Chapter 115:

Ch 114: White Sheets and Bandages

I was Born the Unloved Twin

AAAhhhhhh I'm late!

I wake up in a flailing panic because shit shit shit my alarm failed and I overslept.

Shit, my supervisor is going to have hissy piss if I show up late again. So I'm going to have to use my own paycheck to buy breakfast, again, and pretend to grovel in front of Yao before he nags me for the next three days about being late ...again.

Or ooooh if I stop by the Park's bakery for breakfast, I could maybe get Jung-Soo to.... wait.

This isn't my bedroom?

Next to me, a squishy little toddler stirs. She's very cute. With her sleepy wet cow lashes and chubby milky cheeks. Such a pretty little beauty, even with her eyes closed and drool on her peach little lips. Her parents must be so very happy, to have such a cute little girl.

"Rosa?" she yawns.

I blink awake.

"....sorry. Lily...Lilyanne. Go back to sleep."

This isn't my bed, this isn't my body. But it is now, has been for a while.

"Too earlwiiiiie. Rosa wakey ups toooo earrrly." she clutches at my side, trying to bury me back down into the downy covers.

Twilight and soft pale sheets bring me back. To another place, another time. If the warmth next to me was only larger, stronger, something, someone, a lot more solid.

"It's too early." a much deeper voice, light like silver bells, made provocatively raspy with sleep. It rings like static I can't turn off in the back of my head. "Go back to sleep...."

Even if I yelled, anything from how I was going to be late or why he dared use me like a teddy bear again, the overgrown brat wouldn't let go. Warm arms tight, long legs tangled, sleepy kisses I'd push away if only we were both more awake. Tight, tight so damn tight I couldn't fight even if I wanted to, so hold on tighter and don't say anything more. Sleep crusted eyes and pulses slow. Don't wake up. So I can look at you a little longer.

Don't wake up just yet. Don't let me go just yet. I know you won't, only you.


I push.

Too easy. The too soft warmth rolls over, taking white sheets with her. Lilyanne peacefully snoozed away. The hands that pushed her are small, too small.

They're mine and everything still feels unreal.

The nursery room is still bathed in silent twilight. The small soft canopy bed is fit for a princess or two. No one has called me that name in years. No one will.

I don't exist here. Only Rosalia.

The morning air and hard floor are cold, but I get up anyway. I don't feel like sleeping in today. It's not productive, and there's an anxious restlessness underneath my skin.

How depressing.

Even after being reborn into another world, I still sometimes wake up as I did then. Too early, ready to run off to work or whatever the day demanded. It's ingrained into my brain even though I'm in another body. An alarm clock that I can't seem to fully turn off.

I don't work, I've been born rich! Ahhhh, this is really not fair.

Well ....there is one thing for a girl to do when she gets up too early.

Get pretty.

I patter around, climb up the step stools to the wash bin, brush my teeth with the strange powdery paste, and comb the unruly curls growing out of my head. All by myself of course! It's too early for the Alphabet maids to be bothering anyone just yet.

Besides, I'm not really a child, even if the face in the bronze mirror is that of one.

A very very cute one. Ahhh just look at her, like a little European doll! No matter what sort of face or pose I make in the mirror, the image reflected back is so loveable. It's practically sinful how cute and pretty I am now!

Not that I wasn't devastatingly cute as hell before, oh ho ho ho.

But it's really incomparable to this pretty little foreign doll. Such genetics! Just looking at this angelic cuteness brings back up my strange mood.

Alright! Since this oddly reddish hair is growing out again, let's try some cute little girl hairstyles for today. It's much harder to manage than that what I'm used to but at least I never have to use a curler iron. This is the natural hair of a villainess, after all, these curls are natural. No makeup needed either. Ahhh how nice, young baby skin is so soft and nice.

Shall we do pigtails? Some braided bangs? Princess Leia buns? Sailor Moon?! Lots of things from my beloved old internet I can try out. For I am the perfect shameless model now! I'm three!

