Chapter 56

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It took about a month and a half by sea from the capital to the Evron Grand Duchy.

By land, it usually takes as little as 4 weeks. It was based on an experienced messenger continually changing horses and running.

There was a way. However, on the way, you have to go through a vast barren land.

The Evron Grand Duchy was a large land with a low population of people. Wherever you go, no village will appear. Homelessness continued when moving by land, and it was cold and windy. It wasn’t an easy way for ordinary people to go.

So, from Spring to Autumn, most of them used sea routes for transporting goods and for people to travel.

In Winter, the port of Evron Grand Duchy is mostly frozen. At that time, exchanges with the mainland of the Empire declined.

That was the reason why the people of the Empire called the Northern people distinctly as Northerners.

“Really, it seems a little scary. It’s like a foreign country.”

Alice said to Artizea.

The two stood on a boat going back up the river.

Artizea has crossed the sea in a large ship for over a month. And yesterday they changed into a sleek and fast ship that moved from the estuary to the main city.

The scenery seen by the river was as exotic and unfamiliar as Alice said.

There was a large river, so water was abundant and the plain was wide, but there was no village. They changed boats at the port and were moving fast for over a day, but she couldn’t see any area where people live.

Trees that stretched high into the sky formed forests. There were ice caps sitting in the mountain range that circled far away and surrounded the land as if to trap it. Drift ice could be seen from the sea.

“Oh, Madam, look over there! It’s a deer!”

“Don’t you get tired of seeing so much?”

“It’s interesting. They don’t run away even if they see people.”

It was not easy to see wild animals in the capital. Though crossing the city boundaries, everyone lived in the area. There were mountains and forests. But it was all managed.

This place was completely different.

Artizea threw her gaze far away.

The sound of the waves and the wind deafened her eyes. Wrapped in this sound the whole time, she was about to forget what it was like to be quiet now.

“What are you looking at in the blowing cold wind?”

Cedric said, wrapping Artizea in a fur cape from behind. Artizea was surprised because she couldn’t hear anything.

“Ah.”

Fire burned to her cheek over nothing.

She got used to this too. Funny enough, it was all thanks to motion sickness.

The ship Cedric used to travel to and from Evron Grand Duchy was very large, stable, and luxurious.

However, during the first 15 days, Artizea suffered from seasickness. As she lived with sugar water and chocolate, the weight that she had been slightly attached with was about to come off again..

It was useless to worry about using the same cabin as Cedric. She didn’t even have enough spirit to do that.

By the time her body got used to the ship, the awkward and embarrassing memories of the first night were roughly covered in time. She got used to Cedric as she climbed up and down the deck to breathe fresh air.

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Artizea fiddled with the brooch that Cedric put on her cloak. With her head down, she didn’t know what kind of face she was making.

It took some time to pretend to be calm.

“Alice still seems to be fascinated by the strange landscape.”

“The atmosphere is different from the central region.

“Autumn is gone.”

Unlike the mild Imperial capital, Evron Grand Duchy was a cold region.

When the Great Duke’s southern boundary, Elia Wall, was crossed, the air temperature changed from there. And the northern boundary line, the Thold Mountains, was also the northern limit line where humans could survive.

It was around late Summer when she had their wedding. More than a month has passed since then, so now the capital will be in Autumn.

But it was already Winter here.

“It’s Autumn here. It’s still a little better, but the wind is stronger when you go to the mainland. It will get colder in the future.”

“I won’t overdo it.”

“Your words are hard to trust. I would have liked you staying in the capital.”

Artizea laughed at the criticism.

“It’s kind of weird to hear that we’re separated as soon as we get married. And it’s better to stay away from the capital city.”

Until the seeded conspiracies sprout and grow.

And for a while she needed to rest her head. When she returns, she will be busy harvesting.

“This is the first time you have left the capital, right?”

“Yes…..”

Artizea looked far away.

She did so in the past. Artizea never left the capital until Cedric showed her the fallen empire.

She was the one sitting in her dark back room, moving the chess pieces and pulling the threads.

There were times when what was happening in the Imperial Palace or in the social world needed to be done directly, but as the number of people increased and the scope of conspiracy widened, there was no direct movement.

She had never seen the endless horizon of the West, or the beautiful hilly map of the East.

The same was true of the North.

When she thinks about it now, it was something she didn’t need to do from the beginning.

Seizing power and conspiring can be done in a room.

But politics is about life. She should have known that living lives exist separately.

If she had seen the world a little earlier, would she have done that?

