Chapter 1 - Prologue
Seria woke up and opened her eyes. Abigail was looking down at me from above. They blinked and stared at each other for a moment.
“Why are you in a bad mood? We’re in a festive mood outside. I even bought some chicken from the kitchen.”
Abigail was holding a basket full of herb-roasted chicken between her arms. Seria smiled and asked,
“Is it good?”
“How can you not know after looking at my face, young lady? Why are you in a bad mood? Did the Chief Aide do something wrong?”
“You haven’t been feeling well since the Chief Aide told you to go to the Capital. You also had a handkerchief over your face like a funeral cloth.”
Abigail was right, Seria had a white handkerchief over her head.
It was a handkerchief that Susan had given her as a gift. In the Glick Empire, it was customary to give blue flowers to the bride. How quickly Susan had moved her hands, this white handkerchief also had blue flowers embroidered on it.
Seria touched the fluttering cloth with her hand and lightly wiped her forehead. She suddenly remembered how Lesche had wiped her forehead like this when she had fainted after her marriage to Kalis went awry. ‘What am I doing?’ Seria smiled and put down the handkerchief.
She wondered if Susan had left some perfume on it, and the nice scent that permeated the handkerchief tickled her nose.
Covering her eyes with the handkerchief, Seria opened her mouth.
“I don’t think I could find a better knight than Bibi.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever find a better lord than you either, young lady. You were the one who saved me in the first place. I’ll never forget the way you grabbed the priest by the chest.”
Seria smiled and said while looking at Abigail.
“Bibi, I’m afraid to get married.”
“You’ve already done that.”
“Until yesterday, I could have called him your fiancée. But now… it’s a real marriage. I really didn’t expect the imperial approval to come so soon.”
“Why are you afraid?”
Seria paused for a moment and answered honestly.
“It reminds me of Kalis Haneton.”
“You still haven’t forgotten that man?”
“Otherwise, are you worried that His Highness will end up like that man Haneton?”
Abigail was always straightforward. Seria nodded slowly.
“I guess so.
Seria looked at Abigail, saying, “Huh?” and grabbed her hand in fear. It was because Abigail was spinning the knife brilliantly. It was a hand gesture like a former assassin.
“Why the knife? Where did you get it? What are you going to do with it?”
“I’m going to get the head of the Marquis of Haneton, and you’re going to take it to your husband. Fear is the best way to warn him.” 🤣
“Calm down, Bibi….Haneton needs a lord, too….. And if you’re caught, I won’t be able to help you.”
Abigail said, putting the knife back in the basket.
“Next time, I’ll get rid of the Knight Commander of Haneton. Because I’m your knight.”
“Thank you, Bibi.”
“Why aren’t you having supper?”
“I think I should have dinner with His Highness. He read my expression better than I thought he would.”
“Not as well as the young lady, I’m afraid. Please wake up. If you continue to starve like this, you may die of thinning.”
With that, Abigail quickly woke Seria up and Seria went to sit down on the couch. Abigail cut up a piece of chicken with a knife and gave it to her. Seria chewed the meat slowly.
As expected, people feel a little better when they have something in their mouths. Seria collected her vague thoughts.
She thought she was dreaming when she heard that the imperial approval officially came. Because it was earlier than she expected.
Her bemused surprise was crushed by the following words of the vassals.
“Why don’t we have another wedding at this time?”
“Yes, Grand Duchess! Let’s make it more glamorous than the emperor’s wedding!”
No matter who heard it, it was meant for her and Kalis’s wedding in mind. The vassals probably didn’t mean to, but her mood was compelled to sink. Anyone would have had no choice but to ruminate on that situation, on Lina, on Kalis, on that near-death situation.
Things, situations, and land could be held in her favor if she used her head, but the human heart was not.
That was true when it came to Kalis. No matter how much she struggled, she couldn’t help but feel the same way about Lina.
‘It wasn’t mine, though. It really wasn’t.’
‘If Lesche, who would officially become my husband, is also attracted to the heroine. Will my heart be okay then?’
