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0.25% The Evil Emperor's Fragile Heart / Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - The Sickly Young Princess
The Evil Emperor's Fragile Heart The Evil Emperor's Fragile Heart original

The Evil Emperor's Fragile Heart

Author: Jaywalker_Holmes

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - The Sickly Young Princess

The sound of a door opening awakened Mana from her light sleep. After her car accident three years ago, she had lost the use of her limbs and most of her vision. Her parents, her big brother…they were all gone. Only she had survived. Confined to a hospital bed for the last three years, she finally had a ray of hope – her doctor had informed her of a newly researched therapy that was perhaps her last chance at a recovery.

"Liam? Is that you?" Mana called softly.

The dark figure approached her bedside, and she saw he blurred face of her beloved fiancé Liam. After the accident, it was Liam who had taken charge of her parents' business empire and kept it running.

"Did Dr. Bruce tell you about the new treatment?" Mana asked excitedly. "I could recover in less than six months if it works!"

There was a sudden metallic flash and Mana felt the cold touch of sharp steel on her throat.

"I'm sorry I can't allow that, my dear Mana," Liam whispered in her ear. "It took me a lot of effort to eliminate your family and take over the business…unfortunately you survived. But don't worry, I'll send you to your family now."

The knife ran across her throat before she could utter a word and darkness enveloped Mana.

---

"Your Majesty, the princess is no longer breathing," said an exhausted elderly voice with a sigh, followed by high-pitched wails of several people.

The noise pierced through Mana's muddled consciousness.

"Turn it off," she murmured sleepily. "Lemme sleep."

The wails were immediately replaced by screams.

"How can she speak if she is not breathing?" asked a deep voice. "Are you certain you checked properly?"

Mana blinked slowly and opened her eyes. An unfamiliar ceiling greeted her. She turned her head and found a sea of unfamiliar faces.

Then a wave of dizziness assaulted her and she groaned out loud, clutching her head. Was she dreaming…? Hadn't she been killed by Liam…? How was she still alive? Where was she? Who were these people around her? Where was the hospital? Where was...Liam...?

"Mana…? Mana, are you all right?" the deep voice called again. The voice was unfamiliar, but the concerned tone was not…she had grown up hearing it.

"Papa…" she whispered, remembering her loving father, who had always hovered by her bedside when she was ill…until he died. Killed in what she had believed to be an accident...but was actually murder. Heinous betrayal by the one she had loved and trusted the most...even now, the shock of Liam's crime, the fact that he had caused the death of her father, mother and big brother...and that he had personally slit her throat...Mana's heart shuddered, haunted by her memories.

Suddenly, Mana was engulfed in a warm embrace, pulling her from her dark thoughts. "I'm here, my dear child," the deep voice said. A large hand stroked her back gently.

Mana burst into tears, unable to control herself any longer. That paternal warmth made her feel safe, protected...a feeling she had lost three years ago.

"It's a miracle! A miracle!" someone shouted. "Princess Mana is alive! It must be the blessing of the Earth Goddess!"

"My little sister must have had a terrible shock," a soft female voice said gently. "Mana, do you remember how you fell into the pond?"

"Princess Astra, it was an accident," an unpleasant voice said anxiously. "We heard that Prince Mars from the Amber Kingdom had sent a special toy for Princess Mana while we were walking in the garden. The princess was excited and hurrying towards her room when she accidentally slipped and fell into the pond."

"And what were you servants doing while my daughter fell into the pond?!" the deep voice thundered. "Do I keep you to take care of Princess Mana or to stand around while she is in danger?!"

"Please forgive me, Your Majesty!" the unpleasant voice wailed.

With an IQ of 180 and a highly retentive memory, Mana recognised the keywords "Princess Astra", "Prince Mars" and "Amber Kingdom". Wasn't this the death scene of Princess Mana from "The Legend of Mars"? A sickly ten-year-old girl who had been pushed into the pond by an evil servant, causing her tragic death. Princess Astra had meticulously investigated the matter and found the culprit, and her father, King Jaren, had beheaded the servant.

But now, the death scene had changed, because Mana's soul had somehow flown from the twenty first century to this mystical world and bonded with the body of the little princess! A broken string of memories and the scene just before Princess Mana had drowned to death flashed before her eyes. She knew who the killer was. And since it was so, shouldn't Mana name the murderer herself instead of waiting for her sister Princess Astra to investigate…?

