Editor: yuki_shuichi, Sachyan
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The Empire had one grand duchy and three duchies.
The Grand Duchy of Illus, the family of Empress Talesia.
The Water Duchy of Elheim.
The Death Duchy of Birce.
And the Duchy of Haron, who was all hidden behind a secretive veil.
‘Now that I’m back, things may have changed.’
Liarte was lost in thought as she prepared for her afternoon class.
It was a very coincidental moment that she learned about the Duchy of Haron.
Before her regression, the nobles were all in love with art.
Many aristocrats painted, and some of them became patrons of artists with genius talents.
At first, the Duke of Haron appeared using the alias Jen Walker, who was a genius painter.
Jen Walker was a very famous name among the painting-loving nobles.
It was because he always painted similar portraits even though he was good at drawing other things.
‘And Jen Walker became a judge for an anonymous drawing contest.’
She remembered Princess Ninian complaining coyly, saying that she did not receive the Encouragement Award. (Sachyan/n: for runner-ups)
It was in the future when she learned why the Duke of Haron went back and forth in the painting world.
‘It was because of Duke Haron’s mother.’
Most countries, except the Empire, religiously believe in the God of Light and the God of Darkness.
Redia Haron, the Mother of Duke Haron, was a saint who had long ago fled from the Temple of Darkness.
Although the details were unknown, Redia said that she had tried to restore the torch she had brought while fleeing to the Empire for the rest of her life.
Unfortunately, it was too late in her life when she learned how to restore the torch.
Now Liarte knows how to restore the torch.
‘I should submit a painting to the anonymous drawing contest.’
The restoration of the torch required an unusual painting.
And the coloring method known as the “restoration method” was very unique.
She intended to paint the painting seemingly to restore it.
If the judge was the Duke of Haron this time, he was likely to recognize Liarte’s painting.
‘I might even win the award for this contest.’
As it was a hobby of the nobles, she remembered that the prize money was also quite large.
It will also be the first money that she could earn, and she had already decided what to do with the prize money.
The submission of paintings to the anonymous painting competition was in two weeks.
Merlin reported politely to Liarte.
“Sir Walter is here.”
Today was Liarte’s last basic class with Walter.
“Tell him to come in.”
“Young Lady! I have arrived!”
Walter approached with a burdensome waving of his arms.
“Did you finish your homework? When I was young, I was the type who didn’t do any homework until the day before…..”
Liarte now knew why Michael was being hard on her before with her homeworks.
After his words, the class began.
“Now you know pretty much everything.”
Walter has been telling her about the situation inside and outside of the Empire and the new life of the ordinary people.
Only now could Liarte admit that her life had been very twisted.
Of course, there were still people living a harder life than herself in this twisted world.
But that did not lighten the abuse that she suffered in Elheim.
“On the mathematics side, you didn’t know how to memorize very easy concepts previously, but now you’re able to. With ancient languages, I didn’t have anything that I could teach you anymore.”
Walter nodded pleasedly.
“Honestly, I want to say that I taught you well, but it’s something too ambitious to show off to others.”
Liarte was one the best of the few people Walter tutored.
When given a textbook, she often memorized the whole thing, and the problems that she once got wrong, were answered correctly after reviewing her mistakes.
‘I don’t think this kind of student is common.’
In awakening families, women were rather precious, because it was natural that women had stronger abilities than men.
Walter sometimes thought that if Elheim hadn’t been abusive to her, Liarte would have been the next Duke to inherit Elheim.
“As expected, all your answers are correct.”
In fact, he knew that the answers that Liarte wrote were all correct without having to look at them.
“Then I’ll give you a common sense question.”
Unlike the knowledge section, Liarte often got the common sense questions wrong.
“What kind of dessert do you usually eat on special days, such as your birthday? You eat it with tea.”
For some reason, she could see Merlin giving Walter a fierce look.
Unlike books that require memorizing words and letters, the reality was somewhat difficult for her to understand.
In particular, Liarte had yet to distinguish the type of desserts in detail.
“It’s Choux Cream.”
She said seriously. Walter turned his head awkwardly because she looked so determined that it was the correct answer to his question.
“Unfortunately, you are wrong in this one. It’s a cake.”
“Oh… I knew that, but I forgot.”
“Choux Cream is usually a gift for children’s birthdays.”
