I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess With Only Destruction Flags…

Volume 4: Chapter 3: Full Charge Towards the Enemy (Part 1)
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New n𝙤vel chapters are published on 𝒇𝓻𝒆𝒆𝔀𝒆𝓫𝙣𝓸𝙫𝒆𝒍.𝓬𝓸𝓶

Volume 4: Chapter 3: Full Charge Towards the Enemy (Part 1)

Dawn soon broke through the skies. Our breakfasts would usually be filled with laughter and lively chatter, but it was different today. The atmosphere was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and everyone just ate in silence.

After we readied our preparations, we departed for the location the bear had pointed out on the map. It was the place from yesterday that we suspected Keith was held captive at. The place was in the town of Nore, but it was quite some distance from the inn.

We rode our carriage to the halfway mark and decided to travel the rest of the way by foot. This was an obvious decision, because if we arrived there on a carriage, we would definitely be noticed by the enemies. In fact, the carriage we were using now was different from yesterday’s, it was much more run down and wobbly. Maybe this idea is to fool our enemies. But I later learned that there was another reason for this.

“This… this is devastating…” I muttered in shock.

That was the only thing that came to mind when I saw what we passed by outside the carriage’s window. Larna turned to me and explained.

“Crime and instability ravages this town. Towns like these should have long been patched up. Just that there have been difficulties doing so because it is near another foreign nation. The neighbouring kingdom’s influence runs quite deep here. The capital had tried their best, but the folks here strongly reject the developments.”

I continued looking out the window, there were people wearing worn and dirty clothes sleeping by the road, and they were surrounded by so much rubbish. Their living conditions were so terrible, and my heart hurt when I saw how emaciated they were.

“The carriage we had been using would have attracted too much attention. Stop looking outside, Katarina. If they make eye contact with you they will chase you relentlessly.”

I followed Larna’s instructions and looked away from the window. Reality was sinking in fast now — this place was dangerous.

We had to stop at a certain point because even the run-down carriage would attract too much attention. I wore a cloak that Larna gave me before we descended the carriage. The cloak had to be dirty and worn-out so that we could blend in. Afterall, the clothes we usually wore looked too out of place. Now that we were in our hooded cloak, all of us hurried towards our destination with Larna in the lead.

Since I was warned to not make eye contact with the people on the streets and not to look back, I could only look forward with a distant gaze in my eyes. The air felt stifling.

“There’s the place,” We had been walking for ten minutes when Larna spoke.

I raised my head and saw a grandiose mansion in the distance. It looked completely out of place in its horrible adjacent environment.

“…This is it?”

The mansion looked much larger as we got closer, it was so enormous that it was impossible to see its entirety. It really stood out like a sore thumb. It was way too fancy and eerily quiet.

“Why is there such a mansion here?” I muttered, confused by the disparity in scenery I was seeing.

“This mansion belongs to the chief of this town, I guess. I highly doubt the person living here would be anyone decent. Anyways, look, there’s a lot of guards.”

I turned to look at where Larna was pointing at. And just like she said, there were many tall and muscular men standing around the vicinity and they were very vigilant. There were more of them closer to the mansion. It wasn’t weird to see that a grandiose place had lots of security in such a lawless town, but this seemed excessive, the whole place was littered with guards. It was nearly impossible for us to get closer.

“I need a recce last night and found out that infiltrating unnoticed is impossible,” Larna turned around to address everyone before speaking again to Maria and Sora

“If you two cannot sense any traces from here, I can cause a distraction so that both of you can get closer. How’s that sound?”

Maria shook her head. “No, it’s fine. We can make do with this.”

“How’s it? Do you see anything? Do you need us…”

“There it is, the presence… it looks very similar to yesterday’s.”

Maria’s words made us freeze. After that, Larna spoke to Sora, “Sora, do you see it too?”

“Ah… I can’t see it as well as Maria-sama, but indeed, I can feel something there.”

Sora was a user of Dark Magic, so he had the ability to sense it just like Maria. With his confirmation, we now know that this was the place.

“That must mean Keith is in there! We must save him now!”

I jumped up and was about to run to the mansion but was quickly restrained by Geord.

“It’s dangerous to run straight into such a heavily-guarded place without a plan, Katarina. Please try to collect yourself first,” he berated me with a twinge of rage.

