I Became Close to the Villain - Chapter 12

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“Shall we go to another room now?”

Idris lightly suggested and slid the book he was holding onto the bookshelf.

When I agreed, Idris’ expression suddenly became grave.

He stared at the wall for some time out of nowhere. It got to the point where I couldn’t even move because I was so terrified.

What exactly is there?

“…… Someone just used magic.”

This was merely a party in a small neighborhood. It wasn’t a smuggling site for magic items, nor was it a battlefield where the knights subdue mages.

There shouldn’t be any use of magic detected here.

I felt my heart pounding wildly.

“Not you, but another mage?”

I whispered to him, hoping that I was wrong.

“Are they here by any chance?”

Idris nodded slightly.

“Vianne. I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re going to feel sick. I’ll take a large amount of mana at once.”

Then, as though he had made up his mind, he called my name and said that resolutely.

“… What?”

“I can’t check how much mana you have. I’m telling you that just in case.”

When I looked at him with shaky eyes, he rushed over to me and hugged me tightly.

“I’ll take your mana.”

As my vision began to blur, I caught a glimpse of his face for the last time.

Is it because of the temporary knowledge that he could pull out my mana casually?

“See you later.”

Why did he say that to me?

I passed out before I could ask the question.

***

Idris became aware of a change in the flow of mana all of a sudden.

He felt that something unusual was going on within Vianne.

His senses were abruptly assaulted by a terrifyingly strong pressure.

Someone used magic. It seemed to be a simple practical spell, but that alone confirmed the existence of the mage.

It was dangerous for the mage to be close to Vianne.

No, maybe……. it’s possible that this party was set up as a ruse to capture Vianne from the beginning.

He instinctively felt it.

The only person who can keep the forbidden books in such a party or a person with such a nature…

‘There’s only one person that comes to mind.’

It took Idris sometime before he realized the gravity of the situation.

He gazed at Vianne for one last time, his savior and his very first friend. 

That person who saved him right now was defenseless and weak.

He had to make sure no harm came to her, even if it meant losing his life in the process…

‘My life doesn’t matter.’

He just wanted to make sure she had a peaceful and comfortable life that she  wanted so much.

She needed to stay next to him for a long time.

Idris concluded quickly.

Fortunately, it was half past nine. The others were busy partying to notice both of them, so they could sneak out easily.

“I’ll see you later.”

He took out more than half of Vianne’s mana. 

Then, he carried the unconscious Vianne and ran to the terrace on the third floor. 

During this time, he moved from place to place in order to avoid being discovered.

Liliel said she would come to the terrace at ten. However, he expected that she would arrive earlier than that.

“What should I say to drive him away from Vianne?”

Liliel’s voice suddenly entered his ears.

“What if he asked me the reason?

“… There are a lot! My intuition is telling me that, and Vianne can’t handle him. When he had time, he should take a mirror look at his eyes. His bright red eyes filled with the desire to have her by himself. He’s dangerous. Yes, I should say that!”

Idris didn’t know what he was feeling. So he merely dismissed it. 

But upon reflection, he realized that it was true.

When he thought about not meeting with Vianne again, it was like something sharp scratched his heart. It was undoubtedly a feeling similar to sadness.

Click.

Idris opened the door of the terrace. Liliel, who was waiting inside alone, was taken aback seeing Vianne and Idris.

“Oh my god! You bad guy! Vianne!”

“It’s not like that. Listen carefully, Liliel.”

“What do you want me to listen to! Put down Vianne right now!

“Take Vianne to a crowded place and go with as many people as possible. Make sure Vianne can’t be seen.”

Idris ignored the angry Liliel and spoke quickly in a hushed tone.

He had never been this serious before, so Liliel matched his tone and replied,

“… Is this a serious situation?”

“There’s a mage somewhere here, a very strong one.”

Idris uttered it without a second thought.

“They’re probably targeting Vianne.”

“……!”

Liliel understood the gravity of the situation simply by making eye contact with Idris, despite the fact that she didn’t hear the full explanation at the time.

