Section 1: Waking the Little Heroine
When I woke up, the first thing I saw was a ceiling lit by the light of the sun. The world seemed so bright that I had to narrow my eyes.
“Good morning Iris-san”
I turned my head when a voice suddenly called out to me. Rose-san was there, the sunlight beaming across her smiling face. Rose-san was sitting in a chair beside me, and it was then I realized I was lying down in a bed.
“Lapris-san told me it was almost time for you to awaken. I believe everyone else will arrive here shortly as well.”
“T-This is…….a, that’s right…….”
“Yes, this is the village inn. You slept for well over an entire day after defeating the dragon.”
“Eh, what? ………Defeated? The dragon?”
“Yes. You did.”
My half-asleep head suddenly woke all the way up.
“Ah, is Rose-san okay!? Your body was…….your body was……”
And at the same time, my anxiety reared its crooked head. Among the torrent of memories that suddenly washed over me were the images of Rose-san coughing up blood and Toslin being blown away by the dragon’s tail. After that, Carol had run up to her and kept shaking her and shaking her, but Toslin………
“Toslin, Toslin! What happened to Rose-san and Toslin!?”
“Now now, you should be more worried about yourself.”
Rose leaned forward, putting a hand on my back after I jumped up in my bed when I suddenly heard a voice coming from behind me. Turning around, there was Toslin, leaning on the doorframe with a smile on her face.
I couldn’t hold still, so I jumped out of bed and ran forward, not minding the fact that my feet were yanking the sheets off with me. Toslin caught me in her arms and held me close.
“Hold on hold on, you’re a nonathletic girl who has been sleeping for a while now, so don’t try doing anything unreasonable.”
“But, I was worried…….and I was so scared. Back then, Toslin looked”
“Yeah I know. Well, honestly I thought I was dead back then too, but I guess my body is stronger than even I thought.”
Toslin made a wry smile. She then started to pat my head as the wave of relief caused me to tear up.
“And now the Toslin orc-blood theory suddenly has some evidence to back it up.”
One of the room’s two windows had been left open, and Carol poked her head inside while covered in snow.
“That! By who’s grace are you alive right now? And I told you to stop coming in and out from the window. Appearances, think about appearances.”
“By who’s grace? Iris’s obviously. Without that last spell, all of us along with the whole village would’ve been wiped out.”
Carol walked over to the fireplace, brushing off some of the snow that clung to her as the burning wood crackled next to her.
“Uu……….yeah……..well you’re right but”
Toslin got unusually hesitant. So I hurriedly interjected.
“S-Such a, I really didn’t…….. If Rose-san wasn’t there, if everybody wasn’t there then I’d………”
“No…….I am the one who did nothing worthwhile……. Not only that, but I blindly charged ahead, forcing the rest of you into a horribly dangerous situation. How can I possibly apologize?”
All at once the atmosphere in the room got heavy.
“No, you were right Rose. I would’ve probably abandoned this village if you hadn’t rushed in.”
“No that……..I was merely being reckless. Courage, is just stupidity if you do not look where you leap. That is why I hope to one day be as smart and wise as Iris-san.”
“That, I’m really more cowardly than…….”
“So I don’t really mind, but how many times are we going to repeat this?”
Carol clapped her hands, breaking the gloomy and silent mood that had surrounded us.
“Everyone did their best. As a result, we were able to save the village from a dragon. I didn’t really do that much, but I’m fine with that. I was joking earlier, but I really am thankful Toslin. My gratitude is deeper than the ocean.”
Carol patted Toslin’s shoulder.
“If……if you mean that then you should wipe that smirk off your face. Haa. Why did I bother saving you again?”
“Oh no no. Don’t go saying that.”
Carol got up close and started cuddling up to Toslin. Toslin tried waving her hands to shoo Carol away as if she was getting irritated, but Toslin’s cheeks were as red as an apple. Just as I thought, Toslin really is cute.
Rose-san must have been thinking the same thing I was as when our eyes met, her smile only deepened and she started to laugh.
“W-What’s so funny Rose!? Wai, you’re laughing too Iris!”
“Because~. Toslin’s just too cute.”
“Right? Ufufu. They truly are two very close friends. I am a little jealous.”
“No, what are you two talking about!? We don’t get along one bit! She’s just keeps sticking to me! They’re misunderstanding things because of you, so say something!”
“Let’s get married!”
Forcefully ripping Carol off of her, Toslin started to violently brush her hair.
“Haa, I’m exhausted. Huh? Now that I think of it, are you okay to move around Iris?”
“According to Lapris-san, you fainted because you consumed all of your magical power at once. Does it hurt anywhere?”
Rose-san was anxious, but nothing felt strange or anything.
“Yes, everything’s fine. I do feel a little stiff and a little sluggish though.”
“That’s bound to happen after you sleep for nearly two days. Just walk around a bit, and your body will naturally start feeling less dull……….ah, unless Iris was like this from the beginning?”
Toslin gave me a mean-spirited smile as clear revenge for before.
“Yeah right. Now that you mention it, her feet and butt are always at the top of her worries.”
