The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 22

Chapter 22 – Change

Arriving late by carriage, Charlotte witnessed the scene of Alfred overwhelming the ‘Fragment’ clad in ‘Spirit Dress.’

“Oh, look at him go~”

“Makina-san… That’s Al-kun’s…?”

“Yes. The power of the spirit Al-sama contracted, ‘Alvida.'”

Raised by her father to learn swordsmanship from a young age, Charlotte had trained in preparation for the coming battle against ‘Fragments,’ but her actual combat experience was shallow. Thus she was aware she was a novice without true knowledge of live combat, her experience far from that of knights.

Even so, Charlotte understood.

Alfred’s combat ability was no trivial thing. Having established his own fighting style on the foundations of traditional form and accumulating real combat experience. A strength he had honed and polished with his own power.

“Those movements… He’s clearly experienced in live combat.”

“Well of course, he’s accumulated real combat experience. Though it’s rare for him to fight openly like now.”

“It’s different until now?”

“Yes. Sometimes he would support Sir Leo from the shadows, and maneuver things so his own fights never came to light.”

“…All for Sir Leo’s sake?”

“Yes. To make Sir Leo’s prestige stand out, he erased all of his own achievements in the darkness.”

But Makina continued somewhat happily.

“Thanks to Lady Charlotte giving Al-sama light… Thanks to you pulling him out into the open, he no longer has to do such things.”

While Alfred overwhelmed the ‘Fragment,’ the knights around were also overwhelmed by the scene before their eyes.

“That’s…really the Third Prince…?”

“Didn’t the rumors say his sword skill was useless…?”

The knights stared in disbelief at the sight.

That reaction was only natural. Charlotte had thought she grasped his ability from fighting together, but that was a grave misunderstanding.

—No no, with the ‘Regalia Ring,’ Al-sama is originally a full-on close range fighter like Lady Charlotte. The mid-range support style is more of a sub thing.

Makina’s words then were true.

An all-rounder wielding broadsword and pistol.

His combat style itself was the same as Charlotte’s, but the level of technique was incomparable.

Astonishingly… Even that battle using the unpopular ‘support’ magic rings hadn’t been his true power.

“Raging Wave Cannon—!”

The magical shell buried the ‘Fragment,’ flames bursting forth.

After confirming the destruction of the witch’s curse, Alfred undid his transformation by the ‘Spirit Dress.’

“Welp, that’s about it.”

He returned with a composed look.

Wielding such tremendous combat power so naturally.

“Sorry, Grashian. I got carried away.”

“No… Without Alfred-sama coming, who knows what would have happened.”

The one who said that was the knight captain, Grashian Guenelle.

Charlotte held complex feelings toward him for siding with Leo, but… Seeing hints of respect for Alfred in Grashian’s eyes, her emotions softened a little. She was at least convinced that Grashian had not ordered the knights to side with Leo.

“That prince can fight like that…?”

“Beats me… I’ve only heard rumors.”

“He’s better than expected.”

“Rumors sure are useless, huh…”

The knights around them, particularly the new recruits, seemed to acknowledge Alfred’s feats at least a little. Just that much made Charlotte oddly happy, as if it were her own achievement.

“Isn’t this too conveniently good…?”

“There’s that exhibition match business too… Just point grabbing to beg for his life.”

“That ‘Fragment’ appearing too, isn’t it set up…?”

“…I can’t trust a guy like that.”

However, some still didn’t trust Alfred, particularly the middle ranks.

Alfred himself didn’t seem particularly bothered by it. As if ignoring the whispers he surely heard, he maintained his cool expression.

“Sorry. My presence seems to hurt morale.”

“Please don’t say that… I’ll speak with them properly later.”

“Nah, it’s fine. Their reaction is only natural considering my abilities and past actions… But…”

Alfred trailed off, glancing Charlotte’s way.

“I’ll do my best from now on to earn everyone’s trust.”