Seeing as my fingers are pudgy and my hair isn't as long as my twin's or anything, I settle on pigtails braided and pulled into low buns, tied off with some of my mother's unlimited supply of ribbons and maybe some stolen jeweled hairpins.

It's fine, I'm just borrowing them. Oh ho ho ho, besides how can anyone say no to something this cute?

Satisfied, I hop down ready to face the day and continue my long-term plans to take over the world.

Just kidding. I just want money.

This morning I'm thinking of heading to the soap rooms, bright and early to see to my inventory. Maybe play with some lotion. I really need to finalize what is package-able as luxury products that will bring in the most cash.

The soaps are getting a little common though very necessary, around the home and the troops. That's not the kind of branding I'm going for. Ventrella soap bars- the thing that keeps lice away and your armor bloodstain free, yeah just not that great a money maker.

I quietly open the door, ready to bow my good morning to the stationed night guards and...

"Rosalia, I need you to get your sister and do that thing again." Georgie pants right outside my door.

How odd. For one, he dares demands something of his young miss, and I haven't even made any messes yet? Did I leave something unattended to last night?

More importantly, he makes a very strange sight. For he is dragging some very ...not kiddy-sized henchmen by the ears. What? How in the world?

Did he...uh drag them all the way up here? Like that? Ow much?

"Uh...I'm going to need some more details," I gesture to the low growling Yuna on his left. Then to a possibly dying Vincent, curled up and hiding in his own overgrown hair as much as possible. It's looking very creepy, very well ghost you know?

"Get Lilyanne. Do the thing." Georgie fails at whispering.

The guards outside the hall simply standing still, far too used to my young assistant going in and out with all sorts of seemingly crazy requests. It's the only reason why they must have allowed him to get this far, probably a few minutes away from bursting into the nursery.

"The what?"


Talk about confusing.

"Can you let go of my damn ear while you do this? Can I fucking walk on my own yet?! Ow ow ow!" Yuna yelps when Georgie pulls even harder, pulling off a twist.

"Watch your dirty mouth before I wash it for you, there are children, and....hell you're like 12?" he half deflates then warns the younger teen.

"13, or something like that. Owww there's a hole and ring in there you bread loaf- oww ow ow." screeches Yuna, so much I wince in sympathy.

Earrings do hurt. Good thing Rosalia's little ears don't have any piercings yet.

At the reminder of painful jewelry being pulled, Georgie loosens his grip on Yuna. The young boy hissing and cursing under his breath Behind his hands, Vincent seems to be seriously praying to melt into the floors. The poor gangly thing flushed with hot shame, maybe ear pain.

"Young Miss Rosalia," Georgie smiles, far too stiff to be good, "there is a matter in the SOAP rooms, rather than the KITCHENS like before, that would benefit from your attention. It would be most beneficial...if your dear younger sister would be uh...packed along."

For further emphasis, he shrugs with the two supposedly stronger boys, one in each hand. As if it were all a big hint.

Yes. So very subtle Georgie.... Ohhhhh whatever could he be talking about? What a greeeeat mystery.

" something or someone on fire again?" I deadpan, suddenly tired again.

"Thankfully, no."

"Is there blood on my floors and tables?"

"Also, no. It....stopped."

"Is it bad enough a blindfold for Lilyanne going to be necessary again?"


I sigh to Georgie's replies. Well, there goes my mood again.

"Fine, fiiiine. I'll get Lily ready but someone has to softly carry her down. Georgie, release them. They made it this far."

I motion to invite my assistant and his kidnapees in. We got a magic toddler to wrap up. Lucky for us, it's much easier when she's fast asleep.

Just gotta pack a bit of stuff for the girl. Hmm some daywear, today's shoes, snacks in my purse, yes that will do. Wait for Georgie to wrap Lilyanne up. Drag Vincent back up and away from the window where it's very likely he would fling himself off. Kick Yuna a bit because I see him eyeing what is valuable and very stealable in the wall decor. Then we're good to go!

