1: The Heroine of the Otome Game

Part 1: Vagabond Arc "Ash-crowned Princess of Slaughter" Chapter 1: The Heroine Went Against Fate

16 minutes
3020 words
Author's Note

It's a new series. Please treat me well.


"Survival" is to survive under harsh environments and conditions.

"Otome game" is a dating simulation game aimed at women.


"Found youuuu!"

"—!?"


My encounter with that woman happened inside a back alley in the small rural town I in.

The pink coloured dress she wore, the kind a young woman from the city might wear, was strangely worn out, and her dirty, dishevelled hair made her look like an old woman, but perhaps she was actually young.

Her ghost-like sunken cheeks and bloodshot eyes were frightening, and as I cowered in fear, she threw away the bag she was carrying and attacked me.


"N-nooo!"

"You brat, be quiet!" The woman tore into my chest and took the amulet pouch around my neck. "...Fufu, this is it."

"No—! Return it!"

"Shut up!"

That woman took something out of the pouch that I've been told never to open and raised a shrill laughter.

"Aha...Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha—! I knew it! Now I have no doubt! This is the world of ■■■■■■ ■■■■! Ahahahahahahahahahahaha—!"

That madness-filled laughter was so terrifying I couldn't even move.


I lived with Mum and Dad until I was four years old. I was happy at that time... The scent of Mum's soup made early in the morning would wake me up, and I would go wake up my sleepyhead of a father, hugging him tightly and rubbing my cheek against his unshaven beard.

I would complain, and Dad would laugh and lift me up high to put me in a better mood. I'd cheer up right away and laugh along, prompting Mum to come from the kitchen to scold us with a face that looked not the least bit scary.

But, such happy days will never come again...

On that day three years ago, a lot of monsters attacked the town we lived in. Such outbreak of monsters happens every few decades. My dad, a town guard, said he would protect Mum and me, and bravely fought the monsters, dying in the process. Even so, the monsters couldn't be contained and ended up entering the town, where Mum died protecting me.

I don't know how the battle with the monsters went. I was picked up by a surviving soldier from under the rubble, where I was crying amidst monster and human corpses, and sent to this remote town's orphanage.

Dad's wide back. Mum's kind smile... After losing everything, all I had left was the amulet pouch Mum gave me. Not knowing what would happen next, I was exposed to the harshness of the world without having time to grieve the loss of my parents.


At an orphanage in an old church, there were around ten newly arrived orphans. We were all crammed together in a small barn-like room, deprived of the ragged blankets we had been given for bedding and the diluted soup of vegetable scraps and salt by the older orphans who had been there before us.

The old hag who ran the orphanage gave the orphans nothing but hard rye bread and salt soup twice a day, and left them to do everything else in the orphanage: fetching water, washing clothes, sweeping, tending the fields, picking up firewood, carrying goods, and many other jobs that the old hag had taken on that had nothing to do with the orphanage, starting before dawn and not finishing until dark.

The older orphans, who had learned to take it easy, made the younger ones do all the work, and one boy, deprived of food and starving, sneaked into the pantry to nibble on a potato, so the old hag beat him with a rolling pin until he coughed up blood, and the next day he laid cold in his bed.

I'm going to be killed... I thought many times. But the adults in town couldn't be relied on. Nobody wants to get involved with filthy, emaciated orphans. No one would take an orphan like that. Nevertheless, the old hag would get well-dressed adult visitors from time to time, giving them the orphans with good appearance in exchange for a lot of money.

I didn't want to be in this kind of place. But I kept my parent's words in mind and endured.

"Nobody is evil from the bottom of their heart. So become the one who can smile and forgive others."

The violent old hag was just irritable. The older orphans robbing the younger ones was surely due to the bad environment. So I'll become someone who can smile and forgive. With that in mind, I endured for three years, not letting my smiling face fade away, while doing my best so that only my amulet pouch wouldn't be snatched away.

But... Was what I've done a mistake? The old hag told me to go clean myself in the well and make myself presentable.

I despaired. I hated the way the adults looked at us. That day, I couldn't stomach that way of living any longer, so...I ran away from the orphanage.

Although it was good that I fled, in the end I had nothing and could only sit down hugging my knees in a back alley with an empty stomach while contemplating my hopeless situation, when that woman suddenly appeared before me.


"Fufufu, you don't have to be scared, Alicia..."

"—!?" Having my name suddenly called by that woman made me jump with a start, body trembling. How did she know my name?

"I've been observing you since the day before yesterday, you know? I only knew your name and age...and also your hair and eye colour, so it was a pain to search for you..." While looking down on me with a warped smile, that woman caressed my hair and eyes with a finger. "You're very dirty. But it's alright, I'll clean you up right away. Besides, you became so thin... Grandfather will be astonished when he comes to pick you up. If you don't eat properly..."

