While the students in the bustling banquet hall were focused on the crimson envelopes slowly drifting down from the sky, the black-haired imperial princess silently approached her target.
Roel was dumbstruck by the delectable treat offered to his mouth. He could have never imagined that Lilian would be so bold even when they were already back at the academy.
Their relationship was no longer the same after the experiences they shared, but there were still many obstacles between them. Just the restriction from Emperor Lukas was a huge hurdle for them to overcome.
Lilian had received a handwritten letter from Emperor Lukas forbidding her from approaching any member of the Ascart House. She still couldn’t understand why the latter would impose such a restriction, but as an imperial princess, she had to obey his will. At the very least, she mustn’t be caught explicitly defying his edict.
Such a public display of affection was definitely out of the question.
“Senior, there are too many people here.”
Roel tried to reject her, but right after he said those words, Paul Ackermann suddenly walked over with a platter in hand. With his body, he concealed the two of them from the rest of the crowd.
“Quick, we don’t have much time. Ah—” urged Lilian.
Looking at Paul’s cover and listening to Lilian’s urging, Roel found himself utterly dumbfounded. Afraid that others would see them, he could only quickly lean forward and gobble up the cake on Lilian’s fork before anxiously returning to his original position.
Satisfied, Lilian casually walked past him, as if nothing had happened between them.
Thanks to the music accompaniment and the crimson envelope cakes, the atmosphere in the banquet hall was pushed to a new high. Most of the female students who were already full from the earliest feast unhesitatingly dug into the crimson cake, lending support to the theory that women did indeed have a separate stomach for desserts.
After confirming that no one had noticed their earlier interaction, Roel heaved a sigh of relief. His nervousness faded, but when he looked at Lilian’s departing silhouette, his face swiftly reddened.
Despite having just fed Roel with her fork, she showed no intention of changing her cutlery. Her amethyst eyes narrowed slightly as she tasted the dessert herself with the same fork before smiling sweetly.
Roel felt helpless at Lilian’s actions. Meanwhile, Paul watched the interaction between the red-faced Roel and the gleeful Lilian from the side, and a warm smile crept onto his lips.
My imperial sister and big brother Roel are made for each other!
Paul couldn’t help but recall how Lilian approached him a few days ago to ask for his help.
“Paul, I hope that you can become the bridge of communication between Roel and I in the academy.”
It was such a rare request coming from the proud Lilian that Paul agreed to it without a second thought. He did think that Roel was the only one compatible with his incredibly outstanding imperial sister, which was why he chose to support her.
It was from that day onward that he became a secret agent of the Roel X Lilian fanclub and devoted himself to propagating the prosperity of the fanclub.
Most of the students were so focused on the crimson envelope desserts that they didn’t notice the interaction between Roel and Lilian, but there were a few exceptions. Such as Nora and Charlotte.
It was basic courtesy not to steal the limelight from the star of the show, so Nora and Charlotte held themselves back from doing anything overboard here. Who could have thought that it would end up opening a gap for Lilian to strike?
That despicable wench! She actually found herself a helper from Roel’s side!
Nora and Charlotte glared at Paul Ackermann with gritted teeth, but there was nothing they could do here. Paul was still a prince of the Austine Empire, albeit an illegitimate one, though what was more important here was that he was Roel’s treasured subordinate!
Roel was generally good-tempered, but when he got angry, his fury was one to behold. Previously, when Nora, Charlotte, and Alicia came to blows in Rosa, he lost his temper and hollered at them, forcing them to stop.
Part of the reason why they heeded his words then was because they were worried that Roel would really get mad at them, but aside from that, he also gave off an air of solemn authority that compelled obedience.
Had he not regressed back to his child state, they probably wouldn’t have dared to act as they pleased back at Eirbower.
Knowing that their hands were tied here, Nora and Charlotte could only direct their grievances to Paul. With sharpened instincts from his transcendency, Paul intuitively sensed sharp hostility directed toward him, and his body shuddered in response.
“W-why does it suddenly feel so cold?”
Paul nervously eyed his surroundings, but thinking that nothing could possibly happen in this crowded place, he quickly shook it off as nothing.
Meanwhile, Roel had begun digging into his cake happily while scanning the surroundings.
(Affection Points +80)
(Affection Points +50)
(Affection Points +20)
(Affection Points +40)
(Affection Points +110)
Like a farmer facing his lush fields, Roel nodded in satisfaction. It was no wonder why they said that the kind would be rewarded.
At some point in time, Roel had started to underestimate the usefulness of Affection Points. Unlike the Gold Coin Shop, which was filled with things that strengthened him, the items sold in the Affection Points Exchange Shop were mainly for the development of his fiefdom, which was not as useful to him since what the Ascart Fiefdom really needed now was time.
