Chapter 1 – A Supporting Character’s Duty

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TL: Zimmings

Once upon a time, there was a romance novel. 

Priscilla, the female lead and now a fallen aristocrat, was introduced to a duke’s estate as a maid. 

Her new employer is none other than the Pennon1 family, one of the empire’s five most influential duke families.
The young owner of the enormous mansion was a notable person. 

He was a feudal lord who ruled over the Grandia Empire’s vast land of the west and a sword mage born with a massive amount of magic that would go down the empire’s history. 

Moreover, he bore such a picturesque appearance that wandering minstrels sang songs in praise of it.

As he was affluent and influential, the emperor cherished him but was wary at the same time, the nobles wanted to ride on his coattails, and the commoners both feared and respected him. 

However, they didn’t know that he had been like an empty shell after losing his wife several years ago, despite their lack of intimacy. 

Due to the imperial family’s ruse, he married his wife, a lady from a destitute count family. 

They were married for political reasons, so their loveless marriage was forlorn. 

They gave him a woman who was worthless to him as they needed to keep the duke’s influence in check.

Personality-wise, the duke was considered a ruthless and cold-blooded man. 

Nevertheless, he became a subject of reverence due to his magic power, which was also called a dragon’s power. 

He was used to people fearing him.
At the same time, because the duke is incredibly charming, a lot of beauties approached him with the intent of causing a scandalous affair. 

They didn’t manage to win his affection. 

That’s why no one thought that the calm and frail duchess could move his heart. 

Their marriage eventually ended tragically. 

One day, his wife, who was strolling by herself, fell into a river and drowned.

It wasn’t until his wife died in an unfortunate accident that the duke, who had changed, regretted it. 

The duke considered his wife as his sole family member. 

Yet he couldn’t protect her. 

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He was deeply grieved that a tragedy had befallen ‘his person’ within his territory. 

She was a woman the emperor gave, so he was naturally cautious of her. 

He desired no affection between them, and therefore their marital life was devoid of love. 

They may have loved one another but could not express their feelings due to their circumstances.

That was the duke’s mistake, and the possibility of their happiness perished before it ever had a chance to bloom.

 What could he do if he regretted it now? Her soul had already vanished into the depths of the deep river. 

The happiness he couldn’t reach seemed beautiful. 

While he harbored those feelings, the woman slowly became the main character in his fantasy. 

Thus, only after her death did her presence leave an impact on the duke’s mind. 

That’s how the duchess ended up being his first love. 

She remained an indelible mark, became a pitiful shadow for the female lead, and an unbeatable rival. 

But what use would all of that be for her? The dead are powerless.
Moreover, if she’s an extra whose name comes out once in a while inside a romance novel. 

His dead wife was a hurdle for the female lead to overcome, one of the conflicts for the happy couple, and someone who would eventually be erased from the duke’s mind. 

Eventually, Priscilla managed to dispel the gloomy shadow in his heart and they fell in love.

Even though they experienced a lot of conflicts, the two of them ended up having their happily ever after, like how it usually goes in romance novels. 

However, there was one more problem… I became the ‘duke’s dead wife’, Alyssa Pennon. 

So now my husband is the male lead of a romance novel, the Duke of Pennon. 

‘Ah, no way.
How did this happen?’

I sighed deeply as I yanked my bright coral hair. 

Right now, I was wearing a white silk chemise and sat on an intricately patterned bed sheet inside the Duchess of Pennon’s bedroom. 

After examining my surroundings, I concluded.
I’ve now become a character in the novel.

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I woke up one morning and found myself inside a novel. 

I never dreamed that such nonsense would happen to me.
Everything happened due to a trivial mistake. 

I was a 22-years-old college student. 

I went to the Hangang River to see the meteor shower, but I fell into the water and drowned instead. 

The cold water filled my lungs instantly. 

I couldn’t breathe and my body felt like it weighed a thousand pounds.
I saw a light, but my hand couldn’t reach it.
Is this how I will die? 

My short life ended in a ridiculous way. 

In the darkness, I was beginning to lose consciousness. 

Then when I woke up, I was here.
For the first time in my life, I saw a magnificent ceiling as soon as I opened my eyes.
Where am I? I’m sure I fell into the water…

“Ma’am, are you okay?”

Someone who had seen that I had opened my eyes rushed to me and wiped the sweat from my forehead. 

‘Ma’am? Who is she referring to? No way, is she referring to me?’

“…Where am I?” 

As I rose to my feet in disbe

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