* * *
* * *
“You waited for me?”
The blue man was the one who appeared in the future and shed tears as he watched Liarte die.
She vaguely remembered pouring her strength into the Spirit Stone.
“Why do you call me a contractor?”
The Water Spirit King was expressing his affection to the fullest. Even if it was an indifferent question, the water wrapped around Liarte as if it were just fine.
[Because you’re the unawakener that lured me here.]
“I don’t remember signing a contract with you.”
[That’s not true, my master.]
A gold pattern that Liarte had never carved was engraved on the back of her hand.
[This is a sign engraved on your soul so that I can remember you even if you were reincarnated a long time later. We promised to meet again for sure.]
The Water Spirit King bowed his head and told Liarte about Jurien’s will.
It was a lot, but it was enough to make sense.
‘I even thought I knew it from the beginning.’
The story of Jurien, the singer and first patriarch, she finally knows it.
[Right, you were the real owner I used to serve.]
From the beginning, what the Duke of Elheim sought after so much was Liarte.
A long time later.
Upon hearing the explanation, Liarte understood why Jurien had to live by hiding himself as a shaman.
When he nodded, the King Spirit hugged Liarte as if he was happy.
[How did you live this life? Did you receive any love from your parents?]
“No, the sons of the Duke you said you saw share my blood.”
The King Spirit remembered the family head and his four stupid sons. The other three sons were not good either, but the youngest made him feel even worse.
[They didn’t tell me they had a daughter. Did they want to hide you?]
Humans had a huge tendency to hide their families from unknown beings.
[Is that why they didn’t ask you to sing in front of this room?]
“No, they think I’m a sinner because I’m an unawakener. They’ve always said I’m not part of the family and only have their blood.”
The expression of the Water King, who was moving around in joy, hardened.
“It is like that.”
Liarte answered gently.
“I’ve been locked up my entire life.”
It was less than what shetold Michael. All the context that the Water Spirit King could not understand was taken out.
Nevertheless, the Water Spirit King looked shocked.
Did the Water Spirit King think that the successor to Jurien was living well? Didn’t he even leave a will just in case?
Only then did he see the scars and the mess of clothes on her body.
It looked remarkably different from the rest of her family who wore shiny clothes and decorations.
As Liarte continued her story, the Water Spirit King’s expression turned disastrously distorted.
[They said you were born after killing your mother?]
[Did they think it was that fake one that was the owner of the Spirit Stone?]
When the Water Spirit King talked about Lianrius, who had lived by being supported on a radiant pedestal, the room was already shaken by the whirlpool of water.
[You’re the shadow of that? You gave him your place and told him that you were his other half and not a member of the family?]
The Water Spirit King was extremely angry. The water, which had been in an intense whirlpool from the Water Spirit King, froze sharply.
[Because of that!]
The body of water and Liarte shook as it stretched out to a sound that could not be heard by the human ear.
The strange thing was that Liarte was barely affected by the Spirit King’s release of this amount of energy.
After a while, the Spirit King looked at Liarte with a gloomy look.
[I’m sorry. I got angry. Please don’t pay no mind. Did you say your current name is Liarte?]
“Yes. And it’s fine. You mentioned that you met Michael.”
[Right. Birce is not a bad choice. Although I was asleep all the time… ah, would you like to kill all the members of this family? If not, I could bring a drought to this domain.]
“Don’t do that.”
Liarte placed her hand on the amicable Spirit King’s head.
“They’re not worth it. So you can’t tell anyone about who owns the Spirit Stone until tomorrow, the coming-of-age ceremony.”
The King Spirit was about half as big as Liarte. Still, he had a commanding look on his face.
She was still kind, but a little indifferent.
[You said you were going to leave this place, right?]
“Yeah. I’m going to get away from here.”
[A long time ago. I made two pieces myself and sealed them. So you can’t leave until something goes wrong with one of them.]
[It’s not unfolded yet, so it’s okay. I’ll tell you when the time is right.]
Actually, he was hoping that Liarte wouldn’t go.
He wanted to live next to the first owner, protecting the seal together or joining forces.
[Anyway, I don’t think I can follow you.]
The Spirit King’s hands were careful and soft.
[Be happy, Liarte. My Elheim.]
“Yeah, see you again. You should be happy too.”
