Chapter 78: Closest to You
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“What nonsense are you spouting?”

Nora’s words left Roel stunned for a short moment before he quickly refuted her. However, Nora remained perfectly calm.

“I’m just speaking the truth. You are also aware of it deep down. Given our current situation, it’s impossible for you to bring me along with you,” she replied with a bitter smile.

Roel saw something in her that was different than her usual demeanor—despondence. It was an emotion he thought that he would never see from her. It felt like she was drowning in despair but was still trying to pull herself together to say farewell to him with a smile.

“Don’t bother with me. You’ll lose your life needlessly if you stay with me.”

“Don’t talk nonsense. I can’t possibly leave you here alone.”

“What else can you do then? Carry me out of here? In this labyrinth filled with dangers?”

Nora chuckled wryly to herself as she shook her head.

“That’s impossible. You won’t even be able to run when you encounter soldiers. We have no identities in this era, so nothing good will come out of being captured.”

Roel’s mood became heavy. Prince Wade was aiming to use his identity as ‘the only successor’ as leverage against the current Holy Eminence to force him to accede to his demands. Therefore, both Victoria and Nora were impediments to him as their Xeclyde bloodlines granted them a claim to the throne.

Of course, this fact meant that Victoria’s forces would welcome their presence, but could they even reach them? They had no way of getting to Victoria and Ponte given the labyrinth they were in.

“Besides, don’t forget that there’s someone out for our lives right now. Peter won’t let us off for getting him embroiled in this. He’ll surely do everything he can to get to us. An irony, don’t you think? It’s a pity that we don’t know the way out of here either.”

A smile of ridicule surfaced on Nora’s face as she seemed to foresee the ending awaiting that inhuman beast. But soon afterward, she turned back to Roel and emphasized once more calmly.

“If you bring me with you, the two of us will die together.”

Roel stared at Nora’s sapphire eyes as many expressions flickered across his face. Deep down, he knew what Nora said was true. He had enough sense in him to figure that out. However, he couldn’t bring himself to leave behind an utterly powerless Nora here all alone. Not after what she had done for him.

“Don’t give up so easily. It’s at times like this that we should try to think of a way out.”

“A way out? Are you able to figure out a way to carry me out of this place, when soldiers can appear out of thin air, and an evil cultist is hot on our tail? No, there’s no way out of this. Even if the two of us were in our top condition, there’s still nothing we can do about this.”

Nora’s logical response left Roel with no words to refute her, but that didn’t mean that he was convinced by her argument. In fact, his silence and the obstinacy in his eyes told Nora of his intention clearly.

… What a fool.

Nora turned her head away, choosing not to look at him anymore. Her scattered golden hair covered her lowered face slightly, concealing the tears brimming in her eyes and the joy rippling through her heart.

(Affection Points +2000!)

This is the first time, Nora thought.

She clearly wanted to ask him to leave, yet she couldn’t help but feel delighted and moved by his refusal. She felt guilty over her feelings of joy, but at the same time, an unprecedented feeling of assurance embraced her too.

Looks like death isn’t that frightening after all. What’s more frightening is having to die alone, she thought wryly.

“5th of June, the day of my baptism. Remember this date well, June 5th,” said Nora gently as she leaned powerlessly on Roel’s chest. “It’s unlikely, but if my father and grandfather direct their fury at you, tell them this date. The day of baptism is something that is only told to those closest to you. They’ll understand once they hear it.”

Closest to me?

Roel’s face began to twitch a little, and he had to give his all to prevent it from cramping up. He blinked his eyes, thinking that he should probably say something in response, but he had no idea what. In the end, he was simply left with an uncomfortable feeling, as if a small bone was stuck in his throat.

Some time later, the medicine took effect and Nora fell asleep.

“Lord Roel, is Lady Nora fine?”

“Yes. She has fallen asleep after drinking some medicine.”

Outside the room, Klaude, who had been praying all this while, came by to enquire Nora’s current condition. The graveness the monk felt was significantly alleviated after hearing Roel’s answer. However, he was still a little worried about the matter.

“This monastery used to have a nun who specializes in recovery spells, but she was taken back by her family before the battle began. All that is left are some fever and sleeping medicines. I don’t know if they are really useful or not.”

