Roel was extremely moved by Alicia’s sentiments. It was no wonder why they always said that a daughter was like a father’s fluffy pillow. Even though Roel was only an older brother, he could thoroughly feel Alicia’s warmth. He pulled her into an embrace and stroked her glistening silver hair. Slowly, he could feel his heart calming down once more.
As for Alicia… she only felt that her older brother had a really tough life.
Big brother Roel has really gone through too much having to grow up on his own. He lost his mother at a young age, and his father had hardly any time to accompany him. His transcendental ability awakened slowly at the start, resulting in many suspecting that he has no talents as a transcendent.
It wasn’t easy for the two of us to discover warmth in one another, but the domineering royal family suddenly decided to butt right in. From that old man that schemes with a kind face down to that unreasonable princess, all of them only wish to take advantage of big brother Roel.
They are really all a bunch of baddies!
Alicia harrumphed indignantly in her mind. It was obvious that she carried great prejudice against the Xeclydes, She felt that her peaceful life with Roel had derailed ever since they met Nora.
And, as if life hadn’t been harsh enough on him, he had to face the dilemma of having to accept a stepmother! Just thinking about how tragic Roel’s life was really shattered Alicia’s heart.
O’ great Sia, why is this world so vicious to big brother Roel?
Alicia’s rose-tinted glasses had made Roel out to be the very symbol of perfection. Any difficulties he faced had to be due to either the capriciousness of the world or the schemings of others. Due to such beliefs, her eyes began brimming with tears as she snuggled against Roel in his embrace.
“Lord Brother, do you think that Lord Father would listen to our opinions and give up on it?”
Alicia’s words made Roel jolt a little. He glanced at the teary face of the young girl in his embrace, and he suddenly felt a stabbing pain in his heart.
I nearly forgot that Alicia’s father died on the battlefield. It wasn’t easy for her to accustom herself to the Ascart House, but our father suddenly has to head to the battlefield again. This matter probably poked at one of the traumas in her heart.
Roel was very conflicted inside, but he didn’t want to lie to Alicia. He could only give her a response that did little to alleviate her uneasiness.
“It’ll be hard. In a sense, it’s his wish to be able to do this.”
Those serving in the military had their own pride and hot-bloodedness. They believed that the role they played, even if it ended in death, would safeguard the safety of their loved ones.
Carter was the patriarch of the Ascart House, but judging by how he devoted his efforts toward the military, even neglecting the Ascart Fiefdom for it, it could be said that he was first and foremost a military man. He had lived his life preparing for war, so there was no way he would back down here. Even if one were to put aside his career, he wasn’t the type of coward who would leave his comrades in the lurch during a crisis either.
On top of that, if he chose to back down here, it would sully his reputation. Nobles viewed their honor higher than even their own lives, for their reputation belonged not just to themselves but their whole house.
It was due to his understanding of all these that Roel couldn’t bring himself to stop Carter no matter how worried he was.
“But still, I don’t think it’s right for him to completely disregard the opinions of his children. At the very least, shouldn’t he listen to the concerns you have?” asked the tearful Alicia.
Big brother Roel is a member of the Ascart House too—not to mention that he’s the sole son here—so he should have a say on such matters!
If father remarries and has more offspring, big brother Roel’s position as the successor will be threatened. On top of that, if Carter were to be duped by a vixen and end up favoring his other children aside from Roel…
It took just a few seconds for Alicia to piece together a convoluted drama plotline, and it made her feel even more unnerved.
No, I can’t allow big brother Roel to be hurt in such a manner!
Alicia clenched her fists tightly as she bucked up her courage.
“Lord Brother, if you don’t find it convenient to have a talk with Lord Father about this, why don’t I do it instead?”
“Hm? You’ll do it?”
“Yes, Lord Brother. Please leave it to me to convince Lord Father to change his mind!”
Looking at the resolute look in Alicia’s eyes, Roel blinked his eyes as he quickly reanalyzed the situation.
Hmm… If Alicia were to do the talking instead, the effects should be far better. Carter is her guardian after all, and he has promised to take good care of her. Even though it's impossible to convince Carter not to participate in the battle at all, it would be good even if we could get him to retreat to the backline and handle the logistics or something. At least it’ll be much safer that way.
With such thoughts in mind, Roel nodded his head while light began returning to his eyes.
“Alicia, I’ll be entrusting this matter to your hands then! Go ahead and do what you want to, but don’t get too stressed out over this. Regardless of whether you succeed or not, I won’t blame you for it.”
“Yes, Lord Brother!”
Alicia clenched her fists tightly as she told herself that she would convince Carter no matter what it took, and Roel also finally revealed a relieved smile that clearly carried great expectations for her.
The two comrades in arm quickly finished up their dinner before heading over to the study to read a little while waiting for Carter to return.
This wait ended up lasting several hours. It wasn’t till Anna began persuading the two children to retire for the night for a second time that the arrival of a carriage finally sounded from the entrance of the Labyrinth Villa.
After an exhausting meeting that lasted nearly 9 hours, the wearied Carter was finally able to return home and get some rest. But unexpectedly, as soon as he walked through the door, he found Roel and Alicia standing right in front of him, as if they had been waiting for him there all this time.
The sudden appearance of the two children clearly caught Carter by surprise. However, he soon thought of something, which led him to send all of the maids and servants off before bringing the two of them over to the reception room. He settled down on a sofa before heaving a deep sigh.
“You must have some concerns in mind for staying up so late waiting for my return. Feel free to speak of whatever you have in mind.”
To be honest, Carter felt a surge of warmth in his heart when he saw the two children. He had a good idea what they were going to say, and while he couldn’t agree to their request, he felt that it would still be best to hear them out. Otherwise, if something were to happen to him, these two children might just end up blaming themselves for life.
