The conversation broke off in the middle as the moving carriage slowed down gradually to a stop. Momentarily, a knock was heard from the outside. Then, through the slightly ajar door, the servant explained.
“Your Majesty, due to the congestion of the road to the Holy City, the carriage had halted for a moment to wait for the road to open up. It shouldn’t take very long.”
Darlin went on when the door was closed again.
“There must be many comers and goers today. The last time I came, I never had to wait to pass by.”
Charlotte’s remark then followed. “It’s actually heavily congested most of the time. So the wait is quite unavoidable. Sometimes, it takes a long while before the crowd moves.”
“Is that so? It had been a long time since my last trip to the Holy City…”
“It’s been a while for me as well. I believe my last visit was five years ago….”
Darlin was looking flushed with excitement, along with her voice heightened than usual. And as opposed to Darlin, whose excitement was written all over her face, Charlotte seemed serene from the outside but there clearly was more of a liveliness on Charlotte’s face than usual. Both their faces glowed with a long-awaited anticipation alike.
With a smile on her face, Eugene silently listened to their conversation. She seemed to have used up all her energy in worrying. In her head, she had countlessly pictured her encounter with Sang-je to still her uneasiness throughout the whole journey. But now that they finally arrived, she found herself as still as calm water. She realized she was retting over something which she had not considered before.
‘I wonder what kind of people Jin’s family are.’
Eugene tried to recall the original novel. Despite knowing that this world was quite different from the way it was described in the novel, still of times, she had been using it as some kind of reference. It wasn’t entirely useless.
In the novel, Jin’s family only appeared to give more details about Jin’s character. ‘Jin was born into a renowned family, and she was loved by all for she was the youngest daughter.’ It suggested that the Anika taking the evil route never had to do with her upbringing. It was entirely her own decision.
Aside from that, Jin’s family never made another appearance in the novel thereafter.
‘It doesn’t make sense now that I think of it.’
She couldn’t help but to wonder why Jin’s family had never interfered once for the sake of their endearing daughter. They didn’t even show up at the last moment where Jin met with a tragic end.
‘I guess that means there were a lot of plot holes in the story I’ve written.’
However, it didn’t seem like Jin was on good terms with her family.
For the last three years, there were no traces of her keeping in touch with her family in any sort of way. The very fact that Jin had been asking favor from Charlotte’s maternal family instead of her powerful family was strange as it is.
‘I guess Jin and I are alike in a way as we are both on bad terms with our family.’
Eugene felt identified with Jin for the first time. And they both had a family of five. According to the information she gained from Knight Pides, Jin seemed to have two older brothers.
For the first time in a while, Eugene recalled her family. The so-called love and hate relationship sounded too good to describe her feelings towards them. For some time, she started to associate her family with a deep viscous swamp which she couldn’t possibly imagine herself getting through.
Eugene’s family consisted of people who were far from befitting the moral standards of the society. Both her parents had previous convictions for swindling and gambling while her two brothers frequented police stations for charges like assault, theft and fraud. Neither of them had a notion of earning money with a fair amount of labor. For the worse, they all spent the little money they extorted from others like water. Resultantly, they had always been poor.
However, like most kids do when they are young, Eugene had also once believed that her parents and family were the best people in the whole world. But now that she thinks back, the love she had towards her family had always been unrequited.
Her one-sided love towards her family was tenacious. Despite being disappointed countless times, Eugene couldn’t quite give up hoping like a fool. She believed that her family could turn over a new leaf someday and she had this vain dream that she could actually change them.
Eugene tried her very best. She tried hard to love her family and wanted to live a proper life. With them.
Unlike her brothers, who uttered nothing but foul language, she always spoked and behaved pleasantly towards her parents. She never missed top places in her entire years at school and most of all, she tried her best to lead an exemplary lifestyle. And with the plain belief that her family would be able to have a breadth of mind once they were free from the worry of making ends meet, she sought out for employment as soon as she could.
However, none of her efforts ever came to fruition. Eugene never even once been called by her name. ‘Hey’ was seemingly the most favorable way to be called by her family. All that they did was to curse, speak ill of someone else or to come up with a way to exploit others.
Her family gradually ate into all the money she had earned for all kinds of reasons, as if money was just made of paper. Worst of all, they even let her take responsibility over all their debts from gambling.
One day, reality finally dawned upon her—she finally learned to give up. Her family taught her that people hardly change at all, and some are just bad in nature. They are a lost cause.