Chapter 1 - Prologue
There was no Kalis outside Seria’s bedroom door.
The reason was Abigail.
Yesterday evening, during those few hours, Abigail came in and out of the third floor looking for Seria countless times. She could have just stayed in her room, but Abigail was adamant.
“I can smell danger from the third floor,” she said, repeatedly coming and going.
Frankly speaking, Abigail seemed to think of this place as one of Seria’s vacation homes, not the Kellyden’s. Seria was surprised to see her strutting around so unconcernedly.
Thanks to this, the senior employees of the castle, including the chief butler, looked like they had a stroke. It was surprising that an armed knight stirred casually around the castle.
Suddenly, at around midnight, a temporary ban was imposed on the third floor for the safety of the family’s direct descendants.
It was ridiculous, but the Marchioness took the lead in approving the ban, so there was nothing to say. Originally, the work in the castle was thoroughly the domain of the hostess.
Originally, Kalis would have to wait for Seria on the third floor reception room.
Because he was Seria’s escort partner. However, the third floor was closed to outsiders, and because of this, Kalis had to wait on the second floor stair lobby.
Walking to the main staircase, Seria looked down for a moment at the second floor lobby. Kalis was seen talking to the chief butler and there were some noblewomen talking.
‘Why are the noble ladies here?’
It seemed that the Marchioness put the ladies here to watch Seria and Kalis. They were still expecting Seria to slap Kalis on the face and make a big out of it.
‘If they want a scene, let’s give them one. Shall we?’
Seria raised her eyebrows and walked slowly down the stairs. When he heard the sound of shoes, Kalis turned to Seria. He was a little nervous and nice looking. Seria was annoyed and just walked down the stairs with her eyes fixed on the chief butler. When she came down the stairs, he asked.
“Lady Seria, could it be…Did the servants do something wrong?”
Seria looked at the butler because she thought he was talking nonsense.
“You look angry….”
Oh, he must think Seria was angry because her gaze was fixed on him as she came. Seria’s irritated face was pretty scary too.
Soon after, Kalis’s voice fell.
“Let’s go down now. Stern.”
Seria glanced at Kalis. She placed her hand on Kalis’s arm without any response. Curiously, there was a bandage on the back of Kalis’s hand.
‘What, are you injured?’
A reflexive question came to mind. But a question was only a question. Seria immediately tried to look away, but her timing was not good. Red blood was slowly oozing out of the bandage. The butler’s eyes were sharp.
“Marquis Haneton ! Are you injured?”
“..It’s nothing serious.”
Kalis frowned a little and added.
“Just call my aide to the banquet hall.”
The butler gestured to the other servants who were followingbehind. Kalis stared at Seria and began to walk without saying a word. Seria wanted to say ‘you should go and get some treatment’. But it was obvious that it would be a trigger for a conversation.
The conversation that started that way would not be peaceful. There were more eyes following them, so it was best to go as quietly as possible.
The banquet hall was set up in the Great Hall of the annex. The long colonnade connecting the main mansion and the annex was quite crowded with people heading for the banquet hall. What the late Lady Magrus said was that people should get together and control their sadness, dance to a song, and share wine.
There was too much of a crowd. The funeral was just yesterday, so the gap was awful. It was a strange feeling. It was not so unusual for funeral cultures to drown their sorrows in laughter. There were loud noises coming from the two marble gates engraved with the Kellyden’s crest. Still, the buzz was a little more subdued than a normal banquet.
It was an urgent voice. Seria turned and saw a familiar face running towards her. It was Kalis’s aide. He looked at Seria and bowed his head humbly. Then he looked at Kalis.
“Let’s go to the lounge and change your bandage first.”
“I need to finish my escort.”
Seria grabbed Kalis’s hand without hesitation. For a moment, Kalis looked at Seria in a panic, like someone who was burning by fire.
Her forehead was wrinkled unknowingly.
“What happened to your hand?”
At that moment, Nissos walked across the colonnade. He looked at Kalis’s hand with bewilderment. Seria couldn’t he,p but frowned because the amount of blood oozing from the back of Kalis’s hand was quite large.
“No, what the hell were you doing……. “
Muttering to himself, Nissos came to his senses.
“Let’s call the family doctor quickly.”
“I will take Stern all the way.”
