Chapter 3 How to Steal a Protagonist’s Woman

December 9, 2023 • 11 min read • 340 views

[NTL Corporation]

To commemorate the company’s name change, Armonia created a title for me.

COO of NTL Corporation.

Our company now has two employees.

As soon as I entered my office, I couldn’t help but exclaim in awe.

The office was brilliantly arranged with a fancy desk, a sofa for guests, a table, and a bookcase.

Plus, there was even a fancy bed.

“Huh? Is this my room? Am I supposed to sleep here?”

“No, Mr. Suho. Your personal room is prepared separately. This is just to ensure maximum comfort for rest while working. By the way, if you open the door next to it, you’ll find the bathroom.”

“Wow… The bathroom is as big as the office…”

As I sat on the COO’s chair, Armonia stood beside me and began to explain.

Though Armonia is the CEO, her expression didn’t change, and she acted like a secretary.

“Sorry to start right away, but I’ll explain the request.”

“Well, they say to strike while the iron is hot.”

“I’ll explain how we’ll proceed with the request.”

A large screen appeared in front of my desk, just like in Armonia’s office.

“First, we’ll designate the location to go based on the data provided by the client. Then, we’ll use Enel to blend you into that era and background, inserting your information into a fabricated identity.”

“Huh? You mean, like brainwashing?”

“It’s similar. But remember, the closer you need to be to the protagonist, the more Enel is required.”

“…Okay.”

Armonia continued the explanation.

“Then, we’ll transport you to that location. You’ll communicate with me and use Enel to win the heart of the protagonist’s woman.”

“So, can I depart right now?”

“Yes, but there’s one thing to keep in mind.”

“Sure, tell me.”

“We only have 2000 Enel at our disposal. And even that’s an advance payment. The first mission is expected to be tough.”

Armonia’s expression didn’t change at all, but she exuded a feeling of apology.

“Well, I knew it’d be tough from the start. Let’s go~”

“I’ll prepare in the office and head to the warp room.”

“Sorry to keep you waiting.”

“…Wow.”

In front of me was Armonia, now dressed in a captain’s uniform.

A white base with black patterns, a captain’s hat, and a uniform.

She looked like a completely different person.

I’ll definitely make her wear this.

With a new goal in mind, I energetically entered the warp chamber.

Inside the cylinder, blue lights glowed.

[We’ll start the briefing now.]

Wow, anyone would think I’m a hero heading out to save the world.

NTL-Prototype activation check complete!

[Your destination is Krel Village on the Ilunia continent, with an estimated population of about 1000.]

[Your identity is a merchant who crossed the desert.]

[Krel Village, where the protagonist was born, is currently thriving, thanks to the support of the lord, almost comparable to the nobility.]

[However, according to information from the demon king’s side, the hero has no lover, yet he visits Krel Village every month or two, despite it being a three-week ride away.]

[The last piece of information was a tip that there’s a lover in Krel Village. However, its reliability is questionable.]

[The main goal of this mission is to sway the heart of the protagonist’s lover, shaking his resolve and weakening the forces against the demon king.]

[Fortunately, this request doesn’t require identity forgery, so the initial cost is only 800 Enel for transportation.]

[If new information comes in, I’ll notify you immediately.]

[If you want to talk to me, just speak into the air or, if someone’s around, think it and I’ll hear it.]

“Ah, so you’re watching everything like in The Truman Show? That’s kind of exciting.”

[Don’t worry, your private thoughts that you don’t want to share with me won’t be transmitted.]

“Oh, handy telepathy.”

[This mission is our last chance for …N…TL Corporation. I wish you the best of luck.]

I smiled at Armonia.

It felt good to think that I had swayed Armonia, the woman of steel, just a little bit.

NTL Corporation, indeed a well-chosen name.

Armonia finished the briefing and skillfully started operating the machinery, which would normally require several people.

There were hundreds of buttons, and she was pushing, turning, and typing everything just right, doing things that even her ninja alter ego couldn’t do.

She’s just amazing…

And the warp was up and running.

A bunch of chicks putting on a live show for me to watch.

I was more excited about where I’d end up than the warp experience itself.

In the outskirts of the village? Or right in the center? Hehe, it’d be hilarious if it’s a women’s bath.

I’m not interested in real women, but I like situations in adult games.

Pop!

“Ugh!”

As the sudden light struck, I shielded my eyes with my arm.

Intense heat and shimmering mirages.

Yes, this is…

A desert.

I was dressed as an Arab.

But that was the least of my concerns.

Within 10 seconds of arriving, I felt my face burning.

I communicated with Armonia.

“Uh… Miss Armonia? My face is burning.”

[Sorry, there seems to have been a mistake. That place should have been a forest near the village…]

20 seconds in, and it felt like I was about to transform into Ghost Rider.

Eek~ Huaaak~ Hikihak~

Right now, at this moment, I had zero calmness.

“…Shit, am I actually going to die here?”

This isn’t a joke; I might really die.

Poof.

“Eh?”

Suddenly, a parasol and a water bottle appeared.

[I’ve used 1 Enel to create some water and a light parasol for you.]

“Wow… I’m saved.”

Enel-sama, I will not forget the taste of the water you gave me.

Gulp, gulp.

“Phew…”

Although my lungs felt scorchingly hot, the cold water seemed to bring me back to life.

Damn, even in the military, I didn’t crave water this badly until after a day or so.

[I’m sorry. It’s my fault. A mistake on my part.]

“Phew… Anyway, the information was from the client, right?”

