The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 38

Chapter 38 – Between Hope and Despair

Keep moving forward. Simply keep going straight ahead.
What lies ahead are fragments of disaster. Roaring and bellowing monsters spewing tyranny and trampling destruction.
If left alone, the capital would undoubtedly be annihilated. If we cannot stop them, many people will die. In this place, Charlotte is the only one with the power to stand against that feat. And conversely, if I cannot measure up here…it will be checkmate.
(…………It’s heavy)
My body tingles under the pressure of this critical juncture.
The weight of [lives] pressing down on my back like lead. As beautiful yet fragile as glasswork, I feel like buckling under the size of this burden.
—-I’ll carry what Brother Leo carried as well.
—-Because that is our……my dream.
I recall. That back. And the determination voiced by the boy.
I was happy. My chest grew hot. I’m not alone. He decided he would carry it with me.
At the same time, his back felt so distant.
Shouting is not enough.
Wishing is not enough.
To catch up to that boy’s back, I must surely demonstrate corresponding determination and resolution – [Power] befitting that name.
“Lady Charlotte. Personnel allocation is complete. We can move out anytime.”
“Thank you very much.”
I inhale. Taking in the air of the battlefield into my lungs and circulating it through my whole body.
I add wood called determination to the heat in my chest, igniting the flames of resolution.
“I will attract the enemy’s attention and inflict damage. Please target those openings. I leave the detailed commands and tactics to Ms. Makina and the Knight Commander.”
“Roger that. We’ll stick it out until Sir Al comes, right?”
Faced with what I must shoulder. And having witnessed his fight.
There’s no room for weak-willed talk of buying time.
I grip my sword. Circulating magical power through my whole body and detonating it in the form of magic.
“I will kill them here.”
The moment I finish casting physical enhancement on my whole body, Charlotte kicks off the ground as if gouging it out.
Like a blast wave, the swirling cloud of dirt rapidly closes the distance to the colossal aberration.
Capitalizing on my acceleration, I leap. First slashing at its arm to peel away the flesh on its steel-like scales in an instant. But it’s not enough to sever it. Only a spray of miasma like blood spurts out.
“[Violent Wind Magic Arrows]!”
Without giving it a chance to close its wound, I drive in magic. Sacrificing power for speed and accuracy, firing arrows in rapid succession.
The arrows of light pierce and the [Lizard Giant-type] lets out a howl like a wail.
My aim is to hinder its regeneration. While slowing the healing of its wounds with the superior elemental attribute power of [Fifth], I also use it as a [Marker] to connect to the next strike.
“Everyone, please!”
As if they had been waiting for that cue, steel ropes come flying out.
Support from the [Shadows] who had it surrounded. The experimental equipment item Alfred told me about, [Steel Snake Ropes], coils around the Lizard Giant-type’s right arm like a clamp, immobilizing it.
“Next, I’m going!”
I land. Then sprint.
For now, hindering the enemy’s movement takes priority. Minimizing harm to civilians while making the core easier to target.
While it may be one thing for a human sized opponent, this enemy is easily over 10 meters tall. The [Shadows] had physically enhanced themselves with magic and are bracing themselves to hold with the [Steel Snake Ropes], but they are clearly overpowered and about to be dragged away.
(I can’t take too much time……accurate and swift consecutive strikes……!)
First I sealed its right arm. Next target is the left arm.
“[Violent Wind Magic Arrows]!”
Another rapid-fire sacrifice of power for speed and accuracy.
Not to hinder regeneration this time. To draw the Lizard Giant-type’s attention to Charlotte.
It seems to have worked. The Lizard’s eyes roll, facing Charlotte below its feet.
Its massive legs rise and attempt to stomp down on Charlotte. Without flinching from the approaching giant shadow, she charges straight through the middle, sprinting between its legs.
Its glaring eyes instantly lose sight of her and dart around the surrounding ground, but by that time Charlotte had already jumped into the air.
“The left……arm…!”
Capitalizing on the momentum from her jump for a flash strike. Miasma blood gushes from the wound in its left arm.
As she tries to drive in a [Violent Wind Magic Arrow] as a follow-up attack, the wind abruptly warps.
From directly to her side, an enormous black wall closes in. No, that is its tail.
Perhaps because it retained an almost human form, I had let it slip from my awareness.
Most likely a reflexive move due to the injuries it sustained. If I take a direct hit from that whip-like, yet sturdy tail, I would surely be rendered unable to fight. If not killed outright, at least unable to move.
I cannot guard against it with magic. That strike from its tail could probably easily smash through any defense.
At this timing, evasion is also impossible. A direct hit is unavoidable.
In that case,
“[Regeneration Grant]!!”
I activate [Regeneration Grant] at full power, continually healing my body while it remains in effect.
Bracing myself for the expected pain, I grit my teeth and assume a defensive posture while taking the Lizard Giant-type’s massive tail strike head-on.
“Guuhh……!? Gahh……gaa……aaaaaa……!!……!?”
The unpleasant sound of my bones cracking echoes through my whole body.
My consciousness nearly fades from the tremendous pain, but I desperately hold onto it to maintain [Regeneration Grant]. Healing occurs concurrently with the breaking. Restoring concurrently with the pulverization. Flawless, absolute healing proceeds right alongside the annihilation.
(Taking……the hit……!)
In terms of time it was only seconds. But subjectively, it was an eternity of pain and regeneration. Overcoming it, I use its massive tail as a foothold to sprint up its distorting body.
Closing the distance, I immediately slash into its back. And I don’t stop there.
“[Fire Magic Sphere]!!”
Like gouging the carved wound, I drive the sphere of magical power into it and detonate.
The intense impact from behind destabilizes the giant body, breaking its balance.
While still hearing its wail-like roar, Charlotte’s body is blasted into the air by the point-blank explosion.
(First, lan……ding……no, correct……posture first……)
Sandwiched between mental and physical exhaustion, my vision blinks erratically.
My body won’t move as intended. Realizing there’s no time to slow my dull thoughts and collect myself, I brace for impact into a civilian home behind me—-
“[Water Torrent Shackling]!”
Just then. Magical chains coil around Charlotte’s body, pulling her away from her imminent collision with the civilian house.
She’s caught by the one who pulled her in with the chains.
“Ms. Makina……”
“You seem to be somehow unharmed.”
“……Sorry……for worrying you……guh…”

