Chapter 1 - Prologue
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“…To Duke Howard’s banquet?”
Kalis, who had hurriedly finished his work in the Haneton territory and came up to the imperial capital, couldn’t help but panic. And that wasn’t all.
“Lina called Eoles?”
“Yes, my lord.”
“Why did she call him to the mansion?”
“We don’t know…”
Kalis didn’t know why Lina had called Eoles to the Imperial mansion when Eoles had to take care of the silver tree garden.
Kalis went to see Lina first.
“Lina, didn’t I ask you to stay at the mansion until I return?”
“…I had to check on something. I’m sorry.”
Kalis said, managing to hide his tiredness.
“Let Eoles go.”
“Why? He had a job he’s been assigned.”
“But… I want to get to know Eoles. Can we make Eoles the chief attendant instead of the current one?”
Kalis’s face stiffened. Lina looked at him intensely and asked abruptly.
“You’re not going to do me a favor because you’re afraid I’ll ruin the birthday present you’re going to give Seria?”
“The chief maid of the house is not one to be changed at will, Lina.”
“I’m your wife now, aren’t I?”
Kalis got down on one knee in front of Lina.
“I’m your guardian. I’m sure you’ll meet a better man.”
“Then…Kalis, are you waiting for Seria?”
“…Only if Seria allows it.”
Lina was angry. It was that unidentified book she had read. In that book, which contained all the stories and lives of this world, Kalis had truly loved her (Lina).
Even though he (Kalis) even committed suicide because Lina married Grand Duke Berg.
Because Lina abandoned him (Kalis).
Because Lina didn’t choose him (Kalis).
This was the reason why Lina couldn’t just dismiss the book as a dream. It was too detailed. Dreams aren’t that detailed.
Seria had really taken a lot from Lina. Lina was the hero who had so much taken from her.
And … Lina couldn’t let it be taken from her forever.
“Seria is the Grand Duchess of Berg. How can she give up that marriage? I know that’s impossible!”
Lina was about to cry as she looked at Kalis who didn’t respond.
“Kalis, please… Please don’t act like you’re someone who can’t live without Seria.”
Lina spoke miserably. Her brown eyes eventually hardened like stone. Because she saw the tears running down Kalis’ cheeks.
Kalis covered his face with both hands.
Lina’s hands trembled. It was possible that she had been wrong all along. This was in a book. Kalis was a minor character who killed himself because he fell in love with Lina, so it should have been natural for him to be drawn to her.
She thought she’ll try to approach Lesche Berg first without fear. But…even if she were to go back, Lina was afraid of that man, Lesche Berg.
How did things turn out differently from the book in the first place?
It was Seria’s fault.
She got engaged to Kalis, and that was why everything went awry.
Instead, if Seria had rescued Kalis just before he killed himself, everything would have flowed more smoothly and effortlessly…
Why of all things?
Why, of all people..?
The female protagonist of this world was Lina herself.
The man who was finally chosen by her was Lesche Berg.
“Since I’m the heroine, I’ll make you the male lead.”
Lina clasped her hands tightly.
“But for that to happen, the wicked woman (Seria) will have to lose to me.”
At first, Seria was very surprised to hear Abigail say that word, but the more she thought about it, the calmer she became.
She felt as if she had been holding it in a corner of her mind for a long time.
At first she thought she was in the world of the book, but it turned out to be a real world. Lina might find out one day….vague assumptions.
Listening to Abigail, it seemed that Lina only knew the former, not the latter.
How did Lina know?
It was Tuban who told Seria the truth about this place. And so, from the first time she met him, despite his frightening appearance, he had a strange, effortless power.
Reflexively, she remembered the being that had crawled over to pull her ankles. It was that strange and terrifying being that looked so much like Tuban.
If Tuban was Seria’s guardian, was that strange being Lina’s guardian? She had never heard of two Saints’ guardians… but Tuban taught her that.
Seria had a flicker of suspicion towards Tuban for a moment. If that was the case, Tuban would die with all his hair pulled out.
Thinking like this, Seria looked at the wizard in front of her. It was the wizard she had successfully recruited while Duke Howard was drooling over Abigail.
“Yes, Grand Duchess!”
“Have you heard from your master lately?”
“That’s… actually, letters have been coming every day.”
As Chloe replied with a little trembling, Seria put down her teacup and said clearly once again.
“I will build you a magical tower within ten years.”
“…Yes, Grand Duchess!
There was no such thing as a magical tower in this world yet. Most of the wizards in the Glick Empire were supported under Duke Howard.
Since she needed a lot of wizards in the future, she needed her own magic education, different from Howard’s.
She named it the Magic Tower, which was actually the same as her promise to build a school for wizards to attend.
Chloe was still trembling.
Duke Howard was crazy about Abigail, but that didn’t mean he was stupid enough to show off all his talented wizards.
Seria didn’t want a wizard too young or too old.
She chose the wizard who had accumulated the most small achievements among them. So…
As a young wizard who had published countless thesis papers for her Master and whose name was listed… was Chloe.
