Knock, knock, knock.
“Miss Alexa, it’s time for cough medicine.”
Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock.
“Ah, It’s noisy.”
My head is pounding with a hangover, but someone keeps knocking on the door.
“What kind of lunatic is at my house this early in the morning.”
The loud noise eventually forced me to crawl out of bed to open the door, but something seemed strange.
‘Did I change the interior of my house?’
My rooftop room looks more expensive for some reason. I shrugged it off and continued to trudge for the door.
‘Oh, when did the rusty iron door start to shine? Did I put varnish on you?’
“Kyaak!! I’m so sorry!! I’m just…”
“Who is it?”
As soon as I opened the door, the girl knocking screamed and fell flat on her stomach.
‘What the heck? What’s with the maid outfit she’s wearing? Is it some type of cosplay?’
“Please spare me! My life is… I have starving brothers……!! Without me…”
“Who are you?”
“Yes… Huh? Yes, Miss Alexa, Lily… Heik! I’m Lily. Heik!!”
Now she even had hiccups. I don’t know why she’s shaking in such a fearful way. Like I did something…
‘Why is her name like that, is it a nickname?’
“Heik! I’ve been serving Miss Alexa since last month… Heik!”
“Stop shaking like that, I’m not a monster.”
“Heik! I’m so sorry! I’ve committed a sin worthy of death!! Please spare my life!”
The girl was startled again and fell on her face, shaking and crying. The situation was becoming a bit serious because she seemed terrified that I was going to kill her. I opened my mouth to calm her down, because if she died of shock here, I might be interrogated, and I didn’t have an alibi.
“Excuse me, please calm down. You said your name was Lily, didn’t you? Yeah, Lily. I have no intention of doing anything to you.”
“You’re really… not going to kill me?”
“Wha… What? Why would you say I’m going to kill you? That’s a sure way of oiling a decent person into a prospective killer…”
“Ah jeez,” my voice simmered out. I was nervous and had to draw the line. There were no parents to fix my mess if there is an accident. Orphans like me need to be extra careful in advance. If I have a misdemeanor or criminal record, I won’t be able to get a job in the future.
“Well… Miss Alexa, when you’re in a bad mood, you relieve your anger by killing the maids…”
“What bullshit are you saying? And I’m not this, ‘Alexa’ you keep talking about.”
“Bull, bullshit? Miss Alexa, what are you talking about…?”
“…? There is no Alexa here.”
“Miss Alexa! Why are you acting so different…?”
“I’m not, Miss Alexa.”
‘Is this some kind of Alexa bot?’
I turned and looked around my room, wondering who this Alexa was that this girl was so anxiously searching for. Maybe she was a passerby who brought me home when I was drunk last night.
“I don’t think the girl you’re looking for is here…?”
As I spoke, I felt a strange sense of alienation.
‘How did my room get this big in the first place? How did that snot-like room, where I could only sleep with two legs stretched out, expand into a room as big as a playground?’
My room was filled with household items, clothes, and things I had accumulated since childhood― a sense of nostalgia made it impossible to throw away old things ― so there wasn’t even room for my feet.
‘But why is it so empty here?’
All I could see was a bed, a table, and a tall glass window glowing with sunlight. The large cathedral-like window occupied the front wall of the room and filled the room with light. However, the atmosphere of the room somehow had not changed.
“What the? Where am I?”
“Um… Miss Alexa?”
The girl who was kneeling in front of me, staring at me speechless, cautiously called out the name Alexa.
“I wonder, that Alexa you’re looking for…….”
I turned back slowly and looked down at the top of the bowed girl’s head.
“Is it me?”
“Miss Alexa, what are you talking about… I really don’t know… I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!!”
Again, I managed to soothe the girl who began bursting into tears. I am a woman too, but I hate to cry and whine because people will look down on you. I’ve grown used to living in hardship. Regardless, it’ll be annoying if she keeps crying, since I’ve heard it enough already. I have a hunch that this girl isn’t done, causing me more trouble.
“Am I Alexa?”
“… Miss– Miss Alexa?”
“I asked if I’m Alexa.”
“Ye… Yes! Yes, yes, of course! Miss Alexa, please speak informally! And if you are still coughing, the head maid asked if you’d like to have breakfast in your room again.”
I sighed as I gazed at the frozen girl. I don’t know why I inspire fear in this girl, but there are occasionally people who feel uncomfortable with my sharp face. They say I look as if I might hurt someone. This girl must be one of them. Her discomfort is a bit excessive though. I felt strangely dirty at the sight of the girl who was trembling and could not even look at me. At the same time, I felt an urgent need for information.
‘Ah, I drank yesterday.’
“Where’s the bathroom?”
“Yes? Yes! Over there!”
I followed the direction of the girl’s pointing finger to the right side of the room.
‘What, there’s a bathroom attached to the room? That’s awesome.’
