My head throbbed. I felt as though someone was speaking to me, but their voice was distant.
"...to wake up."
My body felt heavy. No matter how much I willed my limbs to move, they did not respond.
"--forgive me--my lady."
Suddenly, I felt a sharp slap against the side of my face.
My eyes flew open. A young woman hovered above me, her expression devoid of all emotion. She had chestnut hair piled into a bun atop her head, and amber, catlike eyes. She glared down at me with pursed lips.
"Forgive me for awakening you so rudely, my lady," she said, without a tinge of regret in her voice. "However, it is nearly time for supper, and Duke DeVries has requested your presence."
What is going on? I wondered, pressing a hand to my stinging cheek.
It seemed that I had been sleeping on a chaise in a rather lavish room. The woman in front of me was dressed in a plain black smock, with a white apron cinched around her waist.
The last thing I remembered was completing my final course for the semester. It had been a particularly difficult class, and I had barely managed to scrape by with a passing grade. So, I had decided to celebrate my victory by staying up all night. I collected a mound of junk food and booted up my laptop. I spent hours playing games and shoveling food into my mouth. I finally passed out sometime around dawn.
Now I was in a foreign room with a woman in a maid outfit telling me that I would soon be dining with a duke.
Maybe I'm dreaming, I mused. However, the pain in my cheek felt too real.
When I did not respond, the maid-cosplayer continued, "I understand that you may be concerned about the appearance of your face. It is, after all, your only good feature. However, I assure you that no permanent damage has been done."
She conjured a handheld mirror, seemingly from thin air, and held it up to my face.
A young lady gazed back at me. She had long, black hair and bright blue eyes that shone like sapphires. Aside from a red blotch on her cheek, her skin was flawless.
"What the hell?!" I shrieked, snatching the mirror from her hands.
The person in the reflection was not me.
Instead, it was Violet DeVries, the villainess of an otome game called S*distic Love and Punishment.
"The mark will fade in a few minutes," the maid said, rolling her eyes at my outburst.
My mind was reeling, but I forced myself to remain calm.
"Could you please leave?" I asked. Even my voice was different. It was lower, with a condescending lilt. "I need a moment to myself."
"Very well, my lady." The maid gave a shallow curtsey before stepping out of the room and slamming the door shut behind her.
Once she was gone, I flopped back onto the chaise.
One of the games I'd been playing last night was S*distic Love and Punishment or SLAP. It was an otome game that was notorious for its aggressive capture targets and dark scenarios. There were four love interests, each enamored with the heroine to the point that they began to obsess over her. The heroine found herself facing various dangerous situations at their hands, ranging from imprisonment to dismemberment.
And, as if the threat of the capture targets was not enough, the heroine was also harassed by a woman named Violet DeVries. Violet was the daughter of a duke, and was engaged to Prince Elias. Elias despised Violet's hot-headed and unrefined nature, and found himself gravitating to the heroine. Violet, unable to accept her fiance's indifference, began to commit acts of violence against her.
All in all, it was a terrible game. Aside from the shock value of the love interests' brutality, it had no good points. The art was mediocre, and the writing was downright terrible.
The only reason I had been interested in the game was because the heroine's design was so darn cute!
She had a round, cherub-like face, a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her button nose, and curly hair cut into a bob. And on top of all that, she had a shapely body and a large bust! Not only was she cute, but she oozed sexiness!
Once I started playing the game, I discovered that she was just as lovely on the inside as the outside. In her spare time, she volunteered at a local orphanage. She always donated to those less fortunate, even though she herself did not have much. And, above all else, she never complained when met with hardships.
She was an angel.
Yet, without fail, her soft-hearted nature would be exploited by the love interests. She would be manipulated by them until she was but a shadow of her former self. She became nothing more than a doll, with no will of her own. It was enough to make me want to toss my laptop out of the window.
How could such a beautiful existence constantly be destroyed like that? I vowed that if I were one of the capture targets, I would never abuse the heroine.
Perhaps it was because of such strong emotions that I had found myself transported into the world of the game. But I wasn't a capture target, or even a supporting character. I was the villainess.
"That's it!" I gasped, leaping up from the chaise.
I was a duke's daughter. I had an abundance of wealth and power. With my standing, I could easily protect the heroine.
At that moment, I made a promise to myself.
"I, Violet DeVries, swear to do everything in my power to save her!"