Chapter 1 - Prologue
“It’s finally here! It’s finally here!”
Susan exclaimed with a look of excitement on her face. Ben looked gleeful and bemused.
“It came exceptionally fast, didn’t it? It’s a serious matter that usually takes a year.”
“Does it have something to do with the fact that Berg didn’t participate in the battle to defeat the demons of Duke Howard this time?”
“I kind of have a feeling about that too. Susan.”
Linon, who was listening, nodded.
“It seems that Duke Howard whined to Queen Ezekiel, and she told the Emperor. If you turn your back on Berg, only Howard will lose out.”
“Please use honorifics, Linon.”
Linon replied to Susan’s harsh words with a serious face.
“Lady Susan . I think that in the Berg, only His Highness and the Lady should have the honorific title.”
Susan and Ben stared at each other.
It only took a moment for them to be persuaded. If nothing else, they felt very good. How pleased Martha and Joanna in the green manor would be to hear this. It had been several weeks since Lesche and Seria failed to visit the laurel manor due to the combination of the Kellyden’s inheritance and the retaking of the Connes Plain.
“His Highness and the young lady said they would be at the manor this week.”
“It has been a long time since I have followed them.”
Seria and Lesche had not yet been told of this wonderful news. This was because they had both just returned from the Connes Plain. Seria took a bath and fainted in the tub, while Abigail carried her into bed.
“His Highness is in a meeting at the moment, is he not?”
“Yes. But this is a very important document, so I’m going to show it to him right away.”
“I didn’t know Linon was so good at his job.”
“Well, congratulations on being alive to be praised by Lady Susan.”
“If it weren’t for the young lady, this day would never come.”
“That’s exactly what Susan said. The Lady saved us all.”
Linon immediately gave a tired expression.
Linon looked immediately tired.
“Anyway, if you get involved in the Grand Duke….I’m going up now.”
Linon walked up to the main conference hall with a golden envelope containing the emperor’s approval. It was a small meeting to decide what would happen after the Connes Plain was retaken. It was a meeting of only Berg’s main vassals.
If it was a medium-sized meeting or larger, Linon would have to assist, but for a small meeting like this, he didn’t have to participate unless it was necessary. Lesche was a very efficient owner, and it made Linon feel good to be able to deliver such pleasant news.
Linon went up excitedly.
“Your Highness, I have received documents from the royal family.”
“From the royal family?”
Lesche asked as he received the golden envelope.
“When did it arrive?”
The golden envelope was stamped with the emperor’s seal, a precious object that, according to custom, should have been delivered as soon as Lesche returned to the castle. But Linon brought it up late….
“You’re being lazy, aren’t you?”
“My priorities are clear. Your Highness.”
As Linon had expected, Lesche didn’t seem to have any intention of blaming him. Linon was a chief aide who, like the fox, had a good grasp of the habits of such an owner. The fact that Lesche Berg was the only nobleman in the entire Glick Empire who could be so rude to the imperial family made Linon hang up his beloved cleaning kit.
Linon didn’t open the document, but he heard the imperial court officer who brought it to him start the conversation very politely.
“It’s an official approval for the marriage of the Grand Duke Berg and the Grand Duchess.”
Lesche’s hand, which was unwittingly tearing off the seal, stopped for a moment. A pretty long pause. He looked down at the envelope again, then released the seal at the same speed as before and pulled out the thick document inside. The top-quality paper had a faint blue tint to it.
Lesche slowly opened his mouth when he saw the writing on it.
“It’s really true.”
The vassals, who had been watching breathlessly, became excited.
“Is it really from the Emperor?”
“I didn’t expect it to come so soon!”
“For generations, a Grand Duke’s marriage must take a year to get acceptance!”
“Apparently, the Duke of Howard….”
The vassals, being vassals, did their best to grasp the Emperor’s thoughts. Linon opened his mouth.
“Marriage acceptances are also down, so you have to go to the Capital once this year.”
Lesche wasn’t much of a socialite. So he just came as a courtesy.
He always went late. When the social community was at their quietest, the emperor would personally invite him to come, but he would just… come late.
“I’ll go next month.”
Linon opened his eyes wide. Because Lesche hadn’t been to the Capital much in the winter, when social activities were in full swing.
Because he was uncomfortable to go among the nobles who were willing to bite even the nicest and most attractive young potential grooms throughout the empire.
“Fix the mansion in the Capital as soon as possible.”
“Yes, Your Highness. I will contact them immediately today.”
“Should I change the garden over there?”
“Lady Seria will die of overwork.”
“Then leave it alone.”
Lesche, who said so, added with a slight frown on his forehead.
“If Seria wants to, give it to her.”
“Yes, Your Highness. Still, there will be no place for major maintenance.”
Lesche said, looking at the papers as Linon sorted them out.