[Yes.]

“Then it’s fine. Let’s focus on resolving this situation. We didn’t land on a different continent, did we?”

Then we’re really fucked.

[Nope. As far as I can tell, that place used to be a forest near the village, but it seems to have undergone desertification. The village seems to have moved because of that.]

“I guess living on top of a desert wouldn’t work, so do you have any idea which way to go?”
[Head east for now. I’ll gather more information as quickly as possible.]

“Okay~ I don’t want to die either, so let’s move.”

[…I’m so sorry.]

I cut off Armonia.

“Don’t apologize.”

[…Yes?]

“We’ve already started this, and it’s fine as long as you don’t make the same mistake next time.”

[Yes, I understand. …Thank you.]

“Yeah, that’s alright.”

Hehehe. It’ll be fun to tease her about this during sex later.

With such trashy thoughts, my steps felt lighter.

Two days had passed.

Just walking for 30 minutes was as torturous as a 40-kilometer military march.

And I endured that for two days.

Finally, I reached the forest.

“…I’m dying.”

Not joking, I felt like I was really going to die, so I just collapsed into the shade.

[Mr. Suho! Someone is coming. You need to wake up!]

“…I don’t care. It’ll work out somehow.”

If it’s just a person coming, why bother?

I have nothing to steal.

[Suho…ni….]

My vision started to blur.

And then a woman appeared before me.

“Are… you… okay?”

I couldn’t hear her voice, but there was a woman who resembled my first love.

Did she come to meet me because I’m dying?

The woman, who resembled my first love, was there, though I couldn’t hear her voice.

Did she come to meet me because I’m dying?

Without realizing it, I took her hand.

“Philia…”

And then I lost consciousness.

[Suho…ni…]

I’m so sleepy…

[Suho-nim!!]

“Wow, what the fuck.”

Startled, I sat up and quickly looked around.

“What the hell, where am I?”

[I was really worried when you didn’t wake up.]

“Armonia? Where am I? I remember crossing a desert to reach a forest.”

[As soon as you entered the forest, you passed out. Fortunately, a villager found and rescued you.]

“It’s a good thing it wasn’t a monster.”

In a world with heroes and demon kings, monsters would be expected.

For a moment, I imagined being assaulted by a female orc.

“…I must be out of my mind.”

[Sorry?]

“Never mind, so this is Krel?”

[Yes, you’re in Krel. But you need to be careful.]

“Why?”

[You are in the chief’s house, and he groped you all over.]

“…”

Damn, did I get assaulted by the village chief?

[It seems like it was done with financial intentions.]

“Phew…”

I sighed in relief.

I was worried my life’s genre would suddenly include interspecies or gay content.

“Armonia, give me a brief on the situation.”

“Okay.”

She accurately explained what I already knew and informed me of the new developments.

[A representative from Zodiac has sent an additional 2000 Enel as an apology.]

“Enel… Good. That thing is really amazing.”

I had truly experienced the greatness of Enel while crossing the desert.

When needed, it provided cold water, a tent, and even food.

I used 10 Enel to cross the desert.

Without Enel, I would have been burning and cheering for the sun.

She also explained why we landed in the desert.

The map the demon army had of this area was decades old.

Over time, the place had become a desert, and the village had relocated.

Especially since the demon army is busy fighting the resistance, they had no time to check remote villages.

Thud, thud, thud.

[Someone is coming.]

Someone entered without knocking

And his appearance screamed ‘village chief’.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, but where is this?”

I already knew, but I asked out of courtesy and engaged in conversation.

This is Krel, we saved you, be grateful, and so on.

And then an unexpected statement.

“Now that you’re awake, leave the village.”

“What?”

“Are you deaf? Tsk tsk, can’t understand human speech.”

I was treated like an idiot for just asking.

Anger boiled up in my chest.

‘This old man wants to die…’

[Please calm down. It’s no use confronting the chief.]

‘I know…’

First, I need to find out more about this old man.

‘Armonia, tell me about this old guy.’

[Okay, I will.]

Reading my thoughts, Armonia showed me the village chief’s status window.
=======
Name: Hern

Occupation: Chief of Krel Village

-Temperament-

[Greed for Money], [Bully the Weak], [Kleptomania],…

Really, the village chief with [Kleptomania]?

But the important part wasn’t that.

[Greed for Money].

‘Armonia, what’s a valuable gemstone on this continent?’

[There’s something called a Crystal Pearl. It’s a rare gem found only in the sea, and it’s even harder to find here since this is an inland area.]

‘How much Enel would it take to create that?’

[983 Enel.]

Damn, that’s expensive…

‘What about a fake one?’

[A counterfeit would cost 12 Enel.]

‘Create one of those for me.’

Poof.

Suddenly, a fist-sized Crystal Pearl popped out of my hand, startling the chief.
“Eek, that scared me. What’s this!”

“Do you know what a Crystal Pearl is?”

“Of, of course I do.”

“I’ll give this to you. Please let me stay here for a while. I’ll give you another one when I leave.”

I handed the fake pearl to the chief with an indifferent expression.

He must be wondering where I got it from.

Especially since he found not a penny on me when he searched earlier.

“But, how did you produce this just now?”

“It’s like a magic storage spell. I can’t tell you more than that.”

“Er, um, alright. You must have had a hard journey crossing the desert. You can stay here for a while.”

“Uh, excuse me.”

Ignoring my words, the chief hurriedly left the room.

“…Damn, I’m hungry. Wish they’d give me some food.”

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