Let's go see what the mess is this time. What did my kiddy minion in training do now?

Geez, you would think Lukas would be the one getting into the most trouble. In fact, I'm sure that's what most everyone in the troops and my unfortunate kitchen staff believe. It must be the divine blessing that is Gable holding him back.

That just leaves the other little monster. It's always the quiet ones.

We make our way down the hike that is my own house, through courtyard after twisting courtyard. Georgie forces the two troop members in front as if commanding them to march with his eyes on him. The mood is tense as Vincent shuffles his feet and Yuna complains under his breath, rubbing at the sore ear. Yet they're forced to obey with Georgie glaring the whole time, as if ready to snap. It's honestly a little scary.

Not in the way any of my family members are. Definitely not Mother, that's just too intense.

Kinda like my work supervisor during crunch time? During some really bad Public Relations fallout? Ah, or a big event gone and still going wrong. Angry clients and the general public and social media? Hahaha bad times, bad times.

Don't miss that part at all. Praise the gods and or goddesses of this world, I'm rich and don't really have to work. Kinda.

"So I get any more information or do we just march like it's a funeral?"

I hear a pathetic whimper after I speak, most likely from Vincent. Man, we really need to do something about that undead hair. He's getting better fed but somehow looking worse. Really just not taking care of himself as of late.

"Not now Rosalia. Just keep walking. You'll see." Georgie forces us to keep moving in awkward silence, holding on to my sleeping sister just fine. The heavy atmosphere gets thicker and thicker.

Man, this is so not what I got so cute for this early morning.

If any early morning Ventrella employees just so happen to see this morbid march, it's met with nothing but a half solemn bow. Somehow, somewhere along the lines, Georgie has gained too much power in this house beyond that of a Jr. Chef.

Yes, he is the official Rosalia babysitter now. Much power. Much responsibility.

Why does it sound as if he's keeping watch over a dangerous beast? He even has this special key entrusted by Alfonso that gets him into most of the villa. Apparently, because I sneak around everywhere.

There are the secret guards. I know they're around. But they never talk to me or make themselves known, let alone drag me back. Something I'm sure is against their policy and work contract with Father. There are probably the usual orders of no interfering with the subject unless absolutely necessary. I mean those were the rules when I sicked them on a teenage Lilyanne.

Really can't be helped. I'm too young to be taken seriously. I'm sure that eventually in time, they'll come around. With or without Father mysteriously dying and leaving me everything.

Hmmm in hindsight, that's a bad thing. Especially when I'm absolutely sure he didn't leave me....everything. The nerd is an awful sort of puzzle to figure out, something I still can't really make sense of, even with cheats.

My thoughts bounce from mysterious tall dark foreign assassins to the cool studio underground in the southern gardens. Grampa's crazy vague warning burrowing deeper under my skin.

Everything and nothing is the same.

The kitchen staff starts work early, much earlier than this. From starting the hot water boilers and heating the house to prep working materials for the whole day. Other staffers stopping by for their morning provisions, here and taken out.

Some bow, some wave, some barely blink with a fast run of the hot water kettle, and a greeting Good Morning to me, the young little miss.

Bethany shouts out orders to pages who in turn deliver the right items to the coolers. Mr. Serra chuckles over morning tea with both the old gardeners, a take-out basket being loaded up to bring to those at the stables. The slightly older children of the staff listened in around them on the tales. Donna asks if we all want to breakfast yet to which Georgie politely turns down.

"Wait, food isn't going to be a thing?" Yuna side-eyes the ciabatta baking by the ovens.

"Keep moving brat" Georgie threatens, hand itching to pull on that ear again.

When Yuna huffs, looking both grumpy and honestly like a sad little cat, my babysitting assistant breaks. For he is actually quite a softie deep down, underneath all that nagging.

"Fine fine, take this for now and just go."

