[Chapter 1 – The Protagonist is Born]
“Talayia, your younger sister is Loina Randa.”
The moment I heard the name of the little baby in Roxana’s arms, I could only despair.
It was Loina Lemetio, the heroine of my novel that I had never wanted to be born.
My body, still only four years old, honestly reacted to the emotions.
As tears blurred her vision, Roxana put Loina back in the crib.
Julian, who was watching the baby with me, hugged me and patted my back.
The rabbit doll that had been clinging to one of his arms fell to the ground.
You were jealous because mom was holding the baby, right? Mom is our Tilly.”
Julian comforted me as if he had expected it.
I wanted to say that was not it, but I couldn’t speak, so I just buried my face in his shoulder.
“What’s going on?”
“Come here, Tilly.”
As Roksana held me in her arms, she wiped away my tears.
Her eyes were filled with a loving emotion.
Suddenly, I remembered that some first-borns become jealous when a second child is born and takes attention away from them.
Maybe they thought I was crying because of that.
“Well, in some ways, that’s true, but…”
I hesitated when I heard my parents’ names, but I was sure of my family and country of birth.
This world was the novel I created.
I knew it all along, but I still hoped until the last moment.
I wished that Roksana’s child would not be a daughter and that her name would not be Loina.
But the settings I created acted like fate, giving her the name Loina and making her the protagonist of this world from the moment she was born.
“Tilly, look at this.”
As I swallowed back my runny nose and turned my head, Yurian pulled a funny face while grabbing her own cheeks.
It wasn’t a face that would normally make me laugh.
When I didn’t react, she looked noticeably crestfallen.
Usually, I would have smiled at her, but I wasn’t in the mood.
“Daddy, you’re ugly! Go away!”
After hearing my honest words, he removed his hand from his face as if in shock, and Roksa-na burst out laughing.
I buried my head in Roksa-na’s shoulder again and cried.
Being inside the novel I wrote was a more unpleasant experience than I had imagined.
Perhaps it was only true for me, but the tears streaming down my cheeks, the heat in my eyes, the arms holding me, and the voice whispering in my ear all felt vivid and real.
Those sensations whispered that this was an inescapable reality.
For the past four years, I had been living here pretending to be a child.
The last thing I remember from my past life was two bright lights rushing toward me.
It was a car, and the conclusion was that I was in a traffic accident last year.
And, oddly enough, Roksa-na became pregnant right on cue.
Did I die and be reborn? Or am I just having a long and endless dream in a coma?
Either way, it was dreadful.
“Tilly, does Mommy love you?”
“And Daddy too?”
Unlike the past, Yurian made a slightly sad expression after a moment of silence following the answer.
“Having Royna doesn’t mean Mommy and Daddy will take you away.
Tilly, it just means you have more people to love you unconditionally.
Mommy, Daddy, and Royna will love you, too.”
“Still hate Royina?”
“No, I like her.”
“Then should we say hello to our Royina? We greeted her a lot when she was in mommy’s belly, but this is the first time we’re seeing her face.
She must be so pretty, just like when Tilly was a baby.”
The familiar scent, the low voice for a woman, and the short platinum hair made me feel at ease.
When I looked calmer, Rokssana sat me down by the crib.
The plump cheeks and beautiful purplish eyes made me look a little younger.
“Let’s say hi to the baby.”
As Royina looked at me with her lips parted and drool running down her cheek, I couldn’t help but smile.
No matter how much I disliked this place, this baby was my perfect heroine whom I loved.
“Yes, my heroine.”
This newborn baby, as well as Roksana and Julian, her parents, were all characters I carefully crafted for the story, but I was the heroine’s sister who wasn’t in the original.
I loved them, but they were not my real family.
As I wiped Royina’s drool with a handkerchief, I met her gaze with my own amethyst-colored eyes.
I also drooled a lot during this stage, and someone always wiped it away with a gentle touch.
Although I couldn’t see properly at that time, so I couldn’t tell who it was, it was probably my mother.
“You’re lucky to have one more person to wipe your drool, aren’t you?”
I grabbed the ears of the rabbit doll while watching Royina struggling to turn over by flailing her arms and legs.
At first, I waited for Royina to turn over and then helped her back, but after ten minutes of trying without success, I started to get bored.
As I let out a yawn, Royina stopped trying to turn over and stared at me.
“Are you giving up?”
Tears began to well up in her large purple eyes and soon Royina burst into tears.
She seemed to have a temper when things didn’t go her way.
When the nanny who had been watching us tried to calm Royina down, her crying became a little quieter.
I removed my hands from my ears and tried to leave the room.
