How I Was Hit By a Bus and Reincarnated in a Fantasy World Where I am Destined to Become the Demon Prince

Hi, my name is Tsutsumi Yasuhiro. I was just a normal high schooler in Yamaguchi prefecture until one day, when walking to Kenjutsu class, I carelessly crossed the street and was hit by a bus! Wild, right? Now, I’ve been transported to a faraway land full of magic, monsters, and elves! I think I have special powers, but I’ll have to raise my stats by building relationships and dungeon crawling if I’m ever going to become The Demon Prince!

Tsutsumi woke up and lifted himself out of the mud, looking around groggily as he tried to get his bearings.

“Whoa, huh?” he muttered as he wiped some of the dirt from his Gakuran school uniform. “W-where the heck am I? Wha…”

Gone were the modern houses and narrow streets of his hometown, now replaced with green trees and crumbling stone walls. He found himself lying in the middle of a dirt path that wound between rolling wheat fields, the golden stalks waving in the breeze. The sky was overcast, and the road was full of puddles, his shoes splashing in the murky water as he struggled to his feet.

“The last thing I remember, I was walking to class, and then…”

A memory flashed in his mind – the image of a bus racing towards him, his heart skipping a beat as he heard the squeal of its breaks.

“I must have been transported to a fantasy world!” he declared, slamming a fist into his open hand as excitement began to well within him. “Maybe I’ve been chosen to defeat some great evil! I always knew that I was destined for more than my old life! First thing’s first – I need to find the guild, or maybe my companions will find me first…”

He began to walk down the path, admiring the fantastical landscape that surrounded him. It was hilly terrain covered in little patches of farmland that stretched out into the distance, crude stone walls and wooden fences separating the fields. It wasn’t long before he spied a structure on the horizon – a giant Medieval castle rising into the sky. It looked like something from a roleplaying game, towering over its surroundings from its perch atop a large hill.

Giant conical towers rose up from its battlements, each one tipped with jutting spires and turrets, the high walls lined with crenelations. The sprawling compound was surrounded by a village made up of houses with sagging thatched roofs, wisps of smoke rising from their chimneys to be carried off by the wind.

“That must be where I start my adventure!” he said, starting to jog down the path. As he rounded a bend that was obscured by a small patch of forest, he encountered a horse and cart coming in the opposite direction, its wooden wheels leaving deep furrows in the wet soil behind it. The large, dappled gray horse snorted at his approach, its mane flaring out as it tossed its head and stamped its feet in the mud. From behind it, a figure wearing a tattered shawl leaned over to get a look at him, the reins clutched in his bony hands.

“Hail, good sir!” Tsutsumi began with a jaunty wave. “I’m just starting my quest, and I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of the Adventurer’s Guild?”

The stranger recoiled, Tsutsumi seeing a grimacing face beneath the shadow of the hood. It was an old man with a long nose and weathered skin, one of his eyes milky and vacant. He looked Tsutsumi up and down, his toothless mouth agape.

“Good sir?” Tsutsumi pressed, taking a step closer. “I don’t suppose you could give me a quest? Are there any rats or low-level bandits to fight, maybe? I’ll need a magic sword.”

The old man yanked at the reins, turning his whinnying horse around and driving it back in the direction of the town, the wheels of his rickety cart skidding in the muck. A cabbage bounced off the back, falling to the road with a splash. Tsutsumi stood there in confusion as he watched the man race away.

“That was weird,” he muttered, setting off to follow. “I guess he’s not a quest-giver.”

It was a bit of a walk to the town, and Tsutsumi eventually arrived at one of the sagging buildings on its outskirts. It seemed to be some kind of inn or tavern, a wooden sign swinging in the wind as it hung from rusty chains above the entrance, its crude design depicting a deer. The structure’s crooked timber frames were visible between the white plaster infill of its facades, the wood stained an ugly brown, the glow from its windows all but blocked by grime. The second story hung over the floor beneath it precariously, supported by rows of wooden brackets. Its thatched roof drooped low, giving the building a very top-heavy look, as though it was slowly collapsing in on itself.

