Thanks for the donations, here’s the bonus chapter!
* * *
Michael’s seduction, which was closing its end, was suddenly ended by the sound of the clock tower bell.
He looked out the window.
The clock tower, located only in Awakening Families’ properties, was famous for its ringing bells at midnight.
It’s a building that hasn’t been active since the day of the first generation of awakening families.
There has never been a clock tower in history that rang its bells in the afternoon, so it was strange when the clock tower’s bell rang.
It’s the strange feeling that stopped Liarte and Michael for a moment.
Instinctively, she felt something like a black repulsing energy was just released in the air.
By the time she fully realized it, some time had already passed.
Liarte asked Michael as they were still hugging.
“Michael, what was that just now?”
“Beats me. It felt like someone’s ability just awakened.”
He answered and looked down at Liarte.
The atmosphere now was not great to entice and seduce her with kindness.
The moment he wanted to hold her in his hand, she slipped away, which made him yearn for her more.
‘I thought I could reach you this time.’
But he didn’t like to force his feelings on Liarte.
“Do you want to see other things in my room, Liarte?”
So the two of them walked further inside.
Michael’s room was also connected to several rooms like Aaron’s.
“What’s that door?”
Michael replied, reading her gaze.
“It’s a dressing room. Next to it is the place where pistols are kept. Pistols destroy things easily because they are fired with mana.”
Liarte then curiously asked.
“Why would you use a pistol instead of a sword?”
Even Carmen, who Aaron said was weak, had a solid and well-built body.
Such a body would be sufficient to use a sword, but the three men of Birce preferred using pistols.
Michael deftly laid out the truth.
“It’s easy to lose your composure if you use a sword. If you look at the enemy closely, you can get excited and get hurt. On the other hand, if you don’t keep your cool, you will miss your shot with the gun.”
Birce always had to stay composed and reasonable.
After a moment of silence, Michael walked somewhere else so Liarte wouldn’t feel awkward.
“The bed’s over there. I’m sure you’ve seen it on your way in.”
And Liarte’s painting hung by the bed.
It was on a wall and in a position that Michael could see first when he opened his eyes. (tl/n: simp)
“That’s my painting.”
“Yea, I always think of you while looking at it.” (tl/n: S.I.M.P.)
It was her first painting, so there were many sloppy parts.
However, since she didn’t learn art before, she could use beautiful colors more freely.
“I’m better at drawing now. Do you want me to draw you something else?”
Michael smiled affectionately at Liarte.
Each time Michael was like this, Liarte thought of him as a very good person.
“I know you are, and I’ll be grateful if you draw another painting for me. But Liarte, please don’t take that first painting away. Your first painting is mine.”
Michael kissd Liarte on the back of her hand.
“I’m glad you like my painting, Michael. I’m very happy.”
Liarte whispered. She was a little embarrassed but very happy to have her first painting hanging on his wall.
When Aaron and Carmen discovered the existence of the painting, they asked Michael to sell it to them.
Of course Michael refused, as that painting was his.
He was going to solely own it and never hand it over to anyone.
“You still don’t want anything?”
She remembered hearing this similar question recently.
“Not now. I think this is enough.”
“Then I’ll do as I please.”
Michael smiled beautifully without waiting for Liarte’s answer.
“What is it?”
“Beats me, but you can look forward to it.”
He didn’t tell her what it was until the end.
And it went on like that.
* * *
Merlin said in a polite but stern tone.
The weather in the early summer turned into a hot one in less than a month.
Water Awakeners were vulnerable to heat as their body temperature was low.
But because the summer sun was amazing, Liarte would often go out to the garden even if it’s risky for her.
After a long time has passed, the subject of the newspaper was still the fire that occured in the Imperial Palace.
‘Speculation of the identity behind the fire is still in the articles.’
According to the Birce spies planted in the palace, the fire suddenly died down.
Michael and Liarte concluded that it was linked to the sudden strange feeling they felt that day.
But Aaron and Carmen said they didn’t feel anything strange.
“It’s good to read the newspaper, but it’s dangerous for you to stay outside for a long time.”
Summer was strange for Liarte, the hot sun and the hot air. In a prison-like room, experiencing and seeing the dazzling fresh greenery closely was unimaginable.
“I’ll go back in a little while.”
“No. It’s been more than two hours.”
Not long ago, while she was relaxing in the garden, she fainted and collapsed because of the heat.
