Chapter 176 The answer at the bottom of one’s heart
The hot air balloon stayed in the air for around half an hour. Afterward, it slowly came to land in the castle courtyard.
When the basket of the balloon landed, it attracted the attention of all the other witches who had surrounded the waiting Nightingale one after another, and by now nearly all of the members of the Witch Alliance had gathered together in this place. Scrolls who had recently returned, from the City Hall had even run the whole way back. When she had arrived after taking a worried look up at the sky, as if she was afraid that a huge balloon would drop from it, she immediately requested to be informed about the situation.
The moment the Prince had climbed out of the basket, Scroll and Wendy immediately went over, bursting into a lecture, advising him again to not put his own life into so much risk. The Prince, however, defended his behavior using the novelty of the toy as an excuse and flipping the topic around at them. Nightingale who felt that the situation was actually quite funny and was on her way up to meet them, suddenly felt how her heart turned stiff stopping instantly in her place.
She’d seen the overflowing joy within Anna’s eyes when Roland had helped her out of the basket, staining her cheeks with a slight blush. Her flax colored bangs was skewed to one side, with the aid of a small hairpin which reflected the silvery within the sun.
Nightingale recalled how he had polished a piece of silver during the time when he was at the factory, guiding the blacksmith on how to operate those heavy machines.
Had His Highness personally made this hairpin?
Soon the other witches began clamoring that they also wanted to take a tour on the balloon, and like that the balloon began to rise again, this time with Anna and Nana standing on board.
Nightingale, however, stood outside of the crowd, staring at the hot air balloon, seeing it become smaller and smaller.
In her mind there was only one thought, Anna’s face, brimming with a gentle smile.
Usually, Anna’s face would always show a calm and neutral expression, rarely exposing any other type of expression. During her journey to the Witch Cooperation Association, within those large cities Nightingale had met many people displaying a similar smile.
So, she knew what it meant, it was clear that His Royal Highness and Anna had not only simply taken in the scenery up in the sky. Even though Maggie and Lightning had still been around, making it impossible for them to take it to the last step. But as long as the idea came up even once, it would become difficult for them to suppress it again. She suddenly felt like a piece of her heart had become empty.
Although she had thought that she had made her decision long ago, having to see it turn into reality, Nightingale discovered that she was far less prepared for it than she had ever imagined.
Wanting to be alone she went to a corner and leaned herself against the wall to sit back down, watching everyone with a disturbed look, while her head was a complete blank.
When the hot air balloon had landed once more, and Nana had stepped off of the basket, Leaves immediately seized the opportunity and climbed into the basket.
When Nightingale came back to herself, she discovered that Roland was no longer in the courtyard, he had most probably returned back to the castle, busying himself with his work, maybe lecturing over one of his books. She also had to go back to the office, she needed to always stay at the Prince side, just as she had done in the past. But when Nightingale stood up, she found that she was unable to take the next step. She really didn’t know how she should face Roland right now, even in the case that she entered her own space so that he couldn’t see her, she still knew, seeing now his face full of happiness would only make her feel all the more uncomfortable.
Wendy came over after the hot air balloon had gone up and down several times, “Why don’t you go over and try it for yourself? It’s a great experience to see the town from up in the sky.”
If right now there was anyone else that she could not face even less than His Highness, it would be Anna. So hearing this suggestion caused Nightingale to jump up in panic and exclaim, “No, I really have to go back to the office.”
The moment she finished speaking she entered her fog. But after taking two step she suddenly came to ask herself, why am I using my ability in the yard? Turning around, looking back, she was just in time to see how Wendy looked all over the place with an expression of wonder on her face, gnashing her teeth, she took the next step.
After dinner, she immediately returned back to her bedroom, while looking upwards, she fell backward onto the bed.
Today, even until the very end, she had never shown her figure in the office. The times when His Royal Highness had tentatively shouted her name, she had only tapped his back twice with her hand, showing him that she was still there. And even when Roland placed the salty fishes she usually loved so much on top of the table, she still wasn’t in the mood to compromise, having none of them.
“What’s going on? What happened to you today?” Wendy also came back to the bedroom and closed the door behind her. “While I’ve seen everyone else riding on the hot air balloon, I only saw you sitting alone at the side.”
“It’s Nothing,” Nightingale said, turning herself away.
“It’s obviously that there is something going on,” Wendy sat down at the bedside, turning Nightingales’ body around. After staring at her for a moment, she continued. “I thought you understood that you can tell me anything.”
“… ” The latter closed her eyes, only after a long while did she quietly murmur, “it’s because of Anna.”
Nightingale did not want to speak about these kinds of disturbing things, after all, this would only make feel even more petty. Since the first witch His Highness had met had been Anna and not her. But on the other side, if she didn’t speak about it, the pain in her heart it would only become stronger, and even harder for her to bear.
Furthermore, Wendy had always given her a lot of help when she had needed it. Whenever she was confused, the first person she always thought of who could help her would be Wendy, she had never let her down. Thinking of this, she gently held on to Wendy’s hand and began to talk about her issues.
After listening to Nightingales’ story, Wendy sighed, “I knew that Anna didn’t understand the importance of that matter, but you also don’t get it? The last time I had already reminded you that he cannot be together with a witch. As the King, Roland Wimbledon will need to have children to inherit his kingdom, because of this aspect, he can never choose a witch to be his wife.
“What?” Wendy was startled.
“Lord Roland will marry a witch,” Nightingale said, opening her eyes, one after another, “He had said so himself!”
She had wanted to keep this message deeply hidden at the bottom of her heart, but now she could now longer bear the feeling of it not being taken seriously.
Wendy seemed to be frightened by the news, after a while, she asked with a frown, “Are you sure of this?”
“Yes,” Nightingale confirmed it once more and to make it clear as she repeated Scroll’s question on that day. “When it came to the question of ‘Are you likely to marry a witch?’ He only replied with, ‘Why not?’ You know my ability, you know that I can tell whether a person is telling the truth or if he is lying, and when he had given his answer, he had not been lying.”
Wendy suddenly grabbed Nightingale ‘s arm forcefully. “You’re only allowed to remember this, never speak about it again, not even to any of the other sisters of our Witch Alliance.”
“Because he is destined to become the King of Graycastle, and what does a King without any descendants mean? Even without the Church, it would already become difficult to get the local aristocracy to support such a King! Therefore, this matter must be kept strictly confidential, you absolutely cannot talk with anyone about it! For now, all you have to do is to protect his safety. Do not forget, if he can become the King of Greycastle, or not, will also decides the fate of us sisters!”
Nightingale nodded her head, showing that she had understood.
“As for the matter that is bothering you,” Wendy thought for a moment. “Do you want to take the seat of the Queen or do you just want to stay by his side?”
“Of course, I want to stay with him,” Nightingale said without hesitation.
“Then aren’t you already staying at his side?” Wendy smiled, “there will indeed only be one Queen, but even if he ascends the throne, he will still need your protection. Do you understand what I mean by this?”
Nightingale just blinked with her eyes, but she didn’t reply.
“So, staying together isn’t difficult, what’s difficult for you is to accept the choice that you have to make,” Wendy said, “if you cannot do it, you have to give up your position, or you have to take on the next step… As for this question, what would be the right choice, only you know the answer.”
On the next morning, when Roland yawningly entered his office and opened the drawer, he discovered that the fishes had disappeared without leaving a trace.