I Have Become The Hero's Rival - Chapter 2
There is a fictional novel that I loved when I was a high-school student. It’s a novel titled lt;The Flowers that Bloom on Dry Branchgt;. Just by looking at the title, isn’t it tiring already?
The fans of this novel are usually called ‘readers of FBDB’. It was a tiring adolescence. However, this novel was famous for its magical aura, that whoever starts reading this novel will never have a profound sleep unless they finished the last chapter.
The fandom of that novel was really big to the point of incalculable, and I was one of the fans who are drawn into the author’s insane writing. It was truly phenomenal, that even after 10 years passed, I still remember everything.
One day, I left a message on the FBDB fancafe.
[I can’t even imagine my life without FBDB]
But I surely never said that I want to live as a part of that novel….
Damn it, oh God. Why are you doing this to me? Even if this novel looks like a joke, when you take a closer look, it’s fully a tragedy.
One day on a year ago, I suddenly became Irene Amber. Irene is the first daughter of Ambers, who have nothing except debts. I can immediately understand that this situation took place inside a book. I read it more than 20 times, so the moment I heard the name of “Roxytant Empire”, I instantly realized, “Oh, this is crazy!”. At the very same time I realized, my identity has become Irene.
I also have a role as Claudia’s friend. A role who won’t reappear after appearing once. Do you know that one supporting character who was created to be dead? Yes, that’s me. My character is supposed to be killed in an incident, because she’s only a friend of the heroine. Damn it.
“I can’t just die like this.”
Knowing my miserable condition, I made a quick consideration. What is poverty? According to the dictionary, it means ‘exhausted and weak’.
Moreover, almost all the heroines of a love story are depicted as poor weak women.
Despite its complexity, this story presented harem with several heroes along the story. Then it’s a 100% possibility that the heroine will be hesitant and doubt her own choice. In other words, there will be no destiny wheel spinning for me. That wheel will spin only for the heroine, and people around her will simply be dead.
Claudia Chamberlain is the character that becomes the center of this swirling wind. I don’t even have any intention to stand around her only to get drawn inside this swirling wind. At first, I tried not to get involved with her as much as I could. When you befriend the heroine of the story, you’ll get nothing but tragedy.
It’s a lie to say you don’t want to see with your own eyes how your life is inside a novel. But, a caterpillar should’ve just consumed leaves. The last thing I want to do is burn myself till I die like a sunfish, thus I’m struggling to avoid Claudia as much as I can.
I mean, just until Claudia suddenly noticed “Ambers are in debt” and paid off my family’s debt.
Freed from a pile of debt overnight…..!
I was so bewildered. I tried to run away whenever the heroine appeared, but suddenly she paid off my debt instead. It’s not just one cent, but a really big amount of money that made Ambers spiraling toward bankruptcy. Because I felt indebted towards her, I decided to stop avoiding Claudia. Then, doubtfully, I said,
“Lady Chamberlain, I can’t accept these money”
But, she answered,
“We’re not strangers, are we? Why can’t I give my friend a small amount of money?”
Claudia spoke with such a foolish innocent look. I’ll explain one more time, it’s true that I and Claudia were friends at that time, but our relationship is not that close. We just simply greeted each other when we met, until she suddenly gave me a ‘small amount’ of money.
Small amount? It’s a small amount of money?
If we didn’t have money, Ambers would have tried to rush my arranged marriage. I didn’t want to sell myself to an old wealthy pig, so I decided to look for a milestone.
Claudia said that thing not to make myself feel good. Instead, that’s just the fact for her, that much of money is just a small amount for her. Oh, you were not that close to me, but you willingly took a girl who almost stuck into arranged marriage due to debt, as your friend? And for you, the worth of that debt is the same as chewing gum? Alright, then I will try to repay your kindness, because you are my friends. That was what I thought at that moment.
‘Is there a diamond mine in Chamberlain’s territory?’
