Predatory Marriage — Chapter 73. Leah’s Plans (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Eyljee
Leah couldn’t help the surprise she felt, but did her best to hide it. Of course, she knew about the beasts’ mating season, but she had only read about it in books.
Leah staggered as she tried to resolve her racing thoughts, while Genin continued her explanation calmly. “It’s logical that a Kurkan would mate and seek to fulfill his reproductive instinct,” she said.
Haban intervened, and assured her that she should not worry. It was completely ordinary for their species to act more impulsively when in front of their partner.
Hearing her mention this, Leah had a sudden thought. She immediately turned to Genin, who always seemed to be accompanying Ishakan. “Perhaps…” Leah started, but Genin immediately interrupted, as she had anticipated what she was going to say next.
“We’re not a couple,” she said defensively. “People often confuse us because we are always together, but I assure you, my husband is much better looking.”
Genin went on to explain that while Ishakan was acting frivolous, her husband was not. He was considerate and careful. She bragged about her husband, instilling in Leah a very generous impression of this unknown man. Genin seemed very used to praising her partner.
When she finished her praise, Genin returned to the main theme as if nothing had happened. Ishakan and Haban only shrugged their shoulders slightly.
“The Kurkans are a little different during the full moon. Your body won’t be able to handle it.” Genin chose not to elaborate, knowing that if she did, Leah would not have been able to deal with the force of the resulting shock. “You must get as far away from Ishakan as possible,” she said. “Especially today.”
Then, Genin’s hands, big and strong, extended gently towards the princess. She took the laces from Leah’s robe and carefully pulled them, manipulating them to better hide the princess’ light skin. She handled Leah with care, as if she was as delicate as a porcelain doll. Perhaps, she hesitated to touch her after having witnessed her fainting previously. Haban had the same attitude.
“Your Highness,” he began, “My name is Haban. I apologize for not having introduced myself formally, especially since I had seen you the other day.”
Along with the courtesy of his introduction, Haban softened his voice. He seemed cautious, as if speaking louder could damage Leah’s ears. Although he felt ridiculous, he did not want to question her fragility.
“Oh,” Genin exhaled, noticing the shaking figure of the count. “I’m sorry I overwhelmed you,” she muttered. Valtein’s face was pale.
Count Valtein wanted to say that he would’ve died if Genin had kept him any longer. Instead, he said nothing and desisted from saying his complaints.
Breaking the tension, Ishakan stood up from his seat, arms crossed. The mastery of his posture spoke of his confidence. “The slave trader we were following was the princess,” he said.
Genin and Haban looked at Leah, their eyes widening in wonder. They found it hard to believe that this delicate princess was the source of all their problems, that she was always one step ahead of them.
Ishakan laughed with a good mood. “I think I’ve taken a heavy hit.”
While everyone else was entertained by this information, Count Valtein remained cautious. He grabbed Leah’s hem, his eyes conveying a fervent fear. He knew of the alleged brutality of the Kurkans, and he trembled. He feared his neck would be wrung at the slightest provocation.
To comfort him, Leah gave him a gentle pat on the hand. However, this only made Valtein shrink further, as Ishakan, who had just finished speaking, stared at him.
Before poor Count Valtein passed out, Leah opened her mouth to speak. “So, what do you plan to do?”
Ishakan kept his gaze. It was a miracle that somehow everyone was meeting at the same time and place. She knew that there were other Kurkans hiding nearby as well.
However, Leah could not decipher what was going on in Ishakan’s head. He was an inscrutable man, but at least she knew that whatever strategy he had in mind would probably not lead to a peaceful solution. If Ishakan proceeded as he wished, he could ruin Leah’s meticulous plan. He needed to eliminate the root of the problem. She needed a means of controlling potential adversaries she didn’t anticipate finding.
“If our goals are the same, it would be better to join forces,” Leah offered.
“Well… You are right…” Ishakan smiled slowly. “What are you thinking, princess?” He agreed to discuss her plan in more detail.
Leah explained briefly, aiming to persuade him in the least disastrous direction. “So, if we find where the Kurkans are trapped…”
“You’re a little scary, princess,” said Count Valtein, shyly lifting the corner of his mouth, forcing himself not to laugh at his own joke. He knew that if he laughed, they would be thrown out of the room.
“We must go after them.Together.” suggested Ishakan, in an authoritative voice.
“But…” Leah quickly protested. The idea was absurd.
“We can follow them quietly,” added Ishakan comfortably. “You must allow this.”
He was a man who knew how to put pressure on others. Leah hadn’t foreseen this, but she couldn’t find an excuse to object. Perhaps, including the Kurkans and revising her current plan would be for the best.
Leah pondered for a moment before saying, “If I do, will you follow my plans?” she asked quietly.
A small smile appeared on Ishakan’s lips. “Only you can relegate the king of the Kurkan to such submission.”
“I don’t need anyone to stand in my way,” said Leah, knowing full well how mischievous and cunning the king was before her.