Chapter 257 Mystery
Ever since the five witches from Sleeping Island arrived in Border Town, Roland was in a constant state of excitement. Which meant that even after the end of the banquet, he found it impossible to fall asleep as he lay in his bed. Without any better option available to him, he got up to drink half a cup of white spirit and tried forcing his body to fall asleep.
On the next morrow, when the cicadas in the courtyard all began emitting “ziya” sounds, he had already recovered a clear head. He was full of energy by the time he climbed out of bed, and after a simple washing he immediately headed to the office – at this time the marble white color of dawn appeared in the sky, and sent out the first rays of the morning sun through the window, sprinkling it evenly throughout the room.
Even after looking around for a long time, Roland was still unable to detect the familiar figure of the past. He was used to Nightingale being there, lazily laying on top of the chair whenever he pushed open the door and entered.
With a helpless smile, Roland sat down at the table and removed a notebook from the drawer, then began to plan out the next generation of witch training programs.
First, he would let Wendy and Scroll to help the newcomers become familiar with their new environment that they could start blending in with the community. Furthermore, he also planned to launch a sugar-coated bullet barrage, he would have the visiting witches fully enjoy Border Town’s unique and comfortable lifestyle. Meaning that it wouldn’t even be necessary for them to stay in town for his plan to succeed, even if they went back afterward, as long as they spread the news about the fabulous lifestyle in Border Town it would still be for the better.
By the time the sun was completely hanging over the sky, Nightingale finally came into the office, “Oh? You were actually able to rise so early today? Don’t tell me that it’s really as Lily like said, were you really so impatient for the new witches to arrive that you couldn’t wait?”
“What kind of nonsense are you talking about?” Roland smiled as he asked, then put a bag of dried fish on the table, “How did you get along with your new sister last night?
“Sister?” Nightingale curled her lips, “You can’t trust them too much.”
Nightingale reached out with her hand to grab the bag and then turned around to sit on the couch, “The witch named Sylvie, out of the ten sentences she’d spoken, half had been lies. Although they haven’t been so grave as to mean that she has some evil intentions towards us there are certainly still a lot of thoughts she is trying to hide.”
“Well… that’s somewhat understandable,” Roland seemed to not care about it, “She probably wanted to see if I was the real Roland Wimbledon or not.”
“What?” Nightingale blanked slightly.
“In case one of your close relatives were to suddenly change by a great deal, you would certainly also come to think that they had been replaced or was being controlled.”
He smiled, “I guess Tilly thinks that one of those possibilities might have happened to me. In King’s City, I was well known for always idling away my days, and being without any learning or skills. I was someone who bullied the weak and feared the strong. How could such a person so suddenly change as to straighten his back and start sheltering witches?”
In fact, any bad comments that were used to describe the 4th Prince weren’t exaggerations. One of his still existent childhood memories went like this: One time the 4th Prince was playing in the palace, and he ended up accidentally breaking a few crystal-glass jars.
However, to avoid punishment not only did he push all of the blame on Tilly Wimbledon. No, to complete his forgery of the scene, he even pushed the six or seven year old girl onto the broken shards of crystal-glass. Having this kind of dark history, wouldn’t it be a wonder instead if the other party’s impression of him was good? It was reasonable that there would be doubt when the older brother’s nature showed such a dramatic change that he no longer appeared to be himself, in fact everyone would have liked to go and investigate these changes.
“Hearing you speak like this, I also want to know,” Nightingale asked curiously, “Are you really Roland Wimbledon after all, or not?”
“I’m both, so yes and no,” Roland answered, and spread out his arms.
Nightingale was shocked, “Why does my ability tell me that your sentence is true?”
“Because that’s how it is.” Nightingale’s ability could only detect deliberately told lies, and he didn’t think he was telling her a lie.
“…” Holding her forehead and frowning for a long time, Nightingale finally decided to give up thinking about it, “Well, I will just ask Anna about it later. No matter what, as long as I am familiar with the Roland in front of me, everything is good.”
“Of course, from the moment you knew me, I’ve always been myself.” Roland smiled.
After breakfast, Wendy brought the five witches from Sleeping Island over to his office.
“Good morning, Your Highness.” The five bowed in salute.
“Relax, I am not a person that is very particular about etiquette, you can address me the same way as you talk with Tilly,” Roland said as he waved his hand.
“During the first week I won’t arrange any work for you . Instead, you should use this time to become familiar with the town’s environment and lifestyle. You can freely visit Border Town, nobody will discriminate against you for being witches. They also won’t attempt to capture you in exchange for money – I have completely eradicated the Church’s force across the whole Western Territory, so this place and Sleeping Island are the same, they are both places of freedom.
“I think that all of you already know of the cause for magic devouring your bodies, so by necessity your practice cannot be abandoned. During the day there are no restrictions, everything will be alright as long as you do not forget to come back and eat lunch. After dinner, you have primary education classes, which including learning how to read and write, there will be simple math, and natural knowledge. Tilly may have already told you this, but apart from crossing the day of adulthood, the ability of a witch can be strengthened even further. To do so it is necessary that you master this knowledge, every one of you that are interested can come and attend the classes together with the rest of Border Town’s witches.
“Furthermore, each month you will receive one gold royal as remunerations, as well as have the weekends off and you will also be given paid leave – if you don’t understand what this means, you can go and ask Wendy. In short, everyone’s daily life will be the same as that of the Witch Union’s. Sleeping Island is a home for witches, and the same is true for Border Town.” Roland paused, “Our next task will be to test your abilities, Tilly’s description in her letter wasn’t very clear. But displaying you abilities here will be too much of an inconvenience, so let’s first change to a more spacious location.”
“Please wait a moment, Your Royal Highness, there is something I have to give you first,” Sylvie spoke.
“What is it?”
She untied the package in her hands, and placed several yellow parchments together with a letter on to the table, “Lady Tilly discovered these documents within ruins in the Fjord, she wants to ask if you’re able to understand the letters that the text is written in.”
Puzzled, Roland opened the envelope, it didn’t contain a long letter, so he quickly reached its end, yet the content inside set off monstrous, sky shaking waves within his heart.
A man-made island, set at the bottom of the ocean, after hundreds of years of unpredictable changes due to the rising and falling tides, had an observation mirror that was operable inside, as well as a stone gate constructed within a cliff… all this was simply unfathomable. Why would there exist such an unimaginable remnant in the Fjord? Moreover, the inquiries Tilly made at the end of the letter sent a tingling feeling all over his body – glancing at the parchment, he was indeed a bit familiar with these words.
“Quickly go and bring Scroll over,” Roland instructed Nightingale.
Not much later, Scroll arrived at the castle after rushing over from City Hall. After summoning her magic book, the Prince read it couldn’t help but frown.
When looking at the “Holy Book” Cara had brought back from the ruins in the eastern forest, and the documents found in ruins in the Fjord, he found out that the characters used were exactly the same! This way confirming Tilly’s guess to the letter, these ancient ruins had been built by the hands of the very same group of people.
If it was the Church that built all these, why did they abandon them? Moreover, it wasn’t only those magnificent buildings, even the records from four hundred and fifty years ago have been left behind but weren’t erased. What was it they’d wanted to hide?
Even the burning hot sun of the final month of summer was powerful enough to let Roland feel even the smallest bit of warmth, but he now only felt an indistinct cold, both gloomy and chilly, come rising from the soles of the feet.
Is the stone tower discovered by Lighting in the Concealing Forest also related to those ruins? And the demonic beasts, the Devils, and the Holy City of Taqulia … In the end, just what kind of accident happened four hundred and fifty years ago?
At the bottom of Roland’s heart, an unease was welling up.