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 disbelief, I was struck with a splitting headache.
I screamed and fell to the ground. 

At that moment, something hit me as if I had been struck by lightning.
Along with the novel’s contents, Alyssa’s memory quickly entered my mind. 

Because of this, I realized that I had fallen into the world of a romance novel.
My headache won’t stop.
It felt like someone was poking all over my head with a needle.


“Ma’am, ma’am! What should I do?!”

While I was shouting and covering my head, the maid fussed. 

She seemed to have summoned the others, but I fainted before they arrived.
It was not until midnight that I came to my senses again. 

The duchess’s bedroom was dark and quiet, and the moonlight streamed through the closed window. 

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I felt uneasy as I contemplated many things, and my dry lips made me thirsty.
I got up from my seat and lit a candle. 

Because of it, the darkroom was slightly visible.
The bedroom that I woke up to again was no longer an unfamiliar room and I know about this place. 

Alyssa had lived in this room for a year, and now it was ingrained in my memory.

‘How could such a thing happen?’ 

I wish everything was a dream.
Maybe, when I fall asleep again, I’ll wake up in the hospital and everything was just a dream while I was unconscious. 

But as the morning came, I slowly came to terms with this reality.
I had no choice but to do so. 

No matter how many times I closed and opened my eyes, I was still in this strange world. 

A doctor came to see me in the morning.
According to the doctor, Alyssa went into the capital and fell into the Sehera River.
She was rescued and regained consciousness three days later.

“Ma’am, do you know who I am?”

“Yes, you’re the duke’s family doctor.” 

The doctor and the maid exchanged a look at my answer. 

Apparently, they were perplexed by my politeness towards them.2

Even though she comes from a poor family, she was nonetheless a noble.
Naturally, she should treat them as such.

I need to get used to this world If I can’t go back to my old one right now.
I need to act normal so that others do not see me as strange.

“I think this is the impact of the accident.
You’ll feel better if you get some rest.”

Because of the doctor’s diagnosis, I rested for a while and was taken care of by my servants.
I didn’t do anything and rested.
I only kept eating and sleeping.

‘I don’t want to do anything.
I’m already doing nothing, but I don’t want to do anything strenuous either.’ 

Eventually, I became tired of it.
Without any entertainment or distractions, life became boring and dull. 

In the meantime, I recalled the memories one by one again and tried to etch everything into my memory. 

I also think about my memories as the 22-years-old Kim Yeri who fell into the Hangang River. 

When I fell into the water, I had a copy of the novel ‘Unavoidable Destiny’ in my bag, which is the world I came into. 

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I found it to be a typical Harlequin romance book, nothing special.
I just can’t believe I became one of the characters…

I recalled looking in the mirror for the first time.
The fancy gold mirror reflected a woman. 

She had pink hair with soft curls, blue eyes tinged with gray, and a petite, slim frame.  I tilted my head slightly as the woman in front of me followed my movement. 

Even though I had watched it hundreds of times, it was difficult to believe.
However, the person in the mirror was clearly me, and I am now Alyssa Pennon.

I’m not the main character, nor am I the supporting character; I’m only an extra whose name appeared in the novel. 

There are numerous characters, but why did I become the male lead’s former wife? 

Besides, wasn’t it too much that the story only started when she died? 

Above all else, I woke up in Alyssa’s body, Rashid’s former wife, who was supposed to be dead. 

Only when Alyssa died would Rashid adore, miss her, and regret his words and actions. 

She’ll also leave a scar on his heart.
After that, Priscilla, the female lead, would heal his wounded heart. 

However, right now, things went awry.
What should I do? 

The original Alyssa that will be cherished by Rashid must be dead.
Yet she was saved, and she wasn’t exactly ‘Alyssa’.

‘What should I do?’ 

I sighed as I looked at the ring on my left ring finger.
What would happen if Rashid didn’t realize his feelings for Alyssa, although I also don’t know if what he felt was true love? 

Will fate still flow according to the original story? And what should I do when I meet Rashid? Is there a way for me to return to my original world? 

If I continue to remain in this world, how should I live? 

Why did this happen? 

I constantly thought about it, but the answer was not clear. 

With those thoughts in mind, 12 days flew by while I was trying to adapt to my life as ‘Alyssa’ and take care of my poor health.
At the end of the day, Rashid came to find me.

1.The literal translation of their family name would be Penvernon which doesn’t roll off the tongue.
That’s why I changed it to Pennon instead, a real family name.
She spoke to them formally and politely in Korean.
Which was not supposed to be like that since they are her subordinate.
I wasn’t sure how to convey this in English so I added a footnote.

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