Chapter 260 Perfumed soap and wine
The sun slowly descended behind the western mountains, and the surging heatwave gradually began to vanish, even the chirping of the cicadas during the summer gradually subsided. However, compared to Sleeping Island which was enclosed by the ocean on all sides, the castle still seems a bit too hot.
Evelyn, covered with sweat, reached the second floor, and the moment she pushed open the door to her bedroom she was enveloped in a burst of coolness.
“Today’s test must have been hard on you,” a woman with black hair, a mature and capable appearance said while showing her a warm smile, “How was it, did it go smoothly?”
Her name was Scroll, not only was she the oldest witch of the Witch Union but she was also a very kind senior. Although they knew each other only for a day, Evelyn had already experienced the other’s care and concern.
“I… do not know,” Evelyn replied with some frustration. “The other people were all able to show off their own ability. However, when it came to my turn, His Highness only asked me a few questions before he let me off. Is it… because he thinks I’m useless?”
Coming over and offering her a cup of iced water Scroll answered, “There doesn’t exist an ability which completely lacks a function, it only means that the right way to use it hasn’t been discovered yet. This is something His Highness has often told us, so you do not need to worry about that.”
“But…” she took the cup, started to speak but then stopped.
“Are you worried that he might decide that you are useless and because of this you’d be left out?” Scroll could not help but laugh, “If we were still the Witch Cooperation Association from before, that might be possible, but since we have arrived in Border Town, His Royal Highness has never shown any difference in how he treated us witches, that is something Hummingbird can attest to.”
The girl who was currently immersed in searching for clothes in the cabinet answered in agreement, “That’s right. For example: Me, Mystery Moon, Lily ~ah, and also Miss Nana recently had nothing suitable to do, so His Highness even encouraged us to play Gwent to relieve our boredom.”
“Relieve… boredom?” Evelyn’s eyes became wide.
“Yeah, it sounds incredible, right? When there is something to be done, you have to work hard, but if there is nothing to do, you can play freely, at least that’s what he said to me,” Hummingbird paused, “It’s only that I feel that His Highness is a little bit biased, he and Anna are clearly very close friends.”
“Of course, she is the first witch he ever got acquainted with, so their feelings to each other are much deeper,” Scroll interrupted and knocked against her head, “Quickly go and get your clean clothes, if not there won’t be much running water left tonight.” She then looked at Evelyn and said, “You should also come with us.”
“Where are we going?” Evelyn asked in confusion.
“To take a shower,” Scroll answered with a smile, “During the summer, there is nothing more pleasant than standing in the shower to wash yourself.”
When Evelyn followed the two into the bathroom, she couldn’t keep herself from shouting out in surprise. It seemed she had stepped into an extensive grassland, a sea of clouds and mountains in front of her, and the setting sun falling through a window was reflected by the walls and dyed the clouds in a touch of gold.
“Soraya’s masterpiece,” Scroll laughed, “This is not a traditional decorative painting, you will understand it when you take off your shoes.”
Following her words, Evelyn took off her wooden sandals and put them onto a shoe cupboard beside the door. She then stepped barefoot on the “grassland”, and immediately understood the meaning of Scroll’s words. The tactile sensation she felt coming from the soles of her feet was similar to that of walking over dense grassland. Moreover, it felt as if the lawn was sprinkled with water droplets, a reminiscent of the feeling after a heavy rainfall.
In the meantime, Scroll was already taking off her clothes, loosened her braids to free her tails, and let her long black hairs fall down. Evelyn then saw her step over toward the wall, screw a wrench, and several water threads suddenly spray out from the pole extending overhead, covering her completely.
“How about it, don’t you think it’s convenient?”
Hummingbird came over and placed something round into her hand, “This is a bath article developed by His Highness himself, when used during a shower the feeling cannot be more wonderful. Come on, I’ll show you how to use it.”
When Evelyn returned to the bedroom, she felt as if her whole body had become lighter.
Evelyn had never experienced such a comfortable bath. Using the scented soap covered her entire body in bubbles, and after she washed them away with water, the sticky feeling she had felt from head to toe was immediately swept away, replaced by a fresh and smooth feeling. After putting on the clean clothes, the hot air seemed to have become cool, and when lifting her arm, she could smell the fragrance of roses left behind on her skin.
Is this the daily life of the witches of the Witch Union?
Evelyn was still somewhat struck in disbelief, she was born in the outer city of King’s City, to a family who ran a pub. Even though most of their customers had been farmers and peasants, yet one of their always recurring topics of conversation had always been about the nobles’ lives in the inner city, so while serving the wine she had heard many stories. About things such as gilded bathtubs filled with wine, as well as milk filled bathtubs sprinkles with rose petals… but even the most unbelievable rumor, could never match her experience today – at least Evelyn thought that a bath in milk or wine could never feel as comfortable as this did.
