Chapter 56: Meeting the Parents
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Roel obtained a national treasure-level short sword from Nora, though it was anticlimactic how this seemingly monumental event barely changed his life at all.

The only thing that was noteworthy was probably Anna, for some inexplicable reason, bringing Alicia over to his room right after Nora departed.

The warnings from Arwen and Nora, as well as the long lecture from his father, had completely convinced Roel not to wander around the capital. He spent every day peacefully in the Labyrinth Villa.

In order to protect Roel, the Ascart House specially dispatched a group of experts from their fiefdom over to the villa. These experts wore silver armor, and were said to be Carter’s personal guards, making them much stronger than ordinary soldiers. Under their protection, there was no need for Roel to be on tenterhooks over every small detail.

Besides, there was a long history behind the Labyrinth Villa, which could be seen through its interior design and the artworks placed on display. Each generation’s patriarch had accumulated a mind-boggling amount of books during their lifetime, resulting in the constant expansion of its library. The front and backyards of the villa were also rather spacious, allowing one to move about without feeling too stifled. It could be said to be one of the very few serene locations in the Holy Capital… though admittedly, its fearsome reputation probably played no small part in that.

Every morning, after waking up, Roel would head to the backyard for his morning exercise before heading back to the villa to have breakfast with Carter and Alicia and drum up some Affection Points. Following that, he would either read some books or train his body. During his break time, he would grab a piece of cloth and wipe Ascendwing’s lustrous blade to marvel at his own wealth.

The same rules applied for the tea break in the afternoon and dinner. Due to Alicia being too busy with her ‘home economics’ lessons, the amount of time she had to spend with Roel had decreased. It was probably due to that that the Affection Points he earned from feeding her were higher than usual.

In truth, after overcoming her fear back then to stab Bron, Alicia’s phobia of sharp objects had lessened considerably. With a bit of effort, she could at least bring herself to pick up knives and forks. However, whenever Roel saw how the girl was straining herself during mealtime, he couldn’t help but want to help her. Besides… if Alicia could eat on her own, wouldn’t he lose his job as a human feeder?

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His daily income of Affection Points would lessen significantly! That’s unacceptable!

So, while a large reason was Roel’s selfish motives, Alicia’s mealtime feeding continued. To be honest, he wasn’t too worried about spoiling Alicia, turning her into wastrel; that girl had an independent streak, and it was bone deep. She wasn’t the type to become overly dependent on anyone. It would probably be more accurate to think of the feedings as a way for the siblings to communicate their feelings; it was just that they’d agreed to it implicitly.

“Hm? Are we going to spend the new year at the Holy Capital? We aren’t going to head back to our fiefdom?”

Busy feeding Alicia at the dining room table, Roel asked in astonishment. Carter elegantly finished with his food and swallowed it down before nodding in response.

“Yes. There has been a snowstorm over the past two days, which will lengthen our journey significantly. It’s no joke to spend the night outside under such weather conditions, especially since it hasn’t been long since you recovered from your injuries.”

“Me? I’m fine. Are we really staying here just because the weather is bad?”

“Well, that’s only one of the reasons. Other than that, I suspect that the journey back could be fraught with dangers too.”

“…”

Carter’s words made Roel fall silent. Needless to say, what was worrying Carter wasn’t the presence of bandits or wild beasts. However, since Carter didn’t have the intention to elaborate on it, he couldn’t be bothered to probe deeper either.

Since the atmosphere around the dining room table had grown too heavy, Carter brought up a lighter topic.

“Ah, yes. This could actually be good news for the two of you. The new year celebration in the Holy Capital is far more lively than that of our Ascart City. When I was younger, I would ask your grandfather to bring me here during this period.”

“Oh? Are there special activities over the new year?”

“Of course! There’s the New Year Ball at the royal palace, the New Year Prayers at the Saint Faron Church, the distribution of holy candies, and, not to forget, the famous choir competition of the Theocracy. The results of the competition are decided by popular vote, so it becomes especially lively.”

Carter got excited himself just talking about the various programs that would be coming up in Holy Capital Loren over the new year holiday. Roel and Alicia were also getting a little interested in it.

The Xeclydes would be holding two events.

One of them was a New Year Ball in the royal palace for the nobles. It was not much different from the new year banquets that nobles hold in their own fiefdoms too, just that the location would be the royal palace and at a far grander scale.

The other one was the New Year Prayers, an activity exclusive to the Genesis Goddess Church.

The Saint Faron Church was constructed more than 600 years ago, and it had since then been mostly used for hosting large scale church events. With the massive crowds that always gather to pray for the new year, it was the only location big enough.

After the prayers were over, the next event on the timeline would be the National Choir Competition Finals. It was a program pretty similar to the New Year Galas held back on Earth. Every single person present would be given a vote, which they could use to support their favorite team once the performances were over. The rankings were determined solely through the votes.

In the afternoon, there would be carriages traveling down the street in front of the royal palace and the church to distribute sweets, namely the so-called holy candy. Sweets were, by no means, cheap in this era, so this was also a very popular annual event. Huge crowds would be lined up along the roadside every year, waiting for the carriages to arrive.

With so many events prepared, it would be hard for the new year celebrations not to be lively. Not to mention, there were also plenty of tourists and devout believers dropping by during this period of time to join in the festivities or offer their prayers.

“It does sound quite interesting.”

Hearing Carter’s vivid descriptions, Roel and Alicia traded gazes, and the gloomy atmosphere looming between them vanished in an instant. They had already made up their minds to enjoy the holiday here.

Roel had never gotten to enjoy the liveliness of a crowd, not since he transmigrated here, since the population density is much lower. This would be a rare chance for him to have some fun and let loose, and he intended to make full use of it.

