1. Snow White’s Stepmother
I saw a beautiful woman reflected in the mirror. Her smooth silver hair rippled like the ocean waves, and her purple eyes shone like amethysts. She looked quite beautiful, but at the same time, her eyes gave off a sharp, ruthless aura. She looked almost venomous. Quite a fitting face for a villain.The woman’s lips were red, as red as blood, and they parted to ask in a low voice,
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
The surface of the mirror started to ripple, like someone threw a pebble into a pond. In a flash, the woman disappeared from the mirror to reveal the face of a young girl.
“The fairest one of them all is the princess, Blanche Friedkin, your Majesty Abigail.”
I gazed at the mirror in a daze. The girl in the mirror must have felt me looking at her based on the scared expression gracing her face.
I approached the mirror as I let Blanche’s name escape my lips. Princess Blanche Friedkin, a young girl who turned 11 just this year. As the mirror said, the girl was indeed beautiful. Her black hair resembled the noble midnight sky. Her skin, as white as snow, didn’t have a single blemish upon it. Her eyes, like a rabbit’s, were absolutely lovely. Her soft, plump cheeks were practically begging to be pinched. She was more cute than beautiful at her current age, but she was bound to get numerous proposals as she matured.
“As I thought…”
Bang! I punched the wall in front of me with all the strength I could muster. Bang! Bang! The more I punched, the more agitated I became. As I thought, as I thought, Blanche is…!
“As I thought, Blanche is the cutest in the entire world!”
Once again, I was unable to control my love for Blanche. Even with the face of a doll, she managed to look regal and adorable at the same time! The mirror showed Blanche talking to her nanny with tears in her eyes. A cuteness that combined the likes of a rabbit and a puppy…! If this was the 21st century, she easily would have become a child star capable of captivating the hearts of millions. Ahhhhh! I just can’t get over how adorable she is! I ended up punching the wall a few more time to let off more steam. After a bit more time passed, I finally managed to calm down. I have some blood on my fists, but that doesn’t matter. Phew, Blanche is super duper cute today. To think this adorable girl is my daughter… I couldn’t believe it.
Technically she wasn’t my real daughter, but I could care less about being blood related. I ended up getting this beautiful child around a month ago. When I died and opened my eyes again, I found myself, somehow, in the world of Snow White.
* * *
My name is Baekhap Lee, a normal woman thirty years of age. I did overtime just like everyone else, I worried about my looks just like everyone else, and was concerned about my weight just like everyone else. Only hearing my name, most people would assume me to be a pale, thin girl like the Lily of my namesake. But reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Dark skin, short, chubby, but with an attractive personali-… no, who am I kidding? I was ugly as all hell. I was an average, ugly woman. My looks ended up making a lot of trouble back in the day, yet I managed to live a happy life. And it was all thanks to work.
After getting a degree in design, I got myself a job in a children’s clothing company. I designed clothes, and got to see them make their way to the market. It was far too enjoyable for me. But I must’ve wound up working too hard. After several years of being overworked, I ended up dying during the middle of a nap in the company. It probably happened because I ended up trying to diet while overworking… Ugh, I should have just settled with one or the other. In any case, I ended up dying, and opened my eyes in this body.
The body of a beautiful, charming, yet venomous lady. The stepmother of Snow White who ended up dying from envy. Abigail Friedkin. Even my face looked really scary. If I looked a little nicer, maybe Blanche would like me a little more?
I glanced at Blanche, who was sitting on the other side of the table. We were having a happy little tea time together. I kindly opened my mouth to ease Blanche.
“Try to be a little more comfortable, Princess.”
“Y-yes… Lady Abigail.”
Blanche was quite pale in the face. She couldn’t even look me in the eye. Her cup shook in her little hands so bad I wondered how she managed to keep all the tea in that thing without spilling. Sniff, I just wanted to have a nice time drinking tea with Blanche…
The tea time continued in dreadful silence. Blanche eventually took her eyes off her cup to look at me. Her big blue eyes seemed extremely innocent. Just like a tiny puppy. Her eyes seemed to ask “are you mad at me?”.
Ahh… Too cute. I couldn’t stop myself from grinning. Though when I made my ‘sweet mommy’ face, Blanche’s expression changed. Her puppy eyes immediately turned into those of a scared rabbit. Both eyes were already tearing up.
“D-did I do something wrong…?”
Ah. Come to think of it, Abigail’s smiling face was really scary. I surprised myself when I smiled in front of the mirror last time. This must be what having a murderous smile is like. A smile that could literally kill.
“No, it’s nothing.”