The fact that I was not in my tiny living room was glaringly obvious, even though I was still hungover. Then did I go to a hotel last night?
Woah, the bathroom was luxurious too.
‘Where am I really? Was there such a big hotel in Seoul? I think the actual size is 150 square feet. Oh, shit, lodging fee… What to do? What kind of bastard brought me here? There is no way Jewook, who knows my situation, would have brought me here. What crazy person…’
Grinding my teeth, I finished my urgent business first. Ugh, my face was probably oily because I didn’t remove my makeup before going to sleep. My face was itchy in places, and I probably had pimples appearing.
I groaned, annoyed.
I stood in front of the sink, noticing it was also made of marble.
‘Damn it, lodging fee…….’
I poured the cold water over my face. The cool feeling seemed to relieve my hangover a little. After rinsing five or six more times, I raised my head and faced the large mirror over the sink.
I rubbed my eyes. I must have seen it wrong. I blinked my eyes.
I rubbed my eyes again.
What is this?!
What’s this furry thing?!
What is this monster I’m looking at?!
At the sound of my screams resounding from the bathroom, the girl from a while ago burst open the door.
“Miss Alexa!! What’s happened?!!”
“Why!! What’s wrong with Miss Alexa’s face?!!”
“This!! This isn’t my face!!”
“That is!! That’s Miss Alexa’s face!!”
“No it’s not!! It’s not me!!”
My eardrums were about to burst because Lily, who was screaming and trembling, was making a fuss at the same time as me. I took a deep breath― I needed to calm down and reassess this ridiculous situation. I looked straight in the mirror again.
As if from a fairy tale, a yeti, a giant covered in hair, stood in front of the mirror. However, unlike a fairy tale yeti, the fur that covered me was brown. It made me look even more creepy and gross.
I knew I was still a woman―I unconsciously checked while I was doing my earlier chore― and long, raggedy black hair covered my back. A broom rough filled with grease was better than this hair.
The fact that my face remained its normal shape was confirmed by my golden eyes. I noted my relatively shiny teeth and dark shiny fur.
“Heik? How can I…”
Surprised by what I said to myself, Lily covered her mouth as if she had spoken without realizing it.
“I’m sorry!! I don’t know what I’m saying!!”
“Am I a yeti?”
“Heik!! I’m so sorry!! Spare me!!”
Here we go again. I sighed.
“Lily, I won’t hurt you.”
Damn, this is like a comedy line I’ve heard somewhere. I had to confirm it with Lily.
“Be honest with me. Who am I?”
“Al… Alexa the Beast…”
“Heik! I’ve committed a sin worthy of death!! I’m sorry!! That’s what everyone calls you…
I thought you knew!!”
The Beast? Yeti?
The direction translation of yeti to English is beast right?
“Am I The Beast?”
“You can tell me the truth. I can’t remember right now. Haa…”
Lily hurriedly began to spout words as if she felt guilty from hearing my tired voice.
“Miss Alexa is under a spell! I heard she was originally very, very beautiful!! The witch’s hatred enchanted her!”
“A witch hates me?”
“Yes! When Miss Alexa came to vacation in this villa, she turned away the witch who came looking for shelter because they were so shabby and poor looking. Then she cursed you because she was angry! That’s how Miss Alexa turned into a beast! She was originally a very beautiful princess of this kingdom…I think that’s… I… I… I know…”
Her voice became smaller as if she was losing confidence, and her face began to droop. Ah, this kid. I really can’t believe it. At least I can believe that Alexa was previously pretty. But what’s with this look right now… then…
“This isn’t some kind of Beauty and the Beast…”
Is it really Beauty and the Beast?
The setting is subtly matching up?
Is this a bit like the beast in Disney, where he’s cursed by a witch and punished as a furry beast?
First of all, I know where I am is not real. Magic and princesses, it can’t possibly be 21st century Korea. My instincts, sharpened with time, confirm this to me. This is not Korea, and I am not Lee Hanbyul.
I haven’t been reborn, and now I’m in Alexa’s furry body…
Damn, I possessed Alexa’s body?
But why am I here?
Aren’t people usually possessing fraudulent beauties loved by everyone?
Why don’t I at least have dazzling skin or skin gold, silver, pink, or even brunette hair?
Why am I a yeti?
Why am I a beast?
Wait a minute…
Damn it, but I’m a girl?
Shouldn’t you at least let her remain a human being, even if she’s not the best woman in the world?
What the heck, a furry monster?!!
“I’m a beast?”
“I’m a beast?!”
* * *
I left the bathroom, cursing at this reality I didn’t want to believe. Lily, who was quietly lowering her head, followed me.
“Miss Alexa, breakfast… You have to eat…”
“Fine, sit down here.”
Damn, breakfast does not seem important right now. I sat on the bed and tapped the seat next to me. Lily approached me hesitantly.
“I–! I’ll just sit on the floor!”
As expected, Lily won’t come closer than one meter to me. I feel slightly upset, but let’s move on. This is not the point.
