Predatory Marriage — Chapter 314. Isha (14)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
The more Cerdina repeated that word, the more fragmented Leah’s mind felt. Her eyes burned. Her head thumped. And one by one, her memories disappeared, as if they had faded into a fog.
No matter how hard she tried, Leah couldn’t hold onto them. For a moment, the vision of golden eyes filled her mind.
He asked me to remember him…
It was a promise she could not keep.
Soon, there was nothing left. Cerdina peered down into her unfocused violet eyes.
“So strange,” she muttered, frustrated. “She shouldn’t be able to resist at all, by now.”
“I’ll take her back to her palace,” Blain said, grabbing Leah’s wrist.
Cerdina’s eyes narrowed as she studied him. It was possible someone else might have seen his hair when it was golden blond. Perhaps it would be best to erase the memories of everyone in the palace. She had the power to solve even a problem that complex, and there were still problems nearer at hand that were entirely out of her control.
She couldn’t believe that Leah’s absence had shaken her son so badly. He had not only forgotten to take his potion, he had been entirely undignified, searching for her. Blain could not afford to let his emotions rule him. He should not love Leah. If anything, he should be treating her as if she belonged to him.
Cerdina smiled, concealing these thoughts.
“Do as you like. But don’t be too upset,” she whispered, caressing her son’s cheek. “Everything will be yours.”
The civil war in Kurkan had lasted for a long time. Strong though the King was, he had divided his people. He declared that only those of pure blood were Kurkan, and refused to recognize any half-breeds as part of the tribe.
It had divided the tribe into factions, with some obedient to their King’s will, others in opposition, and a third group that remained neutral.
Morga, the chief of the snake tribe, did not agree with the King’s aggression. He watched as the King waged war against those who refused to obey him, and stayed out of it because he didn’t want his tribe involved.
The King had repeatedly asked Morga, a prominent sorcerer, to join his side. It was phrased as a request, but was actually a threat. The last time the King had come to offer his invitation, it had been with an army. – Posted only on NovelUtopia
“I can’t make excuses forever…”
Sighing, Morga stirred a pot. He couldn’t postpone it anymore. The time had come to make a decision, and end his neutrality.
He didn’t want to follow the King, but he couldn’t think of a way to defeat him, either. If it had only been his own safety in question, he would have acted against the King himself, and then fled. But Morga was chief of the snake tribe. Their fate depended on his decision.
He had to choose very carefully.
Morga drew a deep breath. Just as he was looking over the herbs beside him, he stiffened at a sudden pain, and blood pooled in his mouth. Someone had broken his intruder detection spell.
Grabbing his dagger, he swallowed blood and turned to face the door.
“Who are you?”
Slowly, the door opened, and the intruder entered. Morga’s eyes widened in disbelief.
This boy had not even had his coming of age ceremony, and yet he had broken Morga’s spell. Morga watched him approach, bewildered. The boy’s golden eyes shone even in the dark, illuminating handsome, regular features. He would be a spectacularly handsome man when he grew up.
Belatedly, Morga realized he was staring and coughed. He couldn’t believe he had been so caught off guard by the appearance of his intruder. The other Kurkans would have laughed at him.
“I hear you are the best sorcerer in Kurkan,” the boy said to the embarrassed Morga.
This was true.
“Please help me with my coming of age ceremony,” the boy asked, bowing his head to request the favor properly.
Morga frowned. It was clear from his appearance that he had not yet come of age, and he had heard that on occasion half-breeds escaped from slavers and returned to the desert. Most of them were caught and killed by full-blooded Kurkans, who agreed with the King’s belief in the purity of blood.
The King had even gone so far as to threaten anyone who sheltered a half-breed. It was a crime to accept a half-breed into their tribe, or help them in any way. If anyone was caught, they would be punished for the crime.
Morga didn’t want to obey such despicable orders. But he saw no reason to risk his life helping this half-breed, either.
“Why should I help you?” Morga asked.
“I will be the new King of Kurkan,” the boy replied calmly.