‘Poor graduate student.’
Her teacher gave her countless assignments and tormented them. It was said that wizards always needed a teacher, and that academic training was important, so they had no choice but to endure.
The relationship between Seria and Duke Howard was irretrievable due to the incident of the mermaid slavery, so Chloe’s master, who was under Duke Howard, seemed to be in a big hurry to go get Chloe back.
“How’s your research going?”
“I brought a sample with me.”
Seria’s eyes lit up.
She opened the crate that Chloe had brought and found paper rings of various thicknesses. The rings were made of specially treated paper with a magic circle drawn on it.
When the processed magic crystal was inserted into the dented groove in the center, the magic crystal glowed as if it was on fire.
Chloe’s assistant put the ring on his hand and inserted the magic crystal. At the same time as the glowing light, the wind blew loudly and the assistant suddenly disappeared.
Seria hurriedly stood up and looked out the window.
“Grand Duchess! …Master!”
At the edge of Berg’s huge garden, the assistant waved his hands and shouted loudly.
Seria smiled brightly as she looked back at Chloe.
“Yes, Grand Duchess! It’s still only that far, but now that we know the principle, we can increase the distance we can travel if we keep up our research!”
“I will build you a magical tower within nine years!” (😂 Seria reduced one year)
“Thank you very much!”
Her heart was filled with joy.
She didn’t express it, but riding in the carriage for long distances often made her exhausted. She wanted it to go quickly, but horses were living creatures, so they couldn’t run infinitely like machines…
Seria sat down at her desk again, putting two rings on each finger that Chloe had left as a gift.
“Then why don’t you sell it?”
The village chief of Mullah Island shivered. Linon replaced his gloves with a cold expression. The village chief and all the other high ranking people in the community could not even raise their heads.
Linon packed the blue jewel tightly and walked out, avoiding the heavy air.
The Mermaid’s Spring was tucked well into his pocket.
The elders of Mullah Island did not sell this gem easily. Linon gasped when they said that the legendary blue jewel, which was said to contain sacred power, was a guardian god that protected the island.
How many mermaids have been eaten here?
When there was a famine, the mermaids got eaten openly, but the people pretended not to know.
This was the territory of the Glick Empire, but it was a remote place, beyond the reach of central law and power.
A place where they didn’t know the crest of the Berg, but where they trembled at the word of a nobleman’s subordinate who was higher than the Count, a place where it was hot and poor.
Linon had always paid attention to his homeland. That was why he soon found out that a mermaid had been taken out by the Imperial noble family a few months ago.
He decided to kill the mermaid before it became a fashion for the Glick nobles.
It was the only way he could think of.
So that day he asked Seria for forgiveness. Seria really didn’t like the idea of her social reputation being tarnished, but she could see the fact that Berg’s chief aide had damaged Duke Howard’s fortune coming back to haunt her.
In the end, it was Seria who saved Linon who was crying in front of the tank because he couldn’t strangle the mermaid…
“I guess God comes down to mermaids, too.”
Linon smiled faintly. At the same time, there was a thumping pain in his back, but he ignored it.
Linon squatted down and looked out at the salty sea.
“Mullah Island was the only place where it was not easy to walk, even if you were Berg’s chief aide…”
He was given an unexpected order to find the Mermaid’s Spring. He let the order win over the fear of having his whole brain carved into his bones and brought him here.
“Just as this southern sea is as blue as the eyes of the Grand Duchess… Ouch!”
Linon fell forward. He screamed as he brushed the sand off his body.
“Abigail Orrien! I’m not as strong as you, sir!”
“I helped you because you seemed to have forgotten that we were still carrying out the young lady’s order.”
“I didn’t forget! I’ll be frank with you as it is! Doesn’t it remind you of the Grand Duchess while looking at the ocean?”
Abigail waved her hand and didn’t even pretend to listen.
Seria was at her desk, looking at some papers, when the lights flickered. She looked up involuntarily and her eyes widened.
She didn’t even know when he had arrived.
Lesche, dressed in a black gown, was leaning on her desk and looking at Seria. He glanced at the paperwork Seria was working so hard on and chuckled.
“I wanted to leave Linon with less work, but he just pushed it all on you?”
Seria cleared her throat.
“I hired Linon, so I’m doing it for his welfare.”
Linon went to Mullah Island as soon as his wrist had healed to some extent.
“You will die while guaranteeing welfare.”
“I can’t die with this much….”
“Seria, look at your clock.”
At Lesche’s words, Seria looked at the clock in her office, startled. It was close to two in the morning.
‘Linon is a human…?’
She wondered if Lesche was a human too. It seemed that the meeting that had been going on since early evening was already over. Now that the social season was coming to an end, Berg was busy with several issues.
Seria got up from her chair with a troubled look on her face.
“You should have gone to bed first.” (Seria)
Before she knew it, Lesche came to her side and sat lightly on the edge of the desk, staring at her intensely.
“How can I sleep without you in bed?” (Lesche)