Chapter 5 Act 1: A different beginning

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 4978 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 3123 words
Editor(s): Silva

The Duke of Kent.1

My god, we’re in modern society, so why was he talking about things like dukes and marquises2? This place was England, and in this current situation, though in name only, they still kept their titles of nobility. There were two families remaining and I was in one of them.

On top of that, this family is connected to the royal bloodline and its inheritance.

I was able to infer that she was simply a rich family’s daughter or something, but I didn’t think she would have this kind of identity. They probably wouldn’t tell me to wear those way too frilly dresses. They only wear them in movies, right…?

I heard from the butler that I didn’t need to dress up that much, but it was strongly recommended, as it was common to be worn amongst the noble ladies of high society.3

He also tried to explain in boring detail that it’s an important tradition, but I could only yawn from boredom.

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“Mr. Butler?”
“Yes. My lady, is there anything you’d like to know?”

The butler who was passionately talking about the long history of noble ladies quickly turned back to look at me with sparkling eyes. His sparkling eyes were a bit of a burden for me.

“Actually, what is your name? It’s a little strange for me to just call you Mr. Butler.”
“My actual name is Richard, but it will be more comforting to me for you to just call me butler. And please, no need to add the title in front, my l.a.d.y.”

Hearing that he even put emphasis on the last word, I could clearly tell he was pressuring me to do so, but it still felt awkward to me.

“I’ll try.”
“… No, you must change your speech right away.”
“Huh, are you threatening me right now?”
“N…Not at all!”

He seemed to be flustered by my sudden retaliation and his face became pale.

“It’s just a joke.”
“Phew…”

The butler let out a deep sigh, then shook his head from side to side.

“We’ll leave it at that for today. It seems to me that you are very overwhelmed from learning all this so it’s fine for you to take your time to let it all sink in. Also, before he passed away, the head of the family ordered me to pass this to you once you wake up.”

Speaking of which, I didn’t see a single face of a ‘family member’ even as I entered the mansion. I thought that since it’s such a large family, they would have many family members living here, but even after a considerable amount of time had passed I still didn’t even see the faces of her parents.

“Head of the family? Then is he my father?”
“… My lady, both your parents have passed away a long time ago already.”

Hearing his subdued tone, I had a bitter taste in my mouth. Even after I had gained a completely new body, I still had no parents. Although now I was able to live a new life where things were easier for me, I still felt a slight pain somewhere in my mind.

“Then who is the head of the family?”
“That would be your grandfather.”
“Grandfather? I see. And where is he?”

Hearing that I didn’t have my parents but at least grandparents, I asked with a slightly anxious voice.

“As I have said, he had passed away a month before you had woken up.”
“…”

I couldn’t say anything at all.

“Meaning henceforth you shall inherit the title of Duchess from the head of the family in two years’ time. As you are the only successor for the Duke family.”

Then the butler pulled out a single envelope from his suit. I took it without saying a word.

“Then, I will take my leave.”

And so, the butler left the room.

No, more like, when I came to my senses, he had already left.

“Could you both leave as well?”

I told the two personal maids that were standing still like mannequins in the corner of the room, and the two left the room immediately without saying anything after giving a bow.

I was finally able to relax from my polite sitting position, and put both my feet on the table after stretching both of my hands to the back of my head for a comfortable position. It really is a spacious mansion.

Just a single room was bigger than the whole residential space that I used to live in after all. And it was luxurious as well. The chair that I was sitting on was probably worth much more than tens of thousands of dollars4, and the table that I laid my feet on was probably the same.

And yet, in this spacious and luxurious mansion, I, Elizabeth, was the only actual family member left. Meaning I was completely alone.

Would I be happy just because I am rich? I shook my head.

No. I can say that with definite confidence. Although money can be a necessary condition to become happy, it alone is not sufficient enough to make you happy.

But what if I was back in my own body?

It’s possible.

I’m definitely able to become happy. I at least have my little sister who’s still living in Korea.

She may actually be happier without me nearby. If that’s the case, I would be able to financially support her from afar. That’s right, I’ll be able to protect her from certain external factors at least.

A satisfied smile came onto my face.

Only then did I realize that I still hadn’t changed out of my patient’s gown. I hadn’t the time to change clothes anyway since the butler had been talking to me non-stop since he arrived at my hospital room after all.

I put the envelope that I was holding into one of the drawers of the table. I felt that currently, I wasn’t ready to read whatever was written inside.

After closing the drawer, I stood up and went towards the closet that was covering one side of the wall. As it was so large and it had many handles to open just as many sliding doors. I naturally walked over to one of the closet doors and opened it.

Numerous clothes that spanned every shape and color were packed densely into the large closet.

I looked at them with a fed-up face, then carefully slid my hand inside to pick out one piece from the closet. It was a white dress adorned with light, floaty laces, studded with jewels and a deep v-neck. If a man was to see this dress, his eyes would light up and shout bravo for its beauty, but try to think about how it would feel if you were the one who had to wear the dress.

