Roel’s mind blanked out.
He had said those words with the intention of quelling Lilian’s anger, but the effects ended up far surpassing his expectations.
Lilian’s kiss was clumsy, a sign of her inexperience. Her action was clearly driven by sheer instinct. Yet, the moment their lips touched, a mysterious sensation began rippling through Roel’s body.
A feeling of deep passion seared his mind, invoking a strong urge for greater intimacy with the woman before him. He wasn’t the only one who was affected by this impulse as Lilian was indubitably moving on a whim too.
The kiss lasted for a while before a surge of rationality suddenly brought Roel back to his senses. He quickly grabbed Lilian’s shoulders and pushed her away.
“Huu, huu, senior! You need to wake up!”
“Calm down, senior. We’re still in the carriage!”
Roel’s reminder slowly brought clarity back into Lilian’s amethyst eyes. She was still overwhelmed by everything that had just happened before her cheeks started to glow bright red.
“N-no, this is not… I-I was…”
“I understand, senior. Calm down!”
Roel pulled Lilian into his embrace and stroked her back to calm her down. His warm touch helped Lilian to regain her composure. In this narrow space, the two of them maintained the same position for a while as their hastened breathing slowly returned to normal.
“Senior, are you feeling better now?”
“Mm… I apologize for what happened earlier. I got too overwhelmed by…”
“Don’t worry about it. This is the first time we’re encountering something like this after all,” Roel quickly consoled her before she could finish her words.
Of course, Roel wouldn’t be so vile as to feign innocence after receiving a kiss from Lilian. He had to admit that Lilian’s kissing was a little immature though, reminiscent of the peck of a little chick. It even felt slightly itchy.
Wait a moment, does this mean that it was her first…
“S-senior, have you ever kissed anyone else before?”
Perhaps it was due to the influence of his previous life, he couldn’t help but think that a person’s first kiss was a particularly significant event, and it compelled him to ask about it.
Lilian’s body stiffened up upon hearing those words. There was a moment of silence before she finally awkwardly shook her head.
I knew it.
“Was it uncomfortable? … Did you hate it?”
“No, of course not!”
Roel refuted it firmly.
To be honest, he wasn’t able to make sense of how he felt about this either. It just felt… unreal. He had been feeling so ever since he found out that Lilian was his bloodline kin, and the feeling got even more intense after the earlier kiss.
It might have just been a light peck, but it was definitely an unprecedented show of intimacy for someone as cold as Lilian. All of her suitors in the Austine Empire would go into a fit of envy if they ever learned about this.
“While I have heard of cases where bloodline kin feel a strong sense of intimacy with each other, our case seems to go much further than that.”
“Mm… It could be that the intensity of the intimacy differs according to the bloodline too,” theorized Lilian as she thought about that almost crazed desire for intimacy she felt.
Roel nodded in agreement too.
The chance of two awakeners of the Ascart Bloodline existing in the same era is simply so small that it kind of makes sense that we would feel deeply for one another… though this still seems to be an overkill.
Roel sighed helplessly.
He wouldn’t call it a curse, but it was indeed troubling that their bloodlines were overwriting their logical mind to control their impulses. It was almost as if they were faced with a fate which they couldn’t oppose.
After a prolonged moment of silence, when the two of them had finally fully calmed down from the earlier incident, Roel suddenly recalled one of the vital pieces of information he had received.
“Senior, have you ever heard of ‘Magician King’ Priestley Maxwell?
“Magician King? No, I’ve never heard of him before. Which era does he come from?”
“… He lives in this era.”
Roel’s expression turned grim upon hearing Lilian’s answer.
He proceeded on to share the intelligence he had gathered from the Saints Convocation with her, and the latter’s face slowly darkened as well. This was especially so when she learned that Priestley was an Origin Level 1 transcendent.
The two of them fell silent.
“We need to avoid him,” said Lilian after some contemplation.
Roel nodded in agreement with her verdict.
Origin Level 1 transcendents were the strongest human existence in the world. They stood no chance at all against someone of that caliber.
“There’s a chance that Priestley is the mastermind behind the Salvation Brotherhood. I don’t think that Sartoni has the power to pull off such a huge uprising on his own.”
