Chapter 1 - Prologue
Lesche couldn’t help but lightly stroke Seria’s cheek.
“Is there something on my face?”
“…Then what are you doing?”
“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
The hour passed.
Lesche came out of the Grand Duchess’s bedroom. Just before he left, he tugged on the rope and one of the maids walked quickly towards him to check the fireplace in the Grand Duchess’s bedroom. As soon as she saw him, she bowed in surprise, then took a step.
Three days had passed, but it was still a bit strange that Ben and Joanna, who had only been in the Green Manor for nearly a decade, were in the main castle.
The butler, who had returned in earnest, couldn’t help but talk about matters concerning the reorganization of the internal affairs.
Ben, who had been taking notes, said as he grabbed the documents,
“Oh, Your Highness. What are you going to do with the internal administration money?”
Since the Grand Duchess and the butler were absent, there was no one in charge of the maintenance of the castle for a while. So as soon as Ben understood the situation, he started talking about the internal administration money in the main office.
“It seems that Linon has been managing the money outside of his work for a while. Isn’t that why people are dying from overwork?”
“Linon is also overworked, I think the Young Lady should be in charge of the internal administration money.”
Joanna chimed in on Ben’s words,
“I think so too, Your Highness. Otherwise, people might talk.”
“They will think I’m a piece of trash who treats his wife poorly?”
“That is not what I meant, sir.”
“Everyone knows that our marriage is temporary, even the imperial capital. What do you mean by ‘people might talk’?”
Lesche frowned, but he agreed with the idea nonetheless.
“Ask Seria, and if she wants to do it, give it to her. Let Linon help her for at least three months.”
“Yes, sir. Then I will ask the Young Lady’s opinions regarding this matter.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier if Your Highness asked her?” Ben said.
Lesche had to admit the truth.
“It’s not that easier.”
On the other hand, he couldn’t help but understand their ruse.
“Enough of this. She doesn’t plan on staying here longer than she has to.”
Even though the name was omitted, they knew Lesche referred to Seria.
“Of course, Your Highness.”
“I’m only being sincere in my reply.”
“We like the Young Lady. Isn’t that right, Joanna?”
“Of course we do.”
In their eyes, Seria seemed to be a hero.
Of course. It wasn’t surprising that they thought of Seria that way since she was the one who erased the nightmare shadow that plagued the manor of Berg for so long. How many people could live comfortably in a building they were certain would soon crumble, in which they were forever stuck?
Lesche did not have to say any more words about Seria, who had saved them from their fatal fear.
Lesche wrinkled his brow and added.
“We can thank her explicitly later for the merit of saving the manor.”
“Yes, Your Highness. You are right.”
“By the way, Your Highness. People said that Marquis Haneton is busy repairing the grand wedding hall for Lady Seria.”
“I thought it would be nice to have a bigger wedding for the Lady in Berg.”
“It’s been less than an hour since I answered that I would do it properly.”
Ben let out a laugh. Lesche said as he looked down at the papers.
“If you want to have a proper wedding, you two go find a partner. It will be held in the name of the Grand Duke and will be as lavish as the Marquise family.”
Ben and Joanna looked at each other.
“We each have our first love, Your Highness.”
“During our nearly ten-year stay in the green manor, we both got married.”
“Why don’t you just find someone else?”
Joanna tilted her head.
“Ben, do you want to?”
“No thanks, I’ll never forget my first love.”
“Neither will I.”
Lesche lifted his head.
“Don’t you have a first love, Your Highness?”
“There can’t possibly be such a thing.”
Lesche was the one who had never felt even the most mundane parent-child love. The term “first love” was just extravagant. It sounded ridiculous, he thought.
Since he just started to walk, his mother, the previous Grand Duchess, had been harsh on his education.
If the Grand Duchess had truly loved him, she would not have taken her life in front of him. Did she know that Lesche had been unable to close his eyes properly for some time since then, let alone sleep?
Even if she had known, it wouldn’t have made any difference. But it was just a thought of the past. Lesche lifted his head. His eyes darted out the window for no apparent reason. The floor was different from the bedroom of the Grand Duchess, but the landscape was similar, with the largest window placed in the same direction.
