The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 48

Chapter 48: To the Garland Estate

After rescuing the girl, Nenel, and retrieving the magic ring from her, I returned to Charl and the others. While explaining the situation to Makina, whom we encountered on the way, I instructed him to capture the men who were frozen in ice.
Back at the carriage, while Charl healed Nenel’s wounds, I briefly questioned her about the situation. I thought she might resist at first, but by the time Makina returned, Nenel surprisingly told us everything without much resistance.
It seems that in the Garland territory, there is an annual festival to show gratitude to the “land god.”
Among them, there was a ritual where some of the residents directly offered sacrifices to the “land god.” However, due to the rampage of the contaminated “land god,” there were casualties. Nenel’s parents were among them.
“Thank you, Nenel-chan. I understand the situation now.”
“…I’m sorry.”
Nenel bowed her head slightly… but for some reason, she remained hidden behind me.
She had been quite cheeky just a while ago.
“Hehe, she seem to have been quite taken liking of Al-kun.”
“Is that so? I’m not quite sure…”
” ………… “
“Grrr,” Nenel grabbed onto the sleeve of my shirt and wouldn’t let go.
Considering she had just been assaulted, it was natural for her to feel anxious, but it seemed a little different.
“But, what should we do? Nenel-chan’s home is with that Morgan person who ran away, right? It’s not like we can just send her back there… if possible, I’d like to help somehow.”
It was Makina who spoke up, modestly but expressing a desire to help Nenel’s family situation.
(Come to think of it, was it this forest?)
I heard about it before. When Makina, who had lost her memory, woke up, it was in the ancient ruins in the forest of the Garland territory.
For Makina, who had no memories of the past, not having a home was the same.
Was she overlaying her memories of that time with Nenel?
(Geez… don’t act like that.)
Because Makina always teased me with un-maid-like behavior, her subdued energy and brightness made me worry even more.
“Sigh… hey, brat… I mean, Nenel.”
I squatted down and met her gaze.
Being lectured from above would only create an intimidating atmosphere.
“Do you want to go home? If you want to, I can take you there.”
After thinking for a moment, Nenel shook her head.
“Because there’s no one at home, neither my mom nor my dad… and I don’t want to go back to Uncle Morgan’s house either…”
“Does that Morgan guy have any relatives who could take you in? Anyone who seems like they’d take care of you?”
“I see. Then, do you want to come to my place?”
“Formally, you’d be considered one of my subordinates… but it’s not like I’m going to make you work. It’s just that you’ll need that title. I’ll send you to school, and you can learn various things there. At least until you can stand on your own, I’ll take care of you.”
My proposal left Nenel gaping in astonishment.
“W-why… would you suggest such a thing…”
“Your parents’ death is partially our responsibility. And… there’s no guarantee Morgan won’t try to manipulate you again. It would be more convenient for us to keep you close.”
If we had purified the miasma earlier, Nenel’s parents might still be alive.
But ultimately, we were too late. Nenel was left alone and used as a tool.
That’s why I feel we, the royal family with the duty to cleanse the miasma left by the Night Witch, bear some responsibility.
Nenel was bewildered. Understandably so. This wasn’t something to decide on easily.
“It’s okay, Nenel-chan. He says it’s ‘convenient,’ but Lord Al is just not straightforward. And all of us under Lord Al, including me, were picked up off the streets.”
“Because he’s really not straightforward~,” Makina said with a grin.
…Well, it seems she’s starting to regain her composure. Not that I’d say it out loud.
“Um… well…”
“You’re asked suddenly, it’s understandable to be confused. So I won’t demand an answer right here and now. We’ll be in Garland territory for a while, so you can think about it during that time. …But for now, since I want to hear more about Morgan’s situation, you’ll have to come with us for a while.”
It’s natural to feel confused. From Nenel’s perspective, we’re the ones trying to help the hated [Land God]. It wouldn’t be strange if she couldn’t accept us right away. Rather, that’s why I want her to see what we’re doing before making a decision.
“I’m only offering you [options]. What you choose from there is up to you.”
Nenel remained silent, without uttering a word.
What answer will she give? I still don’t know.
“It’s worrying to think about what lies ahead, even though we haven’t arrived at the mansion yet…”
For now, I handed Nenel over to the knights and decided to take a break from the carriage to enjoy the fresh air of Garland territory.
Stretching my body and gazing at the blue sky,
“You’re too kind, aren’t you,”
Noel, the Second Prince of the Iverpel Kingdom, also known as the [Prince of Ice and Snow], spoke up.
His cold gaze clearly hinted at something.


