Predatory Marriage — Chapter 124. In Cerdina’s Hands
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
“Hmm. It’s more broken than I thought. That barbarian sorcerer is pretty good. But it doesn’t look like he’s been able to go deep.”
Cerdina frowned, annoyed.
“Actually, it was hard when I cast the first spell four years ago, too. You tried to get out of the brainwashing as soon as the slightest opportunity appeared.” She waited, watching until Leah had suffered enough to break her will, then asked generously, “Does it hurt, Leah?”
Leah nodded frantically. She apologized without hesitation for her behavior. She would have kissed Cerdina’s feet to stop the pain.
Cerdina burst out laughing and snapped her fingers, and the hellish pain disappeared instantly. Leah sat on the floor, panting. Sitting across from her, Cerdina gently stroked her silver hair. When Leah tried to turn her head away, it felt as if her heart collapsed. Her body didn’t move, but she felt like a stranger in her own body. Even inhaling and exhaling felt strange, as if her spirit was in someone else’s body. Cold sweat ran down her back and Cerdina smiled as fear flashed in Leah’s eyes.
“You don’t have to be so afraid.” Slowly, she scratched under Leah’s chin with a fingernail, drawing a red line in the white skin. Leah had no choice but to endure the pain. Looking at her quivering purple eyes, Cerdina smiled graciously.
“Have you ever strangled someone you love?”
Leah’s hands moved by themselves and closed around her own neck, strangling her. Cerdina’s eyes curved as she watched her turn red from lack of air. As soon as her consciousness faded, her hands released, and Leah gasped in a breath. She felt as if her heart had been about to explode, and she didn’t get much time to compose herself.
“Have you ever stuck a knife in a heart?”
Leah couldn’t move her lips. Cerdina pondered and then said, “ahh…”
She touched Leah’s lips with a finger, and only then could Leah speak.
“You don’t want to, do you? You hate pain.”
“Yes… I hate it…”
“Then don’t think about anything unnecessary.” Cerdina caressed Leah’s pale cheek lovingly. “Don’t say anything to Blain. I don’t think he’ll like you being in this state. Of course, you’d better not tell anyone else either.” She smiled coldly. “We’ll keep it a secret between mother and daughter.”
Leah nodded slowly, her eyes blank. Tears slid down on her cheek, caught on her chin, and dropped on the floor. Cerdina smirked.
“Starting today, control your eating. The wedding is near, but you’ve gained a lot of weight.”
She stood gracefully and looked at Leah, who sat despondently on the floor.
“Then I’m leaving,” she said quietly. “It’s been nice talking to you, Leah.”
The doorknob, which hadn’t budged in spite of Leah’s desperate attempts, turned easily. Cerdina opened the door and left.
Alone, Leah lowered her head. Her silver hair fell like a waterfall and a hollow laugh escaped her. It was ridiculous. She had been sure she hadn’t been bewitched, just because she didn’t look like the King. But now she knew she was in a terrible state. Another puppet.
Cerdina’s warning was clear. The Queen could control her body, which meant if Leah did anything stupid, she would make her suffer.
Leah imagined herself strangling Ishakan. Plunging a knife into his heart. Her mind had only just cleared, and now it darkened again. The darkness swept over her from head to toe.
For a long time, she stayed where she was. Slowly, she raised her head, looking around in a daze. The memory of her euphoric night in this room with Ishakan seemed distant. Her ankles were still bound with chains. The freedom she had dreamed of had never existed.
“Ishakan…” Leah said desperately.
Tears well up again. She would never set foot on those desert sands in her life. She would never be with him.