The Sang-je rose slowly and turned his body. He looked youthful, although it was impossible to know how old he was. It had been about forty years since he had inherited his title as the Sang-je. Time seemed to pass slowly for the Sang-je, the chosen one who received the blessing from Mahar. Every Sang-je kept their place for at least a century. No one knew if they aged at all during those hundred years.
During the ten years when succession took place, the former Sang-je did not appear before the outside world. Only priests and knights who tended to the Sang-je at the time saw him, but they kept quiet. Therefore, the question of aging remained a mystery.
The Sang-je was also beautiful. The white, glossy skin did not have any traces of color, even so it did not look pale rather fresh and pure. The long, blonde hair that touched the floor shined as if they were threads made of gold.
Those who met Sang-je face-to-face would always be shocked by his exquisite beauty. They thought that he was truly the blessed Holy One as he had the beauty that humans could not possess.
However, with light, there is darkness. The young and beautiful Sang-je could not see nor speak. Rumor had it that he had lost his sight due to God’s luminance and burnt his vocal cord trying to bottle God’s voice.
The people perceived the Holy One as someone burdened with the tragedy of mankind immersed in immeasurable sadness.
The Sang-je was facing the knight with eyes closed. Pides often forgot that the personage was blind for he always felt that the Sang-je looked at the world through his closed eyelids.
“Your Holiness. Should I escort Flora Anika to the prayer room?”
— No need. I will go to the Meeting Room.
The Sang-je’s red lips did not move at all, but Pides could hear the clear voice in his ears.
Since the Sang-je could not use his vocal cords, he used this unique method to communicate. As a result, Pides never even recognized that the Sang-je was mute.
The Sang-je started walking past Pides, then stopped.
— Pides, has the letter from the Kingdom of Hashi arrived yet?
“I am afraid not, Your Holiness. I have been checking every morning and afternoon. I’ll report to you as soon as it arrives.”
Pides had heard this question many times in the past few days. He thought that it was bizarre for the Sang-je to wait for someone’s letter as he usually did not exchange letters with anyone. He gave some special treatment to the Anikas but there was no special relationship.
Is it because Jin Anika is in the Kingdom of Hashi?
It was no secret that the Sang-je was unusually interested in the two Anikas born after a period of ten years.
The Sang-je acknowledged with a nod and moved towards the exit. With a steady gait as if everything before him was in plain sight, he reached the heavy doors that automatically opened. The guards at the entrance bowed to him as he ascended the stairs.
When the doors opened, the black-haired woman sitting on the sofa stood up.
Dense, curly hair covered her shoulders. Her facial features were a beautiful harmony; big, dark, pure eyes made her appear naïve, her balanced eyelashes were long enough to create shadows. Smooth, radiant complexion, a touch of elegance, this woman was a sight to behold.
Flora bowed to the Sang-je as he entered.
“May the blessings of Mahar be upon you. Flora Anika greets you.”
— May the blessings of Mahar be upon you as well.
The Sang-je sat down facing Flora, she followed after. They were alone in the Meeting Room. Since their meetings had always been private, the guards knew to leave the room without waiting for commands.
— Flora Anika, did I interrupt your period of rest by summoning you so abruptly?
“No, Your Holiness. How could I not come running to you gaily when it is you that summoned me?” Flora replied with a smile.
There were many people who made it their life’s wish to meet the Sang-je face-to-face in vain. Only the Anikas could request to meet the Sang-je when they wanted to, while all the others had to be summoned including the six kings.
Normally, there would be three instances for an Anika to be summoned by the Sang-je: upon birth, a lucid dream, and wedding. However, the two Anikas that were born after a decade, Jin and Flora, had been receiving special treatment from the Sang-je. They were frequently summoned by the Sang-je and were specially set apart from the other Anikas.
Flora Anika basked in the fact that she was the Sang-je’s blue-eyed girl. She liked the envious stares that she garnered from others whenever one of the Sang-je’s knights came to escort her. After Jin Anika left for the Kingdom of Hashi, Flora had spent the past few years in happiness, being the sole recipient of the Sang-je’s attention.
However, today, she did not like the attention given to her.
— Flora Anika, I have something to ask you.
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
— When was the last time you had a lucid dream?
Flora’s lowered eyes shook slightly, but she managed to keep her smile.
“Yesterday, Your Holiness.”
The Anikas usually had irregular lucid dreams after their first one. It could be once in a few months or at larger increments. Their Ramita was a closely guarded secret from everyone but not among themselves. It was something that the Sang-je knew of or could be found out in the Secret Library.
According to the information in the Secret Library, the Anikas with a strong Ramita had a shorter duration between lucid dreams compared to those with a weak Ramita. It was recorded that in the history of Anikas, the one with the strongest Ramita had a lucid dream about every 3 months.
— When was your last lucid dream?
“Two months ago, Your Holiness.”
— Could you tell me about it?
“Yes, Your Holiness. It wasn’t too different from my past lucid dreams. I was standing in the middle of a lake close to the land. The lake was overflowing with water that it almost covered the land.” Flora explained as if she was dreaming and seeing the scene that she was describing.