’s picture was at the top…

Our eyes met… I’m frozen!

“Then who do you choose? I recommend Perseus.”

Wait a minute! What happened to that solemn atmosphere from just a second ago?

I already said no way to the Crown Prince, so let’s take a break… Take a break from this!

So much is being thrown at me at once, I don’t know what to think!

Whenever I ended up overthinking, my brain would start to hurt.

No, no… That’s just what I think.

I’ll have to reject this “fantastic” proposal immediately!

Wait a minute, Rururia.

Yeah, I’m in a pinch right now!

Think hard, Rururia!

I don’t want to be a high-ranking aristocrat… That sounds hard.

I’ll avoid any options like that as much as possible.

I have one idea…

This will take all of my power to surpass.

I don’t know if this will even work.

All I can do was to bet on it.

“Please put this on hold on behalf of Vidika and Isabella!”

When I yelled that out, the color drained from the King’s face as he dropped the pile of papers.

“Ah, that nightmarish pair!?”

The King started to tremble. His face alternated between green and white.

Huh? Was he really that scared? Even though he’s the King of this country?

…I wonder what Vidika and Isabella did to him!

Clenching his papers, the King asked me to approach him closer… What did he want?

“I… I understand. I’ll put it on hold for now. If I do, then you won’t say anything to those two, right!?”

“Uhm… Okay?”

The King let out a sigh of relief.

Shouldn’t I have been able to decline without resorting to this?

As I thought about it, I smiled at my Phantom Brother, who said, “You idiot, if you rejected them all, then you’ll be single for life!”

How harsh.

I guess he’s kind of right…? It’s just the way he said it was too harsh.

If I rejected everyone, I’d be alone forever.

They’re high-class people. They wouldn’t marry me if I rejected them once before.

His Majesty let out a scream like he wanted to hunt me down.

“So, you like Lionel? Was he really better looking than Perseus?

“I didn’t say that. But regardless, I still won’t go with His Highness, the Crown Prince!”

The King proceeded to recommend the Crown Prince over and over while complaining excessively.

Why would he complain about me to me!?

If this kept on, I’d really quit being his complaint listener!

Or maybe not…

Ah. What am I going to do about this matchmaking matter?

I needed to make a decision, but it still felt so impossible…

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! x Background Setting (14)

Bet Forecast Deadline: Before Rururia reaches the Frontier.

Evil dark dragon, Sara-sama: Michelle had been sending me daily updates remotely from the Frontier, but her transmissions were being interrupted by His Majesty, the Crown Prince. In turn, I asked Solan to delay the final analysis report. I used that to make my inferences. There were a lot of uncertainties making it challenging to make an inference, however that only made it more fun and challenging for me.

Rururia will make the black thing react to her.

Chaotic evil god, the Crown Prince: It turned out that several Dragons had appeared to participate in the Dragon Festival. When I tried to match that information with the analysis results, I found no reports. I had little to go on. The information on the black object fluctuated right before the deadline, and that’s what caused me to lose.

Rururia will make the number of Dragons increase.


Sara: It seems like you owe me one, Your Majesty.

Crown Prince: I owe you, huh…? Being in debt to you sounds like it’ll be expensive…

Sara & the Crown Prince (in unison): But I never expected her Dragon to shrink.

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Sixty-Five]

“I don’t get it, I sent you out to the Frontier to stay quiet during the Eight Nation Conference, but somehow our problems have only increased…”

It’s me, Rururia, sitting here getting sighed at by His Royal Highness, whose beautiful face was marred by deepened wrinkles.

His Majesty had summoned me a few days after returning to the Royal Capital, so here I was, currently in the Royal Palace.

Somehow, I had ended up in the Foreign Minister’s Office.

I was just on my way when an aide had grabbed me and led me here.

No, no, no? I thought… I had already resolved the problem? Was I not here to be praised?

Had my dissatisfaction bled into my expression? Huh, was the devil actually squinting at me?

How scary! But even if I was scared, I just needed to grin and bear with it!

Surely there must have been some misunderstanding!?

