* * *
* * *
At the Imperial Palace.
“Duke of Elheim.”
The Duke of Elheim, who came out of the emperor’s reception room, met with the Crown Prince who was waiting in the hallway.
“It’s the first time we’ve met since Prince Lian’s coming-of-age ceremony. I heard that the duke’s family has recovered.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
After hearing the incredible and unbelievable truth from the Spirit King, the Duke locked himself in his room for some time.
However, there was a lot of work left to do as it was, so he couldn’t rest.
It wasn’t long ago that he started working again.
“Come to think of it, have you heard any news of the princess (Liarte) since that day?”
“There wasn’t any.”
Many things turned upside down after Liarte used her powers at the reception.
His sons still wandered around Elheim like scoundrels in a distraught state.
The Nobles told the story of how the duke’s unawakener daughter is actually an awakener.
Some mocked the security of Elheim, which was infiltrated by Bircefollowing the assassination attempt.
The Duke of Elheim’s prestige has fallen.
He wanted to hide away because it was terrible, but he couldn’t turn his eyes away from reality forever.
“I can’t believe the Princess was a Water Awakener. It’s a real shame.”
This seemed to be the main point of the Crown Prince. The duke’s expression hardened in his sly attitude.
“I didn’t know either.”
“In fact, who could’ve known? I didn’t notice it at all while I was in and out of Elheim.”
No matter how humiliated he was, his opponent was the Duke of Elheim. If he touched the topic more, he would only turn the duke into an enemy.
“Please send my regards to Prince Lian.”
It was not the duke’s fault.
He didn’t know that Lian was a life-sucking fake. Liarte kept his wife alive for ten months.
He was out of breath.
The fact that he had been holding on to a fake for a long time is shocking for him.
“I’m not feeling well, so I’ll go back.”
Watching the Duke of Elheim moving away, the Crown Prince chewed on his tongue.
‘You really don’t have any relationship with the Princess.’
He’s never seen an ice-wielding Water Awakener in his life.
‘I should’ve drawn you to the Imperial Palace in advance.’
The Crown Prince was on the sidelines on whether or not Elheim mistreated Liarte. Seeing Liarte being marginalized, he asked himself one day if she had neither ambition nor pride.
She was a timid person with low self-esteem, so she might fall over if he gave her sweet food even then.
He would’ve proposed to her if he could attract such a Water Awakener.
‘Is there any way to tame her now?’
But Liarte had already left, holding Birce’s hand.
In addition, whether there were people around him or not, he had no control over his ability.
‘I didn’t expect for her to be transferred to Birce.’
Michael, who came to Elheim to heal his eyes, and Liarte, who was actually an Awakener.
It was highly probable that the curse on Michael’s eyes, which had been painstakingly placed on him by even blowing up a whole city, was thwarted.
Birce had to fall.
‘There’s still Aaron Birce. We still have some cards available.’
The Crown Prince, who finished his calculations, laughed.
Then, from afar, he saw the Count Fedes approach.
“It’s late, Count.”
“I’m sorry, your Grace.”
The Crown Prince frowned as Count Fedes approached him.
“Why are your hands like that?”
One of the Count’s hands was badly burned and twisted. He looked as if he had been tortured.
“I did it.”
He heard a soft, low voice that made his ears shudder. The Crown Prince found Carmen Birce walking behind Count Fedes.
“The Duke of Birce?”
“There are a lot of flies in Birce.”
Carmen casually kicked The Count from behind.
“I said I’d break your hands if you wrote another useless letter, but that must have been a prohibition that he didn’t understand, your majesty”
The Crown Prince was the one who wrote the most letters to Birce.
Carmen usually participated in politics, but did not come directly to the Palace often.
It was very rare for Carmen to visit the Imperial Palace in this way.
Moreover, no one has injured Count Fedes, who was the face and the hands of the Crown Prince, to this level.
“Count, I thank you.”
Carmen smiled at the fallen Count. At first glance, his gleaming smile was frightening.
“I tried to maim his right hand and put up with that little child.”
