Chapter 1 - Prologue
When Seria heard Cassius’ words and looked behind him, Lady Mensla finally squirmed her way out. Maybe because of her small size, she was hidden behind Cassius. The composition was really interesting. By all accounts, Seria was the villain again, and Lady Mensla seemed to be a poor victim.
‘No matter where I go, this position seems to be the same. Seria is always the villain.’
“By the way, why are you here?”
“To support Lady Mensla.”
Seria couldn’t believe Olivia sent Cassius. She stared at Olivia. She apologized in a shaky voice, but her words trailed off. She was frightened.
“If my words are not enough….”
“Nothing is ever enough. It’s done. Go ahead, Lady Mensla. I hope we don’t run into each other again during my remaining time here.”
The voice sounded arrogant, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears with her now pale complexion.
“Hm, now if you’ll excuse me.”
Lady Mensla bit her lip and hurried away. Seria raised her eyes when she saw that Cassius didn’t go back with Olivia.
“Lady Mensla went too far.”
“Went too far?
As Seria was listening to Cassius’s words, she looked up to the side. There was a shiny windowpane. Just outside the window, dim evening light was falling, and their figures were reflected as if in a mirror. Seria looked more at her reflection. Her hair was green, flowing like seaweed. Those blue eyes looked like the direct features of a Kellyden. It was Seria’s appearance.
‘It’s so comfortable for me to say anything now.’
“Lady Mensla must have followed my two big brothers’ behavior, what’s too much?”
“Do you think her vulgarity is due to her personality? Cassius, are you sure that you and Nissos have never spoken ill of me in Lady Mensla’s presence?”
Cassius, of course, was seemingly well-educated. Even if he gossiped, he wouldn’t have been as frivolous as a countryman.
It was mentioned several times in the original story. He said it was insulting and embarrassing that such a ruffian like Seria, an illegitimate whose humanity was ruined, was a Kellyden like himself.
When she heard Cassius complaining, Lina panicked.
“I’ve never seen Cassius angry before. I always thought he was an educated Young Master.”
Seria pointed with her chin to her bedroom, where the door was half open.
“You’ve seen my room with me, haven’t you? What western nobleman would think so highly of Seria Kellyden when even the servants look down on me like that?”
Even the servants of the castle treat Seria coldly. The Young Lady of the Kellyden, Seria’s room was a mess and no one paid any attention to it. Lady Mensla would have been somewhat aware of these circumstances. She might have seen Seria’s room.
The Kellyden’s status as the dominant force in the West meant that their influence on the other noble families was also significant. How could Lady Mensla think well of Seria when Seria’s own family wasn’t even nice to her?
Seria was hated by the members of the Kellyden, both by the family and the servants. So how could Lady Mensla, an outsider, care for Seria, who left her own family’s last name and replaced it with a new one? There was no way.
That was why she didn’t want to blame Lady Mensla separately. She had her priorities straight.
“I don’t blame Lady Mensla because it’s my brothers who hate me so much. So don’t worry about it.”
“… What am I worried about?”
Seria was annoyed at Cassius for pretending not to know and for repeatedly asking back. She wrinkled her forehead and said,
“You brought her here and made her apologize because you thought I would harass your fiancée about this. Do you think I don’t know?”
“What? …..I didn’t bring Lady Mensla here for that reason.”
“Because what she did was too much. So, she apologized…..”
Cassius couldn’t answer any further. In the end, he seems to have realized that no matter what excuse he made, he would only repeat the same words.
He just bit his lips. In other words, he seemed to think to himself that no matter what he said in his defense, he would repeat the same thing.
There was silence for a while. Cassius’s bright blue eyes looked up at Seria again.
“Whatever our actions, it was Lady Mensla’s mistake to do such a vile thing to you. The choice was hers to make.”
‘You are such a good talker.’
Seria told Cassius, who somehow tried to blame someone else for his mistake.
