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LTBE - Chapter 420.1: My Fate (1)

I’m getting close now.

In the blood-red afterglow of the setting sun, Roel allowed the steed to advance at a slowed pace while he kept a vigilant eye on his surroundings.

Roel wasn’t in a good condition at all, especially after he had spent a day furiously galloping on horseback. He had underestimated his exertion when dealing with Shrouding Mist. 

He didn’t fully release the powers of the Crown’s Stones, opting to just release their auras to intimidate Shrouding Mist. Thanks to that, he was spared from the heavy side effects of his abilities. On top of that, he had to devote a portion of his mana to calm the disturbance in the Crown’s Stone from their prolonged summoning.

In contrast, the woman whom he was worried about was in the opposite position.

Checking the traces of the three battles Nora had with the deviants, Roel was certain that she was gradually growing stronger. That was evident from the scale of the carcass mountains. 

It had increased from several hundreds in the first pile to over a thousand by the third pile. Her increasing kill count and the mana traces she had left behind affirmed his judgment, further stoking his worry.

To his surprise, his worry didn’t last for too long. 

Weng!

A metallic reverberation could suddenly be heard ahead just as night descended upon the prairie. Ascendwing suddenly began vibrating in resonance to something, emanating a flickering light. Roel’s pupils dilated as he quickly looked in the direction of the metallic reverberation.

He knew that resonance was a sign that Ascendwing had sensed the aura of its owner. Given that he hadn’t done anything, the short sword could only be resonating to its other owner. 

Nora is nearby!

He soon noticed a speck of golden aura rising from the horizon. It shared the brilliance of the stars in the sky, compelling one’s admiration. However, that awe would only last for a second. 

A searing arc suddenly tore through the darkness and rushed at him, emanating fiery heat reminiscent of divine flames. Roel found himself unable to react to it at all.

Too fast!

That attack was launched in less than a tenth of a second, a speed so fast that even transcendents struggled to cope with even with their superior reflexes. 

At this point, it was no longer for Roel to take any evasive maneuver. Yet, he didn’t reveal the slightest hint of despair. It might be impossible for a human to react to the attack, but it was still lacking in the eyes of the gods. 

“Making a move without a greeting? How rude.”

A delightful feminine chuckle sounded.

Roel’s mana started channeling on its own accord, creating a window where a fair hand reached out from the void to release the Witch Queen’s spell. The spell produced ripples that created folds in the space in front of Roel, causing the searing arc to refract and pass by Roel’s sides, crashing into the darkness behind him with a deafening explosion. 

Thanks to Artasia’s help, Roel was able to survive the lethal blow. However, he didn’t celebrate just because of that. The familiar mana pulsation had already told him the identity of the assailant, and that was the worst-case scenario for him. 

Staring at the distant horizon, he saw a young woman with unfurled light wings rising into the air as if she was the new sun. She emanated a divine aura not unlike that of a god seeking to cleanse the world. 

Nora Xeclyde.

Their eyes met across a distance of a thousand meters. Roel felt a surge of coldness in his heart as he realized that the worst had happened. 

Nora couldn’t recognize him anymore. 

Even as she gazed upon Roel, her sapphire eyes remained hard and unfeeling. She was consumed by her divine instinct. Her aura was much stronger than before, but she wasn’t the same person as she was before. She no longer felt… human. 

Am I too late? Has she fully undergone Seraphication?

Such a thought arose in Roel’s mind, plunging him into despair. He quickly forced himself to stay cool and think of other possibilities.

Holy Eminence John did mention that Seraphication was an irreversible process, but that was only if the individual had crossed a certain threshold. Till then, it would be possible to undo its effects. The only problem was that he had no way of telling whether Nora had crossed the threshold or not.

To be honest, he was afraid to know the answer to the question. However, for his own sake and Nora’s, he needed to verify it himself. 

“Nora, it’s me. Roel. Don’t you remember me?”

“…”

Withstanding the immense pressure coming from above, Roel raised his head and asked with a hoarse and quivering voice. He stared intently at the angel in the sky, praying for a miracle to happen.

The moment he said his name, the woman in the sky visibly frowned and there was a slight change in her gaze. However, that momentary struggle of her human self was insufficient to overcome the suppression of her powerful bloodline. Her divine instinct swiftly vanquished her humanity, and she displayed renewed hostility toward Roel. 

Holy flames began blazing silently on her body.

Roel could feel an indescribable pressure crushing down on him, heaping great stress on his body. The ancient gods from distant lands surfaced one after another to protect him, but instead of feeling fear, Roel was overjoyed instead.

There’s a reaction! She hasn’t passed the threshold yet!

The moment Roel saw the series of changes in Nora, a surge of relief gushed into his heart. He felt like there was a lump in his throat. 

Nora’s struggling humanity might have appeared futile, but it represented a ray of hope. He wouldn’t give up as long as there was a sliver of hope, and he was determined to turn things around regardless of the cost. 

Mana began rushing through Roel’s body as he simultaneously manifested Grandar, Peytra, and Artasia. It was a huge burden on him to summon all of his ancient gods at once, but he knew that this was the minimum he needed to do in order to deal with the current Nora.

That was apparent through the reactions of Grandar and the others. 

The ancient gods didn’t stand domineeringly over the battlefield as they usually did. Faced with the expanding sphere of light in the sky, Peytra narrowed her sharp eyes, Artasia revealed a rare impassive expression, and Grandar silently gathered the bulk of his strength. The three of them knew that they were faced with a dangerous enemy.

Nora had already reached Origin Level 3—that was something Roel had confirmed from the very first attack. That usually wouldn’t have posed much of an issue to him since he had defeated a couple of Origin Level 2 transcendents to date.

The problem was that Nora’s Origin Level 3 was different from the others. 

She was the most powerful female capture target in Eyes of the Chronicler; there was hardly any doubt about that. She was the inquisitor of light and the holy sword that severed sins. She was the chosen one that the world birthed after countless years. Now that she had transformed into a god, she was more dangerous than ever. 

The danger instinct Roel had honed over the years was screaming at him to flee from here with the fastest speed possible, be it through the tension in his body or the persistent goosebumps on his arms. Even the Witch Queen chose to offer her advice.

“My hero, I know that you wish to save her, but I advise you to give up on that thought. That’s not just any angel…” she said with a rare grave expression. 

“Go all out, or else we’ll perish here,” replied Roel determinedly.

StarveCleric's Notes:

Do check out the translated manhua at ZeroScans!
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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.