Mob Villain In An Otome Game Volume 1 Chapter 28 part 1

The story I’m about to tell takes place years ago, going back to the Baldia territory…

That day, a carriage heading from the Baldia lord’s manor to the imperial capital was prepared, and related parties had gathered to see it off. Among them, the man with the most dignity and refinement, an all-back gentleman, called out to a young man with a sharp gaze. 

“Reiner, work in the imperial capital will be tough, but you are destined to one day rule the Baldia territory. Keep that firmly in mind, and learn well there. Alright?”

“Father, there’s no need to tell me the same thing so many times. Besides, I’ve already spent three years at the academy in the capital, so there won’t be any problems.”  

Reiner responded to his father Esther’s words with a somewhat exasperated look. Esther gazed firmly at his son, then broke into a smile.

“I see, if that’s the case then good. You’ve only just graduated from the academy, yet thanks to Sir Arwin’s recommendation, you’ll be working in the capital for around four years. I’m just worried as your father. Right, Torett?”

Having finished speaking, Esther turned his eyes to the beautiful woman beside Reiner, called Torett. She nodded, looking at Reiner with worried eyes.

“That’s right, just as Esther says. We’re all worried about you, Reiner.”

“Mother…please don’t worry. I’ll keep exchanging letters periodically like always. Besides, Arwin is a friend from my academy days, so please be at ease.”

Reiner tightly clasped his mother Torett’s hand as if to reassure her, then lightly embraced her. 

“Well then, I’ll be off, Mother.”

“Reiner…please take care of your health.”

The two lightly embraced each other in farewell.

After spending three years together at the imperial capital’s academy and graduating, Reiner would now be serving under his classmate and also the crown prince Arwin for around four years, thanks to his recommendation. 

As the eldest son of a frontier count, Reiner was destined to one day inherit the peerage. For that reason, the Baldia family had politely declined when the offer for Reiner to work in the capital first came, saying it would be impossible. However, when the reply came back that even a few years would be fine, Esther reluctantly agreed.

Reiner was still young. Esther thought working in the capital and learning administration while also making connections would ultimately benefit his son in the future. That was why Esther decided to send his only son to the capital. Esther looked over the knights gathered to escort the carriage and turned his eyes to one knight in particular with an outstanding air about him. Noticing Esther’s gaze, the knight Gawain promptly responded in a refined tone.

“I understand. There will be no problems.” 

With smooth, efficient motions, he lightly bowed.

“Hmm. Also…Dinas, I’m counting on you to properly guard Reiner in the capital.”

Esther turned his eyes to a bald, muscular knight standing out among the others. Noticing Esther’s gaze, Dinas loudly responded before lightly bowing as well. 

“Yes sir!! Leave it to me!!”

Seeing Dinas’ loud, hearty response, Reiner beside him had a somewhat exasperated look as he rested his palm on his forehead and sighed. 

“Haa…Why of all people is Dinas to be my guard? I was hoping for you, Gregory.” 

Reiner muttered as he turned his eyes to the knight beside him. There stood a knight with soft eyes that gave a friendly impression. Noticing Reiner’s muttering, Gregory made a bewildered face before responding after a brief pause.

“Is that so? How unfortunate. But I think Dinas is better suited as a guard than me.”

Reiner made a perplexed expression at his explanation that Dinas was more suited as a guard. While he understood the gist, he was unsatisfied. Reiner made an indescribable face then sighed. 

“Why…do you think that?”

Seeing Reiner’s perplexed expression, Gregory gave a wry smile before turning his eyes to Dinas.

“Because of his [appearance]. A big bald muscular guy – anyone trying to approach him must have business or be suspicious. So Dinas is well-suited as a guard.” 

He could somewhat understand the reasoning Gregory explained. However, understandable or not, he was still unconvinced. Reiner made an indescribable face again before sighing.

“Haa…Well, Father decided, so there’s no use complaining now. I’ll just have to accept it.”

“You’ll get used to Dinas, he’s a good guy.”

Hearing [get used to], Reiner hung his head dejectedly with palm on forehead. It wasn’t that the two had a bad relationship. Among the knights, only Dinas and Gregory could match Reiner in swordsmanship. Gawain could be considered their mentor. 

Seeing Reiner hanging his head, Gregory gave a wry smile and continued speaking.

“I’ve also been offered a promotion to vice-captain by Lord Esther. Unfortunately I won’t be accompanying you to the capital.” 

“I see…congratulations…”

Still hanging his head, Reiner lackadaisically responded. It had been said that either Dinas or Gregory would become vice-captain, judging by ability. With Dinas leaving the territory, Gregory’s promotion was a natural course. While happy news, Reiner wore a gloomy expression thinking about the days ahead spent with Dinas in the capital.

While Reiner hung his head, Esther and Gawain discussed something, then Esther called out orders.

“Well then, it’s about time. Reiner, take care on your trip.”

Hearing his father’s words, Reiner briskly raised his head. Powerfully sweeping his eyes around, he looked straight at his parents. 

“Yes, I’ll be off then, Father, Mother.”

And so, Reiner set off from the Baldia territory heading toward the imperial capital. 

***

Arriving at the capital, Reiner and Dinas parted ways with the knights who escorted them, then headed to Arwin as originally planned to greet him. 

Arwin warmly welcomed the two and treated them to a feast that day. Starting the next day, Reiner would begin learning various duties while serving as Arwin’s aide.

***

Several years later…

That day, in the office within the castle, Reiner was efficiently handing documents over to the crown prince one after another. Currently, only the two of them were in the office. 

“Arwin, take a look through these documents next.”