"Papa…" Mana called softly, still held in the protective and powerful arms of King Jaren.

"Yes, my dear?" The King's deep voice was very gentle when he spoke to her.

"It wasn't an accident," Mana said. "I was pushed into the pond by Horth. She sent away all the other servants earlier, too."

The servant with the unpleasant voice wailed even louder. "It wasn't me! It wasn't me, Princess Mana! I was only following instructions! I was told to do it by your…!"

Horth's head was suddenly flung off her body by a gleaming sword tinged with green.

"How dare a servant attempt to harm my little sister?!" Princess Astra cried angrily. She threw away the bloodied sword in her hand and smiled at Mana as if she hadn't just beheaded someone in front of her. "Don't worry, Mana, your Big Sister will protect you!"

Mana nodded weakly as a wave of nausea hit her due to the bloody scene in front of her, but her mind worked furiously. Why had Astra killed the servant so promptly just when she had been about to reveal who had asked her to harm Mana…? It was terribly suspicious.

Mana trembled and tried to avoid looking at the decapitated corpse on the floor right before her. It reminded her of her own throat being slit not so long ago - in fact, in her mind, it felt as if only a few minutes had passed since Liam had mercilessly killed her. However, even though she looked away, the metallic tang of blood in the air made her feel sick.

King Jaren noticed her discomfort and shielded her eyes. He quickly waved a hand and several servants immediately dragged away the corpse and cleaned up the room. Then he turned to his older daughter.

"You shouldn't have done that," he told Astra sternly. "If someone sought to harm Mana, they may try again. We needed to hear what this servant had to say."

Princess Astra blushed with shame. "I'm sorry, Papa. I didn't think at all…I was too angry…" she cried. A tear made its way down her beautiful face – she was fifteen, and known to be the most beautiful woman in the world. It was impossible to resist her teary-eyed appeal.

Mana looked at the lovely girl and thought that the title was well-deserved. Princess Astra was truly beautiful, despite the slight hint of childishness on her exquisite features. In a few years, she would be a devastating beauty and the primary cause of war between Mars and Raven, leading to the obliteration of the latter and devastation across several nations.

The elderly man sitting on a chair near the bed cleared his throat. "Your Majesty, may I examine Princess Mana again?" he asked politely.

King Jaren loosened his arms around his younger daughter, but didn't let her go, as if afraid she would disappear.

"Give Physician Kale your hand, my dear," he said gently.

Mana felt warm in her heart. It had been a long time since she had received any fatherly affection. She decided that she would treat King Jaren as her own father from now. She knew he would die a decade later while trying to save Astra from the evil Raven's clutches. Now that Mana was here, though, she would try her best to change that. After all, things didn't seem to be set in stone – Mana herself was an outlier and since Princess Mana's survival hadn't made this mystical world collapse, she may as well do as she pleased. She would be good to those who treated her well, and she would repay unkindness with appropriate retribution. She had a new chance at life, so she may as well enjoy it. As for the original Princess Mana…she would definitely investigate, and when she found the mastermind behind her death, she would not spare them.

Physician Kale examined her with meticulous care, his brows furrowed.

"Am I breathing now, Physician Kale?" Mana asked with a mischievous smile. She only had a vague impression of the elderly man - the epic only mentioned him once, as a loyal and trusted doctor of King Jaren of the Emerald Kingdom. She knew even less about the personality of Princess Mana, for there was very little written about her in the book and she had died early. Mana decided she could just act as herself. Besides, it would be annoying having to pretend to be someone else all the time. Mana had always been rather straightforward, and she didn't intend to change that. If anyone suspected her or found her personality to be completely different from the previous Princess Mana, she would just dismiss it with a vague reference to the drowning incident...and perhaps mention the Earth Goddess and her blessing. Mana was a lawyer, and a brilliant one at that - wordplay and arguments were nothing to her.

King Jaren burst out laughing and kissed the top of her head. "There's my girl," he said dotingly.

The physician smiled slightly. "Indeed, Princess Mana. You've had a lucky escape from drowning…but…" He hesitated.

"But what?" King Jaren demanded.

"Princess Mana's chronic illness is not an illness, Your Majesty. She has been poisoned."


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