The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 28

Chapter 28 – Training Ground


I swing my sword. The blade cuts through the air. The feeling of the grip in my hand is familiar, even though my living environment has changed, the feel of my beloved wooden sword has not changed.

“……Still not good enough, is it?”

The image of Alfred fighting the [Fragments] surfaces in Charlotte’s mind.
My own body’s motions are completely unable to keep up.
Even after leaving the academy dormitory to live in the royal palace, I have continued my sword training without fail. Up until now, I had only blindly traced the [forms] in imitation of my father, but lately, I can’t get the image of Alfred’s motions out of my head.


Inhaling and exhaling again.
Picturing Alfred’s form in my mind…I swing my sword.
The trajectory of the image is faster than Charlotte’s, as if it’s impossible to catch up.
Just as I think it’s moving according to the forms, it suddenly diverges from them into bold, rough motions. Having only ever performed the motions precisely according to the [forms] up until now, I was completely unable to keep up.


Taking a break after swinging my sword for a while.
The image remains vividly in my mind, yet I’m unable to catch up to it. That feeling of frustration is unbearable.
Especially these last few days, I’ve done nothing but relentlessly chase after that image in my head, spending more and more time thinking about how I could catch up to it.

“……I feel like I’m thinking about Alfred all the time, don’t I?”

The match is only a few days away.
In a few days, Alfred and Leo’s fight will finally begin.

Right now, Alfred is attending a [strategy meeting] with the Knight Commander. Makina apparently has [Shadow] duties, so she isn’t here.


Ahh— A refreshing breeze blows through the training ground.
My golden hair sways and flutters in the wind, giving me a sense of time flowing gently.
Come to think of it, since becoming Alfred’s fiancée, I haven’t had much time like this. When I’m by their side, it’s always bright and noisy.

And strangely, I don’t dislike it. Rather, it even feels comfortable.

A warm, reassuring feeling. It’s because he pushes me from behind that I was able to cry out my true feelings when persuading Elinne. I would never have imagined something like this before.
As the first prince’s fiancée, I had to admonish myself to behave properly. Crying out my true feelings was not permitted.

Even as I swung my sword, I felt nothing. I only blindly traced the forms, following them precisely.
Come to think of it, that was Charlotte’s life itself. While harboring a dream in my heart, I thought it was fine to just blindly do what was right. That it was enough, just to do that.

(…………No, that’s wrong)

Surely I had overlooked something important. I couldn’t see anything. And the result was probably—the broken engagement.

Even so, can I break the [forms] now, so late in the game? When I have a dream but the path I should take is still so unclear?


Feelings of unease and doubt pierce my chest, and Alfred’s back feels so distant.
As if to shake them off, I swing my sword. Chasing after the image of Alfred in my mind.

“—-That is quite a warped sword”

A voice stripped bare of hostility. A gaze that pierced my skin.
Gripping a wooden training sword and standing there were Dold-Gwenael and Filga-Domatis. That night when my engagement was broken off…the two who, along with Leo, had denounced Charlotte.

Back when I was Leo’s fiancée, our paths crossed now and then, and we exchanged words. At the very least, whenever we met we would greet each other. But now, things were different. The words that had once come so naturally no longer emerged.

“……Good day, Dold-Gwenael, Filga-Domatis.”

“Tch…I find it just as unpleasant to see your face.”

“If I’d known you were here, I never would’ve come to swing my sword to clear my head.”

They made no attempt to hide their distasteful emotions in their blatant expressions and voices.
That night, that time, I had no composure whatsoever. But now is different. Now I can face these emotions head on.

These eyes. These emotions directed at me. They have labeled Charlotte their enemy. What remains is pure hostility, and feelings for the girl Lucille. No schemes to frame Charlotte, no plots or conspiracies, simply believing Charlotte to be evil and harboring no doubts.

(Come to think of it, the academy has the day off today. I had heard they sometimes cross swords with the knights for training…so that’s what this is.)

Strangely, my mind feels cool and composed. I can surely face this hostility calmly thanks to Alfred.

“……Excuse me.”

However, staying here facing each other like this can only lead to trouble.
Charlotte chose to leave this place of her own accord.

“Running away?”

Dold’s remark as they passed each other was clearly meant to provoke her.
If Charlotte lashed out now, they would have ample justification to counterattack. She had no intention of rising to such cheap taunts in the first place.

“After all the harassment you gave Lucille, now you won’t do the same to us?”

“It must have felt great to bully such a weak, helpless victim who couldn’t fight back, huh?”

I don’t intend to be the kind of person who feels better after doing things like that. Even so, they think of me as [that kind of person]. It’s sad, when we’ve interacted to some degree and still end up with this perception of me, without even having a proper conversation.

“Why don’t you try the same thing with us?”

“At that time… just like what you did to Lucille.”

Their words caused Charlotte to stop in her tracks.

(…. At that time?)

Charlotte had no memory of persecuting a girl named Lucille.
But thinking about it now, it seemed odd.

—- Are you going to pretend you don’t know? There are witnesses, you know?

