Chapter 126:

Ch 121: Uniforms are just cute (pt2)

I was Born the Unloved Twin


I'm sleepy!

Perhaps it really is unwise to be so active at my age. A toddler's body demands a lot, from food to sleep. I was having a great dream about old times. One where I was about to eat some epic Korean barbeque and topped off with delicious shaved ice for dessert.

I miss that shit. I miss modern food, Asian food in general.

Rice. I want rice, and rice paper, and coffee, and pat bingsu. Just the works. Waking up in another world is extremely hard, especially when it's vaguely medieval somewhere. I can't even go run off and cry over a pot of pickles. That stuff is all at home and I've very much still in this city center with my parents.

So sleepy. Let's go back to dreamland. Maybe if I'm lucky I can go right back to where I left off and actually taste something. Mmmmm.

I just don't want to be awake for this. I don't want to be here at all.

"Am I supposed to take it then, that my and my daughters' presence is met with simply a governess?" Mother says in an eery tone of voice. The one loaded with honey and the not so subtle threat of pain.

It's that dreaded time on the schedule. What I could not avoid this year, even if I got poisoned, silenced and bedridden for it.

It's the annual playdate with the stupid prince.

You know? The thing I'm technically engaged to for now?

Father is currently at work, some court or meeting place discussing all the important things. International politics and policies, liaisons, military allocations, trade and trusts, the things I would normally be doing if I wasn't 3. Or did the whole dying at 17 thing.

Now that I think about it, it’s quite irresponsible to put those sorts of duties into the hands of a teenage girl? Even worse, why was that teenage girl more effective than over half the grown old men in that court? Who put those dumbasses in charge? Nepotism?

Ahahaha I'm so funny it's just plain sad. Ahh, let's not stress myself out too early with thoughts about that. Nothing I can do in this current body.

It's not like I can draft up a list of sins and draggable cases of corruption per prime person that previous Rosalia discovered in the future.

Well...I already did. My ledger is in my baggie! For references in case I forget something, any little detail can be a helpful cheat in my future. But I can't just leave it under my father's office door. That would scream suspicious, put me on the stakes. The first witch trial, featuring the tiniest accused toddler on stand. I'll go down in history, not in the way I would like.

Not like I'm the psychic one, though Lilyanne's occasional prophetic 'visions' are quite faulty when they're out of context. Like most psychic things are. Gonna need grampa's, though preferably Gable's, help to pass this info on convincingly when the time comes.

Maybe I can fake it? That's asking for a lot of troublesome work though...

As annoying as it is to be infantilized and shackled along like a true baby, it is much easier to leave things to other people. Especially since my body isn't quite what it used to be. I'm so tiny and weak, and when it's nap or mealtimes, my body seems to operate on mindless instinct.

So I simply yawn as Mother stares down the entourage of the stupid prince, a personal line of pale foreign babysitting maids, and an official-looking old governess. While Mother has brought her own, so we're not outnumbered, it is quite an imbalanced power display.

For a lady, mother of one of the betrothed, to be met with simply a governess without a word of warning ahead of time, is quite insulting. Even if the other party is a queen, royalty even, as a parent and prospective in law, leaving a matching correspondence, a letter, is the least that could have been done.

Normally these sort of rules and trifles don't personally bother Mother. Either that or she doesn't always notice, lots of minor things fly by Mother pretty easily.

But something like this is too blatant.

The governess doesn't even bow, merely curtsey, as if she were a higher more respectable station than a servant for the other party. No matter the power she holds back in the North, in their fairytale frozen rock castle, the appearance she puts on in front of my mother is easily seen as impudent.

If this was a good drama, Mother would order one of her maids to slap the woman. Then they could all get in a maid slapping fight.

But that is not reality. Boo boring.

Instead, the governess remains still as a statue, face as lively as stone, while a pair of stewards blows some trumpets and read off the 'official' apology, ghostwritten for the queen, on why she's not here and blah blah blah. Get to the apology gifts already.

Everyone knows the Ventrellas are already rich. A literal chestful of coins means nothing, it may even be seen as insulting, as if presenting us with some pocket lint. It's only me that wants to roll around in a room of my own money.

To show no ill will or damnable insults, the servants present not any money, though that would be very preferable to me, but lavish displays of useless wealth.

Two chalcedonies carved statues, translucent and as beautiful as the finest marbled jades, shaped into a pair of horses were presented. The cost of the stone alone is well worth over its weight in gold, let alone the artisan's hands. Art, something my family much appreciates, being a patron of many projects in any lifetime.

I think that fund went up much faster sooner though, given how many pretty bridges Father is making. It's fine? Just so long as they're not easily breakable.

They'll make excellent little....door decor?

