* * *
* * *
The first war that the future Birce started.
The Nobles of the empire were too accustomed to long peace
She remembered that the Imperial Family and Elheim, who declared the war, were also very relaxed at first.
That was until the first war was brutally ended and the warzone was left in ashes.
“At this rate, Birce will kill us all!”
“You can’t win a war against them.”
“How will you beat a group that uses the Power of Death?”
Until the war, the people didn’t know how powerful Birce was.
Only when they properly used their Power of Death did the nobles panic.
Michael Birce’s power was said to have been especially frightening.
The knights were most afraid of the situation in which Michael, who was wearing an eye patch, appeared alone on the battlefield.
Whether there were hundreds of knights in the area, or thousands, all but Michael died.
A demon of the battlefield. Truly.
Michael was a symbol of fear at the time.
One day, when the gloomy atmosphere continued, the Crown Prince spoke.
“I have a good idea. Do you want to listen to it?”
The first thing to appear that time was the Imperial Family’s black powder.
Liarte remembered that no one could identify the ingredients of the black powder even until she was executed.
“Anyone who eats this powder will go crazy. It’s a lot stronger than you think.”
A drug that makes anyone crazy, turning them non-human-like, by taking a very small amount.
However, Danterion found out that a Water Awakener could extract the Black Powder that was from then on often used while he was researching.
‘The symptoms are the same.’
The victims died a few hours after ingesting the Black Powder and going crazy.
It was said that the Awakener that had consumed it continues to be a beast until the end of their life.
The characteristics of those are attacking and biting everything in sight and being afraid of the dark.
It was the same as the symptoms of Aaron, who is currently tied up in front of Liarte.
‘As I expected, it’s an overdose to Black Powder.’
No one could make the Black Powder except the Crown Prince.
Michael’s curse in his eyes.
And Aaron Birce, who is running wild like a beast.
Merlin, who pulled Liarte’s arm, hugged her.
It was an action to protect her.
“The Great Master sometimes breaks the chains. You have to be careful.”
Aaron snarled at Merlin. Liarte was removed far away by Merlin’s guidance.
His beastly red eyes gleamed under the light.
However, when Liarte found out that it was a symptom caused by the Black Powder of the Imperial Family, she no longer felt it was an unknown madness.
‘And they said this symptom could be cured by a Water Awakener.’
But she didn’t know how.
However, if Danterion did this, there was nothing Liarte couldn’t do.
‘A Water Awakener can take out the Black Powder.’
Liarte kept her eyes on Aaron and was lost in thought.
Aaron ingested Black Powder.
There was no way that a former Duke of Birce would consume a suspicious-looking powder on his own.
Therefore, Liarte had no choice but to conclude that someone he trusted fed him the Black Powder.
It was then.
Two men suddenly appeared inside the mansion. There were no footsteps, so they seemed more like mercenaries or assassins than knights.
The two plodded along and stood in front of Liarte and Merlin.
“Nice to meet you, Young Mistress.”
“Ah. Nice to meet you, Young Mistress!”
One looked like a cat, and the other looked gentle.
The cat-like man grinned.
“My name is Andre. This is Hans.”
Both were old pronunciations that anyone before 40 would not generally use.
It was common for people of Liarte’s age to read it as Andrena and Anse. (e/n I’ve literally never encountered this concept before, is it a Korean thing?) Liarte looked at Aaron and said:
“I guess Aaron named you like Merlin.”
“Yes, that is right. The Great Master is our benefactor.”
Andre seemed outgoing and sociable, unlike his appearance.
Thanks to this, Liarte was able to talk comfortably.
“There were a lot of people who were indebted to him, but everyone left except us. Me, Merlin, and Hans remained. I was just about to pay him back, but then this is how he turned out.
Liarte organized the story in her head.
In other words, Merlin, Andre, and Hands were among the people Aaron kept close to when he consumed the Black Powder.
Perhaps the person that the Crown Prince sent was with them and had the Black Powder.
But she couldn’t bring up the story of the Black Powder in front of them.
Soon, Andre turned his head and looked around with a cat-like gaze. It was similar to how Merlin acts.
“You don’t have to worry about it, Young Mistress.”
