LTBE - Chapter 483.2: You Can’t Tell Him (2)
On the road leading to the Rosa Merchant Confederacy, a convoy comprising over a dozen carriages was traveling without rest under the protection of many guards. This convoy was none other than the Sorofyas’ Diamond Rivière.
The Diamond Rivière was well-known amongst the royalty and nobles of the Sia Continent. Extravagance, poshness, and prestige were what it was commonly associated with, and it was deemed to be the most successful utilization of spatial magic in daily life.
Yet, the convoy somehow lacked its usual air of leisurely grace.
The coaches persistently advanced ahead despite their fatigue. The accompanying guards were in better conditions, but the sweltering weather left their clothes sweat-stained
The convoy had been traveling without rest for several days now, but Charlotte’s personal maid and bodyguard, Grace, still thought that it was insufficient. She anxiously stared at the map to estimate how long it would take for them to arrive at Rosa.
“Calm down, Grace. The situation isn’t as bad as you think it is.”
Charlotte lay in the middle of a comfortable bed dressed in pristine white pajamas. She smiled at the nervous maid in hopes of calming her down, but it only seemed to fan the latter’s worries. Grace anxiously rushed over to the bed to check on her condition.
Charlotte Sorofya was famous amongst the younger generation in the Sia Continent, known for her lofty bloodline that descended from the ancient high elves and her tender beauty. Countless young men deemed her to be the woman of their dreams.
Yet, there was something off about Charlotte’s current condition.
Her moving beauty and noble disposition were the same as always, but her face was ghastly pale and her body looked frail. A whiff of death aura that was barely perceivable had shrouded her slender body, and she felt fragile as if she would shatter at a touch.
Others would simply think that she had fallen ill, which wouldn’t have been a problem for the highly resourceful Sorofya House. However, Grace knew that it wasn’t as simple as it looked, for she knew of another man who suffered from the same affliction as her.
Bruce Sorofya had been the leader of the Rosa Merchant Confederacy for several decades now, but what most didn’t know was that this man, despite being in his prime, was struck with a mysterious affliction that nearly caused his death several years ago. Even now, he was still constantly tortured by that affliction.
And now, that enigmatic affliction seemed to have extended its claws to Charlotte. This was a nightmare to Grace, who cared for Charlotte like her own child.
Due to this affliction, Charlotte couldn’t reunite with her lover and was forced to urgently return to Rosa.
“Young miss, how are you feeling? You have to be honest with me.”
Grace kneeled down on one knee and carefully grasped Charlotte’s hand. Her heart ached when she saw how the latter was forcing on a smiling to assuage her worries despite the terrible condition she was in.
Charlotte looked at Grace’s grim expression before letting out a sigh of resignation.
“… I’m feeling better after the nap, but I’m still feeling weak. The death aura has also started seeping into my mana. I don’t think that these things are working,” Charlotte started taking off the exorbitant protection magic tools Grace had previously put on her as she spoke.
Grace spent a moment in thought before sharing her analysis.
“If these magic tools aren’t working, I think the chances that your affliction was caused by an external factor would be slim.”
“You can rule out that possibility. A curse couldn’t have possibly escaped my notice.”
Gazing at the twinkling ceiling reminiscent of a starry night sky, Charlotte shook her head and refuted the possibility of her affliction being caused by an external factor.
As a seer favored by the Goddess of Fate and a user of Gemstone Magic, Charlotte had a comprehensive understanding of curses. It was impossible for her to be oblivious to a curse laid on her, especially not under this Guardian Constellation formed out of thousands of gemstones.
With such thoughts in mind, she looked at her own body.
Just like how a glacier wouldn’t form overnight, her current condition didn’t just occur overnight. Now that she thought about it, she had been feeling uncomfortable ever since she parted ways with Roel last year, but she didn’t pay it much heed.
Her condition had been steadily worsening ever since then, but there was a sharp deterioration right after the conclusion of the International Crisis Management Symposium. It got so bad that she could hardly carry out any of her daily tasks on her way to Saint Freya Academy.
In the end, she had to leave the academy shortly after arriving in order to prevent news about her condition from spreading.
“I didn’t get to give him the clothes I made.”
Charlotte stroked the clothes in front of her with a yearning look. It pained her to have to leave Saint Freya Academy without even meeting him once.
Noticing her actions, Grace made use of this opportunity to slip in a suggestion.
“Young miss, why don’t we head to the Ascart Fiefdom instead if you wish to meet young master Roel? While we do have state-of-the-art medical facilities back in Rosa, the oil lamp that alleviated your father’s condition came from young master Roel. Perhaps it would be better if we…”
“No. I’ve already told you. He can’t learn of this matter.”
“But young miss…”
“No means no, Grace. I’m not going to budge on this. How could I be by darling’s side in my current state? What if he catches my affliction?”
Charlotte clutched the clothes in her hand tightly.
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Grace fell silent.
Bruce’s affliction stemmed from a mysterious curse during his adventuring days many years back. Charlotte’s manifestation of the affliction hinted at the possibility of it being contagious, although the possibility was low. Nevertheless, she wasn’t about to endanger her lover no matter how slim the chance was.
She knew that Roel would surely pay her a visit if she told him about her affliction, which was why she chose to withhold the truth from him. That was the only way she could protect him now.
However, Grace didn’t agree with that course of action. She instead believed that Roel was her greatest hope of getting well.
“Young miss, are you really not going to meet young master Roel? It has been a year since your last meeting.”
Grace attempted to entice Charlotte by playing on her yearning, and it did move her for a moment. However, Charlotte’s eyes quickly hardened in determination, and she replied with a hoarse voice.
“I want to meet him. There’s no way I wouldn’t want to. It has been so difficult trying to hold my selfish tendencies back over the past year… But more than that, I want to protect him. That’s all I want, Grace.”
Charlotte’s eyelashes drooped downward as she quietly smoothened out the clothes she had crumpled. Grace also stopped talking at this juncture. The spacious room was suddenly plunged into silence.
In spite of Charlotte’s sacrifice, there was an army hundreds of kilometers away that was moving contrary to her wishes. Under the starry sky, a black-haired man was swiftly advancing in her direction.