Chapter 87:

Ch 86: Guess who?

I was Born the Unloved Twin

"Oh ho ho time out! A time out for us all! Darling? Papa?!"

The madonna of our cold days, the sole lady of this fine house, oh how she blooms in a ravishing shade of miffed and annoyed. Even in the grips of winter, her beauty blossoms, more exquisite than any flower from the gardens of paradise. Perhaps even, tis the rosy petals and hues of such rage, such sincere passion, that make her so becoming. The eyes of a prized gazelle, the flesh of a summer white peach, hair a rich drizzle of sweet honey brown left in a thick scandalous half braid, only made barely appropriate by the opulent netting of fat gleaming pearls and bits of golden star dust.

She is an impossibly beautiful woman with a handsomely shrill and demanding voice and thus essentially very impossible to ignore.

Wow, I have got to stop reading the letters tied and stuffed in mother's drawers. My own thought process is getting skewed here but for shame, this world lacks entertainment and I am a modern girl used to such luxuries. I must say though father is very good at sucking up if he has time to write it rather than bluntly speak. It's so diabetic and vomit-inducing but oh so very effective on women kind.

Right now though, there are no dip and drip feather pens, no time to carefully smooch up or think how to best pander to mother dearest. He is just stuck being a whipped husband and maybe a sore loser.

Eh better than grampa, at least he has a wife.

"Yes dear." says the whipped husband.

"Awww...yes Maria?" bemoans the also whipped grandfather of the house.

Today we're all playing a game! A little family feud. What fun. Much more fun than discussing our supposed family trip back up to the capital in a month's time, which is what they were supposed to be doing. Also much more fun than being locked up and doomed to count the embroidery count on mother's dresses. For a house of as much wealth as mine, it is very high.

The rules are simple. Lilyanne and I wear some matching clothes, which we sadly have much of, and all one has to do is tell correctly who is Lilyanne and who is, well, me. Every player must close their eyes, maybe spin a bit to disorientate themselves. The most crucial item is, of course, the baby bonnet, can't have my short hair giving me away that easily.

All good fun, part of the fun with twins. It's just that grampa isn't doing as good of a job as I would have thought? Is he just playing dumb or something?

"What did we say about cheating papa?"

"Why Maria! I would neeeever!"

Like he's at a party or something, grampa spiritedly throws his hands up in air and waves them like he just don't care. That or to showcase his supposed innocence. See, absolutely nothing in his burly hands.

Yeah right.

"Papa! Threatening the girls behind my back is still cheating."

"Why Maria! Threatening our itty bitty baby roly-polies? I would never!"

"Oh Papa! I don't know what you're using but no more cheating! And Frederick darling? My sun my stars, my golden love I do adore. You cannot use gold to cheat!"

"Maria, my starlight and moonshine in the endless dark night that we call life, I do obey every word that passes your fair lips, alas I haven't the faintest on what you're talking about."

"Frederick darling, my love, I am yours to pocket in your palm till the oceans dry and the world dies, but do not think for a second I can't tell you're using those deep pocketfuls of coins to cheat. Our Rosalia breaks immediately when she sees money. Her eyes - see there, there! Look how they sparkle at the sight of coins! Why they're as wide as a pie!"

Shiiiiiney money gimmie, ahem. I mean, how rude!

First priority is food. Second is money. Money is so terribly important as it is necessary to live, capiche? I admit though, that in the terms of this game having father use money to tell us apart is absolutely considered cheating. It's just too easy to identify me, especially if he throws the money.

Mother wins this round by default!

"Yaya! Mama! Hehehe yaaaay! Mama fwound Lili!!!"

"Oh yes my sweet, that I did! I found you and our Rosalia apart all without cheating. Hmm what a novel concept!"

Father and grampa politely cough in their seats. They weren't caught red-handed but they might as well have been with mother. I really do wish I could just say they were humoring her and losing on purpose but they actually seem to struggle with this game. A lot.

The men of my family have been using all sorts of cheap tricks to get me to drop my Lilyanne act. Otherwise, they seem utterly lost on telling who is who?

