I don’t know how long we flew, but I soon saw lights in the distance. I guess that’s the festival. Demetri suddenly dove into the thickness of trees and landed on the ground with a smirk on his lips.
He placed me on the ground and once again patted my head.
“Thanks for the help back there. I wouldn’t have gotten this much without your help.”
I slapped his hand away and stated, “No more stealing. Stealing is bad.” I have to admit that I see stealing in a negative light. Demetri seemed kind of surprised, but then chuckled saying, “I guess stealing is bad too, but my other occupation is worse.”
Do I even want to know what his other occupation is? Demetri patted my head again saying, “Good luck in the talent show.” He then flew off using those earth made wings. I wonder if I can learn to do that too, but I don’t really need too, since I have the wind talent.
Oh yeah, I need to get to the Talent Show. I run into the festival, which was filled with people going to food stands and game stands. It looks like fun, but I have a mission. I run pass the stands, but I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder. I glance back and was surprised to see my father glaring at me.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”
I flinched at the roaring voice of my father. People seemed to take notice too, but immediately looked away when they noticed my father’s high quality clothes.
“Your mother and your siblings have been worried sick.”
“So do you plan on telling me where you’ve been for an entire day?”
My father is seriously scolding me, but this is taking up time. The Talent Show could end any minute now. I ripped my shoulder away from father’s hold and yelled, “You wouldn’t care anyway!” I then ran off as fast as I could. I could hear my father calling for me, but I ignored his voice. I don’t want to bother with him right now.
I continued to run looking for the stage for the Talent Show. I have to get there on time.
I know that voice. I look at the roof of one of the stands and saw Goldie waving at me.
Since Goldie is here then Big Brother must be here too, but I don’t see him anywhere.
“My master is here in the festival, but I was ordered to search for you.”
“I see,” I stated and then asked, “Do you know his exact location?”
“He should be near the stage with Lady Delilah, Lord Hachiko, and the annoying little witch. They are hoping to find you, since you have been missing.”
“I see,” I stated, but I still find it a little strange how Goldie respects my mother, Hachiko, and Big Brother, but dislikes Abigail to the point of calling her witch. I’m glad Abigail doesn’t understand animal language.
“Can you bring me to them?”
Goldie nodded and began to bounce off the roofs of the stands leading the way for me. He is like a slinky. SO CUTE!
Wait a minute…isn’t that Bibi running across the roofs. I guess he came along too. I’m so glad. I missed Bibi so much. I could tell that Bibi wanted to jump to me, but he seems to understand that jumping into my arms is not a good idea. I will cuddle you when I get home.
Bibi and Goldie led me to the stage area. There is a sign that says Talent Show, so my hunch that the stage area was where the Talent Show was being held was correct. I thanks Goldie and Bibi, but informed them that I would see my family later and then ran off looking around the stage area for Zayn.
Man, this place is crowded, but I have to find Zayn. By the looks of things, the talent show is proceeding as scheduled. I have to hurry.
“Zayn, Zayn, where are you?”
I can’t find Zayn anywhere. Where is he?
“Let me go!”
That’s Zayn’s voice. I run toward his voice, but immediately hide behind a pillar because I saw Duke Ulises. Hold on, isn’t that Zayn being held by two guards in front of Duke Ulises. Duke Ulises is glaring at Zayn.
“We made a deal. If you didn’t have a partner then you would not participate in this Talent Show.”
“I do have one.”
“Then where is this partner?”
“She’s…she’s running a little late.”
“The talent show is almost over, so give it up. You have a higher calling in the royal court, so let go of this pipe dream of being a singer.”
“I want to be a singer.”
Zayn looks ready to cry. Now that I think about it, in the game the heroine let him realize his dream of being a singer and he followed that dream, but still worked in the court when he could. He managed to do both and he had the heroine by his side. If the heroine wasn’t there then he would be depressed and be a puppet of his father in the court. I don’t know if the heroine will choose him, but I want Zayn to realize this dream before the game, so he can always be happy, even when the game starts. I might not like him, but I do want him to be happy at least.
I gathered some dirt from the ground and then infused some water into them making mud. Tossing the mud ball in my hand, I separated it to make three and then tossed them toward the guards holding Zayn and Duke Ulises. Bullseye!
