Chapter 1 - Prologue
There was a thin document in his hand. Linon gasped and said,
“I have just received the news! Grand Duchess, a magic crystal mine was discovered on the land you inherited from the Kellyden at that time!”
“The Duke of Polvas gave me a small castle nearby.”
“Good, good. He* seems to be loving his wife, after all.” (*Marquis Polvas)
Seria properly folded the letter Marlesana had sent her with a feeling of satisfaction.
The fact that she had discovered the magic crystal mine was still a secret.
However, the other day when she mentioned that she wanted to borrow the road, Marquis Polvas was willing to do so. He, who only came out in a suit with the color of his wife’s hair after her death.
“By the way, Grand Duchess.”
Seria lifted her head as Linon called her. He was sitting across from her in the carriage, and was flipping through the papers.
“May I ask you one question?”
“What is it?”
“When was this document prepared?”
“I wrote it after I came back from the Kellyden’s residence.”
What Linon was looking at was the document that Seria had written down in the past. It described the location of the soon-to-be-excavated Crystal Mine and the approximate amount of reclaimed land that she read in the original story. Linon mumbled for a moment, “That’s outrageous,” and then leaned his head back.
“No, more importantly, how did you predict this? The discovery of the Crystal mine is the latest news to come in today. Did you or Marquis Kellyden know about it?”
“I don’t know. But if he had known, he wouldn’t have given me that precious land, would he?”
Before Seria could finish her sentence, Linon stood up quickly.
“I was joking.”
Linon sat down, disappointed.
“…… I believed you just now, Grand Duchess…”
“Trust me. The amount of landfill is that much.”
“How do you know that?”
“I know somehow. I can’t give you any details. ….”
Linon didn’t say anything. It didn’t seem to matter much how Seria knew all these.
“The Grand Duchess borrowed me from His Highness.”
“What can I do for you? If it were just for the miners and their aides, it would be a waste of money.”
Berg had many mines in its possession, and Linon, the chief aide, was too busy meddling in such matters. Seria also wrote a transaction contract with Lesche to borrow this highly skilled personnel. Of course, she was going to give Linon a light shake now.
“I’ll deduct this much once the mine is fully profitable.”
Linon’s eyes widened slightly as Seria showed him the numbers on the contract.
“I don’t need any more money since His Highness gives me a lot.”
“Well… don’t you know that the more money you have, the better?”
“I’m so busy, I don’t have time to use it.”
“No, how…Is there anything else you want?”
Seria asked, immediately despairing. She knew exactly what Linon liked.
“Cleaning supplies?” (Seria)
Linon started coughing as if he was choking. He continued to cough and looked at Seria with a puzzled expression.
“Yes, I really like cleaning products.”
“I’m going to buy enough of those.”
Seria was in despair.
“Is there anything else you want? Nothing? Money can pay for many things.”
Linon stared at Seria, then abruptly lowered his gaze. His expression darkened which didn’t suit him. As a result, Seria became instantly flustered. ‘Is there something wrong with the question I asked him earlier…?’
“Then, Grand Duchess.”
Linon, who had been holding back for a while, finally spoke up.
“If I make any mistakes within the next three months, could you be considerate for once?”
“Make a mistake? …What is it?”
Linon just smiled without answering. The smile looked very desperate, so Seria had no choice but to blink. She had never seen Linon make such an expression.
“If you’re going to hurt His Highness, I won’t forgive you.”
“His Highness? Grand Duchess, why would I….?”
“You can’t hurt me either…”
“No, Grand Duchess!”
Linon got up with a frustrated look on his face and sat down again, realizing that it was a rocking carriage.
“May I ask what kind of trash I am considered to be by the Grand Duchess?”
“You’re not trash.”
Seria said with a frown.
“If it’s not like that, I’ll see to it later.”
“Tell me to jump out of here.”
“No, I’ll understand. Three months, right?”
“Yes, I think that’s about right.”
Linon said he shouldn’t have brought it up and swept his face with both hands. Then the carriage, which had been speeding along, slowly came to a stop.
