Chapter 1 - Prologue
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Seria thought of Martha and Joanna, who rejoiced at the news that the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess would visit the manor more often.
Having a place to return to every weekend was like having a nest. Of course, it wasn’t her nest, but all the birds in the nest liked her so she decided to take it easy.
“The lake is turning black.”
“The whole lake turned black once, but it’ll slowly diminish. Then it’ll restore its original color.”
Seria nodded at Alliot’s explanation. She went to inspect the glacier today. Because of the discoloration, not only Alliot, but also five other Berg knights were with her. Considering the strength of each of them, as described in the original story, she felt like she had brought a small army.
They checked all the branches of the silver tree and returned to the main castle. It was then she saw a familiar face loitering outside the door.
“Isn’t that Linon?”
“Yes. It looks like he’s waiting for the Young Lady.”
As Alliot said, Linon waved his hands as soon as he saw Seria from afar. What’s going on? Seria picked up speed and made her way to the front door of the main castle. As soon as she dismounted from her horse, Linon hurried up to her.
“Miss, are you here?”
“What’s the matter? Did something happen?”
“Marquis Kellyden’s vassal has arrived.”
“It’s… it’s an obituary.”
Seria’s eyes widened at the unexpected words that Linon had delivered.
It was the name on the obituary letter from the Kellyden.
She was Seria’s aunt.
She was an influential person in Kellyden, but she was a supporting character that didn’t appear in the original.
There were so many supporting actors in this world. Still, Lady Magrus lingered in Seria’s memory in pieces. First of all, she had a very strict and thorough all-around temperament.
In spite of this temperament, Lady Magrus did not dislike Seria that much. She was very fond of the theater before she died. She was very generous to actors as well, and she didn’t mind the fact that Seria’s biological mother was an actress. In other words, she was one of the few members of the Kellyden family who didn’t discriminate against Seria.
She didn’t discriminate, but she didn’t give Seria any love either.
Perhaps that was why, despite the Kellyden’s news of the person’s passing, Seria’s unconscious did not find this so gratifying or painful. Anyway, there was something that the vassal had told Linon along with the letter.
“Miss Seria is also an inheritance. As such, she will need to visit the Kellyden estate this week.”
Lady Magrus was unmarried and had no children. Imperial law dictated that her inheritance was to be divided by her direct linage such as the Kellyden. Seria was one of them. Therefore, Seria had to visit in person if she wanted to receive her share.
“And the Marquis strongly urged you to come.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
She was troubled for a while. It was a question of whether she should go or not.
‘I should go.’
Because she had something she wanted to check on when Lesche wasn’t around.
It was about a year ago.
It was shortly after she possessed Seria. She attended a ball held by a certain marquis family. It was a time when she finally came to her senses after shivering at the fact that she possessed a villain who would die miserably.
Fortunately, her body still had some of the original Seria’s fragmented memories and habits, and she was able to adapt without difficulty. She was able to gracefully dance and talked to the ladies easily.
The problem was that she ran into the Kellyden people there. She knew that the original Seria didn’t get along well with her family. But she thought she’d try to improve the relationship, the possessed body anyway, but…
She shuddered with anger the moment she faced them. The people from the Kellyden family didn’t even greet her.
Anyway, she remembered that she was so surprised and ran back to her townhouse. Then she had a fever while she was all alone.
Still… When Lina mentioned Seria’s mother, she managed to hold back and ended it by slapping herself in the cheek.
Of course, it was the result of a strong attachment to life, but she thought her long time in Seria’s body may have helped calm this unidentified anger and hatred a bit. There was a reasonable doubt, and she wanted to test it once.
And she wanted to do this test when Lesche wasn’t around. she didn’t want him to see her shaking with uncontrollable rage.
‘The glacier is undergoing discoloration, and Lesche must be in Berg.’
So it was best for her to go alone.
‘It would be better to take Bibi with me.’
Having made her decision, Seria replied to the Kellyden’s vassal that she would pay a visit.
It was Ben and Susan, who were in the back of the parlor, who heard the news first.
“Lady, do you have to go?”
“Why don’t you send someone?”
“Yes. Linon is very resourceful in that regard.”
“No, Marquis Kellyden told me to come, so I’ll go. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a legacy issue, the deceased was my aunt too.”
Of course, Seria had no contact with her at all, but she thought it would be good to honor her on her deathbed, given that she was less discriminating against Seria.
‘While I’m at it, should I ask for a response to my marriage vows? If I ask in person, wouldn’t he give me his answer?’
