Cersinia had a long dream. She was left alone in a very deep, dark space in that dream.
‘What is this place?’
When she tilted her head out of doubt and stepped forward, she slammed her forehead and fell back.
‘Ouch, it hurts…’
Rubbing her painful forehead, she slowly stood up from her seat. She wanted to check what she slammed to, but she couldn’t see it because it was pitch darkness. She couldn’t help but stretch out her arms carefully. Then, a hard and smooth object touched her fingertips.
When she tapped it with her fingers, it was like a wall that was so hard. She looked around for a hole, wondering if there was any place to get out, but it blocked everywhere. A wall, neither tall nor thick, seemed to surround her and block her.
‘Am I trapped?’
The last scene she remembered was running out of the warehouse carrying Verne. But she couldn’t understand why the wall was suddenly placed in such a space.
Cersinia thought it was a dream, but the pain in her forehead was vivid, and her stomach still felt nauseous. She was getting annoyed by the pounding headache that seemed to have come from the heat she had been sucked in.
An unfamiliar place. Heterogeneous air.
They seemed distant as if they were not real, but they were clear as if they were not dreams.
She chewed her lips out of nervousness.
Ben rushed out to find her, recklessly trying to get into the burning warehouse, but she didn’t know what happened after that. That’s why she had to quickly check with her own eyes to see if he was okay. However, the walls on all sides firmly blocked her, as if they had no intention of letting her go.
‘Is there anyone here!’
She eagerly called someone. Anyone is fine as long as they can help her get out of here. However, the surroundings were quiet, as if she was the only one who existed here. A vague fear engulfed her. She’s afraid she will be trapped here and never get out.
Cersinia threw her body to break through the wall. As she tried to break down the wall by bumping hard enough to even make a heavy thumping sound, but it was useless.
She breathed heavily. It wasn’t hard, but she was out of breath because her body got hotter. Her heart was in pain, as if there was a fire in it. She grabbed her chest and bent her upper body.
It was a familiar pain, like when she absorbed the heat. It felt like the heat she had sucked was going wrong inside her body. She leaned against the wall, panting with tiny breath. Now, her body is losing strength to the point that it is hard to stand on her own two legs.
‘Is there someone! Ben…’
Is it because of her desperate wish?
"…Who are you?"
Ben’s voice resonated heavily in the space. At the sound of such a welcoming voice, Cersinia suddenly looked up and looked everywhere. However, it seemed that she was the only one who existed in the darkness where she couldn’t see the front.
"Where is she?"
His voice ringing in the space was furious.
‘Why is he mad? Is he thinking about what had happened?’
"Hmm, I got caught."
Cersinia’s body froze at the voice that followed. She was used to that dull tone without emotions. She couldn’t help but know. It’s a voice that she always hears when she speaks.
‘It’s the original Cersinia…’
She got goosebumps all over her body.
‘Is she talking to Ben right now? Why? I’m here…’
‘Is this a dream? But the pain that I feel is so vivid.’
She was confused. Her mind was a mess. At that moment, hazy light floated above the darkness beyond her. The identity of the object that had been blocking her until now was revealed. It was a transparent wall surrounding her in an unknown space, where there was nothing.
‘What the hell is this place?’
The light did not stop there but shone something in the air.
The first thing she saw was Ben. With a cold expression like an ice field, he was emitting bloody energy as if he were pulling out a sword quickly. He pointed it towards herself.
‘What is this?’
It was a strange feeling. An unknown feeling of incompatibility swirled. It felt like after leaving the warehouse, but it was a memory that didn’t exist in her head. It made her feel like spying on someone else’s memory.
Her crimson eyes, covered with confusion, trembled wildly. At that moment, the warehouse collapsed with a boom sound. All the heat she had absorbed escaped through her palm. The scene she saw ended there. The hazy light disappeared as if it had finished its use.
