Author: alyalia

The woman standing in front of the house had just collapsed and was stamping her feet.

 

“My child is lying underneath! Please, please help my child!”

 

Everyone looked at the collapsed house. The remnants of the house, made of wood completely collapsed beyond recognition, were piled up to the height of the adult’s waist. It was piled up; even a space to enter became firewood and fuel to grow the flames.

 

“Please save my child!”

 

Despite the woman’s desperate request, no one was willing to step forward. Even the knights turned a blind eye to the woman. Digging up the building that would soon turn to ashes and saving a child would be suicidal.

 

“Huhu, please! Please, please help me… Aargh!”

 

When no one helped, the woman began to clean up the remnants on her own. However, there was no way for her to be able to touch the hot remnants of the fire.

 

“No… Please, someone… Huhuhu…”

 

With desperate tears, the woman wailed. Everyone just sympathized with the woman with sad eyes.

 

Cersinia, watching the situation from afar, hardened her heart. The woman who begged to save her child now was the woman who saved her earlier. The woman was yelling at her to get herself together. She couldn’t turn a blind eye to the woman’s despair. Because she knew better than anyone else the feeling of being isolated and alone without anyone helping you.

 

“Listen to me.”

 

She opened her mouth to May and Verne, who had shrinked. 

 

“According to the instructions of the knights, evacuate yourself to a safe place.”

 

“Yes? What about Cersinia?”

 

“I will follow soon. So you guys go first.”

 

“N-No, let’s go together!”

 

May hurriedly grabbed Cersinia’s arm as if she noticed something that made her feel uneasy.

 

“You go first. I’ll be right behind you.”

 

Cersinia forcibly removed May’s hand.

 

“Sir Knight, please take care of them.”

 

“I can’t. My duty is to be the escort knight of Lady Cersinia.”

 

Cersinia opened her mouth, looking at the knight who said those words firmly.

 

“I have the power to protect my body. So please stay with them. This is not a request, but an order.”

 

Leaving those words, Cersinia ran toward the woman without looking back. The knight couldn’t readily follow her order. But the order for the future Grand Duchess was like the order from his Master.

 

“I’ll take you to the evacuation site.”

 

The knight intended to quickly take them to the evacuation site first and continue his escort duty.

 

“I will follow Cersinia!”

 

When May tried to chase Cersinia, Verne hurriedly caught her.

 

“May… Lady Cersinia will come back soon. So, let’s wait and pray for her to be safe.”

 

Verne was also anxious that something might go wrong with Cersinia. However, she will only be a burden if she follows Cersinia.

 

“Verne, you go to the evacuation site first. I’m going to follow her!”

 

“May!”

 

May escaped Verne’s hand and chased Cersinia. She wanted to be next to Cersinia this time. When Cersinia was imprisoned and almost burned at stake from false accusations, she herself had done nothing. She was helpless, and all she could do was cry. It rested on her mind the whole time and tormented her countless times. That’s why this time she will be next to Cersinia.

 

May ran to Cersinia, ignoring Verne’s voice calling her from behind.

 

* * *

 

Cersinia, who approached the woman sitting on the floor, slowly reached out. Her warm hands wrapped around the woman’s shoulder.

 

“Stay back. I will save your child.”

 

The woman raised her teary face.

 

“Huhu… re-really?”

 

“Yes, so stay back. You might get hurt.”

 

“I-I will help you too!”

 

Cersinia shook her head as she looked at the woman trying to step up.

 

“It’ll be over soon.”

 

She helped the woman, who had lost her strength, take a few steps back from the collapsed house.

 

“It’s impossible to do it alone… I tried to do it, but…”

 

The woman’s palm was crushed by the burn she had just suffered while trying to clear up the remnants.

 

“Wait a little bit.”

 

Cersinia smiled softly as if to reassure her, then walked forward again. A merciless fire blazed before her eyes.

 

“Huu…”

 

Cersinia took a deep breath. The eyes of the buzzing people were on her. Her heart was pounding at the pressure and fear. Cersinia tried not to care about the eyes around her, but her mouth dried up due to the tension. 

 

It was the first time she used her power in a place where many people were watching. Even those who drove her to be called a witch had never seen her use her power by themselves.

 

The first time is always scary. Especially since you can’t predict what the outcome will be. If she rescued the child, she kept drawing in her mind how those who saw her power contorted their face with disgust and fear, just like the villager who waited for her to be burned in the square.

 

Cersinia frowned at it.

