Chapter 1 - Prologue
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“Grand Duchess, I know I’m late, but I really want to congratulate you on your wedding.”
“Last time I sent someone because I didn’t have the presence of mind, but this time my husband and I came in person.”
“My father just couldn’t make the time, so instead, my successor, myself and all my brothers came….”
The nobles from all over the country brought many gifts to celebrate Seria and Lesche’s marriage. They had one thing in common. They were the ones who sent only their knights to Seria and Kalis’s wedding.
Some of the nobles who were isolated in the Tshugan plains were also the ones who tried to come to Berg. Of course, one of their barracks was ruined by Seria.
Eloise and all the other warlords in that barracks didn’t come to Berg.
Instead, it was said they left the Tshugan Plains in a hurry, looking pale after giving their souvenirs to the Berg Knights. They must be terrified of Seria, but it was understandable.
Anyway, far more nobles than Seria had expected came to Berg Castle. It was not an easy task to travel to the Grand Duchy of Berg this winter, but when she saw that they had the guts to shovel the snow, I realized how amazing Berg’s prowess was.
Originally, rooms had to be given to guests visiting the castle after careful consideration of various conditions. It is similar to the way that when you hold a tea party of any size, you have to take into account all the guests’ status, inclinations, relationships, etc. to determine the seating arrangements.
Of course, it was a much larger scale seating arrangement than that, but that was what Seria would have done in the past. This time, however, she filled in the order of coming.
She didn’t feel the need to be attentive to the people who were rude to her anyway, because they came to apologize. Besides, Lesche did the same. Seria had already experienced the convenience and ease of that method, so she thoroughly benchmarked it.
“Grand Duchess, when are you coming to the imperial capital?”
“My mother is very anxious to see you.”
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to give you an invitation to dinner…”
Even at the ceremonial tea party, they were very quiet. No one dared to complain why the garden was in such a state.
“I think I’ll plant some flowers.
“A flower called Confucius…”
Seria was preparing to bury them upside down in the snow field if anyone dared to say anything, but unfortunately, no one did. They went home very quickly.
‘I guess they all gritted their teeth and prepared their gifts.’
Maybe it was because most of the gifts were for Berg rather than Seria, so they were all very expensive.
‘By the way, the next time I’m on the road …Should I meet Seria’s family?’
Kellyden and Seria Stern could be avoided appropriately without meeting at the ball. Alternatively, they could just greet each other very briefly and part ways.
Marquis Kellyden and Grand Duke Berg, however, were a bit more vague in their attempts to skirt around it. It was close to impossible. The number of people who would pay attention would be exceptional. Perhaps the Emperor and other members of the royal family would take a great interest in Seria….
‘Well, Kellyden was not a good image for me.’
They weren’t her family to begin with, and more importantly, Seria was injured so badly on her wedding day, and even her husband was instantly replaced, but they didn’t send a single person to check on her. She was actually a little disappointed and didn’t feel good at that time. Seria understood that they were tired of her rambunctiousness and disliked her, but that was it. That was just about the extent of her understanding.
‘Seria has always ignored Marquis Kellyden, but now I’m…Should I bring out the Red Diamond?’
It was the diamond that Seria kept intact in its original state without any modification. Societies are sensitive to trends, but diamonds of that size ignore trends.
Seria exhaled, thinking of the clear red diamond.
A servant and a stableman came rushing out. Seria had just returned from a visit to the glacier. She was about to leave her beloved horse with the stable keeper and enter the main hall, but she changed her mind and looked around the garden.
“Oh my god, the Grand Duchess.”
Seria had not walked very far when she heard a voice calling her. She turned around and saw the vassals who had just entered the main palace. They were quite familiar faces. The older of the two spoke to her.
“I see you’ve been to the glacier again today. As Berg’s vassal, I don’t know what to do.”
“I can’t help but tear up at the fact that the Grand Duchess has been there more times this year than Sterns have visited in the past ten years.”
At first glance, this may sound like a sarcastic remark, but in reality, it was said with great emotion. Hearing compliments for Sterns without reserve, the Priest asked,
“By the way, Grand Duchess. Have you ever been to the frozen lake with His Highness the Duke?”
The vassals looked at each other as he asked back in an awkward voice.
“Go out to play? The Grand Duke….at the glacier?”
“I guess you didn’t know, since you were only there to inspect.”
The Priest cleared his throat.
“A couple times a month, a lot of the newlyweds go out to the southeast part of the lake, not the northern part where the Sterns and their knights go to inspect. With the intention of taking the wives or the husbands from foreign lands unfamiliar with the glaciers of the Berg territory to familiarize them.”
