* * *
* * *
Michael smiled softly, licking his lips.
He had an urge to bite Liarte’s tender flesh in his red eyes.
He twitched and clenched his slightly trembling fingers, clasping them languidly.
“Tell me, Liarte.”
He slid from Liarte’s wrist and kissed the palm of her hand softly.
He was pretending to be relaxed, but his sense of reason seemed to fly away at any moment.
Even though it was such a light contact. He wanted to swallow Liarte up because she was just so sweet.
He wanted to dig deeper into what Liarte was thinking at that moment.
‘Sea of fire.’
Michael realized that Liarte was trying to solve everything alone again after Aaron’s madness.
She knows information that even Birce did not know, despite being locked up all her life.
He never really paid much attention to that fact.
In any case, Michael and Birce have been helped by Liarte.
They were not that big of scoundrels to dig into the secrets of their benefactor.
However, he did not intend to make Liarte try to solve things alone, as she did with Aaron.
He was only informed of it the day that Liarte fainted in the rain.
He promised to protect her.
He won’t force Liarte to do that again.
At Michael’s sweet temptation, she opened up.
“Can you trust and follow me no matter what I say?”
“Of course. I’ll always trust and follow you.”
Warmth came from the hand that Michael was holding.
Liarte chose carefully what she wanted to say in her head.
She herself was unsure of the story of Birce becoming a sea of fire.
“I’m not sure. There is no guarantee that a fire will happen. But if Hans walked around the Birce Mansion, he would most likely have tried to set a fire.”
While staying in the treatment room, Liarte learned how secure the Duchy of Birce was.
There were Black Knights everywhere in the mansion, and people from Birce were always on standby, although not really visible.
In addition, everyone in Birce seemed to know of the assassination attempt. (on Aaron’s life.)
So, he would not have installed some ignition device that everyone knew about.
Even before her regression, there was an article about a fire that suddenly erupted from nowhere.
An unnoticed and undetected method.
“That’s why you said you were going to look around Birce by yourself.”
Michael reached out to the door on the first floor.
The sun was shining when they came out of the tower.
“Yes, I thought I might find clues if I went around by myself.”
“You’re right, Liarte.”
Looking from a bright place, Michael’s expression was completely in view.
With a gentle smile, trusting Liarte without a single shred of doubt.
“If you help us, we’ll find something we haven’t found yet.”
“You believe me.”
“There has never been a moment when I didn’t trust you.”
A shattering white light was shining on Michael.
He looked like a painting of an angel with a torch shining on it.
Liarte’s life after her regression started with Michael.
“I’m glad I met you, Michael.”
Liarte said as she walked through the Rose Garden while holding Michael’s hand.
Soon, they saw a forest outside the Rose Garden.
It was the place where they’ll meet up with Carmen and Aaron.
A wide road laid beneath the lush canopy and the end of the forest was out of sight.
“It’s bigger than I thought.” was Liarte’s review of the place.
“It’s unusual, isn’t it? Be careful, Liarte. There may be fallen leaves or stones on the ground.”
In fact, if Michael hadn’t told her about it, she would have stepped on a stone and broken her thin heels.
“Thank you for telling me.”
As soon as she spoke, she stumbled on a branch. And as she did so, Michael’s firm hand held her up.
“Are you okay?”
“Thank you for the support, Michael. I’m fine.”
As she leaned closer to Michael, she could see the size of the forest.
“The trees are bigger than I thought. This forest looks very deep, too.”
Even in the aristocracies, of course, forests existed.
However, it was the norm of most aristocracies not to have a large forest near the mansion.
This is because it can become a good hiding place for assassins that want to raid the mansion.
In fact, there was no large forest near the Duchy of Elheim.
“It’s strange, isn’t it? But there were a few things, like it wasn’t here in the beginning.”
Michael said it with an indistinct expression that Liarte could not read.
“Anyway, let’s go to the lake. Grandpa and Father are waiting.”
As they walked along the forest road, she saw a lake with a thin mist above it. The water’s surface shimmered in the morning sun.
Carmen, who was under the shade of a few trees, called to Liarte.
