"No," Zed answered without much thinking.
Sophia was stunned by his answer.
"I must be imagining things!" Sophia thought.
She has only seen that woman once and didn't really know much about her. Still, she was sure that woman and her family lived in the State of Avalon.
Just like almost every noble house...
"Why would you ask?" Zed enquired.
"No reason," Sophia replied. "Just wanted to know if you are from my home state."
"Oh," Zed didn't care much. "Well, I certainly want to check the State of Avalon in future. But there are too many restrictions from those outside, right?"
"Yes," Sophia nodded.
The state of Avalon was the power-center of humanity, and its entire perimeter was surrounded by a barrier. Holy City - the capital of World Government- was located in it as well.
It wouldn't be wrong to say State of Avalon was the most developed region on Earth. Due to its special status, there were severe restrictions. Foreigners weren't allowed unless they have a special permit.
"I'm sure I would get a chance to visit," Zed said.
"I hope you do," Sophia replied.
She felt his response pretty much confirmed her earlier guess. She was imagining things about him!
He hasn't been to Avalon unless he was lying, but there should be no reason to lie for such a matter.
"What about you?" Sophia asked Ashlyn. She didn't want to be rude and suspicious so she asked Ashlyn as well.
Ashlyn shook her head.
"I see," Sophia made her comfortable back in her chair.
She remembered the lessons her mother taught, and instantly thought her conduct was wrong. She shouldn't have asked personal questions to strangers.
Besides, why should she even care about his slight resemblance? She has not even been acquainted with him for an hour, so why he should matter to her?
"I have been wrongly influenced," Sophia thought. "This must be the effect of that shameless rascal."
A few minutes later.
Aileen stepped into the dining room.
"Lunch is prepared," Aileen informed them.
"Bring it," Sophia instructed her.
"Yes, miss," Aileen clapped her hands as a signal.
Two servants entered the room, carrying a set of dishes. The fragrance itself was filled with deliciousness that instantly made their mouths water.
Roast lam salad, chicken liver pate, scotch eggs, paneer stick, winter salad with buttermilk dressing, chocolate mousse, casserole, variety of bread, vegetables, and so on. There were even drinks though not alcohol.
It was more of a feast than a simple lunch, and that too, in the middle of wilderness. Something that would shock everyone for people can barely even have proper food!
Aileen knew the core region wouldn't allow such meals. As such, she wanted her young miss to have lavish feasts before the opening which was less than a week away.
This meal was also an appropriate apology on young miss's behalf.
"Thank you for the delicious lunch," Zed said after satisfying his appetite.
Ashlyn also gave a slight nod of approval.
"I'm glad you enjoyed it," Sophia replied with a smile.
Just then, a servant entered the room and said something in Aileen's ears. The servant left and Aileen quickly closed her mouth to Sophia's ears and said, "Miss, Young Master Carmen Vazquez is here. He should---"
Aileen didn't even get time to complete when a man in mid-twenties stepped in. He has olive hair, fair skin and a piercing on his nose.
"Sophia!" Carmen said in a loud, bashful voice.
His expression was filled with cheerfulness that soon died as soon as he saw the dining table and the empty plates.
His eyes swept on Zed who was sitting near Sophia. This made his eyebrows knit.
"Who are you and what are you doing here?" Carmen asked in a heavy voice.
"I'm Zed," Zed answered, his voice polite. "Miss Sophia invited me for lunch so I'm here."
Carmen's face fell.
He has been trying for almost a year to get Sophia agree for a meal and she always refused. He has used pretty much every method that he could, and yet, no success.
Carmen grudgingly felt a little better knowing her response has been the same for the opposite gender, no matter the background.
She has personally invited someone to her camp house and treated him with lunch?
How could she even do such a thing!?
"Please feel free to take the plates," Zed said with the same politeness. "We are done."
"Plate?" Carmen didn't dare trust what he just heard.
Could it be that he thinks I'm a servant?
Me? A noble-blood?!
Carmen refused to believe this. He was a noble-blooded and yet, he was being asked to take the plates?!
Carmen felt his veins pulsing by the insult.
Sophia noticed Carmen's expression and she broke out into laughter.
