Chapter 57 Cara the Snake Witch / 蛇魔哈卡拉
However, Wendy wasn’t as excited as Nightingale had thought she would be. Instead, she asked in a skeptical tone, “Did he really say that?”
“Yes, even before I arrived in Border Town, he had already rescued two witches, Anna and Nana. From the beginning, the Prince never thought that the power of the witch came from the devil; he said it was our own strength -” Nightingale suddenly stopped, realizing that the other didn’t believe anything.
Good stop, she thought, this isn’t Wendy’s fault. They will probably only believe it when they hear it directly from the Prince, but maybe even then they will doubt it. After all, it would be exactly what every witch’s heart was longing for. We witches were oppressed for far too long, even on the way from the east to the border of the Impassable Mountain range, we could see many living examples where witches were betrayed and abandoned, without any person who would reach out to them with a helping hand.
When thinking about all this, her excitement gradually subsided. Perhaps this trip wouldn’t go as smoothly as she had thought.
“Wendy, you know what my magic had evolved into on my day of adulthood. In addition to being able to see the magic flow within a person, I’m also able to identify if a person is lying or not,” stated Nightingale seriously, “So when I asked him, why he would take such a big risk to save us witches, he replied, “In Border Town we don’t care about your background.” He just wants all the witches to be able to live as free people.”
“But while doing this, he will become a thorn in the side of the Church,” Wendy frowned and asked, “Even if the Prince does not understand what it means, you do know it, right?”
Nightingale could not help it but she began to chuckle loudly, “My initial thoughts were almost the same like yours, so I asked him: Do you think you can really achieve this? And guess how he answered me?” She paused, and then repeated verbatim, “If you do not step out, you will never know the answer.”
Wendy was surprised when hearing this and had to ask, “That wasn’t a lie?”
“No lie.” confirmed Nightingale.
“It sounds unbelievable.” Wendy’s voice became slightly relaxed. She and Nightingale were already friends for many years, so she couldn’t think of a reason why she would try to deceive her.
“Yes…,” Nightingale deeply sighed. If she hadn’t personally heard it, since she could verify it with her ability, she probably wouldn’t have believed him so quickly. Now in retrospect, just like when they stood on the city wall and talked about it, Roland really seldom lied. During the two months she stayed at his side, beside the moment they stood on the wall he had sometimes tried to deceive her once, but Nightingale was still very satisfied with his answers.
After all, she didn’t care that he was trying to deceive her a little. Instead if you would just tell an unknown witch all of your secrets, that would be too ridiculous.
“Tonight, when we all come together, I want to tell this important news to all of our sisters!” Nightingale looked pleadingly at Wendy and said, “And I want you to help me convince them.”
When the evening came, the witches who were busy outside the camp returned one after another. When they saw that Nightingale had safely returned, the witches became very happy, coming towards her and asking her how she did. Seeing that their arms were wrapped in a white cloth, Nightingale felt heavy within her heart; at the beginning she still casually answered a few questions, but with time she turned more and more silent.
But then she began to tell her long story. She talked about how she had sneaked into Border Town, how she met Roland, Anna and Nana, the construction of the city wall, the construction of the steam engine, how they had resisted the attack of the demonic beasts, and finally about Anna’s adulthood. Nightingale even took out the drawing of the construction plans for the steam engine, to prove to everyone that she wasn’t lying.
Most of the witches, after they entered the Witch Cooperation Association, would live a cloistered life. For them, it was difficult to imagine the life in the outside world, so they listened attentively. But when Nightingale said that Anna hadn’t suffered any pain during her day of adulthood going through it unscathed, the crowd suddenly began to rage. This was a great concern, the day of adulthood bothered witches for all of their lives, and lead to leaving a sheltered and warm life. They even went into the Impassable Mountain range, losing everything only to look for the legendary Holy Mountain. If what Nightingale said was true, that there was a territory lord who was willing to accept them, who even knew how they no longer had to suffer from the Demons Bite, wouldn’t that have been even more perfect than the Holy Mountain?
