Predatory Marriage — Chapter 21. His Services
The startled maids froze and reacted too late. Countess Melissa grabbed her skirt in anger and shouted at him.
“That is too rude!”
But as soon Melissa looked into Ishakan’s eyes, she froze. Her face went pale, and breath hitched. Her body trembled with absolute fear. Leah immediately stood in front of Countess Melissa, protecting her from his line of sight.
“He’s the king.”
Ishakan turned to Leah. Countess Melissa breathed a sigh of relief as the attention was off of her. Leah then looked straight into his eyes.
“Touching the body of a royalty without permission is a breach of respect in Estia. As long as you’re here, I’d like you to follow Estia’s etiquette.”
The maids were merely fulfilling their duties. Ishakan should have to do the same. But surprisingly, he admitted his mistake.
“I made a mistake.”
The maids, as well as Leah, shrunk back in surprise. They couldn’t believe that an apology came out so easily from the mouth of a king. No royalty ever acted this way; admitting one’s mistake meant giving up their pride.
But Ishakan admitted his fault as if it was nothing and gently looked at Leah. She fought the urge to look away and met his steady gaze.
“Hunting is like second nature to Kurkan’s…” He started to explain.
His lips pulled up into a smile, “So if you turn your back to me, my natural instinct would be to chase and catch you.”
In contrast to his relaxed smile, his words carried a frightening meaning, causing the atmosphere to become tense. The way he talked and behaved, it was as if Leah was prey for him. But she didn’t budge. She considered being silent to be a much better option than having a nonsensical argument with him.
Ishakan stared at her, and slowly, his mouth lifted up into a smile.
“Will you show me around the palace?”
His words were like poison. Byun Gyonbaek’s fiancé hanging out with the King of Kurkans? It would be the gossip of the century.
She was sure that if she accepted, a rumor claiming that the King of Kurkans was hitting on the princess of Estia would spread like wildfire.
Despite being aware of this, she couldn’t reject his request. Compared to the powerful weapon Ishakan could use against Leah, the rumor was nothing.
Ishakan held out his hand, asking her to escort him. Reluctantly, she laid her hand on top of his in acceptance.
Frightened, the maids called out to Leah. Countess Melissa trembled as she recalled the fear she felt while confronting Ishakan.
“I’m fine. You may go ahead.”
“I have to entertain the guest.”
After comforting the terrified maids, Leah leads the way as she showed him around. Ishakan followed her at a leisurely pace. She tried to head to a secluded place, but it was impossible to avoid the people’s curious eyes completely. With every step they took, the more gazes followed them.
To Leah, their eyes felt like bees stinging her continuously.
She walked faster. Only after reaching a quiet garden did her breathing return to normal.
Around them, shrubs and bushes stood, concealing their figures from passers-by. In the middle of the garden, there was a fountain installed over a square slab of stone, from which water serenely poured out.
The fountain was in the form of a sculpture, carved by a famous artist. This masterpiece was honed according to the beautiful, naked form of a male deity. All over the palace of Estia, such works of art laid unattended in gardens.
Ishakan stopped as Leah stopped in front of the fountain. After confirming that there were finally alone, did she turned around and faced him.
Unlike the delicate, finely adorned palace of Estia, Ishakan was strong and wild. He stood out against the splendid palace like a drop of blood against stark white skin.
“Did you know this from the beginning?”
Ishakan raised his brows, so Leah repeated her question, her face devoid of any expression.
“I’m asking you if you approached me knowing I’m the princess of Estia.”
Asking that question took a lot of courage. Instead of explaining himself, Ishakan merely said,
“What if I say yes?”
Now that they were alone, Ishakan immediately revealed his true colors, dropping any pretense of etiquette. His attitude was crude and straightforward.
Leah couldn’t reply. Ishakan laughed and stepped closer to her. “What if I knew and approached you? What will you do?”
“I’m wondering whether you will take advantage of my weakness and use it against me.” His eyes twinkled as he listened to her words with great delight, finding everything that she says fascinating.
“Ishakan.” He suddenly interjected.
She didn’t understand what he meant. In a friendly tone, he continued.
“Don’t refer to me as the king of Kurkans. Call me Ishakan.”
Is this a command or a request? Either way, she didn’t have a choice, so she tried calling him by his name.
It felt odd calling him as casually as this. As his name rolled from her tongue, her heart raced. To conceal her agitation, she toughened up her tone.
“I want you to clarify your actions. Do you regard me as a princess?” She calmly retorted. “Your perception of me will dictate how I should treat you—whether as the king of Kurkans…or a prost!tute.”
For this, Ishakan burst into laughter, finding her outburst quite adorable. Leah, on the other hand, was fixated on his pointy canines, which was revealed as his mouth opened wide.
“If I ask you to treat me as a prostitute, will you pay me for my services?”
Indeed, he loved to play with her words. Leah pursed her lips and kept her ire at bay, “I’ll give you as much as you want.”
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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