TL: Zimmings, PR: Ann
[Blood came out of her nose out of the blue.]
What was that?
Suddenly, unknown sentences began to appear in my head.
I was startled and stood still.
My hand that was holding a teacup started to tremble slightly.
[Perhaps Alyssa Pennon would die due to her persistent illness at this rate, Louise thought.]
The unexpected remark made her eyes widen.
What did she say? I would die at this rate?
No, she didn’t say that.
I shook my head vigorously.
“Madam? What’s wrong?”
Louise’s voice flashed across my mind.
Instead of disappearing, the ringing wouldn’t stop. And it remained indelible in my mind.
Have I been thinking too much these days?
Did this phenomenon happen because I kept thinking this was a world inside a novel?
If not, was it something that came from my unconsciousness? Just what is it?
When I concentrated with my brows knitted and a frown on my face, my head went blank. The thoughts before disappeared without a trace like a smoke.
Ah, as expected it was a mistake.
Just as I thought so.
[Before the duchess dies, she must report to the emperor.]
Another sentence came out as if it was typed one by one and inserted in my mind.
[Because being on the lookout and reporting Duchess Pennon’s every movement is Louise’s mission as the emperor’s spy.]
…It wasn’t a mistake.
Obviously, unknown sentences began appearing in my head.
Sentences that lingered in my mind seemed like they were explaining the current situation.
I didn’t think about it, I didn’t say it, but the letters clearly lingered inside my head.
[Louise was convinced once again. Alyssa was not a great fit for the Duchess of Pennon position.]
There it was again, it’s strange.
Am I crazy?
Why would I imagine this kind of thing?
The sentences that were on my mind explained and described everything, as if I was reading a novel.
Ah, no way.
Suddenly, I had a hunch.
This was a world inside a novel.
A novel consists of sentences.
Then, weren’t those sentences that occupied my mind describing the present using the novel’s sentences?
Wait, so Louise pretended to be nice on the outside while having those thoughts inside?
No wonder she constantly treated me carelessly.
But the problem wasn’t simply her humiliating Alyssa.
Was my guess correct?
I indirectly asked Louise to confirm.
“You know, Louise…”
“Louise, don’t you think I’m not a great fit to be the Duchess of Pennon?”
Louise’s eyes opened wide as soon as I finished speaking.
She was so flustered that her green eyes, which were wide open, shook.
“What are you saying, madam?”
“I thought you might think so.”
Louise was startled and waved her hand.
“No, there’s no way!”
“Really? If not then forget it.”
“Oh my, madam. Are you really okay?”
Louise touched my forehead with exaggeration.
It was a gesture asking if I was ill.
I giggled, and the girl put away her hand.
It seemed like I only needed her excessive reaction to know.
“I just said it because I felt like it.”
I’ve never seen Louise so restless.
“There’s a lot of things I’ve yet to understand. I’ve only been in this mansion for over a year.”
“But you’re working hard. So it’ll be okay.”
Her answer indicated that she agreed with my previous statement.
I shrugged my shoulders and feigned ignorance.
Now that I see it, this teacup was pretty. I want to try drinking different tea next time. These trivial thoughts naturally occupied my mind.
[Louise was startled. This was because what Alyssa said was as if she read her mind.]
I was convinced.
All this time I was peeking at some of the contents outside the novel’s world.
The sentences I read in my head earlier were the truth.
I waited for the next sentence to appear.
But nothing new came to mind.
It doesn’t show me everything.
I was curious about the next sentence, that my body was moving anxiously, I didn’t know how to make the sentences appear so I had no solution.
Reading the sentences inside a novel.
It was an amazing ability.
Why did I have this ability?
Was it because I’m a human being from outside this book?
It certainly felt like the sentences were purposely shown to me.
Then, will these sentences create another new story, apart from the original I know?
There were many things I didn’t understand.
‘If I can read people’s inner thoughts with this, it would be a scary ability.’
But if I could only read meaningless sentences, I would just feel dizzy.
It would be better if I could decide the content of the sentence or when it came to mind, so it was a little disappointing.
Still, it seems to be in a third-person narrative from the perspective of an omniscient writer, so if it came out, it would be quite useful.
I can’t believe this kind of thing was possible. Of course, it doesn’t make sense for a person to enter the world of novels either.
‘As expected, I’m a person from outside this world.’
Everything here was just a novel to me.
Even if the content changes a little due to one reason or another, it was not reality, but a story in a novel.
Then they don’t need to give me special powers, just let me go back to my own world.
If it continues like this, Alyssa would ruin the original story.
… No, come to think of it. I might die when I go back.
I don’t know what happened to my body in the Hangang River. I don’t even remember getting out of the water.
