[I think I may be too quick to adapt to my life in this world. Is this normal?]
[Is Ramita a power of one’s soul or the body?]
[Of course, it’s the power of one’s soul.]
[Make me into a real Jin Anika. Please.]
[Your Holiness, I will recover my Ramita at all costs.]
[How dare you call me mother.]
[I clearly sensed that there was someone else inside my daughter’s body.]
Scattered pieces were put together, forming an image. Despite having pieces being missing here and there, it was enough for Eugene to have a rough idea of its final form.
Eugene was dumbfounded with great shock when the realization finally hit home. She was not the imposter after all! Instead, this world was where she should have belonged in the first place.
“Jin, my baby.”
Eugene felt her eyelashes quiver unwittingly. The voice sounded so warm that she felt like she was embraced. Despite not having even a single memory before she was nine, there was this one voice which was stuck forever in her head. It sounded so warm that it was enough to make her cry.
[Jin, my baby.]
Eugene had always thought that the voice belonged to her mother. She figured that it was her mother who whispered those words to her when she was very little, holding her closely into her chest while looking down with her eyes full of motherly love. It made her happy just by picturing it in her mind.
The one belief that she had once been loved by her parents was the only power that kept her life going.
She believed that her mother was only exhausted with the weight of life and that she would call out to her again saying, ‘Jin, my baby.’ if life gets better for them. And if that day ever comes, she just wanted to throw herself in her mother’s arms like when she was child.
That was the reason why Eugene was so reluctant to give up on her family. She just couldn’t leave them despite being disappointed countless times.
‘Ah. That explains it all.’
Eugene opened her eyes once again. Instantly, everything became clear to her when she saw Dana, who was looking at her with so much warmth in her eyes. Dana must have been the one behind the voice which Eugene remembers so vividly in her head to this day.
“Mom…” She barely managed to utter the word as her voice was restricted by the lump in her throat while her nose and eyes pricked with tears.
“Mom…” Soon, the years of sorrow surged up within her. She found her heart overflowed with both joy and resentment at the same time. It suddenly seemed so unfair that she had spent all her childhood years alone when she was most in need of parental love.
Eugene ended up bursting into tears, overwhelmed by her surge of emotions. As her vision was blurred by the tears, she quickly wiped them off with the back of her hand as she didn’t want to miss even a single change in Dana’s expression. She needed proof to clarify that she wasn’t dreaming after all.
“Yes, sweetie.” With both her hands, Dana tightened her grip around Eugene’s hand as tears flowed endlessly from her eyes.
“Yes. Mommy is here.”
“I—I was so lonely and scared. Why didn’t you come find me?”
Despite her words being muffled from her sobbing, Dana knew exactly what her daughter meant. “I’m so sorry. Mommy was wrong. My sweet daughter, you must have suffered a lot. Come. Let mommy give you a hug, will you?”
Eugene got to her feet and threw herself into Dana’s widely open arms. There was something nostalgic about the scent coming from that soft warm body. It was the scent of her mother.
Dana lightly brushed her hand over Eugene’s back, who was crying her eyes out like a baby, and gently stroked down her daughter’s hair.
“My baby little girl… Look how much you’ve grown. Mommy’s sorry. Mommy is so sorry.”
Dana said with her voice punctured by tears. After she kissed Eugene’s head and face, she hugged her tightly into her arms and checked to see her daughter’s face once again. They both cried and laughed at the same time. The mother and daughter shared their warmth embracing each other.
The whole manor was turned upside down when Dana fell into a swoon. Upon Arthur’s command, a messenger was sent out immediately to inform Patrick and Enoch. The family doctor arrived soon after Arthur had laid his mother down in her bed.
There was nothing Eugene and Kasser could do in such a confusion. As leaving without seeing Dana awake was out of the question, they both quietly waited on a sofa in the sitting room.
Before long, both Patrick and Enoch returned home. Patrick half-heartedly received greetings from his daughter and son-in-law before he stormed into the chamber. Enoch, too, was fully occupied in questioning Arthur regarding the earlier circumstances that he didn’t give much attention to his sister.
Once the commotion had seemingly subsided over time, Enoch gave his sister a proper greeting. After his few attempts to strike up a conversation, he gave up eventually as Eugene replied with nothing but short answers as a mere formality. Enoch tried to be understanding of his sister as he regarded that she was still recovering from the shock of seeing mother collapse right before her eyes. An awkward silence fell over the sitting room where Eugene, Kasser, Enoch and Arthur were gathered round on the sofa.
After two hours of waiting, Patrick emerged from the door and assured them that Dana had regained consciousness. He told Eugene that Dana was looking for her and disappeared behind the door with Eugene this time. But when he came back again, he was alone.
“Where is she?” Kasser broke his silence for the first time after having sat without a word throughout the whole wait.
“Looks like they need some privacy. It must be some kind of a secret talk between mother and daughter as I was asked to leave as well.”
“You mean… She’s alone with Lady Arse right now?”
“I have my guards standing watch by the door so I’m sure they will be fine.”
Enoch couldn’t help but to feel strange as he listened to the conversation between his father and the Desert King. The way the king questioned his father did not sound like he was only asking for the whereabouts of his wife—he sounded anxious upon leaving Jin alone with Dana. Which was strange because it’s quite unreasonable for him to have such a notion that this house, where Jin was born and raised in, was somehow unsafe for her.
‘Am I just overinterpreting it?’
However, Enoch had witnessed some interesting sight throughout the two hours he was sitting across from his sister and her husband.
Whenever the Desert King squeezed Jin’s hand as if to check on her, Jin would turn to him and flash him a faint smile in return. It was such a fleeting moment that no one would possibly have noticed if one didn’t pay close attention. But Enoch was certain that he had felt the special bond between just the two of them.
It took Enoch by great surprise because he never thought their marriage was based on love. He somehow believed there were intricate reasons behind their marriage instead.
Enon casted stealthy glances at the Desert King to observe him further. And he concluded that the Desert King was indeed a man akin to a stone. His face bore no expression at all, much like his brother, Arthur, but worse.
Perhaps it was only due to his assumption, but it seemed to him that the Desert King, despite his calm exterior, was growing more restless as seconds ticked by.
And Enoch was indeed right. Kasser was truly at the edge of his seat suppressing the urge to storm in and see if Eugene was doing alright. All he could think about was how she had implored him to help her if she made any mistake and wondered if she needed him now.
His wife had been anxious on their way to the Arse manor despite it being the place where she grew. It wasn’t hard to tell that this wasn’t a comfortable place for her.
Come to think of it, there was something unusual in the way her mother reacted when she saw Eugene, before she eventually swooned in front of them. It got him wondering if there is a family secret that he doesn’t know about.
‘I should’ve brought Kid with us.’
After thirty minutes or so, Kasser broke the silence once again. “Looks like the conversation is getting longer than I expected.”
“They must have a lot of catching up to do after having met for the first time in a while.” Patrick airily replied. Conversation dried up again with continuing silence. It was only after some time when Patrick finally realized his mistake.
‘I committed a great discourtesy after having invited such an important guest.’