Chapter 341.2

A subtle smile graced the corners of Kasser’s lips. Even a lark, who had only briefly encountered the fake, could discern the difference. His past self, the one who had believed in the false version due to memory loss, now found the notion ridiculous. He would never make such a mistake again.

Eugene was undeniably unique. It often felt like she had grown up in an entirely different world. Her unfettered and impartial way of thinking never ceased to amaze Mara. Even now, she conversed with Lark without a trace of hesitation.

She’s certainly not one to be easily handled, Kasser thought to himself.

Eugene, though, felt a tinge of embarrassment. However, she realized that it wasn’t particularly surprising that Mara could distinguish between the fake and the real. Currently, she interacted with Mara as her true self, devoid of imitation. Had she displayed the same authenticity when she first encountered Sang-je, he would have undoubtedly seen through her.

“People don’t change easily, but given the right circumstances, they can transform. What was I like when you first met me?” Eugene inquired.

“You were impatient. You appeared as though someone was perpetually chasing you,” Mara recalled.

Eugene inwardly sighed at the memory. Back then, the imposter had been fixated on completing the ritual to summon her soul. She hadn’t cared about the title of the Holy Woman bestowed upon her by the Mara devotees, as long as it led her to the ritual’s formula.

Considering how the imposter never revealed her true colors, it’s unlikely she was genuine. But Mara could read her thoughts. Does that mean, even though it’s a monster, it hasn’t squandered its years? Eugene wondered.

“I received help from you and Rodrigo through the imposter, right? Are you meeting me today to demand recompense for that transaction?” Eugene asked.

Mara responded with a pointed question, catching Eugene off guard, “Do you have any intention of fulfilling it?”

Eugene was left momentarily speechless by Mara’s piercing query. His voice echoed in her mind as if he had anticipated her response, almost taunting her.

“I didn’t expect you to. Humans are known to lie as soon as they open their mouths. They’re prone to giving but rarely take unless there’s an immediate exchange,” Mara observed, his tone laced with cynicism.

Eugene couldn’t deny that Mara had a point. Due to circumstances she couldn’t divulge, she had grown accustomed to taking only what she needed and maintaining a tight-lipped demeanor. It left her feeling both unjustly treated and somewhat embarrassed.

“So, why did you want to meet me?” Eugene inquired, her curiosity piqued.

“I had intentions to negotiate a new agreement,” Mara began, intending to disclose Sang-je’s identity and adjust his approach based on her reaction. However, things had veered drastically off course from his expectations. Not only did Anika already know Sang-je’s identity, but she had also arrived with the king. Even though he was in a disguised form, the mere presence of the king complicated matters.

As Mara grappled with his predicament, Eugene cautiously broached the topic. “I’ve heard rumors of a mysterious connection between you and Sang-je.”

“A mysterious connection? That’s an interesting way to put it. Who said that?” Mara responded with a wry smile.

Eugene continued, “Well, Mara, I believe that in any kind of deal, both parties should have some information about each other, don’t you think? How about this? We take turns asking one another questions and pledge to answer honestly, one question at a time.”

“I won’t entertain absurd inquiries like ‘where is my real body,’ just so you’re aware,” Mara stipulated.

“Agreed. Foolish questions will be met with silence,” Eugene affirmed.

“Very well,” Mara consented.

Eugene took the initiative, saying, “I’ll start. I’ve heard from an elder that you possess substantial knowledge about Sang-je. So, my question is, why does your appearance as the High Priest bear a resemblance to Sang-je?”

“Because that was the first human form I ever laid eyes on. It wasn’t exactly human, though. It was him. Did he approach you the same way? Was that elder the one who cast a spell on him?” Mara inquired.

“Yes, that’s correct. Have you met this individual?” Eugene inquired.

“I haven’t encountered him in person, but I was aware of his existence. Have you met him? And if so, how?” Mara replied.

“I did meet him, but I can’t disclose the method,” Eugene answered.

Kasser, who had been quietly observing the conversation, felt a sense of relief compared to when he first entered the room. He appeared less tense, concluding that Eugene was handling the situation well enough that his intervention was unnecessary.

Eugene pressed on, “When you first encountered Sang-je, did he assume a human guise instead of appearing as a lark?”

Mara clarified, “Not exactly. But he approached me in a manner resembling a human. He claimed to be my creator. What does this human truly know about me?”

“Sang-je mentioned that he fashioned you from a part of himself. Does anyone else know his true identity?” Eugene inquired.

Mara burst into laughter, a bitter edge to it. “Of course not. He was lying to me!”

Eugene fell silent, allowing Mara to vent her frustration, which suddenly flared up amidst their serious conversation. In the midst of the intensity, Eugene found Mara’s choice of words slightly amusing, causing her lips to twitch involuntarily.

“So, you learned the truth and felt betrayed, leading to your hostility towards Sang-je?” Eugene asked.

“The term ‘betrayal’ is something humans use. If you’re weak, you become prey; it’s the natural order for us. Of course, Sang-je’s methods aren’t typical of larks. Still, it’s none of my concern. He’s a cunning and sly creature, surviving or perishing by his own tricks. However, he and I can’t coexist. We’re the most threatening to each other,” Mara explained.

“So, you consider yourself the weaker one?” Eugene probed.

The mouse turned its head, declining to answer. Eugene muttered quietly to herself, “This is becoming complicated.” Her guard was slowly lowering, and she was finding herself growing fond of the mouse before her.

“Then, wouldn’t it be more advantageous for you to remain hidden, given your precarious situation? Why did you establish the cult and manipulate humans across the board? If you simply wait, Sang-je will eventually meet his end,” Eugene suggested.

The mouse’s red pupils glinted with interest.

“His end?”

“Sang-je is in search of Anika, believing that she has the power to transform him into a tree. However, he hasn’t yet found an Anika strong enough to contend with a powerful lark like himself,” Eugene elaborated.

Mara burst into laughter, his amusement ringing through the room.

“That silver tongue of yours hasn’t changed, has it? Transforming into a tree? Awaiting death? Him?”



not work with dark mode