Chapter 1: Something Went Wrong
The Count of Bravant had two daughters. The first daughter, Grace, was known for her calm demeanor and wisdom, and she held the esteemed position of being the top lady in society. On the other hand, Charlotte, the second daughter, possessed both dazzling beauty and exceptional swordsmanship skills. However, her free-spirited nature and dislike for formalities earned her the title of an eccentric lady within the high society.
Nevertheless, to the Count of Bravant, who had lost his wife at an early age, his two daughters were his greatest source of pride and joy. People held no doubt that the future of the two young ladies would be brimming with happiness, thanks to the radiance of the Bravant family.
Tragically, their lives took an unexpected turn when the Count suddenly passed away. At the time of their father’s passing, Grace was 18 years old, while Charlotte was merely 13.
“Don’t cry, Shasha. I will definitely protect you, no matter what.”
“It’s okay, everything will be okay. So, just trust your big sister, okay?”
On the day of the Count’s funeral, Grace held her younger sister close, suppressing her own tears as she made a solemn promise. In the comforting embrace of her older sister, Charlotte wept uncontrollably, vowing to protect the family her father left behind and her beloved sister with all her might.
She knew the countless hardships her sister would face after their father’s death. The reason Charlotte knew of her sister’s future was simple: she was actually living her second life in the world of the novel ‘The Rose of Bravant.’
‘The Rose of Bravant’ was a novel centered around the female lead, Grace. It depicted her short and fiery life. Like all heroines in the novel, Grace falls in love with the male lead in a fateful and destined romance.
However, their backgrounds were vastly different. Grace hailed from a prestigious noble family, while the male lead was a knight from a humble lineage. To the outside world, their relationship appeared mismatched, but as their relationship developed, their connection grew deeper. And eventually, they promised a future together.
But love always comes with trials. To protect her vulnerable family’s political standing, the female lead agrees to a strategic marriage with an older nobleman, sacrificing her love for the male lead. Respecting her choice to prioritize her family over their love, the male lead willingly embarks on a dangerous mission, ultimately meeting his demise alone.
Upon learning this, the female lead takes her own life, and the novel concludes with a hopeless and tragic ending.
This bleak ending was the future that awaited Grace. However, even if Charlotte knew the impending outcome for her sister, there was nothing she could do as a young girl. She had no way of knowing the events that occurred before the original story began.
“Is there anything I can do to help, sister?”
“Didn’t I tell you? You don’t have to worry about anything, Charlotte.”
“But I’ll have my coming-of-age ceremony in a few months.”
“Yes, in a few months. So, it’s not yet time for that.”
Time flowed relentlessly, impossible to hold back. Charlotte stared at her sister, who remained in her study until the late hours of the night, with a heavy heart. Grace, who had always been mature, became closed off after their father’s death. However, the important thing was that she loved Charlotte deeply. She cherished her younger sister, the only family left she had in this world, and treated her like she was a precious gem.
Charlotte couldn’t help but love such a sister. She longed to fulfill the love that had been left unfulfilled in the original story, now more than ever.
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“I heard a rumor that Lady Grace was proposed to by Lord Herman. Shasha, are you okay?”
“That can’t be true.”
“The rumor has already spread that far?!”
Charlotte, renowned for her exceptional swordsmanship skills, and currently receiving training from the esteemed Albrecht family, was taken aback.
“Johan, where did you hear that? It’s not from the gathering, is it?”
Due to the long-standing connection between the Bravant and Albrecht family, the Marquess and Marchioness of Albrecht treated Charlotte like their own daughter after her father’s passing. They held her in high regard, to the extent that the Marquess himself personally taught her swordsmanship.
“It hasn’t become known in the high society yet.”
“I heard it from Father. You know how well-informed Albrecht is, right? It’s not just any news; it involves Bravant, so Father seems concerned as well.”
Johan spoke honestly, but Shasha’s expression didn’t improve even after hearing the explanation.
Perhaps sensing her friend’s troubled heart, he asked, “Does Lady Grace’s marriage bother you?”
“See my face, do you think I’m pleased?”
“Then why ask?”
“I thought it might be necessary given the atmosphere.”
“Well, thank you very much.”
In the original story, ‘The Rose of Bravant’, Johan appeared as Charlotte’s close friend.
At this point, Johan may seem like an ordinary supporting character, however, the problem was that he played the role of informing Grace about the death of the male lead.
