The Minor Villainess Hopes for Revenge

TMVHR | Episode 25

Episode 25

As soon as I heard his question, a sense of déjà vu washed over me.

‘He asked a similar question when we first met at the banquet.’



‘…You intend to leave?’

‘Yes. Like a woman who never existed. I promise.’

‘Why would you go to such lengths? You belong to Reinhardt.’



Yes. We definitely had that conversation.

And then again later.



‘Why did you go to such lengths? You could have just hinted to me…’



Hearing his question now brought back memories of those moments when he repeatedly doubted me.

‘He still doesn’t trust me.’

It was understandable, yet it pricked at my heart.



Neither of us spoke, leading to a heavy silence. Poor Marie fidgeted nervously, glancing between us. She kept wringing her hands.

I absentmindedly patted Marie’s shoulder once more.

“Really, don’t worry.”


Marie’s anxious demeanor mirrored Chris’s lingering distrust. It left a bitter taste in my mouth.

‘Why go to such lengths?’

I had only spoken the truth.

‘Because I don’t want to cause you any harm.’

To Chris, who still didn’t fully trust me, it must have seemed like I had some ulterior motive. I took a deep breath and continued.

“Why, you ask? Because I care for you, and I love—”

“Caring for and… doing that, and putting yourself in danger are two different things.”

Chris interrupted, deliberately omitting the word “love.” It seemed he didn’t want to acknowledge it.

His eyes felt overwhelmingly heavy. I found myself staring deeply into them.

Though it was just a brief moment, it felt like an eternity, as if my entire past lives flashed before me.

“…I see.”

Chris frowned slightly, seemingly dissatisfied with my response.

“Is that all you have to say?”


Marie was still watching us anxiously from behind. I felt a sigh catch in my throat.

“By the way, about the gift you sent…”


“To be honest, it made me very happy. It was the first gift I’ve ever received.”

Chris looked momentarily surprised, but his usual expressionless face quickly returned. After a brief pause, I continued.

“Sending such a gift implies that you intend to ally with me and that you care for me, even if only as an informant.”


“Yes. I apologize for not being more cautious as an informant.”

His eyes darkened as he looked at me.

“And I appreciate you coming here despite the Queen Dowager’s pressure. If you had decided to refuse, you wouldn’t have stepped foot in the Duke’s household.”

I tried not to blink, holding his gaze firmly.

“Seeing any potential in me is enough.”

“Lady, I…”

“It’s okay if you don’t like me. It’s okay if you don’t believe that I care for the Grand Duke.”

With each word, my breath grew shorter. Yet, I had to reassure Chris that what he feared wouldn’t happen, that he could be at ease.

“I never expected any of that.”

Though I believed what I said, the words stung as they left my lips. It felt like being pricked by something sharp.

I instinctively lowered my head. I didn’t want to see his face.

He would surely look relieved, as if he had always expected this outcome. As if it were the natural thing.

‘Of course, he would. I am, after all, the villainess.’

It was strange. In front of others, I felt pride in being seen as the villainess. But in front of this man, I couldn’t feel that way at all.

All I could see was the fact that I was trying to use my genuine feelings for him to bring down the Duke’s household.

…Despite that, had I hoped for some friendship or affection from him?

I was trying to use him, claiming sincerity but never truly revealing my heart.

‘Mindia, what’s wrong with you?’

I sneered at myself.

‘Get it together. Don’t be stupid.’

I reminded myself of the promise I made to him. The promise to leave. That, too, was sincere.

Eventually, I would have to sort everything out and flee to another country. My affection and loyalty to him weren’t lies, but they had to remain within the bounds of mutual use.

‘Besides, honestly… Chris has been more than kind enough.’

Just thinking about the lemon, the herbs, and the citrine necklace he sent me made that clear. Considering I was from a family that was practically his enemy, these were exceptionally considerate gifts.

I steadied my wavering heart and spoke.

“Even so, I hope you trust the information I give you. If you find it unnecessary, you can discard it.”


“Even if you do, I won’t hold any grudge against you.”

My lips felt dry.

“And… who knows? The information I give you might actually be useful.”

I was emphasizing that listening wouldn’t hurt him.

When I looked up, Chris was gazing down at me with a peculiar expression, seemingly angry.

“…Your Grace?”

“Do as you wish.”


“I have already made my intentions clear. Since the moment I gave you my brooch.”

Chris spoke calmly, yet there was an air of hurt in his demeanor.


I couldn’t pinpoint what had upset him. Internally sighing, I spoke.

Anyway, since we met and Chris had agreed, I had to say what I needed to. I hadn’t forgotten my intention to give him a gift.

“Thank you. I’ve gathered some information myself.”


“Let’s start with Oracle.”

“You mean the information guild in the capital?”

Chris seemed to be aware of them. I nodded.

“I found out that there is some sort of deal between the Duke’s house and Oracle. I haven’t figured out the exact details yet.”

“I heard rumors that… Oracle uses codes.”

“Correct. I know someone who can decipher them. The Duke’s mistress.”

“The Duke has a mistress?”

“Yes. Lady Ellie, the governess. I confirmed it with her myself.”

Gasp. I heard Marie momentarily cover her mouth. I whispered cautiously.

“It’s best to hold on to this scandal without exposing it. It won’t damage the Duke much unless the Duchess were still alive to attack his morality. But since she’s passed, no one will care.”

“I agree.”

Chris nodded. I turned to Marie and continued.

“I’ll relay the decoded information through Marie.”


“Marie, you know where I hide things, right?”

“You mean where you hid the necklace and herbs His Grace gave you?”

Marie’s voice trembled slightly at the mention of the necklace. Chris flinched. I hastily added a clarification, driven by instinct.

“I didn’t wear it today because I didn’t want it to get damaged.”


I had meant to respond less honestly than that.

Both Marie and Chris froze. I saw something flicker in Chris’s eyes, perhaps surprise or confusion. I felt a bit embarrassed.

“I’ll wear it next time. Actually, let’s use it as a signal.”

“What kind of signal?”

“I’ll wear the necklace to social events when there’s something to convey. If not, you don’t have to speak to me.”

I calmly explained.

“I will always approach you in the same manner.”

“It sounds like you’re warning me that you will keep telling me you love me.”

Chris’s voice sounded odd.

‘Could it be that he’s uncomfortable?’

I quickly added.

“I told you. You don’t have to pretend to like me.”


“It’s enough if people think I’m infatuated with you. Use that image of me to your advantage.”

“Use it?”

“It’s more convenient for both of us that way.”

Chris’s eyes darkened again, making it hard to gauge his thoughts.

“I think I’ve said everything I needed to for today.”

I didn’t want to take more of his time, so I tried to wrap things up.

“Marie, please escort His Grace to the garden… to the Duke.”

“Yes, miss.”

“And you?”

He asked, tilting his head.

‘Ah, he’s asking where I’m going.’

“I’ll go separately. You probably need some time to gather your thoughts.”

With that, Chris turned away. He paused as if to say something but then left with Marie at a brisk pace. His hurried steps seemed particularly noticeable.

The way he repeatedly showed discomfort was also concerning.

‘Did he really dislike being with me that much?’

Of course, he would. After all, I was an adopted daughter of an enemy family, forced into a situation he didn’t want.

‘Just being associated with me must be extremely stressful for him.’

I understood Chris’s perspective, but understanding it didn’t stop the dull ache in my heart.

‘Don’t be foolish.’

As I sighed and turned my head, a voice startled me.

“This is quite entertaining.”

I froze.

The Crown Prince stood not far away, observing us.



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