"...Grand...father?" When I murmured that word, the woman's bloodshot eyes glared at me.

"That's right, your...no, my Grandfather. ...Hey, can you listen to me? When I regained my memory and realised that this was the world of ■■■■■■ ■■■■ I trembled with delight...and despaired. After all, the stage for the original story, the entrance of the 'heroine' into the academy, was several decades into the future. By that point I would already be an old lady, so I couldn't get involved in the story. That's why, at least in order to become a teacher, I became an adventurer, learned sorcery, and also studied diligently. But it was useless. If you're not a noble you can't become a student or a teacher... That's why, see..."

"Hi—" The woman grabbed me by the neck and took out a knife and a pitch-black "stone" from her waist.


"I decided, to become the 'protagonist'..."


The woman's smile warped bizarrely. "Hey, do you know about 'magic stones'? After a living creature absorbs magic particles past a certain amount, a stone called 'magic stone' is born in their heart from the blood in their body. A magic stone not only generates magic power inside the body, but also stores high-purity magic power, retains the element and, to a lesser extent, the characteristics of the original creature. Fufu... I was excited when I found this method in an old book. After all, using this method I can copy my 'memory' and 'personality' and transfer them into another person!"

Magic stone? Magic power? The woman was using difficult words and kept speaking as if she was drunk.

"The sorcerer who researched it stopped at the animal trial phase, but if it's me, I'll surely be able to complete it! Using other people's magic stone is wrong! I extracted my blood over and over, pouring my magic power into it and patiently collecting the solidified component, and after five years I finally completed my magic stone! It was difficult...and so painful...but..."

The talkative woman showed off the pitch-black stone smugly and laughed.

"If I implant this magic stone into your heart, I'll be able to discard this old body and become the 'heroine'!"

"...Hi—"

It was crazy. She had gone insane. Even if it was successful, wouldn't the result just be a different person with the same memories and personality? Not realising something that even an immature child like me noticed, she brandished her knife.

"Be quiet, would you? It will end soon."

"...N-nooo!"

I instinctively swung my hand out of fear, touching the knife and slightly injuring myself. As my blood-stained hand touched the magic stone the woman was holding with her fingers, something strange flowed into my head.

"Ah—!" I slapped the magic stone away with my hand, drawing the woman's attention towards it as it tumbled on the ground.

A peculiar hot and cold sensation was flowing in from my wounded hand. As I felt something revolting like that woman corroding me inside, I forced all my strength to reject it. And as the remaining parts settled in me, my doll-like smile that was stuck on me for the past three years, crumbled.


I breathed out...and, closing my eyes slightly, realised I was calmly thinking I must counterattack using this opening. As my body was still being held down by the woman, I moved my gaze to search my surroundings. After finding a suitable rock I grabbed it and slammed it with all my force against the woman's temple.

Thump!!

"GYAAAAAAAAAAAAA—!?"

The woman fell over to the side while holding her head and dropped her knife. Taking that knife with my right hand, I took a stance with my left hand propping up the pommel and threw myself at the woman's chest with the full weight of my body.


01


"Gah—hah...wh-why, you..."

The knife was thrust horizontally, slipping between her ribs and gouging her heart. In the eyes of the disbelieving woman was reflected the face of the cold and emotionless "me".

The woman's hand reached out to me as her heart was being gouged out. Unperturbed by that, I put more strength into the knife as if trying to gouge out a bigger gap. From it, a massive amount of blood flowed out of the woman, the light of life in her eyes extinguished.


"..."

My hands were trembling slightly. With the similarly shaking fingers, I peeled off little by little my frozen, immobile fingers from the bloodstained knife.

Now I understood. What has flown into my head was this woman's fragmentary "knowledge".

I didn't understand what this woman was thinking when she was doing this. Still, from the "knowledge" I at least understood that she had been spilling her blood and sweat for decades for the sake of this so called "otome game".


The world of sword and magic, Ciel.

Wherein was the Thurs continent, and the largest major nation on it, Claydale.

Geography and history. Sorcery knowledge. Combat techniques. This world's common sense...there was also a lot that was too technical and I couldn't comprehend, but I was able to obtain the minimum amount of "knowledge" required to live in this world.


I recovered the amulet pouch that was stolen from me and the ring inside it from the woman's cooling corpse. Then I carefully struck the disgusting "magic stone" that fell beside the woman over and over with a stone while taking care to not touch it at all, then threw away the remains that I couldn't completely crush into the gutter.

After that I rummaged through the woman's pockets, stealing her knife's sheath and wallet. Then I shouldered the bag that the woman threw away.