I automatically shook my head.

I put the dress back into the closet and repeated the process of pulling out another one and putting it back in multiple times, until I was finally able to find a relatively cheap and nondescript pair of black trousers and checkered shirt.

This was casual clothing that was no different from something you would wear to go outside, but since I wasn’t able to find any more comfortable clothing like baggy sweatpants, I decided to go with this instead.

Then this time, I turned my gaze towards a smaller closet.

I felt that there’s going to be a need for me to change my underwear as well no matter what. The problem was that the moment I opened the closet, I became extremely shocked.

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Seeing such provocative underwear laid out in front of me, I instinctively closed the closet again.

‘I am not a pervert.’

I mumbled to myself as if I was reciting a spell.

Yes, that’s the truth. Even if my mind was that of a male, right now, this body I had was a woman’s. Yes, that was the only(?) difference. I’m not a pervert.

I keep trying to justify myself.

Seeing the neatly organized bundles of brassieres and thin fabrics in front of me, I started to get a headache, but I was able to psyche myself up enough to find the plainest and most average looking white underwear.

If I was choosing underwear to present to an imaginary girlfriend, I would be slightly embarrassed, but still slightly happy to be choosing one like this. However, realizing that I would be the one wearing it, I became depressed again.

After picking out the underwear and clothes to change into, I put them on the table and went towards the shower room entrance at the corner of the room.

Usually, the bathrooms in England have separate shower rooms from their toilets as opposed to houses in Korea.5

The shower room’s interior was wide and spacious as well, unexpected for a room only used for showering and bathing.

Of course, it wasn’t as if the shower room was for multiple people to use at the same time, but there was a huge jacuzzi as well as a simple shower booth that you can use quickly. There was also a small fitting room on the side, which looked simple but still luxurious.

What also caught my eyes was a small closet lined with bathrobes, towels of various colors and a number of shampoos.

My god, it was filled with all kinds of shampoos as well as shower supplements.

At this point, instead of being surprised, I felt sick of it, clicking my tongue and taking off my patient gown. Usually, you had to return this gown when you are discharged from the hospital, but they will probably return it for me anyways.

They wouldn’t dare tell me to personally return it, would they?

After coming to that conclusion, I was happily unbuttoning my patient gown when a problem occurred. As soon as I started taking it off, the soft white skin of the body combined with the slight pink underwear I saw under the clothing made my face start to feel hot without realizing it.

I looked up to find a person in the full-length mirror flustered and not knowing what to do staring back at me. Well, their body did have the curves in the right places and their chest was quite… satisfactory.

‘It’s your own body now, dummy!’

My conscience yelled inside my mind. I persuaded myself that since this body was the vessel of my consciousness, this is my own body after all.

“What a shameful behavior.”

I reflected on my shameful thoughts and calmed myself down as even my heart started to beat faster.

The ordeals kept coming even as I took off my bottoms, and the most shocking part was taking off my underwear as well. At this point, I couldn’t stop myself from closing my own eyes. Although I told myself over and over that I do not have any lolita preferences, there was a huge difference between the bodies of a teen girl from the Eastern countries and a teen girl from the Western ones.

And so even as I walked towards the bathtub I kept my gaze at least 15 degrees upward at all times, and that continued as I drew the warm water and sat inside the tub. As the bubbles densely began to rise, it felt like I was in heaven. The warm tingly bubbles that rose from each corner of the bathtub gently wrapped around my body, and the aromatic bath supplements gave me a pleasant feeling.

It would have been perfect if I had a scrubber as well. I wondered if I just scrubbed my whole body like a normal guy would do to his body when washing in Korea, I may be able to get used to my body a little bit faster.

After I finished my bath and changed into a new set of clothes, I dragged my tired body towards the bedroom.

Of course, it wasn’t like I went there to sleep. Before I went to the bed itself, I went to the desk that was in the office and pulled out the letter that I left there.

I then practically tossed my tired body onto the giant king-sized bed, then opened the envelope.

Elizabeth… My dear treasure.

If you are reading this letter, then I request just one thing from you. Aside from the butler, never trust anyone. I have changed the name of the person who will take all of the inheritance money to you.

The letter was extremely brief.

And inside the envelope were several documents, which contained various passwords. Immense amount of wealth hidden away in banks all over the world.

Reading about the astronomical sum of money, I nearly yelped out.

I had the actual passwords to all this money written on an official document which was kept in my private storage box anyways. As the passwords themselves were nothing particularly hard to remember, I memorized them easily before going to the office room and burning all the paper in the fireplace.

I thought the will he had written was way too short to be considered one compared to the ones I knew.

But in any case, am I in a place to worry about that in the first place? He is someone whose face I’ve never seen anyways. I’m not his actual granddaughter as well, so if I was actually worried, then I would be acting like a hypocrite.

