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LTBE - Chapter 425: Little Wish

On the dining table, Roel continued stuffing food into his mouth and quietly pondered about where Nora had possibly learned how to cook from. He was so immersed in his thought that he was caught off guard by Nora’s sudden question.

Victoria Xeclyde and Ponte Ascart.

They might be nothing more than a historical character to others, but these two names carried special significance to Roel and Nora, especially with the decisions they had made.

Victoria and Ponte used to be teacher and student, but after undergoing a series of tribulations, they ended up falling deeply in love with each other. However, due to their respective positions and ethical considerations, they were unable to officially become a couple.

When Nora looked deeper into her family history, she found that Victoria’s so-called husband was just a disguise by her personal maid, and there were many mysteries surrounding her death. Roel also looked into Ponte’s records afterward and realized that his disappearance was questionable.

Corroborating both records, it was likely that those two ancestors of theirs must have had enough holding themselves back for decades, so they decided to liberate themselves by faking their deaths as soon as the situation in the Theocracy finally stabilized.

However, Nora’s question left Roel at a loss.

Their decision? She’s referring to their elopement, right? What’s there to talk about their elopement?

Nora noticed that Roel was confused by her question, so she took a moment to string together her words before clarifying.

“Do you think that Victoria and Ponte have made the right choice? They might have lost prestige, but in exchange, they gained the warm bliss of a simple life. I think that living that sort of life would be a joy too.”

“… Yeah, that’s probably the best ending for them,” replied Roel with a nod as he put down his knife and fork.

There was a gleam in Nora’s eyes. She stared intently at Roel for a while and asked.

“Would you be fond of such a life too?”

“…”

Nora’s expectant gaze plunged Roel into silence.

The two of them might be sharing a meal right now, but such occasions were rare for them. There were times when they could only make time for each other once a year to eat together. The situation did improve after their enrollment in Saint Freya Academy, but even so, they were often so busy that their meetings were infrequent.

Nora was always busy. Even during the holidays, her work piled up like a mini mountain. She had to maintain relations with both court nobles and landed nobles, and there were constantly things she needed to do in the Genesis Goddess Church. Work was never-ending for her, and her workload would only continue to grow in the future…

It was inevitable that she would feel a strong yearning for an ordinary everyday life.

Roel did want to lead an ordinary life too, but it was starting to dawn on him that it was impossible for them. Tark Stronghold was one example. He had been trying to keep a positive attitude all this while, but his heart was filled with uncertainty and worry.

He felt like he was witnessing the realization of the apocalyptic prophecy Wilhelmina spoke about.

It was impossible to hide the news about the disappearance of Tark Stronghold. The deviants would soon learn about it, and the eastern border would completely descend into chaos. The resulting consequences would be far-reaching, potentially affecting every human in the world.

Furthermore, as foretold by the individual routes of Eyes of the Chronicler, Nora and the others were destined to face a major crisis in their lives. Nora was now facing hers, but it could soon be the others’ turn.

It was distressing just to think about it. If there was any other choice, Roel would have loved to turn his eyes away from reality and live his life out in ignorance.

“I’m fond of it, but it’ll be hard for us. Victoria and Ponte were only able to retire because the Theocracy was moving into an era of stability then.”

“I know. But if peace does come to the world one day, I think I’d want to try out a life like that myself.”

“You can try it if you want to, but don’t even think about faking your own death like Victoria did. That’d plunge the Theocracy into chaos.”

“Can’t you be more encouraging at a time like this?”

“It’s my job to keep you from straying off the path. I don’t want to go down in history as a corrupted subject who misled my liege,” replied Roel as he picked up his cup.

Nora puffed up her cheeks in protest to Roel’s tactlessness. Little did she know that Roel wasn’t done yet.

“But… if such a day really comes, I’ll accompany you.”

“!”

The unexpected assault caught Nora off guard. Her mouth opened in bewilderment, not knowing how to respond to Roel’s direct response. Her lips quivered and her cheeks blushed. It took a while before she finally managed to formulate a response.

“W-what’s with you all of a sudden? Didn’t you express your disapproval earlier on?”

“That’s from an official point of view. No responsible ruler would abandon their country and go missing.”

“Hmph! Says the one who…”

“But on a personal level, it’s fine with me.”

“Ah?”

“What I said before was just my stance as a subject. It doesn’t reflect my true wishes.”

Roel took a sip of a tea before placing the cup back onto the table. He raised his head to look into Nora’s sapphire eyes before continuing on.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re irresponsible, incompetent, or domineering. You can be a tyrant for all you wish. I just wish to stay by your side.”

“…”

Through their exchange of gazes, Nora could sense that Roel meant that he said, and it stumped her. Her eyes started to heat up, so she quickly turned her head away.

“Isn’t that blind loyalty?”

“There are different types of people in the world. Some choose to remain logical and objective. Others choose to trust a person by their virtue. I simply belong to the latter category. I trust you, Nora Xeclyde.

“If you are truly a tyrant, I guess I would indeed be a foolish subject who is blindly loyal to an unworthy liege. However, if you turn out to be a wise ruler who leaves her mark in history, the world would celebrate my loyalty and steadfast trust in you. That’s why, I’ll have to ask you to be a bit wiser so that I won’t be mocked by the future generations.”

“… Spoken just like a dog following its master.”

Nora murmured to herself with a bright red face. Those words stirred some of her inner desires, so she couldn’t help but ask.

“Can I put a leash on you?”

“I’ll have to humbly reject that.”

“Tsk. How obstinate.”

Roel unhesitatingly rejected Nora’s peculiar advances. Looking at the golden-haired woman in front of him, he couldn’t help but wonder what the future held for them.

It’s about time. Is it just going to be the two of us?, he wondered.

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.