Predatory Marriage — Chapter 239. Precipitated Meeting (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
The words shocked her. The title Queen of Kurkan echoed in her mind. But outwardly, Leah was unperturbed.
“You’re talking nonsense,” she said. “Why would I have to save your life?”
Rummaging through the basket of roses with one hand, the Toma woman showed her a glass bottle filled with black liquid, hidden among the flowers. A Tomari potion.
“This will help clear your mind,” she said. “If you have any doubts, then ask those that are guarding you what this potion is for.”
At first Leah thought she meant the knights. But her knights couldn’t possibly know anything about strange potions. And then Leah understood who the old woman meant.
“…I’ll take the roses.”
As Leah took the basket, the Toma woman thanked her profusely.
“But I can’t guarantee your life,” Leah clarified. “I don’t have that power.”
The old woman smiled as if she had heard something funny.
“The Kurkans will always follow the wishes of their Queen,” she whispered. “Please don’t forget this meeting.”
And the old Toma woman walked away. The coachman spat in her direction and snapped the reins, starting the carriage forward. Leah closed the window and slid the curtains back into place, stroking the petals of the roses in the basket. She hadn’t seen fresh flowers since she left the peach orchard. -Posted only on Novel Utopia.
Her head lowered.
She wanted Ishakan.
She had decided to return to the palace of her own will, despite the bitterness of their separation, and she was determined that she would have something to show for it. She had to do everything she could in the time he had given her.
Caressing the flower petals, she imagined what it would be like, once she had regained all her memories. She would be able to stand by his side without any shadows to trouble her.
As she was lost in these thoughts, the carriage made its way to a small farm and halted. Climbing out of the carriage, Leah walked over to the gate, which was locked with a large padlock. When she peered over the fence, she saw that the place was overgrown with weeds. It looked abandoned.
Somehow, Leah did not think it would have been in this condition if Baroness Cinael had been taking care of it. But Leah didn’t believe she had sold it, either. She would have to find another time to go to the modest mansion where the baroness had lived.
Leaving the small farm behind, Leah set out for the center of town. Her next destination was a quiet two-story teahouse. There weren’t many customers. It was a good place to relax, but today she had not come for tea.
As she descended the carriage, the knights moved to follow her, but Leah halted them.
“Wait for me outside,” she instructed. “Besides, today’s errands are private.”
“We can’t do that, Princess.”
She chuckled at their worried expressions.
“Since when do you care about my safety?”
“You were all asleep at the orchard,” she said. “Someone slipped you a sleeping elixir. Who could have done such a thing?”
“My ladies-in-waiting could not possibly be so friendly with Lady Mirael,” Leah said, with exaggerated thoughtfulness. “So I suppose the traitor must be one of you.”
The faces of the knights turned rigid.
“Remember that it is I who spared your lives,” Leah said coldly, and entered the teahouse alone.
The employees there had hosted the princess several times before, so one of them led her to a table on the second floor without comment. Leah dismissed the server and then stood alone, looking out the window. Well-dressed people were walking about on the street outside.
As she sat in a patch of sunlight and sipped at her tea, she decided to check and see if she was being followed. Suddenly, she set down her teacup and began to breathe in heavy, labored gasps. She clutched at her belly, a sound of pain escaping her.
Instantly, a man appeared from the shadows of the high ceiling, dropping to the floor as softly as a cat. It was Haban, one of Ishakan’s escorts. His face was pale.
“Are you all right? I’ll go get Morga right now…!”
He was about to dive out the window when Leah sat up straight and looked at him calmly. Haban stopped.
“Doesn’t your stomach hurt…?” He asked quizzically.
Leah shook her head. She hadn’t had any stomach pains since she had come back from the orchard.
“My heart almost burst!” Haban clutched his chest and sighed heavily.
“Ishakan ordered you to follow me?” Leah asked quietly.
“Oh, I’m not following you, I’m just…escorting you to make sure nothing happens to you. Genin wanted to, but she was worried she wouldn’t be able to hide. She’s too big,” Haban explained, and immediately apologized. “I’m sorry. It was rude to not ask your permission.”
“No. I’m quite relieved to have you around.”
The dejected Haban’s eyes lit up.
“Of course I am.”
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