Chapter 302.2

“Then the larks would just keep growing in numbers.”

Alber shook her head. “Not necessarily,” she said. “The larks feast on each other, so there’s only a certain extent with which they can survive. It’s honestly a blessing of nature.”

“But it’s still impossible to rid the world of all the larks.”

“That is true. Because of the sin of our ancestors, we can never truly be rid of them.”

The silence that followed was heavy. There was only so much they could do, they knew that.

Then, a thought hit Eugene. “If a king can annihilate larks, what about Anikas?”

“An Anika’s Ramita can kill a lark.”

Eugene remembered what the turtle Hwansu and Aldrit had told her.

“The queen brings death and the king brings annihilation.”

“Is there a difference between death and annihilation?”

Alber nodded. “The monster said there is,” she said. “Annihilation means the lark disappears, death means it joins the world’s life cycle. A lark can turn into a tree which means that it has been born as a new life in this world.”

Eugene remembered the huge rat lark that had followed her in the castle. She had run because she was scared, but she had always known that it wasn’t there to harm her. It made sense now that she knew larks had a strange sense of what to do. She had also learned that the other larks started acting strange when the rat turned into a tree, that they would look up at the sky and cry when they saw it.

Maybe they were actually jealous that the rat lark was able to die.

She looked down at her hands. So Anikas can bring peace?

The world created kings and Anikas to protect itself from the larks, but it didn’t think of larks as something to get rid of—perhaps it even created Anikas to embrace the monsters. Maybe the world was kind after all.

“That thing is looking for an Anika that can bring him death,” Alber said suddenly. “I periodically looked into the future to find the future that the monster wants.”

Eugene looked up in surprise. “Don’t you want the monster to die?”

The older woman shook her head. “I don’t believe that thing,” she said. “I suspect it has other intentions. That monster has been living with humans for so long that it’s almost like one. It’s very cunning. It lies. And its wish is impossible to begin with. An Anika’s Ramita has its limits. Just what Anika could turn that monster into a tree?”

Maybe I can, Eugene thought to herself. But she chose not to say it.

Alber explained that one of the futures she saw showed the Holy City’s palace collapsing. She saw it very quickly and she never saw it again after, but she had desperately hoped for that future. She hoped that someone from outside noticed Sang-je’s true identity and gathered people to go against him. If she could somehow waste all of his energy from within and have all the kings join forces, it could happen.

She sighed. “Well, this is the end of my story.” She had no intention of sharing her plans. Her role was to tell Eugene the truth and nothing else. What happened next was up to those who lived in the present.

She looked up at the sky in its eternal sunset. “Time’s almost up. It’ll be morning soon.”

Eugene was still trying to figure out what to do with all the information she had gotten and was surprised to hear the older woman’s words. She stood up. “No!”

Alber looked at her in surprise.

“I still haven’t asked anything that I wanted to ask.”

“I need another medium to activate the magic,” the older woman told her sadly.

“If it’s my blood you need—”

Alber shook her head. “It’s dangerous to do it twice. It was dangerous enough doing it once.”

“Then can’t we extend our time?” Eugene asked. “Please, you can’t just leave like this.”

The older woman looked at her hesitantly. “It is possible…”


“There’s a side effect of staying longer. You’ll feel extreme fatigue.”

“Fatigue? Is that all?”

“You might not be able to wake up for three or four days, and if someone tried to wake you up forcefully, then you won’t remember our conversation. Is that okay with you?”

Eugene looked down. She already knew what would happen if she didn’t wake up for that long. Kasser would go absolutely nuts.

“I have someone that will worry about me if I don’t wake up for that long,” she said. “If I could just wake up for a moment and tell him, I can stay with you for as long as you can.”

Alber looked at her fondly. An Anika with Muen blood was quite a sight. She seemed more human than most people, it was incredible to see.

“That is possible,” she said. “Go ahead, wake up. I’ll hold the dream for you.”

Before Eugene could even thank her, she was already opening her eyes. It was dawn and the room was only filled by a faint light from behind the curtains. She reached out and touched her husband’s face.




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