Release that Witch Chapter 375
Unedited chapter, will update it soon.
The basement of the Eltek mansion was a familiar place for Ferlin.
When he was a kid, he used this place as his own adventuring spot, exploring and searching through all the dusty boxes and finding all sorts of different and strange things, it was a very fun game for him. Obviously, his father eventually found out and after beating him up, he banned him from entering the basement alone again, but Ferlin would always find a way to sneak in.
After arriving at the basement, his father took him into the innermost stone chamber. Among the walls, smalls blue crystals the size of a fist were embedded, giving off a faint light—Ferlin couldn't help but to gasp, every one of those rocks was a God Punishment Stone of the highest quality. When he came in as a child, he didn't know about them, but now, he naturally knew their meaning. The high quality sacred stones were very valuable, and ones of this size could fetch at least a price of between five to six hundred gold royals each.
Was the Eltek family always this rich?
Then he suddenly remembered, the treasure map he gave to His Highness also came out from this room.
The stone room had chests all along the walls, giving a similar image to the one in his memory from the last time he was here. Sir Eltek pulled out a bunch of keys from his pocket, and as he opened up one of the largest chests, along with a creaking sound, the cover raised a cloud of dust.
Ferlin held his breath as he looked into the chest—it was divided into several compartments, making it look like an enlarged version of a jewelry box used by a noble lady, and each section was replete with gems of different colors.
Is this our ancestor's heritage? The relic she left behind?
"It's been a long time since the last time I came down here," his father said as he let out a sigh, "Every time I see these magic stones, I remember the burdening confessions that my ancestor said."
"Magic stones?" Surprised by these words, Ferlin asked.
"Yes, a very valuable item that only can be used by a witch," he replied while nodding, "It's a long story, but basically our family, was established under the blessing of a witch."
His father then proceeded to tell Ferlin the story about the origins of the family, which turned out to be different from what he always heard during childhood. The founders of the Eltek family were not from the west, they had come from beyond the Impassable Mountain Range, from a barbaric open land that nobody now even dared to set foot on.
Ferlin's eyes started to widen with surprise, he could never have thought that there was such an extraordinary hidden secret behind that portrait.
His father spoke to him about the effective founder, Lady Agatha, who along with many other witches, had establish a large kingdom. In this kingdom, they were the ruling class, in a similar way as what nobility was currently regarded as. But it eventually met its demise, at the hands of the Devils from Hell and the war they brought.
When the final battle came, the remaining survivors scattered and fled. At that time, Lady Agatha took a group of people and went into the Concealing Forest, to her stone tower in order to secure the materials from her experiments, while the rest of the group joined the fleeing survivors and went towards what's known today as Greycastle—at that time, all the kingdoms were nothing more than a barren piece of land.
"Our ancestors were among the other group that fled?" Ferlin asked with a hoarse voice.
"Yes, he was her chamberlain, and was supposed to go together with her into the forest, but at the last minute he got cold feet and backed down, offering to stay and look after the supplies instead, to which Lady Agatha agreed." His father continued in a deep voice, "you should be aware of what this means."
Ferlin answered with just a nod. A chamberlain could be regarded as part of the family but without blood ties, and was the most trusted retainer for a master. And more often than not, they chose to die along with their masters, unless that master specifically orders them otherwise.
Taking the initiative to distance themselves from his master when he sensed danger was tantamount to betrayal, even if his masters did not refuse to let him stay.
"When our ancestors arrived to this western region, they fell into despair, feeling a deep sense of regret and remorse, and began to record all of those emotions in this book," Sir Eltek reached out and grabbed a black-cover book from another chest, "After watching his master failing to return, he broke off any connection to the Federation, and after gathering the rest of the servants, they all left the refugee camp finally settling down in this piece of uncultivated land."
Ferlin took the book presented by his father, but he didn't open it, his mind was instead filled with a more terrible revelation, "So, this means that you knew that everything the church did and preached was wrong from the very beginning?"
If the witches had once made a commitment to fight against the Devils, why is it that now they are being branded as the Devil's pawns? It was clear that there was something below the surface regarding all these matters.
"Yes, I knew, but there was nothing I could do," his father answered him calmly, "If I were to find a witch in our territory, I would definitely help her hide. But I couldn't save those from the stronghold, after all, Duke Ryan didn't hold them in high—he hated the witches even more that the Church did. From the records left behind by all of our Household's successors, every one of them did the same thing helping the witches… only they did not tell those lucky witches they had saved about the witches' kingdom."
"Where are they now? Are they still among the family?"
"How could they? It is obvious that they already passed away," he spread out his hands, "Although it was very rare to reach that age, they lived up to sixty or seventy years, but they were humans after all, so they eventually grew old and died."
"But yet, you believe our first ancestor is still alive?"
"That's only a possibility—after all, the witches have a variety of abilities but they cannot reproduce, so I was just speculating."
Ferlin pondered for a moment before changing the topic, "Did our ancestors never tried to go into the Concealing Forest in order to find Lady Agatha?"
"It's not that easy," his father shook his head, "If even a witch could not safely return, ordinary people, no matter how many, will make no difference. Besides, the western region was nothing more than a wasteland 400 years ago, there were wild animals and dense forests everywhere. It was already hard enough to settled down on this land, so there was no time to worry about something else. But every one of our ancestors wrote this in their wills, they had hope that future generations could go into the Concealing Forest, and reach the stone tower, even if only to take a glance at it."
After listening to his father, Morning Light took a deep breath and opened the heavy, dusty old book. As he began to read, he could feel from the very first page, the remorse hidden behind the words.
Many of those written words had become blurred by the passage of time, but it was for that same reason that the heavy emotions were more evident. He didn't know how long he spent reading the book, but as he turned to the last page, he noticed that maybe all the contents written inside were not a testament, but unfulfilled yearnings, a 'one last wish'.
This was probably the reason why his father showed regret that time when he was drunk.
He himself, as a former knight, could empathize with it.
"Do you want me to find her?" Ferlin broke the silence with this question, "If she really is Agatha, she probably lives in the prince's castle, as far as I know, many witches are gathered there."
"Witches are gathered in the castle?" Sir Eltek mused over those words, "No wonder why Longsong Stronghold issued a notice about the recruitment of witches a few days ago. It would seem like His Highness has finally made up his mind to have the Church as an enemy," he then shook his head, "No, you don't have to go look for her."
Ferlin was slightly surprised by this unexpected answer, "Don't you want to see her?"
"How often an ancestor comes to see their descendants?" Sir Eltek smiled, "Of course we will go see her."
"Yeah, I'll go together with you to Border Town," his father smiled at him and as he stroke his chin he continued, "Also, take all these things with you, if she really is Agatha herself, the wishes of our ancestors will finally be fulfilled."