Nissos’s expression suddenly changed as he heard Kalis’s words. Nissos said,
“No, Marquis. I’ll escort Seria. Seria, you’ll be fine, won’t you?”
Nissos’s face contorted at Seria’s short reply, but Seria didn’t care.
it was none of my business. With blood trickling from the back of his hand, Kalis knew the sooner he went with the doctor, the better it would be for him to keep the people’s mouth shut, and for that reason, he had to let Seria go with Nissos.
Nissos looked at Seria as soon as Kalis left and asked with a dumbfounded look on his face.
“What did you do?”
Nissos was referring to the fact that Kalis had unrequited love for Seria. She heard the rumors after she entered the Kellyden’s castle, and surprisingly, it was known to the public that the reason for the broken engagement was Kalis.
Normally, a broken marriage would tarnish the reputation of the two parties involved.
However, despite pointing out these facts, perhaps it was because Seria was too infamous. There was also a rumor circulating that the Marquis Haneton got tired of Seria Stern and broke off the engagement. And it seemed that Nissos was one of those who solely believe that rumor.
Seria just pretended she didn’t understand because it was likely that Nissos would pry, When they entered the banquet hall, all eyes were on them.
People started whispering here and there, as if the combination was incredibly new to them. Seria strode over with Nissos and asked,
“I thought you are grounded.”
“Father let me off today.”
Nissos replied in a flustered manner and bent slightly as if he was inviting Seria to dance.
Seria thought for a moment that this man had lost his mind.
“Are you crazy?”
“I don’t want to.”
Nisoss gave Seria a puzzled look.
“ I thought you said you were okay to dance with me.”
“I was just saying. You didn’t genuinely believe that, did you?”
Nissos’s face immediately turned red and blue. He turned around roughly, stomping his feet with a slam. Seria heard a voice restraining Nissos from leaving Seria.
It was s big man who had been following Nissos around for a while.
It was the Knight Commander of Kellyden.
He just called Nissos, but Nissos flinched. He pointed at Seria and said,
“She doesn’t want to dance with me.”
“The Lord has made it clear. You are not to go to any other ladies at today’s ball. He wants you to stick to Lady Seria unconditionally. It was a condition of lifting your punishment for the day.”
Nissos bit his lip, but brought his foot to Seria again, as if he couldn’t help it. He seemed to be afraid of the Knight Commander. The sword scar on his face was not normal either. Nissos looked at Seria as he spoke.
“Did you hear that? Can’t you dance with me?”
Seria realized that if she didn’t dance with Nissos, his position was worth watching.
“Well….. But my first dance will be with the knight from Berg.”
“What? Are you kidding me?”
“Can you not stare at me like that? I’ve already informed the Marquis Haneton about this.”
Nisos sighed and looked around the hall. However, he didn’t see any knights from Berg from anywhere.
Seria told Abigail last night to come as late as possible, demanding that the chief butler, who would bring the clothes for the knights to wear, give them the best attire he could find.
‘Actually, I said this because I didn’t want to dance with Kalis, but seeing Nissos this angry, this isn’t so bad.
I laughed heartily.’
“These clothes are no good.”
Abigail yelled and threw the banquet clothes on the floor.
The chief butler flinched.
“I couldn’t find anything from the Western designers that fit your size, so I brought you something from the Capital designers.”
“That’s not very high quality work, is it?”
Alliot looked troubled by Abigail’s words. He looked around at the other Berg knights in the same room and they all had the same expression on their faces. Actually, in their eyes, the banquet clothes that the butler had brought weren’t bad. No, it was a pretty good. Unlike the way the butler had so subtly stretched Seria, he couldn’t do it in front of Berg knights.
He was narrow-minded and sneaky. When the Knights of Berg asked to borrow his banquet clothes, he prepared some pretty nice clothes.
It wasn’t a bad. But of all people, Lady Abigail Orrrien, who seemed to be the least interested in the quality of banquet clothes, stepped forward and insisted on refusing the banquet clothes. It seemed that she received some kind of order from Seria.
‘Did Lady Seria tell Abigail to toss the clothes like this?’
It was a fundamental question that went through Alliot’s mind. The Grand Duchess had said she was going to do the first dance with Alliot, so it seemed to be a ploy to draw Marquis Haneton away from her.
“This isn’t good either.”
Abigail ruthlessly threw the banquet clothes that were on the table to the ceiling.