Chapter 8

 

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* * *

 

After confirming that the Marquis was asleep, Pierre met Mariette, who was anxiously walking down the hallway waiting for him. It was obvious from the expression on her face, she was also not in a very good state.

 

Mariette grabbed Pierre and hugged him.

 

“Brother Pierre!”

 

“Mariette!”

 

In Pierre’s arms, Mariette sniffled as she spoke.

 

“I heard from grandfather. He said you came here because you were worried about us?”

 

Actually, he was more worried about Blanche, but it seemed that his words that were delivered had changed. He did not dare to correct his sister’s misunderstanding.

 

Mariette burst into tears.

 

“Brother. I am so upset!”

 

As he had done with Alphonse and the Marquis, Pierre, once again, unwaveringly appeased his sister.

 

“Shh, Mariette. Do not cry. It’s okay. Everything will be fine…”

 

“It’s not okay! What if Blanche dies here? If she dies, who will repay the debt to Count Juan?”

 

He couldn’t stand those malicious words.

 

A chilling aura leaked from Pierre.

 

“… Mariette. Let’s not talk about this in the hallway, let’s move.”

 

After looking around for a moment, Mariette led Pierre.

 

“Brother is right. We can’t let the servants know. This way.”

 

The two moved to a nearby gallery. In the room that had become empty because of their debt, Mariette pleaded.

 

“Brother Pierre. How about borrowing money from the Imperial Princess? Brother and the Princess go to the same academy!”

 

Pierre looked glum.

 

“I will never talk about that with the Princess. We are friends, and we do not beg for money from friends.”

 

“Is that important right now?! Think carefully, Brother! Why does Brother have to work for that d*mn Count Juan after graduating from the academy? A man so great that he was scouted by the Empire! Besides, do you think the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hire someone who worked for Count Juan? What are you going to do if you can’t become the Minister of Foreign Affairs like Father wants you to?!”

 

Pierre waved his hands and wrinkled his eyes.

 

“Stop it. Mariette. It’s hard to listen to your grumbling right now.”

 

“Grumbling? Do my words only sound like grumbling to you?”

 

The annoying voice immediately made him as tired as the Marquis.

 

Pierre snapped back, looking sick and exhausted.

 

“When Blanche tried to commit suicide twice, what did you…”

 

Mariette immediately screamed.

 

“Were you praying it was suicide? You still don’t know? All this must have been the work of Count Juan! That crazy old b*st*rd dares to covet me without knowing who I am!”

 

Pierre unknowingly clenched his teeth.

 

“Mariette, are you really worried about Blanche? Or are you just concerned that instead of Blanche, you will have to marry Count Juan?”

 

“… Both!”

 

“Well, it looks like the latter to me.”

 

She let out a smirk. Mariette was disgusted by Pierre’s hypocrisy.

 

“Brother is always like that. You always make me look like I’m the bad child.”

 

“…”

 

“You know what? Oh great Brother Pierre? Blanche remembered it.”

 

Pierre’s face hardened at her meaningful words.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“What else could I mean?”

 

With a sneer, Mariette replied. Pierre instantly felt a headache.

 

She whispered in a bright voice.

 

“Brother is also an accomplice! Both Brother and I are the reason Blanche’s legs are like that!”

 

It happened one fall when the twins were nine years old. At that time, Pierre, like Mariette, hated seeing Blanche. It was terrible having a disabled person in their family and they considered her a flaw.

 

Then one autumn day.

 

The family went on a vacation to a local villa, and, unable to resist their father’s threats, the siblings took Blanche to various places in the forest.

 

When it was time for the most awaited snack of the day, her brother and sister decided to play a little prank. Mariette had Blanche sit on a mossy stone, then her eyes shone with malice as she spoke.

 

“Blanche. If you stay here and behave until we get back, we’ll play with you tomorrow!”

 

“Huh, but m-my snacks…”

 

Pierre cut off Blanche’s words because he didn’t want to hear her stutter, even with such short words.

 

“Don’t worry, we’ll bring yours when we get back. So wait patiently here. Understand?”

 

“Yes.”

 

The young Blanche nodded her head silently.

 

The siblings returned to the villa and had a fun day eating their sister’s share of snacks. However, Blanche, who they thought would come back on her own over time, did not return even after a day or two.

 

In front of their parents who were worried about Blanche, the siblings kept their mouths shut until the end.

 

They were scared that they’d get in trouble for leaving their sister in the forest.

 

Will it be a relief?

 

Three days later, the Marquis’ Knight found Blanche.

 

The little child wandered through the forest in search of her brother and sister who did not return, then fell off a hill and broke her leg.

 

From then on, the third child of the Marquette family started walking with a limp.

 

* * *

 

Pierre, who exchanged accusations with his younger sister, could hardly shake his gloomy feeling.

 

Before he knew it, the sky had turned red as if it was being engulfed in fire.

 

Pierre went to his room in the East wing and then turned around, moving to the West wing. He wanted to apologize to the unconscious Blanche.

 

He thought, ‘I should have sent letters more often…’

 

He didn’t have the right to say anything to Mariette.

