LTBE - Chapter 351: To Surrender Is To Win
Roel Ascart thought that the aurora he saw today was meaningful. At least it had helped him make sense of some matters.
Nora and the others wanted a stable relationship with him, but that in itself was a contradiction with the Witness State that randomly plunged him into dangerous situations. So, the real question now was whether he could resolve this contradiction.
There was actually a plausible method to pull it off, just that it was something he would have never considered in the past.
He wasn’t sure whether it was possible at all to shut off his bloodline and avoid the Witness State, but he knew for certain that there were triggers to the invocation of his bloodline ability.
Cheerings could still be heard from the distant crowd.
On the steps to the mansion, Nora and Charlotte were starting to feel uneasy at the looming silence amongst them. Alicia looked at Roel at a loss. She could sense that there was something wrong with Roel, but she couldn’t do anything without knowing what he was thinking.
Time slowly ticked by.
It was only when Alicia was finally reaching the limits of her patience that Roel finally retracted his gaze from the sky. He looked at the three women around him and said.
“Sorry, I’ve made you all worry.”
“I-it’s nothing… Lord Brother, what were you thinking earlier on?”
“I was… thinking about the problems that have been plaguing me all this while.”
Roel took some time to organize his thoughts before sharing them.
“I realized that I have been subconsciously avoiding some decisions due to the dangers brought about by my bloodline ability. I didn’t want to implicate others with my condition, but it has become clear to me that my actions are hurting those around me. I’m sorry.”
The three women reacted differently to Roel’s apology.
Alicia, who had devoted her attention to sneaking in bites of her Lord Brother, didn’t really feel strongly about Roel’s apology. Charlotte did feel something from it, but it wasn’t particularly strong as she had only known Roel for a year.
Only Nora, who had grown up with Roel and was constantly rejected by him due to her peculiar interest, felt strongly about the apology. Her forehead furrowed up when she thought about the dangers she had undergone with Roel back in the March Turmoil.
“Roel, I understand what you’re getting at, but it’s impossible for you to change your bloodline. Great power comes at a hefty price; this is an unchanging rule of our world. I know that it’s scary, but you can’t let your fear of your bloodline hold you back,” Nora spoke softly.
Charlotte’s face turned grave upon hearing those words. She recalled about the voyage she had with Roel on the Golden Fleet, and it enlightened her to the reservations Roel had.
Alicia also started frowning as well. She remembered how Roel’s body was covered in injuries every single time his bloodline ability activated.
Roel looked at the trio in front of him with a heavy heart, pausing a brief moment before continuing on.
“You’re right. It’s a law that power comes at a price… but what if I choose to forsake a portion of my power?”
“Darling, you mean to…?”
Charlotte stared at Roel with widened emerald eyes, seemingly seeking confirmation to her deduction. Roel looked back at her and nodded.
“I’ve already made up my mind. For the next four years in the academy, I’ll try my best to raise my Origin Level and control my bloodline. It’d be for the best if it works out, but if it doesn’t… I’ll give up on developing my transcendent abilities. I’ll return to the Ascart Fiefdom and devote my days to developing the territory.”
This revelation sparked shocked exclamations from Alicia and Nora.
Alicia grabbed Roel’s sleeves in agitation, unable to believe what she had just heard, whereas Nora stared at him in sheer bewilderment, unable to speak a word at all. Roel had already anticipated such a reaction, but all he could do here was to console them with a calming smile.
Indeed, this was the decision he had arrived at after careful consideration. This was the only plausible solution he could think of to resolve this dilemma.
Roel reckoned that he should at least be able to reach Origin Level 2 by the time he graduated from Saint Freya Academy. If his bloodline ability was still like an unbridled horse by then, it was unlikely that he would ever be able to put a rein on it.
If so, he would return to the Ascart Fiefdom, stow away his historical records, slip on a pair of gloves, and devote himself to the fields.
From then on, the talented prodigy whom the evil cults were determined to eradicate would vanish from the face of the world. There would be no more succeeding the previous glory of Winstor and Ro Ascart. He would just be an ordinary man, humbly living his life out.
Perhaps, an old Roel many years later would boast to his children that he used to have a chance at becoming an unparalleled expert in the world, but he chose their mother over it.
