Release that Witch

 
 

Release that Witch Chapter 1306 The Bloodstained Message


After flipping through the letter, a chill ran down Smarty's back.

A demon lord that could open the gate to Hell, letting troops come and go as they like?

Unquestionably, this intel was of utmost importance—In truth, he had been perplexed by the oddly unscathed fall of Snow Reflection Castle. The only thing that could be said from it was that the demons invaded from the north side. All the other explanations varied and contradicted each other. Evidently, all the citizens who witnessed the arrival of demons with their own eyes had died during the invasion.

At last he had conclusive affirmation to his questions.

But what shocked him even more was that the demon lord spoken of was familiar with human laws. Not only was the demon lord able to engage proficiently with the nobility, but in a short span of time, he was also able to become the real ruler behind the scenes of the Kingdom of Everwinter. Currently, the enlistment of citizens in the domains of the kingdom was all his doing. The handsome benefits promised by the demon lord were also far greater than what the people of Graycastle were capable of.

Additionally, the letter's illustration of the patterns in the drafting of citizens was extremely valuable. Although it wasn't the same as information on the power distribution of demons, one could at least infer from it approximately where resources were allocated.

What was certain was that this letter was definitely not written by the likes of a Rat or merchant. The writer's perspective betrayed that he was undoubtedly a member of Everwinter's upper class.

The contents of the entire letter were organized, logical, clear and concise. There was no need for transcription—it would be difficult to make it anymore concise than it already was. All Smarty had to do was send it out in one piece and it would already be a critical piece of intel. In terms of priority, it was without a doubt the highest.

The problem now was that the merchant group used to deliver intel left Snow Reflection Castle yesterday. In order not catch anyone's attention, Black Money only planted one of their members inside the merchant group, and that member was merely a cart driver, making it virtually impossible for him to make the entire group pull back in the direction they came. The next merchant group would only be able to leave the following week.

If we were to add on the time spent stopping and moving along the way, the delivery time would be drawn out even longer.

After hesitating for a long time, Smarty finally jumped up, gathered the rest of the paper on his table, and put them away in his drawer, leaving only the letter on the table.

Next he had to seal it with waterproof wax.

After he finished, he blew out the candle, slotted the letter somewhere close to his body and returned to the first floor. Using hand gestures, he told the silent warrior, "I'm going to personally leave the city for a while. If something unprecedented happens here, light the fuel oil downstairs."

Just when Smarty was about to turn and go out the door, the silent warrior caught Smarty's arm and very slightly shook his head. Then, the silent warrior pointed to himself.

Stay, and leave the dangerous things to me...?

Smarty chuckled lightly. "I'll only be sending a letter. I'll be back in two or three days at most. You can't speak, nor do you know where the exchange point is, so you can't help me with this mission."

However there were no hand gesture to express such complicated words so he only made one hand gesture: "This is a command."

The hand gripping him released.

Smarty patted the silent warrior's chest and left the room without looking back.

Since his master told him to support Graycastle with everything at his disposal, the most important thing he had to do now was deliver this letter as soon as possible. After all, in the words of the Graycastle folk: intel is dependent on timeliness; the longer that intel is held back, the more changes that occur and the less reliable it is.

For such occasions, they had even set up an emergency contact point a bit over five kilometers away from the border of the city. At the contact point, they prepared an incredible animal courier. Smarty had heard that it could deliver messages to the Kingdom of Dawn within a few days.

That village would be the destination of his journey.

Leaving Snow Reflection Castle without permission indeed had its risks, but in general they were all within his control. In reality, people were escaping the Northern Region via all sorts of different methods everyday. There were even people leaving Everwinter—the red haze and blood-red moon above people's heads didn't actually affect their lives in any way, it was just that Graycastle's propaganda and the rumors about the demons had already cemented themselves in them; no matter how much the feudal lord tried to stop it, he was unable to completely dissipate the fear the people had of these terrifying barbarian races.

Undoubtedly, these daily escapists were Smarty's best camouflage.

Smarty knew that as long as he moved alone, the probability of him getting caught by flying demons was low. The guards on the streets were even easier to deal with as in the end, gold royals were the ticket to all passages in the human world.

Reality was not much different to Smarty's predictions.

As dawn broke the following morning, Smarty safely passed through the southern gate of Snow Reflection Castle. In order to enjoy the gold royals all to himself, the guard even made sure not to alert anyone else, quietly opening a small door for Smarty on the inner side of the city wall.

Once he crossed the icy abyss, the rest of the journey would be free of obstruction.

Everytime Smarty caught sight of a black shadow in the sky, he would quickly tuck himself under the snow. His white coat was a natural camouflage and for those flying in the sky, his footsteps did not really look much different to the ones left by wild beasts.

When it was afternoon, Smarty could already vaguely glimpse smoke curling upwards from the kitchen chimneys of the village.

Wiping the white frost from his nose, he couldn't help but quicken his pace.

