36 Secret Unlocked Part 1
If you ask me aside from my family and life back at home, what do I miss most. I would answer you TV drama, silly novels and the internet. Sure there are some sort of entertainment in this underwater kingdom. Like Cordelia and her daily display of princess hysterics or like Lance and his daily burst of anger at Cordelia. But in general I miss the dramas I watched back at home, the silly novel I read (albeit I am currently staying inside the world of one) and the infinite time I could spend browsing internet.
I told Lord Valentine offhandedly today afternoon during our tea break and when I fall asleep at night, I find myself being pulled into a dream. When I open my eyes, Carl is glaring at the two of us in annoyance.
"Hi, Carl my dear cousin." Lord Valentine offers him a dazzling and innocent looking smile.
"What do you want, Vale, just spit it. None of that innocent puppy look. No one here buys that," he says while waving his hand dismissively. Carl must have spotted the tiny blush on my face that appears after taking a look at Lord Valentine's dazzling smile, he then smirks, "Apparently your girlfriend bought that. Be careful with being tricked into doing things by his tiny oh so innocent smile , Vale's little girlfriend."
Now when he puts it this way, wasn't I tricked into tidying his tower by just exactly that same innocent and dazzling smile? And that time when he persuaded me into pretending him in the royal dinner. Oh and that time...
"Ianthe, don't listen to him." Lord Valentine places his hands on my shoulder and blocks me from Carl's view. "Ianthe, you have to be careful of him. His smiles are all fake. Who knows what evil thing he is thinking beneath his deceptive smile."
"Such harsh words, cousin! But I never hide who I really am." Carl's facial expression is a perfect balance of gentleness and warmth.
"Uh-huh, I am sure a lot of people oppose to that." Lord Valentine is still holding me protectively in his arms.
"I can't control what other people think of me, can I?" Carl is still spotting a perfect smile of gentleness and warmth. "Now cousin why are you summoning me at such a time at night. My patience is running out."
"We want to watch dramas." Lord Valentine snaps his finger and a flat screen TV appears.
"You want to watch drama? Is someone stopping you? Are there ghosts covering your eyes? Or are your eyes decorations?" Carl says all these with a gentle smile hanging on his face.
I quiver in something akin to terror. Truth be told, Carl seems a bit frightening. But at the same time a sense of deja vu washes over me... why did this situation seem.... familiar?
"You are hindering us, Carl." For the first time since I met him, Lord Valentine rolls his eyes. "Don't be dense. Do whatever you have to do, then you can go back to sleep."
I gently tug at Lord Valentine's sleeve. Even though Lord Valentine is invincible in my mind, for some reason my instinct tells me Carl isn't someone to be messed with. Carl is like the demonic villain in a fantasy story, you never know if your next breath is your last.
"Ianthe, just wait a bit longer. You can watch dramas soon," Lord Valentine comforts me with a soothing voice while smiling sweetly. I nearly fall for that, but this is certainly not the time for sweet smiles! I can ascertain that the veins on Carl's forehead is throbbing. Even though Carl is smiling, his smile looks icy.
I try to call Lord Valentine to the attention about our dangerous situation. Apparently Lord Valentine isn't on the same channel as me.
"Oh, you want to know how? The dream can visualize anything we have encountered in real life. So when Carl recalls the dramas he watched, the dream will extract that and we can watch them."
My jaw drop. "That's... really... fascinating. But what if the person can't remember some tiny details of the drama?"
"This spell is originally created so that the creator can study in her dream. So don't worry as long as that person has seen something however briefly, the spell can replicate."
"That's really fascinating!"
"That's right, it's certainly really fascinating." One moment Carl is still smiling warmly, the other has smile turns acidic and says,"But sadly I am not your personal netflix. If there is nothing important I will go."
"I am going to summon Irene. I didn't expect much from you anyway. You're here just as a chaperone. Then you have no excuse for getting angry at me for going behind your back." Lord Valentine looks quite smug. He then looks at me and says, "Carl is like an annoying over protective brother to Irene when she was small. Irene liked to turn into a bird and flew around when she was young, but he forbade her. Once I found her hiding in the forest near our dorm so I talked to her for a while and he got so angry."
"You two were gossiping behind my back, don't even deny it. And I forbade that because it's dangerous. What if she was caught?"
Irene appears in a shimmer. This time she is not wearing her pajamas, but a T-shirt and jeans. When she sees Carl, she rolls her eyes and ignores him instantly.
"Hello, Vale. It's been awhile." She gives us a tiny wave with her hand. "I have been meaning to ask, why are you wearing... costumes?" She waves her hand in our direction to gesture at what we're wearing.
To be quite honest, I already got used to what I am wearing. Now that she mentioned it, I realize a serious question: aren't we dressing up like we're cosplaying? I eye the clothes we are wearing, yup definitely cosplaying. Huge long robes lined with gold and silver embroideries for Lord Valentine. A dress in blue with pearls lining the hem for me.
Irene is eyeing me once in awhile with curiosity hidden in her eyes while her face remains emotionless. I can literally feel her itching to ask who I am, but is too polite to do so.
"This is normal in where I live now. That's normal clothes."
"Cool. They look really beautiful." She is really not saying this out of politeness. I can see the admiration in her eyes (but her face still remains emotionless).
She sneaks a peak at me again.
"Oh let me introduce you to her. Irene is a bit shy. Irene, this is my girlfriend, Ianthe. Ianthe, this is Irene, Carl's... fiance."
"Ex-fiance. Broken the engagement."
"We haven't," Carl, who is standing behind Irene, replies in a sing song voice. Irene replies by pouting slightly. Finally some sort of emotions appear on her emotionless face.
"Their relationship is kind of complicated. So Irene can you help us? Ianthe, wants to watch dramas. Can you recall those you have watched lately and..."
"Wait... she is your girlfriend?" her eyes widen in shock. She mutters beneath her breath, "I can't believe study machine Vale has found a girlfriend. And I still have difficulties making friends."
"Let me tell you something fun," Carl says while twirling Irene's hair. And he leans down to whisper into her ears. Irene's eyes shine and a tiny smile appears.
She snaps her fingers and a table with two chairs appear. Two steaming mugs of hot chocolate are also on the table.
"Now it's girls' time, you two shoo." And at that instant, Lord Valentine disappears with Carl. Irene then looks at me with a tiny smile on her face. "Now they're gone, let me tell you a secret."