Having received permission, Roel and Alicia traded gazes with one another, and the latter gave a slight nod before taking a step forward. Her crimson eyes were reflected with the determination to help her loved one.
“Lord Father, I have a request. I hope that you can consider Lord Brother’s feelings when it comes to your remarriage!”
“I apologize, but I’m… Ah? What did you just say?”
The two boys of the Ascart House were equally stumped by the girl’s words.
10 minutes later, after clarifying the situation with Alicia, Roel awkwardly apologized to Carter over this matter. He had never thought that Alicia, despite seemingly being aware of everything, was actually ignorant of the matter concerning the deviants. He felt apologetic for egging Alicia on without clarifying things with her, which resulted in this massive misunderstanding.
At the same time, Alicia quickly mouthed her apology before running behind the sofa to hide with a reddened face. She didn’t know how to face her big brother or her father after the huge blunder she had just made.
Seeing this, Roel shook his head helplessly, and Carter let out a rare chuckle.
As shocked as he was to hear Alicia’s words initially, he was actually quite amused by the incident. He hadn’t noticed that his nerves were still strung up from the long meeting he had just been through, but Alicia’s blunder allowed him to relax quite a bit. At the very least, his expression wasn’t as stiff anymore.
Feeling soothed by the presence of his son and daughter, Carter pondered for a moment before turning his attention to Roel first.
“Roel, I know what you’re going to say, and I understand how you feel about this too. I apologize for not having been a good father. I know that I have neglected you over the years due to my work, and I feel deeply regretful over it.
“This matter came as a bolt out of the blue. None of us expected it to happen, but it did. Since the enemies are already gathering at our doorstep, we’ll need to send people over and resolve this matter. We, the Ascarts, are nobles serving as the lord of the Ascart Fiefdom. It’s our responsibility to stand at the forefront and protect our people from external threats. This is the only way we can inspire confidence and keep the morale of our people up.
“Not to forget, I am also one of the top brass of the Theocracy’s military, as well as the vice commander of the Holy Knight Order. I am duty bound to protect my countrymen. Even if we look at it from the standpoint of humanity, high-level transcendents like me are a vital force against external threats. No matter which perspective you view the matter by, it’s necessary that I head eastward and clash against those dastardly rogues.”
Roel pondered his father’s words for a long while. Alicia also peeked out from the sofa she was hiding behind and gradually rose back up to her feet. The two children were clearly affected by Carter’s words.
It took some time before Roel managed to construct a long argument about the unique standing of the Ascart House. Without a doubt, the Ascart House was an important pillar to the Theocracy, and, touchwood, if Carter were to lose his life in the war, it could mess up the established power balance and destabilize the Theocracy.
Carter patiently listened to Roel’s argument before offering an answer to Roel’s doubts.
“In truth, what you have mentioned was also one of the points of consideration in the earlier meeting. Due to that, I have been transferred.”
“I am currently the overall officer-in-charge of logistics for Tark Stronghold. My key responsibility is to procure rations and ensure that they are safely delivered to the troops.”
“Doesn’t that mean that…”
“Yes, it means that there’s a chance that I won’t be participating in the war from the frontlines.”
The bitter look on Carter’s face formed a stark contrast to Roel’s overjoyed smile. Under normal circumstances, Carter would have been assigned as the vice commander of the Tark Stronghold, but during the meeting, the royal family raised the point concerning single parent families. Naturally, the Ascart House fell under this category as well, which resulted in Carter being thrown all the way to the Logistics Department.
“Since it’s mainly a defensive battle, the supply routes are all within human territories. In other words, my role as a logistics officer is fairly safe.”
Roel finally heaved a deep sigh of relief, and the silver-haired girl also excitedly ran out of her hiding spot too. However, Carter’s words weren’t finished yet.
“That’s the current update on my side, but Roel, you do know that you have a mission over on your side too, right? We don’t know how long the deviants’ activities will continue for, and there’s a good chance that I won’t be able to return back to the fiefdom for the next few years. Do you know what I’m getting at?”
A smile crept onto Carter’s lips as he smacked Roel’s shoulder forcefully.
“Didn’t you ask me for the governance rights of our fiefdom? You’re getting that. It’s just that instead of getting a portion of it, you’ll be getting the full rights instead!
“Roel Ascart, from this day onward, you’ll be the proxy fief lord of the Ascart Fiefdom!”
I've been reading the reviews, and there are quite a few people pointing out that the mission has been skewing the ratings.
Personally speaking, I do think it's a fair move for me to motivate yall to help me put some reviews, and I think I've been careful with my phrasing with the missions by not saying stuff like 'Give me 5-star reviews' or even hint that the reviews have to be positive. I think that I've already been as neutral as I can regarding that.
I also discouraged people from creating additional accounts to post fake reviews as well, and I did take a quick look around too. Many of those who reviewed had their accounts created a few years ago, which means that it's unlikely for them to be spam accounts.
I've also checked with NU staff about what they think about this, and they do agree that it's fair as long as I don't demand yall to give me good reviews or something.
However, since several people have pointed out that the reviews and ratings are not credible because of my incentive, I'll stop issuing the review mission.
Like I've said at the start, the missions are mainly small incentives to breathe life into the novel and celebrate milestones, but I'd rather these missions remain like a happy, light-hearted affair than cause dissension.
But just to end off on a happier note, you guys are insane!
We've been in 2nd place in weekly ranking for a few days now, and honestly, I do think that it's quite an incredible feat. I've translated quite a few novels now, and the last time I've been up there was a few years ago with Library of Heaven's Path~