Chapter 17:

|Unpaid actors

That time I got reincarnated in the middle of a royal wedding..

I would have liked to postpone this inevitable reunion but I figured it was now or never. Even with the best preparation, I could not be Voyan. I gently opened the door and stepped into the unfamiliar room with caution. From where I stood, I saw the entirety of the room. It seemed empty. Like a ghost was living here. Only the essentials really stood out. A gold coloured tea table with three cups on it. The medium sized bed that was in sight at the far left, close to the window. It wasn’t anything special. Not like the one I had in my room. Instead, it seemed more like a hospital equipment than a bed made for royalty. A black flowerpot by the window that could barely be seen due to the interference from the curtain. The white curtain that swayed violently due to the influence of the wind.

The figure at the edge, just like the flowerpot, could barely be seen. .

“Oh, Voyan dear. It’s you.”

As pale as her voice sounded, I could tell she had a smile on. She was staring at the window before she turned her attention to me.

“I’m sorry for missing your wedding. I really wanted to show up. Really.”

I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. Execution was fairly easy. It was supposed to be. But, entering this room and seeing all that I had seen gnawed at the very core of my heart. It wasn’t pity. Far from it, in fact. There was a lump in my throat.

“Come here, dear.”

The white haired woman called out to me and opened up her arms. Naturally, I approached, with tear drops hitting the ground with every step I made. I didn’t know this woman. It was my first time of seeing her, yet I was compelled by what I liked to call my emotions.Once again, I doubted these emotions. But knowing myself, perhaps I was capable of this. All the words I planned on saying disappeared from my mind. All I could bring myself to say was…


My lips quavered while trying to form words. So much agony and despair filled my heart the moment I laid my eyes on her. It was like a trigger of sorts. As I approached the delicate bed, I fell to my knees and wept like a newborn. Till this point, I knew not why I shed so many tears but at that single moment, they were oddly comforting. With her arms still open, she held my head and embraced me. Feeling how fragile her body was filled me with even more sorrow. Despite my face being a mess, I fell into her fragile but comforting embrace.

“I know you’ve been holding it in. More than anyone, you tried your hardest to be brave in front of me.”

No, don’t say that.

“I’m not supposed to say this but even your father shed tears.”

Stop telling me this.

“I guess this is a case of ‘The best decision isn’t always the right one’. It’s all right now. I’ll always be here for you, so rest assured.”

I’m not the one that should hear this. I have no right to.

“Though, seeing you let it all out after so long is such a relief. No one should carry such a burden on their chest for so long. I’m happy this happened.”

Her pale smile only deepened my guilt. No, lady. I am not your son. I am not Voyan. I bit my lips so hard that I could taste the intensity of my actions in the form of red drops. Tears, snot, sweat and even blood ran through my face. The only one who could see me in such an awful state was his mother.Perhaps the cause of my tears were due to my own frustrations as well. I could not tell so I had no definite answer to whether or not I even had control over my emotions.

“There, there. Do you feel better now??”


“That’s better. Ah, you don’t have to look away, you know?”

“It’s just so embarrassing.”

“I’m a crybaby myself and I can second that.”


“I should be the one apologizing. I didn’t come to see you yesterday.”

“No no.. It was already late. You probably thought I was asleep, right?”


“Your father came to visit so I wasn’t lonely.”

So that was what he meant last night.

“Just a day ago, the only family you had was us. Now, you have your own. You have a partner to take care of and a bright future to look forward to, together. I say this a lot, but you’ve really grown up, Voyan.”

“Mother, it’s all thanks to you.”

I stood up and sat on the chair beside her, grabbing her soft hands. They seemed like they could vanish at any moment. Her white hair that I frankly couldn’t say was always like that made me feel like I was talking to a ghost.That coupled with this dreary room gave me ominous vibes. I couldn’t stand any of it.

“I was once a child who knew nothing of the world. I owe you and countless others for making the man I am today.”

“Even the way you talk is more mature.”

“Mother, let me tell you about the wedding.”

“I’m all ears.”

“So, you see.”

After briefly contemplating,I spoke about the wedding from my perspective because that was the most genuine way to do so. I was initially against this idea due to the fact that the event for me was one filled with confusion as I randomly entered this body, but that didn’t matter at the end of the day. She listened, smiled, laughed and even interrupted me at times due to nothing but plain curiosity.

“Your sister told me about everything already.”


“Sorry for not telling you. I wanted to hear your experience through your story. I’m glad you had fun. You only experience that feeling once in a lifetime. So, make sure you never forget it, all right?”

“I won’t.”

I couldn’t even If I wanted to….

“Mother, I’ve been meaning to ask but..”


