I do not own Rising of the Shield Hero
Author's note in the end for those who's interested to see me blabber about my inner thoughts. Once again, there WILL be spoilers for anime/manga only fans.
A quick answer about update schedule before I shuffle the rest down to Author's Note at the end. The current plan is one chapter per week, with actual update on weekend.
Huge thanks for Comrade Broseph for help beta reading, and adding more details to my story where my original was lacking, I'd like to think this chapter is co-written by him for all the improvement he brought. Also thanks to Fluffball13 for reading my first draft to make sure I stay on the right direction, and Dr. Gale for helping me with one particularly difficult paragraph. And everyone who read and review my story.
The right decision based on the wrong information is often the wrong decision. So the first step in the Red Princess' plan is information gathering. She debates the merit of going into the 'Listening Room'.
Melromarc Castle is actually filled with traps, hidden chambers and secret devices. It was part of father's contingency plan when he rebuilt it upon the ruins left behind by the beastmen's invasion. One of the more obscure contraptions he added was the Listening Room. Not many know of it and aside from the royal family the only ones who do are trusted agents of the crown. An empty cell connected to a winding system of pipes that spread through the castle and its walls. It made eavesdropping on guests much easier than ordering a servant to listen by the door.
Of course, this doesn't mean father throws away the more conventional method. It's much easier to get valuable information out of an unsuspecting guest when they think they foiled father's scheme by discovering the servants spying by the door.
The first princess has to admit, going into the Listening Room to find out more about the heroes is a tempting idea. The opportunity to listen in to what those heroes discuss with each other on their first night is almost too good to pass up.
These foreigners from another world are bound to loosen their tongues when only left in each other's company. Oh, they certainly put on a confident act in the throne room, but to someone like her it was but the flailings of amateurs. Their false bravado could not hide their expectant jitteriness. Could not hide the clear excitement that coursed through them. Well, the three Weapon wielders at least. The Shield tried to imitate the others actions and echo their words but he lacked the easy familiarity of his otherworldly comrades towards their surroundings.
She wondered what the reason for that could be. Was he aware of how the Three Heroes Church viewed him? It was said that the Heroes would be summoned with some innate understanding of the world. Did that extend to local customs and beliefs? Yet from what she recalls he did not know how to address the king with respect. Or perhaps he did and was simply deriding her father? But it's not like he was any worse than the other three. In fact he seemed to act more sensibly than any of them during the audience. But his silence can also be a sign of cluelessness rather than thoughtfulness. Hmm...
No. She decides that the opportunity to spy on them IS too good to pass up.
Which is why the Red Princess finds herself in a still empty Listening Room, preparing to listen in to them blabber their secrets. Hearing them talk more is going to let her start slowly piecing together their character profiles. It will help her when she is going to be picking the most useful pawn for her plan. For that, knowing the personality of each hero is going to be important.
All men are fundamentally the same: They believe girls are weak and are eager for their help.
But each man reacts differently to how a girl asks for such help. Some men like a girl who throws herself brazenly into their arms. Especially if she's topless. Some like a girl who has a radiant little animal-like 'protect me' aura to her. Some like a girl that plays hard to get - but not so hard as to be unattainable - so that they can feel a sense of accomplishment once said girl succumbs to them. Yet others enjoy a girl who fights side by side with them... As long as she's still weaker than them in the end that is.
It helps to know what kind of man she's dealing with here. She wants to wrap the hero she picks tightly around her finger, after all.
Chapter 2: Alliances and Schemes under the Moon.
In hindsight, coming to the Listening Room and risking exposing herself may have been the wrong decision. Especially considering what paltry little information the princess can piece together from the heroes' conversation.
"Umm... everybody, what game world do you think this is, exactly?" One of the heroes asks out loud after a jumbled mess of discussion. Is this the Shield or Bow Hero? It's hard to tell them apart with distorted voices alone. Especially when their discussion gives the first princess a headache.
What are they talking about...? Our world is a... game? Like chess? Are they even taking this seriously?
She bites the nail of her thumb in an unbecoming manner. The more she hears from these 'heroes', the less confident she is in their ability to save the world.
"Fancy seeing you here, Princess." A sudden voice in the Listening Room breaks the princess out of her thoughts. She spins around on her heel and sees a middle aged knight enters through the metal door, that was apparently not fully closed. "His majesty is looking for you."
