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The Time Travelling Bride

Vincent LiLast Seen: Nov 22, 2023 @ 6:34am 6NovUTC
Vincent Li
@Vincent-Li

19th November 2023 | 14 Views
Milyin » 474536 » The Time Travelling Bride

Disclaimer from Creator: This is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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Chapter One – Fate works in mysterious ways

 There was shrilling screech by my ear, I could feel my mind swirling as I woke up to a world beyond my comprehension. The shift from being a fiesty 22-year-old fresh out of college to suddenly being entwined in an 18th-century bridal chamber was jarring. My name is Jasmine, I am an aspiring writer and was recently given the opportunity to write a sequel for a popular online web novel series. Circumstances surrounding the last author’s situation and inability to continue writing was shrouded with mystery, but this was nevertheless a golden opportunity for me. I didn’t hesitate to begin my research on the past series with gusto.

 

The sheets beneath me were soft like silk, I slipped while attempting to remove the veil obstructing my view. Struggling to move, I lay still, absorbing the continuous murmurs around me.

 

“Congratulations to the His Grace on your marriage to such a fine lady.”

 

“Miss Elizabeth and His Grace are a perfect match…”

 

The chatter ceased as I settled on the bed. Finally, I regained control over my body, pulling down the veil, an opulent bridal chamber decked with luxury 18th-century upholstery. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of the white veil in my hand—was this a wedding veil?

 

Glancing at my attire, I found myself adorned in a stunning white gown with intricate lace.

 

Raising my head, I caught sight of a huge antique-styled chamber illuminated by flickering candles. The wedding chamber exuded an air of opulence, an ode to the grandeur of 18th-century European aristocracy. Ornate tapestries adorned the walls, depicting scenes of gallant knights and noble dames. The dimly lit room was bathed in the warm glow of flickering candles, casting dancing shadows across the elaborately carved furniture. A massive four-poster bed stood as the centerpiece, draped in rich, brocade fabrics with golden embroidery, cascading in luxurious folds. Its intricately carved wooden frame bore the insignia of the noble family, a testament to its noble lineage. The chamber boasted antique furnishings, polished to a gleaming sheen. A magnificent armoire displayed meticulously crafted porcelain and gilded trinkets, a showcase of wealth and refinement. The room echoed with a sense of history, each piece of furniture whispering tales of past celebrations and royal ceremonies.

 

Massaging my stiff neck, I glimpsed at a maid, her snowy skin and delicate features revealing perhaps sixteen or seventeen years of age. Appearing flustered, she gasped, “Miss, you can’t unveil yourself. It’s the Duke who should do so on the wedding night. It’s inauspicious to do otherwise!”

 

Engulfed in the veil once again, I froze momentarily. Then, slowly, connecting the dots from the earlier commotion, realization dawned upon me.

 

“I’ve… time-traveled?” I muttered incredulously. How did I, at the prime of my life, end up here, on my wedding night?

 

Recalling the praises I heard earlier – Duke Smith and Elizabeth Turner – struck a chord. The names seemed oddly familiar, almost from a story I’d recently read. Yet, the critical point was my current identity—it certainly wasn’t the protagonist!

 

I paused, “Lily?”

“Yes, Miss?” a concerned voice whispered back.

 

My head throbbed. Despite objections from the maid, I tore off the veil, determined. “Fetch some warm water, please. I feel… faint.”

 

“But milady, the His Grace…”

 

“He won’t come,” I interrupted. Ignoring the maid’s protest, I walked to the mirror, undoing the headdress. Memories from a recently finished novel surfaced—Elizabeth knew the male lead, Duke Smith, married her, the vicious antagonist but never did so much as touch her. All his love and warmth were reserved only for his one and only love – Charlotte Arnoult.

 

As water splashed on my face, my thoughts began to clear. I had evidently time-traveled to a crucial juncture in the novel…but how was I supposed to reverse the tragic ending of Lily Turner? I was already married to Duke Smith and the Arnoult family imprisoned, with the planted evidence, that my father and I framed her with.