“This room looks lifeless. It has a certain feel to it. I don’t know how to put it in words but, when I opened that door, the first thing I thought when I saw you was ‘Oh, she must be sad’.”

“You think so?? I really don’t mind.”

“No, it looks like no one lives here. Like a vacant room.”



“You might be right. Maybe it is vacant, after all. This isn’t my room. My room belongs elsewhere. The main bedroom that your Father sleeps in. That’s my room. I haven’t given that up. This is just a temporary arrangement due to my illness. It’s cleaner and much more ventilated here. Plus there’s the window that is so close to the bed.”

“Won’t it cheer you up if we bring at least some of your stuff here?? That will make you feel a bit better, don’t you think?”

“No. That will only have the opposite effect.”


“I’m not staying here because I want to. I’m staying here because I have to. So me making this place my room will only state that I have accepted dying here.That will sully all my resolve, or whatever is left of it. So no. I will keep this room as temporary as possible, until the day I can sleep with your father on the same bed.”


“I honestly didn’t think you would understand. I'm glad. So this is also one of the things you've been keeping inside, huh? You’re really a kind child, Voyan.”

“Where do you think I got that from?”

“I’m sure you have things you must be doing now. I will rest up a bit. Next time you come to visit, please bring Rumi along.”

“I sure will.”

As I closed the door, a bittersweet feeling washed over me. On one hand, I was glad I passed the test successfully. His mother was a pleasure to talk to. It felt like I could lower my guard around her, even though I knew that it was not necessarily true. On other hand, her sickness was still a mystery to me. If anything, I wanted to help her leave that bleak room, no matter the cost. After that, I had dinner with the whole family, except for my mother who was not up to it today. Of course, I used the opportunity to thoroughly apologize to Viesta, even though I didn’t mean a single word I said. She forgave me and promised not to lay a single finger on Rona. Now, the moon already paid us a visit and everyone and everything glittered under the moonlight. Meaning, it was time to get some sleep.

Rumi and I never revisited last night’s events. We didn’t feel the need to. Perhaps that was just me. Judging from the words that came from her lips, sexual intimacy was the least of our concern.

“You’re acting weird.”


“You heard me.”

“In what way?”

“.…What do you want from me?? Why did you pick me??”

“Where did that come from?”

“VOYAN!! Please, do not make me repeat myself.”

I could not decipher her words. With each word she spoke, her tone became more quivery. This uncharacteristic irrationality convinced me that she had personality disorder. Making sense of this was utterly futile. The only thing I could think of were the women. Was that it??

“I keep telling you. You are the only one I love.”

“Could you also be an actor?? Is that it?”


“What did I do to deserve this? I tried my best since the moment I came here, to Havendore. Even on the day of the wedding, I did as you asked. I am your perfect, lovey-dovey partner…So why???”

She clung onto my dress and fell on her knees. I could feel her hands shaking but I had no right to hold them.

“Is it because I said all those things to you yesterday?? Is it because I called you a pig??”


So that was not a hallucination. It was real. What exactly did he get her tangled in? I had to choose my next words carefully.

“What is it?? Which part did I do wrong?? People are counting on me…So I have to do my best… Stay with me please. Don’t you ever leave me.”

“C-Calm down. You’re saying too many things at once.”

“Are you toying with me??”

“Why would I do that??”

“It is not beyond you. Perhaps you set this whole thing up just to watch me suffer, right? Do you enjoy watching me suffer??”

“Wait, but earlier today, you told me you don’t mind if I went for other women.”

“I lied to you. It was all an act.”

I got more confused with every word she spoke. I had to at least gain some level of context.

“What was the arrangement?? I want to hear it from your mouth.”

“You said I should pretend to be your loving wife, in exchange for the safety of my people. And, if you make any moves towards another woman, that means I’m not doing my job properly. If you do get a mistress or a wife, the lives of my people are in danger. If you said all that then why are you doing this?? In what area am I lacking?? Is it my acting or my body??”


I placed a hand on my forehead. Crying so much already gave me an intense headache and now I had to deal with this. With a sudden push, I landed on the bed. She jumped on me and made me feel her body.

“Is this what you want?”


“If you don’t answer me, I can’t satisfy you.”

“I don’t need you to satisfy me.”

I lifted my upper half and hugged her. It felt right to me, but I could tell that she was holding herself back, trying not to attack me. I was a perpetrator of something I didn’t know about, after all. So this is the real Rumi. I sort of had a feeling that she was too perfect to be real. The Rumi at the wedding. The Rumi at the academy. Every delicate moment we shared. Everything was a lie. 

