The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 4

Episode 4: The Duke’s Daughter Seeks Understanding

“…………Stolen love? Who stole whom from whom?”

“So, it appears that Alfred-sama took Charlotte-sama away from Leo-sama.”

“I really don’t understand.”

“Alfred-sama, even if you escape into a fantasy world and speak like a golem, the truth remains the truth. Whether you hide under the covers and sleep or wake up, it won’t change.”

In the past few days, I didn’t want to see Leo-nii, so I skipped school and lounged around at home. That’s probably one of the reasons why the rumors spread so freely… No, wait.

“…Could it be Leo-nii?”

“Absolutely correct. As expected of Alfred-sama, well done.”

Lacking the energy to argue with Makina, I looked up at the sky.

“Leo-sama is furious, you know? He kept shouting, ‘My brother Alfred used Lucille to make Charlotte his own!’ Thanks to that, my ears are tired. Tacotaco.”

“…That’s not the case. So, let’s go along with that rumor and actually make you and Charlotte engaged.”

“What’s the point of going along with Leo-nii’s convoluted reasoning!?”

“You fool. You’re also following your own reasoning. If you and Charlotte become engaged, you will truly become the ‘evil and ruthless third prince who abducted Charlotte.’… So, in this case, it’s easier to go along with your brothers’ reasoning.”

“Indeed, a captive princess. While you may gain sympathy from those around you, you won’t be seen as a criminal anymore.”

“What nonsense are you talking about? We’re engaged, you know? That’s different from a temporary cover-up. Besides, being engaged to a ‘taboo child’ like me would tarnish Charlotte’s reputation”.

“In that case, the only option is to improve your own reputation for Charlotte’s sake.

I’d been tricked. So that’s what they meant by a ‘collar’!

“Don’t mess with me… Who asked for it? I’m just playing the role I was given!”

“I don’t remember giving you such a role.”

“Damn old man.”

“Is that all you have to say? You foolish son.”

They had been preparing for this for a few days. There might be some mistakes, but they had to be fully prepared. In other words, no matter how much I resist, the situation is set in stone… I’m cornered.

“Charlotte, do you agree with this?”

“Maintaining ties with the royal family is something I have personally wished for.”

“In this situation, to be suddenly confronted with breaking off the engagement and becoming a public spectacle… Don’t you feel any resistance towards men?”

“To be honest, if it had been any other man, I might have felt resistance.”

“In that case…”

“But… with Alfred it’s different. I trust you.”

Ah, damn.

“That’s right, Al-sama. If you run away now, it will really bring shame on Charlotte-sama.”

“Shut up. I know…”

I’m completely trapped.

“…Originally, it’s also my fault that I handled it this way. Well, I accept the engagement.”

I feel like I’m dancing in my father’s hand.

No, it’s also my fault that I gave him a few days to prepare.

“But don’t misunderstand me. I have no intention of changing my ‘role’. I don’t care about being engaged. I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

As if it were a parting remark, my father had a confident smile on his face.

That really pisses me off.


“Does Alfred hate me?”

After receiving the fiancé’s consent, Alfred promptly left the room, leaving Charlotte feeling somewhat neglected. Inadvertently, she expressed her true feelings, aware of the resistance she faced in becoming engaged to Alfred.

However, Makina, Alfred’s maid, laughed dismissively, easing Charlotte’s concerns.

“Don’t worry. Lord Alfred isn’t the most straightforward person. In my estimation, he’s about 30% concerned, 30% confused, and the remaining 40% leans towards joy.”

“…Makina-san, you seem to know a lot about Alfred.”

“Well, I am the most experienced among Alfred’s subordinates. Hehe.”

Charlotte realized that despite having numerous encounters and conversations with Alfred, she didn’t truly know him as well as Makina did. As his to be fiancée, she struggled to comprehend him fully.

“Um… Makina-san, could you tell me more about Alfred?”

Charlotte was seeking salvation, a way out of her despair. But she couldn’t rely on others forever.

“I want to understand him better.”

“I see… Charlotte-sama has made a wise choice in selecting me. You can leave everything about Alfred to me.”

Makina’s eyes sparkled mischievously, resembling a cat plotting mischief against its owner.

Scene transition.

“Hey…”

“Oh my, what’s the matter, Lord Alfred? You’re furrowing your brow. Your gloomy face is ruining everything.”

“Shut up. What is all this about?”

It happened while I observed the soldiers’ training at the grounds.

A maid, who had momentarily abandoned her respectful attitude towards her master, appeared with Charlotte, the somewhat pitiful victim who had become my fiancée.

“Charlotte-sama wanted to learn more about you! So, I volunteered to be her teacher. That’s why! Let’s spend some time together, witnessing Lord Alfred’s splendid day. It’s a great opportunity for engaged couples to deepen their understanding and bridge the gap. Killing two birds with one stone!”

“What kind of two birds with one stone, you foolish maid!”

…My head hurts. This maid has once again done something foolish.

“Don’t blame Makina-san. It was my request, even though I shouldn’t have.”

“…Charlotte, you don’t have to do something like this just because we’re engaged.”

