Chapter 8: The First Born Child
Ririna stepped away slowly from her car, slipping her driver a note with the list of tasks he has to do while she’s in the Han Manor. Looking up at her grandfather’s place, she whistled with appreciation at its grandeur. The manor was simply stunningly beautiful, with ivory covered walls and pillars, huge windows that give a sense of elegance and simplicity. Yet, there are large trees that made the place looks mysterious and untouchable.
Adjusting her shoulder bag on her side, she walked towards the imposing grand double doors in front and softly knock on one side of the doors. Realizing that she hasn’t knock hard enough to be heard from the inside, she readied herself to knock louder when the door finally flew open.
She stepped back slightly in surprise. She didn’t expect that she will be noticed with that simple knock. Well, it does make sense. The place was too quiet, only the chirping birds of the trees and the gentle breeze could be heard. A middle-aged man clad in a butler suit welcomed her.
“Miss Ririna Han?” he asked. But to her, it sounds more like a statement. His eyes narrowing as he checked her profile.
“Yes, I’m Ririna Han,” she replied, nodding her head.
The man let out a smile of contentment. He didn’t expect that the Eldest Miss of the Han Family resembled the previous young lady. The only difference he could say was while the previous young lady was meek and gentle, the woman in front of him is elegant and domineering without a hint of arrogance. One could say that her beauty isn’t the only edge she has compared to other women.
“Follow me, Miss Ririna. The Master is waiting for you in the courtyard.”
Following the older man to the courtyard, she noticed some artworks and paintings that hang along the walls of the pathway. Then she noticed a familiar painting up above the stairway, her eyes widening in realization. It was the very first painting she created after giving birth to Skyler.
She didn’t know that this painting will end up on her family’s possession.
When they reached the courtyard, she saw his grandfather sitting alone while taking a sip of his tea. Her grandfather still looks capable and strong in spite of his old age. His frame is admirable, never faltering on his any move.
“Master Han, the eldest miss is here.” the butler introduced her with an arm gesturing at her.
“Grandfather,” Ririna greeted, bowing her head slightly to her grandfather.
Her grandfather motioned her to take a seat and join him in his afternoon tea.
“I see you finally have time to see me now. Say, Ririna, do you still care for this old man?”
Ririna smiled sheepishly at her grandfather.
“Master Han should know that he is my one and only grandfather.”
“Ah, that’s good to hear. I’ve been waiting for you to give a call.”
“I’m sorry, Gramps. I’m quite busy lately. I didn’t intend to neglect you.” she said with a cheeky smile before saying thanks to the butler for her cup of Earl Grey Tea that he had served before leaving the two of them alone.
“I don’t understand. I thought you said that you aren’t coming back here. I assumed you migrated and gave up on your father’s new family.” the old man wondered. She had left the country five years ago with his help. Of course, he is very happy that she’s here and only one call away from him.
Ririna didn’t say anything in response. She is contemplating if she should tell him the reason why she came back.
Years ago, she swore that she would never come back to this place. With a newborn baby on her side, she had to eliminate all dangers and possibilities that might hurt her child in the future.
But what has triggered her to come back so suddenly?
She took an old blue envelope from her bag and placed it on the table before pushing it towards her grandfather. Picking up the envelope from the table, the old man gave her a questioning look before taking out a sheet of paper from within.
Reading the letter, he suddenly sat up straight. His hands slightly shaking before looking back at her once more.
“Ririna, this is?”
She only nodded back at him. She looked down at her cup of tea and pondered a little.
“I received that letter a month ago, grandfather. I was also surprised when I read its content. I always knew that my mother’s death wasn’t a simple accident.” she finally said.
“Someone killed my daughter? I… but why?” his eyebrows knitted in confusion. Ririna’s mother was a proper lady. Never once did she cause an issue or problem within the family. Who would have the motive to kill her?
Someone sent this letter to provoke Ririna. It seems they are trying to make her join the game of death with this invitation letter. Did they intend to use her as another chess piece? He hoped not. He will never forgive himself if he also lost his only granddaughter.
“Don’t mention this to Uncle, Gramps,” Ririna said. “It’s better that the fewer people know about it; the greater the chance that these perpetrators will make a mistake.” And she couldn’t wait for them to do it. One wrong move and she will take advantage of it.
