Eugene looked up at the tree in awe. It looked like any regular old tree on the outside. When you looked at it, without knowing anything, you would have never thought that it was once a Lark.
‘Is this really something I did?’ She thought in disbelief.
Eugene had passed out the moment she watched the Lark, that had touched her hand, begin to transform into a tree. The more she took in the sight of this fully grown tree, the more she thought it was even larger than she expected.
“My Ramita…” she murmured to herself.
Would the original Jin have been able to do something like this?
She thought about how comparable the people of this reality were to the characters in the novel she had written.
For example, the man right behind her, the Desert King, Kasser. His name, position, and ability were all exactly the same as what she had written down in her novel. Another was Jin Anika, whose body Eugene had taken, she was the same way too. Everything down to her name, position, and even the fact that she married the Desert King and came to the Hashi kingdom was exactly as in the novel as well.
In the novel, the reason that Jin Anika coveted the power of Mara despite her status and wealth was because she was insecure because, though she was an Anika by birth, she didn’t possess the power that an Anika should. The one they were born with.
Eugene then recalled one of the lines that she had written in the novel.
‘The power of Jin Anika’s Ramita was weak ever since birth. Her body was akin to an empty bowl, and thus craved the powers of darkness. This allowed her to be ensnared with evil magic all the more.’
‘I wonder what the strength of Jin’s Ramita was like before I entered this body,’ Eugene thought to herself.
Her dream of swimming in the endless waters of the ocean was still vivid in her memory. And she was certain that lucid dream had been her own. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt that the world inside of that dream had been made entirely for her.
‘I wonder why Jin met with the Servants of Mara.’
Was it simply to gain the power of Mara, like in the novel? Or was there another reason?
‘If only I knew the reason why she married the Desert King, that could be a hint.’
Though she had a few snippets of Jin here and there, she didn’t have any memory at all from when Jin decided to marry the Desert King, and thus couldn’t deduce what she wanted at that time.
But honestly, Eugene didn’t mind that she didn’t have access to these memories.
If her own memories had indeed been overwritten to make it so as if she was actually Jin, then she wouldn’t have been able to tell who she really was. And that would’ve been a great problem for her, and she wouldn’t want that. She preferred the situation as it is.
She wanted to be separate from Jin, she wanted to be Eugene. Someone with her own thoughts and consciousness, but has enough insight on the events that transpired in Jin Anika’s life before.
Eventually the growing crowd had pulled her out of her thoughts as their growing mumbling broke through. She could even hear some of the things they were whispering to each other…
“So does this mean that our Queen Anika is the most powerful person in the whole world? Since she would be able to turn any Lark into a tree like this with just one touch.”
“Oh, is that right?”
More and other theories of the same idea were beginning to spread. She wanted to remain ignorant, and ignore their poorly hidden praise, but it was difficult. It was apparent to her they were beginning to see her as this amazing Queen, a hero. Already they’ve had grandeur expectations of her, and imagining wildly about what she could do…
She turned back to face Kasser. He lowered his head slightly towards hers once she did, and she tilted her head and whispered to him…
“Let’s leave now.”
“What about the tree branch?” he whispered back in inquiry…
Eugene had wanted to not only to see the Lark tree with her own eyes, but also to break off one of its branches to bring back with her to the palace. She was curious as to whether the tree would hold some sort of special power due to its transformation from her Ramita.
But as soon as she had seen the tree, she had known. This tree was already no longer a Lark, not anymore.
Larks always gave off a very distinct, disconcerting feeling when it came to her. When she had asked Kasser, he said that he felt it as well. Almost akin to sensing the change in the air from a dry period to an active period.
There were just some things that only those with special powers could sense.
At this point, if they were to approach any closer to the tree, they would surely become the center of the crowd’s attention once more. And should they break off a branch off of it, chaos might break out in their midst. Even if there was some sort of special power in the tree, it couldn’t possibly be so groundbreaking that it would be worth the risk, she quickly decided.
“It’s fine, I don’t need it.” she brushed off, “And besides, I think it would be difficult to break off a branch right now. Later perhaps, when there are less people around, I want to come back and take a closer look.”
‘Later, huh? I’m not so sure about that…’ thought Kasser.
He predicted that he would not be able to order the fence to be taken down any time soon. The crowd seemed huge this time, but it was still the active season – as soon as the dry season would begin, he could expect even more people would come flocking to see the tree.
And because rumors like this spread like wildfire, it was highly possible the news would reach people from other nations. Once that happened, they would likely come flooding the kingdom, clamoring to see it for themselves.
The two of them then began making their way through the crowd, intending to return. As they were leaving, it made them move a lot faster in leaving as they left the dense crowd behind.