Predatory Marriage — Chapter 97. Countless Thoughts (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Leah realized what she was thinking and chided herself harshly. When she had looked in the mirror last night, she had gained weight. Now, since she had eaten the cookie, she would starve herself the rest of the day to be sure she wouldn’t gain any more. Perhaps she should consider a smaller breakfast tomorrow morning, too.
“I finished the cookie,” she said. “Now, will you answer my questions?”
“Well, okay,” Ishakan replied reluctantly. Leah gave him a sharp look and he sighed. “Well, there’s a Kurkan who knows sorcery. I found out the Queen is a gypsy with his help.”
“Sorcery… So that Kurkan is also a Gypsy?”
“Yes. Tomari blood flows within him.”
Surprised, Leah took a deep breath. Unlike the Kurkans, whose savage heritage was visible at a glance, gypsies’ features were more subtle and lacked any animal quality. The two groups had always been antagonistic to each other. Even now the gypsies were fleeing from the Kurkans’ persecution.
It was clear that there was more that Ishakan hadn’t told her, aside from the fact that the two groups were somehow related.Leah hesitated.
“Why…why didn’t you tell me sooner?” She asked.
“I’ve been busy.”
That wasn’t an excuse. Leah had been busy, too, with all the problems cropping up around her.
“Besides,” Ishakan added, “There was no reason to tell you, right? You’ll put Byun Gyeongbaek on the throne if I allow you to bend me, princess. I have to keep some secrets.”
Leah kept her mouth shut. She could feel his intense gaze on her, and it felt strange to pretend to ignore it, since their faces were only inches apart. He wasn’t shy about examining her, his deep, dark pupils seeming to peer inside her.
“I don’t understand you,” he said.
She closed her eyes, drawing a deep breath. She had wondered what Ishakan would have done, if he were in her situation. Now, she knew. The moment the slightest opportunity presented itself, he would cut the shackles from his ankles without a moment’s hesitation. And he would not flee far. He would claim vengeance on those that had subdued and mistreated him. It was not difficult to imagine Ishakan stained with the blood of her enemies.
Her efforts seemed insignificant in comparison. He wouldn’t understand her. He wouldn’t comprehend her desire.
“I can’t…do it,” she whispered. His eyes narrowed, and she stopped trying to avoid them. She met his gaze. “Securing the peace treaty is my last duty to Estia.”
As much as she wanted to die, she didn’t want to end her life irresponsibly. People who were precious to her would live on after her death. She wanted to build a solid foundation for them.
“Oh.” Ishakan sighed deeply and ran a hand over her face. “I’m in trouble…”
She didn’t understand. She wanted to ask what she meant, but then Ishakan smiled at her.
“Your complaint almost makes me want to accept the agreement,” she said quietly. She blinked, surprised at the affection in his musical voice. Her cheeks flushed, and she said quickly,
“Making an important decision just because of something like that…”
“It’s not the only reason.” He moved closer to her, and she allowed their noses to touch as he whispered, “I’m serious.”
Leah’s eyes grew very wide. His usual teasing, mischievous attitude had vanished, and his eyes were dark and magnetic.
“Wouldn’t you rather become a Kurkan’s wife than marry Byun Gyeongbaek?”
Her lips parted automatically to answer, but she couldn’t speak. This was something she had to think about carefully.
The Queen of the Kurkans…
Though Ishakan had suggested this in their negotiation, she had assumed he was just teasing her. She had never thought that he was truly offering her that position. So many thoughts whirled in her mind, she felt as if there were a storm raging inside her.
Was he being honest? There was no reason to trust his words. At most, they had a s3xual relationship. Superficial, a relationship where they only shared their bodies. Therefore, if their bodies changed, so would their connection.