While the guards and Duke Ulises tried to wipe the mud from their faces, I took this opportunity to grab Zayn and make a run for it.
“Laveda, you came!”
“I promised didn’t I?”
I pulled Zayn toward the stage area, but then we had to hide because the guards of the Duke Ulises appeared searching for Zayn. The stage is so close, but we can’t get pass those guards and if we are caught then Zayn won’t be able to participate.
“I can’t believe my father is trying this hard to stop me.”
“Well he is a jerk.”
That accidentally slipped out, but I heard Zayn chuckle and say that he agreed. Looks like we do have something in common when it comes to our opinions on his father.
Now how are we going to get to the stage…now that I think about it, there was a hilarious scene in the game concerning Zayn. I smiled at Zayn making him slightly flinch.
“Laveda, your look is kind of scary.”
“Promise to keep this a secret.”
I waved my hands activating my darkness talent. A dark mist surrounded Zayn making him gasp. When the mist cleared, a pretty blonde haired girl wearing a yellow dress stood before me.
“What is this?”
Too bad Zayn’s voice is coming out of this girl.
“I used my Darkness talent to disguise you.”
“You have the darkness talent.”
I nodded and stated, “Don’t tell anyone OK?” Zayn nodded, but looked at his form with an uneasy look. Don’t look like that. In the game, you dressed like this to get out of marriage interviews. You even dressed like this around the heroine just to tease her. Those were my favorite scenes in your route.
With Zayn disguised like this we managed to sneak pass the guards. Of course they weren’t aware of me, since they never saw my face when I attacked them with mud.
When we reached the stage, I undid the illusion around Zayn returning him to his natural look. He looked over himself before sighing in relief.
“You know, Laveda, if you weren’t late then my father wouldn’t have had the chance to grab me.”
“…I was late because of your father.”
“Your father doesn’t want you to join this talent show, so he tried to bribe me and when I refused he kidnapped me.”
“HE KIDNAPPED YOU?”
I nodded with crossed arms and then stated, “So be glad that I got away and managed to even get here.” Zayn nodded, but he looks a bit shocked. I guess he never expected that I would be kidnapped.
“Let’s hurry a get to the stage.”
“But we don’t have time to practice anymore.”
“Just wing it.”
Zayn looked confused by my words. I sighed.
“You want to sing right?”
“Then you must have practiced somewhat before entering this right?”
Zayn paused and then nodded.
“The let’s sing and dance anyway we want win or lose.”
Zayn smiled at my encouragement and I have to admit that it was kind of cute. Nothing like in the game.
I don’t know how, but Zayn managed to get one of the people in charge of the talent show to let us participate in the last minute. So even though we are not in costume we entered the stage.
Everything was silent as all eyes fell on us. I have to say that this is nerve-racking. Take a few deep breaths and I guess I will let Zayn sing first, since he might have a song to sing. I could tell Zayn was nervous judging by the sweat, but we came this far, so I held his hand as an encouragement. Zayn smiled and then sang some surprising lyrics.
“Open up your heart, listen to the melody. It is within the soul and all around~”
He is singing the theme song of Key of Fortune Love…I guess that’s what he heard me sing when we first met in the bakery. He paused here, so I guess we are making this a duet.
“It never changes within yourself~. Even through time~”
I smiled at Zayn with a nod and then we sang the next lyric together.
“Key of Fortune Love!”
I don’t know what happened, but music suddenly started to play. I looked at the source and was surprised to see Bibi in his bear form hitting on some glasses and drums in secret and Goldie was blowing into a flute…for a little guy Goldie knows how to hit the notes. Zayn didn’t seem to know where the music came from and began to dance holding my hand.
“Listen to the melody. Let your heart soar. Let it radiate within your soul~”
“Key of Fortune Love –love-love!”
“True Love is the key.”
I never sang the next lyric in the bakery, so I better sing it now.
“You got to make your move~ Listen to your soul~”
I don’t know how, but Zayn got the next lyric on his first try.
“Release the Love~Love~Love~ Till the world is whole!”
That was a very good high note with a male voice.
