Hugo looked blissful when I agreed with what he said. Penelope looked at her brother, back at me, and smiled strangely. It wasn’t the smile of joy of an older sister for his younger brother, who has met a woman on the same wavelength as him. I couldn’t place it. But I had a feeling that I shouldn’t be judging a person based on their smiles.
“Would you excuse me for a moment?” Hugo suddenly said. I nodded.
No matter what world we are, nature calls. It is fortunate that toilets are made to some extent, at least in large cities. As Hugo left the drawing-room, to my surprise, Penelope suddenly leaned over the table, placing her face close to me.
“You’re from a different world, right?” she suddenly said.
I was shell-shocked with those choice of words. Did I hear it wrong? Penelope was staring at me with a look of anticipation. What does she even mean by ‘a different world’?
“Uh… are you not?”
“What do you mean….?” I answered cautiously. Somehow, I felt like I had to be careful. If Hugo was out of earshot, then this was meant to be a secret. And like all secrets, they should be handled with care. Especially now, since I don’t know what kind of secret this person I barely knew wanted to share with me.
“Aren’t you a reincarnator?”
She said again, adding more confusion to my head. What reincarnator? I don’t know what that is, but I felt it was crucial. I spoke gravely, trying to match her secretiveness. “I think we should be quiet about that.”
Penelope’s blue eyes sparkled and her lips curled upwards. “I knew it!” she exclaimed in a whisper. “As expected! Ever since the story changed, I thought something was strange. It turns out it’s because of another reincarnator. Then, is Alice still the villain?” she said to herself more than to me. She shook her head. “No, Alice wasn’t a villain in the first place, so it mustn’t be the case…”
Uh, um… I thought I was good at improvising, but I think this is a little too much for me. Nevertheless, I have to keep up with her for now.
“I don’t know about that either,” I said.
“Ah, right?” she nodded. “It’s hard to tell. In fact, when I first remembered it, I wondered what and where this was. I wasn’t even the main character. But after seeing Ethan and hearing the Princess’ name, I gradually realized it. Alice is also the main character’s sister. Don’t you feel that way too?”
Oh, great. Another unknown terminology. Main character? I wish Hugo would come back soon. My confidence to follow the story smoothly was starting to disappear.
“I know how it feels. It’s quite strange,” I said, like a cold-reading expert.
“Oh, I’m glad! It was very difficult for me to adapt. It’s not that I was dissatisfied with my life up until then, but I felt like, if I came into a web-novel, I should have been the main character…” she said, sighing. “I was dissatisfied that I’m an ambiguous character, who isn’t even considered an extra. Well, it’s not anyone’s fault…But well, when I remembered I was an Ethan-Ellie supporter, I thought this was a great opportunity because Ethan is close to me! After that, everything just got better.”
Penelope smiled, and conspiringly said, “Whose supporter are you? You’re not from the single Ellie camp, are you? I think that’s useless. If it’s romance fantasy, then there has to be romance, naturally.”
I gazed at Penelope,wondering if she has some kind of mental illness. What in the hell is she talking about? Is she implying that we are inside a novel? And what’s that term: a web-novel? But back to the topic at hand – it doesn’t even make sense. It’s true that I lived in a different world in my previous life but to be inside a novel? It’s a ridiculous story that doesn’t make sense no matter how much I try to rationalize it.
Fortunately, I don’t need to delve deeper… Penelope is a good conversationalist with herself; I only have to pay some lip service once in a while to play along. I believe an insane, but good-natured person is harmless… Besides, if I were to entertain the context, it seems like a pretty interesting delusion.
“Of course! Romance is important,” I nodded, smiling.
Penelope looked like she was about to burst from her seat. “So? Are you team Aaron-Ellie or an Ethan-Ellie?”