“Our daughter, what kind of gift would you like for your birthday?”

“ A gift?”

I paused and put down the cookie that I was about to bring to my mouth.
When I glanced across, I saw my mother smiling at me.

‘Come to think of it, my birthday is coming up soon.’

I hadn’t been paying much attention to dates in my daily life, so I hadn’t realized that my birthday was approaching.

“Well, I’m not sure at the moment… I’ll think about it and let you know later.”

I shrugged my shoulders and picked up the cookie that I had set down.
I took a big bite, savoring the sweet and rich vanilla flavor that filled my mouth.

‘Mmm, it’s delicious.’

As I quietly enjoyed the cookie, my mother’s voice continued.

“By the way, I heard that there will be a big auction in the city in a few days.
If nothing comes to mind right now, how about choosing a gift from there?”

“… An auction?”

I blinked in surprise at the unexpected suggestion.

‘Are they referring to the auction organized by the royal family?’

In the city, there would occasionally be auctions hosted by the royal family every few years.

As an auction directly organized by the royal family, it was known to be on a completely different scale compared to regular auctions.

‘But isn’t it too inefficient to go all the way to the city just to choose a single gift?’

After all, the items available at the auction would likely be similar to those found elsewhere.
It seemed better to spend that time comfortably at home.

‘I’ll just stick to my usual routine of browsing through catalogs and making a choice.’

That’s what I thought as I was about to open my mouth.

My father, who had been silent the whole time, suddenly interjected into the conversation.

“I heard there are many rare items at this auction.
It’s been a while since we had a family outing, so we could all go together and enjoy the sights.”


I remained silent, inwardly sighing at my father’s words.

It seemed that the decision to attend the auction had already been made without my consent.

‘Well, it wouldn’t hurt to visit the auction once in a while,’ I thought to myself.

I casually shrugged my shoulders and picked up the last remaining cookie from the plate, popping it into my mouth.

I didn’t particularly want to celebrate with fireworks, now that we were planning a family outing after a long time.

‘If we’re going anyway, it would be nice to find something I like,’ I mused.

Until that moment, I hadn’t given much thought to the upcoming auction I would be attending.

I had been preoccupied with preparing for the trip to the city.

However, a few days later…

I deeply regretted my decision to go to the auction.

* * *

The first time I realized that I had been reincarnated as the protagonist of a novel was when I was about ten years old.

There wasn’t a particular trigger; one day, I just woke up and found that the memories of my past life had returned.

According to those memories, my previous life had been extremely unhappy.

I had barely parents who used me for their gain, people around me who constantly tried to take advantage of me, and debts that only grew over time.

It was truly a horrific memory that I never wanted to recall again, but thanks to remembering my past life, I discovered a few things.

First, the world I currently live in is the world of a romance fantasy novel called “Companion of the Wolf.”

And second, I am the “heroine” of that novel.

When I first learned this fact, it was a shock, but as time passed, I somewhat accepted the fact that I was a character from a novel.

There weren’t any major problems with me being reincarnated as a character in the novel.

The original character, Cynthia Evergreen, had everything from the moment she was born.

Beautiful looks, a wealthy family, and a harmonious home.
Her life was truly envy-inducing.

Thanks to being reincarnated as Cynthia Evergreen, I was able to spend my childhood in an environment that was incomparable to my previous life.

‘The problem is what comes next…’

According to the original story, I was supposed to meet the male lead and fall in love with him around next winter.

Of course, that was only the case if I followed the original story, but in reality, the chances of me meeting the male lead were close to zero.

‘Why would I voluntarily meet that person when it’s the start of troubles the moment I meet him?’

In the original story, Cynthia goes through all sorts of hardships and trials as a consequence of falling in love with the male lead.

It starts with a casual kidnapping and continues with various threats, even leading to attempted murder.

Although she eventually reaches a happy ending after enduring numerous challenges, it doesn’t mean that all the suffering before that was non-existent.

‘No matter what happens, I must never get involved with the male lead.’

… Making that determination and forgetting about the original story for a while, was it a mistake?

It wasn’t until I arrived at the auction house that I rec

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