“Listen to the melody. Let your heart soar. Let it radiate within your soul~”
“Key of Fortune Love –love-love.”
Time for the finale!
“True Love is the key!”
Whoops, I accidentally activated my fire talent when Zayn and I posed. Looks like fireworks.
Everyone was silent and then began to applaud. I saw my mother, Theodore, Abigail, and Hachiko among the crowd clapping. I then saw Goldie run onto Theodore’s shoulder with Bibi’s limp form in his grasp and give a bow. Theodore smiled as he caressed Goldie’s head with his index finger. I guess Goldie told Theodore the situation, but is it just me or does he look a little mad?
Zayn suddenly grabbed my hand and bowed down by the waist. I did the same as the applause continued. We left the stage hand in hand.
The moment we were off, Zayn hugged me saying, “That was great!”
“It was, wasn’t it?”
I have to admit that it was a little fun. Our celebration was cut short, when a form hand landed on Zayn’s shoulder. It was none other than Duke Ulises. He was panting like he had run a marathon.
“I told you not to compete and you still did,” muttered Duke Ulises and then he glared at me saying, “And you, how did you even get here?”
“I escaped,” I stated with crossed arms. Now that I think about it, Duke Ulises will be pretty pissed when he returns to his mansion.
Duke Ulises reached toward me yelling, “This is your fault!” I was about to defend myself from this angered man, but the next thing I knew, Zayn stood before me looking defiantly at Duke Ulises.
“Do not hurt Laveda!”
Duke Ulises clicked his tongue.
“You don’t understand. This girl has corrupted you. Your destiny is to work in the royal court as an advisor like me.”
Zayn frowned saying, “I don’t want that career. I want to do what I love doing. I want to sing just like today. I may not win today, but singing to people and making them happy is what I want to do.”
Duke Ulises frowned.
“If that is your choice, then don’t expect me to allow you to return to the mansion.”
“Fine by me. I will make my own living.”
Zayn is going to be disowned now? Doesn’t that mean he won’t become the student council president when the game starts? No way. I know this is selfish of me, but I can’t imagine the game without Zayn in it. He is annoying, but now I realize that he has to be in it.
Duke Ulises was about to leave, but I grabbed his hand making him look at me.
“Please don’t disown Zayn.”
Zayn looked at me with wide eyes, but my focus was on Duke Ulises.
Duke Ulises smirked saying, “If he won’t follow the path as an advisor, then why should I let him stay under my care.”
“Because Zayn can become an advisor.”
“Zayn is very talented. He managed to sing this song after hearing it once and all in the last minute. Doing all this, I believe he has a good memory and I believe he can do this in his advisor work. If you let him pursue this singing career then I can guarantee that he can also become an Advisor you can be proud of.”
I know this, since he became an advisor and a singer in the good end of the game.
Duke Ulises was still frowning. I guess he doubts my words…wait a minute. I can see it. There is also a trace of sadness in his eyes. Sorry to do this, but I need to see.
I activated my Time Talent as I held Duke Ulises hand.
I saw Duke Ulises sitting in what looked like an office. He was holding a picture frame in his hand. It was a picture of a beautiful woman with long green hair and a white dress. Is this Duke Ulises’s wife?
Whoa, he just threw the picture against the wall.
“You give birth and then you leave me for a traveling musician. Why? Why?”
He is crying a lot. So his wife left him for a traveling musician. That’s pretty harsh. This wasn’t mentioned in the game. Actually, Duke Ulises remained a jerk and disowned Zayn IN the game. Is this why he hates Zayn’s want to be a singer?
Whoa, the scene changed…to a few moments ago before I grabbed his hand.
“If that is your choice, then don’t expect me to allow you to return to the mansion.”
“Fine by me. I will make my own living.”
Those are the exact words spoken.
Fine…just leave me like your mother.
Hold on, I can hear his thoughts?
Music took her away from me, so why shouldn’t music take you away from me too? Just leave me…just leave me, so I won’t be abandoned anymore…I’m tired of it.
I see. I released Duke Ulises’s hand returning me to reality and then looked into his eyes.
“Why don’t you just tell him how you feel instead of holding back?”
“You love Zayn very, very much, right?”
