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My In-laws are Obsessed with Me

My In-laws are Obsessed with Me


Han Yoon seol


When Pereshati Zahardt’s father passes away, he leaves his entire fortune to her. Outraged and consumed with greed, her evil stepmother and stepsister conspire with Pereshati’s lover to murder her and steal her inheritance. Mysteriously, Pereshati comes back to life and travels back in time before her death. To protect herself while plotting her revenge, Pereshati enters into an unlikely marriage with Therdeo Lapileon, a handsome grand duke and the head of the extremely powerful and notorious Lapileon family. But not long into their union, Pereshati discovers that the Lapileons are hiding a terrifying family secret. Now she must keep her guard up on all sides as she walks on thin ice between the Lapileon family and her own—while also ensuring her thirst for revenge will not go unquenched. WARNING: This story contains depictions of violence, gore, and death that may be upsetting for some readers. Reader discretion is advised.

Translated RomanceFantasy Romance

Chapter 1: I Died

“I hear Viscountess Verdi’s in-laws are blaming her for not having borne a child,” one courtier whispered to another. “Apparently, they’re demanding that the viscount bring in a mistress.”

“Yes, I heard that too,” said her friend. “But I’ve also heard that the viscount is to blame for their childlessness.”

“No matter what, I know that in-laws can be terrible,” the first courtier whispered. “After one of my close acquaintances got married, her in-laws started meddling in their affairs and giving her instructions about how to please her husband in bed!”

“Oh my goodness!”

Throughout the ballroom, every lady in attendance was fixated on one particular topic, covering their mouth with their fans as they exchanged rumors. I awkwardly sipped on my champagne, not quite sure how I’d ended up among them.

“I’ve been married for five years now, but my in-laws still inspect what I wear every morning,” said the first gossip. “I’m told I must not dishonor the count by dressing improperly.”

“I have to report how much the viscount eats daily. At this rate, I might end up having to note how many grams of sauce he eats with every bite of steak!”

Beneath an undeniably stunning chandelier, the beautifully dressed ladies sighed while giving each other knowing looks. They all had long-suffering expressions on their faces, and a dark cloud loomed over the lot of them.

I’d learned one thing, listening to them—a man and a woman might marry for love, but there was one thing their love might be powerless to endure: in-laws.

One of the ladies let out a deep sigh and glanced at me, probably having realized that I’d been quiet for the duration of the conversation.

“Your Grace,” she said, “you’re rather quiet today.”

Everyone turned to face me, and soon, I was the center of attention.

They all eyed me expectantly as if to say, ‘Now it’s your turn to dish about your in-laws.’

“It’s almost been a year since your marriage, no?” one woman prodded.

Had it already been that long? I hadn’t realized.

“And the former Grand Duchess of Laperion is your mother-in-law, is she not?”

They all knew full well who my mother-in-law was—I didn’t know why they bothered asking for clarification.

“Oh, and how is Madame Gloria?” someone asked me. “Well, I hope?”

Just the sound of her name made the entire group of ladies shudder as if they’d all just seen a ghost.

“And the Grand Duke is rather… distant, isn’t he?” someone pressed carefully. “At least our husbands are somewhat affectionate...”

“My, I can’t believe you have to deal with both the Grand Duke and Madame Gloria,” a woman said, eyeing me sympathetically.

“Oh, and then there’s His Grace’s sister, Lady Saoirse.”

“Oh! His Grace’s sister...”

I haven’t said a single word yet… So why are they all looking at me with such pity?

I eyed the group of ladies, who’d already painted for themselves a mental image of my married life, and put down my empty champagne glass.

“Yes, Madame Gloria is my mother-in-law and Lady Saoirse is my sister-in-law,” I said. “And yes, it’s true that His Grace can be a little standoffish, on occasion.”

Everyone clicked their tongues and looked at me with even greater pity. Their slight smiles masked the internal relief they felt in my assumed martial struggles.

People like them needed to know that there was always someone worse off than they were. They reveled in others’ misfortunes while feeling better about their own circumstances. And gatherings like these were filled with people like them.

I was about to say something else when I felt someone wrap their arm around my waist.

“There you are, darling.”

I smelled his familiar scent, and his dark hair tickled my cheeks.

“Y-your Grace!” Flustered, all the ladies rushed to greet my ‘standoffish’ husband.

But my husband—Therdeo Lapileon—paid them no attention and embraced me in his arms.

“I’ve been looking all over for you,” he said. “You know I can’t stand to be apart from you, even for a second.”

“You’re tickling me. And people are looking.” I pushed his face away gently. At that moment, a small child appeared on my right.

