LTBE - Chapter 435.1: Shackled Hearts (1)
In the audience room suffusing with a holy glow, the guards and retainers lowered their heads deferentially. The Seven Archangels gathered around Nora with beaming smiles. The golden-haired woman offered her hand toward Nora, patiently awaiting her response.
Yet, the person who stood at the center of attention fell into a trance staring at her own wrist.
Something seems to be missing here.
This doubt abruptly surfaced in her mind, but it bothered her so much that her agitated bloodline cooled down a little, allowing her to recover a sliver of rationality. A deep furrow formed on her forehead as she sensed that something was amiss, as if she had overlooked something important.
What could it be?
While she was pondering over this question, a splitting headache suddenly assaulted her mind and she clutched her forehead. Inexplicable images flashed across her mind, but someone grabbed her shoulder before she could make sense of them.
Jolted from her thoughts, Nora hurriedly raised her head and saw the beautiful golden-haired woman looking at her with the same comforting smile. She didn’t seem to be offended by Nora’s breach of etiquette. None of the surrounding archangels showed any anomalies either, almost as if they were oblivious to Nora’s peculiar state.
The joyous atmosphere persisted.
When the golden-haired woman laid her hand on Nora’s shoulder, the surroundings began shimmering with brilliance once more. The inexplicable feeling of intimacy washed over her once more, pulling Nora’s attention back to the present.
The golden-haired woman decided not to wait for Nora’s response and instead took the initiative to affectionately grab her hand and lead her forward. The Seven Archangels quickly followed behind them, only to stop on the steps leading up to the throne.
Meanwhile, more and more angels were entering the audience room and taking their positions by the sides of the room. The excitement on their face was palpable as though they were going to witness history in the making. A band holding all sorts of unusual instruments started playing a majestic harmony.
Adorable little angels unfurled their wings and soared above them, scattering flower petals all around.
It was such marvelous fanfare, but the star of the show fell into a trance yet again. This time, Nora felt a strong feeling of déjà vu. Something inside her was nudging her, saying that something similar had happened before.
She stared at the joyous smiles all around and the floating flower petals and white feathers, slowly falling into a daze. For a brief moment, the blurred silhouette of a man flashed across her mind, causing her eyes to widen. It was just that the image left too quickly for her to fully make sense of it.
However, it gave rise to an indescribable feeling of incongruence in her, inducing her vigilance.
It was around then that the band and choir gently decrescendoed to silence. Under the witness of the deferential crowd, the Seven Archangels stepped forth one by one to offer their earnest blessing to Nora. Their blessings manifested in layers of divine light, imbuing her with boundless energy.
Radiant wings began to unfurl behind her, followed by a powerful gush of mana. That spurred awed exclamations and resounding applause from the crowd.
Nora was bathed in power and glory, leaving her feeling greater than ever. Yet, the feeling of incongruence in her only grew stronger. She subconsciously glanced sideward to search for a familiar figure.
After receiving the blessings of the Seven Archangels, Nora turned around to look at the golden-haired woman seated upon the throne.
The latter was looking back at her with a heartened smile. She rose to her feet and slowly made her way toward Nora. Before everyone’s eyes, she gently lifted the white crown on her head.
It was a pure white crown devoid of any ornaments, but there was a unique kind of beauty in its simplicity. It emanated a saintly white glow befitting the disposition of the Angel King. The crowd went silent the moment the golden-haired woman lifted it up. Everyone was staring at the scene with bated breaths.
Nora’s sapphire eyes sharply narrowed.
There was something in the white crown that intensely resonated with Nora’s bloodline, inducing a powerful sense of attraction in her. She strongly desired the possession of the crown. Her instincts were telling her that the crown could grant her unparalleled authority and power.
Those who truly understood what power entailed desired more than ever the power to dictate everything. Nora’s attention completely fixated on the crown, her eyes gleaming with desire. Seeing that, the golden-haired woman’s smile further brightened.
It was at that moment that the strong feeling of incongruence surfaced once again. This time, it was directed toward the white crown.
The familiar color sparked memories of a certain item in Nora’s mind. Her eyes slowly widened in realization.
Isn’t that the color of…
A series of images flashed across her eyes.
A throttling carriage, a despairing mist-shrouded church, a tragic battle between light and ice, a callous hand plunging into a chest, a heart-wrenching spurt of warm blood… and, finally, the promise she had made with him.
Clarity began returning to Nora’s sapphire eyes. She channeled her agitated emotions into rage and fiercely sliced through the seal that suppressed her memories.
There’s a saintly white magic tool that I treasure and wish to possess, and this is not it.
Right before the white crown was able to be placed upon her head, she took a step back. She pulled all stops and allowed her raging mana to erupt from her. With the sheer outpour of her emotions, she broke free from the control of her bloodline. Her resolve to defeat the Angel King and regain control manifested as saintly white shackles on her wrist.
The sudden manifestation of the saintly white shackles at this crucial moment wiped the smile off the golden-haired woman’s face. The Seven Archangel widened their mouths in shock. The crowd began fidgeting in uncertainty at the unexpected turn of events.
The clanging of the shackles resounded all the way till the entrance of the palace, where a black-haired man stood with the other end of the shackles attached to his wrist.
“It doesn’t look like my help is required here,” he said.
Nora was momentarily surprised by his presence before bursting into laughter.
“Of course. Who do you think I am?”
Then, Nora turned her attention back to the golden-haired woman with the infernos of rage burning in her eyes.
“How dare you appear before me after harming the most important person in the world to me? You are a relic of the past, desperately struggling to return to a world that no longer welcomes you. I haven’t fallen so low as to be crowned by something like that!”
Nora’s raging mana exploded into a furious storm of light, forcing the crowd to lower their eyes. The white crown resonated with her emotions and released a brilliant surge of light as well.
The golden-haired woman was forced to release her grip on the crown and back away whereas the Seven Archangels revealed horrified looks.
Everything paled before the trembling white crown. The audience room lost its luster, and the surrounding warm glow faded. The white crown reclaimed its power and glory before gently landing in Nora’s hands.
It was still the same white crown, but Nora received it this time around without any show of deference or humility, as if the crown ought to belong to her. She calmly donned it with an air of majesty.
A commotion broke out in the audience room right after.
The golden-haired woman rushed forward to stop her in spite of the terrifying flurry of mana holding her back, but it was all too late. There was no higher symbol of authority to the angels than the white crown. The inheritance was complete from the very moment Nora donned the white crown.
In a bid to protect its owner, the white crown released a burst of blinding white light that blanketed everything. The golden-haired woman was obliterated in a flash, followed by the Seven Archangels and the huge crowd in the audience room. Starting from the castle, the entire city started to crumble and scatter as specks of light.
By then, Nora had already completely assimilated the white crown.
The specks of light left by the collapsing city surged toward Nora, forming a scenery that resembled a breathtaking celestial river of stars. As Nora assimilated those specks of light, her body began to glow brightly as her bloodline overcame its previous limits.
In the real world, a blinding pillar of light rushed into the sky, astonishing the heretics and inquisitors who belatedly arrived at the scene.