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LTBE - Chapter 473.1: Tree Heart (1)

What is one thing that you absolutely can’t tolerate?

If Roel had to answer that question, it would be someone doing something detrimental to Lilian, especially if it was the deed of an enemy.

Come at me if you want, but don’t you dare go for my wife. 

It was still premature for Roel to say those words, but the rough meaning was there… though he would want to change some of the phrasings to better fit his style.

Come at me if you want, but I’ll smash your head like a watermelon if you dare go for my wife. 

Similar to how Roel had become more protective of Lilian along with the deepening of his feelings, it was the same for Lilian too. Ever since their encounter with physical intimacy, her urge to protect Roel became stronger than ever.

“While I’m delighted that your wish to avenge me, strictly speaking, I should be the one protecting you instead. This is the rules of the academy.”

“I’m not a member of the main team but a student who happened to stumble here, so I’m afraid that I’m not under your jurisdiction. Besides, this encounter can be considered as an extension of what happened at the eastern border. I failed to handle it well…”

Roel recalled his encounter with the Collector and felt self-reproach. Seeing that, Lilian raised his hand and pulled it toward her chest.

“The conflict between the Ascarts and the Fallens started more than a thousand years ago. In the Second Epoch, the Ardes and the Fallens were mutual nemeses. It’s only a matter of time before I encounter them even if you didn’t catch their attention. This is a grudge buried in both of our bloodlines.”

“… Indeed.”

Roel nodded in agreement with Lilian’s explanation. It lifted his mood a little, but he soon recalled a few other matters.

“Now that I think about it, it’s curious how the Fallen didn’t use the disappearance spell on me. I wonder if there’s some special reason behind that.”

“If that’s what you’re wondering about, the disappearance spell doesn’t work on you.”

“It doesn’t work on me?”

“Yes. It seems to be due to our bloodline.”

Following that, Lilian shared her encounter with the High Priest. Roel listened to her story with a slight frown as he stroked his chin contemplatively.

Successors of the Ascart’s Kingmaker Bloodline had a possibility of inheriting the Crown Origin Attribute. Without a doubt, the Kingmaker Bloodline was a top-notch bloodline, but like most top-notch bloodlines, its powers were extremely skewed. It was almost as if all other attributes had been neglected in favor of burst power, not to mention that it was highly risky at that.

The closest metaphor to the Kingmaker Bloodline’s Witness State was tigers throwing their cubs off the cliff: You’ll become strong if you survive this ordeal, but if you don’t, you only have your own weakness to blame. 

In contrast, the Kingmaker Bloodline had never offered him any defensive ability, be it physical resilience or attribute immunity. The only immunity he had enjoyed thus far was his immunity to the Fallens’ depraved whispers, but that was more of a property of the Crown Origin Attribute than the Kingmaker Bloodline, evident by how Lilian was susceptible to those whispers.

The only commonality between Roel and Lilian was their bloodlines; the Crown Origin Attribute and Kingdom Origin Attribute were completely different in nature. This meant that if the two of them were unaffected by the disappearance spell, the chances were likely that this was the doing of the Kingmaker Bloodline.

Roel understood the logic, but it was such a rare sight that he couldn’t help but be astonished.

The two of them gave the matter some thought, but they couldn’t figure out why their bloodlines granted them immunity to the disappearance spell. In the end, they decided to put this matter aside for the time being.

“There’s no need for us to think too much into the disappearance spell since it’s ineffective on us, but that lamp…”

Lilian’s face turned grim when she thought about the lamp carried by the Savior’s High Priest.

Portas Eye was a demonic relic feared by even ancient gods like Artasia. Its ability to induce depravity was independent of the target’s Origin Level, such that even Lilian would want to avoid dealing with it if possible.

While Ten Fortresses was able to block off the effects of the lamp, it could only be used for defense. They would need a method of offense if they wished to bring down the enemy. Regarding that, Roel had an idea in mind.

“You can leave the lamp to me.” Roel took the mission of bringing down the enemy upon himself.

After some discussion, the two of them finally agreed on their battle plan and began making preparations.

Make no mistake, this definitely wasn’t going to be an easy battle. Even though their enemy looked to be a walking corpse on the verge of toppling over, it was likely that the High Priest of Nightless City Portas used to be an Origin Level 1 transcendent.

