LTBE - Chapter 469: Inseparable
In the room, Lilian’s body stiffened up as she stared at Artasia incredulously. Artasia quietly gazed upon Lilian while patiently awaiting her decision.
Under Artasia’s stare, Lilian’s cheeks burned up.
“W-what are you playing at?!”
“I-I’m not playing at anything. I’m being perfectly serious here,” Artasia teased.
“Serious? If you’re truly serious about it, why don’t you explain to me what this has to do with Roel waking up?”
Seeing how agitated Lilian had become at her suggestion, Artasia let out a soft sigh.
“To put it simply, the idea is to utilize the bloodline resonance the two of you share to induce a powerful stimulus to his soul to awaken him from his coma.”
“There are other ways to invoke our bloodline resonance. There’s no need to resort to… such methods.”
“Like I’ve said, you need to induce a powerful stimulus to his soul. Do you earnestly believe that something as mild as holding hands will work?” Artasia mocked.
Lilian, who was still holding onto Roel’s hand, was rendered speechless. Artasia continued with a smile.
“Bloodline resonance is truly a mystical phenomenon. A mere touch can trigger all sorts of mana reactions that affect even the soul. Since you have asked, I’ll honestly answer you. All that’s needed is intimate physical contact, but that wouldn’t change the outcome at all, right?”
Once again, Lilian responded to Artasia’s question with silence.
She was acutely aware that the intense feeling of intimacy she felt from her bloodline resonance with Roel was addictive like drugs. If she were to maintain prolonged close physical contact with him, it was inevitable that something would happen between the two of them.
“The real question here is whether you prefer to do it on your own accord or to eventually succumb to the temptation of your bloodline resonance. Or maybe… does it soothe your conscience if you at least make an attempt to resist the temptation, only to helplessly fail in the end?”
Lilian’s face warped in anger in response to Artasia’s ridicule, but the latter was unmoved by her rage.
“What’s making you hesitate, Lilian? You should know better than anyone that you’re also saving yourself here.”
“… I don’t understand what you’re getting at.”
“I have told you my prophecy, but you didn’t take my warning seriously. Thanks to that, you’re yet another step closer to ruining your relationship. This situation is a good example of that. My hero has been reduced to this pitiful state, but you’re actually happy about it, aren’t you?”
“What nonsense are you spouting?!” Lilian roared.
Artasia drifted closer to Lilian and placed her hand on the latter’s chest.
“Nonsense, you say? Lilian, you don’t need to put on an act in front of me. I know you better than you think I do. I can see through your essence.”
“My essence? Don’t make me laugh, witch. Do you think that his misery would delight me?” retorted Lilian.
“No, that’s not what I’m saying. You’re anguished by the harm that has befallen my hero, but, at least for now, he has become your personal possession, no?”
The moment those words reached Lilian’s ears, her body uncontrollably shuddered a little. Seeing that, Artasia revealed a smile.
“In this place, there are no pests to bother the two of you. You can get as close to him as you want without a care in the world. You no longer have to conceal the affection you harbor for him. Is this truly a terrible situation for you?
“Tell me, Lilian. Do you really not feel the slightest delight at that?”
Lilian gazed at the man in her arms and allowed his being to fill the entirety of her eyes. She felt as if something she had been suppressing in the depths of her heart all this while had started to leak out.
After tasting the despair of Emperor Lukas’ edict to never meet him ever again, the current situation was almost like a dream to her. Even though their situation was hardly optimistic at all, the fact that she could embrace him once again was more than enough to fill her heart with joy.
“The anguish of yearning for a person whom you aren’t able to meet is a frightening poison. The joy you’re currently feeling from this temporary possession of him will eventually become your reason to hurt him. Lilian, I’ll tell you what lies ahead on the road you’re treading upon.”
Artasia voiced her prediction with great certainty, reminiscent of a devil trying to lead a mortal astray.
“Let’s see… ‘Even though I know that doing this will hurt him, I’ll make it up to him many times over in the future.’ That’s your justification for everything you’ll do to him in the future.
“You know that getting rid of those women by his side will put him in misery, but you thought that everything would be fine as long as you showered him with more affection of your own.
