Predatory Marriage — Chapter 76. Valuable Kurkan (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Eyljee
At that time, Leah became interested in the slave trade because of the growing activity. A battle had taken place, in which rival slave traders were seeking to strategically position themselves in Estia, the most convenient location for kidnappings. In trying to suppress the corresponding disturbances, Leah had become familiar with the enslavement of the Kurkans, and it caused her profound pain.
She resented the cruel reality and the fate of the Kurkan slaves, and held hatred for herself who couldn’t do anything about it, even though she was the princess of Estia.
The more she thought about it, the angrier Leah became. The lives of the Kurkans were equal to her own. She could even partially identify with them in some way. Leah had been forced to endure the excessive efforts of Cerdina who tried to ruin her entire life. She could not oppose Cerdina, and lived oppressed by her, tied to the kingdom from birth. Her royal blood represented her death, almost like that of the Kurkans, whose blood and race dictated their courage.
「You must be the perfect princess, Leah.」
As Leah recalled certain moments from the past, it seemed as if she heard Cerdina’s voice. Leah bit her lips to keep from thinking about it. She wasn’t in a situation where she could be remembering depressing things. She had a task to accomplish and people to save.
One last duty to perform for her country. The weight of Estia’s future weighed heavily on her shoulders.
The male Kurkan next to Leah leaned forward and whispered as she carefully lowered her wine glass.
“I am curious to know what face is behind this mask… How beautiful are you?”
A thin finger grazed Leah’s shoulders. Instantly, she shuddered and pulled him away, casually touching the slave’s hand. She took a deep breath.
The slave simply smiled. Perhaps he deliberately made her drink too much, with the intention of getting her drunk. After looking at him as he clung tightly to her, Leah whispered, “Listen to me carefully.”
“I have no intention of doing anything with you, so behave with restraint,” she said. Then she added quietly, “I’m here to save you.”
The Kurkan’s gaze began to waver, but he skillfully contained his emotions. “Your joke is too much to bear,” he replied.
“You will soon discover whether I am joking or not. Can you run? If you cannot, tell me now.”
Leah asked him in advance because she knew that there were cases where slaves had certain muscles cut to make it difficult for them to escape. This prevented them from escaping if they wanted to or had previously tried.
The male Kurkan smiled delicately and bloomed, but the light in his eyes shone.
“Of course.” Leah could detect a faint murderous intent under his gentle voice. The prospect of wreaking havoc thrilled him. “I can do more than that,” he whispered in her ear.
Although it seemed that Leah’s situation and the Kurkans were similar, there was a key difference between them. The Kurkans could be enslaved all their lives, but they would not hesitate to take the opportunity to escape, even if it meant enduring beatings and abuse.
This male Kurkan slave for example, had overcome the brainwashing that had been done to him all his life. Inside him, the blood of the Kurkans flowed unrestrained. Which, through experience, made them formidable warriors and unstoppable opponents.
No matter how young, sick or frail a Kurkan was, their true nature was on their side. It did not matter if they were slaves, warriors, children, or elders. If they are born as Kurkan, they die as Kurkan.
They were different from Leah, who only doubted again and again…
Behind her mask, Leah bit her lip hard again. The flood of emotions that came from witnessing the hope and courage of the male slave caught her off guard. In a moment, she felt the differences between them were as great as the earth and the sky. However, she quickly pushed aside these feelings and then raised her voice for all to hear.
“I would like to discuss benefit sharing.”
Upon hearing the word ‘benefits’, the slave traders immediately focused on it. Greed was in their eyes. They gave Leah their full attention.
“Benefit sharing?” asked a slave trader, raising his glass of wine and taking a sip. It was the man with the robust body, the one who seemed to have the highest position among them. Leah knew of this man’s great influence. “Each of us will take our respective share,” he said. “Then we’ll split the remaining 30% between us.”
“That’s right. And, since we will share the 30%, I want to inspect the Kurkans you are offering. I need to be thorough. After all, we wouldn’t be the only ones to suffer if we sell poor quality products.”
Leah bowed her head and continued, convincingly.
“Of course, it’s to avoid losses.”