It could have been someone with the same name, but what were the chances that a bettor would choose the name Hogan out of all the other names they could have picked? How could it not be Hogan Wallfred?
As he returned to his carriage, Kasser had a gnawing feeling in his stomach. He couldn’t stop thinking about the man that he despised the most. He couldn’t stop picturing the man’s face, couldn’t forget what the man had done to his mother.
He wasn’t the kind of person who held grudges. Time could heal a lot of wounds and he learned that it didn’t take long for him to let go of things that had once bothered him. But he was still human and there were still some things that hurt him more than they should have.
He used to think that these pains were things he had to carry with him on his own but, as he lay with someone soft and kind in his arms, his heart began to feel at peace. All the things that had happened to him suddenly lost their meaning.
Why did it matter that the stone king was lazy and his birth mother’s husband was addicted to gambling when he was finally with someone he cared for? In the end, he was able to get the pass. That was what he came for, the rest of it didn’t matter so much.
No matter what happened now, even if he suddenly had to flee the kingdom in the middle of the night, he knew how he could find peace and safety. He would keep Eugene in his arms, he would never leave her behind.
Suddenly, she spoke. “I think you’d like to know about who I met today.”
Eugene sat up and Kasser followed.
“I met someone from the Muen family,” she said. “She’s a child, but she’s the granddaughter of my grandmother’s brother, a cousin of sorts. The Muen family knew that my grandmother married the master of the Arse family.”
She told him about the items that Hitasya gave her, pulling out the notebook and giving Kasser the pendant for him to inspect.
“I’ve tried to figure out what it means, but I still have no idea,” Eugene said. “I think it means something important though. Can you take a look at it? You might find something I’ve missed.”
Kasser opened the blank notebook and studied it for a moment before nodding. “I think there is a letter for you here,” he said, looking up at Eugene. “I think it’s written in special ink, that’s why you can’t see it.”
He called a servant to bring a brazier and a steel plate into the room. He ripped off the first page of the notebook and placed it on the plate which he heated up over the brazier’s flame. Slowly, words started to appear on the page. When he was done with the first page, he moved onto the second, then the third, until all the blank pages were filled with words that they had not seen before.
Eugene stared as Kasser handed her the last page.
“I think that’s all,” he told her. There was about half of the notebook left, but no words were appearing anymore when he heated the pages up.
“I feel so stupid,” she said, staring at the pages.
Kasser furrowed his brows. “Why?”
“I stared at the notebook for so long wondering what it might have meant, but you knew at once that all you needed to do was apply heat,” she said, looking up at him. “You’re amazing.”
Kasser felt himself blush under the intensity of her gaze. Honestly, he hadn’t done much. If she had brought the notebook to the Arse mansion, the master would have done the same thing that he had done. It was a well-known way of exchanging letters in secret. Perhaps in the past, it would have been considered groundbreaking, but now most people knew about it.
But with Eugene looking at him with those beautiful eyes of hers, he couldn’t find it in himself to tell her the truth of how he’d figured it out. Instead, he just coughed and looked away.
Eventually, she turned to the pages and began to read the letters. The writing was big enough and spread-out across the pages so there wasn’t really a lot for her to read.
It’s a shame that we must meet each other in this way. My name is Thas Muen. Anika Jin’s maternal grandmother, Lesa Muen, is my aunt. If you don’t believe that your grandmother was a member of the Muen family, then ask your mother. She definitely knows.
The letter started with a brief introduction from Thas. As they had never met before and this was her first time hearing from him, the tone was light and the message was simple. It didn’t say much, but at least the words weren’t cold. Eugene thought that the person who wrote this letter must be very calm and collected.
The senior of the family wants to meet you. He has something important to tell you—but it’s difficult to meet you in person.
There was no further explanation of who the senior was and why he wanted to meet her. It didn’t tell her anything about the things she wanted to know like why they had hidden the fact that they were relatives and why they were only revealing it now.
If you have ever heard of the name Muen, I think you must know the special ability that the Muen family possesses. The senior of the family has found a way to talk to you without meeting in person, but for it to work, we need something.