As soon as he finished speaking, Reiner placed the pile of documents he was holding onto Arwin’s desk. Seeing the mountain of documents suddenly on his desk, Arwin sighed tiredly.

“Haa…Reiner, shouldn’t we take a break soon? I’m suffocating from paperwork since morning…”

“I understand how you feel, but we’re behind. Hang in there.”

Reiner spoke encouragingly with a grin.

Since the two were classmates and friends from academy days, they could speak casually when alone like this. Seeing his friend’s smile, Arwin seemed to resign himself as he drooped his neck. However, he soon raised his head again and started scanning through the documents, switching gears. Shortly after beginning to read through the documents, Arwin spoke up as if recalling something.  

“Come to think of it, you’ll be returning to the Baldia territory next year right? How was it being an aide, good experience?”

“Ah, certainly, I got good experience.”

Though conversing, neither stopped working with their hands and eyes. Hearing the response, Arwin continued his questions without pause.

“By the way, there’s something I want to ask.”

“Hmm…that’s a lot of questions today.” 

Reiner made a puzzled expression and stopped working at the unexpected question. Usually, both would silently immerse themselves in their tasks. It was rare for them to converse this much while working. 

“Sorry for the surprise. But from your reaction, it seems you don’t have anyone special right?”

“…Huh?”

At the unexpected question, Reiner uncharacteristically made a bewildered expression. Why did he have to be asked about that? In the first place, he came to the capital to gain experience for becoming a lord of the territory. He didn’t come seeking romance. Moreover, as nobility he had to be selective about partners. His friend should understand that. However, seeing his friend’s rare expression, Arwin gave a wry smile and continued speaking.

“My apologies for startling you. However, that reaction suggests you don’t have anyone special.” 

“…Obviously.”

Reiner responded in a somewhat exasperated manner, but Arwin showed no sign of minding. 

“I see. Then there’s no problem. Actually, I’ve received a marriage proposal for you recommended by my wife Mathilda and your parents.”

At the sudden words, Reiner’s thoughts froze. But he soon collected himself and shouted in astonishment.

“What did you say!? There’s no way that’s true!! I haven’t heard anything from my father or mother about it!!”

Hearing Reiner’s raised voice, Arwin made a puzzled expression. 

“Is that so? But shouldn’t there have at least been talk of rushing you to marry? Besides, I have your father’s letter of consent right here.”

As he spoke, Arwin deliberately took out a letter from his desk drawer and held it out. Reiner accepted the letter and checked the contents, then let out a sigh.

“Haa…This is definitely in my father’s handwriting, no mistake.”

Indeed, the letter contained [Regarding Reiner’s marriage proposal, please earnestly consider the person recommended by Lady Mathilda] written by his father. 

Now that he thought back, the letters from his parents occasionally contained things like [Find a good partner] or [Let me know if someone catches your interest].

He hadn’t paid it any mind, thinking what are they talking about, but it seems his parents were serious. However, why did this talk suddenly progress without any explanation or notice? Seeing Reiner’s puzzled expression, Arwin seemed to grasp his doubts and started explaining as if in response.

“Hmm, according to Esther, he had trouble finding a partner until he was engaged to Torett. Apparently many refused saying they wanted to marry into the [frontier] instead. Perhaps sending you to the capital also held the meaning of go find a wife.” 

“…I can see that, but I can’t just arbitrarily decide my marriage partner alone…”

Seeing his situation, Reiner wore an exasperated, resigned expression. 

Likely his parents thought that if their son went to the capital, he would find someone he was interested in and bring them back, as Arwin said. But even after going, not a hint of a story emerged from their son. So in frustration, they secretly progressed talks. Reiner wore an exasperated look as he lightly shook his head and sighed.  

“Haa…So may I ask the name of this [young lady] who is to be my marriage partner?”

“Hmm, she is Nunnaly Ronamis, daughter of Count Tristan Ronamis. You must have at least heard her name right? She’s said to be quite a beauty, and many nobles are vying for her.” 

“…[Crimson Young Lady Nunnaly Ronamis] huh.”

He had never met or seen her, but Reiner had heard the name [Nunnaly Ronamis] before. Working in the capital, all sorts of rumors would reach his ears whether he wanted them to or not. Among them was talk of a beautiful woman with red hair who numerous unmarried noblemen wanted for a wife, earning her the nickname [Crimson Young Lady Nunnaly Ronamis] among the nobles for her hair color, if he recalled correctly.

However, the red-haired woman reminded Reiner of someone else. Once before, while accompanying Arwin along with Dinas to the noble district, he had helped a young lady being harassed by young noblemen. That young lady also had red hair if he remembered right. Seeing Reiner lost in thought, Arwin made a puzzled expression and called out to him.

“What’s wrong? Did something come to mind?”

“Hmm? Ah, no, sorry. I was just thinking about something. But for my partner to be the [Crimson Young Lady Nunnaly Ronamis] of all people, what a surprise. She has no connection or relation to me.” 

Reiner shrugged with hands spread, putting on an exaggerated act. Arwin looked at the rare behavior from Reiner with a wry smile.

“Well, that’s how arranged marriages among nobles go. Best not think too deeply about it.”

“You’re right…Anyway, let’s get through the remaining work first.”

Hearing his reply, Reiner picked up and resumed working on the document he had been reading through earlier. 

A few days later, a letter from Esther arrived addressed to Reiner. It contained an explanation about the marriage proposal with Nunnaly Ronamis and a schedule, stating that both of Reiner’s parents would come to the capital on the day of the meeting. 

The very last line – [You have no right to refuse] – was written firmly with powerful brush strokes.


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