After Flora took her leave, the maid, who was assisting Dana by her side, must have also felt the tension in the air for she too promptly left the room. Only the mother and the son were now left in the glasshouse.
Dana started to trim the bunch of the flowers on the table with a scissor. As Enoch watched his lady mother continue on with her work without giving a look at him, a faint sigh escaped from his lips.
Since young, he had always thought that his lady mother was the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world and such an opinion of his hadn’t changed a bit, even after he had become a father of his child.
‘Jin is without doubt the one and only daughter of my mother.’
Jin truly was the spitting image of his mother. No one would ever deny them being related as a mother and a daughter, when they saw them together.
“Fortunately, my hearing hasn’t worsened just yet.”
“Did you know that Jin was coming?”
“I thought you did and that’s why you met with Flora today.”
“I couldn’t refuse her when she had already come all the way.”
“Perchance… Have you called in Flora like today every so often?
“Why is it that you think I did?”
“… I thought you were quite fond of Flora.”
Dana lightly chuckled at his assumption. “And are you fond of her?”
“There’s no reason not to be… I only meant that I was grateful for her being Jin’s friend.”
Enoch had omitted that he was especially grateful for Flora being such good friends with his rather extraordinary sister. Even though she was his little sister, he couldn’t deny that she had a spoiled disposition.
“Perhaps your definition of friend is quite different from mine.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“My dear son. I guess you still have a long way to go in honing your judgment of character.”
‘What of Flora?’
No matter how hard he thought about it, Enoch couldn’t quite figure out the hidden meaning behind his lady mother’s remark.
‘Could it be that mother… detests all Anikas?’
Enoch did not bother to voice out his doubt as he knew his mother would never give him a clear answer anyway. She had always been that way. Even when he had sought her out for advice on a seemingly intricate task, she never tended to give him a clear-cut solution at once.
It was only after he had beaten his brains out for his own solution, his mother would give him an even pragmatic solution and put him in despair. At times, he felt like he could never catch up to her no matter how hard he tried.
But all those trivial complaints he had against her, were more of the fretful grumblings of a son to a mother. Enoch had a high regard for his mother more than he could ever love her, except just for one matter.
“Mother, I entreat you. Please give your warm welcome to Jin when she comes. She’s finally coming back for the first time in a long while. There’s no way to know how long she would stay nor when she’ll ever make another visit after this.
“I just hope you won’t do anything regretful later on.”
It was Enoch who had first lowered his gaze away from his mother when their eyes were met. After giving a long stare at her son, she obliged him by making concessions. “…I get what you’re trying to say.”
Enoch gave a deep bow to his mother before he turned and took his leave. Enoch figured that he best not further question her as his efforts might backfire. If she could’ve been persuaded, his father would have long done so.
After Enoch took his leave, Dana had irritatingly deposited the scissor on the table as she let out a deep sigh. ‘I guess my age is starting to catch up on me.’
Dana was getting worn out. This long years of tragedy of hers dated back to twenty years. The day when her Jin was abducted.
After spending long agonizing sleepless nights, fretting all over the place, Dana had shed her tears of joy upon hearing the news that her daughter had safely returned without any harm.
However, such relief and joy did not last long. Dana had immediately pushed herself away from her returned daughter out of fright, when her eyes were met with the child in her arms. Dana clearly felt that there was something different in kind with the child although she looked exactly like her daughter from the outside.
[She is not my daughter. The child’s been switched.]
That was all Dana could say to her husband, who looked at her as if she’d possibly gone mad. But there was no logical reasoning to explain her seemingly absurd assertion as it was a kind of sensation which only she could sense.
“Ahh… mother. Why have you gifted me with such ability.”
Dana’s mother’s side, the Muen Family, had a long history for their special abilities that’s been running in the family for generations. Muens were gifted with their keen ability to sense around their surroundings, more sharply than most people could. With their ‘sense’, they could read the flow of the world or even see ahead to the future. However, it was forbidden, strictly as a family rule, for them to reveal such of their abilities to others.