“Your Grace!” he said sternly to my husband. “Mama says you’re tickling her! Please get off her immediately!”

The child was Celphius Lapileon, heir to Grand Duke Lapileon and my adoptive son. He pulled on Therdeo’s suit, trying to pry him off me.

“What are you doing, Theo?” A woman with long, flowing red hair stepped in and pulled Therdeo away. She then smiled brightly and spread both her arms as she approached me.

“Hello, Shasha!” she said. “I’m here.”

“Hello, Saoirse,” I said, smiling as she embraced me, then laughingly trying to push her away. “But you can stop tickling me, too. You and your brother are both as bad as each other!”

The redhead was Saoirse Lapileon, Therdeo’s sister.

“We are?” she asked innocently. “Where are you feeling this, dear sister? Let me scratch for you!”

A little girl even smaller than Celphius appeared behind Saoirse, who was still hugging me.

“M-me too!” she cried. “Hug me too!”

The little girl was Islette Lapileon, Therdeo’s only surviving relative other than his direct family line.

“Islette, what have I told you?” chided Phineas Lapileon, Therdeo’s uncle. “When in public, you must address her as ‘Your Grace’.”

Now we were only missing one person…

“What’s all this commotion? Isn’t this supposed to be an elegant ball?”

Gloria Lapileon, the grand duchess—hale and hearty as ever, despite her graying hair—sailed across the floor to join her family. All the ladies’ faces turned white and they froze in place, stunned by this impromptu Lapileon family reunion.

“It’s exhausting, coming to these things at my age,” Gloria said, casually walking over and linking arms with me. She let out a long sigh.

I smiled as I gave my arm to Gloria, who I knew was being melodramatic. “You still look young and sprightly to me.”

“People tremble in fear whenever I approach—though I’m not sure why they’re afraid of some old woman,” Gloria said, pointing at the frozen ladies.

The women still hadn’t moved a muscle, and Gloria clicked her tongue in disapproval before she refocused on me.

“Shasha,” she said sweetly. “You really should tell me what you want, you know. If you don’t, I’ll just keep following you everywhere until you surrender.”

I smiled faintly as she continued.

“Would you like a piece of our family’s land, or perhaps a mine? I told you I’d give you whatever you desire to thank you for saving our family.”

“I really don’t need anything, Your Grace,” I said firmly, for at least the hundredth time.

“If you keep insisting as much, I’ll have no choice but to give you everything.”

Everyone around us gasped at Gloria’s words, and I felt their admiring eyes on me. I looked around at my assembled in-laws, hoping I didn’t look as exhausted as I felt.

I desperately needed to get a divorce… If only my in-laws weren’t so obsessed with me.


Three years earlier

While the world around me was in the process of coming back to life, buoyed by the magic of spring, I was dying. My husband Schiff sat in a chair beside my bed and was speaking to me in a worried voice.

“Does it hurt?” he asked eagerly as if he’d been waiting for this moment. “If it feels like your time to die, then that’s what you should do. Why are you fighting to hold on?”

This from the husband who’d once told me he loved me. Who’d promised to make me happy when he’d first confessed his feelings for me. The Schiff I’d once known, the one who used to smile at me shyly, was nowhere to be found.

“Shasha,” he said. His lips had once given me so much happiness. “Please, just let go.”

He was killing me.

“Only with your death will your fortune come to me,” he whispered. “I have so much debt, Shasha. As my lover, giving me the means to repay it is the least you can do for me.”

Schiff swept my damp hair away from my sweaty forehead. I wished I could jump to my feet and smack him across his face, but my body refused to cooperate.

“You can’t move, can you?” Schiff asked, smiling. It was as if he could hear my thoughts. “That’s because of the curse. It cost me a pretty penny, you know, but they said this was the best way to kill you without leaving a trace.”

The color of his hair, his deep green eyes... They were still the same. But he had changed. Tears welled up in my eyes and rolled down my face.

I heard the bedroom door open.

“Is she still alive?”

Someone else was disappointed that I was still breathing. Cold shivers raced through my body. In the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of my smiling stepmother and stepsister.

Why were they here?

“You’re holding on for quite some time,” my stepmother observed. “Your father was the same.”

Even if I’d been able to speak, that comment would’ve left me speechless.

“Oh, don’t glare at me like that, darling,” she said. “Believe me, your father only had himself to blame. And really, you can blame him for your own predicament, too.”

This was my family. The same people who’d once smiled at me kindly. Who’d supported me during difficult times, and celebrated joyous times.

“Had he not named you his sole heir, none of this ever would’ve happened,” my stepmother continued. She shook her head. “Such a shame.” This was not the stepmother I’d once known. “I might’ve been a good mother to you, otherwise.”

