Vonvieshu asked the old priest again, demanding a clear answer.
The old priest glanced at Erica and murmured awkwardly.
“Mmh…it’s indeed too much to keep the young lady standing here for long.”
The old priest was worried about Erica.
He thought that Vonvieshu raised her voice toward him—a high priest—out of concern for her master.
Vonvieshu glanced at Erica.
Her eyes flashed cunningly for a moment because she had found an excellent shield for herself.
“That’s right. As you know, my lady is not in good health. So how long does she have to wait outside like this?”
Erica glanced down.
She never whined that she was uncomfortable.
It was much better to stand here and do nothing than to attend the strict education at the marquisate…
Why did Vonvieshu act like Erica was the one complaining?
Her face turned red in anger.
Meanwhile, Vonvieshu voiced her pent-up frustration over and over again.
“I honestly don’t know what was so urgent that they behaved this rashly. Wouldn’t it be better if they left the dukedom yesterday and held the ceremony today?”
Vonvieshu’s never-ending complaints continued.
“The Archleiff Grand Dukedom is definitely disrespecting the Marquisate of Blanche with this action.”
Vonvieshu was very faithful to the current Marquis Blanche.
She seemed to be really upset about how disrespectful it was to make the family she was serving wait without any notice.
“Hoho, I don’t think that was the case. Let’s wait a little longer.”
The old priest suggested in a gentle voice. Vonvieshu closed her mouth since she knew there was a force that she couldn’t resist beneath his gentle remark.
While silently listening to her concerns, Erica agreed with a few things she said.
For example, the part about their busy schedule.
But it wasn’t a big deal to her.
‘It can’t be helped.’
The Grand Duke of Archleiff, who had always shown a lukewarm attitude toward this marriage, proposed only one condition.
They would take their bride and return immediately to the grand duchy after completing the marriage vow in the great temple. The reason was because the ‘border’ wasn’t in a good state.
Since it was the only condition offered by the grand duke, the ceremony had to be postponed indefinitely if the other party didn’t accept it.
So Marquis Blanche had no choice but to accept.
‘Isn’t it because the grand duke’s side doesn’t want this marriage? Is that why they deliberately keep me waiting in hope that I’ll return on my own…?’
If that happened, the marquis’ side would be the one responsible for breaking up this marriage, and the grand duke’s side would be pardoned
Erica chewed at her lower lip.
‘But it’s not like I had any other choice from the beginning.’
She must wait for as long as it took for someone from the grand duke’s side to arrive. She was the bride-to-be, after all.
‘I can’t help it. Let’s wait until they come.’
Maybe she was jumping to conclusions, but it was a plausible reason given that the two families had bad blood for generations.
Erica looked up at the sky.
The blue sky she saw when she got off the carriage was gradually changing to a pastel shade.
It was still bright, but sunset was fast-approaching.
‘Should I ask them to prepare blankets since it’s almost sunset?’
It was a major inconvenience, but they might do it if she asked them earnestly.
But just then,
She heard a faint sound of horse hooves. Erica, who was always staring at her own shadow, lifted her head.
A wave-like black shadow could be seen rushing toward the great temple in the distance.
Erica instantly knew.
It was them.
She reflexively clasped her hands together. It felt like her stomach turned upside down due to the growing tension.
A cloud of dust rose the moment a group of people on horseback reached the temple.
A large, dark carriage pulled by two horses was just behind them.
The black horses gradually stopped right in front of Erica.
Despite clearly being shocked, Erica didn’t retreat.
Erica immediately looked up when she heard a low voice.
She could see a boy riding the black horse and holding the reins while slightly twisting his body.
Erica’s mouth went dry.
She wasn’t sure if it was the right moment for thinking about this, but she could only think how handsome he looked.
‘Prince Sebastian Archleiff.’
Vivid red eyes and black hair that gave off a cold impression.
His sharp eyes and his tightly-closed lips emanated stubbornness.
Although his face was still young compared to an adult, she sensed an unapproachable aura that sent a tingling sensation through her body.
‘I heard he’s four years older than me…?’
He wasn’t her age and seemed hard to deal with.
Her confidence, which was barely there, began to fade.
‘As expected…it will be difficult to get along well, right?’
Just as Erica was about to lower her gaze again.
And she just happened to make eye contact with Sebastian.
The boy then twisted his crimson lips upward and made a small sound that might have been a sigh or a sneer.
It was apparent that he didn’t like her.
His gaze was nothing but cold as he looked down at Erica.
Erica had been standing resolutely, but her small body trembled in response to the small sound he made.
The girl swallowed hard and held her breath before lowering her gaze again.
‘As expected…he doesn’t like me. What should I do?’
She had to put up with him until the coming-of-age ceremony, but wouldn’t she end up being dismissed if he didn’t like her from the start?
‘What would happen to my mother then…?’
The girl’s deep anxiety was visible on her pristine white face.
She could hear Vonvieshu click her tongue from behind.
She knew exactly why the head maid was upset again.
They were all wearing the Grand Duke’s knight uniform, as opposed to her, who was dressed in a white ceremonial robe.
Even today’s groom, Sebastian Archleiff!
‘Mrs. Vonvieshu must’ve hated that.’
Meanwhile, the horse right in front of Erica turned around slowly and moved away.
The horse stopped after moving twenty steps away from her, and the boy dismounted.
The four other knights also dismounted, following Sebastian’s signal.
Sebastian Archleiff handed the reins of his black horse to one of his subordinates before turning around in an orderly manner.
Meanwhile, Vonvieshu quickly went to Erica’s side and bowed her head.
She warned the girl in a voice so low that no one else could hear it.
“Keep this in mind. You must never make a mistake.”
“….Yes, Mrs. Vonvieshu.”
Erica replied in a subdued voice.
Indignantly clicking her tongue, Vonvishu moved in front of Erica.
Erica swallowed hard and bit her lip tightly.
Meanwhile, Sebastian quickly narrowed the distance with large strides.
When he strode toward Erica and stopped, Erica swallowed hard and grabbed each side of her skirt.
‘I have to bend my knees after this. Phew, let’s calm down. You can do it.’
She had practiced countless times, sacrificing sleep and cutting back on meals just to prepare for this short moment.
Erica had been constantly motivating herself inwardly and now greeted Sebastian with impeccable manners.
“Greetings to Prince Sebastian Archleiff. My name is Erica Blanche.”
With his arms folded and head tilted, Sebastian looked down at Erica again.
There was no other sound coming from him other than a brief noise that seemed to be him examining something.
Erica swallowed hard again.
But even after that, the boy remained silent for a long time, and his sharp gaze soon dimmed. Then he spoke in a blunt tone.
“You know my name already. Let’s skip the formality.”
Sebastian was dropping the honorifics when talking to her.
Honestly that attitude just fit his persona, so Erica didn’t have any problem with the familiarity.
With a shy expression, Erica straightened her back.
After Erica, Vonvieshu politely greeted the boy who was much younger than her with a very graceful posture.
“Greetings to the Prince of the Archleiff Grand Dukedom. I’m Vonvieshu, the head maid of the Marquisate of Blanche.”
This time again, Sebastian only reacted to the greeting with a small nod.
Vonvieshu straightened her posture and spoke to Sebastian again.
“I was worried if there was a problem on the way because you came very late. Prince.”
It sounded polite on the surface, but it was clearly a sarcastic remark.
And the air froze in an instant.