Predatory Marriage — Chapter 189. Appearance (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Leah had been in love with Blain for a long time. He had stood by her and cared for her after she lost her mother. She still vividly remembered the moment when she had confessed her feelings for him, in a beautiful garden full of peonies. With a peony trembling in her hand, she had told him she loved him, and Blain had said they would have a great wedding.
Every time Blain upset her, she remembered that day. The warmth of the sunshine, the cool breeze, and the happiness she had felt…in spite of his cold words and actions, she knew he loved her.
But sometimes he would push her to the limit, as if he was trying to test her. Today was no different.
“Aren’t you jealous?”
At his question, Leah’s hands froze on her cutlery. She had come to dine at the main palace at his request, and she slowly swallowed the food in her mouth.
“Don’t you feel anything even if I’m with another girl in front of you?” He asked again.
Leah’s lips quivered. She wasn’t sure how she should answer that question.
“…All right,” she said hesitantly, trying to guess what he wanted. Of course her pride was hurt, but there was nothing she could do about it. She was defective. She could not fulfill her role as his wife. She had no choice but to tolerate it.
But Blain didn’t seem to like that answer. His gaze turned fierce and his knife clicked loudly against his dish.
“You don’t care what I do?” He asked dangerously.
Though she was trying to give him the answer she wanted, no matter how hard she thought, Leah couldn’t guess what that might be. Blain frowned at her as she blinked, puzzled. He took a deep breath.
“What happened to the skins?” He asked.
The precious animal hides he had acquired on his hunt had all been sent to her palace. He was such a good hunter, he had managed to kill all of them without damaging the skins too much. Unfortunately, she hadn’t had time to look at them.
“I’ll look after dinner,” she said quickly. She had been too busy with the backlog of paperwork, but she would have to take care of it soon. “I had a lot of work today…”
Fortunately, he didn’t say anything. He knew how overworked she was.
“Just tell me if you like anything. I’ll bring more next time.”
Pulling a small box from his pocket, he handed it to her. Inside was an ornate diamond-encrusted ring with an amethyst in the center. Her eyes went to his hand, where there was a ring on his ring finger in the same shape, made of diamonds and a sapphire.
It was probably an engagement ring.
“Put it on.”
Taking the ring out of its box, she slid it onto her finger. It felt heavy and burdensome, likely because of the side of the gemstones, and she couldn’t believe he had given her such an expensive ring when the palace budget had already been drastically reduced because of the wedding. She couldn’t be happy when she knew where the money for it had come from.
“You really don’t like this stuff. But wear it anyway,” Blain said. Even though she didn’t look happy with the gift, he was satisfied just to see her wear it. “Do you want any other gifts?”
The thought came suddenly to her mind, and Leah spoke it unconsciously. “A quill.”
“…A quill?” Blain asked incredulously.
“The other day you gave me some quills,” Leah said, smiling slightly. “You sharpened the tips yourself.”
It was a precious memory. She thought it would make him happy, but his face twisted with fury, as if he were about to scream and rage.
“Well, I have a lot of paperwork to do, so…” she said quickly, trying to distract him. She bit her lower lip. “I’m sorry. I guess I said something meaningless.”
At her dejected expression, he rose from his seat and swept plates and cutlery from the table with a wave of his arms, sending them crashing to the floor.
“Come to the room today,” he ordered, looking at Leah.
Her eyes darkened as Blain turned and left. The servant that had placed the last course of the meal on the table stepped back silently, and Leah stared at the dish in front of her, which she had barely touched.
Time passed. Leah sat and shivered, distracted. Once the sun had gone completely down, one of Blain’s attendants came to fetch her from her palace.
It had been a sunny day, but over the course of the afternoon it had clouded over, and now it was pouring outside. Walking under the umbrella held by the attendant, Leah’s feet felt like lead. She didn’t want to go. She knew she should tolerate it for the man she loved, but she just couldn’t.
As soon as she reached Blain’s chambers, she could hear the moaning. The attendant opened the door, and Leah entered under Blain’s sharp eyes.