Of course, they're not allowed to touch or get too close. No peeking of hair under baby bonnets, using Alfonso, tossing of coins and sweets to see who reacts, and certainly no lifting us both up and weighing us on each hand like a scale is allowed.

That was very rude of Grampa and I headbutted him in the eye when he loudly proclaimed he found the heavier toddler to be me. It's true but you shouldn't say it!

"Alright then, the point goes to mother. Are we all ready for the next round?"

It's amusing even for those watching. Mother's maids and the serving staff can't help to react and get in on the fun. Though there is a very odd thing that occurs in this game.

Right at the start, when Lilyanne and I tumble about and I get into character- everyone still looks absolutely shocked and or horrified. How rude. We're identical twins you know? We're supposed to look very much alike, even if it's me, it's not all that weird.

I'm a little insulted, to be honest. It's as if no one believes I can be as cute and loveable as Lilyanne is even for a few minutes. If it's for a little bit I can manage this much! Father may say my face is too expressive but I was a professional okay. Public face on!

"Veee~ Rosa so funny! Hehee!"

"Wee! I'm Lilli, Rosa so silwi~ Hehee!"

"Mama Papa Gwampy! Me Lilli! Guessy!"

"Guess guessy!"

Ah there it is, the look of a stupified audience. They act as if they had all seen a great magician perform some mind-blowingly confusing stunts. When in reality it's just me messing around acting my age.

It's funny but aaaah this act does get tiring on the cheeks. Too much intense happy smiling and delicate little adorable giggles. The act will fail if my face twitches but ow ow ow, how does Lilyanne maintain this face?

It's much harder to act airheaded than it looks. I really have to empty my mind and be conscious of what distracts me or not. Oh and I definitely can't let my thoughts wander into anything such as my business, or troubles, or busy busy schedule where I just can't get out of this darn mansion because I'm 3 and it's winter shutdown time.

Empty thoughts~ Lights are on, no one's home. I'm so cute, Oh cheese, I like cheese. Lilli likes cheese.

"Hehe cheesey"

"Waaah cheesey"

"Mama feed Lilli? Ahhh!"

"Ah Ah mee too! Ahhh!"

Double cuteness cannon. The effects are devastating, everyone living soul in the parlor is wiped out. I think there is blood dripping from my parents' mouths.

Though in my father's case I don't know if it's from cuteness or something else judging from his suddenly pale face. This is adorable, how dare you look like you've just witnessed the jump scare from a horror movie!

I can do it if I put my mind to it. Hmmpf! Goo goo ga ga, say I'm cute. Say it.

I know I'm cute. I have Lilyanne's face after all. A stronger core and a heavier body mass according to the grampa scale but for the most part, we still have the same face.

Now stop gawking and guess already everyone!

"Hmmmm by not cheating at all, see Maria, I sense more killing intent from my grandchild on the left. That one is Rosalia!"

"Papa! How can you judge from killing intent of all things! They're mere babies."

"Maria my baby girl, our Rosalia has already tasted fresh blood from her own kills!"


"She's very ravenous around raw fish."

"Papa! You scared me? Oh thank goodness it was just fish."

"My Chip does what now?"

"Oh darling, my most beloved jewel on your red satin pedestal. It's nothing. Nothing at all."

"I beg your pardon, Maria my love my sweet, am I to understand that my child partakes in feasting on bloody raw flesh? And that of all the things that irk your ire, this is not one of them?"

"Oh darling! It's nothing like that! You know how papa gets, oh with his horrid training and all that. Boo hoo oh I feel faint from the memories. Boo hoo hoo, oh the days where there would be nothing to hunt or to eat. Or the times that it was far too dangerous to even light the smallest of flames for light. *sob sob*"

"But Maria, as a child you loved ripping off and eating fresh-"


"Oh boo hoo hoo!!!! Those tragic days, I can't bear to recount. Oh don't make me explain."

"....of course dear."

"Oh I knew it! Darling, you must be disgusted with me! Boo hoo hoo!"

