Predatory Marriage — Chapter 246. Count Weddleton’s Mansion (4)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
As he listened to the whispers, one corner of Blain’s mouth lifted.
“Cerdina!” cried out the sobbing Toma girl, as all the other Tomaris held their breath. “Where is Cerdina? She should have come herself!”
Blain frowned at the careless use of the Queen Mother’s name, but decided to overlook it. She was just an ignorant Toma girl.
“She is ill,” he explained benevolently. “I have come in her place. In this case, I do not think you need to express condolences.”
“How dare you?!” The Toma girl rose to her feet with a shriek, and Count Weddleton retreated as Blain kicked her away.
“The Queen Mother will surely compensate you,” he said as she fell backward. “I hope you will be patient until then.”
Turning to face all of them, he spread his arms wide.
“After the wedding, all the world will belong to the Tomaris. If you have been waiting for centuries, you can wait a few days more. Everyone will wait for the right moment.”
The Tomaris were silent at this declaration that their long-prophesied dream would finally come to pass. Blain smiled.
“Are there any among you who can cast spells?”
An old woman stepped forward, leaving many small baskets of roses behind her. Other Tomaris slowly followed.
“Carriages will be sent,” Blain told them. “You will come to the palace in the morning.”
He turned away, and the girl that he had kicked gritted her teeth and staggered back to her feet.
“A monster spawned a monster!” She screamed at his back. The piercing shriek rang through the hall. “You will not die in peace! You will be torn apart by beasts, just like my sister!”
Blain only laughed derisively, and left the banquet hall without looking back. Count Weddleton hurried after him nervously.
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty,” he apologized. “She still has things to learn.”
“I know. You don’t need to apologize for them.” Blain paused, looking back at the count. “Shall we drink?”
Though he was puzzled by the sudden offer, the count directed Blain into the drawing room without hesitation and poured his best wine into two glasses. Sitting down on the sofa, Blain sipped from his glass with a bitter smile.
It was strange that the only person he had left to drink with was his grandfather. They occasionally went hunting together, but they had never had a close relationship. But since all the nobility of Estia had become Cerdina’s puppets, there were no other companions available, if he wanted to drink with a normal person.
Blain drained his glass quickly. With drunkenness came memories he didn’t want, unpleasantly vivid.
If I don’t answer, will you slap me?
Will you threaten to kill someone else, to make me obey? Or threaten to kill yourself?
The darkness in his gaze was the same grieving fury as the Toma girl he had kicked away. This was not what Blain had wanted. It was not what he had expected.
But it was too late to go back. The road he had walked had crumbled away behind him, and there was nowhere to go now but forward, no matter how it ended. Just as the peach orchard had been reduced to ashes, so had the dreams of his heart.
He had given up the idea of possessing Leah. If the spell failed at the wedding, and he could not have her heart, then he would make her a puppet and tie his strings on her.
“…Your Majesty,” Count Weddleton began cautiously. “Why are you taking those Tomaris to the palace? They are only worms, crawling about. There is no need to do anything to them.”
Blain gave a short smile.
“The Toma sorcerers will have their hearts torn out.”
The count’s face turned pale.
“My mother has suffered for lack of power, so as a son I must help her,” Blain explained nonchalantly. But his eyes fell and he took another sip from his wine glass, muttering, “she will become stronger, if she eats more. Strong enough to slay a beast.”
The bottle was empty. Blain slung it away, startling the stunned Count Weddleton out of his seat.
“I’ll look…for another bottle of wine in the cellar,” he said hastily, but Blain rose immediately to follow.
“I will go with you. I want to walk for a while.”
The door of the drawing room closed behind them, and shadows moved strangely in the space, emerging from the outer dark. It was Ishakan and Leah.