Chapter 23 – Katrina’s hubris
I was feeling really annoyed.
I went through the trouble of killing that incompetent, Nicola, and bound a contract with Riley who was supposed to be talented, but he turned out to be incompetent too.
He can hardly use an Ability, and he doesn’t even come close to granting that Ability with an attribute.
I was beginning to think that he never had an attribute in the first place.
And yet, he orders me about haughtily, and forces me to do it all myself.
When I fail to do so, he berates me with insults.
He’s of absolutely no use.
What did I even seduce him for Despite all that, he’s still better than Nicola.
That one couldn’t even get out of bed on his own.
I recalled how humiliating it was to be bound to him.
Even now, I can’t understand why I had to bind a contract with a leper like him.
Similar to how humans find beauty and riches desirable, Servants desire a master who has strength and a talent for combat.
By that analogy, Nicola would be an ugly repulsive beggar.
A trash with no future.
A man who couldn’t even stand straight without my help.
By the same analogy, Riley seemed incredibly handsome while we were having an affair, but lost his shine rapidly as we began to date.
In that vein, I am the heroine of a tragedy.
I was forced to marry a repulsively ugly man like Nicola.
A poor woman who was destined to spend all her life in obscurity in the remote household of a countryside noble like Count Leslie, married to an ugly beast.
Like brave knights, Riley and Count Leslie helped me escape that dark future.
However, I wasn’t satisfied with Nicola getting off with a slap on the wrist.
I mean, obviously right That cockroach wouldn’t disappear with just an annulment and disinheritance.
He would have been behind me begging, “Oh Katrina! Please! I can’t live without you.
I beg you, please stay by my side.” That parasite wouldn’t be able to survive without me after all.
I felt nauseated just imagining him begging me to be with him.
That’s why I made sure he would disappear forever.
After all, to save the heroine, the beast must be slain.
After letting the river wash him away, I felt like I’d achieved my own ‘happily ever after’, but this is what I got in return.
Once again Riley took me to the training grounds to practice his Ability casting.
“Shit! Shit! Bloody water! Come out already!” I felt fed up with his ever present anger.
I am frustrated too! For once, I wish he would put himself in my shoes.
Riley only cares about himself. Deplorable. I won’t claim to be perfect, but I am a decent Servant when it comes to combat.
I can’t show my true worth because I’m being used by incompetents like Nicola and Riley.
Yes, they are the ones holding me back.
It was when we finally gave up on training for the day and were returning to the mansion, that we spotted Count Leslie alighting from his carriage.
“How did your training go”, he asked kindly.
Fearing some imagined danger in the count’s gentle tone, Riley shook his head with his eyes lowered.
It’ll all be fine from now”, said the count, and herded us to his study.
He asked an employee to display the contents of the box he was carrying.
There was a short sword inside it.
“This is….”, began Riley “Yes, it’s a new Servant.
A man was selling it in town.
Apparently she was abused pretty badly by her previous owner.
That man was apprehended for a crime and his contract with this Servant was broken.
The man selling it seemed dubious, but as they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.” The count then pressed the box into Riley’s arms.
“It’s for me then”, asked Riley, disbelieving.
“What’s the meaning of this Riley already has me.”, I protested, but the count simply looked at me and sighed.
“Katrina, you should practice casting your Ability more.
You’ll only be an impediment to Riley as you are now.
At the moment, we need a Servant who can use their Abilities well to help us regain our prestige among the nobles.”, said the count.
“That’s like saying….”, I started, but “Katrina, be silent”, Riley, that brat, shut me up.
Both the father and son seem to love shutting people up.
“I agree with you father.
Thank you for always thinking about me.”, said Riley.
“It’s only natural.”, replied the count, mussing up Riley’s hair.
I felt nauseated watching them suddenly act like a picturesque family.
“Well then, try forming a contract with her.
She’s called Zoe.”, urged the count.
Riley nodded and formed a new contract1.
Then, the short sword floated up and transformed into the shape of a person.
It was a very well-endowed woman, with drooping eyes that made her seem reserved.
Curly chestnut hair framed her face.
“I’ll be in your care from now on, Riley.”, said Zoe bowing.
Riley nodded back blushing. Disgusting.
This is the worst. But the really horrid thing happened after that moment.
Riley took Zoe to the training grounds without wasting any time.
He seemed to be a bundle of nerves with me and the count watching intently.
His legs were trembling in fear.
Suddenly Zoe hugged Riley from behind.
