* * *
Carmen welcomed Liarte as she entered the annex.
“You’re very pretty today.”
In fact, he didn’t want to look good to the people who came, so he didn’t dress up.
“You’re pretty too, Carmen.”
“Is that so?”
The robe Carmen wore was studded with colorful gold threads, embroidery, and jewels. Aaron didn’t seem to like Carmen’s clothes, but he didn’t bother to argue.
“Did you hear about Birce’s coming-of-age ceremony?”
“I’ve heard something about being smeared with the family head’s blood.”
It was said that different things would unfold depending on what was smeared.
In the case of Elheim, all it did was make the awakener’s vessel wider and stronger, without any special outcomes.
‘How should I explain it?’
Carmen sighed lightly. It was probably going to take on a very different outcome than what was known as death.
However, letting Liarte know what Birce’s real ability was nothing more than attracting her.
“What did you say, Merlin?”
“I explained to her to think of what happens as a natural process.”
“What does that mean? Don’t say anything you don’t mean to, Father. Lili will get confused.”
Normally, Aaron was impatient to snap at Carmen, but this time the situation was the opposite.
“I’m all right.”
“You might be surprised, so I’ll tell you for sure. You’ll see a fantasy in your eyes, Lili.”
“Is it a hallucination?”
“It’s convenient to think so. Anyway, remember that fantasy.”
“Is it an illusion that can help me?”
Carmen laughed bitterly.
“I don’t know that because I regret remembering that fantasy.”
“Because I couldn’t stop it. It would have been better not to know it.”
It was an enigmatic question and answer.
Carmen did not seem to have any intention of explaining anything to Liarte anymore.
“I won’t be surprised if I see a fantasy.”
Liarte also had no intention of digging into Birce’s powers.
“By the way, where is Michael?”
Michael was out of sight today.
Curiously, when Liarte asked, Aaron and Carmen giggled at the same time.
It was the classic laugh of introducing a villain to the world.
Carmen wiped away tears.
“He’s probably cursing us.”
“If you’re going to cuss, I’d like you to carry it all and cuss everything out.”
“It means you got the job done, Lili. He’s just coming over right there.”
Michael looked a little disorganized. There seemed to be irritation in his walk.
“You’re here, Liarte.”
“Where have you been?”
“I came to direct the work that I poured money into. As a director, since I moved, I must have been working.”
A white flower was put on Liarte’s ear, who did not understand the meaning.
“It was blooming on the way, so I brought it because I thought of you.”
She liked it because it went very well with the yellow dress that she wore.
“Thank you. It’s very pretty.”
“It will not wither at all today, so it’s okay to keep it.”
Merlin put Liarte’s hair behind her ears and arranged it for her.
“When is the coming-of-age ceremony, Carmen?”
“When I want to.”
Carmen, who answered casually, corrected his words.
“I mean, it starts when the family head wants to. The ceremony itself is not long because I don’t read speeches or invite priests to pray.”
Birce’s coming-of-age ceremony seemed to be more of a carefree event than expected.
“Tell me when you want to, Lili. I’ll start then.”
Liarte carefully reviewed the order of the ceremony to be sure, though she had already memorized it.
It wasn’t until she looked at her own sketch of Merlin that her mind was ready.
“I am ready. Let’s start now, Carmen.”
Soon the door of the annex opened.
* * *
Birce’s coming-of-age ceremony was very short.
Luxurious and expensive furniture and outdoor decorations.
Without a common speech, Carmen, the head of the family, celebrated Liarte directly.
“What’s the matter, Lili?”
“It’s amazing that I’m standing here.”
The eyes of the visitors were on Liarte. However, with Birce’s people together, this coming-of-age ceremony felt like a daily routine.
Carmen pulled out a small gold cross. Looking closely, it was an object with a sharp tip.
The sharp tip of the cross cut Carmen’s thumb.
Blood was seen leaking out.
“I will not promise anything. There are too many brutal rules, but I’ll change them someday.”
Carmen lifted Liarte’s forehead slightly with his bloodless hand.
It was a white, clean forehead. (TL/n: wtf, lol)
The blood of the family head, Carmen, touched Liarte’s forehead. The pattern drawn on her forehead was like a castle.