The Water Spirit King was gazing anxiously at Liarte’s departing figure.
Finally, as Liarte left, the water in the room surged. The King Spirit’s patience was about to tear off the Spirit Stone on the wall.
[Things are still the same.]
The angry Spirit King roared.
He locked the door of the room because he wasn’t confident that he wouldn’t rip it and kill everyone if I saw them.
[You’ll regret it when you know what you threw away with your own hands.]
The Water Spirit King’s words were a curse close to a prophecy.
* * *
Liarte returned to her room in the main building at dawn.
This place was unfamiliar no matter how often she came back. It felt like she was wearing an ill-fitting day dress.
Sitting on the edge of the uncomfortable and large bed, she was lost in thoughts until the morning came.
‘I’m coming of age in a few hours.’
She was officially old enough to leave.
The coming-of-age ceremony of Lianrius before her regression was visited by the imperial nobles and the imperial family.
If Elheim tried to capture her, she would more likely try to leave and hide from people’s eyes.
‘It’s possible now.’
It was possible to hit the people of Elheim who were careless.
Furthermore, the duke would not approve to capture Liarte by mobilizing his knights and the water capabilities in front of the imperial guests.
‘You’re (the Spirit King) not the only one who thinks that the family’s honor is terrible.’
At that moment in thought, the door opened with a loud noise.
Elheim’s knights were all over the room.
When the execution ceremony was held and she was taken to prison, several knights came like they did now.
At first glance, unlike the time before the regression, she thought that the execution ceremony was held earlier, but it did not seem to be the case.
Lian appeared among the knights.
‘I remember these knights, too.’
They were those who took Lianrius as their lord under an oath of absolute loyalty. Some of them she had a memory of before her execution.
The faces that asked her to sacrifice herself for Lianrius.
Lian’s mouth shut as he looked at Liarte’s gaze, which still deflected him.
“I’m here to hear your answer from yesterday.”
Liarte had completely forgotten Lian’s words, as she was busy thinking about her meeting with the Water Spirit King.
“I asked you if you wanted to break away from the family. I told you to give me another answer by this morning.”
“I guess so.”
Why doesn’t Liarte answer Lian?
She approached Birce’s successor well. Even the passing little bird she laughed with like spring.
“Yes, you didn’t answer the question of breaking away from the family. So it’s frustrating to hear another word.”
The knights approached Liarte.
“Tell me you love me. Say you love your family the most, as before.”
She didn’t know what this was about.
The knights grabbed Liarte by the arms. ‘Are you threatening me?’
If she was an ordinary person, she would have already burst into tears due to the pressure of the knights and the pain in her arms.
However, this did not feel like a threat to Liarte, who had already died once.
Finally, Liarte’s lips opened.
Lianrius looked longingly at her cold eyes.
Liarte said it as clearly as she could.
“I hate you.”
Contrary to the expectations, these were the only words that were returned to him.
Did he think Liarte would be scared if he came with the knights? It was nothing now compared to the memory of being dragged into the enchanted water of her execution.
“Say it again.”
Lian said to Liarte, who didn’t get his way.
“Tell me that you respect and love me the most, just like when you thought of me as the sun.”
He gave Liarte a chance, but Liarte didn’t give him the answer that he wanted.
“There’s only one thing I have to tell you. I hate you, Lianrius.”
“So this is your choice.”
The knights pulled Liarte up.
“Don’t you dare regret this, Liarte.”
How can she be the same as before the regression?
“This is all your fault.”
Still, neither Lian nor Elheim’s other blood relatives had changed.
At first glance, he seemed to be clinging to Liarte, but the nature of the relationship was the same. In the end, they just do what they want to do.
‘Then, if I can’t have her, I somehow have to make her listen to me.’
Unlike Michael, who put Liarte’s opinion first.
When she came out of the room, she saw a small mobile prison cell with wheels.
The knights put Liarte, who they dragged, into the cage.
“You’ll be able to see the coming-of-age ceremony from afar today.”
Then he locked the door of the prison.
There was no one around.
Elheim was not the only one waiting for the coming-of-age ceremony.
Liarte found a chubby-looking bird that looked upon the cage.
There was a flower in the little bird’s beak.
Liarte reached out and picked up the flower.
At last, the long-awaited man came. The water slid through the bars.
* * *
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