Remembering that the owner of this castle was a real prince, it was only normal for him to pay extra attention to his comfort and enjoyment. But that the witches could actually enjoy the same lifestyle as the royal family was naturally hard for her to imagine. Before leaving for Sleeping Island, she had already experienced that even being able to maintain an ordinary life was already considered an extravagant hope.
“Hungry?” Scroll wiped her hair dry and retied her braids, “It will soon be time for dinner, so we should go to the hall now.”
The living room was located on the first floor, the long wooden eating table was filled with all kinds of dishes. Roughly counting, Evelyn saw six pots of meat, as well as egg soup, vegetable soup and roasted mushrooms, which was not much worse than yesterday’s welcome feast.
Waiting until all the other witches had taken their place, they all started together. She soon noticed that apart from the knife and fork some people were also using a pair of wooden sticks to eat their food. The same was also true for His Royal Highness, the times he picked up the knife and fork was even less than the others, and the way in which he moved his hand while using the wooden stick looked very flexible. The food served at the table also had no big steaks, whole chicken or ducks – different from the commonly seen food in the taverns, the steak was already cut into many small pieces, while the wild boar legs had already been freed from the bones, allowing it to be eaten by simply picking it up.
When the dinner came to its conclusion, the Prince suddenly clapped his hands and announced, “I recently developed two new things and I plan to spread them around as merchandise, but I’m still not sure about its result. So I want you to try it in advance and afterward give me your opinion.”
“What is it, something to eat?”
“Alright, I’ll try it!”
“Me too, goo!”
The witches of the Witch Union immediately cried out in approval. Seeing their reaction, Evelyn turned with a shocked look on her face to Scroll, only to see the latter smile and then explain, “His Highness creates some novel things, such as the perfumed soap you used previous, and perfume, chopsticks, Ice cream… Before he puts them into production, he will always let us test them first.”
“Cough, cough,” the Prince cleared his throat, “The first thing is a wine, which compared with the typical ale and wine’s taste is much more mellow and rich, but also more intoxicating. Therefore, the minor witches aren’t allowed to participate.”
“Your Highness, this is prejudice!” Lightning shouted, “I can drink a lot more than the adult sailors!”
“Even though it is still out of the question.”
“Oh…” The little girl pursued her lips, but Roland was still unmoved and instead told the attendants to serve the good liquor to the adult witches.
In front of Evelyn were placed three cups – looking at the sparkling crystal glass cups she saw that they had all been filled with different drinks. One cup was filled with a colorless liquid, which looked similar to water, one cup was milky white, while the last cup was a shiny orange. Within the vibrant candle light, she could see some small objects floating in the last cup, which conversely seemed to be an unfiltered fruit wine.
“They are white wine mixed with apple juice, white wine mixed with milk, and finally, pure white wine,” Roland introduced, “Ice can be added according to your tastes, but the more you put in, the more the wine’s flavor will be diluted.”
He then smiled to Evelyn, “You have been staying in the capital’s pub for a long time, and you also have the ability to make different kinds of drinks, I hope to hear your evaluation of this new type of wine.”
Evelyn could not stop her heart from dancing for a little while, she picked up the cup with the orange drink, pursed her lips and swallowed a mouthful. And sure enough, just as His Royal Highness had said, the flavor of the white wine was far more intense than that of ale. It even burned her throat somewhat. It tasted bitter at the tip of her tongue, but the apple’s taste also diluted its impact. Lastly, there was the wine’s own rich and mellow aroma – the succession of several flavors resonated inside her mouth, forming an excellent wine like she had never tasted before.
The white wine mixed with cow milk was a little milder, almost completely covering over the bitterness. Besides the cow milk she could also taste something which must have been honey or perhaps sugar. This sweetness formed an entirely new flavor together with the aromatic wine.
Turning to the last cup, Evelyn’s heart was already filled with expectation she readily took a small sip, then a burning hot sensation immediately rolled all over her tongue and down her throat – just like she had already anticipated it, it had no other flavor, only the pure flavor of wine. First burning hot and then followed by a bitter sweetness.
“All the tastes of these glasses of wine are… unforgettable,” she put down the cup and took a deep breath, “Your Royal Highness, some people may be unable to accept its strong and irritating flavor. But I think that people who truly love to drink wine, will be unable to resist possessing wine with such a mellow and rich flavor.”
“Is that so?” Roland laughed, “That’s good to hear, but it wasn’t the case that the cup contained the strongest of white wine. I’m sure that I can improve its rich and mellow flavor even further, so when that times comes I want you to sample it for me again.”
Uh, did he pick me to test the new wine for him? Although Evelyn was somewhat confused, she still opened her mouth to reply, “Yes, Your Highness.”
When the cups and plates were removed, the Prince ordered his attendants to bring over a pile of boxes and place them on the long table.
“These are my second creations, and also a little present I’m going to give you,” he paused, “it is a piece of special piece of clothing.”