Georgie grabs and stuffs a ciambelle, something that resembles a cross between a doughnut and a filling pretzel, into the younger teen's sharp mouth. It causes a small wave of a giggle with some passing married kitchen maids, arms full, and faces lively.

Nothing is the same, because I never knew these people and they never knew me. I knew them on the roster, the cogs that keep the gears of this house moving. That's it.

They saw me as their noble superior, from another world practically. The young lady of the house they're employed in. They don't wave or boldly say my name. They don't offer me leftover stew or gossip from the laundry rooms, nor honest compliments on how cute my hair looks today. That's not how it ever went, especially when I was so young.

These sorts of differences....are not so bad.

At least that's what I was thinking till we get to my soap rooms, boarded and on full shut down. What the hell?

"Abbey, open up, we're here." Georgie knocks.

"Pa-pa-password-d? Wha-what is in the ba-ba-ba-basket?" comes a nervous girly voice behind the door.

"Abbey, that was never a thing!"

"The answer is Noddle," pipes up Yuna, mouth full.

"I don't know why we call it that." Vincent weakly protests.

"Fine," gives up Georgie, for he is ultimately a pushover. "Noodle. The answer is a noodle, the worst possible name for the forsakenly damned thing."

The door slowly unlocks and opens, just a crack, with my maid shaking with a broom in her hands. As if she could use it to defend against intruders at the door. She breathes a great sigh of relief upon seeing us, ushering me and the rest in.

Everything has been boarded up, so the main light comes from the fireplace and a few lanterns set by Abbey. It creates the feeling as if it's still night the moment the door shuts again. Even more so when a tap from Vincent, sets the room in a flash of iridescent. It reminds me of when Grampa silences a room with a force that's almost electric.

But this is softer, weaker. Like a thin soap bubble blown up, popped, and settled into wood and stone. No one blinks, as if they didn't notice a thing. Maybe they don't.

It is to my relief that nothing looks to be out of place.

No trails of blood. Nothing broken. Most importantly, no one, especially a child, was sitting on any of my soap tables like a morbid real-life game of operation. I must say Georgie did a much better job of being subtle and discreet. Because the last time was really not a good time for my kitchens, nor quieting down the poor staff.

"Okay, where is he?" I ask, looking around.

"Behind, th-the sette. By th-the fire." weakly leads Abbey, broom trembling in her hands.

I take a deep breath, so as not to be taken too much by surprise by what I shall see next.

Which is futile. Nope. Still surprised. There's a mummy on my work room sofa!

A small one yes, but a mummy nonetheless. Bandages upon bandages, layers so heavy they partly drag and look almost comical. Amar has been so wrapped up in bandages I can't even tell if he's breathing under there. Hell, I can hardly tell it's him if it weren't for the others practically screaming it from their presence.

But it's no joke.

It's bad. That much I can tell, even if it's out of sight and out of mind. Especially so, since the coverings leave the imagination to run free. Peeks of blood and bruises blooming darker under the edges of where they peek.

As I step closer, it's increasingly clear that whatever is underneath there, all around his head, tightly fitted over normally sleepy eyes, has got to be awful. I don't know if the excessive bandages are for the kid's benefit or for my own. The sight, just the implications underneath, has my gut feeling heavy, sick.

This is a different world. A very violent one, where magic floats in the air and blood spills as easily as wine. I know that, have known it all along. I have memories of the original. I know all of what she's done before she so turbulently died. What I have done.

I know it all so personally, and I still can't swallow this down.

That's how weak I am.

Too small. The kid was too small just the other day when I saw him, laughing over cat ears and pasta sauce. He's still too small now. What happened in this short amount of time? What happened and why?

But those are all stupid questions at the moment. Like asking if someone was okay when they clearly aren't. There are better things to be doing at this time.

"Where? Where is he injured? Georgie, blindfold on, remember it's all just a game in front of Lily." I instruct various people, moving a small lantern to get a better look.

