Release that Witch Chapter 972
After leaving the Dream World, Roland still felt the cold on his back.
Nightingale was bending over the desk while chewing snacks. Seeing him wake up, she instantly dashed to the couch and asked, "Are you all right? Is there anything wrong in that world?"
He felt relieved seeing the concerned look on a familiar face. It reminded him that he had already left the dreadful alien world. He exhaled and forced a smile before replying, "No. I just had some new discoveries."
She looked at him incredulously. "Really? You look pale." She touched his forehead before adding, "Look... you're even sweating."
Hearing that, Roland realized that the coldness on his back was due to his sweaty shirt.
"You know I didn't lie. It was just a dream after all."
But now, he was not as confident about this statement. The Dream World had become increasingly complicated and more like a real world.
"I don't know," said Nightingale. Her mouth twitched.
"What?" said Roland in surprise.
"I need to use my ability to discern the truth from a lie," she said with her hands laid out. "Now, you're not just the king of Graycastle but also the leader of the ancient witches of Taquila as well as Sleeping Spell. Even the Kingdom of Dawn is under your control. You aren't an ordinary lord anymore and will naturally have more and more secrets in the future. If I knew everything about you... you wouldn't feel comfortable around me anymore..." She paused. "You wouldn't like a person who could always look through, would you?"
Nightingale turned her head away to evade his eyes. Looking at her, he could not help but chuckle. All his mental stress had disappeared.
He was well aware of what she thought.
Most lords did not want their followers or servants to know too much about themselves. They usually liked to adopt an ambiguous attitude and enjoyed being a little unpredictable. If a person knew the lord they served too well, they would often not meet a nice end. Though Nightingale was aware that Roland was not such a cruel lord, she was still afraid that he would alienate himself from her when his power increased.
"What's so funny?" she asked whilst feeling aggrieved. After having several bites of her dried fish, she added, "I was really worried about you getting into trouble in that world."
"Ahem." Roland stopped laughing and with a straight face said, "Indeed, nobody wants other people to peer into their mind, not to mention a powerful ruler." He paused deliberately before continuing. "But you aren't included in 'these other people.'"
Roland did not want to become a real feudal king.
Having read about the ups and downs of many dynasties in history, he was sure of what he really wanted presently.
He needed a group of truly trustworthy people to help him accomplish this grand undertaking.
"What?" exclaimed the startled Nightingale.
"If you hadn't come to Border Town, I would've been killed by the maid assassin sent by Garcia long ago," explained Roland slowly. "When the Battle of Divine Will starts, the situation will become even more dangerous for me. Besides, some people in the kingdom still think of me as their enemy. You're going to be very busy and I'll be heavily relying on you. How could I not treat you differently?"
Roland found that he sometimes really liked the simple-minded people of this world. If he said this to a girl in the world he previously lived, she would probably roll her eyes and think that he was just trying to deceive her with sweet words.
"Besides, the most terrible lie isn't some plausible statement I may use to deceive others, but a lie I tell myself. With you around, I'll never have to worry about this problem."
Nightingale tilted her head and muttered, "I can't stop you from deceiving yourself."
"Of course you can. You're able to determine the credibility of a statement, aren't you? Like, 30% of a statement wasn't accurate or reliable, or alternatively, the whole statement was a downright lie."
"Well, yes, I can do that based on the feedback from my magic power."
"Then, when I announce a decision I'm unsure of, you can confirm if it's correct regardless of how confident I appear to be. Deluding myself into making a wrong decision will do more harm than being uncertain about it. When you notice me deceiving myself, you can give me hints. This stops me from making irreversible mistakes," said Roland with his hands laid out. "Now do you see how important your job is?"
"In that case... I'll ask you the same question again, but this time I'll use my ability," said Nightingale after a moment of silence.
"Please," said Roland as he gestured her to continue.
"Are you really alright?" asked Nightingale.
"So, the first thing she wants to confirm is still my safety..." Roland thought to himself.
"I really am fine," he replied with a smile.
After hearing that, Nightingale finally put her mind at ease. "What are the new discoveries you mentioned?"
"I'm going to tell the commanders of the united front about that now." He stood up and walked to his desk, picking up the phone which linked his office to Third Border City, before announcing, "I've seen a demon's memory fragment in the Dream World."
"That's what I've seen." Roland described his entire experience in the Dream World. He excluded the book of the Martialist Association and the message on the red note. "What do you think of it?" he asked.
Pasha who had already appeared on the light curtain was the first one to answer his question. "It's of great importance, Your Majesty. No one has ever returned alive from the city of demons before. You are the first one to do so, even though it was just a dream experience."
"With this experience alone, you would be eligible to meet the Three Chiefs of the Union in person," said Alethea. She rarely had a positive attitude toward Roland but this time she sounded exceptionally excited. "The demons increase their power by absorbing Magic Stones. This explains many things that had baffled us before!"
"Yes, given that a Mad Demon can acquire a new ability and evolve by taking in a Magic Stone, we can speculate that a Senior Demon is likely also created this way. It wasn't born a Senior Demon. To become such a powerful creature, it has to strengthen its power by absorbing a certain amount of Magic Stones. This explains why Senior Demons are able to have so many kinds of abilities," explained Celine, who studied magic power deeply.
"I've got a question," said Tilly, the leader of Sleeping Spell. "Is there a limit on this power strengthening process?"
Her question made everyone in the meeting fall into silence.
After a long time, Celine replied, "I'm afraid that there isn't a limit."
"Does that mean a demon may grow even stronger than a Transcendent?" asked Wendy with a frown.
"Witches and demons can't be directly compared like that," said Celine as she shook her main tentacle. "Do you still remember the words left by the underground civilization? If our magic power keeps increasing, we'll become indefinitely close to the deities one day. Thus, as long as we keep manipulating our magic power, our understanding will grow and our abilities will enhance, allowing us to evolve without limit. This rule applies equally to witches, demons and the underground civilization. Fortunately, it's not an easy journey. Getting close to the deities is hard, so don't worry too much."
Celine continued, "I reckon that this is very good news for us. If demons were born with various abilities, they would have a large number of Senior Demons now since they could reproduce countlessly in the past 400 years. Fortunately, we're now aware that they also rely on chances to evolve. Furthermore, based on His Majesty's description, their evolution isn't easily accomplished. Otherwise, the demons wouldn't react so enthusiastically to the Mad Demon's success."
"It's indeed impressive. Celine was able to get so much information from the scene I described. She has undeniably devoted her whole life to fighting demons." Roland exclaimed in his heart.
"After hearing your story, I'm even more worried about the rumor," said Pasha to Roland using mind communication. "Your discovery, to some extent, has already confirmed it, which makes me feel very uneasy. Why did the person help the demons? I guess that means Battles of Divine Will may not be as simple as we think."
Roland replied through the mind connection, "I agree with you. But no matter what, we can't change things that have happened in the past. All we can do now is fight to the death."
After a while, Pasha exclaimed, "Your willpower is exceptionally strong, Your Majesty. We underestimated you and thought of you as an ordinary man in the past. I have to admit that we were wrong about you."
Roland smiled without saying anything. In fact, he had not been so determined at the very beginning.
Six days later, the vanguard units of the First Army entered the demons' scouting area.
Roland received a report from the front line.
"Sylvie reported that she found a group of Devilbeasts flying toward the First Army." Nightingale repeated what she had just heard to Roland whilst holding a Sigil of Listening in her hand.
Roland decided to eliminate them as a prelude to the Battle of Divine Will. He nodded and said, "Tell them to act according to the plan."