WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 9 of My Next Life as a Villainess, now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Katarina Claes' unintended harem grows with each episode of My Next Life as a Villainess, and even Nicol Ascart recently expressed his desire for her, but prince Geordo Stuart plans to catch up again. He also has the benefit of being Katarina's fiance and a member of royalty.
Similarly, Katarina's foster brother Keith grows even more protective, to the point of shielding her from everyone during the school play. In Season 2, Episode 9, Keith suddenly vanishes and leaves an "I ran away" note, so Katarina begins the hunt to find him, growing much closer to both Geordo and Keith in the process.
Geordo uses his wealth to send Katarina lavish gifts every day and acts more forward with her whenever they meet in person, making Katarina nervous since she has minimal romantic experience. Keith shields her from Geordo once again -- partly to keep Katarina happy and partly because he desires her for himself, despite being her foster brother. Alan Stuart and the lively Mary Hunt also seek to keep Geordo away from Katarina, seeing him as their strongest romantic rival. All of this frustrates the prince but doesn't discourage him.
Katarina's kidnapping earlier in Villainess Season 2 stoked Geordo's and Keith's protective feelings toward her. Both boys feel the need to watch over her day and night, vigilant for any threats like her former stalker Rufus. So it's strange when Keith suddenly vanishes one afternoon, leaving a letter claiming he had cracked under the strain of looking after her and run off. Duchess Claes urges Katarina to find her foster brother and apologize to him for being a burden. Katarina accepts the mission.
Intending to win the harem race to Katarina's heart, Geordo joins her on the mission to find Keith and vows to protect her the entire time. During the trip, lady Larna mentions how Geordo used to be bored because he was so good at everything -- until now, when he has Katarina by his side. She is the only one who truly captures his interest, with their engagement being a more lively affair than anything he's ever experienced. Katarina doesn't understand, but the message is clear to lady Larna. Geordo doesn't just want to follow through with the engagement; he wants Katarina to want him too, and aims to impress her with his protective ways and knightly courage.
Meanwhile, Keith finds himself shackled in a dungeon where his older brother Thomas beats him, furious that Keith addresses him so casually despite being a mistress' son. Keith has no way to fight back; he longs for Katarina to find him and won't feel at ease until his foster sister is by his side. Combined with his protective ways, this makes it clear he wishes to win Katarina's heart just as much as Geordo does.
Back in Keith's bedroom, Katarina finds a keepsake box containing sentimental items that connect them, such as apology notes and birthday gifts from their youth. These items help Larna's magical teddy bear point to Keith, a clue not even Geordo could have provided. As they hurry to find Keith, the Geordo/Keith harem race heats up further as My Next Life as a Villainess continues.