I Reincarnated as the Villain in an Eroge, But Before I Realized, I Became a Capture Target

Translator: Reo

Editor: PalenMisha

Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!

Luca POV 1 – Part 2

Fourteen years have passed since then. Today is the first day of the new year. I just turned 21.

Since it’s the new year, and my birthday, we’d usually hold a big party at the castle. This year though, we didn’t do anything like that. It was because, a couple of days prior, the Lumiere appeared.

Lumiere… a crystal made of negative emotions that had been accumulating throughout the kingdom, demonic essence that had been condensed a million times over.

When the Lumiere appeared in the castle, the dungeons in the twelve cities surrounding the capital changed, a type of gem usually referred to as a “star fragment” appearing in each one. And then, the people of our kingdom, for a period of twelve months, would defeat the dungeons that opened one by one every month starting from January. In the span of a year, all the star fragments would need to be collected.

If the star fragments weren’t collected and the Lumiere was not purified, mana would stop circulating in the kingdom and the land would die. By dealing with the Lumiere, purified mana would scatter across the country and the land would receive a blessing for another few decades.

This is what I’d heard about the Lumiere. The last time it appeared though was around 30 years ago. Which means my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents were there to see it. They were the ones who told me how dangerous it could be.

As soon as the Lumiere appeared, entry to the audience chamber was forbidden, so I hadn’t actually seen it yet, but I could tell how serious the situation was from my surroundings.

Despite it being the new year, the administrative officials were hectically working as an announcement needed to be made to the people.

The imperial knights and mages were choosing members to send to the 1st city and making solemn preparations.

And I too was making preparations.

Just moments ago, one of Father’s attendants instructed me to come to the audience chamber. It wasn’t hard to figure out why I’d been summoned there despite the room being strictly off-limits.

To protect myself from the Lumiere, I equipped myself with full armour and made my way alone toward the audience chamber.

Usually, guards stood along the corridor, but right now there were none and the place was enveloped in silence. The air also felt heavy.

Overcome by a bad feeling, I arrived at my destination. As there was no one around, I pushed the large door open myself and entered inside.

The audience chamber was a beautiful room where shining light poured from the tall ceiling. Currently though, the chamber’s beauty was being warped by what sat behind the throne. Above the luxurious platform where Soleil was said to have once sat, a large, black orb floated.

Was that the Lumiere? It was somehow ominous.

“Luca, you’re here,” Father said. He wasn’t at the throne, but standing close to the centre of the room.

There was my father who became the king three years ago after grandfather had handed him the title, and with him were the minister of administration and the minister of finance.

It’s highly unusual for him to be accompanied by them, I thought as I made my way over to them.

“Father, I assume that that is the Lumiere.”

“That’s right. You can tell, can’t you? That the moment you touch it you will turn mad and die.”

“Yes. I didn’t think it would be such a terrifying thing.”

“It is terrifying enough that I couldn’t sit on the throne. Now, where should I start… Luca, you are the brother to the next heir to the throne. Therefore, I command you to go to the dungeons and collect the star fragments as a representative of the royal family.”

“I have received your order.” I brought my right hand to my heart and bowed slightly.

Father nodded and put his hand on my back. At his urging, we all headed towards the door. Now that our business was finished, we really shouldn’t stay in the chamber.

Once the ministers had closed the door behind us, Father let out a sigh of relief. I couldn’t help but smile at my father who was so clearly relieved and he let out a cough to hide his embarrassment. Then, straightening his back, he started walking again.

“Luca, if there’s anything you need, please notify these two people.” (King)

“Yeah. We have a budget allocated for you, so don’t hold back, ‘kay?” (Finance)

“Mind your words. Your Highness Luca, we have already prepared the essentials for your trip right here. Once you have checked the luggage, please do not hesitate to ask for anything else.” (Administration)

“Understood. I’ll be in your care.”