The Savior’s descent into depravity and the weathering of time had likely eroded the High Priest’s body and soul, but he continued to cling to life. Not only so, but he also had the divine artifact, Portas Eye, in his possession.

It was risky for them to confront the Savior’s High Priest, but this was a battle they couldn’t escape from. Whether it was to save their missing friends, ensure their future safety, or resolve his grudge, Roel was determined to bring the enemy down.

Once they were done with their preparations, the two of them exchanged gazes. Roel gestured with a nod, and Lilian began dispelling Ten Fortresses with a faint glow. The classy room they were in swiftly faded as if it had all been a dream, replaced with a dilapidated room in an abandoned town.

“Let’s quickly get this over and done with,” said Roel.

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He first looked out of the window before leaving the room, and Lilian followed closely behind him. Their silhouettes soon vanished amidst the fog.

Dilapidated buildings that had partially collapsed, streets covered in weed and algae, and a terribly humid air that reeked of summer; Marlin City would have been the same as always if not for the fog that refused to dissipate despite the arrival of a new day.

The dense fog made it hard to discern directions. Looking out of the dust-cloaked windows, Roel noticed a few bizarre silhouettes appearing on the streets every now and then.

He couldn’t make out what those bizarre silhouettes were under the obscurity of the fog, but upon coming closer, he discovered that they were neither members of the main team nor the original inhabitants of the town. Instead, they were mysterious humanoid creatures that blazed like fervent flames.

Artasia told him that they were flame spirits from the ancient era.

“They are people who have received divine retribution from the Savior. You can think of them as souls of sinners torched ablaze by Portas Eye before the divine relic descended into depravity along with the Sun God. Those flame spirits are condemned to guard the lamp for eternity,” the Witch Queen explained.

That gave Roel a deeper understanding of the terrifying divine relic, but this also brought another problem for them: How could they deal with the flame spirits?

Roel couldn’t help but frown as he looked at the glowing flame spirits staggering around the fog. Their varying levels of mana pulsation indicated that they had varying level of strength that likely corresponded to how powerful they were prior to being judged by Portas Eye. However, the similar flame they blazed with suggested the presence of a connection among them.

It was easy enough to defeat a single flame spirit, but it might prove dangerous if it had the power to rally its comrades. It would be difficult to deal with endless waves of flame spirits while fighting against the Savior’s High Priest.

In consideration of that, Roel and Lilian quickly made some last-minute adjustments to their plan before parting ways.

Upon reaching the end of the fog, Lilian started channeling her mana toward her Kingdom Origin Attribute, producing a brilliant glow. Flags began rising amidst the fog, accompanied by the majestic neighing of war steeds.

Lilian’s summons had grown much more powerful after her advancement to Origin Level 2.

Her summoned Blue Knight Order was beginning to reveal the overwhelming strength that had made them a legendary army in the history of humankind. The subordinate knights of the order were all at Origin Level 4 whereas their commander had reached Origin Level 3.

These valiant blue knights charged furiously down the streets and swiftly eliminated all flame spirits that stood in their path.

However, just as Roel and Lilian had expected, the sinners whom the Sun God had personally passed judgment on were no pushovers either. Through their telepathic communication network via Portas Eye, the flame spirits quickly identified Lilian’s position and began swarming toward her.

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The flame spirits staggering across the fog came in all races—there were dwarves, elves, giants, demonic beasts, and so on. There were even shadows of a dragonbreed streaking across the sky. They were all rushing toward Lilian in densely packed clusters.

From afar, it looked like traces of fiery red were dyeing the monotonous white fog, almost as if someone had dragged sunset clouds down to earth.

Even veteran soldiers would feel nervousness when faced with the encirclement of an enemy, but Lilian remained unperturbed by the steady stream of enemies. Instead, she quietly gazed in the direction where Roel was headed to and solemnly worried about him. At this moment, even the roars of the dragon sounded nothing more than the chirpings of a bird.

Maybe her blatant disregard for them had provoked the fury of those ancient races, but the flame spirits released all sorts of shouts and beastly roars. The demonic beasts spat their venom. The giants smashed their fists down from above. Arrows ceaselessly whizzed down from the sky. Spells of all colors pierced through the fog in brilliant trails of light.

Retribution had fallen on the arrogant human girl in an instant.

Even so, Lilian showed hardly a reaction at all. Against this terrifying onslaught of attacks, all she did was to murmur a phrase.

“Ten Fortresses.”

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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.