* * *
* * *
Michael wiped the crystal-clear tears that were falling on his hands.
Her teary blue eyes were still gazing ahead.
She had read about the sea in a book.
When she was young, she read a fairy tale about the blue waves of the ocean and its salty water.
It was wider and bluer than she had thought, then.
She thought it was a breathtakingly beautiful place.
“There was a place like this.”
Liarte, a human being deprived of many things, was overwhelmed and speechless.
Tears streamed over her vision that was filled with the sea in front of her. She couldn’t figure out why she was crying herself.
The endless ocean.
Waves, white and bubbling as they hit the sand.
The red color of the sunset overhead mixing with the water.
Liarte was alive.
The insensitive world accepted the sea. It was a sight she thought she would never see in her life.
Everyone in the empire was accustomed to the sea.
Despite the long distance, it was often a popular place to go to for a vacation. Even the young children knew the sea.
It was a miracle for Liarte that she didn’t care for the others.
“Thank you. Michael.”
Liarte, who had left the sunset behind, laughed.
It wasn’t like she had a friendly expression like an animal, nor did she raise the corners of her mouth from her usual indifferent expression.
Liarte was laughing with the joy of one’s full strength.
It was enough to bring Michael to his knees.
At first, unlike Elheim, which had a fishy smell, she had a refreshing scent. A scent that chased him out of the darkness.
Next, he was interested because she was a Water Awakener who could lift his curse.
The meticulousness that he felt while being treated by her somehow bothered him, and he thought it was good to meet her.
He thought he liked her, then.
“I’m glad I met you.” (-L)
Or he thought he was liking her to a rational degree. Michael was wrong.
It was an absolute emotion.
At the moment that he became aware of it, Michael had a complete feeling for Liarte.
“I’m glad I chose to lift the curse of your eyes.”
It was a good choice to change the future.
Among the numerous opportunities, it was good to think of it as a favor for Birce’s successor.
It was fortunate that those beautiful, sunset-like eyes were able to see again.
She was lucky to trust such a soft and friendly man.
“Please take care of me when I go to Birce.”
For the time being, she wanted to stay with Michael in Birce.
Liarte did not know how her words would sound to Michael.
Like the waves that came and came and eventually crushed the sand, Michael was quickly confused.
He thought that if Liarte was happy, he would give her anything.
“Do you care about your savior that much?”
He remembered Carmen Birce, who was laughing mischievously.
“If you think of it as a mere crush, you’d be an idiot. My son.”
The feeble feelings that dug into Michael. And before he knew it, it blossomed.
“I want to be by your side. Liarte.”
He hopes Liarte will be happy. If it was possible, he would go anywhere and abandon Birce to follow Liarte.
Birce’s dark knights looked unfamiliarly at Michael, who had an attitude that seemed like honey was falling on a person.
To be honest, it was almost like a startled stare.
Elheim was long forgotten.
“Then let’s stay together, Liarte, this place belongs to Birce. Let’s come to this beach together again next time.”
Michael smiled brightly as his eyes met hers.
“Okay. Let’s come back next time, together.”
Suddenly, Liarte touched Michael’s face.
He covered his surprise about the unexpected contact with laughter. Michael was slightly embarrassed.
‘Is it because of my eyes?’
That said, she was clearly touching his cheek, not looking at his accursed eyes.
Michael’s heart beat faster with her hands and refreshing scent.
“Who did this?”
Liarte’s hand touched Michael’s wound. It was small and shallow enough he didn’t even know if it hurt.
“You might have gotten hurt from earlier in Elheim.”
Recalling the ability of Lian’s subborn water, Liarte said.
“I’ll heal you.”
It was an indifferent and gentle whisper. The reason for the injury was because of the shrapnel of the pistol.
He remembered getting hurt trying to shoot the Duke of Elheim.
“I think you’re a little hot.” (e/n as in body temperature)
As Liarte saw in the book, she put her hand on Michael’s forehead.
Still, she wasn’t sure, so she put her forehead on Michael’s. Now Michael’s ears were burning red.
“You have a fever, Michael. Did you get hurt or overdo it in Elheim?”
Michael did not say that he was really strong. Instead, he just whispered with a pouty look.
“That’s right. I had a hard time because of Elheim. I guess that’s why I got hurt.”
It was a nonchalant lie.
Walter, who knows that his young master usually doesn’t complain of pain even when a bullet gets stuck in his body, turned away into the distance.
