Predatory Marriage — Chapter 65. Plans of Rebuttal (1)
Leah knew that she should have prevented Ishakan from continuing. His words were pointless, and in this situation, politics and love combined would only lead to one thing—disaster.
Neither of them could find the proper words to say. It was a tug of war. The delicate line could be crossed at any time, but neither was willing to let go of the rope.
Even if he sounded implausible, some parts of her wanted to believe him. She wanted so bad to place her trust in Ishakan.
However, she only felt ridiculous. How could she possibly trust the enemy of her country? Their goals were clashing against each other, and their hearts divided for their own people. On one hand, Ishakan was the most powerful king of the Kurkans, whilst on the other, Leah was all but a helpless princess, trying her best to save her country.
She was a fool. Every time she was with him, she always became like this. Her normal reasoning and logic vanished in front of him, replaced with the temptation and emotional impulses.
To do what her heart desired was what she wanted the most—to wear the beautiful purple silk dress Ishakan had gifted her, to enjoy her meal in peace at the luncheon in an amicable atmosphere.
She desired to claim the glory of her contributions, wished for people to recognize that it was her who strives to abolish slavery and not the crown prince.
Such simple desires that Leah had been repressing because of the etiquette and discipline she had to abide by.
Ever since she had met him, Ishakan had only been inciting the rebel in her. The unkindled feelings that should have passed without a spark turned into huge flames.
It was hard to withstand the burning urge to let herself go, to sate those innermost feelings and unbridled desires.
Ishakan was the fuel, powerful enough to cause the spark to erupt into a blaze, against her wishes.
When Countess Melissa heard what had happened at the palace, she became immensely upset, for Leah’s sake. The situation regarding the purple silk dress especially, made her extremely troubled. Such a gorgeous and delicate dress, that money could not buy, was stolen and ruined before Leah could even touch it.
Melissa wanted to immediately find out the culprit, but the princess pacified her first.
“I have my reason as to why I told you about this. I wanted to get over this issue.”
“As the head servant, I want you to take the lead, so the maids will not become divided. I know what I’m asking of you is hard, but…” Leah held Countess Melissa’s hand and looked up with her deep violet eyes. It was a plea.
“If there was a maid who sold me out to earn a fortune, I’m certain it’s because of inevitable circumstances that caused them to do that. I will leave soon anyway… No matter what the queen does, we just have to put up with it.”
Countess Melissa did not answer and only sealed her lips tight. With a ashen face, she forced herself to open her mouth.
“How can they not let you rest?” Her dry, wrinkled hand covered her face. Melissa remained silent for a while.
“…If only I came from a family with more power.”
The words that she whispered seemed to be full of remorse. Whenever something bad happened to Leah, Countess Melissa had always blamed herself. She felt so sorry for the princess, and the countless injustices she had to put up with.
“I apologize. I spoke improperly in front of Your Highness.”
“No, I am the one at fault here. I am undeserving to have you.” Leah approached the countess and opened her arms. Countess Melissa immediately hugged Leah.
Sighing deeply, she uttered, “No, I am unworthy to have a master like you. You are the only one I have, who I can count on.”
“Don’t be like that, Melissa.”
“Her Highness might ask me to serve another master once you leave the palace, but I hate the idea.”
Leah faintly smiled as if she knew what Melissa was saying. Countess Melissa was prepared, wanting to change the topic.
The princess’ destiny was already written in stone—she was promised to Byun Gyeongbaek and people were already anticipating the reunion. Melissa could never change this. This was the power she lacked and faulted herself for.
Leah recalled her final choice—death over a miserable life ahead of her—and prayed that it would not bring Melissa too much misery. As soon as she thought of her upcoming repose, a voice suddenly popped out of her head.
「If I say that I’ll take responsibility…then, what will you do?”」
His words lingered in her head, like a troublesome bug leaving her restless. It kept flying around her steadily, no matter how hard she tried to shoo it off.
His voice, eyes, and nose atop shapely lips…The gentle and sincere expression on his face—everything came to life in her mind. She could trace his smooth jaw, the arch of his brows, and deep-seated eyes with her own.
Recalling these unwanted memories, a realization struck her. All along, her heart had been wanting something… She wanted to live.
The aristocrats of the society, who mingled amongst each other in the hall, were greatly satisfied of the gossips surrounding the scandalous welcome banquet for the Kurkans.
The gossipmongers indulged in the story between the King of the Kurkans and the Princess of Estia. Just the thought of Estia’s flower, and the young and strong barbarian king interacting, was enough to make a controversial picture.
The royal daughter, with her vivid violet eyes, was a noble figure envied by all aristocrats—especially of women. There were quite a few nobles who were dissatisfied with the fact that she had even become the fiancé of the old but powerful Byun Gyongbaek.
“But the barbarian king appeared like fresh meat! Everyone is looking forward to seeing Byun Gyongbaek boil in anger.” Count Valtein was so excited that he bragged about the gossip of the social circles.
“Your beauty is outstanding, but I do not know how Kurkans perceive Estian beauty. I am interested if they find me…”
Upon noticing the glare of Finance Minister Laurent, Count Valtein stopped with his bragging. Even if his tongue remained itching to speak, he ended up halting and changing the topic.
He took a small velvet box wrapped in a pink ribbon out of his pocket. Then, he proceeded to untie and proudly opened it as he nudged it towards the center of the tabletop. The inside contents were revealed, laid out on peach tissue paper.
It was an unfamiliar sight to the person being presented it with, Minister Laurent.
Count Valtein puffed his chest with pride and arrogantly spoke. “This is the latest trend.” He held the box as if it contained a mysterious and precious jewel.
“Date palms?” was the minister’s confused reply.
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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