"My love, my divine inamorata, nothing could turn me off when it comes to you-"


And now both the menfolk in this family are down, a k.o. to the gut from Mother. They truly do love humoring her. I understand Father and his whipped state, but grampa is really playing it up. He acts as if the mild smacks of her handkerchief truly hurts.

Hilarious. Like anything but a boss level, magical beast or such a warrior could get through grampa's thick overly powered muscles. It's very stress-relieving though physically painful to smack at grampa and his physique.

I think they're getting distracted so the game is not over yet. Technically grampa guessed correctly but we haven't verified it yet so the game continues.

Nice empty thoughts, do not feel killing intent. None at all. Which is also really a rude way of saying it? I do not have killing intent? I may be your biological grandchild but I'm nowhere near as powerful and or violent.

I just get a little passionate about some things, and this little body of mine can't handle it in a calm mature manner all the time.

"Heehee bweee grampy silly!"

"Haahaa so silwi! Papa too! Mama win?"

"Noooooo mama no guessy yet?"

"Ohhh mama guessy, Mama gibe Lilli and Rosa kissis an nom nom cheesey?"

"Noms noms noms! Lilli want kiss an noms!"

"Oh very good dears, you almost had me there Rosalia! This one is my Rosa and this one is my Lily!"

Ack! I was just playing a part but Mother has really rushed up like a mad rugby player and is now crushing us in her too tight hugs. It doesn't matter how soft her boobs are through the dress and chamice, it's too much mass per square inch of space. Ow ow ow, ack not the kisses. I can't breathe in this position!

"Yay! Huggwi!"


"How fun! I guessed right again!"

She did, before murdering us by hugs she accurately pointed out who was who. Thus far mother as a 3/4 chance success rate even without cheating. That's far better than everyone else.

Oh, my oxygen content, I feel my lungs burning and my brain dying. How does Lilyanne live like this?

"How did you know this time?" I ask when my mother finally gives me some room to breathe.

In order to review my faults and improve my future performance. What's the point of being born twins if I can't pull a switcheroo trick here or there when it suits me?

"Oh my darling eldest you don't notice do you? You always refer to your sister before you. 'Lily an Rosa'. You put Lilyanne first, like a good big sister." smiles mother with a soft cheeks and more wet kisses.

Ewwww, but interesting. I hadn't realized that little tic. Let's work on acting practice and getting into the character's headspace. I am Lilyanne, a real baby toddler. I am the protagonist, I am beautiful and loved and I don't even know it. Of course, as Lily I don't think about myself from the 3rd person. More self-focus!

There is an uncomfortable feeling in my chest that only seems to grow stronger in this short span of time. Mother's hugs are really too terrifying. It must have bruised me somewhere, my lungs are obviously damaged and compromised.

A bell delicately rings from the hands of our head butler, Alfonso. Who has been in an out watching the scene, like a dutiful housewife during a sport's game on TV. It is a light sound but it has captured everyone's attention. The servents who were peeking are gone, back to work in their places. The maids and such are in their rightful positions. Even father and grandfather come back to life with a jingle of this bell.

It's not magic or anything like that. It's just that this particular sound means that we have guests, important ones most usually.

Places everyone. We're not just a noble house for show! Places!

"Alfonso." my father waves, a rush of senior servants already tidying everything up, including his own appearances. In a blink his clothing is somehow neatly pressed, his hair combed and vexingly perfect, and the fake blood gone, as if it were never there.

With a snap of his fingers, the senior servants readjust mother and grampa like the finest of stage ninjas. They don't even need to do anything. Of course, Father is the only one that seems right at home with getting served hand and foot automatically. Though grandpa is the patriarch of this family, Father is the first to receive the treatment and be treated as the terribly fancy lord of the house.

God damn rich people.

Of course, I won't make a fuss. I naturally allow Alfonso and a few assisting maids and footmen to fluff up my bow, fix my hair, and overall pamper me over to my throne of cushions. Feed me water, wash my face, change my bottom pillow, it's flat. It's amazing how I don't even need to say anything, just the barest look in the right direction or a twitch of my eyebrow will do to get what I want.

