* * *
* * *
“How did you know? Is there anything bothering you?” (M)
“No, it’s not that.”
Merlin had drawn a map and gathered the documents for Liarte so far.
“I like it.”
Even if you don’t know much about Birce, you can easily understand the structure of the Mansion on the map.
It was made only for Liarte.
“Thank you for making this, Merlin.”
The smile on Liarte’s lips was earnest.
Contrary to what Merlin thought, it was a happy response.
“I’ll cherish it and use it well.”
Merlin wondered why she never realized.
A spring-like change was coming to her too.
* * *
Carmen said they’d meet at around noon and have a late lunch together.
Michael, who came to pick Liarte up in the treatment room, called her name.
A new pink dress with an exposed neckline stood out.
Merlin left her seat, ignoring Michael, who was severely embarrassed.
Liarte’s thin neck, which had always been hidden, was sensational.
Michael felt the thirst that had been accumulated while he was with Liarte surge again.
He was thirsty and he had an urge to reach out.
“You look pretty today.”
He smiled brightly at her.
Her shoulder line, neckline, and her slightly prominent collarbone kept drawing him in.
There was a moment of insidious thought that he didn’t want to show her to anyone else.
He wanted Liarte to meet many people and gain many experiences.
The idea that he didn’t want to show her to other people was not the right thing to do.
‘Oh, I see.’
Michael was quick-witted, so he immediately recognized his feelings.
It was jealousy.
Just the thought of someone else realizing how lovely Liarte was and approaching her made his mind go cold.
Of course, Liarte liked only Michael.
“Let’s go, Michael.”
Naturally, the two held hands.
Perhaps Liarte also recognized Michael as the opposite sex.
It’s just that the depth of their emotions was different.
The complexity of the problem was not suited for Michael, so he erased his thoughts about it.
He was greedy.
It was a waste of time to guess Liarte’s feelings, which were not even clear.
As Michael laughed, Liarte looked at him and asked.
“Is there something good going on?”
“It’s because I’m happy to see you again today. I’m very happy to go on a picnic with you, Liarte.”
He answered with a sweet voice, and smiled gently at Liarte.
Liarte paused at that moment.
‘I think I was nervous just now.’
Her heart was pounding and beating faster than usual. It was a serious affliction of unknown origin.
The two went across the Rose Garden.
“Wherever you are on the property, you can always go directly to the Rose Garden.”
It’s a very unusual structure, Liarte thought.
Most aristocratic properties have the first garden in front of the main building where the direct descendants live, and small gardens everywhere else.
Birce, on the other hand, had only a large rose garden in the middle of the property.
“Isn’t it amazing? You can go to the garden from the tower or the Main Building.”
Michael pointed to a tower located next to the Rose Garden.
“That’s called the Rose Tower.”
It was a building that Liarte saw a lot from inside and outside of the garden.
Looking closely, Birce’s carrier pigeons were flying around the tower.
White, chubby cotton ball swarms huddled on the branches around the tower.
“It’s the legacy of the first generation Birce Family. It doesn’t have a special function, but it’s structure is strong, so it’s used as a work place.”
The antique-looking tower had three doors.
The closer she got to see how it was, the more she felt similar to seeing the Spirit Stone.
“There are three doors.”
“But one of them won’t open.”
Michael noticed that Liarte was interested, so he slowly guided her to the tower.
“The leftmost door leads to the basement, the middle door doesn’t open, and the right door leads to the top floor of the tower.”
As Liarte approached, she pushed and pulled the middle door slightly.
It didn’t open, as Michael said.
“Can I ask what’s in the basement and on the top floor?”
Michael’s voice dropped a little.
“Both aren’t great. There are prisons and torture chambers underground, and on the top floor are relics of the Ability of Death.”
At that moment, Liarte recalled Hans’ existence.
“Is Hans underground?”
“It’s cruel, but he’s underground. Andre is torturing Hans himself.”
Michael then asked strangely.
“Do you wanna see Hans?”
“I think I do.”
The fire incident before her regression didn’t leave Liarte’s mind.
“It’s your wish, so I’ll follow it, Liarte.”
Michael pushed the left door open.
She could see stairs leading down and darkness.
A smell of blood seemed to come from the basement.
But Liarte held Michael’s hand and continued without hesitation.
