Yesterday when they were eating lunch, Eugene talked about the Hwansu, saying that it was important for a Hwansu’s development to have regular interactions when they were still young. “Little kid? Is that the Hwansu’s final name?” Eugene asked.
Kasser nodded, and Eugene looked at him in confusion. “You should’ve put more effort into giving him a name.”
He shrugged, “It’s the name that you gave him, so I could say that plenty of effort was put into it.”
“That wasn’t supposed to be-“ Eugene was cut off abruptly as Kasser swooped her in for another kiss. “I have to leave soon. Pay attention to me please.”
Eugene giggled at Kasser’s antics. His blue eyes were full of playfulness and it was still new to her. It was a curious sight, was he always like this? It seemed like he used the Hwansu as an excuse to come see her.
Nonetheless, his insistence on seeing her despite his tight schedule made her happy. She stretched out her arms and circled them around his neck. He pulled her in closer by wrapping his arms around her waist in return. They closed their eyes as his tongue made its way through her mouth.
They were immersed in each other for a long time. The passionate interlocking of lips seemed endless that it made Eugene gasp for air. Breaking the kiss, Eugene turned her head to avoid more pecks from Kasser as she quickly said, “I thought you have to leave soon!” Slightly pushing him away. Kasser sighed heavily and his expression showed that he did not want to leave her.
“Hurry and go! All of them must be waiting for you.” Eugene exclaimed.
After urging him to go back to his meeting, he finally left the room, leaving Eugene alone again with her thoughts. She couldn’t help but trace her lips with her fingers, feeling it tingle slightly after all the sucking and biting they’ve been doing for the past minute. She was giddy as she remembered how Kasser kissed her with such desperation and need.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Eugene approached the birdcage and lowered her head towards the Hwansu squirrel. “Hi there, little kid. How are you?” She cooed as she opened the door cage, with the squirrel bouncing out of the cage and climbed up her arm onto her shoulder. “Your master is busy lately, so I’m sure he wasn’t able to play with you regularly. I’ll come visit you instead. Okay?”
After playing with little kid for a while, she put him back in his cage. It was not common for a Hwansu to show loyalty to someone who is not their master. But this hwansu was still so young, so he would likely follow his instincts than to be thinking about loyalties. It was purely instinctive for little kid to show closeness to Eugene.
Little kid and Abu are both the King’s Hwansu. Maybe they see his affection towards me, that’s why they are fond of me as well.
Eugene placed the birdcage in her waiting room. Seeing it made her want to see Abu as well. She didn’t bring a maid with her every time she visited Abu, and it was her daily routine to go there by herself.
On her way out, Eugene was stopped in her tracks, surprised to see a maid lingering about the space. There was a certain part of the castle where maids would go shuffling back and forth, but this place wasn’t part of it. Eugene never ran into a maid here, until now.
Eugene’s expression hardened when she saw the maid approaching her direction. About two or three steps away, the maid stopped and bowed all the way to the ground. “Tanya Molly at your service, your Majesty.”
She could suddenly see one of Jin’s memories.
“Tanya Poppy at your service, Your Majesty.”
“I am your master, Tanya.” Jin spoke.
The girl in front of Eugene still had her head bent down. But in the memory, the maid had lifted her head, and a different face showed itself, a face that Eugene had never seen before.
Poppy? Even the name was unfamiliar to her. It wasn’t the name of any of the five maids that had disappeared after going out to the desert with her.
The one I suspected was Ellie. But then who is this Poppy? And is her name Tanya as well? Eugene thought. And as if answering her thoughts, a male voice said,
“Tanya is a name that means faithful servant. This girl will be your faithful servant. You just have to tell her that you are her master. Then she will be completely at your mercy, like a duckling that had just hatched from its egg.”
The voice sounded like Rodrigo’s. It was when he told Jin before sending the servants to the castle.
Eugene looked at the girl that was still bowing facedown to the ground. The name Tanya seemed like a code. Her greeting was normal, but her presence in this part of the palace is not. It seemed like she knew about the Queen’s whereabouts, and when she would be alone.
“… I am your Master, Tanya.” Eugene said.
“Yes, Master.” The maid said as she lifted her head slowly. She looked normal, but there’s something in her eyes that seemed off, very different from that of a normal person. Eugene couldn’t exactly point out what it is, but those eyes looked hollow, similar with the eyes of those who had fallen deeply into the teachings of a false religion, clearly the eyes of a devout follower.