The Lady's Dark Secret - Chapter 1
Translator and Editor: Nana and Ishy
Estelle heard numerous voices as she was being consumed by fire.
‘That dumb b*tch doesn’t know where she belongs.’
A lot of weapons were lodged in her chest. It didn’t matter what those words were about. It broke her heart to realize that the people who cursed her were the very people she had tried to love her entire life. Her fiancee who confessed to her, her friend who opened her heart after her efforts, her older sister who said she regretted her past mistakes and cared about her, her father, and so on.
Countless people laughed at her. Then, a gruesome sound reverberated across the air.
[Let… me ask you. Will you make this offering?]
Estelle trembled in the midst of dying. It was the voice of the devil trying to take her soul.
‘No, no…! Please… !’
She had no idea what horrific things that devil would do to her until it took her away. Estelle cried out in frustration, but those people didn’t budge.
“We’ll make an offering! I want to sign a contract!”
[I’ll… ask you a question. This soul will suffer forever for hundreds of millions of years. Still… would you like to sacrifice her?]
“Yes, I’ll give it to you! So do what we want!”
‘No…! Please…! Please…!’
Estelle fervently shook her head, but she couldn’t do anything.
It was an offering of sacrifice in cooperation between five of the six dukes who ruled the empire. Being the ‘sacrifice’, she had no choice. At that precise moment, Estelle’s and a man’s gazes collided. He was wearing a mask, but she could recognize him at once. It was the fiance she loved.
‘Please… please. Radit. Ple… ase save me.’
But Estelle had to feel the despair of falling into the abyss. Her fiance, who said he loved her more than his life, turned a blind eye to her. Then, again, a gruesome voice rang out.
[… As expected. You… are the shadow of our devils. Alright, I’ll accept your sacrifice.]
“Thank you! So you will do what we ask of you right?”
[This is a noble soul that I’ve never seen before. You offered me a generous offering. I will grant all your wishes.]
So, in an unknown corner of the empire, a human was horribly sacrificed. Estelle’s soul was taken to a hell called, ‘Gehenna’. And then she understood why the devils had warned her.
Estelle’s soul was more noble than anyone else. As the devil said her soul was the most noble soul it had seen, her soul captured the hearts of the Gehenna devils. The devils craved for a glowing soul. The more noble it is, the more glowing they are. The devils quickly loved Estelle’s soul. But it wasn’t the kind of love humans had. Love is a terrible malice to demons. The brighter it was, the more they wanted to trample and destroy it. That was love to the devils. And so, it’s been over 600 years.
Inside the Gehenna Castle, in the middle of a vast room, a woman was hanging from a chain. A devil was singing quietly in front of a woman.
[Estelle, my beloved Estelle. My shining star.]
The song was unsettling. The devil inflicted pain on Estelle as it made its art.
[Estelle, my beloved Estelle. My shining star.]
The hand of the clock moved indefinitely.
The devil lives forever. Time is infinite for them. Once they fall in love, they can relax and offer endless ‘love’. After such an immeasurable time, the devil in front of Estelle put its hand down.
[Let’s call it a day.]
Estelle’s soul dimmed faintly.
It has been going on for 600 years. She’s been through all sorts of pain. She was terrified of what more dreadful suffering awaited her in the future.
‘No more. Please… please, stop!’
She cried, but she knew it. The devil loves to give her empty promises. There will be no end to it. There was no such thing as rest in Gehenna, a place where sinners who committed crimes were subjected to excruciating torture.
‘I… why do I suffer so much?’
Estelle, unlike other sinners suffering in Gehenna, did not commit any crime on earth. There’s only one reason she’s suffering like this. It was because of her enemies.
‘How long have I been in this pain?’
However, one day, the devil said something unexpected.
[I really need to stop because there’s not much time left.]
[Your soul is about to disappear.]
It was shocking information. Her soul would soon perish. It was due to the agony she had endured in Gehenna for the last 600 years.
