LTBE - Chapter 337: Wage Slave
What were the famous spots for lovers in the Sia Continent?
Each country had its own answer to this question.
Those who resided in the south of the Austine Empire would probably name the Leumann Forest, where the legend of Charles the Second proposing with the Nightglow Butterfly swooned many. Every February, the Milton House would hold an extravagant banquet for nobles with plenty of activities that promised attendees a good time.
For those living in the north, nearer to the capital, they were more inclined to visit one of the vassal states of the Austine Empire—the Eirbowir Dukedom.
The Eirbower Dukedom was one of the earliest vassal states of the Austine Empire. It was a fairly large country located in the northern frozen lands, bordering Knight Kingdom Pendor. Its infertile soil was unsuitable for farming, and it had hardly any precious resources either. It was so impoverished that even the ambitious Austine Empire chose not to annex it.
But as centuries passed after the mass migration, the average standard of living of the populace started to improve, resulting in a certain industry prospering in Eirbower.
Every summer, an aurora would grace the night sky of Eirbower. It was one of the few natural sceneries that the people of Sia enjoyed despite most tourists preferring to holiday in bustling cities.
During ancient times, the aurora was viewed to be a symbol of Sia’s approval, and it was a common theme in many legends. It was generally viewed as an auspicious omen, though lovers took a completely different meaning to it. It was believed that couples who watched the aurora together would receive Sia’s blessing.
… Yeah, it definitely reeked of an embellished tale in a tourist trap.
But even lies would sound convincing when regurgitated again and again. Such rumors had already been spreading in the Austine Empire for a few centuries now that it managed to evolve into a legend in the present day.
More and more people were buying into the story, turning Eirbower into a renowned honeymoon spot for nobles from the Austine Empire and Knight Kingdom Pendor. Every May, many newlyweds and engaged couples would journey to Eirbower’s snowy mountain, filling the roads with opulent carriages.
It formed a virtuous cycle. The legend attracted people to Eirbower, which, in turn, produced stories that contributed to its credibility. In fact, there were many romance stories about famous historical figures who had visited Eirbower over the years.
It was said that Gorman the Second, an emperor of the Austine Empire, had once visited the Eirbower Dukedom under the pretext of sightseeing in order to scout the area for his expansion plans. While he was admiring the aurora, he happened to chance upon an Eirbowerean princess, and the two of them immediately felt attracted to one another. Love bloomed between the two of them, and they eventually got married.
Due to this encounter, Gorman the Second viewed Eirbower as a blessed land and decided to drop his plans of invading it. Just like that, a crisis was averted thanks to the union of their love.
Such stories were incredibly popular in the streets; they were even published in books at one point in time! That being said, Roel still held a great degree of skepticism toward them.
Ultimately, Eirbower was a weak country that wasn’t in control of its fate. It was only allowed to survive to this day because it served as a buffer state between the Austine Empire and Knight Kingdom Pendor.
As for the story about the aurora bringing Gorman the Second and an Eirbowerean princess together…
Heh. Do you think that an Eirbowerean princess has the right to turn down a proposal from an Austine emperor? Would she dare?
Roel had such deeply ingrained contempt for the Austine Empire that he instinctively snorted in contempt whenever he heard such bragging from them, but when he saw the expectant look on Lilian’s face as she recounted those romance stories, he couldn’t bring himself to shatter her fantasies.
Eyy, I guess I can let it slide this once for senior’s sake.
Aside from the romance fantasies, there were also practical reasons as to why they should head to Eirbower.
The city Lilian had chosen wasn’t too far away from Leinster, and it boasted a high population density mainly consisting of tourists. This meant that they could easily blend in with the crowd, making it hard for their enemies to find them even if they managed to narrow down their whereabouts to the city.
And it does sound kind of fun to be visiting a haven for lovers together with senior too…
Roel awkwardly scratched his head as he agreed with Lilian’s decision.
