Chapter 1 - Prologue
“…I was wondering how you have been doing.”
“As you can see, I’m very well, so please leave.”
… “Why don’t you just hit me instead? Please don’t ignore me.”
At the mention of hitting him, Seria immediately lifted the thick prayer book. She wondered what all this meant, so she just set it down again.
The sound of the thick book falling with a thud echoed through the prayer room.
It would be better if Abigail came and hit him instead of her. How much she could hit him if she tried.
Kalis looked at Seria with a pained expression.
“I’ve completely cut ties with Cassius and the Kellyden. But, I have one question for you.”
‘What is it he wants to ask?’
That was why Seria didn’t want Kalis to come as a leader. Because there was a limit to what she could do to stop him from entering and leaving the prayer room. If she did so, he would express his disappointment at the temple…
Still, there would be Abigail in front of the prayer room, why did she let Kalis in?
“What is it?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you were so afraid of Cassius? If you had told me earlier, I never would have never talked about the Kellyden. You knew that I exchanged occasional letters with Cassius. Why didn’t you say anything at the time?”
Kalis was right. When she was engaged to him, Seria noticed that Cassius and Kalis were occasionally exchanging letters. Of course, at the time, she just didn’t like the Kellyden and didn’t know the details of their relationship, so she kept quiet….
“I’ve always felt that way, ever since Cassius and I cut ties. I thought that if you had married me as you were originally destined to do, if you had, I would have heard all the stories you were hiding from me at some point….”
These were words Seria never thought she would hear. But honestly, she hated them.
“What do you want?”
The box crinkled lightly in her hands.
“Why in the world do you keep talking about something that would never happen?”
“Why are you doing this when you’ve made all the choices? Do you think you can go back in time by doing this? Is that what you want? Is it that easy?”
“Why do you always have to force your feelings on me?”
Both of Kalis’ eyes froze as if he had been shocked. He swept his face roughly with both hands.
“Every day, I regret that day. If I could turn back time, I wanted to go back to that time.”
What Tuban said came to Seria’s mind. After Tuban said she wasn’t in the book, she thought of Kalis.
She thought that the reason he was attracted to Lina was the causality of the original story.
Therefore, she understood a lot of it. She really understood it.
But the truth was, this wasn’t some novel world.
That was more selfish, wasn’t it?
It was more cruel to her.
In fact, her fiancé had simply fallen for another woman. He was attracted to Lina’s personality and the way she spoke, behavior and appearance.
“You chose Lina, and you abandoned me.”
Kalis dropped his gaze. Then he asked an unexpected question.
“…Did the Grand Duke Berg save you and you hold him in your heart?”
‘What do you mean, “in my heart”?’
Seria did not answer. However, Kalis’ eyes, which were desperately looking at Seria, were greatly shaken.
The corners of Kalis’ eyes turned red. Suddenly, Seria saw a bandage wrapped around his left hand.
Come to think of it, didn’t he have a bandage on it the other day at Kellyden’s castle? Hasn’t that wound healed yet? So much time has passed since then.
After a while, Kalis opened his mouth.
“I just can’t give up on you.”
There was a watery note in Kalis’s voice as he held back.
“I saw the Oracle at the temple.”
“The Oracle that Lina will return soon.”
“Such an oracle has come to the temple.”
Seria blinked at Kalis’ words.
“Lina will come back within a year at least. There’s nothing clear, but…”
Kalis was Lina’s husband, so it seemed that he was told of the news beforehand. But why Kalis tell Seria such a secret?
Kalis continued to speak in a watery voice.
“I’m going to divorce her the moment she comes back. I will prepare the promises that Stern’s spouse will make again, alone. I will prepare everything. So you will abandon me at that time.”
Seria couldn’t believe her ears.
“You’ll be late for Stern’s wedding this time. But it’s okay, please give me one chance.”
Tears formed Kalis’ eyes.
“Because I don’t know how to forget you….”
‘It looks like Marquis Haneton has really gone crazy.’
Alliot looked reflectively to the side as he had this thought. Right beside him was Abigail Orrien. She was the figure with her ear pressed tightly against the prayer room door. The knight’s dignity looked like it had been thrown down a cliff.
Of course, this strange behavior of hers wasn’t a big problem.
It was really nothing compared to having…Lesche by their side.
Lesche was leaning against the prayer room door. There was no need to explain how brutal his expression was.
So much so that only the knights of the Berg nearby for no reason would be put off by it….
Alliot was also swallowing hard now and again.
