Chapter 36 Negotiation
Roland was dragged out of bed by Nightingale.
After he had heard that Nana’s father came for an audience, he was surprised at first. Soon he realized that this was a rare opportunity – If he wanted the girl to stay during the Months of the Demons and help fight against the demonic beasts, he would have to find a reason for the Pine Family to remain in Border Town during Winter.
Originally, this was a very tricky situation. After all, the 4th Prince’s popularity among the nobility had plummeted, and he had a strained relationship with the stronghold. This were the reasons why most of them nobles leave Border Town. However, from the beginning, Roland hadn’t considered working together with the nobles. They may have a lot of power, but they weren’t suitable for a joined work.
He quickly washed his face and dressed himself, then immediately went into the reception hall.
Mr. Pine was already brought into the reception hall under the guidance of the guards. When Mr. Pine saw the prince, he immediately stood up, enraged, and asked, “Your Highness, where is my daughter?”
This was the first time that Roland saw Nana’s father. He had a muscular build, but wasn’t too tall, and with his beard he had a very rough image. With his cotton coat that reached his waist and his leather pants that hadvery large pockets his dressing style looked more like that of a person from the Orient, rather than someone of noble rank.
“She’s fine, Mr. Pine -“
“Why was she directly let through by the guards, while I was stopped at the door?” Nana’s father interrupted him out of anger. “I need an explanation, Your Highness! Please bring my daughter out and let me see her!”
What was happening? Roland was full of wonder. He was convinced that Mr. Pine was clear about the situation that his own daughter had unfortunately become a witch. So it would be normal if Mr. Pine humbly asked him to hide the message, or he would just allow Roland to solve the problem. But Roland had really not expected that Mr. Pine would be so aggressive and wouldn’t act according to aristocratic etiquette.
As to why the guards let Nana come in without questions was only because of Roland’s standing orders. Nana would come every few days to play with Anna, so the guards were already used to her coming.
After considering for a moment, Roland gave the order to have a maid bring Nana over to them.
No matter how rude the other side behaved, he was still Nana’s father so it was only right to let the two meet and talk. If he showed any intention to send his daughter to the church or generally to abandon her, it wouldn’t be too late to take measures against him.
Nana and Anna both came together into the hall.
At the moment Mr. Pine could see his daughter, the impertinence seen in his eyes immediately vanished. He opened his arms wide in the direction of Nana and shouted loud: “Dad is here, so come to me!”
But the little girl was just hiding behind Anna, only exposing half of her head, “I’ll be sold to the church by you, right?”
“Oh… You silly girl, what are you talking about? Naturally, I would never take you to the church, so let us go home together.”
This reaction somewhat confused Roland. According to Nightingale’s story, Nana was seen by her father when she was using magic. Breaking out into a panic, she immediately fled to the castle in search of Anna. All along the way, she was followed by her murderous looking father.
But as it now seemed he was only looking with eyes full of love and care at his daughter, completely unlike the usual feelings of hate with which witches were typically confronted with.
So, had it only been a misunderstanding?
For a moment Roland hesitated, but then he decided to take the bull by the horns and said, “Mr. Pine, your daughter became a witch, you surely know that.”
“Your Highness, what are you talking about? I don’t understand you.” Mr. Pine angrily stomped his feet and then went toward Nana, trying to grab her hand. However, Anna stepped in front of him, blocking his view of Nana.
“Father, I have become a witch… I’m so sorry…” whispered Nana.
Hearing Nana mention it once more, Mr. Pine became somewhat anxious, “Don’t talk nonsense! How would you become a witch? What has that guy Karl taught you? I shouldn’t have ever let you go to the college, there they only teach that rhetoric church shit!”
Hearing him talking like this, Roland suddenly began to understand the situation. It seemed that Nana’s father tried to cover everything for his daughter up. Did he misunderstand Roland’s intentions?
So because of this, he was so restless until he could see Nana.