Even without anyone saying a word in response, I can see the constrained breathing in that still too thin chest. Too many wrappings on a tiny torso for something, many things, not to be broken. One of his hands was wrapped into a cast compared to the other one, swollen a dark shade of purple and red. One side of his normally cute childish face was swelling even worse, lip split and dried in blood. Bite marks deep from where cut himself.

Damn. Where's child protective services when you actually need them?

Georgie sets my still sleeping sister down next to me while Vincent sighs. Reluctantly whispering his diagnosis: broken ribs, twisted ankle, a very mangled hand. Broken broken broken.

"He's in stasis- I....for when we moved him."

"You didn't say anything about poison." I look up from my spot on the floor.

That's suspicion enough. Not talking about it.

There's always poison involved with this one, that much I can judge. That much I knew since the interrogation made into childish jokes and nonsensical cries in the sickbay. Confused excuses, "it's just something I can do". The lines between can and should are already blurry among adults, let alone simple children.

Lilyanne shouldn't eat worms. Lukas shouldn't go hopping down strange holes. Even I shouldn't be doing a lot of things, as an adult or a child. And yet here we all are.

"I have questions, and I will be answered. But that's for later." I warn, getting ready to try easing Lilyanne awake.

"He won't die like that." Yuna bites bitterly, drawing the attention of the whole room. "That's why they bothered dropping him right at Vincent's feet. No one is that generous. We don't get to die that easy. That loses profits."

His own words hurt him but Yuna holds his head up high, with a too familiar sort of arrogant pride. The way he confidently keeps his hand on his hip, the turn of his neck at a flattering angle to his face. The fear and insecurity bubbling down there.

I know he doesn't really trust me, us. I know who he reminds me of deep down. But I don't feel like playing with the mirror anymore today.

"I said later. Right now, we see to Amar."

"...Whatever you do, don't touch his skin princess. It will make it worse if you wake him. Finally got him to actually sleep without screaming." Yuna crosses his arms, clearly uncomfortable. His head motioning to the overkill of bandages, probably enchanted beyond the usual. To dull to pain, to speed up the healing, to cover and hide.

I get it. A little too much.

Taking the savior's hand, this still drooling little girl, I'm all at once as thankful as much as I hate her for the trouble. It's only because of her that we can do anything. That we can fix anything. But it's because of her that so much come knocking at our steps.

"Lily, Lilyanne wake up. Let's play a game with big sister."

She hardly stirs, rather preferring to snuggle her face into my arms. I shake her again, and again.

"Come on Lily, just for a little bit?"

"Tooo earlwy..."

"Play with me a little bit and you can go right back to sleep. Can you push? Push and pull."

I hold out her limp hand, steadying it over the other child. Right over his fragile chest, all without a single touch or any weight.

"Push Lily, push that magic out. Lightly. It's okay. That's it. Just listen to my voice. That's all you have to do. Just listen to what I say."

Slowly, then all at once, fireflies of light make their way out from where our hands are conjoined. Lighting up beyond flickers of nearby flames, easily outshining the lantern. I move her little hand blindly like one tries to water a plant. Not too much in any one spot.

From the ribs to the head, working lungs to over eyes tightly bounded. Dark bruises rimmed down past the edge of the bandages on his face. The unsightly lump smoothening down to a normal-sized child's face. There's still dried blood, even when the bite marks on his lip seal under the drops of light.

Sometimes I have to encourage Lilyanne to go a little more. Shake to release another stream of healing magic. I stubbornly will it, careful not to grip her too tight in my frustrations. I do so over four little limbs that must be torn underneath, focusing particularly on the shapeless lump of a casted hand. That part felt like it needed more. More time, more magic. I don't think it was just broken.

I wanted to pour more. From the top of his head down to mummy-wrapped toes, because he's small. The kid is just too small. I wanted to try and see if that magic could fight off the poison that I'm absolutely certain must be painfully still coursing under the skin. But I'm pulled away before I even move on from an overwrapped ankle.

