Chapter 1 - Prologue
How he found out about this was simpler than he thought. It was because Lesche had noticed Seria’s Stern’s attitude and personality had changed since her last visit to Berg.
He wondered if perhaps the precious Stern had changed, and after a couple of glances, he saw the ring on her finger.
Seria was quite protective of that ring. Any indifferent person would know that the ring was given to her by her fiancé, Kalis Haneton.
She didn’t wear that ring again after Kalis left with the Saintess, so there was nothing Lesche couldn’t give her as a token of marriage or engagement. But if he gave her one anyway, she’d probably think of Kalis Haneton.
At first, yes. That was certainly the idea.
The problem was always the next.
Lesche looked at Seria’s white fingers. He knew that she would not be pleased if he told her that he would put a ring on this hand.
That was the problem.
Why is Seria so afraid that he will love the Saintess?
He wondered if he resembled something in Kalis Haneton.
Lesche sensed that Seria was hiding something. He could only guess, but he couldn’t pinpoint exactly what she was hiding.
It didn’t feel good to be hovering around the base of truth, but there was nothing he could do about it. The person holding the clues was Seria, his wife.
Lesche held the sleeping Seria in his arms. The lips that he pressed down to carve a mark on her forehead slowly turned downward. After passing the cheek, it touched her lips. Then finally, he was able to sleep after a few moments.
The next day.
The incessant sound woke her up slowly. Seria raised her head slightly and looked out the window. It was raining.
The blanket was meticulously pulled up to her neck. She could tell immediately that Lesche was sleeping beside her. When did he come and when did he leave?
In Lesche’s eyes, she must look like a sick chicken who would freeze to death at any time whenever she was wrapped up tightly like this. And there was even a cup of tea with steam rising hotly on the small table beside the bed. It was definitely Lesche’s idea.
‘But why am I laughing?’
Seria raised her body and grabbed the teacup, then leaned against the pillow. Drinking hot tea while listening to the sound of the rain hitting the stone walls and windows was quite relaxing.
After finishing the tea, Seria murmured to herself as she looked around the dark bedroom because of the dark clouds outside.
“Did he go to the meeting again?”
“I didn’t go.”
Seria almost dropped her teacup when she heard a sudden reply from the window.
Seria slipped both feet into her slippers and leaned forward. She couldn’t see in front of her because of the thick canopy stretched over the bed. Lesche was sitting huddled in a recliner by the window, reading documents.
“When did you wake up?”
“It’s been a while.”
“I thought you left.”
“I’m not that busy, not even in Berg territory.”
“Yes, let’s go out somewhere.”
Seria smiled and said,
Lesche put the papers down as he looked out the window.
“Is there somewhere you’d like to go later? Let’s go to a tea party.”
“A tea party?”
“I heard that it’s the fashion among the imperial aristocrats for husbands to take their wives to tea parties.”
“Where do you hear such news?”
“Linon has heard all sorts of things.”
Seria chuckled. But the laughter slowly faded away. Because Seria didn’t have any friends to invite to the tea party.
‘Of course, the original Seria Stern was a socialite. Her connections were strong, but that’s actually where the original villain’s connections allowed her to be. It was a relationship where she couldn’t expect emotional interaction with each other.’
‘After I possessed her, I was so busy paying off my debt with my life that I didn’t have time to maintain such extravagant connections. Thanks to that, I never contacted anyone and lost touch with them.’
‘There’s no one by my side. If it wasn’t for Abigail, I would have been quite lonely in the capital.’
While Seria was deep in thoughts, Lesche put down the documents and strode to the bed where she was sitting.
It didn’t take long. Her slippers fell off her feet and rolled on the floor. She was pushed down on the bed and blinked. Lesche was just above her, his hand stroking slowly down her cheek.
He grabbed her legs and pulled them close to his body. She couldn’t help but shrink a little bit. Because Lesche was touching her thighs so she could guess what he wanted.
It was morning…..Of course, the time wasn’t that important. She could do it in the morning, too. –If there was a problem….
“I have a lot to do today. Lesche.”
“How can I help you?”
“I have to decorate the mansion and designer Begonia is coming. I need a dress when we go to the imperial palace.”
Lesche let out a low sigh. It sounded like a moan, and her heart skipped a beat. Once again, the thought crossed her mind that she was glad the bed was darker with the canopy. Otherwise, he would see her red face.