He’s right… I should calm down.

“…Yea…sorry about that…”

George was satisfied with my response and nodded his head.

“That’s good then.”

George really felt like my guardian now.

“But I do acknowledge the fact that Keith is most likely held captive here. What is our plan now, Lady Larna? Do we charge in?”

Larna stroked her chin in deliberation.

“E-erm…” Maria stuttered.

“What’s wrong, Maria? You look unwell. Would you like to go back to the inn?”

I agreed with what Maria said, Maria was looking pale, much worse than what she was like yesterday. But Maria shook her head furiously.

“No…I’m fine. It’s just that, I don’t want any of you to enter that mansion…”

“What do you mean?”

“The aura I can see… the dark aura around the mansion… it’s very strange. It’s just like what I saw yesterday, it’s horrible. I have never seen anything this bad before. And the aura that covers every inch of this mansion is so thick that it looks pitch black…”

Maria turned to look at the mansion again, her whole body trembling with fear. She hugged herself tight to stop the trembling. Maria’s words sent a shiver down my spine, and Sora added in to what she had said.

“I have to agree with Lady Maria. The mansion feels off. I cannot see what Lady Maria does… but I don’t feel good about it too. This place is awfully dangerous.”

Sora’s words sent us into silence. A mansion with Dark Magic… the very thought of that made my blood run cold. Seeing how pale Maria was and Sora’s grim expression told me that we needed to be extremely cautious.

“…Then we cannot do anything. This place is extremely dangerous and I can’t think of any good strategies to infiltrate in. Maybe it’s best that we distance ourselves from this place and contact the Bureau.”

Our group nodded at Larna’s suggestion and moved away from the mansion.

Larna said that she would contact the Bureau but she first brought us to the entrance of a large building. While waiting for her return, no one spoke a word. Geord later broke the silence.

“Lady Maria… I apologise for my rudeness, but could I ask you for further details. What was the difference between the aura around the mansion and everything you have seen before…”

“Uhm… It’s hard to put it into words… But… If I were to describe it in simpler terms… It was such a thick and overwhelming black mass.”

“A thick black mass?”

“That’s right… All of the Dark Magic I have come across just looked like an opaque black haze… or sort of a mist. The most concentrated aura I have seen was from the tiny room Raphael was in during the school festival. The aura there was dark and thick too, it felt horrible too, but this place is…”

“Worse, if I’m not wrong?

“Yea… the black aura beats everything I have seen by multitudes… This is out of the world. It’s the worst.”

Sora added in his input too, “I felt the same way too. My instincts were telling me to stay as far away as possible - that it was absolutely dangerous.”

“I see,” I said after listening to their conversation.

An amount of Dark Magic much more terrifying that anything they had seen before. And a place that was too heavily guarded to get close…

Shortly after that, Larna walked back out from the building.

“Indeed, it is a very dangerous place. I have contacted the Bureau for reinforcements,” Larna said.

I knew this was going to happen because of how dangerous the place was. But she suddenly added in “Then we should return to the inn and wait for the reinforcements.”

“Um, Lady Larna,” I interjected. “When is the earliest time we can return to the mansion?”

Larna gave me a very troubled look when I asked that.

“Tomorrow, or maybe later. We can only move when the reinforcements get here.” freeweb(n)ovel.com

“…Tomorrow… or possibly later.”

But the mansion has so much Dark Magic. I know it would be dangerous for us to handle it ourselves. But… if Keith was really in there…

I suddenly recalled the dream I had. The young boy in it really resembled Keith. And he was crying so sorrowfully. In the time we waited, something bad could happen to Keith. There was a possibility he was crying just like he did when he was a kid.

“Erm, Lady Larna…”

“What’s wrong, Katarina?”

I firmed my gaze and looked into Larna’s eyes as she turned towards me.

“I can’t wait…”

“What… no…” Larna was shocked by what I said.

“I know that it is really dangerous. But… if Keith is really in there… he could be in danger right now! He might not be alive by tomorrow morning!”

“…”

“Knowing that Keith could lose his life at any moment… There’s no way I can just sit here and wait. I will even charge in alone if need be. I beg of you, let me go back.” I spoke with all the conviction I could summon, phrasing my words the most convincing way I knew.