The symptoms were classic signs of heatstroke.
She heard that Birce was in shambles the day she fainted.
John, the doctor, advised not to go out during hot days next time as it was dangerous for her.
When she opened her eyes, all three men of Birce were sitting next to her.
“The water in the fountain is cool so I’ll be okay.”
She also knew for the first time that the water was cool in this hot weather.
The water droplets glistened and spread through the air due to her abilities.
The glittering droplets were very pretty, so she held a pencil and made a hasty sketch on a piece of paper.
Then she felt dizzy for a moment.
“You can’t do this, Lili. I’ve been watching you since earlier. You can’t stay outside for too long if the weather is too hot.”
Carmen’s hand supported Liarte’s shoulder.
“Merlin hasn’t been sleeping well lately because she’s afraid you’ll faint again.” (tl/n: gaslight)
Judging from the lack of energy in her eyes, she seemed dizzy from the heat.
“I’ll hold her.”
Carmen walked into the shade with Liarte in his arms.
The people of Birce seemed to like the act of carrying Liarte in their arms.
Michael and Aaron, as well as Merlin, had held her lightly.
Carmen laid her down on a chair in the long garden and sat down on another chair.
“I’ve never seen a Water Awakener who likes the summer.”
Liarte smiled feverishly at his words.
“You should’ve seen the Black Knights fidgeting and panicking about you fainting.”
Even looking at the tips of Carmen’s fingers, the hidden black knights were nowhere to be seen.
If they were at a detectable level, she wouldn’t have associated them with being a knight.
Merlin handed her a cold drink.
“You’ll feel a little better if you drink this.”
“What about mine?”
Carmen asked Merlin slyly.
“None for you, my lord.”
“Oh, this is so sad.”
Then, they heard a cough.
Aaron came up to the chairs in the shade as if he had stumbled across Liarte and Carmen.
“What a coincidence.”
It was said with a very awkward attitude. Even though he says so, it was obviously not a coincidence.
Now, Liarte was much more used to Birce than Elheim, where she had lived her entire life.
There were now many people by her side.
She was educated, and she drew and painted whenever she wanted to.
No one forced her to use the Power of Water. So sometimes she forgets that she was still a Water Awakener.
“What a beautiful drawing, Liarte.”
Aaron’s eyes showed amazement when he saw the paper that Liarte had drawn.
It was considered to be at a considerable level even for him, who had an eye for aesthetics.
“It’s time for you to make a name for yourself as a painter.”
Carmen looked at Liarte’s painting with Aaron.
“Make a name for myself as a painter?”
“Oh, of course not a painter who appears in public. Painters talk through their creations. It’s easy.”
“This painting is so great that you can manipulate the price a few times at an auction.”
Aaron continued Carmen’s words. Carmen nodded in agreement.
“After that, the nobles will take care of buying the paintings. It’s more certain if you get a successful bid for a few paintings. Even if you draw a line, it will also sell for a high price, Lili.”
The people of Birce were of different standards from ordinary people.
Liarte shook her head.
“I don’t want to be that kind of artist.”
“May I ask why?”
Surprisingly, Merlin reacted violently.
“The Young Lady’s painting is very high-quality. I thought it was a shame not to release it to the world.”
“It’s because Merlin likes me, so you can say that.”
Now she can naturally say that someone likes her.
Merlin shook her head again.
“It’s a waste to just bury it. Why don’t we have an exhibition?”
“An exhibition needs a lot of paintings.”
What Liarte thought about painting was that it took more time than she thought.
Carmen clapped a few times.
“That’s it. That’s a great idea, Merlin.”
“Thank you for the compliment.”
Merlin was praised for her gracious idea.
Carmen persuaded the hesitant Liarte a little more.
“If it’s not possible now, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hold an exhibition later on. There are some empty exhibition halls in Birce that have not been used.”
They were right. She thought that it would feel good to be able to hang and display her paintings.
“If it’s later on, then maybe it’s a good idea.”
Suddenly, Liarte remembered that painting was quite popular at this time.
The reason she learned this was because the Ninian Empress, before her regression, was into painting.
‘Shall we go to a contest?’
There was a painting contest in which nobles participated, but it was mainly anonymous.
As she remembers, the judges of the competition were the ones who brought great trouble to the Empire in the future.
* * *
Thanks for reading! If you want to support us head over to our kofi and donate towards bonus chapters. We look forward to reading your comments!