LTBE - Chapter 404: Look Closely, Don’t Blink (1)
Lying on his patient bed, Roel was stunned by the System’s notification. He didn’t think that the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance would work its wonders at the very last moment before its expiry.
It had been a massive help to him in building up friendly relations with the transfer students from the Knight Kingdom. He quickly turned his attention toward the System, and the new guidance started to surface.
【Goddess of Fate’s Guidance
Quietly stare at William for over fifteen seconds during the celebratory party with her being aware of your gaze.】
“Hm? Stare at her for fifteen seconds?”
Roel was perplexed by the guidance. He would still follow it since the guidance had proven to be credible from previous experiences, but it was still pretty weird to quietly stare at someone.
It’s already awkward to be caught staring at someone, but I’ve to do it with her being conscious about it? It’s one thing to do it with a guy, but to be caught ogling at a woman… Ah no, it would actually be worse if the other party is a guy.
Roel shook his head and closely examined the guidance once again.
It looked like he could carry out the task whenever he wanted during the celebratory party. Given the crowded surroundings, it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to find an opportunity to stare at her for fifteen seconds.
He had activated the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance with the goal of saving Astrid. Despite the bumps along the way, following the guidance had always brought him positive outcomes that pushed him closer toward his goal. Now that he had already won the Challenger Cup, it was time to wrap things up.
Having confirmed his goal, he began making preparations for the celebratory party.
It was a tradition for Saint Freya Academy to hold a celebratory party after clinching the Challenger Cup. After three days of building anticipation, the students couldn’t wait for the party to commence.
It was going to be a large-scale party with an estimated of several thousand participants. The venue extended from the banquet hall to the grassfield. It was going to be a night of wild fun.
Before evening time, a carriage specially prepared by the academy stopped outside the Azure Manor. Several minutes later, a suited up Roel walked out with Paul and Geralt, and the three of them boarded the carriage and began making their way to the banquet hall.
Saint Freya Academy had declared today a rest day, allowing the students to do whatever they wanted. Some students chose to lay in bed and rest up, but most were infected with excitement and wanted to participate in the celebrations.
As Roel’s carriage throttled down the streets, he could hear loud applause and shouts of his name. He parted the curtains and looked out of the window; many were waving at him. As much as he appreciated the friendliness, it was too much for him to bear.
I guess the Challenger Cup does hold great influence amongst the youths.
It was normal for hot-blooded youths to be unwilling to lower their heads to others. While Roel enjoyed considerable fame as a Ringbearer, he had never been this warmly welcomed by his peers.
His fame was still swiftly growing even at this very moment. Spectators of the Challenger Cup were bound to share the exciting fight between Roel and William to others when they returned to their respective countries, thus bringing their names to a greater height.
On top of that, he was the youngest-ever champion of the Challenger Cup. This record-breaking feat would tie his name to Saint Freya Academy, Leinster, and the Challenger Cup.
This was the critical acclamation that would come with winning the Challenger Cup, as well as the reason why Nora, Charlotte, and the others wanted to win the tournament despite their already lofty positions.
That being said, the speed at which Roel’s reputation was growing far surpassed that of the previous victors. At this rate, it would only take a few days before the results reached Nora at the Saint Mesit Theocracy.
He was glad that he had managed to accomplish the mission Little Miss Angel had entrusted to him before her departure, but he couldn’t help but worry if things were proceeding smoothly over on her side.
The surroundings grew more packed the closer the carriage approached the banquet hall, such that Roel’s carriage had to stop at the banquet hall’s side entrance instead. For the first time, under the lead of a staff member, Roel was granted the right to enter the banquet hall from the internal entrance, which had always been the exclusive privilege of the academy’s top brass.
The celebratory party had yet to officially commence, but there was already a bustle in the banquet hall. The challengers from Saint Freya Academy started to arrive at the venue, including the seeded challengers.
The four Ringbearers—Edward, Glint, Lilian, and Charlotte—arrived one after another, and they swiftly formed their own social circles with their own supporters. The nobles from the Saint Mesit Theocracy looked lost in contrast, having lost their central figure.
Despite the clear segregation in the banquet hall, the limelight naturally gravitated toward Roel the moment he entered the room.
The Theocracy’s nobles immediately swarmed him as if they had found their leader.
Following that, Charlotte headed over and asked about his health, to which, Roel earnestly answered her question to allay her worries.
In a rare expression of goodwill, Lilian also walked over to greet him. She had to maintain a formal front with so many eyes on her, but those who were truly close to her would have noticed that her amethyst eyes were seeping with gentleness.
Possibly due to Lilian taking the lead, Greenrose Ringbearer Glint also took the initiative to approach Roel for a chat, although his demeanor still remained awkward. In contrast, Greyrose Ringbearer Edward was clearly much more skilled in social interactions.
“Senior Edward, you’re intending to join the military after your graduation?”
“That’s the plan. Due to the ongoing fight at the eastern border, most countries are raising the benefits they offer to soldiers to encourage transcendents to join their ranks. It’s the opposite for Leinster. There are plenty of graduates in Leinster, so there’s rife competition for work here.”
It somehow reminded Roel of his university days in his previous life, where he and his pals would often talk about the job market.
On the whole, he thought that it was good that the benefits offered by Leinster were lower in comparison. Leinster was the academic hub of the Sia Continent, so it took an advisory role in the war. As a result, Leinster wasn’t expected to send soldiers to the frontlines.
Humans were naturally averse to risk. If Leinster was offering higher benefits despite its safer conditions, it was obvious that high-level transcendents would choose to join Leinster instead of fighting on the frontline.
This adjustment in benefits was likely to have arisen from an agreement amongst the countries so as to encourage more transcendents to join the frontlines. It would be disastrous if there was insufficient manpower to guard the borders of humankind’s territories.
“But surely Leinster would spare no resources to recruit a transcendent of Senior Edward’s caliber?” asked Roel.
The implicit compliment made Edward laugh in embarrassment.
“Hahaha. To be honest with you, I’ve received several good offers from various armies thanks to the Challenger Cup. You know the situation at the eastern border; there should be room for upward mobility in the military at least for the next few years. I’m also starting to feel suffocated after holing myself up in Leinster for the past four years. I want to head to more places and see the larger world out there.”
“It sounds like joining the military would indeed be a good option for you.”
Roel found himself smiling at Edward’s words. It was rare to see someone harboring romance for the greater world out there despite the unsettling times they lived in. Edward had the luxury of choice because he had no territory to inherit, which was proving to be a good thing since it would only shackle his free soul down.
Chatting with the carefree Edward lifted Roel’s spirits.