Tsutsumi passed an adjoining stable where a handful of horses were hitched, making his way to the large, oaken door. He’d been to many a tavern in the MMOs he played, so he guessed that this was probably where the quest board was. The heavy door creaked on its hinges as he made his way inside, the smell of cooking food joined by something fouler that made him wrinkle his nose.

He emerged into a large common room, the floor beneath his feet lined with uneven wooden planks, exposed beams crisscrossing the ceiling above him. On the wall to his far left was a fireplace stained by soot, the hearth filled with a crackling fire that cast wavering shadows around the room. There were wooden tables strewn about, some of them occupied by hunched figures who were dining on loaves of tough bread and bowls of watery stew or drinking from pitchers, the patrons turning their heads to watch him.

As he walked across the muddy, straw-strewn floor, he examined a few of the strangers. They looked like peasants, their clothing consisting of coarse wool and linen that had been dyed in faded colors, a few of them sporting odd fabric caps and hoods. They were all men, and most had full, wiry beards and broad shoulders. None were especially clean or well-groomed, their exposed hands and faces caked in dirt. These must be NPCs, so it wasn’t really worth talking to them. They wouldn’t have much dialogue anyway.

Tsutsumi made his way over to a counter at the other end of the room, getting some confused and angry looks from the other guests as he went. One of them took a draw from his pitcher as Tsutsumi passed by his table, the foaming liquid spilling down his unkempt beard. A portly old man was standing behind the bar, his attention focused on a mug that he was cleaning with a rag. He wore a stained apron over a loose-fitting tunic, his head shaved bald, the beginnings of a beard failing to conceal his second chin. Behind him were racks of ale barrels, along with a few dusty bottles of spirits with faded labels that were impossible to make out.

As Tsutsumi approached, the bartender glanced up, his wrinkled brow furrowing into a scowl. He set down the mug and folded his hairy arms, waiting for the newcomer to address him.

“Hi, I’m a new adventurer who was just transported to these lands,” Tsutsumi began excitedly. “I’m not sure if I was reincarnated or if I came here through a dimensional portal, but I’m here to start my quest! Do you have any jobs for me to do so I can earn some gold? Maybe you have a quest board?”

“Who the bloody hell are you?” the man grumbled, leaning away from the high schooler as though some foul odor was emanating from him. “What’s that yer wearin’?”

“The name’s Tsutsumi Yasuhiro!” he replied, striking a heroic pose. “I’m going to become the Demon Prince!”

“What’s wrong with ye?” the bar tender continued, seeming to grow angrier. “If you’ve got the sweatin’ sickness, you can’t be in ‘ere – orders of the Duke. Get out, before I have you flogged.”

“No, I’m the hero!” Tsutsumi explained. He turned his head nervously, seeing that a few of the nearby men had risen from their seats. “I’m looking for a quest-giver, or maybe you can point me in the direction of my harem? There should be some elf girls, probably a Kemono of some kind like a wolfgirl or a catgirl…you know…the body of a hot girl…head of a wolf…”

“What the fuck are you talkin’ about?” one of the guests demanded.

“I think he’s talkin’ about lyin’ with beasts,” another of them said, slamming his empty flagon down as he pushed out his chair. “You some kind of witch?”

“I don’t know if I’m a spellcaster yet,” Tsutsumi replied, backing away from the men. He bumped into the bar, shrinking away as they crowded around him. “The hero is usually DPS…maybe a tank. I think I might want to multiclass as a battlemage-”

One of the peasants balled a fist the size of Tsutsumi’s head and slammed it into his gut, doubling him over and driving the breath from his lungs. As he dropped to the floor, a swift kick caught him in the ribs, and then he felt someone grip the back of his school uniform. He was lifted off the ground and unceremoniously tossed out of the door, landing face-first in a pile of muck and straw, sending a startled pig squealing away down the road. Still wheezing, he struggled to his feet, one hand gripping his stomach as he stumbled away from the tavern.

