In just one leap, Kasser managed to land stably inside the balcony on the second floor of the manor.
This reminded Eugene of the time in the castle when Kasser was just about to open the door to the room. But unlike last time, they entered without breaking any glass since the door was already unlocked.
In silence, Kasser gazed into Eugene in his arms before he opened his mouth again.
Looking tense, Eugene braced for the rest of his sentence as he seemed strangely impulsive today.
“Let’s have our lunch.”
She broke into a dumbfounded laughter when the tension eased with his most unexpected invitation to lunch.
“Are you hungry, Your Grace?” Kasser questioned, “I know you are. You even skipped your breakfast.”
“I’m all right.”
“Still, you must eat something.”
Eugene barely felt her hunger. She was rather filled with excitement as she had plenty of things she needed to tell him. She was growing ever more impatient to confide in him, but Kasser dismissed her and suggested having a light meal first.
It took a long time for them to finish their lunch as dishes were served course after course before them. Eugene focused only on her dish throughout the whole lunch as what she was about to tell him wasn’t something she can tell over a meal. If anything, it seemed even more impossible with servants coming in and going with the dishes while several maids held themselves at their disposal.
After lunch, the couple adjourned to the study and bid everyone to stay off the room until they were said otherwise.
However, when Eugene finally got to be alone with Kasser, she lost her tongue as fear caught up with her. She was afraid that she might strike him as absurd or that he might even reproach her for deceiving him the whole time.
“Your Majesty. Have you ever experienced any incidents in your life that seemed almost surreal or even preposterous?”
“Surreal and preposterous.” Kasser took a pause before he went on, “Yes, I have.”
“May I ask what it was about?”
“It’s you.” He answered decisively.
“I beg your pardon?”
“How you changed into a completely new person after your memory was lost. I’ve never experienced anything more surreal than that in my whole life.”
“Oh… I see.” Eugene couldn’t hide her disappointment as she gave him a nod. She was hoping to cushion the blow of what she’s about to tell him, perhaps by gaining his sympathy beforehand but her attempt had been of no avail.
She then drew a deep breath and closed her eyes to calm herself. When she opened them again, she was met with her husband’s curious gaze. He held a stiff expression, having perceived the nervousness from her face.
“I’ve given much thought about where I should begin. But I think it’s best to start from the incident twenty years ago, which is in fact the beginning of all tragedy. When I was only three years old, I was kidnapped, and it seemed like the incident had literally turned the Holy City upside down. Countless search troops and knights were mobilized to make sure every corner of the city was searched, even the sewerage system around the city.”
Eugene heard about the very incident which happened twenty years ago during her conversation with Dana last night. The incident was later concluded with Sang-je announcing it as nothing but an impulsive case of abduction where the perpetrators’ motive was nothing but money. However, Dana could not accept the announcement in the least.
The nanny who had been involved in the abduction of her daughter had been working for them since Enoch was born. She found it hard to believe that the nanny had betrayed them and involved herself in crime merely for the money.
“Mother had conducted some investigation of her own but since Sang-je had announced it as a closed case, she needed to do without being noticed. It took her a few years to finally get a grasp on decisive clues. It turned out that those people who were involved in abduction were in fact the followers of Mara order and the nanny had been a staunch believer of Mara. However, she had been shrewd enough to keep it from everyone around her.”
Kasser, who had been listening intently the whole time, spoke for the first time. “Your life could have been in danger. I am most suspicious of Sang-je’s intentions as well, but you were returned to your family unscathed. If that was the case, what had made Lady Arse feel the need to investigate further into the incident?”
“Ah…” Eugene’s eyes wavered along with her pounding heart when he pointed it right out. “For that, I would need to tell you about my mother’s family first. This is actually a secret which has been kept from everyone except for her family members. My mother was born with an unusual ability from birth. To put it simply, she can see aura which is invisible to the eyes of ordinary people.”
“Aura? Of what kind?”
“According to her, it seemed like she could discern the aura which envelops each individual. Sometimes they appear in color but just like everyone possesses different souls, the aura differs from one to another as well.”
Eugene swallowed down her tensed breath before she went on.
“So that is how my mother… had realized on the day I was returned to her twenty years ago. She knew right away that the girl who was returned to her wasn’t her real daughter after all.”