Enoch was originally planning on visiting Jin as soon as she arrived at the Holy City. He reflected that he couldn’t let his sister be on distant terms with her family any longer. But sadly, it didn’t seem like Jin would make the first move to come meet her family. They heard no words from her after they were informed of Jin coming through Sang-je’s knight.
Hence, Enoch had sent his people out to stand watch in every four entrances to the Holy City as well as the manor that belonged to the Hashi Kingdom.
“Any of you who first spot Jin’s arrival should notify me at once. Make sure you all stay alert at all times as she could be arriving even in the middle of the night.”
“Yes, young master.”
However, an unexpected commotion arised on the very morning of Jin’s arrival.
Like his usual mornings, Patrick carefully crawled out of the bed and left their bed chamber so he wouldn’t wake his wife who was still asleep. But when she still hadn’t gotten up even after he was done breaking his fast, Patrick found it unusual and went back to check on her.
When he heard no reply for a while after calling out to her by the door, he went up to their bed. From there, he found his wife was moaning in pain with her body burning up.
One of the maids had come running into the chamber in surprise upon hearing the urgency in Patrick’s voice. She rushed out back when Patrick instructed her to send for a doctor.
The whole manor was then thrown into commotion after that. The atmosphere around the manor was astir as the lady of the house had always been in good health without any minor ailments so far.
The family doctor, who had come in a heartbeat, told Patrick who impatiently shot questions at him, when he was finished with the examination.
“Lord Arse. I wish to have a word with you in private.”
Enoch waited in great suspense while his father spoke to the family doctor. He couldn’t help but to wonder about just how bad the doctor’s opinion would be as the doctor had asked to have a private word with his father. Enoch hoped that it wouldn’t be about anything bad.
He dashed to his father’s office as soon as he heard that the doctor had taken his leave. Just in time, he ran into Lord Noff, their family doctor, in the hallway.
“What is it about? Is my lady mother alright?
The doctor chuckled at Enoch, who had turned deadly pale in worry. “The lady is fine. You should not be so concerned.”
Looking puzzled, Enoch watched as the doctor walked out of his sight. He thought about pressing the doctor for further explanation but on second thought, he thought it would be best to just hear it from his father so he went into the library. He let out a sigh of relief as his father didn’t seem very upset.
“Father. Is mother all right?”
“Your mother seems to have stressed out her mind as she has been on edge of late. But he said it wasn’t anything severe to worry about.”
“Stressed out? Isn’t it something serious?”
“She should be fine. As it happens, she used to get feverish whenever she had a lot in her mind. I’ve forgotten all about that as she hadn’t fallen sick since you took over the business from her.”
“I have no idea.”
“She has always recovered after a good sleep. We had hardly sent for a doctor like we did today.”
“Then why has Lord Noff asked to speak to you in private?”
“He took great caution and asked me if there’s any trouble at home. Well…” Patrick paused before he continued with an unpleasant look. “He was asking me if I had done something wrong that perhaps distressed your mother, which is absolutely preposterous. What does he think I am?”
Enoch took the hint that his family doctor had doubted that his father had been unfaithful to his mother. He could almost see how his father must have riled up at such an outrageous accusation. Enoch couldn’t help but to laugh as it was absurd for the doctor to be doubtful of his father.
‘After all these years he’d been the doctor of our family, yet he still knows nothing of father.’
The very idea of his father having an affair was just unimaginable to Enoch. His lord father was someone who tends to make a big fuss should his mother cough occasionally. Moreover, should his father have really done such a thing, his lady mother was never the kind of person who would be deeply agonized by it. She would rather have him out of the house at once.
“What in the world have you said to your mother?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I’m talking about a few days ago. There’s nothing else than that which could have possibly made your mother overfly upset to the point she falls ill.”
Enoch blinked in bewilderment when Patrick flared at him. Coming under the fire all of sudden, he gave his father a sullen answer. “I said not much. All I did was to ask mother a favor so she would give Jin a warm welcome when Jin returns.”
“Sure, you just politely asked her instead of acting up? Your mother may have retired, but that doesn’t make you the head of the house. Not just yet.”
“With all due respect, father, I couldn’t feel more wrongly accused. Would my mother have tolerated it if I had been rude to her?”
After shooting an inquiring look at his son, Patrick motioned his son to leave him. After taking his leave from the office, Enoch couldn’t help but to feel incredulous of her mother’s condition.
‘Is seeing Jin that much of a trouble to mother?’
All the while, Enoch had reflected that Jin had been unilaterally cold-shouldered by his lady mother. But today, he felt like he had peeked at how much his mother must have suffered alone without anyone knowing. He was then left puzzled even more of why his mother was tormenting herself by ignoring Jin, feeling that the complex mind of his lady mother was beyond his comprehension.
[Your mother seems to be suspicious that Jin isn’t her daughter. She claims that her child had been switched.]
Enoch creased his brows as he recalled his father’s words. He shook his head after pondering it over for a while as Jin was unmistakably the daughter of his mother. Doubtless he would be able to recognize Jin at a glance, who’s the spitting image of his mother, should they come across in the street no matter how much time passes by.
It was that afternoon when he was informed of Jin’s arrival. After being notified by a servant who had come running the moment, he saw the carriage from Hashi Kingdom pass the gate, Enoch was soon informed again of Jin entering the palace by another servant.
‘This is bad.…’
Unlike his father’s assurance that she would soon recover, his lady mother has yet to show any sign of waking. He couldn’t help but to get worried as she looked as white as a sheet when he saw her in bed.
After much consideration, he had decided to hold off his plans to meet Jin.
‘I best not try to trouble my mother’s mind any further today.’
On the other hand, he somehow had hoped for Jin to get in touch with them, but it seems like he had expected in vain.
The next morning, Enoch went up to the terrace upon hearing that his parents were having a conversation there, after breaking their fast. Enoch met eyes with Patrick the moment he stepped into the terrace. Ignoring his father’s glare which implied him not to enter, he went up to where his parents were.
“Mother, how are you feeling today?”
“I’m feeling just fine. I must have made you worry for nothing.”
“Arthur is likely to be back by today.”
Not long after the dry season had begun, Arthur, Enoch’s younger brother, had traveled out of the Holy City on business purposes as he was the vice head of their company. But after being informed of Jin coming to the city, Enoch had immediately sent out an urgent message for his brother to return at once. Fortunately, Enoch had received from his brother that he would be able to make it back in a few days’ time and that thankfully, he hadn’t traveled far from the Holy City.