The Obsessed Hero and the Villainous Family’s Daughter — Chapter Four


There’s nothing comfortable about riding a carriage. In other words…It sucks.

The Kartina carriage was made by the empire’s foremost carriage maker. Everything, from the wheels to the smallest decorations, was expensive. Still, riding in it was so uncomfortable due to the recent rain that had left the roads uneven.

The roads should have been fixed, but all government employees of the empire were lazy, without exception. Its so problematic. I shook my head.

Whenever the carriage drove over a bump in the road, my body was tossed up and down. I missed the fresh air and having my feet on the ground. I really want to get off…

Judging by the line of carriages outside the window, which was cracked open slightly, it was going to take a while.

“Estella, how are you?” Ada opened the window and asked me.

“Can you stay in the carriage a little longer?”

Kalen, Ayla, and Ada rode horseback beside the carriage as if guarding me, even though they could have gone ahead.

“I’m a little tired,” I told them, but it’s all right.” It’s not like there’s any other way. Or is there?

In novels like this, there are scenes where a line of carriages splits apart like the red sea to make way for a wealthy and influential family.

“I’m actually a bit ti—”

“Just say the word. There are bombs under your seat.” Kalen announced, smiling brightly as he stuck his head through the window.

I quickly composed myself and sat up straight. “I’m not tired.”

Seriously, the Kartinas are unbelievable. They thought of blowing up the other carriages first instead of using their influence to move the carriages. Oh god, once again I have saved the lives of dozens of people. Before Kalen could keep asking, I hurriedly closed the window.

Time passed by uneventfully inside the carriage. Staring at floating dust particles, I thought about the countless people who had died in the story. Will I be able to recognize Rodrigo? I wondered.

Then I let out a short laugh. Theres no way I wouldnt. He was the male lead, so he was bound to be gorgeous. Or have some kind of halo behind him. But just in case, I tried to remember everything I could about Rodrigo.

It wasn’t hard to remember him, probably because he was the person I was fated to fall in love with.

Rodrigo Duveli Erhart. The empire’s archduke. A rare master swordsman, he managed to produce an aura around his sword at the age of five and went to fight his first battle at ten. He started out as a regular soldier and quickly rose through the ranks after distinguishing himself in war. It was at the age of twelve that he became the leader of a knight order consisting of a hundred knights.

After that, every battle he participated in resulted in victory, and, at the age of fifteen he earned the title of “Myriad Sergeant,” given only to those who had killed ten thousand enemy soldiers. So, was sword fighting all he was good at?

No, that was just a given. Just as it was a given for the male lead in a romance novel to be wealthy, good swordsmanship was a basic requirement. He was resourceful as well, and obviously one of the most good-looking men on the continent.

According to the story’s description of him, he was a man with dangerous charm. He even knew how to use magic, though only a little. In other words, he was OP, an overpowered character. But that was the seed of misfortune for Rodrigo, because Emperor Thereo wanted to keep Rodrigo in check.

Thereo was a snake. There was no end to his greed, and he was endlessly malicious. While the Kartinas enjoyed evildoing, the act of transgressing itself, Thereo capitalized on our family’s nature to make a profit. He used anyone and everything and simply discarded them when they were no longer useful.

That was Thereo’s principle. Just as chocolate and feces are similar in color, but entirely different, the Kartinas and Thereo were worlds apart. He would do anything for money, power, and women.

It’s a bit awkward to say this since it sounds biased, but if the Kartinas were like chocolate, Thereo was like feces. If there was anything human about him, it was that Thereo very much adored his son, the Crown Prince, Detheus.

Emperor Thereo tormented Rodrigo to keep the throne stable for Detheus’s sake. Rodrigo wasn’t aware of this yet, but it was Emperor Thereo who had led Rodrigo’s parents to their deaths and had sent him to war at such a young age, saying that his talent was indispensable.

And whenever Rodrigo found someone to care for, the emperor would use the Kartinas or some other sinister force to eliminate them.

Rodrigo seemed fine on the outside, but his heart had been blackened. The reason this novel gained so many female fans, despite being a hard-core novel aimed at male readers, was thanks to their empathy for Rodrigo’s sad past.

Still, Rodrigo suppressed his anger. Even though Emperor Thereo had used the Kartinas and other families to push him to the edge, he had survived, so he forgave them.

It Estella who was the problem. She fell in love with Rodrigo the moment she saw him at the crown princess’s birthday celebration, and, as you by now know, gaining the affection of a Kartina was dangerous. They tended to madly obsess over their objects of desire and crave their attention.

Estella had been the same in the story. With Rodrigo refusing to accept her affections, she slowly began to go mad. In the end, she ended up killing the female lead of the story, the woman he loved. And Rodrigo went berserk.

That marked the beginning of the atrocities that earned the novel its R-rating. I had no desire to remember my cruel fate. Technically, there was nothing to remember. It had been so violent that I skipped that part.

And that was how the world ended. I wasn’t sure if the end of the world being triggered by a few families fighting each other was poor writing or a reflection of how powerful those families were.

