Predatory Marriage — Chapter 16. She Does Not Remember Me
Cerdina welcomed Leah with a melodious, tender voice and affectionate eyes. Leah trembled slightly but quickly suppressed it, not wanting to appear nervous. Since all her attention was on Cerdina, she failed to notice her surroundings.
The room was filled with colorful dresses and jewelry boxes. Cerdina gently smiled and explained it to a surprised Leah, “Byun Gyeongbaek sent all these presents for you. They’re extremely precious and beautiful…”
He must’ve known that if he sent the gifts to her, she would’ve returned them. So, he sent them directly to the queen’s quarters.
The thought of wearing ornaments chosen by him made her sick. She wanted to get rid of them right away. But now that they were in Cerdina’s hands, there was nothing she could do but accept it.
Cerdina picked up a velvet box and pulled out a glittering necklace, embellished with expensive jewels. Leah meekly approached her and sat down. Leah felt the cold metal touch her bare skin as Cerdina put the necklace on her. The moment she heard the click of the latch locking, she felt herself being bound by shackles.
Cerdina repeatedly complimented the necklace. “It really suits you! The moment I saw it, I thought it was meant just for you. Byun Gyeongbaek sure has great taste.”
Like always, Leah replied with an air of indifference, “Thank you, Mother.”
Content on seeing her wear the necklace, Cerdina smiled. With graceful movements, she got up and held out her hand towards Leah. Leah reluctantly accepted the gesture and the two of them headed to the dining hall.
As they seated themselves, Leah was on the edge. She paid careful attention to her movements, trying not to make any mistake.
Time went by as they dined on light appetizers, the main course consisting of seafood and meat, and a sweet dessert. The whole time, they kept making small talk.
“Too bad Blaine can’t be with us. He’s so addicted to hunting…”
“He promised to catch a fox for you, didn’t he, mother?”
“Yes, he’s the only one who takes care of me. As his mother, I’m happy with his extreme devotion towards his parents, but I’m afraid I might get jealous once he becomes the crown prince.”
As the meal came to an end, Leah’s gaze landed on the cake in front of her while she sipped on the wine. The man’s voice lingered in her ears, urging her. Eat more. You’re thinner than the winter branches.
He’d insisted on her having a lot of bread and stew. A bitter smile bloomed on her face as she thought of him. Suddenly, she felt tempted by the dessert.
Maybe she could have a small bite? The thick, cheese-filled cake seemingly kept calling out to her. She courageously stretched out her hand.
“Leah,” a fierce voice resonated as if intending to whip her.
Frightened, Leah retracted her hand. It was certain. She’d lost her mind. Eating a cake in front of Cerdina, of all people?
“I just wanted to taste it. Just a small bite. I-I was just wondering what it tasted like,” awkward excuses poured out from her mouth.
Cerdina stared at Leah and then softly smiled as she asked her, “I hope you’re not neglecting your diet, especially when you have your wedding coming up soon.”
“Yes, I will be careful. I’m sorry.”
Leah put down the fork. The still half-full plate haunted her eyes. She’d already finished the amount she usually ate, but she felt especially hungry that day.
She tried to resist the appetizing smell of food and soothed her empty stomach with wine instead.
The man, nimbly straddled on the thick branches of a nearby tree, looked at the beautiful royal palace.
Immersed in the darkness, the palace of Estia was dimly illuminated by the moonlight. The elegant scenery was like a work of art; however, there was no spark of interest in the man’s golden eyes, evident from the way he narrowed slightly.
She’s trapped like a doll in a picturesque palace.
She’d grown so thin since the last time he saw her. His eyes turned cold.
“Ishakan!” A slender young man climbed up the tree and called out to him. The young man perched himself on the lower branch like an agile cat, “Everything’s ready. As you requested, I sent a letter, got a reply, and finished the rest. “
Then he tilted his head and asked. “What do you intend to do next?”
Ishakan thought of an answer to Suha’s question. His one-night stand with her wasn’t a part of his original plan.
There were many reasons as to why he came to Estia, but the most important one was his interest in Leah. He wanted to check whether she still remembered him. He thought that if he met her and spoke to her once, he would be able to let go of the past memories. Perhaps, if she wanted, he would’ve granted her requests as well.
But when he heard that she was looking for a one-night stand, that plan fell apart like dry sand.
It wasn’t uncommon for those of noble blood to be proud of fulfilling their sexual desires through shady means. But the fact that he pretended to be a gigolo to approach her was beyond ridiculous.
He wanted to offer a proper one-night stand to this princess who pretended to be chaste on the outside, but behaved impudently. Not used to experience, she was obviously afraid. After all, it was her first time. As Ishakan reminisced about the night of their affair, he recalled her small whisper.
I wanted to die.
It wasn’t a lie. She had made up her mind. He could see it in her black, seemingly dead eyes.
Ishakan’s lips twisted into a frown, “She does not remember me.”
Suha rolled his eyes and opened his mouth. “It was a thing in the past. Besides, you’ve changed a lot since then.”
He was right. The present Ishakan had changed beyond recognition.
“Yes, that’s right. But first…” Ishakan spoke, making a stabbing gesture in the air, as if wanting to kill the night.
In a much more serious and sinister tone, he asked, “Shall we go meet the princess?”
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
To support the translator of the chapter (onedaythreeautumns) click here: Ko-Fi