Vincent was confused because Aria was very different from the rumors.
‘That indifferent look on her face, its similar to brothers…
He heard that children similar to Arias age should typically have a cute and lovely personality.
However, she was certainly not an ordinary child.
‘Why does she act like that
Aria treated him differently from the others, and it definitely wasnt an illusion.
“Then, what is your purpose”
[To protect someone.]
She answered without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Vincent was speechless.
Arias words were like a knights oath.
Then, she threw her cards into the fireplace, leaving no traces of their conversation.
When the time came, she vowed to use her abilities to protect that person at all costs.
* * *
Aria recently developed a small hobby.
She would tend to stroll around the garden while waiting for a letter from Sabina.
‘How long has it been
A few moments later, she saw a pigeon flying to her from a distance.
‘Finally, a letter! Aria enthusiastically thought as her expression brightened.
However, when the pigeon landed on her shoulder, the momentary happiness she felt suddenly disappeared.
‘Its… not a letter
Unfortunately, the letter didnt come.
There were days when Sabina would not send her letters but would instead send flowers to her and made the pigeon carry it on its mouth sometimes.
‘Could it be… Does she not have the energy to write letters anymore
Aria was worried because her health might be deteriorating.
She took the flowers from the pigeons mouth.
‘I think the massacre is going to happen soon.
Sabina hadnt been able to send as many flowers as she used to.
Furthermore, the flower she sent this time was almost… withered.
Then, as she was petting the pigeons head, it suddenly flew away.
‘What the That surprised me.
Aria turned around with a puzzled gaze, wondering as to why the pigeon ran away from her.
Consequently, she could see Lloyd and his jaguars walking around in the distance.
And as Aria found herself staring at them, so did the boy.
He soon frowned when she came to his line of sight, and as Aria noticed his look of irritation towards her, she thought to herself,Will he try to get rid of me again
Aria waited for Lloyd to approach her first as she stayed on high alert.
Unlike the owner, the two energetic jaguars immediately ran to her side without the slightest bit of hesitation.
‘Hello, my feline friends.
The black jaguars, or more commonly known asblack panthers.
The jaguars had black satin-like furs and eyes that seemed to be glowing like topaz.
‘The same color as Lloyds hair.
Aria reached out to stroke their heads.
But the jaguars just simply circled her while avoiding direct contact.
They were different from the wolves who instantly hugged her, wagging their tails, and even licked her as soon as she came nearby.
On the other hand, these jaguars avoided her like the plague.
‘Why would they approach me first then back away when I try to touch them
Aria withdrew her arm.
If she tried to touch them again, they would just keep avoiding her.
‘What should I do
Thus, she chose to leave them be.
Then, Lloyd walked over to them at a leisurely pace.
“A little bird told me that you have never used the princes authority.
The authority that I gave to you.”
“I will take back those rights.
You wont get the permission to have it anymore.”
At his words, Aria immediately nodded.
She didnt even want it in the first place.
Lloyd raised his eyebrows.
“Ha, I see.
So you want to be kicked out without having even a single penny.
Which means youd rather live on the streets instead of having a house to stay…” he scoffed.
But the moment he finished his words, Arias flailing arms accidentally touched the jaguars, and it resulted in her getting slapped by one of their paws.
She got hit.
Aria stared down at her wrist that was throbbing in pain.
It hurt more than she thought.
Fortunately, it missed the mark.
If it had hit the right spot, she would probably have more than just a sprained wrist.
Perhaps a broken bone or two…
Aria raised her head to look at Lloyd.
But when she held eye contact with him, she was shocked.
His expression was terrifying.
His eyebrows were furrowed, and she could even see veins popping out of his forehead.
Perhaps he looked like that because he was turning his back against the sun His face underneath the dark shadows was scarier than ever, and his eyes shone shrewdly in the dark.
“Are you mad Why would you even touch a beast…!” He yelled.
Afterward, he just sighed and facepalmed at himself.
“Give me your wrist,” he said.
Aria gently held out her hand.
She didnt even think twice that he might do something even worse to her.
Lloyd was exasperated by her attitude.
She was far too naive, careless, and weak.
He wanted to scold her for being so defenseless, but he decided to forget about it and just examine her sprained wrist first.
“Youre really good at pissing me off.”
Her hand wasnt broken, but it was definitely swollen.
If she had the blood of the Valentines, a minor injury like this wouldnt be a big problem.
However, Aria wasnt a Valentine.
