Several days after the duel.
Riru had been driven out of her house.
Her evil deeds had been thoroughly exposed, and her disgraceful behavior that was witnessed during the duel, had not been received well by her parents. She was banished from the mansion and given only a little money and a squalid downtown apartment to live in.
In fact, she was disinherited. Her father had even told her that she was to never speak their family name ever again.
And in one room of that downtown apartment sat Riru, burning with a passion for revenge.
“How dare, how dare, how dare…! Who does she think I am? I’m the daughter of a marquis. Our family has a history spanning three hundred years! And I was cast out over the slightest mishap… It was she who instigated it. This is unthinkable!”
She muttered her various hate-filled complaints. The flames in Riru’s vengeful heart were growing.
Riru’s hostility was not targeted at her former betrothed, nor her parents who had removed her. It was all focused on Laila.
She was nothing but a common woman who had entered the academy for no reason other than being brilliant. She had been given the title of Baron for a single generation just for beating the labyrinth. Riru had only wanted to teach her a lesson.
But that woman just had to rebel.
She returned insults with verbal abuse, pranks with her fists, authority with physical strength. That was so completely inappropriate in the world of nobles. It was terrible.
This way of living. Destroying your enemies. She had the overwhelming power to do so. Laila had been almost glowing when she boldly stood against her. Riru had to save face by opposing her in turn, and she had been utterly defeated.
The result was her own ruin.
Everyone around her had forsaken her, and she was driven out of the Archive house. The only thing she had a right to was this apartment. It was incredibly small compared to the vast fortune of House Archive.
Still, Riru would still be capable of living a humble life here for the rest of her days if she so wished. The master of House Archive was not a demon. As foolish and disappointing as his child may have been, he would not have his own daughter live on the streets.
However, if Riru was the type of person to be satisfied by such a life, she would not have acted in a way to put everything at stake in the first place.
“Is this some sort of joke! As if someone like me could live among commoners!”
She was a proud and noble lady. Riru used what remained of her self-esteem to rouse herself. Her self-consciousness and self-esteem were combined in a complex web. And she did not know how to unravel it. For better or worse, Riru could do nothing but run straight ahead.
“There is absolutely no possibility that I can stay here like this. But, what can I…”
She continued to grumble irritably as she thought.
She could not depend on her family. Why, they were the reason she had fallen so low. Of course, she could not depend on them.
But it would be hard for her to rise up again on her own. As far as making money, there was no one among her acquaintances who worked in the trade business. She didn’t have the brain to research or invent things either. Even if she had wanted to become a civil servant, no office would be open to her as one who was expelled from the Academy.
“Then the only path left is, combat…”
There were several ways to rise again. But doing it with valor sounded the most appealing to her. In spite of the hardships, you would often be declared a hero for it. At a glance, it looked quite glamorous.
The Royal Academy was an educational facility meant to raise the country’s finest. And combat training was one of the mandatory arts. She had been defeated so pitifully by Laila, but part of that was because of her opponent. It was not as if Riru had no ability in terms of combat.
And so it was, that Riru’s excessive pride pointed her down to this one path.
“It would not be very realistic for a woman like me to enter the army as a knight. Therefore, I must join the Adventurer’s Guild… That is the only way.”
There were four entrances into the labyrinth on the east, west, south and north sides of the royal capital. The south and north were managed by the state, but the other two were freely accessible.
Adventuring was a profession that involved exploring the vast depths of the underground labyrinth while killing monsters and gathering resources. A person who has proved to be especially brave will sometimes be presented with the status of a noble.
Just like that Laila Toha.
“I do not like that it is the same method as Laila…”
She muttered this much, but then stopped and reconsidered it.
This was exactly the way to get revenge on the woman who had insulted and looked down on her. She used her hatred as motivation and raised her morale. This was how Riru could pretend to forget what she had subconsciously admitted to herself during the duel.
There was no realism in her thought process. It was just an armchair theory that was close to fantasy. But she had fooled herself into thinking it was possible.
She needed to be thinking about something, she needed to be clutching for something. Otherwise, the thing that she had realized would swallow her up. She was afraid of that.
And in any case, things would move much faster if she could make a decision.