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* * *
‘It’s a curse or a spell.’
Considering what the Crown Prince had done so far, that answer came to her mind easily.
‘The problem was that I didn’t think about their Ancient Powers.’
The magic was lost.
Curses or Sorcery could be used, but at a cost.
Furthermore, it was very difficult to accurately use Ancient Power using only the records of the preceding users before them.
‘The Crown Prince has already used Ancient Power several times before.’
It meant that he already had considerable knowledge of Ancient Power.
Of course the power, like the curse in Michael’s eyes, will not be used for a while.
But she didn’t know if it was possible with very little power.
Especially if it’s something that sets the entire place on fire.
The question was how did the fire start?
Curses and Sorcery could only be done with a medium.
The letters and curses engraved on Michael’s eyes were done with a medium.
Michale noticed Liarte, who was still looking at the lake, looked strange.
“What are you thinking about?”
“I was thinking about what we talked about earlier.”
Carmen and Aaron were watching them, so they turned around.
Liarte leaned over and brought her hand to Michael’s ear and whispered carefully.
“I guessed how Hans would have started the fire.”
“Do you have the answer?”
Michael asked back with a calm smile.
“Maybe the Crown Prince used Ancient Power again. That’s what I think.”
“That’s great. I was just thinking about it.”
Michael whispered equally to Liarte’s ear. His low voice tickled her ears and gave her chills.
“I couldn’t find anything in Birce no matter how I looked for them, I thought it was related to an Ancient Power.”
Liarte raised her hand to cover her ears.
Michael slowly raised his hand as if he was embarrassed.
If you whisper to someone’s ear and it tickles them, you should open the distance between you two instead of just taking your hand off.
It wasn’t long before Michael realized that.
The soft feeling of her ear seemed to linger, and his ears were already red hot.
Liarte replied indifferently.
Dense forests and a lake surrounded them.
There was no Ancient Medium of Power that Hans might have installed.
Of course, since there’s no easy way to put a medium in a place where it’ll stand out in the first place.
‘Where did he hide them?’
A place where the people of Birce haven’t searched yet, or even if they did search, they didn’t find one.
She had to judge this situation with a cool head.
Carmen interrupted slyly.
“Would you like to take a look around here first? I’ll show you where the rat(Hans) wandered in.”
Michael stood next to her, who stood up with Carmen.
Aaron was sneaking after them.
There was no audible sound of his footsteps, but there was this big shadow.
The deep and shallow parts of the forest were divided by the lake.
“There’s no road across there. I don’t think even a spy would have gone in there. If they don’t want to die.”
Carmen pointed his finger in the direction of the Deep Forest and smiled creepily.
However, the strange expression on his face only lasted for a moment.
He looked back at Liarte again like a loving father.
“Is it forbidden to enter that part of the forest?”
“No, it’s the other way around, it’s accessible to anyone. No one’s guarding it.”
Long lines of gold shimmered in the distance.
If you look closely, you can see a string wrapped around the deep forest on the other side of the lake.
“I did mark the boundaries to the deep part of the forest with a gold ribbon. Don’t go in there, Lili.”
“Is it dangerous?”
Michael answered softly instead of Carmen.
“That part of the forest is very dangerous because the Powers of Birce are unleashed there. It’s relentless.”
“Do you mean the Power of Death?”
“Something similar to that.”
Carmen and Michael were restlessly fidgeting their hands by just seeing Liarte look in the deep part of the forest.
“You can’t go in there. Once you get in there, you won’t come back alive.”
It was common for the Awaken people to uncontrollably spill their powers when they entered that part of the forest.
In that case, the abilities released would go wild and cause disasters.
It was more common than she thought.
However, the ability released from the owner does not last long.
It’s going to disappear in a few days at most.
“Since when have Birce’s powers been released into that forest?”
Michael, who had been silent for a while, smiled broadly. His red eyes glistened brilliantly.
“Since a long time ago.”
Carmen tapped Liarte’s head twice.
