After quarreling with the system for quite some time, I slowly returned to my senses. To sum it up, I would have to live with the role of the Villainess for the time being but I was freer than Sophien was. I could move however I wanted as long as I stayed ‘in character’ and the Game System couldn’t exactly force me to do a certain action. There will be penalties for disregarding its missions but as long as I did not conflict with the Main Quest, I was safe.
The Game System could give me exactly three tasks.
It could issue a Main Quest which I had to follow and which were the most important ones for the game to advance. Consequently the penalties for disregarding or failing a Main Quest were the gravest. It could be another Death Cycle or a real, eternal death by shattering my soul.
Another task the Game System could issue was a mission. And while they were important, if I really did not want to do it, I could give it up. Missions were important for the right development but weren’t absolutely necessary. Penalties could include restrictions or an increase in Hate Points in certain characters which in turn might generate a new Death Flag.
Lastly the Game System could give me a simple task like bringing book A to standpoint B. It would mostly be odd jobs which anyone could solve. There could be a penalty but there doesn’t have to be one.
So after sorting all that information out, I decided to take a break for real. Even though I reacted and talked normally, the sequence of events had shaken me greatly. It felt like I was living through some sort of frame, moving and speaking like intended but somehow still isolated from the world. And I wondered whether every outsider had to go through this bewildering state…
With the goal of slowly fitting into this situation, I hesitantly rang the bell next to my bed and promptly that maid appeared. Again remembering the event of the assassin, she earned quite a few sympathy points from me.
“Tell the cook to boil me some light soup”, ahhh, it felt so awkward to be informal to a person I just met. “Also tell the cook I will only be dining from and with silverware from now on.”
Her eyes seemed to widen considerably but she only bowed and left the room.
I had no knowledge whether silver really changed color when it was in contact with poison but it was a popular trope in novels, mangas and animes so hopefully it would also include this game.
While waiting in my bed, I resumed chatting with the system. It was refreshing to talk after being alone all this time. I was glad I managed to obtain him, err, I meant that I was glad to have obtained an accomplice or something like that. He wasn’t an object, or was he?
I shook my head to chase these thoughts away.
“Right, why am I so calm, system?”
Even though I knew I could just ask the question in my head, somehow, I wanted to voice it out. Maybe it was another side effect of the Death Cycle but this bewildering feeling of being detached from the world was really bothering me. And I had to get used to my new voice anyway so I just did as I pleased.
Hmm, probably a skill, I think. I haven’t checked it yet. Do you want to see your status?
‘Status? Like in a game? I thought this was an Otome Game. Do they have skills?’
At that moment I heard a soft knock on my door. “Young Miss? The soup is ready, shall I serve it in your room?”
“Yes, please do so”, I answered as noble as I could.
Moments later a few servants clothed in maid uniforms entered and placed everything inside. I got to enjoy breakfast in bed, nobles really knew how to live, didn’t they.
“You can leave now.”
“But…”, the maid standing on stand-by hesitantly interjected. She was an ordinary looking girl with long brown hair. She even seemed a little meek but the maid I first saw in this world pressed her head down. “I am sorry for her insolence. She is just a little ignorant, I will discipline her well so please do not feel offended.”
She was stern looking and serious. I wondered if Sophien was this strict in the past or whether it was this maids work ethic. Nevertheless I decided to call them both strict and meek until I learned of their names.
“No need, just leave.”
Slowly I got a feeling for how to act. After the maids left the room, I began eating. Without the system it would have probably been a little lonely, I mean in my former world I could just eat while browsing the phone or watching TV but here…
‘So what was that about Skills?’ I asked inside my head.
I think it would be better to just show you. Say or think ‘Status Window’.
‘Status Window’, I thought while continuing to eat my soup. It tasted a little like chicken and I wondered whether chicken existed in this world.
Name: Sophien Alma Rubien
Level: 10 → 21
Health: 2/8 → 18/21
Mana: 7/7 → 25/25
Stamina 5/5 → 21/21
Attack: 8/8 → 12/12
Defense: 6/6 → 19/19
Speed: 6/6 → 21/21
Mental Health: 1/7 → 13/21
Mental Fortitude: 2/7 → 21/21
Aptitude: Fire, Light, Darkness
Original Skills: Fire Ball Lvl. 3, Fire Wall Lvl. 2,
Barrier Lvl. 1, Mana Breath Lvl. 2
Skills: Calmness Lvl. 6, Poison Resistance Lvl. 5,
Body Enhancement Lvl. 6, Sense Enhancement Lvl. 5,
Awareness Lvl. 6, Enemy Detection Lvl. 2, Evasion Lvl. 2
Special Ability: Save Point System
“Whoa, that’s a lot,” and it somehow reminded me of reading on the phone while eating. Maybe this could be a replacement but I soon lost my sense for humor as I noticed my new name. There wasn’t even a note or anomaly that indicated that I was not the original owner of this body. My original self had been erased just like that. I didn’t even know my former name.
This time I divided your skills and stats from Sophien’s. Next time I will just sum them up.
It took me a while to read and understand my Status Window. Calmness was indeed a skill and I presumed it helped me greatly to adapt; however, this detached feeling was probably not the result of a skill.
