An editor at the prime of her life—and with maybe just a little too much free time—finds herself waking up in one of her favorite RPGs with no clue as to what's going on or how to get back home.
This might be the part where others rejoice over getting whisked away to a world of wizards and magic, but she certainly doesn't think it's anything to celebrate about.
After all, she woke up in the body of a small-time villain with some severe personality issues.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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I can't remember the last time I've seen this trope done well, this one easily blows the rest out of the water! The MC is still impacted by the psychology of the body that now is hers, she struggles against these attributes instead of having them simply waved away. There's weight to the past in this story, even if we are steadily leaving it behind. Fingers crossed that the author maintains the story, it's an easy favorite of mine now. (And maybe work on building a back log to get a patreon going! :D)
The premise is that Amy Bernal, some random editor woman from modern world, gets reincarneted into her 'favourite' video game as the small time villainess Scarlett.
Villainess Scarlett is the house head of the Hartford family, a noble lineage with a baron title. Red haired, intimidating, dignified, callous and overbearing.
The issue however is that the reincarnation loses ALL of Scarlett's memories. She doesn't remember her staffs name. That she has a sister. That she IS the house head! What her connections are. NOTHING!
Basicly she lost all the qualifications to be the house head or any kind of villainess.
Thus she degrades into a wanna-be hero, who charges into her problems head first without any knowlegde, really quickly. She never fought her entire life.
She raids a dungeon she remembers from the game with only one random adventurer from the guild. On first/second day of being reincarnated. She has no skills/protection herself, doesnt know if she can trust said adventurer.
Next she raids a bandit nest with a dozen bandits with only one adventurer. And she has basicly no skills/protection herself. On her 3rd day of being reincarnated...
The world feels like it's static and full off NPC's.
So while raiding the bandit nest/slave traders, in the middle of night in the middle of the city, she arranges half a dozen carriages to be driven next to it. Noone asks questions? No guards asks why she transports 30 kids in rags through the city gates to her estate? The underground criminals don't have informants who see those sneaky carriages, in the middle of the night in the middle of the city??
The reactions of the surrounding population is basicly like me playing a video game. I can run through skyrim shooting fire balls into the air, in the middle of the city and middle of the night, and noone gives a shit.
Dialogues feel somewhat stiff and generic. Like two AI programs trying to communicate with each other.
So maybe I'm a bit harsh but I think the hook of this story is to see Scarlett (Amy Bernal) try her best as a villainess to get through. After all her personality should still be intimidating, dignified, callous and overbearing.
Not that she becomes some generic wanna-be hero MC who adopts enlaved kids into her mansion to play mum. After 10 chapters I already think she is anything BUT dignified and her former personality is only there for her to frown occasionally.
But maybe I'm wrong and that's what the author is aiming for...
So far I feel that the general character matches the description given within the statuses and the story matches others that also fit within the category of reincarnation as a minor character from a favored video game. The dialogue between characters is alright and getting better and the brief transitions to other POVs are well done and add nice other perspectives. The one thing that I think could be better is the villainy aspect. Other than the initial "villainy" moment with the initial gang, there has yet to be much done in that aspect of the story. Other characters seem to see her as ruthess and calculating and her own status labels her a callous, but she is moving more quickly as a hero. There also seems to be a push to gain power, but little is said about why and what event she is gathering power to try and prevent or get out of. The background of Scarlett from the game aspect seems quite shallow and hopeful can be expanded on as the story goes on. It isn't even said for what exactly the MC killed Scarlett for in her playthrough of the video game before the story began. The limited way the MC can gain skill points also seems like there is a push for her to be turned into a hero. For the villainy aspect, it doesn't have to be like she starts a crime network herself but I don't know I feel like she should be acting more ruthless and self-serving. A drive to advance her powerbase as a whole. There was mention of gathering strong individuals but other than the shielder no other progress has been made for that. If she's trying to protect herself then shouldn't she invest all the gold she has gathered and get more involved with her fiefdom and building that up as a place to retreat to or gain power from? Training guards, interacting with some mage organization her sister brought up in their first conversation, or even investing in developing some industry/service/market to increase her cashflow to gain power/influence that way.
It is a good story but could use more fleshing out in developing the villainy side more.
TLDR: Enjoyable scenarios. Nothing distracting from the story.
Style: The writing style is 3rd person with most of the thoughts being from the MC's perspective with some exceptions for brief collections of paragraphs from another character's perspective. The way the story is told is nothing profound like some of the greats, but it does the job simply and well, and I can find no fault in that. There is no problem with infodumps or long tangents talking about things no one but the author cares about, and I found that to be a breath of fresh air after spending so long on this site.
Grammer: I have never been distracted by a grammatical mistake. This means that either there is none or the few that are there don't get noticed and therefore don't matter. Regardless, this is a very well proofread story.
Story: The story is from the perspective of someone who has played a Skyrim-like game through three times being reincarnated in that game as a small-time villianess from one of the more easy side-questlines. The MC does NOT get any of the original's memories, but [Traits] (this includes both physical and mental) are real in this game and she ends up being stuck with the original's. This makes for a very interesting mix of character protrayl, and I quite enjoyed it. The plot itself makes sense and is not a cliche power fantasy, and so far I have found it to be both well written and entertaining.
Character: The MC is not generic and acts like a real person. The side characters, both the ones who show up all of the time and the only briefly mentioned, are all unique people in their own right as well and whenever the author briefly shifts to their perspective for a few paragraphs it is both smoothly done and often funny to read.
Overall: You should read it.