However, his mind changed after encountering a godly artifact that helped him survive an assassination attempt from the Saints Convocation—Blessed Wheat.
This item served no combat purpose, but its effects were far more valuable than any weapon and tool. Upon knowing that there were such incredible items in the Affection Points Exchange Shop, he naturally started to value Affection Points too.
With the official commendation from the academy through the award presentation ceremony, there was not a student in the academy who wasn’t aware of his merits in clearing away the evil cultists lurking in the academy. This earned him recognition, respect, and admiration from the other students.
“Chief, thank you.”
Geralt walked up to Roel with a head glowing green and bowed deeply, thankful that he was granted an opportunity to receive such honor. Roel shook his head and replied earnestly.
“No, I should be the one thanking you instead. It is thanks to you and the other members of our Bluerose Faction working hard over those few days that we received this honor.”
With just a few words, Roel attributed their success to the collective effort of the organization. Geralt was a little surprised to hear these words. Individualism was often prioritized in Knight Kingdom Pendor due to their romanticization of heroism. A knight was usually evaluated on his own accomplishment and not that of his knight order.
This was the first time Geralt was experiencing what a shared sense of glory felt like, and it made blood race through his veins. He made a vow on the spot to bring greater glory to the Bluerose Faction.
On the other hand, Roel blinked his eyes in confusion. He couldn’t understand why Geralt was so pumped up over this, and in the end, he could only attribute it to cultural differences.
What was needed to make a person devoted to an organization?
It was a huge subject with extensive research done on it back in Roel’s previous world, but Roel himself embraced a simple answer to that question—inculcating a shared identity.
A shared identity would help in aligning the interests of the members, allowing them to remain united toward the same goal. It was why the members of the Twilight Sages Assembly were able to unite into a powerful force to fight against terrifying calamities despite their differences.
Roel had personally seen the power of the masses when they were united by a common goal in his previous life, and he thought that it was only normal to instill such values within the Bluerose Faction. However, the same couldn’t be said about Geralt.
Knights embraced a culture of personal accomplishment. Most knights grew up with heroic tales where a chosen few rose up and saved the world. The many others who sacrificed themselves for the same goal were nothing but insignificant cannon fodder, not worthy of mention at all.
In fact, this culture wasn’t just limited to the knights. Most people in the Sia Continent felt the same way too. They were living in a world where transcendent powers existed after all, and there were times where a single powerful transcendent could make all the difference in the world.
In the end, Roel shook his head. He felt that he was thinking too much into it. It was not his place to decide whether individualism or collectivism was better.
He would rather focus his attention on something far more interesting than that.
It’s about time for me to exchange for some new stuff.
After a night of furiously accruing Affection Points, Roel happily turned to his System and accessed the Affection Points Exchange Shop. In his peripheral vision, he caught sight of the words ‘Gold Coin Shop’ and clicked his tongue. He didn’t even want to look at it now after having to borrow 400,000 gold coins from Charlotte to repay his debt.
Unexpectedly, an item caught his eye.
【Goddess of Fate’s Guidance
A blessing left behind by an ancient goddess. The receiver of the blessing has a chance of receiving guidance that will lead him toward his chosen goal while averting crisis. The possibility of receiving guidance depends on the chosen goal.
Duration: 30 Days
Price: 200,000 Affection Points】
50% off selected items
Goddess of Fate’s Guidance
Price: 100,000 Affection Points 】
Roel’s eyes narrowed upon seeing the name and description of the new item refreshed in the Affection Points Exchange Shop.
A blessing from the Goddess of Fate? But… why is it so cheap?
Blessed Wheat cost 600,000 Affection Points, but the Goddess of Fate’s guidance was priced at a mere 200,000 Affection Points. This anomaly rang alarm bells in Roel’s mind. He began scrutinizing the details of the item, and he eventually figured it out.
It’s cheaper because it’s a probabilistic item.
It says that the probability of receiving guidance corresponds to the chosen goal. To put it in other words, the harder my chosen goal is, the more unlikely it is for me to receive guidance.
This was a very different item from Blessed Wheat, which possessed the power to change a person’s trajectory of life at a given point in time. The Goddess of Fate’s Guidance was a supportive blessing that sought to aid one in achieving a realistic goal within a short period of time.
Having understood how the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance roughly worked, Roel began weighing his options. He looked at his still increasing Affection Points, followed by the celebrating students around him, and in the end, he made up his mind to purchase it.
It just so happened that there was one thing he had been wanting to achieve but wasn’t sure how to go about doing it.
He walked over to the corner of the room, raised his wine cup to block his lips, and paid 100,000 Affection Points to purchase the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance. As the blessing was bestowed upon him, he instinctively understood the way to activate it. So, he began murmuring his goal.
“My goal is to save my ancestor, Astrid Arde.”