Hearing that, Grashian’s eyes widened.

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“Alfred-sama…you’ve changed.”

“You think so? If so, it’s thanks to my fiancée.”

“That’s an exaggeration…”

At Charlotte’s words, Alfred shrugged.

In truth, Charlotte felt she had done nothing. He had possessed that level of skill from the start. That was all there was to it.

“Um, Captain… May I treat the injured? I have a recovery magic ring so I can handle emergency care.”

“That would be appreciated. With your ‘Fifth Attribute’ magic, it should be especially effective… Would it be alright to ask this of you?”

“Of course.”

She couldn’t just rely on Alfred. Even if it was a pittance compared to him, Charlotte had to do what she could. Otherwise, how could she stand proudly beside him? How could she pursue her dreams?

“Recovery Grant—!”

Charlotte had the aptitude to use not just the four major elements but recovery magic as well.

It proved fortuitous now that she had brought along a ‘Recovery Grant’ ring as a precaution for this outing.

Treating the severely burned patients with recovery magic one by one, their injuries slowly started to heal. However, the speed of recovery was gradual at best, far from the ‘Recovery Bestowal’ created by Netos that Elinne had mentioned.

But it was precisely because of this that the greatness of the ‘Recovery Bestowal’ created by Netos became evident.

“Ugh… Ah…”

“Please hang in there. Just a little more…!”

“Tha…nks…uh…”

“You don’t have to force yourself to talk. Please rest.”

Perhaps because they were not accustomed to using it regularly, the recovery speed wasn’t increasing significantly.

Alfred’s presence felt distant, his back far away. At the same time, she realized it.

In the end, all the efforts she had made were nothing more than walking on the rails laid out for her. She had walked as she was told, made efforts as she was told, and only did what she was told.

The result was emptiness. An empty person who had become conceited with talent.

She didn’t possess the firm strength that Alfred had honed through his own will.

That reality had just dawned on her.

(I also… need to change.)

She became aware of her past. She understood the reality. So from now on, she would only look to the future.

The injured regained their lives one after another.

Through her slightly clumsy recovery magic but powerful gift for magic, Charlotte steadily healed the subordinates.

Seeing the young subordinates saved from death, Grashian was privately relieved.

If they hadn’t come… Leo wouldn’t able to do this. Since Leo couldn’t use recovery magic, and considering he still hadn’t arrived, there likely would have been more casualties.

“Oh right, one other request while you’re at it.”

“A request? I don’t mind but…what is it?”

“Transporting prisoners.”

Saying that, Alfred took Grashian over to the carriages.

There were two carriages. One must have been what Alfred’s group arrived in. The other was a tarp-covered wagon procured from some village.

He was shown the latter, and peeking into the cargo bed revealed several familiar faces rolling around.

“These guys…aren’t they rather well-known thieves? And there, isn’t that the ‘Ring Breaker’ Deophil!? Why is he…?!”

“Ran into them while out. Caught them. Confiscated all their rings, did body checks, and took their weapons. As you can see, they’re tied up and I used a ‘Sleep Grant’ spell.”

“The ‘Ring Breaker’ Deophil has an A-rank bounty!? We knights couldn’t capture him, yet you alone…?!”

“I told you, finding them was coincidence. Looks like the injured are settled… We’ll get going. Leo-niisan will be annoying if he finds us. I’ll submit the details in a report later.”

With only that said, Alfred boarded the carriage and departed for the capital with Charlotte’s group after they finished treating the injured.

Grashian could do nothing but watch them for a while, strength draining from his shoulders.

“Good grief… What manner of person is he…”

It seems he would need to revise his perception of the Third Prince.

And look into what achievements he had secretly made thus far…

Resolving to investigate the past records as soon as he returned to the capital,

This day became a turning point—

Rumors about the strength of the Third Prince Alfred and the saintly deeds of Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke, who had performed miracles, began to circulate in some quarters.


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