Nice to meet you everyone, this is Kakeru Kobashiri.

I am honored and humbled to have been named Grand Prize winner of the twentieth Dengeki Novel Taishō. To be completely honest, I had mused about how incredibly cool it would be to win, but when the moment actually came, I felt a puzzling inner doubt that cried there must have been some kind of mistake! This has to be a joke they’re pulling on me!

I have a naturally easy-to-scare, negative personality. Thus, I am glad to receive encouraging tidings.

So, did you enjoy Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho? Personally, I’d like if it were called something along the lines of the Book of Zero, or look, it’s that thing with the witch and the beastman.

Isn’t the beastman great? He’s so fluffy. I’m a big fan of non-human characters, but unfortunately, they’re almost always driven into minor supporting roles. I’ll be the cuckoo[1] that writes one, then, I thought, and this work was the result. During editing, Mercenary very nearly ended up as a human instead, but one way or another managed to remain a beast-person. It was a huge gamble to have a beast-person as the main character, and I thought there would be no choice but to revise my decision, but I’m glad that we stuck to it in the end. I’m very grateful to my audacious editor for that.

As of the writing of this afterword, I still don’t know what kinds of cool illustrations will be included, and so I’m very excited and fidgety. And in a series of various miracles/and in another miracle, Satou Tsutomu-san will be writing the commentary. I would like to take time now to express from the heart my deepest, most sincere gratitude toward Shizuma-san and Satou-san.

Now, I am that sure that everyone is already aware, but besides the protagonist being non-human, this story is your typical “swords and magic” fantasy story. You have your witches and their incantations, mercenaries and their sword-fighting, conflicts between the hero and heroine, and battle with the final boss.

I love such tried and true stories. Add in just a dash of romance as a cherry on top, and I couldn’t be any happier.

There wasn’t a moment when I didn’t enjoy myself as I wrote this story, and I must admit, Thirteenth and Albus were especially fun to write! The cross-dressing bokukko[2]  and gloomy, eccentric sorcerer dominate my top three favorite character types.

There was actually quite a bit of closeness in Dog-Face and Solena’s relationship, but of course this was even more so for Mercenary and Zero’s. When the two of them are put together in a scene, they converse without end.

As I thought about writing this and that, the manuscript became forty pages longer than the version I had submitted to the contest, and so I had to again frantically cut down the length from there.

I am repeatedly grateful to everyone who was involved in the making of this book for dealing with the great bother that was the poor quality of my outline.

And most importantly, I must thank everyone who perused this book! Truly, thank you so very much, and please treat me well.

I would be overjoyed if I was able to share even a bit of the happiness that I felt writing this book with you, the reader.


[1] The cuckoo is strongly associated in Japanese culture with longing, melancholy, and mourning, which has its roots in the fable of emperor Du Yu of the Shu dynasty. Legend states that after death, Du Yu was reincarnated as a cuckoo who would chirp sharply to alert farmers of the coming of planting season. After learning of the destruction of his nation, the ancient Shu, at the hands of the Qin, the cuckoo that was Du Yu grieved that he wanted to go home. This grieving birdsong [too redundant?] continued as blood trickled from his beak, and that is given as a reason for why cuckoos’ beaks are red.

[2] Female who uses the pronoun “boku” to refer to herself.


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