Chapter 1 - Prologue
“No, Your Highness. Where can I find a noble person higher than Stern here? She is the Grand Duchess of Berg. If it wasn’t Stern, the other nobles would feel pressured and not want to witness the duel.”
Lesche’s cold gaze went to the priest. The priest flinched and avoided the gaze, but he had to try everything he could anyway. Now that the High Priest Amos he served, had returned to the gods.
He had to lead the unprecedented procession safely without causing any problems to the Great Temple.He was a poor man who was suddenly burdened with a tremendous duty.
‘I will go back to God myself because there may be another accident here.’
The priest was in a state of mental shock.
Seeing the priest’s pale face, Lesche raised his eyebrows. He folded the glove Kalis had thrown at him, and dropped them in the priest’s hands. Then Lesche threw a grotesque look at Kalis.
“Then call her yourself, Marquis Haneton.”
The subject was omitted, but it was immediately clear that it referred to Seria. Kalis didn’t want to. He only wanted to change Seria’s mind, but would she come back to him if he showed her his violent side like this?
When Kalis didn’t answer, Lesche said sarcastically.
“If you can’t, we’ll postpone the duel.”
“I’ll accept your opinion.”
The high ranking priest said, not missing an opportunity.
“Please put your swords away.”
The swords returned to their original position with a high-pitched sound. Only then did the priest sigh with relief. The other priests and knights, who had been unable to move due to the atmosphere, once again paced about with pale faces.
Alliot approached Lesche. He was dismayed to see Lesche and Kalis pointing their swords at each other from afar, but he stayed put for once. As soon as the situation was under control, he quickly walked over and casually reported.
“Everything is in order.”
Alliot would escort Seria to the main castle of Berg. And Lesche had already decided to take only the bare minimum of Berg knights with him instead.
“The knights who are supposed to return to the central territory will leave immediately.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Pull out all the snake strawberry vines from the main garden.”
“I’ll ask the Young Lady when we get back.”
“Do you have to ask her that too?”
“Hmm? Well, as Linon said, the gardens are the hostess’s domain….If you don’t like it, I’ll skip reporting to Lady Seria.”
“…Ask Seria and then proceed.”
Kalis’s eyes, which involuntarily turned at the name Seria, shook strongly for a moment. The man who loved Seria the most was him. However, as soon as he inadvertently looked into Lesche’s eyes, he realized.
Lesche Berg. How long has this man been in love with Seria…?
06. Emotions Touch the Heart
A few days later.
Returning to Berg Castle in a carriage, Seria had no time to recover from the fatigue of her journey because she had to face a truly perplexing situation.
“What’s wrong with the garden?”
It was because in just a few days, the gardens of the Berg mansion, which used to be as large as a park in the imperial capital, had fallen into disrepair. At first she thought she was dreaming, but it was real. There was nothing left of the garden except for a path of stone slabs.
Where had all those tall shrubs and sculptures gone? No way, did they go bankrupt in that short time…?
Abigail, who had been guarding Seria the whole time, whispered quietly in her ear.
“It seems like the castle has been robbed.”
“…Berg? Who would? Does such a daring bandit exist?”
“Or some servants sold it. There are servants who do such unorthodox things when their masters are absent. Shall I look into it and cut them all off for you?”
“No, Bibi. Just calm down for now.”
Alliot and the other knights of Berg were just as puzzled. Everyone was buzzing around the deserted garden. Seria was also a little nervous. She suspected that something had really happened to the mansion.
“Lady Seria. Welcome back.”
The entrance to the castle and the spacious halls were just as gorgeous as they were before she left. The servants, including Ben and Susan, bowed politely.
The knights were bewildered but moved to unpack at once, and Seria looked at Ben as he approached.
“Ben? What on earth happened to the garden?”
Ben, who was dressed in his perfect formal attire today, had a look of sheer terror on his face.
“Miss, I’m sorry. I didn’t know there were so many snake strawberry vines living in the main garden. When we pulled them out, it ended up ruining the garden.”
“There were a lot of snake strawberry vines?
“Yes, Lady Seria.”
