The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 53 part 1

Chapter 53 – Solicitation
 

 
Where I had chased after Lady Charl, I found only darkness awaiting me.
 
The strange, rough sensation on my skin immediately filled me with a sense of failure.
 
I was trapped within some kind of barrier.
 
While feeling frustrated at having lost sight of Lady Charl, I was also annoyed that I hadn’t noticed the trap sooner, when in normal circumstances I would have been more vigilant.
 
Why had I so foolishly allowed myself to be confined in this barrier?
 
I knew the reason. My heart had been unsettled. It had not been calm.
 
Seeing master Al and Lady Charl together, so affectionately, like lovers… I could only watch enviously.
 
Normally I could bury such feelings deep within,
 
but Lady Luce’s words had shaken me, and being able to touch Al so intimately had made my heart waver.
 
It’s shameful, pathetic.
 
I have no memories, nothing. As an empty, dirty child, what right do I have to want anything?
 
I’ve been by their side so long that I’ve started to delude myself, to hold unreasonable desires.
 
I hate myself for it. I hate the useless feelings I’ve developed towards Master Al. I wish they would just disappear. But no matter how much I wish, they won’t go away – I can only laugh it off, make light of it.
 
…Maybe it’s for the best that I’m trapped in this barrier.
 
At least here, I can be alone and take the time to bury these troublesome emotions deep, deep down.
 
“Hello, Makina san. May I have a word with you?”
 
That grating voice belonged to Lucille.
 
I immediately deployed my [Mechanical Slash Type], preparing for battle.
 
“I figured it must be you. Perfect timing – I’ll crush you and toss you in the dungeon.”
 
“Hmm, you seem quite irritated. I suppose that’s natural, after witnessing Charlotte’s sweet love affair.”
 
Her knowing tone only infuriates me further.
 
No, calm down. This is surely her tactic.
 
Truthfully, I never had a very good impression of Master Leo, but now I can sympathize – as another victim of this infuriating woman.
 
“Your [Mechanical Slash Type]… and that imitation [Sovereign’s Ring]”
 
Lucille carefully examines the magical equipment deployed on my right arm and leg.
 
“… it seems unfinished. At least, the shape is different from what I know. “
 
“Ah…!”
 
I can’t help but react to her words, biting my lip as I realize I’ve given something away again.
 
Seeing my reaction, Lucille chuckles confidently.
 
“So it seems your memories haven’t returned yet?”
 
“…How do you know about that?”
 
“Because I know who you are. I know where you come from.”
 
“………… What? “
 
In an instant, my mind goes blank.
 
I have no memories. The only thing I knew was the name “Makina”.
 
I had simply woken up alone in the forest of the Garland territory, with no recollection of what came before.
 
I didn’t know anything about my past self.
 
“…You know about my past?”
 
As I lower my sword, Lucille nods calmly.
 
“Yes, I know about the you before you lost your memories.”
 
Lucille approaches me.
 
“Shall I tell you?”
 
“thud, thud, thud”
 
“…things about you that you don’t know.”
 
Step by step, with graceful strides.
 
“…What do you want?”
 
“It’s not much.”
 
“ …………………… “
 
” I just need your cooperation.”
 
The devil whispers.
 
“Don’t you want to know? About your past self. Who you really are?”
 
I…I…
 
“——–? “
 
In a flash,
 
I swing my blade, slicing off Lucille’s arm.
 
“Wha-?!”
 
“No, I’m not interested.”
 
Without pause, I strike again,
 
cutting off both her legs to prevent her from escaping.
 
“I’m not the type to dwell on the past. Makina is a maid who enjoys living in the present.”
 
—- I have no memory. The only thing I remembered was the name “Makina”.
 
I found myself lying alone in the forest here in Garland territory. I don’t remember anything before that.
 
Though I have no memories, I recall what came after. Struggling to survive alone, until I reached my limit – and Al took me in. Al gave me a daily life, gave me happiness.
 
That’s enough. That alone is all I need.
 
“Haha…even if you do this…I…won’t say anything, you know?”
 
“I figured as much.”
 
Lucile’s head rolls on the ground. I thrust the blade right next to it.
 
“…Is it okay if you can’t take any information…?”
 
“For me, the worst thing would be if I left you alone and it affected Master Al. Besides…”
 
After all, this one won’t say anything. I understand how people like her work.
 