Damnations! I got careless and discovered! This will cause a bump in my plan.
Much like the knight standing at the gates to the throne room this one isn't very well known to her either. He is also definitely outside the age range she usually 'makes acquaintances' with. And although his being here makes him a supposedly trusted retainer to the king she definitely doesn't like his tone.
The heroes are still discussing 'games', completely unaware they are being listened to. "Is he now? Well, sir knight, I'm sorry to worry my father."
"Ah, please do not feel bothered, Princess. His majesty thinks you are in your room, catching up on your studies. You are behind your younger sister, after all." The knight's words and his smirk make her grind her teeth. "You may want to see his majesty soon, however. It's not a good idea to let his majesty know you are snooping around behind his back."
The knight's answer makes the red princess narrow her eyes.
Normally she'd be happy at having been let off the hook. Yet his words suggest anything other than being loyal to her father. A double agent who shows obedience to the king, yet secretly works for someone else? A rival noble house? Or something even worse?
Regardless of who truly holds the knight's loyalty, it speaks ill of father's lapse in judgment. Has father become so complacent in his fame and authority that he trusts in the completely wrong people now?
This isn't good.
"Then, how about a question based on common knowledge? Like, the name of the current Prime Minister, for example." One of the Heroes suggests in the guest room. The names sounds like complete gibberish to her, but it's clear each one of them gives a different answer.
The heroes come to the conclusion they are each from a different version of this 'Japan' place. Intriguing, but not particularly useful. Not to her goal, at the very least.
The knight is still standing there, silent for now but that infuriating expectant expression still on his face. It doesn't seem like he is about to hurry her.
The Heroes begin to recount what happened to them before their summoning.
"I was on my way home from school, when I stumbled onto a murder in progress. I remember up to the point I tackled the murderer to help my childhood friend, but after that..."
So one of them like to play the hero and save people. That's useful information. If only she knew who is currently speaking. The red princess tries to scribe the voice of the speaker into her memory. Hopeful she will have enough time to associate them each by their voice before she needs to make her move.
"I'll go next. Before I came here, I had a lot of girlfriends, you know?"
That exuberant personality is rather unique. Isn't this one the spear hero? So he is a womanizer... even better to know.
The princess gives the middle aged knight a side glance. The man is still as a statue, but his hand is clenching his sword very tightly. She wonders to herself, perhaps now is a good time to cut her losses and withdraw from the scene.
"Well, I bid you farewell, sir knight. I don't want to keep father waiting, after all." The red princess is about to leave when she hears the older knight mutter under his breath.
"I beg your pardon, good sir?" She turns back to look at the knight. The face full of aged lines and scars shows nothing but contempt towards the dungeon ceiling.
"These so called 'Heroes'. They are truly pathetic." The knight points up with the hilt of his sword. A sneer full of contempt adornes his rough granite visage. "We provide our hard earned money for them to throw away to their heart's content. We give the daughters of our most ancient and noble bloodlines to them to wed like common concubines. Yet they act like complete fools, barely treating our plight seriously."
The heroes are continuing their introductions in the room above. "As for me, I was crossing the street on the way home from cram school, when a dump truck came barreling around the curve at full speed. After that..."
While inwardly Malty doesn't necessarily disagree the knight was starting to get on her bad side. "This batch may not be the pinnacle of the best Legendary Heroes our history record has to offer, but we need their strength to stop the Waves." The red princess pulls her fist in front of her mouth. Perfectly neat, white teeth gently dig into the skin of her index finger.
"Exactly. We need the strength of their legendary weapons, but not the heroes themselves. What if we didn't need these other worlders to begin with?" The knight seems to shine with a maniac determination. "We can finally wipe the plate clean and depend on ourselves."
The glitter in the Knight's dark brown eyes makes the princess take an unconscious step back. "I'm sorry, sir knight. But I must go see father. I bid you goodnight."
"Those heroes will get their due. Everyone will see it." The middle aged knight doesn't seem to notice the red princess taking her leave. He simply mutters to himself while staring at the ceiling where the metal pipe disappear.
"I was at the library when I noticed a strange book I had never seen before. Naturally, I picked it up and started reading it, and before I knew it I was here." The last hero finishes his introduction, completely unaware of the other conversation regarding them happening right below him.
