Ever since she realized her feelings for Roel, there had been one problem that was plaguing Nora—if they were to really get together, they were likely to be in a long-distance relationship.
She was extremely busy with her responsibilities as the Theocracy’s princess and her work over at the Knight Orders. This resulted in her frequently being stuck at either the Holy Capital or the Knight Orders. On the other hand, Roel, as the successor of the Ascart House, had to stay in the Ascart Fiefdom.
A very obvious problem arose from this.
The wise sages of the past had once said ‘those who kill should be prepared to be killed’, and Nora believed that this idiom could be extended toward thievery too. She was well aware that she was attempting to steal Roel from Alicia’s side, and this realization made her even warier of others attempting to do the same. Furthermore…
Nora shot a look at Roel’s face, which was further accentuated by the perfect lighting created by the pair of wings behind him, and her heart started beating faster and faster. Roel had the kind of face that would attract unnecessary attention from the opposite sex, and the fact that he had an unbelievably adorable adopted sister by his side only worsened her situation.
She would have to be a fool to put down her guard in such a situation!
Knowing that you have to guard against a thief is the easy part, the hard part is figuring how you should go about doing that.
Even with Nora’s confidence, she didn’t think that she could send out sparks telepathically from a long distance away. Her solution came unexpectedly from Crown’s Bestowment.
She couldn’t care less about the latter two spells, but the first spell brought a twinkle to her eyes. Just a slight switch in perspective, and the spell Roel was the least concerned with turned out to be the one she was the most fond of.
Through the first effect of Crown’s Bestowment, she would be able to project a hologram and meet Roel once every 7 days. Factoring in that she could drop by Ascart Manor whenever she was traveling between the Holy Capital and the Knight Orders, there was a good chance that she could meet him five times in a month!
Five times! That was way more than the frequency of their meetings over the past few months! As the future empress, Nora’s marriage was bound to have rippling effects throughout the Theocracy, which meant that her engagement and marriage had to be carefully planned out in order to avoid any instability. It was likely to take several years before she could officially propose to Roel.
In other words, she just had to make sure to keep a close eye on him for the next few years.
These thoughts only widened the smile on Little Miss Angel’s face.
She looked at Roel, who was clearly feeling deeply moved about this matter, and she couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about it… though her guilt was overshadowed by her surging excitement and desires.
This sure is… Ahh, that expression of deep trust, carrying not a sliver of doubt toward me at all. He’s an adorable little pet that I just can’t help but want to bully.
Nora’s face swiftly flushed red. She knew that she couldn’t pull Roel into her embrace in front of so many eyes, so she could only do her best to control herself. It was fortunate that the uproar occurring in the hall had deafened out her slightly heavy breathing, so Roel wasn’t able to sense the anomaly in her condition.
“Look at the two of them! There are wings of light on their backs!”
“O’ great Sia, what’s going on here?”
Two little angels, who had unfurled their wings of light, were emanating pure white sparks that looked reminiscent of little fireflies. This supernatural scene made everyone present realize that they were witnessing an incredible sight that could very well go down in history!
The crowds trembled in excitement as they tried to fathom what was going on. Some of those who enjoyed drama even speculated that Roel might be an illegitimate child of the royal family.
In the first row of the crowd, Marquess Carter, looking at Ascendwing, could already pretty much figure out what was going on. However, before he could think of a way to relay the information to the crowd, Holy Eminence John had already stood up and begun spouting nonsense.
“Everyone, this is a blessing from Sia!”
Those words left Carter utterly dumbfounded. He quickly turned to the front of the hall, only to see that Roel was equally stunned too.
John showed none of the discomposure that someone who just spouted a huge lie before more than a thousand people should have. Instead, he maintained a ‘holier than thou’ expression as he pointed to the two children standing at the forefront of the hall and declared powerfully.
“This is a gift from Sia. The great Goddess of Creation has acknowledged their vows and blessed them! She’s decreeing for us to look after these two children, so that they won’t lose their innocence and purity.”
Holy Eminence John’s interpretation of the phenomenon had stirred a huge commotion. The devout believers of the Genesis Goddess Church immediately kneeled upon the floor and bowed down in reverence. The teenage girls witnessing this romantic moment began to scream in excitement. It was truly a huge mess. Everyone’s emotions were running wild.
Carter stared at the chaos happening all around in bewilderment. In the end, he could only attribute it to John making use of this phenomenon to further raise the prestige of the church. He shot a glance at the silver-haired girl beside him, who had been staring at Nora wordlessly ever since entering the venue, and he found himself sighing deeply once more.
Had it been anyone else spouting such nonsense, Carter would have surely stood up to refute those words for Alicia, but this was Holy Eminence John they were talking about here, the emperor of the Saint Mesit Theocracy!
There were also others present who could tell that it was utter nonsense too, but none dared to challenge his statement.
I’m sorry, Alicia. We can only swallow this down.
Carter shook his head as he made up his mind to lend a helping hand to Alicia in the future to equal the playing field. There was nothing they could do here—they were on the enemy’s turf, after all. However, things would be different once they returned to the Ascart Fiefdom.
No matter how formidable Nora may be, she couldn’t possibly chase Roel all the way back to his home, right?
