The Villainess Makes Money from Monsters
Even in a small frontier town like this, there was a small shop that traded in materials only found from monsters. It was there that I brought the tusks I had gathered.
“Well well, today it’s a tusk from an Agile Boar. You know, Veena, I’ve always had an inkling, but you really are quite something, aren’t you? This is a B rank monster, were you aware?”
This was a B-rank? I brought it down almost instantly, though… True, it was definitely quick, but that’s to be expected of a monster.
“I’ll give you 100 silver coins for this one.”
“Thank you very much.”
I graciously accepted the money, depositing it into the magically maintained large-scale storage that I kept in my bag.
“That magic sure is convenient, isn’t it? You’ve got me green with envy, miss.”
“It’s nothing that impressive. Even this storage has its limits.”
“Oh, is that so? Even so, I’m still envious of you magic practicers. That noble talent of yours isn’t something that commoners like us can just pick up.”
Common folk aren’t able to use magic. However, that’s simply because they don’t receive any education or training. It really isn’t a matter of talent or lack thereof. There’s living proof of this in Mina, a commoner who had incredible magical skill. Anyone can use magic, all you need is to be taught. That’s all there is to it. However, commoners who can use magic are such an uncommon occurrence because it’s rare that they can muster up enough capital to pay for the education of even one of their children. Magical education takes huge amounts of time and resources. There’s an argument to be had that the exclusivity of magical training is justified, considering how dangerous it would be if that kind of power was used for ill.
Another aspect of magic is the skill ceiling known as “Magical Power” Even if someone had trained in magic for their whole life, if their magical power was innately low, then they’d have trouble striking down even the weakest monster. Many people waste years of their lives and vast sums for their studies without realizing they’ve reached an impassable wall. That’s why magic is seen as a risky and expensive investment even for the rich aristocracy, so it’s no wonder that common folk would barely even glimpse at it.
“You’re mistaken. I’m just as common as anyone else. My older brother taught me magic when I was a young girl, that’s all.”
This is the cover I’m attempting to keep in this town. To be honest, I haven’t done a very good job. I should have refrained from using magic entirely, but after living with the convenience of magic for so long I just couldn’t bring myself to go without it.
“Hmmm. Well, if you say so.”
Didn’t believe a word, did he? It really is a poor cover story, but as things stand I don’t have much choice.
Exchanging a quick farewell, I left the shop and returned to the house I was sharing with Yua. On the way there, I encountered a man I really had no desire to cross paths with.
“Yo, Veena. Aren’t you looking adorable today?”
The man laughing with his buddies Nampa and Gallagher as he approached was called Kenkar. Even though we’re making a living in the same profession, I cannot bring myself to tolerate this man. I think I might actually be allergic to him.
He might look handsome on the surface, but that just makes his rotten character all the more disgusting. Just an all around unacceptable person.
“Do you need something of me?”
“Ha ha, just as frigid as ever! But that’s what makes you so great!”
“I’m grateful for the compliment. Now then, I shall be goi-”
“Woah woah hold your horses! Let’s chat some more.”
Kenkar darts around me and cuts me off before I could walk away. Ah, this is the worst… This person just cannot read the mood at all.
“You’ll have to excuse me. My sister is waiting for me at home.”
My sister being Yua, of course. Just another part of my cover story here.
“Little Yua, huh… Come to think of it, that kid is really cute as well. Alright, I’ve decided, the three of us will have fun together then!”
Oh, that was close. I almost lost control of my magical energy. Things could get troublesome if I don’t calm down. That being said, it would be helpful if that man doesn’t try and stick a nail in me with another comment like that.
“Mr. Kenkar. I will say this just once, please do not ever try to work your “charms” on that child.”
Exuding palpable magical energy as I do my best to maintain a polite smile, Kenkar nods his head furiously.
Good enough. Satisfied that Kenkar understood just what awaited him if he reneged, I finally calmed down fully.
Yua’s cuteness has already passed the barrier of what people thought a young woman could be capable of. Even amongst the most beautiful girls in high society, Yua always stood out prominently and was of course extremely popular.
In all honesty, she’s too cute. Add to that her incredible gift in the kitchen as well as that air of dignity that only a member of the royal house could possess, she’s already become far too popular amongst all quarters of the townsfolk here.
Of course, it’s nice to see people appreciate finery. The problem comes when men try to take their “appreciation” too far.
Even though I trust that Yua wouldn’t go along willingly with such proposals, a pre-emptive strike is probably the wisest course of action.
I’d rather not wait to act until after the fact.
“U-understood! I won’t ever approach Yua! …Jeez, Veena, you really can’t take a joke can you?”
“It’s hard to take it as a joke when I’ve seen how you people act. Just, for instance, only yesterday I saw you try to chat up every single woman at the monster hunting reception area like you were in some sleazy bar. I’d rather we not have to become involved with such lowlives.”
“Ah, how cruel you are. At least I’m just being true to myself. Can our siscon here say the same thing about herself?”
“And just who is this ‘siscon’?”
“Oh come on, surely even you aren’t this dense? Why exactly do you think there’s been such a lack of determined courting of Yua, even though she’s so popular?”
Well, he might have a point.
“Of course, there are plenty who would love to try, but they’re all petrified of you. That’s magic you use, right? When you’re like that you just leave everyone quaking in their boots. Are you planning on simply blasting away any suitors? I think all the young men are on the verge of giving up hope.”
Well, that was the plan.
When coming up against an outpouring of magical energy, it’s difficult for people untrained in magic to even stand. I had barely let a little slip out before, and it made this lot very meek in comparison to a few minutes ago. It may surprise you, but this is the third time I’ve had to ‘advise’ Kenkar in this fashion when it comes to Yua. But this idiot is already trying to chat casually with me like he wasn’t just shaking in fear before.
