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LTBE - Chapter 426.2: I Won’t Let You Go (2)

Next to the deeply asleep Roel, Nora Xeclyde was seated upright in a dark room, undergoing immense torture and suffering. She had wrapped a blanket tightly around herself to block off the light emanating from her body, but she couldn’t stop the golden aura from assimilating her. 

Her divine instinct was attempting to repress her humanity and gain dominance. 

Looking at the fast asleep Roel, who trusted her enough to show his back to her, she felt a dull aching pain in her chest. The hands clutching her blanket tightened, and she began to hesitate over the decisions she had made. 

Earlier in the evening, after she had cleansed Tark Prairie of over a thousand deviants, she made up her mind that if the symptoms of her Seraphication still showed up tonight, she would leave Roel’s side and venture into the depths of Tark Prairie all alone. 

That contradicts her own feelings and wishes, but she didn’t think that there was any other way around it. She couldn’t let her own selfishness harm the man she loved.

It was not without reason that she suddenly made that decision. In truth, she had momentarily lost control in the evening.

It started with an intense pulsation from her bloodline, and reality suddenly seemed to distance itself from her that very instant. She found herself returning into the white space once more. As many times before, she tried her best to suppress her bloodline and eventually succeeded, but what happened afterward astonished her.

She couldn’t remember where their hideout was. 

Roel thought that Nora had returned late because she spent her time scavenging for food, but the truth was that she spent most of her time searching the vicinity before she finally found their hideout. 

There was no way a transcendent with cognitive ability far surpassing that of mortals, especially one who had been through strict military training from a young age, could have just abruptly forgotten her hideout, not to mention that that man was still in the hideout. 

After her father went missing, Roel was the closest person to her, one of her important pillars of support. He had just dragged her out from the abyss of despair, such that he had become far more important to her than Holy Eminence John in certain ways. 

Yet, she actually forgot about where he was. 

There could only be one plausible explanation behind this anomaly, and that was that she was slowly transforming into something that wasn’t her anymore. 

That moment, she realized that the effects of Seraphication had reached a new stage, something that had never occurred in the Xeclyde House for the past thousand years.

What she was facing now wasn’t just the threat of a complete takeover but a gradually increasing loss of self.

Her memories, feelings, thoughts, and everything else had become battlefields in her fight against her divine instinct. With each loss she suffered, her mental state would undergo a permanent change.

The blurring of her memories was a perfect example. 

It was with this realization that she eventually made this difficult choice. 

The current situation made it much likelier for her condition to unknowingly deteriorate. It could be possible that she was still perfectly normal a moment ago, only to lose something crucial to her the next moment. She might even become the Angel King without her noticing, just like a frog being cooked in simmering water. 

She had chosen not to sleep not just to observe her own condition but because she was afraid. She feared that she would forget or even harm Roel the moment she let her guard down. That was not something she could accept, especially given the frail state that he was already in. 

Roel’s contracted ancient gods had been severely weakened under the assimilatory power of the Angel King, and his body was in a terrible condition due to the injuries she had dealt to him. Furthermore, she could sense that he was concealing something from her. 

She had been paying attention to him throughout the entire night, and she noticed that his face had remained pale all this while. Slowly but surely, she gathered her resolve and made up her mind. 

She gently moved the blanket away from her and quietly tidied herself up. Then, she began making her way toward the door. 

The world outside was dark and cold. The hostile winds howled ceaselessly.

She knew that the moment she stepped out of this door, she would have to face everything all alone. It was possible that she might never return ever again. But when she thought about how this was the only way she could protect the one whom she loved, her heart toughened up once more. 

She took one last yearning gaze behind her before forcing herself to turn around and reach for the door. Before she could touch it, she heard a calm voice behind her.

“It’d be better if you could tell me in advance before heading out in the middle of the night.”

“!”

Nora froze in place. Panic momentarily seized her, but she quickly adjusted her feelings and answered with her back against Roel. 

“You’re awake? You were sleeping soundly earlier, so I didn’t want to wake you up.”

Roel didn’t refute Nora’s answer. There was a brief moment of silence before he posed another question.

“Where are you heading to?”

“I’m… having trouble sleeping. It’s going to be daybreak soon, so I was thinking of gathering some ingredients for breakfast. I’ll be back soon.”

“… Really?” asked Roel. 

He stood up while massaging his chest, feeling a little relieved. 

His body was slowly being broken down by the golden aura that had permeated his body due to the Angel King stabbing her hand into his chest, but it also allowed him to sense the condition of Nora’s bloodline through the strength of the assimilation. 

Thanks to that, he was able to sense Nora’s anomaly even when he was in Artasia’s dimension. 

But at the same time, the increased activity of the golden aura inflicted excruciating pain on him. He could sense the window of connection he had with Artasia closing as a result of it. 

The evidence was telling him that Nora was in a dire state, and there was simply no way she could have been leaving at a time like this to gather ingredients for breakfast. He also knew of a way to verify that. 

“Nora, let me see your eyes,” Roel requested as he slowly made his way over to her.

“…”

Nora’s body trembled in response, not knowing what to do. 

The most direct symptom of her Seraphication lay in her glowing eyes, and both of them were aware of that. Due to that, she refused to turn around, and Roel chose to stop right behind her and wait for her response. 

There was a long moment of silence before she finally gritted her teeth and turned around to face him. 

“Alright. Since you have already figured it out, I won’t beat around the bush anymore. Roel, we’ll have to part ways for a while.”

“Why? Because you’re in a dire condition?”

“I’m in the final stage of my bloodline awakening. I need to focus my attention. I can’t allow anyone to disturb me at a time like this, not even you.”

“… You’re saying that I’m a disturbance?” murmured Roel as he lowered his head. 

Nora felt pained to see this, but she forced herself to stand firm.

“You’re severely injured. You won’t be able to do anything if the Angel King appears once more. I hate to say this, but you won’t be of any help to me. I’m grateful for everything you have done, but the best way you can help me is by returning to the backline. It’s much safer there.”

With a calm face, Nora dished out a series of cold rational analyses that stabbed right into Roel’s heart. She was hoping to agitate him into turning back, and it looked like she was on the verge of success when he lowered his head even further. 

But unexpectedly, when Roel finally raised his head once more, there was no anger in his eyes. There was only gentleness. 

“You really have no talent for lying. You should have been more heartless if you wanted to goad me into leaving. Something of this extent will only make me want to stay by your side more.”

 “!”

“!”

Nora was shocked that he had seen right through her thoughts, and her first reaction was to refute him. But before she could say a word, two saintly white cuffs linked by a chain suddenly shot out from Roel’s hands. He swiftly clamped one around her wrist and the other around his, thus shackling the two of them together. 

“W-what is this?!”

“It’s a present.”

“Present?”

“I wanted to bring this up a little later to surprise you, but it looks like there’s no way around it now. Happy birthday, Nora,” said Roel with a smile. 

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.