Predatory Marriage — Chapter 347. Banquet (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
The aristocracy of Estia was excited. For the first time in a long time, there was going to be a state banquet. As night fell, carriage after carriage rolled up to the palace.
Mura, who had vanished with Ishakan all day, returned in time to assist Leah with dressing. She wore a purple silk dress with jeweled accessories, gifts that Ishakan had given her. Just as she was giving herself a final inspection in the mirror, another small visitor appeared.
Lesha approached, his small face sad, and Leah quickly bent to comfort him as he hugged the skirt of her gown.
“I wanna go with you,” he said.
“No, Lesha,” she said. The feast would go on late into the night. Even the process of dressing for such an event was exhausting, never mind the banquet itself. It was far too tedious for a child, and she did not want him to be present. “A good boy would go to bed early.”
“Don’t want to,” Lesha said. “Have to p’tect Mama.”
His face was surprisingly fierce.
“Have to go with Mama,” he insisted, and when she tried to push him away, he clung stubbornly to her skirt. “No! Wanna go with Mama!”
As they were arguing, Ishakan appeared in the doorway. He had already finished dressing for the banquet, and for a moment, Leah couldn’t take her eyes from him. She hadn’t had time to pay much attention to Ishakan’s appearance for a while, and he looked marvelous in his Kurkan-style clothing. He was very handsome with his hair perfectly combed back.
“Lesha,” he said sternly, pulling his son away from Leah’s gown and easily suppressing his rebellion. “Your mother has made a decision.”
“And the nights belong to your father.”
Lesha tugged his father down to whisper something in his ear. Ishakan’s eyes narrowed.
“I promise, Lesha,” he said, and gave the boy a quick smile.
That was enough that he finally stopped trying to follow her, and Genin bent to pick him up.
“I’ll take you to your room,” she said, bowing. The little boy shouted over her shoulder as they were leaving.
“Tomorrow, I get to p’tect Mama…!”
Ishakan smiled as he extended his hand to Leah, following the etiquette of Estia. It made her give a small smile.
The two murmured quietly together as they walked hand in hand to the banquet, and Ishakan spent some time telling her how beautiful she looked.
“You should speak carefully tonight,” he said as they approached the banquet hall.
It was a vague warning, but Leah knew they were not meaningless words. She nodded.
“Not yet…” He added, a smiling refusal to offer more details. “I will tell you more when I am sure.”
Maybe it was related to whatever business he had been at early that day, when he had gone out with all the Kurkans.
“All right. I’ll be careful.”
“Aren’t you curious?” Ishakan asked at the unhesitating answer.
“Of course,” Leah replied, tightening her grip on his hand. “But you must have a reason not to tell me right now.
Ishakan stopped abruptly, and the entourage behind them halted at once. He looked at her for a long moment.
“You are beautiful just when you speak,” he muttered, with a glint in his eyes she recognized. He would have kissed her there and then, if she weren’t so carefully dressed for the banquet.
Leah’s fingernail trailed ticklishly over his palm. Ishakan lifted an eyebrow.
“Don’t do that,” he warned. “It’ll stand up.”