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LTBE - Chapter 459.2: No Two Tigers Can Coexist On the Same Mountain (2)

Roel sat alone in a restaurant along the commercial street as he gazed at the bustling scenery outside. Alicia was finally willing to part ways with him to mix around with the other freshmen, giving him some private time to think about Lilian’s anomalous behavior.

He could tell as much that there was something off about Lilian and her mood, and the cause of that could likely be traced back to the Austine Empire. The biggest evidence of that was how Lilian wasn’t present at the International Crisis Management Symposium.

It was an unspoken tradition of the symposium for the attending rulers to bring their chosen successor with them. There were two reasons behind that.

One, it was to allow the next generation of rulers to familiarize themselves with their counterparts so as to facilitate future discussion.

Two, if a mishap were to happen to the incumbent ruler, his successor would be ready to carry out the agreement made during the symposium, thus minimizing any lapses in defense.

By no means were these measures excessive.

There were precedents of reckless rulers marching onto the battlefield as a show of strength, only to be sent into Sia’s embrace. There were also cases of rulers slowly succumbing to stress and exhaustion from having to deal with many years of fighting and crisis.

In Eyes of the Chronicler, the International Crisis Management Symposium was a crucial stage for the female capture targets to rise to prominence. Lilian should have attended the symposium together with Emperor Lukas as representatives of the Austine Empire, and the deviation from the plotline signaled that something had happened.

Roel knew deep down that he was the only one who could have caused such a rippling change.

Is this over the Challenger Cup?

It was the most significant event involving both Lilian and him prior to the symposium, making it the most likely suspect behind Lilian’s current plight. However, after careful consideration, he shook his head and refuted that thought.

While Lilian’s loss in the Challenger Cup would have diminished her influence, her political foundation in the Austine Empire should have been strong enough to survive that setback. There must be some other reason at play.

Roel continued racking his mind to find an explanation. In the end, he could only think of one possible way how his existence could have exerted such a significant change on the Austine Empire—his identity as a member of the Ascart House.

Did Emperor Lukas find out about my relationship with Lilian? No, that’s impossible. There should have been no way for anyone to find out about our relationship as bloodline kin. Even if the news did get out, there would be no way for anyone to prove it.

Since that’s the case, could it be that someone else has found out about my close association with Lilian?

Roel thought hard about it, but he couldn’t figure out where he had gone wrong. To be frank, he wasn’t really that interested in the cause right now. What he was more concerned about was the impact on Lilian. If stripping her right to attend the International Crisis Management Symposium was indeed a punishment to her, could there be anything else other than that?

He knew that he couldn’t directly ask Lilian about this because the latter would have just shrugged it off and reassured him that everything was fine. Fortunately, there was another member of the Ackermann Imperial Family whom he could turn to during times like this.

“You’re asking how my imperial sister is faring? Umm, well…”

In the dining room, a visible look of confusion could be seen on Paul Ackermann’s face upon hearing the question. It evoked a sigh from Roel.

Paul was an honest man, but like the typical dense protagonist, he lacked political awareness. Such characters were usually surrounded by people who conveniently delivered all sorts of crucial news to them, and fortunately, Roel knew a fair bit about Paul’s social connections

“Doesn’t your maid or butler keep you updated on current affairs even if you haven’t been paying attention to politics?”

“Are you referring to Lisa?”

“I don’t know their names. Is she your maid?”

“Yeah. For some reason, she know a lot of stuff…”

Feigning ignorance, Roel took a sip of tea as he probed on. Paul nodded excitedly as he began sharing the amazing capabilities his maid, Lisa, was equipped with, but the listener only raised his eyebrows in response.

If we’re talking about maids here, it’s obviously our Anna who is more… No, that’s not what we’re getting at here.

Baffled by the inexplicable mental retort that surfaced in his mind, Roel quickly shook his head and got back to the topic. Paul took a moment before he recalled some useful information.

