Kalior’s emperor was a tyrant. He rose to the throne at the age of seventeen after murdering the former emperor, empress, and all his brothers. It was said that the bodies of the men who were exploited under his cruel reign could fill rivers.
He also happened to be this world’s male lead.
The Korean fantasy book I had been reading was titled The Tyrant’s Private Life. In the novel, a girl who lost her beloved to the tyrant ends up falling in love with him. The story’s start may not have been the merriest—unlike what its light-hearted title would suggest—but it had a happy ending.
Well, that wasn’t even half of it. The tyrant loved the girl so much that he practically handed her the keys to the whole kingdom and became a rather peaceful person, unlike before. That was to say, the girl had him at her beck and call.
The rest of the story tells of the tyrant’s hushed-up private life, which had become a laughingstock among his close aides…
“Who cares if the story has a happy ending?” I mean, he only decided to turn over a new leaf around the end. “And he’s only nice to the female protagonist!”
I was a twenty-year-old girl living in Korea when I died and transmigrated into that story as that very tyrant’s fiancée, Scarlett Arman.
Scarlett Arman was a minor villain who, out of blind love for the tyrant, tormented the female protagonist and ended up getting herself killed by him. That happened around the middle of the original story, I think.
“Oh, crap.” A sigh escaped my lips before I could stop it.
“I can’t believe this.” I could barely keep from tearing my hair out of frustration. I wasn’t going to make it. That was, I couldn’t think of a single way to get myself out of this mess. The tyrant, Charlemagne Kalior, was, in a sense, a fair ruler. Anyone who opposed him would be killed, regardless of their status. “He doesn’t even spare a glance to those below him in skill.”
The ones he considered worth his attention were neither his parents nor his siblings. Not even the common folk of the kingdom. Well, sure, he wasn’t the type to kill for fun. However, if you came too close, you had to ensure that you weren’t mistaken for an assassin. Your rank was irrelevant, and you could pay with your life.
The six aides who assisted him—probably the closest he had to friends—were the only ones worth his time. “They’re cut from the same cloth.” All were considered prodigies from a young age. Perhaps that was why they could be around that tyrant in the first place. After all, he was the youngest person granted the titles of Sword Master and Sage. “He has a demon sword, doesn’t he? Not even magic works against it.”
It made sense, but I still had difficulty believing that an ass like him was named a Sage.
One day, I inquired about this from some in my household—who, by the way, didn’t even treat me like a proper lady—while trying not to sound like a complete idiot. Their replies were unbelievable.
“That is because there are few with a knowledge greater than his, my lady.”
Wow. So being nice wouldn’t get me on his good side. Then it’d probably be a waste of time trying to cultivate a humble personality. I crossed out another line on the piece of paper I’d scribbled on, trying to figure out how I could survive this world.
Sighing, I stared at the name on top of the paper.
Scarlett Arman—the name of the character I’ve transmigrated into, the unimportant villain. There were a lot of antagonists who stood between Emperor Charlemagne and his beloved Empress Cheryl in the original story. And Scarlett has had quite a long time being the villainess. In her defense, she was the male protagonist’s fiancée. There were plenty of flaws in the female protagonist too.
For one, Cheryl Diel’s place was nowhere near the emperor on the social ladder. She did come from a noble house, which, unfortunately, was on the verge of crumbling. Her family was broke too. She was far from sophisticated due to her lack of money and a proper lady’s education. Those were some reasons why so many people objected to their relationship.
Naturally, the tyrant killed those people off one by one—even his fiancée.
Well, Scarlett did torment Cheryl a lot… But it isn’t like Cheryl just sat there and took it.
I mean, Cheryl was the third wheel, right? Scarlett was the fiancée. She had every right to be angry.
Of course, that kind of logic wouldn’t work. Scarlett wasn’t the female lead, after all. “Hmm. I still don’t think she deserved to die, though.” Scarlett started harassing Cheryl from the beginning of the story, starting with those closest to her. Then she ended up sending Cheryl a poison that made her fall asleep for a month.
