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LTBE - Chapter 478.1: Wife (1)

Looking at the two young women fast asleep on the ground, Roel patted his chest and breathed a sigh of relief.

He had flown into a fluster when Lilian told him that some in the main team had lost their minds. He knew that Selina and Juliana had also been exposed to the power of Portas Eye when they rushed at the Treant High Priest in the earlier battle, which meant that they had been at risk too.

Their assault might have appeared reckless, but they had made that move to protect him.

Roel was unquestionably the strongest transcendent in the auxiliary team, but he was more of a traditional spellcaster than anything else. While he often utilized Grandar’s strength, he wasn’t as skilled in close-quarter combat as warriors and knights. It was optimal for him to unleash spells from the backline, especially since he could dish out great damage through the means he acquired from his other ancient gods and the Crown’s Stones.

It was with such considerations in mind that Roel chose the members of the auxiliary team.

Selina and her overwhelming offensive prowess from her Saint Beast Bloodline were a powerful force at the frontlines. Juliana’s ability to manipulate shadows allowed her to alternate between offense and defense, making her suited as a second tank. Roel would be the main damage dealer on the backline. Stuart would support the team with his excellent scouting ability and the multitude of spells in his arsenal.

This was the formation of their team, and the other three understood their own roles too.

That was why Selina and Juliana charged at the enemy without any hesitation. They were trying to tie down the enemy so as to buy time for Roel to launch his attack, but Portas Eye activated before they could reach him.

Roel wouldn’t have been able to accept it if the two of them had lost their minds and fallen into depravity due to this, but it was fortunate that the worst didn’t come to be. While Selina and Juliana were asleep, there was a peaceful look on their faces.

There was no way they could have looked so peaceful had they truly fallen under the Savior’s influence. In fact, they wouldn’t even have been able to fall asleep. They would have either been screaming in hysteria or spouting deranged murmurs. At least, those were the fates of the scholars afflicted by the Savior’s madness.

The hysterical screamings that echoed non-stop made the Ten Fortresses seem like a place of congregation for deranged cultists.

This was a conundrum.

Those scholars had only lost their sanity under the Savior’s influence, so they weren’t evil cultists but pitiful victims. However, as high transcendents, they could cause great damage should they ever go on a rampage, so some measures needed to be put in place.

Lilian summoned her magicians to cast a hypnosis spell on those scholars to put them to sleep, but even their rest seemed to be plagued with nightmares. As an additional layer of precaution, she summoned a platoon of soldiers and had them keep a close eye on the scholars.

“Leader, there isn’t any problem with their flow of mana. They are probably just asleep.”

“That’s a relief.”

Roel was still feeling uneasy about Selina and Juliana, so he called Stuart over to inspect their conditions. The latter scanned them with his magic eyes and found no abnormalities in their flow of mana. It was only then that Roel was finally able to rest at ease.

Whether it was the bloodlines of other races having immunity against the Savior’s influence, the temporal spell taking effect first before Portas Eye, or that their willpower was simply stronger than the scholars who had spent their lives holed up in their research lab, the whole auxiliary team had emerged from this crisis unharmed.

On this miserable night filled with an endless stream of bad news, this was the only thing that comforted Roel. He lifted the two women on his shoulders and carried them to Ten Fortresses.

There was nothing inappropriate about Roel taking care of his team members, but out of consideration, he first headed over to Lilian’s side and gave her a heads up before moving them over to a soft bed.

Paul tagged along with him to report his safety to Lilian. He was still a member of the Ackermann Imperial Family, albeit being an illegitimate child. On top of that, he knew that he was the key communication channel between Roel and Lilian now that they were in the presence of outsiders, so he worked harder than ever for their sake.

Lilian wasn’t blind to his sincerity, and she most definitely didn’t think of him as a tool. While she didn’t feel as attached to him as she did with Roel, she was still heartened by the knowledge that she had another younger brother and took good care of him.

Her actions had great repercussions. The other nobles noticed her change in attitude and no longer picked on Paul lest they got on the bad side of the imperial princess.

On the other hand, after Roel settled Selina and Juliana down, he called Stuart over and began carrying out their job. A key responsibility of the auxiliary team was to provide support to the main team in times of need, which was why they had brought serums and magic tools with them. With most scholars going either mad or dumb, it was clear that they had to do something about the situation.

It’s unlikely that ordinary means can cure them of the Savior’s influence, but it’s at least worth giving a shot. 

That was the mindset they were proceeding with, but their optimism swiftly crashed.

“D-don’t come over!”

“Ah! Ahhhhh—!”

“Hey, stop moving around! I’m trying to treat you here!”

After expending a great deal of effort, Roel and Stuart left the room feeling utterly exasperated by the antics of those who had lost their minds. Leaning against the wall, they let out deep sighs in unison.

“Damn. Nothing is working at all. The tranquilizers do calm them down, but high transcendents like them possess high immunity toward medicine. The effects won’t last long on them.”

