Chapter 1 - Prologue
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“You idiot. You don’t have eyes.” Nissos said.
Seria called the Marquis of Kellyden. There was a slight hint of bewilderment in his eyes again. As usual, he wasn’t used to Seria calling him “father”. It was not a bad reaction. Seria pretended to be sad for now.
“You hear Nissos, father? He called me an idiot for just choosing my aunt’s legacy.”
But Nissos just chuckled.
That was, until the Marquis’s voice dropped deeply, unlike usual. Nissos quickly straightened his posture, looking at his father.
“How dare you behave like that in front of the inheritance your aunt left you? You’re grounded for a week.”
Nissos’ eyes grew wide. Seeing that he could not answer immediately, the Marquis spoke again sternly.
“Did you hear me?”
Nissos lowered his head quietly like he was dead. Seria was sure that the Marquis was angry at Nissos not just because he was misbehaving, but also because Nissos told the butler to destroy all the documents related to her without permission.
Seria glanced at the Marchioness and saw a slight hint of embarrassment oozed from her complexion.
It seemed very rare for Nissos to be embarrassed.
Seria thought it was a nice gesture what the Marquis did. Of course, she didn’t show her satisfaction. Then suddenly, the Marquis shifted his gaze to her as he asked.
“Seria, are you sure you want that land?”
“I think it’d be better if you choose the ruby necklace, or the coral island. As you know, the land is largely contaminated with magi.”
“I have a lot of jewels, not just that ruby necklace, but any jewel can’t compare to the blue diamond father bought me before.”
It was a true fact. Except for the crown of the emperor of the Glick empire, it would be hard to find a gem more precious than that blue diamond. That ruby necklace was just like one of many jewelry in Seria’s possession.
“And the coral island…. I’m not really attracted to it. I just felt the need to do a little experiment with the contaminated land as Stern.”
“There you go.”
There were whispers from all sides. Seria was famous for being a Stern who was never active in the West. Everyone could guess that the reason for this was because she separated herself from the Kellyden.Therefore, it was obvious that Seria mentioning that she was a Stern would be fresh in the minds of the western nobles.
‘Perhaps this circlet. No. The necklace would be enough to purify it.’
It was a guess, but it was well worth the experiment.
‘I think it’s enough. I’d like to see more, but I just can’t… It seemed that just sending Nissos to house arrest for a week was enough. In the original story, he was a side character. I’ve dealt with other villains before without knowing he was one.
Of course, Seria was killed at the hands of Kalis.
Anyway, the reason they didn’t kill Seria might be because Seria was his half-sister. How would Lina look at him he killed his half sister?
He just wanted to look good for Lina. However right now, they haven’t met Lina yet, and I’ll be leaving in three days anyway, so let’s go a little quietly for now.’
There was going to be a big ball today, according to the wishes of the deceased.
Seria was planning to ask the old butler about what happened between the original Seria and Cassius, but things didn’t look good. Perhaps the old butler sensed what Seria wanted, he tried to avoid her any ways posible.
‘Well, I might tell the knights to lock him up for a bit.’
Thinking lightly, Seria shifted her gaze to the mirror. Looking at her hair hanging down, she asked the two servants who was helping her get dressed.
“What do you think?”
“You really are beautiful.
“Yes. You look great.”
The two servants, whom the old butler sent to serve Seria, replied in a cautious manner.
‘They’ll say I’m beautiful even if I’m wearing a straw mat, but… I just asked for no reason.’
Seria looked in the mirror. The calm dress, made of dark green and black velvet, had an overall dark atmosphere. But there was definitely a different charm. Susan gave it to her, and it was her first time wearing it properly. Glamorous gold leaf decorations caught the eye. Sha had a good eye.
‘But that’s not the point. I’m wearing an outfit that I really like, but the person who is going to be my escort…’
“Call Marquis Haneton.”
One of the servants bowed her head and then quickly left the room.
Seria took her eyes off the mirror and slowly took her steps.
The nobles of the Glick Empire mostly entered into political marriages and often broke off their engagements depending on the gain or loss of the family. Even if a man and a woman had broken off a marriage, it was common for them to make a polite appearance in public.
The Marchioness of Kellyden had recommended Kalis to be Seria’s escort tonight in this manner.
