Chapter 1:

Being A Villainess System

An Otome Game’s Extra

A normal life was boring…Bookmark here

Adam had heard of many who were 'living life to the fullest', but he couldn't find that happiness.Bookmark here

What was he doing wrong?Bookmark here

Maybe… was it his family situation?Bookmark here

It's not like he'd been particularly mistreated or coddled. His parents were of the wealthy variety and had a healthy amount of interest in him. They even gave him a building he could earn from.Bookmark here

On one side he was regularly getting money from tenants, and on the other was administration work.Bookmark here

Since his older brother only needed someone trustworthy to handle certain tasks, he was only given a few tasks. Stably, but surely… He was adding more money to his account to fill it up.Bookmark here

And for what purpose…?Bookmark here

Adam didn't really know himself.Bookmark here

The alarm woke him up to his average day. It was annoying enough to warrant him punching it silly.Bookmark here

A poor alarm clock was broken once again.Bookmark here

His arm hurt like usual, and it felt like pins and needles were poking out from his forehead.Bookmark here

Yup, just a regular day.Bookmark here

Although he wasn't fond of overworking himself to this extent, he wasn't about to lose any money.Bookmark here

Losing money meant losing luxuries.Bookmark here

And although luxuries didn't mean happiness, it was never wrong to have more of a good thing.Bookmark here

He leapt out of bed groggily. Swaying with each step to force himself to get to the bathroom.Bookmark here

'Hello, me.' He looked in the mirror to see his average face. Wondering what to do with it.Bookmark here

He considered getting married once, but was unable to shrug off the fear of talking about anything other than business. He was so used to contracts that 'romantic love' seemed impossible.Bookmark here

Brushing his teeth and going downstairs, he went and sat in front of the TV before the day began.Bookmark here

Just business as usual.Bookmark here

However, a sudden thought suddenly occurred to him. It was almost like an out of body experience.Bookmark here

Like how Sun Wukong was inexplicably hit by the inevitability of death, Adam also felt this sensation.Bookmark here

He looked at himself and wondered what he was living for… Where was he going with his life?Bookmark here

After earning a lot of money, he had expected to have gained the happiness he saw all around him.Bookmark here

The happiness people felt when talking to their friends, or winning in a round in an online shooter.Bookmark here

It wasn't as if he hadn't tried anything.Bookmark here

Making friends was hard, but he had sunk his head into the myriad of entertainments provided to him.Bookmark here

He’d nearly got calluses on his thumb from the amount of games played and time spent.Bookmark here

Was that all for nothing?Bookmark here

I mean, knowing how to do 15 hit combo in a fighting game was definitely an achievement…Bookmark here

…right?Bookmark here

Maybe he should really take his brother's advice and take one of the arranged marriage offers.Bookmark here

He was still 26 and not too old to marry. At least, it wasn't like no one would want an average richie.Bookmark here

But he still didn't want to socialise and share beds with someone. What if they stole money from him?Bookmark here

…Did everyone have such problems?Bookmark here

Well, it wasn't like dying without kids was going to make things better. Marriage would need money-Bookmark here

Yup, he was definitely putting THAT off the table.Bookmark here

Although getting a girlfriend might lighten up his dull life, but wasn't death coming for all of us?Bookmark here

Wait, didn't that mean money was worthless too?!Bookmark here

'What am I doing with my life?' It suddenly occurred to him that he could just use his money.Bookmark here

He didn't have to go out today. It would be better to use a chunk of that money to get some rest.Bookmark here

Should he go talk to someone today?Bookmark here

What about his older brother?Bookmark here

'No…' Talking wasn't the forte of anyone in his family. They didn't do things without a reason.Bookmark here

If he called his siblings or parents, he'd need a business reason. They'd reject him otherwise.Bookmark here

'Then who should I talk to…?' Suddenly, he found that there was not one person by his side anymore.Bookmark here

This heavy atmosphere felt agonising…Bookmark here

He had the freedom to do anything, but not the freedom to feel like he'd achieved something.Bookmark here

Even if he did, no one would acknowledge him…Bookmark here

The feeling of loneliness had him in a stranglehold with no way out. He needed a new distraction!Bookmark here

Thus, he looked a strange game he was surprised he’d even brought on his console's digital catalog.Bookmark here

And its name being: {The Villainess Against Fate!}Bookmark here

Just one look at the title made him wonder what he was thinking. Wasn't this a game meant for girls?Bookmark here

