Chapter 1 - Prologue
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Auburn IV, the 16th emperor of the Glick Empire.
He was crowned from the time of the Dowager Queen, but the Empress was weak. So she died early. After that, the emperor left the position of empress vacant, although he kept the queen for political reasons.
Before her death, there were no concubines.
It was described that they were very close and friendly.
Auburn IV had 3 concubines after the empress died. He had 3 children, one Princess and two Princes.
And both of them were crazy about Lina and became her slaves…
The novel was originally a reverse harem novel.
Seria was face to face with an emperor who had two sons who were not chosen by the female lead. Thanks to that she was a little nervous when Lesche said, “We must have an audience with the emperor.”
In the second half of the original story, there was a major confrontation between the Emperor and Lesche, as Lina almost lost her life to purify magi in the imperial palace.
Thanks to her, Seria was somewhat worried.
‘They seem fine.’
Seria and Lesche were at the palace where the emperor resided. It was not a place where many nobles could enter and have an audience at once, but an audience room with a more private atmosphere. All the furniture and wallpaper were painted with gold, but it looked more comfortable anyway.
“You’ve come, Grand Duke Berg.”
Lesche’s voice to the emperor was surprisingly ordinary. So was the
“Please sit down, Grand Duchess Berg.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Seria sat down in my chair and looked into the emperor’s face, it was the first time she had seen his face up close since she possessed Seria.
The emperor looked more boring than strict royalty, like a farmer selling potatoes.
He has gentle impressions. After he offered Seria tea, he looked at Lesche.
“Why didn’t you come when I asked you to?”
“I couldn’t help it because of the frequent appearance of demons on the glacier.”
It was a lie. Seria Stern understood this very well.
“Aside from winter, there’s spring, summer, and fall. Isn’t it possible to come here at least once out of all three seasons?”
“I didn’t have time because there was a setback in the supply of silver trees.”
Of course, that was a lie, too. The vault at the Berg was always well-equipped with an abundance of silver branches. They were used, but they would be replenished the next day. Seria blinked, recognizing Lesche’s casual deception.
The emperor said after taking a sip of his tea.
“No matter how much I encouraged him to get married, he wouldn’t do it, so I guess he was trying to marry Stern.”
“If it wasn’t Stern, I wouldn’t want to marry anyone.”
At that moment, Seria’s expression and the Emperor’s began to resemble each other. No, the chamberlain standing behind them couldn’t believe his ears just now, either. Seria lifted her cup as she adjusted her expression.
The emperor did the same. He cleared his throat and looked at Seria.
“Yes, Grand Duchess, I heard about the previous wedding.”
Seria listened intently to the words that meant the wedding with Kalis. The emperor pointed to Lesche with his chin and continued speaking.
“It seems that you’re the Grand Duke’s preference.”
‘Is this the emperor’s joke? Should I laugh?’
At the same time as she thought, Seria laughed a little with survival and flattering instincts.
But then the emperor looked at Lesche’s and gave him a rather embarrassed look. Following his gaze, Seria looked at Lesche, and for a moment, she too felt her shoulders shake with fear. It was because Lesche’s face was expressionless.
“I must have made a joke that wasn’t funny. I was just happy to see you after all these years.”
The emperor said, changing the subject skillfully.
“I’m sure Leila would love to see this.”
Seria’s ears perked up. Her mind was still filled with the names of the nobles of the Glick Empire. The name Leila was naturally there.
She was Lesche’s mother. Even in the original, the story of Lesche’s mother was not mentioned in detail. Not only did he intentionally avoid it, but even when he came here, Lesche did not directly mention it, so Seria was curious that she couldn’t hide it.
The Emperor laughed loudly, as if he knew Seria was curious.
“I was an academy classmate with Leila. We knew each other quite well. She was a nice and smart classmate. It’s too bad she got sick and went away.”
The previous Grand Duchess was said to have died of illness, according to the outside world. When Seria heard it from Linon, it wasn’t like that. Well, actually, it was right.
She remembered when she heard the words of the emperor. The emperor now….He was like those compassionate and broad-minded relatives she saw in dramas sometimes. Maybe it was because she thought such relatives were unicorns, but it was strange to see them in front of her.
Now she could understand the emperor’s attitude towards Lesche. It would be nice to keep going like that.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The emperor looked at Seria.
“I was a friend of High Priest Amos. I personally respected him, but he left while protecting the Saintess. It was an official choice, but I still often feel bad.”
The Emperor had a dark expression as if he was mourning. It was not a lie to say that he was close to Amos.
“Come here often. You stay a little longer. Don’t you have a lot to say about the demon subjugation? Howard was crying and screaming and making a fuss.”
“Then why are you accepting it?”
The emperor smiled bitterly. Seria had a question mark on her head again. Was it because the emperor was swayed by Queen Ezikel?
‘What? I’m the only one who doesn’t know anything about the royal family. They are the only ones who know.’
