I think I’m really going crazy, that’s right, I must already be crazy, because my current situation is just absurd!
There was nothing about this that made sense to me.
I let out a deep sigh as I paced the room restlessly.
As I was immersed in my own musings, my eyes caught sight of the figure on a nearby wall length mirror.
Long flowy blonde hair, and ruby red eyes stared back at me…
I really can’t believe this!
Every fiber of my soul was rejecting this reality.
I can’t possibly have a child!
But no matter how hard I tried to deny it and shake my head in protest, the results were still the same.
I was stuck in this predicament, and it looked like my current situation wasn’t going to change any time soon.
Perhaps, I have died?
Did I die and reincarnate into a novel which I decided to stop reading?
If I must reincarnate at all, why did it have to be in a novel I dropped, and not a novel I was still reading? Whoever is controlling this world certainly has no love for me!
Yeah sure, you might think that I should be grateful because Etricia is a princess, but she’s also a villainess!
This novel was not even a good one.
First and foremost, the male leads are all crazy and are always running on rampage like rabid dogs.
Furthermore, Etricia may have a pretty face, wealth, power and status, but other than those traits, her personality was really bad!
Ultimately, I have nothing good to say about the characters of this novel.
“I just had to possess one of the most hated villainess…” I whined and then banged my head against a wall.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be this worried if I was reborn as an extra or a random side character who had no real presence in the story’s plot.
If that had happened I would probably say ‘thank you’, and what’s more, I would have danced happily if I was reborn as the heroine in this world.
But I wasn’t…
“I really can’t do this, this is impossible! Besides, I can’t raise that child…”
Every second I spent in this body felt like I was on the verge of a mental breakdown, and sometimes I just wanted to collapse at the weight of my thoughts.
But, Etrcia’s body was surprisingly formidable.
She was so ridiculously healthy that I couldn’t even faint despite the emotional turmoil I was experiencing.
Though I felt like my mind was broken, my body didn’t feel any pain at all.
I truly felt disconnected with this body.
Perhaps, it’s not just because Etricia had a sturdy body, but it may also be attributable to the fact that she had a doctor at her disposal.
Every hour, the doctor would come and visit her.
He would then give her a strange medicine to help her relieve the pains she experienced from childbirth.
Not only doctors, but servants were always at her beck and call, and they made sure that Etricia was always comfortable and did not need anything.
They always handled her carefully and with trepidation that I couldn’t help but notice the fear in their eyes each time they addressed me.
Every single one of them avoided catching my gaze.
Honestly, I didn’t think dealing with her child was hard since the nanny often tended to her.
I barely did anything to contribute to her child rearing.
Every little problem with regards to the baby was taken care of by someone else.
I guess my real struggle with this was just the fact that I can’t wrap my head around the idea of having a child and being her mother.
Besides, how can I be a mother to that kid when I don’t even know the most important thing about her?
I don’t know who her father is!
“Who the hell is that child’s father?” I exclaimed in exasperation.
Who did Princess Etricia even meet?
This is driving me crazy!
I ruffled my hair in frustration and groaned.
I really don’t know what to do anymore.
Perhaps, I’m sleep deprived? Maybe that’s why my thoughts were getting all muddled up?
Even though I barely tended to the baby, she cries a lot during night time.
Due to her wailing, I often woke up in the middle of the night, and stayed wide awake for a long time thereafter.
Her incessant crying every night was the cause of the dark circles under my eyes.
Honestly, this time of the day was the best time to sneak in some sleep and relax.
That’s right, maybe I should just get some rest and calm my mind.
I was also craving a glass of cold water.
However, I’ve been told that cold water isn’t good for my still boiling stomach, so I’ve been drinking hot tea to quench my thirst.
Furthermore, I really hated the medicine they kept bringing to me, every single day.
Still, I needed to take it because if I don’t, I would die from severe back pains.
I tried not to take it once, and I felt like my back was going to split in half.