Seria was dumbfounded. Of course she wasn’t a gardener. She only visited Berg Castle in the winter, so it was natural that she couldn’t tell the difference between a strawberry vine whose greenery had disappeared.
Besides, the main garden of Berg was extremely large, so it was understandable that there were some unfamiliar weeds growing mixed in with the common ones.
However, if you really wanted to get rid of only the snake strawberry vines, wouldn’t you just pluck them out where they had grown? It’s not like everything in the garden disappears like you erased it with an eraser.
“Why did you turn the garden upside down?”
“I’m sorry, Lady Seria.”
Was it her imagination? The “I’m sorry” that Ben repeated from earlier sounded a little too subtle. If she had to describe it strongly, it was similar to the feeling of a good actor acting with his soul. It was an apology with authenticity, but somehow she felt a little uncomfortable.
“The Grand Duchess’s long absence prevented the gardeners from making a new attempt.”
“For almost ten years now, we’ve been growing the same trees and planting only the same flowers in the garden. But this time, since there’s a new Grand Duchess, the gardeners wanted to plant some new flowers, but they kept making small mistakes and the garden ended up like this.”
“If you make small mistakes, the garden will look like this…..?”
It would be a mess, wouldn’t it?
“The wrong fertilizer on the soil and the shrubs became sinewy. So they had no choice but to take the flowers and trees down to the ground to minimize the damage. The gardeners have asked me to be generous, but what can I do?”
“We need the gardeners to rebuild the garden. I didn’t mean anything bad, so please understand.”
“That’s generous of you. Thank you, My Lady. I’ll do my best.”
“It wasn’t your fault, Ben. Why did you thank me?”
“Is it some sort of butler’s duty?”
“Yes, My Lady. Let’s say it’s similar.”
Seria crossed her arms and looked at the wasteland garden. Lina disappeared from the Tshugan plains, and Lesche did not come back with her. He went straight to the Great Temple.
“What do you have in mind, My Lady?”
“No…I thought I’d take it easy and rest until His Highness returned, but I guess I was wrong.”
Ben was startled.
“No. We’re going to leave it alone until spring, anyway. It’ll continue to snow until the winter is over, so there’s no need to do anything right now.”
“Is that right?”
“Yes. It will be better in the long run if we let the soil rest until spring. Perhaps the Kellyden’s garden was different?”
“Yes. Their garden was always gorgeous.”
There was a scene in the original story where Lina marveled at the garden of Kellyden. It was a scene where Seria’s brothers invited Lina to their mansion.
Unlike Berg, Kellyden was a family where the hostesses proudly held their positions. It was one of the best families in the West.They had a lot of money and their garden was always perfectly decorated.
Not as much as the weekly dresses and jewels, but the garden decorated by the noblewomen also had their own fashions to match the ever-changing trends. The garden of the Kellyden Castle always followed the trends and was famous in the West.
‘Well, that doesn’t mean that Seria learned anything from the Marquess.’
While Seria was deep in thought, Ben suggested with a smile.
“My Lady, why don’t you get some rest for now. I’ll tell the merchant to come tomorrow.”
When Seria asked again, Ben was startled and changed his words.
“No, My Lady. If you want to rest more, we can postpone it as long as you want.”
Lesche wasn’t even here anyway. Of course, even if he was here it didn’t mean that she was going to hang around with him….. As Seria continued to think about it, one question occurred to her: Does Lesche ever take vacations, and if so, what does he do with his free time?
In the meantime, having experienced a lot together, Seria started to wonder about some of these things. One thing was for sure, Lesche would not be happy if he saw this messy garden.
Seria wanted to show Lesche that she was still doing work even when he wasn’t around.
She concluded quickly.
“I’d better see him as early as possible tomorrow. Call the merchant.”
Ben spoke with a look of satisfaction on his face.
“Linon said that the Young Lady can get her work done quickly.”
‘It’s not the habit of my past life.’
If there was any difference between her previous life and now, it was that the money units she spent had changed tremendously. It was her first time decorating such a large garden, so she was a little less worried and actually a bit more excited.