“So cute, Abu.”
Eugene smiled and squatted right next to the panther. She scratched his chin lightly with her fingertips.
I wonder if the reason why Abu likes me is because of my Ramita…
She heard that Abu didn’t show any interest towards Jin. Jin was an Anika, even if her abilities are weak, she would still have a Ramita.
Maybe Abu doesn’t react to just any Ramita, but only reacts to a strong, powerful one, like those written in novels where Larks are always gathered around Flora?
What kind of an ability is a Ramita, exactly?
She wasn’t entirely sure if the transformation of a Lark into a tree means anything.
That was just a tree.
There was nothing suspicious about the tree she had seen yesterday, and the fact that the Lark transformed into a tree, a completely different life form, probably meant that the Lark was already destroyed and from its’ place, a tree was born.
Destruction is equivalent to death. If that is how a Lark dies, by transforming into a tree, Larks should be avoiding Anikas then. But why do Larks gather themselves around Anikas, instead of trying to get rid of them?
A loud flare made Eugene look up. Yellow smoke filled the sky as she let out a sigh of relief. She had been through so much, a yellow flare seemed like it’s nothing to worry about.
Abu, who had been lying on his back and playfully hitting her hand with his snout and paws, suddenly stood back on his feet. He turned his head as if his ears were catching on to something, and he immediately took off running. His tiny body began to grow bigger and bigger.
“His master must have called for him.” Eugene muttered.
Eugene looked at him running with pride written all over her face. “So bright for a young animal!” and then she burst out into laughter.
She almost forgot that he’s not young, and he’s probably older than she was. Abu was at least several decades old.
Most Hwansu that has little experience were clumsy, but Abu was more than just smart- in many ways his peers were not.
Not only that, but he could also easily adapt to the laws of humankind. She heard that his loyalty towards the king was unmatched, but he looked down on other human beings. This only meant that he understood the different levels of hierarchy in the society.
She had become so used to his cub-like form, always thinking that he was young when he’s not.
She returned to the castle and a maid came to her with a report.
“Your Majesty, the royal aides have come to greet you. They are waiting in the drawing room of your office.”
“Alright.” Eugene said.
This morning, Marianne came to Eugene bearing information that the King had recommended three aides for her.
All three of them bore pretty good reputations, almost faultless, even. So she notified the General that she would be hiring them as royal aides, effective immediately.
She went to her office’s drawing room. Three women were waiting with tense expressions. According to their resumes, they already had experience, but they all looked nervous and they looked like amateurs when they are not.
“Greetings, your Majesty.” They all greeted her.
“Greetings. Would you please tell me your names?”
Sandy, Regina, and Sandra. Eugene memorized their names and their corresponding faces as they introduced themselves. They all looked different from one another, each bearing unique looks, so there’s no way Eugene would get all them mixed up.
“As you all know by now, there is no one here to assign your jobs for you, or give you instructions. You are the first ones here, with no structure currently in place. So I can’t tell you exactly what it is you should be doing. Your job could be easier than expected, but there may be hardships as well. I ask the three of you to trust and help each other out in the task of being my aides. Healthy competition is good, but I will not tolerate problems that will arise from jealousy- such troubles will be dealt with accordingly, so please do keep that in mind.”
Eugene intentionally provided a strict atmosphere with her command. She did not intend to instill fear on her aides, or pressure them in any way.
It was because she knew that it is better to appear strict and professional, than to seem amiable which will make it easy for them to overstep their boundaries. She did not want to appear naïve in front of them.
“We will do as you command, Your Grace.”
“We will ensure that there are no problems, Your Grace.”
“It is an honor to serve you, and be by your side, Your Grace.”
They all responded dutifully. Eugene was surprised to see such reactions from them, completely different from what she had expected. They stood in their places as their bright, shining eyes regarded the Queen with nothing but admiration and respect.