Arthur’s eyes shifted from Jin taking the Desert King’s hand while descending the steps, to their hands which remained joined even after she was alighted from the carriage. Then finally, he trained his gaze on the Desert King’s tender glance towards Jin as he whispered something to her ears.
After growing up watching his parents who never fall out of love throughout their marriage, he had learned to discern the real couples from those who were only putting on a show, whenever he attended social gatherings. And just as he had felt in the manor earlier, the warm atmosphere which surrounded the two of them, appeared to be sincere.
‘You’ve been well all this time.’ Despite his uneasiness about his sister, he never wished for her to be unhappy. ‘She seems to have changed a bit as well.’ Perhaps the three years of marriage has somehow caused some changes in her life.
Arthur went up to both of them.
“Y-yes, Arthur.” Eugene couldn’t feel more awkward to address Jin’s brother by his first name.
“I’m afraid both father and Enoch happened to be out for some urgent matters. I’m sure they would have waited for you if they knew you were coming.”
“It’s alright. I can wait for them.”
“Ah. Very well then.”
Arthur was caught off guard by Jin’s nonchalant response for he expected to hear a sharp remark instead. In his memory, she hated being kept waiting and never tended to show tolerance in situations where she wasn’t given the top priority. Something clearly was different about her now.
“But mother seems to be home. Would you like to go and pay your respects to her?”
If only Arthur had the slightest idea of yesterday’s racket, he most definitely wouldn’t have made such a suggestion and would rather have waited for Enoch or his father to return instead. But there was no way for him to know of the incident as Enoch had asked him to go and meet Jin as soon as he returned.
There weren’t any probable excuses for Eugene to refuse meeting with Jin’s mother. Hence, she looked up at Kasser as if signaling for his help instead. Then, in response to her silent plead, Kasser gripped her hands tighter and said,
“I would like to pay my respects to the Lady of the House with her as well. As it happens, I’ve never gotten the chance to properly introduce myself to the lady.”
Arthur felt that they had exchanged signals with each other. With an inquiring look on his face, he replied while eyeing them alternatively. “As you will. I’m sure mother has been wondering about you as well.”
With that, Arthur showed them to the glasshouse. Stealthily, he casted a side glance at the two of them as he led the way. He was surprised to see Jin walking so closely by the side of the Desert King, like she was a child who was scared to be separated from her mother.
On the other hand, he also felt sorry for his sister for being still intimidated by her own mother’s presence. Despite finding it hard to get close to Dana, Jin had always wanted to attract her attention.
A mother’s love. It was most likely the only thing Jin ever lacked in her perfect life.
It was the butler who first entered when they all gathered at the front of the glasshouse. After a moment, the butler reappeared from within and bowed his head to them.
“The lady says you may all come in.” A thought came to Arthur as he gave a nod. ‘I’m actually glad to have the Desert King with us.’
He had hoped that his lady mother would at least try to be nice to her daughter in the presence of her son-in-law.
Three of them stepped into the glasshouse where its entrance was full of tall plants in pots leaving just enough room for people to pass through. As the path was narrow for all three of them to walk side by side, Arthur led the way while the two of them followed along.
When Arthur stepped aside after striding deep into the room, from there appeared a middle-aged woman of slim figure, standing before a table. Eugene then saw the woman’s profile, who was arranging the flowers in a vase.
The lady’s profile was awfully familiar to Eugene. Before long, she was strongly struck by how the lady was the exact spit and image of Jin. The reality of having met with Jin’s family dawned upon her, more than when she had first met with Arthur. More so, she had a strange feeling which she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Jin’s memory had then overlapped upon the lady’s face. It was a memory where Jin just stared at her mother’s face without saying a word. The persistent gaze of hers somehow betrayed her desperation while the lady didn’t return a glance at Jin even once.
Dana had only raised her head at Arthur’s call. After looking up to her son’s face, she languidly shifted her gaze around with great reluctance.
Eugene was amazed by the elegant manner of the lady in the way she turned her head around to her. Such refined demeanor seems to have ingrained into the lady’s character. She helplessly marveled at Dana when she met eyes with her. There clearly was no denying in her being Jin’s mother. Although a child is known to resemble both parents, no mother and daughter looked more identical than Jin and her mother.
Dana’s eyes widened when she landed her eyes on Eugene. Her nonchalant gaze faltered aggressively as she shook her head in disbelief.