“Your Majesty!” Seeing him lost in thoughts, Eugene softly called out.
Kasser, who was glaring at the name Hario, looked up.
“You can pick any one of them, just continue with what you’re saying. You said there was no cocoon, so what happened?” she asked.
Her expression was full of determination, she wanted to hear all about it and she would not take no for an answer.
Kasser laughed, set the documents down on the sofa table and leaned back to talk in earnest.
“I assumed it wouldn’t be a typical lark. There’s a Lark who’s still active at sunset….”
“Hwansu.” Eugene murmured.
“Right. Hwansu,” he said.
“If seeds were broken and recovered immediately, then it means the larks from the battle before were normal larks right before they turned into Hwansus.”
“Lark, right before they turned?” The king appeared puzzled.
“Lark, which was not forcibly destroyed during the activity period, becomes a seed when the dry season comes. Some of the larks that have gone through that process numerous times have a small probability to change to Hwansus. It is a very rare probability…”
Eugen’s words trailed off when she saw Kasser looking at her in interest.
“Continue,” he said, gently. He liked having such conversations with her.
“Did I… say something weird?” She hesitated. She was talking like she belonged here, wasn’t this akin to teaching a fish to swim!
“Fantastic knowledge. Where did you hear that?” He was genuinely amazed and happy that she was taking keen interest in his affairs.
Eugene only told him part of the settings she knew about the Larks and was taken aback when he said he didn’t know that.
“Well, well, I don’t really remember… I must have heard it somewhere to know this much. So, what’s commonly known about the Hwansus?”
“Hwansus are born from the seeds or they are an evolution of Larks, the scholars cannot decide and still argue about it. The Lark I discovered the other day is an important piece of evidence. It will probably sway the argument in favor of those on the seed side.”
“Then is this the first discovery?” She queried. Seeing that they had yet to reach a consensus, it was quite probable they had fewer encounters with Hwansus.
“It is not the first. There are old records of them coming from inside seeds. However, no one has ever seen a change from a Lark into a Hwansu, so that side of the argument lacks tangible proof compared to the seed side. However, what you said is a completely new theory.”
“Um… I don’t have any intentions to fight with the scholars,” she said, matter of factly.
Kasser burst into laughter.
Eugene then continued raising her thoughts of the matter, “It’s a brilliant idea. However, let’s keep it between us. Who knows if it is forbidden information?!”
The king was also fetched with the theory, but he knew letting this information reach the public’s awareness was like stirring the hornet’s nest.
“Forbidden information?” He raised a brow at her choice of words.
Kasser let out a small sigh and said. “I, along with my people, believe that there are secret books hidden in a library that only Anikas and Sang-je have access. Books which house what you call forbidden information. Some speculate a prophecy about the end of the world found inside the library. Whether it’s true or not, it is just a hunger for knowledge which we can’t reach.”
This seemed to be the perfect time for Eugene to ask what had been bothering her lately. “I’ve heard that there is a special library in the church that only those who are granted permission to enter from the church can get in. Is that it?”
“That’s right. However, Sang-je does not give permission to anyone but Anikas.” answered him.
He laughed when he saw her expression, which seemed to say ‘How petty!’. He couldn’t believe he was telling her, an ‘Anika’, something so sensitive.
It was all thanks to her losing her memory, but it still amazed him. Could a person change so much after memory loss?”
“Be careful when you talk about information that you don’t remember the clear source of. You are an Anika, so when you say something there are a lot of people who will misinterpret it.” He cautioned.
“Yes. I’ll be careful.” Eugene nodded.
She suddenly felt really fortunate to have met this man as soon as she came to this world. He did not try to cheat or use her by taking advantage of his status as her husband. The more she thought about how good a person he was, the more guilty Eugene felt.
Never would she have expected she’d be having this conversation with him–the man destined to bring her to her demise.
Was it okay to live like this? Forever pretending to have lost memory, pretending to be Jin Anika?
No, it was greed rather than guilt. She wanted to be remembered, by this man, not as Jin but Eugene.
How much had changed from that first lunch they had had… how she was rejoicing in the fact that he had no affection for his wife, and by extension her. She was even certain that she would not be emotionally inclined let alone attached to this man, only going through the motions mechanically. And today, she was wishing… hoping he would remember her.
Eugene let out a bitter laugh.
I would be relieved to just hear that I am not crazy.
“So, you took so long because you had to catch the evolved Lark? Was it that hard to catch it?” She broke out of her musings and continued onwards.
“It was a cunning one,” said he, frowning upon remembering the hardships of the past few days.
“At first, I went to the highest grade seed room. I thought he’d be there. However, he wasn’t. I had to look through every room.”
Hwansu used seeds in the dry season and Lark nuclei in the active season as nutrients. It had to eat seeds or Lark nuclei regularly to survive, even if it ate meat like common beasts.
That’s why you didn’t take Abu.
Eugene knew that the food of the Hwansus were seeds, but didn’t think of connecting that to Abu.
“Why did you go to the highest grade seed room?”
“Because Hwansus will go after the best seeds.”
“But, just as Larks have ranks, Hwansus also have ranks. Hwansus cannot eat seeds of a higher rank than itself.”
Eugene saw his facial expression and realized that this information was also something he did not know till now.
Kasser, with a solemn look on his face, thought for a bit and then said, “You don’t remember things about yourself, but you remember things about Hwansus?”
“I… I guess so. It must have been a topic I was very interested in before. Where did you catch the Hwansu?”
Eugene was worrying about what excuse to come up with. However, he didn’t try to dig any further. He just nodded and muttered to himself.
“In a yellow grade room. The seed he woke up was yellow. I caught him unawares, he seemed a little dull.”
“A recently woken Hwansu is not very alert.”