“Do you always extend a helping hand whenever someone falls before you?”
“Not really. Like I said, it’s just a matter of responsibility. Besides… I can only do what’s within my reach. Nenel was within my reach. So I simply showed her some [options].”
Noel dismissed my words directly.
“Kings are sometimes forced to make ruthless decisions. You might have to discard what’s within your reach. A hypocrite like you won’t cut it.”
“If it’s within reach, I want to reach out for it. If there are things out of reach, I at least want to grasp what I can.”
“More idealism now. How futile.”
“That’s right. Idealism. I’ve decided to become a king who can make that idealism a reality.”
Words trailed off, and Noel and I exchanged silent glances.
“So, you’re trying to take in that child too, to realize that ideal. How foolish.”
“That’s part of it, but…”
I’ve been trying to take in Nenel because I’ve been doing it all along.
Because of Nenel, who has no home to return to, and because of the resemblance to the old Makina.
…But it’s not just that.
“…Nenel’s eyes held hatred. That’s why I didn’t want to run away from those eyes.”
In Nenel’s eyes filled with hatred, I saw Leo, my brother.
Leo, who hated his family. Leo, who envied his siblings.
I couldn’t understand that hatred… maybe that’s why I’m trying to take in Nenel. Maybe I didn’t want to run away from those eyes.
“Hatred… for revenge against the [Land God]?”
What’s this? Noel’s demeanor changed slightly. He seemed to be looking down slightly, as if seeing something distant, not here…
“You said you showed that child [choices]. So, if she chooses [revenge], what will you do? Will you tell her to stop revenge, your usual idealistic spiel?”
Noel’s words weren’t something I hadn’t considered.
Since I saw the light of hatred reminiscent of Leo.
“…No. I can’t tell her to stop revenge, and I don’t intend to.”
To my answer, squeezed out, Noel stared at me with a surprised expression.
“I know that hatred isn’t easily changed, that it can’t be stopped.”
That’s how Leo was. He hated our family. He envied.
Lucille took advantage of that. Hurt Charl.
“If you want revenge, go ahead. Even if Nenel chooses the path of revenge, I won’t stop that choice itself.”
Noel didn’t reply, she just turned her back to me in silence.
“…You have a fiancée, don’t you?”
“Huh? Uh, yeah…”
“At least, take care of her. While she’s within your reach.”
With only that said, Noel left the scene.

Preparations were made, and the carriage set off again. There were no further troubles, and we arrived smoothly at the mansion of the Garland Lord, our destination.
“Well, well, welcome. I am Simeon Garland, Lord of Garland.”
The man who greeted us at the mansion, though old-fashioned, exuded charm and history. He resembled a fat pig, with his forced smile seeming rather fake.
“Well. You seem to be quite late compared to the schedule… Oh, no, of course. I understand. It must be due to some deep thoughts that us humble beings like myself can’t fully comprehend. I’ll prepare the meal right away, but please wait a moment. It’s already cold, you see.”
It seems he doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s a forced smile.
He seemed to be making petty remarks about our lateness while rubbing it in, and then he turned his back and led us into the mansion.
“…It’s so predictable, it’s shockingly uninteresting.”
Luche shrugged her shoulders and spoke to me in a low voice.
“You probably know, but the lord of Garland is a staunch supporter of [Leo]. He probably received some instructions from the [Leo] faction nobles in the capital. …Be careful. I’m not exactly popular either, but in your case, you’ve probably earned the grudge of [Leo] faction unexpectedly, so you don’t know what they might do.”
“Yeah, probably.”
We’ve done that much investigation with [Shadows].
Once we decided to step onto the stage, I was prepared for this.
It won’t be easy.
Even so—once I’ve decided to become king, if I can’t avoid it.
“I’m prepared. I’ll walk boldly.”

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