Release that Witch Chapter 1105
Two days later.
In Neverwinter, Graycastle.
"That was about the situation at that time..." Ashes shared the details of her encounter with the demon. "After the fire was extinguished, Lightning found the enemy's traces around 100 kilometers away in the north. Those traces should be left by the Spider Demons when they crossed the forest. I fancy there were just three or four of them."
Because of the interruption of the signals, Roland did not know that Leaf had been under attack until evening. The early next morning, he immediately instructed Tilly and Wendy to fly to the terminus station and bring her back to Neverwinter.
Ashes only suffered minor injuries but Leaf had been helped off the plane.
Fortunately, Nightfall had grown the Seed of Symbiosis in Leaf's body. While Leaf remained unconscious, her symbiont seemed to be fine. This meant the impact on her was more mental than physical.
Roland, in the meantime, turned to a big map on his desk.
He had already formed a vivid picture of the incident in his mind.
The demon commander had noticed something unusual about the Misty Forest. It noticed that the railway took a turn at the forest and stretched on toward Taquila. Instead of forcing through the trench and the barbed wire at the terminus station, it had directly attacked the witch who controlled the forest.
Meanwhile, a group of demons had traveled nearly 500 kilometers from the Taquila ruins to the northern forest. The Spider Demons had not only set the forest on fire but had also been supplying the Red Mist to their army. This was, therefore, in a sense, the demons' first guerrilla operation.
The fire was just a diversion. The demons had probably foreseen that the forest controller would stay in the forest, watching the unfolding of the event. They did not really care about whether the First Army would put out the fire or not.
Perhaps, they had come to realize that Leaf was the supply hub for the First Army.
The demons were obviously under the impression that once the forest controller was killed, human beings would immediately retreat from the front.
Although their speculation was not completely accurate, it did demonstrate how proficient the demons were in using magic power. They had not only figured out the form of Leaf's magic power but also made a specific plan to eliminate her. Everything was carefully calculated, from their traveling distance to the time required to retreat. Only with a profound comprehension of magic power could they successfully carry out this operation.
Roland even suspected that the demons had seen something similar to Leaf's ability.
It would take at least a week for the demons to backtrack, so it was not very hard to trace them down. Nevertheless, there was no point in doing so, because the Magic Slayer could fly away anytime. If with luck, they could probably kill a few Spider Demons or some lower demons during this pursuit. If worse, they would probably suffer an even greater loss.
There was no effective measure to counter the demons in this case due to the secrecy of their operation. Although most of the witches were under the protection of the God's Punishment Witches, the situation did not apply to the witches who moved around like Leaf, Maggie and Lightning. Fortunately, very few Senior Demons were as powerful as the Magic Slayer, so Leaf, Maggie and Lightning would notice any change in magic power if a regular Senior Demon was about to attack. In that case, they simply needed to retreat immediately to avoid a direct confrontation.
Another thing that concerned Roland was the conversation between the Magic Slayer and Ashes.
He did not anticipate that the demons could speak the human language.
Being a Senior Demon, Kabradhabi did not have the ability to directly communicate with human beings. Camilla had to channel it to build effective communication.
"Learning is the first step of evolution."
"Thousands of things have changed in the past hundreds of years, but you still live in the old way."
"It's rumored that long before the beginning of the first Battle of Divine Will, a man taught the demons his knowledge."
Ashes' and Pasha's words reverberated in Roland's mind.
For some reason, Roland had the impression that the Magic Slayer took pride in the past hundreds of years, as though he had witnessed those numerous changes himself.
Could he be a demon who had lived back in the Union Age?
That was why he had learned the human language?
But this was too unbelievable!
While Roland was absorbed in his thoughts, Wendy's voice came from outside the office.
"Your Majesty," she said as she pushed the door open, "Leaf just woke up."
"I'm coming," Roland replied as he stood up abruptly and turned to Ashes. "Do you want to come along?"
The Extraordinary nodded.
"By the way," He stopped when he had almost reached the door, "I forgot to 'thank you'."
Although Ashes seemed uninjured, it did not mean she was totally fine. Roland did notice several shallow cuts on her face and knuckles.
The wind that had blown Leaf away was definitely not a gentle breeze. Normally, Extraordinaries could heal themselves within one day, but apparently, these cuts were not easy to heal.
In other words, the injury could have been fatal had she made a single mistake during the fight.
The battle was obviously not as simple as Ashes had described.
Ashes remained expressionless. She simply gave Roland a downcast glance with her golden eyes and said, "Take care of Tilly."
"Naturally..." Roland said, pursing his lips. He knew Ashes had just done what a reasonable person would normally do in that situation. He was surprised that a blunt person like Ashes would one day also become quite sensitive. Roland returned her a smile and said, "Let's go."
By the time they arrived at Leaf's bedroom, the room was packed with visitors.
Almost all the witches who had joined the Witch Union at the same time as Leaf, including Anna, Nightingale, Tilly, Scroll, Mystery Moon, etc., were there. The group instantly parted to let Roland through.
Over the heads of the group of the witches, he saw Leaf sitting up in her bed.
She looked wan, her bright green hair disheveled, but she did not look particularly distraught.
Her eyes were still bright and sparkly.
"Your Majesty," Leaf spoke in a low voice, "Sorry to have you come down here."
"I'm glad you're OK..." Roland said in relief, realizing that her coma was mainly due to fatigue. Nonetheless, deep down inside, Roland knew Leaf sustained more serious injuries than what could be seen. She was hexed with the same "curse" put on Lightning. Her connection with the Heart of Forest had been forcibly interrupted, and she had barely survived the attack. Roland said, "Ashes told me everything. Take a good rest and leave the forest to us. As for your injuries, we'll manage..."
Leaf shook her head and replied, "No, Your Majesty, please let me return to the front."
"Leaf!" Nightingale exclaimed.
"I know everybody is concerned about me, but staying in bed won't be of much help, will it?" Leaf pronounced each syllable clearly and slowly. "The curse would not disappear anyway, no matter whether I'm in the Misty Forest or Neverwinter. So, there's no reason for me to stay here."
"But..." Wendy protested in a hushed voice.
"If I return to the forest, I can keep the communication between the front and Neverwinter going. The testing field would be also able to continue its operation. I can also help with the delivery of supplies to the front. Although not much, I can at least do something to help defeat the demons. You all know which one is a better choice, right?" Leaf broke off, a little breathless, before forcing a smile. "Don't worry. Next time when I see something unusual, I'll run as fast as I can."
Nobody spoke for a short moment.
Roland took a deep breath. He had foreseen this would happen. If Leaf could be that easily persuaded, she would not have been able to successfully bring her fellow witches from the Impassable Mountain Range to the Border Town barefoot.
Like the forest, she was gentle on the outside but tough on the inside.
"I see," Roland spoke at long last. "But you have to promise me that nobody will act alone under any circumstances before the Magic Slayer with the evil cursing power is killed."
With these words, he turned to Ashes and asked, "Can you take care of her for the time being?"
Ashes exchanged a look with Tilly and then replied curtly, "Sure, leave her to me."