While they certainly look expensive, it's the thought and supposed intention behind the gifts that matter. The stewards follow up with bolts of thick fine fabric more suitable for making cozy blankets than clothes. Halos of knotted silvers and gold, meant to rest on a lady's forehead like an informal tiara. Tins and chests of precious herbs and medicines suitable for straight brewing.

Translation, they're telling us to calm down and have a cup of herbal tea essentially.

There are no suitable grounds to get mad even. The gifts are well thought out for our family and easily can be taken with good intentions towards health, in informal knotted jewelry a promise still of a union.

Well played.

"Oh my, well, we can't just have it at that. Now, do we?" Mother doesn't even clap, her maids stepping forth like it's a tense arms deal.

With them, they carry forth bars of gold and decorative glass bottles, treasures themselves, filled with wines and honey. Bolts of pearly white freshly processed spider silk. Chests of sunny heat stones and pretty lutes and instruments carved out of various colorful material.

Translation, we're much richer and nicer than you. Also, you're cold and boring.

While it hurts my shallow pockets to let all this money go, it's a game that must be paid for.

In the long term, it's a statement that in no way were we cheap, greedy, or unpious, taking advantage of the royal family's favor, at least on the surface. In the short term, any little thing can be taken as a petty face slap of honor.

I hate it, it loses money!

To add insult to injury, Mother smiles and thanks the stewards and some presenting maids personally, stepping over and ignoring the governess to address these lower-ranked servants. Like it was Halloween candy, she passes out ribboned and bowed little sachets. The pouches filled with dried flowers, jingling with the beautiful sound of coins, money!

I am suddenly more awake.

After all, everyone likes tips but not everyone gives them. The soft colorful ribbons and packaging were also a fun little treat, the stewards and pages gingerly tucking the pouches away with thanks, already planning on how to present them to any sweethearts they may be courting. More importantly, money!


To my grabby hands, Mother dotingly passes an extra scented sachet for me to play with. Score, extra coins for my trouble.

"Play nice now Rosa, Mama will be right outside. Lily say bye bye~" she pulls up Lilyanne as if she were sending me off to war across the door, which she technically is.

"Yes, Mother."

"Lily wanna play with Rosa!

"There now girls, it will be just for a little bit. Lily, have some tea with Mama! Rosa kissies~, and don't make anyone cry my love, mua mua."

Urg, what about me? What if I want to cry upon seeing the hidden away baby prince stupido?

But Mother minds it not, kissing every available surface of my face, retying my baby bonnet, and handing me off the march across the doorway to where my cursed fiance and I will be trapped for an hourglass.

It could be more, but we've always tearfully declined in our youths. It really is no fun trying to talk with a breathing rock.

Refusing any maids to carry me, I step forth all by myself. Impressing everyone with my grace and manners. Haha, I'm three, not eating dirt is already pretty impressive.

The table of refreshments is very disappointing today. Normally, they're the highlights of my mandatory playdates, but it's mostly local sweets today. If I have to play with the foreign prince, I should at least get some new goodies to try.

At least the couch looks soft, perhaps I can catch a quick nap?


Hmmm, am I forgetting something?

Oh, these fruit-filled spritz cookies aren't so bad? Oh and that baked kuchen, hmm let's have a slice of that.

Sugar is expensive so let's put some of those sweets in my baggie for later.

Amar likes fruit jam and just cookies or small treats in general, while Lukas likes richer satisfying cakes. Constant snacker vs big meal eater. Any pound cakes around? Have they made any custard? That's the good stuff from the Northern kitchens. Gotta bribe and feed the minions. I'm such a wonderful evil boss.


Bleck. This flower-shaped marzipan is, I hate to say it, too sweet. Pffffft, it's like they just mashed almonds and pure sugar. No finesse at all. What a trap.

Is that a butter pie? Haha, everything is so rural to my modern eye.

Well, it's not like we can do fresh fruit bingsu or anything. Maybe if I get back to sleep, I can taste it in my dreams?


Ah yes, the classic pulling pigtails move. Wonderful, I'm just swooning over this match.

Contrary to what I remember and expected, the stupid rock prince actually moved. So much so there's a pale kiddy fist pulling at my hair to try and force my head around.

I'm a big anti-domestic violence sort of person. So it's only right if I break his wrists right?

"What's wrong with you?!" I screech, twisting that wrist to release me.

"Ow! What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you?! You were all weird and- hey why is your head all red?"

Ow ow ow, somehow the preschool version of my fiance has managed to pull out a few strands of my apparently red hair. Owwww?!

"It's real?!"

A potato stands before me. Humpty Dumpty practically. With a little mop of straight blond hair, fists, and cheeks pink as a baboon's butt. I try not to look much at him for he never fails to annoy me. The stupid prince is currently but a tiny chubby version of his future self, the same face, but full and pale as an egg. Hopefully just as breakable.