Hans had a smile that matched his mild impression.
“It’s a process of making sure that there’s no assassin or enemy hiding in here.”
“We are all concerned about the Great Master. He was a very good man.”
Hans began to sniffle with tears in his eyes.
“In particular, Merlin couldn’t even come here with the Great Master like this.”
Liarte did not know of the existence of the madness in Birce even until her execution before her regression.
The Duke of Elheim, who wants to take advantage of Birce’s weak spot, would not have shut up if he knew about the generation-long, ‘hereditary’ madness.
So, the madness seemed to be kept secret from the outside.
Aaron let out another scream – like a hungry animal.
‘We need to treat Aaron for now.’
Aaron’s funeral took place before Danterion completed his study of extracting the Black Powder.
Merlin recalled that Carmen kept Aaron alive, although she was supposed to shoot him as soon as he developed the disease.
At this rate, Aaron might die, being constantly mistaken for insane.
She had to change the future.
The only person who could cure Aaron in this mansion was Liarte.
* * *
Carmen opened the door to the small mansion.
Originally, Andre and Hans took turns in taking care of Aaron, but they were asked to avoid him during nighttime.
Carmen’s footsteps continued silently as if they were buried in darkness.
Grrr, Aaron, who showed his fangs, struggled as he was tied to his chair.
Perhaps because he was turned into a beast, Aaron looked wary as if he had met a natural enemy.
Carmen sat on a long sofa by the wall.
When he waved his hand, Aaron cried viciously as if he wanted to bite him. Then he suddenly laughed in a strange giggling sound and shook himself.
It was already a familiar sight for Carmen.
“I’m here to kill my father.”
The madness was contagious. People who are weak just by being in the same space easily develop the disease, and when bitten by Birce, who suffers from the disease, the next person also becomes ill.
It was so dangerous that Birce had been shooting anyone who had shown symptoms of the madness for generations.
Weapons such as a pistol and a jackknife were felt in his pocket.
Carmen, the head of the family, was obliged to remove a member.
Carmen murmured: “But I can’t do it today, either.”
Even today, Carmen couldn’t kill Aaron with his own hands.
“Liarte came in today, so you are excused from being killed.”
A thick mist of water appeared and Liarte came out.
“Hello, Liarte. This is my father, hidden in this mansion.”
“I heard you went in with Merlin today.”
A clear voice was heard in the dark.
Liarte was worried.
Treating Aaron did not guarantee that the Black Powder would be removed.
She wanted to say it was a fact she found out after a long experiment with Danterion.
The Black Powder was not a poison in the blood vessels.
However, she saw Carmen with a woefully distorted smile, saying, “I can’t kill Aaron.”
“I know how not to kill Aaron.”
The people of Birce always listened to Liarte.
He did not distrust her, saying “it’s impossible” or “ridiculous”.
“Can you trust me?”
“Yeah, I promise I’ll believe everything you say. There’s no reason why I can’t trust you.”
Liarte, who nodded at Carmen, who smiled covertly, approached Aaron.
Carmen sprang to his feet.
Today, he went to the Imperial Palace and broke Count Fedes’ hand on impulse.
If he hadn’t asked how much Carmen would sell Liarte for in the letter, Carmen wouldn’t have come to the palace himself. (e/n when you think the Crown Prince can’t get any worse o.0)
He was as angry as a parent protecting their child.
With what adults can do to a child, he was worried now.
Then, Liarte reached out.
Aaron, who was attacking Liarte by bending his upper body sharply, was blocked by Liarte’s water and stopped.
“Carmen, you have to trust me.”
He was expressionless but so desperate that he felt pathetic.
“I trust you, Liarte.”
“I know about this symptom, although I can’t explain how I came to know it.”
The water from Liarte enveloped Aaron.
Later on, Lian figured out how to make a person who ingested Black Powder behave.
When a strong Water Awakener forced their energy into it, the madness subsided.
Of course, it wasn’t a full return to consciousness.
The energy of Liarte’s water dug into Aaron.
Aaron’s eerie eyes gradually calmed down.
Carmen realized that Aaron’s usual crying had stopped.
“I can cure Aaron.”
Her watery eyes contained a determined light.
* * *
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