“It’s, it’s cold.”
Even in the midst of summer, a bone-chilling coldness seemed to seep into her very core, causing her eyes to open on their own.
‘…Has the heater gone off?’
Shivering, she looked around for something to cover herself with while hastily wrapping a blanket around her body.
As warmth spread through her body, the unfamiliar space started to come into focus slowly. Only a faint light seeped through the gaps in the curtains, leaving the room as dark as night.
‘…Where am I?’
Before drifting off to sleep, Yeoreum* pondered on the memories of right before she fell asleep. Yesterday was her birthday. It was a slightly melancholic day as she was registered as born on the day she was abandoned in front of the nursery because they didn’t know the day she was born.
[ T/N: The author used the name ‘여름,’ which could also mean ‘Summer,’ though based on the transmigrating setting, it’s more likely that it’s ‘Yeoreum’! ]
Staring blankly at the candles on the whipped cream cake, she made the same wish as always this year.
‘…I wish for a family.’
Yeoreum chuckled. After all, she knew it wouldn’t come true.
After that, she continued to eat a few bites of the cake before falling asleep while reading her favorite novel. As she remembered what had happened yesterday, Yeoreum lifted herself up to her feet and drew back the curtains that covered the room.
Unlike the dark room, the outside space was warm.
“Where am I…?”
The overall extravagant decorations resembled a European hotel.
Was she dreaming? While her eyes darted around the room, her gaze naturally stopped on a box placed on the table.
They seemed to be very precious, as they were neatly arranged in an orderly manner. As if possessed, she pulled out one of them and checked the sender’s name.
As the unfamiliar foreign words flowed out from her mouth naturally, a strange shiver ran down her spine.
With a bad feeling settling in her stomach, Yeoreum quickly turned her eyes to the mirror across from her.
The reflection in the mirror looked unfamiliar.
Long silver hair shimmered like starlight, and beneath thick eyelashes, the irises were a beautiful and clear shade of blue. In addition, her skin was so pale it was almost transparent, and the distinct facial features resembled those of an exquisitely drawn painting, making her a remarkable beauty.
“Don’t tell me…”
Murmured under her breath, Yeoreum hurried her steps to return to the place where she woke up. As she fumbled along the wall to find the switch, her hand accidentally brushed against something, and the surroundings brightened.
Her mouth fell agape at the unbelievable sight. It was because atop the circular magic circle stood something that appeared human, motionless.
She swallowed dryly and approached it cautiously.
As she identified its identity, her legs lost strength. With golden hair like honey, as if coated with honey, its eyes as crimson as blood but devoid of any warmth or light were chilling.
It looked human, yet it wasn’t human.
Instinctively, she realized what this was.
Yeoreum realized she had transmigrated into the novel she had been reading before falling asleep… and she had transmigrated into an extra who would die at the hands of the male lead.
“This is crazy!”
Yes, well, transmigrating into a novel was a common setting now.
‘It’s all good, it’s okay.’
Yeoreum also once thought that it would be nice to be transmigrated into a novel as a voracious reader. She wanted to be the beloved daughter, surrounded by a handsome father and cool brothers.
‘What I wanted was a heartwarming family story, not this mess—!’
She let out a deep sigh.
The novel, graced with an unappealing title, revolved around a mature-rated romance fantasy centered on a male and female protagonist.
The male lead, Ignis, was famous for his portrayal of twisted affection towards the female lead, Seria, incorporating various frustrating keywords such as obsession, confinement, regret, and escape, serving as a remedy for low blood pressure.
Among them, the character Karentina Lorraine, whom Yeoreum transmigrated into, was the daughter of a ducal family who was the owner of the northern region.
Just looking at it this way, she appeared to embody the role of a wicked villainess or accomplice. However, due to creating a doll that looked exactly like Ignis, she became a character who would burn to death in the male lead’s hands.
The reason why Karentina knew stories about him was because Damion, her brother, was on friendly terms with Ignis.
The Duke and Duchess of Lorraine lost their lives in a carriage accident, marking the unfortunate beginning of Damion and Karentina’s childhood. Soon after, Maurice, their uncle who assumed the role of their guardian, managed to seize control of the duchy. As a result, Damion was sent to the academy, while Karentina was sent to the estate in the north.
