The medicine tasted surprisingly decent, carrying a slight tinge of sweetness too. Roel suspected that it was an intentional choice, considering how Rosaians were terribly fond of sweetness. He turned to the Bell of Protection on the table and stroked it lightly as a doubt surfaced in his mind.
How do I use this?
The most common way to use the bell was simply to ring it, but the notion of periodically ringing a bell while attempting to make a breakthrough felt oddly ludicrous, almost like a shamanistic ritual.
He considered it for a moment, but he decided not to ask the maids for help. He wanted to try infusing his mana into it first. It was supposed to be quite a high-level magic tool after all, so it didn’t make much sense for it to be triggered manually.
As a matter of fact, he was right.
The moment his mana flowed into the black bell, it suddenly came to life. Deep chimes that sounded as if they had come from a long time ago reverberated ceaselessly. The incomprehensible runes inscribed on the surface of the bell began wiggling about.
With a crisp chime, the runes rose into the air and formed a special domain around Roel. In his daze, he seemed to hear the distant chimes echoing in his head, but bizarrely, the black bell on the table wasn’t moving at all.
“Is this some sort of barrier?”
Roel examined the area around him before finally nodding in realization. A warm sensation began surging around his body as drowsiness started to weigh down his mind.
Amidst the gentle, deep chimes, the composed Roel channeled his mana around his body to push for a breakthrough. The room fell silent.
The following morning, a black carriage emblazoned with the eye of the candlelight arrived at the wide courtyard of the Hundred Birds Gallery. The guards were able to recognize right away that it was the exclusive carriage of the Ascarts, so they greeted them respectfully before granting them passage.
From the butler down to the guards, there was not a single person in the Hundred Birds Gallery who was unaware of the situation concerning the Ascart House. To use an apt yet not so apt phrase, the successor of the Ascart House was currently a stay-in lover here.
Knowing the intention of the young miss, the servants of the Hundred Birds Gallery naturally treated the Ascarts even more amicably than usual. As a result, Marquess Carter found himself faced with the smiles of the servant when he alighted from the carriage, to which, he responded with a nod. Under the butler’s lead, he was soon brought to the guest room.
It had been several days since he arrived at Rosa, and the festivities had mostly come to pass. Quite a few private meetings had happened during this period of time, and they managed to resolve most of the problems and establish good relations for future partnerships.
Carter figured that it was about time to meet with his kidnapped son, and he was surprised to see that Roel was more spirited than ever. Upon closer examination, he jolted in astonishment.
“Hm? Did you manage to make a breakthrough?”
With his sharp perception, Carter was able to keenly sense the mana Roel was emanating, leading to him asking in shock. Roel honestly answered his father with an affirmative nod. The knowledge that his son had managed to reach Origin Level 4 delighted the middle-aged man greatly.
“I could have never imagined… Your talents as a transcendent were severely lacking in your younger years, so I thought that it was impossible for you to achieve anything significant in your lifetime. Yet, you actually awakened our family’s bloodline…”
Carter looked at Roel with a wistful look on his face. Making a breakthrough to Origin Level 4 was a major event. There were probably around several hundred children of high nobles in the present Sia. While most of those were empty titles, the average strength of this group of people was significantly higher than that of their commoner and lower noble peers.
Roel was currently thirteen. When he came of age next year, he would be heading to the Country of Scholars to study together with the other elites of the human world. Most of them would still be young and hot-blooded, so they were likely to value strength more than anything else.
Origin Level 5 was already considered to be in the high tier there. Students who managed to reach that level wielded great say in the academy and were granted special privileges. Even so, they weren’t unique. The world was a huge place, and those who underestimated the limits of human talent would usually be humiliated in the end.
But it was a whole different world for those who had managed to reach Origin Level 4. It was the demarcator separating top talents from the others.
Be it Nora, Alicia, or Charlotte, they were extremely talented transcendents who stood at the top in the current generation. Even a layman could tell that they were different with a single glance. However, the same couldn’t be said about Roel.
In Carter’s view, it should have been difficult for Roel to reach Origin Level 4 even if he had awoken the Ascart Bloodline. Yet, Roel broke his expectations through sheer hard work. This made him both delighted and gladdened.
On the other hand, Roel was just feeling awful. His body was in a bad condition at the moment.
After trying out the best advancement serum in the present Sia, he finally understood just how wondrously amazing the Lobor series was.
Yes, it didn’t look extravagant and came with rather eccentric side effects, but it delivered what it promised without a hitch. Be it the perfect pair of the fake alcohol, he would fall asleep right after consuming it, and by the time he finally regained consciousness, everything would be done and over with.
On the other hand, the advancement serum he took this time around only served to support his breakthrough; he still had to carefully channel his mana and guide it around. It took him an entire night before he finally succeeded.
Roel’s wariness paid off this time around, for the Bell of Protection ended up playing a crucial role here. The process of making a breakthrough was both intense and stressful, making it easy for one to lose patience upon stumbling upon an obstacle and err. However, the Bell of Protection granted him something reminiscent of a blessing, fortifying his heart against nervousness and impatience.
One thing he noticed about the Bell of Protection was that its effect was equal within the barrier, meaning that its effectiveness remained the same no matter how many people were inside it. This was welcomed, of course, since it was always more fun to have more people working out together.
On the other hand, Carter thought about the happenings over the last few days, and Roel’s newfound strength was really reassuring. He beckoned Roel over to his side before revealing the aim behind his visit.
“Roel, I need to talk to you about your marriage.”
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