Chapter 1 - Prologue
07. The differences in the Grand Duke of Berg
One day left before leaving the Kellyden territory and entering Berg territory.
There was only a short distance left to the territory, but night had fallen and the group chose to stay in the field. After falling asleep in the carriage, Seria woke up without knowing why. In the dim light of the carriage, Seria blinked her sleepy eyes and suddenly became aware of the stiffness she felt on her neck.
She opened her eyes wide to look to the side and was a little confused. That was how she knew she had fallen asleep with her head leaning on Lesche’s shoulder.
‘That’s weird. I thought I was leaning against the carriage.’
She didn’t know when Lesche had come in. She blinked and stretched out her arms. Then she waved it lightly in front of Lesche’s eyes. He didn’t respond. He seemed to be deeply asleep.
Perhaps it was the middle of the night.
‘What is this?’
‘Why is the blanket only wrapped around me like this?’
Lesche wasn’t even properly covered in any way. Is this the treatment of the empire’s highest-ranking nobleman? A fundamental question arose. The Berg Knights didn’t seem to care much about their lord’s cold…
Of course, he was far too fit and robust for a cold, but nonetheless, Seria pulled down the blanket that had come up to her neck and gently spread it over Lesche. Gently she tried to cover his chest, and suddenly he grabbed her hand.
Her shoulders flinched for a moment at the low voice that echoed in her ear.
“I think it’s cold.”
“Are you cold?”
“It’s a little cold in the carriage…Ah!”
Seria screamed. It happened really fast. Lesche picked her up and held her in his arms.
In the blink of an eye, she was attached to Lesche. Her heart pounded from the sudden rush.
“No, I’m not cold, I think you’re cold.”
Lesche whispered, and then he gently held her head and pulled her towards him. Her head was placed against his chest. Lesche patted her slowly on the back.
Seria blinked. Is he really cold? It’s cold in the carriage….
More importantly, she had no reason to struggle to sleep apart from someone who whispered in a sleepy voice.
‘It’s not as uncomfortable as I thought. Is it because we use the same bed often?’
Seria slowly drifted off to sleep.
The next day.
The carriage entered the Berg territory and arrived at the mansion
at the crack of dawn. Lesche was greeted by the waiting servants and knights, and unloaded the luggage.
Seria was asleep at the time. The fact that she woke up on her bed was disconcerting, but on the other hand, how thrilling it was. Someone must have carefully moved her while she was sleeping. It was so comfortable. It was as if all the grief she had suffered from the Kellyden’s estate had been swept away.
No matter how comfortable Berg’s carriage was, it was not as comfortable as the soft bed. She finally got up at noon to recover from the exhaustion of several days of travel.
She washed up, ate, and went outside ….
“Lady? Why do you look so sad?”
“I’m sad when I saw the garden.”
Linin laughed, his shoulders shaking. But Seria was serious. After seeing the beautiful garden at the Kellyden Castle for those few days, seeing the Berg garden in such disrepair made her disappointed. What’s the point of having a big name? There was not a single tree in the garden.
She had to assume that when spring comes, she wouldn’t be able to sleep for a week. The garden was a wasteland that made her mind restless…. As she was walking along, Linon asked,
“May I ask where are you going now?”
“I’m going to inspect the glacier.”
“You just came back today. But you have to go today?”
“I’ve been away for a long time because of the funeral. I’m going to do all the things I’ve been putting off, then take it easy and rest. ”
Perhaps because she slept well, her body felt light. Linon asked with a serious expression.
“Young lady, did you study the academy?”
“No. Why? Do I look like a student?”
“Every time you work, I keep thinking about something, but now I remember it. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of some of the younger professors with lower positions in the Academy. The ones who were busy working hard on their research and trying to impress the older professors…do you know what I’m talking about?”
“…… Yes. I wonder why.”
Sometimes Linon’s sharpness seems to cut through her. Seria passed it with a rough smile.
Closing her cloak tighter once more and Seria headed for the stable. After being greeted by her horse that she hadn’t seen in a while, she took Abigail out to the glacier.
Well, it had been a long time since she went there and the branches of the silver tree had withered black. She inserted a branch of the silver tree she had taken and looked around.
The frozen lake was shining like a jewel. The discoloration she had seen with Lesche was completely gone. Normally, when people see a large, majestic lake, they feel a sense of awe. However, the glacier even felt strange the longer she stared at it, perhaps because it was the tomb of the demons. Or myaybe it was because it was where the cold air of the uninhabitable north hung in the air.
‘I didn’t feel like this when I went with Lesche to the other side.’
Abigail spoke to her then.
“Aren’t you cold, Young Lady?”
“I’m not cold. How about Bibi?”
“What kind of knight says it’s cold when the Lady is here?”
Seria smiled. It’s true that the fear of losing body heat instead of protecting her from Magi and the constellation armor prevented a sudden loss of body heat, but it was still so cold. Abigail didn’t seem to be very cold.
Sometimes, when Seria look at her, she like Abigail was super human. The sheer brute strength and grip that even the Commander of the Berg Knights marvelled at. The skills of wielding a sword. In addition, the bulldozer-like spirit that wouldn’t back down no matter what was reliable.
