In the winter of my tenth year, I was in a life-or-death situation due to the high fever of an epidemic that swept through the royal capital.
Amidst the daze, a mysterious scene suddenly appeared in my mind. Thus, I asked Sarah, the head maid in charge of me.
“Uh… Sarah… I, saw an iron carriage in the shape of a bird flying across the sky…”
“Madam—! Lady Pia is mumbling incoherently—! Someone, call the doctor quick—!”
Unbeknownst to Sarah, the sight didn’t belong to that world.
Then, I saw a girl. Her outfit seemed strange, and her hair was shoulder-length. Although we looked nothing alike, I felt a strong connection with her. I had clarity that she was me. Or, to be more precise, my former self.
It was the so-called previous life.
In my sleep, the memory of my previous life resurfaced.
During my previous life, I was a graduate student at the highest academic institution in Japan, a country known for its diligence in the mysterious world called Earth. In that place, iron carriages drove on the earth and flew across the sky, carrying people to the other side of what was known as space.
My first-ever boyfriend cheated on me. He dissed both my look and personality. After I got dumped, I was unlucky enough to encounter a robber at the convenience store. Thus, I was stabbed to death.
…In short, my 10-years-old mind was forced to go through such graphic images.
In the end, I couldn’t take it anymore.
“L, Lady Pia—!!”
I lost consciousness once again.
A while later, the epidemic in the kingdom had passed. I was able to get my head out of the clouds and tell which was which. After I was able to get up, my fiancé came to visit.
“Lady Pia, are you alright?”
My fiancé, Marquis Rufus Stan, was of the same age as me.
Tragedy struck when I was about to greet him.
As soon as I beheld my fiancé’s ultramarine hair and innocent pair of green eyes, the memories of my previous life returned all at once, and I collapsed on my knees, before finally letting go of my consciousness.
Why, if he wasn’t one of the capture targets of a certain smartphone app called, ‘Caroline and the Rainbow-Colored Magic Confectionery.’ At the recommendation of a fellow student, I played that game in my previous life. Because it was a free-to-play game, I soon got addicted to it.
…Apparently, I had been reincarnated into what was once a trending game.
In that game, the heroine, Caroline, would be tasked to alleviate the fatigue of the future influential people of the kingdom with handmade confections. In the main route, not only would Caroline end up with the prince, but she’d also become a queen.
In the case of Rufus’ route, as a chancellor, he’d be exhausted from all the desk jobs, which in turn, made him crave sweets. Later in the game, his fiancée would throw the sweets away, “You didn’t even test it for poison!” When Rufus found out, he’d wrathfully banish his fiancée. As expected, Rufus and Caroline then got married. Every day without fail, Caroline would put a homemade cookie in her husband’s mouth to say, “Welcome home.” What a sweet ending it was…
…Except, despite being Rufus’ fiancée, I was but a mob character. In the game, my character merely consisted of a black silhouette, without any name or illustration attached to it.
I got exiled simply because I threw away some sweets?
As the eldest son of a marquis, Rufus bore the heavy duty of a chancellor. In my previous life, the position was an equivalent of a prime minister. While I agree that throwing away the sweets was rude, that world was more dangerous than my previous world. Human life was treated like nothing. Therefore, as his fiancée, wasn’t it only natural for her to try to keep him safe?
In the first place, a woman who messed around with a man who was already engaged was scum! A man who kept having trysts with another woman despite being engaged was also a scumbag! He even had the nerve to defend her!
Immediately, I recalled my painful love experience in my previous life. Apparently, as a mob in that game, I was destined to suffer the same fate once again. Upon realizing that, I snapped.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. As if I’d get tricked again.
…Still, why should I get dumped once again? Someone, please spare me…
A year ago, my parents had arranged for my engagement with Rufus. Afterward, we began having tea once a month. Even if it wasn’t love, we were able to form an amicable relationship. Then, around this age, I decided to support him for the rest of my life.
Thus, the moment it dawned on me, I sobbed a lot—partly because I was still a child.
If I were destined to be hurt and thrown away in the future, it’d be better for our relationship to end before I caught feelings.
In my current life, my father, Count Parmesan, had no great achievements and wasn’t a wealthy man with a ton of money to manage his estate, but he wasn’t greedy and loved his daughter in a proper, but somewhat awkward manner. When I cried, he and my mother would comfort me by caressing my back. My brother, who was five years older than me, had no upward mobility. As a result, he decided to take advantage of my marriage to get ahead in life.
I was blessed with a decent family.
A few days later, Rufus came to visit again. I left my bed and welcomed him in the small parlor set in my room.
“Lady Pia, when you collapsed the other day, I was truly surprised. You seem very thin. Are you truly alright?”
“Actually, I’m not feeling very well. Both my body and mind have been weakened by the previous illness… As such, I don’t think I can fulfill my duty as the marquis’ wife.”
I wasn’t lying, because that was certainly what I felt.
Before I got sick, I truly thought that our relationship could last. However, now that I had the mindset of a young adult in her twenties, I decided that marrying him was an impossibility. Thus, I dejectedly shook my head.
…Besides, I didn’t think of myself as a suitable candidate for the impeccable Rufus.
When I recalled how my ex-boyfriend had insulted my personality, I felt overly self-conscious. Even if I could somehow move past that, the scar was simply too deep.
“…Is that so?”
“Yes, if Lord Rufus doesn’t mind, could you please cancel our engagement—…”
“—Hee… you do realize that this engagement is not only arranged for the sake of power balance between the houses, but also with the involvement of the royal family?”
As he poured the tea into the cup, he flashed me a sharp gaze. There was no way such a gaze could belong to a boy his age.
I want to run away!
At the same time, it was the moment of truth.
Thus, I desperately squeezed out my voice.
“I, I do am aware. I’m truly sorry…”
My parents had already agreed that I’d talk about this today. Seeing me so skinny and walking lifelessly, they also thought that it was impossible. If we were to dissolve the engagement, the sooner the better for both families.
In terms of power balance, if my father were to join the chancellor’s faction, it’d yield the same effect.
“If you were to dissolve our engagement, then you might not be able to get married for the rest of your life?”
“Yes, I’m also aware of my lackluster appearance.”
I was well aware of that. I forced myself to smile as I endured the pain I was feeling when I recalled the ordeal of running into my ex-boyfriend and the woman he cheated with.
“No, I didn’t mean to say… But, wouldn’t you end up becoming a burden in the family?”
I could see his point. Once my brother got married and succeeded the family, there wouldn’t be a place for me. But to me, it was a triviality.
“Then, I’ll just become a commoner and live a humble life. But since the academy is the only thing that’ll serve as a foundation for me in the future, I shall beg my father to keep me in the academy. I know that I’m an eyesore, so please ignore me when we pass each other.”
“I understand, now.”
“R, really?! Thank you!!”
Unexpectedly, Rufus readily agreed—!
“What are you thanking me for? I merely said that I understand your extraordinary resolution. Then, won’t you tell me the real reason?”
“Last time, the moment you saw my face, you abruptly fell down. Can you tell me what occurred to you at that moment? Don’t worry, no matter what you say, I won’t get mad?”