“Tia, what are you thinking?”

“I’m not thinking about anything.”

Artizea consciously emptied her head.

Not yet. This was just the beginning. One’s life shouldn’t have been considered more than a number.

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For a moment she stood in the cold wind.

Because Cedric was standing too close. Artizea corrected her consciousness to keep focusing on him.

“Tia.”

Cedric called her again. For no reason, her body temperature rose.

“I see the mainland!”

Someone shouted the moment she was about to lose balance and reveal her embarrassment.

Artizea opened her eyes. As they went half way through a forest, she saw a majestic, but crude stone castle.

“Wow!”

She heard Sophie cry when she came up.

Cedric said.

“I hope you’re not disappointed.”

“Why would anyone who knows the history of the Evron Grand Duchy be disappointed? This is the pride of the Evron Grand Duchy.”

The history of Evron Grand Duchy was made up of endless wars. This is because a group of monsters called Karam regularly traveled south across the Thold Mountains.

Foot traffic was not inconvenient here either. In fact, the resource-rich and densely populated areas were further South.

Considering the smoothness of governance, it was right to build the mainland a little further South. Considering the exchange with other regions, it should have been located close to a port that does not freeze.

But the Evron Grand Duchy did not. Instead, they built a defensive fortress close to the border and built a nest there.

When the defense line of the Thold Mountains fell, it was to protect the people who could not evacuate.

If only enough food was stored, it could last for several years.

When the beacon rises when the defensive line has collapsed, all the neighboring common people gather by the fortress. And while the stronghold is holding the line, the Southerners were forced to evacuate under the second line of defense, the Elia Wall.

In short, the fortress was a sign that the Grand Duchy was protecting the Thold Mountains, and it was also a symbol of the life they live for the common people.

That is why Evron is called the Evron of the North, the Shield of the Empire.

Cedric smiled awkwardly. He was pleased with the praise for the family and also ashamed to accept it as his own.

“Fortunately, we haven’t actually used it yet. Anyway, it’s certain that the interior is not as tacky as it looks. It’s not a castle that was originally designed around the comfort of life…”

“It will block the wind well.”

“Well, it’s based on a familiarity standard…”

Cedric groaned unsurely.

Artizea wore her fur cape, and the maids were also wearing their own coats.

However, Cedric and his knights and servants were all wearing thin clothes. Some of the sailors wore short sleeves.

Artizea only smiled.

The ship was soon connected to the dock that was connected to the mainland. The knights first came down, and then Cedric escorted Artizea.

All the guards and employees of the mainland were lined up at the dock.

“Have you been well, Grand Duke?”

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A middle-aged couple dressed in classy clothes came to the front and bowed.

“I’m glad you look healthy, Aaron, Margaret.”

Cedric hugged the two lightly once. And he introduced them to Artizea.

“Tia, these two are Count and Countess Jordyn. They are responsible for the management of the estate while I am away.”

“It’s an honor to meet you, Your Grace. We have been waiting for your arrival.”

Count and Countess Jordyn knelt together.

Artizea also gently nodded and greeted the two. And she said.

“You may rise. I’m glad to meet the trustworthy servants of Grand Duke Evron. I hope you will help me a lot in the future until I get used to the circumstances of the estate.”

“I will try my best to help.”

The two answered together.

“Everyone is gathered to greet you two.”

Aaron said.

“You came after the wedding ceremony, but you have to do the wedding here as well. How many people do you think have been waiting for you to get married?”

“Well, reception is a little…. What do you think?”

Cedric turned to Artizea and asked.

“After three years, you came back safely from the Monster Wave. I fully understand the desire of wanting to have a feast.”

“Will you be okay?”

“Why wouldn’t I be okay?”

“Don’t you hate crowds?”

Artizea was a little surprised.

That’s true.

The reason she avoids balls is because her clothes are shabby, appearance was complex, and because of her poor dancing skills.

But overall, she didn’t like crowds. Because she had a lot of thoughts, she got tired quickly in places with many people.

But she didn’t know that Cedric knew that.

It was then. A girl jumped out of the crowd and jumped into Cedric’s arms.

“Your Majesty! You’re back!”

“Oh.”

Cedric was startled. He held the leaping girl as if to prevent her from colliding with Artizea.

Margaret hurriedly grabbed the girl’s hand.

“Aubrey, what a rude thing to do!”

“I’m sorry. I heard it too late when the ship was coming in. I’m glad you’re back, Your Grace.”

Aubrey blushed and looked up at Cedric with a shy face.

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