“I worked really hard, and I thought I contributed to dealing with that black thing…”

I raised my hand as I protested against him.

However, that evil god seemed to have predicted what I was about to say, so his expression did not change at all.

“Well, yes, I suppose. But all this increased work had given me no time to rest.”

…So, he’s taking out his anger on me… Such a harsh dark god!

He was punishing others for his own problems!

Such a harsh devil… Venting out on a poor, defenseless woman!

I had stopped protesting vocally, but I conveyed my protests to the Crown Prince with my silent glare.

The Crown Prince sighed once again, annoyed.

“It’s just one thing after another… What the hell is the matter with you?”

“Huh… What did you just say…”

Wasn’t I Rururia Dalton? I don’t think I’m anyone else.

…So, what’s the deal then? This must be related to recent events.

Just try to think… What was the Crown Prince talking about?

That black thing wasn’t my fault.

And I don’t know anything about why my dragon was sleeping.

And there’s nothing left to be done about Margrave Siegbert’s Hammer…

At my visible confusion, the Crown Prince grew frustrated, like a dark god whose servant had not brought enough offerings.

Wha… Whaaat? He hasn’t looked at me like that in a while. I felt like I would die under such a cold gaze!

I didn’t do anything… Nothing to deserve the Crown Prince’s cold stare! At least I think so!?

“It’s everything. Whenever I looked at you, I think of everything you’d been doing, the trouble in other countries… How my work increased and my sleep decreased, losing to Sara, having nightmares, issues with the Head Priest… It’s all your fault.”

“Huh… Huuuh!?”

That’s harsh! I resent your allegations, Crown Prince!

Should I protest again for his absurd accusations? No, an evil god like him wouldn’t care, right? As I was at a loss, the door opened, and a dark tea-like scent wafted in.

“A moment of your time, Your Excellency. My success was unwavering as always, and it’s about Ria.”

“Ku… I didn’t expect you to be here…”

Sara-chan came in with a tea tray in her hands.

Sara-sama! The Crown Prince had been saying mean things to me… What’s with that face…!?

An evil smile, like an ancient dark dragon gambling with life and death, was on her face.

If you looked at her from the side, she looked like an evil god angry that a human had betrayed her!

…This room was just brimming with scary old things.

And what were they talking about winning and losing for?

As I trembled with fear, the victorious dark dragon poured tea for the frowning evil god.

…Huh?

Why was Sara-chan preparing tea?

I mean, Sara-chan did love tea to the point where she collected exotic and unfamiliar tea leaves from all over the world… But I didn’t think she brewed it for other people, too?

Disregarding my surprise, the Crown Prince murmured as he inhaled the scent of black tea.

“…Diwa 3, Seroin 5, and Uda 2.”

“That is correct.”

After reciting that mysterious chant and hearing Sara-chan respond to it, the evil god sipped his tea, his expression relaxing.

Well… Sara-chan’s tea was pretty good! Thanks for pouring me some…

Hmmm? Did something weird just happen?

Both Sara-chan and the Crown Prince both maintained their expressions as if nothing had happened…

As I puzzled over what to say or do, the Crown Prince’s expression went back to his dissatisfied, evil god glare.

“So, I’ve really lost to Sara, and it’s all your own doing. I really do detest you, lady Rururia.”

“Hold on, what’s my fault? What are you talking about!?”

I shouted in indignity, but the Crown Prince showed no sign of answering.

What do you mean, ‘you’ve lost’? And what does any of this have to do with tea?

I glanced appealingly at Sara-chan, but she didn’t meet my gaze.

Sara-sama, please tell me what the hell was going on!

Fufu. We had a bet with the Foreign Minister on what you would do.”

“Huuuh… What do you mean… A bet?”

Sara-chan grinned like a dark dragon with a bountiful feast in front of her… On the other hand, the Crown Prince reflected a similar look, like an evil god with a new creature in front of him.

But I’m just an ordinary girl with a Dragon?

But the Crown Prince just said, “I lost to Sara as expected.” What does that mean?

Wasn’t I the one that rode a Dragon?

Even I didn’t think that would happen!