Reina laughed. “Mother, are we going to be rich now?”

Though she was my stepsister, I’d always regarded Reina as my true sister.

At that moment, Schiff approached Reina and gently wrapped his arm around her waist. Then he kissed her cheek lovingly.

“Of course, my princess,” he told her. “I know how hard it must’ve been for you, living in such squalor. But that ends today.”

“Oh, Schiff,” Reina simpered. “I always had faith in you.”

What? The way the two of them were interacting, the affection they were showing each other… I could’ve sworn I felt my lower lip tremble, despite the curse. The sound of my heartbeat seemed to echo throughout my body.

This can’t be… None of this can be real, can it?

Reina turned to face me as if she’d heard what I was thinking. She threw her head back and laughed.

“Hah! Did you truly think Schiff was your loving, doting husband?” She shook her head. “He only married you because I asked him to, silly. He only pretended to love you!”

Schiff kissed Reina’s neck hungrily like her skin was oozing with honey. He laughed along with her.

Reina pulled on Schiff’s hair and continued to mock me. “How naïve of you. You had no idea we were all simply waiting for the day you died.”

This can’t be happening. I know he loves me!

But I saw the way he was looking at Reina. I was nowhere in his mind.

Was everything just an act, for all three of them? My loving husband and warm stepmother and kind stepsister… It was all a lie?

My heart raced, I struggled to breathe, and a blinding rage flashed through me.

“Once you die,” my stepmother began, approaching me with a pillow in her hand, “we’ll take good care of your fortune, so worry not, child.”

She pressed the pillow to my face, her expression never changing as she began to suffocate me.

While I gasped for air, Schiff laughed and Reina threw herself down onto the sofa. And my stepmother continued to kill me without a hint of regret.

I will not forget this, I promised silently. Not even in death.

Tears of rage flowed from my eyes. My vision darkened. And the last thing I heard before the world faded away was the sound of Reina’s laughter.


That was how I died. At least I thought so, at the time.

But then I’d opened my eyes and found myself back in the land of the living—and back in the past. Miraculously, I’d found myself thrown back to the major turning point of my life—namely, after I’d received my inheritance, but before I’d married Schiff. I had no idea why I’d been given such an impossible second chance, but I had no intention of squandering it.

From the moment I’d realized what had happened to me, I’d moved forward with a single goal: I needed to protect my life and my inheritance. Irritatingly enough, I’d quickly realized that I couldn’t report my three murderers because they hadn’t actually killed me at this point in time. But no matter what, this time round, I knew I wouldn’t allow myself to be made a pawn in their scheme. Instead, I would make them regret what they’d done to me—even if it had occurred at a different time. To that end, I’d realized that I needed someone on my side who could both protect my fortune and give me enough power to protect myself. Which was how I’d set my sights on Therdeo…


“I’d like to make you a proposal, Your Grace,” I said, trying to sound more confident than I felt.

The Grand Duke raised an eyebrow. “A proposal?”

“Marry me for a single year,” I spoke rather casually for someone proposing marriage to a near stranger.

To the Grand Duke, it was a shockingly abrupt proposal; but to me, it was my last hope.

“Interesting,” he said thoughtfully.

The man seated on the sofa across from me was absolutely stunning. He looked at me, his chin propped up with his hand. His hair was as dark as night, and his blood-red eyes shone in the candlelight. He was far taller than me, though I was wearing shoes with tall heels, and he had firm, broad shoulders that only made him look more imposing. I could tell how strong his arms and legs were underneath his clothing.

“What is it you want, exactly?” he asked.

The man I’d just proposed to was Grand Duke Therdeo Lapileon, someone I felt knew quite well, based on the copious rumors I’d heard about him.

The Lapileon family had aided the late emperor in the past. Thanks to them, the Castor Empire had grown to become the great empire it was today. Because of the assistance they’d provided, the family had been awarded the new empire’s first grand dukedom. Since then, the Lapileons had been the emperor’s most steadfast allies and were always at the forefront when it came to fighting wars or putting down rebellions.

And all of this was why I’d decided to use the Grand Duke to obtain what I wanted.

As he leaned closer, I saw his muscles bulge underneath his shirt.

“This is the first time we’re meeting, so I’m sure you’re not asking me to marry you because you love me,” he said. “And I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors about me, so I know you’re not seeking any manner of affection from me.”

Hmm… He’s sharper than I thought.

“You’re here because you want something,” he said briskly, “so you might as well just come out with it instead of wasting time.”

If killing with one’s eyes had been possible, I was sure he would’ve been able to do it. I was equally sure that I would’ve died already.