Larna looked very troubled by what I said, while Maria and Sora were shocked. But they likely had this reaction because they knew I couldn’t do much. So what, my beloved brother is in danger! He could be in pain right now! It’s absolutely impossible for me to play a sitting duck.

I nibbled on my lip, anxiously waiting for her response. Suddenly, someone next to me said, “Lady Larna, would you please consider it?.”

“Huh…? Geord-sama?”

My eyes went wide in surprise as I flipped my head towards him. I had thought he was strongly against any situation that would endanger me? I never expected him to support my proposal.

My jaw dropped open and I just stared at Geord with a shocked expression. Geord just gave me an awkward smile before turning back to Larna.

“Of course Katarina won’t be alone. I’ll be there too. Please approve of this, Lady Larna.”

“…Are you absolutely sure about this, Prince Geord?”

Geord showed his resolution by hardening his gaze and nodding.

“Yes.” He replied before looking back at me, “you already know once Katarina has set her mind on something, she’s unstoppable. Even if you shot her request down, there’s no doubt that she would try to charge in herself.”

Gaord was absolutely right, but what he said didn’t make me entirely happy.

“Ugh…”

Nevertheless, he was right about me. That was my plan anyways. If Larna refused, I was going to sneak off by myself.

Geord gave me a stiff smile. “I am very familiar with your way of thinking, Katarina.”

“Hmm…”

Larna was silent as she went into deep deliberation. She gave her reply after a while, “It might be better to adopt a rescue plan as soon as possible, given that the place is so dangerous… but there’s no way I would leave you two alone.”

She gave an expression that seemed like she was at a loss in this matter.

“Ok. Seeing how you are both so resolved, I guess we should break in together.”

“Thank you so much, Lady Larna!” I shouted with glee.

“But not right now. After all, that place won’t take well to any visitors right now. We will have to scout the area and note any easy points of entry.”

Larna addressed the other youth who had been silently watching on.

“Sora, can I entrust this to you?”

Sora gave a smug little grin.

“Oh, sure you can. Since we have resolved ourselves on this, I will do my very best.”

After that, Sora left us to scout the mansion and its surroundings. I was worried about his safety, but he assured me that he could do a better job alone.

“This is my area of field, you can trust me,” he sneaked in a little cheeky and haughty smile before leaving.

From all the stories he told me, I felt that Sora’s life closely resembled that of the protagonist of a spy movie. I guess it was fine to leave it up to him. He’s such an amazing guy to have around huh…

After Sora had left, the rest of us retreated somewhere else safe while we waited for him to return.

“U-Um. Prince Geord?”

“Yes, Katarina?”

I bowed down to him. “Thank you so much for everything just now. Thank you for standing up for me.”

“Haha, I know you too well, Katarina. When you have that face, nothing can stop you,” Geord gave a gentle smile.

“… ‘That face’?”

What does he mean?

“Your face when you put your heart into something.”

“…Wha…”

I was confused at what he said. Did my expression reveal all my thoughts?

Geord saw how confused I was and smiled in response.

“To be honest Katarina… I already knew you were going to say that, that you were going to charge in no matter what to save Keith. That is because you are just that sort of person.”

“?”

“Whenever someone is in trouble, or when they need help… you will do everything to save them, even if you do not have the resources to do it well.”

Is he trying to say I’m too headstrong? That I’ve been getting off too easily?

I cringed in fright because I was expecting a scolding.

“Ah, I’m not angry, Katarina,” he said, still smiling. “Frankly, I like that part of you. Rather, if it was not Keith, but me who was kidnapped, would you still do the same and charge in to save me?”

I was completely perplexed with what he was intending to say, nevertheless I still knew how to respond to his odd question.

“Absolutely. No exceptions.” I gave him a firm nod.

Geord smiled, so I supposed he was satisfied with what I said.

“Ah, Katarina, that’s why I like you,” he blurted out as he gave me a pat on the head. His actions made me blush and my heartbeat started to speed up.

“Haha… You better ready yourself, Katarine. After all of this…”

He didn’t say anything more and just smiled with an indescribable expression.

******************

“So they are here… just like I thought.”

