“Now that we know Sang-je’s intention is to prevent Anika and the king from having a closer relationship, we’ll be able to attract his attention should the rumor about us getting along, reach his ears. In the meantime, we can conduct further investigation on the spells or the ancient tribe while he’s distracted with us.”
“In other words, you’re telling me to buy you more presents in public like today, isn’t it?”
“That’s not what I was talking about.” Eugene said, giving him a light push at his chest as he sounded serious.
“But I won’t refuse it if you do.” Eugene coyly added.
After letting out a low chuckle, Kasser scooped her up and sat her down on his desk. The desk indeed had put her about the same eye level as him. He brushed across her cheek and ran his right hand through her hair.
There’s no denying that the woman before him is Anika since her black-as-coal hair and eyes strongly resembled that of his mother’s.
His birth mother, however, was a woman without even the tiniest sense of responsibility. But it was a common characteristic that could be easily found from Anikas who got married to a king like his own mother. And it was especially hard to expect responsibility from them as they hardly played their role as a wife, queen or even a mother to their own child.
Naturally, Kasser harbored ill feelings against Anika. Which explains why he was so indifferent when he got married three years ago, without a slightest hope nor expectation on married life.
Even he found it hard to believe how much he’s changed in just the past few months as never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that he’ll ever come to love someone with all his heart.
And thus through Eugene, he’s learned that it was foolish of him to blindly hate someone with a prejudiced view, just because she was an Anika.
“You said you’ll be attending a tea party tomorrow, right?”
“Yes, but I don’t know the exact time yet.” Indeed, Eugene was going to a tea party with Dana tomorrow. Although it was a small gathering of a group of less than ten attendees, she’s heard that they all have great influences in high society.
Plus, she’s told by Dana that it was customary to make appearances in such gatherings and get acquainted with people, for the banquet to be held in great success. Hence, for the time being, Eugene decided to attend various gatherings along with her mother.
“I’m sure you’ll come to hear about or even come across her in person as you start attending gatherings in Holy City.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Lady Wallfred. My birth mother.” Kasser said, staring at his own reflection in her twinkling black eyes.
Shock was evident in Eugene’s eyes. And only after blankly blinking her eyes in silence for a moment, she managed a murmur out under her breath, “Ah.”
“She requested Sang-je that she would like to be called Lady Wallfred instead of Anika after she remarried her current husband.”
“What happens… after making such a request?”
“It is unusual but there are Anikas who feel burdened to receive special treatments just because they are Anika. It practically means that they officially renounce the name as well as all the privileges they received as Anika.”
Kasser was surprised by the fact that he was telling Eugene about his mother with remarkable equanimity. Especially as he used to loathe to even think about his mother. And after so much time has passed, he believed that he had already long forgotten about her. But truthfully speaking, he’d been resenting her for as long as he can remember while keeping his hatred for his mother bottled inside him.
But now, he finally felt like he was ready to let everything go.
“My birth mother, Lady Wallfred, was borne into a rather adverse environment, growing up under pretentious and greedy parents, who tried to use their daughter to satisfy their endless avarice.”
The parents of Anika are known to be guaranteed a life-long pension throughout their whole lives. However, it seemed like it wasn’t enough for Lady Wallfred’s parents.
Katie Wallfred , Kasser’s mother, was highly popular in the marriage market because she was an Anika indeed. As a matter of fact, there were plenty of men who offered a great sum of dowry, wishing for their children to be born with God’s blessing.
As a result, Katie’s parents had started to receive dowry from their prospective sons-in-law before breaking the engagement with various reasons in the end. It has become a scam. Later, with continuous occurrences of similar victims, nobody came forward to ask Katie for her hand in marriage anymore.
And it seemed like Katie’s parents led an extravagant lifestyle as it was their desire to be accepted as a member of the upper class. But as money started to run out, they decided to present their daughter in a different marriage market this time.
“That’s why she married the late king.”
“Just because of the monetary gift from Sang-je?” Eugene asked, unbelievingly.
And Kasser only gave her a nod.