As Charlotte starts to apologize, Makina flicks her on the forehead.
“If you’re really sorry, then reflect on it. Do you normally use recovery magic to withstand attacks while healing? You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
Her usual carefree smile is gone, replaced with genuine [worry] seeping out.
“……If anything happened to Lady Charlotte, I would be sad too. And I wouldn’t know what face to show Sir Al either.”
“…………I really am sorry. I’ll be more careful from now on.”
I’ve seriously made her worry. That pains my chest, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this pain any time soon.
A roar that shakes my eardrums. Looking over, the [Steel Snake Ropes] have coiled around the Lizard Giant-type’s left arm, clamping its wounds.
With both its arms constrained, the [Lizard Giant-type] cannot move freely and is thrashing around while the [Shadows] brace themselves, using their magically enhanced bodies like a tug-of-war rope.
“Can we increase the number of [Steel Snake Ropes]?”
“Not with that giant body and power. More numbers means dividing personnel, dropping binding force. If we just had more manpower…”
If we can pierce through its core, we can defeat the [Lizard Giant-type]. However, with both arms sealed, that giant body would still be dangerous to approach while it thrashes around. There’s still a good chance of being intercepted before reaching the core.
“Guh…No good, can’t hold it…!”
While we hesitate, the balance of the tug-of-war is gradually crumbling. The [Shadows] manipulating the [Steel Snake Ropes] are slowly getting pulled away.
“——–…………! “
Right after that, the struggling movements of the [Lizard Titan] slowed down.
It seemed like its arms were gradually losing the ability to move freely.
“Should we pull this!? Who said that!?”
It wasn’t clear who spoke,
“Ah …………………… “
but it was someone from the knight’s order. The knights, along with those from the [Shadow], were holding onto the [Steel Serpent Rope], pulling with all their might.
“Incredible strength…! If you slack off, it’ll snatch it away in one go!”
“Absolutely do not let go! Hold on even if you have to die!”
“Show the pride of the knights!”
“Hey! Can’t we increase the number of these ropes!?”
Before I realized it. The knights had come to help, pulling together with them.
Light and shadow intersect, losing distinction. The scene of both forces joining as one to confront a single enemy unfolds before Charlotte’s eyes.
—-I’ve decided! Like the protagonist in this book Prince Leo gave me, I also want to make this country one where everyone can get along!
What drifted into mind was the dream I held when I was young.
A dream once denied, then picked up and affirmed by a certain boy.
Naive, saccharine ideals. The road forward continues endlessly, full of winding, thorny paths.
But right now, I feel like……I’ve taken the first step. That’s what it felt like.
—-It’s best to aim for ideals over reality when realizing dreams. So I’ll be expecting great things from you, my Queen.


“………… Did I live up to your expectations a little? “
Words to the boy who is not here now. A smile naturally surfaces, but I’m also aware that I’m not yet satisfied with myself.
The gigantic aberration attempts to shake off its bindings, but the movements of its arms gradually seal up due to additional [Steel Snake Ropes] coiling around the wounds on its back, hindering regeneration. [Shadows] and [Knights]. With the two forces combined, its giant body has lost freedom.
(Now I can—-!)
My body can move after a short break. Charlotte kicks off the ground aiming at its core.

