Release that Witch Chapter 342
Chapter 342: Countermeasures
“Don’t forget about me.” Lighting rushed over.
“I want one too,” Nana exclaimed.
“Guu!” Maggie called out soon after.
Roland simply stood in place, letting each member of the Witch Union hug him in turn. When Tilly saw, she couldn’t help laugh, “You really have a harmonious relationship with them.”
“You want to hug your big brother too?”
“No thanks,” she said, smiling as she shook her head. “I can still clearly remember that time you lifted me up and then dropped me on the ground.”
Roland only shrugged his shoulders to express his innocence, then shifted his gaze over to the woman Ashes was holding―she had a head of ocean-blue hair, looked fairly young, with a figure similar to Anna’s. Her eyes were tightly shut and her slender eyebrows were slightly upturned. She had fair skin, and the teardrop mole at the corner of her eye appeared particularly eye-catching.
Based on external appearances, she didn’t look like someone who had been imprisoned in the basement of a stone tower at all. Instead, she gave off a bit of a sleeping beauty vibe.
However, her physical appearance led to Roland paying more attention to her outfit―In this age, clothing with such a diverse and intricate design was scarcely seen. Because dyes were in short supply, the violet colour of the robe itself was extremely rare. With the addition of those interlacing white stripes and talisman prints, it resembled one of those gorgeous gowns that could only be seen in movies.
This was definitely a piece of orange equipment.
“Is she still alive?”
“Yeah,” Nightingale replied, “but the magic in her body has been depleted. It seems similar to Anna’s condition back when she reached adulthood. But unlike Anna, the recovery speed of her magic is unusually slow. At this rate, she might need three to four days before she returns to normal.”
“In that case, we’ll let her sleep properly,” Roland nodded, “I will tidy up a room on the third floor of the castle for her to rest. The others should return to the hall first.” He paused. “I want to hear the tales of your travels.”
. . .
After listening to Tilly and Nightingale’s accounts, Roland couldn't help but break into a cold sweat because of them.
Although Sylvie provided a full picture, going deep underground in pursuit of a huge demonic beast they had never seen before was a very dangerous affair. If it were him, he may have still been hesitant. He never expected that Tilly would be so decisive. She picked out suitable members for the task in a short amount of time and even led the team herself… Her appointment as the leader of so many witches wasn’t just due to her identity as a princess.
“At the time, did you think that this earthworm had something to do with the devils?”
“I don’t know, but it’s not impossible,” Tilly replied leisurely. “A witch from the Cooperation Association once encountered devils who were riding some kind of hybrid demonic beast in the wild. The beasts’ fleshy wings were cut off and they heeded the devils’ orders, sort of like tamed livestock. And behind the snowy mountains, you can also see creatures that are capable of flight――Those look completely different to devils, perhaps they’re another kind of demonic beast.”
“So isn’t it possible to surmise that devils and demonic beasts have a subordinate relationship, just like that of humans and hounds? They may have some method of making these monsters obey their orders, and compel them to complete a few fairly problematic tasks.”
“I feel… like it really does seem like it.” Roland nodded, but his mind was entirely clouded in incomprehensible confusion from beginning to end. Demonic beasts would only take the initiative to attack human dwellings during the Months of Demons, but that did not mean they only lived during the Months of Demons――the moss and weeds growing on the carapaces of the sieging beasts were proof that these creatures had survived for tens of years. Assuming that the reason those devils were unable to rapidly occupy the entire wilderness and completely expel humans from the continent was due to being confined within the red mist, then they are free to constantly send demonic beasts to harass the four great kingdoms instead of waiting until winter to take action again.
Furthermore… It was hard to forget the intelligence of that wolf-lion demonic beast hybrid that once fought Iron Axe during the Months of Demons in the first year――it differed from the “clever” animals that followed their instincts. It was able to learn, analyse, and choose the best target and course of action. This already at a level that the vast majority of living creatures could never hope to reach. If long-lived demonic beast hybrids could possess such intellect, it would be impossible for them to be tamed by another race.
“But compared to the subterranean demonic beasts, I think that the enemy Miss Nightingale encountered outside the stone tower is more concerning.” Tilly sighed. “It was able to conceal itself in broad daylight and moved so silently. It’s practically impossible to defend against. It’s a pity we know too little about demonic beasts, I have no idea how to handle such a terrifying enemy.”
“If Nightingale had not witnessed it with her own eyes, I would not believe that such demonic beasts really exist.” Roland spread his arms out as he spoke. “But it seems they have never appeared at the western border… Otherwise, if just a few of them came every winter, Longsong Stronghold would have long turned to ruins.”
“But as the Months of Demons grow longer, the demonic beasts grow stronger; this is the conclusion reached by the history books. This time, the first snowfall began in Autumn, so the enemy we face may be very formidable.”
Tilly’s use of the word “we” made Roland’s heart grow warm. Whether she treated him as a brother or not, she already considered him a part of the small town as far as alliances were concerned――naturally, this also included the witches.
“Then we can only leave the surveillance of the perimeters to Nightingale.”
“No, let Sylvie stand guard this winter,” Tilly said, “The city walls are divided into two sections, East and West. To do a single circuit of the place would take almost a quarter of an hour, Miss Nightingale’s workload would be too great. Sylvie only needs to stay inside the castle and she would be able to observe the entire region of the city walls. She would also be able to inform the other witches immediately upon discovering a demonic beast.”
“That’s fine too.” Roland nodded.
“That witch…” Scroll hesitated for a moment. “I still have the same opinion as before. As long as her identity has yet to be confirmed, she could very well be an enemy.”
“I know, which is why I will have her wear a God’s Stone of Retaliation for the time being.” He exhaled a breath of air. “Hopefully this won’t cause her to misunderstand us.”
. . .
Roland entered the bedroom of the unconscious witch. Anna was the only one left inside the room, looking after her alone.
“How is she?”
Anna shook her head. “Still no response.”
“Is that so,” Roland walked over to the bedside, the woman lying still under the blankets. Although her eyes remained tightly shut, the wrinkles between her brows seemed to have reduced. Nana and Lily had already used their abilities on her, so the only thing they could do now was to wait quietly.
“She was frozen for so long, yet not a single trace of that remains. It’s really incredible.” He lamented.
“It’s similar to how I don’t fear any flames,” Anna chuckled, “Her ability definitely plays a part.”
“I heard that you were the one who opened the ice coffin.” Roland pat her on the head.” You’re amazing, Anna.”
“I can’t take all the credit,” Anna said earnestly. “This witch made use of her ability in a very ingenious way. She first used cold ice at an extremely low temperature to completely stop all circulation in her body, then used ice crystals that were close to room temperature to fully seal the cold ice inside to prevent it from thawing. She has surely reached a very high level of control over her abilities.”
Ice that approached room temperature… This phrase sounded very contradicting, but Roland understood that the abilities of summon-type witches were unique manifestations of magic, similar to the black flames that were capable of casually taking up different forms and temperatures.
Anna paused for a moment before continuing, “I had only just cut through the outer layer of ice crystals when the whole ice coffin immediately fell apart, like it was an opening she deliberately left behind. So, I think she had been anticipating this day for a while now.”
“By that you mean…”
“She is certain to wake up.”