Lesche touched her on the shoulder with a hand full of disappointment.
“I’ll take care of the mansion business and you can do dress fitting.”
“You’re going to decorate the mansion?”
“Yes. Didn’t you tell Ben everything?”
Seria stared at Lesche, confused. What could she say? She felt like she just heard Abigail and Alliot say that they were going to decorate the castle. Would someone who had been a knight all his life be able to decorate to match Seria’s aesthetic sensibilities?
Her worries seemed to have been read as rejection. She was startled when Lesche suddenly kissed her neck.
“Please, Seria. Think about your newlywed husband for a moment.”
‘Why is he using tricks on me….’
(*Did they do it again? Ahhh, I need more details…..)
Eventually, after breakfast, Ben rushed to follow Lesche around.
A few days later.
Time passed in a flash, and the day of the entrance ceremony came.
She looked at her reflection in the large full-length mirror. Her round braided green hair was decorated with clear blue jewels, and her necklace was also a bright blue color. Most people would have looked at the jewelry first, but not her.
The fact that the dress she was wearing went up to her neck was the first thing that caught her eye. Begonia was definitely a forward-thinking designer.
A few days ago, when she visited the Berg residence, Begonia recommended that all four of the dresses Seria would choose to wear when she entered the palace be designed to cover her neck.
It was a great choice.
“The necklace really goes well with the dresses, Grand Duchess.”
Designer Begonia’s powers of observation were truly outstanding.
Susan and the other maids looked at her naked body as they tended to it after her bath, but they didn’t say anything.
‘I think they saw everything….’
Seria’s skin was very white, so when any of it turned red, it was very noticeable. But, what if it’s not one?
She was even more embarrassed by their reaction to pretend that they were completely unaware of it.
‘Am I wrong? Would it be more embarrassing if they let out a laugh while looking at my skin?’
When she was ready and walked out of the bedroom, Lesche was waiting.
Lesche was also dressed in a suit that matched the etiquette of entering the palace, but with his neck covered. The servants who helped Lesche were more shy than the servants who served her. They averted their gaze as if trying to avoid her eyes.
‘I’m sure they could guess…that I made Lesche’s neck like that.’
Seria stood there pretending to be shameless, but really she wanted to scream.
No, she was actually a little frustrated because Lesche kept kissing her neck. It was like he was doing it out of his mind. Of course she wasn’t in her right mind either, but the moment she looked in the mirror in the morning, she panicked.
She wondered if this man really thought her neck was safe. As if he knew that she was going to wear a high neck dress, so he did it without worries.
So that same day, Seria immediately did the same to his neck. If there was a slight misunderstanding, it was that Lesche did not avoid it at all. And here was the result.
“Designer Begonia suggested the cravat suit.”
“It’s like she knew my neck was going to be like this.”
There was no high or low in Lesche’s voice. Just a voice that told her that it was. Seria glanced at Lesche’s face, pondering what to say. Then she was immediately taken aback.
“Do you enjoy making fun of me?” (Seria)
“I’m happy looking at your face.” (Lesche)
“Please don’t talk.” (Seria)
Seria quickly got to her feet. Lesche was much taller than her, so of course it was easy for him to catch up with her. He tried to hold her hand, but she wouldn’t let him. When she withdrew her hand for the third time, Lesche’s face began to show embarrassment.
“Seria, are you angry?”
“Please don’t talk to me.”
“Why are you angry?”
When Seria deliberately didn’t answer, the troubled sound in Lesche’s voice became more and more apparent.
“Seria, is it because we did it early in the morning for a few days?”
Seria was so startled that she covered Lesche’s mouth. His red eyes looked down at her hand that was covering his mouth. Then she looked into his eyes and whispered.
“Be quiet….don’t talk outside.” (Seria)
Seria put down the hand that had been covering Lesche’s mouth and he immediately grabbed her hand.
“This is inside the house.” (Lesche)
“Are the servants deaf?” (Seria)
“They are far away.” (Lesche)
At Lesche’s words, Seria glanced back and sure enough, they were all in the distance. Somehow she wondered if being that far away with this conversation in her mind was better than having to hear it with her own ears.
“Don’t say that unless there is no one else in the mansion. Please.”
Lesche smiled and said he understood.