Sang-je’s voice, which seemed to have softened towards her, had only made her more jittery.
Her act was caught much sooner than she expected. In such a short conversation, Sang-je had easily discerned the difference between her and Jin. It must have been an impossible task in the first place to think that she could ever deceive someone who had known Jin since so young, no matter how much she practised to mimic Jin’s way of speaking and her expression.
But luckily, Sang-je was yet to have grown vigilant. However, she still feared for the worst case scenario that might occur where Sang-je eventually discovers the distinct difference between her and Jin, and his doubts turning into a firm suspicion.
‘It’s alright. No one in their right mind would ever imagine for one’s soul to be switched. He would never find out unless he’s told. And that’s my weapon against him.’
Eugene went on in a composed manner.
“The life in the kingdom was very much different from how I imagined, Your Holiness.”
Along with a sigh, she continued as if she had been through all sorts of difficulties in those past few years. However, she was careful not to overly justify herself as she figured that it would be beneficial for her to keep the words short.
–You need not have to worry about anything any more. Now that you’ve returned, no one could impose on you, here in the Holy City.
Sang-je’s remark sounded as if he was notifying that she could no longer take a step out of Holy City.
The king must return to his kingdom before the start of another active period. Considering the travel time, the longest Kasser could stay in the Holy City was two and half months at best.
Eugene had no notion of being separated from him in any case. If she doesn’t go with him, she would need to wait for at least more than two months, alone in the Holy City, until he comes back for her during the next dry season.
The mere thought of it was enough to make her distressed. The Holy City, where Jin had supposedly lived for twenty years, was nothing more than a strange city to Eugene.
Eugene had learned almost everything back in the Hashi Kingdom, ever since she had awoken to find herself in this different world. And the only man who said that he would believe her no matter what happens, was the King of the Hashi Kingdom. To Eugene, Hashi kingdom was now her home and Kasser, her family.
“I do not wish to leave the Holy City since now I have returned. However, I’m afraid I still have some unfinished business to attend to, Your Holiness.”
–Did you say you were suffering from impaired memory?
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
–But you have regained your Ramita.
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
–Perhaps it was a price to be paid for what you’ve gained.
Sang-je let out a sigh when Eugene remained silent at his remark.
–Anika Jin. I believe you have been told many times, but your desire to have full control over your surroundings is almost excessive.
Instantly, Eugene heard an incisive voice that belonged to Jin’s, as soon as Sang-je’s resounding voice was heard in her head.
[Your Holiness. I am Anika. And you have always said that Anika is of noble presence. Which by means that an insult on me should be considered as an insult on Your Holiness, am I wrong?]
It was such an imperious speech. Eugene couldn’t help but to be amazed by Jin’s imprudence demeanor before Sang-je, who’s regarded as the sole emperor of the whole world.
According to the memories she had seen so far, Jin was almost like an animal where pecking order is of importance as she easily shifted her attitude depending on who she was dealing with. She dared to behave as such, only because she knew she had something to count on.
On the contrary, Gemma, whom Eugene had met back in the Slan Kingdom, was excessively cautious even to mention Sang-je during the whole conversation, as if she found him to be rather difficult. As both Jin and Gemma’s attitude towards Sang-je were almost poles apart, it would most likely be a lie that Sang-je does not discriminate against Anikas at all.
Or perchance, Sang-je was all the more generous, only to Jin.
‘I should try to be more outspoken as Jin would be.’
“Your Holiness, I am Anika.”
Eugene retorted in a grumble.
–If that bothers you that much, why don’t I just tell you what happened? As I know why you’d gone out to the desert, under what purpose.
Eugene broadly grinned with a look of great relief.
“I’m relieved to know that I hadn’t acted rashly on my own judgement.”
–A rash act? What made you think that way?
“Your Holiness. The truth is……Desert King suspects that I had stolen the kingdom’s treasure. But since I have no idea of what had really happened, I just made up an excuse and told him that I don’t remember.
–So you have even forgotten that? The impairment of your memory is more severe than I thought.
Although Eugene feigned innocence on the outside, she was badly torn up inwardly. If Sang-je knew all along that Jin had married the Desert King in order to steal the national treasure, the whole marriage was in fact a joint conspiracy between Jin and Sang-je.
‘How can this be?’