LTBE - Chapter 399: Just Like In the Stories (1)
He feels guilt-ridden? Towards me?
Roel looked at Teresa in confusion, to which, the latter nodded and continued writing in her notebook.
The awakening of those from your clan should have been felt by the wearer of the Shadow Warrior Armor, but over the years, he wasn’t able to sense anything at all.
He thinks that it’s his fault. That’s why he feels exceptionally strongly about taking you away from here in order to avoid the third prophecy.
Roel fell silent upon reading the words in Teresa’s notebook.
He had an inkling as to why William hadn’t noticed his awakening, and the problem didn’t necessarily lay with William himself. Different from his ancestors, his bloodline had been forcefully awakened through an artificial stimulus from the System. That could have been a loophole in the Shadow Warrior Armor.
There was no reason for William to feel guilty at all.
Roel couldn’t understand where this feeling was coming from, but he felt rage slowly swelling up in his chest. He clenched his fists tightly and took a deep breath to compose himself. Then, he closed his eyes and tried to understand the reason behind his anger.
He had learned about William’s story and the existence of a ‘safety measure’ that could potentially save him once from the Witness State, but he didn’t feel the slightest bit of joy. Instead, it frustrated him greatly.
Logically, he could understand the rationale behind the Ardes’ actions.
Practically all of the races had committed atrocities in the ancient era to ensure the continuance of their lineages. What the Ardes did was mild in comparison. Considering the strength and importance of the Kingmaker Bloodline, no one could deny that it was worth putting such safety measures to ensure the safety of the Ardes’ bloodline awakeners from a utilitarian perspective.
Had the Ardes done wrong?
Those who chose to put on the Shadow Warrior Armor had voluntarily done so, presumably because they were indebted to the Ardes and were willing to repay them with their lives.
The Ardes weren’t just shamelessly clinging onto life either. They knew how important it was to protect the awakeners of the Kingmaker Bloodline for their mission. Over the generations, the bloodline awakeners of the Ardes had laid down their lives to suppress the calamities that threatened humankind, granting the common populace peaceful lives.
One was willing to lay down his life and the other had to remain alive in order to fulfill his mission. It was a voluntary mutual partnership. Roel wouldn’t have uttered any criticisms had it occurred on anyone else, but somehow, he couldn’t accept it when it came to him.
Under the streetlamp, he opened his eyes and calmly looked at the woman seated beside him.
“Miss Teresa, I have understood everything you have said. My deepest apology… but I can’t accept William’s vow.”
Teresa widened her eyes when she heard the decision Roel made after a long bout of contemplation. Unable to comprehend his decision, she quickly jotted down her question in her notebook.
Why? William is an exceptionally powerful transcendent. His strength should be of great assistance to you.
“I don’t deny that, but Miss Teresa, you must be unaware of the differences between the Ardes and our Ascarts.”
Teresa’s quill froze to a halt upon hearing the unexpected remark. She blinked her eyes in confusion, not knowing how to respond. Roel chuckled at her reaction before carrying on.
“If the Ardes are the ancient kings of the shadows, the Ascarts would be proud warriors standing tall in the face of adversity.”
Roel gazed into the distant starry sky as he spoke pensively.
“The lineage of the Ardes had already been severed since the inception of the Third Epoch. Over the thousand years, the awakeners of our Ascarts didn’t have any records, rituals, spells, or vows to rely on. All of our awakeners were cast into the most treacherous of conditions from the moment of their awakening. Yet, we were able to overcome the odds and survive. Why is that the case?
“The reason is simple. We’re warriors fighting against fate, be it the fate of inevitable death, the fate of a declining house, or the fate of losing our loved ones. Danger has always been our predicament, but we don’t plan on lowering our heads before it. This is the spirit we embrace, and it’s our honor. That’s why we were able to survive for a thousand years despite the severance of our lineage.
“The ancient kings might have attained wisdom that allowed them to deftly circumvent danger, but as a warrior of the Ascart House, the notion of having to use another human as a tool and necessitate him to die on my behalf sullies my honor. It violates the spirit that made the Ascarts strong in the first place. My companions will frown at me if I choose to accept the vow.”
Those resolute words left Teresa with widened eyes.
In a faraway dimension, a white-haired witch murmured the name of her hero with an enigmatic smile. The Primordial Earth Goddess peacefully closed her eyes. In a blood-colored plain, a humongous skeleton giant released a brilliant glow from his eyes, an expression of admiration from a fellow warrior.
“I’ve always believed in living my life carefully and doing everything I can to survive. However, I have not grown so weak as to require someone to serve as my scapegoat. Every generation has its own circumstances, and everyone has their own moral compass. While I am grateful to my ancestor, Wendy Arde, for preparing such a safety measure for me, I’m afraid that I can’t accept this vow.”
Roel didn’t think that he was in a position to denounce the Ardes, but he wouldn’t back down on his principles either.
Teresa stared at Roel with dazed eyes as she mused over his words. There were many words bubbling in her chest, but she had no idea how to express herself. A long time later, she picked up her quill.
But William is extremely obstinate too. He wouldn’t give up on it. He sees it as his mission. This is everything he has worked hard for.
Roel thought over those words before abruptly turning his gaze toward the bend by the corner of the street. He stared at the bend contemplatively for a few seconds before finally turning his head back to look at Teresa.
“I hope that he can rethink his options and choose his own goal.”
His own goal?
“If he insists on dedicating his life to become the guardian of a distant prophecy, it’ll be impossible for us to reconcile our differences. I’ll have no choice but to keep rejecting him. However, if he’s willing to reshape his goal into becoming a true comrade of mine, someone who can stand and fight alongside me, I’ll use the methods of the Knight Kingdom to prove to him that fate has already changed. There’s no need for any sacrifices anymore.”
Roel spoke with utmost confidence, knowing that the third prophecy had already been broken. With those words, he rose to his feet and bade his farewell.
“Well then, Miss Teresa. Let’s conclude our discussion here. I’m grateful that you’re willing to inform me of these matters.”
No, it’s only right for me to do so.
Roel nodded before he turned around and left the commercial street.