“Music isn’t a bad thing. It can also bring people together. Don’t let the past hold you back. Let Zayn show you that music can take away the loneliness.”
Duke Ulises looks pretty shocked.
Duke Ulises sighed and then looked at Zayn making Zayn flinch.
“If what this girl says is true then prove it to me. Sing to your heart’s content and work hard on your studies. Only when you succeed in both is when I will believe that you can accomplish things.”
Zayn burst into a smile and nodded and then faced me with that same smile. I heard him whisper his thanks and just nodded at him. I don’t know if my words did anything, but I hope Zayn’s future is a little brighter.
“Now the world will experience my greatness that even the Gods will envy!”
Ugh, he is still a narcissist. Duke Ulises should fix that about Zayn.
Huh, Duke Ulises is patting my head. I glance at him and saw him smile and whisper, “Sorry for kidnapping you before, but you have to understand that I had my son’s interest at heart.”
“And you almost disowned this son.”
Duke Ulises is acting a little strange. I wonder if he suspects that I technically read his thoughts.
“DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DAUGHTER!”
The next thing I knew, Duke Ulises was kicked away from me and fell flat in front of Zayn.
“Father, are you OK?” asked Zayn in shock. I don’t blame him, but who in the world….?
“Laveda, are you OK?”
Whoa, isn’t that my father? Seriously?
My father looks concerned as he looks at me, but then glares at the recovering Duke Ulises.
“What were you planning to do to my daughter, you bastard?”
“THE BASTARD IS YOU!”
Duke Ulises is seriously pissed.
“What gives you the right to kick me? You haven’t changed at all, Burnell.”
Wait a minute, Duke Ulises and father know each other?
“I can say the same to you, Ulises. You have the audacity to try to court my daughter?”
“Your daughter?” Duke Ulises looked at me and then back at father saying, “You never mentioned that you had a second daughter.”
“Well I do and you must step far away from her.”
Why is father acting protective of me? He has been cold to me for the longest time, so why is he acting like this now…alien abduction or is it possession?
Zayn suddenly looked at me and asked, “Aren’t you a commoner?”
“I only pretended to be one to work in the bakery. My full name is Laveda Lorenzino.”
“Lorenzino…so you’re a Duke’s daughter?”
I nodded, but is it just me or does Zayn look a bit excited.
Zayn looked at Duke Ulises and seemed ready to say something, but father suddenly picked me up and hugged me close saying, “As Laveda’s father, I will not allow you to touch one hair on her head.”
“Now you look here, Burnell…”
“You will not soil her!”
OK, this is getting creepy. I pushed father’s face away from me saying, “Put me down.”
“You were always cold to me, so put me down. I hate father.”
Huh, father looks really pale now. He placed me down and went on all four like a loved one had died. What is with him today?
I touched his shoulder and my time talent activated automatically.
I recognize this place: the Talent Chambers. This is where I had my talent tested…the place that said I was trash. There’s father with the head wizard of the talent chambers.
“How is this possible? Why doesn’t Laveda have any talents?”
Father looks pretty distraught.
“This happens once in a while and you should understand how she needs to be treated.”
“But she’s my daughter. I…”
“Do you want to be criticized by the nobles, by all talent users? A person with no talent doesn’t deserve to be respected. They have to face hardship.”
This wizard is a jerk.
“I know this, but it hurts to know that I can’t show Laveda any love.”
“It is for the best. The ones not blessed with a talent are despised by the heavens and so the people must also despise them to please the heavens. Do you understand?”
“But there are others with no talents and they…”
“…Are commoners looked down upon. Duke Burnell, this is for the sake of your family.”
The wizard nodded and allowed father to leave, but I could hear my father’s thoughts.
I’m sorry Laveda…I’m so sorry.
I released father’s shoulder returning me to reality. So that’s why he treated me like this, but I am not ready to forgive.
“Father, lift your head.”
“Answer me: do you really love me?”
I seem to have broken a damn as father burst into tears and hugged me saying, “I don’t care anymore what the High Wizard says. I want to love my daughter.”
Seriously what brought this on? Is this how father always felt? He was always cold. I am not used to this.
