Chapter 71: ‘Traitor’
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Peter Kater couldn’t remember how long it had been since anyone called him in such an intimate manner, especially not from a child.

He hated children. Those darned rascals often mocked his art just because their lack of experience prohibited them from comprehending the profound intricacies behind his masterpieces… though the same could be said about adults too.

But, on this very day, his popularity amongst children suddenly soared to a new high. He was even intimately addressed as ‘Uncle Peter’! Of course, this came at a very heavy price.

The words ‘fallen for our trap’ made the soldiers, who were planning to surround Roel and Nora, freeze on the spot. The commander shot a look at Peter and immediately realized that there was something strange going on.

This ‘Uncle Peter’ person had a pale face and was drenched in blood too, but the only injury he had was a wound on his shoulder. In other words, the bloodstains on his body were not his! Furthermore, to dare wander in this area without wearing any armor, it could only mean that he was a transcendent, a high-level one at that!

“Enemy attack!!!”

The wary commander immediately shouted out loud. Peter Kater looked at the alarmed soldiers, and it finally dawned on him that Roel had pulled one over him.

“You stupid brat, what nonsense are you…”

“Open up the formation! Cover the frontlines!”

Realizing that Peter could be a magician, the commander immediately raised his sword and charged at him. There were ten other soldiers who quickly followed him, prepared to cover him if anything were to happen.

Having fought on the battlefield for a long time, their instinctive reaction upon encountering a possibly hostile magician was to immediately turn against him. Their furious howls drowned out Peter’s explanations.

“Wait a moment, I… No, I am not… Shit!”

The arrows that whizzed across the sky was the last straw. Just tens of meters away from Roel and Nora, a huge battle suddenly broke out. Dozens of soldiers began clashing with Peter Kater.

Soldiers that had been through life-and-death situations were indeed different. In terms of absolute strength, this platoon of soldiers couldn’t be said to be strong. Even the three commanders leading the group were only at Origin Level 5 themselves, and the others were Origin Level 6, which Roel could deal with individually.

However, the fighting prowess they displayed far exceeded that of Roel and Nora combined. The frontliners stood forth to encircle Peter whereas the archers were constantly releasing arrows to curb Peter’s movements. The 3 Origin Level 5s wisely chose to skirt around the battlefield, dealing out sharp attacks whenever Peter’s guard was down before slipping away.

Their organized coordination allowed them to fight on par with the powerful Peter despite their weakness. In just a few moments, both sides had already seen blood. Peter’s prided ‘Smiling Mother’ howled furiously as it clawed the throats of anyone in range. However, the presence of casualties didn’t deter the soldiers; if anything, it triggered their bloodthirst and rage.

In a moment of carelessness, Peter was stabbed in his thigh by one of the commanders.

“Argh!!! You bunch of imbeciles are asking for it!” howled Peter in fury.

Roel and Nora decided it was time to make their escape. They knew they couldn’t afford to get caught up in this fight, and they would only expose themselves to danger by sticking around.

The two children held each other's hands tightly as they fled the area while gasping for air. They ran toward the direction of the second residence, but after travelling for a while, they encountered a new problem.

“This isn’t right. Judging from the distance, we should have already arrived by now.”

“The legendary fog labyrinth in the March Turmoil… Granted that we’re within the labyrinth now, it would be a wonder if we can reach our destination.”

“What should we do? Does your Ascart House have any records regarding the labyrinth?”

“Records? You mean the list of missing people?” retorted Roel in exasperation.

He pondered for a while longer before finally replying.

“There’s no way to decipher the labyrinth. This is its greatest strength, as well as the reason why it eventually became a legend. According to the records, Prince Wade led his personal guards into the labyrinth, but he was still unable to get to the Labyrinth Villa. The only ones who are able to truly navigate within this labyrinth are the people who have our family heirloom.”

“You’re referring to the labyrinth artifact? Is it with you?”

“Of course not. Given the current timeline we’re in, the artifact is definitely in their hands,” replied Roel as he looked into the depths of the billowing fog.

It was almost as if he was peering through the fog to look at the duo who had become close companions with one another due to this battle and opened up a new era of friendship between the Ascarts and the Xeclydes.

“… Mister Ponte and Empress Victoria,” mumbled Nora as she revealed the answer.

She looked a little dazed after hearing those words. As Empress Victoria was her ancestor and one of the few female leaders of the Theocracy, she had always carried great admiration for Empress Victoria. Just thinking of the possibility that she would be able to meet Empress Victoria in person made her a little agitated.

Roel, on the other hand, looked a little conflicted about this current situation.

Find the original at Hosted Novel.

Am I going to meet that old pervert?

Had Roel not read the diary, he might have felt a little moved about meeting Ponte Ascart. But right now, he was only praying hard that his predecessor at least looked decent on the surface…

Eyy, it’s no wonder they say that it’s the victors that make history. Just how much did Ponte have to be beautified for people to actually view him as a hero?

But as Roel thought more about it, he wondered if he was only feeling so disappointed because his expectations of Ponte had been too high. After all, there was no perfect human being in the world, including heroes. Everyone had their own desires and ‘dark side’, but at least Ponte’s dark side appeared to have been kept in check.

Roel didn’t think any deeper into it since it wasn’t the right time to do so, especially after he had noticed that there was something abnormal about Nora’s condition—her hands were burning!

Ordinary humans, even when afflicted with a high fever, couldn’t possibly have their body temperature shoot up so high. Even transcendents whose bodies had been enhanced couldn’t possibly have felt so scalding to the touch.

Is she facing some problems with her bloodline? Her physical condition…

“It won’t do for us to remain in this fog. The labyrinth might be formidable, but at the very least, it doesn’t have any offensive power. For the time being, let’s find a place to hide first, or else it’s only a matter of time before we bump into others. This time, I’ll lead the way.”

As Roel spoke, he stepped in front of the clearly weakened Nora and began scouting the way forward with his short sword in hand. Nora was stunned for a while, staring at the boy who was suddenly showing such proactiveness. A moment later, a helpless smile curled on her lips.

Looks like I’m unable to hide it after all, she thought.

With a deep sigh, she allowed Roel to drag her around.

Typically speaking, the proud Nora would have never given up the initiative in such a dangerous situation and entrust her life to another person. She was born a leader, and her very will was the edict of the gods. No one could lead her, and no one would dare to either. That would be an act of insubordination, a show of disrespect toward her.

Her strategy teacher had warned her to guard herself against anyone who tried to influence her will—it was likely that the person had traitorous thoughts in mind. Nora had taken his words to heart.

But today, when this boy with ‘traitorous thoughts’ grabbed her hands and pulled her around, Nora suddenly felt that her teacher wasn’t entirely right either. Despite the searing sensation engulfing her body, a smile still formed on her lips.

What a fool. He’s so weak, but he still wants to play the hero.

This night of horrors hadn’t come to an end yet, but her perception of Roel had changed after seeing all of the little actions he made.

In the past, it was out of interest and the shared knowledge of her secret that kept her eyeing him so fervently. She derived joy from secretly observing his troubled expressions. But now, her intentions had changed.

She wanted to keep him by her side. For a long, long time to come, that was.

Translator Notes

Bonus chapter from clearing quest 9~~

Quest 9
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