 

Suddenly, I was struck by what felt like a sudden jolt, a shock that traveled through me in an instant as memories of Elizabeth Turner started surging through me without warning. It was as if my mind was elsewhere, lost in the rhythm of the day, when out of nowhere, something triggered that buried memory, and I was drowning in a sea of memories that were not mine.

 

I looked into the mirror. The reflection staring back at me was nothing short of captivating. Every feature seemed meticulously crafted to allure, from the soft curls framing my face to the delicate lines outlining my eyes. But behind the facade of beauty, I couldn’t shake the turmoil within.

 

As I gazed upon my own reflection, a sense of disappointment crept in. The mirror showcased an image of undeniable loveliness—perfectly styled hair, ravishing gown—but beneath that surface, I knew the truth. Elizabeth Turner was the architect of deceit, hiding behind this captivating facade, concealing my wrongdoings and the hurt that she had caused. And now, I will have to pay for the misdeeds she committed in this body.

 

The reflection spoke of elegance and charm, but my mind carried the weight of my actions. It was a stark contrast—beauty tainted by the knowledge of my own misdeeds. Despite the flawless image staring back at me, it couldn’t erase the remorse that gnawed at my conscience, tarnishing the perfection I saw.

 

The protagonist of this tale was Charlotte Arnoult. She was a beautiful and brave young lady, accomplished in the arts and nimble on the horse. Her father served as the town’s governor, and due to his exceptional achievements, he was transferred to the capital. This is where Charlotte’s deep and tortured romance with the male lead, Duke Smith, began.

 

On the other hand, Elizabeth has been nothing but scheming. Once Charlotte came in the picture, she keenly sensed the Duke’s interest and so she played her cards accordingly. On one hand, she created coincidences to acquaint Charlotte and quickly gained her trust. On the other hand, she started creating misgivings of the Arnoult family.

 

Even this very wedding was single-handedly orchestrated by Elizabeth Turner. She found an opportunity to drug the Duke before quietly slipping between the covers.

 

Gazing at him in his slumber, hair splayed across his delicate features. His usually sombre countenance hardened by responsibilities and realities beyond his years, softened with rhythmic breaths, and traces of his boyish handsomeness. His side profile was a portrait of grace and symmetry, with strong yet delicate lines sculpting his features. The slope of his nose cut an elegant silhouette against the light, framing his chiselled jawline. His lips, curved in a subtle but confident manner, added a touch of quiet allure to his demeanour. Every angle seemed perfectly etched, from the gentle arc of his brow to the defined edge of his chin. The play of light and shadow only accentuated the aristocratic air that surrounded him. She hesitated.

 

But the hesitation only lasted for a second. With a resolute breath, she gripped the intricate embroidery of her dress. Rip by rip, the silk tore beneath her relentless fingers, cascading to the floor in a cascade of opulence. Her movements were swift, fuelled by a determination that left no room for second thoughts. Her slender fingers ran through her hair, letting those bejewelled pins fall carelessly over the stone floors. Her hair tumbled down her shoulders in unbridled beauty across her dewy pale skin as she slipped between the covers. This was her one and only chance – she had to look the part.

 

The rest of the sequel leading up to the wedding ceremony played out like clockwork. Feigning a loss of virginity coupled with staged attempted suicides and the ensuing waterworks, she managed to successfully marry into the Duke’s residence as his Duchess with lowlife tactics employed by a high street whore.

 

Today, was supposed to be the pinnacle of her happiness – she was marrying the love of her life and her rival, Charlotte and the entire Arnoult family, have orders of arrest over their heads. But ironically, this was the day that I came into her body.

 

“Your bath is ready, milady. Shall I prepare you for the bath?”, a quiet voice interrupting my thoughts emerged from behind. I glanced to the side and waved her away. I needed time alone but the fear in her widened eyes struck me. Her delicate features knitted together in worry as she scurried away hurriedly, clearly worried about triggering a hailstorm of wrath. She knew how possessive her mistress was of the Duke. But I wasn’t technically her mistress. I had her memories but I was still me, wasn’t I?