She had hoped to get married to Charlemagne during that time. But still, killing off Scarlett based on just a few words from Cheryl and none from her is too…
At least the novel’s story hasn’t started yet. I could’ve been killed before I even had a chance to save myself. A tyrant in love for the first time in his life was nothing short of a disaster. A chill came over me. I couldn’t help but curl up on myself.
“Maybe this is all because she was the family’s black sheep.”
Scarlett was Duke Arman’s only daughter. However, rather than being the apple of his eye, she was the nuisance of the house. They say that Duke Arman threw her into the engagement with the unwanted tyrant because of her cold, harsh demeanor. He pushed his own daughter into the relationship even though he knew that she would probably die.
What a messed-up family. Just thinking of them made me sigh. From what I’d seen in the past week after the transmigration, I knew that it would be better for her to leave this house altogether. Sure, maybe Scarlett had been quite the troublemaker. But that didn’t make a beating acceptable. The duke was such a jerk.
Not only did everyone constantly give her a sideways look, but even the servants seemed to look down on her. Maybe the servants were avoiding her because they were scared, but still.
Whoever sent me here did leave me with Scarlett’s memories, thankfully. Not that they were particularly uplifting now. There were barely any happy memories to soften the cold reality.
Besides, in the original novel, the Arman household fell apart after Scarlett died. The duke, the servants—basically, the tyrant killed everyone. All in all, a terrible household.
I put the paper away.
Then I reached for another piece of paper and held it up gingerly as I would a dirty rag. The Royal Ball invitation.
It was the invitation for the ball in celebration of the emperor’s birthday, which was to be held in about ten days. It was also the first formal event where Scarlett Arman met with the emperor as his fiancée.
“…How is everything happening so fast?”
The original story was rapidly approaching. Of course, the novel’s actual opening would start half a year later. But for Scarlett, this was the beginning. I sighed. I haven’t even gotten used to life here.
“If only I had some cash…” Well, running away wouldn’t make a difference if the engagement wasn’t off, anyway. “Let’s just wait and see,” I spat.
Breaking off the engagement. Cutting off ties to the family name. Saving up some money. Nothing seemed easy, but I do have memories of the original novel. Visual recordings of this world that were now made real. If I saw something mentioned in the original novel, however briefly, I could recall a scene relating to it.
Thanks to that neat trick, I had to accept that all this was not just some delusion. I was really stuck in a book. There hadn’t been many recollections so far, but I knew that this would become helpful in time. It’d help me connect names with faces, too, since it was kind of like a video.
The memories came a bit randomly, but I remembered how the original plot went. That wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Yes. I might make it after all!
After getting dumped by the tyrant and saving up some money utilizing my knowledge of the original plot, I’d leave and never look back.
“Hmm. So what should I do to get dumped by the tyrant?” I’d certainly get killed if I told him outright that I wanted to end the engagement.
According to the whispers among the servants, the Charlemagne here was in no way different from the Charlemagne in the original book. The tyrant looked terrifying even in Scarlett’s memories. Scarlett had only seen him from behind so far. But in the memory, he had been looking up at the heads spiked on the castle walls…
I shuddered. Thinking of ways to die painlessly didn’t seem so much of an overexaggerated reaction now. Right. It would be much better to get dumped than to dump him. So the question is how. Hmm. Ways to get dumped? Plenty.
I made a list, numbering them all one by one. When I was done, I smiled proudly. “Perfect.”
It was down to one week until the emperor’s birthday ball, the place where it would all begin. Unlike his usual self, the tyrant was said to be considerably more polite towards women. Which was to say, he wouldn’t kill them like flies. This… courtesy from him was also why Scarlett fell head over heels in love.
Obviously, I was not the kind of person to fall for that. Ridiculous. Let’s see how long he can keep from dumping me, the crazy girl. Well, I had no idea then that none of it would go as planned.