There were many extraterrestrials in this world.
Most of them died because of magi, but there were elves and mermaids in the world. Although she had never seen it because it had a small number of original materials. It didn’t appear much in the original story either.
When Seria returned after her glacier inspection, Susan was waiting for her from the first floor entrance.
“I didn’t know your hands were frozen like this.”
She let Seria hold the hot water bottle she brought with her in advance.
“Young lady, His Highness asked you to join him for dinner.”
“Let’s take a hot bath first.”
“Should I? Do you think I’m going to turn to an ice statue?”
“Well, if you turn to ice, His Highness will go crazy.”
“Hahahaha.” Seria burst out laughing.
“Good thing Stern doesn’t have to wear the Holy star armor.”
“It’s not just that you’re a Stern….”
Susan laughed and led Seria to the bathroom.
“Okay, Lady. Hurry up and go in.”
After soaking her frozen body in the hot water, Seria put on a thick but not constricting indoor dress. The dress, made of an easy, luxurious fabric with few embellishments, swayed down to her ankles with a ribbon slightly tightened at the chest. On her feet, she wore soft fur slippers.
Her wet hair dried as soon as the three servants started working on her. The way they brushed back her side hair and set it naturally in the back… Seria thought to herself as she watched them.
It was the kind of look that said, ‘Why don’t you go and eat a lot?’
When she got to the dining room, Lesche was already waiting for her there. She couldn’t help but glance over at his appearance. Lesche was wearing a light uniform, probably because he had just come down from a meeting. Of course, it wasn’t a completely formal wear, but still, it wasn’t as comfortable as hers.
She had always felt that the highest employees of the Grand castle of Berg were trying to give her all the grain and all the style that this castle had to offer. At the green manor, Martha and Joanna went all out.
Here in the main castle it was Susan and Ben.Then what should Lesche eat…she felt it was a little funny.
She flinched as Lesche’s red eyes stared at her. He raised his glass of wine naturally and stretched out toward Seria as if to toast. She tilted her chin slightly as she lifted the wine glass along him.
“Are you laughing at alcohol?”
It was before Seria could figure out what question he’d asked. Lesche pointed with his chin outside the dining room and ordered.
“Ben. Bring me the wine in the back storage room.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Ben immediately took some more servants with him and left quickly. One tempo later, Seria realized that Lesche had misunderstood her. He thought she looked like a drunkard who naturally smiled at the sight of alcohol.
“I laughed while thinking about something else”.
“Thinking of something else?”
Lesche glanced at her and smiled.
“It looked like you were happy seeing the wine.”
“… You find it amusing to tease me, don’t you?”
“Of course not. What kind of husband can tease his precious wife?”
Seria was flabbergasted, but she couldn’t speak any further. In no time at all, Ben and the servants brought 20 wind bottles along with a tub of ice. It was as if they had been waiting outside all along.
‘I guess the house needs a butler and servants for a reason.’
‘They work so fast.’
Lesche smiled again when he saw Seria’s expression.
“Since they brought it, let’s drink together. You must be cold since you’ve been on a glacier tour.”
“Still, aren’t 20 bottles too much?”
“There’s no one to drink it if you leave it.”
Seria was dazzled as shw took a sip of the wine Ben poured for her.
Ben smiled and asked,
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Would you like a refill?”
Ben filled the empty glass quickly. A sweet and bitter aroma filled the air. As she stared at the wine bottle, her forehead’s wrinkled.
A wide golden band ran along the neck of the wine bottle.
And then there was the pattern on the label at the bottom of the bottle, crammed with tiny jewels. It was a familiar pattern…..
“Lesche. Is the wine you received from the imperial family?”
Lesche looked at the bottle.
“The pattern is very striking. You should have ripped off the label before bringing it in, Ben.”
“It’s my fault. Your Highness.”
Seria was puzzled. Looking at the bottle, the imperial pattern was clearly painted, all the wine must have been given by the emperor.
The imperial family of the Glick Empire owned a large grape farm. The wine from this farm was served only to the imperial palace and the empress’s palace. The only way for noble families to obtain wine with the imperial crest on the label was through merit. This was the only way to get it.
Since Lesche was a knight, he must have received it for his achievements in the battle to defeat the demons.
Seria thought it was amazing. But the master and the servant thought they should take off the label of such valuable wine.
While thinking, Seria tilted her glass. She knew that she could keep the undrunk wine covered up with a cork stopper, but she thought she should drink the whole bottle.
A bite of salad with cranberries and nuts and a sip of wine, a bite of beef steak and three sips of wine. A bite of bread with a crusty crust and two sips of wine…
Suddenly Lesche frowned as he stopped Seria.
“Seria. We’re going to drink it after we finish our meal. Are you going to fill your stomach with wine?”
“It’s my first time drinking imperial wine, and it bothered my eyes.”
Lesche chuckled in exasperation. Anyway, at his gesture, Ben and the other servants who were taking care of the meal nipped at the wine. It was true that if the wine continued to fill up beside them, they would be distracted and left all the food untouched.
That would have been a waste.
Seria finished her meal without incident.
The problem was that night.