But Mother says not to beat anyone to the point of tears again, and I'd rather not be caught by her.

"Of course it is, but who pulls out someone's hair?! You. Rude thing. Get away from me this instant. What? Too fast for you to understand? For the next hour that side is yours and this side is mine. We won't bother each other and that will be more fun for each of us."

"...Why are you so weird?! I'm going to tell my honorable Father and mutter I won't want to marry you if you keep doing that."

Huh? If only it was that easy!

I finally take a decent look at this mini version of my much-hated fiance. With a relieved sigh I can say there's no superimposition of Gable's beautiful face. Not that I worried about that before, I know what this kid will look like in his prime 'prince charming' days after all. With his general features bolder and stronger, Erik's hair was a couple of shades too yellow like an old stain, eyes too stereotypically blue and listless, a shallow pool you could barely get your feet wet in.

Currently, they look much brighter than I can recall, most likely due to only being a preschooler. Ah youth, hard to be too mad at kids this young. I still hate him but I can admit he has excellent mochi cheeks. They look very fat and hittable.

Why is this baby prince so arrogant though? He didn't act like this before? Not at this age at least?

Go back to being a constipated looking little rich boy on that chair over there!

"Hmmph," I slap his hand down and walk away to my side.

Never feed the trolls.

The maids in the far off corner standstill as wall decorations, not even reacting. Before I would worry about what they would see and report, but currently I'm so small I can get away with anything. What else do people expect?

I really would rather not waste a perfectly good hour having an awkward staring contest. Rather this would be a perfect time to nap. Climbing up to a cushioned sofa, I curl up to do just that.

"Hey, what are you doing?"


"Are you ignoring me!? You're not supposed to do that!"

If anyone else was looking on the scene, they might see a little white dumpling steaming up. While he is getting mad, he also looks at a loss of what to do or how to process this situation.

"Then what am I supposed to do?" I yawn lazily, readjusting my pillow.

"Look at me!"

"Then what?"

"You have to do it first!"

"Is that an order?"

"Yes! It's an order from me. I'm the prince you know?"

Lazily I peek open one eye, seeing that prime mochi stare up at me resolutely. As if he were expecting me to get down and start bowing on the floor in apology.

"No." I turn over, facing the couch cushions.

"What?! Why? But I said it's an order..." the squeaky voice sounds honestly quite lost.

Tch, spoiled rich kids are just so annoying.

"What are you going to do huh? Cry? Chop off my head? You're the prince so everyone has to do what you order or you chop off their heads right? People will listen to you because they're scared you'll hurt them and no one will like you. Is that why you pulled my hair? To get my head ready?! Then what? None of that is going to get you what you want or make me feel any better. Now be quiet and let me sleep. "


"Shhhhh I'm tired."


Oh no, did I actually make him cry? That's the one thing Mother told me not to do! I didn't even get to beat him up?

Turning around, I'm forced to confront that yes, I made the kid cry. Baby stupid prince choking back confused wet sobs, his little white hand holding themselves over his mouth to not make too much noise, though he fails quite miserably.

If he was crying all out, I wouldn't feel an ounce of pity. But he's not.

As much as I hate his stuck up face, even as a child, there's something about it when he cries like that. Reminds me a little too much of one of the minions.

I feel myself sigh, goodbye sweet dreams.

"What? Did I really make you cry from just that?" I readjust my bonnet, making it more comfortable. The jig is up anyways, my hideous hair already found out.

Should I just chop it off again? Mother wasn't too pleased though...and it only got worse.

"*Hic* No! *hic*" the stupid prince stubbornly denies through his hiccups. It's particularly funny looking when he shakes his head with his stiff little high collar.

"Then what is the wet stuff coming out your eyes and nose?" I sigh again.

It's going to be a long hour. Next time I make him cry, let's do it from afar. Somewhere I can actually run away and laugh over from.

"*Hic* I'm not!*hic. I'll be quiet. *hic* Really!"

"You just shouted."

Was he ever so loud? I swore he was much more rock-like and less baby bird? But then again baby prince isn't the freshest in Rosalia's memory. I guess there goes the theory he was just born like that.

"I'm not," he whispers shouts.

Huh, how familiar? I mean it's nowhere near as loud but quite familiar.

A part of Lukas always annoys me, from his loud voice and head on call to wild action, to being denser than any rock, though his head seems more up in the air than anything. When he gets things right, or things do go his way, he's almost unbearably haughty.

At least he laughs and has an actual personality.

Like a proud cat that caught the cream, a very fast very strong dog that ran off with your food in its jaws. But it's a safe percentile, otherwise, I probably would kick him out of my sight immediately. At his worst moments, maybe around 30%? That's how much I'd say these two brats can resemble each other, now that I'm really looking for it.