“Send someone to clean up.”
Then he frowned.
“Send all the gardeners to the imperial residence as well. It would be a good idea to tidy up beforehand.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Send Ben and Susan to the Imperial Mansion first. It’s better for command if the butler and head maid are there.”
“I’ll let them know.”
“Send Ben first and Susan later, since Seria will need to be attended to.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Linon was wise enough not to mention how many servants there were in the imperial mansion. Of course, he knew well that Ben and Susan were close to Seria, and how could Lesche not know?
“There is one hunting ground near the Capital, tell them to take a look beforehand. Seria likes to ride horses.”
“Yes. Would you like to release some of the beasts as well?”
“Have you gone mad?”
Linon quickly stepped aside. But inwardly, he was frustrated. To be honest, Seria didn’t seem that weak objectively. Linon’s mind was strongly imprinted with the strength of Seria, who had pulled him out from the grasp of the demons without fainting or running away.
What’s more, she had become a 180 degree different person. But up until a year ago, Seria’s supreme evil was….
It was the best… She seemed to have forgotten everything. Linon wanted good things to be good.
“I’ll have to pay a visit to the royal family.”
“‘Yes, Your Highness, as is customary, you must have an audience with the Emperor as soon as possible. Shall I inform the Lady of this?”
Lesche said while tapping the chair’s armrest with her fingers.
“I think Seria likes that designer from last time.”
“Yes. She likes designer Begonia’s work.”
“Call her in advance.”
“All right, Your Highness. By the way, this is the social season of the Capital. Rather, I think it would be much more efficient to go to the Imperial mansion and call for Designer Begonia, don’t you?”
“Ask Seria what she wants, then let her decide.”
“I will ask her right away.”
The vassals, who had been listening quietly, blinked and exchanged glances. When their gazes his, Linon gave them all a knowing look.
A few moments later, the vassals rushed out of the meeting hall and seized Linon.
“We must present the Grand Duke with a gift, I suppose.”
“But, would it be alright for us to send personal gifts to the Grand Duchess?”
At the question, Linon tilted his head.
“What do you mean ‘personal’?”
They seemed afraid that Seria would say she didn’t like the gift and throw it against the wall and break it.
“I don’t know about before, but the Grand Duchess isn’t very violent now.”
“No, it’s not that…”
The vassals cleared their throats.
“I was a little worried that if I sent something that’s not in the eyes, His Highness would get angry…..”
Linon recalled his conversation with Lesche for a while. Yes… he understood. It must have been an unfamiliar sight to them. He was used to Lesche for a long time that he hadn’t noticed, but Linon cleared his throat.
“His Highness is ….. not that bad.”
He said this out of courtesy, but Linon secretly sympathized.
‘Actually, I suppose he seems that way.’
Ben and Susan formed a meeting.
“Ben, shall we talk to His Highness about it later? Why don’t we have another wedding?”
“That’s a really good idea. Susan.”
“I heard from the Haneton ladies, the Lady, no. We have to call her Grand Duchess from now on. The wedding ceremony was prepared in such a splendid way to welcome the Grand Duchess.”
The matter was to thicken the pride of those in the green manor.
“Preparing more flashy than that is not a thing in Berg.”
Ben nodded. The neatly dressed butler added his thoughtful opinion.
“And let’s send out invitations to all the leading nobles, with the exception of the Kellyden.”
“That’s a great idea. I’ll take the opportunity to mention it later. We can talk about it in six months or so.”
“His Highness doesn’t like to hear reports that repeat over and over, so that would be a good time.”
Ben and Susan didn’t know specifically what Seria had been through in the Kellyden mansion. However, the duels were strictly recorded. Throwing gloves in a crowded place was not an informal but an official record.
It had been recorded that His Royal Highness the Grand Duke won a duel challenge against the First son of Kellyden, and also that knight Abigail won against the Knight Commander of Kellyden.
A quick glance gave him an estimate.
That Seria did not receive any hospitality at Kellyden.
Ben and Susan didn’t know any details. Such things were beyond the subject matter, and in case it mattered, the relationship between Berg and Kellyden had taken the worst of it.
However, it was easy to grasp the situation between families. It was basic knowledge. Although Ben and Susan were voluntarily detained in the green manor for a long time, they were loyal to Berg.
And they were busy. The orders given by Lesche had been spread to the mansion by Linon, and by all accounts…..the orders were all for Seria.
Ben made sure that all the abundant flowers he had raised in the glass greenhouse were brought to the mansion for celebration.
There was no need to explain how expensive winter flowers were. It wasn’t enough that the expensive flowers adorned the mansion in a spectacular way, he even ordered more.
At the same time, the vassals and servants who came and went were also excited. The Berg mansion itself was not winter-like but filled with a pleasant atmosphere.