So I resorted to covering my nose and gulping it down in haste.
It was bitter but it was good for my body so I had to endure it.
At the end of the day, it was better to drink it than suffer body pains after all.
I began banging my head against the wall as I started to think about the child…
‘Thump, Thump, Thump!’
Oh my gosh! I’m not even married yet, but I have a kid… If there is a God, isn’t He being too cruel?
I closed my eyes and repeatedly banged my head against the wall.
No matter how many times I racked my brain, I really can’t remember how Etricia got pregnant.
Like I said, I don’t even know who the child’s father is.
It’s not something I did! So really, how was I supposed to know?
Damn it, damn it…
‘Thump, Thump, Thump…’
Please stop banging your head against the wall.
If you need to release some tension, I’d rather you beat me instead!”
Startled by the sudden voice that spoke to me, I turned my head to the side.
My eyes widened in surprise when I saw the image of a frightened woman staring at me worriedly.
Has she always been here? Why didn’t I notice her at all?
Furthermore, what is she even doing here?
I tried to straighten my back, composed myself and tried to respond in a regal manner, “… Since when? I mean, how long were you standing there?”
She looked at me apologetically before responding, “I have been here since morning, your highness.
The Duke instructed me to watch over you princess and to stay close to your side.
I’ve been standing here all this time in silence, as if I didn’t exist, and I’ve seen you hurt yourself.
So please, don’t do that anymore!”
As soon as she stated her pleas, she flung herself down to the ground and bowed so deep that her forehead was touching the floors.
It is clear to me that this person knew the princess well.
Based on what I’ve read, Etrica was a real villainess.
She was, in sum, a text-book villain.
Admittedly, she wasn’t the worst, but a villain is still a villain, right?
I sighed and spoke in a calm voice, “I understand, get up.
It’s more concerning for me if you keep kneeling.”
The young maid hastily tried to get up, “Ahhh! Ye-Yes.
As soon as she recovered her bearing, she hastily returned to the corner of the room and glued herself against the wall.
No wonder I didn’t notice her, she managed to blend herself among the furniture.
I let out a breath and sat down on a nearby chair.
As I relaxed my feet, I tried to remember what else I knew about the original novel.
I knew it had so many male protagonists that it was hard for me to single anyone out.
All of them were possible suspects.
It was quickly becoming clear to me that if I continue to sit here with nothing but these recurring thoughts, it will lead me nowhere.
I needed help so I won’t run around in circles.
The most logical step for me to take was to ask the people who were constantly watching Princess Etricia.
After all, wouldn’t they know her best and who she might have met?
She’s a princess after all, it will be rare for her to find a moment of privacy.
I cleared my throat and started to address the maid I had spoken to earlier, “It seems to me that my memory these days aren’t so good and I can’t seem to remember certain events in my life, so I was hoping you can tell me who were the men I’ve met with recently?”
I was hoping that the maid would remember what this body had forgotten.
“I apologize, your highness.
That’s too much for me to remember…”
Is that so?
Seriously, why can’t this body even remember it? Even the maid knows nothing.
How can no one know anything?
I dismissed these thoughts and decided I needed to actively do some research, “Then get me a list of the people who have visited me.
Just leave it to me!” The maid bowed with clenched fists and as she raised her head once more, I saw that her eyes were filled with determination.
“Yes, please do so, and bring it to me as soon as possible.”
At my words, the maid hastily curtsied and left the quarters to do my bidding.
I suppose she’s smart.
Soon after, there were knockings at my doors.
I granted permission for the visitor to enter, and the nanny stepped inside carrying Etricia’s child.
She greeted me lightly and said, “Princess, I brought the baby.”
“Is it time already?” I glanced at the wall clock to confirm the time.
The princess’ free time was rather short.
It seems, I’m in for another session of child care…
I really can’t do this, even my nephew cries each time he sees me.
As my head filled with thoughts of my past life, a bitter smile crept at my lips.