One about seducing dudes…?Bookmark here

Looking at all the other games with near complete achievements, he knew they wouldn't last long.Bookmark here

He wouldn't be able to immerse himself in the games he'd already finished. It was like a rule.Bookmark here

So he had two choices:Bookmark here

1. Writhe around in existential dread.Bookmark here

2. Shamelessly play an Otome Game despite being a straight white male who it wasn't marketed to.Bookmark here

There was no debate.Bookmark here

It wasn't like there was anyone to judge his tastes in here. So what if it was aimed towards girls?Bookmark here

He was itching to play something to completion.Bookmark here

Thus, he booted up the game for a test drive.Bookmark here

For a game that was on a 80% sale for 5 pounds, it was pretty good. There was a lot of good graphics.Bookmark here

It had a near 'cinematic' feel to it…Bookmark here

A subversion of the classic types of romance simulator games. One which switched the leads.Bookmark here

The main character was a female Surgeon turned Villainess after reincarnation. A tale about love.Bookmark here

Not love for others, but love for oneself.Bookmark here

A feature that seemed to be part of the gameplay since you didn't exactly need to 'romance' anyone.Bookmark here

In fact, it played more like a political thriller!Bookmark here

You start off impoverished despite having being reborn into an aristocratic household, and had to do your best just to survive. Rather than controlling the character, you acted as a system interface.Bookmark here

It was kind of a futuristic game in hindsight.Bookmark here

Characters acted way too realistic to be fake, and the advice you gave could mean 'her' life or death.Bookmark here

Linda Arcadia was born an illegitimate daughter to her household. Being mistreated by her family.Bookmark here

A pretty generic setting among 'Villainess' stories.Bookmark here

Usually, the main character would patch things up with their neglectful family by the end of the story.Bookmark here

However, Adam didn't let her go down that 'Route'.Bookmark here

What was the point of charming them?Bookmark here

The man himself had never once tried to get on anyone's good side, so why would he let her?Bookmark here

'Money is the most trustworthy asset.' He thought inwardly while typing his thoughts to the young girl:Bookmark here

{Don't worry. I'm here.}Bookmark here

Even though he knew there was a matured adult under that exterior thanks to the intro, he carefully used his words to console her whenever times were tough. At times, even motivating her forward.Bookmark here

"T-thank you." He felt a strange feeling when he saw the gratitude in her eyes. It felt too 'real'.Bookmark here

Normally, the only times he'd converse with a person was for business… but she wouldn't stop.Bookmark here

"Hey, do you know card games?"Bookmark here

{I'm here to support you. Not to entertain you.]Bookmark here

"Why not~?"Bookmark here

{Maybe when you're older.} He looked at the six year old maiden who seemed way too realistic.Bookmark here

"So you'll play when I get older?"Bookmark here

{Not on your life. I'm just here to support. Don't call me out unless you need advice or information.}Bookmark here

Yes, that was his role as a 'System'.Bookmark here

Using the Third Person Camera, he could individually look for data when summoned.Bookmark here

The plot was a little jarring thanks to the sudden time-skips (months to even years), but the flavour text in-between helped keep things consistent. At least to the point he wasn't ever feeling lost.Bookmark here

He didn't know how long he'd been playing and putting off work. It was a strange experience.Bookmark here

While before he'd put his two sources of income as his priority, now that one game became his life.Bookmark here

It took about three days worth of hours for him to raise the young 'Villainess' from her position.Bookmark here

Adam didn't advise her to charm anyone with her looks or socialise too deeply. That was on Linda.Bookmark here

Instead, he gave her tactical advice and support.Bookmark here

{Sock that bastard in the face if you can.}Bookmark here

{That MoFo wants to spike your cocktail.}Bookmark here

{Why not slap his mom?}Bookmark here

{You don't have to listen to anyone if you're strong enough to take out an army. Put some effort in it.}Bookmark here

{Do you REALLY have to listen to this?!}Bookmark here

{I'm not an antisocial nihilist. I'm just being real.}Bookmark here

{Why do you have to be so helpful to people?}Bookmark here

{Ignoring the poor is totally a viable option.}Bookmark here

{I'm not that much of a cold and ruthless machine.}Bookmark here

Or was he…? Truth be told: Adam hadn't expected anyone to point that out so strongly about him.Bookmark here

"You have to stop being like this… I admit that your advice helped, but life isn't all about money and influence." The girl he'd practically raised from a nobody spoke up. She dared to criticise him…!Bookmark here

