After Laura finished speaking, the surroundings became restless.
Some ladies turned pale, perhaps imagining their hands getting burned by fire.
Warren stood silently with a dark expression.
“Is that true, Lord Warren? If what the Archduchess says is true, won’t it be impossible to obtain feathers even if the phoenix hatches from the egg?”
Edward spoke up, looking down at the ground lost in thought, Warren slowly raised his head.
“Archduchess, how did you feel when you held the phoenix egg earlier?”
“It was cold.”
At her words, Warren faintly smiled.
“You felt it well. The phoenix hatching from the egg will also be cold. So you don’t have to worry about your hands getting burned.”
Laura was taken aback by Warren’s response.
“As expected of the talented wizard of Phaede. I would love to see the phoenix hatch from the egg.”
“At that time, please invite me as well.”
Warren looked briefly at Duke Tormaite with an embarrassed expression.
“As it is a difficult task, outsiders will not be allowed to enter. Please understand.”
Duke Tormaite politely declined with a gentle attitude.
“My thoughts were short. Of course, I should understand.”
Laura stepped back from the phoenix egg.
“Honey, shall we go see another phoenix?”
Laura raised her hand on Killian’s arm.
Fortunately, he followed without a word.
Soon, people began to scatter in all directions to find a phoenix that might be real.
After a while, Laura, who was wandering around the banquet hall, stopped and burst out laughing.
Laura turned her head to look at what they claimed was the phoenix egg.
The area around the table was still crowded with people watching, and Duke Tormaite and Warren were answering their questions.
“No matter how you look at it, it’s poop.”
Laura raised the corners of her mouth coldly.
“What did you just say?”
She suddenly heard a voice from above her head.
Killian was staring down at Laura, who was laughing out loud.
Oops, she forgot that she was with her husband.
“Yes? What did I say?”
Laura blinked deliberately and put on an innocent expression. She planned to play dumb.
“You said it was poop.”
Oh no, he heard it correctly.
Despite the noise around him, he could hear what she was saying all along.
“What do you mean by poop?”
At Laura’s gesture, Killian turned around and checked the phoenix egg.
“Are you saying that egg is poop?”
“I meant that it might be poop.”
“The size and color… It looks like poop, doesn’t it? It’s just my opinion.”
It’s technically phoenix poop.
‘Warren, I’m sorry, but what you found is half right and half wrong.’
The poop is associated with the phoenix, but it’s impossible to find feathers in poop.
As soon as Laura saw the phoenix poop, she recognized it.
She had seen that kind of poop many times when she was a wizard.
She was also fooled many times when she was looking for phoenix feathers.
At one point, she traded with hunters from the Mago Kingdom.
The phoenix was a legendary bird that came down to the Mago Kingdom.
The Mago Kingdom was famous for its rugged canyons, with cliffs that seemed to have been cut and deep valleys that once you stepped in, could never escape, threatening the lives of outsiders.
Was it really an environment where the legendary phoenix could survive?
But as Laura was tied to the Phaede Kingdom, she could not explore the Mago Kingdom to find the phoenix.
In the end, after much thought, she asked the most notorious hunter in the area to catch the phoenix for her instead.
Among the things that hunter caught as a phoenix was the ‘poop’ they just saw.
The hunter’s name was Oracle.
Before coming here, Laura summoned a familiar to find him.
‘The sooner we find Oracle, the sooner we can get the phoenix feathers.’
By now, Oracle would be wandering around the canyon looking for a phoenix.
Or maybe he heard that she had died and gave up looking for a phoenix.
Either way, she could find out what he was doing through the familiar.
Lost in thought, Laura looked up.
She heard a flapping sound somewhere.
It was certainly a sound that only she could hear.
Laura raised her head.
At that moment, a transparent creature flew through the window curtains and into the banquet hall.
“Why is that?”
Laura unknowingly exclaimed.
In disbelief, she rubbed her eyes and checked again.
Meanwhile, the familiar gently fluttered its long wings and landed softly on the chandelier.
There was no doubt that it was her familiar.
“Why is this familiar, which should be flying diligently towards the Mago Kingdom by now, here?”
It seemed impossible for the summon to have completed its mission and returned already.
After all, the distance between the Empire and the Mago Kingdom was very far, taking more than a month to travel.
But it came back in less than half a day?
Narrowing her eyes, Laura stared at the familiar.
Unconsciously, she tightly gripped Killian’s arm.
Killian briefly glanced at her arm before tilting his head and looking at her. Soon, he followed her gaze and looked up at the ceiling.
There, only a splendid chandelier was hanging.
“Wife, what are you looking at?”
“Shh, just a moment.”
Laura hurriedly brought her index finger to her lips.
The familiar sitting on the chandelier remained motionless. But its gaze was fixed on a particular spot.
Laura turned her head in that direction.
