Release that Witch Chapter 366
Here, enjoy 🙂
After the Months of Demons' snow started to fall, the Scarlet Water River was the only path to cross through the western region.
When compared with the small sailing boat he rode before, the "Lionheart" was much more spacious. It could even accommodate a simple kitchen, so even while traveling, you could also eat hot meals.
His bedroom was naturally a separate single room the duke had originally used, located at the stern, and similarly to the sea-sailing ships, you could watch through the window the flow of the river and the floating ice.
"My lord, here's the egg soup you requested." the knight delivered a jar and a porcelain bowl to his room.
"Thank you for your hard work," Petrov nodded as he said, "come sit down and drink a bowl too, it will warm you up."
Since His Highness, The Prince had detained all of the four great noble families' knights in Border Town, and denied them of the chance for redemption, the first thing the nobles did was to send those knights' household family members together with them. And after emptying their lands, they either tried to recruit new knights or simply ended up eating up their lands.
Only the Honeysuckle Household did not suffer too many losses in the previous war, and instead, by taking advantage of it, their influence in Longsong Stronghold quickly grew. Now, they even applied pressure on the four great noble families, and also managed to have an entire knight unit. This knight, Seth, was a member of that unit, and although not as well-known as Morning Light, he could be considered a quite outstanding young knight.
"Yes," he smiled, and after removing the lid on the jar, he poured some soup for Petrov, "But… my lord, it this really all right?"
"You refer to the witch?"
"Yes, although the church was burnt down, it would not be hard to build a new one. The Church will someday return to the western region, all you had to do was to push the blame onto the fourth prince, and they would not be able to object. But now you rescued a witch in front of people, and even arrested the Church's believers…" the knight hesitated to continue, "this is equal to openly opposing the Church."
"Since it is not that difficult to build another, why is it that the place is still in ruins?" Petrov blew over the egg soup, spreading the fragrant aroma, "the Church will not return to the western region again."
Seth blinked, not fully convinced by that conclusion.
After waiting for the egg soup to cool down a little, he drank a bit of it and exhaled white vapor clouds with a satisfied expression, "As a substitute overseer, the most important quality is to comprehend the true intentions of the person in charge. His Highness' educational policy in the stronghold, the introduction of the Border Town's recruit training program, the obviously staged theater plays, it is clear that with these, the influence of the Church will be weakened. I became the acting regent of the stronghold by the grace of His Highness, so it is only natural that I understand the ways he tries to govern the fortress, if I'm unable to even see this point, I'm afraid he would have already replaced me with someone else." Petrov shrugged his shoulders, "If it just to prevent the church building from being reconstructed—the stone masons and carpenters should have already received a notification to keep them from doing it, and even if the believers want to rebuild it themselves, the street mice would make it so they are unable to work."
"But the Church—"
"Since the prince has taken such actions, it means he is not afraid of the Church's retaliation, but even has the confidence to keep them away. So, if they can still set foot in the western region again, it would only mean that His Highness has failed. And if he is defeated, I would no longer be able to sit in the high seat of the stronghold's castle, I think this is something you should be able to understand."
"Do you believe the fourth prince can defeat the Church's army?" the surprised Seth asked.
"Who knows," Petrov shook his head as he smiled, "A year ago, I believed he could not withstand Duke Ryan's knight group," he got up and grabbed the soup jar, "I'll go take a look at the little girl, I'm sure she might be hungry."
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The girl was called Paper.
No doubt only a homeless child would use such a random name.
Since boarding the ship, she had stayed in the cabin under the deck, not saying a word. Even if her fingers turned red from the cold, and her whole body shivered, she still didn't utter a single sound. As a measure of safety, Petrov made her wear a God Punishment Stone locket, after all, even though His Highness spread the words that witches and ordinary people were not different, he did not entirely believe that someone in possession of such incredible power would really be just like an ordinary person—even if it was an unintentional act, she was still likely to cause damage to themselves.
"Why don't you lie down on the quilt?" Petrov pointed at the hammock hanging inside the cabin—since the insides had a limited space, sailors usually slept in the swaying hammocks, and wrapped themselves with a hemp quilt, he couldn't say for sure how comfortable they were, but at least they served their purpose to keep you warm.
"It will get dirty." she answered in a low voice.
"Sailors are not any cleaner than you," he searched for a dry spot and sat down, "This trip will take us three days, do you plan to sit there all that time? I'm afraid you will not last until Border Town, and will likely die on the way."
"Border Town?" Paper said with a blank expression.
"Didn't I tell you? I'll take you to a place suitable for witches to live in." Petrov opened the lid on the jar, "Come and eat up some hot soup, then go lie on the hammock."
The girl did not object, he could tell she was starving since she picked up the jar and drank directly from it, seemingly not afraid of burning her tongue.
Petrov shook his head, her body was as thin as a monkey, the dirt had already stiffened her hair, the clothes she was wearing were probably picked up from somewhere and had several holes in them—looking at her appearance, it was no different from the numerous homeless children in the stronghold.
"Who was that boy who tried to protect you?" he asked, "A homeless friend of yours?"
"Snake Tooth, he… often brings us… something to eat." Paper swallowed the broth and stuck out her tongue, speaking incoherently, "So, as long as I follow you along, you… won't catch him, right? He… is not a witch."
"Of course," Petrov's face showed no expression, "he is of no importance." The phrase 'often bringing something to eat' surprised him slightly, there were very few people like that in the slums, since the lack of food often caused them to rob each other—when they were not even sure they would survive, they obviously would not be in the mood to care for other people. And the name Snake Tooth… it sounded quite a bit like one a street mouse would use.
Thinking up to here, he couldn't help asking, "A moment ago you said 'us'—is there another witch besides you?"
"No," Paper shook her head, "they all are just orphans from nearby."
This made Petrov slightly relieved, "Didn't that old swindler say you used your ability to remove the snow? It was the first time I saw a witch dare to use her abilities in front of many people."
"It was proposed by Snake Tooth, he said I could help the residents by quickly removing the snow from their roofs, in exchange for some food, and with that, fill everyone's stomach. The theater plays the story of the witch all day, so now people are not afraid of witches, so as long as I was willing to work hard, he would go mediate with those adults for a deal."
So that was it, Petrov couldn't keep the corners of his mouth from rising, this guy is very interesting, he knew how to make use of the resources he had at hand, but he underestimated the influence the Church still had, "Did you get anything to eat?"
"Yes…" Paper lowered her head, "I swept three roofs, at one they just kicked me out, the other two gave me half a loaf of bread, and a piece of wheat pancake. However, at the fourth house…"
Running into that old woman had filled him with hatred, Petrov patted her head and said, "Have a good rest after you are done, when it is time for dinner, I will send someone to inform you."
Three days later, Lionheart arrived at the wharf in Border Town.