* * *
* * *
“As I expected.”
Returning from Aaron’s room, Liarte picked up a stone from the ornament.
There was a part in the ornament where the water would not move even though she was controlling it, same as what happened in the lake.
This time, it was this stone.
Just as she thought, there was a clear scratch at the back of the stone.
“Liarte, you said it might be dangerous to touch that.”
The worried Michael said as he recalled the conversation they had while looking at the rock in the lake.
The material and size of the stones were different. The only common thing they had were the scratches.
“Maybe the mediums aren’t that dangerous. It’s okay to touch it, Michael.”
Michael reached for the stone and looked at it.
Touching the stone did not cause them any weird effects.
At least they found solid physical evidence.
“Carmen, I have something to say.”
Carmen smiled savagely with his eyes.
“You must have found a clue about the spy.”
“Yes, there’s a medium in the water where the spy has been.”
There was more clear evidence than just vague words that Birce might catch fire.
“There’s Ancient Power in this medium.”
“A spell or a curse?”
“That’s the thing. It’s weaker than the one they put on Michael’s eyes.”
There must have been a reason why this medium was hidden.
It was clear that it wasn’t for a good purpose.
Evidence that may bring catastrophic disasters to Birce even if it’s not a fire.
Carmen lowered his head slightly to look at Liarte.
“What can my father and I do?”
Hans kept muttering the word ‘midnight’.
It might happen at midnight, or it might end at midnight.
All possibilities are open.
“Can you evacuate the people?”
There are many people in Birce who don’t even know Liarte.
“I hope they evacuate as soon as possible. At least until tomorrow.”
The absence of manpower meant loss of work. Or that they have no choice but to incur a loss in money.
“Yes, I can evacuate them within two hours, Lili.”
Carmen easily agreed.
Liarte, who was still choosing words to persuade Carmen, stopped as if she got embarrassed.
Then she whispered.
“Please tell me I did well at times like this.”
“You did well.”
Liarte said to Carmen.
She unconsciously handed him a candy as she would to Aaron.
Carmen picked up the candy and put it in his pocket.
“You won’t eat it?”
“I’ll take it. It’s a gift from you, isn’t it, Lili?”
It wasn’t something grand to refer to as a gift.
Carmen smiled at Liarte’s expression and beckoned a Black Knight standing far away.
“I told him to evacuate the people. You want them to search for the mediums?”
“No, I’ll find them, otherwise they are hard to locate.”
Maybe Hans also put a fake medium in other places.
Before they knew it, the sun had begun setting.
Liarte held Michael’s hand strongly.
“Take me to all the places Hans has been to. Quickly.”
They had to find the medium in each place as soon as possible.
“Do you mind if I hold you?”
“There are narrow roads, so it might take some time if we use wagons. I think it’d be faster if we held each other and moved.”(tl/n: since this novel lacks any elaborative imagery whatsoever, I think they can move from place to place faster like jumping or running but like, teleportation style.)
Michael’s ears and neck were as red as the sunset.
It was a real method, not a trick, but it sounded strange when he said it.
“You’d better hug my neck, Liarte.”
Aaron, who was listening to their conversation, coughed in an itchy way.
Then he cut in.
“Liarte, that would be better for this old man.”(tl/n: he’s referring to himself)
In fact, no one was stronger than Aaron in Birce.
However, after Liarte considered his age, she looked at him.
“I’ll be back with Michael. Please wait for us, Aaron.”
Under the side effects of his madness not long ago, he followed her advice to wait for them very carefully.
It was an unconscious reaction that he did not realize himself.
“Please evacuate the people.”
Liarte was carefully held by Michael.
She was too light for what she looked like.
He briefly stiffened his expression from an angle that she could not see.
Growing up in Elheim without being provided with proper meals, that was probably the case.
“I’ll move now. If I’m too rough for you, please tell me, Liarte.” (tl/n: ehe)
LIarte put her cheeks on Michael’s shoulder like a beast.
“But what will you do when you find the medium, Liarte?”
“I’ll have to break it. It’s not a stronger medium than I thought, so it’s better to destroy it.”
“That’s the only way?”
“If we leave it as is, it might cause a fire.”
