“This can’t be real. It must be a dream.”
Feeling frustrated, Suhyeon kept glancing back and forth between his small hands, the very definition of cute, and his reflection in the full-length mirror.
He hated the soft character blanket he felt in his hands and his high-pitched voice that now sounded like a little girl’s.
He hated everything that had changed.
“Eugh! How could this happen! It’s too much! Waaah!”
Unable to control his emotions, he cried out loud.
Even the fact that his single bed now felt like a king-size was heartbreaking.
I just realized my talent!
Suhyeon was a member of a not-so-popular idol group.
Their name was END, but like their name, the group had completely fallen apart.
Four years of just spinning around!
Because of the CEO’s lingering attachment, END had made it to their fourth-year mark, but Suhyeon’s dancing, singing, and talking skills were all mediocre.
As a last attempt, the CEO pushed Suhyeon, the epitome of “an average yet awkward card,” into acting.
It had been hard enough for him to achieve a supporting male lead role.
But I made it! I made it!
With such a casual public certification, his popularity became on par with the male lead.
Naturally, interest in END grew, and they finally created a fan café after four years.
It was no secret that the members cried and hugged each other tightly.
“Ugh! I was doing so well, but how can I die now! Waaah!”
Remembering his sweet days, Suhyeon’s grief doubled as he buried his face in the bed.
Those busy yet enjoyable days didn’t even last half a year.
I’ll destroy all those tow trucks!!
On his way back from a late-night filming, he crashed into a tow truck driving on the wrong side of the road with its headlights on.
And he died.
Fortunately, the other members weren’t in the car, but his death was so unfair…
“Wait, I’m not dead?”
Suhyeon, who had been thinking up to that point, suddenly lifted his head and looked at the mirror across from him.
Staring back at him was a small child around four or five years old with reddened eyes from crying.
It was the appearance of his childhood that he had seen in photos.
His slightly curly yet glossy black hair.
His well-proportioned nose with a smooth curve and not-too-large nostrils.
Even the large and clear eyes were still beautiful despite having just cried.
In the photos, he had merely looked a little cuter than other children, but now he looked like an angel that descended from heaven.
I wasn’t human when I was young.
As Suhyeon approached the mirror and examined his features, he couldn’t help but curse at the garbage camera that had been unable to capture such beauty.
It felt like a scam that this appearance would eventually grow into mere “handsomeness.”
“Suhyeon! What’s wrong!?”
As he lost himself in his own appearance, a woman burst into the room, opening the door loudly.
A faint smell of beer wafted from her worried gaze.
“Why did our prince cry so much? Are you hurt somewhere? Huh? Should we go to the hospital? You seem to have a fever, too. Suhyeon’s dad! Call… no, call an ambulance! We need to take our child to the hospital!”
“Suhyeon, you must have been in much pain, right? Mom didn’t even know… I’m sorry.”
“I, I just called. It’s coming soon. Suhyeon, are you okay? We called the car, so… oh, what to do. Oh! Should I bring a wet towel? Does it hurt a lot?”
“Our Suhyeon must be really sick! He called me ‘Dad’!”
Suhyeon stared blankly at the fussing couple.
Though they had become quite young, they were undoubtedly his parents.
And they showed him unconditional concern and affection, just like in his memories.
Is this a dream…?
While he was standing blankly and not understanding the situation, an ambulance siren rang out, and his body was lifted amidst the hustle and bustle of people passing by.
By the time he regained his senses, he was on a white bed.
“There’s nothing seriously wrong. It seems the child was just very startled, but did anything happen?”
“There’s nothing wrong? The child cried enough to pass out! Please check again!”
“That’s right! Usually, he sleeps without any sleep tantrums, but tonight he cried so much! Even if he can’t speak, something must be wrong somewhere…!”
Suhyeon felt a little embarrassed watching his parents holding onto the doctor in the emergency room and casting a “resolute” spell.
He knew they were worried about him, but they were making such a fuss over him crying a little… it actually made him a little happy.
“Mom, Dad… I’m fine.”
“I had a scary dream, so I reacted like that. Doctor, I’m sorry.”
