t/n: okay, i’m totally backtracking here and i apologize in advance ._.)
i’ve been wrestling with this for the past 10 chapters or so, but i belatedly realized that using third-person pov for the entire novel just doesn’t work, even if it looks better on the page.
our FL is dealing with a lot of body/identity dysmorphia, so it doesn’t make sense for me to keep referring to her as ‘rosetta’ during her personal moments—especially in this chapter.
that’s why i’ll be going back to switching between first-person pov and third-person pov, just as the author has intended.
when the pov shifts happen, there will be section breaks to indicate the changes in perspective so you don’t have to worry—it won’t be as confusing as it sounds.
sorry for the inconvenience and i hope you guys understand!
I opened my eyes.
Everywhere I looked, it was dark.
In a world where I knew not whether it was night or day, I let out a cloudy breath.
What was certain was that, here, I was dreaming.
The third transmigration.
Humid air filled my lungs.
I clenched my throat with a weak hand.
I felt suffocated and I didn’t know why.
My lips quivered and, without my knowledge, they were drawn into a crescent arc.
Several streams of hot tears flowed out of my eyes.
Those droplets brushed my cheeks and wet my ears.
It was like I was drowning.
My tears flowed against my will, my laughter broke out because it felt like I’d go crazy if I didn’t let it out.
“Ha… ha, ha…”
In the air, a broken voice rang.
In this dark space, my voice echoed.
In this endless silence, my teeth clenched together.
My lips were now closed, trying to suppress this laughter.
Was this a cry close to laughter Was this a laugh close to crying
As I lay down for a long time, feeling as though I was a crazed lunatic, I heard the creaking sound of a door opening.
I swallowed my breath.
Without noticing this, the skin over my neck was scratched because the hand that had grabbed it grew tense.
A prickling sensation swept throughout my entire body.
It was terribly realistic.
Ah, seriously… how terribly realistic.
Familiar footsteps began their approach.
Accompanying these footsteps was the sound of something being dragged across the floor.
I closed my eyes.
This was making me nauseous.
I clamped my lips together, but I couldn’t stop my teeth from chattering.
Ta-dak, ta-dak, ta-dak.
At the sound of the steady footsteps approaching, the sound of my heart gradually turned to a crescendo.
Ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump.
To the extent that I wish my ears would just be deafened by this loud noise.
However, these harsh footsteps did not stop.
They only became clearer.
With the hand that wasn’t on my neck, I scratched the floor at my side.
My fingers and nails brushed smoothly through the terribly soft carpet.
Soon, at some point, those footsteps stopped.
Something fell to the floor, and along with it, something splashed.
Then, a horrendous stench.
A dreadfully familiar, dreadfully metallic, dreadfully pain-inducing stench.
At the unbearable nausea that came to me, I opened my heavy eyelids.
In this dark space, there was the illumination of a scarlet flame filling the void.
The shadows created by that candle danced dangerously.
And the shadow of a person reflected on the wall was like an enormous monster.
As though I had been struggling to break free from a bout of sleep paralysis, I sat up at once, my upper body snapping up.
And the nausea I had been pushing down eventually let loose.
Scorching gastric fluids passed through my stomach, came up my esophagus, reached my uvula.
It felt like my stomach was on fire.
Tears that were as scorching as these gastric fluids soaked the floor.
While throwing up only these gastric fluids for a long time, that person made not one noise.
I know for sure—he will pull my legs back in place and look down on me.
I gasped audibly.
This terrible hell.
When will I be able to wake up
I do not wish to look up, forever.
Just, I wish to live with my face down on the floor.
So that I will not have to raise my head and face reality.
My head hit the ground with nothing.
Seeing nothing, hearing nothing.
Nothing at all…
It was at that moment.
With a pained moan, someone called my name.
My body stopped trembling for a moment.
Perhaps, I thought that maybe my heart had even stopped.
I shut my eyes, and slowly opened them once more.
The two hands that supported my body scratched the floor, and as expected, only soft fur brushed past my fingertips.
The breath that was lodged at my throat poured out as though it was vomit.
Slowly, I raised my head.
And it was as though time had stopped.
At the end of that glaring gaze, I gradually began to see familiar characters.
The ground at the edge of my view was stained red.
One character’s body writhed on the floor.
Perhaps even the smallest of movements caused him pain, and that character soon coughed out roughly.
The breaths that were spat out, scratching his neck, were broken.
Bright, vivid, red liquid tainted his pale lips.
And next to the character who was on the floor, there was a pair of shoes that another character wore.
Red marks remained as stains on those white shoes.
Soon, one white shoe went under the chin of the man who had collapsed to the floor.
Then, as though playing with a mere ball, that shoe brushed along the man’s broken jaw.
I let out what sounded like a dullard’s groans.
Crawling on the ground on both hands and feet, my nails scraped along the carpet.
I stumbled several times because I had no strength left in this body.
However, I did not stop moving.
“Ri… Ri… ta…”
Again, that broken voice called my name.
I clenched my lips to hold back my screams.
It tasted metallic.
