The Muen Family held many unrevealed secrets among them, which are known to be handed down only to the family’s rightful successor. And those who were to leave the family upon their marriage, must sever their relations with the Muens forever.
Dana’s mother was close to becoming the successor. But despite being the strongest candidate, her mother had left the family upon her marriage. And when Dana learned of that fact, she had once asked her mother,
[Mother. Why did you give up on becoming the successor?]
[I did not wish to pass on a restricted future to my children. Though I don’t regret my choice… I do feel regretful for not being able to be there when my parents breathed their last breath.]
Her mother had always been a mysterious figure in Dana’s eyes. And from her mother, Dana inherited one of her mother’s abilities.
It was Dana’s ability to be able to feel the special forces or the waves which radiated from the individuals. Every individual had their own unique forces which differed according to the deeds accumulated throughout their lives.
However, such ability, which was supposed to be an invaluable inheritance from her mother, had turned to a painful curse ever since that incident. It broke her heart just to think of her daughter, without knowing if she was still alive or dead. Dana was miserably distressed to the point she wished she hadn’t known anything in the first place.
And as the years passed, she had only grown all the more confused. Dana wondered who her real daughter actually was now. She was torn between her daughter, who had only been with her for three years and ‘that’, who had lived inside her daughter’s shell for as long as twenty years.
Despite all that, she could still feel it lingering before her closed eyes. There was no way for her to ever forget about such glaring rays of force which radiated from her precious daughter. The tears Dana had shed soon wetted her eyelashes on her closed eyes.
It was the night before their arrival at the Holy City.
The carriages came to a stop as they had reached their accommodation for the night. The mansion which will serve as their accommodation was of a royal estate, owned by the Slan Kingdom, and it was where the king of the Slan Kingdom stops over whenever he pays his visit to the Holy City. And it was when the darkness had fallen that Pides came to see Kasser.
“Your Majesty, I will be leaving ahead to inform His Holiness of your arrival.”
Kasser summoned the chamberlain.
“Lead Sir Pides to the Queen.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“With all due respect, Your Majesty, it won’t be necessary,” said Pides as he interrupted. “As I will see Her Majesty soon again in the Holy City, I’ll much appreciate it if Your Majesty could bid my farewell to Her Majesty, in my stead. I will then be leaving now.”
“If you insist, I’ll do as so,”
After he took his leave, Pides informed his leaving to one of the other knights and headed to the stable. As he led his horse across the yard, he turned to take a look back.
From there, he saw dim lights emerging from the windows of the mansion that was surrounded by the night’s darkness. His mind grew perplexed as he thought of Anika Jin, who was to be somewhere behind one of those windows.
He used to feel uncomfortable around her as he was too conscious of her eyes that were chasing after him whenever he went. However, the man whom her eyes sought after now, was no longer him. Throughout the journey, Pides had clearly realized that she no longer had any interest in him anymore. But instead of feeling lighthearted, he rather felt bittersweet after learning such a fact.
Both her and the Desert King surely looked like they were very much devoted to each other. He could see that their eyes were filled with nothing but affection, every time they looked into each other.
Pides smiled bitterly as he recalled the subtle joy on the king’s features when he had bid his leave to him just now.
‘I believe there were much more than just affections in those gazes of his.’
Pides had easily sensed the king’s strong affection for her from the way he looked at her. But his eyes would promptly sharpen whenever he lays it on Pides.
It seemed like he was now on the king’s blacklist for sure. He wondered if it was because he had been caught staring at Anika Jin a few times by the king.
But he could swear he didn’t mean otherwise by staring. Anika Jin had just happened to catch his eyes as she looked more beautiful than ever, now that her expressions and eyes conspicuously softened, compared to the past.
And as Pides had surmised, Kasser couldn’t be gladder now that Pides was gone. Although he were to see him again once he reached the Holy City, Kasser had bid good riddance for not having to see him even for the short time being.
‘What an insolent fellow.’ Kasser grumbled inwardly to himself. He had in fact caught Pides staring at Eugene with a seemingly inappropriate gaze. He wondered why Pides would keep staring at his wife with such a dubious look. He had only let him off the hook as Eugene did not seem to be conscious of him in the least.