“Wow, that just happened!” he grunted.

He needed to raise his stamina and health stats, clearly. He hadn’t expected it to be a dark fantasy setting. Hopefully, there would still be an elf or two for his harem…

Tsutsumi began to walk towards the town, his pace quickening as he heard the angry yells from the crowd that had formed to follow him, but they were soon joined by the sound of metal on metal. When he looked up, a group of knights were coming from the direction of the village, their plate armor clanking as they marched down a cramped street between more thatched houses.

There were already a few villagers who had emerged from their homes to see what all the commotion was about, women wearing shawls leaning out of their windows or loitering outside their doors as they watched.

The group of half a dozen knights were accompanied by the old man with the cart who he had met on the road, now gesturing to him wildly with a bony finger. The knights accelerated to a jog, drawing clubs and short swords. A moment of panic gripped Tsutsumi, and he turned to run, but saw that the mob from the tavern was blocking his escape route.

“Wait,” he muttered under his breath, feeling courage warm his heart. “If I’m the chosen one, then this must be the moment where I discover my powers! How do I use my spells? Is there a menu? Maybe I have to call on a Goddess to cast Divine Intervention?”

He turned to face the knights again, cupping his hands and trying to cast a fireball.

“That’s him, that’s him!” the old man croaked as he pointed at him. “I was just goin’ to the next village over to peddle me wares, and he accosted me! I’ve never seen his ilk, and look at his clothes! Somethin’ ain’t right about him!”

“This boy said he was a demon!” one of the men from the bar added.

“Aye, he spoke of men with the heads of wolves and casting spells!” another continued. “He’s a witch!”

“I’m an adventurer!” Tsutsumi protested, glancing between the two groups of assailants. “I came from another world to save yours by becoming the Demon Prince!”

“The Duke will decide what to do with him,” one of the knights replied, his gruff voice muffled by his beak-like helmet. He took a step towards Tsutsumi and lifted his sword above his head.

“Magic shield!” Tsutsumi yelled, raising his hands defensively.

The knight brought the pommel down on his head, knocking him to the floor and leaving him dazed. Two more armored guards hoisted him by the arms, dragging him through the mud as they turned back towards the castle.

Still groggy, Tsutsumi glanced around, seeing the tarnished armor of his captors as they marched beside him. Suddenly, he was struck in the head by a rotten piece of fruit.

“Witch!” a woman yelled, pelting a turnip at him from a nearby window.

“It’s a demon!” another shouted, a moldy tomato smacking him in the back.

“Burn him at the stake!” an old woman shrieked, glaring at him from beneath her woolen hood. A man got in the path of the knights, shouting and jeering, but he was shoved out of their path with a violet blow from an armored gauntlet and sent tumbling to the filthy street. The stench of waste was unbearable, the sides of the road strewn with rotting garbage, streams of foul water making their way down the hill through shallow ditches.

A group of cackling children began to follow behind him, laughing and singing as they danced around the knights, a couple of them stooping to pick up stones to pelt him with. They were just as dirty as the adults, barefoot and clothed in rags.

“Away with you, filthy urchins!” one of the knights bellowed as they approached the castle wall. With a signal, the portcullis opened, the grinding of its mechanism echoing down the stone tunnel that it protected. Their sabatons scraping against the cobblestone floor, they soon dragged him out into an open courtyard area, a few more onlookers gawking at his strange appearance. His captors seemed to be heading for a large, blocky structure, the corners of the square building forming round turrets.

Two of the knights at the front of the group pushed open a pair of heavy wooden doors that were braced with iron bars, revealing a great hall. The floor was covered over with flagstones, and there were stout pillars holding up the high ceiling, which was made from an intricate canopy of wooden beams and supports. The cold stone walls were covered over with tapestries and banners, and there were tall windows made from panes of stained glass like something from a cathedral. At the far end of the room, suspended on a raised plinth, was a man sitting on a wooden throne.