“You know that limiting his freedom will infuriate him, but you believed that you could quell his fury by entrusting your body to him, especially once you bear his child. He’s particularly weak toward those whom he cares for, and he treasures his family above all else.”
As Lilian listened to the Witch Queen’s words, her eyes narrowed and her body began to tremble. The darkness in her heart had started to expand swiftly at Artasia’s goading. Seeing that, Artasia chuckled euphoniously.
“I previously thought that you could hold on for at least twenty years, but at this rate, I doubt that you can even last ten years before you’re ruined by this relationship and turn into a tyrant.
“You seek to destroy his everything, only so that you can entrust your everything to him. What a spectacular coalescence of deep love and hatred! It’s so warped and dilemmatic that I can’t help but be intoxicated by it~ But again, they often say that sweetness is best savored with bitterness. A passionate love trapped within a cesspool of hatred must be truly delectable…”
“Enough!” Lilian finally burst out.
She glared at Artasia with rage burning in her eyes, leaving the latter slightly taken aback.
“I guess you still can’t accept such a future yet. Since that’s the case, isn’t it perfect if you could take this opportunity to vent your emotions while also saving him?”
Lilian knew that Artasia’s enticement was dangerous, but those words were so alluring and convincing that she found herself unable to turn them down outright. An intense war broke out in her mind as she gazed upon the man in her arms. Her breathing soon began to hasten, but she was still unable to make up her mind.
The Witch Queen frowned at that sight. In the end, she decided to lay out her trump card.
“I’ll only say this once… This is his first time,” Artasia muttered with a sigh.
A jolt ran through Lilian’s body as she raised her head in shock. Redness swiftly spread across her face and extended to the tips of her ears, but she couldn’t resist the urge to confirm it.
“A-are you certain?” asked Lilian.
The Witch Queen kept her silence as she had previously said she would, but Lilian’s eyes slowly enlarged. She had been tempted.
“… I need to at least verify it,” murmured Lilian.
“What do you want to verify?” asked Artasia.
“… Even if it’s just for a short moment, are you able to make him regain consciousness?”
“It’s not possible to make him fully regain consciousness, but I can rouse his subconscious mind. What do you wish to do?”
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Lilian didn’t answer the question.
Artasia looked at the furious blush on her face and spent a moment in thought before slowly nodding in realization. With a casual wave of her hand, she constructed a convoluted ancient spell to temporarily rouse Roel’s subconscious mind.
There was a faint glow of mana, and Roel’s golden eyes slowly fluttered open.
“We don’t have much time. Quickly ask anything you want to,” Artasia snorted impatiently.
Lilian looked at her with an uncomprehending frown.
Even though the Witch Queen was doing this to awaken Roel, there was no denying that she had done her a favor yet again. The first time might have been out of curiosity, but what about the second time? Was it just a coincidence, or was there some other reason behind it?
However, Artasia soon faded away after saying what she had wanted to, and Lilian quickly shook her head to get rid of all excessive thoughts. The only ones left in the room were Roel and herself. She looked at the semi-conscious Roel and finally voiced her question.
“Roel… do you like me?”
“Don’t go to sleep yet! You have to answer this question no matter what!”
Lilian touched Roel’s cheek with her trembling hand, using their bloodline resonance to sustain Roel’s consciousness as long as she could while nervously awaiting his response.
Roel was in a semi-conscious state and could only make instinctive responses, but this meant that he was incapable of lying too. Anything he said right now was bound to be his truest thought, and that was going to determine Lilian’s decision.
It was almost as if Goddess Sia had heard Lilian’s desperate prayers. After a long moment of silence, Roel finally murmured a response with his faint consciousness.
“… I like you.”
Lilian felt goosebumps all over her body. She even forgot how to breathe for a moment. Before she knew it, tears were brimming in her eyes.
This was the first time she had received a confession from Roel. Knowing that there couldn’t possibly be any falsehood behind those words, she was finally able to put down her final worry.
“… I like you too, Roel. No, I love you.”
Lilian replied hoarsely before a relieved smile blossomed on her lips. She began to undo the buttons on her clothes, revealing the beautiful curves of her fair body.
“There’s nothing for me to regret now,” she murmured.
Clothes fell to the ground in the dark room. With increasingly hastened breaths, two bodies united into one.