Carol chimed in as well, pushing me over the edge. It’s time to make them aware that I’m no longer the same Iris-san that’ll let anything slide without a fight.
“T-That’s none of your business! It’s fine because………I’m not an adventurer like everybody else.”
………….at least that’s what I thought, but even when I try to fight back, all that comes out is a painful excuse.
“Aah, right right. I remember. You’re a bookshop girl.”
“Bookshop girls nowadays sure are amazing. They’re able to slay even a dragon if they want.”
Just as I thought, the two of them were now happily having their way with me.
“But that’s not…….it’s a coincidence. It’ll definitely never happen again……and that’s it.”
I looked at my left hand, remembering the feeling of Hadion’s hands and lips on mine that somehow still lingered there even now. That was just a fluke. A result brought about by Hadion’s whim. Some good luck combined with a miracle of a lifetime.
“Well, fluke or no, it’s the entire reason we’re alive like this. No matter who gave it to you, be sure to take care of this.”
Toslin slid the ring onto my ring finger as she said so.
I gently stroked the dark silver ring. As if responding to my touch, the ring radiated a calm violet light.
“Hadion, a knight who turned her blade against the Goddess Illya during the war a thousand years ago. That knight was released from her prison of darkness and sent to Iris-san most likely in anticipation for the dragon attack…….”
Rose-san knelt down, putting her hands together in front of her chest, and began to pray.
“We give our thanks Goddess-sama. Our gratitude as now we all may once again enjoy another day laughing together.”
I also thanked the Goddess-sama along with Rose-san. It was her grace that allowed me to perform a miracle even though I have no power and remain together with everyone.
“Speaking of which, it seems like the dragon blocking Iris’s village is gone.”
Seeing us finish our prayers, Carol chose then to speak up as if she had just suddenly remembered something.
“Yeah, a merchant that stopped by the village yesterday mentioned it. I hear the hero failed to kill it though.”
“Eh, failed……..to kill it?”
I doubted what my own ears were hearing, but when I saw Rose-san nod her head, I realized it must be true. Eh……..then, the dragon he failed to beat………
“Right~, that’s what I was thinking. There’s no way that’s related to what happened here.”
When our gazes met, Carol smiled broadly showing off her white teeth.
“Honestly, it was a real nuisance. But now the road being closed shouldn’t be a problem anymore. And it seems like it’s stopped snowing recently too.”
“G-Good…….when are we leaving? I, I’ll be fine you know? I can already walk, and I don’t have very much luggage so I can be ready whenever, and……..”
“I wonder if you’ll be able to return home soon though.”
I can finally go home. But while I was off getting excited by myself unable to hide my emotions, Carol let leak some words that sounded like they had a hidden meaning.
“What Carol? Did you say something?”
Quinn-san had safely found and taken care of the golem. We’ve already finished our work, so all that’s left is to return home.
“Ufufu. Actually, a festival was held while Iris-san was sleeping.”
“Yeah that’s right. Merchants and adventurers have been coming since last night to see the dragon. It’s become like a big field trip. I’m sure everybody’ll be happy to know that Iris, the girl who defeated the dragon, is awake.”
“Eh, um, what do you mean? I don’t really understand what you’re getting at………”
“So I, am just going to have to let everybody know.”
Carol ran out of the room, her footsteps echoing as she moved down the hall. Everyone’s smiles have suddenly gotten scary. Bad…….I have a really bad feeling about this.
“U-Um…….Rose-san, what exactly is she talking about……..”
“Umm, even if you ask……it must be that”
“You still don’t understand what it was you did. Regardless of whether it was all luck or not, you still managed to slay a dragon you know? Is the little heroine starting to understand now?”
“Eh…….heroine? Eh, that’ a little troubling! Actually, that’s absolutely troubling!”
If what they’re saying is true, then what’s going to happen to me in the future? What am I going to do?
“You might be troubled, but I’m troubled too. But I guess I can eat all the free food I want all thanks to the great Iris-sama. So then, I should go tell everybody you’re up too.”
“Wai……what’s that!? I don’t want this!”
Toslin left the room, dodging my outstretched hand.
“Just hold on a minute! W-What do I do now Rose-san!?”
“Ufufufu. Is this due to the Goddess’s guidance as well? Iris-san is cute, so I am sure Illya shall watch over you.”
“Wha……..that kind of thing is……..ah, no way! I can hear an awful lot of footsteps! W-What should I do!? Rose-san”
I clung to the laughing Rose-san’s waist while shaking in my boots.
“It will be all right. The food is certainly delicious. I am certain Iris-san will find something that suites your tastes.”
“No, I really wasn’t worried about that……ah, UWAaaaaaaaaaa!”
At that moment, an avalanche of women burst through the door into the room. I was so surprised that I was about to evacuate back to my bed, but then my gaze fell on Ryland-san.
“U-Umm…….t-there’s really no need to worry, and……..”
Two seconds later. I was knocked down onto my bed after Ryland-san tackled me with a face covered in tears. It was really easy to imagine that my wool panties would’ve just jumped into view for all the other housewives who were in the room.
Mm, or rather……..they almost certainly saw them.