After coming over to give the Anika’s their invitations, Eugene decided to visit them again after a few days.
The Anikas were enjoying their tea and focusing on their hobbies when she arrived and they all went to greet her. Immediately, they bombarded her with all sorts of statements.
“Anika Jin, welcome.”
“How are the party preparations going?”
“I don’t know why time doesn’t go by faster; the party seems so far away.”
“It’s good I already have a dress. I hear that the tailors aren’t even taking orders anymore.”
They weren’t even making conversation, they were just saying whatever it was they had on their minds. No one found it annoying though, they just seemed to enjoy themselves. They were all excited for the party.
After sharing a few words with the Anikas, Eugene went about what she was actually there for. She had to leave soon to help with the party preparations, but she had to stop by to check on something.
“Are there any invitations left?” she asked.
“Yes, Anika Jin,” someone said.
The head butler brought in the basket Eugene had dropped off. All the blank invitations had been taken and the only ones left were two named ones.
Eugene picked them up to check the names. She was surprised that she knew both people well.
“Anika Katie and Anika Flora,” she read the names out loud. “Have they not been to the cottage since I dropped these off?”
“No, Anika Jin.”
She was perplexed as she started at the invitations. “They attended the last Anika meeting I was at,” she said. “Didn’t they?”
The butler nodded, “Yes, Anika Jin.”
“Neither of them have been back since then?”
The butler didn’t even think before she answered. She was confident in her memory. “I haven’t seen either of them since then.”
“Oh, okay,” Eugene said. “Well, let me know if either of them comes to take their invitation.” She handed the invitations back to the head butler.
“Yes, Anika Jin,” she said. “I’ll let you know.”
Eugene left the Anika’s cottage and went over to the Arse mansion. She had arrived just as they were changing all the curtains in the mansion. Since she knew Dana wouldn’t be helping with the curtain changing, Eugene didn’t either. Although it was nice to see all the people moving around the house with so much energy. Usually, the mansion seemed like it was asleep. Now, it was wide awake.
She went to meet her mother, but her mind was still on the invitations. She found it strange that neither had received their invites, especially Katie.
Even though she hurt Kasser, Eugene couldn’t hate her.
“Do you regret giving birth to a king child?” she had asked.
There was no hesitation in her answer. Katie had made a choice and, rather than excuse it, she owned up to it.
Eugene turned to her mother to share her thoughts and ask for advice.
“I want to give her the invitation,” she said. “I want to give it to her more naturally than just having it delivered. Do you know if there are any Anikas that are close to her?”
Dana considered it for a moment. “She and Anika Tea were like sisters a while ago,” she said. “They were always together, but I don’t know who she’s close with now.”
She must have heard the name before, yet it still seemed unfamiliar. She didn’t remember the name from when she was writing the invitations either.
“She’s already passed,” her mother told her, Eugene nodding in understanding. “She married a king of Slan while Anika Katie married the Fourth King and left the Holy City. People used to talk about the sister-like Anikas that were getting married.”
“Sorry?” Eugene said, surprised by the information. “She was married to the Do King? She was the one that gave birth to the prince of Slan?”
Eugene’s heart began pounding. The Anika who was pregnant with the king’s second child when she took her own life was Anika Katie’s best friend.
She must have known that Anika Tea was pregnant at the time.
She turned to her mother. “Mom, can I borrow one of the more discreet carriages?”