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LTBE - Chapter 405.2: Your Name (2)

… 

After the champagne fight, the exhausted students turned their attention back to the delicacies, which had been guarded by the staff members much to everyone’s relief. The fight had brought bonds together, and students who had never talked before began engaging one another in conversations. 

A mildly intoxicated Juliana walked up to Charlotte and grumbled about her Golden Soul being an eyesore. Lilian started chatting with Teresa, much to everyone’s surprise. William dragged Geralt and stationed him in front of Brittany. Kurt and Edward began a light conversation about history. Paul summoned his armor and demonstrated their effects to Selina and Stuart, amazing the two of them. 

Roel gazed at this harmonious sight as he took a sip of wine. Academy life was often the most memorable period for most. Those joyous and carefree days that were overflowing with vibrant youthfulness ripened like fine wine in our memories, becoming what most called the taste of nostalgia. 

There was a period of time that he was hesitant and fearful of attending Saint Freya Academy. That apprehensive little boy back then couldn’t have fathomed how much he would come to cherish the experiences and bonds he had made here. 

“I’m glad that I have come here.”

“Is that what you think?”

“Hm?”

Roel turned in the direction where the voice was coming from and saw William walking over. 

“Eavesdropping is not a good habit.”

“You weren’t trying to hide your words.”

“I guess so.”

The fully-armored William took her seat beside Roel. She looked at the bustling crowd before her and remarked.

“Now that I’ve heard those words from you, I have even less of a reason to take you away from here.”

“Not like I was planning to leave with you in the first place,” replied Roel with a smile.

He heaved a sigh of relief, knowing that William had finally thought things through. However, he soon recalled the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance and the mission he had to carry out. He quickly scanned their surroundings before resolving himself to grasp this opportunity.

So, he turned his head over and began staring at William. 

Sensing his gaze, William also turned her head over to meet his eyes. Time ticked slowly under their exchange of eyes. Her initial curiosity turned into confusion, followed by fluster. Soon, she thought of something and slowly lowered her head. 

Fifteen seconds would have usually passed by in an instant, but every second felt frighteningly protracted when one had to stare at another person without saying a word. Nevertheless, Roel still held his gaze firm as he continued his mental countdown. When the countdown finally reached zero, William reacted to his gesture. 

“Can you come with me for a moment?”

“Sure.”

Its effects are showing right away?

Roel nodded his head before quietly leaving the banquet hall under William’s lead. 

It was quite chaotic inside the banquet hall. Most students were drinking and chatting heartily, so no one noticed the departure of the duo. The noises slowly faded as Roel followed William to an open corridor that basked them under the brilliant moonlight.

“Wait here.”

“Hm?”

William suddenly turned around and walked away, leaving the latter utterly bewildered. 

What’s going on? Did she brign me here to meet someone else?

A while later, ‘someone else’ really appeared. 

It was a tall lady dressed in a white skirt. She had ash-blue hair and tangerine eyes. Her waist was slim, yet one could feel explosive power in her. Her limbs were toned to what most people would call the golden ratio. Despite her valiant disposition, her eyes swam around diffidently in Roel’s presence. 

“You are… William?”

Roel had to stare at the familiar face for a while before he could recognize the lady before him. 

William nodded her head. Her hands were fidgeting around as if she had no idea where to place them. In the end, she decided to hide them behind her back.

“Does it fit me?” she asked softly.

“I-it does, but why would you suddenly…”

“T-that’s because you kept staring at me! I wanted to follow your suggestion and try out a skirt, but I’ve gotten too used to wearing my armor. The thought of others staring at me in a skirt feels weird…” replied William with a reddened face.

As she said those words, she quietly tried to tug the hem of her skirt down in hopes that it would magically stretch longer and cover her exposed legs. On the other hand, Roel was finally reminded of the words he had told her in the finals.

When William’s helmet shattered after the final clash, revealing her true face, he did mention something along the line that she could try wearing skirts from time to time. He never thought that she would take those words so seriously. 

All of a sudden, he felt that the obstinate William looked rather adorable. He also felt relieved, thinking that this was a good change for her to make.

William’s devotion to the vow was symbolized by her armor and the concealment of her identity. The fact that she was willing to cast these away showed that a tinge of change had started in her heart. 

“It sounds like you’re finally giving up on your mission to take me away from here.”

“I was forced to. What else can I do after you shattered my armor in public? Too many people have seen my face. It’s no longer possible to hide the truth,” muttered William grudgingly.

It turned out that the revelation of her true face resulted in the claim that she was the adopted son of the Cambonytes to crumble. She was instructed to return to Pendor after the holiday to be reinstated as a princess. 

In the first place, she had put on the armor and assumed the role of the Cambonytes’ adopted son so that she could focus her time and effort on growing stronger. Pendor would also be less affected if she ever needed to fulfill the vow and die as Roel’s scapegoat. 

However, now that William was shown to be the real daughter of the Cambonytes, it was no longer possible for her to become Roel’s scapegoat. That was because she was the sole daughter and successor of the Cambonyte Royal Family. 

It would be one thing if the Cambonytes had a bunch of children fighting over the succession, or that William was truly an adopted son carrying out the vow. The problem was that William was the only child of the Cambonytes, and that changed the nature of things. 

The king of the Knight Kingdom might be willing to put his daughter’s life on the line for the sake of humankind, but that didn’t mean that the nobles would agree to it. William was the only legitimate successor to Pendor, and her death would indubitably destabilize the country.

Roel’s heart was finally put at ease upon hearing those words.

Not even the king could afford to go against the collective will of the circle of nobility in the present Sia Continent. It was unlikely that William would ever have to sacrifice herself anymore.

“That’s good news. It looks like my sacrifice in the finals was worth it.”

Knowing that his deeds had definitely changed William’s fate, Roel looked at the night sky above with a gladdened smile. William stared at him for a long while before finally posing a question.

“What if you lost? What would you do then?”

“What if I lost?”

The question caught Roel off guard. He turned to face William, who was staring intently at him, and hesitantly spoke up.

“To be honest… I never thought that I’d lose.”

“You… Are you looking down on me?”

“That’s not it. It’s just that… I couldn’t lose in that situation, so I wouldn’t lose.”

“…”

William was surprised. Despite Roel’s gentle smile, the words coming out of him were surprisingly forceful.

“… Is it because you wanted to save me?”

“I wouldn’t use the term ‘save’. I just wanted to return you the right of choice. I said it, didn’t I? You should be the one to choose how you wish to live.”

“Choice, huh?”

William murmured under her breath. She walked over to Roel’s side and stared at the beautiful night sky together with him. 

“I might have suffered over the years, but I have also gained much in return, be it strength or reputation. You might have refuted the vow, but there are still many things I don’t wish to change. Is that… fine?”

“Of course. You really are an obstinate one… It isn’t a crime to take it easy, you know.”

“I really don’t like being told that I’m obstinate by someone who adamantly refuses my help. However, there are things that I wish to change too.”

“Oh? What does Lord William wish to change?”

“N-no, not William…”

William turned to Roel and put a finger on his lips. Then, she said with a smile. 

“Call me Wilhelmina.”

StarveCleric's Notes:

I know I'm lagging 6 chapters at the moment. 
I'll squeeze them out as soon as I manage to find time, but for the time being, I don't think that I'll be able to pull it off. 
Still have massive commitments weighing down on me at the moment @@
For the time being, I'll try to ensure daily uploads

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ℭ𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰:
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Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar.