Volume 3 prologue part2
(As if anyone could forgive you.)
Marie kept a smile in front of the weeping Cara.
While mouthing some lip service, she harbored malicious thoughts on the inside.
(It seems that Brad and Greg took care of it, but I do like how that mob guy got caught up in the trap. If you become my follower, that mob will certainly be furious.)
That mob guy──was Leon.
A man with a sharp tongue who always interfered with her plans and resembled her older brother.
Marie hated Leon since looking at him brought back memories of her older brother.
(If it means seeing him get frustrated, I wouldn't mind forgiving Cara. All things considered, I'm such a good woman for forgiving a bad girl such as her!)
She had s.n.a.t.c.hed away the capture targets of the otome game from the protagonist, Olivia, also known as Livia.
She also s.n.a.t.c.hed away the exclusive servant Kyle, along with the position and fame of being a saint.
Those were all things she had to do for the sake of her livelihood, but Leon was an obstacle to her entire plan.
(That mob guy is giving me a hard time. But, it's my time to shine from now on. I'll be sure to get my revenge.)
Marie wasn't too sure about the details, but in this world──the saint was a special existence for the Holfault Kingdom.
In particular, if a commoner were to be selected as the saint, then they would be able to marry the crown prince.
There are items that can only the saint can use, and those could enhance Marie's power.
(I took the status of a saint from that naive Olivia, but I will resolve everything in her place, so it should be no problem. Now then, I wonder how I should torment that mob? At any rate, now that the people who once made light of me are now trying to get on my good side──this feels a little nice!)
The girls had looked at her with hostility before, but they were now trying to b.u.t.ter her up.
Marie was enjoying her current situation.
(It's great knowing that the people who looked down on me, thinking that I'm a poor match for Julian and the others or that I'm just a poor n.o.ble, are now trying to earn my approval! At this rate, I'll rise to the top of the world.)
Her aim was the crown princess. She pondered about how to make Julian the crown prince again as a first order of business.
Chris then appeared. “Chris Fier Arkwright”──a young man who had blue hair, blue eyes, a dignified countenance, and wore gla.s.ses.
“Marie, this is where you were?”
Marie felt at ease when Chris approached her in delight.
The surrounding followers, particularly the girls, blushed and felt charmed when looking at Chris.
“What's the matter?”
“I'm here to deliver a letter sent to you, Marie.”
Marie, after saying her thanks and taking the letter, widened her eyes upon seeing who the sender was.
“What's wrong, Marie?”
“I, it's nothing. I, I suddenly remembered some business I have to take care of, so I'll be heading off.”
Not listening to the surrounding people's attempts to stop her, Marie dashed away to find a place where she could be alone.
Upon hiding in a place away from plain sight, she opened the envelope with trembling hands.
“C, calm down. It'll be fine. I'm already the saint. I don't know what my household is going to do, but I will protect everyone.”
The letter was sent from her parents.
Upon taking out the letter and reading its contents, Marie crumbled down.
“Why is this happening?!”
Clutching the letter while weeping, Marie couldn't help but scream.
The contents of the letter stated that her parents would use her name to repay the huge debt that they acc.u.mulated.
Marie had not been blessed in her second life.
Her other siblings also used Marie's name to do as they pleased.
Marie's feelings, which had reached their peak just before, now plummeted to their lowest.
“I hate debt!”
Marie, who had a disdain for debt after her experience in her previous life, continued crying.
I was walking in the academy building with Livia.
Livia, who had light brown bobbed hair, walked while clutching her textbooks and notebooks.
“It's troublesome having to move between cla.s.ses.”
Most of the cla.s.ses at the academy are a pain since we have to keep moving to each one.
I had hoped that the teachers would be the ones moving between cla.s.srooms, like how it was in my previous life.
Livia looked at me with her blue eyes.
“Leon, aren't you tired?”
She looked at my condition, worried that I perhaps might be tired out.
Amidst the many heartless women in the academy, this girl gives me comfort.
Furthermore, she's the protagonist of that otome game.
Livia was supposed to be the one chosen as the saint, not Marie.
“I suddenly got a lot of invitations, so it's been a pain having to reject all of them.”
When I talked about my troubles with the girls who changed their minds about me, Livia seemed just a bit delighted.
“You're a hero after all, Leon.”
──I've been labeled as a hero who defeated the army from the Fanoss Princ.i.p.ality.
Due to that, I've been promoted despite my wishes.
“I'm not cut out for being a hero though.”
“Are there any women who interest you?”
“None. Maybe next year.”
I hate girls who make a complete 180 and try to get on my good side.
“Though, I heard that your reputation will worsen if you don't hold a tea ceremony, Leon.”
“My reputation? If it worsens, that's absolutely fine. Being treated like a hero is strange. Besides, having a tea ceremony with you and Anjie is all I need.”
When I mentioned that she was enough, Livia's cheeks turned slightly red while seeming glad.
However, that soon changed into a blank look, perhaps remembering something.
“──But, you invited Clarice and Deirdre to tea as well, right?”
When Livia said that as if to question me, I turned my face away from her gaze.
“Hahaha! Enough of that, we'll be late for cla.s.s if we don't hurry.”
“Leon, you're just running away.”
Livia was amazed at how I dodged the question with a smile, but was then puzzled she spotted a crowd in the hallway.
Everyone was focusing on a bulletin board in front of them.