The red princess walks towards her father's private reading room. She slowly runs her finger across her chin. The elder princess lets muscle memory guides her way. Her mind is spinning faster than the wheel of a racing Filorial carriage. There is a lots of information she needs to process after that encounter in the Listening Room.
The heroes they summoned to Melromarc don't sound like the most reliable people at first glance. The fact that there are four of them also complicates things for the first princess.
If Melromarc only had one hero all she'd have needed to do would have been to find a way to get into his heart, if not his loincloth. Even if the Legendary Hero himself were unreliable, the stature that comes with the title and the power of the Legendary weapon would have been enough to almost guarantee her chance at succession. Not to mention the children of Legendary Heroes are always strong. It will be good enough to ensure her place on the throne after mother.
Having all four heroes together in Melromarc complicates things greatly. For the immediate threat, even if she manages to capture a Hero, there is no guarantee her younger sister won't do the same. Not to mention the other ladies of the court would be out to catch the Heroes' attention for themselves. A lady from a powerful family marrying one of the Heroes and threatening the status of the ruling family is a real and repeated threat amongst human kingdoms.
As a result she needs to be much more careful at selecting the right Hero to capture. Someone who can be groomed to be a valuable piece for her in this game of thrones is the best outcome. Perhaps even mold them into an ally? Doubtful. For all that they talked of games none of them seemed like an actual player of the one she had in mind.
There is also the question on who truly holds that knight's loyalty. A rival noble house like she initially thought, or the Three Heroes Church? While extremely unlikely, the possibility of a foreign enemy should also not be immediately dismissed.
The thought of Three Heroes Church makes the red princess grinds her teeth together again. The peasantry doesn't care who they pray to for their evening meal, but that cult has been gaining a lot of zealous following in the upper echelon of society in recent years. The Pope shows a benevolent face to his faithful, but it's easy to tell he is a wolf in sheep's cloth.
That's a game the first princess has been playing since her early youth after all.
Regardless who is threatening the crown, father's ignorance in the matter is highly concerning. By all means, it'll be most fortunate if she manages to convince him to open his eyes to the danger. Considering her future plans, having father as a steadfastly on her side would make things much easier. At least as opposed to going behind his back on everything all the time, or even treating him as a future opponent.
With that final thought, the first princess of Melromarc takes a long breath before the entrance of father's private reading room. She puts on an angelic smile and knocks on the door.
"Who is it?"
"It is I, father. Coming to bid you fair evening."
"Ah, Malty, my sweet daughter! Do come in." She can practically hears the smile in father's tone as she opens the door.
Father is sitting behind his ebon wood desk with an expensive quill in his hand. He appears to be in the middle of writing something on a scroll. A letter? A message? Or perhaps some kind of note for another one of his overly complicated plans?
The princess gives a quick glance to the few books on father's desk. [History of Melromarc, and its most ancient and noble houses], [Heroes of Three? A question regarding the true identity of the Shield] are the top two texts. A folded piece of scroll with a corner visible, showing what appears to be Melromarc's North East border. It appears father is doing some planning of his own. Depending on what they talk about tonight, that can both be a good thing or something that will raise more than a few warning flags.
"Malty, how goes you this fine evening? Are you catching up on your studies?" Father's face is bright with happiness at seeing her, wrinkles pulled taught, radiating joy. His eldest daughter however just thinks it makes him look like a dried plum.
"I am well, father. I've been reading [Wealth of the Nation] by Lord Smith." She hadn't, being preoccupied with snooping about mother's private study. However one of her childhood playmates, lady Iris, kept going on about it during their last tea party. lady Iris can't stop mentioning the book even in their youth when all they talk about are romance novels, and which hero they want to grow up and marry. Katarina used to tease the noble heir of house Amelia about wanting to grow up and marrying the old Faubley lord instead of a young hero. "How about you?"
"Good, good!" The corners of Father's mouth perk up even more and he nods his head with a content look. "Economy is the backbone of a country. And on that subject matter Lord Smith's book is truly revolutionary! Mirellia may be blind to your effort Malty, but I'm not. I know you work as hard as your younger sister, possibly more so."
"Your words are too kind father. Melty has always been the more hardworking one of us." The red princess hangs her face low to avoid father's eyes. Speechcraft is a fine art. To know when to be accepting and when to push your own advantage is a significant part of it. Right now is a good time to act humble in front of father. Especially lest he actually start testing her knowledge on the subject. While she remembered a good part or what Iris told her, she was hardly proficient enough to discuss economic theory at the Wise King's level.
