Release that Witch Chapter 390
After Paper finished washing up, she wrung her towel and hung it on the snow-covered balcony.
By leaving the towel outside for a day, it would freeze completely. Before she used it again, all she needed to do was to knead and pat it a few times, and then remove the remnants of ice. Of course, she could also remain warm indoors and use her magic power to vaporize the moisture on the towel, but that would reduce her number of daily practices.
Paper was aware that her body's capacity for magic power was considered to be one of the worst among the witches, hence every drop of it had to be used wisely.
Just as she completed the cleaning work, someone knocked on the door. Almost every day at this time, big sister Wendy would bring her to the castle hall to enjoy a hearty breakfast.
Paper opened the door cheerfully. It was indeed Wendy who was standing outside—she proceeded to hug Paper lovingly and sniffed her cheeks. "Excellent, you've cleaned up already."
"Hehe." Paper grinned and held Wendy's hand as they walked towards the castle hall together.
It had been nearly half a month since she came to Border Town, and she had become accustomed to the way of life.
Here, there was no need to leave her shack early in the morning to find food, and no need to worry that the firewood she gathered would be stolen. Aside from the time she spent filling her stomach and keeping warm, she could concentrate on practicing her magic power and acquiring knowledge. In the past, she could only imagine having such a life while chatting with her companions. A life where one had no worries about survival seemed to be reserved only for the masters and mistresses of the great noble families.
Paper had never expected that someday, she could also have this kind of life.
Wendy's palms felt soft and warm—a feeling Paper had never experienced while living in the slums. In her present life, Paper felt that there were people who constantly loved and cared about her. She hoped that she could remain permanently in this warm and loving place.
If it was only a dream, she would rather not wake up.
As they walked into the hall, Paper noticed that the witches were not sitting at the long table and eating their meals as usual. Instead, they crowded around a wall and bawled incessantly.
She blinked her eyes in curiosity, but was too embarrassed to ask Wendy what the witches were doing.
However, the latter seemed to read her thoughts, and said, laughing, "Our sisters are testing out their fighting capacities."
"Fighting capacity?" Paper was intrigued. "What... is that?"
"It's something that was invented by His Highness' eccentric rhetoric. Don't take it too seriously." Wendy bent her waist and lifted the young lady onto her shoulder. "See that silver sheet of metal? It's said to be a relic from the witches' kingdom, which existed more than four hundred years ago, and was used by Extraordinaries as a battle weapon. Only those with strong magic power can summon its might. His Highness has placed it in the hall so that everyone can test the level of their magic power, or should I say... to satisfy the curiosity of our sisters. Those who are able to illumine the four magic stones placed on the weapon in one breath would be considered to have divinely willed fighting capacity."
"..." Paper felt extremely confused. "Witches' kingdom?" "Extraordinaries?" "Magic Stones?" These foreign words left her scratching her head, but that did not mitigate the shock caused by the incredible sight before her—as the witches took turns to place their hands on the metal sheet, the embedded crystals glowed brightly and resembled a kaleidoscope of colorful stars.
"I can illumine two magic stones!" exclaimed Lightning, who was the same age as Paper. On her shoulder sat a stout-looking dove—Paper recalled that the bird was also a witch who was called Maggie around here.
"Two and a half, coo!" Pigeon cried out proudly.
"Aye, you actually did better than me? That's impossible!"
"Do you want to try?" Wendy laughed. "I guess that you won't do very well now. You haven't learnt how to imbue magic power into a magic stone, let alone summon a sigil. But, His Highness has stipulated this as a required course for witches, and therefore, you'll soon be given a Stone of Light to use for practice."
"Would it be as crystal-clear and shiny as these gems?" Paper was suddenly excited. She looked at Wendy and nodded. "I'll practice really really well!"
"Good girl." Wendy laughed and rubbed the young child's cheeks. "Eat first, then you'll have the energy to practice."
After finishing her oatmeal, Paper returned to the Witch Tower and began her daily practice.
Wendy had told her that everything on this Earth was formed of tiny balls which the eyes could not see, and material changes were the result of these balls separating and bonding. One's abilities could only accelerate these processes, rather than simply, for example, melting ice or cooling hot water.
Although she was not able to understand the meaning of Wendy's words, she conscientiously followed Wendy's request—she would feel the magic power that was contained in her own body and released it as evenly as possible. From her earlier years living in the slums, she understood that the fact that she was now able to live a good life was because His Highness required the power of witches—this was her only worth, and therefore, if she did not want to be abandoned, she had to work hard.
Suddenly, Paper felt a twisting pain in her abdomen. Magic power was vibrating inside her body and seemed like it wanted to burst out, causing her to groan uncontrollably.
"What's the matter?" Wendy, who was by her side, asked.
"No, nothing." She shook her head. "Just now, my magic power felt like it wanted to break free."
"Break free..." Wendy pondered for a moment. "Do you remember when you became a witch?"
"It was probably winter," Paper said softly. "I cannot remember the exact date."
"It's now the end of autumn, and winter will be here in a few days." Wendy's smile disappeared. "As we near the Day of Awakening, our body's magic power will become active as a form of bite. Take a rest first. I'll call Nightingale over. She'll be able to see the changes of your body's magic power." She walked to the door, then turned back and added, "Don't worry. For a witch from Border Town, this is not a life and death issue."
Wendy's prediction was confirmed.
After three days, Paper was about to have her second Day of Awakening.
Lying on her large bed, she looked around at the circle of witches that had come to visit her. Listening to their gabble of comforting words, she suddenly felt like crying.
The pain of being burned by magic power, which she remembered from her first awakening, seemed to become much more bearable.
"Because your practice time is relatively short, it's not guaranteed that the pain of the bite will completely go away." Wendy sat at Paper's bedside and stroked her hair. "But remember, don't ever think about giving up, and don't lose your sense of awareness."
She did not dare to speak up, afraid that the moment she opened her mouth, she would start to cry loudly.
She did not want to disgrace herself in front of everyone.
While living in the slums, crying was seen as the weakest expression, something which only people who gave up would do.
Paper closed her eyes and quietly waited for that moment to arrive.
When she opened her eyes, she saw that outside the window was a sea of white.
The bite was weaker than she had expected, such that the various means of rescue which everyone had helped to prepare turned out to be redundant. When she awakened, she felt that her body's capacity for magic power had increased considerably. Small changes had taken place all over her body. Her eyes could see further, and her limbs possessed greater strength than before.
After she washed her face, she once again heard Wendy knocking on the door.
"I'm coming." Paper opened the door cheerfully and held Wendy's hand. However, this time, Wendy did not bring her to the castle hall, but instead, to the Lord's office on the third floor.
The gray-haired big shot smiled gently at Paper and held a piece of parchment in front of her.
"From today onwards, you're officially a member of the Witch Union."