Predatory Marriage — Chapter 35. You Disappoint Me, Princess
Purple dyes were extremely valuable because they were difficult to produce. Even a small number of millionaires could only own just a few pieces of purple silk. Only the royal family of Estia and Byun Gyongbaek of Oberde have enough purple cloth to wear.
It was the ultimate symbol of wealth and power. Even a small piece of it would be absolutely priceless.
“It was more vivid and beautiful than any other purple silk I’ve ever seen before.” he recalled wistfully. No words could truly describe its magnificence for it would only fall short on describing its perfection. “It’s just like your eyes.” he added as an afterthought, and Leah felt the tip of her ears flush from the praise.
But while Leah tried to fight off her blush, Count Valtein only continued rambling.
“Of course, I rejected the gift. He said it is a gift, but it was not for free, of course. I don’t know what he would ask in return for the favor, but I firmly turned him down.” he reassured her, his jovial face turned serious. Although, she could see a hint of regret for having to turn down such a magnificent gift.
Count Valtein always liked to dress up. He was always updated with the latest fashion trend in the city and frequented in the dressmaker’s shop. He used to be so happy when something he made became so popular. Rejecting Ishakan’s precious gift thereby meant so much for Count Valtein.
“Thank you.” Leah said in a grateful whisper, before Count Valtein shook his head and smiled at her with reassurance.
“Don’t say that. I only did what was right.” Count Valtein shook off his head as if to rid himself of the yearning for the purple silk. He continued to speak with a serious face. “Anyway, just as he reached out to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if he met other nobles too. You need to be careful.” he warned.
Count Valtein’s words rang true, but this was only a small portion of the truth.
In their society, Count Valtein was one of a kind. There were plenty more aristocrats and nobles who would’ve taken the gift with no second thought, and thus, would have been indebted to the Kurkans. For now, all they could do was keep an eye out on whichever noble was uncharacteristically supportive of the Kurkans during the cabinet meeting.
“Kurkans amaze me,” Count Valtein continued, “Bribing others with such grandiose objects. I’m sure they can even bribe some with something far more precious than gems or gold.” Leah frowned at him with worry before agreeing.
Still, she had doubts that those ten rolls of purple silk were all they had. The wealth of the Kurkans in the desert was rumoured to be beyond imaginable. For them it might have been a priceless commodity, but for the ones manufacturing the cloth, it would barely make a dent in their supply.
After surmising her thoughts, Leah turned once more to the Count.
“We also cannot rule out that the Kurkans know how to make this purple silk.”
Just as the Count was about to give her his reply, silence fell upon the banquet, as if dousing a fire with a bucket of water. There was a shift in the air, as all eyes fell on the entrance, and not just them both.
Whispers began when they realized who it was that has captivated everyone…
“The barbarians…” Leah could hear somewhere off the distance as the Kurkans, their honorable guests, had finally made their appearance.
They were all dressed in their traditional robes, it’s color dark, a complete contrast to Estia’s brightly colored clothes. It was no wonder it captured the attention of many. Despite it being their ceremonial clothes, one could not deny the ferocity in each of their movements.
It was the way they looked, the way they stood, walked and held their chin up high, that they were more than just ordinary humans. And leading the entourage was none other than Ishakan himself.
Their eyes raked over the banquet hall, reminding Leah of a predator trespassing on another’s territory.
Some of the nobles around couldn’t help but flinch when their gaze would land on them.
But the most eye-catching of them all was Ishakan’s ceremonial robes. It had the traditional Kurkan-styled collar, its black fabric embroidered with golden threads, one that had never been seen in Estia. But that wasn’t the most captivating part.
It was the purple silk that he wore like a sash, stretched across his torso. Ornate patterns littered all over the expanse of the silk, light reflecting off its surface whenever it hit him. Leah, who had rarely sought out the luxuries of life, couldn’t help but covet it as well. She could see now what Count Valtein was wistful about.
The Kurkan’s purple silk was a cut above the rest over the entire continent.
So fixated on the silk, she hadn’t realized she had been staring until she looked up and met Ishakan’s knowing stare. She held his gaze for a moment before averting her eyes and thought about resuming her conversation with the Count.
As she turned to Count Valtein, she was taken aback by the fierce look he had in his eyes, trailing to someone in front of him.
Is he glaring at Ishakan? She wondered. His eyes were staring resolutely in front of them, which prompted her to do the same when a dark shadow was cast in front of her, which made her choke back a gasp.
Golden eyes looked down on her, a smirk clearly on his face.
“Why do you avoid my gaze?” he asked her, drawing near, “I know you saw me.” he told her.
Leah looked around her nervously, not knowing what to say to him in front of the watchful gazes of so many people. This only made Ishakan smirk some more as he gently took a hold of her hand.
The nobles nearby had sucked in their breath, some even flinched. Even Count Valtein couldn’t believe this show of disrespect as he held his breath…
He dipped his head, bringing up her hand to his mouth and placed a gentle kiss on her pale knuckles.
“You disappoint me, princess.” he spoke, as everyone around them watched with bated breaths.
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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