The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 34

Chapter 34 – Leor Berg Leuville

I still remember it.

“Look. It’s Crown Prince Leor”

It’s stuck in my head.

“His Majesty must be so proud… To have a prodigy born into the royal family”

I can’t forget it.

“How wonderful. The future of our kingdom is secure. We must be grateful he was born”

Since I gained awareness, I was always met with praise and admiration.

The First Prince of the Leuville Kingdom. Destined to become king from the moment I was born.

An existence expected to embody the role of king.

From the moment I was born, my role was decided.

With no choice but to obey, the purpose of my existence became simply continuing to play that role.

Therefore, I had to become strong. I had to become someone befitting of a king.

But… I never once thought of myself as befitting of a king.

“I heard Lady Luce single-handedly annihilated a horde of monsters!”

“All those monsters alone? By herself?”

“What ridiculous magical power… And she’s still so young…”

Luce Berg Leuville.

My twin sister, the First Princess of this country.

Among us siblings, she possessed outstanding magical power. Her mastery of thunder magic was top class, said to boast the greatest firepower in the Leuville Kingdom.

Compared to her, I, the same age… Struggled against even a single aberration. A feat like annihilating a horde of monsters alone was completely beyond me.

Yes… Luce had talent.

Despite being the same age, born at the same time… She always walked far ahead of me, at heights far above.

Then why can Luce, so talented, not become queen?

The answer is simple. Because she was born a woman.

Then why can inferior me become king?

The answer is simple. Because I was born a man.

If only the old, musty conventions didn’t exist…

The one who would have become king is Luce.

I couldn’t recognize myself as befitting of a king.

I couldn’t rid myself of the notion someone more suitable existed.

To shake off such thoughts, I redoubled my efforts.

I trained until vomiting blood every day. I swung my sword until my hands were bloodstained. I cut down on sleep and pored through piles of books. I used magic until collapsing from mana depletion.

Yet still I couldn’t beat Luce.

“It’s fine isn’t it? You don’t have to do everything yourself. We’re family, so we cover for each other where we’re lacking and help each other out, right?”

Luce’s words brought me no comfort.

Rather, they felt condescending…

In time, my other siblings began blooming with talent as well.

My second brother Robert possessed vastly superior physical strength.

My second sister Sophie possessed vastly superior technical skill.

All my younger siblings being born possessed some kind of outstanding talent… Some kind of power called [Talent] that I desired so badly.

No matter how hard I struggled, I couldn’t surpass that [Talent].

“Wonderful! Prince Leor overflows with talent!”

“As one who will be king, there can be no one more suitable than you!”

The thoughtless flattery grated my ears.

The sweet nothings spouted just to curry favor irritated me to no end.

To me, exposed to true talent, it all rang hollow.

I who was destined to become king… Was in reality the least suited to be king of anyone.

I have no talent – that was made painfully clear.

Far more than enough time had passed for me to realize that.

My brother Alfred was my sole salvation…

Alfred. My brother, born cursed with sinister magical power.

My family, scorned and hated since birth for bearing ill omen.

I harbored near hatred towards my other siblings, but with Alfred I could become kind. I could cherish him as family.

At the same time, I thought I must protect this pitiful brother. When I become king and shield him from the fools who scorn our family, I felt roused to action.

And then—

“Howl! [Regulus]!!”

When I was twelve… I contracted with a spirit.

They said no one in the royal family had managed this at such a young age.

Even Luce had yet to form a contract at that time.

“I did it… I did it…!”

At last, I obtained it.

Something that was mine alone and couldn’t lose to Luce or Robert or Sophie.

Now everyone would… look at me!

I was happy. I felt elated. It was like all the thin needles piercing my heart had been pulled out, all the pitch blackness cleared away.

“Congrats, Leo nii!”

Alfred, who had started mimicking the catch phrase of a character in a picture book I gave him, was the first to celebrate for me.

In my heart, I swore that with this [Talent] I would protect my brother. Protect my pitiful brother born cursed with sinister power.

Yes. I was determined… At least up until that moment.

“Come forth—[Alvida]!”

I witnessed it happen.

The instant Alfred formed contracts with two spirits.

As if mocking the talent I finally believed I found…

Effortlessly breaking the record for youngest in history, even culminating in a simultaneous double contract…

Unprecedented in our family’s history, surely an event that would be carved deeply into it, an undeniable talent.

“Guh…!”

I didn’t want to witness it. I never wanted to see… If only I could have remained ignorant, then…

“Ugh… Uuuuu…”

My vision warped. A crack ran through my heart, and I felt some kind of pitch black something writhing, struggling to crawl out.

No… Surely not! As his brother, I should… praise Alfred…!

