Chapter 1 - Prologue
Where Seria arrived was the joint bathroom . She glanced at the bathroom door. It was the Grand Duke and Duchess’s shared bathroom, which was set up on the second floor, and it was the first time she had ever stood there like this.
While she was absentmindedly losing herself in the rampage of the maidens earlier, Susan’s voice sounded in her ears.
“Grand Duchess. Why don’t you go to the joint bathroom?”
“His Highness is taking a bath there.”
Susan said with a big smile.
“…He came in here a while ago, but he went that way.”
“He tried to get in here? His Highness?”
“Yes, Grand Duchess.”
Seria was at a loss for words. Lesche tried to get in here? What was he going to do when he came in?
“…He can just wait in the bedroom…”
Did all the Grand Dukes of Berg originally change suddenly once the imperial approval was issued? The moment she heard Susan’s words, Seria began to explore the original story in her head. It was almost an instinctive act. But she soon gave up. In the original story, the ending was that Lina and Lesche get married, so she didn’t know what would happen next.
‘It’s better not to know……’
Seria swept her face with both hands. In the meantime, her skin was smoother than usual. She took a deep breath, grabbed her gown tightly and opened the bathroom door.
It was the shared bathroom, and it was indeed large. Statues of lions were placed on both sides of the door, and beyond the large partition blocking the view, she could hear the sound of running water and smell the warm moisture.
Seria walked in.
She didn’t actually have to do a lot of walking. As soon as she walked around the partition, she could see a naked back. It was Lesche.
Her heart raced for a moment. He was sitting in the bath tub set up in the middle of the bathroom, but thanks to that, she couldn’t see below his waist.
She sighed involuntarily. The sound of the water was still audible.
The servant’s eyes went wide as Seria walked over. She raised her finger and motioned for the servant to leave. She was actually a little skeptical when she gave the order, because she thought the servant would ask Lesche’s permission to leave.
But the servant quickly disappeared like the wind. As a result, Seria and Lesche remained alone in the bathroom.
She looked at his wet silver hair, his neck beneath it. His back, with its broad shoulders and perfectly captured muscles. His arms, equally thick with muscles.
She was mesmerized.
Seria sat quietly on the marble at the end of the bathroom, and after a bit of deliberation, she reached for Lesche. She knew after a few seconds that it was a very wrong choice.
She took a deep breath as Lesche suddenly grabbed her wrist and stared at her. Their gazes met. The air seemed to stop its movements. The expression when people first saw Seria’s blue diamond was the same as the expression that Lesche was now making while looking at her.
Seria cleared her throat and called out his name anyway. Then she started to put together the dozen or so different excuses she had come up with before coming here.
“Well… Susan said you were trying to get into my bath? What if the servants faint? To be honest, I would have fainted too. So I came in…I should have knocked first…..”
Seria couldn’t continue to the end. Because Lesche climbed straight out of the bathtub and immediately kissed her on the lips. The sound of the water rushing along his body echoed like waves in her ears. The hot water soaked her body.
It was a kiss that seemed to devour her. Lesche’s tongue instantly dug into her mouth and it became chaotic. She choked on her breath. She ran out of breath and pushed Lesche away, but he didn’t move. Her jaw started to hurt from the action of his tongue sucking and rolling hard.
The thin gown Seria was wearing peeled off and fell to the floor. What she was wearing inside was a thin knitted slip. Lesche grasped the thin shoulder straps of the slip. Veins popped up on his hand. Seria quickly shook her head, afraid that Lesche would tear her clothes off, pushing him out strongly and gasping.
“My clothes are ruined…”
“I’ll buy them for you.”
“They don’t have the same clothes as these. Susan made it for me.”
“Can you make the same thing again?”
“Have you tried making clothes?”
Lesche looked at her in dismay. His red eyes were cloudy, but perhaps it was the slight tilt of his chin that made it feel so odd.
“Have you made it?”
Seria laughed softly.
“But it would be fun if you sewed.”
Lesche looked at her and suddenly swept her face with one hand.
“Why in the world are you laughing so hard?”
“What did I laugh so hard about?”
“You laugh so much that people go crazy.”
“What crazy? I was just laughing.”
“In your eyes, I’m very beautiful, aren’t I? It’s because of your eyes.”
“I see. It seems so. I like the way you laugh so much, it drives me crazy when I see it.”
With a low, moaning sigh, Lesche kissed her ear. Then he dragged Seria straight into the water.
She heard the sound of the water hitting her bare skin. In an instant, she was in Lesche’s chest. The slip dress was still wet and rolled up in the water and stuck to her skin. Lesche’s hands and body stuck to her that way, too.
