Chapter 1 - Prologue
She instinctively stood up and walked over to a mirror when she thought about death. It felt as if she was drenched in cold water. She stood in front of the broken mirror as if she was possessed. Despite her impending death, she maintained her appearance, dressed simply, and tried to remain pretty.
‘I need to see him for the last time.’
It was going to happen soon. After regaining her strength right before her death, she started moving. She had a strong feeling that she wouldn’t be able to see her family if she didn’t visit them now. As she walked, she realized how she felt about them.
‘Oh that’s right. I…’
She loved them and because she loved them, she also wanted to be loved by them.
‘Whatever it is, I won’t mind. Even if they are angry, loathe me, and even if they don’t feel great because of me,’ she thought as she recalled them.
‘I miss them. They were my first family ever.’
She, at least, wanted to see the Duke and the twin brothers before she died, so Laila started running. She knocked on the door. Although the knights were pushing her away, Laila ran towards them and still knocked. But the door to the duke’s office and the door to the twin brother’s room remained shut until the end.
“Get rid of her,” the Knight Commander clicked his tongue and said.
His words struck her heart like lightning. She was already used to being rejected, but as desperate as she was, she no longer had the energy to continue running towards the knights. She was standing for a long time with the knights holding her in place and saw her vision getting blurry. The last thing she remembered was seeing the Knight Commander’s shocked face and wide eyes as she collapsed and lost consciousness, spilling blood on the floor.
When she finally opened her eyes again, Laila was in a room similar to an underground tunnel and couldn’t breathe well.
There was no one left next to her. And soon, she stopped breathing. Laila Estevan faced her death like that.
* * *
She died just like that. After all, even when she was literally dying from her illness, she still wasn’t loved by anyone.
‘It would have been better if I had already given up,’ Laila thought.
She recalled the feeling of running out of breath and the feeling that was not enough to call pain.
‘I should have just accepted it.’
She felt that it would’ve been better if she just died. However, she lacked the courage to face death herself, so she let her illness take her. Even though she felt that way, she was always scared of death. And that fear became her sense of shame—weighing down on her.
‘Stupid Laila. You can’t do anything because you’re so pathetic.’
She wasn’t sobbing or anything, but the sound of her distressed moans slipped out from her mouth.
‘But, but… what do I do now that I’m alive again…?’
Laila was brought back to life. The physical pain that she got used to was better than the feeling she had experienced right before she died. After observing her surroundings, she came to the conclusion that she was brought back to a month before her death. She was only able to tell because of a single line she had drawn on the wall a month ago.
‘What should I do?’
She curled up her body and shivered. She really didn’t know what to do. Foolish enough, she wanted to see her family again, but decided against it.
‘Let’s not hope for anything or expect anything. I can’t be a burden.’
When she decided not to go see them, the decision was actually made for herself as well. Instead, she decided to stay put and come up with the best plan she could think of.
When she came back to her life a month before her death, she was determined.
‘If I can’t be loved, I will at least die after tasting some kind of love.’
“But would there be anyone who would be willing to help me feel like I’m being loved?”
Laila was feeling doubtful, but soon bit her lips and collected herself. She had to think about her plan first, otherwise, she wouldn’t have any idea how she’d survive a month from now.
“Oh, that guy.”
After a while, a certain person came to mind.
“That’s right. The Evil Duke.”
The Evil Duke was known as Venio de Arsen.
As far as Laila knew, he was cold, prideful, and was a villain who lightly tortured people including Amelia. She had never met him before, so she tried her best to remember the descriptions from the book.
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