The bedroom door closed.
I finally let out the breath I was holding in. Then I rubbed my palms on the bedding and wiped away the sweat.
I couldn’t help but feel nervous, no matter how confident I pretended to be. Because my opponent was the famous Grand Duke Lantimos, the greatest mastermind of this empire.
On top of that, his last words also sounded like a threat, if I lied to him, he would kill me.
But still, I succeeded.
I was abducted as planned and my proposal was accepted. The only thing left to do was to receive the money in return for the treatment of his eyes and leave this empire.
I clenched my fists and measured my faith.
‘There is no problem.’
It was worth not using my divine power under any pressure. I clenched my fists a little tighter. The abuse and humiliation I had experienced for the past ten years passed me by like a panorama.
No one would ever take advantage of me again. Survive where there would be no temples and no Counts.
I looked at the lion carved into the ceiling with determined eyes.
This place would be the foothold for a real new beginning.
“Why on earth! Why can’t you use your divine powers, why!”
Count Diego shouted evilly. I sat in front of him with my arms and legs tied to a chair.
The Count stomped his foot with a thud.
I didn’t say a word and stayed down. I knew from years of experience that it was best not to complain in such a situation.
The Count stared at me and turned himself roughly.
Standing behind him as he climbed up the stairs, a servant asked impatiently.
“My Lord! What shall we do?”
“What do you mean? Give her some medicine!”
“But if I give her any more….”
The Count turned his eyes coldly to the muffled voice of the servant. Then he left the basement, closing the door with a bang.
The two attendants and I were the only ones in the basement.
One hesitated and approached me with a water potion in his hand. He mumbled in a shaky voice.
It was so small that I couldn’t tell if he was talking to himself or to me.
“Don’t hold it against me ……. I’m just following orders.”
Would saying something like that ease his guilt a little? I looked up at him with a casual glance and grabbed the water potion from his hand.
I stared at the somewhat cloudy and suspicious liquid, sighed once and swallowed it straight down.
I felt the cold liquid enter my stomach where I hadn’t had anything to eat for a while. I was used to it. The divine power expanded quickly from deep within my body.
It was not that I couldn’t use my new power in the first place, it was just that I didn’t want to use it, or that these drugs wouldn’t work at all.
My body naturally shrank.
A large amount of power exploded at once, so much that it was hard to fit inside my body.
* * *
Once I realized that this world was the one in the novel I read in my previous life, I tried hard to figure out who I was.
I even bought the novel collection, so the story was clear in my mind.
And yet I did not remember seeing the name “Evelyn Diego” in that book.
Why? I wondered.
My first thought was that everything was my illusion or fantasy. Or could I be an extra? Who were the extras among the many extras? That thought made me wonder.
My second thought was that perhaps it was an extra whose name I couldn’t even remember because it was described in the book in a different way.
Cordelia, the female protagonist, grew up in an orphanage under a temple with immense divine power. Then she was adopted by Count Diego.
It was familiar somehow. Yes. Now, it was the same as my situation.
But I couldn’t be the heroine. Because I didn’t have brown hair to my waist like hers, or the beautiful dark green eyes.
I didn’t have the enormous divine power, or the temple upbringing, or even the fact that I was adopted by Count Diego.
In addition, she was 13 years old when she was adopted by a count. There was a difference from me who was adopted at the age of seven.
At that moment, there was someone else who crossed my mind.
An extra who was adopted by Diego before Cordelia, but died after her divine power was overused.
The extra who was used as an experiment and abandoned before the real female protagonist was adopted.
It was an extra who, despite being born under the same conditions, lived the exact opposite life just because she was not a female protagonist.
…… That was me.
As soon as I realized my role, fear struck me.
But no one had ever died from a lack in divine power before.
I had a moment of lightning realization.
I was the first victim to die from a lack in divine power.
It was a fact that a person with enormous divine power could die if they continued to use their divine power after reaching their limit.
It was enough to make me laugh at the emptiness in my role as a lab rat to let Count Diego and the priests use Cordelia to the extent that she wouldn’t die. I couldn’t believe that my role was that little at best.
But there was no time for despair.
Cordelia was thirteen when she was adopted, and she and I were set to be the same age, so if all of this was true, I was destined to die before I turned thirteen.
We were born under the same conditions, but one of us was abused and died when I was less than ten years old, and the other met the male lead and had a happy ending…
Anger boiled in my heart. I didn’t want to die like this.
