LTBE: Chapter 116: The Second Ability

Roel was also stunned when Nora stretched her hand out to him and told him not to kneel.

It was normal for nobles not to kneel before the royal family in this world. You could think of the royal family as being more like the biggest noble house in the country, the leader of the circle of nobility. They were, by no means, the masters of the nobles, so the nobles didn’t have to lower themselves and act too deferentially in the presence of royalty.

Ceremonies, however, were an exception to the rule. In such a setting, the act of kneeling was more or less just heeding ancient traditions that had been passed down through the ages.

“You need not kneel.”

Roel raised his head upon hearing those words, and he found himself met with Nora’s sentimental eyes. He hesitated for a moment before rising to stand steadily upon his two feet, straightening his back. As he stood back up, the disturbance from the crowd crescendoed to a peak.

“What’s going on? Why did he stand up once more?”

“Her Highness asked him to stand up.”

“Is that true? What’s going on here?”

Such a sight had never happened before, so it was understandable why the guests were taken aback, possibly distraught even. Some said that this conferment was different from the usual, whereas some said that the royal family had changed the conventions. There were even some who went to the extent of speculating that Nora was intending to turn this into a wedding ceremony at the very last moment.

The crowd was shocked by the scene, but little did they know that the ones who were truly shaken were the royal family and the officials working to facilitate the ceremony. In the first row of the spectator stand, Prince Kane frowned upon seeing Nora messing around with the ceremony. He turned to the person beside him, Holy Eminence John, and asked.

“Father, isn’t what Nora is doing right now inappropriate?”

“Inappropriate? How so?”

The white-haired old man blinked his eyes innocently, as if he couldn’t understand what his son was driving at. Prince Kane glanced at the spectacle in front of him and remarked.

“It’s an extremely disrespectful breach of the ancestors’ conventions. With established formalities now breached, it’ll be hard to proceed with the ceremony.”

John slowly turned his eyes to look at his own son, allowing the disdain he felt to show fully on his face.

To hell with your established formalities. Can’t you tell that your daughter is currently flirting with the boy she likes? That’s the goal of holding this protector ceremony in the first place, but you can’t even tell that much? Back in those days, I, John Xeclyde, was known as the Saint Mesit’s Romance Sage, yet how in the world did I have a blockhead of a son like you? Thank god my granddaughter takes after me instead of you!

“I finally understand why a prince like you needed me to choose a wife for you back then.”

“Ah? Why are you talking about this all of a sudden?”

The abrupt jab from his father left Kane feeling a little dumbfounded, and John couldn’t be bothered to explain it to him either. The old man looked at Nora as he nodded slightly to express his support. Following that, he turned to the rites official handling the ceremony and said.

“If I recall correctly, the alliance ceremony doesn’t require the conferred to kneel. Let’s go with that then.”

Nora heard John’s instruction and heaved a sigh of relief. On the other hand, looking at the massive commotion occurring all around, Roel couldn’t help but ask her.

“You don’t have a plan in mind for this?”

“You can say so. I changed my mind in the spur of the moment,” replied Nora with a chuckle.

She was seemingly surprised by her own whimsical action too.

“I don’t mind if I just have to kneel down for a moment.”

“I’d be more than happy if you choose to kneel to me when we’re all alone, but let’s spare that for now since we have an audience. I’m not interested in having the person I like worship me.”

The overly forceful straight ball smashed right through the windows of Roel’s heart, making it thump wildly. Even his composed breathing was nearly messed up. Looking intently at Nora, who had placed the Saint King’s Blade to the side under the orders of the rites official, he felt an inexplicable sensation tickling his heart.

“Your Highness, an alliance ceremony needs to be solemnized by a token. Would Ascendwing be appropriate for you?”

“Yes, that’s a good idea. Let’s proceed with that.”

Nora agreed with the suggestion of the rites official. Ascendwing was bathed with both of their blood, and it provided the impetus for the two of them to tighten their bond. There was indeed no token more appropriate than this for the ceremony.

After the brief commotion, the hall returned to an anticipatory silence. Under everyone’s eyes, Nora raised a white feather-shaped short sword and infused her mana into it. A brilliant light shone from the relic and embraced the two of them.

Holy weapons contained a will of their own, and it was instinctual for them to protect their masters. With both of Ascendwing’s masters present at the scene, it began trembling excitedly, almost like a child standing before its parents. It pulsated with an air of holiness, as if it had a life of its own, casting a halo of divinity around the Saint Seshur Hall that made it look reminiscent of the heavenly plane.

Gasps of astonishment could be heard amongst the crowd.

Holy Eminence John exchanged gazes with Prince Kane as they felt their bloodline power reacting to the waves of holiness sweeping past their bodies. This bizarre feeling clearly wasn’t a normal reaction from Ascendwing.

The one who felt this reaction the most, however, was Nora herself. She felt her own body heating up in response to the sword in her hand, and a feeling of euphoria gripped her soul. Looking at the black-haired boy standing before her, she recalled all of the experiences they had been through together, and her truest sentiments manifested in the form of a vow.

“I, Nora Xeclyde, shall represent the Xeclydes in fulfilling the ancient promise by ensuring the safety of the offspring of the Ascart House.

“Roel Ascart, I shall protect and care for you. I shall become your guardian. Until you come of age, any acts of aggression directed toward you will be viewed as an act to undermine the authority and honor of the Xeclydes.

“I’m willing to follow the footsteps of my predecessors to carry out this ancient promise. Are you willing to accept my grace?”