There were many people coming and going, admiring the phoenix.
“Look, it’s a phoenix that breathes fire! The only phoenix in the world!”
“Is it poop or a gem? You have to taste it to know. This is the real deal. Ugh, frustrating.”
“Come on, look at this color. Don’t the red feathers look like they’re burning like fire? The phoenix is a bird of fire! This bird is truly a phoenix!”
Merchants who owned the phoenixes were enthusiastically selling their goods to the nobles.
As people shifted their positions to get a better view, a small gap appeared.
Through that gap, Laura saw a person.
“Why is that person there?”
It was someone she never expected to meet in this place.
Laura looked up at her familiar perched on the chandelier once again.
The familiar continued to stare at one spot without blinking.
Laura closed her eyes and borrowed the eyes of her familiar.
As expected, the person the familiar was staring at was the man Laura had just discovered.
She was quite surprised that she couldn’t help but laugh.
“You seem to be in a good mood.”
Killian looked at her with a strange expression.
“Yes, I think I might find an unexpected treasure.”
“We’ll also participate in the auction.”
“To buy a fake phoenix?”
“There’s no need to assume it’s already fake. We might be lucky enough to buy the real one, right?”
Laura walked through the crowd of people.
People wandered around the banquet hall to see if there was a phoenix they liked. They also shared various impressions among themselves.
“I think that’s a phoenix.”
One person pointed to a bird spewing fire.
Every time the bird flapped its wings on the stand, red flames burst in all directions.
Because of that, onlookers had to scream and move away.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this phoenix will soon be engulfed in flames. This is your only chance to get your hands on the real thing! You won’t be able to see a phoenix again after today.”
The merchant promoted his phoenix while sweating.
When he snapped his fingers near the bird’s body, flames that had been attached only to the wings moved to its body.
The bird screamed in agony.
“Wow, it’s a real phoenix!”
Some of them sniffed as if they were smelling something in the air.
“It smells like something’s burning. Is the chef grilling quails?”
Laura looked up at the bird jumping up and down on the stand instead of passing by them.
That’s when it happened.
“Alright, let’s start the auction now. We’ll start from 1 dilo!”
The merchant shouted.
One dilo, the imperial currency, was worth as much as a small gold coin.
People who were interested in the fire-spewing bird participated in the auction.
“Excellent choice! It’s sold for 3 dilo! Do we have 4 dilo? 4 dilo?”
“5 dilo! Shall we go higher? Do we have 7 dilo?”
“Wow, 20 dilo! Do we have more?”
The excited merchant scanned the nobles who participated in the auction with his eyes wide open.
While Laura was watching them, Killian asked her.
“Aren’t you participating, Wife?”
“Aren’t you here because you’re interested?”
It seemed like Killian thought she would participate in the auction without leaving her seat.
“I’m thinking about what to do.”
He tilted his head as if he was curious.
“I might die if I keep doing this.”
The merchant was a swindler.
He was deceiving people’s eyes by learning magic that didn’t work anywhere.
The phoenix he brought was just an ordinary bird.
The bird was about to be roasted by the fire the merchant had made.
So Laura thought of a way to save the bird. But she couldn’t risk raising any suspicion.
Then she saw a servant carrying a large tray passing by. The tray was filled with glass cups full of water.
The servant skillfully slipped through the crowd like an acrobat without spilling a single drop of water.
It happened when the servant passed by the bird spewing fire.
Suddenly, the servant wavered and lost his balance.
The tray placed on the palm of his hand wobbled.
The glass cups slid off the tilted tray.
The servant shouted and grabbed the falling tray.
But it was already too late.
The glass cups floated in the air, and the water inside them splashed in all directions.
With a loud crash, the glass cups fell to the marble floor and shattered into pieces.
People stumbled and dodged the pouring water and glass fragments.
Amidst the confusion and chaos, someone shouted,
“The Phoenix’s fire is out! What happened?”
At the sound of the shout, people’s attention turned towards the fire-spewing bird.
The bird, soaked in water, blinked its eyes and sat quietly on the perch.
The fire that had been attached to the bird’s body and wings went out, and smoke rose up.
“What, what happened….”
The merchant stared at the bird with a bewildered expression.
“How could this happen? It just received a simple water baptism. Is it possible for the phoenix’s fire to go out?”
“It’s definitely a fake!”
Angry voices flew around everywhere.
“Everyone, please calm down… This is, well….”
The merchant, who was rolling his eyes and trying to make excuses, quickly left his seat when he felt that the atmosphere was not good.
As the merchant ran away, people who lost interest also left one by one.
“Tsk tsk, how pitiful is a person who runs away leaving behind a helpless bird.”
Laura approached the bird that was left alone.
The bird cried pitifully.
“You’re a good bird. Just hold on a little longer.”
Laura gently stroked the bird’s chest feathers.