The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 7

Episode 7: The House of Duke Mersenne

And so, Makina’s operation called “Let’s Increase Allies! The Image Boost Operation!” began.

As a first step, we took action by…

“Are you going to meet her parents? Oh, you’re starting to resemble a fiancé,” Makina remarked casually in the assigned guest room. We were currently visiting the home of Charl in the Mersenne Duchy.

Being my ally also meant being Charl’s ally, and the first thing that came to mind in this situation was… the Duke’s family.

Although our engagement had already been arranged between my father and Charl’s parents, it was important for me to show up now that things had officially progressed.

Furthermore, it was necessary to secure their direct support.

There was no stronger ally than the Duke’s family.

“Al-kun, you know my father, right?”

“I wouldn’t say I know him well…”

As we conversed, the door to the guest room swung open, and a large man entered. Underneath his clothes, you could sense the diligently trained muscles. Perhaps due to his physique, he resembled a bear with sharp claws.

He was Marbel-Mersenne.

The current head of the Mersenne Duke’s family and Charl’s father.

“I apologise for not being able to greet you and for keeping you waiting, Sir Alfred.”

“No, it’s our fault for bursting in without an appointment. I should be the one to apologise. Please raise your head… as you always do.”

After the formal exchange, Duke Mersenne chuckled.

“Ha ha ha! I see! Your consideration is much appreciated.”

With a pleasant laugh, Duke Mersenne took a seat in the chair.

“I also dislike formalities.”

“That is true. It seems we’re both unsuited to our present positions.”


As Charl watched in amazement, the interaction between me and Duke Mersenne continued.

“Um… Father. It seems that Al-kun is quite close to you…”

“In the palace we often gave him shelter.”


“When he couldn’t stand the stifling atmosphere any longer, we offered him refuge.”

“And he also became an interlocutor for us! Ha ha ha!”

Once again, Duke Mersenne laughed heartily.

Although he exuded a tense atmosphere that would create a gloomy ambience, his true nature was friendly and cheerful.

“I… didn’t know…”

“Perhaps Leo-sama requested it, or Alfred-sama was sworn to secrecy. Well, it seems that won’t be necessary in the future.”

Duke Mersenne looked at us again. I straightened my posture.

“This time I have come to pay my respects as Charlotte’s fiancé.”

“That’s not the only reason, is it? I have already heard about the fight.”

Of course he saw through it. I hadn’t intended to hide it anyway.

“As you can guess, it’s about that. Depending on the outcome of the match, Charlotte and I could be in a precarious position. Of course I will try to persuade you, but… I would be grateful if you could put in a good word for us, Your Grace. Also, if you could keep an eye on us in the future…”

“So you want me to join Alfred-sama’s faction?”

“Thank you for coming straight to the point.”

“Well, it’s because of a sweet girl, isn’t it? If you ask me to let you in, I will. Alfred-sama also saved my daughter, and now he is Charlotte’s fiancé…”

Relief flowed from Charl, who was sitting next to me. She must have been worried because of her previous experience of being betrayed by her fiancé. She must have been internally worried about whether her parents would really support her.

“That’s what I wanted to say.”

A voice that broke the relaxed atmosphere came from Duke Mersenne.

“It’s not so easy to accept my plea, is it?”

“Oh, Father…!”

I gestured with my hand for Charl to calm down, her astonishment evident.

“…even when I try to guess the reason?”

“This child has talent. She has been burdened with the destiny of supporting the king from the moment of her birth… And she is a precious daughter to us, a priceless treasure. Although it was our duty, we entrusted our daughter to the royal family because they are trustworthy”.

The Duke of Mersenne’s eyes narrowed.

“But our trust was betrayed.”

His eyes, known for their prowess as a formidable warrior who fought alongside the young king in his youth, radiated a fierce intensity.

“And on top of that, they demand that our daughter be engaged to someone from the royal family again. If it were an order from the king, we would comply, being the Mersenne Duke’s family. However, if it goes beyond that”

“Even if my brother, Leo, were to banish Charlotte from the country, would you still do it?”

“Then let us alone make every effort to save Charlotte.”

Their reasoning made sense. No matter how hard they tried to conceal it, the Duke’s family would inevitably feel betrayed by the royal family. It was only natural. Royal family were essentially exposing an innocent girl. Furthermore, the royals proposed canceling the engagement unilaterally, even though they were the ones who initiated it. Duke’s anger could be considered justified.

“…Duke of Mersenne…”


Just as I was about to speak, Charl stood up beside me.