‘He will be following me in a dignified manner so that people can see it. How annoying.
It will be one of the paintings the Marquis wants. I had not the slightest intention of falling prey to the western civvies. I didn’t know how many people wanted my handkerchief like a trophy. In the end, he has no choice but to go with Kalis.
I looked outside the window. Lesche, where is he?
I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about those red eyes since yesterday.’
Kalis stared at his reflection in the mirror. On his right pocket was a shining sapphire cufflink. It was a cufflink that Seria once said ‘beautiful’ in the past when they were engaged.
Inside the pocket was a magic crystal bracelet. Seria gave it to him as a gift before their wedding. He didn’t wear it for a while, but he brought it with him when he came to the castle on the lake (the Kellyden estate) to meet Seria. (For the funeral)
Kalis turned around at the call of his aide.
“I have received letters from the estate, will you confirm it now?”
“Yes. We still have some time left.”
Kalis walked to his desk. The room at the Kellyden castle was very large and luxurious. It also provided a good quality desk for some simple work.
The letters were from the Haneton estate. They were all about the business of the Marquis. A few of them were about Seria.
At first glance, many people seemed to be worried by the fact that a socialite was going to be the hostess of the Haneton family, but the reality was otherwise. Seria was a Stern. Quite a few of Haneton’s main vassals were excited by the news that the rare Stern, of which there were two on the continent and three for a while, was coming in as the hostess.
They had one thing in common: they were all people who had witnessed the demons at least once.
Such nobles cheered for Stern. Frankly, it would be a lie if such a political stance had not been taken into account at all. But…
Kalis checked some letters and slammed them down on his desk. The aide read quickly and looked at Kalis.
It was a letter admonishing him to somehow maintain his marriage to the Saintess.
“All theses letters will have the same reply. I have no plans or intentions to keep my marriage with Lina.”
The aide busily took notes. Kalis opened the letter, which was sealed with a red seal. As he mechanically opened and checked it, his mind began to float. Seria’s words slowly began to fill his mind.
There were words that had been floating in his mind from time to time, every day since that day he left Berg castle.
“I… I’m so hurt by you. I don’t want to live in a state of anxiety. I don’t want to worry that you’ll go back to Lina again.”
‘How can you say that?’
After everything, he met Seria again. It was poison for Charis.
Seria, whom he had not seen in a long time, ignored him. She occasionally glared at him with her bright blue eyes. But that was all.
There was something fundamentally different about those eyes, which he saw when he saved a Young Lady from Seria’s torment in the West that one day. He couldn’t tell where the great venom in those eyes had gone.
He wondered if Seria actually still have him in her heart. Or did she really just change?
‘She almost died .’
In the Great Temple, one fact was hidden from Stern. The face that her wedding was the most vulnerable moment to death. If Stern knew this, she would think she had to risk her life.
So, by any chance, an unexpected accident might be caused by the person who had a bad thought.
Stern and her friends were cherished as such in the Great Temple. It was the fact that they hoped she would never have to know forever.
So Seria didn’t know, but Kalis knew. It was Kalis, himself, who had driven Seria to her death.
He knew it, but he did it. For a moment, there was a thick feeling of disgust.
“I just thought that a woman who was betrayed by her husband would have put up with so much. That’s all. I’ve felt firsthand how it feels to be betrayed, so it’s only natural to be generous.”
The aide’s eyes wide opened. His hand trembled with a pale face.
The aide was at a loss and couldn’t even touch him. Kalis groaned in pain and pulled out the knife on the back of his hand with great force. A trickle of red blood fell from his hand.
“Marquis! I’ll get you bandages and medicine!”
The aide rushed out. He understood that he shouldn’t call a doctor.
It was obvious that if he told them that the Marquis of Haneton in the West suddenly stabbed the back of his hand with a knife, they would be in an uproar, thinking he was crazy. This castle by the lake was the place where many nobles of the West gathered.
The sound of a silver paper knife hitting the floor echoed through the quiet room. It was a blunt knife with no blade, but Kalis was a capable knight. With little effort, it wasn’t even difficult to cut through the skin.
Kalis slowly swept his face with his uninjured hand. Then he looked at his watch. It was time to go and escort Seria to the ball.