I just powered through it, and even though I, too, was surprised, I still undoubtedly exceeded expectations!

“His Excellency bet that Ria would cause more Dragons to appear, and I bet that you would aggravate the black object. That means I’ve won, right?”

“But Sara, Solan, and the analysts were withholding the latest results, so that’s cheating.”

“Well, you did your best to make sure that information didn’t reach me, didn’t you, Your Excellency?”

The two smiled at each other, still looking as scary as ever.

…They’re both off their rockers, but had they really predicted what I would do? Was I that easily read?

Why did Sara-sama know that black thing would react to me…

The only thing I know for sure was that Solan and his analysts were involved somehow and had suffered for it!

But there were also a lot of Dragons on the beach of the Frontier… So maybe the Crown Prince was also right about the number of Dragons increasing! I only have one, so I wouldn’t know!

“Information warfare was the basis of diplomacy. You, Your Excellency, tried to restrict access to information on site. I had a hard time acquiring that same information.”

“All because of your ministerial privilege, wasn’t it? Rururia?”

“Leave me out of this.”

These guys were crazy. They’re putting so much effort into a simple bet.

…I hope Solan-kun’s alright…

Stroking the scales of my Dragon helped me calm down.

I didn’t know the problem here, but the deeper I dug, the more scary things came out.

I definitely won’t ask what the winner got… so, let’s just change the topic.

I’m still confused by this betting story… However, I’m also wondering what was going on with Sara-chan and this tea.

She met my eyes, which probably looked dead, and as my friend, she understood.

“Ah, this tea… The other day, His Excellency accidentally drank my tea during a break. It seemed like he really liked it, so I pour some for him sometimes. Conditionally, of course.”

“Sara-sama!? What were you making him do in exchange!?”

“What could it be…. “

I was amazed to hear the Crown Prince himself being surprised.

Sara-sama was indeed well known, to me at least, for not doing anything she wasn’t interested in.

“I change the mixture of tea leaves each time, and if he got the ratio wrong, I’d get a piece of information from him.”

“Yes, I didn’t realize that in the beginning… And it was painful having to give up some information.”

So, it’s about information!? I see.

Was that what had the Crown Prince looking zoned out for…? No, I won’t ask.

…It seemed like those two have gotten pretty close?

It’s the first time I’ve seen Sara-chan show that dark dragon smile to anyone else.

She didn’t even show it around Solan-kun or Irene-sama.

Kuuu! Crown Prince…!

Sara-sama was supposed to be mine! It’s because he’s a dark god, wasn’t it!?

I was burning with jealousy at the thought of him stealing my friend. I just won’t say anything about it.

“By the way, what did you call me here for?”

For some reason, the Crown Prince showed a puzzled expression when I asked.

No. It supposed to be me that should be puzzled. You just brought me here without explaining anything!

“Huh? Ah, yes, since my Brother called you here, I wanted to complain about my workload and losing the bet.”

“Whaaat!? You called me just for that!?”

Why do I need to hear complaints about a bet I had no part in!?

True. I was appointed as a complaint listener, but that’s just for the King.

Listening to the Crown Prince was outside my job description!

“I have little time for this, Your Majesty.”

“…Shouldn’t you show a little more respect for your superiors?”

Being forced to see them get along already felt like an abuse of my time.

…Sara-chan was supposed to be my friend!?

I won’t ever give her away, especially not to the Crown Prince!

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Prologue]

The pitter-patter of the rain falling outside echoed throughout my room.

It was the heavy rain pouring down that pounded the ground.

It covered the whole capital like a dust storm as it fell.

According to the Weather Forecasting Magician, it was going to be like this all day… How depressing.

I stroked the scales of the Dragon on my lap.

“How unusual it is, Brother, that you came to the Knight’s Tower.”

In my temporary room… My Brother sat relaxed.

…This really was unusual.

He always said he wouldn’t call or visit with the Dragon around.

“…Well, I just heard about all your remarkable achievements and amazing lifestyle recently.”

“…Was that sarcasm, Brother!?”

He had some resentment in his voice.

