* * *
* * *
One foot was bare and the other one had a shoe.
Unlike the frozen and shocked people of Elheim, Michael was relaxed.
“Liarte. Your shoe came off.”
Michael went to the place where the pigeon told him and found a shoe that Walter brought.
Then he lowered down, bent one knee, and put the shoe on her bare feet.
“Be careful and don’t get hurt. There might be sharp things on the floor.”
“Thank you, Michael.”
The other awakeners dared not to touch Liarte.
The powerful water that had even taken control of Lian’s water was guarding Liarte.
Even Lian, who was known as a strong Awakener after Jurien, could not use that level of ability.
‘She’s an awakener. She’s an awaken-…’
The Duke of Elheim, who had made the most mistakes, could not move his body.
He couldn’t speak, like he was frozen.
He never thought such a strong Awakener could exist.
He didn’t even imagine it to be Liarte.
He judged that she would be an unawakener for the rest of her life since she could not express her ability to produce and control water within a week after her birth.
The Duke of Elheim was staring at an incredible sight; Liarte, standing affectionately with Michael, he wanted to deny reality.
All the foolish mistakes that have been made until now have stabbed him in the chest.
The duke had chosen Lianrius.
As for Liarte, compared to the most beloved twin-brother Lian, she was treated remarkably differently.
Who was the real fool?
He had never seen such a strong water awakener in his life.
Even Lian, who he cherished and believed in, and even boasted that he was the owner of the Spirit Stone and that had the ability that even the Duke’s daughter did not have.
‘Don’t think of her as a daughter.’ Is what the duke had said himself.
He never thought he’d come to regret it then. He thought she should be grateful for even being allowed to remain in the family.
The reason why he didn’t throw her away completely like he had planned was because Lian needed her.
‘I kept her in the dark.’
Locked up in a prison-like room, never to come out unless necessary.
The result was here now.
Lian reached out next to the duke whose mouth was hanging wide-open.
In the direction of Aynias, Danterion, and Hwi-Amin was the site of the Elheim battlefield.
Liarte didn’t want to look at them.
After turning away expressionlessly, she looked up to Michael.
Liarte was only indifferent to the people of Elheim.
Michael heard a soft voice from her soft lips.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Michael.”
“I’ve only been counting the days of when you’ll be back. I’m glad to see you.”
The direction that Liarte and Michael were headed to was on the side of Birce’s wagons.
Walking with her back to Elheim, she never looked back.
Lian, who was always cold, was gradually losing his composure.
Lian was astute to discover that his twin sister trusted the only heir to Birce.
From the beginning, Birce’s successor was the problem.
‘From the time he stole the silver fox that Liarte asked me to bring from the forest, to the time that he asked her, who was in a corner, for a dance, I was embarrassed by him.’
With the intent to kill Michael, the water in the lake rose at once.
Along with the tidal wave, several huge blades of water formed and flew to Michael.
He thought he’d rip him to death.
“Get out of the way.”
The whole attack was blocked by Liarte’s water.
It was both water, but there was a clear gap in between them—and Liarte had a clear advantage.
Liarte’s water consumed all the tidal waves and the blades of water that Lian made.
It was a thrilling scene that anyone who was a water awakener could feel.
“Are you okay?”
The swaying water of Liarte enveloped her and Michael.
Michael replied softly, as he didn’t feel any threat.
“I’m okay. I was surprised, but you protected me.”
With Michael’s abilities, he could have averted the water. But before he could do anything, Liarte protected him.
Even though the shoes’ heels were a little high, Liarte’s height could only reach Michael’s chest.
‘He’s so soft.’
Unlike when being with others, she felt warm being with Michael.
The duke and his sons’ choices were completely wrong.
‘I can’t believe she destroyed Lian’s attack.’
Aynias sat down because his legs were weak.
He has never seen anyone with this ability since he experienced the power of the Water Spirit King.
It was so strong that he couldn’t even think about asking her if she was an awakener. His mind was a mess.
Nervousness and desperation weighed on him.
It was also a great loss for Elheim to miss this kind of awakener with this much ability.
He was going to catch her, but he could see by her attitude that she had already completely abandoned Elheim.
Elheim had abandoned Liarte first.
Therefore, Liarte also abandoned Elheim.
He didn’t dare try to catch her.
‘If I knew this would happen…’
If he had known that Liarte, not Lian, would be as powerful as she was…
In a rare instance, Danterion was seen turning pale.
