I was Born the Unloved Twin
In this world, each person of some standing would have their own stamp. Be it their initials or a family crest, something that would act as an identifier. It was equivalent to both an ID and a signature.
If you could afford it you would get the stamp professionally carved or perhaps enchanted.
If you could really afford it you would get it magically and professionally carved along with an old fashioned enchantment.
Typically most people don't need to have one made until they're closer to the age of adulthood. For many nobles though, they get theirs early. They're often made as a present when a child reaches 5 or 6 years old or the age of their second baptism.
Well, I'm getting mine super early then since I'm not even 3 yet.
Surprisingly it was Grampa who brought it up. It wasn't even about both of us like Grampa usually talks about when addressing Lilyanne and I. This is something just for me, how's that for a change?
Obviously, because I need it more but still very nice. If the original goods heard about this she might be dancing on her grave. Was that too soon? I mean I still feel bad for her but at the same, I'm sort of still her?
That would explain the oddly satisfied feeling inside me. Yes, it must be the original body's feelings that are welling up inside me again.
It's rather inconvenient feeling things so intensely but it can't be helped with this body. It's also that of a small child's, it's normal for it to be so sensitive. Kids are odd in that way, everything they feel is heightened for them.
Yes, that would put things into a better perspective.
It's a very interesting experience.
Back onto the topic of making my crest, it appears grampa has invited a master craftsman, or well woman, over to help create one for me.
I can't help but be at least a little suspicious since the last time grampa initiated something on my behalf I ended up being thrown like a football and wandering the wild woods on my own. I'm actually still not eased in my suspicion, gramps doesn't have a lot of evidence to assure me otherwise.
In a case like this, I'm reassured by mother's normally annoying hovering. I don't think she's quite forgiven grampa for his last stunt.
No one should, really as much as I love Gable and the time I spent with him please let's not excuse throwing toddlers into the wilderness for character building. There's has to be a better method around here.
"I still think it's a tad too early papa." muttered mother with a pout.
"Well sure it would be if our Rosa here were the typical child. But we know our troublemaker far better than that!" bellows grampa with an overly familiar cheek pinching at me.
Grrr why does everyone always go for the cheeks? I'll have a stretched out face at this rate!
"If it's about the things for the villagers then Frederick darling can handle all that. "
"Yes, for the most part, he certainly can, by all rights they are his designs. He's a smart lad, a tad strange in the head -"
"But that's what makes him good! I like strange and unusual! Still a little too skinny for my taste but"
"It would have been terribly boring if you had married those other deadbeat counts or whatnot. Remember the short mustached fellow? Or the giant toad from the capital that followed you around before I stuck him to a-"
"And that's enough of that papa, Frederick and I are very happy with the present and are very normal. Did I say that part clearly? Normal!"
"Of course my dear, whatever makes you happy! Yes Frederick is a responsible normal, not at all strange, man but if our Rosa is anything like her papa or grandpapa' it wouldn't hurt to have her crest ready and made. I have a feeling she'll be tinkering a lot more in the future, don't you Maria? Yout don't want others stealing our little Rosa's things and ideas no?"
Mother gives a long sigh at grampa's dramatic gesture to me and I suddenly feel it's directed more at me than old gramps. Hey, what's that supposed to mean?!
"Yes, I do suppose so. She does love her soap making."
"And bread baking!"
"Oh yes, the items being commissioned for the kitchens keep increasing. Of course, I only hear good things about them but my goodness, Frederick dear just won't stop spoiling our Rosa here."
Spoiling? Excuse you mother, I'm making very important contributions to the culinary world here. Also, who are you to judge? How would you enjoy your favorite super fluffy omelets without the invention of the whisk? Or all my other lovely concoctions?
Oh, and the beauty products, how you use so much of them you can't possibly complain!
"Of course dear, and I love them so! We're not saying they're bad right papa?"
Oops, did I say some of that out loud again? Huh, what a terrible habit, I gotta work on keeping my inner monologues inner.
"That's right munchkins, I love whatcha call it? Bita chips?"
"They're pitas grampa, pita chips."
