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The date for the first meeting between Milter and the Duke of Cassiar had been set.
I couldn’t leave the mansion even though it was almost an hour before I was supposed to meet the Duke of Cassiar, so I locked myself in my room, just tying my hair.
Was Archen Milter dead?
How was it possible that the novel’s heroine had already died?
My mind was filled with confusion because I couldn’t believe Milter had already died. When I read her obituary, I remembered a conversation I had with Count Archen.
‘I couldn’t believe what had happened to Lady Milter. Did Lady Milter suffer from a chronic illness?’
Milter was a healthy and strong character from birth in the novel.
Despite Duke Cassiar’s conciliation, she was a strong and determined woman who stood firm in her love.
But I couldn’t believe she died in such a vain way!
She even got buff as the heroine.
Even if the plot went awry, the heroine’s death was inexcusable.
I wanted to know more about Milter’s death.
Maybe she was still alive, just disguised as dead. What couldn’t the heroine do?
This was a story that could appear in a drama, but if there was even a slight possibility, I felt like I wanted to clutch at straws.
If she disappeared from this world, the Duke of Cassiar would kidnap me, who possessed the same power as Milter’s.
‘At first, she was a healthy child who could have a quarrel with the knights, but Milter began to suffer from strange sounds around the age of 13.’
The Count of Archen had a gloomy expression on his face, as if reminiscing about that time.
‘What do you mean by a strange sound?’
‘This is the first time I’ve ever told someone about this. The child is said to have lived several lives. However, she said that she couldn’t change the tragic ending. She told a desperate story and said something disturbing, like she wished for her life, which was like a wheel, would end.’
How many lives did Milter repeat? Did Milter know the ending of this novel?
But the novel I read was not a regression. However, concluding that this was impossible was difficult.
Milter’s death was a plot twist that didn’t appear in the novel, and she could have been living multiple lives that weren’t mentioned in the novel.
If I assumed Milter knew the novel’s ending, she might have tried to avoid an ending where everyone was ruined.
‘Isn’t it hard to believe? I also did. She noticed that I didn’t believe it so she stopped talking about it anymore. I thought it would end there, but Milter brought a mirror, which I had never seen before, and said she knew how to change her fate a few days before she died.’
A way to change fate?
What was that?
Did the mirror become a magic tool?
‘My daughter died suddenly the night she brought the mirror. She was a healthy child who hadn’t even caught a cold.’
Did Milter die unexpectedly?
‘Are you saying the cause of death is unknown?’
‘Her heart stopped for no apparent reason, so the result was a heart attack. There may be lingering feelings, but I can’t help but believe that my daughter’s death was caused by something else.’
Frustrated, the Count of Archen struck his chest with his fist.
How would you feel if your daughter, whom you loved so much, died unexpectedly?
I felt sad as well.
‘What happened to the mirror?’
For the time being, the mirror seemed to be the most connected to Milter’s death.
‘Because my daughter died the day she brought that into the mansion, I thought that item was an ominous thing.’
It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the Count of Archen’s feelings, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.
The mirror was the only clue to Milter’s death.
‘Could you describe the mirror to me? It could be something I’m familiar with.’
‘It was a mirror made of something I’d never seen before. It’s square and fits on a tabletop. Behind it, a girl with black hair and black eyes smiled, her legs flaunted in a short dress. It was a disturbing image.’
Wait, was this?
‘Isn’t this an engraved shape?’
I showed the Count of Archen the scribbled letters on the tissue.
‘That’s right. There must have been a letter like this engraved next to the disturbed image. But how did you know that?’
My guess was right.
The text I showed the Count of Archen was ‘Lee Joo Hye.’
It was my name in a previous life.
‘The Young Lady of Archen once showed me the mirror. I remember it because it had an unusual shape.’
I lied when I said I’d seen Milter’s mirror. Truthfully, I hadn’t met Milter. But I knew what Count Archen meant when he explained the mirror.
A square mirror with a picture attached to it that could be placed on a tabletop.
It was clearly the mirror I had used in a previous life.
It was a cheap mirror that I bought for 1,000 Won at an emporium when I was a student, and I put my picture on the back of it.
Because I frequently lost my mirror, I engraved my name on it.
But I was hesitant to admit that it was a photo from a previous life because I respected Count Archen’s feelings.
For me, it was a bittersweet feeling, as I wished I had a father like the Count of Archen.
I had heartbreak in unexpected places, but what mattered now was not my past life.
How did Milter get my mirror?
What connection did this have to my entry into the novel?
Perhaps there was something I was overlooking. What happened just before I came in here?
Before entering the world, I lay in bed, closed my eyes, and calmly recalled myself. Strangely enough, after realizing my previous life, the memory of that day still came to mind.
I was reading a novel after work and fell asleep. What else happened after that?
