With his departure, the guest room fell into silence. It was a while later that a pink-haired woman suddenly appeared out of nowhere. She looked at William, who sat motionlessly on the chair, and sighed softly.
She took out her notebook and wrote some stuff on it before raising it up to William.
William saw the message, but she didn’t respond to it. Seeing this, Teresa took back her notebook and wrote down a few more words on it.
Mina, why don’t you tell him about the vow?
“… I don’t want to tie him down through such means. I don’t need someone who pities me. What I want is a comrade who shares the same ideology and will fight alongside us, a strong leader who will lead us to glory.”
But you’ll only be hated at this rate.
William’s body visibly stiffened upon reading those words. She clenched her fists tightly, a rare indication of her unease and anxiety. She could sense that she was slowly pushing Roel away, but she didn’t know what else she could do to convince him.
Is everything I’ve persisted on thus far really wrong? What does that make of the unyielding Swordheart I’ve forged out of my faith then?
“Why… does things never go well? This was not what I intended…”
The depressed woman lightly took off her heavy helmet to reveal a rare trace of weakness on her beautiful face. Her glistening orange eyes brimmed with melancholy.
Not knowing how to answer those words, Teresa could only step forward and ruffle her head consolingly.
It’ll be fine.
You’ve at least conveyed your thoughts to him.
The consolation and encouragement from her kin calmed Willian down a little. Teresa looked out of the window pensively as she added a few more words to that message in her mind.
If it’s him, he won’t leave you to the lurch once he learns about the vow.
With a soft sigh, Teresa prayed for those two to get along with each other.
“W-why is that fellow here?!”
After bidding WIlliam farewell, Roel left the guest room. Under Brittany’s escort, he was just about to walk out of the doors of Panoply Manor when he happened to bump into Selina.
The latter looked visibly flustered to see Roel in their residence. She quickly retreated to the shadows and assessed him warily from there.
The ‘frightened beast’ reaction coming from Selina left Roel feeling a little speechless.
Brittany alternated her gaze between the two of them in bewilderment. She couldn’t understand just what Roel had done to make the bellicose Selina react in such a manner. She asked Roel about it, but the latter simply responded with a vague answer.
With a sigh, Roel bade them farewell and quickly returned to the Azure Manor.
He was intending to organize a celebration party for the Bluerose Faction to commemorate their accomplishments, but Paul and Geralt had already beaten him to it.
There was a mixture of delight and disappointment amongst Saint Freya Academy’s student populace after the preliminary round. Many were eliminated, but the factions generally fared decently. So, most factions decided to organize their own celebration parties.
Knowing when to celebrate successes was an indication of good leadership too, and such social events could tighten bonds within an organization.
It was at times like this that being at the helm was a good thing. Roel quickly allocated work to his subordinates before heading off to rest. It just so happened that he had a private matter to attend to.
He returned to his bedroom and closed the door shut. Then, he began releasing a surge of crimson mana that swiftly manifested in the form of a skeleton giant.
“Hello, Grandar. You saw what happened earlier in the day too, right?”
Looking at his old pal, Roel chose to get straight to the point. Given their close relationship, he didn’t think that there was a need to do padding beforehand.
Grandar nodded in response to his question.
He was more of an undead now, but there was no denying his giant heritage. He could sense the aura of those who had descended from the same lineage as him, just like in the case of Peytra and Selina. This meant that he was aware of the earlier confrontation between Roel and Kurt but refused to appear.
Roel found this quite baffling.
It would have been perfectly normal for Grandar to make an appearance and berate his descendent for sullying his reputation, but the latter chose not to respond at all. Did this mean that he had some considerations or there were some things he couldn’t say aloud?
Roel needed to get to the bottom of this in order to determine how he should deal with Kurt.
However, Grandar’s reply was unexpected.
“No, I don’t really have any particular thought in mind. I didn’t appear because it’s something of the past. I’ve already forgotten all about it.”
“Far too much time has passed. A lot of my old memories grew hazy ever since I underwent undead reanimation. I can hardly remember anything before my undead reanimation.”
Roel nodded understandingly. They had talked about this several times before. He tried asking some other questions, and Grandar tried his best to string together whatever he remembered from his memories.
According to Grandar, it was unlikely for his character to have changed after death. His undead reanimation had blurred out most of his memories, but it didn’t change who he was at his core.
Grandar did have an aggressive side to him, but it would be more accurate to call it a warrior’s tenacity instead. It was the courage to fight against all odds and triumph over difficulties. That was very different from the ‘tyrant’ Kurt described him to be.
In fact, he could be said to be quite a gentle one amongst giants.
But even if Roel was willing to believe in Grandar, the descendants of the Giant Bloodline were unlikely to accept that reasoning so easily. Between the words of their ancestors and a presumed evil god, it was obvious who they would be more inclined to trust.
While Roel was still trying to make sense of the situation, two euphonious feminine voices suddenly joined in the discussion.
“Preposterous! There’s no way that sack of bones could have been an evil god. He’s an existence summoned by the Crown! How could he possibly have been an evil god?”
“Oh hoh! It looks like someone is out to get you, Mister Giant. You must have offended a lot of people in your lifetime. I must say, this is starting to pique my curiosity.”
A beautiful golden snake and a white-haired witch manifested as well, and they expressed their own opinions on this issue. Roel raised his eyebrows at the new information he had just heard.
“Summoned by the Crown? Peytra, are you saying that certain conditions have to be met for a being to be summoned by the Crown?”
“Of course. The will of the summoned god has a huge impact in determining whether those of your clan are able to clear the Witness State or not. It would be unwise to allow an evil god to become a candidate for summoning.”
“Meaning to say…”
“Yes, the gods that you have forged a connection with are likely to be those who have been acknowledged by the Kingmaker Clan… though, I must say, there are also exceptions like this enigmatic one over here.”
Peytra eyed the Witch Queen beside her as she said those words.
Artasia chuckled softly in response. She looked at Peytra with narrowed eyes, seemingly a little displeased by the latter’s remark.
“What a headache. Are you still guarded against me even now? My hero has already played me like a fiddle, leaving me with no choice but to become his… Peytra, you should stop suffocating my hero with your excessive maternal instinct.”
“It’s a reasonable precaution. Besides, do you really expect me to listen to a witch’s words?”
“Alright, the two of you should calm down a little. I have a question to ask you.”
Roel was suddenly reminded of another important matter. He stepped forward to break up the argument between the two gods before posing his question.
“Is the term ‘Fallen’ often used in ancient times?”