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LTBE - Chapter 428.1: Fated Nemesis (1)

“You’re here.”

“… Mm.”

Roel took a moment to recover from the disorientation from being brought into an alternate world before responding with a light nod. Before him was a beautiful golden-haired woman seated upon a throne, a form which he hadn’t seen for a long time. 

He looked at the seemingly familiar surroundings around him with guilt-ridden eyes.

He was in the mountain valley under the jurisdiction of the Primordial Earth Goddess, Peytra. He could still remember the moment he first met the Queen of Saint Beasts and conversed with her, as well as his shock when he first witnessed her mountainlike body. 

Yet, the dark mountain valley and the meandering mountains all around had been devoured by the golden aura, ceasing to exist. A part of Peytra’s body was also crumbling as well. 

Faced with such a situation, Roel’s heart grew heavy. 

Unlike the Witch Queen, the Primordial Earth Goddess didn’t seem to mind the situation much. She rose to her feet and directed Roel a gentle smile. 

“It has been a while since you have seen me in this form. It sure evokes old memories, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, it really has been a long time. This is your true form, right?”

“You can say so. To be exact, my original body is a World Serpent, but it’s not convenient for me to appear in that form before Sia, so I ended up using this form most of the time,” Peytra explained with a smile, sharing ancient stories that were no longer known in the present era. 

Roel listened patiently to her words, nodding from time to time. 

He had a different relationship with each of his ancient gods. Grandar was a close friend. Artasia was like an ambivalent ally. As for Peytra… she felt like a mother. 

Roel had never been able to meet his real mother in this world, but he did live with his parents for many years in his previous life. Peytra gave off a feeling that felt alike to his own mother, treating him with meticulous care and offering him advice from time to time. She was a being overflowing with maternal instinct.

In a sense, the Primordial Earth Goddess could be said to be the mother of all living beings. 

Roel cherished this special bond a lot, and that was why he felt pained to see Peytra’s crumbling body. The latter sensed his emotions, and she began to counsel him on it.

A while later, Roel’s emotions finally calmed down. 

Peytra took a look at Roel, followed by the disappearing mountains around her, and she eventually let out a regretful sigh. 

“My power is close to that of Sia’s, so my attribute complements that of the angels as well. I never thought that a day would come where I would suffer such a fate. Still, I’m glad that I’ve managed to hold on thus far.”

Peytra looked at the gold aura encroaching the remaining half of her body before turning to look at Roel with an apologetic look on her face.

“I won’t be able to accompany you for your next battle, but that bag of bones should still be able to offer his strength to you. He’s a strong one. I believe that the two of you will be able to work something out. 

“Even so, you must tread carefully. Your defenses will be much weaker without my protection. You won’t be able to use my blessing to raise your strength to Origin Level 3 either. Take note of that and plan carefully.”

“Mm, I understand,” Roel replied with a nod. 

The Primordial Earth Goddess was finally able to put her heart at ease after saying her piece. She felt like she was becoming a worrywart at this rate. 

“The chances are that you are already aware of what I have just said, but I just had to repeat them or else my heart wouldn’t rest at ease. I’ve long wanted to talk to you about how you ignore your own physical limitations whenever you’re in battle, but I couldn’t find the right timing for that. You’ll have to take note of that when I’m not around.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t agree with you saving that descendant of the angels, but I can see where you’re coming from. I still think that the elf girl is better, but that isn’t a problem. As long as I’m around, you’ll be able to handle as many wives as you can take.”

“… I-I see.” 

The sudden change of topic caused Roel’s face to freeze up. He had no idea what he could say in response to that, but fortunately, Peytra didn’t harp on it either. She nagged him for a while longer before her words abruptly trailed to a halt.

Roel knew right away that time was up.

“…”

“…”

Unlike the situation with Artasia, Peytra spent her final moments in silence. Her pale yellow eyes were filled with worry and reluctance, just like any mother sending their child to the battlefield. Seeing this, Roel’s heart ached.

He walked forward and gently hugged the Primordial Earth Goddess’ body, much to the latter’s surprise. Peytra was startled, but she soon returned the embrace.