Perhaps it was to prepare for the new year celebration, but Nora didn’t drop by anymore ever since the last since she came over to deliver the Twelve Wings’ short sword. Roel welcomed this situation with all his heart. While it was impossible for him to completely sever relationships with her, he was still determined to put some distance between the two of them.

Stray away from the storyline, live a life of peace.

Roel also resumed his lessons after recovering from his injuries. It was not too difficult to hire a good teacher in Holy Capital Loren, especially since many of the teachers were having their end-of-year break, and they were more than willing to earn some extra income from the Ascart House.

For someone who had been through the rigorous education syllabi back on Earth, the classes in this world were, to be honest, more than doable. The only issue he faced was memorizing the content relating to history, geography, culture, and religion.

Many of the hired teachers were shocked to see the young master of the Ascart House, who was rumored to be inept and ignorant, display astounding wits and intelligence. Often, he was able to read between the lines and go beyond what they covered in classes. Considering the usual suffering they would endure at the hands of the impish scions, teaching Roel was like a breath of fresh air to them, making them feel fulfilled as a teacher.

Due to that, Roel’s reputation swiftly underwent a 180-degree change.

As for transcendental abilities, Roel was still at a slow, natural growth phase. For those beneath Origin Level 5 and therefore unable to acquire any Origin Attribute yet, the only ways to raise their strength were physical training and spell practice. Roel didn’t slack off in either. Through his efforts, his fighting prowess should be ranked slightly above average compared to the other Origin Level 6s. At the very least, he should have a slight lead compared to his peers.

While it was still nothing noteworthy compared to Nora’s Origin Tier 5, Roel told himself that there was no need to compare himself with a monster. She was an angel after all, so it was only natural that she was stronger than him.

Days passed fruitfully as Roel slowly developed his competence.

Just as it was coming close to the end of the year, Carter suddenly dropped a bomb on Roel.

“The Holy Eminence wishes to meet you.”

Roel’s mind went completely blank. It went without saying that he knew who the ‘Holy Eminence’ referred to.

John Xeclyde, the pope of the largest religion of mankind, the emperor of the Saint Mesit Theocracy, the patriarch of the Xeclyde House, the envoy of God, the first disciple… There were simply too many titles that it was impossible to remember all of them.

A more intimate way of referring to him from Roel’s perspective was probably ‘Nora’s grandfather’.

There were hundreds of millions of people living on the Sia Continent, but the number of people who dared to oppose him could definitely be counted with one hand. His influence was publicly acknowledged to be the greatest on the Sia Continent. Receiving an audience from him was a big deal, especially when he was viewed to be one of the greatest heroes of mankind.

In his younger years, John Xeclyde had once defeated the high priest of the deviants during a holy war.

What were the deviants? There were many official explanations to that, but the vibe that Roel got from playing the game was that they were a bunch of mindless beastmen. They lived in the Lost Domain—the region that humans had already migrated from—and their bodies suffered a high degree of mutation. These deviants were unable to communicate with humans, but there was still great enmity between them and humankind for one single reason—they ate humans.

Deviants shared a striking level of resemblance to humans, but they were definitely not humans. On the contrary, they wouldn’t hesitate to gobble down any human that they encountered, thus making them the nemesis of the human civilization. This was a natural predator-prey relationship, so there was no room for reconciliation at all.

The deviants had invaded West Sia four times thus far, and they caused huge disturbances every single time. Whole countries had been destroyed under their savagery.

In the holy war 80 years ago, the humans and the deviants spent 22 months locked in a stalemate before the humans finally found an opportunity to make a breakthrough. In the Battle of Establishment, John personally killed the deviants’ high priest, but he sustained heavy wounds and nearly died as well. It was thanks to the relentless charge of Pendor’s knights that he was saved from the clutches of death.

This had been the greatest war achievement of the human race against foreign species. John Xeclyde’s name spread far and wide, and he was loved by the whole of humankind. Naturally, this meant that his seat on the throne was stable too.

Every year, countless devout believers would embark on a pilgrimage to Holy Capital Loren just to catch a glimpse of him from afar. They would scream in excitement like fans meeting their idol, and there were even a few who went to the extent of kneeling down from sheer agitation.

Now, this idol of humanity who transcended territorial boundaries actually wanted to meet Roel! Needless to say, he felt flustered. It was similar to how if you were sitting at home one day then you suddenly received a call informing you that the leader of your country wished to meet you. There was no one who wouldn’t be bewildered by that!

John Xeclyde didn’t appear in the game, so Roel was unfamiliar with his appearance and personality. There was no prior knowledge he could use to prepare himself for this audience. If he were to accidentally speak the wrong words…

… Oh, it doesn’t look like anything will happen either.

Roel suddenly snapped out of his daze. He shot a glance at his composed father and the two maids on standby near the dining table, and he suddenly recalled what his current identity was.

The Holy Eminence was formidable, but the Ascart House was no pushover either! Besides, their houses were still in the honeymoon phase of buttering each other up with sweet words.

Also, as much as Roel wanted to deny it, his relationship with Nora was still fairly good. The bestowment of Ascendwing was a gesture of goodwill from the Xeclydes, possibly by order of the Holy Eminence himself even. Looking at it from such a perspective, it didn’t seem like there was any need for him to lose his nerves.

He’s just a grandpa from a neighboring house. Yeap, sounds about right.

As Roel was trying to convince himself that it was no big deal, time ticked on. Before long, the Third Epoch, Year 1004 was already nearing its end.

Translator Notes

Though it's more like meeting the grandparents though, but close enough.

Quest List
【Challenge 7 (In Progress)
    Description: Monthly Reading List reaching top 100
    Reward: An additional chapter
    Progress: 156/100】

Uwu looks like we have a good chance of clearing Challenge 7 soon too hehe.

Novel 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