A blurry black and white scaffold. A woman was tied to it, her entire body drenched in blood. The fancy clothes that she had worn as a noble were unrecognizable, and the angry onlookers continued to scream at her.
A rock was thrown from somewhere and hit her head.
A vibrant red liquid trickled down her face, but no one pitied her. Everyone was cursing at her, their faces full of anger.
“Do you have any last words?” asked the emperor who stood in front of the scaffold. He had once been her husband, but now there was only cold hate reflected in his eyes.
The Emperor spoke in a bitter voice, “The Marquis…your father and your brothers died. All because of you!”
“They all worried about you to their last breath. They begged for your life to be spared.” At those words, grief and regret filled her eyes. But it was too late.
“Apologize to them in hell.”
The Emperor coldly announced her death. And the gruesome guillotine fell on her neck.
Then the scene changed to a black and white surgery room. The doctors were looking at the patient with frustrated expressions. “The spleen ruptured! The blood pressure is too low!”
“What about transfusion?!”
“We’re already transfusing more blood in. But the bleeding is too fast.” Their eyes shook. The patient’s condition was already very poor. Could they still save this person?
And it was then! As the door to the surgery room opened, a woman entered. “How’s the patient?” She was a petite, frail-looking woman.
She looked like someone who would faint at the sight of blood…
But the doctors who looked at her made strange expressions.
“It’s at 60.”
A critical condition of shock. But the woman nodded her head without a single sign of emotion.
“Yes? Yes, professor!”
“Why are you so nervous?”
“Well…the patient’s current state…”
And the woman smiled at his words. It was a smile that made onlookers relieved.
“Chief Kim. What do we have to do now?”
“Go ahead, say it.”
“After we open the stomach, we have to stop the point of bleeding. And according to the level of damage done, we have to determine what to do next.”
The woman nodded like it was nothing.
“Correct. You’re right. That’s what we’ll do.”
“Listen well. From now, we’re gong to be saving this patient. The condition isn’t that good…but i believe that we can save this patient. Don’t you think so too?”
“…Yes, I do.”
At her calm and steady words, the doctors started to calm down from their state of nervousness. She was right, they could save the patient.
They could save any patient as long as they were with this frail-looking but strong woman.
Then, once the surgery began, her expression changed from a weak woman, to that of an ‘Iron Surgeon’ who fights between life and death.
“We’ll open the patient now.”
And the scalpel split the abdomen. The blood that spurted out from the artery dripped down her face, and so the war began.
Jihyun shot her eyes open.
“It was a dream again…” She shook her head. Her past lives; they were dreams of the villainess of the Empire, Elise, and general surgeon Song Jihyun.
“But what in the world happened?” She looked down at her body.
“I died….” But she was alive at this moment. And in an extremely familiar body at that. She exhaled deeply, looked in the mirror, and noticed her gold hair, and a doll-like face.
Elise de Clarence.
She had returned to her first life!!
‘Just what in the world happened?’ She sighed.
General surgeon Song Jihyun had died from a place crash of unknown causes. But when she opened her eyes, she was back in the body of her first life, and to the young age of 16.
‘I don’t understand,’ She shook her head.
‘But at least I’m alive.’
When she first became conscious, 10 days had passed. At first, she was extremely confused, but now she was less tense. She didn’t know how it happened, but she decided to accept it. At this time, a knock sounded from outside.
“Miss, miss. I’ll go inside.”
“Oh, sure. Come inside.”
A young maid came in with food.
“Here’s your food, my lady.”
The young maid carefully asked a question, “Uh…miss.”
“You’re not sick anywhere, right?”
“I’m ok, why?” Jihyun made an expression of suspicion.
“No it’s…it’s just that you seem different from before. And you’re not as energetic as you used to be….”
She would get annoyed at the drop of a hat, and threw items around was an everyday event. Plenty of people had gotten hurt because of her.
‘But my temper right now isn’t that bad compared to how I became…’ She grinded her teeth thinking of all the crimes she had committed. The Empire’s most noble family, the Clarence family, had disappeared because of her. Watching her loved ones die caused her pain in her second life.
‘I’m not gonna let that happen this time.’ She had returned to Elise de Clarence’s life, so she had to live it now. She didn’t know what kind of life she was gonna lead since she had been a surgeon on Earth, but she was sure of one thing–she wasn’t going to repeat her first life.
At her soft voice, Mary responded in surprise. ‘Why is she doing this? Is she trying to throw another tantrum?’ The young girl who knew her master’s bad temper trembled in fear.
“Is it until today? That I’m being punished?”
“Yes, my lady.”
Currently, she was being punished at the orders of her father, Marquis El, and was locked in an isolated room in the residence for something she had done. ‘It’s a good thing I was locked in.’ No one came to find her during this time. If they saw her being confused, they would’ve thought something was wrong with her.
“Uh, my lady. The Marquis said that he would see you at lunch.”
“Yes, he said to participate in the family banquet.”
She was surprised. The family banquet? “Then everyone’s gathering? Father, Stepmother, and my older brothers?”
“Yes of course, except for the vice leader of the Rifle Knightage, your oldest brother, everyone’s participating.”
Jihyun’s heart beat faster. She was finally going to meet her family. It was a reunion after the long twisting path of two deaths.
‘How am I supposed to treat them?’ The reason why she was hesitating was because she had missed them for 30 years. She hadn’t erased the lives of her family from her heart just because she was on Earth. Rather, she tried to remember them to atone for her sins.
However, she was Song Jihyun, and not Elise, so she felt awkward.
But she shook her head. ‘What are you doing, Song Jihyun. You’re meeting your family that you missed for 30 years.’
The door opened, and her family turned their heads to look at her, ending the conversations they were having.
When she saw their faces, time seemed to stop.
She covered her mouth with her hand. Her hand trembled.
She didn’t have to worry about how she was going to treat them.
Her father, who had wordlessly loved her and died because of her.
Her brother, who had always been on her side whether she was right or wrong. And her step mother, whom she had so hated, had worried about her like she was her own child until she died from a disease.
They were all alive and looking at her.
“Elise? What’s wrong?”
When her father looked at her with a suspicious face, tears dripped down her face. She frantically wiped them, but they kept on falling.
“…Lissy?! What’s wrong?”
Her brother, who always loved her no matter what, approached her.
“Was it that hard being punished? Really, father. Even if she did do something wrong, 10 days was too long. Don’t cry. My pretty little sister. Come here.”
And her brother, Chris, tightly held her in his arms.
In his warm embrace that she had missed for 30 years, she started crying even harder. ‘Brother. I was so sorry. Really. This time…I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.’
She remembered hearing about her brother’s death in the Creme Peninsula. He was sent there because of her. She was never going to let that repeat. Chris patted Elise, who was in his arms.
“Honey, I told you you were too harsh on her. Even if she did something wrong.”
“Ahem, I-i’m sorry Elise. It’s all my f-fault, so don’t cry.” Her serious father didn’t know what to do and apologized. But Jihyun didn’t hear what they were saying.
“I…I’m okay.” She looked at her family. The tears didn’t stop, but she still smiled; it was a smile of pain and longing.
“Father, mother, and Chris.”
“What’s wrong, Elise?” She spoke the words she had buried in her heart for 30 years.
“I love you.”
And she closed her eyes. A single teardrop fell down her face again.
“And…I’m sorry. Really.”
And that’s how she came back to her first life.