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Webcomic / The Abandoned Empress

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As proud daughter of House Monique, Aristia was raised to become the next empress of the Castina Empire. But with the appearance of a mysterious new girl, everything has fallen apart: the Emperor has turned his back, and Aristia’s miserable life as a lower queen is cut short by death. However a second chance to change her fate sees her reborn ‒to 7 years earlier! “Is this a dream or reality? Will my destiny repeat?”

The Abandoned Empress is a webnovel written by Yuna with a webcomic adaptation drawn by Ina. The webcomic has an official English translation on Tappytoons here and the original can be found on Kakao here.

The Abandoned Empress contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The finale of the manhwa completely removes almost all information about the past timeline and how it went wrong. It also only briefly touched upon the Jieun/Aristia discord. The author actually left an apology at the end of the story indicating they didn't have time to show all the details.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The manhwa does it's best to give attention towards the characters of Allendis, Carsein and the prince Ruveliss and had things seen in their Point of View instead of focusing only towards Aristia.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Carsein breaking a promise to Tia causes her to absolutely flip out and despise him for quite some time to no one's detriment more than her own: Lack of proper instruction from him almost causes her to give herself a permanent and debilitating injury.
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    • Allendis later hits the same button when he promises to believe Tia, causing her to open up and tell him about her past. He brushes it off as a dream, causing her to cut contact with him for months. Their relationship is never really the same afterward.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Allendis is friendly and cheerful towards Tia and always supports her, but when not in her presence he's cold, hostile and has a nasty temper.
  • Break the Cutie: Original Aristia was quiet, dutiful and not very expressive with her emotions, leaving Ruveliss to feel like she didn't have any. As such, his behavior towards her grows more and more abusive until she finally suffered a breakdown, at which point her father tried to get her out of the palace.
  • Character Development: A whole lot going on. But the biggest example to this would be Prince Ruveliss. Especially in comparison to his original timeline counterpart due to For Want of a Nail effects in play. Thanks to encountering a time-traveled Aristia at an early age, he grew away from becoming anywhere closer to his original timeline counterpart personality wise after a Jerkass Realization on his own part and future interactions with Aristia.
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  • Deconstruction: Of the Isekai genre. Especially with Jieun and the outcome of the original timeline. Jieun lacks the training she would have received to become a ruling leader, making her completely unqualified and was forced to face the reality of how unprepared she was when Tia is later executed and she had to take the duties of ruling a country, because she had long been believing herself to be an Isekai heroine where things will go her way and Tia the villainess, and the world doesn't care about what narrative value you would have in the plot.
  • Domestic Abuse: Emperor Ruveliss hits Aristia in the 1st timeline. After Tia's death he also hits Jieun once he gets fed up with her uselessness.
  • Dramatic Irony: Played tragically in the original timeline as Ruve moments before dying, takes solace in the fact that at least he'll be together in death with Aristia, not knowing that by then, she reincarnated and is brought into her younger self via Time Travel. In the end he ends up dying well and truly alone without realizing it.
  • Fish out of Water: Jieun being a student from the real world is woefully unprepared when she gets transported into the new world. This causes her to become a burden to almost everyone as she is unable to tackle their politics, nor handle important administrative work.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The goddess's plan was basically to bring a child of prophecy into the world and lead the empire into a golden age. But because the soul was placed in the wrong world and only brought in much later, the girl in question was vastly unqualified, leading to a great deal of heartache.
    • Aristia deciding to work on becoming the heir of her house and properly expressing how she feels about things both makes her more socially prominent with her connections to Allendis, Carsein and the noble young ladies as well as helping Ruve understand her before he grows to truly hate her. This completely derails the original course of events as Ruve grows more enchanted with who she really is.
  • Heir Club for Men: Averted. Tia attempting to inherit the position of marquis is not considered that remarkable in itself and is only considered odd because she shouldn't really be the heir for completely different reasons. On the other hand, the imperial throne is reserved for men; whether it's possible to inherit through a female relative is never touched upon.
  • Heroic BSoD: One meeting with Ruve goes very badly as Tia ends up going catatonic for quite some time after being forced headfirst into her old trauma. After she comes out of it the two get along somewhat better.
  • Ill Girl: Aristia's health is just bad enough that she's never been able to train properly, which leaves her rather unsuitable to be an heir to a military family. Even after she gets into better shape she still has really bad stamina and little strength, so despite her implied talent there's not much she can really do.
  • Irrational Hatred: Usually accompanied by Disproportionate Retribution.
    • Ruve's grudge against Tia is rather unfair in nature: He blames her for a childhood event she had no control over that she can't remember due to trauma and then as the two grew up was always compared unfavorably to her. She hasn't the slightest idea what he has against her because she's always loved him a lot and tried to get along with him in her own quiet way. To be fair, the manipulation of Duke Zena plays a large role in this since the man is busy defaming Aristia.
    • Jieun, mostly as a result of Never My Fault, has this towards everyone in the entire empire. In particular, Aristia for "taking everything from her" and Ruveliss for leaving her behind when she was pregnant and they were politically KO'ed.
