Ursch-kun rested his chin on his hand and silently considered my story before looking at me.
"What do you want to do about the kidnapping, Isabella?"
"Hm~. Honestly, I want nothing to do with the Colour Collector. Even with maxed stats, I was barely able to beat him together with the 6 high-spec love interests. Seeing as I'm terrible at real combat, I don't think I would be able to win as I am now."
"Ehh~ The kidnapper is that strong? ....So he's stronger than even Isabella, huh~ Is he even human?"
"Who knows? There wasn't much said about his race. In any case, it would be terrible if he started targeting you or Allis-chan if we provoked him too badly. But when I think about the captured people or Gijs being constantly targeted... I don't think I can feign ignorance about it. I want to do something about it."
But it would be difficult to get help from others to capture a kidnapper whose whereabouts and even existence is unknown.
"You say you want to do something, but you don't think you can beat him right? It's dangerous, Isabella."
"Yes. In the game, both my HP and MP were capped at 999... but the Colours Collector was not only fast, the hit detection was also pretty strict."
"What's a hit detection?"
"A setting that determines if your attack lands or not. Kind of like a hit rate?"
"The attack and defense powers befitting of a last boss, combined with a shooting game from hell. It was that kind of demonic game."
"And although your hits would completely miss, his attacks took up the entire screen and would hit you. Enough to make you go 'Is he using cheats?!' "
Was he really human?
Maybe it just wasn't mentioned in-game but he really was a non-human as Ursch-kun suspected?
Ursch-kun and I thought hard side by side.
"...Huh? Together with the 6 love interests? Weren't there only 3 of them?"
Ursch-kun suddenly lifted his head and spoke up.
Come to think of it, I may have only explained about the Ver 1 Love Interests to Ursch-kun, the ones relating to me.
"Well~ Ver 2 and Ver 3 adds three new Love Interests each. They have no points of contact or relation to me, so I omitted them."
Once you've cleared enough events for each Love Interest, you can proceed to the next Ver. But since the number of Love Interests would increase again, it's really difficult to do the reverse harem route.
When I heard that clearing the 9 Love Interests unlocks a hidden character, I thought: 'Could the hidden character be Ursch-kun? I might finally be able to romance Ursch-kun!!' And so I did my best for the reverse harem route, unlocked the hidden character, then despaired that it wasn't Ursch-kun.
While romancing the three main Love Interests, three more were added each time I moved up a grade, and I had to deal with their respective villainess as well as enemies like the Colours Collector, so it really took a long time.
Even if the heroine was a reincarnator like me, it would be impossible to aim for the reverse harem route like in the game.
That was strictly possible because it was a game. In reality, there just wouldn't be enough time.
"And that's how it is. There's a total of 10 Love Interests in the game."
"Hm~ Well, having a relationship with ten people in the same academy isn't realistic anyways~ As I thought, do we really have to be that afraid of the game scenarios? I just can't think the game settings would that deeply affect the real world."
"Hm~ I guess you're right, I'm getting less worried about it. Of the ten Love Interests, some aren't from the academy, but I won't have any chances to meet them since I'm not the heroine. But we also need them to fight the Colours Collector, what now?"
As a villainess with no relation to them whatsoever, I have no idea how to get the Love Interests involved in the battle with the Colours Collector.
"About how old are the Love Interests right now?"
How old are they?
The ones in the academy are around our age, while the ones outside are...
"The oldest should currently be somewhere over 200-years-old."
"...Definitely not a human, I see."
Well, that was the hidden character though.
The other Love Interests from outside the academy should currently be around 10-years-old? No, was there someone in their twenties?
Honestly, I didn't care about anyone other than Ursch-kun so I can barely remember.
"Would that person over 200-years-old be willing to fight the Colours Collector?"
"Not at all. That Love Interest wasn't a member of the Colours Collector extermination party."
In fact, you could only meet during the second playthrough, and if he put his mind into it, he could defeat the Colours Colector all by himself. He was too overpowered to be included in the game.
Huh? Is he perhaps much stronger than me, the King of Kong?
"Then, we can’t do the same as the game and defeat the Colours Collector with the Love Interests. Shall we gather other members?"
Ursch-kun took out a memo pad and a pen, placing them on the table.
"Huh? Ursch-kun, you'll help get rid of the Colours Collector?"