I remembered hearing a faint voice in the darkness.
I was lying on the bed like a corpse when I was startled awake by a memory that came to mind.
That’s right, after falling asleep while reading a novel, I had a dream!
A strange woman’s voice spoke to me in a dream.
‘You’re a strong-willed woman who will change fate. May this power bring you blessings on your journey forward.’
The woman gave me something while putting her forehead together on mine in the darkness, where I couldn’t even see her face, and then disappeared.
That’s the last memory I have of my previous life, and I’ve been living as Alioth Riel since then.
What if I received Milter’s power then? Was that Milter?
But why me?
She referred to me as ‘a person with a strong desire to change fate.’
Then, what the woman called as the person with strong will to change the fate, was here.
Was she referring to my wish to rip the novel’s ending and fix it if I could?
Was it really Milter’s reason for bringing me into this world? Was she willing to give up her life for it?
If I could go back in time, I’d delete all related apps so I wouldn’t be able to read novels in my previous life.
No, I wouldn’t even install it in the first place! I said that I would shut myself off from novels for the rest of my life!
I went somewhere and cried because I couldn’t speak, and then I realized that the time I promised to the Duke of Cassiar had passed.
He knew I was from the Alioth family, so he’d find me if I didn’t show up for the meeting.
“What if you just go away, Milter? You won’t even be able to see Hassen, whom you love, if you go this way! I’m not going to let you go in this condition!”
Feeling stuck, I cried out into the air.
I was afraid that my head would explode if I didn’t cry.
I had no choice but to accept Milter’s death now that everything had come together.
I was too stunned, as if my world had come crashing down around me, and I kicked the bed down.
I didn’t want to sit around doing nothing and become entangled with Duke Cassiar instead of the heroine and him ruin me!
There was still a chance.
Let’s get on any boat now and leave this empire, living as if I were dead, and then doing long-term business with the money I had amassed over the years.
Since I also had funds I had saved up from my time working at the merchant organization, I think I would be able to survive for a while.
I began packing my belongings into a large bag, as if I were a thief escaping at night.
“That’s good enough! Let’s go!”
With a lot of extra money in the safe, I hurriedly opened the door and rushed out to the living room at a frantic pace.
“Oh my goodness, Riel. Did you just get out of bed?”
I saw my mother smiling softly at the end of the hallway.
Even if I want to leave, I suppose I should say my goodbyes. With tears in my eyes, I ran to my mother and hugged her.
“Oh my, what’s wrong with you? Did you have a nightmare?”
I wish this were a nightmare.
It was a dream that cameto an end when you woke up. I thought I’d be able to live happily as the Marquis’s daughter, Young Lady Alioth, but tears welled up as I realized I might never see my family again.
I would have spent more time with my family instead of working if I had known this would happen.
Because my family was always in the mansion, I thought I could meet and talk with them whenever I pleased.
I hadn’t even gone on a typical family trip since the company started, so I postponed and waited until the next time.
“Mother, thank you for raising me until now.”
“You are, really! What are you talking about out of the blue? What’s with all the luggage you’ve got on your hands? Are you going to leave the house right now?”
How did you know?
Of course, my behavior was akin to that of a fugitive who always wants to flee, but my mother seemed to have figured out why I was leaving the house.
“Did you already know that?”
“Of course. I had a rough idea of what was going on. A guest came while you were sleeping.”
A guest came?
Come to think of it, my mother was dressed up in a glamorous dress that was different from usual. When a special guest came, she took out her favorite ruby necklace and hung it, but now it was hanging around her neck.
Looking at the ruby necklace around her neck, it appears that a formal guest had arrived. Was there anyone who was willing to come and see me?
When I was younger, I learned to work at a company that organized a merchant’s private army. And, as I grew older, I took over the management of the company, so I had no close acquaintances with whom I could personally visit the mansion.
Butte took over the company’s work, so it was most likely not because of work.
Even if I used my brain, there was no one to guess.
“No one is coming, who…”
My gaze was drawn to the sofa in the living room.
And I went there.
Then I noticed his face, sitting on the sofa with his back completely relaxed. I stifled a scream that was about to erupt.
Why are you here?
“They are right; a beautiful woman is a sleepyhead.”
The Duke of Cassiar was there, tilting his teacup and staring at me while sitting confidently in front of my father.
Why are you staring at me like that?
I was taken aback by the Duke of Cassiar’s presence at first, but his stare at me had grown seriously vexing.
“When I see you as beautiful as you are, I notice that you sleep a lot.”
The Duke of Cassiar gave me a warm smile.
As if he were talking with his lover, he looked at me with a loving expression.
Cluthing at straws means to be willing to try anything to improve a difficult or unsatisfactory situation, even if it has little chance of success. Source: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/clutch-grasp-at-straws]