I Have Become The Hero's Rival - Chapter 3
But, I didn’t know things would become like this.
The heroine had no interest in the three men. Instead, she liked me and only me.
Not even once in my life had I ever imagined that something like this would happen.
I was the girl who managed to steal the heroine’s heart with my charm. I achieved what even the hero with outstanding marks in every aspect could not achieve.
My throat was tight. I even felt bothered by the sound of the leaves rustling.
What should I do now?
It felt like the gazes of the three men were piercing me until I became a frozen statue. The room was so quiet that I could hear the sound of dripping water.
Somehow, because of me, Claudia was rudely ignoring the three men’s proposals.
“C, Claudia? Do, do you know that it may be dangerous for you to declare that you don’t plan on ever getting married…..?”
I’m scared that my life was in danger.
“Irene, your mouth is shaped like a triangle right now – like a squirrel.”
Claudia burst into laughter like a silly girl when she saw my scared expression. I rubbed my cheek and stroked it.
It seemed like Claudia didn’t realize that we weren’t alone in this great chamber.
Hey, even if you’re dense and slow! Please look at your surroundings!
Your statement about living with me for the rest of your life is making me bear the mistakes I didn’t even make!
“Oh, by the way, I found a cute gown for this season at Carandy Store. It will suit Irene beautifully. I really want to give it to you as a gift…..”
Of course, I have to accept it, right? Because ‘Irene’ is a kind-hearted girl. Claudia even showed a 180° different expression than when she responded to men.
Her rosy cheeks blushed further and her smile widened. She looked so beautiful, like a blooming sakura flower.
I held Claudia’s hand with my eyes averted and a steamed-bun-like expression.
Then, I met the three pairs of eyes that seemed ready to jump genres.
I was startled and hid behind Claudia’s back.
The only thing I was grateful for was that my small stature was smaller than Claudia’s.
“You’re going to live with her for the rest of your life?
It was the Crown Prince, full name Lucas D’Arrian Roxytant.
He curled his lip as he mentioned me. His bright red eyes were fixed on me like a snake, and he started walking towards me.
I repeat. Lucas was walking towards me!
“I wish I heard you wrong, Claudia. Because if I didn’t, I’m worried I can’t hold myself back from grabbing your kind-hearted fiancée’s neck and twisting it.”
Was this even real? Was I only being threatened by Lucas?
Usually when he showed his crazy possessiveness, he would yell and scream everything on his mind; now, it seemed like he was screaming in silence.
I paled and immediately stroked my neck self-consciously.
At the same time, Lucas reached his hand out towards me with a deathly stare.
He looked like a beast that was ready to pounce on its prey. For a moment, I could feel my neck being bitten by a great force and my knees felt weak.
But Claudia intercepted Lucas’s hand immediately.
Everyone was dumbfounded.
“Please watch your hand, Your Majesty.”
“I will not stay still even if you are a Crown Prince.”
Lucas looked down in silence and released his burning reddish hand.
He seemed very surprised as there was no movement from him at all afterwards.
Even if she was the daughter of the Chamberlain, Claudia’s bad manners- fearlessly warding off the hand of a member of the royal family- successfully made everyone go hectic.
I mumbled while I buried my face into Claudia’s back.
“Even if I’m not really sure who is the person beside you…”
Then Duke Benjamin Lamberg, tilting his head languidly, seized his chance.
“So, your choice is the daughter of Ambers. What an unpredictable taste.”
If only he vented his anger like Lucas, I wouldn’t be as frightened as I am now.
Benjamin’s gaze felt like a beast stalking its prey.
He scrutinized me slowly, as if saying ‘I’m letting you go now, but I’m gonna come to end you.’
“Oh, I am ashamed to say it by myself, but her family is the kind of people doing loan guarantees.”
I understood his words so well that it felt like my heart was going to stop.
I actually just found out the fact that when the Ambers’ business failed and the amount of debt was getting bigger, somehow my family managed to sell stolen goods to get money.
Not only banks, even all our friends refused to lend their money to my family. Finally, we had no choice but to go to the chaotic Charlisle city.
My family borrowed some money from Benjamin’s financial institution with a ridiculous rate of interest, in which one of the guarantees was me.
That’s why my family tried to sell me to others before we became bankrupt.
But that was better than being a slave.
In other words, he was indirectly warning me, ‘You’re gonna be my slave right now if you don’t pay off your debt.’
He was the master of the underworld. Honestly, wasn’t he some kind of private loan shark?
Of course I didn’t do anything else that was illegal besides selling those stolen goods.
‘Isn’t it a secret that you’re the master of the underworld? How could you be so confident?’
Yes, I’m the only one who knew everything.
Looking at my reaction, I think he realized that I knew a lot of information.
‘Just how much did this brat know…’
It was scary. The indescribable power of an evil leader.
Benjamin bowed down and whispered something to me.
“You should be grateful towards Claudia. No, in this case, shouldn’t you hate her?”
Claudia abruptly cut in.
“Your Grace, did you just threaten my Irene?”
“You suddenly became perceptive. Is this what they call ‘the power of love’?”
Whereas Claudia asked sharply, Benjamin answered flimsily.
Even so, Claudia kept her guard up. Duke Benjamin raised both of his hands in mock-surrender.
The Knight of the Empire, Constantine.
He didn’t threaten me like the Crown Prince or Duke did.
He simply stared at me with his dark blue eyes, very deeply. He fixed his eyes on my weak spot.
It felt like the temperature around me had dropped by 10 degrees.
‘I heard that it was possible to actually kill someone by using divine power.’
And Constantine had that ability, he was the best after the High Priest. In other words, he actually could kill me with a snap of his fingers.
If he were able to kill me with his eyes, I might have been mutilated and my whole body, from head to toe, would’ve been thrown to a river.
That was not a metaphor, that may be my future and it could happen at any time.
I was trembling, I gripped tightly onto Claudia’s gown.
She looked at me in wonder, then she caressed my head and reassured me.
“There’s nothing to be scared of, Irene.”
With teary eyes, Claudia frowned.
“I really don’t understand, why are all of you so obsessed with me? Why do you all want to claim me as yours?”
She uttered through clenched teeth.
“Not the three of you, no, not even anyone! I don’t belong to anyone!”
Claudia expresses how much she suffers because of the three men, and how much she’s sick of them.
“Do you think it’s enough just saying that you love me? You’re so coercive, scary, and you can’t even respect my decision! All of you are such jerks!”
Of course, I understand. Anyone would take to the hills without any hesitation when seduced by such harsh and obsessive men.
But, you are the heroine….?
And this story was supposed to be about a harem.
In other words, this novel narrated a story about several men fighting over a girl.
The conflict in a harem novel usually occurred when the heroine ignores all the men and doesn’t choose anyone.
So, the best way to prevent this conflict from occurring at the start was to set the route earlier and help the heroine to choose a path.
I’m sure there was no plan more perfect than this.
Even if Claudia had no interest in the opposite gender and reaches this far regardless, I believed that if I brainwashed her about the charm of the heroes, she’d at least choose one of them in the future.
Because! This place! Was nowhere but! A romance novel!
Shouldn’t the ending of a romance novel be the happy relationship between a man and a woman?
Shouldn’t it be the birth of a hero and heroine couple?
“Irene is the only person who can have me. Forever.”
But why did you choose me….
Claudia grasped my hand tightly and left the great chamber without looking back.
And I felt like a girl on a horse who crashed the wedding and kidnapped the bride.
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