The nearby guards?
Roel was taken aback by Peytra’s sudden remark. As one who had grown up in a large manor, he tended to overlook some of the people in his surroundings, especially the guards.
Guards were essential to the functioning of noble houses, just like maids and servants, but unlike their high profile counterparts, the job scope of a guard required them to remain inconspicuous in most settings.
The guards of the Ascart House were all professionals who had retired from the battlefield, making them far more skilled than normal guards. They were adept at concealing their presence and remaining in the background until danger struck.
Over time, Roel soon got used to ignoring the presence of the guards around him. So, when he turned to the guards standing by the doorway, he could hardly suppress the shock bursting in his heart.
Staring at the armored guards, he suddenly remembered talking to Charlotte about this. According to her, the guards serving the Sorofya House were from a mercenary band they had established a long-term partnership with.
These guards were exceptionally skilled in defensive battles, and they were the ones who had escorted her to the Ascart House back then. It was just that most of them ended up being retained in the Ascart Fiefdom together with Grace, and it wasn’t too long ago that the church finally released them from its custody.
There were no implicit or explicit rules forbidding a noble from hiring heretics as his guards, so this didn’t pose an issue at all. After probing a little deeper, he soon realized that they were using Peytra’s Unyielding Origin Attribute.
The Unyielding Origin Attribute used to belong solely to the Earth Goddess, but the subsequent Earth Goddesses succeeding Peytra began spreading the Origin Attribute around in order to build up a following. However, the lineage of Earth Goddesses eventually died out, leaving Peytra the only one left in the upper echelons of the Origin Attribute.
“I thought that you already knew about it right from the start. Isn’t that why you sought me out?”
“No no, they’re Charlotte’s subordinates. Our meeting was a coincidence.”
After clarifying Peytra’s misunderstanding, Roel moved on to ask if she was able to bestow blessings on her believers, and it turned out that it was roughly the same as Grandar. What particularly caught Roel’s attention was her blessing to significantly enhance her believer’s defense, making the already tanky heretics of the Unyielding Sect even more impossible to deal with.
Needless to say, Roel was delighted by how things were turning out. He decided to rally the heretics of the Unyielding Sect over to his side, but there were some things he had to deal with first.
He had to first negotiate with their current employers, the Sorofyas, as they were in a long-term contract. He would have to first ensure that the Sorofyas were willing to yield here before proceeding on to negotiate the matter with the leader of the Unyielding Sect.
To be honest, Roel wasn’t too confident of making this matter work out. The Unyielding Sect was a part of Rosa’s defense army, which meant that Rosa’s national security could be compromised through this. Given the implications, it was definitely not something that Charlotte had the authority to decide on; it would require the military’s approval too.
Something of this scale definitely required Carter’s intervention, so Roel specially made a trip over to where the latter was staying.
“Roel? What brings you here? If it’s nothing urgent, I’d like to rest for a while first…”
“Father, I found an army of heretics that bear no risks at all. I would like to take them in.”
Ah, my drowsiness suddenly vanished.
The notion of ‘expanding the military’ was more than enough to sweep away Carter’s fatigue. After Roel filled him in on the details, he quickly prepared the documents to initiate a negotiation with Rosa, hoping to settle this matter before he returned to the eastern border.
Roel took the responsibility of talking to Charlotte about this matter, but unexpectedly, the latter seemed more delighted than he was about the matter.
“I didn’t think that Miss Peytra would be a god of the Unyielding Sect. This is wonderful!”
Charlotte smoothly walked over and hugged Roel. She rested her head on his shoulders as she heaved a sigh of relief.
She had been incredibly worried about Roel all this while due to his bloodline ability. Her experiences in the Witness State had opened her eyes to the threats lurking in the world, such as the Saints Convocation and the other evil cults. Without a doubt, Roel’s ability and potential made him a huge threat to their goals, and they would surely make attempts to eliminate him in the near future.
To make things worse, Roel was out in the open while the enemies hid in the shadows. They were definitely in a disadvantageous position here, and the only thing they could do was to assign powerful guards to Roel and hope that it would suffice when the enemies finally struck.
“Darling, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to accompany you to the Karon Forest.”
“I know. It’s impossible for the two of us to travel alone at a time like this.”
Roel sighed helplessly. After their experiences on the Golden Fleet, it would be perfect to have Charlotte accompany him on this journey since they were already accustomed to working with each other. It was just that the ‘kidnapping incident’ had made her lose ‘qualification’.
“This is fine too. We don’t know what’s the situation over at the Karon Forest, so it would be better for me to check out the area first. Perhaps the Drunkard Treant might not be around anymore, and it would just be a wasted trip.”
“Mm. Promise me that you won’t act recklessly in the face of danger. You should prioritize your safety over all things else. The moment things look bad, you ought to retreat right away and reconsider your plans.”
“Don’t worry, you should be aware of what kind of person I am. I won’t put myself in danger.”
Seeing how the boy was thumping his chest without the slightest bit of self-awareness, Charlotte hesitated for a long while before sighing softly.
“Do you think that it’s normal for the successor of a marquess house like you to almost die from the side effect of your own spells?”
“I’d be more than happy to stay by your side and dispel your side effects, but darling, I don’t want to see you injured or in pain ever again.”
Recalling how Roel spent night after night shivering from the chills made her eyes glisten with tears. Those nights had truly been hard on her too. Looking at her lover suffered ached her heart profoundly, and there were several times where she secretly wept over it too.
“I-I know my mistakes now. C-calm down.”
Roel immediately admitted to his mistakes upon seeing that Charlotte was on the verge of crying. He stroked her smooth hair contemplatively before sighing softly.
He realized that he had indeed worried Charlotte greatly during this period of time. As the young miss of the Sorofya House, she shouldn’t have to suffer so much over him. While Roel had saved her back at the Witness State, the converse was also true after they had returned to the real world. He would have already died if not for her care.
Charlotte lay on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. In the balcony of the Hundred Birds Gallery, before the witness of the birds, the two of them continued hugging one another for a long while.
I must make sure to tread carefully this time around.
Enveloped in Charlotte’s warmth and fragrance, Roel thought to himself.
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