I Sought Out the Tragedy's Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 3
‘Is there no such thing as an afterlife?’
Why was it that, right after dying, she just had to possess a body that was already destined to die?
Eliana didn’t want to acknowledge her situation.
It would have been fair if she had been given a real chance to live since, after all, she was given a second life.
She had been killed unjustly during the springtime of her youth, but she couldn’t believe she was set to die young yet again.
It was maddening to know that she’d become Eliana.
She was the only child of Count Mussieux, and she was a minor villain under the command of Empress Dowager Hera.
In short, she was an insignificant extra.
And to add to that, she was an extra who was set to be brutally murdered by the scheming mastermind Verkley.
“This is driving me nuts,” Eliana muttered as she buried herself further under her blankets.
The woman she met yesterday was Eliana’s exclusive maid, Fin, who had been with Eliana since she was a child until she guided her towards Hera.
It’s because her older brother was Hera’s lackey.
As a result of pestering Fin yesterday for details, she managed to confirm that Eliana was currently twenty years old, and that she had been promised to wed Marquis Valkyrie.
Of all things, her fiancé was a man twice her age, and this wasn’t going to be his first marriage.
‘No matter how powerful a Marquis is compared to a Count, isn’t this too much? I’ve never even been in a relationship before, but now they want me to live with an old geezer?’
Eliana punched her pillow furiously.
Fin also said these days, Eliana often mentioned that she wished to die.
Well, it wasn’t surprising that she felt that way. Who in their right mind would willingly want to marry a deplorable cradle robber?
Additionally, it was mentioned in the novel that Eliana grew up unloved by her father. He was a shameless alcoholic who abused Eliana whenever he pleased.
It was no wonder that Eliana’s frame of mind became skewed since she grew up in such an environment.
There was no one on her side except for Fin.
Everybody else thought she was no better than a worthless burden.
Such was Eliana’s miserable reality.
After her father beat her up and knocked her out cold yesterday, Fin was the only one who cared enough to visit her.
‘I need a way to avoid getting sold to that old man.’
Eliana agonized over the novel’s plot line.
The Owen Empire, the setting of this novel, had a terrible social hierarchy.
A person’s standing in society was determined at birth, and noblewomen especially had limited access to the outside world.
And in this rigid society, Eliana was born without any abilities.
If she had a normal father who raised her with love, then she would have had a significantly better life. But alas, her father was Count Mussieux.
He completely isolated and neglected Eliana.
The only time Eliana went outside was during one particular day when she couldn’t stand to endure her father’s abuse anymore.
The one good thing about everything was that Eliana would be able to use her abilities at the age of twenty—abilities that weren’t innate, but acquired.
In the novel, Eliana was delighted to have finally gained the ‘power’ to stand tall and proud in front of others.
And she was so happy to find out about this that she ran straight to her father to let him know.
‘Your daughter became a mage! Even more so, a mage who gained abilities naturally!’
She wanted to know if her father now cared about her.
It was pitiful.
Her father, who despised her for not having any abilities since birth, wouldn’t start loving her just because she gained some power.
Nevertheless, Eliana only wanted a little bit of praise or even just a smidge of interest from him, as she was desperate for any affection after having been locked up for so long.
It wouldn’t be hard to sympathize with her or understand her feelings.
But when she visited the Count with a wide smile on her face, Eliana overheard something. It was like a lightning bolt shot out from a bright blue sky—she overheard her father’s plans to sell her to Marquis Valkyrie.
Eliana’s heart broke to a million pieces that day.
No matter how many times she was beaten black and blue, she always believed that her father would still care about her because she was his only daughter. But from the way he spoke, it was like she was just some livestock he was selling off for some easy money.
After that incident, she lost her will to live. At first, she would only stare blankly at the wall, but at some point, Fin found Eliana holding a sharp object to her own throat, saying that she wanted to leave this world.
‘I’m not going to die in vain like Eliana in the novel.’
She had no desire to stay as a foolish woman who based her life according to the whims of an abusive father who never once looked her way with affection in his eyes.
Furthermore, she didn’t want to become a woman who was easily manipulated by Hera due to her thirst for affection.
She wasn’t starved for love like the original Eliana. In the first place, she had already given up on it.
She wouldn’t be loved by anyone, anyway.
Those were the only two things she would receive if she opened her heart again.
As she clutched her bruised abdomen, she recalled her previous life.
‘Back then, I died because of a f*cking psycho. There’s no chance in hell I’d plunge to my own death a second time.’
