Release that Witch Chapter 599
By the afternoon, Roland was prepared to head to the snowcapped mountains.
The equipment he would take with him included a tent, adequate food, and a concrete paddle steamer. Since Devil's Town was coastal, he must set off from Shallow Beach. As usual, Hummingbird would be responsible for transportation.
He had to admit it was a pretty queer thing that Hummingbird, who was as petite as Nana, could hold up the entire concrete boat above her head. The scene reminded Roland of an ant moving rice ten times bigger than its own body. If Hummingbird happened to be on the other side of the boat, he would see a boat silently shifting by itself on the shore like a "ghost ship".
As long as Hummingbird kept her hands attached to the boat, she could help with the transportation continuously. It was a much more efficient way to move stuff compared with her earlier method, with which she had to spend a great deal of time reducing the weight of each item. The new method also saved Hummingbird a lot of magic power. The only drawback, however, was that she needed to follow enchanted goods, which meant she could only move two items at a time.
The paddle steamer heading to the west passed endless mountains and ridges. It arrived at Rocky Beach two days later.
Last time, Roland took a bird's-eye view of this land from a distance on the "Cloud Gazer". Now when he finally set foot on the beach, he found it was nothing but a vast and desolate wilderness.
Rocky Beach, merely ten miles apart from Shallow Beach, was a completely different world.
There were animal remains embedded in layers of gravel and crushed stones all over the place, some of which had corroded due to exposure, while others were in the process of turning into new rocks. A few bones, which Roland failed to determine their owners, were quite big, almost in the same size of an adult.
The steep precipice was also bizarre and mystic.
Numerous sharp stalagmites grew out of the rock surfaces. Unlike the ones suspending from the top of the cave, these stalagmites, which looked like countless hooks hanging upside down at first glance, were all sticking out horizontally with their tails pointing to the ceiling. They were totally unbounded by the gravitational pull. Roland did not see them clearly last time on the balloon; but now, as he was personally on the beach, he felt the hair on the back of his neck all stood up at the sight of this disturbing view.
No signs of life could be found on the long beach. No seagulls were nesting in the vicinity, and no seaweeds or clams were discovered either. Even at the rear of the rocks was an endless expanse of open country, as if demons' Red Mist had taken away all the lives on this land.
Roland and the others located the narrow crack leading to Devil's Town with the help of the marks left by Lotus. It was actually more of a fracture than a crack. As the gap, fathomless and confined, almost split the whole precipice in half. Lotus created a narrow path of one and a half meters wide at the opening.
When they stepped down the stairs and passed through the crevice, Nightingale involuntarily burst out an exclamation.
"What's the matter?" Roland asked.
"Look over there." She pointed to the bottomless crack. "There's a hole in the rocks."
They all stopped and took a peek. Close to the inky bottom, Roland spotted several round holes, which seemed to be manually drilled. "What's that?"
"I don't know. But I've seen similar holes in the Impassable Mountain Range, except the ones there are slightly bigger." Nightingale hesitated for a moment and then said, "I feel something is looking at me deep down there. The deeper I probe, the stronger this feeling is."
"...Something?" Roland was a bit surprised.
"There is more than one." Nightingale nodded. "In the valley on the way to the camps of the Witch Cooperation Association, there's a path leading to the bottom of the ground. I've never been down there."
"Take Sylvie to the Impassable Mountain Range after she's back." Roland took another look at the bottom of the fracture, managing to suppress the desire to explore. He then ordered the team to continue to marshal forward.
Although this continent was a part of Land of Dawn, on which human beings had settled as early as 1,000 years ago, they had a very minimal understanding of the world, as if mankind had deliberately forgotten to explore the outside world. Roland once told Agatha about drawing a map of the whole continent but was informed that the Union had done so for Fertile Plains. They had very roughly sketched out an outline of Land of Dawn. As to the land beyond, they knew nothing about it.
That was why Roland fully supported Thunder to explore lands overseas. He had thought it would be a matter of time to understand the whole world, but now he realized he was ignorant of even his own territory, the Kingdom of Graycastle in the Western Region.
Unfortunately, he had to leave these thoughts behind for the time being, as the war against the church was pressing.
They soon found themselves in an open field after passing through the crack. The First Army who garrisoned there led them to their camps at once. Roland then saw Agatha and Soraya.
"Where are Lightning and the others?"
"She's flying around with Summer." Agatha sighed. "She's too perky to be quiet just for a second. Devil's Town has almost turned into her playland."
"It really would be a national park that you need to buy tickets to enter in the modern world," Roland exclaimed.
"What did you say?"
"No... nothing." Roland coughed to conceal his embarrassment. "I'll use the Sigil of Listening to ask her to come back. Now take me where the collapsed stone tower is."
When the group of people reached the center of the relics, Lightning, Maggie and Summer arrived just in time.
"Lightning is landing!"
The blonde little girl slowly came down to the ground while stretching out her arms to the sides. She turned around and gave Roland a big hug.
Roland did not know whether to laugh or to cry since Lightning had reached puberty.
"Aw...!" Next Maggie joined, who stretched out her wings in the same way. She fell straight to the ground, almost shaking Summer off her back.
Roland understood that Lightning was one of the youngest witches in the Witch Union. So, it kind of explained why she was always so airy and jaunty. Maggie, however, was an adult witch. It did not make sense that she still acted like a child. There was only one plausible explanation: Lightning's fluttering manner was somewhat contagious.
"Since everybody's here, let's get started." Roland eyed Summer, whose legs were still trembling.
"Yes... Your Majesty." Summer stumbled to the hole and closed her eyes.
In a second, the large hole in the ground was replaced by a giant black stone tower. Meanwhile, the air was permeated with red mists as thick as blood.
Roland stepped back involuntarily while at the same time holding his breath.
"This was what it looked like here 26 days ago, right before the incident," Agatha explained, "If Summer traces back the time only once, she can maintain the illusion for nearly an hour. It thus allows us to see what exactly happened from the beginning to the end."
"Where's that Eye Demon that you talked about? The one with eyeballs all over that will attract the demons' attention once it sees you?" Tilly asked curiously.
"At the top of this stone tower." Agatha pointed to the high sky above. "The stone tower is too high for Summer to reach. We can't see it now."
Roland looked up and found the space above the tower was blank, as if it had been chopped off. It appeared that Summer could only reconstruct the area within a radius of five meters.
Just then, the ground started to shake.
"It's coming!" Agatha shouted in a low voice.