With a light knock, the footman opened the door.
“We have arrived, Grand Duchess. The horses cannot enter from here.”
“The magi here is really bad.”
The land was taken away by demons and became contaminated with magi. There was a reason why the horses couldn’t come in.
“Bibi, are you all right? You’re not cold, are you?”
“No, I’m not cold. The Young Lady is next to me.”
Before she knew it, Abigail had already changed into her star gold armor.
They were up on the highest point of a bumpy hill. The land they looked down upon was even more wretched than Seria had expected. The pitch-black purple color was constantly shaking like the claws of a demon…. If even a demon appeared here, she felt like she would faint. It was the first time she had actually seen such large-scale contaminated land.
“Bibi, give me the insignia.”
“Here, young lady.”
In the back, the mine aide looked puzzled. Linon was there, too. Both of them were wearing constellation gold armor, but Seria sent them far away for the moment, not knowing how they would react to what needed to be done now.
“‘Grand Duchess! Are you sure you’re okay! Can’t you contact the front instead, even now?”
The voice of the aide echoed loudly.
Seria had not yet told them what to do with this contaminated land. However, it seemed that the people on the ground here naturally knew that she was Stern, and instead expected that she would come with whatever favors they could get through her close connections to the Grand Duke. It was a general expectation.
That was probably why he looked like he was about to faint when Seria told him she was going to the magi border herself.
The Stern insignia was large and heavy. It was a certificate that Seria had successfully borrowed for a week with the promise that she would offer night and day prayers at the temple. She placed the insignia carefully on the ground.
‘Is a week enough? In the original story, it took a week.’
Lina cleaned up this massive amount of contaminated land in just a week.
Compared to the High Priest, who took several years to successfully clean up, Lina’s divine power was that overwhelming. Seria grabbed the circlet that she wore around her neck. She didn’t know how many times she would need to unleash her divine power to cleanse this vast land.
She hoped that it would be as few times as possible, but as many cleansings as possible. With a pounding heart, Seria held the circlet in front of the Stern insignia.
A burst of divine power followed, and her hair and cloak fluttered long. She checked the back, just in case. Fortunately, Linon and the other aide didn’t collapse. They were just looking dumbfounded.
Abigail’s stunned voice sounded in Seria’s ears. She blinked her eyes quickly.
“Am I watching this right now?”
“What you saw today.”
Seria said in a gruesome voice as she looked at Linon and the others.
“Do not speak of it to the outside.”
At the same time, Seria heard a clattering noise nearby. It was the sound of Abigail lifting and releasing her sword menacingly in the air. It was a threatening look for anyone to see.
“No, Bibi. There’s no need to threaten them….”
“Yes, My Lady.”
That was exactly what Abigail did, she returned to her safe face. She paced, looking at the already cleaned land.
Seria shrugged and looked ahead again.
“What’s your answer?”
“All right, Grand Duchess.”
Unlike the pale aide, Linon had a calm face. Not everyone had the ability of the chief aide.
“By the way, Grand Duchess?”
“Shall I silence the miners and others?”
“Wouldn’t it be hard to make them quiet completely?”
“It’s not hard, it just takes some time.”
Seria shook her head.
“Just make sure they don’t say anything about today anywhere, that’s all.”
This vast land was cleansed in one day. Even though they might not say anything about what they saw today right away, little by little the story will spread. How long will it take for the stories to flow gradually and blend into the society?
Of course, this was easy to predict from Seria’s experience of being in and out of social circles on a daily basis.
It would be exactly six months later. The reason she dared to reveal this was simple.
‘I don’t know how Lina will react.’
Of course, there was still plenty of time left before Lina would come back, but by then, the fact that Seria Stern was the master of purification would spread throughout the Glick Empire.
‘Of course, the fact that it’s all thanks to the existence of this circlet will be an absolute secret. I’m going to keep it a secret forever.’
There was one thing Seria was curious about.
‘Would Lina connect the Circlet to the story of the purification I did today that would spread throughout the Empire and ask me about it?’