"Yup a secret." She nods. Then a long silence follows. Although still looks impassive with no emotions on her face, her fingers begin to fidget. "I promise it's a good secret. Nothing bad. And I am definitely not someone weird. No..." She chews on her lips insecurely, finally showing something akin to emotion on her face.
She must have interpreted my less than enthusiastic response as being hesitant when in reality I am just shocked.
I put on a smile and plop down on the chair. "Tell me about it."
She visibly relaxes. "So it's like this, do you remember reading a story online about a talented mage going on some dark adventures? The mood of that story is really heavy, so it's not very well received."
"Well that's a difficult question. You have me, someone who doesn't really remember the plot of the novel I myself transmigrated into. Please give me some time." I try to think back to all the novels I have read before.
"But isn't Conquer the World- Mermaid Princess \u0026 the Narcissistic Prince your favorite novel?"
"No. Who told you about it? It's just a silly novel I sneaked in between tests and assignments I did not want to do."
"Silly stories you won't even remember one day after reading it."
"Then why did Vale think it's your favorite novel? That's why he sent you to this world."
"This is definitely not my favorite novel! And Lord Valentine should not be able to know my favorite novel. The two of us are practically strangers."
Irene drums her fingers on the table and a tiny smile is tugging at her mouth."So... the mage story?"
"Can you give me more hints. There are tons of novels with mages in it. It's a really popular genre. One of my favorite novels features a mage too... You aren't talking about Trapped in the Darkness, are you?"
Irene snaps her finger. "Bingo."
"It's one of my favorite novels! The adventures are really well written and the magic in the story! Those spells and potions. The whole system, everything! It's the only novel I read that don't have romance in it. I thought there's one coming when I first started it, but anyway I didn't drop it even if it doesn't have romance."
"That story was not really popular, but there was a reader who kept leaving comments."
"One? There were quite a lot of people that left comments. If you're talking about die hard fans like me, there was also one reader. We always discussed the characters and plot together!"
"That die hard fan is the author. He pretended to be a reader of his own novel. Well so as to talk to you I guess."
"What?" I am so shocked. Why does Irene know that? A mage... a heavy and dark story... It couldn't be..."Is the author... Lord Valentine?"
Irene nods in something close to excitement, but her face remains placid. "You know his mother really put a lot of pressure on him. He really wanted an outlet where he could unleash all his emotions. One day he found me reading stories online and that gave him an inspiration to write stories. He just wanted an outlet, so he really didn't expect any readers. But you came in and left all those comments. After awhile, he wanted to get in touch with you. Don't look at me like that. I knew all these because Carl figured that out. Vale was typing on his phone all the time with a sweet smile on his face. It's no surprise Carl figured that out."
"What... So... I can't believe it! Lord Valentine is the author of my favorite novel! I talked with the author! Oh my goodness. It's like meeting your idol! Can you believe it? It means I have been talking with the author himself but I didn't realize!" I nearly squeal in excitement. I can't help but to fangirl.
"Actually that day he appeared in your university because he knew you studied there. No no no, he didn't check on you or did anything creepy. You told him accidentally while talking with him, mentioning a statue or something that your university is famous for. He wished to take a look at the university you studied in. Asking you for direction was pure fate."
"That's why his bad cousin misunderstood. The cousin must have investigated everything beforehand. He knew I was the one chatting with Lord Valentine online."
Irene nods solemnly. "But the main focus of this anecdote is how fated you two are. Vale realized you were his devoted fan only after your death. He was trying to decide which fictional world to send you to."
"Then why didn't he send me to his novel? He knew I love it!"
"That is left for you to discover." The corners of her mouth quirk up. "So tell me what kind of drama do you like to watch?"
"Did you have a fun time discussing dramas and novels with Irene?" Lord Valentine asks. "Irene may seem cold, but she is just shy."
"I know. She is just someone with a resting emotionless face. Yup I had fun. I got some secrets you're hiding too." I wink.
"I am no longer hiding any secrets, I swear," Lord Valentine says solemnly. "And don't trust Irene too much, Carl has been such a bad influence."
"I am going to tell her how you badmouth about her next time! And I was winking! I was not even angry at you!" I punch him playfully on the arm.
Lord Valentine blinks his eyes a few times as if not comprehending what's going on.
Smirking, I ask, "Why did you tell me you're the author of Trapped in Darkness? I would have worshiped you!"
"You mean you haven't already? Don't lie to me." He pats me on my head. "Irene told you that? I don't know what you'll think of me if you find out the gentle Lord Valentine wrote something so dark and depressed."
"It's my favorite novel! I am just going to fangirl over you, stupid. Why didn't you send me to the story you wrote? You know I love it. I even had discussions with you."
"It's too dark and depressed." He shakes his head. "Don't you like this world? And I could grant you immortality in this world. Together with me."
"Silly Lord Valentine." I laugh and lean forward to give him a hug. I mutter next to his ears, "I would be happy wherever you sent me. As long as you're with me. Forever."