Author: alyalia

“Thank you.”

 

Cersinia smiled softly at him.

 

She was able to move forward because Ben always supported her. Nothing was worth more than his affection and trust in her. They become a strong shield for her. No matter what happened or what she did, he always looked at her the same way and stayed by her side.

 

“Tell the knights to keep out from the main street and put out the fire.”

 

She began to move in earnest. Ben followed her instruction and approached the knights.

 

Ben approached the soldiers according to her instructions.

 

“Here, no, surpass it from there first!”

 

The knight commander was in a hurry due to the flames that were spreading more and more. The movement of the knights was also confused by their commander’s reserved instructions.

 

“Extinguish the fire in the outskirts,” Ben instructed the knight commander.

 

“But we must extinguish the main street first, so other flames can be extinguished.”

 

The knight commander didn’t hide his displeasure towards the Grand Duke, who arbitrarily intervened with his authority.

 

“So, have you succeeded in extinguishing the fire now?”

 

The knight commander’s eyebrows distorted at the stinging remark. There were countless excuses to refute, but his opponent was the Grand Duke and the Emperor’s nephew.

 

“Put your troops on the outskirts. We will be in charge of the main street.”

 

“Your Excellency will do that?”

 

“Looks like you still have leisure time doubting my words.”

 

Ben sent a cold stare to the knight commander, who doubted his words. He strengthened the way he held the handle of his sword.

 

“No…it’s not like that. We will move.”

 

Seeing him gripping his sword, the knight commander was startled. He quickly greeted him, who radiated a cold aura that made his spine shiver, and then led the knights to the outskirts.

 

All the troops had already gone to the outskirts, and Cersinia stood in front of the main street. The burning flames engulfed everything soaring high as if an active volcano had erupted.

 

* * *

 

Verne was alone at the evacuation site, where a few barracks made of only thin tents were spread out. She bit her nails out of nervousness. She was worried about Cersinia and May, who ran in a hurry, so she couldn’t hear the murmur around her. Even when everyone gathered in the shelter looked at one place in unison, Verne only stared blankly into the air.

 

‘Should I chase May now even though it was late?’

 

‘What if I become a burden to Lady Cersinia?’

 

She couldn’t help but be timid.

 

They went out together because of her wish. But they couldn’t return to the Grand Duchy and were trapped in this situation. Cersinia already said it was not her fault, but Verne had no choice but to blame herself.

 

‘If it wasn’t for me, we would have stayed in the Grand Duchy safely.’

 

Verne no longer wanted to be a burden to Cersinia. Even when she was trapped in a warehouse, she was causing trouble for Cersinia, who was like her benefactor.

 

‘What if Lady Cersinia doesn’t like me…’

 

The corner of her eyes filled with water. She was weak and didn’t want to cry over this, but tears already welled up in her eyes, and her nose was teary.

 

For Verne, Cersinia was a special existence. Cersinia was the first person on her side in the Grand Duchy and the lifesaver who saved her life. However, that alone was not enough to explain Cersinia.

 

Verne’s feelings for Cersinia were admiration and respect. And now it stayed somewhere near affection. Verne knew it was called friendship. The person who can be called her friend for the first time in her life. That’s why it was even harder for Verne to endure the thought that Cersinia would hate her.

 

“Verne.”

 

Before she knew it, she heard a voice breaking the quiet silence. Verne hurriedly turned to the familiar voice.

 

“Y-Your Highness?”

 

Limapheus is already standing in front of Verne. She didn’t even notice that he had come because she was immersed in thought. Everyone at the evacuation site bowed their heads toward him, except for Verne.

 

“I’m glad you’re okay.”

 

Limapheus’s hand caressed Verne’s cheek.

 

“How did Your Highness get here…”

 

How could the Crown Prince personally come to this dangerous situation? If he ever got hurt, that would be a national emergency.

 

“This place is too dangerous. Your Highness has to go back now.”

 

Verne hurriedly looked around. Fortunately, since this place was the evacuation site, it was quite far from the dangerous flames.

 

“Yes, I have to go back. With you.”

 

Limapheus held Verne’s hand without hesitation.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

“Y-Your highness!”

 

Verne, who was being led by Limapheus, shouted hastily even though she knew that she was now being disrespectful toward the Crown Prince.

