Chapter 1 - Prologue
It was when the meal was almost over. Lesche finished his meal a little early as his aide arrived in a hurry. He beckoned to the aide and looked at Seria.
“Seria. After I finish checking the documents, join me for some more wine.”
Seria nodded, then said.
“I thought you were going to tell me to throw the rest away.”
“How can I throw away something you like so much?”
“Okay, Lesche. I guess I really like drinking. I wonder if I should just drink every day.”
When Seria snapped back, Lesche laughed. Ben said with a smile.
“Where do you want me to put the wine? ”
“In my bedroom.”
Then Lesche went to his office. Seria once again thought that Lesche was truly amazing. He had just returned to the castle with her today.
She heard that Lesche was also working while she went to inspect the glacier. In fact, he must have been much busier than her. But he just went to work like that…Wasn’t he tired? She wondered how much energy Lesche had. Somehow she felt a little jealous.
Seria entered the Green Garden Vault for the first time in a long time. Back then Kalis had taken the liberty of coming in here looking for her, and was about to fight Lesche. She gathered up the silver branches.
Before she left, she took a moment to look around the large space. She had a sudden thought. At that time, Kalis was a sub-male protagonist after all, she wished that she could understand a little sooner that he couldn’t abandon Lina, the female protagonist…
‘Because I believed in Kalis. I believed him when he said that he loved me. I believed him, and then the accident happened. I didn’t want to blame him. I just made the best choice I could at the time.’
When Seria entered Lesche’s bedroom, there was already an array of wine. Small slices of cheese, sour fruits, and peeled nuts were beautifully arranged next to them.
She took one of the bottles and looked carefully at the label. She could tell if it was fake or real. The label indeed was painted with imperial design with tiny gems, like cubics. The bottle was not just glass…
At that moment the door opened and she felt a presence.
“Have you been waiting long?”
“I just got here. ”
Lesche seemed to have taken a bath. She could feel the warm dampness coming from him as he sat next to her. It was always strange to see his silver hair, slightly wet at the ends, shining so beautifully.
Seria wanted to touch it. There were all kinds of hair colors in the world. Right now, Seria had green hair. But unlike green hair, which people either love or hate, silver hair was a mysterious hair color that everyone adored.
In fact, it’s very beautiful…
“Why are you staring at me again? ”
“Can I touch your hair?”
Lesche smiled. He took Seria’s hand and immediately raised it above his head. He didn’t hesitate, which in turn made Seria’s fingers flinch a little.
No. She didn’t think she would have many opportunities to touch his hair like this. So she gathered the the courage and played with the tips of Lesche’s hair. The warm dampness spread a little on her fingertips.
“Are you done?”
Then Lesche grabbed her hand as it slid down. Unexpectedly, their hands came to a stop on his cheek. Lesche didn’t let go of Seria’s hand.
He held her hand like that and stared at her. Seria also looked at him and asked,
“Are you drunk?”
Lesche smiled and let go of Seria’s hand.
“How much did you drink?
“Are you a strong drinker?
“I’m not weak. How about you?”
“I’m not sure. But I’m ascetic because I’m Stern.”
“Ascetic? You are?”
Lesche laughed, as if he just heard an interesting word. It would certainly be a bit funny if Seria was to proudly say that she was ascetic too.
‘I can’t imagine how glamorous she must have looked walking around.’
Lesche, who must have made it one of his hobbies to tease her, and she expected to be teased again, but surprisingly Lesche didn’t say anything else. He poured her a glass of wine and raised his glass as if to toast.
Seria drank the wine. Some of the wines were too bitter to bear, but others were good for her taste. It smelled as sweet as fruit candy. It was the lushness of the grapes that cut through the strong spirit of the alcohol that tried to lift it. There was no such thing as luxury as this.
As she continued to drink, her face immediately became hot. Her mood became buoyant as the liquor turned. She glanced sideways at Lesche, who was quietly emptying his glass. Strangely enough, he looked very normal. Didn’t they just finish four bottles? A strong suspicion passed through Seria’s mind for a moment. Was it possible that only hers was wine and his was juice?
“Is it juice?”
Did she just say it out loud? Lesche smiled, looking at Seria and the glass alternately.
Lesche placed his glass in Seria’s hand. She couldn’t help but tip his glass. It was indeed wine. Seria said, looking down at his glass.
“I thought you were drinking juice.”
“You are suspicious of everything.”
No, he was very strong. There was no change in color on his face. Seria was about to fill the glass back up for Lesche, but she was momentarily embarrassed. Lesche was undressing.