His red eyes, which she had assumed were exclusively filled with desire for Vianne, were now filled with other emotions.

Liliel decided to believe Idris for the first time.

“Give me Vianne.”

Idris carefully put down Vianne.

“She’s going to wake up soon. I forcibly let her faint earlier. When she wakes up, take her out and do what I said.”

Liliel wrapped her arms around Vianne and turned to face Idris. It was almost as if he didn’t plan to go with them.

“Where are you going?”

“……I didn’t know you’d ask me that.”

“You’re my friend too.”

“You said I was dangerous.”

“Yes, that part is still the same! I’m still upset, but you’re my friend.”

They played together for several months.  They didn’t enjoy it, but inevitably got used to each other.

They got too used to each other to be considered as friends.

Liliel received a friendly smile from Idris.

“That’s true.”

Liliel glared at him.

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“Are you teasing me?”

 “I admit it.”

“…….”

“You’re my friend.”

Liliel was at a loss for words.

Idris stared at Liliel, who was silent, and turned away.

“I have something else to do. I’ll follow you later, so you guys go first.”

He only left such cold words.

***

Idris deliberately used some spell and scattered it so that the mage in this mansion recognizes his mana and come to him.

And not long after that, the sound of soft footsteps could be heard in the peaceful hallway.

Idris could tell that the owner of that footstep is the mage. 

Soon when the mage appeared, Idris saw a name tag on his chest.

‘Count Lamberg, party organizer.’

The mage was the count himself.

‘How?’

Idris doubted his eyes. As far as he knows, Count Lamberg was old. However, the person in front of him was young.

Yet, none of the party attendees talked about the topic. It meant that everyone must’ve seen him as the real Count Lamberg.

‘Is this person disguised as Count Lamberg? It’s possible that the magic I felt before was a spell to remove the disguise and restore his original form.’

Idris looked at him suspiciously and said, pretending to be calm on the outside.

“If you’re a mage, you must’ve figured out what I was looking for. The one who possessed mana.”

He stayed to buy time for Vianne and Liliel to escape.

“You look like a mage too. Did you enter this mansion pretending to be Count Lamberg?”

“If so?”

“You’re late.”

He didn’t hesitate to lie. It was critical not to dither and to maintain one’s composure.

“I’ve killed the child.”

“… Killed?”

“I killed her. It’s not hard for me as a mage.”

“Hahaha!”

The red-haired man in front of him burst into laughter.

His green eyes that were filled with madness turned into crescents. As he smiled, the strands of his hair that were down to his waist swayed.

“It’s no surprise, I expected another mage to show up here. And here I am standing in front of a young mage who revealed his teeth ferociously.

He said that, having imitated the voice, face, and behavior of the real Count Lamberg.

He was the perfect clone of Count Lamberg.

“I’m not Count Lamberg, young mage. My name is Oscar Ferdinand. That is my real name.”

He was the strongest mage in existence. Idris had come across his name in the newspaper many times.

He was also a criminal who recently committed massive slaughter in the eastern part of the empire.

“Why are you telling me this?”

Actually, he knew Oscar well, but he pretended not to know him.

“Should I call it a special prize for killing my treasure?”

Oscar gave a nonchalant nod.

“Stop the bullshit.”

“Are you sure you don’t know who I am? If you recognized me, you wouldn’t be able to say something like that.”

“I don’t know you. Tell me where the real Count Lamberg is.”

Naturally, Idris was not curious about such things. But it was a good question to buy more time.

“I beheaded him and borrowed his identity.”

“You did such a cumbersome task because of the Imperial Knights? Was your skill not up to par with them?”

“How arrogant…. If I cut off one arm, will you be obedient?”

Gradually, Oscar’s tone rose. His patience was at its limit.

Idris predicted that the battle would soon begin.

“Don’t even look forward to it.”

He used his mana and conjured a magic circle. It was his first time doing it, and he was pleased with how it turned out.

He dashed to Oscar with the shiny sword he had made from the mana.

“It’s something I could look forward to.”

Oscar smiled cynically.

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