“Did you say something, Sara?” I asked and looked towards Sarah. She had been looking out the window and said something inaudible.

She responded with a soft smile, “Oh, I didn’t say anything.”

“I see.”

My name is Thomas Coleman. I have known this person called Sarah for a month. I was initially quite suspicious of her, but it was different now, she’s the only one who understands me. She is the only one I can trust.

I used to be the heir to the Viscount Coleman family. I was supposed to be the next viscount. I was special, I was the heir to the family, and I should have been treated as someone that special. But my younger brother stole everything and I was kicked out of the house. Those despicable people.

I wasn’t at fault here. My grades in school were bad because of the incompetent teachers. The servants all left because they realised they were incompetent too. It’s not my fault that everyone was bad at everything they did.

I can still remember the look on my father’s face as he berated me with, “What have you done?”

He dared to look down on me! Me!

It was absolutely disgusting for a man like him to look down at me. That disgusting playboy.

After that my younger brother appeared next to him. He was supposed to be my lackey, but he dared to look down on me too and say “Why won’t you ever think about the consequences of your own actions?”

This was the worst. My luck had turned for the worst.

I just had to have such a father and brother. It was because of these morons that I lost everything.

I was just born unlucky and I had to live with it. I only slapped a couple of those useless servants, and later I was chased out of the house. I had lost everything. They barely gave me any money, so it didn’t take that long for me to end up penniless. In the end I was left with nothing but a pathetic house and my own pitiful self.

That one day I had entered the town district to get some alcohol… I ran into him. That was the first time I had seen him since I got kicked out of the main house. There were rumours circulating that he was adopted by a duke and living the life with nobles from the upper echelons. Seeing him made me see red.

How dare he walk around here like he owns the place? He’s just a bastard child of a whore.

I was never able to return to the noble’s life, seeing him again had resurfaced deeply buried memories.

Since I was sent down the drain with nothing, I never would have believed I would see him again, Keith Claes, my younger brother. We were born from different mothers. His mother was just a mere b*tch. Looking at him disgusted me. It infuriated me how he was unaware of his lowly status.

He dared to use magic on me. He had summoned and crushed me under huge rocks. His attack had injured me so badly that I broke some bones. That incident had traumatised me so much that I would wake from nightmares. I was scared of him, and I despised him too. He’s the worst.

Disgusting scum.

Why did someone like him get to wear such fancy clothes? He even has a woman next to him? Why does he get to be all that happy? I only get to wear these shabby clothes and be forced to eat scraps… but he gets to relish in the duke’s money, live without a care about his money and get all the women he wants? I’ll never forgive him So what if he could use some magic? He got to enter the duke’s family with just that.

Keith is useless…he will never amount to anything more than a bastard. But why him?! Why is he the only one…?

I’ll never forgive him. Scum. Unforgivable.

He needs to experience my pain. No… he deserves worse. He needs the worst. Someone like should… should just live as a slave for the rest of his life.

These thoughts entrenched deeper into my mind as I continued looking at him. My hatred for him overtook my entire being. I wanted to do something but I didn’t have the power or money to do so. My weak self vexed me. And the days went on…

And that one fine day, she appeared before me.

“Amazing, your heart is filled with so much darkness… Would you mind telling me more about yourself?”

“?”

When I was walking through the town district, a woman with black hair called out to me. I was confused with what she was talking about and quite flabbergasted. And then I remembered her… I had seen her before, she was the one who served at the store I bought my alcohol from.

I told her everything about me. I told her about those useless tutors that couldn’t bring out the best in me, my useless leecher of a father, how that moronic brother of mine caused me to lose my home and that he was born from a whorish mother…

“Why? Why does that creature from a disgusting upbringing get to live the life? Why is he so popular amongst everyone? But I am the unlucky one who doesn’t get anything? I’ll never let him get away with this.”

Only this woman, Sarah, didn’t look at me with pity when I said my misfortunes.

“You’re right, you have really been very unlucky,” she agreed with me.

This was the first time my voice was heard. Everyone else was just stupid. They were all useless scum and idiots. Only Sarah was special. She was the only one who understood me. I spent the whole day talking to Sarah about my life. I spat out my curses, “I want Keith to meet his demise, I want him to suffer like me. He’s nothing more than a useless and powerless scum… a mere maggot.”