Lloyd took out a dagger from his bosom, trimmed some branches from a tree, and made a splint from it.
He tore the edge of his shirt and wrapped it around Arias wrist.
‘First aid I mean… its not broken, so isnt this over the top I shouldnt be receiving treatment like this, Aria thought.
“Is that one of your tricks” Lloyd asked while winding the cloth carefully as if he was handling the most fragile bowl of glass.
Aria tilted her head.
“Getting sick or getting injured whenever I try to drive you away.”
—Why would I try to trick you
“Are you trying to trick me into making me care about you”
—You care about me
Lloyd fell into silence.
His expression was like that of someone who had just been caught in a mousetrap.
The boy then let go of Arias hand, shaking her off in embarrassment.
“…No,” he said before pointing his finger at the office as if to sayI dont want to talk to you anymore, so do the rest of the treatment yourself.
Her wrist was splinted shortly after being hit, so it didnt hurt as much as before.
‘The injury wasnt that serious, anyway.
“After its healed, you should really leave this time.”
Aria stared at Lloyd, amused.
“What are you thinking about”
He couldnt help but ask since he thought that she was thinking of something unpleasant.
She parted her lips.
—The jaguars are very similar to their owner.
“What does that mean”
—It is what it is.
However, Lloyd still did not understand the meaning behind her words.
He was a human, but he would probably look exactly like the jaguars if he were an animal.
Plus, even their attitudes were similar.
‘Indeed, the resemblance is truly uncanny.
Nonetheless, Aria shook her head at Lloyd as if telling him to just forget about it.
* * *
Aria started humming.
There were an endless amount of the Sirens songs, but they were primarily divided into seven categories.
She tried to sing them one after another.
The Song of Life, the Song of Peace, the Song of Charm, the Song of Sleep, the Song of Oblivion, the Song of Healing, and lastly, the Song of Destruction.
Aria could sing the other songs comfortably, even without training.
However, as soon as she arrived at the songs of healing and destruction, her throat would become hot and sore, as if it was burning like fire.
She didnt even have the chance to sing it properly.
Aria grabbed her chest, fell to the floor, and breathed quite roughly for a while.
‘Im not getting any better…
She had been taking good care of herself lately.
She ate a fair amount of food every meal and even had strolls around the garden from time to time.
Still, her body just couldnt handle singing those two songs!
It wasnt as if there was no progress at all, but the improvement of her singing had grown to the point where it would be embarrassing if she actually told people that her skills had improved at all.
‘But I have no other choice…
Aria did what she did in her previous life.
Practice, practice, and practice inside a locked room until her voice would become hoarse and cracked.
‘Because Ive already reached this level in my past life, I thought I could eventually achieve it again if I just practiced consistently.
Was the method really that bad
However, Aria only knew how to practice this way since she had never received an education from Count Cortez.
If she continued to practice like this, she hoped that she could sing those two songs someday.
‘When will that day come
In her previous life, she was just 14 years old when she reached the level.
She thought she could shorten the period by about two years if she practiced harder.
However, it was still too late.
‘Is there a more efficient way
A way to regain her old skills that only remained as a memory in a short period of time.
As she laid down and plunged deep into her thoughts, a string of light finally struck her mind.
She suddenly arose.
‘A magic barrier!
There must be a magic barrier in the Valentines Palace.
Aria recalled the barrier she saw at the entrance of the Ingo Mountains.
People that controlled the barrier were those with a high magical aptitude and had the ability to manipulate energy.
‘Each person is born with different types of energy, but the essence of it is the same at the end.
Wasnt the method similar
She didnt know if it was a wise decision.
‘But at least, its a more efficient method than mine.
Aria ran to the library straight away.
She was thinking of finding out the person who made the barrier at the entrance of the mountain range.
‘But what kind of energy do they have Its all so unfamiliar to me…
Aria was in deep thought.
The most popular energies in the Pineta Empire were thedivine power andmana, but there were a variety of other energies as well.
The minority races, like the Sirens as well, had different types of energy.
As Aria was pacing back and forth at the entrance of the library, being engrossed in her own thoughts, a man who was about to leave the library ran straight into her.
It was just a simple bump.
However, he yelled because he slipped some documents he held from his hands.
Aria rubbed her arm and stared at the fluttering papers.
The five senses of the Sirens werent just about hearing.
She caught all of the papers that flew in an instant.
And at that moment, her eyes became wide open when she saw the man who collided with her.