I pushed Father away and scooted back saying, “I am not ready to accept you.”
I turned away from father. I can hear him crying. He treated me coldly for a long time, so don’t expect me to forgive him so soon.
“Big Brother!” I cheered when I saw Theodore come over and let him hug me. Abigail also managed to hug me saying, “That was such a great performance. Why didn’t you tell us you were going to be in it?”
“I didn’t get the chance.”
Mother also patted my head saying, “You were wonderful.”
Hachiko even congratulated me.
Father is seriously wailing. He is so out of character right now.
Mother sighed looking toward father’s pathetic form.
“That’s what you get for being so cold to our daughter all this time.”
“But the high wizard…”
“I can’t believe you listened to that old geezer. Let us be mocked for all I care. My daughter is the sweetest along with my other children.”
Mother sounded pretty proud saying that, but father looks pathetic.
I heard Duke Ulises laughing and then I looked at him. He seems different too now.
“Burnell looks pretty pathetic.”
I have to agree on that. Father does look pretty pathetic.
Duke Ulises suddenly pulled Zayn to his side making Zayn stumble a bit and then smiled toward mother.
“Burnell is pathetic, but your daughter Laveda is quite lovely. Even though she has no talents, can she marry my son?”
He is proposing marriage? This is way too weird.
“I don’t mind.”
I mind mother. I don’t want to be married to Zayn. He is still a narcissist.
“OVER MY DEAD BODY!”
Wow, father made a very loud objection.
“You will never have my little girl!”
Theodore and Abigail also stood firmly and yelled, “We also object!”
Even Hachiko is objecting. Mother just laughed saying, “Well they are still young, so ask again when they are older.” Duke Ulises nodded, but father is glaring daggers at them.
Is it just me or does Zayn look disappointed? I’m pretty sure that if he’s attracted to me, it is only a short term crush. He’ll get over it.
“Oh yes, I forgot,” mother suddenly stated and looked at me asking, “Where were you this entire time?”
“Kidnapped,” I answered bluntly.
“…I see and who kidnapped you?”
I won’t lie to mother about this. I was gone for a long time after all. Mother nodded and then slapped Duke Ulises’s cheek making him nearly fall over. Father also kicked him again.
“Don’t you ever dare to kidnap her again,” stated Mother with a dark look. Actually her look is really scary. Mother you look like a demon.
Duke Ulises nodded saying his apologies. Mother nodded as she prevented father from drawing his blade. I have to say that their character now is so different that it is a little scary.
I feel like I am forgetting something…FREDERICK!
I tugged Theodore’s arm, since father and mother were preoccupied and Abigail wasn’t really the person I should ask, making him look at me.
“Where is Frederick? He must be worried, since I disappeared on him yesterday.”
Theodore seemed to go into deep thought and stated, “The last time I saw him, he reported you missing and then left the mansion to look for you.”
“So he’s been gone since yesterday?”
Theodore nodded. I’m worried about that. Where could he have gone?
Speak of the devil, there he is. Frederick is approaching from the crowd.
“Frederick!” I cheered and ran to him. I immediately embraced him around his waist. Frederick hugged me back saying, “I’m glad you’re safe.” I nodded with a smile. I was worried that he would go missing.
…Strange…Frederick smells funny. Maybe it is just my imagination.
Zayn called me. I looked at him refusing to separate from Frederick.
“I am going to become a singer, so in the future please come to my shows, so I can show you my true self.”
I smiled and stated, “OK, but get over yourself.”
“Stop being narcissist.”
With those words, I allowed Frederick to carry me and bring me to my family. Zayn is pretty quiet. I guess being called a narcissist didn’t exactly make him happy, but I expect him to become a great singer in the future with his father’s approval.
I grabbed Bibi from Goldie and cuddled him making sure to push father away from me with my foot. I won’t let him hug me for a long time. Father looks sad, but it is his fault.
The festival ended, so I headed home in my family’s carriage. I was really tired, so I slept in between Theodore and Abigail, who both hugged me as they also rested. Hachiko slept in my lap with Bibi in his embrace and Goldie slept on top of my head. It is a little crowded, but it feels nice. I really do wonder what the future will bring.
End of Book 1