14 Chapter 13
After another week of slashing through monsters in the seaweed jungle and avoiding Madam Crab, I have finally arrived at where I enter the Realm of Deep Sea.
I nearly burst out crying. Nearly.
When I step out of the realm, I see Lord Valentine waiting for me.
"Welcome back, Ianthe! I know you can do it!" He gives me his usual gentle and warm smile.
He walks towards me and gives me a warm hug. I stand there like a statue, shocked. Lord Valentine has never hugged me. I have no idea his hug is so warm and comforting. And kind of familiar. Familiar?
He releases me. "You have done a great job!" He gives my head a quick pat.
"My lord, you still have no idea whether I can successfully bring you back the fruits or not. I just successfully walk out of the realm."
"That itself is already part of the exam. And I am sure Ianthe succeeded in outwitting the eels as well."
"Outwitting? My lord, maybe I chose to fight the eels!"
"I doubt that," he replies confidently.
"Alright, I really did not fight the eels. You're correct, my lord." I smile. But then thinking of my bag which is currently without the original pearl, my smile disappeared. "I am sorry, my lord. I gave away the pearl on the bag. It's your gift, but I did not protect it. I am sorry."
Lord Valentine chuckles. "Ianthe, it's alright. It's just a pearl, I will help you fix it when we return home. Did you encounter the famous scammer of the Realm of Deep Sea?"
"Yes! She is very famous?"
"Kind of. You touched her golden stone?"
"I did not, my lord! I just could not get rid of that stone!"
"Seems like you have quite an adventure, Ianthe. You must be tired, let's go home first." He offers me his hand. After placing my hand in his, a quick rush of wind blows at my face. When I open my eyes, we're back at the tower.
I miss the tower! And my bed! I have had enough sleeping on hard ground.
When I look at the floor, surprisingly it's not as I thought. I thought the tower will be back to a mess with me gone for weeks. I thought surely books and papers will be everywhere. I thought his robes will be all over the places. But no, the tower is as clean and tidy as always.
Why do I feel disappointed all of a sudden? So... in the end I am not as useful and irreplaceable as I thought.
"Ianthe, you look tired. Go and take a nap. We'll talk after you're more refresh, shall we?" Lord Valentine is as gentle as always.
What am I thinking?
I nod with a tiny smile. "See you during dinner, my lord."
"I am sorry, Ianthe. I have royal dinner to attend to today." He smiles apologetically.
My smile freezes on my face, I should not assume. Why do I think Lord Valentine is going to dine with me on my first day back?
"See you later, my lord. Have a nice dinner!"
I enter my bedroom after that.
I am weird. I am feeling weird. I should not think like that. I should stop thinking like that.
I hug Dolphin and fall asleep.
I am in a dream. I am certain. The blurriness and dream-like quality all indicate this is a dream. But why do I feel so awake? Where am I?
I am sitting on a sofa. A cup of tea in front of tea. Someone is sitting across from me. A woman in red high heel shoes. Her legs crossed. She is dressed elegantly. When I try to look at her face, her face is shrouded in fog.
"So it's you," the elegant lady says nonchalantly. "He has already given your life back. He does not owe you anything. So I advise you to let him go."
Give me back my life? Let him go? Who is him? What is she talking about?
I know dreams are supposed to be nonsensical, but not like this. I am too awake to be in a dream.
"I advise you to let him go. It's for the benefits of both of us. He is meant for greater things." She places down the teacup she is holding and without a further look, she walks out of the room. Her high heels clicking on the floor. Then everything turns black.
I wake up with a start. What is that? A dream? But it does not feel like it. I can still remember every single minute detail.
Let him go? Who is the 'him' she is talking about?
It feels like I am missing something very vital. Like I am watching a drama without a start. She said she was advising, but her tone indicates a command rather than an advise. It's a threat, not an advise.
She said he had given me back my life. What life? She meant my transmigrated life? It just does not make sense.
Maybe I should stop over analyzing a dream.