Ursch-kun, who generally doesn't care about those he was uninterested in, was actually planning a strategy to defeat the Colors Collector.
Just what made Ursch-kun interested?
"It's because you care about it, Isabella. Just like the time with that maid and the time you brought the Second Prince, when you're worried about someone, you start wanting to do something for them, right? Even if I stopped you because it's dangerous, I bet you wouldn't stop worrying."
I see. So it's for my sake since I can't stay still after worrying.
It seems I've caused you a lot of trouble in this short period. Sorry Ursch-kun.
"But the Colours Collector really is strong and dangerous so I can't involve you in this, Ursch-kun. Honestly, everything until now has been for my self-satisfaction. If it would bring danger to you, I can consider feigning ignorance and letting the matter go, you know?"
It's not like I was a saint who loved all and protected all, so if it came to it, I was willing to sacrifice Gijs too.
I may regret it for the rest of my life, but nothing was more important than Ursch-kun's safety.
"But if you did that, you would stress and feel guilty over it right? You see Isabella, I fell in love with your happy smile. I like it when you can run freely without worrying. So if you worry yourself sick over someone else, felt guilty to the point you no longer smile with all your heart, I'd hate that."
Ursch-kun said with a light smile and ruffled my bangs.
"And so? For that abnormal kidnapper that troubles you... Let's quickly have him exit the stage, shall we?"
Ahh!! So black!! Even though Ursch-kun is smiling my favourite smile, his aura is pitch black!!
I may not have the right to say this since I'm a bad person willing to abandon Gijs and the other captives, but right now Ursch-kun is being much more of a villain than I am!!
As Ursch-kun approached me, I was filled with fear and shyness and shied away.
So you can feel both shy and scared at the same time!! Who knew!!
I'm even starting to feel that as long as Ursch-kun is on our side, we can easily beat the Colours Collector!!
I'm just a little uneasy about the "exit" Ursch-kun mentioned, almost like there's a deeper meaning to it...
"S-...So Ursch-kun, where should we start looking for the people who aren't yet known by the public, but needed to defeat the Colours Collector?"
In the first place, I didn't even know what to look out for in the people.
"You can leave that to me. It's not the number of combat personnel that matters, but the groundwork done beforehand that determines your win or loss before even battling."
Oohh... Ursch-kun is looking more and more reliable.
But I didn't understand what he meant by "determining your win or loss before battling".
While I couldn’t keep up with what he was saying, Ursch-kun wrote down plans and necessary work on his memo.
"The Colours Collector not being known to the public may be the perfect chance for us instead. This means he doesn't know about us, or that we're aware of his existence and goal...... We can move much easier."
Certainly!! If he was known by the public, he would have a much higher guard up, but if he thinks his existence is still unknown, he might let his guard down!!
"First is the location of the captives. Since the military police were involved, it must be somewhere within a 30-kilometre radius of their patrol route, with no buildings or residences nearby; an area with few wild animals, and furthermore a poorly maintained forest or mountain. This should narrow it down quite a lot."
"Hm~ Can I ask why you listed each of those?"
"Sure~ First, you know that the number of military police patrols decreases the further you are from the capital, right? I don't know why Gijs fell unconscious, but if he was underground when he woke up, and if he got protection from the military police, I think he wasn't actually that far from the capital. If he were outside the military police's patrol route, he'd be protected by adventurers instead and escorted straight to the capital after stopping by the Adventurer's Guild. There would have been no time for military police to intervene."
"Then what about the 30-kilometre radius?"
"I just thought, if I didn't know where I was and had to go through the mountains while running away from someone, that would be the rough limit of how far I could travel in a day. He might have been able to travel further than that, but isn't 30 about right for a child of nobility who has never trekked a mountain before? And he was barefooted too, right?"
I see, you were able to extract that much from my story before. Ursch-kun you're AMAZING!!
"Also, since that forest or mountains or whatever was the criminal's base, being able to run and hide from him means there were many places to hide in. Most likely, the land had many ups and downs, with dense greenery that wasn't well maintained. And although he was running barefooted, the smell of blood didn't attract any wild animals. These really narrow down the locations. I can think of about.. three places that could likely be the place of confinement?"
At this point in time, he already narrowed it down to three!! Ursch-kun YOU'RE THE BEST!!
winter: I love y'all