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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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The one named in secret,

The one called Jezelia.

I had never heard of anyone else in Morrighan with the name Jezelia. No one in the royal court had either. That was what my father had so strongly objected to—its lack of precedent. Where did my mother get it? Not from this book.

I slipped the shirt from my shoulder and turned to see what I could of my kavah. The stubborn claw and vine were still there.

Greater stories will have their way. I shook my head. No, not this one. There was a reasonable explanation. I shoved the books back into my saddlebag. I was tired and spooked by this strange forest, and I had rushed through the translations. That was all. There were no such things as dragons, certainly not ones who drank the blood of babies. It was babble. I was finding meaning where there was none. I’d look again tomorrow in the bright of day, and the rules of reason would make it clear.

I put a large branch on the fire and settled down on my bedroll. I forced my mind to think of other things. Things that made sense. Happier things. I pictured Pauline, the beautiful baby she would have, Gwyneth and Berdi helping her and their lives that continued on in Terravin. At least someone was living the life that had been my dream. I thought about how much I would love to have a taste of Berdi’s fish stew now; to hear the blowing of horns in the bay, the chatter of tavern customers, the braying of Otto; to smell salt on the air; and to watch Gwyneth size up a new customer.

The way she had sized up. Rafe.

I was becoming stronger in some ways but weaker in others. Ever since that first day I met you, I’ve gone to sleep every single night thinking about you.

I closed my eyes and nestled into my bedroll, praying morning would come soon.

CHAPTER SIXTY-FIVE

PAULINE

He died in battle, my mother had told me, much as Mikael had. I had never known my father, but I had always imagined him to be the kind of man who would wrap his arms around me, gently soothe away my troubles, love me without condition, and protect me at any cost. That was how I would describe my baby’s own father to her. But I knew all fathers weren’t like that. Lia’s wasn’t.

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