"Yeah those! Once you start you can't stop eating them if you have some of those dips. And your little soaps get out old bloodstains better than anything else but a cleaning spell! Fresh ones too!"
"What? Blood is serious concern Maria, you know that. You and Gable always nag me about it."
Huh, bloodstains were not my first train of thought when making soap but good to know. That's another market segment that makes sense in this still violent world. I guess the troops' laundry soap requires a little more specialization with the scuffs and messes they get into.
Should I experiment with liquid cleaners, maybe with salt or vinegar? That works on blood.
It's not like there's any bleach around here. I mean we technically could try making make bleach or at least chlorine, we just need brine, saltwater and a low electric current to hmmmmm....
....Yeah, we don't have the equipment for that, far from it. Let's not touch on that subject right now.
I rather not poison or electrocute myself or my staff. Chlorine gas poisoning is not ok. Let's not fly before we can even walk.
Bleach is a lot trickier to make than soap, a hell lot tricker. How about we start simpler and experiment with soda ash made from seaweed, yeah that sounds a lot safer.
"See Maria, she's making that face of hers again. I would know, I go through it myself! She's only going to keep tinkering, best be ready and have her crest ready to stamp and seal on all her future endeavors. "
"Oh dear papa, it's her idea face again. Oh, it resembles Frederick's much more than yours but that doesn't make it any better."
"Huh, shame, my face is better. Even her hair is turning into Freddy's."
"Oh Papa don't say another word, we can still stop it before it really does turn red."
Excuse me? See this is why it's better to go off in my own little world, at least my thoughts make sense and are productive. And for goodness sake, my hair isn't red! Or well it isn't red just yet, let's be diligent and keep my sun hats on this summer!
"Can we get back to my crest now?" I interrupted their familial chatter.
"Oh of course darling! Papa tell her." cooed my mother as she turned her attention back on me.
I'm currently safely in her arms and lap so grampa doesn't get tempted to go through any more games of toddler throwing. Again last time he passed me like a ball to a giant bird in flight, it's a little too soon for everyone to get over just yet. Especially me!
"Well before we can get your crest crafted and sealed, you need to make a mold. We'll cut and craft it out of woodblock stamps first to figure out what you like. "
"Okay, so like a first draft?"
"Exactly! That a sport, you can explain to Tai here what sort of things you want to be carved or you can try to draw it out for us. Your papa says you draw a lot for him."
"I can draw my own?'
"Oh darling, you could if you wanted to but it's better to let the nice craftswoman here do it for you. Now what you like Rosa, oh perhaps something with a rose in it? Like your name, oh that would be lovely and Lilyanne could have a matching one! Really that makes much more sense than what your father was joking about."
"I quite liked Freddy's idea!
"Papa really now?"
"Bread was hilarious, or a pizza! Now everyone would recognize you with that!"
Denied, all of your ideas are denied on principle alone. Especially father's, the bread jokes are going too far simply by not stopping!
Though it is true I'm at a loss on what to select, it's not a hasty decision to make in one's life.
While one could change their crest in the future it costs a lot of resources and there's the recognition power. When the magic is sealed with your specific stamp and identity it takes a lot to modify or undo that. Most people who choose their stamps in their 'adult' years only ever stick with one.
Grampa has the original domain name style of a crest. It's just his initials, RV, in a bold blocky font that he carved and sealed himself years ago. At best he's scratched a line underneath it, nothing fancy yet it's the most recognizable crest in the world.
To anyone else who has the same initials and just wanted a simple identity stamp, or crest, too bad. Grampa's got it magically copyrighted, or at least Gable did it for him. Everyone else has to have a different design or something.
Mother has kept hers the same all these years too. It's a star above some waves meant to look like ocean waves with her curving at the bottom. A very tasteful and timeless design, I believe Gable helped her with it when she was a child.
Hey, I want Gable's help too! He has good taste!
I have no idea what Gable's crest is. He rarely comes out in public and thus never needs to use it as of late. Though I don't think he's kept the same one he has when he was a prince all those decades ago.
If someone does change theirs, then it's more often modified or added on to. Such as in the case of a new hero wanting to add in a symbol of their achievements of a newlywed bride who wanted to better match her new identity with her spouse.
