Predatory Marriage — Chapter 143. Birth Of The Kurkans (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
As Leah slept, the Kurkans began to move again. All through the march, she slept peacefully in Ishakan’s arms, with no worries.
The Kurkans continued even after the sun had disappeared and darkness came. The temperature fell sharply at night in the desert, and travelers usually sought various ways to warm themselves, such as lighting fires or lying on stones that had been heated by the sun all day. If they didn’t, they could die of hypothermia.
But this didn’t bother the Kurkans. They had a higher body temperature than humans, and eyes that could see in the dark, so they often marched at night when it was cold.
For Leah, however, the nights in the desert would be very cold. Ishakan held her in his arms as he marched, sharing his body heat with her.
Ishakan looked up at the white stars shining in the black night sky, and then looked down at Leah in his arms, stroking her head. Yesterday she had awakened for a while, but then she had fallen asleep again and had yet to wake up. Listening to her rhythmic breathing, he slowly looked back. The march suddenly stopped. All the Kurkans looked beyond the dunes.
Soon, dozens of people appeared in the bright moonlight. It looked like a caravan crossing the desert at first glance, but as they approached, their bronzed skins could be seen. Haban waved his big hand at the front, and Genin beside him lifted her hand.
In three weeks, they had crossed more than half the desert outside of Estian territory. Though it seemed fast, it was actually a poor speed to avoid pursuit, slowed by Leah’s poor condition. But thanks to Haban and Genin’s efforts, the pursuing royals hadn’t overtaken them. With their thirty Kurkan warriors, they had ambushed the pursuers and successfully completed their mission.
But that wasn’t all. They had been able to obtain information from the nobles Ishakan had bribed and intercept the messengers sent to Byun Gyeongbaek. He wouldn’t discover the details of Leah’s capture until after she had arrived safely at the Kurkan royal palace.
“We have returned, Ishakan.” Genin greeted him with a respectful bow. Haban looked at Leah sleeping in Ishakan’s arms.
“Is the Queen all right?” He asked mischievously.
Ishakan laughed at the title.
“Please, call her Leah. She hasn’t decided anything.”
“Good work, Genin, Haban,” said Morga, approaching and tying up his long hair. He had been carried like luggage inside a wagon, and his hair was in disarray. Haban looked at Morga’s tired face and was surprised by his own sympathy for the magician.
“The Tomari on the mainland are on the move,” Genin informed Ishakan. The words made all the Kurkans’ eyes turn icy. “Though it is not certain..from the direction, it seems they are gathering in Estia.”
“Will the Queen try to do something?”
“This is the first time we’ve seen such a large mobilization. I think we need to be careful.”
“We will hold a meeting as soon as we return,” he said.
“Yes, Ishakan.” Genin turned her eyes toward Leah, who was still sleeping soundly. “She still hasn’t woken up yet?”
“She woke up for a while yesterday. She’s been sleeping ever since.”
“Fortunately, Ishakan’s blood worked better than I expected,” said Morga, who had been listening. His eyes were full of admiration as he looked at the King.
“Because Ishakan is special,” he said matter-of-factly.
The reason he was special was related to the creation of the Kurkans.
Long ago, there had been a people who did not settle in any land, but wandered from place to place. This group of nomads were known as Tomaris on the mainland, but they referred to themselves as Toma. In their language, this meant “person.” The Toma wanted to be respected as a people, but there was no way they could be treated as a nation when they didn’t own any land.
After many years of persecution and contemptible treatment, the Toma developed a deep-rooted sense of inferiority, angry and vengeful. When these emotions were at their peak, one of the Toma declared:
—Stand up, Toma! We are going to have our land.
At the words of this powerful sorceress, the Toma gathered, determined to find a land of their own to settle. But as nomads they lacked the structures they needed, strong knights and arms. It would be impossible for them to take lands from other countries. And so they struck on the solution of creating a new army. A powerful army that no country could stop.
At first, they kidnapped children and brainwashed them, but since no one had ever handled an army, they did not know how to train soldiers. They made several attempts, but all ended in failure, and the Toma finally resorted to a taboo.
Creation of non-humans.
Using spells, they attempted interbreeding with beasts. The magic of the Toma and the strength of the beasts conceived a being that should never have existed. Though he had the appearance of a human, he was half human, half beast.
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