“If you’re right, Lady Mensla has made a wrong choice, if she’s a person with only that much insight, then I suppose that’s the extent of your insight in taking such a person as a fiancé. If you want a short sighted person to be your bride, you must have no conscience.”
Despite the blatant accusation, Cassius did not seem to say anything. He just kept his mouth shut. Seria huffed and turned away. She was going to go back to the bedroom. Just then Cassius reached out his hand and grabbed her.
“I’m not done talking yet.”
The moment his hand grasped Seria’s arm, it was as if she was struck by lightning. Suddenly a shiver ran through her. The strange thing was, while her body was shaking like this, it would be normal to scream along with it but she didn’t let out any sound. She only breathed heavily as if she was choking.
“Seria? Seri Kelly….!”
“Young Master? Ah… Young Master!”
At that moment, the old butler, who was walking from afar, came running in a rush and struck Cassius on the hand. Seria forced her trembling legs to stand up.
While her brain was limping with unknown shock, the butler’s words came to her ears as she was catching her rough breaths.
“I must tell you that you must not do such a thing… Young Lady still has the emotional shock of that day.”
An emotional shock? Seria shifted her eyes as the spirit that seemed to be scratching at her with a rake slowly awoke. Cassius’s face turned white with shock. And now, the old butler…
‘…Something is going on.’
The old butler knew what had happened, and she knew intuitively that she should question him.
“….. I’m fine.”
It didn’t look good in any way, as Seria was stumbling weakly in front of the Kellyden people.
It was unpleasant. Cassius, in particular, at the mere touch of his hand Seria shuddered. There was something going on between him and Seria.
The butler looked at Cassius with a blank expression on his face and cleared his throat.
“My lady, the Lord calls.”
“Have a seat.”
It was unexpected. The place the old butler led Seria to was the Marquis of Kellyden’s private parlor. There was a normal building style in the Glick Empire. Such a place was usually a reception room attached to the office of the Master of the house, a place that would only be opened to very important guests or people close to the house.
‘Is it because I’m the Grand Duchess of Berg that he wants to talk here?’
Seria looked at the Marquis sitting across from her. The Marquis took a sip of his steaming tea. Seria also took a sip of tea. There was no refreshments.
“I thought you won’t be available for a few days.”
“Somehow I managed to free up some time.”
“Is that so?”
The Marquis asked,
“How badly were you injured on your wedding day?”
“As I said. If you don’t believe my story, you can go and ask the priests.”
There were many of them, so the accident should be recorded accurately. The Marquis was silent for a while anyway. Seria waited patiently. Then he opened his mouth.
“What do you want to talk about Berg?”
“Why don’t you respond to my marriage vows?”
A moment later, the sound of a teacup rattling could be heard. The Marquis frowned and asked back.
“What do you mean by respond?”
“His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke, has sent people to Kellyden several times to ask for your acceptance of his marriage vows, but has received no response.”
The Marquis frowned. He stood up straight and tugged at the rope on the wall. It was not the rope that was often used to call servants to fetch tea. It was a red rope that was used to call people in a hurry.
“Yes, My Lord.”
“Do you have a wedding pledge from Berg?”
The butler couldn’t answer right away. His face just turned pale. The Marquis yelled at him.
“A few years ago, the Lord told me not to post any news about the third lady.”
For a moment, the silence fell heavily.
“He did? When?”
“He did, Miss.”
The butler said, looking at Seria.
“After the Young Lady left the Kellyden’s last name, you took Stern as your last name and began…”
The silence fell once more.
“Bring it to me. You have it in storage, don’t you?”
“Ah, that’s the thing. I discarded it all….”
The Marquis’s face turned red.
“I didn’t order them to be destroyed!”
The butler had a very troubled look on his face. The Marquis asked again.
“Is this something you have handled at your own discretion?”
“Who said it was okay?”
“Second Young Master….”
‘Oh my god.’
Even in the original story, Nissos and Seria were always at each other’s throats. But she didn’t think it was enough for him to cut off all connections with Seria.
“Nissos Kellyden, what did he even…..”
The Marquis gritted his teeth.