Chapter 19 – Achilles’ Heel (1)
In an instant, she felt the earth crumble beneath her heels. She unconsciously dug her nails into her palm; her knuckles turning white as if it would pop out anytime. Leah could not muster the strength to face Ishakan anymore.
The man to whom I frittered my chastity away was the King of the Kurkans?
Even the cheap comedy shows open at the public market couldn’t be funnier than this. She almost fainted at the hilarious twist of fate.
No, this was from being a mere funny twist of fate. It was highly likely that the King of Kurkan had intentionally approached her.
She felt a shrill pain tearing her chest. She was caught red-handed—the King of Kurkans knew her Achilles’ heels.
She used the man, Ishakan, as a tool for her plans. But ironically, he knew the entire plan. He knew how she lost her virginity, even her innermost desire to die.
Dread filled her. He might even blackmail her with her biggest secret.
Leah tried to regain composure by calmly holding her breath amidst all the thoughts that bombarded her. She was in a public place—too many eyes were watching her. Hence, she cannot show any hint of agitation.
She braced her emotions and stared forward with a blank look in her eyes, like a doll. But because of his golden eyes kept on piercing her, this became a hard job to accomplish.
His eyes were latched on Leah alone. He had been staring at her since he first entered the hall, and had only pulled his gaze when greeting the King.
Unfortunately, people couldn’t ignore the ravishing King and his striking eyes, which blatantly dwelled on a certain person among the crowd.
Murmurs slowly spread throughout the hall. The aristocrats exchanged glances with each other in a peculiar way.
A beautiful princess known as the flower of Estia and a young, strong King of the savage tribe.
It was indeed a fascinating and excellent plot for a made-up tale. And adding the fact that Leah was Byung Gyongbaek’s fiancé made it more thrilling to the ears of the engrossed onlookers.
For this matter, some intensely looked at the high and mighty Byun Gyeongbaek. How would he react when a handsome monarch was eyeing his fiancé like a candy?
Leah also couldn’t help but threw a fleeting gaze at him.
Surely, the tyrant sat at the topmost platform, among the senior nobles who gathered in the royal palace. Hence, with his position, he could watch Leah and Ishakan up close.
His face turned red. The simmering anger inside welling up—he as breathed laboriously. His breathing was so heavy and loud; it could be heard as far as Leah was sitting.
Unable to contain his ire, Byun Gyeongbaek was about to rush out like an angry bull, when a deep dry cough pulled him back to his senses.
It was a cough from the King of Estia, whose presence had been ignored until now. Naturally, everyone’s attention was diverted to their king, and finally, Leah was set free from the suffocating eyes of the people. She gulped down a sigh of relief.
The king drew a displeased look, and Ishakan, in response, slyly pulled off a smile. He coolly shrugged off his lack of courtesy.
As his slender lips upturned, a pleasant atmosphere lingered, slightly concealing his dangerous savageness. The noble class, who scorned his kind, had never seen such an aura emanating from a barbarian.
His beaming face naturally attracted the eyes of the people. The King of Estia coughed again to regain attention as he addressed a reply to Ishakan.
“Welcome to the Kingdom of Estia.”
Surprisingly, Ishakan politely replied to him, “Thank you for the warm welcome.”
Astounded by such polite greeting, the king’s face slightly softened. Leah spits out a curse inside, as her father blindly believed Ishakan’s feigned courtesy.
Putting aside the fact that he set up a false pretense to deceive her… and now… Is he faking an interest in her, too?
His arrival, indeed, meant nothing but trouble. For sure, Leah thought, he intended to mess around with everything.
Could she still stop him?
However, he had already caught her weakness. Besides, there’s not much time left before she would be taken to Oberde. It would all be spent in turning over her work in the palace.
As Leah impatiently watched over the conversation between Ishakan and her father, she reckoned what could still be done in a very tight situation like this.
Their conversation on probing one another has been extremely polite. Ishakan had shown respect to the old king by bowing before him, but not stooping so low which shows inferiority. No, he acted perfectly—not too much, at the same time, not in any way lacking decency.
From the first time she laid her eyes on the king, she knew that he would definitely be a tough opponent.
After wrapping up the conversation with the King, Ishakan subsequently exchanged a brief greeting with Cerdina and Blain. And lastly, he sat in front of Leah…
This instantly attracted the attention of the aristocrats who had been invigorated by the Ishakan’s sheer display of interest to the princess. Leah straightened her back and shoulders as she faced the aristocrats whose sparkling eyes burned with curiosity.
“I’m Leah de Estia.” Her speech, thankfully, didn’t reflect the turmoil brewing inside.
Calm and regal, she extended her hand to the King of Kurkans. But unlike her composed exterior, the tips of her fingers visibly shook, revealing her anxiety.
Time stopped as Ishakan accepted the tiny hand of the princess, even more so when his head descended to plant a kiss on the back of it.
It was a form of greeting in Estia—an act of showing respect to a woman.
Despite mimicking Estia’s etiquette, Ishakan didn’t exert an effort to conceal his true nature. Pressing his mouth against her hand, he parted his lips, making sure that his canine teeth grazed her silky skin.