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Apparently, I’m a Despicable Villainess in a Novel - Chapter 2

Note: sorry for the delay in updating. I had some health issues. I will be taking time out from writing and updating. Will be back soon (around July). Enjoy this chapter. ^^

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Apparently I’m a Despicable Villainess in a Novel by alexia praks, free online romance fantasy novel, romantasy book, josei shoujo novel, villainess, romance, fantasy, romantasy, reverse harem, regression, transmigration, reincarnation, time travel, magic, revenge, action & adventure, isekai, illustration art of a beautiful couple of a hunky handsome blond hair man prince warrior soldier yandere male lead and a beautiful villainess female lead with dark black hair wearing a fantasy dress.

Chapter 2

The Ending


The cold seeped into my bones, a relentless intruder I could neither fight nor flee. My breath turned to mist in the frigid air, dancing like wraiths before vanishing into the gloom of the dungeon. The stone walls, slick with the tears of condensation, seemed to weep for me, their sorrow echoing my own. I drew my tattered cloak tighter around my frame, seeking a warmth that refused to come.


I sat on the floor, its rough surface a stark contrast to the silk sheets I once knew. A single ray of light fought its way through the barred window high above, a mocking sliver of the world beyond my reach. Shadows clung to the corners of the cell like specters, whispering of despair.


In my heart, there was nothing but the wrenching pain—sharp and unyielding, the agony twisting and burning like a firestorm, torturing me endlessly.


I was still shocked and dazed, the horrendous sight once again tormenting me, the image of my adoptive brother being executed, the sharp blade dropping down to his neck flashing before my eyes. Finn, kind and true, who'd done nothing to deserve such a fate. His laughter would never again brighten the halls of Argyll Manor, his dreams were snuffed out as easily as a candle in a storm.


They were all gone. First it had been my adoptive father and then mother, and now, Elle and Finn, too. A family that had welcomed me with open arms, now nothing but memories in the ashes of betrayal. As of today, I was alone in this crazy fucked-up world I wanted no part in, a world of a best-selling romantasy novel that was Inferno Dreams.


I had tried so hard, evading the death flags that followed me as Wren Lee, the despicable villainess in the novel, like a relentless disease. I avoided committing any sort of misdeed, major and minor, toward the main characters like the plague so I would not get caught in the storm that was my downfall. No interaction meant no conflict, no fuel for hatred or fear. I even aided the characters—main, supporting, side, and even villains—during their times of needs when given the chance, eager for them to see me in a good light, wanting to give them zero chance of disliking me.


But alas, it was all to no avail. All my efforts had not been enough to shield those I loved from harm or myself from this grim destiny. I was still condemned as a traitor, and now, the people I loved were all dead and I would be left to rot in this prison until my judgement day.


A quivering cry escaped my mouth as more tears welled in my eyes, flowing down my cheeks. Pulling my knees up against my chest, I hugged myself, my shoulders hunched, my face buried as I bawled my eyes out.


The sound of my sobs filled the cell—a lonely lament for dreams shattered and lives lost. The sorrow within my heart had never felt so heavy. How I missed them, my adoptive family—Mother and Father, Elle, and Finn. I was loved, unconditionally, and I them in return.


I sobbed for how long, I did not know. I sobbed until my eyes felt raw and my body turned weak. Days and nights blurred and passed like a still, nightmarish reverie, and often, I deluded myself into thinking what had happened to my family was all nothing but a bad dream.


This was all just a dream. Soon, I’d wake up and find myself back in the comfort of my bed at home in the real world, this dark fantasy fading away into the void. I’d think nothing of this as I continued with my day, getting ready and rushing off to the university.


As usual, I’d be in my shared, tiny office as a master’s student and a science tutor, doing research and experiment, followed by a lab tutorial, guiding the undergraduate as they do their work. The room would be lively and noisy, with most asking questions of which I’d happily answered. I’d spend my break time with Sara and other colleagues, just chatting and drinking coffee. At the end of the workday, I’d hurried to Mom and Dad’s where a wonderful dinner would be waiting, and then late into the night, I’d be back at my apartment, a place of comfort and warmth where I’d be snugged in bed and reading one of my favorite novel series.