By remarkable, do you mean what happened on the Frontier? Those were exceptional circumstances. It’s not how I lived my life!

I tried to make a fierce protest against his insinuation, but my Brother’s face turned harsh as if he had drunk something bitter.

…What was up with him?

Maybe that new stomach medicine he got prescribed was really bitter?

Oh, well.

Well, anyway, there’s a lot I wanted to say to you, Brother!

“Please listen, Brother!”

“…What is it?”

I picked up my Dragon, who had been curled up in my lap, and held him out to my Brother.

His face turned blue, and his hair stood up as I got closer.

I gripped my Dragon’s body firmly and shook him in front of my Brother.

“Hey! Look at him!”

“Don’t let it get any closer! Riaaa!”

I pressed the Dragon against his cheek, making him turn even bluer as he shrieked.

He squirmed, but with the chair to his back and the Dragon to his front… There was nowhere to move.

…Even with me handling him roughly, my Dragon was entirely unphased.

“Even when I do this, he doesn’t wake up…”

“I get it! Enough! Just take him away now!”

Huh? Take him away? But his scales were so calm, smooth, and pleasant to touch?

…It was just a joke.

Don’t make a face like you’ve been forced into a desperate situation, Brother.

As I moved the Dragon from his lap back to mine, my Brother made an overly relieved expression.

Trying to compose himself, he cleared his throat and adjusted his posture.

“…So?”

“It’s about the Dragon. He always took a lot of naps, but these days he’s awake less and less… Solan-kun did a lot of research for me, but we couldn’t find anything…”

I remembered Solan-kun’s concerned face.

He even told me to ask Sara-chan and Irene-sama later… Those three really have done a lot for me.

The Chief Magician and Head Priest, on the other hand, have just been onlookers. I had said that the Chief Magician should help us figure out what’s going on, but apparently, he’ll only help from far away. Same with the Head Priest.

I just don’t understand it!

Wouldn’t it make more sense to do a medical examination up close!?

How was it that he had Dragon Mania but still couldn’t get used to being around one?

…Anyways, neither the Head Priest nor the Chief Magician knew why my Dragon was in a death-like sleep… There’s no one left in the country we could ask.

“If the Dragon was sick or something, then we don’t know how to cure him… Maybe the Heavenly Dragon would know…”

“Hey, Ria.”

My Brother cut me off, a serious expression on his face.

Huh..? What is it?

He spoke directly, an accusatory tone in his voice.

“What’s gotten into you?”

“Huh?”

…What did he mean by that?

I didn’t get what he said? What were you talking about, Brother?

All I am was confused. I couldn’t think of anything in particular, so that’s all I could have said.

“What… Nothing’s wrong with me?”

“I mean… If I came with you…”

My Brother sighed and looked at me like he was dealing with a slow child.

I really don’t get what he means!?

He kept staring at me like I’ve done something wrong!?

“How many years do you think I’ve been your Brother?”

He unfolded his arms and started rubbing his temples.

And then, he began speaking again, gently.

“I feel like you exude an aura of failure.”

“What do you mean by that!?”

I took my Dragon off my lap, placed him on the desk, and pushed him towards my Brother.

“I don’t have an aura like that! And if I did, it’s a thin one, but I don’t! I’ve never had such an aura!”

“Gufuuu.”

I grabbed my Brother by the collar. He tapped my arm as if in surrender.

Brother, are you giving up already?

“I asked Manya, and she said you’d had deeper periods of sleep recently.”

“…Huh? That’s normal, wasn’t it?”

“It seemed to have gotten to the point where she tried dumping water on you once, and you still didn’t wake up.”

I felt a chill at my Brother’s serious face as he spoke.

…Was I having the same issues as my Dragon?

I felt the blood drain from my cheeks, but my Brother just patted my head.

I looked up to see him looking at me with an expression of pity.

“I worry about you more than the Dragon.”

B… Brother!

What’s with all of this? He’s so worried about me!

He really was a good Brother!

“Tha… Thank you, Brother! The next time I call Phantom Brother, I’ll be more…”

“Wait a minute.”

“…Huh?”

What? Brother, I was in the middle of trying to thank you.

