Predatory Marriage — Chapter 24. Intruder (1)
Leah felt her face flush from anger as she listened to the insults Blain spat at her. She huffed out angrily and straightened up her posture, fixing up her disheveled state of dress before shooting him a sharp glare.
“Don’t worry, brother,” she hissed, “Even if Byun Gyongbaek scares me, I won’t do that,” she reassured.
Blain’s face had winced momentarily at the mention of Byun Gyongbaek, before schooling his features into a scowl as he stared down Leah with a manic grin.
“You’re good.” he said, “Very good at denying, even hiding in the gardens with the King of Kurkans, no less,” he whispered. His face drawing near until his mouth was a breath away from her ear.
He let go of his grip on her hair, hands trailing down, caressing her cheek. His long, slender fingers patted her cheek gently, quirking his head at her with a mocking concern.
“Did he tell you he’s in love with you?” he asked, pouting at her, which made Leah clench her jaw, “Tell you to sleep with him?” Leah forced her mouth to keep shut.
She wanted to tell him that he did, but she thought otherwise.
“Nothing happened between us,” she told him, “He was only interested in me because I am Byun Gyongbaek’s fiancé,” she finished explaining. Blain only stared at her silently, observing her for any signs of dishonesty. He didn’t trust a single word, but for now, he’ll let it be.
They were close before, him and Leah. Back when they were still young. They’d take care of each other, as much as they would with a real sibling.
And Blain had absolutely adored Leah, gave her what she wanted and more, granted her every wish. And Leah was the same, due to her lonesome nature, she found a company with Blain. Eventually, people often mistook them as siblings with exactly the same parents, and they never bothered to correct them.
But like all families, with time, they eventually grew apart.
As Leah grew, he watched her discover her many talents, growing further and further successful, needing him less and lesser. And it tore at Blain, made him feel inadequate of standing beside her. Slowly, his admiration turned into jealousy. His love turned into hate.
He didn’t like how she was flourishing. He wanted to crush her at all costs.
And as their relationship crumbled before her very eyes, Leah learned a valuable lesson, which led to completely breaking off their once strong bond.
Her mother’s death was the key. When she realized the real reason, she couldn’t keep up with the pretenses anymore, and finally left Blain. She couldn’t reconcile what she knew of him now, to the person he used to be.
And when Leah broke away, Blain’s true colors began to shine.
After staring into his angry cerulean orbs, and seeing he had nothing else to say, Leah shrugged off his grip on her chin, jerking her head suddenly and pushed past him to leave. Blain stepped back when she did and called out.
“Leah,” he said, and she paused. His voice made unpleasant shivers run down her spine. His fingers once more found purchase in her hair, as he tucked in some strands behind her ear, the callouses caressing her skin softly.
“You must learn to listen to me, sister.” he told her before giving her a serious look, “And don’t wander off where I can’t see,” he warned, and Leah gave him a terse nod.
All she wanted was for all of this to be over. She was so tired.
When Leah finally returned to the Princess’ chambers, the maids were already gathered, waiting for her, with Countess Melissa among their ranks, standing in front of the maids.
As soon as the Countess had seen her, she immediately ran up to her with a cry.
“Princess!” she exclaimed as she neared and paused in front of her, fidgeting. “The Crown Prince had been searching for you.” she informed her, and Leah nodded.
“Yes, I’ve seen him.” Leah replied with a soft smile, and Countess Melissa stared at her agape, before closing her mouth, “There’s nothing to worry about.” she reassured. But even with her assurance, the worry was still present in the Countess’ eyes. And as much as Leah wanted to elaborate, she couldn’t risk telling her more.
She remembered the way Blain had pulled her aside, grabbing her by her hair, and she remembered she was still quite a mess. She hadn’t been able to think up an excuse to explain her poor state of dress. Nodding at her, Countess Melissa soon pulled out a shawl, and draped it across her shoulders.
Leah thanked her briefly before heading inside her chambers.
Once inside, the maids served her tea, whilst she sat on a stool and took a sip. For now, the warmth of the liquid as it ran down her throat was enough to soothe her racing heart. She felt her muscles loose then the tension as she took a deep breath, savoring the sensation of the Countess brushing her hair.
Halfway through her tea, the Countess broke the silence, albeit hesitant.
“Princess, if I may,” she began while continuing to brush her hair, “What happened with the King of Kurkans?”
Leah paused at the question and set the cup of tea back down on the table. It was very easy to lie her way out of this. And so with expert ease, she put on a calm expression and a reassuring smile.
“He was only curious of me.” she answered, “It seemed that he was highly curious on who is Byun Gyongbaek of Oberde’s fiancé,” She finished and took another sip of the tea, and Countess Melissa nodded in understanding.
She didn’t even doubt a single word.
“That’s a relief.” The countess sighed, her worries easing up, “I’ve been so worried, especially since it’s been a while since you’ve disappeared. He seems too rough and stern,” she aired her concerns.
And Leah was content to let her ramble on as usual. Normally, the countess would have told the nothings of her day, usually involving Blain. But since she met Ishakan earlier today, it was so memorable that she couldn’t stop talking about it.
“Oh, and his eyes…” the countess recalled, wistfully recalling Ishakan’s face from memory. But as she paused, she immediately realized, with a frown, of how freely she had been speaking. She usually took great care not to talk so casually towards the princess. Meanwhile, Leah’s hand stilled, the tea still unfinished, as she recalled the golden eyes of Ishakan.
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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