“I think so too. What’s his goal though? Is he using the uprising as a reason to escape from the frontlines? No, that’s not right. It wouldn’t take him long to quell the uprising, so he won’t be able to delay for long,” murmured Lilian.
However, the two of them were unable to come to a conclusion. The air between them turned solemn. Lilian lightly embraced Roel before she looked into his eyes and consoled him.
“Origin Level 1 transcendents are indeed powerful, but there’s no guarantee that he would be able to get back in time. Besides, don’t we have allies from the Twilight Sages Assembly whom we can fall back on?”
“Yes, you’re right,” replied Roel with a nod.
However, a new doubt quickly surfaced in his mind.
“Senior, is this really your first time hearing of the Twilight Sages Assembly? Based on what I know, the organization was once the guardians of the Ancient Austine Empire.”
“Yes, this is my first time hearing about them. There are completely no records about them on our side. Most likely, someone has tampered with the records and purged all details on the Twilight Sages Assembly,” replied Lilian with a frown.
The matter regarding the Twilight Sages Assembly sounded incredulous to her, but as her bloodline kin, Roel wouldn’t and couldn’t lie to her. If so, it would mean that there were deeper secrets surrounding the Ackermanns which she hadn’t uncovered yet.
She would have to take note of that, but that was of lesser importance for the time being.
“Let’s focus our attention on what’s ahead of us.”
She looked deeply at Roel with her amethyst eyes as she spoke words reminiscent of a vow.
“No matter what happens, big sis will protect you.”
In a dimly-lit room, Antonio presented a clear adamantine amber to the person standing before him with a solemn look on his face.
“Lord Astrid, this was handed over to us by our returning wounded troops. They said that it was given to them by the Holy Envoy of the Saints Convocation. It appears to be an object made out of mana and tree sap, though it doesn’t seem to be a magic tool. Regarding this…”
His voice echoed loudly in the enclosed hall.
The floating black-haired beauty before him heard something familiar from his description and slowly opened her eyes. She looked at the item cupped in Antonio’s raised hands, and her iridescent pupils rippled in disbelief.
“This is!” she exclaimed out loud.
She quickly descended toward Antonio to take a closer look at the adamantine amber.
“… That Holy Envoy is a fake. He’s one of us.”
“A fake?” asked Antonio in surprise.
Astrid nodded in response as she touched the warm adamantine amber pendant.
“This is one of the insignias the Twilight Sages Assembly use in Saint Freya Academy, similar to your Reverse Lightcross. It’s produced by one of the oldest members of the Assembly, Chronicler. It’s just that this insignia has fallen out of use for centuries now in order to protect his identity.”
“Centuries? That means that…”
“Yes. The Assembly was still in its peak state centuries ago. A person who is able to get his hands on this can’t possibly be a traitor. Chronicler would never give this insignia to anyone easily.”
Astrid raised the adamantine amber toward the iridescent ceiling and gently infused her mana into it. Shadowy words were soon projected on the ground beneath.
“Lord Astrid, this is?”
“It’s the language of the treants. I can’t read it, but I suppose that it’s the name of the pendant’s wearer. There are several tiers to the adamantine amber, and the highest tier is one that bears the wearer’s name. It signifies that the individual has Chronicler’s complete trust,” replied Astrid.
As she spoke, she recalled the familiar mana pulsation she had felt a while back, and the puzzle pieces suddenly clicked together in her head. But instead of feeling relieved, a displeased frown formed on her forehead.
“It’s a child of the Ascarts.”
“Ascarts? Doesn’t that mean that he’s your…”
“Yes. He must be here to exploit the chaos in order to steal the ‘egg’ guarded by the Saints Convocation. He’s out of his mind!” exclaimed Astrid worriedly.
As important as the eggs of the Six Calamities were, there was nothing that was more important to her than the safety of the Ascart House’s offspring. Furthermore, based on what she had felt, there were two of them in Leinster at the moment.
She looked at the orange-haired man before her and instructed resolutely.
“Antonio, we’ll be changing our priorities. No matter what it takes, you have to bring them here as soon as possible!”