Predatory Marriage — Chapter 75. Leah’s Plans (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Eyljee
The slave traders had their own displays of hospitality. Conveying kindness and showing good will was a crucial task for them, because it helped them gain the trust of their cautious companions.
Count Valtein, who witnessed the scene, was unfazed. He stood there stiffly, preoccupied with the idea that Ishakan was watching them in the shadows.
However, he knew that Leah could not refuse the favor of the slave traders. And to make matters worse, she couldn’t afford to act rashly, because she was being watched by those around her.
They scrutinized her every move. Any uncalculated act could instantly dissolve the little trust she had managed to generate, a mistake Leah could not afford.
As time passed, a male slave came to attend to Leah. Like the female slaves, he was colorfully dressed, and held a wine in his hand. However, his slender body caught her attention, because he had a body type comparable to that of Haban.
The most obvious difference between them was in their muscles; Haban’s build can be considered thin, but she looked toned and strong. However, the male slave seemed to have only skin and bone.
He possessed the quintessence of the Kurkan’s light eyes and dark skin, but did not have a single muscle. Had it not been for the tattoos on the back of his neck, Leah would not have realized that he was a Kurkan.
(TL. Quintessence: purest quality of a thing.)
Walking softly, the slave approached Leah, sitting next to her. He emanated a sweet smell of peach. The fruity perfume tickled her nose, and she became rigid.
The slave trader, who was still caressing the Kurkan female slave next to him, looked at Leah. “Don’t you like it?” he said. “He’s a precious slave, which I’m giving to you. Or perhaps, you prefer a more athletic one?”
He prepared to call another slave, ready to replace the weak Kurkan who was at her side. However, aware of the delicate situation, she could not allow any more outsiders to enter, so Leah immediately stopped him.
“No, it’s all right. I didn’t expect this to happen during our meeting,” she replied, her voice choking.
“You don’t have to be so formal. Just make yourself comfortable and relax. Enjoy yourself!” exclaimed the slave trader. He squeezed the Kurkan slave harder, pulling her towards him, causing her to give a little shout.
Leah frowned. She felt as if she were sitting on a chair of thorns. The slave poured her a glass of sweet fruit wine.
“Please have a drink, lady.”
However, Leah did not accept the drink he offered her, and the slave trader, upon realizing this, frowned in dismay with his eyes narrowed. Then he asked, “Don’t you like the wine?”
At her question, Leah raised her glass just to wet her lips. The powerful taste of the wine filtered through her tongue, and she looked at the man, who was now smiling happily. A strange sensation invaded her, and she could not find the right words to express it.
It was a difficult feat to enslave the Kurkans as they were natural-born warriors. However, the more difficult the task and the more the result was coveted, the greater its value. If the Kurkans were particularly beautiful too, then that value would only increase, becoming practically incalculable.
As a result, the slave traders essentially dedicated themselves to enslaving these exceptional goods, with the intention of satisfying their greedy clients. But that raised the question: How was all this possible when the Kurkans were such proud warriors? Surely, the slave traders could be easily defeated.
The answer, then, lay in the vulnerable youth of the Kurkans.
Mature Kurkans were strong and experienced fighters. It was almost impossible to capture them, and were even harder to tame. In the event that they were captured, the probability of their escape was very high. Therefore, traders sought out those who were still young and naive, as they were fundamentally incapable of fighting their kidnappers.
It was a repugnant cycle. A young and uncultured Kurkan was no different from a young beast. They were weak, lacked training, and could easily be trained as slaves over time through strict education.
However, their education would be far from normal. They would be severely beaten and abused until their identities as Kurkan evaporated, forgetting what they once were. They were taught submission and obedience through ruthless violence, until they became meek slaves unable to oppose their masters even after reaching adulthood.
Because of this demanding process, Kurkan slaves were traded at tremendously high prices. However, although the traders wanted to adopt this practice frequently as it benefited them large sums, they couldn’t. They quickly ran out of these slaves, since Kurkan slaves were an extraordinary rarity.
A base of consumers were desperate to obtain them, which made the slave traders and mercenaries anxious. Their eyes were bloodshot, poisoned by greed and desire.
Later, a slave trade route was established, with Estia as a base. Estia represented a privileged place for this, since it bordered the western desert, which was the home of the Kurkans.