“What do you mean by Phantom Brother?”

“Huh? Sometimes when I call you, you appear kind of shadowy, so I just call you Phantom Brother.”

“What do you mean!?”

“Well, whenever I asked for something… You always come out of nowhere…”

“I come out!?”

“Yes, whenever I’m in a crisis or something.”

“A crisis! You had times like that!?”

My Brother seemed concerned as he yelled.

And then I raised my head as if I had realized something… He was going to be annoying about this.

“…Now that you mention it, I have been getting tired more easily recently… Hey! Why are you looking at me like that!?”

“It’s just your imagination… Just your imagination, Brother.”

Yeah, that’s right, just his imagination… It had nothing to do with me.

“So, when the Kingdom was in crisis, and you needed a hero, you called for me?”

“Ah, no, I didn’t call for you back then.”

“You didn’t!?”

“Just forget it, I’m begging you, just drop it!”

“Huh…?”

I kept saying that, but I would still call for you whenever I feel like it.

“Hey! Were you listening at all, Ria!?”

I stroked my Dragon as I listened to my Brother’s voice.

…Now that I think about it, I have been getting tired quickly ever since returning from that trip.

In retrospect, even having this conversation had made me sleepy. I really want to sit down…

I felt just as sleepy as this Dragon…

Thunk!

Something had pounded against the glass.

It must have hit pretty hard for the glass to reverberate like that… The forecast did say there would be a storm tonight.

Looking out the window, rain fell torrentially like a waterfall, obscuring the view.

…I see.

I have the same sickness as my Dragon?

Hearing my Brother’s soft voice like a lullaby and feeling the weight of the Dragon on my lap, I closed my eyes.

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! [Chapter Sixty-Four]

Idle Talk: It Doesn’t Matter, but the Boy Pushes Ahead

I saw Lady Rururia desperately trying to escape Michelle-san’s grasp.

At that moment, I saw no traces of bravery. She was just an ordinary girl.

Even though she had been physically healed from the last confrontation…

It shouldn’t be normal to see a Dragon on her lap, but such a sight felt normal.

…Why was that? What’s changed in me?

…No matter how long I looked at her, I could never understand.

My mouth just fell open on its own.


I was born on the Frontier, side by side with demons.

I grew up surrounded by brave men and women that sometimes faced off with Dragons.

When I was small, I was basically the same as the other kids my age… Maybe just a little paler.

But everyone else got taller, tanner, and more mature.

…Meanwhile, I stayed pale, thin, small… And weak.

My mother was physically weak, and it was said she wouldn’t have another child.

This left me as the only remaining heir to the Margrave Family that could protect the Frontier.

But they called me the Weak Heir, an Unreliable Youngster, the Frontier Princess… And a lot more.

I heard these things being muttered from the shadows ever since I was old enough to pay attention, my confidence and pride steadily declined.

That’s how I came to hate myself.

The me that can’t meet anyone’s expectations.

“…I’m only here for myself, so save your thanks.”

On our way to the Royal Capital, our carriage was attacked by bandits and thrown into the valley.

Just as my father was about to be stricken by a rock while defending my mother… Lady Irene suddenly appeared out of nowhere and saved us all.

She even saved me, who was too terrified to move… Even though she was thinner than me.

No matter how much I thanked her, it wasn’t enough.

…Lady Irene spoke in a voice that was too soft to hear, with a smile that seemed beautiful and lonely.

She was lovely, too delicate to touch… And was truly admirable.

As ordinary as I am, I was enraptured by the presence of such a timeless woman.

…Ah, I want to be as humble and robust as her.

And if possible, I’d like to be worthy enough to stand by her side one day.

I wanted to be a little closer to her, so I began to train desperately.

Whether it was day or night, rain or shine, hot or cold…

“I am honored to bestow this upon you.”

My father said as he handed me the Mega Hammer.

The Mega Hammer that was passed down from Margrave to Margrave for generations.

When I took and had it in my hands, I felt a great, satisfying weight to it.

To fit such a weapon, I must find the dignity and confidence to match.

…I’m still just a Frontier Princess right now.

