Chapter 1 - Prologue
The creepy skeletons were scary so Seria didn’t want to get closer.
From a design perspective, the upper floor was where the Blue Sea box should be placed. The place was filled with strange fist-sized constellation gold.
Considering the enormous price of the gold, it was truly a mountain of treasures.
How much money would this place be worth? It was probably enough to buy the imperial palace.
In the original story, the Grand Dukes of Berg were the wealthiest of the Imperial aristocracy, and it seemed that it was true.
Squatting in front of the hill of gold, Seria reached out. As she wove her hand through the gold that would harm normal people’s temperature, suddenly something grabbed her fingers.
It was a strange thing with a pitch-black shadow and no discernible original shape. At first glance, it looked like a waistband that a baby might wear. It was as if all the Magi that were supposed to be in this room stuck together, only this thing was particularly black.
It was the moment she blinked twice.
A star-like dot appeared above the pitch-black demon shadow. The magi started to fade away instantly. It was strange. She was sure it would take hundreds of years to cleanse this thing with her power. While pondering upon this, the divine power burst out strong in an instant. Her feet wobbled and her vision collapsed.
Lesche’s face was the last thing that caught her eyes before Seria passed out.
‘Where am I?’
When Seria came back to her senses, the first thing that came into her vision was the unfamiliar ceiling that she saw for the first time in her life. It was a very high and elegant bedroom ceiling with a long, narrow canopy. She turned her head slightly and looked to the side. Fortunately, there were two familiar figures standing in this unfamiliar space.
It was Susan and Abigail.
‘This isn’t the green manor? Did I come back to the Berg mansion?’
The two of them were talking about something serious. The moment Seria opened her mouth, Abigail turned her head and looked at her. Her eyes fluttered open. Now Abigail, who seemed to be showing some very animalistic sensations…
Abigail moved in an instant and hugged Seria tightly as she lay on the bed. Abigail whispered in her ear.
“If you didn’t wake up, I would have gone to that bloody manor and destroyed it all.”
Seria almost burst into laughter. The moment she heard Abigail’s words, she knew. This had to be the Berg mansion.
When she opened her mouth, a hoarse voice came out. Abigail quickly gave her some warm water from the side table. It seemed to revive her a little.
“Shall I go and smash it?”
“No, you need to calm down. And don’t talk like that outside, Bibi.”
It was an important place.
“Of course, My Lady.”
Perhaps it was because she had been through a lot at the green manor, Seria was glad to see Abigail’s face even though she wasn’t away for a long time. She frowned as she took Abigail’s hand.
“Why do I feel so sluggish?”
“Well, it’s been three days since you passed out.”
Seria couldn’t believe her ears. She was about to get up when Abigail said, “I don’t think so.” It wasn’t easy to get up because her limbs were completely worn out and she didn’t have much strength.
“Do you need me to help you sit up?”
“No. I’m fine, Bibi. I’ll just lie down.”
Seria gave up and looked at the ceiling.
“May I have a look, My Lady?”
Meanwhile, Susan asked and walked closer. Abigail looked at Seria, and when Seria nodded, she quickly retreated. Susan stifled a laugh as she glanced at Abigail, who went to the door with her hands folded behind her back like a knight commander.
“You’re very fond of Young Lady, aren’t you?”
It was then.
An imminent knock sounded in her ears. As soon as Abigail opened the door, an unexpected person jumped in. He was dressed loyally and neatly like a butler of a great noble family.
Seria only blinked as she lay in bed. Ben quickly took out a handkerchief and dabbed his eyes. But it’s been a while for him too. Suddenly, Ben and Susan knelt down on the cold marble floor.
“What are you doing?”
Seria stared at Susan and Ben, who were kneeling with sad faces.
“Us, Martha, and Joanna, we will never forget your kindness for saving our Laurel Manor.”
Those words could only mean one thing. Seria asked cautiously.
“Don’t tell me the shadow….”
‘Magi disappeared? Lina wasn’t even there?’
Seria blinked her eyes in surprise, and Ben and Susan said with a strong voice.
“We will serve you to the best of our ability. My lady.”
Meanwhile, at Laurel Manor.
“How could I paint the manor in such a cold winter?'”
Hans, the painter who was invited urgently from the capital, was flustered by the challenging work that lasted for several hours. And yet, his hands were moving diligently.
Only a few days ago, Hans was invited to the Laurel Manor, where no other people were invited, but a few of the best painters. Hans came to the residence with joy.
