On that fateful day, Eugene was at the end of her tether when she jumped into the pitch-black hole which appeared before her very eyes, out of nowhere. Despite waking up to find herself in a strange place overnight, she absolutely had no regrets about being departed from the world in which she had lived for as long as twenty-nine years. As evidence, she could have sworn that she had not once missed or recalled her old life as she was busy adjusting herself in this new world.
‘I rather hope… they were not good people.’
She was very much in distress to the point she wished that Jin’s family were not people with good hearts. That would make her less guilty about pretending to be their daughter.
‘I need to learn more about Jin’s family.’
In her distress, she even considered avoiding her encounter with Jin’s family and to just head straight back to the Hashi Kingdom without meeting them at all. She was afraid that they might be able to see through her disguise as their daughter’s imposter. Regardless of how bad their relationship was now, it was highly likely that they could point the difference. They were still Jin’s family, after all and they lived with her for at least twenty years, underneath the same roof.
As the carriage started to move again, Eugene drew open the curtain. As soon as she peeled of the piece of clothing, Darlin promptly exclaimed with awe upon seeing the timely sight of a landscape which passed them by. Her reaction mirrored that of the queen’s.
Eugene’s eyes also widened with astonishment. She recognized right away the majestic sight of an old tree standing tall before their carriage. It was without doubt the very legendary tree which was a symbol of the square of the Holy City.
Instantly, another memory of Jin’s came to her mind when she saw the tree.
[I am an Anika, and I am Anika Jin. Everything should belong to me.] The tearful voice she heard belonged to a little girl. Perhaps this was one of Jin’s childhood memories.
[Spirit of Holy Tree, I heard that you grant wishes to those who pray, don’t you? I really need you to answer my prayer. Please make me into the real Anika Jin. Please share some of your powers with me. Just a little would do.]
‘I guess there’s a rumor about how the tree at the square would listen to one’s prayer.’
It was understandable considering the tree’s symbol in the city. However, Eugene couldn’t quite understand what Jin was wishing for.
‘The real Anika Jin? What could that mean?’
Becky was an Anika in her early forties. After fretting over the lucid dream she had last night, she promptly came running to the palace to ask for an audience with Sang-je in the first light of morning. Then, when she finally encountered Sang-je, she told him right away about how her lucid dream had changed with a seemingly apprehensive look.
She saw a well in her first lucid dream at the age of ten. The level of her Ramita was only average, which was never so powerful nor weak.
“Your Holiness, what could the changes in my dreams imply?’
– Anika Becky. Still your mind and describe to me about the changes you saw in your dream.
“Yes, Your Majesty. Last night, I saw the well in my dream as usual. However, it wasn’t brimming with water, just as it usually had. When I looked down into it, I saw the water level had declined considerably to the bottom. It was almost as if the well had parched due to a terrible drought!”
Her once composed explanation grew agitated as Becky started to ramble loud. Panicked and distraught.
“Your Holiness, I had learned that one’s inborn Ramita would never change over time. But don’t the changes in lucid dreams indicate the changes in one’s Ramita? Has God forsaken me?”
– Anika Becky. This isn’t the first time you saw changes in your lucid dream. Have you forgotten?
“I beg your pardon?”
– Try to recall the time you came to see me when you had your first lucid dream at the age of ten.
There were gradual changes in Becky’s expression as she traced back in her memories.
– Do you see the difference in the water levels of the well comparing the one you saw in your first lucid dream and the one you saw yesterday?
“Yes, there is….no, is actually similar… I’m not sure, Your Holiness.”
– Then, let’s talk about something which happened in a more recent time. About twenty years ago, well, it’s hard to say it’s the most recent event, but do you remember that you came to me like today and said that your dream had changed?
“…Yes, Your Holiness. I do remember.
– I clearly remember you telling me that the well in your dream was now brimming with water when in the past you had to look down into the well to see the water within. Do you remember that as well?
“Yes, Your Holiness. I remember that.”
Becky seemed to have regained her composure in both her expressions and her voice.
– Anika Becky. The changes you saw in your lucid dream does not indicate the changes in your Ramita. I’ve seen many other Anika who also experienced the same. Hence, you need not have to worry. Calm your heart. God would never forsake you under any circumstances.
“My apologies for creating unnecessary fuss over needless worries, Your Holiness.”
As opposed to Becky, who left with a peace of mind, Sang-je became agitated as soon as he was alone.