Chapter 30: Love or Love
It was a sudden confession.
“Will you come to me?”
Alicia did not understand what he was talking about at first, but as she gradually understood what he meant, she felt her face grow hot.
“Eh? What does that mean? I kind of don’t understand what you mean…”
(Don’t tell me I’m being confessed to By Absolute! But maybe he’s just trying to recruit me to his faction…)
Alicia thought that Absolute was soliciting her in a roundabout way, but Absolute’s answer was simple.
“I mean it as it is, Alicia Mirai.
I am asking you to abandon your position as the head of the Mirai family, the hero, and everything else, and come to me.
If possible, would a betrothal be most convenient for us?”
(It was a confession….eeeeeehhhh!?)
Alicia grew up as the fiancée of the hero and had never experienced love.
Alicia’s fiancé, the hero, always pushed her around, and to be honest, she had never seen him as a member of the opposite sex.
“Why me? Absolute-kun, you’re the succesor of the Ark family.
I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there.”
”…Are you serious?”
Alicia could not answer.
The Ark family is so unpopular that it is difficult to find a fiancée.
There is even a rumor that the current head of the family, Villain, had taken a wife from another country in order to leave an heir, but she left the family early after giving birth to Absolute.
It was understandable that Absolute had no love affairs.
In addition, since engagements between nobles are usually made between those who are close in rank, there is no one who can serve as a regular wife in the Ark faction, which is mainly composed of lower-ranking nobles.
Even in the original story, there was no mention of Absolute having a fiancée.
This is because there was no one in the faction or in other countries who wanted to marry Absolute, who was hated by everyone in the country.
Except for the beast girl who had known all about Absolute since she was a child and shared his suffering with him.
“I have no other intention.
I’m proposing this because I think it’s mutually beneficial.
You’ll be free of the hero and your house, and you’ll feel better mentally.”
Well, you will be hated just like me, but I will protect you if anyone harms you.
As a proof, I doubt that anyone in the academy would think of doing anything to those who are now under my faction, would they?
I, for my part, would be glad to see us engaged as soon as possible.
I’m being pestered by some very nasty people right now.
Alicia was very tempted by the idea of a release from her mental stress.
“Hey, let me ask you something.
What do you think of me, Absolute-san? Do you like me or something?”
(If he says he likes me…what should I do? I’m so nervous after asking that myself!)
“I don’t have romantic feelings for you.
But I do appreciate your strength as a human being and your sense of magic.
You have the makings of a future hero.”
Well, I can’t say I’m not happy, but don’t you think that’s the part where you say you like me!”
He simply denied that he had any romantic feelings for her, which was a little different from the answer she had expected, but she was honestly happy that he saw and appreciated her as an individual.
“So what are you going to do?”
She now honestly respects Absolute, and if you look closely at his face without prejudice, he is a very handsome man and quite her type.
But she still has some regrets.
“What about the Mirai territory? Without me as the next head of the family, the Mirai family will only have my little sister.”
Alicia is the next head of the Mirai family and is the one who is supposed to have taken someone as a husband who will be a son-in-law.
Perhaps if her father were to step down as head of the family, her grandfather, who is now retired, would take his place.
However, I don’t know how long that will last.
She could not overlook the fact that there would be no one left to rule in the future if she married.
“Didn’t I tell you to leave everything behind and come to me?”
He seems to be asking her to abandon the Mirai family.
Certainly, if she abandoned everything, only Alicia would be saved.
But Alicia didn’t want that.
It’s true that I have a lot of painful memories about Alto and my father, but the Mirai territory is still my territory and I am a noble.
I’m not going to be irresponsible enough to abandon my people and try to make just myself happy.
As for factions, the Mirai have their own factions, so we can’t be subordinate to the Ark.”
“Do you understand? The engagement with the hero could be called off after he finishes paying the alimony.
He doesn’t have the ability to finish paying off that large sum of money.
Then you’ll be back to cleaning up the mess of the hero.
Are you okay with that?”
But still, as a person born into nobility, I have a duty to serve the Mirai territory.
It is my natural duty as a nobleman to protect my land.”
She thought about the vassals, her little sister and the territory.
Alicia had no choice but to run away when she thought about what she would lose by going to Absolute.
She looked into Absolute’s eyes with determination.
If that’s what you’ve decided, then I won’t say anything else.”
“……You backed down so easily.”
I had expected him to be persistent a little longer, so I felt disappointed or rather I had mixed feelings.
“I said, I’ll make you an offer, right? I’m not troubled by the fact that you refused.
But as I said before, the hero will return to the Mirai family after paying the alimony.
If he does anything to us then, we won’t let him get away with this next time.”
Absolute warned with pressure.
Alicia felt the strong pressure on her skin and swallowed her spit.
“If the hero is planning to do something evil, let the Ark family know and I will spare your life.”
“I don’t think Alto-kun will be able to repay the one billion, but…well, I’ll keep that in mind.”
After that conversation, the settlement between the Ark and Mirai families ended.
Several days had passed since the settlement with the Ark family.
Alicia’s father was ordered to step down as the head of the family for neglecting to educate the hero, and was subsequently placed under house arrest in the Mirai family’s villa.
When Alicia received the notarized deed from the royal family, she talked to the hero about breaking off the engagement.
“Well, Alto-kun, you and I are breaking off our engagement.
It was decided that the engagement will be broken by paying a billion dollars in alimony by the time you graduate from the school.
The government will cover the fee, so you will have to repay it to the government, and of course, the school will suspend you until the fee is paid.
Do you have anything to say?”
