Chapter 1 - Prologue
The Duchess of Polvas, Marlesana Polvas closed her eyes and opened them.
“…… What am I looking at now?”
Marlesana saw the noble ladies standing with her, their eyes rolling back and forth as they held their fans. They were not the only ones to react, and it was not a problem.
Marlesana and the other nobles in the vicinity had their gaze focused only on one side. It was an irresistible force. To Lesche Berg, the master of this mansion.
This was a large banquet hall located in the annex of the Berg mansion. The few nobles were already enjoying the ball, but the problem was after Lesche Berg had entered. The gaze that naturally fell on the host of the mansion could not return to its original position. There were dozens of pairs of gazes that were fixed as if they were nailed.
It was not until the Great Duke Berg, who was greeting several nobles, left the hall with the butler who visited him that their eyes regained their original place.
The conversation did not bloom immediately. There was gentle music playing in the background….
“I now understand why His Highness the Grand Duke doesn’t often come up to the Imperial capital.”
Someone said, and everyone agreed. They were well aware of Grand Duke Berg’s beautiful and outstanding appearance, but right now, it was really choking them in the purest sense of the word. It would only be troublesome to be subjected to such stares, knowing that Lesche Berg was not a personality that enjoyed socializing.
This was also the masterpiece that Designer Begonia had put her heart and soul into. They even thought that she should pay a modeling fee, instead of getting paid for dressing Lesche.
Marlesana was genuinely impressed.
“His Highness’ boutonniere and cufflinks were all tailored with blue jewels, he must have thought of the Grand Duchess, right?”
It was because Seria had blue eyes.
Marlesana wondered if her husband, the Duke of Polvas, would only wear jewels that resembled the color of her eyes.
If he really showed up wearing it, she would be so embarrassed that her cheeks would turn red. It was a very romantic gesture.
“The Grand Duke is really wonderful.”
Marlesana said, laughing, looking to the side, then froze like ice.
When did he arrive? The Duke of Polvas was next to her. He was looking at Marlesana with an expressionless face. The Duke of Polvas held out his arm.
“The old Count and Countess Rousseau are over there. Let’s go.”
Marlesana hurriedly grabbed Duke Polvas’s arm. The ladies greeted her with “See you later,” and Marlesana glanced at her husband. No one cared that a noblewoman would say such a compliment in a social banquet hall, but it was a bit of a different matter for someone who had a crush on someone else.
“Not that one, let’s make it red.”
“Yes, Marquis Haneton.”
The designer who was in charge of Kalis looked very sad.
‘He’s a man who goes to see his ex-fiancée. So I have to do it carefully.’
The salon was a place where rumors often spread, but only to clients who were allowed to the noble room, and the designers were very tight-lipped about it. Furthermore, when it came to going as far as requesting personal styling, the salon designers’ mouths were very tight. To begin with, Kalis even chose a salon that was thoroughly committed in that direction.
“Do you want these cufflinks? Or do you want me to replace it with that bracelet?”
Kalis looked at the magic crystal bracelet in the box for a while. It was the bracelet that he looked at everyday. He rubbed the tip of the magic crystal cautiously and placed it slowly back in the box.
“Let’s go with the cufflink.”
“So this is it then…..”
After preparing earlier than usual, he was able to make it exactly in time. Kalis went downstairs where the priests were waiting.
“I’m a little nervous…”
“It’s been a while.”
Kalis fell silent. Then he took a step.
Haneton’s aide thought it was fortunate that Kalis’s eyes were still lively.
It seemed that his master, who has always been vexed since his return from Berg’s castle in the Central Territories, has come to his senses for the first time in a long time, and what aide in the world would not like that?
It was the first time he was going to the Berg castle and it made the aide a little nervous, but all Kalis could think of was seeing Seria again after a long time.
Welcome, Marquis Haneton. We at the Berg extend our heartfelt hospitality to your guests.”
The nicely dressed butler of Berg bowed his head. But there was something strange about it. Because the Berg mansion, which they had expected to be quiet inside, was very lively. There were a lot of people.
Maids and servants were busily moving around, and above all, numerous nobles knew Kalis Haneton.
The High Priest next to Kalis said with a smile.
“The handover of the insignia is a unique inclination, it’ll never happen again.”
“That’s right. Berg was hosting a banquet to commemorate this. Please understand that I could not tell you in advance because the banquet was prepared in a hurry.”
“It’s okay. Just fine.”
