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‘The fire must be raging by now.’
The Crown Prince, who was tapping his fingers on the desk in the drawing room, was satisfied.
It has been two months since Liarte Elheim left her family.
“Thank you for your invitation, Your Highness.”
The Marquis, who had just entered the drawing room, greeted politely.
As time went on, the people gradually began to talk about what happened at Lian’s coming-of-age ceremony.
“I know the Marquis has been busy lately. Nevertheless, I appreciate that you can spare me a little meeting over a cup of tea.”
“I can spare any time at your call.”
The Crown Prince poured the tea himself.
After Lian’s coming-of-age ceremony, the Empire’s two Awakener Families were quiet.
Elheim locked their doors and Birce was not active at all.
The silence between the two families drew attention from the people.
“Come to think of it. Is the Marquis still supplying barrels of liquor to Birce these days?”
The Crown Prince opened the conversation.
“No way, Your Highness.”
The Marquis waved the prince’s words away.
“It was the first time I saw a fight between awakeners, and I felt like I had great abilities. After thinking about it, he (tl/n I think the Marquis meant Lian) didn’t seem like a coveted Awakener.”
Birce remained silent.
The nobles who attended the coming-of-age ceremony have already forgotten about Liarte.
The Crown Prince was the only one who had regrets about the powerful Awakener he had missed.
“That’s all I can say.”
The Crown Prince opened his mouth quietly as if he was joking.
“My mother, Empress Talesia, has a good opinion of the Marquis. She asked me to deliver this.”
The Marquis’ face brightened up when the story of the Empress, who was more in power compared to the emperor, came out.
With other thoughts occupying his head, the Crown Prince uttered appropriate phrases.
With one hand, he handed out the certificate that Empress Talesia told him to deliver.
The Marquis was answering something, but it didn’t sound right.
After their conversation, the Marquis hastily walked out of the drawing room.
“Now that you have a chance to tie the rope to the Empress, you should not be in a hurry.”
The Crow Prince, who was left alone, laughed and lifted the teacup placed in front of the Marquis.
Then he poured its contents over on the carpet.
“You stupid aristocrats.”
At that time, Count Fedes, the prince’s loyal subject, entered the room.
“Did you finish what I ordered?”
“Yes. I definitely cut off the tail that was in Birce.”
“Did you light the fire?”
“Yes. We finally handled the mediums clearly.”
“Okay. Well done.”
In the meantime, the Crown Prince has attempted to contact Liarte.
For the other families, the Water Awakener was useful. But not really necessary for Birce.
So he believed that if he used enough persuasion and conciliation in his letters, they would hand Liarte over.
However, no matter how hard he tried, Birce wouldn’t even show Liarte’s head.
‘If I can’t have it, you can’t have it.’
All the plans the Crown Prince had long worked for were destroyed by Liarte.
Michael regained his eyesight, and Aaron escaped the madness of the Black Powder.
Not only that, but they lost their only spy that infiltrated Birce.
“What a pity. I had a lot on my mind before I made this inevitable decision.”
Liarte Elheim was a temptingly powerful Awakener.
But he didn’t covet her enough to tolerate her continuing to help Birce.
“I’m sure you had a medium placed in the deep forest where part of the Power of Death was released?”
“He said he couldn’t get inside. But it should be close enough, though.”
It is said that there is a dangerous forest across the lake in the forest of Birce.
Hans, who had been hiding as a helper for many years, said that Power of Death was released there.
“If the forest burns, the Power of Death contained within will spread to Birce in an instant.”
All of Birce will die.
Of course, Liarte too.
Their plan to burn the deep forest had many major drawbacks.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Rarely did Count Fedes give advice to the Crown Prince.
“It’s the Power that has maintained its potency for a long time even though it has escaped from its owner’s body. If such power is released to the Duchy, they will all perish.”
“It’s already happened, Count.”
The Crown Prince laughed with pride.
“She’s an Awakener of Water who has messed up my plans once too many. It may not be possible to get rid of her by burning the mansion as it is.”
“It’s better to burn the forest and unleash the Power of Death within to kill them all.”
