Sears had first met Beiryl at the age of 7.
“It has been a while, Marquis.”
“I know right. How long has it been?”
The head of the Onyx family was an old friend of Marquis Bell, so they had occasional meetings.
Sears remembered seeing him once, but the head of the Onyx family never brought his child along.
However, that day was different.
The Onyx family’s head brought Beiryl along and introduced him to the Marquis family.
“It has been a while, Beiryl.”
“Long time no see, Marquis.”
The Marquis and Beiryl seemed to know each other.
Sears looked at Beiryl, who was 10 years older than her.
Although younger than her brother, it was still a distant age to her.
At that time, Beiryl was a kind boy.
“Go and play together.”
At the grown-ups’ words, Beiryl went with Sears and walked around the garden.
Sears’s childhood appearance was similar to Sarah, but she wasn’t as shy.
“Oppa, look at this!”
“Haha. Sears, what is that?”
Despite Sears’ pranks and mistakes, Beiryl always smiled.
Even though he was bothered by the 10 year age gap, Beiryl loved Sears like a younger sister.
One year passed, and then another.
The two grew close.
Sears followed Beiryl more than her own brothers.
Of course, because of the distance between the estates, they couldn’t see each other so often.
Still, Sears wanted to meet Beiryl as soon as possible.
Soon, the carriage of Onyx arrived.
“I have no face to show.”
The head of the Onyx family didn’t have a good expression.
“I told you not to. How many times have I told you that it is dangerous?”
“We had no other choice. I couldn’t stand the insults to my family.”
The adults were having a serious exchange.
Sears was a smart kid, so she looked at Beiryl.
Beiryl had a dark expression as well, but he tried to smile and laugh in front of her.
Another 3 years passed.
The Onyx family collapsed.
Competing for the gold mines with the neighbouring estates, the situation turned into trouble.
From the outset, everyone plotted to destroy the Onyx family.
To devour that state which was ruled by Onyx.
The boy bowed his head.
Marquis Bell had held a funeral for his father.
Beiryl had begun to change from then.
It was around that time that his obsession with Sears began.
Another four years passed.
Beiryl only swung his sword.
The only distraction he allowed himself besides the sword, was Sears.
Besides, Sears would soon have her coming-of-age ceremony.
Marquis Bell was seriously considering marrying Sears to him.
The problem was that the Marquis didn’t know.
He didn’t know that Beiryl’s obsession had gone beyond the line to the extent that Sears became scared of him.
Around that time, the head of the Welton family, newly crowned as Count, visited Apton.
“I am Argeno Welton, who will lead the Welton family from now on by following the footsteps of my father.”
“Haha! So the child, called the genius with swords, had grown up like this?”
At that time, Count Welton had multiple conversations with the Marquis.
And he happened to meet Sears by chance.
The two never talked to each other, but they ended up realizing that they were destined for each other.
They started meeting each other while Count Welton stayed in Apton.
To the extent where the Marquis had to call Sears separately and talk to her.
“What do you think about Beiryl? You seem to be getting close to Count Welton.”
“…father. I can’t see brother Beiryl as nothing more than a brother.”
She and Beiryl have been like family, but his attitude has changed over the past few years.
As the years passed, the obsession grew stronger.
She caught him several times stalking her. He even tried to commit murder out of jealously once, because she was with another man.
Sears was afraid.
The kind and caring Beiryl was nowhere to be found.
And the current Beiryl was a monster who went crazier with each day.
She never mentioned that to the Marquis, because she didn’t want to hurt the man who lost his family, nor her father, who grew attached to him.
Sears left, and the Marquis fell into thought.
If she went with the Onyx family, then she would be with someone he knew, but she decided to marry Welton, one of the leading swordsmen.
More than anything, his daughter wanted Count Welton.
Marquis made his decision.
Beiryl knew it too.
“Sears! Let’s talk!”
“Brother, why are you doing this!”
Beiryl’s radical behaviour.
Sears was bewildered. She saw nothing in his eyes.
“Didn’t you like me? I only had you!”
“Brother, you tried to cage me. You tried to keep me all to yourself! How can I like someone like that?”
She wasn’t wrong, but Beiryl turned angry.
Unable to bear it, he tried to slap Sears.
At that moment, Count Welton, who happened to pass by them, stopped him.
“Get out of my way!”
Enraged, Beiryl pushed Count Welton away, but it wasn’t easy to defeat a Sword Master.
Beiryl couldn’t believe this.
He heard that the Count was called a sword genius from a young age. He didn’t know what Count Welton was like, but Beiryl was confident in his skills.
Above all, since the incident which happened 5 years ago, he has been swinging his sword every day.
Beiryl groaned and challenged Coun Welton to a duel.
“I ask for a duel.”
“I accept it.”
Sears tried to stop him, but Count Welton reassured her that it would be fine.
At that sight, Beiryl turned more and more into a monster.
