Predatory Marriage - chapter-17-the-king-of-kurkans
Chapter 17 â€“ The King of Kurkans
Itâ€™s said that if a beast is shackled from birth, then he wonâ€™t break
away from it even after growing up.
Leah was well aware of this fact. The beast wouldnâ€™t break the
shackles, not because it loved or feared its master, but because it was
so used to captivity
Even if someone taught the beast how to break free, it still wouldnâ€™t
try. Some would call the beast foolish for not doing it, but maybe the
thought of shackles were deeply ingrained in its mind that it wouldnâ€™t
even think that breaking free was possible.
Leah was the same. But, she feared the queen instead.
And every moment, she had feared for her life.
The queen was Leahâ€™s biggest nightmare.
All tragedies start with a blazing love. The king fell in love at first
sight with a country girl while attending a banquet. Her frank tone and
bright smile were something mesmerized the king, who had never seen
something like that before. Thus, the girl who grew up in a small family
in the province became the queen of Estia.
However, merely being good didnâ€™t let her survive in the palace. With
no one backing her up, she slowly became thinner day by day. All she
could do was cling on to the kingâ€™s love.
At the pinnacle of her misery, Leah was born. She experienced labor
complications and barely managed to give birth. Afterwards, she was
A barren queen was a disgrace to the royal family, and the once blazing
love fell coldâ€¦ The powerless, weak king easily complied with the
demands of the greedy nobles who wanted to depose the queen. Soon after,
she was driven out of the palace in a miserable shape.
It happened when Leah was just three years old. She couldnâ€™t even
clearly comprehend things at that age, but her motherâ€™s last words were
vivid in her memory.
Iâ€™m sorry Leah, Iâ€™m very sorry.
You should continue to liveâ€¦
Do not disobey Cerdina.
Just follow her words, no matter what.
And with those last words, the queen was discovered dead. The royal
family announced that the dejected queen had decided to end her life, but
everyone knew it wasnâ€™t suicide.
The ambitious Countess Cerdina replaced the throne her mother once
occupied. However, Cerdinaâ€™s entry into the royal palace was
tumultuous. She was carrying a baby boy.
The boy was Leahâ€™s half brother. Queen Cerdina was in a relationship
with the king even before the previous queen had been expelled.
This caused the society of Estia to descend into chaos. The fact that the
new queen wasnâ€™t a virgin and had an affair with the king caused
Such a disgraceâ€¦
However, with her powerful family and the kingâ€™s favour, she was able
to get her son declared as the heir to the throne, causing the clamor
against her to fade away.
The highly ambitious, cunning Cerdina always claimed, â€œI know nothing
about the complicated politics and the government. Wouldnâ€™t it be
enough for me to carry out all my domestic duties?â€ However, she was as
vicious as a viper and was able to dominate the nobles and turn them into
Cerdina knew very well how to handle the daughter of the deposed queen.
She carefully planned her moves, making sure not to do anything that
would make it seem like she discriminating against Leah outright.
Instead, she controlled the princessâ€™ every move, molding her nature
and habits to her liking. Slowly, she tightened her hold over Leahâ€™s
â€œYou are the flower of Estia.â€
The queenâ€™s words were seared into her mind at a young age. It was the
reason for Leahâ€™s obsession. She had to become the perfect princess of
Estiaâ€”her education, work, and beauty needed to be flawless.
She was no different from Estiaâ€™s art pieces. A cattle raised by the
queen, and once fat, sold to the market. This was her purpose all along.
Only the people closest to her knew the truth about how Cerdina secretly
abused her. The others were ignorant and spoke highly of the queen and
her kind-hearted and benevolent motherly nature.
Leah wanted to scream at such people and ask them, â€کWhat is the use of
raising me to be perfectâ€¦? In the end, didnâ€™t she just sell me off to
that old Byung Gyeongbaek?â€™
Leah stood in front of the mirror, and a beautifully dressed doll-like
woman stared back at her.
Her pale face was covered with layers of bright make-up. Her thin,
lifeless hair was curled up into an up-do. Her purple eyes seemed even
more vivid in contrast to the dark eyeliner on her lids. On her neck was
the diamond necklace that Byun Gyeonbaek had gifted her, completing the
â€œPrincess, Iâ€™ll finish making the final adjustments to your attire.â€
Leah gave her a small nod in reply. The reason for Leahâ€™s
extraordinarily beautiful appearance was the conference with the Kurkans.
The rest of the palace was busy preparing for the banquet. As expected,
all the nobles had expressed their desire to attend the banquet. In fact,
even nobles for all the other countries were visiting Estia for this
Everyone was looking forward to seeing the new king of Kurkans and Byun
Gyeonbaek meet each other.
The coward Byun immediately went on the defense when he heard the king
was visiting, despite the news that their visit sought peace.
People were well aware of the fact that Byun wouldnâ€™t be able to
maintain his current level of power if Kurkan and Estia entered into a
peace treaty. So, they speculated that Queen Cerdina was making moves in
order to take Byun down for the sake of the crown prince.
However, despite the intense political battle brewing underneath, above
the surface, a warm and friendly atmosphere arose. Everyone was excited
to see the Kurkans, who were known for their breath-taking, outstanding
appearances. Leahâ€™s maids talked about that daily.
Finally, the day the Kurkans would visit arrived. The welcome banquet
would be held the day after. Right now, they were going to formally greet
their visitors. Thus, Cerdina specifically instructed Leah to dress up
extravagantly in order to show off the royal familyâ€™s pride.
And so, Leah ended up in this painful, uncomfortable dress.
As the maids dressed Leah, Baroness Sinael suddenly burst into laughter
while chatting with them. Leah smiled faintly and asked, â€œWhat are you
The maid replied with flushed cheeks, â€œThey say that the king of the
Kurkans is an extremely handsome man.â€
Countess Melissa, the head of the maids, gave them a menacing glare as
she cleared her throat. Immediately, the rest of them stopped chattering,
but Leah put them at ease with a light grin.
It was never good to be overwhelmingly strict. Instead, she lightened the
atmosphere since everyone was so excited. But right at that moment, Leah
suddenly felt a great amount of pressure from her guts.
At the distance, underneath the warm rays of the sun, ships were nearing
the shore of Estia.
They have arrived.