Chapter 1 - Prologue
“You didn’t have to come to get me.”
Seria said absent-mindedly, to which Lesche replied as if it was natural.
“But there are so many people who are after you.”
She realized as she heard Lesche’s words, looking behind her. There was a surprisingly familiar face at the end of the hallway.
‘Isn’t that Kalis’s aide?’
He was alone and Kalis was nowhere to be seen. The aide seemed to be nervous. It looked like he had something to say to Seria, but he seemed too afraid of Lesche who was next to her. She had a feeling that whatever he was going to say was not something she wanted to listen to. So she turned her head away.
On the other side of the room stood another unexpected person. It was Nissos Kellyden. He looked very unhappy with me for turning the castle upside down and walking away, but there was no good reason to stop her.
Suddenly the question arose, does Nissos know what Cassius did to Seria? She thought all the people in this family were in unison, but Nissos’ behavior was strange to know the matter.
What was interesting was what he did afterwards. Nissos had been following Seria from afar. So she decided to at least say hello to him, since he looked sad. Seria let go of Lesche’s arm and approached Nissos.
He looked more than a little perplexed, as if he didn’t expect Seria would talk to him.
She tilted her chin.
“‘Are you really going to leave aftre turning the house upside down?”
“Yes, I am.”
“You are really….”
Nissos swept his face roughly with his hands. Then he came closer to Seria and whispered.
“I’m talking about you. Did something happen to you? I don’t think it’s just because of this dance. No one is telling me the truth.”
He sounded nervous. Seria didn’t answer, but only gave a faint smile. It was then Nissos’s face looked more anxious.
“Nissos, you are…”
He coughed nervously as Seria began to speak quietly. She whispered to him.
“You’re really stupid. I think it would be better if you just spaced out like that all the time, but…”
“My last name has long since changed, but you still call Kellyden.”
Seria added, not hiding the look of shame in her eyes.
“Anyway, it’s true that I think it’s better to live like an idiot, Nissos Kellyden. Don’t try to take away my jewelry from now on, and live a good life.”
“… What? What do you mean jewelry? Seria!”
Nissos was relatively simple and ignorant compared to Cassius. Even so, he was the only Kellyden in the castle that I could approach with an empty head.
It was clear that Nissos did not know what Cassius did to Seria. And well, it would be better not to know. To his mental health.
‘No. He might tell me that there was no disagreement about trying to kill the filthy illegitimate child.’
There was really no one here who was on Seria’s side. Seria took another look around this cruel lakeside castle.
Perhaps Seria became such a mess because she grew up in such a place. The possibility of being rejected without being able to find a place to settle down. A house where the sense of distance from the family would have been imprinted to her body. Seria didn’t look back and walked over to Lesche without regret.
“Seria. What did you talk about?”
Lesche asked, taking Seria’s hand hand in his. Seria pondered for a moment before answering.
“I said living stupidly would be good for mental health.”
“What a fool. You have the most empty head.”
Nissos swore enthusiastically at Seria. The castle was completely turned upside down. In addition, one of the greatest men in the Glick Empire had left overnight, and his mother had finally fallen asleep. His brother was in bed with shattered legs and the flu after a duel with the Grand Duke of Berg….
“Why did my father stay quiet?”
He was the only one left. But a few hours later, Nissos heard the unexpected news.
“What do you mean Marquis Haneton cut ties with my brother?”
“That’s right. Haneton’s aide who has just left told him so.”
“Things got crazy, didn’t they?… the two were academy classmates! How can he cut ties with Cassius after studying under a master like Kendo?”
Unlike her marriage to Grand Duke Berg, Seria’s engagement with Kalis was relatively amicable, in part because of the good relationship between Cassius and Kalis. So it was difficult to understand why Kalis would suddenly unfriended Cassius now, rather than immediately after the breakup of their marriage.
“Um, I don’t understand it either.”
“I’m going crazy…”
Nissos hurried to Cassius’ room. First, he sorted out what he wanted to talk about in his head, and then he suddenly heard a loud voice from inside. Nissos was startled. Thinking that perhaps the servant talked back to Cassius before he was sick, Nissos’s face slowly began to turn pale as he put his ear to the door to listen.