“I didn’t know much about Leo-sama… That’s why this time, I want to truly get to know Alfred, so I won’t repeat the same mistake.”

“…You’re still as serious as ever.”

“Yes… Leo-sama used to call me a ‘boring woman’ too…”

Uh-oh. I’ve stepped on a landmine. Makina seems to share the same sentiment. Wait, Leo! Did you really say that about your own fiancée!?

“N-No! That’s not what I meant! It’s not that you’re boring…!”

Inexperienced as I am, I, the unfortunate one who doesn’t know how to handle a woman’s landmine, send a distress signal to Makina with my eyes.

Makina sighs, as if to say, “Can’t be helped.”

“That’s right, Charlotte-sama. If anything, Lord Alfred prefers serious and modest types with good physical development. Perhaps he likes the contrast. So, what he said just now was a compliment. Truly, Charlotte-sama falls right in the middle. Please have confidence.”

“You foolish maid! Are you here to assist your master or destroy him!?”

“Just a slip of the tongue★”

I won’t allow myself to be defeated by a slip of the tongue!

And so, Charlotte silently observed the interaction between me and Makina.

“I noticed this yesterday as well… You two get along very well.”

“Rather than having a good relationship, it feels as if I’ve been stabbed in the back.”

“Makina is like my first subordinate. We’ve been together for a long time, so we can talk casually. Right now, she may seem like a foolish maid, but she’s dependable in crucial moments.”

“Compared to that, I still feel a barrier.”

“I have a long history with Makina.”

“Well… ah. But if you want to get closer to Lord Al, how about changing the way you address him?”

“Address… I see. So that’s an option…”

Charlotte pondered for a moment.

“Then, let’s learn from Makina… From now on, let’s call Alfred ‘Al-kun’.”

“…………………………………………………………………………”

“Oh, direct hit! Has Lord Al been completely defeated by this unexpected move!?”

“I haven’t lost, you know?”

“That was close. I was caught off guard by an unexpected move.”

“(If Lady Charlotte calls Alfred ‘Al-kun,’ it’ll deal a significant blow to Alfred, who secretly harbors feelings for her. He might be overjoyed to the point of ascending to heaven.)”

“(Shut up. And I’m not harboring any feelings.)”

As they whispered a conversation out of Charlotte’s earshot, Makina suddenly had a look on her face as if she had come up with something.

“Then, how about Lord Al also calling Lady Charlotte ‘Charl’?”

“Huh!?”

“That sounds good. I’d like to be called that too.”

“It seems so. Lord Al, please.”

“Yeah, should I call you that? It’s not really necessary, though!”

“…I see. I’m sorry for suggesting something boring…”

“That’s cute. Lord Al, it was a bit uncool.”

“Bringing that up isn’t fair, is it?”

“……………………Cha, Charl…”

“Yes, Al-kun.”

Charlotte chuckled… no, Charl did.

Her mischievous smile seemed like a trap.

Is she being influenced by Makina…?

“By the way, Al-kun… why were you at the training grounds?”

“As you can see, I was observing the training.”

“For reference in your training?”

“Not really. I’m just assessing the soldiers’ abilities with my own eyes. There are things that you can’t understand just by numbers, and in critical moments, expecting results without matching abilities won’t yield anything.”

Of course, in battle, you never know what will happen. I don’t believe I can always face it in perfect condition, and there are times when I have to push them beyond their limits. However, understanding their abilities can impact the success rate of our strategies.

“For example, that guy swinging his sword on the right over there. He has composure and a stable center of gravity. His sword movements are precise, but his reactions are a bit slow. He’s cautious in his fighting style, so he’ll struggle against opponents with speed. On the other hand, the guy next to him is quick on his feet, but his attacks are a bit sloppy. His habits are easy to predict, so dealing with him is a challenge.”

“Huh… Do you happen to know the abilities of all the soldiers here?”

“I have the basic information in my head. Of course, I haven’t fully grasped the abilities of the newcomers.”

“…………”

For some reason, Charlotte fell silent all of a sudden.

“See? It’s dangerous, isn’t it, Lord Al? He’s a pervert.”

“Calling your master a pervert, you foolish maid.”

“Oh, scary.”

During our usual exchange, Makina and I felt the soldiers’ gaze fixed upon us in the training grounds. It seemed they had taken notice, which wasn’t surprising considering the commotion we were causing.

“…It appears the soldiers are looking at you, Al-kun, but something feels off…”

“They certainly don’t seem welcoming.”

“This seems to be a recurring situation.”

“Always…? What do you mean? After all, Al-kun is the third prince…”

“Unfortunately, I’m the least popular member of the royal family, by a significant margin.”

“You’ve done a lot of things, you know… Moreover, most of the soldiers training today belong to the Leo faction. It’s quite remarkable for you to come here for observation, Lord Al.”

“Enough… It’s irritating, and it’s time for us to depart.”

As I stood up, I pondered how their training would be negatively affected if their motivation dwindled.

“Alfred! You rascal, so you were here!”

Leo-nii made his entrance into the training grounds.



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