Chapter 1 - Prologue
Seria had dinner with Lesche for two consecutive nights. He was always busy with work, and of course, we weren’t close enough to have dinner with each other, so having dinner together was a rare occurrence. But somehow, it wasn’t as awkward as before.
The unfamiliar feelings were still there, but they weren’t as scary or frightening as they had been at first.
‘We haven’t been together that long.’
It seemed that they shared a secret place called the Green Manor, a place that the world had never been to. Moreover, since they proceeded together in the demon defeat, isn’t it a love of war?
In her own way, Seria tilted her glass, analyzing the reason for this closeness. After drinking the strong wine and eating the dessert, she was going to go back to her bedroom.
Lesche asked, lowering his glass of wine.
“Let’s take a walk in the garden.”
“The garden? I don’t think there’s anything to see.”
“You wrote everything down in the draft you sent me. Why don’t we talk about it while looking at it in person?”
It’s true that the scale of the garden construction was quite large.
“Shall we do that?” Then let’s go, Lesche.”
Normally, it would be romantic for a man and a woman to walk through the garden together.
The sight of the desolate garden, without a single crushed tree, only made her smile. How could this be the garden of one of the most important noble families in the empire? But it seemed that Seria was the only one who found it funny.
“You said you’d put something on the left.”
“Ah, the topiary soldier. That’s Linon’s idea.”
“Let’s go and see.”
Seria grabbed Lesche’s extended arm. They came out right after dinner, and she thought it would be hard to walk fast, but fortunately, Lesche kept pace with her.
Come to think of it, Lesche had been walking at her pace the whole time…
“Lesche. How about we plant an oak tree here?”
“An oak tree?”
“Yes. But I’m worried because it’s a bit old-fashioned.”
“Do as you please.”
“As much as I like it?”
Seria faltered at Lesche’s words. He had never been interested in gardens before, and when he suddenly asked her to come see the garden, she thought he was going to check it out because of the scale of the construction. But he just told her to do whatever she pleases.
‘Then why did he ask me to come out to the garden?’
“At this rate I may as well plant an oak tree on the roof of the main building.”
“What right do I have to stop you from doing so?”
“Lesche, can I plant an oak tree in your bedroom?”
Lesche burst out laughing. As she watched him, Seria laughed too.
After they went around the garden to check out the trial plans, they went back to the main castle. They handed their jackets to Ben and Susan, who were waiting in the hall on the first floor, and Ben said.
“Young lady, you said you were going to the green manor this weekend?”
“Are you going to stay long?”
“Just for two days.”
“I’ll be ready.”
“Bibi is coming with me.”
“Yes,My Lady. Joanna has grown very fond of Abigail, hasn’t she?”
“Bibi is full of charm …..”
In the middle of her conversation with Ben, Lesche suddenly interrupted,
“Are you going to go to the green manor?”
“Yes. I promised Martha and Joanna last time I was there. I said I’d come back to visit for the weekend. ”
Ben gently slipped in.
“Would you like to come with her, Your Highness?”
“…You’re going with me?”‘
Seria was a little worried.
“Do you have a couple of days to lose?”
“It’s not far from here to there. I don’t mind.”
Well, he was the master of the house. Seria nodded in agreement. It was often forgotten because the Laurel Manor was like a different world, but it was also the cradle of the Grand Dukes within the Berg Grand Duchy.
And fortunately, although the discoloration had progressed, there was no sign of a major outbreak of the demons. Thanks to that they were able to arrive at the manor smoothly.
Martha spun Seria around in her arms again.
“Every time I see you, the Young Lady seems to get thinner.”
Seria lost weight when she broke up with Kalis, but she didn’t lose any more weight after that.
“…No? I was about to tell Ben. Have you eaten?”
“No, I haven’t eaten yet.”
“Oh my God! I’ll prepare a meal as soon as I can.”
Listening to Martha, she felt like she had come to her grandmother’s house in the country. Actually, it was too fancy for a country house, but it was still simple compared to the main castle, and most importantly, she felt relaxed, probably because it was an isolated and idyllic place.
Of course Seria didn’t have a country house in her previous life, nor did she ever have a grandmother, but there were so many things out here that one can’t help but imagined.
The corn soup was warm and delicious.
Unlike Martha, who was still tied to the manor, Joanna went out freely. She said she was looking forward to working after buying as much yarn as she wished, and perhaps that was why the green manor had more and more knitted things each time she came.
With the disappearance of Magi, it was also good to send more and more food ingredients to the servants.
Abigail, who had come along with them, walked around the manor again, eating a basket of sweets that Martha and Joanna had baked. She was patrolling the manor in her own way. It was kind of funny because she always carried the pastry basket with her.
‘But it’s really weird.’
Every time she came to the manor, she really enjoyed it and felt relaxed. Seria found it strange as to why she felt that way.
