Predatory Marriage — Chapter 32. Bribery (1)
Fortunately, last night’s incident went largely unnoticed. Leah woke up that morning, feeling quite refreshed after the thrilling experience of going out once more.
The preparations for today’s conference had begun early in the morning. Servants rushed about to make sure everything and anything would run smoothly. Leah had only a piece of a cookie for breakfast, glazed with honey, and a bread dipped with wine.
Others may find it a measly meal, but for Leah it was more than enough. She even purposefully ate more than she would in order to prevent any accidents such as fainting due to lack of energy from the marching that would happen today.
Once she finished putting on her undergarments, the maids soon set out to prepare the rest of her outfit for the ceremony. They followed her dutifully to assist any preparation she would need.
As they prepared her dress, Leah sat leisurely on her vanity, scattered documents littered in front of her as she read through what she missed the day before, and one of the maids handed her her quill, and placed the ink bottle in a neat place on her table.
Another drew near, holding a brush and powder.
“My lady, your face please.” they requested, but Leah only continued on reading, which was contrary to the request. Carefully, as to not spill the ink all over, she dipped her quill to the ink as she carefully wrote down, and browsed through even more of the documents.
Despite barely catching sleep, she did not feel exhausted. In fact, she felt as if she was sharper now, more attentive to details, and not much was left forgotten. Although, events of yesterday did keep running through her thoughts.
It was undisputed that Byun Gyong Baek did an excellent job in keeping the Kurkans at bay in the west, but many things have changed since then. Because of the war for the throne, the Kurkan’s forces were halved. Most of the long war was because of an internal struggle, so when Ishakan came, and killed the current king before taking the throne himself, it ended rather quickly.
When Ishakan had ascended the throne, he immediately summoned the countless tribes of Kurkans, and swore them to his allegiance. And thus the real Mater of the Desert was born.
Leah dropped her gaze, so deep in thought.
If I were the new King of Kurkans, what will I do in this kind of situation? Will harmonizing the scattered tribes at once be the simplest and easiest way to unite the nation?
But no matter what the question, she could only find one answer. There must be an enemy.
It was most likely that the Kurkans were only feigning their interest in making the peace treaty, with an ulterior motive to create a war. This current visit could just be a ruse, a way to scope out the competition.
And Byun Gyong Baek does not want peace with the Kurkans, either.
It seemed that in all the kingdoms involved, Estia was the only one who truly wanted the peace treaty to fall through. Leah tilted her head, turning slightly and called out in a hushed tone as she recalled last night’s events.
“Countess.” she said, and Melissa, who had been brushing her hair softly, had paused. She looked up and stared at the mirror, meeting Leah’s gaze. “Please contact Count Valtein, tell him I wish to meet him later in the conference.” she ordered and Melissa nodded.
“Should I tell him to meet you outside of the conference?” Leah gave a terse nod, and Melissa gave a slight curtsy. “Then I shall tell Baroness Cinael to relay the message.”
“Thank you.” Leah said.
Countess Melissa finished a few more touch ups before leaving to do as was requested, but not before reminding the maids that remained to finish getting her ready. When the Countess was gone, Leah picked up a brooch, with stones of diamond and amethyst.
She watched as Countess Melissa approached Baroness Cinael from her mirror. The baroness, she noticed, was deeply vexed. She watched as they conversed, before finally giving her attention on the documents before her once more.
Cerdina will look for her soon, but before that, she wished to remain in her thoughts as she kept a watchful eye on the preparations for the conference. They needed something to dangle for the Kurkans to willingly go into a treaty.
One, that not even the King of Kurkans, could ever refuse.
Her grip on the quill tightened in the thought as she scribbled another signature.
“Princess?” Leah looked up and quirked an eyebrow
“What is it?” she asked, and the maid flushed before dropping her gaze.
“There’s nothing my Lady.” Leah kept her gaze on the maid, before returning back to the documents after discerning nothing was wrong. But when she moved to write, she found her hands frozen, and Ishakan’s golden eyes flashed through her mind as if he was currently looking at her.
Ishakan let out a puff of smoke as he blew from a leaf cigarette, staring blankly outside. There was a cool, yet faint sweet scent wafting through the room. As he continued smoking, he watched as wisps of the smoke clung around his torso, before dissipating. He blew out yet another puff of smoke.
He was still dressed, and watched as the colorful fabrics, which decorated his skin, were removed one by one. When that was done, his jewels soon followed suit.
When his servants had finished picking out the best clothes for his wardrobe next, they began dressing him once more.
His torso was left uncovered for the following events that would occur, but the servants dressing him had wandering eyes, raking over his bare skin, marvelling at the smooth, unblemished flesh, free of any tattoos.
Yet, he felt none of those hungry gazes–his mind was too filled with the thoughts of the petite woman with the silver hair…
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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