9 Chapter 8
Just how can I solve this? Let's try talking first, postpone it!
"Your majesty, Captain here seems to be drunk. That won't be fair if we duel now." Please postpone it, please postpone it.
The King looks like he is in deep thoughts. "You do have a point, Valentine."
"Let's postpone it," I suggest.
The King nods in agreement. Whew...the King is surprisingly sensible.
Now I just have to sneak off. Then I see Princess Cordelia's murderous glare. I have to sneak off no matter what!
"Your majesty, as Captain is such a worthy fighter, I think I need to do some preparations. So as to bring you the best match." I look expectantly at the King.
"I think you really have to do some preparation, especially on that potion you promised to give Captain when you lose." Princess Cordelia looks annoyed, but still wears her victorious smile and an evil spark in her eyes.
So it's a 'when you lose' not 'if you lose'? Is the Captain really that powerful? But Lord Valentine is really powerful, he is invincible in my mind!
I imitate Lord Valentine's calm composure and say, "We'll see." Give the royal family a nod and walk out of the dining hall.
Finally! I succeeded! My heart is beating so quickly the entire three hours. I thought I was going to have a heart attack! Now that I think of it, I do feel a bit dizzy and weak.
Why? Is it the after effect of too much adrenaline?
As I walk along the corridor that leads me to the side of the castle, I grow even weaker. I have difficulty raising my legs and my eyesight is getting blurry. Something is wrong. Then something flashes in my mind. It can't be... This evil Princess! Are you still a heroine? You should be the antagonist instead!
I am too careless. But who would have thought the Princess would use such cheap tricks? No wonder she looked so annoyed when the King agreed to postpone the duel. She added something in my food to make me weak and dizzy during the duel.
What should I do now? I don't think the Princess will miss such an opportunity. She might come catch me anytime.
What should I do? My legs give way and I fall onto the floor. I feel my self losing power. That means my face change must have lost its effect. Another reason I cannot let Princess Cordelia discover me.
Footsteps ring behind me, but I can't move an inch. I think I am losing consciousness. I try to crawl forward.
Someone stops in front of me, I recognize this boots. It's...
He gently pats me on the head and says, "Take some rest. You have done a great job."
A sense of security washes over me and I give in to the darkness.
When I wake up the next day, I am back inside my own room. Well if I'm not inside a prison, then I guess I successfully doge Princess Cordelia. I heave a sigh of relief.
"Captain, you're free to attend the Princess. I don't need a slave." Lord Valentine's voice reaches my room.
"You have to let me honor my promise, my lord," the burly captain from yesterday begs.
"I release you from the promise, Captain. Go and serve the Princess. It'll be a waste of your talent if you stay here for two hundred years. I seldom go out of this door, so I do not need a guard nor a slave."
"But... Lord Valentine..."
"Don't waste your talent here, Captain. See you around!" There is a swish and then a bang indicating the closing of the front door.
So they have conducted the duel and Lord Valentine won? Of course Lord Valentine would win! He is so powerful and invincible. I nod appreciatively.
There is a knock on my door. "Ianthe, have you woken up?"
"Yes, my lord." I shout back and quickly use the tidy up spell on myself to make myself look presentable. I open the door to find Lord Valentine standing there with a tray of food.
"I thought you're going to sleep till tomorrow. Cordelia uses such a heavy potion. If only she spends as much time trying to make the potion she desires so much, she might be able to succeed." Lord Valentine shakes his head with mock pity. "How are you feeling?"
"Quite refreshed, my lord."
"That's good. Do eat something, Ianthe." He places the tray on the small table in my room and sits on one of the two chair.
I thank the lord and dig in (as graciously as I can). I am hungry which makes me wonder how long I have slept.
"My lord, how long have I... passed out?"
"Oh just six days. I thought it'll take at least a week for the potion to pass out of your system."
Six days? How is that even possible? Don't I need to eat or drink?
"The potion was so strong, you could not even maintain your human form. You turn back into your original form for a few days."
That means I turn back into an oyster? I am just glad no one thinks of eating me while I'm in my original form.
"Ianthe, you have done a great job! You completed the challenge I gave you! No one noticed that you aren't me. The quality of the potions you made is good." He pats me on my head appreciatively and smiles warmly.
Happiness fills my heart like bubbles. It feels so great to gain acknowledgment from Lord Valentine. I smile joyfully.
"Oh by the way, Ianthe, poison will be part of your education now. If you have known something about it, you would not have fallen into Cordelia's trap. Cordelia is so naive, does she think I won't be able to spot poison when I see one?"
As I thought! Lord Valentine will be able to detect the poison in the food and avoid the trap! Lord Valentine is different from us mortals!
I nod enthusiastically, agreeing with the fact that Princess Cordelia is too naive.
"I'm so glad you are so enthusiastic to learn poison! Let's start now, shall we?" Lord Valentine gives me an appreciative glance.
Wait... that's not what I meant!