“Well, putting Yua aside, I’m still not going to give up on Veena. So, with that said, let’s go get some tea together!”
I truly wish that people would reflect on themselves a little more and realize when they’re being louts. Somehow, I don’t think this man will. Because he’s an idiot. I let out a sigh. It was then that,
Yua, who was supposed to be waiting at home, ran up to me. The worst possible timing. If possible, I’d like to keep her away from these three.
“Yua, why have you come here?”
“Ah, well, I was worried since Veena-sama was so late getting back…”
Well, she’s right, this little trip to cash in some tusks and return home has become quite waylaid. We should go home right away. Just as I’m about to turn around and leave with Yua…
“Oh, Yua! Heya~!”
This man, again…
“Um, ah… Mister Kenkar… Um… Good morning to you…”
Yua did her best to return his greeting with a polite smile, but even she couldn’t hide how forced it was. This child has a weak constitution when it comes to Kenkar, just like me. However, unlike me, she at least pretends that it doesn’t ail her.
“How about you and I do something toge- I’m sorry, forget I said anything. Can you yank the chain on that magical power already, I’m already freaking out over here.”
I sighed as Kenkar already began to involuntarily tremble.
Giving him a false smile, I take my leave with Yua. After we finally unhinged ourselves from Kenkar and his gaggle, we still couldn’t seem to stop attracting attention. Women busy with shopping would constantly look our way, giggling and calling out to Yua.
“How can I say this… Commoners sure are a diverse bunch, aren’t they?”
I tried to answer Yua’s question the best I could.
“Those guys back there were more the exception than the rule. For every dirty lecher out there, there are more people who just genuinely love you as you are.”
I was already exhausted trying to keep those lechers from our door.
“Just remember that when you do find a gentleman, Yua, just make sure he’s a man of honour.”
For some reason, Yua looked downtrodden.
“…Gentleman? But, Veena-sama, I…”
She murmured something softly. Such a quiet voice, she may as well not have opened her lips at all. Naturally, I didn’t hear a word.
Hearing me, Yua swallowed hard and shook her head.
“No, it was nothing, don’t worry about it.”
An obvious lie. But, I won’t force you to say something you aren’t ready to say.
Thus, we returned home.
The students of the Creatio School for Magic were filled with a sense of trepidation.
That day, just one week ago. Many incidents have occurred since the day when Veena Lilyfall was denounced and humiliated in front of the entire school body, only being saved from death by the intervention of the Princess. The girls that had confessed to bullying Mina Yukishiro on orders of Veena Lilyfall had all been found dead in strange circumstances.
Of course, some people speculated that Mina had gone on a revenge spree, but they were in the minority. Since those girls who had admitted their guilt were all forgiven by Mina after Veena had fled the school. And, because of the magnanimity Mina had shown in pardoning her tormentors, her valuation had risen from “That Impertinent Common Girl” to “The Most Appropriate Fiancée for the Prince on Campus”.
Hence, Mina was accepted as a paragon of virtue, and there were none who doubted Veena’s guilt. In fact, the prevailing theory at the school now was that Veena was somehow orchestrating her revenge on the followers that had betrayed her.
Naturally, there’s not a shred of evidence.
It goes without saying, but Veena is not the culprit. Being many leagues away, she couldn’t have possibly played a role. But, for the students of the school, being able to blame an almost mystical figure for these crimes helps them feel a little less afraid of the very real possibility of a serial killer skulking the halls.
— A secluded room in the school. They stood in an air conditioned greenhouse.
“…Shit! That stupid child, doing such an idiotic thing…”
“Calm down, Arnight-sama.”
The Second Prince, Arnight, cooled down somewhat after listening to Mina.
“I’m so sorry. This may well be my fault. I shouldn’t have driven Veena into a corner like that… Maybe we could have settled our differences some other way… I have no excuse.”
Arnight waves away Mina’s self-derision.
“Not at all, you aren’t to blame. The only one to blame is that hateful woman who committed such ghastly crimes against you.”
“…Thank you so much, Arnight-sama. You’re always there to rescue me.”
Mina gives a weak smile.
“You’re suffering like this because of my stupid sister… I can’t bear my guilt.”
Glenn, standing nearby, can’t restrain himself from insulting his sister.
“It’s fine, Glenn, it is not your guilt to bear. Any guilt to be borne should be placed upon that vixen.”
“That’s right, Glenn, you can’t blame yourself too readily.
Glenn, honoured by their words, bows deeply and thanks them both. They were the most genuine words he’d said in his life. He wanted to devote his entire being to these two. Glenn saw them almost like they were more than human.
“On the subject of that woman, I’ve sent retainers out to search for her, but they haven’t found a trace. Glenn, do you have any thoughts on where she might be?”
“No. I’ve been investigating myself but… My apologies, I still can’t seem to find a trail.”
“I see. Not even the Lilyfall family knows where she has gone. What an abominable woman. I really ought to have cut Yua down at that time for protecting such a thing.”
At this, Glenn nods in agreement. Mina also agreed.
(Yes, truly an irritating woman…)
However, she didn’t let her face betray her true feelings. As always, she puts on the mask of the heroine, and her true thoughts stay deep within her.
(Please just give up and die, for the sake of my Happy End.)
She presses the cup of black tea against her lips. At first, the swirling anger in her gut rages alongside the warmth of the drink, but it slowly recedes back into her heart. And as she calms down, she thinks.
It’s over. Even in this world, this girl is doomed to be unlucky. Her Happy End has probably already slipped away.
(Is there no limit to the depths of your villainy, Veena Lilyfall?)
Biting back her frustration, she takes another sip of tea.