Chapter 3: I finally get to meet a Familiar Face…DON’T IGNORE ME!

I have finally reached the age of three with Bibi by my side. You are probably wondering how I convinced my family to let me keep Bibi, well that’s simple: I never told them. If they knew, my father would have killed Bibi just to increase his skill, so Bibi is hidden in my room where no one can see him (my closet). When he needs to go out, like when I need to train with him in the back forest, I place him into one of the bears my father got me before he realized I had no talent in magic (sucker), and went out with him hugging the bear to my chest like a small child should. I could be a smuggler when I grow up, but it isn’t a stable job and I could go to jail, which doesn’t count as a happy life. As for the familiar mark, I hide it using a pink ribbon, my family never questioned it.

In that one year since discovering my talents, I kept it a secret from my parents and sister. The reason being is that, I feel they would take advantage and they don’t deserve to know my power after mistreating me for so long. I will never tell anyone since I also feel that it might put me in danger, so keep the secret to stay safe. I, Laveda, will take the secret to my grave.

Also within that year, I have trained my powers by practicing in the back forest and by reading the books dedicated to each element. I know I am improving since I can do high leveled spells like creating a golem with the earth talent and flying with the wind talent. It’s really fun. The magic I want to do soon is transform into an animal of my choosing. Being another animal should be fun and Bibi and I can travel the forest in narrow spaces together. I really can’t wait and these talents will also help me survive in the long run.

Actually, these talents have already saved my life. I mentioned that my family mistreated me well they barely fed me anything. I got dry bread or just scraps of food. I was always hungry, but since my discovery of my talents, I used them to my advantage. I would go to the back forest and use my talent in fire and water to boil some water in a stone pot I made using earth talent and would make delicious vegetable soup. Along with cooked pheasant delivered to me by Bibi, who always went hunting for me. As for the spices, I managed to gather them using my wood talent. I now never starve.

Besides training my talents, I also grew very intelligent by reading so many books and trained my body in the forest by climbing trees and lifting rocks. I may be small, but I am strong.

My future was beginning to look bright.

One day, I was training my wind talent and began to hear sounds in the wind, not the normal blowing, but voices. I can hear my father’s voice. I was picking up sound with the wind and that made me very excited. My excitement grew when I heard my father say, “Abigail, your uncle is coming over with your cousin so I want you to get along with him, understand?”

“Yes father,” Abigail’s voice said through the wind.

I stopped the wind absorbing the information I heard. Cousin, so that would mean that it could be one of the target characters: Cecil Memphis. I was definitely excited and rushed back to the mansion making sure to stuff Bibi back into my bear.

I arrived at the mansion and saw my father leaving his study with Abigail by his side. I ran up to father asking, “Father, is someone coming over?” My father’s eyes were filled with disdain when he lay his eyes on me.

“There is. Your uncle and cousin are coming over.”

Abigail nodded with a sneer saying, “I am in charge of entertaining our cousin, so you can go back to your room, Laveda.” I could tell that Abigail was trying to provoke me, but all I did was smile and say, “Then I will just greet them when they come.” I bowed my head to my father and Abigail and ran off.

I really hated the look my father always gave me. My previous family never looked at me like that. I shake my head and slipped into my room. I sat on my bed making sure to let Bibi out of my bear. Bibi jiggled and I couldn’t help, but smile as I cuddled him to my chest.

It isn’t guaranteed that the cousin coming over could be Cecil, but I hope it is. He was one of my favorite characters in the game.

When night had reached, I was ordered by my father to join the family for dinner, which was a rare occasion and that could only mean one thing: my uncle and cousin were about to arrive. I dressed up in my only elegant dress, which was violet with flowers around the hem, and then headed to the dining area with my bear (Bibi) close to my chest. My mother refused to look at me and my sister just showed a disdained look as I approached the table with my bear to my chest. I sat on a chair farthest away from the family and placed Bibi on my lap. Bibi jiggled a bit in the bear, but I calmed him down by petting him without my family noticing of course.

The table was filled with delicious dishes: deep fried turkey with chestnut filling, roasted clams, Tomato soup, minced meat pie, honey glazed ham, mash potatoes, seaweed salad with Thousand Island dressing, cranberry sauce, honey glazed rolls, and steamed salmon with olive oil. This was definitely a feast. The dessert most likely would be served last, so it wasn’t on the table as of yet, but the dishes present was enough to make my mouth water.

My father wasn’t present so that meant he was retrieving the guests at the door, my uncle and cousin. I fidgeted slightly in my chair holding Bibi close to my chest. Bibi had a feel that calmed my nerves.

My father soon entered the dining hall with two people behind him: an older man with a mustache and medium length brown hair; and a young boy about my sister’s age judging by his height and young features. This young boy wore clothes of nobility and had brown hair like his father, but a little longer to the point it was tied up in a ponytail. I knew this boy…he was Cecil Memphis, a capture target in the Otome game. I was really excited, but I did try to contain it, so no one would get suspicious.