Ah, the novel series, Inferno Dreams.


The thought of the title of the series caused my heart to race and my body to tremble in a cold sweat. I inhaled a deep breath and slowly breathed out as I told myself to calm down. A mere book title shouldn’t bring on a panic attack like this. It just shouldn’t.


When I managed to calm down, I started whimpering. Once again, the reality of where I was and what had happened hit me like a ton of bricks.


Tears soaked the filthy fabric that clung to my skin, the ragged remnants of what was once a fine dress. My heart throbbed in my chest, a painful reminder of the betrayal and loss.


As my sobs quieted to a whimper, a sound pricked at my senses—a snicker, callous and chilling, slicing through the silence of the dungeon. My sobs caught in my throat as I lifted my swollen eyes. The sight that greeted me was so starkly out of place it took my breath away.


There stood a young woman resplendent in her beauty. Her hair the color of the burning sun cascading around her shoulders like a fiery waterfall. Her eyes were like twin sapphires plucked from the deepest ocean, and they held no warmth for me as they locked onto mine. She wore a gown of rich green silk that clung to her form, proclaiming her status and wealth with its luxurious folds. Jewels glittered at her throat and on her delicate fingers, each one catching the meager light and throwing it back with disdain.


She was majestic, as she should be as the crown princess, as she should be as the most important character in this world. She was Marissa Mallory, the heroine of this novel.


With a wave of her delicate hand, the prison guard scuffled to obey her silent command, unlocking the door of the cell. Marissa stepped into my dismal abode, the hem of her skirt brushing the dirt and dust about the filthy stone floor.


She came to stand inches from me, looking down on me, a smug smile playing about her beautiful face, one that brought many men to their knees.


I stared at her, wondering why she was here of all places, wondering why she was smiling when seeing the pathetic me—utterly frail and thin, in rag and my body covered in filth and smelled like sewage.


Marissa Mallory as the heroine was magnanimous and compassionate. She had a heart of gold, and upon seeing any pitiful person, she’d shed tears of sorrow for their unfortunate plight.


This woman with a conceited look on her face, however, did not exude any of those pleasing characteristics, the type I had seen her showcased numerous times during balls and tea-parties as well as on the streets of Whitfall City. The expression displayed on that stunning face was anything but one that belonged to a heroine with a pure soul, a saintess.


Marissa leaned down until our faces were inches apart. A smirk about her lips, a mixture of triumph and contempt on her face, she said, “You’ve finally fallen.”


I stared at her, confusion furrowed my brow at her words.


“I see you have no idea what I mean.” Her voice tinkled with mirth, the sound grating against my ears. “But why would you? You’re just a stock character.”


Her words crashed over me like a tidal wave—unexpected and devastating, leaving me reeling in their wake. Though I did not show it, I knew what that meant. Indeed, she confirmed it.


“You’re just a despicable villainess. Why have you not acted the way you should have acted? The way you were designed to be. Your ugly role meant to shine a light on me, the heroine. You’re meant to abuse and bully me, your action meant to make everyone hate you and for them to pity and love me. So why have you not acted out your part?”


She lifted her chin proudly then leaned forward slightly, whispering as if confiding a secret. “But no matter. Things are finally going the way they should be now. It was tedious watching you being such a goody two-shoes around everyone, and especially my men.”


My throat tightened at her possessive words.


She lowered her face again and said softly into my ear. “Did you think you’d ever get those men’s attention and make them love you, Wren Lee? No matter how hard you try, they will never pay you any heed nor turn their hearts to you. Why, you ask? That’s simply because that is just the way it is. It’s fate, written on papers in a book.”


A bitter laugh escaped her lips as she straightened herself up once more. “Oh my, I see you’re getting even more confused. But you needn’t know nor understand, since you’re just a dumb stock character. And unfortunately for me for a little while, one that doesn’t do or act what it was written to do.”