“Cute… Ah, no, never mind. I’m glad you aren’t in pain. If you need a nurse, just call her, okay? If anything happens, press the nurse call button. Then, I’ll be on my way.”
The doctor smiled at Suhyeon’s adorable apology and then disappeared.
His steps seemed to be heavy with reluctance as if he was deeply smitten.
Wow, he completely melted.
Even though he was mistaken for a girl, Suhyeon didn’t mind.
Even he thought his young appearance was pretty and adorable enough to make other girls jealous.
In fact, he found the doctor’s attitude quite pleasant.
It’s been a while since I’ve been praised for my face.
His adult appearance wasn’t bad, either.
However, he was in the entertainment industry, a place where handsome and beautiful people gathered, and within it, he was undoubtedly just an “average.”
He was handsome but average, where people would say, “He’s a male idol,” and then move on.
Even after gaining fame for his acting skills, he was often confused with other idols—an exact representation of average.
Living like that and now obtaining unrivaled beauty felt amazing.
I need to maintain this beauty until adulthood.
Being a man and getting by wouldn’t cut it in this harsh world.
He couldn’t become rapidly popular with just mediocre good looks as an adult.
Wait, do I really need to wait until I’m grown up?
While thinking that far, Suhyeon recalled his appearance in the mirror.
At an age when other boys would be playing outside, getting sunburnt skin and many scars, he belonged to the quiet type with pale, cream-like skin.
He looked undeniably cuter and more lovable than any child actor he had met while going back and forth to the broadcasting station.
…Right. They say to dream big, so I’ll aim for the top star.
There was no need to struggle as a talentless idol.
If he focused on acting from the beginning, by the time he reached his original age of twenty-five, he could grow into an actor with an impressive career that couldn’t be ignored.
Some roles could only be done by children. Wouldn’t it be quite fun? The appearance fee might be a bit troublesome, but it’s not bad if I think of it as building connections and raising my public awareness.
Thinking of the child appearance fee that was 1/10 of an adult’s, Suhyeon soon let go of his greed.
After all, a minor’s money wasn’t really their own.
If he had good parents, the money would be saved in a separate bank account, but it usually became the parents’ discretionary funds.
My money will be like that as well.
While appreciating his parents’ love, Suhyeon, who didn’t trust them, coldly evaluated the situation.
Considering that he had watched his divorced parents for nearly 10 years, his faith in them had hit rock bottom.
“Is our Suhyeon really okay?”
“I’m fine, Mom.”
“…Our Suhyeon, you’re so pretty, cute, and adorable! If someone tries to give you candy, smack their hand away and say, ‘You can have it.’!”
“Don’t teach the kid stuff like that.”
Watching his mother making a fuss and his father firmly scolding her while gently wrapping his arm around her shoulder, Suhyeon became lost in a strange sentiment.
Even though he didn’t trust them, seeing them like that made him want to believe they wouldn’t abandon him.
These were the people who only considered their own situation and vehemently argued that they didn’t want to raise him once he became a high school student.
…Maybe they can change.
He entertained a slightly hopeful imagination.
When he thought about it, their family relationship hadn’t been bad for 5 or 6 years, even after being scammed.
It became a mess after issues exploded on his mother’s side of the family, and their marital fights increased.
Before that, though, they had been a poor but busy and relatively harmonious family.
Right, since I came back to the past, I should accomplish one or two meaningful things.
They divorced because of financial reasons, so they might fight again because of the money he would make.
Despite this uncertainty, Suhyeon still wanted to place his hope in them again as he remembered how they had apologized to their adult son.
If there’s no change even after getting rid of that scammer, I can always cut ties when I become an adult.
Having set his path, Suhyeon smiled brightly.
Now that he could receive infinite affection, he decided to enjoy it first.
“Mom, I love you!”
What he felt most deeply in the entertainment industry was the need to express gratitude to those who loved him.
Emotions were like ping pong; if you didn’t return them, they disappeared eventually.
Even if he had barely scraped by for four years, four years was still four years.
Showing this much aegyo was easy for him.
“Hehe! I love you too, my prince!”
“What about Dad? Dad!”
“I love your Dad too!”
