27 Chapter 26
"What did Val do to anger you?" Cordelia whispers.
"Tsk, as if. You two are so awkward around each other. You two no longer act lovey dovey. So what's the problem, tell me all about it." Cordelia winks.
"Nothing. We have never acted lovey dovey, princess."
"Oh please. As soon as Val joined us, he has been hovering around you. The two of you are inseparable. And those sweet smiles and dripping in honey gazes." She rolls her eyes. "I hate being a third wheel. Now what did Val do to piss you off? You two haven't talked to each other for nearly a week!"
"Maybe it's me angering Lord Valentine."
"That's not possible! Val has been trying to speak to you for days! You just pushed him off! Tell me, I'm in the mood of a great gossip." Cordelia smirks.
"There's no gossip, princess."
It's not that I am angry. I just don't know how to face Lord Valentine. Should I feel betrayed? Hatred? Anger? Sadness? My life was taken from me because of such a pathetic reason. But as his mother said he had already made it up to me. My new life in this world. A life of immortality even. He even stays in this world to help me. He taught me magic, he gave me warmth and hope.
Why am I feeling a bit disappointed? Does that mean everything he has done for me is all originated from regret? Regret that I lost my life because of him. Regret that he couldn't save me. All his warmth, gentleness and kindness is not because of me myself, but his desire to compensate me. The more I think of it, the more depressed I get.
"Ianthe, do you know if Lance has arrived yet?"
Lance is the narcissistic prince of Zehan, Cordelia's prey and love of her life.
"I can try to divine his location."
That's right. Lance was sent to Cregan for some ambassador work and Cordelia decided to follow him to Cregan. While she was at it, she even set up a bet with Lance to see who arrives earlier. The one who arrives first gets to boss around the loser for one day. Yes, Cordelia is childish like this.
"Princess, did you two even set up a meeting point? If not how can you two decide which one of you arrives first?"
Cordelia claps her hand. "Right! We did. Quick we need to get to this grand restaurant Lance talked about. We need to beat him."
"Umm do you have the name of this restaurant, Princess?" Please say yes.
"Who do you think I am? Of course I forgot! It's such a waste of my memory to remember nonsense like this. And I have you."
"I cannot do everything! If you don't even have a name, how can I find a road? And you said you wanted to beat him! Do you have any other hints?"
We have just arrived at the capital and are standing on this huge street. Lots of shops and vendors are on both side of the street. People are buzzing around. This is a huge capital.
"He said it's the largest restaurant in the capital."
At least she got something. "Let's ask around."
"You go ahead." Cordelia nods her head like she is a general ordering her army.
There are many different vendors on the street, selling handkerchiefs, cosmetics, tiny jewelries and trinkets, some are selling food. One vendor is even selling little songbirds.
Most people are walking around in pairs. It is hard to stop them when they're so invested in talking to each other. Then I spot a girl near the vendor selling songbirds. She appears to be around twenty and that made her close to our age, at least our physical age. She is alone.
I approach her and ask, "Excuse me. Do you know where is the largest restaurant in this capital?" I add in a nice smile for good measure.
The girl turns around and smiles sweetly in return. Unlike most females in Cregan who twist their hair into intricate hairstyles with beautiful and precious hair pins or clips, her hair is styled in a simple style with no hair pins or clips. A single flower adorns her hair.
"Are you talking about Jade Garden? It takes 4 minutes to fly there from here." She offers me another sweet smile.
Fly? Did she just say fly? Everyone in this world is gifted with a power or two, maybe her power is flying. I should not be taken aback, I can turn into an oyster too.
"Is Jade Garden the largest restaurant here? Then yes, we're probably looking for that. Can you show us where to find it?"
"Just fly north. You'll find it. There are lots of sparrows resting on the roof. They are my friends. Oh! Maybe I could call my friend to bring you there!"
Maybe she has Snow White's power. Maybe she can talk to animals. I should not just jump to the conclusion that she is weird. Maybe because I'm wasting too much time talking to her, Cordelia who was browsing the handkerchiefs over the next stall, stomps over with Lord Valentine.
"Ianthe, we're battling time!" Cordelia complains.
I turn just in time to see Lord Valentine's look of surprise when he sees the girl who said sparrows were her friends. Surprise? He quickly disguises it.
Strange. Does Lord Valentine know her?
"Can you point to us where we can find Jade Garden?" I ask again.
That is when I see the girl tilting her head and says, "I am out to play. What do you mean by asking why I am here? And I am Arina, not Irene."
Cordelia sneaks closer to me and whispers, "Is she crazy?"
I don't know if she is crazy, but she looks like she is answering a question in her head. Only three of us here can talk telepathically. If it's not Cordelia and I, then it's Lord Valentine. Lord Valentine really knows her, at least someone who is called Irene.
"We're out of time, choose someone else to ask," Cordelia whispers again.
I agree. That was when there's a huge ruckus behind us. Someone crash into the cart selling snacks behind us. The snacks which look suspiciously like popcorn splash all over the floor, some even rolls to us. I look back up to excuse ourselves from the girl when I see the girl has squatted down. She tilts her head in the most bird like manner and is gazing at the popcorn in bird like curiosity.
Maybe she is a bird spirit?
I believe she is about to peck at the popcorn when a handsome guy rushes to her side and hugs her. And Lord Valentine's face turns even whiter.