How far did they go? After some time, the speed significantly decreased as they entered the city.
Thanks to this, Anne was able to take a closer look through the small window of the Northern estate, with its back against the ice cap.
It was no different from any other city, but if she had to pick out the differences, perhaps because of the cold weather, the streets were relatively quiet and the clothing of people passing by were thick.
Still, it was quite large so it was probably the most bustling area for the outskirts.
After that, the outlines of the Grand Duchy’s castle in the distance began to emerge.
Excited by the overwhelmingly high gates, Anne clutched at her trembling heart.
We really have arrived .
Overshadowing her doubts, the carriage, which started in the morning, arrived at the Northern Territory by the end of the evening.
The carriage, which had stopped briefly, moved again after the ornately patterned front door was smoothly opened, and after that, they continued to stop several times until they reached the main building.
When they finally announced her arrival, her heart, which had been calm for so far, fluttered slightly.
Soon, she realized that she was facing the Grand Duke as the bride who came to marry him.
Anne took a deep breath, straightening her posture, and stroking her cheek lightly to capture her heart.
After a little delay, she got out of the carriage, with knights standing in a row with their armor on either side, and in the center, the servants of the castle with their heads bowed came to meet her.
Anne shrugged her body in the harsher cold than before, and glanced over the castle.
The castle, with its outer walls stacked with gray stones, was both old-fashioned and majestic.
Following the guide, Anne quickly moved her steps inside.
The hall on the first floor was similar to the lobby of a noble family, but it was subtly different.
There was a red carpet on the floor, and high-quality ceramics and stone statues were decorated around it, but it did not make a good first impression on guests.
Maybe it was because the cold outside air came in through the window, or it was because of the gloomy atmosphere that didn’t give off any warmth.
Is everyone gathered here?
It was also noticeable that the number of servants lined up inside was remarkably small for a Great Duchy.
It was about the same as County Libelois.
As she grabbed the hem of her skirt and was about to move, a man standing in the middle approached her.
I am Karl Wald, the chief attendant of this castle.”
As the middle-aged man with pale gray hair and an experienced look finished his introduction, a middle-aged woman with her thick, white hair curled up nicely also walked out in front of Anne.
“Welcome to the Grand Duchy Cromund’s castle.
I am Courtnee Wald, the chief handmaiden of this castle.
I look forward to Your Grace’s guidance in the future.”
Seeing that they had the same last name, they seemed to be a married couple.
Then Anne realized that Ashton had the same last name and looked at the strangers around her.
Contrary to the word of welcome, they all had stiff faces.
Dry eyes and a tightly closed mouth.
They clearly looked unwelcoming toward her.
‘There is nothing to be surprised about.
Because I have come prepared.’
Slowly looking at the people, her gaze stopped at a young woman.
When the woman’s eyes met Anne’s, she bowed her head in surprise.
Unlike the other women who wore the same maid outfit, she looked like she was not a servant, seeing that she was wearing a beige dress.
Walde checked the gaze where Anne lost her gaze, she cleared her throat.
“That is .
Miss Marie .
Miss Marie is .
“I think I know.”
She must have guessed right when she saw the chief handmaiden’s troubled expression.
As Anne went straight to the woman, the woman who had only clasped her hands raised her head.
The woman was the mistress of the Grand Duke, the owner of this castle.
The woman’s first impression for capturing the Grand Duke was the exact opposite of Anne’s expectations.
She was also mildly impressed by her modest-look and gentle impression with her brown hair tied loosely.
Even the outfit she was wearing was very simple for the Grand Duke’s only loved one.
“I’m Angroanne Libelois.”
“I- I’m Marie.
I have no last name.”
It meant that she was a commoner.
Anne, who she thought had already known, did not know how to speak immediately, was taken aback for a moment.
Did he not bestow a last name?
If it was a mistress, he would have been able to give her a last name from a lower family even if he couldn’t give her the last name of the Grand Duke.
She wondered why he hadn’t completed that formality yet, but Anne didn’t show it and showed a benevolent smile.
She then gently took the woman’s hand and wrapped it around gently.
“I heard that my brother, no, Lord Robert Libelois showed you disrespect.”
She was the first to approach, but the woman shrank her shoulders without answering.
She kept trying to pull her hand out as if she was too uncomfortable with her.
She trembled as if she had been frightened, and Anne felt as if she had become a bad person.
Was I too impatient?
She had no intention of taking sides with her blood relatives in the first place.
Also, she didn’t think she felt sorry for a woman who would have almost suffered a terrible thing.
Just because she didn’t want to remain in an unnecessary relationship, she meant to show the broad tolerance of nobles.
“In the future .
Suddenly, Anne’s hand was slapped away violently.
The back of her hand tingled.
Marie’s eyes widened, perhaps even more startled now that she had knocked Anne’s hand away.
I’m sorry, I didn’t know .
While desperately apologizing, Marie kept looking upstairs.
Anne, who followed her gaze and looked up at the second floor unknowingly, was startled.
There was a man there, with both his hands on the railing, looking down at them.
He is a young man with a cool face like the owner of a cold winter.
Bright red eyes as if observing her.
Like a beast’s eyes that were staring intently at her as if he was hunting her and counting where the prey would jump to.
But Anne had a different reason for stiffening.
The man .
Was who she saw last night.
She couldn’t see his face exactly, but her senses said.
“He is the Master of this castle, Grand Duke Cromund.”
Ashton said cautiously from behind Anne’s frozen body.
That man is the one who will become her husband in the future.
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