Somehow I think It’s strange. When the supporting character Irene Amber appeared in the novel for the first and the last time, it seems like she’s suffering from a deep feeling of inferiority.
I thought my role here was just a supporting character that appeared for a moment as the heroine’s friend, but how can things change like this? The real Irene seems to disagree with Claudia’s statement.
It’s nonsense if I said that I’m not jealous of other characters who were born with a silver spoon… So I decided to be her maid for the rest of my life.
I’ve heard a saying that you’ll be safe if you stay close to your enemy. As long as you stay tight and close around the heroine, you can assure that no one can hurt you, right?
Even this relationship keeps growing, as long as I try to be unnoticed, people may treat me honorably! Perhaps this is the right time to erase all your existence, appearance, even your status. What do I need more anyway? I have a good judgment and the ability to act fast. Then, I forced a smile and said,
“I would like to say thank you, My Lady”
Lady of heroine, please make me rich. Jingle jangle~
I want to talk about my past life. Actually, I was confident that I could let anyone fall in love with me if I wanted it. But, the problem is I’m only popular among the same gender.
Unfortunately, my charm isn’t working for the opposite gender at all. I don’t even remember whether in my past life, I ever talked to boys around my age. Of course, I’m certain it’s not because I attended women-only high school or college. My friends used to say…..
“If I were a boy, I would’ve sincerely marry you”
I often heard those kinds of words. I’m not the person who has the ability to lighten up the mood or an extrovert who has a lot of acquaintances.
But I have the ability to find out what they really wanted, and I know what they wanted to hear when they needed it. Kind-hearted, full of affection, and attentive. Every girl wanted to be my close friend.
Finally, I decided to take advantage of my strength.
‘The question is, how can you be captivated by me?’
I said that I wanted to repay her kindness, but nothing crossed my mind. Because Claudia Chamberlain is already living a perfect life in every aspect.
Appearance? She’s often compared to a fairy or goddess. Status? She is the youngest daughter of Count Chamberlain, a noble family with long history and legitimacy. Money? She is the owner of a diamond mine and the daughter of the major shareholder of a mine corporation. Ability? She’s a sociopath with infinite ability in magic stuff related to spirits.
Yes, the game is over. Is this what you called the cheat key of life?
Claudia who was raised without a little bit of lack, otherwise, didn’t need much time to figure out her weakness.
……Are you comfortable that you have everything?!
‘If you offer me something material, of course I won’t mind.’
I am lost in thought after erasing the plan I made to gain money from her.
My debt is paid off and I don’t need to worry about it anymore, so I just want to enjoy this freedom a little more.
Of course, every maid ran away, so I had to do all the chores with one of my family, who I called little brother.
However, I’m luckily still able to live as an aristocratic. Because the rulers around my place are trying to seize our family’s territory. If we’re a bit late, our territory will be sold or invaded and stolen. If you lose your rank and honour, you’d become rabble and the situation would be worse than now.
‘If I think about it again, it’s strange. Why would Claudia pay off my debt now?’
I don’t mean to be ungrateful wondering about this matter. I’m just curious because this story has reached half-way.
In the last few years, Amber’s financial situation has been getting worse in a blink of an eye.
Moreover, our family has been in debt far before Claudia and Irene met each other.
Why did you voluntarily pay off Ambers’ debt with your own money? Why must it be now?
‘Ah…. did you… have realized it beforehand?’
Suddenly I realized. That Claudia, who has everything in her life, only has two weaknesses. Which are tact and intelligence.
Let’s say she’s gonna die easily because she’s never been attentive for once in her life. But, why does she have such a high caste and such wealth? The answer is because that’s the fate of a heroine.
Usually, the heroine of a story isn’t interested in the world. Even if a prince comes from her own country, she’d ask “Who are you?”.
Of course, Claudia is not that bad. But, close to that.
‘If so, I can stick close to you at any time!’
By being by her side, I can give all the information Claudia needed and help her to avoid any kind of traps, and I can accompany her walking in a flowery road.
Since then, my dream has been to become an informant.
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