There were lot of things attached to the board, but it's strange that a crowd would gather.
“Curious, isn't it? Want to take a quick peek?”
When peeking at the bulletin board through the gaps between people, there was a poster about studying abroad.
Its contents stated that they were recruiting students to study in the Alzer Republic.
“──It's about studying abroad in some foreign location. It seems to be for a year.”
“A foreign place? This academy really has a lot going for it.”
The impressed Livia seemed a bit interested.
However, I didn't think that people would gather around a study abroad poster.
As I tried to leave, I pushed my way through the crowd until I spotted my friend, “Raymond Fou Arkin”. He had a slightly tired expression.
“You're interested in studying abroad too?”
When I called out to him, Raymond readjusted his gla.s.ses and looked at me.
“Leon? Wait, you were talking about studying abroad?”
I pointed towards the bulletin board for Raymond, who didn't seem to be feigning ignorance.
“You weren't looking at the study abroad poster?”
“Nope. The crowd here is gathering due to the establishment of bodyguards.”
People were gathering here because of a bodyguard recruitment?
Though, it's not like the academy would be a place to recruit bodyguards for royalty.
“Well, wouldn't it be the saint?”
According to Raymond, the royal palace and temple were preparing bodyguards for that annoying Marie.
“Though they're forming a bodyguard squad for the saint, it seems that there's something unique this time.”
“Well, you see──the saint is Marie, right? Her lovers are quite special people, to the point that not only the temple, but the royal palace is also involved with the process of forming the squad.”
Livia seemed to understand.
“──This has to do with his Highness Julian and the others, doesn't it?”
“Right. In short, people are making a big deal out of the fact that his Highness Julian didn't go wrong with the woman he chose. There are even rumors that his Highness will return to being the crown prince and that the saint will become the crown princess.”
──During the finale of that otome game, the protagonist became the saint, earned the recognition of the people around her, and became united with the capture targets in marriage.
It seems that the same is happening despite Marie being the saint now.
What an annoying girl.
“So the people who want to gain connections with her are trying to be her bodyguards. However, I didn't think you'd be interested, Raymond.”
When I said that, Raymond made a bitter smile.
“It's kind of for a different reason though. I'm not saying I don't have ulterior motives, but I've been thinking about some special measures.”
Special measures? I guess I'll listen to what he means by that.
“The saint's bodyguards are chosen by knights. Not the temple's knights, but formal knights.”
“So they're not entrusting it to the temple.”
“Right. Because of that, if one were to become a bodyguard, they would have the t.i.tle of a knight. That's not all! It seems that they can even have a bride, regardless of bloodline.”
“──Raymond, do you mean…”
“Yeah, I do. While being recognized as a knight in the royal palace, their wife doesn't have to be the daughter of a n.o.ble.”
The temple's knights aren't formal knights.
They had some n.o.bles, but they were comprised of commoners.
Some of them were n.o.bles who were tired of marriage-searching and became temple knights.
In many cases, they're badmouthed as dropouts, but they're treated as formal knights.
Furthermore, since the people being enlisted as Marie's bodyguards are considered temple knights, it seems that it doesn't matter where their wives originate from.
In other words, they're not stripped of their status in n.o.ble society while also being able to escape from their marriage-searching.
When I looked at the boys gathering around the bulletin board, they were all being serious.
“I would immediately apply if it weren't for that girl being the one I have to bodyguard!”
I couldn't help but feel frustrated.
Raymond answered me in a calm manner.
“Well, as a feudal lord, you wouldn't be able to apply, Leon. Though I'm in the same boat, heirs can't be bodyguards.”
“──What? That frustration was for nothing.”
Now that I think about it, it would be a precarious situation having a heir be Marie's bodyguard.
Such a position doesn't seem temporary, so it wouldn't be a job suitable for a boy who will succeed a household eventually.
Raymond also seemed frustrated.
“All things considered, you seem to hate the saint, don't you Leon?”
“I would absolutely loathe being her bodyguard.”
While Raymond was shocked, Livia noticed a person approaching.
Feeling a tug on my sleeve, I turned around to see Anjie walking over with a serious look.
She seemed a bit tense and uneasy about something.
I had a bad feeling, but while shrugging it off and telling myself that it would be fine, Anjie spoke.
“This is where you were? Leon──I got in touch with my home just a while ago.”
Raymond soon hid behind my back once Anjie came.
Since Anjie's the daughter of a duke, people can't help but see her as someone untouchable.
“Got in touch?”
Anjie, seeing a worried Livia, gave her a slight smile.
These two are quite close friends, but──according to that otome game, Anjie was supposed to be the villainess, the protagonist's love rival and foe.
She has sparkling blond hair and fierce red eyes.
Anjie has a sort of aura around her, something that overwhelms the surrounding people.
That aura softens when Livia's with her.
“Don't worry. It's not anything bad.”
Despite having said that, Anjie was nervous.
Anjie looked straight at my face.
Her scarlet eyes looked as if they could swallow me whole.
Also, it's a bit difficult having her look this way when her ample chest is in my line of sight.
──It's actually a bit troubling that both of them have quite the chests.
“Leon, this is serious.”
While thinking that I perhaps revealed my thoughts, I broke into a cold sweat as Anjie spoke.
“You've been tentatively placed as the saint's bodyguard.”
I responded with confusion.
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