As her rage turned into sadness, Alber couldn’t help but feel helpless. Who else could she blame but herself for trusting something she knew wasn’t even human? Even if she tried to blame him, she knew it wasn’t entirely his fault. She had given him power over her and there was no one else to blame but herself.
She realized that even if she broke the magic by allowing herself to disappear, it wouldn’t solve anything. All it would do was reveal the true identity of the monster, and even that she wasn’t sure of. She had no idea what tricks he had up his sleeve. Besides, even if they learned his identity, nothing would change.
People would die and the world would be full of nothing but chaos. Her death wouldn’t solve anything at all.
It was too late for her to change anything now. Perhaps it had been too late as well in the past, but it would have been better if she had known the reality of the situation. She might have figured out a way to fix it. But now she had no control at all.
He was cunning and had built a stronghold that she would have no chance of tearing down.
All this time, she had been afraid of death, but it turned out that living was so much harder. Death would not grant her forgiveness for her mistakes; it was just a cowardly escape from the reality she had to face.
She tried to figure out a way to right her wrongs. The truth was that there were a lot of ways to get rid of that monster who had tricked her, but not many that wouldn’t destroy the world. She was limited, there was only so much she could do.
She realized that if change needed to happen, it had to start from outside.
And that was when it hit her.
She looked up at Eugene with wide eyes. Could this young Anika manage to pull off a miracle?
Eugene stared back. She was studying the older woman’s face as Alber faced the reality of her situation.
The magicians on the street are part of the ancient tribe, she thought to herself. But they’re being mistreated, and she doesn’t seem to know about any of that. She furrowed her brows. So, who is this person?
The letter from Thas had identified her as the senior member of the family. Now that she thought about it, calling her a senior member seemed a little strange. Thas hadn’t explained Alber’s place in the Muen family, he hadn’t even mentioned her name.
The way they had passed a letter to her through Hitasya and the fact that they had taken her blood made the situation even stranger. It was like they were trying to keep this conversation a secret, like they were trying to not get caught.
What Eugene did know was that the Muens had taken great measures to make sure that Eugene met Alber. If anything, that said just how important Alber was to the family.
But why does she know so little? Eugene wondered. If she’s that important to them, why doesn’t she have the information that she needs?
Alber cleared her throat, ready to speak again. “Why do you want the Muens to teach you magic?” she asked. “If you know that divinity and magic are the same, why seek it out from them?”
Eugene leaned back in her seat. The truth was that she had tried her best not to interact with Sang-je. She knew that the more they met, the higher her chances of making a mistake. Even if she knew it would help her learn magic, she didn’t even consider Sang-je’s help as an option.
But she couldn’t tell Alber that. She had no idea what the connection between Sang-je and the Muens actually was. She couldn’t show any sign of aggression towards him, so she chose to beat around the bush.
“I don’t think His Holiness would know the kind of magic I wish to learn,” she said.
“You want to learn something different from divinity?” Alber pressed. “You think that magic has more to offer aside from what divinity has?”
“I just think that their powers are different,” Eugene tried to clarify. “Divinity relies on the holy powers of God, magic doesn’t.”
The older woman smirked. “Are you saying that magic is for commoners?”
“Not that exactly. Just that it’s more realistic, I suppose.”
“And divinity isn’t?”
Eugene shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “Usually, people trust something they have personally witnessed more than something they’ve just heard of,” she explained. “Divinity requires some sort of confirmation. People will only believe it if they see it.”