Eugene hadn’t felt like panicking before because all this time she had just assumed she was only playing a part, living inside the novel as its events unfolded before her very eyes.
Despite having landed the role of the antagonist, she was confident enough that if she hadn’t done anything that would make things worse, no consequences would follow.
But now everything was dumped onto her so suddenly; she couldn’t see a single room for breathing. Still, it didn’t mean she would just give up and relent to fate. She believed, with proper knowledge and enough will power, she could still turn her impending doom around.
It also helped that she kept telling herself what she always did when things got rough…
When has anything been easy in my life?
At least in Mahar, she didn’t have any abusive family trying to reap the fruits of her labor. As fast as she was concerned, life in Mahar was still much easier compared to what she had before. Still, there was one piece of the puzzle she wasn’t able to put together…
It was obvious enough that Jin, or at least her soul, was inside this body before. But now, Jin was gone, replaced by Eugene.
Just like any other main characters in action movies, who run after getting shot, she needed to weed out anything impossible to focus on what was most likely to have happened. Simply put, it was illogical to assume another person’s soul would occupy a different body, therefore completely pushing the original soul out.
Which brought about the confusion…
Is Jin truly existing in the same plane as her right now?
It could be Dissociative Identity Disorder. It would be a plausible answer, and thus, no soul exchange took place—just a different persona had taken over, pushing the original persona back to the deep recesses of the human consciousness.
Which would explain why Eugene had all the knowledge on the world, thinking she was writing the story because she had been subconsciously living alongside as Jin. But that gave way to a different kind of fear altogether in her…
… They could be one.
All the blood drained from her face as she grew pale, and her breathing ragged. She frowned the more she thought about it.
Ah! She exclaimed with a sudden jolt of realization snapped her head back up.
There was a chance that at least one person in this world could give her the answers she sought. It might not be her novel, but too many similarities between them still existed in the physical sense. Even the Larks remained the same, and the kings along with their abilities.
Therefore, the Sang-je in her story could be similar to the Sang-je currently. From what she knew, the Sang-je ranked as the highest priest and could deliver the message of the gods to the world, a well-known fact in Mahar.
But Eugene knew from her story, that the Sang-je, in fact, was not human. On earth, he would’ve been referred to as an angel. He did not age, nor could he die. He only changed his physical appearance to continue the ruse.
If this is true, then that would mean no ordinary person would have access to this information.
Her eyes lit up with hope at the prospect of knowing other things that could be used to her advantage.
Jin had never visited any of the other kingdoms.
As its author, she would’ve known how the king journeyed to the five kingdoms to hunt down Jin for her crimes, and thus, she had extensive knowledge of each kingdom’s different architectures, as well as their distinct characteristics.
Anikas were specifically forbidden to set foot outside of the church. It had been strictly implemented only for them. However, the only exception to this rule was if they were to get married to a member of the royal family.
Jin had come to Hashi upon her marriage to the king and hadn’t left it for three years. And she hadn’t visited any other kingdom, except for the Kingdom of Stan on her way to Hashi.
I also know of the secret underground waterways of the Kingdom of Flek.
In her novel, the grand corps of Larks, under Mara’s command, had attacked the Kingdom of Flek. At that time, Nicolas, the King of Flek, escaped the invasion through the underground waterways.
But still, I won’t have the means to investigate if that would be true.
However, in order to dwell on the villainess queen’s progression of plans, she must visit the sanctum—the place where Mara’s servants found recluse.
She took deep breaths, closing her eyes as she calmed down, before opening them again.
It doesn’t matter if I’m clueless about everything around me. The important fact is I know who I am. And I am Eugene.
Twenty-eight years she had lived as Eugene. So rough was her life that she sometimes questioned if at some point in her life, did she ever feel happy?
She was certain that she lived as a struggling woman in the modern world. No one could deny it, not even God himself.
She stared at her hands and noted that they had finally stopped trembling without her noticing. Standing up lightly, she began to straighten out her rumpled dress.
She couldn’t go to the sanctum. At least, not right now.
Instead, she needed to wait until the active season ended. Also, as queen, she needed to be prepared for it. She couldn’t just leave at a moment’s notice after all.
So nothing’s changed after all. I still need to live one day at a time. Same as it has always been.
Now wasn’t the time for her to blank out. She’s a little relieved that at least now, she had something else to focus on. For three years, Jin had planned her grand scheme, and now, it was on the brink of rearing its head.
Whether or not she’d let it happen would be entirely up to Eugene now.
As she recollected her latest conversation with Rodrigo, a name flashed through her mind…
Who is she? Why was she the only one Jin had kept close? None of the missing maids had such a name…
No… that isn’t it.
It was a different name. For the heretics, she was known as Tanya, so that would’ve meant she used another in her time as a maid, just like Rodrigo, who used the name Cage when he visited the palace.
Of course! Jin couldn’t have snuck out of the palace by herself. She would’ve needed assistance, one that could help her disappear from the inside. She should probably order an investigation to sort out the maids’ identities thoroughly.
He also talked about a ritual. I should’ve pressed more about that.
It was a shame she didn’t get any more clues about it as it seemed like it was the most important information out of everything Rodrigo had told her. However, she couldn’t think straight because her head was in such a mess back then.
Though based on the information she did get, it seemed like Jin was about to face a ritual that Rodrigo was also participating in. It was safe to assume it was probably a ritual involving Mara.
But somewhere along the way, Jin had opted to sneak out of the castle with her maids towards the desert instead.
Why? What was she trying to do? Why did she bring just the maids?
Suddenly, she remembered something.
“How dare you do this? What do you take me for? Where did you put it? And why did you go to the desert with it?!”
It was the king from when she first woke up in Mahar when he had reprimanded her for something. She remembered having some sort of premonition, which gave her goosebumps just thinking about it.
She thought about asking the king about it after he scolded her, but it had always slipped her mind. Ever since that day, he hadn’t touched the subject nor spoken about it to her. So she thought it mustn’t have been such a big deal as he was making it to be.
I need to know what Jin took to the desert.