It never happened in the palace, but from time to time, the seed vanishes from the cottage. Sometimes a curious Anika would take it or a person who worked in the halls stole it for themself. Sang-je always returned the missing clear seed for, if it was spread across too many places, he would lose focus.
The power of the seed was close to Sang-je, so he could always trace where the seed was himself. If it wasn’t found properly, it could swallow a person whole. There was only one monster they knew that could trace it: Mara.
If things ended up like that, they would be in deep trouble.
It seems like the seed is in the outskirts of the Capital, Flora thought. It doesn’t seem like an Anika stole it this time.
“Your Holiness,” she said. “It’s Flora. I have something to tell you.”
Sang-je turned to the door where Flora was standing. She offered him a bow before going in.
“I apologize for barging in so suddenly.”
I always welcome you, Anika Flora.
She nodded. “Your Holiness, when I met you after I had a strange dream, you told me to tell you when the dream changed. Well, it did.”
Sang-je’s eyelids moved as if he was about to open his eyes. There’s been a change?
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
What was it?
Flora looked up, taking a deep breath as she closed her eyes. She waited a moment before opening them again. She turned to him. “There was more water this time,” she told him slowly. “The edge of the lake was almost gone.”
Eugene turned around slowly as the maid came in. She didn’t look well.
The maid was nervous at the sight. She could tell that the queen was not in the best condition and, even if she was not known to take her anger out on her subjects, the maid knew that she had to be careful.
“The Arse family sent flowers,” she said carefully.
The queen’s face lit up at that. “The flowers that they regularly send?”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The maid nodded.
“Are we switching the flowers in the garden today, then?”
“Yes, Your Highness. We’ll be starting soon.”
“Good.” Eugene smiled. “I’ll watch.”
When she arrived at the garden, the workers had already taken the old flowers out even if she thought that they had looked fine. She had even heard that dried-up plants were more expensive than live ones. She knew that the garden room wasn’t small, so she couldn’t even imagine how much it would cost to decorate the whole place.
Eugene looked around, watching as the workers began to fill the room with flowers. She wanted to see her parents; it made her happy to know that they lived so close by. She had been so busy over the last few days reading the letters that Mitchell sent her that it had almost been a week since she last visited the Arse mansion.
“Welcome,” Dana greeted her, smiling widely at her daughter.
It made Eugene feel guilty to see her mother greeting her so happily. She had rejected her dinner invitation a few days ago because she had been so tired from fulfilling her duties. This must be parental love, she thought to herself. It made her sad knowing that she didn’t miss her mother as much as she should have. She made a promise to herself that she would find the time to visit more often.