Having decided on their destination, the two of them got right to action. They packed everything they needed and erased all of their traces in the villa before setting out.
Due to Roel’s weakened state, there was no way he could catch up with Lilian even if he ran with all his might. He thought that Lilian would summon her soldiers to carry him, but to his surprise, she chose to personally take on the job instead of leaving it to her subordinates.
“S-senior, wouldn’t this be too tiring for you?”
“Have you forgotten that I’m a high-level transcendent? You’re barely the weight of a heavy sword in your current form. Besides… this should be warmer for you, right?”
Lilian pulled Roel closer to her body with a smile on her lips. The sudden onslaught of fragrance and softness left Roel reddening in embarrassment.
“We have to be exceptionally careful since you aren’t in a good condition at the moment. It’d be bad if you caught a cold. Be obedient, or else I’m going to get mad,” said Lilian with a chuckle.
With that, they began venturing into the forest.
Roel’s vision was soon filled with lush trees and the azure sky… as well as a flawless face that looked perfect regardless of which angle he looked at it from.
Listening to the wind and the lady’s heartbeat, Roel couldn’t help but think that fate was truly unpredictable.
No one could have imagined a month back that the two of them would end up becoming so close to one another. Those eyes that had gazed upon him coldly before the entrance ceremony were now looking at him affectionately.
Since there was nothing much to do, he decided to make use of this opportunity to take a look at the System, only to be shocked by the very first thing he saw.
(Affection Points +100,000)
The first thing Roel did upon seeing the number was to double-check if he had read the number of zeroes correctly. Then, he rubbed his eyes to check if he was seeing things. It was only on the third look that he was forced to accept the fact that it was indeed a six-digit figure.
I-isn’t this too much?
Roel looked at the number in the System before raising his head to look at Lilian. He was so shocked that he found himself at a loss for words.
He could understand if the female capture targets of Eyes of the Chronicler were more affectionate than normal people, but this was ridiculous! He thought that it was impossible to top Charlotte’s one-off +80,000 Affection Points, but he had clearly underestimated the power of love.
Thinking about it, his relationship with Lilian was far more complicated than with Charlotte, Nora, and the others. Their bloodline resonance made them feel a sense of intimacy with one another, and looking at it from this perspective, it wasn’t really that surprising that Lilian managed to break the record.
Besides, this one-off outburst wasn’t necessarily a good quantitative measure of Lilian’s feelings for him. Take Alicia for example, the Affection Points he had received from her had never reached anywhere close to 100,000, but did that mean that her feelings for him were shallow?
Roel knew just how much Alicia adored him. She would constantly contribute Affection Points ranging from the hundreds to the thousands, such that there was no doubt that she was the highest cumulatively.
In any case, it was a good thing that he had received such a huge amount of Affection Points, so he decided not to think too deeply into it. Meanwhile, there was another increasing number that caught his attention.
【Interest on loan: 3778, 3779, 3780…】
Watching as the interest sum grew every few seconds, Roel felt like his little heart would really explode from sheer stress. Despite having governed the Ascart Fiefdom for several years now, he was still a miser at heart. It felt like someone was slicing a piece off his heart each time the interest sum ticked up.
Goddamnit, who the hell designed this interface? Aren’t you trying to stress me to death?
Roel’s eyes reddened in anger. If not for the fact that he was in Lilian’s arms, he would be tempted to let out a roar to vent his frustration.
Damn it, I feel like I’m becoming a slave to the System.
“What’s wrong? Your eyes look a little red.”
“… It’s nothing. A grain of sand got caught in my eye.”
Roel let out a sigh as he decided to turn his attention away from the increasing interest sum. This wasn’t the time for him to be thinking about money. There was something far more important at hand.
Even if Lilian was here to protect him, he couldn’t allow himself to remain powerless. If his body wasn’t going to shoulder some burden, he would just have to seek help from the System.
He took a look at the Affection Points he had and gritted his teeth tightly.
Time to go on a shopping spree!