He usually wears black robes with decorations, but today, he was dressed lighter than usual.
Carmen smiled pleasantly and spoke softly to Liarte.
Under the shade was a pretty picnic blanket.
Aaron, who was guarding the big basket on top of it, raised his head.
Michael, Liarte, and Carmen sat down.
“It’s a good afternoon, Aaron.”
“It is, savior.”
Aaron replied with a look of great delight.
The escorts did not follow the four of them so that they could fully enjoy their day.
They could be hiding out of sight, but that’s understandable.
“So, Lili. you haven’t had lunch yet, have you?”
Carmen opened the large basket and took out different dishes and fruits with several small eggs.
Liarte repeated the name of the fruit.
When she learned painting, she read it in a book.
“They’re not in season, but they won’t be bad.”
It was hotter than they expected because it was the border between late spring and early summer.
‘I need to investigate this place.’
But Carmen and Aaron were so delighted. So Liarte decided to sit down for a while.
Michael naturally brought the grapes to her mouth.
Like a baby bird being fed, Liarte opened her mouth.
The juice poured out of the grape in her mouth.
“Is it good?”
“I don’t know.”
Liarte shook her head at Michael’s words. It was sour, but it was not bad.
A brief period of peaceful silence ensued.
The sunlight and cool breeze made you want to take a nap under the sun. Even Aaron was smiling softly today.
There was a lot of work to do to keep the peaceful break going.
Carmen said, as if he had read Liarte’s mind.
“Let’s start the investigation after we eat lunch, Lili. That way, you’ll have energy left until the afternoon.”
He then whispered to her.
“And whatever you are worried about, it’s good to regain your composure first. If you hurry, you might miss what you’re looking for. Take your time and think calmly.”
His red eyes curved fiercely.
It was as if he read Liarte’s thoughts.
She had to have the physical strength to go around.
And if she’s as nervous and weak as she is right now when she looks for clues, she might make a mistake.
“I’ll have lunch then please, Carmen.”
Liarte, who was about to stand up, sat down again on the wide picnic blanket.
Their lunch under the shade began.
Aaron cut the bread in half with elegant dining etiquette. Then he looked at Liarte and hesitated.
‘Does he mean for me to eat it?’
The piece of bread in his big hand shook slightly.
Liarte reached out carefully and took a small piece.
“Thank you for the food.”
The old man’s face brightened up in an instant.
How many people would still think of Aaron Birce as the person who tears his enemies apart like a demon when they see this image?
Carmen and Michael watched the two relaxedly.
As Aaron approached, Liarte, who was invisibly nervous, looked a little more relaxed.
Because of the relaxed atmosphere, Liarte was able to give him the candy she had brought.
“Do you want some?”
“If my savior gives me some……”
With a large body, Aaron received the candy as if he were ashamed.
A soft late spring breeze swept Liarte’s long hair.
It was long enough to come down to her waist, but it was black and shiny and very pretty. At least Michael thought so.
He unwittingly grabbed the tip of it with his hand and kissed it.
Carmen gasped at the fiery sight.
“Well, how manly and shameless.”
Carmen took his index finger to his lips and slapped Aaron.
Liarte, who was looking at the lake, looked back.
Michael, who was holding the tip of her hair gently, met her eyes.
“What are you doing, Michael?”
“I was holding your hair because it was blowing in the wind.”
Her hair is a dark color, fluttering in the wind like spring flowers.
Her eyes, shimmering bluer than the lake.
Michael’s friendly smile warmed the corners of her heart.
The good feeling turned into a roar, and later she thought that every time she saw Michael, he was dazzling.
The world she sees in Birce now was more beautiful than the outside she always saw through the prison grates back in Elheim.
Not only Michael, but also Carmen and Aaron were here with her.
‘I want to protect them.’
She wanted to keep this routine.
She will try not to let tragedy like the future come to Birce.
She won’t let the Crown Prince touch Michael and Aaron again.
‘Wait a minute.’
At that moment, Liarte realized how Hans was able to start the fire.
* * *
(e/n ohhh I think I got it too!! Any theories in the comments?)
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