He couldn't believe what he was hearing!!!Bookmark here

Not once had his advice missed the mark. It was thanks to his distrustful and questioning nature that she survived multiple ambushes. Absolute focus on raising money even improved her status.Bookmark here

Those who'd once looked down on her were awed by her brilliance, perspective, and decisive nature.Bookmark here

So what was she talking about now?!Bookmark here

{You're ungrateful…}Bookmark here

"…" Seeing his sudden burst of sizzling emotions, a silence overbearing weighed down their debate.Bookmark here

He didn't stop there, texting:Bookmark here

{You've benefited so far… so why this now?}Bookmark here

"I felt like you needed to hear this. I've known you for so many years. And you've never changed."Bookmark here

{Is that a problem?}Bookmark here

"People who never change, always suffer. We BOTH have seen that in how my family had grown."Bookmark here

{They went from neglecting you to begging for your forgiveness. I don't see the good in that.}Bookmark here

"You think they should have stayed the same?"Bookmark here

{If they did so, they wouldn't be suffering right now. They'd be happy despite their ugliness.}Bookmark here

"I wouldn't have forgiven them if they did."Bookmark here

{That's because you're soft. What's the point in forgiveness without giving equal compensation?}Bookmark here

"…Compensation?"Bookmark here

{Don't act like you didn't understand me. They'd made you suffer because of their neglect. Never stood up for you. And even sold you out to your enemies. How does a "Sorry" account for that?}Bookmark here

"It doesn't."Bookmark here

{Then?}Bookmark here

"In words I've told you before: 'I forgive them'. As long as they don't repeat this. All is well and good."Bookmark here

{What will you do if they act up again?}Bookmark here

In response to his words, she smiled. A fair face replied some coldblooded words unfitting of her.Bookmark here

He was satisfied with what she answered.Bookmark here

With that, the game had finally ended.Bookmark here

With a satisfied face, he watched her go about her own 'daily life'. One he also had a part in achieving.Bookmark here

"Congratulations." His eyes shook when he heard these words… because they weren't from the screen. Instead, a woman with a beautifully toned body and impressive figure walked into his room.Bookmark here

He was sure he locked the door, but the woman opened it as if the lock was a fake to begin with.Bookmark here

"And who are you supposed to be?" Regardless of how she looked, Adam was immediately on guard.Bookmark here

Though her face and looks DID calm him a little.Bookmark here

"So THIS is your taste…" She looked at herself and stretched those muscles under her sportswear.Bookmark here

Her words only confused him.Bookmark here

"How did you get in?"Bookmark here

"Through the front door."Bookmark here

"I'm not in the mood for jokes."Bookmark here

"Then I'll be perfectly blunt. From the first moment you started writhing in existential dread, you weren't at home anymore. In fact, you've never been 'home' ever since you started that game."Bookmark here

"Nonsense! That-" As he was about to kick her out, she smacked the wall with tremendous force.Bookmark here

Like a set of a theatre play, the four walls of his home toppled over to reveal a room of emptiness.Bookmark here

His eyes were wide…Bookmark here

'Am I dreaming right now?' He tried to pinch himself, but that only proved this was reality.Bookmark here

Panic started to settle into his heart.Bookmark here

"Congratulations, you have officially stepped into the Divine Realm… and completed a task for me."Bookmark here

"Then… am I not on Earth? Since when?! I'm sure I've been living here-" It was then it all sunk in.Bookmark here

Even someone as antisocial as him noticed everyone was 'quieter' than usual since earlier.Bookmark here

It'd been three days since he'd held a proper conversation with anyone other than Linda.Bookmark here

And 'she' was a character in a video game…Bookmark here

…wasn't she?Bookmark here

"Haaa… Haaa… Haaa…" The panic started to settle in, and he was started to hyperventilate out of fear.Bookmark here

"Wait wait wait! Calm down!" The charming woman quickly ran up to him and started patting his back.Bookmark here

Even saying in a loud and hurried tone:Bookmark here

"It's okay. I'm here to help you. Don't panic. Don't panic…! Please… I need you to trust me. For even a moment. Please listen to what I have to say." It may have been her appearance and thoughtfulness, but he started to calm down when she showed worry.Bookmark here

The rational(?) side of him needed a proper explanation. He decided to keep it together.Bookmark here

Though things only became hopeless from there.Bookmark here

Takahashi  Eien
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