[Wait at the anteroom?] Jin had complained, clearly insulted.
[You will need to wait as His Holiness is now in the middle of an audience.]
[I’m most willing to wait. But will do so in the prayer room.]
[Anika Jin. The prayer room is a sacred place. No one should be allowed in without His Holiness’s presence.]
Pides, who had come out from nowhere, cut off the knight’s words and turned to Jin. [Please allow me to show you inside. Anika Jin.]
[I suppose not every knight apprehends the divine will of His Holiness.] Although Eugene couldn’t have a further look on the knight as Jin promptly whirled after throwing such a cold remark, it was pretty evident what kind of face he might have put on.
With that, Eugene got a clear inkling of Jin’s demeanor in such a short memory. She supposed Jin did not shy away from making audacious remarks to people in public, oblivious of how her supercilious manner puts people to shame.
‘Do I have to behave in such a manner as well?’
After all her efforts she put into practice with the help of Charlotte (Chapter 222), she gained a favorable comment from Charlotte for her impeccable impersonation of her past demeanor. However, she wasn’t sure if she could successfully mimic Jin in the presence of Sang-je.
“I feel quite nostalgic to see you in the palace for the first time in a long while. Is His Holiness expecting me at the prayer room?”
“Yes. I will be your escort to the prayer room, Anika Jin.”
The two of them walked past the hallway in silence. Crossing the grand yet divine looking hallway, which was adorned in white marble floors, Eugene felt a faint sense of deja vu from time to time. She figured that Jin must have frequented herself along the very hallway.
Stealthily, Eugene stole a side glance at Pides, who was walking abreast with her.
‘I wonder how he described my relationship with the king to Sang-je.’
Kasser was highly displeased when she proposed that they should act indifferent during their stay in the Holy City. He refuted by referring to the other knights who had accompanied their journey along the march.
[I think your proposal is rather ineffective. What about the knights who had seen and heard things about us during the journey?]
[Better be safe than sorry. Henceforth, let’s not even meet eyes with each other when others are around.]
[I don’t like that proposal at all.]
However, when Eugene urged him further, Kasser reluctantly gave in with a murmur or two. Eugene had to keep the corner of her lips from lifting when his sullen look flashed across her mind. She couldn’t believe she was already missing him.
“I didn’t mention it to you before, but I was quite surprised to see you back at the kingdom. I never thought His Holiness would send you. I apologize if I have been inhospitable. There was a lot on my mind of late.” Eugene underhandedly asked him why he was sent to her.
“I’d only done as I was bid so. If you are displeased with my service, I will ask His Holiness to send someone else to attend you next time.”
Eugene answered in a composed manner to not seem hasty. “That wouldn’t be necessary. As I don’t suppose anyone would be willing to take up the job in your stead.”
“…Anika Jin. Has anyone offended you with discourtesy, perchance?”
“I just don’t suppose every knight apprehends the divine will of His Holiness, like you, Sir Pides.”
Eugene responded in a conceited manner. And from Pides’s silence, she figured that she’d indeed said a remark which only ‘Anika Jin’ would likely make.
After descending the staircases which appeared at the end of the hall that led them to yet another hallway, they repeated the same process several times before Pides finally stopped at the steps where some knights were on sentry.
‘I guess the prayer room is down below.’
Pides made a bow to Eugene, suggesting that he wouldn’t follow further on. Eugene bowed to return his courtesy and descended the steps by herself.
The steps were so narrow that it was likely to fit only two people to come and go at the same time. It seemed like her hand could reach both walls on the side if she were to stretch her arms, standing in the middle of a step. Though the steps weren’t steep, she felt like she was walking into a cave with all the bricks surrounding her.
‘Why did he make a prayer room this deep in the underground? Isn’t a prayer room supposed to be somewhere with lots of suns or somewhere high up so that it’s closer to the sky?’
Now that she thought back, she realized that she had already descended quite a few flights of stairs on the way. The halls she passed were as bright as day with all the lamps suspended each perimeter, hence her not noticing her descent by four or five floors towards the underground.
When she reached the last step, she stood and stared at the door firmly closed before her. She held her breath as soon as it slowly parted, revealing an elegant interior of the chamber. Promptly, she straightened her posture and reminded herself that she was here as ‘Jin’, with a determined look. She gathered herself and walked slowly into now widely opened door.