‘What is this…’
Ben and Susan also looked like their cheekbones hurt with a big smile on their faces. The castle was a festival. So Seria told them she was tired from the subjugation and went back to her bedroom to lie down.
“Shall we go and inspect the glacier?”
It was very foolish and inefficient to slumber helplessly like this. She might as well get some work done. As soon as she felt like it, Seria got up.
‘Or I might just end up lying on the couch for the rest of my life.’
“Bibi, do you want to go out with me?”
Abigail said after chewing a large piece of chicken.
“I love all the places you go, Young Lady.”
The office of Berg’s castle.
Lesche replied that he would go unorthodoxly to the annual urging letter sent by the Emperor. He was checking some documents and said, crossing his arms and looking out the window.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Did you tell Seria that she had to go to the Capital?”
The aides’ ears perked up at the name of the Grand Duchess. Very few people knew, but there were no other ones in Berg as sensitive to the presence or absence of the name of the Grand Duchess.
“As I mentioned earlier….”
Lesche tapped his arm with his hand holding the document.
“Did she say she would go? Or should I postpone it?”
“What? Postpone? I’ll put it on hold right now.”
It wouldn’t be a problem if he hadn’t sent the response letter to the emperor yet. But if the emperor had already seen it, it would be a bit difficult. But Linon was curious. Seria didn’t react much to the words that she had to go to the Capital. So what’s going on all of a sudden?
Linon walked over to the window. The window in the Grand Duke’s office overlooked the expansive garden of the castle, which made it easy to see the people coming and going from the garden.
Linon expected this to some extent. Outside the window, there wasSeria. The problem was that she seemed to be going on a glacier tour. She shouldn’t be going there today. She should have been at the castle sorting out her presents.
“Your Highness, I see that the young lady has already finished organizing the presents. The Lady…. No, the Grand Duchess is a very efficient and fast worker.”
Linon’s voice crept into the room as he mumbled excuses, the assistants in the room immediately sensed the situation and held their breath.
Recently, their Grand Duchess has often dined with the Grand Duke. But today was different.
Seria sent Linon back, saying that she had to sort through the sudden overflow of congratulatory gifts for the official recognition. All of Berg’s aides turned a blind eye as Linon walked sadly. However, they thought it was His Highness the Grand Duke of Berg who was hit by the wind….
‘But she’s going on a glacier tour?’
Did the two have a quarrel? It couldn’t be. Not even in the daytime…. The aides fell silent.
Lesche stared out the window and put the documents down on the desk.
It was a glacier inspection but they left so late, so Seria expected they wouldn’t be able to get far. Time flew by as she gazed out over the lake with a dangling silver branch in her hand.
“Bibi. We should go now.”
Seria said as she tried to loosen her knees and get up. But suddenly, she was grabbed by the arm, a strong force pulled her up.
Turning back around, Seria couldn’t continue to finish her sentence. Because the red eyes were piercing into her. It was completely unexpected.
Seria panicked. No, why is this man here? Looking around, she saw that Abigail was far away, looking at Seria in a daze. When did Abigail go over there?
“Lesche. …. Why are you here?”
“What hurt your feelings?”
Lesche frowned and stood Seria up straight.
“You went on a glacier tour all week when Kalis and the Saintess went missing before the wedding.”
“What’s the reason you are doing this again, Seria?”
Seria said as she stared at Lesche.
“I’m embarrassed because we got approval too early from the imperial family.”
Lesche slowly began to look at Seria. In fact, it was closer than just looking. Seri tried to read Lesche’s expression, but quickly stopped. Lesche was not in a good mood.
Very much so. To the point Seria felt a little scared.
“Is it going to be different if the approval came after one year?”
“It will be different.”
“What will change?”
“Things like timing and such. It’s not a big deal. Aren’t you cold? Let’s go home…”
“Don’t change the subject, Seria?”
“I want you to be clear. Because I have no idea what’s going to change.”
Lesche’s tone was harsh, completely different from usual. Seria stared into Lesche’s cold, shining eyes as she realized once again that Lesche was the master of the Grand Duchy of Berg. He always had this kind of look in his eyes, but why was it so unfamiliar now?