Seria was confident that she could break down half of Kellyden’s true nature. However, if she could sublimate the hostility Seria had for Kellyden with combat power, there was nothing she couldn’t do.
It was after Seria told Susan to prepare for the trip…
“Do you need to go there?”
Unexpectedly, Lesche had an unpleasant expression.
“Isn’t Linon the Chief Aide?”
“He’s about as adequate as a representative can be.”
“This time I will go there myself.”
“Then wait a week, Seria. We’ll go together.”
“To the Kellyden?”
Seria’s eyes got bigger this time.
“There’s no reason why I can’t go when the Empire knows all about my marriage to Kellyden’s daughter.”
“Of course….It would be good for me if you came. Because I’m sure they’d all open their eyes and faint.”
And in front of them, who ignored Seria and her mother, she would show up with the man who was second most powerful in the Empire, it would be quite a refreshing picture just thinking about it.
“By the way, Lesche.”
Seria tiptoed and whispered a few words into Lesche’s ear. He stared at her intently.
“Can you do this for me?”
Lesche was not pleased, but eventually answered.
“If you wish.”
The next day, the carriage to the Kellyden estate was ready.
Seria was a little embarrassed when the procession turned out to be larger than she expected. She had told them in advance that she was taking Abigail with her, but a few more people were added unexpectedly.
“We’ll escort you safely, My Lady.”
Alliot and the other four Berg Knights bowed their heads in discipline. She wondered a little whether she was going to the battlefield.
Of course, Seria was pleased because the vassals from the Kellyden family were watching.
She didn’t even know Lesche was still standing there looking unhappy. He looked up and down at Kellyden’s vassals in silence,
but they bowed their heads in fear. It was an understandable reaction, as there were probably only a few people in this Glick Empire that could take Lesche Berg’s sharp gaze.
“I’ll be back, Lesche.”
Seria whispered quietly.
“Don’t forget what I said.”
“Is that all you’re saying?”
“Umm… have a good trip?”
Lesche, who was standing at an angle, sighed and lifted the back of Seria’s hand. Soon Seria’s eyes grew wider and wider as Lesche kissed her hand. His body temperature was usually cool, so his lips had to be the same. But she didn’t know why the kiss on her hand felt hot.
“I didn’t know that letting my wife go would be so uncomfortable.”
“If anyone hears it, they would think I’m not coming back.”
“Then Kellyden will be dead meat.”
“You wouldn’t want to hold me like this there.”
“I think differently.”
At that moment, her face felt hot. Seria quickly climbed into the carriage, leaving the words “I’ll be back” again. The weather was so cold, but strangely enough, she had to fan herself a few more times.
The trip to the Kellyden went smoothly. Maybe it was because it was one of the best carriages in Berg, so it wasn’t too inconvenient. As she looked out the window, Seria thought of something else.
‘Lina will be back within a year.’
‘Would Lesche still be sweet to me then?’
Seria was not sure. She thought she had the original story perfectly summed up, but given Kalis’s betrayal, there was nothing she could put away with ease. And Kalis was the second male lead, while Lesche was the main character…
‘I had a lot to think about regarding Lina. The first thing I had to think about was the strange darkness that was sucked into her body.’
What was that darkness all about? Lina was a saint, she was light. It was intuitively difficult to understand how the light could hit and literally absorb the darkness instead of removing it. Frankly, she went to the Great Temple right now and told the priests about this, they’d make a big deal out of it, saying it was heresy.
‘I’m still a Stern, though, so I might just get away with saying, “Get a grip.’
Seria touched the circlet around her neck. The sacred power she could feel from it was faint, as always. In fact, she had many questions about this circlet.
‘People say I’ve purified the manor, but in fact, it’s because of this circlet.’
‘As for me? I don’t have that ability. I tried to purify the demon shadow in the green manor once and found out right away.
With the purification ability I have, it would have taken me a thousand years to cleanse it.’
Seria didn’t think that the circlet had the ability to purify itself. If that was the case, the manor should have been cleaned just by the fact that the circlet was already in storage.
‘Above all, the circle doesn’t have the explosive divine power to be a special holy relic.’
‘So, if I had to guess, I would say that Stern and this circlet purified the demon shadow. The problem is that there is a new question here.
‘Did Lina also have this circlet when she purified Magi?’
Note: Seria did lot of self thinking so I have to put it as the first POV, because the third person POV sounded weird and it didn’t fit.