There was a BL novel that I enjoyed. It was a story about two men who met despite their different reasons for living and eventually fell in love.
I loved that kind of doomed love. So I often binge-watched the novel, even though only the first part was released.
Their meeting was a bit special, unlike other novels. Ironically, it was the main character’s fiancée who brought them together.
The fiancé was in poor health. The person hired to heal her was the love interest.
However, he fails to save her life. Instead, he found himself entangled in his own fate and love.
It’s bad enough that she’s sick, but she has to watch her fiancé get involved with someone else. It’s a pitiful situation for both parties.
Well, for them, anyway.
But the novel was a world built for the protagonist. No one cared how she, the supporting character, felt.
As a reader, I felt the same way. I anticipated their relationship deepening more than her death.
But maybe I should have.
I woke up one day to find myself as the fiancée of the main character.
Estelle Labyrinth, a supporting character.
As soon as I realized this fact, I rushed to find a physician. The maid, who was listening to my ramblings, immediately brought the physician.
He must have been waiting in the next room, because he appeared in a flash.
He examined my body without comment, as I was clearly not in a normal state.
I stared blankly at the doctor.
The sound of the wind outside the window was disturbing. I was bothered by his trembling hands.
I don’t know why so many things are bothering me today. My agitated emotions showed no signs of settling.
The doctor blurted out in the midst of all the noise. I turned my stiff head to study his expression.
His pupils darted about. His words slurred, unable to find the words to follow up.
I had a feeling. I desperately hoped it wasn’t, but the outcome was already set in stone.
The thin and soft blanket crumpled in my hand. Thump, thump, I barely managed to calm my pounding heart.
“It’s okay, just tell me.”
The gentle tone of my voice calmed the physician’s face. I wondered if he thought I would take whatever he said in stride.
He took a deep breath and finally spoke.
“Three months at the most.”
The voice that pronounced my death mercilessly stabbed at my ears.
My breath stopped for a moment. The pressure was so intense that blood vessels appeared on the back of my hand, which I had tightly clenched.
The sensation of my heart plunging off a cliff made my insides dizzy. The question “Why?” swirled incessantly.
“The cause… I cannot determine it either. It’s a disease I’ve never seen before.”
These were not the words of a doctor who treats people.
“This isn’t a misdiagnosis, is it?”
“No, it’s not.”
To be so certain of my death. I can’t help but laugh hollowly.
I don’t know if I should blame the inept doctor or scream for another one.
But I already knew. Estelle is dying of an unexplained illness.
So it wouldn’t have made any difference if I had called for another doctor. Anyone would have sentenced me to death.
“You’re telling me to die.”
Perhaps due to the absurd events that had happened one after another, I couldn’t find any elegant words.
“That’s enough, please leave.”
At this rate, I was going to blame an innocent physician. I shook my head and waved my hands.
I felt the doctor who had been watching me get up from his seat. With a click, his presence disappeared.
As soon as the physician left, I forcefully threw the pillow in my hand.
A loud, noisy sound of shattering filled the air. I wiped my face roughly with both hands, trying to comfort myself.
It’s alright. It’s an inevitable situation.
Possessing Estelle. The fact that she is a terminally ill woman who will die soon.
It’s a strange coincidence, not my fault, not anyone’s fault.
Therefore, my death was also an inevitable event. I cannot defy a fate that is intricately woven like puzzle pieces. Haven’t I felt it enough until now?
So I should have been okay. Accepting this reality obediently and living an ordinary life… Living an ordinary life…
“I will die.”
Not me, but Estelle will die. No one will know about my death.
My eyes fluttered open. I slowly lifted my head and examined my body.
My arms are pure white, so different from my original body. Golden hair tickled my arm.
It all belonged to Estelle Labyrinth. Not mine.
It can’t be. It should be mine, at least until I die.
It should be.
Why, of all things.
I can’t even control my own death.
I kept telling myself it was okay. But it wasn’t.
“It can’t be okay…….”
I couldn’t accept my fate as casually as I had before.
I had to go back. I had to return to my own body, not this unfamiliar one.
I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be possible. But still, I had to try.
Even if it turned out to be a futile struggle.
* * *
I didn’t know why I was possessed, so I didn’t know how to get back.
So I had no choice but to try everything I could.
