Predatory Marriage — Chapter 69. Auction House (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Eyljee
“What was that…?”
Count Valtein, who had previously stepped back to allow Byun Gyongbaek to join them, approached Leah and spoke.
“Did he also hit his head when he broke his legs?” Valtein asked incredulously for the behavior he had just witnessed.
“I think so. He’s even thinking of sending his knights to the Royal Palace! No matter how much he ignores the royal family, that’s too much.”
Count Valtein then explained that for such matters, there were universal laws and orders. All of which Byun had just broken.
He had stuck his nose into the affairs of royalty, where he was not wanted, and neither was he needed. At his side, the Minister of Finance also became angry at the blatant disrespect and intrusion.
However, unlike the two who were angry and cursing quietly, Leah only had a scowl expression, not verbally addressing the matter.
This was not the first time Byun Gyongbaek had committed such an impertinent act, nor it was the second! The fact that he continued to do so disgusted her. He was completely contemptible and arrogant, assuming his flirtation with Leah would be successful.
Although they had not yet wed, he acted as if Leah was a trophy of his possession. She sighed in despair. This was her destiny, and for her country, she had to endure it.
However, Byun had been treating the Kurkan badly. He hated them deeply, refusing to call them anything but ‘barbarians’ and cursing his kind to the tomb.
But despite all this, Byun Gyongbaek knew the Kurkan better than anyone else. Therefore, his rude words to them were not meaningless. There must have been an incident that had caused even the bold and shameless Byun to be so horrified.
However, the Kurkan who had been captured as slaves had never shown any unusual behavior. Perhaps it was a Kurkan who was not enslaved.
Therefore, it would have been good if Byun had shared with them his current information about the fascinating race, but he had already left the conference room.
“First of all, let Byun Gyongbaek from Oberde do what he wants.” She ordered with resignation.
Since the treaty negotiation would soon be over, Byun should be stressed out right now. Therefore, it was better to let him get away with it and not cause additional problems. It was also one of the ways to assure him that he could still use the royal family as his puppet.
Besides that, if Byun stubbornly pressed, the royal family wouldn’t be able to stop him. It would be bad for them to oppose him directly.
Even when Leah had returned to her quarters, Byun Gyongbaek’s words that seemed to warn of an impending disaster continued to pop into her head. She could not forget them, and throughout her afternoon schedule, she reflected on those words.
After a simple dinner, Countess Melissa met with Leah alone. Leah intended to go out for the night, so she had to prepare.
As usual, Countess Melissa had combed Leah’s hair today. The delicate and thin strands of her hair crossed each other in a braid. The braids were held together with pins, and she cleverly hid her silver braided hair with a brown wig.
Leah looked at herself in the mirror and suddenly, the memory of the time she had slipped away from the royal palace came to her mind. Back then, she had also worn a wig and discreetly left the walls that confined her. From that point on, her life was thrown into chaos. It was the first time she met Ishakan.
Leah came to her senses when Countess Melissa called her. Her motionless, unemotional stance worried Countess Melissa, who feared the princess was ill.
Every time Leah had slipped out of the palace, Countess Melissa was anxious. She couldn’t help but think that something serious might happen to the princess outside the palace walls. She looked like a mother, watching her daughter venture out for the first time, leaving the safety of the nest behind.
“Do you really need to get involved in this?” Countess Melissa expressed her concern and care for Leah.
“As you know… the Count cannot solve this alone.” Leah responded, shaking her head gently.
Instead of rebutting, Countess Melissa just gently patted the dust off the robe Leah was wearing. Leah smiled softly as she looked at the Countess’ pretty disgruntled face.
“I leave it in your hands, Countess,” Leah smiled.
“Of course. Don’t worry, Princess. Please come back safely.” Countess Melissa nodded her head, her eyes telling Leah she could trust her.
After saying goodbye to Countess Melissa, Leah entered a hidden passage that was hidden behind her bedroom closet.
The cold wind hit her when she finally emerged from the dark and secret passage. The oil lamp she was holding faintly illuminated some steps in front of her, as she reached the door to the outside of the palace.
Leah looked up at the sky. Unlike yesterday, which was overcast, tonight’s sky was clear. The moon in particular, was exceptionally big today. The round white moon floated in the sky, emitting a comforting light as if it were a commander, superior to all the stars.
On a normal occasion, seeing this view would make Leah think it was simply beautiful. However, perhaps because of the words Byun Gyongbaek had spoken at the Cabinet Council meeting, she felt that the silvery rays of the moonlight were sinister and gloomy. Then, a fog covered the full moon that she was staring at.
Finally, she began to move. She couldn’t stay still in this place forever, because she had a task to accomplish.
A black carriage without the family crest was waiting for her near the entrance of the one that had appeared. When she gently touched the window of the carriage, the thick curtain inside the window moved. After confirming that it really was Leah from the inside, Count Valtein opened the door.
“You have arrived. Now we are leaving.”