He was told to draw the Laurel Manor, and it was in the middle of winter.
Of course, it was a beautiful building, just as the rumors suggested in social circles.
No, it was actually the first time he had seen this beautiful manor with green marbles in his life…
High quality marble was rare. There was nothing people could do about it because the largest marble production site in the Empire was located in the contaminated land; people could no longer live there due to it being covered with Magi. As a result, the price of the marble with beautiful colors and patterns hit the sky. The emerging aristocrats only decorated the bedroom walls with marble.
The most precious was still pink marble, like roses. Green marble, like summer leaves, was just as precious.
With the sensibility of an artist, it was only natural to immerse oneself in this green manor…
The main factor that made painter Hans’s fingers move quickly was nearby. The two middle-aged women standing guard were not the gentle and idle knights who guarded the palatial mansions of the noble lands. A raw, hunter-like atmosphere flowed from them.
It reminded him of the Emperor’s Kingsguard that he was lucky enough to see one day.
Among them, the middle-aged woman with auburn hair, she exuded a strange vigor that even the high-ranking aristocrats of the imperial court could not treat carelessly.
She opened her mouth.
“Don’t tell me you’ve just stopped drawing?”
“Haha! That can’t be right, can it?”
Hans made a good brush stroke. By mixing different colors of the precious green paint, he created a shade that was exactly like the base color of the exterior walls of the green manor. Finally, the urging gaze that had been visiting him every ten minutes calmed down a bit.
Hans wanted to cry, but he couldn’t. He was outside shivering and painting, but he knew the longer he delayed, the more likely it was that he would freeze and die.
“Um, hmph. Ladies? How would you like me to paint the garden?”
The only thing that was beautiful was the architecture, the green manor. The garden was bleak and dreary. It was not at all appropriate for such a beautiful manor, but Hans, as a painter under the patronage of the nobility, would pretend to be ignorant.
‘It seems no one took care of it for a long time.’
It was nothing for Hans to beautify and paint the garden. At his question, Joanna stared at Martha.
“What should we do?”
“It’s better to paint it as it is, right?”
“Right. It’s for Young Lady.”
Martha nodded and said,
“Please paint it as it is. It’s still a beautiful place.”
“You’re good at mixing colors.”
Hans smiled at Martha’s praise.
“It’s a color I’ve put a lot of effort into researching and developing. I was inspired by the hair of the daughter of the Marquis of Kellyden.”
Martha and Joanna looked at each other. They had already heard from Linon that the last name of their precious Grand Duchess was Kellyden. It was a name they memorized in their minds.
Did Hans get his inspiration from seeing her green hair?
Hans’s words were true. The scandalous wedding between Lady Seria Stern and Grand Duke Lesche Berg had already hit the imperial social circles hard. This painter, patronized by wealthy nobles also knew.
Hans thought that it was Seria’s order that he was summoned to the Grand Duchy of Berg. So naturally he thought he would paint Seria’s portrait, but suddenly he was asked to paint the manor…
Martha, who was standing far away from the painter, looked at Joanna and asked,
“Who invited the painter?”
The manor where the terrible shadow that was threatening them with death had completely disappeared. When he said that he wanted this beautiful green manor to be painted and send it to the Young Lady, Linon invited the painter from the imperial capital like a lightning bolt.
“It seems that Linon once saw Lady Seria’s hair and thought of a green manor. That must be why he brought that painter.”
He was looking for a painter to paint Lady Seria’s portrait. Indeed, the chief aide was not for everyone.
“He’s the chief aide, but he’s just a cute guy.”
“He’s going to have a hard time because of Susan’s decision to come to Berg mansion…”
Those who knew Linon knew that he was afraid of Susan.
“Ben is already at the mansion if the Lady doesn’t like it…”
“Ben and Susan said they’d do their best, so we have to believe them.”
“Of course. We have to believe them. Martha.”
Martha went into the dining room and made some tea. It wasn’t the mugwort tea she had been sick and tired of drinking. The reason why the green building was wallpapered with mugwort was simple. It was easy to find near this green manor where everything was hard to get in and out of, and also because mugwort was said to drive out evil spirits.
It was a thin rope for Martha, who wanted to get rid of the mysterious shadow that was multiplying rapidly. But it was not a plant that drove it out, but a person with star shaped marks.
After the shadow was removed, the manor became more beautiful than ever.
Of course, everything else was a bit awkward, but they have their Duchess now, she could fix that later to her heart’s content. Martha and Joanna drank their tea peacefully.