I Have Become The Hero's Rival - Chapter 16
Lucas was confident even though he was obviously being treated as a hindrance and made Claudia upset.
Well, he completely ignored other people’s feelings. He was indeed an exhausting hero.
“Where have you been hiding all this time? If you appeared any later in my sight, I would have already sent a search team to all the mansions that the Chamberlain family owns.”
What he meant was that the Chamberlains didn’t only have one or two mansions in the capital. In the Roxitant Empire, there was a strange law which stated that “You cannot build a mansion larger than the Imperial Palace.”
Then, the Chamberlains, who could not control the overflowing wealth at that time, found a loophole.
We couldn’t build a gigantic mansion? Then we would build multiple mansions.
Thus, the Chamberlains built dozens of mansions that were slightly smaller than the Imperial Palace throughout the capital. And more and more has been built to this day.
Several buildings had even been renovated and currently operated as ‘Chamberlain Hotel’.
So, it would take some time for the prince to find Claudia. He knew that Claudia wouldn’t run away, that she would hide in one of her mansions.
An ordinary person like me decided to stop thinking at this point.
“I just had fun with my friend, and I didn’t even hide…”
Claudia replied with an expression as if the prince’s words were crazy.
“You can’t do that without a valid reason, Your Majesty.”
“Hah, who will dare to stop me if I do it?”
His words were true.
“It’s also your fault for ignoring my call. You shouldn’t have driven me crazy like that.”
That was reasonable.
When an insane person had both money and power, it would be a perfect combination.
You were the one who fell in love, insisted on having Claudia, was rejected, and now you say, ‘It’s all your fault, I’m crazy because you ignored me. Ahhkkkkk!’
“I don’t understand why you’re looking for me so anxiously. Aren’t you already engaged to someone else?”
Claudia asked him calmly.
“Do you ask because you really don’t know? I told you that I love you, I love you and only you!”
Lucas proclaimed his love in the center of the downtown area. Of course, it attracted everyone’s attention.
People whispered to one another as they saw this scene.
Even though they were both public confessions, Claudia’s confession had frankly been cool whereas Lucas’s confession was somehow so embarrassing.
If someone took a video of this, wouldn’t it be a disgrace to him?
“It’s not a joke or a whim. You know that engagement doesn’t mean anything. My love for you is real.”
Wow. He hadn’t broken his engagement yet, which meant that he still had a fiancée, but he publically confessed his love to another woman. How amazing.
Why the hell did I think such a guy was cool? Was it because my memory had been revised?
“Please learn again about the definition of love.”
Claudia’s reaction was, as expected, cold.
“Definition? It bothered me and it was so painful. What is this if not love?”
“You become greedy because you can’t have it.”
Lucas heaved a heavy sigh and wiped his face with his palm.
“Claudia, you’ve changed so much.”
Because of his uselessly handsome face, his appearance seemed so wretched, as if he carried all the agony of the world.
It was such a waste of face. He looked like someone who had a one-sided love for a long time.
After all, the two of you weren’t fated to be together, so why did you act like you had been dumped after you two had been dating for a long time?
You were a car.*
As he clicked his tongue, he slowly lifted his head and looked at me.
Those creepy and fiery eyes gave me goosebumps.
“…….. Is it because this lady?”
As expected, all of Lucas’ anger went straight to me.
He jerked his head in my direction with a staggering, unstable pace.
His eyes heated up like quenched iron.
With his golden hair scattered about under the hood and sticking to his forehead, it was truly a ‘mad man’ face.
“Hey you, what the hell have you done to my lovely Claudia?”
He unfolded a weird logic that it was my fault that he got dumped.
I called you crazy guy and swore countless times, but…
Honestly, I was so afraid. I was afraid of this terrifying life.
How could I not be afraid? His eyes that looked down at me were menacing.
Besides, he had the absolute power to get rid of me from this world with a single finger.
But I felt sorry for Claudia, who would have gone through this sort of treatment every day. And maybe not just from one person, but three of them, or maybe even more.
And I was so angry at myself who had tried to thought of such a guy as the male protagonist.
I have prepared to die anyway.
I had given up my life long ago. I didn’t know in whose hands, out of the three heroes, I would die. Did I have any other choice? I even got poisoned and almost died…
I was aware that my mouth was set like a triangle in fear, but I tried to ignore it and said clearly,
“Since you’re asking me directly, I’ll answer it.”