A good example of this is my father.
He's the bride in this example, despite being a man. The one that changed his identification crest when he married over. Previously it was his initials over a background of a bunch of fanged serpent-like creatures, rare but native to this world, swirling around in a snake-like knot, consuming one another.
I suppose it looks regal and imposing with all the little details, at least it's an easily recognizable family crest. It's supposed to mean something like eternity and connection with the family but obviously that was something father didn't care for.
Not only did he replace his last initial to a V for Ventrella but he entirely dropped the B from his paternal family's name rather than just move it over like most brides do. Then he did away with the wormy knot circle that's so iconic to the Bicchieri's.
Instead, it's his cursive hand-carved initials front and center with a sole peaceful sea serpent on the side. The creature has large, almost cute, big eyes and its mouth is closed showing no teeth as it swirls and borders his initials, though it's sharp claws are definitely still out. In a way, it still keeps its knot like entanglements but with the leaves of an olive tree branch rather than other serpents and such. Waves at the bottom resemble both mother's and grampa's crest.
This is a great example of a heavily modified crest change!
I do know it caused a ruckus among gossipy circles when father first changed it. The implication of father completely turning himself over to the Ventrella family line and turning away from his paternal family. While it's not unheard of for men to marry over into their wives' higher ranked families, they would do away with their previous household to the extent father did.
It still is quite a topic of interest and considered a symbolic slap in the face to the Bicherris. Nobles with nothing to do live for this sort of read between the lines drama. Oh I do miss watching dramas. I'm beginning to see how boredom drives such gossip.
In father's defense he did marry over to the most powerful side, mother's and grampa's family line. Like anyone could outrank or outclass the Hero Ronald.
As displeased as father's family was, it all legally played out, and so he smoothly and very publically transferred his crest and identity over.
Grampa, as the world's hero, doesn't concern himself with rank and rules of the old nobility had immediately loved the idea. It didn't matter what magical seals were already locking down father to his old crest, it was easily overridden with the Ventrella magic and resources. Rumors say it was mother who personally smashed and broke his old crest stamp after the magical seals were overridden. How dramatic.
I don't know how true this is but good for her. Go get your man and don't let anyone stop you mother! She's very vicious when she's mad.
But what should I do for myself?
The past Rosalia really did have a rose like mother suggested, or well, roses.
A barrage of a wreath of fat roses that forested her sharp initials R.T.V. It looked impressive, can't deny that. Very shoujo manga like with all those rose petals. Rosalia preferred to use red wax or ink when using it and it really looked like a mini rose bouquet.
Or a little blood bath, how fitting for the bloody murder victim me. Ah, there's my dark humor, I was wondering where it went as I seem to be matching my childish age more and more often lately.
My twin Lilyanne had a simpler more elegant matching wreath of lilies for her crest with her thin flimsy handwritten copy of L.M.V. in the middle.
While they're not a bad design it feels wrong to reuse it, Not only does it no longer suit the person I am now, but I feel as if it's a bad omen to reuse that identifying crest. Like I'm repeating that doomed fate.
It's also just boring!
Roses were the most popular flower back in my old world but they aren't even in my top 10 favorite flowers. There are so many other more interesting kinds. They're too overrated and overhyped in my opinion. At least they're easy to illustrate. Just pretend you're drawing a cabbage, add a stem and tada you got a rose!
"The little lady doesn't have to pick a design just yet, I'm here so you can play around with ideas." said the craftswoman.
She's pretty short but I like her monocle, it's really cool looking.
"That's right rascal, just ask and Tai can carve anything up in no time at all." laughs grampa.
There's plenty of little blocks of wood by Tai's side and she already unrolled a leather case of some old worn looking tools. They're not in bad condition, rather they looked well used and loved. The blocks themselves look so fun, any of them can be a simple stamp or anything? Isn't that just great, there's so much potential in that alone!
If I had something to print I'd even request and commission a printing press with all the pieces.
I know for certain that's a thing this world lacks. That's why books are so expensive, everything is written and copies by hand and then magically copied.