Suhyeon’s mother, Jang Jiyeon, clutched her chest, her heart aching too much.
Why did an angel come to her when other kids looked like chubby steamed buns?
Even when he cries, he’s so lovely! Totally adorable!!
If it were other babies, their tender flesh would have swelled up more, looking like chubby steamed buns.
Though it might be a cute look, her son, Suhyeon, was on a different level.
Suhyeon was as pure and pitiful as the heroine of a tragic story!
I have to save this!
She opened her phone, feeling a strange sense of duty.
Her son sparkled in the image taken with a mere cell phone camera, not a professional one.
Suhyeon was surprised to see a strange window in front of him.
As Jiyeon aimed her lens, a small window the size of an adult’s hand appeared, and his face floated inside.
“Suhyeon, look here. Oh, you’re doing great.”
As he moved, the figure in the small window moved too.
And when he looked straight at the lens, the Suhyeon in the window looked straight ahead.
“Wow, it came out great! Let’s take one more, our Suhyeon!”
She made a fuss, forgetting her surroundings as she looked at the photo captured on the screen.
Even when Suhyeon’s father, Kim Hochan, apologized to those around them and poked her, she only saw her adorable son.
I think I get it.
When she held the phone closer, another small window appeared.
With his experience, Suhyeon realized that the figure in the small window was his reflection in the camera.
Once he understood the situation, the rest was easy.
As he knew how he appeared in the photos, all he had to do was make a cute expression that would be captured.
I’m not sure why this suddenly appeared, but… at least there won’t be any humiliating photos or hidden camera shots.
He’d have to check further, but what the camera saw would be reflected on this window.
Being free from hidden cameras and humiliating photos as a celebrity… It was a dream come true.
“…Our son. How can every photo be like a photoshoot? Did I really give birth to an angel?”
“Suhyeon’s mom, we’re in a hospital, so please be quiet… Oh, but it’s true. Did I become the father of an angel?”
While Jiyeon and Hochan exchanged foolish conversation, Suhyeon was lost in thought, trying to recall works featuring child actors from this era.
To be honest, it was too long ago, and there was no reason to be interested in child actors, so he could only remember one or two works.
Besides, the child roles weren’t even significant in those works.
As he continued to worry, the couple’s fuss grew worse.
When the noise spread, the people nearby expressed their irritation with coughing sounds.
“Mom, Dad, this is a hospital. Good adults should be quiet in the hospital.”
There was no shame for a 4-year idol.
Suhyeon pressed his small finger against his lips and made a hushing sound.
The way he peeked up with his round eyes was almost murderous.
Hochan and Jiyeon covered their mouths with an expression as if they were going to fall over.
Their gazes were filled with love, and Suhyeon happily laughed at their endless affection.
“Let’s sleep here tonight and leave tomorrow. If Suhyeon gets sick again, it will be a big problem.”
“Alright, then I’ll hurry home and grab our clothes and stuff.”
“It’s okay, but this is uncomfortable.”
When it was decided they would spend one night in the hospital, Suhyeon made a sulky face while shaking the pulse oximeter sensor attached to his finger.
It was better to think about work in his own room at home.
It wasn’t difficult to act spoiled for a purpose.
“Our prince shouldn’t struggle… Noona, shall I call the doctor?”
“Don’t call me noona. Suhyeon, are you really okay? Does it hurt?”
“Yes… It doesn’t hurt. I want to sleep with Puffy, though.”
He mentioned his “stuffed toy-like thing” and acted cute.
He named everything he liked since childhood, from toys, dogs, and even printed characters on clothes, Puffy. So, something he liked the most should still have the name of Puffy.
“Mom said you’ll get hurt if you sleep with the fire truck. Our Suhyeon doesn’t listen well.”
Jiyeon tried to scold him softly, but she couldn’t win against her son’s cuteness and soon hugged him tightly.
“Argh! You’re forgiven because you’re cute.”
It wasn’t a good attitude for disciplining a child, but Suhyeon, who had been distant from familial love, didn’t reject the approaching affection and instead subtly leaned in.
“Mr. and Mrs.”
A nurse entered with a stiff smile behind the curtain at the height of their merriment.
 Actual name was 뿌요.
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