Chapter 5

Chapter 5

A Chapter by Havatara

The next day, Mary woke up early.  She wasn’t used to the castle hours, and she felt like she had to do something important.

Mary didn’t want to risk waking Lady Jade, so she decided to stay in her room and read some books.  Making her bed so she wouldn’t have to do it later, she went over to the bookshelves to see what she could read.

Mary immediately went to the books about animals.  There were so many of them!  She read through the titles, trying to decide what she wanted to read.  How to Care For Your Tiger, Bat Crazy, All About Alligators, and dozens of other books were stacked on the shelves, but she didn’t want to read any of them.

Then she saw it.  It was slim and bound in reddish-brown leather.  The Life of a Dragon.  Mary grabbed it carefully so that she wouldn’t rip any of the pages, and then she turned to the introduction.  It said:

Dragons are very complex creatures that live for a very long time.  They hatch from eggs and mature very quickly.  However, once they hit maturity, they stop aging as fast.  This is why dragons live for hundreds of years.

Dragons have many different magical abilities.  They breathe fire, fly, and cast spells.  Their most uncommon and unknown ability is that they can change into anything, including humans.’

Mary set the book down.  Dragons could change into humans?  How many of them were hiding, right in front of the real humans’ eyes?  For all Mary knew, Lady Jade herself could be a dragon.

“Mary, are you awake yet?” Lady Jade called.

Mary slipped the book back onto the shelf.  “I was just doing some reading,” she replied.  “I thought you were still asleep.”

Lady Jade walked into Mary’s room laughing.  “I always get up really early, no matter how late I stay up the night before.  As they say, the early bird gets the worm.  What do you want for breakfast?”

“Just some bread and jam,” Mary said, slipping into the chair.

“You have to have more than that,” Lady Jade insisted.  “If you don’t eat a good breakfast, your entire day will be bad.  Do you want some eggs as well?”

Mary sighed.  “I guess.  But really, I’m not hungry.”

“Well, you still should eat,” Lady Jade said, setting the plate of food in front of Mary.  “Anyway, I have a meeting today around lunchtime.  I want you to come with me.”

Mary fidgeted in her chair.  “Are you sure?   I’m not really good with new people,” she admitted.

“You’ll do fine,” Lady Jade replied, scarfing down her food.  “All you have to do is sit there and answer any questions that my friend has truthfully and honestly.  You can do that, right?”

Mary nodded.  “My mom always said that it takes more effort to lie than to tell the truth, so you might as well not lie to begin with.”

“Your mom sounds like a smart lady.  So, what book were you reading?” Lady Jade asked.

“The one about dragons.”

Lady Jade stopped eating.  She set her fork down on the plate and said quietly to Mary, “I don’t want you to read any more books about dragons from now on, understand?”

“Why not?” Mary asked, frightened.  She was reminded of what Claire had said the night before.

“There are some people in this world that don’t like others knowing about certain things, and dragons are one of those things that a lot of people don’t like others to know about.  I want you to be safe, so you can’t know about dragons, okay?”  There was concern in Lady Jade’s voice, and Mary could tell that she really meant what she said.

“Okay.  I’ll read the book about pigs instead.”

Lady Jade smiled, relieved.  “That sounds great.  Now, before we go, you have to learn a few things?”

Mary’s heart fell.  “What kind of things?”

“How to sit up straight, when you use certain utensils, proper etiquette, stuff like that,” Lady Jade replied cheerfully.

“But that’s so boring!” Mary complained.

“Well, sometimes we have to do borings things because they’re necessary, and this is one of those times.  Why don’t you get dressed and meet me in the living room in five minutes?” Lady Jade suggested.  Mary nodded and sulked back to her room.

A few minutes later, Lady Jade and Mary were ready to meet with this mysterious friend of theirs.  Russell was waiting for them by the door.  “He wishes to meet with you in his parlor, my Lady.”

Lady Jade rolled her eyes.  “How many times have I told you to call me Jade instead of Lady Jade?  It’s so boring.  Don’t you think it’s boring, Miss Mary?”

“Well, um, I, um,” stammered Mary.

“I think I should be able to call you whatever I want, Lady Jade, and that is exactly what I’m going to do.  Now, do you want me to take you there?” he asked.

“Yes, please.  This place is just too big.  They should have made it smaller,” Lady Jade complained.  Mary was happy that she wasn’t the only one who got lost in Draco City’s royal palace.

“We must go now or else we’ll be late,” Russell said, leading them out the door.

