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    The painting was of a dragon sitting alone in a vast forest. The gloominess of the surrounding background seemed to represent the dragon’s emotionless expressions, as if waiting desperately for someone.  

    “Where does it start from?”  

    As Liev took a step and moved towards the next picture to check, it seemed to be the next part. The season in the surrounding forest had changed. So maybe the direction starts over there. Liev and Renard’s eyes simultaneously turned in the direction where the hallway began.  

    “Should we slowly check from over there?”  

    “Yeah.”  

    They walked back to the first picture and checked its content. It depicted the moment a girl with brown hair was born. The following painting showed the girl walking on the lake’s shore and being rescued by the dragon when she fell into the lake. There was no written explanation, so they could only make a rough guess at the story.  

    A long time ago, a very precious daughter was born to a Lord and his wife. The girl was loved by her family, but at a young age, she almost drowned in the lake. The couple prayed that if the girl was saved, they would offer her as a bride to the dragon, who was a long-standing legend in the forest. The great dragon, Lindgren, saved the girl, and when she became an adult, she promised to marry the dragon.  

    “Isn’t this… a bit dangerous?”  

    The age gap is… Liev thought for a moment from a modern perspective, wondering how much of a thief Lindgren was. He then realized that he wasn’t much different. Of course, if he sees it as his age resetting when he died and came back to life, the age difference isn’t that big. However, he couldn’t confidently say that he was in a better position, as he had also woken up as a child and was taking care of Renard.  

    Liev cleared his throat and continued to check the contents.  

    When the girl who has come of age becomes an adult, she falls in love with a dragon. It would be nice if everything ended happily, but unfortunately, the war in the neighboring country starts to affect the atmosphere in the girl’s town. It becomes a difficult time, with the noble families postponing their extravagant weddings and the girl getting older and older.  

    After the long war finally ends, the dragon, who has aged, proposes to his long-time fiancé. However, the girl, who has already passed the age of marriage, disappears. The dragon retreats to the forest, then curls up his huge body like a giant rock and falls into a deep sleep. Years and decades pass, and the once-young girl finally appears in front of the dragon as an old woman. The dragon wakes up from his long sleep when he sees the girl, now as hard as a stone. This is how the story ends.  

    “…..”  

    As they looked at the picture, both Renard and Liev remained silent. In the twenty-odd frames, the girl grew from a child to an adult and from an adult to an old woman, while the dragon remained unchanged. The contrast between the two species was so clear that it suddenly felt like a reality, something they had never thought about before.  

    “It’s natural, now that I think about it.”  

    Liev, who was already over twenty-five years old. Although he still looked young, he had long lost the youthful look of his teenage years. Liev himself had the aged expression of an old man, and compared to Renard, he definitely looked older.  

    Renard’s human appearance would never change again. He could change into a much older or younger form if he wanted, but he would not age or grow old naturally. On the other hand, Liev would continue to age according to the natural flow of time.  

    It wasn’t Liev, but Renard, who would have to face the fact that he would eventually be left alone. After all, Renard would have to live the rest of his life without a partner.  

    “……”  

    Renard still didn’t say anything, as if he were also thinking the same thing. In the tense atmosphere, just as they were hesitating on how to make a move, a cheerful voice rang out from behind them, sounding like something they had heard before.  

    “What you’re looking at is a painting of our ancestor’s legend.”  

    Then, with a click, they pulled a lever, and a mechanism started to work. With a creaking and grinding sound, the windows near the ceiling revealed themselves. The midday sun poured in, illuminating the hallway. As the surroundings brightened, Margaret’s face stiffened as she realized she wasn’t alone with Renard but with Liev as well.  

    “Lord Lindgren and Lady Marianne truly loved each other. Lord Lindgren stayed in this castle for a long time, even after Marianne left this world.”  

    “If you have any more questions, I’ll be glad to answer them.”  

    Perhaps because the legend of the dragon was well-known or because it was a region that used it as a tourist attraction, Margret seemed to have a deep respect for the dragon she had never met. If she wanted Renard’s attention, this kind of attitude would only backfire. Liev thought this absentmindedly but didn’t stop the girl. Renard’s reaction was exactly as expected.  

    “No need. I’m not curious at all.”  

    Just like yesterday, the girl flinched again, as if surprised by his extremely cold attitude, taking a few steps back without realizing it. It couldn’t be helped. Although Renard’s body was not as muscular as an athlete’s, his height alone made it hard to tell if he was human or not.  

    In addition, his sharp features and expressionless face gave off an intimidating aura, despite his beauty.  

    Of course, he’s always laughing like a fool in front of me. 

    This was a side of Renard that only Liev knew. Liev chuckled at the thought of a young Renard shouting, “I love Liev so much!” without realizing it.  

    “But if you need something…”  

    The girl persisted, but Renard’s attitude didn’t change.  

    “Don’t bother me and mind your own business. Do you have that much free time?”  

    It seems like he really wanted to tell her to go away, but it seemed like he was holding back because he was in front of Liev. Liev felt sorry for the girl who kept trying to persuade Renard, but the more she tried, the more it seemed to provoke him. He felt sorry for Margret, but she also didn’t want to make things worse by intervening.  

    “That, that…” 

    The girl blushed bright red, feeling embarrassed that all her efforts had been cruelly trampled on. Her expression was, how should I say, not like a young child who was sad after being betrayed by the person she had admired but rather like a cornered animal? It made my heart ache to see her looking so desperate.  

    “Since we’ve seen it all, let’s go, Liev.”  

    Either way, Renard ignored the girl who was about to burst into tears and pulled Liev towards the other side of the hallway.  

    “Hmm…”  

    Even as he was being dragged by Renard’s arm, Liev’s mind was filled with various uncomfortable thoughts. After Margret was no longer in sight, Liev carefully spoke up.  

    “Hey.”  

    “Yes?”  

    “I was just thinking about the painting earlier.”  

    “Oh?”  

    Why couldn’t he bring himself to say what he wanted to say? Liev sighed inwardly and asked,  

    “I’m human, so I’ll continue to age in the future. What will you do when I get older?”  

    It wasn’t a question asked with any particular expectation. He was just curious. In the future, it would become more difficult to accompany him on missions like that, and he would probably only be able to hold him back. Renard furrowed his brow as if to ask why he was thinking such useless thoughts and looked at Liev.  

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