“I willingly wanted to become Alfred’s fiancée. It’s my own wish. This is…”

The Duke of Mersenne cast an unforgiving gaze at his daughter, who had risen.

“Charlotte, you have been betrayed by the royal family.”

“But it is also true that I have been saved by the royal family.”

There was an overwhelming pressure, almost a murderous intent. But Charl stared back without flinching.

“I have a dream. A dream of a country where everyone can hold hands and get along. To make that dream come true, I want to support the royal family.”

“These are just empty words.”

“It has always been the challengers who have made the world a better place by offering empty words.”

I remembered those words. The words I had said to Charl that day.

“What if Alfred betrays you this time?”

“I trust Alfred.”

“But didn’t you feel betrayed by the person you trusted before? Isn’t he also a member of the royal family? Deep down he might be planning to betray you, you know?”

“Even if that’s the case… no matter how many times I’m betrayed, I’ll continue to trust.”

“Why? Alfred is human too. Even if he is on your side now, he might desert you when the time comes. That’s the weakness of humans.”

“To believe. Those are my empty words. I don’t need the weakness to doubt and mistrust the person who saved me.”

Charl took a breath and continued,

“Besides, Alfred is not as weak as Father thinks. A person who sacrifices himself to save others cannot be weak, can he?”

Makina, who was standing nearby, looked at Charl with eyes that seemed to say “Wow, Charl, you’re amazing”.

“Alfred-sama. How will you respond to my daughter’s trust? As a member of the royal family, how will you live up to her expectations?”

The Duke of Mersenne’s eyes still held their strength.

“Well, to be honest… Unlike Charl, I don’t really care about this country.”

I couldn’t utter anything half-hearted. I mustn’t lie my way away from this person.

“All of you can say whatever you want about me, call me an outcast, and so on. I know very well that I’ve been talked about behind my back. I know that I’m disliked, avoided, and hated.”

Since I can remember, I have always felt the gazes of those around me. They were clearly menacing, avoiding me, hating me.

“…But my family was different. They accepted me for who I am. They didn’t care about my hair, eyes, or the color of my magic.”

So… Leo was kind in the past. I admired his back. That’s why I loved Leo so much.

That’s why I don’t care about the people in the country. The ones I want to protect are my father, mother, siblings, and all my subordinates, including Makina… The people I cherish are the ones close to me, whom I can reach. I don’t care what happens to anyone else.

I shift my gaze towards Charl, who sits beside me.

“Charl is unchanged—a precious person who was within my reach. That’s why, back then, I went against Leo.”


“I will protect Charl. That’s what Alfred-Berg-Reyuer is all about—protecting the people who are important to me.”

For now, I have conveyed my will. The rest depends on the other party.

“To protect only those within reach—the people close to me. As a prince, I am disqualified.”

“I don’t think I’m suited for it either.”

“That’s true. However…”

The Duke Mersenne’s intimidating presence fades, replaced by a smile.

“I won’t make promises beyond my reach. On that point, you can trust me. …”

“Very well, Alfred-sama. My Mersenne family will do everything in our power to support you. Please take care of my daughter.”

With that, Duke Mersenne bows his head.

“And… I apologize, Alfred-sama. I was testing you.”

“Well, I had a feeling.”

That’s why I conveyed my true will without deception.

“If you had presented lies or convenient illusions that cannot be fulfilled here, I was prepared to reject you… but there was no falsehood in your words. I am prepared to accept the punishment of doubting you, if any.”

“No punishment is necessary. It is true that you were betrayed by the royal family, so it is natural to doubt.”

Duke Mersenne turns his smile towards me.

“I thought you would say that.”

Having secured the cooperation of the Mersenne family, I had hoped to continue succeeding in this manner… but convenient achievements won’t come easily.

After returning from the Mersenne family, I have spent several days in the same idle routine as before.

Despite my recent promotion, I am still on a leave of absence from school. It’s not just because I’m lazy. Based on my judgment, it’s better to avoid going back to school for now.

Reducing the number of encounters with Leo and avoiding careless actions that might lead to false accusations of ruining Lucille again.

That’s why Charl is also on a leave of absence now. However, it seems that the diligent student is not accustomed to this, as she study diligently every day.

“Don’t you study, Al-kun?”

“No, it’s tiring. I want to sleep.”

This is the epitome of decadence in three forms.

“That’s not good. Even if you’re on holiday, you should study. Besides, if you show that you are serious about studying, people around you might change their perceptions”.

“Serious? If I change just for that, it’ll be too easy to be suspected of plotting something”.

“Al-kun, you seem to have a tendency to give up easily.”

“I’ve lived a life of giving up.”

