Predatory Marriage — Chapter 167. Byun Gyeongbaek Kidnapping (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
The barbarians had said boldly that they would kidnap Princess Leah. It seemed quite possible. They were the followers of the former barbarian King and they knew the internal structure of the royal palace. They had suggested that Byun Gyeongbaek lead his men into the desert to meet them, as the other Kurkans would pursue the Princess’s kidnappers. They would lead them into a trap.
Byun Gyeongbaek had foolishly committed to do just that. He didn’t know that the kidnappers had an ulterior motive. They would lead their pursuers to Byun Gyeongbaek, but then continue fleeing with the Princess.
He had gathered as many troops as he could to march into the desert immediately. The commander of his knights had strongly opposed the idea, but Byun Gyeongbaek had insisted. He was sure civilized soldiers would easily defeat the barbarians if they faced them properly.
But he regretted it almost as soon as they began to march. He wanted to hold the Princess in his arms as soon as possible, but the wilderness was cruel. It was the first time that he had stayed in the desert for days in a row, and though he was being carried by his attendants, the swift changes in heat and cold were unbearable.
Tonight was no different. In the night sky, the stars flowed like a river, a magnificent sight, but Byun Gyeongbaek was huddled in his tent.
He was sick of the desert. He didn’t even want to look at it anymore. He fell asleep muttering curses.
Late in the night, he woke up with a start. It was very cold inside his tent. The brazier had burned out, and the oil lamp was dark. He felt a shiver run through his body. In the dark tent, he rose and tried to hurry outside, but…
Something struck the back of his head, and he fell into the dark.
When he came to his senses, he was sitting in a hard wooden chair, tied so tightly that it felt as if his blood wasn’t circulating properly. His eyes were blindfolded, but he was not gagged. As he twisted, trying desperately to free himself, he felt someone else’s presence.
“Who are you?” He cried out desperately. His lips were dry. “I’ll give you all the money you want…”
When the blindfold over his eyes was removed, he was stunned.
“It’s been a while, Byun Gyeongbaek,” the man said arrogantly. “You should have been grateful that you hadn’t heard from me. Why are you doing unnecessary things? You’re making me notice you.”
“You, Ishakan…!” Byun Gyeongbaek looked around quickly. He didn’t recognize this tent. He had set out to kidnap the Princess and ended up being kidnapped himself. He couldn’t believe it. Rage filled him.
“But it’s not me you’re going to speak with today,” Ishakan went on calmly as Byun Gyeongbaek yanked at his restraints. The canvas tent door opened and a woman entered.
Byun Gyeongbaek’s eyes opened wide.
Her face was fresh as a flower in full bloom. Her eyes looked more vivid than ever before, bright as amethysts. She was filled with vitality, and her cheeks had color, like peaches.
“Byun Gyeongbaek.” She said slowly.
“Princess…?” He muttered, perplexed.
Ishakan had talked about kidnapping Byun Gyeongbaek as if it were an evening excursion. His behavior was beyond belief.
“What’s the point of kidnapping him…?”
“It’s a gift,” Ishakan answered easily. “I can kill him or keep him alive, as you wish…” He whispered with a smile. “I will.”
Looking into his golden, glowing eyes, Leah understood his intentions. What he meant to accomplish was quite simple. He wanted her trust.
Even though he had brought her to the desert, he knew she was anxious and unstable. The Queen was the biggest problem, but that couldn’t be solved yet. So Ishakan was making an example of Byun Gyeongbaek to prove that he could protect her.
Ishakan never hesitated. If she asked him to kill Byun Gyeongbaek, he would cut his throat and bring her his head.
But she didn’t just want him dead. Death was not enough to pay for everything he had done. Before he died, she would make him pay.
Byun Gyeongbaek looked from Ishakan to Leah and back again.
“You don’t have a relationship with this barbarian, do you?” he asked suddenly.
Leah didn’t need to reply. Her silence spoke for her.
“With a lowly beast?!” He shouted furiously. The wooden chair creaked at his violent struggling, but the tight ropes didn’t loosen. They only rasped his skin. “You don’t even know,” he said through gritted teeth. “He was a slave!”