Predatory Marriage — Chapter 67. Breaker of Chains (1)
The mist of clouds fogged the night. The haze covered the moon, so not even a single beam of light was able to seep through the sky. Deep darkness fell over Estia, shrouding the place in mystery. It was a night where one would be uneasy to go out alone.
A small lamp lit the road in front of the carriage. Its flame was blazing, however, it was not enough to make the pathway visible.
The horseman at the front of the carriages in line, swiveled his head, cautiously keeping watch of his surroundings with his eyes. After many years of experience wandering, he knew enough to recognize when one should never ignore their intuition.
Today, the horseman felt unusually unnerved. He felt an irresistible urge to flee from the carriage and escape into the night. He wished to quickly get out of the dreary forest they were passing through, but the dense trees seemed to be infinite.
Since a while ago, the mercenaries who were escorting the carriages, had been feeling the ominous atmosphere of the surrounding forest. They kept a constant grip on the sheath of their swords, should any abrupt attack occur.
The horseman cursed as he pulled the horse’s bridle to a stop. He tried to whip them several times, but the horses did not slow down. They continued to whine as if frightened by a ghastly creature.
He was helpless, only able to look ahead of him, terrified. Suddenly, a sharp whistle whipped through the air. The horseman’s eyes bulged at the sound, realizing too late what it was.
“Ahhh, it’s the barbarians!”
He yelled out a split second later, however, the black shadows fell from the sky. They climbed atop the carriages, like crazed beasts, in a cunning attack. Their bright eyes glowed horrifyingly in the dark, and from the light in their eyes, the protruding teeth of their grin could be seen. A satisfied smirk was plastered on their faces.
The mercenaries shrieked and pulled out their swords. However, their reaction was nothing against the Kurkans, who, like lightning, jumped down from the carriage. As quick as they had come, in the next second the sounds of flesh tearing and bodies thudding to the ground was immediately heard. The cracking of bones followed, as the Kurkans wrecked a blood bath amongst the mercenaries.
The horseman barely managed to crawl out of the carriage. Around him, all kinds of horrific sounds of pain and slaughter pierced his ears. The shrieks were haunting. He covered his mouth with his hand whilst trembling, forcing himself to not scream. Suddenly, a whoosh of cold air hit him as the carriage that hid his body was turned over.
The smell of death permeated the frigid air. Only corpses lay around him. He watched as his mercenary companion looked up at the sky and then spurted blood, the last the mercenary saw being faces that were just like his. With a thud, the horseman watched, terrified, as he collapsed to the forest ground unmoving. It would be where he would be buried. The mercenary’s hot blood flowed to the soil beneath him slowly, his body grew cold.
Against the occluded moon, the silhouette of a man with a muscular build was illuminated. He languidly glared at the woman who stepped over the bodies, ignoring the frozen horseman and peaked inside an upturned carriage. Undoubtedly, if one saw his bright topaz eyes, they would recognize him as the leader of the pack.
A giant woman handed a tobacco leaf to the man. While she was nursing the others, a slender man diligently searched the wagons with the other Kurkans. The man who had been confirming the faces of the slaves one by one with a lamp to illuminate them, suddenly exclaimed.
“It is not here!”
“…Another vain attempt?”
The man grew silent for a moment as he smoked the leaf tobacco, the aftertaste was soothing in this quiet bloody night. He slowly muttered as he released the smoke of the leaf tobacco.
“Amazing. I was pretty sure that it was accurate information that was provided though.”
His head tilted and he locked his gaze on the horseman. The moment the horseman was observed from afar with those piercing, blazing eyes, he was rendered mute in fright. Even if he wanted to scream, not a single syllable could be uttered. His legs were stuck against his will and he could not run from the fear he felt.
The horseman felt a warm liquid drip down the inner parts of his thigh, it seemed that he had soiled his pants with urine.
Ishakan smirked. His golden eyes glinted as he raised an eyebrow at the horseman, taunting him like a predator.
“Do you know anything about this?”
The horseman’s teeth chattered. He shook uncontrollably, as he faced the terrifying man before him, however, he knew if he were to stop here, the forest would become his burial ground. The words spilled out of him in a mumble, as he forced his mouth open to utter coherent syllables.
“T-the other slave dealers…”
“Did another slave dealer buy and take away the Kurkans?”
Ishakan narrowed his eyes. He was locked in his thoughts and cocked his head to the side. Then he looked up and nodded his head at the woman on the side.
“Please spare me. I am just driving the wagon…This should probably be enough to pay for my sins.”
The woman curtly nodded her head and suddenly raised her fist. THUD! She struck the back of the horseman’s head. Immediately, he fainted without a sound.
Ishakan, who was staring at the horseman in front, briefly asked.
“Is he dead?”
“You did a good job of controlling your strength, Ishakan.” She gestured to their surroundings.
Haban fidgeted in response to Genin’s naive answer and added.
“I think he’s dead.”
“No. He’s not dead yet.”
As their shallow quarrel ensued, Haban proceeded to check the pulse of the horseman. There was nothing interesting to conclude.
“He’s not dead.”
Haban dubiously titled his head and clicked his tongue. Genin raised the tip of her chin, beckoning him, as if to affirm her strength. Ishakan, who laughed at their silent bickering, smoked his tobacco and said.
“Is he the third?”
Haban stomped his feet as he spoke with a red face.
“It certainly doesn’t seem like a coincidence.”
Currently, Ishakan was tracking the Kurkans enslaved in Estia. He had already found out the whereabouts of the Kurkans who were sold to aristocrats and wealthy merchants.
Amidst catching the Kurkans, who were in danger of being caught and sold, they unexpectedly encountered multiple difficulties. Each lead would result in failure, by mere hours. It was the most frustrating difficulty they constantly faced in tracking them down.
It was confirmed the Kurkans were bought and the queue of slave dealers was pinned down, however, following the route of their trade was a maze. Each time, the reason was the same. Another slave dealer would buy the Kurkans right before they could free them.
This was the third time they had missed the opportunity, by a short time interval.
“I think that someone must be moving one step ahead of us.”
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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