Liarte tried it once, but it was too sweet for her.
After a few more questions about common sense, their final class was over.
Walter pretended to wipe away some tears in his eyes.
“This Walter is delighted with the growth of the Young Lady. However, there’s still a lot to learn about common sense.” (Sachyan/n: he’s being a drama queen referring to himself in 3rd person)
It was even more so because she lived with people from Birce whose common sense was far from normal.
“You didn’t know some things, so you tried to learn, and now you have learned a lot.”
Walter laughed rather awkwardly.
“At first, I asked you about what you put on the window of a room, and you said bars.”
“I thought you were asking me about my experience.”
Liarte’s casual words sometimes tookWalter aback.
Of course, it was heartbreaking, but still.
There were very clever but strangely heartbreaking ones, and sometimes there were conversations that just made him speechless.
“Now, this Young Lady has become an ordinary person of the Empire. I don’t even see the difference between her and the ordinary people.”
It was a comforting encouragement rather than saying that she wasn’t an ordinary person.
“The Great Master also asked me to say congratulations.”
After Walter congratulated her for her hard work, he then asked Liarte.
“Is there anything else that you need?”
It was a question similar to what Michael asked before.
“I think people keep asking me what I need these days.”
Merlin glared at Walter again.
“Really? Well, I didn’t know. Haha…”
Walter grinned intently, looking at Merlin who was ready to throw a dagger at him.
“Then this Walter will get to work. The class is over, but you can call and find me anytime you want. I’ll be waiting for you, Young Lady.”
Walter and Merlin smiled at the slight laughter of Liarte.
“I’m going to leave now.”
When Merlin turned to glare at Walter again, the door had already been closed.
“Merlin, is something wrong?”
“It’s nothing, Lady.”
“It bothers me that you don’t seem to get along with Walter.”
“That is not true. I am sorry to have troubled you.”
Somehow Merlin seemed distracted by something else.
Looking out the window, Merlin came to her senses.
“I am sorry. I was thinking of something else.”
Liarte wondered what it was but she didn’t ask and just nodded.
“It’s okay, but if anything happens, please tell me. Because I am worried about you.”
Merlin seemed to be moved and was silent for a moment.
Then she made an unusual suggestion.
“I’d like to take a walk with you in the garden tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, but it must be in the morning.”
“Okay, let’s take a morning walk tomorrow.”
* * *
Before sending a painting of the restoration of the torch, the priority was to investigate the anonymous painting competition.
But she didn’t have to.
Now that Liarte knew the worth of a Water Awakener to the Empire, she received numerous letters addressed to her. Among them was an invitation to the anonymous painting contest.
While reading through the invitation, she saw the signature on the Judge’s part.
Again, the Duke of Haron appeared to be the judge of the contest.
If Liarte sent a painting with the restoration method applied, the Duke of Haron would surely be curious and investigate the painter.
‘What should I draw?’
All she wanted to draw was Michael.
No, she had a better idea.
Every time she looked into Michael’s eyes, she thought it was a beautiful jewel.
So she decided that she would draw his eyes in her own way.
In addition, she had to decide on an alias to use as a painter.
Her agony was not over until late at night.
“Good night, Young Lady.”
Merlin covered Liarte with a thin summer blanket.
“I’ll wake you up early tomorrow morning.”
Liarte fell into a dreamless and silent sleep.
* * *
It was still early in the morning. The sight of Merlin’s face reminded Liarte of yesterday’s promise.
“We agreed to take a walk in the garden together.”
It was a rare request by Merlin, so she really wanted to fulfill it.
“Yes. You can take your time to prepare.”
Because it was summer time, the sky was already bright outside.
Liarte walked with Merlin in the garden under the morning sun.
The strong scent of roses wafted in the air.
“Would you come this way, please?”
As Liarte walked along the path following Merlin’s sudden guidance, she saw a blue color filling the garden.
It was blue roses that were blooming all over the place.
Coincidentally, the name Liarte means Blue Rose. (tl/n:‘that fragrant, lingering name. Please remain forever, R.o.S.E. Blue’ – Dreamcatcher, R.o.S.E. Blue)
In the midst of the blue petals flying in the air, the people of Birce were waiting for Liarte.
“Happy Birthday, Liarte.”
At Michael’s approaching words, Liarte looked around with an unusual feeling of wanting to cry.
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