On the day of the duel. In front of Marquis bell, two Sword Masters crossed their swords.
It was a rainy day.
The next day, Beiryl disappeared from Apton.
Marquis Bell knew where he was going, but he didn’t tell his daughter.
Two years have passed since then.
Count Welton turned into a full-fledged Sword Master and married Sears.
And at the same time, news spread about Beiryl.
He became a full-fledged Sword Master too, and avenged the three families who wiped out the Onyx family.
Only bad news came after that.
“And this is the first time we meet after that.”
Sears finished the story.
She smiled and patted Jamie’s head.
“You must have been curious about it?”
Jamie smiled instead of answering.
However, unlike the smile, he was shocked.
‘This kind of relationship?’
So that was why Beiryl had a bitter expression on his face.
Thinking about it now, that expression seemed to be of a sinner seeking atonement. But Jamie wasn’t sure.
Apart from that, he actually didn’t expect Sears to tell him about it in such detail.
Since he was still young, he thought she would cut the story short.
‘He lost to my father.’
They duelled before they became Sword Masters.
Count Welton won the duel.
Hearing that, he thought that his father was cool. On the other hand, he felt bad for Beiryl.
Because there was no salvation for him.
‘It is all karma.’
The things he did to Sears were unforgivable.
Since he entered the path of madness, there was no way it would have been a proper duel.
“Any more questions?”
“No. this is all.”
Saying that, Sears sipped her tea and looked at a distant mountain.
The person who was so close was now distant, anyone would be upset.
But she never said it out loud.
A moment of silence.
On the grass, Sarah and Venna were playing.
Venna shook her head not liking it, but the squirrel couldn’t speak, so she endured it.
-Master! Soil! Soil! I can’t eat soil and dirt!
Round lump of soil.
How did Sarah make it round?
“Sarah. That isn’t an edible thing, right?”
At Jamie’s question, Sarah blinked her eyes and looked at her brother.
Then she looked at the lump of dirt in her hand.
“Can’t eat this?”
“… throw it away.”
Sarah pondered for a moment, and then threw it away.
“My younger sister is so good.”
“Jamie is turning into a good brother?”
“I-I have always been a good brother.”
As Jamie coughed up in embarrassment, Venna thanked him.
-Thank you, Master!
For Venna to thank him, she must have been scared as hell.
Jamie looked sadly at Venna and then looked back at his mother.
“Something else you want to ask?”
“What is Mirinae Forest?”
“How did my son come to know that?”
“The aide told me not to go there because it was dangerous.”
Sears narrowed her eyes and asked Jamie.
“Did you go outside?”
“Then why would the aide say that?”
“Ju-just out of caution. Hahaha.”
Despite that excuse, Sears didn’t buy it.
“Don’t even think of going out alone, okay? No matter how talented a magician you are, you are still a child, and you can never know where the danger is lurking. Do you get it?”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“More than that, that forest. I haven’t heard its name in a long time.”
Sears knew about it.
Thinking for a moment, she suddenly stood up and hugged Jamie.
She pointed to a place full of trees.
“I see it.”
“That is the Mirinae forest.”
Closer than he thought.
He didn’t think that it would be just ahead.
“Is it dangerous?”
“Jamie, do you know of the 6 banned places of the word?”
“I read about that somewhere in a book.”
“Beyond that is the forbidden area, the Ariazad Great Forest. No, let me rephrase it. Mirinae is a part of Ariazad.”
Ariazad Great Forest.
One of the 6 banned places.
It was infested with dangerous monsters, but fortunately, the monsters never came out of the forest.
Because of the monsters in it, the place was never invaded. Thus, humans were ignorant of what was inside it.
In the past, a team led by a Sword Master was sent, but only the Sword Master barely managed to come back alive.
“Mirinae is a part of that great forest, but weaker monsters who can’t survive in the forest, sometimes head over to Mirinae.”
That was why it was called the ‘loser’s realm’.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Jamie smiled and nodded, making Sears feel relieved.
“My son is a good boy, so I guess he will listen to his mother.”
Not a chance.
He definitely planned on going there.
‘Because the dark forest that Pyro spoke of is right here.’
She said Jamie had to go in there and solve the problems of Apton.
Jamie got out of Sears’ arms and looked at the Mirinae forest.
‘I should head there tonight.’
As he was about to turn around, he suddenly remembered the place written in Canon’s diary.
“Huh? What did you say?”
“Look at her.”
Sears looked at Sarah.
Jamie gulped and looked at the forest.
‘It couldn’t be.’
Garmon was said to be northwest of the Mayatrey mountains.
‘Then. Is Gamron…’
The 6th banned place?
However, entering Ariazad with his current skills was suicide.
‘For now, I will focus on what I can do.’
Just knowing the location of Garmon was an achievement.
The corners of his lips curled into a smile.
As he felt like he took a step closer to his goal.
And the night came.
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