“Take care. I’ll see you soon.”

“Mm, I will.”

During their final embrace, Peytra spoke ordinary yet heartwarming words of departure whereas Roel replied with a confident smile. As the two of them parted, Roel found his surroundings blurring out. Peytra’s silhouette was also gradually vanishing.

Soon, he descended into darkness.

… 

When Roel opened his eyes, he found that the mountain valley and the Primordial Earth Goddess had vanished from his sights. Instead, he was in a cozy room with a sleeping angel by his side. 

Looking at Nora, he inadvertently heaved a sigh of relief. He then looked out of the window to enjoy the scenery of the morning prairie while thinking about what had happened yesterday.

There was a saying in his previous life that a child’s birthday marked the anniversary of their parent’s suffering, but this suffering seemed to have been passed on to Roel. 

Roel looked at the cuffs around his wrist and thought about the prisoner-like life he had yesterday. It made his shoulders droop in exasperation, but he wasn’t too angry about it. 

The fact that Nora wanted him as her birthday present showed that he took up a significant position in her heart. That was a position that countless others dreamt of. Such intimacy might have come easily for Roel, but he had no intention of taking it for granted. 

There were times where Nora got carried away by the situation, but she was always trying her best to hold herself back. As evidence, she didn’t hurt him or do anything that was truly overboard. 

Besides, it was not as if he really detested it. 

On the other hand, the day before wasn’t just Nora’s birthday but also the eve before the crucial phase of her bloodline awakening. It was good that she could completely vent her stress so that she would be in a better condition to face the upcoming battle. 

That was also something Roel had planned for at the start, just that the process went differently from what he had expected. 

Oh well, at least the outcome is good.

Due to his encouragement and various other factors, Nora’s condition was much better than he had expected. She was able to keep a firm hold onto her bloodline, leaving him wondering if indulging in one’s inclinations had the effect of suppressing Seraphication. 

He had asked Nora about this, and she replied that the crux lay in hope and sentiments.

“I had fun today, but just one day isn’t enough for me. I want such days to continue for years, decades, and even centuries to come. I’m a greedy person.”

Those were the words she had said as she held his hands under the evening sun. The deep feelings behind those words moved him. He had never seen her as serious as this before.

Without a doubt, Nora’s fighting will had been piqued. She was motivated to survive this ordeal so that she could lead the life she wanted. This put Roel’s heart at ease as he calmly awaited what was likely to be an ambush by the Elrics. 

It was likely that their enemies possessed means of tracking them down considering how they had ventured in the vast and highly dangerous Tark Prairie. If so, it was worth questioning why their enemies hadn’t made a move yet. 

Nora was in a vulnerable state at the moment, but she could make a comeback if she survived this ordeal. Time wasn’t to the advantage of the Elrics.

The most plausible explanation Roel could think of was that they had somehow grasp when the crucial moment of Nora’s breakthrough was. That would have been the moment Nora was at her weakest, thus making it the ideal moment for them to launch their ambush.

Roel had told Nora about the approaching enemies, and her face paled in response. That was the worst-case scenario in her mind. However, Roel squeezed her hand and reassured her.

“You just have to focus on your breakthrough. Leave the rest to me.”

“But…”

“The reason why I’m here is to protect you.”

“…”

Looking at Roel’s resolute eyes, Nora eventually nodded in agreement. Just like how he had accorded her unreserved trust, she decided to believe in his ability to protect himself too. 

“If I fail, the outburst of angelic power will spur your death. If you fail, those wretched knaves of the evil cults will take my life. It looks like we have no choice but to clinch victory.”

“Oh well. I guess our fates are tied now.”

The two of them exchanged smiles and enjoyed the setting sun together. 

After spending a heartwarming day together, Nora began casting multiple layers of barrier around the house. She was intending to use this place as a temporary safehouse if things went awry. 

The hundreds of defensive spells surrounding the little house put Roel’s heart at ease.

With this, the decisive day finally arrived. 

StarveCleric's Notes:

Do check out the translated manhua at ZeroScans!
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ℭ𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰:
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Library of Heaven's Path
Martial God Asura from Chapter 4320
Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar, Lemonan.