Far away, in a dark wine cellar, a black-haired man was trembling fearfully in the corner.
Paul Ackermann felt that he had arrived at his first major crossroad in his sixteen years of life.
It was moments ago that he had headed down into the underground wine cellar at the request of the Enforcement Division and the Request Club. He thought that it wouldn’t be a big deal, but who could have thought that he would end up witnessing something he should have never seen?
The noxious stench of blood in the underground wine cellar made him feel queasy within moments after his entry. He had to zone out a little to distract himself from his revulsion before he could proceed deeper in. Due to that, he couldn’t shout out Lilian or Roel’s name.
And that was what led to the current sight.
Through the faint illumination from the torches, Paul saw his imperial sister, Lilian Ackermann, pouncing onto Roel and taking off his clothes. He was certain that the swoosh sound he heard was produced by fabric sliding down one’s skin.
It baffled him.
He pressed his body tightly against the wall, not daring to move at all. It was beyond his wildest imagination that his respected big brother Roel and half-sister were actually doing such a thing here over the last two hours!
T-t-this… Aren’t you two too unconcerned about the surroundings? No matter what, this place is still… Wait! Isn’t the reason why no one else is suspecting their affair precisely due to the location?
Paul felt like he had managed to grasp the truth, but it did little to alleviate the astounding shock of this huge scandal. It felt like thousands of horses had charged into his mind, messing up his thoughts.
I-I mean… Isn’t this too risky?!
To actually be having an affair in the underground cellar when dozens of their subordinates are waiting for them outside… I know that this is a rare opportunity for them, b-but still… Is imperial sister actually into this kind of thrill? And big brother Roel too…
Paul felt that this was completely unlike the two of them. The Roel and Lilian he knew of were conservative people who wouldn’t rush into a relationship… even if they had such interests!
But before Paul could understand what was going on, he suddenly heard Lilian’s murmuring. It was vague, but he could somewhat hear the words ‘child’, ‘time’, ‘cannot let other people know’, and ‘nowhere to go’. Stringing all of these clues together crafted a shocking scenario that made his face turn pale.
W-wait a moment, this doesn’t sound right. What are they discussing?
There were far too many clues pointing toward one direction that even Paul, no matter how he tried to deny it, couldn’t turn his eyes away from it anymore.
The two of them were planning their elopement, and the reason was clear.
Paul had no idea how Roel and Lilian’s relationship came to be, but their intimacy didn’t just come from over the last few days. It was likely that they had been meeting each other in secret over the past month since the semester started, doing all sorts of things that lovers would. However, they slipped up and Lilian ended up getting pregnant.
Now that I think about it, that would explain why imperial sister dares not to come out. Everyone else is retching out of disgust of the blood stench, and they would be fine once they are out. However, imperial sister is retching due to her morning sickness!
Everything cleared up for Paul in an instant.
There was a good chance that Lilian’s morning sickness might get exposed if she left the wine cellar. If her peculiar condition were to get diagnosed by an imperial doctor, everything would be exposed!
That was probably what the two of them were discussing earlier.
As for ‘time’, they were probably referring to how long she had been pregnant. He remembered the village aunties mentioning that morning sickness would only kick in after a month of pregnancy… The timeline fit perfectly too!
Paul’s body stiffened as he began to sweat profusely. Even someone who had little political experience like him knew that the two of them were in deep trouble.
It’s no wonder why the two of them had to camp here for the last two hours. They must have been devising countermeasures. It seems like imperial sister is reluctant to abort her child, so she wanted them to elope despite having no good place to go.
Paul could understand where Lilian was coming from. It was simply too cruel to make a mother kill her own flesh and blood.
Still, isn’t elopement too bold? Just think about the kind of repercussions it would have on the whole of humankind!
But again, if they don’t elope, the two of them are bound to be pulled apart from one another. The world has no compassion for the love between an Austine imperial princess and a high noble of the Theocracy. It’s likely that Emperor Lukas will force imperial sister to abort her child if he ever finds out about it.
Lilian was currently at Origin Level 3 whereas Roel was at Origin Level 4. Their abilities were enough for them to make a living wherever they went, so there was no need to worry about their livelihood. The issue was that their actions could be considered as a betrayal to their nation, which meant that they would become outcasts of their respective countries, losing both their honor and standing.
This was a choice between love and honor.
Imperial sister is willing to give up her claim on the throne in order to pursue their love, but what about big brother Roel?
He’s the only child in his household. Is he willing to give up what his ancestors have built up over the past thousand years for imperial sister and their child? Or will he force imperial sister to abort her child?
Even Paul, who had limited understanding of the circle of nobility, knew how important the continuation of lineage was to noble houses. He didn’t think that there was any correct answer to this, and all he could do was to wait nervously for Roel’s answer.
But what he heard instead was a resounding explosion.
The wine cellar quaked, and a cloud of dust fell from the ceiling. Paul was astounded. He raised his head and saw two silhouettes rushing out from a hole in the ceiling.
So this is big brother Roel’s decision…
A glimmer of admiration flickered across Paul’s mind as he watched their departing silhouettes. He felt deeply moved by what he had just seen.
He dared not to say that one option was better than the other, but he believed that Roel was a true man for choosing the second path.
As expected of big brother Roel! Despite the risks and challenges that stand in their way, he still chooses to elope with imperial sister… But this will place great pressure on them, won't it? Is there anything I can do to help them?
Paul fell into deep thoughts.