Chapter 1. From the Breakup of the Marriage

 

 

“Say it again.”

 

“Oh, Miss!”

 

“You were yapping so freely, but now you’re shutting up quickly when I told you to say it in front of me. Are you ignoring me?” I asked coldly.

 

“Oh, no!” A servant whimpered.

 

It was a glorious summer day. In front of me stood a line of servants shivering as if it was winter even though it was midsummer. Just because they didn’t notice me while I was walking by and talked behind my back.

 

“If you’re going to gossip about your master, you should do it secretly.”

 

I knew well that the workers of this mansion looked down on me, but there was a big difference between knowing it and hearing it directly with my own ears.

 

If I listen and move on, I’ll just be ignored again afterwards. I opened my eyes fiercely and glared at the maids.

 

“I’ll give you a chance. Say what you just said, again.”

 

The maid in question stammered, “Well, that’s…”

 

“Can’t you do it? You said I would do all the complaining, even though I’m an illegitimate child. OH, did you perhaps say that maybe I wasn’t his real daughter?”

 

I was nit-picking because I had been sick for a week and this was my first time out after a long time. The maids kept their mouths shut and exchanged glances until the end, and my patience eventually crumbled.

 

“I’m getting angry.”

 

“I’m sorry, Miss!” They repeated uselessly.

 

“Can’t you hear me saying I’m getting angry?” I worked hard to keep my voice from escalating.

 

“I won’t do that again!” The girl yelped.

 

“I told you I am boiling inside!” I finally lost my temper. 

 

It was the moment when I tried to push the maid with force. They scrambled to avoid my touch, even though they were only maids, and it ended up being me who was pushed by the wind.

 

‘Huh?’

 

My body tilted backward helplessly.

 

Some of the maids reacted, but very slowly. The pendant, which I always wore, fell to the ground helplessly.

 

Crunch.

 

My mother’s only possession – the moment that it broke, memories flooded in.

 

‘Yoon Autumn’

 

‘You may regret in one day’

 

‘Hold my Hand’

 

‘You’ll die!’

 

Glowing…. Hoodie.

 

‘…Deuk-eul. Yoon Autumn!’

 

I couldn’t get my head together as the wave of memories flooded by like a panorama. 

 

The scenes passed by endlessly, along with the voices of different people.

 

‘What is this..?’

 

A leap of autumn.

 

The scene of someone reaching out to me urgently – calling a low and familiar name – played vividly in my mind, almost as if it was still happening.

 

It seemed to be a memory just before I died.

 

A world with a scenery completely different from where I live now.

 

Fragments of the scene continued confusing me until they finally clicked into place in my head.

 

Only then did I realize it was a memory of my previous life. Yoon Gaeul, who was born and lived in South Korea and died young at the age of 21, was reborn as Elodie Perdia.

 

Even though I realized it, I sat frozen in shock, and the maids who were looking around came to me.

 

“Miss! Are you okay?”

 

“I didn’t mean to, Miss…Please don’t beat me!”

 

“Miss, don’t do this, please! You have to wake up quickly…”

 

My face which looked up at the maids who dared not to touch me was restless and seemed to lose its color.

 

It was because one of the most important facts suddenly came to mind.

 

“…I’m screwed!”

 

“What? Will you take our lives?” A maid misunderstood my dismay and turned even paler.

 

“It’s ruined. It’s ruined..!” I couldn’t stop repeating myself mournfully, though the maids kept falling deeper and deeper into their misunderstanding.

 

“Spare me, Miss! I’m sorry!!”

 

Argh!

 

Disregarding the fact that there were maids around, I tore roughly at my hair in agony.

 

Yes, this was a world in a book.

 

And my future was supposed to be dark!

 

***

Elodie Perdia.

 

The only daughter and illegitimate child of the Duke of Perdia was a hateful character who caused immeasurable amounts of trouble with the power of the family on her back.

 

Her personality became more eccentric by the day because the family didn’t care about her, no matter what she was doing.

 

Fortunately, she was not able to go outside the estate much because she had a weak body, and she mainly bullied the workers in the house.

 

The title of the novel I read was: How the Adopted Daughter of the Villain Family is Loved.

 

Is the adopted daughter in the title me?

 

‘It’s absolutely not!’

 

Unfortunately, there was a separate main character in the original – Estelle Perdia.

 

Although adopted by the Perdia family as a political tool, she even captured my brothers and mom with her loveliness and had a happy ending. It was a standard healing romance fantasy story. 

 

In the book, Elodie gets caught bullying her sister and dies… She wasn’t a bad girl at heart… She was just a supporting villain.

 

The shocking thing is that was not all.

 

‘I’m not even a real daughter.’ I recalled hopelessly. 

 

Isn’t it a fact that an illegitimate child is mixed with at least half the blood of a noble?

