‘We’ll probably arrive by late afternoon tomorrow.’
Kasser felt heavy-hearted to think that he would be in Holy City by the next day. Moreover, the conversation he had with the Sword King, on the day he departed from the Slan Kingdom, lingered in his mind since then.
As the time was short for a good long conversation, he mostly listened to what the Sword King had to say. Throughout the conversation though, the Sword King’s words contained much food for thought for him to contemplate later on. In fact, some of the information had also come as a great shock to him.
[The relationship between a king and an Anika is nothing more than just to produce an heir to the throne. Although they would be bonded as a husband and wife, such bond lacks sincerity.]
Kasser had also once believed the same. In fact, when he was on his way to Holy City for the marriage, his purpose was to gain his heir more than to get himself a wife.
[The relationship between my parents was no different. However, I rather wanted to build a special relationship with my wife, unlike my parents. Since we’re pressing on time, I will leave out the details as to why I’d made such a resolution. So ever since I got married, I truly did my very best to create a bond with my wife.]
Upon hearing that, Kasser felt a prick in his heart as he was embarrassed with his old self, for not having once thought of making an effort in his marriage.
Just until a few months ago, the relationship between him and Eugene was nothing more than as how Sword King described just now. More so, he had not been intimate with her as well. Although it was Eugene’s amnesia which acted as a variable that triggered the change, it was all due to her change of attitude that caused a turn in their relationship.
[I was not intimate with her until she had finally opened her heart to me. I did not hasten to get an heir to the throne. However, it wasn’t easy to win her heart. The queen was an extremely sensitive Anika who was easily repulsed by my mere presence around her. It was never pleasant to see her in stark fear every time she looked at me.]
Kasser was truly amazed to hear how the Sword King had made steady and persistent effort for three whole years without ever giving up.
[Nonetheless, our relationship had started to change as she started to take notice of my earnest efforts. But all the more was because she had experienced a great deal of changes in herself. She had told me that the repulsion she felt around me was starting to fade away. Then after some time, she was no longer repulsed by me anymore. Isn’t that astonishing? She used to feel nauseous whenever I was close by her side.]
According to his experience, the Sword King had then formulated a hypothesis that Anika’s repulsive response could be one form of their self-defense mechanism, to raise their guards against others. He wondered if their susceptive response was all because they possess special abilities. The conventional theory about Anika’s Ramita contradicting the king’s Praz, did not explain the changes that occurred to his wife.
While he was lost in his thoughts, Kasser stopped to check the time when he saw nothing but the pitch-black sky from his window. He had then raised from his desk to call it a day. On the way to his bedchamber, he picked up where he left off just now and continued to ponder.
[Then one day, I found something peculiar from the things I’d been told by my wife. It seemed like His Holiness tended to come between the kings and Anikas with his elaborate comments.]
Kasser was stunned to hear the king making such a bold statement against Sang-je. Despite him speaking with restraint, his words strongly implied his hostility against Sang-je.
[My wife was told that a king’s Praz could do harm to both Anika’s Ramita and health, the more they spend their nights with the king. And that somehow corresponded to what I’ve been told about the internal injuries that could be caused by the collision between the king’s Praz and Anika’s Ramita.]
Kasser realized that he’d also been informed of the same. As he listened to the Sword King, he was reminded of an incident from a few months ago.
It was when the active period was just about to start, and Eugene was in distress by its effects. He had merged his Praz into Eugene’s body while he braced himself for the expected internal injuries. However, contrary to his expectations, he was rather perplexed to find out that Praz was in fact responding to her and he did not receive any injury at all.
[Desert King, I do understand what you meant by the changes of the Praz. I had indeed experienced the same in the past. It was in fact the exact opposite of getting internal injuries. It was when you sought me out for advice on that matter that I finally realized it wasn’t a delusion of mine after all.]
[…If so, why didn’t the other kings take notice of such changes? I don’t remember hearing anything about it from my father, the late king.]
[In my opinion, I think that it all depends on Anika’s power of influence. Only an Anika could bear the king’s child. But the kings have the overpowering physical abilities over Anikas. I wondered if it is God’s consideration to forbid the king from extorting Anika repressively.]
While the Sword King laughed sheepishly at his own seemingly absurd conjecture, Kasser’s face hardened instead as he was further reminded of the things he’d been told by Aldrit before.
[My wife committed suicided, Desert King.]