Michael was so shameless. But Liarte was inherently soft with the weak.
It was all Elheim’s fault that he was hurt and sick even though he wasn’t really sick.
* * *
Lian’s coming-of-age ceremony ended in a big mess.
It was a matter of course.
It was an event where the Royal Family and other influential people of the empire gathered together and were attacked by Birce.
Many distinguished guests could have been killed if Birce had been wanting to kill.
The hour of dawn before midnight.
“The coming-of-age ceremony, which should have been Elheim’s biggest event, ended like this.”
The duke lamented in vain as he pressed down on his temples at the reception banquet.
The distinguished guests confirmed that Birce had left Elheim and ran away hurriedly.
Fortunately, not a single letter of protest was received.
Perhaps it was because the distinguished guests witnessed Lian’s strong ability in front of their eyes.
Rather than protesting, they decided to acquiesce in this situation and show a favorable attitude toward Elheim.
Several stones on the floor showed signs of rolling around.
‘It’s from her ability.’
The duke shook his hands as he recalled the departed Liarte.
The sight he saw today was shocking.
A powerful energy that succeeded in taking complete control over Lian’s water.
‘And what was that ice?’
It was an ability that he had never seen before.
There was no Water Awakener in Elheim that could freeze water.
Aynias came limping with a pale face and in crutches.
The duke’s other sons were behind him.
“Ayn, I am not feeling well, so I went in and didn’t rest.”
“It’s okay. I can’t close my eyes when Elheim looks like this.”
The places where Michael Birce shot at were treated with the ability of water.
What made Aynias mad was the fact that everything he had been looking forward to for a long time went wrong.
Even Danterion and Hwi-Amin were silent with gloomy expressions.
“You said earlier that she is the owner of the Spirit Stone?”
Aynias cautiously brought it up.
“I’d like to ask why you thought so.”
“It was too obvious, Ayn.”
The Duke of Elheim had a tendency to not admit to his mistake. However, he admitted his mistake this time.
“Even a three-year-old child would think that if a twin was born on the day that the Spirit Stone shone, it would be one of the two.”
If it wasn’t Lian, he had to think that Liarte was the owner.
The problem was that he was only obsessed with the thought of her being an unawakener.
“There are a lot of problems that can’t be solved. I don’t know the source of the ice that Liarte used or why the Spirit King called Lian a fake.”
It was a terrible spout, but Aynias’ desperation was conveyed.
“What the hell is going on in Elheim?”
“I should ask the Water Spirit King for now. I think it’s better to go to him and ask for help.”
The two consciously avoided bringing up the subject of Liarte.
They already knew Liarte wouldn’t come back easily.
Furthermore, Birce’s knights were powerful.
Even though Elheim’s troops were powerful, it was clear that they couldn’t defeat Birce with water in just a few minutes.
“Shall we go to that guest house first?”
“Yeah. That’d be great.”
Elheim’s relatives walked in silence.
After a while, they arrived at the door of the guest house.
“Keep quiet about the existence of Liarte. The same goes for you too Danterion, Hwi-Amin, and Lian.”
The duke urged his three remaining sons to stand behind Aynias.
As soon as the Spirit King had opened his eyes, he asked for the owner of the Spirit Stone. Once, they took Lian and it made him (the Spirit King) angry and say that they brought in a fake, but this time, they didn’t know what kind of reaction would come out of the Spirit King if Liarte left.
Even if it’s not to the point of anger, they think they might die this time.
Aynias got goosebumps on his back.
“Do you understand?”
No answer was given, but the duke took it as a yes.
The duke, who gulped with a dry mouth, opened the door.
Fortunately, the Spirit King had his eyes closed as if he didn’t know of the commotion at Lian’s coming-of-age ceremony.
The boy-like Spirit of the Water opened his eyes.
The duke, who was about to speak, stopped breathing at the words of the Spirit King.
[The successor of Jurien must have left.]
He already knows?
The duke’s face turned white.
The boy, who was as cold as a demon, looked bored. Today, he looked at the duke with a strange pitiful gaze.
Thinking about what they did to Liarte, it was not as refreshing to tear them to shreds.
He also heard that Liarte, the real owner, had believed that the fake was the owner of the Spirit Stone, and thought of herself as an unawakener.
[If you want to ask something, ask. I will answer your question just once.]
Among the hesitant relatives, Danterion stood up.
“Who is the owner of the Spirit Stone?”
Then there was a cold sneer on the face of the Spirit King.
* * *
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