“Yes… Only with that will you feel better…”

Sarah gave me a gentle smile. She looked around my age, but her smile was very childlike. She looked kind of… cute. After that, I gave Sarah my everything, body and soul.

But Sarah didn’t talk much about herself. I knew nothing about her other than her name, and that she had lots of money and quite some connections.

I left behind that sh*tty house that my family gave me (as if that would help me after getting kicked out) for a gigantic mansion in a town I never knew existed. This place had all the furniture and decorations one would ever need, along with fanciful clothes.

“Don’t you think everything here was meant for the real you?” she praised.

The servants here were the best too. They were on a completely different scale than the ones from my family’s mansion. They were competent and listened to my orders. At last… I got everything back, and it was all thanks to Sarah. Sarah even went beyond that and did everything I wished for.

“Thomas, I caught Keith Claes. He is all yours, you can do whatever you want.”

Sarah had brought me to a room where Keith was… His arms and legs were strapped to the bed. He looked horrible and in a mess. He no longer looked like the person he was back then.

That’s right. You deserve this, scum. Trying to act tough, huh? So what if you’re the heir to a duke? This suits you better.

It took some time for him to wake up, and Sarah was the one to inform me of this. I returned to the room and just like I was told, Keith was awake. I walked up to him

“Haven’t seen me for a while, huh?”

His eyes darted to me when I said this. And I remembered getting annoyed by him. How dare he look at me that way, does he not know his position? He remained nonchalant towards me and he had that same look.

When we still lived together, he always talked back whenever I yelled at him. But now, he just stared at me in silence. I felt my face flush with rage.

How dare he! Just because he’s a duke’s heir! Who does he think he is?!

“Yeah, stay that way then. You don’t want to speak to some lowly noble, is that right?!”

My words came flooding out, and he reacted to it.

“…Thomas?”

He called me out. Although he was my half-brother… he was still the son of a prostitute. He was brought into the house to protect our family’s name. Of course he had to call us with the proper titles and what not. After all, we were his masters.

Even though he was supposed to do that… this guy forgot everything because we hadn’t met for a while. It felt like he was looking down on me. That I was below him.

Something inside me snapped. I smacked the man on the bed with my first.

“H-how dare… a guy like you… address me just by my name! A GUY LIKE YOU!”

How dare you?! You dare to look down on me? You belong underneath me… just a maggot. Just you’re… looking down at me from above. How did I fall this far? Why am I always the unlucky one?

My fists kept slamming down. Hitting him again and again. He couldn’t move his limbs because Sarah somehow sealed his magic. He was absolutely helpless. Even so… even after I hurt him this much, Keith never made a sound. He never begged for mercy or forgiveness. Silence was all I got. His gaze held so much strength… quiet and unmoving like him. It felt like he wasn’t looking at me. Like I didn’t matter to him, and that made me angrier.

My fists went down again, after again and again. I couldn’t control myself. But I stopped when my hands started hurting.

Just like always, Keith remained expressionless. I hated that part of him. I didn’t feel better when I smacked him with my fists. I could only feel my pathetic-ness. Thinking about sending him into slavery in another place didn’t comfort me either. Nothing made me feel better.

Thinking about it… I wasn’t feeling too good recently. I didn’t know why, but I struggled to wake everyday, and I was sleeping more.

Sarah cared for me the most. She rubbed my shoulders, even though it wasn’t any helpful. Rather, I was feeling worse. Something felt off. It felt like I was losing something. Something that mattered to me.

Regardless so… whenever I was in the mood to do so, I would find Keith. I wanted to see him in pain, hear him beg for mercy and moan in agony… but he didn’t do that. He was quiet the entire time. I punched him or derogated him with all I could, but his blue eyes always looked lively. Being around him made me feel more pathetic than I already was.

“I don’t care for his demise anymore or if he becomes a slave. He’s useless to me now. A guy like him…can just drop dead and break for all I care.” I said.

Hearing that, Sarah asked me, “If that’s so, can I do whatever I want with him?”

She was smiling like always.

Sarah shot me her usual smile.

“Yeah, do whatever you want,” I responded

Sarah skipped out of the room. But my head started to throb. It felt like… I was losing something…

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