My lips had torn.
But I endured it and continued crawling.
As I came closer to them, that white shoe also returned to its original place.
The owner of those shoes crouched down.
Leaning down with his knees bent, he grabbed the blood-soaked man’s hair.
It was just then that I arrived in front of the cage, which kept me locked away from freedom.
One hand on an iron bar, one hand through the gaps, the only part of me that could escape.
As far as I could, I stretched my arm as far as possible and grasped at the air.
But there was nothing I could touch.
Just a few inches.
Just a few inches more.
My shoulder tightened.
As it was against the iron bars around it, it screamed in pain as though my arm was about to fall off.
Nevertheless, I did not stop swinging it in the air.
The man who had his face on the ground struggled.
It should be easy to raise one’s head, and yet he had to make several attempts just to lift his forehead from the ground.
And each time, I screamed.
My stomach was scorched black.
It felt as though I had swallowed red, burning fire in one gulp.
Soon, as I barely lifted my face, a blurry gaze met mine.
Perhaps we made eye contact.
Perhaps we couldn’t.
He called my name again.
And, that was the end.
One dull sound— and the gasping breaths stopped.
This, what the hell… what…
The man who had his head slammed to the ground no longer moved.
I stared blankly at the man who no longer breathed, and soon, I screamed at the top of my lungs.
“AAHHH! BROTHER! BROTHER!! NO… NO!”
My—Rita’s—brother could not answer.
Amidst the excruciating screams, a kind voice rang out.
“Rita, look at this.
You shouldn’t have tricked me and tried to run away.”
That kind voice sent goosebumps up my skin.
I looked towards the man crouching in front of me.
A man who resembled a rose.
Those eyes of his were bent into arches, as kind as his voice.
The angel-like face smiled softly, and soon after, it seemed as though a halo was shining over his head.
In fact, most people truly believed that there was a halo over him.
Because in this entire kingdom, he was the temple’s most honorable high priest.
O, esteemed high priest.
O, beautiful emissary of God.
O, pure white messenger.
It was the name of the man I loathed to the deepest of my soul, so much so that I wanted to run away from him even though I knew I could die.
‘Yurian’, the male lead of this goddamned third novel.
* * *
I opened my eyes.
Everywhere I looked, it was bright.
The deep blue dawn’s light was brighter than I expected.
I lay still and looked around.
“Ha… ha, ha…”
Laughter burst anew from my lips.
Fortunately, tears did not flow this time, unlike in that dream.
I covered my face with both hands.
The salty tears that soaked my palms rubbed against my skin, and finally, a clear realization of reality woke me up.
‘Seriously, goddamned nightmare…’
It’s been such a long time since I last had such a vivid dream.
Ah, of course… The night I had a dream of the past, I embraced Alicia, and yet.
This was worse than the other one.
There was no nightmare more horrifying than facing that son of a b*tch.
I slowly rose from the bed.
My entire body was soaked with cold sweat.
As though I’d been fished out of water, drowning.
I probably look pale.
Like when I had gone to the dungeon to meet Katie last night.
I told Cassion that I was pale because of Katie, but in fact… it was because of the ‘underground prison’ itself.
As I entered an environment where darkness, dampness and the smell of blood permeated, I was subconsciously reminded of the past.
And the nightmare of that day might be because of the same reason.
That intense memory of the past subconsciously made its way into my dream.
Sighing, I brought a hand to my forehead.
Even without looking into a mirror, I could easily guess that I looked ridiculous at this moment.
‘If Cassion sees me like this, will he ask again if I’m alright’
Suddenly, as this question popped into my head, I laughed in vain.
Ah, seriously, the worst.
* * *
‘Seeing that it’s still peaceful, I don’t think I was caught, fortunately.’
It’s been about a week since Cassion was brought into the mansion—a week since that terrible nightmare.
As Leo was looking for any traces of Cassion, he was two days late compared to what he had done in the novel.
It was tranquil inside the mansion, and there was also no particular loud news coming from outside.
Some would glance at the room of the stranger who the illegitimate daughter had picked up, but that kind of interest did not last more than a day.
Perhaps it was because of Katie.
It must have been quite a sight to see Katie, who had been working at the mansion for a very long time, being arrested.
Following that was a series of house arrests of servants as they were forced to stay in their quarters.
Among those who continued to work at the ducal estate, no one wanted to dig their own grave with such useless curiosity.
In conclusion, so far, no one had suspected Cassion or tried to corner him.
‘Certainly, it would be difficult to make a connection.’
That the Valentine Duchy’s illegitimate daughter had picked up the Carter Duchy’s disgrace—who would ever put two and two together.
Nodding satisfactorily, I couldn’t resist the rush of fatigue and let out a slight yawn.
“Sister, are you… are you tired Should we go back”
A small voice that was only slightly louder than the wind let out these timid worries.
As I turned my head, I made eye contact with Alicia, who was looking at me with concern.
For a moment, it slipped my mind that Alicia was next to me.
And besides that, we were taking a walk in the garden on this bright, summer day right now.