Come to think of it, my life has been a series of resignations.

At first I wanted to be like the hero in the story book. But unfortunately I couldn’t become the hero, and the only role left was that of the demon lord. So I gave up and accepted that role.

“Even if you think that way now, if you keep going without giving up, things might change.


In the past, I would have given up alone.

But now I have a fiancée who supports me in this way.

“All right, I understand.”

“This life has been nothing but giving up. It might be good to try my best without giving up, especially now that I have support.”

“Besides, I promised Charl’s father that I would protect Charl.”

“Yes. Well then, first of all, Al, please read this entire book from cover to cover.”

With a thud, Charl placed a pile of books on the desk, forming a towering, overwhelmingly intimidating, skyscraper-like structure.

“…………………………………………………… What is that?”

“Actually, Makina-san gave me some information about Al’s grades in advance. So I gathered materials from the Royal Library that might be helpful for Al’s weak areas.”

“Not like that… What’s with this amount? Are you kidding me?”

“It’s all right! With determination and perseverance you can read them all!”

She said it with a tremendous smile, displaying the tenacity and resilience I hadn’t expected from a noblewoman.

Determination? Perseverance? Those words didn’t sound like something a noblewoman would say.

Charl was more of a brute or a Spartan than I had thought… Oh, but I see. Her upbringing as the first prince’s fiancée must have instilled a strong work ethic in her.

…No, this is definitely her father’s influence!

“While Al is reading, I will prepare some exercises!”

I wanted to escape. I really wanted to escape. Even if I tried my best, there were limits.

I didn’t care who it was; somebody, please help me.

“Boom! The saviour-type maid, Makina-chan, is here! I’ve come to save the day☆”

“You did well this time!”

“Hmm. I intended it as a joke waiting for a comeback, but surprisingly it’s well received by Al-sama.”

While I was thinking about how to escape, Makina burst into the room through the door.

“Makina-san, what happened?”

“I have finished the personal search that Al-sama asked me to do. And so I’ve come to report.”

“Oh, it’s done. And how did it go?”

“Yes. After some difficulties, I managed to find her whereabouts perfectly!”

I looked at the documents I had received from Makina. Despite her eccentric personality, the contents of the report were detailed.

“A personal search? That can’t possibly mean…”

“Exactly. That’s exactly it. As you can imagine, it’s a talent search for the [Al faction].”

Currently, my position and status within and outside the palace were low. It was crucial to secure talented individuals to improve that. However, with only about two weeks left until the royal tournament, bringing in mediocre talent would have little effect and would be difficult to improve our image.

What we needed was to recruit a [big shot].

If successful, it would not only enhance our image but also greatly strengthen our position within the palace.

“Except for the Duke of Mersenne, most of the big shots are aligned with other factions. When it comes to those big shots who don’t belong to any faction, it’s difficult to bring them in…”

“But since we have no choice, we’ll have to aim for a complete turnaround by gambling every possible opportunity.”

“Oh, wow. Al, gambling is bad.”

“You’re being loud.”

“What kind of person does Al have in mind?”

“A goldsmith.”

“Is that… a craftsman who makes magic rings?”

“Yes, exactly. That goldsmith.”

“A magic ring is a ring imbued with magic.”

“We can only use magic with this magic ring.”

So it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a goldsmith is an indispensable presence in this world.

They process magic stones and turn them into magic rings that allow us to harness the power of magic. Without the magic ring, we wouldn’t be able to use magic.

“But the royal family already has an exclusive goldsmith, right?”

“Actually, it’s a workshop employed by the royal family. The magic ring is like a lifeline. If it’s badly made, it can be a matter of life and death, so it can only be entrusted to someone trustworthy.”

“I’ve heard that too. So… is it really okay to invite someone from outside, bypassing the people from the workshop?”

“There’s no problem with that. The goldsmith I’m looking for also belongs to the workshop.”

“In other words, he’s like a runaway master…?”

As Makina spoke, Charl seemed to be tracing her memory, wearing a contemplative expression.

“…Come to think of it, I’ve heard something. There was a legendary first master who developed the ‘King’s Garment Ring’ used by the royal family. But according to the story I heard, that first master entrusted the workshop to his disciple and disappeared…”

“To bring that first master to our side.”

“Huh?! But the first master lived hundreds of years ago… Oh!”

“The second master, who currently runs the workshop, is an elf. And the first master is also an elf. In terms of life span, he’s still very active.”

“That’s right. The ‘Shadows’ have also found the whereabouts of this first master.”

In anticipation of the difficulties ahead, I still choose to face it.

“Now all that remains is to give a try.”

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