4 Chapter 3
"Ianthe, what did you do to my robe? I don't have to use the washing spell, it's as good as new!" Lord Valentine exclaims.
"I wash it?" I answer uncertainly. Is washing his robes not allowed? I spent a lot of effort to find water to wash them. (I know we're supposed to be surrounded by water, but I can't use the water. The water surrounding me is like the air surrounding us on land.)
"You perfected the washing spell? Ianthe, that's great!" His eyes sparkle with mirth and surprise.
"I don't, Lord Valentine. I still cannot write well."
"Then how did you wash the robes?" he asks genuinely confused.
A small frown appears and after a while he exclaims, "Ah right, you can wash things with water. I nearly forgot that."
Just how did he survive till now? Right he has washing spells.
When he walks past me, he pats me on the head, "You'll know the convenience of spells when you learn them, Ianthe."
I already know without even learning them. Look at you! A guy who does not know water can be used in washing.
"Have a nice dinner, my lord."
I have mastered the way servant acts already! Am I made to be a maid?
"One cannot do anything while eating with the royals. How boring," he complains. "Be grateful you don't have to dine with them, Ianthe."
With a final look at his robe, he is back to his usual calm and collected self. "Dinner will be sent to you, Ianthe. Wait for your dinner."
He is nearly at the tower's entrance when he shouts, "Ianthe, remember to practice your penmanship. I am going to check your work when I come back! Don't get lazy!"
And here my wish for procrastination gets shattered.
I am putting final brushes on my latest work when noises come from the tower's entrance.
"Come on, Val, give me the potion."
This voice. Princess Cordelia? So does that mean the wheels are turning and it's getting to the start of the story? Is it the end of my life here, as Lord Valentine's assistant? I'd rather help Lord Valentine then Princess Cordelia. I have to keep away from the designated plot if I wish to live.
"Ianthe, can you bring me some tea cups, we have guests."
Just the tea cups? How about the tea?
But well...whatever the lord says.
I put two tea cups on a tray (there are a lot of trays in this tower) and bring it to the drawing room.
I finally get to meet the famous Princess Cordelia. I sneak a peek at her as I put down the tea cups.
"Thank you, Ianthe. Have you taken your dinner?" he asks with a warm smile while placing the two empty cups in front of him.
"Yes, I have my lord."
I sneak another peek at the princess. She is indeed really beautiful (as a heroine in novels should). Silky hair flows behind her. Her huge eyes are of amethyst color, making her looks more mysterious.
"Who is she, dear cousin? Your lover?" she widens her eyes in surprise and asks excitedly.
"My assistant," Lord Valentine replies calmly.
"When did you have an assistant?"
"Three months ago."
Lord Valentine swirls the tea cups in front of him and pushes one cup towards Princess Cordelia. Steaming tea is inside the cups.
I really should stop being so surprised. A jug of tea is usually sent to the tower with the meals. So, I have never had the chance to observe Lord Valentine's amazing power first hand. Lord Valentine is the Royal Mage, so of course he can pull things out of thin air. But seeing it first hand really put me in awe, if only I can achieve one hundredth of his power.
Well maybe first I have to practice my penmanship. I am once again empowered to practice!
I stand at the corner of the room, acting like a perfect servant.
"How boring." Princess Cordelia rolls her eyes. "I thought you got a lover. I got excited over nothing. Your life is so boring, cousin."
Lord Valentine takes a sip of tea from his cup. The insult washes over him, unharmed.
"Are you here to comment on my life, cousin?"
"No of course not! Give me the potion!"
"Relying on yourself is better than relying on a potion that is not even made by yourself."
A look of discomfort appears on the princess' face. "You thought I don't know that? But I can't! No matter how hard I practice, I can't master the spell!"
"Maybe the time just hasn't arrived yet," Lord Valentine replies with a cryptic smile on his face.
"How much do you want? Just sell me the potion!"
"Your father forbade me from doing so."
"Hmmph!" Princess Cordelia stares at Lord Valentine. Fire is about to shoot out from her eyes.
Lord Valentine keeps looking at the princess calmly, while sipping his tea leisurely.
The princess shouts, "Just you wait, Val!"
She then angrily swims out of the tower, banging at the doors while she's swimming out.
"So energetic." Lord Valentine slowly shakes his head and continues sipping his tea.
Princess Cordelia does not even give me a single glance after I put down the cups. So how does Ianthe turn out to be Cordelia's maid from the start of the novel?
Cordelia is demanding a potion from Lord Valentine. That can only be the potion that turns her tail into legs.
In the novel, Cordelia cannot master the spell of changing her tail into legs. Her father said she was not allowed to go up to the land of humans if she could not master the spell. Discouraged, she asks her cousin, Valentine, for help. Valentine gives her the potion and she runs away from home with her maid, Ianthe, to the land of humans. The novel starts with Cordelia's first adventure on land.
But that's strange. It seems like this conversation has occurred more than once and Lord Valentine refuses every single time. Then why does Cordelia succeed in the end? Because she is too annoying? Lord Valentine does not seem like someone who gives in just because someone is annoying him.