Dear readers, Sachyan here, we are very sorry for the long hiatus. It’s like we blinked and suddenly 3 months have passed. But we have not dropped this and have been working diligently to stock up chapters and are finally starting updates again! Thank you so much for your patience and happy reading! <3
Translator: Knife and Dhruvtara
Contrary to Hestel’s thoughts, Duke Haron was suspicious and cautious.
The experience of hiding the entire family to protect his mother, an old saint, had changed him.
The duke was not a foolish opponent that a young lady could fool.
“Do you mean that you have drawn this picture, Lady Hestel?”
Even if it wasn’t, he had a suspicion that the one who had extinguished the fire was not at the Crown Prince’s side.
At first, in his desperation and urgency, he fell for the crown prince’s skillful facade.
But only for a moment.
A woman with ties to the Crown Prince appeared and impersonated the painting’s owner.
His suspicions gradually turned into disbelief.
Hestel’s face visibly brightened as she thought that he had fooled the Duke.
“May I ask why you have painted such a picture?”
The Duke began to stalk over.
Hestel opened her mouth, shamelessly posing as the painting’s owner.
“I was prompted by the mention of an anonymous contest, and I thought I’d do something unique by using the color red, but when the organizers were looking for my contact information, I realized I had made a mistake….”
Hestel lowered her head, looking apologetic and wistful.
“Although the contest is anonymous, the organizers made me reveal my identity for the screening.”
“I understand,” the Duke of Haron said.
The words he had just heard made it clear that Hestel was not the painter of the torch.
“Who would have thought you, the owner of this painting, was the existence I was looking for?”
“Oh, my God.”
Hestel’s eyes widened, and she covered her mouth.
The duke had clearly told the Crown Prince that he had no mercy for those who would deceive him and that he should consider retribution.
“Your Highness’s words have made me understand the situation very well.”
Despite his warning, the Crown Prince tried to deceive the duke.
Hestel failed to recognize the distrust in the eyes of the Duke of Haron.
This young woman was not the master of the red painting.
The Crown Prince apparently did not heed to the Duke of Haron’s warning.
The only reason he was going along with this lie was to find the painting’s true owner.
Perhaps the Crown Prince and this young woman had worked together to detain the true owner.
‘My first priority is to find the owner of the red painting.’
The Duke of Haron looked Hestel in the eye.
“I will come to the owner in person soon.”
Hestel hadn’t realized that she had never mentioned the Crown Prince to the Duke.
“I’ll be sure to tell him to wait.”
The Duke coldly swept past Hestel, who nodded with a flushed face.
Due to the Crown Prince’s poor judgement and Hestel’s rash actions, this was the moment when the Duke of Haron turned against the Crown Prince.
(Tran/s Dhruvtara: Take that !!! ^~^)
The coming-of-age ceremony preparations were going smoothly.
“So, Liarte, how are you doing?”
Liarte was in the Star Pavilion with Carmen and Aaron.
“That’s a lot, isn’t it?”
Carmen’s eyes narrowed as if she had read Liarte’s mind.
“But, Liarte, there is only one coming-of-age ceremony in a person’s life, and for the Awakened, it’s a day they remember fondly when they look back on their past.”
Aaron didn’t say anything now that they were in the annex, just stifled his boredom.
Carmen blurted out before Liarte could reflect, “It’s self-satisfaction, to be honest.”
Aaron, who had put up with Carmen’s craziness for Liarte’s sake, glared fiercely.
“I’ve always made up my mind that if I had a daughter, this is how I’d see her through her coming-of-age.”
“What kind of lunatic wishes for a daughter in the direct line of the Awakened?”
“Me.” To Aaron’s gaping mouth, Carmen replied mildly.
“And I do have a daughter.”
No matter how many times she had a coming-of-age ceremony, she still couldn’t get used to seeing the furniture and decorations change every time she went to bed and woke up.
“Yesterday, we followed the artisan patterns from the imperial family, and today, we changed it to a temple style.”
It took so much time and money that even Elheim’s coming of age ceremony took at least two or three months.
When Liarte spoke, Carmen stopped what she was doing and listened.
“I’m happy for you, and I’m very grateful.” Liarte chose her words.
“Carmen is putting in the time and effort for my coming-of-age, but it is too much to keep changing the interior design like this.”
The costly argument didn’t sit well with the men of Birce.
Even Aaron looked bored by the daily changes to the interior, but he didn’t say much.
Aaron was at a loss for words. After a moment of silence, Aaron looked at Liarte.