    • Duke Zena despises the Moniques, while there are some purely political reasons, that's not what he harps upon. One big reason for his attitude, especially towards Aristia, is that her mother is the daughter of his little sister and a commoner.
  • Isekai: Jieun was a normal girl from Korea brought to a fantasy world and engaged to a handsome prince of a powerful empire, displacing a powerful noblewoman in the process who was set to become empress instead despite the distaste of her fiancé. The catch is that Jieun is not the protagonist, the fiancée is. Her arrival proves to be highly disruptive and ultimately destructive because she simply isn't needed no matter what prophecies may say to the contrary. Her total lack of preparation to handle the responsibilities she finds herself handed in classic isekai fashion end up ruining Aristia's life and eventually the entire empire. She eventually admits that she saw herself as an isekai heroine and Aristia as a classic villainous character, which was a major contributing factor to the unfolding tragedy.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Allendis confesses to his crimes and goes into exile to protect Aristia from himself.
  • Jerkass: During the first timeline, Ruveliss treated Aristia like trash. His second timeline counterpart completely averts this via Character Development.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • The second timeline's Ruveliss has one in regards to why Tia reacted the way she did at him. This becomes the first major step to his Character Development.
    • After Jieun returns to the story, there's a point where Tia notes that the only reason she was upset about her miscarriage was because it meant Ruveliss would be less likely to pay attention to her. She didn't hold a trace of concern for the death of her child.
  • The Load: While Jieun was much loved by Ruveliss, she couldn't actually do any of the work she was supposed to be handling, leaving Tia to clean up after her. In the original timeline, after Tia's execution Ruveliss came to realize how valuable she was and how useless Jieun was in contrast, eventually coming to hold her in contempt.
  • More Than Mind Control: In the original timeline, Ruve and Tia were both drugged to make their emotions wilder and harder to control, meaning they'd say and do things they normally wouldn't. The underlying emotions were still there. However, the knowledge that they're being drugged means Tia can stop taking it before it causes permanent damage to her body and Ruve can continue taking it to fool the attempted assassins while actively suppressing his emotions rather than letting them rage.
  • Never My Fault:
    • First timeline Ruveliss rarely seemed to have a moment of self-reflection. He blamed Aristia and later Jieun for his problems, not realizing that they were all self-inflicted or that he should have worked to solve them himself.
    • In the second timeline, it is Jieun who has this, blaming all her failures and the way people eventually turned away from her on other people, particularly Aristia.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Duke Zena getting impatient and worried about the prospect of Ruve picking Tia causes him to increase the dosage of the poison that the two are receiving. Rather than just causing emotional instability and gradual damage to the womb, the overdose causes Tia to nearly die, the poison and its source to be uncovered. Ruve also being served the poison is revealed because it makes him collapse before it has a noticible effect on his emotions. As a result, because Aristia was taking it for less time her body makes a successful recovery and Ruve is able to account for the effects of the drug even as he continues to take it as part of a plan on his part.
  • Perspective Flip: Jieun is the classic Korean isekai heroine from the perspective of the "jealous evil queen" she replaces. Aristia's cold behavior is not cruel, her lack of respect is warranted if perhaps unfair and her hostility is quite justified. And her irritation at Jieun just being lovey dovey with the prince makes perfect sense because it means Jieun isn't doing her actual job. Tia is, and she gets treated like shit for it, especially if she doesn't fawn over the new empress. As the story later reveals, the empire really needed Tia but Jieun? Not so much! Tia's execution sets things on a downward spiral leading to everyone's ruin.
  • The Poorly Chosen One: Jieun is uneducated in subjects that an Empress needs to know, making her unfit and incopetent. She also shows no desire to study and improve, choosing to just shove her responsibilities into others.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Carsein is the red, cheerful and hot-blooded one. While Ruve is the blue, cool-headed one. Carsein also has a similar dynamic with his older brother who is calmer than he is.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Carsein. While Allendis has his own personality flaws that make him a genuinely bad choice, Carsein is honest, supportive, loyal and much quicker to realize his own shortcomings and biases than Ruve. The only problem there is that Tia has him super firmly in the friend zone.
  • Selective Obliviousness: It's not that Tia doesn't know how Allendis feels. It's that she can't respond to it. Having her acknowledge this outright and turn him down causes an intense burst of possessiveness that almost ends with her death.
  • Spare to the Throne: Even though Allendis is far more capable than his older brother, he's still not picked as heir, which others note probably isn't the right decision for his parents to have made. It doesn't help that his older brother is notably very sickly. His brother eventually dies, presumably due to said illness, and Allendis is forced to return from exile.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Deliberately used as a plot point. While Aristia at first seems completely faultless in the original timeline, later on we see that she really was unnecessarily cold and dismissive of Jieun. While the latter may have been incompetent, this isn't at all her own fault and Tia seemed to revel in her rival being inferior to her and held her in contempt. Even when Jieun returns to the story, when Jieun is actually trying to do something good Tia merely insults her for making a mistake rather than explain what she did wrong.
  • Time Travel: Aristia is sent back in time 7 years before her death. And so does Jieun who returned exactly at the same time she made an appearance back in the original timeline.
  • Yandere: While initially cheerful and friendly, it becomes clearer over time that Allendis is well and truly obsessed with Tia, culminating in throwing his lot in with Duke Zena, which almost leads to her death. Realizing that he's only a danger to her, he confesses his sins and voluntarily goes into exile.