“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 recalled a very important fact.

That is, today’s auction in the capital holds a significant event from the male lead’s past.

‘How could I forget such an important event?’

I wiped my face with one hand and let out a sigh as if the ground was about to swallow me.

To forget that pivotal event in the male lead’s life, of all things.

It was so absurd that I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.

“Milady, your complexion doesn’t look good.
If you’re feeling unwell, should I go get a physician right away…?”

At that moment, the knight who was casting worried glances at me cautiously opened his mouth.
It seemed he was concerned about me sighing continuously beside him.

“No, forget the physician.
Instead, could you call Father for me? If I tell him I found a gift I like, he’ll come right away.”

“Pardon?”

The knight momentarily showed a surprised expression at my words.
Then, he glanced over my shoulder with an incredulous look.

“If it’s a gift you like, are you referring to… that, by any chance?”

“Yes, exactly.”

Responding nonchalantly, I sensed a mix of concern in the knight’s gaze.

He hesitated as if he had something to say, but eventually nodded reluctantly.

“… Understood.
I will go see Master, so please wait here for a moment.”

“I need to hurry before anyone else arrives.
Got it?”

“Yes.”

While the knight went to fetch my parents, I slowly turned my back and looked behind.

There was a large iron fence that would not be scratched even if it was dropped from a cliff.


And inside it, at a glance, a golden wolf was imprisoned in bad condition.

Its golden fur was stained with dark blood as if it had been left to suffer.

Seeing its faint rise and fall of the chest, it seemed to be barely clinging to life.

‘… I can’t believe I’ll meet the male lead like this.’

I gazed at the wolf trapped behind the bars with a somewhat bewildered feeling.

Some might consider it a monster just by its appearance alone, but the wolf in front of me was certainly not a monster.

His name was ‘Michael Shtarten.’

He was a rare wolf shapeshifter in this world and the male protagonist of the original story, whom I thought would never be involved with me.

‘I should have realized when they mentioned the auction being held in the capital after a long time.’

I belatedly recalled the contents of the original story and released my lips that I had unknowingly bitten.

According to the original, Michael was to be sold to a despicable nobleman at the auction today and suffer cruel abuse for about a year.

He would miraculously escape afterward, but that memory would become a lifelong trauma for Michael.

‘If he’s still here, it must be before he’s sold to that noble.’

I swallowed a sigh as I looked at Michael.

I couldn’t grasp whether it was fortunate or unfortunate that he was discovered before being sold.

And then, it happened.

Slowly, as if regaining consciousness, Michael twitched, showing a slight movement.

Finally, he slowly lifted his head and looked in my direction.

‘…!’

When our gazes met, I involuntarily held my breath.

Even though I knew he wasn’t a real wolf, my mind reacted as if I had a wild beast right in front of me.

“Grrr.…”

Feeling uncomfortable with my gaze, Michael growled, threateningly shaking his neck.

“Hush, I won’t bother you, so don’t worry.”

As soon as I heard that, I immediately raised both hands and took a step back from Michael.



He already seemed to be in a bad condition, and I didn’t want to unnecessarily provoke him and worsen his injuries.

As I stepped back, Michael stopped growling and closed his mouth.

We spent some time in an awkward silence like that.

Finally, when the tent flap opened, my father appeared through it.

“My daughter, you’re here.”

As soon as I spotted my father, I quickly approached his side.

“What about Mother?”

“Your mother said she’ll look around a bit more and then come.
But before that, I heard you have something you like.”

Father briefly glanced at Mikael and then turned his gaze back to me.

I couldn’t possibly think that the thing I liked would be a wolf.

‘Well, unless someone is crazy, who would ask for such a big wolf as a birthday present?’

I chuckled inwardly and subtly glanced at Michael.

Still in the process of assessing the situation, Michael was hunched over, on guard against my father.

Occasionally, he would grimace, indicating that he was in considerable pain.

‘… If I just leave him like this, he’ll end up being abused like in the original story.’

I bit my lip to keep myself from getting hurt and let out a sigh.

Although I had intended not to get involved with the male lead if possible…

Now that we had come face to face like this, I couldn’t leave him to be sold to an abuser.

“… Father, didn’t you say you would buy me anything I like?”

I looked at my father cautiously, testing the waters.

“Yes.
Anything you want, choose whatever you like.”

Whether he knew my intentions or not, my father nodded readily in response.

Looking at him like that, I said something quite audacious.

“Well, then, for my birthday present, please buy me that wolf.”

I received the beast male lead as a birthday present

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