“It’s not every day that a daughter is born in your line.”
It was the truth for powerful and saintly families like Elheim and Birce.
The last woman Aaron had seen in the Birce line was an old woman nearly a hundred years older than him.
Aaron was only three years old then.
He couldn’t understand how anyone could take such a precious daughter and trample on her flesh and blood before considering her gender.
A little time passed.
“Finally,” Carmen, who was hanging wallpaper, said suddenly.
Aaron moved in Carmen’s direction.
A long finger clicked and pressed a spot on the wall. Then a gap in the wall widened.
“This is it.”
Out came a white porcelain pistol with blue trimmings and a few sheets of paper.
“I must have hidden this in the wall of the annex, but when I went to give it to Liarte, the wall was missing, so I went to the trouble of finding it. Take it, Liarte.”
The porcelain pistol was small and unlikely to hold a bullet.
“It’s a device that can only be used by the Awakened. It’s like a device that converts your powers into other powers, but if you’re really in a hurry, just pull the trigger.”
“What does it do?”
“The person it hits dies.”
Carmen, who had sounded serious, gave a wry smile.
“I’m kidding. It’s more like a Birce calling device, though I could use it as a gun if I wanted to. Though you’d probably be better off using water since it drains so much of your power.”
“Can I pull the trigger?”
“Yes. Pull it.”
The porcelain pressed in, softer than I’d expected.
Aaron glanced back at Carmen.
“My specialty, you know. I was going to burglarize the outside, but I figured I’d get a feel for it by burglarizing my own house first. You didn’t even know there was such a thing anyway.”
So Carmen kept a close eye on Birce’s property.
Not because he distrusted him but because he had a history of stealing from the family and evading taxes.
“Anyway, for your coming-of-age celebration, I want you to get this.”
“Give it to me, Liarte.”
“I’ll put it to good use, thanks.”
‘I don’t know if I’ll ever need to use it, but the workmanship is delicate and the shape of the pistol is pretty, so you can think of it as an ornament. I have no problem with it.’
Just then, the door to the annex burst open.
Michael, who should be at the Duke of Birce, came this way.
“Did something happen? Are those people bothering you?”
Aaron and Carmen, who had become those people, clicked their tongues.
‘Not much happened. I didn’t put in a lot of abilities, so I didn’t get any bullets.’
But Aaron and Carmen were wide-eyed, they looked very surprised.
“That’s a surprise. I’ve forgotten what it sounds like for almost a decade.”
Carmen looked down at the porcelain gun.
“Does Birce hear gunshots?”
“I can hear them. It’s nothing like a gunshot, but you can hear it from the end of the estate and tell if it’s coming from Doordee.
“Is it loud?”
Aaron scrutinized the porcelain gun too.
“The construction is more like an ornament than a gun, Father. I hear they’ve carved a lot of stuff inside, though.”
“I don’t know how only Birce could have heard that.”
“That’s because he’s a Birce, of course.”
Even Birce had gathered little information about the Duke of Haron.
Michael continued, “That pistol, will you carry it with you throughout your coming of age ceremony, even when you dance?”
Michael was in high spirits, for he had been promised Liarte’s first dance.
Suddenly, Liarte turned to look at him.
“It’s not long before the coming of the age ceremony, right?”
“I think I’m in trouble.”
A hint of panic crossed Liarte’s face as she whispered, “I don’t know how to dance at all.”
Her etiquette was so perfect that everyone had forgotten her dancing lessons.
“Don’t worry. I’ll teach you, Liarte.”
“Carmen gave me this gun for self-defense. I tried it out as an experiment, and I guess it’s supposed to be loud.”
“Good, if that’s the case.”
“How did you know I pulled the trigger, Michael?”
“You did. I don’t know why, but I just knew it was you.”
When Michael heard the sound, he immediately assumed that Liarte had pulled the trigger.
Michael’s breathing evened out. “But that’s good, Liarte. That means I can come whenever you call for me.”
Liarte’s coming-of-age ceremony was going to be an unusual one.
No Emperor or Empress would have the pride to come to Birce after burning down the palace, but the Crown Prince was a man who would still crawl in.
Moreover, there were reports that the Duke of Haron, who had not been seen, had joined the Crown Prince’s side.
Michael was never one to pass up an unexpected opportunity that rolled in.
“If we practice together starting today, we’ll be able to dance together at the coming-of-age ceremony.”
It was a gesture that fully revealed his feelings.