19 Chapter 18
We set out for the capital the next day. On foot. Yes, on foot. Because my great mistress Princess Cordelia finds being able to walk a gift from gods and wishes to use her legs till they cramp so bad you wish you have tail instead.
So we began trekking over mountains, over hills, over muddy roads to the capital. I tried persuading Cordelia otherwise. I told her we might be late for the Festivals she wished to go if we walked there instead of riding there. She replied by saying if she missed this year's one, she could still wait for next year's. She's currently in a walking mood, so we're going to walk there.
How I wish her walking mood suddenly turns into a riding mood.
"Why did you help me?" Cordelia suddenly asks.
"Why did you help me and betray your master?"
"I..." I could not possibly say something possessed me, so I went through with that crazy plan, could I?
"It's complicated, Princess."
"Let me guess. Oh! I know, you like Val! Is it because of Olivia? Wow, I am a genius." She laughs heartily.
"That's not true, Princess. My master's impending nuptial has nothing to do with my decision."
Of course it has.
"Wait... impending nuptial? Who? Val?" Cordelia asks genuinely confused.
Now I am confused too. "Lady Olivia's maid said her lady will be the future mistress of the tower."
"Ha! You believed that? You're stupider than I thought." She looks at me with unshielded disdain. "And that Olivia, hahaha. She does not really believe she has a chance, does she? Hahaha." Cordelia begins to laugh hysterically, and in the most unladylike manner.
"Princess, be careful not to choke yourself," I comment as I walk on.
"This is hilarious. I should not have left so early on. I should have stayed for that farce." Cordelia wipes tears from her eyes. "Listen, Olivia's family sent her to the castle in the hope that she snares a wealthy and powerful husband like Val. Her family is the ruling family of the tribe in the east. Oh how I hate Olivia. She thinks she can do whatever she wants in the East and that makes her a princess. But sorry, little Olivia. I am the Princess." Cordelia rolls her eyes. "Me! But still since the East does hold some power, so Father said we had to treat them well. Blah, blah, blah, something about balance of the power. Blah, blah, blah. So Val has to treat Olivia well too. See, nothing to get jealous over."
I don't know how to respond to this huge mass of information. I need to process it. Cordelia's way of speaking is really questionable. How can she jump from one subject to another like some grasshopper?
But wait... tribe from the East? A tribe that holds 'some' power. So, everyone in the royal family has to 'treat' the guest really well. 'Balance of power'. Why does this set up feel like the final boss of a cliche story? This is a cliche-filled novel with a super generic and typical plot. So it will not come as a surprise if this powerful family from the tribe of the East is really the final boss.
Let me think. Why does 'Ianthe' die in the end in the novel? Because she has to protect Princess Cordelia from an assassination.
Who send the assassin? Think. Now is the time you unveil your hidden brain potential. Sadly, I really can't think of anything.
Come to think of it, if I had any hidden brain power, I'd have unlocked it during my university exams.
But still, I have to beware of this Olivia and the family behind her. This really feels like the set-up for the final boss who wish to overthrow the current royal family and crown themselves king. See, they even wish to snare the royal sorcerer to their team by using their daughter!
The more I think of it the more it makes sense. This Olivia and her family really ring all the bells in my mind.
"Earth to, Ianthe! Hello?" Cordelia waves her hand in front of me.
"Yes, Princess." What does she want now?
She rolls her eyes. "How dare you space out when you're listening to me talking! Stop worrying. Val really has no feelings towards this Olivia. You're talking about Val. That weird cousin of mine. He only has magic and spells in his mind. I doubt he even notices Olivia is female." She suddenly looks at me in pity. "How sad, he probably doesn't even think you're female too. Just his assistant. By the way how did the two of you meet? You seem to pop out from nowhere."
I can't follow Cordelia. Her line of thoughts is skipping everywhere.
"I was...eh... picked up by Lord Valentine... on the street?"
"Picked up? You mean you're picked up on the street by Val when you're still in your original form?"
"Aww how pitiful, I bet you're still a... what's your original form again?"
"...an oyster. A pearl oyster." I point out the pearls surrounding my neck.
"Ah. I see the connection now. I thought you just like pearls so much you don yourself from head to toes in pearls. You know there are people like that. Those people know nothing about moderation. It's sad to tell you this, but Ianthe I bet you're still an oyster or a pearl in Val's mind." And then Cordelia who said she's sad, burst out laughing.
The longer I think of it, the more logical it gets. Lord Valentine really only pays attention to magic and spells. He might really think of me as an oyster. A talking oyster who can tidy up his room. How tragic.
Princess Cordelia pats me on my shoulder. "Don't worry, you still have chance. When his room turns messy or when he runs out of food, he'll remember you. Probably. Hahahaha."
That's not comforting. At all.
But, I remind myself once again, that does not affect me. I have decided to forget my maybe tiny feeling for him.
It doesn't matter if I am just a talking oyster in his mind.
It turns out it does matter. I sigh.