Doubts appeared all at once on Anikas’ face. In fact, they can’t recall ever seeing Anika Jin exhibit her Ramita level before.
Ramita is a divine power. So, if her Ramita is truly powerful enough to transform a lark into a tree, it begs the question of why she has kept it hidden all these years.
‘Indeed, Anika Jin has always avoided touching the transparent seed.’
‘I thought she was trying to avoid being compared to Flora because she has a low Ramita level.’
‘Could she possibly be making up the whole lark tree incident?’
‘Even though she is Anika Jin, how is it possible for her to lie about such an incident?’
Anikas soon exchanged skeptical glances with each other. Flora’s single remark has indeed completely altered the atmosphere since the revered looks directed at Eugene were immediately replaced by doubts and condemnation.
Eugene caught a smirk flashing across Flora’s face as she looked at her.
Although Eugene had a sneaking suspicion that Flora and her imposter had not been true friends, she was greatly shocked when a memory suddenly popped into her head.
[What is a lucid dream like, Flora?]
[When you dip your hands in the water, it feels icy cold against your skin.]
Eugene was shocked to discover that the fictitious account of the lucid dream her imposter gave Sang-je was a fabrication she had picked up from Flora. It was clear that Flora had bad intentions when she told her imposter such a lie.
Eugene then recalled that when her imposter visited Sang-je and asserted that she had a lucid dream, she was twelve years old. This could only imply that, even as a young child, Flora had a dislike for Jin but pretended to be friends with her.
‘I detest people with twisted personalities like her.’
Eugene couldn’t help but feel disappointed that the protagonist of her book was such a shallow individual. After giving her surroundings a cool-headed glance, Eugene spoke up shortly.
“I never realized that keeping my Ramita hidden was wrong of me.”
Despite the fact that the atmosphere was on the verge of turning against her, Eugene was unfazed. In fact, even if everyone turned against her, she wouldn’t be afraid because she has a husband who fully supports her and a family who will always be there for her.
“I simply told the truth, that’s all. How can I demonstrate the transformation of a lark into a tree in the Holy City with no larks?
Eugene gave an airy response, as if it didn’t matter whether they were convinced or not. Her laid-back attitude must have been more convincing than any justification, though, as Anikas’s suspicion appeared to have vanished a little.
“… Even if there aren’t any larks in the Holy City, there’s another way you could prove it.”
Denise immediately rose from her seat and brought a basket to the sofa table. She slowly scanned the crowd before turning to look at Eugene as she took candy from the basket. The basket was then passed to the person next to her.
Anikas took turns taking candy as the basket was passed around. It was soon Flora’s turn to take the candy, and after being passed around again, Eugene’s turn came.
‘Is this it?’
Eugene reached deep into the basket and took two of them without being noticed. Any lingering doubts vanished from Anikas’ eyes as soon as she pulled the candy out of the basket.
“Since I brought the basket, I’ll start. Let’s go in the order we took the candy. ”
Denise then removed the candy wrapper to reveal the clear seed. While everyone’s attention was on Denise, Eugene removed her glove and hid the extra candy she had taken from the basket.
Then, from Denise’s palm, the clear seed started to sprout, sending out two-hand-wide shoots before they disintegrated into tiny pieces. Then, as eyes turned to Anika seated next to Denise, she immediately tore off the wrapper and took the clear seed in her hand.
Eugene observed the strange phenomenon taking place right in front of her eyes with great interest. Although the height of the shoot varied from person to person, the difference was not significant.
‘They’re even better than I imagined.’
Eugene couldn’t help but wonder what her level would be like if that was how an average Ramita appeared. She got goosebumps remembering the horizontally stretched water in her lucid dream. Indeed, she had only vaguely imagined that her Ramita would be above average until today.
‘Perhaps… my Ramita is stronger than I thought.’
“Should I proceed as usual?” Flora spoke up when it was her turn.
“Yes, please.” Anikas responded with a nod of agreement.
Skipping Flora, the Anika next to her grabbed her clear seed. When it was Eugene’s turn, the Anika next to her stepped in and said, “I’ll go first.” before Eugene could unwrap her candy.
Except for two people, every Anika gathered around the table placed the empty wrapper on the table. Everyone then turned to look at Jin and Flora, unsure which of them should go first.
“I’ll go first today.” The silence was broken by Flora.
Her use of the word “today” left it unclear whether she was being modest about the fact that she wasn’t the star of the show today or confident that, as always, she would be the one to show the strongest Ramita in the end.
Now that it was Jin and Flora’s turn, Anikas, who had been watching from a distance, gathered around to get a better look. Curiosity won out in their expression because nothing had ever been more interesting than today.
Shoots started to emerge and rise high as soon as Flora grabbed her clear seed. Exclamations then erupted in awe, even though it was not their first time seeing it.
Nearly touching the ceiling, the leaves quickly dried before disintegrating into small pieces, as if bursting into air.
Flora’s hackles rose, though, at Eugene’s expression of indifference.
‘Let’s see how long you can keep your cool.’ Flora sneered coldly inside.
Finally, Jin’s turn came around. A tense atmosphere filled the hallway as silence descended. Everyone was staring at Eugene, as if they didn’t want to miss even the slightest change in her breathing, while wondering if Anika Jin would touch the seed today.
Before beginning to unwrap the seed, Eugene set the glove she had been holding onto above her knees. The seed, which seemed to be somewhat translucent, was exactly like the one she had seen in Sang-je’s prayer room. With that thought, she quietly took a breath inside.
‘Just do it like the other day. You’re a lake. So, it only needs to be the size of a lake.’