"There is no need to sell yourself short, Malty. Your sister is hard working and kind. However, she can be a bit... too good natured, if you catch what I mean." Father returns the quill back to its ink pot. He closes his eyes and lets out a soft sigh. "There are too many things I can't talk to her about. Ruling a country well isn't always about being honorable."
"Yes, I understand, father. I too constantly worry for my dear little sister. The hungry balloons in our royal court would seek to devour Melty if they sense any weakness. I will do my best to help her in that regard, at least before mother decides to marry me to the king of Faubley." Malty fakes a self-deprecating smile. She does her best to hide satisfaction from her face when she hears father grinding his teeth.
"I will have a good talk with my wife on that matter when she returns. No daughter of mine will marry that old pig!" Fuming, father jumps up from his seat. But a moment later he seems to get it back together and lets out a cough to hide his embarrassment, before pouring himself a cup of tea. "However, there is something you can help me with now, Malty."
The first princess immediately goes down to one knee. She bows her heads low and speaks with her most sincere voice. "I will do anything I can to ease your burden, father. You only need to speak the word."
"I know you will, Malty." Father walks in front of her and runs a hand through her auburn hair. His tone projects the uttermost confident. This tone used to make the red princess believe father always knew best. Now, after witnessing the display in the throne room, it sounds like the bragging of a sad old man who refuses to accept that he is already past his prime. "We summoned the Legendary Heroes today."
"I was unaware Melromarc's turn has come, father." So he finally tells her. Of course she already knew, but it still prickles her pride a little. The first princess feels her heart beating faster inside her chest. She does her best to look passive and ignorant.
"We summoned all four Legendary Heroes today, Malty."
"...Oh." The red princess immediately turns her head up to look at the King. Her dumbfounded expression isn't entirely fake. She still can't believe father would do something so monumentally stupid. "Isn't mother at an international conference regarding Legendary Hero summoning?"
"I am well aware of that farce my wife is currently attending. But honestly, a single Legendary Hero is a valuable resource in the fight against the Waves... and for other reasons. We cannot let such resources fall into the hands of our enemies, especially those beastmen scum!" The king's voice grows stern as his eyebrows twist into a tight knot. "Sadly, that includes the beastmen lover as well. Which is where I need your help Malty."
"I will serve you the best I can, father." At the answer the tension seems to melt from his features and he smiles at her once again, his already aged face turning even more wrinkled.
"I know my daughter. You see, I have already prepared carefully selected companions for the Heroes. None of them will choose the Shield demon as the one to serve. Which is why you will go undercover as one of the adventurers and volunteer as a companion for the Shield ."As he finishes explaining, father's voice has a definite smug twine to it. He's obviously pleased with his scheme.
At the end of his proclamation he turns to her, clearly seeking to witness her reaction. Judging by his tone and expression he seems to be waiting for her to share in his enthusiasm. Something that she at the moment is entirely lacking. A pause ensues.
"Father wishes me to give myself up to the Shield Hero as a sacrifice?" The red princess closes her eyes, but not before she allows a few drops of tears to fall down her cheek. If crying crocodile tears were an art form then she'd be a once in a generation artist. That is not to say she actually doesn't have more than a few reservations about this half brained scheme that her senile old man seems to have concocted.
"Oh! Please don't cry, my daughter. I'm sorry you will have to suffer such a great indignity, but it will be worth it to take the Shield Hero to task." The king bends down and envelops the princess into a hug. "We will accuse him of rape on the next day, and strip him of everything he owns! The demon will be left without a copper to his name and not even the heretics who sympathise with him may accuse us of treating him with disfavour!" The old man blabbered, trying to console her out of her mostly fake sulking.
The princess can only stare at father with her eyes and mouth wide open.
On the one hand such a plan is simple, yet elegantly a brilliant solution to a dilemma they'd otherwise be forced to face. Treating the bearer of the Shield well would not have gone over pleasantly with the majority of the kingdom after all. Mistreating him solely on preconceptions of the Three Heroes faith would have galvanized the Shield worshipping heretics and demihumans into open conflict. And while clearly no match for the other three Heroes combined, the Shield would still pose a considerable threat with the backing he'd receive from their enemies. However leaving him penniless and without support would ensure that he is never going to catch up with any single one of the others, while still forcing him to combat the Waves in order to survive. All under a legal pretext.
