Predatory Marriage — Chapter 193. Peach Tree
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
In one of Blain’s earliest childhood memories, he remembered something his mother had told him, when he still had blond hair.
—From this day forward, you will be Estian royalty.
Even when he was a child, Blain knew that the royals of Estia were born with silver hair. But after Cerdina made him drink a strange liquid, he had begun to have silver hair. Suddenly, he entered the palace, and everyone called him Prince.
That place was filled with people who envied his sudden change in status and despised him because he was the product of an extramarital affair. It was hard for a little boy to cope with that treatment. Blain hated the palace. He asked Cerdina to go home, but she refused. She said she would do anything else he asked, but not this.
The days were horrible. One day, he was summoned to have a meal with his father, the King. Blain walked to the main palace, his face expressionless. He disliked having to call an old man his father, especially when they didn’t share a drop of blood. He didn’t understand how his mother had managed to enter the palace with such an obvious lie.
As he walked, the attendants behind him suddenly all looked in the same direction and began murmuring. Blain followed their eyes and spotted a peach tree in the distance, on the side of the palace, out of the way. Among the blooming pink flowers, there was a small white hand.
The hand was trying to reach for a flower at the edge of the branch, and finally plucked it away just as the branch broke. All the attendants gasped and shouted at once.
They thought she would fall, but the princess suddenly reappeared among the flowers and leaves, holding the flower. Her silver hair shone like a waterfall in the spring sunshine. Smiling, the purple-haired girl greeted Blain.
—Hello…! She said kindly. You must be Blain.
The branches of the tree swayed, sending down a shower of petals. Blain gaped at the girl without brushing away the petals that had fallen on his face. He couldn’t look away from the girl’s pink cheeks, soft as a peach.
To Blain, she looked like fresh fruit. As the girl climbed down the tree with her small hands and dropped to the ground, one of the attendants gently scolded her.
—Why did you come to this place alone? Something might happen to you doing that…
The scolding was filled with affection, and very different from how they spoke to Blain. The girl frowned, her lips pouting.
—Don’t say that, Princess. The royal family has no need to apologize unnecessarily.
The girl smiled a little, and though the attendants tried to look serious, they ended up smiling back. The girl suddenly thrust the flower toward Blain.
—You can have this.
She had nearly fallen out of the tree to obtain that flower. Holding out to Blain, she added,
—Next time I’ll pick a peach for you.
Wordlessly, Blain took the peach flower. His heart was beating so fast. From that day on, he always carried that flower in his pocket.
The flower eventually died, but he didn’t throw it away until worms appeared in its petals and it began to smell bad. After that, he went to his mother.
—I want her.
Cerdina understood what he wanted. She smiled faintly.
—It’s something you can’t currently have, she replied. But…
—Then, what should I do?
Her smile grew wider. In the same way she had said that she would become royalty, she told him calmly,
—Become the king. Then you can have everything you want under your feet and you will look down on others.
He had done everything to make those words come true. But even after he became King, he still did not have what he wanted. All he had done was make that woman, fresh and pink as a peach, begin to rot.