Just like in the game, Cecil kept a distance from my father and his, probably to prevent his power from activating. I didn’t want to mention this before because I felt it would be rude, but I should explain it now. Cecil has the talent of time, but his talent allows him to see the future and past of people by touching or being too close to them. He can’t control this power, so he tries to keep a distance from people to prevent it from activating. In an attempt to also control his power he studies hoping that increasing his knowledge would control his power. His power is really complex and it could be dangerous, so he pretends to have the talent of the animal element by getting along with the animals, pretty smart move.

I was kind of lost in thought, so I didn’t even notice my father, uncle, and Cecil had reached the table. My father held his hand to mother and Abigail, introducing them with a smile, while also adding that Cecil should get along with Abigail. Abigail just nodded with a fake smile. Cecil smiled too, but inched back…I guess he already doesn’t like Abigail.

My uncle’s eyes suddenly took notice of me and asked who I was. My father forced a smile as he introduced me, but there was no pleasant tone in his voice. Cecil and I met eyes, but Cecil immediately looked away making my heart break a bit. Did he just ignore me? Does he hate me too? I felt like I wanted to cry.

My uncle, father, and Cecil, who was forced to sit next to Abigail, sat at the table. My father made a gesture and we began to eat. The food that I placed in my mouth was heavenly. It’s been years since I ate anything this good. I managed to sneak some scraps and feed it to Bibi, who seemed to enjoy it as well.

As I ate, I noticed that Cecil was sweating and looked a little pale. It must be because Abigail is leaning in too close to him. Cecil visibly jolted when Abigail placed a hand on his arm. Cecil pushed Abigail’s hand off his arm and stated, “Please eat your meal.” Abigail pouted and continued to eat. I had to prevent myself from laughing at this display.

After our meal, the dessert was delivered: cinnamon apple pie, passion fruit Jelly, and frozen vanilla ice cream, most likely made using our family’s talent in the element of ice. Just seeing these desserts made my mouth ready to water again. I grabbed a slice of apple pie and savored each bite I took. As I ate, I began to notice that Abigail was bothering Cecil again. Can’t my dear big sister see that Cecil wants nothing to do with her?

I noticed that Cecil looked my way again and then turned away quickly. He ignored me again! I really wanted to cry, but I am in the presence of others so no tears shall escape my eyes. I could feel Bibi nudging my hand and all I could do was smile and slip a tasty crumb of the pie to him. He was obviously worried about me, but I won’t let this get me down.

After our meal, my father offered my Uncle and Cecil to stay for the night, which my uncle obliged to. Cecil on the other hand looked troubled when Abigail offered to bring him to a guest room. Abigail was being very pushy. Cecil pulled his hand away from her extended hand and then his eyes fell on me once again. I expected him to look away again, but instead, he approached me, stood by my side, and then looked at my father, uncle, and Abigail and said, “I’ll have Lady Laveda take me to my room for the night.”

I was trying to get my mind around his words and found it hard to believe, but the look of displeasure in my father and Abigail’s eyes made it clear that I heard Cecil correctly. Even though my father and Abigail looked displeased, my uncle chuckled saying, “I see that you want to get along with the younger sister.” Cecil just nodded and then looked at me. I knew what he wanted me to say, so I curtsied with Bibi still in my arms and stated, in a sweet tone, “I will lead you to a guest bedroom.”

I lead Cecil away from my uncle, father, and Abigail, but I was still half in shock. I couldn’t understand why he wanted me to escort him…now that I think about it he might have just wanted to get away from my annoying sister, so that would make me like a getaway car (an excuse to get away). I feel like crying again. I noticed that Cecil was getting too close, so I picked up my pace.

“You don’t have to move so fast,” stated Cecil from behind me. I glanced over my shoulder and told him, “But you don’t like people being too close to you right?” I could see that Cecil’s eyes widened and he may be wondering why I knew such a thing. Of course I had an excuse for my remark.

“I noticed that you kept a distance from my father, so I guessed you were shy.”

That answer seemed to satisfy him, since I noticed that his form seemed to relax somewhat.

We arrived to the guestroom and even before I could open the door, Cecil asked, “Does your sister know I would be staying in here?” I gave a nod and the next thing he asked made me nearly drop Bibi to the ground.

“Can I stay in your room with you?”

I was silent as I absorbed his words and when I got my mind around it, I nodded and then exclaimed, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Cecil nodded. I really thought he was joking, but his face that was filled with seriousness seemed to be asking me to bring him to my room. Bringing a boy into an unmarried woman’s room is suicide…we are young, so I shouldn’t worry about THAT happening, so it should be OK…right? I really am not sure.

Now that I think about it, he might have wanted to stay in my room to avoid Abigail since she knows he would be staying in a guest room. Curse you Abigail! I can only feel some happiness because Cecil wants to avoid you and aren’t you supposed to love the prince when you are older, so stop bothering Cecil! Cecil avoiding Abigail is both a blessing and a curse, since I am his getaway car.

I managed to smile and tell Cecil, “You can come to my room, but please don’t touch Bibi.” I held up Bibi, who was still hidden in the bear, to make my point clear. Cecil narrowed his eyes as he stared at Bibi, but then scoffed.

“I won’t touch the bear so take me to your room already.”

I nodded, even though half of me wanted to slap him across the face for his rudeness. So we headed to my room and all I could think of was how I was going to hide Bibi from him.

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