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It wasn’t uncommon encountering people moving urgently during rush hour. However, it wasn’t until I saw someone rushing down the stairs that I sensed something amiss.
When that person bumped into my shoulder, my body tilted sharply. I panicked since my hastily stretched hand couldn’t reach anything. With nothing to grab on to, my body fell.
‘Is this how I’m going to die? Just like this……?’
I don’t want to die!
My body tumbled down the stairs and crashed on the floor. An excruciating pain erupted in my head and throughout my body. With blurred eyes, I stared at the person who had bumped into me but he just avoided my gaze.
His evasion made it seem as though nothing happened. I could even see a couple of people hesitating and attempting to avoid this place.
“Ambulance! Call an ambulance!”
“A woman fell down the stairs….”
The loud voices around me were growing farther and farther away. Despair welled up in me as my hazy vision became darker and darker until it was immersed in complete darkness.
‘I don’t want to die…’
Who would want to die? I didn’t want to die. It was unfair. I felt like I was going crazy because it was completely unfair. However, my body turned cold, betraying my will to live.
✦ ✦ ✦
She took her first breath, trembling as though she was drowning, and had just surged to the surface. Heaving, she opened her eyes and saw the face of a crying person grow bright.
“Haa, haa, haa…”
People gathered around her while she tried to bring her heavy breathing back to normal. She frowned when she realized she was lying on a soft bed. The room’s appearance didn’t look like she was in the hospital.
‘I was in the subway…. Did I lose my consciousness?’
She thought she died in the subway. She blinked, then sighed, realizing that her eyes were quite swollen, as if she had been crying a lot.
“The young lady has woken up!”
Someone who left the room shouted to the people. She thought something was strange, when she heard that. It was the way they talk.
‘Why did they call me young lady?’
It’s an ambiguous honorific, and the emotional tears that were shed around her…… huh?
‘What’s with those clothes? Is it from a foreign historical drama? Medieval?’
She looked up at the women, who were all dressed in maid outfits, which were usually seen in American medieval times. Something must be wrong.
She observed the interior of the room as well as the bed she was laying on…. She couldn’t believe that it was like a noble’s bedroom.
There was a sudden thought in her head, and the novel she had been reading on the subway as she commuted passed through like a panorama view.
The moment she realized it, her sore eyes rolled over. Her already weak body could not overcome the shock and fainted. The maids, who had been shedding tears of joy at the sight, were taken aback.
They screamed, but she couldn’t open her eyes again. At least, for a couple of hours.
✦ ✦ ✦
“That ugly thing!”
Upon hearing the news, Marquis Montague gritted his teeth. The councillor had informed him that his daughter died an hour ago. The Marquis was more afraid of the aftermath of her death than his daughter.
His daughter, Celia, was supposed to marry Duke Leonis Cardian today. It is already time to send her to the carriage.
Celia already had a fiancé, but it was useless.
The Emperor granted Duke Cardian’s wish to marry whoever he wanted in exchange for the imperial ‘curse’. Celia was the one Leonis had chosen, using that authority.
He had seen her at a ball, and would come to know that she had a fiancé since they were never apart. The Marquis didn’t believe that the blood-soaked demon fell in love at first sight. However, it was true that he desired Celia.
Leonis told the Emperor that he wanted Celia Montague. The Emperor broke Celia’s engagement and ordered her to marry Leonis. Celia’s engagement was political, but they loved each other. At least, on Celia’s side.
Celia didn’t want to marry Leonis so she told him that she wanted to run away. Fabian, her ex-fiancé who was delayed in giving a response, suddenly sent a letter today to give an answer.
He was afraid that Celia would run away on her own, which was what had brought her to this point. It would be a problem for her ex-fiancé as the blame would fall on him.
Marquis Montague first took the letter and read the lame excuse before showing it to his daughter. Since it was a rejection letter, he thought it was a good idea to discourage Celia. However, she committed suicide by ingesting poison after reading the letter.
She didn’t give in and marry the Duke, instead, she gave up her life.
Marquis Montague was furious but fear had taken precedence. If he reported this to Duke Cardian, he’d be outraged and kill the whole family. The Emperor could not harm Duke Cardian no matter how angry he was. He was afraid of his power, but if he did something wrong and the Duke died, the curse would be passed to the Imperial Family.
The curse of blood.
The curse was aimed against the Imperial Family rather than Duke Cardian. It was known that if Duke Cardian died without leaving an offspring, the curse would be transferred to the Imperial Family. That’s why the Emperor grants whatever Duke Cardian wants.
