Flora flinched and looked up when she was called. A woman with the same, jet-black hair smiled at her and continued, “What are you thinking about so deeply that you don’t hear it when someone is calling you multiple times?”
Another black-haired woman next to her added, “Is there something wrong?”
Flora smiled, “I’m so sorry. I was thinking about the time I met His Holiness.”
Upon hearing her answer, the other Anikas sported an expression of both amazement and jealousy. Many Anikas were gathered around a long sofa, with Flora sitting at the center. Only black hair could be seen everywhere you look at. This is where rare Anikas are located, only the few dozen of them existing in the whole world.
Today was one of the days when Anikas would gather together. Only Anikas were allowed at this meeting. The meeting served a very long history, being the only one where every single Anika had their name on the attendee list. They were not forced to attend, but most Anikas won’t miss it for the world.
“His Holiness has a special liking to Anika Flora.”
“There’s probably nothing else in this world he is interested in as he is with Anika Flora, being someone who does not interest himself with the things of this world.”
There were groups of people all over the room, but the most packed part of the space is where Anika Flora was sitting. Anikas are already special, but Flora is the most special of them all.
“To be more specific, he shows the most interest in Anika Flora, and Jin Anika.” Someone added. It’s clear that they wanted to express that the Sang-je doesn’t have special interest in Flora alone.
The atmosphere had suddenly become tense, but Flora smiled sweetly.
“It’s just that Jin Anika and I were born in the same year, and on the same day. The Sang-je said that it is something that never happened before, that’s why he shows great interest to the both of us. That’s all.”
Everyone in the room was silent for a moment, nodding along in agreement that Anikas Jin and Flora were indeed special amongst them.
“You know, I remember reading in the secret library that there’s been no record of there being more than one Anika born under the same year.” informed an Anika. She had her hair up in a ponytail, her tresses swinging as she moved her head. She was young looking, someone in their early twenties.
“Quite right, I remember that as well, there’s also never been a record of no Anika being born at all in ten whole years!” added another, who possessed a head full of thick, and luscious curls. She looked to be older, around her mid-to-late thirties.
“But aren’t there other instances where no Anikas were born in the year as well?”
“While it is quite a rare predicament, there had been instances where no Anika had been born, but not for that long. Once in every few decades, sure, maybe in two, three or even five, but never ten.”
“Oh that reminds me, Anika Roxy was born after five years, wasn’t she?” Roughly three of them affirmed that was indeed the case. They looked at each other before giggling in amusement.
Every Anika in this room were of different ages, and they were all talking about it around Flora. The oldest was around her late thirties, while the youngest was barely even a woman. But in their side of the room, they were all in the younger bracket.
The other Anikas had broken off into separate groups, and they were older, wiser even.
As both Jin and Flora were born after a decade of no Anikas born, they didn’t have much to acquaint themselves with their own age brackets. And while no one else shared the same age, a ten-year gap was still too steep, even for a generation gap.
Back when they were still young, it wasn’t that much of a big deal. But when they grew up, most Anikas had already split up, gone off into their different groups where they belonged to. But mainly, the Anikas had two major groups.
The first one consisted of all the younger Anikas, the ones born after Jin and Flora. While the second were the Anikas born before them, which made them all ten or more years older. As it stood right now, there weren’t many Anikas yet born after them, but that would change over time.
In the current gathering, there were only two Anikas who were older than Flora that joined them. Amongst the others, these two were the only one who kept an amicable relationship between the two groups.
Suddenly, there was a commotion by the entrance, and all the chatter stopped as the Anikas paused and wondered. All attention was now focused on the entrance.
“I wonder if His Holiness had finally arrived.”
“Should we go and check?”
“I think we should.”
The two of the eldest in the group stood up as they took it upon themselves to investigate. The two were also well-known to be quite close with one another, as close as sisters they would say. As soon as they left, there was an eruption of chatter as the Anikas gossiped to one another about them.
“Have you noticed? They’re always together.”
“Well, it’s no wonder, after all, they’ve both chosen to be part of the Holy Knights, of course they’d grow closer.”
It was a fact that though some Anikas do marry into other families, some would decide not to do so. And thus, they would join the ranks of the Holy Knights instead. From there they enter a rigorous routine of training and education until they are finished. By the time they are done, they would return to the Holy City, and live out their life in moderation.
It is also noted that there are only two possibilities an Anika’s life would pan out, albeit both ways were in the extremes. Live extravagantly by means of their status and power, or live humbly, forsaking their influence and worldly pleasures.
“Sigh, but to be honest, I can’t help but feel a little regretful. They’re so close to each other and both seem happy with the path they have taken. Ah, I’m jealous.” huffed out one Anika in a whine, “Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my life for theirs any day, but I can’t help but respect them for it.”
Indeed. For an Anika, there were many more choices one could have to live comfortably, and yet they’d choose life as boring as a knights. It was a decision not many Anikas could do. Her sentiments were agreed upon by the other Anikas.