LTBE - Chapter 395.2: I’ll Be Using This (2)
Roel didn’t choose to return to the Azure Manor to rest up after seeing Nora off. Instead, he headed to the Dancing Butterfly Museum to meet Charlotte, who had just ended her battle with Lilian.
“Darling? What brings you here?”
Roel’s arrival came as a surprise to Charlotte, but she was able to quickly understand the meaning behind his visit.
She was indeed in low spirits after losing to Lilian, but she visibly brightened up at Roel’s arrival. Ever since the commencement of the Challenger Cup, the two of them had hardly met each other because they were either busy training their faction members or making preparations for their own battle.
“Hmph. You came to visit me because you were worried that I would be in a bad mood?”
“Mmm. Rosa has a tense relationship with the Austine Empire, so I was worried that you might be burdened by it…”
Roel carefully chose his words while assessing Charlotte’s expression. He noticed a slight flicker in her eyes, and it made him heave a deep sigh.
As an offspring of the Sorofya House, Charlotte faced a lot of stress from a young age. Unlike the Ascarts, the Sorofyas were a huge clan. She was first in line for succession, but there were many others queuing behind her, waiting for her to slip up so that they could take her position.
Her retrieval of the Sofyas’ heritage did reinforce her position greatly, such that it would be hard for anyone to shake her standing now. Nevertheless, her defeat to Lilian, the princess of a perceived hostile nation, was likely to bring about some negative influence.
With such thoughts in mind, Roel looked at Charlotte and gently asked.
“Charlotte, has the Sorofyas been putting stress on you?”
“… It can’t be helped. The anti-Austine sentiment in Rosa remains strong even after all these years,” replied Charlotte with a bitter smile.
Roel’s face turned solemn upon hearing those words. He gave the matter some thought before nodding his head.
“… I understand. I’ll write a letter to Rosa’s military and have Grandpa Ugin handle this. Let’s see who dares to cause a fuss over this.”
“Ah? H-hold on! Darling, there’s no need to go to such an extent…”
Charlotte was astonished by Roel’s decision to intervene in the matter. She quickly tried to dissuade him from it, but it was to no avail. He knew Charlotte far too well to be swayed by her on this.
Due to her aptitude for business granted to her through her bloodline, Charlotte had to take charge of the Sorofyas’ businesses from a young age. She had to make decisions and handle problems all on her own, and this gave rise to her independent personality.
However, this also made her view relying on others as a sign of weakness. She would always try to resolve everything on her own so as to avoid troubling others, especially Roel.
She only wanted to show Roel her best sides, and she didn’t consider her vulnerability to be one of them. That was why she rarely asked anything from Roel. That was also why Roel had chosen to make the trip here and offer his help.
The Ascart Fiefdom was no longer the same as before. It had just signed a bunch of trading agreements and was well on its way to become a trading hub. Some merchants even speculated that it had the potential to become an economic powerhouse in the future.
On top of that, it was also forging closer ties with Rosa, having made several commercial and military agreements. The Ascart House was no longer just a neighbor to Rosa anymore; they were allies. Naturally, Rosa wouldn’t just shrug off the words of a close ally.
In fact, it was no exaggeration to claim that the influence Roel’s words wielded over Rosa was comparable to that of Nora’s.
“Darling, there’s no need to do that. I’ll ask for your help if things truly get dire…”
“Will you? Would you have even told me about this problem if I hadn't come here to ask about it?”
Charlotte was at a loss for words, not knowing how to answer Roel’s accusation.
Roel took a deep exhalation before he looked into her emerald eyes and spoke with a gentle tone.
“I know that the situation isn’t that severe. You’re younger than Lilian, and there’s a gap in your Origin Levels. However, this isn’t the main point here. What I want to do is to send out a clear message to the whole of Rosa.”
“A clear message?”
“Yes. I want to tell them that I’ll back you regardless of what happens.”
Charlotte’s eyes abruptly widened. She stared into Roel’s golden eyes and found herself met with an unwavering gaze that was filled with determination.
A second later, she lowered her head. There was a slight tinge of redness spreading across her cheeks. She began fanning her face, hoping to cool down her overheating brain.
Despite typically being the aggressive one in their relationship, she ironically found herself helplessly susceptible to Roel’s unintentional attacks. Her utter embarrassment left her unable to speak a word at all.
On the other hand, after innocently voicing out his thoughts, Roel turned his attention toward her physical condition.