Count Fedes, realizing that he couldn’t persuade the Crown Prince, bowed his head.
“They can stop the fire in the buildings, but they can’t stop the fire in the forest.”
Then Count Fedes asked, speaking with difficulty.
“What would you do if they could stop the forest fire?”
“That’s not possible.”
The Crown Prince answered confidently.
Considering common sense, it is right that the fire caused by Ancient Power cannot be prevented.
But Count Fedes could only laugh helplessly.
This is because he kept having a gut feeling that the Crown Prince was making an irreversible mistake.
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“It’s a double trap!”
She could see the forest beyond the lake where the fire had begun.
“Unlike his original plan, the Crown Prince planted a medium to set fire not only in the path around the Birce mansion but also in the vicinity of the deep forest!” Cried Walter, who completely lost his composure.
“The deep forest? Why?”
Asked Liarte calmly. The answer came back from Michael.
“Maybe because he wants to release Birce’s ability from the forest. He wants everyone in here to die.”
Birce’s immediate family would not be killed by the kind of ability that they wield themselves.
There was no reason to target the lower class of Birce.
There’s only one person who the Crown Prince would try to get rid of in that way, even at the risk of the entire empire getting killed.
Michael’s red eyes are distorted by anger.
“That little punk.”
Even in the midst of confusion, Walter reached out to block Liarte’s ears.
It was an involuntary act from a survival instinct.
Michael suppressed his desire to kill and tear the Crown Prince to shreds.
‘You can’t kill him.’
He had to calm down his anger and find his control.
Michael tried to distract himself.
“Did you interrogate the spy?”
“Yes, the Young Lady was right about the ‘Sea of Fire’. I’ve received his confession that he tried to make a fire made of ancient power in both the mansion and the deep forest.”
“Was it from those two places from the beginning.”
“No, he was originally going to set fire to the mansion only, but the order about the deep forest was added suddenly.”
It would not have been that difficult to hide the medium because there were not many people watching around the deep forest.
The future has changed.
‘Before I returned, the only place that burned down was the mansion.’
There was even a newspaper article saying that it might be a judgment of God, considering that the surrounding forests were not burned.
Some trees outside the deep forest began to burn.
The trees next to them caught fire in no time.
Even in this situation, Walter felt relieved to see Liarte so calm.
‘Her capability is big.’
Even though she fully understood the situation, she never felt nervous or trembling.
A cold sweat dripped down Walter’s face.
“First of all, you have to get out of here. Even if you leave the Young Master behind, you have to evacuate.”
“What happens to the forest?”
“It will burn. The Power of Birce will spread throughout the empire. Fortunately, there is an Awakener who can travel long distances in Birce. They’re weak, but I think we can move you out of here.”
Walter looked serious.
“Then what about you, Walter?”
An unexpected answer came from her.
“What about Merlin, Andre, the Black Knights, and the others? The staff too….”
“They’re going to escape, too.”
Walter saw the determination in Liarte’s watery eyes, which seemed only fragile.
“You know I can’t not do anything about it.”
She felt overwhelmed by dignity.
“The forest will burn faster than the time the people of Birce have to escape.”
The mansion could be rebuilt.
But Merlin, one of the many staff of Birce whom Liarte met, would be unable to return.
“I need to stop this fire.”
Walter unconsciously moved out of her way.
Then he came to his senses and opened his mouth.
“It’s a fire made of ancient power, Young Lady. You’ll never be able to stop it with normal water.”
He was saying, but he somehow didn’t think that Liarte would fail.
“Michael, tell your escort knight not to stop me.”
Liarte looked up at Michael.
In a deep voice, he dissuaded her.
“It’ll be dangerous. If you don’t leave the empire now-”
“Living with regrets once is enough for me.”
It was the conclusion that came from the moment she was executed in Elheim.
“If Birce disappears, I’m lost. I’ll be sad if Merlin dies.”
Liarte’s clear voice.
A refreshing scent in the midst of the smell of the fire burning in the deep forest.
‘You always drive me crazy, Liarte.’
He couldn’t resist all of her disobedience anymore.
He felt like he was going crazy.
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