LTBE - Chapter 343: The First Clash
The moment that Charlotte Sorofya appeared in front of the doorway, Lilian’s amethyst eyes narrowed in astonishment and her mind went completely blank.
How is this possible? Why is she here? Have we been discovered?
But what she felt following that was a flood of indignance.
You must be kidding me! I have already gotten here! Just a few days more, and my plan would have been a success. Why, of all times, now… Wait a moment!
Lilian’s mind fell into a fluster by Charlotte’s abrupt appearance. It was just a split moment, but many thoughts had already flashed across her mind. She was just about to release her mana to stop Charlotte from taking Roel away when she noticed that something was off here.
Charlotte’s attention wasn’t on them at all. She was staring so intently at the gold coin in her hand that she was hardly aware of her surroundings.
Lilian immediately understood what was going on, but this didn’t mean that she was out of danger yet.
Roel’s line of sight was currently focused on Lilian, so he swiftly noticed something amiss with her expression. It was just a subtle difference, but he had spent far too many days together with Lilian that such details couldn’t escape his notice anymore. Intrigued, he turned his head over to check out what she was staring at.
At the same time, his voice appeared to have caught Charlotte’s attention, prompting her to turn her eyes over.
Even though Roel’s body had gotten smaller and his features more delicate, his transformation wasn’t so massive as to become unrecognizable to those whom he was close with. Not to mention, Roel couldn’t possibly be prepared for this abrupt meeting with Charlotte, so he was bound to give himself away.
In this critical moment, Lilian pressed her left hand on the opened door while using her right one to cup the chin of the shocked Roel. She bent her body downward and headed straight for his lips.
The door was slammed shut.
The nervous Lilian used her now freed left hand to grab both of his hands and pressed them against the door, sealing off his movements.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Charlotte’s footsteps had already screeched to a halt. She stared at the door that had suddenly slammed on her with a perplexed frown.
I feel like I just heard Roel’s voice.
She quickly ran through the earlier event in her mind, but it only further stoked her suspicions. So, she walked up to the door of Room 302 with her ears pricked up, wanting to confirm if she had been hearing things.
Unfortunately, the boy on the other side of the door was in no state to give her the confirmation she sought.
Lilian had initiated this kiss out of desperation to avoid Charlotte, but the nature of it changed halfway through. This unexpected but long-awaited dessert made her heart pound in excitement. She found herself unable to repress her feelings anymore.
Under such intense stimulation, Lilian found her thoughts and senses being sharpened to an extreme degree. It felt almost as if time had stalled to a near halt for her. She could hear the faint tremors from Charlotte’s approaching footsteps, and she instinctively knew that they would be exposed at this rate.
I have to do something before Charlotte knocks on the door! But what can I do…
The anxiety seared her nerves, but at the same time, the excitement of sneaking in a bite sent a surge of adrenaline through her body. She desperately searched for a plan that would allow her to overcome this crisis, but the woman standing right outside their door wasn’t patient enough to wait for her.
Upon hearing nothing after a while, Charlotte hesitantly raised her hand, intending to knock on the door to check on the situation. To her, confirming a lead to Roel was far more important than disrupting the neighboring occupants.
Just as she was about to knock, the door suddenly opened up a little, revealing a slight crevice.
This sudden movement took Charlotte off guard, causing her to hurriedly take a step back. She blinked her eyes in surprise, but before she could say anything, a pair of tightly interlocked hands suddenly flashed across the door crevice.
Their fingers were intertwined like a couple deeply in love. One of the hands was long and slender, beautiful and proportionate, clearly belonging to a woman. The other looked a little unusual. It looked fair and aesthetically pleasing too, but it was unusually small.
Right, the one living next door is a child.
Charlotte recalled the young noble and his personal maid she had seen at the balcony a few hours back and fell silent. Meanwhile, a slurping noise mixed with the rustling of clothes sounded through the door crevice, causing her to quickly back a few more steps away out of embarrassment.
T-those two are actually doing such things behind the door? But it’s still daytime! H-how shameless!
