Predatory Marriage — Chapter 119. Devotion to Estia
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
“Are you going to ask Ishakan what his zodiac sign is?”
“Don’t talk nonsense, Haban.”
Haban quickly covered his mouth with one hand at Morga’s rebuke, hiding his smile. Morga ignored him and wiped away a cold sweat with the back of his hand. Normally he would have tormented Haban with various spells, but at the moment he was tense and preoccupied with something else. Carefully, he tied back his long hair before he entered the king’s bedroom.
In the furthest part of the room, a burly man sat on a wide bed, holding a small form wrapped in a thick blanket in one arm. In his other hand he held a tobacco. He took a puff, slowly exhaling the smoke. The gray smoke filled the air, and though tobacco could influence a Kurkan’s nature, there was no hint of languor in his eyes. He was too agitated for it to affect him. His piercing golden eyes stared at Morga.
“Ishakan.” Morga bowed his head in respect.
“Morga,” the man said slowly, and Morga slowly raised his head. He recognized what Ishakan held so lovingly in his embrace. Wrapped in the white blanket was the delicate little Princess of Estia. From the look of her, it seemed she would melt as quickly as a snowflake, captured in the palm of a hand.
He stared at her. Though she was beautiful, she always attracted the eye strangely. He remembered when he saw her in the forest, her face as expressionless as a doll’s. Her purple eyes were beautiful, but expressionless. She had perfectly suited the gloom of the forest.
But that same Princess now slept so peacefully, her cheeks flushed. She didn’t look like the expressionless doll he had seen. She seemed like a different person. Looking at her slightly parted lips, Morga could understand why Byun Gyeongbaek was obsessed with her. If such an indifferent person could show a little kindness…
Morga quickly shook away the thoughts that rose to his mind before he could filter them out. If Ishakan knew what he was thinking, he would tear him to pieces. And Morga did not want a pitiful or premature death. He had a great future as a sorcerer and wanted to live a long time as the chief of his tribe. – Advanced Chapters in NovelUtopia
In his mind, he quickly listed twenty-five medicinal herb formulas in reverse order, and only when he was completely composed did he speak.
“There’s no problem if tobacco smoke permeates the air. But it can be very poisonous to her, so remember she should not directly inhale the smoke.”
Morga nodded and approached the bed. Moving the blanket a little, Ishakan pulled the Princess’s hand out. Even that delicate hand was elegant, with fine veins running its length, and Morga admired it for a moment.
Taking out a medicinal bottle, he let a single drop of potion fall on her wrist. The liquid was as clear as dew but began to darken rapidly on her skin, and then to smoke, crackling until it dispersed, horrible and disturbing. As Morga looked at her clean wrist, which showed no traces of the smoke, he frowned.
“I can’t decipher it all, but… I’m sure of this.” He said it firmly. “The Princess is under a powerful brainwashing.”
Devotion to Estia
Although there seemed to be other spells involved, they were so intrinsic to the overall spell that he could only confirm brainwashing for now.
“The brainwashing is based on her own ideals. Since the princess loves Estia, the brainwashing should have started from that point.”
It would have begun as a small seed and grown gradually over time, leading her to eventually prioritize her country over her own welfare. It was also linked to the royal family, so in her mind Estia could only exist if the royal family existed.
“Since the spell went on for a long time, she probably can’t distinguish between her own thoughts and brainwashing.” Morga’s voice was strained. “If you remove the brainwashing recklessly, her mind will collapse.”
It was a brainwashing that intertwined the Princess’s own values, beliefs, and ideas, accumulated over a lifetime. Now, it could not even practically be considered brainwashing. It was fundamental to her mental structure.
“Dedication to Estia… the Princess’s life doesn’t even belong to herself.”
Morga looked at the princess with sympathy. She honored the family in her role as the Flower of Estia all her life, and worked without caring for her own body because of this imposed devotion, until she had finally been sold to Byun Gyeonbaek. They were using her up, with her consent.