Mother and father's personal chamber staff are truly on a whole different level. Perhaps it's because they are so directly worked under Alfonso's thumb?

"Ahem, my Lords and Lady. The special door has been rung and the gue-"


Bye grampa, there he goes rushing out to the door ruining the lovely scene before Alfonso can even hey wait GABLE'S HERE?! No fair! Grampa get back here and take me with you!

Oh never mind, I'll just run out on my own. I'll protect you from grampa Gable!

"Oh no you don't. Back. Back all of you! Down."

With one hand mother has easily swooped me up. A few seconds later, the other arm is dragging back grampa by the back of his neck. Not his shirt, his neck, as if he were a bad dog.

A beautiful woman with a harsh voice and an unexplainable fear-inducing aura is really hard to ignore. It's very effective as a villainous, did Rosalia get some of that part from Mother? Well, that's a thought.

"We shall be on our best behavior for Gable. No running, rushing or anything improper." she scolds.

"Yes mother, we understand mother."

"Of course Maria."

Ah, grampa and I have been lumped together in scolding time. It's like a little prison on this side of the couch.

Father is no help at all during these times, he's too whipped and usually in a worse position himself. On the other side of the room with Lilyanne, he seems perfectly content to bounce my giggling sister and stay out of the scolding zone.

" - behave like civilized people and...OH GABEY DEAR!!! <3 Whatever are you standing there for, don't be a stranger silly, do come in this instant!"

Her words and actions do not match up for Mother has simply sprinted into long elegant arms and a sturdy chest of the world's most swoonable man. Woe and blessed is me, for there stands divinity- the personification of all that is well and good. Young movie stars playing hot fantasy elves can't compare.

Mother's behavior is really not fair at all. I call foul-

"Sssssshhhh Rosa, it's never fair pumpkin but do not mention it in front of my girl. Shhhhhh, and no Gable won't help. He always sides with our Maria, no matter what he says. Shhhhh." shushed grampa with absolute seriousness.

"That's no fair.... why are we whispering? I thought you didn't even know how to whisper."


With each step that Gable takes closer into the room, it feels as if the fresh sprouts of a warm and beautiful spring follow. He's doing a wonderful job turning Mother from a gorgeous elegant belle of a prime noblewoman into a chattering little fangirl.

"Oh Gabey I do miss you so, you hardly come by anymore. Oh I know you have so much work to be done, don't let me keep you. I just do miss you so dearly. I fear I shall always be this way, missing you even when you're here in my arms."

Ahem, mother? A little discretion, please? A little less hypocrisy about behaving? Or at least give us a turn to jump in Gable's arms. This is really so unfair it has grampa and I violently coughing.

I make to give Father a glare, for him to do something! But no, he's like an obedient little boy toy at the mall, holding her purse as she shops or openly fawns over a much older man, or in this case, her child.

I almost pity him. The nerd. He has no chance.

Gable makes for a polite smile and comforting cheek nuzzle at my mother and the flames of rage and jealousy fire up. But like good little family dogs, we must obey and stay. Why are we so obedient to mother?

"Good afternoon, it's nice to see everyone again- except you Ron- Buttercup I hope I'm not intruding on your precious free time, but with your trip up north again there is work to be done. For everyone's safety. Lilyanne and Rosalia especially."

"Of course but oh my dear Gable, how dare you think for a mere moment you could ever be an intrusion! Take a seat, a sweet. Oh dear, Alfonso call for a fresh pot of herbal tea, the usual spread for Gabbey dearest."

"As soon as possible my lady, our honorable sir Gable has brought us quite the gift and half the staff is still processing the items."

"Oh Gabbey you shouldn't have, whatever did you bring?"

"A dozen culled and frozen hogs my lady, fine specimens. A marvel of marble and fat." responds Alfonso, quick as ever with the response and piping hot tea.

