Chapter 10 – Boundary (3)
Iz took the Akrams to another merchant, and luckily, the deal went ahead as both conditions were met.
‘Shall we go back now?’
Iz didn’t receive any additional translation fees. Instead, she was receiving a tent and some food by interpreting all of this village.
When Iz finished her work and turned to go back to the tent, the Akrams called for Iz.
[Here, take this.]
They held some coins of the kingdom in Iz’s hands. Then they took food from their luggage and put it in Iz’s hands.
[Eat properly. It’s only because you’re so skinny… What does your husband do, you can’t see well and he’s not here?]
An elderly Akram woman grumbled as if she would start by hitting her husband once she met him. Iz smiled bitterly.
‘He’ll kill me if he sees me.’
Swallowing the words he couldn’t bear to say, Iz thanked the Akram merchants and turned around. In fact, the meals the villagers gave were almost thrown away, and the amount was not much. Still, Iz accepted such treatment without saying anything. She didn’t have the will to move to another town.
Sitting in the shade of a nearby tree, Iz bit the bread given by Akram merchants in her mouth.
It was Akram’s food after a long time. The flat-shaped baked bread that was served every time she ate at the royal palace. It was also Iz’s favorite food because it tasted savory the more she chewed it.
Iz devoured the bread. And when everything in her hand was completely gone, she saw her belly burst. Is it because it’s Barca’s child? The child in her womb did not die no matter what Iz did.
In fact, when she opened her eyes after collapsing after eating the herb, Iz thought the child must be dead. However, she only had a stomach ache, but the child survived. Even after that, even if Iz deliberately beat her stomach, ate rotten food, or sat in the desert on a terribly hot day, the child was fine. So Iz did not expect any more miscarriage.
From then on, her stomach began to inflate terribly. As the child grew up, as her stomach swelled, Iz’s body became skinny. Then, the moment the child was born, she wondered if she would die.
Iz felt sorry for the child as a human being. How did it come to me and how it suffered like this even before she was born. If she had no children, she would have been more comfortable with herself. She could have gone into the deep mountain village of Delane. To a place like the tribal village she lived in as a child.
However, Iz couldn’t bring a child who would be found out as a mixed race with the Akram people immediately after birth, so Iz had to stay at the border of the desert. So sometimes she thought that the child in her belly was like the shackles that kept her here.
Sleeping curled up in a small tent alone makes the shackles that bind her feel familiar. So Iz felt a sense of kinship with the child in her belly. Because both of them are trashy beings that are not welcomed anywhere.
While Iz was licking the remaining juice from the cactus fruit, a group of other Akram merchants sat near the shade of the tree where Iz was sitting, eating and talking.
[No, but the king hasn’t found her yet?]
[Since he hasn’t found her, he’s still looking crazy for that blonde, green-eyed girl. Besides, it’s said she was pregnant?]
[He won’t let her go if he finds her, right? They said she ran away from the king…
[I guess so. Anyway, I don’t know where she is, but I hope she gets caught. He said he would find that woman, so the king is sweeping the entire village of the border these days. No matter how much they turn a blind eye to merchants like us, if we openly trade in front of the king, things won’t go over well. Besides, they say they’re going to war with Delane again soon, and then we might be mistaken for spies.]
When the story of the war came out, the voices of the merchants grew louder. Iz got up on her side and tried to avoid her seat. As Iz stood up, the merchants glanced at her. Their eyes turned to Iz’s stomach. Then they raised their gaze and immediately looked at Iz. But when they saw her black hair and her eyes, they immediately lost interest. However, only one person continued to stare at Iz, who was getting farther away.
Iz returned to her tent, breathing in relief. Inside the tent made of old cloth, there were only a few old household goods that no one seemed to pick up. Even that was piled up with sand that came through the old fabric.
It was fortunate that she changed her hair color and eye color. Otherwise, someone would have reported it to Akram right away. Iz shook off the sandy blanket, wrapped it around her body, and lay down. As her stomach grew more and more full, she found it difficult to walk now.
”They’re going to go to war with Delane again.’
Then, as merchants say, it will be difficult to stay on the border. When the war begins, each other will be enemies. But she still didn’t know where to go. Iz’s eyes, which had been agonizing for a while, closed slowly, and soon became sleepy. She thought it was because she ate a lot after a long time.
‘The sun will go down, so there will be no more deals…’
When she thought about that, she wanted to wake up late tomorrow. Under the tent where the sand piled up, Iz soon fell into a deep sleep.
Suddenly, outside the tent, people’s screams were heard along with the sound of banging iron bowls.
“Wake up! The king’s army is coming!”
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