• Sam

Prologue


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Prologue.


The Ocerian Empire, 1815.


The square in front of the Imperial Palace was crowded with people.


The citizens' eyes were sparkling with madness and joy at the prospect of witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime event.


This was unsurprising because the entirety of the prestigious Elias Earldom, who had once led the Empire, were now helplessly entering the square, strung together like dried fish on a line.


"... House Elias challenged the Imperial Throne, a line that should never be crossed by a noble family. To be exact, they plotted for a long time to overthrow the Empire, and dared to attempt to assassinate the Light of the Imperial Family. How is this possible in this righteous Empire? As a result, innocent citizens fell victim to this incident, and the reputation of the aristocracy has crumbled. Therefore, this cunning and evil family will be destroyed."


The approximately 50 members of the Elias Family were half-covered in blood. Out of all them, the immediate family members went to the gallows first.


All eyes focused on one person amongst the despondent group of people the executioner was leading.


She was the subject of a rumour that everyone had heard of at least once, Lady Tara, the fifth daughter of the Elias Family.


She weighed 102kg, and she climbed to the gallows with a pale face and a shaking body.


"Hahaha... Look at that body."


"Oh my god... They say she never came out of the house. Seriously, it's worse than the rumours..."


"They pretended to be honest aristocrats, but concocted vicious schemes behind closed doors... Truly rotten."


None of the people gathered in the square sympathised with the Family that had tried to assassinate the Prince.


Her upcoming death had now become her reality, and upon the realization, Tara couldn't help her trembling.


‘I don't want to die.’


Her entire life, she'd never left the house, had only ever breathed, resenting her past misfortunes.


Mercilessly, the faces of those looking at them were full of amusement.


She squeezed her eyes shut, and then opened them to look to the side at her beloved mother and her scary father. Her half-brothers and sisters, who she had never properly spoken with, and the Countess, all watched the ropes being hung around their necks, having long given up.


At last, a rough rope was placed around her neck as well, marking the end of her life.


‘... No... I didn't do anything... I don't want to die like this. I can't do anything... At this rate... Please…’


"Execute the punishment."


‘This can't be... No. No... No…’


Tuk tuk tuk.


They were hung by their necks like livestock.


A family that had led a very successful group of merchants in the Empire. The Elias Family, who once had a strong friendship with the Imperial Family as a founding member of the nation, and where the Capital's fattest and craziest Lady came from, was wiped out just like that.


***


"No, listen! That's why all the families who tried to kill the Prince, including the Elias Family, were destroyed, but the problem is that he joined hands with these families... Are you listening?"


"Uh... Hmm?"


Author Kim was constantly explaining the plot of her web novel [the Ocerian Chronicles], which she was serialising.


"... Is the family that important? The fat lady was an extra, so was it necessary to write about it in such detail?"


"Really...? Isn't she somehow unique? You created her. I'm strangely attached to her."


"Just make a small edit... Huh?"


I was on the way to my favourite Korean blood sausage soup restaurant.


"Yes, I'll edit it... Hey? Yeon-woo? Ji Yeon-woo? What are you looking at?"


"... I can't let this happen."


"Huh? What? Hey!"


So I, Ji Yeon-woo, ran to a back alley in Yeouido, Seoul.


Some lunatic was beating a powerless elderly woman to death.


I should have restrained myself, but I couldn't.


Nobody was passing by, and I had recently learned self-defence under the guise of dieting. My dear mother, Mrs Jeong, had adamantly taught me to report a crime if I ever witnessed one, but I didn't always listen to my mom, so I walked right into my death.


And just like that, at age 33, Ji Yeon-woo became a murder victim and died. But surprisingly, when I woke up again, I was in the book written by my author friend Kim, [The Ocerian Chronicles].


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