She couldn’t take her eyes off the low voice calling her. Her head felt dizzy. Perhaps it was because she had been in the hot steamy place for too long, or perhaps it was for some other reason… Lesche started touching her from her neck down to her thighs. When Seria took off his hand, which was starting to touch every inch of her body, Lesche dug between her fingers and held them strongly.
Lesche cupped the back of her head and tilted her chin up. Seria’s eyelashes trembled. This was the first time she had learned that bath water could maintain its temperature for that long, and the first time she had learned that there were always two dry indoor gowns available for a couple’s bath.
However, there was no use in the bed. She didn’t know how time passed. By the time she thought the colors reflected on the curtains changed a bit, she fell asleep as if passed out.
(*Did they do it or not? Did she pass out before they did it? It was unclear here)
08. The Capital of the Empire
“It’s been a while since you’ve been to the Capital, right? Bibi.”
Abigail, who was riding a horse, approached the carriage and said.
“Yes, Lady. It’s still a hell of a weather here.”
Seria smiled and looked outside the carriage. A cool breeze blew and sent her hair flying.
This was where the Imperial Palace of the Glick Empire was located. It was the capital, the center of the empire. It was much warmer than Berg, only because of its geographical location in the south. Of course, it’s almost late winter now.
Spring will soon be here. But the capital was like spring even now.
Perhaps it was because she had been in Berg for a while, where it was particularly cold in early spring and winter. Her clothes were also lighter than in Berg. Meanwhile, the carriage rolled hard and headed southeast.
In the blink of an eye, the number of passersby walking along the street rapidly decreased, and each of the passersby’s clothes became unusual.
This was the southeast district, where the mansions of famous high-ranking nobles were gathered. Seemingly luxurious mansions stood side by side.
Of course, Seria had been to this district before. Not that Seria’s townhouse was located here, but the residence of the Marquis of Haneton, a high-ranking nobleman, was located here. Fortunately, the road split and the Hanetone mansion was no longer in sight.
The carriage drove on. Strangely, from some point on, no mansions began to be seen.
It was time to start wondering. The carriage stopped.
“We’ve arrived. Grand Duchess, please dismount.”
Seri got out of the carriage with the help of the footman. The moment she straightened her wrinkle dress and raised her head. Her eyes were wide open.
Susan hurried to Seria’s side and asked.
“Why? Is there a problem?”
“No, I was just surprised that the mansion is so big.”
“Oh…Well, if that’s the problem, then it’s fine.”
Susan smiled. She walked with her to the front door. Even as they walked, Seria’s eyes were glued to the size of the mansion.
‘Why is the mansion so big? Is it a royal castle?’
In general, nobles with estates and titles usually have mansions on the imperial capital and castles on their estates. The more property and the higher the titles, the more glorious the castles become. Berg and Kellyden’s castles were very glamorous.
But what is this?
Is it possible to own such a large mansion in the capital? The house with the dark colored bricks piled up looked like it could just be called a castle, since it was a mansion only in words. No wonder there were no other mansions to be seen for a while, but it was surrounded by a huge garden worthy of this huge mansion.
It seemed that this mansion was even bigger than the castle in Kellyden.
Seria regretted saying that she would get off at the entrance of the mansion all the way while touring the garden of the mansion. She should have just taken the carriage to the entrance.
When she finally arrived at the front door after more than ten minutes of walking, Ben and the other servants were already lined up. As soon as they saw her, they bowed deeply.
“Welcome, Grand Duchess.”
“Long time no see, Ben.”
“Yes, how have you been?”
“I’ve been well.”
“The Grand Duchess’s health is Berg’s joy.”
“The health of the butler is also my joy.”
Seria glanced at the people next to Ben, who was smiling broadly.
There were quite a few knights among the servants whose faces she did not recognize. She was fairly well acquainted with the knights of Stern and Berg before she was Grand Duchess, but there were many unfamiliar faces that made her head spin.
‘These are knights who guard the mansion?’
It seemed like there were too many knights for that.
It will be a bit later before we can figure out where they are from.
“The inside is just fine.”
It was Seria’s first honest impression of the mansion. Ben replied calmly, not seeming to panic.
“I’m sorry, Grand Duchess. I don’t have the talent to decorate, so I just put it away for now.”
“I see. But, Ben.”
“Yes. Grand Duchess?”
Seria asked, tilting her head.
“Did you throw everything away while cleaning up?”
Susan suddenly coughed and cleared her throat. Ben also cleared his throat.
“…It can’t be, Grand Duchess.”
“…Right? It was just joking.”
The mansion was too empty and dreary. It was clean, but overly clean, reminiscent of a house that had been put up for sale.