Don’t Trust the Heroine - chapter 2
“Alright, show me the children,” Madenna said.
Lanthan led her to the room and as she entered, as she realized that there were only female children.
“… there are only girls here, where are the boys?” she asked.
“I’m afraid there’s none. You instructed me to show you only girls.”
‘How unexpected,’ She thought.
It was more than a decade ago when she gave the order so she had already forgotten.
At that time, Madenna was thinking of supporting Suzanne, the heroine of the novel.
She thought she wouldn’t need to look at the boys, so she ordered him to prepare only girls as the candidate.
But now that the situation has changed, she had no choice but to change her request.
“Well, I’m very sorry, but can you bring the boys in?”
“I thought it over. I’d like to have boys as the candidates as well. Show me all the children in this orphanage.”
Lanthan responded rather nervously.
‘I’m sure he only washed and dolled up the girls, whereas the boys weren’t taken care of.’
Madenna was planning on taking over the orphanage after she brought Farren.
To do so, she had to gather enough evidence and expose the orphanage unequal treatment towards the orphans.
She crossed her legs and put her hands on her chin.
“Is it too difficult?”
“No, it’s not difficult!”
“How long will it take?”
“That… P-please wait! They’ll be ready in fifteen minutes!” he replied in sheer panic.
“Can I see the list of children while I’m waiting?”
“I’ll give it to you right away!” he said as he scurried through the bookshelf and handed the list to Madenna.
“Then, I’ll get the kids ready right away.”
“Make it fast since I don’t have much time.”
“Alright.” he said while repeatedly bowed his head before immediately rushed out from the office.
After he left, Madenna turned her gaze over to the list.
The list concludes information about the kids in the orphanage.
[Farren (Boy): 12 years old, has black hair, red eyes, and rebellious character, requires extra attention.]
[Suzanne (Girl): 12 years old, silver-haired, kind-hearted, caring.]
She closed the list after checking the things she wanted to check.
It had been more than 15 minutes, but Lanthan still hadn’t returned.
Madenna got up from her seat because she knew he’d be late.
Suddenly, a girl’s voice came from outside, “Director! Take Farren away, please.”
Madenna was momentarily startled.
She knew that voice. It belonged to the person she hated the most.
Madenna took a deep breath and turned the doorknob.
On the other side of the hall, a girl with dazzling beauty was sobbing in the arms of the director.
“What’s wrong, Suzanne. Has Farren bothered you again?”
“… no. But I’m too scared to be in the same room as him. Take him away… Please?”
The original heroine, Suzanne, was the best hypocrite in the world.
She had incredible acting skills that can fool everyone unless they know her true colors.
With silver hair and blue eyes, Suzanne resembled a fairy. Even Madenna, a woman, was amazed at how pretty she was when they met for the first time.
How can anyone not fall for such a pitiful and beautiful child?
Madenna had only intended to survive in this world. Unfortunately, she fell for Suzanne’s tricks and gave her everything for Suzanne.
Madenna briefly brooded over her foolish past and raised her head. She would never make the same mistake again.
She approached them with light steps, but her face was painted with a menacing look.
“It’s noisy here. Is there something wrong?”
Listening to Madenna’s seemingly irritated voice, Lanthan immediately apologized.
“I’m so sorry, Please do forgive this child’s reckless words.”
“I’m sorry for the noise…” Suzanne said as she bowed her head with a tearful face.
Her moist eyes and trembling rosy lips roused people’s protective nature.
‘If it were the old me, I would have wiped away her tears and asked her what was going on.’
But when she thought about what Suzanne had done to her in her past life, her hand clenched hard to her side, her body shaking.
Half in anger, half in fear.
Suzanne was the start of Madenna’s downfall and she hated her for it.
“Are they ready yet, Director?” Madenna said as she blatantly ignored Suzanne’s apology.
“I’ll show you right away. I’m sorry, but please wait a little longer. Now, Suzanne, don’t be naughty and follow me to the room.”
“But, Director! Farren…”
“You have nothing to worry about, now come on!”
Lanthan grabbed Suzanne by the wrist and hurried into the end of the hall.