“This time I’ll……—!……!?”
In an instant. The gigantic jaws of the aberration open wide.
Condensed jet-black flames from the depths of its enormous maw,
blasting out flames that threaten to directly incinerate anyone trying to approach its core. Having jumped right into the path of the raging flames, Charlotte has no way to maneuver in midair—-she cannot evade.
“[Water Torrent Shackling]!”
Faster than the flames can reach.
Chains coil around Charlotte’s body, pulling her out from the flames’ path.
While she’s being dragged out, having barely escaped the scythe of the reaper by a paper thin margin, as long as she still draws breath, she can still fight.
“Ms. Makina!”
“It’s going to get a little rough!”
Makina swings the chains around in a wide circle. Charlotte’s body spins round, compelled by the circular motion, before the chains come loose.
She’s flung out towards the back of the Lizard Giant-type that got scorched by the flames.
Sure enough, perhaps it was the aberration’s instinct.
Its body covered in jet-black scales writhes sinuously, and its tail sweeps out from behind towards the approaching Charlotte.
“[Fire Magic Sphere]!”
The crimson fireball detonates on its tail. While it can’t penetrate the scale armor, it succeeds in shifting the trajectory.
“Knight Commander, thank you!”
Cover fire from Grassion commanding the ground troops.
His precise aim at the tail thrashing like a living creature has my honest admiration. While giving mental thanks, the girl presses on aided by many.
“[Earth Grant]!”
Pouring all her magical power into her sword and specializing it for penetration with the earth-attribute enhancement spell.
The radiance of magical power flares out, tracing Charlotte’s trajectory with light.
Thrusting out her right arm, one decisive strike to pierce through the giant’s back.
The shining [Fifth] attribute blade sinks deeply, transmitting definite feedback.
A taut, silent beat.
Everyone tenses up, holding their breath as they watch the results of that do-or-die strike that they had all witnessed.
What the onlookers were shown was the sight of the aberration’s collapse alongside a geyser of miasma, achieving victory.
“Hahh……hah……yes……did it……”
Charlotte lands on her own two feet this time, seeing off the scattering remains of the [Lizard Giant-type]. Supporting herself with the sword, she drops to one knee. Her breathing is disordered and ragged. She’s clearly exhausted all her strength; that’s exactly why she was able to finish it off.
“……Splendid work, Lady Charlotte.”
“Ms. Makina…this should reduce Sir Al’s burden, right?”
“You did more than just reduce it, didn’t you?”
Makina turns to look at the knights and [Shadows] joining hands with each other, sharing in the joy of victory.
“I think this scene holds value surpassing a mere victory. Sir Al might even feel vexed over it.”
“……That would be nice.”
“Well, I was really on edge at first, wondering if my heart would leap out. Taking hits while healing with recovery magic, just which Berserker does that remind me of?”
“Be, Berserker!?”
“Ahaha. If you don’t want me to say it, make sure not to worry me so much next time, okay?”
“I really do regret it……”
The flowing friendly atmosphere. I picture the face of my betrothed who should be defeating the enemy elsewhere even though he’s not here.
“…………I’m worried about Al. I want to hurry back over—-“
“O-Oi! Look at that!”
That scream-like shout tore through the remnants of victory and relief.
What I sense is a sinister magical power. A vexing presence. Looking up above,
The gigantic aberration that should have been dead.
“How is……this………………”
As if mocking my unconscious muttering, the magical array’s radiance ascends.
Emerging from there, further giant aberrations. Monstrous abnormalities.
The number newly appeared in the royal capital streets —- five bodies.
“You joking… Five of them!?”
“We struggled so much just to take down one!”
“Everyone’s totally exhausted already… This is just……”
“…………We can’t win……it’s over……”
Despair colors the faces of the people looking up at the newly emerged threat.
The cold darkness crept into my mind, pressing down on my body. A sensation of overwhelming despair washed over me.
Five Monstrous beings with bodies that could crush everything in their path.
Charlotte, the only one with the power to resist, was now battered and bruised, along with the others.
The power difference was staggering. The situation was dire. Yet…
“—-But, even so…!”
One girl stood up.
“But still!”
Despair was something she had already tasted.
In a situation where no one believed her, where she was accused of unjust crimes,
she had given up. But someone reached out to her, pulled her out of despair, and gave her hope.
She wanted to be someone worthy of that person.
“I will never give up again!”
“Charlotte-sama! It’s reckless!”
Ignoring the warnings, she shouted, boosting her own morale.
Charlotte kicked off the ground once more, imbuing her sword with [Earth Enhancement] and leaping straight towards the core of the monstrous entity.
Hope and light were shattered. The monstrous hand struck Charlotte from the side,
sending her flying into a nearby house. Debris scattered as she rolled on the ground.
There was no time to cast recovery or defense magic. While her bones were intact, intense pain tormented her entire body, leaving her with no strength to even stand.
(Hurry… recovery…)
Pain hindered her concentration. Even a bit would help. But as she tried to cast recovery magic as quickly as possible…
The giant monstrous creature approached faster.
Its jaw opened, and a magic-infused fireball was released.
Defense wouldn’t hold. Recovery wasn’t possible.
With no options left, she could only endure and close her eyes, preparing for the merciless pain.
Yet, the pain didn’t come.
In the pitch-black darkness, a comforting warmth enveloped Charlotte.
Distant explosions and roaring echoed. Amidst the scent of burnt air, a reassuring fragrance tickled her nostrils.
“I told you. I’d definitely come.”
Opening her eyes,
she saw black hair and black eyes. Hated by the people but a source of comfort for Charlotte. That person.
“I’m here, just like I said.”
In a place close to the radiant sun, right above the bell tower, she was cradled like a princess from a story that had suddenly come to life.
“……….Al, kun…”
Her fiancé was there.

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