“It was an intense battle back there. Did you sustain any injuries?”
“N-not at all. Darling, you don’t have to worry about that.”
“You must have expended too much mana. Your complexion doesn’t look too good.”
“A-ah? Do I look awful?”
Charlotte’s heart jolted in shock. As a proud fashionista, how could she appear unseemly before the man she fancied? She quickly covered her face with her hand, not wanting to expose her ugly side.
Roel was amused by her reaction. He grabbed her hand and quickly clarified.
“Don’t you have any self-awareness? How could you possibly look awful? What I mean is that you appear a little exhausted. Now that I think about it, it’s inappropriate of me to visit you right after an intense battle.”
“That’s definitely not the case! … I don’t intend to rest that early anyway.”
Charlotte quickly supplemented her statement before her eyes meekly drifted toward the window, which showcased a beautiful sunset scenery outside. Roel did the same too and enjoyed the sight of butterflies frolicking beneath the setting sun.
A thought suddenly came to his mind then.
“Why don’t I let Peytra help you?”
“Hm? What do you mean?”
Having thought out of a plan, Roel released a surge of pale yellow mana and infused it into Charlotte’s body. The sudden infusion of foreign mana made her exclaim in astonishment, but she swiftly felt a gush of warmth nourishing the feebleness in her body. Her complexion visibly improved.
“Peytra is the Primordial Earth Goddess. Her mana is gentle in nature and contains life force, and it’s particularly suited for women. It won’t be enough to heal you up right away, but it should take away some of your fatigue.”
Roel continued infusing more of Peytra’s mana into Charlotte’s body, and the latter closed her eyes and let out a relaxed sigh. Their mana began to meld with each other, allowing Roel to sense Charlotte’s current strength.
This feeling… She’s already approaching the bottleneck of Origin Level 4?
Roel was a little surprised by that.
As the young miss of a merchant house, there was no way Charlotte could fully devote her time and effort into developing her transcendental abilities. Yet, she was still able to keep up with Roel’s footsteps. It was almost as if she was leveling up just by breathing!
Is this what they call a difference in talent? Still… she’s also growing far faster here than in the game.
Roel didn’t know whether he should celebrate or worry over Charlotte’s hastened growth here as compared to in Eyes of the Chronicler. He tried to take his mind off this matter, knowing that his worries wouldn’t make a difference.
Some time later, the exhaustion on Charlotte’s face finally faded, and Roel gradually retracted his pale yellow mana. Charlotte looked at the reassured look on Roel’s face, and it filled her heart with overflowing warmth and happiness. She curled her hair coyly and spoke up.
“Darling, the weather is getting cold nowadays.”
“It sure is. It’s already approaching autumn. Our first semester in Saint Freya Academy is about to come to its end,” said Roel, lamenting how fast time was passing them by.
He thought that it was just a passing remark, but Charlotte suddenly stood up, walked over, and hooked her finger on his collar.
“Don’t you think that it’s about time for you to change your wardrobe to suit the new season?” said Charlotte with a gentle smile.
Roel instinctively shot to his feet.
“You’ve been busy recently. I wouldn’t want to tire you out.”
“Designing clothes is my hobby. It’s a way for me to relax. Darling, are you intending to take away my little joys in life? Besides, you’re only allowed to wear the clothes I designed. It’s clearly stated in our contract.”
“Wait a moment. What contract?” asked Roel in bewilderment.
Charlotte proudly talked about the terms she had secretly snuck into the 400,000 gold coins debt note between them. Roel, who had signed the contract after a brief look through out of trust in her, was rendered speechless. In the end, he could only obediently stand up and allow his personal designer to do her work.
Roel’s physique was constantly changing as he was still in his growth phase, so Charlotte would always make sure to take his measurements on the spot before designing his clothes. Once everything was done, she would send an urgent order to the Sorofya Merchant Association, and the association would deliver the finished clothes within days.
Thanks to that, all of the clothes that Roel received from Charlotte were exceptionally fitting.
That was why he was confused when Charlotte didn’t bother retrieving her measuring tape.
“Aren’t you going to take my measurements?”
“I am. Your growth has slowed, but I want to ensure that the clothes I make fit you snugly. It’s just that I’m not planning to use the measuring tape this time.”
“How do you intend to measure me without using a measuring tape?” asked Roel in confusion.
There was a gleam in Charlotte’s eyes as she raised her hand and waved it about.
“I’ll be using this.”