“They are useful. Thank you for your help, Klaude.”

“No no, it’s all for our great goddess!” said Klaude as he patted his chest in agitation.

If he could help the two Holy Sons who descended on the world, that would be equivalent to helping the goddess herself. It was a huge merit he was making here! It was just that he was feeling a little confused as to what kind of illness one of the Holy Sons was afflicted with. She was clearly fine when they chatted earlier.

“Lord Roel, if I may ask, where does Lady Nora’s illness stem from?”

“Ah… She injured herself while fighting with an evil cultist. She was trying to hold it in earlier.”

“I see!” exclaimed Klaude in astonishment

As expected! The Holy Sons only suffered injuries from fighting against the dark powers of the continent. Those underhanded rats must have resorted to some sort of despicable means! Hah! May their bowels loosen and fall incontinent!

Klaude roared furiously in his mind. If not for his lacking strength, he might have just rushed out the door right now to clear away those evil cultists with his own hands!

Roel watched the expressions flickering across Klaude’s face and wondered if it would be appropriate to interrupt the monk’s train of thoughts.

“Klaude? Are you listening?”

“Ah, yes yes, I’m listening! Lord Roel, do you have any instructions for me?”

“There’s no need to be so polite. It’s just that… things might get chaotic soon. So, I hope that you can remain in this room and protect Nora. Don’t come out no matter what you hear, or else things could get dangerous.”

“Chaotic? Could it be…”

“Yes. I suspect that our enemies will chase us here.”

“This… Alright, I understand. I’ll bring some food and weapons here to protect Lady Nora by her side!”

Hearing that evil cultists might come knocking very soon, Klaude’s face turned pale as he quickly began to busy himself with preparations. He had barely fought during his life, so all he had was a standard issue sword from his role as a soldier. It was last sharpened a year ago, so it would probably only suffice for killing a chicken now. To summarize, his fighting prowess was something Roel bore zero expectations for.

However, that was fine too, since Roel hadn’t intended on relying on Klaude in the first place. Actually, there was no basis behind his worries other than the dream he just had, but he was the kind of person to prepare for the worst.

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In his dream, that mountain-like skeleton known as Grandar mentioned that he was in trouble. Considering how the other party had granted him such a powerful spell on their first meeting, it seemed pretty meaningless for him to lie on such a matter. Most likely, he just wanted him not to die too quickly, so that he could get the answer he wanted.

Roel’s initial thought was that the ‘trouble’ referred to Nora’s illness, but the more he thought about it, the more he felt that that wasn’t it.

Grandar’s Promise was a powerful spell that granted him invulnerability for a short period of time. No matter how one looked at it, it was definitely a combat spell. Surely, Grandar hadn’t given him such a spell to fight against an already incapacitated Nora, right?

Without a doubt, he was supposed to use this spell to deal with some other enemy. As for who this enemy was, Roel had a pretty good guess on that.

“Peter Kater…”

Roel muttered the name of his enemy as he clenched his fists tightly.

Truthfully, Roel had a deeper reason why he felt guilt toward Nora that she didn’t know about.

Nora might not have found anything wrong about them getting attacked by an evil cultist, but Roel himself knew he was the cause of it all. He knew very well that this assassination hadn’t happened in the original plotline of Eyes of the Chronicler. In the first place, Peter’s target was him, not Nora. This was already revealed by his spell, Calamity of Bloodshed.

His actions had caused huge changes to occur in the future, changing the original plotline surrounding the Theocracy.

In his bid to remove his death flags, he unintentionally placed Nora in danger. It was because she wanted to be with him that she left the safety of the royal palace to stay at the Labyrinth Villa on the first night of the new year. That resulted in her getting embroiled in the assassination attempt.

It was less than a single day, but Roel saw many different sides to Nora, be it her kindness, her unyielding spirit, or her frailty. He knew deep down that he couldn’t abandon her, or else he would never be able to live with the regret.

So, he drew his silver short sword and glanced at the blade. A pair of composed but imposing golden eyes, filled with killing intent, stared back at him.

He stood up and headed to the doorway of the monastery. There, an oil lamp swung creakily under the cold night breeze. He began making his way toward the unknown darkness and disappeared within it.

Novel Notes

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