Predatory Marriage — Chapter 48. I Waited for You (2)
Deep in her thoughts, Leah was unaware that she had been staring at Genin’s tattoo for too long, her attention was caught by the intricate pattern of an ink on skin. Noticing the princess’ fascination, Genin pulled up her sleeves allowing Leah a better glimpse of her tattoo.
She displayed her forearm, and spoke to Leah, “I only have one tattoo.”
Fortunately, she did not seem to regard Leah’s curiosity as rude. Leah hesitated for a moment, then after contemplating whether it would be appropriate to ask the Kurkan woman before her, asked a question which she had been pondering curiously about.
“I had initially thought that all of the Kurkans have tattoos, but it appears that your king does not have any.”
After blurting such words, her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. It was the same as admitting to having already seen Ishakan unclothed, in all his glory. However, it fortunately appeared that Genin was indifferent, and seemed not to have thought of it.
“Yes, King Ishakan has no tattoo at all.” Genin’s eyes sparkled with adoration. Her tone was full of pride for the Kurkan King.
“It means that he has never lost a fight.”
Leah had heard stories of the Kurkans determining their rank by force. But it was her first time to hear what the tattoos symbolized for them. Furthermore, knowing that he had never lost a battle…
It was a surprising story, which somehow, felt reasonable. Defeat did not suit Ishakan. It was more befitting of him, to sit on the highest throne and look down victoriously from above. Leah thought of Ishakan’s impertinent golden eyes as she spoke.
“The king helped me yesterday.”
She grabbed her blanket as she was engulfed with shame and continued to slowly speak.
“Please send my gratitude.”
“I will tell the King.”
Genin smiled the first time. With unease creeping up, Leah quickly changed the subject. “Can you bring these clothes too?”
“All right, princess. The king has some work so he is not here at the moment. I will escort you to the palace.”
Leah brooded over what would be the better choice—going to the palace with Genin, or having the maids come here. Both of the scenarios were terrible. The latter seemed to be a little better than going to visit him in person, however, amongst the maids, there were some who were afraid of the Kurkans.
Even Countess Melissa had felt fearful when she encountered Ishakan. After pondering for a few moments, Leah decided to not inconvenience her maids by asking them to come to her, and instead chose to head to the palace with Genin.
With Genin’s help, Leah was able to dress properly. Though the king’s escort guard was a little clumsy, most likely unused to attending a princess like Leah, she still eagerly assisted her. As she helped her put on a soft gown, Genin also made efforts to talk with Leah, despite not being blessed to strike conversations easily.
It was her attempt to make Leah feel more comfortable around her and on the side, she wanted to make a favorable impression on Kurkan women. And judging on the princess’ calm and trusting dexterity around her, it seemed like she had succeeded.
As soon as Leah was dressed, Genin’s arm immediately wrapped around her waist to support her.
Since Leah couldn’t possibly walk with the scrapes and wounds of her feet, Genin carried Leah in her arms—one arm under her legs and the other supporting her back like a groom carrying his bride.
“Please excuse me, princess.”
Startled, Leah’s gaze rose to the sky, but unilaterally decided it was best to lean on Genin. In that form, they went straight to the carriage. She was grateful for the strong support Genin was giving her.
While riding in the carriage, Leah’s mind drifted, locked in her thoughts as her surroundings began to change. Soon, as they drew nearer to the palace, she began to dwell on problems, which she had pushed aside ‘till now.
An uncomfortable feeling settled down; the looming figure of the palace from the distance left an intangible feeling of dread inside her.
When the carriage stopped, the urge not to get off overwhelmed Leah. Eventually, she suppressed her desire to stay, and opened the door and got off the vehicle. Naturally, her feet touched the ground, but she continued with her strides—the pain that came with it was the least of her worries.
She looked up at the lavishly decorated entrance. The limestone walls glistened in the sun, the texture of soft chalk.
On both sides, sculptures of the former monarchs guarded the entrance; they had been made long ago by generations of artists, put on pedestals. The fountain that lay in front of the entrance, where the carriage had parked next to, majestically sprouted several clear streams from the centre in beautiful arches. The sun caught the droplets making them appear like diamonds raining into a pool of water. Perfectly manicured hedges, transformed into the shape of various animals neatly outlined the square of the entrance.
However, despite this all, the palace’s beauty didn’t give her much comfort.
An ominous feeling rose in Leah. Something was strange. When the carriage she was in stopped in front of the steep stairs, she had expected someone to come out and greet her.
But no one could be seen welcoming her arrival.
Leah hurriedly went inside.
The palace was eerily quiet. Anxiety bubbled in her as she paced through the quiet hallways, but no one appeared to be walking around.
Genin, who was behind her back following her, said in a wary voice. “Your Highness, there must be someone in the reception room.”
With that, the two headed to the reception room. Leah, who had been limping, walked towards the open door of the reception room and froze.
What made her pause in her step was the audience that greeted her. From the maids of the royal palace to the handyman who did the kitchen chores, all of them were gathered together in the reception room.
But it was not the sight of the servant which daunted Leah, rather, it was the man reclining in front of the servants, drinking tea alone. Perhaps it was the aura he emitted, or his vile personality at fault, the man in the middle was intimidating, making those around him quiver.
From where she stood, Leah could see the servants trembling with their heads tucked towards their chests as if they had committed a grave sin.
The man placed his arm on the back of the sofa lazily and opened his mouth.
“Oh, you came in early.”
His sparkling blue eyes narrowed at Leah.
“I waited for you, sister.”
It seemed that her arrival was not at all unheeded—Blain had been waiting for her.
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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