Ibelia swallowed and looked at the man in front of her. Cassius Adelhard—a man with black hair and red eyes—was glaring at her as if looking at an enemy.
‘Well, I suppose I am the enemy.’
That was right. Ibelia’s father—Earl Venion—had caught Cassius’ weak spot and betrothed him to Ibelia. Who would like a fianceé that he was threatened into marrying?
Besides, Cassius was a man originally rumored to be ruthless.
‘I have to stay alert.’ Ibelia raised her eyes as she made this promise, but Cassius spoke first.
“What are you doing here without notice?”
As soon as Ibelia heard his voice, she almost fell to the floor. It was, objectively, a deep and nice voice…if only it wasn’t filled with so much hostility. ‘Will I be alright?’ She felt like she was choking.
She managed to squeeze out a voice that didn’t appear often, forgoing both introduction and explanation to arrive at the conclusion. “I’d like to break up.”
For a moment, Cassius’ eyes—which had previously had no expression—widened. However, he soon returned to his usual expressionless face. “…What are you saying?” He asked.
“The Duke hates me as well. Besides, I don’t want this marriage either. So…” Ibelia repeated herself, “Let’s break up.”
Just one week ago, Han Suyeon—an ordinary college student—became Ibelia Venion. She didn’t know why. One moment she was walking home, the next, she was in a car accident. When she awoke, she was in this strange world.
‘I can’t believe I’m possessing a character in a book…what a cliche…’ Was it because she had read a lot of novels of this genre? Either way, Suyeon quickly managed to adapt into this new world.
No, to be more precise, there was no time to deny reality and tear her hair out. That’s because the future that lay before her was pretty bleak.
Who was ‘Ibelia Venion’? In the future, she would become ‘Ibelia Adelhard’, the stepmother of Lucius Adelhart, the male protagonist of the novel Aria of Light.
‘She was also a vicious stepmother who bullied young Luke due to her own inferiority complex.’ Ibelia was the illegitimate child of Earl Venion. Lucius—Luke for short—was meanwhile the illegitimate son of the Adelhard family.
Ibelia, who had lived as if she were invisible, was jealous of Luke, who was recognized as the successor of a duchy despite being an illegitimate child like herself.
You should be treated the same as me!
Her ugly jealousy led to abuse.
At first, she was simply harsh to Luke. Gradually, however, she began to hurt the child. As if that weren’t enough, she would starve him, lock him in a dark room, and humiliate him in front of the employees…
The list of Ibelia’s misdeeds was endless.
‘Then, she was kicked out of the household when her wicked acts were discovered.’ After being kicked out, Ibelia wandered the streets with nothing before meeting a miserable end at the hands of an epidemic in a monastery.
The readers cheered as they watched her ending.
Suyeon was one of them. She even commented—something she normally didn’t do—on Ibelia’s death. [She harassed our cute Luke and died as she deserved! Let’s only let Luke walk on the flower path!*]
Perhaps it was due to the aforementioned comment that she became Ibelia of all the possible characters. ‘There were so many other comments besides mine, so why me… I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place.’
It was too late for regrets, however, and she had already become Ibelia. Han Suyeon, no, Ibelia, grasped the situation quite calmly after coming to terms with the situation.
Fortunately, she was not yet married to Cassius Adelhard. To be more precise, she was engaged to him, but not yet married. ‘It’ll be easier to break off the engagement than get a divorce.’
Unlike the original work, I knew that if I wanted to avoid a miserable death then all I needed to do was be nice to young Ruth. Then, as Duchess Adelhard, she would continue living happily without lacking anything.
…The problem was Cassius.
‘I don’t want to marry someone who hates me. Living like that would be hell.’ So, she decided. ‘Let’s break off the engagement and go live my life. I’ll stay away from the original work!’
That’s how she’d come to Cassius Adelhard to break off the engagement. However, his reaction wasn’t that positive. He seemed surprised for a moment, but then reverted to his usual expression and asked. “Is that the will of Earl Venion or the young lady?”
Ibelia wasn’t too surprised by his reaction. She already knew that Cassius wouldn’t break off the engagement lightly. “Count Venion, I mean… my father, doesn’t know anything about this.”
“Ha. Then I have nothing more to say. I’ll pretend that I didn’t hear your words just now, so please go back home.”
“Wait.” Ibelia grabbed Cassius’ hand as he tried to open the door to the hallway.
The mothers in fairy tales were benevolent and loving people. I’d rather have a mother like that than a stepmother.
‘Young master, today your stepmother will be coming.’ That’s why when his nanny told him that, Luke decided not to have any expectations. The person named Ibelia Venion would surely be like those young ladies that he’d seen before.
Even as he thought this, the child couldn’t help the small bit of hope in his heart. The young lady known as Ibelia Venion was as pretty as a fairy.
Her hair was pink like the cotton candy he had once eaten and her eyes were light blue, resembling the blue autumn sky. Luke had decided not to be fooled by her appearance. After all, the young ladies that he’d met thus far were similarly beautiful.
You will surely hate me. He gripped his pants with an ominous feeling.
“Hello, young master Adelhard.” It was Ibelia who greeted him first.
Luke looked up at her with a startled and bewildered expression. When their eyes met, she grinned at him. At that moment, the thought that ‘it would be nice if she became my stepmother’ bloomed in Luke’s mind.
That’s why he said loudly, without even thinking about it: “Lady Ibelia, would you like to have some sweets with me?”
Unfortunately, the answer that came back was disastrous. Luke was so caught up in the thought that he had ruined everything that he couldn’t stop crying even long after Ibelia had left.