All noble men and women in the Glik Empire had to debutantes at the Imperial Palace, regardless of their origin. Even if there was no law, it was almost mandatory to debut in the imperial palace in order to find a good spouse. This was why many people got married and left their hometowns to go to other parts of the world.
“There might be demons, and they’re okay with that?”
“That’s why they take knights with them.”
“…Because, to be honest, the demons won’t change the fact that the glacier is beautiful. Where else on the continent can you see such a scene?”
As Seria listened to the vassals, she had one thought.
‘It’s like people who know that puffer fish is poisonous, but still manage to eat it because it tastes good.’
Of course, there were many aristocrats who were passionate about hunting fierce animals, so it was not surprising that the Berg aristocracy in particular. The vassals didn’t seem to have any idea what Seria was thinking.
“While we’re on the subject, why don’t you ask His Highness to take you there, Grand Duchess?”
“Yes, you are both very busy, but it would be good for you to take a break, even if it is just once in a while.”
“Indeed, it is. Grand Duchess.”
The vassals let out a laugh and left. Seria thought it was a good idea for Stern as the Grand Duchess. Seria smiled too.
And that night.
As she ate with Lesche, Seria was a little confused by Lesche’s sudden acceptance.
“Let’s go. I forgot all about it.”
He said, furrowing his brow and trying to figure out the schedule.
“Do you have time tomorrow?”
When Seria didn’t respond, Lesche looked at Susan, who was standing behind him, doing her best to stifle a laugh.
Seria then asked,
“Young Lady doesn’t have any plans tomorrow.”
“Okay, let’s go tomorrow, Seria.”
Seria replied a little awkwardly.
“Yes. Let’s go, Lesche.”
“I’ve never been to a glacier in a dress before.”
Seria said, but the servants started laughing.
“You always go out in some kind of riding clothes, don’t you, young lady? I heard you are going on a tour?”
“Of course, the riding clothes looked good on her.”
What the maids brought was an ankle-length dress. It was not a dress that was usually worn at the ball, but rather an active design, and it had soft rabbit fur on its neck and shoulders, making it very warm and very beautiful.
It was the kind of going-out dress that noble ladies would wear to the park on a nice winter day. With the dress on, her hair was half braided and tied in a knot and decorated with jewelry pins. She skipped the necklace because she covered her neck with rabbit hair, and instead wore fitted earrings and a sparkly safari ring.
Wearing a pair of warm leather shoes, Seria looked at the parasol that the servants had flown in, and asked back.
“Should I bring the parasol?”
In this winter?
“It’s bright and hot on the southern part of the frozen lake. Besides, it’s so pretty. If you’re going on an outing with His Highness, take it with you.”
“That’s right. Miss. It’s hard to get a parasol with such a rich variety of delicate lace on the end. Everyone will be envious of you.”
Once again, Seria felt that the servants’ attitudes and relationships had improved a lot compared to when she first came to the Berg mansion to marry Kalis. Before, they were too scared to even make eye contact, but now that was a thing of the past.
“Are there many people on the glacier?”
“No, Miss. I don’t think so.”
“Unless they’re newlyweds, they won’t really go there.”
‘Then who will be envious of this parasol? Lesche?’
Anyway, the servants looked like they were enjoying themselves, so Seria said yes and picked up the parasol.
“Actually, your skin didn’t burn during your previous glacier visits, so Young Lady doesn’t need a parasol.”
Seria thought it was good that she didn’t have to worry about her skin getting burnt. She thought about the original novel, the author gave Seria a hell of a temper and a destructive ending, but he gave her an unchanging beauty.
After she finished putting on the dress, she put on a thick coat and even a cloak on top of it. It might be a little over the top, but considering how cold it was on the glacier, it was better to dress warm. If it was too hot, she could just take it off.
“There is no need to see me off.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
“Have a good trip, Young Lady.”
The servants bowed politely. Susan was waiting for Seria outside.
“Susan, what do you think?”
“No… I don’t look too overdressed, do I?”
“Is that what you were worried about? We’ll be riding in a large carriage, so if you find it hard to breathe, you can take it off. There’s plenty of room for that.”
As Seria was on her way to the carriage, she was a little worried. Because Lesche might tease her a bit if she wore too much.
Lesche was already on the first floor waiting. As soon as he saw Seria, he frowned lightly.
“Aren’t you dressed too thin?”
What…he was definitely the only one thought so.