Even Sang-je couldn’t deny it as the very power which enabled him to reign over the foolish humans with a godlike presence this whole time was all due to the miraculous delusions created by using the ancient spell which he had taken over from Alber. Even to this day, he stood to benefit greatly from the spell.
“And strictly speaking, Mara was an inevitable consequence of your own misjudgement. Do not shift the blame to me.”
Sang-je brushed her off and continued speaking. “Or could it be that your ability is beginning to show its bottom? Perhaps it’s about time for me to seek your replacement.”
Alber clenched her teeth, feeling a sudden flush of anger which soon alternated with despair as she wistfully closed her eyes.
“No matter who you choose from my tribe to replace me with, it’s no doubt that it will at least take you years before my replacement could be of any use to you. Do as you please if you can afford all the wait. This is the last straw for me as well.”
Sang-je wordlessly glared at Alber. There was a knowledge he realized from experience that humans had an invincible tendency to push themselves to their limit and beyond when faced with an ordeal. However, he also knew that they would eventually fall into a state of torpor at the end of their tether.
As angry as he was, he knew it wouldn’t be wise of him to take chances by driving her any further to the corner. With her back to the wall, there was no guarantee that she wouldn’t go against him in a fit of desperation albeit she could endanger the safety of her tribe. It would be entirely his loss if she declares her complete withdrawal.
“You wouldn’t want to keep me waiting too long. As I must warn you that I am not the most patient of men.”
There was a hint of menace in his warning as his shadowy figure started to fade. But shortly before his shape disappeared altogether, his voice was heard again as if something had just flashed across his mind.
“The spell on the guardsmen is about to wear off. I’ll send them down for you to carry out another reinforcement on them.”
Alber answered with hesitation.
“Why not send in someone else? It’s far too risky to keep them in such a long state of hypnotic trance.”
The impact of repetitive hypnosis on one’s mind was critical enough to derange even the strongest and most disciplined of minds.
“What of it?”
Whatever became of them had never concerned Sang-je in the least as they were no more than mere expendables in his eyes.
“Surely I am not asking too much of you.”
“But it surely is one cumbersome favor.”
“You can’t regard a way to save one precious life as something cumbrous.”
Sang-je watched Alber with an interest and smirked with a look of disdain. She was neither fish nor fowl to him despite all the years he had known her. To be of concern for another even though she was in no position to be worrying about an irrelevant stranger.
“I find your request rather ridiculous as you seemed to have forgotten all about how the spell originated. Let me kindly remind you that it was you humans who have created it for the purpose of enslavement of other humans in the first place.” Sang-je then vanished into thin air leaving his sneer laughter at Alber who was left at a loss for words.
Alber sat dazed alone in the room for quite a while before she dissolved into her sorrowful tears. She wailed with pain like a prey bitten in the neck and beat her chest hard in grief as she couldn’t even let out a shriek of despair.
‘Dear God, what am I supposed to do with all my sins?’
If only she could turn back the time, Alber wished most desperately to go back to the days before she encountered the monster. She would gladly pay her price and submit her soul to an everlasting journey if only she could get her wish granted.
She reproached her own foolishness back in the days. All that mattered in the eyes of her younger self was the comfort of her tribe and she turned a blind eye on the things that weren’t of her concern. The girl with her inborn gift in sorcery grew proud and conceited as she succeeded even in those of the spells which seemed unmanageable to her.
She had resented the world despondent about the secluded life her tribe was forever destined to. So out of her defiance, she ended up lending a hand in aiding the monster into perfection for the sake of the tribe, or so she believed back then. She rationalized herself as she made haste judgments for the future of her tribe as a descendent in whose vein runs the blood of ancient foreseers, without the slightest idea of her near future where she ends up cutting her own throat.
The monster that was summoned by the ancestors was now reigning over the world with the help of their descendants. Her sense of guilt only increased over time, oppressing her with all the weight of her sins.
But it was the slice of future which she happened to foresaw that gave her all the strength she needed to face her hard fate. Although there was a degree of uncertainty as there are only so many probable possibilities amongst unlimited scenarios of future that one sorcerer could foresee using the spell, yet she still had discovered a hope among the futures she had seen.
All Alber could do confined in this remote dungeon was to dodge the surveillant eyes of the monster and amplify the signals which were generated every time she practiced sorcery to look into the future using the spell.
Alber prayed in the hope of a miracle, for there to be even a slightest chance for her signals to reach the minds of her gifted descendants, for them to see what she had witnessed of their future and for them to have all the will and courage they would need to realize the prophecy.