These were the words Nora uttered under the radiance of the holy light. A glimmer twinkled in her sapphire eyes as she looked at Roel with unprecedented tenderness. It left Roel taken aback for a moment, but he quickly recovered right after.

“I, Roel Ascart, shall represent the Ascarts as the beneficiary of the ancient promise and accept the grace of the Xeclydes.

“During the course of this promise, I’ll do my best to cooperate with my guardian. I shall trust and rely on her to tide through difficult times together.”

As Roel spoke his vow, the confusion had already vanished from his golden pupils. Nora’s lips inched upward in satisfaction upon hearing his words, and she reached out to entrust Ascendwing into his hands. To their astonishment, in the moment that both of their hands were in contact with Ascendwing, a resounding trill echoed from the holy weapon.

Both Roel and Nora widened their eyes together as they felt an astounding amount of power flowing into their bodies through their arms.

A pillar of holy light shrouding the two of them as it rose all the way to the tall ceiling of the hall, which stood several meters above them. Screams echoed from the crowd, but the surroundings didn’t descend into chaos. This was because nothing fell from the sky.

The condensation of magic power pierced all the way to the clouds, reducing everything standing in its way to dust. This outburst of power lasted for ten frightening seconds, alarming all the transcendents present.

Holy Eminence John, Prince Kane, Carter, and everyone else could sense an ancient yet pure aura coming from the power. This was the power of the Twelve Wings, a set of artifacts originating from the Second Epoch.

After the ten seconds were up, everything dissipated into sparks of light that rained down from the sky, filling the hall. What appeared before everyone’s eyes were two saints standing face-to-face on both sides of Ascendwing.

Both the golden-haired girl and the black-haired boy had wings behind their backs. These wings of light should have been an exclusive domain of those who carried the Angel’s Bloodline, yet it was appearing on the back of a non-Xeclyde.

“How could this be possible?” exclaimed Prince Kane in astonishment as he rose to his feet.

Holy Eminence John also widened his eyes at the sight too. He moved his gaze downward toward the short sword the two of them were holding in their hands.

At the front of the hall, Roel and Nora opened their eyes simultaneously and immediately noticed this mystical phenomenon occurring to them.

“Roel, your back!”

“I feel it too. This is…”

Is this the new ability of Ascendwing?

Roel could clearly feel something extending out from his back, but it felt almost intangible, somewhat like a phantom limb. He turned to his System and found that there were indeed some updates about Ascendwing.

【Interlaced Wings
The fusion of bloodlines induces an exchange of gifts. Just like how wings only work in pairs, one wouldn’t do without the other.】

【Angel’s Gift
Recovers injuries to a certain extent and dispels negative statuses. Bestows the user with luck and grants him temporary flight ability.】

【Crown's Bestowment
Once every 7 natural days, you’ll be able to project a hologram to the linked pair.
Once every 70 natural days, you’ll be able to transfer a spell over to the linked pair.
Once every 700 natural days, you’ll be able to project an avatar that shares the same abilities as the original body to the linked pair.

The transferred spell can be of any nature, be it offensive, defensive, or recovery.
Any damage dealt to the avatar will be transferred to the main body too.】

It took Roel a long while before he finally understood the long string of abilities he had just grasped, and it swiftly became apparent to him how powerful the second ability of Ascendwing, Interlaced Wings, was.

Its greatest strength was that it contained two separate spells without an increment in the cost!

By the rules of Interlaced Wings, Angel’s Gift was an exclusive skill to Roel whereas Crown's Bestowment was an exclusive skill to Nora. However, if he were to look deeper into it, the skill ‘Crown's Bestowment’, was to his complete advantage too.

The first effect of being able to project a hologram to Roel’s side was nothing much, basically similar to holding a video conference call once every week.

The second effect, however, was another matter. That would mean that Roel could borrow a spell from Nora almost every other month. It might not sound like anything much at the moment, but that was only because Nora hadn’t fully matured yet. Once she maxed out her level, her overwhelming strength would be more than enough to obliterate any enemy!

As for the last effect of being able to project an avatar once every two years, the skill should be similar to how he summoned Grandar in order to deal with Wade back then. In a sense, the huge skeleton he summoned wasn’t really Grandar himself but an avatar created out of his mana, and the effect of this skill was probably similar to that. It was just that this time, the avatar would be that of Nora.

All in all, Crown's Bestowment was a spell that fully benefited Roel.

As for the spell he had received, Angel’s Gift, its effects of being able to heal injuries and recover from negative statuses was definitely an invaluable aid too. Roel was the type of person who would either not fight at all or go all out to destroy his opponent, regardless of the cost. Given his tenacious fighting style, Angel’s Gift could possibly keep his health bar up during critical moments.

“Nora, this ability…”

“Yes, I’ve noticed it too.”

“My apologies. It doesn’t seem to be useful to you.”

“Don’t worry. The Twelve Wings incubate their abilities based on the wishes of their wielders. The ability you see is the manifestation of my will to protect you.”

Roel’s heart trembled upon hearing Nora’s words. He was deeply thankful to her.

However, what he didn’t know was that while the spell was the manifestation of Nora’s wish, her wish was intermixed with some of her own selfish desires too. When she saw the first effect of Crown's Bestowment, her lips curled into a gentle smile.

How wonderful. I’ll be able to check on him regularly now.

StarveCleric's Notes:

Bonus chapter!
This bonus chapter for finishing the mission on reaching Top 5 for Weekly Activity Ranking!

There's still another one for reaching top 15 for Monthly Reading List Ranking (which is still in preparation at the moment), I'll drop that one soon too.

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Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar.