Chapter 521: This Is What You Call a Surprise
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Little Tyrant Doesn't Want to Meet with a Bad End Chapter 521: This Is What You Call a Surprise

Paying respects to one’s ancestors was a solemn affair in Rosa.

Wars had been a staple in Rosa’s history. Many families had lost their loved ones to battle.

To raise the people’s morale and commemorate deceased heroes, Rosaians were thorough about their customs when it came to welcoming a deceased family member from the battlefield. In a sense, this was their way of coping with sorrow.

On that day, family members welcomed the deceased outside the city and carried their remains to a divine temple worshiping Genesis Goddess Sia, where a grand ceremony would be held to bless the souls of the dead. Following that, the closest family member to the deceased would carry the remains to the burial ground, where the deceased would lie in eternal rest.

This was the most thorough ritual for the deceased on the Sia Continent.

The Genesis Goddess Church had also offered its full support for the ritual, ensuring that the ritual was in line with the teachings of the church. This meant that the ritual was appropriate to welcome the bodies of the Ascarts’ ancestors too.

It was common for nobles from nearby countries to visit Sia Temple and hold rituals for their deceased ancestors, though the Sorofyas, despite being the ones who established the temple, rarely engaged in any of its rituals.

Charlotte didn’t raise the idea to welcome the Ascarts’ ancestors through the ritual in order to garner business for Sia Temple. No, she was so insistent on holding the ritual in Rosa because of one of the ritual’s requisites: the compulsory attendance of family members.

Needless to say, Roel had to participate in the ritual given that he was a descendant of the Kingmaker Bloodline, but it would be too difficult for him to complete the ritual by himself. He would definitely require someone to aid him in the process.

There were only three people in the Ascart House at the moment.

The patriarch, Carter Ascart, was still on the frontline. The foster daughter, Alicia Ascart, was strictly not a member of the Ascart House considering the lack of blood ties, not to mention that she was currently in the Ascart Fiefdom.

Given the lack of other suitable candidates, it was only right for Charlotte, as Roel’s fiancée, to rise to the occasion… and that was exactly what she was after.

Paying respects to one’s ancestors was a sacred event that allowed no room for disingenuity. Any falsehoods uttered in the ritual were deemed to be an act of disrespect to the ancestors. This meant that Charlotte’s participation in the ritual as Roel’s wife could be viewed as an official affirmation of their relationship.

Of course, Charlotte wasn’t so insecure as to think that she needed such forceful affirmations to tie Roel down—their relationship was not that fragile. What she was truly after was to make a statement to others who might think differently of their relationship… such as Roel’s father.

No matter what, Carter should see her in a better light if she aided Roel with the Ascarts’ ancestral ritual… and it would also be much harder for the marquess to reject her after the two of them had affirmed their relationship before the ancestors.

Having thought things through, Charlotte’s heart quivered in anticipation as determination gleamed in her emerald eyes.

Roel could only smile helplessly at that sight.

He could somewhat guess the thoughts running through Charlotte’s mind. Rosa’s rituals for the deceased were famous enough that he, as the successor of the neighboring territory, had heard about them. But how could he possibly reject her request?

In his view, Charlotte had always lacked a sense of security.

Her less-than-ideal family situation had made her more determined to form a happy family, but the Sorofyas’ Loyalty Origin Attribute had condemned her to only one try. How could she not worry when so much was at stake for her?

To make things worse, her relationship had encountered with plenty of obstacles along the way, with Carter’s objection to their relationship being the biggest thorn in her heart.

Charlotte had initially hoped to change Carter’s attitude toward her by bearing Roel’s child, but the limitations of her constitution made it unlikely for her to fulfill this goal in the short term. So, she decided to alter her strategy and work on that from another angle.

There was no way Roel could turn her down when he understood her worries.

After receiving his approval, Charlotte breathed a sigh of relief before giving him a tight hug.

“Darling, are you really fine with it?”

“Mmhm. It wouldn’t be good to drag this matter out for too long, but I don’t know when my father is returning from the battlefield. I think that it’d be best for us to handle the ritual by ourselves.”

These words soothed Charlotte’s heart.

In a tight embrace, they could feel their hearts beating in resonance. Under the guidance of their feelings, their bodies began intertwining once more.

After settling their plans regarding the ancestral ritual, Roel and Charlotte resumed their journey toward Rosa City. Their remaining days on the Diamond Rivière were rather idyllic.

Having found another direction to work toward, Charlotte was no longer as intent on having a child as before, thus allowing the two of them to catch a break from their intense night life. The focus of their attention returned to their work and the ancestral ritual.

The tradition of worshiping the ancestors had been on the decline along with the advancement of human civilization. Rosa was the country that had preserved the tradition to the greatest degree due to its unique historical background.

Had it been in the Knight Kingdom instead, the highest honor bestowed upon deceased predecessors was nothing more than a bell’s toll and a eulogy from their juniors. It was probably much more worthwhile to die in Rosa in that regard.

Of course, there was no way Roel would say those words aloud, but he did have a high opinion of Rosa’s traditions on that aspect. He personally viewed the act of worshiping one’s ancestors as a formality to inherit the will and history of the predecessors.

As an amateur historian himself, Roel was painfully aware of the gaps in the knowledge passed down through the generations. Even high nobles like the Ascarts knew next to nothing about their history in the Second Epoch. He had to gather information from all places and slowly piece them together just to uncover his own ancestry.

If the humans of the Sia Continent observed the tradition of annual tomb-sweeping, their family history would be naturally passed down even without any hard records.

Roel figured that his deep respect for his own ancestors stemmed from the customs of his past life. To be honest, he was a little glad that Charlotte shared the same values on this matter.