Kalis’s expression sank slightly.
There were many guests invited to the mansion. That meant that the hostess must meet with other people as well.
That also meant there would be less time to be given to Kalis.
‘Is Seria that uncomfortable talking to me?’
“Okay, let’s go in.”
Kalis’s heart beat helplessly at the invitation to go in. But it quickly cooled down.
It was Grand Duke Berg standing in the hallway. Seria was nowhere to be seen.
He realized that he wasn’t the only one who had dressed up to make a good impression on Seria. Or was it to kill the spirits of his love rival?
The high-ranking priest went to Lesche first and greeted him.
“Grand Duke Berg. It’s been a long time.”
“I am honored to carry out the mission to deliver the Stern insignia.”
Even as they greeted him, the priests marveled in their hearts. This was the first time they had seen Grand Duke Berg attending a banquet, and they had not expected him to be so nice. The priests were far removed from the mundane world, but there was something about him that was pleasing to the eye.
‘It’s a good thing he’s not wearing a suit of armor.’
Actually, that was why they were most relieved… After being so neatly dressed, the Grand Duke wouldn’t kill them, right? That was also the wish of the priests.
The order of greeting had already shifted to the back.
“It’s been a while since I’ve greeted you. Your Highness, Grand Duke Berg.”
In a businesslike tone, Kalis began with what was most important to him.
“Where is she? Seria Stern.”
The title was Kalis’s obsession. He did not want to refer to Seria as Grand Duchess in front of Lesche Berg. Seria was also Stern, and that was not a misnomer.
His heart was pounding like crazy at the thought of really meeting Seria.
How long has it been since he lost control of his mind?
Surprisingly, a complex mixture of tension, happiness, and unrequited love emerged on Kalis’s face that he couldn’t hide. He’d like to kneel down in front of her and dedicate the insignia to her, but then… if he does that….
‘You son of a b**ch.’
Thanks to this, Lesche’s hand creases became more noticeable from the beginning. He really wanted to shove a glove in Kalis’s mouth. What kind of backbone he (Kalis) has that wouldn’t leave a man’s wife alone with a look of unrequited love on his face, when he couldn’t even hide it?
The Stern insignia that Kalis held in his hands caught Lesche’s reasoning for the last time. Seria said she wanted that. She said she had to have it. He remembered only that as patience.
There was no way that the priests could have failed to notice this subtle current that flowed as soon as they met. They had just been gazing at the heavy atmosphere for a while.
Lesche lifted one of his eyebrows suggestively.
“It’s been a while since I saw the Saintess’s husband.”
“My wife is waiting in front of the prayer room in the annex.”
Lesche referred to Kalis as the Saintess’s husband, and Seria as his wife. Kalis glared at Lesche.
He had no intention of fighting here himself. He had insisted on being the insignia carrier, and he felt that if he messed this up, Seria
would never really see him again.
So Kalis answered slowly.
“I’m happy to see you Stern after a long time. Your Highness.”
“I don’t know if my wife will be pleased to see you.”
“I’m here as a carrier, so she won’t be put off.”
“Certainly, since you are the husband of another Stern.”
Kalis’s jaw tightened.
“I’ve told you several times that marriage with the Saintess is temporary.The Saintess’ aspirations were so, and so were mine.”
As soon as Kalis married Lina, he asked for a divorce right away. This was something that the priests were well aware of, so they were not put off by it.
“It doesn’t matter if your marriage is temporary or not.”
“Of course it does. It’s not to His Highness, but it’s important to Stern.”
“Why is your trivial news important to my wife?”
“I thought you would understand without daring to say.”
“Yes, I did.”
Lesche said coldly and sarcastically.
“Is it something you want to say?”
He almost raised his voice louder. Kalis gritted his teeth.
As his feelings for Seria deepened, she was the only one who was clear, but the others were slowly sinking into black and white. But even in the midst of all of this, there was one person who would attack his feelings sharply, and that was Lesche, this man in front of him.
That day. He didn’t know he would lose Seria forever.
Kalis’s deep resentment that had grown since that day, 80% of it turned into remorse and tormented him, and the other 10% of it was directed at Seria. Why did she abandon him?
And the remaining 10% was directed at Lesche Berg.
Anyway, wouldn’t Lesche Berg feel the same way as him?
He still wants to throw the gloves at each other and duel until one of them dies.
If he could, he wanted to throw the gloves he wore right away.