And Lesche also heard Marquis Haneton’s distracted words just now.
‘I shouldn’t have opened the door.’
He wasn’t eavesdropping on purpose. There was a knight’s duty.
However, Kalis was being monitored from the moment he entered this Berg mansion. He probably knew about it. This was because it was not a covert surveillance, but a blatant warning surveillance.
But Kalis managed to come into the prayer room somehow, even though he knew about those watchful eyes. He intended to see Seria. To cling to Grand Duchess Berg.
No matter how much space it was inside the mansion, knights could not be placed inside the prayer room. Currently, the prayer room was the same space where extraterritoriality was applied. Above all, the master of the Order, Lesche Berg, did not seem to be willing to give such a bleak order. Because he was….
“When you fall in love, you become weak or go crazy. You see it in your own way.”
The words Linon said yesterday suddenly came to Alliot’s mind.
He couldn’t go in, but he certainly had to check on Seria’s safety. Alliott opened the door slightly once in a while to visually check her safety. It was an appropriate compromise between privacy and protection of the main target.
“This time, you’re late for Stephen’s wedding. “But it’s okay, so please give me a chance.”
The problem was next.
“It’s because I don’t know how to forget you….”
Alliot couldn’t keep the open much longer, so he didn’t hear Seria’s response after that.
‘The Grand Duchess has always cut the Marquis off cold, and I’m sure this time will be no different.’
Alliot actually didn’t understand. As a third party, he could easily guess the Grand Duchess’s reaction like this. Why didn’t Marquis Haneton know? When you fall in love, you become weak or go crazy. Marquis Haneton was a classic case of the latter.
However, the conversation inside the prayer room was starting to lull.
Alliot stepped back from the door in moderation. Of course, Abigail was still clinging her ears to the door of the prayer room.
Some time passed.
The door to the prayer room opened and Seria walked out alone. Her forehead distorted as she came out, the door closing behind her. Abigail saw Kalis standing there, stunned, facing the altar.
Was he crying or something? He was covering his face with both hands….
Abigail slammed the door shut.
Seria looked puzzled as she saw Lesche outside the door.
“When did you get here?”
Abigail tilted her chin finely as she looked at the Grand Duke, who lied without blinking.
Kalis stood in a daze, staring at the altar. His heart ached as if he was being tortured, but he couldn’t pinpoint what to do.
Desperation struck him, and Kalis pressed down on his chest.
The story of Lina’s return was something that only he was informed at the great temple.
Because he was Lina’s husband.
Even the temple knew that they did not have a normal marriage. In other words, Lina had saved Kalis’s life… but if it went back further, Kalis and Lina had almost taken the life of Seria, the Stern, side by side.
Because of this, the great temple’s attitude towards Kalis was subtle. Still, Lina’s husband was Kalis… so the Oracle was confidential.
But that was all. It was a fragile relationship.
To Kalis, Lina was literally just a Saint. Nothing more, nothing less, just a poor friend that he wanted to take care of. From a political point of view, she was a big shot who would bring great benefits to Haneton.
When all this was considered, there was no way that Lina was more important than his beloved fiancé, Seria.
Seria fixed his arm. She got the herbs herself from the precipice.
When he was late for Stern’s wedding, he thought there was room for settlement. That was because they both were still alive. And because Seria liked him. She couldn’t take her eyes off the proposal ring when he proposed to her.
So he thought they should just get married again. He felt that everything would go back to the way it was somehow.
However, Seria completely closed her heart.
At first, the distance didn’t resonate with him. However, the more time passed, the more he began to realize it. The fact that Seria was neither his fiancée nor his wife.
He struggled. He hoped she would understand how he felt.
But, since when did Seria start dating the other man?
It was like hell.
If this wasn’t hell, where was hell, Kalis could not easily find the answer.
He staggered out. It was quiet outside the prayer room. No one was there. The High Priest who had just come to the prayer room met Kalis’s gaze. He was surprised to see Kalis there. Seeing Kalis’s pale face, he rushed over.
“Marquis Haneton? Are you all right?”
“Yes, Marquis. Why such a pale face. ….”
Kalis cupped his face in his hands and slumped over as if he was about to break down in tears. It was then that the High Priest finally gave him a sad look. He (High Priest) realized that it was probably because of Kalis’s unrequited love for Seria Stern.
Kalis asked with tears.
“How should I atone for the wounds I inflicted on Stern?”
* I feel so bad for Kalis. He is sincerely hurt and wants to repent. He still loves Seria very much.