Chapter 1 - Prologue
Lesche scanned Seria up and down and said.
“You hold different views and opinions. Your eyes show more than you assume. Sometimes, words cannot express it.” Begonia said.
After Seria made sure that Begonia would attend the banquet, she promptly left the room with Lesche.
“Your cheek is still red.”
“I’ve just been to the glacier and the cold caused my face to become red.”
This was the excuse she chose to make.
Lesche smirked. Outside the door, Linon, Alliot, and the other Berg knights were already waiting. They were all dressed up more splendidly and respectfully than usual.
“Your Highness, please wait a moment…”
Alliot approached Lesche as if he had some business to discuss. Meanwhile, Linon advanced towards Seria, looking at her face.
“Lady Seria! You look very beautiful today as always.”
“Thank you very much. But, Linon.”
“Yes, My Lady?”
She gestured for Linon to come closer. He stood near her obediently with a puzzled look on his face. She didn’t say anything to Linon, but opened her palm.
“Huh? You want my hand? Am I a dog?”
He asked back and placed his hand right above hers. But they did not touch, as Linon’s hand stopped before his hand touched hers. However, Seria snatched his hand, and he blinked in surprise.
“Linon, you’re also looking good today.”
“Yes. Thank you?”
Linon was remarkably perplexed. Seria released his hand and smiled.
‘Linon is a germaphobe, but he didn’t avoid my hand.’
But he swept and wiped the garden and her building every day because her place was dirty? Why did he clean it? She thought she would ask him later when she had the chance.
“Let’s go, Young Lady.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
It seemed that Alliot had given Lesche everything he needed in a short moment. Together with Lesche, they headed towards the banquet hall.
Linon, Alliot, and the other knights followed behind at a reasonable distance.
“What did you do to Linon?”
Lesche suddenly asked. Seria glanced behind her to make sure the people behind them were still at a distance. Then, she stretched her neck and whispered in Lesche’s ear.
“I heard Linon is a germaphobe. I just did an experiment to see if he would avoid my hands.”
“I don’t think he would avoid your hands.”
“Well, you’ll have to ask him later.”
Lesche’s answer raised her curiosity. Would Linon answer if she asks? Anyway, she nodded.
There was already a large crowd in the grand banquet hall when she entered with Lesche as her escort. She admired it, looking around the large hall with content. It was the original Seria’s aesthetic sense. It was marvelous. In fact, It was magnificent. Seria’s taste was one of those memories that still lingered in this body. The fact that she was in and out of social circles on a daily basis meant that the probability of her having a fine eye was high. Villains are almost always clean and sophisticated. Seria was fortunate to have that.
It was very satisfying to select the ornaments she liked and hang them harmoniously to decorate the grand banquet hall, because creating as much space as she wanted with other people’s money was more interesting than she could imagine. Especially that large and rich rose flower sculpture made of pink marble. She was surprised to see such a beautiful and delicate sculpture covered with a thick layer of dust in the main warehouse of Berg. Shouldn’t this amazing piece of art deserve people’s admiration?
She had the pleasure of exploring the spacious warehouse, which had inspired her to do more.
‘I don’t think I’ve even seen half of it yet.’
Berg was amazing, as expected. It wasn’t long before the first dance began.
“Lady Seria Stern.”
Seria turned towards the sudden voice, and a solidly built knight bowed his head stiffly.
Johannes. The Commander of the Knights of Duke Davu.
More than thirty percent of the guests who attended this grand banquet hall were knights. They were all handsomely dressed in formal suits and neatly pressed hair, but they were all knights either way.
Considering that the participation rate of professionals at a ball was usually around 10%, the number was three times higher. The reason for this odd participation rate was because of Seria’s family, the Marquis of Kellyden.
Originally, Kalis and Seria had two weddings planned. One was a Stern wedding that would be held here in the Berg territory. The other was a grand wedding of the nobility in the Haneton estate. The wedding was to be attended by nobles from all over the empire, depending on the position and power of the Marquis of Haneton.
The problem was the Stern wedding. It was difficult for her family members to attend the wedding, especially Marquis Kellyden, her father. Because everyone knew Seria had lost contact with the Kellyden family long ago.
She left the Kellyden estate and went to the temple, where she became Stern.
‘It is possible that he wants to reconnect and comes down in a hurry.’
Of course, Seria wasn’t going to meet him just because of that reason.
Among those numerous knights, Sir Johannes was the only knight in chief. He was sent by the Duke of Davu, who seemed to have paid a lot of attention to her.
‘The rest are people whose names I don’t even know.’
Some of the families have sent their squires to attend. It seemed that they didn’t want to go against the mood of the Marquis of Kellyden.
Well, she knew and didn’t nitpick. She didn’t want to get back at him even though he sent squires and commoners to attend her wedding. That meant she didn’t have to worry about their irritation. She quickly averted her gaze. The knights of the nobility, who were wary of her, showed their disappointment, but it didn’t matter.
Some of the knights who gave up sticking to her had changed their behaviour. They knew it was impossible to buy her any pleasures, so they decided to be the flowers of the wall.
It was fortunate that Berg’s vassals participated tremendously, even though it must have been like performing a ritual to ensure the downfall of the ball when they all stood there with dark faces.
“Let’s go to the dance floor.”
It was time for the hosts to have their first dance. As the nobles gathered at the edge, walked out onto the crowded dance floor, there was a sudden commotion at the doorway. Lina had entered.
“How crazy! She came to the ball.”
“I know, right. Is Marquis Haneton not coming?”
The whispering voices of the noblewomen rang in her ears. They were right, Lina had not come with Kalis. However, she was still accompanied by her mentor, Viscount Issac, as her partner.
Moreover, Lina boldly came closer to Seria.
When their eyes met, Lina’s mouth opened a little, as if she wanted to say something.
Lesche asked in a passing tone.
“You didn’t accept their invitations?”
“What do you mean?”
“There must be many reasons.”
Lesche stuck out his chin.
“Then you don’t have to see something like that.”
There were a few brave knights around Lina who gave up coming to Seria earlier. It was impossible to win her favor, so they changed their strategy to covet Lina, the Saintess.
If Kalis were to come, he and Lina would dance together. It was a self-evident fact.
“It doesn’t matter. I’m not the main character anyway.”
“So what if you’re not the main character?”
Maybe it was because Lesche asked in a calm voice, she answered with an honest heart.
“I just feel like a foreign object caught between the two of them.”
“Do you enjoy degrading yourself so much?”
“I don’t know what else to think about myself.”
Her heart pounded for a moment. Lesche. This was the first time in her life that this man had called her by her name like this. Lesche reached out to her and continued.
“Today’s party is for you.”
“Not the other two.”
Seria’s lips quivered, not knowing how to react. Lesche’s eyelashes drooped long as he stared at her. At that moment, the elegant music began to play.
Contrary to the joyful atmosphere, Seria felt strangely emotional.
One of Lesche’s hands grabbed her firmly by the waist.