Immediately, Eugene began to organize everything she needed to do, listing it down one by one, muttering to herself to help her remember…
“… and then Jin had to meet Rodrigo, disguised as buying some information… ah!” She exclaimed, suddenly remembering something.
She had told Sarah before she would meet with the bank manager. Immediately, she left her bedroom, and bolted out of the door, pausing when she caught sight of Marianne pacing just out by the living room.
When Marianne finally saw her, she immediately straightened up before giving her a bow.
“Marianne!” Eugene exclaimed, before calming down from her surprise. “Have you been out here all this time?”
“Yes, Your Grace. I’ve been waiting in case you needed assistance.” She told her.
Eugene let out a grateful sigh.
“I could’ve just sent for you.” She told the baroness. “You needn’t stand here all this time.”
“Ah, I apologize if I have made you uncomfortable, Your Grace.”
“I’m not saying it is so.” Eugene reassured her, but for some reason, Marianne’s expression seemed heavier than before. “Is something wrong?”
“No, Your Grace.” But her expression did not change, so Eugene pressed on.
“Are you sure? You can tell me.” She reassured her. She could see that Marianne was hesitant, but fortunately, her curiosity finally won out.
“It might be a little rude of me to ask…” Began Marianne. “But does Her Grace remember something after the meeting earlier?”
Marianne was usually someone who wouldn’t let any of her emotions show while talking to someone, but as Eugene stared at her, the worry was palpable in the baroness’ eyes. Eventually, Eugene finally let out a light chuckle.
She remembered the king once told her it was fine if she wasn’t able to regain her memories. Marianne was trying to tell her the same thing now, but less so with words and more so with actions instead.
“Were you worried I’ve gotten some of my memories back?” She finally asked.
Marianne looked a little panicked.
“No, Your Grace, that wasn’t-” but she was cut off when Eugene gently placated her.
It was oddly comforting to know that despite the growing problems she was facing, none of the people she was with right now wanted Jin to return. Which meant she now had free reign on what she wanted to do as Jin.
Because in the end, can anyone really exist, when no one bothers to remember them?
Truly, it was a fate worse than death itself.
“Marianne,” she finally said.
“Yes, Your Grace?”
“Have I acted strange earlier? Or perhaps done something I did before I lost my memory?” she asked, prompting her to speak truthfully. And to her relief, Marianne gave her a terse shake of the head.
“As far as I could recall, you haven’t, Your Grace.”
“Really? Even just a little?”
Marianne carefully considered, before she finally answered.
“I am certain, my queen.”
Eugene was still checking whether or not the multiple personality theory was still plausible. And though she hardly believed the theory herself, making sure did wonders to her nerves.
“Well then, you can relax.” Eugene assured her. “Because none of my memory has returned.” She finished it off with a smile.
After looking at her for a moment, eventually, the tension disappeared from Marianne’s expression as she finally relaxed once she was certain Eugene was not Jin.
“Ah, that reminds me, is the bank manager finally here?”
“Yes, Your Grace.” Marianne answered quickly. “General Sarah had come by shortly before to inform you.”
“Well then, I shouldn’t keep him waiting any longer. I should go now,” she said.
Marianne curtsied as she left, and Eugene turned to do the same, before she suddenly remembered something.
“Oh, and Marianne?” She called out, just in time before Marianne fully headed out.
“Yes, Your Grace?”
“There’s something I want you to look into for me.”
“Of course, anything, Your Grace,” Marianne said as she returned inside.
“I wanted to look deeper into the missing maids,” she said, “I suspect some of them might be heretics.”
Marianne looked quite alarmed at the information.
“Of course, Your Grace. But if there were any of them that was part of the heretics, then it was most probably Ellie.” She told her with great urgency. “But I shall look more into their profiles and come back with my reports on that matter.”
“Wait, how do you know that?” Eugene asked, just before Marianne turned to leave once more.
Marianne once again turned to face her properly.
“It was some time ago, with regards to your previous order,” she said, “I was looking into some of the missings’ family members, and when I got to Ellie, her son-in-law, Orabi, was suspected to be a heretic. There has already been an investigation.”
Eugene was surprised to have gotten an answer quicker than she’d expected. She had also been about to tell Marianne to be extra careful in her investigations, but there was something she didn’t understand from what she had gathered.
“Wait, if he’s been a suspected heretic, then how did Ellie become a maid in the first place?”
“Not Ellie, Orabi.” Marianne clarified.
“So let me get this straight, their family was suspected to be heretics…”
“Yes, and they’ve been investigated already.”
But to Eugene, something wasn’t adding up. Currently, it felt like they were on two different pages at the same time.
“But aren’t heretics punished as soon as they’re caught?”
“Yes, they’re to arrested.”
“No, not arrest, I meant, isn’t there a death penalty?” Eugene asked with great confusion.
Marianne looked at her as if she had grown two heads.
“What about the church?” Eugene asked again.
“Not even the church would push with a death penalty. If ever they are proven to be heretics, they’d be ordered to leave the kingdom.”
And suddenly another discrepancy was presented to her.
Despite having the same rules, same setting, and the same people, the very essence had changed. With the way she wrote her own story, Sang-je had been very aggressive towards the Church of Mara. So, if ever a heretic would be captured, their deaths were guaranteed.
Even the knights, by order of Sang-je, had the power to kill heretics on sight.
But it seems, that was not the case here. Being suspected as a heretic would only cause a minor disagreement with the family, but nothing else if they are proven innocent.
“I see,” Eugene finally said after a tense moment of silence, “Then perhaps the investigations should be put on hold for now.”
Now, she had decided.
If she could find out who it was, then there wasn’t a need for an investigation. What Eugene wanted was to figure out how a heretic could slip past the security measures in the palace to become Jin’s maid.