Then he suddenly opened the door.
Cassius and the old butler were facing each other with bloodless faces.
“Brother… What did you mean by that? What did you do to Seria?”
“Get out, Nissos.”
Nissos’s shoulders shook slightly Cassius didn’t say anything.
He walked abruptly over to the bed, his eyes wide open as he shouted…
“What do you mean you pushed Seria into the water! Did you try to kill Seria?”
“It wasn’t just my fault, Nissos.”
Cassius’ eyes were bloodshot.
“When you were a child, you took her out because you didn’t want to see the b*st*rd.”
Nissos’ lips froze. He couldn’t quite understand what Cassius was saying now. Cassius’ selfish eyes finally meet his.
“What did I just hear? Did I hear correctly? It’s my fault? You tried to kill Seria because of me?”
Cassius didn’t answer, but it was possible to convey an affirmation without speaking. Nissos’ hands shook.
“Don’t put it on me! I’m not… I just took Seria outside because I wanted her to go back to the villa!”
“You pushed the child’s head into the ice water? The child? Did you go crazy? Brother, you went crazy, didn’t you?”
Every word he shouted and asked back brought a sense of reality. Cassius had tried to kill Seria, even though he was her half-brother. It wasn’t enough, Cassius blamed it on him. Nissos murmured slowly.
“No wonder she hates us… no, how could she dance with a person who tried to kill her…?”
Nissos realized slowly. Come to think of it, Cassius hadn’t revealed his hostility towards Seria since when. In fact, he treated her a lot better than when she was a child. Before, he would have been disgusted at the mere mention of Seria’s name…
That was the time….
“Were you okay since Seria became a Stern?”
The Kellyden turned over at the news of Seria actually being a Stern. Seria finally packed her bags and left, but that didn’t change the fact that she was Kellyden’s bloodline. Families that produced Stern could receive many preferential treatment regardless of whether they were aristocrats or commoners.
Cassius Kellyden, who was a student at the Academy at the time, also enjoyed no small amount of privilege in this. Cassius personally revealed to the Academy that he was Stern’s brother. He smiled with delight when the priests, who occasionally visited the Academy, were pleased to hear that he was a brother of Stern.
He was also gifted with several holy objects by the holy knights who seemed to fall in love with Seria Stern unconditionally. Cassius still maintained his connections. He sent out invitations on every birthday, and when the holy knights who accepted the invitation visited Kellyden castle, he treated them as if they were his longtime best friends.
“Brother….Are you human…?”
“You tried to kill Seria, but you took all the gains you could from Seria! She was so young back then! She was smaller than her peers!”
Cassius made no reply. Just then, the door suddenly opened. It was the Marchioness who came in. Nissos, who saw his mother, shouted with a blue face.
“Stop it, Nissos.”
“It’s not about stopping! Do you know what brother did?”
The Marchioness said gracefully.
“It’s not a big deal.”
“What do you mean not a big deal? No, wait a minute. Mother?”
Nisoss Kerryden looked alternately at his mother and Cassius with a pale face.
“No way…Did mother know it too?”
“I told you to stop, Nissos Kellyden. You can’t ruin our reputation now because of something that happened in the past. And do you know how busy we are now? You know what my position in the social world has become since Grand Duke Berg left without saying a word.”
Nissos trembled and backed away.
Hating Seria. Nothing good ever came of it. What good about it when his half sister who couldn’t mingle with her her family and spent her days in defeat and evil? But no matter how he thought about it, the act of throwing a child into ice water for such a reason…. Nissos could not understand.
Seeing the two people who were so unconcerned made him feel as if his own mind was going crazy.
Suddenly, Seria’s whispered words came to his mind.
“Anyway, it’s true that it’s better to live like an idiot, Nissos Kellyden.”
–So that’s what she meant.
“Brother and mother are all crazy…”
“Nissos! Nissos Kellyden!”
Nissos ran out without looking back.