‘Hmm. But don’t you think my skills are quite high? Why couldn’t I avoid a Death Flag sooner? And does everyone have a Status Window or is it just because I am an outsider?’, I asked the system and forced myself back to the present.
Everyone can see their own Status Window and it’s because of your body that you couldn’t break free sooner. He answered promptly.
Normally one’s body capabilities cannot exceed one’s own level but Sophien had a frail body, that’s why your skill level went up but your body couldn’t follow it. It’s like seeing the punch but being unable to dodge.
By the way, your body has now the same capabilities as a regular noble, maybe even a little bit better than an ordinary noble.
“Is that so? That’s good. I will need to work out a little so I can outrun any assaulter. But what is Mana Breath? I understand most of the skills based on their name and I assume Mana is the force behind magic, right? So what is Mana Breath? Does it heighten the recovery rate or is it some sort of training to heighten the maximum amount of mana I have?”.
How about speaking after eating?
I tried giving him an annoyed expression but since the system did not have a body, I just stared at the empty air.
Fine. Mana Breath is both so feel free to train it. Also in this world the maximum amount of mana a body can hold is called a mana pool.
Again I started bickering with the system.
After finishing my bowl of soup and some bread, I decided to take a look at this mansion. I didn’t know how long I would be living here but considering this was an Otome Game, I probably wouldn’t be forced to marry, right?
Did I already have a fiance? I was the Villainess, after all… Well, maybe I got lucky and Sophien just loved to interfere…
I sighed as I lamented why Otome Games used this same old trope over and over again. Giving a Capture Target a fiance made it easier to ensure drama. I could understand this part but… one had to be a bit creative, right?
I shook my head. Regardless of whether I had a fiance or not, I would fully enjoy this life. I could not remember specific details from my last life but I was probably around the same age as Sophien. Maybe a bit older, otherwise I should feel estranged from this body because of the large difference. In the end blurry memories were just blurry memories and I would have many more experiences in my head, so this time I resolved myself to live a little longer.
The mansion was huge and made me remember that I would be a noble’s daughter from now on. It was a pity that I just started this game in my former life. Otherwise I could use this information to my advantage, at least as long as I stayed in character.
‘The atmosphere in this mansion is bad.’
It wasn’t obvious but it was also impossible to not notice after spending some time here. I couldn’t find one servant joking with another. They all worked silent with their heads down. Nonetheless I also couldn’t find servants openly gossiping about me so it seemed that I was neither welcomed nor disregarded.
‘It’s a pity.’
Living in such an atmosphere would take a toll on somebody. Was this the reason for her low mental health? Somehow I did not want to accept Sophien’s memories.
But how should I call myself?
The question suddenly popped up in my head together with the desire to differentiate myself from this body. I could not remember my original name but just calling myself Sophien while also talking about Sophien as the original owner of this body was confusing.
‘Hey system, how about calling me a nickname when talking about me?’
Nickname? Like Sophie?
‘Yes, it’s confusing being called Sophien though Sophie was probably already her nickname, right?’
Then how about Sia? A mix between Sophien and Alma, your second name.
‘That sounds nice.’
“What are you doing here?”, an imposing loud voice interrupted our conversation. It came from a stern looking adult with bluish hair. His face was nearly screaming: I don’t like smiling.
‘What shall I do?’
That is Sophien’s father, the Duke.
“I am just taking a walk inside the mansion. Being in my room all day is stiffening”, I improvised. “Am I not allowed to do that?”
The Duke frowned. “That is not what I meant. Didn’t the doctors tell you to rest? So why are you not resting? You are suspended from the academy anyway therefore there is nothing to do for you.”
“I am resting, father. Calming one’s senses by taking a little walk is also a way of resting. I will go back now. Have a good day”.
‘Have a good day, am I insane? What kind of daughter would say that?’, I scolded myself inside my head.
Nevertheless I still turned around. The Duke also didn’t say anything else.
‘They also seem to have an awkward relationship, wasn’t he a little harsh? Hey system, what is going on?’, I asked him.
As I said, I am no omniscient being. I only know parts of the plot, if you want to learn more about the relationship they have, you will have to accept Sophien’s memories.
‘Ugh, let’s play around for a little while longer, shall we?’
Thankfully I seemed to be on leave from school. Considering the recent Death Flag… I may have already caused a considerable mess…
Bewildered, I blinked. Even without her memories I seemed to begin to accept Sophien’s past as my own. It was a terrifying thought. For now I should try to prepare myself and try using my skills consciously, as a precaution.
But in the end, I spent the next few days idling away and sleeping. I was more exhausted than I thought while I simultaneously tried to train Mana Breath. It seemed to suit me because I almost felt no exhaustion and could basically use it the same as regular breathing.
However I also began to feel restless, idling my time away without a phone or the internet wasn’t as satisfying as it should have been, so after these few days I was itching to do something.
“Alright!”, ‘System, I want to accept Sophien’s memories. What do I have to do?’
Proceeding with the third reward.
Warning: Accepting Sophien Alma Rubien’s memories may take a few days. Your body will be preserved in a coma.
Do you wish to proceed? Yes/No
The cold voice of the Game System rang in my head the moment I finished my question. A shudder ran down my spine. While I knew my system was always there, knowing that the Game System was also always keeping taps on me felt waaaay creepier.
I sighed and proceeded to lay down on my fluffy king size bed.