Perhaps, if she was sober, she would think that Lesche was undressing because he was too hot. But he was freshly washed, and with that he had a light indoor jacket to wear. But then, she was drunk from drinking too much wine in a row. She even suspected that Lesche’s glass contained juice.
Perhaps she was too stoned, but she saw Lesche raise one eyebrow as he stared at her. Seria cleared her throat and diverted the conversation.
“I’ve heard that it takes a lot of merit to receive an imperial gift like this. This is very valuable, isn’t it?”
“It’s piled up just enough.”
“If you say something like that in social circles, people will look at you with a real grudge.”
“Is it really that valuable?”
“Of course it is. Really. So what exactly isvaluable to you?” (Seria)
“You’re the most valuable.” (Lesche)
“I’m a Stern.”
Seria blinked slowly. What she just heard… Her hands lost strength for a moment, and she spilled wine on Lesche’s clothes.
Seria screamed in surprise. Lesche’s clothes were all red. She staggered in surprise.Lesche grabbed her hand and sat her down on the sofa.
“Lesche? Aren’t you cold?”
“It’s not that cold, just calm down.”
“I’ll call someone to bring you some clothes.” (*wait, doesn’t he have clothes in his bedroom? 🤨)
Seria tried to pull the rope and call someone, but Lesche stopped her.
“Don’t call them. It would be too noisy if Ben comes in.”
“Ben, is he going to nag?”
“He will laugh.”
For a moment Seria couldn’t understand what Lesche was saying. Why? What makes Ben laugh in this situation? Because she was drinking and spilled the wine? Or the fact that Lesche was the one who got wet? Ben liked her and was very polite. He was not one to laugh at her mistakes.
“One moment, please.”
Looking at Lesche, who was soaking wet up to his wrists, made Seria want to cry. First, she wet her handkerchief with ice water and wiped his hands.
As she was wiping, she suddenly realized that Lesche was too quiet. She lifted her head and blinked her eyes for a moment, for Lesche was staring at her. When he met her gaze, he averted his gaze, covering his chin with his other hand.
“Lesche? What’s wrong?”
“Why are you doing this?”
Lesche’s cheeks were a little red. Seria lowered her gaze, feeling buzzed. Then, after she looked forward, all the feelings I had earlier were completely blown away. Because Lesche’s vest was stained with wine. Seria sighed… ‘why am I so clumsy…?’
Seria used to pour wine for people she didn’t like when she was younger, and her skills must have accumulated in her body, causing her to pour so much. Was that so? Still, she was glad it wasn’t a swelling on her head.
“I have to take this off too.”
With tears in her eyes, Seria unbuttoned Lesche’s vest. Fortunately the shirt inside was only slightly wet because the vest was thick. However, Seria decided to unbutton the shirt, thinking she had to buy Lesche’s new clothes.
The good news was that his pants were not wet. Her hands were suddenly caught as she unbuttoned the last button. She almost screamed out loud. That was just as well, because for a moment, her heart felt like it was being grabbed.
Seria raised her head.
Her gaze met with Lesche’s. He looked her over slowly, from face to toes. Was it an illusion? but she felt as if a ravenous beast had just licked its prey with its tongue. It took her a moment to realize that Lesche’s eyes were darker than usual. She couldn’t help but shiver.
She turned her head to the side, avoiding his gaze, and Lesche released one of her wrists. She made the mistake of thinking that he was going to leave it there and retreat.
Lesche grabbed Seria’s chin and made her look at him. She blinked slowly. Was this what this man’s eyes normally look like?
His fingers slowly brushed Seria’s lower lip. It was that hand with the wine on it. For a moment, Seria couldn’t think of anything else. She felt like her head was being completely exposed. The moment that seemed to stop didn’t last long, as Luche slowly lowered his head towards her.
Their lips slowly touched. Her heart started beating wildly. Her hand trembled as she grabbed his arms, and Lesche lifted his head.
Seria gulped hard at the sight of Lesche. What was so exciting about? Was it because she was drunk right now? Or was it because Lesche is so beautiful? Strangely enough, she couldn’t take her eyes off him.
Lesche kissed her forehead and stepped back. Seria touched her forehead absentmindedly.
“We can’t drink together anymore.”
“Is it because I spilled wine on you?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
Lesche swept his face.
“I’ve never prayed so much for imperial approval to come quickly.”
Seria came to her senses belatedly. She couldn’t help but understand what Lesche’s words meant. Suddenly she felt thirsty. She reached out, took the wine and drank it.