Predatory Marriage — Chapter 110. Proposition (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Thus ended the hunt, and the royal palace was disturbed by the incident. Unsure how to approach the case, the royal court decided not to hold a trial for the present. Blain had been badly wounded, but the circumstances were very complex. Even if Ishakan had overreacted, Blain had shot the arrow first, though according to those who had accompanied Blain, he had been provoked.
Ishakan had probably taken advantage of the situation. Due to Blain’s actions, the negotiations couldn’t be concluded. Instead of using Leah, the cunning man had used Blain to get what he wanted.
The strange thing was that the reason Blain had done so was his fury at Ishakan’s mention of an incestuous marriage. In Estia, consanguineous marriages were permitted to protect the bloodline. But it wasn’t recommended except as a last resort. Of course, there was no reason for Leah and Blain to get married, but Blain had still lashed out as if Ishakan had stabbed him.
Until now, Blain had been tormenting Leah as if she were an object, his property. Although it gave him the satisfaction of humiliating her, it was an indication of his own low self-esteem and possessiveness.
But what Ishakan had said to her in the barracks was strange, and there had been situations where Blain acted like he was interested in her. Leah sighed and set down the document in her hand.
But what was the point now? It was all over.
There was a stack of documents piled on her small table, but Leah had no interest in them. Peering out the window, she could see the fire burning in the distant Queen’s Palace. Cerdina had taken Blain there and was guarding him.
Cerdina had expected some conflict during the hunt, but she hadn’t thought Blain would be seriously wounded. And she was clearly not in her right mind.
Looking out at the palace, Leah closed the curtain and sat down on the couch, burying her face in her palms.
Since returning from the forest, she hadn’t been able to do anything. Even though she wasn’t alone, she couldn’t focus enough to go through the documents. Right now it was difficult even to think of the peace treaty. All her hard work had been futile.
What should she do?
No matter how much she thought about it, there was nothing else to be done. As the negotiations became more complicated, even tax reform became uncertain. It would be too obvious if she tried to manipulate Byun Gyeongbaek again using the succession. And she couldn’t take advantage of the Queen’s Gypsy parentage because she had no real evidence.
She felt lost. She bit her lips until they were swollen and red.
There was a knocking on the glass balcony door that seemed familiar, and a shadow behind the curtain. Standing, she slowly walked forward. The intruder tried to open the door, as if he couldn’t wait for her to reach it.
When she pulled aside the curtain, she looked up at the man on the other side of the glass door. And before she could pretend to be surprised, she stopped. His golden eyes were grim, filled with a mixture of compassion, affection, sadness, and anger, all directed at Leah.
She didn’t understand his expression, and as soon as he saw her surprise, Ishakan quickly wiped it away and smiled with his usual mischief, knocking on the glass agan. Leah opened the latch and he stepped impatiently inside.
“What’s for dinner?”
The question made her smile, and he pulled her close, his chin resting on her head.
“I didn’t get to eat because I was busy, and I’m sure you didn’t either.” Ignoring the fact that he had broken Blain’s wrist, he suggested, “let’s go eat something delicious together.”
But Leah shook her head. She had no appetite. Gently, she pushed him away.
“How’s your shoulder?” She asked. She had heard Blain had shot him with an arrow, but he seemed fine.
“It hurts,” Ishakan replied, frowning.
“I rarely get hurt, but because of you, I’ve already been wounded twice.”
Of course, Leah wasn’t to blame for Blain shooting him, but she didn’t refute him because he was injured. Ishakan gently traced the bridge of Leah’s nose with his fingers.
“You feel guilty, right? That’s why we should have dinner together. Patients need to be fed properly to recover.”
Leah smiled. Ishakan was a sophist. But soon the smile faded. The thoughts of the failed negotiations popped into her head, and she knew the Kurkans would return to the desert soon. There would be no more time with Ishakan. The thought of his leaving for a place so far away made her heart twist strangely. She had become used to Ishakan turning her life upside down, and now his presence was normal to her.
Could they be together again?
She knew the answer. It would not happen. When she looked down silently, she heard a sigh.
“It’s all over,” said Ishakan. He looked down into her eyes. “Though they cannot punish us, any moment the King will order the expulsion of the Kurkans…”
He placed his hands on her cheeks, conveying his warmth for her.
“This country would collapse even if negotiations had been completed. Stop holding on to this.”
And he said something she would never have imagined.
“Come with me to the desert.”
The sweet whisper penetrated her heart.
“Be my fiancée, Leah.”