Although she had first joined hands with the monster in defense of her tribe, she couldn’t possibly have endured to this day if it was only for such a grandiose purpose.
Muen. A family which has prospered under the name of her only son, was the only descendant related by blood with her.
As a matter of fact, Alber had gladly endured all the pains and hardships just for the sake of them. Despite the fact that she only gets visited by her descendants once in a few decades, she would get awakened to the sense that she was no more than mere human every time she finds the children endearing.
‘She reminds me of her.’
There was a girl who had deeply impressed Alber more than any children from the Muen family she had ever met with so far. Hearing Hitasya’s voice had somehow taken her back to a day which was probably more than fifty years from now.
‘Seeing that Rahan is already a grandfather, I bet she’s become a grandmother by now as well.’
The girl’s name was Resha, and she was Rahan’s older sister. She truly was a bright girl who was very considerate and mature for her age. Moreover, she had a great talent as well. For instance, when she was taught a few spells, not only did she assimilate the principles, but she was also quick to learn as she had succeeded in casting the spell on the first try.
It pained Alber to think that this gem of a girl would later become the head of the family and ended up living under the tight surveillance of Sang-je for the rest of her life. She can still remember the last thing she had said to the girl.
[Resha. Go ahead and live the life you want to live. I hope you will live for nothing but your own happiness since I haven’t been able to do so myself.]
Alber still wondered if her advice had affected the girl’s future.
The next child she remembered meeting with was Thas, who was Rahan’s son. It was through Thas that she had learned that it was Rahan who had become the next head of the family instead of Resha, who had always been regarded as the heir of the family.
And when Thas had told her that his aunt had already passed away even before he was born, Alber hariolated the fortune at once. The news had given her quite a shock. Fortunately, she was able to regain her composure as it seemed like Resha’s lifeline was yet to be cut off.
Indeed, Resha possessed an outstanding talent more than anyone in the family. And since she had been the heir of the family, Sang-je would have kept his eyes on her still, even after she left the family for good. With that, Alber had naturally assumed that Resha must have feigned her own death to cut her ties with her family once and for all.
Alber couldn’t help but to break into a smile every time she thought of Resha, as she imagined that she would now be living her life wholly at her will, free from all the restraints which had once bound her.
“—then I saw the carriage pass by!”
Absorbed in her own thoughts, Alber had just missed what Hitasya was talking about. Still, Alber remembered hearing the word ‘Anika’ from Hitasya in passing.
“Yes. She had left the Holy City after she got married to a king. But it seems like she just returned a few days ago. It was a shame that I was unable to see into the carriage.”
Smile appeared on Alber’s face, thinking that the distinct appearance of Anika must have seemed intriguing to a child’s eye.
“Have you never seen an Anika before?”
“I have but I was hoping to see her face.”
“Because I’ve heard that she looked a lot like my great aunt.”
“Why would she look like your great aunt Resha?”
Hitasya seemed startled when it dawned on her that she had just blurted out a secret after being much carried away as she spoke.
She may be bright, but a child was still a child since she absolutely had no idea as to how to switch the subject. Alber, however, felt a strange hunch right upon Hitasya’s flustered response.
“Hitasya. Can you tell me what you just meant by that?”
“Ah… I shouldn’t…”
“It’s alright. In fact, it’s your grandfather who had told you to give honest answers whenever you were asked a question. Besides, no one will ever find out what we have discussed down here. I assume you are already aware that we will never see each other again, am I right?”
Hitasya gave a nod for an answer.
“Do you mind letting me in on your secret?”
Hesitantly, Hitasya went on to explain. It happened three years ago, when she was playing hide and seek with her little brother. She had gone into her father’s office looking for a place where she would never be found.
Then, when she was hiding under the table, both her father and grandfather, whom she had thought had left, returned to the room. Hitasya froze on the spot in fear that she might disappoint her father and grandfather more than the scolding itself.