 

The Turner family rose to prominence when her father rose up the ranks in Parliament and eventually became the Lead Minister of the Cabinet. He had the ear of the King and a long ancestry of nobility to back it up. Elizabeth was always adorned in the lavish fineries and surrounded by luxuries. Her appearance is striking—porcelain skin, cascading curls perfectly styled, and eyes that gleam like jewels. Yet, such beauty is marred by an air of entitlement and arrogance. Her elegance masks an unyielding temper, often flaring without warning. She moves with poise but also with an air of superiority that dictates her every action. When displeased, the halls echoed with her curses, the floor would be littered with broken fineries and the servants covered in bruises. It is no wonder that even the closest of her maids, Lily, would cower away in fear of her oncoming wrath.

 

In the novel, the wedding was a turning point, everything after would be a downward spiral for the Turner family. Prior to the ceremony, Elizabeth Turner, the second female lead, had a blessed life – she could wreak havoc wherever she went without so much as losing a hair. Her father, Mr. Turner, clashed with Mr Arnoult due to political differences, so together they orchestrated the crime and incarceration of the Arnoult family. However, these adversities would go on wash away the innocence in Charlotte’s eyes and replaced will be the burning determination for vengeance that will eventually consume the Turner’s family.

 

As a reader, I was repulsed by the stark contrast of the grand banquet that the antagonists celebrated in and the grimy jail cells the protagonists suffered in. Now everything just seemed like one long sarcastic joke that went on for way too long. It felt like the heavens were mocking me. Even the warmth of bath couldn’t alleviate the chilling nervousness in my chest. I stared blankly as the misty vapours blurred my vision. Elizabeth’s led a life of deceit, jealousy and crime. Her malicious actions led to her tragic ending. An ending, that I have clapped to as a reader – the feel-good factor, the thrill of being able to punish the evil and the satisfaction that justice might be late but it will always prevail never failed to give me a good dopamine rush. This, now left me with nothing but squirming uneasiness with the gift of foresight – first, the fall from grace as her deeds slowly unravel, watching her family slowly get devoured by the sins of their past and then finally face an excruciating death blade by blade, until she laid motionless in the freezing cold of the snowy night. Her blood seeping redness into the surrounding pure white snow that surrounded her like a morbid picture.

 

Whatever satisfaction I felt as a reader, melted into a chilling shudders at the thought of having to experience this first-hand. It was as if fate was mocking me with a cruel curl of his lip.  The male lead’s temperament was typical of a romance novel archetype – he was cold and distant to others, but extremely protective towards his loved ones.

 

Initially, in the labyrinth of her deceit, she meticulously wove a tapestry of falsehoods, each thread delicately spun to ensnare his heart. Armed with the knowledge of his past, she concocted an intricate illusion, weaving herself seamlessly into the fabric of his memories.  Despite the absence of true love, he found himself inexplicably entangled in a desire to protect her, an instinctual need to shield her from harm. It wasn’t an emotion born from the depths of his heart but rather a sense of duty entwined with the illusion she spun. It was only after the veil of illusion she had carefully crafted was tore apart, leaving behind a desolate landscape of broken trust and shattered illusions, did he turn his back and left her to the cliff that she had cornered herself onto.

 

Looking back, it was 10 days after the ceremony that the Arnoult family’s faced execution on the back of treason evidence planted by the Turners. Although the main character managed to evade capture and tried to seek help from the male lead. This was only to stumble upon his wedding ceremony with her supposed friend, Elizabeth. Disheartened, she chose to conceal her identity as his childhood love interest but it was as if there was an echo of a deeper connection that pulsed within him—a cosmic pull toward his true love. A constellation of fate guiding his heart even in the midst of the tangled emotions woven by the illusionist’s deceit. Driven by an irrepressible force, he took off without any hesitation – the echoes her troubles reverberated within him. At Charlotte’s most helpless moment, through the curtain of rain, emerged the silhouette of the man she never dared hope would come to her rescue. His figure, determined and resolute, cut through the deluge as he navigated the slick pathways toward her. Shivering in the alleys, when their eyes met in a moment that seemed to suspend time, her earlier resolve crumbled and she followed him back despite his marriage. Thereafter, she witnessed the execution of her entire family, and she swore to seek vengeance on all those who caused her family this pain. Taking refuge under the Duke’s wing, she investigated her family’s case in secret and developed a complex relationship with the him over time.