“Ah! Lisa told me that my imperial sister had a solo audience with the emperor on Founding Day. She thought that Lilian’s position as the successor has been confirmed, but what happened afterward was the complete opposite. The attitude of the nobles also vastly changed afterward…”

“…”

Roel carefully pondered over the information delivered by Paul, attempting to piece everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. He was able to roughly deduce what was happening in the Austine Empire from that, and from that, he derived a piece of good news and a piece of bad news.

The bad news was that Emperor Lukas had chosen to sideline Lilian, resulting in the rise of First Prince Lucius. In fact, if a war had broken out between the Austine Empire and the Theocracy, the one who was going to lead the charge would have been him.

The good news was that this development had severely threatened Second Prince Aubrey’s interests, resulting in the dissolution of their alliance and the outbreak of a factional war between the two.

On top of that, Emperor Lukas had chosen not to bring any of his offspring with him to the International Crisis Management Symposium, which could be interpreted as him taking a neutral stance. While Lilian was in a bad position, there was still a chance for her to turn things around. Her foundation was the strongest in terms of background and individual competency.

But that doesn’t fully explain Lilian’s bad mood.

However, Roel was still unable to find the answer to his initial question despite his analysis. He decided to keep an eye on Lilian for the time being, instructing Paul to report to him right away if anything were to happen to Lilian.

This novel is _hosted_ by h0sted n0v3l.

Paul was more than delighted to accept Roel’s request. He had been trying to matchmake Roel and Lilian all this while, so he thought that it was a good thing regardless of who was showing concern for the other.

After Paul left, Roel let out a deep exhalation before gazing out at the busy street. Perhaps due to how hectic his life had been over the past few months, he recently got into a habit of sitting alone in a restaurant and quietly gazing at the world outside. He enjoyed the inner peace he felt from the simplicity of daily life.

Outside the window, he spotted many freshmen running around with their spirit guides, trying everything they could to get close to them for the upcoming trial. It filled him with nostalgia.

In accordance to tradition, the freshmen were given spirit guides during the earlier entrance ceremony at the assembly hall. As a caring older brother, Roel had secretly checked on Alicia’s progress with her spirit guide and was relieved to find that it was going well.

As soon as Alicia released her spirit guide from its confinement, it landed intimately on her fingertip before fluttering merrily around her. It was even more obedient than the one Roel encountered back when he was a freshman. But again, for someone who had been able to tame the Emperor of Calamity, it was only natural that a spirit guide wouldn’t pose a problem.

Night soon fell upon the academy. The annual ‘Night of the Demons’ would soon commence, so Roel began making his way toward the colosseum.

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A new year with a new batch of students; this was a precious opportunity for student organizations and Scholar Guilds to bring in fresh blood.

Last year, Roel was one of the talents who were being snatched up by these organizations, but this year, he would be one of those doing the snatching. Of course, that didn’t mean that he would be personally approaching the freshmen to invite them to the freshmen to the Bluerose Faction—that would be Geralt’s job.

Nora and Charlotte were away at the International Crisis Management Symposium, so the Goldenrose Faction and Redrose Faction were without their leaders for this important recruitment exercise. Roel didn’t think that it would be appropriate for him to personally step in and poach their potential recruits. Paul’s identity was also a little awkward for him to be doing recruitment.

As a result, the burden fell onto Geralt’s shoulders.

Recalling how Geralt had confidently thumped his chest and promised to bring Alicia into the Bluerose Faction earlier, Roel couldn’t help but shake his head.

With Geralt and the others seeing Alicia as a little child who couldn’t part from her older brother, it would probably blow their minds if they were to learn that Alicia’s goal wasn’t to join any faction but to become a Ringbearer herself.

“I hope that this doesn’t cause an uproar,” Roel murmured with a sigh.

For the time being, he decided to do whatever he could, such as…

“1000 gold coins on Alciia.”

By the entrance of the colosseum, Roel took out a money bag and smacked it down on one of the betting houses’ counters. He glanced at the payout on the board and revealed a satisfied smile.

StarveCleric's Notes:

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ℭ𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰:
100,000/Hour Professional Stand-in
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.