The minister of finance towered over me at 190 cm tall with a solid physique, but he had excellent administrative skills. Then there was the minister of administration who, on top of being a clear-headed person, was also known to be an elite mage. 

While the king was chosen by blood, the ministers were elected through their own prowess so you could only imagine how outstanding these two were.

In terms of power, they were next behind the king, and though they were my superiors, they were very kind to me.

“Though the Lumiere is too frightening of an object for us to manage, the dungeons where the star fragments appear are suitable as training grounds for young people with bright futures ahead of them. Thus, as a matter of appearance, the royal family always selects a member in their 20s to participate.” (Administration)

“30 years ago my little sister was chosen. Well, she stopped at the 9th dungeon though.” (King)

“If you can’t go on anymore, you can stop. The 9th dungeon for example is a place where, if you’re unlucky, you might run into S-rank monsters. You’ve got to recognize your own limits and know when to stand down. You don’t have to worry – the veterans of each city will definitely close each dungeon.” (Finance)

“For that reason, we are not going to assign you a strong escort. Someone closer to Your Highness’s age would be more suitable. You should depart on your journey as friends. As you will be travelling together for a whole year, I’d like to recommend you choose someone who you not only get along with but who is also experienced with camping.” (Administration)

I see. Hmm… a friend to go with me on this journey, huh?

“So, Noel, will you come with me?”

Though at a much smaller scale than usual, a birthday party was still held for me since it wasn’t something that could be cancelled.

Inside the party hall were the government officials who lived in the castle and those who took care of me on a daily basis, as well as my family and relatives. Unlike usual, there was no one there who didn’t have any kind of relation to me. I was actually a lot more comfortable with this small group and wished it would be like this in the future as well.

Among the people was, as expected, my childhood friend Noel, whom I told about the mission I received from the king.

When I asked her to come with me, Noel gave me a big nod.

“Of course I’ll come. Actually, this is something I heard from Father, but apparently the criminal organisation of dark attribute users known as the Dark Organization might also be after the star fragments. So had Your Highness not been given a royal command, I would have invited you to join me.”

This girl overflowing with a sense of justice was called Noel Brady. She was Lyle-sensei’s daughter, my childhood friend, and my fellow knight disciple.

The first time I met her was about two weeks after sensei returned to the castle after the incident in his home. Lyle-sensei brought his daughter who had just turned five along with him to the castle.

Those of royal and noble descent started their tutoring at the age of five, so of course Noel, as Lyle-sensei’s daughter, naturally started being taught magic by sensei. My teachers also agreed that if we were going to have magic lessons together, we might as well have sword lessons together as well.

Apparently, they thought that if they made her my comrade, it would provide me with new stimulus and help me grow. And their plan was actually a great success. Thanks to Noel, I learned not only skills, but how to protect someone, and had to work hard not to fall behind her.

Since I’d met Noel, she’d been desperate to grow stronger. Her house had been attacked by a dark attribute user and her mother was in serious condition, suffering from a curse and unable to even walk. She said she would never forgive the one who made her mother that way. Which was why, in order to catch that criminal, she wanted to get stronger and took her sword lessons very seriously.

I couldn’t help but be inspired by the sight of her boldly declaring – “I will get stronger to protect my mother!”

Seeing her filled with such rage, I could only think that the discrimination against dark attribute users couldn’t be helped. In the past it was different, but this is what it is like now.

“I don’t know about the Dark Organization, but since it’s you, Noel, I know you want to grow stronger and can trust that you’ll be with me in the dungeons until the end. Camping and stuff won’t be a problem either.”

Sensei had taken us along on any number of expeditions and had a lot of experience. We learned how to work together to defeat monsters and all the know-how needed for camping, so both of us were used to it. Most of all, we knew each other well, so things would be a lot easier.

“Which is why I’m counting on you.”

“Yes. Please take care of me too.”

In other words, it was decided that my comrade, Noel would come on this journey with me.

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