She was dragged into the book without understanding why.

In an unfamiliar world, her body movements were awkward. She felt as if she were a parasite. She couldn’t even move when she thought her limbs belonged to someone else. Every movement was terrifying, as if she were dragging a corpse.


She could never get used to this body, to this world. She didn’t want to adapt and live here forever.


It was miserable to live attached to someone else’s life, so she would rather die.


Fortunately or unfortunately, Annette was soon on the verge of death.

Since it was someone else’s life, she couldn’t end it, so she decided to endure it for a little while. And the moment she gave up everything, this man came.


When he whispered escape in her ear, Annette thought it was salvation. The words that he would let her out were so sweet that she listened gingerly.


She blindly followed him, not knowing whether the place Theodore was leading her to was heaven or hell.

She expected that it was not actually heaven, but that didn’t mean she didn’t think the person she was following was a guide to hell.


How in the world could he, who was only a character in a book, have brought Annette there? The incomprehensible questions coalesced into anger.


“Tell me. How in the world did you bring me here?”


Annette’s words did not contain the slightest hint of courtesy. The composure she had struggled to maintain was crushed and abandoned on the road the carriage had passed.


Now all that filled Annette’s head was the obsession that she simply had to find a way back from him.


“How did you bring me here?”


“That’s the secret to controlling you. I can’t tell you that already.”


Finally, Annette could not contain her anger and grabbed Theodore’s collar.


Her anger was endless. It was the most intense emotion she had felt since entering this world.


“A few months ago, Annette Scheringen talked nonsense about how a soul from another world would enter the body she had left and that person would hold the secret and the future of the world.”


When Theodore opened his mouth, the strength in Annette’s hand that grabbed his collar loosened.


“You’d be like a god, so if I get help from you, my destiny would change and I would become an emperor. It was all funny, but do you know what the most absurd thing was?”




“To call on the god of that world requires a certain price, and she said she would pay one, and she wanted me to give her the other.”


“And you paid the price?”


“I’ve been dealing with people like her all the time. I told her I would pay whatever she wanted and that she should leave immediately. Then Annette Scheringen disappeared, and an article appeared saying that the Marquis of Scheringen was dead.”


Theodore took Annette’s hand, which had grabbed his collar, and gently placed it on her lap.


“I don’t know who you are.”


Then he brushed his collar to straighten it.


“I will show you how to return to your world if you make me emperor.”


Annette choked up when she looked into Theodore’s eyes. They were eyes wet with madness. No sane person would even believe something like possession.


There was a resolute obsession to achieve his goal, even if it meant using a crazy woman, not of this world, not of reality.


That look in his eyes said.


She would never escape his grasp until he had achieved what he wanted.


Annette was caught in this man’s trap and fell into this world.


“Then be my goddess. If I like your divine blessing, I will send you back to the world of the gods.”


There was not a shred of respect for God on his lips. Far from awe, they oozed arrogance.


At that moment, the carriage rattled as the horseman struck his whip and the horses picked up speed. But it was Annette’s heart that shook even louder.


* * *

The carriage ran late into the night.


‘I hadn’t seen the sun in a very long time, and I thought I was going to be dizzy.’


The sunlight had long since disappeared, but it still buzzed in her head. Complicated thoughts were busy moving on wings, tormenting her.


Outside the carriage, a vineyard could be seen. The surrounding area was a crisp green, and there was nowhere for the eye to go but the ripening grapes.


It was where no one would visit unless they were a worker, and no one would accidentally approach. The cries of grass insects and the stars in the night sky were the only objects that were most present.


The carriage carrying Annette and Theodore stopped at such a place.


As they got out of the carriage, she saw a quiet villa surrounded by vineyards. The exterior, piled up with logs, was too unattractive to be called a nobleman’s villa.

It was a place where Theodore visited when he wanted to take a secret rest.


Since the purpose was to stay there without anyone’s knowledge, the building was intentionally shabby. The ownership also belonged to someone completely unrelated to Theodore.


“Let’s stay here for the time being.”


Theodore’s vacation place was to be Annette’s hideout for a while.


It was natural that the villa’s suspiciousness would raise questions, but Annette did not ask any questions.


After a moment of heat from the carriage, her expression returned to unreadable. She did not even respond to the conversation.