At this point, a path began to spread through the crowd, and a witch with a head full of green hair and half of her body plastered with snake tattoos walked in front of Nightingale.
When she saw her, Nightingale bowed and greeted her respectfully, “Respected mentor, hello.” The witch who came was the founder of the Witch Cooperation Association, Cara the Snake Witch. When speaking with her, all the witches called her their mentor.
“I heard the story you just told,” when Cara spoke her voice hoarse and hollow, “Do you want to tell everyone that what we are doing is wrong?”
“No, mentor, those are not stories, I mean – “
“Enough,” Nightingale was interrupted by Cara who was waving impatiently, “I do not know what happened to you, but when you went to this Border Town, it made you say such words. A prince, that sympathises with a witch? It’s practically as laughable as sympathising with a frog, ” She turned around with a cold smile, and raised her arms in the air shouting, “Sisters! Have you all forgotten how those mortals treated you all!”
Not even letting Nightingale say something, she continued to shout, “Yes, that group of mortals, the group of incompetents who pretend to fight in the name of God, who are always aiming a sharp blade or whip at us. If there wasn’t a God’s Locket of Retribution, how could they step on us witches? Our ability doesn’t come from the devil, instead it is a gift given by God! The one who take charge of God’s authority shouldn’t be them, but we! Us the sisters of the Witch Cooperation Association! The Holy Mountain recorded in ancient books, is the residence of the gods!”
What … Nightingale couldn’t believe what she had heard, though the leader of the Witch Cooperation Association was always considered as an eccentric. She was strongly attached to the search for the Holy Mountain, with a passion exceeding that of any ordinary person, but she was always very far from madness. Although Cara wasn’t as approachable as Wendy, at least she had always treated the concern of her sisters with sincerity. But Nightingale had never thought that she could be so hostile to ordinary people.
Could It be that over the past few years she had always been suppressing her hatred and anger? The so-called not to get involved into profane affairs, merely in order to save power, only so that we can one day impose a thunder-like retaliation in the future? Nightingale thought to herself, was that the true reason why Cara hid herself?
“We have found a clue to the gate of the Holy Mountain, it is just like it is described in the ancient books! It’s only twenty more days until the red moon will appear in the night sky just like a drop of blood, raising from the direction of the great Shimen, we will eventually arrive on the other side!” suddenly Cara stopped to speak and turned back to look at Nightingale and exclaimed, “You’ve been fooled by mortals, since we have been born we had lived in a huge scam. The suffering during the day of adulthood is a test by God, only the strong-willed, with indomitable talent and genuine power can pass it. As for the Church, ” she sneered for the second time, “They are a group of mortals who dare to borrow and act in the name of God, sooner or later they will have to go to hell.”
“And you… Child, now it’s time to come back,” Cara paused for a moment and then continued, “If you forget those stories you just told, I can forgive your ignorance and mistakes. As a member of the Witch Cooperation Association, you will get help from us, and together with us, you will go on the search for the Holy Mountain, to obtain eternal freedom.”
Nightingale’s heart had turned completely cold. The pain was only a test? That suffering during the day of awakening, the sisters who weren’t strong enough to hold on, they weren’t worth it, they were only losers? This argument was simply exactly the same as that of the church. While the surrounding witches unexpectedly exposed an expression of resonance, even Wendy didn’t come out to express her disapproval… Nightingale suddenly felt dull, and within the blink of an eye, the founder of the Witch Cooperation Association, every witch’s mentor, had turned into a stranger.
Nightingale shook her head, “So, I’ll be willing to take every sister with me who want to leave, but if you decide to stay… I wish you good luck.”
Just as Nightingale was ready to leave, suddenly a slight tingle could be felt in her lower leg. When she looked down, she could see that a fine, shining blue and black striped snake had bitten her into her calf – this was Cara’s magic of the snake, it was silent and she could use a variety of toxins.
The paralysis quickly spread through her whole body, so when Nightingale tried to open her mouth to say something, she fell into darkness.