"Th-that's enough," Vincent whispers in something that sounds like horror.

"No, it's not." I hear myself speak more than register it consciously, " there's more. We can fit in more."

Like the level gauge of when my sister charges a vessel, I can just tell. My senses getting better in tune with Lilyanne's practice. There's so much more space for magic to be charged. There's still so much left to heal.

This is the only thing I can do that she can't. I can just tell.

So I refuse and press forth, shaking Lilyanne's weak hand. I press it futilely as if it were a pump, trying to get as much of the weak wispy light over and in.

"You'll regret that later, especially healing his legs." Yuna snorts behind his hand, expressions hidden but eyes awed on the magical light.

"It's enough, please. Please. No more." Vincent weakly crawls, setting up something of a formation barrier on the subject on the seat.

Lilyanne stirs, finally hearing the other voices.

"Go back to sleep. You did so well. We'll play lots and lots later with everyone when we're ready. So sleep a little more, you can sleep a little more....Go back to sleep." I rock her the best I can with our similar sizes, drawing soothing circles on her back.

I hold her until her breath settles and slows, back to a sleep that a real child can't fake. Only then can I call Abbey to put to rest in another room. Somewhere safer than here.

"Why is this still happening? Why do you let it happen?" I say, voice perfectly steady. The dead tone was eerily discordant with my young voice and slight childish lisp.

I wonder what Vincent sees when he looks at me shakingly. He's on his knees, setting up that barrier, the distance between us not so far this way. Rather he looks far more fearful, more respectfully I dare say than anytime we've met, even the first pandering time. Eye bags dark and long, looking far too much like a college student during finals. It almost makes you feel pity for him. Almost.

I suppose the too convenient magic healing shocked him silly. It's not like I particularly blame him or anything. Despite his age, the older teen looks like he can't even take care of himself, let alone others.

But running away solves nothing. Wanting to hide or waste away does nothing. I would know that best.

"Even if it's scary. Even if it hurts. Think about it and answer me. Tell me everything."


....Did he seriously just pass out? What?! Hey hey hey you all saw that right? It's not just my imagination that Vincent legitimately fell over like some fainting maiden? How awkward. How many unconscious people do we have around here now?

Don't just quietly gawk, someone come help me with this! Hey....why is everyone looking at me that way?

The strange silence is broken by a cackling, aka Yuna rudely bursting out into laughter. I think I messed up in picking henchmen to train. It's too late for regrets but with my obviously shitty judgment, I really have my work cut out for me in these investments.

"Pffffft, ahahaha! What? What the hell?! Ahahahahahaha! What a ride! And I thought yesterday was bad ahahahahahaha! HAh!"

".....are you quite done?" facepalms Georgie, finally breathing a sigh. Maybe in relief, maybe in exasperation. Who knows.

"H-how da-dare you? To be- laugh at our miraculous young miss?!" Abbey loyally but ineffectively scolds, with tears already welling up in her eyes. An A for the effort at least.

"Oh come on that was hilarious! HA! The princess just goes sparkling some candlelight then threatening a little itty bit in her squeaky baby mouse voice and Vincent just dies on the spot!"

Oh god, is he actually dead? I slap repeatedly at the sincerely unconscious teen on the floor. Yep, he's out cold, literally. He's pretty cold to the touch. Is he anemic or something? That would explain some things with his weak and easily stressed constitution. Maybe it would be better to treat him as a delicate young lady from now on instead?

I don't think he'll be needing ...'the thing' as Georgie so calls it. Just good rest and perhaps some stomach medicine. Ok, make that a lot of stomach medicine.

"Haha very funny, now move him off the floor. Someone tell me what's going on already. I did 'the thing' now hold out on your end!" I point accusingly.

"I wish I knew, I found him like that....for the most part." Georgie sighs.

"For the most part?" I look back over to the mummy display. Well, that's disturbing.