It certainly hurt. More than I thought it will. The signs were in front of me but then I still wasn't prepared for it yet. Even I wasn’t perfect, far from it. Striving for perfection is not wrong but attaining perfection is impossible for a human. Despite this reveal, I had to find out something for myself.

“Rumi. I’m not mad at you for what you said to me last night. I have a question, though.How do you feel about me?”

“.........Words can’t fully express how much I loathe you. My hatred grows for you with each passing day I dread. The fact that your life and mine are intertwined makes me sick to my stomach. Every time I have to act like a loving wife in front of people, I feel a strong urge to kill myself. I despise you with every fibre of my being. Your smile repulses me. Your friendly gestures disgust me. Those that respect and admire you disgust me. This whole kingdom disgusts me. I consider you the bane of my existence. An enemy whose death must surely bring some kind of comfort to mankind.The thought of having to sleep with you in the same room, on the same bed every night is utterly revolting. It is revolting but my powerlessness ensures I stay in this position.”



That response was not the best but it was something at least. I needed to hear the truth.

“You said something about acting. Don’t we all??”


“We are all unpaid actors so stop talking about how much you pretended to do this or pretended to do that. It’s annoying. Don’t you know? You showed your real self to me already, you idiot.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s precisely as I said. I’m an actor and so are you. In your act, your true self lies somewhere within. Same goes for me.”


“It’s true.”


“Something I’ve learned is that you can’t take out your true self by acting. In your mask, there are still fragments of the real Rumi.”

“Such baseless drivel. The rumors of you losing your mind long ago are not unfounded. You are truly insane.”

“Why would I lie, huh?? What I said is the truth. Admit it.”

“Shut it. This is this and that is that.”

“Now, with that out of the way.I will cancel whatever agreement we made in exchange for one. Do not ever pretend in front of me again. That is all. Should be easy for an unpaid actor, right?”

I didn’t know how to solve a problem this deep. Honestly, I didn’t have the answer. However, I could at least start from somewhere. I still don’t know why she had such an agreement with Voyan or the true meaning behind it so a stop-gap was the best decision. It will reduce her unpredictability. That's right. I don't need her love. All I need is for to hate me less, even if it's just a little.


“Also, I won’t touch you. I only have intimacy with women whose feelings are mutual so rest assured."

"This isn't a lie, right?"

"It's not.... Goodnight.”

I released her from what she would have probably called an ‘agonizing’ embrace and rolled over to my side of the bed, fully clothed once again. I had the urge to take off my clothes but I wanted to leave things as is.

After that confrontation, two weeks passed. Rumi and I were met with a huge obstacle that even affected our interactions. All the love was a lie. There was so much to consider. So much outside my own emotions. Perhaps two weeks was too long to process things but during that interval, I fixed all the relationships I slightly altered on my first full day here. I mended things with Lez.She was convinced by my words and never doubted our friendship again.The plants person I encountered previously was known as Charles. Charles Enzo. Due to his wedding looming, he left school two weeks ago to plan for it. He even invited me out on multiple occasions. His wedding was one of these occasions. Having to fake a smile through all of it while my mind was a mess made me realize what Rumi was dealing with. I could only say I experienced a fraction of it, though.

During those two weeks, I spent quite a considerable amount of my free time training this body, sharpening my skills. In truth, all I was doing was getting used to the physical prowess of this body. This body wasn’t blessed with magic but it was extraordinary in every sense of the word. My physical abilities were above any other normal human and my senses were enhanced. I couldn't say that this was all pros. I mean, I could hear things from considerable distances and I couldn't handle spicy food because my taste buds were tampered with.

Still, the rewards outweighed the downsides. With just a swing, the pressure alone could cut down dozens of tress without any trouble. Now I see why Rumi considered me physically superior. I also studied more about the history of this world, not just skimming through books. Then there was appointment I had with the older sister of Charles. Her name is Charlotte Enzo. I had the no idea how prominent the Enzo name was until I read about the legend of the two chosen vessels of the goddesses. One was the supreme Magus, Obsidian Enzo and the other was Jakyll Nova, the scarlet sword warrior . She was the granddaughter of that legend and she too possessed great strength. Enough to rival even Martial, I heard. I don't know why she requested to see me but I felt like hearing what she had to say. An audience with a beautiful lady was never a dreadful event. So I went there, alone.

"Voyan, you came."
"Of course I did."
"I didn’t think you’d want to see me.... after that."
"I said nothing -!!! You came to see me without bringing any chocolate. How tactless."
This cheeky brat.... You're the one supposed to gift me for even being here.
"Haha, there's always a next time."
"Right, there will always be a next time."
"So, why did you ask to see me today?"

“Wait, are you sure Rumi doesn’t mind? You being here and all?”

