The Royal Academy Entrance Ceremony.
This would be my first appearance to the world as the villainess I now had to be. I was climbing up the steps to my spotlight.
Naturally, since I had the top score on the exam, I was student representative and would give the opening address. With my status and abilities, there was never any question that I would be entrusted with the position.
That’s why, even even as I stood on the platform, I wasn’t nervous.
Gathered in the auditorium were all the students of the academy; around five hundred in total. Even faced with so many people, these youngsters weren’t enough to faze someone like me who had been raised since birth to face the challenge of managing the country as a high noble.
Though there wasn’t any tension in my body, when I was given the stage of honor, there was a certain feeling of being in freefall.
I could feel the gaping hole in my chest.
For this past month I had avoided showing my face to Michelie. Not only Michelie. Charles, Surfania, Leon and even with Mariwa, I had purposely distanced myself.
They deserved better than to be wasted on a villainess like me.
I wonder if I’ve caused Michelie more pain than the story needed. Perhaps Charles is venting his anger out on Oxe. Surfania might withdraw even more, but surely Leon will be able to coax her out of her shell.
As for Mariwa…surely she is unchanged as always.
Thinking of my close friends, who I had abandoned, icy wind seems to whistle through the large hole in my chest. It’s not a refreshing breeze, rather the pain feels like the bite from a winter gale.
I doubt this hole where my heart should be will ever be healed, not even with my last breath. ‘That’s fine with me’ I thought, since I had resigned myself to that since the beginning.
I was starting to get used to the ache from my hollow heart, I slowly spread open the paper I had been carrying.
Surprisingly these events were the same no matter which life they took place. Just as in my previous life, I spread open the script and give voice to the speech. It was exactly as it had been in my previous life.
Since there isn’t a microphone, people have to speak loudly and clearly by themselves, but that is just a technological difference, rather than an actual difference in the presentation style.
Like that I had planned on giving the speech in an unaffected manner, but I unexpectedly changed my mind.
Right now there wasn’t anything that I had to do as a villainess. I planned to spend my four years at the Academy acting the part of the bad guy. But the main events wouldn’t really start until Michelie arrived at the Academy in two years time.
Even though I had planned on behaving like a foolish, arrogant noble daughter only after obediently doing my duty at the entrance ceremony. Just as I had told His Highness Endo, I had long prepared for this day.
But, my thoughts abruptly changed.
From now on I must become the disgrace of the Noir family. It is only because the blood heir of the Noir family has fallen so far that the adopted Michelie can shine brightly.
For that path, I must do my best.
A haughty personality that doesn’t mix with the people around her, lacking in the proper poise and education of a noble, a stupid fool through and through. That was the Christina Noir I was aiming to be.
And right now I had the attention of every single student at the school. There was no better to chance to show everyone just how much of a villainess I truly was.
My reputation right now is that of a lady overflowing with charisma and sensibility. This position was proof of how hard I had worked under Mariwa’s strict instructions, but for my villainess reputation it would only hold me back.
I have to destroy my reputation. And I would be a villainess for sure.
It just so happens that I was quite familiar with someone who had disgraced this position of honor and had made sure that everyone associated their name with the fool ever after.
By following their example everything would go as planned.
WIth a smile I let out a small sigh, and then ripped the congratulatory address paper in two. At this sudden act, my surroundings erupted noisily. Looking pleased with myself, I really stood out.
Feeling stronger than I had in a long time, to gain even more infamy, I stepped out in front of the podium. From the raised staged I looked down upon the five hundred students in chaos beneath me, and let out a sneering smile.
“This is the first time I’m meeting most of you. There are many people here who know of me, but likely a few who don’t. So everyone gathered here can get the picture, I shall educate you all as to exactly who this Duke’s daughter before you is. So listen up.”
This place is perfect for causing a scene. I can look down on them, and they have to look up to me. Perhaps this perfect stage was put in place to allow me to walk the path of a villainess.
I threw away any trace of the congratulatory speech I was supposed to have made. Overlooking the crowd of people in front of me, I threw out my chest with pride as only I could, to say the words that only I knew, I opened my mouth wide.
“I am Christina Noir.”
I knew how my destiny ended, I who was blessed to stand by my mother would now walk forward for my most beloved little sister’s sake. The ending I was aiming for and the force driving me forward, there was only one. For that, I have decided I will bet everything I am on this goal.
I don’t care what other people think of me.
I have decided to sever all my friendships.
I will betray all the hopes and expectations that person had of me.
“And I – am a genius!”
—Because my younger sister, the heroine, is just too lovely, and for her I will even become the villainess of her story.