"Not exactly it's just...urg there's too much to say and I'm going to go overboard so Yuna, your damn turn."

"We pulled out two baby teeth that sooooo weren't ready to come out, bloodier than expected." Yuna helpfully fills in. "You should have seen when Tamera got out this massive-"

"Okay okay I got that part, but what about before? The thing that caused ...this!"

"That's something I rather ask from your house. That's where the kid was last until your man left him like that to Vincent's lab." Yuna goes back to crossing his arms, eyes sharply grazing between Georgie and I.

"I'm telling you, I really don't know. We don't have an employee by that description."

"Ridiculously tall. Voice deeper than a longhorn, only warned that we could treat Amar but the poison had to stay. Had the smell of the main house, something expensive slightly rubbed on him. Couldn't see his face but his gear wasn't cheap shit."

"I swear we don't-"

"You gotta, you just aren't high level enough bread loaf."

At Yuna's given profile description, my brain jumps to some really far conclusions. Of a mysteriously dark handsome man lugging dead bodies with a snack through my courtyards. A man that is most certainly working under....Father.

Ahhh, what a headache. It's still so early in the day and I'm already in this much crazy. I have a half beaten to death, again, mummified minion here. A slumped-over necromancer on the floor. And my innocent sleeping sister in another room. How could it possibly get worse?

"Um....p-pardon me but...." my maid shakily raises an empty bottom basket up, eyes frantically looking everywhere around the room.

"What is it now Abbey? What's going on?" I ask.

"Aw shit, not again Noodle."

"Abigail... where did that thing go?!"

"I-I'm sorry!!!"

"It's huge! You can't just lose it?!"

"I don't know man, Noodle can turn pretty small and gets real sneaky."

"What or who is Noodle?!" I shout out, once again out of the loop.

This life is always one step forward three steps back on the questions. More to ask for every single one I get answered.

Georgie paces across the whole room and disappears into the next as they shout around. When he returns, he looks around as if considering his options.

"....Okay, we split up. Abbey, you watch over young Miss Lilyanne....and Vincent I guess. Yuna....time to learn responsibility! Explain to Rosalia what unholy thing you have set LOOSE upon-"

"I did not set anything loose, you finger pointing ear pulling fake old housewif-"

"Explain you horse shit turd of a brat, while I...I don't know! Get some pasta and try to lure it out"

"It likes slightly decayed raw meat you nasty dough head."

"It liked spaghetti just fine yesterday, and I'd rather work with that."

"That's because it probably thought it was eating its own skinned bloody kin!"

"We don't have 'slightly decayed' CORPSES to feed it!"

"....are you fucking kidding me? In this place? House Ventrella?"

"I'm not digging up monster snake feed that may or may not be there when there's perfectly good spaghetti in the kitchen!"

Huh? You know what, don't bother answering, I'll just logically infer. Like I always am forced to do. Despite the names and yelling, the babysitters sure get along pretty well. As wonderful as it is that my employees get along across the board...

"There's flesh-eating snake beast loose on my property?!"

Like...a water snake or a land snake? We'll be fine if it's one of father's poo-....never mind. Judging from the very dry laundry basket, we're doomed.

"I-it eats f-flesh?!" shivers Abbey from all over.

"Well would you look at that, the princess is a genius." Yuna quips as Georgie still frantically looks under every cushion and soap corner. He throws his hands up in the air, heading to unlock the door.

Maybe on a pasta run. I've never heard of a snake that likes spaghetti.

"No! No, it's not really loose. It has to be in these rooms somewhere, keep watch of everything as I get to the kitchens and- "

Just as he opens the door, a light and delicate fist knock right on Georgie's head. There's a brief moment of pause, as the morning light temporarily blinds us all. Followed by the great shock of just who stands in said light.

"My Lady?!"

"Eeep! My Lady!"


"Damn. The queenie's hot."

Georgie takes an incredible three seconds to not only get out of the resting bow in front of my mother but to slap Yuna upside the head and pull him down in a forced bow, possibly by the ears. Ouch.