“Anyway. Now… Whew… What the hell is this…”
“Yes… yes? Shall I sit on the bed?”
“Never mind, just sit there and talk to me. I don’t remember much right now.”
“… Perhaps! You are probably still in shock from Princess Ariel’s coming and going!”
“Ariel? Who is that?”
“She’s the princess of this country, Alexa’s sister. A few days ago, Ariel came to see Alexa, and after Princess Ariel left, Alexa was sad. Weeping to the point it made the whole castle cry… She stayed only in her room for meals. Well, she’s always in her room, but……”
“Sister? Princess? … Wait, If my sister is Princess Ariel, why am I just called Alexa?”
“Because I’m Alexa the Beast?!”
“What, so that just became my name?”
It’s so annoying. It is said that an unlucky person has a broken nose even if they fall backwards, and I possessed the body of this beast and am not treated as a princess…
“Ha, explain it to me first.”
“… Yes, Yes! Alexa is Alexandra de Peliagen Dwight, the third princess of the kingdom of Felipe. Camilla is the second concubine and her mother, but she died when Alexa was six, and so Alexa has been vacationing here at the Connetti villa since the age of seven. She’s been living here ever since she’s been under the spell.”
“Living here? How old am I now?”
“You don’t even remember that? Are you so shocked? What should I do? We need to hurry and let the head maid know!!”
Lily, who began frantically fussing, trembled when she saw my bitter eyes and sat down again.
“Go on, don’t forget one thing, from beginning to end.”
“Yes! I’m sorry! Alexa is 18 years old now. You’re supposed to make your social debut at the age of 16, but the situation is… You’ve been staying in Connetti all this time….but you’re engaged! “
She’s been here for 11 years because of this shit, and she has a fiance?
“Who is it?”
“That… That’s… Well, if you don’t remember that, I’ll… No, I will tell you, Alexa’s fiance is Marquis Berford Harman. He is the eldest son of the Marquis Jerome Harman and the commander of the Knights of the Crown. He’s so handsome! You’re the most coveted marriage partner in Felipe, the Flower of Felipe’s sword!”
How can such a good-looking man get engaged to a furry woman like this? Lily added more when she saw my gaping countenance.
“We don’t know how the engagement came about….they say there was some sort of contract, but anyway… But this engagement… I… it…”
I urged Lily to continue her sentence with a pointed look.
“It’s about to be broken off. It’s a fact that Princess Ariel and Marquis Berford are lovers. The engagement lasted this long because Alexa is stubborn, but unless you get married soon… it’ll be hard…”
“What, is this a sister feud?”
“To be exact, Alexa the Beast is regarded as quite unpleasant to the people…”
“So I’m known as the bad bitch who stole her sister’s man?”
“That… Because the Marquis of Berford hated Alexa openly, but Miss Alexa insisted on his majesty, the engagement was finally made…”
“Did I… Like the Marquis?”
“You liked him a lot! A total obsession… Ah, I’m sorry. Anyway, you are doing the work His Majesty agreed upon on the condition of your engagement with the Marquis.”
What does that mean?
“If you don’t know this… How can I explain this… I…”
“Miss Alexa is very strong.”
What is she talking about?
“Oh! No, really, Alexa is very strong. You’re dealing with all the enemies who entered our kingdom. A so-called beast of death. Last time during the war against the Empire of Ephil, Alexa defended the border. It would have been really dangerous if it wasn’t for Alexa.”
“Didn’t you say I was 18?”
An 18-year-old girl goes to war and kills people? Is that a girl? Looking at my muscles covered with shaggy fur, it’s not ridiculous, but it can’t be helpful to any adolescents’ desirable mental growth.
“So I’m very grateful to Alexa. Even though people call her cruel, if it weren’t for Alexa, we’d be part of the Empire by now. If our kingdom became a vassal of the Empire, we wouldn’t be able to curse Alexa so much, but I think they are really ungrateful people.”
Lily was no longer trembling, as she started to speak out in anger. Well, anyway, I’m here to help and get cursed at. Damn, I finally understood.
‘Aren’t I the heroine? The beast, an omniscient outcast, a national twin?!’
I swept up my hair roughly, or the fur that covered my forehead. The familiar frizzy sensation interrupted by the sound of my clothes ripping. Beast. Furry beast. The Beast of Death. Oh God damn it. Beast. I muttered, repeating the set of words.
‘Shit, I can’t ever be happy.’
Besides that, Lily helped me understand me the situation here in the villa, and the present situation of the kingdom. I’ve figured things out on the pretext of Lily’s words.
“Was this helpful to you?”
“Very. Now, lets…”
She looked at me as if puzzled. Even here where I had no grasp on the situation, my survival instincts promptly showed off my presence. I moved my lips resolutely.
“I’m hungry so bring me breakfast.”
I’m trying to make ends meet, so let’s eat first.