Release that Witch Chapter 458
"You said that you saw a vast desert in Echo's song and you’ve brought back a grain of sand?" Roland asked. His mind was racing.
Was this simply an auditory delusion? How, then, could he explain this speck of powder?
"I didn’t bring it back, Your Highness," Iron Axe put the grain of sand on the desk solemnly, "At the time, it rooted me in place and I never thought of checking whether it was real. This grain of sand just suddenly appeared in my hand. Maybe it was blown by the wind?"
It was becoming more and more implausible. Roland thought for a moment and asked, "Did she sing only the one song?"
"Some other songs, too. But I couldn't understand." Absorbed in his memory, Iron Axe continued, "It was like a miracle... Back in the Southernmost Region, if Lady Silvermoon claimed to be the Three Gods Emissary, I would firmly believe her. Your Highness, is it because she's evolved?"
This Ironsand man of the Mojin Clan had followed Roland more than a year and now had a much better understanding of witches.
"I think so, but it's the first time I’ve seen such a situation." Roland answered. After some thought, he decided to send for Echo and ask her in person.
When Iron Axe left, Roland picked up the grain of sand and looked at it carefully, "Was it created by magic power?"
"I'm not sure," Nightingale's voice came from behind, "There's no trace of magic power in it."
This did not necessarily mean that it was not made by magic power. It was a real thing in the real world, like Soraya's pictures. Once created, it would maintain itself without magic power and could not be affected by God's Stone of Retaliation.
Before long, Echo came into the study. Nightingale immediately stepped out of her mist to stand beside Roland. With a smile on her face, she said, "Congratulations."
Echo was surprised, "To me?"
Nightingale nodded, "The magic power in you has cohered. Don't you feel it?"
"Re-really?" Echo shook her head in amazement, "You mean my ability has evolved?"
Finding that things had turned out just the way he’d expected, Roland asked Nightingale, "What does it look like?"
"It's like a transparent blue gem, clear as water," Nightingale answered, "She has almost as much magic power as Maggie."
Echo's evolution seemed to be unrelated to enlightenment. She had condensed her magic power even before she knew it. When Roland told her what Iron Axe had experienced, she was astonished.
"The phrase 'Felt like' may be inaccurate. He returned with a grain of sand from the dessert," Roland said with smile. "Sand can be found everywhere, but I don’t believe he went so far as to dig in the snow or mud for it only to deceive me." He paused a little and asked, "What did you see at the time?"
"Nothing at all." Echo answered with some embarrassment, "I had my eyes closed and wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings."
"So how about showing us?" Roland suggested. He propped his hands on his chin, with interest. "Sing the song you created, the one about your hometown."
"Yes," he said, "Dinner isn’t ready for another half hour. It won't disturb anyone."
"I want to hear an immersive song, too," Nightingale encouraged.
Echo took a deep breath and soon a mixed sonata from a distant time resounded in the office. It was a sweet feminine voice, slightly restrained at the start. Maybe it was because she had never sung indoors. As the melody slowly soared, she became thoroughly absorbed in the music.
As she was singing, Roland could hear hot winds blowing through green woods; he even felt the temperature increase. He smelled searing sands under a scorching sun. As the song faded out, he lingered lost in the aftertaste. Undoubtedly, this was a wonderful, exotic lyrical song in which a tone-deaf guy like himself could never find fault. However, he’d seen neither desert nor oasis with trickling streams. He sat still in his study the whole time.
He glanced at Nightingale who shook her head. It was apparent that she had not seen any miraculous scene, either.
Was it because her ability was not effective this time?
Roland contemplated, and then asked Echo, "Did you write this song?"
"Yes," she nodded.
"Now, sing several songs I’ve taught you," he thought for a moment and decided, "Let everyone come and listen."
Soon, the study was crowded with witches. The three witches from Sleeping Island had even come, too. They were still holding their cards in hand. Echo was clearly a little nervous, but with the encouragement of Nightingale, she calmed down. She sang all the songs including the Guerillas' Song.
She received warm applause from the witches without exception.
After listening to the witches describe their feelings, Roland had a rough understanding of Echo's new ability.
Unfortunately, Roland could not tell from a test that how much her singing could affect the audience. He was wondering if the scenes in her song could become real things when a listener was fully absorbed in it.
Echo's new ability filled him with expectations. The ability to lift one’s spirits should never be underestimated. She could encourage soldiers, pacify the masses, and sing background music for dramas...
The next afternoon, Roland met Vader from Border Town in his study.
"Your... Your Highness... I... I'm here..." he said with chattered teeth. Obviously, he had not recovered from the high-speed flight.
The fastest way to travel between the town and Stronghold now was Maggie's express service. However, even wrapped up in a thick blanket, flying at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour under the claws of a large beast was not a comfortable flight.
"Good job," Roland patted the fat pigeon on his shoulder.
"Coo!", she proudly held her head up.
"I want you here to assist the Elk Family with training," he looked at Vader and said. "The situation here is different from that in Border Town but similar to that of Valencia. Here there are rats, refugees and violent criminals."
"You mean, you want me to train patrollers?" Vader asked. He had finally stopped shivering after warming himself by the fireplace.
"No, I mean police." Roland explained his plan for taking severe measures against illegal and criminal activities. "The First Army will take care of it in the beginning, but public security work has to be handed over to the local police. The most important thing in training the police is to infuse them with the 'people's protector' concept."
"Treat the people warmly, like a spring breeze. And punish the criminals ruthlessly, like thunder," Vader repeated what Roland had said.
"Yes," the prince said with a smile, "I hope you can train them well."