He couldn’t believe what his granddaughter was telling him. Isn’t she afraid that these people are going after her? This game is too dangerous. Does she really want to know who the mastermind behind her mother’s death is? He, himself, would like to know. But to do it by herself? She’s walking towards a battleground she couldn’t win.
“Ririna. You are the only granddaughter I have. While I’m happy that your Uncle was able to provide me, two grandsons, you are the only woman left in our family. Are you sure about this?” he asked.
“There’s no other choice, Gramps. I know that they are luring me to a game but I don’t have any intention to lose.” her eyes glinting with murderous intent, one that her Grandfather has never seen before.
Before having Skyler, she spent years in the dark and dangerous world of the Underworld. She has seen things that the public would never dare to see: things that make you question your morals and beliefs.
“I only have one request for you, Gramps,” Ririna said. “If ever I couldn’t make it…”
“Don’t say such words, Ririna! If you need something… if you want something, you only have to ask me! If I have to spend every single cent to support you, to protect you, I will! They made a grave mistake by killing my daughter!” The gentleness on her grandfather’s face vanished and was replaced with anger and rage.
“I have something to protect, Gramps,” she muttered. Looking at her grandfather’s reaction, she continued, “I’m sorry for not informing you earlier but… I have a child.” Her face softened at the thought of her son.
Well, this is another big news. A child? Since when? He never knew she got a lover before. For years, he had tried hard to find her after her mother’s death. He refused to believe that she’s dead but her sudden disappearance was questionable. No one knew what had happened to her.
He sighed in disbelief. There are so many things he didn’t know about his granddaughter. Imagine his surprise when she arrived at his doorstep five years ago, asking for help. She needed to get out of the country as soon as possible, which he happily obliged to do.
“I’m hoping it isn’t a daughter,” he said.
One of Ririna’s perfect eyebrows raised in his statement?
“What’s wrong with a daughter?” she asked.
The old man laughed as if he was remembering something funny.
“I don’t know if your mother told you this before. There is a belief in your grandmother’s family that every woman in their family can only produce a first-born daughter, never a son. These firstborn daughters bear the curse that they will all end up having misfortunes with their husbands.”
She never heard any of it from her mother when she was still alive. Now that she thinks of it, her mother got a misfortune when she married her useless father. Her grandmother, her mother and she, were all first-born daughters. Would that mean she also bears the cursed on having misfortune with her man? Not that she has one, she thought.
A sudden realization hit her.
“Grandma has a misfortune on you, Gramps? How come?”
The old man shook his head, his eyes flashed with sudden guilt.
“Although I loved her very much, I wasn’t always around. I never gave her enough time, I was always at work. When she fell sick, she didn’t even inform me about it.”
Silence followed between the two of them. One seemed busy reminiscing the past, the other one thinking of the misfortune she had when she fell in love with Eli.
“Well, Gramps. It seems I’m starting to break the curse and it will probably end with me. I have a firstborn son instead of a daughter.” she finally said, breaking the awkwardness around.
It was quite funny when she saw her grandfather’s head lifting with widened eyes. His jaw dropped in surprise at what she had said. Always, always in their family, there was only a firstborn daughter. This was proven to him by his deceased wife when she made a family tree indicating each first-born daughter in every generation.
Ririna is the one and only firstborn daughter that gave birth to a son.
She nodded, giving him a gentle smile.
“Yes, Gramps. I have a four-year-old son. His name is Skyler and he bears your last name.”
Happiness filled the old man’s heart. He never expected that Ririna will give him such wonderful news. While he couldn’t pass the title as the young master of the Han Family to her child, he would gladly welcome this child into the family. The blood of the Han family runs through his veins.
“But who’s the father of the child? Are you still together?”
On these questions, Ririna stilled her movements. Should she come clean to her grandfather? The Han Family isn’t as wealthy and influential as the Park Family. Even if she tries to deny it, Skyler is also a Park. Looking at her grandfather who is waiting for an answer, she shrugged her shoulders and leaned her back on the cushion of the chair.
“No, we aren’t. As much as possible, Gramps, don’t let him take my son.”
“As if he could.” her grandfather scoffed. He assumed that she only got hooked up with a commoner who doesn’t know her value.
“Of course, he could. He is Gamaliel Park,” she replied.
The cup of tea on his hands fell abruptly on the table when she said it.
“What did you just say?!”
His eyes widened at her revelation. Did she just say she hooked up with the devil and had his child?