Coming back from the Duke’s castle, the coach passes several green fields where barley and wheat grew to be harvested in summer. The scenery shifts from nature-loving farms to more toned-down brown and beige houses, cobblestone-paved streets and at one corner of the main road, a large white church constructed from marble.
“That girl mentioned transmigrators. Are you one, Tina?” The speaking black hamster reminds me of Cinderella and her mouse companions, but I urgently push that thought out of my mind. I have no will to become a tragic Disney princess with an animal sidekick.
“Did you and that ‘villainess’ come from the same world?”
“Mhmm.” I have no plan to say any further, and the little hamster did not urge more out of me. The rest of the ride was fairly silent with me feeding him small cookies I brought along.
When the coach reaches the transport hub, akin to a modern day bus-stop, I swiftly hop out and pat my dress to even the creases out after sitting. After paying the driver, I head towards the market as usual for daily groceries.
This was when I encounter a familiar green-haired boy with a foolish grin on his face, yapping loudly while biting on an apple. This boy with feminine features and small body figure, wearing the friendliest smiles and getting doted on by literally every older female, is another one of Aria’s harem members - the little brother stereotype.
With his lime-coloured eyes and grass-green hair, sporting green shirt + trousers… He was the greenest thing I’ve ever seen. I get that authors try to make their MLs different from each other by colour coding them, but bro you might as well make his skin green at this point.
“Big sister Tina~~!!” The boy greets happily when he sees me.
This boy is older than me by 3 years. But owing to his feminine appearance and childish mindset, nothing will stop him from calling me ‘big sister’. Ugh stop it I already feel old enough even if you don’t do that.
I put on a sickeningly sweet smile and ruffled his hair.
“You look very cute today! Want some cookies?” This boy is a surprise solo trick-or-treat event. You better have something to give or he’ll pester you. If it was only that, I’d have no problems associating with him… except, this childish front is what he wants everyone to see.
“Sister Tina is the best~~~” He accepts the cookie and pockets it.
The small hamster in my pocket kicks around in protest at the notion of his ration reducing.
Stop squirming or I'll beat you.
“Run along now.” I urge the boy by patting him on his back and the little grass shoot ran to another snack stall to beg for free food.
After buying some corn kernels to let my tiny house-mate get a taste of what ‘popcorn’ is, I walk back in the direction of my house carrying several bags of groceries.
At one turning corner, my eyes caught a sight of what looks like a group of thugs kneeling on the dirty floor of a dark alley. A certain boy sits haughtily on a wooden crate, his steely expression and cold gaze would bring enough fear to send shivers shocking your whole body. With the corner of his lips hooked upwards to give a sneer, he pushes his hand through his green hair in attempts to tame it.
With his slick hair and seriously ominous expression, he no longer resembled a playful boy, but a psychopath willing to destroy anyone in his path.
“Did you ruin the carriage of that bitch who slapped Aria?”
“Yes, we made sure to see her carriage trip off the cliff. She got sustainable injuries on her face and her leg will never work the same way again.”
“Good job. Make sure she can never have a good marriage prospect.” He ruffled his hair again, dismissing his multiple minions. When everyone dispersed, his face regains his childish grin as he walks out of the corner alley.
This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed this scene, but every time I do I shudder with… fear? No. It’s cringe. I shudder with cringe.
Look at that little psychopath go, happily crossing the bottomline. Did he actually cripple and scar someone just because they slapped the heroine? What did that poor scarred girl do so wrong? Her fiance was the person who cheated on her, and she had every right to slap that oblivious heroine. You should’ve fucked up your love rival and reduce competition, instead of pulling the innocent emotional fiancee into it!
Is your genius brain even working, oh master pulling the strings behind the curtains?
“His thoughts are a bit… extreme” The hamster pokes his small head out of my pocket, and his big eyes stare into the fading back of the boy.
“I'm sure it is. As a mob, the best move is to pretend you don’t know anything and act the way they want you to act.” I pat his little furry head.
Two-faced male leads are common.
It excites the readers seeing how everyone else is tricked by his persona, and it's fun observing the gap between his ruthless and innocent personalities. They will diligently wait for the day his fake exterior is finally exposed.
Sometimes the heroine finds out about his other self and accepts both sides of him, and therefore he starts falling deeply in love. Or the character skilfully hides his cold-blooded personality to help the female lead from the side lines.
Sure it’s awesome reading them on paper and ink, but getting involved with them in actual reality is a big no. They’re wilful and stubborn about what they want, they’ll ignore your opinions and push their ideals on you. You can never guess what impulsive action they’ll take next.
Conclusion: They’re overbearing and annoying. Their two-facedness is not charming, it means deceit and lack of trust.
“What does popcorn taste like?” My partner living in my pocket interrupts my thoughts and ogles at the corn kernels in my grocery bag with greedy eyes.
“Depends. Usually tad salty. But caramel can make it sweet.”
“Can I get both flavours?”
A/N: I'm planning to pause updates on this story until new year. Wishing everyone happy holidays!