Release that Witch Chapter 547
"That's what I think."
"No, that isn't right..." She paused abruptly. "If the dark hollow results from immense magic power, why does nothing happen to the witch?"
"The witch?" Roland was stunned.
"I mean Anna!" Agatha pondered and said, "Her magic power is strong enough to activate the Sigil of God's Will twice. She is even more powerful than the God's Stone of Retaliation. Her Blackfire, however, will still be affected by the God's Stone, and she cannot neutralize the magic power in her vicinity. It doesn't make sense based on your theory..."
"Well..." Roland was silent for a moment. A reasonable explanation to Agatha's question escaped him. A God's Stone of Retaliation of the poorest quality could easily render a witch powerless. Even Anna's Blackfire, strong as it was, would succumb to such a disturbance. Besides, Anna's magic power was shaped like a solid metal cube in the misty world, completely different from the hollow black hole.
"Another question. Why can magic stones only be activated by magic power?" Agatha went on. "Even the magic power has become less intense, and the amount of the power left in the stone shouldn't have been reduced. In fact, common people cannot operate the stone at all. The Quest Society has also confirmed that the magic power in the magic stone is not transferable. Therefore, magic stones cannot be used as resources." She paused for a moment and then continued, "My supervisor believed only living beings can retain magic power. Magic power just won't work on dead organisms. Its proof is witches' and demons' blood. Most researchers thought so. I don't mind you overturning their conclusion, but magic stones are no different from ordinary gems before they're charged with magic power or become sigils."
Roland was silent. It seemed his assumption about magic power intensity was a bit irrational. The Thunder of the Magic Power, however, which looked like black light, was so similar to the God's Stone that there must be some connections between the two entities... What else had he overlooked?
It was a pity there weren't any reliable observation or analyzing methods in this era. The only way to study magic power was through witches' abilities or via Stone of Measuring. Even so, what he would learn through this method was merely a very generic description of the features of magic power, which was hardly helpful to further research.
Three days later, the plan for the "melting point" operation was prepared. Roland sent off the soldiers at the dock in person.
This was the first military operation on a big scale where witches acted as chief combatants. There were two ships in total, both of which were filled with experienced veterans from the First Army. Brian was the captain. These soldiers all had fought with demonist beasts with Roland upon the city wall before, and fully respected and trusted their lord. When Roland was screening them, he had stressed over and over again that the enemy would be very likely an extremely fierce monster, even more dangerous than demonic hybrids. He had emphasized that anyone who did not wish to participate in the mission could speak up. Nobody had quitted, however, and Nightingale also confirmed that all of them made their decisions at their free will.
Despite their resolution and courage, Roland did not overestimate the fighting capacity of these hundred soldiers he was forced to choose, for people in this world naturally feared demons from the bottoms of their hearts. Unlike him, who had seen all kinds of violent scenes on television or in the cinema and would not be surprised by any ferocious monsters, these ordinary people would be horrified. The memory of this upcoming battle would possibly become a nightmare they would remember for the rest of their lives.
As such, the carefully selected soldiers would not directly participate in fighting, but would protect along the river two or three miles away from the actual battlefield. They would only take action if the witches were forced to retreat in the event of an accident.
The witches Roland selected were the most powerful ones in the City of Neverwinter, including Anna, Nightingale, Wendy, Leaf, Agatha, Sylvie, Iffy, Lightning and Maggie. According to Agatha, such a combination might be even more than enough to kill the Lord of Hell.
"Stay safe. Your personal security is your top priority." Roland remarked gravely. "You don't have to complete the mission. I'll wait for you all at the castle."
Anna went up to hug him. "Don't worry. I'll protect them."
"Me too, Your Majesty."
The little girl and the pigeon hugged Roland, as well.
In the end, everybody hugged Roland except Agatha and Iffy.
Agatha snorted and muttered to herself. "It's just a simple hunting operation, not goodbye forever. If we bid farewell like you guys just did in Taquila prior to every departure, demons would have been right under your noses long before."
He treated witches neither as beasts nor lambs, but simply as "human beings".
Strands of smoke escaped from the chimney and with a whistle, the paddle steamer slowly thrust itself forward and took off.
Suddenly, Roland felt a pair of invisible hands holding his face. They were cold but soft.
"Take good care of yourself when I'm away. Don't leave the castle randomly." A familiar voice whispered in his ear. "I'll be back soon."
After, he felt something had lightly touched his lips.
Entirely different from the sensation on the face, the touch was a little sweet and wet. Above all, it was warm.
It was a fugitive and illusionary kiss. When Roland finally realized what had happened, he snatched at the air with his hand, only to find nothing was there.
As the steam-powered boat was far slower than the balloon, it took them nearly two days to reach the end of the Redwater River.
At the sight of the towering snowcap, the group of people was awestruck by the magnificent scene before them. As the snow on the mountain melted much slower than that in the forest, the snow water had been accumulating for months. The water ran straight down from the precipice and branched off into various streams upon the projected rocks. From a distance, those streams looked like multiple thin and feeble threads. Upon further exploration, however, they found the streams were as broad as rivers. The water roared and thundered when it flowed into the lake at the foot of the mountain.
Obviously, the Redwater River was only one of the exits to the lake. Otherwise, the river would overflow due to the surging water.
After a night's rest, the hydrogen balloon rose into the air as it was inflated. In the meantime, the fleet also retreated somewhere three kilometers away from the bank and started to build a defensive front along the river.
The "melting point" operation officially began.