For a world where magic is super rare, we sure do rely on magic a great deal too far. Non-magical people can do stuff too you know. I'm not just saying that because I'm bitter and non-magical myself. Being the negative to Lilyanne's positive battery does not count because it does NOT do anything. Like being a squib.
At first, I wanted to sarcastically ask if she could carve up grampa but knowing him he's going to turn into a request to make another statue of himself. The world has too many of those so I shall spare us that result.
To be honest I like grampa's design the most, the first domain name syndrome. It's simple, too simple even and yet it makes so much of an impact. Just like that of an expensive brand name logo. Huh, branding power and eh?
Since that's sort of my specialty why don't I just copy a famous brand name's idea? Not car brands of course, no more cars. Oh god, I don't want to remember those months my company assigned me to work on luxury cars! My brain is filled with enough seemingly useless information!
In terms of concept, I like vintage Coco Chanel's streamlined simplicity but that sort of logo doesn't suit me or my initials. On the topic of famous french brands, neither does Louis Vuitton, it was never my style but I do like how they styled the main logo.
Let's go with that then, for my initials, an R and a V strategically stacked on top of one another. It borrows grampa's powerful brand name reputation but is different enough to be recognizable.
"Can I have my initials like this?" I ask as I sketch out the idea on chalk and a slate board.
They're much cheaper than paper and I previously bought a bulk amount for all the poor staff that I've forced into adult reentry education. No one complains though, what good students they are, for now at least.
"Oh well that's interesting, looks like a whole new letter." remarks Tai, tapping her chin with her gloved finger.
"Just the R and V then? A little lady like yourself probably wants a little something extra wouldn't you?"
"Rosa darling, the nice lady is right, it is a little plain even if it is....strange. How about some roses? Or something to match with your sister later when she makes hers?"
"Oh yeah, I forgot about matching with Lilyanne."
It's not mother's fault for thinking that way. If I had twins I'd try to match them up too, it's adorable. Shame she got me instead of two Lilyanne's though...actually I'd be very concerned if there were two Lilyanne's out there.
That's a lot of dumb chaotic power to be left unchecked. My sister's lucky to be so loved and protected as she is because otherwise, she'd make a very attractive victim for....well anything. No street smarts in that pretty little head of hers.
"Papa you're being awfully quiet all of a sudden. What do you think?"
"Uh...grampa.....are you crying?"
"Oh dear, papa take my handkerchief."
Oh god I think he is. What weird mood swing is he in now? Mama hold me! This can't be good, don't let the crazy old man play football with me again!
"I'm just....SO TOUCHED!!!"
Mama help! I mean - mother don't you dare let go of me, I don't trust grampa when he's like this one bit! He's too unpredictable!
"To think you admired me so much to copy after my crest!!!"
"...what? Grampa we have the same initials."
" A homage! Oh to gave such a devoted grandchild, such adulation! A heartfelt sentiment beyond all of the honors and awards mankind can think of!"
"We literally have the same initials!!!"
"I expect nothing less of my first grandchild! Also from a child's of Freddy's BUT more importantly I expect nothing less but am deeply moved none the less!"
"Be nice to your grampapa dear, he's getting old."
"But he's always like that, it's not about being old. "
"Yes my darling Rosalia, I know. And we love your grampapa regardless. "
In the end with some more input from mother and playing with Tia we've decided to add an extra touch to my copyright infringement stamp. In a manner similar to my father's sea serpent modified crest, I've chosen to place on the side a half curved leafy stem with a closed rosebud. Right at the mouth of the bud are small diamond shapes, like a spark or a star.
It's a subtle but tasteful detail to a crest that will be mostly circular due to the placements of my initials. In the future, Lilyanne might opt to copy my design by switching out the rosebud with her namesake flower.
With that, I'm done with the crest design and will leave the rest to Tia's capable hands. Is everyone happy now? Mother has her rose, grampa is still being mushy about the initials that he gave me in the first place, even my rude father gets something!
Who knew that making your own logo was such a family matter?
Author: If anyone is wondering where Lilyanne and her father went, it's their turn on the farm. Unlike a certain Chip, Lilyanne adores the baby sling. That and he wants to see if his children's hair really does turn red in the sun, for science of course.