Prologue Caught by the Mastermind
Two gazes met.
Verkley’s eyes, which had always been cold to everything, peered straight into Eliana’s with a fire behind them.
Eliana couldn’t hide her perplexion at this.
His cold blue eyes had a certain intensity to them.
As if he were a beast looking at his prey.
It was a chilling atmosphere that she had never felt before.
And how strange it was, that gaze.
It was also a look that she had never received before.
Because he was pretending to be blind.
He, who had always treated her sweetly even though he couldn’t see her, now looked at her coldly.
Goosebumps ran down Eliana’s spine.
Behind all the smoke and mirrors, this was the real Verkley.
Eliana couldn’t deny it, this overwhelming imbalance of power.
Whatever thought she had of convincing him to let her go was gone in an instant.
‘If I say just one thing wrong, I’m done for.’
Eliana’s eyes turned to the piece of paper in Verkley’s hand.
It was a note with details about [ The Princess Who’s Blind to the Emperor ] which was a novel that she read in her previous life.
And . . . she was inside that novel right now.
Eliana’s eyes shook. Without realizing it, her mouth was dry and she swallowed repeatedly.
From the moment she came to possess the body of Eliana, she thought she’d have to face this situation one day.
However, she never imagined it would be like this.
Eliana sought him out so that she wouldn’t die.
But now, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to survive at all.
The novel changed too much. Unexpected characters appeared.
Eliana shivered under his unfamiliar gaze.
It was the first time. While trying to live properly since she was given this new life, it felt as though barbs prickled at her throat every time she breathed.
It was suffocating.
Then, Verkley slowly approached Eliana. One step at a time.
Before she knew it, he stood right in front of her, then he combed his fingers through her hair.
And grabbed her neck.
As if his hand was made of ice, the place he touched immediately became cold.
And that chill from his fingertips slithered straight to her heart.
It was too cold. She had been shivering before he approached her, but now that he touched her, her body grew still.
She’s been caught.
He definitely read that note.
He must have realized that she intentionally sought him out knowing the secret that he kept hidden.
“Since when did you know?” Verkley asked, lifting Eliana’s chin with one hand.
His eyes seemed to devour her entire being right there and then.
There was a strange pang in Eliana’s heart.
It was nauseous, this feeling.
Since when, he asked?
She had a faint smile on as she heard his words.
What was the point of confirming that now?
Seeing Eliana smile, Verkley’s lips twisted into a malicious smirk.
His eyes, which had been so cold all this time, suddenly burned with vehemence.
Those blue eyes looked as if they were on the verge of turning red.
“It’s that look in your eyes again,” he said with a hint of unease.
What did he mean by ‘again’?
Eliana mulled over what he said.
She didn’t think she did anything to unsettle him.
But somehow, the expression on his face said exactly that.
At that moment, Verkley pulled Eliana closer to him roughly.
Eliana didn’t shy away from his gaze.
At that moment, their breaths mingled together. Their lips were a hair’s breadth away, and the slightest move would be enough to join them together.
As his long hair cascaded over her face, it somehow felt like she was about to melt.
Eliana stared straight into Verkley’s eyes, which were already reddening.
There was a clear mark on his eye.
It was the mark of a contract with his soul on the line.
Verkley, who had the power of a devil that only appeared in myths, wanted only one thing.
Revenge on the Empress Dowager.
Throughout this suffocating atmosphere, Eliana held her breath.
Her attention went to Verkley’s hand.
It was a hand that might stab her in the eye, depending on her answer. Or maybe he’d just twist her neck like this.
It was ridiculous to think that she could resist against a devil’s power.
But she couldn’t run away.
No, she shouldn’t even run away.
The moment she turned and exposed her back, she would be killed.
From the moment she decided to seek him out, she already prepared herself.
She was given two rotten ropes from the start anyway.
Go to Hera, the Empress Dowager, who was trying to take advantage of Eliana.
Or go to Verkley, the Emperor who appeared to be vulnerable, even though it was all an act.
Without realizing it, the corners of Eliana’s lips rose to a self pitying smile.
And every time she smiled, Verkley’s face would twist into an unreadable expression.
After reincarnating into this novel, Eliana couldn’t even sleep at night.
She was constantly nervous and frightened.
Especially of the man in front of her.
Eliana’s role in this novel was to fall victim to this man, who would brutally murder her.
The reason was simple.
It was because she was Hera’s spy.
That’s why Eliana went to Verkley so she could avoid Hera.
With a strong desire to survive and go against her impending death according to the novel, Eliana sought out the scheming mastermind on her own two feet, despite knowing he would take her life.
Eliana went straight to Verkley after making up her mind.
The terms Hera presented with her proposed contract meant nothing to Eliana anyway.
Power? Honor? When did she ever wish for such things?
All Eliana wanted was to live a long, simple, uncomplicated life.
She wanted to live a life according to heaven’s mandate—a straight-forward life where she wouldn’t get hurt or die young.
She couldn’t have that in her previous life.
When she first opened her eyes in this world, she was relieved that she somehow gained a new life, knowing that her original self had already crossed death’s threshold.
Since coming to terms about her new life here, she realized that she was headed straight to a predetermined fate.
She reincarnated as Eliana Mussieux, a woman destined to die by the hands of this novel’s villain, the Emperor who was a scheming mastermind.
“Have you become mute? Should I twist your neck once so that you’ll talk?”
A chilling voice entered Eliana’s ears.
It felt as though she was being pricked by thorns, but Eliana didn’t show her discomfort.
It didn’t seem like the devil had taken over his body yet, even though his eyes had changed color.
With his hand still on her throat, Eliana spoke calmly to the man who was threatening her.
“If you twist my neck, then I won’t be able to talk, Your Majesty.”
Even though she was trembling, her tone was composed as though there was nothing wrong.
“. . . Even at the brink of death, you still have the gall to talk back. Aren’t you taking this too lightly?”
Didn’t he know that if she didn’t joke in this situation, then it would have been better if her mouth just fell off? She couldn’t do anything about this situation anyway.
Eliana looked straight into the eyes of the man who was about to strangle her.
“It’s because your breath is tickling me, Your Majesty. That’s why I couldn’t speak.”
“. . .”
The killing intent that Verkley had been exuding suddenly disappeared.
Bewildered, he looked at Eliana as if there was something wrong with her head.
After a long pause, he roughly tore his hand away from Eliana’s neck.
As he moved away, there was now some space between them.
Verkley stared at her, with an intense air about him once again, perhaps because he had snapped out of his daze.
Eliana had finally exhaled, but the chill on her skin had not yet abated.
“What? Are you going to say that I’m too far away now and you can’t talk?”
“Not at all, Your Majesty.”
“Then explain at once. Before I decide to kill you.”
It was a direct warning, and the sarcastic smile on his lips was scathing.
Then, Eliana spoke with an unperturbed tone.
“I’m not from this world.”
The truth that had to be revealed anyway.
She had already been caught by the devil, but this was one secret he still didn’t know.