As they went down, they could see a large space.
“This is the basement of Birce. Hans is in the torture chamber.”
The sound of two people’s footsteps reverberated through the basement space.
Liarte stared at the basement wall.
‘It looks similar to the First Owner’s room in Elheim.’
It was understandable because both must have been built in the era of the first Family Owners.
As they went deeper, they heard intermittent groans from somewhere.
“Huh, Young Master? Young Lady?”
Andre, who was walking their way, opened his cat-like eyes widely.
“What are you doing here?”
“Why did you leave your post?”
“I didn’t leave, exactly. Walter’s standing in my place now, Young Master.”
Andre, who was startled at the sight of Michael, defended himself as best as he could.
“You’re here not doing what Walter asked you to do?”
Andre shook his hand in surprise.
“There was an unavoidable situation. I’m telling you; Hans’ condition is weird right now.”
“How is it weird?”
Andre, who seemed to be worried, explained to Liarte.
“Since this morning, he’s been smiling and repeating the word ‘today’. Even if we torture him about what’s happening today, he won’t open his mouth.”
“Did he finally go crazy?”
Michael pulled on his lips softly.
Andre deliberately stood closer in Liarte’s direction.
“It’s not that I failed to adjust the intensity of the torture. He’s been crazy and mad all of a sudden since this morning.” (A)
“You’ll find out if you check it out yourself.” (still A)
Michael ignored Andre, who was close to tears, and went into the torture chamber.
Fortunately, Aaron and Carmen did not seem to have used their abilities (on Hans) much.
Hans was tied up and still looked his age. (e/n guessing death ability makes people age fast until they die if much power is used)
His simple face was distorted in blood.
“Today. It’s today! It’s finally today!”
Hans muttered quickly.
“Ah, Young Master.” (W)
Walter, who was guarding Hans next to him, pretended to just notice the Master that he had not seen in a while.
“Did you get anything out of him?”
“I didn’t find what Andre also couldn’t find. Though I do hate the word ‘today’.”
Hans glared at Michael as soon as he saw him.
“You’re all done now. If he’s ordered it, it’s already done, hehehehehe.”
“Do you want to say it’s going to be a sea of fire in here?”
The calm words of Liarte were nothing but a mere simple question.
Of course, in the event of a fire, if Liarte knew about it beforehand it would look suspicious.
But she was sure that the people of Birce would believe in her.
“What are you talking about?”
Hans’ eyes were suddenly bloodshot.
Then, he lowered his head and murmured something. But it was hard to understand since his pronunciation was suppressed.
‘His eyes changed when he heard the word ‘fire’ just now.’
Liarte was convinced.
Aaron died before her regression.
She thought it was likely because he died at Carmen’s hands because of the madness, but he might have died because of the fire.
A news article about the flames that never went out came to mind.
Now she completely understands why Birce, before her regression, hated Elheim and the Imperial Family.
‘I don’t want to see Birce get ruined like what happened in the future.’
Suddenly, Hans murmured.
“Did you say midnight? Why? What happened? Your Majesty said it?”
This remark filled her mind clearly.
Does it mean that there will be a fire in Birce at midnight today?
She wasn’t sure yet.
“Let’s go, Michael.”
“Did you check everything you wanted to check?”
“I’ve done enough.”
Liarte looked up at Michael.
“Now let’s go to Carmen and Aaron.”
Perhaps this incident is different from the fire that she remembers.
But she wanted to prevent this incident as much as possible.
‘Can I stop this?’
It had to be stopped.
There’s still some time left until midnight.
They have to look carefully at the places Hans has been wandering around at.
Michael left the torture chamber and gave Walter a look.
Hans responded to the word ‘fire’, so he is meant to find out any details about it.
Michael stopped when they arrived at the stairs of the ground floor.
“Liarte, I believe everything you say, so you don’t have to suffer alone.”
Michael gently pulled Liarte’s hand.
His warm lips touched the skin of her wrist.
“I do not know what you are worried about, but I’ll help you. Whatever it is.”
Her wrist felt like it was burning.
Unlike before her regression, Michael is here and is willing to help.
“So, tell me. What are you worried about? I’ll be by your side.”
The reason for the kiss on her wrist was a possessive desire.
* * *
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