Aileen quickly intervened and said, "Young Master Carmen is from House of Vazquez."
"Oh! My apologies!" Zed respectfully asked for forgiveness. "I misunderstood."
Carmen stared at him. He felt no mockery from him, and yet, he was doubtful that it was really a misunderstanding.
"You are from which family?" Carmen calmed himself and asked.
Before Zed could reply, Sophia intervened and said, "Carmen, he is my guest so stop being annoying."
Carmen was pissed at her, but he controlled his emotions and smiled, "Of course."
At the same time, two servants stepped in to clean the tables and collect the plates. Carmen flinched as he sighted them, their presence reminding him of what Zed said.
"Why am I thinking about this?"
Carmen ignored their presence and sat down on a chair. It was then when he finally noticed Ashlyn. The moment he saw her, he was struck on spot, his eyes wide.
"So beautiful! Just like Sophia!"
Carmen has sighted many gorgeous women but very few like the ones he was in presence of now. They both were young and stunning, absolutely beautiful.
"Young Master Carmen," Aileen noticed him entering trance while staring at Ashlyn.
She felt it was extremely disrespectful so she decided to bring him back to reality.
"Yes?" Carmen turned his head towards her.
"How was your trip to that spatial debris cave?" Aileen enquired. The cave she mentioned was not that far from here.
"Fantastic!" Carmen answered excitedly. "In fact, this was the reason why I came here."
He glanced at Zed with an expression of disdain before continuing, "I have acquired a rare tablet from an ancient civilization of Celestial Elysian Plane."
Carmen retrieved a red tablet from his storage ring. The tablet was rectangular, made from unknown material which resembled both a stone and a metal.
As soon as the tablet appeared, the room was enveloped with an ancient aura. There was a sense of enlightenment as if they were in presence of the principles that made the world. Find authorized novels in romanticlovebooks，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.romanticlovebooks.com for visiting.
Carmen brushed a finger on the tablet's surface upon which strange and complex runes were engraved. From a simple look, these engravings would appear in circular ripple patterns. And yet, with every second, those patterns would seem different but also the same.
There was a contradiction that was far from the understanding of human mind.
Sophia scanned the tablet and noticed cracks in between. She looked at the end of tablet and concluded that it was a remnant of a larger tablet.
An incomplete piece.
Yet, it was definitely precious just from aura.
"I faced countless dangers to acquire this," Carmen seemed boasting but he was speaking truth. "It was only due to a stroke of luck that it became mine. Fate wanted me to have it."
Aileen glanced at him and sighed.
"Fate is the most mystique principle of the universe," Aileen thought.
"Have you studied the runes?" Sophia asked, her voice filled with curiosity. The time for opening of core region was approaching, and what she desired was also related to ancient records of the civilizations that have long ceased to exist.
"I tried but as you know, they are very complex, and there are barely a few humans who could fully understand them," Carmen said, a bit dejected.
There are people who have spent decades to study the languages and patterns of Celestial Elysian Plane with the help of supercomputers, and even they could not understand one language perfectly, much less every language out there.
The languages of that plane were far too mystic for the human world...
Just looking at the strange runes or complex patterns, it was hard to tell what language it was. This further increased the difficulty of finding an expert proficient in a specific language of Celestial Elysian Plane.
Sophia nodded in obvious understanding.
Aileen opened her lips and said, "Young master, there is no reason for you to be dejected. What you have accomplished deserves praise."
"I know," Carmen lifted his head up proudly.
He placed the tablet on the table and wondered aloud, "It would have helped us so much in core region if we knew what it said."
Aileen agreed openly. Even Sophia and Ashlyn gave a slight nod.
"In the midst of great disaster, you shall find what you have sought..."
Zed's calm voice broke the silence like a bolt of lightning, stunning everyone.
"What?!" Everyone looked at him. They were shell-shocked to see his eyes were focused on the runes engraved on the tablet.
Is he reading the runes?!
"In the midst of great disaster, you shall find what you have sought from ages past.
"In the middle of death, you shall discover what binds the living to...
"Life begins from death... Flames of nirvana shall mold what has long ceased to exist, to bring the era of..."