Chapter 1 - Reborn Into a Villainess
Act 0. The Death of a Villainess
When the girl was young, her mother passed away. Her only remaining family member was her father, who never stayed at home. For as long she could remember, the girl was on her own.
‘I want to see my father,’ she decided one day.
The girl, who yearned for the company of her only family member, secretly went to meet him. However, she received a cold response.
“Why did you come here?”
With a thundering voice, the man scolded the girl on the verge of tears.
“Do not come here again,” he ordered.
The girl didn’t expect him to welcome her, for she was used to his cold indifference, but this sharp memory left a deep scar.
‘My father doesn’t love me,’ she thought.
With a wounded heart, the girl grew older and made her debut in high society.
‘He didn’t come today either.’
Her grand debutante ball was held in the absence of her father. She eventually left the banquet hall, feeling miserable.
‘Did he not come because he’s ashamed of me?’
As she cried to herself, a man appeared in front of her.
“Why are you crying, my lady?”
His words were warm and his gaze attentive. For the man, it may have been a kindness that he could have given to anyone. But for the girl who had been starved of intimacy for so many years, it felt like he was her savior.
After that day, she started to follow him like a shadow, begging for his love until she succeeded in becoming his lover.
“I’ll give you anything you want. All you have to do is love me.”
But reality strayed from her wishes.
“I don’t need your love anymore. Truthfully, I’ve fallen in love with the princess.”
He said goodbye to the girl, whose only dream was to marry him. After their three-year relationship, the breakup left her devastated.
“Even you… abandoned me. I will never forgive you.”
After some time passed, the princess who had stolen her lover consumed poison at a banquet and fell into a coma. This posed a problem because many people had witnessed the person who gave the poisoned cup to the princess.
“You! Did you try to hurt her?”
The girl, who had now blossomed into a woman, frantically shook her head. Although she hated the princess for stealing the man she loved, she never wanted to hurt her. She had simply handed the cup to the princess because she had asked for a drink to quench her thirst.
“No, it wasn’t me!”
But no one believed her. The circumstances surrounding this incident, as well as her usual conduct, marked her as the culprit.
When this became certain, the emperor ordered in anger, “Take that wicked girl to the underground prison. Now!”
But no one moved to receive his orders. Perhaps this was because standing behind the woman was an even more fearful figure than the emperor himself.
Although he had always been indifferent towards her, they were still family. The woman cried while latching onto his hand. Despite his age, he looked like a young man.
“Father, I really didn’t!”
He brushed her off, and her eyes widened in astonishment.
The Duke of Floyen stared at the emperor as he spoke. “I will personally arrest her.”
The emperor, who was wary of the transcendent man in front of him, sighed. “How can I trust you? I know you’re just going to cause trouble!”
The Duke of Floyen opened his mouth to appease his anger. “You will have no choice but to trust me if I lock her up in the Room of Shadows.”
The Room of Shadows was a prison cell that confined the most unforgivable sinners. Neither magic nor weapons could break through it, making it notorious for being a place you could never escape from once you got in.
Only immediate members of the royal family could freely open and close its doors, and in this situation, imprisoning her there meant that the Duke was giving up on his daughter.
‘How could you do this to me?’
Filled with despair, the woman was led underground by her cold-hearted father. A fishy smell pervaded the cold, musty air. Entering a prison for the first time in her life was more than terrifying. But the most terrifying part was the Room of Shadows, which was shrouded in darkness.
The woman decided to try her luck before entering the cell.
“Father, I really…”
Although she had called out to him in distress, an icy voice met her. The woman felt an indescribable amount of pain as her tears trickled down her cheeks and splattered onto the ground.
‘I’ve really been abandoned.’
At that moment, her father reached into his coat to secretly hand her something before pushing her into the cell.
When the door closed, keeping out his stony voice, a bright light formed a circle and a geometric pattern appeared. It was a powerful enchantment used to block the entrance.
After confirming what her father had given her, the woman was seized by misery and desperation.
‘Why did you give me this? Do you want me to kill myself?’
As the cold air inside the cell settled on her skin, so did the reality of his abandonment. The woman clutched the dagger her father had given her and cried silently.