Predatory Marriage — Chapter 338. Bookstore (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Ishakan sighed, laying his forehead against Leah’s.
“You can’t say those things so carelessly.”
“I only say it to you.”
He smiled in satisfaction and set Leah back down on the floor.
“I’ll be back soon,” he said. “I hope my wife will be, too.”
She told him goodbye with a smile.
Leah exited the palace with Mura at her side. Both women wore long hooded robes to hide their faces, and Leah had even drunk a potion prepared by Morga, to temporarily change the color of her eyes and hair.
It had been a long time since she had concealed her identity like this. Walking through the crowded shopping streets, Leah looked around her, watching carefully.
Estia had completely eradicated slavery, but unfortunately that had just created new problems. Merchants who had lost this source of income had turned to other ways to earn money.
The most worrisome problem lately was the counterfeiting of coins.
The counterfeit coins were made by melting down silver coins minted by Leah’s government, then recasting them with additional substances. The counterfeit coins weighed the same as genuine silver coins, so they could not be detected even with scales. The only discernible difference was a slight lack of detail in the patterns on the counterfeit coin. It took an experienced eye to detect it. – Posted only on NovelUtopia
Right now, they were investigating to see how prevalent the counterfeit coins had become. And as Leah had never been one to leave everything in the hands of her subordinates, Leah was investigating on her own.
She bought a few items from various stores, receiving coins in change. Fortunately, all the silver coins she received were genuine.
“It’s hard…” Mura shook her head, following closely behind Leah were their purchases in her hands. She could not distinguish the counterfeit coins from the real ones. “Even the genuine coins will wear down over time. How can you tell them apart?”
“The patterns are a little different. Especially here…”
Leah explained it in detail to the curious Mura, but the Kurkan woman still couldn’t see the subtle differences.
“Let’s go to that bookstore,” she suggested with a smile. “Then we’ll stop for some tea and something to eat.”
Mura was always glad when Leah volunteered to get something to eat, and headed for the bookstore enthusiastically. As soon as they arrived, Leah asked her to wait outside.
The bookshop had everything from ancient books to brand new releases, a fascinating collection from an owner that clearly loved stories. Leah could have asked for an assortment of books to be sent to the palace, but there was nothing like the satisfaction of choosing the books herself in person. She enjoyed walking down the aisles, skimming all the titles.
Leah smiled as soon as she entered the bookshop. The smell of books made her feel at ease, though she immediately noticed no one else was there. It looked as if the owner had stepped out for a moment.
But she thought he would be back soon; there was no sign out front saying it was closed. Leah decided to look at books while she waited, and Mura had a cigar to smoke, so she could take her time.
As she wandered, browsing new books that had just come in from foreign lands, she heard footsteps inside the store.
A white-skinned man with glasses sat down in the empty chair behind the cash register.
“Are you looking for any book in particular?” He asked with a slight smile.
The owner of the bookstore was an old man with a hunched back who walked with a cane.
“Are you managing the store for a while?” She asked, examining this man carefully.
His eyes glinted at her question.
“Why do you say that? The owner might have changed.”
He looked as if he found her question amusing. Leah decided to play along. He probably wouldn’t give her a straight answer otherwise.
“Your glasses are expensive, a commoner couldn’t afford them. You have straight hair, clean hands, and…you even smell like perfume.” His eyes behind their glasses didn’t even blink as she said this, and Leah continued without looking away. “Maybe you are a nobleman, working in this place on a whim for a little while.”