The all too revealing noises coming from the room evoked indecent images in Charlotte’s head. She quickly turned away and walked off in a huff as she furiously cursed the ludicrous debauchery common in the circle of nobility.
That voice that sounded like Roel must have come from that young noble. I guess I really was hearing things. Now that I think about it, that voice sounded a little too young.
“Haa, is my exhaustion getting to me? I should retire earlier for the night,” said Charlotte with a sigh.
She walked to the end of the corridor and headed downstairs. It was only when her silhouette vanished from the third floor that the duo inside Room 302 finally parted from each other.
“Haa, haa, what’s gotten into you, senior?”
Roel slowly slid down the door to sit on the floor. His clothes were completely crumpled from the earlier bout of passion. In front of him, Lilian was sitting on her knees, gasping for air.
Both of their bodies were scalding hot and their faces completely reddened. It was just that other than feeling a little feverish, Roel was perplexed as to what was going on too.
Weren’t we going out to eat? Why did we end up eating each other instead?
Far too many questions were floating in Roel’s mind for him to be swept away by the amorous air. Lilian dared not to reveal the truth to him because she knew that Roel would insist on meeting Charlotte and the others if he were to find out that they were here—it was already hard enough to convince him not to send them a message in the first place.
To her surprise, Roel managed to stumble upon the ‘answer’ on his own.
“Could it be because of my leaking time?”
For a moment there, Lilian was too astounded to give a response. It took a while before she was reminded of Time Devourer’s side effect. She blinked her eyes contemplatively before nodding in acknowledgment.
“… T-that seems to be the case. My apologies, I wasn’t able to keep myself in check.”
“No, this isn’t your fault. I should be the one apologizing here.”
Lilian felt bizarre at how Roel was so understanding about it that she was put at a loss for words.
I’m getting apologized to despite being the one sneaking a bite of the dessert? Is there really something as good as this in the world?
She felt conscience-stricken for pinning the blame on Roel, but it was not like she was going to tell him the truth anyway. She sheepishly helped Roel to his feet while discreetly checking whether Charlotte was still in the corridor. After ensuring that the coast was clear, the two of them left the room and began heading downstairs.
It was a long time before Lilian’s heartbeat finally reverted back to normal after that close shave.
She had to acknowledge that things were going down a different direction from what she had anticipated. There was a good chance that the two of them were already caught in Charlotte’s encirclement. Nevertheless, she was still reluctant to give up this opportunity just like that.
The earlier situation had proven that Charlotte, despite her expertise in divination, was unable to fully lock onto their position. She might have been able to ascertain that they were in this city, but there was nothing to be feared if that was all there was to it.
Their current appearances were so vastly different from their usual ones that it was unlikely that Charlotte would be able to recognize Roel right away if they were to cross paths on the street, especially since the latter was unaware of Roel’s regression.
Meaning to say, they were safe for the time being.
Having calmed down for the time being, Lilian decided to proceed with her current plan.
After half a month of relentless but prudent attacks, she was confident that she had torn down most of Roel’s barrier by this point. All that was left was to launch one final decisive strike to take him down, and tomorrow’s Aurora Night provided the best opportunity to do so.
Under the romantic atmosphere from watching the aurora together, Lilian was confident that she would be able to change her relationship with Roel once and for all, perhaps even expanding the Ascarts’ genealogy book.
By then, everyone else would be no more than paper tigers before her, be it Charlotte or Nora. Once Roel’s side effect wore off, they would be able to legitimately stay together before everyone else.
The thought of that made her heart blaze with motivation. Similar to how a businessman would risk his life for a 300% profit, even the usually aloof Lilian wouldn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for the sake of her own happiness.
Thinking that everything was in her grasp, Lilian’s lips curled to a smile.
Oblivious to her, another factor that was out of her calculation, a silver-haired girl with a Life Orb in her hand, was currently rushing over to Aurora City Ols, and her arrival would indubitably change everything.
With that, time started ticking down to the fated night.