By: Covering the Sky
Translated by: Eseul
Edited by: Lili
It was a hot summer day when she turned 12 years old. Lucia’s world turned upside down. Everything spiraled down when her mother passed away and she had to enter the royal palace.
‘Was I dreaming? Or am I still dreaming…?’
Lucia sat on her bed mumbling while trapped in a trance. She just had a very long dream. It felt like she had returned to the past, or maybe it was a precognitive dream. Inside the dream, she experienced her future life. It wasn’t a peaceful life. Most of the days were stained with suffering and tears. But there were times she had felt happy and joyful. She had lived on hanging onto a tiny sliver of hope.
She had had no idea. Her mother was of noble blood. While she had still been alive, she had never let out a single peep about it at all. When Lucia was 25 years old inside the dream, she had bumped into her mother’s brother and came to know the truth.
Her mother, Amanda, was the youngest daughter of the Baden Earldom. The Baden nobles had once been influential margraves (count of a border territory). However, currently they were only nobles in name, overlooking not even a single plot of land. The will of the Baden nobles ran deep, but their name had more or less been forgotten by the majority of the population, and it was unknown how long they could keep hold of their nobility.
Amanda had run away at night after taking a single pendant, that had been passed down from generation to generation inside the empty rooms of the old-fashioned house at the border lands.
Lucia’s uncle had bitterly stated that they should have gone out to capture Amanda at the time she had made her escape. He never imagined that it would be the last time he would ever see her. She had been a foolish youth when she had run away, and it had been foolish to think she would return. A month later, they had attempted to track her down, but it had already been too late.
Her uncle had had no way of finding her mother. She had run to the capital and that had made it close to impossible. Even Lucia didn’t fully remember how they had lived through the hard times in the capital.
However, although Amanda had been unmarried, she had given birth to a genuine king’s daughter. One could only assume the truth of the situation. When Lucia was born, the truth should have been revealed to the royal family, but Amanda had chosen to do what nobody else would have done. She had hidden her noble bloodline and had lived as a commoner together with Lucia.
Lucia’s mother was an aristocrat, the daughter of the noble Baden family. More than that, Lucia was related to the king by blood. Lucia had never known the truth and had spent her childhood thinking of Amanda as a commoner.
Her mother had been beautiful, the townspeople had all been nice, and she had always played together with the other kids by the river and the forest. It seemed like only yesterday, but it was a distant memory now, and she could do nothing else but cry. Her happiest moments belonged to those early days.
All the suffering had come out of the blue. Amanda had fallen ill due to an epidemic that had swept throughout the city. In Lucia’s memories, her mother had been a petite and skinny woman, different from the strong commoner women of the city.
She had grown up in a noble family and had never experienced any harsh days. Raising Lucia as a single mom had been taking a toll on her body, until she had turned into a sickly mess.
Her mother had seemed to know that she would die soon. A few days before her mother’s death, Lucia had passed a message in her stead. It had probably been a letter meant to be delivered to the royal palace.
Lucia understood her mother’s decision. She had done the best she could up until her last breath. The life of an orphaned girl could only spiral down into the depths of hell. If Lucia had never entered the palace, she would have had to become a prostitute and sell her body for the rest of her life.
A few days after Amanda had passed away, a guard had brought Lucia to the royal palace. The royal family owned a magical device that could confirm anyone’s ancestry. It was the royal family’s treasure, but occasionally other nobles would come and use the device as well.
Even if illegitimate children flooded over, conflicts over blood relations would not occur due to this magical treasure.
The King had confirmed his daughter’s face through the device and had bestowed a name upon her. That had been the first and last time she ever met her ‘father’.
That was Lucia’s new name. Nobody had bothered to ask about her original name. Everything had been decided one-sidedly. She had lost her mother, had been forcefully dragged to the royal palace, and had been generously provided with a run-down palace detached from everyone.
After crying all night, she woke up early in the morning and realized that everything changed – her own self and her surroundings. She sat down hugging her knees and thought about her future.
Just because she had become a princess overnight, nothing in her life had actually changed for the better. The unrestrained king had spread his seeds all over the place. The news of a new prince, or even a princess, were not enough to become the hot topic of the palace rumors.
Lucia was the 16th princess. She had figured that out after a long time of residing in the palace. She had calculated the total amount of children who had gained the approval of the King, and had figured out she was the 16th princess. She had an obscure background and was born after a one night stand with the king. Additionally, she was a royal princess who had grown up among commoners.
‘Even if I know my future……….’
Lucia sighed heavily. She only came to know how her future would unfold. Her future started in the border lands and ended here until its bitter conclusion. As it was, she had gained nothing useful from the dream. She had no means to mingle with the upper aristocracy, so even if she knew her future, it was futile.
After Lucia had entered the royal palace, her life had not been special at all. She had lived a quiet life without worries of starving to death. No one had cared to show any interest in her, but due to that, no one had come to bully her, either. Each day had been the same as all the others. When Lucia had reached 19 years old, her life had changed once again.
The year Lucia had turned 19, Lucia’s birth father, the nation’s King Hesse the 8th, had passed away. She had only met him once, so when she had heard the news, she had felt nothing for his death. She had believed his death would not affect her life in any way. However, the succeeding king, Hesse the 9th, had drawn up a new budget for the royal palace. He had decided to clean up the consequences of the past king’s uninhibited life. Hesse the 9th had started a project to send all of his half brothers and sisters out of the palace.
When Lucia had turned 20, only 6 princesses of the past king had remained in the palace. Lucia had no relatives. She had spent her life hiding inside the detached palace with no relations to the outside world at all. There was nobody who would volunteer to take her under their care. There wasn’t even a profit to be gained by marrying her off to others.
Hesse the 9th had auctioned off Lucia, who was nothing but a dead weight to the royal palace. Lucia had been 20 years old when she was auctioned off to the person who had offered the highest dowry.
Count Matin, Lucia’s new husband, was 20 years older than her and had two divorces in his past. He had three sons with the eldest one the same age as Lucia. The five years together with the count had been the most horrible period for her. Economically, Lucia had been doing much better than her time in the detached palace, but she had gotten destroyed mentally. The count was an old, fat, disabled pervert. He had fulfilled all his sexual desires through Lucia.
‘I don’t want to!!’
Lucia’s body trembled. She never wanted to experience that again. Rather, she didn’t want to experience the future. Even if she had to die, she didn’t want to marry that bastard again.
‘I must change my future. I will change my future no matter what!!’
The future she saw in her dream was already changing. Originally, Lucia had shown symptoms of autism the first few months in the royal palace. Her mother’s death, the identity of her father, and being chased away to a place without an ounce of affection; all these things had been too much for a young girl to handle.
There had been no one to care for Lucia, who had blocked herself from the outside world. In the beginning, physicians had dropped by a few times and palace maids had visited to make sure she didn’t starve to death.
The extremely disinterested surroundings had worked as a catalyst for Lucia. She had been able to gradually regain her clarity little by little on her own. But this time, things were different. Lucia didn’t experience any symptoms of autism. She had no grand dream of changing her life around. She only had one wish – she simply wanted the freedom to live the way she liked.
‘I can do this. I can change it.’
She didn’t know how to do it. As a 12 year old princess with no connections, there was nothing she could do. But she didn’t despair.
‘I still have a lot of time.’
However, time continued to pass coldly. Before she knew it, Lucia had turned 18.