Chapter 4 – Bradd Stalker. A child that would grow to murder me 17 times, now before me.
Heh heh heh, everyone, nice to see you.
Would you care for a tea party?
Thanks to the creation of our new Southern Trade Route, there are various rare and delicious dried fruits to enjoy…and it’s about time for me to create baked sweets with them that I am proud of…
Wait…the Southern…Trade…Route…will be created…20………years……..from………now………
I was so shocked that I jumped into my present consciousness.
Again, I am Scarlet Ruby Noel Lingard, a villainess that has been killed 108 times.
My dream is to withdraw from this world.
I’m going to enjoy my 109th.
And I’m a newly born infant.
My mother had postpartum depression and tried to kill me.
That’s right! Stop it! Mother!
I’m already in the throes of desperation!
A boy that was present dashingly ran to my aid.
Rescuing me from the dead and then laughing happily.
His name…Bradd Stalker.
Just hearing his name makes my heart pound.
HMPH! Am I crazy!? I’m just a newborn infant!
And he had just laughed at me!
And it may possibly be that what I’m not thrilled about is love. It’s the fear of being killed by this boy after he’s grown. Out of the 108 deaths I’ve had, he was responsible for 17 of them.
After being saved from the wolf at my front gate, I confront the tiger at my back gate.
Why do we face such hardship as soon as we are delivered into this world?
The only reason must be that God hates me.
Seems that ironically that damned “Maiden of Salvation” favored the five warriors that continually killed me. If she had 1/20 less than her usual luck, my kingdom would have lasted forever.
And you’re most to blame, Bradd!
Add to the fact that you became so reticent the minute you grew up, saying,
And now you replace that with 「I like you kid, so I’ll save you!」and with that lame statement, you make a fool of everyone else, with a completely new and different character! Where’d the silent one go!?
「Hey, baby, with a grip like that, if I dropped you in the forest with the monkeys, you’d still survive.」
What kind of dense idiot is this kid?
「What a pity that your own mother tried to kill you. I heard the Duke’s child was about to be born, so I decided to sneak in since it was my birthday and I could pinch something from whatever party they’d be havin’ here. Then I heard a huge commotion and I thought I’d check it out.」
There are races that speak quite a bit to their beloved dog and whatever, and Bradd seems to be one of them. Thanks to that, I finally understood my current situation. Although I remembered the previous 108 lives and all of their glory, the dark memories of “when I was a child” still remained ambiguous. But I did know that my father poured everything into his identity as a duke and his parents both supported it.
That’s why my mother wagered everything on a son as an inheritor and so couldn’t react logically when the opposite occurred.
I considered my mother’s sorrow, and even though she tried to kill me, I held no grudge against her. If her husband wasn’t all the world to her, she might have been able to take a negative result like this.
「Well, being noble doesn’t make you happy. It’s a shame no one’s celebrating your birth.」
Bradd’s finger patted my cheek.
It did feel warm.
I felt him say this in pity… and it struck me quite hard.
Even though he assassinated me 17 times, each time it was sudden and quick.
He used superb techniques to cut off consciousness without prolonging pain.
Very little trauma being killed by him compared to…oh…the other four bloody murderers that took their time killing you, leaving you with blood-caked hair that sticks to your face like glue…yuck.
Then Bradd picked me up.
I was surprised and tensed up…Bradd noticed it.
「Don’t worry…you’re like a little brother or sister to me now.」
So I relaxed.
…no…my body still was resisting it.
But it’s time to forget how kind he was to save me and focus on the beauty of my future. A beauty that was praised by the kings and princes of every country as being the “treasure of Hydrangea.”
「…this is some baby…」
That’s what a future queen looks like, Brad. Though this time, I’m taking a break from being a queen.
「I’ve never seen a baby struggle like you. If the Duke won’t have you, will you come with me and be a member of my village?」
I screamed and struggled a bit. Never mind! Let me go now!
Your village is probably those in the “Lawless Crew,” that roving group of assassins!
I don’t want to be abducted into a den of thieves such as that!
「You sound happy! I’m the eldest son in the village, so let me ask my father.」
You IDIOT! Can’t you tell I’m resisting!?!?
Don’t ignore my will and just continue on with your idea!
Treating me like I’m some new sibling of yours! Rethink this and start over!
The Kingdom of Hydrangea is a sylvan domain.
There are realms and fiefdoms that extend all over this wooded land, but in the center of the center there is a place that not even lumberjacks, charcoal makers, or hunters will not go.
The village of Bradd Stalker is one of those places.
They are under no rule, the literal “Lawless Crew.”
Their clan deals in assassination…they originate from the oldest of all swordsman schools.
This school was quite strong, but ignored political conflicts. They focused on attacking the blood vessels in the body, calmly attacking their enemies when they’re unprepared, but this was labeled as a cowardly way of battle and their kind was expelled from the favor of the crown long ago.
I find it a refreshing way of incapacitating or killing people. It’s a waste to treat people with talent like that.
So they disappeared deep into the forests and from the annals of history for a long time.
And about「15 years from now」they will be contracted to kill and link up with the dark forces in this kingdom.
They remember the humiliation of the expulsion of their ancestors by the crown and so sharpen their fangs deep in that dank forest, hoping to prove someday that their ways were the strongest of all martial arts. Their abilities reached almost divine strength.
And the almost supernatural strength that many of them had were perfect for assassination.
Whoa! Scary…all this sudden positivity about assassins!
This horrific group should never be praised like this!
Who the hell writes this stuff, anyway!
After all, this “Lawless Crew” will have one great assassination target…their queen…ME!
It makes one want to cry.
They targeted me over and over.
I’m not proud of it…I admit that I’ve caused a lot of just grudges against me and I’m sure these assassins were employed against me multiple times. How many times has your life been threatened though, betrayed by others?!
I tried negotiating with them for peace, with this “Lawless Crew,” but they had this odd fixation with always accomplishing their mission.
I never expected I would be brought to the village to be part of them.
My plan to withdraw into a rich castle and mind my own business was in danger.
Someone is about to spirit this royal maiden away!
「Unhand the mistress!」
There was a cry, it was Mary! She had fainted but now was awake!
「…this is the duke’s daughter? No way…」
There was a question mark on his face as he lifted my swaddle to reveal my delicate zone. How shameful…so shameful I forgot to cry out.
Bradd was stunned.
I was stunned.
You asshat! Did you think a baby as cute as ME could be a boy?! As if boys look this good!?
I am a chaste royal maiden, you dullard!
「She looks like a monkey…unbelievable.」
WHAT YOU SAID WAS UNBELIEVABLE, YOU DOLT! HEY! I’LL HAVE YOU EXECUTED FOR THAT REMARK!