“Anna.” he gave her a sign with his eyes. Anna understood and nodded. Then she stretched out her right hand, in the direction of Nana’s father who still tried to reach his daughter. Flames began to spew out from her palm, direct near Mr. Pines head, nearly burning him.
Mr. Pine was shocked as he immediately stepped away from Anna. Nana also began to panic and hugged Anna’s arm trying to stop her, “Sister Anna, don’t attack my father!”
“Your Highness, this is a -!”
“As you can see, she is also a witch, just like your daughter,” Roland spread out his hand and said, “The reason why Nana has free access to the castle isn’t what you think. Can we all calm down and talk about the future?”
At this moment, Mr. Pine felt like he had awakened from a dream-like state, “Ah” he needed to start twice, “Your Highness, I ……”
“Sit down first and then we can speak,” Roland pointed to the table nearby, “also have a cup of tea.”
Well, he sighed, my reputation was so bad, they even fear to let their children be near me. Now Roland fully understood Mr. Pine’s rude behavior at the beginning, he had only shown his concern for his own daughter. When he had seen his daughter run into the prince’s castle, and the guards were already used to her appearance, he couldn’t think of any good reason for it.
In case Roland was in Mr. Pine’s position, he was afraid he would have tried to tear down the castle empty-handed.
As for why he had denied back then that his daughter was a witch, his intention was very apparent – he feared that the prince would say ‘Nana has fallen, so she needs to be purified.’ So he tried to convince himself and everyone else, that his daughter wasn’t a witch so that no one would care about her.
Mr. Pine hesitated for a long time, but in the end, he still sat down and drank a whole cup of tea at once. After that, he wiped his mouth and looked a little embarrassed, “Sorry, my behavior was coarse. Excuse me, since when do you know that my daughter has turned into a *hic*… witch?”
“Since before the winter. I wasn’t the first one who had found out that she has awakened, it was her teacher Karl van Barte. Due to her and Anna being friends, he sent Nana to me, so that I could look after her and that I could protect her.” Explained Roland carefully, “the last one and a half month, she came to the castle to learn her ability without fear of discovery. By the way, your daughter’s ability is to heal. “
“Is that right…” Mr. Pine scratched his head, “So that was the reason why the cat could suddenly run and jump again.”
“*cough* *cough*, in fact, it doesn’t matter. When I came home, I saw a boy who was sitting in the doorway with a cat which was hit by a carriage in his arms. I planned to hide the cat from Nana’s view so that she wouldn’t be frightened. I didn’t think that she had seen me and would immediately run to me looking for the cat. It was very obvious that the cat had been hit, and her leg was broken, ” he looked at Nana and Anna, “So you were friends? “
Anna didn’t say what she thought, but Nana quickly nodded her head.
Mr. Pine seeing his daughter’s reaction his expression softened a bit.
Upon seeing this Roland asked: “You do not seem to think that the witches were people tempted by the devil and had become his spokesperson.”
“My daughter is undoubtedly not a wicked person!” He categorically denied this possibility, “No matter what she has become, I have no doubt about this!”
Anna’s father and Nana’s father were entirely different kind of people. Roland couldn’t help but feel that he now could somewhat understand why Nana was always so carefree, always having a smile on her face. Such a family, for a child it was just like a warm cradle.
“I also do not think so, Mr. Pine,” then Roland said bluntly, “Your daughter’s ability to heal other people is of great significance for me. I want her to stay in Border Town, helping me to fight the demonic beasts during the Months of the Demons.”
Hearing this, Mr. Pine hesitated, “Your Highness, I am afraid I will have to refuse your request. When the demonic beasts come, it will become very dangerous in this town. I cannot leave her in this small town.”
Since the Pine Family didn’t belong to the territory under the jurisdiction of Border Town, so even he as a prince, couldn’t directly command them to stay. But as long as Mr. Pine was willing to sit down and talk, Roland was sure that he could convince him.