Awakening me from my slumber was the loud mechanical bell chime in my ears.
'Who's ringing bells in my room?!' That was the first thought that came to my mind.
Lethargically getting myself up, I rubbed my hazy eyes. The stiffness of my body made me think as if I had been sleeping for days.
Messaging my aching forehead, I lazily but carefully scouted my surroundings through my bleary eyes.
I found myself in a one-bedroom apartment… But it was way bigger than mine?
Not to mention the clean and tidy interior. This was certainly not my apartment.
Confused, I looked around as I got up from the bed I had been lying on earlier.
Memories of what happened at the entrance of my apartment came flooding into my head, leaving me with a frown.
"... Huh? Shouldn't I be dead?" I thought out loud as I remembered being shot by a certain maniac author.
Damn that guy! Who shoots a person just because they don't happen to like your shitty story?!
Rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn't just sleeping, I blinked several times before pinching my cheek.
"Mmm! It doesn't look like I'm dreaming…."
At first, I thought that someone must've rescued me at the last minute and I must be in a hospital or something.
Or better yet, maybe I was having one of those before-death visions and would die any moment now.
But as each second passed, it became clear to me that I was certainly not dreaming.
It felt all too real to be a dream. My senses were working properly, and I could even smell.
The scent of lavender room freshener lingering in the apartment was clearly picked up by my nose.
Fun fact: You can't smell in dreams.
But just to double-check, I grabbed the nearest book from a small bookshelf beside my bed.
You can't read in dreams, either.
Opening a random page, I was about to read its contents out loud before I heard another mechanical bell sound.
Startled, I started looking around me to find the source of the sound.
But before I could find anything, a blue translucent screen appeared in my vision out of nowhere with another bell chime.
Name→ Lucas Morningstar [Face Image]
Mana Capacity→ 500/500
Rank→ Iron 2
Potential→ Gold 3
Profession→ Spearman Lvl. 1 || Archer Lvl. 1
Affinity→ Fire » Lightning || Light
Spells→ Fireball ⟨Low⟩ || Zap Touch ⟨Low⟩
Blessing→ Mana Burst
"...What?" After a second of pause, I voiced my disbelief.
A multitude of questions bombarded my mind as I stood there blankly.
It felt like a distasteful joke.
Putting a hand to my mouth in disbelief, I let all kinds of wild scenarios run through my mind.
Maybe I was hallucinating. Maybe I was dead and this wasn't even real. Maybe all this was a prank!
However, none of those scenarios were reasonable enough.
I had to make sure of what I was assuming. I needed confirmation. Thinking about that, I remembered the book I was holding in my hands.
Abruptly, I closed the book and looked at its cover. And sure enough, I was left stunned
The words [Global Military Academy: Course 1] were printed on the book's cover.
That, along with the 'status' screen I just saw, was enough evidence for me but I still decided to look for a mirror.
When I turned my head to look behind, I found a desk at the front end of the room. On top of that desk was a mirror.
A fancy silver-bordered mirror.
After walking up to the mirror with slow, shaky steps, I looked at my reflection.
And as soon as my gaze fell on my reflection in the mirror, I couldn't help but gasp in shock.
I had pale skin, as white as snow, that brought out my merlot-red eyes. My dark black hair was replaced by the lightest shade of white, and my small, slightly chubby figure was now tall and well-built.
"White hair?!" I blurted out with a frown. "I'm an albino?!"
I wore a black shirt with white buttons paired and a plain black jogger.
The sleeves of my shirt were folded back and the buttons were left open until my collarbone was visible.
"What a weird combo," I couldn't help but comment on my own clothes.
Yes, it was an odd choice for clothing, but this face that I had could make anything I wore look good.
I'm not exaggerating. If I were to wear leaves, I would still look like a model with this face!
The boy in the mirror was nothing short of an anime protagonist that gets all the girls.
The captivating charm that my face carried made me look as if I was standing at the epitome of beauty.
Mhmm, I looked like a pretty boy... but I knew that couldn't be further from the truth.
How did I know that? Because I recognized the boy I was looking at in the mirror.
"This is a joke… right?"
I knew what I was thinking was indeed happening to me.
It may sound weird to hear, but this was the reality that has been presented to me.
I've been reborn.
To be precise…
I've been reborn inside a web novel.
But that wasn't it! I didn't become the protagonist! Nor did I become an extra!
I had become a villain!
Not even the main villain, no! The stepping stone for the protagonist and his allies!