She smiled gleefully. “Now that things are finally going my way and you’re where you’re supposed to be,” she continued with an air of finality as if sealing my fate with her words alone, “the next chapter in my life will be no doubt romance filled with sweet moments—with men vying for my undivided attention.”


She paused for dramatic effect before adding venomously, “There’d be nothing I need to worry about, don’t you agree? After all, I am now the crown princess of this wonderful kingdom.”


With that, she turned on her heel. Before leaving, she said over her shoulder with feigned nonchalance that couldn't hide the sharp edge of cruelty in her voice, “Oh, and I forgot to mention, your execution day will be tomorrow. With this, Wren Lee will be no more, just as it should be.”


Her merry giggle rang loud in my ears as she strolled away, the prison door once again clicking shut, locking me within. Alone, I stared into the void, long and hard, and then… I burst out chuckling—not merely laughed but let out an unhinged cascade of mirthless amusement laced with tears and disbelief.


Wiping tears from my eyes, the hollow mirth died, and my expression was once again schooled into a hard, cold mask.


She called me a despicable villainess. It was a fact Marissa Mallory knew Wren Lee was a villainess inside a novel.


The realization settled on me like ashes from a pyre. Marissa wasn't just any heroine—she was like me, another soul who had been thrust into Inferno Dreams from another world entirely.


I had been such a fool. I had been so blind.


The revelation bore down on me with crushing weight—Marissa Mallory wasn't simply playing her part, she had commandeered it with fervor unmatched by any original character.


I didn't know how she got transmigrated here? I didn't know who she originally was, but one thing I knew for certain was that my second life could not end like this. I was innocent. My family was innocent. We had been framed.


My mind raced, whirling with images and scenes of the years I had lived as Wren Lee. I worked on pinpointing when and where things had gone wrong and came to that time when Father had died at the battlefield. Everything had started to go downhill from then and our family suffered tremendous loss.


That night, I spent my time thinking and plotting as if I’d surely survive my execution. When I was exhausted from that, I started wondering what I could have done better or differently if I were to go back in time. Would I still be a naive fool who, like Marissa had said, behaved like a goody two-shoes around everyone? Or would I be taking the true Wren Lee’s character—that spiteful, entitled, spoilt brat who ultimately brings everyone in her family to their doom through her thoughtless actions. I didn’t know, but I knew one thing for certain, and that was things would not be the same if that were the case.


What scant light that eked through the fissures of that small window above the cell had gotten brighter, signaling the arrival of daybreak. The realization that in mere hours, my last breath would be taken from me paralyzed me in fright, my body quivering, and my pulse thundering.


When I did manage to calm down, it was to the sound of the prison door opening, and I tensed as I held my breath. There, presenting before me was the man of the hour, Crown Prince Jared Abaddon, the hero of the novel.


The Abaddon bloodline had a unique appearance throughout history: strands of pale golden hair and eyes of a deep, amethyst hue, a legacy purportedly inherited from an angelic ancestor of bygone age. Jared, a scion of this celestial heritage, was no exception. His striking beauty made him an easy object of women's affections, and his winsome nature magnetized others, elevating him, in the eyes of many, to an exalted status.


“Wren Lee,” he said. “Are you ready for your execution?”


The tone of his voice, the way he asked it, so casually and nonchalantly, it was as if he was asking me if I was ready to go out for a shopping expedition along Bond Street, which I had often done.


“No, your highness,” I said, working on suppressing the shuddering in my voice and the shaking of my body. “I doubt anyone would ever be ready for their own death, don’t you agree?”


His lips broadened into a sardonic smile. “You are always so amusing.”


Strange. His words made it sound like we were close acquaintances. I had clearly avoided him, interacting as little as possible with him when we happened to encounter each other under social settings, ones I had no choice but to attend.


He came down to one knee, his hand cupping my chin, surprising and frightened me so senselessly that I turned frigid.