 

But Elodie was not the real daughter of the Duke of Perdia. Her birth mother lied that she was his real daughter.

 

Phew. Sitting at the table, I clasped my hands under my chin and let out a deep sigh.

 

‘…my real mother!’

 

Having lived with no memories of my previous life, I have always resented my mother in my heart.

 

I mean how can I miss a mother who sold her child for money to her father?

 

It was taboo to bring up the story of my biological mother in the Perdia Dukedom. It was because my father loathed talking about my birth mother.

 

Because of that, I grew up not knowing anything about my own mother.

 

When I was very young, all I knew was that I secretly overheard the maids whispering and talking to each other.

 

“Arcelia? That bitch is lucky, because after just one night, she got pregnant and got her share.”

 

“I know. But do you know where she went?”

 

“I know. There are rumors that she went abroad.”

 

“Anyway, I should live with flirtatious air.”

 

What I learned from the conversation was that my mother sold me to my father and left me. And that she had the name Arcelia.

 

The story about Elodie’s mother does not appear in the original book.

 

‘It’s obviously because the main character is Estelle, not me!’

 

But there was a story about my real Dad.

 

One of the reasons I will die later was that I wasn’t the real daughter of the Duke of Perdia.

 

“Among so many novels, why must it be this novel?” I groaned to myself.

 

I’m not necessarily possessing Elodie Perdia; reincarnation may be more appropriate since I was born in this world and regained my memory somewhere in the middle.

 

A few days after I regained my memory, I found out the secret of my unexpected birth and even the memories of my previous life. It all hit me at once, so it was not easy to understand this situation.

 

At first, I tried to deny everything, telling myself that it was all a dream. And then I dreamed of a nightmare, a death that I had not yet experienced. A memory this vivid couldn’t have been my delusion.

 

The life of Yoon Gaeul living in Korea and the stories of that book that came to my mind at the same time, they had to be real.

 

If I stay like this, my ending will surely be death.

 

‘I must survive,’ I resolved.

 

However, no matter how much I deny it, my past actions could not be changed.

 

The original book did not say why Elodie was acting violently, but I knew the reason after doing all that in the past myself.

 

My family was indifferent to me, and the attitude made the workers in the mansion disregard and neglect me. As the only princess of the Perdia family, I had to stand up for myself and express my anger to the outside. Only then could I protect my pride as a princess of Perdia. At least, this is what I told myself.

 

Although it was a kind of self-defense for surviving in this family who did not care about each other, the reason could not be excused.

 

I couldn’t live like that anymore.

 

‘Now I have to stop being a bully!’

 

In order to survive, it was necessary to abandon my way of thinking and stubbornness that had driven me so far and look further.

 

I looked down at the smashed pendant.

 

This pendant, which my mother left behind, was handed over to me by Duke Perdia on my fifth birthday. In a duke’s house with nothing that was actually mine. 

 

Of course, you’d think the duke’s lady had some wealth, but unfortunately, I didn’t have a penny.

 

Reckless spending? It’s impossible.

 

Luxury? Forget about it.

 

Every penny spent was done with the permission of the owner, and even the disposition of dresses and jewelry was reported through the butler. It meant that none of the family’s property, even though wealth flowed like water, was actually my personal property.

 

Even the only thing I had from my birth mother was destroyed, and now I was truly broke.

 

‘One needs money to be independent.’ I mused.

 

I didn’t want anything big. A small house with a living room and a bathroom in the suburbs of the capital, Somnia.

 

And enough money to play and eat delicious food for the rest of my life. It’s okay not to be extravagant. Because I’m not the former Elodie.

 

I think a simple, unemployed life is enough!

 

‘Hmm. Do I want too much…?’

 

But being unemployed is everyone’s dream!

 

It was after my younger sister, Estelle, was adopted into the family that the book revealed that I was a complete stranger without a drop of blood.

 

I am currently 19 years old, with one year left before my coming-of-age ceremony.

 

Three years left until Estelle’s adoption.

 

Until then, my first goal is to stay still and save money and become independent.

 

I’m not going to argue with them about whether I’m a real daughter or not, since I will already be leaving on my own. Then the death ending can be avoided.

 

Of course, it was also necessary to make efforts to change my future while staying here.

 

‘To do that, first of all…’

 

While seriously thinking about what to do, Martha, an exclusive maid, came into the bedroom.

 

“Lady, a letter has arrived.”

 

“Who sent it?” I asked neutrally. 

 

Martha smiled broadly and held out a tray with a letter. “His Highness the Crown Prince.” 

 

The first prince, Ademir Presil Wallent.

 

He was a man who is now my fiancé and the cause of the adoption of Estelle.

 

In the book, when the first prince pointed out Elodie’s terrible reputation and mentioned a breakup, the Duke of Perdia did not want political relations to collapse, so he sought an alternative.

