Flora believed that Sang-je held her dearly enough to do her such a favor. But people were bound to talk behind regarding the reasons for her leaving the house with no visible cause. Suggestion of a discord among her and her family would surface without doubt. Flora never wanted her name to be on people’s lips for such a petty matter.
Flora prided her own Ramita, which is comparable to those of Anika Roxy’s, and that she was going to win an eternal fame that will last throughout history. She was resolved not to throw herself at those who were biding their time for a chance to drag her down from her glory.
“Anika, where can I take you today?”
As a carriage drew to a halt before Flora, a horseman promptly got off from front and asked her where she was desiring to go.
But Flora had no specific place in mind as she had only left the house to avoid the quarrel. Then, when she saw a woman with a basket full of fresh flowers pass by across the street, she absently told the horseman, “…. I was thinking of buying some flowers.”
“As your wish, Anika. I’ll take you to Flower Street.”
Flora looked out for the passing landscapes through a window in her carriage. And when the carriage passed by the tree in the center of the city square, she creased her brows—reminded of a rumor that she heard not very long ago.
‘Lark tree? It’s impossible.’
Flora regarded it only as a groundless rumor. She wondered where such rumor could’ve possibly rooted from. She felt heaviness around her chest all of sudden as Jin, who was completely out of everyone’s mind for quite a long while, started to show her presence in the city once again.
‘Jin turning a Lark into a tree? She couldn’t possibly have. She doesn’t even possess any Ramita.’
This was indeed an acknowledged truth which she had never told anyone before. When she had already had her first lucid dream and went to see Sang-je at the age of seven, Jin however, was yet to have her first lucid dream even by then.
Anika, who hadn’t had the lucid dream had no rights to attend the meeting which was exclusively for Anikas. With that, Flora felt a sort of pride at the sight of her friend’s envious look when she was invited to the meeting, as she’d paled in comparison to Jin in almost everything before this.
One day, Jin asked her.
[Flora. About the lucid dream. What is it like?]
While Flora had tried to avoid her question on the pretext that it was forbidden to tell others about the lucid dream, Jin was however very persistent.
In the end, Flora ended up giving in to Jin. She was afraid that someone who came from a wealthy family like Jin would unfriend her for not giving the answer she wanted. At that time, Flora was all tipsy on the glamorous life in high society, so the last thing she wanted was to lose the privilege she was getting as a friend of Jin. Incensed by her obsequious behavior, she ended up lying a little as she unwillingly explained about the lucid dream to Jin.
[The water in the dream is icy cold when you dip your hands in it.]
Flora regretted as soon as the words had left from her lips. Jin would probably fault her for lying when she has her own lucid dream. But by that time, it was too late for Flora to confess. The more time passed by, the more Flora got tongue-tied about the truth.
Then, by the time she was fourteen, Jin told her with a flushed look on her face.
[Flora. I’ve finally had my first lucid dream. I am going to meet His Holiness later today. By the way, it was just as you said. The water truly was icy cold.]
Flora had ruminated on Jin’s words for a long while as there was no way Jin would have felt the coldness of the water. It was known that the water in the lucid dream was intangible although it very much seemed real. Flora wondered if Jin was only getting back at her upon realizing she’d been fooled.
However, something struck Flora when Jin refused to touch the transparent seed at the first Anika meeting she attended. Jin never had a lucid dream after all. She had daringly lied about having a lucid dream and even went to see His Holiness.
An Anika without Ramita.
Flora had almost laughed her heart out after she returned home from the meeting that day. It couldn’t be funnier to her that her proud friend, who had always looked down upon her as if she was way more superior in every way, was lacking the most important thing as an Anika despite looking perfect on the outside.
However, Flora had never told anyone about the secret of Jin’s Ramita. She rather wanted to see Jin crumble as a consequence of her irretrievable lie. All the while she was being treated by Jin as if she was her good pet, Flora bade her time and sneered while waiting dearly for the judgement day.
‘Such groundless rumor is bound to disappear.’ Flora was certain that the rumor about the Lark tree was false.