Other than preparing for the ancestral ritual, Roel spent most of his time helping Charlotte out with her work. Her workload had been steadily growing as they got closer to Rosa City. Sometimes, it took her an entire afternoon just to finish her work, and she would be mentally exhausted by the end of it.

Roel had been through this phase too during his stint as a proxy fief lord, when he first initiated his plans for the Ascart Fiefdom’s development. There were so many matters to deal with that he was put through the terrifying experience of being chained to his office for consecutive days.

Of course, Charlotte, as the princess of the Rosa Merchant Confederacy, wouldn’t be asked to slave away as he had, but even so, it was common for her to work till late at night. Many would have been surprised by how hardworking she was despite her graceful and noble exterior.

Time slowly passed just like that.

A day before they arrived at Rosa, Roel finally received the item that he had been waiting for all this while: Principal Antonio’s reply letter.

He heaved a huge sigh of relief upon receiving the letter, knowing that Antonio was still alive. He quickly opened up the envelope to read its contents.

In the letter, Antonio first thanked Roel for his information and concern. He agreed that they ought to exercise the utmost caution with this matter before reassuring him that he had taken additional steps to ensure that his comrades were trustworthy.

Antonio had personally experienced the terror caused by the betrayal of Magician King Priestley Maxwell four hundred years ago, after all. He knew better than anyone how treacherous the Fallens were, so much that he devoted great effort to developing an appraisal method to identify the Savior’s lackeys.

Using that appraisal method, he had confirmed that his comrades weren’t affiliated with the Savior before including them in the operation.

But even with trustworthy comrades, Antonio still opted for prudent maneuvers.

The location they had tracked the Collector down to was a meandering mountain range, which allowed them to slowly gather their forces and tighten their encirclement around the Fallens without alerting them.

The situation was under their control, but Antonio was apprehensive about how things had played out. He found it bewildering how easily they had stumbled on a key leader of the Fallens, not to mention that the Collector could have easily disguised himself as anyone due to his lack of known distinctive traits other than his blurred facial features.

In addition, there was a high chance that the Collector was highly skilled in spatial magic. That could be seen from the constructed space that he had previously resided in at the Elric Fiefdom’s Connoisseur Guild.

From a logical standpoint, the chances of finding the Collector were practically negligible!

It was not surprising that most of Brolne’s upper echelons thought that this was nothing more than a decoy to draw their firepower away from the real Collector.

Antonio was initially of the same thought as them, but it was later found that the mana traces left on the battlefield matched those on the sculpture retrieved from the Connoisseur Guild.

This made it highly likely that the person they had found was the real Collector.

Taking a twist in perspectives, the only other possibility was that the Collector had prepared a substitute beforehand and had the latter come into contact with his personal possessions, but it didn’t take long for Antonio to overturn the possibility.

Captured members of the Connoisseur Guild had divulged that the Collector lived alone in his private space, and there shouldn’t have been any need for him to prepare a decoy.

If not for Roel’s intervention back at Tark Prairie, the Elrics would have killed Nora and broken the Xeclydes’ many years of dominance. That would have spelled the perfect opportunity for the Elrics to make a comeback and even compete for the throne.

Considering the circumstances, Antonio and the others were forced to conclude that the person they had found was very likely to be the Collector. This was a rare opportunity for them to deal a heavy blow to the Fallens. They would have to take this risk even if it reeked of a trap.

Thus, Antonio quickly rallied together an army and made his way down to where Brolne’s scouts had tracked the Collector down to. The first thing he did upon arriving at the scene was to erect an anti-spatial magic barrier to prevent the Collector from secretly making a getaway.

Overall, it looked like things were going well on Antonio’s side, but it was too early to tell how things would turn out.

Roel felt much more assured after reading the letter.

Bringing down an Origin Level 1 transcendent was no easy feat. With Antonio in a heightened alert state, it was unlikely that the Fallens would be able to corner him.

The following day, the Diamond Rivière finally arrived at Rosa City.

Find the original at Hosted Novel.

As soon as the prosperous city came into sight, the Rosaian guards began cheering in a mixture of delight and relief. Even Charlotte, despite feeling conflicted about the situation, also revealed a faint smile.

This had been an arduous journey filled with many frights, from the fight with the Saints Convocation to the showdown with Flooding Death. The sheer danger they had faced was completely unlike what they had encountered in the past. Even after everything had blown over, their nerves still remained tightly strung up.

It was only now that their homeland was right before them that the load on their shoulders was finally released.

In particular, Charlotte found herself overwhelmed by emotions.

She had believed this journey to be the final moment of her life when she left Rosa City with a heavy heart, but who could have known that it would spell a new start instead? She even had a major breakthrough in her relationship with Roel as a result.

She couldn’t find the words to describe what she was feeling.

It was like she had been born anew. The darkness that had been swirling inside her had been purged clean, and she suddenly found herself not alone anymore. Having been independent for so long, it felt weirdly tingly inside to suddenly have someone else to fall back on.

She touched the ring on her finger before slowly breaking out into a smile.

On the other hand, Roel noticed a huge crowd gathered in front of the city gates. The members of the Sorofya House had come to welcome her, with Bruce Sorofya standing at the forefront.

This fanfare wasn’t very surprising, considering how Bruce had cast aside his responsibilities to rush back from the eastern borders in order to be with his ailing daughter. He would have heard about Charlotte’s safety by now, but he would probably have to confirm it in person before he was able to rest at ease.

Roel glanced at Charlotte and saw reminiscence in her eyes. Seeing that, he ordered the convoy to pick up speed.

As the two of them approached the city gates, Charlotte noticed that there were actually two distinct groups gathered in front of the city gates. Just as she was perplexed by the division, a person suddenly stepped out from the crowd to take her place at the forefront too.

Charlotte widened her eyes in shock.

Novel Notes

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ℭ𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰:
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