Predatory Marriage — Chapter 208. Evening Walk (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
It was a short nap, but a deep one, and felt as refreshing as if she had slept for several hours. When Leah woke, she was outside the palace. After a few moments of blinking around, disoriented, she realized she was still in Ishakan’s arms, walking through the streets of the city at night. She was wrapped in a large robe.
Her eyes widened. It was the first time she had ever left the palace, and she looked at her surroundings with careful interest.
The night streets of the city center were lit with lanterns, crowded and bustling. But strangely these streets did not seem unfamiliar, almost as if she had seen them before in her dreams. She caught a few people looking curiously in their direction, no doubt wondering why the large man was walking along, carrying a small woman in his arms. Leah tapped his shoulder lightly to tell him she was awake, but he didn’t intend to put her down.
“We’re almost there.”
They arrived at a ramshackle inn that looked as if it might collapse any moment. For some reason, it too looked familiar, and Leah stared at it as Ishakan pushed through the creaky wooden door.
“First, eat something…” he muttered. The inn was brightly lit inside and quiet. Though there were no customers, Leah smelled something so delicious, she had to swallow her saliva. Suddenly, she was as hungry as if she hadn’t eaten those dates. Usually the smell of food made her nauseous, but this time it sharpened her appetite.
“Are you hungry?” Ishakan asked, smiling at the sparkle in her eyes.
She was too hungry to try to save face. Leah nodded instantly, and Ishakan strode past the empty tables to the farthest table in the back, pulling Leah’s hood back as they sat down.
“Haban,” he said, calling someone over. A Kurkan approached proudly, carrying a tray in each hand. Leah recognized him as the same Kurkan that had rendered Countess Melissa unconscious. -Posted only on Novel Utopia.
“Kurkan food. We cooked the foods you liked in the past, though I’m not sure if they will be to your taste now,” he said as he placed the tray on the table and arranged the plates. “Mura asked me to be sure to tell you she cooked it herself. I made the zaatar manakeesh.”
Most of these words made no sense, but his good will was very clear.
“Thank you,” she said, startling him with her formal tone.
“Leah, you can talk comfortably with me…”
“That’s enough.” Ishakan interrupted. “Don’t ask too much of her.”
Haban nodded and walked away, looking discouraged, and Leah watched him go, intrigued. Ishakan caught her face in his hands.
“Don’t worry about anything. Eat first,” he said, handing her cutlery. Even the utensils had been prepared for her and were perfectly sized for her hands. Leah began to eat happily. She had never seen this kind of food before, but she felt no revulsion. It was surprising that she could eat it so easily.
As she ate, Ishakan cut the food into small pieces for her, leaving her with nothing to do but eat and enjoy it. Leah finished the meal with hot tea. It had been so long since she had been able to eat a decent meal, she felt as if she were coming back to life just at finally feeling full. Even the hot tea was so delicious, she wished she could take the cooks back with her to the palace. If she could have eaten like this every day, she would ask for nothing else.
Her gaze turned to Ishakan, and he glanced at her teacup to make sure it was almost empty before he spoke.
“There is someone I would like you to meet.”
Instantly, she sensed that it would have something to do with her lost memories. But they had treated her with great hospitality, so she would agree to meet with any person he wished.
The door of the inn creaked open and a woman with a shawl over her shoulders entered. As soon as she saw Leah, her face twisted as if she were about to burst into tears.
“Who are you?” Leah asked, bewildered by the woman’s distress.
The woman’s eyes widened with shock. But then she pursed her lips, visibly bracing herself, as if she should have expected as much.
“I’m Baroness Cinael,” she said firmly. “I used to work as a lady-in-waiting for you, Princess.”