Madenna sighed as she looked at the little girl’s back.
‘What’s worse was that Suzanne even claimed that she was being bullied by Farren.’
In the novel, Farren did not make any appearance before his reached adulthood. The book only said that he came from the same orphanage and that he had bothered Suzanne.
‘I really thought he was the bad guy, but…’
Come to think of it now, the book was written from Suzanne’s perspective. So it was hard to determine whether or not Farren was evil.
Farren was the only one who had the same magical powers as Suzanne.
If Suzanne had chosen to become his enemy, he would need someone to protect himself.
‘Of course, I should be wary of him as well, in case he betrayed me in the end, like Suzanne.’
To prevent his betrayal, Madenna had set up a collar device to control Farren.
* * *
Soon, the director called her and took her to another room.
The young children lined along the walls. The age between the children varied, but there seemed to be no child over 15.
Suzanne stood out the most amongst the other children.
Her eyes were red from crying, but she smiled. The smile that lit up on her features was the wrong sort. It’s like she ran on cold malice instead of any form of genuine affection.
Madenna looked around, frowning at the ominous foreboding. She tried to search for Farren but he was nowhere to be seen.
‘She’s been manipulating the director by victimizing herself so that she could get rid of Farren.’
She had been manipulative ever since she was a child. She could play everyone’s mind to the point that they would start believing it was due to her grace that they were still breathing. She could bend and sculpt every reality into a favourable situation for her, making everybody else feel guilty, even when she was the one who made the mistake.
“I’ve brought in the boys, milady.”
As expected, the boys were neglected compared to the girls. It looked as if they were cleaned in a hurry.
The girls were relatively clean, but they were not very noticeable because they were plainly dressed. Except for Suzanne, who wore the nicest dress.
She had a beautiful smile on her face. Everything from the way she held herself, to the way she spoke, to that look in her eyes screamed confidence.
Everyone would want to sponsor her.
‘…I must’ve been blind to be fooled by her..’.
Madenna ignored Suzanne’s gaze and looked around once more.
She opened her mouth, “Director.”
“There’s one kid missing, he was in the list you gave me earlier.”
She lifted her chin and gave him a cold glance.
“I can’t remember his name, but he had black hair and red eyes. I’m interested in him.”
“About that…” Lanthan stammered with nervousness.
Madenna shifted her gaze towards Suzanne to see her reaction.
Her smile was slightly distorted. Her confident smile faltered a bit, before she managed to lift it up again.
“Is there a problem?”
“Well, he’s a very troublesome kid. I’m afraid that the countess will be offended by him.
“I’m sure I told you to ‘show me all the children in this orphanage.’ Are you deliberately ignoring my commands?”
“T-then please wait a moment,” he squeaked in fear.
“No,” Madenna continued, “I’ve already wasted a lot of time. I’ll go to where he is. Is the children’s quarters on the second floor?”
“Co-Countess! Wait a minute!”
Madenna took the keys from the director’s hand as she ignored the his calls.
The children murmured, in a daze on what was going on.
“Farren is not in our room, right?” said one of the children.
“He must be locked up in the reflection room right now.”
Suddenly, Madenna could hear the sound of footsteps and as it grew closer, a voice yelled out from behind.
She turned her head and saw Suzanne trying to catch up to her.1
“If you’re talking about Farren, I know where he is. I can show you the way,” she said, panting.
‘…Look at her.’
Madenna remembered what Suzanne said earlier. She claimed that Farren was bullying her, so she didn’t want to be in the same room with him.
But now, she wanted to help Madenna look for Farren. She contradicted her previous words in a flash, to gain my favor.
‘She must have thought that I’m interested in Farren, so she’s afraid of losing her place.’
She felt a chill down her spine.
Even if she hadn’t returned to the past, she would have known the heroine’s true nature if only she had observed her more carefully.
“I see, will you show me around then?” she answered firmly, her cold countenance still sat on her face. Showing no sign of kindness nor delight at Suzanne’s action.
“‘Yes! Please come this way,” Suzanne replied as she gave a lovely smile.
It was time to meet Farren, the true villain of the novel.