“You’re lying.” She appeared skeptical, “How… exactly did you understand? And how come you take everything so easily? You don’t seem surprised at all.” She raised her voice and was caught off guard by her own audacity. She must have sounded shameless and undignified to him, but she preferred to be berated than to be lied to.
If they don’t come to a mutual understanding with each other now, it would mean that she would have to live with another ticking bomb, not knowing when it might explode on them.
“I was surprised enough by what you’ve just said. And I’m not taking this matter lightly in the least. However, I was reminded of what Aldrit had told us as I listened to you.”
“Aldrit?” Eugene muttered as an unexpected name was brought up.
“Aldrit had explained to us once that Lark was never really a creature from this world. It was his ancestors who had summoned them over from another world. If that was true indeed, it might be possible for one’s soul to be switched as well. If I hadn’t heard all these from Aldrit before, it would have been harder for me to believe you. So…”
Kasser trailed off with a slight hesitation, which had made Eugene tense up all over, bracing herself for the real blow to come. “You really aren’t the same person who I’d married three years ago?”
“Yes, I’m not.” Eugene gave him a firm reply.
Kasser however, stared at her in silence before he went on with a hint of displeasure in his voice. “So, what are you trying to propose?”
“Technically speaking, the rule and regulation which humans are legally obliged to abide by, is meant to be applied on the human body to be exact. Since the soul is invisible to our eyes.”
“What do you mean?” Eugene’s brows furrowed since she had no idea of what he was trying to say.
“My point being a switch in one’s soul does not provide any grounds for annulment or divorce alike. Our marriage is thus impeccable with every procedural justification.”
Eugene belatedly realized what he was trying to point out. She wondered if he had been mulling over this matter earlier with the stern look on his face. All tension left her body while laughter escaped from her lips against her will.
“You really are unbelievable. I can’t believe—” She bit her lips before she could finish her sentence. However, it wasn’t enough to stop her tears from bursting.
Some part of her knew that he wouldn’t turn his back from her completely. Still, she expected for their relationship to be affected in some ways. She had braced herself should he say something which might hurt her feelings.
She wondered if this was how one would feel upon encountering a vast flat land stretching before the eyes instead of a rugged mountain which one had been fearfully bracing for.
Eugene had her eyes closed for a moment before she reopened them as tears filled her eyes, making it impossible to see him clearly. She quickly wiped the tears with her hand as they streamed down along her cheeks. But she couldn’t help but break into laughter when she caught sight of his flustered expression. She reflected how ludicrous she might seem to him as she continued to laugh and cry at the same time.
“I don’t know what to say… My mind is completely blank. I hadn’t nearly finished half of what I’d prepared to say. I didn’t even get started on the most important part. Is there anything you want to ask me instead? Please go on and ask me anything.”
“I do have something to ask.”
Eugene was startled by his prompt reply as if he had been waiting for her permission to ask. Her relaxed heart seemed to tense up once again.
“What is it about?”
“It’s about Sir Pides.”
Eugene asked back not because she didn’t catch the name but rather because she was dumbfounded to hear an unexpected name coming into their conversation out of nowhere.
“Is he…” Kasser’s voice trailed off as he became self-conscious of his petty jealousy after bringing the name up to her on impulse.
Flora’s remark was running through his mind since yesterday as he wondered what she meant by bringing Sir Pides on her next visit as a gift to Eugene.
And as a matter of fact, Kasser has long been suspicious of Sang-je’s intention ever since Sir Pides came to deliver Sang-je’s letter in person. He also offered to escort Eugene to the Holy City at Sang-je’s bidding. It was very unusual for Sang-je to send his most faithful right-hand knight on such a long mission as he normally keeps them at his sides.
Instinctively, Kasser suspected that Eugene was in fact well acquainted with the knight. And since she was favored more than any other Anikas, Sang-je could’ve contacted her privately through his most favored knight. If so, she must have met with the knight quite frequently in the past.
However, Eugene was rather indifferent to Pides as she didn’t seem particularly glad when he came as her escort nor did she show any sign which hinted that she had a personal acquaintance with him. Hence gradually, Kasser started to pay less attention to Pides.
Although Pides’s existence remained as an eyesore to him, Kasser wasn’t bothered as much as before, so long as the knight was out of his sight.
But that was until he heard Flora’s remark yesterday.
“Your Majesty. What is it about Sir Pides?” Eugene asked again after a lengthy silence. But the king only remained silent without saying any word.
“Did something happen yesterday? Or did Sir Pides come to see me, perchance?”
“…Would his visit,”
“…be a gift to you?”