“Why would you invite me if you think my wife will have a problem with it?”

“I just tried my luck, I guess??”

“You knew I’ll come.”

“That’s….not true.”

“Anyway, what is it?”

“Can’t you see my face?”

“Oh.. You want my sympathy?”

“No, not really. I just wanted someone to vent on. I felt like you would understand me a little, Voyan.”

So she called me, the Prince, all the way out here just to vent her frustrations on me? Just how powerful was she??

“Hmm. What makes you think that??”

“Let’s just call it an observation.”

“So, who did this to you?”



“Yeah, the last time we met, I challenged her to a duel and this was what was left of my face and body. I’m glad you weren’t there. I might have died of embarrassment.”

She looks like someone who nearly died from a car accident. But now that I took a closer look, she was such a beauty. Even with her injuries, I could tell. Her golden hair still shone beautifully under the sun. Her face was covered in bandages while her left arm was covered in a sling. Both of her feet had splints on them.

“How brutal. How could she do this much damage to a lady?”

“To be fair, she did warn me a lot but I guess, on the off chance that she won, I didn’t see myself getting beat up this badly. You know, all our lives, she’s always been weak. I guess I looked down on her because she had no magic.”

“But still, this much damage. Why did she have to hit you so much?”

“She didn’t. It was only a single hit.”


“I tried using my light magic but she dodged everything and hit me. And that was the end. I even happened to have the quickest defeat in the history of Brittanica, too.”


“After all the training I did. All the late nights I spent perfecting my magical output. All the practice I did just to make sure my magic is flawless. All of it was undone in a single moment.”


“Here I was thinking that I had to make sure she was the one to catch up to me. Meanwhile, she has always been ahead of me. How stupid am I ?”

Viesta must be strong. Of course, I haven’t seen this strength with my own eyes but I can give a fair assessment based on what I have heard so far.

“Charlotte, listen. Your training, none of it was undone by this duel. All that happened was that you met someone with superior strength. That’s all.”

“Oh yeah?? Someone that barely practices. Spends most of her time lazying around, reading romance novels. That’s the person I lost to.”

“Well, that just proves how strong she is, right??”

“But why??? Why can’t I catch up to her??”

She used her right arm to wipe the tears off her face. I bet she must have been frustrated. Putting all that effort against someone who doesn’t and still ended up losing. I bet she must have felt like all her hardwork was invalidated.

“You see, I had someone like that too. I excelled at something naturally. It was like I was born to do that particular thing so I spent most of my time practicing what I didn’t have the natural gift for. And anytime a competition came, I always won without any difficulty.”

“What thing was that??”

“That’s a secret.”

It’s from my past life, after all.

“I eventually came in contact with the person who loved that thing more than anyone else and felt the most frustration anytime I won. He loved it but he always lost out to me every single time. In a fit of rage and probably frustration, he asked me why I enjoyed stealing things from others. Taking the top spot even though I had no love for that particular thing. He fell to his knees and hit the ground multiple times, screaming hysterically. All I could do was watch him.”

“Wow. What a loser.”

You’re no different from him, lady!!!!

“Anyway, I’ll tell him what I told you. Not the exact same words but the message is the same.”


“You will probably never get stronger than Viesta. She will always walk ahead of you in this single thing. Trying to surpass her will leave you with only more sadness and frustration, but that isn’t wrong, either. Try hard, suffer, fall, get back up, scream in frustration, suffer and try even harder again. Do all that until you are truly proud of your own strength. Once you reach that point, all the pain will disappear.”

“Voyan….. Yeah, you’re right. I was simply frustrated. What the hell was I even saying?? I still have a lot to learn it seems.”

“That’s right.”

“Besides, I’m way more elegant than her, you know?”


We were outside, in the Enzo residence’s courtyard enjoying the tender breeze and enjoying some sweets with tea, which I never got tired of. The sweet smell alone calmed my nerves. Behind us were a handful of maids who came rushing to the scene. By the look on their faces, I could tell that something was slightly off.

“Lady Charlotte, our apologies for interrupting your conversation but we have some news for you.”

“Hmm? About what?”

“Well it concerns his royal highness too. There is a woman outside claiming to know him. She asks to speak with him, if only for a little bit.”

“Nonsense. Disturbing me in the middle of my tea date with Voyan. Unacceptable. Who is she??”

“She said her name is Veronica Anton.”


“I’ve never heard of such a name before. Tell her to get lost or she’ll be dealt with for her actions.”

“Wait.”, I interjected, rising from my seat.

“I know her. She wouldn’t do something like this unless it’s absolutely necessary. Let her in.”

.…Rona, what’s wrong??