Eugene looked around slowly as she walked down the hallway. The castle looked just like she remembered. She was certain that the dream had come from a memory of some sort, but it was still amazing just how real it all seemed.
The thing about dreams was that they usually felt real when you didn’t know that they were dreams, but the moment you’d find out, everything would all change and you would wake up. It would all fade away as you opened your eyes. But this dream was different. Eugene knew she was in a dream, and yet everything still felt so real. And she wasn’t waking up.
I’d understand if I was lucid dreaming… but this dream seems a little stranger than that.
The biggest indicator that she was in a dream was that she was all alone. No matter how far she walked or where she went, there was no one else in sight. It was just her, all by herself.
Although she knew it was a dream, Eugene couldn’t help but feel happy to be back in the palace. She walked around like a child, smiling at things she remembered and running her fingertips along the walls to feel the familiar textures against her skin. She had missed this place, and she was only realizing just how much now that she was finally there again.
Then, a thought hit her. I wonder if I can go there too?
She wondered if the bridge that connected the towers was still there. She had always loved visiting that place. Many of her afternoons had been spent having tea on that bridge.
She had only been gone for a few months, but memories of being able to do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted felt like they had been formed ages ago. Her life had become so hectic with her duties as queen that she never managed to revisit her past.
She stepped through the archway. Wow, it’s still here. The scene around her was lush and beautiful. The table in the middle of the bridge was still there, and so she rushed to take a seat. Craning her head to look around, Eugene took on the sky—a mixture of red, orange, and yellow. The perfect sunset.
It didn’t matter that it was all a dream, she was in awe of everything.
But as she looked across the table at the empty seat in front of her, she felt her heart sink a little. She would have loved to have Kasser there with her. If she could, she would have dragged him into her dream so she could stay in the warmth of his presence.
She started. The voice came out of nowhere and, as she looked around, she saw that no one else was there.
Jin, if you can hear me, say something.
It sounded as if someone was talking through a microphone and blasting the sound across the whole dream. Eugene took a shaky breath and looked up at the sky. “Who… are you?”
The child of Muen told you that I would speak to you.
And that’s when it hit her. Eugene remembered the letter Hitasya had given her. The senior member of the family will meet you in a dream. There had been no further explanation. All this time, she had believed that it was just a metaphor, but now she understood that the statement had been literal—she was meeting someone in her dream.
Panicked thoughts rushed through her mind. Am I supposed to keep talking to the sky? she wondered Should I address her differently? She must be much older than me if she’s the senior member. Should I greet her?
But before she could continue, the voice spoke again. Jin, can you invite me into your dream? Just call my name if you so wish. My name is Alber.