Predatory Marriage — Chapter 184. Five Nights (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Ishakan tossed the note away indifferently and gave Leah five grapes. As she ate, he cut the food into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for her to eat, but she fiddled with her grapes.
No matter what happened, he would try to protect her, no matter what it took it, by any means necessary. It worried her. Ishakan might choose methods that were less than appropriate…
Popping one of the grapes into her mouth, she chewed and swallowed. First she had to concentrate on recovering, as soon as possible.
Five nights passed in a blink. Fortunately, on the fifth night, she rested better. She and Ishakan only caressed and sucked each other, and he did not penetrate her.
The next morning her ladies arrived early before the sun rose. When she opened her eyes, Leah looked around, but there was no sign of Ishakan.
“Leah! You’re safe…” Mura looked deeply relieved. Pushing the remains of the iron pillar and broken chains casually aside, she looked at Leah. “It seems Ishakan really cares about his bride.”
Just as she had on the first night of the wedding, Leah ate more of the red petals, then washed in a bathtub filled with them. Mura and her other ladies massaged her limbs, which had been sore for days, and then quickly dressed her.
Today she was wearing a long white dress that covered her entire body. A long veil embroidered in gold thread trailed from her back, and around her waist she wore a jeweled belt. Her silver hair was decorated with white flowers and small diamonds.
Dressed completely in white, Leah lifted a white flower to her lips. It trembled a little. It was unusual for her to be nervous, going in public, so it took her a moment to understand why.
She would soon be publicly recognized as his wife. From this day forward, Leah would be the Queen of Kurkan.
“Around here…” Mura’s face was full of anticipation. They had carried Leah in a sedan chair to the garden, filled with hundreds of white flowers that made everything smell pleasantly sweet. Many guests were seated on either side of a long wine-colored velvet carpet, and they fell silent as the bride appeared.
All eyes focused on her, watching as she walked onto the carpet, holding the skirt of her dress in her hands. It was a pleasant day, with a cool breeze blowing lightly under a warm sun. The hem of her long gown trailed behind her.
There were many people gathered at the far end of the carpet, but her gaze focused on only one. Ishakan was wearing a long robe embroidered in golden thread and gazing back at her as if he were hypnotized.
As she came to stand before him, he blinked and shook himself, leaning down to bite the flower from her lips gently. Swallowing it, he straightened and turned to face forward.
Before her, Morga held out a box and opened the lid to reveal two daggers, each trailing silk ribbons. Ishakan drew out the small silver dagger covered in amethysts and tied it to her waist, then extended a gold dagger so she could do the same to him.
Handing the box to a nearby attendant, Morga took two glasses and handed them to Leah and Ishakan. Each glass held a clear liquid, a potion to strengthen their vows. With the points of their daggers, the bride and groom pricked their ring fingers and let a drop of blood fall into each glass. As the blood blended with the clear liquid, it turned light red.
Exchanging their glasses, Leah and Ishakan slowly drank, gazing into each other’s eyes as the warmth of the potion spread through their bodies. When he had drained his glass, Ishakan spoke.
“I am your world. And you are the center of my world.”
The words emerged stiffly, almost as if he was nervous, which was very unusual. Leah had to take a deep breath herself to calm her nerves.
“Let us be a sole existence to each other,” she said.
They spoke the final vows together.
“Then I will swear to call you my husband, my wife.”
Those watching applauded thunderously, and the Kurkans seated in the front row rose to throw colorful flower petals. In the shower of petals, Leah’s smile glowed, and Ishakan wrapped his arms around her, beaming.
“Ishakan!” She whispered to him. She wanted to tell him something she hadn’t been able to say until that moment.
I love you, Ishakan.
She had repeated it in her mind over and over to make sure she wouldn’t stumble over it. But when she parted her lips to speak, firmly, so her voice wouldn’t tremble, nothing happened.
Suddenly, under her feet, black smoke billowed.
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