Otherwise, I wouldn't have noticed at all.

"Are you *hic* feeling better*hic* now?" the 30% bad Lukas sniffs, storybook blue eyes still dripping tears.

"What are you talking about?" I adjust the pillows even further, thinking about building a temporary pillow fort.

That could distract the kid? After all, he's only about 4 right now. Even the stupid prince has to have his honestly true innocent times, as dumb as he'll grow up.

"You couldn't *hic* come because you're sick." gradually, he begins to calm back down, especially now that he feels attention is on him. "Do you get sick a lot?! I heard you do!"

" ....What?"

"You're a baby and *hic* really small. I remember them talking and saying one of you was weak and always got sick. Then you couldn't come this year because you were sick real bad. You're still sick right?! That's why you're so sleepy even when the sun's up."

I slam my head into my hands.

I have done it! I have seemed to have gained the Lilyanne reputation! Oh, woe is sickly little me~ Not a bad direction for the stupid to go down.

"A little?" I fake cough, quickly adopting my new role. "Everyone said I could have died over winter...Then they said I had to come today even if I felt-"

I let out a coughing fit, throwing in a bit of those teary eyes. Any percent of Lilyanne's famous waterworks looks awkward and awful on me, as judged by Father, but since this kid is so young and immature, it might just work?

Ok, that could just be me laughing so hard I'm tearing up. Ahahaha! Me?! The delicate sickly one? Ahahahahaha!

"No! You can't *hic* die!"

Hook, line and sinker. Man if only everyone was this easy. I made the kid start crying again though? How annoying, I barely got him to stop.

"They say I won't. *cough* If only I....rested enough." out of dramatic habit, I lay a hand over my forehead, leaning weakly into the cushion.

"Don't move! *hic* That's an order, *hic* you have to rests lots!"

"If was quiet...don't come over to this side, I don't want anyone sick too~" I play dying and dead, letting out another gross coughing attack. Then proceed to 'faint' into my pillow as the stupid little prince eagerly agrees.

A four-year-old Erik is a lot nicer than any version in my unfortunate downloaded memories. If only he would stay this easy and obedient.

But even the most loveable child will grow up, once they reach their teen years and shoot up past you. They get wry, bold, attention from other girls, and utterly exasperating. They tease you to death with a joke that never ends.

He was still....very very cute though, no matter what age.

I turn over in my attempt to sleep. Even if it was just a was nice to see you, to see everyone, again. Even for just a moment, a moment longer.


I don't know how long I managed to drift off but that horrible sound jolts me awake, as do some awful crashing sounds coming from outside. It sounds like an ongoing chase scene, full of car crashes and falling chandeliers.

Before I even notice it, the standby maids were screaming, taking the shocked stupid prince out and over the safety, another doorway to take them to their private suite. Before I can even get a sound out of my own shock, or complaints, a meteor goes crashing through wood and plaster and gold paint.

By meteor I mean minions?

Lukas screams, all 100% of him that's for sure. Running for his life in a bright blue version of his sailor suit, a tiny Donald Duck fluffed up and quacking angrily as he completely ignored the thousands in property damage he just committed to try speedrunning through.

Even more surprisingly, is the kiddy leash attached to his person?

On the other end of the leash, Amar seems to be half dragged half weakly hanging on for dear life. Riding the forceful wave that is a Lukas powered speedboat. The smaller boy not in his infamous dark blue original sailor suit but no less adorable. It's a white matching version to Lukas, the little blue flaps flying through the air as he goes zooming by.

What are they doing here? Did Gable adjust and dress them in those? It's so adorably well made! But it's getting ruined as they crash through walls and- oh, goodbye window. Goodbye minions one and two.

"Kyaaaaaa~ Come back!!! Oh, we're playing tag?! Oh ohohohoho~ So precious!!!"

Oh, goodbye, Mother.

Well now, I am in a damaged room, with amazing security apparently, and I have no idea how to explain anything.

Let's just take another nap. Yes. Everything will be solved after that.


My little sister shakily peeks through the unbroken door, very much too high. She's carried by a line of diligent maids as she looks lost and teary. Perhaps feeling abandoned by our own mother. Who apparently left her own innocent small children to chase after some cute boys.

Father won't be very happy to hear about this?

Uniforms are pretty powerful stuff though, especially sailor suits. It can't be helped. Cuteness simply rules the world. Even if I can't condone such behavior, I completely understand.

I clap for one of Mother's maid to pick me up, yes thank you, Noemi. I think it's time to flee the scene of the crime as well.

"Come on Lily. Let's go back and take a nap. Big sister has treats for you later!"

"Yaaaay! Okay, Rosa~!"

Let's just enjoy life while it's still sweet and simple.