Chapter 1 - Prologue
*This chapter is very confusing. I apologize in advance.
Ben said in a proper manner.
“His Highness often vacates the imperial mansion, so I was told that this is how it was originally. Also, many things were broken, and I only sorted them out after precise emotions. I bought all the furniture we need for living right now.”
“We’ll organize everything, so you can decorate it as you please, Grand Duchess.”
“I see. I’ll have to work, won’t I?”
“Not work, but a leisurely hobby…Grand Duchess? Will you be doing that soon?”
Ben followed Seria, not knowing what to do.The staircase leading to the Great Hall on the first floor opened wide on both sides, and she liked the way it was divided into the East and West wings. But this was a large building in itself.
“I see no need to postpone it.”
“It’s a hobby…..”
As expected, there were many things to do in the capital. Seria looked around the empty mansion. It was like a drawing paper.
‘I’m the only Berg in this large, castle-like mansion.’
Lesche was not there.
Lesche departed with Seria from the Grand Duchy of Berg. And he was sitting across from her as they passed through the first and second main gates of the imperial road.
The problem arose just after they had passed through the third gate.
‘What….taking the person in the carriage, is that even possible?’
Seria had to notice when Linon seemed restless.
It was the moment they passed through the third gate of the capital. Linon said with a really pale face and cold sweat trickling down .
“Um, Your Highness. I’m sorry, but you really have to go.”
Seria blinked again.
“Lesche? Linon, why is he like this?”
She had no choice but to ask Lesche because she didn’t know why Linon was looking like a corpse. To the point where even a passing dog would ask if he was okay.
When Seria asked Rushe, he looked slightly embarrassed. Then he passed a strand of her hair behind her ear.
“It’s no big deal.”
“No, but why is Linnon like that? He’s going to die soon?”
“He’s not going to die from that.”
Seria was able to find out after a bit more pursuit. The military officials had been waiting for them since they passed through the first gate of the imperial road. Seria had no idea about this.
“Where are they now?”
“They are following Berg’s carriage. If you see them outside now, the procession will go crazy…”
When Seria asked him why he wasn’t going, he raised his eyebrows in return.
“How are you going to get the Grand Duke to enter the Imperial Palace alone? There is a procedure.”
Naturally Seria gasped and said.
“I don’t recall ever hearing of such a procedure.”
Nor did it be in this original story, for that matter. If the stallion of the story was Lina’s love, then the truth was actually the defeat of the demons. In the Glick Empire, the mainstay of the battle to defeat the demons was naturally the Berg Knights. Berg had informed them in advance that the Grand Duke Berg, the lord of that knightly order and master of the central territory, would be coming up to the Capital, but the military seemed to get impatient immediately.
Linon was about to cry out, so Seria let Lesche go. When the carriage stopped for a while, she saw that the military knights were really following the procession with great enthusiasm. And their complexion was not too different from Linon’s.
‘I don’t think Lecher will be able to come in today.’
“I’ve brought what you asked for.”
“Thank you, Ben.”
Ben held out a bundle of papers held together with a tight leather strap. These came from Berg’s main office, and the title was written in large letters on the cover.
<The List in the Basement.>
Back then, Seria was being carried piggyback on Alliot’s back. She almost fainted when she saw the many expensive items left in the basement of the castle, and she made this list while walking around with Linon whenever they had time. In this document, the valuable ornaments in the basement of the castle were recorded in detail. Linon in particular seemed to be an organizing fanatic and loved this list of items.
Ben and Seria walked around the empty mansion, which was almost completely undecorated. A few hours passed quickly as they checked together the ornaments they had brought from the castle. Of course, this mansion was also in a hurry to organize the luggage and boxes that many servants had brought with them.
They went back and forth from east to west, from south to north, several times like that. Every time she went back and forth without a break, there was something that bothered her. After about thirteen crossings, she couldn’t take it any longer and stopped at the central staircase of the mansion.
A large portrait hung above caught her eye.
“Is this the previous Grand Duke?”
“…Yes, Grand Duchess.”
Ben’s voice, always sweet and gentle, was uncomfortably quiet. Seria tilted her head. If they wanted to hang it, they should hang the portrait of the previous Grand Duchess as well. Seria wondered if the portrait was part of the reason why Lesche didn’t want to come to Capital often.
“Take it down.”
“Take it down now. I’ll hang something else.”
The first thing that immediately came to mind was Lesche’s portrait.
But is it really a good idea to hang his own portrait here instead? What if it offends him for no reason?
‘I don’t want to offend Lesche.’
However, Seria didn’t have to worry about it for long. While looking at the floor and thinking, Seria lifted her head, she thought of something appropriate.
“Hang the picture of the green manor that Martha sent me.”
Lesche put the pen down on the inkwell. High-ranking aristocrats above the marquis rank also have a position in the political world of the imperial government.The Dukes of Berg were promoted as military officials from generation to generation. It was the same with Lesche.
