* * *
* * *
Michael’s eyes in this angle looked like raging fire under the sunlight.
A raging fire burning in vivid scarlet.
Then she remembered an incident in Birce.
‘There was definitely a story about a fire in the newspapers.’
Liarte didn’t know everything about Birce.
She could only remember it when an incident exploded so big that it was published in the newspapers or even rumored in Elheim.
She remembered hearing about the fire in the Duchy of Elheim.
The timing would have been around Lian’s coming-of-age ceremony.
‘So, it’s around the time that I was 17.’
On a day before Liarte’s regression, a huge fire broke out in the Duchy of Birce.
It was said that the speed at which the flames engulfed the buildings was so fast that more than half of the people lost their lives.
She once saw a picture of Birce in ashes in the newspaper.
The flames of the fire did not end until more than ten days.
At that time, the public was gossiping around.
It was also said that the Duke of Elheim’s hatred ran so deep that he did not send any water awakener to help put out the fire.
But what Liarte remembered was a little different.
The public office of Elheim did have people who hate Birce, but still obeyed the commands of the Imperial Family.
‘It’s not that there was no water awakener sent to help.’
The Imperial Family issued an official letter to support water awakeners being sent to Birce.
The Duke of Elheim was forced to send Aynias and another senior of the water awakeners.
And the water awakeners failed to extinguish the fire.
Some said that if Lian had gone instead, he would have put out the fire, but the fire died down naturally even when Elheim failed.
‘I can’t stop thinking about the fire.’
It might have been because of Hans’ record of wandering around the Birce manor.
According to Liarte’s memory before her regression, the fire was started when the flames suddenly soared in various places in Birce.
‘It may have had something to do with Hans.’
It was only a guess, so she couldn’t come up with a conclusion.
Carmen carefully pulled Michael, who could hardly breathe, aside.
It was his own consideration for fear that his son might collapse due to a heart attack. (e/n snort)
“You wonder what Hans did while he was wandering around? I’ll guess that you want the information from the interrogation, but we don’t have it yet.”
“Yes, I was thinking about it.”
“Yeah, you’ll live in Birce from now on, so I won’t stop you from doing anything dangerous.”
Carmen smiled softly at Liarte.
Because they had the Power of Death to easily win a war, if she was a member of Birce, she had to get used to all kinds of dangerous things.
Furthermore, the Liarte, who they have seen so far, was a child who would not back down even if they said what she’s doing was dangerous.
“Shall we do some investigating together instead?”
Carmen slyly recommended.
“I’m going to look around Birce, including the places Hans visited. Kind of like a picnic.” (C)
“That’s what you were preparing yesterday….”
Aaron was shocked to see Carmen’s picnic basket.
No matter how he looked at it, he was puzzled because it was for a picnic, and to coax the benefactor this way.
He must have controlled all the conversations with the intention of going on a picnic with Liarte from the beginning.
Michael quickly closed Aaron’s mouth.
And whispered low enough to be inaudible for Liarte.
“Grandpa, don’t you want to go play with Liarte?”
Of course, he wanted to go play with her.
From the moment she saved Aaron’s life, Liarte became more precious to him than Michael. (e/n LOL savage)
To be honest, Liarte was much better than his son and grandson, who were slow-tempered by Aaron’s standards.
If he had a granddaughter, he thought she would be like her.
Aaron hesitated to stop Carmen.
“That’s right. Of course.”
He said it in a noticeably weaker attitude than before when he was about to say that Carmen had deceived his savior.
“You also want to go, grandpa.”
The victory was already leaning towards Michael.
In the end, Aaron closed his eyes tightly.
“I didn’t see or hear anything.”
“I knew my grandfather would say that.”
Michael laughed languidly and looked away from Aaron.
“I’m sure we’ll find a new clue if we go around together. Liarte, are you coming with us?”
“I want to go, if you don’t mind.”
She was going to see if there were any substances that could cause a fire where Hans visited.
“Of course, I’d love it if you’d come. How about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?”