Darkness came again. Cersinia’s body fell forward helplessly. Her consciousness was forcibly taken away from her, and she eventually collapsed.
* * *
Cersinia, who opened her eyes, jumped up and raised her upper body. Her confused eyes fluttered slightly, and she looked around. The familiar ceilings and furniture she sees every day. It was her own room.
"Is it… a dream?"
Obviously, it was dark everywhere until a while ago, but now she’s on the bed. However, it was too vivid to dismiss as a dream. The pain in the forehead that hit the wall still remained, and the nauseousness was caused by absorbing the heat…
It’s gone. There was not even a remnant of the existence of the heat that had heated her whole body. Her body was much lighter than usual.
Cersinia blinked puzzled eyes. The murky eyes gradually began to come alive.
"If it’s not a dream."
She looked down at the hand that absorbed the heat. She absorbed a lot of flames, but her hands were clean and unscathed.
She noticed something and ran out of bed. Without having to put on shoes, she went down the stairs barefoot and left the mansion.
A winter wind blew into her thin slip, but she had no time to pay attention. She had to check it out with her own eyes. If it’s not a dream nor just an imagination. Cersinia ran out of the mansion’s door and ran straight towards the warehouse.
She heard someone calling her behind her back, but she couldn’t stop.
Her eyes widened as she reached the warehouse without slowing down once.
She was astonished by the warehouse’s appearance, which was different from her last memory. The flames were extinguished, but smoke and steam were still tangled together. The debris was scattered, and the collapsed wall formed a hill on the ground.
The warehouse collapsed beyond recognition of its shape in front of her. The warehouse, which was blown up by the released heat, which she regarded as a dream, became a reality.
"It’s not a dream…"
The empty crimson eyes that realized everything got lost and shook vigorously.
She slowly turned around at the sound of a voice coming near her.
Ben, who had followed her, staggered towards her. Just by hearing her voice, he could tell it was Cersinia. That Cersinia is the one he knows. The woman he loves.
He looked at her feet and frowned. Her bare feet, not wearing anything, were frozen red.
"Your feet are cold."
Without hesitation, he took off his shoes and put them in front of her.
"I blew up the warehouse…"
Cersinia stared blankly at the shoes lying on the ground and shuddered.
Ben licked his lips, but he didn’t answer. Because he didn’t know if his answer would shock her even more or not. He sat silently on his knees and carefully grabbed her ankle. He brushed the dirt off her feet and put her feet inside his shoes so that they wouldn’t get cold.
Cersinia watched his actions silently, then raised her head and looked into the dark blue sky. She didn’t get any answer from him. But she didn’t know if it meant positive or not.
The scenes she had seen inside the dark a while ago were neither an illusion nor a dream. It was all done by the ‘she’ who exists within her. She didn’t dream, but she had glimpsed the memories of ‘her.’
‘She woke up.’
The original personality that exists within her. The cause of her anxiety comes from time to time. The axis of all evil things that happened in the original story. Eventually, there was an accident.
Cersinia’s eyes sank as low and deep as the deep sea. With this opportunity, she realized it perfectly. That she has the soul of ‘her’ in this body.
The first time was probably from a cabin three years ago. The fact the occasional intention to kill and all the behaviors committed by losing reason were also caused by the appearance of ‘her’ rather than the instinct that remains in the body. As soon as her consciousness was cut off, that person dominated her body.
‘Why now? It’s almost over, so why did she…’
Her two fists were trembling.
‘Just stay still in this body…!’
She bit her lips hard in an exasperated cry. There’s never been a single way to get past it. Not even once. As always, misfortunate squeezes through the loosened gap while dreaming of a happy future. It was as if she didn’t deserve to be happy.
Cersinia looked at the source of her happiness. His act of brushing off the soil with his hands and warming it enough was so sweet that she almost cried.
‘How could he not change his behavior toward me while he already met ‘her’?’
‘Why are you always so sweet?’
"How could you… still act as if nothing happened?"