Sang-je used all his might to keep his powers over the Anikas. He had locked them in a cage dressed in luxury in order to cover their eyes and ears and allow them to know only what he wanted them to. He made them believe that their world was everything so that they wouldn’t even be able to imagine the world outside.
The fact that Jin was able to meet the descendants of an ancient tribe was a miracle. She was able to see the world differently from how the other Anika’s did.
Alber admired God’s will and yet she still had a strong urge to meet Anika Jin.
“Can you tell me what you learned?” she asked. “What did the gypsy say?” Alber wanted to know how much she could reveal to the young Anika. It all depended on how open Jin was willing to be.
“Yes,” Eugene said. And so, she recounted the tale of the ancient tribe’s history and their descent from the Larks. She told her how the gypsies lived, how they survived. “Adrit said he was too young to know everything. They learn more when they get older,” she said when she was done. “Is it all… true?”
Alber smiled bitterly. “It is,” she said. “It’s actually quite an ancient story.”
Everything had started when a monster showed up. Alber remembered this but, through her long existence, she had started to forget. When she was little, the world was full of Larks. People had to fight them so frequently that they began to think that fighting monsters was a normal thing to do. She had known the story of how their ancestors had brought the monsters into the world through forbidden magic, but she had always believed it to be a legend.
She knew it was wrong. Why did the next generation have to suffer just because of mistakes that their ancestors had made? She thought of the past when her ancestors had ruled the world gloriously and wonderfully.
Then, she scoffed.
Who cared about the past when everything would be forgotten? Their tribe would fall back eventually and disappear.
When Alber was younger, she truly believed it was all so unfair. What a fool I had been.
She was ashamed to think of the gypsies who were now repenting for the sins of their ancestors. If she ever had the chance to meet them, she would kneel before them in awe.
As Alber’s face twisted with remorse, Eugene simply watched. When the older woman had calmed down, she clicked her tongue. “Well, I’ll tell you the truth,” she said. “The Muen family does have the blood of those who can read the future. It’s less of a lineage and more like one big family.”
There’s an even bigger power than the Muens? Eugene wondered. She tried to imagine what that tribe could have been like. She had always heard of how the Muens held unseen influence, she never imagined that they would just be the tip of the iceberg.
This made her feel unsettled. Her suspicions of Sang-je being related to the ancient tribe only grew.
Are they actually using Sang-je to take over the world? Is the Muen family part of it? She couldn’t imagine her mother’s family being part of such a scheme. Did that mean she would have to fight her own blood if she wanted to fight Sang-je?
She knew she didn’t have a personal connection to them, but she couldn’t help but feel bad for her mother. She knew that she was fond of her grandmother so things would be difficult.
Eugene looked at Alber. So why did she want to meet me? Because of my Ramita? She felt her heart sink. She had told Kasser that her relatives weren’t bad people, but now she was beginning to think that his suspicions were right.
She breathed in. I need to get as much information as I can. I need to know about magic.
She needed to know what had happened to her. Why did she and the impostor exchange souls all those years ago? How did they switch back? Was it all a mistake? Or was it intentional?
“Is magic passed down in the Muen family?” she asked carefully.
“It is,” Alber said.
Eugene leaned forward. “I need to learn the power of magic,” she pleaded. “I have Muen blood, I must be qualified to know that. Please teach me.”
The older woman’s eyes grew wide. “Of course, you’re qualified to learn, but…” she trailed off.
Her sudden silence to Eugene everything. She had come so close.
Her hopes of learning magic weren’t about simple exploration. It was a matter of life and death. She always wondered if the impostor was still in her world and if there were any possibilities of her sending Eugene back to Earth. She was always afraid of waking up in that place again. She had already forgotten the 20 years she had lived there. What mattered to her most was her life now.
She had a family. She had someone who loved her. If she ever lost them, she would lose her will to live as well.
She knew that everything was tied to magic, so she obsessed over it. But no matter how close she seemed to get she never found any results.
A few days ago, she had looked at the letters between the impostor Jin and several significant people hoping to find something. But she didn’t. The impostor Jin had only requested certain ancient books and a few other items, his answers were just him informing her that he was sending them. There was never much more.