The state was able to bind the hero with chains in the name of alimony.
From now on, he will be used by the state until he pays back the money.
The hero sitting across from Alicia closed his eyes and listened to the story as if digesting it.
Alto, had been ranting without showing any remorse before the settlement, but judging from his current state, he may have come to understand the current situation a little better.
“I’m sorry, Alicia.
Something was wrong with me at the time.
My body was feeling better than usual, my head was unusually clear, but I felt strangely elated and couldn’t use my rational mind.
I couldn’t control myself!”
“Were you on some kind of weird drug?”
“No! Anyway, I wasn’t normal at that time.
I didn’t intend to fight with Absolute so quickly.
I told you I was going to get some supporters.
Just understand that! Maybe that Absolute guy set something up.”
Alicia thought he seemed a little sorry, but he was still making bitter excuses after all this time, and she held her head in her hands.
“Do you understand? You attacked an innocent man and took him by surprise! You are a hero, and you know that if you attack, you will seriously injure your opponent, don’t you? And you have no pride in yourself to try to win by foul play? Have you ever thought about how you will be looked at by the nobility and in class? To be honest, I’m really disappointed in you.
Everyone says that Absolute is evil, but unlike you, he is sincere and proud in his competition! I will not forgive you if you insult him any further.”
Alicia’s sharp reprimanding left the hero speechless.
He had known Alicia for a long time, but he had never seen her so angry.
“……I’m sorry about Teach-sensei.
But I also thought that this country would be even better off if I defeated Absolute.
The Ark family is evil.
Rumor has it that the Ark family is involved in enslaving young children, loaning money at illegal interest rates, and using questionable drugs.
I saw with my own eyes a girl being tortured by the Ark family, and I was convinced.
Someone had to do it.”
“I don’t care if the Ark family is evil or not.
But, Alto-kun, if the Ark family is making people suffer, it is the state’s job to make it right.
It’s not up to you alone to do something about it, and the power of a hero is not something that can be exercised selfishly.
You have learned that from the injured.”
The hero shuts down.
The result of exercising power selfishly has been to hurt people and make the people around him unhappy.
“We must make amends.
You will leave the mansion and become an adventurer.
1 billion is a lot of money for a normal person, but if you are an adventurer, you can repay the money depending on your quests.
Of course, you will be monitored, and if you leave the country without permission, your life will be in danger this time.
You should contribute to your country as an adventurer.
It’s the least you can do to make up for it.”
“I’m done talking.
Get out of here.”
She interrupted him as if rejecting him.
The hero sensed Alicia’s mood and tried to leave.
“……… Sorry Alicia.
Without showing his face, the hero said goodbye with his back turned to Alicia and left the mansion.
Alicia, who watched from her room as the hero left, looked relaxed, as if a weight had finally been lifted from her shoulders.
Alicia is suddenly reminded of the days she spent with Alto.
“I’ve known him for a long time, and I didn’t dislike him, but I didn’t like him either.
He felt like a very annoying little brother.
But now I can mentally ease my mind.
The royal family already holds Alto’s leash, and I have nothing to do with any problems he might cause as an adventurer.”
This time the ending was convenient for Alicia.
Both her father, who unreasonably placed the blame on her, and the hero, who she was always forced to clean up after, were eliminated.
“Maybe he knew and got rid of the two of them.
……or am I over thinking that?.”
Alicia thinks back to Absolute.
Then a warm feeling tingles in her chest.
“‘Blame it all on me and get comfortable’….
That’s very kind of you to say, even though I can’t do such a thing.
I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been treated nicely by someone of the opposite sex.
I’ve been with you for such a long time, Alto, but that’s just the way it is…”
Alicia had always kept in her mind the words Absolute had said to her.
Alicia had said it out loud, but she still could not have gotten engaged to Absolute.
Alicia, with her strong sense of responsibility, couldn’t abandon everything.
Even if she did, she would be overwhelmed with guilt for the rest of her life.
Alicia went to school for the first time since the incident.When she entered the classroom, she was surrounded by her friends who were worried about her and told her not to worry.
While she was dealing with the situation, Absolute entered the classroom.
The class is always tense when Absolute enters the classroom, but Alicia wasn’t concerned about that.
(Oh, it’s you, Absolute.
I wonder if it’s okay if I say hello to him? It’s been a while since I’ve been to school, so I might as well just show my face.)
Alicia approaches Absolute and calls out
“Good morning to you! Absolute-kun.”
Alicia was about to greet him when she was interrupted by Christina Zen.
“I thought it was loud this morning, but it’s you again…”
“Yes, it’s me.
I’m the one you’re going to have a match with today.”
Alicia was upset.
(What⁈ How could Christina call him by his name…and she even called him “You”? She doesn’t seem to be interested in other people, even people in her own faction she calls them by their family name, but when did those two become friends?)
“I won’t do it.
If you want to go on a rampage, I’ll lend you Mist, so you two go play by yourselves.”
“Absolute-kun…you should take good care of your friends.
I’ll come back later to ask you again.”
With that, Christina returned to her seat.
Absolute noticed Alicia’s presence as she came to him.
“Next, it’s you, Alicia Mirai.
What can I do for you?”
She was shocked to find someone other than his own people who was willing to talk to the hated Absolute in a friendly manner.
(I thought I was the only one…)
She gave Absolute a jittery look and said to him.
“Absolute-san, you’re such a womanizer, aren’t you?”
“What are you talking about?”
Absolute was subjected to an unnecessary misunderstanding.
After that, Alicia was freed from the hands of the hero and her father and was able to lead a less stressful life.
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