In the military, it was only necessary to exchange plans and details regarding the battle to defeat the demons anyway, but there were other problems.
In front of him stood a considerable number of nobles, looking around and wondering why they came like a pack of dogs.
First, Berg refused to help the Duke of Howard in the defeat of the demons.
Secondly, he ordered the old knights who had been living in the far West to return.
The same western region was divided into four defenses and the ruling nobles changed. The far West had the most land and was also where the influence of the Marquis of Kellyden was the greatest.
In a word, it was Kellyden’s district.
However, the Berg Knights were dispatched there. It was due to an old custom of the Glick Empire.
The Grand Duke of Berg were allowed to raise special unaided firepower in the imperial court, considering their unique position in the empire and the uniqueness of their territory.
Of course, there was a limit to the number of knights that could be stationed in the Berg territory. For this reason, Berg sent a number of knights to various lands as support.
Frankly speaking, it was a convenience method. However, it was so useful to the nobles of each territory that even the imperial family of the Glick Empire turned a blind eye to it for several generations, as it was sure to cause an immediate backlash.
Also, the imperial family would have to raise that many troops. The Imperial Guard’s first priority was to protect the Imperial Family. Compared to Berg, which was optimized for defeating demons, they were told that it would be less efficient in many ways.
However, the other day, Berg instructed all the knights who were in Kellyden to return. What happened at the funeral of the Lady Magrus has long since spread to the imperial society. So everyone could guess.
The Kellyden was really messed up.
It was true.
It was a fact that the territories that received support from Berg were limited and almost fixed. However, since no small number of knights had returned from Kellyden this time, it was only natural that the nobles drooled when they heard the rumors about the troops.
What’s more. The Grand Duke of Berg was originally a tolerant man.
However, since he refused to like the compensation proposal offered by Duke Howard, the nobles who had been comfortably sticking straws in his face had no choice but to get anxious. Moreover, Duke Howard even failed in his brilliant battle to defeat the demons.
“Let’s think a little more before deciding the departure of the remaining knights.”
Lesche asked back, and the Count shook his head hastily.
“No, Your Highness.”
“Your Highness! May I visit Berg’s Grand Duchess with our Knight Commander in a week? It’s my son…”
Linon, who was standing behind Lesche, thought differently.
‘You idiots. Go to the Lady and hang on to her.’
It had been quite a while since the power had been transferred. Idiots…
Linon, who still often referred to Seria as “Miss”, looked solemn, unlike that idea.
Many hours passed after that. Lesche stood up, refusing the invitation of those who said, “Since you haven’t been to the capital in a while, let’s go to the clubhouse together and relax.”
“A married man can’t stay out overnight.”
“Oh,I’m sorry, Your Highness! My thoughts were too short.”
“Go home early. You don’t want to be blamed.”
The military advisor’s face turned a little red. Linon followed Lesche and whispered.
“Your Highness, did you take into consideration the fact that the man is a newlywed?”
“How do you know that? I’m newlywed, so I’m going to go in early.”
“Is that so?”
“I think you saw the ring that he was wearing.”
Linon suddenly had a question.
“Why doesn’t His Highness give the young lady a wedding ring?”
Linon thought Lesche was going to tell him to go and raid the jeweler because the imperial approval for the marriage came so suddenly.
Lesche went back to the mansion. The mansion was quiet because he came back without communication. Only half of the lights were lit in the Great Hall on the first floor connected to the front door.
Ben, who had come running in a hurry, bowed his head deeply. Lesche asked as he took off his coat and handed it to Ben.
“What about Seria?”
“She must be tired. The journey wasn’t easy.”
“Yes, she had her supper and went to bed right after. Your Highness, I’ve prepared hot water for your bath.”
“Thank you. Go get some rest.”
“Yes, Your Highness. Have a restful night.”
Lesche paused suddenly on his way upstairs to the bathroom.
The portrait of the previous Grand Duke that had always been here, even in the earliest memories that Lesche could remember, was gone. The empty spot was not decorated in any way.
He knew that Ben and Susan did not have good feelings towards the previous Grand Duke. They may even have a strong hatred for him. However, they were not the type to touch the portrait of the Grand Duke Berg that was already hanging. Therefore, the person who could give such an order was….
Lesche got out of the bath and went to the bedroom. It was Seria’s bedroom, of course.
Lesche saw Seria, lying like a corpse. She didn’t seem to be breathing and he needed to make sure she was alive. He put his finger under her nose and held her wrist once. He smiled as he felt her pulse was rising. He then lay down beside her. His gown slipped down, but he didn’t care.
He stared at Seria’s face, then suddenly held her left hand and lifted it.
How many months ago was it?
Since the day she came to the main castle in Berg for Stern’s wedding.
Seria always wore the ring on her fourth finger.