Royina’s crying, which had seemed to be calming down, got louder again, but babies cry, so I left the room anyway.
I heard the nanny calling out to me from the room, but I ignored her and went to take a nap in the garden.
It had been four months since I had come to visit, but all I had gained was exhaustion.
“Should I take a nap in the garden?”
After wandering around for a moment, I set my sights and carefully descended the stairs while holding onto the large rabbit doll.
Although I was nervous about stumbling while holding the fairly large rabbit doll, I was able to conquer the stairs safely.
The rabbit doll, which sometimes felt clumsy, was given to me as a birthday present by Yurian.
Although others might have thought of it as just a beloved doll, it was nothing more than an essential pillow for my afternoon naps.
As long as I had it, I could sleep anywhere.
“In my next life, I want to be born as a fat cat in a wealthy family and sleep all day.”
I was born into a wealthy family and now, I could sleep without many restrictions whenever I wanted.
I would leave becoming overweight as a later option, so I could almost consider my goal achieved.
However, I wasn’t that happy.
I failed in the most important species!
“I should just sleep when I can.”
As I went out to the garden, I looked around and lay down under the biggest tree.
It was my favorite place for naps since it was shady and had a cool breeze blowing intermittently.
Today too, the rabbit doll was serving as my pillow with its head squished.
Just as I was about to doze off, I heard someone approaching, stepping on the grass.
After only an hour since we had lunch, Yuri-an, who had to leave work in the evening, was sitting next to me, crouching down.
“Were you sleeping again, like when Dad left this morning?”
“Let’s play with Daddy.”
“What do you want to play?”
“Then you be Mommy.”
“Tilly will be Daddy, right?”
“No, Tilly’s a bunny.”
Perhaps surprised by my unexpected response, Yuri-an was briefly taken aback, but soon asked me what role I would play with a smile.
Lona is still a baby so she’s going to sleep well.
I gave Yuri-an the bunny doll and closed my eyes again.
It was quiet for a moment, but Yuri-an began to chatter cheerfully with a raised voice by himself.
“Isn’t it strange? Dad… I mean, Mommy, we have two babies, but there’s only one? Lona, shall we go find our sister together?”
I opened my eyes and glanced at Yuri-an before turning my body away.
It wasn’t time for his adorable daughter’s playtime, so I decided not to respond.
“Since Lona is still a newborn, I guess I have to carry her.”
“Ah, how annoying.”
Satisfied with my dry crying, Yurian carried me into the mansion.
As soon as we headed straight to Royina’s room, I covered my ears with both hands.
I could still hear the baby’s crying from inside the room.
When Yurian and I entered the room, the nursemaid who was trying to soothe Royina gave an awkward smile.
“Royina cries really well.”
“Yes, she’s a completely different story from Tilly who hardly ever cried unless necessary.”
“I feel like she cried a lot though.”
As I buried my face in Yurian’s shoulder and pretended to sleep, I turned my head to see Royina.
When Royina and I met eyes, she stopped crying and stared at me.
With her puffy eyes, Royina laughed.
Seeing her smile, I couldn’t help but smile too.
I thought she was ugly, but also cute at the same time.
“It’s hopeless if someone looks ugly but still manages to be cute.”
Upon hearing my honest opinion, Yumo chuckled.
Yuri also found it amusing, but scolded me, saying that I shouldn’t say things like that.
“Ugly? How pretty you are!”
“No, I look ugly because I take after my dad.”
“But doesn’t Tilly look like her dad too?”
“Both of them cry all the time, and crying makes them look even uglier.
I don’t cry much, so I’m not ugly.”
“Uh, I see.
Then I guess you should try not to cry from now on.”
Even if I’m ugly, I’m still cute.”
As I comforted Yuri by stroking his hair, Yumo was gasping and coughing with a bright red face.
It seemed like he was trying to hide his laughter by coughing, unable to burst out laughing in front of his father.
“Daddy wants to look cool more than cute.”
“Daddy, in this world, being cute is the best.
And even if you try to be cool, Mommy can’t keep up with you, so it’s advantageous to take the cute position.”
“What’s advantageous about that?”
At that, I thought for a moment and stared into Yuri’s purple eyes.
Royena and my pupils inherited them from him.
I smiled and fixed his tousled hair with my small hands.
“If Daddy is crying, I’ll go and comfort him first, no matter how cool Mommy looks.
So please be a cute Daddy.”
“Does that mean you like Daddy more than Mommy?”
“No, it’s not that.”
Unable to endure Yumo’s expression of consternation and hurt, he eventually burst out laughing.
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