Suddenly he became curious.
“Can’t you really forget your first love ever?”
Lesche recalled that Seria had changed since she met Marquis Haneton. He should have known better that Seria changed after falling in love. Lesche lowered his gaze. He felt bitter for no reason.
“Resting is the best.”
Seria has been resting in bed all day since yesterday. There were so many servants taking care of her. She was soaked in hot water with fragrant oil and got a massage, and her limbs felt alive in a few hours.
They polished her nails while she played with the dried flowers of various colors that the maids had brought with them.
It was really nice to have luxury and relaxation. She didn’t know when was the last time she had had such an easy rest after a year of living a hectic life after she possessed Seria.
It was not as much as a glacier visit. And this circlet, which was now a necklace on her neck, also made her feel better.
It gave out a hint of divine power continuously. It was like a germanium bracelet from her previous life that she tried to buy at least once. Was that why Lina wore the circlet on her forehead all the time in the original story? Seria sipped on a glass of apple juice mixed with ice.
This lazy rest was ruined around noon when Linon, who was completely invisible yesterday, came in holding a handkerchief.
“‘I was too busy to come yesterday, Miss. I came to say thank you. Thanks to you, I’m not cold and dirty. No, I am happy not to go to the unclean green manor. It was the favor of the stars that brought you to this castle.”
“… Is that why you are crying?”
“There’s one more thing I’m grateful for.”
Then Linon put down a book that looked like it could have been 20 papers.
“I thought I was going to die of overwork.”
“It’s the Grand Duchy of Berg’s internal administration fund.”
“Why are you showing that to me ….?”
There was a moment when something crossed her mind.
Before she went to the Laurel Manor, it was a lively time when Lina and Kalis and the other guests were still staying at the main castle.
Before the year-end party there was something that Linon suddenly said to her.
“When is the year-end party?”
“The day after tomorrow.”
“Is the High Priest coming in four days?”
“But why are you telling me this?”
“Well, I guess you didn’t really hear from His Highness. This is what you have to do as the hostess of the mansion, My Lady.”
Could it be?
“Are you asking me to manage the internal affairs?”
Seria was puzzled by Linon’s sudden words.
“Nevertheless, I will help you for three months.”
“You’re saying I’ll need to learn from you, Linon?”
“…Because I am the Chief Aide who is loyal to Lady Seria.”
If there was such a thing as emoticons in this world, wouldn’t Linon just put it at the end of every document he sent her? That’s just what she thought.
Anyway….even though it was temporary, the wedding she and Lesche had was a no-nonsense ceremony in which the priests also participated.
It was a Stern wedding, with the designated place and time strictly adhered to.
Except for the change of partners, there was no doubt that they did marry each other. Therefore, it was the correct procedure for her to take charge of the internal management fund.
There were many situations in the Glick Empire that were worse than hers.
The most typical example was betrothal relations.
After the engagement ceremony, the couple would live in each other’s house till the wedding ceremony.
This was not a common case. It was usually when the female family was small compared to the male family.
It wasn’t a mockery or a tease, because they loved each other and married after overcoming such a big family difference. Rather, it was a kind of consideration to make the partner, who was used to a small family life, get used to a larger family life quickly.
Perhaps that’s why.
For the young nobles, this was often romantic. Well, there were many romantic fairy tales in this world, dreaming of a future with a princess or a prince.
Anyway, they often took charge of the domestic affairs before the wedding ceremony in many cases.
So it was right for her to manage the domestic affairs fund, but Seria couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Since she hadn’t received the approval of the royal family yet, it was practically a ‘betrothal’ rather than a formal marriage. So, by all accounts, she was the one from a family that had fallen behind.
Nevertheless, she promised to play the role of hostess sincerely, but the situation became more and more serious.
Linon was a little confused.
“Why do you suddenly have a sad expression on your face?”
“I realize once again that I am Your Highness’s slave…”
“Huh? No, My Lady.”
Linon was very quick witted.
“His Highness did not give orders to make the Young Lady work.”