Love Me Dearly

It was like something out of a manga. He woke up reincarnated in the world of a romance novel as the side character, Cabel el Valmore, the feared and renowned heir of the infamous Archduke Valmore and the would-be General of the Imperial Knights, nickname of 'the reaper of death.' How was this even possible? Welcome to the world of fantasy and swords, and read how he changes the novel and survive his role in the world of nobility and politics as many secrets are unraveled in front of him.

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.chapter one.

...was this a dream?

Or maybe –

He stared intensely at the image reflecting back at him in the clear full-length mirror hanging on the wall beside the large canopy bed where he'd lay with a small frown pulling at his lips as he slowly – very slowly – lifted the duvet and crawled toward the edge of the mattress, to place a hand on the smooth surface of the glass.

Is this supposed to be me?

In the mirror, he saw the image of a very confused nine or ten-year-old boy with naturally tousled pitch-black hair and blood-like scarlet eyes staring right at him, wearing a simple black jinbei styled nightwear with pencil thin grey strips stitched into the soft material, and a long silver cross earring in his left ear.

It's a lie, right...?

"Haa..."

With a sigh, he tugged lightly at the collar of the night shirt he wore as he brushed away the tousled black fringe in his eyes. "This seriously can't be happening to me right now."

Geez, this is like something out of a freaking manga.

He somehow, someway, was reincarnated into the world of a romance fantasy novel as the side character, Cabel el Valmore, the feared and renowned heir of the infamous Archduke Valmore and the would-be General of the Imperial Knights, nicknamed the 'reaper of death.'

"...Cabel, honey?"

Cabel's red eyes widened in surprise as he swiftly turned at the gentle voice to see a beautiful young woman in her early twenties with vibrant silver hair flowing past her waist in waves and sparkling golden eyes that were brimming with tears of worry and relief standing in the doorway to the room, wearing an ivory dress and a shawl embroidered with lace on her shoulders, and a long silver cross earring in her right ear.

His mother, the archduchess and the second princess of the empire, Aristia el Valmore.

"You're awake?" she said in a whisper, voice trembling. "Is it really true?"

In barely a blink of an eye, his mother was standing at his bedside, gently cupping his cheeks in the palm of her hands as she turned his head to the right and to the left with careful, slow motions. "Oh, you aren't hurt anywhere, are you?"

Then suddenly, "He's a proud member of the Valmore line, so there really is no need to worry."

With a shake of her head, Aristia narrowed her golden eyes at the man stepping into the room. "I know that already, but it is only natural for a mother to worry about the well-being of her child!" she said with a somewhat reprimanding tone to her gentle voice. "Seriously though, why didn't you tell me that there was an assassin aiming at...no, I guess you were only trying to keep a low profile, that way things would be easier for you to find out who –"

Her words were drawn short by the man placing a single finger to her lips. "I didn't tell you anything to put doubt in your mind, but rather because you, my dear wife, have a very hard time hiding your emotions when it comes to the children and we couldn't afford anything reaching the enemy's ears."

In that moment, Cabel realized where exactly he stood in the novel...

The assassination attempt against the archduke and his family.

"Um..."

He opened his mouth to speak, but when the man with naturally tousled pitch-black hair that fell just below his shoulder blade, tied in a very loose, very messy ponytail at the base of his head, and blood-like scarlet eyes turned to him, he froze instantly in recognition.

It was Lucius el Valmore, the archduke and currently the most feared man in the entire empire, his father.

Lucius narrowed his red eyes at him, then slowly shook his head as if to shake away any unwanted thoughts. "No, never mind," he said with a sigh. "We have a much more pressing matter to attend with at the moment."

"I thought that everything was already taken care of?"

He placed a comforting hand on his wife's shoulder, his beautiful crimson gaze never once shifting away from his son. "Not exactly," he answered, voice edged with a small hint of irritation. "I wanted to get as much information as possible from that child, but apparently he wishes to speak with you before anything else."

Yeah, no wonder the man is pissed...

Cabel nodded his head at his father's words. "Alright, I shall speak with him."

Aristia looked as though she wanted to protest, but when he gave his mother a reassuring smile and a promise that he "would be careful" she sighed in defeat, then narrowed her eyes at her husband in a way that had the very man laughing nervously as he sheepishly scratched the side of his neck.

– It was finally time for him to meet the assassin.