“Yes... need... worry... just... fatigue… hear she's… hard lately...”
Voices wake me up from a dream so vivid that I swear it's almost real. Did my neighbor sleep with the television on again? Why is it so bright in my room? How can it be so bright in my windowless room? It's so bright that I cannot even open my eyes.
Slowly, consciousness creeps over me, and with it comes confusion. My bed feels a hundred times better. I can feel nothing but softness beneath my hands. The air smells sweet, like vanilla and roses. The sounds are becoming clearer each second and the voices are getting clearer. I struggle to open my eyes once more, my brows furrowing in the effort. I feel a grown escape from deep within my chest.
“Your Highness?” As my vision adjusts, I come face-to-face with a kind-looking young lady. She has big brown eyes and her brown hair hangs off the side of her small face. Her brows are furrowed in concern. I blink twice. Her face twists in relief as she starts crying and throws herself against my right shoulder, "Oh, Your Highness! I thought you'd never wake up!"
"Krista, calm yourself. Give the Crown Princess some peace." A voice of a woman says from behind her, her tone authoritative. The woman walks into view and I lock gazes with her.
This new woman is definitely middle-aged but isn't less captivating. She has a stern look on her angular face, though her green eyes look mellow. Two more girls stand behind her on each side.
"I'm sorry, Lady Rowena." The lady called Krista wipes her face and hurriedly stands up straight.
"How are you feeling now, Your Highness?" The woman called Rowena steps closer, sits on the bed and places her warm palm on my forehead. She nods, deep in thought, "fortunately, Your Highness' fever has gone down."
Questions start to well up inside me. Where am I? Who are these people? What happened? Was I rescued?
Finally, I open my lips to ask, "where am I?"
"In your room, Your Highness." It's the lady named Krista who answers. She continues, "how does Your Highness feel?"
I struggle to sit up even though my body feels sore. These people are confusing me. I feel a strong need to move.
I feel hands supporting me while I sit up and realize the woman called Rowena is helping me. I bow my head to her and ask, "I'm sorry, ma'am. But why do you keep calling me that?"
"Keep calling you what, Your Highness?"
"That. Your Highness. And where am I?"
She looks at me as if I just fell from the moon. She then exchanges glances with the other lady.
"By any chance... do you not remember what happened?"
"I..." The look of concern on her face worries me. Cautiously, I answer, "I was in an accident and I fell in the water."
"Where am I? Is this not the hospital?" I ask though as I look around, my question is answered. This place is too extravagant to be a hospital room. The size alone is like a penthouse you'll see in movies, with doorways leading somewhere and sturdy-looking doors everywhere.
In close inspection, I realize I had been sleeping on a four-poster bed with creme-colored sheets and gold-lined maroon curtains. Expensive lamps stand on dressers on each side of the bed. Huge glass windows span the entire wall to my left, its maroon curtains swept on each side allowing sunlight through the glass windows. The walls have intricate birds and flower patterns, like a full-blown painting. I see a beautiful table surrounded by chairs in the other room.
I am brought back to my senses when someone takes my hand. It's that Lady Rowena. She looks into my eyes and asks with seriousness, "do you remember me, Your Highness?"
I feel eyes on me and it makes me uncomfortable. I say, "I... am I supposed to?"
Suddenly, everyone starts moving frantically. The woman yells, "call the Royal Physician! Quickly!"
"I'll do it, Lady Rowena!"
Lady Rowena hurriedly stands up and says, "No, on second thought, I'll go. You send a messenger to Duke Delaney instead. Ask him to come as soon as he could. And tell nobody else of what has happened."
The lady named Krista is crying again as she approaches the bed and asks, "Your Highness, me, what about me? Does Your Highness remember me?"
I am left alone with the girl called Krista who kneels by the foot of the bed. I look at her as I say, "My head hurts. Am I supposed to know any of you? And why do you keep calling me that?"
"Because you're Her Highness the Crown Princess!" She starts bawling. She adds, "when the carriage fell into the lake, I was so scared! I went out alone and couldn't find you! Fortunately, that traveler found me and helped me look for you! Now you don't remember who you are! It's all my fault! How am I going to live, Your Highness?"
One. Two. Five. Ten.
It takes me ten seconds to absorb what she just said. I don't remember any of those happening. I remember riding a bus to work and falling deep underwater along with it. What the fuck is happening? Panic starts to grab hold of me, I feel my stomach churning. I raise my hands and look at them.
"These aren't my hands," I say to myself. My hands are supposed to be rough. It has been bugging me how soft my hands felt ever since I woke up and now that I focus on them, I realize they are indeed soft and smooth now. Then they automatically shoot up my face. This is not my skin. This is smooth and supple.
I raise my hands, that don't belong to me, and touch my hair and look at it. I have blonde hair?
I struggle to stand on my feet which worries Krista. For a moment, I struggle to keep balance. The maroon carpet feels smooth and soft on my bare soles. When Krista reaches out, I shove her aside and run around the room. I desperately search for something.
"Your Highness!" Krista follows suit.
I enter a doorway that opens to a big chamber with closets against all the walls and glass cases containing shiny shoes in the middle. I see my aim on the other side of the glass cases. I walk briskly and stop before it. A mirror.
A beautiful lady looks back at me. She has long blonde hair. Her bright blue eyes are wide open, making her face look smaller than it already is. She has porcelain skin with sprinkles of pink on her cheeks. Her pinkish lips stretch as I gasp. I feel soft fingertips touch my lips and the movement is echoed by the lady in the reflection.
The reflection is someone I have never seen before in my life.
Krista reaches out her hands and I do not flinch away, I willingly lean against her. She says, "Your Highness, please go back to bed! You are not well. You might collapse at this rate-"
"Hey. You're saying that I'm a princess, right?" I ask in a low voice.
She nods and answers, "Yes. The Crown Princess."
"Right, right. Then, what era is this?"
"Era? Well, it's 1431." She answers with uncertainty. Is this in the past? Did I go back to the past?
Wait, what country even is this place?
"Where am I? I mean, which country am I the Crown Princess of?" This is crazy.
"This is the Western Kingdom, Your Highness."
"Western Kingdom?" Where the fuck is that?
"And the current King? Who is he?"
She looks at me as she bites her lip. She says, "If Your Highness forgot even the King, did Your Highness perhaps also forget the Crown Prince?"
"Who is the King?" I need to know the name so I can guess which country this cursed place is. I don't like history but I at least know a few names.
"It is currently the reign of King Hadrianus. His second-born, Crown Prince Lazarus, is Your Highness's husband. I don't think it's okay to be standing here like this, Your Highness. Let's go back to bed first."
Oh my god. Wait. Crown Princess? Western Kingdom? Hadrianus? Lazarus?!
Hi! This is doris, an editor of the international writing contest SWA II. I believe your book has great potential, so I invited you to join in a week ago. Please reply to me so I can discuss this with you in detail.
Mediocre and down-on-her-luck novelist Dahlia Grace finds herself transmigrated into the body of the Crown Princess, the cunning villain of the last novel she read before dying. Determined to start fresh, Dahlia decides to rewrite the Crown Princess's story in her own favor.
With her newfound beauty and intelligence, Dahlia uses her knowledge of the novel's plot to manipulate the events to her advantage. As she navigates the dangerous court of the kingdom, she realizes that there are deeper conspiracies at play and that her role as the villain may not be as clear-cut as she once thought.
Determined to uncover the truth and ensure her survival, Dahlia must use all her wits and cunning to outmaneuver her enemies and emerge victorious. Will she succeed in rewriting her story and finding her happily ever after, or will the forces against her prove too strong to overcome?