"It's nothing. I heard a troublesome ward of mine had wasted and destroyed some of your supplies. I apologize for him and the matter of the bacon."

Ah yes, Lukas and the great praline bacon craze. May we never forget the lessons learned from that disaster. But if it's planning time to visit the stupid prince again that means playtime is over. How tiring.

At my sigh, Father speaks up, finally.

"Thank you for coming Gable, however, I believe it's about time for the girls' afternoon nap. Alfonso if you could be so kind."

Wait no that's not the kind of speaking up I meant. No no nooooooo I want to stay and bask with Gable! I'm not even sleepy! Nooooooooooo.

However my cries, no matter how Lilyanne levels of cute I made them, had absolutely no effect. My sister and I were whisked off with nothing more than a round of smiles and a last lingering look. Playtime over for real.

I pout the whole way as we're carried off, if I could stomp my feet I would. I pout and fume so much that I don't even notice when Lilyanne fell asleep in Alfonso's arms.

"Now then, off to bed for our young miss Lilyanne," he instructs, handing her a small band of senior maids.

Just Lilyanne? Not me? Well, that saves me some efforts sneaking out.

Rather than question it, I just silently wait as Alfonso seems to speedily glide out to his next destination, a loading and underground storage area outside the kitchen. Earlier he had stated that Gable gifted us a dozen frozen hogs to make up for the bacon deficit. He did not lie but I believe he failed to mention that not only were these hogs huge but they....have...wings.

I am never going to get used to this world, am I?

"Are we here to inspect the bacon, Alfonso?"

"If you so wish young miss Rosalia. However, the next wagon leaves with half of the shipment in 18 minutes. Young Georgie is tasked with escorting you if you so wish, with him are a change of clothes for you, and one-"

"HI ROSALIA look at all the BACON!!! AND WINGS? Did you know bacon wings are so good?!! Are you goin NORTH soon?! NO FAIR! AMAR is leaving too and that's lame that you're both going somewhere awesome and being super and Gable won't let me go anywhere! SO i'm HERE WITH BACON WINGS but we gotta go find Amar now! Like right now while Gable still lets me!!!"

"-And one small friend of yours."

I cannot see him but I can hear Lukas just fine from whatever distance he is away. In fact, everyone can. Let's just....never put this kid on any spying or such subtle missions.

"Thank you Alfonso....excellent work."

"It is my pleasure young miss Rosalia. Now here are your snacks for the ride, and snacks to share, and additional snacks for over there. Barbara and the others have assembled a tester basket for your other companion, who they are fond of, as we should no longer afford to waste spices on smoke calls this season."

"Yes...thank you."

"A pleasure to serve as always. Now, the wagon awaits."

This is truly a very strange world, a strange house with some very strange maybe very scary people. It is a wonder how Rosalia missed it all a lifetime ago. In these little three start-up years, I have already been exposed to so much.

There are the world's grossest parents, who for some strange reason, look less displeasing to me by day. There is a mysterious butler, a nagging jr. chef, a picked-up anxious maid and all of the strangest of employees here in this family's kitchens. There are innocent little henchmen in training, ones that I have hurt before. Must have hurt by virtue of being me, a villainous hateful young miss who knows little of the real world here. There is an army guild of some of the wisest and mightiest warriors who talk to me as if I were a pet, a child, or even one of them.

There are those who can only be young and crazy, they still seek me out and probably think of me as a friend, despite all my numerous faults.

I'm not a fool to believe I've really changed my bad end fate yet. Nor will I get lax over my preparations. It's just that the butterfly effects already going on around me leave me dizzy.

Who are all these people? What are these moments? I don't know what to make of them and the more I think about it the more confused I get.

The neglect, the abuse, it is all yet to come but already so much has changed. Somehow it's not just me that's changed? My initial goals of saving myself have expanded little by little until it's no longer so little.

It scares me, I think. It scares me more to care when I have to leave one day.

But it's not springtime just yet. I'm still nothing but a child. This is the part where nothing interesting happens and we must wait to grow up.

So I put my fears and worries away for another day. There's still time left for me to play.