He said, “Your position has fallen, and you are as dirty as a gutter rat, yet…” He shook his head as if confounded. “Your eyes, they show defiant, a spirit that is unwilling to yield. I loathe those eyes of yours. I abhor the way they look at me as if you knew all about me, seeing deep into my soul. The way you look at everyone, it’s as if you are a deity.” He leaned closer. “I must admit it makes me feel inferior, like I’m an insignificant insect in your eyes. I detest it.”


Just what the heck was he on about? This man, the almighty hero of the novel, had been feeling inferior simply because I had looked at him a certain way. How ridiculous. I didn’t deny that whenever I saw him, or the other characters for that matter, I couldn’t help but knew what they were going to say or act simply because the same scenes appeared in the novel.


I said, “I’m sorry I made you feel small with my stares, your highness. It must be an awful feeling for you, considering you’re a crown prince and the future king of Estral.”


He glared at me as if I had jabbed his sore spot. He looked ready to strike me but held himself back. With a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, he said in a derisive manner, “Nice comeback, Lady Wren. But no matter about that disgusting, unwanted emotion. I’d be rid of it for good. I’ll be rid of you for good, Wren Lee.”


At that moment, so in tuned I was with his words that I let my guard down and I did not know it until I felt this sharp pain on the side of my stomach. A blade was piercing through my skin and into my organs, with blood hemorrhaging out.


Shocked, I lowered my gaze to see a dagger stuck on my side, and Jared thrusting it deeper, screwing it into me.


What? Jared just stabbed me! But this did not appear in the novel. Wren Lee was meant to die under the guillotine, like Finn, her adoptive brother.


Shifting my eyes back to his, I saw him grinning gleefully.


“Unlike your brother, there will be no public execution for you, my dear. Let me tell you one thing before your last breath. I planned all this. Allowing you to live is simply too dangerous.” He chuckled softly. “Oh, and since we’re at it, let me tell you another. Your father, the late Duke Argyll’s death at the battlefield, yes, I planned that, too. Why, you ask? Because a man with too much wealth and power makes him too dangerous. He was a hard man to make yield, your father, and our king had fear, so his death is inevitable.”


I glared at him, the pain tearing at my side nothing compared to the emotional agony at hearing the truth behind Father’s death. I had always had my suspicion and now that had been confirmed. Yet, I had never imagined it’d be the hero of the novel himself who plotted the demise of not only Father, but our whole family. We had been betrayed, backstabbed, and murdered by none other than the men we had pledged loyalty to.


Blinded with sheer rage, I staggered as I reached out my blood-soaked hands toward the bastard’s neck. “You monster!” I screamed as tears filled my eyes. “You! I will kill you here and now!”


A disgusted look on his face, he grabbed the hair at the back of my head and thrust me back away from him. I went tumbling to the floor, the dagger still stuck at my side and blood gushing out. My head was spinning, and I felt like life was starting to leave me, but I didn’t let that deter me from showing my wrath.


My eyes on him, I said, “I swear vengeance on you, Jared Abaddon. Mark my word, I will annihilate the Abaddon.


He snorted as he tidied himself up, a distorted face marked with disdain when he saw the stain of my blood sullying his fine royal outfit. “Pray tell, how will you accomplish that when you’re dying?”


I ignored him and looked to the heavens. “I want a redo!” I shouted, my voice hoarse with emotions. “Do you hear me? I want a redo!” I screamed into the air, staring at whatever gods was up there. “You brought me here without my consent. The least you can do is give me a redo. This time, I want a cheat. I deserve that much, don’t I?”


Jared burst out laughing. “You are indeed one mad woman.” He turned on his heel and then headed toward the door.


I wanted to return the favor by sending his own dagger into his stomach, the same way he had done me. I wanted to crawl to him, to stop him from leaving, but getting up was an impossible feat.


I was reduced to laying there, watching his figure disappearing into the darkness, and it wasn’t long before my eyes closed against my will.


Requesting for a CHEAT has been accepted. A voice echoed in my head.


What was this? I was so near death’s door that I was hearing a voice now. I tried opening my eyes, but I felt too weak, and my consciousness was starting to fade.


