No one in the city seemed to be curious about Jin, who’d been long gone since she left the Holy City after she married a king. Everyone had reflected that Flora had firmly established total supremacy over Jin in terms of the level of their Ramita.
But lately, a strange rumor concerning Anika Jin had started to spread throughout the Holy City.
Enoch, who was the heir to the Arses family, had just returned, feeling down for some reason. He just heard of a strange rumor today which concerned his own little sister. He was pretty crossed by the fact that he’d belatedly learned of the widespread rumor along with the fact that he’d no clue of the authenticity of such rumor which concerned his one and only sister.
He wondered if the rumor was indeed true. However, he wasn’t sure if Jin possessed enough Ramita for the rumor to be true.
He was well aware of the rumors about how Jin was not gifted with Ramita. But he never knew if the rumors were actually true as he never asked Jin about it before.
However, he somehow had a hunch that something had gone amiss. While it was common for Anika to have a lucid dream around when they were ten, Jin only dreamt her first lucid dream and went to Sang-je when she was fourteen.
Enoch, however, did not worry much about it as he knew that Jin would always be his sister regardless of the level of her Ramita. His real worry was about those who talked thoughtlessly from behind as he despised those who don’t watch what they say just because it wasn’t their business.
There was once when Enoch had punched someone right in the face, for he’d heard the man bluntly claiming that it was the god’s mistake for having two Anikas born on the same day, and also that it’s only Anika Flora who’s the real Anika among the two.
While he got changed, Enoch furrowed his brow when he heard the report from his servant who was attending to him by his side.
“A knight just came by?”
“Yes, young master.”
The rumor he just heard today flashed across his mind as he suspected that the knight’s sudden visit must have to do with the rumor surrounding his sister. Enoch got dubious of their purpose as the knights had seldom visited them after Jin’d left the Holy City.
Promptly, Enoch went straight to his father’s office and knocked right on the door.
“Do come in.”
Enoch spoke as soon as he saw his father, who was sitting at his desk in the room. “Father, I’ve just been informed that the knight has come by.”
Patrick, lord of the Arses and a father to his three children, who also owned a peat company, answered as if he’d well expected Enoch’s question.
“…What could be the occasion?”
“It seems like she’d been summoned by His Holiness.”
“When can we expect her?”
“In a couple of days perhaps.”
Enoch had then sneered with a look of disdain. “How quick of them to let us know.”
But as his father’s face betrayed his perplexed feelings, Enoch carefully asked as he studied his face. “Per chance… have Jin informed you about her coming?”
Patrick shook his head for an answer. To hide his disappointment from his face, Enoch promptly changed the subject of their conversation
“I’ve heard about a strange rumor today. I suppose that’s the reason why Jin got summoned by His Holiness.”
To Enoch’s surprise, his father didn’t look perturbed at all and had only calmly replied, “I think so too.”
“So, you knew about the rumor all along? When did you find out?”
“It’s been a few days.”
“If you knew, why didn’t you tell me about it?”
“Well, I just didn’t see a need for it. Especially when we couldn’t be sure if the rumor was actually right.”
Both father and son had then remained silent with a rather heavy look.
It’s been three years since their heart was left broken by Jin’s sudden marriage. Jin had only merely informed them about such an important decision after her discussion with Sang-je, without consulting with her family. And that was when Enoch had first seen his father, who always had a soft spot for his daughter, losing his temper.
Enoch still couldn’t quite understand why Jin had made such a decision in the past. Their parents were never a stern type to start with. And as far as he’s concerned, they could always openly speak their mind to their parents as it was one of their family customs. And if Jin had only asked for their blessing for her to marry someone she loved, they would’ve gladly given their consent.
However, Jin had just left the Holy City as she obstinately insisted on marrying the Desert King, who she’d just met for a few times, without giving them reasonable explanations nor making up with her family before she left. Everyone in the family was left dumbfounded after her sudden leave. Enoch had felt rather betrayed by Jin when his father’s letter, which his father had written as an effort to make peace with her, was returned from the kingdom without any reply. Since then, they’d only heard from her through Sang-je, occasionally.
[I guess she’s more of an Anika Jin now… than she’s my daughter.]
Enoch felt bad whenever he recalled the sad look on his father’s face as he said that.
Bitterly, Patrick murmured, “It’s all my fault. I guess I was never a good father to her.”
“You did your very best. In fact, you may have indulged her too much.”
“Do you think that might’ve been the problem then? I should’ve realized sooner that punishment is as necessary as love, like the way I treated you and Matthew. I may have spoiled her too much as I’d always thought that I needed to fill in for your mother.”
“Mother…” Enoch continued after he heaved a deep sigh, feeling a sudden surge of anger. “What did Jin ever do to make mother hate h