CHAPTER 1 - REBORN
"Ortansia Remi Verite.
For the crime of attempted assassination of Countess Dendane: ..."
The accused criminal, Ortansia quivered and trembled as she pleaded at the charges read out in a loud voice by the Judge.
"No, sir, I didn't do it...
I would never attempt to assassinate…"
The bride selection meeting was held at the royal castle with the daughters of nobles as candidates for the crown prince's wife.
During the selection process, a countess was poisoned and she collapsed.
The culprit was a duchess of ill repute.
Desperate being a candidate to be crowned as the crown prince's consort, she plotted to assassinate the Countess who had attracted the crown prince's attention and had his affection.
But her crimes were exposed in the light of day, and now the hammer of judgment was about to fall on her — This was the alleged crime.
"No, I didn't do anything...!"
The duchess, who was accused of the crime, Ortansia, was in the depths of despair.
After all, Ortansia had really done nothing.
She had been summoned to the court as a candidate for the crown prince's consort, but it was nothing more than a game to her.
If she had successfully completed the selection process, she would have been able to return home without any unforeseen incident.
However, an incident occurred in which one of the candidates for the prince's consort was almost assassinated, and she found herself being accused of the crime.
She was captured, thrown in jail, interrogated, and then...
As soon as the sentence was read out, fear surged through her and a scream escaped from the back of her throat.
"They are false accusations… I didn't do it! Please, investigate again! I would never ever…"
Almost being dragged along, she was taken to the execution platform.
The blade on the decapitation table reflected into her eyes, and her teeth clenched in horror.
"No, no, no...!"
Many of the nobles watched as Ortansia was dragged to the decapitation platform as if it were a spectacle.
"Oh, that's the one..."
"The daughter of the whore who tried to take over the duke's house, right"
"I knew I shouldn't have let someone of such low birth into my house."
"The previous duke was also a poor man.
She had a hand in his early death, didn't she"
The scorn, the amused glances, the rootless slander, the ridicule...
For them, Ortansia's destruction is just another form of amusement.
The more Ortansia resisted in vain, the more they were pleased.
brother! Please help me! I have been falsely accused! I did not plot any assassination!"
Gerard Adonakion Verite, the young head of the Duke of Verite family.
With lustrous silver hair and cool azure eyes, he is the brother of Ortansia, who is also known as the "Noble Prince of Ice" and the "Ruthless Duke".
Since becoming the duke's adopted daughter, she has had only a few opportunities to converse with him.
Still, he is Ortansia's older brother.
He would surely help her! That's what she thought.
As if clinging to that little glimmer of hope, Ortansia desperately cried out to her adopted brother.
But what she got in return was a horrifyingly cold stare and a cruel word that seemed to shun her.
"Shut up, you are a disgrace to my ducal family.
I have never, not even once, thought of you as my sister."
She realized that her mind had gone blank at those words.
As Ortansia's body was being pushed to the decapitation table, the tears that flowed down her cheeks wetted the decapitation table.
'How did I end up like this Was it the first time I went to court as a candidate for the crown prince's wife Or from the time I was taken in by the duke's family as an adopted daughter and became a duchess Or was it a mistake that I was born'
'What am I supposed to do'
Despair overtook her heart, and tears blurred her vision.
The voices around her screaming for her execution echoed in her ears.
'God, why on earth would you treat me so cruelly If you will have mercy on me, please give me another chance...'
As if on cue, the decapitator's blade glinted more brightly.
There was a hissing sound of the wind, and then...
The sheer terror and shock caused Ortansia to scream and jump out of her skin.
In that spur of the moment, she lost her balance and fell down, hitting her buttocks on the floor in a heap.
"Ortansia, are you okay"
Ortansia was quickly helped up and looked up at the person in confusion.
She was very surprised to see who was there and frowned
The person who helped her up was the previous Duke of Verite, Ortansia's foster father.
He died of illness shortly before Ortansia was falsely accused.
'Oh, is this heaven I was executed and reunited with my father in heaven.'
"Oh, yes I am your father.
I'm glad you called me that, Ortansia.
Because from this day forward we are family."
"...Hmm" She became confused
'My father's words sound a little strange.'
It was only then that Ortansia was finally able to calm down a bit and look around.
With a rattling sound, the scenery flows outside the window.
The surroundings looked familiar.
It was the interior of a carriage owned by the Duke de Verité (T/N: Duke of Verite)
Besides, "From today on, we are a family." 'What did that mean Like in the past'
Fearfully, Ortansia looked down at her body.
Her body was much smaller than she remembered.
It was as if she was a young child...
Read only on
He picked up the bewildered Ortansia lightly, and sat her back on her seat in the carriage.
"Look, there is your new home."
The carriage was headed for the mansion where Ortansia had spent her entire life since she was taken in by the duke's family, the Duke of Verite's mansion.
Ortansia was stunned to see such a ridiculously large mansion.
'I remember this scenario!'
"From today on, you will be my daughter, the duchess.
My son is a grumpy child, but I know you will get along with him.
I have high hopes for you, Ortansia." Her father's mouth spun the same words as she remembered.
Hearing his voice, Ortansia felt dizzy.
'No, no, no, no, no! I did want to start over, but I never thought I'd start from here!'
"His Excellency the Duke and Miss Ortansia have arrived!"
While she was stunned, the carriage passed through the gates of the duke's mansion, and Ortansia got out of the carriage with the help of her father's hand.
The servants of the duke's mansion were lined up on either side of the carriage.
The person at the center of the crowd stared at Ortanshia with absolute cold eyes.
This is Gérard, my son and also your brother."
The brother, whom she met again, was staring at her with the same absolutely cold eyes that she had seen just before her execution.
'I remember this scene well...'
The first time, Ortansia kept avoiding facing him because of the coldness in his eyes.
Is this a punishment Or is this an opportunity No way! she had never thought she would go back in time to the day she was taken in by the Duke!'