Half a month ago, shortly after Roel recovered from his distressing physical regression, he found himself face to face with a familiar nightmare he had put behind him a year ago.
He was having an afternoon nap in the Carriage of Sinners when he felt a chilling intent enveloping him, both in reality and in his dream.
It was a pair of beautiful yet unfathomably cold eyes, staring at him across the boundaries of space-time. It rendered his body so cold that his heartbeat stilled to a halt. It was only when those eyes finally left that he jolted awake.
His body lurched upward in shock as he gasped hard for air. His clothes were completely drenched in cold sweat. The attention of the Mother Goddess definitely didn’t bode well.
Roel wasn’t too surprised by the Mother Goddess’ fixation on him. He did absorb Her God Envoys’ powers, after all. Being eyed by a god placed him under tremendous stress, and he knew that he needed to find powerful allies on his side if he wished to survive the Mother Goddess’ wrath.
This happened to coincide with another goal of his—saving Astrid Arde.
Having been through the Witness State four hundred years ago, Roel was well aware of Magician King Priestley’s tremendous strength. It was likely that Astrid had suffered grievous wounds in the midst of bringing Priestley down, though the fact that the continued existence of the Dream Realm in the Blackrose Ring was evidence that she was still alive.
That being said, he was lacking information to make any decisive moves.
There were two ways for him to gain information. One was through Guardian Antonio and the other through ‘fake A.I.’ Magaret.
He hadn’t come into contact with either of them since he had only just returned to the academy himself, but it was likely that they were helpless regarding Astrid’s situation too.
Over the past four hundred years, Antonio had reached the peak in terms of influence, power, and standing. If he really knew of a means to make his ex-mentor return to the world, he would have already realized it by now.
The same went for Magaret, who had only started managing the academy due to Astrid. If there was a backup plan that worked here, she would have already evoked it by now.
If ‘Academic’ Astrid hadn’t returned over a lengthy four hundred years, it could only mean that her condition was worse than he had expected. This was also why Roel decided to use Goddess of Fate’s Guidance for that.
From a personal point of view, both he and Lilian had a good impression of their ancestor and wanted to help her. From a realistic point of view, having an Origin Level 1 ancestor as his stalwart ally was more reliable than anything he could do right now.
With these two motivations behind it, Roel murmured his wish and the blessing activated.
【Activating Blessing <Goddess of Fate’s Guidance>..】
【There’s a chance that you’ll receive fate’s guidance】
【You have received guidance from the Goddess of Fate】
“Hm? I was able to obtain guidance so easily?”
Roel was dumbfounded. An unwitting smile crept onto his lips as he celebrated his own good luck.
But what could the guidance be…
He scanned his surroundings intently, curious to know what there was in this banquet that could possibly help him save Astrid. Before he could figure out the answer, he received a notification on his System.
【Goddess of Fate’s Guidance
Lower your hips, raise your leg, and kick Paul Ackermann’s bottom with great force
Time Limit: 10 seconds】
【Countdown: 10… 9… 8…】
W-what’s going on?
Roel Ascart was baffled by the ridiculous notification he received from the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance. Based on the wisdom of an ancient goddess, the first step to saving his ancestor who had been trapped for four hundred years was to kick Paul’s ass?
Is the Goddess of Fate some kind of pervert who’s into such stuff?
He stared at Paul, who looked refreshed after finishing his cake, with question marks filling his mind. However, the countdown wasn’t going to stop just because he was confused. Not wanting to let this potential opportunity slip through his fingers, he gritted his teeth and decided to give it a try.
It’s the Goddess of Fate. Surely she wouldn’t spout nonsense.
With such thoughts in mind, Roel took a deep breath, lowered his hip, raised his leg, and sent a powerful kick straight toward Paul Ackermann’s butt.
The abrupt assault on his butt left Paul dumbfounded. All he managed to do was to let out a sharp exclamation before he was sent tumbling across the air. Thankfully, the noisy crowd drowned out his cry, so it didn’t cause a commotion.
Though two certain ladies did catch sight of it.
Nora and Charlotte were still feeling deeply resentful toward Paul’s blatant siding with Lilian, so their eyes lit up at Roel’s action. They had no idea why he was doing this, but that satisfied them and soothed their anger.
Meanwhile, Roel remained oblivious that his little action had appeased the wrath of two women and thus averted a potential crisis. He continued staring at Paul’s movement trajectory intently, wanting to see just what the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance had to offer to him.
Would the great undertaking to save Astrid really start with a kick on Paul’s ass?
Roel wondered doubtfully as he watched Paul tumble into the crowd.
At the end of the banquet hall, Principal Antonio stroked his snowy white beard as he chatted with the top brass from prominent Scholar Guilds, discussing the problems regarding the Challenger Cup.
Challenger Cup was a major tournament that was held in Leinster once every few years. All incumbent students in Leinster were qualified to participate in it, and slots were also allocated to a few other organizations with members whose ages fit the criterion. It was a hot-blooded grand festival that was filled with the hopes and dreams of the youth.
There was great public attention on every single iteration of the Challenger Cup, which meant that it wielded great influence. The participants would be awarded not just fame and glory but a new door of opportunities too.
It was somewhat equivalent to the Summer Koshien from Roel’s previous life. Anyone who managed to get into Koshien was already half a step there to becoming a winner in life, making it a holy land for youths and dreams. Star players that performed well in the Koshien could easily gain popularity on par with idols and receive offers from pro teams.
And the influence of the Challenger Cup far exceeded that.
While Koshien’s influence was rooted in Japan’s love for baseball, transcendent abilities were the foundation of human civilization, the key reason why it was able to prosper to this day. Strength had tangible value on the Sia Continent, and the Challenger Cup was the greatest stage for youths to prove themselves.
The youths would have to devote their all in order to reach for the highest seat, be it drowning themselves in their sweat of labor or racking their brains for ingenious plans to bring down their competitors. The one who succeeded would acquire stupendously great fame and fortune.
There was just one problem that was plaguing Antonio, the other principals, and the leaders of the Scholar Guilds: Should the First Grade students qualify in the tournament?
Previous rules dictated that First Grade students who lacked combat experience weren’t allowed to compete for the Challenger Cup, but the external and internal situations were different this year.
In terms of external situation, the invasion of the deviants by the borders created a necessity to search for more raw gems and quickly polish them up. In terms of internal situation, the current generation of First Grade students was clearly of a different caliber from the previous generations—three Ringbearers had risen from their ranks!
It would be a huge waste to disqualify those three Ringbearers before the battle even started.
They had to decide whether to stick to traditions or be adventurous and explore new boundaries. It was a tough decision to make as the great attention on the Challenger Cup meant that every decision they made would stir huge ripples.
“Why don’t we ask a student for his opinion then?”
Unable to come to a conclusive decision even after a prolonged discussion, Antonio stroked his beard and proposed an idea. It just so happened that a person suddenly crashed right in front of them the next moment.
In this crucial moment, Paul Ackermann was here to the rescue!