Predatory Marriage — Chapter 137. You Know Nothing
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
She had a strange dream. It was a simple dream of suffering, burning pain, incredibly vivid. She wondered if that would have been the sensation she would have felt if her body was burning in hellfire.
If there had been a knife in reach, she would have stabbed herself in the heart. The pain was so unbearable that all she could was cry and beg for death.
Someone held her, constantly whispering to her. She didn’t remember what he was saying. But his gentle warmth and affectionate whispers were pleasant. She clung to them through the endless pain, and when it finally stopped, she passed out.
It seemed like some time had passed. She wasn’t sure how long, but she had wandered for a long time in the dark, at least a few days, before she finally came to her senses. Leah awoke with a slight headache, frowning.
Dumbfounded, she looked around. She was in an unfamiliar place. It was not Estia. It seemed she was in a barracks. The floor was covered with exotic patterned rugs and the bed Leah was lying on was covered in a fancy patterned cloth. She pushed aside the blanket and stood up.
Or she tried.
A pained sound escaped her. She remembered drinking a potion and losing her sanity, and feeling as if her body was crumbling apart.
Leah sat up in bed and looked around again. There was a cluster of branches hanging on the wall over the head of the bed. In one corner of the barrack was a large brazier. She was accustomed to the scent it was emanating; it was the smell of the tobacco Ishakan often smoked. She sat, dazed.
A shudder wracked her. Memories appeared one after the other, as disordered as if someone had cut them into pieces. There was a sharp pain in her head, and Leah clutched it in both hands. It felt as if her skull was going to crack.
She curled up with a groan of pain. The canvas door of the barracks cracked open and sunlight illuminated the dim space.
A warmth enveloped her body like a solid shield. Leah clung desperately to it until her labored breathing calmed and her headache slowly subsided. After a long while, she raised her head, and before her eyes stood the man that even in her dreams she always wanted to see. Leah’s lips parted.
Startled by her own cracked voice, she shut her mouth. Ishakan poured water from a pitcher on the bedside table into a glass and brought it to her lips, and she quickly drank. She felt refreshed. Even the slight, lingering headache was completely gone.
It was then that she reflected on what all of it meant.
“How long have I been asleep?” That was the first thing she wanted to confirm.
“It’s been three weeks.”
Three weeks? Was that possible? Seeing her surprise, Ishakan’s eyes narrowed.
“Of course, normally a person would have died,” he said quietly. It was sorcery that had kept her alive. Leah’s lips parted.
“So, this is…”
“It’s the desert. We’re on our way to Kurkan, and it looks like we’ll be there in three days at the latest.”
Leah looked at him, shocked, but said nothing. With difficulty, she pushed him away. She wanted to confirm it with her own eyes, but as soon as she tried to get out of bed, something pulled on her left wrist with a metallic sound.
There was a thick leather cuff on her wrist, lined with soft cloth inside. A thin chain connected it to the bed to restrict her movement.
“…What is this?”
She was so bewildered by this barbaric treatment that she was almost speechless. Leah bit her lower lip hard.
“Release me immediately and send me back to Estia,” she said calmly. But Ishakan ignored her request. He only laughed shortly.
“Where to? To Byun Gyeongbaek’s territory?” His gaze was flat, and he spoke coldly. “Even if the kidnapped bride returns, she won’t have a very good time. Surely they will say that you are not pure and they will stone you mercilessly. Isn’t that how they behave in Estia?”
His sarcasm angered her.
“That’s none of your business!” Leah shouted. She saw that his golden eyes had darkened, but she couldn’t stop herself. Her voice filled with misery. “You know nothing…”
It was how she had felt when she had decided to die. It had no been an easy decision, but she had chosen death because there was no other way out. She covered her face with her hands. She felt like crying. Ishakan had never left her, which made her so happy and so miserable at the same time. Because she knew what could happen.
It wasn’t too late. She had to go back. She was about to beg him to send her away, when she heard his low voice.
“I don’t know what, Leah.” His tone was unusually quiet. Leah lowered her hands, her shoulders shaking.
Ishakan’s eyes were icier than ever. He was barely controlling his anger.