With a dark expression on her face, she clenched her fists.
First, she had to talk to Fin again.
If Eliana would be killed by Verkley because she was Hera’s pawn, then there was only one solution.
She needed to go to him first.
It was the only way to overcome this adversity.
While she was trying to figure out a way out of this hopeless maze, the blanket over her head was suddenly pulled away from her.
“Let go of me! Don’t touch me!” Eliana yelled, protesting against the maids who yanked her clothes off and put on a new dress on her.
Despite her struggles, the three maids who came in under Count Mussieux’s orders didn’t bat an eyelid, no matter how hard Eliana tried. He was looking for her, they said.
Not only did the Count abuse her, but even the maids didn’t treat her with respect.
The reason she was resisting so hard like this was because she heard that Marquis Valkyrie was here, waiting to meet her.
One of the maids expressed her disapproval.
“Milady, we don’t have time for this. You must not keep the Marquis waiting.”
“I don’t want to! I don’t want to meet him!” Eliana shouted, holding onto anything around her just so the maids couldn’t drag her out of the room.
At that moment, a shadow loomed over her.
Eliana looked up.
In front of her was a haughty woman with her chin raised and her arms crossed.
“The Count said to bring you there, by force if needed. If you keep rebelling, then I have permission to punish you.”
In one fluid motion, the woman flicked the whip in her hand, slicing through the air. Because her attire was different from the other maids, Eliana realized that this woman was the head maid.
She was the one who used to flog Eliana across the back during etiquette lessons in the guise of ‘education’.
Looking up with a baffled expression, Eliana just stared at the maid who confidently said she’d punish her.
‘Come to think of it, the hierarchy even inside the Count’s manor was messed up in the novel.’
Since there was no Countess, the head maid had deluded herself into thinking that she was the madam of the house, and so took it upon herself to discipline everyone.
Even worse, the Count would believe the head maid’s words over Eliana’s.
And since the Count trusted the head maid so much, it was almost like they were actually married.
Soon enough, Eliana grew tired of the struggle and just gave in to the maids. She wouldn’t be able to avoid the meeting anyway, even if she continued fighting against them.
Holding both her arms, the maids hoisted a bright dress over her and embellished her with shiny accessories.
Well, even if she wasn’t dressed extravagantly, she would still look immaculate. The woman in the mirror had a stiff expression on, but she was still very beautiful.
At the head maid’s terse order, Eliana was dragged towards the drawing room where the Count waited.
It was no way to treat a lady, or anyone really, who had blacked out just yesterday.
None of the maids even asked if she was feeling alright.
Every single employee who passed by her spared no interest in her well-being.
They didn’t even greet her properly, even though her rank in this house was directly under the Count.
Had she been treated like this all her life?
Did Eliana have to endure all this since she was young?
Realizing the extent of her pathetic circumstances, she could only scoff in indignation. What she experienced in less than an hour was more ruthless than she predicted.
‘It hasn’t even been a full day yet, but I’m already so frustrated. How did Eliana tolerate all this?’
Right then, she thought that she must escape this estate as soon as possible.
For that to happen, she’d have to endure a bit more and just act as she’s told so that she could run away successfully.
‘Let’s hold it in just once.’
The next time she would see Fin, Eliana would reveal what she was capable of. This way, it’d be easy to meet Hera.
She had no other choice. If she wanted to go to Verkley, then she’d have to go through Hera.
Right now, Verkley was Emperor in name only. It would be safer to meet him through Hera because if Eliana went to him straight away, it would be a surefire way to get killed by the Empress Dowager.
Considering her current situation, there’s really no other way to approach him.
“Count Mussieux, the Young Lady has arrived,” announced the butler after he knocked on the door.
From beyond the wall, the boisterous laughter was cut short, then a cheerful voice beckoned to Eliana.
As the butler opened the door, two men came into view; a blond middle-aged man and an old gentleman with graying hair.
Because the blond man’s hair was a similar shade to Eliana’s, she immediately recognized him as Count Mussieux.
And, as she could observe, the Count already had a drink or two. His eyes were bleary and his face was flushed.
‘How excited are you that you’re selling your daughter off?”
Eliana stood with a stiff back, not wanting to take a step further, but a maid behind her pushed her in.
The door closed with a dull thud behind her.
Eliana had made up her mind to do as she was told this time, to bear it just one last time since that would be easier.
But the moment she faced these despicable men, her conviction wavered.
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