Michael asked, clasping his fingers in Liarte’s hands.
“Actually, it’s my first time going on a picnic, too. So, I’m quite looking forward to it.”
Aaron smiled with his eyes and looked at his grandson, who was at a loss for words.
“Aren’t you just gonna go and do some investigating?”
“It was for investigation purposes, but Michael, if you want, I’ll go on a picnic with you.”
Even Liarte was treating that big guy like a weakling.
Until now, Aaron had thought Michael resembled him more.
The sly, calm Carmen and the fiery Aaron.
He felt like he needed to re-evaluate his conclusion.
Michael was very much like the foxy Carmen.
* * *
In the evening, Merlin came into the hospital room where Liarte stayed.
John, the doctor, said, “Liarte overused her abilities greatly, so we need to keep an eye on her condition for the time being.”
“You’re still awake. Did the doctor make you uncomfortable?”
Liarte liked the way Merlin spoke very politely.
“John was nice to me. He was busy treating other people, so I didn’t have many chances to meet him.”
There were many people of power in Birce that Liarte didn’t know, apart from the Black Knights and the staff.
Most of them were walking around without making a sound or making their presence known.
And most of them were seriously injured and talked to John calmly.
“Oh, you saw the other personnel. The Birce family is larger than what is publicly known. It’s more like a small kingdom.”
“It’s amazing that it’s a Duchy.”
It was known that Birce revolved around its own system with little control from the Imperial Family.
So, it was more comparable to a kingdom.
“There are people from different fields working here. So there are a lot of accidents, making John and his staff busy.”
Merlin said and laid down several books casually.
It was an amount that would give an average person shaking arms.
“What are those?”
“I went and got some books since I thought it would be boring for you to stay in this hospital room.”
Merlin approached and laid Liarte down in the bed and covered her with a blanket over her chest.
And she sat on the chair next to the bed.
“I’ll read you a book.”
Merlin’s short hair and eyes of different colors reflected warmly in the light.
“Once upon a time, there lived a fairy.”
Liarte was too old to hear about fairies.
But Merlin liked to read, so she listened to the fairy tale.
“And that’s how the fairies lived happily ever after.”
The short fairy tale ended in a few minutes.
The composition was simple, but Liarte had never heard of it before.
Merlin smiled faintly as their eyes met.
“How was it?”
“It was fun.”
Liarte answered honestly.
“That’s a relief. It’s my favorite fairy tale.”
Merlin’s words made her think that she was right to listen to the fairy tale carefully.
“On the day I was rescued from the assassination guild, the Great Master bought me this book. That’s when I first read a fairy tale.”
Merlin, who was telling a story about Aaron, seemed to be a little jovial.
“I didn’t think I’d ever see the Great Master again. As such, both me and Andre are deeply grateful to you.”
Merlin bowed her head.
“Thank you very much. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve lost my Great Master in vain.”
The word “Great Master” rang in Liarte’s ears.
“Now, if you allow me, I would like to have you as my master. Even if you leave Birce, I want to follow you.”
It was the first request that Merlin, who always followed Liarte’s will, brought up.
“Do you mind if I stay by your side?”
“I’d be very happy if you’re by my side.”
“I don’t know if I’ll be a good master, but I’ll try.”
“Master, you don’t have to try. You’re already good enough for me.”
Merlin smiled lovingly at Liarte.
Whenever this happened, Liarte would feel both warm and ticklish.
“Thank you for your permission.”
Merlin said, as she put the fairy tale back on the pile of books.
It was the moment when Liarte became the real master of Merlin.
“If you have any books in here that you want, I’ll read them for you. Of course, you can sleep early.”
“Can I talk to you about something other than books?”
“If you don’t mind me not speaking formally, it’s fine.”
“It’s about Hans.”
Merlin, who had been shaken for a moment enough to be noticed by Liarte, calmly waited for the next words.
“Can you give me all the information you have on Hans? From the Black Powder to his latest actions.”
The fire in Birce before her regression continued to haunt Liarte.
* * *
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