This was a path he would have never dared to walk down in the past, but upon realizing that those he treasured liked him for who he was and not for his strength, his thoughts began to change.
If this world permits it, I wish to spend the rest of my life peacefully with those whom I love.
Roel’s calm declaration of his intent astonished the three women before him. Nora anxiously grabbed Roel’s hand and asked.
“Roel, are you really willing to give up on the Ascart Bloodline?”
She bit on her lips nervously as she awaited Roel’s confirmation.
In her view, the Ascart Bloodline could be considered as a path toward godhood. That was the ability to tap into the boundless powers of the ancient gods! It was beyond imagination how great the potential was if Roel could fully develop this ability.
Not to mention, the ancient gods he had contracted with were also some of the strongest ancient gods too, such as Grandar and Peytra.
Such power was hard to come by, and it would be even harder to let go of it. Yet, Roel was willing to cast it all away for them. Nora couldn’t help but wonder if he would regret his decision in the future.
Regarding her question, Roel took some time to look into his own heart before answering with a smile.
“I reckon that at the extremity of the Ascart Bloodline lies the power to challenge the gods, but would attaining godlike powers really bring me happiness? If I have to abandon those I cherish to climb to the peak, I’d rather not do so at all.
“Awakeners of the Ascart Bloodline have never ended up well. I kept telling myself that I have to learn from my ancestors’ mistakes to make sure that the same fate doesn’t befall me, but what is that supposed to be?
“I believe that the lesson to be learned here is that our clan shouldn’t be too obsessed with the past. We do derive our power from uncovering history, but it blinds us to the present and the future. It turns our eyes away from those we ought to cherish around us.”
At the end, Roel let out a deep sigh.
Charlotte thought about the real ending that befell Winstor and Isabella, and her expression turned sorrowful. She thought about it for a moment before weighing in.
“Darling, have you thought about how others would view you if you…”
“I don’t think that it’s shameful for me to relinquish my power for the ones I cherish. I believe that those who truly see me as a friend will support my decision. Besides… an Origin Level 2 transcendent might be nothing much for an awakener of the Ascart Bloodline, but it’s still not anything to scoff at in the world we live in.”
“Indeed. Our father is also an Origin Level 2 transcendent.”
Alicia gave a supportive nod to Roel’s decision.
Even in a major country like the Saint Mesit Theocracy, an Origin Level 2 transcendent could definitely be considered to be in the upper echelon even if not the highest one. Most preceding patriarchs of the Ascart House were also at this level.
Those words put Charlotte’s heart at ease. Nora felt deeply touched by Roel’s sentiments.
Roel sensed that the atmosphere was getting a little heavy, so he chuckled softly and said.
“Actually, it’s nothing much. I’ll just have to wear a pair of gloves and head out less often. The lifespan of an Origin Level 2 should be enough for me, just that I’d probably appear much older than the rest of you once we get on in years. I just hope that you won’t scorn me when the time comes.”
“Of course not, you fool.”
“You need not worry about that, darling. I’ll solve that for you. There are many ways to slow down the aging process.”
“My life force should be able to help you with that, although I think the side effect of your ability works perfectly well on that aspect too.”
“No no no, I don’t think I want to fall into this state ever again. This regression is really a pain to deal with. The short limbs are one thing, but the sealing of my powers makes me feel really helpless.”
Roel’s anxious refusal of Alicia’s proposal made Nora burst into laughter.
With everything thrashed out amongst them, the atmosphere finally lightened up.
The clouded expression on Roel’s face finally cleared, and he felt like the burden weighing down his shoulders had finally been relieved. Frustrations that had been piling up in his heart for years were finally getting resolved.
What he needed to do now was to enjoy his campus life for the next four years and try his best to control his bloodline. Regardless of whether he succeeded or not, he was determined to respond to their feelings and give them the steady relationship they wished for by the time of his graduation.
Roel stretched his back lazily, feeling more refreshed than ever. Nora had a faint smile on her lips as her drifting heart felt like it had finally found its harbor. Charlotte was already beginning to imagine life after marriage.
While the three of them were immersed in this unprecedented feeling of serenity, a glint suddenly flashed across Alicia’s eyes and she murmured to herself.
“This means that I have till your graduation to get rid of the others?”
Alicia’s words made the other two women sharply narrow their eyes.