“I examined those who have lost their minds with my eyes, and their mana flow is chaotic. I don’t think it’s possible to correct that through external intervention. Leader, what do we do now?”

“…”

Roel thought hard about the matter before eventually shaking his head. With no more tricks up his sleeves, he could only proclaim their operation a failure.

This investigation team was probably the most powerful line-up Saint Freya Academy had ever dispatched for a single mission, containing a majority of high transcendents. It should have been more than enough to deal with anything that came their way, but to think that it all ended up like that…

The students stood bravely to overcome the threat whereas the teachers were all scared witless. What was even more ironic was that the students all turned out fine whereas most of the teachers were driven mad. 

What in the world is this?

It was such an unseemly situation that Roel couldn’t help but frown at it.

With more than half of the scholars losing their minds, they would have to terminate this mission here. In the first place, the appearance of the Treant High Priest here had pretty much confirmed Roel’s suspicion that the disappearances at Braytown were part of the Fallens’ ploy to lure them here.

As for what they were going to do from now onward…

“The Treant High Priest might be dead, but the investigation team has suffered great casualties too. It would be unwise for us to linger in this border town. We should leave this place as soon as possible,” said Roel.

Having made up his mind, he quickly proceeded with the standard procedures. He picked out a few scholars who were still barely holding onto their sanity and brought them to the battlefield where he fought with the fallen treant.

The rage of the Primordial Mother Goddess had blown a half of Marlin Town into the sky, devastating everything in the vicinity. The ground was cracked, revealing pools of lava that were still puffing out smoke. It was almost as if a calamitous volcano eruption had occurred here.

This doomsday scenery wasn’t much of a deal to Roel, but it was a shocking sight to the already unnerved scholars.

“These marks are…”

“Someone dragged up the lava from the earth’s mantle!”

“This is where I killed the enemy who made all of you disappear and drove the others insane. Based on the abilities he has displayed, I can say with certainty that he’s a worshiper of the Savior, belonging to the most dangerous evil cult on the Sia Continent. I hope that you can record this down and report it to the academy accordingly.”

Roel gave the shocked scholars some time to take in the situation before he pointed to the carcass of the fallen treant and described the happenings to them. The gaze of these conceited scholars visibly became much more respectful after hearing the story.

“You can be assured that we’ll report this matter to the academy. However, Roel, you mentioned that you were the one who defeated the evil cultist. There should be a reward for this, but regarding its allocation…”

“That isn’t a problem. Even though I followed the auxiliary team, I didn’t officially accept the mission, so I am somewhat of an outsider here. If there are any rewards, you can direct them toward the other members of the auxiliary team.”

“Understood.”

The scholars nodded in response.

Truth be told, there were many other questions that they wanted to ask, such as why Roel was here in the first place, but they decided not to probe deeper and instead accept his arrangement. Their cooperative attitude made Roel’s expression loosen up a little.

This incident had left Roel very disappointed with these scholars. He thought that they, as high transcendents, would at least be able to put up a fight, but they crumbled like domino pieces at the slightest blow of the wind. All of them fled in a panic as soon as the Treant High Priest appeared, leaving Lilian to fight on her own.

This group of people could only take fights that were overwhelmingly in their favor. ‘Fair-weather soldiers’—that was what Roel would call them.

It was no wonder they wouldn’t be dispatched to the frontlines unless the situation was dire. If these high transcendents succumbed to their cowardice in the midst of battle and fled the battlefield, it would greatly shake the morale of the entire army.

The only silver lining was that these people knew how to read the situation and wouldn’t unnecessarily cause trouble.

In view of that, Roel decided not to humiliate them by mentioning their abysmal performance in the earlier battle. He made sure to emphasize Lilian’s role in the battle to them before leading the scholars back to Ten Fortresses.

He was initially intending on letting Lilian claim credit for the battle. Strictly speaking, Roel and Lilian had worked together to take down the fallen treant, but he couldn’t assert that since they weren’t supposed to be on friendly terms. As a result, he could only pass on the credit to Selina and the others.

Even so, he was still determined to ensure that Lilian received the recognition she deserved here.

The scholars listened to Roel’s affirmation of Lilian’s contribution and quickly caught his drift. They indicated that Lilian was the one who supported the auxiliary team to a decisive victory, and they would record it as such.

That finally brought a faint smile to Roel’s lips.

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I guess they aren’t irredeemable.

Roel looked at the scholars with a heartened look, but Stuart was starting to feel a little uncomfortable about the situation. He trailed behind Roel for a while before asking hesitantly.

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“Leader, is this really fine? It’s your credit.”

“Don’t worry about it. If you really feel bad, you can make it up to me by assisting me on other matters in the future. I am in a dire need of manpower now,” Roel replied as he patted Stuart’s shoulder.

Stuart pondered upon those words before nodding. The two of them exchanged a smile before heading into the pristine fortress towering in the middle of the devastated town.

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.