Predatory Marriage — Chapter 100. Unexpected Visitor
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Leah felt as if she were walking in a dream. Every time she remembered her conversation with Ishakan in the Glory Room, her heart raced. The shadow of melancholy that had always lain over her had evaporated.
Nothing was definite yet, but a faint hope had grown inside her, assuring her that somehow everything would work out. She would never have felt this optimism by herself.
She wasn’t permitted to enjoy this feeling for long. An unexpected visitor burst into her office, demanding her attention without even seeking an appointment.
“I haven’t seen your face lately, Leah.”
Leah looked up from the documents she was reviewing.
“Crown Prince,” she said quietly.
The royal palace maids following him were desperate, trying to dissuade Blain, but had been unsuccessful. Leah set her quill aside.
“Bring me some tea,” she ordered. The tea was an excuse for the maids to stay away and not get caught up in anything unpleasant, like last time. Blain sat down on the couch in front of desk, arrogantly, with his legs outstretched. His hair had the same silvery shade as hers, glowing softly like the moon. Leah looked at him with obvious disinterest.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Blain asked sharply.
Leah bit her lip, holding back displeasure. “Hurry up and tell me what you want.”
“I’m going to hunt with the wild beasts,” he said. “I want you to come too.”
He wasn’t just informing her, he was giving her an order. The hand resting on her desk trembled, and she clenched it into a fist. Blain had already ruined the luncheon, now what was he planning?
She ignored the way his lips curved. “We barely had our first negotiation meeting. Please, can’t you just sit still until the negotiations are completely over?”
Blain laughed. “You’ve gotten more arrogant!”
He got up from the couch and slowly approached Leah, placing his hands on her desk. She eyed him warily, but he smiled broadly.
“Seems like something’s been going on lately,” he whispered. “You’ve been accepting everything the Kurkans want.” His pale fingers gently brushed over Leah’s hair, as if he were tidying it. “If you like that beast so much, what would you think if we had him sleep in the stable?”
His hand suddenly tightened painfully in her hair.
“It would be exciting to see him among the horses,” he teased.
“If that were to happen, surely the nobles would admire Estia’s hospitality.” Leah said without altering her expression. She expected him to lift his hand and slap her, but the blow never came. He just laughed.
“Bring a handkerchief on the day of the hunt,” he told her.
And that was that. Before the maids could even bring the tea, Blain was gone. Leah took up her quill again, and the ink at its tip fell like tears, blotting the sheet of paper before her. The darkness fell like a shadow over her body.
She felt terrible.
A haunting voice echoed behind a closed door. The sounds within were unmistakable, enough to make anyone’s ears burn, but Blain, sitting on a nearby sofa, was indifferent. His face only reflected incredible boredom. The maids standing behind Blain did their best to keep their faces equally expressionless, and silently refilled his glass every time he emptied it.
A final moan issued from behind the closed door. After a few moments, the door opened, and Cerdina stepped out of the doorway, pushing her sweaty hair aside. Her eyes widened.
A thick scent accompanied her out the door, sweet, heavy, and sickening. When Blain frowned at her, she only smiled softly and pushed the door open wider to reveal the scene behind her.
The King was inside, lying naked and unashamed on the bed, looking dreamily at the ceiling. His eyes were unfocused, devoid of spirit. They looked like the eyes of a doll.
Cerdina rearranged her mussed dress to better hide her figure, still smiling.
“I don’t know if it’s a side effect of the spell, but it looks like it will take some time.” Barefoot, she walked over to Blain and sat beside him, her voice affectionate. “Have you been waiting long? Why didn’t you come in?”
Blain snorted. “ know exactly what you’re doing. How could I come in?”
“Well, this is much better than behaving like a mother who wastes her son’s precious time,” she said, sipping from a glass the maids handed her.
Blain’s gaze unconsciously shifted to the King, who was still lying in silence. Seeing the King’s silver hair, he started to think. It was said that blood cannot be deceived, and the two men were very much alike. Blain had heard that when the King was younger, he had been a very handsome man, as handsome as his son.
Cerdina saw Blain looking at the King and burst out laughing. Blain quickly averted his eyes, too late.
“You want me to do the same with Leah, a lifeless doll?” she asked, smiling coldly. Her soft voice was enticing.