Try as she might, Mary couldn’t figure out where they were going.  They went up stairs and down stairs and through so many corridors that she lost count.  Finally they came to a door that had pictures of animals on it.  In fact, it looked almost exactly like the one that went to Lady Jade’s apartment.

Before she could ask why the doors looked so much alike, Mary and Lady Jade were led into a room with a lot of couches and a big coffee table in the middle.  On the far end of the room next to the windows there was a big fireplace that made the room feel warm and cozy.

“Mr. Thomas will be with you shortly,” Russell said before leaving the room.

Mary fidgeted in her chair and asked, “What is Mr. Thomas like?  Is he kind?  What does he look like?”

Lady Jade laughed.  “Mr. Thomas is extremely kind, but he has a strange way of showing it.  And you’ll just have to wait to see what he looks like.  I want to keep it a surprise.”

“Why?  Does he look strange?”

“No, not really.  Just a bit different is all,” Lady Jade explained.

Even with all of Lady Jade’s assurances, Mary was still nervous.  She pictured Mr. Thomas as a tall, thin, scary looking man, with a beard.  When there was a knock on the door, she jumped, scared of what she might see.

When Mr. Thomas walked in, Mary gasped.  He wasn’t anything like she expected!  He was short and fat and had graying brown hair.  If he was older, he would have probably looked like Santa Claus.  He said in a loud, booming voice, “Lady Jade!  It’s so good to see you again!”

Lady Jade giggled.  “It’s nice to see you too, Mr. Thomas.  Russell said that you wanted to talk to us?”

“Well, I mostly wanted to meet your new maid.  Everyone’s talking about her, you know.”  That made Mary fidget even more.  Why would anyone want to know anything about her?  Her life was boring.  So she just stayed silent.

“I’m trying to keep her away from all of that as long as possible, Mr. Thomas.  I’ll let her out in court when it’s safe,” Lady Jade explained.  Mary gave a small sigh of relief.  That had been worrying her.  Maids usually had to follow their ladies wherever they went, but there were rules that Mary didn’t know yet.  Lady Jade would have to teach them to her.

Mr. Thomas sighed.  “I’m afraid you won’t have to worry about that any time soon.  The rumors are starting again, and you have to leave.”

Lady Jade’s expression when wary.  “Why?  I’m having fun here.  That’s more than I can say when I had to go home last.”

“Yes, but it won’t be much fun if you’re found out, now would it?  Face it, Jade, you’re going to have to leave soon,” Mr. Thomas said.  That made Mary confused.  Why would Lady Jade have to go?  She belonged in court.

“Tom, we have to think this through a bit.  If I leave as soon as the rumors start, then it’ll look suspicious.”

“If you leave later it’ll be dangerous.”

Lady Jade sighed and turned to Mary.  “Can you go get me a cup of tea?  I’m suddenly parched.”

“Yes, Lady Jade,” Mary said, glad to have an excuse to leave the room.  It was getting awkward for her.

When she left the room she was surprised to see Russell standing behind it, eavesdropping.  Mary whispered, “It’s not kind to do that.  That’s a private conversation.”

“Sh!  Do you want us to get caught?” he hissed.  Mary shook her head, and he motioned for her to lean against the door as he was so she could hear better.

“ - they’ll welcome you back, you know.  You’ve never had to worry about that,” Mr. Thomas was saying.

Lady Jade sighed again.  Mary noticed that she was doing a lot of that.  “I know, but it’s just that being there makes me think that they were right.  That I shouldn’t have even tried to stay there in the first place.”

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.  Ken will forgive you for leaving them without a warning,” Mr. Thomas chuckled.

“Do you think they’ll be terribly mad at me for leaving like that?  I wanted to leave a letter, but then I figured that they would figure out where I’d gone and why, and that I wouldn’t have to worry,” Lady Jade said with a note of tension in her voice.

“I don’t think you have to worry about that explanation.  What does need explaining, however, is why your servants decided that it would be okay to eavesdrop on us,” Mr. Thomas said, opening the door.  Russell and Mary fell face-first onto the floor.  They looked up at him, smiling sheepishly.

“We just wanted to know what was going on.  Lady Jade never explains anything,” Russell explained.

Mr. Thomas sighed.  “Very well.  Just don’t do it again.  Now, go get packing.  You’re going on a trip.”

“Where?” Mary ventured to ask.

Mr. Thomas grinned at her and replied, “The mountains.  Pack warm.”

© 2010 Havatara

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Added on July 26, 2010
Last Updated on July 26, 2010



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