After leaving the tea party, Gilles and I nap for a couple of hours before heading over to visit Grandpa Will together.
And those few hours had been bliss.
As I had predicted, I slept just like a baby.
That means I should be able to stay out longer tonight than I usually do.
When we arrive, I see that there are no longer any people camped outside Grandpa Will’s house.
I wonder how that happened.
I don’t think those people were the type to listen to reason, so I would have thought they’d still be hanging around here.
Could it be…..
Did Rebecca do something
Gilles and I call out simultaneously seeing him come out of the house to greet us.
“Ali, Gilles, good evening,” Rebecca adds, hobbling out from behind Grandpa Will.
She seems to have found a crutch somewhere and is now using that for stability.
Other than the fact that her leg is still gone, she seems to have completely recovered already.
There’s even a healthy color back in her cheeks.
Her leg must still hurt like crazy, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just going by her complexion.
She’s really got some grit.
She’s smiling and seems genuinely happy to see both Gilles and I….
But I wonder if Rebecca might actually be a bit jealous of Gilles.
I mean, I was able to save him without sacrificing his leg and I even brought him to the outside world.
Though, her face doesn’t show any hint of dissatisfaction.
On the contrary, she actually looks like someone who has finally figured out what they want to do with their life.
“Rebecca, was it you who cleared up all the people who had been sleeping outside of Grandpa Will’s house”
“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” she admits a bit bashfully.
Is such a thing really possible in only two days’ time Could it be that not only her willpower is extremely high, but her IQ is as well
“How did you get rid of them” Gilles asks from beside me, his eyes swimming in curiosity.
“I just did as Ali said.
I told them that I would spend the day listening to as many of their thoughts and opinions as I possibly could, and that was that.
After talking to me, they all just ended up leaving on their own.”
“Wait a second, Rebecca, did none of them try to attack you” Gilles asks, shocked.
Actually, they were all pretty afraid of me.
I’ve probably got Ali to thank for that.”
“Ah, I see.
That must have been the first time they’d ever seen magic before.
Of course they’d be afraid.”
Since they knew that I have Ali as a backer, they made sure to listen carefully to all of my directions.”
I listen in as Gilles and Rebecca chat, getting somewhat lost in thought.
Hm, isn’t this the ideal development Doesn’t this make me the true boss, pulling strings from the shadows behind the savior
“By the way, 80% of the people here are clamoring for an uprising.
Not that I can blame them.
Before Ali saved me, I wanted the exact same thing,” Rebecca says earnestly.
“What about the other 20%” Gilles asks her with a frown.
Rebecca smiles a bit sardonically.
Those psychos They’ve gone completely insane.
Whenever I talked to them they’d just drop wisecracks and crazy jokes and then laugh their heads off.”
So that means there were no positive opinions.
Goodness, if these people really did start an uprising, whole towns would be wiped off the map.
I’ve thought this before, but if they ever get the chance to realize their desires, that’s the end.
Everything will devolve into chaos.
“What should we do now” Rebecca says, finally turning to me.
She’s waiting for my next orders.
Hm… What methods do I have to prevent an uprising….. There’s the obvious one: improving the conditions of the village, but that’s something much easier said than done.
“What if we channel their desire to revolt into something else” Gilles suggests, his chin in his hand, deep in thought.
“Channel those feelings to what though It’ll be extremely difficult to change feelings of hatred and dissatisfaction into something positive,” Rebecca notes.
I can’t even imagine how much they must detest us nobles.
Their hatred must run unfathomably deep.
Just being here makes me feel like someone might try to kill me at any moment,” I add.
“No, actually, I think the people here have a pretty positive opinion of you, Ali.
When I was listening to them yesterday, quite a few of them talked favorably about you,” Rebecca amends quickly.
…..They like me Even though I’ve honestly never thought of wanting to help them Not even once
Sure, I find the pure chaos that is the public order here detestable, and I can’t stand seeing the blatant discrimination that occurs here, but other than those things I’ve had no desire to improve anything here….
So why do they like me
“You’re the first noble that’s even bothered to come here.
And plus, you literally saved my life.
I think it would actually be weirder if they all hated you,” Rebecca explains gently.
She must have read the doubt in my expression.
See It’s human nature to be able to read another person’s expressions and understand them….
So why is the heroine so miserable at it That aspect of her personality is just so exasperating.
I wish she’d just pick up on the fact that I dislike her.
I feel like I’m making it quite obvious! But I guess it’s still not enough for her.
She has the charm of a steamroller, but to think that a certain prince is still falling for her anyway.
I guess he must be a blockhead as well.
I really don’t know what he can see in her.
Since, whenever I’m with Liz-san, I always end up feeling incredibly annoyed.
But I guess that’s inevitable.
From the moment I was born, I was just hardwired to dislike her.
“Alicia What’s wrong What are you thinking so hard about” Gilles says, peering up at my face.
This won’t do.
My mind ended wandering completely off topic.
“It’s problematic that the people of this village think so highly of me.
I need to quickly come up with a strategy to ruin my reputation here.”
“But those halfwits at the academy, for all their pretty words and fake sympathy, deep down they hate us.
They obviously think that this village’s inhabitants are beneath themselves.
So earning our favor should actually be a good thing as a villainess, don’t you think The enemy of my enemy and all that, right” Gilles says expressionlessly, his voice remaining indifferent.
Hm, that certainly makes sense.
A villainess is the bane of all nobles… but the people here clearly aren’t of the nobility.
In fact, far from it.
To the aristocracy, this village and all of its inhabitants are just a blemish in an otherwise peaceful world.
So, if I were to become the shadow boss of this place…..
then I’ll be able to take a huge step forward towards becoming the perfect villainess.
And it’s not like I’m their savior or anything.
All I’ll be doing is giving her orders and reaping in the benefits.
If having their good opinion makes enacting my plans easier, then so much the better.
It’s honestly a win-win for me.
“What’s a villainess” Rebecca asks, looking puzzled.
….That information is top secret, so I can’t really explain it to her.
There might come a day when she’ll be allowed to know, but until then, she’ll have to be kept in the dark about it.
Don’t worry about it,” I tell her, grinning widely.