Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 366: Paper

Chapter 366: Paper

Chapter 366: Paper

Translator: Meh/TransN Editor: - -
After the snowfall during the Months of the Demons, the Redwater River became the only path in the entire Western Region that could still be traveled.

Compared to the small sailboat Petrov used before, the Lionheart was much more spacious. It had room for a simple kitchen, so that even during travels, the passengers could eat piping hot food.

His bedroom naturally was the single bedroom at the stern that the Duke used to live in, which was essentially the poop of the boat. It had windows that allowed Petrov to see the currents and floating ice running under his feet.

"Sir, the egg soup you demanded." The knight carried a clay jar and a ceramic bowl into his room.

"Thanks for the trouble." Roland nodded and said. "You should sit down and have a bowl to warm yourself up."

After His Highness drafted all the knights of the other four noble families to Border Town, the first thing those nobilities did was to send the knights' families over as well. All the empty lands left behind were used for soliciting new knights, or directly taken up by the nobilities themselves.

Only the Honeysuckle Family didn't suffer too many losses in this war, and they actually expanded swiftly after they were placed in charge of Longsong Stronghold. Now, they were high above the other four families and still owned a relatively complete platoon of knights. Sise, the knight next to him, was a member of this platoon. Although he was not as well-known as Morning Light, he was still one of the more outstanding young knights.

"Yes, Sir." He smiled, opened the lid of the jar, and poured a bowl of soup for Petrov. "But... Sir, do you really think this is alright?"

"Are you talking about the witch?"

"Yes. Even though the church was burned down, it's pretty easy to rebuild it, and the church will surely return to the Western Region someday. If you place all the blame on Prince Roland, there won't be anything they can do. However, you rescued a witch in public and arrested the believers of the church..." The knight hesitated and continued, "That's an outright opposition to them."

"If it's easy to rebuild it, then why is that place still a pile of rubbles?" Petrov blew on his fragrant egg soup. "The church won't ever come back to the Western Region again."

Sise blinked confusedly and didn't seem convinced.

After the egg soup had slightly cooled, Petrov took a little sip and puffed a cloud of smoke in satisfaction. "As an escrow, my most important duty is to figure out the true intentions of my superior. The real purpose of His Highness' efforts to normalize education in the Stronghold, utilize the newly trained Border Town soldiers, and act out plays with obvious messages was to weaken the church's influence. Since I'm the caretaker of the Stronghold under His Highness, I have to follow his intentions in governing this area. If I can't even figure this out, he'll probably replace me with someone else." Petrov shrugged. "Preventing the church from being rebuilt is as easy as lifting a hand—the stonemasons and carpenters should have all gotten their warnings. Even if the believers want to rebuild the church on their own, the Rats won't let these artisans work for them."

"But the church..."

"Since His Highness did it, he's not afraid of the church's retribution, which is to say that he's confident that he can fend off the church. If they can still set foot in the Western Region, it'll mean the prince has failed. If he fails, I won't be able to sit on the Stronghold throne anymore. I think you can understand this."

"Do you think Prince Roland can defeat the church's army?" Sise asked.

"Who knows?" Petrov shook his head, smiling. "A year ago, no one thought that he could fend off Duke Ryan's knights." He stood and lifted up the jar. "I'll go check on the little girl, who may be hungry."

...

The girl's name was Paper.

There was no doubt that only an orphan could have such a meaningless name.

Ever since she boarded the boat, she stayed silently in the cabin under the deck. Even when her hands were frozen and red, and her body was trembling in the cold, she didn't make a sound. For safety reasons, Petrov still placed a God's Locket of Retribution onto her. Although His Highness kept claiming that witches were just like normal people, he still didn't fully believe that someone with such extraordinary powers could be like a normal person—even the slightest wrong move could end up in being hurt.

"Why aren't you lying in the blanket?" Petrov pointed at the hammock hanging in the cabin. Cabin space was limited, so sailors usually slept in suspended hammocks, and used coarse linen blankets. Although it wasn't the most comfortable thing, it was still warm.

"I'll get it dirty," she whispered.

"Sailors can't be any cleaner than you." He found a relatively dry spot and sat down. "This journey takes three days. Are you just going to sit like this the entire time? I'm worried that you'll starve to death before we even reach Border Town."

"Border Town?" Paper stared in confusion.

"Didn't I tell you? You're going to a place fit for witches to live in." Petrov opened the jar. "Drink some hot soup and go lie on the hammock."

This time, the girl did not refuse. It was obvious that she was starved as she began drinking directly from the jar without the fear of burning her tongue.

Petrov shook his head. She was as skinny as a monkey, her hair was matted with dirt, and there were holes all over her clothes, which she probably found somewhere. At a glance, she seemed no different from all the other orphans in the Stronghold.

"Who's he, the boy protecting you?" He asked, "Your orphan friend?"

"Snaketooth. He... often brought us... food to eat," Paper swallowed the soup, stuck out her tongue, and mumbled. "If I go with you, you won't... arrest him, right? He's not... a witch."

"Of course," Petrov said expressionlessly. "He isn't important." The phrase "often brought us food to eat" slightly surprised him. There were few people like that boy in the slums. Usually, a lack of food pushed people to steal from each other—people who were already struggling to survive rarely had the energy to worry about others. And the name Snaketooth... sounded a bit like a Rat.

At that thought, he couldn't help but ask, "You said 'us' - were there other witches besides you?"

"No." Paper shook her head. "All of the others were just orphans."

This relieved Petrov a little. "So what was that old bat talking about when she said you were using your abilities to clear snow? This's the first time I've heard about a witch who used her abilities in public."

"It was Snaketooth's idea. He said that I could help the residents clear the snow on their roofs in exchange for food, so no one would go hungry. The theater puts on stories about witches all the time, so no one is afraid of witches now. As long as I'm willing to do it, he can negotiate with the adults."

"It is that so." Petrov thought, the corners of his mouth curling into a smirk. "This kid is quite interesting. He knew how to make the most of his resources, but he underestimated the church's influence." Then, he asked, "So, did you get food in exchange?"

"Um..." Paper bowed her head. "I cleaned three roofs. One family chased me away, while the other two gave me half a loaf of bread and a pancake. However, when I got to the fourth..."

She met that hateful old woman. Petrov patted her head. "Get some rest when you're done drinking. I'll send someone to get you when it's dinnertime."

Three days later, the Lionheart arrived in the harbor of Border Town.