However, as the nanny stepped closer towards me with the baby in her arms, I could feel my heart wavering and easing towards her.
When I saw her plump hands and fair skin, the disdainful thoughts I had towards the child started to disappear.
I stretched out my hands and prepared to receive her in my arms.
The baby landed securely against my chest and as I held her in my arms, I couldn’t help but just stare at her intently.
I leaned in closer to her and whispered, “Child, who the hell is your father?”
But the child did not answer.
Her lack of response was only natural, but for some reason, I had a strange feeling that her eyes were boring straight to my soul.
* * *
“Uwaaah, ah ah ah ah ah ah!”
“No! Not again!” I hurriedly rolled over to the side, stood up, and hugged the child.
She didn’t cry often, but sometimes when I was idle or banging my head against the wall in agony, the child would just burst into tears.
“Don’t cry, don’t cry…” I started cradling her gently in an attempt to soothe her tears.
I knew that I didn’t do anything that would make her cry, so why was she crying?
Even when I gave her a bottle of milk, she just spat it out.
Furthermore, I checked, and her diaper was clean.
What should I do? I do not know why she is crying?
Just then someone knocked at my door and introduced herself, “Princess, this is Bell.”
“Come in! Come in quickly!” I shouted hastily.
Then, as if it never happened, the child stopped crying.
I stared down at her with a bewildered look on my face and flashed Bell a disappointed smile as she stepped in closer towards us.
“Hey, it’s over…she stopped crying…”
Even though the baby was perfectly silent, Bell still took her from me and began to gently comfort her.
Her tantrum is already over though…
As I watched Bell humor the baby, I couldn’t help but think it was strange that she always seemed to stop crying when other people were around.
I wonder if that behavior of hers was normal or if I should worry?
“Are you alright, Princess?”
“Does it look like I’m alright to you? I think I’m going to die.”
Bell interpreted my response to mean that the baby was giving me a hard time, so she nodded her head and answered, “I will take her to the nanny, later.”
“…Yeah, I’m begging you, please take her there.
By the way, what’s going on?”
I sat down on the sofa and tilted my head back as I waited for her to tell me the news.
I recently found out through the grapevine that my father wouldn’t let me go outside, so I’ve been stuck in my room all this time.
Bell stared at me apprehensively before speaking, “I think the list you mentioned last time will take a little longer than expected for me to procure.” Bell informed me with a blank face.
Well, I’m not really surprised.
Truth is, I kind of expected that.
Princess Etricia probably met with a lot of people secretly and not just one or two.
However, I was pulled out of my aimless thoughts, as the poor maid was still staring at me in fear and so I waved my hand dismissively and smiled at her, “It’s okay.
After all, you are having a hard time gathering information for me because my father blocked everything from leaking out.”
“Oh, but there are some letters, your highness.”
My eyes widened in surprise, “… Letters?”
Are there letters sent to me?
It is highly unlikely that this letter was from a friend, Etricia has no friends after all, ah!
Could it be?
Could the letter come from some of the people she had secretly met before she gave birth?
I hurriedly opened one of the letters handed to me by Bell and read it.
The first letter was sent by someone named Damond.
Why did that name sound familiar?
I decided not to dwell more on this, and I opened the letter without a second thought…
[ Etricia, I heard the news.
It seems you have given birth to a child.
First of all, I think we should meet.
It would be difficult for us if the Imperial Family finds out, so I’ll end the war quickly and meet you secretly.
Damon Ivan ]
“What? Is he coming?” More than this, it was puzzling for me how he found out that Etricia had given birth.
Knowing her father, he must have blocked out all the stories of Etricia giving birth, but this person knew that she did.
How was that possible?
I stared at the letter in confusion and dazedly opened the next one.
My face quickly hardened when I read its contents…
[ Princess Etricia,
How could I not have known about this? I couldn’t believe it when it ended like that.
A child… I heard that you have given birth.