Carter chuckled wryly to himself before turning his gaze back to the forefront of the hall. By then, the rite had come to an end, and the holy sound of church music began to play. With the majority of the crowd still immersed in the phenomenon that had occurred earlier, the atmosphere in the church crescendoed to a new peak under the influence of the music.
Holy Eminence John personally walked up to the front of the hall to lead the two children down. The servants quickly rushed forward to fix the roof. Carter and Alicia stepped forward to receive Roel. The muddle-headed Kane also finally snapped out of his daze to head in front to check on his daughter’s condition too.
And following right behind him was the excited, swarming crowd.
What came afterward was a grueling period for Roel. For the first time in his life, he got to experience what it was like to be viewed as an auspicious omen that everyone just wanted a touch of.
“Young master Roel, I am the vice chancellor of the Holy Capital’s Tax Bureau, George. May I shake hands with you?”
“Me too! Please shake hands with me as well. I’m the vice chief of the Internal Security Division, Sanders.”
“Hey, don’t cut queue!”
The crowd rushed forward to form two long queues that stretched like coiling dragons in order to greet the two stars of the show as soon as the ceremony ended. The nobles and officials, who were well-versed in etiquette, would have never done something as ungracious and impolite as queuing up, for the act of queuing was equivalent to urging those ahead of themselves to hurry up. The nobles’ way was to find an opportunity after the one ahead of them had finished their greeting to elegantly step in and take their position.
However, manners were the least of everyone’s concern at the moment.
The Holy Eminence himself had mentioned that this was a blessing from Sia, a divine omen from the Goddess of Creation herself!
Similar to how people queued up in front of temples right before the new year, fearing that their blessings would be lessened the longer they strayed from the auspicious timing, Roel’s wings of light were also slowly dimming at a visible rate as well. They knew that they would regret it for life if they missed the opportunity to share the auspicious omen if they allowed their manners and etiquette to hold them back!
Despite the countless pairs of hands that wanted to get a touch of him, Roel was surprisingly able to maintain perfect manners. Not only so, he even made sure to take care of everyone present to the best of his abilities. His kindness and magnanimity touched all of the guests present.
Humble, well-mannered, magnanimous, and amicable, it’s no wonder why Sia would offer her blessings to him. This is truly a wonderful child!
This was what the adults were thinking, and their feelings were properly relayed to Roel too.
(Affection Points +50!)
(Affection Points +100!)
(Affection Points + 70!)…
Yes yes, everyone will get a share of it! No worries!
Roel placated the agitated crowd as he gazed upon the brilliant field of lush green before him in wonderment. He felt like a satisfied farmer harvesting all of the beautiful crops before him.
As expected of nobles, they sure are generous with their affection! Ahh, this is so much better than what I harvested last autumn!
Roel happily shook hand after hand, treating everyone with equal earnestness. His gracious attitude made some of the lower-ranking officials and nobles feel deeply moved, resulting in their heads sprouting with green again and again. The inflow of Affection Points was so great that Roel wondered if he should try shaking legs with them as well!
On the other hand, Nora had it much easier. Her royal body disallowed men from approaching her carelessly, and even the noblewomen dared not overstep their boundaries too.
“Your Highness, may I have the honor of shaking hands with you?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Thank you, really thank you! I’ll pray for both your happiness!”
After shaking Nora’s hands, the noblewoman offered her blessings before leaving with a fulfilled smile. The well wishes made Nora’s face turn red, and she turned away to look at the still hard-at-work Roel. She couldn’t help but wonder why the black-haired boy was so enthusiastic about this.
Checking out Roel was one thing, but the bulk of her attention was still centered on the crowd. With just a quick glance, she could already identify quite a few young women with blushing faces standing in the queue.
Hmph, I knew it. There are indeed those who are trying to take advantage of this situation to get to him. Daughters of nobles and officials, huh? It matters not, they pose no threat to me at all.
Nora could clearly see the looks of infatuation on the faces of those young women, but that hardly fazed her at all. That was because she knew that it was impossible for them to succeed. Their parents wouldn’t even allow them to get close to Roel, especially not when the Xeclydes were their direct superiors.
The ones she had to be wary of were nobles that weren’t directly subordinate to the royal court. Those that had a fief of their own weren’t as vulnerable nor as dependent on the royal family, so it wouldn’t be as easy for the Xeclydes to assert pressure on them. On the contrary, they might even get a thrill out of ‘getting together with the man favored by the princess’.
As much as the circle of nobility despised women who seduced powerful, attached men, there were still many who took pride from it as it indirectly affirmed their charms. This was a culture that had been plaguing the circle of nobility for a long, long time.
Still, Nora was quite confident in herself. Be it in terms of figure, appearance, strength, or background, there were only a select few who could stand on equal grounds with her. How much of a coincidence would it take for them to fancy Roel as well?
Nora thought about this while chatting and shaking hands with the noblewomen, and gradually, she found her mood lightening considerably. It was then that she suddenly found herself faced with someone she hadn’t expected to meet in the queue.
It was a silver-haired, crimson-eyed girl who looked almost as if she had walked out of a fairy tale. With her usual cold expression, she walked up to Nora with light footsteps. A slight commotion could be heard from those gathered around.
“Which house is she from?”
The sight of this girl caused Nora’s smile to gradually fade as she uttered a name that could have been a greeting or just a subconscious whim.