Just like the system inside the city, Smarty didn't need to directly meet with anyone from Graycastle. All he had to do was place the intel in the agreed spot and leave a secret signal.

Yet at this moment, Smarty heard the clip-clopping of horse hooves coming from behind him.

Smarty jumped and twisted around. His heart dropped slightly. What the hell, why are there Snow Reflection Castle soldiers here?

Graycastle had chosen this village specifically because it was remote. It would be difficult to notice even if one or two outsiders snuck in. Usually if the nobles wanted to intercept runaways they would choose to do it near the main road since they unlikely had any reason to be here.

The distance between Smarty and the soldiers quickly shortened. Clearly they had seen his figure, so there was really no point in hiding anymore.

Smarty decidedly stopped walking and turned towards the oncomers with an ingratiating smile plastered across his face. There were two riders in total, this probably wouldn't be too difficult as long as he gave enough gold royals.

One soldier reined in his horse in front of him and looked down at him condescendingly. "Older brother," he said, "I just knew that these fugitives would choose a remote path for their escape. We found one just like I said."

"Ah, lucky us."

As he thought... Were they one of the patrol parties sent to catch escapists?

"M-My lord, I beg of you, spare my life!" Pretending to be scared out of his wits, Smarty fell to his knees into the snow and held up his money bag in both hands, revealing a sparkle of the gold royals inside. " I couldn't stand staying in the same place as those demons from hell, they're monsters who'd eat you without a blink of an eye! I can give you all of my savings, just please let me go!"

"Oh? You've saved up quite a bit there." The rider took the money bag with a hint of pleasure in his tone.

"It's all yours now... O-oh yeah, I have some relatives in the Kingdom of Wolfheart, as long as you don't take me back, I'll definitely find a chance to repay you in the future!"

"You can stand up now."

Smarty silently released a breath. Usually, once he reached this point he had basically made it through. Refugees who had saved up gold royals were definitely a small minority; what's more he had "relatives in a neighboring country," so coming across someone like him was unbelievably unlikely. If killing people didn't give them any advantages, the soldiers wouldn't want to cause any more unnecessary trouble. After all, letting one or two refugees off didn't incur them any losses, so there was no point in destroying the possibility of being repaid in the future.

But the rider didn't wave his hand for him to scram. Instead, he raised his vizor and said, "Look at me carefully."

A glaring scar was scrawled over the rider's cheek, as if his face had been gnawed on by some ferocious beast. His entire ear was gone and even half of his eye was deformed and twisted.

The flapping of his skin showed that this injury had only recently healed.

"My lord, this is..."

"This was caused by Graycastle's firearms," the knight said slowly, "I thought I was a goner then, but I managed to survive. Until now, I can still feel the heat piercing my face. It reminds me constantly, who it was that caused all of this—"

At the end of his speech, the rider's tone turned completely cold.

An intense feeling of alarm arose inside Smarty.

But before he had the chance to create a distance between them, the other person who was referred to as the younger brother raised his hand and struck Smarty's face hard with his horse whip.

The scene in front of him turned black. Smarty collapsed with his hands to his face.

"Yes, it's you! If it weren't for you damned runaways, why would I be fighting Graycastle with my life? What 'Battle of Divine Will', what 'fate of mankind', that's all bullsh**!" At this point, the knights voice had already escalated into a roar. "Be at ease, I won't take you back and I won't kill you here and now—the only thing I want to do is let you fugitives taste my pain!"

Afterwards he raised his reins and ushered his horse towards Smarty's legs.

"Crack—"

A wave of indescribable, excruciating pain immediately shot through him as Smarty subconsciously let out a strangulated yell.

Then came his second leg.

Until the snow was spotted with blood and his legs had become a clump of vaguely connected muddy flesh did the rider stop the horse's trampling.

"Relax, you are not the first and you will not be the last," the knight laughed sinisterly. "Now... you can run away as much as you want."

Smarty didn't pay attention to when the two riders left.

Only after biting and breaking open his lip, could he force his wandering attention together.

The lower half of his body had already turned completely numb and the snow was sapping his body heat away from him bit by bit.

He felt at the clothes on his chest—the letter was still in its original place. In those two riders' eyes, he was probably no different to a corpse now.

Surprisingly, he bore no hatred towards the two, nor did he feel any intense dissatisfaction at being so easily trampled over. Under the ruthless torture of both the piercing pain and cold, thinking had already become an unbelievably difficult task. The only thought lingering in him was of the message close to his chest.

With the last of his energy, Smarty began shifting his body towards the agreed location.

By the time he wriggled to a place on top of a hill that overlooked the village, the curtain of night was slowly draping over the horizon. The occasional coruscating lights inside the village seemed to be right next to him; yet at the same time, as far from him as the stars of the night sky.

He had not put the letter into the hiding spot, because he himself was the final vessel of the letter.

In the moment when the darkness was about to swallow all living things, his master, Banach Lothar's kind face emerged before Smarty's eyes.

Smarty closed his eyes and lightly murmured, "Father..."

 
 


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