Why did I have to be reborn in 'this' novel out of all the gazillion other web novels out there?
I couldn't help but recall the face of that maniac author. The maniac author who killed me…
After all, this was his novel…
Does he have something to do with all this? Did he drug me? I could be on drugs! Thoughts like that entered my mind but I soon shook them off.
"What am I even thinking?!"
All the proofs were in front of me. I had no choice but to accept the reality.
"Huuu!" Shaking my head, I took a deep breath to calm myself down.
I know I just woke up but this felt like a dream.
How could this even be happening to me? This is the most clichè situation I have ever been put into all my life.
Turning back around, I took a few steps and sat at the edge of the bed.
My knees felt weak and my heart slammed against my chest like crazy, almost as if I was getting high on adrenaline.
My breathing fastened as the gravity of the situation finally started to sink in.
A soft giggle escaped my trembling lips the next moment.
…Yes, I was laughing.
I was smiling and laughing. For the first time in so long, I was laughing!
I was feeling excited!
I didn't remember the last time my heart slammed against my chest so hard.
So what if I was in a trashy web novel? I was still in a fantasy world, nonetheless!
I didn't care about anything else. My life was so bland anyway.
It's not that I didn't have anything. On the contrary, I had everything I could possibly ask for.
My looks weren't the best, but I was still decent looking. I was pretty smart too and had a job.
I had a loving girlfriend, a bunch of loyal friends, and three caring siblings. I even had the best parents in the whole world.
They all loved me. It was a perfect life. It was an ideal life.
But for whatever reason, I never truly felt satisfied. I never felt anything genuine.
I could never truly love any of them. Not my girlfriend, siblings, friends, or not even my parents.
I never actually felt connected to any of them.
I always felt like there was a certain distance between us.
I always felt like they didn't really know the real me. How could they? I didn't even really know myself either.
I always felt like there was this feeling of emptiness in my heart that couldn't seem to go away no matter what I may do.
I felt like I didn't belong there with them. I didn't belong in that world.
I only loved them because I had to. As if I was only doing my duty.
Now you may call me scum for that but I can't help it. I was born like that.
I was born broken.
I felt like I was just playing my part in a play. Like I was just a cog in a machine.
It was a boring life. It was a dead life. A repetitive life with nothing eventful ever going on.
I was living in a circle.
Thinking back on it, I may have started feeling that way when that nightmare started appearing.
But whatever the reason may be, I was happy that I escaped that tedious life.
However, I soon stopped giggling like a madman when I remembered the plot of the web novel I was in.
Even though I was inside a fantasy world, the plot of this story was literally hell for its character.
I only read it till volume 7, but the characters were dropping dead like flies nearing the end of it.
"I don't want such a fate!" I said in denial.
And not to mention my character!
I was in the body of Lucas Morningstar.
He was a minor villain in the 1st volume and was promoted to a major villain in the first half of the 2nd volume.
"Tsk," Clicking my tongue, I closed my eyes to calm my mind.
"No, no, no! I need to do something and I need to do it fast!"
My worry was reasonable.
If I remember correctly, which I do because I have a near-perfect memory, Lucas Morningstar belonged to one of the ruling families— the elite house of Morningstars, also known as the House Of The Wolves.
He was one of the second-born twins of General Reynold Morningstar.
He wasn't exactly strong, but due to his backing he thought he could do whatever he wanted.
His beliefs weren't exactly wrong either.
He had committed several small crimes in the past and all of them were suppressed by his father.
It was not because Reynold loved his trash son or something. No, on the contrary, he hated Lucas.
He simply did all that to preserve the name of his family.
In short, Lucas was just a disgrace to the Morningstar family.
Anyway, as I was saying, Lucas Morningstar started out as a minor villain in the 1st volume.
Before coming to the Global City, he was excommunicated by his father but he still didn't lose his haughtiness.
He was a vicious person and a scum of a man.
Once, he was hitting a girl. So Nero Dekrauf, the protagonist of the story, confronted him.
Lucas being the young master he was, challenged Nero to a duel.
Needless to say, he got his ass kicked within a few seconds.
Nero saved the girl, and she, of course, fell head over heels for the protagonist.
A cliche plot! Right?! Tell me about it!
Shaking my head in ridicule, I started thinking of a way to escape my crisis.
Well, the solution was pretty clear.
I don't need to hit a girl and stray clear from the protagonist until the first volume of the story ends.
After that, I'll do something to avoid the destruction that'll start in the 7th volume. The volume when the final war will begin.