A total of four guests visited the secluded detached house: Lady Evelyn and Baroness Berne who were accompanied by a secretary and an administrator. The serious and solemn-looking males and amiable-looking females were seated in the drawing room.
“How have you been? Something good must’ve happened, no? You’re always very beautiful, but today you look even more stunning!”
“Thank you for the compliment,”
As soon as Emma had a short chat with Lady Evelyn, the tense atmosphere softened a bit. Kindness drifted throughout the conversation, and the atmosphere gradually became warm. There was some paperwork to be finished that involved Emma today.
“First, I’ll confirm some facts with you. Is your full name Emerlyn Herman?”
As Jenna served her tea, the dry, bureaucratic questions began. Emma was quick to respond to the administrator’s questions.
“Yes. That’s right,” Emma said.
“Then, please check what’s written in the document here.”
The file that the administrator held out had ‘Resident Register’ written on it, with the seal of Somerville stamped in red below. As everyone watched, Emma reached out to turn the cover over. She immediately identified a familiar and nostalgic name at the top of the document.
[Herman Family – Desmond Herman]
Below that, her father’s appearance, characteristics, address, and occupation were written in detail, which concluded with his death. The details beneath it revealed the name of his child, Emerlyn Herman. On the next page, information about her was also listed in detail.
“Is this yours?”
“Yes. That’s right.”
After carefully examining the documents, Emma nodded in confirmation, and the administrator took them back.
“But why is my personal information here? And not in Somerville?” she asked.
“It’s because of the transfer,” the administrator replied.
“Transfer? Does that mean you’re moving the resident register?”
The administrator pulled another document out from his leather briefcase and held it up. Unlike the documents from Somerville, the papers were thick with different types of fancy bindings on top of the high-quality leather. Inside of it was not paper, but parchment, which seemed unusual at first glance.
“Is the date of birth on the resident register correct?”
“Yes. That’s right.”
“When did you come to Reshire?”
Emma looked back at her memory and tried to answer as clearly as possible. As the administrator asked various questions about her personal life, the secretary constantly filled up the luxurious parchment.
It went on for a while. Then, the administrator’s questions were directed to Baroness Berne, and not Emma. Baroness Berne answered smoothly one after another as if she had prepared everything in advance.
It wasn’t long before the parchment was filled. The administrator left, politely saying that he would contact them again if there was anything further. The secretary followed after him with a bow. The baroness asked Jenna for another cup of tea after the unexpected guests disappeared.
“Phew, that was tough.”
Baroness Verne, who drank hot Luphenyl tea, was clearly exhausted, probably because of her age. Even after seeing how tired she was, Emma couldn’t help but ask.
“Adopted daughter?” she asked, still abuzz from the happenings.
“Yes. That’s right. Now that you’re on the Berne family register, we’re a family,” Baroness Berne smiled, and continued, “Of course, it’s just on paper so you don’t have to worry too much about housework. I can finally repay you for saving my life. It’ll be like this from now on.”
Baroness Berne handed Emma a piece of paper that she had prepared in advance. A new name was written on it: Emerlyn Herman Berne.
In addition to the changed name, there was a brief description of the Berne family that Emma should have to remember. Emma seemed to be adopted as the youngest daughter of the baron and his wife, so she became an aunt to Lady Evelyn.
“I’m your aunt…?” she squashed the nervous chuckle that was about to come out and turned to Evelyn. “Isn’t that awkward, Lady Evelyn?”
“So what I’m just happy to have a beautiful and wise aunt. I look forward to working with you, Auntie,” she teased and smiled. “If I’m sick of having a tough time, I’ll specially come to you.”
Emma felt strange about everything. “Then Baroness Berne…”
“Call me whatever you feel comfortable with. Either Baroness Berne, or Lady Gabriel. Just because the papers are in place doesn’t mean I’m your actual parent. I have no intention of forcing you. But there will be times when you need to act according to the situation. At those times, only do you need to address me properly.”
Acting? So should she really call Baroness Berne ‘mother’? What a bizarre turn of events!
Her head was confused with the sudden reversal of roles.
“You will also have to treat us as family in the palace. I’d be very happy to hear you call me mother,” Baroness Berne continued.
The palace. Emma was surprised at how easily she said it. She had lived her entire life to this day, never once dreaming that she would set foot into the glittering castle of the grand and splendid royal capital.
“From now on, you won’t be Miss Herman, but Lady Emerlyn.”
“Lady…” Emma pursed her lips in bewilderment and tried to speak softly. “Lady Emerlyn, Lady Emma…”
To think she’d be called ‘Lady’. It was strange to see her status change from a commoner to an aristocrat in an instant. She thought that nobility was a rainbow high up in the sky that couldn’t be reached for the rest of her life, but she was amazed that she could simply climb up the ladder and grab this position with Irvan’s words.
“Soon, the count will hold a succession ceremony at the palace. At that time, the accompanying countess’ identity must be clear so that there will be no trouble in the succession. The “Golden Book,” the royal list of nobles, is written with fairly strict standards, but if Miss Emerlyn’s status is changed and posted in advance, it will be recognized as a fact approved by the royal family. There is absolutely no room for problems in the future.”