The report that Celia had committed suicide distressed Marquis Montague. He thought about sending his step daughter, Lily instead…. But Leonis already knew Celia’s face. This trick was not going to work.
While he was trembling in fear, he received a report. Celia, who had been informed that she had died by the councillor, was alive. This time, though, he reported she was in a bad condition and had lost her mind.
“You can’t stop the wedding! You can wake her up and get her dressed! The safety of the family is at stake!”
The servants quietly bowed their heads at Marquis Montague’s outburst. She had died once after ingesting poison, and would need medical treatment, but the Marquis seemed to still want to send her to Duke Cardian.
They can’t help it even if they feel sorry for her. They were in no position to disobey Marquis Montague’s order.
✦ ✦ ✦
She was unconscious, but she was still breathing. They carefully lifted the fainted lady, washed, cleaned and dressed her.
Celia, who came to her senses while makeup was being put on her, appeared confused.
“Where am I…. Why am I…?”
“Hang in there, young lady.”
Phoebe, her maid, said that and swallowed her tears. Celia looked around as if she didn’t even recognize her. They were careful not to mention the wedding, in case they would provoke Celia.
‘Can I take you to the carriage?’
‘What if you faint at the ceremony?’
Under the orders of the Marquis’ second wife, Ramona Montague, Lily, Celia’s stepsister, was locked in a warehouse.
Even if it was an unwanted marriage, it was her daughter’s wedding, so she didn’t want to see the half-blood siblings. Ramona ordered that but she didn’t show up.
It was because she didn’t like her soon-to-be son-in-law Leonis Cardian.
At the Emperor’s command, Ramona only blamed Celia, as if it were her fault, though the wedding was held under the acquiescence of the Marquis.
“You should have taken the Crown Prince’s heart instead!”
Celia just bowed her head with her mouth shut. Ramona simply didn’t push her for a day or two. It was because she was well aware that no matter what she said, it would be ineffective.
As she looked around, Celia’s gaze was drawn to the mirror. It was something she’d already noticed as she moved out of the bed.
The length of her hair was different. She knew something was wrong when she noticed her hair reaching her hips.
‘That…. who is that?’
Celia’s face turned pale at the sight of a beautiful woman with cotton candy pink hair. She quickly realized that the figure that was following her was actually her form.
“Who the hell am I?”
The maids were also embarrassed by her question.
“You’re a young lady. Celia Montague, Marquis Montague’s child.”
Celia raised her hand and touched her face as the maid answered her with a frightened face. The last name ‘Montague’ was something that she could not forget.
It was Romeo’s last name in Romeo and Juliet.
‘Romance fantasy novel with the last name Montague…’
There was a rated 19 novel named, ‘The Castle of Detention.’
Celia Montague was clearly the older sister of the female lead, who committed suicide after receiving a rejection letter from her ex-fiancé the day before the wedding.
She was Ramona’s daughter and the only person who loved Lily Montague in the novel. The name Lily was also given by Celia.
Lily was a brave girl who had come to ask for Leonis’s responsibility after Celia’s death.
Leonis realized that Lily possessed the same power as Celia, and decided to take her as a bride instead.
Lily tried to take revenge on Leonis with a misunderstanding in mind that Celia’s ex-fiancé, Fabian, was working with the Duke to send a rejection letter, when it was actually the work of the Emperor.
‘…Because Celia’s suicide was on the day of her wedding.’
The maids looked at her with frightened eyes as Celia looked at them and asked.
“Is… today my wedding?”
Wasn’t that some sort of expression? It was a questioning look. The maids were relieved to say that they weren’t as distracted as they had been.
They could not say that she should be in the carriage soon. They were concerned that she would faint again. Celia sighed and closed her eyes.
“The groom is… Leonis Cardian?”
“Yes, my lady.”
Phoebe answered her and looked at Celia, whose hand was trembling. Her throat ached as if it were burning.
“I, water… water.”
“Yes, here you go, my lady!”
It was a young lady who barely saved the parliamentary and healers of Marquis Montegue. Her body had recovered, but her energy was depleted, so the councillor said that the wedding planned for today would be impossible.
‘My lady… I feel sorry for you.’
That cursed monster would not have left her alone. Her eyes welled up with tears when she remembered Celia, who had attempted suicide but failed, would be spending her first night with a weakened body.
When the water went down her throat, she thought she would live.
The knock shattered the silence in the room like thunder. Celia glanced around while pushing a cup of water. As a maid looked at Celia, she nodded.
The door opened, and the servant addressed Celia.
“The Duke’s carriage has arrived. It is time for the young lady to depart.”
The words rang as if it was her time to die.