“While you are hiding for a while, I am going to deal with the trial and the troublesome things that are hanging over you. When things are settled, I will call you to Lidere’s residence.”


“I’m tired.”


Annette turned away, ignoring Theodore’s explanation.


“Where are you going?”


“You told me to stay here. Tell me where the bed is. It’s been a long time since I walked more than ten steps, so I’m weak.”


There was no power in her voice, but no emotion either. Theodore, encountering boredom, raised his eyebrows.


“I’m not going to go as far as telling you to be happy with the situation, but I’m not going to stand by and watch you acting in such an uncooperative manner.”


Theodore had much to ask her and much to sort out, but she did not open her tightly closed lips.


“I told you I was tired.”


Annette had no highs or lows in her answer. It was not to be angry, but to explain her condition. It was not a flimsy defiance.


Theodore finally realized that she was really struggling.


Eat, drink, and sleep. A month of living without even the three basics of survival.

Annette was emaciated, with exposed bones all over her body. She was exhausted from hours of rattling carriage ride with a body that had lost all of its muscles.


“Please tell me which room to use.”


Annette asked in a slack voice, and a maid came running busily. The running maid was surprised to see the woman next to Theodore and stopped midway.


Emma was a maid who had lost most of her hearing and could not hear much. Instead of hearing, she could read people’s lips quickly.


That was why Theodore chose Emma as the servant of the villa. People who listened too much were not good for relaxation.


“Take her to her room.”


Emma greeted Annette with a bow and took Annette to her bedroom.


Annette’s attire was appalling, even from the maid’s point of view. Care was urgent, so she was at a loss as to what to do first.


First, she was going to prepare the bath water and serve her a meal, but as soon as Annette saw the bed, she lay down and immediately fell asleep.


Emma did not know what to do, so she finished her service by quickly pulling the blanket over Annette, who had not even changed her clothes before sleeping.


And the next day.


Theodore called Annette to the breakfast table, but she was stuck in bed.


Emma panicked and woke her up, fearing that the mysterious young lady might upset her master, but she didn’t wake up. Thinking something was wrong, she touched Annette’s forehead and was startled. Annette’s forehead was boiling hot.


Emma immediately informed Theodore of Annette’s condition and began to nurse her. She wiped her body with a wet towel, but her temperature did not go down. Not only did her temperature not drop, she was also on the verge of death, unable to open her eyes.


The exhaustion and mental fatigue of the past few months exploded all at once, and she  couldn’t even get her body up.


According to Theodore’s original plan, he would have had to leave the villa after exchanging what he could not talk about over a late breakfast with Annette. However, Annette’s illness had disrupted the itinerary.


The unexpected situation was frustrating.


He thought once he found her, he could use her right away, but it ended up costing money and time to heal her.


Wouldn’t it be better to throw her away right now?


It was nonsensical in the first place. How on earth did he get involved in something so irrational? But since he started it, he had to see it through to the end.


He was the one who always made sure to check the beast that was shot if it had stopped breathing when he hunted. It made no difference that it was a person.


“We must call the doctor …… as soon as possible.”


The anxious maid finally said a few words. Her off-pitched intonation made her anxiety seem more than she should have.


The maid, who was afraid to even approach Theodore’s side, gathered her courage. That was how serious the condition was.


“I am looking for a doctor.”


The maid rushed to Annette again as soon as she read Theodore’s lips. It was an expression of fear that she did not want to be in the same space with him for even a moment.


Theodore was used to it, since she mostly just stared at him.


Maria was overprotective of him, and the previous emperor was never once harsh to Theodore because of his guilt over his bastard son. He grew up on his own because there was no one to control his cruel behavior.


People naturally feared and avoided the uncontrollable Theodore.


He lived that way for more than a decade.

Annette was the first to look him straight in the eye and say something arrogantly.


It was quite an interesting experience. So much so that he felt he had to let her live.


Still, the doctor did not arrive because he had to bring in someone who could be as tight lipped as possible. A silent doctor who would keep the fact that Annette was here and her health condition a secret.


“Hold on for one more day. I don’t know if you are a goddess or a fraud, but either way you won’t die easily.”


Theodore looked at the room where Annette was and turned away.

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