 

“Verne, what’s wrong?”

 

Limapheus was puzzled by her unusual behavior.

 

“Lady Cersinia and May are still here…”

 

After a brief hesitation, Verne opened her mouth. She couldn’t run away to live alone.

 

“Please bring them back with you too…”

 

With a desperate face, Verne begged.

 

“Did the Grand Duke not come?”

 

Limapheus asked as if he was really curious. He thought the Grand Duke would definitely come as long as something happened that involved Cersinia.  

 

“Grand Duke? I don’t think I’ve seen him.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

It was strange, but Limapheus passed it lightly and continued.

 

“Where are they now?”

 

“That way!”

 

At the positive reply, Verne was relieved and promptly guided him.

 

* * *

 

“Will it be okay?”

 

May, who followed Cersinia, gulped down her saliva as she saw the flames in front of her. No matter how powerful Cersinia’s power is, it is hard to believe she can extinguish the flames by herself. Even May herself couldn’t imagine it. 

 

“I’m going to try it.”

 

The same was true of Cersinia. The flames she encountered up close were scarier, fiercer, and bigger than she expected. However, she had to extinguish the main street’s flames to extinguish the rest of the area.

 

“Huu…”

 

Cersinia turned her shoulders to relax her stiff body due to tension. She wasn’t nervous about whether she could extinguish the flames that showed no sign of extinguishing. She was anxious about whether ‘she’ would wake up when she absorbed the flames.

 

‘There’s really no answer whether ‘she’ would wake up or not…’

 

Cersinia clenched her first tightly. It was dangerous, but this was the only way to put out the flames right now.

 

‘If I control it well, there will be no problem.’

 

It was a decision she made for herself. So, she will never regret it. Because that was the only way for everyone.

 

Her eyes were burned with determination.

 

“Cersinia.”

 

Ben, who returned from relocating the troops, stood next to Cersinia. He clasped his hand with her hand.

 

“I’ll be by your side.”

 

Those were really reassuring words to the point that the tension she felt disappeared a while ago as if it didn’t exist in the first place.

 

“Me too!” May shouted as if she couldn’t lose.

 

At that sight, a smile was drawn on Cersinia’s face. She should never fail for these people.

 

Cersinia strengthened her heart and stepped towards the flames. Ben and May remained silent as she requested them to stay a little away from her. They were ready to run, helping Cersinia when she asked for it.

 

“Huu…”

 

With a brief deep breath, Cersinia raised her hand. Even if she couldn’t absorb all the flames, if the flames were suppressed more than half of them, it was also a success. As her palms headed toward the flames, the flames that had been raging began to swirl. The raging flames roared and scorched her eardrums. Red flames like bright ruby spun around and soared into the sky.

 

“…”

 

Everyone’s faces turned red. They all looked at the flames rising into the sky with bewildered faces. Like a dragon ascended to heaven, a huge pillar of fire broke through the sky with strong wind on its back and instantly swept everything. The flames swirled like a tornado. Its power and size were powerful and enormous enough to be seen by anyone living in that Empire. It was even visible from the Imperial Palace.

 

“Oh God…”

 

The knees of the people watching the scene were loosened helplessly. They were helpless humans who couldn’t do anything in front of the pillar of fire that seemed to destroy everything.

 

“This is a disaster…”

 

People thought a catastrophe had arrived. This Empire will become the land abandoned by God. They couldn’t even think of it as a vortex created by one person’s power which humans couldn’t have. Deep-rooted despair took root in their hearts.

 

Those who ran away from the flames, those who cried for help, and those who trampled teach others to survive. Looking at the chaos engulfing the whole Empire, their faces overlaid with despair as if they had witnessed something before their death.

 

In the middle of the Empire, flames from the pillar of fire rising upright like a huge and magnificent barrier fluttered everywhere. One fortunate thing was that there was no damage as the sparks that fell became ash and disappeared before reaching the ground.

 

“That’s…”

 

Upon arriving at where the incident occurred, Limapheus raised his eyes in surprise. A scene he had never seen before in his life was unfolding before his eyes.

 

A silent silence struck down the Empire. Everyone had no choice but to hold their breath and helplessly look at the disaster ahead except for one person, Cersinia.

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