26 Chapter 25
"Ianthe, Ianthe! Are you alright?" Lord Valentine is looking at with worry.
He smiles to try to comfort. "You're having a nightmare. It's alright now, you are no longer in the nightmare."
I nod in response. Lord Valentine's smile seems forced. He looks distracted and worried.
Thinking back to what Lord Valentine's mother said before I was pulled out of the dream, I know I have to confront him. I am really grateful about what Lord Valentine has done for me, but I have to know the truth about my death. I have to protect my parents.
"Lord Valentine, I... was approached by... someone who claimed to be your mother in my dreams."
"My mother?" Lord Valentine laughs dryly. "Ianthe, it's just a dream. You know my mother has passed away."
Cordelia's aunt, Lord Valentine's birth mother, has really passed away in a war before the birth of Cordelia. But this mother is not the same as that mother, is it?
"No. I am not talking about Lord Valentine's birth mother, but your mother. The mother you left in the real world, the world I was originally from. My world. Our world."
Lord Valentine places his hand on my forehead and says, "Ianthe, are you having a fever? What are you talking about? What world?" He tries to smile, but the smile comes out too forced.
"Please, Lord Valentine. Tell me the truth."
I still want to trust him. He was the person who took care of me when I was thrown into this new world. He is the light and warmth I have in this world. I trust him. I want to trust him. I have to trust him.
Lord Valentine removes the hand on my forehead and looks away from me. His hand is shaking.
"What... what did my mother do?" he asks in a low, defeated voice.
"She... she asked me to persuade you to go back. To return to your reality. Otherwise... she might hurt my parents."
Lord Valentine visibly froze when I mentioned my parents.
"Don't worry Ianthe. I will tell her off. Your parents will be safe. I promise you."
"So what she said was all true. You are really from my world."
"You're the cause of my death."
He nods with reluctance.
"And you removed my memory."
With a sigh, he admits, "I did."
I don't know what to feel. The person I trusted the most from the moment I was reborn was the person who caused my death. I was not the heroines in novels who thrive in the new worlds, who enjoy their new roles, who continue to become the best of the best. No, I am just a normal girl. I miss my old life. I miss my parents. I feel like I was torn from my original life. And the person I trusted most was the person who caused all these. How should I feel? Betrayed? Angry? I just feel drawn out, exhausted.
"How... how did I die? You murdered me?"
I can't imagine that happening. How can someone so gentle and warm do something like that? If he killed me, why did he revive me in this fabricated world?
"I did not! Trust me, Ianthe, I did not!"
"How can I trust you? You removed my memory!" I retort.
Lord Valentine looks defeated. "I am sorry, Ianthe. I just want you to be happy. I just want you to live your new life without those traumatic memories."
"Then how did I die?"
"You... you were kidnapped by my cousin. You were killed during a hostage situation. He wanted me to give him something. He used you to threaten me."
"Why would he use me? I don't even know you! I don't, do I?" I am confused. Who is Lord Valentine? Were we really strangers in the past? Were we? Or he simply erased himself from my memory.
"We... I don't know if you remember, but we met once. And my cousin misunderstood. He thought you're my girlfriend, so he kidnapped you."
"Yes. I asked you for directions."
Directions? Who remember the face of a random person who asks for direction? Even one as handsome as Lord Valentine. So I was killed just because of this? I talked to some random guy on the street and then I was kidnapped. I was just trying to be helpful! How pitiful am I. What a pathetic reason to die for.
"So that's what led to my death? Because I was trying to help you?" I began to laugh hysterically. Tears then start to stream from the corners of my eyes.
"I... I..." Lord Valentine gives up trying to say something to comfort me. He gives me a hug and pats me gently on my back.
After the initial shock dies down, I realize I am in Lord Valentine's embrace. I push him away. I still do not know how to face him yet.
"Lord Valentine, you should return to where you should be. Your mother is waiting for you."
I still have many questions, like why do his mother has the ability to go into my dreams or why he can send my soul into a fabricated world. But even if I know the truth, I am no longer able to reunite with my parents. The truth no longer matters.
"She can wait. I still have things I have to do."
"I see. It's not for me to decide, but please explain to your mother. I no longer want to be dragged into a dream nor be threatened."
I then continue to stare into space, trying to contemplate on my life and digest this shocking truth revealed to me. I know Lord Valentine tries to speak to me, but in the end he gives up.
We all wait in silence for Princess Cordelia to wake up.