Johan’s father, Marquess Albrecht, was regarded as the empire’s top swordsmanship instructor. His reputation as an exceptional swordsman and his close ties to the knights allowed him to receive real-time reports on battlefield’s development.
Johan learned the news of the male lead’s death from his father, and considering the shock Grace would receive, he only revealed the truth to Charlotte.
[“Ethan, the one who promised to live well even without me… he’s dead?”]
However, Grace happened to overhear the news of the male lead’s death as she passed by. In other words, Johan in the original story played a significant role in delivering the climax of the bad ending.
‘The prologue of the original story is approaching.’
It finally sank in.
Come to think of it, even Ethan, the male lead who used to visit the Count’s mansion like a regular guest, had somehow disappeared. And now, even Johan had heard rumors of a marriage between his sister and Herman.
‘Ah, my head hurts. How can I stop this?’
No matter how much she thought about it, no solution came to mind that could prevent Grace’s tragedy. The immediate solution that came toher mind was to attack the the old Duke who proposed to Grace, and swiftly send him to the side of God.
After all, her lovely sister couldn’t possibly marry a corpse, could she?
‘But as someone who lived with traditional view in my first life, I can’t attack the elderly!’
The damn Confucian philosophy deeply rooted in her mind was the problem.
‘Ugh, my brain hurts from thinking for so long…’
“In fact, my parents aren’t exactly pleased with Lady Grace’s marriage either.”
“That’s a relief.”
“To be honest, it’s obvious to anyone. Lord Herman may hold considerable power in the political arena as the Emperor’s father-in-law, but ultimately, what’s important is Lady Grace’s happiness.”
That’s right. Lord Herman, who sent a marriage proposal to her sister, was none other than the Emperor’s father-in-law. The daughter of Duke Herman was the current Empress, and considering that his grandson, the Crown Prince, was already an adult, the age difference between the Duke and Grace was truly huge.
“Should I talk to Lady Grace myself?”
“Do you think she’ll listen to you? She doesn’t even consult with me, her younger sister.”
It might be better to go and find Ethan herself, then negotiate with him to hold onto her sister…
‘Wait a minute.’
Doesn’t that seem like a good idea? Yes, if her sister won’t hold on, maybe Ethan will with some encouragement!
“Yes, what is it?”
Ethan belonged to the Black Dragon Knights, led by Grand Duke Ludovica, a war hero and the strongest knight on the continent. Grand Duke Ludovica had studied swordsmanship under Marquess Albrecht, making him his disciple! That means through the Marquess’ connections, she could enter the Grand Duchy of Ludovica!
The Grand Duke was the strongest knight on the continent, sometimes even called the continent’s biggest lunatic, but well, whatever.
She wouldn’t even have a chance to meet him in person!
“You mentioned that you have an appointment with Grand Duke Ludovica tomorrow, right?”
“Yes, there’s something I need to convey on my father’s orders, but it’s something that I can’t assign to a servant.”
“Then, can I come along?” Charlotte said with her large, doll-like eyes twinkling. She stragetically used her sweet and lovely appearance. So far, there hasn’t been anyone who could resist her cuteness. Even the strict and ruthless Marquess and Marchioness couple completely melted and became mushy because of that action of hers.
“No, you can’t.”
“I’m sorry, did I mishear?”
“Yes, you can’t. Grand Duke Ludovica strictly prohibits the entry of outsiders.”
Of course, there were always exceptions, but the main leads were usually the only exception. Johan went closer to her and said, “Of course, even if I refuse, you’ll find a way to get in no matter what. You’re determined to do anything once you decided, aren’t you?”
That was true. If Johan were to refuse until the end, her plan was to use a dealer who could help her enter Grand Duke Ludovica’s mansion. She was capable of doing anything to save her sister. When Charlotte made a pleading expression, Johan jumped up in surprise.
“Hey! If I leave you alone, you’ll end up causing a problem. I should keep an eye on you!”
“Ugh, there’s nothing else I can do.”
Johan’s firm demeanor faded away. Having known him for a long time, Charlotte sensed something and her eyes lit up with anticipation. The friendship between them was deep like the sea. It was at that moment when she was moved and was about to grab Johan’s hand…
“Father! Charlotte wants to enter Grand Duke Ludovica’s mansion!”
“What did you say?!” The Marquess, who happened to be entering the training ground, shouted in alarm hearing that.
“Darn it, I fell into a trap!”
Seeing her master running toward her at full speed, Charlotte realized that her plan might just succeed.
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