The de jure penalty for rape being death in Melromarc would also play into their hands. Father would seem like the epitome of a merciful and selfless ruler after having spared the Shield Hero, someone loathed and derided by the devout of his land, from a seemingly deserved death sentence, all because he is willing to put beating back the Waves even above revenge for his precious daughter. Any accusations of favouritism towards the three Weapon wielders after that are just going to sound ridiculous, nevermind that the true reason the Shield Hero is not going to be killed is that a new one would just be summoned by their demihuman enemies. Something they can not allow based on precedent.
Not to mention that considering her social standing as the first princess, people will be very much inclined to take her word for such a serious accusation. Especially if she plays her role of a traumatized victim well, something she has full confidence in being able to pull off. Witnesses can be arranged and evidence of the crime planted by those retainers who hold unwavering loyalty to the royal house.
On the other hand, there is no guarantee that the beast fanatics of the Shield in Siltvelt and Shiltfrieden won't go to war anyway. Excuses and pretexts aside it's not like there is any lingering trust between them. They are about as likely to take the word of their arch enemy for something like this as a filorial is to start speaking. Yes, on second thought this seems like a sure recipe for war. Unless... could mother somehow convince them otherwise?
Loath as Malty was to admit it, her mother was a very accomplished and intimidating player on the political arena. She could acknowledge this even if she held a profound dislike of the queen for having passed her by as heir in favour of her younger sister, not to mention the looming threat of marrying her off to the king of Faubley. But would even such an experienced politician be able to sway the world from turning on Melromarc in a wrathful crusade with words alone? The idea of her mother losing face and gravitas stopped seeming all that appealing if the result was the kingdom, the one that she very much planned to be hers in the not too distant future, ended up being destroyed by an invading coalition.
Taking a minute to consider all of this, all while her father was nervously hovering around her, she decided to press the so called mastermind of this plan for more information regarding the risky gamble he was planning to take.
"Father, I'd be more than willing to sacrifice myself for the sake of the land and the people, but is this action wise? Wouldn't this make Melromarc look bad to the rest of the world? Everyone is bound to have eyes on us already after the... daring... play of summoning all of the four Legendary Heroes. Because of the seriousness of the accusation, our enemies are bound to dispute Melromarc's claim for lack of sufficient evidence. They can use this as an excuse to start a war with us, on the ground of abusing a Legendary Hero." She notes her father's face twist in displeasure at the Shield being referred to as one of the Heroes. He could barely hold it together in the throne room. Now that they were alone he wasn't even trying. Malty herself has no love for The Shield Hero, but neither is she particularly devout. Right now though she doesn't want Melromarc to burn for her father's obsession. There is no point in ruling a burning ruin, assuming one of the other countries doesn't take her as a spoil to begin with. She gives her father a pleading look, sadly the king brushes away her concern.
"It will take time to send investigators for proper evidence gathering. Enough so that I will have time to launch the second phase of my plan regarding the Shield. I will prepare a team of my agent to approach him as envoys from Siltvelt. They will be publicly acting in the name of their king and offer to escort the Shield to a country that's waiting to embrace him with open arms. They won't need to tempt him long after we leave him out with nothing. My agents will then lead the demon to Fortress Wolf's Mouth at the border. We can dispose the Shield Hero for good there and blame the situation on the filthy beasts!" The king runs a hand through his impressively long beard. He seems to puff out his chest with pride.
After taking a moment for the sake of what Malty assumes is giving her a chance to bask in his so called genius, he continues to explain the elaborate trap he plans to set.
"And if the beast lover doesn't fall for this bait, I also have a contingency plan set up. The Pope has certain... connections with the orthodox Four Saints church. He will have them send out an inquisition squad. They will be claiming the Shield Hero to be a fake imposter besmirching the good name of the Legendary Heroes. This will take away the excuse for the scum from Siltvelt and Shiltfreeden to attack Melromarc."
While she thinks that her father's plan might be a good one, it fails to comfort the elder princess. If anything, she feels colder than ever before. The hand of the Three Heroes Church is stretching much farther than she initially anticipated, if they can even influence the actions of the Church of the four. She noticed her father getting closer to the clergy for a while now, but it seems she's failed to realise the true scope of the Pope's power.