But I had succeeded my father as Margrave, as he had just fallen ill.

Some said that it was still too early, but whenever I shook Mega Hammer cheers would erupt, and gradually the lords and soldiers of the territories accepted my accession.

…But I’m still just a weak little sissy.

I think they’re all only polite to me because I’m the Margrave now.

They still laugh behind my back that I’d be just a kid if not for the Mega Hammer.

If not for my father, would I be able to repress my feelings of sadness?

Maybe, maybe not.

I can’t rely on myself. I won’t get any taller… Or any more substantial. I’m just an ordinary guy that can’t live up to everyone’s expectations.

To even think about how I could stand alongside the extraordinary Lady Irene… It was merely a dream.

I have a lot of things to do… But I can’t right now.

I have only dissatisfaction building up inside me, I can’t let go of this hammer just yet.

Without it, I can’t even eat nor sleep.

…I know these problems were all my own fault.

Then, one day, the Lady Rururia who could control a Dragon appeared before me.

A woman with two nicknames: the Dragon Knight’s Bride and the Saint of Salvation… Though those didn’t really seemed to suit her.

I had expected a dignified ladylike Irene or someone as powerful as the left and right Marshals.

…She wasn’t all that.

She had no intimidation nor dignity like what I had expected.

She had plain hair and eyes, coupled with an unremarkable appearance… An expression that showed her exhaustion from a long trip.

Lady Rururia looked like an ordinary girl.

…Were the rumors true that she was just like me?

She was completely different from the company she kept.

The Magician Bezalel, with his fiery red hair exuding extraordinary beauty, Leonardo with his soft-spoken, well-kept appearance, who constantly activated detection magic around himself, and the keen beauty Michelle, with her shiny silver-white hair.

They were talented people, different from someone ordinary and weak like me.

Compared to them, I could only think of rude things about her.

…But I soon realized that I was wrong.

She behaved with dignity even in front of my father, and when I saw how easily she tamed a Dragon, I felt a dark sensation bloom within myself.

…So, she wasn’t ordinary like me.

I felt a heavy digging sensation on my shoulder, that made me grip the Mega Hammer tightly.


“Gaaah!”

Rururia’s Dragon called out and released some Dragon Breath.

I immediately raised up a barrier to avoid the heat.

Even so, the black tendrils were coming towards us.

…This black object hadn’t reacted to any expeditions that had drawn close to it over the last few months.

It must have been Lady Rururia and her Dragon that had triggered it.

These unexpectedly moving black objects had me too scared to move. A testament to how weak I actually were.

While seething in self-hatred, she looked at me, wanting to decide our next move.

…She had a slight burn on her arm.

I was shocked… A burn meant that my barrier hadn’t worked.

Any burn that could get through were ones that magic couldn’t heal.

…Or could it be that Lady Rururia was really just weaker than me?

As I sat stunned by such a notion, the black tendrils came again.

Facing such bottomless blackness, I felt myself fading out of consciousness.

“Let’s get out of here.”

I heard Lady Rururia’s voice as she tried to pull me away, but I still couldn’t move my legs.

The black tendrils covered the sky, striking a feeling scarier than death that sapped my courage away.

As they approached, I was sure I would die.

I should have used my Mega Hammer as a shield, but I could only tremble as I clenched at it.

Even then...

Lady Rururia stood in front to protect me.

Processing what was happening before me, everything went blank… Embarrassment flushed through my entire body.

I really must be pathetic, needing the protection of a weak female like Lady Rururia.

I watched as she flew off on the back of her Dragon.

I saw the black objects chasing after her… I should have done something to help, but I still couldn’t move.

My whole body trembled with shame… Ahhh. I just want to disappear.

“Hey, Margrave.”

At some point, Chief Magician Bezalel had drawn close and called out to me, but I wasn’t able to muster a reply.

…It truly was a disgrace that I held the title of a Margrave.

Ah. Please go and tell father to disown me…

“Eh!?”

“Don’t look so confused… Remember who and where you are!”

Bezalel hit me on the head, looking at me with great annoyance on his face.

