Predatory Marriage — Chapter 120. Disclosure
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Ishakan listened quietly and then shook out his tobacco, throwing the ashes into the tray on the nightstand.
“I mentioned that subject to her recently,” he said quietly. “There was an intense reaction. Her little body shuddered in pain, she couldn’t even scream…”
Ishakan fell silent, hugging the Princess. Quelling his emotions, he spoke again, calm and serene.
“She told me she wanted to die. Is that a spell too?”
Morga couldn’t keep the pitying expression from his face. Words as rough as thorns came from his throat.
“That’s… an instinctive defense mechanism.”
Ishakan’s cold stare encouraged Morga to keep talking.
“I think the Princess tried to overcome the spell in her own way. Unconsciously, she fought fiercely against the brainwashing, but was defeated each time, and in the end, she chose one method as a last stand…”
Unconsciously, she chose the only escape available to free her from the spell. Morga’s lips trembled as he spoke.
The room was silent. Ishakan’s lips twitched in a faint smile, but his eyes remained impassive.
Morga shuddered, lowering his eyes to the ground. He didn’t dare look his King in the face. He knew Ishakan’s anger wasn’t directed at him, but his body still shuddered with fear. Cold sweat ran down his back and for a few moments, everything before his eyes went black. Perhaps feeling the energy coursing through the room, the Princess shifted, letting out a faint sound of protest.
The suffocating energy vanished in a blink, and Ishakan sighed as he caressed her.
“I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you, Morga.”
Morga, who had died and been resurrected, drew a shaking breath.
“Can I kill the Queen?” Ishakan asked.
He asked about taking the life of the Queen of Estia as if he could break her neck whenever he wished. He wasn’t bluffing. He could do it if he wanted to. But he should not do it now. Morga had barely calmed down, but he answered so quickly he nearly bit his tongue.
“Some spells can entwine the lives of others. Until we know what spells have been cast on the Princess, we must not approach the Queen carelessly.” The words wounded his pride. “The biggest problem is that the Queen is more powerful than I expected.”
Her power was similar to Morga’s, but the ability of a sorcerer grew as they succeeded at more difficult spells. The Queen had cast hundreds of spells on many people. The more success she enjoyed, the stronger she would become.
Morga could not do it alone. To discover the spells she had cast and find a way to remove them, he would have to return to Kurkan to enlist other sorcerers. It would take considerable time to unravel these spells, since they had been wrapping around the Princess all her life.
“First, the Princess must be taken to Kurkan…” Morga began, but even after he finished his explanation, he knew that the Princess would never leave Estia on her own.
Ishakan drew another puff from his tobacco. He was struggling to suppress his nature, which was intensifying with the power of his emotions.
“I’ll do something about it,” he said.
The air was bitter with the aroma of medicinal herbs. The hands of Estia’s noblest woman were a mess, stained and sticky with medicines. Her nails were ragged and her skin was rough.
But Cerdina did not stop her grinding and mixing. She was doing it alone, without the help of any servants.
Weighing the herbs with a scale, she placed them in order in the pot boiling over a small brazier. With each new item added, the color of the bubbling liquid changed. It turned green when she put in green leaves, crystalline when she added morning dew, and reddish when she added rose petals…
Finally, she approached the bed where Blain lay. His whole body was bandaged and he lay as still as a corpse. She was anguished as she plucked a strand of his hair and placed it in a pot, making the liquid glow shimmering gold and then turn pitch black. Transferring the finished potion to a glass, she poured a drop in Blain’s mouth.
After a long time, his eyelids began to tremble, and then opened, revealing blue eyes.
Cerdina kissed his forehead, tears streaming down her face.
“Blain, my son, my dear son…”
Unlike the sobbing Cerdina, Blain was calm and looked at her silently as he swam back to consciousness.
“…Mother.” Blain spoke the thing that had been tormenting him. “I think I like Leah.”
Cerdina’s face went pale and rigid.
“I don’t want to just have that child,” he said quietly. “I want her heart.”