A maximum of six skills are permissible for a CHEAT. What skills would you like?


What would I like? It was obvious, wasn’t it? Right now, what I’d like was medical help. My gut had been stabbed. It would have been great if Eve was here. She would have known what to do as an ER doctor.


Medical has been added.


Mom. Dad. Luke. Eve. It had been fifteen years since I found myself in this fucked-up world. I missed them. I missed Mom’s cooking. I was dying, so it would have been nice if I got to have her beef stew for my last meal.


Food has been added. Chef has been added.


Father. Mother. Elle. Finn. I missed them, too. Please, I want them back.


Reviving the dead is not possible, forbidden, and against the law of the universe.


Not possible? What about turning back time? Regression. Take me back to when I first came to this world.


In accordance with time and space policy, five years is the maximum allowed for a time reversion when conditions are met. Conditions have been met. A time reversion is allowed.


Only five years? I didn’t care if it was only five years. I’d take whatever I could as long as I got to see my family again, as long as I got to be with my loved ones again.


Confirmed! A time reversion of five years will commence after skills selection is completed and the system is ready. Please note that a skill to put a spell on the subject of interest to fall in love in order to make a family is not allowed and against the law of the universe. As a bonus, the system has taken previous relationships with loved ones into consideration.


Love? I wasn’t interested in that. Besides, chasing men who had no interest in me would be a waste of time. The worst would be to be in a relationship with a cheating man. Going through heart break was simply too much to bear. This time, I only wanted men who were interested in me and loved me for me.


Granting a bonus confirmed! Selecting men who have strong romantic love for Wren Lee is in progress… Complete! An ability to glimpse into the heart of love interest is taken into consideration.


Revenge. What I wanted was revenge on Jared, King John, and their lackies. I couldn’t believe they had betrayed our family and took our lives, even dragging our names through the mud, too. How I wish I had seen through their black hearts.


Eye of Truth has been added.


Goodness, but I must be a mess. Not only had I been wearing rags for the last three months, but my body was now covered in blood, too. I missed having a good bath as I hadn’t had one since I was shoved into this cell. I missed having proper modern bathroom facilities, too. Even filthy rich, the nobles and royalties, in this world still use the chamber pots.


Craftsman has been added.


Ah, death. I had always thought I’d be buried wearing a fine, luxurious gown designed by one of the top dressmakers in all of Estral with many attending my funeral, not die alone wearing a rag in a prison cell.


Couturier has been added.


Couturier? Wait, why would I need couturier as a skill? It wouldn’t be useful at all for my revenge. In fact, none of the skills the voice confirmed added to my cheat were. What I needed was money, and more importantly, strong magical power, like the characters in Inferno Dreams had. That way, I could train and fight Jared head on.


The limitation of CHEAT has been reached. No more skill can be added.


You have got to be kidding me! Even in death and with my mind playing tricks on me, I still got screwed over. Fine! I’d take medical, food, chef, eye of truth, craftsman, and couturier. A cheat was a cheat. Give them to me.


Confirmation successful! Extracting information for medical, food, chef, craftsman, and couturier from the soul’s memory and world data from previous life is in progress… Complete! System creating the skills medical, food, chef, craftsman, and couturier is in progress... Complete! Extracting Eye of Truth from the Goddess Thea is in progress... Complete! Downloading skills into CHEAT is in progress... Complete! System has been prepared. Time and space manipulation magic activating. Please stand by for time reversion.


I felt this strange warmth enveloping me despite the coldness of my body. I felt myself grew lighter as if I was elevating. My breathing was shallow and short as my heartbeat grew ever feebler, my consciousness fainter, and then… I knew no more.



Genre tags: villainess, romance, fantasy, romantasy, reverse harem, revenge, kingdom-building, regression, transmigration, reincarnation, time travel, magic & monster, action & adventure, isekai, josei, shoujo, free online novel



May 20

get well soon ❤️


I hope your health issues are quickly resolved and you will recover soon. This chapter has peaked my interest and I looking forward to the next chapter! Best wishes.

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