Release that Witch Chapter 843
Prius had never heard of this city. Border Town had become a place of residence because it was to serve the mine, and it had nothing to do with a 'city', let alone to prefix the city with 'the third'. Before His Majesty arrived in the Western Region, only the Longsong Stronghold deserved to be called a city.
When they arrived at the cave at the foot of North Slope Mountain, Prius understood what His Majesty had meant.
He had always been curious as to why the Ministry of Construction established a fortress-like building in Neverwinter. The location of a strategic point being guarded by the First Army was a bit strange. At its back was the North Slope Mountains, and to the left and right, there was too great a distance from the borders to defend against army invasions, let alone allow them to properly guard His Majesty's castle.
He asked some of his colleagues in City Hall, but none of them gave him a satisfactory answer. Some said the construction team there was under the direct management of Minister Carl, and others had no authority to inquire into it. Such being the case, Prius stopped asking. After all, he was only curious. There was no need to go so far as to get himself into trouble.
However, he never thought he would personally step into this military position.
When Prius saw the manmade underground aisle and a large cluster of caves, his jaw almost dropped.
"How did they make this?"
"One year ago, there was nothing in this area. Now, it's like the interior of the whole mountain has been connected. It's not exaggerating to call such a spacious underground area a city... but, could this have been done by men?"
Prius cast a furtive glance at His Majesty, to whom his awe deepened.
Duke Ryan had indeed picked the wrong opponent.
The Lion overwhelmed the other big families and had ruled the Western Region for over a decade and they made the once barren land as solid as a piece of iron. This was a manifestation of his perfect methods and capability, but... after all, he was just a human being.
What happened next shocked the Elk knight even more.
As he arrived at a flat and open hall, by the trailer, Prius saw two men dressed like warriors walk over to them—since the popularization of flintlocks in the First Army, guards dressed in this attire were rarely seen.
One of them looked Prius up and down before he turned to ask His Majesty, "Are you sure it's going to be alright?"
"Sooner or later, my subjects will know about it. Instead of concealing it, I think it's better to give them some time to accept it," Roland replied. "Let's start with the City Hall officials."
"Alright then..." The guard sighed helplessly. He then waved towards the dome above the hall. A flash of black shadow descended and quietly fell in front of the crowd.
Prius' heart pounded in his chest and he almost cried out!
"Oh my god, what the hell is that?"
Looking at the blob monster, full of tentacles, in front of him, he felt a chill as it crept up his spine "Even a demon from hell wouldn't look as horrible as that." The knight wanted to retreat but found that his feet had gone numb. The only reason he didn't fall to the ground was the calmness His Majesty exuded.
Then he "heard" a voice.
However, the soft female voice did not come from next to his ear, but from directly within his head, "Your Majesty, nice to see you."
"Nice to see you too, Pasha," Roland said with a smile. "How are the worms?"
"Their number has increased. As long as there are mushrooms, it seems they'll just keep on eating."
"They do seem easy to feed."
"Yes, you can totally count on us."
"When the war starts, you won't have many hands to spare. Besides, I want to raise more than a thousand worms, so it's better to let them get familiar with it sooner."
Prius was startled—His Majesty talked so freely with the monster, just like he was talking with a common official. Not to mention the respect the monster showed towards His Majesty was totally different from the intimidating demons. "If ghosts and monsters in books talked like this, perhaps they wouldn't be as scary."
He took two deep breaths and he felt his racing heart slow down.
"What does His Majesty want me to raise? Worms?
"Besides... is this the big secret he warned me about? At the foot of the North Slope Mine is a concealed horrible nonhuman entity?"
His Majesty seemed to read his mind. Patting Prius on the shoulder he said, "This is... Miss Pasha. She used to be a well-renowned lady. Although she's been cursed by demons, which is why she looks the way she does now, deep in her heart she's still human. There's no need to be afraid."
"La... Lady?" Prius was startled and took a moment to come to himself.
"Exactly." The King sighed. "Come, walk with me and I'll tell you the details."
That's when Prius heard an unbelievable story. There were more monsters like Pasha. 400 years ago, they lived in the Barbarian Land and even built their own towns, but they failed to resist the combined invasion of demonic beasts and demons. Most of them died in the wilderness, only very few escaped to the Western Region. The demons' curse turned them into monsters and made them immortal, which meant they had to live forever with that pain. Now, Roland took in those survivors. They would become Roland's ally for fighting against demons, as well as the subjects of Graycastle.
"I... understand," Prius murmured.
"But, as you can see, their looks can easily give people a negative first-impression, so I have to keep it top secret and only very few have been told." Roland stopped for a while, his eyesight freezing. "If you speak of this, you know the consequence."
"I'll keep my mouth shut, Your Majesty!" Prius hurriedly swore. Although this odd news was more inconceivable than the horror stories from grannies' mouths, he did not intend to dispute how much was truthful. He would believe whatever His Majesty told him. That was the fundamental conduct of a loyal official.
"Glad to hear that." His Majesty nodded.
With the blob monster... no, the ancient Lord Pasha as their guide, the party passed through a long aisle. She then turned back and said, "Here we are."
In front of Prius, there was another huge cave. The bleak underground space was suddenly full of movement. Despite the unprecedented plants and cavernous view, the huge worms crawling among the mushrooms alone were enough to keep his attention.
Prius found that much stimulation, over a short period of time, had desensitized him.
"Is this... what I need to raise?"
His Majesty seemed to have been observing Prius the entire time. Finally, he nodded with satisfaction before saying, "That's right. It's called a rubber worm. Its secretion is a widely used industrial material, which is as important as meat and eggs. The expedition team found it in the Great Snow Mountain and brought it back. Unfortunately, it could only live underground, which is why it has been left to the survivors from the Third Border City to take care of." At this point, Roland suddenly changed the subject. "I heard in order to feed the chickens and ducks, you raised earthworms?"
"Essentially... yes." After quite some time, Prius finally caught up with His Majesty's thought. "I can reduce the poultry's foraging area, which will subsequently enable them to grow faster."
"These worms are no different than earthworms, I don't mean the breeding method, but the nature of the two." Roland kicked a rubber worm resting on a mushroom. The worm didn't move until it hit the ground, then, dragging its huge belly, it crawled off into the thick grass. "They're not aggressive; their favorite food is mushrooms. They are massive, but they are passive, so you won't be bitten. The only thing you need to do is regularly collect the mucus in their bellies."
"Have you seen a milk cow? The point isn't the cow, but what the cow produces."
"By collect, do you mean, squeeze it out?"
"It'd be best if you could find a way to harvest it." Roland smiled gently, "However, like I just said, the worm itself isn't important. Sometimes it's faster to kill the worm to collect the mucus. Afterall, their reproductive speed is much faster than a chicken or a cow."
Prius suddenly shivered, for no clear reason he got the impression that His Majesty did not like the vital worms.
As this thought flashed through his mind, in the blink of an eye, Roland returned to his usual tone, "Written in this notebook are some of the habits of these worms." He handed Prius a booklet, with a cowhide hardcover. "You can read it for reference and compare it to your knowledge. Then see if you can find ways to make them grow faster and collect mucus easier. I wish to see what you accomplish by next month."
"Yes, Your Majesty." Prius swallowed hard and took the booklet, as he inquired, "How am I to do this on my own..."
"The First Army stationed here will assist you," Roland said with a smile. "Work hard and there will be a place for you in this year's Award and Honor Ceremony."