Predatory Marriage — Chapter 130. Before Leaving
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Preparations to travel to the frontier were completed quickly. There wasn’t much to be done since Leah wouldn’t be bringing much and she wouldn’t be taking her ladies-in-waiting with her. The atmosphere in the palace had not been good since Blain had been wounded, and Leah’s departure would be as quiet as that of the Kurkans.
On her last day in the palace, Leah went to see the King. Their relationship had deteriorated so much, she couldn’t even remember calling him father. But she thought she should see him again before she died. It wasn’t anything to do with the surge of emotions she was feeling because he too was close to his death.
Leah looked at the man sitting across from her. His unfocused eyes were not unlike those of her ladies-in-waiting. Before she had still felt he was alive, but lacked the ability to discern things. Now there was not even that. Cerdina no longer needed to hide anything from Leah. She didn’t go to the trouble of restoring even a little of the King’s consciousness.
Looking at his silver hair and wrinkled face, Leah spoke slowly.
“…Why?” Her cold voice was filled with resentment. “Why did you abandon my mother and let that woman in? I don’t understand what good is in her…”
Leah clenched her fists.
“Do you know what you’ve done?” She asked the King. She had tried so hard, but it had all been in vain. Leah’s voice faded to a helpless mutter. “Estia is ruined…”
There was no answer. No matter what she said, she was only talking to herself. Leah looked into the King’s empty eyes and stood, feeling only unhappiness. The people who saw the Princess walking alone without any attendants were bewildered, but Leah didn’t care.
As she walked aimlessly, she unknowingly moved toward the hall of the main palace. It was the place where she and Ishakan had first met as the Princess of Estia and the King of the Kurkans. There was no activity. The hall was empty and silent. She gazed at the gleaming throne at the end of the hall and the rows of pillars, and then moved on.
The next place she stopped was the conference room. After a quick glance at the place where she had bargained with him, she made her way to the Glory Room.
The well-kept sculptures and paintings looked as beautiful as ever. Walking amidst the storied works of art from the long history of her country, Leah came to stand in the center of the palace. The beam of light descended from the window in the ceiling, and she stood under it to feel the warmth of the sun, remembering the voice that had told her she looked beautiful.
Passing down the corridor where they had had another conversation some time ago, she stopped at the fountain. She couldn’t help smiling at the thought that the seeds he had thrown into the bushes might grow into date palms.
On her way back to the Princess Palace, she felt a chill. Even though the owner of the palace had returned, none of her ladies-in-waiting came to greet her. Leah walked around the palace, which now lacked any human warmth. In the flower gardens outside, new flowers had been planted in various colors where before there had only been white tuberoses.
When she returned to her bedroom, she drew back the curtain carefully, opening the glass door and stepping out onto the balcony. She stood for a long time, clinging to the railing. It felt as if at any moment, she would jump.
But she finally returned to the bed and sat, stroking the white blanket. It was as if she had some feelings lingering. For a while, she stroked the blanket, and then got up and went to her office. Sitting at her desk, she pulled out a blank sheet of paper. She grabbed a quill and wrote.
She finished it in neat calligraphy. She had done it in the hope that there would be no controversy over whether her death was a suicide or a homicide. The contents were brief because she did not have much to say. Putting her signature at the bottom of the page, she stamped it with the seal used in the Princess Palace.
Leah read it again and stored it in the bottom of a drawer. When she died, she guessed someone might find it if they sorted through her belongings.
After reviewing documents pertaining to the gifts to be distributed to her ladies-in-waiting and other nobles who had helped her, she put them with her last will. Everything was done. Leah returned to her bedroom and went to bed early.
The day came to leave the Palace of Estia.