 

‘No, it’ll be okay. Everything will be okay.’

 

Let’s not jump to conclusions that haven’t happened yet.

 

She hypnotized herself to calm herself down. Her slightly trembling hand reached out slowly toward the flames. The child’s life would be at risk if she delayed further. There was no confidence whether the child would be still alive among the remnants and ashes. However, the child’s parents still want at least to find its body.

 

Cersinia’s palm stretched toward the flames.

 

Hwiing.

 

The flames blazing fiercely with the momentum soaring to the end of the sky began to spin like a tornado.

 

“Wh-What is that…!”

 

“Run away!”

 

Those who saw the bizarre scene were shocked and screamed. Spinning in a spiral shape, the flame tornado splashed small sparks around it and rushed toward Cersinia without hesitation.

 

“Uaaarggh! It’s a monster!”

 

“Sa-Save me!”

 

Cersinia was calm, but the people making a fuss at sight couldn’t be like here. The blazing tornado, accompanied by a strong gust of wind, rushed toward Cersinia’s palm. The flames that would never be extinguished at that moment turned into red heat.

 

“Gasp…!”

 

Everyone held their breath in the strange phenomenon. Soon after, the red heat was sucked into Cersinia’s palm. Cersinia, who had swallowed up the flames that had devoured the remnants, immediately stretched her hand out to the sky. The heat, which she absorbed, blew out into the sky.

 

“…”

 

“…”

 

The whole world was as quiet as if someone was pouring cold water. No one could talk carelessly. It was an unbelievable sight even when they saw it with their own eyes. The scene unfolding was so shocking that they didn’t even know what to say.

 

Cersinia neatly absorbed the flames and began to lift the remnants without hesitation. She dug through the woods that had become black charcoal and found the child. Her hands turned black from the ashes.

 

When the remnants were removed, she found a shelf that maintained its original shape. The shelf was turned over and lying on the ground. Fortunately, the flames didn’t spread this far due to the remnants piled high on the shelf.

 

‘Perhaps?”

 

Cersinia knocked on the shelf. A few seconds later,

 

Knock, knock.

 

A knocking sound could be heard below the fallen shelf. Without hesitation, she lifted a shelf the size of her height. Then she found the child curled up, hiding below the shelf.

 

“M-om…”

 

The child, who had only cried out for her other like a parrot, slowly raised her head when the suffocating and scary darkness disappeared. The trembling child’s eyes and Cersinia’s eyes collided into the air.

 

“Let’s go. To your mom.”

 

Cersinia reached out to the child. The memory of being hit by stone returned to her, but she had once again gathered her courage.

 

“Uhuheuheung!”

 

The child looked alternately at the stretched hand, and Cersinia’s face then cried and hugged her. She was startled by the child who suddenly hugged her, but she quickly hugged the child. The small, soft arms wrapped around her neck. As if the child never wants to let her go.

 

“Shh. It’s okay.”

 

She patted the child on the back. The child’s thick drops of tears fell nonstop over her shoulder.

 

“Heuk…hung.”

 

“I’ll take you to your mom.”

 

The child’s warmth in her arms also permeated to her chest. Cersinia’s eyes were filled with touching emotions. She slowly moved her steps towards the child’s mother.

 

Those who hadn’t been able to run away faltered and made way as Cersinia walked. The child’s mother, who was slumped on the ground, lifted her body like a possessed person.

 

“Mom…!”

 

When the child saw her mother’s face, she struggled in Cercinia’s arms.

 

“Emily!”’

 

As Cersinia put the child to the ground, the child ran to her mother immediately.

 

“Uhuhung, mom!”

 

“Emily!”

 

The woman lowered her posture and held her child preciously in her arms. The child wailed in her mother’s arms. People nearby sniffed at the mother-daughter reunion.

 

The woman, hugging her child for a long time, walked in front of Cersinia.

 

“Thank you. Thank you so much.”

 

The woman bowed and said grateful words to Cersinia.

 

“How should I repay this favor…”

 

“It’s nothing as long as the child is okay.”

 

She didn’t do this in hoping for any reward.

 

“Thank you… thank you so much. Emily, you should say thank you to this sister.”

 

“Thank…you.”

 

The mother and daughter’s words were sincere. Only endless gratitude reflected in their eyes even though they had just seen her power.

 

Cersinia turned around with a soft smile on her face.

 

A sincere thank you. That was enough for her. And everything will be fine. Because it was the first time Cersinia received grateful words from the other. 

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