…Honestly, I’m annoyed that I existed, too.

“!?”

“Come on!”

I was hit twice, my face going white coupled with the pain.

“We just need to focus on saving the lady right now.”

“…Save her?”

Me? I’m just the pathetic guy that needed her to protect me…

“With that many tendrils, they’ll eventually catch Lady Rururia and her Dragon… That’s why we have to stop them.”

“Stop them? Those black things…? I have to help, too?”

Even me, who had no semblance of any reason to exist, let alone confidence, was needed to save her?

…As Bezalel raised his fist again, I stopped thinking and was made to hurry.

Was he reading my thoughts somehow…?

“That Mega Hammer you’ve got should be able to stop it. You need to beat them down and distract them.”

“Uhhh, beat them?”

“Uhm, yeaaah? Yeah.”

“Yeaaah, okay.”

I couldn’t help, but reply to Bezalel’s forceful encouragement.

He seemed satisfied to hear my response.

…Should I be scared?

Oh, never mind, this was nothing!

As Bezalel had instructed me, I assumed a battle stance and advanced towards the black object.

An enormous number of black tendrils were headed towards Lady Rururia and her Dragon… I took a deep breath.

…I had wanted to stop existing not so long ago.

Was getting sucked up by these black tendrils really so different?

I swung the Mega Hammer and struck the tendrils that were aiming for her.

A shockwave passed through my body, and the black tendril bent severely.

…Huh? Was I able to bend it?

I looked up at the sky incredulously.

…Up there, I saw the Dragon flying in the sky, with a bit more space around him than before.

That means… This was something that even I can do.

I’m not a soldier. I’m not my father. I’m weak and pathetic, but I can do this.

I grasped my Mega Hammer and swung away at the black tendrils grasping at Lady Rururia.

…There was no way I’ll let them get to her.


Large magic circles overlapped, impacts radiating over them.

…Ah. It looks like it’s over.

…Did I protect her, at least a little bit?

My body felt strangely light.

Does this mean I’ve grown…?

Hehe.

Later I found Lady Rururia, tired in her bedroom, surrounded by Bezalel, Lenardo, and Michelle.

I’m really, really glad that Lady Rururia was safe…

“By the way, Your Excellency the Margrave, What’s with that hammer you have? It seemed to be nothing but a handle…”

“Huh?”

Lady Rururia had pointed it out with a mystified look on her face.

…Mega Hammer was just a handle? That can’t be…

I reached behind me, with the intent of taking it out… But there really was just a handle.

“Huh!? You didn’t notice??”

“…Uhm. Well, I wouldn’t say that…”

“Hmmm? Was it broken?”

It seemed the three adults had noticed too, well, not all of them. It seemed Bezalel hadn’t noticed.

I placed a hand on Mega Hammer, now just a handle, and looked at it in a daze.

…I hadn’t noticed at all.

That Mega Hammer had been my spiritual support. I had relied and depended on it.

…I even forgot the feeling of its weight.

People started to laugh raucously.

“Fufu… Hahaha!”

“…Well, that’s it then, isn’t it? With your prized possession broken, you’re broken too, aren’t you?”

“That was really important to him, Rururia-chan… So, what will you do to make up for it?”

“There’s nothing that can be done, is there? Do you even know where the fragments fell?”

“Michelle!”

“Nah, he’s fine…”

“Shut up, Chief.”

Even though they were right beside me, they just talked about me like I wasn’t there.

I really wanted them to stop, but they just kept on laughing.

“I know! We’ll find the pieces and put them back together with magic glue! It will be good as new…! Look! Wake up, Dragon! We’ll need your nose!”

“Hey, now! Don’t wake up a sleeping Dragon!”

“…Huh? Do Dragons have strong noses or something?”

“Do the fragments even have a distinctive smells?”

“Kukuku…”

“Gahahahaha!”

My father, who had been quiet until now, burst into laughter like he couldn’t hold it in any longer.

“You sure are nice fellas, ain’t you!? Lady Rururia, can you really fix Mega Hammer with glue?”