So I hadn’t used my power at all since I was ten.
No matter how badly they whipped me, no matter how many drugs they gave me to make me feel the pain of burning if I didn’t release my new power.
… It was better than dying.
As if to wake me up, a servant tapped me. I woke up in a daze.
“Get up now. It’s time to go out.”
The basement door slammed open and two maids approached me. Their faces were a mixture of fear and disgust.
They helped me up on both sides as I fell. I could suddenly feel their eyes looking at the filth on my clothes.
I finally climbed up the stairs, pulling my unsteady legs.
Soon the basement door opened again. It was Diego, with dazzling, shimmering gold strewn all around him.
The maids dragged me to the bathroom.
They scrubbed me until I felt sick and dressed me in clean, ill-fitting clothes. After a long grooming session with perfumed oil, my hair, which had been scaly, was flowing glossily before I knew it.
I stared into the mirror.
Except for the one that was a little thin from not eating properly, the woman in the mirror couldn’t have been more beautiful. Her slightly pale green lemon-colored hair was glistened to her chest. Gold flecks were like stars.
Her scattered blue eyes shone like a sea of golden sunsets.
‘Maybe when I’m older I’ll be more okay.’
If I could stay alive until then. I laughed self-mockingly.
“What shall I do with this?”
The maid looked at me with a sigh.
More precisely, she looked at the long scar on my cheek.
It was caused by the large ring on Count Diego’s finger when he hit me.
“… just say you fell down.”
It was also a scar that didn’t suit a Count’s daughter.
“Isn’t that clumsy!”
The maid frowned.
It was a dialogue that did not know who was the master and who was the employee.
“Well, there’s no other way.”
Eventually, I walked out alone with a scrape on my cheek.
The hall was filled with noble ladies in beautiful dresses. One of them noticed me and smiled.
I finally managed to raise the corner of my mouth into a crisp smile.
“It’s nice to meet you. Lady Cecile.”
Her eyes focused on me.
I was the host of this social gathering, so it made sense.
Moreover, today was the occasion of my birthday celebration. Of course, I didn’t know anything about this social gathering, but Count Diego was a man who cared about appearances.
After I passed the minimum age to attend social gatherings, he would hold one every week. At that time, I had to act as a perfect aristocrat.
But sometimes, like today, I couldn’t stand the frustration and I would get hurt.
“Oh my, what is that scar on your cheek? Lady Evelyn?”
Each time, the excuse was always my mistakes.
“I was clumsy and I fell.”
The Ladies lowered their eyebrows.
How could I have gotten such a scratch just because I fell? Maybe it was because they grew up in a precious environment, they were really innocent children.
Indeed, they were all children no older than fifteen.
When I finally sat down with a tired look on my face, I caught Count Diego’s aide out of the corner of my eye.
I smiled hastily and gave him an embarrassed look.
If I showed even a hint of unnaturalness here, well, tonight would not go well. If I finished it properly, I would get a good night rest.
My expectations were broken into pieces.
Despite finishing the social gathering in a very natural and respectable way, the evening did not go well. Usually it was once a day, but today I was beaten until the evening. Inevitably, something bad must have happened to the Count today, I was sure of it.
I lay in my room and was barely able to turn my aching body. It was a good thing that they took me to my room and not to the basement.
He probably was called to the imperial palace and embarrassed by the other nobles.
Money wasn’t the only reason he yelled at me to use my divine power. Of course, money was the biggest reason, but it was also because of the rumors that openly circulated in the social circles.
“A child with immense divine power suddenly has no power when she goes to Count Diego’s family.”
The nobles began to suspect Count Diego. They thought there was a problem with his discipline.
Of course, they weren’t worried about me, they just thought it was a good opportunity to ruin the Count’s reputation.
I stopped using my power and before I knew it, 2 years passed.
As a matter of fact, the Count had wanted to disown me since I was ten years old when I first stopped using my power.
However, there was a law in this world that a child could never be dismissed after the age of ten. I realized all this at the age of seven, and that was why I lived obediently and breathlessly until I was ten.
I could not be thrown away. Because I needed Count Diego.
No, the seal of this house, to be exact.
[A young sun goddess with the scent of daisy flowers will break your curse].
Because I had to pretend that I was the person in the prophecy for him. So I had to be kidnapped by him.