 

Feeling the regret accumulating in his throat again, step by step, he cautiously headed towards Blanche’s bedroom. He witnessed such a shocking scene.

 

He could see Blanche’s back as she stood upright at the edge of the balcony of her room!

 

In an instant, he remembered that Blanche had attempted suicide.

 

‘Don’t tell me this time too!’

 

“Blanche!”

 

Blanche turned around at his urgent voice.

 

“Brother Pierre”?

 

The color of his face, looking at his younger sister, turned white as if he would faint at any moment. Tears as clean as dew fell on Pierre’s neat cheeks. He cried and begged.

 

“No. I was wrong, Blanche. So… So don’t think about bad things anymore. Please, yes…?”

 

After a while, an even more surprising thing unfolded before Pierre’s eyes. Blanche was slowly walking towards him!

 

And without wobbling even a little bit!

 

She laughed lightly.

 

“My brother is really back. Welcome home, Brother Pierre.”

 

Only then was Pierre able to loosen his tight jaw and let out a relief that was similar to crying.

 

“Blanche! Your… Legs! How…!”

 

“Yes. It just happened.”

 

For a moment, Pierre, who had lost strength in his knees, slumped to the floor and sat down. Blanche gently patted Pierre as he wept loudly.

 

Pierre cried so desperately that she could hardly let her brother go from her arms.

 

Of course, useful tools should be kept.

 

* * *

 

[Blanche Marquette LV 01

Age 17 / Female

Health 50/50

Mana 5

Fame 10

Morality Error

Stress 210]

 

Before Pierre came, Blanche had gotten out of her bed after checking her status window one more time. She almost died from poison ten days ago.

 

‘I’m glad that the [Lesser Witch’s Healing Potion] was helpful.’

 

As it was an item of a lower tier, the effect was slow and she had to lie in bed for a long time. And somehow, she didn’t die.

 

In the midst of the twilight, Blanche made a promise as she stretched her legs.

 

‘Originally, I was going to leave the day before the wedding and get revenge, but now I can’t. Unless I’m dead, the criminal will try to kill me again. So before that, I have to leave this house.’

 

Blanche vowed then took out the [World Map] from her inventory.

 

‘First of all, in order to escape from my father’s influence, I have to leave the Lupinus Kingdom. I also can’t go to the Empire because of brother Pierre. And, getting fake identification is difficult. I will also need to find a place where women can find a job. In addition, it would be nice to have a place where I can protect myself from the monsters that will pour out from the dungeon 7 years later.’

 

<Heartbeat Anastage> was a nurturing dating simulation game with RPG elements.

 

One day, the continent was suddenly in a state of chaos when monsters and dungeons appeared. The female protagonist receives a revelation from heaven and saves everyone.

 

The chaos of the world is only an element to make the female protagonist stand out.

 

No matter how many extras died, as long as the heroine was alive, it would not affect the progress within the game’s story.

 

The most important person in this world is the female protagonist, not the extras. And the most important thing is who the female protagonist will choose as the male protagonist.

 

‘So, as an extra, I need to level up. I’m in danger and there’s no man to save me. However, since I received the [Tutorial Box], I can at least level up.’

 

Players of <Heartbeat Anastage> can increase their level with experience points by solving quests or catching monsters. But right now, there were no monsters to catch, and the main story had not yet begun.

 

In other words, she didn’t know if she’d be able to go through the main story unless she was a player, specifically, the female protagonist.

 

‘Dungeons will appear in this world from early spring next year. The monsters pouring out of the dungeon will come out seven years after the game’s story begins.’

 

In a few years, the continent will be engulfed in chaos and civil wars will continue to repeat. Only then can the female protagonist become the hero of the continent and decide the male protagonist.

 

‘The best ending will happen when you choose Brother Pierre as the Emperor. Because Brother Pierre is the founding contributor and the lover of the female lead who will raise him to the Emperor’s position.’

 

She clicked her tongue and excluded the Kingdom and the Empire where the main male leads would live from the new starting point.

 

Good looking men. The male protagonists will belong to a group that would fight because of the appearance of the dungeons.

 

Unlike the main characters, for Blanche who was an extra, it was enough for her to be safe alone.

 

Maybe this was an effect of the morality error.

 

‘Then there’s only one place I can go.’

 

A place where you have to get out of the Lupinus Kingdom and pass through a Southern Kingdom.

 

A place where there is no extraterritorial jurisdiction. The lawless city of Digitalis.

 

Digitalis was the first place to find peace amidst the chaos of dungeon occurrences.

 

‘Although that peace was achieved with money and violence.’

 

That was where the villain of the game, Ricardo, lived.

 

Ricardo Giotto Digitalis.

 

A cruel man who rose to the top of the Giotto family by killing his biological father at the age of 18. He usurped the sole throne of a lawless city at 22 and swept half the continent with a monster army at the age of 30.

 

The enemy of the heroine, the executioner in this world who does all evil things and condemns the good. But he is also the protagonist of the hidden ending.

 

“Ricardo should be 15 by now.”

 

**********

 

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