“Uhm… Well… I thought it would be fine with an all-purpose glue…”

For some reason, Lady Rururia started to take some glue out of her storage stone.

…Why did she even bring something like that on this trip?

“But haven’t you lost the fragments anyway?”

“What do you mean!?”

“Shut it, Michelle.”

Michelle gulped intensely at my father’s words… That’s quite unfortunate.

While I was looking at them, Lady Rururia approached.

“Uhm, well, I know you were hitting all those black tentacles… I’m sorry, but you really helped me, so thank you.”

I couldn’t believe she was apologizing to me and even thanking me.

I should be the one to apologize to her for not being able to protect her enough.

There was no reason for Lady Rururia to apologize to me.

…To think that she’s even thanking me, who couldn’t even move until Bezalel did something.

Suddenly, I remembered Lady Irene’s words.

“I only did it for myself. So don’t apologize to me nor thank me.”

That’s really how it was… I swung my Mega Hammer for myself, and I broke it myself.

Maybe now I can understand a little more about how Lady Irene was feeling.

“Huh? Is that so? In that case, I’ll do what you say.”

“What?”

…No, I didn’t mean it that way.

Hearing her talk to me, I felt a bit gloomy, like my training hadn’t been enough.

“But you see, Margrave… I mean, Siegbert-sama, I’ll do what you ask of me.”

Lady Rururia looked directly at me.

“You helped defend me and let my Dragon fly freely, even to the point of destroying something that mattered to you.”

I felt my cheeks flush.

I felt so happy to have someone talking not to me as a Margrave, but as a person, that I struggled to reply.

Even so, Lady Rururia waited for me.

“You… You’re welcome…”

I felt like something had clicked inside me.


“Was that okay?”

“…Yeah, it was good.”

I answered my father while looking at the noisy crowd.

I reached over my shoulder habitually, but there was no familiar leather grip to feel.

…That Mega Hammer that I was obsessed with was now gone.

I didn’t feel its weight on my shoulders, however I didn’t feel any anxiety either.

“I don’t need its weight anymore.”

“…I see.”

As I said that, I remembered the time when wanted to be anyone else.

I wanted to be anyone that had what I didn’t.

A strong arm, a big back that was worth relying on, self-confidence, a strong will… If I had those, I wouldn’t hate myself anymore.

I’d be what everyone wanted me to be.

I remembered that Dragon flying in the vast blue sky.

It was the person that I hated so much that allowed such a sight to occur. Me, a sissy servant who had just wanted to run away.

…Honestly, I still don’t like myself yet.

My father looked me deep in the eyes, seeking confirmation.

I stared right back.

“I won’t run away from myself any longer. I will protect this Frontier, and all these people, on my own.”

“Ah! Then I’m looking forward to it!”

My father straightened up at my words. He seemed really happy.

…I think he’d been worried about me all this time.

As I watched Lady Rururia playing happily, I felt my heart lighten.

I felt like it was okay for someone weak like me to be here. Why was that?

…Ah. She really was such an unusual girl.

Usual, unusual, weak, and strong… No words could ever give her justice.

I wonder if I could be closer to someone like her?

…A girl that fights even when it’s not her struggle.

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I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home! x Background Setting (13)

Head falling off the pillow: Since the Dragon that won’t leave Rururia’s side was left unattended, it came closer… And closer… Moving, snuggling, and pushing against her until her head fell off the pillow. The Dragon then fell asleep like that.

Regarding Michelle-san, again: I squeezed her cheeks while apologizing because she didn’t say ‘I’m okay.‘, but I’m glad that there was nothing to worry about. This girl had always been so interesting. I’d love to dissect… I mean, analyze her!

Margrave’s Broken Hammer: It’s a heirloom passed down to the Margraves for generations. Its forger and age remain unknown. It’s an incredible item that reflects the magical power of its wielder, adjusting to its own strength and turning it all into energy. It can even reflect light! Incredible! This hammer was more than just an object… Huh? It wasn’t powerful enough, resulting in it getting shattered in the fight with the black thing!

Protagonist (Rururia): Everyone’s free now! I barely survived, so I’m begging you… Let me go home!

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