The prowess he achieved despite being burdened with the stigma of misfortune from birth and continually subjected to hardship. His talent.

“This matter should remain hidden”

Wh-?!

“We can easily cover up this contract as a chance occurrence.”

“Is… is that alright?”

“Of course. I’ve decided… to become Leo nii’s shadow.”

What’s he saying?

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

“Any inconvenient truths on Leo nii’s path as king… I will erase them all.”

Without noticing me hiding in the shadows, Alfred… didn’t even rejoice over his feat of double contracting. He simply disappeared somewhere.

“A shadow?”

True to his word… Alfred never brought his accomplished [Talent] out into the light. Not just once or twice. Again and again he supported me from the shadows, burying all his achievements.

Establishing his own private forces. Using them to secretly hunt [Fragments]. Discovering and eliminating dissenters. The number of plots foiled thanks to his and his subordinates’ efforts was too great to count on one hand. Moreover, he had even supported me and the knights from the shadows in many battles, contributing greatly to our victories.

Each time, his [Talent] was flaunted before my eyes.

Not only that… Despite possessing everything I desperately desired, rather than attaching value to such things… He buried it all in the shadows.

All for my sake as [King]. To make me an undisputed [King].

Did I… ever ask for that?

“Pfft… Ha… Hahaha…”

A dry laugh leaked out unbidden.

“So in the end… It’s just me who… turned out defective…”

I realized it in that instant.

Deep in my heart, I looked down on Alfred.

I saw him as pitiful. As pathetic. As distinctly [Beneath Me].

What an awful misunderstanding. He possessed [Talent], the power I coveted so badly, yet…

The nobles call Alfred a aberration.

And Alfred calls himself my shadow.

It’s backwards.

Among my talented family, the sole aberration is me.

And I am the shadow… The shadow of their brilliant talents.

In that moment, I lost grasp of the meaning of my existence.

I felt as if I’d lost my place among family, hole opening under me, falling down into the abyss… That kind of sensation.

“Leor. I know well about your efforts. Many must be encouraged by the back that repeats hard work. Surely, you will become an excellent king.”

No, it’s different. A failure like me can never become an excellent king.

“Leo-nii is amazing. Strong, kind, and charismatic.”

No, I am weak. Not kind. In my heart, I looked down on you. Even those around me, they’re only drawn to the title of [king].

(No one…………… No one looks at me)

I truly became… alone.

Someone. Anyone. It doesn’t matter. Look at me—-don’t leave me alone.

“Leor kun…”

That was when I met Lucille.

“It’s tough isn’t it… No matter how hard you try, you can’t beat the talented ones.”

She found me.

“Leor… You aren’t alone. I’m by your side.”

She realized my loneliness.

“I know your weakness too.”

She saved me from the darkness.

The only one who saw me was—Lucille.

“…Don’t you see Leo-nii?”

“Ah, that’s right. You wouldn’t know—”

When I look up at Leo nii’s face, hatred still leaks out vividly.

“That I hate my family…”

His words made clear it wasn’t a lie.

“Hate our family… Why…”

“Why? Hah! As if you’d understand!”

” ………… I don’t know what you’re talking about! I don’t get it! “

I block his slashing blade with my saber. Unable to fully absorb the impact, my body staggers back, but… Using that momentum I roll to take distance and regain my posture.

“Because while possessing [Talent]… You all nonchalantly live… Without ever burdened by the throne responsibilty…!”

“Ta…lent…?”

“Be it Luce’s magical power! Or Robert’s strength! Or Sophie’s technical skill! Or like you, able to form double spirit contracts… I have none of that!”

A swift attack comes without a pause. I generate magical power and activate [Enhancement], strengthening my physical strength to withstand the powerful blow from Leo-nii’s reinforced arm.

“There’s nothing! I don’t possess [talent] like you do! But someday, I’ll have to bear it all! The history of the royal family, the future of the country, the lives of the people!”

“…!”

“Do you understand how terrifying that is? You probably don’t, with your [talent]!”

Thrown off by the forcibly deflected strike, I don’t even have time to catch my breath before Leo-nii’s follow-up attack. Sparks fly as our blades clash. Against his beast-like ferocity, I’m on the defensive.

“Why me!? Why do I have to bear this fear alone!?”

Never before has Leo-nii laid bare his emotions like this. Precisely because of that, every word pierces deep into my heart.

“Why me?! Why must I alone shoulder this terror?!”

With his scream, tremendous magical power rages once more.

The sound spreading through the quaking air, the vibrating space itself, to me resembled cries.

The slashing magic like fangs and claws. The onslaught of [Lion’s Roar] packing even greater destructive force is unrelenting. I can’t dodge in time. My thoughts race. I raise my gun barrel, rapidly gathering mana.

