Predatory Marriage — Chapter 106. Have You Gained Weight? (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
“What are you thinking?” Cerdina asked. “We’re finally together after so long, and we don’t even talk.”
“Why are you apologizing? After all, you’ve been busy with negotiations these days,” Cerdina said, seemingly embarrassed. “Please remember that you don’t have to exert yourself. The peace treaty is not so essential to the future of Estia.”
Leah kept quiet. She knew Cerdina had more to say.
“In fact, I think it was a ridiculous endeavor from the beginning. How can we relate to such beasts?” Cerdina’s attractive face began to twist, her expression becoming far less pleasant. Her pleasant facade was replaced by her true nature, cold and stern. “Those vulgar things…”
Leah swallowed. She felt her throat constrict, and her mouth was suddenly very dry. Cerdina’s words had cleared up the doubts she had felt since the luncheon. Cerdina hadn’t wanted to negotiate from the beginning. But why? Leah couldn’t understand it, knowing that Blain might succeed the throne. If they had a peace treaty, they could curb Byun Gyeongbaek’s influence…
“But, Leah…” Cerdina spoke once more, examining Leah closely. “Have you gained weight?”
She frowned, and under the stinging comment, Leah felt as if someone was pressing down on her chest. Unconsciously, she clutched her dress.
“As busy as you are, you shouldn’t neglect something so basic, don’t you think?” Cerdina’s delicate hand caressed Leah’s pale cheek. Although it looked like an affectionate gesture, Leah trembled under the touch. “I hope you won’t disappoint me.”
Every time Leah stood before the queen, she felt like a fragile little girl. As if all her convictions and experiences evaporated, and she became a helpless child again who could do nothing but tremble in fear. Leah’s voice came out tremulous and helpless.
“I’ll be careful.”
“Remember to call me mother when you talk to me.”
“All right. Mother.”
“Yes. You’re very kind,” Cerdina smiled. She could see the fear in Leah’s eyes. “So docile. I have taught my children well, don’t you think?”
Leah nodded quickly, and Cerdina smiled broadly.
“The crown prince!” An attendant shouted, hurrying toward them, frantic and sweating.
“Blain? What happened to him?” Cerdina’s eyes immediately narrowed and her calm appearance vanished, her face grave and fierce. The swift shift unsettled the attendant.
“His Highness was wounded.”
In the hierarchy of the Kurkans, each tribe would have its own chief, and above the chiefs, was the king. Morga, the chief of the tribe that carried the blood of the serpent, had a talent for sorcery.
Like the Gypsies, only a few Kurkans had the ability to master sorcery. And because of this gift, Morga had become powerful, and rose to the top of the hierarchy. He was one of the few Kurkans with such a great ability and good looks. But his reputation was one of the worst among his people, and only his power made up for his terrible personality.
“Mars will be out this day,” he said coldly. “Bad luck looms over us and fills the air with violence and aggression. Impatient, easily angered,” he warned. “Aries must be careful.” Turning to his companion, he asked, “are you Aries?”
“Then what constellation were you born under?”
“I don’t know.”
Morga clicked his tongue at the answer, dissatisfied. “That’s not good, Haban, not good at all. You should be careful where you walk.”
At that moment, Haban stumbled over the protruding root of a tree and fell, hitting the ground with a sickening shriek. Unfortunately, Morga had cast a spell without his realizing it.