At the time, Karentina was merely four years old.
With his talent in swordsmanship, Damion joined the imperial knighthood and resolved to serve alongside the crown prince, Ignis.
‘Due to the scheme of Maurice and the Empress, who didn’t want to hand over the duchy to Damion, he ended up as a ruined man.’
Damion, who joined the subjugation knights in response to the proliferation of monsters in the northern region, embarked on a journey northward alongside Ignis and the youthful princess, Stella.
Despite his excitement at the thought of reuniting with his younger sister after a prolonged separation brought about by his uncle’s scheme, he never got to meet Karentina, who was suffering from a mental illness.
Upon reaching the north, the knights had no time to spare and had to depart immediately for their subjugation mission.
…And due to the Empress’s scheme, Damion was led to his death.
In order to hold his funeral, Ignis hastened back to the northern castle, but there, a harrowing scene greeted him—Stella lay lifeless, drained of all her magical power.
Ignis was a transcendent bearing the inexhaustible magic conferred by his esteemed lineage. Fearing the combination of Ignis’s power with that of the Princess, who was on the verge of manifesting her own transcendent abilities, the Empress sought to undermine them.
Enraged by his younger sister’s death, he spiraled into a rampage, killing all of the Empress’s spies, and during this pursuit, he discovered Karentina. He mistook Karentina, who had created a doll identical to him, as a pawn of the Empress and consequently set both her and the doll ablaze.
Yeoreum laughed hollowly while recalling the absurd content of the novel.
“Haha. Everyone’s dead except for the main characters. You die, I die…”
Letting out a sigh of frustration, her hands dropping helplessly from her head. Although it was pitiful to see Karentina meet her end at the hands of Ignis, she understood his feelings to some extent.
‘His younger sister, who is only five-year-old, dies. There’s no way he could think about anything.’
Especially since he saw a doll that bore a striking resemblance to himself, he might have assumed it was a directive from the Empress, so he killed her without a second thought. Nonetheless, even that was a story that could only make sense for characters in a novel, it didn’t apply to herself right now.
Yeoreum let out a long sigh.
It was bad enough that she was suddenly transmigrated here, but to take the role of an expendable extra who just waited to be burned to death was too much. She thought it would have been better if it had happened before she created the doll, but there was no point in regretting it now.
As she gathered the magic power she felt instinctively and tried to move the doll, the doll followed her gesture and took a step closer to her.
It felt as if an invisible thread had tightly connected her and the doll.
‘It’s impossible to change the face, but…’
When Yeoreum reached out and brushed the doll’s hair and eyes, in an instant, the doll transformed,as its silver hair and blue eyes matched hers.
Could she deceive Ignis with such a trick?
Just as she shook her head and bit her lip, lost in thought, Yeoreum lifted her head abruptly as if struck by an idea.
“Wait. If this is before the beginning point of the original story, then isn’t Stella still alive?”
As she once again recalled the contents of the novel, a brilliant plan came to mind.
“If I can protect Stella from dying, maybe I can survive too?”
The benefactor of life… that was it.
Karentina sprang up from her seat.
Giving Strength to her trembling legs, she regulated her ragged breath.
Determined to somehow survive and turn this frustrating and stuffy novel into a refreshing* situation, she pulled the rope beside the bed vigorously.
[ T/N: Fun fact! The author used the word ‘고구마,’ which literally meant ‘sweet potato’ when describing the original story throughout the chapter. It originated from the fact that eating sweet potatoes has a sore throat and that it’s necessary to drink water—so when the content is stuffy, it’s called sweet potato. And now, the author also uses ‘사이다,’ which is a common expression that goes in hand with ‘고구마.’ When someone is dense or the situation is frustrating, it’s 고구마 (because they get stuffy), and when the situation resolves, it’s 사이다. If you’re watching a KDrama, for example, if things are going bad for the protagonist or some crucial plot point is being stalled, it’s a 고구마 situation. The moment the protagonist saves the day is 사이다.
If you’re interested or would like to read more about this, visit this link: https://koreanforinternauts.blogspot.com/2017/05/when-someone-just-doesnt-get-it-and.html ]