Release that Witch Chapter 817
Lorgar slowed down when she saw the first forest in her journey.
For the first time ever, she set foot in the domain of a northern kingdom. She had heard many people describing the evergreen woodlands, flourishing grasslands and steadily flowing water in this place. According to them, one would feel how soft and moist the soil was by simply inserting a hand in it, and would never have to worry about being bitten by some hidden sandworm when fetching water. The north was said to be a place full of life and vitality, like the Southernmost Region in the past.
However, she did not feel the same way about this place.
She thought perhaps it was still the Months of Demons, so this domain did not look any greener the Iron Sand City's big oasis. The trees here had nothing but stark branches, and the ground was covered by withered weeds. Only the dark brown soil under her feet reminded her that this place was not a desert.
She looked around and quickly found a place of shelter from the wind. In this shelter, she transformed back into a girl and put on her clothes. After that, she continued to track the caravans by following their smell that was left in the air.
That was how she traveled these days. When night fell, she would transform into a wolf and run toward the north. She lived on sandworms and Giant Scorpions and had even attracted some Desert Wolves along the way. In the daytime, she would walk on the Silver Stream trade route in her human form. This way, she could get her water bag refilled when she ran into some merchants there.
Her journey was not smooth sailing all the time.
Princess Lorgar of the Wildflame clan was always generous, thus she would attract some people who were coveting her bag of gold royals. But she had vigilant ears that were erected on her head, so she was always able to know the merchants' ulterior motives in advance. At the very beginning of her journey, she had made all the vicious guys pay a bitter price, but now she decided just to follow those caravans from a distance and used the smell they left to confirm their direction.
Half a day later, she heard the sound of sea waves.
As this new harbor town built by the northern kingdom did not have thick city walls, she could see everything clearly by standing on a high slope. Tents stood along the river. Many people gathered near the sea and seemed to be busy with constructing some square, flat buildings. What she found most surprising about this bustling scene was that most of the workers were northerners. She could only see a small number of Mojins there.
Shortly after stepping onto the territory of Port of Clearwater, she found the First Army's camp.
She identified herself to the guards and soon met the black-haired woman again.
This woman she had been eagerly looking forward to seeing was Ashes.
Before she could think about what to say, Ashes opened her mouth and said calmly, "I knew you'd come." Her golden eyes gave the Wolf Girl a feeling of familiarity, making her feel as if they had just said goodbye to each other yesterday.
Lorgar could not help but shake her ears. "How did you know?"
"Because you're just like the old me." Ashes curled her lips into a smile. "In your heart, there's a goal you want to pursue."
Her eyes lit up immediately. "You were pursuing combats, too?"
"No... I just wanted revenge." The Extraordinary shook her head and turned away. "Come with me. Echo will be very happy to see you again."
"Revenge?" Lorgar was stunned and thought to herself. After a while, she finally realized that Ashes had just meant that they both had goals but not the same one. The Wolf Girl caught up with the Extraordinary and asked, "Who did you want to get back at?"
"Church of Hermes." Ashes shrugged. "At first, I did this just to vent my hatred. As time went by, it became a habit until I met Her Highness Tilly. She made me see that there were more important things in this world than killing all the church people."
When Ashes mentioned Her Highness Tilly, the Wolf Girl perceived a feeling of tenderness in her tone, which was rare for the Extraordinary. She guessed this Tilly who was able to change such a determined and strong-willed person must have been very uncommon.
She secretly bore this name in her mind.
When they passed a flat building under construction, Lorgar raised another question. "I heard that the Port of Clearwater has become burned ruins ever since the Queen of Clearwater left this area. These people aren't local refugees, are they? Why do they seem to outnumber the Mojin immigrants?"
"Of course, they aren't. They all come from Neverwinter."
The Wolf Girl could hardly believe what she had heard. "Neverwinter... you mean the domain of King of Graycastle, Roland Wimbledon? He ordered his own people to build residences for the Mojins here?"
"He didn't need to force anyone. All of these people came here voluntarily because the construction project here pays them better. They can get a pay raise of five to ten silver royals by working here. The workers said that soon after the Ministry of Construction issued a recruitment notice for this project, City Hall was packed with applicants."
The Ministry of Construction? City Hall? The Wolf Girl felt lost hearing these strange words. She wagged her tail and asked, "What about... the Sand Nation?"
Lorgar remembered the first batch of immigrants consisted of several small clans and were about 2,000 to 3,000 people. She wondered why the great chief still wanted to send his own people traveling all the way from the north to the Southernmost Region when he had so many Mojins to work for him. She started to doubt his true motives.
"As His Majesty wants to build a new city in Endless Cape, most Mojins went there," Ashes answered quickly, "so did the people from Osha clan. Only by participating in the construction task, could the Mojins get new homes and food supply just like the subjects of Neverwinter."
Lorgar was surprised to hear that the king planned to build a city in the uninhabited wasteland which had no oasis. If it was not for Ashes, a proud person who was loath to lie, she would never believe this.
"What's the King of Graycastle thinking about?" she wondered.
"Then... what about the people who are unable to go there?"
"If they've got to stay due to health problems, they can help the construction team here to build the Port of Clearwater. By doing so, they'll get the same treatment. In other words, as long as you're willing to work, you'll never have to worry about going hungry." Ashes sighed with mixed feelings. "Her Highness Tilly once said that the ideal world in her mind was a place where you reaped what you sowed and made a fortune by your own hard work instead of exploiting the others. It sounded incredible, but her useless brother did make it happen."
Lorgar automatically ignored the last comment made by Ashes. "But... why does the great chief want to build a city in Endless Cape? That place has nothing..."
"There's Blackwater. His Majesty wants to collect as much of it as possible," Ashes said while spreading out her palms.
"That's the reason?" The Wolf Girl was stunned, rooted to the ground. "He did so much work just to collect Blackwater? He can simply buy it from the Iron Sand City, just like the Queen of Clearwater used to do!"
Lorgar did not believe in goodwill for no apparent reason. Most dominators just wanted wealth and lands, but the king apparently was acting contrary to this principle. He gave the land to the Sand Nation and spent a lot to reclaim the desert and to station troops in this place. She believed that the money he spent on these things was enough to buy hundreds of barrels of Blackwater.
"If what Ashes said was true, then the king's deeds were really strange," she thought and then started to worry about her father's decision.
She expected Ashes to refute or explain further, but the Extraordinary just raised her brow and said, "Yes, that's true... Who knows what the hell he's thinking?"
Ashes said casually, "Even in Neverwinter, there're only a few who can understand his absurd theories. Andrea may be able to know what he's thinking. After all, they're both nobles, and their friendship is one mind in two bodies. The others probably won't be able to explain this to you. Anyway, who cares. I'm not here for him. As long as Lady Tilly thinks it's a good idea, I'll be fine with it." She stopped walking after saying these words, and then said, "Here we are."