“Haa…! [Raging Wave Cannon]…!”

A split-second counterattack. But the range was too close. Our magical power collides, detonating— My vision whites out entirely. Unable to absorb the impact, my body is slammed into the ground. The oxygen in my lungs forced out, the scenery spins. Still, I don’t let go of my consciousness. I can’t afford to let go.

“Can you still spew that nonsense about admiration and heroes?”

I clench my fist. I clench the dirt. I raise my body, I plant my feet.

“Yeah… I’ll say it any number of times.”

I stand up.

“To me Leo nii is my aspiration, my goal… My hero.”

At least that won’t change.

“Don’t screw with me! I looked down on you! As a symbol of misfortune, scorned by all around, I looked down on you!”

“But still, you were kind to me.”

“That was merely pity! I drowned myself in feelings of superiority looking down on you!”

“Still, it made me happy.”

Leo nii grabs my collar with a distorted expression.

The desperation of one who lost an emotional anchor spreads before me, our gazes intersecting.

“Why… Why are you like this?! I’m no hero! I looked down on you! Why aren’t you angry?! Why don’t you hate me?! How long do you intend to ignore me, Alfred?!”

“It’s true I might not have properly looked at Leo nii… I only tried to see your good points, refusing to see your shameful and ugly parts. But… I don’t believe that’s the entirety of Leo nii.”

Even if it was out of pity…

The time he saved me definitely existed.

“Indeed, Leo-nii may not have magical power like Luce-neechan, or physical strength like Robe-nii, or technical skills like Sophie. But… no matter how difficult it was, he never stopped working hard. He never gave up. As the [cursed child], I was encouraged by his unwavering efforts.”

That’s why I admired Leo-nii, not Luchia-neechan, not Robe-nii, not Sophie.

It’s a unique light that belongs only to Leo-nii, not found in other brothers or sisters.

“…Sorry. I couldn’t realize it.”

“…”

“I’m sorry… For failing to notice your suffering…”

“Silence…!”

“But now I understand. What I was doing… was just self-serving. I arbitrarily gave up on my dreams and forced them onto Leo nii, hurting you… I’m sorry… Leo nii…”

“I said silence!!”

A bare fist gouges my cheek as if digging out flesh.

More painful than the wound was my heart.

“Don’t pity me! Don’t look down on me! As one with talent…!”

“I… never thought of myself as having talent.”

“What did you say…?!”

“I mean it didn’t I? What existed was a curse. The stigma of ill omen. Everyone around hoped I would disappear. Rather, I thought I had… nothing.”

When you introduced me, Alfred. To your fiance Charlotte…

At first she seemed like a pretty girl… and that was it.

But after that when I caught occasional glimpses of her hard at work, it overlapped with Leo nii.

I felt a sense of familiarity with the same favorite picture book, and seeing her trying to give up on her dreams, I thought it was a waste. Charl had various things that I didn’t. Beautiful magical power, for instance.

—-Reality is nothing but maintaining the status quo. Those who have made the world better have always been challengers who presented idealistic ideas.

—-Challenges…

—-… If it can be realized, ideals are better than reality. So, I’m looking forward to it, Queen.

It’s a waste to give up. Through the whimsical actions that led to it, we gradually began to exchange words.

Gradually, I became drawn to her.

I envied Charl for being honest with her feelings, and above all, I thought her radiance was lovely.

However, I locked that love deep within.

With my cursed existence, there was no way to turn it around… I couldn’t make her turn around because of it. Besides, the other person is Leo-nii. I had given up.

But. That broken engagement became the catalyst, and Charl started being by my side.

“…Nothing happened. But in the present, I’ve found something to carry. I thought I want to protect that.”

I have subordinates who admire me like this. I have a fiancée. I’m not alone anymore. There are still times when I think I’m still dreaming. But it’s undeniably the reality.

“I won’t run away anymore. I won’t give up. I’ll face it. Both Leo-nii… and myself.”

I’ve been running away and giving up all this time. I’ve been avoiding it. It’s time to end it.

“…What Leo-nii carried, I will carry too.”

—-I will become a queen who realizes beautiful ideals!

“That is my… our dream.”

It seemed like the mist had cleared. My mind became clear, and I could firmly focus on what I needed to do.

“So, I’ll win. Right here, right now, I’ll surpass you.”

I released the transformation and released the spirit [Alvida].

“Gu…!?”

Leo-nii, caught off guard, took the charge from [Alvida] and staggered backward. Seizing that opportunity, I infused magic into the [Royal Garb Ring] equipped on my left hand.

“Come—- [Arsene]!”


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