I went back to my poker face and pretended to drink. Blanche seemed to calm down a little bit. Just a little. The girl put her two hands around the cup and sipped on her tea. She also occasionally spared me a scared glance. It was so blatantly obvious that Blanche was terrified of me, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Hah… I want to touch that beautiful hair of hers. It would look so nice if I braided it a little bit. Then add some suspender pants, and a frilly blouse, too, and she would be the picture of perfection. Maybe a marine look to match her blue eyes? A white one piece with a sailor top, and a little blue ribbon…! My right hand started to twitch in anticipation. Oh man, I really want to design something for her!
Every time I see Blanche, I can feel my creative spark roar to life. I wanted to work even though it resulted in my death before… I’m a real weirdo, aren’t I? It’d be wonderful if Blanche could wear the clothes I designed. Well, I could make her wear it… but I’m afraid she’d take it as harassment. Just then, I heard Blanche’s voice.
“Umm, Lady Abigail?”
I came back to reality immediately. Blanche looked to be choosing her next words very carefully.
“Did you… need me for something today…? Did I… do something wrong?”
“No. I truly just wanted to have some tea.”
Blanche still seemed scared stiff. Well, it was no surprise, really, considering what Abigail did to her in the past. Abigail was really a piece of work. Being the most beautiful woman in the world was paramount above all else. She chased away any maids or servants considered even remotely beautiful. The rest of the women in the castle had to be abused with harsh labor and punishments. Blanche, of course, was no exception. Abigail couldn’t abuse the girl as much as the maids, but still she managed to harass her in many different ways. Like looking for all of Blanche’s faults.
Or spreading bad rumors about her. Or ripping her dresses apart one by one.
…Mm, it makes all too much sense for the girl to be trembling before me like this. I hosted a tea party because I wanted to get closer to Blanche, but I ended up scaring her instead. Oh dear. How can I atone for my sins and get closer to Blanche? I took a sip from my tea while pondering the thought. And… the tea managed to go down the wrong pipe…
Gah! Pain! Blanche’s round eyes became even rounder when she saw me hack up a storm. She gave me a towel, looking rather confused about what she should do.
“A-are you alright? Are you hurt anywhere?”
I waved my hands to try to show her I was OK. I felt guilty seeing Blanche’s worried face. To think the girl would still worry for me when Abigail treated her so badly… Too kind, simply too kind! I somehow stopped my incessant coughing to managed to eke out a few words.
“I-it’s ok. I’m alright.”
“Are you still sick…?”
Blanche looked distressed. Why is she looking at me like that? Ah, could it be because of that? To tell you the truth, just like how Baekhap died, Abigail died as well. When I woke up, it was during Abigail’s funeral. I was lying down in a coffin, and almost suffocated from all the lilies surrounding me. When I stood up in confusion and looked around, all I could see were shocked foreigners in a large room.
I remember making a scene trying to ask where I was and why I looked like this. The imperial doctor diagnosed me as confused having just recovered from a near death experience. Maybe that’s because my memories of Abigail were so faint? I had Abigail’s past memories, but they were all in bits and pieces. Thankfully, though, I had all the knowledge I needed to live as a queen.
After coming to grips with the situation, I did my best to fit in. But there was a problem. According to the ending of the story, I would feed Blanche a poisoned apple. I would then be forced to wear hot metal heels and dance like a madwoman until I died. I can’t die like that. If I want to avoid such a death, the first thing I need to do is improve my relations with Blanche! I looked at Blanche quietly. I tried my best to speak softly, all the while trying to avoid smiling.
“I’m fine. Thank you for worrying. In any case, Blanche,”
“I’m sorry for everything.”
Blanche’s eyes widened when she heard this.
“I’m sorry for all the harassment I put you through in the past. I’m regretting it very much. Dying once has made me reflect on my actions.”
Blanche made a strange face. She seemed very surprised, considering she only responded by blinking a few times.
“I know all my past transgressions will not disappear with a simple apology. Even so, I wanted to apologize.”
Blanche didn’t say anything for a while. I looked down, waiting for her answer. I could see Abigail’s face reflect off my tea. She looked like an angry cat, but she was beautiful nonetheless. She was nothing like my past self. A charming, almost snake like body. Beautiful, almost fantastical silver hair, and purple eyes. Her height was 170cm (5’6”) on the dot, her body beautifully toned, and her skin smooth like a fine piece of porcelain.
Such a beauty I became, that I stared at myself in the mirror for an entire day after first arriving in this world.
Why did she hate beautiful women so much, when she herself was already this beautiful? And to think she’d try to hurt a beautiful child like this… I looked up at Blanche for a moment. Her contemplative expression looked cute and cuddly, just like a hamster. I really want to touch her cheeks just once… Abigail’s pretty, but…
I like Blanche more. She’s cute. The strongest force of them all is cuteness! Ah, so cute. It makes me all tingly. Cuteness is justice!
TL: Soju Jimmy
Editor/QC: Solistia Cosmopolitan