“Why does the fireplace in the Grand Duchess’s bedroom break down so often?”
And so it was. Seria was in the Grand Duke’s bedroom, Lesche’s bed. He said that the antique fireplace in the Grand Duchess’s bedroom suddenly had problems. Seria didn’t like the cold, and the green manor had many rooms, but not all were managed.
So naturally, she came to the Grand Duke’s bedroom.
‘I must order a new fireplace and send it here.’
Seria knew that too. She knew for a fact that many of the great aristocratic families used antique fireplaces that were over a hundred years old. Such a fireplace was not simply a fire-burning device, but a work of art gorgeously decorated with lambrequins and various objects.
The one in the Grand Duchess’s bedroom was one of a kind. Seeing that the inside malfunctions repeatedly, she thought she should be able to successfully persuade them to replace it with a better working one.
‘He might say no.’
The fireplace was beautiful, but that was all. The reason why they knew about it and didn’t change it was probably because they still couldn’t ignore tradition. It was either that or she’d rather have another auxiliary one.
As she was thinking about this and that, she heard the door open. Seria was sitting on the bed and averted her gaze. Lesche was coming in.
They looked at each other for a moment. Lesche walked over and stopped in front of Seria. She could see that his hair was slightly wet, as if he had just returned from a bath. He was quiet and Seria didn’t say anything. Maybe it was because she was aware of his red eyes, but this time those red eyes came into her view. Somehow, she felt strange.
“Lie down, Seria.”
Seria backed away in a panic, and Lesche tilted his chin slightly.
“Do you sleep sitting up?”
Seria lied down quickly and pulled the covers to her neck. She heard a strange voice, a mixture of low sighs and laughter, and then the lights went out. The weight filled the bed. In the pitch blackness, she felt the realization that Lesche was lying right next to her.
‘Why is it so awkward?’
‘I think I slept comfortably without this feeling last time…’
Seria was lying stiffly, as far away from Lesche as possible, then she heard a low voice.
“Are you trying to fall down that way?”
“I won’t fall.”
“You’re going to fall. Come closer.”
Seria felt embarrassed. It was obvious that she was the only one who was conscious. She didn’t talk about it, so it was unlikely that Lesche would know how she felt, but she felt awkward inside.
Seria gradually moved toward Lesche, and he quickly pulled her over.
“If you catch a cold, Martha and Joanna will blame me all day long.”
“Alright, I understood. Now let me go.”
“I won’t touch you, so just sleep.”
“No, who would have thought it?”
“Then can I touch you?”
Seria was taken aback and repeated Lesche’s words. “Can I?”
She could hear Lesche’s laughter coming from above her head. What the hell is he doing? Seria had no idea that this man was so mischievous. She didn’t think he was like this in the original story.
Seria was dumbfounded, but Lesche’s arms were certainly warm. She felt it was good enough to fall asleep.
“Good night, Lesche.”
A low voice came back.
Martha laughed as she tied the ribbon on Seria’s cape meticulously.
“Come visit us every weekend if you like, Young Lady. I’ll make sure we have plenty of good food for you.”
“Should I? I like it.”
Martha’s face brightened. She whispered in a small voice.
“If you don’t mind, bring His Highness too.”
“Ben told me that His Highness doesn’t take much time off. We didn’t know he works so much to begin with. I’ve been tied up in the green manor…..”
Seria frowned. Actually, it wasn’t that Lesche didn’t have a workaholic side to him. In fact, was not without his workaholic side, as he presided over the meetings at which his vassals would often return home exhausted, and he was also in and out of the training hall every day to train the knights.
“But if you want, I’ll ask him.”
“Please ask him, My Lady.”
And Seria thought Lesche would definitely say no. However, she headed for the Grand Duke’s bedroom anyway.
Seria knocked lightly on the door, then went inside.
As Lesche was getting ready to return to the main castle, Seria approached and asked him in a passing voice.
“Do you think it’s a good idea to come to the green manor every weekend to rest?”
Lesche asked, staring at Seria for a moment.
“Why do you ask?”
“It’s just that I like it.”
Lesche replied simply, wrapping his cloak around himself.
“Let’s visit every weekend.”
“What’s with the look?”
“…No, it’s nothing.”
Seria tilted her head, feeling embarrassed by the acceptance, which was much easier than she imagined.
Then her gaze met Martha’s and Joanna’s as they came to see them off. Seria walked up to them and told them in a quiet voice what had just happened.
“His Highness will come to the manor every weekend.”
Martha and Joanna looked at each other and laughed as they heard the words. Martha held Seria’s hands tightly.
“It’s Berg’s good fortune that the Young Lady is in Berg.”
“Linon always says she’s a good Stern.”
“Of course. The stars have aligned.”
Martha and Joanna’s smiles were so warm that Seria felt embarrassed for no reason.