"Oh dear. Oh, Georgie, I'm so sorry, is your head quite alright? Thank goodness, I held back from breaking the smooth skin you have? Even better than any milkmaid... So very....ahem." Mother blinks herself back to sanity.

For a moment there, I thought I lost Georgie right there and then. Doomed to suffer a gruesome fate that would make a quick death by headshot seem pleasant in comparison.

More do we hide the bodies from Mother in her sudden appearance?!

"My my my, what's going on here? I heard my girls were scurrying off so 'secretly' this morning. Already so much like your papa, my Rosalia.... that...kyaaaa!!!"

At first, I feared that the cover was blown. But Mother rushes straight not to anyone else but me, scooping my pathetically short little self up to her arms to nuzzle to death. My weight supported on her chest as her hands tug and brush all over my hair.

"So cute so cute what is this cuteness?! What are these?! Is my own daughter a little flower fairy?! Oh so cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute~"

I see. Not only has my hairstyle passed the cuteness test but it can be used as a decoy. Quick, I wave to my uselessly bowing servants, I'll keep Mother distracted. You all go do something about...that!

"Mama? What a surprise...."

"So cute, so cute, so cute, to think my hairpins could be so cute. Oh hohoho ho but what a strange sight you all make? Why is everything all boarded up? Are you making new lovely things again? Oh ho ho ho, it's like a little club."

"That's...exactly it! We're having a beauty club session! Tooooop secret beauty session."

"And your taaaaall pale friend on the floor?"

"He's....asleep...from a relaxing massage?! And, uh, aroma and oils. Yes, good sleep is very important for the skin and hair."

"Oh? Sleeping?"

"Vincent has just been so ...ragged lately, we're going to uh work on everything. A make-over!"

Oh god, her eyes are sparkling, oh my god, she's buying this shit.

"We're giving him a makeover and it's important for him to be utterly relaxed. In fact, it was so relaxing that even Lilyanne is just still right asleep over there. Mama, can you take her out? We're going to be very busy, as you can see."

I point to the lump that is Vincent sprawled out on the floor in the next room where Lilyanne should have been put down to rest. Luckily, the sofa by the fire is far inside and angled, hiding any heavily injured kiddies.

Not so lucky is how much Mother just isn't leaving. Nor are any of the minions moving? Not even Yuna, not when he's being pulled down by the ear. What the hell am I sacrificing myself for?

"What....FUN!!! Ohhhh that sounds so fun my darling! What are we doing first? The hair? Oh, there's so much to cut!"

"Um no, mama no! Mama, not over there!"

"Hmmm? Oh hohoho what are you hiding Rosa?"

"Nothing! Just-"

It's with great tenseness that Mother makes her way over. My useless servants not only powerless to stop her, but they also don't even bother. Too busy cowering for their own meager lives. As servants of the house, they're unable to get up without the great mother's permission.

It's over, it's all over.

"Oh my? Was there supposed to be something around here?" Mother carries me over to the fireplace, looking around as if for a treat. Sitting me down on the empty sofa seat.



Where the hell did Amar go?!?! Ahhhhhhh there's not just a snake but a kiddy-sized mummy loose?! Am I making a haunted horror house? What the hell!?

The minions looked just as shocked at the empty settee. All except Yuna, a terribly smug grin that screams 'I told you so'. And to be honest, I really deserved that.

"Oh my, why is everyone still down? Oh, a new face, and such a lovely one too. I've been so rude! Hello, I'm Rosalia's mama, thank you for playing with my baby girl! Please don't mind me, think of me as a helper. So? Where should we start on this 'makeover'?!"

Ah, my head. Ahhh this is just too much. Good night, who cares if it's just morning, I'm going back to sleep.



Thanks for reading. What parts did you like today? What new questions come up?

What horrors will mama Maria play with 'makeovers'?

Goodnight for now. Till next time.