 

An alternative to this was to adopt Estelle.

 

‘Did he think it was his adopted daughter or illegitimate daughter?’

 

The engagement to the first Crown Prince was entirely accomplished because I wanted it before. My thinking was that if he became emperor – because he is the most likely candidate to succeed to the throne – then no one will ignore me when I marry him.

 

Moreover, the first prince was a tremendously handsome man with silver hair and dark green eyes. I had no reason not to covet him because his dazzling appearance and sturdy physique were also my taste.

 

The manner in which the first prince treated me was as polite as if I were his fiancée, but that was all. But I didn’t care about such a trifle. Everyone dreamed of standing next to him, and so did I.

 

‘It was a very difficult engagement to procure.’ I thought resignedly.

 

But no matter how hard it was, what’s the use of it now?

 

In the first place, the first prince didn’t like me very much and it was obvious that he would fall in love at a glance when Estelle eventually appeared.

 

I don’t want to cling to a man who doesn’t like me.

 

If you’re going to ask anyway for a breakup because of my reputation, wouldn’t it be better to part ways quickly, without bothering each other?

 

Estelle came to the orphanage only a year before she was adopted, so even if I break up with him now, Estelle won’t come now.

 

Looking directly at the letter on the tray, I smiled.

 

I was sure what to do.

 

First things first.

 

‘Let’s get away from the fiancé.’

 

***

 

Somnia, the capital of the Wallentian Empire.

 

Proudly surrounding the tallest tower seen anywhere near the capital, it was the Imperial City of the Empire.

 

The first prince, Ademir, pushed the papers back to take a short break while working in his office.

 

Although he was tired and frowning, his appearance was still rather languid and sexy.

 

Ademir glared at the papers and spoke in a rather irritated voice, “It’s Rodrigo Angellus again.”

 

The Wallentian Empire had four families that had been together since the beginning of its founding. Angellus, Severes, Krundel, and Perdia.

 

Among them, the Duke of Angellus, who stands out in commerce for aggressive investment, used to cause incidents frequently. Most of the events took place to satisfy his greed.

 

Ademir pressed his mouth into a dissatisfied line and thought, ‘It seems like we should just pretend to give in this time and move on.’

 

In fact, there was another family that was more difficult to deal with than Angellus.

 

The Duke of Perdia.

 

Perdia was the owner of the underworld, who owned all the shades of dark transactions, including black markets, auction houses and gambling houses in the empire.

 

On the surface, they primarily supplied military supplies to the imperial family and owned large mines in the empire.

 

With their inhuman appearance and their merciless hands, they were even called the villain’s family as a joke among the imperialists.

 

When Ademir thought about the Perdia family, he naturally remembered his fiancée.

 

There was no one who did not know about Elodie Perdia.

 

The first thing that came to mind was the beautiful appearance of an angel.

Her platinum hair, which was so bright that it looked like silver at first glance, and her warm pink eyes like blooming spring flowers – her appearance was so dazzling that it could not be compared with anyone else.

 

But what was more famous than that was… well, it was Elodie’s temperament.

 

Unlike her gentle appearance like a puppy, she often spit abusive language whenever she opened her mouth, and she couldn’t control her temper.

There was no one who could stop her, as there was no one who dared to confront the Perdia family.

 

‘I’ve said everything I can, to the point where even I, the prince, am rude.’

 

Ademir’s idea was that regardless of individual likes or dislikes, he should be serious in his role as a fiancé. Even if his fiancée was a hairless, nervous, dirty woman.

 

However, if one day he would become emperor, the woman who would marry him would be the empress, and he was skeptical about whether Elodie would fit in.

 

He sent a letter asking when it would be okay to go to the Perdia family, because there was something to discuss about the upcoming Emperor’s birthday banquet.

 

“It’s about time for a reply to come.” 

 

The moment he muttered like that a servant entered the office.

 

“Your Highness, a letter has arrived.” 

 

A letter arrived. The sender was Elodie Perdia.

 

Knowing that she had a crush on him, Adenmir opened the letter, thinking that the time for his visit to the Perida family would be written on it.

 

But the contents of the letter were not what he expected.

 

[Unfortunately, I don’t think I can make time for you.]

 

‘What’s going on?’ With a light question, he read the bottom line.

 

[Can you sign the enclosed form and submit it for me?]

 

“An enclosed document?”

 

At the words, the servant pointed to the documents overlapping the correspondence. As he opened the document, Adenmir doubted his own eyes the moment he read it.

 

A written annulment.

 

It was undoubtedly declaring that the marriage be broken off. Elodie’s handwritten signature was meticulously written.

 

“Ha.” Adenmir burst out laughing.

 

‘…What kind of trick is this?’

 

 

 

***

 

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