Release that Witch Chapter 1043
"A curse?" Roland repeated the word in an ominous tone.
"Please come with me." Pasha turned around and led everyone into an adjacent cave, where the Taquila witches stored books and scrolls. They had gouged many grooves in the walls of the cave, and it seemed that this library cave had even more volumes than the Secret Temple's library. "Celine, His Majesty is here."
"I'm coming." Celine's voice rang in everyone's head before she came out. The next moment, her main tentacle stuck out from the depths of the cave, knocking lots of books off before quickly shrinking back into the darkness.
Before it retreated, it greeted Roland by giving him a nod.
"Ahem— I'm sorry, Your Majesty. Every time she spots a new study object, she'll get totally absorbed in the research like this," Pasha explained with a slight embarrassment. "The demon seemed to use a curse on Lightning, but she wasn't inflicted with any serious injury. That's indeed a rare thing."
"What's she going to do?" The moment Roland heard the phrase, "study object", he thought of mice used in experiments, who would suffer various unfair treatments in labs.
"Please rest assured. Observing and recording are the principal study methods we use in magic power research. With the help of the magic core, Celine can clearly capture the movement of Lightning's magic power," said Pasha while picking up the books that fell on the ground. She opened a book and showed it to everyone. "Look at this here... and here."
Roland reckoned that this book was probably an ancient book passed down from the Taquila age, since most of its pages had already turned yellow with age. It was written in the witch's ancient language. Next to the two parts pointed out by Parsha, there was a note tucked inside the book, which explained the content of the ancient writings. Apparently, Celine had already translated these two parts for them.
He took a closer look and found that it was about two battles.
"In a siege battle in the Land of Dawn, eight wounded witches were rescued by the reinforcements, but in the end, none of them recovered from their injuries. Their wounds just could not heal no matter what. All treatments were ineffective on them. As time went by, they became weaker from loss of blood and their wounds got infected. They suffered a lot before death, and two of them even chose to commit suicide," Parsha said slowly. "This battle happened so long ago that even the writer of the book did not know many details about it, except that this was an incredible incident. The phrase 'the demon's magic curse' first appeared in this story."
"The other part where the magic curse is mentioned was in the records of a battle that happened not that long ago. A Senior Demon fought a fierce battle against the witches' army in Lakes City, which was situated on the edge of the Fertile Plains. It could attach its magic power to black stone spears. Once a witch was wounded by such a spear, she would become feeble and wither up. The Union called this cruel monster Dementor." Pasha paused a moment before adding, "It killed three Extraordinaries, and within all three Extraordinaries, the Quest Society found a strange magic power."
"And the strange magic power came from the demon, right?" Roland blurted out.
"Yes," Pasha nodded her main tentacle. "We think these abilities are of the same type. The strange magic power can somehow remain inside the target and cause continuous damage, which can't be cured by any conventional medical treatment. And it's also hard to eliminate the strange magic power."
"That's why you call it a curse," said Wendy, sadly. "It's terrible..."
Nightingale understood Pasha's implication and asked, "You said it's hard to eliminate it. Do you mean... there's still a way to erase it?"
Pasha turned to the next page and answered, "Yes, if what we've inferred from these records is correct."
Roland skimmed through the rest of the story. "When Lakes City was at stake, a witch named Samantha stood out to fight Dementor. In this battle, she went through a high awakening and became a Transcendent. After she cleaved the demon in half, the curse on her somehow disappeared and she miraculously survived. Samantha tried her best to defend Lakes City, but one year later, the city still fell, since the Red Mist was already too close to the city. Fortunately, she gained enough time for the people to withdraw from the city. After that, Samantha forced a radical change in the Union and successfully built the Three Chiefs system. She herself was among the first batch of Three Chiefs."
Now, Roland understood what Pasha meant.
If Lightning was really affected by the magic curse, the only way to save her was probably killing the demon who exerted this effect on her. It was not an easy thing. The previous battles in the snow mountain camp and in the Northbound Slope had already proven that Senior Demons were exceptionally difficult opponents. If they went head to head with the First Army, human beings would have a better chance of winning the battle. However, if they deliberately avoided head-on confrontations, it would be very difficult and risky to chase and fight them.
And this was virtually impossible for the witches in the Taquila age.
Senior Demons usually acted together with their armies. As military leaders, they were often surrounded by many demon soldiers. Back then, it had been extremely difficult for the Taquila witches to win a battle against the demons, let alone completely annihilating the enemy soldiers and getting close to the Senior Demons.
Roland could not help thinking of the unknown witch and her last words in her letter to Natalia.
She probably also died from this kind of magic curse.
Since she had been able to write directly to one of the Three Chiefs, she must have been at the upper levels of the Union. But even she had not been able to do anything about the curse except accepting the final outcome of it.
To save such a cursed witch, the Union would have to find and kill the Senior Demon who had inflicted the curse upon her from amongst the numerous demons. During this process, they had to sacrifice even more witches. Apparently, for the Union, saving a cursed witch was not worth the risks and sacrifices.
Nightingale gradually clenched her hands into fists while weighing the gains against the losses.
After a moment of contemplating, Roland said, "Indeed, it's difficult to kill the demon, but I'll never give up any chance to cure Lightning."
"..." Pasha remained speechless for a moment. "If this is what you want."
"Before we take action, I need to sort some things out. The Senior Demon Lightning encountered has the ability to lay a curse upon anyone without direct contact. If it curses a common person, what will happen to that person?"
"The outcome will be even worse." Celine suddenly interrupted. "The magic power gives witches better immunity and greater healing abilities, so we won't be affected by the demonic plague, which was bacterial infections mentioned in your book. As for common people, they'll quickly die from the infections since their wounds can't heal up."
"Can God's Stones of Retaliation protect them from the curse?"
"Of course, they can. If Dementor hadn't been a match for an Extraordinary in strength, it would've never caused such huge losses to the Union. However—" Celine paused a moment before continuing, "Based on Lightning's description, we cannot rule out the possibility that the demon she met is a Magic Slayer. If it is, wearing God's Stones of Retaliation won't be very helpful."
The more powerful a demon was, the more it would resemble a human being. This rule was verified by the Union in the previous two Battles of Divine Will.
Roland took a deep breath.
He had to agree with Celine on this point. According to Lightning's description, this Senior Demon might be stronger than all the enemies they have encountered in the past.
Given that, to kill the Senior Demon, he would have to plan the expedition to Taquila very carefully.