The little child he was referring to was Liarte. In fact, the people of Birce were tall, and Liarte wasn’t that short.
“You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Carmen trampled the Count’s broken hand gracefully with his feet.
It was actually aimed at the Crown Prince.
‘You brought it onto yourself.’
The Crown Prince, who was staring at Carmen, clenched his fist only after time passed and Carmen had left.
Count Fedes staggered to his feet.
“Your highness, I am fine.”
“Who asked about the condition of your hand? It’s my pride that hurts. It’s the face of The Crown Prince!”
The Crown Prince, cracked by his arrogant pride, was furious.
“No, wait. It’s Birce’s own fault.”
The wheezing breath and the blood in his eyes made the Crown Prince look like a madman.
“Feed Aaron Birce my blood.”
Despite the Count’s dissuasion, the Crown Prince did not take back his order.
‘It’s all your own fault.’
* * *
After her noon walk, Liarte called Merlin before entering the main building.
“Yes. Please order me.”
Apart from acting oddly and being overly courteous, Merlin was an ordinary person.
“I found a mansion behind the main building while taking a walk last night. Carmen said I had to be accompanied during the day to get in.”
“You mean the small mansion.”
Merlin’s hands paused and gathered them politely.
“I’ll show you around, Young Mistress.”
With a rapidly paling face and cold sweat flowing from her forehead, Merlin’s body stumbled.
It was a phenomenon that occurred from the time that she heard about the small mansion.
“I don’t know what’s going on. You don’t have to overdo it.”
“No, I am fine, Young Mistress.”
Merlin didn’t break her stubbornness.
Liarte put her hand on Merlin’s forehead. A cool wave of water stabilized Merlin.
“You really don’t have to overdo it. We don’t have to go to that little mansion right now.”
Merlin’s trembling body calmed down.
Merlin bowed her head. She seemed impressed by Liarte’s unexpected kindness.
“Thank you for being nice to me. But, I’ll go and tell you everything.”
The little mansion was closer than Liarte remembered last night.
Merlin, who grabbed the long door handle, opened the door on both sides.
Liarte couldn’t hear a howl today. Merlin stood in front of Liarte as if she could see in the dark.
“The reason it’s dark inside is to keep him from going outside the house.”
“It’s that person?”
The dim light was seen up ahead.
“He gave me the name Merlin.”
She heard a groan. Again, someone cried. The cry grew louder as she walked forward.
At last, the light was in sight.
A solitary white light in a dark mansion.
She saw a big chair below it. In the chair was a huge old man in chains.
A mess of gray hair and Birce’s red eyes. Even though he was tied up like this, he seemed calm, let alone weak.
A growl came from the old man’s mouth.
It looked more like a big beast or a demon than a man.
Aaron struggled with madness as if he were about to bite Liarte’s neck.
“There had been random occurrences of madness with unknown causes in Birce before. Until a few years ago, the Great Master was perfect in health, enough to bring me and the assassins to death, but now…”
“He gave me the name of Merlin.”
“Yes, there are many other people who have received help besides me.”
Merlin was turning her head because it was hard to watch Aaron.
“Isn’t there any possibility of him getting better?”
“No, it’s getting worse. Originally, I was to shoot him as soon as he developed the disease, but my Master told me to lock him up.”
Aaron was trapped in a mansion with mania.
Years later, news of Aaron’s death was announced in the future.
Then Michael and Carmen avenged Birce on the Imperial Family and on Elheim.
“It’s dangerous, Young Mistress!”
Liarte unwittingly approached Aaron.
Strangely, Aaron’s symptoms had worsened during the day.
As she approached, Aaron cried wildly and rushed to bite Liarte with his teeth.
The heavy, large chair rocked little by little.
But Aaron’s attack was blocked by the Water that surrounded and protected Liarte.
Liarte looked into Aaron.
The memory of the incident, which was forgotten before her regression, was put together like a sculpture.
‘I know this symptom, too.’
In the future, before her regression, Liarte had seen these symptoms several times.
‘As I expected.’
It’s not madness.
This was a symptom of poisoning from the powder produced by the Imperial Family.
* * *
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