Seria didn’t want to hear too much about something she didn’t understand, so she just got up from her seat.
“Then I’ll get going now. Your Majesty.”
Lesche grabbed her hand as she got up. He too left his seat and the emperor turned to look at him.
“Where are you going? I’ve never asked you to go.”
“I’m only going to escort my wife and come back.”
“Is the Grand Duchess going on the continent tour?”
“I’ll escort her to the carriage.That’s the basic courtesy in Berg.”
The Emperor looked unhappy.
“Have a safe trip.”
The emperor had grudges. He kept a ledger on Lesche and Seria the whole time, as if he was trying to interrupt their time together.
Seria inadvertently became someone who was escorted by the Grand Duke and the Emperor’s personal chamberlain, though she was only going to the carriage.
Even so, because it was the palace where the emperor stayed, aristocrats, bureaucrats, and hundreds of people seem to be busy passing by…
It was embarrassing when everyone was looking this way.
“Just go, that’s enough.”
“There’s even a carriage left.”
Seria quickly changed direction.
“Go and come back quickly.”
“Is that what you mean?”
The chamberlain beckoned.
“I’ll take your wife to the carriage.”
The chamberlain was very skillful. Despite his skillful answer, Lesche did not go. Rather, he grabbed Seria’s hand and put it on his cheek.
His red eyes stared down at her.
“People are very shallow.”
“I wonder why I came to the Imperial Palace. I want to stay stuck in the mansion with you.”
Seria stared at Lesche. Every adult would understand what he said. Lesche laughed as he saw Seria’s flickering pupils. He pressed his lips tightly to the back of her hand while his eyes were fixed on Seria’s face.
“I’ll see you at home, Seria.”
Seria felt her heart tingle at the sound of Lesche’s voice. It was winter in the central region, but here spring was approaching. Her fingers twitched involuntarily as she felt something crackle inside her heart. It just tickled her, as if some part of her had been touched by a spring breeze.
“I’ll see you later.”
It wasn’t long before Seria reached the carriage waiting for her. The chamberlain who escorted her said politely.
“Have a safe trip, Grand Duchess Berg.”
After the chamberlain left, Seria waited for a while in front of the carriage. The horses that had been brought to the stable by the imperial attendants had not yet arrived. It’s really amazing how quiet it was, like a library even though there were so many carriages and attendants in one place.
At that moment.
“Um, Grand Duchess Berg?”
A woman’s voice called out from behind Seria. She turned around and saw a noblewoman standing there, whom Seria couldn’t tell if she was a lady or a noblewoman.
The woman grabbed Seria’s hand right away.
“It’s me. Marlesana Polvas. Duchess Polvas.”
‘The Duchess of Polvas? Oh!’
Seria immediately opened her eyes. It was the Duchess whom she had rescued by climbing up the hill from the Berg Territory, Connes Plain.
“Now I’m officially saying thank you. Me and Polvas are in great debt to Stern and Berg.”
The Duchess of Polvas’ eyes lit up significantly.
“I thought you were going to humble yourself and say it wasn’t a big deal, but you’re wrong.”
“It wasn’t a big deal.”
The Duchess burst out laughing. The Duchess’s attitude was very original. Wasn’t that what most of the nobles around Seria were originally like? They were so different inside and outside. Seria Stern was like a dog pleaser.
It had been a long time since she met a Duchess with such a straightforward attitude. She naturally felt ten degrees of fondness for her.
“Yes, that’s right. I came to my senses a few days after that day. I was going to say thank you, but they said the Grand Duke’s castle was too noisy because of the royal approval. So I just sent you a gift because I thought you would be out of your mind if I visited you. I regretted it after sending it. My present must have been buried, right?
‘To be honest, I wasn’t aware that the gift was sent by the Duchess of Polvas. This is because, as she said, gifts poured in from all over Berg due to the imperial approval for my marriage.’
When Seria smiled awkwardly, Duchess Polvas said in a knowing voice.
“It’s all right, Grand Duchess. I’m just happy to see you like this.”
The Duchess took off the hat she was wearing and handed it to the maid next to her, then raised one hand above her chest. Then, with the other hand, she lifted the hem of her skirt and then bent her knees.
It was a deep bow. This was a greeting to express the greatest appreciation to the Lady of the Glick Empire.
But something else caught Seria’s attention before that polite greeting.
Looking back, Seria remembered that this Duchess was also wearing a hat when she was attacked by the demons. At that time, Seria didn’t have time to look carefully at the Duchess’s hair color. It was a very rare pink hair….
Seria asked just in case.
“Madam, could it be that you have pink eyes?”
“Yes? Yes, they are. I have unusual eye color.”
The Duchess clapped her hands.
“Oh, Grand Duchess! You’ve just arrived at the capital. I would like to treat you to a cup of tea as a token of my gratitude. Do you have a regular tea party that you attend? If not….”
Seria blinked as she heard the Duchess’s chattering voice.
‘This person……. Is she from the original story?’