Release that Witch Chapter 805
Lightning was silent.
She knew Edith was right. If the hole was indeed extremely deep as Edith had described, she could almost predicate the fatality of the fall. If it was because of some intervention of Fran's magic power, the situation would then be even more complicated. There could be a gigantic God's Stone of Retaliation at the bottom, in which case, she foresaw no great treachery. If there was, however, a trap set up by some unknown enemies, it would then be too dangerous for the rescue team.
There was a big chance that those swift sickle monsters and the worm carrier that had once devoured the demon's Blackstone Pagoda were still lurking around the Great Snow Mountain. Without any alerts from Nightingale and Sylvie or the protection of the First Army, even the God's Punishment Witches found it hard to bring Fran back safe and sound.
The little girl took a deep breath.
Exploration was essentially a risky business.
A good explorer should save his companion no matter under what circumstances.
She thus came up to the arguing witches and said, "Let me take a look down there. However we're going to do that, we have to first know what's going on before taking the next step."
A blond man turned around and asked, "Your ability is..." Lightning remembered he was called Elena. Although she looked like a man by her appearance, the soul beneath the shell was literally an ancient witch from Taquila.
Lightning tapped her goggles on the head. "Flying. Judging from the current situation, I believe I'm better at scouting than you."
Agatha frowned. "This isn't a matter of convenience. How are you going to head back if you can't apply your ability at the bottom of the cave? His Majesty said nobody should act alone in this operation, whether she's a witch from the Witch Union or Taquila. Everybody should work together and cooperate with the First Army."
"Tie a rope around my waist then." Lightning disclosed all her plan. "Even if there's really an anti-magic zone created by a God's Stone of Retaliation, as long as you pull me up after I reach the bottom, there shouldn't be a problem."
To save a companion did not mean acting recklessly. Her father had told her numerous stories regarding horrible emergencies when she had been little. Lightning believed that most accidents would end up well as long as they took proper measures.
Because she was the greatest explorer even without her magic power!
Nightingale intercepted, "Let me go with her. I can walk along the precipice easily, for there's no upside or downside in the misty world. Even if an enemy does emerge, I can come to her aid immediately."
Wendy shook her head vigorously. "That would be as dangerous as acting alone. If there's a trap down there, you two guys won't be able to save yourselves. Don't forget that there're formidable enemies like Senior Demons in this world."
"We'll never abandon Fran. If you don't go, I'll go myself!" Elena blurted out in a low voice.
"Have you forgotten to obey orders after 400 years?" There's a faint starchiness in Agatha's voice. "In the name of the Taquila senior witches, I forbid you to act alone!"
"..." Hearing this, all the God's Punishment Witches fell silent. Elena bit her lip. At length, she stepped a few paces back and made an apology by placing her hand on the chest.
"You don't need to argue about it." Edith ventured. "His Majesty instructed that we three parties must work together. Therefore, we just need to send the First Army down there, don't we?"
"Did you find the way there?" Brian, the superintendent of the First Army, asked in surprise.
"No, but I found this." Edith pointed to the cliff closed to the entrance. In the torchlight, the reflective light specks on the river splintered up into flickering glimmers as the water ran. "There should be some lifting equipment on the concrete boat used to make oatmeal, for I often see the soldiers transport food from the supply boat through a crane. They don't do it manually."
"Ah... that's the gondola." Brian nodded. "It can transport a lot of goods at a time, but it requires a steam engine."
"So, we just need to move the machine here from the boat and send two machine gun squads down there along with the witches," Edith stressed each syllable with a stroke. "The length of the rope can be adjusted through a connector; the God's Punishment Witches shall have no problem in handling heavy machines. The water here can guarantee a constant operation as well as a retreat route required by His Majesty. The only question is how to take it down. I believe the First Army shall know how to do it, right?"
Brian replied hesitatively, "We definitely can take it down, but it's hard to put it back..."
Edith raised her brows. "Then you'll only lose a boat and a steam engine, which totals no more than 500 or 600 gold royals. What choice do you think His Majesty would make if he were you?"
Lightning twitched her lips. 500 or 600 gold royals was absolutely not a small number.
It did not take long for Brian to make his decision. He soon gave a nod of approval and said, "I see. You'll soon find a steam engine ready to go."
An hour later, a roaring machine appeared at the entrance to the hole. As they found it hard to fix the arm of the gondola to the rocks, they abandoned this part of the device in the end but only used a capstan as the lifting apparatus. The capstan rotated swiftly as the flywheel of the steam engine moved. It thus dropped the rope down the hole little by little. In order to prevent chafe, Agatha summoned her power and wrapped the mouth of the hole with solid ice so that the rope could move up and down without rubbing against the cliff.
A huge iron basket, which could at least carry six to eight people and two Mark I type HMGs, was attached to the end of the rope. In that case, the witches would be still well protected by the powerful machine gun squads even if they lost fighting capacities.
Agatha, Elena, and six soldiers from the First Army crawled into the basket first, followed by Lightning and Nightingale.
After testing out the lifting equipment, everybody slowly sank into the deep hole. The torchlight above became increasingly dismal.
Lightning hovered somewhere a little below the center of the hole to lead the way, with a rope around her waist. She felt a little uneasy without Maggie flying beside her, but she knew someone must be stationed outside the snow mountain. In comparison to monitoring demonic beasts, she preferred to uncover the mystery of the underground ruin.
Every time she dropped 10 meters lower, she would turn around to see if everybody was still there.
Darkness swallowed up the meager light of fires lit by the sentries. The only source of light now was the two Stones of Lighting in the basket. In the steady, soft light of the stones, Lightning detected two pale golden "ribbons" running along the cliff. They were the ice created by Agatha. The solid ice smoothed out the protruding rocks, making them as reflective as a mirror, and thus ensured them a safe ride down to the bottom.
Lightning's heart gradually sank after she flew for a few hundred meters.
An ordinary man would hardly survive such a long drop. She now only hoped that the devouring worm could be stronger than that.
Just at that moment, Lighting noticed a strange reflection underneath.
The light was hardly perceptible. It was merely a thin thread of flickers like an eye that suddenly opened in the darkness. Lightning signaled the rest of the party with the Stone of Lighting. She plunged into the hole while holding her breath, after which, she stepped on a solid, smooth rock.
Lighting bent over and gently touched the "ground". The gleamy black rock was as polished and glassy as a crystal. Its dark reflection was mixed with a thick cluster of a bright red color...
She had seen this.
It was the giant Blackstone Pagoda in the Devil's Town.