Chapter 17

 

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The year-end party two days later was a last-minute affair, but preparations were not delayed.

‘I did it.’

Seria came to the hall with a slight disappointment because she was still worried about it, but her fears were unnecessary.

She was quite pleased to see the hall transformed to match the end-of-year atmosphere. The two days of running around on Alliot’s  back had been worth it.

The sweet melodies of the beautifully dressed musicians tickled her ears. She stood on the rather angular second-floor staircase and looked around the hall. There were many nobles, even though the official party had not yet begun. They were busy in groups of two, dancing lightly to the music, or gathering in groups talking. Probably more than 90% of their conversation was about her.

The official reception started in the evening, and the only thing she needed to do was to show up together with Lesche. When she returned to her room, Begonia was already there waiting.

“Do I have to call you Grand Duchess now, My Lady?”

Seria smiled at Begonia’s playful words.

“It’s a kindness His Highness had done to save my life. It was a kind of slavery contract, and the role of the temporary hostess was that of a slave…”

She was actually still a bit busy. Nevertheless, the help she had received from Begonia in many ways was so great that she gladly accepted the request to meet her.

“I see there are cases where favors become destinies,” Begonia said, smiling graciously but with a keen eye. She was now looking carefully at the dress on the mannequin. The pink-beige dress, along with the wedding dress, had been commissioned by Kalis for her to wear at their supposed wedding reception. But the reception had suddenly turned into a year-end party and Begonia had come to see her in a state of emergency.

“The dress you wear at a wedding reception is very different from the dress you wear at a year-end party. The former is an extension of the wedding and can be neat and clean, but the latter has to be more glamorous. If I’m not careful, it can look shabby.”

No designer wants their work to look shabby. That was why there was so much jewellery on the dress all of a sudden.

With Begonia’s simple instructions, her assistants began to dress her. Her hair was braided in place, and carefully decorated with jeweled pins as well.

“Would you look at this dress in the mirror, My Lady,” Begonia said, suddenly pulling it out of a square leather satchel.

“Would you like to see it? It’s a perfect dress for a spring picnic.”

It was a beautiful lentil-coloured dress that Seria naturally admired. She complimented Begonia heartily.

“It’s very pretty.”

“It’s one of my main pieces for the next season,’ said the elated Begonia, laughing in earnest.

“I will give you this dress, Lady Seria, under one condition.”

“Yes?”

“Would you make some changes to your existing dress contract with me?”

“What changes would you like to make?”

“I would like to change the client of the contract to Lady Seria instead of Marquis Haneton. Can you do it?”

“It’s not difficult, it was my dress anyway. Please give me the contract.”

“After all, Lady Seria has a kind heart. That’s good.”

As if she had made up her mind to say this today, Begonia immediately took a piece of paper from her pocket. It was a dressmaking contract signed by Kalis a few months ago. Seria looked at his familiar name for a moment, then quickly drew a line through it and wrote her name next to it.

“Here you go,” she said, confirming her signature and looking as refreshed as someone who had removed a tumor.

“Very well. That’s the end of it. How troublesome it was.”

“Why?”

“Because the Saintess wanted me to make a dress for her.”

“Lina?”

“Yes. It wasn’t a dress for the year end party. I didn’t have much time to spare. She wanted a dress to wear when she went to Haneton Estate.”

“A dress to wear to Haneton Estate?”

“Yes. At the time I still had a contract with Marquis Haneton, so the Saintess wanted to add another dress to it.”

Lina must have been unaware that Kalis had requested a divorce.  Otherwise, she wouldn’t have requested a dress to wear to Haneton Estate.

After the end of the year party tomorrow, all the nobles who came in the name of celebration must leave the castle, and Lina would also have to leave Berg Castle in a few days. She was a Saintess, so of course she had to go back to the Great Temple, but to go to the Haneton Estate…? The question arose.

‘Does she really hate the Great Temple so much?’

With only the priests around Lina, they would all have nothing but good things to say about her. Objectively speaking, New Castle Country, with its great temple, was a beautiful and magnificent city. Of course the food was a little unpleasant, but the priests would never say that such a trifle was a disadvantage. Seria didn’t really understand this, as she had been to the temple after being possessed by the original Seria, just to see the famous sights.

In any case, the divorce from Stern would take quite some time, and until then Lina would be the Marquess of Haneton. The title of Saintess was classy and special, so Lina would always be called Saintess.

“Speaking of which, I must return Marquis Haneton’s ring.”

Like all noblemen of high tradition, Marqu