Without any hesitation, I slide the blade sideways and sever Lucile’s neck. Her body crumbles into fragments of miasma and dissipates.

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“…It was a fake anyway, right?”
 
“Ah, so you figured it out after all?”
 
Lucile appears from somewhere, her face unfazed.
 
“The truth is, I let my guard down earlier and got hit once. But this time, I’ve been really careful. …Although, with your current magical power, you won’t be able to defeat me.”
 
“…What do you want?”
 
“I came to negotiate. But…yeah. It seems what you want is something else. I had pretty much guessed that, so I’m not particularly surprised…Humans are really hard to understand, you know. Is that more important to you than your own past?”
 
“You’re speaking as if you know everything.”
 
“But I do know.”
 
A demonic smile that mocks the person.
 
It’s just silly to deal with something like this. Even if I can’t defeat it, it’s better to at least weaken this thing a bit for Master Al’s sake.
 
“Makina. I know your wish. And I know how to fulfill that wish. It’s easy. Because…”
 
Brandishing my sword, I pounce on the nonchalantly talking Lucile—-
 
” “
 
“—-!?”
 
The sword stops. Right in front of Lucile’s eyes, the blade is restrained.
 
If I just add a little more force to my arm, it would be done…but my arm refuses to move any further.
 
“…What…does this mean…”
 
“It means exactly what it seems to mean.”
 
“Impossible! You’re talking nonsense!”
 
“It’s not nonsense. It’s the truth.”
 
Move. Move move move move move.
 
Why. How. Why won’t you move. Just a little bit. Just a little more to swing the blade.
 
To sever the neck of this thing that poses a threat to Master Al.
 
“…Well, I can understand why you’d be confused and not believe this sudden thing, right?”
 
Lucile chuckles as she whispers in my ear.
 
“But…don’t you want it to be true? Don’t you want it to be the reality? Because if this is true, then you can reach out and get what you desire.”
 
“…!”
 
“Haha, your expression changed so blatantly…”
 
I can’t say anything in return. The words won’t come out. I can only grit my teeth.
 
“How pathetic.”
 
Because if I open my mouth now, I will…
 
“…!!”
 
…surely cling to this demon.
 
“Believing it or not, it’s up to you, Makina. Just take your time and think it over.”
 
Lucile slips out of the blade in front of me and places something like a memo in my hand. I can only silently accept it.
 
“That information is a token of our newfound acquaintance. After all, I’d like you to trust me as well.”
 
Passing by me, Lucile walks away somewhere.
 
Thud. Thud. Thud. The footsteps fade into the distance.
 
“Do your best with the [Land God]’s purification. …I’ll await your response then.”
 
Until the demon’s footsteps could no longer be heard, I remained rooted to the spot, unable to take a single step.
 
***
 
“Lord Garland? …Just between us, I don’t really have a good impression of him.”
 
“He’s always so arrogant and overbearing, you know?”
 
“That pig bastard, he’s gone and raised the taxes again. I’d really like him to lay off on that.”
 
After giving an unexpected lecture, I was strolling through the town with Nenel.
 
Not just aimlessly wandering outside, but also taking the opportunity to gather information about the lord from the villagers…
 
“…I knew it, but that pig bastard really has a bad reputation, huh.”
 
The reputation was shockingly bad. Well, of course. I’d be praising him as a con artist if he was beloved instead.
 
“Hey, why are you going around asking everyone about that pig?”
 
“You’re as merciless towards others as always.”
 
Come to think of it, Nenel has given me that dishonorable nickname of “lewd man” too.
 
“…Well, to put it simply, that Simeon pig is trying to entrap me and Luce-sis. He might even start interfering with us as soon as today. So…”
 
“So?”
 
“I’m trying to see if I can find some leverage to threaten him with.”
 
“Wow, that’s just plain lowest of the low.”
 
“Shut up.”
 
This one really has no restraint.
 
“And he seems kind of villainous, too. With a friend like that, you won’t be able to make any real friends.”
 
“Don’t say that,”
 
Until recently, I had been playing the role of the villain, so a child’s words cut me to the core.
 
“Don’t you have any friends?”
 
“Stop it! You’re usually so harsh, but now you’re just pitying me!”


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