It’ll be fine.
I won’t get angry even if we fail.
Let’s take it one step at a time.”, she whispered.
Riley was dumbfounded by the unexpected hug, but managed a small affirming nod.
He wore a calm refreshed expression which he hadn’t shown recently. How annoying.
Zoe transformed back into a short sword.
Riley took a deep breath and set himself at ready.
“Water Blades!!”, shouted Riley as he swung down, but no water came out.
However, a Flying-Slash did shoot forward.
It’s no good.”, said Riley, dejected.
“Amazing!! A Flying-Slash shot out right” Zoe took her human form again and exclaimed while grasping Riley’s hands.
“Yes, but….”, began Riley.
“No, Zoe’s right.”, interjected the count.
“You weren’t able to even fire a regular Flying-Slash until now.
This is definitely a step in the right direction.”
“If you take it step-by-step form here, you’ll definitely be able to shoot Water Blades soon.”, piled on Zoe.
Riley stared at his father and Zoe in turn and nodded deeply with tears rolling down his cheeks.
Don’t you feel like its moronic Why the hell is he crying In the first place, why wouldn’t he properly use his Ability with me but does so with this woman It pisses me off.
He’s making a fool out of me!
“Riley! Why didn’t you do it properly with me!”, I demanded drawing close to him but was blocked by Zoe.
“Get out of my way!”, I shouted.
“Katrina, was it Try showing us your Ability.”, said Zoe coolly.
I glared at Riley and said, “Riley, hurry it up!”
“Riley has nothing to do with this.
You will use your Ability on your own.
Well” Saying that Zoe swung her arm to the side and the same Flying-Slash that Riley used before, shot out from it.
I was rooted in spot at that sight.
“Hmmm You can’t even do that”, taunted Zoe, smirking.
Indignant, I raised my arm in the same manner but dropped it soon after.
It would be humiliating if they found out that I really couldn’t do it.
“I’m just not feeling very….”, I tried but, “You can’t even do something so simple, my lady You in*********.” Incompetent. That word reverberated inside my head.
“What did you just call me”, I said dangerously.
“I called you incompetent.
I mean, what else can I say Any Servant would be able to do at least this much. My lady seems to be incapable of it though.”, she jeered.
Count Leslie, Riley, the servants.
Everyone was watching.
This bitch insulted me in front of all of them.
“Like I said! I am just in bad shape right now!”
“So what You should still be able to do this much even if your condition is bad.
Watch.” Zoe casually swung her arm several times firing Flying-Slashes each time.
“You can’t do it Then you’re just a sword without an edge.
Exactly what can you do”, she taunted.
I turned to Riley and Count Leslie in turn for help.
But they just glared back at me. Help me! Riley! You’re supposed to be my contract holder right! I bit my lip and said, “I was contracted with an incompetent called Nicola, and because of him I was never able to practice using my Ability before.”
Make sure you’re able to do it within a week.
We don’t need a hindrance after all.” She then turned to Riley and said gaily, “Let’s work hard together from now on.”
“Yeah”, nodded Riley, smiling.
Zoe then took Riley’s arm and headed back to the mansion.
The count and his servants went with them too.
It was like I didn’t matter at all.
Fury seethed within me. Why didn’t Riley help me Aren’t I supposed to be your precious Servant Why must I take orders from that woman And I am a hindrance! I am far superior to that woman.
I’ve just had terrible luck when it came to my contract holders.
Yes, that’s all it is.
One week later, news arrived to the Leslie household.
Apparently, the forest between the Larva and Voldory territories is in disorder, and cannot be crossed easily.
We heard that there was a huge noise five days ago which caused a disturbance in the forest.
While things seemed fine for a few days, gradually monsters have begun to run wild, abandoning their habitats.
Hearing the news, the count turned to Riley and ordered, “Riley, this is a good opportunity.
You need to demonstrate your strength to the other families using this.
We will also be able to gain a debt of gratitude from the families that are affected.
Do you understand”
Riley met his father’s gaze and nodded sharply.
Looks like his confidence has returned after training with Zoe this past week.
Zoe looked at me and said, “Try not to drag us down.” This bitch! Who does she think she is Obviously I won’t.
Then, the three of us got on a carriage and set off towards the forest.
None of us ever imagined that we would meet Nicola there.
I hoped that the author would explain the contract procedure here.
PS: This turned out to be a much longer break than I intended.
But I am finally back in a routine now, and will upload chapters on alternate days.