LTBE - Chapter 409: Incomprehensible Silence
In the dining room of the Ascarts’ manor, Roel frowned upon hearing Anna’s words. Alicia also put down her teacup with a doubtful look on her face.
Due to the limited time Nora had to accompany Roel, she had always valued her exchange of letters with him. She even exploited her position as his protector to demand a minimum of two letters from him every month, saying that it was necessary for his own safety.
Of course, the content of their exchange had nothing to do with his safety at all.
It maddened Alicia every single time those letters arrived, but there was nothing she could do about them. She couldn’t destroy those letters, not just because she knew that it would disappoint her Lord Brother but because she knew it would affect the alliance between the Ascarts and the Xeclydes too.
Roel understood why Nora was doing this, and he thought that it would be disrespectful for him to simply send her the minimum amount of letters as if it was a chore. Due to that, they would usually exchange four letters every month.
In fact, there was a period of time after Nora headed to the frontlines that she sent a peak of eight letters to him out of distress from their separation. These letters were her way to maintain her relationship with Roel and remain in the race, and that was why she valued them greatly.
Even if it wasn’t an important occasion, she would make sure to send a letter to him every now and then. Given that Roel had brought glory to the Theocracy with his victory at the Challenger Cup, it was unimaginable how she hadn’t written a letter over yet.
While Alicia was attempting to make sense of her old rival’s thoughts, a deep frown formed on Roel’s face.
He knew that Nora was in the midst of awakening her bloodline. There was a tight clampdown on information regarding that as it could pose security issues, which was why he had avoided talking about it even to Alicia.
Knowing the precarious state Nora was in, he couldn’t help but feel worried about her.
A huge reason why he had been able to remain calm so far was because Nora had returned to the Theocracy, the Xeclydes’ base of operations. He thought that the Xeclydes would have a foolproof plan for her condition in their thousand years of accumulated wisdom, but it would appear that he had been too optimistic.
Writing a letter was not something that took up a lot of time or effort.
Nora wouldn’t have remained unmoved upon learning that he had won the championship. Even in a weakened state, she would have insisted on writing down a couple words of congratulations and have someone send it over. The fact that she didn’t do so was almost a certain sign that something had happened to her.
Roel’s hands began fidgeting worriedly as his heart filled with worry. Noticing his reactions, Anna pondered for a moment before offering an explanation in hopes of calming him down.
“Young master, could it be possible that we haven’t received any letter from Her Highness Nora due to the recent traffic disruptions at the Holy Capital?”
“The military logistics officers in the Holy Capital are looking to quickly gather the autumn harvest and send one final convoy of rations to Tark Stronghold before winter. The huge scale of the operation has inevitably affected normal traffic flow, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Her Highness Nora’s letter arrived late.”
“Is that so?”
Knowing that it was possible that he was just thinking too much into it, Roel heaved a sigh of relief. He decided to wait a little longer before making a move.
Even though he hadn’t received any letter from Nora, he did know for certain that Nora had safely arrived at the Holy Capital. There were plenty of eye-witnesses who had caught sight of her carriage in the cities he had stopped along the way.
Logically speaking, Nora’s safety should be assured as soon as she stepped across the Theocracy’s borders. There was not a single power in the Theocracy who could hope to threaten her, and no one would dare to do so either. Any evil cultists who had the guts to pull off something like that would have already been eradicated in the past thousand years.
There aren’t any hostile external powers in the Theocracy that’s large enough to threaten Nora, so that shouldn’t be a problem. As for internal powers…
The thought of Bryan Elric brought a frown to Roel’s face, but he quickly shook his head.
He was certain there was something fishy going on with the Elric Count House, but it was unlikely that they would make a move at this juncture. The Xeclydes were currently allied with the Ascarts, placing the Elrics in a disadvantageous position. If they dared to pull something, the Xeclydes and the Ascarts would surely make use of this opportunity to get rid of them once and for all.
Not to mention, the Elrics had nothing to gain from attacking Nora either.
Putting aside the fact that Holy Eminence John was alive and kicking, Prince Kane was also in his prime. While Nora was the future successor of the crown, she was nowhere as important as her father and grandfather in maintaining the stability of the Theocracy. It didn’t make sense for her to be the first target.
Taking a step back, if the Elrics had really decided to tear off their mask and reveal their sharp edges, the Theocracy would have fallen into a state of chaos by now. Things couldn’t possibly have been as peaceful as it currently was.
“What’s wrong, Lord Brother? Your complexion looks awful.”
“… It’s nothing much.”
Looking at the concerned gaze of the crimson-eyed girl, Roel shook his head and squeezed out a smile. Then, he ruffled her silver hair.
“Hahaha, it tickles!”
The worry reflected on Alicia’s face faded.
Roel decided not to think too much into it. There was insufficient information for him to work with, so it would be useless for him to speculate and worry himself out. He did have an ominous feeling, but he didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere, especially when Alicia had only just returned home.
The two of them enjoyed afternoon tea before proceeding to the dining room for dinner. They stuck together till late at night before returning to their respective rooms to rest.
For the next few days, they holed themselves up at home to recover from the fatigue they had accumulated over the long journey.
During this period of time, Roel assimilated what he had learned during the Challenger Cup, granting him a deeper understanding of his own powers. That gave him some ideas as to how he should advance to a higher level.
Origin Level 3 was a hurdle even for Roel, who had awakened to the Ascart Bloodline.
Serums and the sort had limited effectiveness on him at his current level, which meant that he had to browse through a huge amount of historical records to build up sufficient momentum for a breakthrough. So, he spent the last few days immersing himself in the library.
At the same time, he also started making preparations in case something really happened to Nora. He wasn’t the type to wait passively for something to really happen before making a move. He ordered the Ascarts’ intelligence network to keep an eye on the happenings in the Holy Capital.
To his surprise, before he received any news from the Holy Capital, he received another piece of surprising news.
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Carter had returned.