“Rin, it’s okay, just stay behi-”
“Chloe didn’t change because of me.”
Claudia tried to protect me, but I cut her off.
I stood confidently before Lucas and raised my eyes.
“She didn’t change. She only returned to her true nature.”
“Ha, what the hell are you talking about?”
Lucas folded his arms and looked at me, as if saying ‘Oh, so you actually can answer, huh?’
……. This bastard.
Still, I was lucky that he wasn’t crazy enough to cut my neck with a sword. It seemed like he wanted to hear what I had to say.
“Your Majesty, what do you know about Claudia?”
“Someone who shuts her heart off because she’s been hurt so many times?”
Hurt? Lucas raised his eyebrows in bewilderment.
“Everyone loves and supports Claudia, and you say she’s been hurt many times? I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
“Ah… I see.”
Didn’t he understand? Well, I knew he didn’t have any empathy in the original novel, but I didn’t expect it would be this bad.
“Claudia has always been flawless, pure, understanding, and friendly. I mean, there’s never been anyone who rebelled against my words. But you said she doesn’t change?”
Because of other people’s expectations, she had always been holding back her true nature, dude.
Well, he had been living as a prince all his life. I didn’t think he could ever realize it until his death.
Claudia in the original novel seemed so weak, like a flower swept back and forth in a rainstorm. She was like that when I first met her.
If she was forced and pushed to do something, she would say ‘Should I?’ and obey. She was like that because people didn’t listen to her opinion at all.
Even though she stood at the center of the society, she was actually the loneliest person.
People around her looked up at her like a noble flower, they were jealous of her appearance and wealth. So, when they found out that Claudia didn’t behave the way they expected, they would be disappointed.
No matter how she behaved, there would always be people who insulted or praised her. In other words, she would always be the target of gossip.
Even if she didn’t do anything, she would either be seen as an angel who would never appear in this world again, or as a fox looking for prey (men) in the middle of the night.
Being surrounded by such a large number of people, it seemed that Claudia gradually stopped talking about her opinion.
Or else she would be ostracized.
And every word and action of her would be considered despicable.
Why on earth were they so busy laying their expectations on her? Claudia was just Claudia.
It took me a long time of constant encouragement to coax Claudia to bring out her true self.
When she asked ‘Isn’t everything my fault?’, I told her that it wasn’t. I assured her that the people around her were the weird ones. I tried to bring back her cheerful side.
“Isn’t it nice to see someone rise up confidently looking for her own happiness? If it’s not, then you love something other than Chloe herself. That’s why you feel uncomfortable about how she is now.”
Claudia did not change because of me; she just healed her wounds.
Weren’t my words easy to understand? But Lucas didn’t seem to understand me at all.
“What do you mean? That I ‘love something other than Claudia’?”
Come on, I explained so well!
I didn’t expect it, but it seemed like his brainless head couldn’t be changed after all.
“If you really love Chloe, you have to accept all of her sides. Because it’s also Chloe.”
“Don’t you dare to teach me. It’s not that I can’t accept her changes, but I can’t accept Claudia’s rejection of me.”
Did you even realize why you were rejected?
If I could speak honestly, I hated you before and I hate you even more now.
Did you think Claudia would like you if she was compelled to comply?
‘If you like something obedient, just get married to a doll.’
If the doll was equipped with a function that only knew to answer ‘yes’ and ‘alright’ with magic, then it would be a perfect object for Lucas.
“If you want to win Chloe’s heart, you have to do what she wants.”
“I don’t understand why I should do that.”
“Usually, the person who falls first loses…….”
You had lost when you said you love her and tried to win her heart.
Claudia was better off looking for someone better than him.
Or, it wasn’t a bad idea to live a single life with me like now. Because Claudia was already perfect.
I looked at Lucas as if he was a piece of trash. Then I tore off a piece of the cotton candy I was holding and handed it over to Claudia.
Claudia fixed her eyes on Lucas and smiled coldly, as cold as an ice flower.
Putting the cotton candy in Claudia’s open mouth, I turned to Lucas.
A girl who was considered insignificant could easily do what he couldn’t do.
Lucas muttered with a gloomy voice as he watched me with his bright red eyes.
“…Claudia, is there anything I can do for you? Just tell me.”
He asked earnestly.
As Claudia savored the cotton candy in her mouth, she replied,
“Can you stop looking for us in the future, forever?”
*Lucas was like a car driven by the author and couldn’t act on his own belief/desire.
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