I had no more business in this place. But...there was just one thing remaining that was left undone.


Carrying my luggage on my back, I returned to the orphanage I escaped from with a new, soundless way of walking, and without entering inside examined the state of the orphanage, taking care not to be discovered. And inside, the old hag who had finally noticed my disappearance was yelling at the other orphans.

I quietly entered the orphanage's grounds, hid myself in the garden's darkness, and held my breath like an animal in hiding.

"..."

Sleepiness assaulted me abruptly because I had no stamina, but I held it back by nibbling on the hard rye bread inside the woman's luggage. Although I was feeling drowsy, I waited until there was no more sound coming from the orphanage. The light was turned off from the detached building where the old hag's room was located. After one more hour passed, I started moving inside the darkness.


My eyes, now well accustomed to the darkness, were able to tell me the old hag's location even with faintest starlight.

There were no rooms with locks in this old church that was serving as an orphanage. Gently pushing open the door, I crept into the detached building that smelled of alcohol, waited patiently for the snoring old hag to turn over, and at the moment she turned her back to me, I lightly pressed a nearby hand towel against her, put all my weight on the knife, and plunged the blade into her medulla oblongata.

"——" The old hag's body shivered as she let out a faint moan.

I pushed the towel so that no blood spurted out while slowly pulling out the knife to wipe the blood on it. I quietly let out the breath I had been holding and put the knife back in its sheath to loosen my stiffened fingertips before tucking it into my waistband.


With this I had no more grief here. According to that woman's "knowledge", the director of this orphanage I lived in would be replaced by a kind old priest. Perhaps with this, that priest would replace this old hag as the person in charge of this place quicker. With that the number of orphans who get abused or sold would surely decrease.

But——


"...Nonsense..."

The old orphanage, the shrewd orphans, the greedy old hag, the townspeople who knew about the abuse and turned a blind eye, the desire that woman held, the so-called "otome game", all of them were nonsense.

Are you telling me I was born for such nonsense?

Are you telling me Mum and Dad died for the sake of such nonsense!!?

I rummaged through the old hag's room and the storage room beside it, slipped on a pair of leather sandals that I could wear on my bare feet, and changed out of my bloodied rags into a slightly more decent simple clothing made out of a large piece of cloth with a hole for the head commonly worn by children.

After that I spread out a sheet and stuffed it with some clean cloths, the coins the old hag hid, the good quality food and water canteen the old hag kept for herself and some other necessities, then I slipped away from this worthless town into the night.


I reject the "otome game".

"I will survive on my own."

Author's Note

It's a new series, but it's about an otome game again (LOL).

Basically it's the chronicles of adventures and growth, it will be the secret manoeuvrers part of the otome game elements.

The growth part will be quite detailed.

It's pretty brutal, but I'd be happy if you'd bookmark it if you like.


Brief description:


character-01


Game Heroine: Alicia Melcis (Melrose)

With pink-blonde hair from her mother, a noblewoman, and jade eyes from her grandfather, she has a lovely appearance that makes you want to protect her.

In the game, she lived in the orphanage until the age of 11, so her magic power is low and her development is modest.

She has only a mediocre talent in magic (only light attribute), but after entering the magic academy, she deepens her relationship with the "capture targets" with her cheerfulness and her "smile" that never doubts others.

The adult that the heroine is supposed to meet is not the usual "human trafficker", but a servant of her grandfather, who is looking for his missing "granddaughter", this discovery was originally supposed to lead to the replacement of the head of the orphanage, who would take care of her until it was confirmed that Alicia was his granddaughter.


Incidentally, the protagonist has gone from large and bright eyes to a persistent half-closed gaze, and at the tender age of seven, the look within her eyes is already unpleasant.

She has acquired the "knowledge" of a woman with a strange past life, but because she hasn't "learned" it, she hasn't been able to master it yet.

Her knowledge is skewed, the content is only the knowledge that woman learned in this world, modern calculation and scientific knowledge of junior high school level, and Alicia unconsciously repelled the part of the "otome game" that relates to the nature of that woman, so her knowledge in that direction is vague.

Only knowledgeable but uneducated, the protagonist's ethics are now on the weak side.

Alicia's personality has not changed, but the decades of knowledge she has suddenly acquired have made her more observant, while her childlike "purity", "innocence"...and her "smile" have been lost.

Differences when compared to the light novel

Legend:

  • [+] Something that was added in the light novel.
  • [–] Something that didn't make it into the light novel.
  • [≠] Some difference in details.
Show differences
  • [≠] The part about her doll-like smile crumbling, in the light novel that changed to her feelings of fear for these past three years sinking deep into her heart.

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