The story ended with a description of Rodrigo, smiling as he stood alone atop the bodies of his enemies: the Kartinas, the imperial family, and all the others who had ever wronged him.

My body must have been in that pile too, right?

I had no interest in taking part in such a tragic ending. I had no desire to die or to kill. So, Archduke Rodrigo, I thought, lets get along.

Hardening my resolve, I nodded, my lips curling up into a smirk.


“On behalf of Count Kartina: Sir Kalen, Lady Ada, Lady Ayla, and Lady Estella.”

The noisy banquet hall suddenly fell silent. Eyes widened and mouths drooped open at the appearance of all four Kartina siblings.

And at a banquet held by Duke Gloria! Duke Gloria had a deep connection with Rodrigo’s family. He was one of the few sane characters in the story and a supporter of Rodrigo.

Considering the hostility between the Erharts and the Kartinas, it was only natural for everyone to be shocked by the Kartina siblings making an appearance. Though it was all hushed up, most nobles were aware that the imperial family had used the Kartinas to keep the Erharts in check for generations.

Everyone shot glances at us. Kalen, Ada, and Ayla were used to being stared at and did not pay it any mind, but that wasn’t the case for me. I shifted uncomfortably with all the attention, finding myself unable to tell friend from foe.

“May the goddess bless you. Your journey here must have been troublesome, Sir Kalen.” The host and Rodrigo’s supporter, Duke Gloria, held out his wrinkled hand as he spoke.

“May the goddess’s light shine on you. It wasn’t troublesome at all, Duke Gloria.” Kalen politely took Duke Gloria’s hand and shook it.

“And who might this be?” After greeting Ada and Ayla as well, Duke Gloria’s gaze fixed on me.

I grasped the hem of my light green dress and curtsied. “It is an honor to meet you. My name is Estella. I am the youngest Kartina.”

My introduction was elegant. Watching my flawless grace, the people surrounding us gasped.

“Oh, the Estella!” Duke Gloria’s voice boomed, capturing everyone’s attention.

Unlike when our entrance had been announced, this time everyone stared openly at me. A brief moment of silence passed as they ogled, but then whispers erupted all around us.


“She’s pretty. No wonder they say the Kartinas cherish her.”

“So, the rumors I heard recently were true.”

“What rumors?”

“That the youngest Kartina would be making her debut soon, and that you should avoid eye contact with her at all costs.”

“Oh my, why is that?”

“Well, you see…”

The words that followed didn’t suit the noblewomen. Such cruel words that did not suit their otherwise elegant mannerisms. I was willing to bet my entire fortune that Count Kartina had fabricated those rumors himself.

I had very good ears. It wasn’t because I was special, but because it was written in the story. It was written that the Kartinas had particularly well-developed physical skills.

This particular trait had its upsides and downsides. I had to listen to things I’d rather not hear sometimes.

And whenever that happened…

“People are being noisy. Do you want me to silence them, Estella?” Kalen quietly whispered in my ear.

“Kalen, I don’t want to see blood.”

Long ago, when I was very little, there had been a servant girl who had spoken ill of me, and he had taken her tongue and… Ahem. That day, I had collapsed in shock and caused quite a stir.

I stopped thinking about it.

Kalen flinched, as if he had considered doing the same kind of thing.

“I must send Count Kartina a thank you gift for sending all of you to grace my banquet with your presence.” Duke Gloria said, looking genuinely pleased.

The success of an event like this depended on the status of the guests who attended.

We, the Kartinas, may not have had the most prestigious title, but we were the lords of the underworld. And my family was shrouded in mystery since we rarely attended social events.

Considering this, it was fortunate for the duke to have the Kartinas appear, and even more fortunate for his banquet to be chosen as the venue for their precious youngest daughter’s debut.

“Our father will be very pleased,” Kalen replied.

Duke Gloria attempted to make conversation, but Kalen gave short answers and openly displayed his discomfort.

Duke Gloria could take a hint. He told us to enjoy the banquet, and then left us. Kalen and Ada also disappeared into the crowd, pretending to socialize, so I was left with Ayla, and I knew I would soon be alone.

“Don’t speak with anybody. We’ll be back soon,” she said. “You wanted to come to an event like this, right? Don’t dance with anyone, just enjoy it, all right?” Ayla badgered me as she pinched my cheeks.

“Yes-sh,” I answered hesitantly, my lips all askew.

Ayla gave me a tight hug, going on and on about how cute I looked with my cheeks pinched, how I kept getting cuter as I aged, how it was a mystery as to how adorable I was considering the other Kartinas, and so on.

“Estella,” she said, “there are people here as dangerous as wild bears. You have to be careful.”

Coming from someone who could rip apart a bear with their bare hands. I bit the inside of my cheek to stop myself from laughing.

“Don’t worry, Ayla.” I lied, attempting to set her mind at ease.

Ayla might soon collapse out of shock.

Anyway, where is Rodrigo?


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