[I should’ve been more careful. I think we’ve taken you too far because you’re so lovely.]
The soul has a limit to how long it can last. The souls of sinners who fall into Gehenna usually die after 5.000 years, although some die after 10.000 years. Despite the fact that she is a soul beyond comparison, she is on the point of dying after only 600 years.
‘Even if she perishes, the pain is the same.’
Estelle sighed. The perishing of the soul was not the end. Even when their souls perish, they would become a part of Gehenna and be subjected to eternal agony.
[What should I do? I don’t want to let you go.]
The devil spoke with genuine regret.
[There will never be a soul as lovely and shining as you.]
It wasn’t just saying that. The devil looked at Estelle’s soul. It wasn’t as brilliant as it was when she first came to Gehenna. Most of them were dyed black. But there was still a glimmer of light. It was a surprise. Her soul, which had been sent into hell, fragmented over time. And yet there was still light. The devil is enthralled by the dazzling light.
[What should I do?]
The devil was impatient, but it could no longer touch hee. If it really touches her more, her soul will soon perish. At that moment, the devil had an idea.
[My dear Estelle, do you blame us?]
Estelle lifted her empty eyes. Her eyes didn’t shine as they did in the past.
I initially blamed the devils. However, once I understood the nature of the devils, I knew that resentment was meaningless. The source of ‘evil’ is the devils. For them, malice was a natural reaction.
It’s impossible to blame a hungry beast for devouring what’s in front of them. She blamed those who had put her in this situation.
‘… I’ll never, ever forgive them.’
Estelle’s eyes glowed with hatred for a moment. The devil spoke with regret.
[You, Estelle, have suffered so much here, and those who betrayed you are so happy. Do you want to take a look?]
Gehenna’s time is completely different from that of earth. After the devil said that, Several scenes popped up in front of her.
Estelle groaned. She still hasn’t forgotten them after 600 years. It was her enemy that put her in this hellhole.
[Everyone is living a happy life by sacrificing you. This handsome man here was your fiance, wasn’t he? He met a new fiancée and was preparing for a happy wedding. Oh, the new bride is your most precious friend Marriott.]
Estelle’s soul trembled.
[This is your sister. Unfortunately, she looks happy, right? She’s pregnant too. They decided to name the baby Estelle. In honor of you.]
But the devil did not stop.
[Your father also looks happy. He didn’t love you before but he still gives his utmost attention to you. Everyone is living a happy life with our blessings thanks to your sacrifice.]
“Stop! Please! Ahhh!”
Estelle screamed. The room vibrated slightly. The devil trembled seeing the brilliant light of Estelle’s soul swaying as if it was going to perish. The devil felt unbearable pleasure every time he saw that brilliant light diminished. It was not long before the devil said.
[Do you want revenge?]
Estelle looked at the devil.
[If you want, I’ll send you to your brightest moment. What do you think?]
The devil doesn’t do favors for no reason.
The devil smiled and said its reason. It doesn’t want my soul to perish. But instead of saying that, it said this.
[You can crush them and let them die in despair. Isn’t it thrilling just to imagine?]
Estelle could not deny it. She experienced 600 years in hell. She imagined a revenge on them without missing a single moment.
[Your soul will soon be gone. Three years at the most by the standards of the human world. At your last moments, shouldn’t you do what you want?]
The devil spoke softly.
[Say, you want revenge on them, and I’ll send you to their side in time of your brightest moment.]
The answer came straight out. It wasn’t even a matter of concern for her in the first place.
“… I want it.”
The devil asked back playfully.
[What? I can’t hear you?]
“I want it.”
Estelle’s voice became much lower.
“Their death, pain, despair, scream. I want it all.”
It was a low voice, but more eerie. It was like a beast howling.
The devil laughed contentedly.
“Dear Estelle, all of your wishes will come true.”
The devil muttered something before I lost my consciousness.
[When you wake up, I’ll give you a special gift. It’s the gift you wanted the most, so please enjoy it as much as you can.]
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