“Do not be too surprised, Lili.”
Carmen whispered for a quick moment, and he shook for an instant.
As if the coming-of-age ceremony with Carmen was all a lie just now, a serene view appeared in front of her.
“Why was it during the coming-of-age ceremony?”
Michael was smiling calmly at Liarte.
But his voice was a little lower than normal, and his shoulders were a little wider.
Above all, Michael didn’t touch Liarte’s cheeks and nape this way.
Michael, who is similar to this man, once said,
“Are you upset that you didn’t keep your promise not to be eaten?”
It was Michael whom she saw in her dream one day.
Whether it was really a dream or not, Michael’s hand-held pocket watch was scattered like powder and gathered again to become a clock.
The hands of the clock turned upside down and turned straight, making Liarte dizzy.
“I couldn’t take it anymore. You know I lose my mind when you’re involved, Liarte.”
Did the fantasy that Carmen said refer to this scene?
“It was good that I shot the porcelain gun then. At least I could hear it.”
Drowsy eyes and big eyes.
“No one would have thought she had hidden a gun under her dress.”
This was Liarte’s first bedroom.
Looking around, she saw Carmen again in front of her.
The scenery that covered everything like a wall has also died down.
“What do you think? Was it amazing? This is the end of the coming-of-age ceremony.”
Liarte was in the illusion for quite a while, but the actual time didn’t seem to have passed a lot.
“I was surprised.”
Michael talked about the coming-of-age ceremony and said he was lucky to shoot a ceramic gun.
It was a rather crazy dream because the pocket watch was scattered into powder and then gathered back to its original form.
“It’s okay if you won’t tell us what you saw,” Carmen said.
“It’s good to keep what you saw to yourself. Don’t tell anyone. That’s Birce’s rule.”
It was just an illusion anyway, but it was amazing that she saw the same Michael twice, including in the dream.
At that moment, some petals fell from her head.
Liarte looked around.
“Congratulations on being our family, Lili.”
A blue rose grew around Liarte.
Flowers that should have bloomed in the spring fell like rain and filled the perimeter of the annex.
The white flowers Michael brought were also mixed there.
“It was all done by Michael.”
Visitors also looked at the flowers at this wonderful sight.
Then Liarte’s eyes reached Elheim’s immediate descendants among the visitors.
They were far away, but their eyes definitely met.
‘The Power of Water all returned back to me, by the way.’
She didn’t know why the people of Elheim were here, but it was certain that they were unawakeners.
She knew it as soon as she saw them.
Liarte turned away, convinced that they would not harm Birce.
What mattered to her were the people of Birce.
“What’s the matter, Lili?”
“I was distracted by something else for a moment.”
Liarte walked out, leaving Elheim behind.
“Ah, Father,” Hwi-Amin stammered.
Even though direct information about the arrival of the Duke of Elheim came, the people of Birce didn’t impose any sanctions.
The Black Knights treated the people of Elheim the same as other visitors.
“Just now, that was Liarte, right?”
Liarte was walking in the sun.
Carmen, who held the coming-of-age ceremony, spoke affectionately to her as if he were her father.
To be honest, Carmen Birce looked more like Liarte’s paternal parent than the Duke of Elheim.
Aaron Birce stood next to Liarte, who was walking back.
Hwi-Amin shrank with a slightly frightened look.
Contrary to Elheim’s expectations, nothing was known throughout the short coming-of-age ceremony.
It would have been better if Liarte recognized Elheim, who came to the ceremony and expressed contempt.
However, as if only looking at the scenery, Liarte only turned her eyes away.
The Black Knights of Birce escorted Liarte, and a woman who appeared to be a maid unfolded Liarte’s dress.
In the meantime, they met Birce’s successor.
Michael said something that made Liarte smile.
It wasn’t a light smile, as if she had forgotten how to cry and be sad.
It was very bright and pretty.
Yes, Liarte looked happy.
Her watery eyes, which looked over Elheim coldly, were no longer cold.
It was not a conscious disregard for Elheim.
It was just that, for her, she no longer recognized Elheim’s blood.
No one looked at the stones laid on the side of the road.
Elheim did so for Liarte.
Lian’s lips twisted at the sight.
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