First, I tried fainting. It was after I possessed this body that I lost consciousness.
Hitting my head against the wall only made me feel pain, but not strong enough to faint.
Rolling down the stairs and falling into the water managed to knock me out, but it wasn’t an escape.
Seeing that nothing had changed, I decided to try something else. Fortunately, there is magic in this world.
If it can make the impossible possible, I might be able to get back.
I gathered as many spellbooks as I could find. I read until the sun set and the moon rose.
But no matter how many books I piled up in my room, there was no way to get back to the original world.
I had to accept that magic could not be the solution.
By then, I was mentally exhausted, so I dabbled in forbidden spells. But nothing could bring me back.
After all my attempts, I was still Estelle Labyrinth, a supporting character in a novel.
And I was growing accustomed to her life. Funnily enough.
* * *
The sky gradually turned scarlet. I stared at the sight in silence.
Everything was different, but the sky was the same as the world where I used to live.
But I hadn’t seen the sky this closely in years.
At this time of day, I’d be working nonstop. I didn’t have the luxury to look up.
But here, it’s different. Money pours in even if I do nothing. It’s not just a small room, there’s a mansion-like house too.
I can eat what I want, wear what I want.
There were no people here who could ignore me. At most, they were an extremely small minority.
It’s a life so different from the one I was born into. The life I envied and longed for.
How many humans can overcome that?
The more I become aware of Estelle’s life, the less I wanted to go back.
If I were to die, I wanted at least one person to regret it.
I desperately wished for someone to regret and seek forgiveness from someone who doesn’t exist in this world.
But even that was just a futile wish. I don’t know if there is a human being who would regret anything.
If there were, it wouldn’t have come to this point. I know it well.
That my death will have no effect on them.
But I didn’t go back.
Because I was so stupid.
I felt stupid for living my life so I couldn’t die. I resented them for letting me come to the other world.
But even that was beginning to fade. I started to think that it would be better to live and die comfortably here.
Maybe it was because the reality was so shitty.
I was too exhausted to defy fate.
And so I chose to live on as Estelle Labyrinth.
* * *
Acceptance was hard, but after that, it was easy.
I’m dying, but I don’t feel anything wrong with my body right now. There will be pain, but not enough to worry about right now.
So, as long as I don’t force myself to remind myself of the time limit, I was able to go about my day peacefully.
“The wound still hasn’t healed.”
I pulled back my bangs and examined my forehead carefully in the mirror. There was a diagonal red line from a scratch.
I don’t think it will leave a scar, but……. Maybe I should have been more gentle.
I must have been half-crazy at the time, because there were plenty of bruises and cuts on my arms and legs.
The creepy memory made the hairs on my arms stand on end.
I shook off the uncomfortable feeling and looked in the mirror again.
It’s been a while, but I can’t get used to this face.
Pure white skin, light blue eyes. Wavy, sunset-coloured hair.
A clean-cut, innocent look… not exactly a stunning beauty, to be honest.
“Not ugly, either.”
An unassuming beauty. Just like that.
There are some people who are not memorable just by looking at them once, but the more you look at them, the more beautiful they become.
Estelle’s appearance was like that. I wasn’t impressed at first, but as I kept looking at her, I started to like her.
Well, maybe it’s because it’s my body.
In the first place, I had never seen anyone else, so my standards were arbitrary.
“How beautiful is she?”
When I thought about the standards of beauty in this world, I naturally thought of him.
Diet, the protagonist of the novel and Ethel’s fiancé.
He was often described as the most beautiful man in the world. That kind of person is my fiancé.
It didn’t feel real yet. After all, I hadn’t seen him since I possessed.
“I’d love to see him.”
I wondered how beautiful he was.
In my mind’s eye, I tried to picture Diet’s face as described in the novel.
Long hair that looked like it had been plucked from platinum. Violet eyes like amethysts.
There are many other ways to describe him, but this is the only one I can remember.
It was enough to tell me that he was very handsome.
Gradually, I began to get a clearer picture of him in my head. More glamorous than plain, perhaps.
Yeah, like that guy……?
My mind was racing. An unfamiliar figure entered my field of vision.
As soon as I saw his face, I realised who he was.
It was the main character, Diet.
T/N: the novel volumes isn’t divided by chapters so I used ‘part’ instead.