Release that Witch Chapter 784
On the last day of midwinter, a scouting team consisting of the Taquila survivors and witches and solders of Neverwinter finally commenced their journey to the western area beyond the Western Region.
Roland stood by the wharf and watched the concrete boat, which carried so many people, slowly depart the dock.
The exploration could be considered as the most complex operation in the history of time, for the First Army, the Witch Union, and the Taquila witches were all going to collaborate and cooperate with each other to conduct a thorough search of the Great Snow Mountain. If everything went well, they would arrive at the headwater of Redwater River in three days. Then, they would pick a sheltered place shielded from winds to erect their tents.
They would first send their vanguard to locate the ruin with the help of Margie's Magic Ark and then use the devouring worm controlled by Fran to open a tunnel in the precipice for the rest of the party to enter the mountain.
This operation was indeed no different than a grave robber's business. Roland was burned with curiosity and was eager to see the ruin of the old civilizations in the Great Snow Mountain. Unfortunately, he was stopped by Wendy and Scroll, who had been insisting on his stay in the castle ever since a demon had thrust a spear through his chest.
Nonetheless, this did not mean that the scouting team would lower their guard. In view of the possible presence of invisible enchanted beasts that had once emerged in Misty Forest, Roland also included Nightingale in the team. It was a big party, so it was practically impossible for Sylvie to attend to the whole team, especially in the event that they had to split up. Meanwhile, the Taquila witches also brought the last three Five-Colored Stone to detect any objects that contained magic power.
According to Pasha, there would be a beam of light at the top of an object that possessed magic power. This theory also held true for demons and hybrid demonic beasts, except that their beams were extremely fine and tiny.
Roland believed his team, constituted of 50 God's Punishment Witch, 500 soldiers from the First Army and a large group of the High Awakened, was definitely an invincible army on the continent. If the operation was successful, it would indubitably lay a solid foundation for the future collaboration among ordinary people, extraordinary warriors, and various witches.
"Let's head back." Roland brushed off the flurries of snow on the nose and said to Anna.
"OK." Anna looked up at him and smiled back.
During the time while Nightingale was away, Anna was responsible for the safety of the king. As Roland and Anna were having an intimate relationship, both of them felt very comfortable to stay close to each other.
Roland held Anna's hand and walked to the castle.
He did not, however, expect that Phyllis would be there upon his entry to the hall.
"You didn't go to the Great Snow Mountain with them?" Roland raised his brows. "I thought you would be interested in exploring the underground ruin."
Phyllis replied with a shrug, "I am, but Pasha prefers me to stay here. I know the castle better than anyone else, and most of your men have seen me. If they want to pick a person to take charge of the defense of this castle, I would be the one."
As a matter of fact, the Taquila witches had suggested that one of them should be stationed in the castle. Although Anna was powerful, her magic power would render useless in the vicinity of a God's Stone of Retaliation. Further, Anna presented much more academic talent than combat skills. Once she was stripped of her power, both Roland and Anna would be in a perilous position. In consideration of the potential danger, Pasha insisted that a God's Punishment Witch should stay in the castle to serve as their protector.
Since God's Punishment Witches could manipulate anti-magic areas however they pleased, they could easily vanquish any witches. Their bodies of flesh, which were impervious to any illness or injuries, allowed them to fight under extreme conditions. Even if their enemies happened to be Extraordinaries, God's Punishment Witches still stood a chance to win.
"Well, then I thank you in advance," Roland naturally replied.
Phyllis gave a nod. "That's my duty. I'll normally stay in the hall. If anything ever happens, I'll come to you as fast as I can."
Roland understood that Phyllis made this decision was to avoid any unnecessary conflicts or suspicions. The ample buffer spaces between the first floor and his office enabled both the protector and the protected to have some privacy without feeling agitated about the awkward presence of the other. It was a delicate balance to keep. If the Taquila witches, on the contrary, demanded the guardian should be in the office, it would only irritate Roland more even if they meant no harm.
Pasha probably had also taken that into account when she had picked Phyllis as the protector, as the latter apparently knew the union witches better than any other God's Punishment Witches.
Nevertheless, Roland would not completely rely on his ally when it came to safety, although the protection from a God's Punishment Witch did greatly reduce risks. He also put some guards and members of the First Army at the staircase at each floor and the bedroom door. They would rotate their shifts every eight hours to make sure nothing would go amiss.
When Roland returned to his office, Scroll was waiting for him by the French window.
"Your Majesty," Scroll dipped in a perfect curtsy and handed him a report. "I've confirmed Lily's derivative skill."
"Really?" Roland's eyes lightened up. He immediately took the report and started to carefully read it.
Winter was almost close to its end. Although it was still the Months of Demons, most of the witches had peacefully made their way through their Days of Awakening. Among them, Lily was the most special one. Her magic power had entered its "adulthood" a week ago.
Like what he had done for Lucia, Roland had also spent the Day of Adulthood together with Lily. Apart from a substantial increase in her magic power, Lily also found there was something new in her ability which she felt delighted to see.
Without a doubt, Lily was lucky. On the day she had entered her adulthood, she had also attained her derivative skill.
However, Lily encountered some difficulties in understanding her derivative skill. Unlike the main ability, a derivative skill was usually more subtle and thus harder to perceive. Witches did not sense their derivative skills as easily as they did their main abilities. In fact, it had taken Scroll two years to learn how to utilize the Book of Magic after the entry to her adulthood.
But this was not a big problem. According to Agatha, to overcome this obstacle, witches only needed to practice their main abilities over and over again and thereby slowly searched for the solution.
Few witches would obtain a derivative skill entirely irrelevant with her main ability. The relationship between the main ability and a derivative skill was analogous to that of roots and twigs and leaves. Derivative skills could, to some extents, supplement and strengthen the main ability. Sylvie's ability to distinguish magic power and Soraya's painting brush were both solid proofs of this theory.
Roland was surprised by the report. "Is she now able to absorb a parent population into her body and keep it in there?"
Scroll inclined her head. "Not only one. It was actually an accidental discovery made by Lily when she did her experiment. She found some assimilated parent populations enter her body and remain in there ever since. She thought they would disappear once she summons parent populations again, but in reality... they could still get out of her body upon her call and continue to assimilate other microscopic creatures."
Roland soon realized what that meant. After the second evolution, the little girl had learned to turn parent populations she had seen into some specific microscopic creatures. Now, her new derivative skill simplified the matter. Lily did not need to actually "see" parent populations on the spot, but simply needed to "remember" them. In other words, she could collect converted parent populations aforetime and released microscopic worms when needed. Her new skill largely accelerated the assimilation process.
Roland could envision, with the enhancement of the accuracy of microscopes and the increase in the parent population types Lily carried, Lily would eventually become a walking "biochemical bomb".
Roland was amused by the notion that a harmless assistant witch, after receiving continuous education in Neverwinter, had, in the end, become a combat witch who carried a potentially lethal weapon. He felt both lucky and relieved that Lily at least belonged to the Witch Union. He just wondered, however, if demons would ever get sick or infected by any diseases.