I got back up from sitting in front of the fireplace and stretched a bit.

Then I headed towards the bedroom again. Should I just go to sleep? My body was pleading me to just rest for today. Yeah, I should probably just…

“Hm?”

As I was about to lie down, a familiar yet unusual object caught my eye. The size of the object was quite large so it was funny to think that I didn’t notice it until now, but I finally noticed it. The golden object that was placed next to the bed…

“A platinum grade capsule with the model name R-7. A monstrously rare object with only one thousand of them produced in the entire world. I heard that it cost around several tens of thousand dollars just for the initial reservation cost when it was first released, but…”

It was the first time I was seeing one with my own eyes. I knew that there were at least a number of these models in Korea as well. If you were a serious ranker, it was tempting to buy this capsule as it touted 80% synchronization rate, as well as the highest grade efficiency by reducing your mental fatigue by 20%. Currently, the professionals presume that the price of one of these would go up to several hundred of thousands of dollars, and its value would go up even higher as the [Blue Sky] game continues to gain more players and fans over time.

To enjoy the ]Blue Sky] game, you needed either a capsule or a goggle. Among them, the goggle doesn’t provide a reality mode, and the synchronization rate is pretty weak so the user would feel the fatigued build up pretty quickly, ending up as an extremely cheap model for users with low income. Even then, the price for one is around $800 USD. It was not a cheap thing at all.

Then what about the capsule? First, there are five grades of ranks for capsules, which are R, S, A, B, and C. The cheapest capsule model C, it would go for $4,000 dollars. The B ranked capsules that go for $5,600 would only have very minuscule differences, and it was too limiting in terms of time and minute control you can use within the game if you were aiming to become a ranker.

The Rank A capsule was considered the gold standard model by all, and even though it cost around $8,000 dollars, the majority of adult players in Korea owned one. It gave the players an easier time to play, along with a good synchronization rate, and when it was released it was sold with a 20% discount off the first batch of units, which was why I had bought and used one as well.

And as for the Rank S capsule, it cost around $40,000 dollars meaning an extreme luxury price, and even though the increase in performance was only slightly noticeable, that difference was still important to hardcore rankers, so there were many cases where they transitioned from a Rank A capsule to Rank S. I also would have very likely transitioned to a Rank S capsule if I had no problems back then.

And finally, the one in front of my eyes was a Rank R capsule. At this rank, even though the machine still has an estimated price, the problem was that it wasn’t being sold at all. It is presumed that most of the Rank R capsules were sold to billionaires or certain investors, and there was also the fact that the T company had funding problems in the beginning and therefore made these limited production capsules with high prices to fund their development, meaning their scarcity value was that high. Some call it a machine dedicated only to managers of the game, and it touted options that were fitting for that role.

But seeing this rare capsule that I wished to see just once in my previous life, I started looking around the machine admiring its quality.

Then, a trivial question popped into my mind: just how much did Elizabeth enjoy [Blue Sky]?

Of course, the capsule also provided medical uses for people who had insomnia, as using the capsule would allow them to have stable slumber, and it was also useful in many different ways. However, connecting to the world of [Blue Sky] was still regarded as its main feature, so I didn’t think about that point in particular.

This game had once made me feel the deepest despair in all my life, but that was caused by the people I’ve met inside the game, not the game itself. I would actually say that it was the game that once again gave me hope, even in my darkest moment.

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On top of that, during the moments of my life as Lee Soo Hyeon and not Elizabeth, I was a high ranking player in the game and the self-esteem I had as one made me curious about the answer to that question even more.

And so with a slightly stirring heart and complicated emotions, I opened the capsule and laid my body inside.



References

  1. Robinxen: Oh hell yes! I live there! In the real world that would be Prince Edward.
  2. Pat: I hope that is the plural of marquis…
    Anonymouss: well, it’s good enough and there’s no red line.. so lol. guess so.
    Robinxen: I’ll leave it like that for distinction, but marquis is its own plural.
  3. Robinxen: Yeah no…just google the stuff they wear. Sometimes I question their fashion choices but they’re certainly not that old fashioned anymore.
  4. Pat: Should we use dollars or pounds as currency?
    Anonymouss: pounds, I guess. the writer keeps using ‘dollars’ though.
    Robinxen: Imma leave this one as dollars since he’s mentally calculating it based on his common sense (I’m guessing Koreans would be more used to the value of dollars as opposed to pounds) but I will change any spoken values or currency as needed.
  5. Silva and Anonymouss: I don’t think this is true
    Robinxen: Well I can’t speak for Korea but it’s probably 50/50 here. If there is only one toilet in the house then it’s likely a single bathroom house where everything is together. But most (newer) houses also have an independent toilet. My house has two separate ones though because the bathroom was hecking tiny and barely fit what it needed. So they carved a chunk out of my bedroom to fit in a separate toilet. Then we got an extension which added another toilet.
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