His clothes were somewhat finer than those of the peasants, with leather cuffs and a long, ornate vest that was decorated with gilded stitching. He wore a soft cap rather than a crown, his bushy brows furrowing as he peered down at the approaching knights, taking a sip from a golden goblet that he was holding in his hand. There was a nervous servant hovering nearby, clutching a bottle of wine.

The guards threw Tsutsumi to the floor at the base of the plinth, the finely clothed man leaning over to get a better look at him.

“What’s this, then?” he muttered as he took another drink. “Where did you find this one?”

“The cabbage peddler met him on the road, m’Lord,” one of the knights replied. “He’s been spreading panic in the town, talking about beasts and demons.”

“He claims to be a sorcerer,” another guard added.

“I’m…actually just setting out on my isekai adventure,” Tsutsumi began, but he received another swift blow to the back with a club for his trouble.

“You speak to the Duke only when addressed, wretch!”

“What do you have to say in your defense?” the Duke asked, sitting back in his chair and swirling his drink around in his goblet. “Do you deny these allegations of witchcraft?”

“My name is Tsutsumi Yasuhiro,” he wheezed, the Duke raising a hand to stay the knight who was preparing to kick him. “Yesterday…I was just a regular high schooler in the Yamaguchi prefecture. Now, I’ve been transported to a fantasy world where I’m fated to become the Demon Prince!”

“Okay…” the Duke muttered. “Anything else?”

“I see that this is more of a Soulslike setting,” Tsutsumi continued as he glanced around the room. “I was kind of hoping for something more like Sousou no Frieren, but if you maybe have a maiden who handles level-ups and doesn’t wear shoes, I could work with that.”

“What should we do with him, m’Lord?” one of the knights asked. “This is the fifth one this year, I think.”

“Sixth,” another of them added. “We tried to get the last lot working the fields, but they’re ill-suited to labor.”

“Yes, they’re certainly scrawny things,” the Duke mused.

“I think the last one drank from the cistern and died of the shits,” the knight continued.

“Well, he’s not really worth feeding if he can’t work,” the Duke sighed as he gestured with his cup. “I suppose just toss this one into the dungeon and let the rats have him. Take the shoes, though. They always have good shoes.”

“A dungeon crawl?” Tsutsumi asked as he was roughly hauled to his feet again. “With low-level starter mobs? Yeah, this is more like it! Do I get a dagger or a starter weapon? When do I spec into my class?”

The Duke shook his head dismissively as he watched his guards drag the stranger away, waving for his attendant to refill his cup.

“You know, Gregory, we’re going to have to contact the clergy about this at some point. Maybe they can bless my holdings and stop these damnable sorcerers from appearing all over the place. It’s starting to become troublesome – all this talk of elves and demons is worrying the townsfolk.”

“I believe one of them materialized in the woods and was eaten by wolves last month, m’Lord.”

“Well, I suppose there’s nothing more to be done about it. Fetch my dinner, would you, Gregory? And, have the Jester sent in.”

“Right away, m’Lord.”

The servant vanished into a side door, and not long after, another figure emerged. It was a sorcerer, this one still wearing the odd clothing that he had arrived in, the colorful hat on his head stitched with bells that jangled as he walked.

“Jester!” the Duke yelled, downing another gulp of his drink. “Do the dance!”

“B-but m’Lord,” the Jester began, tears welling in his eyes.

“Sing and dance for your Duke, or you’ll spend the rest of your days in the oubliette!”

Aimai san senchi, sorya punitte koto kai? Cho!” The Jester began to perform a carefully choreographed dance, singing his strange spells, the Duke clapping along with the beat. “Rappingu ga seifuku…dafuritte kota nai, pu!” the Jester continued, sobbing intermittently.

“Very good, very good!” the Duke laughed.