 

I couldn’t have timed my jump into this life worse – jumping in right on the wedding night. It was almost as if I willed myself into this tragedy.

 

The sins have already been committed. As I pondered the circumstances of this new life, an unsettling weight settled upon my shoulders—a legacy not of my making but one I was inexplicably bound to. The echoes of the previous soul’s misdeeds whispered hauntingly, painting my future with hues of apprehension.

 

Lost in my thoughts, I traced aimless patterns in the water, oblivious to its slow cooling against the winter’s grasp. The initial warmth that had embraced me now felt distant, a forgotten luxury in the turmoil of my mind. As I reclined, the tension in my muscles betrayed my inner turmoil. I sighed, an exhalation weighted with vexation, as if trying to release the tension that coiled within me. It was the voice of Lily that once again snapped me back into my current reality.

 

“Miss… the… Duke has had a bit much in the hall. He didn’t want to disturb you and sent word that he’d be resting in his study tonight.” Her voice trembled from behind the shower screen

 

True to the timeline, this should be the moment the Duke discovered Charlotte’s trail, and the start of their love story.

 

As I rose from the bath, a shiver cascaded through me, the fading warmth of the water replaced by a sudden chill in the air. Droplets clung to my skin, tracing transient paths as they slid downward, a gentle reminder of the sanctuary I was leaving behind. Their love story was the least of my worries.

 

In the quiet recesses of my mind, a voice yearned to defy this preordained fate, to break free from the shadow cast by the past occupant of this existence. A resolve emerged—a flickering flame amid the gloom—urging me to carve my path, to inscribe my story with deeds of goodwill and rectitude. I could forge a destiny distinct from the tainted narrative I inherited.

 

In the quiet solitude of the moment, I found myself silently assessing the situation that unfolded before me. The air hung heavy with a tense calmness, and I became an observer amidst the ebb and flow of events.

 

The first issue is the grudge with the main character, Charlotte Arnoult. The damage has been done, her family is incarcerated. How can I reconcile the actions of a soul I never knew with the yearning to right her wrongs? The shadows of her deeds linger, casting doubt upon the possibility of redemption, yet I can’t abandon the hope for atonement. The notion of forgiveness felt like an elusive mirage, shimmering just beyond my reach.

 

The second issue is the current marriage to the male lead, Duke Alexander Smith. His infatuation with Elizabeth was built on the foundation of lies and deceit. Now, only Charlotte and I knew the truth. In the depths of my turmoil, there’s a quiet resolve stirring within – a determination to confront the truth, to lay bare the deceit that shackles me to a fabricated past. But the fear of the aftermath, the uncertainty of their reaction, keeps me rooted in indecision. HI straightened my back, it was only a question of when and how I come clean. If Charlotte bared the truth before I confessed, forgiveness would truly be out of my grasp.

 

In the original storyline, Charlotte chose to bury the truth until Elizabeth’s façade was torn apart years down the road to confess her true identity as his childhood love interest. The beads of sweat form an intricate constellation on my brow, a testament to the fervent intensity of my contemplation. I had some time to change his perspective – there was still a possibility of crafting a future woven with threads of goodness and sincerity. Would an earnest attempt to overwrite the dark chapters of my past? Each act of kindness becomes a brushstroke on the canvas of my redemption, a testament to the genuine remorse that stirs within me. Maybe with that foundation of goodwill, he will still leave me a path out even after the truth surfaces…perhaps I could keep my life.

 

As the timeline within the novel stands, I still have a few years to alter the storyline. As long as I alter my course of actions, there would surely be changes to the future.

 

The uncertain future holds within it the seeds of transformation—a chance to rewrite the narrative, to forge a destiny that isn’t bound by the shackles of past misdeeds. The chance to alter the course of my story is a comforting notion, fuelling a sense of determination and resilience in the face of the unknown.

 

I exhale, a heavy breath carrying the weight of my thoughts as I peered into the starry skies. I just wanted to survive.

Vincent LiLast Seen: Nov 22, 2023 @ 6:34am 6NovUTC

Vincent Li

@Vincent-Li

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