Lian’s whispering advice, saying “treat the unawakener however you want.” made Liarte turn her back on them.
He shouldn’t have made an irrational judgment.
He couldn’t think of anything in his head. He was just standing still in shock as if struck by lightning.
He should have listened to Hwi-Amin.
‘If Liarte had been born a water awakener from the beginning, this wouldn’t have happened…’
Hwi-Amin looked at the ruined celebration and relatives.
The royal family and aristocrats seemed to be mesmerized by the fight of the first-ever high-ranking awakener.
It felt like a battle of gods, not humans, so it was reasonable.
The dry eyes of Liarte never turned to her family.
Hwi-Amin remembered the day when Liarte was nearly beaten to death and limped because of him.
Hwi-Amin unknowingly muttered and stumbled back.
If she was also an awakener, he thought it was something he couldn’t have done because she would have been a child with the backing of their large family.
So he was relieved time and time again that Liarte was weak and an unawakener.
He tried to erase the assumption that she was an awakener.
But the assumption was true.
‘Maybe she’s the real owner of the Spirit Stone.’
A cold, dry whisper rang out in his memory.
He couldn’t refute it.
Now Hwi-Amin never dared to face Liarte.
* * *
He saw foolish people trying to wrap their heads around the truth without breathing.
Michael looked around at the reception.
He had controlled his intent to kill well, there was not a single spot that got bloody.
Now even if the Duke of Elheim tried to deny it, it was too obvious that Liarte was an awakener.
It was a pity that he couldn’t kill him in front of Liarte.
Of course, he said he wouldn’t kill anyone, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t shoot them.
The faces dotted with regret were very much worth seeing. Michael smiled brightly.
“How do you feel, Prince of Elheim?” (Heirs to a dukedom are often referred to as Prince/Princess)
Aynias, who came to his senses, was hostile to Michael. He wielded his power of water to produce weapons.
“Do you think you’ll still be safe?! The Imperial Family and I will never forgive you!”
He was talking nonsense.
Never in history has Birce fallen to the Imperial Family. Things were different from Elheim, who was loyal to the emperor.
How dare the imperial dog bark wantonly.
The shot was deliberately fired at Aynias.
“Oh, my bad. I was so lost in thought that the gun fired automatically!”
Michael smiled languidly. (e/n: we love a chaotic king, slayyyy)
The workmanship was accurate.
Awakeners have ways to protect themselves, but the speed of the bullet could only be kept up by a fairly capable person.
Blood flowed from Aynias’ thigh, which was pierced by the bullet. He stared at Michael.
“How dare you!”
He opened his mouth and another shot was fired.
This time, it was the other thigh.
The vital parts were avoided, anyways.
“You’d better be grateful, Prince.”
He held back and didn’t shoot where he wanted to shoot – through the mouth. For Michael, he thought he had given the utmost mercy.
The name of the black knights that Michael brought was the Knights of Death.
They are the direct knights of Birce and have killed countless invaders.
They pulled a carriage into the reception hall.
“Let’s go, Liarte.”
Liarte looked around Elheim for the last time.
‘About 21 years.’
Including the time before the return, it was the time that Liarte was tied to Elheim.
Liarte walked forward with a dull look on her face.
“Duke of Elheim.”
The position of Liarte, who stood up, and the Duke of Elheim, who sat down, were reversed.
Now she wanted to end her relationship with Elheim completely.
“Now that I’m of age, Elheim will no longer have any authority over me. I’ll cut ties with this family.”
The days when even the ability users and the water awakeners from branch families considered Liarte lowly were over.
Now Liarte was the most noble being.
A stronger awakener than anyone in Elheim of any position.
The awakeners of Elheim, who laughed at one of the duke’s direct descendants because she was an unawakener, could no longer say a word to Liarte.
It was indifference that was more dismissive than fear.
She had no expectations of them, so she doesn’t care about what they say or do.
“You were the owner of the Spirit Stone.”
The duke belatedly realized who the true owner of the Spirit Stone was.
It was natural that she had not been found yet since she had never been asked to sing, as she was thought to be an unawakener.
It was not only Lian who was born on the day that the Spirit Stone shone, but also Liarte.
She was the real owner of the Spirit Stone, which he had been looking for since a long time ago.
But what Elheim had done had long since turned away the very existence that they were longing for.
* * *
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