All I remember was the icy water, holding my breath, it was a near-death experience.
I flinched in surprise. Louise’s voice woke me up from my stupor.
“Ah, yes. I’m tired, I want to rest for a while.”
I gestured to make her leave.
Louise couldn’t control her expression and looked uneasy. She seemed worried about my inner thoughts.
Louise was one of the three spies planted by the emperor.
It was plausible, and it wasn’t exactly surprising.
On the contrary, it felt like an unsurprising revelation.
It wasn’t strange if everyone was suspicious of her except for Alyssa, who had depended on her.
‘The emperor was trying to hold the duke on leash.’
That was why she cared about Rashid more than me.
It was understandable that the emperor was directly involved in the marriage to keep Rashid in check.
‘He might think I was the emperor’s person too.’
It reminded me of Rashid’s faint hostility and a wary attitude.
From his point of view, it seems to be a reasonable doubt.
I stared at Louise who was cleaning up.
I had never seen Louise’s name when I was reading the novel.
Maybe it was just a maid 1, or she left this mansion after Alyssa died.
I don’t know what to do with her.
Now that I know the real her, should I let her go? Was that possible?
I’ll have to get Louise out of the room first.
So many things happened suddenly that it made me dizzy.
I needed time to think about it and calm down for a while.
“Louise, I want to rest. Can you leave me alone?”
I strictly ordered Louise.
Then she looked at me for a moment and bowed her head deeply. Her steps while leaving the room were cautious.
Back in her room, Louise chewed her nails. It was a habit that always came out whenever she panicked.
What Alyssa Pennon said during the day made her worried.
Of course, it was natural for Alyssa to worry about her lack of qualities as the duchess. In fact, she had said such a thing many times. Even though the timing of her thoughts and Alyssa’s words matched, it wasn’t strange.
She somehow felt unsettled.
After the incident, Alyssa acted strangely. Her words and actions were unlike usual, as if the fever muddled her head.
What if it was the aftermath of the fever, and she would die soon?
Anxiety crept up from the bottom of Louise’s heart.
If Alyssa died, the duchess’ seat would be vacant again.
Then her plans to use her as a ladder to aristocracy would go down the drain.
To make everything easy, the next duchess should be as stupid as Alyssa. What should she do now?
How nice it would be if the duke looked at Louise.
Louise always imagined it. Even being his mistress was fine.
While the duchess never even dreamed of imagining it.
There was nothing she couldn’t do better than Alyssa, however, their background was slightly different in the first place.
Louise was the illegitimate daughter of a small baron. She was the child of a maid, and the baron did not recognize her as his bloodline.
She was fed up with life back home.
She hated her mother, who wallowed in self-pity, the ruthless and vicious baron, and the stuffy countryside.
So Louise came to the city alone.
The capital city was splendid but there wasn’t a place for her.
Eventually, she needed to find a job to make a living.
Being a maid in the Imperial Palace was the best thing a woman could do alone.
Louise worked tirelessly and climbed up the ladder.
At first, she was in charge of menial tasks, but later, she was tasked to take care of the senior maids. It was a pretty good position because powerful ladies could see her.
The ladies had a good opinion of Louise, who was quick-witted.
The empress recommended Louise when the emperor was looking for someone to put on the Pennon family.
At first, Louise only heard her name through the maids.
‘I wish I could be like Alyssa Pennon.’
Louise wanted to escape from the boring reality. To do so, Alyssa was needed. She needed to be seen by more nobles, and to receive congratulations for her hard work from her emperor.
‘This isn’t enough.’
Louise pulled out a wooden box hidden between the frame of the bed and the mattress, then she opened it carefully. The jewels hidden inside shone brilliantly. They were all taken from the jewel box of the duchess.
A smile came out on Louise’s face. She felt better after seeing the shiny jewelry. It was no big deal for the duchess, but it was valuable enough for a maid.
Alyssa didn’t even care about the small jewel.
Anyways, Alyssa always wore the accessories she picked for her, so she wouldn’t know what she had or didn’t. It wouldn’t be too obvious if some of these things were lost.
A dim-witted, cowardly woman was easy to deal with. She was a woman who suddenly got her position and was overwhelmed. She was flustered with the meager work, and listened well with a little coaxing. It was easy for her to coax and soothe a woman who couldn’t adjust to her position.
‘Yes, she might be too sensitive for a while because of the incident.’
She fell into a river, suffered from fever, even had a nosebleed in front of the duke. She might act a little differently because she was out of her mind.
Once she calmed down, she’ll return to the Alyssa she knows. People don’t change so easily.
Then everything would go back to normal. She would go back to the tranquil days when she controlled her like a marionette.
Unfortunately, however, that wouldn’t be the case.