And when a person has that kind of power, what does it say about his ambition? Will the Pope be content to remain as the spiritual leader of Melromarc, or does he want something more? His apparent influence abroad is already a sure indicator that his reach is not to be underestimated.
More importantly, father seems to be handing a sword right into the hand of his would be murderer with his back turned. "Can we trust in the Pope, father? If he is willing to go the length to ensure the death of a Legendary Hero, what would he do to us?"
"You worry too much Malty. The Pope is a trusted ally. He hates the savage beasts, and that animal loving Shield demon as much as us. All you need to do is to bear with the Shield for one day, and then frame him for a crime most foul. We'll take care the rest." Father runs his hand through her red hair as gently as possible. It is an action intended to soothe her nerves, yet it has the opposite effect.
Perhaps it is the melancholy that comes with old age, or complacency as the fame for being the Wise King of Melromarc finally getting to him. Father is letting his grudge against the Shield control him. Half the time he seems to unconsciously cite religious dogma calling it's wielder a demon. The other half he seems to refer to it as its own conscious entity independent of the one who bears it. Old wounds cloud his judgment. He tries his hardest to slay an imaginary foe while completely ignoring the real threat hiding in plain sight.
The worst part is: When he makes up his mind like this, there is no way to turn him back. Not until he breaks his head in front of a stone wall.
Time to cut her losses and plan for herself. She looks up into father's eyes with her own. She smiles. "I will do my part, father. However... could you please do one thing for me?"
"Anything for my daughter, if it makes serving that Shield Fiend for a single day slightly more manageable!" The king furiously nods his head. He's clearly happy that he seems to have calmed her down enough for her to play along with the plan.
"In that case, father. Could you provide the Shield Hero more funds?" The red princess closes her hands in front of her chest as if uttering a prayer.
"Giving more money to that animal loving scum? That is..." The king takes a step back. He runs his hand through his lion mane like beard again.
"The Shield Hero will have no other companions beside me, father. He will be spending every copper on your daughter. Plus, I will be taking whatever is left to the hero of my choosing." Seeing his confliction she pushes him a little.
"Ah, you are right! That is a good suggestion. Very well, I will prepare some funds from my personal vault to supply the Shield Hero. We'll just have to pick a name for you and register you as an adventurer..."
"My name will be Mein, father." The red princess looks into the King's eyes with absolute conviction.
"Mein...? Isn't that name for your... is it wise to pick this one as your fake name? It can be bad luck." Father's eye turns to look at the corner of the ceiling. He scratches his chin while letting out a hushed whisper.
"I wish to be known as Mein, fath- my liege." At that she decides she should go before he contradicts her choice. "If you excuse me, I will turn myself in for the night to prepare for tomorrow."
Acting far more politely than courtesy dictates for someone of her station, Malty gives the king a humble bow and quickly leaves the king's private reading room, walking backwards with hurried steps while facing him. Staying in character as the perfect shy daughter for her father's eyes, right up until she leaves his sight. She catches his hurried goodnight just before exiting. The about-to-go-incognito princess lets out a deep sigh when she steps into the hallway.
Mein walks towards one of the windows facing out into the castleyard and looks out at the moon hanging in the sky. She supports her head with her left arm, letting it rest on the cold stone brick surface.
Father is slowly losing his touch. She can no longer take the easy way out by relying on him for everything. At the same time, there is something thrilling about this situation. There are already so many players on this overcrowded chess board. What harm can it be to add one more?
I am the daughter of father and mother after all...
"Why have wings, if you can't fly?"
The red princess disappears into the night with a smirk on her face.
To answwer Sky's review since I can't pm them. I don't want to go full spoiler territory for why Malty acts differently than her canon counterpart, because it would spoil the entire Shield Hero canon's big twist for everyone. But short version is, I like to think my Malty is Malty, and canon Malty is Bitch. They shares some traits, but are otherwise different characters, and Malty is more self serving than sadistic compares to her canon counterpart. So she doesn't innately hate the shield hero and want to ruin him.
As for her being more intelligent than two-faced... well, Malty is much smarter than Bitch, which honestly isn't too hard since as my good friend Fluffball13 puts it, Bitch is 'too dumb to live'. Malty won't be the super smart and always do everything right kind of character, as this chapter shows her making blunders. Her two-faced side will hopefully show up more in later chapters since chapter 1 barely has her interacting with anyone.