Once again, Eugene had arrived at the Holy City palace in her carriage. But before she alighted from it, she steeled herself for what’s to come by muttering out words of encouragement to herself. Although she wasn’t feeling as nervous as her first visit, she tried not to lower her guards down in any case.
She, however, did flinch a little when she saw Pides, who clearly had come to meet her. She couldn’t help but to be conscious of his presence even as she walked to the prayer room with him as her escort.
‘It was much better when I wasn’t remotely conscious in the past. This is all his fault.’
Putting the blame on Kasser, Eugene continued to grumble inwardly.
‘I still can’t put my finger on Jin’s feelings towards Pides. Was she really in love with him, enough to make such a deal with Sang-je? I guess I have to ask my mother if there’s anything she knows about.’
Just like her last visit, she descended the last stair by herself. When she reached the last step to the prayer room, she couldn’t help but to wonder about the workings behind the door when it opened itself before her.
‘Is this some kind of a spell? It’s just like an automatic door.’
It felt strange all of sudden when she naturally defined it with the phrase ‘automatic door’. By now, she had deeply realized there are two sides to everything in the world. And although life had been hard on her for the last twenty years, the reason she could see things in a different light from the people in Mahar was because she had come from a world where both the level of technology and civilization were different from here.
– Did you get some rest? You surely look much more relaxed than we last met, Anika Jin.
“Hope you have been well, Your Holiness. Thanks to your concern, I have fully recovered from the fatigue of the journey.”
Eugene recalled the conversation she had with her mother as she looked at Sang-je.
[Mother, have you had an audience with His Holiness before?]
[Not in recent years. It really had been quite a while ago.]
[Then, do you still remember what it was like? The aura that you saw around him.]
Dana answered, as she gave a light chuckle.
[Like father, like daughter. Your father had asked the exact same question to me once, too. I guess everyone’s curiosity is pretty much the same. But to be honest, I don’t really know. As I didn’t see anything.]
[But mother, didn’t you say you can see the auras surrounding the king and Anika? Yet, you really didn’t see anything at all?]
[Well, since His Holiness is God’s vicegerent so I guess he isn’t someone I can judge simply with my power.]
‘Sang-je is never God’s vicegerent. I’m most certain he’s playing some tricks here. But he wouldn’t have taken measures beforehand since he knows nothing of mother’s ability. Is this a spell then? Who am I supposed to ask about this?’
Eugene couldn’t help but wish to quickly have done with the audience so that she could visit the library.
– I believe you’ve told me that your memory isn’t intact. Haven’t your memories come back to you still?
“I’m afraid many parts of my memories are still missing,” said Eugene, looking crestfallen.
“I couldn’t help but to feel empty with this huge void inside me, Your Holiness.”
– What you have initiated is in fact the forbidden power of divinity from ancient times. Therefore, I had asked you to inform me right away as soon as the medium was found. Although I wouldn’t reprimand you about it as it has been successful, you must keep in mind that I wouldn’t be tolerant if you were to disobey my words again, Anika Jin.
Sang-je said in a decisive tone when Anika Jin brought up her memory loss, once again. He was sending out a clear message that he wouldn’t show any tolerance to her whines any further.
“Yes, Your Holiness. I’ll keep your words in mind,” answered Eugene in a dispirited tone while she fitted in the new piece of clue inside her mind.
‘Divine powers? I guess the rune, medium and vessel, the three elements of spell, are being used in the divine powers as well. I bet Sang-je had deceived everyone just by rephrasing them as divine powers.’
The mystic powers of spells had been long forgotten by people nowadays. Therefore, Sang-je could’ve easily deluded people if he had colluded with the tribe that foresees the future, which is in fact the only tribe from the ancient times that had knowledge about the spells.
– Anika Jin. Let us continue the conversation we hadn’t got to finish last time. Tell me about what you gained.
“Yes, Your Holiness.” said Eugene while she fiddled about her sleeve unwittingly. Kid was safely concealed this time as she had kept it safely hidden under her sleeve. She felt much relieved when she thought of Kasser, who would come running at once when Kid sends him the signal.
‘I just need to answer him as I have prepared.’
“Your Holiness, I have indeed retrieved my Ramita back. I can’t express enough how delighted I am to be entitled as an Anika at last. It wouldn’t have been possible without all your support.”
A corner of Sang-je’s lip turned up slightly at her words.
‘The more one has to lose, the more one becomes a coward.’
Indeed, Anika Jin used to run wild like an untamed shrew as if nothing feared her in the world. If anything, she behaved like someone who had been diagnosed with a terminal disease as she showed no sign of hesitation and lived everyday like it was her last day to live. Jin surely was arrogant as her behavior somehow hinted that she would most likely disregard Sang-je once she got back her Ramita.
However, Jin’s disposition seems to have changed completely compared to the last time he saw her. He regarded that she must have retrieved her senses back along with her Ramita since she showed a humble attitude instead of a triumphant air.
Sang-je suspected Jin’s sudden change in behavior was mainly because she now had much to lose as she had finally become a real Anika. Therefore, she had no choice but to consider the consequences that her reckless behaviors would likely cost her.
– Then I guess you have had your lucid dream now that you have retrieved your Ramita.
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
This was a question she had expected that he would ask. However, Eugene had no intention of confessing what she really had seen in her lucid dream to him.
“I was standing in the middle of an open lake. It was so wide indeed that I couldn’t even make out where the waterfront was.”