Kasser was already coming up the stairs after having alighted from the carriage when Eugene opened the door to the manor’s porch. She felt a sudden rush of tickling sensations on her fingertips when she saw his eyes smile as their eyes met. She stood and watched as he walked over to her side while her hands slightly curled into a fist without her realizing it.
“Was everything alright?”
Eugene gave a nod instead of an answer as hearing his voice somehow made her nose tingle. It was strange how his words instantly turned her into a child who had a bad day, although she seemed just fine when she left the palace and even after seeing her mother’s face.
“How did you know I was here?”
“I just know.” Kasser grinned after giving her a rather vague answer. Eugene smiled back even broader as the mere sight of his face was enough to make her all smiles.
“Something interesting happened while I was at the palace. I’ll tell you later when we get home.” Eugene couldn’t wait to tell him about how she managed to control her Ramita, wholly at her will.
Dana, however, was quick to set forth her proposal as soon as she saw her daughter come back with her husband.
“Will you two stay for a meal today?”
Eugene could feel the silent pressure behind her mother’s smile which she dared not to disobey. She responded with a sheepish smile and told her mother that they would stay for the meal.
As her two brothers weren’t home, the four of them sat around the table and had a meal. And when everyone was just about to finish their meal, Dana spoke up. “Jin, I was thinking of getting you some clothes.”
“But I brought enough for my stay.”
“Still, you will need some clothes here as well.”
“Aren’t there enough clothes from before? Like the ones I changed into when I stayed for the night.”
Dana instantly knot her brows and said with a stiff expression on her face, “I’m going to throw them all away. I can’t possibly let you wear those. Last time was an exception as there weren’t other clothes for you to wear.”
Eugene thought it was wasteful. But seeing her mother’s determined look, she realized she wouldn’t be able to change her mind.
“Besides, you’ll also need a new dress for the banquet. I’ll call Madame Janette to come over…no. Perhaps it’s better if we go out together.”
Dana could hardly remember the very last time she visited the dress shop in person as she usually had a tailor come over to take her measurements for as long as she can remember. All the meaningless courtesies she must exchange upon every encounter, deterred her from leaving the manor.
However, she no longer felt the same about meeting people now that she could finally show off her one and only daughter to the world with confidence.
“Right now? Perhaps next time, mother.”
“Why not go today while we are on the subject of it? Or is there an urgent matter for you to leave in such a hurry?”
Dana’s eyes were on the Desert King even though her question was directed to her daughter.
Kasser swiftly intervened while he lowered the teacup he was holding, “We have no other plans for today.”
She gazed at her daughter again. Eugene looked hesitant to give an answer right away.
She was torn between her mother and her husband. Kasser, who clearly had been worried sick after she went to the palace alone. He would be disappointed if she were to choose her mother over him, especially when he had already come all the way to the Arse manor for her. But then she wouldn’t be able to avoid the sense of guilt if she were to choose her husband instead, as that would make her an awful daughter, who wouldn’t spend time with her mother.
“If I may, I would be happy to be your escort today.” Kasser suggested a compromise.
“Are you suggesting that you will accompany us to the dressmaker’s?” asked Dana, with her eyes rounded with surprise.
“Yes, if I’m not troubling you, Lady Arse.”
Dana’s face lightened up in a broad smile at once. “Of course not. That would be most splendid.”
Patrick kept his silence while he nursed his tea, hoping that his wife wouldn’t ask him to come along as well. Although it’s already been more than a decade, his last outing with his wife had been as tiresome as any long-distance trip in his opinion.
In fact, he had never seen his wife do anything in a half-hearted manner before. Patrick quietly wished his son-in-law good luck knowing that her such tendency was evident even when she shopped for clothes.