Why am I here, you ask? I trembled when I thought about exactly what had brought me here. Then I clenched my fists.

“My stepmother and stepsister, and the man I love…” I hesitated for a moment. “They’re going to kill me.”

“Sounds like you had a nightmare, my lady.”

I bristled at his condescending tone but forced myself to stay calm. No matter how much of an ass he revealed himself to be, I needed this man.

“They’re going to kill me as part of a plot to steal my inheritance,” I spoke with confidence, which only made Therdeo scoff.

“I understand your paranoia—it’s almost reasonable, given the sum you’ve just inherited from your father,” he said. “But I assure you, nothing bad is going to happen.”

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

“It was an interesting proposal, but I’ll pretend you never made it,” Therdeo finished.

I eyed him carefully. Grand Duke Lapileon, the bloodthirsty warmonger. The man who was rumored to be cruel, because he’d sent his successor Celphius Lapileon to the countryside under the pretense of recuperation and then proceeded to neglect him terribly.

Some time ago, he’d married a woman who’d persistently sought his affection, but they’d divorced after less than two months. His former wife had received an enormous settlement and quickly disappeared from court. Apparently, she’d described him as the worst man she’d ever met. According to the rumor mill, he’d never once asked after her since their parting. I’d even heard that he hadn’t consummated the marriage.

He’s not a man who would have need of my fortune, nor would he be interested in me as a woman—not if he never consummated his previous marriage.

“I think the best thing for you would be to go home and calm yourself down with a warm glass of milk,” the Grand Duke said condescendingly.

He was exactly the man I needed right now. Though I do wish he could’ve been slightly less contemptible…

Therdeo stood up to ring the bell. Unfazed by his mockery, I grabbed hold of his hand.

“I know you’re in need of a second wife, Your Grace,” I said.

I knew why he’d left the grand duchy and was currently residing in the Lapileon residence in the capital—he wanted everyone to think he was searching for a second wife. While this plan certainly had its merits, it had resulted in the grand duke’s current predicament: the emperor had decided that it would be a marvelous idea for Therdeo to marry his young daughter.

Therdeo looked down at the hand I was grabbing and frowned. Then he snatched his hand away. As he did so, he cut himself on my ring, and a drop of blood welled from the wound. But it didn’t seem like he noticed. Maybe it wasn’t women he disliked, but physical touch.

I looked at his pale face and tried to apologize. “I’m sorry for grabbing you like that.”

“Any further conversation with you would be a waste of time,” he said icily. “Please leave, my lady.”

He glared at me like an angry predator, but strangely enough, I wasn’t frightened.

I’ve got nothing left to lose, I thought to myself. If I fail here, I’ll die.

I fiddled with the ring that had cut him and managed a smile. “I’m not sure if I agree.”


“I hear His Majesty is avidly pushing for your marriage to the young seventh princess,” I said. “If you don’t marry me, you’ll have to marry a girl so young, she’s still in school. Do you truly have no objections to that outcome?”

His eyes narrowed. “And how do you know about that?

I know about it because I’ve already lived through all of this once before!

“Would you still rather I went home for that glass of warm milk?” I smiled and gestured toward the sofa.

Therdeo’s face stiffened. After staring at me for a long time, he sat back down on the sofa.

I knew he’d go along with my plan if I brought up the young princess.

In the timeline I’d already lived, the grand duke had despised his marriage with the princess.

I looked at Therdeo, who’d reacted exactly as I’d expected him to and smiled faintly.

“Someone’s been spreading rumors. If I find out who it is, I’ll make sure they never speak again,” he said, angrily undoing his top button.

His anger startled me, and I shuddered.

“But you’re mistaken about one thing,” he added. “His Majesty the Emperor wants me to marry the fourth princess, not the seventh.”

I blinked. “Pardon?”

“I’m to marry the fourth princess, Princess Dodolea.”


Huh? I was sure it had been the seventh princess, last time. But Princess Dodolea?

As far as I knew, Princess Dodolea had been born ill and spent most of her short life bedridden. Unable to overcome her illness, she died young.

Therdeo nodded when he saw how bewildered I was. “She recovered from her illness.”

That’s not possible! I’m certain he married the seventh princess.

I could clearly remember the little princess crying and whining because she didn’t want to marry an old man.

I racked my brain, trying to remember exactly what had happened, but I eventually decided to let it go. It didn’t really matter which princess he was supposed to marry.

“In that case, you need me even more,” I said confidently.

Therdeo’s long eyelashes cast a shadow over his striking red eyes. As I watched his contemplative face, I raised my index finger.

“One year,” I repeated.

He eyed me silently.

“After that,” I added, “we can get a nice, clean divorce.”