Chapter 195 Answer
Roland at first doubted whether what he’d heard was true, only after a while was he able to say, “What?”
Scroll bit her lip, but then repeated what she had said once more.
This time he was convinced that this wasn’t the result of a hearing problem. Was that also the initial reason why the witches cared so much about marriage? “Are you certain that witches cannot have children? Does it come… from that specified source, which lead to the known mistake? For example, the same as what lead to the Holy Mountain previously.”
“I would have hoped so too,” she sighed. “Unfortunately, many cases have already confirmed this point. Whether it was between an ordinary man and a witch who got along or by forced intercourse, there has been no time that the Witch Cooperation Association had heard of a witch falling pregnant.”
“Reproductive isolation”… was the first word which emerged in Roland’s mind. Can it be that the witches have really completely exceeded the ordinary, becoming a new kind of human species, which is unable to give birth to a descendant with our old humankind? Or, can it be because of the magic power gathered within their body, which results in this phenomenon?
But now isn’t the time to get to the heart of the problem, he thought, the important part is what this implies. Will this knowledge be a hindrance for myself if I want to marry a witch?
The first person Roland thought of was Anna.
Although he couldn’t deny that he would regret it if he couldn’t have children with Anna, his wish to raise a child with Anna was based on his affection for her, so not being able to have a child with her wouldn’t reduce his affection. For a person with a modern soul, and for him, having blood relation with his descendants is of far less importance than it was to the people of the past. As a separate living individual, he does not regard his child as the continuation of his life – the latter could neither inherit his thoughts nor inherit his memories. Instead, they were an entirely independent person.
So, looking at it from an emotional point of view, he could accept that a witch cannot have a child.
Then only the real obstacle would be – the need for an heir. However, looking at the history this was still not a thorny matter, he just has to establish an empire that doesn’t need an heir, and how to achieve this, there were options he could choose from, but which one he would pick he could slowly decide on later .
Looking at the big picture, Roland surprisingly discovered, that this was good news for him.
He and Nightingale had already spoken several nights and pondered on this question, how to build a social framework which allows witches and ordinary people to peacefully coexistence and progress together. Right now, even with the God’s Stone of Retaliation, as long as they had enough time, witches and their offspring would always form a more powerful community – even in the case where science and technology allowed an ordinary person to use magic. Even then, it couldn’t make up for the witches increased intelligence, memory, comprehensive speed and their overall leading edge.
But now he was told that witches are unable to give birth. This significantly avoided the problem of forming witch clans, closing the gap between witches and ordinary people, giving him the hope to one day see people and witches work together and advance hand in hand.
Perhaps the time he had been lost in his thoughts was too long, no matter what, Nightingale couldn’t bear it any longer and squeezed his arm.
When Roland returned from within his thoughts, he reassuringly patted the back of her hand and cleared his throat and said. “The way I have thought before is still the way I think now.”
“…” For a moment Scroll was frozen, “What?”
The hand on top of his arm also instantly grasped firmly.
Seeing their reactions, Roland couldn’t suppress his laughter, previous it was he who had thought that he had misheard them, and now it was them who thought so? He coughed twice and then reassuring said: “I still think the same – I’m willing to marry a witch and take her as my wife.”
When Scroll left the room she wore a very strange expression; it looked as if she was perfectly contented and yet she was also carrying a somewhat sad look, leaving behind a confused Roland.
Needing an explanation he turned around he asked, “Is she okay?”
The one he spoke to didn’t answer, she only looked at him with a smile, which together with the outside sunshine shining upon her white face gave her a gentle, bright and beautiful appearance causing others’ hearts’ to beat faster.
“Alright,” Roland moved his line of sight away from her, “It seems you are in a pretty good mood.”
At this moment, the voice from outside the door traveled over, “Your Highness, one of Longsong Stronghold’s Knights has arrived, he claims to have crucial news for you.”
“Take him to the reception hall; I will meet him there.”
When the Prince walked into the hall, the knight immediately stepped over and then went down on his knees, “Lord Petrov has sent me to tell you, that an envoy sent by Timothy Wimbledon has arrived at Longsong Stronghold.”
“Envoy?” Roland mused. “How many people have arrived?”
“Altogether there are about 50 people.”
It seems that they are just a group which wants to persuade us to give up, he thought, simply a diplomatic strategie, nothing which should be painful or itching for me, “When did they come?”
“Yesterday morning,” the Knight lowered his voice, “Lord Petrov gave me the order to inform you as soon as possible.”
Merely a day and a night, I’m afraid he had hurried all through the night while holding up a torch, “Thank you, I have put you to a lot of trouble, rest for a day before you return.” Roland looked to the guards and told them, “First give him a gold royal as reward and then take him to the inn.”
When the Knight had left the hall, Roland wanted to put the matter aside, after all, a team of just 50 people could never become a threat to Border Town. In case they wanted to negotiate, he would merely allow the single leader to enter. However, since Petrov treated this situation so carefully, it might be better to grasp the situation himself and to know the whereabouts of the envoy.
Thinking until here, he called for Lightning and Maggie, giving them the order to fly together to the stronghold and examine the situation.
A double-hour later, the two witches had completed their investigation and returned to the castle.
“There was nothing to see,” Lightning reported. “We didn’t see a group of 50 knights on the road. Actually, we didn’t see even one lone knight.
“Haven’t seen anyone, goo!” Maggie confirmed.
It seems after they had reached a big city, traveling such a long distance, they were in need to first have some fun for themselves and to ease their tired body. “Before the envoy arrive here,” Roland ordered, “every day you two will fly along the way and check if you can discover anything.” He paused, “Oh that’s right, how far are you with the map?”
“Probably she has already put together several hundred pieces, they are enough to almost fill Soraya’s whole room,” Lightning explained. “By now she had moved the map to the backyard, do you want to take a look?”
“Alright,” Roland laughed.
The castle’s backyard had been turned into a botanical garden, ever since Sean had brought back the seeds from Port of Clearwater, Leaves had created even more fantastic oddities of every description. In order to save the land and place for flower beds, Leaves had put up a wooden frame in the sky, so that many plants grew and twisted around the frame like a grapevine, some of them even climbed half of the castle wall. This was the reason why the wall behind the castle hung full with grapes, apples, wheat and sugar cane, and whenever the witches had some free time, they would gather in the backyard and picked up some fruit and sugar cane from the wall to eat. Unfortunately, these crops could only grow with the help of Leaves’ magic, and with this, could only be regarded as an unsuccessful test.
The map which was a mosaic, pieced together by many parchments, was placed at the center of the yard, reaching a size of five to six square meters.
“Here we are,” Lightning announced, and then put an arm around Roland’s waist, beginning to slowly float into the sky until they were hovering over the map. “Do you see the palm-sized brown square? From high up in the air, Border Town looks exactly like that.”
“The blue pieces East and South… are they the sea?”
“Yes, but you have to climb over the mountains to reach there.”
Roland felt a cold shiver running through his heart, if we say that it was still normal if the wildlands were ten times more vast than the Kingdom of Graycastle, he still hadn’t expected, that when he had the complete map in front of him, the Western Territory would actually seem so small. In front of them was the Impassable Mountain Range and behind them the sea, just like they were sandwiched between a natural barrier and the marginal zone. No… not only the Western Territory, when he completed the undrawn parts of the map with his mind, in the case where he thought of the Impassable Mountain Range as a wall splitting of the mainland, then the Kingdom of Graycastle, no, the whole “mainland” itself, would be nothing more than a small piece of land behind the wall.