She wasn’t wrong. They’d made a deal three years ago, and she’d promised to give him a successor, not to mention it was one of her main duties as a queen. But why did her words irritate him?
In fact, he should be thankful to her for using the word ‘duty’. Also, wasn’t it better than calling it a contract fulfillment?
All he wanted from their marriage was a successor, beyond that, he didn’t expect more. And because he didn’t expect any more than that, he never found himself disappointed in her for whatever trouble she caused him.
But recently, he found himself wanting more than just a successor with their marriage. He wanted her to embrace being the Queen of Hashi, to carry out her duties and responsibilities with pride. That was why he gave her the role of managing the palace… to make her part of the kingdom.
And he remembered with great fondness how she’d enthusiastically accepted the responsibility.
But was that all he wanted?
He couldn’t even find it in himself to say that yes, that was all he wanted from her. But for the life of him, he didn’t even know what else he wanted. And the more he thought of it, the more his thoughts grew jumbled, confusing him greatly.
Just as he let out a quiet sigh, he was surprised to hear another follow right after. It wasn’t his own, so he turned his head, just in time to see Eugene do the same and they looked at one other with bewilderment.
“I’m sorry, did I wake you?” she finally said, readjusting her position to talk to him properly.
“No, it’s fine. Is everything all right?” he asked, doing the same to look at her.
“Yes, I was just thinking about things…” She answered, trailing off.
Kasser leaned in closer. “What were you thinking about?”
“It’s nothing.” Her words earned a frown from him.
He was bothered at her vague reply, but he knew better than to interrogate someone who didn’t want to speak. Regardless, he couldn’t stand this feeling of not knowing, not tonight.
Is she…? He suddenly stiffened in thought.
He had to know!
“Are you recollecting something?”
“No, I don’t remember anything.” Eugene quickly answered as she sensed him beginning to sit up in the dark. When she saw him lying on his side, planting his elbow into the sheets and leaning his head against his palm, Eugene shook her head once more to reassure him.
“I met the bank president today.” She suddenly shared. It wasn’t the one she was currently worrying about, but she decided to at least give Kasser something to talk to about. “Apparently, I’ve had some kind of private fortune. So I called to confirm it.”
“And what did you find?”
“Just that I have too much of it.” She admitted. “I still keep wondering if all of it really is mine.” She finished softly.
“It is yours.” He confirmed for her. “Most probably it’s from the Sang-je.” He added.
“The Sang-je? What for?”
“For congratulating you on your marriage. All Anikas get money when they wed,” Kasser said and finally smirked, all teasing could be heard from his voice. “You’re worried about having too much money? Why would you worry about that?” He chuckled at her.
Eugene only sank further down her blanket as her brows furrowed.
“It doesn’t feel right to have all that money. I don’t even know where it’s from.” She mumbled. If only I could tell him, why I am so keen on studying Jin’s wealth…
“If it’s in an account under your, then it’s yours. Why does it matter where it comes from?” he asked with confusion, as Eugene stole a glance at him before she pouted in frustration.
Is this really the line of thought one would have when born from money? Because apart from Sang-je, Kasser was one of the wealthiest people in Mahar. That still didn’t stop her from wondering if every Anika was granted that much money when getting married.
The Sang-je truly cherished Anikas.
“But you probably received more.” Kasser suddenly piped, interrupting her thoughts.
“Because you married a king.”
“Why would he give more money to Anikas marrying a king?”
“Probably to comfort an Anika leaving the Holy City, and to financially help them settle in a foreign kingdom. But don’t tell anyone. I’m only telling you because you don’t remember, but it’s not something commonly known.”
“Oh? Then how did you find out?” she asked him.
“I just happened to.” He said with a shrug.
With that, he’s effectively ended their conversation.
Eugene thought it was odd for him to show even an ounce of discomfort. So she didn’t ask more because she was no longer as curious as before.
Well, at least it’s not some shady money, she thought in relief, feeling a weight lift off of her shoulders.
“About what you said.” He paused, continuing to lie in silence for a moment before speaking again.
Eugene waited patiently for him to continue. She wondered what was so difficult for him to say.
“I’m not trying to criticize you, nor trying to change your mind.” He finally continued.
Eugene frowned at the sudden change of the subject, trying to recall what she had said earlier…
“I just want you to know, if you don’t want a child, we don’t have to,” he finally said, “I find sometimes, children only make matters worse.”
Eugene couldn’t immediately comprehend the meaning behind his words. How could children make matters worse? Suddenly, the former queen staying in the Holy City came to her mind.
Feeling she’d picked on Kasser’s scab from his childhood wound, she felt herself empathize with him.
“Maybe it’s because you don’t know me that well yet, but, I can assure you, no one can make me do what I don’t want to do.” She told him in complete confidence, even adding a playful tone, but she heard no reply from him.
She waited for a few minutes more, but was greeted by nothing but silence. Soon, she situated herself back to get a comfortable sleep, her eyes fluttering close as sleep slowly crept up in her…
Unfortunately, a second later her eyes snapped back open as she remembered an important detail to her worries.
Ah, I forgot to ask,’ she winced in thought, as she bit her lip.
She still needed to know what it was that she stole before escaping to the desert.