“Anyway, so don’t mind that part of the forest, Lili. Don’t even go in. Everyone in Birce knows this.”
There was no chance Hans went into the deep part of the forest.(tl/n foreshadowing)
However, Liarte asked because she was wondering.
“Do you think I could go into that forest?”
Carmen sighed as he stared at Liarte, who looked up to him modestly.
“Yes, I don’t deny that possibility.”
Compared to Michael, who predicted this, Carmen’s heart sank because of what she asked.
“You don’t really hesitate to put yourself in danger.”
“Is that so?”
“Promise me that you won’t go into the deep part of the forest.”
“I’m not going in. I promise.”
If this was in the past, she would have regretted her life if she doesn’t go in. Or she could just accept Carmen’s concerns.
‘But it’s different now.’
Unlike before, when she didn’t think it would matter if she died. Before the thought of it could flow in her mind, Liarte’s steps stopped.
As Michael was walking, he stopped Liarte and then pointed to the lake and some other trees.
“He’s been reported to have stayed there.”
“An unusual place?”
“The watchman was moving from the blind spot to exchange with someone. So no one has seen him exactly.”
Immediately, Michael whispered again, as Carmen and Aaron could not hear.
“I listened to you and thought about where the spy stayed, Liarte.”
“How was it?”
“I couldn’t find any other common place to start a fire in. It was definitely the only place that could catch fire, but there are a few more places in Birce.”
“Does Hans even know of a more certain place?”
“So I think it’s weird. What’s the difference between the places he’s been in and the places he hasn’t been in?”
Michael’s words made Liarte think.
Then Carmen called her again.
Before she knew it, she was approaching the lake.
Awakeners naturally preferred substances related to their abilities.
Not as much as the sea, but the lake had a lot of water.
“Do you like the lake?”
Liarte said so without taking her eyes off the lake.
“Then how about you go in?”
They had a few more places to go to.
Carmen slyly suggested to the hesitant Liarte.
“Don’t you think it’ll be okay if you just dip your ankle in?”
“That’s okay, too.”
Even if her pink dress and shoes got wet, no one would blame her.
Carmen and Michael did not go into the water.
Liarte had her shoes neatly removed and turned around to the lake.
“Michael, you’re not going in?”
Her white and fine calves and feet were revealed.
Michael, who looked at her back as if he was entranced, came to his senses.
There was a lake in front of them.
“Shall I go in, too?”
Michael asked cautiously.
Carmen looked at him and looked at Aaron and shrugged his shoulders deftly.
Is it because Birce and Elheim are at odds?
The direct descendants of the Duchy of Birce did not like to go into big bodies of water for generations.
There was no problem with ponds and streams, but larger bodies of water such as the sea and lakes caused instinctive aversion.
“The water is so cool and refreshing. So I want you to go in with me, Michael.”
Michael was determined to overcome his lifetime of difficulties.
When he closed his eyes for a moment and opened them, he smiled brightly like a boy.
“Yes, I’ll go in, too.”
He stopped breathing as he watched the lake come like a small wave whenever the wind blew.
The water was clean because no one went in for a long time.
Even Liarte’s tiny feet, as she stepped on the black and white pebbles in the lakebed, were vividly visible.
“It’s cold, right?”
Unlike the air on the rather hot afternoon, the water touching her feet was refreshing and cool.
Michael was naturally happy because Liarte looked happy.
The tip of Liarte’s dress, which had not been fully submerged, was wet, but neither of them cared.
Liarte reached out and took control of some of the lake’s water.
A small butterfly made of water flew through the air.
“It’s a butterfly.”
“Does it look natural?”
It was moving naturally like a living creature.
“It looks natural. It’s really pretty.”
Michael’s eyes were fixed on Liarte.
“If you bring in more water, you can do this…..”
Liarte suddenly felt a sense of alienation as she was taking more control of the lake’s water.
‘This may be a clue.’
The water in a particular part of the lake did not seem to move properly.
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