Chapter 62 – The Protagonist
The Holy city was protected by the Holy Spirit of the ancestors rendering it absolutely safe from the hazards of Larks. The seeds awakened naturally around them, with no other reason but to exist. And as they served their own purpose, thus, an Anika’s power was not needed to germinate them for growth.
“I’m only saying this because I’m worried, Jin Anika. You don’t need to do anything you are unsure of,” said Kasser, the inflection in his tone telling her he was concerned.
“I’m not going to test the seed. I won’t.” She reassured him.
He looked into her eyes and when she didn’t flinch or look away, he was relieved.
“It’s for you. Ramita is water.”
Eugene recalled Marianne’s words. For Anikas, their Ramita manifests as an image of water, unique only to them.
“Water?” She repeated. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“Ramitas are divided into classes by the image of water they see. It’s odd to explain this to an Anika who would know best… but I’ll give it a go, assuming you don’t know anything.”
He looked at her and saw her thankful smile, so he began to explain as best as he could…
“Anikas are awakened when they reach the tender age of ten. Around this time, they experience a dream-like vision. Therein, they can estimate the power of their Ramita through what they see.
Some may see a reservoir, others a pond or even a well. But a simple fact is that the larger the body of water in their dreams, the higher the class and the greater the Anika’s powers.
However, Ramitas are still finite, just like any body of water. One must always be mindful of how much they use it, lest their Ramita runs out.”
“Ah, I see…” Eugene mumbled quietly deep in thought as a slight shiver ran down her spine.
She’d originally thought the Class of Ramitas was only known to the Sang-je. Was this another deviation from the novel’s plotline, the one she had written and believed she knew the best?
This was one of the most important details in the story!
Why don’t I know any of this? She plunged into frustration. What about Flora? She wondered.
Flora was the main character in her novel. She was the only Anika powerful enough to fight against Jin Anika, who had become an incarnation of the dark force, Mara. Flora’s Ramita was mighty, and yet, her Ramita wasn’t spared for the sole reason of defeating the Army of Mara. Nobody, not even the Sang-je, warned her about the excessive use of her Ramita.
Was Flora different? Was she special because she was the main character?
“Then, what happens when you use all the powers?” Eugene asked.
“I don’t know. But it wouldn’t be ideal.” Kasser continued. “Ramitas are what you are born with. It’s a part of you. If that part of you goes empty, it will most probably create imbalance… one you cannot bear.”
“Like when you use up all the groundwater and the surface begins to cave in?”
“Yes, that’s a perfect analogy.”
Eugene paused and thought things over, but was just unable to hold in her frustration. This was a novel she had created herself. Why didn’t she know anything about it?!
“I don’t understand why I can’t remember anything.” She whispered in vexation.
Kasser mistook this as exasperation over her memory loss. And it hurt him that he couldn’t comfort her with all his support, especially since part of him did not want her to regain her memory. He liked her now, unlike when she was back then.
Oblivious to the man in her presence, Eugene was lost too deep in thought. To her knowledge, Jin didn’t have any Ramita in her. Eugene wondered what kind of water body Jin had seen in her dream in this version. Perhaps a small puddle?
It was a good strategy that the Sang-je kept the class of Ramita in each Anika a secret. The Ramita Class would interfere with their social class, and it would have been turned into a competition between the Anikas to determine who held the greatest amount of Ramita.
“Oh, that reminds me of something.” Eugene broke her train of thought. “I know it was long ago, but do you remember when you said that something went missing? What was it? Did you find it?” she queried.
Eugene waited for an answer but was given none. “Your Majesty? Are you asleep?” she asked once more.
Still no answer. Eugene decided it wasn’t something urgent enough to awaken someone with a busy day ahead.
I’ll ask him later. She turned to lie on her back.
She knew despite their first impression, Kasser wasn’t the kind of person to be easily upset. Something important had to have gone missing. But he never spoke of it again, which she found a little suspicious. Right now, they’re not at the point where she’d ask him candidly.
Eventually, her brooding turned her eyes heavy, softly nudging her towards sleep. However, she found that she couldn’t. Not entirely. She even tried counting sheep until she hit a hundred, but she didn’t grow tired. She had had a full night’s sleep every other night recently, but tonight sleep seemed to be evading her like a prey its hunter. As she thought about the reasons behind this bizarre happenstance, it dawned upon her.
There was only one thing that was different about tonight…
She flushed with embarrassment, unable to believe that she couldn’t sleep because she hadn’t had s*x!
This can’t be it! I’m just not tired enough! She told herself. I should take a long walk or something tomorrow.
Eugene decided to focus on something else to help her sleep. Soon, her thoughts drifted back to the Ramita…
Eugene imagined herself floating on the tranquil waters of a lake. Her body soon started to relax and her mind calmed down as if ready to fall asleep.
In fact, she thought she had, but suddenly knew she wasn’t any longer.
Oh no! Why did I wake up again? She mentally groaned.
Her eyes were still closed. But she felt her body begin to waver, the sound of water splashing sending alarms through her mind. This wasn’t right. Something wasn’t right!
Eugene snapped her eyes open and gasped at the sight in front of her.
Clear blue skies soared right above her. Nothing but the endless skies, reflected by the water she was stepping on.
What is this? Where am I?
The sky and water stretched out as far as her eyes could see until at the farthest end nothing but a thin line where the sky met the sea. She was floating listlessly on nothing but the water cushioning her from underneath.
The jarring sight made her nervous, as Eugene shot to her feet, shrieking in surprise. She looked around frantically, desperate to make sense of where she was, but saw nothing else but the water around her that splashed as she moved about.
Eugene looked down at her feet. The water wasn’t too deep. It only came up to her ankles.
Am I dreaming? As she wondered, she closed her eyes tightly, then reopened them slowly. This time she found herself staring back at the ceiling in her own bedroom.
Huh? Eugene closed and opened her eyes once again. She was still in her bedroom, in her bed, only now she was alone. Odder still, she wasn’t sure if she was dreaming the whole time or not.
She replayed her conversation with the Kasser in her head. He came to her and they laid side by side, talking until they fell asleep. That much was for sure. The evidence was in the body-shaped dent left on her sheets, the way it creased and the way his half was bunched up beside her. The king was usually up early, so it made sense that he left long before she woke up.
Eugene sat up with a numb head. If it was merely a dream, it had been a very vivid one.
Some see a reservoir, others see a pond, or even a well, the king’s words rang in her mind.
Could it be? It couldn’t. It was just a dream. What she saw was very realistic because she had pictured it quite clearly and right before sleeping.
But what if it wasn’t just a dream, but a dream that showed the powers of her Ramita?
What the heck did I see?!