First of all, I would like to see you as soon as possible.
I want us to talk quietly.
Please, I beg you.
Hassel Droy ]
After reading his letter I began to speak absentmindedly, “Hassel… Droy?”
“Oh, he is the commander of the Imperial Knights.
Did something happen?” Bell pitched in.
Ah, now I remember.
These were the names of the crazy male leads in this novel.
After hearing Bell’s words, I quickly composed myself and looked at the next one…
[ How can you have a child without telling me? I thought you didn’t know.
I need to meet you first.
I guess I didn’t think of it merely as a night’s entertainment.
Kyrian Delfort ]
I sighed at the letters written on the parchment. Kyrian Delfort… When his name came out, I felt almost certain…
“It’s obvious to me even if I don’t see the last one.” I told myself as I unsealed the last envelope…
[… Princess, you gave birth to my child, right?
That’s the dragon’s scion, so I’ll go and find out for myself.
Look forward to seeing me once again.
Again, my prediction was correct…
Damon, the prince of a foreign country and a war fanatic…
Kyrian, a character who made a name for himself as a rare villain…
Hassel, the commander of the Imperial Knights and the heir to the dukedom…
Louisa, a descendant of dragons and one who lived without emotions.
When I saw the names of these four people, my head started to throb.
I put my hands together and cradled my aching temples between them, while deep in thought.
Was this something the princess was really good at?
It’s like she had a hidden talent in enchanting these people?
Regardless, these guys were no ordinary men; they were powerful people!
Otherwise, how would they find out about the news that the princess had given birth?
It was something that the imperial family painstakingly tried to hide.
And yet, here they were, four people who knew about it…
There was no need for me to get that list anymore.
Receiving these letters which were meant for Princess Etricia was enough proof for me to know who I needed to look into.
“Bell, I don’t think I’ll have a need for that list anymore.”
“Pardon me, your highness? Are you certain?”
I nodded my head, “There really is no need for that.”
Well, I’m glad that there was one less job for me to do.
Still, this is driving me crazy!
Even after reading those letters, I still can’t figure out who the father of the child is.
I began to recall that there were people who said that the princess’ reputation was plummeting down, perhaps they said that without knowing what she was busy with all this time.
Her name was already infamous for being a villain, and her status as one was as high as her fallen stature.
I took a deep breath as I glanced at the letters once again.
What should I do with them? Should I write back to them?
I realized that even before I met them, I was already nervous.
When I think back on how the author described these male leads, it was clear to me that they won’t be normal guys.
I was certain that they would be quite troublesome to deal with.
Bell, who was just standing quietly, suddenly exclaimed with awestruck eyes, “Oh my gosh! Is there anyone among them who will become the princess’s husband?!”
I gave her a quizzical look and asked, “What husband?”
Bell’s talking nonsense.
Etricia just had a child, and her hands are already full with the baby, was this really the right time for her to find a husband?
When I didn’t say anything more, Bell started to speak again, “Still, the princess was very kind to the baby.
You waited for her to be born.
Now that you’ve seen her, what do you think? I for one think she’s so pretty.
I have never seen such a beautiful baby in all my life!”
Her statement made me wonder, did Princess Etricia hold some affection for her child?
That’s rather surprising.
I didn’t expect the princess to be so maternal.
However, I, unlike her, had no love for the child.
I guess that’s a natural reaction from me, isn’t it? Because, she wasn’t my baby, and I never considered her to be.
Even though I technically gave birth to her, my heart was devoid of any warm feelings…
I reckon, anyone who would find themselves in a similar situation would also think the same.
Emboldened by Bell’s sincerity, I also told her what I thought, “But I’m not really the type to care for a child am I…”
However, the maid just stared at me with an unreadable expression on her face.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked.
She suddenly exclaimed, “You fell in love! That’s right, the Princess’ eyes were filled with love back then!”
Her sudden outburst just made me wonder more, “Then do you know who I am in love with?”
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