Witnesses. Leo said that. And these two came forward.
In other words, they had solid evidence that Charlotte persecuted Lucille. They weren’t trying to trap them. They weren’t weaving a scheme.


So, if that’s the case…

“…Did I persecute Lucille? Are you saying that you witnessed the scene?”

“Don’t act like you don’t know now!”

The anger in Filga’s eyes was genuine. Dold, too, directed a rage with certainty.

“We saw it! On the night before the exchange party, you came out of Lucille’s room through the window!”

“After that, a charm was found in Lucille’s room… It’s more than enough reason for Leo to decide on breaking off the engagement. How do you intend to explain this?”

Of course, Charlotte had never set foot in Lucille’s room.
If that’s the case, what was this [Charlotte] that they claimed to have seen?

“Was it really me? If it was night, the visibility should have been unclear. What evidence do you have to conclusively say it was me?”

“Hah… desperate for excuses, huh? Unfortunately, the moonlight clearly illuminated your figure.”

“There’s no way I could mistake your face.”

It seemed these two were claiming to have seen [Charlotte].
But naturally, Charlotte had no recollection. Moreover, on the night before the exchange party, she was in her own room. However, that was as good as having no alibi. There were no other witnesses.

“It wasn’t me.”

“Hah, do you think we’d fall for such an obvious lie?”

“Whatever you say, it’s not worth believing.”

You could tell from their eyes.
It was still unfamiliar not to be believed. It was saddening every time.

(… Was Al-kun also feeling this way?)

Alfred, who possessed dark magic and had been called the [accursed child], might have found it natural not to be believed.

“I understand that it’s hard to believe… but even so, I won’t give up until I’m believed.”

The moment those words left her lips. Charlotte’s cheek was grazed by a wooden sword.
Dold, wooden sword in hand, glared at her with eyes that seemed to harbor killing intent.

“You’re as spineless as him, huh? I bet you were trying to get in good with Leo. When that plan was foiled, you went for the useless Third Prince instead. You’re pretty good at cozying up to power.”

“Groveling to such an incompetent just because he’s royalty? You’ll make quite the pair. A couple of good-for-nothings.”

“……You may say what you will about me. But please, do not speak ill of Alfred.”

“What’s this? Worried about your accomplice? You seem quite greedy for power.”

“I bet he was using people around him to bully Lucille.”

“That’s not true! Those were lies he told to protect me—-“

“I said I won’t believe a word from you!”

That time, Alfred played the villain in order to save Charlotte.
What’s more, no matter how much Charlotte reasoned with them now, these two would not lend her an ear.

“Even so…please, believe me.”

More frustrating than them not believing me was my own powerlessness at being unable to properly defend Alfred. Please believe me, I can only plead. My weakness, only being able to say this, was pathetic.

“—-Lady Charlotte.”

As Charlotte choked back her feelings of impotence, the one who called out to her was Makina.

“I thought it was about time you finished your training, so I came to fetch you.”

We hadn’t made any such plans. She had likely thrown me a lifeline.

“……I understand. Thank you.”

Turning my back on Dold and Filga, I slowly walked away, keeping my emotions in check.

“Running away again! Spineless coward!”

“Despicable! We’ll definitely expose your misdeeds!”

I could hear their voices at my back until I was out of sight.

Right after leaving the training ground. She seemed to have overheard the entire conversation, saying nothing and simply embracing me.

“There, there. You did so well, Lady Charlotte. Excellent self-control.”

“More than self-control…I’m ashamed of my inability to earn anyone’s trust. I can do nothing but keep quiet so as not to negatively impact Alfred…”

Making a scene there would undoubtedly have been detrimental to Alfred as he worked to solidify his footing.

“Mm. But it’s also because Alfred had no choice but to protect you [that way]. He’s reflecting on it lately and trying to change his approach…but well, no need to worry yourself over it that much.”

“……You’re amazing, Makina. Have you been enduring this, watching all this time?”

“Mm-hmm. I’m used to it… There now, let’s get back to your room. More trouble if they come back.”

“You’re right… Alfred should be back from the meeting around now too, right?”

“Yep. He was back already…”

With an impish grin, Makina added:

“But it seems the Knight Commander urgently needs to speak with him again.”

“Tch! So annoying!”

Knight training had begun in the training ground.
Swinging his wooden sword violently amidst the knights, Filga vented his anger.
Dold and Filga, who often joined the knights’ training on days off like this, had been allowed to participate today as well. The pride and excitement they usually felt at being acknowledged and allowed to take part with their level of skill was overshadowed today by their rage.

“Don’t waste time thinking about a spineless coward like that. Focus on training now.”

“I know, but—ngh! I just can’t get this anger out of my gut! Dold! One more round!”

“I can cross swords with you anytime at the academy. I want to test my mettle against the knights today…but very well. I’ll oblige you.”

As Dold stood to accommodate Filga’s request, at that moment—


A wooden sword came flying out of nowhere, embedding itself in the ground between them.

“Then I’ll play with you.”

Grinning arrogantly, wooden sword in hand, the one who had appeared was—-


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