Predatory Marriage — Chapter 241. Precipitated Meeting (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
This was completely unexpected. Perhaps this explained Byun Gyeongbaek’s strange behavior at the Cabinet Council meeting.
“Leah…” Behind her, Haban whispered. “I don’t think you need to see these things.”
He said something else about the cruelty of the scene, but Leah was focused on listening to Byun Gyeongbaek.
“I know it’s hard to believe, no matter how I try to prove it, but I know Tomaris, skilled ones…” He was mumbling, rambling endlessly, and it made Leah want to slap him until he pulled himself together and started making sense.
But it was a surprise that he was offering this bizarre idea, and she thought about it. Suddenly, he shut his mouth, and a different voice echoed down the silent alley.
“You can come out.”
Leah had thought they were well hidden, but somehow Ishakan had perceived them. She glanced at Haban, but he only shook his head, as if this were inevitable. There was no choice but to come out and face the other Kurkans.
Ishakan’s face was expressionless as he drew on his cigar, watching them through narrowed eyes.
“Good evening, Ishakan,” Haban said awkwardly. Leah was no less stilted as she pushed back the hood of her robe.
“Greetings, King of Kurkan.”
Ishakan said nothing. His eyes shifted back to Haban.
“She didn’t see anything!” Haban said quickly. “I covered her eyes right away! But how could I keep her from hearing it?”
Even as he spoke, the Kurkans were silently concealing the other corpses. Leah saw Genin slyly pushing away something stumpy and bloody that was probably part of someone’s body. Leah looked away.
Ishakan sighed and pitched his cigar onto the bloody ground, then reached for the handkerchief Genin offered to wipe the blood from his hands. Leah’s lips pursed.
She wasn’t ready to see him again. Soon, there would be the wedding, and a number of events in which the delegates from other countries would be invited to participate, so she had expected to see him once or twice at the palace. She had never imagined that they would meet again like this.
He looked at her as he finished wiping his hands, and she found herself holding her breath as he slowly approached. But he stopped some distance away. Perhaps five steps from her, but the distance seemed endless. There was only silence between them until Byun Gyeongbaek lifted his head. – Posted only on Novel Utopia.
“Oh, Princess!” He flung himself at her, clinging to her feet like she was his lifeline. “Help me, these crazy savages…!”
“You’re not very bright.” Haban kicked the other man, but Byun Gyeongbaek only clung tighter, weeping. When Leah started to teeter, unbalanced from his desperate grip, Ishakan intervened.
“Enough,” he snapped coldly. Byun Gyeongbaek let go of her so quickly, it was as if he had been feigning his desperation, and Haban shoved him into a corner of the alley. And Leah and Ishakan’s eyes found each other again, from a distance of five steps away.
“I think I smell blood,” Ishakan said, and then fell silent again. “…Never mind.”
It was a new silence. It felt as if an invisible wall had been erected between them, and Leah found herself twining her fingers together anxiously until Ishakan decided to end this encounter.
“I want you to go home soon,” he said, turning away. “The wind is too cold tonight.”
“Wait,” she called, as he moved to depart. “Your Majesty Ishakan! Ish…Ishakan.”
He turned back, crossing his arms. There was none of the usual warmth in his eyes. Though it was nothing compared to his murderous stare, it was cold enough that her heart tightened.
She remembered how he had looked at their last parting. He had acted relaxed, but he had not hidden his anger from her. A rage hotter than the fire that devoured the orchard had been burning in those golden eyes. It might be too soon to appease his wrath, but she still searched quickly for something to talk to him about.
“A Toma woman gave me a potion,” she said quickly.
“If you give it to Haban, we will see what’s in it.”
More silence. Leah racked her brain and the words burst out of her, the first thing she could think of.