The sight of the red sunset in the sky looked like a sea of fire.
‘I can do it.’
The water gathered and shook at Liarte’s fingertips as if it were sympathetic to her mind.
* * *
The two found scratched stones and rocks in a fountain in the Rose Garden, a pond by a side road, and in a water ornament.
And they broke the mediums.
“How many places are left?”
“About eight places. There are two more suspicious places.”
Michael, oddly enough, walked over the wall instead of turning around.
Thanks to him, a lot of time could be saved.
“Wouldn’t it be more dangerous to go around like this?”
“It’s okay because other people go around like this. Of course, if I go around like this, my father and grandfather will scold me.”
“Why? Because it’s dangerous?”
“No, I’ll be scolded for not having any dignity as a Birce.”
She heard Michael laughing.
“But on urgent days, both of them go around like this.”
Carmen kept his promise to evacuate the people within two hours.
There were people everywhere where Hans wouldn’t go and where the fire wouldn’t start.
It was a scene that you can see why Birce was described as a small Duchy.
“Do they all live in the Duchy of Birce?”
“It’s like that. More specifically, they either own a part of the estate or have families in the estate.”
The Little Mansion, the Marble Road around the main building, and the drainage around the flowerbed.
She succeeded in breaking all the scratched stones except the rock in the lake.
Now the lake medium was the only one left.
Michael and Liarte entered the forest where they went on a picnic.
They could not see whether the picnic cloth and baskets that they used had been removed by the others.
“Wouldn’t it be better for me to walk from here?”
“It would be nice to shorten the time as much as possible. The medium must be removed as soon as possible.”
“That’s true, too.”
Liarte had already adjusted to Michael’s embrace.
Finally, the last medium would be removed.
As they walked in, they saw the lake in the red sunset.
Red and transparent water.
Liarte’s use of her ability slowly dragged the rock out.
“Is this the last one, Michael?”
“As far as I know, yes. There are no more suspicious places. Of course, he may have hidden the medium in other places.”
“As long as it’s not underwater where it’s hidden, sorcery, and curses require certain conditions.”
She didn’t know why he hid the medium to start a fire in the water.
The water froze sharply and broke up the rock.
Although she couldn’t cut up diamonds like the first owner Jurien, she was able to break as many as she could.
“It may become debris. Be careful, Michael.”
“I think if it becomes dangerous, I’ll use my abilities.”
At those words, Liarte turned around.
“Come to think of it, I’ve never seen you use the Power of Death.”
“It’s not a very nice sight to see.”
What was strange was his expression.
“You just said you’ll use your abilities if this becomes dangerous. Is it a power that can be used for inanimate objects like stones?”
It may be similar to Elheim being able to use water to heal someone.
She couldn’t imagine it.
“I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.”
Michael clearly avoided answering.
The impression of being in trouble was stronger than refusing to answer.
“If it’s a confusing question, you don’t have to answer it. It’s all right.”
Michael looked at the final medium that was shattered.
“One day, we will talk about Birce’s powers, Liarte.”
“Yeah, I’ll look forward to that.”
Unlike Elheim, Birce did not make any extraordinary announcements about their abilities.
It was a secret that hadn’t been revealed for centuries.
One day, she will have a soft conversation with Michael about it.
The sunset finally began to fade, and now it was dark outside.
Michael recalled ordering Walter to find out about the word ‘sea of fire’. (tl/n: it’s one word because it’s 불바다)
He hasn’t come back for half a day.
Then, some bright lights flared up in the distance.
It was a fire.
The forest area was high, so they could see it from around the Main Building.
The small mansion where Aaron was confined and several places where Liarte passed by caught fire.
“It’s okay, Liarte.”
Michael put his hand on Liarte’s.
“It’s a small fire. We can take it out quickly.”
Birce’s fire incident that had spread out of control.
Fortunately, unlike before her regression, the fire seemed to have been suppressed quickly.
The bright lights of the fire disappeared in the darkness.
At that moment, someone quickly passed through the forest and ran in front of the two.
Michael recognized his escort knight.
The white-eyed Walter shouted.
“You must get out of here right now!”
Before his desperate cry ended, flames shot up in the direction of the deep part of the forest.
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