Release that Witch Chapter 1051
Cage Mountain area, northeastern border of the Kingdom of Dawn.
The path became rougher as they climbed. Tangled vines and giant trees were seen everywhere. The thick trees formed such a dense canopy that they could only catch a glimpse of the grey sky between the leaves.
The only thing that comforted Azima was that at least they did not have to walk through the knee-deep snow. With less influence of Months of Demons, the mountain was not covered by heavy snow like the Impassable Mountain Range; otherwise, they would have to wait until the beginning of spring and summer.
This did not mean that walking through the mountains was an easy task.
When they stood at the foot of the mountain, Cage Mountain was just a smooth slope, not steep at all. After they actually entered, they realized that there was no path inside and that it was not suitable for troops to march. On the first day, three people were injured before they climbed for less than two kilometers. In desperation, Sean, the king's guard, had to order the troop to be stationed in the small town at the foot of the mountain and selected several elites to go with Azima.
Knaff, a local guide; Rother, a God's Punishment Witch; Marl, a contact from the Tokat family, Sean, and Azima, formed this weird exploration team.
—Of course, it was weird!
The God's Punishment Witch was said to be sent by His Majesty to look after her. After all, she had to work with men all day, and there would be some inconvenience. Nevertheless, Azima was sure that as long as she tried to run away, the witch would definitely break her legs without hesitation.
Although Marl Tokat was a contact sent by the King of Dawn, what could he do in the mountain? He did not stay in the town but insisted on climbing the mountain together. Obviously, he had other purposes. He was on behalf of the Tokat family, and indeed helped others a lot; otherwise, he would have been thrown away with a sack by Sean long ago.
Not to mention the exploration team, this "not hostile" team could be even said to be armed to the teeth. Even their shovels could be used as weapons. When they were followed by knights of some lords, they behaved as if they were prepared to destroy the opponents at any time. They had nothing in common with ordinary miners at the bottom of society.
Nobody in the team knew exactly what they were looking for, including Azima. It was not gold or silver, or copper and iron. The only guide was nothing but a small piece of coin in her hands.
"Wait... wait," said the guide, who was walking in front of the team, raising his hand to indicate them to stop. "Be careful, there are traps!"
Azima immediately heard clicks behind her. She knew they were the sound of firearms loading. For the past month, Sean frequently talked to her about the legendary records of the king, and she had a basic understanding of the combat capabilities of this troop. In fact, she came to understand that she preferred staying with these common people like Rother, who was once a witch.
Rother was much calmer. Without even pulling out her sword, she walked steadily to the guide and asked, "Oh, is this... a spear tripwire?"
"Yeah," said Knaff, pointing to the top of a trunk. "Look, the spear is hidden there. Once we accidentally touch the trigger, that stuff will shoot holes all over us!"
Azima looked in the direction of his finger and saw several sharpened wooden sticks between the branches and leaves, which were coldly overlooking them. If the sticks fell on them, their heads and necks would inevitably be severely hurt. This was definitely not a hunter's trap for animals, but more like for human beings.
"Where's the trigger?" Sean asked in a low voice.
"You can't find them," Knaff shook his head. "Every vine under our feet and every branch may be part of the tripwire. Unless we burn it with a torch, it's hard to completely destroy it."
"What should we do?" Marl muttered.
"We have to make a detour, my lord."
"No, step back, all of you." Rother said suddenly, "Let me have a try."
"What... did you say?" Knaff looked at the God's Punishment Witch in surprise. "Hey, it's not a joke—"
Before he finished, she had already strolled into the danger zone.
With the dense weeds, they could not see what was under their foot unless they cut them. After Rother walked for a few steps, Azima heard a slamming sound as if something had been snapped. Then there was a squeaking friction on the top of the tree, just like a viper flicking out its forked tongue.
The tripwire which was hidden somewhere was straightened and ejected the sticks from the top of a tree! At the same time, Rother pulled out her sword!
"No..." The guide immediately closed his eyes as he could not bear to watch the woman dying in front of him.
Still, Azima witnessed everything that followed—
The God's Punishment Witch held the sword with both hands and bounced the sticks shooting toward hers as if she was swatting flies. Under the giant force, most of the sticks were broken and shattered. She did it easily as if it did not take much effort!
When she stopped, the grassland around her became a mess.
"The trap is removed," Rother withdrew the sword and shrugged. "Let's go ahead."
After realizing what happened, Knaff fell to the ground in astonishment.
"Aha... I knew my lords are superb and have extraordinary skills. No wonder you're great men from the king's city!" The guide finally recovered from the scare and immediately spoke with another tone, "Especially this warrior, your art of fencing is legendary!"
"Save your breath." Rother interrupted, "You'd better explain why there are such traps in the mountains. The wooden spears aren't meant for the beasts, are they?"
This was also what Azima wanted to ask.
"It's indeed used to deal with people,"Knaff replied honestly. "The higher you go into the mountains, the more traps you'll encounter, so Cage Mountain is also called Trap Mountain. These things were set by the past lords. The only purpose is to guard against the Kingdom of Wolfheart."
"Wolfheart?" Sean echoed.
"Yes, this mountain range extends almost from the seashore to the old Holy City and is regarded as the natural dividing line between the two countries. Since the Kingdom of Dawn is lower in terrain, the mountain is like a cage which surrounds the country. That's why it's called Cage Mountain." Knaff explained, "But the problem lies in the shape of the mountain. You should have noticed when you were at the foot of the mountain. The south side of Cage Mountain is like a smooth slope. High as it is, it's very easy to go down. Therefore, the robbers, hunters, and refugees from neighboring countries often invaded the border domain of Dawn through Cage Mountain. At first, they only plundered resources in the mountain, but later ran into the villages to steal and rob, and caused a panic among the local subjects. The lord was also annoyed, so he figured out a solution once and for all and that was, to give up Cage Mountain."
"Oh, I see..." Marl Tokat said as he seemed to suddenly understand, "I never knew such things happened on the border."
"The lord naturally did not want it to be known by the king," Knaff said. "What's more, unlike those poor people over the mountain who could not live without the mountain, we could earn a living in other ways. After the mountain pass was sealed, the lord sent people to plant fast-growing weeds and vines, and also set up lots of traps. This practice was handed down from generation to generation. Then Cage Mountain became what it looks like today."
"So you turn it into a real cage. Although you block the opponents, you also confine yourself," Azima thought. "If it were Roland Wimbledon, he would not choose to do so. That man always looks into the distance. Even when explaining the task to me, his focus did not always fall on me."
No, why should I think of him at this time?
Azima shook her head.
His Majesty is merely my employer.
What I should do is to quickly complete the task and get back to Doris and other sisters.
As the guide said, they encountered several traps afterward, which basically did not have any effect in front of the God's Punishment Witch. As the night fell, Azima suddenly saw the green light on the coin brighten!
A dazzling light source also appeared behind a dense forest. Between them were countless light spots traveling back and forth to form a bright bridge of light.
This was the reaction of the source material!
She finally managed to find another source!
When the exploration team went through the forest following Azima's instruction, they were shocked by what they saw.
It was an abandoned building halfway up the mountainside. The dilapidated stone gate led to the mysterious depth. The pillars on both sides were marked with weird signs. They were obviously not naturally created.
Azima's eyes widened in surprise.
Did His Majesty not tell her to look for a strange ore?
Why did the source appear in a relic that seemed to have been abandoned for a long time?